Category Archives: Reviews

Welcome to Technogypsie Reviews! When we visit somewhere that made an impression on us, we want to share our experience whether good or bad as a guide for people who might also want to visit the same place, dine, visit, or use such services. Social networking of our experiences help people with limited time, resources, or patience figure out if a location is for them or not. Enjoy our reviews.
one star: * = Poor, not recomended.
two star: ** = Fair. Not the top quality.
three star: *** = average, middle of the road.
four star: **** = very good. Recommended.
five star: ***** = top quality, highly recommended

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese
~ U.S. American Chain ~

I’ve taken my kids to Chuckie Cheese over the years and they always have a blast. Its not that exciting for adults though. The food is mediocre. We’ve had the lunch buffet and its sparse for the amount you pay for the meal. The games are expensive and today are operated by plastic credit cards you purchase and add funds to. They zap points quick and you pay per play, even with the classic games where normally 25 cents – 50 cents gets you three players, you only get one for 25 points from the card.

With over 600 establishments nationwide and 15 other countries, their headquarters are in Irving, Texas. They are a family fun center serving pizza, sandwiches, meals, and refreshments while kids play arcade games, amusement rides, and animatronic displays of the company’s characters leading sing-a-longs.

The first location was in San Jose, California in 1977 originally as a concept by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell to help bring video games to the mainstream by integrating food, entertainment, and arcade together. In 1984 after bankruptcy the chain was acquired by ShowBiz Pizza forming ShowBiz Pizza Time. In 1990 they unified the two brands to Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Burger King

Burger King
~ Worldwide ~

Good tasting food but horrible greasy gut bombs that will takes years off your life. Such would be the image that documentaries like “Super Size Me” would dictate. It is fast food that is meant as a treat, not for substance. Burger King is a competitive hamburger fast food restaurant that is almost as popular as McDonalds. They do have substantially better quality food than McDonalds. It is today a global fast food chain that has its headquarters in Miami-Dade County of Florida. It was founded as “Insta-Burger King” in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida by David Edgerton and James McLamore who bought the company and renamed it “Burger King”. They saw financial difficulties in the 1960’s as “Insta Burger King” but by the 70’s saw a Golden Age in advertising where they found success. By the 80’s they lost focus and started to lose business. They improved again in 2003. Through its history has changed hands of ownership four times by 2018. It merged with the Canadian donut chain “Tim Hortons” in late 2010 and later became Restaurant Brands International (another Canadian Company).

They expanded from basic burgers to offering a variety of burgers, chicken burgers, french fries, sodas, chicken fries, milkshakes, and their signature “Whopper” that competes with McDonald’s “Big Mac”. From 2002-2010 they targeted young 18-34 males with larger product sizes with unhealthy trans fats and fats. By 2016 it had over 16,000 stores in over 100 countries of which half are located in the United States. The knock off in Australia, Hungry Jacks utilized the theme, look, and operations of Burger King.

Rated: 2 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Sierra Middle School (Roswell, New Mexico)

Sierra Middle School
~ 615 S. Sycamore Ave, Roswell, New Mexico 88203 * (575) 627-2850 * http://www.risd.k12.nm.us/help/index.cfm ~

I could of sworn that when I attended Sierra Middle School, it was simply 7th and 8th grade. Now it is 6th through 8th grade. Apparently they have school uniforms now, I don’t remember than when attending. It was a gateway school to transition us from Elementary to High School. It is a public school operated by the Roswell Independent School District with a teacher/student ratio of 1:17. Minority enrollment is 78% of the student body. I fondly remember my class and community from Enchanted Hills. I wasn’t very active in P.E. (Physical Education) as I was asthmatic. I pursued the arts, sciences, and Band – continuing to play the Clarinet. I do remember alot of bullying taking place at the school and kids always picking fights with me, mainly ethnic based. It was not my favorite school in Roswell. I started dating in Middle School and began to learn what social cliches were. Just down the street from El Capitan Elementary School where I transferred from.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

El Capitan Elementary School (Roswell, New Mexico)

El Capitan Elementary School
~ 2807 W. Bland Street, Roswell, New Mexico 88203 * (575) 637-3400 * http://www.risd.k12.nm.us/schools/elem/ece/index.cfm ~

I fondly remember my kindergarten that I attended from 4th grade through 6th grade. That was my memory, but apparetly the school only goes from Kindergarten to 5th grade and 6th grade moved to Middle School? Unsure. According to the web site for the school, El Capitan has on average about 424 students today with 18 students per one teacher. Minority enrollment is 72% of the student body and is operated by the Roswell Independent School District.

The school has vastly increase in size, buildings, and footage so much it was essentially unrecognizable when I drove by it. I would have attended from around 1978-1980 I’m guessing when I transferred from Waverley Elementary and Holy Family Church School in New Rochelle, New York. It took a bit to fit in, but once I did I felt at home. I performed magic shows for the school assemblies, and had fun with the science fairs. As an asthmatic, I didn’t participate much in P.E. (Physical Education) but delved into band playing clarinet and science club.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

My original grade school – El Capitan Elementary School (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=37041); Exploring Roswell, NM (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=4997). Rebirth of the Bard and Ovate: Chronicle 27 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in New Mexico. Photos taken June 26, 2018. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=38381. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2018. Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. More info about Colorado Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31051

Down the street from Sierra Middle School

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Alien Zone (Roswell, NM)

Alien Zone – Area 51
~ 216 Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico 88201 * (575) 627-6982 * http://alienzoneroswellnm.com/ ~

