Hot Chocolate 10k

On Saturday, January 22, 2011 I participated in my first ever 10k race. For those of you that don’t know, that’s 6.2 miles. Over the past 6-7 months I have done many 5k’s (3.1 miles), and 8k (4.97 miles) and¬† 4 mile race, but this has been, to this point at least, the farthest distance I have ever run…and that includes training.

Going into the race I was a little nervous. As I said, this is going to be the farthest I have ever run. The temperature was about 23 degrees around the start of the race, and by looking at most of the other runners you would have thought that it was -23 degrees. Almost everyone was bundled up like they were going to run in a blizzard. I guess that’s what happens when there is a race in January, in the South. ūüôā

Anyways, as I said, I was a little nervous going into the start. My wife and daughters, my support group, was not with me at the start (they were volunteers at the last water stop), so I was a little lost as well. However, I had a plan going into the race; I was going to start closer to the front, take it nice and easy, and take some walk breaks about every mile to keep myself fresh. This idea was given to me by a book that I am currently reading, “Galloway’s book on Running” by Jeff Galloway.

Well, let’s just say that my plans were hindered from the start. During the pre-race instructions I realized that I was on the wrong side of the group. I wanted to start on the left side of the pack since that would make it easier for my wife and daughters to see me when I passed by them (the 4th water stop was at the bottom of the hill where the race started and ended). As I was going around the back of the pack (there were too many runners to cut through) I ran into a friend and was talking to her. While we were talking I realized that the race was beginning, and I was in a position that I just did not like…the back of the pack!

I slowly made my way towards the front, as close as what I could, until I was in the thick of the group and getting ready to cross the starting pad. Come to find out, from the time the race actually started and I crossed the starting pad to start my timing chip, 58 seconds had already gone by. This is the reason why I was wanting to start closer to the front. I didn’t want to be at the front of the pack, but in the first third at least.

Now comes the real fun, the event that I didn’t prepare for all that well…at least I didn’t think so. We were off and running and I was determined to finish in less than 1 hour and 15 minutes by pacing myself and taking scheduled walk breaks every mile.

I decided to, once again, take advice from Galloway’s book and pay close attention to my form and see how I felt. I kept my body erect, moved my arms very slightly, and used my ankles to propel me forward. Following this advice I began to feel really good, and was very comfortable throughout the race. I passed by the first mile marker and was not breathing too hard, my legs still felt strong, and one runner that I have been trying to beat every race was not too far ahead of me. I decided, at that time,¬†that I would tough it out until the first water station¬†at the 1.5 mile mark to take my first walk break.

The first water stop comes, I stop and grab a cup of water, and walk so that I can drink the entire contents of the cup. The entire process for this act really only takes a couple of seconds, maybe 15 at the most. Then, I decide that I am going to continue my run. I felt that I could take a break at the 2 mile mark if need be. Plus, I wanted to stay close to my friendly competitor.

I finally caught and passed him at around the 2 mile mark, and, since I still felt strong, and I did not want to give him the chance to overtake me again and lose ground to him, I decided to continue on until the 3 mile mark where the next water stop was located.

When I reached the mid-point¬†of the race, and was heading into the French Broad River Park, I was starting to feel a little tired. I decided to walk a bit at the water station going into the park, drank my cup of water, and hit the 3 mile mark in about 33 minutes. I was either right at, or just ahead of my race pace and still feeling okay. I finished the loop in the park and hit the water station heading out of the park and walked a bit more while drinking that cup of water. I could now feel the effects of mostly training for 5k’s, but I was determined to push on and beat my time goal.

I take off again and decide that I will not walk again until I reach the third water station at around the 4.75 mile mark. I am doing really good and am remaining focused on the task at hand. My legs are still feeling alright, and my breathing, although a little more labored, is still better than what I thought it would have been. I reach the third water station and decide this is a good point to walk for a little bit. I ended up walking for about a minute and a half, and start running again just before the 5 mile mark.

I figure that I am good to go until I get to the final water stop since I only have a little over a mile left to go. Then, I start hitting “the wall.” I realize that I am starting to force myself to continue on. I know that if I continue then my legs will start to get tired and will cause me to walk even more at the end of the race. So, I decide to take one final walk break before I reach the last water station.

