Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Milking It

Boy, is it cold outside... (how cold is it?!)... its so cold... that I wanna make like, fifty global warming jokes right now! 

It is quite cold, though.  And we've had FOUR straight days of snow... thats one-two-three-four, and I don't know that I've seen that here, or at least have been through it.  I'm sure you people reading in Detroit and Denver and Boston and Cleveland are saying, "Psshaw!  That's nothing!  You and your inch of snow..." but its not even the snow so much as it is the ice.

I'm sure that people in New York laugh as us, but you have to understand, its not just the snow, and its not just the ice, its also the bad, bad drivers.  People around here barely know how to drive on pleasant, partly sunny and breezy 73 degree days in late April... stick them behind the wheel of a two ton vehicle, toss some ice on the road, knock the thermometer down to below freezing and the a dash of over-correcting, a hint of nervous twitching and some inexperience in the conditions, and you got a mess.... a cold, rainy, icy mess.  Yes, NYC drivers are terrible too, but they have experience at being terrible, which makes them pretty good at it.

I almost slipped three times getting out here.   Usually,
this road, at this time, has hundreds of cars on it.
When I got to Starbucks on Monday morning--we opened late, due to it being so icy and barren--the main highway, that being Highway 280, was empty.  I stood in the middle of the north bound lane and snapped a photo at 910 in the morning, a Monday morning, and saw nothing.  Nothing but grey skies, a slow moving car, a stalled truck on the side of the road, and dirty ice, sleet and snow spread all over the lanes, over the median, and gloom and cold. 

We get deliveries of milk, pastries and essentials (vanilla syrup, espresso beans, etc) a couple of times per week, and when I got in that morning, the milk and supplies had been delivered.  The boys who deliver the milk aren't the brightest in the business, I dare say... our big fridge in the back has three doors.  2% milk goes in the fridge door on the left, nonfat goes in the middle, and the rest--whole milk, half-n-half, heavy whipping cream, orange juice--go in the door on the right.  Open up that fridge at any time, and its pretty easy to see how it goes.

Yet, our milk guys like to put milk everywhere.  Open up the left door, where the 2% milk should go, and you see two shelves of 2%, a shelf of non fat, there will be a shelf of half 2% and half nonfat, and even half-n-half, all shoved disorganized and scattered.  Each shelf will hold 20 gallons of milk, but if you just toss them on there higgledy-piggledy, you're lucky to get 15 or 16.  Not that I'm expecting these milk boys to organize every single thing as they deliver, its not their job to do so... but seriously.  It almost seems like they try and goof it all up on purpose.  I've spent many a early morning moving milk around, wiping up leaky dairy on the bottom of the fridge, a dozen jugs of heavy cream strewn about the floor, moving gallons of milk from the top of one shelf to the bottom of another, from the middle of one shelf to the top of another, and so on.  But I'm not bitter.

Where was I?

Ah yes, milk deliveries.  Well, they delivered Monday morning.  We went through Monday, and survived, we got through Tuesday and survived, and come Wednesday morning... the delivery had no come.  We were alright, mind you, we had a good forty gallons or so of 2%, but by early afternoon, we were down to 13.  You might think "Wow, you went through 27 gallons of milk in one day?" and to that I answer, "Psshaw... we go through 27 gallons of milk before 10am sometimes." 

At Starbucks.  She looks great.  I don't.  As usual.
So, Melanie, or MZ as I have called her on this page previously, is not only one of my best friends, she's also my manager.  So Best Friend Manager Melanie tells me around 1 to head to Wal-Mart and get some milk, perhaps 20 gallons.  

Wal-Mart is our milk destination of choice when we run out, as we've made several trips there over Christmas to buy it.  It was never a case of Best Friend Manager Melanie not ordering enough, it was a case of, our fridges not being big enough to hold all of the milk we needed.  We'd have 100 to 120 gallons of 2% milk easily on Friday morning, and need milk again by Sunday evening.  To Wal-Mart we'd go.

Melanie had to get milk once, and it happened to be a on rainy, dirty, cold Decmeber day when bad weather was approaching, one of those James Spann Takes Your TV Over kind of patterns (sort of like we've had the last few days).  So here she is with two shopping carts full of milk, trying to get from the back of Wal-Mart to the front of the store, probably 40 or 50 gallons.  And she hears nothing but snide remarks from people, like "That's a lot of milk!" and "Got some kinda party, dontcha?"  One kid even said, "You should have just bought a cow."  She glared at him.  Melanie, love her, but her glare is pretty daunting.  As her subordinate, I know this glare well.

Where was I?

Ah, yes, milk. I had my own milk experience a few weeks ago, once again close to bad weather.   As I stand by the milk case and put in 33 gallons of milk into my cart, none other than Cindy Jo walks over and makes the obligatory, "You gonna leave some for anyone else?" comment.  I told her what I was doing, and Marky Mark Warner then walks over, and says, "You gonna leave some for anyone else?" 

And as I pushed the cart through to the register, and of course, had to stand in a line for a few minutes, I heard several comments... I mean, I guess its natural, because you don't see people with 33 gallons of milk in their shopping cart, but for me, its not out of the ordinary.  I told the lady in front of me in line that "my wife is obsessed with making sure she doesn't get osteoporosis, so she drinks a heckuva lot of milk" and I told the chick at the register that we were having "one crazy PG party for Christmas!"

This is what a shopping cart filled with 33 gallons of
milk looks like
So, my whole point of bringing this up was that I had to go to Wal-Mart today for milk.  As I walked into the grocery side, I randomly passed two moms, with their carts parked right in the middle of the main aisle.  The carts were angled, with their front corners touched.  A mom stood on the handle end of each cart, just chatting away, and as I passed them, I heard one mom say, "Where are you staying?" and I heard the other mom say, "We are staying at The Contemporary." 

Must be nice.

Anyway, got to the back of the store, and waited as this older lady just stood in front of the milk door.  I assume she was deciding on what she wanted, either 2% (on the left) or whole milk (on the right), but my problem was that I had left the store to come get milk, and really needed to get back.  I noticed the older lady had a huge bottle of wine sitting in the middle of her cart, and all I could think was, "This is the last person that needs alcohol..."  But, who am I to judge, right?  Right.

She finally moved after a minute or two, and I rolled my cart up, opened the door and hauled out 20 gallons of milk.  Unlike the previous milk expidition, I heard nary a comment from anyone... after the last four days of snow, ice and cold weather, I guess people thought I was just getting ready for the next round.  The moms were still parked in the dead center of the aisle, and as I passed by, I heard the first mom say, "Well, we had a great time when we were there." and the other mom said, "Its Disney, so you know they will..."

What they will do, I never found out because I was in a hurry.  Got to the register, waiting in line, and was almost out, almost got away without anyone saying anything... and up walks Big Phil Glassco, father of Rebecca Glassco Figart, and a former stallwart of Valleydale Baptist Church... and Big Phil Glassco says, "Man, you got some milk there, dontcha?"  I just smile, shake his hand and say, "Hey, we got caught off guard a few days ago... never again!"

The milk was delivered via Red Robin, and I came home not too long after that... and bundled up, because its cold.  Its cold now.  And at The Cabana, at this very moment, we have no milk here, and I'd love some.  Ironic.

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