Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Mary Poppins was traveling home, but due to worsening weather, she decided to stop at a hotel for the night. She approached the desk and asked for a room for the night.
"Certainly madam", the clerk replied courteously.
"Is the restaurant open still?" inquired Mary.
"Sorry, no," came the reply, "but room service is available all night. Would you care to select something from this menu?"
Mary smiled and took the menu and perused it. "Hmm, I would like cauliflower cheese please," said Mary.
"Certainly madam," he replied.
"And may I have breakfast in bed?" asked Mary politely.
The receptionist nodded and smiled. "In that case, I would love a couple of poached eggs please," Mary mused.
After confirming the order, Mary signed in and went up to her room for the night. The night passed uneventfully, and next morning, Mary came down early to check out.
The same guy was still on the desk. "Morning madam...sleep well?"
"Yes, thank you," Mary replied.
"Food to your liking?"
"Well, I have to say the cauliflower cheese was exceptional, I don't think I have had better. Shame about the eggs ....they really weren't that nice at all," replied Mary truthfully.
"Oh...well, perhaps you could contribute these thoughts to our Guest Comments Book. We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion," said the desk clerk.
"OK I will...thanks!" replied Mary, who then checked out, paused awhile, then scribbled a comment into the book. Waving, she left to continue her journey.
Curious, the clerk picked up the book to see the comment Mary had written. She wrote:
This was a real memory producer for me. My grandfather, an immigrant from Leeds, England, absolutely loved cauliflower covered with warm Velveeta cheese.
When it came to his poached eggs, they had to be exactly to his liking or he would push them to the side and have an extra cup of coffee - then excuse himself from the table. The eggs had to be firm enough to not be obviously runny, but soft enough so he could use his toast to soak up most of the egg.
I don't particular favor cauliflower and cheese, but when it comes to poached eggs, my preference is just like his.
Monday, June 11, 2012
The Pastor's Ass
The Pastor of a small Catholic Church found a baby donkey wandering down the lane leading to the church one day and the little fellow was braying as only a young Jackass can do. The Pastor looked around and could find no evidence of the little donkey’s mother. He thought the little fellow was hungry, so he led him the back of the church where they had a couple of goats, milked the goats and fed the baby donkey the milk.
The little donkey grew and grew, and before long everyone in the little church was bringing treats for the donkey. After a few weeks, the donkey let a little boy ride him, and soon all the children of the parish were riding him on Sunday’s after church.
One of the older boys kicked him the ribs one day, and the ass (not so little now) took out across the field, running as hard as he could. He was so fast they named him ‘Flash’.
The members of the parish talked the Pastor into entering his donkey in a race - and it won.
The local newspaper, sensing a great Human Interest story posted a column the next that read:
PASTOR PUTS ASS ON LINE
Everyone in the Parish was so pleased with the donkey’s performance that they talked the Pastor into entering it in the race the next weekend at the county fair, and it won again.
The local paper read:
PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT.
The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the Pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.
The next day the local paper headline read:
BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.
This was too much for the Bishop so he ordered the Pastor to get rid of the donkey, so the Pastor decided to give it to a Nun in a nearby convent.
The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day:
NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.
The Bishop fainted.
He informed the Nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey so she sold it to a farmer for $10.
The next day the paper read:
NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.
This stunned the Bishop, so he ordered the Nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.
The next day the headlines read:
NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.
The Bishop was buried three days later.
This is another from my friend. When I read it, I LMAssO
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Texas Chili Contest, San Antonio Texas.
This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Texas.
Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.
For those of you who have lived in Texas , you know how true this is. They actually have a number of Chili Cook-off throughout the state. The San Antonio Cook-off takes place in early November and is one of the Championship Contests with the finals held in Dallas. Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was visiting from Gering , Nebraska .
Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off.. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting. O.K.! So I accepted and became Judge #3 ."
Here are the scorecard notes from the event:
CHILI # 1 - MIKE'S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI
Judge # 1 -- Tomato? This isn't real chili. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.
CHILI # 2 - EL RANCHO'S AFTERBURNER CHILI
Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Frank, Judge #3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.
CHILI # 3 - ALFREDO'S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Frank -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.
CHILI # 4 - BUBBA'S BLACK MAGIC
Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Frank -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This woman is starting to look HOT ... Just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?
