Tag Archives: McDonald’s

Preliminary Diagnosis

Preliminary Diagnosis

With the help from some close friends (Matt and Becca), I was able to get in to see a neurologist sooner than September 20th.  Ironically, it was with the same neurological group with which I have the 9/20 appointment.

The neurologist connected a bunch of wires and did some shock stimulus and some needle stimulus tests.  At the end, he concluded that there is a very strong likelihood that we can eliminate ALS, and perhaps even Parkinson’s.  However, he’s leaning more towards Myasthenia Gravis (MG for short).

He put me on pyridostigmine and said if it helps me feel better, then I’ve got MG.  If it does not, we’ve saved time.  He still wants me to get an MRI which is scheduled for tomorrow evening.

PROGRESS!

Tractors

They didn’t have my medication at the pharmacy so it had to be special ordered.  (There’s very small percentage of people with MG.)  So, I’m hoping it WILL help (yeah, it’s kind of funny to hope I have MG, but I’m tired of living like this — constant pain and fatigue.)  Because it will be in this afternoon, I decided to take the grandson’s to see the tractors as I promised.  I figure that should wear me out and be a good test for this medication.

We went and saw the tractors.  Ricky (the owner) was there.  He remembered me and he let me drive a big OLD Farmall Tractor and I gave Brad a ride.  It was a hoot.  Brad will always remember today, that’s for sure.

His little brother was too frightened by the noise of that big diesel engine.  It was loud and rumbly.

Ice Cream and McDonald’s

On the way home we stopped at Toomey’s Corner and bought ice cream cones.  We then stopped at McDonald’s.  The idea was to take lunch home, but the boys ate their 10 piece nuggets before we got home.

After dropping everyone off at the house, I went and picked up my prescription.  I took my first dose around 2pm.  It’s now 5pm and I’m feeling much better than I have in a long time.

Placebo effect?

Perhaps, but the doctor says if it is, I’ll at least enjoy 2-3 days not feeling crappy.  If it really is MG, I should start feeling better in 2-3 days and it will stay that way.

Eye Shots

Eye Shots

Eye shots just sound creepy to me.  I don’t know how my wife does it.  Every six weeks she goes for a shot in her eye to slow the progress of macular degeneration.  Getting shots in the eye is something I hope I never have to do, but my wife is a real trooper putting up with those eye shots.

This morning was her day to get her eye shots.  I brought my camera and just stood outside the building taking pictures in the cold.

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Mailbox in the Cold

I could only stand a little bit of it before I went in to wait in the waiting room.  While I was in there I decided to download the McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell phone apps.  (They are supposed to give you coupons.)

Testing the App

After Elizabethe got her eye shots, we went to Burger King and I went to test the app.  It took a while for the coupon to come up, but when I pressed the button it sent a message back saying the coupon had already been used.

Well, thanks go some good customer service, the young man behind the counter looked up an equivalent coupon code and entered on his cash register and all was good.

On Line Meeting

In our on-line missionary meeting they decided to display a photo and allow us to use the software’s pen feature to mark where our eye goes in the photo.  In no time at all the screen looked like this…

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Markers in Meeting

You would have thought we were in a Nursery Meeting.

When we finally got serious, it was a good exercise.  It was fun to see what people saw off in an image.

Temple

Our temple service seemed to go quickly tonight.  I’ll admit.  I was a bit distracted as I was trying to resolve an issue with Lightroom before going.  But, it did me good to go.

 

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

There is a concept called unintended consequences.  I cannot believe how many people don’t get it.  When you impose a rule there are natural consequences.  Like in chess, if you don’t foresee those consequences you get unintended consequences.

I’m reading this guy’s Facebook post saying that $15/hour for minimum wage is justified because the big CEOs (of companies like McDonald’s) make too much.

Hmmm…

Do you think raising the minimum wage will result in a lower salary to Steve Easterbrook (CEO of McDonald’s)?

According to the Chicago Tribune, Easterbrook makes $1.1 million. So what?  That’s what the board of directors is willing to pay him.  I see no problem with that when you’re running a company as big as McDonald’s.  But, if you think raising the minimum wage is going to result in a lower salary to Easterbrook, then you’re quite naive.

According to the Inquisitr, McDonald’s is going to add automated kiosks so they can reduce employee counts and thus, offset the loss due to a $15/hour minimum wage.   Unintended Consequences!

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is alive and well in government.  Force a company to pay $15/hour and that will solve the problem.

Define the problem?

One of the arguments I’ve heard is that people can’t live off $9/hour (current New York minimum wage).   That comes out to $1584/month.  If I were single, living here in Palmyra, making $1584/month, I could make it work.  … oh, wait.. except for Obamacare which would cost me about $450/month.   But wait!  I could pay the $750/year penalty and still make the $1584/month work.

