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Category “What the *#$%?”

What Should McDonald’s Do With Elderly Loiters?

I can empathize with both sides here.  The elderly couple who appear to be bothering no one could be your parents or grandparents.  However, the franchise owner / manager does have a right to be concerned that these folks are not there for business purposes, but just simply taking up space.

After an elderly couple got the boot from their local McDonald’s for sitting too long, management and the owner are not answering the question if there really is a 30-minute sitting limit at the Culpeper, Va. fast food restaurant.

Carl Becker, 87, a World War II veteran, and his wife Barbara Becker, 81, say they both were at the Culpeper McDonald’s on Feb. 21 at about 2:30 p.m. when they were approached by the manager.

The location is a place the pair has frequented for years.

“And he says ‘You two are going to have to leave.’ He said ‘Your half hour is up and we need to clean this floor,'” says Barbara Becker. The restaurant was not crowded at the time, she says, and the two were stunned. This was the first time they had ever been asked to leave a McDonald’s.

“We’ve never, ever, ever been kicked out of a McDonald’s,” she says, adding that they’ve have been patrons of the fast food chain for decades and since their own children were kids. The couple has six children ranging in age from 43 to 61 and 14 grandchildren with one on the way, due March 10.

“Now our grandchildren are McDonald’s lovers,” she says adding that they spend lots of time at McDonald’s because they are on a fixed income and it’s affordable. Her husband loves getting the chicken sandwich, she says and that it’s a treat for the both of them to just eat, talk and enjoy each other’s company.

The owner of the Culpeper McDonald’s franchise has since apologized to the couple personally and is staging an internal investigation into what happened.

The Beckers have been back at McDonald’s since, just not this particular one in Culpeper.

Like it or not, fast food restaurants work on a high rate of turnover of tables, booths and customer orders (not just the drive-thrus).  If a new customer comes in and sees no seating available, they very well might leave and go somewhere else.  Add in the likelihood of many folks who just sit there all day — apparently an issue in some New York City restaurants.

But then again, how is this any different than someone buying a $4 cup of coffee at Starbucks and hogging a table all day while they “work on their screenplay” or just use the WiFi? (Admit it, we’ve all been there.)  With many of these places used to high foot traffic, a couple monopolizing a table is an issue not just to other customers, but the bottom line.

That being said, I don’t see “time limits” at tables — especially at places like mall food courts or urban franchises — as that out of the ordinary.  Just make sure they’re posted for all to see.

On personal note, I’m fairly certain I’ve eaten at this very McDonald’s once or twice.  My brother used to live in Culpeper, VA shortly after we lived together in Alexandria from 2008-09.  He ended up living in that rather nice little town for a number of years until recently up and moving to Camp LeJeune at the USMC’s behest in 2013.

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Cartoon of the Day


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75 Years of the House of Ideas

Batman’s not the only one celebrating a landmark this year.  Marvel Comics — originally as Timely Comics — launched in 1939 with the release of “Marvel Comics #1.”

The comic introduced two characters still around today: Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and Jim Hammond, otherwise known as “the Original Human Torch.” (Not to be confused with Johnny Storm, “the Human Torch” who’s been with the Fantastic Four for over 50 years.)

Marvel has a planned a huge celebration for the year ahead, and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso — there since January 2011 — narrates a video montage of Marvel at 75.



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90 Percent of Lake Michigan Covered with Ice

I’m sorry, you were saying something about “Global Warming?”  Too busy laughing at you while I point to this!

After having a meltdown early last week, Lake Michigan is now just over 90 percent covered in ice, which equals the highest levels ever recorded.

The lake was also just over 90 percent frozen in 1976, 1979 and 1994, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The unyielding cold weather has caused the ice on Lake Michigan to continue to expand the last several days.

The below high-resolution visible satellite image from March 2 shows widespread ice cover over central Lake Michigan.

A small area of open water remained on the eastern side of the lake, well away from the Michigan shore.

Here’s a satellite photo of the ice:

ice_cover_lake_michigan(Photo via NOAA)

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Harold Ramis, Rest in Peace

He was my personal favorite of the “Ghostbusters” as “Egon Spengler,” namely because like Egon, I saw myself as the most “professorial” of the Eco-1 crew growing up.

