These pugs are totally ready to be captioned! Click the image and use our builder to add your best caption before 12pm PT Friday, 9/5. The top 5 entries will be published on Saturday morning for you to vote and decide whose was the best!
Submitted by: (via pugdomination)
(It is the Christmas season, when our store closes at midnight. A shopper is still shopping in toys at 12:15 when we approach her.)
Me: “Ma’am, can I help you find something? We are closed now and need you to check out so we can go home.”
Customer: “No, I’m just looking.”
Me: “Well, then, we need you to check out. The store has been closed for 15 minutes.”
Customer: “Well, there was a line up there!”
Me: “So… uh… get in it?”
If you’ll recall, my wife and I got drunk on a heady mixture of MasterChef and the Food Network, and decided to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants this year. A Michelin Star is like every other award in existence – which is to say that it claims to reward “the best,” while covertly defining “the best” to be a narrow range of tastes. (If “the best” movies are Oscar winners, then comedies and horror movies apparently suck.)
Michelin defines “the best” to be expensive, hard-to-prepare food with attention to detail and impeccable service. Which generally implies pretty good food, but it leaves out, you know, that clam shack down at the beach that serves perfectly-steamed mussels taken straight from the ocean. Yet still, when we dined at Babbo (one star), it was still one of our top ten restaurant experiences ever, and La Terrazza del’Eden in Rome was also very good, so…
…we had to upgrade. Enough with these paltry one-star restaurants. Let’s see what two Michelin stars gets us! And so we booked a meal at Sixteen in Chicago.
Now I will walk you through our meal, which was overwhelming on every level. Thirteen courses of food.
Sixteen clearly set out to dazzle from moment one, wherein they laid out a map of Chicago’s waterfront and laid out the menu in little plastic blocks. The menu, which changes seasonally, is a very upscale version of surf and turf, and each course was a melding of seafood and the meat district that Upton Sinclair helped make famous. This was all to hide the reality that when you came to Sixteen, you ate what the chef damn well felt like making from you, but it did lend a festive Lego-style atmosphere to the dining.
Now, the surprise appetizer course was utterly adorable, in that they said, “We’re at the beach now, so we’re having a picnic” and laid out all sorts of little picnic foods for us. This was a great start, because every mini-food on here was quite above the cut:
- The mini-sandwich was tomato, Italian ham, and mozzarella, if I recall, and it was perfect. Every bite brought out the tomato and the meat and the cheese and the toasted bread in a different combination, a little tooth-inspired dance of flavors and textures interplaying with each other, so this was good right up through the last swallow.
- The quail legs were dark meat, and I usually don’t like dark meat because it’s monotone and oily… but this was firm, cooked well, and seasoned so that it had a wonderful texture between the crispy skin and the salted meat.
- The potato chip had a tiny piece of smelt actually woven into the chip, which was a piece of starchy sewing that we could only admire, and what that got us was a slightly soggy potato chip that melded quite nicely with the salty fish taste of the smelt, so what you got was kind of a crunchy fish with a sharp burst of salt around the edges. Awesome.
- Finally, there were sangria popsicles. Which were the disappointment. They weren’t like sorbet, as we’d expected, but rather creamy, which I suspect was some sort of chemical adhesion so they didn’t melt instantly while we were eating sandwiches. But the cream in the center completely obliterated any sangria flavor – if you hadn’t told me, “Hey, this is supposed to be sangria,” I would have thought it to be some sort of bland fruit pop. Still fun, but meh.
This came with a tiny glass of sweet peach tea and whiskey, and boy did that work well. The only complaint I had about that drink was the glass was very small.
So Was It Worth It?
Look, Sixteen was worth a mortgage payment and then some. We’ll be paying for this sucker for some time.
The relevant questions are: a) was it the best meal we ever had? and b) was it significantly better than the one Michelin star meal we had?
The answer as to the Michelin star question is unquestionably no. When you’re paying as much as a used car to get your meal, you want flawless service, and there were a couple of significant bobbles – the wrong foods being given to the wrong people, the forgetting of a drink, and unforgivably, giving us the wrong check.
