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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Coming Soon- the Biscuit Mobile!

I received the prototype from The Color Spot today. This is what my car will look like in the near future (maybe even this week!).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Biscuit Baby!!!

I've kicked this thought around in my mind for a while now-- I want to do an ad advertising our "Kid Eat Free" special. I've ran this type of ad many times, but I've always wanted to do it along with a photo of a real kid holding/eating a biscuit. I had my heart set on a friend of mine's daughters- they were young and pretty- I pictured a photo of them having a tea party at a small table- wearing white Laura Ashely dresses and hats and a huge mountain of biscuits on the table between them.

My plans failed when Julie moved to Hawaii and took her children with her. So, my latest victim is Mia. Her nanny brings her into the Biscuit at least once a day. She's a sweet little girl, but I can't picture her wearing Laura Ashley. I've never seen her wear anything but "Thomas the Train", and her big green rainboots. She wears these rainboots every day, no matter what the weather is!

I took these shots this week-- just as a test. She did a pretty good modeling job for a 2 year old! I'm still looking for my perfect Biscuit model, but so far Mia is in the lead!

Stray Cats

About a year ago, my neighbor, Jan, decided to do something about the stray cat situation in our neighborhood. She set up a few traps and caught them. Once they were caught, she'd take them to the vet and have them spayed/neutered. Then she would release them. I applaud her efforts- I wish I had the time, money and dedication to follow through with something like this. For my part, I decided to start feeding the cats- I put food on my front step every morning. The cats reward me for my efforts by leaving me little presents. Every day when I get home, I always find at least one corpse lying by my front door- mostly moles, sometimes mice. I guess that's their way of saying "thanks". We have a pretty good relationship- they take care of the rodents in my yard, I take care of their food needs. We seldom cross paths, but we know that we can count on each other.

After I lost my Bixby three years ago (can you believe it's been 3 years!), I swore that I wouldn't get anymore cats. And I haven't-- these cats aren't mine. They are happy being outside. They don't want to be petted, they don't want to have any contact. They just want to eat, play with each other and kill moles!

I took the picture above of one of the kitty's last week. Besides this one, I have a siamese and a black one. I don't know the sex of any of them, and I don't even have names for them yet. I often just call them "Kitty", and they often just ignore me or run the other direction.

Previous Post Deleted...

I just can't trust the type of person that I recently wrote about-- afraid that she might stumble across this site and use it against me. I figured it's better to delete the post than to risk the wrath of this back-stabber.

www.quitthisbitch.com-- for a laugh, click on this site and play the MP3 audio file. I know I've posted this before, but it's worth a 2nd listen!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Edward Van Webb Burnett

Steve and I got Edward when we lived together at Tahoe. He was a tiny baby when we brought him home. He was a lively Beagle, full of personality, and very smart. He loved going to the lake. I'd walk him down to the lake every morning and as we approached it, I'd unhook his leash. He'd spot the ducks and take off on a mad dash. he chased those ducks all around the lake every morning. He never caught one, but he never gave up trying!

After Dad died, we moved into his house. Ed loved having a backyard to play in. And he loved having a big brother, Charlie (my Dad's Bassett Hound) to play with. Ed especially loved to play fetch. He never tired of it. We used to spend a lot of time sitting on the sundeck at night. Ed would bring us a tennis ball and we'd throw it out into the yard. He would bring it back and drop it at our feet. If one of us didn't throw it again in the next 15 seconds, all hell would would break loose! We learned fast to throw the ball, and spent hours playing fetch with a dog that would never wear out.

Ed was a fast learner and very smart. Besides playing fetch, he could shake, roll over and sit on command. I had a small fence around my garden, about 3 feet high. I taught Ed how to jump over it. I was amazed at how fast he learned. I didn't realize that that wasn't a good trick for a dog. He quickly started using his jumping skills to jump over the chain link fence that surrounded the yard. In fact, he would visit the neighbors (4 houses down) daily! He jumped over the fences of each yard, but always returned before we got home from work.