I’ve ventured into this shop and funhouse on a few occasions during my re-visits to Roswell. It was founded by Randy J. (local Pastor and commercial artist) and Elsie E. Reeves in July 1997 as a gift shop then into an amusement fun alien attraction. The company produces its own line of t-shirt designs that are created by local artists, offer alien gags, gifts, and novelties as well. They have fun displays, dioramas, and setups for picture opps as well as space for parties to be held. There is a space jungle gym, game room, and an area to have a picnic in the old cafe (no longer in operation). Definitely fun for kids, but a little run down for adults. There is an upside-down room, crashed saucer the kids can crawl into, alien at a BBQ, alien in jail, alien autopsy, and an alien in an outhouse. The shop and play zone is connected to their second shop they opened in 2000 and closed in 2008 called Hanger 84. It was salvaged and added to Area 51 through a small tunnel with a darker view of extraterrestials with interrogation chambers, a cage with rats gnawing on alien bones, and a miniature “City of the Future” model of a sci-fi future Roswell.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Alien Zone (Roswell, NM)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Motel 6 – Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell’s Motel 6
~ 3307 N Main St, Roswell, New Mexico 88201
Phone: (575) 625-6666 ~

Motel 6, the standard cost-rating hotel for an area – in which that you can tell what the affordable going rate is in a city by the price broadcast on the outside of the motel by their sign. However Roswell’s Motel 6 is much more grandiose than most Motel 6’s in that it is not a motel, but actually a hotel with an indoor pool and hot tub. Elevator to your room with luggage carts available. It was quite nice treat. Budget pricing still its icon, but free internet unlike the pay additional fee that other Motel 6’s in the country seem to use. It’s only 3 miles from the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Great flat screen tvs with expanded cable, free WiFi, Kids 17 and under free with adult. Coin laundry, free coffee in the morning, and plenty of parking (for cars and trucks). They even let me unhook my trailer and leave it while i did sightseeing even when i wasn’t checked in yet, and after i had checked out. That was super nice. Microwave, fridge, and kitchens in some rooms. We had a great stay.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. Visited 6/26-27, 2018. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Motel 6 – Roswell, New Mexico

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Brantley Lake State Park (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Brantley Lake State Park
~ 33 West Brantley Lake Road, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 USA * (575) 457-2384 * https://www.newmexico.org/listing/brantley-lake-state-park/2089/ ~

Just 12 miles north of the city of Carlsbad, New Mexico is a large 4,000 acre lake and dam called Brantley Lake. The State Park around its edges hosts a day use area, boat ramp, picnicking tables, rest rooms, playground, grills, and campground. The campground has 51 developed campsites with electricity, water, shower facilities, playground, visitor center, and other amenities. Brantley Lake is a man-made reservoir formed when Brantley Dam was erected across the Pecos River in the 1980’s. It is the southernmost lake in New Mexico and is very popular picnicking, camping, fishing, boating, and water recreation site. The lake is stocked with white bass, bass, walleye, catfish, bluegill, carp and crappie. As of 2018 the State Parks Department does not recommend eating fish from the lake for there was detected high levels of DDT in the fish tested. The campground and day use site can e reached via U.S. 295 by going northeast 4.5 miles down Eddy County Road 30.

We visited in June of 2018. The sites were great though a fire ban prevented use of campfires and grills. High winds nearly broke our 10 x 10 shade structure, so make sure to tie down well. From the campground we had hoped the Lake Loop would take us down to the Lake’s shore, but it didn’t. It was an interesting walk none-the-less. Playground was great, my son had a blast there. At the point of our visit the campground hosts were state troopers so we definitely felt safe.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 6/25-6/26/2018. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Brantley Lake State Park (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Goddard High School (Roswell, New Mexico)

Goddard High School
~ 701 East Country Club Road, Roswell, New Mexico 88201 * www.risd.k12.nm.us ~

The memories of attending High School in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico sparked thoughts of the good, the bad, and the ugly moments growing up. There were two main public high schools, Goddard High and Roswell High. They of course, like most cities, have rivalry battles between the two schools, usually centered around football. Just down the street from the Roswell Country Club there were definitely class differences bounded by various social groups at the school. I transitioned here from Sierra Middle School which had a similar structure, social groupings, flow and base.

I loved my high school – I was very enthusiastic with Dr. Massey’s Introduction to Anthropology, Ski Club, French Club, French class, computer science, biology, natural sciences, and the whole lot. I fondly remember ski trips and my French club’s trip to Quebec. I remember performing magic shows in the auditorium as a fundraiser for the trips. I loved most of the classed, but I however did not like Math. But who does, really? I embraced the sciences, dove into skiing, bicycling, and French, played clarinet in the High School band. I never cared for the team sports like basketball or football. This isolated me a bit. But I was one of the Enchanted Hills kids who flowed between various social groups between the jocks, the nerds, and the outcasts so my aversion to P.E. (Physical Education) was okay. I was friend to most, and enemy to less than I could count on a hand – and those usually centered around dating games, girls, and jealous ex-boyfriends.

As memory served, the school did its job and was successful at least with me, as I had great teachers and curriculum. If I remember right, the school was even appropriate with Sex Education even though controversial at the time. Back in the 80’s, encouraged by movies like War Games, it was a stepping stone to learning hacking, as the school’s protocols were simplified with passwords written on post-it notes in desk drawers. As the internet was only being invented when I was in school, if you mastered DOS and bulletin board systems you found your way around their systems. The school didn’t have to really worry about security in the 80’s. They were advanced with training computing which was spectacular. We didn’t have the problems schools have now. But that changed towards the end of 1986 graduation, as I do remember school security constantly evolving and locking down. They of course in the 80’s were mainly concerned with truancy rather than drugs, guns, and bullying like today. I belonged to the Class of 1986. It was a fond mile marker in my life. School Proms, assemblies, and activities were actually favorable memories though maybe not so much at the time. School crushes. Learning flirtation, dating, and making out under the bleachers. The All American high school experiences were definitely part of my history. Ever so true were the high school parties and activities we had resembling films like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Better Off Dead. I had a John Hughes themed four years at Goddard. I dove into New Wave, 80’s, and pre-Gothic music as my inspiration. We were adventurous and knew how to have fun. Parties in the Missle Silos, repelling into caves in the desert, treks to Sitting Bull Falls, Carlsbad Caverns, and skiing in Riodoso. The fond memories of the Gotcha team as we played T.A.G. on campus with toy guns with plunger bullets and not having to worry about security freaking out. Those were the days.

