Three Things I Just Learned

1. Mega-uber-Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy, the godmother of the Star Wars franchise, is a graduate of Shasta High School. That’s in Redding.

2.  14% of the State of California is pavement. That includes roads.

3.  When the Humboldt Soup Company says on its Facebook page that they have Chicken Cocoanut Curry Soup, you HAVE to get there before 2pm or it will be gone.

Speaking of gone, we are taking a hiatus until the New Year. Stay dry and and take care of each other. Hopefully the new year will not be as ugly as the old was. Our very best wishes to each of you!



The Insiders’ Guide To Watching Star Wars

I was living in LA/Venice  in 1977 when my friend came to drag me to the new Star Wars movie that had just opened at the Westwood cinema.  I wasn’t really into space movies and I was even less enthused when we got close enough to see the line around the block and beyond.  When we reached the box office the cashier announced that the seats they were selling were in the FRONT row.

The film had opened less than a week before but John had already seen it five times. We scrunched down in the seats craning our necks back at the screen which was about five feet in front of us.  Remember the first scene of the first Star Wars?  Remember those lines of text flying over your head ?  It was terrifying but I must have gotten used to it because I lived through the film.

Fast-forward to a few years ago when the most recent Star Wars movie opened at the Broadway Cinema. I am a fan but not a fanatic, which is why I couldn’t tell you the name of the last one  without looking it up. Okay, I looked it up- it was Revenge of the Sith, 2005.  So my friend and I-  we both hate crowds- were trying to figure out how to see Revenge of The Sith in as empty a theater as possible.   We figured to go on the very last night  and waited several weeks, then on what was advertised as closing night we went down to the the Broadway expecting to saunter in to an empty theater.  WTF? The place was packed!!  What went wrong? 

When I got a chance, I took a meeting with The Consultants.  The Consultants hang at the candy counter and they gave us the straight skinny. The formula, they said, was E-3, where E is the Ending Date, you count back three days and THAT’S when you go.  Last days don’t work because that’s when all the nuts come out, and the folks who’ve seen it eight times and just want to sneak in one more.

So there you have it: E-3.  I’ll see you down there. In March or so.

On The Cover Of Rolling Stone

Last Christmas my present to myself was a subscription to Rolling Stone. I hadn’t had a subscription to it since 1967 when the first issue came out. My then-roommate and I were early adopters.  We’d sit in the Coop at the UC Davis campus, ostentatiously flashing our copies of RS. I kind of gave up on them when they moved to New York but I was wrong. They have since become a major force in American journalism, with a million and a half subscribers.

So, a year later, here’s my notice to resubscribe.  Will I?  Oh hell yeah.  In recent months, along with the now-discredited story about the rape culture at UV, they’ve covered climate change in depth.  Bernie Sanders is on the cover this week and the last issue had in-depth coverage of Adele, Buddy Guy and Martin O’Malley.  Matt Taibbi is a noted pundit who frequently shows up on CNN or MSNBC.  But what I enjoy most is the trivia.  Here’s an example: Johnny Cash,  Willlie Nelson and Merle Haggard were best friends for years. Did you know that Johnny Cash’s friends never called him “Johnny’? It was always “John”.

To me that’s worth a few bucks.  Actually, the intro rate is usually $20 a year; for renewals you pay about $30 but you get a second subscription for free.  YMMV. Study hard.



ZOË is Hiring! AND having a party

The eagerly anticipated addition to the Henderson Center restaurant scene, the upscale bistro, Zoë, is showing signs of life after a difficult period dealing with health inspections, building inspections etc. You’ll recall that this venue was originally a drugstore, so we’re talking major remodel.  Owner Marsa Jordan tells us that she is now hiring staff for a December 28 start date.  From the Facebook announcement:

“Zoë is now accepting applications for waitstaff, cooks, managers, prep assistants and dishwashers. Please send resumes to our e-mail. I will be conducting phone interviews while we are in construction and will be hiring within the next month.”

Marsa has announced that she is planning a party on Wednesday, December 30 from 6pm to 9pm, featuring appetizers and artisan pizza.  This is invitation and reservations must be made.  Beer and wine will be extra.

Art is on the way.   Marsa has commissioned Kathryn Stotler to do collages, and other artist will be featured for display and sale.  Window treatments are going up on Monday.  

Zoë is coming!!


Motel Six Under Heat In Sac

Eureka is not the only town to have problem motels but the cast of characters changes. The Sac Bee recently reported that the Motel 6 chain is being told by the City of Sacramento to clean up its act. The story is HERE.

Sacramento has had other problem lodging situations.  The venerable Red Lion/Sacramento Inn complex near Arden Fair, where many of our local State workers were sent for training over the years, nosedived so badly into a dangerous and unsavory place that it was recently slated to be demolished.

