Saturday, November 17, 2007

Grass Valley Curse and Beyond

History
The curse has been an issue since I came to the area in 1978—Yes, I are a graduate of Nevada Union, and I have many fond memories but I also have some that I wish to forget—let me just say I am not a big fan or a proud supporter of my alma mater.

That said I have been gathering information and data, not scientifically mind you, but personal scientific data (huh?) ANYWAY, the data covers businesses, people, government, and events. And there have been many changes and not many are good—granted this this curse that I have bestowed upon Grass Valley, is really a phenomenon that happens in every city in every part of the world, but I am only interested in my little corner known as Nevada County.

What is the Curse?
As a customer, we have the need, desire, and right to be treated, served, and listened to with great respect--this is known as CUSTOMER SERVICE; we also have the need for products we purchase to be of the utmost quality either in flavor, portions, and price as in the food industry; or durability, price, and it does what it was promised it would do, as would be the case in the retail industry.

The curse is when an establishment, either in the food industry or retail, has one of the criteria in low standards that as a customer is difficult to keep patronizing the establishment. Most places that deserve the curse are places with two or more marks against them, for me, the biggest mark is Customer Service. If a company has great food or products but the service is below standard, then they have the CURSE.

My motto is "Customer Service is more important, to me, than price." And I stand by that with absolute conviction.

Now understand that each business's criteria is dynamic--it changes depending on the products and services they provide.

Cursed List
Although the restaurant list is based, and yes biased, upon whether a place is vegetarian friendly, there are reasons other than that which are explained, and understand that we do not frequent many places in the area due to them not being vegetarian friendly, so this is not a complete list of curse places in the area, so you may not see McDonald's on this list, if they are in fact cursed or not; we don't know as we have not been there in over 20 years, so your list may be different than ours for different reasons.

  • Amigo's & Co.
  • Margarita's
    • We go maybe twice a year and realize maybe we shouldn't have (prices)
  • Chevy's
    • service & food choices
  • Maria's
  • Chili's
    • food choices (they deleted their veggie items)
  • Villa Venenzia
    • prices
  • Miner Moes
    • prices, atmosphere, and cleanliness--absolutely terrible (good pizza though)
  • Cirino's NC
  • Subway
  • Tortilla grill
    • One of my burritos had meat in it as I was putting salsa in it.

Recommendations
Not many restaurants in Nevada County stay at a specific level of service and quality--of course employees come and go, understandable, but the peaks and valley's are so extreme.

I used to recommend places, but I realized I was changing it every month, this place that was once great now sucks.

The basic problem for me is there are not many vegetarian friendly places or understand what vegetarianism is. Just because you put veggies in soup does not mean it is vegetarian--the broth has chicken in it. And just because you have a veggie burrito, does not mean it is vegetarian--the beans have lard, you cooked the veggies on the same grill with meat juice....

We used to visit Chili's and Chevy's, but not anymore.

So I have no recommendations here. We go through this for some lunch dates with my wife and dinner's for celebrations. Mostly we just stay home and cook--tastes better.

The problem with making recommendations is that everyone is different. For example if I recommended Pete's Pub Style Pizza, some may find it over priced and too extravagant for a pizza, and some may find the seating availability to be tiny.

But the biggest problem is when we find a place and fall in love with every aspect of the business over time our tastes or the establishments business practices change and we are back to looking for a new place to go. Our list of places we like to go to is dynamic. "Today the sandwich, or whatever, is not as good as it was yesterday, and this is happening a little too often." That is when you know it is time to either tell them or stop patronizing them.

Standouts
After the spewing of not recommending anyone, I will highly recommend these places as they a places that we have been to over the years have stayed consistent with their prices, quality, and service.
  • Friar Tucks
  • Wonderful III Chinese
  • Bubba's Bagels
  • Jamba Juice
  • Julie's Hot Dog Haven & sandwich Express
  • Pete's Pub style Pizza
  • Original Petes
  • South Pine Cafe-Grass Valley
  • Carino's Italian Grill
    • Actually just been twice and thankfully Chevy's (I know, I would never go again, but we were with other people) was a 45 minute wait and next door was Carino's WOW!