One day while he was staying with Steve's Mom, he jumped her fence and was never heard from again. I'm sure he got lost once he was out on his own, and I still blame myself for ever teaching him how to jump. Hopefully he landed in someone's yard that took good care of him for the rest of his life.

Random Thoughts....

I forgot to mention here that the Biscuit had a photo-shoot for Spin Magazine a couple of weeks ago. They had some professional photographers there all day and got lots of good shots. But they contacted me last week and said that they wanted to use the original photos that I had sent them a few weeks prior, and they wanted the names of the photographers so they could be sure to give credit where credit was due. It turns out that the pics they want to use were all taken by yours truly! They will be using my photos and I'll get credit: "photography by Brian Burnett".
I've got another photo shoot to coordinate tomorrow- this one is with Time magazine. They are doing an article on the Biscuit, possibly a coverstory. I've already submitted my photos to them-- wouldn't it be cool if they chose to use one of mine and I got credit for a cover of Time Magazine? Dream on, Brian, dream on!
I finally got approval to get my car wrapped with the Biscuit logo. I'm not sure how soon it will happen, but I was in touch with the "wrapping" company today- they took photos of my car and they are currently at work designing the decal to custom fit my car! It shouldn't be long now!
My brothers and I are in the process of buying a 2nd unit at our timeshare in Hilton Head. Jim found one for sale the same week, the same building, the same floor as our original unit. This one is a two bedroom, two and a half bath. We outgrew the 1 bedroom/ 1 bath decades ago. We're going to keep the original unit and we can opt to rent it out on the years that we don't need the extra space. The management company can rent it out and they pay us a pretty good fee for the rental. We did this last year when we couldn't use the timeshare and it worked out pretty good. For the past few years, we didn't have enough space- I always ended up sleeping on the floor with the kids. Now we'll have enough space for all of us to sleep comfortably, and the kids will be able to bring a friend and eventually they will be bringing spouses and children. Between the 2 units, we will be able to sleep 14 people! It's going to be a challenge to pull this off- we have agreed to finance it for only 6 months. I will be stretched to the gills, but after 6 months it will be paid off and I will have a vacation spot paid for for the rest of my life. It's worth the sacrafice. We all know that timeshares are the worst investment that anyone could ever make, but for my families purposes they have paid off. They are worth absolutely nothing if you try to sell them. But if you use them every year, you really save money in the long run.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sad News

While searching the web today, I came upon the saddest news on a Live Journal page:

"crookedfeet (crookedfeet) wrote,@ 2007-03-05 20:54:00

R.I.P Keisha Lorraine

My mother put their cat down over the weekend-she was 17 years and change. She was a Christmas gift to my sister from a friend(the friend's sister named her for her cabbage patch doll). After my sister died,my mother kept her,even when they began RV'ing full time. Apparently,this past week,she began having all kinds of problems with bodily functions,couldn't really eat or drink,had no bladder control,etc. The vet said it was just old age and that it would be best. i feel like the last piece of my sister has gone. They had her cremated but left the ashes at the vet's. I'm going to see if I can get them,and maybe scatter some on my sister's grave.I like to think that she is somewhere with various deceased family pets because she loved animals. I don't really believe that,but I like to think it because it provides some comfort in a mostly comfortless world."

They say that there is always a silver lining. To me, that was the discovery that there is a Cabbage Patch doll somewhere out there named Keisha Lorraine! I've got to find it!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm Dragging!

No, not that kind of "drag"!

I can't believe it-- I pulled it off! I've spent lots of sleepless nights this week trying to figure out how I was going to make the catering of the ING VIP tent a success. But I did it! I even catered a job for a nearby tent who's caterer failed to show, bringing in an unexpected extra $700. I did almost $4000 in catering sales today! And the cool part is that I did all of the prep work and cooking myself! I'm really starting to think that maybe I could open my own catering business one day. I've got lots of devoted customers that use my services every week-- they even refer me to their friends and then they become loyal weekly customers. I really think that my customers would support me if I decided to give it a try. I'll have to think about that one! For now, I'm just hoping that my meeting with the parent company goes well tomorrow. It'd be great if they offered me the position that I've been eyeing since last Summer. If not, I may really try to do this on my own.

