Life Changes

I’m losing my morning person abilities.  The winter and spring of 2017… I’m not waking up energized and dtsrting my work day anymore. I’ve even lost my proide in being a morning person.  I hate it. I have not gained the late person powers. I still want to go to bed before 10pm… but I no longer like waking up at 6am and geting a lot done before noon.  Most days I’m not starting work till after 9 now. The days are getting longer, but my work days are getting shorter. That’s not right.


I want to say FUCK OFF a lot more now.

In my 20’s I may have wanted to say FUCK OFF once or twice to somebody.  In my 30’s maybe a few more times.  It seems in my 50’s I want to say it almost weekly.  Oooooh fuck off. It can mean many things.  It can mean; shut up.  Please shut up, or OH MY GOD WILL YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING.  I can mean, YES, I GET IT!.. Are you kidding me?  Noooooo!  Oh FUCK OFF.  IT’s a satuisfying term, even if it’s just in my head.  I’ve hardly ever said it out loud… but vthe amount of times I’ve mentally thought it – often accompanied by an eye roll is way up.

In recent times, the meme; “Zero Fucks given” or similar has become a part of pop culture. It’s not quite the same as FUCK OFF, but it has a similar patern. People who care less, are far more irritatimng thgan people who care, even if they only care one or two fucks worth.  If you have zero fucks to care about something, I probably want to say FUCK OFF to you.  You’re probably irritating as fuck.

I wish I could transfer some of my fuckks cared to you.. but I don’t think it works that way.

Hmmm… is that what GIVE A FUCK means?  Care.  MAKE LIVES MATTER.

I could wear a T Shirt that says EVEFRYTHING MATTERS but the black people – or the people who give too manhy fucks abiout everything might protest. IN 2017, BLACK LIVES MATTER is a phrase a lot of peoplem give a fuck about it seems, even if it’s just to complain about somebody else not giving a fuck about it.

Oooh fuck off is a phrase to me, that is one step short of a face slap.  Some people deserve a face slap, but I understand such an action might land one in jail, or if you’re white, at least get a scolding.

I could write more about this but…. awww. fuck it.

Wahlburgers Toronto

My review.

http://wahlburgers.ca/ 

This is basically a hamburger place where you sit and order from menus. It’s downtown in the trendy Entertainment district across from Wayne Gretskys 99 Blue Jays way.

This is the restaurant based on the reality TV show Wahlburgers, run by three of the Wahlburg brothers you can see in movies and TV.

10431714_301517326707797_5379568774920475092_n[1]The place is well designed, possibly by a set designer rather than a restaurant designer. It has a lot of seating on two floors, and when it opened at 11:30am there was already a slight line up. It filled within a few minutes and people were standing by noon. I love the green everywhere, including the most amazing green chairs, which were so light you could lift them with a finger. They are actually the exact same chairs (except green) that are seen in virtually every single cop show interrogation room. Notice the next time you watch. They all use the same chairs.

11000350_348770018649194_3915658038359876000_n[1]The menu is basic. Burgers, fries and a few sandwich alternatives. I ordered what I thought was the biggest single patty and so did everyone else. I remembered to say; No sauce. I had the option of fries instead of rings or TATER TOTS, which I was very tempted to ask for. I hinted to the waiter I’d tip better of he brought me one or two – just to try, and he did. They were exactly as I remembered from my younger days. McCains brand probably.

The onion rings are not onion rings at all, and if I liked Onion Rings, I’d be surprised and disappointed. They’re more like loose wet fried onions. When the burgers arrived, we commented how small they looked. Yikes. Even smaller than Burger’s Priest I’d say. 1/3 pound, but presented tall, rather than wide. They fit on little buns and looked almost like a slider.

In the end, they filed me up OK and with a tasty clean oil fries side, I enjoyed the meal. The burger comes on a nice fresh bun that is unique, although it reminded me a bit of Fuddruckers, and the flavour of the burger was good. A little like the Priest flavor, but not exactly. The taste was good and not overpowered by their fresh green lettuce, tomato, cheese or sliced cucumbers.