Beyond
Some of the above mentioned places are out of our county. And the next issue will contain other places than restaurants.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Place in Our Heart

We still have a place in our heart for Grass Valley; do not get us misunderstood. We despise the government (Grass Valley city and its supervisors), all the contractors building on the fertile and beautiful land, and the residence that let it happen and then visit those places.

Heck, at some point in time I do believe I was never going to shop in the Glenbrook shopping center for what they did the the lake, but all that passes in time.

Oh well, people are an odd species. Wonder what the universe was thinking of? Of course we may have been left here and not expected to live.

If I had power, money, and the fortitude, I would gather all the land and make this a sactuary, but alas, most of the pristine landscape has been ravaged. Just like the song by the eagles and counting crows
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We Have Moved

Yes, We have moved to a new home.

Due to many reasons like noise, asshole neighbors with their dogs, thumper music, obnoxious and inconsiderate  children, sirens, and the fact that the house got too expensive to pay for--yes we bit it in the increase of mortgage rates--we got rid of the house we were in for 15 years and moved to a more civilized area in the county.

although we still care about what happens with the city and its outlying regions, we are becoming numb to any changes that are going on, since we do not see it 24 / 7, it does not concern us as much as it used to.

Funny when you think about it and I know how people feel now. (If it is not in my back yard or effects me in any negative way, I do not have the time or the effort to worry about it--this is the reason that the dorsy drive interchange is not a popular vote as it only effects 5% of the population. the other 95% do not see spending the money. yet, if it is built, as with the movie saying and it is true "IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME."

  1. People will use it.
  2. It will save time for the ambulances.
  3. the traffic on East Main and Idaho Maryland Intersection will be 50% less
    • no need to spend money on a round-a-bout, which is a joke, a band-aid to the real problem.
But again, we are no longer in the thick of the city, and at this point do not care about its government, people, or the community.

Let them destroy it. We have moved on.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

June 28, 2005: ASSHOLES - People in General

Thumper (music?) in the world
Can someone explain the purpose of "rap, hip-hop, or electronica" how dare I call it music, to be played so loud? I do not get it.

I do not care if white people want to listen to black people disrespecting the whites--kind of like a Raiders Fan wearing or painting his house in Denver Broncos colors, or a King's fan with a car colored in the Lakers colors--you want to be an idiot fine, but listen to it at a reasonable level when in a neighborhood and your own home.

Freeway, night clubs, ball games fine, turn it up, but going through a someone's neighborhood or your own, be courteous and turn it down, because people do not want to listen to the low thud of the bass, which carries further than the high end. You can hear the crap a 1/2 mile away. Why, what is the purpose? It is not cool.

And what is it with the lawnmower engine in their cars now? It gives you 2 or 3 more HP? BIG WHOOP. Where do you have to go to need that. I thought Stealth and sneakery were the ways of criminals. And by the way, thanks for spending lots of money for MY entertainment. Yeah, the hub caps, rims, paint job, lights, chrome, colors lights in the wheels, under the car. You do not see it when you are driving, how does it give you pleasure? People look at you, that is what you want? Does it get you laid? People pay to look? Do you become smarter? NO!!! I do not get it. No wonder you work at fast food places or clean toilets for a living instead of actually doing something productive with your life, if you work at all.

Respect - Courtesy - Consideration
What is up with the lack of respect or thought given to others by people today? You see it on the road, in line at the grocery story, at restaurants, but mainly on the road. And you know the worst ones? The well to do lunk heads that drive around in their BIG SUV's with the "United We Stand" or "Support Our Troops" sticker ribbons on the back. So that is what america or being an american is--an asshole, jerk, stuck up, self centered, cut you off, get out of my way or run you over, lazy, meat eating every meal, super-sized consumer?

