Friday, June 28, 2013
This morning, on my way to the office, I went to swim at the SAC building on campus, then left, and as I went out these two *enormous* guys were entering the building.
It was Dwight Howard and some other guy.
I swear it was! You can spot D12's face anywhere. Now I had nothing to say to be honest... by the time I realized who it was they walked past me. The SAC building has the swimming pool, but they also have this full basketball gym upstairs on the second floor. NBA players come out there all the time to practice during the offseason. Sounds like Howard was another one.
What would I even have said to him? "Anything I could do to help you get to Dallas or Houston?" "Are you staying?!?!?" in a troll-fashioned comment? "Have you tried souplantation?"
Best I could do was tweet about his arrival and let the other jokers speculate about his presence. Let him play.
I have to admit, I'm chuckling as I think of this: It would have been funny if I conveniently had a "Go" sign and showed it to him. HAHAHAHAHAHA... oh man... I would not have left the building with my face on.
I can't even come to grips that this really happened. Go figure, I'm wearing the lime green shirt when this happens.
All right, back to the other things..
Packed some more items last night at the old apartment. I'm getting sad and happy at once. Tomorrow I move in earnest. I'll move all the little things, clothes, kitchenwares, other things, on Saturday, then on Sunday I move the furniture. Then I'll clean the old apartment.
I *did* clean the stove last night. People ribbed me pretty well about my oily oven over the years, and I did not think it was that bad. Nevertheless, it's spotless now!
Santa Monica will be a fun place. I'm prepared for a lot of uncertainty as we go into the summer. My first apartment with a room mate, in this case Coach. New neighborhood, although a familiar one since I visit Coach's place to watch football a few times a year.
They have regular oreos, they have oreos with different colored fillings, they have peanut butter oreos, they have vanilla oreos, and they have strawberry oreos. Oreo has covered all the corners, what will they think of next?
I'm really paying the price, literally for all those trips to Tony P's during the NBA and NHL playoffs. June is a very expensive month for me. I also call it "Birthday Season" because more birthdays in my extended family fall on June than any other month.
As for July, I don't think there are any birthdays of note, so I'll welcome the monetary relief.
Tonight for dinner, I'm just about out of food, so I'll have some soup and then eat chips and salsa that I have left over. Then I'll clean out the fridge for good, and pack all the kitchen wares. A bittersweet moment for the apartment.
Today for lunch I'm joining my staff with a Faculty Person who's about to retire at the Faculty Club. Most universities have their own Faculty Club, a cabin or something with their own restaurant, meeting rooms, and even lodging in some cases. Often times they have fancy dishes available and sandwiches, but I'm all sandwiched out. I may get a burger, but not a regular sandwich. I may try some fish, but I don't feel like they do a great job with fish. I've been invited to other Faculty Club lunches in the past.
Know what I'd really like to eat on Saturday? There's no chance at it, but it'd be fun: barbecue from Jim's Fallbrook Market. I'll be too busy with the other things to make it though.
After moving the little thing son Saturday, I'll be joining some other work colleagues in Torrance at a place called "King's Hawaiian." It's Hawaiian food... you might think "now wait a minute, that's the brand of Hawaiian bread at the store!" It is, but they apparently have their own restaurant. Who knew? I don't really know about their other foods but I bet it's similar to other Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants... good Hawaiian chicken, macaroni salad, rice, and in this case, those Hawaiian rolls.
I think it's kind of ridiculous when people throw in a slice of pineapple into a dish and label it "Hawaiian" just because they added pineapple. That's just as bogus as when you bake a chicken, add some KC Masterpiece, and then claim "It's Barbecued Chicken!" Don't you think so too?
An eventful weekend awaits. and speaking of Masterpieces, I'm due to lay another one on the bathroom in a moment. Have a good Friday, all.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Weather has been fantastic so far, but the next three days, we will get our first truly hot days of the year. I believe we're looking at temperatures in the upper 80s. Whew! Get those fans and air conditioners ready my friends.
Vin Scully last night on the Dodgers telecast denoted baseball as a "Strong Man's game", citing the herculean efforts of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax in oppressive Houston heat. It was a strong man's game once... today it's a pretty weak man's game. Players *today* can stub their toe and miss a game. It's a disgrace.
