Tag Archives: shellfish allergy

Wait. What? (The Bob Evans saga continues.)

I never emailed these names.  Seriously.  Someone must have sent Jon the text of my blog, or a link to my blog.  My original email contained the names which I then changed to something I thought would be ridiculous and obvious, so I didn’t accidentally call out another real employee.

Am I being trolled?

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:54 PM, “0503, BER” <Unit_503@bobevans.com> wrote:


                I am following up on a bad review that we had charge to our store.  I was hoping to get some more information, as we believed our location received this review in error.  We don’t have servers by either name mentioned in the review (Maleficient and Lincoln), and would like to find out which store you were actually at.  Then we can send this along to them, so that they can address these issues.  Thank you for your time.

Jon Herrmann
General Manager
Bob Evans #503
Bridgeville, PA
(412) 257-1369

Shenanigans. ☘

I wrote back.  Nothing interesting besides pointing out that I never sent those names in an email.

I also got an email from LeAnn confirming our Dormont address, so I passed along the new one.  I wonder if I’ll get a T-shirt?

If it’s gift certificates, does anyone know of a charity that accepts them or of a family in need?

Maybe they’re sending someone to dispatch of me.  Maybe I should ask King’s to weigh in?

This still makes me laugh uncontrollably:


Smiling & coloring rule.

I did get a really insightful comment on the last post though. Doesn’t seem like it’s gone down that way so far.


All we wanted were some crayons.

So, this past Saturday night we had an interesting experience at the local Bob Evans.  I have blogged about one of our experiences with an angry server there before, but haven’t touched upon the 3 or 4 other times that “the kitchen held up the order” while she talked to other customers at great length about slot machines at the Meadows, or the time that she rolled her eyes at me while the wife and I were discussing the seasonal shrimp on the menu in regards to where it was cooked and my allergy.  This time we were most likely doubly annoying as we had two small children with us.  The saga begins…

From: Eric Carroll <me@my.email.addre.ss>
To: Leann D. Purdy, Nathaniel A. Riggs, BE-mail

Hello Leann and Nate,

I hope this message finds you well, and that you’re both still with the Bob Evans team!  You may remember that I had contacted you in the past about the #jelly3x rule and a bad experience at the Bob Evans in Bridgeville Pennsylvania, and blogged about that alongside your enthusiastic response, and even more thorough follow-up.

We have since had a few other experiences with that waitress, including one where she rolled her eyes at me and said “well, you don’t have to order it” when I was discussing the shrimp stir-fry available seasonally.  Clearly, she has absolutely no grasp of cross-contamination.  The running theme with her seems to be that the kitchen is always late & to blame with any service issues.

Being that we have generally excellent food & service at the Bridgeville location, and it’s now even closer to home since we have moved to Bridgeville, we have gone in to dine and simply requested with the host or hostess to not be seated in her section.

Sadly this weekend, we didn’t spot her upon our arrival and did not inform the hostess of our preference.  We were quickly welcomed by the hostess, seated in her section and decided to go with it as it had been a while since we had Maleficent as our server.

Nowadays, we have a 2½ year old and a 7 month old in tow.  Bob Evans is a great place to get a full meal for a family without breaking the bank, yet another notch in the proverbial “pro’s” column.  (I mean, have you spent the same amount of money at Panera or Steak n’ Shake? It’s not even half of the food.  Maybe local heroes Eat’n Park can almost compete.)

Maleficent quickly came to the table and took our drink orders.  Our eldest ordered apple juice, I asked for an iced tea, and the wife went for water.  Our drinks were brought quickly and our waitress shot a nasty look to the table beside us as the hostess sat another family with 3 older children as she set our drinks down.  She came back a bit later to take our food order and my wife politely asked for straws which we didn’t get with our drinks and some crayons that weren’t included with our kid’s meal place-mat menu.

Maleficent Immediately huffed as she slammed down the straws and remarked that she didn’t have time to get crayons because she just had two other tables seated in her section.  We were only wanting crayons because it had taken her a while to come back and take our food order, well before anyone else had been seated in our section.

I forget exactly what the exchange was that followed.  I know my wife had mentioned that we had had several problems in the past with her service. I was pretty much shocked into jaw-agape silence at that point.  My wife ended with standing up to go speak to the manager, and Maleficent yelled (yes, yelled) “Lincoln, take tables 54 and 56!” or something to that effect.

After my wife came back from a conversation with the manager, one of the aforementioned customers beside us said “Wow. I can’t believe she told you no on the crayons.”  We gave the super-condensed version of our history with Maleficent as they continued in their wide-eyed disbelief.