Then they should level the whole fucking country, because we all deserve it. It's not just about being an american--Oh I used to be proud during the Olympics and other events, but now, calling attention to yourself as an american is like saying "Hey, I'm an ass hole that does not care about you or anything for that matter; come here and let me rob you, kick you, take everything you have, step on you, and then laugh at your for being so stupid."

American's do not care about anything but their own survival, existence, and future.

Arrogance
No one is perfect, I do not say I am, but I do allot of thinking about the world, people, my future, past, and how I think things can be fixed--and none of them are based on any of my own ideas, it is based on history, fact, and my own experiences.

Now when it comes to reminding or showing people the better way or how stupid they are, I will do it without hesitation. Yet there is this instructor at the Vocational school I recently attended and she was saying why, what is the use?

I took her words and agreed, yes, ones that have their mind made up will never change, even when you prove them wrong. I know, I have been there. But, it does feel good, and they know they are wrong, but are arrogant and self absorbed to admit it, thus, making themselves look even more stupid and giving me another reason to eliminate stupid people.

But we were discussing the differences between confusing and misleading an audience and the fact that a bored audience will never return, but a confused one will.

She gave me this attitude that "confusion and misleading are two different things."
I said "Confusion is a form of misleading. Not that you want to confuse them to frustration, but a little confusion, is misleading."

She disagreed and tried to ridicule me in front of the class and get the last word in. I looked it up and confusion, under the thesaurus, has misled as a synonym. I emailed her this and said "Sometimes the student is correct." No word back on it and probably not.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Can't choose your neighbors

Original Post: October 16, 2006

The lack of consideration and respect for the privacy and quiet of close neighbors is really astounding. People think nothing of running their roto tillers, leaf blowers, playing rock music at loud levels and hammering away at their home renovations on the weekends by 7:45 or 8 a.m.

I am wondering whether the city has an ordinance prohibiting loud noise before a certain time in the morning. I know there is something regarding noise after a certain hour at night. Since neighbors cannot take it upon themselves to control noise levels and show a blatant lack of consideration toward others, maybe we need an ordinance instated and enforced. Who can I contact to find out about this?

H. Woodum

Nevada City

Anonymous reply:
I so agree w/ you. I have a neighbor that uses her leaf blower at 6am sometimes! Another neighbor who is working on his house & starts hammering at 7am. Even if there isn't a noise ordinance for this early in the morning, what happened to being considerate? Oh I forgot, those kinds of people are a dying breed!


Anonymous reply:
Buy some ear plugs they are not expensive. I guess you would prefer to have all the brush and garbage around you. Lets see with that brings fire danger and rats. Get a life find something worth getting upset over.


Obviously an asshole with no respect for others--must be a me me thing.

Anonymous reply:
Ever thought that maybe the leaf blowing could be done at a more appropriate time, like I don't know, 8am?

Anonymous reply
Get a life, put some ear plugs in. While I think there should be certain respects paid to your neighbors. Sometimes people only have a little time to get projects done around there house. When you work five or six days a week time is at a premium, and you have to make hay while the sun shines. But go and find a way to put an end to it somehow, that seems to be what you people like to do. Go back down south!


Another inconsiderate asshole that need to be taught a lesson

Anonymous reply:
Good Luck! Any call or letter to Grass Valley is a waste of time. We called about traffic (speeding) on our street. It was 6 days before they returned our call. Last year we reported a paving contractor dumping oil in the field behind our house. Three weeks later we got an email from the city saying they wouldn't even look at it until we filled out the right form. Government workers have a job for life and they know it. Not one of them would last a week in the private sector (they would have to actually perform work). What's really funny is they all get a raise next year.


Well more jerks like that and other people responded saying they would like respect as well, it went on and on. but I posted this. And for those that don't get it, the world is not yours alone.

What you do not understand is it is not about sleeping in, it is about respect, consideration, and being neighborly to your neighborhood, such as, the noise level, and not just when but what--music and construction for example. Some people are already up, but would like to sit and listen to the natural noises (some peace and quiet in a world with a demand for constant noise: music, engines, dogs, pounding, kids screaming, and so forth. Also the same thing goes for the evening.

