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Restaurant Review: Blake’s Steaks

November 13, 2017

I got the chance to try Blake’s Steaks during their first training shift. I figured I would throw my no cheese eating self and my kids at them to see just how ready they were.

This was literally their first hour being open, so some wackiness is to be expected. The print on the menus was super small, which made it hard to figure out what to order. What I could see looked pretty tasty, though. I figured I’d go for the basic Steak rather than try to get fancy with something I couldn’t fully read. Imagine my surprise to find that the cheese option was “wit or witout.” So much for throwing them with a dairy allergy!

I got some mini corn dogs for the kids and they were sufficiently pleased by them. They came out a smidge cold in the center, but that’s easy enough to work out. Props to Blake for giving the line that feedback right away, despite it being highly unlikely that any other customer was going to order off of the kids menu before close.

The French fries are ordered separate, and they’re well worth the extra money. They’re the slim cut I prefer and they came out perfectly crispy. It’s not a small basket, so be prepared to share with a friend (or two rambunctious kids).

The real star was obviously the sandwich. The meat was seasoned perfectly and the onions and mushrooms were both very well sauteed. I imagine that the “wit cheese” version is amazing. I’m going to need someone to do the Steak Challenge (5 sandwiches in 45 minutes) so that I can get some goat cheddar on the menu.

All in all, a good start. I look forward to trying them again sometime after their December 1st official opening. Located at 700 University Drive E, where Mickey’s Sliders used to be.


When Both Sides Are Telling The Truth

November 10, 2017

There was a story a while back that has stuck with me. In it, a man was walking with his son in their neighborhood one night. They passed by his workplace and the man noticed that the doors were wide open, but no one seemed to be around. The lights were all off and it seemed strange to him. He went inside to investigate, taking his son with him.

As he was about to come back outside and call for help, a police officer arrived. The man says that he was immediately on his guard. He very clearly explained to the officer that he worked at the building, found it open, and had been about to call for help.

The man said the police officer was aggressive from the start. The officer demanded the man’s ID, treated him like a criminal, and made his son afraid that they were both going to be shot and killed. Because the man felt the officer’s actions were inappropriate, he filed a complaint with the police department.

The police department issued a statement about the complaint, saying that their officer had acted completely within the department’s guidelines. The officer had also noticed the open doors and stopped to investigate. He found a man and his child exiting the dark building and stopped them to determine what they were doing inside the building. The department defended their officer, saying he had done nothing wrong.

Now, take some time to think about that story. Does it change your mind to know that the man was black and the police officer was white? What if I told you that the man was a fire fighter and the place he was investigating was a fire station? Now what if I told you that the police officer was wearing a body camera?

What struck me most about this was how both sides claimed the camera evidence backed up their side of the story. And when I watched the video for myself, I realized that it really did. Both sides were telling the truth. The officer really did confront a firefighter at his own station and the man’s son really was crying and seemed genuinely afraid that he and his father were going to be shot.

The officer was acting in a way that he felt was professional, without considering how his actions might appear to a black man in a time where so many innocent black adults and children have been shot by white police officers. The fireman was acting as someone who had a right to be where he was and doing what he was doing without considering that there was no way for the officer to know that during their initial confrontation. Neither side considered how their actions might be viewed by the other, nor took into account the motivations of the other when evaluating what they were doing.

Both sides were telling the truth. And by some measures, that means that neither side was wrong. But neither side was exactly right, either. The police officer completely ignored how his position of authority and privilege would make his actions seem more aggressive to the black man he was speaking to. And the firefighter completely ignored how suspicious it would be to find a man wandering around a dark building with no obvious signs that he was within his rights to be there.

That middle truth can sometimes be hard to recognize, especially if you have a personal investment in one side or the other. But that middle truth is important if either side is ever going to find a resolution that satisfies both.

I have no solutions to offer. No easy tips or tricks to help solve things when problems like this arise. All you can do is keep talking. And make sure you’re really listening. 

Pinky Jinx

November 8, 2017

Well, Moose was right. I jinxed myself by talking about how quiet it’s been. Acorn got her finger caught under the wheel of the cart at Target. She likes to ride underneath the cart, and when she’s being a PITA to P’khan, it’s frequently easier to just let her. Today was not one of those days.