Robert H. Goddard High School was named after Robert Hutchings Goddard, the rocket pioneer that Roswell was infamous for (before the alien craze of course). The school was founded in 1965, only three years before I was born. The school is one of the major facets of the Roswell Independent School District. They boast the rocket as their mascot, with Columbia blue and white as the school colors. Most of the classrooms are underground as the school was built as a bomb shelter in case of nuclear war. The cafeteria, auditorium, and other larger assembly rooms were built on ground level. Since I attended, the school has massively expanded, with a large swimming pool I believe as an addition. I have not re-wandered the halls, so unsure of the current mutation. The classes embraced 9th through 12th grade. 2010 ethnicity composition was 60% white, 37% Hispanic, 2% African American, and 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native/Pacific Islander according to Wikipedia.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Goddard High School (Roswell, New Mexico)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Hooters

Hooters
~ Worldmide ~

Hooter’s is a chicken wing chain/franchise restaurant found worldwide. The food is good, service is slow, and has a tacky appeal. The focus on waitresses with “Hooters” in skimpy sports-style outfits is actually demeaning and lacks respect for women. The company publicly broadcasts their establishment is based on sex appeal. It is the end result of two privately held American restaurant chains “Hooters of America, Inc.” out of Atlanta, Georgia, and “Hooters, Inc.” based in Clearwater, Florida. The claim is the name “Hooters” is a double entendre off of its “owl” logo known for its “hooting calls” and American slang term for Women’s breasts popularized by Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live. They also operated “Hooters Air” an airline with normal flight crew, attendants, and scantily clad Hooter Girls on each flight.

Hooters discriminately hires only young attractive women whom they refer to as “Hooter Girls” with revealing tight outfits baed on sex appeal. They do hire men and women as cooks, hosts, busboys, and managers. Their older Employee handbook (2006) states “customers can go to many places for wings and beer, but it is our Hooters Girls who make our concept unique. Hooters offers its customers the look of the ‘All Amrican Cheerleader, Surfer, Girl Next Door’. Female employees are required to sign that they “acknowledge and affirm” the following:
My job duties require I wear the designated Hooters Girl uniform.
My job duties require that I interact with and entertain the customers.
The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and entertaining conversations are commonplace.”

They offer a wide menu of chicken wings, hamburgers, steaks, seafood, appetizers, fries, and other sandwiches. They are also licensed for beer and wine, and in some cases a full liquor bar. They sell memorabilia such as t-shirts, clothing, souvenirs, and curios. By 2016 there were over 430 locations throughout the U.S., US Virgin Islands, Guam, Singapore, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, and one in the United Kingdom.

Hooters began in April 1, 1983 by six Clearwater businessmen – Lynn D. Stewart, Gil DiGiannantonio, Ed Droste, Billy Ranieri, Ken Wimmer and Dennis Johnson originally as a prank because they thought the idea would fail. THey built the first restaurant atop a former rundown nightclub they got at a low price. They opened the first restaurant on October 4, 1983 in Clearwater. In 1984 Hugh Connerty bought the rights to Hooters from the original owners as “Hooters of America” and sold franchising rights. In 2006, Hooters Casino Hoel was opened in Las Vegas. They later opened their first overseas location in Singapore.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Toys R’ Us

Toys R’ Us
~ Worldwide ~

One of my favorite toy stores growing up, it is one of the only places to find the popular toys on the planet. It is a chain however that will be a historic part of the past as they are closing all of their stores this month and calling it quits. Lost to online markets or a sign of the times. They claim to have been destroyed by the mass merchant chains of Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Toys R’ Us began in 1948 from Charles Lazarus children’s furniture store the “Children’s Supermart” as an American toy, kid’s clothing, baby product, and video gamer retailer with headquarters located in Wayne, New Jersey. It was re-styled and re-invented by Charles Lazarus in 1957 to its modern manifestation. In 2015 they invented and new concept store called the “Toy Lab” in Freehold, New Jersey with interactive exhibits and ability to play with toys before purchase. Today (2018) it lasted over 65 years with over 800 stores in the United States, and over 800 in other countries. They expanded as a chain focusing on toys. In 1969 they gained their mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe that appears through the store and on its advertisements. They branched out to a separate facility chain know as “Babies “R” Us” which sometimes operates as a separate store or often combined with “Toys R Us”. In the past they experimented with other facilities such as Toys R’ Us Express and Kids R’ Us which went defunct. Toys R’ Us filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States on September 18, 2017 and filed bankruptcy protection in Canada. On March 14, 2018 they announced that all Toys R’ Us stores in the United Kingdom would close, then the next day announced that all the United States operations would close. They claim this is the best strategic move to handle their $5 billion in back debt, borrow $2 billion to pay suppliers for the upcoming holiday season and invest in improving current operations. The closures will not affect the Asian, European, and Australian stores. January 2018 they announced they would liquidate and close up to 182 of its stores in the United States as part of its restructuring. It then turned to completely shutting down all of the U.S. stores. April 21, 2018 the Irish rival “Smyths” store claimed it would purchase all the Toys R’ Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and will re-brand them. April 24, 2018 the Canadian division was sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for $234 million.

