Drive Thru Compromise
October 13th, 2019 by Proprietor
Several months ago, I wrote a post about how a certain fast food franchise, McDonald’s, had driven me to break a nearly 15 year boycott of their competitor, Burger King. The reason being service or should I say, lack of service.
When I go through a zipper merge drive thru, which is the type the McDonald’s I went to regularly has, it is a very annoying even angering experience. People do not know how to properly merge or are just total jerks. When I make it through the ordering part, and then reach the pay window, I am now wanting to get my food, and go home to relax. Depending on how the food production is going, sometimes the persons in front of me may be parked.
I do not order anything out of the ordinary or customize anything on the menu. Either I order a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder value meal, with a bottled water. Maybe I will order a chicken sandwich. Not a very mind blowing things to order.
When I get to the window where I pick up my food, and the person asks me to park, it is annoying. It becomes real annoying when two people are parked ahead of me, and there is no where to go. Since I had been parked three times in a row at a certain McDonald’s, one time waiting ten minutes, and having to go into the restaurant to get my food. Since I was now extremely unhappy, I decided to stop going to McDonald’s. Not indefinitely, but at least not as regularly as I went. I usually went to McDonald’s once a week.
Now the McRib is available for a limited time. Knowing that the likelihood of my being parked was great. I prepared to stand my ground, and refuse to move if I was asked to park. I thought it might be a great YouTube video to record. Then I thought, why invite conflict?
If I was going to wait for my food, I would simply go into the restaurant, order, and wait. Ten minutes later, after putting up with other annoying customers waiting for their food, I received my order. McDonald’s has the ordering kiosks as well. The kiosks suck. Does not really aid in any form of efficiency.
Sadly, the thing that made the McRib special to me, the combination of lots of onions and sauce mixed with the taste of the meat, was stolen from me. There was plenty of sauce, only a sprinkling of onions. The taste was not there. It was poorly constructed, and bland. A special sandwich, that I always look forward to ordering, and until now, not disappointing, became disappointing.
At this point, I will more than likely go back to McDonald’s, but I will order my food in restaurant, rather than drive thru. That is the compromise.
Thanks for stopping by.
Still Nothing To Watch
September 29th, 2019 by Proprietor
When it comes down to entertainment, not everything is good. Some shows appeal to some people, yet are unappealing to others. With the availability to watch almost anything we want at anytime, people have become jaded or compartmentalized. Relying on suggestions from an algorithm to find something different to watch.
My viewership harkens back to the primitive days of pre-cable, when ironically, we used antennas. People are now going back to broadcast to save money. Where I lived as a child, we had the option to watch Milwaukee or Chicago broadcast stations. Those stations were not very synched up on time, so I could watch Wonder Woman on a channel, if I missed something at the end, I could flip quickly to Chicago channel and catch what I missed. Sort of a primitive rewind.
Broadcast, and scheduled television watching caused people to be selective in what was watched. Shows could be good one week, bad another, but loyalists watched the show. When cable came, it was viewed as awesome, because there were options beyond the broadcast channels. Cable channels stayed within the niche of choice. HBO and Showtime did not offer original content, but a person could watch movies that were no longer in theaters. MTV played music videos.
As cable expanded and channels became more interested in producing original content, broad cast television began falling by the wayside. There were good shows, but not enough to overcome competition.
Eventually, my own viewing became focused on three channels at most. When I cut cable, I was viewing Animal Planet, Discovery, and TLC. For a while VH1 was in that group. Why was I paying so much money for very little content I enjoyed. Then I discovered Netflix streaming service, and I could watch shows from my past I enjoyed. Netflix created new content and the entire season was put up for viewers to watch at their leisure. Binge watching became a thing.
HBO and Showtime began producing original content that was superior to other channels. Shows, not reality shows, but actual shows with a plot line that had seasons. DVD sets allowed access to those shows. Granted, I was behind the times, but I could watch the shows at my leisure or binge watch.
Then Netflix began to become somewhat choppy, and the original content was becoming dilute. Shows I wanted to watch disappeared and were substituted with similar shows from off-brand networks. I jumped to Hulu. Though the original content was not as good as Netflix, the choice of back catalog was better.
Currently I debate about Amazon Prime. The original content seems interesting enough, but do I want to spend the money? There are shows on Hulu I have watched, and I am enjoying watching, but at my pace.
I know in the next few months DVD or Blu-Ray sets of some shows from other networks will be coming out. Game of Thrones, season 8, regardless of all the stuff I read about it, and even wrote about, has interest for me. Because, I read about it, I have yet to see how it all unfolds. Sometimes that gives greater insight into certain things other’s found lacking. Stranger Things, season 3, will also come out. I have read little about the show, so it will be more fresh for me.
