Archive for November, 2013

dinosaur-bbq

I ate at this place three nights in a row — but I’ll get to that later.

In an earlier post, I wrote about my trials and travesties flying to Philadelphia, where I began my last rotation.  On day 2, I drove from Philly to Pine Grove, in the Berkshires.  Many trees were bare, but many were still beautifully orange.  From there, I moved eastward to Reading, then to Easton, then to Hackettstown, New Jersey.

In that area of the country, I tend to eat dinner at diners and local restaurants, and that’s what I did this rotation.  In Philly I ate at a restaurant next to my hotel called the Deck.  If anyone has seen It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you know who Dee Reynolds is.  The waitress at the Deck looked just like her.  Considering I was in Philly, I couldn’t help wondering if the character might be based on her.  The next few nights, I ate at two “family” restaurants and a steak house called the Hitching Post.  Normally I would have expected the Hitching Post steak house to have a western theme, but the cast-iron horse-shaped hitching post outside clued me in that this place would be a little more colonial in nature.  Sure enough, the interior was upscale, a jazz band played in the bar and the menu though meat-centric seemed more European than western.  And, I ate at a local Japanese restaurant so authentic it reminded me of the places I ate in when I lived in Japan and Okinawa.

Then there was the place in the picture above….  Dinosaur BBQ, in Brooklyn, NY.  I spent the last half of my rotation working at a site in Brooklyn and stayed at a hotel across the street from Dino BBQ.  As I mentioned above, I ate there three nights in a row.  In Kansas City and across the southern US, I’ve grown used to certain spices on barbecue and the sides that come with it.  Dinosaur BBQ, though it smoked the meats like the rest of the country, the restaurant topped the meats with relishes and sauces featuring different spices seeming more Caribbean.  Even the sides contained different spices.  I liked it (obviously)!  If I hadn’t, I’d have sought out other places to eat rather than returning twice to try more items from the menu.  So, if you’re ever in Brooklyn, check out Dinosaur BBQ.

On the last night of my rotation, I returned to Philadelphia, to catch a flight the following morning.  I ate at the Deck again, and Dee Reynolds was working there again.  She was a nice woman, and a lot more grounded than the TV show character.  By the way, the food there was awesome and not too expensive.  I got to eat crisp steamed asparagus spears both times I was there!

Then there was my airline experience….  my first leg left on time, and was a pleasant flight (I had a row of seats all to myself).  I had a small layover in Detroit, or so I thought.  About 15 minutes before my flight was to leave, the gate agent announced our pilot hadn’t yet shown up to fly the plane, so our flight was delayed.  A half-hour later, the pilot still hadn’t shown up.  This time, the copilot announced the flight would be delayed again.  But good news!  A new pilot had been located and he was on his way.  The copilot made a point to say this new pilot was a friend of his and he WASN’T the pilot who hadn’t shown up.  I know he said that because he didn’t want his buddy to get scowls and angry words when he showed up at the gate.  Well, aside from having the flight delay, I had another row to myself, so it was a good flight.

Soup Nazi

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Unsatisfying, Part 2

Posted: November 7, 2013 in Random Thoughts
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Gromit

 

So, I settled into my seat on the plane to Chicago, and amazingly had the row to myself when the cabin doors were closed.  I closed my eyes for a nap, since I can never seem to sleep the night before I travel.  I listened to the de-icing truck spraying down the plane.  And then the plane just sat there.

“Uh, this is the Captain from the flight deck.  You may wonder why we’re still sitting here.  We’re having trouble getting the engine on the right side of the plane to start.  We may need to return to the gate and have a mechanic take a look at it.”

Soon the plane began to move forward.  Got it fixed, I thought, but no — the plane rolled into the gate we’d left a half-hour earlier.  We sat at the gate a little while longer, then I started hearing things that didn’t bode well for my trip.  “Will the Seattle passengers get your carry-ons and exit the plane?  We have another way to get you there.”  Sigh — I figured I’d be missing my connection, now.

“Will the Philadelphia passengers please get your carry-ons?  We have a new connection to get you there.”  I fell into that group.  I climbed out of my comfortable seat and grabbed my bag from the overhead bin.  I walked back up the gateway to the ticket counter.  The ticket agent called my name and handed me two new tickets.  C24 for the first.  C24 — anyone who’s ever flown Southwest knows what a bummer that number is.  So instead of a one-hour flight with a row to myself, I was now booked on a two-hour flight to Orlando, on which I would most likely be sitting in the middle seat.