Also one should think about the smells they emit from their house, like BBQ'ing after 9 pm and stinking up the neighborhood. The amount of light that comes from their yard after 10 pm. The dogs barking constantly--shut them up. Dogs are a farm animal, just like a horse, leave them on the farm. We have 23 dogs in a 150 circle around us. some have 3 and 4 dogs--this is recent.

What ever happened to being neighborly? What ever happened to thinking about others? Those stickers that read "United We Stand" is a bunch of hot air.

I understand the need to be selfish, disrespectful, and a jerk that is why I do not complain on July 4th and New Years when my neighbors are out and up till all hours--they have been somewhat ok most of the year, I give them this time to do what ever they feel they need to.

So Called Friends

Monday, January 15, 2007

Last February a friend — or so I thought — got upset and took it personally when his emails to me bounced back. I had just installed a spam blocker on my private email to block spam, junk, and those annoying fwd's that people send about angels, chain-letters, and jokes.

I also just took over the operation of our high school class website and made some changes with the assistance of one of the class organizers that we would not post phone numbers or addresses onto the website. Why do we need them? Most relationships are already made — a few new ones could be done, but the best way to correspond would be email — it is the best way to keep one's privacy. Why have your address or phone number available to anyone? And most people had it removed from the list anyway — we did.

Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 20:57:14 -0800
To: John
Subject: Re: updating info
Hey, I do not deal with addresses, only email, websites, and a city and state.
You will want to send the addresses to whom ever deals with them. I do not know who that is — no one ever told me. I toss them.
-gerry

-- -- -- -- --
From: John
Date: February 10, 2006 11:02:26 AM PST
To: gerry
Subject: Re: updating info
Then you are not really maintaining the class web site like I used to and like you claimed you were going to. We do not currently have anyone else maintaining addresses for classmates and I really don't see why you don't.

This is the first I've heard of you tossing the addresses I forward to you, so it's nice to know that I'm wasting my time and the classmates are wasting their time trying to keep everyone up to date. If you can't be bothered doing the web site right why do you bother at all?

I'll see if someone who actually gives a shit wants to do a web site for the class reunion.

Not that this is the time nor the place, but I would like to respond to his surly and uneducated accusations.

1) He is correct that I am not maintaining it like he did — I actually worked on it

everyday, where he just did it once a week or less.
2) I was never informed of keeping addresses for people. I was also told there was someone, don't remember the name, that kept a database of all classmates contact info.
3) As for the waste of time. I have no idea why that pressure was put on me when all I was given was the website control, and I had to download the pages from the old site to get them, plus the list was incomplete and 90% of the people did not have
information.

Also, this is about the time that an email I sent was about two months old about
people giving us current info, and with little to no response — I began to find the website to be a waste of time.

I was not told that I was in charge of everyone's
contact info.

He is obviously on medication or some sort of drug that limits his ability to think and
reason with reality when he accuses me of being bothered and not giving a shit about the site — this lets me know he has never been to the site to see what I do on a daily basis — so who is the asshole now?

he then sends me a fwd message about some political crud and it gets bounced back to him

Feb 9, 2006
Gerry, this email bounced back, any idea why? John
From: gerry
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 20:54:26 -0800
To: John
Subject: Re: Delivery failure
Yeah, it is spam, and I have spam blocker on, which I have set to ignore and refuse things like these — yes, even from known people like you, my aunt, and others. I do not like being on a list of so many people. The then they will send me crud like that, and then I have 40 people sending me the same thing 40 times.
- gerry

Send to this email address now, since you sent this to my new email address it has now been flagged and logged that this is spam, so you may not get through with the editor address. Take all of them out except this one now. I can reset it, but then it opens it up for those that I have already set and then the spam comes pouring in and I have to redo everything, so I won't and the best thing would be to send to this one — again, take any other addresses you have for us and toss them. they either do not exist or are now attune to your spamming. HA.

