Digiorno – I ate the whole thing.

pzzaOy.  Willpower I have not.

This evening I had a frozen Digiorno Pizza staring me in the face from the freezer shelf.  “Eat me!”, it said.  So I did.

Digiorno is not the best pizza but as frozen pizza goes, it’s certainly not bad.  It was a cold winter day so running the oven sounded nice anyway.  I popped in the pizza and after about 20 minutes it was ready.

I ate half of it and told myself I should stop.  I was all like, “Yeah, right!” so I had two more pieces.  Getting rather full now.  Only two pieces left.  Not enough for a meal later.  So I might as well polish it off.  Two more slices down the hatch.

Booof.  Too much pizza.  It’s a wonder I’m not all fat.  Good thing I have a great metabolism.  I never gain more than a few pounds and quickly lose it to get back to my regular weight.  I am perhaps a little softer around the edges than I should be but I like it like that.  It think I look good in my speedo and that is all that matters.

Now, Cholesterol and hardening of the arteries might be a concern for the future and somebody should probably do something about that.  Somebody…

 

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Anti-Gay bill in Arizona

Arizona is attempting to pass a bill allowing religious business owners to refuse service to gay people.

I don’t think I understand.  How will the business owner even know if people are gay?  With the exception of flaming gays, the majority of them do not display any indication of their sexual preference.  They don’t necessarily wear shirts or logos, carry membership cards or have it indicated on their drivers license.  How do these businesses expect to single them out?  Is this whole thing pointless?   Can’t people just be people?  Are we not supposed to have the right to the pursuit of happiness in this country?

How long are we going to be subject to the atrocities of religious superstition?

I don’t think I like this planet.

 

 

R.I.P. Quiznos

qznsIt is most unfortunate that one of my favorite restaurants is slowly passing away.  Quiznos sub shops are slowly going out of business due to bad corporate management and lack of advertising not to mention a reputation problem.

I eat at Subway at least once a week.  There are four of them to choose from within a few miles of my house and my work.  They have great tasting sandwiches for a fair price.  You can’t beat picking up a 6 inch sub on the way home for around $3.00.

Subway is great but it gets old after a while and I like to go to Quiznos when it is convenient.  Unfortunately, even when they were all open, finding one meant a long drive.  If I was in that particular area I would stop in and get one of the new sandwiches.

For a long time I avoided Quiznos because their prices were just too high.   It was like that for a long time and acquired a reputation for being more expensive than Subway with fewer choices.  Sure the food was a little better but price rules.  After their first financial breakdown they revamped their lineup adding the Torpedo and the Bullet.  Great priced sandwiches that brought me back. I totally enjoyed the torpedoes.

Eventually they dropped the Torpedo and Bullet for a new lineup of breads.  I was disappointed but quickly became a fan of the focaccia bread which soon disappeared leaving me unhappy again.  Still one of the other breads sufficed for the occasional visit.  I liked being able to add my own jalapenos and banana peppers from the bar.   It was still a good sandwich and the new prices were fair.  You could even design your own just like Subway.

Slowly the stores around me started going out of business.  Surprising me with locked doors when I was in the mood for one of their subs.  It turns out part of the corporate business model was to charge too much for the supplies so the franchises couldn’t compete.  They had no choice but to give it up.  It was possibly the last desperate gasp from a dying corporate entity to try to raise their income at the cost of destroying their source.

According to Google Maps, there are eight Quiznos shops left in San Antonio assuming that they are not already closed.  All the stores on my side of town are gone and I will not be driving 14 miles for a sandwich with the possibility of finding locked doors.

What could they have done?  From a consumer’s point of view, they should have kept prices low, quality high and advertize, advertize, advertize.  Ads must be on TV and radio.  Nobody reads newspapers any more. That’s so last century. A good internet campaign could have been very effective to reach today’s Attention Deficit Eater.

Success is something that takes time.  Making a change and immediately seeing results is not realistic in the restaurant business.  Word of mouth is extremely important and takes a long time to disseminate through the population.  It can take many years to change your image.  Look at McDonald’s.  Nothing they can ever do will change their image from being crappy fast food for screaming children.  Their only choice would be to open a whole new franchise with a different name and menu.

I will miss Quiznos and will possibly stop in if I happen to be somewhere unusual around lunchtime and see a rogue store with its lights still on.  If you are a fan, now would be a good time to go get a sandwich and spread the word before it is too late.

 

Trip Report – Medina Lake RV Outing

After becoming unamused with my daily job, I decided to pack up the RV and do a little get awaying. Since I get to store my 1982 Holiday Rambler Motorhome at work I parked my car and drove the RV home Friday after work. I loaded it up partially that night and finished if off with the perishables Saturday Morning and headed out.

