Round And Round And Round

Sometimes your dreams get broken in pieces
But that doesn’t matter at all
Take it from me, there’s still gonna be
A summer, a winter, a spring and a fall

And sometimes a friend starts treating you bad
But the world goes ’round
And sometimes your heart breaks with a deafening sound

Somebody loses and somebody wins
Then one day it’s kicks, then it’s kicks in the shins
But the planet spins, and the world goes ’round
And ’round and ’round and ’round and ’round
The world goes ’round and ’round and ’round
And ’round!

Who knows that song?

I love the lyrics.  But maybe I should have titled my post Spin Spin Spin.  Why?  Cause my second half of my day consisted of things that Spin Spin Spin!

I broke out my new toy today.  Oh, what is this new toy you speak of, Mike?  Well, why don’t you let me show you….

My RONCO Rotisserie Oven

That’s a 5 lb chicken spin spin spinning in my new rotisserie oven!  Oh yeah!  I usually bought ready to eat rotisserie chicken from work on days I don’t feel like cooking.  I figured why not get a rotisserie for myself and save some money?  Well, I bought this thing before I really did the math.  At work I can buy a cooked rotisserie chicken for $6.  An uncooked one depending on weight is about $4-$6.  This bad boy was just under $5.  So if I average this size chicken my purchase will pay for itself within 100 chickens….(laughing at myself).  But I can make a lot of other things with this.  I could go on and on about what this thing can do but I don’t get paid to talk about companies products.

So what else did I do that went round and round?

My beautiful bike on its indoor trainer

So while my chicken was spinning I figured I might as well spin too.  So for the hour and a half that my chicken was spinning so was I.  Well, I had to make my potatoes too.  So I took a break to get those in the oven and then give them a flip in the oven.

Ugh I’m tired now.  Time to eat!

I went Caveman with dinner minus plates, fork and glass.  So what did I eat?

1 rotisserie chicken (I only ate half) rubbed with my own concoction I call Montreal chicken rub (red pepper, black pepper, garlic and onion powder, salt, paprika, and parsley)

I also had oven roasted red potatoes coated with salt, black pepper and rosemary

And of course I had one of the beers I picked up today.

Ahhhh, now to rest and watch some tv.

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Roast Beast, Beer & Scones

It’s mid day Wednesday and I needed a quick break from my transcribing some stories for this awesome author I’m helping out.  I will have to share her stuff soon.

Anyway, I needed some food and quick.  I was up all night with my dogs during some really bad storms that rolled through the St. Louis area.  My wife really messed them up by making them “Momma’s Boys.”  They freak out at the smallest things.  Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep since I had to have a death grip on both of them all night so they would settle down.  I’ve tried everything for them; Thunder shirt, calming treats, loving embrace and nothing works.

OK so I didn’t want to cook anything or warm up my chicken burgers I made last night.  I wanted out of the house for a bit to clear my head.  So I rounded up the dogs and we headed out the door.  First stop was for some food.  What to eat and not gain 100 lbs?  Arbys!!!!  Yes!  I have a weakness for most foods but a Roast Beast sammich from Arbys always gets me.  I rolled up to the drive thru and at first glance I wanted it all.  But I knew I couldn’t since I need to watch my figure…ya know what I mean?  I ordered the biggest super gimongus roast beast sammich they had and an iced tea.  “Would you like to make that a combo so you can get fries with dat?”  said the voice through the little box outside.  NO I would not, thank you very much, I said.

See, look at that, self-control.  I’m trying to lead by example here folks……. Although my sammich was probably 1000 cals itself, I refused to pile more garbage on top of that.  So I pull away to park and eat in the near by Target parking lot.  A bite for me and a bite for my little buddies.  There was no way I was going to eat this whole sammich myself.  It was 1000 cals!  So I shared the love.  Not like I had a choice.  My one dog that was sitting in the front seat already had his face buried in the bag licking the sammich.  So it didn’t take long for the three of us to destroy that sammich.  On to the second reason I wanted out of the house, clear my head.  What better to do that but by spending some cash!

I’m worrying myself a bit cause I’m sounding like a girl here but spending some money and getting yourself a little something makes some people a little happier and chipper for the rest of the day.

So right beside Target is this store I wandered in one day and was extremely surprised at how awesome it was, World Market.  I thought it was a grocery store before I ever went in but…..not so much when I looked in.  It was like a Michael’s but with cool stuff in it.  What store with beer in it is not cool, right?  Well, last night I was going through some junk mail I got and saw a flyer for the place and saw they had some really neat items on sale.  Why not go check them out in person to see how cool they really are?

