Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
One of my favorite foods is pork chops. I've never been great at cooking them, but recently I've had help from Julianna Walzcak on proper pork chop cooking! Since her help, my pork chops have been pretty great! But, every time I cook them, I cook them the same way.
Really, other than orange spaghetti or fried cabbage and noodles, who wants things always cooked the same way? I grabbed some old cookbooks and started looking through them for something easy to do with the pork chops. I found a recipe in an old Bisquick cookbook that looked easy. And, since I have a box of Bisquick in my cupboard that I have no idea what to do with, I thought this was a winning idea! Pork chops with cheesy biscuits or something like that.
Let be tell you, it was bad. Bad. BAD. B-A-D. Do you get the idea that we didn't like it?
Phil started dishing out the chops while I was putting the rest of dinner on the table. I happened to look at his plate and saw the pork chops were still more raw than cooked! What the heck! The three of us tried to brainstorm. I scraped the biscuits off of the top and back in the oven went the chops. I did make a new batch of biscuits and after awhile I added them to the brew. Let me tell you, only an A-bomb could have helped that dish.
When the chops came out of the oven, at least the pork chops were cooked.
Let's start with the top. Has anyone actually had Bisquick biscuits? Eww! C'mon now, those things are just gross. Nasty. Gag me. Eww.
The sauce: basically this was cream of mushroom soup with some milk and some Durkee french fried onions. One would think that this would be a decent combination; cream of mushroom soup can usually pass for edible. Well, you would be wrong here too. This was the grossest sauce I've ever tasted.
Pork chops: Well, it went from undercooked to overcooked.
Put all these three layers together and I'm telling you, most of this dinner ended up in the garbage can. It absolutely tears my heart out to throw food away, but I'm telling you if I had a dog, even it wouldn't have eaten this crap. Eww.
Tonight I'm going back to what I know. Orange spaghetti. It's not Ron's favorite, but I need one in the win column after last night's dinner. Eww.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Then, last night it happened! They won!! Now, let's try to figure out what they did differently to give them the winning edge.
Well, first and foremost, the game was called after five innings due to rain. Hey! That MUST be the answer! Instead of allowing the opponent an entire 27 outs in a game, we should only let them have 15 outs and call it a game! I see our chances getting better and better!
C'mon, Bud Selig (commissioner of baseball), let's give the Cubs a fighting chance and have five inning baseball for awhile! It could only help us!
Update: I told you so! Today's Cub's game had the Cubs winning 2-1 at the end of the 5th inning. The Pirates came back to tie it up in the 7th on a questionable call from the umpire. My heart sank. But, the Cubs came back with a big 8th inning and ended up taking the win, 5-2! Go Cubs! Playing those extra innings didn't hurt this time, although I DO have a few more gray hairs now!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
He's 90, she's 85. Neither are in good health, but that doesn't stop them. He still drives, and ok, that kinda scares the hell out of me. But, I digress.
They are wonderful people and we took to them from the very beginning. We have sort of adopted each other as family. We like watching out over them.
Tonight, the three of us were getting ready to go out to dinner. I happened to look out the front door and saw an ambulance in front of this couple's house. Of course, I panicked. Out the front door I ran and to the neighbor's.
As I get there, three paramedics are leaving with their gear but without either of the neighbors. They all had smiles on their faces, so I figured it couldn't be too terrible. I asked the paramedics if I'd be in the way if I went in, and they said they were done. Hmm.
I go running in and both of the neighbors are standing there looking a bit sheepish. Here's what happened.
He was feeling a little punk so he went upstairs to take a nap. Since her hip replacement a few years ago, she does not climb the stairs. When supper was ready, she stood at the bottom of the steps calling and calling and calling him. He wasn't coming downstairs. She got worried.
So, she called 9-1-1 for an ambulance. The paramedics arrived, grabbed their gear, ran upstairs . . . and woke him up! Poor guy was sleeping so soundly all he needed was a good wake up call.
So there you go. A little excitement in our neighborhood, but this time with a good outcome. And, at the very least, the paramedics have a good story to tell back at the office.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday night after dinner, Ron started to complain that his back hurt. Ron is not much of a complainer and all night Thursday he was moaning and groaning in pain. He hardly slept Thursday night. This really is not like him.
