Saturday, February 23, 2013

Some things you should know before getting food from a restaurant "to go"

Yes, the rhyme in the title was intended.  Now I'm not talking about pizza places, sandwich shops, or anywhere with a counter that is meant for takeout food sales (although feel free to apply the same principals in those situations).  I mean actual sit down restaurants that are not designed for "to go" service; basically any establishments where if you call ahead and order food you have to go in and get it from the bar.  The key thing to keep in mind here is that when you pick up your nicely packaged dinner, the person handing it to you is in fact a bartender.  And whether you think it is appropriate to tip on this transaction or not, they are expecting you to.

This is someone who gets paid $2.63 an hour and lives off of tips.  They intend to be tipped at a certain rate (oh yeah, it's 20% by the way.  If a drink costs $12, one dollar is a bad tip, even $2 isn't very good.  But that's another blog for another day).   Often selling you that salmon fillet and and ceasar salad with no croutons and dressing on the side all boxed up and bagged is just as much work as making a few drinks, or serving you that identical dinner at the bar.  Because of this the bartender believes he/she should be tipped in the same manner.  If you don't they are going to curse you out and call you names to their coworkers as soon as you leave, regardless of how friendly you are, or how many times you say "thank you."  It's just the way it is.  Please act accordingly.

P.S.  Most decent restaurants have a position called "food runner" who gets paid by earning a portion of the tips that the waiters/waitresses and bartenders make.  Often the amount is determined by a percentage of the total "food sales," not a percentage of the actual tips made.  In those cases, if you increase their food sales without tipping the bartender is actually losing money in order to have the privilege of doing business with you.

For lots of other commentary on restaurant and bar behavior, click here.  Or on the tab labelled "bar stuff" in the topics on the right.

2/24 Update: If you have an opinion on this I definitely recommend reading the comments below.


Friday, February 22, 2013

How excited are you for John Lackey to pitch Saturday?

The Red Sox are about to play their first spring training game of the season against a major league opponent, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  But the even bigger news is who will be on the mound for Boston: John Lackey.  Up until a few weeks ago I had honestly forgotten that he was still on the team.  The last time he pitched was September 25, 2011.  But now he's back from Tommy John surgery, and apparently throwing the ball well.  The word I keep hearing used to describe him coming out of Ft. Myers is "svelt."

This post (especially the title) definitely has a good amount of sarcasm involved.  But it's also a bit serious too.  Since I have literally zero expectations for Lackey in Boston this year, I am somewhat optimistically curious to find out if he has anything left.  Having said that, I would place my overall level of excitement in the range of minimal to slightly below moderate.  As I write this I am reminded of a scene (and this quote in particular) from one of my favorite TV shows ever, Sports Night.

“There’s really nothing like seeing a guy realize he’s not done yet. Usually it goes the other way.”


Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's 3 pm, do you know where your Celtics are?

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo are all still here.  Late last night I sent out this tweet:
Thankfully I was right.  The Celtics did trade for the Wizards Jordan Crawford though, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  You can read why on Celtics Life.

In the early '90s I used to watch Beverly Hills, 90210 every Wednesday night at 9 pm, and I would often catch the intro to Fox 25 News Boston immediately after.  I'm kind of jealous of the people who got to watch Fox 5 in New York:


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "If I Had $1,000,000" by the Barenaked Ladies

The Canadian pop/rock group Barenaked Ladies gained mainstream success in the U.S. in the mid to late 1990's.  As far as I can remember their music appeared in the background of just about every single episode of Dawson's Creek (mental note: make sure to write a blog or two or several about Dawson's Creek).

 But my all-time favorite song of theirs actually came out several years before that.  It appeared on an album called Gordon in 1992, although it was in fact recorded much earlier.  It's silly and fun and surprisingly catchy, even though it sounds like something they just made up as they went along one night while drunk in somebody's basement.

Amazingly the group never made a video for "If I Had $1,000,000."  And to this day I still think real green dresses are cruel.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I hate the NBA trade deadline circus

For anyone who follows the NBA, until 3 pm on Thursday the amount of available "news that is not news" is staggering.  Danny Ainge says he probably won't make a trade.  That's big news today.  But it's actually not, because he says that every year.  Over the weekend the Clippers said they want Kevin Garnett.  Of course they do, he's a great player.  But he doesn't wan't to go there, and LA won't offer the Celtics enough anyway.  None of this is news.  But anytime somebody says anything that is slightly different "non-news" than what they or someone else has already said, you have to report it.  Otherwise you'll be getting scooped by everybody else who is reporting it.

I'm curious to see if I could start a trade rumor that has Boston dealing the last guy on the end of their bench, Fab Melo, to Oklahoma City for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and also get Kendrick Perkins back.  That would solve the Celtics big man, point guard, and scoring issues, and keep Garnett and Paul Pierce happy as well.  It's a no brainer.


Monday, February 18, 2013

So apparently it's common for people to find out the sex of their baby by cutting a cake?

This has just come to my attention.  It seems really bizarre to me.  I understand how parents might do this for their kids to find out about their new brother or sister.  But for themselves?  How do you entrust information of that significance to some random cake making person?  Are OB-GYN offices in business with bakeries?

If it was me there's no way I'd be able to take that envelope from a doctor and go hand it off to a stranger behind a counter; at least without looking first.  Maybe there are intermediaries for hire that take care of that for you?

But what I'm really wondering is, shouldn't there be all sorts of other businesses opportunities in this same genre?  How about a bottle of champagne than when you pop open it pours out blue if you're having a boy?  Or cigars you light up that burn pink smoke for a girl?  The Celtics captain Paul Pierce recently suggested you have him wish your sweetheart a happy Valentine's Day through a company called  What better way to learn the gender of your baby than by getting a phone call from Snoop Dog?


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Remember the offseason "NFL Quarterback Challenge?"

I know a lot of people are having NFL withdrawal this time of year, so here's a little tidbit for you.  First off I would like to say that there is a surprisingly small amount of information available online about these things (and hardly any photographic evidence of it in google images).  Here's what I remember:

I'd be flipping through the TV channels on a random weekend afternoon in the early 1990's, and then get really excited when CBS was airing the NFL QB Challenge.  I know there were a few different competitions involved; I think maybe a distance throw, and definitely something that had to do with scrambling.  But the one that sticks out in my mind was when the quarterbacks would all throw footballs with one end covered in blue chalk at a bunch of giant rolling bulls eyes.  The targets were attached to golf carts being driven across the field.  It was awesome.  Allegedly the event lasted from 1990 until 2007 (and was cancelled in part due to the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal happening after it was taped but before it was televised in 2007), but I don't remember ever watching it without Dan Marino.

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