Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Week in Review...

We went to the rodeo on Valentines Day - I know, say what you will, but Eva thinks walking the grounds of the Stock Show is a mighty fine way to spend an afternoon, and who am I to argue?

I've posted about the rodeo before so I won't recap the same stuff over again, but I would like to point out just a few notes.  First off, I know that the entire operation is a big fund raiser to support scholarships and such.  I get it and I'm happy to pay to help support such worthwhile endeavors.  But seriously, the cost of refreshments has gotten to the point of Disney-level ridiculousness. 
On what planet is it acceptable to charge $10 for a beer - even a big 24 ounce can of beer?  Secondly, aside from the extremely well-off who can spend their money supporting whatever charity they choose and figure out a way to write it off on their taxes, or the extremely stupid, who would pay $10.00 for a beer?   
 You know this is where all 24 ounces end up.  I recall years ago being wracked with guilt because I would succumb to purchasing a $6.00  20-ounce draft beer at the rodeo or a sporting event.  I suppose everyone has a line that must be drawn, and they have found mine.  I guess the real question is, do they sell enough $10 beers that it makes up for the people like me who simply refuse to do it? 
 The only reason I don't make a huge deal out of the food situation is, it really isn't as bad.  We wandered around the new asphalt paved food court area and both of us were extremely hungry and decided to gorge ourselves on unhealthy food.  Could the food be more reasonably priced?  Sure, I guess, but at least they load you down.
 Eva got this huge hunk of chicken on a stick along with rice and some sort of noodles for probably $7.00.  I suspect you would pay at least that much at Pei Wei.  We could have easily shared the plate and been done.
 But I needed to try a Reuben from the same place I got the chicken fried bacon.  I told you we were hankerin' for something unhealthy.  My Reuben was $6.50 and I think the tray of bacon was $6.75.   It's for charity.  And in the end, we were just overly stuffed.  Realistically, a family on a budget could eat at the rodeo grounds and it isn't going to really break the bank, as long as you don't load your kids up on $10.00 beers.   
Admittedly, I also can't complain about paying $6.75 for some Chicken Fried Bacon when I dropped $10 for a bag full of gourmet dog treats for Gracie.  They actually do look better than the bacon, and they aren't as chewy. Eva thinks I spoil the dog.   
 By the way, this is Elsie the Cow.  She looks pretty good for her age.

After the rodeo we were on our way home and Eva suggested we stop into El Bufalo.  El Bufalo is like a chain of Pawn Shops and they have one in Lytle.  She has been trying to get me to go into this place for a while and I have been avoiding it, but, after all those $10.00 beers, we needed to make some cash.  I'm just kidding.  I don't sell stuff at pawn shops but I've purchased a thing or two from them.  Anyway, I figure we can walk in, I can say I've been and we can just go home.  
 Instead I found this Sharp VL-AH151 Hi8 video camera.  I know what you are thinking.  You are saying to yourself, wow, this guy probably wants to invest in Beta over VHS.  No, here's the deal.  Years ago, one of the stream of video cameras I went through for the purposes of chronicling my children's youth was one of these Video8 models.  I have a few dozen of the Video8 cassettes that have not been transferred over to digital media but as you might guess, the camera itself crapped out and is long gone.  So for the last year or so, I have been looking on E-Bay and CraigsList and such to see if I can purchase one in order to transfer my tapes.  People want upwards of $200 because they know they have people like me by the cojones.  So when I walked into El Bufalo and saw this baby for $30.00, my first reaction was that I would copy all my tapes to the computer, then put this bad boy on E-Bay and make a large profit.

Yea.  Never believe Javier at El Bufalo when he tells you it works.  We fired it up before I bought it and he showed me that the power worked and such but I really didn't give it a good thorough inspection.  When I found it wouldn't actually play tapes, I took it back the next day and long story short, I'd need to come back when the owner was there and see if maybe they would give me a store credit.  I don't want to sound like a guy who can afford to pay $10 for a beer, but honestly, my time is not worth the potential of getting $30 in store credit to a place I have no intention of shopping at again.  More importantly, I have another idea.

I am currently seeking out a reputable VCR repairman who might be able to diagnose and fix the problem.  And once I get it fixed, I'll sell it for enough to make back the cost of repair.  Surely I can find someone on CraigsList who is reputable.  Or you can just e-mail me if you know of someone who tinkers with old cameras.

We went into IHOP this morning to grab a quick bite to eat.  I felt bad for our waiter because he seemed either new or incompetent.  Regardless,  the people next to us received most of their order.  It was a couple with two kids and the young man very politely sat there and let his huge omelet get cold while waiting for them to bring out his wife's order.  It was taking a long time and the man actually called over another waitress to point out the problem.  Meantime, our waiter brought out our food and he asked if we needed anything else and I casually said, Just my grits and that lady's breakfast.  I'm pretty sure the waiter crapped his pants, realizing that he had forgotten her food.  Eva also suggested he might bring us some silverware so we could eat our breakfast.  Is it just me or is service just not good these days?

Today I went to The Lytle Oil Exchange to have the oil in my truck exchanged.  I was sitting in the waiting room with my Nook finishing the last few chapters of a book (Is that you Vodka?  It's me, Chelsea) when an older gentleman walked out of the office and headed for the restroom.  I don't want to make a big deal of this, but never, I repeat, NEVER sit in the chair in the waiting room anywhere near the bathroom.  It's one thing to make your eyes water.  It is a completely different thing to drain the battery on a Nook.  
 And wrapping up here... Given the lackluster performance at IHOP this morning, I'm looking forward to my tacos tomorrow at La Palmera.  Seriously, they do have the best salsa in the county. Not unlike my experience in the waiting room today, it will make your eyes water and your nose run, but in a good way. 


Sabra said...

We went to the rodeo the same day. We actually didn't buy any refreshments. We were pretty thirsty when we left, but they were handing out so many samples the kids pretty much gorged themselves for free. No whining about hunger at all.

And then we left around 7:30 or so and started trying to find a restaurant to eat in. I forgot it was National Restaurant Dinner Day. We wound up at Jim's.

Albatross said...

Regarding those expensive dog treats, my wife bought some special dog cookies for the holidays. They were in the shapes of little bones and Christmas trees and such, and they were decorated with icing. I don't know where my wife got them, but when she asked me to give one to the dog I got a whiff of those cookies in their little box.

And they smelled pretty good.

It took me a couple of days before I worked up the nerve to try one.

And you know what? It tasted like a sugar cookie. Smelled like one, too. Not crappy at all. In fact, I think that fancy dog-treat-maker just made regular cookies in the shapes of bones and charged my wife an amount that she would never actually pay for real sugar cookies for her husband and kids.

It was a hit, with the dog and with me.

Dave said...

@Sabra: I got so caught up in whining about the price of refreshments that I forgot to post the picture of our bag full of free give-aways and mention the line of free samples that you could easily feast on in lieu of paying for full meals. You certainly won't go hungry at the rodeo.

@Albatross: Funny you mention the treats. What drew our attention to the booth offering the treats was the comments of other people walking by us saying that the dog treats looked good enough to eat. In fact, we bought the plain looking ones. They had some packaged as French fries, little happy meals and all sorts of food items. I didn't take a taste, but they did smell pretty darn good.

RB said...

Find Bill Abbott.