Looking for the next bright idea

Last night I removed a light bulb from Grace’s light. It is a small fan light bulb, but that fits in a full size socket. It is the only use of this light bulb in the house, so we obviously don’t have another one. When we moved into this house, every light fixture had unique bulbs, which we have strived to standardize.

Anyway, I came downstairs holding the lightbulb and I laid down on the couch. I wound up falling asleep, tightly clutching the lightbulb. I woke up with my fingers stiff and wondering what I was holding and why I was holding it so tightly.

A tattooed short story

Meg said she wanted to get a tattoo. When I asked her what kind of tattoo, she said there’s a woman who has written a short story and it is being tattooed on volunteers one word at a time. She started a couple of years, but is not yet complete. If she would read all her email, she has enough volunteers, but she also said a new email might slide in ahead of others if she happens to read it.

The woman’s name is Shelley Jackson and here is her web site. The name of the story is Skin. I was interested because I went to high school with Shelley Jackson and it is possible that it was the same one.

This Shelley Jackson:

was extracted from the bum leg of a water buffalo in 1963 in the Philippines and grew up complaining in Berkeley, California. Bravely overcoming a chronic pain in her phantom limb, she extracted an AB in art from Stanford and an MFA in creative writing from Brown.

A podcast to check out

If you like audio fiction, and are into thrillers, a new podcast called Shadow Falls is just for you. This is a professionally produced audio story, written for this podcast. Many other podcasts stories are like audiobooks, where the author, or another single voice reads the story, but Shadow Falls use actors and sound effects to achieve a higher level of drama and tension.

There have been 3 episodes so far, so make sure you go back to the first one and start at the beginning.

For every light that shines… a SHADOW FALLS. Podcasting’s first professionally-produced original drama series, SHADOW FALLS tells the eerie tale of a remote Northeastern town that holds secrets some will kill to protect and others will die to expose. Settled 300 years ago by the survivors of a mysterious tradgedy, the people of Shadow Falls have become pawns being used by two supernatural forces seeking to win a war older than time itself, a war which many believe could trigger the Battle of Armageddon, and wipe out humanity as we know it.Those with alliances believe the time has come once again for the cycle to begin anew as two young women have vanished just as a pair of very mysterious strangers have come into town. This time, they believe this war will finally be decided once and for all and all their toil and sacrifices will be rewarded. What they don’t know is that they’re wrong.Dead wrong.Spun from the wicked mind of author and screenwriter Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, SHADOW FALLS is a fully-immersive and addictive mystery that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for mercy.Just don’t expect to find mercy here.

Here’s the iTunes feed. Go here if you need other feeds.

What a way to describe wine

In a review about Valpolicella, an Italian wine, in the London (ON) Free Press, the reviewer stated:

What I love most are the contradictions in the wine — is it love or war? Is it a kiss on the lips or a kick in the arse? The answer is it’s all of these.

So the next time I go to a wine store, I think I’ll ask the clerk, “Do you have something that is a kick in the arse?”

The links keep building

Earlier this week a 19 year old man, after allegedly shooting and killing his father, drove to his former high school in Hillsborough NC and opened fire. Two students were treated for minor injuries and the suspect was arrested. Several hours earlier he sent the following email to the principal of Columbine High School.

“Dear Principal. In a few hours you will probably hear about a school shooting in North Carolina. I am responsible for it. I remember Columbine. It is time the world remembered it. I am sorry. Goodbye.”

Help is on the way

I have been in my new job less than 6 months, but I have managed to get myself completely overwhelmed with work in that short time. I have also become a bit of a bottleneck for my client and have wanted to push more stuff through (get more production jobs prepared, started and managed).

My bosses have offered hiring an assistant for me, and I have interviewed several candidates. We discovered that I needed someone more than an assistant. I needed someone with agency experience who could hit the ground running from day one. Well, we interviewed her today, and she starts on Tuesday. This is a tremendous relief to me.

I also got an intern today, dedicated to me, who will work 2 afternoons a week. She’s a college student majoring in advertising, so in addition to “intern” type work, she will be shadowing me, and learning how things work.

