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Common Answers - Winter Wonderland

January 11, 2010 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s time for another Common Answers contest! Go play now!

It’ll Freeze That Way

January 11, 2010 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s great having a police chief with a sense of humor.

Where in Lincoln is this?

January 11, 2010 at 2:09pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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The correct answer was identified!

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Lunch at Cheesesteak Grille

January 7, 2010 at 7:13pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I had lunch with my father at the brand-spankin’-new Cheesesteak Grille at 16th and Old Cheney, in the former Mi Guadalajara location. We both had a steak philly with peppers, onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, and cheese, plus fries. The sandwich and fries were both good. I grabbed a couple photos:

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They’re obviously just getting up and running—walls are a bare, freshly-painted white, for example—but I admire that they’ve chosen to offer basically one item. Too many start-ups try to please everyone. One piece of advice I will offer them: don’t be so stingy with the fries. Oh, and I would really love it if they could offer something other than a bulky styrofoam container for diners who aren’t taking the food to go. I know reusable plates will increase their dishwashing budget, but I’m pretty sure I actually heard Mother Nature whimper when they handed me my food.

What Next?

January 7, 2010 at 5:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I always enjoy running games here on The Lincolnite. I’m considering running another Common Answers contest next week. Does that sound like a winner of an idea? If I do it, what topic should I do? Do you have any question suggestions?

And Then There Were None

January 7, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

That’s it. LPS’s snow day budget has been spent. You all know what I think about that so I won’t bother saying it.

However, a question came to mind this morning. And this is a serious inquiry, even though given my earlier comments about snow days it could be interpreted as snarky. It’s 100% snark-free. Here it goes:

How many kids in Lincoln have suffered frostbite, hypothermia, or other cold-related calamities as a result of walking to or from school? I doubt such data are kept, but it sure would be nice if they were. Those data, if they exist, could help improve discussions about LPS’s weather-related closings policy. Broader data about injuries, traffic incidents, and so forth would also be useful, both for “bad weather” days and good weather days. But again, I’d be surprised if such data exist in any useful form. A guy can hope, though.

20 Questions: Snow Day Edition

January 6, 2010 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s a snow day! Let’s play another round of Twenty Questions. Here are the rules:

  1. The answer is related to Lincoln.
  2. The questions should be worded so they generate a yes/no answer.
  3. Each person may ask one question at a time. After your question has been answered, you may ask another one.
  4. Ask your question as a comment to this blog post. Do not ask your question as a reply to another comment (i.e. a “nested comment”)

Ask away!

Check inside for a list of the questions asked so far.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Fletch for asking the winning question!

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Weenie Inflation

January 6, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Schools have long been accused of “grade inflation”, the process by which it takes less and less effort to receive the same grade. I think we’re going to now have to use the term “weenie inflation” to describe how LPS administrators are becoming bigger and bigger weenies in the face of inclement weather.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of unpleasant components to today’s forecast. But calling off classes? Let’s review:

  • The forecast high is 18 degrees;
  • Two to four inches of snow are expected throughout the day;
  • The wind is forecast to be light this morning, 5-10 mph by midday, 15-25 by late afternoon, and 25-35 tonight.

I totally agree with preemptively canceling after school activities. That makes perfect sense. But wasting a whole day of instruction because it’s going to get chilly late this afternoon and tonight? It seems so wasteful. This is a perfect example of an occasion where a half day would make sense. Or at least a teacher and administrator work day. Say what you will about the kids, but there’s absolutely no reason why the adults shouldn’t report to work.

After I saw that classes were canceled for the day I began to reminisce. I can think of only one day that classes were canceled due to (forecast) cold when I was a kid. The forecast called for windchill values of -60 to -70. That’s cold! But as I remember it, the wind hardly blew that day and the sun shone throughout. The forecast was a bust. Though it was still plenty cold—below zero, I’m sure—I played outside with my friends. It’s hard to play basketball when the ball won’t bounce and you’re so bundled up you can’t even raise your arms to shoot.

I should really stop ranting so much about LPS’s cancellation policies…

Have you Been Bugged?

January 6, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been curious about local delivery services for a while. When somebody from Errand Bug left a comment recently, I took that as a sign that I should ask about your experiences with these services.

