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Golden Corral on Shadeland closed September 27, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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Tonight, I found out that the Golden Corral off 75th & Shadeland closed last weekend. I’ve been going there since at least 2007 and it became my go-to place to have dinner with my grandma, especially since the Castleton Perkins closed. Why is the north side incapable of keeping a country-style buffet in business? We lost Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, and Ponderosa before every other side of town. And further, how the hell is the one on West 38th street still in business? Golden Corral had been in that location17 years and no reason for the closing was given. They still have locations on West 38th street and East Washington Street, both of which are in worse areas of town and I wonder why those are still open, as well as locations in Greenwood or Plainfield. I took some photos to show the details. I feel bad for not going there much lately. I hadn’t been there since January 29. My dad’s the only person who went there with me most of the time, and every time the past few months I wanted to go, he always said he just went there with my grandma the previous week on a night where I was busy. And frankly, I’ve been to both the west and east side Golden Corrals, though it’s been years. Neither were as clean, and the east side one didn’t have root beer! I’d like to get to the bottom of this and find out why they closed.

Go Ape September 21, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in west.
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Ebony and I went to Go Ape, an outdoor treetop obstacle course with ziplines, last Saturday. We had to book our spots in advance online and it cost $58. We almost didn’t go because it was forecast to rain a lot that day. Thankfully, the rain let up by 1:00 and the rest of the day was 83 and sunny, although Go Ape would let us reschedule in case of rain. Ebony met me at my house at 3:00 and we made it to Eagle Creek park, where Go Ape is located, by 3:40. I had Ebony pay the $5 entry fee so she didn’t have to chip in for gas. We had to fill out some paperwork and sign some releases, which made me a bit nervous. The lady at the desk offered to take all the stuff from my pockets, such as my wallet, phone, camera, and keys, and hold it. I liked having that option because I was worried that stuff would fall out while ziplining. Instructors got our harnesses on, which felt surprisingly not uncomfortable. By that, I don’t mean they were comfortable, just that I was surprised at the lack of discomfort. We met some other people in our group, including one middle eastern lady named Monica who ran right up to us and started talking to us. I like that. Another guy, who I think was her husband, was with her. Another middle eastern guy named Ryan was there with his dad. Monica looked a little older than we did while Ryan looked a little younger. During training, Ryan was our guinea pig! We got a little delayed because a group of six guys (five of whom looked to be our age) showed up at the last minute and were added to our group because our group was the last one of the day. We trained for a good 15 minutes about how to transfer from cable to cable and to ALWAYS stay attached. For this to work, and for people to stay alive, they REALLY have to put their total faith in their equipment, which isn’t a problem as long as you stay attached. After you do that on the training line a few times, it becomes second nature. You attach a green hook on the rope to the green hook on your belt as you climb up a ladder. You then attach a red hook and a blue hook on your harness to a red hook on the rope. THEN you climb the ladder. After that, you transfer the red hook to the red cable and then you transfer the blue hook to the cable. Next, you disconnect the green hook on the rope from the green hook on your belt. You walk over to the steel cable and you place the blue pulley on, then you transfer the blue hook from the red cable to under the pulley. Then, you transfer the red hook to the red cable and place the red hook above the pulley. At that point, you’re safe to zipline or run across treetops. It will involve EITHER a pulley OR a green hook- not both. It sounds like a long explanation, but it becomes second nature after training a few times. As an added bonus, you could do the two training ziplines at no cost because you could get a full refund up until you entered the ladder for the first zipline- that was the point of no return where no refunds would be given. We went on five ziplines, though I thought there were six, each of which took three or four obstacles to get to. Each zipline began with climbing a ladder surrounded by a fence with a lock and a code. I had frequent trouble opening the door despite entering the correct code. Some of the obstacles had an “easy path” or a “hard path” to take to the next step. I always chose the easy path, and as a result, I finished second out of our group. On the obstacle course, we had to walk across several literal tightropes, some rickety bridges, and some planks. Some of them I found genuinely difficult, while others I found easy and was mystified by others’ complaining. At one point, I had to ‘climb’ a net laterally to get from one point to another. That wasn’t that bad. I even went on a mock zipline with a rope below the cable to get to the real zipline! The final zipline almost nearly went over the water and the view was breathtaking, to say the least. In fact, this was probably the most breathtaking experience I’ve had all year. And keep in mind I spent two weeks last February in Florida with Disneyworld and a cruise. Go Ape wins! I find it totally worth the $58 we spent. I only wish I had brought gloves because holding onto the ropes, cables, and lines irritated my hands after a point. Granted, I was grasping very hard, and the irritation was minor, but I think gloves would have helped. Also, we came in for some rough landings. The ziplines do not slow toward the end; you come in full force in a pile of mulch. Most people land hard on their butt and it hurts, but at least they get little mulch on them. I tumbled and rolled to disperse the impact like I was taught in karate, which worked, but I had mulch ALL OVER. Thankfully, I had clothes to change into at the marina afterward, but that’s when I learned that I should just bring clothes I don’t mind getting dirty next time. And yes, Ebony and I have concluded we’re doing this again in the spring. Plus, the people at the front desk said we can get a free t-shirt on our next visit!

