Archive for April, 2014

GuiltBit

Posted in Nonsense with tags , , , on April 30, 2014 by Bob

As I stated previously, I have a Fitbit. Back then I was worried about how lazy it made me feel. It mocked me by showing how little I walked. I got much better after that. I was close to averaging my 10,000 steps a day. Most weeks hitting it. A few, I even surpassed it by a great deal. A couple of weeks ago I went to Vegas. I had an ungodly amount of steps racked up. Then I tripped up a stair and twisted my knee. The last 2 weeks I haven’t been able to walk daily as I normally do. I even take the elevator for the one floor I have to go up and down every day. Now I am averaging less than 4k steps a day. I was taunted. And my stats are all in red. I was never big on exercise but now … I feel guilty all because of a little piece of technology I wear on my wrist.

Wife Got A New Car … I Still Drive A Mini-Van

Posted in Nonsense with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2014 by Bob

The wife’s car lease was nearing the end of the contract so we needed to get a new one. We went back to where we got both of our cars. We went to Wickstrom in Barrington. They are awesome. As I have stated before when we got our present cars, they are the best dealership I have ever dealt with. No pressure, kind people and good deals. Jared Nelson was the guy we have worked with for our last 2 purchases. He must be good, he has been there for at least 3 years.

Jared was more than awesome during this transaction as well. He even volunteered to sit with our kids as we were signing paperwork. Not only in the kid’s area at the dealership, but he also sat with them in our van as we returned the old car at the Ford dealership across their parking lot.

I can’t say enough good things about the Wickstroms and their employees. Everything is always easy, no pressure and just extremely pleasant. I highly recommend them. They have Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ford, Lincoln in Barrington. They also have Chevy in Roselle. Go see them. Buy a car. Tell them I sent you. They will look at you like you are crazy but it would boost my ego a little.

By the way … she got a brand new Jeep Cherokee. I still drive a mini-van.

Bobby’s Burger Palace – Customer Service Excellence

Posted in Food, Nonsense, Vacation with tags , , , on April 27, 2014 by Bob

When my better voice and I went to Vegas in January, we saw a restaurant that was opening soon called Bobby’s Burger Palace. It wasn’t open yet but I thought it was pretty cool that I was opening a burger joint. (Yes, I am one of those dorks that says that when anything has my name on it) I knew I was coming back for a wedding in April so I put it on my list of things to do. I looked it up when we got home and only then found out that it was a Bobby Flay burger place. I HAD to make sure I went. So I did.

On Easter Sunday I went to Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace. I had the Bobby Blue Burger, because I am a fan of moldy cheeses. It was an awesome burger! Juicy, flavorful and the sauces that were available … pretty damn good. There was a steak type sauce called “burger sauce” and chipotle ketchup and a jalapeño sauce. All quite yummy. I also had a side of onion rings. BIG slices, beer battered and cooked perfectly so they weren’t mushy, but the onions didn’t pull out on the first bite. The sauces went quite well with the rings too.

Because I am that dorky type, I had to get a t-shirt. They have the name of the place on the front with “Las Vegas” underneath so you know where you ate, in case you couldn’t remember. I had to settle for a large as they were out of XL. (I like my shirts baggy and loose fitting) I ate my meal and went back to my hotel, put the bag with the shirt in it into my suitcase and didn’t think about it until I got home.

Once I got home, I was showing Mrs. Voices and thought “geez, their larges are really small”. I looked a little closer and it was a child’s large. D’OH! Well, at least Tori had a shirt to grow into.

I still really wanted a shirt so I went to their webpage to see if I could order one my size. It was my fault for not looking so I wasn’t going to cause a stink about it. To my dismay, they don’t sell shirts or hats on their site. I was sad. So, I emailed the customer service address.

I told them what happened, asked if they could send me a shirt and asked how much it would cost. I was totally willing to pay for it. They wrote back saying that they would send me a shirt, no charge, and apologized for the inconvenience. WOOHOO! It is very good to see that someone as big as Bobby Flay (or his management team or whoever actually runs his restaurants) doesn’t just say “too bad so sad”. They totally could. Even though he will probably never know anything about this incident, and like I said, it is probably some company that actually runs the restaurants, it still gives me a reason to like Bobby Flay a little more. I admit I am a little overloaded on him on TV, but I still like his food.

The moral of the story, I get a shirt. I had an awesome burger, and Bobby Flay is pretty cool. Go to Bobby Flay establishments. I love awesome customer service experiences! When the shirt comes, I will take a picture of me and Tori and post it here. Just in case anyone from Booby’s Burger Palace is monitoring their tags, yes, feel free to use it in publicity! I am such a shill.