Then there are the shows I watched a lot in the past, and after taking a break from watching them, have renewed interest. Rewatching shows allows for more critical and analytical eyes. I see why this decision was made versus another decision. Which leads back to being compartmentalized in what I watched. This is the irony of entertainment, so much to watch, yet nothing really worth watching.
Thanks for stopping by.
PS: Since I post the comic every Sunday, I have decided to do my best and write a blog post on Sunday as well as post to YouTube.
Done With Comics & More
September 22nd, 2019 by Proprietor
I have been collecting comics for over 40 years. The last couple of years, my collecting dwindled to a few titles. As those titles were cancelled, attrition took course, and eventually I was down to two titles. Walking Dead and Uber.
The Walking Dead ended. Uber, was a series produced by an independent publisher, and now on hiatus. Probably permanent hiatus. Which is a shame, it is a good series. So I had nothing on my pull list at Collector’s Edge.
After several months of just going into Collector’s Edge, with nothing to be pulled, and skimming through the comics to find something, anything, worth reading, I just gave up. With the exception of Doomsday Clock #11, I did not pick up any comics.
I had contemplated cancelling my pull list. Though I did not have the heart, my main reason, I wanted to get the invite to the New Years sale Collector’s Edge always had. As a subscriber, I get in an hour early. Though the last few years, I have found nothing to purchase, and went for secondary items.
Then I get a phone call from Collector’s Edge, stating that there is nothing on my pull list, and I have not had anything on it for several months, so my list was being cancelled. I am still a customer in good standing, if I want to add something to my pull list in the future, Collector’s Edge is fine with that.
So, in essentially doing nothing, I am no longer a comic book buyer. This does not upset me in the least. I am actually happy. Comics are becoming worse and worse, major companies are infected with the whole “must show diversity”, “orange man bad”, whatever Woke-ness, and it is dragging down quality. People do not mind a certain amount of politics or diversity in comics, yet, when it is shoved in their faces or becoming preachy, people are turned off. People read comics to escape the real world. People want idealized concepts, and idealized heroes, with good stories. Not the same stuff they see on television day in and day out or on the streets.
Comics used to be a form of escapism. When I went to major comic book shows, there were cos players, yet none of them fit the idealized images of the character. Which was fine. You looked at the costume, how well it was created, and wondered what the person saw in that character. A cos player obviously sees something in a character to a point where the person wants to physically idolize the character by wearing the costume. Women might see the sexiness of the woman or the femininity of the woman or the strength of the character. Men see the ideal male, strength, and ruggedness.
Comics are getting expensive, averaging $4-$5 a title, and even two comics costs over $10, with tax. Think about this. When I was first into comic books, I could buy everything Marvel produced in a month for about $20. Now if I were a Marvel fan, I might get four or five comics for the same amount. To get everything Marvel produced in a month… DC is producing 52 titles a month, Marvel a little higher, but keep it at 52 titles. 52 x $4 (low end of per comic book price) = $208 before tax. $208 is a lot of money. I pay a lot less for four months of water and sewer.
Why would I want to spend that type of money for something that is preachy, and poor quality in regards to story? Sometimes even the art is terrible. Why would I purchase something that sometimes insults me as a person?
Walking Dead for the most part was politically neutral. Though that did change when different groups or towns of people began interacting. Each town had its own system of ruling or doing things. Sometimes people from one town disagreed. People were free to leave and go live somewhere that was more agreeable to them. Sort of like America is today. Unfortunately, there is less and less good out there in comics. Even with independent publishers.
When it comes to reflection, there was an old journal I found, I had recorded my thoughts and feelings from time to time. In this journal there was an entry in regards to comic books. That day I had sold the vast majority of my collection for pennies on the dollar at a local comic book show. I had eight long boxes of comics. For $20 a person could grab a grocery bag, fill it with comics from the boxes, and that was all. I had several hundred dollars after the sale, and even sold the empty boxes to another dealer. With the entry, I had made a list of all the series contained within the boxes. Even some series I knew I had collected, but sold off or gave away years before. It was over 100 different titles, I am sure I could add more.
My comic book collecting days are now ended. As is the story of my life I am confronted with “Now What”. I will answer that whenever.
Thanks for stopping by.
YouTube video of Southfringe Sanctum posted on my channel.
August 25th, 2019 by Proprietor
Been a while since I posted a YouTube video, as well as call attention to it on my blog. It is a GTA 5 video. Enjoy.
As always, thanks for stopping by.
