Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kitchen Makeover

The yellow kitchen is gone- now it's "Secret Garden" green.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Slow Down...

I was walking through the restaurant this morning, on the way to my office. I passed a co-worker, Kourtney, and said we said hello to each other. As I turned the corner, I heard him say something to me. I was kind of in a hurry and didn't understand what he said. I figured that if it was important, he would follow and repeat. I got to my office and started working. Within five minutes, several of the servers were at my door telling me to call 911- Kourtney had had some kind of accident. I rushed into the back room of the restaurant and there was Kourtney, lying on the floor convulsing. I didn't know what to do, but I figured it was best not to move him. While one of the servers called 911, I propped his head up a little and put some towels beneath it to cushion his skull from the step that it landed on when he fell. He could not talk- just moaning noises came from his mouth as his body shook and convulsed. I held his hand and told him to squeeze it as hard as he needed to if it would help the pain. I started asking everyone that passed by if they witnessed it. I wanted to know if he tripped, or slipped or what could've caused him to be in this condition. One of the servers said that she saw him grasp his chest with both hands and then he just fell to the floor roughly- smaking his head against the concrete floor. I encouraged everyone to disperse- and I sat on the floor with him, and continued to hold his hand and assured him that help was on the way. Suddenly I realized that he wasn't moaning anymore. He wasn't convulsing, he wasn't moving at all. I was scared that he might have died. Just at that point, the paramedics arrived. I moved away and let them go to work. I helped one of the EMT's fill out forms and the then I noticed that Kourtney was awake. They checked him out and moved him to a chair. They could find nothing wrong with him- his heartbeat was fine, there was no concussion. He refused a ride to the hospital, so I took him home where his brother could keep an eye on him for the rest of the day. I never heard anything else today, so I'm hoping that all is well. I'll call tomorrow to follow up.

I learned a lesson today. Slow down. When someone is talking to you- acknowledge it. Even if you are in a rush, they deserve to be heard or at least acknowledged. Who know-- maybe he knew something was wrong and he was asking for help. Maybe it was unrelated. As he lay there possibly dying (in my mind), all I could do was feel bad that I had walked away from him moments earlier. I'm not going to kick myself too hard over this one- just gonna take the lesson that I was given today and move forward.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shelby Update...

If you remember- a few months ago I posted that Shelby was having a skin disease that I was trying to tackle. It started about a year ago-- she was scratching nonstop. She didn't have fleas, and there didn't seem to be any reason for her scratching. She was constantly scratching and rolling and rubbing against anything she could find. I took her to the vet and they couldn't find any reason for it. After a couple of months of this, she was practically a bald dog. Her entire back and sides were hairless. I ordered various supplements on line and tried them out for months, but none of them seemed to help. Last month, I found a shampoo at Petco and it sounded like the solution to our problem. It's named "8-in1, Perfect Coat, Coal Tar Shampoo". I gave her weekly baths with this shampoo, and it worked. Above is a picture I took of Shelby today. She's a much happier dog-- no more scratching, and her hair is almost all fully returned. She's quickly turning back into my fuzzy wuzzy little honey bear!

Advertising/ Promotions

My friend Alex approached me with an idea today. He's a young, cute, South African kid that works at the Biscuit. He's also on the Emory Rugby team. He told me that the team was in need of T-shirts to wear during the pregame warm-ups. I got right on the phone to my friend Brad (at Workhorse) and within a few minutes I had ordered enough matching T-shirts for the entire team. Their shirts will have the Biscuit logos on both the front and the back, and they will wear them prior to every game. I think it's a cool way of promoting the Biscuit to Emory University, and also to every college team that they play against this season. For my efforts, I was invited to attend the game this weekend- sitting on the field with the team. I'm not a big rugby fan. Actually I've never seen a game, and I don't know the first thing about rugby. But, I will go just so I can get a few pictures of the players wearing my shirts!
I also had a meeting with an LA Fitness rep today. She asked for a donation for a monthy customer appreciation breakfast (muffins & biscuits). In exchange, they will stock our menus and catering info for their members. I think it's a good idea, since the LA Fitness is only about a mile away from our Midtown location. At the end of our meeting, the LA Fitness rep offered me a free month long membership. I declined, since I was already a member. On my way home tonight, she called me and told me that she got approval from her manager to comp my membership for the next 12 months! Cool, huh? I sure wasn't expecting that, but I gladly accepted!
I love my job!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Thoughts...