All in all a unique, tasty flavour that stayed with me for a few hours. Good burps. Mmmm.

After finishing, I found you can order an 8oz burger not on the menu. I wish I’d known.

I might not ever make a special trip just for this place, especially with $20 parking, but if I am nearby it is a solid choice. Now I may watch the show.

(Photography from their official Facebook web site)

Your next new phone.

Apple does a few things really well, but one of the biggest impacts on the cell phone world, is the way they’ve managed to make getting the newest iPhone an obligation of your status.

Of course, not every iPhone user lines up to be first, and many don’t even bother with the new release at all, but we’re all still aware of the concept. New iPhone day is a big deal. It gets more news coverage than almost anything happening outside America.

Even if you don’t own the new iPhone, you’re aware of that fact, and many of you may even talk about it with a hint of shame. I constantly hear people say things like; “its not the newest model or anything, but it gets the job done”.

People who don’t own the newest iPhone still would, if they could afford it without issue. Nobody actually chooses to want the old one… And in time, those iPhone users will upgrade. Not because they have to, but because… Well, because it’s the new iPhone.

Well done Apple.

Now they’ve even made the new ones have a different shape, so you can judge people from a far, without even meeting them.

In the other world of Android, we don’t have that. Android users have a different kind of arrogance, founded by a belief that they have a superior product that the masses just don’t understand. Proud underdogs. The inner battle between iPhone and Android isn’t as pronounced as it once was. As the Android system grows up, it’s polish and style approaches Apple, and each new version of iPhone catches up on features. They each do my things better than the other.

This article isn’t to compare Apples to Lollypops. It is simply an observation that Samsung, HTC and Motorola (among other brands) all have new models each year, but Android masses don’t really know when, and we don’t seem to have the need to care and upgrade.

The article that inspired this blog, was talking about how Samsung was surprised and sad that their S5 flagship sold only 40% as many units as their S4 last year.

I am not surprised at all. The S4 was a great phone and there is no real reason to upgrade. There is no peer pressure to have the newest Samsung. A Samsung phone is to be used more than it is to be seen with. Most people don’t know what is the new model anyway.

Because multiple companies make phones under the Android OS system, we have a bit if an identity crisis to begin with. If you SK me what phone I have, do I say Android or do I say Samsung. For many people, all I need to say is; Not an iPhone. They tune out.
I remember the days when my phone was still a wow factor. I had one before you. I had a smaller one than you did. I owned the first Motorola StarTac and I paid $2000 for that private when everyone else had a 2 pound brick. People would want to see it and touch it.

Those days are gone. He new iPhone have retained a little of that feeling, but only for the few who still bother to be current in release week. Everyone else doesn’t care anymore. Nobody asks me what phone I have. Nobody wants to touch it.

Hey! Have you seen my cool new Smart Watch?

Two Minute Warning

Your soup is ready… but it’s not.

The microwave Macaroni and Cheese you can smell just beeped – but wait.

I am blogging about this exact situation while I am forced to wait that extra two minutes after my food has taunted me. It’s beeped the ready warning bell, but the box says no. I must not eat it yet. I must wait. I hate that wait.

It’s not that I can’t wait an extra two minutes for that cheesy goodness, but the problem is – I am far from the timer, so I must guess at how long two minutes is. It’s not that my obsessive personality feels the need to wait EXACTLOY two minutes… that isn’t the problem either.

The problem is, that with A.D.D I inevitably end up forgetting about the mac and cheese altogether within that two minutes, as something far more fascinating grabs my attention – for example, blogging about the two minute delay.

2014-10-03 16.19.09Have I waited long enough? I don’t think so. I type pretty fast for a guy who uses two fingers, but don’t get me started blogging about how shocked I am that the schools no longer offer typing as a class, despite the obvious fact that now, more than ever before in history, everyone needs to type. That is a blog for another day, when I don’t have cheese waiting.

MmmMmM. Glorious cheese.

Actually, to be honest – I don’t know if this cheese will be glorious. I’m trying a brand new type of Macaroni and Cheese. The President’s choice brand, although I suspect few presidents, be it of country or company would buy microwave Mac and Cheese, an even if they did, they’d probably buy the premium brand, not the cheap store brand. I know I usually do.