Maleficent continued to serve that family, but we and another nearby table had been reassigned to a young man named Lincoln (Linkin?), on either Maleficent or the manager’s authority.  I wasn’t present for my wife’s conversation with the manager, but it was apparently full of knowing nods and angry head-shakes as she regaled the manager with tales of our past adventures with Maleficent.  I do know that my wife apparently characterized me as a madman about to lose all patience to bolster her point.  Perhaps that’s why the manager never came to the table to offer either an apology or an explanation.

Now, reading back on this, the story so far does sound like we are being absolutely ridiculous over the exclusion of two crayons for the amusement of our child who’s behavior, rearing, and amusement are wholly our responsibility.  Do you also see how the past history and an apparently poor attitude towards customers and a potential tip factor into this moment?  It must have been some serious shenanigans in order for the next table to notice.

The lesson I have learned is that we will keep crayons and a coloring book in our family vehicle for just such a purpose.  It is not Bob Evans’ responsibility to develop my child’s creativity and fine motor skills, nor to provide a means to pacifying the insatiable need for constant activity or the lack of patience to wait for a delicious prepared meal.  Despite evidence to the contrary, we were indeed prepared parents with our own plastic mess-prevention and environment-sterilizing place-mat for our son.  He can’t color yet, but he can shovel tiny bits of food into his mouth at a rate destined to require another kid’s meal sooner rather than later.

This leads us to Lincoln (Linkin?). Lincoln was certainly on top of his game after being saddled with two more tables in addition to his already presumably busy/full section.  He came through and delighted our daughter with a two-pack of pink and purple crayons. Lincoln took our order with a smile, brought the food out quickly with no conspiratorial kitchen issues, and was just all-around pleasant.  We even had to ask for a replacement fork as we had somehow lost one.  It was brought out amid a flurry of what I presume to be normal Saturday restaurant activity with no hesitation, and rather quickly.  We even got jelly on one request.

After our meal, we thanked him for being such an incredible server, and I remarked that I was glad he was so understanding because I was nervous about being labeled as some sort of problem after requesting a new server.  He indicated that it was not a surprise, happens regularly, and that he didn’t come to us with any preconceived notions.  He also added that people inexplicably (my words, not his) come in and request to be seated in Maleficent’s section and Maleficent’s section only.

We will request Lincoln’s section in the future, and barring that option we’ll just request not be seated in Maleficent’s section.  I can play that game.  We cleaned up as best we could from our inevitable child-induced mess, left close to a 50% tip, and found the errant fork before we left.  The table directly beside us (I assume the other table taken by Lincoln at the same time we were handed over) also rather audibly and publicly thanked Lincoln for being such a great server.  I’m not sure if they also had issues that we weren’t aware of?  I told the cashier how happy we were with our service upon checkout.

I don’t want to pick on a server.  I do want to illustrate the contrast between what I see as poor service as it relates to incredible service and how it didn’t seem to be any more difficult than you make it.  I do hope Lincoln is rewarded for a job well done and his overall attitude.  I’m sure it reflects in his work effort and in his gratuities.  I would hope that you can again pass this email along to all of the appropriate parties.  Area coaches and the store management, correct?  I really feel like we were nothing but polite and reasonable up until we were denied crayons, and we remained polite and reasonable immediately after that whole exchange.  That seems like an absolutely insane sentence for one adult to write to another.  Do I have a valid point, or am I just super way out of line here?

I would just drop the entire issue and move on, but Bob Evans is one of the few places that I can safely get a meal with my shellfish allergy, I can comfortably order anything on the menu (outside of the seasonal Lent-deathfish), it’s very close by, and I feel like we really get great value for a dollar when we dine at your establishment.

Last time you sent out some gift certificates.  Please save them this time.  I don’t want free food, I just want a stress-free dining experience.  If you must send gift certificates, can you direct them to a Pittsburgh charity that can give them to people who do perhaps need a free meal?  Thankfully I can put food on the table for my family while many others struggle to do so.  We need to get our butts out on a kids-eat-free promotional night if we want a free meal.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things, my complaints are trivial.  I realize that some would enjoy any meal regardless of the way in which it was delivered.  What if though, this had been that meal for someone?  What if this was one night out that they looked forward to and it was met with the kind of service that we regularly receive from one apparently disgruntled waitress?  Is this how Bob Evans wants to be perceived?

I plan to blog this adventure also.  I do less of that these days, but this seemed to be appropriately entertaining.  Of course, the names will be omitted or changed.

I also look forward to your response and insight.  Thank you once again for your time and assistance!

Just crayons?




I can’t wait for a response.  Sadly, I see from the Yahoo! mailer daemon that Nate is no longer with Bob Evans.  I think I knew he outgrew them a while back.  I may try to ping it out to a few more people.  I have contacted others at Bob Evans in the past, during my pre-Wordpress days.  I even had someone send me a “safe” list of where things were cooked and what would be OK for me to eat while they had shellfish on the menu.  Overall they have stellar corporate customer service, but we just have this continual issue with a crazy server who reminds me of the mailman in the movie Funny Farm.