I hate to admit it, but I'm getting older now. It took every ounce of strength I had at 3am this morning to load the van. I filled a cart with 10 cases of water, 10 cases of soft drinks and 10 cases of fruit juices. I pushed the cart up from the basement to the curb, along a driveway that slants at least 45 degrees. I lost one shoe in the process. How long can I go on doing this kind of stuff? I'm not trying to pat myself on the back-- but I am good at sales. I'm good at pleasing people. But I can do all of that on the phone. I could hire quality people to do the rest. I worked over 80 hours this week, I sold almost $10,000 in catering and I only brought home about $200 extra, above my salary. That equates to working a 40 hour week at $5 an hour. I'm not trying to be a martyr, but something's gotta give! We pay the bussers and dishwashers more than that, and they don't produce any sales!

As I sit here feeling every muscle in my body ache, I realize that I've got to make some changes. And I will. My catering sales have increased this year by 329% over last year, and 2006 was a record-breaking year in catering sales. That tells me that I'm doing a good job. It tells me that I have increased my customer base, and that they are satisfied. I've learned a lot over the past few years and it would be so nice if my savings account could somehow reflect what I've accomplished. I wish I could be compinsated for the life that I gave up when I opted to take on this catering business. I used to enjoy hanging out with my friends at the Corner Tavern a couple of times a week. That all changed when the catering took off. I've only been to the Tavern one time since Christmas. I'm sure that many of my friends don't understand. I'm sure they feel abandoned. Hopefully they understand that it's hard to hold down the equivilent of two full time jobs and have any kind of social life.

OK- enough whining and complaining. Time to make changes. My first option is to get this promotion. If that doesn't come through, my second option is to start my own catering business. I guess the third option is to ask for a raise, or at least a percentage of the catering income. I vow that I will follow through with one of these choices in the next few months. Something's gotta give, right?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Whatever Happened to Sleep?

I promised myself that I'd be in bed by 7pm tonight. It's now 7:45pm, and the Tylenol PM hasn't kicked in yet. I'm tired. I should be tired. The alarm went off at 3:30 this morning, and I was Atlanta-bound a half hour later. I worked a good 10 hours before heading back to East Point.

My alarm is set for 2:00am! I have to be at work by 2:30am-- I'm catering the VIP tent at the ING Marathon tomorrow. It's going to be strange being in the restaurant that early- I'll be the only one there. I have to prepare enough food for 200 people, on my own. The opening staff will arrive a half hour before I pull out at 5:30am.

This will be an interesting catering job. I am co-catering with one of our other restaraunt chains for the first time. I'm doing the breakfast and they are doing the lunch. Unfortunately, their idea of catering is "drop and run", while mine is to do whatever the client asks, including staying around to serve the food and cleaning up til 2:00pm. It's ok. This will be good for me. This customer, this catering job- it could be the turning point in my career... there is so much at stake now. I won't go into all of the details, but the Reader's Digest version is that this customer got caught up in a loop trying to place this order with the "other" restaurants that are members of my parent company. She tried for weeks to place this order and was told "no" at every turn. Finally she got in touch with me and I took on the project. She was so happy that she wrote a letter to my parent company, telling them of her troubles and how I saved the day. I wrote my own letter telling them what was wrong with the system and how it needs to be fixed. The result was that they called me in for a meeting on Monday- I get to tell the company how to fix their problem. I get to prove to them that I am doing the job that I was turned down for a few months ago. Maybe they'll offer me that job after all... Maybe they'll figure out that I'm already doing it and won't offer to give me the promotion. Time will tell.

Speaking of time- it's almost 8:00pm. I have to get up in 6 hours and pass the audition of my life. Keep your fingers crossed for me- I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quiet, Please!!!

This week I was asked to be an Usher at church for the first time. Within minutes of being asked, I was reminded of one of my biggest childhood fears: the Usher!!!

