The new Guzzler 500 waste pump arrived and was a very quick install.  I’ve never had a “project” go as smoothly or as quickly as removing the old pump and installing the new one.  And this is one of those replacements where things could have gone bad – very, very bad.

We went over to Darlene’s Shrimp Shack on 61st yesterday for dinner.  To sum up the Yelp reviews:  great food, crappy service.  I’ll never understand people that complain about non-service from an employee that is getting paid $8 an hour to slave over a 350 degree fryer in a hot kitchen.  AND . . . if you complain about crappy service PLUS crappy food 10 to 30 minutes before a restaurant closes, well, you deserve what you got.  As I’ve worked in fast food, I can empathize with those workers and I have a policy, I NEVER go into any food establishment within about 45 minutes of them closing.  To be safe, I try to make it an hour.  Those open 24 hours are another story.  But, if you’ve never worked in fast food, let me explain how it goes.  You are allotted X amount of time AFTER the store locks the doors to clean up and get off the clock.  That means that you must start cleaning and closing BEFORE the doors are locked.  And if someone comes in 5 minutes before closing and stays 45 minutes eating dinner, you can’t really get all your cleaning done until they leave.  Then you get asked by the manager why you were there so late.   Makes no sense, but it’s the reality.  This is how I read store hours:  Open at 10:30 am, Closes at 10:00 pm means ready for business at 11:00 am, food service stops at 9:00 pm and customers must be out at 10:00 pm.  Anyway, I don’t expect butler type service from a minimum wage fast food worker.  I simply desire a correct order entry and decent food for the price I pay.

We dinghied over to the shrimp shack and tied up to their shrimp boat dock.  I’m not sure that the shrimp boat is a working boat as it hasn’t moved the whole week we’ve been here.  No matter.  I walked up to the window and I didn’t see anyone inside . . . at first.  Then out of the ether, this lady shows up sitting down right in front of the window I was standing at.  We made eye contact and she proceeded to open the window with the menu taped to the inside which was next to the one that I was standing at.  Weird, why tape the menu to the order window?  There was no greeting, but I’m cool with that.

“I’d like the shrimp basket.”

“What flavor?”


A smile and, “Let me see if we have that.” Window closes, she turns to what I presume was the fridge or freezer. Window opens,  “Sorry, all out.”

Me, “Garlic Parmesan perhaps?”

A small laugh, “Let me see,” as the window stays open this time.  “Yep.  Anything else?”

“No, ma’am.  That’s all.”

“$12 and it will be 10 minutes.”

Roughly 10 minutes later, the window opens and a paper boat with 10 HUGE fried butterflied shrimp, a lemon slice, 2 hushpuppies, and a small container with cocktail sauce is set on the “counter”.

“Here you go.”

Everything was delicious.  The hushpuppies have a jalapeño kick to them.  Mild, but it gives them a nice bite.  If only they were slightly larger.

I was served great food at a decent price.  Fertita would have charged me $40 and given me half as much.  Jodi and I only ate 4 shrimp each and we were full.

Summation:  quick, efficient order entry and execution, and excellent food.

We were treated to a wonderful sunset which just kind of capped off the day.

This morning I was thumbing through The Long Way and read this:

I feel joyful, surrounded by something very imminent in the air around me.  I call it ‘my eldest brother’, the way you call your friends in the Far East.  I talk to him a lot:  I feel that we agree, but he does not answer.  He must have his hands full keeping lows away.  Or maybe he thinks I should figure things our for myself, alone with my solitude, so vast and full.

Made me think of the conversation that Jodi and I had the other day about our choices and our ‘eldest brother’.


Published On: 2017 August 4

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