Thanks to @RowdyBBQ for the box in the mail today! #BBQ


If you know me, you know I dig BBQ.  You also probably know that Rowdy BBQ is one of my favorite BBQ joints, if not the favorite.  Different moods & days for different BBQ, right?  I could eat from Rowdy BBQ every day.  Health be damned!

This all started last week when I Instagrammed/Tweeted this:

And I got a reply:

Like I said, the pulled pork was absolutely delicious.  But, I’m not gonna turn down free brisket twice.  What am I, crazy?  So, I emailed them.

Today, the mailman left a nifty surprise on our porch:

Rowdy BBQ - Gift Certificate & BBQ Sauce

Rowdy BBQ – Gift Certificate & BBQ Sauce

Rowdy BBQ - Box in the mail!

Rowdy BBQ – Box in the mail!

Rowdy BBQ - Goodies!

Rowdy BBQ – Goodies!

Rowdy BBQ - Business Card

Rowdy BBQ – Business Card

Thanks to “Rowdy the Rooster” & Steve for taking the time to go way beyond simple customer satisfaction!

Speaking of Rowdy…  I hope he’s only temporarily headless?  I noticed that the famous (infamous?) sign only had hands when I was there.

If you’ve never had the BBQ here, I recommend everything.  Ha ha.  Generally I go with the sampler so I get ribs & chicken or a brisket if I have a somewhat slightly smaller appetite.  The Big Pig is also incredible, pulled pork & cheese sauce on a giant bun.  I also like the pierogies.  Mmm.  I’m going to have to use this gift certificate pretty damn soon.

I look forward to using this sauce at home.  Lately I’ve been using the Yuengling Black & Tan Honey Barbecue sauce, but this will be all kinds of delicious.  I can say though that it can’t be nearly the same as when they cook it.

Thanks again, Rowdy BBQ!

Arby’s Tries Again…


Tom Arnold | Arby's Oven MittToday there was a nice little squishy bubble pack in the mailbox when I got home.  It had my name on it and appeared to be from Arby’s again.  More neat stuff from Arby’s?  What could it be?  A hat?  A T-shirt?  An oven mitt that talks like Tom Arnold when you press a button?  (Actually, that would be pretty neat.)

Nope, this was a different kind of squishy.  I got a post card from a Cherelle Flowers at Arby’s HQ in Atlanta.  Cherelle apparently works in Arby’s Customer Relations but doesn’t communicate with Arby’s President Hala Moddelmog who just sent me an entire case of Bronco Berry Sauce.  In with the postcard where several leaking square packets of Bronco Berry Sauce:

Your recent feedback is greatly appreciated. | We hope your next visit to Arby's® exceeds your expectations. | Regards, | Cherelle Flowers | Arby's Customer Relations | Arby's It's GOOD MOOD FOOD™

It's a Bronco Berry Bloodbath!

I hope it wasn’t intentional.  It’s like a mini version of the horse-head scene in The Godfather.  I mean, the card is sort of impersonal, but the gesture is nice when the sentiment isn’t stained with blood red not-really-berry sauce.  It’s unsettling to open such a package.  It almost looks like a threat.

I’m guessing that given Arby’s’ track record, it’s not a threat and it’s yet another genuine attempt to keep a goofy customer happy.  I have no idea if this generated from their web contact form, or Twitter, or what.  I would have maybe liked a more personal letter (again like the incredible one from Ms. Moddlemog), and the United States Postal Service to have handled my package with more care.  Ha.  Handled my package.  But, I’ll settle for free stuff… even if there are only 2 unmolested packets.

I did notice it was addressed to me, and not Bronco Jalapeño.  I also noticed that these packets are rectangular… where the other ones are circles.  Clearly, there is more than one source for Bronco Berry Sauce.  Where is it my friends?  Can I find it?  Can I buy direct?  Can I get the recipe?

I need a job where I can reply to goofy emails all day, and send people cool free swag… or gooey free swag.

