I don’t want you guys to think I’m all doom and gloom (well, not all the time). When I’m not thinking about how the world is going to end, I sometimes think of awesome business ideas. Most of them are restaurants. I don’t know why that is.
This restaurant would have a focus on high-quality local ingredients. The restaurant would serve foods that are not only grown locally, but hopefully foods which grow naturally. I would be willing to pay top dollar for local hunters to send a portion of their kill my way. Imagine sitting down for a nice meal of elk, venison, or buffalo. I would also hope to find a local expert on edible foods. Wouldn’t you like to sip some nice warm rose and juniper tea? Perhaps a bit of wild raspberry crumble on bread with some local honey? It wouldn’t be for everybody, but I think this one has promise.
There is a reason that the vast majority of people buy stuff from grocery stores instead of foraging in the wilderness. With such an emphasis on wild, local produce, it may be hard to keep up a steady supply to keep a restaurant going.
5. Fancy Malt Shop
We all know the basic premise of a 1950s malt shop: You go there with “the gang” to get burgers and ice cream. Hijinks ensue as a laugh track plays in the background. This place takes the same basic idea and turns it up a notch (and takes away the laugh track). You would be able to order kobe beef burgers for dinner and homemade hazelnut ice cream. Where the focus of Hunter-Gatherer is on getting quality local ingredients, the focus here is on taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary through expert presentation and quality ingredients from around the world.
The biggest problem would be keeping the menu fresh and modern while adhering to the traditional idea of a malt shop.
4. Custom Burgers
With a million other burger joints out there, how does this one stand out? Well, at Custom Burgers you get to build your burger from the ground up. Don’t you ever get annoyed by the fact that burger places will charge you 50 cents to add cheese or bacon, but then they won’t credit you back that amount if you ask for the same thing removed? Custom Burgers fixes that problem by letting people pick the bun, meat and toppings that go on their burger. There would have to be a large variety of meats, cheeses and toppings to really make it worth it. You want an ostrich burger on rye with kimchi? Go for it!
Inventory! With so many options, chances are that you will need a substantial inventory to make sure you have everything in stock at all times.
3. Surf and Turf
The general concept of the surf and turf is that you get the best of the surf and the best of turf. I’m often surprised that this is rarely taken beyond the idea of lobster and steak served together. Surf and Turf would have an international and regional focus. In addition to the traditional steak and lobster, I would encourage a middle-America surf and turf with buffalo steak and trout. How about a Japanese surf and turf with lobster tempura and teriyaki-marinated steak? What about a Hawaiian surf and turf with braised pork and pan seared ahi tuna?
Finding a chef that is well versed in all of the world’s cuisines may be a bit of a challenge.
2. Ye Olde Grocer
I think that we have grown accustomed to wandering down the isles of the local mega-mart sorting through 500 types of cereal; sometimes less is more. I would love to have a store that has the basics that are provided locally when possible. Go to the store and pick up a jar of Mrs. Maple’s prized peaches. Go and talk to the grocer. Get locally-produced treats and confections. The focus here is community; I would like going to the store to be more of an experience.
People are accustomed to getting grapes at any time of the year and might not take too kindly to a grocery store that has a seasonal selection of groceries.
1. Hillery’s Chinchilleries
What is a “chinchillery”? A word I made up for a place where you raise chinchillas. I’m not really sure why chinchillas exist. Is it a rabbit? A mouse? A hamster? Wikipedia tells me that they are used for fur and kept as pets. Common sense tells me they look like pikachu. I want to mix their DNA with electric eels and sell them to overzealous Pokemon addicts. If Jurassic Park scientists can mix dinosaur DNA with frog DNA, then chinchillas and electric eels should be a piece of cake.
None. This is the best idea ever.
PS – I don’t often read web comics. But when I do, I read Basic Instructions.
I like to live the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.” When your mind is wandering what do you think about? Sugarplums? Taxes? The rule against perpetuities? Not me. I assess the situation I am in and prepare for ridiculous scenarios. If we’re ever in the same room, and I have that glazed look on my eyes, I’m probably planning for a:
5. Nuclear Attack
I’m not sure why I think of this one so frequently. Maybe I’ve watched too many of those 1960s era PSA’s. Maybe I’ve just watched too many movies (I’m looking at you Dr. Strangelove). Whatever the reason, it can’t hurt to be prepared, right?
Not really much you can do. Always be aware of your surroundings. You could always keep a pocket knife on you in case you are thrust into a survival situation. Yeah, a pocket knife.
When it happens:
Look for what appears to be the sturdiest wall in the room I am in. Don’t go near any windows because when they blow out, you could get severely damaged by the glass. Also don’t go near anything that could fall on you. I estimate that 80% of my day is spent in close proximity to bookshelves that could, conceivably crush me, so yes, this is a valid concern. At school, I would rather be in a classroom that in the library; the library has lots of windows and glass to injure you. Also, books. Lots of books. The classrooms were built during the 70s, when people were thinking about “what if we get hit by a nuke.” I am pretty sure they are safe.