Since my support group is working this final station, and I am starting to get really warm, I decide to start shedding my hat, gloves, and jacket so that I can drop it off to them as I am passing by. This is also when I decide it’s time to take my final walk break. I take a two-minute¬†walk break and figure that I am now good to go. I drop my jacket – containing all my extra items –¬†at the water station, grab a couple of cups of water, stop long enough to drink them, then continue on. I am going to finish this race strong!

The final 1/2 mile of the race is uphill. Although I was aware of this before the race began, I was not prepared for how difficult it was actually going to be! Let me say this, I prefer running hills over flat land…but not when it is to finish a race! Especially when it is the longest race I have ever run! This, folks, is where I completely hit the wall, and hit it HARD! I had no choice to walk most of the way up. And, yes, the finish line was actually on an uphill portion of this road. I could see the finish, but I just could not muster up the energy to run the rest of the way. I finally force myself to run the final 50 yards or so to finish.

I DID IT! I finished, and I was still alive, at least I hoped I was!

Here’s how the entire race broke down for me:

I kept a nice  pace throughout the race, my split times were; mile 1 Р9:53, mile 2 Р11:08, mile 3 Р10:57, mile 4 Р11:32, mile 5 Р11:24, mile 6 Р12:13, and the final 0.2 miles Р2:55. I finished the race in 1 hour 11 minutes (my chip time was 1 hour 10 minutes 2 seconds Рmeaning it took me 58 seconds to cross the starting pad from the time the race actually began).

I realized that I had gone out a little fast to begin with, but, if I would have taking walk breaks – as I had originally planned – I believe that I could have finished with a faster time. I could have at least kept my splits closer to the 11 minute mark rather than them continuously going higher.

Either way, I beat my goal of 1 hour 15 minutes, finished 661/825 overall and 54/58 in my age group (M 30-34). I also finally beat my friendly competitor – although, some might not think it is much of an accomplishment to finally beat the oldest runner in Asheville. But, even though he is 88 years old, he can run a 5k in under 35 minutes, regularly! So, yes, this is a big accomplishment for me. And, in the end, I felt really good after all was said and done.

With my first 10k in the books, and the first big race of 2011 now behind me, it is time to focus on the next race. Although I will be running in a couple 5k’s¬†over the next two weekends – Blackjack 5k’s on 1/29/11 and 2/5/11, put on by Foot Rx¬†– I will mainly be using those as “group” runs. The next race that I will attempt to earn a PR (personal record) will be the Black Mountain Valentine’s Day 5k on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

For a list of upcoming races click one of the “links” to the right.

Sunday Stealing…all about meme

Sunday Stealing: The Eight Tens Meme

TEN TO START.

1. Are you single?

No, I am happily married…almost 14 years now.

2. Are you happy?

I would say that I am. I have a decent job, a loving family, a roof over my head, and a fun new hobby.

3. Are you bored?

Not right now, but there are many times throughout the day that I am.

4. Are you naked?

nope, fully clothed

5. Are you a blonde?

 nope.

6. Are you moody?

depends upon who you ask. there are times that I can be moody, but most of the time I am just quiet

7. Are you a lover/hater?

honestly, I would have to say neither.

8. Are you hot/cold?

 most of the time I am cold.

9. Are you Irish?

HELL YEAH!

10. Are you Asian?

nope, read #9.

TEN FACTS.

1. Name:

Jason

2. Nicknames:

Leprkan (an old one from when I was on the CB), Jay, Mac (from when I played football…years ago), and my personal favorite – asshole ūüôā

3. Birth mark:

bald spot on the back of my head

4. Hair color:

brown

5. Natural hair color:

brown

6. Eye color:

blue

7. Height:

5’11”

8. Facebook Mood:

don’t think I presently have one.

9. Favorite color:

green

10. One Place to Visit:

Detroit

TEN THINGS ABOUT YOUR LOVE LIFE.

1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

not really, lust at first sight, yes. Love takes a while.

2. Do you believe in soul mates?

 no, not really.

Yeah, not really sure what happened to #3

4. Have you ever been hurt emotionally?

there have been a few times, when I was a teenager.

5. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

there are a few heart’s that have been broken by me. wish I could find a way to apologize for doing it too, but it was so long ago I am sure that they don’t care anymore.

6. Have you ever been cheated on?

yes I have, but that was a long time ago and does not matter to me anymore.

7. Have you ever liked someone and not told them?

who hasn’t?

8. Are you afraid of commitment?

no, can’t say that I am.

9. Who was the last person you hugged?

my wife.

10. Who was the last person you kissed?

my wife.

TEN THIS OR THAT.

