Bothell Writers and Authors, Attending is a MUST!

Writers Conference for Bothell, Northwest Bookfest Writers Conference

We are always looking out for cool events that benefit, enrich or entertain our fellow Bothellites. This post is mainly directed towards those of us in Bothell who are "writers" or authors. There is a Writers conference happening in Kirkland, November 1st and 2nd at Northwest University called Northwest BookFest Writer's Conference: Guiding You Through Indie Publishing. Below are the details. They are a non-profit and I attended last year and learned a TON. We highly recommend this conference and this year they are including lunch, nice touch! Anyhow, here are the details (per their press release):

Northwest Bookfest Writer’s Conference to Focus on Digital Publishing

The publishing landscape has changed significantly in the past few years, as digital publishing creates new opportunities for writers to become authors. With online distribution channels such as Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Apple iBooks and more, writers are challenged to sort out the choices and make the best decisions about publishing their work.

Bothell writers can come to the Northwest BookFest 2014 to learn how to writerPresented by Northwest Bookfest, Guiding YOU Through Indie Publishing offers two days of workshops, November 1 and 2, at Northwest University in Kirkland, on the craft of writing, publishing alternatives and marketing expertise. For only $129 attendees can choose from dozens of workshops taught by authors and trade professionals. A one-day option is available to participants who cannot attend both days.

Conference workshops include “Fundamentals of Independent Electronic Publishing,” “Three Paths to Publishing,” “Increase Traffic to Your Website NOW,” “Are You Ready to Self-Publish?” and more. Registration information and a list of workshops are online at  Registration includes a brown-bag lunch on both days of the conference.

Bothell can come to the Northwest Writers Conference 2014“If you’re a writer who has dreamed of becoming a published author, this conference can help transform that dream into reality,” says Northwest Bookfest board member Deborah Schneider, herself an author with titles published both traditionally and independently.

Northwest Bookfest is a nonprofit organization operated by a volunteer board of directors and serving readers and writers in the Pacific Northwest.
Guiding YOU Through Indie Publishing will take place Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave., Kirkland. 




Bothell Quiznos: Great Product with no Smiles.

I am writing from Tully’s in Canyon Park. I love Bothell. I love working, eating, playing in this town, especially on a day like today (which happens to be sunny and beautiful). I feel that one of the cornerstones of a great community is local business and when I see something that bugs me, I think to myself, this MUST have bugged someone else. I guess sometimes I just think that there are some basics in business, especially in retail and even MORE especially in restaurateuring. Which is the reason for my post today on the Bothell Quiznos in Canyon Park.

Anyone be there? I have, a number of times actually. I remember when Quiznos was all the rage yeas back and I was stoked that we finally got one in Canyon Park. That was back when the idea of toasting a sub was supposed to be something “innovative” that would set them apart from the 800lb gorilla, Subway. Did no one in executive management ever think that Subway might just put toasters in their shops?? I digress.
I want to talk about customer service. Us here in Bothell love to support local businesses… we love to support people that I feel support us, with either great service, or a great product. Quiznos in Bothell has a great product, but the public interaction leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A few years ago, I believe the franchise was bought by some Asian folks. I don’t think (I could be wrong) that they were the ones that started the business, but I remember there being a time where I saw the same people in there. I really have nothing against Asian folks, in fact, some of my best friends and mentors are Asian folks. I am just trying to describe who I am talking about… if you have been there, you know who I am speaking about.

Bothell Quiznos. Great product, needs some smilesThis post is not really about race, but more about communication. I am not sure if you have noticed, but every time you go into the Bothell Quiznos there is the older Asian guy working there. I think he is the owner, but he might not be. He runs a tight ship and I can tell all of the workers there do not want to cross him. Good for you dude, running a tight ship. Awesome.. I have no issue with that. You are a business owner, gotta keep your ship running straight and efficient. When I mentioned this post was about communication, I should have actually said a “lack” of communication. Have you ever noticed that when you go through the line this guy never once has smiles, looks at you, anything. I am sure he has the ability to smile and talk, but there is no communication(verbal or otherwise) over the counter once so ever. You get to the end of the line, he points to a cup to see if you want regular or large combo. Rarely asks if you want anything else… honestly, I don’t think he says anything at all.