Well, they didn’t have everything from the flyer….big disappointment.  I guess they were out.  Oh well, there is still beer to look at!

The best part about their beer selection is that I’ve never seen most of these.  And…And you can buy just one of each and make your own 6-pack.  I know!  So here is what I picked out: Magic Hat’s Hex Ourtoberfest, O’Fallon Brewery Pumpkin Beer(made right across the Mississippi in O’Fallon MO), Buffalo Bill’s Brewery America’s Original Pumpkin Ale, Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Angry Orchard Hard Cider Apple Ginger (naturally gluten-free!), and last but not least angry Orchard Hard Cider Crisp Apple (also gluten-free).  Like my Fall-ish Halloweeny October selection?  I can’t wait to try them.

Oh and I can’t forget my prize selection:

Mmmmmmmmm Scones!  Well, scone mix.  But it will eventually be turned into scones.  I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy some with a cup of tea.  And NO, I don’t hold my pinky out when I drink my tea.

 
OK back to work for me.  I will probably take another break to workout and make some dinner with a new toy I bought yesterday.

 
Stay tuned!

Angry Balls (TM)

Alright lazy bones!  Time to get off the couch and exercise!

Not now dad! I only had 10 naps so far today…

We have all played Angry Birds on our smart phones….right?

Well, I created a game called Angry Balls for my dogs to play.  It consists of a bunch of squeaky tennis balls being thrown off a wall and the dogs chasing and catching the balls till they pass out.  I call it Angry Balls in tribute to Angry Birds because when the dogs catch or step on the balls they sound like the birds from the game Angry Birds.  That and it is kind of a funny name.  Sooooo, there you have it!

It’s a fun game as long as they don’t get over-anxious and try to grab a ball out of your hand and inadvertently sink a tooth into a finger.  Or they get a crap ton of droll on the balls that they slip out of your hands.  Here is a clip to check out on my Tumblr page (CLICK ME) (CLICK ME TOO) (CLICK THIS ONE TOO) (LAST ONE)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. a cute dog or 2
  2. a bunch of squeaky tennis balls (ours are made by Kong )
  3. 1-4 walls (the key here is to have bare walls to bounce the balls off of)
  4. a carpeted floor a plus
  5. lots of energy
  6. a great treat for after the game (we like carrots and honeydew melon)

Tip: Make sure to only play for 15-20 min at a time and do potty breaks or you might end up with a wet playing field.

Good workout dad! I need a nap now….

And I leave you with a little funny something:

Tip Me…..Or Else!

Welcome to the next chapter in The Commissary Diaries.

I was just reminded of something I wanted to write about for some time now.  After my long day of stocking those darn bananas you all love I decided to exit by walking by the front end registers.  As I was leaving I walked past a hoard of baggers.  Everyone said hi.  I was so loved by them.  And why not, I made them a lot of money during my time up there. For those of you that are not military affiliated and don’t know about the bagger system I must explain about this interesting group.

The baggers at the commissary are not paid employees.  They only work off of tips given to them by the customers.  They have this strange system that seems to work.  Think of the bagger system as a mafia.  They have a leader that gets paid by taking a cut of each of the baggers take-in.  The leader does nothing more than assign the baggers to registers and keeps everyone rotated.  In order to stay a bagger one must work a minimum of three days a week.  Now to throw a kink in your understanding, there are specific morning shift baggers and specific evening baggers.  And you are not allowed to be both unless you are called in to do so.  The morning baggers are the retired military and spouses there of.  The night baggers are the students and current military wanting a little extra cash in their pockets.  Here’s the kicker…..its all tax-free $$$$.  They don’t report a dime!

OK, so now you are a little in the know of the system, back to my story.

As I was leaving this one bagger stops me to talk a little.  It’s my mailman.  Yup, you read that right, my mailman.  I didn’t know this until a few months ago when I saw him deliver while I was out cutting my lawn.  Anyway, he just wanted to tell me I got a package today.  (It was my new workout gear from UA!)  His telling me about this package made me remember a discussion he and I had during my last week as a cashier.  Here’s the story…..

