Category Archives: General

Very disappointed

Wow. Stopped at Jack in the Box today to get a quick sandwich and I really don’t think I’ll be stopping there ever again. Here’s a copy of the email I just sent to their corporate HQ:

“I stopped in to one of your locations in san francisco today on my way to work. My intent was to pick up a sandwich for breakfast. Instead, I was witness to an unfortunate incident.

As I stood there waiting for my food a homeless man came in. I assume he came in to use the restroom or something of that nature. He was quiet and inoffensive and didn’t bother anyone as he came in, he merely walked in and started walking back towards where the restrooms are as anyone would do.

He was immediately accosted by the store manager and another employee, who shouted at him in spanish. They were aggressive, demeaning and used a tone one would use to address a dog. The man mentioned he just wanted to use the restroom at which point the employee mopping the floor began to get physically aggressive with him, posturing and attempting to goad him into an altercation. The few of us “acceptable” customers who were in the store all looked obviously uncomfortable by the behavior your employees exhibited.

The homeless man turned around and walked out, at which point the employee sped him on with a few parting demeaning comments (I assume they were demeaning, the tone they were delivered in was offensive at the least but I didn’t hear them clearly enough).

I am ashamed. What ever happened to basic common decency towards another human being? I am disgusted at this behavior by your manager and employees and I am asking you now, is this Corporate policy for Jack in the Box? Is it your policy to aggressively demean people because of their unfortunate socioeconomic status? If so, I can assure you I will no longer be purchasing anything from your restaurants and I will be sure to clearly and concisely communicate your corporate policies to my friends so they can decide how to react as well.

I understand there may be mitigating circumstances, this store may have had a hard time with homeless people, etc however nobody should be treated as I saw them treated today with a complete and utter lack of basic human respect. Nobody should be treated like they are filth blown in off the street and even if there were mitigating circumstances this could have been handled in a much more gracious manner.”

Love Letter To Myself

Dear Younger Gary,

You are very near and dear to me and looking back, I can see some things that are going to trip you up. I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down some advice for you so that you can hopefully benefit from those bumps and bruises without actually having to live through them.

Sell the stock before the split. Trust me on this.

You will find a girl who will hurt you very badly. Stay away from her.

You will find another girl who will complete you. Find her sooner. While you’re at it, spend more time with her dog too.

I hate to say it, but you’re never going to get that million dollars. Deal with it and move on. You really don’t need it, trust me on this too.

Fast little cars are fun, but big trucks are way more comfortable.

Stop being so smug. You really know less than you think you do and you’re wrong a lot more than you admit to yourself.

Go hug your Grandma. Right now. Go… I’ll wait.

Listen to your Uncles and Aunts when they try to teach you something. Pay better attention and take notes, because some day they’ll be gone and you will have to fry your own potatoes, clean your own chickens and grow your own garden.

Your mom was right.

Your mom was right about that too.

Your mom was wrong about that, though.

Islay whisky is very very good but it takes some getting used to. Start sooner.

Your politics will shift radically to the left. Seriously. I’m not kidding. It’s called “compassion” and it’s ok.

No matter what you think right now, you really don’t want to be famous. You’re really happy and thankful being normal.

Yes, they are right. A drop of water in your whisky is much better than drinking it neat, no matter how “cool” you think it is to order it that way.

Blended margaritas are for rookies and noobs. Order them on the rocks with salt. Trust me. Now get two of them and go sit on the beach with that girl I told you to find sooner and listen to the waves. That’s it, just listen to the surf and hold her hand.

You’re going to convert to Catholicism. Stop laughing, I’m serious. I was just as surprised as you are but it’s a really good fit and you will be much happier.

Remember that million dollars? Yeah… I told you to forget it, pay attention.

You will have dogs. You will cry bitterly when you lose them, and you will always find room in your heart for another. Cherish them and love them, the tears are always worth the love you get from them.

Go ahead and learn to play the guitar. Try slack key first. Hawaiian music is much better than that crap you’re listening to right now.

Joining the Navy, volunteering for submarines and going into the nuclear power program instead of going to college isn’t a bad life choice… but doing it because you were tired of studying and just wanted to get out of a bad situation is a really really stupid reason.

Eat more mangoes.

Sleep more. Work less. Take relaxing vacations with that girl you found sooner this time.

That job where they spend a year trying to recruit you? Yeah… stay away from it and tell them to get lost.

Other people’s opinions matter a lot less than you think they do.

Healthy food can actually taste good and all that fat you eat is why you feel like crap all the time.

Turning 40 is actually pretty cool. You can finally afford all those things you wanted, about the time you realize you really don’t want them after all.

You will eventually be allergic to crabs and shellfish. Eat lots of them before that happens.

Are you still thinking about that million dollars? Sheesh.

Go ahead and write that book.

Most of all, rest assured that you will love yourself eventually. Once you love yourself, you open yourself up to the possibility of other people loving you too. Everything turns out pretty good so don’t mind the rough patches. Try to bark less and wag your tail more. Most of all, just relax and enjoy the journey.

With all my love,

Older Gary.

