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.
Read The Dead
July 24th, 2019 by Proprietor
Finally went to the comic shop where I purchase the few comics I collect, and picked up Walking Dead #193. I mentioned in a previous post that the series is ending. It was a shock, and sad, since Walking Dead was one of the best comic series I have ever read. It was consistent, done by one creator, and evolved over time in a real way. I was always a fan of superhero comics, and when I was younger comic book creative teams stuck with a series for very long times. Chris Claremont’s run in the X-Men, John Byrne’s run in the Fantastic Four are notable. For independent comic creators the major goal is to reach 300 issues, this benchmark was set by Cerebus creator Dave Sim. Walking Dead technically was not an independently created comic, Skybound is an imprint of Image Comics, and the title fell short of the 300 issue benchmark.
I read the final comic, and I understood why Kirkman wanted to end the way he ended. The story featured Carl, Rick Grimes’ son, about fifteen years after Rick had died. Things in the Walking Dead universe have changed, evolved, and there is a generation of people whom do not know the dangers of the dead. The story is very interesting, and does bring things to a somewhat satisfactory ending. Kirkman addressed the possible anger fans would feel at his ending the series in a letter at the end of the comic.
Talking to the owner of the store I purchase my comics from, he was surprised. Kirkman addressed the sudden ending and not giving warning in his letter as well. Keep in mind, the comic came out a few weeks ago, I finally picked it up, I got an issue because I have a pull list with the comic book store. The owner informed me that the comic was selling for $20 on eBay the day it came out. Am I lucky? No. Grateful I was buying the series regularly, and had it on my pull list.
Once word got out that Walking Dead was ending, owners of comic shops were inundated with speculators. People wanting to buy ten copies to sell on eBay. This is capitalism. Many owners limited purchases to one copy. The few extras owners had purchased sold out quickly. People whom were on pull lists had been guaranteed a copy. This is how true collectors get their comics. People whom speculate are viewed as jerks in comic collector circles. I could use harsh words, but jerk suffices.
With Walking Dead ending, I am now at a conundrum. The one other series I have on my pull list is on hiatus or may not come out anymore due to problems the creator is experiencing. Do I quit comic collecting altogether. Maybe it is time. Many companies are looking at going completely digital. Marvel, owned by Disney, makes more on an opening day at the movies than comic book sales. Many people do not even know that the character they see on screen was inspired by a comic book, and there is a comic book based on the character.
Comic books average $3.99 an issue. Which is sad. Print is becoming very expensive, and the costs fluctuate wildly. Gone are the days when I could buy everything Marvel produced in a month, and spend at most $20. I do not even want to do the math for collecting everything Marvel produces in a month. I do not even buy anything from Marvel anymore.
Maybe it is time to just pull the plug on comic collecting, move on to other things. The end of the Walking Dead is the end of my comic collecting hobby.
Thanks for stopping by.
July 17th, 2019 by Proprietor
In a previous post, I stated how I was enjoying Stranger Things, because I could identify with the characters. Growing up in the 1980s in a small midwestern town was a wonderful experience. Since I will have to wait until the DVD set comes out to view season 3, I will base this post on what I watched in seasons 1 & 2, with some information picked up from reviews, YouTube, etc. in regards to season 3.
What I found really strange were some of the reviewers whom seemed to view the show from a very anachronistic state. The reviewers were judging the 1980s attitudes portrayed in the period piece that is Stranger Things with modern societal social constructs. Granted for me, viewing a show set in the 1980s as a period piece makes me now understand my parents, the writers of the reviews probably have parents whom lived through the time frame. Asking mom and dad some questions might have clarified certain concepts.
In the early 1980s nuclear war with the Soviet Union (Russia) was a very real thing. Global Warming was not a concern, because we were heading toward another Ice Age, and we had Acid Rain. The nation as a whole was suffering from a post traumatic disorder over the Vietnam War, so everyone was not into possible conflict. Gas Lines, and maximum Peak Production were worries of sorts, but the US survived those. On the bright side there were hair bands, angsty teenage dramady, raunchy teenage movies, and punk was a solid subculture.