At first I thought it was just a small rub burn, but I got down on her level to check it out just in case. The piercing scream she let out when I touched her finger made my heart sick. The nail on her pinkie finger was partially pulled up and was bleeding a little.

Fortunately, we were in a Target, which has an excellent selection of first aide supplies. Including chewable Tylenol tablets, spray antibiotic ointment, and Dory Band-Aids. Dory Band-Aids apparently don’t make everything all better, but they distracted long enough for us to check out and get home.

She’s doing much better now, though milking the injury for all she’s worth. This evening she claimed she couldn’t work the light switch in her room. I’ve been attempting to distract her with ballet videos, but she seems to prefer the Disney versions. Ah well, I tried.

Quiet Days

November 7, 2017

It’s been a quiet few days around these parts. Other than the joy of dealing with Daylight Savings, our life has been pretty routine. P’khan has been fairly grumpy these past few days and I suspect the 2 year shots have got him feeling kind of cruddy. Acorn has officially entered the “why” phase of development, which has actually been fun thus far. We’ll see how long that lasts. I did get out and vote today, which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something besides the kitchen and the laundry. Little things.

I’ve got a half dozen posts started but let unfinished. Random things that pop into my head but haven’t fully formed. It’s like untangling threads from the rats nest of my mind. But I’m still pulling on those threads, one sentence at a time.

Tasteless But True:

How To Fake Looking Sick And Get Out Of Stuff You Don’t Want To Do: I wouldn’t wish a chronic illness on anyone. But I can hope that she gets everything she deserves and more.

Yes, this $375 ‘antifa’ jacket from Barneys is actually real: On today’s edition of Missing The Point, we have the designer of this travesty of mass production. “We developed the Barneys M65 anarchy jacket to encompass the artistic and graphic expressions of individuality.”

A Restaurant Ruined My Life: DOOD. A restaurant didn’t ruin your life. Your belief in your qualifications as a mediocre white dude ruined your life.

Everyday Magic

November 3, 2017

P’khan’s 2 year Well Baby was yesterday. Measurements confirmed what we already knew: he’s small for his age. He’s still in 18 month clothes, mostly because 2T pants fall off of his hips. It worries me a bit, but his mental and physical are otherwise development is right on track. He may just be my tiny baby for a while longer.

P’khan also managed to pull the ball off of one of my ear piercings. Naturally, the thing fell out at some point last night and has fallen into the the Realm Of Lost Things. I’ve been meaning to replace them with Mother’s jewelry for a while, but it’s been ridiculously tough to find ones that met my exact specifications. I want them to be ball and hoop or threaded end hoops. I want them to have stones or crystals. I want to be able to get a set in blue and a set in purple. And I’d like them to look somewhat fancy, rather than just the colored metal hoops I currently have. The weirdest part is that every time I find something I like, it will come in blue or purple, but not both.

I stepped in a hole at my brother in law’s house yesterday while waiting for Rainbow to get home from school.  So on top of everything else, my right ankle, right hip, left knee, and left wrist all hurt.  It has made running around after the kiddos less than optimal.  Rainbow and Dragon went to go stay with their mother for the weekend which puts us back down to two kiddos, but I’m also down a couple of helpers.

Everyday Magic: The Ritual of Finding Lost Objects

Go stand in the room where you feel the object is most likely to be. Loudly declare “I can’t find [Lost Object]. I guess I’ll have to go buy another.”

Go purchase a replacement for Lost Object.  It doesn’t have to be identical, just close enough to serve as a suitable substitute.

The replacement object must cross the threshold of the room where you declared your original object lost.  You must then either destroy the receipt for the new object or remove and destroy any packaging.  The Lost Object will appear in an adjacent room within the next 48 hours.

Becky With The Bad… Well, Everything

November 2, 2017

Disgusting University of Hartford Freshman Expelled After Being Accused of Rubbing Used Tampons on Black Roommate’s Bag, Contaminating Her Living Space  – Every disgusting roommate story ever has just been upstaged by Becky here. Although I would like to point out that two weeks from accusation to expulsion is a pretty good turnaround for a university.