Obviously, there are concerns about the long-term health effects of radiation exposure. I would pick a direction and start walking (or if possible driving). The goal is to get as far away from the fallout as possible. You don’t want to go to where the next bomb is going to go off, so some place remote and unpopulated is ideal.
4. High Speed Chase
Let me add a small caveat. When I think of this, I always assume that nobody will get hurt, and the roads are clear (and I won’t have an insurance rate spike). I’m never sure what sort of situation would lead to a high speed chase, but I figured it is better to be ready than unprepared.
Simplest way to avoid a car chase? Don’t make anybody angry. That includes the police and the mafia. If you live a lifestyle where this is not an option, then I suggest getting a small car with an excellent suspension and handling. You’re going to be taking lots of turns at high speeds, remember? You need something practical to get you around. Also, watch lots of Top Gear (If you have any dignity you’ll just watch the British version).
When it happens:
The goal is to get to the freeway and not let your foot off the gas. Granted, this type of driving tends to burn through the gas quickly, so have someplace in mind that you are going to. On the run from the mafia? go to the police station. Deadly assassins? best to try and lose them before you go home. Always keep in mind who is following you, always.
You’re going to have to get a new car. If they’ve been chasing you, they obviously know what kind of car you drive. Change cars and lay low for a while.
3. Zombie Apocalypse
Much has been said about what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse, so I know this isn’t the most original entry. But it never hurts to have a little something extra planned out.
I guess this all depends on the type of zombie we are talking about. I don’t really believe in magic, so let’s assume this is a highly-contagious virus that changes people into zombie-like creatures. Now that we have that established, I think the best preparation you can have is to stay in shape. Zombies aren’t exactly known for their speed or agility, so the best defense is to be fast and nimble. Keep a healthy supply of food and tools on hand. Food keeps you strong, and tools can often double as weapons in a pinch.
When it happens:
Stay calm. Don’t try to meet up with family or friends unless you are absolutely sure they have not been infected. Yes, family is important, but do you really want NOBODY from your family to survive? Also, despite what may seem to be a great idea, don’t go to the gun store. Of all the places to try and get supplies, the gun store is probably the worst idea. Don’t you think the owner is prepared (and willing) to defend his store? Don’t go to the grocery store, there will be a lot of people there trying to get supplies. Where there are lots of people, there are lots of germs. The goal here isn’t to kill as many zombies as possible, it is survival.
Head north; go slowly. Zombies are not prized for their intelligence, and the further north you go, the colder it will get. Get far enough north and the zombies will turn into meatsicles. Of course, you will need winter clothes for you to survive, but zombies just wander around waiting for brains to come their way. They will freeze as they wander around the frozen wasteland that is Canada.
2. Deserted Island Survival
Many islands that can reasonably be inhabited, are inhabited. If you end up on an island with nobody else on it, be prepared for a rough ride.
Considering that the most likely reason you will end up on a deserted island is from surviving an ocean landing from an airplane, there isn’t much you can do to prepare in terms of equipment. Know at least the basics of how to swim and dive underwater. Know several decent knots and how to make a wooden spear. Know how to make some simple traps couldn’t hurt either.
When it happens:
Let’s assume that you have survived the crash, and that you are now on the island. You are probably exhausted from your swim, and want to curl up and take a nap. Remember, without food or water to replenish you, this may be the most energy you have for a while. After you catch your breath, it would probably be a good idea to circle your island to see if there are any fresh water sources that run to the sea. Keep a lookout for food sources that are easily accessible and easy to store.
Build a shelter and get a small fire going. Try to keep the fire going and do what you can to not go crazy. Recite poetry. Write down something every day, even if it is just in the sand. Keep plenty of food and water and hope for the best. At least you won’t catch the zombie virus!
Ever since I saw Jurassic Park as a kid (I believe I saw it about 14 times in theater), I have been preparing for this.
According to the movie, the one thing velociraptors cannot due is hack computers. In real life, a general awareness of your surroundings coupled with physical fitness should be enough to keep you safe . . . for a little while.
When it happens:
For this scenario, my goal is generally to get up where the raptors cannot reach you. These guys can jump pretty high, so you need to get up high and stay there for a while. I usually see if there is some high ledge that you can get onto. Or the roof of a house. Really, they’re going to eat you no matter what, so there isn’t much you can do.
You will be dead. There is no long term.
I was looking through my old blog posts and I found one about fads that I didn’t miss. It got me thinking about some of the awesome things from my childhood that I miss. Here my list of 7 things that made the 90s bodacious!
7. The Arcade
Yes, there are still arcades, but they don’t hold nearly the pull of the old arcades. I remember riding my 10 speed out to the local arcade to play amazing games that you couldn’t get at home. In the modern era of HD game consoles and motion controls, you would be hard pressed to find an arcade game that looks better than a game you can play at home.
6. LASER backgrounds
Who didn’t want to have the laser background for their school pictures? By the time I was in high school, your options were basically grey or blue.
