Monday, June 16, 2008

Lots, defined

Do you know the drill when you are ordering Lleb ocaT? You drive up to the menu and wait for someone to say something along the lines of "how are you doing?" instead of something like "welcome to Lleb ocaT can I take your order please?" I can understand if they want to shorten it to "welcome, may I take your order?" but most times when I get that fake drive-thru ice breaker I sit there after my brief "fine" answer waiting for someone to ask me what I'd want to force down. You then order your "food" and/or beverages, proceed to one of perhaps two windows, pay, get a drink shoved in your face, get your change, and then they ask "any mild or hot sauce?" as they are ready to toss the food bag at you.

I always reply "lots of hot sauce please".

Unfortunately there appear to be very few Lleb ocaT franchises that understand what "lots" means. In my opinion, there are four responses to the "sauce" question: none, some, yes (enough or adequate), or lots.

  • "None" is self explanatory. The taste of the product is adequate, you can stomach it without the need for sauce, or you have more powerful chemical additives at home.
  • "Some" indicates you need at least a couple to either enhance the flavor of the food product, toys for the kids to play with, or would feel cheated if you didn't ask for some sauce.
  • "Yes" indicates you will need at least one sauce package per food item. This would most likely be the formula agreed to by management to equally appease customers flavorfully and parent company stockholders and franchise ownership fiscally; multiplied by 1.3275 rounding up.
  • "Lots" indicate that you either need to strongly mask the flavor of the food product or are so frakkin' hungry every ounce of sauce, food product, and wrapper scrapings are required to nourish you. This realistically means at least one per taco sized item and two to four per burrito depending upon burrito size and how much refried bean food product is in the burrito.

So today I order two burritos and three soft tacos, ask for "lots" of hot sauce and I'm given a whopping four plus no napkins to clean up with afterwards. Wow. Did you spit in the food as well?

I know how food service works. There are bean counters that know exactly what volume of soft drink to push, exactly how much product to deliver, exactly how many bags you should use and how many condiment packages you should put in with the order on request. They are looking at numbers under a microscope. Somewhere someone is saying "if we reduce the sauce packages by one per order we save 22/100 th of a cent in sauce and 1 and 13/100 th of a cent in manufacturing and 8 cents in advertisement per order. If you multiply times the average of 300 orders per day the franchise and stockholders can save over ten thousand dollars per year in just hot sauce packet count reduction. Do the same for "mild" and "fire" that would be a net savings of over thirty thousand dollars. If we assume our customers are slobs and reduce the napkin output per bag we can save the franchise and stockholders another twenty thousand dollars per year. Just in the United States alone, the estimated savings is a lot of money; probably over a trillion dollars. We could knock out the national debt in three years just by shafting the customer out of a hot sauce and napkin every single day."

Wow.

I think I'll just go to S'ydnew next time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quickie update

Felt like a quick update.

Life in general

I usually try to keep my personal life out of the public only occasionally making reference to my job or home life. My personal life is just that, personal. I'm not some MySpace or YouTube attention whore that needs to pine endlessly about what Jason the boy stud did in study hall today. Things are getting better, though.

The Blog of the Dead

I am slowly attempting to catch up to the present times with my story blog. I have a large segment in December 2007 completed but need to fill in that piece with the story ending in October 2007. I usually have two or three different story pieces going at the same time depending on where I'm at when I get creative. There was one on the laptop and one on my main workstation. I use a USB drive to keep things in sync. I keep names, locations and an event timeline in an Excel spreadsheet.

Technology

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a glutton for punishment or just too stubborn to do anything differently.

I have two, high-powered machines at home: AMD X2 processors, one with 8GB of memory, one with 4GB of memory, both with infinitely more disk than they will ever need. I am installing Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server 64-bit on each of them. So why does this make me a glutton for punishment? Well, on one I am going to be installing VMWare and on the other I will be installing Oracle 10g database. VMWare is not guaranteed to work on the kernel Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server 64-bit is using and not really guaranteed to work on Ubuntu, period. Oracle 10g database is only supposed and to be used and installed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Instead of using either of those two (they cost money, BTW), or using the free version of one (OpenSUSE), or one of the downstream distributions from Red Hat (Oracle Linux, Cent OS), I chose to use a different distribution and then scour the clicker-web looking for ways to force it to work with VMWare and Oracle database. Just by using the 64 bit version of Ubuntu is inviting pain, suffering and trouble. The X-Server 64 bit version does not work the same way as the 32 bit version on the same hardware. The 64 bit nVidia drivers are worse.

So why do I do this? Why not install Oracle database on Oracle Linux? Why not install VMWare on a kernel and distribution they support instead of searching far and wide looking for the patch and notes on how to install it?

I must be sick.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Chili recipes

Just creating a blog post containing tasty chili recipes I've collected. If you stumble upon this and have one then leave a comment with a recipe or URL to one.

Turkey and Chicken Chili

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lb turkey sausage (breakfast)
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (Del Monte "zesty chili style")
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 pkg chili seasoning
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Pan fry the sausage with the red onion until brown. Boil the chicken until it's tender enough to be shredded. Combine the meat in a pan and add 1 cup of water and the seasoning packet. Reduce until water is almost completely gone. Add in everything else however you want.

Can be topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and/or chives and served with cornbread on the side.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Worth Quoting

Dave Barry on the Economic Stimulus Payment

This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economies of China and Japan?
A. Shut up.