I am trying this brand for the first time with low expectations, but every now and then, store brands are good. Not often, but now and then, and if any product symbolizes poverty better than Mac and Cheese on a Friday night, I don’t know what… so if there were a product to make great and tasty, I think it’s be this one.  That’s forced optimism while I wait for the true taste test.

That has certainly been two minutes… I think. Time is hard to comprehend when you’re in a creative typing binge.

~~~ < symbolization the passage of time.

Mother would be proud. I tried something new, but if I am truly honest, I only did so because it was all I could find in the house, and it’s raining. I bought this thing maybe a year ago, and never really wanted to try it because I suspected it would be bad.

It was.

Not horrible, and not enough to make me gag, or not finish it, but it wasn’t good. It was a glorious Mac and Cheese dinner as I was looking forward to. The texture was good, and I actually quite like the MAC part, and the cheese was a nice orange and flowed with just the right thickness… but I couldn’t actually taste cheese. Sometimes the brain is good at filling in flavor. You can drink orange coloured drink and think it tastes like orange, but cheese that doesn’t taste like cheese is a disappointment. It was too much for my brain to make up.

I finished it, and for now – I’m not hungry… but I’m also not satisfied.

 

 

This Blog is Gluten Free

I went to my favourite Toronto burger place for lunch today, and got a surprise.  Their fabulous Big Guy 7oz juicy burger was now being advertised as Gluten Free. You’d have to be living under a rock these days not to know the term. 

“Gluten Free” seems to be the big new diet fad, with great controversy. Like so many diet options, I have happily remained ignorant to what it all means. I know it means something to do with wheat or grain, but I really don’t know or care. To me, it seems the way the world interprets dietary needs, changes faster than the seasons. First eggs are good for you,  then bad for you,  then good for you again.  One day were told to eat less sugar and then we find out the sugar substitutes cause cancer.

jackpot777I’ve seen online debates about Gluten get mean. One day last year, people started almost randomly declaring they had gluten allergies,  and stores and restaurants were quick to jump on the new bandwagon and offer specialty menu items catering to the elitist diet snobs.  Low fast isn’t good enough for them. Suddenly they can’t tolerate gluten. At the same time, experts chimed in and vocally called them all liars.  Only a very specific few people had real Gluten allergies, and have known about it their whole life. Everyone else just made it up. Maybe they liked the idea that it made them special. Somebody somewhere, must have said Gluten was bad for you, and the world reacted. Blogs and daytime TV can be bad for your health.

Gluten free exploded, like fat free did a decade before. Even Gluten Free chocolate became a thing. I ignored it all. 

I’s already made up my mind, like I do with so many foods before I try them for the first time. Diet food is bland. If you’re taking something out of the food I love, it’s going to taste worse. In my experience, fat free Jell-O is horrible. Sugar free chocolate tastes odd. I fully understand and accept that the things that make my favourite tastes great, are the things that mean scientists keep telling me to avoid, or less experts on the Internet tell me. I wish everybody on Facebook would stop telling me the things I love are horrid – or worse, how they’re made. I don’t need to know.

When Fat Phills decided to go Gluten Free, I was afraid. They were not offering it as an option, like they did with their buns. It was the only way I could order lunch. The sign was clear; all our Burgers are now Gluten Free.

I asked Phill. He’s a great guy and sincerely loves talking to his customers. I trust what he tells me.  Phill says that he removed the breadcrumbs from his Burgers. You may remember about breadcrumbs in burgers. Our moms used to do it too. Not so much as a filer, but as a binding agent to keep the raw beef from falling apart, which is especially important when grilling over an open flame like Fat Phills does. Without a binding agent, the burgers crumble.

What he was surprised to discover, was the happy side effect that they actually tasted better. By changing his binding to use a Gluten Free binding agent, the flavour of the juicy fat actually improved the burger. It seems obvious, but bread also absorbs the juicy juicy grease,  making the burger a little dryer and less tasty.  As I mentioned above, the grease is one of those deliciously evil things that add the flavour. Gluten free burgers were not bland, but actually an improvement. 