DAY ONE

The trip from my house to what is left of Medina Lake is only about 26 miles. This being my second time out in the ship and the first time solo I was still a but anxious. It’s an old machine but so far seems well made. The engine is hard to start at first but once the gas works its way into the carb, it roars to life. Hard racing, I pulled out of the neighborhood and down the street to fill up the tank at the nearby HEB grocery store. Another Motorhome was getting gas there too. I’m not the only one going camping in mid-February. The weather is actually quite nice. This morning’s low as 46 and it is expected to be partly cloudy and 75 degrees. Perfect weather by my standards.

I headed down the road out of town past the throngs of newly built subdivisions tightly packed as far as the eye can see on the former ranch lands. Sad. It wasn’t long until I reached the Texas Hill Country. I was worried about the Motorhome’s ability to handle the large hills but with a running start and the 7.5 liter V8 Ford Engine the hills were not really a problem.

It was only a matter of minutes and I was pulling into the RV resort of choice. I had ventured here in my car last month to scout it out. It looked rather nice so now I am returning. To stay two nights cost $67.00. Not bad. I can certainly afford that for a little vacation getaway.

I drove slowly around the area and found a nice spot. Backing the monster up into the spot was also a worry but it went amazing well due to the rear view camera I installed and the video I watched on YouTube. No problem. It’s one of the reasons I opted for a motorhome instead of a trailer. You have to be some kind of genius to back up a trailer. Motohome. Just a big car.

Img_0476I shut off the engine and extended the hydraulic landing gear.(Levelers). Sweet. Next I got out the hoses and connected the water, sewer, electricity and satellite dish. Bam! Just like home.

Tent camping is for chumps.

Img_0462I walked down to the empty valley that used to be Medina Lake. Water used to lap at your feet as you stand here but now there is none as far as the eye can see. A new forest of scrub brush is beginning to grow after years of drought to replace the vegetation that was here before the dam was built.

Img_0472There is no indication that a lake ever existed here other than the floating boat docks now resting sadly on the sloping hillside. There is actually still water in the lake but it is now miles away from here.

The lake is about 3.5% full.

Img_0480The lake bed is criss-crossed by car and deer trails.  I was glad I brought my bicycle along so I went back and got it.  I rode it down the boat ramp and then down into the lakebed.  I followed the trails for a few miles looking at the rocky hillsides and old dead trees that used to be covered by water.  If the dam had never been built it would look much like it does now.

Img_0486At one point right in the middle of the lake bed I cam across two wooden crosses made from cedar branches.  I was a little freaked out because here I was in the middle of nowhere with nobody around for miles.

If some gang happened upon me, I could end up like these two guys.

IMG_0481I got a little lost but was smart enough to use my “Find my car” app on my iPhone to mark where I was when I left.   It was funny to look at the Google map on the phone and see myself smack in the middle of a lake.  I used to scuba dive here and now I am riding on the bottom.  Funny and sad at the same time.

I got back to the RV and was really tired.  The schedule I received upon arrival indicated that there was an ice-cream-social at the activity center so I decided to go.  A dollar for three huge scoops of ice cream that I shouldn’t have eaten.  There were not many people there since it is technically winter.  Mostly old white yankees who came south to escape the harsh northern winter.  I ate my ice cream and left.  Not much to do there.

Img_0490Having read for a few hours I decided to catch the evening news on the Satellite dish. After that I lit up the Match-Light and grilled up a nice steak and potato dinner. Mmmm. No hot dogs here. I’m an adult now. We eat steak.

It wasn’t long before darkness fell. I got on my bike and rode half blind back to the lake shore to see the stars. There weren’t many to be seen because of the clouds. It is fun riding a bike in the dark. I have lights on it but didn’t bring my battery. I knew I should have but didn’t expect to be riding in the dark.

I went back to the RV and pulled out my oboe to get in my daily practice.  I have a concert coming up in just a few days. After that I walked out and there was a break in the clouds. I got to see a few stars. Orion is always the most obvious constellation. The Galaxy is on Orion’s Belt!

I took my evening shower. Nice hot water thanks to the propane water heater. Write my blog entry for later posting because there’s no WiFi. I think I’ll watch a little TV and enjoy a good night’s sleep with nothing to worry about for tomorrow. I will do as I please just like today. This is how people should live. Goodnight.

DAY TWO

After sleeping as long as I could I got up to the sound of birds twittering outside my open window. The night was almost uncomfortably warm and humid but I managed to get a pretty good night’s rest. It was cloudy and gloomy outside so I turned on the TV for a bit. Around 10:00 I was starving. I had planned to make some egg breakfast tacos but forgot the eggs. It was close enough to lunch so I made myself a tuna salad sandwich.

