Tuesday Night Grab Bag O’ Thoughts

It’s the flagship weekly series of this blog, and it kicks-off a fresh new week.

I.  Longhorn Steakhouse / Olive Garden / Red Lobster – Just a few years ago who would have ever thought that all three of these fine dining establishments would be open for business right here in our historic city of Homestead Florida – and right next to each other !  Here’s a personal progress report of the trio thus far. Working backwards from last opened to first opened – I have not yet made it into Red Lobster. In fact I think it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve set foot in any Red Lobster. I know that I’ll love the food there, but I think that I’ll wait until after the crowds die down a bit. As far as Olive Garden is concerned I’ve been there perhaps a half a dozen times. In my own humble opinion the food is overrated, and the service is consistently subpar. I would rather eat Italian food at either Portofino or Mamma Mia – and I frequently do – far more so than Olive Garden. And that brings us to my new home away from home – Longhorn Steakhouse – where I’m a regular – and I’m welcomed back week after week after week. It’s my Lunchtime getaway. I think I’ve eaten there about 15 to 20 times since they’ve been open (not that I’m actually keeping track of it or anything like that). I’ve never walked away from there unhappy. The food has always been totally awesome dude, and the service has always been very good, excellent, or even outstanding. I ate Lunch there yesterday (Monday), and I’ll be back again next week. I’ll take the 8-ounce Renegade Top Sirloin !

II.  Health Care – I know next to nothing about the specifics of the health care debate and subsequent bill that was recently signed into law. I just didn’t really follow it or study it much, and apparently much of America didn’t either. I’d even venture to state that much of the U.S. Congress didn’t study it much as well. All of the Republicans said “NO” to it, and most of the Democrats said “YES” to it. That says a lot right there. I can’t form an opinion on it at this time. I’ll have to wait and see after-the-fact whether or not it was a good bill to sign or not based on how it personally affects me a few years from now. Here’s what I do know. I have excellent health care courtesy of my U.S. Government job. I pay a little over $80 for it every two weeks (about $2,100 per year). I have an active prescription for Lipitor. It costs $25.08 for a 30-day supply. My health care plan allegedly saves me $94.87, so without it I assume I would pay $119.95 for the Lipitor every month. My health care plan allegedly saves me about 79% off the total cost of the Lipitor. I dig that, but will all of those costs remain the same in the future, or will they go up ?  Someone has to pay for this trillion-dollar-plus health care bill, and that someone is me and you with jobs.

III.  Springfield Massachusetts – As part of my ‘Vacation Of The Month Club’ that I’ve ambitiously instituted – fresh and new for 2010 – I’m proud to announce that my June vacation will be to South Central Mass. I’ll actually be setting foot in two U.S. states for the first time ever – Massachusetts and Connecticut. (I’m flying in to the Hartford area.) But I must be 100% completely honest here. This proposed 5-day trip is work-related, as I will be visiting the operations at Westover Air Reserve Base there – one of our sister bases. It’ll be a lot of fun checking out the surrounding area – especially in June. (I know how cold it gets up there for 6 months out of the year.)

This concludes this weekly edition of the ‘Grab Bag’. “My Fantastic Journey” is making the big move from its longtime successful Wednesday night perch over to Sunday afternoons, so the next time I blog will be on Thursday night when I bring you about 40 ‘Mini Thoughts’. Until then my friends keep on keepin’ on – and – REMEMBER THIS !

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