When you consider that 90% of baseball is just sitting around or standing around, it's inexcusable for jokers to injure themselves and get hurt as often as they do. I love the articles that come out about a player doing something boneheaded between games to put themselves on the DL. Like, many years ago I remember that Mike Metheny sliced the tendons on his hand trying to open the shrinkwrap on a DVD. He had to go on the DL. Hahahahahahaha, that is a *joke!*
Last night, it was Souplantation for dinner. You won't believe this, but I ate very little soup that night. I had more salad, some pasta, and I went to town on these muffins. Then I grabbed some slices of sourdough bread. It was *amazing*. They did something to improve the bread... the slices are thicker, but the bread is fluffier, fresher, and with flakier crust. I was mesmerized.
Souplantation had a strawberry theme this month. Strawberries everywhere... strawberry shortcake, strawberry butter, strawberry salad, and the kicker, strawberry flavored sugar cookies. I had to try one of those, so I went over to the kitchen and asked for one and they set me up.
Packing is going well... I now cleared my "shelf of memories," as I call it, and packed most of the mementos into a box. I'm sad... the shelf was built into a dividing wall between the dining area and the kitchen, and it had a nice top to it where I could display greeting cards.
A great apartment finds a way to allow for shelving and storage without the need for a dresser. This apartment was great at that... I'm going to miss it.
I wonder if "Mentos" candy was named after the term "mementos?" Remember those commercials? "Nothing better but fun, fresh goes better in life, when Mentos freshens for your life. Nothing gets to you, staying fresh staying true, when Mentos freshens for our lives. Fresh goes better! Mennntos freshness... Fresh goes better when Mentos freshens for our lives [ba ba bum]. MENTOS... THE *FRESH* MAKER."
I loved those commercials!! Certainly the commercials are a memento in their own right.
I'm pumped up! After that good memory, I'd best not soil it with any other stray thought. Have a great Thursday everyone!
UCLA dominated again in College Baseball. They are now the champions of the College World Series. Congratulations!
Dodgers beat the Giants, after clinging by a thread no thanks to Brandon League. I can't stand that guy. I really let out a big rant on the social media... I was acting in frustration. Amazingly, the Dodgers won anyway, thanks to a big catch by Matt Kemp to end the game. He's back, baby!
You know what else is back? Fire Roasted Rojo's Salsa! I was at Ralphs last night at 11pm, looking for peaches. I found the peaches, knowing I had a 50/50 shot at them being good quality. Then, I got some kitchen cleaner, and later I perused the salsa section.... I said "what if they have the Rojo's Fire Roasted Salsa?" They did!! Do the dance!
I got some chips to go with it, and then took it all home. Boy was that salsa good. I have a lot more of it to go, and a bunch more chips to eat. They would have gone great with a Game 7 in the NHL, but no worries... a free night is still not a bad night.
I spent last night packing up all the bathroom items from my cabinets and drawers. I got it into two boxes. I was pumped up from that. There was a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a bottle of peroxide, both way past their expiration dates, so I poured all the leftovers into the toilet. Later that night, I took a whiz, and I could smell the alcohol reacting somewhat to the whiz... and I wondered, "I wonder what kind of reaction the urine will have with the peroxide and alcohol?" We'll never know now! I stupidly flushed the toilet as I was thinking all this.
I saw an ad from Citicards for "An Evening with Joe Torre" in New Rochelle. I've had plenty of evenings with Joe Torre back when he managed the Dodgers. I'll let someone else share the privilege this time.
Did you know that a Peach is about 60 calories? Did you also know that an oreo cookie is 75 calories? Imagine! A tiny oreo cookie has more calories than a whole peach. When I was a kid, I used to eat whole rolls of oreos. Down the road, I learned what a mistake that was.. I got really fat.
Late nights on Twitter can get very unusual....
That's all for now! Short entry today, but feel free to catch up on the last few days. Catch you all tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
First of all, congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for taking down the Boston Bruins. I *still* cannot believe how this happened. I didn't see the game Live because I was at Dodger Stadium at the time, but I read all the responses on twitter after the fact. Let's just say: it was *intense.* Two goals in 17 seconds within the last 90 seconds of regulation to win the game outright. That does not happen often at ALL...
Do the dance, Chicago!
