IHOP Done Right

Good Day Everyone!  Your good ol’ faithful admin here to give Mr. Ydir the day off.  I know, I know… you’d all rather be reading this post imagining a wonderfully delightful British accent.  Only to be disappointed with the drawl of an American of the Southern variety.  (Continue to pretend that this is being spoken in your head by a wonderful British gentleman.  Speaking with a British dialect adds 30 points to your I.Q.  That’s a fact.  Google it.  😉  )  Anyway… on to the task at hand….

February 28th, 2012 was evidently National Pancake Day here in the United States.  (Leave it to us “Uh-mericans” to devote a “holiday” to a breakfast dish.)  Ahhh….pancakes.  The very mention of the dish makes my mouth water.  Call them what you will; pancakes…. flapjacks….or hot cakes, these wonderful treats are good for any time of the day.  Here in the States, we occasionally enjoy “breakfast for dinner,” which is what happened Tuesday night.  We have a delightful restaurant chain here is the US called IHOP (formerly the International House of Pancakes…you can see why they shortened it).  Well, they decided to take advantage of National Pancake Day (seems they probably have a monopoly on this  particular holiday) and raise a bit of money for the Children’s Miracle Network.  The way they went about doing this was to give one Short Stack of Pancakes (3 pancakes) to each person dining for FREE.  All they ask in return was that you leave a donation for the CMN.  WOW!  When we arrived at the restaurant, it looked as if the whole town had come out for “breakfast for dinner” or “brinner” as we’ll call it.  It was unbelievably crowded!  And did I  mention that we live in a college town?  That being said, if there is ever “free” food anywhere in a 10 mile radius, you can bet the college campus and cafeteria will be empty.  Can you imagine how much money they are raising for Children’s Hospitals?  Mind blowing!

And as busy as they were, they provided fantastic service!  Our server, Rebecca, was one of the best I have ever experienced.  I may have said it before on this blog, but I used to wait tables.  So, I know how hard of a job it is.  Not to mention how hard it is when the whole town (practically) is dining in one place.  But that did not get Rebecca down.  Every time we saw her, she had a huge smile on her face.  She actually made me feel like I was a guest in her home and she was playing the role of the perfect hostess.  Refilling drinks, providing silverware, taking orders and everything else.  Also there were  4 children under the age of 6 at our table and that didn’t phase Rebecca.  I have very rarely experienced such a wonderful server.

At the end of my meal, I asked if Rebecca would bring the manager to our table.  Side note:  I love doing this.  I never tell the server why I want to talk to the manager, just that I want to talk to the manager.  It’s fun because the server/employee immediately starts thinking, “Oh my goodness, what did I do?”  You see, very, VERY rarely does someone ask to speak to the manager about a good experience.  (BTW – one of the goals of this blog is to change that.)  Is it considered a bit of trickery?  Maybe.  But the greater the swing from terror to pure joy is a wonderful trip to take at times.  So, back to our interaction.  Rebecca, still with the smile on her face, returns with the manager.  I proceed to gush to the manager about how wonderful of a job that Rebecca has done.  Stating that it can’t be easy to provide such outstanding service in the middle of what was probably the busiest day of the year.  During these interactions, I try very hard to make sure that the server can hear the praise.  And you can immediately see the tension of the “Oh my goodness” moment float away.  The manager (as is with every case) was blown away to hear such positive comments.  You could tell that she, too, was bracing for a negative comment.

Let me say again; this is one of my absolute favorite things to do.  Most of the people I’ve ever met in the food service industry seldom receive good feedback.  It is such a wonderful gift to be able to brag on them at times.  Don’t believe me?  Try it yourself.

So, IHOP, if you are reading this, you AND Rebecca in your Searcy, AR store are Doing It Right!

P.S. I am nicknaming this post my “parenthetical post.”  Went a little crazy with them…. :)

Sock Sliding

Have you ever wanted to set a world record for sliding in your socks? If you are like me you had probably never even thought of it, but  Sainsbury’s (a UK super market) is holding sock sliding events in a number of locations across the UK in order to promote sport relief socks.

If you buy a pair of sport relief socks you will have three attempts to record the longest continuous slide along a specially designed floor ruler, with chance to win £100 to spend at Sainsbury’s, but more impotantly you could set a new world record.

As I mentioned before I have not really ever considered sliding around a supermarket in my socks, but now I can think of nothing else! I am thinking tactics (don’t fall flat on your face), training (kitchen probably not big enough) and cheating (floor polish on socks).

