Sushi Friday Update

 

There has been one addition to the list of sushi restaurants since the last review in October 2016. Actually, two, but one was for dinner before going to California in December and again before the flight to Colorado. At some point I’ll review these two places. In the meantime here’s an update on some I’ve frequented in the past.

  • Asahi Japanese Restaurant– Rocky Hill. I stopped going because my clothes always smelled like fried pork when I left. Still get occasional takeout, but it’s just enough out of the way to be inconvenient.
  • Mikado Sushi Bar and Grill – Middletown. Will get takeout but stopped eating in because of a beyond rude waitress who insisted I pay the check before I’d finished eating.
  • Sakura Garden – Glastonbury. Stopped going because the chef swept the floor behind the sushi bar, then started preparing food without washing his hands.
  • Sushi California and Teppanyaki Grill – Newington. Stopped going because the ditzy waitress swept dirt over my feet as I was leaving.
  • Moonlight Sushi Bar and Grill– Middletown. Stopped going because of terrible service and probably the worst rolls I’ve ever eaten.
  • Kuyi Sushi – Cromwell. Will not eat in because my clothes always smelled like fried pork when I left. Will get takeout.
  • Hachi – Middletown. Will not eat in because of odd waitresses who say “no problem” no matter what the patron says and who hover no matter how busy it is. Will get takeout.

Awesome Awnings

Not ours but similar.

In the midst of all my work,  our retractable awning conked out. I put it out Tuesday morning. It made extra loud clunking noises but returned home – most of the way. I went looking for the paperwork. We’ve had it so long I couldn’t find anything and gave up around 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday a.m. it floated into place but didn’t budge when I hit the remote to retract it. Still not able to find any paperwork I went on Google. Putting together a few pieces of information, I came up with Awnings and Rooms Unlimited.

Lynette returned my call  within the hour. She said Steve had three installations Thursday and a full day Friday, but she’d talk to him and see if he’d at least get it retracted before the rain that’s predicted for Friday night.

She called back  with a couple of questions and said she’d let me know a time soon. An hour later she said he was on his way. Given the location of the office, I figured it would be a minimum of twenty minutes before he arrived.

I didn’t check the time exactly, but it seemed I’d barely put down the phone when the truck pulled up. Steve and his two assistants assessed the situation. In about a half hour, he had fixed the arm on the awning and replaced a piece of the motor, which had chewed through part of the plastic housing.

And when I asked how much I owed, he shook my hand and said, “This one’s on me, kid!” I think I said thank you. He was back on the truck before I recovered fully.

This is what great customer service looks like.

Thank you, Steve and Lynette!

What I Read on the Trip (Forgotten Affairs of Youth)

Another in the series. It has been my habit to read Alexander McCall Smith while traveling, but I usually don’t get to compare Precious Ramotswe and Isabel Dalhousie in such close proximity.

This time I began The Forgotten Affairs of Youth immediately upon completing The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. It still amazes me that AMS, a white man, can write with equal facility in the voice of women from Africa and Scotland and sound convincing in both.

Forgotten Affairs finds Miss Dalhousie aiding a young woman born in Scotland and adopted by Australians who returns in search of her father. The resolution was not as satisfying as I could have wished, but it was probably the best from the perspective of one who specializes in applied ethics. The rest of the book follows the Dalhousie format with the newest chapter in niece Cat’s love life, enchantment at son Charlie, contentment with gorgeous fiancé Jamie. (Isabel is not only a philosopher, she’s a cougar.)

Despite their flaws, these books make the best traveling companions. I’m ready to load up for the next trip.

What I Read on the Trip (Good Husband of Zebra Drive)

Another in the series. I started Alexander McCall Smith’s The Good Husband of Zebra Drive the night before I went to Denver. Thanks to a nonstop flight, I finished it en route. This one seemed shorter than the others, but maybe it was because I was reading it in e-form.

It had all the hallmarks of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: owner Precious Ramotswe investigating suspicious deaths in a hospital while continuing to savor her bush tea. Her husband, the consummate auto shop owner Mr. J. L. B. Matekone, having problems with his apprentices. Further complications for Mma Ramotswe’s assistant Grace Makutsi, who has become engaged but maintains her inferiority complex.

This particular work (No. 8 in the series) had too many plots for a slim volume. The “A” plot involves Mma Ramotswe’s confronting the possibility that the deaths could involve a relative. Mr. Matekone undertakes his own investigation, which leads to a preposterous conclusion for the “B” plot. And Mma Makutsi and one of the apprentices quit. That “C” plot came through as lame, probably because it wasn’t well developed.

‘Cured’

My medical coverage ran out for therapy on my hand. So much for the restoring full function.

This is what cured looks like.

Of course I’ll continue to wear the brace at night and the joint jack three times a day. Plus I’ll do the seven exercises (eight on alternate days.)

Last night I woke up with about a number 8 pain. Hope it improves.

Homeward

A fond farewell to Susan, Zoe, Nead. And a tearful farewell with Marcia. It seems I’m getting less agoraphobic, or there’s just more development to break up the expanse.