Rated: 4.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs

Prospect Lake
~ 1605 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado ~

A beautiful water-sports popular swimming lake in the heart of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Popularized by the many offerings of Memorial Park and the YMCA Aquatic Center, this location is very popular with the locals for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and water sports. The parks and amenities along its shores are very popular, including playgrounds, bath house, beaches, recreational trails, and picnic spots. There is also one wheelchair accessible fishing dock. Some boating requires licenses or permits, but both motorized and non-motorized boats may operate on the lake, including sail boats, canoes, row boats, and paddle boats some of which can be rented in the park. There is a 1.25 mile long fitness trail around the lake. At the official beach, which is roped in to protect swimmers from boating, offers a once a week opportunity to swim 6-8 pm saturdays beyond the ropes to the rest of the lake.

The lake is historic and man-made being originally built in 1890 as a reservoir for overflow irrigation water. It became a swimming lake in 1932. It was donated with land by General William Jackson Palmer along with other Colorado Springs parks upwards of 1270 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. Prospect Lake is part of Memorial Park. There is some dark history to the lake, including the fact that it has leaked massive amounts of water for over 50 years causing environmental issues for the city. This has raised much controversy as the lake has been drained in the past and contemplations of emptying it for good has been considered. The commission put together a $50,000 study to determine why it is leaking water. It is believed that the bentonite clay lining that was installed in 1953 on its bottom cracked when it was exposed and dried out in 2002 when it was purposely allow to dry up during the 2002 drought. Prior to that the lake had been annually pumped with potable water by Colorado Springs Utilities. The lake was refilled in 2003 with non-potable water and banned swimming that year. It is hypothesized that the water leaked through the cracks into an underground aquifer. leaking through the porous ground soil at the same pace throughout the years. Evaporation is also believed to be a major issue annually. The Parks office claims “it’s a birdbath with a crack in it”. The lake loses 392 acre feet or 128 million gallons of water every year, 54% through leakage and 46% by evaporation. 400 acre-feet of water costs the city $389,000. Theories state the city could drain the lake and install a bentonite liner over the other half of the bottom but that would cost several hundred thousands of dollars and would not solve the evaporation problem. Other solution would be the city building a well north of the lake in the aquifer that takes much of the seepage and pump the water back into the lake. They say “its just a major recreation area. We’ll put hundreds of thousands of dollars into ball fields … and when you think about Prospect Lake, it has that same kind of benefit” Richard Skorman, the Vice Mayor stated.

As for cleanliness, the lake has potable water pumped into it annually and they have drained and refilled the lake a few years back. In former years, it has been “sketchy” due to patrons, general neighborhood concerns, and cleanliness but many of those issues have been tackled in current years. City Health officials state that even though swimming pools are rigorously chlorinated and tested daily, outdoor swimming lakes and beaches are not. There is no way to chlorinate, check chemical quality, use a filtration system or check turbidity. Even with swimming pools, a 2010 national study states that 1 in 8 pool inspections led to an immediate closure due to code violations. Pools can be closed in minutes with on the hour testing. Some pool operators go above and beyond, such as the YMCA at Monument Park including emergency response plans to deal with any unexpected issues involving recreational water illnesses (RWI) that can cause diarrhea, gastrointestinal, ear, respiratory, eye and would infections often caused by cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. The YMCA operates several city-owned pools and water features including Monument Valley Pool, Portal Pool, Wilson Ranch Pool, and Prospect Lake Beach in Memorial Park. The YMCA follos state Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidelines for natural swimming areas and testing. The beach is tested 17 times during the summer, collecting bacteriological water quality samples at least once every seven days and no fewer than 5 times a month, collecting water-quality samples at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of a peak-use period and within 24 hours after the end of the same peak use period such as before and after Memorial Day weekend.

Note: The safety of the lake is questionable even though it has a city operated bath house, swimming beach, and is a popular recreation spot in Colorado Springs. According to the local hospital, the water is questionable. My son, on Sunday June 10th, 2018 cut his toe on something sharp in the water while swimming, resulting in 4 stitches. Please be careful swimming in these waters.

There was an article about Sunken Treasure that was revealed in the lake when it was drained showing finds such as a metal skeleton of a 1960’s Volkswagon Bug, shot guns, rifles, knives, class rings, ice cube trays, a 45 rpm record, empty pull-tab cans, and jewelry. A local prospector with his Bounty Hunter metal detector has found 14 shotguns, handguns, and rifles since 2002 many with their serial numbers filed off. The Bug is believed to have been driven onto the lake when frozen one winter that fell through the ice.

Bibliography:

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Denny’s

Denny’s
~ Worldwide Franchise ~

Oh the memories growing up with “Denny’s”. It was a common hangout during my high school and college years. Late night, sitting for hours, catching up with friends. Even after college, it was a great location for after dancing/clubbing meet ups and place to sober up before heading home. This iconic table service diner-style restaurant chain is certainly an image of the American heartland and definition of American type food. It is called “Denny’s” or “Denny’s Diner” and consists of over 1,600 restaurants across the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curacao, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, the Phillipines, and the United Arab Emirates. It is famous for being open 24 hours, 7 days a week, year round except where required by law to be closed. They are open on holidays and late nights. They place themselves close to interstates, freeways, bars, and service areas.

