Tag Archives: Panera Cafe

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms & I’m enjoying my DVDs

Greetings, readers. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, grandmas and Aunts. This is your day, so enjoy all the pampering, the cards, and hopefully the lunches that you are taken out to. As many of my regular readers know, my mom passed away in 2003. However, I took my friend Smith, who is mom, grandma, and aunt all rolled into one, out to lunch at Panera café after church. The church sermon was wonderful, coffee hour was very enjoyable, and our lunch could not have been better. Smith said that I really made her day special.

Let’s see what else is new. I have been thoroughly enjoying my Charlie’s Angels DVDs, but I’m a little bit worried that part of season four is missing. There should be twenty discs; two per packet. I’m going to count them this afternoon. It just so happens that season four is my favorite season. Yes, readers, I did like the Shelley Hack season. Was she the best actress in the world? No. Nonetheless, I thought that season had a lot of good stories. Miss Hack went on to star in the short-lived series, Jack and Mike.

What is the weather like today you ask? It is raining, cool, and positively miserable. It is not good for Mother’s Day plans here in Central Pennsylvania. Hopefully moms don’t have picnics or any other such activities planned. I would dare venture to say that folks took a look at the weather forecast a day or two ago, and made plans accordingly.

Finally, I will be able to cross off this task from my new weekly to do list. I’ve done my banking for the week, almost finished the blog entry, and one other thing that I can’t even remember what it was. Lol. what I still need to do is start work on two chapters for the new camp book. I was going to do that Monday afternoon, but a friend of mine asked me to go to a movie. Perhaps I can get some writing done in the late morning, or the early evening. I must keep this project moving forward.

There is this Sunday’s blog entry. Rebecca and I will be back at it on Wednesday. So, until then, I bid you a fantastic few days, take care of one another, and as always, happy reading.

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Why does Panera Cafe’s music have to be so dang loud?

Greetings, readers. As a lot of you know, from reading my blog, I normally start my day with friends Smith and Traci, enjoying coffee at Panera. Recently the music level has been that of a dance club. I’m not kidding. I’ve spoken to numerous managers about it, they all claim it is set at that volume level by corporate policy. However, the last two days out of three the music was at a wonderfully low volume, making it painfully obvious that if the managers really want it lower, they’ll do it.

What ever happened to the old adage that the customer was always right? I’ve asked on more than one occasion if they could please turn the music down. Some associates say yes, only to be overridden by their manager. “Oh, it’s corporate. We can’t do anything about that.” I’ve often wondered if it was an attempt to get people to not loiter in the café; to eat and get out. But students who are the steady customers of Panera will sit there as long as they are going to, regardless of how loud it is. Most just put earphones on. So if Panera is making the music loud to clear out their restaurants, it’s not working.

When I go over in the mid-afternoon, and there is about 100 people chatting away, I can barely hear the music. So if I am lucky enough to have any Panera corporate employee reading this blog, here is a suggestion: When you just open your store and there are a handful of people in it, set the volume lower and around lunchtime, feel free to crank it up.

The three musketeers, as we are known, love going to Panera for coffee, but if we truly can’t talk to one another in a normal voice, we might have to go elsewhere. There is a Sheetz, Webster’s Café, and a little coffee shop called Saints in the vicinity.

Well, let’s see what else is going on in the world. There was a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte … I thought guns weren’t allowed in schools. There is a blizzard in the Rockies … again I thought spring was here. And of course the mid-west states like Texas doesn’t need anymore rain. Have we really screwed up our planet this much? This is beyond climate change. To me this seems like the beginning of the end times. I’ve heard theories that this could be the last generation on earth and I’ve also heard theories that all things will even out and the weather will calm down eventually. One thing is sure, glaciers are melting and small islands are sinking under water. More than likely, they won’t come back. In a way I am glad I didn’t father a child, because that child would have inherited a world with an unfixable climate problem.

On to a nicer note, this Sunday I will dictate a top ten list, which I have never done without Rebecca before. I’m not exactly sure what the topic will be, but I will give it a go and make it as interesting as possible. The top ten lists seem to be a hit, so look for that this weekend.

Until then, do take care, love one another, let’s end all this damn fighting, and as always, happy reading.

I thought spring had sprung… and more

Greetings, readers. Here I thought spring had sprung, but Mother Nature had other plans. Today it was rainy, damp, and the high temperature was only 46°F. That’s not very warm for April 28th. I know that many years ago, we had snow in May. Yes, that can happen here in central Pennsylvania. In this college town however, when all the co-eds see the tree’s leaves turn green, they all run around half-naked. This is why half of them are sick during finals week.

