Latest Blog Posts

What’s In a Sign

October 31, 2012 at 1:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The debate over the signage on the new LPS building is very interesting. It sheds some interesting light on how LPS sees itself; how they think the public sees them; how they want the public to see them; and the overall approach to openness in our local schools.

The basic issue is this: the new LPS office building needs some sort of signage. “Too much” signage would draw the public eye and (allegedly) invite scrutiny over things like the size of the office building and the number of people (read: amount of red tape) inside. Too little signage will make it harder for people to identify the correct building, especially after Whole Foods and company open up nearby. The result of that conundrum is a host of signage possibilities, from 36-inch tall letters spelling out LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS DISTRICT OFFICES” on the O Street side to simple, smaller signage over the front door.

Although I understand the District’s fear of appearing bloated, any solution that deliberately obfuscates the nature of what goes on inside the building is irresponsible, and arguably even a little bit dangerous. LPS has always insisted that they have just the right amount of administration. If that’s true, what’s to hide? And certainly our local schools, as a public institution and caretakers of our children, ought to emphasize openness and transparency. They should be inviting the public in rather than trying to hide in plain sight.

If LPS is truly concerned about the public’s perception of the new building and the administrative activities within, they’ve already lost. This signage discussion will only serve to prove to detractors that the District is trying to hide something. The School Board oughtn’t be making its decisions to satisfy its most petty critics anyway. There are real, substantive issues to resolve.

Ultimately I’m a fan of “LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS” in reasonably large letters on the O Street side, and smaller signage near the front door. I don’t care for the idea, championed by Kevin Keller, of adding “DISTRICT OFFICES”. It’s redundant and potentially gaudy, unless those words are much smaller. But kudos to Mr. Keller for wanting more information rather than less.

What’s your take on the signage debate?

Where in Lincoln is this?

October 29, 2012 at 1:14pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved! And see inside for a restatement of the rules of this game.

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20 Questions: Autumn Leaves Edition

October 26, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s that time again! Let’s brighten up this gray, autumn weather we’re having by playing 20 questions. Need a refresher on the rules? Here they are:

  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”).

As always, check inside for the questions asked so far. You may want to review previous games if you’re not quite sure how this all works: Snow Day Edition; Winter Solstice Edition; Mr. Wilson’s Vacation Edition, Nikkidemas Asked For It Edition; WIL Replacement Edition.

 

Here we go!

We have a winner! Congratulations to avabee for figuring it out. See inside for the answer.

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Give Me the Runza

October 24, 2012 at 1:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I pick on Runza every now and then, especially with regard to their strange advertising practices. But other than a general sense of “it’s not as good as it used to be”, I don’t have too much to complain about with regard to their food. (Then again, I’ve only eaten there a couple times in the past five years.) I quite like a good Runza, as do many Lincolnites.

The folks over at Foodpocalypse wondered why we go gaga for Runza. Are Runzas actually good, or are we locals just conditioned to think they’re so fantastic?

The meat-filled buns have been a part of my diet for as long as I can remember. The firm, chewy bread, like warm skin in my hands. The smell of meat. The soft squish of crinkle cut fries. When I hold a runza, I hold something weighty and substantial. I think of snow days, and family picnics, and movie night with my brother. For fast food, Runza isn’t that bad.

Find out what they conclude.

Deceptive Pricing at the Pump

October 24, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Somebody called KLIN claiming that a gas station near the airport is advertising gas at one price, but only offering that price on one pump. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but if so the gas station’s owner is violating a law enacted in 2009 in response to exactly that sort of scheme. In particular, it is illegal to advertise “goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised or [to advertise] the price in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or in any way deceive a person”.

If any of you happen to be near the airport I’d love to know if this is actually going on (again!). While you’re there, you may want to slap a copy of this on the counter.

Where in Lincoln is this?

October 22, 2012 at 10:31am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Solved!

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Flavorful Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

October 22, 2012 at 10:17am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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I have been to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop now a couple of times, and I would have to say that it has become my new favorite restaurant in downtown.

