The Venue Live Grand Opening

27 02 2009

I drove by The Venue Live tonight on my way to dinner and noticed the parking lot was packed.  On my way home, I noticed the searchlights.  I’m guessing tonight was a preview.  I found this info about the Grand Opening…

Time: Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:00pm
Location: “The Venue Live” ~ (the old L.A. Globe)
Street: 6810 S. Cedar St.
Lansing, MI~ VIP Available

Come Eat, Drink and Dance

Special Celebrity Guest





Jackie’s Diner – Pennyslvania Ave.

27 02 2009
  • 5600 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 272-0036
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Jackies Diner on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

Jackie's Diner on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

I’ve always known J was a little quirky.  When most people aren’t feeling well, they want soup and 7-up.  When J’s not feeling well, she wants something greasy.  About the only time she ever craves burgers is when her tummy hurts.  She’s been a little under the weather the past few days and when she sent me an e-mail from work about dinner, she caught by surprise.  “I want a greasy dinner grilled cheese and fries.”  How can I argue with that. 

We chose Jackie’s Diner on South Pennsylvania because it’s close enough to J’s work and it’s a diner we haven’t been to yet.  We got there a little after seven on a Friday night.  The parking lot was pretty empty but there were a couple cars.  When we got inside, a man told us to find a seat, so we grabbed a booth.  J said she was worried I had picked an Asian diner due to the decor.  The dining room was split level with booths in both levels and tables filling in the remaining space.  To me, it felt like a little country diner. 

While it was comforting, there was one big problem.  The ceiling fans.  Ceiling fans themselves aren’t really a problem.  The problem is when you put them too close to lights.  The entire dinner I felt like there was a strobe light just above my head.  There was a light directly above one of the fan blades.  You can imagine how annoying that can be. Read the rest of this entry »





Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders

26 02 2009
  • 8741 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 627-3025
  • Website
  • Menu
Rudinos Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Rudino's Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Once a month, I spend the whole morning driving around Delta Township while J gets her hair cut.  I usually spend part of that time looking for someplace to eat.  This month was easy.  A couple weeks ago, I saw a posting on Craigslist for jobs at a new place on Saginaw Highway.  Last weekend, we were out in the area and I drove by to see if there was any indication it was opening.  There was a sign on the door that said it would open February 25.  I knew we were going to be out there on the 26th, so we were good to go for lunch.

Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders is in a small strip mall near the Menards on Saginaw Highway.  It’s in the space that used to be Art’s Pizza & Italian Oven.  We tried going to Art’s once, but it was closed.  I was excited to see a new pizza joint moving in.

Rudino’s is a long, narrow space.  When entering, you sort of come in to what can be considered the first dining room.  Beyond that is the order counter.  There is a menu board above the registers that lists a large selection of grinders as well as pizza’s, calzones, and salads.  Since it was only the second day of being open, things were running a little slow, but we knew that when we walked in and it wasn’t a big deal.  We needed time to figure out what we wanted anyway.  We were greeted right away by two guys who were sitting behind the counter on laptops.  The whole space is a Wi-Fi hot spot. Read the rest of this entry »





McDonald’s Outsources Jobs

26 02 2009

You know the economy is in the crapper when McDonald’s is outsourcing minimum wage jobs.

I ordered a cup of coffee today from a woman in North Dakota. It was in my hands within about 10 seconds, and was plenty hot enough to scorch a lap.

The process went like this: I pulled up to the drive-through squawk box at the Charlotte McDonald’s.

[snip]

After thanking me for my “persistence,” Scott confirmed that the Charlotte McDonald’s is, indeed, a test site for an experimental “call center” approach, and that drive-through orders went “out of state

Go to the LSJ’s website and read the whole article.  Great job by LSJ columnist John Schnieder for digging this up.  A few weeks ago, there was a storyline on King of the Hill where Bill fell in love with the drive thru lady who worked for a call center out of state and went on a road trip to find her.  I thought it was all a joke.  I never imagined that someone would actually outsource their drive thru operation.  I laughed out loud when J pointed out this article to me.  Seriously?  They’re outsourcing minimum wage jobs? 

I hate drive thrus as it is.  This is even more incentive to stay the hell away.  I can never understand the person on the other end.  What if the call center is in the south or New England and the person on the other end has an unfamiliar accent.  I’ll never get my food.  I’m at a loss for words.  Outsourcing drive thrus.  Wow.





East Lansing Police Chief Opposes Extended Bar Hours

24 02 2009

Mike and I got into a discussion today in the comments section of another post about longer bar hours.  I’m in favor.  I’ve seen it work.  I came from a city that had a 4 AM zone downtown.  It was by accident that I came across this article in the State News were the East Lansing Police Chief voices his opposition.

But for East Lansing police, longer bar hours would mean more patrols and more money spent to pay officers, East Lansing police Chief Tom Wibert said.

“On weekends, we would increase our overtime pay,” Wibert said. “We generally put out extra foot patrols on bar nights.”

Wibert said making liquor available Sunday mornings probably wouldn’t affect police, but the extended bar hours could pose a problem of increased late night crime.

“Not many good things happen between 2 and 4 a.m.,” he said.

Two things.  1.)  You’re a police department.  You’re job is to serve and protect.  Plan accordingly.  2.) Extended bar hours do not increase late night crime.  You have no proof of that  and there are several cities that have 4 AM license and it works.  Instead of prediciting what you think would happen, I would suggest getting in touch with Peoria (IL) Police Chief Steve Settinsgaard who actually encourage the expansion of Peoria’s 4 AM zone a few years back. 

East Lansing has a number of bars in a small area and they’re near the police headquarters.  Extending the liquor license by two hours shouldn’t be that big of a deal.





Flatts Grille Closed by State Treasury

24 02 2009

Whoops.

