Friday, February 29, 2008

To Stacy

Dear Stacy,

I'm sorry I got home so late. It was very hard this evening when I had to be at work. Our evening discussions really center me. It allows me to get rid of all those crazy thoughts that follow me around or just relax by saying something silly and making you laugh. Either way, I love you and I am so glad you are supporting me while I begin to build the foundation to my new career.

Here's a quick video, I wanted to post for you.

Stevie Wonder - "I just called to say I love you"

Working Late at the Bell

Okay, so tonight was my first late shift, and it was pretty eventful. Since my schedule is piggybacked with the GM for training purposes, the late-night regulars were pushed pretty hard. In my opinion, they don't typically work as hard when the GM isn't present. One latenighter stated, "I haven't worked this hard all year, and its just because (the GM) is here." Another interested comment came from the MIC (manager in charge) after I made a mistake an ran out of ones, he stated, "Welcome to late nights, kid."

I had plenty of action during my shift. We had gunshots ring in the air from a shot at the bar behind the restaurant, one visitor (and I call him a visitor because he didn't by anything) sat in the store for two hours before leaving only to return and request an ambulance.

Overall, it was a fun time. A lot more of the backroom responsibilities can be completed on a late night shift.

(Photo is a random photo I stole from a Google Image search of Taco Bell Employees)

Thursday, February 28, 2008 least Stacy said yes.

Man proposes to fiance at half-time and is turned down. Ouch!

Random Devotional Bible Quote

Joshua 1:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God, will be with you wherever you go."

Paid...I got paid....

I got my first TB paycheck. Yeah, pay day rocks!

In honor of my first paycheck, here's some Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd - Money - Dark Side of the Moon

Hot! Taco Bell Campaign

Wow, talk about spicy. Taco Bell has recently teamed up with Sports Illustrated to promote the website If your eyes have seen the new purple Hot Sauce packets, then you've got an idea of what I'm talking about.

So what are we promoting, besides the body of swimsuit model, Daniella Sarahyba, I would venture to guess the Fiesta Platters. I'm no expert, so let's just listen to what Taco Bell, CMO, David Owens says, "Direct is a fun way to engage our customers online."

Taco Bell Press Release

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

YUM! Brands and Animal Welfare

After a little bit of research on Yum!'s website, I was able to come up with some good information on Yum!'s Animal Welfare policies. According to their website, "Yum! Brands is committed to the humane treatment of animals. (They are) the owner of restaurant companies and, as such, does not own, raise, or transport animals. However, as a major purchaser of food products, (Yum does) have the opportunity, and responsibility, to influence the way animals supplied to us are treated. We take that responsibility very seriously, and we are monitoring our suppliers on an ongoing basis to determine whether our suppliers are using humane procedures for caring for and handling animals they supply to us. As a consequence, it is our goal to only deal with suppliers who promise to maintain our high standards and share our commitment to animal welfare."

The largest commitment has come from the foundation of the Animal Welfare Council, which has the responsibility for monitoring Yum!'s animal welfare programs. As part of their guiding principles, Yum! states, "(We) believe treating animals humanely and with care is a key part of our quality assurance efforts. This means animals should be free from mistreatment at all possible times from how they are raised and cared for to how they are transported and processed. Our goal is to only deal with suppliers who provide an environment that is free from cruelty, abuse and neglect."

During 2007, the Animal Welfare Council met at least twice to audit organization documents and discuss ways to improve company policy.

Research Biography:
Yum! Brands
Animal Welfare Program
Guiding Principles
Latest News
Council Members

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jonathan Coulton song "re: Your Brains"

I came across this today. It's great.

From Youtube.

A music video for the Jonathan Coulton song "re: Your Brains".

Jonathan Coulton is a singer/songwriter who releases his songs via the Creative Commons license, which enables projects such as this video. Through his "Thing A Week" podcast, Jonathan has put out a clever, creative song like this one every week for a year.