I saw a posting on the phone pole outside of the Biscuit yesterday advertising some furniture for sale. There was a big red sofa, a green chair and a multi-colored chair with ottoman for sale. I was drawn to the multi-colored chair. I remember when I first bought my house, I went furniture shopping and found a chair very siimilar to this one at Rooms To Go. I applied for credit, but my request was denied and I went home with no new furniture. It's bothered me for 7 years now that I didn't get that chair that I wanted. By some miracle, a lady in Decatur had bought this same chair set a while back, and she is now moving and can't take it with her. She was asking $150 for the set and I jumped on it! When I got there to pick it up, she confessed that she had advertised the chair set on Craig's List for $75, and she didn't want to rip me off so she sold it to me at half the price that we had originally agreed on. What a bargain! Now I'm wondering if she had marked down that incredible red sofa. I'll have to search Craig's List and see if I can find it. But, for now I've got a new big piece of furniture in the sunroom- the piece that I've had my heart set on for 7 years. I'll have to do some rearranging, but I'm glad that I finally own the chair. I can't wait to sit in it and watch TV with my feet propped up on the ottoman!
That'll have to wait though, because any minute now I'll be hitting the road for a quick trip to Nashville to the Emmy party of Maryann Byrd. Maryann produced a documentary last year entitled "The Rise of the Southern Biscuit", featuring a very nice segment on the Flying Biscuit. She won two Emmy's for the documentary and she's hosting an Emmy party tonight. All of the restaurants that were featured are bringing their signature biscuits for tasting. It should be fun- I wonder if there'll be a red carpet for the guests to walk in on? That's always been my dream. I mentioned it in one of the first blogs I ever posted here on Life of Brian when I posted a list of things I wanted to do before I die. It'd be cool if I got to check that one off of my list today! I'll definatley report back!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Secret

Last week, Oprah had a show that revolved around the topic of a new movie entitled "The Secret". After watching her show for an hour, I was hooked and I want to know more. "The Secret" sounds a lot like the self-helpish kind of therapy that I normally shy away from, but for some reason I found myself enthralled, and taking notes! The movie is basically made up of interviews with successful people and they tell the audience their secrets of success. Everything I've heard so far sounds like common sense. But several comments from the Oprah show made me sit up, reflect, and consider a totally new way of thinking. These thoughts make sense to me and I'm going to apply them to my daily life and see what happens. Below are the highlights from the Oprah show that I jotted down. You might think this is rubbish and a waste of time, but I'm going to give it a go. Having a more positive attitude couldn't hurt, wether or not it helps me become successful or not. OK, here are the statements that made me sit up and take notice:

  • You attract what you emit: If you have a negative attitude, you will attract negativity.
  • Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have.
  • Whatever you are worried about (money, weight, love)-- instead of wanting to change it, appreciate what's there. Find the things about it that work.

Like I said, it's simple. But it makes total sense. It's basic theory is to keep a positive attitude and find happiness with any situation. It's sounds too simple.

I'm sure there's more to the secret than this, so I ordered the DVD to learn more. I'll review it here after I've seen the movie. Until then, I'll just try to keep an open mind and think positively!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day used to be a big day in my life. I used to have romantic dinners on the 14th. I'd get roses from my partners; I'd send flowers as well. Sometimes I'd buy those huge greeting cards, sometimes I'd make my own. As a kid, I'd work for weeks decorating my Valentine's Day shoebox, assured that the better my box looked, the more cards I'd get from my classmates.