Forgiveness Is Delicious
August 21st, 2019 by Proprietor
About fifteen years ago, I had enough with a certain fast food chain, Burger King. I decided to never go to a Burger King again. The main reason, every Burger King in the area I lived in seemed to not get my order correct at least fifty percent of the time. This meant I would have to go into the restaurant, complain, and get my order corrected. The manager would give me one of those useless free sandwich cards. You know the one which you have to order a sandwich ala carte, could not combine with any other offer, and essentially meant the manager was giving you the middle finger for complaining. I had so many for Burger King, if I did give the none transferable cards to a homeless shelter, the people would be eating good for a couple of days. Probably not, since there was always an expiration date, usually a month after the complaint. Again, a middle finger to me for complaining.
The straw that really broke my back, and caused me to not go to Burger King for fifteen years was a major mistake in my order. Fifteen years ago or so, I ran an errand on my lunch. In retrospect, I probably could have waited until after work. I only had a half hour for lunch, Burger King was near where I ran my errand. The drive thru was moving quickly, so I decided to go to Burger King. I ordered a “Whopper Meal”. When I pulled up to pay, I was still using cash, the clerk ended up doing the dumb fuckiest thing all fast food clerks do. Hand me my bills, and put the change on top. WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY TAUGHT TO DO THIS? Change first. Then bills. When you close your hand with change on top, change slides out. This happened. I lost a few pennies of change, the clerk apologized, and was willing to give me more money. I was in a hurry, did not care about recounting things for a few pennies, and asked for my food. I was handed a soda, at least that was correct. Then I was handed a bag of food. At least it was food. When I managed to punch back in at work, with a few seconds to spare, I went to the break room. My co-workers were eating. I opened up my bag, expecting a wonderful Whopper with fries. Nope. Four hamburgers. WTF? My co-workers tried to make light of the situation, said I should call and complain. What’s the point? I get an apology, and a middle finger. I vowed never to go to Burger King. And I kept that vow for over fifteen years.
A few months before this posting, I was going to a local McDonald’s. There were other fast food franchises, Taco Bell, KFC, Arby’s, nearby as well, but I will focus on Burger King’s key rival. The local McDonald’s is always busy. Sometimes I get through the drive thru quickly, sometimes not. That was not really a delineating factor, since I always got my correct order. Then it happened. For a common item, I was asked to pull forward and wait. Forgivable if it happened once. Yet, this was becoming more frequent. Sometimes what I ordered was not available, thankfully I was told this when I ordered, and had to order something else. Two weeks before I wrote this, I drove into my local McDonald’s and ordered Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Value Meal. I paid at the first window, then pulled up to get my food. “Please pull forward.” The clerk stated. I looked. There were two vehicles ahead of me waiting. If I pulled forward, no one else in the drive thru would be able to get their food, because I would be blocking their way. I should have done that.
Instead of being a jerk, I pulled around the other two vehicles. I parked my truck in an area I thought would make it obvious I was waiting for my food. I started the timer on my iPhone. The other vehicles got their food within two or three minutes. Five minutes passed. I saw a few workers exit, walk around to other vehicles, and then come back. WTF? After ten minutes I went into McDonald’s and complained. “Sorry.” was the only word said. No free middle finger. I left.
A week later, I went to Burger King. I forgave them, because I really wanted to see if Burger King could do better on service. I ordered the chicken sandwich. I pulled up, paid for my food, and got a correct order. It was not as good as McDonald’s Chicken Sandwich, but it was correct, and I did not have to wait.
A few days later I went to McDonald’s, this time I ordered a Big Mac Value Meal. This is a top selling item. Something I figured that I would not have to wait for. I pulled up to get my food, after paying at the first window, “Please pull forward.” WTF? I waited a few minutes, my food was brought to me.
A week before this posting, I went to Burger King for the second time, after a fifteen year hiatus. I ordered a Whopper, with cheese, a Medium Fry, and a bottled water. Was comparable in price to a Big Mac Meal. I pulled up, paid, and was given my order. It was correct. When I came home, I ate my food. It was delicious.
Two things upset me a lot. Poor service in the form of having to wait extraneous amounts of time. Even two extra minutes after paying for my food and having to pull forward is poor service. It is McDonald’s, not Culvers (Wisconsinites understand). Not getting my order correct, really upsets me. Burger King(s) in my area, over fifteen years ago, did this regularly, so I decided to not go to Burger King. Obviously the franchise and company did not go out of business. Because McDonald’s is making me wait extra time in the drive thru, I am now scaling back my trips.
Taco Bell makes me wait a lot when I go. Yet, I am not asked to pull forward. In fact, Taco Bell has changed their focus on drive thru. I noticed the local restaurant has removed places for people to walk up and order. There are ordering stands, where you can punch in your order, and pay. I noticed that Taco Bell has two food prep lines. The focus, fill the orders quickly. McDonald’s does seem to be trying to do this, but not doing so well.
At this point, I will probably go to McDonald’s less, if I am continuing to wait, then I may not go at all. Forgiveness of Burger King was a good thing, as well as Delicious.
Thanks for stopping by.