All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
If you open up the doors
We’ll all come inside and eat your brains

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taco Bell Commercial - Romantic Dinner with the Taco Bell Dog

Once upon a time, Taco Bell had 20 items under $1 and a chihuahua as a mascot. In this commercial, the Taco Bell dog leaves a fancy restaurant in favor of a more cost effective TB stop.

Classic Taco Bell Commercial (1997)

Classic Taco Bell Commercial (1997)

Kelvin Sampson is gonna get fired.

As an IU fan, I'm pretty excited about the new opportunity at IU. Dakich will get first shot, but the program will likely look to find a more effective X's and O's persona over the off-season.

On the's a photo that I have been emailed a gajillion times.

YUM wrapper controversy

(article found on LinkedIn and was originally wrote for the News & Observer)

Activists chide Yum over wrappers

by John Murawski, Staff Writer

The alliance has previously staged demonstrations at office supply stores and protested at company shareholder meetings. Those tactics helped its cause.

They also helped win concessions in recent years to increase recycled paper sales by Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax, as well as commitments to use paper from managed forests.

The 12-year-old nonprofit, an alliance of about 70 environmental groups in the South, plans a similar campaign against Yum, Goldberg said.

Attempts to reach Yum officials by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful. Printing on some Yum products, for instance KFC paper bags, says the items are 100 percent recycled.

But the rising cost of paper and food is putting pressure on the company. Paper and food costs climbed 12 percent at Yum in the fourth quarter, straining profit margins, the company said when it released earnings last week.

"As chains look at becoming more green, it becomes more expensive," said food industry analyst Darren Tristano at Technomic in Chicago. "The restaurant business is a business of small [profit] margins."

In response to public concerns, some fast food restaurants have taken steps to limit their effect on the environment.

McDonald's phased out styrofoam containers nearly two decades ago and uses some packaging, bags and napkins made from recycled paper. Starbucks is switching to coffee cups partially made from recycled material.

The Dogwood Alliance staged its demonstration at Taco Bell not far from the Riegelwood Paper Mill owned by International Paper, a major source of wrappers for restaurants that Yum owns. The alliance says the wrappers are made from trees grown on pine plantations that were once biodiverse forests.

Many tree plantations

About 20 percent of all forests in the South are tree plantations grown for lumber or paper production, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The land area dedicated to tree plantations has grown to 43 million acres in 13 states, but not all the spread encroaches on pristine woodlands.

At least part of the increase is the result of a federal program to encourage farmers to convert marginal agricultural land to tree production.

But a significant portion of the plantation land was formerly natural forests, said Will McDow, the Southern Forest Projects manager for Environmental Defense.

Goldberg said the Dogwood Alliance's goal is to win a commitment from Yum to stop using the tree plantations that are replacing natural forests. Yum would have to negotiate such a commitment from its suppliers, including International Paper, based in Memphis, Tenn. International Paper would then have to work to change the cultivation practices used by the small landowners who sell to the company.

International Paper upholds ecological cultivation standards, said Bob Stegemann, the company's director of sustainability strategies. For instance, it requires tree plantations to practice reforestation instead of stripping the land bare.

Dogwood's demands

But the Dogwood Alliance says that single-species plantations are destroying biologically diverse natural habitats. The organization advocates selectively harvesting mature trees that grow naturally.

A year after contacting Yum, the Dogwood Alliance last fall contacted another International Paper customer, McDonald's, about making food wrappers and containers more ecologically correct. But Goldberg said the Dogwood Alliance hasn't made any progress with McDonald's yet. The Asheville organization wants to leverage the clout of the golden arches to influence International Paper to change regional forestry practices.

"They've done a lot with cups and napkins and reducing the size of packaging" Goldberg said. "They're a good change agent."

10,000 BC (The Movie)

The Story: In a remote mountain tribe, the young hunter, D'Leh, has found his heart's passion - the beautiful Evolet. When a band of mysterious warlords raid his village and kidnap Evolet, D'Leh is forced to lead a small group of hunters to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save her. Driven by destiny, the unlikely band of warriors must battle saber-tooth tigers and prehistoric predators and, at their heroic journey's end, they uncover a Lost Civilization. Their ultimate fate lies in an empire beyond imagination, where great pyramids reach into the skies. Here they will take their stand against a powerful god who has brutally enslaved their people.