Aside from that, why do we suddenly think that someone should be able to make a living off a minimum wage?

Why?  Because politicians say so.

We have an authoritarian wage, an authoritarian medical insurance requirement and we have welfare.

Oh!  Welfare.

Socialism

Why work for $15/hour when you can get welfare?

Another unintended consequence is welfare and its unintended consequences.  There’s a popular article going around about a guy who rents to an unwed mother of two, and because she qualifies for welfare, the county pays her rent.  He moves in with her along with his child, and now they both co-habitate, both qualify for head-of-household tax credits and so forth.  In the end, they are making a comfortable living… off welfare.  Forget minimum wage.

An Idea

Actually, this is several ideas.  Here it goes…

  1. Instead of a minimum wage, require corporations to include their employees in profit sharing plans.  (While, I’m against ANY government involvement in business, at least this one has motivation and merit.)  Profit sharing formulas would have to include hours worked, shift worked, etc.
    1. Unintended consequences:  supervisors might be tough of slouchers because they impact the supervisor’s profit sharing too.
    2. Unintended consequences: Coworkers would be tough on each other because if a coworker slouches it impacts your profit sharing.
    3. Unintended consequences:  Customer facing employees will be nicer to clients so clients spend more money thus increasing their profit sharing.
  2. Change welfare to a work-for-food program.  No more EBT cards or money for food.  Instead, if you go on welfare, you will be required to put in X hours a week before your receive your food.  Your food would be received in the form of staples:  milk, flour, eggs, meat, butter, cheese, vegetables in season, fruits in season, legumes, etc.  Thus, if you want pancakes for breakfast, you can make them from scratch.    It would not include sweets, candies, alcoholic beverages, sweetened beverages (like soda, juice, etc.), etc.  Food would come in clearly labeled packages that says, “WELFARE FOOD – To exchange this food for goods, services or money constitutes a crime.  Violators will be disqualified from the welfare program.”
    1. Unintended consequences:  People who don’t like the welfare food might consider getting a job so they can buy other foods.
    2. Unintended consequences:  People who don’t like having to work for their food can stop working and not receive any food.

Who Pays?

Who pays if minimum wage goes up to $15/hour.  Well, we all do.  If it cost me $10 to produce a widget, and of that $10, $3 is 20 minutes of a $9/hour employee, and now I have to pay that employee $15/hour, the $10 widget is now costing me $12 to produce.  And, if it cost me $10, and I sell it for $25 (250% markup factor), I will now be selling it for $30.

That’s simple math.  That isn’t an unintended consequence.  That’s the logical, natural consequence.

But, to think I have to eat $2 out of each widget sold is absurd.   If I made $1 million a year making and selling widgets, and you cut in to my profit margin, I’m not going to say, “Oh, my, our production costs have gone up 20% and so I’m going to have to take a cut in pay.”

No, I’m not going to say that.  I’m going to turn to my production staff and finance staff and ask, “What do we need to do to bring our profit margin back to normal?”

They might suggest raising the price (as I’ve already demonstrated), but at the risk of selling fewer widgets, they might say, “We can lower the production cost if we layoff 50 people.”

Now, there’s an unintended consequence… again.

In the End

In the end we’ll survive a raise in the minimum wage.  Our quality of life might not be quite the same, but we’ll survive.    We probably won’t see a Dollar Menu ever again, or if we do, it might come from an automated burger machine.  The serious unintended consequences will come 50 60 ,70 years from now… assuming we last that long.

 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Back in 1974 a good friend and I were working in the restaurant industry.  Taco Bell was a huge success in California, and I thought it would be great if we could bring Taco Bell to eastern United States.  I mentioned this to my friend who was from Wilkes Barre, PA, and he said, “They wouldn’t even know how to eat a taco.”  (Implying it was a bad idea.)

The closest Taco Bell to our house was about 10 miles away near the intersection of Auburn and Madison in North Sacramento.  My dad who had come to California before we moved there from Idaho, raved about this place where you could get anything on the menu for 19 cents and drinks for 25 cents.  The menu was simple:

  • Taco
  • Burrito (with hot (red) or mild (green) sauce)
  • Tostada
  • Frejolies
  • Bell Burger (a bun with taco meat on it)

That was it.  $1 would get you change and 3 tacos and a drink.  You could feed a family of four for under $5.  That was 1968.

So, by the time 1974 rolled around, this 18 year old was thinking about what to do with his future and I thought it would be great to save up some money with my buddy and buy a franchise or two in Pennsylvania, New York or somewhere in the northeastern USA.  But, my friend didn’t think it would take off.