That’s right, it’s finals week here at Penn State University. This Saturday and Sunday, the seniors will be graduating and moving on to their next phase of life. The undergrads get to go home for three months, before returning in late August to do it all over again. I can only imagine how loud Friday’s and Saturday’s parties are going to be.

From late morning until close, Panera Café is swarming with college kids either studying or hanging out sipping coffee. Between early May and mid-June, there is a wonderful lull in between the college students leaving, and public school children still having classes. After approximately June 10th, all hell breaks loose when the little ones are also set free for the summer.

Speaking of summer, the mid-July Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be here before we know it. When I was younger, that was always the midpoint of summer. Yes I know that technically the summer season does not begin until June 21st, but it just seemed as though the second half of the summer went much faster than the first. Now that I’m older, I feel that way all the more. I love summer and hate winter, and my summer goes way too quickly for my liking.

Briefly, a spring cleaning update. My kitchen remains clean. Yay! I have begun work on the bathroom, which is the least dirtiest room in the apartment. All the towels were recently washed and put away, the shampoo bottle was placed on the rickety stand by the toilet, and such things as nail clippers and my comb were neatly placed at the back of the sink. Next up on the spring cleaning list of tasks is the dining room table/writing area. I am hoping that Rebecca does not think I want her to choose one phrase or the other here, because my computer lives on the dining room table. No, folks… I do not put my cereal bowl on top of my computer. That would just be asking for trouble.

Finally… and yet again… prayers go out to the families and victims of yet another senseless shooting, this time in a synagogue in San Diego, California. It’s time that state and national leaders step up to the plate and tried to put an end to this senseless violence. Maybe one day, my plea will be heard by someone who can do something about it. Before my malfunctioning computer goofs up again I’m going to close this entry, spell check it, and post it before my technology, and my patience, go splat!

Until Wednesday, have a great rest of your weekend, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

On schedule for me today

Greetings, readers. I believe this is the second blog entry I have dictated via the speech recognition program. I’m on a slightly different schedule this morning, so I asked Rebecca to meet me at Panera Café and a little later than usual. Earlier on, I did some splendid work on my major writing project, also using said voice recognition program. I love it! It’s almost like acting; so fun.

I was up at 3:45 this morning, as usual, and began my day by making coffee, looking at Facebook, and doing a little virtual fishing on Steam’s Fishing Planet. With the new patch that came in yesterday via an update – a major update – the game plays so much better. The creators bettered the physics, I think improved the graphics, and added a Photoshop feature where you can take a picture with your humongous prize catch. It’s about three notches below Star Trek’s hollow deck.

This afternoon, I have an appointment at 3:30. It should not take more than an hour. After that, I’m planning on a light supper followed by more work on my writing project. I am really getting into the story now. As you all know, dear readers, it’s been forever since I’ve been in creation mode. If I am to take time off from my fast food job this summer to rest my feet, I must find some way to perhaps generate income through my writing. I don’t wish to just sit around for three or four months and just do nothing. Yes, one does get very used to that paycheck every two weeks, doesn’t one?

I still have an early bedtime this evening for tomorrow is a work day at the fast food job. I need to get plenty of sleep and rest my feet. When, or if, I am going to tell my manager I would like the summer off is still up in the air. My swollen feet are saying, “Go for it!” My wallet is saying, “Don’t you dare.” Right now, I’d say my decision is 50-50. I will know by early May.

Well, there you have it. I know this wasn’t the longest entry in the world, but it is what’s current in my life today. I bid all of you a great weekend, stay safe, take care and as always, happy reading.

Hello from Panera

Greetings, readers. I was on a slightly different schedule this morning so I called Rebecca and had her meet me at Panera to start our shift. I just finished my breakfast and am now enjoying my coffee. I was hoping to keep the computer charged up but the plug is damaged and not working. Luckily the battery is new so we have plenty of power and time to type this blog entry.

First of all, congrats to the Houston Astros on their World Series championship. I did not think they would be able to win a game 7 versus the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but they did. So far I have seen a number of people wear Astros hats around town. Looks like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

While we are on the subject of baseball, I am still trying to resurrect my sim baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 18, which crashed and burned a couple of weeks ago and the file was unable to be saved. I hope to have everything ready to restart within a month. The game got an update so it is even more fun to play. I can’t wait until I can get my league going again.

This morning I awakened to a grey rainy day, with the temperature in the low 40s. My injured leg did not like it. After yesterday’s blog about it still hurting, I had three people from Facebook yesterday tell me to head to my doctor immediately and get my leg checked out. If it’s not back to normal in another week, I will go.

