It’s important to stay creative and have multiple creative outlets.
Drop me some absurd haiku in the comments.
So, my 6 year old handed me a book that she wrote/illustrated at school. I didn’t realize they had that much free time. Apparently her teacher is an accomplice with the stapling of said book. It’s a conspiracy.
My daughter is also conspiring with her 4 year old brother to take up a collection to “buy” a dog. Someone must have dropped a $50 figure to them for dog adoption from a shelter, because that is their goal.
Missing from this expert plan is picking up poop from the yard.
So, you may remember my earlier blog post about Dormont Dogs, the Captain’s newsworthy actions, and the family. If not, you may want to read that one first. If so, you may want to check out this article from the Dormont-Brookline Patch:
It’s a great article, soiled by crude comments (as are many things found on the internet). I’ve already shown my support by simply being a patron, been “vocal” about my support in blog form, and via comments. I’d like to add some more thoughts here.
Captain committed some illegal acts. He was arrested, sentenced, and served his time. In the eyes of the law, he’s paid his due. It should be settled there, but some of you apparently don’t agree. You look for further condemnation for whatever reasons… a perceived higher moral standard, some internal guilt, jealousy if you felt you’ve ever been punished too harshly for something, or just plain anger.
Captain has put it all out there. He’s admitted guilt, apologized to his family & the community, and he’s ready to move on. You can take the high road, and let him move past this & give him room to prove that he’s worthy of forgiveness.
Mainly, my whole message here is about forgiveness. It’s a simple thing to think about, and to talk about…but it can be extremely difficult to ask for or to give. It doesn’t matter what the situation may be. It doesn’t matter if it’s serious or simple. It does no one any good to hold on to anger or any sort of grudge or agenda.
Most major religions teach forgiveness. I believe there’s a dual purpose outside of the divine. When you find it within yourself to drop the urge to pass judgement and forgive someone, a great weight is lifted off of you. You can physically feel it if your anger or resentment is strong enough. Try it. Let go of the negative. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Leave judgement to the authorities and ultimately whatever higher power you subscribe to.
As for this current situation, a comment by Mike Jones sums it up nicely:
We can’t condone what he did, but it does take a lot of guts to stand up and apologize to the community for embarrassing it. Hopefully he is able to give back to Dormont in a way that would atone for his crimes more than probation or jailtime ever could.
An enlightened sentiment, eloquently stated.
To end on a light note… Johnny Cash was all about forgiving and rehabilitation… all those prison concerts. Who are we to argue with Johnny Cash?
Holy cow. Has anyone seen the recent news stories about the owner of Dormont Dogs? I was walking into the house last night as the story came on the news. My wife was all like “listen to this!” pointing to the TV before we even said hello to each other. I watched the story in a sort of disbelief. Neither of us could believe what we were seeing/hearing.
Dormont Dogs has been a favorite place of ours ever since the first time we walked in the door years ago! Not too long ago, I finally wrote a review for this blog, although I have had older reviews on Urban Spoon for quite some time… and I’d tell anyone who would listen how they need to get over there ASAP to have some fun delicious hot dogs.
Without fail we have been treated well by all of their employees, including the Captain. Drinks are always refilled, food always brought right to us, we’re always asked how the food is, and always asked how we’re doing in general. These are kind people who have put their all into a business, and it shows that they genuinely want to not only serve a great product but they wanted you to enjoy it. They easily made you feel at home if dining in or out on the sidewalk.
Not too long ago, my mother-in-law & father-in-law were there for lunch one day, and when they asked for change to put in the meter, Captain ran out to the meter to pay for them.
By all accounts, Captain is a great guy… and this is just some momentary snap or lapse in judgement. Any articles that I’ve read including comments from customers and other Dormont/Brookline business owners have had nothing but good things to say about the man.
I’m not condoning his actions, or judging what happened. My heart goes out to the tellers at the banks, were I in their place I’d hope that I had an extra pair of boxer shorts nearby. I do have to praise the people in the South Side for their bravery… I certainly wouldn’t have jumped in to wrestle a bank-robber, fearing any kind of weapons or just a plain old whoopin’. I would think the safe thing to do is to let the police do their job. Then again, perhaps they would have used excessive force or a chase could have ensued where bystanders could have been put in danger. Perhaps it’s best that it played out the way it did.
I would urge you to continue to support Dormont Dogs when they reopen (hopefully tomorrow – Fri. Feb. 17th). Word on the street is that Rachel is taking over & reopening ASAP. I can’t imagine what she, their sons, & their employees are going through right now. They do not deserve any backlash, retaliation, or bad press. They are still wonderful people, and a great asset to Dormont.
