Thursday, September 24, 2020

Starbucks at Hy-Vee

THE HY-VEE GROCERY store at 14th and Harrison is putting in a Starbucks. In Calftown, this is big news. Many of us can't get enough coffee and the thought of instant access to massive caffeine overload is a huge deal.

I'm in the store at least three times a week. I love the Harrison Hy-Vee. It's clean, stuff is clearly marked, and they are enforcing the mask rule. The employees are super friendly and always go out of their way to say hello and help you find stuff. When it gets busy and the lines pile up at the register, a manager makes an announcement and POOF three cashiers appear out of nowhere to speed things up. 

There was a bank in the Hy-Vee for several years. It was never busy. I can only remember one time where there were more than two people in line. The bank employees were again very pleasant but looked bored stiff most of the time. So it came as no surprise that the bank branch didn't reopen after the spring COVID-19 lockdown. 

A few weeks ago the bank walls were torn down and the remodeling began. The other day there were several important-looking men flipping through construction blueprints and rubbing their foreheads in dismay, which I've been told is normal behavior when you are building something. Another guy was poking around above the drop ceiling and another was sitting on a fork lift awaiting instructions. I think at one point he put it in reverse so the BEEP BEEP BEEP sound could echo through the store. But he could have been backing up on purpose. I was distracted because I was staring at my receipt and rejoicing in the 3 cents earned on my Hy-Vee gas card. 

Putting the Starbucks in the store is a stroke of genius. Who doesn't want an iced mocha latte with caramel swirl and macadamia milk? I'm fine with Starbucks and I know people who work at the main store on Broadway and it's great the three times a year I go in there. But I'd rather go to the smaller coffee shops in town.

Still, the thought of coffee while doing early morning shopping, or the Sunday afternoon rock and roll recovery shopping, is indeed tempting. I will probably succumb. There are worse vices in the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Sun smoked out


 IT'S BEEN A beautiful week weather-wise in the Q-Town, but it's been strangely overcast and the sun has been obscured by smoke from wild fires out West.

The photo to the right was taken Monday night from the roof of our Second String Music building. It was indeed eerie looking right at the sun without squinting. It almost looked like the moon. The light didn't slowly fade as much as it just turned gray and then black.

Contrast that in the photo above from the night before, same vantage point, when the skies were clear and the daylight faded past the Mississippi River.

It's fitting this is happening in 2020, the most messed up and strange year ever. Here's to hoping we have more sunsets in beautiful light to bring on the night. And sunrises, for that matter.

Friday, September 11, 2020

It's an Election Year. Be careful out there.

POLITICS IS SERIOUS business. I get it. The upcoming election is huge. But some people involved in politics often lack a sense of humor. So if you are easily offended or if you think the election is already rigged or certain candidates are backed by aliens, stop reading right here. Or, have somebody read the rest of this blog to you, which I suspect might be the case anyway.

I am not a member of either party. I have opinions and I will vote. If you want to know my opinions, call me. But opinions are like assholes - everybody has one, nobody needs two, and they often smell. So save it if you want to comment on this and tell me how to vote or how wrong I am. 

This morning, Sheryl discovered a political bumper sticker on her car had been defaced. I will not tell you what it said. But it was written in marker. So some dirtball actually walked down our alley, saw the sticker, went home, got a marker and came back and wrote on the bumper sticker. Now THAT is dedication. Congrats, dirtball! You get the Dedicated DipWad Award! Lots of people in Calftown get it, so it's not that big of a deal.

I do have an opinion about people who deface political signs or cars, and people who steal signs. Now would be a good time to have the person reading this to you read very slowly so you understand every word - 

IT. IS. ILLEGAL.

There aren't enough Dedicated DipWad Awards out there to give you but the police would like to have a talk. Just stop.

Don't bother commenting on this blog, or on Facebook, if you stole the signs or wrote garbage on a political sticker. Tell the person who is reading this you and writing your comments to stop. They'll get removed the minute you post them. 

If you want to put a sign in your yard, great. If you want to gather in a parking lot and then drive down Broadway honking and waving flags, super duper. If you want to park around Washington Park and jump up and down and tell us how great your guy is, good for you. I won't be around but I have no problem with it. 

The beauty of living in a free country is that you have freedom. Your freedom ends when it harms someone else or their property so be careful. Especially around Sheryl... she's had enough of your stupidity.

This is an election year! Go out and support your party and your candidate. But don't cross the line, and don't tell me who to vote for or why. Otherwise, you will be sentenced to laughing for five minutes every day until you cheer up.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Cleaned out and rented

 WE'VE BEEN CLEANING the daylight out of the upper floors of our historic Second String Music building. Into the 503 Maine space formerly occupied by Electric Fountain Brewing went massive amounts of old drywall, windows, insulation, furniture and bag after bag of dust, dirt and crumbled plaster. Throw in a small mountain of scrap metal and the space quickly got filled.

On Monday our friend Kate Daniels came into the store and asked Sheryl to help with an Adams County Democratic Party project. Then she asked if the 503 space was still for rent. When learning it was and negotiating monthly rent, we asked when she wanted to move in.

"Uh, how about now?" she said.

So 503 Maine is the new temporary headquarters of the Adams County Democrats, and will be through next spring's municipal elections. Sheryl had been doing research on what to do to get rid of the small mountain of junk in the space. Tuesday morning she called Clayton Roll, a young Quincy man who owns Rolling Operations dumpster rental. Two hours later we had a large dumpster in front of 503 Maine and we started filling it up. 

We recruited Isaac Smith from our 505 Maine Studios space, and he got his young son Jaden to help out. Soon we were swinging heavy bags of dirt and the tons of junk into the dumpster. A couple of

hours later we had had it filled to the top, and we tossed an old couch on the top to smash it down.

Clayton was awesome. He was willing to work with us if we needed a bigger dumpster, but fortunately the dumpster was exactly the right size. Sheryl messaged him Tuesday afternoon and he was there 20 minutes later to pick it up. His prices are fair and we are relieved to get all that junk out of there.

Yesterday I took two Jeep loads of scrap metal to Alter. In the end I got a mere $20 for the scrap, but the fact it was finally out of the space and not in a landfill was more than enough to make it worthwhile. 

Our new tenants started moving in literally minutes after I left with the last load. They are happy, we are happy, and our chiropractor has picked up more business this week (Sheryl is there as I write this).

We highly recommend Clayton if you need a dumpster for your trash. Thank you Isaac and Jaden as well!