CHILI # 5 - LISA'S LEGAL LIP REMOVER
Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly chopped, included seeds, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Frank -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.
CHILI # 6 - VARGA'S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY
Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers. Interesting use of eggplant.
Judge # 2 -- Very, very good vegetarian chili, probably the best I've ever tasted. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. She's a real sweetheart. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone, make that two snow cones.
CHILI # 7 - SUSAN'S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI
Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Frank -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.
CHILI # 8 - BIG TOM'S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI
Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. Use of both shredded and bite-size beef makes for a good mouthful.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 -- No report available from the Paramedic’s Truck.
If you've ever tasted Real Texas Chili, you know that the color comes from the chili's - not from tomato. There are no beans and the meat is either shredded beef, bite sized beef or a combination of both, hamburger would dissolve. The perfect accompaniment is sweet cornbread and the drink, of course, is beer - preferably a Texas Longneck.
It is considered polite if you try to stay downwind of groups of people the next day.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Trying to please one of my wonderful blog followers, I’ve put this tiny portion of my life together as a short story.
Many years ago, I was working as a management recruiter and trainer for fast food chain Jack-in-the-Box. In order for me to be a successful recruiter, we had a contract with a national known company (which will remain nameless). The efforts of the creative team that had our account didn’t produce the results we wanted, so I requested to be assigned a different team. We were assigned a team of two young women who actually came to our place of business instead of requiring us to make the trek downtown to meet at their workplace.
They interviewed me and asked what an ideal manager would be like. They wanted to know the characteristics that were seen in our best managers – how they looked, what was their work ethic, how aggressive or passive they were, essentially everything I was as a restaurant manager (that was very close to true – I had started with a nearly new unit that after two managers was still in the low volume range and for three years I lead it to double digit percentage increases over the same week of the prior year. I had turned it into a high volume restaurant from sales of $416,000 per annum to $2.6 million per annum). The two ladies then interviewed our HR V.P. to confirm or modify what I wanted to see and our V.P. changed nothing.
Within a week they had worked up a campaign that my V.P. and I thought was really hot. We started with their advertising campaign and not only did we have a bigger response, the quality of the candidates went up. They routinely refreshed the wording and style of the advertisement and we had acquaintances in other fast food chains tell us our ads Always stood out in the newspaper (the Houston Chronicle).
These two ladies left the national firm and opened up their own small firm and, of course, we were assigned a new team. Back to the past, we had to go to them. I guess they were so busy they didn’t have time to waste on customer service.
As soon as their advertising campaign hit, we saw a drop in both the number and quality of applicants.
We requested a change in the campaign, and to their credit, they did change it. However, the results didn’t change.
We asked for a third change, with the change of account managers, and received that change along with a call from their Regional V.P. complaining we were too “picky” and insinuating they would rather drop us then have to undergo all the "nit-picking" to which we were subjecting them. You can probably guess how that went over with me.
We were within three months of a contract renewal, so I tracked down the small firm Sally and Janice had started and asked them to propose a new campaign for us. They explained that they had signed a 3 year no-compete clause where they would not solicit former customers. I said that was fine because they hadn’t solicited us, we had tracked them down and gone to them.
As before, they came up with a unique campaign even better than what they had before, and we informed the national agency we were not going to renew our contract and signed a contract with Janice and Sally's agency.
Approximately six months later, Sally and Janice came to us and said they were being sued for breaching their contract with the national company, and they, regrettably, could no longer run our campaign.
That made me furious and I went to my V.P. with a rant about how this national company was trying to force us to run Our business to Their advantage. After speaking with our legal team, she spoke with our Regional Exec, and he agreed to continue to use Sally and Janice. He also wanted to re-write our contract with them for us to include “bonuses” for going above certain fairly easily achieved objectives – and so we did. He had decided we were going to support what we considered a part of Our team over the big, impersonal, national agency.
As expected, I was called as a witness for both the plaintiffs and the defendants.
When it came time for me to testify for the plaintiffs, the lawyer obviously had a script designed to convince the judge that his company had been injured by the tiny, two-woman advertising company. His questions were designed to solicit only a “Yes” or “No” answer.
When he asked, “Wouldn’t you say that a national company would be more likely to meet your companies needs and that the defendants, violating our contract with them, did not have the facilities to provide you with the service your company needed”?