So, what do you think of this effort?  I have scored many awesome freebies, but I still don’t have jalapeño bites being served at Arby’s in Pittsburgh.  Is this a fail?  Do we still need a protest song?

Should I complain to the post office about this?

If you have no idea what’s going on, check out these posts:

  1. Arby’s :: Bronco Berry Sauce®
  2. OCCUPY ARBY’S
  3. You may call me… “Bronco Jalapeño”
  4. Conflicting Information from Arby’s… (Help Bronco Jalapeño write a song!)
  5. Bronco Jalapeño Rides Again!
  6. Bronco Scores Again!

In other news, I think I have an idea for a contest where the winner can get some Bronco Berry Sauce.  Stay tuned for details!

Jagoff Super Hero In Action! (from YaJagoff.com)


I didn’t blog this, but it could easily be one of my road rage rants.  People are ridiculous, especially this blue truck driving Jagoff Yinzer:

Some people just need a swift kick in the ass, even if it’s only figurative.  So, please, read the post, enjoy, & add YaJagoff.com to your reader or follow them on Facebook or Twitter something.  You won’t be disappointed!

YaJagoff.com | Jagoff Super Hero In Action!

YaJagoff.com | Jagoff Super Hero In Action!

Dynamite Dud


Original DuPont gunpowder wagon at Hagley Muse...

Free cart with purchase over $25?

Well, if you were afraid that anyone was going to break the stereotype of large corporations soullessly replying to emails with automated responses, or the stereotype about librarians not having a sense of humor… you may rest easy tonight, my friends.

Some of you (thankfully) found the Farming with Dynamite booklet as humorous as I did.  Some of you even enjoyed my webform submission to DuPont.  Apparently DuPont did not find my email the slightest bit amusing.  I didn’t get so much as the digital equivalent of a chuckle from the historical library where they referred me.  Neither of them seemed disturbed but it, either.

From: DuPont Inquiry Management Center <find.info@usa.dupont.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 28, 2011
Subject: DuPont Reply: Hagley Museum & Library
To: “world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com” <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

In response to your inquiry: Hello,

I recently found your “Farming With Dynamite: A Few Hints to Farmers” handbook online, and found the concept quite interesting.  I hate shovels, and most power tools.  I’d like to plant some tomatoes and maybe a squash vine in the back yard next year… and think that this dynamite could come in handy!

For reference: http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/dupont/FarmingWithDynamite/Mimage01.html

Page 11 of your booklet said to write for the “Handbook of Explosives for Farmers, Planters, & Ranchers”.  I believe the book predates the used of zip codes, and wasn’t sure if snail mail would get to you at the provided “address”.  So, I decided to search online.  Plus.  I’m lazy.  I didn’t want to buy stamps, and get a cramp while writing a letter with a pen.  See where this dynamite thing may come in handy when planting a garden?

Do you have a hand book of explosives for the casual gardener?  I can try scale down the big stuff if need be.  I’m sure my neighbors would appreciate some restraint.

What are your thoughts on using explosives to get rid of garden pests like rabbits, groundhogs, deer, and even (here in the city) rats?

At 56¢ average for stump removal in my area, I’m confident I can save time and money planting vegetables next year!  Maybe I can do some carrots and bell peppers too?

I see that “Farming With Dynamite” was printed in 1910, have  explosive farming techniques progressed much since then?  I would like some literature on the latest blasting technology.

Does the “Red Cross” dynamite mentioned in your book have anything to do with the Relief/Aid organization, or is it just an unfortunate similarity?  I hear 99¢ of each dollar donated goes to line the pockets of their CEO.  Ridiculous.

I look forward to your thoughts and advice, I appreciate that you have offered this information at no cost.  It shows that you are a company that cares about the common man!

Thanks for writing. The Hagley Museum & Library is home to all historical information related to the DuPont Company. For assistance, please contact the musuem directly:

Hagley Museum & Library
Eleutherian Mills – Hagley Foundation
Post Office Box 3630
Greenville, DE 19807
Phone: (302)658-2400
Website: http://www.hagley.lib.de.us/
Contact Info: http://www.hagley.lib.de.us/contact.html

We hope this will be of some assistance.

