Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Finally Scratching That Itch

I knocked something off my to-do list yesterday. It was nothing great or spectacular. I didn’t ride a bull or cure a disease. I finally ate at a Jack in the Box.

Yep. I tried a fast food restaurant for the first time ever.

I’ve always heard them mentioned in things pertaining to California. I’m guessing that they’re based in California and making their way across the country. Ever since hearing about them, I’ve wanted to have a Jack in the Box experience. I’ve never been to California so, I had to wait for them to come to me unless I happened upon a “radically” placed JITB.

A few years ago, I had to go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to pick up my media credentials. I had to do it in person during my workday. And I haven’t been to the speedway in over a decade. There was a time where we had to get off of I-85 and wind our way through woods and neighborhoods to get to the speedway. Now you just take Exit 49 for Bruton Smith Boulevard and CMS is just a mile or so away.

I’m sure that it feels 60 miles away on race day. Race day traffic can be a harsh mistress.

Back to getting my credentials… I’m on the boulevard and I saw a Jack in the Box! I didn’t get a good look because I was driving and the light there in front of the restaurant was green. My heart was racing. The question of what I may have seen kept running through my mind. Did I? Did I see a Jack in the Box??

I got my credentials and started back to work. Again, I had a green light but I saw it. I saw it! Lo’ and behold there was a Jack in the Box! And it was only 2 hours away from where I live!

I didn’t have time to stop that day nor the days since discovering it. But since I’ve been driving to Charlotte for work on a regular basis, I made a promise to myself that I was going to visit that Jack in the Box. I’ve been passing the exit, but none of the signs leading up to that exit have the JITB logo posted with all the other restaurants. I kept having questions… Is it still there? Did it close? Why isn’t such a rarity in these parts advertised on a sign? Was I hallucinating all those times that I thought I saw it??

I did some online research. The Jack in the Box was indeed there. It was easy to get to and out of. It’s open 24 hours a day.

So yesterday, Tuesday the 11th of November, I finally pulled into the Jack in the Box. I was worried. It was 10:40 A.M. Were they still serving breakfast foods? Will I have to sit around waiting until they changed the menu over? What was I going to do with 20 minutes?

It was rainy and cold, my friends. But I got out of that truck, pulled my hoodie over my head, and made a beeline for the door. I stepped inside this new wonderous place, pulled down my hoodie, and looked around like Dorothy in Oz. There was a hive of activity in the kitchen and that gave me time to check out the overwhelming number of combos offered.

A young woman came up to the counter and said, “Welcome to Jack in the Box.”

I nearly giggled like a Japanese schoolgirl. But I kept my excitement under wraps. “Are you guys serving burgers this early?” I asked.

“Yes, sir,” she answered. “What can I get you?”

I settled on a bacon double burger. And when she asked for my choice of side, I had to ask what my choices were. After hearing them, I went with fries. “French or curly?” she asked.

Inside my head… “THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF FRIES?!”

I asked what she preferred and I went with her choice of curly fries. And they had one of those great Coca-Cola drink machines with the seemingly limitless choice of flavors. I went with the Cherry Coke Zero or whatever they’re calling the stuff now. And since they were cooking up my burger fresh, I got a gander at the WHOLE menu. The breakfast items were posted on the wall at the counter. And breakfast items are available 24 hours a day!

I saw the usual fare of sides and items. The tacos surprised me a little but wait… What?! There are egg rolls available??

Damn, I could’ve gone for an egg roll like a drunk after vodka. But I didn’t see it in time. BUT! There will be a next time.

The curly fries were fried up to perfection. Crunchy, hot, and not a limp fry in the bag! And the burger was delicious!

To be totally honest, I’ve heard people rag on Jack in the Box and the quality of their offerings. I felt that it was a great value with great flavor. It certainly exceeded my expectations. I even participated in their feedback online. They deserved some praise because I’m sure that 95% of those giving feedback do nothing but complain.

Like I said before, I will be visiting them again real soon.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Giving Fund Raising A Shot

I have done some voice work in the past and with the small prodding of a colleague, I’m seriously thinking about doing it from home. Sure, I could do it with Tim Beeman at The Less Desirables studio, but working from home would be easier. Why drive 25 minutes to the office when I can walk downstairs?

Plus, if anyone needs a redo or add a line or etcetera, take that little trip downstairs.

And I’m thinking of starting a podcast or two. Yeah, I know… the world needs another podcast right?

