Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures in Dining pt.1

As a treat to ourselves, while my sis is out of town, Mom and I decided to try this restaurant we've been passing by for the last several months, called Pico Bello. Attractive looking enough from the outside, it had its look upgraded by the addition of a giant banner proclaiming it to be the #1 Italian restaurant in our 'burb, thanks to a reader poll of the the local paper. What could go wrong?

Well, we go inside, it's about 5:30-ish, and there is no one in the joint except one dating couple and a waitress who looks bored and apathetic. She tries to seat us in a small table, but eventually lets us take a booth, where she hands us two menus, the kind that are printed on heavy card stock and folded in three. Clearly not the world's most expensive effort at selling food. While the waitress lingers for a moment, I quickly flip open to the centre, where I notice half of one column has been entirely scored out with a Sharpie -the pizza section. When I queried the waitress, she confirmed that there were no more pizzas available, then skedaddled.

We lingered for a few moments over the menu trying to decide, when I noticed another disturbing trend -- all the entrees had had their prices increased by at least 2.00. But not with a Sharpie --no, this time, the offending digit was re-traced over with a blue ballpoint pen. Which gets me to thinking. I understand that restaurants have to raise their prices, hey, everyone's got to make a living. But what kind of cheesy place changes it over 1/3 of the food choices with various implements, and doesn't reprint the menu? What would it cost them? $50.00 max if they go all out. There was only 5 booths, 10 tables, so maybe you need 25 copies. How much would that cost to print up on a new sheet of paper? Even if they laminated it, you're still looking at less than $100!

Add to that, pizza is one of the cheapest Italian dishes you can make. Why nix the entire pizza department? I understand that there is a Panago within a block of there, but they don't offer dine in options, and you do. Heck, you could arrange a deal where you take the order, get it from Panago and produce it in your restaurant, none the wiser! If you are going to go out of it entirely, definitely reprint the fool menu!

As it went, the menu issue was just too much for our overly suspicious, Kitchen Nightmares-watching natures, and we made our excuses and booted it out of there for Vera's Burgers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A momentous day

I'm rather tired so I'll keep this short. Today, I saw my sister off on her trans-Atlantic journey, after walking the equivalent of 12 nautical miles trying to keep her busy while we waited for KLM to take its sweet time checking in baggage.

More seriously, I had an altercation with the neighbours behind and to the right of us during a nightly doggie walk, when their 2 Jack Russell Terrier dogs decided to try to attack ours. Thank goodness ours were unharmed -- indeed, they came out literally without a scratch on them thanks to a timely intervention by the owner's 7 year old son, my dog's general cussedness and my pulling them apart. Me however, I'm pissed as a nit, due to the attitude of the owner, who claimed that there was no problem, because "our dogs have never bit anyone". After watching them DO IT!!!! Lady, you have earned yourself a phone call into the SPCA, which I will be doing promptly tomorrow. (they were closed by the time we got home.) (Calm down, Laney, the commandant survived with all parts intact and only her dignity upset. She's waiting for a rematch, methinks.) Needless to say, I will be avoiding that street for the next several weeks.

Creativity wise, I attempted making a pattern I found off of Ravelry, with disgusting results. The pattern is written in martian, honestly. Ripped it out 4 times, then gave up, and decided it was time for bed anyways.

Oh and in the ironic portion of the evening? CSI tonight featured someone who had RFID tag inserted into them voluntarily...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

She's Leaving....On a Jet Plane

As I write this, my sister is sitting beside me eagerly counting down the hours till she hops on a plain for Great Britain. It has been an interesting experience these last few days, watching her bounce off the walls and hop up and down with excitement. Our floors have never been so reinforced--any nails that would have even thought of popping up have been driven down by the eager soles of her size 5.5 feet.

As much as I kid, we are going to miss having her around here. Mom will likely be a basketcase....excuse me, worrywart. I hope she remembers to phone religiously, or I will be scraping mom off the walls with a pancake flipper daily. (Boy, the walls are getting a workout!)
As for myself, it's going to be strange not having her here to talk to. But I expect her fur babies are going to try to make up for that fact. Kinsey (cat) is very vocal when she feels she is being ignored, and Gemma (dog) is the look-at-me-not-at-the-other-pets commandant type of dog. In a loving, adorable way, of course, but still.

I plan on distracting myself from her being gone by trying to focus on getting various projects done, creative wise. Including, hopefully her "I will never be knitting these blessed things again" knee high socks. They're beautiful, but I don't think I've ever picked back so many times on a project in my life. That includes the sweater she asked me to knit that I ended up rejecting after screwing up the tuck stitch too many times to count.
However, despite the 6 stitches forward, 10 stitches back speed with which they have been made, I have actually made some progress on them, thanks to my determination, persistence, and a shoutout to an angel on Ravelry who had actually made them despite pattern errata, and lived to tell about it. Some photos for your visual confirmation of my progress:

I have finally finished 3 out of 4 charts for the left hand sock; the right is being ripped back to the beginning of chart 3 -bollocks-in order to fix some unseen errors. So, the pictures are a bit behind. Perhaps I will find the time today to get her to try on the left so I can update further.
I also have to guesstimate the projected length she needs to have added as she wants these to be above the knee. Sigh. A knitter's work is never done.

I hope Elaine has a lot of fun on her trip -- I'm sure she'll be blogging about it, keeping in the tradition of other Jane Austenites who have also done a 'life journey of Jane' trip through England. However, she better keep in close contact --- that pancake flipper is looking none too sturdy, and I don't think it'll withstand much parent-removal.