Let's go back a bit. Last week, Ron fell and he fell hard. He had a huge bruise on the right side of his back, up high almost under his arm. He also had a bruise on his left bicep but other than that, he thought he was ok. He spent a couple of sore days but then felt he was none the worse for wear.
Thursday was a tough day on him. He was crammed up under his van changing the oil. He also was bent over changing the oil on his motorcycle. The neighbor had fallen and couldn't get off the floor. Ron went over and just lifted her back to her feet. Then, as is law when you work on a motorcycle, the bike had to be ridden. After a day like that, we were attributing his pain to some back strain.
Friday he was marginally better; he seemed to be moving a little better and not moaning as much. Perhaps it was just a strain. Then, Saturday he was markedly worse. He could barely walk and was not able to cough without extreme pain. We were pumping Aleve into him with little success.
Then Ron admitted that it wasn't his back that was hurting, but a specific spot that happened to be right over his left kidney. He was suspecting a kidney stone. While he's never had a kidney stone, the pain was right over the kidney and he's heard that stones are extremely painful; he was in extreme pain.
He fought with himself for a few hours after the suggestion of a visit to the ER when the pain finally got the better of him. We got him dressed and we were out of here.
In triage, Ron told all; he told of the fall last week, the lifting of the neighbor, the car repairs, riding the bike, everything. He also added his thoughts on a kidney stone. I guess his assumption made sense since we ended up getting a lovely plastic cup for Ron to fill. They figured they could get started on a urinalysis even before we were seen by a doctor.
The wait was horribly long. I could go on and on with the horrors just in the waiting room, but I'll gloss over that part. Most of you have probably had a similar wait in an ER at one time or another.
After all that, I think he ended up with a really good doctor. She was young and had a name I can neither pronounce or spell. But, she was very personable, very caring and very sharp. I'd say she was worth the wait.
First of all the urinalysis came up clean. There was no infection and no blood in the urine so that left out a kidney stone or a kidney infection. She had Ron lay on his back while she manipulated his legs. Nothing she was doing made his pain flair up or get any worse. Only when she prodded his back would he yell in pain. She had ruled out the kidneys and any musculature problems. What could it be?
The doctor actually said that for a 50 year old man, other than this pain, he was in good shape! Ron wasn't in too much pain to not take offense to that comment! He said "HEY! I'm only 49!" She felt a little bad about her faux paus until we started laughing about it. Poor Ron has 11 more months of being 49 and he's going to make sure he gets all of them in before he relents to 50!
Anyway, she thought for awhile and then thought of the ribs. He did fall a week ago and even though the symptoms came days later, she felt she had a winner.
She did make sure Ron got an injection of some kind of happy juice to help him with his pain and then sent him over to x-ray.
The x-rays came back and she actually brought us into the nurse's station to look at the x-rays. Gone are the days of snapping the films into the light boxes. Welcome to the computer age where your images come up on huge monitors! We looked at a few images before she brought one up where you could pretty plainly see that was rib was indeed broken, and it was broken straight through.
While we were looking at all of Ron's hidden secrets, I saw what I thought was a blob all through his left side, sort of above, under and below his broken rib. To me it looked like a horrendous growth and I was surprised that she didn't seem too concerned about it. I finally asked what it was and she said "oh, that's just gas". Hello? You mean to tell me he's full of gas? Trust me, we didn't need an x-ray to tell us that! He offered to prove it when he asked me to pull his finger, but the nurses did take a vote on that one and his finger remained unpulled. They had no sense of humor!
So, Ron's had a happy shot and we left with a prescription for Percocet. Hopefully now that he's had one of those and he's spent some time on an ice pack, just maybe he can get some sleep. And that's just what he needs.
For now, he is to get lots of rest, pain management as needed, and ice packs. There is nothing else we can do and this can take up to three weeks to heal. So, Ron is out of commission for awhile.
What did he learn from all of this? Four and a half hours and a $100 copay and all you get is a prescription for Percocet and told that you are full of gas. Hell, I could have told him that in four and a half seconds and wouldn't charge him a thing! Hopefully, that Percocet will make it all worth it for him. He doesn't deserve all he's going through. Get well soon, honey.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Ever since we moved into this house, I've wanted a lilac bush. We have a lovely front porch, complete with a wooden glider. As soon as it gets warm enough, Ron and I can be found on that porch.
