From Eliza Murphy @ ABCNEWS
MIDVALE, Utah - A local Chili's restaurant in Midvale, Utah, might have made the grave mistake of "breaking" one little girl's cheeseburger by cutting it in half, but the waitress, manager and line cooks more than made up for it Sunday when they presented her with a brand new "fixed" one.
Seven-year-old Arianna Hill is autistic and she loves cheeseburgers. But apparently, ones that are cut in half just won't do. "We just decided we were going to get some lunch before we were taking her to see the Easter bunny," Arianna's older sister, Anna MacLean, 25, told ABCNews.com . "She usually does OK in restaurants. It seemed to be going pretty well. She wasn't too overstimulated. She was really enthusiastic before we were even able to put our drinks orders in. She told the waitress, 'I'll have my cheeseburger.'" However, when Arianna's burger was delivered to the table, MacLean noticed that Arianna wasn't touching it, but instead only eating her french fries. "Her verbal skills aren't the best, but she can communicate basic things," MacLean said. "I asked why she wasn't eating and she said, 'I don't want it. It's broken.' She said, 'I need one that's fixed.'"
MacLean loves spending time with Arianna, but is always prepared to come across someone who might not be as understanding of her special needs. Fortunately, the restaurant didn't skip a beat in correcting the broken burger and their compassionate actions have now gone viral. "Our waitress came back over and I felt bad. I don't really expect people to understand these special requests, so I just told her to add a new burger to our bill," said MacLean. "I just told her to charge it to us and she said, 'No way.' She was just so sweet and played along with Arianna." The Chili's server, Lauren Wells, didn't hesitate before leaning down to personally apologize for the broken burger and assured Arianna she would bring her a brand new fixed one.
"The manager came over and did the same thing. It was really a big deal. The line cooks even got involved," MacLean said. "When she brought it back out, Arianna said 'Oh, thank you! You brought me a fixed cheeseburger.' She sat there and looked at it and said 'Oh I missed you,' and kissed it over and over again." MacLean was so touched by the staff's compassion and understanding that something as minor as a cut-in-half cheeseburger would be enough to ruin Arianna's whole day that she snapped a photo of Arianna giving the cheeseburger a kiss and uploaded it to Facebook along with a brief description of how well the restaurant handled the situation.
Before MacLean knew it, the "broken cheeseburger" photo had more than 100,000 "likes" on the social media site, a number that continues to rise rapidly. At the time of this writing, the post had more than 220,000 "likes" and 10,000 comments. "It's just touching," said Harrison Dixson, the Chili's general manager. "I had no idea. I looked at it this morning and it had a couple thousand likes. I thought someone would say, 'Hey, good job Midvale. But I'm talking to 'Good Morning America.' This is just unbelievable."
Dixson said he's gotten calls from people all across the country, including the president of Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization, thanking him for the way his manager, Brad Cattermole, and server, Lauren Wells, interacted with Arianna. "I can't tell you how proud I am of those two. I've been with this company for 13 years and I've never been as proud as I am today," said Dixson. "It turned out great and this turned into something way bigger than anything I ever imaged," MacLean said. "The comments on the post just bring awareness to people. This is Arianna's story. And this is Lauren's story, and the manger. They are a true inspiration."
You know the trumpet part on "Penny Lane" by the Beatles? This is the dude who played it.
He also played on ALL of the James Bond soundtracks, and played with Clapton, and U2, and Elton John, and countless others.
Derek Watkins passed away Friday after a two year battle with cancer.
Some of the other guys in the office were talking about things they've heard about rock stars that may or may not be true. Here's some of them. We'll leave it up to you to figure which are true and which are not.
There are many many others you've probably heard about such as Rod Stewart and a stomach pump, or Stevie Nick's procedures for consuming "medications". We won't go into those now. Suffice to say the world of Rock & Roll is indeed a strange and wonderous place populated by strange and wonderous people.
We wouldn't have it any other way.
Here's some more stuff I like and I hope you will too.
I found this photo of Chester Avenue from the early sixties. Before Valley Plaza shopping mall was built almost all business was concentrated in downtown Bakersfield or on Baker Street in East Bakersfield.
Like a lot of US cities, once the shops went to the 'burbs, the city core died.
The city of Bakersfield has tried all sorts of things to bring business back to the core, and one of the most notable was to landscape Chester Avenue. They built a tree filled median down the middle from Truxtun Ave to 24th street. And now Chester looks like this...
The biggest effect this had was to make Chester look MUCH narrower. Gone was the big city blvd. look.
The city core is still nothing like it used to be.
Kinda makes me sad.
("now" photo: Firecreek Photography)
If ya missed the kick off of the Bud Light Comedy Series, here's a recap...
I USED to travel on the airplanes a BUNCH. Between 1983 and 1988, I accrued a buttload of airline miles between Bakersfield and Seattle. I don't fly so much anymore. But I do know that when I DO fly next, I want to get the best deal I can get. I found these 10 secrets in the Chicago Tribune...
