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Good evening, multitudinous readers.
My wife and I are in Front Royal, VA where we’ll be spending at least two of the next three nights. It’s a little getaway that we’ve been wanting to take for some time.
I have an ethics case study/question for you tonight. Say you and your spouse/s.o. go out to a very nice restaurant. You order appetizers (each costing in the neighborhood of $6), entrees (each costing in the neighborhood of $25) drinks (two beers @ $6 and an iced tea @ $2), desserts (two @$7) and coffee ($2).
You’re expecting a bill of $100-$110 but when the check comes, the total doesn’t even make it out of the low 90s. A quick look at the bill reveals that the waiter has forgotten the two beers, the tea and the coffee.
Because you don’t want to cheat anyone (and also because the dinner was excellent and you’d like a good restaurant to stay in business) you point out the mistake to the waiter.
He corrects the bill and runs your card but when he brings the check back with the receipt, you notice that he has not completely corrected the problem. He added in the coffee and the tea but has forgot the two beers.
What do you do? Hypothetically speaking, of course.
The supervisor at the Post Office was discussing something with me the other day and said, “I know you’re going on vacation next week…”
Ha-ha. Very funny.
I wish I was going on vacation but the truth is that I’m off to Local Pastor’s Licensing School. It’s like a vacation in that it promises to be hectic, disorganized, and utterly exhausting.
There is supposed to be nearly pervasive wifi where I’m going to be. Both at the hotel they’re putting us up in and at the church where a lot of the classes are scheduled. So you may find the stray status post (upper right hand corner below the banner). For you friendfeeders or identica users, I’m sure I’ll be posting a few things there. And finally, the occasional utterz post may find its way over to this here blog. That’s the hope anyway. It may prove a fool’s hope.
I got the schedule for this gig in the mail the other day. It’s 12 days long and monopolizes pretty much every waking moment. Each day starts at about 8 or 8:30 and ends at 9 or 9:30. That’s every day. Including the one Sunday.
Clearing the decks for school has been the primary cause of my stratospheric stress level this week. Not only did I need to write two sermons, one for this week and one for the week I return, but I also had article assignments to work on, mail to deliver, bulletins to prepare for the next three weeks, pastoral visits to make, and packing for the move. I did very, very little packing. That’s gonna hurt plenty when I get back, but I just didn’t have time. And then there’s that leaky transfer case on the Teal Tank.
We’re scheduled to move over to the parsonage at Temple on the 30th. I wish July was over.
The previous post, as well as this one in fact, was written at the St. Peter’s Bakery in St. Peter’s Village in Elverson PA.
This village is a little tourist village about 10 minutes from nowhere.
See what I mean:
As a result, there is no cell phone reception here. Not even a little bit. I’ve been through here a few times just to check the place out, but it was never open. Those questions about the operating hours were answered today when I visited the St. Peter’s Bakery, in the heart of the downtown business district (three stores plus an ice cream shop). They have free wifi, strong coffee, and excellent sandwiches and pastries.
My sandwich, called The Pilgrim, featured turkey with cranberries, herb goat cheese, lettuce and tomato on a baguette. It was only $4.25. The coffee was served in a miniscule ceramic cup that took me all of 90 seconds to sip my way through. You’ll want to order it to-go and get the paper cup which is easily twice the size. The other thing is there’s no such thing as a free refill here so if you get that second cup you’ll pay another $1.65 (full price) for it. But you’ve already saved at least that much on your sandwich.
The pastries are good too. I tried the mocha eclair for $2.50. It was great! Many other pastries are available but these are kind of pricey.
I’d link to St. Peter’s Bakery website but that seems to be non functional. If you’re ever in this neck of the woods, I highly recommend a stop here.
The bakery (and I think the rest of the town, such as it is) is only open Wed-Sun, 8am-4ish. Plan your trip accordingly.
Well, despite his repentance, he’s been at it again.
Security tapes show Semaj Booker passing through a metal detector and other procedures before 5 a.m. at a checkpoint operated by the Transportation Security Administration at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. His mother had reported him missing to Tacoma police at 3 a.m.
He was planning on once again using his favorite airline to get to Texas. But his abortive effort was less effective than his first try.
In January 2007, Semaj had lied his way onto a Southwest Airlines flight by saying his mother was already in the boarding area. He changed planes in Phoenix and flew to San Antonio before being discovered.
Days before boarding that flight, Semaj had stolen and crashed a car. A judge convicted him of car theft in July but said he wouldn’t have to go to juvenile detention if he stayed out of trouble for a year.
As always, the Texas siren song beckons. Sorry Semaj, better luck next time. There will be a next time, right?
Last night, my good buddy Sam Getz was nice enough to let me hang out with him during his gig with Kate Voegele in Allentown. Kate is currently on tour as one of two acts opening for Hanson.
It’s been ten years since Hanson came mmm-bopping onto the music scene. Their music has evolved (that’s an understatement, btw). A few weeks back when I saw Sam last, he mentioned that he would be touring with Hanson and I, of course, snickered. He told me I shouldn’t laugh until I listened to their latest release, called The Walk.