Since hearing The Jeff Kay Show and The West Virginia Surf Report it seems to be the next logical step for the evolution of this here award-winning blog. You’d actually get to hear my voice, the tones if you will, and how worked up I can get about the stupidest of things. And when I’m usually riffing on something, my rants usually turn into what I would consider some good standup comedy. I never run “tape” or record these rants. So, I have lost comedic gold many times in the past.

And there’s also a desire to do a right-wing parody podcast featuring a character that I’ve been toying with, Jimmy Rightside. You don’t ever have to be factual when dealing with politics whether you’re the President or debating Democrat contemporaries. Have you ever looked at the fact checks after the debates??

Why would a podcast host need to be held to such a strict standard if those running for office are stretching the truth?

They don’t and Jimmy Rightside could be some fun to do.

But when I do bring Wheeler’s Dog to the podcast world I’m going to use Jeff Kay’s model. I like what he’s done because it’s hard to monetize those things unless you get HUGE! I’d love to have sponsors, but finding them is not an easy task. A lot of them don’t mind working with podcasts for trade, but I need actual cash to fund the machine. Ya know?

Jeff Kay puts out 2 podcasts a week. One for the masses and the other for a select group that fund his efforts on Patreon. I am one of the people that helps to fund his efforts and I have recently caught up with every single podcast available. The West Virginia Surf Report all access show can be found on Spotify, but you gotta listen to the others on Patreon. I think that it makes great sense to do it that way. It’s brilliant.

First step for me is to get a good computer and a really good microphone in order to do these things at home. I’m about to pull the plug on financing the computer, but I thought for a minute… How about fundraising?

It seems to be the way things are done these days. But just begging folks for money on a crowdsourcing website just doesn’t seem right to me. So, I borrowed an idea from local musician Clay Howard. He has designed t-shirts to fund his recordings. I jumped on board with that! I got a cool unique t-shirt and he got some cash to fund his recordings that I enjoy. It’s a win-win kinda sitch!

A few months ago, I started thinking about the goofy riffings my cousin Dan Lively and I would do to entertain ourselves. I remember the time that we were riffing about restaurant names. We would answer the phone at his house or our grandmother’s… “Barney’s Burger Bungalow. What you can I put between your buns?” or “Peggy’s Pizza Palace home of the pricey pepperoni pie, how can I help you?”

Oh yeah, we were clowns. We flew around the lofty heights of comedy like eagles.

So, I hit the Custom Ink page and designed a t-shirt for Peggy’s Pizza Palace and offered it up starting at $15 bucks. I could make more from it at a higher price, but I don’t want my friends to make a big commitment. It’s a unique shirt, I think. And I’ve always wanted to make and design t-shirts. Even if I don’t make the minimum of 11 to even get them printed, I got to check something off the bucket list.

I have a couple more shirts planned… Barney’s and one for a made-up strip club. And then someone suggested that I make one up for the Stankwell Falls Cocktail Lounge with the Stankwell Falls Fizz recipe printed on the back. It’s a fictitious place in the Green Acres/Hooterville universe. Brilliant!

If you’d like to help me with my endeavor and score a true one-of-a-kind t-shirt for a fictitious pizza joint… Here’s the LINK!

Thanks to those that have already signed up to get a shirt. And BIG thanks to the one person that donated money on top of purchasing a t-shirt! He’s helping me restore my faith in humanity.

I just need 6 more to make it a reality and have them printed up. So hopefully, they’ll make it to reality. My goal is 50… lofty eagle huh?... but realistically I am shooting for a dozen.

And if I haven’t thanked you for reading my sometimes entertaining ramblings… Thank you!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

I'm Not A Good Traveler

I don’t travel much. I don’t particularly care for it. If I can see most landmarks in pictures or on television, that’s about all I need. Really. My favorite places or places where I’d like to go are more or less experiences and involve race tracks. And since NASCAR has moved the Cup race at Sonoma closer to our anniversary date, Chigs and I will eventually go out west. I’ve never been further west than Cincinnati. So, all you travel snobs go ahead and look down your nose at my uncultured ass. I don’t care. It all seems like a huge hassle to me.

I meant to write about this earlier this month, but I got lazy…

Chigs and I took some furniture to the oldest in Wilmington, NC. We packed up the CR-V with everything he requested and a few things he didn’t. We have usually crashed at his place even with the roommates, but my experiences with that weren’t exactly my idea of fun. So, we got a room at the Hampton Inn close to Waterman’s Brewing. We didn’t plan that. It was just a happenstance. Sweet, sweet happenstance.