Why would anyone be scared of an Usher at church, you might ask! It all dates back to my childhood. OK, here's the explanation:

When I was a kid, there was a Jamaician (sp?) lady at church who's name was Udeen Lester. I don't know a lot about the heritage, history or traditions of Jamaica- but I do know one thing from knowing Ms. Lester- they always add an "H" to any word that begins with a vowel. They also take the "H" away from words that begin with "H". Ms. Lester would always invite us to her "ouse" (house). She might feed us a "amburger" (hamburger). We got a big laugh each time that she introduced our Lay reader Amy Orr as "Hamy Horr" (whore).

I remember the first time that Ms. Lester told me about the "Hushers" at church. She told me that the Hushers walked up and down the aisle at various times throughout the service. I was so afraid of the Hushers-- they would probably watch me to make sure I wasn't talking. I was very careful not to sing the hymns too loudly, not to communicate with my brothers in any way during the service, not raise the kneeling pad up and down more than necessary. After all- if I made the smallest noise, the Husher might decend on me and who knows what would happend next. Whenever the Hushers came down the aisle, I'd sit perfectly still, like a deer in headlights!

So here I was 30 something years later- I was the Usher. I had become the thing I feared more than the nasty old librarian at Chapel Hill Elementary School. I was the Husher! In my mind, my job last Sunday was to discourage any unnecessary noise. Luckily, I was an adult and realized that my job was merely to take up the offering. I didn't try to hush anyone, though at times I wish I had had that power!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick Finally Comes Out!

"Mom, Dad... I'm... uh...I'm Gaelic."
(from the greeting card that Mom sent me this week!)

Irish Jig Hits Candler Park

The Green Fever hit the Biscuit today! Almost everyone dressed the part today, and they were a lively bunch! Today's special drink was a Guinness Beer Espresso-- they all got to sample the special drink prior to their shift. Hopefully none of them "over-sampled". I guess I don't need to worry, there was a Manager there to watch over everyone. Oh, God, I just realized that Spencer was in charge today-- now I'm really worried!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

While I'm Making Recomendations...

I found the answer to my clogged washing machine drain! Rooto Drain Opener. I bought it at East Point Hardware today, and it's a miracle worker. In the past week, I've tried Drain-O and Liquid Plumber. Neither of them did a thing to dislodge the mass (probably dog hair) that blocked my drain. After literally pouring many dollars down the drain with nothing to show, I stopped at the hardware store in desperate need. They suggested the Rooto. I won't lie to you, it is expensive- $21.99/gallon. I had my doubts and questioned at least two employees- they both vouched for it and gave it high ratings, so I bit the bullet and gave it a try. I did 2 applications today and afterwards I was able to do laundry without the drainpipe overflowing again!

I know that Beverly recently posted that she was having problems with a slow draining pipe. To Beverly and anyone else that may be in need of a drain opener: I highly recommend this product! You might be able to find it at Lowe's or Home Depot in a smaller size and at a cheaper price. But, even if you have to invest in the gallon size, it's a lot cheaper than spending money for other products that don't work. Happy unclogging!

Two Thumbs Up for Jason's

After working in the restaurant industry for almost three years, I have a really hard time going out to eat. I've noticed lately that all I can do is notice what is wrong with service, and the prices of food. For example, I was recently at a restaurant that had lobster ravioli on the menu at $24.95 per serving. We sometimes serve this same dish and our food cost is under $3 per serving. When I see something like this, I feel insulted- like they are taking advantage of me if I order it. I get offended when my empty plate sits on the table for more than a few minutes after it's empty-- we train our servers to clear the tables as soon as possible so that our guests aren't left to wallow in their own mess. I can't go out to eat without constantly taking notice on how the service could be approved, or without evaluating how much profit the restaurant is earning on each dish. It's an illness.
So with this in mind, you wouldn't believe my reaction whenever I visit Jason's Deli at Camp Creek Marketplace. I finally have a reason to eat outside of my house! The employees couldn't be nicer or more helpful. The food is reasonably priced, and you never see a table in need of busing. The kicker is that some of the employees have begun to call me by name when I enter- they even remember my order (I get the same thing everytime). I used to get the "bird to the Wise" sandwich, but lately I've learned of their special- you can get a half sandwich and one trip through the salad bar for about the same price as the full sandwich. If you haven't had their salad bar, you are missing out on the best thing around. They have 62 fresh ingredients- including boiled eggs, tuna/pasta casserole, bean salad, banana pudding (complete with Nilla Wafers), jalepeno cornbread, fresh fruit, cashew, pinenuts, homemade croutons, etc. Every meal also comes with a complimentary ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or a swirl). You can even add chocalate syrup if you want! I had the 1/2 sandwich and salad bar four times last week! My only concern is: what do they do with the other half of the sandwich? Do they get to split the half sandwiches amongst the crew? Do they throw it away? I might have to get a job there just to learn the answer to this mystery!!! If I find out, I'll let you know!