Recognizing a loaded question (which started to fire up my steam engine), I started to explain about the creativity and the results when he interrupted, “Yes or no”, and repeated the question. For the second time, I tried to tell him I couldn’t answer the question with a simple “Yes” or “No”, when I was again interrupted with the demand I answer his question, and only his question. I started to get hot.
When he asked the question the third time and I still couldn’t answer to his satisfaction, he asked that in light of the fact I had been called by both parties and “would not” answer his question that the judge designate me a “hostile witness” and he could try to intimidate me in some other sort of unnamed style of questioning.
Before the Judge answered him, I turned and asked for permission to talk to the judge before he made his decision and explained to him that the “loaded” question was the equivalent of asking me “When did you quit beating your wife”.
The judge thought for a moment, then told the attorney for the plaintiff that he would withhold judgment on his request and told me to answer the question how I felt I should.
I proceeded to explain, “While it might be true that in many cases a small agency could not provide the services for a specific company, for us it was a question of creativity, results and customer service. With the small agency, with whom we had worked while they were still employed at the large agency, we got what we wanted. I told the attorney our experiences both before and after Janice and Sally left and what we had tried to accomplish with the large agency, but had not received.
I told him that neither Janice nor Sally had approached us in any way and that WE had tracked them down and solicited them to work for us. They had brought up the possibility of them being in violation of their contract. I explained that since they didn’t solicit us but we had solicited them and that our lawyers didn’t believe they could be accountable for something We did, in a completely legal manner.
The attorney’s face had started to redden, and he popped up with an “Objection”. The judge said “Denied”, then turned to me and said to me, “Please continue your testimony, but wind it up please”.
I paused a moment, then said, “In this instance, it all boils down to who wins and who loses. I’m the manager of a pretty good Pony League baseball team, the Pirates, and for the past two years we have been successively second, then first in our league and have gone on to contribute the most players to our league All-Stars. On the other hand, we have the Houston Astros (at the time they were worse than the Chicago Cubs and “wait for next year” was more “wait for the new decade”). They are a large, national organization. If my kids played the Astros, 100 times out of 100 the Astros would beat my Pirates. In our situation, the results are completely reversed. It would be the equivalent of my Pirates beating the Astros 90% of the time. The national agency is the loser and the smaller local organization are the winners. Naturally, our company wants to go with a proven winner who pays attention to us as opposed to the large, very impersonal company that looks at us as a small time, “You’re too much to bother with client.”
“And that’s what we know, judge.”
The plaintiff’s attorney and the company representatives were shell-shocked. After a minute of silence, their attorney said, “No more questions, your Honor”, and I was excused.
Later, called for the defendants, I was asked to compare month by month results from the time Sally and Janice worked with us at the large agency through our experiences with the large agency and back to working with Sally and Janice. The figures showed a glaring difference between what Sally and Janice produced and what the national company produced without them.
Released, I sat in the hall and awaited the results. I knew what the results were when the plaintiffs came out with blanched, blank faces, and when Sally and Janice popped out of the chambers with really huge smiles, grabbed me and danced in the hallway. Not only had the Judge ruled in their favor, but he ordered the national company (he called them bullies) to pay their attorney’s fees and all court costs.
And that's why I've always tried not to ask a question when I wasn't pretty sure of the answer.
Friday, June 08, 2012
I follow the blogs of other enlightened people here on Spark. This one comes from SparkPeople member GERIKRAGH and I wanted to share.
I follow the blogs of other enlightened people here on Spark. This one comes from SparkPeople member GERIKRAGH and I wanted to share.
I was told this was about four apolitical fishermen from Wisconsin, but I couldn't verify that claim.
At some point in a guy's life.... it comes down to this....
Four guys have been going on the same fishing trip for many years.
Two days before the group is to leave, Herm's wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn't going. Herm's buddies are very upset that he can't go, but what can they do.?
Two days later the three get to the camping site only to find Herm sitting there with a tent set up, firewood gathered, and dinner cooking on the fire.
"Shoot, Herm, how long you been here, and how did you talk your missus into letting you go?"
"Well, I've been here since yesterday. Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and said, 'Guess who?'"
I pulled her hands off, and she was wearing a brand new nightie.
She took my hand and pulled me to our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over. On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes!
She told me to tie and cuff her to the bed, so I did.
And then she said, "Do whatever you want."
"So, here I am!!!"
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