As everyone knows, downtown is now inundated with Mexican-inspired fast casual places. In my mind, Fuzzy’s is probably most comparable to Wahoo’s Fish Taco: Both new comers, similar pricing points and atmospheres, and both focusing on fish tacos as their flagship offering. Although I like Wahoo’s, I prefer the Fuzzy’s tacos. I have had both the fried and grilled fish tacos at Fuzzy’s, and they are very tasty, though possibly smaller than those at Wahoo’s. Both times I have had the fried fish tacos, the fish was flaky and crispy, perfectly fried but with a thin batter.  The signature garlic sauce and feta cheese they put on their tacos really work well on these guys. I have also had the shrimp tacos too, which are very good and I believe are pretty unique in Lincoln. 

The Fuzzy’s tacos are $1.99 each, which is probably just the right price for them. But one can get a 2 taco combo plate with a choice of 2 sides for just $5.99. That to me is a very good price for a fast casual combo meal. Last time we were there, Ms. T had a fish and shrimp taco with crispy shells, the lime cilantro rice, and “Latin potatoes” as her sides (above). The potatoes were basically baked home fries but had chili, I believe cumin, and some other spices on them, and made for a good alternative to people who are bored with beans at Mexican restaurants. They definitely had a bit more of a kick than regular home fries.

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I opted for a fried fish soft taco and a crispy chicken taco combo plate (above). The chicken seemed to be mainly white meat and the pieces were slightly bigger than the stringy shredded chicken one can find elsewhere.  The chicken taco was pretty good, though inferior to the fish and shrimp ones. I should also mention that both the crispy corn and the soft corn taco shells are pretty standard, but the combination of the meat with the garlic and feta compensate for that. Additionally, the hot taco sauce they offer (on the side) is actually really genuinely hot. When you combine the hot sauce with the garlic sauce and feta cheese, the results are tacos that are very flavorful, and in my mind quite distinctive.

On my combo plate, I also had the potatoes, but tried the yellow “Mix-Mex” fried rice. The fried rice was a little heavier than the cilantro rice, but that of course is the idea behind fried rice (none of this by the way is remotely healthy food, but one shouldn’t expect that). Both the Mix-Mex and Ms. T’s cilantro lime rice were a little on the salty side for me, but with that again came a lot of flavor.

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Fuzzy’s also has two of those “Coca-Cola Freestyle” machines that have started popping up around town, the kind that offer dozens of different Coke products you choose from using a touch screen menu. I tried the Vanilla Cherry Coke, the Raspberry Coke, the Lime Coke, and some other sort of sugary/fruity soda. These new soda machines would drive Michael Bloomberg up the wall. I left Fuzzy’s on a fat and sugar high feeling very full.

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I should mention, both times I have been to Fuzzy’s it took the cooks probably about 8-10 minutes to turn around our orders. Unlike Oso or Chipotle and that genre, Fuzzy’s is not an assembly line type of restaurant with the food ready for instant service. So, there is a wait for your meal, but in my mind the wait is worth it. I actually prefer waiting for freshly fried fish or shrimp rather than having it sit around in a hot tray for a while

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop rocks. I will be a regular customer for sure.

Pot Pie Paradise

October 18, 2012 at 2:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln’s own Round-Abouts Restaurant is going to be featured on Food Paradise on the Travel Channel on November 7th and 9pm. Congratulations, folks!

I hope the episode shows up online somewhere or else I won’t be able to watch. Those of you who do get the Travel Channel, would you mind sharing the channel number on your system of choice?

Read Before You Sign

October 18, 2012 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It has happened again. Homeowners are up in arms over something they should have known before they purchased their homes. This time it’s a sidewalk.

A few homeowners in the area of Lucile Dr. and Pioneers Blvd. are peeved because their developer built a sidewalk in a commons area behind some of their houses. The sidewalk connects the neighborhood to the adjacent Billy Wolf Trail, which winds its way toward 70th Street and eventually toward Downtown. The residents don’t like the fact that sidewalk users could see into their back windows if they were so inclined.

