Friday, May 08, 2009

The Cap'n goes to war

Not literally. I'm not being shipped off to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or anywhere like that.

Can I eradicate World Hunger? Cure Cancer? Solve the Global Warming problem? No, I can't (although I can do my small part). What I can do is pick my battles, which is why I've declared war on Starbucks. Now in case you were not aware of it Starbucks has a policy which discriminates against a select group of their employees, and by having this policy they inadvertently discriminate against me. Maybe I'll make a difference, maybe not, but if nobody ever tried nothing would ever get done around here, so the Cap'n is declaring war on Starbucks.

Because Starbucks forces their employees to cover up their tattoos with clothing, bandages, or even stickers, I feel it would be hypocritical of me to continue giving them my business. So today, instead of going to the Starbucks across the road from my office, I walked a couple of blocks to the closest Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Then back at my office I stapled the Coffee Bean receipt to my protest letter (for extra weight), and with Coffee Bean drink in hand I delivered my letter to the Starbucks across the road. I apologized to the girls there, told them they were fantastic, that I even said so in the letter, and explained that I was doing this for them as much as for myself.

Starbucks bends over backwards to cater to the individual, and the staff there will make your drink exactly how you like it, regardless of how you like it. But for a company which respects the individuality of the customer, they do not respect the individuality of their employees.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Anatomically correct balloon characters

Saturday was a hectic day, starting off with a pancake breakfast hosted by one of the local Fire Departments. As the Boy Scouts were assisting at the breakfast by bussing the tables we turned up as early as we could (about 8:30am), enjoyed our breakfast, then sent JE off to bus tables with a couple of his friends. The Bunny and I then lined up so she could don a Fire Fighter's (plastic) Helmet & (a kid-sized) Fire Fighter's jacket, then run through a smaller version of a Fire Fighter's Obstacle course. Everything from running out the hose to stacking coiled hoses, and even a turn with the Fire Hose (aided by a volunteer) to put out a burning building (a wooden cutout with three knockdown "flames" in the windows).

After breakfast we left Liz at the nearby Mall to return some things she bought last time (& buy some more things so she'll have something to return next time) then JE & I took the Bunny to her Ballet Class. After Ballet we called Liz to let her know we were done, then we picked her up and headed off to JE's golf lesson at the Brookside Country Club, located next to Pasadena's Rose Bowl. The Soccer Fields next to the Rose Bowl were packed with families like they always are, and having arrived almost half an hour early we decided to take a short walk partway around the Rose Bowl.

At our turn around point we came across an R/C club, where one talented chap was making his R/C Helicopter dance around the parking lot. Upside-down, sideways, loop the loop, this guy made his R/C Helicopter do things no real helicopter can do (except maybe one ;)

After Golf Lessons were over we decided to stop at Pasadena's 2-story Target where I kept the Bunny occupied with a Jack in the Box toy that she popped out of its box time & time again. By the time we finally made it home later that afternoon we were all ready for naps.

Sunday I was up bright & early when the dog decided she wanted out of her cage, so I fed her, put her outside, had a shower, then with the Bunny still asleep the boy and I headed off to Church, where he patiently sat through the extra long Communion Service. Being the earlier (8am) service there was no Sunday School so the boy did pretty good to sit through the whole service (although he did have a little help ;)

Back home we barely had a chance to sit down when we were off again to Taps Fishhouse & Brewery in Brea to partake of their Sunday Brunch. For $25 a head you get a brunch that not only compares favorably to others of which I've partaken (proper English sentence structure FTW!) but is cheaper, to boot! That $25 also includes all the champagne/mimosa you wish to imbibe, or two real pints (not those bloody metric things) of any of their house beers. I started with their Cream Ale which went quite well with not only the Brie, Blue, and Camembert cheese platter I made for myself, but the "Carnivore" Omelet I ordered (no prizes for guessing the ingredients in an Omelet with that name). By the time I'd washed all that down I was ready for my second beer and desert, but what beer goes well with sweet deserts? Oddly enough, an Irish Red complimented the Banana Cheese Blintz perfectly, so I had two. Blintz that is, not beers. Actually I had a Blueberry Cheese Blintz as well, so, counting the Cream Ale that makes 3 Blintz and 2 Beers :P

The trip home took us past Ikea, so we stopped there to walk off some of our brunch. We also got some ideas for re-organizing the kids' rooms. Someone is going to be busy on his next RDO. Finally we made it home and another weekend slowly wound down.

Whoops. Forgot the very reason for the title of this entry. At Taps was a young lady making Balloon Critters, so the kids stopped by and got a balloon critter each. The Bunny went with Sleeping Beauty, while the boy got a dog. Check out the attention to detail in putting these things together. (Click for bigger view).