CoolDMZ declares Independence

This is where I live now:

The land mass on the left is a small (football field-size) island off the edge of Scotts Flat Lake in Nevada County, and it is where I spent by Fourth (a few blissful hours of it, anyway). (Here it is on Google Maps.) It was kind of like Tom Sawyer’s Island, the Disney attraction, but with 100% fewer pirate corpses.

We didn’t attend the parade this year but the weather was perfect.

Nevada City to host AMGEN prologue – UPDATED

cc by Trefethen

As I predicted, Nevada City will be involved in the 2010 AMGEN tour. In fact, the prologue to the 2010 race might start in the wonderful foothill town, News10 reports. The prologue would end here in Sacramento which means lots of two-wheeled action for our fair city as well.

In addition the race has been moved to May. The announcement about the race layout will be made official tomorrow, and it looks like it is still uncertain whether Lance will compete since the Tour of Italy also takes place in May.

UPDATE (Thursday 10/22): It’s official, Nevada City will start the 2010 tour. Also official is Lance Armstrong’s participation in the event. Big news for our neighbors up the hill!

Lance crushes competition in small town bike race

He came, he smelled, he conquered. I don’t know a lot about bike racing, but isn’t it possible for a world class cyclist to dial it down a few notches and still win a race? The headline conjures up an image of a bunch of mountain folk on rusty bikes slapped together with mismatched parts struggling up a hill and then Lance hurtling past at 50 mph in full gear. But it sounds like he greatly enjoyed the race and the city, and all went off without a hitch. I’m still not sure how they crammed that many people in such a small race area.

Breaking: Armstrong and teammates to race in Nevada City this weekend UPDATED

Levi Leipheimer
Levi Leipheimer,
by Flickr user kwc

The Union (Nevada County), all up in Web 3.0, caught the breaking news from cyclist Lance Armstrong hours ago via Twitter that he and Astana Cycling teammates Levi Leipheimer (winner of the 2009 AMGEN Tour of California) and Chris Horner will be racing at the 49th annual Nevada City Classic bike race on Saturday. Let’s hope NVC gives him a better welcome back than Sac did.

UPDATE: Word on the streets of Nevada City is that the town is “in the running towards becoming” host to the first leg of the 2010 AMGEN Tour. Cool!

Doo-wop on KVMR

Brian LeeAll that talk about local radio made me remember one of my favorite local shows that I’ve always meant to highlight: “Color Radio” on KVMR. Host Brian Lee spins doo-wop, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll (see the double ‘ RG?) from 4-6 pm Saturday evening on KVMR Nevada City, 89.5 on your FM dial. Lee has a great gravelly radio voice and is somewhat of a savant about the classic wax he spins. Don’t expect to hear the Beach Boys or the boys from Liverpool: you’ll hear a couple of recognizable tunes but mostly you’ll hear a solid 2 hours of great old music. A recent playlist includes the Velveteens, Big Maybelle, the Drifters, and Mickey & Sylvia.

Continue reading “Doo-wop on KVMR”

The calorie-free way to kill brain cells this holiday season

Why kill brain cells on eggnog and turkey-tinis when you can just turn on VH1 and catch a local or two on “America’s Most Smartest Model.”

Grass Valley native VJ is still in the running, while Sacramentan Jesse has already been sent home. Some may remember Slavco (also already sent packing) from VH1’s “Kept” from 2004.

Thankfully, I’ve only caught one full episode, so there’s still hope for a full recovery. The one redeeming quality of this show is that it is co-hosted by the wry Ben Stein; although, I’d love to see guest appearances by Tyra, Miss Jay, Benny Ninja — and just for kicks, Michael Kors and Tim Gunn (just keep Padma away, por favor.)

The Big A

If you find yourself in Grass Valley and with dangerously clean arteries, there is only one place to go: Big A Root Beer Drive-In. A perennial favorite, Big A is one of those places with a menu that you need to take home and study, or get on tape and play on headphones while you sleep, if you don’t want to take an hour and a half to order. Dozens of burger choices, fried fare, great big salads and other specialties, all prepared magically from a pretty small kitchen. I went simple on my last visit and ordered a Deluxe Steak-lover’s Burger–1/2 lb. Angus on French roll with classic “works” toppings. Our party was undecided on the fries–I think they are pretty good, but they are definitely nothing unique. I’ve never had a salad there (go figure) but I hear great things about all the selections on that quadrant of the menu.

And that’s not even the best part: They make their own root beer. It is nice and sweet, with (to me, anyway) a hint of maple syrup (I know, you’re out the door already!). CoolDMZ sez check it out.

Big-A Rootbeer Drive-in
810 E. Main St
Grass Valley

(Go up Hwy 49, take the Central Grass Valley exit, take a right on East Main and go up the hill until you see the sign.)

Jimboy’s Grass Valley – A giant history taco

Checked out Jimboy’s Tacos second-newest location in picturesque Grass Valley this weekend, and let me tell you, it’s a treat. The same menu, the same addictive taco, the same distinctive taco sauce, with a few wonderful additions: free refills, which for Jimboy’s lovers is like manna from the heavens, and a delightful decor more appropriate for a sit-down taqueria than a fast-food joint. And along with your local boosterism you get some historical photos and one big lesson: as it turns out, the original Jimboy was a Grass Valley native! Though Jimboy himself is no longer manning the grease station (thanks MTSac), his name lives on. And after 50 years it’s finally come back full circle. And I am seeing an additional benefit of the Sunday taco sale–next time you’re making your way back from the North Shore enjoying some great skiing, stop off for a six pack of ground beef goodness (and the other kind of six pack too–they serve Cerveca). West off the Brunswick exit in Grass Valley.

Citrus Heights’ last samurai, too

Ok, maybe it’s not just Grass Valley, then.

But, I’m surprised by this story:

A Citrus Heights man was under arrest Tuesday after he allegedly traveled to the Bay Area and attacked his sister and brother-in-law with a sword, slashing one to death and severely injuring the other while the couple’s teenage children slept in the family’s El Cerrito home.

Yikes. Somehow, I never saw this area as the sword wielding type.