Bob Evans - Tuesday Night is Family Night

Tuesday Night is Family Night

New BBQ Joints?

Pittsbugh BBQ Co. - Brisket Sandwich

Good BBQ helps to grow healthy sideburns.

Well, you probably know I like barbecue.  I’m a big fan, and I’m always willing to try out new places.  Well, new places that don’t have shrimp or other deathfish on the menu.  I’ve scoped out the web sites three places I haven’t tried… perhaps they’re rather new?  Can anyone tell me if they’ve been to any of these places & what they think?  (Or if they have any stuff on site that’s not listed on the online menu?)

Perhaps, like movie nights, I can organize a Pittsburgh (& surrounding area) BBQ tour?  Would anyone be interested?

I’d like to check out the following BBQ restaurants…

Of course we’d have to hit my favorites… Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ, Pittsburgh Barbecue Co., & Clem’s Cafe!

Were else are the deathfish-free BBQ joints in in & around the ‘Burgh?

A wing tour has been suggested, but 95% of the places that fry wings also fry deathfish, so I’ll stick with Gooski’s.

Goofy Search Terms

Lots of people looking, no one commenting.

Amusing Search Terms
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Not sure if I have that here… Try their website?
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Boy did that ad get everyone’s panties in a bunch!
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Check out Food Allergy Fun for the best food allergy cartoons!
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You like stats, don’t you?  I doubt my graph was much help.  Are you using this for a report for your schoolwork?
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I’d like a consumer push, but legislation is nice too.
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I hope whoever wanted to “promote” anaphylaxis was just typing wrong.
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Is someone at Kennywood saying they’re allergic to stupid people, or complaining about “stupid” paying customers with allergies?
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Amish on Amish crime? Way to smash those non-violence stereotypes.
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Congratulations!  You took the first step to not having a stupid band name, or one that already exists.  What did you eventually settle on?
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Me either.  They’re creepy.
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Uncle John’s, hands (pants?) down.  They’re better written, better quality, and more informative & entertaining in general.
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Did you find some good ones?
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Hand washing is serious business. Glad to see so many are interested.  Make sure your instructions are possible… and that the employees aren’t mandated to wash your hands.
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I have no idea what these would have linked to…
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This could be the costumes, the movie batmen, the comics, the logo… be more specific?Batman Evolution
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91 of you searched for the Batman guitar in some way.  Why did only 1 of you take the time to comment?  Tell me about yours!  (Check the Facebook page out too!)  Know anything about the manufacturer or where they’re purchased?
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Looking for this?

Batman - Mic Check

Batman – Mic Check

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Apparently this is a rampant problem that no one will comment on.  Perhaps I need to explore it further?
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The more I think about it, Century Cleaners can eat a bag of dicks.  I’m just sayin’.
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Bronco Jalapeño demands justice They have tried to silence me with free Bronco Berry Sauce.  I will share it with the people.
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What is an Arby’s Finger?  The glove guy, or something that should be in the Urban Dictionary?  (Oh crap, it’s a news story…)
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I asked, they didn’t seem to find it amusing in their answer.
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Try Sheetz.com?
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Maybe Taco Bell wanted to reply to my email, but were so high they just forgot?
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I heard Vincent’s in Forest Hills just closed.
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I didn’t even write it.  Well, I did for the West Liberty one.
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The Mythfits

The Mythfits

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What is wrong with Dr. Chud?
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To all you haters: Buttermilk rules!
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Turner’s is the best.  There’s only 1 tea in Pittsburgh, dig?
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Now I’m hungry.
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I need to finish my mini-twin mod.
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If you have a FlipOut, let me know!  Share yours. Leave comments!
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I’m the last guy you wanna learn from.
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Do you have a New York Pro too?  Know anything about them? Leave comments!
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I like the weird ones.
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All of my guitars & the wife's ukulele

Guitar problem? What problem?