Next, congratulations to Steve Darcis for beating Rafael Nadal in STRAIGHT SETS in the First Round at Wimbledon. This kind of upset might be even bigger than a 16 beating a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Next, congratulations to UCLA Baseball for winning Game 1 of the Championship Round in the NCAA College World Series. All the Bruins have to do is win one more game in a best of three series to win the College Baseball National Championship.
That's about it for sports. Time for some odds and ends...
The First Dodger Dog I had at the ballpark last night was even better than usual. It was REALLY good. It struck me that the hot dog was grilled even more than usual, which made the difference. So! The key to really good Farmer John brand hot dogs is to grill them even more than usual... you almost want them charred, practically burnt. It's remarkable: you do this with their regular grade Wieners and you get some impressive tasting hot dogs. Last night's Dodger Dog was no exception. I put in some onions, mustard (yellow not brown this time) and only a smidge of relish. Later in the game, I had a Dodger Dog just like it, but this one wasn't as overcooked. And... it was good but not *fantastic* like Dog #1.
Sometimes, for a big baseball game, plain old peanuts are the way to go.
I also love the Cool A Coos, which again, are two oatmeal cookies with ice cream in the middle, then dipped in chocolate. Now the damn things cost six bones. WHO in their right mind is going to pay six Washingtons for a dinky ice cream sandwich? I can get a box of THREE It's Its at the store for 3 bones. Or, one dollar per sandwich. It's Its taste just like Cool-a-Coo's do. 6x markup is way too much -- try again Dodger Stadium.
One of these nights, after going to a Dodgers game I'll make a run for it and head to the Original Tommy's on Beverly and Rampart. It's a semi tradition our family *used* to do when our aunts/uncles/cousins lived in LA Proper... this was 20-30 years ago. Go to a Dodger game, leave, then get in line at the Tommy's. I heard Tommy's was even better in the 70's... I doubt that, it's the same stinkin' burger both times... same formula and everything. The difference is either memories or the scarcity of the single location as opposed to the multiple locations we have now. BUT... I will say this: I contend that the original Tommy's at Beverly/Rampart cooks and serves their burgers with more craftsmanship, better showmanship, and more chili than all the other locations. This is why I still go to the original one from time to time.
Dodger Stadium also has the baseball helmet full of frozen yogurt. This is pretty cool but I'm always able to resist temptation for frozen yogurt.... well... that I can get at Souplantation as part of the $8.39 coupon dinner menu. I could also go to Menchie's and get just the frozen yogurt for 3 bones. Dodger Stadium wanted, I believe 5 or 6 bucks for their Fro-Yo. Not *that* bad but I wasn't jonesing enough for it.
Frozen Lemonade... you know, it hit me that I hadn't tried some in a while. When I was going to junior college at Oxnard College, I'd pick up a little cup of Frozen Lemonade at the local cafe there. Those things were so good... Minute Maid Brand I believe.
Over the years I never felt tempted enough to go find a box worth of Frozen Lemonades, but after seeing some at the ballpark last night, it seemed worth my while to look again. They're very good! Regular or Pink Lemonade.
You know what? I was looking for churros around the 7th inning. I know either they do or did at one time sell the churros. That would have been a nice dessert for the stretch run of the game. I didn't have enough time to go find one.
Garlic Fries were tempting last night too, and I've spoken highly of them before. I punted on it because by then I had two hot dogs and two beers along with a few peanuts. My friend and I were really enjoying our munchies. She also got the baseball cookie from the club level. They let you stop on the club level IF you strictly go to the mini shop in front of the escalator. You can't barge in on Vin Scully at the Broadcast Booth next door or make a run for it and pick off treats from the dessert cart. Oh and you know I've thought about it! Either there or at Staples Center, I see those big dessert carts rolling around the suites and I've wanted to just go and get a cookie to see if I'd get away with it.
I think it was the last time I was at Staples, to watch the Kings, I looked at the dessert cart and saw some people out in front of it... the cart was also right in the hallway, but the guy serving the treats watched everything intently. I thought I'd just sneak in and ask for a cookie but then they asked what suite I was in... and I said "oh this one right here!"
Good one right? The guy asked for my ticket, and I was hosed. I asked "Can't I have one anyway?" but he said no.
Dodger Stadium has up to 5 people throwing out the first pitch. I really think the honor of throwing out the first pitch of the ballgame lost it luster here. Isn't it false advertising? It *can't* be the first pitch if you're offering it to a fireman, a sales rep, a contest winner and then a celebrity at the end. They all throw the pitch at separate times before the game. It's nuts.
