What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Oat meal. I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of hot breakfast cereals as a group. Oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, corn meal are all perfectly pleasing breakfast foods in my kitchen. Running unnaturally late one morning this week, I opted to try breakfast in the little coffee shop / doughnut place in the office. That was a mistake. I saw oatmeal on their menu and thought to myself “self, how badly could a place screw up oatmeal?” The answer to that was a watery mess that had far more in common with the average soup than any kind of oatmeal one might expect to be served. That’s going to be a hard no from me, thanks. When the response from the manager is “yeah, that’s the new recipe we’re supposed to use. Nobody likes it,” I feel like you could have warned a guy ahead of time. Personally I’m 100% open to employee recommendations that warn me not to order something on the menu because it sucks. Not great business perhaps, but it would have been top notch customer service.

2. Telling me to smile more. Mostly I smile when I’m happy… not when I’m focusing in on the 13th revision of a PowerPoint slide or enduring the 3rd hour of a meeting that should have been an email. The fact that my face tends to go rather blank and the corners of my mouth draw towards a scowl in front of my computer terminal aren’t necessarily a commentary on anyone… Though I suppose it could be if it’s someone who tells me to “just smile” one more time. I’ll reserve those clear eyed, happy looks for times that don’t involve spending eight hour clips tethered to a cubicle. Otherwise I just end up walking around with a fake smile plastered right below my dead eyes like so many other drones who don’t seem to know what a smile is actually meant to convey.

3. Responsibility. I want another dog. I also want another cat. I also want to go to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention in London this fall. I want a new truck and maybe a plunge pool in the back yard. I want a remodeled master bathroom and new kitchen countertops too. I am, however, not currently getting any of these things because I’m making at least a passing effort at behaving responsibly and in a mostly adult manner. This leads me to believe that responsibility and behaving in an adult manner is stupid, largely unfulfilling, and generally annoying. In a world where the penalty for behaving utterly irresponsibly seems fairly low, I feel like I’m getting the worst end of this bargain.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Breakfast options. I already get up between 4:30 and 5:00 most mornings. Although it’s the most likely real solution to this issue, I don’t want to get up earlier and cook a meal. Still, I’d really like a breakfast option that wasn’t an egg on a English muffin or similar concoction wrapped in paper and passed out a window for people who are up and out before the crack of dawn and don’t laze away the morning before showing up at the office around 9:00.

2. Not asking how high. Jumping on command is all well and good. It’s sometimes a necessary evil, but honest to God, not knowing how high, or which direction, or for how long you’re supposed to do it just leads to and exhausted jumper who’s engaged in a whole lot of activity without much to show for it when the poor bastard finally falls over.

3. Know what you want. I’d hate to even estimate how many times a day someone asks me for something. I’m going to to my level best to deliver exactly what you ask for – unless whatever it was is patently stupid in which case I may ask for clarification or make an alternate recommendation. Still, if you insist, I will cheerfully deliver the product as requested. Here’s the thing, though… If what you ask for and what I deliver turns out to be not what you actually wanted, well, I’m sorry but I’m not feeling any guilt about it.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. If you’re going to run a restaurant equipped with a drive through, I’m going to go ahead and recommend that you not post a sign on the speaker box that says anything like “D-T is closed, please visit the lobby”. Umm… no. I don’t think I will. I wouldn’t have been in the drive through for breakfast if I weren’t already in a hurry to get somewhere else. Let’s face it, if I wanted to get out of the truck, walk inside, and have a meal, I wouldn’t be looking at fast food options. This is America, by God and if I can’t get food through the window of my truck from you, I’m going to drive my lazy ass next door to Burger King. Next time. Because if I don’t have the time to visit your lobby, I definitely don’t have time to sit in two drive through lines in the same morning. I didn’t want your tasty cheese filled McBreakfast Burrito anyway.

2. I know weather prediction is something akin to turning base metal into gold, but when you spend the better part of a day talking about the impending impact of “an Alberta clipper overlaying the area and bringing 1-2 inches of snow,” it only stands to reason that at some point during the night some actual snow might fall at some point during your forecast window. Here’s a helpful hint from your kindly Uncle Jeff… if you walk outside after sunset, look up, and see starts twinkling in the interstellar distance, it’s bloody well not snowing.

3. Picture it, Friday, 3:51 PM. At what point does it go through your head that “hey, this would be a great time to try to get something done.” Here’s a news flash Poindexter, it isn’t. Everyone’s brain is disengaged and they’ve already got one foot out the door. Sure, no one will say that out loud, but that’s what everyone whose inbox “pings” at 3:51 on a Friday is thinking to themselves when it happens. Actually, what they’re thinking isn’t fit to print in this nice, family oriented part of the internet. Rest assured, though Mr. Wants to Get One Last Thing Done on Friday, everyone thinks you’re an asshat.

First love…

I spend alot of time here writing about politics, technology, and pretty much anything that strikes my interest. It occurs to me that I’ve never really spent any time at all dealing with my first love – food. Some of the best is now verboten since all things starchy and sugar-filled are no mostly off limits to me, but from time to time I do manage to come across a recipe that’s worth hanging on to. I find one of those this morning and in the spirit of the internet being built for sharing information, I thought I’d pass it along as an homage to the humble casserole.

The ingredients are as follows:
– 1 lb breakfast sausage
– 3 cups shredded/cubed potato (frozen should work just as well)
– 1/4 cup butter – melted (because everything’s better with butter)
– 16 oz shredded cheddar a/o whatever other cheese you’ve got handy
– 1/2 an onion diced/chopped
– 16 oz small curd cottage cheese
– 8 jumbo eggs
– salt, pepper, etc.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking dish (I used a 9×13). Brown the sausage and drain before setting aside. Combine potatoes and butter, spreading the mixture in the bottom of your baking dish. Combine eggs, cottage cheese, onion, cheese, and sausage. Pour mixture over the potato base. Bake for 1 hour. Mine came out at 55 minutes with a nice crust and done completely through.

A word of warning. This makes alot of casserole so if you’re not cooking for at least 4 people, you might consider using half portions on the ingredients. In any case, easy to make and quite tasty – though probably not recommended if you happen to give a damn about cholesterol. I’ll make it again, but would probably kick up the pepper and add some tabasco or ground red pepper next time to bring on a little bite.