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acoustic guitar pick guard decors 2
green custom archtop 2
guitar google 1
guitar noize 3
guitar wood recycling 2
headstock shape by brand 3
solid guitar 2
survival paint guitar 2
vote alabama’s best guitarist 1
funny math equation 1
funny maths equations 1
funny smartass comments (I’d hope there are lots here.) 2
funny waitress comic 2
little billy writes serial killers 1
mustafi donotevenreply 1
we’d like to thank bobby for coming out tonight television 1
the hard maze and the answer 3
pizza maze 9
pizza maze for kids 1
pizza mazes 2
pizza mazes for kids 2
hard maze solutions 2
yinz maze 3
a maze 2
big mazes and more 1
blow fish maze as a body 1
crazy maze 4
curvilinear maze 1
food mazes 2
fun mazes 2
hard mazes for kids to do 2
how to draw a maze 1
insane maze 1
knot maze 2
maze 20
maze “darth vader” pdf 1
maze pdf 2
maze riddle 3
mazes 15
mazes customer service 2
mazes for kids 5
sidewinder maze 1
start to finish games drawing 3
this.make maze begin end 2
Send me your solutions! world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
8 mile jimmy jacket 3
airheads football helmet filled (…with cottage cheese.) 1
airheads prs guitar 1
baby secret of the lost legend 3
baby the secret of the lost legend 2
mokèlé-mbèmbé 11
back to the future 1.21 gigawatts 2
back to the future movie screenshots 4
back to the future movie screenshots 4
cinemark rain check 2
crocodile dundee shaving 1
detroit rock city trip 2
flight of the navigator slash 1
goonies monster 1
gremlins scenes 1
grindhouse poster 1
harry and the hendersons movie 2
x never ever marks the spot 2
funny monster squad 1
neverending story cartoon 1
neverending story rock monster 2
police academy icon 2
police academy logo 5
predator animated gif 2
predator laserdisc 3
shaun of the dead meme 2
khna and kirk space seed 1
spock’s domination (…of who/what?) 2
star trek logo hd gif 1
wrath of khan 2
joshua war games 3
phreaking 4
willow of good 3
zorro the complete first son 2
brooksfilms limited products 1
hacking movies 2
movies from my childhood 2
best rock and roll movies 4
best rock n roll films 1
best rock n roll movies 5
best rock roll movies 1
good movies about rock n roll 1
rock n roll movies 2012 1
top rock n roll movies 1
I dig me some movies.
3po music icon 3
ackbar it’s a mouse trap tee shirt 3
ackbar snackbar 2
admiral ackbar jump to lightspeed scene 1
bob fett cartoon blu 1
boba fett cartoon poster 2
boba fett riding dragon 1
boba fett star wars blu ray art 2
cartoon on star wars blu ray 1
dark lord of the 5th day 2
darth vader light saber room light 2
darth vader vs bane 2
death star cheese ball 3
ewok meme 2
family guy star wars chronological order 1
family guy star wars movies in order 1
funny anakin pictures 1
george lucas animated musical 1
han solo saying dont get your panties in a knot 1
origami ewok 2
phantom menace robot factory 1
star wars blu ray easter eggs 1
star wars cheese ball 2
star wars christmas special easter egg 2
star wars meme 2
star wars movie night 2
star wars movie order 7
star wars seat covers 2
star wars themed r2 alcoholic drinks 2
warwick davis star wars phantom menace 4
warwick davis yoda 2
where are the droids takei 3
Do I blog about Star Wars a lot?
ann beretta“+”blogspot.com” 2
“ann beretta”+”blogspot.com”+”fallen” 1
lesbian militants stereotype 1
rock concert funny 2
devil makes three 2
the devil makes three setlist pittsburgh 1
flogging molly may 10 2012 set list pittsburg pa 1
flogging molly setlist stage ae 2
Did you read my Flogging Molly / Devil Makes Three / Brothers of Brazil show review?
axl rose in concert 1
goddamn gallows nazi? (I hope not.) 2
go-go-rays “go go rays” 1
rancid boston 2012 1
the real mckenzies (Soon!) 2
best bass guitar intro song 1
best guitar intros 2
best guitar intros of all time 1
best guitar rock intro 1
best rock guitar intros 3
best rock intros of all time 5
great rock intros 1
greatest guitar intros 3
greatest guitar intros of all time 1
greatest rock intros all time 2
list top guitar intros of all time 1