For a while I thought this might just be a language thing.. I don’t think so though. You get $10 out of me for a lunch.. ok, I can handle that, but there is NO PERSONAL TOUCH. No thanks. No appreciation. People have options; we can go elsewhere to eat and it is not an isolated instance, I go here all the time. Subway is right across the street and even though I have some comments about our Canyon Park subway as well, I think they do a pretty good job at communicating. I don’t go out to eat to be coddled or thanked, but I think subconsciously I enjoy being acknowledged for choosing their establishment. When I think about going to get a sandwich, this guys robot like, non-thankful domineer wears on me…

I close with this: People have options. There needs to be a connection if you want to build repeat customers. Hell, you might even want to thank them for their business. Like I said, I don’t buy it is a language thing. I know of many business workers who know VERY LITTLE English and do a great job at communicating either by smiling or other means. This guy’s attitude and demeanor is hurting their business, I guarantee it. Do this, go into Teriyaki Plus and talk to Lee the owner. That guy KNOWS how to build a clientele. Lee doesn’t speak perfect English, but he and his wife TOTALLY communicate. I joke about having a “teriyaki guy”, but it is true. When I want teriyaki, I head to Teriyaki plus.. not just because it is the best Yaki in Bothell, but because Lee takes the time to give me a smile and a thank you when I fork over my money for food.


Bothell Blog Podcast Episode 1

Chapters Photography in Bothell Washington supports the Bothell BlogWell we did it. The first official podcast of the Bothell Blog. Took us forever to get it up and running but we have the studio finally set up in the Bothell Blog office. For this first podcast, I interviewed local photographer favorite, Rob Resing of Chapters Photography in Bothell Washington. Chapters has been around for years and Rob has many local Bothell families that he has been taking pictures of for years.

The photography business has changed quite a bit over the last 10 years and that poses some unique challenges for photographers. To stay relevant, they must push the envelope with imagery. Chapters Photography has been a supporter of the Bothell blog for years and it was nice to have this time to chat with them.

Here is the video Rob created for the client:

Below is our podcast, please let us know what you think:




Carolina Smoke BBQ Rib Day: TODAY!

Carolina Smoke BBQ is having a Rib Day

Today is Carolina Smoke BBQ's Rib Benefit.Event starts at 1pm. Dave is slow smoking four different kinds of ribs for the vent in preparation for his famous Rib platter (beef ribs, short ribs, baby back ribs and spare ribs... all on one platter!). Dave marinated the short ribs for a WEEK preparing for this event and he pulled one off the smoker this morning and had me taste it... OMG.. AWESOME! Food isn't the only thing going on. Dave has book Chester Dennis Jones to play at the event starting at 1pm. It will be awesome for sure. Dave is giving back, come out and help him help those who save lives every day. Below is a video I shot early this morning at the BBQ Shop:




Carolina Smoke Rib Day Benefit is Saturday, June 14th!

As many of us know, August 20, 2013 David Hayward from Carolina Smoke suffered a heart attack. For a moment he was dead, but then some very skilled, hard working professionals got his ticker ticking again. Those folks were Evergreen Cardiac Care Unit at Evergreen Hospital. I personally experienced their excellence and they are a completely top notch organization. 

Now it is time for Carolina Smoke to give a little back. This Saturday (June 14th) Carolina Smoke is going to have a RIB DAY, where Dave and the crew will be smoking up 4 different types of ribs, beef ribs, baby back pork ribs, spare ribs and beef short ribs and providing a Rib platter with a sample of each with 2 sides! WOW, sound awesome! Part of the proceeds are going to go to support the Evergreen Cardiac Care Unit. There will also be a large jar that folks can use to donate to this effort. 

