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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lawrence, KS: A "World" Away From a Great Cafe

Global Cafe

820 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone number: (785) 838-4600
Prices: $$$$

I have to agree with my fellow Elite and friend Scott T in his less than stellar impression of Global Cafe. We also sat for nearly 10 minutes while the two servers walked to and fro, ignoring us to clean tables rather than greet us and give us menus.

Once the server arrived, turns out she is one of the owners, we got a lukewarm greeting, menus, and an inquiry about what we wanted to drink. I said: "I'll have a coffee please", but she said, "let me get you a drink menu". I just ordered a coffee! Once the drink menu arrived, the $2.50 price tag for a cup of drip coffee seemed excessive, so I opted for ice water.
My wife ordered a short stack of pancakes, two large pancakes for $3.75 and an extra $1.50 for a tiny pitcher of "real maple syrup". I guess you get Aunt Jemima syrup and a high fructose corn syrup buzz if you opt out of the "real" thing. Anyway, the pancakes were pancakes, nothing special.

I had the Carnivore Omelet ($8.75) and a half order of biscuits and gravy, which were not on the menu, but advertised on a sign out front (with no price). The carnivore omelet came with ham, bacon, sausage, caramelized onions and sharp cheddar cheese, but very little of each and what was there was cooked into the omelet rather than folded on the inside. It came with "two sides" (toast, breakfast potatoes, cottage cheese, or sliced tomato), but the only enticing side was the potatoes, so I asked for a double order. I would hate to see a single side order of potatoes because the "double" side was extremely sparse and void of much taste. The biscuit and gravy came with green chili, an odd topping for biscuits and gravy (apparently a "New Mexico specialty"), so I asked for it on the side. The biscuit was small, the gravy thick, but rather tasteless (no sausage or bacon in sight), and the green chili thin (not thick as true green chili should be) and watery, but very spicy.

When the check arrived, it was not itemized, coming to a total of $19.08, so I assume that the single biscuit topped with mediocre country gravy and watery green chili ran around $4 ($19 - $3.75 - $1.50 - $8.75 - tax = about $4). At $23, including tip, I was not impressed considering that my wife had two pancakes, I had a mediocre breakfast, and neither of us ordered a drink other than ice water.

I have had much better breakfasts in town, so I doubt we will be returning here anytime soon. The interior is nothing special, the ceiling covered in flags of the world (hence the name I guess), and the service not very attentive, but semi-friendly. Therefore, ...

CombatCritic Gives Global Cafe 4 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Four Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

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Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Read Chris S.'s review of Global Cafe on Yelp

Global CafeGlobal Cafe

Global Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Menu


Title: Lawrence, KS: A "World" Away From a Great Cafe

Key Words: Global Cafe, global, cafe, breakfast, lunch, Lawrence, Kansas, Massachusetts, street, KU, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: BOHICA = "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

Lawrence, KS: A "World" Away From a Great Cafe

Global Cafe

820 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone number: (785) 838-4600
Prices: $$$$

I have to agree with my fellow Elite and friend Scott T in his less than stellar impression of Global Cafe. We also sat for nearly 10 minutes while the two servers walked to and fro, ignoring us to clean tables rather than greet us and give us menus.

Once the server arrived, turns out she is one of the owners, we got a lukewarm greeting, menus, and an inquiry about what we wanted to drink. I said: "I'll have a coffee please", but she said, "let me get you a drink menu". I just ordered a coffee! Once the drink menu arrived, the $2.50 price tag for a cup of drip coffee seemed excessive, so I opted for ice water.
My wife ordered a short stack of pancakes, two large pancakes for $3.75 and an extra $1.50 for a tiny pitcher of "real maple syrup". I guess you get Aunt Jemima syrup and a high fructose corn syrup buzz if you opt out of the "real" thing. Anyway, the pancakes were pancakes, nothing special.