1. Love or lust?

is this a trick question?

And, where did #2 go? This I do not know!

3. Cats or dogs?

I’m a dog lover.

4. A few best friends or many regular friends?

Don’t have many friends, so I would say a few best friends (they are always there when you need them).

5. Television or internet?

A good book is better than both, but both are about equal for me.

6. Chinese Or Indian?

Love me some Chinese food!

7. Wild night out or romantic night in?

Don’t really do either one as it is, but if I have to choose I would prefer the wild night out.

8. Money or Happiness?

Money can’t buy happiness, and happiness doesn’t make money…I like them both too much to choose one over the other.

9. Night or day?

A combination of both…I like the early morning the best, when the night becomes the day, it is the most peaceful and relaxing time for me.

10. MSN or phone?

I hate talking on the phone (unless I am using my blue-tooth) and I hate instant messaging on the computer…I would much rather text.

TEN HAVE YOU EVER.

1. Been caught sneaking out?

Busted, red-handed, by my mother when I was younger.

2. Been skinny dipping?

never have been…highly doubt anyone would want to see this body neked.

3. Stolen?

I have, a time or two, when I was a little one.

4. Bungee jumped?

Nope, I am too much of a chicken shit to do something like that. I’m afraid that the cord would break.

5. Lied to someone you liked?

Who hasn’t? If someone say’s that they never have, then they are lieing to you now.

6. Finished an entire jaw breaker?

I’m not sure, I believe there was one that I did.

Hmmmm….no #7?

8. Wanted an ex bf/gf back?

Yes, at one point of time in my life I did. But, that time has passed.

9. Cried because you lost a pet?

Every pet that I have lost…and I get teary-eyed when I think of the possibility of losing the two I have now (yes, I can be a softy at times)

10. Wanted to disappear?

Almost every effing day when I am at work!

TEN PREFERENCES IN A PARTNER.

1. Smile or eyes?

If you know me, you know that I am a sucker for eyes…they tell so much about a person.

2. Light or dark hair?

Not blond, but not black, so I guess I would have to say light.

3. Hugs or kisses?

I’m not much of a touchy-feely type person, so I would have to say kisses.

4. Shorter or taller?

I definitely like my women shorter than me.

5. Intelligence or attraction?

They both have their sexy qualities.

6. Romantic or spontaneous?

spontaneous, I am not the romantic type (just ask the wife ;))

7. Funny or serious?

I like to have fun, I try to be funny, so I like the funny type. But, they have to know when to be, and when I am being, serious.

8. Older or Younger?

Age is nothing but a number, but there is still a limit to the age gap; either side of the number line I don’t want to be changing no diapers ūüėČ

9. Outgoing or quiet?

Both are good qualities…but I would rather have someone who is outgoing.

10. Sweet or Bad Ass?

How bout just a sweet bad ass…haha ūüôā

TEN HAVE YOU’S.

1. Ever performed in front of a large crowd?

Many, many moons ago.

2. Ever done drugs?

Shhh…don’t tell my mother, yes I have.

3. Ever been pregnant?

Ummm…if I ever had been, you all would know it. I would be the richest, most famous man alive.

What do you know? No #4!

5. Ever been on a cheer leading team?

Nope, but that doesn’t mean that I never wanted to be.

6. Ever Been on a dance team?

Nope, and I never wanted to be!

7. Ever been on a sports team?

Yes, I used to play baseball, soccer, football, basketball, and wrestle.

8. Ever been in a drama play/production?

Many, many moons ago.

9. Ever owned a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Escalade, Hummer or Bentley?

Never have.

10. Ever been in a rap video?

Yeah, don’t ya recognize me? I’m Vanilla Ice…Ice, Ice Baby…haha…the answer is NO, btw.

TEN LASTS.

1. Last phone call you made:

I believe it was to the wife the other day to let her know I was picking up our youngest from school.

2. Last person you hung out with:

The wife and daughters last night when wer watched a movie…oh, you mean other adults? that would be the wife’s co-worker and her boyfriend to watch an NFL playoff game (yeah, that’s how long it has been since I hung out!).

Lookie there, no #3…

4. Last time you worked:

Honestly, that would have to be this afternoon…had to bring some work home with me over the weekend. Not enough time during the day to get everything done while I am at work.

5. Last person you tackled:

Don’t know, it has been so long.

6. Last person you IM’d:

My friend Rob, just the other night.

