The Ad That Makes Me Cry

I’m talking about the GE ad that shows an Idea, in a costume that looks like it was recycled from the Farmer’s ad about “gaps in your insurance coverage”. The Idea is a scruffy, shaggy creature that no one wants around because it’s ugly and disturbing.  It hangs out at coffee shops till they close. It’s homeless, living in a box in an alley. Finally a yuppie takes it in but by that time my eyes are filled with tears.

Cherish your ideas! Every business in this community started as an idea. Cherish your ideas- nourish them, love them, work on them, discuss them and above all be thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!


“Taste of Bim” IS Pretty Tasty; Amy’s Delight Delivers.

A TASTE OF BIM-  When I finally got to check out A Taste of Bim, the new Caribbean restaurant on 3rd Street (in the back half of what used to be the Avalon) the lunch rush had subsided and we were the only customers. The waitress was cheery and the space is colorful and full of light. Go HERE for a link to their website.

The food is definitely out of the ordinary. I ordered the codfish fritters, which come as three deep-fried tennis-ball size portions on a banana leaf. In appearance they’re kind of daunting but once you cut into them, they are absolutely delicious. They came with a mustard sauce that was also good.

I also had the jerk chicken wings, which were good. The jerk flavor was very mild. My friend had the roti with chicken, which turned out to be a large taco-like construction with the meat and potatoes stuffing folded into a sort of tortilla. It was very, very good and we were both impressed with the quality and the value.  The codfish fritters, for example, were $5. A Taste of Bim – “Bim” by the way, is short for Barbados- should do very well in a part of town that could use some new choices.  Open from 11-9 M-Th, 11-10 Fri-Sat, 11-7 Sunday. Check it out.

AMY’S DELIGHT- “I’ve driven past this place a thousand times” I said to myself. Amy’s is that place just down from Winco that you always pass by because  you’re just had lunch. I figure that with at least three trips a week to Winco,  COSTCO or some place on Broadway, plus return, I have actually driven past Amy’s 1560 times in the past five years. See? I never exaggerate.

We checked Amy’s out on a Friday morning and when we entered at 1130 no one was there.  We were greeted by a pleasant man who brought us a plate of cut-up oranges. He and his wife, who stayed in the kitchen, are the proprietors and her Asian heritage explains some of the menu items, like the chow mein.  They have many choices for breakfast or lunch and the prices are reasonable. We both had the chicken-fried steak breakfast which was good and which I could not finish.  By the time we left, the lunch crowd had arrived and there was not an empty seat. Amy’s closes at 3pm.  Their Facebook link is HERE and now you have no further excuse to drive past without stopping.  I’m definitely going back.

Open Tuesday-Friday 11-8, Saturday 7-2, closed Sunday and Monday.




Annals of Customer Service


This really happened.
I was shopping for a winter jacket at a local store which shall be nameless (because this could have happened anywhere in Humboldt) . I found one that looked right but it had a fur collar- not exactly my style,  plus I figured it was fake anyway. I flagged down a salesclerk and asked if it was real. She went to consult someone and came back saying, “Yes, it’s real. It’s fox.”

FOX!  I couldn’t believe it. “Isn’t that an endangered species?” I asked.  I don’t know whether they’re endangered or not.  My neighbor says there are foxes in our ‘hood in Cutten but I never see them.

“No, it’s really fox”, the clerk said.  “It’s right here on the tag. See?”

I looked at the tag.   It said “FAUX”, not “fox’.  I explained the difference.  She was sort of interested.

That incident made me wonder what local employers are doing for customer service training now that the Eureka Adult School is no more. Years ago, the Chamber sponsored training for retail employees.  The legend is that their training got its start when the waitstaff at the old Seafood Grotto were heard telling visitors who asked what there was to do in Eureka, “Nothing”.  The Chamber is under financial duress at present and I would’t expect any expensive initiatives from them for awhile.  

Retail is critically important in this County; it provides thousands of jobs, not all of which are minimum wage jobs.  It provides training; most people’s first jobs were in retail.  Retail trains people to communicate,  problem solve, handle cash and a dozen other skills. 

Including, maybe,  the ability to distinguish “faux’ from “fox.” The fake fox fur turned out to be detachable.  I’m trying to decide if I should give it to the dogs to play with or if that would encourage aggression toward small critters.  I guess I’ve already done irreparable harm with all the “squeaky” toys I’ve given them. The faux mice and faux birdies have taken their toll.


My Favorite Businesses: Jeff W’s Lawn Service

I’d like to give a shout out to a business in which I have no financial stake at all. Jeff Wickizer has been doing my lawn for three or four years now and does a great job. He shows up when he says he will and works quickly. His cleanup is great and his suggestions are helpful.  In other words, he gets five stars.

You can reach Jeff by email to or on his cell which is 601-2090.  He’s also the General Foreman and Estimator at Professional Tree Services and you can reach him there at 839-TREE (8733). Jeff is a hardworking young guy with a family (they just had a baby a few weeks ago) and I say anyone ambitious enough to start their own company on top of a full-time job is the type of entrepreneur who deserves your support. Besides, he does good work. Give him a call and tell him I sent you. You won’t regret it. 



From the Humboldt Area Foundation:

September 1, 2015
Contact: Courtney Haraldson
Humboldt Area Foundation
(707) 442-2993

New Fund Established at Humboldt Area Foundation to Support Women in Technology

BAYSIDE,CA- StreamGuys, a leading international streaming media company based in Bayside, CA has established a new fund with Humboldt Area Foundation. The Women in Technology Fund was created to encourage young women in high school to pursue online training in the field of computer technology.

