March 2009 Archives

Dumb People

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So JP twittered (tweeted?, twitted?) about Blast Monday, where "...lighting up certain people that really deserve to have their spot blown up."  That reminded me of the dumbest person I have ever met.

So this was years ago, in a far, far land.  OK, Montgomery County, MD.  At the time, I was either a senior in high school or an underclassman at Maryland.  To help pay for tuition and have some spending money, I was working for CVS as a quasi-supervisor.  Now we all know, CVS may not hire the best and the brightest.  Some of us were intelligent thinking people.  But not A.  I don't remember A's name, but I remember she was dumb.  Dumber than a bag of bricks.

A had her moments.  The managers and I thought she was stupid.  There is a difference between stupid and dumb.  Stupid is unintelligent.  Dumb is unintelligent to the point of ridiculousness.  A couldn't count.  Lucky we had cash registers.  A didn't know where anything was in the store.  We were a busy store, so we always had more than one cashier at the front.

The store I worked at banked at Sovran Bank, now part of Bank of America.  They knew all of our staff because many of them banked there.  One day the manager called and asked if A was in.  We sent A down to the branch, which was in the same strip center.  She was back 10 minutes later.  We dared to ask her and she said that there was a problem with her account, but it was taken care of.  Later, one of the managers and I headed to the branch to take our deposit.  The bank manager asked my boss why we hired such a dumb employee.  We knew who she was talking about.

Apparently A had written checks on her account and overdrawn it.  That happens to alot of people.  What was odd was she continued to do it, that's why they needed to speak with her.

A: I want to close the account, but I still have checks.
Bank: But you know you don't have money in the account.
A: But I still have checks.
Bank: But you are not depositing anymore money.
A: (blank stare)
Bank: (jaw drops)
CVS Manager and me: (jaws drop after hearing this)

Remember, we always knew A was stupid.  There are stupid people out there and I feel for them.  But A moved into dumb territory.  I don't usually like to blast people.  OK, I like to, but only in the privacy of friends confidences, but this kind of needs an open outlet.
If you recognized the title of this entry, you know this is about the Battlestar Galactica show.  For those of you not familiar with this, you can still read, but you may not understand.  So last night was the series finale.  I watched it off the DVR this morning.

***Spoiler Alert***  If you have not watched it yet and you want to, do not jump to the full entry.
The first one.  The Maryland State Senate passed a bill that would ban texting while driving.  It heads to the House of Delegates soon.  While forms of this bill have been killed in committee in recent years, there appears to be a better chance of passing it this time.

I have mixed feelings about this.  I will admit, I've read a text message while driving.  I have probably written one as well.  But it is bad for attention.  I do have however think there are a million other things that could be as distracting.  Still probably a step in the right direction.  Let's hope they don't go the route DC took of banning use of mobile phones without a headset.  I know I see it everyday I'm in the city where someone is driving with their phone in one hand.  I have even seen a very well known technology writer for a national newspaper do it on the Whitehurst Freeway in afternoon rush hour.
It's been awhile since I posted, but Culinary Couture, where Lemmonex, my blog-crush, writes, reminded me of possibly the worst meal ever.

I am an easy going guy.  My friends will tell you I have few places or people I openly criticize except maybe the way the Redskins are run.  But this early scene of spring we've gotten reminded me of the Georgetown Waterfront.  Unfortunately some pretty bad memories.

Cabana's may have served the worst meal I've ever had.  That's saying a bunch because my family was working poor.  Last summer, The Sports Freak and I headed over to Georgetown to see the scene.  On one night, we decided to dine at Cabana's for a change of pace.  We've walked by it in the past and thought the menu looked interesting, and this night decided to try it out.  Wow, what a mistake.

We were seated outside since it was summer.  That might have been our first clue since it was summer.  How could they have seats available at the peak of dinner service on a Friday night?  I started off with a Mojito.  It was completely watered down.  I actually wondered if they put any alcohol in it.

The entrees proved to be no saving grace.  I don't exactly recall what TSF had, but I think it was the Mexican Flag Enchiladas.  He was not happy about it and reported later that it just wasn't good.  I don't remember the details, but I remember he blasted it good.

