Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where did that day go?

Seems like I turn around twice and it’s the middle of the afternoon?  I know the middle of the afternoon could never come fast enough some days back when there was a certain amount of drudgery involved, but I’m not sure what happened today.

Lemme see.  I slapped some finish on a couple sticks of wood (window trim)  and took some other sticks of wood up to the garden and drove them in the ground to prop up some towering tomato plants.   Of course,  they’re cedar,  so they should do well in the “sticks to hold up plants” end of things.  Better than being cut up for kindling.  Then it was off to a couple stores for “stuff”.

I’m not one for shopping, but there are some places where I’ll make an exception.  Considering my customer number ends in ‘86,  that’s how long I’ve been a customer of Lee Valley.  You figure it out.


(yes,  that denotes 1986)

It has probably occurred to you by this point that I took Travelling Companion to work, so I could have a set of wheels.   Unfortunately,  all this week she’s working in Milton.  Bleah.  I mean,  it’s not like there’s any need to get into the fray of rush hour traffic or anything, (rush hour traffic in these parts runs east and west, we were headed north, thankfully) but a few speed traps on the way up there wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Some folks is nuts!

And you know what?  I can drive like a maniac too if I wanted to (we have the technology), but why?  You’re stressing yourself out before you even get to work for heaven’s sake!

I can’t let on why I went to Lee Valley.  It’s a secret. 

But I also did want to go to one of the local delicatessen type places that we have in these parts for some cold cuts and some boneless skinless chicken.

I’ve been a customer of this place called Denninger's since back in the seventies,  and this goes back to when one of my school buddies was working at their “flagship” store on King Street in Hamilton,  and I worked right next door at Connaught Camera.  Connaught Camera is long gone by the wayside,  as the owner Jim Prestidge died a couple decades ago.  I’m sure he’s doing a fine job running a camera shop in Hell these days.  Not that, you know,  I didn’t like him or anything?  Hey, I needed a job. 


Anyway,  I’m getting side tracked. 

By now you’ve gathered that,  all you really need to do is,  have a decent assortment of products,  don’t treat me like crap,  and I’ll keep coming back.  Most likely for decades.

However, something has started to go somewhat amiss at Denninger’s.  It was later in the morning,  after a phone call to their head office that I found out that,  their founder Rudy Denninger,  is no longer the “capo di tutti capi”.   He’s been replaced by some Dude named Norm,  from whom I’m still waiting on a phone call.  

I’m not holding my breath here.

Somehow I keep picturing Norm from Cheers?


And yes,  I’m one of those guys that WILL phone head office and give someone a very calm and terse earful.

By the way,  (and I cringe when people miss-pronounce this)  “Denninger’s” is with a hard “G”.  Like when they don’t have what you want and you say to yourself,  “Grrr.”   Like that?

The deal is,  if you want fresh chicken (and we’re partial to boneless,  skinless chicken breasts by the way)  there’s no point going in on Monday.  Used to be all the locations were closed on Sundays,  and they wouldn’t keep chicken over the two days.  The key word here is “fresh”.    That’s awesome.  Really.

So fine,  what day is it?  Why,  it’s Tuesday.  But for some reason known only to the person ordering their chicken, there was none this morning.  “Oh, we’re not expecting it until this afternoon.”  

Say what?   Since when does Tuesday start at one p.m.?


OK fine, whatever.  Change of menu.  “I’ll take some garlic sausages.”  

Nope,  didn’t have those.  But you see,  I already knew in the back of my head that WEDNESDAY is fresh sausage day,  but I momentarily lost my mind.  Sorry.   Pardon me for asking.

Just the same,  I phoned head office and we had a little chat.  Still waiting for Norm to call.  I got the phone right here….


I guess that must have put me into a tailspin or something,  because I completely forgot to stop by ECS coffee for a couple cases of the Tassimo thingies.   So I figured,  what the hell,  I’ll go out again,  and see if two in the afternoon is what they think of as being “Tuesday”.  I mean,  it was on the way.  Sort of.


Well,  lo and behold,  there was some fresh chicken.  Not too damned many pieces mind you.  Good thing we’re not having company,  or I would have been screwed a second time.

Is it that rare a commodity?  It wasn’t any pricier than the run of the mill stuff you can buy most anywhere else,  but rare as well,  hen’s teeth it seems?


In a very convenient way,  they also have a nice little restaurant section in that particular store (in most others too I think,  but don’t quote me)  so I figured maybe I’d order something to take with me.   It’s good eats.

And here’s the thing,  back in my dark “shirt and tie wearing days”,  I’ve been known to hang around a few restaurants.  Assistant Manager, Store Manager,  Supervisor.   That kind of thing.  So maybe I might have an idea or two? Just saying.

First thing I notice,  there are no trays.  They’re piled willy-nilly over by the cash,  where the cashier (who is chatting with her buddy,  by the way)  is supposed to be cleaning them.   The other sign that things “ain’t quite raight”,  is that there are more employees than customers.  Yet there’s not a lot of work getting done.  Oh, and I saw nary a hint of a manager.  “Manager” should be in quotation marks. 

Then of course,  just to confirm my suspicions that they don’t know which end is up, they’re out of onion buns,  which was what I wanted to have for my sandwich.  “Would a plain Kaiser be OK?”

You have to understand,  twenty years ago my head would have exploded. But you know,  I’m trying to control myself?   So, since by that point I was hungry enough to start chewing on one of my legs,  I just said “OK”,  just to get it over with.   Thinking to myself through gritted teeth,  “Just f**king give me something.”


So I paid $6.75 for something I really and truly didn’t want.  It was tasty,  don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t what I ordered. 

And no,  I don’t want a job working there.

Go ahead and call me Norm.  I dares ya.  He’s probably out playing golf.






Meh.  But you know what?  It could always be worse.  I could be getting a visit from that guy.  Ruh-roh!


I haven’t gone next door yet to take a look.  I’m actually a little afraid.  The owner came over yesterday to borrow a “snake”.  I guess my hand operated one wasn’t sufficient.  eek.


I think I’ve used my share of bits and bytes today,  so I’m done.


Thanks for stopping by. 


  1. I really hate it when new management makes "changes" and the place goes down hill. It's even worse when you get there and they've closed up.

  2. Lee Valley makes some neat stuff, that's for sure!

    I have a friend who used to work for roto rooter! Seeing the picture made me laugh.

  3. Lee Valley does have great stuff for sure.
    But ya know after having my own restaurant for 10 years really prefer to make my own stuff at home. Service is great, food pretty good, (cheap in fact) and the beer is cold and the dishwasher ? She gets good tips!

  4. Since I love grocery stores I'd love to shop at a Lees Valley just for the experience. Today was H.E.B. (only in Texas) and it took me nearly an hour to fill my basket with 10 items. Reading labels takes time ;-).... truth is, unless I can get a free-range chicken at a Farmer's Market I'd just as soon buy the skinless, boneless chicken breasts at Wal-Mart. (Hope you didn't fall over in a dead faint)

  5. We rarely eat out, since food cooked by my personal chef is always much better and I know where her hands have been:)

  6. I'd say you had a pretty frustrating experience just to get some dead chicken and cold sandwich!

  7. Camera shop in hell? When will I learn never to read your posts while drinking a soda? It hurts when you laugh and it comes out your nose!!! :cO


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.