I’ve seen the services advertised for years: Some company will deliver food from any restaurant in town to your door for some fee. In Errand Bug’s case they will also go to, say, Target for you, and according to their comment they’ll even drive you home from the bars if you’re drunk and you don’t want to wait for a cab.

I don’t see myself using a service like this because I’m pretty mobile. I get around just fine, and if I’m feeling too lazy to leave the house I’m probably also feeling too stingy to pay for delivery. If I’m really in a fix, well that’s what’s great about having so many family members in town. On the other hand, I have on more than one occasion wished that Blue Orchid delivered…

Have any of you used Errand Bug or a similar service? What did you think?

Feed Me

January 5, 2010 at 2:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I think it’s the cold weather. Whatever the cause, I’ve had food on the brain a lot lately. And since I’ve been cooped up inside more than usual these past two months, I’ve lost track of what’s going on around Lincoln’s food scene. How ‘bout we catch up?

The only buzz I’ve heard lately is that the Mexican restaurant inside the gas station at 16th and Old Cheney has closed. I’ve tried to think of the name of that place for two days now, but no luck so far. Anyway, if that rumor is true, I’m sad to see that place go. I didn’t go there often, but I loved talking with the owner when I ate there. The good news is that I’ve heard the replacement is a cheese steak joint. I love a good cheese steak. Can anybody confirm that (a) the Mexican place is closed, and (b) that a cheese steak place is going to replace it?

There’s been lots of buzz about Granite City lately—and not good buzz. Last Wednesday The Missus, Robbie, and I went to GC for supper. First the good news: the food was great. A solid B+, I’d say. But that was the only good thing I can say about our experience. The service was terrible. The food took well over 30 minutes to come out of the kitchen; servers were clueless; one poor gal tried to deliver food to the wrong table three times; and so on. It was bad enough that the manager came over to our table unprompted and apologized. That would have been fine, but he didn’t actually offer to do anything about it. He just stuttered and stumbled a lot, hung his head low, and ... left. No “What can I do to fix this?”. No “Here’s some free food”. No “Here’s a gift certificate so we can get it right next time”. But that was just our experience. Since then, I have heard from two other people who had nearly identical experiences within two weeks of our visit. This wasn’t a one-off deal as I had hoped. It appears there’s something bigger going on. I’m inclined to call it a management failure.

A rumor a while back had Five Guys coming to Lincoln soon. I sure hope so. Ever since I ate at the Omaha location a couple months ago I’ve been craving their burgers and fries. I don’t normally crave burgers or fries. Five Guys hooked me.

That’s all the buzz I’ve got for now. Slim, I know, but like I said, I haven’t left the house much over the past couple months thanks to a busy work schedule and some home improvement projects. What’s the latest food buzz from you folks?

Drunker Than We Used To Be II

January 5, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Although we didn’t keep up with the breakneck pace from the first half of the year, Lincoln still set a record for drunk driving arrests this year. In fact, generally speaking the number of DUI arrests increased fairly substantially throughout the past decade.

DUI is one of those crimes I don’t fully understand. With just a little preparation and/or willpower, it’s a mostly preventable offense. And it’s not like ignorance of the law is a factor; advertising is saturated with anti-DUI messages. Everybody knows the potential consequences of driving while impaired.

Regardless of the reasons for the climb in DUI arrest rates, it’s a trend I would love to see be reversed. Preferably the pressure to reverse the trend would come from society itself changing its attitudes about alcohol, not from cops or politicians. A guy can hope.

I Admit It: I Was Wrong

January 4, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It has been said that it takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong. In this case, it just took a very cold, snow-covered man.

Every fall I try to predict what sort of weather we’re going to have during the winter. I keep it pretty simple, typically going for simple, broad adjectives like “warm”, “cold”, “snowy”, or “dry”. This past fall I made a prediction about the upcoming winter. I said it would be the winter without winter, part of a longer year without seasons. Remember how much of summer was surprisingly pleasant? That’s what I expected for winter.

Wrong!

We’ve only been in winter for a month and already we’re above the typical winter average for snowfall. And how ‘bout those temperatures? Forty degrees is starting to sound like something you’d find in the Sahara. And wind chills? Try 35 below later this week according to some predictions.

Lesson learned: Don’t get your weather forecasting from Mr. Wilson. Here’s hoping everybody’s furnaces, snow blowers, and backs survive the winter.

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