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

Friday, September 28, 2007

FB Tours

The Biscuit tours were a hit! We hosted almost 150 kids this week and they all had a great time making biscuits and taking the tour.

I took pictures of each of the kids while they were making biscuits. There were over 200 pictures-- I won't show them all here, but I did make CD copies for the teachers to share with their classes/parents.

The best pictures were actually an after thought. When the classes were lingering in the Bakery, I took the time to ask the kids to make funny faces for the camera. I snapped dozens of "funny face" pics, and posted a few here for you to see.

Today 3 of the kids came into the Biscuit on their way to school and had breakfast with their parents-- they said that they just wanted to see "Mr. Brian" again. Each of them melted my heart. These are great kids and I look forward to watching grow up!


After months of waiting, the results for the Creative Loafing "Best of" edition were revealed yesterday. We were a little concerned that we wouldn't win any awards this year due to the many changes that the Biscuit has gone through in the past 12 months-- new ownership and the public perception of "a Corporation taking over the concept and changing everything".

Suprisingly, we made a clean sweep of the breakfast categories! Thanks to all of you that voted. This really means a lot!

Readers' Picks
Best Breakfast: Flying Biscuit
Best Sunday Brunch: Flying Biscuit
Best Biscuits: Flying Biscuit
Best Grits: Flying Biscuit

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In Memory of...

The folks at CWTV did something really classy this week. As we all know, Alice Ghostley (the actress that played Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women") died Friday night. On Monday, CWTV ran the "And Now, Here's Bernice" episode, and even noted the passing of Ms. Ghostley in the closing credits. I was so impressed that I had to grab my camera and take a picture of the opening and closing credits. I've never heard of a syndicated show doing something like this. Very impressive!

Construction Day

The new stove was delivered today, so I spent the day tearing the kitchen apart and then putting it back together again. I got two more cabinets, too, so I had to cut countertops to fit. I'm happy with the end results, and can't wait to get the sink area done. Hopefully the kitchen will be completed by Christmas and I can move on to redoing the bathroom next!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


(Post deleted for self-protection. It's probably not a good idea to commit a crime and then Blog about it! Even if it's a small crime!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Biscuit Hall of Fame!

You might remember this picture from a few months ago. It was an impromptu photo of me Delia, Molly and the owners of the first Biscuit franchise store. It was taken during their VIP/Grand Opening/Media night, in April 2007. We got the idea that it'd be fun to pile into my car and take a group shot.

The tradition continued tonight. The second franchise store had it's big VIP/Grand Opening/Media night tonight and I attended with the sole purpose of getting a group shot with the owners of this new store. I got stuck in traffic and was two hours late to the party. By the time I got there it was pouring down rain. I had my camera with me, but there was no way that any of these people would want to go outside and brave the storm, just to take a photo with my car. But then a miracle happened. It stopped raining and it seemed like the right time for a group photo. I made the request and they all followed! The rest is history. Well... Biscuit History.. we all have great ideas of framing these pics and hanging them in the Original Biscuit. Maybe it'll happen someday... Maybe sooner than later!

Kindergarten Tours

I had the first tour of the the season today-- four more will follow this week! The kids were so cute and they loved the tour as much as the classes that I've lead the tour for in previous years. They have a great time learning how to make biscuits and getting to see all of the "behind-the-scene" views of the restaurant. My favorite part is when the tour is over and the kids all shout out in unison: "Thank you, Mr. Brian!".

Lunch with old friends....

This one is a couple of weeks old, but I just received it today.... my friend's Jaime and Ron came by the Biscuit for lunch! We all worked together at Rosenbluth International and Carlson Wagonlit. Jaime and I also worked together at our last travel job (ESC). Ron has since moved to Florida, but came to visit us in the big ATL! Jaime and I have kept up our friendship, mostly through emails & MySpace, but I do see her at least once a year-- she's the one that paints Keisha's face before each of the PALS shows!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Take me out to the ballgame...

We had a great time at the game today. The Braves won (7-4), and it didn't rain!

It was great seeing Robert & Tony again. We talked about old times and I remembered that I was at Robert's 30th birthday party. He turned 51 this month, so I've known him about 21 years.

I'm already looking forward to the game next September! Here's to old friends-- today was kinda special!

A Busy Week...

I'll start with a couple of pictures from the new Flying Biscuit. I only got a couple of exterior shots, because once I got inside I was bombardered with questions from the new managers concerning tip reporting, payroll, marketing, etc. I'll be back at the new Biscuit tomorrow night for the VIP/Media night. Hopefully we'll be able to get another picture of Delia in my car with the owner/managers of the new store. We did this for the opening of Biscuit #3 and decided it should be a tradition. I might be the only one that remembers, but I want to pursue it. I think it'd be cool to have a 'wall of fame' at the original Biscuit with pics from the other stores.

