Bits and Bites
A late winter (early spring?) roundup of tidbits and talking points.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, can spring be far behind? And if spring is not far behind, then while you’re pondering that Valentine’s Day gift for her, you could be contemplating a place for dinner—and we’ve served up the first in a series of restaurant reviews, for your perusal. Plus, if it’s spring, then a man’s thoughts turn to… the Burmass Tools of the Trade Show, which is slated for March 6-7 at the Midland Horseshoe Arena. That was just a plug. And though we don’t have anything on the Burmass Show here, we do have a historic “tool of the trade” and an array of inspiring quotations, to round things out.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of a milestone in the history of that business entity known today simply as Baker Hughes. That company, which traces its lineage up through the old Hughes Tool Company, cut its teeth in the oil business with its patented two-cone drill bit, shown in the accompanying photo. The anniversary looks back to the consolidation of the company under Howard Hughes, Sr., when the elder Hughes in 1912 bought out a 50 percent ownership share controlled by Estelle Sharp, widow of Hughes’ late partner Walter Sharp. At stake was the burgeoning tool business driven by the revolutionary drill bit. From 1912 until his death in 1924 Hughes had sole control of the enterprise. The bit would make Hughes’ only heir, Howard Hughes, Jr., the wealthiest person in the world. (Toolpushers, take note.)
Open Mouth, Insert Food
By Bobbie Cupell, General Mgr., Burmass Oil Directory
Any truly successful salesman will tell you, the fastest way to your client’s pocketbook is through his stomach. It’s far easier to write those big checks when under the stupor of a filling meal. So in my continuing quest to make your jobs easier, I’d like to suggest a few places to take your prospective clients and stoke their midsections till they’ve reached a point of willing compliance. This month I’m suggesting a longstanding Midland eatery that’s big on the wow factor, that will have your client’s taste buds jumping, and that will have them grabbing for their pens to sign that deal.
I’ve been a huge fan of Wall Street Bar and Grill for many years. Sandra Self, the “Burmass Gal” before me, used to treat me to special lunches there and introduced me to the wonder called Sweet Potato French Fries. These little heavenly sticks are fried to crispy perfection, adorned with perfect little flakes of kosher salt, and served with Red Eye Gravy, which, of course, is made from the yummy little bits scraped from the bottom of the fry pan.
You could certainly go to Wall Street just for their soups alone. There’s a soup du jour that’s always sure to knock your socks off. From Gumbo to Clam Chowder to Beef & Barley to Cheese Soup and many more. Plus the salad… wow, the salad. I could eat a metric ton of this crispy goodness. (And anyone who’s seen my figure would attest that it appears that I’ve tried.) Big chunks of lettuce, plump cherry tomatoes, thin rings of red onions, chunky blue cheese, and a fantastic house dressing make this a salad you’ll go back for again and again. The salad is paired with a chunk of crusty, chewy, delectable fresh bread.
There isn’t an entrée I’ve tried that isn’t a showstopper. Every meal I’ve ever eaten there, in all these years, has been cooked to perfection… every time. You like steak? They’ve got it, mouthwatering and delicious. You like fish? You’d be hard pressed to find it prepared as well. You like chicken? It’s always juicy and tender.
As for dessert, if you even remotely like ice cream, ask for the Gold Brick. You’ll thank me… or pass out from the absolute pleasure of this decadent dessert. The Gold Brick is a generous serving of rich, creamy vanilla ice cream (the good stuff) served with chopped pecans and a very special hot chocolate syrup with more pecans in it. Now here’s the magic. As you pour the chocolate over the ice cream and pecans it instantly starts to harden into a thin crispy layer that makes a satisfying crack as you scoop through it with your long handled spoon. I can tell you that with very few exceptions, when our table orders Gold Brick, the tables around us call their waitresses over and say, “I want what they have.” You can’t eat this and not smile.
So, good luck wooing your clients with Wall Street’s offerings. Next month I’ll have a fresh review for the tasting. Till then, open mouth, insert food.
Word of the Month:
Play: n. a dramatic composition or piece; drama. An exercise or activity for amusement or recreation. A playing for stakes; gambling. An enterprise or venture; deal: an oil and gas play. As used in a headline: “Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. Makes Deal to Increase Stake in Delaware Basin Oil Play.” (March 23, 2011, The Business Wire). v., to exploit or trade in (an investment, business opportunity, stock, etc.). To move freely within a space, as a part of a mechanism. To operate continuously or with repeated action.
“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” —Winston Churchill
“Energy forecasting is easy. It’s getting it right that’s difficult.” – Graham Stein, 1996
“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.” —Winston Churchill
“Between labor and play stands work. A man is a worker if he is personally interested in the job which society pays him to do… Whether a job is to be classified as labor or work depends not on the job itself but on the tastes of the individual who undertakes it.” —W.H. Auden