Things have changed, I guess. The other day I was at Walgreen's and I found myself in the VD section of the store. After a few minutes of browsing, it hit me. I don't have anyone to buy candy for. I don't have anyone to buy a card for. What was I doing there anyway? Then it hit me-- I only visit the holiday aisle of the drug store when I'm looking for a bargain, usually the week following the holiday. My holiday shopping never has anything at all to do with the holiday, I'm more of an "after holiday" shopper. This thought never bothers me when I'm shopping the after-Christmas sale, or when I'm scooping up bags of Halloween candy on November 1st. But it hit me as I stood in the middle of the holiday aisle at Walgreens, staring at the heart-shaped candy boxes that had yet to be marked down to 50% off--- I'm alone. I felt a little sacreligious standing in the midst of others that were shopping for the perfect gifts for their partners. I was like an athiest visiting a Nativity scene. I didn't belong. On the bright side, I will not feel out of place when I visit Walgreen's next week. The idea of love (or the lack thereof) will not effect me as I fill my buggy with cheap bags of candy. And maybe, just maybe, things will be different next year.

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

I went to Memphis this past weekend for my Ashley's birthday party. For her birthday, my mother gave Ashley a ring. Mom's grandmother gave her a ring for her 12th birthday and made Mom promise to give this ring to her daughter when she turned 12. My mother adored her grandmother so much, and wore the ring every day until this week when she passed it on to her granddaughter. She wrote the story of the ring and a history of her grandmother, relating the importance of keeping this ring and passing it on to her daughter (or granddaughter). Ashley loves the ring and I'm sure it's amazing to her that her great, great grandmother once wore the same piece of jewelry. I love traditions like this. My family has lots of these types of traditions and some day soon I will write about more of them. Until then, I'll post some more pictures from last weekends trip to Memphis.

This is my nephew, Jaime (16), and his girlfriend, Chelsea (14). They are so cute together and he thinks the world of her. They act like such a couple that it's hard to remember that they are just kids. Ah... young love!

Joel brought his dog, Lucy, with him. She had a good time playing with her cousin, Cosmo (Jim's dog). Lucy was so good in the car- she slept pretty much the entire trip home!

Ashley Loves Horses!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Everything's Coming Up Roses...

...and tulips and sunflowers and daisies at the Southeast Flower Show!

We did a cooking demo for Good Day Atlanta at the flower show this morning. I didn't tell anyone about it in advance, because everytime that I've been scheduled to appear on one of these shows, something happened and I ended up on the cutting room floor! But this time I actually got to show my face on live TV. OK, I was in the background for most of our segment, but at least I was on the air at last!

Anyway, I was completely amazed at the beauty I found inside at the World Congress Center this morning. There were flower gardens everywhere, along with ponds, gazebos (sp?), fake houses, etc. It was like being on a movie set, except everything was real. The pictures here are of a display at the entrance. It is a woman made completely out of flowers and moss. She was really incredible.
The SE Flower Show runs through this Sunday. I'm not sure what the cost of admission is, but I highly recommend it if you are looking for something to do this weekend. You'll be amazed!!!

More Pics from the SE FLower Show

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rest in Peace, Anna Nicole

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Anna Nicole Smith, the pneumatic blonde whose life played out as an extraordinary tabloid tale -- Playboy centerfold, jeans model, bride of an octogenarian oil tycoon, reality-show subject, tragic mother -- died Thursday after collapsing at a hotel. She was 39. She was stricken while staying at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and was rushed to a hospital. Edwina Johnson, chief investigator for the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office, said the cause of death was under investigation and an autopsy would be done on Friday.