The mission of the fund is to engage and encourage stronger diversification in the field of computer technologies, and to focus young minds on the current and future job demand of many companies in the Humboldt County area. Jonathan Speaker, Jason Osburn and Kiriki Delany have made it a priority to help establish and grow the technology field in the local area to bring higher paying jobs, family and home ownership to the community. Their hope is to expand this fund in the future in response to need.

This is an annual award for students in grades 9-12 and nominations can be made by high school teachers and staff through the Humboldt Area Foundation. Recipients of this award will be encouraged to use the funding to take additional online courses in technology.

For more information about the Humboldt Area Foundation or this particular fund please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation online at or call (707) 442-2993.

Humboldt Area Foundation is the community foundation of and for the citizens of the Redwood, Trinity, and Wild Rivers Region. Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972 with $2.4 million. Since then, more than $67 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.


Courtney Haraldson
Communications Manager
Humboldt Area Foundation
363 Indianola Rd. Bayside, CA 95524
T | 707.267.9911
F | 707.442.9702
W |


We Finally Check Out The Oaxaca Grill

Those of you who are familiar with this fine Henderson Center establishment- and I guess that’s most of you- can skip reading the rest of this. I am ashamed-ASHAMED- that I never ate there until Monday.  I have been missing out, clearly.

The Oaxaca ( 508 Henderson, near F Street, 445-9702) doesn’t have a website. It’s a family-run cafe with surprisingly sophisticated Mexican food.  The personable server is the paterfamilias.  The menu looks spendy until you figure in that most of the choices include soup or salad. I tried the Cream of Jalapeno and it was really different, smooth and richly flavorful.  I had the fish tacos and the fish appeared to be filet of sole.  The small pieces were tucked into thin corn tortillas that were a little too delicate to hold a taco together, especially with the mound of mango salsa that was piled on.  I used a knife and fork. It was great. 

My friend ordered a chimichanga and pronounced it good, although there was some debate over whether the chimi should have come with lettuce, guac etc on top as it does at Rita’s.  At the Oaxaca, it won’t, so take that into your considerations. Although we came into this situation knowing that the Oaxaca is renowned for its mole,  we left without trying it.

Shucks, I guess we’ll have to go back!


Redding Man Featured in “Blue Collar Millionaires”

CNBC’s new series “Blue Collar Millionaires” featured a Redding man, Boyce Muse, in its initial broadcast. Muse, the founder and owner, with his wife, of Muse Concrete, came up from dire poverty.  At an early age, they bet everything they owned on a future building boom in Northern California.  They bet right.

Concrete is an expensive business.  The machinery involved in pouring and sawing concrete is massive and difficult to transport.  Muse now has over 100 employees, 16 machines up from the original one, and the business did $13M in 2014. They do projects all over Northern California.  The Muses have two homes, a 4000 sf home in Redding and and an 8000 sf mountain retreat near Mt Shasta. And a plane.  You can rent the Shasta house when they’re not using it for $895 a night.

Mrs. Muse is shown describing the trepidation they felt at taking out a loan for a machine that cost more than their then-house. Yes, their bet paid off.  But would that kind of financing even be available today?  Ever since the 2008 crash, it seems that financing has dried up.  It’s going to be hard to spawn more tycoons without capital available for investment.

The next two episodes of “Blue Collar Millionaire” air tonight (July 22) at 7 and 10pm on CNBC.  You may have to tape Sharknado.


Have You Tried Sammy’s BBQ Catering in King Salmon?

No one goes to King Salmon by accident. You have to want to go ‘way out there. When I heard about Sammy’s it was from friends in Washington State,  go figure.
So when my friend and I checked them out on Tuesday, they had already been open for a year. The first thing we learned was, don’t go late. We thought showing up at 1:30 was the right thing to do, but they were already out of tri-tip by then. As you can gather from their website,  they usually have tri-tip, kalua pork, pork ribs, teri chicken, and meatballs.

The sides include chop suey, unusual for Humboldt but considering it’s a Tongan family that runs the place it all makes sense.  The menu is similar in part to that of the Banana Hut and it would be interesting to do a side-by-side tasting of the two versions of kalua and the two versions of pineapple gravy. The chop suey is made with glass noodles which I hadn’t seen before.  They also have a pineapple cole slaw which I didn’t expect to like, but I did.

I had the kalua pork, salty as heck but I can never resist it, and the ribs , which could have used more cooking. They were okay but not falling off the bone.  My friend got ribs which were too fatty.  The lady who was serving was slow about offering to replace them, and an unseemly discussion ensued during which my friend pointed out the layers of fat on her rib. Hers were too fat, mine were not. I liked the potato salad, wasn’t crazy about the meatballs. Things would have gone a lot better if we’d gotten there early enough for the tri-tip. 

The whole family works the restaurant .  When I lived on Oahu I had Tongan friends who used to come and visit me out on the North Shore and every time they would find an excuse to clean my house, which was not up to their standards. Sammy’s is spotless.

I see an ad for Sammy’s in the Times-Standard this morning, but the print is so muddy you can’t read it.  I hope they got their money back. Sammy’s will be open tomorrow and Friday but closed on the Fourth.  Check them out and have  a great holiday.



And the lovely Happy of Happy Donuts (2916 Central in Eureka, across from Eureka Mall) said that as of 4pm Thursday she had orders for 60 dozen donuts. I can’t count that high but it’s a lot.
Happy and staff are having a party today with a DJ, gifts and door prizes and she’s running a special involving a free soda with one of their Asian entrees. All well and good, but the crowning glory of Happy Donuts is the spring rolls, which are world-class and if you call ahead they will make them WITHOUT CILANTRO which is a godsend to cilantro-haters like me. I’m picking mine up at noon.

See you there.  Happy National Donut Day!