I had the Carnivore Omelet ($8.75) and a half order of biscuits and gravy, which were not on the menu, but advertised on a sign out front (with no price). The carnivore omelet came with ham, bacon, sausage, caramelized onions and sharp cheddar cheese, but very little of each and what was there was cooked into the omelet rather than folded on the inside. It came with "two sides" (toast, breakfast potatoes, cottage cheese, or sliced tomato), but the only enticing side was the potatoes, so I asked for a double order. I would hate to see a single side order of potatoes because the "double" side was extremely sparse and void of much taste. The biscuit and gravy came with green chili, an odd topping for biscuits and gravy (apparently a "New Mexico specialty"), so I asked for it on the side. The biscuit was small, the gravy thick, but rather tasteless (no sausage or bacon in sight), and the green chili thin (not thick as true green chili should be) and watery, but very spicy.

When the check arrived, it was not itemized, coming to a total of $19.08, so I assume that the single biscuit topped with mediocre country gravy and watery green chili ran around $4 ($19 - $3.75 - $1.50 - $8.75 - tax = about $4). At $23, including tip, I was not impressed considering that my wife had two pancakes, I had a mediocre breakfast, and neither of us ordered a drink other than ice water.

I have had much better breakfasts in town, so I doubt we will be returning here anytime soon. The interior is nothing special, the ceiling covered in flags of the world (hence the name I guess), and the service not very attentive, but semi-friendly. Therefore, ...

CombatCritic Gives Global Cafe 4 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Four Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Lawrence, KS: A "World" Away From a Great Cafe

Key Words: Global Cafe, global, cafe, breakfast, lunch, Lawrence, Kansas, Massachusetts, street, KU, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: BOHICA = "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boycott Netflix For Prohibiting VPN/Proxy Utilization, Exposing Our Data To Malicious Internet Predators


In a previous post I explained how to access Netflix and other U.S. Internet-based services from foreign countries. Netflix has restricted non-U.S. residents from accessing their service for quite some time. Traveling abroad quite frequently, I wanted to watch Netflix from time to time, but was refused access because I was outside the United States even though I am a paying customer. 

Doing some research, I learned about VPNs while traveling in India last year and how to route my Internet connection through a server in the U.S., giving the appearance that I was stateside and securing my computer and data at the same time. Win-win ... right?
I am no expert, but the way I understand it, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) routes your connection through a secure server, encrypting your data and ensuring your privacy while using the Internet:
"VPNs can provide functionality, security and/or network management benefits to the user" -  Mason, Andrew G. (2002). Cisco Secure Virtual Private Network. Cisco Press. p. 7.
That server can be anywhere in the world and, in most cases, you have the choice of the location (country) your connection will be routed through.

I purchased a VPN account through Cloak for $99 a year, giving me access to my Netflix account in foreign countries (with zero English language television shows) while ensuring my data was secure while using risky hotel and public Internet connections. It worked quite well in India (October 2014 - February 2015) and in Italy (May 2015 - August 2015). Then, suddenly, Netflix started blocking customer access for anyone using a VPN or proxy ... anywhere, including the United States!

Netflix now requires paying customers to disable VPNs and proxies in order to access our accounts and stream video, exposing our computers and data to hackers and other malicious individuals at home and abroad. I understand that Netflix is probably restricted from selling their service to non-U.S. customers for one reason or another, but why can't a U.S. citizen and paying customer stream Netflix video wherever we may be?
I think it's time to share our dismay with this absurd Netflix policy by organizing a planned mass boycott effective January 1st, 2017 unless they change their policy and allow paying customers to use our VPNs and proxies while simultaneously streaming video and securing our data.

If you concur with my opinion and concerns, please contact me by sending me an email to:
BoycottNetflixJanuaryFirst2017@gmail.com 
with your first name and the first letter of your last name (e.g. Chris S), the city and state in which you reside, and a statement of commitment:
I, first name and initial of your last name (e.g. Chris S), hereby commit to a boycott of Netflix effective January 1, 2017, cancelling my services on that date unless Netflix changes their policy regarding the use of VPNs and proxies by paying customers NLT December 15, 2016.
I will create a post on this blog, listing committed participants by first name and last initial, city, and state, notifying Netflix intermittently via Twitter as to the number of boycott participants and effective date of the boycott.

