Sunday, June 24, 2012

Behind the big wheel

Summer is the time for road trips. We asked two guys who drive big rigs for a living what their pet peeves are with "amateur" drivers. They said by far, it's people who aren't paying attention to the road, as in they're talking on their phones or even texting while driving.

"In my opinion, texting should be considered DUI," said professional truck driver Dave Howe.

We caught up with him and a couple of other drivers a day before the 2012 Colorado Truck Driving Championships earlier this month. The event challenges some of the state's safest drivers to a series of skills tests. Thanks to the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, we tried some of the tests ourselves.

The first of the three tests they set up for us involved backing up a tractor-trailer as close as possible to a white line but without crossing over the line. This test was supposed to simulate backing up a truck to a loading dock. The highest possible score on this test was 50 points, but crossing over the line would mean no points at all. Team Delicatessen just missed. Whoops! 0 points.

(Trick: Freight driver David Boyer, who has driven more than 2 million miles without an accident, sat next to each of us as we tested our skills. He gave us a hint that we could line up the shadow of the truck with the white line so we would know when to stop. Of course, this trick wouldn't work on a cloudy day, or if it wasn't noon, since the shadow might be too long.)

The second test involved splitting the back set of wheels on another white line to simulate lining up a truck in order to get weighed. This was tough. Boyer said one trick for this test is to turn the steering wheel slightly to the left, the better to see the side of the truck.

The third test asked us to pull forward to get the front of the truck as close to a white line as possible. Getting the nose of the truck within 18 inches was considered good enough, but you can score more points the closer you get to the line. 

(Trick: This test was harder than it sounds. Boyer told us that as soon as we saw the white line on the ground disappear beyond the nose of the truck, we should count six Mississippis, and that would be the perfect time to press the brakes. We got nervous and hit the brakes early. Of course, every truck is different though, and in competition, all the contestants drive the same rig, not their own.)

Friday, June 08, 2012


Team Delicatessen checked out Aoba which recently opened on Blake Street between 15th and 16th downtown in the former Organixx spot. We both tried the lunch special (2 rolls for $9 or 3 for $12, includes choice of miso soup or salad.) Reviewer #1 thought a couple of items tasted fishy. Reviewer #2 thought the rolls tasted like the average roll at average, more affordable sushi joints around town. Basically, if you want better fish, there are better-tasting places that are more worth your money, and if you want to spend less, there are places that taste roughly the same for less.

Service is attentive, the room is lovely, the lunch price is reasonable. Just not a whole lot stood out for us to be dying to go back right away.

The Aoba space is revised from Organixx, with dark wood floors and a mix of tall-backed upholstered booths and four-top tables. There's a sushi bar in back leading to the kitchen, and flat-screen TVs have been installed so you can keep an eye on the game.

Here's our thoughts on what we had:

_ Miso soup: Yummy, with Japanese mushroom
_ Salad: Reviewer #1 finished the whole thing, but when R#1 was done eating, there was a soup of dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Too much dressing.
_ Reviewer#2 didn't get too crazy: tuna+avocado roll, salmon+avocado roll, eel+avocado. The eel was the favorite. The tuna was fine, and the salmon didn't have much taste whatsoever, kind of tasted like water
_ Reviewer#1 had spicy tuna and jalapeno+yellowtail. Both were quite mild, even the jalapeno roll, with the tiniest bit of bite. Other choices for the lunch option included mango+salmon! We should've tried it

Have you tried Aoba yet? What do you think?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Counting Crows in ... Sylvania??

Whoa, Counting Crows is playing a show this summer at Red Rocks, but they're also playing this month in ..... Sylvania, at Centennial Terrace