Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hell of a day!

So, once a week, I have to open the restaurant that I work at. No big deal, normally. I get up around 4:30am, arrive at work around 5:30 and start to turn things on to warm up for when we open at 6am.

My routine this morning was the same:
Turn off alarm/turn on lights.
Turn on the grills in the kitchen, the toaster, the syrup warmer and the donut machine.
Make coffee.

Then I usually put on my makeup while the coffee is brewing and I wait for my cook and my first server to arrive.

Laura (my server) was a few minutes early this morning, so I didn't actually get a chance to put on my makeup. The moment she walked into the kitchen she yelled my name and said "Why is there smoke back here?" to which I replied, "what are you talking about?" while running into the kitchen.

Sure enough there was smoke, and a lot of it too. There was a horrid burning smell and flame licking up from behind the deep fryer. Laura's yelling about the fire and starting to panic and I'm trying to figure out what the hell is causing the damn fire, so I pull out the fryer. It's hard to see, but there is some sort of hose on fire, so I try looking to make sure there's no flame coming from the fryer itself...nope. Laura's yelling that maybe the red handle on the front of the fryer turns it off...nope again. That handle opens up the drain for said fryer and spills oil all over my shoes and jeans. Damn.

I'm plum out of ideas, and I really didn't want to use the fire extinguisher if I don't have to, so I start calling my boss while I have Laura call 911. We're told to wait outside, just in case it's a gas fire and something explodes... O_O

The first to arrive to the scene was a Downers Grove police officer, who immediately asked for the damn fire extinguisher (a girl can hope, right) which I grudgingly gave to him. I escorted him back to where the fire was and without thinking twice he pulled the pin and aimed. He had to use the entire contents of the extinguisher before the fire finally flickered out. :bigsigh:

Then he just dusted off his hands and went on his merry way, leaving me with the fire department, who had shown up just a minute previously. They checked things out and unplugged some stuff, but ultimately couldn't figure what had started the fire. They left shortly thereafter, saying the health department would be in later today. Great.

So there I stood amidst smoke and the powder from the extinguisher still in the air and a kitchen that looked like it had seen much better days...and we should have opened 15 minutes ago. I had already had to turn customers away, since I didn't know if it was safe or not to let them in. Now I had to turn them away, because I had a kitchen that was literally covered in the fine yellow powder from the damn fire extinguisher. Everything had to be washed. It doesn't seem like much...but when you have a full kitchen...it's overwhelming. The grills had to be cleaned, the floors swept and mopped, and mopped again. Every last dish and utensil that was in the kitchen needed to be cleaned. Every pot, pan, spatula, you name it, it had to get washed...and I still hadn't had my damn coffee.

So I go and pour myself a coffee, still no makeup on, roll up my sleeves and start washing dishes. I washed dishes for an hour and a half...during which I managed to spill my damn coffee down my front :shakeshead: Jimmy came back after having gone home to take a quick shower (I had woken him up when I called him) and the cleaning continued. We weren't really ready to open for business until nearly 8 am.

By 8, I was exhausted, and I still had another 7 and a half hours to go before I could go home. I ended up running next door to Kohl's so that I could at least buy a clean shirt (and put on my makeup while I had a chance). The rest of the day consisted of one inspector after another until we were given the double thumbs up and we could continue business normally.

So, what caused the fire? Freak accident.

The theory is that there was a very small gas leak in the hose that connected the gas line to the fryer. When I turned on the flat grills, the flames apparently shot out towards the back of the grill because they are set up on some type of horseshoe-like coil or something (I still don't quite understand that part). There was enough gas from the leak that the flames from the grill traveled over to the hose and ignited. Everything next to that hose also lit up because of the grease that was behind the fryer.

I'm lucky that we caught it in time, and I'm damn lucky the thing didn't blow up in my face when I was stupidly trying to figure out what was on fire. All that was left of the burnt sections of hose was wire mesh. All of the rubber casing had burned or melted off. It's a miracle, frankly, that the damn thing didn't explode.

I'm still in shock.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Some Knitting...

Some things I've been working on:

Socks for my boss's wife's birthday

A scarf for my FIL that I just can't seem to finish:

Firestarters - though I've only got one done for now...my sock pattern has taken over everything else:

And totally not knitting related, but super funny - here is a series of photos that my husband took of our new puppy today. Her name is Abby, and she is just so incredibly goofy :)

And we've also discovered that she can wink ;)

Thank you, thank you very much! :muah:

Wow, I've been busy!

It's been so long since I last posted, that I can't even begin to catch up. Suffice it to say, I've knit several pairs of socks and other various garments since I last updated. If you really want to see all I've done, check out my projects page on Ravelry. My username there is beppermee. If you have not signed up for Ravelry yet, go do it now! Do not do anything else until you have put your name on that waiting list. It is the absolute best knitting resource ever!!! Not only can you look up patterns and yarn, you can see what other people have made with specific yarns or you can see what people have used to knit certain patterns. On top of that, you can manage your stash, library and needles all in your virtual notebook. And if that weren't enough, the knitting community is awesome! There are literally thousands of forums for every possible interest you could have, even outside of knitting. I could write all day about it, but your best bet is to sign up and start exploring yourself. Go, go!

Now, onto something more project related - my most recent endeavor that I'm involved in is the creation of my very first pattern. It will be a sock pattern, for a sock club that is being started by a fellow knitter that is also a fantastic dyer. I'm really excited to be writing my very first pattern. Now I see why some people have written so many. It can be quite exhilarating. I just have to finish test knitting that pattern, and find a few other people that would be willing to give the pattern a try, and then it should be good to do. Angela (the dyer) has even said she will sell the pattern for me in her shop! I'll post photos of the WIP later today, as well as some of the other things I'm currently working on. I really have to finish up some of my UFOs.

But what I really want to do is write another pattern...I feel a new obsession coming on...