The porch faces east. Since the wind usually blows south to north, I wanted the lilacs on the south side of the porch so that the porch would smell like lilacs! That was my goal.
A couple of years ago, Mike and Mary Jane went out and got us a little lilac bush and even snuck over and planted it when we weren't home! Ever since, I have been so excited for my very own lilacs. (For some reason, Ron didn't look kindly on me walking up the the city park and cutting a few of their blooms for my dining room. Go figure.)
Last year I scoped that bush, just hoping for blooms. You could see where the bush was trying to blossom, but I don't think it was mature enough. I watered, I talked to it, I kept all kinds of happy thoughts. Finally, this year it happened!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Believe it or not, it's about one of my favorite websites, Pogo. That's http://www.pogo.com/ for anyone that doesn't know! I guess first of all, I need to explain a little about Pogo.
Pogo is a game site. There are a ton of different kinds of games from solitaire games to games like pinochle, different kinds of bingo and even piecing together puzzles. One of the things I love about Pogo is the variety of games. While we all have our favorites that we like to play, I also love they they are coming out with new games frequently. Some are duds, but I seem to like a bunch of them. Now, what do you get for playing Pogo?
One thing you get is tokens. Tokens are like their points. Some people have hundreds of thousands of tokens, some people have millions of tokens. What good are tokens? Absolutely no good. You can't trade them in for money, you can't trade them in for membership dues. They are pretty much worthless; just for show. By the way, membership dues are $40 a year and that gives you access to all games in Pogo and you get to play them with no commercials.
What else does Pogo offer? Badges! What are badges? They are rewards for completing a challenge or for playing enough of a certain game to go up in rank. The badges are nothing tangible. They are little check marks under your name and basically it shows that you either play Pogo too damn much or not enough! They mean absolutely nothing and are worth nothing.
But, one thing that Pogo offers is their weekly challenges. They will pick two different games, and set some kind of challenge in each game. It could be that you have to win so many tokens, or games or hands or reach a level or something. If you complete the challenge, Pogo will award you tokens and will give you a badge, both which mean absolutely nothing. Sounds like fun, huh? It does get people to try a lot of different games.
Well, I love playing games and the whole badge thing just plays into my CDO (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but in alphabetical order the way it should be.). I just enjoy playing the games.
Now the bad part of Pogo; the chat. Each game room that you are in has chat available, either public or a private chat. I'm not an online chatter. Once in a great while I'll hook up with one of my real life friends like Maura in Florida or Ruth in New York and we'll try to catch up a little while playing. Or, when I was traveling, Ron and I would play games and chat. Other than that, I'm not much of a talker. I'm just there to play games.
However, some times conversations get just ridiculous, or people turn nasty or just the regular rantings and ravings of angry unhappy people. Pogo offers the option to mute anyone in the room so you don't have to see what they are babbling, or you can shut chat off altogether.
The new challenges for Pogo are released on Wednesdays, and you have until the following Tuesday to complete the two challenges and earn your tokens and badges. Which remember, mean nothing! So many people love the idea of badges, myself included, that Wednesdays tend to be pretty busy in Pogo. I was playing one of the games on Wednesday and I couldn't help but notice one player kept saying things like "I am staying logged on, but I am at work so I have to get some work done". Then when she'd come back, she'd announce that she was back.
Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to play at work, and yes, on a slow day in the office, I've been known to play a game or two. The bad part came when she started to complain that the challenge was going to take her forever to finish as she had to play the game in between patients! Hello? Did I read that right?
Finally, I couldn't take it and I had to chime in "in between patients"???
She came back and said yes, since she was a nurse. HELLO? She missed my sarcasm when I stated that I was glad I was healthy since this bitch obviously has no clue how to properly prioritize her life. Worry about worthless tokens and badges instead of caring for patients.
So, here is my advice to anyone who can read this.
Take your vitamins, eat healthy, get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, and keep up with your exercising. With health care workers like this, none of us can afford to get sick.
That's just wrong.
