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Driving to the Big O

December 31, 2010 at 2:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m supposed to drive to Omaha for arrival around 12:30 or 1:00. If any of you experience or hear about conditions on I-80 I’d appreciate your advice on whether or not I should attempt the journey. I’m not afraid of a little weather, but I’d also rather not start 2011 in a hospital bed.

Chink in the Armor

December 31, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It seems Bo is in the midst of a crisis. Actually, the crisis has been ongoing for some time now. Last night’s game was just yet another symptom.

What would you have him do about it?

Get Your Arena Fix

December 30, 2010 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

There’s a new website out there for your Haymarket Arena fix. Haymarket Now is supposedly the place to go for the latest news, public documents, and more. I say “supposedly” only because these sorts of websites have a tendency to get out of date over time. Hopefully this one is an exception.

KLIN’s Jack Mitchell thinks the logo “looks like the Hartford Whalers & Holiday Inn logos had a love child”. Hmm:

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The Whalers influence is definitely there, but the Holiday Inn influence is weaker. Perhaps the Whalers logo had relations with a simpler sort:

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Down in the Basement

December 29, 2010 at 2:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Speaking of downtown restaurants, is anything going on down in the Spaghetti Works basement? I know it can be rented, but the last time I was down there it felt kind of ... bleh. That space—both the basement and the first floor—seems like it deserves so much more than what’s going on there now. I’m not sure what I’d do with it, though. Perhaps a nice cocktail lounge downstairs? I don’t know.

And speaking of the basement, raise your hand if you remember playing video games while waiting an hour for a table. Centipede, anyone? And Fun House! Such good times.

Val’s Downtown

December 29, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Valentino’s is about to lose its home at 13th and Q. Good riddance to that location I say. The to-go location always feels dirty, cramped, and cold. Beyond that, it’s an embarrassing reminder of a time when Lincolnites and visitors sought out the sugary-sweet red sauce.on floppy white dough. Not any more. Valentino’s continued existence owes far more to nostalgia than to quality.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the folks behind Valentino’s took this opportunity to pause and reflect on the state of their art, and perhaps come up with a vision for a contemporary Valentino’s downtown location that actually causes folks to want to dine there? That’d be quaint, wouldn’t it?

But I Don’t Wanna Drive All the Way to O Street!

December 28, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The good news is: Paul’s will reopen.

The bad news: They’re changing locations to 48th and O, next to Super Saver.

Well, that’s only bad news if you’re selfish and happen to live near their former location, like me. So much for my quick lunch visits. Oh well, at least they didn’t close for good.

And that, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear, should pretty much wrap up my Paul’s posts for a while. At least until they reopen in their new digs sometime in the spring.

Weekend Wrap-Up

December 27, 2010 at 2:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It was a lovely weekend at 625 Elm Street. Some highlights:

  • I’ve never heard so many sincere “This is so cool!“s in my life. The boys were well gifted.
  • I thank all of you who contributed in some way to any of the various toy drives around Lincoln. Now that our foster boys were recipients, I’ve been on both the giving and receiving ends. As a giver, I always wished I could see the recipient open the gift. This year I wish I could have seen the boys thank the givers.
  • The Wilsons got a Wii this year. Much fun has been had already. Unfortunately, I’m just as inconsistent in video game bowling as in real bowling.
  • Imaginext playsets are awesome for boys. We already knew that, but this Christmas confirmed it. The past couple days have been filled with hour after hour of “Let’s pretend ...”. Mission accomplished.
  • We watched Polar Express last night, a movie that’s far better in theory than in practice. While watching, Robbie said “Hey, that looks like Harry Potter’s train. Except the Harry Potter engine is red.” Now, this was surprising. To my knowledge Robbie has never mentioned Harry Potter before, and I’ve never seen him be exposed to Harry Potter’s world. So I asked, “Oh yeah? How do you know what color the engine is in Harry Potter?” His answer floored me. He said, “Because I saw it on a poster in the bathroom in the lodge at Fort Robinson.” According to him he remembers the color of the engine from a poster he saw once while on vacation 18 months ago shortly after he turned 3. Nice memory, kid.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

If We Were At Memorial Stadium We’d All Say Cooooooooooooper!

December 23, 2010 at 2:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Kudos to the Cooper Foundation for their ongoing support of organizations throughout Lincoln. Their latest round of grants totals nearly $145,000, and it includes grants for everything from Shakespeare to bridge building. Thank you!

Black Bushy Tails

December 22, 2010 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Twice in the past couple weeks I have seen black squirrels scampering around yards in my neighborhood. I don’t have any way of knowing if it was the same squirrel, but the distance between the two sightings suggests they were different. I have lived in this neighborhood—near Zeman Elementary—for nearly seven years. These are the first black squirrels I have seen around here. Unfortunately, I doubt they will ever move in too close to my house. The neighbor’s cats make sure that squirrels don’t stay in my yard for long.