Damn, no #7 either? I guess this should be re-titled “Eight Lasts”

8. Last person(s) you went to the movies with:

I believe it was the wife, a few years ago…don’t go out to the movies much, they cost too damn much to go.

9. Last thing you missed:

That would be family and friends back in Michigan.

10. Last thing you ate:

Chicken and rice for dinner…the wife is a mean cook! (and I mean that in a good way :))

New tattoo?…maybe!

I have been wanting to get a new tattoo for a while now. There have been many different designs that I have thought of over the years, but none have actually stuck out in my head enough for me to pay the money to get it done. 

The other day the wife was looking at some Irish pictures online. I think that she was looking because St. Patrick’s¬†Day is coming up on Wednesday, but there was one picture she saw and instantly thought that I should get it as a tattoo.¬†

Today I went through the same group of pictures that she did and found a few that I like. Obviously I can’t get them all done (that would be waaaay too expensive…ya think?).¬†

I already have one tattoo. It’s of the “Fighting Irishman,” on my left pec, and looks something like this:¬†

 

Anyways, here are the pictures of tattoo ideas that the wife and I have found: 

Option 1

1. This one is the first one my wife found. I like the way it looks on the black background, but not too sure how it would look on my pasty-white skin.

 

Option 2

2. I like this one…the wife, not so much.

 

Option 3

3. A little something to show off the Irish Pride maybe? Once again, I like this one, but the wife doesn’t.

 

Option 4

4. Something simple. Has the colors of the Irish flag. Could be a little budget friendly.

 

Option 5

5. A celtic shamrock. Could be doable.

 

Option 6

6. This one I just liked the way it looks.

 

Option 7

7. This one I was thinking would look kinda cool as an arm band, without all the little shamrocks in the background, of course. I was thinking either three shamrocks with my daughters initials in each one, or just the one shamrock with the initial of their first name in each leaf.

 

The next three I have not shown the wife yet.

Option 8

8.  Another one to show off my Irish Pride. I tend to like this one than the other, but there is a lot more to this one.

Option 9

9. No Guts, No Glory…need I say more. I don’t know how I missed this one the first time I was going through the photos online. Might be a budget buster, but could be worth it.

Option 10

10. My Nation, My Heritage…once again, need I say more. Nothing like having the ability to show off both, my American and Irish Pride.

 

I would say, of the 10 options, #9 & #10 are my top two favorite. But, either one of those could end up quite costly. So, my friends, I am hoping to get some feedback from you. Which one, or one’s, do you like best? Either leave your choice in the comment section, or send me an email. I will update you all when I make my final decision.

 

On another note…here is one that my wife was saying that she would like to get for herself:

The wife's tattoo?

Keeping up with the Irish theme:

An Irish Blessing for you all

 

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

 

Until next time, my friends, have a great day!

Oh, and by the way, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Letter to the youngsters…from the Over 30 crowd

*Got this one from the wife, who got it in an email, and it’s just so true, and funny, not to share! Enjoy…

******************************************

IF you are 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning….Uphill… Barefoot…BOTH ways‚Ķ yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3’s or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that’s how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it!

There weren’t any freakin’ cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your “friends”. OH MY GOD!!! Think of the horror… not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!

And then there’s TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen… Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what’s the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside… you were doing chores!

And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!

See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980, or any time before!

Regards,
The Over 30 Crowd

NC Schools should take page from MI for schedule

Snow days are quite new to my family. Having lived in Michigan all our lives, we are quite accustomed to snow. However, when the wife and I were in school hell had to actually freeze over before the school was closed because of snow (I can only remember our school closing twice the ENTIRE time we were there).

Even during the time that my daughters were enrolled in school in Michigan, it was rare that school was actually closed due to the weather (MAYBE two-to-three times a year). Even when the school might have been closed, there was never a make up date scheduled, and Saturday school was never an option!

So far this year my children have missed 11 days because of inclement weather. Because of the weather the schools have scheduled make up days over spring break, Memorial Day, and a couple Saturdays, to name a few, so that they can meet the 180 day requirement.

I think it’s time for the Governing Body of North Carolina Schools to take a page from Michigan and their requirement for school. Michigan goes on an hourly requirement of 1,098 hours¬Ļ of instruction. Whereas North Carolina requires 180 days¬≤ AND 1,000 hours, in order to be consistent with 29 other states.