PLEASE SEND YOUR EMAIL, copying and pasting the above statement into the body of the message along with any other comments/concerns you have regarding Netflix and their services, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to:
BoycottNetflixJanuaryFirst2017@gmail.com 
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @CombatCritic and "Like" and "Retweet" my Netflix notifications regarding the boycott and number of participants. You can also "Like" my Facebook page where I will also be posting updates once this movement gets off the ground. Let's let Netflix know that "we're mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more!". 
I look forward to hearing from you and restoring our internet security while enjoying the streaming video we pay Netflix to provide us.

Respectfully,

Chris S
aka CombatCritic

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Title: Boycott Netflix For Prohibiting VPN/Proxy Utilization, Exposing Our Data To Malicious Internet Predators

Key Words: Netflix, netflix.com, streaming, video, VPN, virtual, private, network, proxy, server, encryption, security, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, service, Yelp, encrypt

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Editorial: 2016 Presidential Election - Outlandish Entrepreneur Or Outright Criminal? These Are Our Choices, So Get Over It!


I try to remain apolitical, but this needs to be said ...

This post has little to do with "travel", but is simply a critique of the mess we are calling the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

I am not a staunch Trump supporter and do not agree with many things Donald Trump says or has said nor do I condone some of the things he has done. However, the things he has said and/or done, as disgusting or controversial as they may seem, do not compare to Hillary Clinton's breaches of national security and classified information when she stored on and/or disseminated Top Secret information from her personal (private) server.

Like Hillary Clinton, as the former holder of a top-level security clearance, I was briefed on classified information laws and regulations and signed a Classified Information Non-disclosure Agreement outlining my responsibilities pertaining to the protection of all classified information. If I, or any "normal" person for that matter, had breached classified information and, possibly, threatening national security as Mrs. Clinton has done, the ramifications would likely have been:
  1. Loss of security clearance and inability to hold a security clearance in the future
  2. Separation/discharge from the military (government) under less than honorable conditions
  3. Prosecution under U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, § 793 and fined and/or imprisoned for not more than ten years.

As I was told many times in the military, "ignorance is no excuse", so if an individual exposes classified information, willingly or unwillingly, intentionally or unintentionally, that individual is responsible for said breach and must suffer the consequences no matter how severe.



Hillary Clinton's breaches of classified, Top-Secret information should not only have resulted in the sanctions outlined above (rather than a slap on the wrist and an "apology), they should disqualify her for the security clearances required to be the President of the United States of America (POTUS).

Her lies under oath to the FBI and Congress are another story altogether, but breaching classified information, as Mrs. Clinton has admittedly done, is a deal breaker and she should not be allowed to become the next POTUS. Her prior illegal and unethical behavior related to her requirement to safeguard confidential information should preclude her from holding the clearances necessary to hold that high office and therefore prohibit her from running for said office. She should be prosecuted like any other government employee or contractor holding a security clearance would be and sanctioned accordingly as prescribed by U.S. law.

Based on those facts, Hillary Clinton should not be the next president, leaving Donald Trump as the only viable candidate in the upcoming election. So, you may neither like Donald, agree with all of the things he has said or done, nor condone his past or present behavior, but none of those things preclude or prohibit him from holding the office as is the case with Hillary Clinton.

Many thought that Ronald Reagan was an idiot, an actor, a charade when he ran for office back in 1980, but he turned out to be one of the greatest presidents of the 20th Century if not all time. Could Donald Trump lead our country into ruin and nuclear war? Possibly, but statistically improbable based on the safeguards held by a government with three branches and limited presidential powers. On the other hand, as a highly successful businessman, could Trump lead us out of the 8+ year economic slump, our disgraceful education and medical systems, and poverty, homelessness and unemployment, especially with a Republican Congress? Much more likely, more likely than Mrs. Clinton, particularly based on her previous track record of unethical and/or illegal behavior (e.g. email scandals, Pay for Play, etc.) .