In fact, right now… they could really use your support, all of our support. Show them that you’re glad they’re still up & running by going in this weekend and grabbing a meal. Buy a hot dog or two. Take a bunch of friends. Stop in if you’re a regular, or even if you’ve never been there. Please join us in supporting this business, and more importantly this family.
Check out the Dormont Dogs for Everyone group on Facebook, the official Dormont Dogs Facebook page, and Dormont Dogs on UrbanSpoon. Please, feel free to share your experiences at Dormont Dogs in the comments below, or even just post your favorite dog(s)!
Some good food allergy articles popping up lately, if you’re paying attention:
So yeah, stuff’s happening. I’m really just posting this to say… we’re out there.
So, the other night a ridiculous storm that lasted only a few minutes wreaked havoc all over Pittsburgh’s south hills. With the electric out and not much else to do, the fun thing for us to do when it’s light out & no longer raining is to go to the park with a camera. I got some interesting shots of the storm damage as darkness fell, and we ran into a bunch of people in the park from the surrounding area, and we were all quite talkative.
(Is it odd that we have a regular “routine” for when the power goes out?)
One young man was walking his dog, and I got a few pics of the dog that he said he’d like to see. No problem, right? I asked him to write down his email address.
In hindsight, I have no idea why I don’t think like it’s the 2010s and just put information like this in my phone that’s always in my pocket.
Why is that an issue? Well, this is what I got…
I’d certainly like to email the kid the photos… hopefully they have power by now too. I just really have no idea what that says… other than “@msn.com”. I think.
I’d appreciate any help/suggestions that you may have!
If you’re interested in taking a look at my photos, you can check them out on Photobucket:
Here’s a weird bug, a tree that just needed to sit for a minute, the dog, and a shot that isn’t storm damage, but I like it anyway:
I love wordplay, anagrams, and word origins. Sometimes, I imagine to myself that the subject of this post must be how some people see this sign:
At least, that’s maybe what I hope… that they have some learning disability, a reading comprehension problem, are from a foreign country, or are just flat-out illiterate. I’d rather believe any excuse over the probable truth; They just don’t care.
Before we get the animal lovers all riled up… I’d like to make it clear that I’m not arguing against dogs being allowed in the park. In fact, I think the paths in the park are a perfect place to walk your dog, and that animal lovers everywhere ought to band together to get this rule appealed.
Barring your (and my) personal opinion though, the rule still stands that our canine friends are prohibited from the park. I mean, that sign is pretty clear. There’s not really any way to misunderstand the message put forth, and there are plenty of them all around the park. (If you need to actually see it in writing from an authority, I have done you the favor of finding the Dormont Borough Code online, and you can see in Article I of Chapter 75 [The Animal Code] § 75-2, that animals are prohibited in the park areas.)
I’m not suggesting that the Dormont police patrol the park to hand out pointless citations, as they most certainly have better things to do with their time.
I mean, I get that we were brought up with Fred Rogers telling us all that we’re special and different. Somehow that may have translated to the belief that rules that you don’t like simply don’t apply to you. I also get that to a certain extent. I mean, it’s got to be some kind of inherent human nature to question authority. When you’re told do do something, you recoil a little bit with an internal “excuse me?” At least, I do. The reaction is stronger and longer if it’s something that you don’t want to do or something that you don’t agree with. Perhaps I have just listened to too much anarchy-themed punk rock over the years.
How this translates to the “laws don’t apply to me” mentality, I just don’t get it. This is just another take on my shopping cart rant, I guess. The main difference being that that only applied to general guidelines of polite and decent behavior, and this applies to an actual law… however trivial that law may be.
I’m not saying I’m better than you, or that I never break any laws. I had a problem a long time ago with collecting speeding tickets, and barring my recent Illinois interstate relapse, it’s common knowledge among my friends and family that I pretty much drive like someone’s grandma these days. We generally all go faster than 25 MPH in 25 MPH zones (unless we’re on a school campus, busy city intersection, or in front of a police station). Living in Pennsylvania, I remember the collective sigh of state-wide relief when the speed limit was raised from 55 MPH to 65 MPH. People didn’t like the law, so they wrote, campaigned, and things were changed.
Perhaps it’s a risk thing? If I’m speeding, I’m generally thinking the probability of being caught is low… so it’s rationalized as OK with me somehow. If you bring your dog to the park, are you thinking that there’s never really a police presence in the park, and no one’s going to turn you in so you’re safe?