My challenge is keep both of these people busy, and keep all of us happy. The team grows, and this is good.

“Fast” Food Service

We have been watching a lot of the Little League World Series in our house and we keep seeing this KFC commercial where the Mom comes home with a “Make Your Own” Bucket with 3 different kinds of chicken. The other night we decided to have chicken and this is what I planned to order.

I went into our local KFC, which happens to be one of those rare fast food places where there aren’t any tables, just an order counter for take out. I look on the overhead menu for the Make Your Own Bucket, but don’t see it. I tell the guy behind the counter what I want and he looks confused. Let me see if we have that, and he goes to the back, presumably to ask his manager.

In the meantime, I notice a sign near the door showing the Make Your Own Bucket and listing what is included. The counter kid comes back out and tells me that they do have that and its called the variety bucket. I point to the sign and let him know all the details are on the sign.

I order Extra Crispy Chicken (4 pcs), Crispy Chicken Strips (4 pcs) and Honey BBQ Boneless Wings (8 pcs). He enters it into the register. I am ask him about the sides. I am reading a sign, so I know I should get two large sides. He says oh, I entered it in as chicken only, not a meal. What sides would you like? I ordered mashed potatoes and green beans. He totals my check and tells me it’s $14.01. I look at my guiding sign, which tells the price is $15.99 (before tax). I pay him and look at the receipt he handed me. Variety Bucket of chicken, small mashed potatoes, small green beans. I didn’t worry about it at this point.

He starts by going to the original recipe chicken and puts 4 pieces in the bucket. Yes, I can tell the difference from across the counter. I tell him I ordered extra crispy, so he takes out the four original pieces and puts in extra crispy. He gets 4 crispy strips and puts them in the bucket. This is the only thing he did right the entire order.

He asks his manager where the BBQ wings are and she points to a heater cabinet. He takes out what appears to be 4 popcorn chickens. I didn’t say anything at the moment. He goes to get the sides and asks me what they were, even though there is monitor showing my order above his head. I told him mashed potato and gravy and green beans. He starts putting them in small containers. His manager told him all meals get large sides, so he gets larger containers for the sides. He puts the gravy in a smaller container, and again the manager points him to a larger container. He manages to get most of the gravy into the container, and only spills a little bit on the counter.

I ask him about the biscuits. They are listed on the sign I am reading. He puts 4 biscuits in the bucket, and hands everything to me. I ask him if I got my 8 BBQ wings, knowing full well that he only put 4 of something in there. He said yes, those are the boneless wings. I got them. For the moment I took his word for it. He also told me it was his first week on the job. This was not something he needed to tell me. It was painfully apparent.

As I carried the order out to my car I knew Peter would be disappointed if I came home without his BBQ wings. It would not be a big deal because the kids are used to fast food workers messing up their orders (We have ordered a bacon cheeseburger plain and gotten a hamburger – no bacon, no cheese), but he would rather have what he ordered. I checked the bucket and confirmed that, yes indeed, I had 4 popcorn chickens instead of 8 BBQ wings.

I walked back in and before I could say a word, the manager asked me what was missing. I told her I had 4 popcorn chickens instead of my 8 BBQ Wings. She told the counter boy that he needed to dip the wings in the sauce. He went to a different place in the back to get new chicken and dip it in the sauce. As I was waiting, I said to the manager, don’t worry he’ll figure it all out in time. I knew full well that that was a lie and he would never work out. I don’t know what she thought.

So here is a summary of his errors, many of which are training deficiencies:

  • not knowing the name of a menu item advertised on national tv
  • not entering the item correctly
  • not adding the correct items to the order
  • not knowing what the correct item contained
  • charging the wrong price
  • getting the wrong chicken
  • not looking at the monitor for order details
  • getting the wrong size sides
  • putting the gravy in the wrong size container
  • getting wrong type and number of the other chicken
  • not knowing the difference between 4 and 8

Next time we want chicken, I may drive an extra 10 minutes to Hardees.