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Bidding adieu (again)

For the second time in a week, I am saying goodbye to one of the young ladies of Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa whom I have gotten to know so well. 

Last Friday, Raymie LePetit concluded her time, as she anticipates a move back to her native Arizona, where she’s going to continue her studies. I’m going to miss her dearly, but I’m glad she’s moving back home and bettering herself. 

Today, I say goodbye to Stephanie Suggs. Her last day is tomorrow, but I came today, since (a) I have an appointment with Crista in the morning; and (b) it’s supposed to rain all day. Better I come today and go back late tonight before the rain arrives. 

Stephanie has been with Buffalo Wild Wings almost eight years. She began in her native St. Joseph, where she went to high school and then Missoori Western University. She’s been here since at least the beginning of last year. I’ve really come to like her as much as some of my old favorites, including Liz and Lisa. Another one I’ll miss.

Then again, time marches on. Unless one wants to get into management, restaurant jobs are not meant to be permanent, unless it’s a supplemental income. I’m glad to see people moving on and bettering themselves.

Not that I won’t stop coming. I still know quite a few people here. I need to still come see Shannon, Jaclyn, Lindsey, Ashlee, Dana, Megan and the managers, as well as play trivia with Robb and Dawn. 

I’m playing Buzztime right now. First lunchtime game was a perfect 7,000. 

The drive here was easy. I did not eat anything. I stopped in Topeka to use the restroom and do a litle shopping. I had plenty of time, seeing I reached Wannamaker Road at 8:30. 

When I leave, I’m going to pick up Zazby’s to go. There’s now a location open near the Kansas Speedway off Paralell Parkway in KCK. It is doing a super business so far. 

Speaking of chicken fingers, Raising Cane’s opens its first Kansas location Tuesday in Lawrence, about three blocks north of the new Buffalo Wild Wings on Iowa Street. I’m going to make it there very soon, if not Tuesday. Then again, it might be more prudent to wait. However, I’m glad I no longer have to go to Neraska or Oklahoma to get it. 

The Kansas City metro will be opening two in Missouri soon, one in Westport and the other in Blue Springs. 

The NFL draft is tonight. Should be really fun after the first two picks are announced. 

Sauced

My own bed and my own home was a far more attractive option than any Nebraska hotel. Therefore, I drove 10 hours round trip from Kansas City to Omaha to Lincoln and back to Russell. I figured with the sun out until almost 9 p.m. and a good stretch of four-lane highway on US 81 between York, Nebraska and Salina, I could make it. The fatigue began to catch up with me by time I made the turn onto i-70 west, but I pulled in safely at 7:30. Went straight for the bed and woke up at 10:40.

I got what I came for in Nebraska. Stopped at Raising Cane’s in both Omaha and Lincoln to get my 32-ounce cups of sauce. Previously, you could not buy the sauce in such large quantities, but Todd Graves, Raising Cane’s founder, got smart and figured he could make more money by selling it. I wasn’t going to pass up such an opportunity, given I had not been to Cane’s in almost two years. I was not big on Cane’s sauce when I first went in Baton Rouge, but now it’s addictive.

I was smart enough to bring the bread I bought in Kansas City into the house this time. I left three loaves in the car for five days when I made my last trip, and by time I returned to Russell, it was moldy. Twelve bucks down the drain. I also found the Boulevard Wheat Beer Brats I could not find last week, plus my favorite cheese, Pecorino Romano, to grate for salads. If you’ve never had that cheese, you need to try it. Now. My mother has been grating it for our pasta for over 30 years, and I would never, ever used the cheap stuff on my pasta.

I did not see Germany’s destruction of Brazil in the World Cup semifinals today. However, I did get to listen to the entertaining radio commentary of JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth, who kept my attention even though the match was out of hand early. In fact, I did not change the channel at all during the match, which is rare for me, because I often have to change it because I don’t like the song, or I’m tired of listening to the same thing over and over on talk radio.

Nate Silver is STILL wiping the egg from his face. The founder of the website five-thiry-eight.com predicted Brazil, even without Neymar, the leading scorer who suffered cracked vertebrae near the end of the quarterfinal match vs. Colombia, and defender Thiago Silva, who was suspended after accumulating two yellow cards in earlier matches vs. Chile and Colombia, that Brazil STILL had a 65 PERCENT chance of defeating Germany. Yes, Germany had a rough outing against Algeria, going scoreless through regulation, and was far from the top of their game in a draw vs. Ghana, but its best performances were against the two European sides, a 4-0 rout of Portugal and a 1-0 victory over France where the Germans scored very early and never let France get a consistent attack going.

Even with Neymar and Silva, Brazil was inconsistent. It gave up an own goal vs. Croatia in its first match, could only muster a scoreless draw vs. Mexico, and needed a shootout to move past Chile.  It was obvious the weight of the universe was on Brazil’s shoulders, because not only did the country expect a World Cup championship, but one where the Brazilians dominated every time they took the field. They certainly did not, and while a 7-1 result in any World Cup semifinal is out of this galaxy, Germany’s victory was certainly not unexpected.

The Netherlands and Argentina go at it in the other semifinal at 3 p.m. Central. Brazilians are probably rooting for the Dutch, because the LAST thing they want is Argentina to win the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Since it’s already Wednesday, time to shut it down for a few hours. Night all.

Monday on the move

I’m going to attempt to make this short, but whether or not I can succeed is another matter.

I’m getting ready to saddle up and head to Kansas City again, this time for a much shorter visit. I don’t intend on staying past Wednesday; in fact, I might head into Nebraska tomorrow if I so feel like it. I’m going to my Buffalo Wild Wings hangout tonight to (a) play The Pulse and see myself on the screen for last Monday’s national high score, and (b) because I promised one of the new ladies working there, Shannon, I would come and meet her mother, who will be visiting from Chicago. Lisa, one of my favorites, is also going to be working tonight, and she’s expecting me too.

If my nemesis RONDO is there playing trivia, I will not. The only game I will play him is The Pulse, knowing I will probably beat the heck out of him. I wonder what makes this guy ticks. He sits at the bar, drinking Guinness Stout, and never seems to talk to anyone nor is there with anyone. At least I’ll talk to the staff. And if RONDO is there, I’ll play poker instead. I’m beginning to enjoy it. And I’m not half bad.

There’s a part of me which wants badly to go to Raising Cane’s, a chicken finger restaurant which began only a few hundred feet north of the LSU campus in 1996. The first restaurant, which is still open, did better business than just about any other Baton Rouge establishment in its first few years, and it has now expanded all across Louisiana and to many other states. There are now three locations in Lincoln, which is not surprising given the presence of the University of Nebraska, sine Raising Cane’s is popular in college communities. The company opened two more locations in Omaha last year.

There aren’t any Raising Cane’s in Kansas, even though there’s two major college campuses in Manhattan and Lawrence. The only ones in Missouri are in the St. Louis area. They’ve really mushroomed in Oklahoma, expanding deep into Oklahoma City and Tulsa after first coming to Norman, home to the University of Oklahoma.

The chicken fingers are good, but what makes Raising Cane’s great are the Texas toast and the sauce, which isn’t sold in stores. The sauce looks like thousand island, but has a much better taste.

Okay, enough sitting at the computer, and enough watching The O.C., at least for now. I’ve got to hop in the shower and get ready to roll.