Chester Dennis Jones band playing at Carolina Smoke on June 12th!Food is not the only thing on the menu, somehow, Dave has booked local blues favorite, The Chester Dennis Jones Band to play blues for the event from 1pm-5pm. If you have never heard Chester play, you should he is one of Washington States best kept blues act secrets. I would suggest getting there early for seats. 

"I owe them my life, this is the least I can do.", said David, "... and I feel better than ever."

You can head to Carolina Smoke's website at for more details.


Want To See Crime In Bothell? There's a Map For That!

Bothell Crime Map

Have you ever wanted to know where crimes are happening in our fair city? Well, there's a MAP for that! The Bothell Police Department has released a Crime Map that maps out all of the crimes in Bothell (found here: It works great on my laptop. It didn't not show up well on my Windows Phone, but it might work better on your iPhone or Android smart phone. In fact, the website mentions that there is an iPhone app, so those iPhone users, I would grab that. There is also data from other police departments including the Snohomish County Sheriff's department.

The website is really well put together. There are different icons for different crimes and when clicked, you get details about the crime such as the date, the type of crime, case number and details about the crime. Anyhow, check it out and see what's happening in your Bothell Neighborhood.

A question I wonder about is the social impact of such transparency. For instance, if someone moving into our area looks at these maps, would that impact their decision to buy a house or move in to a certain area? I bet it would. That would mean bad neighborhoods would get less crime conscious folks moving into them? I don't know. To me, it is worth the risk. I like being able to know what crime is happening in Bothell. 


Bothell Police Department Press Release:

For questions or concerns, please contact Bothell Police Sergeant Ken Seuberlich via his email:


No More Driving to Lynnwood: New AT&T in Bothell!

New AT&T Store in Bothell: Smart Wireless

Finally Bothell has their own AT&T location right in Thrashers Corner. For a long time us Bothellites have had to drive through traffic and suffer the headaches of traveling to Lynnwood for AT&T support.  Smart Wireless is a local Northwest based mobile (phones, tablets, and much, much more) support and services store. The new location will provide the us with the latest and greatest that AT&T has to offer from a device perspective, along with Digital Life home security and automation options. Smart Wireless will also have access everything we need to stay connected; the location will have tablets, hotspots, wireless home phone, and of course the latest smartphones in the market.


Smart Wireless is Bothell's new AT&T StoreThe Bothell location is located at 20611 Bothell Everett Hwy Suite F in the Safeway Plaza and is open 7 days a week Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm Sunday 10am-6pm. Rather use social media to connect with Smart Wireless? Local Smart Wireless managers will have access to their Facebook page during business hours and can message the store questions about service, products and special offers. Smart Wireless AT&T will be posting information on the upcoming promotions that AT&T has to offer and quick tips and device how-to’s.  Finally, you have your own local “mobile guy” or “girl”.


“The greatest thing about this location is the people; the representatives at the store are dedicated to giving 110% to each and every customer that comes through the door.” Says Kasidee Ridlon, store manager and local Bothellite said, “Were not here to make one sale and be done with a customer. What we’re selling is lifelong service, if we sell a product or service we’re here for the long-haul to assist the customer in anyway we can.”

AT&T store: Smart Wireless in BothellYou can tell Kasidee loves what she does. Her mother has been in mobile phone “biz” for years and she mentions: “It’s kind of in my blood”. Funny, you can actually tell that she enjoys what she does. Having local folks working locally is a huge plus for us here in Bothell, especially when it comes to mobile phones and wireless. Kasidee and her team understand our area. They know the Bothell area and where the prime LTE coverage is. AT&T has great coverage in Bothell and I think people that are local appreciate the strong network they have built out, I know I do being an AT&T customer, ” It certainly helps us sell phones when we have great coverage.”  she says.

Smart Wireless has the Samsung Galaxy 5s in stock.When we asked Kasidee what is the hottest phone selling right now she told us it was the new Galaxy 5s. However, she leans more towards the Nokia/Microsoft phones personally. “For folks new to smartphones, they are just easier to use” she says.

