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Why I Hate the Qwest

April 30, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Missus and I went to Qwest Center Omaha on Saturday night, where we saw Billy Joel in concert. I don’t get to concerts very often so I can’t say how Billy Joel compared to other live artists, but I had a good time. I would have had a better time, though, if the concert were not held at Qwest. I really don’t care for that place. Why? A few of the reasons:

  • It starts with little things, like the parking situation. We sat in traffic for ages waiting to park, but in all that time, there were no signs telling us how much parking would cost. It was a surprise until the parking attendant asked for our cash. That, of course, slows things down as most drivers like to wait until then to fetch the money. Multiply that by a few thousand cars, and you really get a mess.
  • More little things when you get inside, like at the security checkpoint. There are zero signs telling you what’s allowed and what isn’t. Nor is there any way for people to know how they can help speed up the process.
  • The Qwest is little more than a glorified parking garage. Although the exterior is snazzy, the interior reminds me of Que Place. Bleh.
  • Whoever designed the concourses has no idea how people move or how lines form. Seriously, who puts concession stands at narrow points in the concourse with no way for people to easily move around the building lines?
  • Whoever runs the concession stands has no idea how to plan for a crowd. On each of the few occasions I have been to the Qwest, I have witnessed food shortages or near-shortages before the event even started.
  • This is obvious, but the seating sucks rocks. I’m not especially tall and I’m definitely not fat, but I find it impossible to approach even basic comfort at the Qwest.
  • There was a *@#!$^@ speaker blocking the video screen! Who puts a damn speaker right in front of a video screen?!

I could go on, but that would just put me in a bad mood. To whoever ends up designing Lincoln’s arena: please consult actual humans when designing the facility. Our arena will have enough hurdles to jump as it is; it doesn’t need “crappy atmosphere” topping the list.

A New Water Park for Trago

April 30, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The new water park proposed for Trago Park is kind of neat. It will be a free “sprayground” open to anyone.

I don’t want to be a downer, but unfortunately Trago Park isn’t exactly a low-crime park, so I hope that crime prevention factors into the design. Even something as simple as motion-detecting lighting would do wonders to help prevent mischief. Of course, that would be an asset in many parks around town.

Taking Ownership

April 30, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I think it’s neat how regular customers sometimes feel a sense of ownership in a business, and then they help out when the business is in need. That’s what happened with Wasabi yesterday, when customers helped move the restaurant to its temporary location at Phreddy’s Phillys.

What business would you help out in a similar situation?

That’s a Tasty Bullfrog

April 28, 2007 at 8:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After a tiring morning of soccer matches, my dad and I had lunch at Mexicali Bullfrog. Why aren’t more Lincolnites talking about this place?

Location is probably one of the reasons. Tucked into a strip mall on the southwest corner of 70th and O, Mexicali Bullfrog isn’t exactly visible. Nor is it very large. There’s one table (3 chairs), one counter (3 stools), and one spool (3 seats). Yes, I said spool, as in college student living room. The interior is nicely decorated with a bit of a rainforest feel.

My dad and I both had the Poison Dart Burrito, a large spinach tortilla filled with chicken, ground beef, lettuce, and salsa. I really enjoyed my burrito, and I think my dad probably would have enjoyed his more if it hadn’t fallen apart on him. A piece of advice: keep the burrito wrapped up in the wax paper as long as possible to help prevent the problem my dad experienced. Also on the menu are tacos, enchiladas and a couple other Mexican-inspired favorites.

Overall I was pleased with the experience, and I plan to go back. Given the choice between the nearby Taco Inn (our original destination) and Mexicali Bullfrog, I’ll take the latter every time. It’s hard not to make comparisons with Paul’s BBQ (48th and Pioneers) because both restaurants began out of the back of a truck. I didn’t discover either one until they had their permanent locations, and I think both have the potential to do well.

Friday Five

April 27, 2007 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I recently stumbled across this quiz. It just happens to have five questions, so they make an excellent Friday Five:

  1. What year was the City of Lincoln founded?
  2. What was the 2002 population of Lincoln?
  3. How big is Lincoln in square miles?
  4. How many acres of parks and miles of trails are in our City?
  5. How many Mayors has Lincoln had, and how many have been women?

Bonus points if you can tell me where I found the quiz. (But if you find it, please don’t post all the answers until others have taken a shot.)

Time Warner “Holds Back”

April 27, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

One of the Journal Star’s headlines in this morning’s paper, “Time Warner holds back information from advisory board”, seems designed to elicit a particularly negative response from readers. But to me,  the information that Time Warner declined to provide isn’t very shocking. The company answered “unknown” to questions about how many customers had or are having problems, and how customers have been compensated for their problems. Regarding the latter, the company said the information is “confidential and competitively sensitive”. That makes sense to me.

That’s not to say that I am defending Time Warner for providing a defective product. But put yourself in their shoes: would you willingly release information about your company that could be used by competitors to harm you? I sure as heck wouldn’t. Nothing short of a court order would get me to release that information.