Regards,
DuPont Inquiry Management Center
Wilmington, Delaware USA
http://www.dupont.com/
800-441-7515
302-774-1000

So, I sent this on top of the forwarded response form Dupont.

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Oct 31, 2011
Subject: Fwd: DuPont Reply: Hagley Museum & Library
To: info@hagley.org

Hello Esteemed Keepers of Information,

I recently wrote to DuPont inquiring about a booklet on Farming with Dynamite, and they have directed me to you.  Can you help out with the request below, my friends?

Excelsior!
-Waldo Lunar

———- Forwarded message ———-

I got this from the library:

From: Linda Gross <lgross@hagley.org>
Date: Mon, Oct 31, 2011
Subject: FW: DuPont Reply: Hagley Museum & Library
To: “world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com” <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Mr. Lunar-
You will find that our library contains historical information about dynamite in our collection.  We have no information on current farming techniques.  You are welcome to search through our holdings in our online catalog at www.hagley.org/library.  If you are interested in the history of the black powder production at DuPont, you might find our online exhibit of DuPont Company on the Brandywine to be a good source.  http://www.hagley.org/library/exhibits/brandywine/
Linda P. Gross
Imprints Reference Librarian
Hagley Museum and Library
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE  19807
—–
Begin forwarded message:

DuPont either employs the most sophisticated A.I. email responders I have ever seen, or no one there or at the Hagley seems to have a sense of humor or a sense of cautioning someone looking to do some backyard gardening with dynamite.

Working powder mills on Brandywine Creek, abou...

These blow up occasionally?

Farming With Dynamite


A while ago, I saw a friend post one of the most eye-catching things I’ve seen in a while… a booklet from DuPont circa 1910 entitled Farming With Dynamite.

You read that right.

Of all the things your mother told you to never do because they’re too dangerous, I bet this didn’t even make the list.  It’s so crazy, I can’t believe anyone ever thought that this was a good idea.

Farming with Dynamite: A Few Hints to Farmers (DuPont) Established 1802

Farming with Dynamite: A Few Hints to Farmers (DuPont) Established 1802

First off, The use of quotes around the words “Red Cross” has me a little disturbed. More importantly though, page 11 states that you can write to them for free additional information.  It speaks of the “Handbook of Explosives for Farmers, Planters, & Ranchers”.  They state that it’s so valuable that they only send it out upon request.  I request!  It doesn’t say that the offer expires.  So, why not write to them and ask for it?

Maybe it’ll illicit a chuckle.  Maybe I’ll get an antique pamphlet.  Maybe I’ll learn how to plant a few tomatoes with the aid of some dynamite.

Submitted to DuPont via Webform:

Hello,

I recently found your “Farming With Dynamite: A Few Hints to Farmers” handbook online, and found the concept quite interesting.  I hate shovels, and most power tools.  I’d like to plant some tomatoes and maybe a squash vine in the back yard next year… and think that this dynamite could come in handy!

For reference: http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/dupont/FarmingWithDynamite/Mimage01.html

Page 11 of your booklet said to write for the “Handbook of Explosives for Farmers, Planters, & Ranchers”.  I believe the book predates the used of zip codes, and wasn’t sure if snail mail would get to you at the provided “address”.  So, I decided to search online.  Plus.  I’m lazy.  I didn’t want to buy stamps, and get a cramp while writing a letter with a pen.  See where this dynamite thing may come in handy when planting a garden?

Do you have a hand book of explosives for the casual gardener?  I can try scale down the big stuff if need be.  I’m sure my neighbors would appreciate some restraint.

What are your thoughts on using explosives to get rid of garden pests like rabbits, groundhogs, deer, and even (here in the city) rats?

At 56¢ average for stump removal in my area, I’m confident I can save time and money planting vegetables next year!  Maybe I can do some carrots and bell peppers too?