Just five months ago, Smith's 20-year-old son, Daniel, died suddenly in the Bahamas in what was believed to be drug-related. Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said a private nurse called 911 after finding Smith unresponsive in her sixth-floor room at the hotel, which is on an Indian reservation. He said Smith's bodyguard administered CPR, but she was declared dead at a hospital. Through the '90s and into the new century, Smith was famous for being famous, a pop-culture punchline because of her up-and-down weight, her Marilyn Monroe looks, her exaggerated curves, her little-girl voice, her ditzy-blonde persona, and her over-the-top revealing outfits. Recently, she lost a reported 69 pounds and became a spokeswoman for TrimSpa, a weight-loss supplement. On her reality show and other recent TV appearances, her speech was often slurred and she seemed out of it. Some critics said she seemed drugged-out. "Undoubtedly it will be found at the end of the day that drugs featured in her death as they did in the death of poor Daniel," said a former attorney for Smith in the Bahamas, Michael Scott. Another former Smith attorney, Lenard Leeds, told the celebrity gossip Web site TMZ that Smith "always had problems with her weight going up and down, and there's no question she used alcohol." Leeds said it was no secret that "she had a very troubled life" and had "so many, many problems." "She wanted to be like Marilyn her whole life and ironically died in a similar manner," Leeds said. Monroe died of a drug overdose at age 36 in 1962. Smith attorney Ron Rale told The Associated Press that he had talked to her on Tuesday or Wednesday, and she had flu symptoms and a fever and was still grieving over her son. "Poor Anna Nicole," he said. "She's been the underdog. She's been besieged ... and she's been trying her best and nobody should have to endure what she's endured." The Texas-born Smith was a topless dancer at strip club before she entered her photos in a search contest and made the cover of Playboy magazine in 1992. She became Playboy's playmate of the year in 1993. She was also signed to a contract with Guess jeans, appearing in TV commercials, billboards and magazine ads. In 1994, she married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, owner of Great Northern Oil Co. In 1992, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $550 million. In a 2005 interview with ABC, Smith recalled meeting Marshall at what she called a "gentleman's club' in Houston. "He had no will to live and I went over to see him," she said. "He got a little twinkle in his eyes, and he asked me to dance for him. And I did." Marshall died in 1995 at age 90, setting off a feud with Smith's former stepson, E. Pierce Marshall, over his estate. A federal court in California awarded Smith $474 million. That was later overturned. But in May, the U.S. Supreme Court revived her case, ruling that she deserved another day in court. The stepson died June 20 at age 67. But the family said the court fight would continue. Smith starred in her own reality TV series, "The Anna Nicole Show," in 2002-04. Cameras followed her around as she sparred with her lawyer, hung out with her personal assistant and interior decorator, and cooed at her poodle, Sugar Pie. She also appeared in movies, performing a bit part in "The Hudsucker Proxy" in 1994. After news came of Smith's death, G. Eric Brunstad Jr., the lawyer who represented Marshall, said in a statement: "We're very shocked by the news and extend the deepest condolences to her family." In a statement, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said: "I am very saddened to learn about Anna Nicole's passing. She was a dear friend who meant a great deal to the Playboy family and to me personally." Smith's son died Sept. 10 in his mother's hospital room in the Bahamas, just days after she gave birth to a daughter. An American medical examiner hired by the family, Cyril Wecht, said he died accidentally of a combination of methadone and two antidepressants. Last month, a Bahamas magistrate scheduled a formal inquiry into the death for March 27.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Simply the Best, 2007

Last night was the "Best of Atlanta" party, sponsored by Atlanta Magazine. For the 2nd year in a row, the Biscuit was voted "Best Breakfast" by the magazine and we were invited to serve samples. This is a great honor and a great party! If I wasn't working the party, I would probably be there participating as a guest. It's a little pricey ($65/person), but you get to sample food from all of the best restaurants in the city. It's an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink throw down!

The highlight of the night was meeting some of the members of "Dames Aflame", a burlesque group of the prettiest women you ever saw! They performed with the band Kingsized, a swing band that I first saw performing at East Point's 1st Fall Festival a few years ago. Here's a picture of two of the Dames along with Delia. God bless Showgirls!

It was a very long day-- we all started work yesterday at 5am, and it was amost 11pm when we got home. It's worth it though. I highly recommend everyone put this on their list of "must-attend-events" for 2008!

