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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

17 Years Ago Today...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Moonlit Pond

Here is a picture I took of the pond tonight. I've rearranged most of the rocks and added some water lillies (both real and fake) since the last update.

A Boy & His Toy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Step 2

I finished digging the hole today, installed the liner and the filter and filled it up with water1 I have a pond at last! It's not completely finished yet-- I need to rearrange the rocks to hide the liner better, add more rocks and plants and eventually some fish. I'm happy with the way it's turning out though!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Step 1

I broke ground on the pond project today-- the instructions said that it would take about 2 hours to dig the hole. I worked for about 4 hours and I'm not even half way there yet. Here are a couple of pics of the progress--the first is the before pic, the second is how it currently looks. I'm trying my best to save a lot of my plants, but I'm afraid that I'll lose a few more than I planned on. I knew going into this that it wouldn't be easy, but it's worth the effort. I keep telling myself that it'll be incredible when I'm finished. Hopefully the digging will be finished tomorrow, and the liner will be in place.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A New Project!

It's been a dream for years now- and it's finally coming true: I'm installing a watergarden in the front yard! I installed one when I lived in a Midtown townhouse and it was so beautiful. I hated to move away from that townhouse just because I knew I would miss the pond. I've thought about installing one in the East Point house for almost 7 years now, and today I went out and purchased everything I need (except the fish and plants!). Previous experience tells me that it's not an easy job-- I'll have to dig a huge hole, haul some boulders from the backyard to the front yard, and transplant a lot of the flowers that are just sticking their heads above ground-- but I'm willing to do the work to make one of my dreams come true. I've got the perfect spot for it, too. It'll be right outside my office window, so I'll be able to look at it, and hear the waterfall (with the window opened) everytime I'm on my computer.

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll be filling the sucker up with water! Of course I'll take pictures of the progress along the way!

Lucky Me!

I narrowly escaped a huge disaster last night! It seemed like a good idea to cook some string beans last night. I've been talking about beans on the blog for a couple of days now, and I got the urge to have some with supper last night. I spent about an hour stringing the beans and then put them on the stove to cook. I sat on the sofa and started watching TV. I didn't realize how tired I was, but I dozed off quickly. I awoke (3 hours later) to the sound of my alram clock going off. I layed there on the sofa for a few minutes- trying to figure out if it was morning already. Why was my alarm going off at this time of night. I finally came out of my daze and realized that it was the smoke alarm! I instantly thought of the beans and ran to the smoke-filled kitchen. There was no fire, but the beans were absolutely cremated in the pot on the stove. Thank God I had a smoke alarm! Otherwise, who knows how bad it could've been! I didn't sleep too well after that-- mostly because of the stinch that continued to hover, and the thought that I came close to burning down the house. It's been 24 hours now, and the whole house still smells like smoke. I've got all of the windows open and the fans are turning-- hopefully the smell will be gone soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What a Weekend!

(The pictures I'm posting today are of some of the flowers in my yard.)

For the first time in months, I was able to sleep in yesterday! I woke up around 7am, but stayed in bed until 10am! It was incredible, and long overdue! I hit the gym by noon, followed by quick shopping at Publix, Lowe's, Barnes & Noble, and Petsmart. At Lowe's, I bought the vegetables that I vowed to buy, and more. I currently have the following planted in my garden: tomatoes, banana peppers, jalepenos, squash, okra & green beans.

Last night I was invited to a house-warming party a few houses up from me. The new home owner is a former roommate of my friend Kevin. It was good to see Kevin & Joe, meet the new neighbor (Mark), and even meet another neighbor that I've lived three houses away from for 7 years, but never met!

This morning I had an 8 hour long catering event at Turner Studios. It went good, and I'll just say that I was well-rewarded for my time! Afterwards, I came home and decided to treat myself-- the weather was great and I took advantage of it. I pulled the table and chairs up to the front yard and sat in the sun, reading a book for two hours. The sprinkler was nearby, watering my "crop". It was so peaceful to be outside in the sun- reading a book, feeling the mist from the sprinkler and hearing Mrs. Nix's flag flapping in the wind across the street. Days like this really re-energize me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

"Farmer Brian"

I was able to leave work early today and decided to make good use of a sunny day! I cut the grass and planted vegetables! I have 3 tomato plants, 6 banana pepper plants & 3 jalapenos! I guess in 72 days I'll be able to make homemade salsa!

