Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Can Make Sandwiches. . .

So I had this great idea for my drive back to San Francisco.  Instead of making the six hour or so drive by myself, my parents and I should caravan up the coast and stop in San Luis Obispo for lunch.  After lunch I would continue north to the Bay Area and they would return home to Moorpark.

I even knew where I wanted to stop for lunch, The Art Cafe and Bakery, home of Oprah's favorite sandwich.

There were just a couple of minor flaws in my plan.

1.  The restaurant moved and was no longer in San Luis Obispo.
2.  Now that the restaurant was in Atascadero it was probably a little more than half way to the Bay Area.
3.  I made my parents drive 3 hours for a sandwich.

In my defense, I have done stupider things for food.  Just read this entry from back in July when Wendy and I flew to the island of Oahu for a hot dog!  Still, not joking about that!

So for those of you who are not aware, The Art Cafe And Bakery is famous for almost going out of business.  The woman who owns the restaurant was going have to close up shop when she got one final order.  Oprah was in town planning an event and needed food.  So The Art Cafe And Bakery set out to make one last batch of sandwiches.  

Oprah took one bite and declared it to be the best sandwich she had ever had!  She then heard that the restaurant was going out of business and she gave the owner money to keep the sandwiches coming!

The sandwich in question is The "O"riginal Curried Chicken sandwich.  It has curried chicken, sliced almonds, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes and spring greens on grilled spiced pepper jack bread.  (The bread is super spicy hot so I get mine on fluffy white bread instead.)  Above is Mom about to bite into her "O"riginal!

In the past I have also gotten the Turkey and Swiss which is made of fresh sliced turkey breast, Swiss cheese, spring greens, diced tomatoes, with the famous orange marmalade sauce on grilled whole wheat bread.

The sandwiches are definitely worth the trip.

6005 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422
Inside the Carlton Hotel

Swing With Me. . .

This week my father and I went to the driving range.  Being the avid golfer that I am (I took Golf in college...impressed aren't you?) check out my amazing form above!

My clubs are an old set that belonged to my brother and have taken up permanent residency in the trunk of my car.  That might be because I am too lazy to carry them up to my apartment and I am not sure if I even have room in my closet to store them.  My golf bag, which is a lovely shade of red, belonged to my late Uncle Brad who passed away in the 70's.  So needless to say my equipment is "vintage."

The last time I went to the driving range was about three years ago when I still lived in Ventura.  That was the infamous outing in Carpinteria when I realized I was hitting balls with Oprah Winfrey's boyfriend Stedman Grahman.  We shared a moment.

As I said earlier, I am an amazing golfer.  This is evidenced in the above picture that shows the black marks that my ball made when it would go careening into the wall immediately after connecting with my club.  At least I connected with the ball, right?

Here's Dad taking a swing at it!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas. . .

Happy Holidays Loyal Readers!

Well it doesn't really snow in Southern California.  However, sometimes if you are lucky, on really damp and cold morning the dew on the lawn will freeze and kind of look like a dusting of snow. 

So that is what happened today.

And the mechanical deer on my parent's lawn fits perfectly into this winter wonderland.

Within 30 minutes all the frost had melted away.

The Song Of The Day -  White Christmas by Bing Crosby

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Update: Sugar, Bring Me Sugar. . .

Update!  My "Poor Man's Toffee Bars" won the Cookie Category in the first annual IM (Inventory Management) Bake Off.  

Judged on taste, presentation, and creativity by members of the leadership team; I received 18 out of a possible 20 points!  I was given extra credit for my naming convention that was "Recessionary" minded.

Next up was the cake category and my managers "Cheese Cake Bites" won!  

Team Accessories was on a roll!

Then in the pie category our Pecan Pie lost to the Womens Team's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  (It was good!)

Finally it came down to the wild card category and our Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls were beat out by the Womens Team's Peanut Butter Cups.  I think the Peanut Butter Cups got extra credit for the "Dear Santa" letter that was attached.

So in the end Team Accessories lost to the Women's Team in total points but we were all winners in having a good time.  

The poor Men's Team did not win any categories but did get extra points for presentation.  They had professional looking signs to describe their entries.

Special thanks to my Aunt Barbara who first introduced me to the cookies that I entered into the contest.

The Song Of The Day - Sugar by Tori Amos

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sugar, Bring Me Sugar. . .

Friday is the "Holiday Bake Off" at work.  

Each division must submit four entries.  A cookie, a cake, a pie, and a wild card. 

We will be judged on taste, presentation, and creativity.

My entry is in the cookie category.  I call it "Poor Man's Toffee Bars."

Go Team Accessories!

The Song Of The Day - Sugar by Tori Amos

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UPDATE: I Only See What I'm Looking Through . . .

Update!   Yesterday the blinds were fixed!  The view was back just in time to watch the rain.

"...I was staring out the window the whole time he was talking to me..."

The Song Of The Day - Window by Fiona Apple

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gonna Make You Sweat. . .

This is a Muni seat.  It is constructed of hard slick plastic. 

One problem with the hard plastic seats on the buses is that when you combine it with body heat, moisture or condensation can form on the seat bottom.  It's kind of like the unspoken fact of riding Muni.

It's funny, because when you are riding on crowded buses you can actually see people check for "Seat Moisture" before sitting down in a seat that someone just vacated.  You have to do this very nonchalantly as you do not want to cause attention to why you may have chosen not to sit down.

Recently I was on the Muni bus.  I was seated at the rear of the bus facing forward.  The row in front of me was reversed so the male passenger in that row was facing me.  At one of the stops three loud teenage girls boarded the bus.  One of the girls sat next to me, one sat next to the other gentleman, and one sat across the aisle all while still carrying on their conversation.  

