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Saturday, September 29th, 2001
12:01p - Sometimes Bad is Bad



Last night, we went out to dinner at Mr Ribbs, on Rodi Road. It was really a bad experience.

For an appetizer, we ordered cornbread sticks, since it was unusual. Thewe were pretty good, in my opinion--they were small sticks that appeared deep-fried. They were light and crunchy. But of the three dipping sausces they provided, I only liked the ranch dressing. The honey mustard was much more honey than mustard, and the marinara sauce would have been much better if it were salsa. Lori liked the marinara sauce a bit better than I did.

I ordered the ribs, figuring that that was their specialty. For sides, I ordered the macaroni and cheese and the fried cabbage with potatoes. The ribs were okay, but not terribly tender; they required a bit of gnawing and didn't really inspire gnawing. The fried cabbage with potatoes was not seasoned much, and was not fried to the tenderness I had expected; instead of being any synthesis of flavors, it just listlessly said, "Here, I'm some cabbage". The macaroni and cheese was reasonably good; it was clearly not just out of a box. But it wasn't particularly great.

Lori had a worse time. She ordered the beef brisket, with sides of barbecue beans and macaroni and cheese. The beef brisket came as a sandwich overflowing with liquid that looked more like gravy than barbecue sauce. She found it full of fat and gristle and very unappetizing. Her barbecue beans were served unpleasantly cold, and she was not impressed with the macaroni and cheese.

Lori had been tempted by the peach cobbler on the menu before dinner, but after eating she just wanted to leave without risking dessert.

The price was a bit odd. By my calculations, we ordered about $30 worth of food. When the bill came, I glanced at it as Lori explained that the food had been bad. The waitress offered to take the bill away and take something off, but in that glance, I thought I saw the total of $21.93. The waitress then came back and said that she had taken 20% off, and gave me a bill for $19.93. I didn't try to deal with this; I just left a tip that would have been good for a $30 meal, and we shook the dust from our shoes as we left.

I would argue against my ever going there again, and I think Lori feels even more strongly negative about it.

current mood: bleah

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5:29p - Seth
Seth (sethcohen) has entered the livejournal realm. Woohoo!

Seth has been a good friend since 1997, when I road-tripped down to Baltimore to play INWO with him. Since then, he lured me into the Steve Jackson Games MIB program. I may have lured him into the Cheapass Demo Monkeys, but only by the fact that I noticed the mail first and told him about it. (He, I, Alex Yeager, and Liz Lindsay were the first four demo monkeys.)

More recently, I had the honor of his presence in our wedding party.

Seth is a great guy. Boisterous, ebullient, enthusiastic, and generous. I love him.

(Check out Seth's picture; it really expresses his nature well.)

current mood: pleased

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5:44p - Diony
I also just noticed Diony's listing me as a friend. I should have expected that she'd be on LJ.

I first met her on the ImagéCastle MUSH in 1992. She gave me a great compliment once: she said that she had learned that I was a man playing a female character, and then had forgotten it during roleplay.

We met in Oklahoma in 1993, on my drive from Texas to Pittsburgh. We met again once or twice in the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 1994. We met once in Pittsburgh, but I can't remember the date. And we met by sheer chance at WorldCon in Baltimore in 1997.

It's neat to see our paths crossing yet again.

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10:51p - House Repair
Today, while Lori went off to a bridal shower, her father came over and helped me work on the house.

We stuffed foam insulation up the chimney to keep from losing heat up there.

We figured out how to get to the bedroom radiator, but didn't have the radiator key to bleed it.

He caulked shut the mail slot in the back door, which should reduce that draft.

We installed the new dryer exhaust duct that I'd gotten for the purpose of being able to move the dryer back in order to be able to open the door from the laundry room to the outside. This was a lengthy process, which involved fighting through rosebushes to clean out the dryer vent through the wall, realizing it needed to be replaced, trekking off to the hardware store to get a new one, fighting rosebushes some more to install it, and so forth. After much labor and some swearing, we got the new duct installed--and discovered it didn't let us move the dryer back at all. In fact, we didn't think that it would be possible to move the dryer back far enough to open the door.
So, we moved the washer to the other side of the utility sink, and moved the dryer away from the door. This should work; I'll still be able to put plenty of shelves in there to make it a large pantry.
We looked at the cracked lining of the bathtub that my father had installed, and we decided that since it couldn't form a perfect seal, it couldn't be much beside a mildew farm. So I ripped out that lining, and we'll clean out the mildew; on Les's next visit, we'll recaulk that.

We replaced some of the missing ornate screws in the kitchen cabinets, and Les showed me how to use toothpick pieces to compensate for the stripped threads. (Later that night, I stopped in a hardware store that had those fancy hinges with those ornate screws that we're missing--but the screws were only available with the hinges. It might be a worthwhile buy anyway.)

We didn't get to any of the varnishing we'd planned.

We left the installation of the programmable thermostats I bought for me to do. (I have high hopes that they may pay for themselves in a single winter.)

All in all, it was a fairly productive day.

Most of these jobs that I said 'we' on were actually Les doing the work, with me standing by trying to look helpful. In the short term, I'm happy with this--he's much better with a caulking gun than I am, for example. Over the long term, though, I would like to become as handy as Les and my father are.

As we drove to the hardware store, Les pointed to a place by the river and told how as a kid, he would climb down an electrical tower into the guarded steel mill, run across the railroad tracks, and then go swimming in the Monongahela (at a time when the Monongahela was fierce enough that you could easily smell when someone had been swimming in it). Then he'd go back the same way, and feel indignant when his mother raised hell with him for doing so.

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11:07p - I'd Like a Piece of Meat
(Do any of y'all know the Negativland piece that that line evokes for me?)

During the afternoon, I needed to get beef brisket for tomorrow's barbecue. So I went down to Bell's Market, where I've gotten brisket before.

Bell recognized me, though I haven't been in there in a year and a half. He gave me seven pounds of brisket (defrosted and cut to fit my pans this time, thank goodness) and asked if I wanted more. I let him talk me into another three pounds of brisket. Mmm, brisket.

He said that the first seven pounds came from cows he bred himself. That's kind of cool.

While I was there, a woman ordered thirty pounds of ground beef and twenty pounds of bacon. I think she was running a restaurant. I kind of hope she was.
I like Bell's Market; it has more personality than a supermarket. Perhaps we ought to go there more often.
Now I have three 9x13 pans of brisket marinating in seasoning and liquid smoke. Mmm, there will be feasting tomorrow night!

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