Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is a steady stream of state regulations driving the price of housing out of the reach of most Californians? And I visit the new Happy Hour Bar and Tapas while readers give me tips of dealing with weevils

 * ... HOUSING CRISIS: A steady stream of state mandated regulations is increasing the cost of new home building, creating a housing crisis that is pushing the cost of an average home out of reach of most Californians. That was the word from Matt Towery and Dave Dmohowski of the Home
Builders Association of Kern County who appeared on my radio show this week. Dmohowski, the HBA's executive officer, said there are literally more than 130 bills pending in Sacramento that would increase the cost of building a home, legislation that could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home. The regulations deal with everything from mandating homes be more energy efficient to small transactional fees that drive up the cost of housing.

 * ... HAPPY HOUR: I finally got around to checking out Happy Hour Bar and Tapas, one of our downtown's newer eateries. Located on 18th Street near Chester Avenue, Happy Hour is a cheerful bar featuring some amazing smaller dishes. Among my favorites were the chicken waffle sliders and a delectable version of the standard chicken tender that come with a mouth watering white sauce.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Relationships should come with an icon that shows you how much time you have left like your phone’s battery."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Attended a health fair today and a young, presumptuous sales clerk asked if I wanted a free diabetes cookbook. I responded, 'Why would I want to cook diabetes?'"

 * ... WEEVILS: When I wrote about the appearance of weevils in my cupboard and gnats outside, it triggered a few responses like this one from Mary Helen Barro: "Tell your readers that they should put a few bay leaves in all flour products. It will keep the weevils away. Also, it may be time to remind folks again about taking vitamin B-1 to repel mosquitos. Mosquitos tend to bite people that are low in B-1. At least, that’s what my doctor told me decades ago, when I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitos. Since then, I take B-1 and have not been bitten."

 * ... WEIGHT WATCHERS: This note from Chuck Doremus showed up in my mailbox: "At Weight Watchers (WW) last Monday morning, one of the members, while waiting to weigh-in, noticed she had lost an earring. Later during the meeting, Laurie, an employee at WW, came in announcing she had found the earring as well as the back to it. There was applause. Then someone asked, "Do you take off your earrings to weigh-in?"

 * ... GNATS; And Gary Kozy added this: "A few years ago there were a large number of gnats in my area. Enough that it was difficult to breathe, afraid I might breathe one in my nose. No matter how careful I was gnats still managed to enter my home. I found a simple solution.  Just fill a sink or two with water and a sweet smelling liquid dish soap. I use Costco brand. The house will be free of gnats. But don't be surprised to see a mess in the sink in the morning. Ever since then I continue to fill a sink with  soapy  water. It attracts other bugs also. And gives me confidence in having a bug free home. A side benefit is that it leaves the sink sparkling clean. No scrubbing necessary."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Five California universities make the top ten of the nation's best public colleges, get ready for Santa Carota beef to hit the market and battling an infestation of weevils

 * ... TOP UNIVERSITIES: U.S. News has unveiled its annual list of the top public colleges and universities and once again the state of California occupies five of the top ten spots. In no particular
order the top ten are the College of William and Mary, Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia.

 * ... SANTA CAROTA: If you haven't heard of Santa Carota steaks yet, you will soon. The brainchild of Kern County ranchers Justin and Corrine Pettit, this new beef is totally gluten free and a perfect addition to the farm to table movement that values free range beef raised without grains. How do they do it? The cattle are grass raised and carrot finished, meaning they eat up to 200 pounds of carrots a day. The steaks are leaner, lighter and tastier. They are available now at the Luigi's deli and soon Santa Carota ground beef and steaks will be on sale at the Wood Dale butcher shop.

 * ... WINE: When did Trader Joe's famous "two buck Chuck" become "three buck Chuck?"

 * ... WEEVILS: I opened a cupboard this weekend to find a nasty infestation of weevils, those pesky insects that exploit any opportunity to crawl into an open bag of flour or grain. That, along with an equally irksome infestation of gnats at Bakersfield Racquet Club, left me thinking about the effect of our wet winter and its connection to an insect explosion across town.

* ... PICKLEBALL: Congratulations to Nick Jacobs who staged a successful inaugural Renegade Cup Pickleball tournament up at Bakersfield College this weekend. Jacobs, head tennis coach at BC, said he had more than 100 players from Fresno, Visalia, Lancaster, Hanford and Phoenix attend the tournament.

 * ... SOUTH HIGH: South High School is holding a gala at the Doubletree Hotel later this month to honor a new group of inductees into its alumni hall of fame. Hats off to all the folks who are being honored, including Californian columnist Herb Benham. basketball player Winston Crite, educators Jeanne Johnson Harry and Richard Giese, Mike Davis, former educators Bill Miller and Mike Stricker, and former coach John Wren,.

* ... MEMORIES: Bud King wrote with some memories of the old Lebec Hotel. "King Trucking of Bakersfield did the demolition of the Lebec Hotel.  They were getting so many flats on the trucks that they got with the Fire Department across Highway 99 and Interstate 5 to use their parking lot to make repairs. That is where I learned a lesson about split rim truck rims, always put the split side down. One of the tire repairman didn't, it blew off during inflation and took the top of his head off. "