The A/C in the room just couldn’t hang with my hotel ideals. When I’m not paying for the A/C, I want it COLD. I want to be able to chisel marble with my nipples. I set that baby at 65 and it could only manage a low of 68.

I have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar beds… Another issue that I have about traveling. I get a back ache that lasts until around lunchtime. But if the room is colder than a frozen ill-fated Mount Everest climber, I can sleep all snug and swaddled with warm blankets.

I like the breakfast gatherings in the morning. You get a nice mix of the peppy, washed, and clean travelers along with folks like me… Slipped on shoes and no concern about your hair looking as if you brushed it with a shotgun. But getting to actually eating breakfast can be an exercise in patience and understanding.

The first person that I encountered was dressed to the nines in a suit. He said, “If your looking for all the good stuff, it’s gone.”

I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. There was plenty of breakfast meats, omelets, and etc. As far as I could tell, they were out of muffins. Maybe that’s his trigger for disappointment.

I got myself a bowl and box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. I don’t eat cereal very often, but after having what they call an omelet the day before, I was having some cereal. The milk was in a small refrigerator unit about 10 feet away from where I procured the cereal and bowl. I navigated my way through clueless folks wandering around like The Walking Dead. Then this pale 90 some year-old bat with flaming auburn hair stepped right in front of the milk fridge. She took her sweet time getting the proper amount of oatmeal and then she broke out a plastic bag. She struggled to open the bag. Then she started opening pouches and pouring them onto her oatmeal. She pulled out some capsules, opened them, and poured them onto her oatmeal. A family member saw me behind her and said, “Maybe you can that at the table.”

I smiled even though inside I was screaming "Yeah, you perfumed old hag! Do that crap at your table where you’re not bringing someone else’s life to a screeching halt!”

And then there’s the coffee jerks. The ones that act as if they’re at the Build-A-Bear Workshop attempting to make the best cup of coffee humanly possible. They get their coffee and “play” with the many flavored non-dairy additives and they’re usually in pairs. They compare notes. They sip. Compare notes again. Get a squirt of this. Add some Stevia. Compare notes again. Good God people! Keep it moving!

I made a proclamation during that trip… I will continue being friendly to the folks at the breakfast food stations. But any of my attitudes and phrases may come out when encountering the coffee jerks. I have grown tired of them. Just get your coffee and move on. Move your chemistry experiences to maybe three to six feet out of everyone’s way.

So, yeah… Traveling is fun.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Motorized Morons

The motorized scooters are back in downtown Winston-Salem. I think they’re great! People have the option of moving quickly through town.

BUT! Some people are oblivious, selfish, and downright stupid. They don’t realize how dangerous and ILLEGAL it is to ride those scooters on sidewalks. I’ve even seen some of those idiots riding against traffic on the roads. I’ve even seen one moron driving down the center line on a busy Trade St early one evening.

And it’s those morons that ruin it for everyone.

I was driving down Seventh St the other day going to Trade St. As I’m sitting in my truck at the light at Seventh and Trade, I witness three morons riding scooters on the sidewalk. They crossed Seventh in the crosswalk and continued north on Trade.

I parked my truck between the old Miller’s and the Silver Moon Saloon. I’m walking up the lot and here zips the lead moron on his scooter. I shout, “GET OFF THE SIDEWALK!” We locked eyes. And I was showing my displeasure as seriously as I could. The lead moron zipped right by a guy that was visibly surprised and I shouted, “RIDING ON THE SIDEWALKS IS AGAINST THE LAW!”

He shouted back without looking at me, “I DON’T CARE!”


And then I heard two other folks yelling “GET OFF THE SIDEWALK!” People were joining to fight these morons with me. That’s exactly what everyone should do when they encounter one of these lawless idiots riding on the sidewalks.

I tweeted the Winston-Salem PD and after two days, they have yet to respond. I tweeted this morning that they probably don’t care until someone gets hurt.

The first time the scooters were in town, I witnessed some motorized moron riding down the sidewalk in front of Finnigan’s Wake. A lady came out of the main entrance turned around to say something or react to what was being said behind her and BOOM! The motorized moron plowed right into her. As they both tumbled to the ground the unsuspecting victim hit her head on a table. The moron seemed incredibly apologetic and things were exchanged as a waitress brought a clean towel to the woman. She was bleeding. Some guy helped her up and they disappeared presumably to go get some stitches.