And since I swiped out this whole explanation as a comment on a friend’s post, I figured I might as well share my reasoning as to why it might have taken the university two weeks to expell Good Ol’ Becky:

The no contact order is pretty standard. Becky with the gross hair was probably given the same instructions. By [the victim’s] own admission, the person who claimed she might lose her housing was from the RA’s office, and she was told the very next day that the person from the RA’s office was wrong. Someone was wrong. It was cleared up. It happens. She repeatedly says that her professors are supporting her and that the hold up is coming from Health and Safety. I guarantee Health and Safety spent at least one of those days going “WHAT THE FUCK? WHY THE FUCK? WHO THE FUCK DOES THIS KIND OF NASTY SHIT?” 

Then they came by and picked up all of the contaminated products. Again, she admits this. All of that gets processed and sent out to labs. The University probably doesn’t have an Abby Shuto in their basement, so that may have taken a day or two.

And then there were tests. Growth cultures at the very least to figure out what exactly Bekkay contaminated her roommate’s stuff with. These were probably combined with the throat swab the she implies was done at the health center. The health center went “We are not equipped to deal with this level of bullshit” and sent her off to doctors in New York. Again, by her own admission.

All the while, people in administration are sending emails with titles like “What the fuck, re: Bekkkiye.” Arrangements were made to meet with Health and Safety to review their reports. University lawyers were called. Every person who saw that Instagram post and was within the university’s jurisdiction was called in and Sat Down For A Conversation. Screenshots were shared. There were probably binders of paperwork passed around. And of course, Behkkkey gets her hearing. Because despite openly admitting to this literal shit show, the bureacracy still demands its pound of flesh.

Source: Been there, done that, still have the binders.


TL;DR: Someone at the University clearly fucked up when they told the victim that the matter had been settled, but that fuck up was corrected right away. And while it must have sucked for this young woman to wait for the machinery of the university to grind into gear, it did do right by her in a pretty short amount of time, relatively speaking.

Also, mad respect to this young woman for handling this whole ordeal with so much strength and grace. I know I’d probably still be a pillar of horrified screaming two weeks after finding something like this out.

Sugar Crash

November 1, 2017

Halloween went pretty well around here, despite the weather. Rainbow and Dragon are staying with us for the week, so I had a little help with the walking around part. At the same time, we have two pre-teens in the house, so the daily mess quota is doubled. I love them both dearly, but they are a regular reminder that I should call my mom and thank her for putting up with me when I was their age.

The rain nearly did us in last night, but one of my fellow home school moms came to the rescue with a post about a Trunk or Treat going on at a church across town. It was pretty small, but it wasn’t raining on that side of town, so we ducked into the neighborhood next to the church for some door to door time. Acorn was absolutely thrilled by the whole experience. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get the face time I wanted with our neighbors, but the kids had fun and that’s what really matters. I got them some smaller buckets for this year and it really helped cut back on the amount of candy they were given. But since Moose didn’t get many trick or treaters, there was an excess of candy back at home.

Today is my favorite day of the year. Some people celebrate Half Price Chocolate day on February 15th. I celebrate Half Price Costumes day on November 1st. Acorn has a toy chest in her room filled with costumes I’ve bought in previous years. I try to spread them out over the next six months of holiday gifts, so there’s always something new to wear. I drove back across town to The Good Walmart and managed to snag a pretty decent selection. The superhero costumes were heavy on the muscle shirts, which I haaaate. And some lady grabbed the only Moana costume just seconds before I did. But over all, a resounding success.

I really need to organize the costume box. I spent a good half hour yesterday trying to find Acorn’s Wonder Woman bracers before giving up and whipping up some sequined bracelets. The rest of her outfit came out great and I feel inordinately proud of myself for making her entire costume out of pieces she can wear over and over again. P’khan wound up in a Batman sleeper. It’s not quite what I was looking for, but it worked better than I could have hoped. The only thing I didn’t get was to put him straight to bed after trick or treating. Ah well. It will wash and he’ll wear it again later.

I’m tempted to start up Tasteless But True again. The major problem being that I would be all too tempted to get political. And frankly, I just don’t have the energy for that sort of thing.