The girl next to me pulled out a bottle of nail polish and told the girl sitting across the aisle to come sit on her lap so that she could finish painting the girl's nails who was sitting next to the gentleman. If you have ever been near an open bottle of nail polish you know how intense the smell can be.

And here is where "Nonchalant" went out the window.

Clearly annoyed by the loud girls, the gentleman rolled his eyes and decided to get up and move to the front of the bus.  

The girls did not take kindly to this.  They immediately rolled their eyes back and said "Ugghh."

With the newly vacated seat available the girl who was sitting next to me told the girl on her lap to move into the gentleman's old seat.

Crisis...there was body moisture on that seat!

So in the loudest possible voice lap girl says, "Ooooooh....ewwwwww....I ain't sitting there!  Look at all that booty sweat!  That's just gross!"  

It took everything in me not to burst out laughing!

Ring The Alarm . . .

Life is about choices.  Everything you do in life is a choice.  You can choose to be mad about something.  You can choose to laugh about it.  You can choose to cry about it.  But the end result of your personal happiness is directly correlated to the choice you made.

So the above picture is the annual notice my apartment manager sends to all tenants at the beginning of November.  It reviews the Annual Rent Board Fee which is due as a separate check the first week of December, Disaster Preparedness, Mold And Mildew information, how to use the Steam Heat, and the responsibility of the renters to test and change the batteries in their Smoke Detectors. 

As this is the third year that I have received this letter I immediately filed it away and ignored it.

So last night at 4am when my Smoke Detector started beeping every fifteen seconds due to a dead battery, the only person I had to blame was myself!

The best part is it took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to get the battery out.  My apologies to the downstairs neighbor who may have been woken up by the battery eventually flying across the room with a grand thud onto the hardwood floor.

The Song Of The Day - Ring The Alarm by Beyonce

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Only See What I'm Looking Through . . .

This is the conference room that my cubical faces.

Please take note of the window shade that someone has broken for the second time in less than two months.

Unfortunately the shade is broken in the down position...again.

This is the view I normally have when the shade isn't broken.

My co-worker Jan and I are not happy about our new view.

The Song Of The Day - Window by Fiona Apple

I Think You're Crazy . . .

Bill O'Reilly recently did a piece on his show smearing the city of San Francisco.  Now if I was from middle America watching this "news" segment I would think San Francisco was a frightening out of control place with rampant drug use, lack of safety, and an out of control homeless problem.  

Here's the thing, there is a bit of truth in the sensationalized version of San Francisco that Bill O'Reilly portrayed.  And as I road the bus last night I reflected on the O'Reilly segment.

One of the things mentioned in the segment is that the homeless are everywhere in San Francisco.  They are not limited to one area of the city.  And as mentioned in the piece, San Franciscans have learned to co-exist in harmony with the homeless.  "Harmony" might be defined by some as adjusting which side of the street you walk on to avoid the homeless, but it is still "harmony."

So last night I was riding the Muni bus home from a holiday party at around 1:30 am.  Every time I ride the bus late at night it is a new and unique experience.  I have listened in on a older homeless man's conversation about how in his youth he would hold up the bus drivers  and hijack the bus or rob all the passengers.  "Boy I could run back then," he said.  He seemed harmless now.

I have seen the after affects of someone getting sick on the bus late at night.

Once I sat in amazement as two homeless gentleman boarded the bus with their large backpacks and proceeded to sit in the row behind me.  The older one of the two pulled out a needle and proceeded shoot drugs into his arm while the bus barrelled down Van Ness Ave.

And yet here once again was an example of "harmony;"  "I won't bother you if you don't bother me."  

So on the bus last night we seemed to be stuck at the bus stop for what seemed to be about ten minutes.  The delay was caused by a homeless man who was struggling to get his life possessions onto the bus.  The driver had to use the wheelchair lift to help the homeless man get his granny cart and milk crates up.  The homeless man's cart barely fit in the aisle.  

There was another man on the bus whom I had already been watching while we waited at the stop for the bus to arrive.  He seemed antsy.  Not agitated, just antsy.  He then started telling those sitting nearest to him that he had just been released from jail after what he claimed was an unfair accusation of assault because he threw a paper cup with Coke in it at someone.  (The cup may have been thrown at a police officer, but I had my earphones in so I couldn't hear every word. )

Bottom line, this guy wanted to get home, and he wanted to get home NOW.  So needless to say he was less than pleased with the homeless man causing the ten minute delay.

Next came the "Only in San Francisco" moment.  

After all the time spent loading his possessions onto the bus, the homeless man only rode about three stops before pulling the bell cord to indicate that he wanted to get off.

Well, jail release man was not about to wait another ten minutes for the driver to use the wheelchair lift to lower the homeless man's possessions back off the bus.  So jail release man took it upon himself to pick up the homeless man's stuff and expedite the process of "disembarking" the bus.

This was all fine by me because I wanted to get home too.

So it looked like everything was all off the bus but we still hadn't pulled away from the stop.  I then saw that the homeless man was now standing at the front of the bus.  He began to proclaim the following all while clapping:

"Let's all give this man (jail man) a warm welcome home.  He just got out of jail after being accused of assault for throwing a paper cup with Coke at someone.  Welcome home!"  

No one else on the bus joined in on the clapping.  And like Bill O'Reilly's piece, only in San Francisco, harmony.

The Song Of The Day - Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Get This Party Started . . .

Uncle Just Jon along with the Loyal Readers would like to wish nephew Sean a very happy birthday!

Sean, I hope you have a great day!  Enjoy a piece of cake for me!

The Song Of The Day - Get The Party Started by Pink

P.S.  Marco!