Travel is great – only problem is, you usually have to fly to get anywhere good. And that can be a drag. Here are 10 tips that can make that trip easier, more comfortable and just all around better, from Cook- American Express Travel in New York.
1. Complain, and ye shall receive. If you don’t like something about your flight (food, delays, lumpy seats, rude attendants, lost baggage), be sure to speak up – airlines tend to buy grouchy passengers off with frequent-flier miles.
2. Pay less, get more. It sounds crazy but it’s true: First-class seats are available at coach prices, especially for last-minute international travel, if you use a travel agency. Lots of the bigger agents have deals with airlines where you can buy a full-price coach fare and be upgraded to business class. And domestically, agents can book coach tickets under codes (such as Y, Q or Z), which give ticketholders automatic upgrades to first class.
3. Better food? Don’t bet on it. All those ads for tasty gourmet meals don’t give you the fine print: Most are available only on specific flights. For example, Delta offers Todd English sandwiches but only on flights between New York and Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco. Brace yourself for pretzels.
4. You can still be comfy in coach. Here’s a trick: Buy three seats together in coach for two people. It’s still significantly cheaper than buying two seats in business class, and you’ll have room to relax.
5. Upgrade at the gate. Most airlines offer upgrades to first class for $500 at the ticket counter in the terminal. Sure, that’s a lot of dough, but it’s a LOT cheaper than if you’d booked first class to begin with.
6. Holidays: Bad time to fly, great time to book. Most airlines launch short sales over the holidays, with discounts up to 20 percent less than usual.
7. Web sites don’t always have the best deals. Kayak.com and Expedia are great, but airlines don’t necessarily offer all their discounts to the sites directly; instead, they offer net fares and consolidator tickets to large corporate travel agencies to ensure they fill empty seats without devaluing their inventory. So it can pay to talk to a travel agent; they have access to net and consolidator fares that the discount sites do not, especially for international business and first-class seats.
8. Buy a package deal. Even if you don’t use them all, sometimes booking a hotel, cruise and airfare together can be cheaper than airfare alone. Watch for specials and take advantage.
9. Buy round-trip, even if you’re going one way. Airlines charge a premium for one-way tickets. Just go round-trip and don’t use the return flight. If a Supreme Court Justice can do it, so can you; Antonin Scalia took a one-way trip on Dick Cheney’s private jet for a hunting trip, then booked a $218 round-trip flight home instead of the nearly $700 one-way return flight.
10. Rule 240. It sounds like something from “X-Files,” but really it’s simple: If the airline can’t get you where you’re going on time, the airline MUST put you on a competitor’s flight if it will get you there faster. The airlines won’t always (in fact, will rarely) tell you this up front, so be sure you remind them when you’re delayed. (The exception is if the delay is beyond the airline’s control, such as with a storm.)
Check out aviation.com for more information.
I used to live a pretty wild life. I don't anymore. You just can't live a total rock & roll life and expect to age gracefully.
Well, except for Keith Richards, but he's got synthetic Swiss blood in his veins, so...
My two biggest vices...actually my only two vices anymore are fine cigars and the occasional Scotch or "small batch" Bourbon.
And I'd like to share a couple of my faves with you...
My current favorite cigar is made by CAO and is called their "Concert" series.
As you can see, the cigar band looks like a guitar pick. It also kinda looks like an old time radio logo.
But looks aside, the CAO Concert cigar is one of the smoothest and tastiest smokes I've had in a long time. I'm hoping Concert is here to stay and is not a one off brand for CAO.
While I was in Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sample a couple of "small batch" Bourbons. If you're unfamiliar with the term "small batch" they're sort of like single malt Scotch.
I guess you could also use the term "Artisan" to describe small batch Bourbons. They don't make very much of the stuff, hence the term small batch. But usually they are light years ahead of other Bourbons in every way.
AND some are very expensive. But I try to find the best I can get on a budget. And here's one I tried in Vegas.
I recently saw a bottle of Knob Creek here in town for about $15. This is good sippin' whiskey. Goes well with a steak or an after dinner cigar (see above)
Here's a good description from the Knob Creek website that tells you what this little small batch is all about...
"Knob Creek bourbon was created in the style of turn of the century bourbon. Knob Creek embodies the bold flavor that has made Kentucky famous for bourbon. Aged the longest of the Small Batch Bourbons – 9 years – in charred American white oak, it strikes the senses with a maple sugar aroma, distinctive sweetness and rich, full-bodied flavor. Knob Creek is perfect straight or cooled slightly with one or two ice cubes."
So there you have it. My two vices. Enjoy responsibly and check back here periodically for anything new that strikes my fancy.
At a recent Q&A at Vanderbilt University with Billy Joel, a student stood up and asked Joel if he could accompany him on "New York State Of Mind." After about a half second Joel said, "ok."
Watch what happened next!