It is very hard to be moral when someone gives you a check that is worth several hundred less than you actually owe. It’s even harder when they go “Whoops, our bad” and bring you the full check, with nothing written off on it, no discount for this honesty. Hey, the cheese tray was $35, you coulda given that to us for free and we would have felt moral and frugal. As it was, I don’t exactly mind paying full price, but the restaurant really hit home just how much this cost, leaving a tremendously sour taste on the way out the door.
But that aside, I was of two minds: I personally don’t mind a bobbled check, or having to switch plates with my wife when the wrong dessert arrives. But when I’m paying premium price for what is, literally, world-class service, getting elementary mistakes becomes a weird question: Should I let this slide? I mean, I could buy a large portion of a woodworking workshop for what I paid for this meal, and part of that cost was the promised flawless service. And what I got was very good in many ways, but world-class?
Now, it could be that Sixteen no longer deserves its two-star rating, and we’ll see them slide down to one star next year. (Ratings are dynamic things, you see.) It could be that they had a bad night. Either way, though, I paid about $200 above what I paid for Babbo, and Babbo was not exactly cheap.
As for the food, Gini rates it the best meal she’s ever had. Me, I’d rank two above it: Victoria and Albert’s in Disneyworld, and Babbo in New York City. This was a very good experience, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if Michelin was correct on this one. There’s also the fact that, frankly, both Victoria and Albert’s and Babbo tend to be conservative in their meal choices, whereas obviously Sixteen had some playful experiments that were aiming higher and fell harder. (Agnolotti is hard to do, but you have a clear idea of what the perfected state of it should be; more difficult to find the perfect porktopus.)
So I liked it. Very much. But the expense really carved the edge off. Were this the same price as a Babbo meal, well, I woulda said this kicked the crap out of Babbo. But value enters into the equation, and with that much on the line, well, I’d probably go with Babbo again.
Still very good. Memorable. Awesome. But spendy. Let’s see how other restaurants compare, once we’ve grown back our meager savings.
Oh, as an extra bonus, here’s how I looked in The Suit that day:
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This is from this Labor Day 9/1/14 We came across photos of a bear who had been struggling with an object stuck on it's head for over a month. We decided to try to find and help the bear. The video is documentation of our adventure.
Submitted by: (via Dean H)
Be well, everyone.
(I work in a grocery store in the back in the deli. We have telephones in each department to call other departments and customers and for them to call us. In the summer the deli stays open longer for the tourists than the rest of year. It is now fall so we are closing earlier. We are in the middle of cleaning the department. The phone rings and my coworker answers:)
Coworker: “Hello, deli department.”
Coworker: *pause before he answers* “We closed at eight.”
Coworker: *another pause, then:* “No, we currently close at eight.”
(He hangs up and then several minutes later it rings again. He picks up again.)
Coworker: “Hello, deli department.” *pause* “No, we do close at eight. We are not open to ten. We are open to eight.”
(He hangs up and turns to me:)
Coworker: “It was the same person and I am going to lose it if they call again!”
(The phone rings a third time and this time I pick it up.)
Me: “Hello, deli department. [My Name] speaking.”
Customer: “The other guy told me you close at eight. I know you close at ten.”
Me: “We used to close at ten. We are currently closing at eight. We were open later for summer but we are now closing at eight.”
Customer: “You should be open until ten!” *hangs up*
(The worst part was the customer was an employee from the front of the store!)
August 2014 Top Story Roundup: Here are Not Always Right’s top-rated stories for last month!
- In Soviet Russia, Accent Speaks You (3,737 thumbs up)
- Bagged Himself A Steal (2,490 thumbs up)
- Children Can Man-age To Listen (2,264 thumbs up)
- Casting The First Stone Cold Glare (2,185 thumbs up)
- His Attitude Speaks Volumes (2,124 thumbs up)
PS #1: check out our new Extras section, with pictures, videos, and news!
PS #2: Read more roundups here!
(On Sundays, we close both dine in and drive thru at 9 pm.)
Customer: *in drive thru* “Hey, how late are you guys open?”
Me: “Well, it’s 8:58. We’re closing both dine in and drive thru in two minutes.”
Customer: “Okay, we’ll be right in!”
(The customers proceeded to come inside and took 20 minutes to decide what they wanted, then tried to stay and eat inside. My manager let them. I had to stay an hour late, with school in the morning.)
