*The dog days of summer are nearly here and nothing new about Titanic II. My last posting reported the Chinese government and Clive Palmer locking horns over money. They accuse him of misusing (or possibly embezzling) their money and he is demanding royalty fees. Looks grim right now for Titanic II being built in China. Perhaps somewhere like Dubai might be next on the list as a candidate to build it.
*James Cameron’s Titanic is now streaming on Netflix (US). Kitchen Nightmares (US) seasons 1-3 are gone from Netflix but they now have seasons 4 and 5. They have the UK version as well.
*Speaking of Kitchen Nightmares (US), it is finished. This last season was a rushed on Fox. They put episodes back to back so it went very quickly. The successful UK program was ended a few years ago as well. Many consider the UK version to be superior. The UK version has Gordon doing the narration and going to restaurants in trouble. While he gets in the faces of bad chefs and stubborn owners, the conflict seen on most US episodes is not there. The US not only has the usual problems with chefs and owners but lots of internal strife as well resulting in some rather volatile episodes. Many accuse the producers of hyping conflict, which might be true. It is also likely some purposefully manufactured the conflicts to get Ramsay’s producers interested. What cannot be faked though is the bad food and poor sanitary conditions that he finds. Many of the restaurants closed after Ramsay visited them. But to call it a “Ramsay Curse” would be inaccurate. All of the restaurants he visits are on the ropes and losing money. Calling in Ramsay is the equivalent of calling in the fire brigade to save a burning house. Ramsay often does offer solutions and way out but, alas, he does not control other things.
Like lenders, lien holders, angry vendors, debt collectors, and government agencies to name a few. Even if a business can start making money again, the debt can be too high with interest and fees. In some cases, like Black Pearl, the minute Ramsay walked out went back to what they did before (and as Ramsay predicted closed within a year). Some have survived and are still open. Some closed a few years later due to the economy or other reasons. Ramsay tries to point them towards quality food served at modest prices to make money. Shortcuts are not allowed. Frozen meatballs are never as good as fresh. And microwaves are used only to heat sauces not to cook meals. Ramsay appears focused on Masterchef, Hells Kitchen, and Hotel Hell.
*Speaking of Hell’s Kitchen, there was high drama in the last episode. Joy decided, in the middle of service, she could not take it anymore and left. Ramsay could not believe she was doing this and tried to force her to rethink the move. But up to the dorm she went after tearing off the black jacket she had earned and began packing. Andie (who along with James assists Ramsay) tried talking to her and getting her to reconsider. She seemed almost ready to go back and apologize but ended up sitting down too long to think about it. Time went on, the service was done, and she did not go back. So she was out. Gordon had seen much promise in her but her actions showed she was not ready to run a kitchen. Jason was stunned as were the others she walked out. But it was her choice and she now has to live with it.
*When the name Walter Lord comes up, invariably people think about his two Titanic books (A Night To Remember and The Night Lives On) but he wrote many other historical books as well. He wrote about the Battle of Midway (Incredible Victory) and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941 (Day of Infamy). Both are good books and worth reading if you have the time. His narrative style puts you right there and learning a lot as you read. Some of his accounts, especially of the Pearl Harbor attack, are riveting. Check your local library to see if they have his books.
*Titanic often comes up in surprising ways. Consider the following from the British comedy Are You Being Served?, episode titled Our Figures Are Slipping:
Rumbold: I sometimes regard our whole organization as a ship at sea. Captain Peacock is at the helm, keeping his eyes skimmed. I am in the engine room making sure we all are going full steam ahead. And you men are the crew.
Lucas: What’s it called–the Titanic?
Have a good day or evening where ever you may be.