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
These pizza-obsessed crime fighters occupied much of my Saturday morning routine. Have you tried watching kid cartoons these days? I’m pretty sure that the Ninja Turtles could kick Dora’s butt. I don’t even know how many of the TMNT action figures I had, but I remember being jealous of the kids that had the Turtle Van.
4. Lisa Frank
What list of awesome things from the 90s would be complete without Lisa Frank? The psychedelic stickers went on everything. Binders, shoes, bed stands. I remembered that if there was a girl you liked, you made sure she got the Lisa Frank valentine. What better way into a first grader’s heart than neon dolphins dancing over neon penguins?
3. LA Lights
High tops were all the rage back in elementary school, and LA lights were the king of high tops. These were especially cool for when you were out playing during the night. I’m pretty sure that at least once I had a sleepover just to show off my LA Lights at night.
2. Trapper Keeper
I’m almost positive that every single kid in my class had a Trapper Keeper. It has all sorts of pockets for pens and pencils. It was half backpack and half binder. Science cannot explain why, but putting some velcro on a binder suddenly made it awesome.
1. Slap Bracelet
Slap bracelets were the ultimate fashion accessory. I’ll never forget the day that my sister came home with a slap bracelet; it was magic. It looked straight, but then you put it on your wrist and BAM! now it is a bracelet. You could get all of the cool styles (zebra print, neon green, neon zebra print, etc.) and just swap them out as needed.
Did I miss anything?
So, there is something I have noticed. Roni and I worry about very different things happening to the bwun. I think I have an example that perfectly illustrates the difference.
The night after the bwun was born, Roni and I both had dreams about the bwun where something went wrong. I’ll only go through my dream here, but if Roni wants, she can leave her dream in the comments (I don’t think I’d do her dream justice by me telling it). Here it is:
It is the day after the bwun was born, and it is still morning. Some of my family members are over to visit; they have come to see the bwun. Mika calls for the nurse, and asks that they bring the baby in from the nursery.
Everybody is really excited to see him for the first time. When the bring him in, the bwun is no longer the bwun. Somehow, he has turned into an iguana, diaper and all.
The problem is that I am the only one who seems to have noticed! Everybody else is just going off about how cute he is, and how he looks just like us.
Finally I say something, “Guys, something is wrong here! He’s turned into an iguana!” Everybody just looks at me all crazy, like they are thinking “of course he looks like an iguana.” Then Roni scoops him up and coos in a high pitched baby voice, “but isn’t he the cutest little iguana ever?”
Crazy, right? I woke up just after that. I guess you could say that I worry about things that aren’t really possible.
Here are some random facts about me. No particular reason, just a bit bored at work.
Languages I want to learn (at least conversational levels)
1. French – because it is French
2. Chinese – because it is sort of what Latin is for English, but for Korean
3. Japanese – Because it is similar to Korean
4. Spanish – I feel guilty about not remembering any of it from High School
5. German – I’m not really sure why…
Places I would like to live in, for at least a couple of years
1. Monterey, CA – Monterey may be the coolest city anywhere
2. Raleigh, NC – Weather isn’t bad, houses are cheap, and I’d like to live back east for a while
3. Seoul, South Korea – I love the pace of life in Korea. Also, the transit, the fashion, the food of Seoul always make me feel at home. Sometimes, I feel more at home in Korea than in Fairfield.
Places I would like to visit (no particular order)
1. Ireland – Because I imagine it being very green
2. Paris, France – to use the French I’ll be learning
3. Mongolia – I here it is ruggedly beautiful, and I’ve liked the Mongolians I’ve met
4. Beijing – the Forbidden City!!
5. North Korea – Because I can, even if it is only for one day.
6. Egypt – it is EGYPT… why NOT go there?
Things I want to learn how to cook
1. Dalk Ddori-tang – a spicy Korean soup with lots of chicken and potatoes
2. Abalone Bisque – Arguably the best use of abalone that man has yet to come up with.
3. Apple-cranberry pie – if you’ve ever had it, you would know
4. Chocolate Mousse – good stuff.
My Secret Ambitions
1. Become an Academic Decathlon Coach – it was most likely the most rewarding thing I did in High School
2. Teach – probably not at a public school, but I think it would be fun to teach or work in a school
3. Be able to ride my bike 20+ miles in one day – I’ve only done it once, and it was starting in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, it was hard, but rewarding.
Things I wanted to be when I was growing up
1. Marine Biologist – I think it was because my elementary school mascot was a dolphin, but it may have been because of EcoQuest.
2. Mathematician – Maybe because of Malcolm in Jurassic Park, and I used to really like math
3. Astronomer – again, I liked science, and let’s face it. Space is the final frontier.
4. Lawyer – Perry Mason is pretty cool.
I think that is it for now. Feel free to admit any of your own random facts on your blog, or in the comments!
So my last post got me thinking about elementary school, and all the things that were great about it. I liked how in elementary school you always get to go to assemblies. They happened so often! Everything from Doctor Seuss Week to Saint Patrick’s Day got an assembly. My favorite type of assembly was the student of the month, it was hard to compete with that. Not only do you get a certificate, but I think you got pencils and stuff too. Maybe even candy. What else can a kid need?