The store is new, like it was just removed from the box.. it even smells new. If you are looking for the go-to-gal for mobile devices and other things techie, I would swing in and see Kasidee and her team, they are pretty tech savvy. Feel free to give them a call at (425) 485-0034 or hit them up on Facebook.


Neighborhood Pizza Parlor: Zeek's Pizza in Bothell

Zeeks Pizza Bothell
We finally had a chance to check out Bothell’s newest pizza restaurant, Zeek’s Pizza. We swung in around 6:30-7:00pm on a warm Friday night. Friday nights are pretty hoppin’ at Zeek’s, so we expected a lot of people to be there and there were. Zeek’s Pizza in Bothell is located at 1715 228th St SE #106, Bothell, WA 98021 right next to Jalisco’s and the Public Storage building just past the Canyon Park QFC. 
We pulled in an immediately noticed parking was a bit of a mess. Granted, it was a sunny Friday night and everyone was out and about so we kind of expected it to be packed. We ended up parking in the Public Storage parking lot since they were already closed. Right when we walking in I noticed that the temperature​ was a little nippy, but after a couple of minutes, if felt comfortable. 
The hostess sat us right away and we got a table by the bar. Since my son is only 5 I was concerned about sitting so close, but it ended up being fine, Zeek’s does a real good job at dividing  the dining room and bar area, while keeping the social aspect still in tact. The restaurant has 5 flat screens that were mainly playing sports hockey being one of them. They have a happy hour (3pm-6pm) with some great deals on brew. No sound on the TV’s which I like, but they did have a nice mix of music playing in the background, everything from Tom Petty to Green Day. The tables are spaced out nicely and you don’t feel cramped even though there are a ton of people around you. They have a great outdoor patio area that will be nice this summer (see the picture below).
Zeeks Pizza in Bothell has a great selection of local beer, like Foggy NogginOur waitress came right away and took our drink orders, my wife and I both had a beer. Zeek’s has a HUGE selection of craft beer, in fact, they carry one of my local favorite, Foggy Noggin, who are based in Bothell. They also have a Rueben’s Brew, which as far as I know is not offered anywhere else in Snohomish County. My wife ordered the Rueben’s and she loved it. I am a Foggy Noggin guy. Both beers came icy cold and fresh. Good stuff. Then, the waitress came back and took our order. 
My wife ordered the Zeek’s Greek salad, I ordered the Puget Pounder, minus the mushrooms. Speaking of mushrooms, I hate it when people say “Why don’t you like mushrooms? You can’t even taste them!?!?!”. If you can’t taste them, then why the hell do they put mushrooms on pizza in the first place?? Bugs me. Anyhow, like I said, I ordered the Puget Pounder no mushrooms and asked for it well done.
The wait for the food wasn’t to long. I looked around and noticed that they had 11 people working in the kitchen, 6 people working the dining room and 2 bartenders and everyone was working, so they had plenty of folks on staff during this rush. Zeek’s has free wifi which was nice as I could do part of my blog while I was sitting at my seat (thanks Michelle for agreeing to entertain Charlie while I was writing, they also give the kids crayons and a fun sheet to draw on). We couldn’t get one of our devices (I think the Kindle) to connect to the wifi, but everything else did just fine. 
Bothell Zeek's Pizza the Puget PounderWhen the pizza came, it was exactly as I asked, no mushrooms and well done. Perfect. I got the small as I knew I wanted to check out a desert, and the small pizza was enough for me and my son. The crust was light and fluffy with a hint of crispiness on the bottom. Apparently they hand toss of their dough. I don’t like a lot of sauce on my pizza and this pizza had the perfect amount. There was also something about the sauce, it flavorful, but it tasted richer for some reason. I could taste the sauce AND the ingredients which were mainly meat. The pepperoni was thinly sliced and not over bearing on the pizza. The sausage was tasteful, but wasn’t over powering as well. A really good mix of ingredients. The pizza was not overly greasy even though it had a ton of meat on top. The olives were really good, very flavorful. I really like the pizza. 