The last one to throw the pitch was the lady from "Person of Interest" on CBS. I forget her name... Sarah? Well, whatever the case was, she was a person of *my* interest, friends! She throws the pitch, straight from the mound, which not everyone does, and it makes it all the way to the plate. In fact, the pitch was so hard it was a little high and newbie Tim Federowicz makes the catch. The lady then *runs* over to Fed and leaps onto him so he catches her for a full embrace.
......ohhhh I hope Fed's wife didn't see that! Dude could be in trouble...
In the game last night, I saw Puig hit a home run in person for the first time! He can... CRUSH the ball! He went the other way with the pitch and it went **soaring** over the small right field fence for an opposite field home run. You could even hear the "ooooooooooooohs" from the crowd when he hit it. This kid appears to be on his way.
I actually saw numerous fans with Puig T-shirts and full blown jerseys in the stands. Fellas! He's played for three weeks!!! Calm down just a bit here...! How do we know he'll still be in the league in three years?
Whew, that was a fun night... back to the grind. Catch you all soon!
Sunday, June 23, 2013
I had a *really* fun weekend with my family back in Oxnard. It wasn't just in *Oxnard,* actually. We were all over the place. My Mom's birthday is next Tuesday so we celebrated her birthday with a whole sequence of fun activities from Friday through Sunday.
On Saturday, we hit the road to Anaheim, as we were due there for yet another Graduation Party. Before going to the party, we spent a few hours at Downtown Disney. It took two hours to get there from Oxnard, and I along with others were holding our bladders the whole way.
It didn't get that bad, and once we got there, while I was hurtin, I managed all right and got to a urinal at the Disneyland Hotel. We then went to the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney and the LEGO store. My mom and the rest of us had a blast!
Then the party at Anaheim which was pretty tame, and a drive back home. My parents went to their friends' house for another big birthday party for my Mom. Apparently it was great! My Mom got some sick presents *and* they went bowling in Camarillo.
While all this happened, my sisters and I went home and just relaxed. I finally got the cable modem I wanted and shipped it to my new apartment in Santa Monica. I also saw the Angels get blown out by the Pirates. It was a scene at the Big A. INTERESTINGLY! When we got off the freeway earlier that afternoon, we drove right by Angel Stadium along Katella.
Let me go back to the topic of holding my bladder for a second. Oh baby... have you ever tried to hold your bladder for a really long time? That's dangerous! The worst I ever had it was when I drank a ton of fluid, then drove from Santa Barbara to the Oxnard Fry's. By the time I got there, I was so sore from holding my pee I could barely walk. It's a minor miracle I didn't let loose right in the parking lot. I made it.. and boy that pee just flew right out like a pressure washer.
There was another such moment at the Griffith Observatory... I was dyin! Then after this long show about planets or something, I went to the bathroom. Unzipped and leaked... it just went on and on and on and on and on.. A two minute masterpiece, I'd estimate.
Where was I? Ah yes, Sunday. Sunday the party continued. Now, very often, my Mom would do all the cooking for a birthday party, whenever I or one of my sisters or my Dad had a birthday. This day, all of us siblings got together and cooked for our Mom. My sister prepped a nice salmon filet. My older sister brought in some sides, potato salad, and these little SPAM rolls wrapped in seaweed... it looks like sushi but with SPAM. My third sister was doing something, I forget what. Maybe organizing things together and helping with the cake and dessert.
I was in charge of the fried chicken. My younger sister (the one who did the filet), breaded the chicken legs and was going to fry the chicken but I asked to take over and she obliged. So I was on fried chicken duty. Got a pot full of vegetable oil and started it up. Then I put in the chicken pieces, two at a time. I wanted to offer great oil to surface area for the chicken legs. They were coming out fairly well but not completely well done, so I had to put some back later on. I started going 8 minutes for each batch, then ten, then 15 had it down just right.
My Dad comes over and sees me putting two pieces of chicken in the pot at a time and goes "We're never going to get done! Can't you put five legs in there?" I met him half way and did four legs at once. I knew that this would reduce the relative oil to surface ratio, so I let them go a little longer, 20 minutes for a batch of four. This was right on.