Img_0491Not long after lunch the sun broke through the clouds. They predicted a cloudy, drizzly day but the sky turned clear blue and it was sun all day long. II spent the majority of the day in my hammock under the live oak trees reading my book. It has been a while since I’ve read so much at one time. It often takes me 3 to 6 months to read a book. I had to keep moving the hammock because the sun, peeking through the branches seemed to keep falling on the same place on my legs. I didn’t want a sunburn.

Img_0492By 3:00 I was getting hungry again so I started up some match-light and prepared to grill some fajitas. It didn’t take long and I had myself a great meal. After eating I took my small grocery bag of trash to the dumpster on my bike. It was getting really hot for a mid-February day. 85 and humid is too hot for physical activity so I called off my bike ride up the other direction on the lake bed. I considered biking up the road to the pool and hot tub but it was too hot for that too. Besides. I might have to talk to other people which is the reason I am on this vacation. I decided to skp that too.

I didn’t want to do it but it was so warm I closed the windows and turned on the air conditioner. Boy that feels good. RV amenities sure beat camping in a tent. Have I mentioned that before?

My plan for the evening is to watch the Sunday night Simpsons and other cartoons and maybe go lie out under the stars if they are still visible later. Just enjoying the darkness alone is something special since it never gets dark in San Antonio.

This vacation is not about doing things. It’s about relaxing. The main reason I came by myself was because when I go with someone else I have to spend too much energy either getting them to do something I want to do or wondering if they are having a good time. This way the only one I have to worry about is myself and I can do as I please. Now that’s relaxation!

DAY THREE

I woke up around my usual work-morning time.  It was cloudy and gloomy so I watched a little TV and started stowing things for the trip back.  After a few episodes of Frasier I disconnected the life support lines.  The engine started up pretty easily and after a minute or two of warmup while I double checked things I was off.  The trip home was easy and relatively short.  I pulled into my driveway and unloaded.  I took a little time to fix a few things and swept out the floor.

After a lunch I drove the RV back to its free parking spot at work and came home in my car.  Sweet.

I am feeling much more confident about using the motor home now.  I plan to make a number of trips in the future.
It was a little weird at first being alone but in the end, it was totally way better than having to drag someone along.  Toats!

This trip could only have been better if the lake was full of water.  We could sure use some rain up in here.

 

Asprin-Music-Nachos Therapy

nchsEarlier I had posted that I felt that something terrible was about to happen.  Well it did.

This afternoon I was hit really hard by a depression wave.  I was sitting in my office at work when I suddenly remembered that my life was passing me by and I fell tumbling into the void. I walked out of work around 3:00 and went home with a tired-eyes headache.

After lying on the couch for a few hours I was hungry but nothing in the house looked good.  I wasn’t sure I was feeling up to going to get something but nachos sounded good.  I took some aspirin and hit the road to fight the rush-hour traffic.  When you just don’t care, traffic isn’t quite as bad.

I usually listen to Twit.tv tech podcasts in the car to occupy my mind and keep it from wandering too much.  Shortly after beginning my journey the last one ended.   Not wanting to be alone with my thoughts I fished out a CD of my favorite MP3s and put it in the slot.

The first album to play was Good Charlotte.  I was totally into pop-punk a decade or so ago and it wasn’t long before I was singing along and wishing the drive would not end.  After eating nachos and driving home I feel 100% better.   Maybe I’m on to a powerful combination.  Better remember this one for future incidents.

Dreamblog – Walking to the doctor’s office

hrssI have not been doing a good job in remembering my dreams lately.  I remember having them but they disappear shortly after I wake up.  Maybe I have been too relaxed recently.  This morning I remember a snippet which I will share.

I was walking down the street in a small town on the way to see my doctor.  I could see the building across a beautiful green field so I decided to take a shortcut because I enjoy walking on grass.  I began to cross the field when I noticed that the grass was actually AstroTurf.  A group of horses galloped over a small hill and into the field toward me.  They stopped about 20 feet away but one continued up to me.  I held out my hand and he nuzzled and licked it.  I reached up to stroke his nose but he startled and backed away.  I was like, “OK. Whatever.” and continued my walk toward the building.

As I entered the building there was a boy with a bloody face being escorted by his family.  He had been kicked by a horse.  I guess it was one of the ones I met.

I walked up to the main desk and noticed the address on the wall was not the same address that I held on a slip of paper in my hand.  I told the attendant that I was in the wrong place and left.