One might feel a bit of sympathy for the homeowners if it weren’t for the fact that the sidewalk has been part of the development’s plans since the very beginning. The City has made it very clear that they want its bike paths to be connected to neighborhoods, and in this case the developer obliged. The only ones at fault here are those who purchased homes without understanding their homes’ surroundings.

This is a common pattern. This time it’s “just” a sidewalk. A couple months ago it was a Walmart. Who knows what monstrosity will come next. Folks: study your homes’ surroundings before signing on the dotted line! Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you if you don’t do your due diligence. Many thousands of dollars and your family’s peace of mind are on the line. Surely that’s worth a day of research.

Oh Give Me a Home

October 17, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If any of you folks have ever longed to be my neighbor, now is your chance! After quickly tearing down a bit of an eyesore, workers are now quickly assembling a new house at 5208 S. 50th Street. That’s not exactly next door to The Wilsons, but it’s pretty close.

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The property won’t have much of a yard once the house is finished, so if outdoor maintenance isn’t your thing then you’re in luck. The big thing I wonder about is the price. At $179,000 the price seems on the high end to me. Then again, I haven’t paid much attention to the local real estate market so perhaps that’s where prices are sitting these days. I’ll let current house-seekers clue me in on the expected cost of a property like this.

Anyway, I know many of you are just dying to be my neighbor. I’ll have a cup of sugar ready for you to borrow any time.

Where in Lincoln is this?

October 15, 2012 at 12:36pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved.

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Pancheros Lacks Punch

October 11, 2012 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Missus and I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Pancheros (SouthPointe) last night. I expected something ... different. I didn’t get it.

Pancheros burrito

Everything about Pancheros was fine. The food was fine. The atmosphere was fine. The service was fine. But Lincoln is crawling with burrito joints and Mexican food. Is “fine” good enough?

I don’t think so.

Consider my first impressions. When I walked in the door I immediately got the sense that Chipotle and Qdoba had had a child, and their spawn, although adequate in its own right, didn’t inherit any of the components that make its parents special. There’s no emphasis on high-quality ingredients; no outgoing staff; no immediately-recognizable decor; no extensive and creative menu. At first glance it was little more than Just Another Burrito Joint.

The menu hanging over the front counter is a good example. It couldn’t possibly be more generic. Pick one: burrito; quesedilla; bowl; salad. Pick one: veggies; chicken; pig; cow. I actually yawned while placing my order.

Pancheros quesedilla

Pancheros does bring a couple unique components to the table. First, they press your tortilla right when you order. Down in Albuquerque where my in-laws live, all the good joints make their own tortillas on location. It’s about time somebody brought that to Lincoln. Pancheros also stirs your burrito’s ingredients using a tool they call “Bob”. (I guess that does sound better than “el putty knife”.) The marketing is dorky but the effect on the burrito is nice.

And as for the taste? As I said before, it was fine. Good even. But it didn’t knock my socks off. How could it? I’ve eaten so many burritos it’s pretty tough for a burrito to wow me. And that’s Pancheros’s biggest hurdle. They’re so late to the game and they have so little to differentiate themselves that they’re just not going to cause a stir. It’s the sort of place you go to because it’s nearby, not because you sought it out. Considering how much they’re likely paying in rent, that’s not good for them.

On the plus side I can’t really think of anything bad about Pancheros. If you find yourself eating there you will, in all likelihood, satisfy your taste buds and your hunger. But will you specifically seek out Pancheros for supper tonight? Probably not.

Where in Lincoln is this?

October 8, 2012 at 1:58pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

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EDIT: Unsolved.

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Word Association

October 5, 2012 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Sometimes I like to try to find the hidden link between the words on the tabs on the Journal Star’s homepage slider.

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...yeah, it’s Friday. My brain has already checked out for the weekend.

It’s Coming

October 5, 2012 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Heavy Snow Expected in Nebraska Panhandle

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