Complaint to Red Lobster September 21, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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I had a bit of a problem when I last visited a Red Lobster. I’m at Red Lobster in Castleton in Indianapolis Monday night. My dad is giving me a free dinner with their new Endless Shrimp special for finding us two new customers. My stomach hurt, (it was from a friend starting an annoying argument, not from anything I ate while there) and I couldn’t eat the shrimp when they came. I had bad diarrhea, so I ran to the bathroom. As a result, I was ravenously hungry when I came back, finally ready for shrimp, and my dad paid the bill when I was in the bathroom, unbeknownst to me. I asked the waitress for shrimp refills, and she said, “We can’t give refills on shrimp once the check is closed.” So I walked away hungry AND upset. I know the computer system doesn’t let the wait staff add new orders after the bill is paid, and the waitress was nice and professional, but NO EMPLOYEE in the restaurant told me or my dad that the shrimp refills end when the bill was paid I was still eating, and $18 is a hard price to pay for a meal that doesn’t get me full. That seems like an unsatisfying waste of money to me and it would have been nice if an employee had warned my dad of that so he wouldn’t have paid the bill too early.

Naked Tchopstix September 18, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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I went to Naked Tchopstix in Broad Ripple with Ebony on Saturday night. Both of us had wanted to try that place for a while. I went there once in 2005, and I was still not eating meat on Lent Fridays at the time, so I’d wanted to try something with meat in it. We were seated immediately, as only two people are a better accommodation than a group. They serve Pepsi products, so I got to have root beer! The waitress took a minute to arrive, but she was prompt after that. I decided to have miso soup as an appetizer and then I had a noodle dish with chicken and vegetables as an entree. Ebony had a rice dish with beef for her entree, though it went by a name I can’t pronounce or remember. Our waitress was sweet, outgoing, prompt, polite, and soft-spoken. Naked Tchopstix gets an A- for service. The food was fairly nice. The miso soup wasn’t bad, though I think the ones at Sapporo and Formosa are more flavorful. I also liked the noodle dish, and it was surprisingly sweet. Portion size was also satisfying, though I wish it had more chicken. I ate it all, though. It was very succulent, flavorful, rich, moist, warm, and delicious, with a lingering pleasant aftertaste. Honestly, while it was nice, Yard House has a similar dish that, while not as sweet, features more of a balance of meat and vegetables to noodles and rice. The entree at Naked Tchopstix went a bit heavy on the noodles and rice compared to the meat and vegetables, though it was still tasty. The place is a bit on the high side, so I wouldn’t go here frequently, but I’d recommend it and go back again. As an added bonus, they’re open until midnight on Saturdays, so Naked Tchopstix is good for late night eats.

Louie’s Wine & Dive September 18, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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I had a nice time with Jenn at Louie’s Wine & Dive on Mass Ave today. Mass Ave is an area I rarely frequent, but Jenn frequents it quite often. However, she’d never tried the place. Luckily, parking on Mass Ave is free on Sundays. Jenn was also nice enough to call ahead to make sure it was an “all ages” place, and it was! I got there at 9:35 and we sat outside, which was nice because for the moment, we were the only ones there. Jenn also said it was noisy inside, and it was quiet outside. The ideal setting for breakfast. Our server was nice and attentive, and the menu was quite simple. I chose to get an omelette with ham, macaroni, and cheese on the inside with potatoes as a side dish. The only modification I made was to remove the tomatoes from the omelette. It was delicious, to say the least. Everything tasted fully cooked, fresh, juicy, warm (but not burning), and the portion size was filling! It was probably the best omelette I’d ever had. The potatoes were a bit salty, but that aside, they tasted creamy, rich, and chewy! I’d recommend their breakfast menu and I’d like to try it again sometime.

