Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oy Vey !

It seems that everything is related, especially when it comes to computer problems. I downloaded the most recent version of IWeb from my software update feature from my .mac account. After creating a few new pages to upload, I found myself getting error messages.When this happens, I immediately back track to see what could have possibly happened.It has been almost two weeks since I last blogged. Finally, I was able to post some new pics to my IWeb site. It is Memorial Day and the pool is again open at Bothe State park.I took Thursday and Friday off this past week because I had a few floating holidays coming to me and I wanted to recoup the money I lost from being suspended for three days from work ( another story, another time ). Suffice to say, I did pretty good because I was paid $350.- for two days at a mock trial. Not bad, huh! Right now I have a load of laundry to do so that I can dress nicely at work. And this is just in... I am now the new president of Our Lady of Perpetual Help men's club... of which Mr. Joe Montana Sr. is a member ! Being a Catholic in a small town like Calistoga is a good thing. I hope that I can still say this after a year on the job as their humble servant.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

End of the Work Week

Today is Mother's Day and the restaurant was very busy.According to one of the managers they did over 320 covers. The cooking demo featured Eggs Benedict with Black Forest Ham . Chef Steve Ruggenberg is our new Demo Chef because Dianne Kind moved on to work for Elaine Bell as a pasty chef. She will be much happier, I am sure.I was able to Google the origin of Eggs Benedict and print out 15 copies after one of the participant's queried the name. Steve didn't know so I got right on it. I copied and pasted the Google article and adjusted the point size of the text so that it could fit on a single page in a word document. I then printed out a copy and gave that one to Carol ( the other Concierge ) to run the copies. It was sweet how effective the internet can be in the instance.Now I found out that Yahoo has IPod Maps, so that I can determine a destination and have Yahoo make a map for me that I can download on to my IPod. SWEET !

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I just realized that I have been posting to my blog here for a year now. I didn't know it could be so easy. I am still thinking about adding more links and video/audio enclosures. As soon I get more inspired, I might add even a podcast or two. No generation has been better documented than the current one, and with the advent of the Internet we have all emerged as reporters in a McCluhan Galaxy. As I write this, I am listening to my ITunes, writing an e-mail to my sister in Dubuque , and checking out the world events on my Yahoo splash page. If my sister Nancy were still alive, she would ask... email? internet? blog? ITunes? but in very short order, all of these terms I becoming the venacular of a global society.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mixed Messages

I love my job because I love people... and they generally know this fact when they come to visit the Culinary Institute.I like to have the answers and solutions that they seek. A few days back I ran into a problem.First I got into trouble for attending a Gemstone meeting which is a voluntary employee service meeting.It has never been clear to me that I could not attend. This was the first time I was pulled out of the meeting because apparently someone needed to cover the Concierge desk. I knew this, and asked our Administrative Receptionist cover for me. My supervisor saw this as a breech in my responsibility. I returned to my post without a word. Later I was asked to help someone in our education department by offering to lead a tour for the Flavor Summit group.
My supervisor had already gone home and I was left with another decision about leaving the desk again. I asked the Receptionist to cover for me again. and she said she would but would have to leave soon. Well after the tour was about to get started, someon else who fancies herself my supervisor noticed that I was away from my desk. She came to find me and started to pull on the door of the theater where the welcoming Introductions for the Flavor Summit was taking place. To spare her the embarrassment of interuppting the speaker I held the other door from opening. I suspect that this made her angry and she reported this incident to my boss. I was suspended for three days when I thought I should be getting a pat on the back. What is that saying that no good deed goes unpunished ?

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Story Unfolds

A letter from Martha, my sister.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. Fortunately we only sustained facial damage. The awning, sign, outdoor lights, and cracks in a few of the windows right around the main doorway were the only real damages we took. There was a little smoke and water damage to the stock but really minimal. No one got hurt in the store. But the guy that died was a good customer named Fred. He who used to date a former employee of ours. We kind of thought it might have been him because the staff recognized his car. He was a pretty decent guy, a pain in the ass sometimes, but really a friendly person. So it makes the whole situation that much sadder that we knew the person who died.
The accident and fire started about 6:30pm. It is usually a pretty busy time as people shop on their way home from work. I was just out of the store by about 5 minutes. I was walking Camille (my granddaughter) up the hill. I'm so glad we just missed the explosion. I was almost to 21st St when the helicopter was hovering overhead. I knew something was up but didn't know what. When I got to the top of my stairs I turned and saw the smoke from the fire. As I open my door, my phone is ringing, and it's Chris, my brother, calling to say he just saw on the news about the fire and it looked like it was in front of our store. My heart dropped out of me about then. I ran to the attic and sure enough, it was the store. I tried calling and got no answer. I called Terry on her cell and she told me a car had exploded and the awning was on fire and they were getting all the people out over the fence into the Mix (Uncle Burts) a bar off our alley. I felt so useless. I wanted to be able to do something, but with Camille, I couldn't leave. So I called the Insurance company and got the ball rolling there. Ernie had been out and was just coming home when he saw the smoke. Terry got ahold of him and he came home and walked down to the store. He couldn't get through the police line at first until he found a cop he knew. Terry called back to let me know that her husband Richy's car was one of the ones torched. That is probably the biggest loss this family sustained. Ernie, Terry and Richy stayed at the store until about 9:30 getting as much of the water up as they could. Terry and Richy did a great job of keeping everyone calm and the situation under contral. Actually all the employees were really cool and worked together to make sure everyone was out safely. We evern had to help some of the people in the apartment next door as they were trapped upstairs in their apartment. So they got onto our roof and we let them in and out with everyone else.
We spent Friday cleaning and going through everything to assess our losses. The staff really pulled together as a team and the store hasn't look this shiny ever. They were so good. But it sure does open your eyes at times like these. We realized we don't have a good evacuation plan. We were lucky that there were no elderly, or wheelchair bound in the store at that time. We only had to get one dog over the fence. But at least we had that route. I was worried about the computers since I hadn't done a take home backup in a long time. If the fire had gotten the upper floor, my office would have been toast. Its times like these that make you give life a lot more respect. You just can't take anything for granted. You have to enjoy ever day as if it could be your last. And I think we must have an angel on our shoulders. All the times we've had anything happen to us, they it never seems that awful. We must be doing something right.
So take care, be good, and thanks.