Why Do Restaurants Drop My Favorite Meal?

I apologize ahead of time, but this rant has been a long time coming. Why do restaurants always drop my favorite item from the menu? It’s happened time and time again. Baker’s Square dropped their Wisconsin cheese burger. Then they added a tasty fried chicken sandwich with cheese, and dropped it. Granite City Brewery had a Southern fried chicken sandwich that was actually pretty unique and had a nice kick to it. The second time I ordered it the waitress commented that they were dropping it from the menu. Bah.

But TGI Fridays is the worst offender. It started many years ago with the pizza-dilla appetizer. Yes, it was a weird combination of pizza and quesadilla, but it was really good. Then they had this chicken dinner platter that could feed an army. It was two chicken breasts topped with three kinds of cheese and mushrooms. Plus mashed potatoes. And finally there was my latest favorite, the chicken finger BLT. So basic, so tasty. But last night at TGI Fridays I flipped through the pages of the menu and realized in horror that it was gone.

My ability to branch and try something new is now completely destroyed. I can’t try something new at a restaurant because my favorite might not be on the menu next time, so I better eat it now.

Sigh. OK, end rant.

Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

I just wrote a large check for the next step in our adoption process. This is probably the last time we’ll be able to just write a check to cover the costs (unless some miraculous provision happens).

A lot of people have asked what it costs to adopt and a few people have been shocked and a bit miffed at the high price tag. It’s about equivalent to buying a new car. And considering we don’t have a second car, that works out pretty nicely. Let’s take a look at what it costs and why.

As a bit of a disclaimer, these are the numbers our agency currently has. These can vary by agency, and may be broken out differently.

Continue reading Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

Clogged Drains Suck

You never realize how much water a person uses until you can’t drain any of that water. I’ve had to cope with no running water before, but it’s an entirely different ball of wax when you have plenty of running water but you can’t easily drain the water.

Our main drain backed up last week and manifested itself on the bathroom floor. At first it was just backing up and seeping out of the toilet (I believe the wax ring failed) when too much water drained at once (like taking a shower). But by Sunday morning it had completely clogged, water was backing up in the basement tub and floor drain, the toilet was leaking and no water would drain. So we couldn’t allow any water to drain anywhere in the house or we’d risk flooding the basement.

Try brushing your teeth, shaving, taking a shower and going to the bathroom without being able to drain any water. Not an easy task. Nevermind that you can’t run the dishwasher or wash your clothes. Or do something as simple as empty a glass of water in the sink. It’s amazing how much water we actually use, and how much more of it is completely wasted as it goes down the drain.

Thankfully the Roto-Rooter man saved the day, and for only $250. I still need to get the basement toilet fixed, but that’s going to require a higher caliber plumber (the Roto-Rooter man lamented that he only does ‘light plumbing’ while staring at the broken flange that the toilet sits on. My only thought was that I do ‘flush the toilet plumbing,’ so I’m really screwed.).

Off to College

With school starting up again a number of the kids in youth group are off to college. It makes me remember the many changes that happen in college. You can make lifetime friends in college (I certainly did, much more so than in high school), but it’s also a time of tremendous change. While I was in college I broke up with my girlfriend of several years, my parents separated, my home church fell apart, I stepped away from a longtime ministry and subsequently became distanced from a good friend. I also learned how to live on my own for the first time, I got married, I made some tremendous friends, I discovered that I just might be able to make a living at this writing thing, and my faith took a giant leap (though I’m not sure I could describe in which direction–forward in progress, backwards away from fundamentalism, an increase in depth–I don’t know).

It’s a time in your life marked by incredible change. Some wonderful, but some painful.

I still remember during the first week of school when I was still a wide-eyed freshman, someone recognized that look in my eyes and said, “Just give it a couple of weeks. It’ll be OK.” Not that anything changed in a few weeks. If anything the changes just kept coming. But somehow I was a little better prepared for them.

No Place Like Kansas

After a delayed flight, Lexi and I returned from our daddy-daughter weekend in Kansas the other night. She slept most of the flight down and mostly entertained herself on the flight back (to the point that I could sit next to her and read a book without constant interruptions), so my worst fears weren’t realized.

Though sitting in the airport before we left was interesting. She insisted on pushing her stroller around the waiting area. Then a guy wanted to sit down and moved her teddy bear, Pinky. Lexi took interest and noticed the guy’s bag of chips. She asked for one, the guy looked to me to make sure it was OK, and then pointed the bag to Lexi. Sucker.

She ended up eating the rest of the bag (after one melt down when I dragged her away to change her diaper and another near melt down when I was going to insist she eat fruit snacks but the chip guy couldn’t handle the melt down and insisted I let her have the chips. I gave in, mainly wanting to keep Lexi in a happy mood for the flight, but also for the sake of the chip guy who wouldn’t understand that I was trying to teach Lexi that she can’t always have what she wants and that you shouldn’t eat an entire bag of a strangers’ chips. And more importantly, the chip guy wasn’t prepared to put up with her melt down in order to teach her those concepts. That’s my job, which I prefer not to inflict on strangers if I don’t have to.

Continue reading No Place Like Kansas

Weird Dog

So I went to put the dogs in their kennels and Mazie didn’t come when I called. Strange. But Speak was there, so I figured I’d put him in his kennel and then go track down Mazie.

When we got downstairs Speak wouldn’t go in his kennel. He trotted towards it like he usually does but then came up short at the door and wouldn’t go in. I was about to force him in when I realized there was something in the kennel he didn’t like: Mazie.

There was Mazie, sitting in Speak’s kennel, which is about two-thirds the size of her own kennel. Weird little dog.