So I did. I listened to it. Then I listened to it again. And again. Before long I found myself singing Hanson tunes to myself. This couldn’t be happening, but it was. The Walk is good. My favorite tune is called Watch Over Me, but close behind that is In A Way, which has very thoughtful lyrics… no, really.
But the moment when I became a for real Hanson fan occurred last night about two thirds of the way through the show.
You can harken back to one of my posts from last night to hear me talking about what was going on during the soundcheck, or listen in as Hanson performs an acoustic version of Mmm-bop. The three brothers are actually singing in that clip, though you can’t tell because of the audience.
Sam and I grabbed dinner and some ESB after Kate’s set and came back about halfway through Hanson’s show, just in time to catch the acoustic set. He and I watched from within the barricade at stage left, right behind the monitor mixer.
Shortly after we arrived, Hanson made me a fan by launching into a smokin’ interpretation of Lennon & McCartney’s Oh Darling. I sang loudly along, much to the confusion of the teeny boppers at the near edge of the stage, who were pointing at me and wondering how I knew the song. Getting old can be fun.
In the brush with fame department, I did get to meet drummer Zach Hanson, who is nothing short of awesome on the skins. When Sam and I walked through their Green Room he was, like everyone on the tour, passing his downtime by surfing the web on his mac. I shook his hand, we said hi, I wished him and his brothers well, he said thank you, and that was it. I make note of this only because, much later, as he left the stage Zach high fived some fans and one particular female Hansonite, looked at her hand as one might if it was on fire, then nearly fainted with delight. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
It was great fun, but I paid for it today. Getting home at 2am when I had to be at the Post Office before 7 was, well, stupid.
Below are few pictures from the evening. No pictures from the show, alas. The Camera Police were out in force.
Walking to Kate Voegele’s tour bus. Notice the Teal Tank in front of the bus. I was briefly pressed into service as a driver for Sam and Kate’s tour manager.
Outside the venue, the line builds. This show was sold out weeks and weeks ago. Yes, Hanson still sells out every show.
Inside Kate’s tour bus, looking toward the “rear lounge”. You can’t see them, but macbooks were laying around all over the place.
After their show, the members of Kate’s band and the venue’s roadies had to pull all of their equipment off the stage and bring it outside where they waited to load it on the bus. One of the bus’s headlights is creating the sunburst in the background.
I’m a Starbucks fanboy and I don’t care who knows it. One of the reasons, besides their coffee, is that they are, in my experience, consistently one of the most customer friendly companies. I find this to be true across all industries (at least industries that I personally have contact with as a customer).
But I’ve been perplexed for a couple of years now at their distinctly unfriendly insistence on having fee-fi in their stores. And almost everyone with any kind of internet
addiction need has been wondering the same thing.
All that changed today, as you probably already know.
S$ has finally (finally!) announced free-fi in its stores. But it’s not free-fi for everyone, and I think even this is a good thing.
- You have a S$ card (just a regular, free one that you pick up in the store)
- You need to buy something with it
- You limit your time to 2 hours/day*.
I see a lot of wisdom in this policy. First, it rewards S$ cardholders. Will it prompt people to get a free Starbucks card and load it up? Probably, and that’s also fine by me. It just means that everybody and their brother won’t be taking up bandwidth. I’m also down with the purchase requirement. I never go into a free-fi coffeehouse and use their signal without buying something. It’s just the right thing to do. I don’t mind if those places offer free wifi with no stated purchase requirement, but it’s probably smarter to make people buy something. Finally, the two hour thing. I have to read up a bit more on the details so I don’t know if another purchase on your card gets you an additional 2 hours, but it doesn’t matter. I think enough people are now going to find their way back to Starbucks from places like Panera that the 2 hour/day limitation might be a good thing.
This won’t make me a less loyal customer at either of my two local haunts: Churchill or Java’s Brewin’, but it will make me much more likely to forego Panera when I’m out of town. Their coffee sucks!
Yay Big Green!
Seen here in the Fredericksburg, VA area…
Lost? Try GPS:
God’s Plan of Salvation
har dee har har har.
Happy Thanksgiving, or as my mother in law would say Happy THANKSgiving.
We’ll be traveling to the in-laws’ in Virginia tomorrow night (yes, we are completely crazy) and coming back Thursday night (yes, it’s worse than you thought).
Our travel madness will prevent me from trying the recipe below, but one can dream, yes?
Oh, and you calorie counters will need to take the day off.
Originally clipped by enbar, this recipe may cause nausea in vegetarians. If you are, you may want to avoid scrolling down.
Garnishing the breast with bacon bastes the white meat with fat while infusing it with porky flavor. Pears add a note of fall and match up with pear cider for a sweet, full-flavored gravy.
I’ll skip the “note of fall” thanks and head straight for the meat. Make it bacon, baby!
viewat.org is a very cool website that allows photographers to display their panographs, or panoramic photographs. It also offers step by step instructions on how you too can create and upload your own panographs. As the site says, the process is not hard, but it is complex. At least, it looks complex, I haven’t tried it.