The Trailer:

Qball's Beer Review: Red HookIPA Long Hammer

Red Hook IPA: Long Hammer

Brewed by:
The RedHook Ale Brewery, Inc

Portsmouth, NH

Style / ABV:
American IPA / 6.50% ABV

Sampled in bottle.

Review: For an IPA, this beer fails to deliver. Long Hammer doesn't smell and doesn't taste like a good IPA. This beer misses the spot when held to IPA standards.

Rating (1 recommended, 2 good, 3 on-the-fence, 4 disappointed, 5 stay away)

Wine Tasting at the Quasebarth's

A few nights ago, we hosted a wine tasting event in honor of Stacy's 24th birthday. We invited all our friends, and the event was a complete success. Honestly, we were not quite sure how everything was going to play out, but it all worked out in the end.

Each party goer had a designated glass with their name attached to the stem. The design and decorations were created by Stacy, and the food selection consisted of chocolates, cheese, crackers, and assorted h'orderves.

Every guest brought one bottle of their favorite wine. We organized the wine from dry to sweet. The wine was then dispensed. Each bottle was introduced (we rotated introductions by couple) and commented on the wine following the tasting.

Here's a breakdown of our wine comments:

For everyone who wanted to remember what all we tasted and maybe buy the wines they liked in the future:

The Line - Up
- Frei Brothers 2005 Merlot
- Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard 2006 Merlot
- McWilliams Hanwood Estate 2005 Riesling
- Mallow Run Winery Picnic White
- Mallow Run Winery Picnic Red
- MonteVina Terra D'Oro 2005 Moscato
- Easley Winery Cayuga
- Olivery Winery Mango Honey Wine

Bonus Wines:
- Ravenswood Vinter Blend 2004 Shiraz
- Spadina 2002

And of course gave out awards for the best and worst wines!

Best Wine of the Evening:
- MonteVina Terra D'Oro 2005 Moscato

Best Wine of Evening Runners Up:
- Easley Winery Cayuga
- Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard 2006 Merlot

Worst Wine of the Evening:
- McWilliams Hanwood Estate 2005 Riesling

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kelvin Sampson the Anti-Coach

Okay, so here is my Kelvin Sampson opinion. He sucks. This drama should never have occurred within such a storied establishment as Indiana University. To hire someone with such questionable integrity was such a risk, and Indiana will now pay the price. Most devastating is the legitimate concern that he lied.

A coach is a coach. Someone who is put in a position of responsibility with the intention that they will benefit and grow their students. I hope that IU can avoid sanctions that limit post-season play, but I have a strong feeling that they will be facing a one or two year ban of post-season action.

Moving forward, IU must become a stronger team. They need to center around their true court leader, DJ White, and they need to persevere through these confusing times.

Out of hard times, comes courage, and from strength one builds strength.

Indiana, our Indiana
Indiana, we're all for you!
We will fight for the cream and crimson
For the glory of old IU
Never daunted, we cannot falter
In the battle, we're tried and true
Indiana, our Indiana,
Indiana we're all for you! I-U!

Fight for the Cream and Crimson,
Loyal sons of our old I. U.
Fight for your Alma Mater,
and the school you love so true.
Fight for old Indiana,
See her victories safely through,
For the glory of old I. U.!

New Obama Video - Hope Changes Everything.

As the video states, "Hope changes everything." We as Americans have a choice to make. We must choose freedom. We must choose integrity. Most of all, we must make a choice.

Here's the new Obama video from Youtube.

New Indiana Jones Movie Trailer

It's been a little while since I've posted anything new, so I wanted to start off with a bang. The new Indiana Jones Trailer is now available, and the movie opens on May 22.

As you can tell, I'm siked!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vacation Time - Quasebarth Style

Well, I'm ready for a vacation. As of now, my top pick is the Dominican Republic. Here's a quick video by theholidayplace.