Speaking of all things Biscuit-- the kindergarten tours start tomorrow. Yes, once again I will become the "Rosebud" of Candler Park! I have about 150 students to give the Biscuit tour to this week. The tours are divided into groups of 18. it's always hectic and stressful to have that many kids wandering around kitchen and the back areas, but we usually do a pretty good job of keeping them corralled! The kids love it and go away with good memories-- I have to admit that I love it, too!

I'm going to the Brave's game today at Turner Field with Joel and a couple of our friends, Robert & Tony. Robert and Joel both have birthdays in September and it's become an annual tradition for the four of us to go see the Braves in recognition of their birthdays. I think this is the 4th or 5th year that we've done this. I'm trying to remember how long the 4 of us have been friends? Joel and Robert were friends first. Robert owned Midtown travel and gave me my first chance to work in a travel agency. Around that same time, Robert met Tony and hired him to work with us, and they became a couple soon afterwards. Later, Joel got a job at Midtown, too. When Joel was going through a "rough patch", he moved in with Robert and Tony. At around the same time, Robert and Tony broke up for a short time and Tony came to live with me! We've all been good friends for about 20 years now, I guess, but these days we only get to see each other once a year- at Turner Field in September. We spend a day catching up and it's always a lot of fun. I haven't seen the weather forecast for today, but I can pretty much gaurantee that it will rain- it has rained every year on our baseball day. Plus, I'm getting my car washed this morning, so it's pretty much a 200% chance of rain I'm sure!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Sad Week...

... in TV land this week. They say that celeb deaths always come in 3's and I'm beginning to believe that theory. We lost 3 great entertaininers this week: Jane Wyman from Falcon Crest, Brett Somers from Match Game, and Alice Ghostly from Designing Women.

I'm mostly sad about Alice Ghostley- I feel like she's been a constant part of my life since I was a kid. I grew up laughing at her character of Ezmarelda on "Bewitched". Later, she was a part of my all time favorite movie "Grease"-- she played the shop teacher, Mrs. Murdock. Later, she played goofy Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women". Luckily, she'll live on in reruns. I watch "Designing Women" every day-- I just know that I'm going to tear up the next time I hear her sing that immortal song:

"Black man, black man,
Where did you come from?
Black man, black man,
Where did you go?"

Rest in Peace ladies-- and thanks for the memories!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Big Brother

Well, it's over. Big Brother 8 was probably the best season so far. Lot's of twists and turns along the way- lots of alliances formed and broken. The cast made the Summer fun for me-- I found out that I wasn't the only watching this year-- the entire management team at work was watching too and we really had "water cooler" talk about this show the morning after each episode.

I'm sad to see it end, and even sadder about the results-- Dick & Danielle (father and daughter) won 1st and 2nd prize. I would've loved to have seen anyone but Dick win. I didn't like him from the beginning, but he played a good game and won $500,000.

Speaking of Big Brother-- today is my big brother's 44th birthday-- Happy Birthday Joel!!!

Biscuit #4

It's hard to believe that #4 is up and running already-- they were already serving guests today! There is a "soft opening" today, tomorrow and Saturday-- people are invited to come have a free meal so the staff can get a little experience. I'll be there tomorrow night, so I'll try to get some good photos.
The new Biscuit is incredible! It feels very "Biscuity".... however, it has some advantages over the previous stores. It is in a stand alone store-- it has outdoor dining on the patio, a big screen plasma TV in one room, and a cozy sitting area in the middle of the restaurant. Food will not be served here, and it's not really a place you would be sitting in to wait for your name to be called during a busy rush. I don't really know what the purpose of the area is, but it's inviting and looks comfortable. The stone tables outside were all handpainted by local highschool kids. They remind me of the original Biscuit in CP-- lots of artwork by locals. That's what gives it the "Biscuity" feel, and makes it feel less like a corporate franchise cookie-cutter store. The new store has a very personable feel and I'm sure it'll draw the crowds with no problem when it officially opens next Monday.
No time to rest on our laurels though, because Biscuit #5 opens two weeks later in Charlotte, NC. Wow-- how amazing-- we're opening our first store outside of the perimeter next week, and our first store outside of the state a couple of weeks later! Stay tuned for details on Biscuits #6 and #7 coming soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Lesson Learned...