rock song with sweet guitar intro 1
songs with great guitar intros 1
top 10 songs 2012 guitar intro 1
who came up with crazy train riff 1
headbangin 2
Why not tell me what you think of my list?
snuff blah zsa mc bong bing 1
snuff lee erinmez 1
spinal tap cover 1
functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism 3
functionless-art tolerated-vandalism 1
i can’t believe katrina i was looking for my hate lyrics type o negative 1
josh silver 2
peter steel 1
peter steele 4
peter steele recent 5
type o negative? 1
wat tyler f__k pump mp3 1
1-800-553-2324 1
705 256 2357 johnny cash 1
You gonna call those numbers?
lyrics clarks toyota commercial 1
the clarks toyota commercial 3
You forgot “sucks”
dethlehem circle of death 1
beechview police blotter 2
dormont police blotter april 18 1
super moon party dormont 2
ernie tattoos 1
pittsburgh post gazette and ernie and the berts 2
Were we in the paper?
hollywood theaters 1
size of hollywood theatre screen dormont 2
kdka compares giant eagle and walmart 1
kuhns banksville 2
kuhns banksville rd customer accident 2
kuhns banksville road customer dies 1
kuhns grocers union 1
kuhn’s market banksville accident 1
kuhns mcknight 3
Did someone die in an accident at Kunh’s?
“parkway center mall” 1
Is built on top of a garbage dump, & pretty much still is one.
mark madden sally wiggin 1
sally sarah wiggin pittsburgh 1
Sally Wiggin rules.
stage ae pittsburgh not allow 1
Not allow what?  Not allow who?
green man’s tunnel guy 2
the tunnel monster 3
tunnel monster 2
It exists.
senator wayne fontana (Reads his mail.) 2
pgh photos zappa 1
pittsburgh pirates logo history 2
driving horn 2
green arrow traffic 3
linkin park hybrid theory vector 1
me first and the gimme gimmes guitars 2
angus young meme 2
@shqiptar.eu 1
dr. peter ahmed 2
chicken caesar salad scam 1
salade chicken caesar mcdo 2
google giveaway team 3
google giveaway team 13th anniversary 2
lori sandra baker 5
lori sandra scam 2
Lori Sandra is still trying to scam people? does not like recipient. meaning 1
9999 short code not working on sprint 1
bcode sms 1
code1051 short cut text how do u fix it 1
how to unblock shortcode texting on iphone 1
message failed. shortcode may have expired 1
msg 1051 1
shortcode texting for sprint cost 1
sprint code 9999 don’t work 1
sprint google sms error 1051 not working 2
sprint message 1051 4
sprint short code texting 1
sprint short codes 2
sprint unblock short code texting 1
what is wrong if free sprint 9999 doesnt work 1
when i try to text cha cha it says unable to send due to invalid short code 1
Sprint hates you (and me).
link: foodallergybuzz.com 1
briandrusky@druskyentertainment.com 4
axvault.com 2
help customerservice.kmart.com 3
help@customerservice.kmart.com 9
help@customerservice.kmart.com . 1
help@customerservice.kmart.com. 1
http://www.help@customerservice.kmart.com 1
http://www.kmartfeedback.com 3
larry 2510 @gmail.com 2
ella.jones@us.mcd.com 12
mcdonalds.customercare@us.mcd.com 3
mcnews@ch.mcd.com 2
pit.03423@us.stores.mcd.com 2
aliciak@pizzamarketplace.com 1
hlpdesk@my quiznos.com 2
http://www.helpdesk@quiznos.com 1
googlegiveawayteam.asia@shqiptar.eu 2
gomez_p@subway.com 1
davidicus 39@gmail.com 2
jerry lunar lunar@yahoo.co.id 1
wwwjohn maherpa 2
Here is the root of the problem as to why people contact me thinking I’m McDonald’s or Kmart or anyone else.  They don’t know the difference between url and an email or an address bar & a search engine apparently.
babysitter dominationkid 1
english dominatrix wanker teaser 1
japanese sex and domination 1
knickers domination 1
man woman going to bathroom 4
orgasm torture in satan`s rape clinic 2004 bluray 1
poop taco 2
porn yinz maze 2
shirtless man in a kilt 2
spanish mistress domination 1
troubled teenagers teens living in 6556 clover valley road (You are a creeper of the highest order.) 1
vomiting domination 1
young chubby boy 1
fart math 8
What the hell is wrong with you people?  How in the hell did any of these land you here?
stuffed squirrel for sale 3
stuffed squirrel pictures 3
taxidermied squirrel 1
You need to visit Hoke·E·Geez!