Zeek's Pizza has great Greek Salads

My wife enjoyed the salad, it was pretty large for a side salad and she said the dressing was great. We have had some pretty intense Greek salads before, so it does not surprise me that she said the salad wasn’t the best she had… she still liked it though. The salad came before my pizza so she ended up helping me out with my Puget Pounder. The waitress came around a few times to make sure everything was ok. Service was stellar.
Great bar at Zeek's PizzaThe bar area is really nice as well. Lots of choices of local beers and wines, lots of bar seating as well as some great booths in the back. When we were there, there were 4 couples sitting in the bar and a couple of loan wolfs. The bartenders seemed happy and were engaging the patrons regularly. No hard alcohol which is a bummer, but the large selection of beer and wine is enough to satisfy. 
We ended up ordering desert after dinner. We ordered a root beer float and a chocolate chip cookie Sunday thing. The desert took a while to get to get to the table, not sure why because by that time, there was half the customers then when we started. Come to find out the chocolate chip cookie sunday was a totally worth the wait. It came out in a skillet type pan and had a fresh chocolate chip cookie at the bottom with ice cream and chocolate drizzled on it. The Good stuff. The root beer float was great too, awesome ice cream.
Great outdoor seating at Bothell Zeek's PizzaA huge part of Zeek’s Pizza’s business is delivery. Most people don’t even know they have delivery, but they do, and it is quick I hear. They deliver from downtown to Thrashers (a little past) and from Hwy 9 to Locust. Pretty large delivery area. Their website is pretty easy to navigate.. there are some strange little quirks you need to figure out on the site, but you can totally customize your pizza how you like it. You can also call them at (425) 893-8646.
Conclusion: Zeek’s pizza is a GREAT place to bring the family for dinner. I would describe the vibe as “social”. Everyone is talking and having a great time… reminded me of Shakey’s Pizza back in the day. The pizza is rock solid and you can tell they know what they are doing in the kitchen. The beer and wine selection runs deep. The service was top notch, the staff was helpful professional. For the food, I think the price is reasonable, it wouldn’t say it is cheap, but this is not cheap food. There is quality throughout. For a franchise (local franchise) Bothell Zeek’s Pizza has a surprisingly neighborhood feel to it. I was told that Chad the owner has lived in Bothell most of his life and even graduated high school at Bothell High. No wonder why it feels like our new neighborhood pizza joint.
Pizza: Strong 4 out of 5 stars
Salad: 3.5
Environment: Strong 4.5, very social vibe
Staff: 5 no complaints
Price: Good value for my money

SR 527 Paving Means Overnight Delays

SR 527 paving means overnight delays, smoother ride between I-405 and SR 524 this summer.
Bothell SR-527 construction means delays at nightThirty years ago, State Route 527 had a much different look and feel than it has today. Back then, the two-lane highway crackled with traffic at rush hour, but felt like a sleepy byway meandering through farmland and open spaces the rest of the time.
A lot has changed in the past three decades. Increased development in the early 1990s led to the expansion of SR 527, and it has since grown into a heavily used urban thoroughfare serving business parks, retail outlets and thousands of housing units. After more than 20 years of steady growth and increasing traffic, it’s time to repave the roadway and repair the sidewalks along it.
Starting Monday, June 2, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will start a project to repave 1.1 miles of SR 527 between Interstate 405 and State Route 524/Maltby Road. Crews from Granite Construction Co. will work on the sidewalks and curb ramps, then begin grinding down and repaving the highway by the end of the month.
“This seven-lane section of SR 527 carries 41,000 vehicles a day. It’s rutted and cracked from heavy use. Repaving the highway will increase its lifespan and provide a smoother ride for drivers,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Mark Sawyer.
Repairing the sidewalks and curb ramps will offer more pedestrian-friendly access to businesses and residences. The project also will add more street lights at the intersection of SR 527 and 217th Street Southeast to improve safety for vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
The work will last through the summer and will occur mostly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to minimize traffic impacts. Drivers should expect some lane closures and reduced speed limits during construction. At least one lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Drivers can get information about lane closures by checking the construction update report. 

