Sunday, March 24, 2013

356th Fighter Group - Take the Virtual Tour and Pass on the Food

photo taken from Google Images

I typically blog on things that are positive, can promote life-change and as a way to record some milestones in our little family. I've thought about writing some restaurant critiques at times too, but never really made time for it. Today is the day to make that happen.

It's spring break in our school district and the grandparents flew the kids down to spend the week with them in Florida. So the hubby and I decided to eat somewhere nice this afternoon for brunch. The 356th Fighter Group has been under the ownership of Bob Scofield for 24 years now and I think that's quite long enough.

After discussing our experience, the hubby and I agree that we cannot remember a worse meal. I could walk you through the various disappointments of the meal from the cold sausage, to the transparent bacon, to the soggy shrimp, to the tasteless chicken breast, to the rock hard biscuit, to the floppy Belgian waffle, to the unrecognizable sediment that I discovered in the bottom of my water glass (sadly after I had already drank half of it) and our waiter that had the personality of telephone pole. But no one has time for mindless details like that. Let's focus on two big points.

Moldy cheese and a blame shifting owner. Yeah. After picking over our less than appetizing food and making our last visit to the buffet area, the hubby came back with a small variety of items and a few cubes of pepper-jack cheese. Taking a closer look, he noticed mold... on all three pieces. To which he slid his plate away and waited for Bob to walk by so he could mention the infraction to someone who might care. It didn't take long for him to materialize and the hubby motioned him over. Please understand that my dear man hates confrontation of any kind, but felt that the owner of the business would want to know. Business owners that care about the reputation of their business welcome criticism that is offered in the spirit of helping, not just complaining to complain. He didn't plan to go through the laundry list from above, he just wanted to let him know the cheese was moldy and that he might want to pull the tray before anyone else was offended. And what was the response of the owner of this fine establishment, "Hunh, well we've been having trouble with this supplier for a few weeks now." and then he walked away. There was no apology, there was no mortification and the slouch didn't even bother to take away his plate with the offending food that the hubby was clearly not going to eat.

When the waiter produced the bill he mentioned that Bob took a few dollars off, but there was no mention from the telephone pole of an apology either. I can't remember walking out of a restaurant and hoping I wouldn't get sick later in the day. But sadly our tummies are already starting that unsettling rumble as I type and anticipate the rest of the day not being as pleasant as we had hoped.

Although it is a rather enchanting place to visit because of the decor, we would recommend viewing it from the virtual tour on their website and avoid the food. Mr. Scofield, we will not be back... ever.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Insane Courage of 2013

I often have visions of grandeur. Visions of things that are beyond my ability to do and knowledge to pull off, but where I accomplish them and have immense satisfaction that I have touched lives. Lots of lives. I think "I could do that" or "I've thought that before" or "Heck, I've said that before." But reality sets in and I realize my limits and step back into what I've always done with only very small achievements here and there.

Why do I do that? What keeps me from doing it anyway? Why is my follow-through horrible? One word... fear. Not so much crippling fear, but fear of the what if's. And you know what, I'm tired of living like that. I want to put feet to my ideas.

We watched the movie "We Bought A Zoo" the other day and one line captured exactly what I am walking toward...
"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery and I promise you something great will come of it."
And so that is how I want to move forward this year. This 2013 will be the year I make concerted efforts to be insanely courageous about my ideas for at least a minimum of 20 seconds. And if after putting it out there for 20 seconds it doesn't seem like it's the best thing, then maybe I'll shelve it for awhile and revisit it later.

So here goes nothing...

  • I want to write a book for little children and illustrate it
  • I want to write a chapter book for elementary age children
  • I want to look into developing an after-school creative society for Middle School & High School students that doesn't focus on only inner city kids, but those in the burbs who are just as important, but just as left behind by their parents as the others
  • I want to paint a huge mural on my daughter's bedroom wall
  • I want to paint our shutters and front door an entirely new color
  • I want to draw up plans for and implement a home garden

That's just to jot down a few. Some of you may ask yourself why I would need to have courage to do or attempt those things. I needed courage just to type them. I've spoken them into reality and they are dreams no longer. And somehow, just typing them out makes them seem a little more achievable. Instead of wishing I could do them, now I have a place to start. Granted, painting my shutters a different color isn't going to touch lives, but I've feared doing it because what if I hate the color after I'm done, then the neighbors will see me repainting. Well, fry the neighbors and pick a paint color.

Insane courage.