Airport security lacks organization. The curbside check in requires a long walk to a door not clearly labeled. And I received a printed a boarding pass after I presented my e-pass.

DIA must have some hope of expansion since the numbers at Gate C run from 1 to 99, but there are only 51 places to board.

I witnessed the new fad: “therapy” pets without vests because people don’t want to pay, $99 according to the woman behind me in line. Flight was supposedly full, but when I took my leg stretch, I saw an entire empty row plus three or four empty singles.

Remind me never to buy a bagel west of Pennsylvania. It was redeemed by an Americano, both from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Fierce storms had pummeled the country’s midsection, and we had to circle north. We encountered some bumps but otherwise the flight proved uneventful. The joke: the head attendant said as we touched down, “Wow! Let’s give a round of applause. Not bad for the pilot’s first flight!”

The leg from BWI to Hartford was of course delayed – by a half-hour, forty-five minutes, an hour, depending on whether it was the Southwest text, the board at the airport, or the information being handed out by the staff. We took off an hour and a half late.

While I was grabbing a bite to eat at the airport, I heard applause. And then more. It got louder, and I saw people standing up. Sales clerks left their posts to step into the aisle. It took perhaps thirty seconds for the cause to appear. There was an entire platoon (?) of military folks – painfully young looking men and women — so many of color — in fatigues, carrying their duffles. Everyone stood and applauded. A few minutes later another smaller group came through to another round of applause. A moving experience, but I kept thinking of the people left behind in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

The joke by the head attendant on this leg was trying to claim that we were headed to Cabo San Lucas. Based on her accent, she could have legitimately said Montego Bay and I would have been thrilled.

As soon as I walked out of the airport after a forty-five minute flight, the wet hot blanket of humidity descended. I almost turned around to book a flight back to the high desert.

Denver Day 7

Another blessedly quiet day. The highlight was dinner at the excellent El Noa Noa with Marcia, Susan, their friend Delaine, their son Tim, his girlfriend Rebecca, and family friend Shah. We started outside, but the heat, the wind, and the on-and-off spray from the fountain drove us into air conditioning.

We started with perfect chips and salsa, along with a small and very expensive bowl of guacamole, which was far superior to any I’ve had on the East Coast. I had chile rellenos with vegetarian sauce. For some odd reason, the green sauce has pork in it. The portion was so enormous I passed the second chile to Shah. The grownups shared a pitcher of margaritas. They were delicious but had no kick. The best part: My stomach didn’t have that swallowed-a-brick feeling at the end of the meal, a frequent phenomenon of Mexican dining in New England.

Afterward, we had a second evening of The Circus, so aptly named and in general outrageous and depressing.

It was my last day, and I cherished every minute of time with Marcia and Susan.

Denver Day 6

Denver squares

… was quiet and included a long walk through the neighborhood, which has a variety of architecture, some brick, some adobe. There are these funny little round metal gadgets peeking up out of the ground. They are everywhere. Marcia explained they were sprinkler heads.

All that watering opportunity means lots of green lawn, and vast expanses along the main boulevards and in the medians. Marcia said those were considered parkland. I can’t imagine how much water it takes to keep them green. This year it’s not a problem, but what happens in drought times?

There’s also a whole battle going on over historic district designation. A number of older (1920s and later) buildings are being torn down and replaced by blocky looking structures that become eyesores among the gracious homes and small low-rise commercial properties.

Denver Day 5

Today was my day Marcia and I made jambalaya. We did most of the work in the a.m. and let everything meld until dinnertime. It succeeded, except that I forgot that water boils at 180, not 212. The rice came out ok, but it took me a while to figure out why it was still extremely al dente after twenty minutes. Ditto with the shrimp, which took twice as long to cook. Susan wants the recipe.

In the afternoon, we did a run to Target, also more civilized than any of the three near me. Politesse reigned in the parking lot and in the store, among the staff and other shoppers.

Then a quick lunch at Tokyo Joe’s, a mini-chain that hasn’t made it this far East. It’s a shame because the miso soup and veggie roll were both equal to a traditional sushi restaurant.

No walk, but stretches kept the joints and ligaments in shape.

The day concluded with a scintillating dinner that included next-door neighbor Sue, who grew up in Connecticut. I think even the boys who claimed to hate shrimp devoured a goodly portion of the bayou stew.

Denver, Day 4

Omitted from the Botanic Garden visit: the glorious river of stones. These are small stones arranged along several paths. They resemble the flow and eddies of a moving stream. It became a little taste of New England – and of Asia – in the midst of high desert.

An interesting day. Susan and Marcia embarked on a cleanup campaign in the yard despite my urging them that the work could wait. We all slowed down when Susan discovered that the air quality raring was an F. Outrageous. Between the quality and the temps – 90s – we did not take a walk. The living room is perfect for stretching, and a yoga session banished the final kinks in my back from the flight.

After dinner we had a delightful evening watching Today’s Special. The best sort of day, filled with good company, good food, and lots of laughs – though not as riotous as the Nead incident.