I had ordered the Spanish Paella, "A Classic!", as they say on the menu.  The only thing classic about it might have been the age of the seafood.  Paella to me should be cooked in a pan and some of the rice should be crisp or almost burnt.  I know other places that serve it as part of tapas may not cook it to my liking, but they make up for it in quality.  Cabana's did not.  It felt like it was cooked in a pot over low heat quickly.  My family is from China so we don't turn down rice too often.  However this was a case where I had no problem doing so.  I decided to move on to just the proteins.

Not a good choice either.  The chicken was completely dry.  Forgivable if were the only mishap with the dish, but it didn't end there.  Chorizo, normally a flavorful sausage was tasteless and luke warm.  I think if they had thrown in thick slices of off the shelf pepperoni, they would have done better.  Finally the seafood.  I don't even know where to begin.  None of it seemed fresh.  I really mean that.  The mussels and scallops were extremely rubbery.  The calamari and shrimp were small, kind of like what you'd find at a grocery salad bar.  That is when it dawned on me.  Everything seemed to come out of a bag or a box.  Then they were all cooked separately, tossed into a pot for 2 minutes and doused with some chicken stock for what little flavor could be provided.

We decided to leave with both of us leaving at least half our dish.  This was very disappointing considering we had both been to Tony and Joe's in the past and Cabana's appears to be part of the same ownership.  Maybe that was their saving grace, that they could lose money since the sister restaurants were raking in the cash.  Ask me if I would go back to any restaurant and no matter how terrible it was, I would still push the good things about the place.  For Cabana's, a place I paid over $20 for a watered down drink and frozen seafood, is on the very short list of places I recommend not going to.


Road Side Sign
I live in the great State of Maryland.  This morning I took a different route than normal to get to a client.  I decided to use the Clara Barton Parkway into Georgetown and then over to just south of Dupont Circle where the client is.

In doing that, I found this sign on the side of the road.  This is not the actual sign I saw.  I don't think my fellow commuters would appreciate me stopping at 8 AM to take a picture.  Or would it be safe for me to continue driving and taking the picture at the same time.

So my question is, what is the reason for this to be up?  Is it an orphaned sign from the Inauguration?  Is there a major event in the District that I'm just oblivious to?  Or is it to protect the affluent Potomac, MD and Great Falls, VA residents to warn them against the vagrants of the District?  More to the point, why does anyone need to be told this in a city where many commuters park in garages that are not open to aimless wanderers looking for a quick fix of loot.
So with the economy in the crapper, I thought I'd take advantage of extended Restaurant Week, though in moderation, because you can only eat out so often.  Friday night, I met up with The Sports Freak and we headed over to il Mulino.

The restaurant, like many in the downtown area is set as the ground floor of an office building.  With modest exterior signage, we nearly passed by it.  Walking in, you could see the New York accents, as it reminded me of dining in the great Big Apple restaurants.  We were immediately seated, without menus and we found out that was intentional.  They wanted you to have a good experience before you ordered.  At the table, there was already marinated zucchini and some italian sausage slices.  The zucchini was a good starter.  I was unsure exactly what sausage was there.  It was reminiscent visually of pepperoni, but the taste was much stronger and smokier.  We were then served fresh bruschetta and a mussel.  The bread was nice and solid, and the accompanying tomato mix was excellent.  You could tell it was made that day, even maybe mere minutes before it was served.  The mussel was perfectly cooked.  All of this we were told, was complimentary and then we were provided the RW menu.

For appetizers, we both had the caprese salad.  While I think it was good, I've honestly had better.  For entrees, I had the Pappardelle with Sausage, and TSF had the Cannelloni.  The pappardelle was a good pasta dish with sausage shaped into small "meatballs".  I generally like pasta and sausage and this was good, but maybe a bit too meaty.  I think a little bit less sausage would have made this much better.  TSF is a freak about cannelloni.  In the years I've known him, he has sampled the cannelloni in any fine Italian restaurant we've been to.  He thought il Mulino's version was excellent.

For dessert, I had the Tiramisu.  TSF had the italian style cheesecake.  Unlike our experience just two days earlier, il Mulino has the dessert size right.  The tiramisu was excellent and TSF said his cheesecake was very good as well.  We thought we were done, but after they cleared our plates, we were served homemade grappa as a digestivo.  It was strong, but added an excellent finish to the meal.

If this is how il Mulino treats their customers on a regular basis, I'll be inclined to go back again.  They seem to know how to do Restaurant Week as all of these were found on their regular menu.

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