Now I live in that area and Taco Bells are few and far apart.  The nearest ones to us are 12 miles away.  There are probably 6 McDonald’s for every Taco Bell in the area.  While I’ve been to a packed McDonald’s, there is seldom a line at Taco Bell.

This afternoon Elizabethe had an appointment down in Canandaigua and I went with her.  After her appointment, since we were close to a Taco Bell, we stopped there for dinner.

There were as many employees as there were people eating there.  I ordered a crunchy taco and some nachos.  The crunchy tacos haven’t changed much since the time when they cost 19 cents.  Now they are a $1 more.  The menu has expanded greatly.  You can get a crunchy taco, a crunchy taco supreme, a crunchy taco with steak or chicken, a soft taco, and so on.  It is ADHD overload just looking at the menu.

I’m not sure how well Taco Bell franchises are doing in this area, but I will say the food at Taco Bell is better than most so-called Mexican Restaurants I’ve tried here.  (There is a good one up in Sodus that serves authentic Mexican food, but many of the others… not so good.)

I’m actually glad I didn’t go in to the restaurant business, but it is fun to reminisce about the days when I wanted to bring Taco Bell to the Northeastern United States.

Big America

In the meantime, I’m lobbying

to bring the Big America Burger to USA McDonalds.  200 grams of ground top sirloin on a sesame seed bun.  It’s a two-fisted burger that makes the Burger King Whopper look small.  Yeah… so it cost $13-17 (US) for a Big America, fries and a drink.  It beats any fast-food burger we serve here.

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Eating a Big America Burger at McD’s in Tiberias, Israel

 

Year’s End

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is the year’s end. 2016 will be interesting given the political climate in this country.  I’m ready to close the door on 2015.  Life goes on.

Agenda Today

Agenda Today

What’s on the agenda today?  We are off to the northernmost part of the country – Mount Tabor, Caesarea Philippi, City of Dan, and Castle Nimrod.  We’ll be just a few miles from the Syrian border, but nobody is worried.

Tel Dan is a cool place because it dates back to the times of Abraham.

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Tel Dan

I like Caesarea Philippi because of the object lesson.  When Christ asked his disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?”, it was here surrounded by tributes to false gods.

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Caesarea Philippi

Just up from Caesarea Philippi is Bainias Falls which are headwaters to the Sea of Galilee.

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Bainias

Finally, Castle Nimrod has nothing to do with the Bible, but it is cool to see castle.  Who doesn’t like a castle?

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Castle Nimrod

While at Tel Dan we ran in to a group of youth from the USA.  As we were in passing, I asked one of them where they were from.  The young lady made it a point to tell me “Western New York”, and to stress it was no where near New York City.

I responded that I live in the Village of Palmyra on Route 31.  The youth in the group got big eyes and said they were from Farmington, New York.  If they lived any closer we’d be next door neighbors.

It is amazing that we’re running into people with connections.  It is a small world.

I convinced Adam and Brenda to stop at McDonalds so I could get a soda with ice.  (Nobody serves drinks with ice here.)  So they did, and we decided to eat there.  Last time I learned my lesson that the Mega Big American was TOO much food.  This time I ordered the Classic Big American.  This almost 1/2-pounder was still a lot of food.

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The Classic Big American

It’s definitely a two-fister sandwich.

About the only things at McDonalds that are the same as the USA are the fries and the soda.  Even the chicken nuggets in Israel are different (AND much better.  They taste like meat, not pressed chicken parts.)

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Menu in Israel

Brenda ordered a salad.  I didn’t think to warn her that salad in Israel is not a bowl of lettuce, but chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.

I also learned the difference between a McDonalds and a Kosher McDonalds.  Kosher.  The Kosher McDonalds (like the McDavids downtown Jerusalem) keeps the meat and dairy apart and has a Kosher kitchen.  The plain McDonalds doesn’t.

Now, just look at the size of the box and burger Adam is holding.  The next time you’re at McDs, ask for a Mega Big American and see what the reaction is.

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Adam and a Classic Big American

There you have it.  That was the agenda today.

Working Wife

Working Wife

I have a working wife for the next few weeks.  Elizabethe is back at her old job while the person who took her job 3 years ago is out on maternity leave.  It’s funny, because most of the training materials they gave her to bring her up to speed were written by her.

I bet’s she’s glad she documented things well.

That leaves me to fend for myself.  While I enjoy cooking, my busy schedule took me to fast-food places a couple of times today.

So, I walk in to McDonald’s and a toddler greets me with a big smile.  I said, “Hi,” and she proceeded to get shy.  On the way out, her mom asked if she was going to tell me, “Goodbye”.  Again, she got shy real quickly.

I stood there and we had a great conversation about family and the area.  I explained that what we were doing wouldn’t have happened in California, but it happens all of the time here in New York.  People, in general, are more friendly here.

