Archive for November, 2006

Burnt Offerings

I’ve been a little down in the dumps of late–could it be the horrific flu bug that has infected the entire office? You can hear hacking and coughing over every cubicle wall…’tis the season.

So I confess I was impressed by a recent smooth customer service move made by Round Table on Florin and Riverside in the Greenhaven area. It seems our XL pizza was moving a little slower on the rail through the oven and (gasp) one side was a bit darker than the usual fairly white, doughy stuff you expect. So, the young lady offered us a complimentary small pizza to go along with our uneven pizza. They also offered drinks while we waited for the take out order. While we didn’t take them up on the free drinks, I was pleased to see that good customer service is alive and well. And strangely enough, it made my evening. Oh, and the ‘burnt’ pizza was still a hit with the folks in my family who like everything “well done.” Well done, Round table. Well done, indeed.

Sacramento’s 5th Gift to the World: Author Joan Didion

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(H/T to the Library of Congress for the photo)

Joan Didion was born and raised here in Sacramento, graduating from our very own McClatchy High School. She’s authored many books and essays and her writing appears pretty regularly in the New York Review of Books. She fled the Golden State for New York, where she now resides and refers to California as Where I Was From, but we won’t hold that against her.

She’s written both fiction and non-fiction, from Run, River, to The Year of Magical Thinking, a book-length essay about coping with the death of her husband, author John Gregory Dunne, and the illness of their daughter, who also passed away just before publication of the book.

Because of her writing prowess, Joan Didion is Sacramento’s gift to the world.

This is the guy from Sacramento?

For all you twenty-somethings out there who grew up with, and still watch the Real World, I thought I’d let you know that Sactown is represented this time!!! Stephen, a 22 year old Howard University student, grew up in Sacramento…he seems like an outgoing guy, but one of his first lines on the show was “I think it’s wrong that you’re gay.” Sounds like a fun guy!!! There’s also a former Raiderette on the show…so NorCal is WELL REPRESENTED!!!

Has anyone watched yet? Stephen wasn’t involved in the first two dramatic hook-ups (one guy hooked up with two different roommates in two nights) so he hasn’t gotten much screen time…but I’m sure his political views will come out soon…maybe he’ll even talk about the Tower Bridge or something…

Why advertise here????

Does anyone know where the heck a Cici’s Pizza is, or a Steinmart clothing store? They’re not around the Sacto area (I don’t even think Cici’s is in CA), yet they advertise on local cable channels ALL THE TIME!!! And another thing, no matter how good the deal is at Dave and Busters, I’m not going to drive two hours to play skeeball and have a drink…NO GOOD!!! Although I do think Dave and Busters would do well if they were to locate in Sactown…just a random thought!!!

Make way for Tri-Tip (and other tasty to-go)

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The 1801 L building has already opened to apartment residents and is starting work on the street-level shops and restaurants. Fellow foodies take note, because today I spotted a banner for a Buckhorn Grill at the corner of 18th & L, across from Crepeville and Aioli Bodega Espanola. I learned to love Buckhorn at their Walnut Creek location when I was living in the East Bay (this is their first outside the Bay Area, despite their connection to the Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse in nearby Winters). If you’re not familiar, it’s a great sandwich/salad/entree & sides quick service restaurant (more like Pronto than Jack’s). I’m not a big red meat fan, but their tri-tip is excellent; they also have chicken, salmon and a few vegetarian options. They were originally supposed to open this summer, but hopefully they’ll speed things up and start serving up some comforting dishes this winter. Whenever they open, I predict it will be a popular place for a casual but good lunch or dinner.

Green light, Red light on I-5

I guess I’m not the only one who noticed there’s an issue with the two cars per light metering on I-5. This morning was my 2nd day experiencing the new lights on the 43rd Avenue onramp, and some folks are confused. (I might be one of them, too.) The sign by the light says two cars per green. The guy to my right was as long as two cars–he had a trailer hitched to his SUV and the trailer extended into eternity. Go figure–he hesitated, then the guy behind him figures two cars (and he was the second) and decides to go on red. I had green.