We should all shout and shame these motorized morons when we see them on the sidewalks. I don’t care about the dumbasses riding against traffic. They’re the ones that could get hurt so that works out. Sure, their heads might dent cars or break some headlights, but they deserve to be injured with such dumbassery. Hell, I’m even tempted to drop marbles onto the sidewalk “by accident” if there’s an opportunity that no one else would get hurt.


Join the fight.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Fear And Logic In Clemmons

I really need to get better on updating this thing. But I guess that life hasn’t given me too much to complain about lately. That’s about all I really do on this award-winning blog. Right?

There’s an issue happening that needs exorcising. It involves The MIL and a GE Dishwasher.

A few weeks ago, The MIL alerted me to a problem with the dishwasher. She pointed out that the dishes weren’t being cleaned and they were bone dry. She said, “They don’t look like they’ve even been washed.”

I gave a visual inspection and noticed that there was dishwashing liquid on the bottom of the dishwasher. The compartment that you put the liquid in had come open and the liquid made its way down the door and settled onto the bottom. So yeah, there was absolutely no water action going on. I told The MIL about my observations and she said, “I didn’t do that! I put the detergent in the box like I always do. I don’t know why it’s on the bottom.”

Jesus Chrysler Dodge! Why does she immediately assume that someone is trying to put the blame on her…

“I know, Linda,” I said. “Somethings not right here. I’ll do a little research and see if it’s something that I can possibly fix. It’s going to be okay. The GE police will not be coming in to bust our heads or throw us in appliance jail.”

First of all, I called my father-in-law for his advice since he used to service dishwashers. He suggested checking and cleaning the float. I couldn’t locate the float. So, then I did some online research and found the float. I went in to try to free the float in order to clean it, but it wouldn’t unscrew. It wouldn’t even pull out. I didn’t pull too hard because I didn’t want to break it since I didn’t really know what I was doing.

I ran the washer again and water started flowing like it normally does. Perhaps my dumb luck has worked again!

So, I tell The MIL that it’s getting water again and we should try a run after loading it up. Three days later, I hear The MIL washing dishes in the sink. She’s been handwashing the dishes ever since.

“Why are you washing the dishes?” I asked. “We’re supposed to be filling the dishwasher to see if it’s working again like it should. And in order to fill the dishwasher, we should actually be putting the dirty dishes into the dishwasher to fill it and then let that joker do its thing through all the cycles to see if the problem has been solved. We’re not moving forward if we’re washing the dirty dishes. We can always wash them if the machine needs repairing. I’m not sure why this logic is being overlooked. Perhaps it’s about washing a lot of dishes at one time. I’m not sure. BUT… if it’s working, there’s no handwashing. Dig?”

We ran the machine again with the same results. It was time to call in the cavalry named Barry. Barry knows his stuff and in less than a half hour the float had been cleaned properly with actual know-how instead of some dumbass watching YouTube tutorials.

Barry was over late on Monday afternoon. We ran the dishwasher with the dirty dishes. They came out clean and warm just like they used to. There was much rejoicing. Dwarves sprang from the cupboards playing mandolins and singing celebration songs. We all held each other and jumped around as the dwarves smiled and jammed while fairies flew in circles above our heads. All was good once again!

I prepared a comfort dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches last night for a Birthday eve celebration of sorts for Chigs. I spared no expense on the grilled cheese. Sharp cheddar on Sara Lee Artisano bread along with enough butter to produce a heart palpitation. Oh yeah, my grilled cheese sandwich is often requested in the house.

This morning as I’m feeding the dogs, I noticed something. All the bowls and utensils used in preparing the soup and grilled cheese sandwiches were handwashed and placed to the side of the sink to dry. So even with the cavalry named Barry fixing the issue AND clean dishes after the immediate post-fix wash, The MIL is STILL having issues with putting some trust in the dishwasher to do its job.

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand it.

But you know what?

I do not care. If she wants to waste her time... Fine. If she chooses to live her life in fear that the dishwasher will fail again, that’s her problem. If she misses a few minutes of some murder porn TV show, that’s on her. Not on me. Not on Barry. And certainly not on GE. I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. There’s no real logic at work here and I’m done trying to swim against that particular current.