So, the next time your shopping at CCMP and feel a little hungry, drop by Jason's and give them a try. You won't be disappointed. Be sure to tell Billy and Courtney I said hi!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"October Road"

The pilot episode of "October Road" will finally air this Thursday night at 10pm on ABC. You may remember me talking about this last year (see blog dated 03/25/06 in archives). Some scenes from the pilot for "October Road" were filmed in the Candler Park Market, right across the street from the Biscuit. I was lucky enough to meet a couple of the stars (Geoff Stultz and Evan Jones), and even had my picture taken with them. I've been looking forward to this for a year- I hope it's as good as I expect!

The plot of the show sounds interesting:

"Can you ever really go home again? That's the question that confronts acclaimed novelist Nick Garrett when he returns home after being away for ten years. Once back home on October Road, he quickly discovers that the circle of friends whose teenaged lives he wrote about have since settled into blue collar careers and started families. Nick became a New York literary success by writing about those early years, and he had Hollywood heavyweights lining up for roles. With his editor putting pressure on him for a follow-up, he finds himself at a crossroads... and with serious writer's block. Then comes an offer to teach a one-day course at Dufresne College, the small liberal arts school in his hometown of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts. Hoping to tap back into that which initially inspired him, he decides to head back. Nick has had no contact with his family or the close-knit group of friends he said goodbye to shortly after high school graduation. He burned that connection when he used them as characters in his successful novel and, in the process, cast their lives in a less than flattering light. Consequently, the hometown response to his return is less than festive. Nick's friends include best friend Eddie Latekka, who is disappointed that Nick abandoned their dream of starting a business together; there's also the good-hearted and straightforward Owen Rowan, whose family life appears the picture of perfection; the well-meaning but sometimes obnoxious Ikey; and Physical Phil, a lovable recluse since 9/11 who has adapted to living his life indoors. Before he left town, Nick told his high school girlfriend, Hannah Daniels, that he'd be back in six weeks. Now ten years later, the jilted but never-married Hannah has decided to forget Nick's unfulfilled promise and moved on with her life. She is a single mom raising her nine-year-old son, the bright and charming Sam. Hannah is involved with Ray "Big Cat" Cataldo, the former high school bully whose mission in life has been to bestow misery on the lives of Nick and his friends.Nick makes a new friend when he meets Aubrey, a pretty college student and fledgling writer whose Bohemian style intrigues him. While he sorts things out, he moves into his childhood home with his father, a widower affectionately referred to as The Commander.Nick realizes he has several reasons for staying in Knights Ridge. He wants to apologize to everyone for whatever broken promises he may have made, and to make up for how he portrayed them in his book. He also sees coincidences indicating that Hannah's son, Sam, might be his.Although Nick doesn't regret fulfilling his mother's dying wish of experiencing life outside of Knights Ridge, he finds himself oddly wanting to tie up loose ends at home, but realizes the path ahead of him is a rocky one. In spite of any love bruised or lost between his friends and family, Nick embraces the familiarity of his former life and struggles to be included again among those he let down."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It Looks Like Spring is Almost Here!!

My Cousins!

This is a picture I took of my cousins (actually, my cousin's kids!) last night at Aunt Jane's birthday party.
(left to right: Allison, Catherine, Courtney & Benjamin)

Happy Birthday Aunt Jane!

It's hard to believe that you're 75 today! You look GREAT!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fun with Photoshop!

This is sooooo cool! I played with my photo editor program this morning and found a way to merge three pictures into one! The first 3 photos shown here were taken of the houses across the street. The bottom picture is the merged photo. I can't wait to play with this some more!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

King's Holiday Pics

Brushes with Greatness!

