Thursday, April 21, 2016

Customer service and the Geeks!

My first experience with the Geek squad was not necessarily a pleasant one.  The initial contact was okay, but he was unable to help me and transferred me to the printer division.  I did not have a printing question.  I had a question concerning hooking our new Inspiron to an lcd projector.  The printer guy said I had to talk to parts, so he transferred me to some young lady who would NOT listen to what I was telling her.  Instead of listening, she seemed to have her own ideas of what I should need.  She was wrong.  Once I finally was able to convince her I really did know what I wanted, she informed me that you don't carry "that part" and I needed to contact Dell.  Mistake!  Obviously Dell outsources their customer service to Pakistan, and as such, while I was an English teacher, most of the time I had no idea what he was saying.  By now, I find it hard to believe you can fathom the depths of my frustration.  I contacted the geek squad again and was finally told (after an entertaining attempt to explain what I was trying to do) that you can't get there from here.  The only connection possible was with an hdmi cord.  That I have.  It is now 55 minutes after placing the original call.  Of course the projector to which I had to connect didn't have an hdmi while I ordered the new computer for the express purpose of today's presentation, we took the old one, connected it immediately, and were off and running.  Part of the presentation speaks of a hike in the wine country of Argentina.  We provided samples of a nice Malbec wine.  We raised our glasses, but as you may guess, it wasn't to outsourced customer service, it wasn't to Dell computers, it wasn't to the "parts girl" of the Geek squad, and as a result, it wasn't to Best Buy or their squad of geeks.  It was to patience, and I think you should appreciate that!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My very first time

They say you never forget it.  It was bound to happen sometime.  But one never knew when.  After all, it is simply a matter of urge.  Having grown up with Ms. Lucy spouting words of wisdom, "Wait for it, it will be better", I waited.  But the time comes when you simply can't wait any longer.  The hormones conspire with the brain stem.  Do it now.  Do it now.  Do it now.  It will feel good.  But I had the dog with me.  What to do.  Tie him outside.  Bring him in.  Since I wasn't sure he would be safe outside, I opted for B.
The hormones and brain stem were right.  It was wonderful.  What a relief.  But I can honestly tell you, going to the bathroom for the first time in a porta-potty with a moose of a dog taking up the entire floor space did not make the experience easy!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Low Carb does NOT have to be boring

Okay.  At times, finding low-carb alternatives can be a pain in the derriere!  Most are acceptable, but nothing about which to write home.  Or for that matter, about which to blog.  (June LaRose, there are times when I wish you had NEVER mentioned ending sentences with a preposition!)  Every rule deserves an exception.  Tonight's casserole was exactly that.  The combination of taste and textures was exceptional.  Coupled with a double cheese pepperoni nacho (fun and easy!) and a glass of boxed red amazing dining experience to be enjoyed in front of the Master's (oh wait, the channel just changed and it's the Twins...oh wait, it's the Master's...the Twins...have you figured out we're dining in Cath's lair and one of the two of us does NOT have control of the remote?)  I don't care to know the caloric intake of this meal.  I'll settle for low carb and claim exemption!  And here's the kicker--even if you are not low carbing, I think you would enjoy this immensely.  Give it a try and let me know. 

1 small head cauliflower flowerettes, cooked until tender in chicken broth
4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp 
3-4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 pound Jimmy Dean pork sausage
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 

1 small can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon pepper 

Separate cauliflower into flowerettes.  Cook in a small amount of boiling chicken stock until tender.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Cook bacon and place in same large bowl.  Cook seasoned chicken pieces in bacon grease until done.  Remove and place in bowl with bacon. Drain liquid from pan. Cook pork sausage in same pan.  Remove and place in afore-mentioned bowl.  (By now you should figure out you need a BIG bowl.  Hit the dollar store before you start cooking!)  Saute the celery, onion, and fresh mushrooms in same pan.  Pour into bowl.  Add the shroom stems and pieces.  Soften cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add the sour cream and the cheddar cheese. Pour over bowl ingredients and stir until incorporated.  Turn into a greased 9X13 pan, smoothing the top.  Cover and let sit until ready to bake.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove cover and bake for 40 - 50 minutes.  Let set for 5 minutes, cut into 8 pieces, and enjoy (especially with the glass of boxed red wine!)

I believe food can be love.  And you are! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Downtown Friday Night

There are things you need to know in advance:

  • This blog is dedicated to the Watertown, SD habitues!  If that's not you, come visit!
  • I love the Goss Opera House.  The whole concept of the building appeals to me.  We worked the Bodies when they were here.  We worked King Tut when he visited.  We love to listen to the symphony in the theatre.  It’s just a special place for us. 
  • I love to eat (surprise!).  The concept of fine dining with ambience appeals to me.

That being said, I had been disappointed of late with the direction the Goss had gone.  We celebrated St. Patrick’s day with the Celtic music concert and dinner before.  The music was delightful.  The dinner?  Not so much!  Service was SLOOOOOOOOOOW.  And when the food came, it was less than stellar. 
I used to cook in a place similar to this.  I know neither of these problems is unavoidable.  I also know that unless one explains one’s lack of contentment, things will not change.  I wrote to the new management.  I let them know they had problems.  The next day, I got a phone call.  They were changing the menu.  They were hiring a chef.  They were hiring new wait staff.  Would we come back as their guests and see if they could do better?
We did!
They did!!!! 
We started with the crab cakes.  I highly recommend them.  Share  them—there are three and they could be a meal.
Cath had the Jambalaya (Okay, she skipped the pasta and had it on Romaine!  God bless Emily, our waitress.  She didn’t even flinch!) I had the rib-eye with the smoked Gouda scalloped potatoes.  Cath suggested they make her “salad” a menu item.  She was impressed.  My steak was cooked perfectly.  It could have used a touch of butter on top, but was tasty.  But the potatoes?  Amazing!  And of course, we had to have dessert.  For Cath, bananas Foster, (as directed!) flamed at the table.  For me, the turtle cheesecake.  When we waddled out, we were happy!
As we ate, there was live music playing in the bar—far enough away to not be intrusive, but loud enough to enjoy an amazing rendition of Alleluia and sing along under my breath.  The bar has a new menu as well, and it looked appealing.  Next time, we’ll give that a try!
It is so exciting to us to see downtown coming alive!!  We’ve tried the new brewing company and were impressed.  We’ve tried Harry’s and were impressed.  And now the Goss as a GREAT option?  Wow!  Now, if there were only a positive correlation between my belt size increasing and my wallet decreasing!  Give downtown a try, and as Julia would say, Bon App├ętit!