Fortunately, I was awake and got through the snafu unharmed. So did the other drivers. Meanwhile, I’m not sure the 2-car rule works all that well, but we’ll see how it goes…

SMF wants your art, forever and for free

While browing for information on the Sacramento International Airport website, I came across a call for local photography. Amateurs and professionals are equally encouraged to submit shots of the Sac area to be used on the lobby displays when they aren’t used for flight information. Sounds like a cool idea: just send them your stuff for consideration on a cd-rom, clearly labeled, in the requested format and size. No faces (likeness rights, you know). There’s no pay involved – but at least they attribute the photograph to the photographer. Not bad, right? Good exposure? Sure. There’s a catch though – and a sizeable one at that.

(the catch and a bleg, after the jump)
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Christmastime is here!

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And with it, the return of the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour.

A 33-year tradition, the Home Tour offers a chance to tour some of the Fab Forties fabbest addresses – each decorated to the nines with all the holly, ivy, and evergreen you could possibly need to get you in the Christmas spirit. The decorations are provided by area designers who donate their time to support Sacred Heart Parish School. It’s a self guided tour that calls for a group of friends, some comfy (easily removable shoes – hey, these people are donating enough without having to worry about resurfacing their hardwood) shoes, and warm wooly mittens.

Tickets are just $20 from now through November 30, and $30 starting December 1. You can even buy them online. I look forward to this event every year. Whether you’re looking for that holiday spirit or just interior design ideas, don’t miss out!

Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour: here’s how you get there; here’s where you get the tickets; 3 days only! Friday, December 1, 11am-8pm; Saturday, December 2, 10am-7pm; Sunday, December 3, 11am-5pm.

Three observations made at the Big Horse Safeway

Last night, I stopped at the 19th Street Safeway for a few things. This is what I observed:

1.) I know property is valuable in midtown and cramming as much stuff in a single block as possible is, uh, good, but, what’s up with the complete lack of car returns in the parking lot. Those carts have better luck getting parking spots than I do. Poor planning.

2.) Why is the bread separated into two sections back behind the booze? What’s the message here? First off, the whole placement makes a carb sandwich – you got bread loaves between booze and the bakery. But more importantly, they’ve divided the bread along one aisle under breakfast, lunch, and dinner headings. But look! A whole ‘nother bread section across the way. And an end cap of additional sourdough. Safeway, c’mon, by the time I make it to the store, I have little energy left to play “find the Franciscan Extra Long Sliced Sourdough.”

3.) On the way in to the store, I was panhandled by some dude. That doesn’t bother me. I moved here from San Francisco. I’ve mastered both the “sorry no money” with and without eye contact, as well as the quick-move pull-change-from-pocket with and without eye contact. So when guy asked if I could spare anything, I answered – completely truthfully – that I didn’t, sorry. He turned, mumbling something to the effect of “It’ll come back to you.”

Excuse me? WTF? Did you just throw down a karma threat? I wasn’t even lying! I *might* have even acquired some cash inside and caught him on the way out, but no effing way now. Now, sure, perhaps it was a fortune-cookie-esque suggestion for the future. An inducement to give next time, because that good act would come back to me. Yeah but no – I don’t think so. Bad form.

Sacramento’s Fourth Gift to the World: Blue Diamond Almonds

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For the next seven days, the Metroblogging sites around the globe will be unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days (to see what the rest of the world is contributing, click here.)

“A can a week, that’s all we ask.”

What’s a holiday without nuts…and almonds are among the best. You can eat ’em plain, salted, barbeque’d, sugared, dipped in chocolate or part of your favorite candy bar. You can drink almond beverages, bake with ground almonds instead of flour, and eat the health conscious “Nut Thins” which are especially good for those folks who have wheat or gluten allergies.

Oh, and there’s marzipan, almond oil, and almond butter. Do you have any favorite almond dishes or medicinal uses? Edgar Cayce often recommended using almonds in the diet for good health (according to a Wikipedia entry). Check out this “almond ball” recipe for a sweet treat.

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Blue Diamond HQ is here in Sacramento, but its almonds go everywhere. Good health to you and your family in the form of a little nut! It’s our gift to the world!

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