Tag Archives: McDonald’s

The joy of paying forward

Greetings, readers. I’ve watched many YouTube videos dealing with the phenomenon called paying forward. It is a concept where a person receives a blessing from out of the blue, usually from a stranger who does not expect anything back. At some point in the future the person who received the gift may do a good deed for someone else, paying the blessing forward. This idea fascinates me and I think I am going to start doing it.

As I frequent Panera café, an easy opportunity for me to pay forward would be for me to pay for the lunch of the person standing directly behind me. I’ve not done that yet, for fear of the person becoming offended. One day soon, I might just get up the courage to try it. In this world of hatred, war, and injustice, doing a little deed like paying for a meal, contributing to a charity, or leaving an extra generous tip is a way to brightens someone’s day.

I will write more about this at another time, but one way I am paying forward right now, is with a GoFundMe page to benefit a cerebral palsy charity. I started it a couple weeks ago, and although it has gotten off to a slow start, my site appears to in full working order now, and I look forward to, at some time in the future, giving the donations to this charity. As some of you may know, I have a mild case of cerebral palsy, that while not getting worse, will never go away.

This coming Christmas season I plan to donate to the charities that have volunteers who stand on the corners each day and ring their bells. I’ve only done that a couple of times over the years, for fear that charities are not what they claim to be, but if you can’t trust the Salvation Army, who can you trust? I’m also going to buy a toy or two and drop it in the Toys for Tots bin. That will make a little boy or girl a little happier on Christmas morning.

Other ways that I can pay forward? It is a matter of keeping your eyes open and looking for opportunities to make someone’s day happier. I remember one time many years ago, a person who was down on his luck wanted to buy a cup of coffee at McDonald’s with exact change. He didn’t know that the prices had just gone up and he was four cents short, and the cashier at the time would not sell him a cup of coffee. I gave him a five dollar bill so that he had not only enough money for his coffee but also a McMuffin of his choice. He almost cried. What did I get out of the exchange? Only the pleasure of seeing someone who wasn’t expecting any good fortune turn and smile as he walked away with his breakfast.

I think if more people would do this in their daily lives, not only in this country but around the world, there might just be little less hate. With the talk of nuclear missile tests, wars, and other atrocities, it is time for some good news. It is time for change. It is time for kindness to replace anger and indifference. Let’s each of us make a vow, my readers, in the next month to pay forward. Then, in the comment section, tell me your story and we will share it with everybody.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good day, take care, and happy reading.

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If I had a time machine

Greetings, readers. I know that I have spoken before about things I might change in my life if I could. Well, today, let’s take that old time machine and see what you or I would do. For instance, if you could, would you go back to Dallas in 1963 and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy? I would like to, but it would be a tough task. First I would have to get into the Texas Book Depository, find Lee Harvey Oswald, and stop him without getting shot myself. An almost impossible task.

One thing I would love to do is go back in time and visit the Ingalls family. Yes, they really did exist, living in many places including Walnut Grove. I always loved the TV program and its depicted simple way of life, with love of family and moral values.

Another thing I’d love to do is go back to any certain Tuesday evening when I was a child and have my mom take me to the Bellefonte, PA. YMCA for my swimming lessons. As I recall, I hated that experience at the time but, as it often seems to happen, I look back on that event with much fonder memories. I would like to walk around and watch myself as I got a plastic football helmet from a vending machine after the lesson. I would like to experience the evening through someone else’s eyes.

One of my biggest regrets, and I’ve said this before, is my lack of readiness for life. I would definitely apply for that job at McDonald’s or Burger King as a teenager and put half my paycheck aside each week. If I had learned the value of saving my money rather than being a spendthrift I would be in a much better monetary situation now.

A second thing I would do back in my schooling years would be a little more risky, but possibly worth it. I would be much more of a romantic person with my 11th grade girlfriend Marilee, and see if any kind of passion would have budded in that relationship. In real life we went through that whole year basically as good buddies. I was so shy back then. The risk would be that she would reject me and I would have lost that whole year of friendship with her. The reward would have been a chance to have a longer relationship with Marilee and the possibility of a long-lasting romance.

Now let’s turn the dial forward. Where to go and what to do in the future? I think I would set the dial for the year 2217 just to take a look at what technological advances the world will make. Would there be anything close to the Starship Enterprise? Or, heaven forbid, would there be a nuclear disaster and would I find myself alone? I know Rebecca likes time travel stories and I’m hoping that this entry is intriguing to her.

On a side note, I’ve been reading Four’s a Crowd, Darren’s book, and I’m finding it quite good. Oddly enough I started with chapter 9. That is a chapter that Darren wrote with all new material, none of which was in my play Kimberly. I’m enjoying it immensely. I am reading the novel for pleasure the first time through, then I will go back and read it again with a fine tooth comb and make notes. After that, I’ll set up another meeting with Darren and we shall be very close to finishing the book. I think it will be a winner.

