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The Power of Pennies

March 28, 2005 at 5:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

imageWhat do you get when you combine boredom, small change, and a degree in civil engineering? Penny power.

The Countdown Begins

March 28, 2005 at 4:01pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Only five more days of work remaining at my current job. It’s going to be a long, busy week. As I look over the mess on my desk I am realizing: not only do I have a lot of substantive work to do, I have a lot of miscellaneous stuff to do as well. For example, I have to file a ton of stuff that I took out of various filing cabinets long ago. As if I’m going to remember where everything belongs.

Had this not been my last week at this job, I would not be here today. Yesterday’s fantastic weather helped me to realize it’s practically a crime to sit in an office on a day like today. Oh well, at least I got to spend much of yesterday outside. We took Daisy for a long walk at Pioneers Park in the morning, and we watched my niece play outside for part of the afternoon.

My parents left for a Caribbean cruise this morning. It’s their first cruise, but not their first vacation on the ocean—they went to Tahiti years ago. They decided to go on a cruise in part because the Missus and I so enjoyed our honeymoon Alaskan cruise. It will be interesting to see how they like it. They should arrive in Florida around Noon today.

Another Nauseating Mexican Food Experience in Lincoln

March 27, 2005 at 10:20pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

I was hungry as hell for some good, fast Mexican food today. I was also running a bit late as I found it hard to find a hardware store open today (Easter) because I needed to buy some things for my vacuum. First, I drove past the new De Leon’s on 27th street, dissapointed to find that it still hadn’t opened yet (although it did seem close to being on the verge of final remodeling). After finally going to an Ace Hardware up on vine and 48th that was open and purchasing what I needed to get, I turned back south and headed for chipotle, which is usually open on Sundays, only to find it closed due to the holiday. There were also several other people milling about outside, dissapointed and a bit surprised it was closed.

Knowing that Oso is closed on Sunday, I headed south on 13th, thinking that Taco John’s was probably open. Taco John’s is pretty crappy, but Taco John’s also has super hot salsa verde available on request only (a discovery I made in Iowa), and with enough of that stuff on, their horrible tacos are actually suitable for human consumption. I drove into the driveway at the Taco John’s on south street, to find a policeman standing at the door asking me if I worked there! I said no, and he remarked that it was closed, but someone had left the door open. In anycase, I quickly left TJ’s and headed south on 9th directly for Taco Inn, the nearest Mexican place I knew of. I was really late already and very irritable because I was missing basketball. Within minutes I came to the Inn, only to find that it, too, was closed.

OK, as a last resort, I knew there was an Amigos on Nebraska Highway and Pioneers another moment down the road. Yes I was truly desperate. I swung in, to find it open. Although I was really late and could have brought it home with me, I decided to eat i

t quickly there so I could make use of the salsa bar and cheese and eat my meal while it was hot and pour a ton of condiments on it to make the food edible. I ordered the “combo burrito” and “crispy pinto burrito” and used a lot of cheese sauce, pico, and a salsa with a sign on it saying something like “limited time only fire-cooked salsa” or something like that. Both burritos were stomach churning. The combo burrito tasted like it was made from rat meat. The so-called “fire-cooked” salsa (“fire” connoting a message that it was supposed to be spicy) was about as hot as ketchup. I could not finish either the combo burrito or the pinto burrito, even though I was hungry as hell. Ironically, this particular Amigos faces a prison across the road, where I could watch inmates from afar exercising in the yard (what a wonderful view to complement your equally wonderful food…not). It made me wonder whether the food I was eating was any better than the grub served at the prison.

Most shocking of the entire experience was that there were several people, including couples and families, who were also at Amigos and apparently seemed as if they were actually enjoying their meals! This included one family, who I could tell from their dress had obviously just come back from Easter service. WTF?! Why in God’s name would a family celebrating a religious holiday spoil their day with a meal at Amigos?!?! That’s like having Christmas dinner at a Runza (another horrible Nebraska chain).

Lincoln truly dissapoints me. Not only have Lincolnites, collectively, allowed the cancer called Amigos actually spread as a franchise, but they keep this tumor alive by continuing to frequent this hellish establishment because they apparently like the “food” it serves. And some twisted and perverted souls like it so much that they bring the family there on holiday weekends!

I am counting the days until De Leon’s opens its 27th street branch. Please….let it be soon.

Tom DeLay…..damn….

March 27, 2005 at 9:35pm By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Interesting article here. One wonders if he would have liked to have had his dad’s tragic death turned into a political circus and international headline news?


March 24, 2005 at 2:43am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

I swung by the old Vien Dong restaurant across from UNL’s city campus earlier this afternoon. As some of you may know, Vien Dong recently and quietly gave up (or moved on). They served a damn good beef pho, which I use to eat religiously once a week last summer. Anyway, walking by there was a very small sign with a photo indicating that the old Vien Dong will now become “Dat Nguyen’s Restaurant” and there was a small photo of a guy standing behing a teppanyaki grill and holding a plate of sushi.

This should be an interesting development. In my experience, teppanyaki places actually make very good fast food joints. A typical place will have several teppanyaki grills surrounded by chairs, with a chef who will cook up an entree on the flat iron grill (so hot it takes a minute or so to cook the food) in front of you, and comes as a set meal with say, a small vegetable salad, white rice, and some miso soup, which is served to you separately.

Here is a photo I googled depicting a teppanyaki type of experience. Notice that all the customers have smiles on their faces, communicating a message that they are happy and pleased with the meal. I have never been to a restaurant where the patrons all have similar such smiles plastered onto their faces, but I would be happy if there was a quality, inexpensive teppanyaki place to replace Vien Dong.