Who knew.

So I suspect “Gluten Free” isn’t as bad as fat free after all. It might even make other things better too. I’m curious to see.  I still believe sugar free is horrid, but maybe this is a bandwagon I’ll jump on too.

I will not however claim to be allergic. 

http://fatphills.com

 



http://www.buzzworthy.com/science-proves-gluten-sensitivity-isnt-real-people-are-just-whiners/


Friends I haven’t met yet.

In general, strangers don’t talk to each other.  Few ever strike up a random conversation with me. It almost never happens, so I am never sure how they react when I start one with them.  It’s funny, because in my life, I have trouble starting conversations with people. I am seldom the ice breaker at a party. I’m much happier when you start the conversation, and then we can proceed. I’m afraid of intruding or interrupting or otherwise being a bother.

However, I can oddly start conversations with total strangers in some situations. I’ll frequently make opening statements in elevators, or bus stops or waiting rooms when there is a silence between two or more strangers. Most frequently I’ll open with a joke. I wonder if this spontaneous conversation is a source of smiles, or is it scary?  I don’t seem to care as much when it’s a stranger than when it’s somebody I know or care about.

It’s usually casual. I just make a punchline of the situation and get a smile or a laugh. I break the silence of our shared experience.

This happened today at the all-you-can eat buffet. I was standing in line for some serving, with a full plate of various meat in front of me. To this, I added one single broccoli leaf.  It struck me as a little funny, and so I leaned towards the stranger next to me, and commented; mother would be proud, as I pointed to the lone vegetable on my plate.

It wasn’t a great joke, and although a friend who knew me may have smiled or chuckled, the stranger offered no reaction at all.  He must have thought it odd. Why was I talking to him? He didn’t know me. He didn’t know my mother. I continued; I can’t have desert until I eat my veggies. Still no reaction. I was clearly an unwelcome irritation.

I often try. Even if I don’t bring a smile instantly, it may generate a story for him when he reaches his table and discusses how an odd fellow tried to strike up a conversation at the food buffet. I know I got a story out of it.

This is it.

 

McDonalds. Free Entertainment

mcdI have an attitude in life that has served me reasonably well, especially in depressed time. Failure can sometimes be funny, and anger is almost always funny… if you look at them from a different perspective.

Just now, I have returned home from what some people would call a frustrating visit to the local McDonalds, and rather than describe a bad experience with the wrong food, I instead choose to tell the story of my entertaining visit to the local McD’s.

As I entered the store, I happed to watch a funny miscommunication drama unfold at McDonald’s. I think I was the only one that saw what was happening, and it made me smile, because I could predict the outcome like pre guessing the punch line of a joke while it’s still being told.  As I waited for my turn, I got to watch the whole thing unfold as expected, and then I had the pleasure of ending the story by re-telling it to the teenage cashier, and in the end, we both got to smile and joke about it. She said; “Well that’s a new one” and then moved on to take my order.

beeIt started with an older man in a Billy Bee delivery uniform. To me, he looked quite memorable, but I suppose after a shift of fast food sales, every old man begins to look alike. Old people seem to love McDonalds. They’re everywhere.
Within the first moment, it was clear this was one of the extra special customers, complete with bad hearing and limited English. I’m sure they’re the favourites of anyone who stands behind a counter for a living. He entered the store just ahead of me. As always – the line/queue situation at this particular location is dreadful. There is limited space behind the counter, and it is constantly filled with three groups of people. You can never tell the difference between who is in line waiting to order, and who is waiting for food, and who is coming back through this small narrow area to throw out their food and exit.
This fragile old man was standing in the wrong place for some time, and I had the opportunity to be serviced ahead of him, but I hesitated, and I’m glad I did. He story began as he stood off to one site, behind another lady waiting for her burger. Our teenage girl catches his attention and asks about his coffee. As first, I thought perhaps he was a regular, and she was just getting his usual coffee for him, but after a moment it was clear this was not the case. She had somehow mistaken him for another customer who had already ordered a coffee and a muffin.
