Tag Archives: Busines

Choosing How Much Bread For The Bread

by Richard

Every once in a while, I come across something that gives me hope for the rest of humanity. Of course I know there are a lot of good dudes and dudettes out there, but it’s nice to occasionally get confirmation of that fact.

The latest confirmation that people are good when given the chance? There’s a restaurant chain called Panera Bread, notably the favorite fast-food (ish) restaurant of She Who Must Eat Good Food. The chain has more than 1,500 stores nationwide. Three of these restaurants have an interesting way of getting money from their customers.

These three stores run a donation-only model. That is, the customers come in, order their food and then can pay whatever they want for the food they received. They can pay the suggested retail price, which is what it would cost in the rest of the stores, or they can pay less, or they can pay more. It all depends on what they want to give the store for their food.

The idea here is that people who can’t afford a good meal can come into these stores and actually walk out with food that tastes good and is (relatively) good for them, even if they can’t afford it.

The cynic in me said this is a quick way for a restaurant to go out of business, that people would walk in and then walk out without paying anything for the food. After all, it’s not agains the rules. The optimist in me says this is a chance for people to show it’s all right to do a good thing, the right thing. So how’s it working out for them?

“We were doing this for ourselves to see if we could make a difference with our own hands, not just write a check, but really make a contribution to the community in a real, substantive way,” Panera founder and Chairman Ronald Shaich told the Associated Press. The program, which Panera calls “Panera Cares,” is an example of a “community kitchens,” the AP says, in which for-profit companies act in part like nonprofits.

Most patrons, it finds, drop the entire retail cost, or more, into the voluntary donation box, in essence subsidizing a meal for somewhat who can’t pay the full amount. Panera says about 60 percent leave the suggested amount; 20 percent leave more; and 20 percent leave less. The largest single payment so far? One person paid $500 for a meal.

As I said, every once in a while, it’s good to see my faith in humanity get reaffirmed. There’s more goodness at the link. Why not give it a read?

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Tweet Your Face Off

by Richard

Just in case you’re stopping by here and you thought — to yourself — “Dude, I’d love to read more about this kind of stuff, but, really who has the time? What with all the secret trips to the moon and defending humanity from extradimensional incursions of thought beasts from beyond the stars? And stuff?”

Well, maybe not that. Maybe that’s just me.

I do, however, have a solution for you dudes.

You can check us out, not only here at your beloved repository of all things father-y and snarky, but you can also find us on the Twitter and the Facebook. You know, the stuff all the kids are talking about.

On the Twitter, you can find my feed by looking for rjones64 (Yes, I know, highly original and very descriptive. What can I say? I got on early and didn’t think I’d have to keep that moniker for all that long. I was convinced the Twitter was going down the tubes in a matter of months. So much for my fearless prognosticating.). You can tell it’s me by the picture. Yeah, that’s me doing my best impression of an Easter Island head. What? I’ve got issues.

On the Facebook, you can find our page for A Dude’s Guide just by searching us out by name. The name of the site — A Dude’s Guide — that is. Or just, you know, by clicking that link there. Go there and like us. Who knows? There might be something in it for you.*

And, as always, if you’re enjoying the writing here, but you’d like to read more from me where I’m just totally making things up, — as opposed to the strict truthiness here — you can always head over to my fiction-based website.

Finally, if you’re at all interested in giving me money (and, really, who wouldn’t want to do that? [Other than most people on the planet. But I’ve always said you were special]), you can find my business website for Web Words, an internet-based content-generation consulting service, just by clicking on the link there.

Who says we don’t offer far too many ways to waste time on the internet, just for your pleasure? No, really. Who says that?

*probably not


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Hidden Talents: The Stinkening

by Richard

This is one of those hidden talents that probably should have stayed, well, hidden.

As I said yesterday, I recently found out that I can do household repairs slightly more complicated than changing out a light bulb, which will be of great comfort to those family members for whom I’ve already done what I laughingly call repairs. Oops. Oh, well. I can make the repairs to the repairs now.

What accounts for this new-found competence? No idea. Maybe I’ve just been touched Ouchdarnit!where’sthebandaids?, the god of household repairs. Whatever. It means I’ve been fixing things.

Even when I shouldn’t. Take, for instance, hidden talent #2: What’s that smell?

This problem hit all at once. I was busy shoveling the remains of a particularly bad dinner down the garbage disposal when the silly thing backed up on me. I tried the usual remedies. I shoved my hand down there and cleaned it out — just after I remembered to actually turn it off and wait for the blades to stop spinning. I tried to plunge it clear and managed to shoot disgusting water/food slush out the other sink and all over the kitchen floor. I even used Drano on the thing. (I know, I know. What can I say? I was desperate.) Nothing worked.

It was time to get nasty.

I cleaned everything out from the cabinets under the sink and brought out my 5-gallon bucket. I put the bucket under the u-bend in the pipes down there and started loosening pipe. Eventually I did manage to get the u-bend off and water flooded into the bucket. Remember when I said it was a 5-gallon bucket? Yeah, well, turned out there was 5.2 gallons of water and gunk in the pipes. Yeah.

After I cleaned up that mess, I got down to business. I started shoving things through the u-bend pipe, looking to dislodge whatever was in there blocking the water. Nothing. I cleaned a little more pipe that would had been attached to the u-bend. Still nothing. So I put all the pipe back together and tried the disposal.

Speaking of nothing. . . It still didn’t work. I sighed and got back to work loosening pipes. After cleaning up from the water that spilled out when I forgot to put the 5-gallon bucket down again, I decided to concentrate on the one pipe I hadn’t cleaned earlier. I pulled out the pipe that lead from under the sink out through the wall and away.

That was when I noticed the smell. Something like a cross between 10-day-dead squashed skunk, that waxy gunk you sometimes find between your toes and what happens when the toilet paper misses just a bit and you’re in a hurry. So, yeah. Bad. Not knowing when to leave well enough alone, pack up and sell the house, I continued.

When I finally got the pipe out, I saw that it was filled with this black, jelly-like substance that stank so bad I could see the stink particles coming off it in waves (Hey! A physics joke. Enjoy.). I dropped the pipe, ran upstairs and caught a giant breath over the cat litter box in Zippy the Monkey Boy’s bathroom and got to work. I carried the pipe outside and upended it over a lush patch of grass, which began to brown before the gunk even touched it. Sticks, leaves and other yard detritus served to clean out the pipe and leave it in a slightly more serviceable condition.

I got everything put back together and, wonder of wonders, it actually worked. Well, except for a small leak, but I managed to fix that with the plumbers friend: crack sealant (that was what we call a punne or play on words).

So, two hidden talents discovered and two repairs made. The next time something goes wrong, I think I’m going to discover a new hidden talent: Finding the name of a good handyman.

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