Americans Aren’t As Dumb As I Thought

March 21, 2005 at 7:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A new ABC poll shows that a whopping 70% of Americans think congressional intervention in the Terry Schiavo case is inappropriate. That is a HUGE number. Seventy percent of Americans don’t agree on anything. Ironically, 67% of Americans think that politicians are getting involved for political gain rather than for principles. If it is true that congressional Republicans are getting involved for political gain, they really ought to rethink their actions.

Complete Trash Reading

March 21, 2005 at 12:16am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Actually, I decided against finishing the da vinci code by Dan Brown this weekend. I’ve already wasted 10+ hours reading up to where I am now. Enough is enough. This book is so bad I’m actually angry at myself for spending 10+ hours reading it so far. It is truly trash. The only reason I don’t throw this away now is because I borrowed it from my mom last fall and should return it. (by the way my mom’s taste in reading truly sucks…sorry mom) Otherwise, I would use this book for toilet paper.

Anyway, if you want a quality historical thriller about religion in medieval Europe pick up The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. This was actually made into a movie of the same name starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater that was actually quite good, despite being a very superficial treatment of the novel. Eco also wrote Foucault’s Pendulum, about the Knights Templar, which I believe must have served as the inspiration for Dan Brown to write the da vinci code. At least when Tarantino rips off Hong Kong films he usually comes up with a quality production, but the end product of Brown’s ripping off of Eco is what I would call “negligence per se” - i.e. so bad that it doesn’t even have to be proven that its bad - its very existence is negligent.

Oh yeah, oddly enough, this horrible

work of fiction is evolving into an international cultural monstrosity with its release next year as a film starring Tom Hanks, Jean Reno and Audrey Taotou (star of one of my favorite films of recent times Dirty Pretty Things)

By the way, if you’re looking for a one-stop review site of books, movies, and music, check out meta-critic.

You Know What Goes Well With Pom-Poms? A Burka.

March 18, 2005 at 4:43pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Texas may ban “sexy” cheerleading. You know, the kind where “they’re shaking their behinds and going on, breaking it down.” That’s according to Texas Rep. Al Edwards. Not one to disguise his paternalism, Edwards notes that the bill is designed to benefit “mostly dads and boyfriends.”

I, for one, can’t wait to read Edwards’ bill. It ought to be hillarious to read how an uptight twit defines “those kind of gyrations” involved in “sexually oriented” cheerleading.

Don’t Give Me Any of that Juris-My-Diction Crap

March 18, 2005 at 4:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Republicans continue to assume that they can micro-manage America just because they have won an election or two.  So much for federalism and small government. Principles be damned, eh Republicans?

17 Tacos

March 17, 2005 at 9:51pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I just ate 17 tacos at Knickerbockers, breaking the previous record of 16 here at my workplace.

I am very, very full.

Take This Job and…

March 14, 2005 at 8:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I quit.


Woo. Freaking. Hoo!

March 11, 2005 at 11:52pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Please pardon my exuberance. I just learned some very good news. Some very, very good news.

Very good news.

I’ll tell you more sometime in the next few days. Meanwhile, I’m off to do a happy dance.

Hot Pants

March 10, 2005 at 4:02pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

On the way into work this morning I saw a van. On each of the van’s two back windows were the words “Do it.” On one of the van’s side windows were the words “Hot Pants.”

I’m stumped.

Downtown “Skymart” Changes Hands

March 10, 2005 at 3:31am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

For those six of you out there who read this blog, if you happen to work in downtown Lincoln, you no doubt are familiar with the “Skymart” on the 3rd floor of the Energy Square building. The Skymart is one of a few other skywalk eateries available in downtown, the others being “Norm’s” and also the “Plump Tomato.” Well, it appears that the Skymart has just changed owners.

I went their today. Instead of that charisma-challenged zombie guy/owner normally there, there were actually two people - a different guy making the food in the back and a younger woman up front decked out in a sweatsuit and “hoe” make-up. The place was also set up a bit different, and I remarked about this to the young woman. She said that they were new owners and that “there will be a lot of changes shortly.”

Well I did buy a taco from them and noticed that it was completely different from the ones I had purchased from them before. Overall, the menu looked the same, but the woman seemed to insinuate that it will be changing very soon. I’m not expecting smoked salmon crepes or crab stuffed shrimp or anything, but it would be nice to have someplace in the skyway that would give Norm’s a run for their money for all us downtown employee drones who are too busy (or lazy/obese) to walk outside for lunch.

Omaha Kicks Lincoln’s Ass

March 9, 2005 at 2:49am By: Mr. T Posted in 625 Elm Street

Actually that is an overstatement (or a complete falsehood depending on your point of view). But one thing is for sure - Omaha has California Taco (33rd and California), which has the best fish taco I have ever had. I went out of my way to visit there this afternoon after attending a meeting in Omaha.

Believe me, even taco del mar - which obviously specializes in fish tacos, along with wahoos - cannot compete. Why? Because at California Taco 1) the fried fish fillet you get is much bigger than what you can get at wahoos or taco del mar, and 2) its not just a corn tortilla, but a fried flour shell (i.e. akin to Taco Hell’s “Chalupa” fried bread). Of course, you pay for quality. A California Taco costs $3.99. It comes with a lemon, tartar sauce if you want, and a choice of red tomato salsa or hot chili salsa verde. Together, it is a deep fried delicacy.

In other Mexican fast food news, although this time closer to home: De Leon’s is apparently opening on North 27th, and it looks like there will be a dine-in area. De Leon’s also has fish tacos although I have yet to try theirs. I usually go for their carne asada burritos or tacos. In anycase, a dine-in area is good. Their drive-though only service at west O st. was simply too slow of a wait. I am pumped up for this one.

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