A humble history spurring from a donut shop, Denny’s was birthed by Harold Butler and Richard Jezak as “Danny’s Donuts” in Lakewood California in 1953. In 1956, Jezak left the business leaving it to Butler who changed the image and concept from a donut shop to a coffee shop renamed “Danny’s coffee shops” operating 24 hours a day. By 1959 they changed their name to “Denny’s Coffee Shops” as another chain went by the name of “Coffee Dan’s” in Los Angeles. By 1961 they simplified their name to “Denny’s”. They became a franchise in 1963 and most of the locations today are franchise owned. In 1977 they introduced their very popular Grand Slam breakfast. By 1981 there were over 1,000 restaurants throughout the United States. They also absorbed many of the Sambo restaurants. By 1994 they became the largest corporate sponsor of “Save the Children” charity. Operating non-stop, 24 hours, many locations were built without locks and some are said to have lost their keys. With headquarters in La Mirada, California until 1989, they relocated to Irvine, California, then Spartanburg, South Carolina becoming acquired by Trans World Corporation in 1987.

They became notorious for the “free birthday meals” to anyone on their birthdates, but this only survived from 1990-1993 but was cut off due to over-use and abuse. They offer a free Birthday Build-Your-Own-Slam on a customer’s proven and tracked birth date. By 1994 they changed their theme, outlook, and decoration with a lighter color scheme. They were reviewed by the October 2004 Dateline NBC news story called “Dirty Dining” criticizing Denny’s cleanliness, safety, and operations pulling the health inspection records of over 100 of its establishments for a 15 month span totaling all of the critical violations that could lead to adverse effects of a customer’s health compared to Applebee’s, Bob Evans, Chili’s, IHOP, Outback, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday’s, and Waffle House. They had the fewest violations averaging less than one violation per restaurant which they proudly boast is due to their successful model of their “principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.”

However in 1934, they were damaged by their involvement in a series of discrimination lawsuits over food servers denying or providing inferior service to racial minorities from African Americans to Native Americans. That year, six black U.S. Secret Service agents visited a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland and were forced to wait an hour for service while their white companions were seated immediately. The 1994 class action lawsuit filed by black customers who were refused service, forced to wait longer, or pay more than white customers led to a $54.4 million settlement. In 1995 a African American customer in a Sacramento California location was told that he and his friends had to pay up front at the counter before ordering their meals, because, according to the waittress, said some black guys had been in earlier who made a scene and walked out without paying their bill, so the manager now wanted all blacks to pay up front. In 1997, six Asian American students from Syracuse University were discriminated upon late at night at a Denny’s having to wait more than a 1/2 hour as white patrons were served before them. After they complained to management, they were forced to leave by security, then afterwards a group of white men came out of Denny’s and attacked them, some beaten unconscious. Denny’s addressed this with racial sensitivity training programs for their employees and worked hard to improve public relations featuring African-Americans in their commercials. They made headway and was awarded in 2001 by Fortune Magazine to be the “Best Company for Minorities”. By 2006/2007 they topped Black Enterprise’s “Best 40 Companies for Diversity.” However in 2017, a Vancouver Denny’s made an Indigenous woman pay for her meal before it was served. The restaurant called the police on her after she left claiming she had a sharp-metal object in her pocket.

June of 2017, eight Denny’s in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado were immediately shut down because the franchise owner failed to pay close to $200,000 in back taxes as well as $30,000 in sales tax from the previous year. Many of these employees also filed that their accounts were not paid, received bounced checks and paychecks not arriving on time. The IRS came in and closed the locations, seizing property, and no advance notice given to its employees for the closures, leaving many without work or preparation for the losses. The franchise owner fled the state of Colorado.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Continue reading Denny’s

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Memorial Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Memorial Park – Prospect Lake
~ Memorial, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Colorado Springs, Colorado ((E. Pikes Peak and Hancock Aves) ~
~ https://coloradosprings.gov/parks/page/memorial-park ~

In the heart of Colorado Springs is a beautiful multi-use park offering outdoor recreations to all sports enthusiasts and a great place for outdoor family gatherings. It features tennis courts, recreational lake with swimming beach, multiple baseball fields, an aquatic center, bicycle velodrome, ice skating center, basketball courts, volleyball, and multi-use sports fields. For families it offers playground and picnic areas with reservation spaces available. The Park embraces much of the shores of Prospect Lake and features a 1.25 mile fitness trail around the lake for walking, jogging, and hiking. Prospect Lake also features fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and jet skiing space. The Skate Park is Colorado’s second largest skate park at 40,000 square feet with competition-size space features for inline skaters, skateboarders, and BMX bikers. There is no cost to use these facilities. Prospect Lake also has a official beach and bath house and two fishing areas with docks. The sports center has an administrative office, three baseball/softball fields, 15 football/soccer fields, 12 tennis courts, and the YMCA hosting an indoor poor, fitness room, social/play room, and swimming lessons. The park features tribute and memorials to soldiers, guards, and military service. There are also horseshoe courts, multi-play courts, three playgrounds, restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, concessions, three trails: prospect lake fitness trail 1.25 miles, criterium trail at .6 miles, and perimeter jogging trail at 2.2 miles.

Review – I am very impressed with this park and love the lake. However, the lake is very murky at times and according to the local hospital its cleanliness is questionable, although they offer a official swimming beach and areas. My son on 6/10/18 was swimming in the lake and cut his foot on something sharp on the bottom of the lake floor requiring 4 stitches, so please be careful and aware. The indoor swim center hosted by the YMCA is laden with rules, often shutting down / interrupting swim time for ‘safety breaks’ and have some outrageous restrictions in play. Not to mention use of the pool is very high priced and oriented towards wealthier clientele. The staff are not very friendly or positive, and the overall experience is just not enjoyable. We have not used the bath house as it is often closed leaving swimming beaches and use around other parts of the lake leading to more unsafe conditions.