Monday, May 11, 2009
In Lorain on 20th and Broadway is a restaurant called The Roman Room. This restaurant has been opened and closed at least three times since we've lived here; mostly closed. It's been an Italian restaurant, a steak restaurant and back to an Italian restaurant. We have eaten there under previous management but my thoughts have been that the food was ok, but the service was horrendous. It closed the last time probably for a few years. Just recently we have seen signs that they are back open.
On Wednesday, I drove by and saw people in there for lunch. Wednesday evening, we were meeting up with our friends Larry and Linda to go for dinner. The plan was to try out the new Roman Room; under new management.
We arrived at 5:45 pm, what I would consider prime dinner time. The signs in the window now say closed! What the hell? I can't imagine that they will only be open for lunch, but why else would it be closed at 5:45 pm? The four of us are trying to decide on a plan B as to where to go for dinner. While we're deciding, another car pulls up, sees us outside and asks if the restaurant is open. We tell them it appears that it's closed and this new car wasn't too happy about it either.
While we're going back and forth, I decide to call the phone number on the window to see if the place is perhaps closed for good of maybe closed on Wednesdays. I am expecting an answering machine of some sorts to pick up and was quite surprised when a human being answered! This conversation was kinda classic!
Him: Hello, Roman Room.
Me: Uh, what are your hours?
Him: We open at 11:00 am and we are open until between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm, depending on business.
Me: (looking at watch to confirm yes, it's only 5:45 pm!) Well, when do you open?
Him: (sarcastically) I SAID at 11:00 am!
Me: Does that mean you're NOT open on Wednesdays??
Him: (figuring that's me outside his door) Um, it was kinda slow today, so we closed early.
Me: Good luck running a business that way!
C'mon now! You're starting a restaurant, and CLOSE it before six in the evening? What the hell!
After standing outside in the rain for awhile, we had finally formed a new plan on where to go for dinner. Back in our vehicles, Larry pulls away from the curb and as we are ready to pull out behind him, the chef comes out of the door, trying to wave me into the restaurant. Hello? I don't think so. I laughed and waved good bye to him. Think about it, only the chef is left. All of the ovens or grills or whatever would be turned off by now. With no one there, I figured I'd have to double as patron and sous chef, Linda would take our orders, Ron would tend bar and Larry would be on washing dishes! Yeah, I don't think so.
I take things to heart. Piss me off once, and it's unlikely I want to go back. I can't imagine wanting to go back to The Roman Room for dinner again.
Here are other entries into my Hall of Shame, in no particular order.
Cracker Barrel - on Detroit Road and Abbe Road in Sheffield. Ron and I were moving into this house on Thanksgiving weekend. Here it was, Thanksgiving day, we're in jeans and sweatshirts, working on packing up the rest of the apartment as well as cleaning it. We're hungry and tired, and all pots, pans, plates, silverware etc are all packed up. We need to go out so we chose Cracker Barrel which was right by the apartment.
Our waiter Mike, (I still remember his name!) actually said to us during dinner "I don't know why you people come out to eat on Thanksgiving day. You should be home with your family". Not normally one to be at a loss for words, I was this day. I do remember saying something about not everyone HAVING family around and perhaps working with the public should not be his first choice for a career. I should have called the manager instead of sitting there crying but i didn't. Yeah, not a place I have any desire to go back to anytime soon.
50's Diner - Ok, this place is no longer in business (go figure!) but it was on Detroit Road right at the exit from I-90 next to Quaker Steak and Lube.
We stopped in late one night just for a little treat. We sat at the counter and after watching our waiter use his dirty fingers to get the ice cream out of the scoop and into our bowls we lost our appetites. Even if it was still open, not a place I would chose to go.
Denny's - The Denny's over on Route 611 in Lorain - Ron and I were sitting at a table right next to the counter. From where I was sitting, I could see along the length of the employee side of the counter. Again, me and counters don't get along! I watched two waitresses drop a bunch of napkins onto the dirty filthy floor behind the counter. They sat there for a few minutes then the two came back, picked them up and straightened them out. They were put back under the counter to be used on the tables. That one I did have to tell the waitress that the next time she dropped napkins on the floor they should be thrown OUT and not used by her customers. Yeah, I'm done there.