Flats Grille, 551 E. Grand River Ave., was closed Tuesday, with a sign on the locked door announcing that the restaurant had been seized by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The sign announced a tax warrant against the business and explained that “it is in the best interest of all concerned parties (owner and state) to sell the perishable property.”

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. said a state tax lien was filed on Dec. 10 against Flats owner Paul O’Connor, for $8,864.75 in unpaid taxes.

Damn.  Never got a chance to eat there.  I considered it last time I worked at MSU, but opted for McDonald’s instead.  That’s what I get for picking a chain over a local place.





Gatorade Drops “Propel With Calcium” Line

24 02 2009

I got bad news in my inbox today.   Earlier this week, we made our weekly trip to Walmart to pick up a few six packs of Propel.  J likes Lemon.  I like the Mandarin Orange which is part of the Propel With Calcium line.  We noticed a change in bottles which is a welcome change, but we couldn’t find the Mandarin Orange flavor.  Walmart was about the only place we could even find Mandarin Orange anyway, so not seeing it on the shelf caused some alarm.  I e-mailed customer service to see what was up.  I got the following reply….

We’re sorry to tell you that Propel with calcium, including the mandarin orange flavor, has been discontinued.

As you may know, there are many reasons why a product may be discontinued, but it is usually because sales expectations have not been met. When too many stores discontinue a product, it becomes difficult to continue making and selling the product.

We’ve been listening to consumer feedback and have decided to take action on the most popular requests. As a result, we’ve made some changes to our current Propel line-up. Propel Fit Water will be transitioned to Nutrient Enhanced Water. This new line now offers the following flavors:

* Lemon
* Berry
* Grape
* Kiwi-Strawberry
* Peach Mango Body (with fiber)
* Black cherry Mind
* Blueberry Pomegranate

(Any flavor not mentioned above has been discontinued.)

DAMN!  I guess I’ll just have drink Lemon from now on.





Could Liquor License Renewal Fees Increase?

24 02 2009

That’s one of Jennifer Granholm’s proposal’s for balancing the budget.  I saw this story in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot late last week.

Local bar owners are not happy with what Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to serve up in 2010 — a doubling of their annual liquor license renewal fees.

Granholm is seeking to raise the fees — which haven’t been increased since 1976 — as a way to help solve the state’s massive budget deficit.

“It’s a 100 percent tax increase,” said Jeff Veach, owner of Veach’s Office Bar in downtown Jackson.

So, it’s been 30 years since there’s been an increase in liquor license renewal fees.  30 years!  That seems like a long time.  With the rate of inflation, a doubling of the fees seems cheap.  It sucks that it could happen now when everyone is struggling.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle.  If business fees aren’t increased, then they’ll have to find another stream of revenue such as property or income tax hikes, but it just seems like doing business in Michigan is getting harder and harder.





Press Release – Tim Horton Roll up the Rim Contest

23 02 2009

Got this from a Tim Horton’s press release….

Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win® contest starts today!
A special edition of Roll up the Rim to Win created for military personnel serving at Kandahar Air Field (KAF) in Afghanistan

Dublin, OH – February 23, 2009 – Starting today, your morning coffee at Tim Hortons may look a little different and that could be the prize hidden under the rim. Simply by rolling up the rim of a special Roll Up the Rim to Win contest cup, Tim Hortons customers have a chance to win one of more than 30 million prizes, including 35 cars and 1,000 Toshiba laptops.

Tim Hortons has also created a special edition of Roll up the Rim to Win for military personnel serving at Kandahar Air Field (KAF) in Afghanistan where Tim Hortons operates a specially designed food-service trailer. Prizes for the Kandahar edition include 5 cash prizes of $1,000, 100 Toshiba Laptops, 1000 special edition Tim Hortons Kandahar hats and over 6,000 food prizes. Roll Up the Rim to Win at KAF also begins on February 23rd.

New this year, customers can play Roll up the Rim to Win on-line at rolluptherimtowin.com. Every day from February 23rd, through March 22nd, 2009, one person will be awarded coffee for a year through this exciting on-line promotion.

In addition to the grand prize vehicle, customers who purchase a medium, large or extra large hot beverage at Tim Hortons during the contest also have a chance to win one of 100 $10,000 cash prizes, 1,000 Toshiba laptops, 25,000 $10 Tim Cards and over 31 million food prizes.

The Roll Up The Rim To Win contest runs while cup supplies last. Prizes may be claimed until May 24th, 2009. Contest rules and regulations, prizing information and winner counts can be found at participating Tim Hortons locations or at rolluptherimtowin.com.





Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill

21 02 2009
  • 3004 W. Main Street
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 484-7940
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

Saturday nights are usually relaxed nights for us.  After being lazy all afternoon and watching the NASCAR truck race, we decided to go out for dinner again.  We still  haven’t been to the grocery store since getting back to Michigan so there’s not a lot of food in the house yet and since shopping hungry is a bad idea, we just found a bar.  Quite a while ago, someone suggested the Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill is on Main Street near I-496.  It’s kind of out there by itself.  There’s not a whole lot in the area yet the parking lot was packed even though it was a crappy, snowy night.  We trekked through the snow only to be confused again.  There were two doors.  Neither were marked.  Neither gave any indication that it was the entrance. One of them was a little fancier than the other so that’s the one I chose.  I peeked in through the window and it looked right so we went in.  Good thing I chose that one.  The other one would have led to the kitchen.

The inside is a typical sports pub.  There are at least three pretty good size dining areas.  The bar is the first thing you run into.  From there, there are two dining areas off to the side.  I took a second to look around and didn’t really see anything other than tables for large groups.  Then I noticed some booths at the far end of the bar.  The decor is all beer company freebies.  It’s a comfortable, familiar setting.

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

Read the rest of this entry »