Now Serving at Lunch ...A Heart Attack...

My friends know that I'm not shy when bragging about my Google lunch perks... I'll sometimes send out the email menu (which we are no longer aloud to do) - sometimes I'll just talk (annoyingly) endless about it.... Today - I'm doing a first - posting a picture of two of the options .... I can only think of one word to describe them.... SICK.


Lobster Tails?

Amy and I just got back from a Sunday evening Lobster dinner treat.

Lobster isn't cheap - and is clearly a fancy meal of sorts. I feel like anytime I hear the term "lobster tails" - I envision someone in a tuxedo serving something at a $500 per plate dinner...

Amy and I both enjoy eating whole lobsters ...(I taught her how to do it - and I'm very proud that she's got her own skillz now.) Still on the expensive side - eating whole lobsters isn't a truly glamerous activity. It is a lot of work and quite messy - but oh so GOOOOD...

We were both wondering tonight, though, why the "tail" gets all the attention. In both of our opinions - the claw is the best part - which is why we save it for last. Did the "Lobster tail" people just have better PR people???

So - here's a poll (on the right hand side) ... Do you prefer lobster tails or lobster claws?


Family Titles

I spent a couple of days out in LA this week for work. I was able to see my Aunt Ellen, Uncle Bruce, and Cousin Lauren...

My Uncle (my moms brother) mentioned somehow that I don't have to refer to him as "Uncle Bruce" when talking to him. My Aunt made a similar comment to Amy a few months ago. They both said it casually - clearly not annoyed about it -- moreso an acknowledgment that we're all adults -- and for my Uncle to be referred to as "Uncle Bruce" must make it seem like I'm twelve again...

While I understand the concept -- I really can't imagine not having the words "aunt" or "uncle" in front of their names. As I told my uncle after he brought this up -- if he would have brought this up 25 years ago -- it would be a different situation... But after over 30 years of knowing him as "Uncle Bruce" -- I'm unable and uncomfortable excluding the "uncle" preface.

So - this got my thinking ... Am I going to feel the same way with Sydney in 30 years? While - I'm not expecting her to call me "Uncle Bre Bre" 30 years from know -- I think I'll be Uncle Brett" (Or Uncle BG). I wouldn't have an issue if she didn't have the word "uncle" in front -- but I think it's also a way to help young kids filter the family from the friends. To just call me "Brett" would probably confuse her ... As our culture is evolving to a more casual nature - Are family titles going to change over time????

SIDEBAR - Speaking of confusing - for those that don't know -- I have 2 "First Uncles".... both are named Bruce... I have always (and will continue to) refer to them as merely "Uncle Bruce."


The JetBlue effect on other airlines?

Jetblue is my favorite airline. Over the years, the "discount" adjective has been less and less relevant to it's offering -- but -- I still value the "JetBlue experience." (I don't value it enough to spend $200 more per person to fly to Florida, but I value it nonetheless)

Their planes are new and clean, the seats are all leather, TVs for every seat are obviously revolutionary... but I think my favorite aspect of JetBlue is the focus on customer experience.
90% of the flight attendants I've interacted with have been friendly and helpful. I thought the fiasco last year on the JFK runway was such an bad representation of how I perceived and experienced Jetblue, personally....

Earlier this year - Amy and I were flying back from Florida on Jetblue. When we got on the plane, we learned that the TV channels weren't coming in - so we'd be without the LiveTV for the flight. We could, however, watch the movies free of charge... Bummer, but nothing to get too upset about...Later that week, Amy and I got an email from Jetblue customer service apologizing for the TV malfunction - which included a $15 credit for future flights for each of us. I thought this was above and beyond the standard... It's things like this that create brand loyalty - especially within an industry where the bar is set so low in terms of expectations. (I just learned that if you pay for your JetBlue flight with a Jetblue credit card -- they serve you free alcohol on the flight) ;)

This all said, American Airlines is my frequent flier airline of choice for business travel. Well - it's not really a choice - more of a decision based on convenience. The bottom-line is that American flies direct to/from almost every destination that I travel to for work -- and flying direct is important to me. Jetblue does not - nor does it have a great Frequent Flier program (I can accumulate free flights - but can't seem to use them). Furthermore, AA's points can be used internationally - which is how I like to "celebrate" my frequent business travel rewards on personal travel...