I attended a food show at the convention center in College Park today. While there, I had TWO celebrity sitings! The first one I saw was Herschel Walker. For those that haven't heard of Mr. Walker, he was the famous running back from the University of Georgia, my alma mater! He won the Heisman Award in 1982 and later went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. I still remember those glory days in the early 80's, watching him perform miracles every weekend.

Later, I was walking through the Convention Center and came upon one of my childhood icons- the Pillsbury Doughboy! He was walking through the crowd- no security surrounding him at all! I was really amazed at how tall he was- he looks so much smaller on TV!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Life Lessons

Charlie died when I was about 6 years old. I had never known anyone that died, much less seen a corpse. But for some reason, I wanted to go to the funeral home, and my parents allowed it. Charlie was my grandfather's friend. I don't think I was particularly close to him, but I did know him. He used to go on fishing trips with us, and I think he and his wife came to a few of our family gatherings during the holidays. When I heard that Charlie had died, I knew I should be sad, but I really had no idea what death was. The only experience I had had with death involved family pets that passed away: gerbils, rabbits, goldfish, etc. I had handled these deaths okay, so I figured that Charlie's death would be no different.

I remember walking into Patterson's Funeral Home and seeing Charlie lying in a coffin. I walked up to the coffin and looked inside. Charlie was lying there- he wasn't moving, he wasn't breathing, he wasn't talking. He was just lying there. It was so weird. He was dressed up in a suit like he was ready for church. It was as if he got ready to go, and then decided to lay down for a nap. While everyone else was hugging and chatting, I stood there in amazement. Tears started to flow and I didn't want anyone else to notice that I was crying, so I left the room and headed towards the lobby. I was sitting in a big leather chair, the kind with the fancy brass upholstery nails all along the seams. My head was buried in the arm of the chair as I cried uncontrollably. I felt a presence and looked up. Uncle Hub (pictured left) was standing there and he asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine. He asked what I was doing and I told him that I just wanted to count the brass nails in the chair- just wondering how many there were. Uncle Hub saw through my lie and asked if I wanted to go outside with him and I accepted the invitation. I felt total relief when we got outside. We sat on the steps of the front porch of Patterson's, and he asked if I'd been crying. I told him that I didn't understand how everyone could stand around talking and laughing while Charlie was just lying there dead. Uncle Hub explained to me that everyone handles death differently, and that it is okay to cry. He put his arm around me and we stared at the Biltmore tower across the street. We didn't talk, we just sat there and before I knew it I felt like everything would be alright. I understood that some people cried at funerals and some people laughed. We all felt the same emotions, but we expressed them in different ways. On that day, I realized which group I fell into.

Mom's Birthday Party!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Low-key Lunch" for Justin

Timberlake in sync with low-key lunch
By RICHARD L. ELDREDGE Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Normally, performers who gig at Philips Arena and book Pink as their opening act don’t stroll into the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Midtown for lunch. That’s the primary reason we might now discreetly download a Justin Timberlake album.

Before his concert in town Tuesday, the pop star and YouTube “[Junk] in a Box” video sensation shocked noontime patrons when he casually turned up at the, um, intimate eatery.
He ordered the Flying Biscuit Breakfast with eggs over easy, “creamy dreamy” grits, chicken sage sausage, large orange juice, coffee and the restaurant’s trademark baked good.
Timberlake arrived wearing a green tracksuit, bluejeans, white sneakers and black sunglasses, which he promptly removed once inside.
“Yeah, there’s no place to hide when you come here,” Biscuit assistant manager Allie Rader told us, referring to the restaurant’s size. “He was just very sweet.”
“When you come in, you’re just seated regularly, along with everyone else,” Biscuit founder Delia Champion told Buzz on Tuesday. “We like to say that nothing is special and everything is special at the Biscuit.”
Still, the eatery’s wait staff is trained not to call attention to the famous, gossip about them with other patrons or request autographs.
Said Champion: “He got in and out without a lot of commotion and not a lot of hoopla.”