The rest of the week will be a very hectic one. I'm catering a live broadcast of CWTV's "Black AIDS Awareness" program tomorrow night (did you know that Feb 07 is Black AIDS Day?). Friday morning is the kickoff of the SE Flower Show at the World Congress Center. We'll be there do a cooking demo for a "Good Day Atlanta" segment and I'm also catering breakfast for the cast and crew. It looks like it's going to be another 80 work week- I've already worked 30 and it's only Tuesday!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Photo Art

Here are some pictures that I took of the trees in my yard yesterday. I think some of them came out pretty good, if I say so myself!!! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Keisha Lorraine: "The truth hurts, I guess"

There were probably a hundred different ways that Keisha & Billy Bob could've broken the news to little Sofie. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

But the time was right to let Sofie know that she was adopted. Keisha says that Sofie is always asking her "Will I be as pretty as you when I grow up?". Keisha has been dying to tell her the truth: "You will never look like me, because you aren't my child!", but she wanted to tell her this in a friendly way- nothing too traumatic, but kind of fun. She and Billy Bob discussed it and decided that the best time to tell Sofie would be at her birthday party. Sofie was elated when she saw her kitty, "Mr. Bones" jump out of her cake holding a sign. They forgot that Sofie was too young to read, but Keisha's Aunt Becky stepped up to the plate and broke the news to little Sofie. "You're Adopted, Hon", she said. Sofie didn't understand- she'd never heard the word "adopted" before. Aunt Becky realized this and tried to explain it: "Your Momma didn't want to have no kids- it'd ruin her little figure. She bought you instead!". Well, little Sofie teared up and began wailing uncontrollably. "You better not cry", Aunt Becky warned, "she bought you, and she can sell you too!". At this point, Keisha figured that Aunt Becky probably wasn't the best choice to help break the news. Sofie would've taken it better if it had come from Keisha's mom, Grandma Peaches. Grandma Peaches has such a way with words and she could've broken the news a little gentler. Unfortunately Grandma Peaches is locked up in Reidesville for the next 5-7 years for grand theft auto (she was framed), and they couldn't wait that long.

As little Sofie was going into hysterics and hyperventilating, Billy Bob grabbed the Polaroid and snapped this birthday picture. He was going into hysterics himself at this point. I've never seen him laugh so hard. He really didn't get the fact that his daughter's life had just been ruined and that she would probably have to go through therapy for the rest of her life. Billy Bob's only comment was that he wished he had one of them video camera's so he could film this and send it into America's Funniest Videos. He and Keisha decided to save up some money for a video camera so they can film it when they break the news to Sofie that there's no Santa Claus. If Sophie has the same kind of reaction, they could win the $10,000 prize!

It's a Wrap!!!

There is only one Flying Biscuit car in existence. I'm hoping that my new car will become the 2nd! The wrap job that will be done to my car will be very similar, it will need to be altered a little to fit a convertable, but they can do it. I hate to have my new car wrapped- it's so beautiful the way it is. But... they will pay me $300 a month for as long as I have the car. I'd be a fool to pass this by. With the company basically paying my car payment each month, I could afford to have a second "unwrapped" car, or maybe even make 2 payments a month and pay the sucker off a lot quicker.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Day in Hell (a cold one, too!)