Rated: 3.4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions visited last 6/10/18. ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Little Nepal (Colorado Springs)

Little Nepal Indian Restaurant
~ 1747 S 8th St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80905 | Phone: (719) 477-6997 | lnepal.com ~

One of Colorado Springs finest Indian restaurants who are notorious for their amazing buffets. Located off 8th street, traditional style and decor – friendly service worth the wait. Tibetan, Nepalese, and India cuisine. Delicious and spicy. Wide assortment of offerings. A must visit for any Indian food connoisseur …

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Urban Steam (Colorado Springs)

Urban Steam Coffee
~ 1025 S Sierra Madre St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 | (719) 473-7832 | urbansteamcoffee.com ~

A off in the warehouse district, hiddem gem of a grunge style gear head hang-out. They offer drinks, cocktails, panini, creative waffles, salads, sandwiches, and of course coffee n’ espresso. WiFi … chill … and sometimes busy. Limited parking. Very laid back.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

On the Border

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina
~ https://www.ontheborder.com/ ~

A massie chain of Tex-Mex cuisine that can be found throughout the world with numerous locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. They began in October 1982 in Dallas, Texas. I’ve dined there many times and is one of the more popular chains to me that I enjoy. Great food, good service, and a social environment.

Rated: 3.75 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines
~ Worldwide: https://www.flyfrontier.com/ ~

I’ve had the pleasure of flying Frontier many times – the price makes it affordable means of travel, although if you’re luggage bound, it may not be your best choice – as they knickel and dime everything with this airlines. That wasn’t always the case, before the airline wars and indentured servitude, Frontier like all airlines once offered free luggage, free snacks, free beverages, and went out of their way to serve you. You just can’t find that with airlines any more, so the choices out there – this is a good one for the economically minded. However, they cut corners everywhere they can in order to pass on the savings to the customer. I once returned my car at Sea-Tac around 2 pm, and had to sit in line to check my luggage for 4 hours until the courtesy desk opened before they don’t open it until 2 hours before departure instead of having a desk where people can come for service normal airport hours.

They bill themselves as a ultra low cost airline carrier that has headquarters in Denver, Colorado. They are the 8th largest commercial airline in the United States flying to over 80 destinations in America, and 6 international destinations.

Rated: 3.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

McDonalds

McDonald’s Fast Food Chain
~ https://www.mcdonalds.com/ ~

As a child, my parents and school system were captivated victims of the advertising brainwashing of this corporate fast food giant. I myself have fallen into their lure many years of my life, and still victim of the addictive taste of their food. Just like most parents, a quick simple failing nutritious meal for their kids, I was taken to McDonalds at an early age. I remember a school trip to a farm making the industry look wholesome and local, taken into a set-up building where they showed us kids how to flip burgers, gave us special hats, and made us want to grow up to be a burger flipper for them. As a kid, McDonalds excited me. I have had the same issue having exposed my son to them – and its a hard habit to break, an addictive drug is their food, that captivates billions of people around the world. The Expose “Super Size Me” shows the dangers of the restaurant chain and how brainwashed the world has become.

But is it truly dangerous? it definitely has its delicious appeal. It wasn’t always a corporate giant. They of course like all businesses chase after money. They wanted success and they got it. The restaurant was started in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald with its founding in San Bernardino, California. Not a surprise right? California. That home farm experience I attended in school was in upstate New York in the 70’s. They were already en route to world dominance by that point.

With humble beginnings, McDonald’s started out as a hamburger stand. It turned into a franchise in the 50’s when Ray Kroc in 1955 talked them into starting a franchise, opening the fist one in Phoenix, Arizona. The owners were suspicious at first and were originally reluctant to the expanding ideas. Kroc purchased the chain from the brothers, and moved its headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois, and then global headquarters to Chicago by 2018. Since the campaign to turn to franchise, extreme advertising and promotions, world dominance across the Great Pond happened relatively quickly. Today McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, boasting over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries.

McDonalds sells a variety of sandwiches from hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, french fries, soda, milk shakes, wraps, desserts, cafe items, coffee frappacinos, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Since the 1980’s they have been attacked for their world dominance, menu, food quality, and unhealthiness of their food. Since then, they have made annual changes to their menu to address the concerns promoting a healthier option line. They are also the second largest private employer in the world next to Walmart.

Rated: 2.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Enterprise Car Rental

Enterprise Car Rental
~ www.enterprise.com | Customer service: 1 (855) 266-9565 ~

Enterprise has become one of my favorite and most preferred car rental agencies as of late (2018) since they have become more convenient, efficient, and hospitable. I still book my rentals using services like Kayak and Priceline rather than their web site directly. They have a local counter down the road from me so can’t more convenient than walking distance. I almost rented a car from them last month while dealing with my own car troubles, but i figured out my issues. They guy at the desk however was very helpful. Recently I flew into Sea-Tac airport, and went to the rental car agency hub – it was very streamlined, no discrimination with debit cards (i gave up credit cards over 10 years ago) as long as I had return flight details. They didn’t even run a hold on my card so I had access to my funds. Good price and booking was streamlined. I was sent down to the 4th floor where another agent helped me pick out a vehicle, dried to downgrade or upgrade my vehicle from a mini-van to something he thought was more suitable (which was a bit annoying) and of course tried to up-sell all sorts of insurance packages and add-ons (annoying but frustratingly expected). No long contracts, simply hand app print-out, drive through gate, check out, and that was it. The vehicle was in great condition and was pristine. A great trip around the Olympic Peninsula, i was quite content. They did a fantastic job! Rated: 5 of 5 stars. April 2018: ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Quiznos

Quiznos Sandwich Shop
~ WORLDWIDE ~

A step up from Subway, Quiznos is a fancy sub-shop chain that you can find throughout North America. It is the second largest submarine shop chain in North America, just behind Subway. It is a franchise that is based in Denver, Colorado and specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches. It was founded by Jimmy Lambatos in 1981 and now has over 5,000 restaurants throughout North America. Today it has over 1,500 domestic locations and approximately 600 international sites. (2018)