That’s today’s news. We will be working out of the office tomorrow and we will write blog entry #600. So until then, have a great day, get out of the snow if you are buried in it – we got eight inches – do take care, and happy reading.

Why I go out to eat so much

Greetings, readers. People have often asked me, including my accountant, why I go out to eat so much. Well, here are the answers. With my physical challenges, I don’t feel comfortable cooking. I have a weak left hand, and I cannot trust it to hold up a hot pan or sheet while I move it from the oven or stove to the countertop. While I can put a pot pie or Stouffer’s dinner in the microwave, there is also something enjoyable about leaving the apartment and getting out for an hour.

The pros are that I get fresh air, good food, and pleasant conversation. The cons are that it is expensive, sometimes very noisy, and, on rare occasions, the coffee is not as fresh as it could be. To me the pros outweigh the cons, except for one: the expense.

All my friends, including Rebecca and my accountant, have warned me that Panera, my favorite hangout, is one of the most expensive places I can get to in town, other than fancy restaurants. I used to go to Panera two or three times a day. Now I’ve cut it down to just once.

The true worry I have, and it already has happened, is that I will cook something and drop it on the kitchen floor because of my weak hand. A few months ago a delicious pot pie, which was all set to be put on the plate, slide onto the floor, and had to be thrown in the garbage. That was most frustrating. I also receive Meals on Wheels three times a week, which does help. They have excellent hot dinners, as well as delicious sandwiches and salads. However, if I don’t eat the hot meal right away, that becomes something I have to transfer to a plate and put in the microwave. With my strong right hand, I can handle that most of the time.

I always look for eating options, especially when I go out with Traci. Not having a car of my own, Traci and I are limited to where we can go and eat. With our health issues, we like to be close to home. A walk to McDonald’s is several blocks away and that trek would be very hard on both of us. Of course, we would use the Dollar Value menu. Across the street from Panera there is a small Chinese food restaurant which we are going to try, and I’ll scout around town for other options. Point blank, as much as I love Panera, I’m going broke each month when we just go there.

I love being out of the apartment building, especially since my work hours are here too, but here is the weird part. After an hour or so of sitting and talking, both Traci and I look at our time pieces (her watch and my computer) and we can’t wait to get back to our apartments. I guess a little coffee-hour time goes a long way.

My friend Dave is set to come for a visit in early December and he’s promised to teach me to cook light, quick, and easy meals. I think I’ll take him up on it because my nutrition could be better.

On a slight side note, it is unusually warm today in central PA. Although I don’t mind it, it is a little unusual and when the mercury rises after it has been cold, I get lethargic. I shall battle through it.

A special shout-out to the Chicago Cubs and their fans. The first World Series victory since 1908.

So sorry about yesterday’s blog post, but time really did get away from us. I bid you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite foods

Greetings, readers. I thought it might be fun today to share with you my top ten favorite foods. According to our search results, I haven’t done this one yet, though I thought I had. I love meal time and snacking so almost any food or beverage will be included. Only #1 will be in order.

#10. Pepperoni pizza. [Although I can’t have it very often, because it gives me heartburn, I love a good pepperoni pizza. Pizza Hut and Domino’s are two excellent pies but my favorite in town is from an Italian restaurant called Mamma Mia’s. They serve the pizza from a traditional Italian recipe.]

#9. Steak. [A good thick filet brings back memories of 4th of July barbeques with the family. Dad only used the grill once or twice a year, but he sure knew how to do it. I like mine cooked medium.]

#8. French fries. [I don’t have them too often, but my favorite ones are from McDonald’s. They are usually crispy and not too terribly greasy.]

#7. Earl Grey hot tea. [No, I’m not related to Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I do enjoy the occasional cup of Earl Grey, with a little bit of cream and honey. It is my second hot beverage of choice.]

#6. The Subway six-inch sandwich. [My favorite is pepperoni and provolone cheese toasted, on 9 grain honey-oat bread, with a little bit of lettuce and mayonnaise. A delightful light dinner.]

#5. Cheesecake. [Let’s just say, don’t put a whole one in front of me. It wouldn’t last long.]

#4. Fried chicken. [When our town used to have a Kentucky Fried Chicken, I would go there on a semi-regular basis and chow down for not much money. I would enjoy extra crispy with mashed potatoes, a biscuit and a drink.]

#3. Grilled Stickies from Ye Olde College Diner. [A wonderful dessert item best served warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. It is an award-winning treat specific to this town.]