Rino's - An Italian restaurant on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain. Ron and I would go there and the biggest complaint we had was about their sodas. No matter when we'd order soda, they were always as flat as can be. Something wrong with their tap system was my opinion. But, we'd order anything but soda and all was fine. Until we went in to pick up a to go order.
The servers were responsible for making up the salads. A cooler was in the front and I was unlucky enough to stand there and watch one server make a salad with her bare hands. I don't want her nasty dirty hands all over my food, especially just after she's done handling money. Eww! They did have a nice plastic glove in the bin for them to use to make the salads. However, she'd grab the glove, put it on one hand but still use both hands to make the salad. When she was done, she took her dirty hand, grabbed the glove off of her other hand by the fingers and then threw the glove in the bin with the lettuce. Yeah, she was unclear on the concept of clean hands. We have not gone back there since.
Hanko's - North Ridge Road in Elyria. We used to go to Hanko's when we first moved into the house. The food was good, with a lot of down home Slovak flair. While the food was good again the service was horrible. We stopped going. Recently, we decided we should try this place again as it's close by and the food was good. About a month ago the three of us went for dinner.
All was well until the dishwasher came out with a tray of clean plastic drinking glasses. While putting the tray on the shelf, a glass fell off and onto the floor. He picked up the glass from the floor and put it with the clean glasses on the shelf. Me and my big mouth yells "are you really going to use that glass??" He looks back at me and says "why not? It's clean."
I know how clean my floor is and I won't use something I've dropped on the floor without rewashing it. If this was his idea of clean, I was afraid to imagine just how "clean" anything there was! Yeah, Hanko's is now off my list, this time for good!
So, there you go, my Hall of Shame. I am naming names here people! Shame on all of them. Watch out! Bad service and health code violations will be posted here!
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
I couldn't think of one good reason to blog about for my 500th post, so I thought I'd just write about things that have either pissed me off or entertained me lately. Here we go:
Car 155 Where Are You? - or perhaps it should be titled Car 155 what in the hell are you doing? Ron and I were sitting out on the porch one night last week when I saw a Lorain police car driving south on our road.
I had previously blogged that I have little to no respect for our local law enforcement. Aside from seeing them in action as in speeding through school zones or not willing to get out of their car and write up a report when an idiot hits a telephone pole across the street from me and pulls wires out of my house, you know, ordinary stuff. Then there are the numerous police officers who are either indicted or under investigation for numerous things like rape, assault, stalking, fraud, throwing guns downs sewers, etc; it's hard to feel safe here. But, I digress. The latest doozie was car 155 driving down the street. As it came closer I saw that two officers were in the car. The officer in the passenger's side was just gazing out of the side window enjoying the ride. One might assume the officer in the driver's seat would be driving, right? Well I guess anywhere but in Lorain! The driver of this car had BOTH hands on the computer keyboard and his eyes on the moniter, NOT on the road! I don't know how long he had his eyes off of the road, but at least as long as I was watching him! There's my police force, hard at work.
How Green My Grass - It seems that last week the trees were barren as the weather started to warm up. This is an old neighborhood with old trees. There are trees around that have to be at least 50 feet high. All of them were barren except for one 30 footer to the south of us which barely had green on the tips of the branches. The trees greened up so quickly, it was absolutely amazing! We'd sit on the front porch in the morning, and when we'd go back in the afternoon, you'd see another tree was suddenly showing green that was bare just a few hours earlier. After dinner for another visit to the front porch and you could see even more green on the trees. Now, there isn't a barren tree around. It was amazing this year or at least I was more cognizant of the spring. All I can say is that it's been a very humbling spring for me this year.
Patooie - This one falls under entertainment. Well, it entertained me for awhile! I was chewing a piece of gum; not something I do often. When I was done with said gum, I grabbed the waste basket, held it under me and spit my gum out. Guess what. Yes, I missed the waste basket! It was hours before Ron quit laughing! I told you this one was entertaining.
One Person's Trash Is Another's Treasure - Thursday night, Ron and I were driving home from a dinner out. Thursday night is also our trash night. Actually, trash is picked up early Friday morning but everyone seems to put their trash out on Thursday nights.
