Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Firstborn Comes Home for a Visit

We had a nice visit from our oldest son last week.
If not a too short visit.

I remembered this time to give him his important papers and his savings bonds.

On Wednesday we had planned to have a day together where we would visit the National "War of Northern Aggression" Museum in Harrisburg and then drop in on my blogger buddy MARK for a little visit and a box of wine.

But oldest wanted to see his friends from high school and Wednesday was the only day 2 of them were available last week so we didn't get to fit that trip in.   Sigh

On Thursday we had family over and the weather cooperated long enough to have a 4th of July Cook-out.

I didn't go wild on the amount of food, so we just grilled corn, dogs and burgers.  I had canned beans for those who could have them too.
And this puppy stood sentinel duty under the table waiting to capture any fallen morsels of goodness.....

And for dessert I served an Entenmann cake(that cost me $1 at the bakery outlet)and this....

 Fresh fruit salad with cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries and bananas.

And watermelon for us Southern gals.

My buddy,  Sonya Ann, has a good idea for those watermelon leftovers today HERE.
Not that I have EVER heard of such a thing as leftover watermelon personally......lol

On Friday Hubs and Oldest had a day out together. 
Here they are before the start of their adventure....
They went to Pottsville and took the Yuengling Brewery Tour.
It was a MADHOUSE from what they told me!  The tour gal said she had never seen so many people as they had hosted that day for the tour in the 5 years she has been working there.
Wall to wall people in an un-air conditioned building in high heat for HOURS!
I am so glad they decided to leave me home.....

That evening we took Oldest out to his choice of restaurants for his birthday--Red Robin.  It's a fancy pants burger joint with overpriced hunks of hamburger.

It use to be pretty good but the prices over the last 6 years have risen so high there and the quality has taken a bit of a nosedive such that I don't really enjoy going there anymore.

And on this visit the wait staff screwed things up such that it was NOT a good experience.  And that's all I'm going to say unless someone really wants to hear me rant about it....lol

But Oldest is a member of their Birthday Club so he gets a free burger on his birthday and a free dinky little sundae.

And I MADE the wait staff sing to him.  What better way to top of your firstborn's birthday than by embarrassing him.....please notice the red cheeks......lol......

So after that he gave me his patented "unpleasant" face.....

He was only funnin' me, here's a normal face....who can stay mad at their mommy when you are full of burger, fries and ice cream.....

We hadn't been to Red Robin in awhile so I was surprised to find this on the table.....

A "Ziosk".
You can order appetizers, bar drink refills, play games or music and pay your check right from your table.

This new "innovation" doesn't thrill me.

First, it's yet another "thing" cluttering up your dining table.  They already have all kinds of crap on the table when you sit down so there is barely enough room once your food and drinks come.
Plus the screen scrolls continuously and if it's in your field of vision, it's VERY annoying while you are trying to sit and converse with your dining companions.

I had to have Hubs turn it around so the screen was facing away from me it was so distracting.

While the games features could keep a bored child occupied, they cost money. 
And in my humble opinion as the mother of 3 almost grown kids, if your kid isn't adequately amused by the fact of being able to go out someplace to eat, he/she is either too young to be there or hasn't been trained well enough to behave themselves or you obviously take them out and spend money on them too TOO often. ;-)

The music feature.....let's talk about that for a bit.  It also costs money to use and it's limited to the songs in the RR muzak system...which you can't even hear half the time anyway because of the noise of the guests AND the volume settings of the 100 television sets, positioned overhead throughout the restaurant, all set to different stations.  It's just ridiculous!

And then there is the fact that this "Ziosk" takes the place of wait person for some of their functions. 
You can order appetizers and bar drink refills without having to wait for your wait person and if you don't want to have to wait to flag down your person to pay, you can use a c/c on this machine for a quick getaway.  While these functions could be a plus to your dining experience(especially if the restaurant doesn't have adequate wait staff or they are extremely busy), it also takes away from the human contact that is part of dining out.  And since you don't feel as connected to your wait person, you as a paying customer might be tempted to not tip or reduce your tip, seeing as you are doing some of the wait person's job yourself.
Anyway, I give the old "Ziosk" a big thumbs down....

Oldest left on Saturday morning and we were sad to see him go.
He had to get back as he is still trying to find a job plus a place to live in Pittsburgh by the Fall, when the GF has to start classes there.  It's a rough time for these newly minted college graduates to be looking for well paying work.

We spent a bit of time in the pool the rest of the Holiday weekend as the temperatures remained high and the rains held off for the most part and the air conditioning system wasn't being installed until Monday.

So how did y'all spend your 4th of July weekend?



  1. Unplannedly uneventful. Off Thu, working Fri. Parents said they were going to VA beach (imagine that!) Sun night staying there and leaving Monday afternoon, so I got talked into it and requested off. Lo and behold, they cancelled after I was all packed up and on my way, Sat afternoon. You'd think one would learn? So I stayed home, played video games and went through half of my current book. Had a blast too.

  2. Oh good! A new toy for Leon to play with while we wait for our order! Yeah... they'll take them out real quick after a visit from us...
    Happy birthday to your boy!! And oh! Rant baby rant!

  3. I ripped my car over a protruding piece of curb while I was driving in the rain to park and get a glimpse of local fireworks. It was too bad to drive 50 miles for a party. Now, I think my car would be better off if I had driven!

    One chicken killed because I did not close the pen. Now, I have a depressed lonely hen left.

    Maybe you don't remember the little boxes for playing the juke box. The little boxes sat on the table in lots of restaurants.

    Why tip? You did it all yourself, so why not go pick it up when it is ready? The screen could alert you.

  4. Thank you for the linky love. It was goooooooooood for me, baby!
    I haven't eaten at a Red Robin. I have eaten at 5 Guys though. It is wonderful and crazy money. So we don't get it often. We have a Steak and Shake here and it sucks. But the one at South Point in Vegas is crazy good. Yes, we should visit that one.

  5. Never eaten there but that screen would drive me bonkers, I would cover it with a napkin.


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