Stuffed Squirrel on display (& for sale!) at Hoke·E·Geez (Bedford, PA)

“Help! I’m not dead! Some redneck just stapled my nuts to this driftwood!”

babysitter monster in bathroom 2
boots a clous skin hard 1
dine and ditch 2
dingleberry 2
fart canal 2
fart in math 2
gary busey tranny 2
girl liking wheelchair ride 1
kids monster bathroom wash 1
panty dropper sticker 2
proud rider of the short bus 2
reindeer playing ukulele 2
aixelsyd13 mcdonald’s 1
waldo lunar 9
world lunar domination 2
Someone’s looking for me! Did you find me? Where did you hear of me?
“joel pavuk” (Try asking The Bloody Seamen or The Botched.) 3
catherine paddock 1
cherelle flowers 2
chris thornborrow 2
frank l. visco 1
leroy mcdowell iv 2
linda cumer pittsburgh 2
michelle crouch 1
scott kausky mcdonald 1
travis stevens 2
So, are you looking for yourselves… or is someone looking for you?
13 levels of hell 1
4 colour pen 1
c64 logo 1
cartoon vhs tumblr 1
celtic cross scottish 1
cobra hood dragon fantasy 1
covelli enterprises wiki 1
crazy scientist electric 1
django’s bloodhound 1966 1
do you call it beanie or beanie hat 1
four colour pen 1
foxtrot comic strips andy cold 2
funny battle gear 1
ghetto blaster goofy t-shirt 1
giant bbq grate 2
girl riding short bus 1
graph of excedrin 3
graph of responses 1
graphs of food in civil war 1
happy birthday toy accordion 1
happy rock radio caroline 259 playlist 1
hare krishna vs moonies 1
how to play happy birthday on toy accordion 2
i just really want to kiss you right now (What?) 2
icecreamhucklebucks (I know the Legendary Hucklebucks…) 1
if you’re going through hell keep going poster 1
i’m sorry i annoyed you with my friendship 1
incessant 6
invincible meme 3
irish celtic cross back patch 1
irish cross 2
jelly carrier 1
letter of advertisement 2
lunar 2
lunar estate (Looking to buy? I’ll sell you some…) 2
mad scientist electrical 2
mad scientist electricity 1
modal video of paltry farms 2
moose logos 1
no entry sign vector 2
panira ng mood quotes tumblr 1
pick up after your dog sign vector 3
pro bendig wii 3
randi accessoires artikel 2833 artikel 2834 1
reunion phreaker 2
rocky road lift yj 2
shalom in 5 s wabash 2
sharpie market share graphs 2
short story a dog evolved and used man to throw sticks for him 2
stocking cap from moon 1
stupid employees 2
thank you for your time and clarifying on my queries 1
the draw-well ghost 2
the people upstairs (are noisy.) 3
this is crazy meme 1
title13, u.s.code, sections 141 and 193 1
vector graphics tv commercial for a gym 2
ya hand sign 2
Unknown search terms 257

See what I mean?

♡ Happy Birthday Bethany! ♡

Generally I blog about goofy stuff except for food allergies, and not much here takes a serious tone.  If you’re reading this, I assume you already know that.  A bunch has been going on with life lately, we’ve been through a whirlwind of ups & downs as things get increasingly hectic.  I’ll spare you the details as my good friends & family probably already know all the stuff we have going on anyway.  At any rate, that’s not the focus of this blog any way… it’s just the spark behind it.

The focus of this one is my wife, Bethany.  Her Birthday is today, and with it approaching while we have many other things going on… I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle.  I decided to make note and wish her a happy birthday here.  (Someone might have to tell her about this… I don’t think she reads it much because she hears most of my ranting live without the added benefit of a filter.)

Archery Camp 1997We’ve known each other for many many years and originally there was not even a remote spark of interest.  We have a wide age gap, and I was a counselor when she was a camper at our church camp, Living Waters.  I’m sure we talked, joked, and laughed… I even helped instruct her in Archery.  Sadly for the reader, nothing creepy was going on.

Many years later we went to dinner at Ritter’s as old friends catching up (thanks to AIM of all things), and something sparked there.  We generally don’t have much in common.  We have wildly different personalities.  We go together perfectly.

Beans N' CheeseI’m glad I have found my other half.  We like to laugh, and goof around with each other.  We meet on common ground where things are important.  Neither of us sleeps well when the other isn’t in the bed.  We do enjoy cooking together, entertaining, road trips, Flogging Molly, the RamonesJohnny Cash, & Willie Nelson.  I got her quoting Star Wars, she has me inexplicably interested in Glee.  We both like antiques, have an appreciation for the history of things.

We both have large & close extended families.  We all fit in all around.  That’s important to both of us.  We’re both still actively involved with camp, it’s a very special place to us on many levels any more.  We learn more about each other & ourselves with each passing year.

Bethany has brought out my sensitive side and I have given her a healthy dose of geekery & anarchy.  I’m proud of her for going to school and advancing her career.  I’m in awe of how she works with her special needs campers during recreation camp in the summer.  It takes incredible amounts of patience and mental strength.

She supports my crazy punk rock band, guitar acquisition habit, Batman & Star Wars obsessions, and puts up with lots of the History Channel and Discovery Channel.  She looks out for me with my crazy shellfish allergy, and takes care of me whenever I’m not feeling well or even if I’m just having a bad day.  She has gotten over rolling her eyes at my skull coffee mug.

So to Bethany, my wife & best friend, I want to say Happy Birthday!  I also want to tell you how much I love you and how glad I am that we are who we are.  I am a better man for for knowing & marrying you.  You are my favorite, and I’m glad we found each other.


Qdoba, I ❤ YOU.

This is why Qdoba is awesome. I’m just sayin’.