(Our mall closes early on Sunday, though some people don’t quite get the message. My coworker has gone to take out the trash and left a door unlocked but closed so she can get back in, as we normally do while my manager is closing the registers. A couple walks in after letting themselves in.)
Manager: “O-oh, hey, guys. How are you doing tonight?” *stops her counting and shuts the drawer to go around the counter*
Customer #1: “Hey there. We’re just looking.”
(My manager is confused but follows them, doing her normal sales thing until the couple finally catches on.)
Customer #1: “Are you guys closed?”
Manager: “Yes, we are.”
Customer #2: “No, like… Are you guys REALLY closed? Not just saying it?”
Manager: “… Yes. I’m closing down the registers and I can’t process any more transactions.”
Customer #1: *snippy suddenly* “Well, we just want to look, anyway!”
Some patients have experienced the following symptoms: sudden death ...
I don't know about anyone else but I would think that'd be a good reason to stay far far away from that medicine.
(I work in a call center industry in Manila, Philippines. We cater to customers in Europe; most likely in the United Kingdom. We handle an online site where they buy and sell some of their items. Normally, customers are being charged for advertising their items on the site depending on for how much they sold their item.)
Me: “Thank you for calling [Online Site] customer support. You’re speaking with [My Name]. How can I help you today?
Customer: *mad and loud voice* “Why the f*** am I being charged for listing my car on your website, when it says you have free listings today?”
Me: “I do apologise for the inconvenience and misunderstanding regarding on the information you saw. Let me check what happened.”
(I place the customer’s call on hold, and check on his listing.)
Me: “Thank you for patiently waiting, [Customer]. Upon checking on your ad, you placed your car on sale in our site, and if you tried reading our notification before you place your advertisement online, it will show you how much you’ll be charged once the car was sold.”
Customer: “What the f*** are you talking about? You said it was free listing day, I don’t understand. You f***ing mislead customers!”
Me: “[Customer], let me walk you through in listing your items and I’ll show you the note at the bottom before you list your item online.”
Customer: “Sure! I bet you’re f****** stupid and don’t know what you’re talking about. Go on and walk me through.”
(As I walk him through, I show him where he can see the fees.)
Me: “Now look at the bottom part of the page before clicking the button ‘save’ to advertise your item online; you’ll see that [Our Site] is excluded during Free Listing Days.”
Customer: “Oh!” *seems ashamed, but still keeps shouting* “You should make that note larger! And you should know that the reason why I’m selling my car is that I don’t have any money! You stupid piece of s***! How can I have money if you’re going to charge me for this, huh?”
Me: *still calm* “[Customer], I understand that you’d like to have the money in a whole amount. However, like what you saw when I walked you through, you will be charged no matter what happens.”
Customer: *still shouting* “I won’t pay your d*** fees! I want to speak with your manager! You’re an idiot and I don’t wanna talk to you!”
Me: “All right. Let me place your call on hold for a couple of minutes while I transfer you to my manager.”
(I talk to my manager/supervisor and tell him what has happened. Then he takes the call)
Manager: “Thank you for patiently waiting, [Customer]. My representative told me that you’re having concerns with your listing fees and he already explained what had happened. Is that correct? Can you explain more what happened?”
Customer: *explains his issues for more than 10 minutes, over and over again*
Manager: “I do apologise [Customer], but we only follow protocols that were given to us. And everything was clear that you will be charged for listing your call no matter what happens.”
Customer: “Well, f*** you! F*** your rules! I will not pay you!”
Manager: “If that’s the case, our collections department will be the one who’ll get in touch with you.”
Customer: “F*** you! I’ll sue you! I’ll go to your place and kill you!” *click*
A new study just published shows that—using more accurate measurements than ever before—Greenland and Antarctica are together losing ice at incredible rates: Together, over 500 (±107) cubic kilometers of ice are melting from them every year.
That means 450 billion tons of ice are lost every year, melted away into the oceans. That’s staggering.
Tim Radford at the Guardian has the story. In a nutshell, the European CryoSat-2 satellite measures the height of the ice over the two land masses. As they lose ice, the height drops, and that change is seen by the satellite.