I see that “Farming With Dynamite” was printed in 1910, have  explosive farming techniques progressed much since then?  I would like some literature on the latest blasting technology.

Does the “Red Cross” dynamite mentioned in your book have anything to do with the Relief/Aid organization, or is it just an unfortunate similarity?  I hear 99¢ of each dollar donated goes to line the pockets of their CEO.  Ridiculous.

I look forward to your thoughts and advice, I appreciate that you have offered this information at no cost.  It shows that you are a company that cares about the common man!

Will I get a reply?  I sure hope so.

Subway | Eat Death™


I’ve recently renewed my dialog with Subway, sparked by the news of them rolling out a gluten-free menu.  Here’s how it’s going down:

From:

ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 11:16 AM
Subject: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: Paula Gomez <gomez_p@subway.com>, Rob Searfus <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>, Mack Bridenbaker <m.bridenbaker@sfaft.org>, Christine Sumecki <c.sumecki@sfaft.org>, Subway Customer Care Team <asksubway@subway.com>, “B. Pingarron” <b.pingarron@sfaft.org>, “M. Luby” <m.luby@sfaft.org>, “Anna Marie Seeley (Customer Care Representative)” <seeley_a@subway.com>, Kevin Kane <kane_k@subway.com>

Hello Friends at Subway,

I write to you today because we have had a dialogue going in the past about food allergies and cross-contamination that I would like to continue.  I have recently read a few articles online informing the masses that Subway plans to roll-out some gluten-free menu options in the Dallas & Tyler Texas markets soon.  If you would like to read the articles in question, here are some links:

While I would like to be able to applaud this effort, I also find it quite frustrating.

I am quite proud of Subway as an organization when I read such responsible things like “The baked goods will arrive pre-packaged and individually wrapped. Employees will be educated on how to cut the bread using a pre-wrapped knife to avoid cross contamination.”  I mean, really… this is a novel idea and a stellar effort as well as great news for Celiac afflicted potential Subway customers.  Certainly lines like “Also, to further avoid cross-contamination, that same Sandwich Artist will prepare the order from beginning to end, ensuring a 100-percent gluten-free meal” offer a level of comfort to those who must dine gluten-free.  While other restaurants have offered gluten-free menus, you seem to understand that a knife that cuts a regular bun cannot also cut the bun of a gluten-free selection.  This would, I imagine, be quite a worry for a wheat-allergic or Celiac person.  I can imagine this scenario quite well, actually.  You may remember my past missives expressing my allergy to shellfish (and more specifically to your “seafood” sub offering).

This is where my frustration sets in.  I have written to you on multiple occasions expressing the frustration for not only my shellfish allergy, but all of the “top 8”; Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, & Wheat.  Why have you picked this opportunity to only concentrate on the wheat?  There are others too… I know of people with tomato and pepper allergies that would be thrown into the same anaphylactic shock that I would given I were to take a bite of unknowingly deathfish-laiden lunchmeat.  While you seem to understand the importance of a gluten-free knife… what about a cheese-free, tomato-free, and shellfish-free knife?  Perhaps you have forgotten my previous letter with a few colorful illustrations of the contaminated knife issue.  I will repost here for your convenience:

Then we have the community knife.  If one were to cut someone’s seafood sub with that knife, wipe it off, then cut my sub, there are STILL allergens on that knife, enough allergens to kill me.  Do you want me to be thrown in to an Anaphylactic fit?  I doubt it.  Well, at least, I hope not.

Think about this – do you share your toothbrush with everyone in your household?  Would you with everyone in your office?  Would you share it with everyone that you pass on the way to work in the morning or with everyone who’s eating lunch with you at the same place where you’re choosing to dine?

Yes, it sounds gross, but those potential germs that you’re no doubt currently horrified of are the same as the very real allergens that will most certainly throw me into instant death.

If that didn’t do it for you, imagine I put a giant dried dog turd on the sandwich board, cut it in half, wrapped it, wiped off the knife [with a re-used dishrag type cloth], and then cut your sandwich.  By Subway’s current logic, that knife is clean and contamination free.  This is most certainly not a pretty picture to you, my friend.  Is it?