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Quiznos

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Ramada Inn (Centennial Airport – Denver)

Ramada Inn (Centennial Airport)
~ 7770 S Peoria St, Englewood/Denver, Colorado 80112 ~ (303) 790-7770 ~

A cost effective hotel located just outside of the Centennial Airport south Denver. Staff is friendly and helpful. Outside of kids running down the hall hotel is pretty quiet and restful, no airport noises. Comfortable beds, free cable, clean rooms, electric working. Restful. A wonderful breakfast buffet with a large selection of cold and food breakfast stuffs available. Drink cups are small though. Ice machine on the 2nd floor was broken during my visit. The 2nd floor even numbered rooms circle around a gravel roof-top with open access to the room’s windows, from debris on the roof it appears people have hung out on it – meaning its a security issue for the rooms as i found my room window unlocked. Would be easy for thieves. I did receive a prank call most likely from a young guest during the night, that was annoying. Hotel is aged in some parts, and brand new in others. oddly there is spacing between the bottom of the room door and the hall, not being very private. It was a comfortable stay none-the-less. No fridges or microwaves in the rooms. WiFi is good and clear, no password.

Rated: 4 stars out of 5 Visited 3/31/18-4/1/18. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Ramada Inn (Centennial Airport – Denver)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Five Guys

Five Guys
~ Worldwide ~

On the way to Burning Man, passing through Fort Collins, Colorado – my travel mate introduced me to this fine Burger Joint. Freshly cooked and prepared, there is a bit of a wait, so not your atypical fast food chain – but higher quality and creation. They are a fast growing chain, casual diner style with that 60’s-80’s decor. Free peanuts to snack on while you wait. Originally was called “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” it has been shortened to “Five Guys”. They focus on hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. Their headquarters is located in Lorton, Virginia and opened their first location in 1986 (Virginia). Today they have over a thousand locations within the United States and Canada. (2018)

I’ve had the pleasure of dining in and take out, as well as delivering for them. The burgers and fries are great. I have yet to try the hot dogs.

Rated: 4 stars out of 5. (Overall Worldwide) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Five Guys

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Subway Sandwiches

Subway Sandwiches
(Worldwide)
~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subway_(restaurant) ~

Subway Sandwiches is a world-wide chain restaurant offering deli sandwich selections and specialties. They can be found all over the globe. The review here only covers my experiences with several dozen I’ve frequented around the world. Subway has always been a quick healthy stop off for breakfast, lunch, or dinner when I’m on the run and busy with work. They hands-down beats the other fast-food competitors. I’m a little disappointed that they discontinued the seafood salad sandwich but understand where they are coming from. Otherwise, my favorites is the cranberry turkey subs and the meatball sandwiches as second and third place. Never had a sandwich here I didn’t like.

An American fast food franchise, Subway serves sub sandwiches, salads, cookies, soups, and other culinary delights. The company is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with over 45,000 stores located in over 100 countries (2018). They are based in Milford, Connecticut with regional offices in Amsterdam, Brisbane, Beirut, Singapore, and Miami.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Subway Sandwiches

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Fractured Prune Donuts (Denver)

Fractured Prune Donuts
~ 9696 E Arapahoe Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80112 (Denver, Colorado) ~ (303) 759-0635 ~ https://fracturedprune.com/ ~

A great little hole-in-the-wall donut shop located in a Greenwood Village strip mall off Arapahoe. I discovered it whilst doing food deliveries for a company I contract with. After making several deliveries of the unique pastries, I decided I had to try them for myself. I went back the evening of March 31st, 2018 and ordered a half a dozen. They were hot, delicious, and tantalizing. This counter-serve pit stop for hand-made, freshly created donuts where you decide the toppings you want. They also have coffee, juice, and drinks available. You can watch the process from a window into their donut machine, and watch the donut specialist make the donuts for you. Delicious and well worth the price as well as experience.

Rated: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Fractured Prune Donuts (Denver)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

IHOP Southgate (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

IHOP – Southgate
~ 2290 Southgate Rd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 ~ (719) 635-0777 ~

Out of the Colorado Springs locations, this International House of Pancakes is one of the best. Who doesn’t enjoy IHOP? Its a pancake house worth the wait that you’ll often be greeted with upon entering as IHOP has that reputation. Wide variety of pancakes and all-day breakfast selections, fresh fruit, and delicous fried goods. 24 hours of availability, it will satiate your appetite. Delivery is also fast and efficient. Friendly staff and good food.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading IHOP Southgate (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

La Baguette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

La Baguette – Old Colorado City
~ 2417 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904 ~ labaguette-co.com ~

A great little taste of France right in the heart of Old Colorado City. La Baguette bakery has fine sandwiches, soups, and baked goods – fresh, aromatic, and divine. Place gets a bit busy which slows down dining time, but worth the wait. Its a local charm. Always enjoyed my dining there – food is grand, service is friendly, and experience perfect.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading La Baguette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Pho Brothers (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Pho Brothers
~ 1107 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 – (719) 445-0760 ~

Just off Nevada Avenue, Pho Brothers is a small Vietnamese restaurant located within a mini strip mall. When you walk through their doors you escape the grime of the neighborhood, into a bustling fun ambiance with large screen entertainment. The staff is friendly and helpful. The food is divine. If you’re a fan of Pho, this is the place to go in Colorado Springs. I got the seafood pho and a thai tea bubble drink. It was delicious.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Pho Brothers (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Trader Joes

The Trader Joe’s Chain
~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions as a 5 stars out of 5 ~

Manifested and created by the German grocery store chain Aldi – Trader Joe’s is the Americanized version of Aldi Markt or Aldi North. They tapped the American kitch and spirit of what middle class America wants with an affordable price that catches the budget. But it is different and quite unique, as it is driven by American culture, philosophy, and business practices.