His death is shocking, not just because of his age, but because of what he meant to American comedy films since the late 1970s.  Just look at his resume:

“Animal House” — He co-wrote it.

“Caddyshack” — He wrote and directed it.

“Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II” — He co-wrote and starred in it.

“Groundhog’s Day” — He script-doctored (made edits along the way) and directed it.

And then there was “Stripes.”  How can you forget about this?

bill_murray-stripes1981-2220Rest in Peace.

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Be Honest Here

What shocks you more with this Kraft Mac & Cheese ad?

A) That the company would go back to his “hit” song, “Ninja Rap” from the 1991 movie “TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze” or…

B) That he’s portrayed as working as a stock boy at a grocery mart in this ad?


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Fallon Cashes in on $100 Bets

From last light’s inaugural “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

It’s simple comedy, but it’s hilarious.  Kudos to Colbert for bringing the funny.


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Apparently this Ad from Cadillac is Driving Liberals Nuts

…and it’s for an electric car nonetheless.

What, the line about “taking all of August off” get under their skin or something?

For those curious, that’s character actor Neal McDonough, who may be best known recently for his recurring role of the FX Series “Justified” during its third season as well as being “Dum Dum Dugan,” in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

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Purpose of the Appendix Finally Discovered

Who had “Biological Warehouse of ‘Good Bacteria'” in the betting pool?

For generations the appendix was thought to have no purpose. But now, researchers say they have discovered the true function of this organ, and it is anything but redundant.

Researchers now say that the appendix acts as a safe house for good bacteria. The body uses this to essentially “reboot” the digestive system when one suffers from a bout of dysentery or cholera.

Conventional wisdom used to claim that this small pouch protruding from the first part of the large intestine was simply redundant or an evolutionary shadow of a once useful organ. For years doctors advised people have their appendix removed and in spite of it’s now-apparent use, most seem none the worse for having it removed.

Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina researchers say that following a severe bout of cholera or dysentery, which can purge the gut of bacteria essential for digestion, the appendix acts as a reserve for good bacteria to emerge.

In spite of the findings, Professor Bill Parker says that this does not mean we should cling onto our appendices at all costs.

“It’s very important for people to understand that if their appendix gets inflamed, just because it has a function it does not mean they should try to keep it in,” he explained.

“So it’s sort of a fun thing that we’ve found, but we don’t want it to cause any harm, we don’t want people to say, ‘oh, my appendix has a function’, so I’m not going to go to the doctor, I’m going to try to hang onto it.”

Oh, it doesn’t do this anymore.  The human physiology has moved past it, but apparently it was at one time bigger (other mammals have larger ones), but has shrunk over the millennia.

To make the comparison, the study actually used koalas, a creature in the animal kingdom that is known to have an extraordinarily long appendix.

Scientists were led to the discovery by examining the appendices of koalas. Unlike the short human variety, the koala is famous for having an extremely long appendix.

This aids in their diet which is almost exclusively made up of eucalyptus leaves.

Professor Vardaxis says that in spite of the fact that the human appendix acts in a similar manner to that of koalas, it is unlikely that we will see a shrinking of the Australian marsupial’s organ any time soon.

“Unless of course we have a massive blight and we get the eucalypt on which the koala thrives dying, then we may find some mutant koalas out there perhaps that will start eating other things, and as they start to eat other things, then over generations and hundreds of thousands of years of time, then surely, yes, the koala’s appendix will shrink as well.”

The shrinking of the human appendix is largely contributed to be caused by changes in the human diet.

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Jesse Ventura: “I Now Live in Mexico, Off the Grid”

Like the interviewer mentions to the former pro wrestler turned Governor of the Gopher State, “How is it “Off the Grid” if you’re still able to access the Internet?”

[Video from CNBC, via Politico.]

 (Best laugh I’ve ever shared with a liberal was the day after Election Day 1998.  All it took were the words, “Governor Jesse Ventura.”  See, who says there aren’t ways to bridge the political divide in Wisconsin?)

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