This loss is of course due to global warming; we’ve known for some time that land masses at both poles are melting away their ice, but these new measurements confirm the bad news, and give more accurate numbers. They also found that West Antarctica—the focus of much concern lately—is losing ice three times faster now than it was in the time period from 2003–2009. That’s astonishing. Note that they did find a mild increase in ice in eastern Antarctica, which was known before as well, but it’s not nearly enough to compensate for the huge losses elsewhere (in other words, beware of The Usual Suspects trying to use this to say land ice is increasing).
I can’t help but mention that I saw this news literally the day after an atrocious Mail Online article also reported on satellite imagery of the North Pole but then grossly misinterpreted it to make the claim that Arctic sea ice is recovering from the record loss in 2012. As I pointed out yesterday, that claim is just so much fertilizer. The contrast between the Mail reporting and that of the Guardian can’t be more different. The latter is trustworthy, the former … less so.
Be careful where you get your news about anything, of course, and especially when it’s about scientific issues that have become political ones. It seems that a lot of venues out there are going to great lengths to keep people in the dark about global warming. I will do what I can to shine a light on them.
Tip o’ the snow plow to Dana Nuccitelli.
Oh how I love nature and science! The former sets up mysteries that baffle us, and then the latter equips us with tools with which to solve them.
When I was a kid, one of the coolest mysteries going was the moving stones of Racetrack Playa. This is a dry lake bed in Death Valley, California, where large rocks are embedded in the dried mud. However, many of the rocks have clearly been moving; there are long tracks behind them in the caked, baked mud pushed up like rails along the tracks’ sides.
What could be moving these stones? No one knew. They would sit for years, then suddenly be found to have moved many meters. Could wind push them? Maybe ice formed after rain, forming rafts that floated the rocks up. Speculation abounded, and I remember watching TV shows about the rocks, and reading about them in sketchy “Mysteries of the Paranormal” type books when I was a wee lad.
Now, however, this enduring mystery has been solved. And I mean, solved. Like, we know what’s causing this. A team of scientists and engineers were able to capture the motion on camera, finally revealing the mechanism behind this bizarre behavior.
It was wind. And rain, and ice. But not quite the way it was thought before. Here’s a video describing it, from one of the scientists, Scripps paleo-oceanographer Richard Norris:
In a nutshell, the playa is very dry, getting only a few centimeters of rain per year. In the winter, when it does rain, the slightly tilted playa gets accumulations of water a few centimeters thick at one end. It gets cold enough for the water to freeze on top. When the Sun comes out, the ice begins to melt, forming large chunks called rafts. The wind blows these rafts (which are typically a few millimeters thick), which then hit the rocks and push on them. The ground is softened by the water, so the rocks can move more easily ... and then they do.
The team set up a weather station, time-lapse cameras, and 15 rocks with GPS units embedded in them. With this equipment, they were able to capture and record the motion. The rocks move at slow speeds, perhaps a few meters per minute, but that was enough to get caught on camera. Here’s one (indicated by the red arrow; in the background are two stationary rocks indicated by blue arrows) in action:
This also explains why sometimes several rocks show not only parallel trails, but also apparent simultaneous changes in direction; the sheets of ice were blown by the wind, and when the wind blew from a different direction, the ice sheets responded.
Wind alone couldn’t do it, and the ice wasn’t acting as a buoyancy agent, either. It was basically sheer muscle power, surprisingly, given how fragile you might think that ice was. I think that’s one of the reasons no one seriously considered this as an explanation before.
I love this. It makes me ridiculously happy to see this. There’s so much wonderfulness to it! A mystery that’s lasted for decades, no explanations that ever seemed to completely work, then a devoted and dedicated effort was mounted … as had previous ones, but this one got a big stroke of luck, catching this movement on several occasions when the events might not happen for a decade at a time.
At this point I have to disagree with my friend Zach Weiner, who put together a compilation of his Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comics into a book called Science: Ruining Everything Since 1543.
Science! It doesn’t ruin anything.* It reveals the amazing, subtle, wondrous, and simply cool mechanisms that make the natural world what it is: endlessly fun.
*At least, nothing that doesn’t deserve to be ruined. Also: I’m in that book, and you should buy multiple copies, because in the end I still think Zach’s the bee’s knees.
GEEKY JEWELRY SHOPPING, that's what.
