Jay’s Seafood Restaurant – Albemarle, NC

I’ve been to Jay’s Seafood Restaurant at least twice, before my visit yesterday.

The first visit, the food was good, but I was seated in a large room with poor acoustics and the crowd was terribly LOUD!  The second visit, I was seated in a smaller room and the food was good.

I am guessing that I hadn’t been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on those first visits because there is little at this restaurant that a diabetic could eat and not put themselves in danger of a coma, and that’s not counting the number of items that are fried.

The slaw and beef chunks had good flavor.  I spooned some good looking corn kernels on my plate, but they had little flavor (little or no salt).  The fried shrimp were very small and I think the batter overpowered the flavor of the shrimp so that wasn’t that enjoyable.

The real disappointment was the clam chowder.  There were several whole clams in a thin, watery, milky broth, but there was little or no salt.  It smelled good, but was horribly bland to the palate.  But, there was nothing else in the soup.  No potatoes, no onions, etc.  I don’t think I’ve ever had clam chowder (New England Style) that didn’t have some potatoes.  And, I dipped the ladle a couple of times and only came up with the broth and a few whole clams.

A very disappointing visit, and probably my last.

Trip

 

Johnson City, TN

Mangum, Weaverville, NC

Young clerk just graduated from Mars Hill College music in a Christian band

Gravity

Oblivion

Firehouse Restaurant

Jonesboro, TN

Kingsport, TN

$3.12 /gal

Food City

Bristol, TN/VA

The Free Learning Conference at ASU in Boone, NC

I am just about 10 minutes from lunch time and after lunch will be heading to Boone, NC.  I am attending a free conference tomorrow at ASU.  I am planning to stay at the Best Western Motel in Boone tonight.  After the conference, I plan to head to Johnson City, TN (about 1.5 hours from Boone, and 1 hour from Asheville) and stay at the Red Roof Inn there for two nights.  On Saturday morning, I plan to have breakfast in Johnson City and then head to Asheville.  Depending on the time I arrive in Asheville, I may either go to the Farmers’ Market or Dobra Tea.  I want to go to both, then have lunch at the Stoney Knob Cafe and then probably drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and then stop at the museum/crafts shop to maybe get babies’ presents.  Then maybe to the crafts stores near the entrance of Biltmore (Biltmore Village?) and then head back to Johnson City for the night.

Give me the Lunch Special!

It’s nothing major, but it just changes a pleasant experience to a mildly unpleasant one.

Red Lobster has several lunch specials for $7.99. The one I like is the Bar Harbor Salad, with chicken. You get a goodly portion of chicken and assorted salad toppings (nuts, dried blueberries & cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes) and lettuce. There is a dinner size to this, with more of everything, and it is $9.99 (I think.). I usually go to Red Lobster once a week for either the salad or blackened catfish, and I’ve been going there for quite some time.

At some point early on, I realized that I was being charged more than the lunch special price and I asked about it. That is when I found that there was a lunch & dinner price. So, I almost always make a point that I want the “lunch” special. That’s what I did today.

I entered the parking lot and noted that there were many more empty spaces than usual. I walked inside and there were hardly any customers. The hostess, whom I know by sight, but not by name came up and sat me up front. I sat there a few minutes and a soldier walked by and was seated in the corner booth. I waited a little longer, but it dawned on me that someone should have come to my table already so I pulled out my phone and started the timer. It took about another 2 minutes until my waitress came to the table. She asked what I wanted to drink and I said, “water.” Would I like lemon. I hesitated but said, “no.” She hurried away. *I could have ordered if I had stopped her.

About a minute and a half later she returned with my water, and a slice of lemon in it. *No problem. I think I really wanted lemon, even though I said no lemon. She also brought a basket with four biscuits. I don’t think these come out until after the meal is ordered, at least that seems to be the routine I am normally use to. I ordered the Bar Harbor Salad, the Lunch Special, even tapping the placard with my finger as I pointed to the $7.99 special. I asked for oil and vinegar dressing, and a small bowl with yellow mustard. She nodded in understanding and left the table.

I pulled out several packets of sweetner and made lemonade. I don’t recall exactly when the waitress asked, but she asked if I wanted the blue cheese crumbles, to which I replied in the affirmative… and said the dried fruit and nuts also. The soldier started to wave and his lunch date walked past my booth and they stood to greet one another.

The waitress brought my salad, with the vinegar and oil dressing. It was a large, well made salad with plenty of nuts, fruit, cheese crumbles and croutons. I caught her before she left and asked for the yellow mustard. I waited, but devoured most of the croutons before she returned shortly. She returned with a small bowl filled with yellow mustard.

I dipped out most of the mustard and put it on one edge of my salad. I then poured in some vinegar and some oil and added sweetner from a couple of packets, mixed it up and poured it over the chicken and salad items. I did this again to make sure I had enough dressing, and started to eat. The food was good, but I realized that this was too much salad to finish and still adhere to my current mantra, “Eat Less.” I picked out many of the dried fruit, and the nuts and cheese and most of the salad tomatoes. I finished the chicken. I was thinking that she had been so generous with the salad that I would tip her $3. *Maybe not a lot for some, but I normally leave about a two dollars tip.

The waitress brought me my bill and left. I fished out my credit card and looked at the bill. I immediately saw that the total price was over $10. I looked up and saw that the charge for the salad was $9.99. Not the Lunch Special price. She came and took my bill and card to get it authorized, and returned quickly for my signature. She walked away after giving me her pen.