Bob’s Travel Tips – Vegas

Posted in Food, Nonsense, Travel Tips, Vacation with tags , , , , on April 26, 2014 by Bob

Told you this would be a series. Welcome back to the riveting and scintillating advice offered by the travel experts here at VIMB. If you missed out on the last Travel Tip, you missed me explaining what this is. So just go look back.

I have been to Vegas a few times. By NO means whatsoever am I an expert. I do however think that I can offer some advice to someone who has never been there before, from one amateur to another.

I have been to Vegas 3 times, all in about the last 2 years. Been there the first week of December, the last week of January and Easter weekend. The pools weren’t open the first 2 times and when I was there over Easter, it was for a wedding and only a few days so I never got out to the pools. So, I can’t give any tips on that. I also have pretty much been relegated to the strip and Freemont St. other than a couple of other excursions. I can give some simple advice on simple things. Those of you that go to Vegas a lot will probably laugh at me and call me a hack. That’s ok. I can live with that. With that in mind, and a Rhode Island sized grain of salt, here are my tips for Vegas.

 

Travel – Fly if you can. Flights are not as cheap as they used to be because of the resurgence in popularity of Vegas, but McCarran airport is KICK ASS! Be sure to see my tips on flying.

Rooms – There are all kinds of rooms. You can stay on strip, off strip and off off strip. Where you stay depends on how much you want to spend and if you want to be on an episode of C.S.I. or not. I have stayed at MGM Grand, Excalibur and Mandalay Bay. So far, Mandalay is my favorite. Both for room and amenities. There is a tv in the bathroom for cryin’ out loud. Mrs. Voices has been a number of times for conferences and has had work pay for rooms at Paris, Ballys, MGM Grand and Mandalay. Her fav was Mandalay as well. (oddly enough we stayed at Mandalay separately and not together). The ONLY drawback to Mandalay, is it is at the south end of the strip. That means that it is a long way to anything. Which brings me to the next tip …

Walking – Bring a good pair of walking shoes. When you fly in, or look up and down the strip from the 20th floor of your hotel … you will say “well that doesn’t look that far”. It is. On average, the few times I have been out there, I have walked about 10 miles a day. That is just casual walking, not even walking on a mission. You easily can double that amount. Walking is bar far the cheapest and easiest way to get around the strip. If you really don’t want to walk …

Bus – The bus is the next best thing to move up and down the strip and back and forth to Freemont Street. You get unlimited rides for a pretty cheap price for like 24 hours. I think they have other passes too for longer times. Cabs … don’t, it can cost like $70 up to Freemont. There are a few free trams and monorails that are ok. There is also a monorail that costs money. While it is fun and a good novelty, the problem is that it goes along the back sides of the resorts so … it really isn’t a time saver. It actually makes you walk more. And when you end up walking that much, you are always hungry.

Food – There is great food in Vegas. Be prepared to pay. You can’t get away from the cost of food, especially on the strip. On the strip, there is no such thing as a $5 all you can eat buffet that I have found, and I have looked. Love me a good buffet. Don’t think that going to McDonald’s or Denny’s will save you some money. It won’t. Besides, why the hell would you go to one of those places when you can experience fine dining from just about every famous chef out there. The only drawback to that is, it gets a little harder to find quick eats later at night.

Casinos – Not much help here as I am not a big gambler. There is an I Dream Of Jeanie slot by the poker area of Excalibur that I like. I play penny slots. That way I can get a lot of free drinks.

Drinking – Did you know that technically it is illegal to have open alcohol on the strip? Who knew? Drink. A lot. You probably aren’t driving. You can drink early. It is good. It is fun.

People – The 2 times I was there when it was not spring break and the pools weren’t open were my personal favorite times. Not a lot of people comparatively and not a lot of kids. Although there were some. When I went over Easter … holy crap there were a lot of families. More than I thought were going to be there. It was more kids than anything. And going back to the whole walking thing … FAMILIES WALK TOO SLOW! I do have to say though that people watching is pretty freaking awesome! Put a large emphasis on the FREAK part. There are a lot of them.

There is one more thing I want to point out that I forgot under walking. I have walked around a lot by myself out there 2 times. Once because Mrs. Voices was in conferences all day and the other because I was out there by myself for a wedding. When you walk around by yourself, you don’t get sold anything. You don’t get approached in the hotels by salesmen. You don’t get approached by the guys on the strip selling you tours. You will still however get the strip club flyers shoved at you.

There are so many things I would love to talk about and so many things I have already talked about that are probably worthless. It’s a start though. I may re-visit this topic with some other things, or, after reading backlash of how much my Vegas info sucks, I may not.

Be sure to tune in next time when Bob’s Travel Tips will talk about the family road trip.