In a rushed and somewhat urgent tone, she asked; “what kind of coffee?”, and he replied. Pepsi.  This was when I figured out he was placing an order, and she was asking about a different order, but only I detected this.  Like many people with a language barrier, or poor hearing, they learn to adapt and give in.  Since she seemed rushed, and was asking about coffee, even motioning towards the coffee machine as she spoke, he gave up almost instantly and answered with “Black”. It was the easier option I suppose.  It made me momentarily sad, because I realize people who can’t communicate well must give up so often in life. All of us can probably recall a time or two when we’ve repeated something two or three times, and then just given up and said Yes.
As she poured his coffee, she then admitted to having forgotten what muffin he asked for, and he replied; “I like blueberry”.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the counter, closer to where I am standing, I witness a totally different man with no similar attributes receive a carrot muffin and begins complaining it is taking forever for his coffee. “Where is my coffee?” he calls, not knowing it has been given to the Bee man. The two were at far ends of the counter from each other, being handled by the same cash woman, scooting back and forth between left and right, with no clue that she was actually dealing with only one order, and two people.

As she hands the old man his coffee and muffin with a friendly smile, expecting that transaction to be complete, he further confuses her by asking for his receipt.  She can’t quite figure out why she can’t find it.
To him, nothing was wrong, except maybe he’d gotten a coffee instead of the Pepsi he wanted, but otherwise, he didn’t know how to express that he wanted to pay for an order she assumed he’d already paid for.

I stepped in with a smile and explained it all, and we both smiled.  You’ve confused this man’s new order with that man’s old order. He’s waiting for this coffee, and this man hasn’t paid. She was embarrassed but nobody knew of the confusion but me, and now her so she cleared it up, took the money and moved on.
Next up was me, and I know the order I make at McDonalds has never been easy. In the early days of my youth, we never got to go to McDonalds, because back then, I always wanted a Quarter Pounder with cheese; PLAIN and at McDonalds in the early 70’s that meant a long wait. Sometimes a very long wait. So much so that Burger King’s entire marketing campaign was about making burgers YOUR WAY… McDonalds was about THEIR WAY.
Although it’s far better these days, and McDonalds has a structure in place for quicker custom orders, the way I like my 1/3 Pound Angus burger still takes some explaining.
I’d like an Angus bacon cheese combo, but I want it with BACON, LETTICE, TOMATO and CHEESE ONLY. This apparently is harder than a train traveling from Chicago math problem for trained McDonald’s counter staff and always takes a while to explain. After 2 years on practice, I never know exactly how they’ll react. You see, the Bacon and Chees Angus doesn’t come with Lettuce and the Supreme Angus comes with lots of other stuff I hate, and no Bacon, so there is no Bacon Angus with cheese and lettuce only. The secret is to order a Bacon Angus with cheese and ADD lettuce and tomato ONLY. I assume there is an only button on their cash system. Usually it works after a 20 second lecture, and I get the right thing.
Today they decided to throw a loop at me and introduce the NEW Angus BBQ burger which I am told has bacon, lettuce and tomato and cheese and a bunch of other stuff. She orders that.
As I wait, I see the bill, and nowhere does it say lattice and tomato so I inquire. “I think this will arrive wrong because it doesn’t say lettuce and tomato ONLY”, as I am accustomed.  “No No” she assures me. “This is the new one.”
It arrives. It is wrong. No surprise. No lettuce or Tomato. Plain beef and cheese with bacon.
I simply say; “It has been entertaining today, and you’re to busy and stressed, so I’ll eat this anyway – but I wanted you to know I was right and you were wrong.”
Perhaps that was a touch on the mean cranky customer side of things, and I do understand it’s a hard job.
Rather than be mad… I laughed, ate and wrote a blog about it.
“Oh, that’s a new one” she said. Then, I placed my order, and despite clearly expressing my options, and then telling her straight up clearly that what she had just charged me for would yield in an error when the food arrived, she assured me it would be fine. I tried to say No a third time, but it was clearly a very busy time, and she was flustered already after almost giving away free food… so I waited.