From: John
Date: February 10, 2006 11:01:45 AM PST
To: gerry
Subject: Re: Delivery failure
Gerry,
don’t worry, I won’t bother you any more as I won’t send you anything at all and you can just go f**k yourself.  If emails from “friends” are spam then I guess we’re not friends and emailing you is just a waste of my time.

Now did he take the "attuned to your spamming" wrong? Does he not have any clue?

I tell everyone that sends fwd's, jokes, and crap to me not to send it to me. A personal note on how you are doing, about you, or a family member is acceptable, not bullshit emails that tie up bandwidth and have no meaning.

One would only hope that people you give your personal email address to would respect my privacy. When fwd's go out it goes out to people in their address list that I don't know, and then it goes out to people in their address book, and so on and so on,  and eventually getting intercepted by a spammer.

Yes, I did a test on a suspected friend and made an email address I only used with them, in two days time, I started getting email from places I never heard of. And yes, it was an email on one of my domains, not a hotmail or yahoo type account. So in a time when spam, identity theft, and privacy are such a heated issue, why the f**k do people still send crap to their so-called-friends? A true friend would not do that to you.
Posted by GV resident at Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Grass Valley Curse Revisited

Introduction
I first posted about the Grass Valley Curse on December 12, 2003 on my CSU Chico web site and then reposted it on March 27, 2006 to my new Blogger site--eek the word blogger again.

Anyway, I have been gathering new data and have been bouncing that data off of several people and discussing the ramifications of the whole thing, and what we came up with is that this curse that I have bestowed upon Grass Valley, is really a phenomenon that happens in every city in every part of the world.

Now I can believe that to some extent, but I do believe that there are places that this CURSE--Hex, Jinx, or what ever it is that one can call when the longevity, quality, and service of places changes drastically like the weather, and this city, the city of Grass Valley, California, has more than its share.

What is the curse?
As a customer, we have the need, desire, and right to be treated, served, and listened to with great respect--this is known as CUSTOMER SERVICE; we also have the need for products we purchase to be of the utmost quality either in flavor, portions, and price as in the food industry; or durability, price, and it does what it was promised it would do, as would be the case in the retail industry.

The curse is when an establishment, either in the food industry or retail, has one of the criteria in low standards that as a customer is difficult to keep patronizing the establishment. Most places that deserve the curse are places with two or more marks against them, for me, the biggest mark is Customer Service. If a company has great food or products but the service is below standard, then they have the CURSE.

My motto is "Customer Service is more important, to me, that price." And I stand by that with absolute conviction.

Now understand that each business's criteria is dynamic--it changes depending on the products and services they provide.

The Data
One of the people I was referring to that we exchanged data about the towns, cities, and places we have experienced was none other than my mother, who decided to stay with us for 4 months before heading back to Needles, California. She said at the onslaught of this debate--I do not like the word debate, because when all is said and done, the topic of the debate is still unresolved and waiting to be debated upon by a new group of idealists who see one side and not the others.

My mother said that Grass Valley is no different than Needles, Bullhead City or Los Angeles for that matter, and I told her she was wrong. "We have the same kind of lazy people where I live just like you do." She says. In fact she also said that her area was actually worse because there were more of that kind than here. "Our lazy people don't work and yours do." "Well they may go to work, but that does not mean that they do work. And most cases they make this curse in Grass Valley what it is--terrible service and quality." I told her. She even went as far as saying that their welfare and low income people out number ours. I laughed.
 
What was learned?
She came from working at Jack-in-the-Box for 15 years and her store was taken over by a new owner who had no idea what she was doing and made the work environment an unpleasant time. I told my mother to quit and come stay with us, and she did. She then applied to the JIB in GV--I told her not to; I told her to get a better class of work. She felt comfortable working at JIB. So She started as a shift manager--proving she knew what she was doing--and tried to get the store up to grade A quality as she did with the Needles store for her 15 years. But she told me that I was right about the laziness in this town--the lack of self -motivated people that can do a job that they can feel proud of.