 

Voicesinmybrain and it’s affiliates were not paid for and did not receive any compensation, monetarily or otherwise for any referenced entities. VIMB does not itself endorse any mentioned Hotels/Casinos/Restaurants. We would however, mention that IF any hotels/casinos/restaurants wanted to give us any freebies … we would not be opposed.

Bob’s Travel Tips – Flying

Posted in Nonsense, Travel Tips with tags , , , , , , on April 24, 2014 by Bob

Welcome to the first in a series of informative posts on travel. By series, I mean a few posts until I get too busy, lazy or just forget. By travel, I mean going places. By tips … I probably mean ranting about people I have dealt with while traveling. Some may be helpful, some may not.

“But Bob, there are hundreds of professional travel sites out there. Why should we listen to you?”

Quite honestly, you should probably never listen to me. The thing is, the sites you mentioned are put together by, as you said, professionals. Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain do a fine job however, they are paid to travel. They have people. They have money. They are not you and me.

Now, as I said, I am by no means any type of expert on travel, I am just an average guy who is fortunate to go places once in a while. I don’t travel first class and even though I tried to get the crack staff here at VIMB to do some of my planning for me … I realized that I AM the crack staff here at VIMB. So, I would like to use these little times we have together to give you some things that I have figured out or noticed along the way. Like the title says, the first out of the box is Flying.

I don’t fly often mainly because I don’t get to go many places far enough to fly. Plus I am cheap. These days the space in airplanes is far less than it ever has been and it is getting smaller every day. Even the “extra legroom” seats aka emergency exit rows, do not have as much room as they used to. To me that is scary because larger people won’t be able to escape.

Flying is also getting really expensive. They nickel and dime you on EVERYTHING. Depending on the airline, some don’t even give you a free can of Coke for cryin’ out loud. With all that said, here are a few things, in no particular order, to keep in mind when flying as most people do … economy/coach.

Carry on luggage – If you decide that whatever you have is too important and valuable to put in the cargo hold, or you are too cheap to check you bag, then at the end of the flight, keep your ass in your seat until the people who can walk off the plane, walk off the plane. Standing in the aisle and dropping your suitcase on people as you drag it out of the overhead holds up the entire process. Wait until everyone is gone. It will make it easier for you as well so you don’t have to push people out of the way.

Perfume/Cologne – You are in a closed tube for hours. Just don’t do it.

Sleeping – If you drool, or snore, you WILL get videoed and it WILL be on YouTube. Just sayin’.

Security – Be ready when you get there. You are in line for 10 min at least. There is no reason you should still be wearing your belt when you get to the buckets.

Baggage claim – don’t be that jack hole that pushes through everyone to be the first one in line where the bags come out. The thing snakes around. If you are in that much of a hurry, book an earlier flight.

Talking – Introducing yourself to your seat mate is a hit or miss proposition. A few tips on this … if I am wearing headphones … don’t talk to me. If you are trashed … don’t talk to me. If you are not a hot female … don’t talk to me. Pretty much … don’t talk to me.

Talking pt. 2 – If you MUST talk … on the phone, to the person you are flying with or to yourself … do it quietly. No one cares. If you can’t hear yourself … chew some gum.

Lavatory – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T FLY IF YOU HAVE TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN PEE!

Couples – Please don’t feel each other up, sloppily make out with each other or try to join the mile high club when you are 2 people sitting in a row with 3 or 4 seats and all seats are filled.

So basically, drive if you can.

 

Tune in next time when I give my tips on Vegas.

March Celebrity Deaths, They Didn’t Fool Anyone

Posted in Celebrity Deaths, TV/Movies with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by Bob

Now that it is April 2nd, I can tell you that I was oh so clever and said no one famous died in March as an April Fools joke. HAHAHA!

Right. Now let’s get on to what we are really here for … dead folks who were famous when they weren’t dead. I am getting more and more straightforward on these. Just seems like something I need to do lately. Here we go with those who went.

 

David Brenner – 78 – Comedian – March 15

Fred Phelps – 84 – Hat monger – March 19

Ken Forsse – 77 – Inventor of Teddy Ruxpin – March 19

James Rebhorn – 65 – Actor Independence Day, Homeland – March 21

Kate O’Mara – 74 – Actress Doctor Who, Dynasty – March 30

H. Richard Black – 92 – Artist , created Smokey Bear and Mr. Clean – March 30

Frankie Knuckles – 59 – Godfather of house music – March 31

Charles Keating – 90 – Bad guy in savings & loan crisis – March 31

 

Ok, so there weren’t a lot of deaths but there were at least some. Until next time.

Celebrity Deaths – March

Posted in Celebrity Deaths with tags , , , , on April 1, 2014 by Bob

Simple title because of a simple update … No celebrities or anyone close to being famous died in March.

Thank you and good day.

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