Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne a Christmas & New year poem by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught

For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns

New Year's Eve Ball Drop

Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.
But just what is that Ball? Where does it come from?
We're glad you asked.

History of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball
Revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square. This original Ball, constructed of iron and wood and adorned with 100 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of iron replaced the original.
The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when its use was suspended due to the wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. The crowds who still gathered in Times Square in those years greeted the New Year with a moment of silence followed by chimes ringing out from One Times Square.

In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 150 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.
For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millenium.
About "Time-Balls"
The actual notion of a ball "dropping" to signal the passage of time dates back long before New Year's Eve was ever celebrated in Times Square. The first "time-ball" was installed atop England's Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. This ball would drop at one o'clock every afternoon, allowing the captains of nearby ships to precisely set their chronometers (a vital navigational instrument).
Around 150 public time-balls are believed to have been installed around the world after the success at Greenwich, though few survive and still work. The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day - and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight not for a few ships' captains, but for over one billion people watching worldwide.
The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball Today
The current version of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration.

The Ball is a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighs approximately 1,070 pounds. It is covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that vary in size and range in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.
For the 2007 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles feature the new "Hope for Peace" design, consisting of three dove-like patterns symbolizing messengers of peace. The remaining 432 triangles feature Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles. These crystal triangles are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. The exterior of the Ball is illuminated by 168 Philips Halogen√° Brilliant Crystal light bulbs, exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. The interior of the Ball is illuminated by 432 Philips Light Bulbs (208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow), and 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball features 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.
All 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors are computer controlled, enabling the Ball to produce a state-of-the-art light show of eye-dazzling color patterns and a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square. The New Year's Eve Ball is the property of the building owners of One Times Square.

I've always found it weird, like the elections, to have to deal with the time zone differences to celebrate the new year.

Happy New Year 2007 in about seven minutes...CST!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

James Brown...."Please, Please, Please"

"The Hardest Working Man In Show Business"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yahoo Pic Board

My first post on the what was thought to be defunct message board. With a simple search, I found what I thought was lost for good, the thousands of messages posted from those from the brotherhood of a common cause and bond.

A glance back inside the box originally posted 13-Jan-02 12:06 am

I had the pleasure of visiting one of my former units today. Most of the long-term employees were there still making line-up. I saw #211 Picc Fresh Fruit freshly cut, Cream Slaw shredded properly, Barbecued Chicken by the recipe with the distinctive crust, and Buttered Broccoli panned-up nicely. The "Parkerhouse" rolls golden brown, and the pie line... Cherry pie, marble-like cherries in a flaky-crust, Coconut Meringue, not too tight with fresh meringue. TQC or THH? I didn't ask, but lots of TLC was evident! The floor looked nice, early clean-up evident, the only thing that jumped out at me was the look in their eyes of an uncertain future. After years of many course changes, different managers, ceo's and warm fuzzies, it seemed a few cold pricklies had come their way. Their controllables seemed ready for the next 9 1/2 hours, unlike the neglected condition of the restrooms and the absence of a "Take Me" look decor. Will they make it through another change? Will we need them to? There is no doubt that they can do it! Look at what they've done for years. They will need a few warm fuzzies to come their way to keep the spark in their eyes. It's a lot of little things that help companies maintain and develop their greatest assets.

Some of the thing's I remember are...

Getting a call from MTS on your B-day or DOH
Bob Powell smiling after walking in at 7:45pm, after going down your line.
Your DM's only comment is that the squash is cut wrong
Over-hearing an employee tell a new-hire that you're fair
Presenting a 40-year watch to your Chef
Being able to award a free meal for Cust Gain
On a day when you're opening and closing, your employees tell you to take lunch, they've got it! It goes on, and so will the Picc, if we have'nt already sold our souls to...


Read all the messages from then to now at...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Glenn Ford

"The Fastest Gun Alive"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What is Customer Service?

Shortage of short Greeks ruining us
By Mike Royko
Editor's note: The Chicago Daily News published this column on Dec. 5, year unknown.