Last week, I flew to San Francisco via American and had a bad experience... We were delayed an hour before boarding and an additional 2 and a half hours on the tarmac...
Today, I got this email:
Dear Mr. Goffin:
After hearing from our manager at JFK about the delay of flight 85 on June 10, we
wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to you. That situation must have been
frustrating (to say the least) and we are genuinely sorry that we didn't get you to
San Francisco as planned.

It's completely reasonable for our valued customers to put on-time flight departures and arrivals at the top of their list of expectations from us. For that reason, the on-time operation of our flights is one of our most important service goals. While the delay of your flight was necessary, you can be sure that we will continue our efforts to depart as scheduled.

Sometimes an apology and promise to do better just aren't adequate and so we've added 3,000 Customer Service bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account. This mileage adjustment should appear in your account very soon, and you can view your account via our web site.
I mean - while I'm not doing back-flips about the 3,000 bonus miles, I like the gesture. I like the mere fact that American acknowledged that their customers experience matters to them a little...

I share this because I'm convinced this wouldn't happen if JetBlue wasn't around... I believe they've forced their competitors to service customers better -- and for that I am grateful.


Tony, Tony, Tony

Last night was the first (and probably the last) time I ever watched the Tony Awards. Amy and I fast-forwarded through the "play" honors - but watched and rooted for "the musical" awards...

We rooted for "In the Heights" to win any/all of it's 13 nominations. (They won 4)

We saw the show Off-Broadway and loved it. We are actually going to see it on Broadway this Friday (buying tix pre-Tonys = smart)... ;)

Is that why we were rooting for it? - not really...You see, Amy and I are pseudo wanna-be friends with Lin Manuel and crew... I've been going (as has Amy) to FLS shows since early 2005 (or late 2004 - not sure). I introduced the show to a lot of my friends - including one friend who's been working with the guys for the past few years on various projects and is legitimate friends with them. We've kept up on their success on our own, but it's nice to hear that as people and friends - the members of the cast are cool, down-to-earth people...Totally randomly - I found out last week that the director of the play is actually my second cousin...

It's also nice to see "Broadway entertainment" that is geared towards my tastes. I've probably been to 15+ Broadway shows in my life -- and I've only liked 2 (Avenue Q and 700 Sundays). While I can acknowledge the extreme talent it takes to be a Broadway star -- I'm not a fan of the standard musical - where people break-out in a song and dance at every turn...or the standard drama "play" - where I can find something more relevant to me on the television or movie screen.

In The Heights mixes truly modern music of my tastes (hip-hop, R&B), modern dancing (no ballet or jazz-hands-Broadway), with a meaty plot and like-able characters.

I'm so happy for the people involved in the show, who took home 4 Tony Awards last night - including Best Musical (the crowned jewel of the night)...

UPDATED - Check out Lin's FREESTYLE acceptance speech at The Tonys:

I was shocked to see that I had never wrote a blog post on Freestyle Love Supreme or In the Heights. If you're friends with me, though, you've definitely heard about them both - and probably gone to see them. If not - it may be too late - as winning the Tony for best musical tends to make getting tickets for the show very difficult.


Top 5 Sports Stories that should go away

Having infinite sports information and programming is for the most part a very good thing for people like me. This said, there is the "Extra-Access Hollywood-E-News-US Magazine-type" effect/drawback. There are times when every program segment is about the SAME EXACT thing. Over and over and over again. I know it's really popular to be "green" these days -- but the recycling of certain sports stories NEEDS to stop.