I had to stop by Kroger's this morning on the way to work to pick up some fruit for some platters I was making for a catering job this morning. If you've ever been to Kroger at 4:00am, you know what a ghost town it can be. Sure, many of the aisles were filled with employees restocking the shelves, but the produce section was deserted. Anyway, I went straight to the display of honeydew melons. There were probably about 100 melons in this display-- row after row-- 10 rows high and who know's how many melons were beneath. I immediately focused on a melon located on the bottom row-- it was the largest and since they are sold per unit and not by weight, I figured I had to have this one-- it'd be enough to cover two small fruit trays. I grabbed the melon I had spotted and that's when all hell broke loose! Whoever put this display together must've been a master jigsaw puzzler-- each melon was arranged so that they were all in place, but if one of them were moved- especially the ones on the bottom row, the pile would tumble. And that's just what happened. As soon as I removed the melon from the bottom row, the upper rows began to shift and began rolling dow to fill in the gap left by the missing melon. I quickly put the melon back into place, but the row to the left was already in the process of shifting. I steadied the row with my left hand. Suddenly, the row to the right started coming down. I used my right hand to steady this row. While I stood there spreadeagle in the produce aisle, I franticly looked around for someone (anyone!) to help me get these melons back in place. No such luck-- I was alone in this. Since none of the melons were moving now, I tried to rearrange the ones I was holding-- hoping to get them back into their original position. This didn't help-- As soon as I let go of one of the melons, the rest started tumbling down. I used both hands, my stomach and one knee to keep the display intact. A few of the melons had already hit the floor and layed in pieces around my one foot that was still grounded. Luckily an employee walked up and saw my plight. While I held everything in place, he rearranged the melon display. He got a good laugh out of it and didn't charge me for the damaged fruit. As I left the honeydew section and headed towards the cantaloupes, the employee reminded me that I should always take the fruit from the top row. He didn't have to tell me twice! I've learned my lesson!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Brush with (near)Greatness!

A couple of weeks ago, I got a "friend request" on my MySpace page. It was from an author named Charles Cassillo. There was no email attached, just a link to his MySpace page. I read his profile and liked what I read so I accepted his friendship proposal. He wrote back to me and thanked me for accepting him-- later he wrote again and said that he liked my smile! You know how much I love celebrities and hob-nobbing with the rich and famous. Charles pressed all of the right buttons to get my engine purring! A published novelist likes my smile, and formally requested to be my friend!

We've been writting back and forth for a couple of weeks and I think he's a really nice guy-- on the brink of becoming a famous writer. I've ordered a couple of his books and can't wait for them to arrive. I'll let you know what I think and if they are as good as I'm expecting them to be, I'll be happy to share them.

The Wedding Planner!

All of a sudden, my life is revolving around wedding catering! I catered the big wedding in Barnesville that I told you about. Today I booked a HUGE catering job for a wedding in April 2008. Tomorrow I'm doing a Bridal Shower in Cumming, GA. Sunday I'm doing another wedding reception at the Hotel Indigo in Midtown. Maybe my catering menu got in the hands of some wedding planners or something-- I can't explain the trend. I guess all I can say is "Always the caterer, never the Bride!".

Sunday, September 09, 2007

OK to Exhale Now...

I spent a sleepless night last night, worrying about the catering jobs that I had today and how I could pull them off-- was it even humanly possible to pull off the impossible? I had a breakfast, lunch and snack to cater to my #1 client (three standing orders every Saturday). I also had a wedding to cater in the afternoon-- in Barnesville, GA. Yeah, I'd never heard of Barnesville either when I accepted the job. It was a big order and a huge privilege to be asked to cater this wedding so I accepted the job. It turns out that Barnesville pretty far away-- almost as far as Macon! It took about 1.5 hours to get there from the Biscuit. I've never brought scrambled eggs that far-- I was hoping that they would keep their consistency not only for the duration of the trip, but I was also bringing all of the china, glass and silver with me. I had to arrive a couple of hours before the reception to set up, so the eggs that were cooked at 1:00pm weren't served until around 5:00pm. I had all of the food in "hot boxes" and they hold the temp for up to four hours, so I wasn't worried about the eggs going bad, more about their appearance. I've learned through experience that scrambled eggs have a tendency to start turning greenish in color if kept under the heat lamp for too long. I feared that the hot box would be the equivalent and I've been fearing this day for weeks. I expected to open the egg containers and find green eggs, resulting in an horrified wedding party , and an irate bride & groom.

The time I spent worrying about this turns out to have been wasted time. When I opened the hot boxes, the eggs were still warm, had the perfect consistency and color and they still tasted incredible. The food I served got rave reviews from everyone, especially the Fruit Table that I put together about an hour before the guests arrived. The bride and groom couldn't have been happier. They thanked me for everything as they left the reception, and promised that they would be giving me many referrals!