Is it the classic “well, other people are doing it”? I can see this one working in someone’s head too. My wife & I walk in the park probably 5 days out of the week most weeks. On any given day, we see at least one dog in the park, sometimes as many as 5 or so at a time. If I were a dog owner in an urban area with access to a beautiful nearby park where other people are walking their dogs, I’m sure I’d bring my dog out too. Rationale being that all the other dogs are out, so it must be OK.
In fact, not to long ago, we helped a lady corral her unleashed little beagle mix. He was clearly not ready to go home, and she was in no condition to run after her dog. Standing and yelling “come here, Casey!” apparently doesn’t work all that well with small excitable furry friends. He was quite eager to romp over to us ready for more play. Unfortunately his unconditional offer of puppy playtime was betrayed by us turning him over to his owner.
When I started out, this was going to be another “what’s wrong with you people”* blog with a “what is wrong with a society that stops paying attention to the little rules” tone. I think the latter has taken precedent, with myself included.
I have just realized that I too would probably be an ass that ignores the sign, and brings my dog to the park until I got that 1st citation.
This leaves me still with the questions of what makes one think that the rules don’t apply to them? Is it a belief of being “above” the rules? No fear of penalty? The thought that if the next person is doing it, it’s OK for you? The general disagreement with the rule in the first place? Lack of a presented penalty? (ie., if the sign also said “$300 fine for violations,” would it deter you?) Is it an aggregate of all the smaller rationalizations?
We’re (arguably) a country founded on breaking the rules… but have we gotten to a point where fighting for a rule change is beneath us, or are we just too lazy to change it?
I’m guessing the NO DOGS IN PARK rule is in place mainly because people don’t pick up the pooch poop once it’s dropped, closely followed by a certain amount of fear of the angry biting dog. This rule was probably enacted because people weren’t controlling their animals in the first place out of laziness or an “I’m better than you” attitude. Wow. It’s just a vicious circle, isn’t it?
As someone who suffers from a severe food allergy, and only somewhat irrational fear of all things shellfish… I can imagine that someone coming to the park with a dog allergy and/or a fear of dogs might have a heightened sense of anger and betrayal at the appearance of a giant hairy dog walking right by the “NO DOGS IN PARK” sign.
Perhaps people ought to get together to create pet-friendly and pet-free sections of the park? Perhaps the rule could be changed to “pets only on leashes & pickup poop or it’s a $___ fine” rule?
I guess I’d just like to hear everyone’s thoughts on rules like this.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts…
(*Note: Comma omitted per the advice of my grammatical advisory panel, Dave and Kristin!)
A while ago, I blogged about stumbling on to an article listing 6 ways too cook a hot dog. We all know there’s more. Here’s a much better list. OK, maybe not better… but bigger. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions submissions here and on Facebook, I hope to include them all here.
Oh well, on to the list…
Well, those are all the methods I can think of right now. Well, other than going to Sheetz or Dormont Dogs… you should be able to get your hot dog fix by one of the methods described here. If you have another technique, please list it in the comments below!
If you need more info… check out the list of hot dog variations.
Also up for discussion… now that you know how to cook one, what do you want on your hot dog?
The other day, I wanted to cook a few hot dogs before the US vs. Canada hockey game to enjoy along with some nachos, cheese, & jalapeños. These are the things I like to get when I have the opportunity to get out to a Pens game, and thought they’d be fun (and cheaper) to enjoy at home.
My outdoor grill is currently out of commission until I get some new knobs for it that won’t melt, and I really didn’t want to fire it up to cook 3 hot dogs anyway.
So, I thought of how to cook the hot dogs… Microwave? Oven? Toaster Oven? Foreman grill?
So many decisions. So, I did some Googling and found an article about 6 different ways to cook a hot dog. There are certainly more than that. I never really put that much thought into cooking hot dogs. They’re not even one of my favorite foods. Usually they only come out when the grill is already being fired up for hamburgers or we have some sort of campfire or bonfire going.
I ended up cooking the dogs on the Foreman grill, not the best idea – even given the recommended cooking times. They blackened more than I’d like on the outside, & were not quite done on the inside.
I should have slapped them in the oven or toaster oven. The microwave is just “eh”, and boiling is just out of the question… although I might try boiling them in beer some time as the one article recommended.
I’d just like you to tell me , in the comments section below – how you cook your hot dogs. I may post a wrap-up and make a list much longer than six methods at some point if I get enough of a response… and may cook them a goofy way for the chili cook-off.
Heh. In yesterday’s pre-W(aL)D Wendy’s repost, it linked to a thread on PittsburghBeat.com which in turn linked to another old thread about Kmart which eventually came to a nice conclusion. These weren’t listed in my older pre-W(aL)D post… so I thought I’d share them individually.