Without seeing all of the questions posed and Time Warner’s answers, it’s impossible to know just how cooperative Time Warner was overall. The Journal Star doesn’t offer any information one way (“the remainder of the company’s answers were complete and informative”) or the other (“most of the company’s responses were short with minimal information”). If they were obstinate all the way around, well, heck with ‘em. If, on the other hand, they offered 57 generally helpful responses and refused to answer just these 3 questions, I have a hard time getting worked up.

Back and Body

April 27, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Ever since I was a kid, it has always struck me as cool when I find out that big national (or international) products are made right here in Lincoln. Excedrin Back and Body to the list. Considering how much yard work I may be doing this summer (if all of our earth-moving and fence-building plans come to fruition), I will definitely keep that product in mind.

9 South Chargrill Opens Next Week

April 26, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

9 South Chargrill, at 9th and South, will “soft” open next Friday. “The menu will run the gamut from burgers and steaks to duck and veal.” Duck and veal? Sounds like an odd menu choice for that location, but hey, I’m intrigued. Maybe owner Brett Richardson will add venison to the menu someday. Mmmm.

Stop Picking on Ricky Turco

April 26, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Naomi Turco, Ricky Turco’s wife, wants Lincolnites to stop picking on him:

Ricky Turco and I would like it if people would leave us alone. Ricky has gotten many death threats since the night of the accident. People destroyed our nonworking 1988 Chevy Camaro, broke windows in our house and sent hate and rude letters in the mail. Many people are talking bad about him in the paper and on the news.

Everyone that is doing this needs to stop because you don’t know him. He feels bad about what happened to Megan Churchill and to the other passengers that were in the car at that time. He knows that what he did was stupid.

The reason I know all of this about him is because I’m his wife, and I’ve lived with all of this every day. Everyone will do something stupid once in their life. Ricky has remorse and sadness about all of this, he does show it, it’s just no one sees it or wants to. We are very angry with the paper at this time, because they wrote three articles about Ricky with our address.

What is everyone going to say or do when he gets out of jail if he ends up going?

Naomi R. Turco, Lincoln

Ms. Turco is correct about two things: the death threats, property destruction, and other shenanigans need to stop; and her husband is stupid.

Ricky Turco is stupid because by driving dangerously he killed a young woman. Then he had the cojones to claim he “technically ... didn’t kill anybody”, and he followed that up by driving illegally just days later.

I may not know your husband personally, Ms. Turco, but I know stupidity when I see it.

[Edited 2007-04-26 14:30 to add: Ricky Turco’s attorney agrees.]

The T is for Terrorist

April 25, 2007 at 6:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mr. T just called. He has been trying to get back to Lincoln for over a day now after a trip back east. Last night he ended up in Chicago, and today he is stuck in Denver. But he isn’t just stuck in the “our plane hasn’t taken off yet” sense. That wouldn’t be worth a blog post. No, Mr. T and his fellow passengers are on a bus bound for who-knows-where that is being escorted by two SUV’s of the sort that you always see the Feds driving in movies. Apparently something tripped the TSA’s alarms and now Mr. T is seeing our “Homeland Security” folks in action. (Mr. T isn’t impressed so far.)

I can’t wait for Mr. T to get back so he can tell us the full story. That is, of course, unless all the passengers are on their way to Guantanamo. If that’s the case: T, can I have your new computer?

Up, Up and Away!

April 25, 2007 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Given the choice between big and huge, Mayor Colleen Seng opted for huge by selecting Lincoln Synergy Group’s 22-story tower for the Catalyst One project at 14th & Q. Dial Realty’s smaller 13-story plan was not selected; developer John Q. Hammons withdrew his non-proposal early in the process.

Lincolnites should be both excited by and wary of this proposal. On the one hand, this is a huge development for Downtown and the economic impact is not likely to be negligible. On the other hand, in the past we have been offered grandiose visions of the future. Some of those visions worked out, some went off with a fizzle rather than a bang, and some never happened at all. But don’t fall back to cynicism where only a healthy dose of caution is needed. Even a project half as grand wouldn’t be half bad.

The next few months of negotiations and emerging details will be very interesting to watch. Cross your fingers folks, and hopefully a few years from now we’ll be cutting the ribbon on a new addition to Lincoln’s skyline.

Dark and Moist

April 25, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Normally I reserve those adjectives for chocolate cake, but lately they are very appropriate for the weather we’ve been having. I certainly welcome the rain, but the darkness gets a little old. Did everybody remember to clear out their gutters before the spring rains?

Open Window Policy

April 25, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Paul William Smith wants an open-able window policy at LPS. Apparently LPS plans to install windows that don’t open in its new and remodeled schools. Smith thinks that the unlikely but nonzero chance that students may need to jump out the windows in the event of an emergency is enough reason to require windows that open.

What do you think? Should LPS change course? Or do other concerns outweigh those expressed by Smith?

Fifteen Bucks

April 24, 2007 at 12:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Are y’all reading Police Chief Tom Casady’s blog? You should be. It’s a good read. For example, you might be interested to find out what you can buy for fifteen bucks in Lincoln.

The Jo(h)ns

April 24, 2007 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Apparently the Journal Star has a thing for Jo(h)n(athan)s. If you ever plan to run for City Council, you may want to consider changing your name.

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