Little Wolf Brother

I wrote this way back in 2003 and through the wonders of the interweb, I found an archived copy stashed away and thought I’d repost it here just for the heck of it.

Little Wolf Brother
— Gary D. Foster

Little wolf brother, I will run for you
and share the bite of the frost on our paws

Little wolf brother, I will hunt for you
and the blood of the kill will slake our thirst

Little wolf brother, I will howl for you
and hurl our challenge towards the winter moon

For you are trapped, and I am free
to run and mate and fight
and join my voice with the packsong
on a cold December night.

The wind will never touch your fur
but I am trapped as well,
my soul is caged as surely as yours
within this human shell.

So when the light of the hunter’s moon
shines down and touches me
I’ll raise my voice in challenge
while our spirits both run free.

What a Great Sunday

Sometimes sundays fall together and just “work”, you know what I mean?

Up early this morning with my lovely wife and shared a pot of the last of my homeroasted Sweet Maria’s blend French Roast. She took off to spend the day in Sac-town with her sister and I puttered around. I made myself a great breakfast (bacon, eggs, hashbrowns) to start everything off right.

After that I put together a loaf of whole wheat bread using my house recipe (I bake all of our own bread… although I cheat and use a bread machine). Then I roasted a half pound of Ethiopan Yirga Cheffe in my new Behmor 1600. After that roast, I pulled out a half pound of Brazilian Daterra Santa Colomba and roasted it up too, so after 3 or 4 days rest we should have some really good coffee. Seems such a waste to put it through the drip machine and I’ll use the Bodum as much as I can.

The Yirga Cheffe was the last of my stash of that bean. The first half pound (of a 1 lb batch) was my first roast ever and, well, it sucked really bad. I was very paranoid and way underroasted it, stopping the roast just as the bean started to enter first crack. The resulting coffee is sour and honestly upsets my stomach. This time I roasted it to all the way to just into 2nd crack, probably somewhere around a FC+ level but definitely not to Vienna like I normally like (I’m not very good at determining final roast level numbers yet). Everyone says roast this bean to a regular city roast and it will bring out the lemon and citrus but I’m going to have a hard time breaking my dark roast habit I think.

The Daterra is another bean that’s getting a lot of press although the Santa Colomba is (I believe) a blend and not the top quality. I tried to just let it run through a normal P3 profile on the Behmor without me fiddling with it just to see what would happen. I maxed the half pound P3 profile to 15:30 and just let it rip, and it ended the roast just as the very first signs of 2nd crack were starting. This is a definite full city roast and we’ll see how it tastes after a few days.

After roasting coffee and cleaning up the garage I planted some cucumbers and Purple Queen bush beans. The snails and slugs ate all my red lettuce so I repurposed that part of the garden by building a couple of cucumber mounds. We have terribly thick clay soil so I’m not expecting much but we’ll see what happens.

After that I busted out some chores on the honeydo list, hanging robe hooks on the back of the door and installing a new light fixture. Then it was off to Sacra Tomato to pick up the wife (she drove a car up there to sell it, so she needed a ride back). Back home, then she jumped into bed (poor thing, she’s getting sick again and had the chills). I stayed up a bit longer, puttered around the house a little bit, played a couple of City of Heroes missions and then crawled into a nice warm bed chock full of dogs, cat and wife.

Yeah, it was a good Sunday.

The Jesus Phone

I hate cell phones. No, let me rephrase that, it’s not quite correct. I loathe cell phones. There, much better. Cell phones are truly the work of the devil and I hate them with a passion. I have never had a cell phone that I liked, only ones that I tolerated.

Every single cell phone I had except for my very first one (a nokia candy-bar style phone) aggravated me for one reason or another. The nokia didn’t aggravate me, but then cell phones weren’t super fancy gadgets then and I had a lot more tolerance. My motorola slvr drove me up a tree until I dropped it into a bucket of sanitizer, quickly sanitizing it out of existance. The motorola razr I replaced it with (a free one from a friend) wasn’t nearly as bad, but it still was a chore to talk on with horrible sound quality unless I used the blue tooth headset. It was tolerable with the headset but only just barely.

Well, I went ahead and took the plunge and replaced my razr with… (drumroll please) an Apple iPhone. Now, this phone has been overhyped beyond belief. It’s been shoved in our faces and down our throats by all the hip coolhunter trendsetter types until you just want to scream IT IS JUST A PHONE FOR CRIPE’S SAKE before you take out an automatic weapon and start hosing down all the smarmy hipsters who are hawking it.

Boy… either I’m getting soft in my old age or I SERIOUSLY misjudged the hype on this thing because I’m here to tell you, it lives up to the hype. Yes, you heard me correctly, this thing is truly the Jesus phone. I absolutely love it and after only two full days of having it I can’t imagine giving it up. This thing successfully marries so many different technologies, so many communication mediums, and it’s got the typical Apple “it just works” gloss and sheen. There’s no fumbling, no swearing, no wondering “how the hell do I do insert random task here“. It … just … works.

Apple… when they nail something, by God they nail it. I never thought I’d ever hear these words come out of my mouth but I love my cellphone.