Yesterday I did something very … well, stupid. I called my therapist very late and called off. It was raining, I didn’t feel particularly well, and yes, I have a fear of falling. So far she hasn’t called back. I hope she wasn’t too upset. I think I can smooth things over. When I talk to her, I will explain how I felt yesterday and hopefully she will understand. I’ve always had a good rapport with her so I don’t think I will have much of a problem.

At 1:00 I have an appointment for a manicure which won’t take long and which I won’t bail on. Because of my cerebral palsy, I have a weak left side and trouble with some fine motor skills, and clipping fingernails in next to impossible for me. I actually enjoy getting the pampering and my nails always look good for work. I can’t be at the register with long scratchy nails. I have shifts at work tomorrow and Saturday. A week from this Sunday is the Penn State football homecoming weekend and I’ve already volunteered to work both Saturday and Sunday. They gleefully accepted.

Again, I want to thank all of our new readers and ask that you tell all your friends, so that everyone can enjoy this blog. That’s why Rebecca and I do it; not only to let me vent but to also to share my life experiences.

Finally, once again my condolences go out to families affected by violence, this time from a shooting in a Colorado Wal-Mart. I honestly do not remember a time when there was so much violence and strife in a span of a few days. I might blog next week about the differences of how people get their news today versus how we got it way back in the day, before we had internet.

Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

My friend Dave is coming for my birthday

Greetings, readers. My buddy and brother Dave Trost is coming up tomorrow to visit me for my birthday. What a fantastic surprise. I’ll be turning 52 tomorrow and it will be nice to have Dave here. We’re planning on having birthday dinner at the Indian restaurant right underneath my apartment building. I suppose after that it will be back upstairs to watch movies or YouTube. Quite honestly, I would not mind just sitting and chatting about the old days. I love it when we reminisce.

Dave is able to take this two and a half day vacation because the poor boy cracked a bone in his ankle playing softball. That is a major ouch. Luckily for him, since he is planning to drive down for the visit, the walking boot is on his left foot. I don’t imagine we’ll be walking to Panera or any of the other eateries because I’m going to want my buddy to rest that foot as much as possible.

Another reason I don’t want Dave walking around town is that this just happens to be the week for our Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Panera and Sheetz will be crowded and who knows if we will even get a table. I might try something called OrderUp, which is an online service that will pick up food ordered from a restaurant and deliver it to your door. I think David will enjoy staying off his foot as much as he can.

Although Dave’s visit will be a short one, it has fallen on my birthday week and Arts Festival week. If Dave is feeling up to it, we might check out the food venders on the block nearest my building. I heard they have yummy corn dogs, bundt cake and funnel cake. That sounds like a treat for a person with a sweet tooth.

The weather, as is usual for this time of year where we have the Arts Fest downtown and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, is supposed to be warm and muggy with a chance of rain. That in itself is reason enough to stay in and play Yahtzee all evening. I can remember many an evening at Bear Spring Camps when Dave and I would play Yahtzee to pass the evening away. I still have very fond recollections of those nights. I even know where to find my Yahtzee game and score pads.

I’ll be certain to have a 12 pack of Coors Light so that when Dave arrives he can sit down and begin to enjoy his weekend. Usually we would walk together to get it, but this visit he gets pampered a bit. One of the movies that I know David will want to watch on Netflix is the Minions. My buddy just loves those yellow little characters.

The next blog entry we will be doing when we are together again next week will be a review of my new laptop computer. I won’t go into the full review here but I can give you a spoiler, I like it very much. Rebecca will be doing the blog tomorrow from home, which I am sure will be awesome.

Until I write again next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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.

R. I. P. to a neighbor in my building [edited]

Greetings, readers. Rebecca is still recouping from a cold, so I am here typing the blog entry today. With the name withheld for privacy reasons, I do need to get something that’s been bothering me off my chest. So, here goes.

A gentleman from our apartment building passed away a few days ago. It has hit me unusually hard. I would see him at Panera café sometimes in the morning, having his coffee while reading his newspaper. We would wave or say hello. Sometimes if there was something on his mind, he’d let me know about it. I guess his death has hit me hard because I’m getting a bit older now, and the thought of my demise creeps into my brain every now and again.

He was a WWII Vietnam veteran, and was well liked and respected in the building. I won’t go into the details of his passing, but I will say that he apparently passed away in his sleep; a peaceful way to go.

Well, I salute my friend who came to a few of my shows and enjoyed them. *SALUTE!*

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