This is clearly a mad idea which I can’t believe got past health and safety, but it caught my eye, caught my imagination so must be doing it right!

Update: There are two events left, Bristol on 1st March and Newport 2nd March. Although you may have missed an event at your local store I think it is best not to attempt your own event, tempting as that might be.

Glyncoch Community Centre

Hello sorry for the lack of blog over the past few days, I was having a few ‘technical’ issues, mostly due to a lack of sleep.

Anyway,  I’ll get on with the job in hand which is telling people (or companies or films or anything else) that they are doing a good job, and awarding them a YDIR, which is an award created by this site’s founder and which I am proud to dish out to those who are doing a great job.

Today I am giving an YDIR to Louisa Addiscott, who is currently trying to raise money to build a multi purpose community centre, which as the blog title gives away is in Glyncoch. She is at the time of writing £28,326 short of her target, which she needs to meet by 30th March 2012.

You can read about the project by clicking here and you can make a donation on that page as well.

Now if you have followed that link you will  have noticed  the page is hosted by something called Spacehive, who are also doing a great job by providing a funding platform for neighbourhood improvement projects. Defiantly something else to keep an eye on, and has certainly got me thinking if I could come up with a project to improve my local community. If you are reading this thinking you want to make your community better, then Spacehive could probably help you make that happen, and if you are short on ideas get in touch with me ( mrydir@gmail.com ) and perhaps I can help out.

Right well before I start to ramble I’ll just end with my not quite yet a household catchphrase:

Louisa Addiscott, You’re Doing It Right!

Mr Ydir

Sleep Out

I will quite happily award a YDIR to companies, projects or even films. But I really like finding an individual that has deiced to make a effort to make their bit of the world a bit of a better place. They don’t have to be doing something for charity (see rummer hotel waiter & Anna Turney) as doing your day job right is equally deserving of an YDIR.

Today’s winner is someone that has deiced to do something a bit different to raise money and awareness for a cause they believe in. Kerenza Gilbert is taking part in a sponsored sleep out. You can visit her fundraising page here to find out a more about the cause and why she is doing it.

She is doing this sleep out in the UK so it is likely to be cold and quite possibly wet, so extra respect is due for doing it in March which isn’t famed for calm warm nights.

Kerenza if you are reading this*, please feel free to let me know who else is taking part in the sleep over so they can get a mention too. You could take some pictures of the event and I could include the names and pictures in a a future update.  (*also if you are reading this it  means you have realised that I am not a spam bot)

Good Luck with your sleep out, Kerenza Gilbert, You’re Doing It Right!



Centre for Sustainable Energy

Now I don’t know about you but I can’t help but think sustainability is a pretty good idea, future planning is something that since having a child has become a much bigger feature in my life than it was before, and hopefully I am getting better at it.

Anyway I don’t want to turn this blog about me, it is and always will be about people doing it right.

Today’s YDIR winner is the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Now I have found that organisations that have  fancy websites usually do a better job of describing themselves than I can, so I’ll go with their own quote.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) helps people and organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors meet the twin challenges of rising energy costs and climate change.

If you have a look at their site (here) you can see all the interesting projects they are involved in, which I’ll obviously be keeping an eye on as following interesting projects has become a bit of a hobby.

One that has partically caught by eye is the Community Energy Challenge which you can read about by clicking here. They are currently looking for expressions of interest from ambitious communities keen to develop projects that involve local people, change the way we think about energy, and inspire others to shape a renewable energy future. There is a closing date of 29th February on that, so you will need to act pretty quickly to be involved in that.

Right I don’t anymore to say as I’m still not feeling great,  I’ll just end with my soon to be trademarked sign off.

Centre for Sustainable Energy, You’re Doing It Right!

Home Remedies

But more specifically my Gran’s remedy for a painful stomach. It’s a basic whisky punch, just add warm water and a spoonful of sugar to a bit of whisky. Just need to sip it and then quicker than you would expect, your stomach pain will have eased off. It has worked a treat for me many times, it worked again this evening but unfortunately it doesn’t fix my runny nose and fuzzy head so I’m off to bed to hope I feel better in the morning.

Mr Ydir

.S a0

Oh well I do feel better but looks.like I forgot to click publish! Perhaps word press could include a feature to automatically publish when writers have fallen asleep.

Tumble Dryer Balls

Just a quick not particularly exciting  blog today, as I have a really bad headache.