Instead of annoying the fish and shellfish-allergic masses* by adding deathfish to your menu where it wasn’t previously… they have decided to focus on selling something that they already have on the menu that also will not send you to eternal damnation.

I get the not eating meat thing, and giving things up… and it’s cool that you observe that and don’t cave in the face of rumors that the whole thing was set up by a corrupt pope taking money from fishermen in exchange for boosting their sales.

Let’s make Lent about reflection through sacrifice… not about where you can get a good deal on anaphylaxis-enducing sea bugs.

This was in my inbox today…

From: Qdoba Mexican Grill
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Subject: Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special-$1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

Qdoba Pittsburgh | Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special - $1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

Qdoba Pittsburgh | Ash Wednesday and Friday Lenten Special - $1 Off Vegetarian Entrees

*me, and about 2 other people that I have found on the internet with a fish and/or shellfish allergy.

My Food Allergy Responses Graph

Inspired by the Food Allergy Fun graph of responses that Tiffany gets when she tells people her child has a food allergy, I made my own graph.  These are the typical responses that I, as an adult, get when I tell people about my shellfish allergy & try to give a brief description of the dangers of cross-contamination.

Typical Responses When I Explain my Food Allergy & Cross Contamination:

This is what I hear all the time.

Click the graph above for the full-sized image.

This won’t REALLY kill you, will it? Let’s see…

Truth.  Adults too.  Just sayin’.

...but they didn't warn us about the rednecks....

Let′s sprinkle some on you to see what happens…

The link points to this article: 8 News Now | Children with food allergies often face skepticism

Check out some of my favorite quotes…

When Bela Mehta’s toddler son was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy, she carefully explained to her parents and in-laws that ingesting even the tiniest amount of peanut could cause a life-threatening reaction.

Yet when the grandparents came over to babysit, Mehta would come home to find that they’d brought over desserts that contained peanuts, or that they were continuing to make dishes containing peanuts using her blender.

“I said, ‘If it was labeled poison, or cyanide, would you still bring it here?” said Mehta, a mother of two who lives in Chicago. “That’s how dangerous it is to him.”

What planet are these people from?  Seriously.

Nearly 6 million U.S. children — or about one in 12 kids — are allergic to at least one food, with peanuts, milk and shellfish topping the list of most common allergens, according to research published in Pediatrics in July.

That’s a lot of kids, which will be a lot of adults in a few years.

Peanuts can cause a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis — wheezing and trouble breathing, vomiting, swelling, persistent coughing that would indicate airway swelling, and a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

No big deal, right?  Sounds like it’s worth the risk of just licking a peanut…

Some parents described incidents in which family and friends had deliberately given their child nuts to test if the allergy was real.

Yeah.  Read that again:

Some parents described incidents in which family and friends had deliberately given their child nuts to test if the allergy was real.

Jail time.  That’s all I’m sayin’.  That’s like saying that you shot someone just to see if it would really make a hole in their guts.

There should be no question about that, said Dr. Ruchi Gupta, an associate professor of pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago who studies food allergies.

“Peanut allergies are very life-threatening,” Ruchi said. “Kids with a peanut allergy can have shortness of breath. Their throat closes. Their blood pressure drops and if not treated immediately, it can lead to death.

Go, Dr. Gupta, Go!

Families also reported feeling stigmatized and socially excluded, while children reported teasing. Other kids would say, ‘I’ve got nuts and I’m gonna come touch you’,” according to the study.

I’m going to resist the temptation for a joke about a different kind of nuts.

The article goes on to include the lighter side of things, but I’m ranting.  Go read the full thing if you know what’s good for you.

@FoodAllergyWalk is someone behind FAAN’s Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk.  Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, or on the FAAN Food Allergy Walk Pittsburgh page.  You can also donate to me or Bethany for our walk on Sept. 18th at Hartwood Acres.

Sponsor me for FAAN’s Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk 2011?

Did you read my last blog about the food allergy walk?  OK, so you can officially donate to me now, via this link:

FAAN Thermometer


I decided for the 1st time to just sign up as an individual, maybe do a team next year.  I believe we’ll be signing my wife Bethany up for the walk too, she’ll be walking with me if you’d like to donate to her too or instead of me.  (…Perhaps more well deserved for putting up with my crazy ass.)  I’ll post her URL as soon as we have one.

I would appreciate any donations to FAAN, be it a $1 or $100.  Please don’t feel obligated or pressured to donate.  I realize that there are many many other charities/causes out there worth of donations.  I want you to think about donating your time and or money to those that you hold dear.



For me personally, as far as food allergies go… just raising awareness of the seriousness and validity of serious food allergies is as important as research for a cure.  People need to realize that it’s a growing concern, and it will need to be addressed more and more in schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and homes everywhere.