The Pear Tree - Video

The Pear Tree - An Indian Chief teaches his sons a lesson on hasty judgment.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Elevator Dream

So last night, I dreamed that I entered an elevator and the elevator fell. It was one of the 'wake up in a cold sweat' dreams. I was a little curious about what the dream could symbolize and here are a few ideas I've found on the web.

First, from Dream Symbols, Guest Author, Pathena Black states, "Descending in an elevator may symbolize a descent into the unconscious to explore hidden issues or meanings. Traveling downwards can also represent a feeling of loss of personal power or control, or a feeling of losing progress."

According to Dream Centrals, Dream Dictionary, "An elevator dream is a rather complex dream and you should interpret it in light of all the other symbols in your dream, for one thing, if the elevator is going up your fortunes will increase, down is the opposite. If the elevator continues to go up and down with out letting you off means you have let your emotions, or your situation, get out of control and must do something to stop it."

Finally, a post from the Arizona Republic states, "Many dreamers have frightening elevator dreams: a cable breaks and they plummet down or somehow they are launched into space. In the first instance, the subconscious could be forecasting something the dreamer would see as a drastic loss, the stock market turning south or losing one's job. In the second, the dreamer could be in store for a fabulous promotion or opportunity."

So, the dream probably was a subconscious awareness of my second day at the Bell. Who knows?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yum! Brands loses top executive to Quiznos.

Former Yum executive heads to Quiznos

Business First of Louisville

The Quiznos sandwich chain has tapped a former Yum Brands Inc. executive as its new president.

David Deno served as chief operating officer at Louisville-based Yum, which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and other fast-food chains, until December 2005, when he resigned for "personal reasons."

Before taking over as COO, he served as chief financial officer for Yum.

At Quiznos, Deno is in charge of the Denver-based company's field operations, operations support, delivery and catering sales and implementation.

He also heads international development and oversees food and equipment distribution.

Between Yum and Quiznos, Deno was managing director of CCMP Capital, an ownership partner in Quiznos. While at CCMP, Deno sat on the Quiznos board.

Louisville -- and Yum Brands -- has been a rich source of executives for Quiznos over the past year.

Last April, Andrew Skehan, a former COO for Churchill Downs Inc., was named president of Quiznos' European, Middle Eastern and African operations. Prior to joining Churchill, he held top operational posts with PepsiCo Inc., from which Yum was spun off, and KFC Corp., a Yum subsidiary.

Quiznos also has hired Mike Elliott, a former executive vice president for Yum; Steve Provost, who was chief marketing officer for Yum; and Kevin Dearth, a former senior vice president of field operations for Yum.

For the original article please visit Business First.

(copy and paste into browser)

Frank Sinatra - 'My Way'

Going into the second day of Yum! experience, I thought I would post Frank Sinatra's 'My Way'. It was a pretty long, scary, lonely, depressing job search, but I did it my way. Once again, thank you to all my family and friends for supporting me during my unemployment.

If you want to learn more about the song 'My Way' click here to visit Wikipedia

Taco Bell Fiesta Platters Commercial

Good Magazine Videos

Good Magazine presents Barack Obama.

Good Magazine presents Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 1: In the beginning...Part dos

Fun at Yum! My first day was a great experience at Taco Bell. I was exposed to a lot. My training manager, C, was having a bad day when I arrived. She was short two people, the network connection was down, and she was getting backed up on her daily responsibilities. I was able to see the speed of the position immediately. My training was pretty simple. I covered the basic orientation, restaurant safety, and food safety. The afternoon was a treat because I was able to attend the weekly/bi-weekly management meeting and was able to meet the area managers.

I'm pretty pumped to begin the program. I see a lot of potential and opportunity.

Quote of the day: David Novak, “Humility is going to be critically important for him. It's going to be horrendous. It's going to be excruciating for him.”

Footprints in the Sand - Mary Stevenson

Here's another one of my favorite poems. It was actually printed on a small picture that hung in my grandparents house when I was a child. Later in my life, it appeared during my grandfather's funeral, and now, I hold it close to my heart.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson, 1936

Day 1: In the beginning...