Who ever invented tumble dryer balls deserves a YDIR. Simple idea, reduces drying times and the need for fabric softener. Dull but practical :)

Right time for bed

Mr Ydir

Five The Beach

Unless you are from Clevedon or know it quite well I’m sure the title might be a source of confusion, to be honest I know what I am writing about and I still don’t understand the name…oh wait it’s the address! but what is it the address of?

I have had a report that Five The Beach is a really nice café in Clevedon, which as the name kind of gives away is situated quite close to the beach. (It is also situated quite close to Clevedon pier, which featured in the film never let me go, which I gave a YDIR to a few posts ago, for now I will put that down to a coincidence but if any future YDIR winners have a link to Clevedon pier, I think that will prompt further investigations)

Anyway, what did Five the Beach do to deserve a YDIR, well my source tells me it had very good tea, decent cappuccino and very tasty flapjacks and shortbread. But that is pretty much standard for most half decent cafés, so what prompted an award of a YDIR?

It was a relativity small thing but sometimes the small things can make a big difference. You see my source had stopped for a drink whilst walking his dog, the drinks and snacks were served then out of the blue, one of the waitresses offered them some dog treats. As I said a small thing, but now my very grateful source is raving about this café to anyone who will listen and he fully intends to visit again to try out more of their offerings.

I have had a look at their website (as mentioned before I do like to research potential YDIR winners) and it is just as welcoming as their café. It’s worth a look to see the care and thought they put into their food, plus you can see that they offer more than your standard café.

Last thing to mention then is their web address:  fivethebeachcafe.co.uk

Five The Beach, You’re Doing It Right!

Cyclists Doing It Right

I don’t know what it is like where you live, but I seam to come across a disportionately high number of negative attitudes towards cyclists, which I struggle to understand. I know some cyclists can be incredibly inconsiderate, but so can some motorists, likewise some pedestrians. We all need to get somewhere and your somewhere is not more (or less) important than anyone else’s (unless you are an emergency vehicle).

Anyway now that hopefully not too preachy / patronizing start is over, I can get on with the job in hand, giving out YDIRs.

As you might of guessed today’s YDIR is related to cycling, in this particular case it is for the people involved in Life Cycle UK.

Life Cycle UK are a Bristol based charity that helps people take up cycling.  As they have had more practie describing what they do I’ll borrow a quote direct from their site to give you a bit of an insight into what they are all about.

Our belief is that people want to cycle but are held back by lack of knowledge, concerns about safety or simply by being unsure of how to begin. Overcome those obstacles and people will take to their bikes and enjoy the benefits.

So hence Life Cycle UK was set up, the projects that come under their banner are equally great ideas, such as Two’s company, which gives visually impaired and disabled people in Bristol opportunities to come cycling on the back of a tandem, and their bike recycling project at Bristol prison.

One of the ways they raise money is by selling the bikes that are made at the recycling project, and they have a bike sale coming up on 22nd February. They have children s bikes starting from £10 with adult bikes mostly between £40-£100, but with some higher end bikes costing upto £200. You really should go to the buy a bike page fro more info and the sale by clicking here and even if you don’t live near Bristol you should visit their site to see what fantastic work they do and perhaprs get some ideas for setting up your own cycling project near you! (click HERE to go there)

Right last bit, just need to tell the founders of Life Cycle UK they are doing it right, but I can’t seam to find out who they are! Although I did find a list of staff who are obvisualy vitaly important in making it all work, so Charlie Bolton,  Poppy Brett,  Josh Katz,  Sally Oakes and Tamar Thompson , You’re Doing It Right!

the big lunch 2012

Now this a great idea,  and another one of those projects that I feel is my duty to let people know about, and this one is dead easy to get involved in!

The big lunch is an eden project (another great idea, that I’m sure will get a proper mention at some point, as it deserves more than just a bracket mention) and a fairly simple idea,  which I’ll quote from their site “The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.” 

I’ve probably not made it clear, but one of the driving forces behind my blogs are to bring people together, to get to know your neighbors (everyone on the planet) and just do little things that make your bit of the planet a better place to live.

Which means this big lunch idea ticks all the boxes required to a get a YDIR, and if you or someone you know organizes a big lunch let me know and I will put your/their name in LCD lights for the world to see. ( you should also let the big lunch know, as they clearly have a great PR team)

So how do you get involved or find out more about this great iproject? You might have worked it already but I’ll put in a link for ease of access,  visit their site by clicking here or if you want an info pack, you can go directly to that page by clicking here

If you are one of our international readers, I don’t think you can request a pack but I don’t think you should let that stop you, visit the site get some ideas and hold a big lunch in your community.

the big lunch, You’re Doing It Right!