Does any of this ring a bell?

Also, I have received conflicting reports on how such issues are currently handled or have been handled in the past.  One reply states…

The Company policy directs our independent restaurant owners / operators to take all necessary precautions to prevent the possibility of cross contamination. This includes the policy of washing all utensils and containers after each use. Each restaurant is independently owned and operated and is the responsibility of the franchise owner to implement and enforce the policy.

Which seems to conflict with yet another reply…

I have gone ahead and copied our Training Department so that further lessons can be addressed with owners and their employees on proper handling.

And, the latest information according to the QSRWeb.com article is that “Sandwich Artists in those two markets will be trained on how to cut the roll with a pre-wrapped knife for one use only.”  So, have they been trained in allergies in cross-contamination already, or not?  Color me confused, my friends.

I’d feel safer if the seafood concoction wasn’t anywhere near the meat & cheese where it currently sits.  I’d also feel safer if the same knife wasn’t used to cut all of the sandwiches, and the same dishrag-type towel wasn’t used to wipe off the knife in random intervals between sandwich slicing.  I’d feel safer if all the sandwich artists, managers, and owners were trained on allergens, cross-contamination, and the seriousness of anaphylactic shock.  I’d feel safer if all stores contained a first aid kit complete with an epi pen and clear instructions for its use.

Why should the Celiac-afflicted feel safer, but the rest of us with deadly food allergies should not?  I look forward to your response, your insights, and how you plan to move forward regarding all potentially deadly allergens and how they are to be handled in your stores.  Thank you once again for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.

Inquisitively,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

P.S. – I was wondering, when you work in an office for Subway, do you have an in-office Subway in which the employees receive (or make) their own lunch?  Or, is there a Subway nearby where you get free or discounted food?  Or, are you all too sick of Subway to eat there?

And I got this back…

From: Searfus, Rob <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 4:31 PM
Subject: RE: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello Eric,

My apologies for not replying earlier, I was traveling and in meetings most of the week, (as well as attending to some family business).  But enough of the excuses.

Forgive me for not having more product answers, but I’m simply a field marketing representative out here on the west coast.  I have inquired with our R&D department to try and get the answers to your questions.  No replies yet, but this week has been tough for me to get a hold of anyone on the east coast due to the severe winter storms that they have been having (offices closed for at least a couple of days.)

I’ll follow up by e-mail when I get any answers for you.

Thanks, and BTW, what part of the US to you hail from?

Rob Searfus
Field Marketing Manager
Subway® Franchise World Headquarters
16337 SW Leeding Ln
Tigard, OR 97223
Cell: 503-954-5479
Toll Free: 1-800-888-4848 x 4089
Fax 503-579-6715
e-mail: searfus_r@subway.com

IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION CHANGE:  PLEASE NOTE MY EMAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED TO searfus_r@subway.com.  Please update your address book to reflect this change.  We are undergoing a technology transition.  During this transition, you may still receive emails from the “sfaft.org” address.  This is not an error, but please enter my new subway.com email address when sending emails.

So I wrote this…

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: Gluten-Free Menu Options in Texas?
To: “Searfus, Rob” <R.Searfus@sfaft.org>

Thank you Rob,

I had actually wondered if anyone would reply.  I had an email chain going before with a Ms. Paula Gomez & Ms. Ana Seely… but they have been short replies and my main questions have gone unsanswered.

I’m in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  Thanks for your time, I hope to hear from your colleagues soon!

-Eric

But in the mean time, I made some pretty pictures.  I can’t decide which one I like the most.

Which one do you like best?

Dog Turds and Toothbrushes


Amused & annoyed by the lack of formal response from Subway, I decided to reboot (again with editing help from Dave).  I sent a new message via the webform (luckily this time it fell within their character limit), and also via snail mail:

Hello Friends!

This message is less about a specific Subway location, and more about Subway practices in general.