Today's orientation day at Taco Bell. I've been a little nervous the last few days. It's such a new venture for me. New people. New responsibilities. I'm pretty excited and I want to make a difference with this opportunity. My thought process is this, "I want to leave Taco Bell better off then when I found the opportunity." Whether I manage there for a day or 10 years, I want to really make an impact in the organization.

Since I am not sure how involved the first day will be, here's a few broad goals I have set. First, I would like to understand the benefit structure, pay structure, and other benefit offerings better. Second, I am going to listen first and ask questions. Finally, I want to introduce myself to my co-workers.

Wish me luck, I'll try to follow-up this evening.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monster Plant Pictures

Saturday Night Scrabble

Tired Lola!

Here's another sleeping Lola picture.

Barack Obama - Change

Here's Obama's television advertisement.

Kid's First

Religion and Politics

Desire: Manning to Tyree during Super Bowl XLII

Here is a clip provided by YouTube of David Tyree's catch during Super Bowl XLII. Both Tyree and Manning showed more desire than the Patriots.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Houseplants on Steroids

So Stacy and I are getting a touch of 'cabin-fever'. Here's our Saturday project:

Lola's New Haircut - It's not so bad



The Pups Valentine's Toy

Lobiz (the nickname for Lola & Showbiz) got new toys today. We found a great deal on some 'squeek dogs'. Here's some pics of the new gift:
(Long view of the Squeekers)

(Crazy squeeker face)

(Proceeds fight breastcancer)

(Showbiz giving squeeker some love)

(2 days and he'll be defluffed)

Lola's Worst Day Ever

Lola the Chihuahua has officially declared February 2, 2008 the worst day ever. First, she was subjected to nail clipping. Then, she was groomed by two bozo's (Stacy & I) who have no clue how to cut a dogs hair. Lola said she wanted to look more like Foxy Cleopatra, but she got Benji. Finally, she was able to get a little time by herself, but then she had to get a bath because she was 'muddy'. What gives!!!?

Saturday Morning Rituals

Here's just a few ramblings for this lazy Saturday morning. First, let's set the background for all my readers. The television is showing a Real Estate Show featuring the seller agent from our home purchase. He's pushing a house in Geist. He's been pushing the same house for 3 weeks. It's not going to sell, man. Give it up.

Also, I just viewed pictures from a friend who was involved in a hit & run last night. From the pictures, I'm assuming they were the hit portion of the equation. If Mr. Runner is reading this...two words. Vigilante Justice!

I'm kind of tired of conservatives using liberals in their hate crimes, but Mitt Romney does have some nice hair. He should be on one of those Jellin' commercials.

My superbowl prediction: Giants 23 - Patriots 14. MVP - Peyton (oops I mean) Eli Manning. Here's my reasoning, I know the Patriots are good, but I have applied the Rule 317. Rule 317 states that 'all little brothers are increased opportunities when following accomplishments by their older brothers.' As a little brother, I am a firm believer in Rule 317.

Also, after 2 consecutive loses, the IU fanbase is fuming. They are calling for Sampson's head. Here's how I see things playing out. IU is currently 17-3 and in second place in the Big Ten with a 6-1 record. The still have to play 3 tough games at Illinois, at Ohio State, and at Michigan State. The also have tough games at home against MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, and Purdue. In my opinion, at Northwestern, at Penn State, and home against Minnesota are easy W's, but I will likely lose at OSU or MSU and maybe a home lost. I see IU going into the Big Ten tourney with a record of 26-5. Three loses in the Big Ten could still win the championship.

Here's some other comments: AJ Ratliff has never really played consistently, and his is an unlikely contributor to the team unless he adopts a better on the court work-ethic. He needs to play like Stemler with a vertical leap. He's way behind the others due to his academic mishap earlier in the season.

IU fans are great. People who state that IU fans are not as crazy as fan-bases form other schools need to think back to the Connecticut game. In one IU defensive series, the crowd was so loud that a disoriented Hasheem Thabeet threw up an ill-advised shot due to the crowd count-down. He thought he had only a few seconds on the shot clock, when he actually had about 10 seconds to get rid of the ball. It was amazing.