Give us more stories about:
  • What the real reasons are that there isn't an NCAA play-off system
  • How refs are graded, instructed, and paid
  • How some college athletes get away with the bare minimum and never going to class.
We need MORE stories that push the envelope on discovering "real-ness" and LESS of the story types below.

My current Top 5 Sports Stories that need to go away:

#5) Pacman Jones
The guy played 1 mediocre season in the NFL. He's undoubtedly more famous for his off-the-field issues than on the field. That should be immediate grounds to cut him as a story.

#4) Pat Riley pushed Stan Van Gundy Out (and SVG is avenging it in Orlando)

Some people will say I'm impartial to Riley -- but the truth is -- I don't think Riley is at all above this. He absolutely is "that guy" who would do what everyone said he did. The issue is that it's not how it went down, however, given the way how it really went down -- Riley is a stand-up guy for taking the heat. In short - Stan didn't have the respect of Shaq - and he wasn't quiet about it among team-mates (including D. Wade). Shaq was the leader on that team - so everyone followed. Riley realized this and stepped in. (and rather than defending himself and throwing Shaq and Stan's beef in the public view -- took the high road)

#3) Any story from Skip Bayless, Rachel Nichols, or Pedro Gomez
Sports journalism is a very competitive industry. ESPN is the absolute giant player in the space - and should have their pick of the best of the best. Over the years - some classic journalists like Clayborn, Patrick, and Oberman have all left - probably for good reason. HOWEVER, the fact that the 3 names above have consistent jobs on the "worldwide leader" are insane. I'm not kidding - anytime I see one of the 3 on the screen, I immediately turn the channel. Give me more Mike and Mike, PTI crew, Linda Cohn, SportsGuy, Erin Andrews (obviously) and others. I even like it when they have guys like Kirk Herbstreet doing sports outside of football. The only way the 3 personalities above should have consistent gigs is if they have dirt on the brass or some kind of nepotism.

#2) Performance Enhancing Drugs (i.e. Roger Clemens)

This one probably could fall into the camp of "real-ness", but it's on the list for a different reason explained below. I've always been taught that you shouldn't complain about a problem without suggesting a solution. It is exactly what media outlets are doing. They point the finger at everyone but themselves and almost feel like these related stories are trendy or shocking or even NEWS. I'm, personally, over it. Maybe I'd feel differently if ESPN didn't have what seemed to be it's own Truman-Show-like Roger Clemens channel a few months ago -- but they did -- and I'm through with caring about performance enhancing drugs in sports. Baseball, Cycling, Track, Horse Racing, Football.... I really don't care. Each sport has a system that should make the playing fields equal - so it's all relative.
(For those who've seen Chris Rock's new concert -- I thought he was right on. Americans themselves are hooked on Performance enhancing drugs (Zoloft, Viagra, Ritalin, you name it -- who are we to judge athletes)

#1) Jason Taylor-Dolphin feud

Seriously, I can't take it anymore. We all know that everything will work out in the end. The media just loves the "Bill Parcells doesn't get along with people" angle and won't let it go. I don't need to know what Jason Taylor is doing on a daily basis. Come August - Jason Taylor will be at Dolphin camp. He's a stand-up person who can be counted on, unlike unstable hold-outs of the past...


Baseball Stadium Competition Update

As mentioned previously on my blog - my buddy Salis and I have a competition of sorts around who can visit more baseball stadiums (for a ballgame) in our lifetime.

This past Saturday, we actually visited a new stadium together for the first time. Jared also joined us for our Citizen Bank Ballpark road trip to Philadelphia - which in addition to the game - also included an unnecessary amount of cheesesteak consumption.
(For those interested - we all concluded that although Geno's and Pat's both served tasty Cheesesteaks, we believed the hype of best cheesesteaks in the world was a bit over-hyped)

I've updated the map to represent the progress of the Ballpark Competition. For those keeping score at home...the score is:
BG: 15 Salis: 12

Push-pin legend
BG = Blue
Salis = Red
Neither has been yet = Yellow

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