Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Camping In The (Galesburg) Lane

I went to Galesburg last night to watch the Quincy High School girls basketball team play. I had a really nice talk with freshman Amy Wentura, who was called up from the freshman team to play in the JV game because of some injuries. Amy did a great job and has a bright future as a Blue Devil.

Amy reminded me I coached her on a YMCA basketball team six years ago, when she was in third grade. "I didn't score a point the whole year," she said. "You told me to get under the basket and camp out in the lane, so I went under the basket, sat down and crossed my legs. That's what I thought you meant — camping in the lane!"

Galesburg does a nice job supporting girls basketball. It helps to have one of the best programs in the state, of course. The fans filled the gym and actually cheered after the awesome pep band cranked out pre-game songs. They actually have an announcer DURING the game, and two Galesburg radio stations broadcast every girls basketball game.

The best part was before the opening tip, when they selected a student to raise the flag during the national anthem. They recognized the student for her grades and athletic accomplishments in track and cross country, and she got a huge ovation from the crowd. She pulled the flag up on a rope as the pep band played a spirited rendition of the Star Spangled Banner — NOT a taped, grindingly slow and overwrought anthem.

At this point I could say something about how it was a much more appropriate pre-game ceremony than using an occult symbol with horns and a pitchfork, but I love living in Quincy so I'll just shut my mouth now.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Restaurant Blues

On Saturday mornings, provided the time and inclination, the five-block walk to the Hardees and 12th and Jefferson can be a wonderful thing. Nothing cures the draft beer blues like a couple of artery-hardening breakfast sandwiches.

The service is always slow but bearable. Unfortunately this morning, it was slow and not bearable.

I am hesitant to be critical of those in the restaurant trade. I worked in several restaurants and know what hard and low-paying jobs they are. This morning at Hardees they were swamped at the drive-in and inside, and I waited 25 minutes for my two sandwiches to go, which cost me all of $2 (bless my Dutch heart).

It's awkward when an order gets screwed up. Do you go to the counter and ask about it? The problem was obviously on the line, where somebody was sssslllllooooowwwwllllyyy putting together orders. The servers out front gave me pained looks and I felt genuinely bad for them.

Six or seven people who came in after me got their orders, including a customer who ordered and got her food in about four minutes, so I finally just gave up and walked out. A person at the drive through also gave up and left while I was waiting. Maybe I should have been more of a jerk about it, but they can have the $2.

It's hard to get mad at management. Good help is hard to find, and the employees were at least trying.

Is this too whiny? Is this too big of a deal? Maybe. We're all human. Well, most of us, anyway. Perhaps just walking out made it worse. They didn't get a chance to correct the error or mixup.

I can't afford to eat out that much, but there are good places to eat in Quincy. The Steak N Shake on Broadway is a favorite. Tiramisu at Third and Hampshire has awesome food and great service. Lately we've been getting takeout from the pasta place at Eighth and State, and I love the 14th and Harrison Hy Vee chinese food.

As a matter of fact, the next time I get those Saturday morning blues, I might just walk to 14th and Harrison, because they apparently have good breakfasts, too.

But for this morning, I think I'll make myself an omelette .....