I’m looking forward to the event & meeting other like-minded food-allergy Yinzers.  Thanks for reading, considering, & possibly donating!

As an added bonus, Erin (a.k.a. Ernie of Ernie and the Berts) has pledged to provide some special-edition Ernie and the Berts T-shirts to the first 10 people who donate $50 or more, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.  They’ll be the new design, but a different limited orange deathfish color run.

Just email Erin at ernie@ernieandtheberts.com to tell him you donated & are interested in a T-shirt.

7 MILLION People Allergic to Shellfish?

So, check this out…  It’s shellfish/seafood allergy information from the Food Allergy Daily:

Shellfish Allergy Information

An estimated 2.3% of Americans – that’s nearly 7 million people – are allergic to seafood, including fish and shellfish. Shrimp, crab, and lobster cause most shellfish allergies.

Allergy to shellfish is considered lifelong; once a person develops the allergy, it is unlikely that they will lose it.

Approximately 60% of those with shellfish allergy first experienced an allergic reaction as an adult. To avoid a reaction, strict avoidance of seafood and seafood products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify shellfish ingredients. In addition, avoid touching shellfish, going to the fish market, and being in an area where shellfish are being cooked (the protein in the steam may present a risk).

Keep In Mind!

  • If you have seafood allergy, avoid seafood restaurants. Even if you order a non-seafood item off of the menu, it is safer to always assume that cross-contact is possible.
  • Asian restaurants often serve dishes that use fish sauce as a flavoring base. Exercise caution or avoid eating there altogether.
  • Shellfish protein can become airborne in the steam released during cooking and may be a risk. Stay away from cooking areas.
  • Many people who are allergic to shellfish are allergic to more than one kind. Talk to your doctor so that you know for sure what foods to avoid.

Frequently asked questions

Should carrageenan be avoided by a shellfish-allergic individual?

Carrageenan is not fish. Carrageenan, or “Irish moss,” is a red marine algae. This food product is used in a wide variety of foods, particularly dairy foods, as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener. It appears safe for most individuals with food allergies. Carrageenan is not related to shellfish and does not need to be avoided by those with food allergies.

Should iodine be avoided by a shellfish-allergic individual?

Allergy to iodine, allergy to radiocontrast material (used in some radiographic procedures), and allergy to fish or shellfish are not related. If you have an allergy to shellfish, you do not need to worry about cross reactions with radiocontrast material or iodine

Yeah, there’s a lot there, but I can’t get past “An estimated 2.3% of Americans – that’s nearly 7 million people – are allergic to seafood, including fish and shellfish”.


DEAD from LOBSTER (AllergyMonkey.com)

<rant> Where the hell are you people?  Not to sound like a whiner… but all the Food Allergy “press” seems to go to peanuts, dairy, & wheat… and “Gluten Free” menu/options crap seems almost like the new Atkins.  All of a sudden, Celiac is Chic.  We have peanut-free baseball games and airplane flights, where are my shellfish-free beaches and cruises, or where’s my “no contact with shellfish” menu, or separate no-shellfish fryer?  Why is Lent my own personal hell every year when a favorite restaurant adds shrimp or crab-legs or a lobster sub to their menu?  It’s even more of a pain when it becomes permanent.  (I’m taking to you; Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, & Quiznos.)

Celiac disease isn’t even an allergy in the traditional sense, but it’s gobbling up all the press.  It’s an autoimmune disorder, and from my understanding… makes you poop a lot if you eat wheat.  Terrible, yes.  But, I don’t get diarrhea when I eat shellfish.  I get anaphylaxis.  Diarrhea may come along with the choking & swelling though.

I wish Shellfish Free had another user or 2 out of the apparent SEVEN MILLION of us out here.

That being said, awareness needs to be raised for ALL food allergies, whether in the top 8 or not.  So, Celiac people… throw us a gluten-free bone here, will you?  When a restaurant offers a gluten-free menu, how about a “That’s cool… but you know, there are so many allergies out there like peanut, milk, egg, shellfish, corn, peppers, and all kinds of crazy stuff.  Maybe you ought to look at your cross-contamination practices in all areas & cooking surfaces with all ingredients.”  (See this:  http://www.foodallergy.org/page/restaurants-guests-with-food-allergies</rant>

"No shellfish for me!"

"No shellfish for me!"

At any rate, where are my shellfish-allergic peeps?  This is your time & place to bitch about finding a good death-free and anxiety-free meal.  Stand up and be counted!  This is a roll call & we need a list 7-million freaking people long.  Please, leave your comments below with your story, your frustrations, or even with a positive experience related to your shellfish allergy… as well as links to any support groups or allergy resources that you hold dear.