My family ate away at the legs, including my Aunt's Family and my Grandparents, and they all raved about the chicken. It was a hit! Well, friends, you all know where to turn if you want someone to prepare the fried chicken. Just leave it to the ol' Cow. Good times.
We really had fun... I tell you, there were a lot of desserts at this party. My mom LOVES ice cream and other goodies. My aunt, recognizing this, brought in all this candy and ice cream and fixings. Really nice of her to set up a mini Ice Cream shop on our wet bar.
Then it was time to do presents. I got my Mom a most unusual gift: a hot dog toaster. I'm serious! You can put in two hot dogs and two buns and toast them all at once. She loved it! She got a kick out of the gift and is looking forward to using it.
Then came the real fun. We did charades and this one game where we tried to balance an oreo on our foreheads and then lean over and get the oreo into our mouths.. no hands. First one to get the oreo in wins. I'm happy to report I won! I wasn't even trying to win... I just got the oreo on my forehead and wanted to see how it'd slide... then it slid right into my eye sockets! Hahahaha, that made it a little easier, actually. Check it out:
Hey! I've got some more good news. Go to your local grocery store. It's Peach Season! I found a batch of stellar peaches out in front at the Oxnard Albertsons on Saturday. They were amazing! I hope there are peaches this good at the LA area Albertsons as well. More to come...
Time for quickies...
I think these walks across the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, and what have you would be more exciting if it didn't take so long to get there. Congratulations to Nik Wallenda for making it across........
Would you believe he didn't cross the actual Grand Canyon? How about this?
Basically, he crossed a nearby gorge. It's still quite dangerous, but slightly false advertising. If you were wondering, my sort of death defying stunts include many cars, barrels and maybe a boat. Jumps over 50 cars on a ramp are pretty intense... and usually you see how it ends in about 20 seconds.
Only a week until I move to Santa Monica I'm starting to feel sad about leaving this apartment. The apartment itself has been good to me. Through good times and bad. It hadn't hit me how long I really lived here... a lot has changed in four years. I'll miss it. I'll miss my neighbors too.
I saw a HUGE line outside the movie theater the other day. Turns out, it was waiting to see "Monsters U." I'll be shocked if it didn't take first place at the box office this week.
All we have now is baseball? Aside from a Stanley Cup Final game or two? I love baseball, but this is depressing news.
Time to catch up on some movies!
...after the move. That's all from here. Have a good Monday!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
screw the heat"!"!!!!!!!! buñch of phonies!! yea its still freshbas I write this. I had three beers. ohhhhh baby!
BUNCH OF PHONIES!!!!!! THEY CAN SUCK IT!
Apple Mail can suck it too!! phony mail program
yea i had a lot to imbibe as i write this.
jesse williams can suck it!!!!
sweeny murti can suck it!!!!
the droid x2 can suck it!!!!!"!
chevy chase can suck it!!!!!!!!!
have a good weekend fellas.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A lot of times, especially in baseball, a Game 7 of a playoff series is a blowout, an uninteresting affair. Fortunately in the NBA, Game 7's have all been nail-biters since 2-3-2 started in 1985.
1988: Lakers 108, Pistons 105
1994: Rockets 90, Knicks 84
2005: Spurs 81, Pistons 74
2010: Lakers 83, Celtics 79
The largest margin of defeat in any Game 7 since '85 was the 2005 series, and it was still only a 7 point game.
Even so, I don't expect a game *that* close tonight, but it was interesting to note how consistently close NBA Finals Game 7's are.
A friend of mine reminded me about E.L. Fudge cookies. Oooh I forgot how good those cookies were. I may give that a shot later.
I am really hankerin' for fruit punch today. Why? I can't figure it out. Minute Maid Fruit Punch would be the ultimate.
Sad news regarding James Gandolfini yesterday. In fairness, I've not seen an episode of "The Sopranos" but I can appreciate all the contributions he's made to acting. I knew that back in its day, about ten years ago, "The Sopranos" was *the* talk of Cable TV.
Of course, now I go to read Wikipedia and I found out that "Sopranos" is just a glorified version of "Frasier." I don't want to rain on a parade, but I found the synopsis humorous... guy organizes a big crime family, but also has to deal with everyday rudimentary lifestyle in between. So the show is a little about a mob boss (a man's job akin to Frasier's job as a Psychiatrist) and a lot more about what he does off the clock I guess?