Here’s a quick comparison between a school district in Michigan and one here in North Carolina:

Orchard View High School starts at 7:40 am and dismisses at 2:30 pm on a regular, full school day. A.C. Reynolds High School starts at 7:50 am and dismisses at 3:00 pm on a regular, full school day. A difference of only 20 minutes, which isn’t too bad.

The school year in North Carolina begins August 25th, unless a school can qualify for a waiver³ to begin two weeks earlier, and the school year in Michigan begins the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a difference of almost two weeks, four depending on waiver qualification, between the two states required start date.

In North Carolina the school year ends June 10th, whereas, this year, the school year in Michigan ends June 4th. This is a difference of almost a week.

Just going on the basic start date of August 25th for North Carolina, student are in school almost three weeks longer, WITHOUT having to make up missed days, than the students in Michigan, to begin with. And, right now, some school districts are already planning on going beyond the June 10th date to make up missed days.

Here’s my point to all this; instead of the schools complaining, or trying to get the State of North Carolina to allow them the flexibility of controlling¬†their own school schedule, maybe they should just fight to eliminate the 180 day requirement. If they were to adopt the same 1,098 hours of instruction requirement that is in place in Michigan, they could start the school year a little later and not have to worry about finding ways to make up days missed due to inclement weather. They would have the flexibility over their school calendar that they want. Students and teachers would keep the scheduled days off during the year, instead of them being used to make up days. And tourism and family vacations would not be affected.

I understand that folks from the South don’t like to take advice, on anything, from folks in the North. But, honestly, I think those folks up there know how to handle inclement weather a little bit better.

¬ĻFound under the heading “Pupil Hours of Instruction”

¬≤Found in Chapter 5, under the heading “Opening & Closing Dates”

¬≥Found in Chapter 5, under the heading “Waiver Requests”

A Consumer’s Day From Hell!!!

Today I am going to do something that I haven’t done in a while. I am going to bitch about a couple things. Why am I going to do it here, in my blog? Because, bitching about it anywhere else won’t do a damn thing. And, yes, I know bitching about it here won’t do anything either. But, it’s my blog, and I can bitch here if I want to.

We all work hard for our money, right? And when we decide to purchase anything we expect to get what we are paying for, and to receive the best service from any establishment, right? Especially when we are going to be dropping a good chunk of cash on whatever we spend our money on, right?

I would have to say “YES!”¬† to all three of those questions. Well, yesterday was a “consumer’s day from hell” for me. It started when the wife and I went grocery shopping at Walmart¬ģ and ended when I took the family out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings¬ģ.

Either the wife and at least one of our daughters, or the wife and I go grocery shopping every other week – on payday weekends. Because we are a family of five, we usually drop a good chunk of change on our food bill – typically around $600 per month, on average.

Since my entire family has been down here, we decided to purchase those reusable grocery bags…you know, so that we can be a little “green.” Well, I would have to say that was the worst¬†choice that we have ever made. And yesterday I had had enough.

On numerous occasions, while going through the checkout, we provided our own bags for our groceries to go into. And, on numerous occasions, the cashier expected US to bag our own groceries. I mean, isn’t THAT part of what THEIR¬† job description is? Isn’t THAT part of what THEY get PAID for?

Nothing pisses me off more than when I am trying to get the bags set up and the cashier starts ringing everything up and starts setting MY groceries on the bag turntable, and then, when I am not bagging fast enough, to STOP ringing up what I am buying and just stand there WAITING for ME to get caught up.

Yesterday I had had enough!! I told the wife, while we were still in line, that we will NOT bring our own bags ANYMORE!! After all, WE  are the consumer, last I knew!! And that it is BULLSHIT that I not only have to pay for what I am purchasing, but also bag it too?

Needless to say, shortly thereafter, the wife told the cashier that we were out of bags (even though we still had like three more left) and that SHE¬†would have to start bagging. This must have pissed her off a bit because she just started putting anything in bags. I mean, are you really that stupid that you think it’s acceptable to put dishsoap in with bread? COME ON!!¬†Get a fricken clue, you idiot!

From now on, when we go shopping at “the Walmart,” the cashiers are going to do their jobs and bag our groceries into those little plastic bags that they provide. Even though they are always wasteful in doing that too.

Onto the dinner consumption…

I was so excited when I heard that there was a “B-dubs” opening here in Asheville. It is definitely¬†the BEST place to go for wings! So, I decided to take the family there last night for dinner.

Now, mind you, I am not one to really complain about the service that I receive at restaurant establishment. I let my tips reflect the service. I mean, really, what better way to tell the server “you were great!,” or “you were a shitty server”?