If I can remain motivated, I will work on a real veggie garden tomorrow. I've got a 5 foot stip of property that runs along the outside of my backyard fence. I want to dig that grass up and plant all kinds of things: squash, green beans, strawberries, carrots, more tomatoes -- maybe even pumpkins or watermelons! I'm most excited about the beans. It'd be perfect to grow them on my fence. There's nothing better than picking veggies and cooking them right off the vine.

Rosebud Strikes Again!

I was able to do the kindergarten tour of the Biscuit again last week. This group was from the Frazer school-- I had about 40 five-year-olds on these tours (we divided them into 2 groups on 2 different days). I really enjoy working with these kids, and it makes me feel important when I run into them in the neighborhood later and they say hi. Often, they call me by name: "Hey Mr. Brian!". They are small kids, but they have good memories!

Today, one of the kids came in to the restaurant to give me a Thank You card that the class made. They all signed their names to it and even included some photos that their teacher had taken during the tour. Using these photos, I can take you on a tour and you can see some of what the kids see.

We start off in the Prep Room. The kids get to see Mr. Jose mix all of the ingredients to make the biscuit dough. He then rolls out the dough and I help the kids cut their own biscuits. After each child cuts their biscuit, they place it on a cooking sheet. I tell the kids that Mr. Jose will cook their biscuits while we tour the rest of the restaurant. (In reality, the biscuits that they make are not used, but none of the kids have eer figured that out yet!).

From the prep room we go to the walk in cooler-- the kids are always amazed that our "refrigerator" is so big! Next, our dishwasher Mr. Ali does his stuff-- he demonstrates the dishwasher. The kids are never really that thrilled by this part of the tour, but the parents and teachers are always amazed that the complete dishwasher cycle is less than 2 minutes! The kids mostly like seeing Mr. Ali spray the dishes down with a garden hose prior to putting them into the washer.

Next we head down to the line where Mr. Sarr & Miss Jo demonstrate how to flip an egg! The kids always love this part. They flip the eggs high in the air- much higher than they normally do. It's a small area, but the kids don't seem to mind crowding in close together to see the magic egg-flip-trick!

Next, the kids follow me through the restaurant. We play the "quiet game" during this time, so as not to disturb our diners. Our customers really light up when they see me walk through with 20 or so little ones following. The kids are so cute, especially now that they are covered in flour from the biscuit making they did earlier in the tour!

The tour ends in the Bakery where Mr. Jeffery and I pass out the bagged biscuits "that the kids made". Everyone gets a bag and they are able to take it back to school with them and enjoy their biscuits with their lunch.

I remember being about 5 or 6 years old and going to Mathis Dairy for their tour. We all got to milk their prized cow "Rosebud". I remember it like it was yesterday. I just hope that this little tour I do is something that stays with the kids. Thirty-something years from now, I hope to read a Blog (or the equivelant of a blog) from one of these kids recalling their visit to the Biscuit, and that nice Mr. Brian!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The New Biscuit

It's hard to tell from this photo, but the new Biscuit will be opening in about 3 weeks! It's our first franchise-- one that promises to outgrow the original chain within the year. It's an exciting time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Pics from the Photo Shoot

It's a Wrap!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


My nephew Jaime was rushed to the hospital this morning and is undergoing surgery as I type this message. Details are sketchy, but here's what I know so far:

Jaime woke up this morning and was having trouble breathing. Angie quickly got him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with a collapsed lung. No one is sure what caused it.

Jim was out of town on business, but he was able to cancel his appointments and fly back home to Memphis to be with his son. I wish I could be there, too. Memphis never seemed so far away.

I'll post more when I have a better idea of what's going on. Til then, please keep Jaime in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

Biscuit Photo

This is one of the pictures from today's photo shoot (my favorite, so far). Today we photographed the biscuits, the pancakes, an egg dish and the meatloaf. It took about 10 hours to complete these four dishes. We have four more to photograph tomorrow- it'll be another long day. It's worth it though, because these pictures are truly art- I'll post the rest of them as soon as they are complete.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Can a Fried Egg say "Cheese!"?