I filled out the survey noted on their receipts, at www.kmartfeedback.com. Apparently someone actually reads ’em!
Quote: From: “SM3616, Store Manager” email@example.com
Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 6:12:41 AM
Subject: InquiryEric,I am the store manager of the below mentioned Kmart store. I would like to have an opportunity to speak with you directly. I do take pride in the store and would appreciate any and all feedback you can provide me to make your next shopping experience a pleasant one. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.JODIE M. STROTHER
Store Manager #3616
Greentree, PA 15220
________________________________Store Number: 3616
Customer Name: Eric XXXXXXX
Customer Phone: contact by email
Customer Phone (alternate): n/a
Customer Email Address: XXXXXXXXXXXXX@yahoo.com
Department: Customer Service Desk
Category Code: Customer Service Experience
Reason Code: General Frontend Service Issue
The electronics department looks like someone knocked everything off the shelves, then had a dog put it all back. Pretty difficult without opposable thumbs, eh? Yes. Yes indeed. And, the dog didn’t know the alphabet in order to arrange CD’s & DVD’s either.
The cashier did not say one word to me. ONE WORD. After waiting through the ridiculous line (no other registers were open, as I was being checked out another employee lazily sauntered over to her register), the woman rang me up did not say “hello”, “hi”, “good evening”, “credit or debt”, or even “Go #*%$ yourself!”. After all my items had gone through, and I paid. I even said “Thanks” and smiled… and got absolutely no indication that I had even been heard. My wife looked at me like we were in the Twilight Zone.
Holy cow, this is ridiculous. Sadly, it’s indicative of what happens pretty much every time I go to that store. There are some other great area Kmarts, like the one in Robinson, and even the one in Bridgeville… but this one is closest to my house… What the heck is wrong with everyone who works there? Don’t they take any sort of pride in the store? Don’t the managers see what’s going on, how the store looks, how the employees behave… and why don’t they care???
I just can’t even fathom being a cashier, and not greeting people… or even acknowledging their presence. And, I can’t fathom a shift, store, or regional manager that would a. hire someone like that (let alone dozens like that); and b. let that kind of behavior slide.
***I was unable to call the customer no phone number, I did sent notification.**
So, I wrote these…
I wrote: From: Eric _______ XXXXXXXXXXXXX@yahoo.com
To: “SM3616, Store Manager” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, December 1, 2008 9:10:52 AM
Subject: Re: InquiryHello Jodie,Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I’m not sure if there’s anything further to discuss. I pretty much expressed my issues below.I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to run a store… but it seems that your Kmart is slipping in comparison to stores like the aforementioned Robinson & Bridgeville locations.
Back when we were just dating, my wife used to work at the Kmart on Route 8 just outside of Shaler (not sure of the actual neighborhood there), and the managers were on them all the time to have multiple registers open, to have the shelves stocked neatly & orderly, and they always had a lot of registers open at the front.
I just see a general lack of “give a damn” in Parkway Center. Hopefully the trend is reversing though, as this e-mail has shown me that you do indeed care about your store.
Thank you for your time,
I wrote: From: Eric _______ XXXXXXXXXXXXX@yahoo.com
To: Customer Service Kmart.com email@example.com
Sent: Monday, December 1, 2008 10:07:05 AM
Subject: Re: Store Manager SM3616 / JODIE M. STROTHERHello,I’d like to just pass on the e-mail below, & show my appreciation for this store manager taking the time to contact me regarding my comments made via kmartfeedback.com as noted on my store receipt. Can someone let her superiors know that her time and effort did not go unnoticed?Hopefully she can pass the message of store pride on to the employees.
Hmm, I got a response…
JODIE M. STROTHER wrote: From: “SM3616, Store Manager” firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Eric _______ XXXXXXXXXXXXX@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 7:05:00 AM
Subject: RE: InquiryEric,Stressful is a word that doesn’t even describe what retail is nowadays. However, I do take pride in the store and at times it does get out of control. I appreciate feedback any way it comes. We strive to do our best with the personnel in the store. It does fall apart at times and we are working hard at correcting those problems.
Just keep us on your shopping list this year and let us try to show you we are looking at alternative ways to improve your shopping experience.Happy holidays and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
JODIE M. STROTHER
Store Manager #3616
Greentree, PA 15220
I found this to be a fairly positive response. I can’t imagine trying to manage a group of people who generally do not care.
This is the icing on the cake though…
AiXeLsyD13 wrote: Remember my Kmart rant? Bethany was in there not too long ago, walked by the electronics section and said it’s all neat & orderly…..and the cashier greeted her.