When I take the family out to eat I expect to spend upwards of $100. After all, it is a family of five! When I feel that the service is exceptional, I usually tip the server about 20% or more. If I feel that the service was average, I usually tip about 10-15%. However, if I feel the service was bad, the server is lucky to get 5%.

Now, let me take you through the service we received last night:

Everything started out alright, the server took our drink orders; the wife and daughters all got sodas, and I ordered a beer. The server asked if I “wanted the tall one, it would only be about $0.30 more.” so I said “yes”. She then asked me if I “wanted a glass of water to go with it?” To this I declined because I didn’t need a glass of water. Well, when she brought our drinks, she brought me a glass of water, and the beer was a tall glass of draft¬†beer (I was expecting one of those tall, 22oz bottles of beer). I though that is was no big deal, a¬†little misunderstanding, and chalked it up as such.

Then, the server comes over and asks if we are ready to order. The wife said that she was not ready, but the server begins to take orders from our daughters. BIG MISTAKE!! The wife was instantly pissed, and I don’t blame her, because now she felt rushed to order. …Strike ONE! (tip just went from 20% down to 10-15%)

So, we place our order for wings and the wife decides to order some fries to go with them. She asks what the difference is between the two sizes, regular and basket, and the server tells her that the regular is about 1lb¬†of fries and the basket is about 3lbs. Because there is five of us, we order the basket. I guess that the 3lbs¬†is not actually 3lbs¬†of fries, it’s 3lbs total (including the weight of the container). There might have been enough fries there for two people, but not enough there for five! …Strike TWO! (tip just dropped to a possible 5%)

Then comes the kicker…we are finishing up, getting ready to leave when our server and another server collide and a 24oz¬†draft¬†beer gets dumped on my 14-year-old daughter! I mean she was SOAKED! She was covered from her breasts to her knees, and it didn’t look like there was a dry spot on her. …Strike THREE…YER OUT! (there will be NO tip for this server tonight!)

Now, I know that accidents happen. But, having been a server before (many, many moons ago) I know that when a server is carrying a tray of something, and they are coming up behind someone else, proper protocol if for that server to announce “behind you” so that the other person knows that there is someone there. Our server did not do this, and the other server backed up, collided with our server, and the contents of the tray went falling (with the beer going all on my daughter).

And get this…the server still had the nerve to actually bring us our bill! She’s got bigger balls than¬†me, and I got some big one’s (tmi, I know, sorry ;)).

Well, I went to the front and requested to speak with a manager. I introduced her to my 14-year-old, beer soaked, daughter, and proceeded to inform her of the horrible service we received. After I get done she asks me, “What would you like me to do for you?” To which I responded, “I want YOU to tell me what YOU can do for ME.”

I was waiting for the “magic” words to come out of her mouth, and they did. She proceeded to tell me, “I can’t do much, but I do have a little pull. I could buy your dinner.” That, my friends, was all I needed to hear. As soon as she said that I instantly gave her the bill and said, “that will be fine, thank you.”

Let me break this one down for you…our bill was about $67. If the service would have been good to exceptional, the total that I would have paid would have been $80. If the service would have stayed average (if all she would have done was pissed off the wife) the total I would have paid would have been $73. If the beer would not have been spilled on my daughter, I would have paid $70. However, because my daughter got her first beer bath (at the age of 14, mind you), I left paying a total of $0.

The moral of these stories…when I spend my hard-earned money (according to some people, my hardly-earned money…lol), I expect to get great service. Period! Especially when I am going to be spending close to, or more than, $100.

Oh yeah…and…don’t piss me off when I am trying to spend my money in your establishment!

Heart Attacks and Drinking Warm Water

I received this in an email at work today. It is very interesting, so I decided to share it with all of you.

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A¬†¬† very good article which takes two minutes to read. I’m sending this to persons I care about…….I hope you do too!!!

Heart Attacks And Drinking Warm Water

This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about Heart  Attacks.

The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not  cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is¬† applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead¬† to cancer.¬† It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a¬† meal.

Common Symptoms Of Heart Attack…¬†
A  serious note about heart attacks РYou should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm  hurting . Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.

You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up.. Pain in the jaw can¬†wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could¬†¬† survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people,¬† you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life. Read this & Send to a friend. It¬†could save a life… So, please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends¬†you care about.

I JUST DID (well, sortof ;))