The reception was held in a place called "The Upper Room". It's on the 3rd floor of a 102 year old building, with a 102 year elevator about the size of a broom closet. Setting up and breaking down was a nightmare. Our hand trucks wouldn't fit in the elevator, so we had to hand load everything-- 20 cases of dinner plate, 20 cases of dessert plates, 400 coffee mugs, two coffee urns, 10 chafin dishes and 4 large hotboxes of food. Before leaving we had to bus all of the tables, and hand wash all of the china, glass and silverware. When we finally got back to the Biscuit, I asked the dishwasher to help me unload the van. He filled a hand truck full of plates and coffee mugs. He hadn't gotten 5 feet away from the van when he lost control of the hand truck and all of the glasses and plates were broken. We spent another hour cleaning up the mess. Luckily, we had insurance on the rented china, so as long as we return it on Monday (even broken) there will be no loss. I just hated the fact that I spent three hours washing plates that were later broken. What a waste.

My loyal assistant Alex (otherwise known around the Biscuit as "Little Brian") was with me every step of the way today! He's really taken with his new job-- and really impresses me with his hard work and long hours. I like the fact the he values my opinion and wants to learn from me. He's told me several times that he's aware that my professional reputation is on the line during every catering job, and he does everything he can to represent me. Alex is young enough to be my son. Since I never had a son, I don't mind taking on the "mentor" role in Alex's life. Surprisingly, I do have a lot to teach on some subjects-- and its nice to have an "apprentice" that wants to learn.

It was a long day- I spent over 21 hours working today! I left home at 3:30am and got home at 1:00am. As I've said a million times- I'm getting too old for this! But it was worth it. Every time I cater a big event like this, I learn a lesson or two. In return, the next event comes off better. I also really enjoyed talking to all of the guests- there were some great people at the party. Hopefully I made some good connections and will get some good referrals. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


This is a picture of my friend Mary, with her grandson Thomas. We visited them in Savannah last month while we were nearby in Hilton Head. Mary cooked us a great low-country boil and it was incredible. I've known Thomas all of his life, but I haven't seen him in a couple of years. I figured that he'd be overwhelmed by so many visitors in his house (my entire family was there). Was I wrong! His Dad dropped him off and he came in the front door alone. He wasn't phased a bit! He walked right up to me and told me that he had a new carpet installed in his house. He went on and on about the carpet, and every other detail about his house. Then he pulled a coupon out of his pocket- 20% off at Bed, Bath & Beyond- and gave it to me. It turns out that he had brought a coupon for each of us-- Mom got a free coffee from Starbucks, everyone else got a %-off coupon at different stores. During dinner, he told us all about the pond he was building in the backyard. He said he'd been working on it for months and couldn't wait to show it off. After dinner we all went out into the backyard and saw his pond. It was actually about 6 inches wide and 1 inch deep. You wouldn't notice it if you walked past it. There wasn't a drop of water in it. But, Thomas said that when it rains it really fills up and looks just like a pond. He admitted that he wasn't finished with the project yet, but someday it'd be even more beautiful. I'm sure that it was beautiful in his eyes. What a magical kid-- he always has a story to tell, a dream to work on, and a pocketful of coupons to give to strangers.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Landmark Day!

I rang up a landmark catering order today! As of today, I have sold over $100,000 worth of catering orders this year! Cool, huh?!?

As of today, I have outsold the total catering orders for the years 2005 and 2006 COMBINED! My goal for this year is to reach the $144,000 level-- at this level I will have doubled last year's sales, and quadrupled the previous year's sales. I doubled 2005's sales in 2006. Hopefully I can double 2006's sales in 2007. I really think it's possible-- I have about 4 months to sell $44,000. I've been averaging about $12,500/month so far this year.. at that rate I will beat my goal. In any case, I'll be proud just to have reached the level that I've reached so far. Everything else is icing on the cake!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Another Brick in the Wall"....

....or sidewalk!

Joel went downtown last weekend and visited our bricks at Centenniel Olympic Park. He sent
me this picture, just to confirm that my brick is still in place after all of these years!

The sidewalks in the park are all paved with engraved bricks. I think they sold for around $50 each, and they came with a certificate. My boss at Midtown Travel bought each of us a brick for a Christmas present, and had the certificates professionaly framed. I've still got that framed certificate around here somewhere, I think. I haven't seen it in years. It must be in the attic somewhere.

I was always appreciative of this gift. I would've bought my own brick at the time if I could've afforded it. $50 was a pretty steep price for me in those days. I like the idea that my name is engraved somewhere in my hometown-- I feel that in some small way, my name is burned into the history of Atlanta, along with Margaret Mitchell, MLK, Jr., and Elton John! I know it's pretty far fetched, and I know that I haven't contributed anywhere close to the city as the celebrities I noted, but it is a comforting thought that 100 years from now people will walk that path and see my name. I'll be cold in my grave by then (probably), but a complete stranger will glance down and see my name- and for that moment alone, I will still exist. It's cool to think that I have a little piece of immortality out there somewhere.

It's not a statue. It's not a star on Hollywood Boulevard. It's just a brick-- a little piece of clay. But it is placed about 2 blocks from my former home, in the heart of the city that I love. And it's got my name on it! As long as that park exists, I'm immortal!