At least he's thinkin'

Posted by Jon in HB | 2:11 PM | 7 comments »

I was going to keep this one to myself, but after reading the Bakers' blogs about pickles and planets, I thought "go for it"!

The other day Gina and I picked up Dylan from school. As we walked through the parking lot Gina made a random observation. She pointed out that there seemed to be a large numberof families that had three children as opposed to us only having two. Now mind you, this was by no means a scientific study, simply anecdotal.

My son is a thinker. After Gina pointed this out, he was quiet. Finally he asked, "Dad, does that mean that those kids' dads all have three of those little things under their penises."

How do you answer that? Holding back laughter I said no, and quickly changed the subject.

At least he's thinking!

Monks Rock!

Posted by Jon in HB | 11:29 PM | 9 comments »

The General Manager of Westmalle was in the restaurant today. Our Senior VP of Brewing Operations introduced me to him. What a life! GM of one of the seven existing Belgium breweries that still involve trappist monks on site in the brewing process. He brought in a couple of 750ml bottles of their Dubbel and Triple to sample. Great stuff, great guys, great beer...Prost!

Your Hell?

Posted by Jon in HB | 8:55 PM | 6 comments »

After leaving a comment on a blog last night with an obscure reference to an 40s French existential play, I got to thinking...

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, screenwriter, novelist and critic. He wrote a play called No Exit in 1944. Here's the basic premise...An adulterous husband, a lesbian that caused a wife to cheat on her husband, and a married woman that caused her fling to commit suicide are all in a windowless, doorless room. The audience soon realizes that the characters are all dead and this is Hell. These three people can't stand each other and are trapped here with each other for eternity.

"So that is what hell is. I would never have believed it. You remember: the fire and brimstone, the torture. Ah! the farce. There is no need for torture: hell is other people"...(No Exit Act 1 Scene 5)

I'm sure that no one that would ever read this blog needs to worry about their roommates in Hell; but who would you be in a room with in your Hell?

Dr. Jones...

Posted by Jon in HB | 7:58 AM | 2 comments »

...ate lunch at my restaurant with his mom yesterday. How cool was that. I was walking through the dining room and right there in a booth, with a cute, little old lady, was Harrison Ford. I found out from another manager that his mother lives in the Senior community near our restaurant and they used to come in every once in awhile a few years ago
This was around 3pm and the place was pretty empty, so there was not a lot of people to bother him. Only one guest walked up to him and asked for an autograph, which he gladly signed. He ordered a Classic Burger and a side of extra pickles. He tipped $10 on a $24 tab. We have a xerox of his signed credit card slip on the wall in our office now. He was very nice and low keyed. I sent a text most everyone in my phone. Curtis and I then began to text back and forth different things I should say, such as...

"Would the owner of the white Cadillac please come to the front desk, your light saber is on."

"Would the owner of a Mellinium Falcon please come to the front, you left the lights on."

"Hey, we don't serve rebel scum here!"

"Sir, did you know that it is against California law to leave your Wookie unattended in the car."


Posted by Jon in HB | 3:48 PM | 12 comments »

Working in the food service industry there are somethings that I think it is high time the general public knew. The following is not meant to help you have a more enjoyable dining experience. It is meant for me to have a more enjoyable time at work.

When you give the hostess your name for the wait list, don’t tell her how to spell it. This is not a legally binding contract. Just let her write it phonetically so that she will call your name the way she heard it pronounced. Who cares if its Christine or Kristine; Brandi with an ‘i’, or Shlonavichikvson? Let the poor girl write it down so she will remember it. It’s no slam on your name, she’s just busy, leave her alone.

Quoting you a time that it takes to get a table is not an exact science. They do there best. Just as ‘a watched pot never boils’, ‘a nasty stared at hostess does not seat you any quicker’. And what would you have her do? Would you like her to go ask that table that has already eaten and paid, and now they are sitting around talking forever, to get up and leave so you can sit down? Fine, but expect her to do the same thing to you!

If your reading your menu your server thinks you are not ready to order. If you want someone to come by and take your order, put your menu down. That is the international, “I’m ready to order now” sign.

The server does not act as the company’s purchasing agent. They have no control over whether or Pepsi or Coke products are sold. Don’t give them a hard time. And don’t make a face or a comment if they don’t have the one you drink. Order water and shut up.

When the server tells you what types of salad dressings they have, don’t ask for something they didn’t mention. If they had French dressing they would have told you so. What, do you think this is In-N-Out Burger and they have some ‘secret menu’ that only the in crowd knows about? “Shhh, don’t ask for French dressing too loudly, I just told that couple behind you that we were out, I’ll bring yours out in just a minute. Keep it to yourself, ok buddy?”