I ended up giving her a $1.00 tip, which was less than 15%. My logic was that if I had been charged $7.99 and given her a $3.00 tip, or charged $9.99 and given her a $1.00 tip, it was the same. Pay attention to what I say, and act accordingly. It’s not like this was the first or second time visiting Red Lobster for lunch.

ADDENDUM:  I returned yesterday (7/7/14) for lunch and happened to have the same waitress as above.  I asked for water, said I didn’t want any bread, and was ready to order… blackened catfish, steamed broccoli and honey-mustard dressing with my salad.  The waitress went away quickly.  She returned with my water and shortly after that, my salad with honey-mustard dressing.  I was about 2/3rds of the way through my house salad when the manager brought my blackened catfish and broccoli.

The catfish was moist underneath the crusty black seasoning and the broccoli warm and slightly buttery.  I finished all rather quickly.

I got out my credit card and shortly my waitress came with my bill, taking my card and then returning in a short time with the receipt for me to sign.  I gave her a $3 tip and wrote on the back of the receipt, “Excellent service!”… and then left.

In a Rush!

Some years ago there was a short story featured in Playboy that caught my imagination, and the thought of it recurs periodically. The main character lived in a high rise apartment building. He was caught up in the hurry about, get ahead, rush-a-day world as Monday through Friday, the alarm went off, and he went through his regular morning routine, getting ready for work, and then out the door, down the elevator, along the sidewalk, boarding the subway and in to work. He reversed the process at the end of the day.

One day he found himself running late, so he buttoned his shirt and took his tie, in hand, and headed out the apartment door and onto the elevator. As the elevator whizzed downward, he lifted his collar, wrapped the tie around his neck, and did the “over the river and through the woods” routine to finish the tie’s knot, pulling his collar down over it and straightening it all before the elevator door opened on the first floor. A sharp looking knot! On to work.

The next day, he found himself a little later, and so his untied tie in one hand and the coffee pot & cup in the other. He managed to pour and drink his morning coffee, and tie his tie, all before the elevator door opened on the first floor. On to work.

As time went on, each day, he managed to fit more and more of his morning routine into the brief trip down the elevator. Ironing his clothes, reading the sports and business sections of the paper, and even working in his complete P90 exercise, all while finishing to tie his tie, just before the elevator door opened on the first floor.

And, then one morning it happened. As he was descending the building, the elevator jerked briefly, and came to a halt between floors. The repairman was called and arriving an hour later, worked on getting the lift’s machinery working again. It was a tedious process of following the path of colored wires, checking junctions of circuits and other components until the cause of the problem was found, and then calling to have a replacement for the defunct part delivered… waiting another hour for the part’s arrival, and then plugging it in and viola, the elevator jerked and continued downward to the first floor.

The whole repair process had taken the entire morning finishing just as the noon day bells began to ring. Several impatient tenants were waiting for the elevator on the first floor, and watched as the pointer ticked counter clockwise, down to 3…, 2…, 1 and then the door opened. There was a brief gasp by all, and an incontrollable moan as each looked down upon the deceased remains of what appeared to be an incredibly old man slumped upon the elevator floor. If it were not for the perfectly tied knot of his tie, they might have never been able to identify him.

Okay, this is the gist of the story, and I have thrown in some items that could not have been written in the original story, but you get the idea;-)

A Poll

Early 70’s College Days

“Falling in and Out of Love”, “Amie” Pure Prairie League https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4xp2lgiAjY

“Heard It in a Love Song” Marshall Tucker Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNSzKPa96vQ

“Sweet Melissa” Allman Brothers Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5XJDxe7TVY

“Sister Golden Hair” America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIycEe59Auc

“Devil Went Down to Georgia” Charlie Daniels Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnepPZChA5U

“When Will I Be Loved” Linda Ronstadt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooPy8tX3h94

“Dark End of the Street” Linda Ronstadt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Us0zopFrnc

Tragic Events

 

I think what captivated my attention to this horrific accident, was the fact that such a joyous adventure could end so tragically, and that it could happen to any of us, quickly, and horribly.  It is also amazing, the quantity and quality of media available from multiple, personal sources.  Twitter.  The Instagram photos from Ginny Doyle, showing herself, her friend Natalie Lewis, and Capt. Daniel Kirk, the day of the accident, actually in the balloon.  A notation that morning fog postponed their flight until that afternoon.  Wouldn’t most of us think, “What if?”

I was impressed with Capt. Kirk’s professionalism in the above video.  But, as I watched, I tried to think what I might have thought and felt during that time of crisis.   And, you see in this video the balloon both from the chase vehicle, and from inside the gondola.  You see power lines and this balloon.  You see the ground from about the distance that they would have been when the flames began to increase.  And, the gondola is so small.

We all hope that there is never a situation that we cannot have at least one good alternative, but that was not the case here.

NTSB will do their investigation, but I’m not sure that anything other than “pilot error” will be the outcome.  Two other balloons had successfully landed just prior.  A seasoned pilot allows his craft to drift into power lines.  Visibility?  Time of day?  Did he just not see the power line until it was too late.

Fire erupts, and then professional damage control.

When you see the flames engulfing the gondola, NTSB might move toward more fire retardant structures.  Something that might be both flame retardant, and provide electrical insulation.

I’m not sure what finding the balloon, the gondola, or any other remains of the machine might do toward the investigation.  Sure something exploded, but that wasn’t the actual cause of the accident.