Much of this is fact, some opinion, but it needed to be said. If you agree with these statements and assumptions, feel free to share them. If you disagree, please comment as I would like to hear opposing viewpoints. After all, our Nation's future and best interests are at stake here and, as an American patriot, I want only what is best for our great country.

God bless the 
United States of America


If Hillary is elected, assume the position ...

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Editorial: 2016 Presidential Election - Outlandish Entrepreneur Or Outright Criminal? These Are Our Choices, So Get Over It!

Key Words: Trump, Clinton, Donald, Hillary, president, election, 2016 debate, issues, security, emails,
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, editorial, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog

Translation for Civilians: BOHICA = "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jaipur, India: Not Centrally Located, But Highly Recommended B&B If Visiting The Pink City

Rampura Kothi
A-59, Vashisth Marg, 
Hanuman Nagar, Vaishali Nagar, 
Jaipur, Rajasthan 302021, India
Phone: +91 82909 00937
Prices: $$$$
The hosts, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army and his son, are extremely kind, accommodating, and gracious, helping to make travel and sightseeing plans or anything else you may need assistance with.


An excellent value for the very reasonable price (1,050 Rupees or $15/night), the rooms are very clean with nice furnishings, modern fixtures, and all of the luxuries (comfortable bed, cable, flat screen TV, AC, coffee/tea maker) you would find at home. Breakfast is included with the price and eggs, toast, cereal, and coffee/tea as well as traditional savory Indian breakfast choices are available.

The best restaurant I ate at in India, Jammie's Kitchen was recommended by our hosts and is a short walk away. Jammie was executive chef at a 5-star restaurant before opening his own place, so the food is great and the prices extremely fair.

The location is on the outskirts of Jaipur, so if you want to stay near the Pink (Old) City, this location is not within walking distance. However, it is a quiet, upscale neighborhood and a 120 rupee ($2) tuk-tuk ride will get you anywhere in town.

CombatCritic Gives Rampura Kothi 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs ARe Better!


Nine Bombs Equates To:

"U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Jaipur, India: Not Centrally Located, But Highly Recommended If Visiting The Pink City

Key Words: Rampura Kothi, rampura, kothi, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, hotel, guest house, guest, house, bed, breakfast, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, review, Yelp, Zomato

Pushkar, India: Great Breakfast, Reasonable Prices, Great View ... Excellent Advice!

Laura's Cafe
Main Market Road
Opp Jhulelal Ghat
Pushkar 305022, India
Phone: +91 95291 05018
Prices: $$$$

A very nice place on the main street with a view of Pushkar from the rooftop terrace. Excellent service, good food, and above average value, Laura's Cafe is recommended for breakfast





My wife had the Rose Muesli (130 rupees/$2.10), handmade muesli with Pushkar rose syrup, dates, and pomegranate seeds (you CAN eat them) in a creamy yogurt (curd). It was quite exotic, delicious, and filling. I had my standard peanut butter and banana on toast. The bread was a brown (whole grain) variety, thick and tasty with the included ingredients. Their lattes are also very good and very reasonably priced, equaling some of the best coffee houses in New Delhi.



We were "scammed" by a couple of self-proclaimed Brahmin at a Hindu temple, of all places, on Pushkar Lake the day prior and we were looking (unsuccessfully) for the "tourist police" to report the culprits (I had taken a photo of one of them). The manager was quite helpful, sitting with us and empathizing with our assessment of the unsavory experience and pointing us in the right direction to make our report (the "Brahmin" was captured, detained, and forced to repay the 500 rupees ($8) he stole from my wife).

We had breakfast there two mornings and were very happy with our experiences on both occasions.

CombatCritic Gives Laura's Cafe 8 Bombs Out Of 10 ... Bombs Are Good! 

Eight Bombs Equates To:


Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Pushkar: Great Breakfast, Reasonable Prices, Great View ... Excellent Advice!

Key Words: Laura's Cafe, Laura, cafe, Pushkar, Rajasthan, India, breakfast, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, guide, Yelp, Zomato


Translation for Civilians: WTFO! = "What-The-F*** ... Over!"



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