Warning- this might be a long story, but OMG, I've got to Vent!!!
I woke up before the crack of dawn intending to get to work before 5am. You see, I had 7 catering jobs this morning-- all of them were to be delivered between 6:30am and 9:45am. I wasn't sure how I would pull it off, but I figured that if I got to work early enough I could get it done. Everything was going fine and I left my house shortly after 4am. I had only driven less than 2 miles when my car started acting up- the wipers stopped, the radio turned off and my headlights began to dim. I quickly turned into the entrance of the "Colonial Hills" subdivision to see if my headlights were on at all. They weren't. And soon afterwards, nothing was working. The engine shut down. As I stood there trying to figure out what I was going to do, a car pulled into the driveway of the home that I was parked in front of. Along came Mike and Brianna. They work the overnight shift at the Kroger warehouse and they were willing to help me. What great fate that these two strangers showed up at my time of need, and were willing to help. Mike checked his garage for jumper cables and couldn't find them. He thought he might have loaned them to a friend. I figured that would be the end of their assistance. I was wrong. Mike got back into his car and left- headed to his friend's house to retrieve the cables. He came back a few minutes later, without cables. His friend didn't have them. Before I knew what was going on, I was sitting in the backseat of Brianna's car in search of a gas station that sold jumper cables. We ended up at the West End Chevron where I purchased some cables. We came back to East Point and jumped the car off on the first try. Unfortunately, shortly after removing the cables, the car died again. It wouldn't hold a charge. I decided that this was a worthless attempt, and I was losing time. I needed to be at work, I didn't have time for this! Mike and Brianna drove me to the MARTA station and dropped me off. After 2 trains and a bus, I arrived at work at 6:15am-- I had 15 minutes to load the van. Luckily, we had a new Manager (David) starting today and his job was just to observe operations. I figured he was a warm body and recruited him to observe catering. David came along for the ride and was a huge help. We got all of the deliveries to their locations- most of them were on time, a couple of them were a few minutes late. I was just amazed that I pulled it off after everything looked so hopeless earlier in the day.
After the catering jobs were finished, I got back on MARTA and headed back to my car. I called the roadside assistance number and there was a tow truck sitting by my car by the time that I walked the mile distance from the MARTA station to Colonial Hills. The driver, Dustin, loaded up my car and we headed to Steve Rayman Chrysler in Union City. I had already called the dealership and warned them that I was coming. When we pulled into the dealership, a red-haired lady came running towards the tow truck screaming my name. Her name is Shelly, and she's my new best friend! Shelley is the asst service manager, and the lady I had talked to on the phone earlier. Shelley got my car pushed to the front of the line and within the hour she had a diagnosis. It was the alternator-- not a factory defect, but something caused by a faulty de-installation of something that had previously been attached to the alternator (boom box, maybe). I figure that the car was a repo and the former owner removed it hastily. He didn't reattach the battery cable to the alternator correctly and it caused the battery connection to melt into the alternator, ruining the alternator, the battery and the battery cable.
I just bought this car 3 weeks ago. It only has 3000 miles on it. It's covered by 3 different warranties, but none of them applied to this problem since it wasn't a factory defect. The cost to repair the problem was over $700. In desperation, I called Carmax and spoke to the manager, Jeff. I told him my problem and he immediately said that he would take care of it. He wanted me to have my car towed back to his shop in Norcross, but after some negotiating he agreed to let the dealership fix the problem, and even paid for a rental car for me for the weekend, since the car won't be ready until Monday. I think that was pretty fair, and I was satisfied with both Carmax and Steve Rayman Chrysler for taking care of the problem without causing me anymore stress. I don't think I could've taken anything more today. I was at my wits end already. The only downside is that I have to pay for the repair and the rental, and will be reimbursed in a couple of weeks. This is not good, but I didn't have any choice. I am confident that everything will turn out fine. They have an electronics specialist coming in to look my car over during the weekend to verify that there was no damage to the electrical system. I'm actually glad that this happened. If it happened next week, it would've been past the 30 day anniversary of my purchase and Carmax wouldn't be bound to do anything. I asked the dealership to let me know of ANYTHING that they find wrong with the car. While I'm still under the 30 day mark, I can get everything corrected and hopefully will not have any problems in the future.
It was a frustrating day, but I have to say that it opened my eyes. I truly appreciate the fact that so many strangers came to my aid today. I've always depended on the kindness of strangers, and today they all showed up en masse to look after me. Thank God for Brianna, Mike, Dustin, David, Shelly and Jeff. I just hope that I am just as kind and helpful to strangers in need as you all were to me today.