I'll be spending the next 2 days in a studio, assisting a Food Stylist and photographer. I'm really looking forward to this, although I'm sure it'll get pretty boring at times. We are having 8 of our signature dishes photographed for publicity shots, advertisements, and for use on the company's website. It is anticipated that it will take 2 full ten hour days to get the shots we want-- I'm saying my prayers that it'll be wrapped up before lunch tomorrow, but I'm sure that they will drag it out for the full 2 days. After all, they get $1000 for each photo that we select. We're going in with an $8000 budget- I'm pretty much there to make sure that we stick to the budget! It will be cool though to see the "behind the scenes" tactics that go into food photography. They already warned us that all of the food we use will not be edible- they'll be using stuff like Elmer's glue in the coffee to simulate cream and other tricks of the trade that food photographers have used for years. I can't wait to see the things that they come up with. It should be interesting, and educational!
I dropped my car off at The Color Spot in Smyrna tonight. The wrap process will take one day. So, if all goes as planned, I'll be able to pick up the newly dubbed "Biscuit Mobile" tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to see it! Of course, I'll post pictures of it soon!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Aunt Jane's backyard- what a view!

Easter Sunday at Aunt Jane's

We had a great time at Aunt Jane & Uncle Hub's house on Easter Day. It was sad to think that this would be the last time that we would ever visit "the Farm". Everyone has always called it "the Farm" for the past 30-something years- although they've never raised any livestock, they've never grown a garden and the only 4 legged animal they've ever had was a black lab named Sam, and she died about 20 years ago. Still, to us it will always be "the Farm". After lunch we took the obligatory tour of their new house, just down the street. The carpet is in and the hardwood flooring has been installed. I can't wait to see it after the furniture is moved in-- they'll be calling the new place home in less than a month!
The best part about getting together with this side of the family is that I get to spend time with my cousin Mary. I'll never forget how shocked she was to see that her mother had selected all white appliances. They don't match the cabinetry at all, but she picked the white appliances to match her 20 year old refrigerator. I never would've mentioned it, or even thought twice about it, but it really stuck in Mary's craw that her parents were building a $350k house, and the entire kitchen design revolved around an old refrigerator that will probably need to be replaced soon. Mary has always had a funny point of view, she thinks of things that I would never think of.

After lunch, and after another tour of the "estate of clashing appliances", Rob spotted a black rabbit in the garage. It was a small bunny- probably not wild. It was probably someone's Easter gift- escaped after a few hours of captivity. We chased the bunny all around the house, and I came close to catching it a few times. I got close enough to pet it, but every time that I tried to pick it up, it would escape. After several attempts, I had to ask myself why I wanted to catch this rabbit? Did I want to take it home? No way! Clara would slay this rabbit in a heartbeat. I guess it's just the "Crocodile Hunter" in me. Catch the animal, love on it for a few minutes and release it. I didn't get the opportunity to love on it-- but it was cool to see a rabbit running free at "the Farm" on Easter Sunday. Kind of like a snowfall on Christmas- it was magical!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wayne's Departure

Yesterday was Wayne's last day at the Biscuit. I say this with a very sad heart. Wayne is my closest friend at work and I will miss him so much. Wayne and I started working at the Biscuit the same week, in June 2004. We shared an office, we shared the same ideals. His departure came as a complete surprise and I don't know that I will recover from this one. Wayne and I made a great team, and he was my biggest supporter. He stood up for me, encouraged me and helped me daily. I've spoken to him several times since his departure- he is fine and will continue to be fine. He doesn't live paycheck to paycheck, like many of us do. Fortunately, he's in a position that will allow him to take it easy for a little while. That's just what he needs- a huge break. He has been the backbone of the company for three years- but the stress and irritation (brought on mostly by the new hire that I recently blogged about) was too much for him, and he didn't need the extra troubles in his life. I can't say that I blame him, but I wish it hadn't turned out this way. I'm going to miss having Wayne around, and I wish him only the best.
Thanks for everything, Wayne. You've been an incredible mentor!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sick Bastard, Norvil!

Faces of Brian