Rides and dinner September 15, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in south.
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Tonight, September 14, I had a wonderful night out. I skipped the usual comic-and-errands-up-Keystone Wednesday night, largely because I ran all but one (comics) of my errands last night. Instead, I went to the Beech Grove Fall Festival and had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise. We originally wanted to go to Ponderosa, but a) we were running a bit late after a long day at work and b) we had a $10 off coupon to Cheeseburger in Paradise in the zoobook.

The Beech Grove Fall Festival was fun! I arrived there at 8:12 and stayed for half an hour. I saw my former job’s old building and it’s STILL vacant, just like it was at last year’s Fall Festival. I remember when the Southside Times was still at 301 Main Street and that street was my stomping grounds. I would get several sandwiches from the Beech Grove Meat Market. That place is now closed, vacant, and a giant hole is in their roof with a mess on the floor.

While at the Fall Festival, I shot off a BB machine gun….I am NOT a good shot. Let’s just say that if the star on the paper were a person, there’d be no chance of a mercy kill. Quite the opposite. On a less morbid note, I had a wonderful time riding the ferris wheel! It was a nice, long ride, and a wonderful photo op. I did see a Scrambler off in the distance with its lights out, and I was really hoping I could ride it. (I later found out a teen got injured on the ride earlier that day.) I also smelled a wonderful smell from one of the food booths…an “Oriental Grill.” The chicken kabobs were amazing, but my dad decided not to eat those because we were headed to dinner after I got off the ferris wheel. And it’s a good thing he had cash, because the ticket booth for the ferris wheel was cash only!

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Cheeseburger in Paradise was a blast! We sat inside because it was suspiciously windy outside. (Spoiler alert: no storm arrived. We could have sat outside.) We had a nice waitress named Taylor, who was even more attentive and energetic than our last waitress, Jess, was! She was so skilled at juggling hot plates and attentive at checking back for refills. Seeing how I had a $10 off coupon, instead of getting citrus chicken, I got the BBQ trio instead- ribs, grilled chicken, and chicken tenders, complete with sides of french fries and broccoli. It was amazingly sweet, rich, and flavorful, and thankfully not spicy! Taylor even offered to go drinks, so I boosted her tip. I later found out that was the chain’s original restaurant. Seeing how I have two more coupons I need to use before December 1, I’ll go back again!

There’s so much at Emerson & Southport: Carrabas, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Longhorn Steakhouse, Scotty’s Brewhouse, Bob Evans, Sky Zone, a SuperTarget…I could build a night out with what they have there, and I may do just that next time I go to Cheeseburger in Paradise!

All in all, a great night. Though I still haven’t picked up this week’s comics.

Tuesday night at Target September 15, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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First off, I headed up 96th street to go to the good Menards. I saw it was only 7:55, and, on a wild impulse, I decided to check out the GFS grocery store at the corner. I had been meaning to do that for years, and now I finally had an opportunity! I looked inside and was there until 8:07. The ladies running the place had no problem with me doing that at all. GFS seems to be a place notable for offering items in large quantities or in bulk without the hassle of a membership fee; if you like buying things in bulk, then this is a great place for you! I decided not to go crazy with my money, reasoning that, despite the variety of useful products and good value of bulk items, I didn’t actually NEED most of them. That said, I did get some liquid drink concentrate and some of their amazing apple juice that I first drank back when I was at Chatard, which alerted me to GFS’ existence. That apple juice costs twice as much as Aldi’s does, and yes, it IS twice as good.

Next stop was the good Menards. Unlike their lacking counterpart on Pendleton Pike, this Menards was fully stocked, its items were stored properly and had no tears or holes, and its employees were a LOT nicer. I had to ask a guy about a potato chip price discrepancy that we quickly resolved. I also got a can of low sodium peas and a bottle of apple cherry juice, both of which seemed interesting enough to try. I decided to buy three boxes of trash bags, because leaf removal season is around the corner and we always seem to run short on trash bags. I also got 10 bottles of weed killer, the store’s entire supply, for my dad so we could use it for our customers this week. That was actually the sole purpose of my visit; the Pendleton Pike store was out of weed killer.

Then, I went to Best Buy to pick up a Captain America: Civil War DVD I pre-ordered. The ladies working the store pickup desk complimented me on my “colors,” referring to the red shirt and green shorts (possibly also the blue hoodie) that I was wearing. I was pleased with the compliment!

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img_8388Admittedly, once the pool closes, for the rest of the year, I use my time after karate on Tuesday and Thursday nights to run various errands. I decided to do that for the first time since Spring on September 13.