Movies in the 1980s were fantastic. The geek driven blockbusters like Ghostbusters, Star Wars, et al are referenced in Stranger Things very heavily. Yet, there were movies that really showed what being a teenager in the eighties was about. Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) stared in several movies, I recommend Heathers, a dark comedy, but gives some insight into high school life. High Schools are always cliquish, but the 1980s seemed more so, and dramatic. Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Vision Quest are all movies from the 1980s that give a good deal of insight into the way teenagers felt. Molly Ringwald stars in three of the movies, she was the IT girl of the time, and it would be awesome if Molly had a part in Stranger Things.
One of the things mentioned in a review was “Toxic Masculinity” as represented by Billy. There were a lot of things boys did in the 1980s that could be construed as toxic by today’s standards, but boys were growing up and becoming men, thus being macho was the ideal. Macho entailed confidence in one’s self, and in being a man. When Billy shows up, women are turned on by his muscles, attitude, and hair. Granted Billy is a bully, but the whole macho attitude was not Germaine to bullies in the 1980s. Also, no one really cared about anyone’s sexual orientation. AIDS became a very real scare in the 1980s, some of the jokes made would melt snowflakes these days, but people were concerned. There were and always will be homophobes. Grow up.
Overall, as a period piece, Stranger Things holds up. The attitudes of the characters are somewhat reflective of what people felt back then. The boys are geeks, but seem to be tight as friends. If reviewers view Stranger Things as a representation of the times, and do not pass judgement based on today’s moors, they might actually enjoy the show more, as well as gain some insight.
Thanks for stopping by.
No More Walking Dead
July 10th, 2019 by Proprietor
This came as a shock to me. The comic book, which I have read for a very long time has come to an end. Now what?
As a long time comic book fan, my tastes evolved over the decades, at least three decades of collecting. I had settled on Walking Dead as one of the only regular titles I collect. There were a few superhero titles, but I have dropped them once creative teams changed. There is one historical fiction superhero title I collect, but the creator is having issues, and the comic is late.
I read the Walking Dead, the television universe, is launching a spin off. It deals with the first generation of people whom grew up in the post zombie apocalypse era. Damn. Someone stole my idea. Sometimes I wonder if people are spying on me or reading my mind. Then I give up on the paranoia, and realize, yeah, someone can come up with a similar idea. I work professionally as a graphic designer(ish), and I have seen two people come up with ideas so similar, the ideas are almost exact. The two people were not talking or even communicating, even working for a different company.
Well, I will have to pick up Issue #193, and read it. The spoilers I have read have not deterred me at all. If you read my Game of Thrones posts based on spoilers I read, you should know that by now. I am funny that way.
June 26th, 2019 by Proprietor
I do not have Netflix, I have Hulu, and I do not have HBO, so it is difficult for me to keep up on popular shows. Like Game of Thrones, I was late to jump on the bandwagon for Stranger Things. Recently I purchased seasons one and two on DVD/Blu-Ray. Season one designed to look like a VHS tape, which was the media used for movies back then. VHS players were also very expensive. I have watched the first four episodes of season one, as of this posting.
Stranger Things takes place in a small town in Indiana. This had appeal to me, because I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Midwestern small towns are not all that different. The main protagonists are geeks whom play Dungeons and Dragons. This made them instantly identifiable to me, since I played Dungeons and Dragons when I was the age of the protagonists. Though I was the age of Nancy Wheeler, the older sister in 1983, the year the series starts, and was more like Jonathan Byers.
What struck me most so far was how much the show draws on horror tropes which were prevalent in 1980s movies. The opening scene of the first episode reminded me of the movie Alien. Even the scene when Will Byers disappears, reminded me of standard horror trope. The protagonist flees from an unseen monster, arms themselves hastily, expects the antagonist to attack from the front, and yet, somehow, the villain comes from behind.
A lot of the tropes from eighties horror movies were layered into the show. At first I thought it was due to uncreative writing, which was turning me off somewhat. Then I realized, it was writing genius, intentionally done stylistically to give that feel. The show takes place in the eighties, why not give it the same feel most horror and science fiction movies from the time period had?
So far, having watched the first four episodes, I am enjoying the show. Many of the characters are solidly acted. Joyce Byers, portrayed by Winona Ryder, loved her in Heathers, is a frantic mother trying to communicate with her son, whom she knows is not dead, but not on Earth. Winona was a staple in eighties movies, and had a good run, before falling off the radar. If you like to see what eighties movies were like, and some of the tropes used, I recommend streaming some of the horror stuff. If you like some dark comedy, watch Heathers.
I will right a follow up to this post once I finish season one.
Thanks for stopping by.