She quit after two weeks unable to handle to immaturity in the employees and the management. "There is no pride in doing a good job no matter how small it is. How do these people think they will survive in the real world if that cannot do a simple job like clean the dining room or be pleasant to the customers? They will be stuck in a dead end low paying job that no matter how high they raise the minimum wage, they will always be minimum wage!"


Business Opportunity
One of our better known locations that we frequent that did not have the curse was the Afternoon Deli. We took my mother there a few times and noticed that it was up for sale. Mom wanted to run it and knew she could. Well long story short; we put our offer in but were undercut by a cash offer. Needles to say we were distraught. My mom packed up and went back to Needles and we have never been back to the Afternoon Deli to see what they have changed or have stayed the same. We have heard a few bad things about it, but as for first hand knowledge, we will have to try it again some day, but every time we try, they are closed.
 
Cursed List
Although the restaurant list is based, and yes biased, upon whether a place is vegetarian friendly, there are reasons other than that which are explained, and understand that we do not frequent many places in the area due to them not being vegetarian friendly, so this is not a complete list of curse places in the area, so you may not see McDonald's on this list, if they are in fact cursed or not; we don't know as we have not been there in over 20 years, so your list may be different than ours for different reasons.

        •         Amigo's
        •         Margarita's
        •         Chevy's
(chain)
        •         Maria's
        •         Chili's
(chain--will not go anymore)
        •         Villa Venenzia
•        Miner Moes

                Prices, atmosphere, and cleanliness--absolutely terrible (good pizza though)
•        Cirino's NC
•        Subway


Recommendations
The problem with making recommendations is that everyone is different. For example if I recommended Pete's Pub Style Pizza, some may find it over priced and too extravagant for a pizza, and some may find the seating availability to be tiny. If I were to recommend The Tortilla Grill, some may find it too spicy, to extravagant, or too busy at lunch time.

But the biggest problem is when we find a place and fall in love with every aspect of the business over time our tastes or the establishments business practices change and we are back to looking for a new place to go. Our list of places we like to go to is dynamic. "Today the sandwich, or whatever, is not as good as it was yesterday, and this is happening a little too often." That is when you know it is time to either tell them or stop patronizing them.

Neighborhood Hoodlums Update
Weaver Auto has moved!!! Yes they finally took their lack of community and love of the almighty dollar and moved it down the street--not far enough for me, but enough that we do not hear their loud annoying intercom in the area.

Another continuing annoyance is with dogs and their owners, mainly the dogs that bark at all hours and for no reason. On August 22, 2006, there was a fire--I did not start it--at a house that was home to five (5) large dogs that barked at all hours and echoed through the neighborhood--I apparently was one of a few that it bothered, could actually hear it, or did anything about it. I went to the animal control and they said to document it for ten days, record it if I can, and then they will prosecute. The day the house burned down was the day I was taking my notes and video to the animal control--how ironic...

Well now I do not have to stress over those dogs, but there are 32 dogs in a 200 yard radius from my home. Yes, too many, way too many, and most back, yap, and howl when the owners are home, and some between 11 - 2 in the morning.

Movie patrons and theaters
I have not been to a movie in a long time. I prefer the sanctity of my own living room, anyway, most movies do not deserve the right to be seen on a big screen. You've got mail? NO. Gladiator? YES!

Del Oro used to be the best theater to go to now it is run down and shabby, the sound system sucks. It is the only theater in town with Coliseum style seating--no one in your way of the movie--which explains why I dislike the other theaters in town--YOU CANNOT SEE!

Beyond the terrible theaters in town, it is the movie patrons that ruin the movie experience as well. Yes, I know you get that elsewhere, but here it runs rabid. No one knows what movie etiquette is around here: they have their cell phones, they make food package noise, they get up and down throughout the movie, and they talk during it as well. You know what? Leave your phone at home, do not eat during a movie (never understood why), SIT DOWN, and SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Now you know why I'd rather watch them at home on the big screen tv. (don't even get me started on HDTV, LCD TV's, and Plasma TV's--Stay away from them until they get it right, maybe 2 - 5 years down the road.)