Lincoln has a few pockets of black squirrels. I know there’s at least one pocket starting along 40th Street near Campbell’s Nursery and extending west toward the Country Club neighborhood. And if I remember right, it seems that somebody once told me there’s a pocket in Bethany.

Are there black squirrels in your neighborhood? Are you as drawn to them as I am?

Second Life for Paul’s?

December 22, 2010 at 1:39pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

There’s a lot of confusion about Paul’s closing.

First, I heard a rumor that those who happened to stop by yesterday noticed a note on the door saying the restaurant is moving. Either the note didn’t say to where they are moving or the folks don’t remember. Last night I happened to drive by the restaurant and I saw them cleaning the place out and loading everything into a truck. The interior looked pretty well stripped clean.

This morning @ktdid120 said

@MrWilson just closed for the winter. His daughter is bff’s w/ my daughter.

I followed up by asking if “closed for the winter” means they’ll be back in the same location or a different one; @ktdid120 doesn’t know but offered to check. If she gets back to me I will post an update here.

Regardless, there’s hope for Paul’s and that’s good news in my book. Cross your saucy little fingers, BBQ fans.

UPDATE: The new word is that Paul’s is simply remodeling and they will reopen after approximately three months. Set your calendars for March!

RIP Paul’s

December 21, 2010 at 8:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

That’s two strikes for 48th and Pioneers.

According to Matt “He’d Better Not Be Making This Up Cuz If He Is It’s A Really Cruel Joke” Olberding, Paul’s has closed. That just plain sucks. I’m having a hard time keeping my reaction in PG territory.

Paul’s was an excellent local restaurant: great food, good people, quaint atmosphere, neighborhood location. Apparently the one thing it was missing was customers, although the lunch crowd always seemed healthy when I was in there. I have to admit, I’m partially to blame for the closure. I cut down on my meat consumption this year and look what happened.

Thanks for the grub while it lasted, Paul’s.

Damn.

Nebraska’s Most Infamous Big Man is Back

December 21, 2010 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m posting this only because Mr. T has an unhealthy obsession with the story, and in his absence I guess I have to step up and do the dirty work.

Nebraska’s most infamous fat man Patrick Deuel is back in the news as part of the Journal Star’s “Epilogue” series. For those of you who don’t want to read the article for yourselves but who still have a morbid curiosity about what he’s up to: he’s still fat and he’s getting fatter. That pretty much sums it up.

I’m not here to judge Mr. Deuel. I don’t care that he’s fat, nor do I care that he continues to make life decisions that probably should have killed him a long time ago. It’s his life and his body. We all make decisions for ourselves that are objectively stupid; the consequences of Mr. Deuel’s decisions just happen to be shocking in a way that gets media attention. I’m glad my more mundane stupidity isn’t of much interest to folks.

There are some good policy discussions to be had relating to the role of government in his health care, but that’s not really a topic I want to dive into right now. Feel free to dig into it in the comments, if you like. Seriously, there’s some good stuff there.

Anyway, there you have it, Mr. T. I know you’ve been dying for an update.

Where in Lincoln

December 21, 2010 at 1:44pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Mr. T is still out and about so here’s another guest shot from Kevin:

Where in Lincoln?

Read more...

The Marcus Theatres Military Tax

December 20, 2010 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I was looking at ticket prices for Marcus Theatres yesterday. I was surprised to see there’s a $0.50 tax on military personnel for matinees:

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Oops.

Taxing Taxes

December 20, 2010 at 1:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I got a kick out of reading this article about the arena-related “occupational tax” and how it is applied before the sales tax, meaning that sales tax applies to the occupational tax as well as the original bill. In other words, the occupational tax is itself taxed.

Well, not according to the State. The Nebraska Department of Revenue falls all over itself trying to explain why one tax being applied to another tax is not, in fact, a tax on a tax. There may be a difference on paper, but the fact is few people care about that technicality. If two taxes show up on a receipt and one tax affects the other tax, that’s a tax tax in most folks’ minds. Period.

Which gets me wondering: will most places itemize the new tax on receipts? Can all modern POSs handle that sort of thing? I suppose they probably can, but I really have no idea. If the occupational tax were just wrapped into each item’s cost nobody would ever notice, just like we don’t notice that we already pay taxes on taxes—such as paying sales tax on things that have already had sales taxes applied on them at earlier stages in its lifecycle.

The DOR isn’t going to win this one. But their attempts sure are entertaining.

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