A neighbor of mine came through my line ( a retired mil guy).  We talk and he recognizes my bagger as our mailman.  He says hi and blah blah blah..  My neighbor leaves and the mail-bagger and I get to talking.  He tells me my neighbor is a great guy.  “He always tips me well here and gives me a nice money filled envelope for the holidays on my mail route.”  I said huh?  “Oh yes, he gets a lot of packages that I deliver and he always gives me a lot of cash at the end of the year because of it.”  Wow, that’s nice.  I figured that was your job.?!.  “It is but it is common practice to tip your mailman if he ever delivers packages.”  Oh OK, I didn’t know that.  “It seems a lot of people don’t know this. A lot of your neighbors don’t tip especially So n’ So.  I think you have had a few come your way too.”

I wasn’t sure if he was joking with me or throwing me a hint.  But seeing how he comes back from some of his carry-outs and complains that he only got a few bucks I see that he is totally a money driven person.  So, it was probably a hint!  At the time though I couldn’t tell so I joked with him….

Oh, well I figured that my tax dollars that pay for your federal government job made me square with ya.

Needless to say, I didn’t receive a response.

For me personally, I am a little put off by people like this.  If I didn’t know his career (which he is also retired military) and his thoughts on the whole tipping thing, I would get along with him fine.  I guess I’m one of those people who believes in you get paid for what you do and if you want more $$$ you do something different.  You can’t expect others to hand you money if they think what you did is part of your job.  My other thing with this guy is that he has two jobs that he expects to receive tips for.

OK so now you have some info.  I want your take on this.  Don’t worry, you won’t make me mad with what you say.  I respect your opinion no matter what.

Bananas!

Welcome to the next instalment of The Commissary Diaries. 

There are so many things I have been learing since becoming the Produce Man.  Not only have I learned some interesting things about produce but I have learned a lot about “you” the customer.  Let’s attack both topics at the same time.

If I didn’t get the same nerve killing questions about some of the produce that I thought was common knowledge, I wouldn’t have done some research.   My research consisted of me doing hands on taste testing of some items and then some actual knowledge search on the interwebz.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and had a list of ingredients for a recipe you have never tried before and realize once you skower the entire store they don’t have that specific item your recipe calls for?  Yeah, me neither…..

The other day I happened to be the only one on the floor stocking product and had this sweet young lady come up to me.  “May I ask you a question about apples?”  Sure, what is it?  “What is a Braeburn and do you have any?”  Well unfortunately; or fortunately, depending on your opinion on Braeburn apples, we didn’t have any.  I don’t like them and that is my opinion.  They are dirty looking and there usually isn’t a lot of sweetness to the ones I have tried.  I’m hooked on the Jazz apple.  Sweet and has a great “bite” to them.  Plus they are not so huge that they could be considered a meal in themselves.  The lady was hesitant in trying the Jazz in her recipe but I had tried what she was making (pork chops/sauerkraut/apples).  In that meal any apple would work. But I don’t think she even knew she was looking for apples.  She was like, oh it’s an apple with pork?!?

OK so I broke out into a story there instead of telling you about my research.  Do you know how many different kinds of apples there are?  I don’t either!  There are so many.  How about what is the difference between chives and the green ends to green onions?  Can you substitute one for the other?  Whats the difference between table grapes and wine grapes?  How do you pick a good melon, avocado, grapefruit, or tomatillo?  I did the research, now it’s your turn!  Or you could ask your local produce man, me.

So many questions to prep for and so little time.  It’s a good thing I cook and eat most of this stuff. 

So I have a question for you all…..What in the world do you guys do with all those bananas you buy?  Seriously!  I put out 10 cases of bananas the other day, each case consisting of  16 bunches with an average of 6 bananas per bunch and I go in the back to crush the boxes and I need more bananas 10 minutes later!  And that was on top of the other 16 cases that were already out there.  Seriously, stop buying bananas!  I’m just kiding….go ahead and get your bananas on. 

Did you know that bananas are at one of the top-selling items at grocery stores and they happen to be the #1 seller at Wal-Mart?  I know, I know!  I just blew your mind.  It’s one of the few things Wal-Mart sells that doesn’t come from China.  Oh and here is another mind blower….most of our garlic…comes from China.  I know!  Ka-Pow goes your mind! 

OK, one more thing here.  If you ever get a chance to try Japanese yams….do it!  They are awesome.  I have a great recipe for ya if you ever get some.  Here is a pic of one beside a regular yam….

 

On the left is the Japanese Yam

 

I leave you here with this Last thing, a produce tip: always pick from the back of the pile! That’s where the fresh items are or should be. Another clue to whether or not it is fresh, is if it feels colder compared to the other items, that means it just came from the back.  The refrigeration in the back warehouse is cooler than the produce line units.

Until next time…..Don’t squeeze the avocados!