I hear from recent news reports that Subway has their cheese tessellation issues under control and will assert a more correct cheese placement this July.  Independence for dairy goodness!

Although I was worried about the cheese triangle issue, I am still more concerned about food allergen and cross-contamination awareness in Subway Employees and Sandwich Artists.

Are you aware of how many people out there suffer from some sort of food allergy?  I believe it’s 11% of the population.  Myself, I’m affected with a severe allergy to shellfish.  I can’t eat in your fine stores unless they’re the small ones in places like Wal-Mart that don’t serve the deadly dreaded seafood death sub.

Not only does the creamy death-inducing concoction reside right beside the other meat, the cheeses, and toppings; it often spews all over the open containers when it’s scooped out with that poor miserable ice-cream scoop.

Then we have the community knife.  If one were to cut someone’s seafood sub with that knife, wipe it off, then cut my sub, there are STILL allergens on that knife, enough allergens to kill me.  Do you want me to be thrown in to an Anaphylactic fit?  I doubt it.  Well, at least, I hope not.

Think about this – do you share your toothbrush with everyone in your household?  Would you with everyone in your office?  Would you share it with everyone that you pass on the way to work in the morning or with everyone who’s eating lunch with you at the same place where you’re choosing to dine?

Yes, it sounds gross, but those potential germs that you’re no doubt currently horrified of are the same as the very real allergens that will most certainly throw me into instant death.

If that didn’t do it for you, imagine I put a giant dried dog turd on the sandwich board, cut it in half, wrapped it, wiped off the knife, and then cut your sandwich.  By Subway’s current logic, that knife is clean and contamination free.  This is most certainly not a pretty picture to you, my friend.  Is it?

I really am looking forward to your thoughts on this issue.  I hope to have a continued dialog until the issue is brought to the attention of those in charge of such things.

I thank you in advance for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Blowing your mind,
-Eric

P.S. – I was wondering, when you work in an office for Subway, do you have an in-office Subway in which the employees receive (or make) their own lunch?  Or, is there a Subway nearby where you get free or discounted food?  Or, are you all too sick of Subway to eat there?

Letters to Subway

Letters to Subway

I had to resort to snail mail to see if I get a better response.  Emails are sadly all too easy to ignore.  Unless you’re persistent, I guess.  I did get a response from Paula Gomez again, this time in direct response to the above message sent via direct email, not the webform:

From: Paula Gomez gomez_p@subway.com
Date: Thu, Jun 24, 2010
Subject: Subway & Allergen Cross-Contamination
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Dear Mr Aixelsyd:

Thank you again for your time and sharing your comments. We value the input of our customers and take this as an opportunity to improve our business and satisfy our guests.

The Company policy directs our independent restaurant owners / operators to take all necessary precautions to prevent the possibility of cross contamination. This includes the policy of washing all utensils and containers after each use. Each restaurant is independently owned and operated and is the responsibility of the franchise owner to implement and enforce the policy.

We will ensure that this important message is reiterated with each restaurant to ensure that proper procedures are followed.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to contact us. SUBWAY® looks forward to your continued visits.

Sincerely

Paula Gomez

***DISCLAIMER***

The information contained in this e-mail and attachments, if any, is confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, copy, distribute or disclose the e-mail and its attachment, or any part of its content or take any action in reliance of it. If you have received this e-mail in error please e-mail the message back to the sender by replying and then deleting it. We cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of this e-mail or attachments and recommend that you subject these to your virus checking procedures prior to use. Thank you.

Well, at least she remembers that I contacted them before… but I don’t think she remembers her previous responses.  I think I was assured that they all go through training.  I asked about the training, and didn’t get any solid replies.  Now, it seems to be all on the responsibility of each individual owner/operator.

Sadly but not surprisingly, my postscript about the in-office Subway situation went unanswered.  I’m guessing that’s what puts it over the top… even though I had previously mentioned the thought of a community toothbrush and a dog turd in a food prep area.

I’ll wait for some other responses (if I get any), and try to ratchet this up a notch or two.