Driving through Macedon I saw today is their dissolution election day.  While I think people are going to be in for a huge surprise a few years down the road, I’m glad I don’t live there, and I hope we don’t have that sort of in-fighting take place here in Palmyra.  My prediction:  Taxes for most homes in Macedon will go up in about 3-5 years and the people outside the former village will have regrets for having made this move.  The people inside the village will enjoy their lower taxes.

This evening I address a group of people who call themselves the RPEG – Rochester Photo Editing Group.  It was a delightful group – largely older, retired folks, who love learning about Photoshop and other digital photo manipulation techniques.  (I really dislike calling retouching or manipulation “editing”… but you knew that if you’ve been reading my blogs.)  Aside from the name, it was fun.

 

Israel Day 5 – Megiddo

We headed north after breakfast to Megiddo (Armageddon).  This ancient city sits atop a hill overlooking a very important valley.  From the city you can see Mt. Tabor, Nazareth and Mt. Hermon.   There is a thumbnail history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tel_Megiddo.

Here at Megiddo there is a large stone alter, much like the one the Priest of Baal would have used when contending with Elijah.  (It is said this is where Ahab lived.  So, it could be the very alter.) See I Kings 18.

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Alter (big round stack of stones) at Tel Megiddo

It is one of the oldest cities and one that has been repeated occupied.  Today it is an Israel national park.

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Grain Bin

 

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Chariots Were the Tanks of 600BC.

Tel Megiddo was quite the site, but to look out the valley and reflect on John’s prophecies Revelations chapter 16.

Our next stop was Mt. Tabor.  This is where we believe Christ took Peter, James and John.

1 And after six days Jesus taketh aPeter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  2 And was atransfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  3 And, behold, there appeared unto them aMoses and bElias talking with him.  4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright acloud overshadowed them: and behold a bvoice out of the cloud, which said, This is my cbeloved dSon, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore aafraid.  7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the avision to no bman, until the Son of man be risen again from the cdead.

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Mt. of Transfiguration (Mt. Tabor)

This was another one of those special places for me.  To think that Christ, Peter, James and John stood upon this mountain while Moses and Elias appeared, and sacred keys were given to Peter, James and John.  It was humbling to be there.

Of course today, there is a church built over the summit, but they have a glass window displaying earth below.

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Summit of Mt. Tabor

Our next stop was to a park that had just closed.  The park ranger wasn’t to happy with Matt and so we turned around and went to the hostel where we plan to stay a couple of days.

For dinner, we drove in to Tiberius and found a McDonald’s… a Kosher one at that.

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the BIG AMERICA burger

Yeah, that was the most expensive burger I have ever had.  $17 bucks and a bun to match.  Oh, and it comes in various varieties.  For example, the Texas has BBQ sauce.  The NY has mayo.  Etc.

Don’t expect to buy a cheese burger, because putting cheese on your burger is not kosher.  And, if you want a shake, you have to go outside, to a separate window where they sell dairy products.

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McD Menu

Next time I’ll get the BIG AMERICA Jr.  That’s more like a normal size… I hope.

Okay, normally I wouldn’t post this… but I’ve never peed in a

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Urimat

And, since I don’t read Hebrew, I have no idea what it says.  Nor do I know what is so special about the Urimat Brimag urinal.  It was the only one I saw in Israel and you’ve got to laugh when you see something like this.

I wonder if they have TV commercials?

Discouraging

I was at McDonald’s today and watched as the manager pulled about 1/2 of the apple pies out of the little oven/keeper and threw them straight in the trash.  I find the waste in the food industry discouraging.  Aside from being a little over cooked, there was nothing wrong with those pies.

So, McDonald’s, why not put a sign up, “10 apples pies for $1”, or something like that?

I recall years ago walking out of a Dollar Tree store, and the Nabisco representative was at the dumpster (yes, the dumpster was at the entrance to the store… how strange), slicing the boxes of crackers open and dumping their contents in to the dumpster.  When I questioned her about it she said, “Company policy.”

While about 1/2 the country is on welfare/food stamps, the food industry gets their money no matter what.  People do eat.  This is double discouraging because that means that of that food that is thrown away, about 1/2 of it is paid for with our tax dollars (indirectly).

I know some places have a service called “Meals on Wheels” where they go collect would-be waste food from restaurants.  However, the seems to be more of a management issue.  I have worked in the restaurant industry.  I used to get my butt chewed if I produced waste.  And, when we had too much, at the end of the night, we encouraged employees to buy it and take it home at a discount.

Yeah, McDonald’s could have set those apple pies aside, and at the end of the shift let the workers buy them at a substantial discount.  Throwing food in the trash – especially when it is still eatable – is just plain wrong.