Date Night in Bothell

It was date night and it was the first time I ever had received a pedicure. We hit Tina's Nails in Canyon Park, where my wife frequents. Not to shabby, I can get use to pedicures.( I will be writing a separate blog post about our experience at Tina’s) 
Tina's Nails in Bothell Washington - Date Night

After our foot pampering, we headed over to another one of our favorite spots in Bothell, Vivendo Restaurant and Bar in Country Village. 

Owners of Bothell's Viviendo's Restaurant Sofie and Prokop TonaWe arrived just about 7pm and decided to sit outside since it was a nice day. Right away one of the owners came out and sat down to talk to us. We have been to Viviendo a number of times, in fact, the Bothell Blog office is located in Country Village and I can see Vivendo’s from my window. My wife ordered some white wine and I had my gin and tonic. Right away some freshly baked bread came to the table with some great dipping sauce. Personally, I like the olive oil sauce at Grazie’s a bit better, but this stuff is still the bomb. Viviendo’s does not ship in bread from a bakery, they actually bake it right there in the restaurant. It was hot and fresh.. like a perfect little high carb dream.(Above: Vivendo's Owners Sofie and Prokop Tona)

Shortly after the bread arrived owner, Prokop came outside and sat with us and basically hung out the entire dinner, talking about some of the famous people who frequent our, up until now apparently, was our secret little restaurant. Did you know that there are a few former Seahawks that frequent Vivendo’s? There are also some folks that drive down from Bellingham every month just to get a taste of one of their seafood dishes. It doesn’t really surprise us though, the quality of Vivendo’s food is hard to match.

Vivendo's Restaurant in Bothell is great for a date night

We asked Prokop why that was, why was no matter what we ate at Viviendos’s it was completely off the chain? As the caprese appetizer came to our table (just for the record, I am not a tomato guy, but I will eat the hell out of fresh sliced mozzarella and olive oil), Prokop said the reason why their food was special is because of his wife Sofia. He mentioned that her love of cooking is infused within the food itself. The then told us of a story of a man who grew the most nutritious grapes in all the world. His secret? He played beautiful music in the vineyard. He said that the recipes used at Vivendo were created from his wife’s heart and every dish has a truly unique twist and taste to it. He’s right you know. Many people think of Vivendo’s Restaurant as a strictly Italian restaurant. Not so. Their menu is a fusion of Mediterranean AND Italian, which is why their dishes are so unique. 

As the night progressed, we ordered dinner, both of us had the spaghetti pesto dish. This is one of our favorite dishes at Vivendo’s. There is something about the pesto that is delicious and creamy at the same time. I wouldn’t say that the portions are huge, but they are just right. The pesto sauce is just rich enough that you feel like you are getting much more than you actually are.

A couple more drinks and 30 minutes we were just about done. My wife is a fan of their chocolate cake, which is a great way to top off the meal. I would suggest just getting one piece and sharing it though as it is flavorful and rich as well. it comes with a drizzle of some sort of berry syrup and is the bomb. My wife ordered a class of red wine to go with the cake but Prokop stopped our waiter and said something to him. He said “I told him to get you a different type of wine to go with that chocolate cake. Trust me.” We did and he nailed it. The wine was so good with the cake,… perfect match. Prokop mentioned that they have taken great time and effort focusing on their wine selection and matching wines to their food. Viviendo’s has reciently really been introducing local wines out of Woodinville and have seen a large spike in local wine sales. 

So overall, a great date night with my wife… all within our town of Bothell. Have you had a cool date night experience in Bothell? Send me a mail and I will post it on the blog.