The moment we sat down for lunch, I knew it was a mistake. It was one of those cute new yuppie-poo restaurants with ferns and a menu that listed calories. I knew it was an even bigger mistake when five minutes passed before the busboy dropped the silverware and napkins in front of us. About 10 minutes later, I snared a waitress as she was hurrying by and asked: "Is there any chance we can see a menu?" "I'm so sorry," she said. "We're short-handed. One of the girls didn't show up today." When she finally brought the food it wasn't what I had ordered. "There are some problems in the kitchen," she said. "We have a new cook." "Never mind," I said. "I'll eat it, whatever it is. But what about the beer? "Oh, I forgot, you wanted a beer," she said. The beer arrived just in time to wash down the last bite of the sandwich. When she brought the check, which was wrong because she charged me for what I ordered instead of what I got, I asked: "Who runs this place?" "The manager?" she said. "He's in the end booth having lunch." On the way out, I stopped at the manager's booth. He was a yuppie in a business suit. He and a clone were leisurely sipping their coffee and looking at a computer print-out. "Nice place you have here," I lied. "Do you own it?" The young man shook his head. It was owned by one of those big corporations that operates restaurants in far-flung office buildings and health clubs. He also proudly told me that he had recently left college with a degree in restaurant and hotel management. That explained it all. His waitresses were short-handed, his cook was goofing up the orders, the customers were fuming, and what was he doing? He was having lunch. Or, as he'd probably say, he was doing lunch. I don't want to be an alarmist, but when this nation collapses, he and those like him will be the cause. First, we had the MBA - especially the Harvard MBA - who came along after World War II and took over American industry. With his bottom-line approach, the MBA did such a brilliant job that the Japanese might soon buy the whole country and evict us. But we're told not to worry. Now that we don't manufacture as much as we used to, we'll be saved by the growing service industry. The problem is that the service industry is being taken over by people like the restaurant manager and his corporation. They go to college and study service. Then they install computers programmed for service. And they have meetings and look at service charts and graphs and talk about service. But what they don't do is provide service. That's because they are not short Greeks. You probably wonder what that means. I'll explain. If that corporation expects the restaurant to succeed, it should fire the young restaurant-hotel degree holder. Or demote him to cleaning washrooms. It should then go to my friend Sam Sianis, who owns Billy Goat's Tavern, and say: "Do you know a short Greek that wants to manage a restaurant?" Sam will say: "Shoo. I send you one my cousins. Jus' got here from the old country." Then he'd go to Greek Town and tell his cousin, who works as a waiter, that his big chance had come. When the next lunch hour rolled around, and a waitress failed to show up for work, Sam's cousin would not sit down to do lunch. He would put on an apron and wait tables himself. If the cook goofed up orders, Sam's cousin would go into the kitchen, pick up a cleaver, and say, "You want I keel you?" He wouldn't know how to read a computer printout, but he'd get drinks in the glasses, food on the table, and money in the cash register. That simple approach is why restaurants run by short Greeks stay in business and make money. And why restaurants that are run by corporations and managed by young men who are educated beyond their intelligence come and go. And mostly go. So if you are ever approached by a stockbroker who wants to sell you shares in any of the giant service corporations, tell him not to bother showing you the annual report. Just ask him one question. "Is it run by short Greeks?" If he says no, leave your money under the mattress.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I love TBS! The station is a great way to relive the memories of days gone bye, and the web site is full of humor for home or the office...

Office Space...great!!!

Dazed & Confused.......was it really that long ago,,60974,00.html,,61329,00.html

Monday, July 10, 2006

A day of Discovery at JSC Houston

It was an awesome experience to watch Discovery launch on the 4th of July, but visiting Johnson Space Center on Sunday was an added treat.

We took the tours that went onsite to the historic Mission Control, which was only a short distance from the current Mission Control white and blue rooms that are handling the current shuttle mission, and also the ISS mission. It has been thirty-years since I last visited, and things have changed alot. From walking around to the various building, to a guided tour and a Six-Flags type playscape and exhibits for the kids, it was agreat day to visit. My children will remember this trip for a long time.

Even better, you can follow the mission online:

Carrot Souffle...the recipe

This is the purported official recipe that has been acclaimed and widely sought after for years! In Baton Rouge, LA the local newspaper was apparently able to get a scaled-down version of the recipe for a feature it was doing.

as posted on the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate online edition a few years ago...

Piccadilly's carrot souffle' is one of the most often requested recipes, so here it is from The Advocate Online. Enjoy your holidays.

  • 3 1/2 lbs. peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sugar
  • 1 tbl. baking powder
  • 1 tbl. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 lb. Margarine
  • Powdered sugar
1. Steam or boil carrots until extra soft. Drain well.
2. While carrots are warm, add sugar, baking powder and vanilla.
3. Whip with mixer until smooth.
4. Add flour and mix well.
5. Whip eggs and add to flour mixture, blend well.
6. Add softened margarine to mixture and blend well.
7. Pour mixture into baking dish about half full as the souffle will rise.
8. Bake in 350-degree oven about 1 hour or until top is a light golden brown.
9. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar over top before serving.

Serves 10.

- Michael D. D'Amico
Piccadilly Technical Services

Make it tonight, and see what all the fuss has been about...