Fourth was Speedway. I needed gas, and I was surprised to see it was at $1.97 today. Yes, the price actually started with a 1! Time to tank up! The price was $19.99…my car literally could not take another penny’s worth.

Fifth was Walgreens. I had to pick up pictures I was going to insert in Blake and Jenny’s birthday cards. Blake turns 31 on September 15 and Jenny turns 28 on September 16. This stop only cost 62 cents, so I actually paid for this stop in cash!

Finally, I went to Target. It was almost completely a last-minute decision, but the Glendale Target is within eyesight from Walgreens. I hadn’t been to Target in a while, and honestly, I miss the place. I would ditch Wal-Mart in a second if Target were cheaper. I went there mainly to check out prices on bedsheets for a queen bed; I keep telling my dad he needs a second set for when I take three days to extensively wash his current bedsheets. I found surprisingly good prices on bedsheets that looked and felt comfortable. While at Target, I picked up a large size bottle of my Suave lavender vanilla lotion. I’m surprised but glad that Target stocks that again! I also got two bath towels for the bathroom. The only new bath towels added to our bathroom since 1995 were the two I bought at Wal-Mart with Bridget last spring. These bath towels at Target were blue, 100% cotton, unbelievably soft, and $4.99 each. SOLD! I also found the Captain America: Civil War DVD for only $15. I decided to buy it and then return the one from Best Buy. Oh, and I also picked up Pringles and pumpkin spice snack cakes because I was hungry. It was nice to finally go to Target again. It’s so much cleaner and classier than it is at Wal-Mart, and the employees actually act like they care about helping the customers. I hope I can shop at Target again soon. It’s (usually) an all-around pleasant experience.

Mistreatment at Menards September 14, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in east.
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So I was at the Pendleton Pike Menards (formerly the East 38th street Menards) with my dad on 9/12/2016 at 9:58 pm handling one of the fertilizer bags from the garden center. It was improperly stored and somewhat damaged, and fertilizer dust spilled all over my hands and clothes. I walked up to the exit door where two employees were locking up at 10:01 pm. I explained to them the situation and asked if I could wash my hands clean of their product, and they said yes. However, right as I was going in, another employee stopped me, and rudely asked “Can I help you?” and even though the other employees allowed me entrance, she contradicted what the other employees already represented and told me I couldn’t go in because the store was closing. She kept insisting “it’s not our policy to let anyone in after the store is closed.” I even pointed out that they were liable because it was their defective product and she still said the same thing. My dad, who is 58 years old and has been shopping at that store since it first opened on 38th street and is a longtime loyal customer, was with me, told her what happened, pointed out two employees already said yes, pointed out their product was defective, and pointed out they were liable, and she still said the same thing. I find this treatment quite rude and disappointing, and I walked away literally a dusty mess. My dad urged me to contact corporate, and I did. They were nice enough to give me the manager’s number. I called him today, and I read him the letter to corporate verbatim at first. Then, when it seemed like I wouldn’t get any free stuff or discounts and just a bunch of flustered apologies, I decided to rub salt in the wound, saying that I went to the 96th street Menards last night, where everything was fully stocked and properly handled and sealed. And the employees were much, MUCH nicer. The manager sounded the most hurt when I said that, saying “sorry to hear that.” I then told him my dad and I run a lawn business and we get 90% of our materials from THAT store on Pendleton Pike. Finally, I added that if his employees treat me like crap one more time, then I’m switching to the 96th street store for good.

Two tickets to Cheeseburger in Paradise September 4, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in south.
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I had a GREAT dinner tonight at Cheeseburger in Paradise! I had never been there, mainly because I am rarely at Southport & Emerson. This is the last Cheeseburger in Paradise in Indiana, as the 96th street one closed a while back. We got there and saw that the garage doors were opened up and they had outdoor seating, which we immediately opted to get. I saw THREE menu entrees I wanted to try before I even hit the cheeseburger page. And for the first time I can remember, I ordered off the menu with NO modifications! Our server, Jess, could relate to that feeling. She was so nice and personable, and she was quick removing plates and bringing refills. I had the citrus chicken with their island rice and teriyaki broccoli. The entree also came with a lime and an orange. They had better chicken than BJ’s, better broccoli than MCL, and better rice than Red Lobster! Jess asked if we wanted dessert, but we declined because we had a few soft drinks that day. Their food was on par with Yard House and better than BJ’s. And I’m definitely going back there again.
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