#2. Coffee. [I’ve enjoyed this beverage since the age of ten and it is my go-to drink, my beverage of choice. About a year ago I bought a Keurig and I can enjoy as many cups per day that I want to. Bring on the breakfast blend!]

#1. Ice Cream. [My go-to depression comfort food. I’m going out on a limb here to let my regular readers know that when I am at my most depressed it is not uncommon for me to take a half-gallon, watch Netflix, and enjoy the entire container watching my shows. Is this the fast lane to diabetes? Oh, yes. So I have cut back on doing this. My favorite flavor is Edy’s Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream. OMG.

Honorable mention I just thought of: Almost any favor of Dunkin’ Donuts doughnuts. [I just love the smell when you walk in the front door.]

It is a dim day outside but I got a lot of work done today, including this blog entry, checking Facebook and Twitter, and writing a blurb for a back book cover. It turned out really well, thanks to Rebecca. Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite commercials

Greetings, readers. I find that almost all of my favorite commercials are from the 1970s, when I was a kid watching television. I have seen a number of these more recently on YouTube. I thought I would share them with you today. These are in no particular order.

#10. From the 70s, McDonald’s commercial with Ronald McDonald, the Cheeseburglar, the Grimace, Captain Crook, and a number of children, taking pictures saying cheeseburger instead of cheese.

#9. The ad for the 1975 Mercury Cougar XR7 starring Farrah Fawcett and a live cougar.

#8. The classic Lite Bright toy from Hasbro.

#7. The classic Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven.

#6. Kenner SSP Racers.

#5. Another McDonald’s ad with the jingle listing out all the ingredients to a Big Mac.

#4. Mennen Skin Bracer aftershave ad with a slap and the tagline, “Thanks, I needed that.”

#3. Dunkin’ Donuts set of ads from the 80s with a baker saying, “Time to make the donuts.”

#2. The classic game Connect Four from Milton Bradley.

#1. The classic game Battleship from Milton Bradley with the line, “You sank my battleship!”

Okay folks, I just had a blast from the past and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Rebecca for looking up the videos on YouTube to get the names right. These ads were so long ago. In the comments section, please feel free to leave your favorite ads in a message. Let’s get a thread going.

Until next week, take care, stay warm, have a great weekend and happy reading.

I had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas

Greetings, readers. I had an unusually festive and rewarding Christmas Eve. Not only did I do exactly what I wanted to do, but thanks to a service called Zipcar, I was once again able to fulfill my traditional annual light ride around the State College area. As a lot of you know, this tradition dates back to my childhood and is most important to me. I reminisced about Mom and Dad, and the Christmases we shared. Four years ago, I had to do it on a bus on Christmas Eve eve. That went okay until the bus driver asked me aren’t you getting off anywhere? It became horribly awkward as I explained to him that I was looking at the Christmas lights and just waiting for the bus to get back into town. Last year I rented a car from a more traditional company, paid lots of money, got a great car, but thanks to a snow storm the day after Christmas, almost got charged an arm and a leg extra. This year, with my Zipcar membership, I was able to rent the vehicle for only the number of hours I needed it; and even though I extended my reservation, because my friend wanted to find a place to eat, it was still a lot cheaper.

Christmas Day got off to a late start for me and I did not watch the yule log on one of the local TV channels. Netflix has a very similar burning fireplace with Christmas music tracks, so I could start it whenever I wanted, and I watched it about 11:00 am. Keekee and I had a very nice Christmas morning together, and then out of sheer habit I went to Panera cafe and realized as I was approaching the door that they were closed.

After resting in the early afternoon, I used another Zipcar vehicle – they have several in town – to spend some time with Godmother. It was a truly cherished visit, since I don’t know how many more holidays I will have with her. After that it was Christmas dinner at, of all places, McDonald’s. It was the only place open. When I got home at 5:00, I had some eggnog, played some PS3 Football, and took a nap. Along with writing emails and Facebook messages to family and friends, and of course the phone calls, I deemed Christmas 2013 a good solid 9.5 out of 10 for me.

Next Wednesday, Rebecca and I are going to have a half day, leaving me time to watch a parade and perhaps the first half of a football game. That will be after I enjoy the New Year’s Eve activities. I will be watching the ball drop in New York City, on the show Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. As many of you know, this is another of my many traditions; I always like to ring in the New Year with Dick Clark’s show. I might even get myself a bottle of sparkling cider and pretend it is champagne.

We are planning to write a blog tomorrow about my performance last Friday, which turned out to be called The Mimic Unmasked. More on that tomorrow. We plan to add photos too, if we can get that to work. So the blog entry might not be posted until close to 3:00 pm. Until then, take care, stay warm, be well, and happy reading.