Sure enough, a middle seat.  But I was between two women, so it wasn’t so bad.  The plane arrived in Orlando just before lunch.  I was to have a two-hour layover and then finish the trip to Philly.

Now, here’s the where the weather flexed its muscles.  This morning, the weatherman said there would be one-hour flight delays today in New York and Philadelphia because of thunderstorms.  When I arrived at my gate in Orlando, the flight was already scheduled to leave 45 minutes later than scheduled.  Then it was an hour.  Then an hour and a half.

I finally arrived in Philadelphia after 5 o’clock, four hours later than originally planned.  I actually arrived so late, I didn’t have to go to a pharmacy to work — I was able to go straight to my hotel, instead.

I guess there is a bright side to flight delays….  🙂

Unsatisfying, Part 1

Posted: November 7, 2013 in Random Thoughts
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Upcoming-Movie-2013-2014

Maybe it’s me, but I’ve found the last two or three movies I’ve seen a little less than satisfying.  This weekend, I saw Bad Grandpa and Last Vegas.  Both had potential, but I felt they fell flat.

First, Bad Grandpa told the story of a grandpa taking his grandson on a cross-country trip.  The whole idea was for Johnny Knoxville and the cast to act out scenes in front of real people and film their reactions for some laughs.  The movie put a smile on my face for most of the film, and I did laugh out loud a couple of times, but I remember the way I roared and rolled in my seat during Borat.  I loved Borat, and now I measure similar films against it.  While entertaining, Bad Grandpa falls short.

Then there was Last Vegas, a 2-hour long commercial for Las Vegas.  The story had potential, but watching the old guys misbehaving among girls in bikinis at the _____ Hotel (I remember the name of the hotel, so the movie turned out to be an effective commercial, but I refuse to do any more advertising).  The whole point of the movie seemed to be “come spend your thousands of dollars and get all the sexy women you want.”  While I like the cast, I just didn’t enjoy watching them behave like they were in that Project X movie.  I expected something a little more sophisticated.  I remember Adam Sandler‘s Jack and Jill and how much I hated it.  The main reason was it was a big commercial for a cruise line.  I’m surprised Branson hasn’t taken a cue from Las Vegas and started funding its own 2-hour long commercials.

At least I can rest assured a few upcoming films shouldn’t be unsatisfying experiences for me.  I’m really looking forward to the new Thor and Hunger Games movies.

Popcorn

Prisoner

Posted: November 3, 2013 in Random Thoughts
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Buster in Prison

 

I wrote about my first half of my rotation in my last blog entry, about how I drove all over the countryside.  This entry will be about the second half of my rotation, where I worked for four days in one place, a prison.  My company’s products are in prisons, among other places, and I was there for an upgrade.  Not much to say about my time there — fairly uneventful, but for the second day.

Shortly after I arrived, I heard over one of the staff’s walkie-talkie, “Medical emergency in cell block C.  Medical emergency in cell block C.”  Only, it wasn’t actually cell block C.  I don’t really remember the place.  Some of the staff responded, and when they returned, I learned one of the prisoners had tried to hang himself in his cell.  He was presently in the emergency room.  I continued working on the equipment, and I heard on the walkie-talkie about a commotion in the emergency room.  The staff responded, and when they returned, I learned the same prisoner had become agitated and when the prison staff tried to restrain him, he resisted.  They’d had to use pepper spray on him.  Some of the prison staff had also been hit with the spray.  One of them came into the pharmacy for some eyewash, a little while later.  His skin and eyes were very red.  I swore that when he walked in, my eyes and nostrils also began to feel a little irritated, just from what was on his clothes.

Nothing much happened, the rest of the time I was there, but I was ready to go home by the time I’d finished my work.  The prison was close enough to where I live, I was able to drive home in a sweet rental car.  I had a Chevy Impala that was tricked out with a sun/moon roof, a great sound system, seat warmers and even vibrating seats.  Even though I didn’t need the seat warmers and vibrators, the seats were so comfortable the trip passed before I knew it.  I was sad when I had to drop it off.  I know what I’d like to buy when I win the lottery….