I was first introduced to the shop when living in California the wee stages of Y2K. (year 2000 for the Generation X crowd) Back then, there wasn’t many stores around America. When I moved to Colorado in 2005, i was saddened there were none. It was at that time my favorite grocery store and I really appreciated the food quality, the pricing, and their business model. I can’t say I fully feel the same way today now that Trader Joe’s is in pretty much every state with locations everywhere. By 2015 they became a major grocery store competitor. By the beginning of 2018 they have over 480 stores in America expanding 43 states as well as the District of Columbia. With the growth comes sub-standard practices. They have become a bit more generic and similar to practices that regular grocery chains use. Their prices have increased substantially. Food quality is not so great and they over-use plastic and packaging contributing to the great trash problem on the planet.

Although birthed as its manifestation today being a branch of Aldi Markt (Aldi North) from Germany it was originally founded by Joseph “Joe” Coulombe in 1958 as the Pronto Market convenience store which mimicked 7-11 style and operation located in Los Angeles. He weaved the idea of the Trader Joe’s South Seas motif after vacationing in the Caribbean borrowing its Tiki kitch style as it was very popular motif in the 50’s and 60’s. It wasn’t until 1967 when it was called “Trader Joe’s” and appeared as such with one store on the Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California. He leased out space with local butchers to provide fresh meat, operated a sandwich shop within, offered fresh cut cheese and squeezed orange juice.

Trader Joes really didn’t become the genius idea it is today until being owned in 1979 by German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht who purchased the store from Joe as a personal investment for his family. By 1987 Joe was succeeded by John Shields as CEO who expanded the market into Arizona in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest by 1995. By 1996 they opened stores in the Boston area opening the East Coast market. By 2001 Dan Bane took over being CEO expanding to 156 stores within 15 American states. Theo died in 2010 passing the Trader Joe’s business on to his family becoming even more so the Americanized Aldi Markt.

The Good
Trader Joe’s has unique items, still good pricing, and matches the populous generation’s budgets. It is still one of the best stores in America. In 2016 Trader Joes made a goal to have all the eggs they sell in Western STates to come from cage-free suppliers by 2020, and all eggs nationally to be cage-free by 2025.

The Bad
With its growth has come sub-standard quality and practices, pushing out local markets and chains. While this is normal for any major growth of a company, their practices are beyond secretive. Reports have claimed at the majority of Trader Joe’s products are made on equipment that doesn’t separate out production for those of philosophical or health-concerned needs. The equipment is exposed to dairy, nuts, meat, and non-kosher foods. In 2017 they claimed to have invented the “puff dog” – a roll of spiced sausage meat wrapped in a puff pastry, but British and Commonwealth Media challenged their claim by stating this was already a traditional British savoury snack.

The Ugly
Trader Joes uses too much packaging causing it to be a plague on the environment. This has caused Trader Joes to rank low on Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood report card stating they have excessive packaging with even produce sealed in plastic and utilizing a business mode that forces consumers to buy large enough quantities to encourage waste. They have been known for their lack of transparency about their sources of their products.

Stores reviewed:

Products reviewed:

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Trader Joes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Firehouse BBQ (Colorado Springs, Colorado) : Closed

Firehouse Southern Style BBQ
~ 817 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905 | (719) 447-8829. 2018 update: Location permanently Closed. ~

Oh the distinct Southern smells, charm, and culinary offerings – Firehouse BBQ was by far one of my favorite Barbecque shacks I’ve been to. Granted fully aware the cuisine is extremely unhealthy, fat inducing, and bad for the heart – nonetheless my childhood tastebuds were always pleased with the experience, body aside. If you’re willing to risk your body’s health, then this is one of the top places to get quality meats – chicken, pork, beef, with home-made sauces to satiate the hunger. Great location with ample parking, friendly staff, but service was slow and portion sizes were minimal (my body thanked that, but my hunger did not). It was a good farewell for me enjoying perhaps my last meal of this kind of food as I was soon moving to Australia and Europe. I had a good farewell tour. Apparently though after returning several years later this establishment had its own farewell and no longer exists. This review is but a historical tribute to the location.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions, March 4, 2011 ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Firehouse BBQ (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=36309), Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The Great Walkabout: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?page_id=114. From Colorado Springs to Australia, Europe, and back. Photos taken March 4, 2011. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2011 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Firehouse BBQ (Colorado Springs, Colorado) : Closed

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Greendot reloadable VISA card

Greendot re-loadable VISA card
~ www.greendot.com
~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

What their advertising promises: A re-loadable pre-paid visa card that you can use anywhere VISA is accepted, in stores, online, recurring monthly payments, and a card to direct deposit to. What you get: A gift card that is not reloadable, cannot be used online, cannot be used for monthly payments, and cannot accept direct deposit.

This is a scam folks, and you will lose money even trying out the service. This afternoon I went into Safeway excited to see their service promise only to discover I was scammed into buying a $1.95 gift card. In addition, they will assess a $7.95/month use fee. To close the account, it’ll take upwards of 2-4 weeks to get your money back. Tech support was horrible and they did not care that their service is a scam. They wasted my time, wasted my money, and just proved how inept their idea is. Their web site is buggy as is there validation system. They are just as bad as Capital One pre-paid Master Card. Rating: 1 star out of 5. / Tested 2/13/18.

As the paper boy in “Better Off Dead” declares … “I WANT MY $2!” (back).

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Like this review? want more? consider donating a chai, coffee, tea, or meal to the reviewer as a way to say “thank you! I want more …”





Continue reading Greendot reloadable VISA card

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share