One side street a couple of blocks away, the kids in the neighborhood have a portable basketball hoop. This is something similar to what I'm talking about. Anyway, they are in the street many a nights playing hoops. It may be a side street, but it does get a good amount of traffic. Traffic must stop and wait for the kids to clear the street so that traffic may drive through. And, by kids, I'm talking at least high school age. They leave this basketball contraption either in the street or on the tree line; it's hardly every put away.
As in most neighborhoods, you have the trash surfers driving around. You know, the people that go and look what you've thrown out and take what they think they can make money on. I guess we all have to make a living somehow. Anyway, we drove up just as one of these surfers was putting the basketball hoop into the back of his truck! Ron and I were howling! I can't imagine the owners of the hoop had any intention of throwing it out.
Well, if they decide to get another one, I bet they will learn to put it away, instead of leaving it by the garbage on the tree line.
So, there we go. A lot ado about nothing. Well, it is blog # 500 so I guess that's something! I still can't believe I could ramble on so much!
Thank you to my three readers! I do hope to keep you amused or entertained or something for another 500 blogs.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Since Ron and I were good yesterday and got our work done (ok, we mowed the lawn. Damn, that was work!) we decided we should treat ourselves and go out for a bit.
We were both hungry, so our first order of business was picking someplace to go for a late lunch/early dinner. A good burger was what we wanted, and now we had to decide where to go for what we wanted. Now, we did say good burger, so that left out all of the fast food burger joints. I wanted REAL burgers.
There is a bar over in Avon Lake, a couple of towns to the east of us, that Ron had been to previously with our friend Larry. According to Ron they did have great burgers. It sounded good to me! Let me tell you, this place is really just a little neighborhood bar. I was a little worried about what I agreed to, since my bar stool sitting days are LONG behind me. This place did bring back a lot of memories, but I digress.
In this dark little bar with a jukebox blaring were a hand full of people sitting at the bar and four young men, I'd say in their mid twenties shooting darts. Ok, not only were they shooting darts, they were kinda hooting and hollering about their game, singing along with the jukebox and just having a great time. And, they were all definitely happy guys, and I'm betting feeling no pain.
We ordered a couple of burgers and a couple of beers. The cook actually brought our food out so we ended up chatting with him a bit. These burgers really were the bomb! They were huge and came with an order of home made fries. Your choice in the fries was either regular cut or waffle cut. My advice, should any of you find yourselves at Tailgaters, order the waffle cut fries.
In the middle of our burgers, one of the dart players came over to join us. This was definitely a friendly place! Introductions were made and he asked what we ordered. I ordered the Randy Moss burger. That's a Black Angus burger with swiss cheese and mushrooms and onions. It was awesome! After getting our new buddy Brian's opinion on our burgers, he offered us other menu suggestions for the next time we stopped by.
I guess he realized what fun people we were, or else he was impressed that I offered him a bite of my burger. Regardless the reason, our buddy Brian had the bright idea that we should party with them and close the place down! Close the place down? He said they were there since 1:00 in the afternoon and said that they'd remain there until closing at 2:30 am. We needed to stay there with them. Hello???
I did mention that we were old and couldn't hang like that anymore, but thanks for the offer. Brian insisted that we weren't old yet and we should definitely stay. That was a good suck up if I do say so myself! We did decline the offer to party all night but we were feeling pretty good about not being thought of as old. All in all, we actually did have a pretty good time and more importantly, a great burger!
In case you're wondering what the picture at the top of this blog has to do with this subject, well, here's the answer. After we left Tailgaters, we went to the pier in Avon Lake. There is a park by the pier and Ron and I just enjoyed the evening walking down the pier and through the park. It was a gorgeous day and the lake was very calm. As we were walking, I saw these flowers up against an old fence and just fell in love with them. I don't usually take good pictures, but I thought this one came out pretty good! I wanted to use it, so I threw it in here. Cool, huh?
Friday, May 01, 2009
His new sign still states that Eminem is his Daddy, but now he's added that you should check him out on YouTube! So I did! Someone actually did a little video of him getting down with his bad self and here it is! This guy is just full of the joy of life. I dare you to drive by, see him dancing and NOT smile!
If you see him, honk!