In Eureka, the Motel 6 has not been a problem.   It was not included on the list of “problem”  properties that were tabulated by the Lost Coast Outpost as using a disproportionate share of the city’s resources for trouble calls etc in January of this year. Those properties were: Blue Heron Lodge (now closed), Chin’s Motel, Pine Motel, McCullens Motel, Broadway Motel, Budget Motel, Christie’s Motel, the Royal Inn, the Flamingo Motel and the Serenity Inn.  I’ve had friends and relatives stay at the Motel 6 in Eureka and they thought it was fine, for the no-frills price.

The Motel 6 chain is noted, of course, for its dog-friendly policies. I’ve stayed at the Motel 6 in Santa Rosa – because of the dog- near Coddingtown and it was fine, nothing fancy but definitely safe.  What a shame that the situation in Sacramento deteriorated so badly.  People need clean,  safe lodging at a reasonable price.


Your Handy Clip-and-Save Guide To Dollar Stores and Dollar General Stores And So On

Do you get irritated by those Dollar General ads that show up in the paper with NO info as to where you can actually access the vaunted bargains?  Help has arrived, but to straighten this out, we need to discuss as well as the regular old Dollar Stores the fact that these stores are sometimes doing business under names like Family Dollar. You see a lot of those in the South.

It helps that the plain old “Dollar Stores” are the ones where everything really DOES cost a dollar.  The following is a locator for the honest-to-God  Dollar Stores in Humboldt currently:

Dollar Tree, Valley West Center in Arcata, phone 825-8401

Dollar Tree, 1111 Myrtle, on the CVS/Starbucks side, phone 443-5515

Dollar Tree, 800 W Harris, the Eureka Mall,

Dollar Tree, 721 S Fortuna Blvd, 726-7850, Redwood Village, Fortuna

Bigfoot Dollar, 76 Country Club Drive, Willow Creek, 530-629-2100.

Now, lets talk about Dollar General.  They carry stuff which costs  from $1 to $25. They are at:

650 South Fortuna Blvd, no phone listed and

44 Davis Street, Rio Dell , 764-1734.  

The Dollar General stores are more upscale (comparatively) and carry things like Tracfones.  I assume they are intendIng to expand in the county because otherwise I can’t understand why they  publish an expensive supplement to the Times every Sunday for only two stores. 

Obviously (to me,’cause I’m a cheapskate)) the only ones worth patronizing are the REAL dollar stores. They’re great for wrapping paper and picture frames, also dishes if you check the labels carefully. 

Let me know if you see any more of these critters.  The world of discount retail is shadowy and ephemeral.  Only a few months ago there was a Dollar store of in Bayshore Mall, near the credit union. Just browsing online, it seems to be gone.  And I’m not willing to brave the rain to go check.  Meanwhile, you can print out our handy-dandy guide and keep it in your wallet.   It still works even when ATT goes out.


The November HSU Economic Index Is In

The latest picture of our economic health can be found HERE.  Mortgage rates are up, median homes prices are down.  Gas prices also down, to $2.70 statewide and $2.64 in Eureka.  Anyone else old enough to remember the first gas crisis, in the ’70’s when we were complaining about 39¢ a gallon?

As always, our thanks to Dr. Eschker and his hardworking crew.


Shopping in Eureka, 1959

The news lately has been so horrible l want to regress to an earlier time. This post from three years ago reflects the same feeling.

     The news lately has been so disturbing and distressing it’s only natural to retreat into reveries of a more innocent time. At least that’s what I’m doing.

     Eureka in the ‘Fifties was very different in feeling than it is now. Going down town to do Christmas shopping was exciting because you could discover what new stores had opened, not just what was the latest to close down.  There was a feeling of prosperity in the air and the trains still rumbled along the waterfront, not that we went down there.  The Bank of America was the edge of the known world to a kid in those days because we weren’t allowed to go any further toward the Bay, not without an adult. Anyone remember the Sportsmen’s Cafe? The burgers were flavored with the excitement of being close to the Unknown, just catty-corner from Daly’s.

      Daly’s could always be counted on for lots of holiday decor, as could the other stores: Bistrin’s, McGaraghan’s,  Lerner’s, the Mode O’Day.  I loved Sears’ Cafeteria on Fifth Street where Millie Sears dished up chicken pot pie, the all-time comfort food.  I remember being with my grandmother and my Aunt Evelyn Olander in a diner called Tiny’s that was on or near the corner of 5th and F.  The place was packed with shoppers and the windows steamed against the darkness. We ate spaghetti, which we never got at home,  and all was well with the world.

     On Fridays there would always be a reason to go to Lazio’s.  Friday lunchtime it seemed  the whole town was there, including the priests from St. Bernard’s. We watched the ladies slinging crabs and picked up chowder to take home.  Eureka was a great place to grow up in.  Let’s hope the New Year brings back some of the comfort and joy we knew in days past.  Happy Holidays to all!