Ok, I think I've done enough damage to your bank accounts for today. ;)
'Til next time!
|archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - search - about|
|← previous||September 2nd, 2014||next|
September 2nd, 2014: There is a band called DAMSEL TRASH and they made a song called "Feelings R Boring" which you can listen to right here! It's PRETTY GREAT, and you probably recognize it from this comic / this shirt / this book. I also liked More Drunk, Less Pregnant. Check 'em out!
(My plan with them is 100% renewable, and I'm a pensioner, so actually I'll be paying the same and my income will be reduced, but I'm less upset about that than I am about their shilling for the government under the cover of "courtesy".)
I retconned Jor-El and Lara into putting baby Kal-El in a helicopter. I made the Justice League fight Flash's Rogues and after there was a flock of magical doves everywhere, and I didn't even summon any magical doves. I had to chop down some trees, so I summoned 'George Washington' and 'axe', and the game basically said, "Correct, PLAYER. Let's go watch some goddamned chopping."
The comic book sequel was also surprisingly fun. A lot of great references in these next four pages, but I've listed the best ones after the cut:
Anyway, now he wants to make a cat castle using a concrete pour tube.
This weekend I also fitted the cat with soft nail caps, which she regarded as THE GREATEST BETRAYAL EVER PERPETRATED ON CATKIND, OH THE FELINITY. After that she was almost mild about and the new feeder maze, where she has to flick her kibble through different levels before it lands in the slow-feeding trough at the bottom. It addresses a few concerns I've had, since she gobbles her food like she'll never eat again and then shows signs of upset stomach half an hour later. This one leaves her with enough Fuck It that she walks away between mouthfuls, and I know for a fact that she left some food in the trough tonight when we went downstairs when usually her bowl is empty within ten minutes of food being poured.
Though tonight she's gone upstairs for once, after ages of always following me from room to room. I figure this is progress--she used to sleep on the shelf near my window, but last night she was up late making noise so I shut her out of my room, which she did not complain about; and tonight she came downstairs with me, then left her shelf after about half an hour and went back up. I may be codependent and go find her.
Tonight I also ended up dispensing cat advice on Tumblr, after ranting about my roommates' cat-insensitive ways.
Something made me think about and miss Bert this weekend, but I forget what.
It's challenge time!
Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.
Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!
Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!
Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.
Here, some random good things!
--I just finished a draft of a Newsflesh fic that I choose to blame jinian for (^_-), and got it sent off to wildpear for a beta pass. It's smut, and it amuses me tremendously, so I hope it'll amuse other people too. (The working "title" is "in which Shaun gets himself kicked out of bed". *g*)
--Between now and Casual Job resuming, on top of my usual freelance work (presumably--I don't currently have a work schedule from one of my manga editors), I'm going to be proofreading a short novel for Sparkler Monthly. Prose proofreading! I'm looking forward to it. ^_^
--scruloose and I had a short but fun visit with seangaffney, who'd never been to Nova Scotia before. During his few days here we fed him garlic fingers and took him to have SUPER TASTY FISH, and also introduced him to wildpear & family, seolh, and a couple other local friends. ^_^ I wouldn't say he wound up seeing a ton of the city, but seolh and I took him on a wander around downtown (including a stop for cupcakes and a meander through the Public Gardens*) and scruloose took him to the Saturday morning market while I stayed home and did some work.
I also showed him a semi-random episode of Warehouse 13--semi-random because I showed him a couple of clips (including the very beginning of part 1 of the Monsters and Men webisodes series) to show how good W13 was at product placement, and then he promptly went online and spoiled himself thoroughly for the entire series (in case there was any doubt at all that we have very different approaches to consuming media). So I showed him 3x02 ("Trials") so he could see the kittens' namesakes in action together for the first time. Hail The Claudia Donovan & Steve Jinks Show!
Coincidentally, Toronto friends jondoda and notnish were in town over almost exactly the same dates, so they came over to meet the kittens. Between them and seangaffney, that afternoon was almost like a mini con. A mini con with kittens, a bit of catching up, and peach crisp. Yes.
*Look, here's a picture of him with a helpful sign at the Gardens! (The sign says "Donation Boxes Not in Service. Waiting for New Locks." ^^;)
...and I think there were a couple of other things I was going to list, but it's 2 AM, so keeling over in bed seems in order.