If you order like Meg Ryan in When Harry met Sally, with so many modifications that in the end, it no way resembles the original entrĂ©e, or anything else on the menu; expect it to come out wrong. Every restaurant has a basic recipe for every dish they. They do this so that it can be made quickly and correctly every time. What would happen to the production of the Model T if every tenth car needed to have no rear bumper, the steering wheel on the right side instead of the left, pistons on side (I’ll install those myself), red paint instead of black. ORDER IT HOW IT COMES! IF YOU DON’T LIKE HOW IT COMES ORDER SOMETHING ELSE OR PICK IT APART AT THE TABLE. Don’t we always tell the child that doesn’t like pepperoni on he’s slice of pizza to just pick it off? Why are we any more special?

So there’s a small little gnat in your salad. Big deal. Most lettuce is grown in the ground where all sorts of bugs and worms live. It’s usually fed manure as well, and guess where that comes from. Restaurants buy produce from reputable vendors and clean food before they serve it. It is possible that small little gnat could remain in the greens. DON’T FREAK OUT ABOUT IT! It is not the most disgusting you’ve put in your mouth before, I’ll hazard to guess. Think about all the stuff your kid dropped on the floor and then you brushed it off and made them eat.

Don’t send a drink back because you think it’s too weak. It was made with normal amounts of liquor for a decent society. It’s not drunk Uncle Larry making margaritas at the backyard BBQ. By the way, they usually don’t make a new stronger drink for you. They usually put a drop or two of booze in the straw so when you take the first sip you think, “WOW” while they laugh at you behind the bar.

Crying child in your party? Same rules apply as in a movie theatre. Take the rug rat outside until they shut up. And if you bring Cheerios to keep them busy, that’s great. Just try to pick up most of the mess.

Don’t ask to split the bill. Yes it is easy to do in this techno age of computers; but with large groups it becomes a problem when you start squabbling over whose soda got put on whose bill, and “I didn’t get the cup of soup she did”. Just pick up the tab for your friends and they’ll get you back next time.

If your meal gets discounted because of a coupon or some other discount tip off the original amount. Don’t be a cheap skate. And don’t pull out your Little Tipper Tipping Guide. Move the decimal point to figure out 10% and double it to get 20% and then split the difference (although 17-20% is much more the going rate these days).

And lastly, “Have a nice evening. We’ll see you next time!”

American Idols

Posted by Jon in HB | 8:30 PM | 3 comments »

I'm watching American Idol and surfing the blogs.

I have to walk around and go from room to room while watching it.
You see if I sit down in one spot and watch it then I get too in to it and start sniffling.
I know what you're thinking, "No, not you Jon, you seem so cold and unemotional!"
Truth be told, Extreme Home Makeover, Christmas songs, weddings, baptisms, and Little House on the Prairie, all make me go for the Kleenex.
Thank God they throw in a little Heart and Fergie to let me dry my eyes. Fergalicious!

While surfing the blogs I found a new posting from a really neat girl (actually young woman) that used to wait tables for me when I worked downtown. She's on a mission in Africa. She's been there about a year now. She works with kids. A lot like the boys in the Annie Lennox segment on Idol. It's cool that Idol does this once a year. It's even cooler that some leave their families, friends, homes and security and do it 365 days a year.

Take a moment and check out her blog, say a prayer for her, and maybe leave a comment too. Sometimes I think she needs to know that she has people here thinking about her.

Here's a link to her blog

Is it really coming back?

Posted by Jon in HB | 9:40 PM | 4 comments »

So, I know I'm no slave to fashion, but when I saw Michael Johns sporting an ascot last night I was worried. I really don't want to have to go to Old Navy or Target and search through racks of ascots and worry about how to match it with my outfit. Do you match it with your shirt? Your pants? Vest? Smoking jacket?

It was only a few months ago that I finally broke down and wore jeans that were not made by Levi Strauss and now I have to deal with this?

Here are some guys that made it work and some that didn't.
I just hope I can pull it off too!

Good News..Bad News

Posted by Jon in HB | 7:18 AM | 11 comments »


After six long years of working for the same company, I've been given a nice new promotion this week. We have been growing so rapidly in the last couple of years that there has been a big need for Area Directors, those are managers that oversee five to six stores not just one. I have been recognized for some hard work and great numbers and been offered the next Area Directorship (I'm not sure directorship is a word, but I'm going with it). It will mean some longer hours and travel but it's a big challenge that I'm excited to take on.
Bad news...It's not here in California. We've grown so much in the Texas & Florida markets that's where they need new area directors. Soooo, I'll be flying out to those to regions in the next couple of weeks to look at the restaurants there and look at housing to see where we would choose. This all happened so fast and our heads are spinning at all this means. We're not sure if I should move out first and wait for the kids to finish the school year or if we're all heading out together. There is so much we're going to miss about living here, especially our friends. We've been praying about this and leaving this in God's hands. We've been asking God to help with this decision and we believe this is where  wants us to be with it. Please keep us in your thoughts as we move forward in this adventure. Gina is taking it particularly hard so you might want to call or reach out at some point.
We will plan a HUGE party to say good bye in the next couple of months-and your all invited.

Wish us luck!