Food arrived, clearly wrong as expected, but not so wrong as to be a problem. I ate it, and filed out the online survey in store, thus receiving a free but useless coupon for a free combo, which I could not print from my cell phone.

I love McDonalds when it provides me so much entertainment. Well worth the admission price.

 

I finally did it.

A while ago, I transitioned my late night journal writing hobby to video. I started talking into the camera instead of writing things down.  For the first year, I saved them on my hard drive, but I wasn’t sharing them.  January is traditionally a month of new years resolutions, and so I started a new project. I found a site to motivate me. It lets me record a 10 second video every day about a project. I chose to find a new income stream in 2014 and boost my monthly money.

Of course, I’m a ramblin’ guy (oh yeah) and such, 10 seconds wasn’t enough. It was almost silly.  So I started a YouTube channel, and have been recording one (or more) videos a day.  My process and progress towards finding some extra money this year. The blog has become less important.  Now I can turn on a camera and ramble for 2 minutes or 20 and not have to type.

http://frogstar.tv

http://youtube.com/frogstar42

 

Pigeons

I am sitting outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, having a quick Polish Sausage for lunch in a nice treed Park area. In front of me, walking around observing me in one lone scruffy pigeon. He’s not a pretty one at all, multi coloured in no set pattern, and with feathers ruffled like he’s just list a fight.

He is a scout. He knows I am eating, and he’s here to get the first drop and alert his team, sitting nearby in the shade.

I toss a bun scrap, and before I can say rumpkestilskin, 21 other pigeons have decended. They know, nobody throws one bun scrap. Feeding pigeons is too much fun to do just once.

I notice none of them are very pretty, unlike some if the ones I feed more up town, which makes me chuckle a bit. Downtown is lower class for bird and man alike.

Each one grabs a piece of bun, and flings it wildly to rip his bit off, throwing the remaining bun 4 feet one direction or another, and then another repeats the process. Pigeons without food try desperately to guess where the next piece will be flying, but with little success. It’s a luck game, and some are faster than others.

When the last of the bun is thrown, I clap my hands and say; “all done”, which is a phrase I trained my dog to understand. They seemed content too, and surprising quickly all retreated to their shade resting places.

One lone scruffy pigeon remains, scouting, but with less interest now, because I’m writing this on my phone, not eating. He is still watching, but with less glaring eyes.

I am tempted to see if they return if I merely gestures a fake food throw, but I decide not to be mean.

image

Waiting vs Selling

I’ve worked in the support industry and the retail sales industry, but never did food service and I’ve never been a waiter.

I have a great respect for the people who work the counter at fast food places. It’s a hectic stressful job that I don’t think I’d do well at. It’s fast and furious and you’re often dealing with angry people who believe they’re in a hurry.

In my stint as a retail sales person, we had busy days, but for the most part, I got to take my time and spend a good amount of attention to each customer. This was good when the customer was nice, and horrid when the customer wasn’t. I had no escape.

Today I was lunching at a restaurant and discovered a mark advantage the waiter has in his job. He gets to just walk away. He can stay and talk if he chooses, but he also has the non guilt option to just leave. He can do it anytime. It is the waiters job description to walk away.

I noticed this in practice today as I made a poor pun based joke that didn’t go over. He got to nod, and then turn his back to me and walk away. It was a glorious out.

When I worked retail, if somebody made a joke, I had to stay there, facing them and fake a response.  I had to be polite.  Likewise, if I was the one making the comment, there was no escape. We just kept talking to each other.

My waiter didn’t have to return to me for 7 or 8 minutes, or longer if my beverage didn’t approach refill levels.

It made me remember some of my greatest irritating customers from years gone by. The smelly customers, the loud talkers, the whiners and all the angry ones. How wonderful it would have been to abandon them and pivot on my leg to walk away from them.

I understand it’s not total avoidance, and my waiter can’t run away and ignore the irritation forever, but time heals all, and even 2 minutes can change an irate or crazy person into a new mindset.

Maybe I could be a waiter.