"On the next Sopranos... Tony organizes a coup of the narcotics ring and then tries to figure out what bathroom scale to get for the guest room." Did I get it right?
All right, I'm clearly not qualified to discuss this program, but indeed a sad loss... he was good in other shows and movies too.
If you're walking around town in the LA area and you see some ladies motor in on scooters like a Vespa or something, get very excited!
I'd often go to swim over at Sunset Rec or Speiker and you'd see packs of beautiful swim team ladies on these same scooters run down to the parking garage. It was like a gang of a different sort. I loved it! Style! Gorgeous in many ways my friends.
Souplantation offered me an email coupon so I could try out their strawberry shortcake station. Usually happens at this time of year... I can dig this. I'll head out there soon: it's been almost a month since I last went!
One swimmer that I don't think gets her due: Amy Van Dyken. She was incredible! I know, not the most photogenic, but seriously she was great... actually I think she improved, visually over the years... I saw her do some deal for Fox Sports recently... I'm not sure what to make of it though. I thought she did a good job, but it seemed like Fox wanted her to do some sort of gasp/omg angle on swimming news. She didn't give in though, good for her.
Is there any way to get to Torrance from UCLA that doesn't take 125 minutes? If there is, let me know... I'd be very excited to try it out.
I would never sell back things I bought to my own family for money. That seems so very mean.
I'd be happy just to give some things to my family right now... I have a few things here and there that'd be nice to give to them around the house.
One item that I don't think anyone wants is the box full of VHS Tapes. I recorded a whole bunch of Lakers games and other games, circa 2000, on VHS. Today, with DVD recorders, youtube, and DVR's, a VCR isn't that big a need anymore.
I always like to keep original source materials... never assume you'll never need them. If you ever need to convert to another format down the road it'll be there for you. But, that also means I have a hefty crate of 40 videos to account for.
Panera Bread was a place I went to to get roast beef sandwiches in the beginning... later on, I found their regular bakery a much better experience. I can't get around to sandwiches out there nowadays.
I think that's all I've got today, short entry. Have a great Thursday!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Now... what a game last night in the NBA Finals! How exciting was that? How frustrating was that for the Spurs? It was just mesmerizing and shocking to no end. I am not used to seeing the SPURS blow a game that way. I'll get into more detail on the Dave Podcast tonight (blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity).
Last night I divided the NBA Finals game experience into two parts. Due to traffic, I watched the first half at home so the traffic could die down. Then, I went over to Tony P's in Marina Del Rey, the one and only, for the second half.
Great experience. Everybody at the bar was into it! I was surprised to see some healthy cheers for the Heat and Lebron, but most of the crowd, in fact a BIG contingent was rooting for San Antonio. America loves to root against the Heat!
While I was there I ordered a Diet Cherry Coke, which is really just a Diet Coke with the red cherries and the cherry juice they use for cocktails. This is, as a matter of fact, superior to a plain "Diet Cherry Coke" you would get at the store. Why? Freshness of the cherries and juice, plus the mere fact that a red cherry is in the drink. Any time you're at a legit bar, try for a Cherry Coke... you'll be plesantly surprised. Sometimes they use those dark cherries, ooh those are REALLY good!
That was just the beginning. I also ordered the "Dockside Cheeseburger." I had a bad experience with a bleu cheese/bacon stuffed burger last time so I made a compromise.. I asked for their regular cheeseburger and added bacon. Well, wouldn't you know, they cooked the burger medium and then put the bacon on the patty FIRST before adding the cheese. I've never seen this before. So the cheese is actually above the bacon, creating an adhesive seal on the bacon strips to the patty. How about that? It's pretty revolutionary! Up to now, I haven't seen anyone else try this.
...and it works! Boy was that burger delicious... oak grilled, medium, really juicy and the bacon strips were not falling off the bun nor crumbling at the edges. I'm into it!
Who is Jesse Williams and why do I care about his stupid phone?
I mean eff that guy... I was so excited to get a Samsung Galxy S4 in two months and this guy is doing what he can to make me buy something else. What a tool... millions around the country are considering different phone choices thanks to that joker. It's so bad I may consider.................................. gasp........................... an *iPhone*. I mean SERIOUSLY with that nonsense. Seriously!!! Samsung needs to consider another outlet to showcase their product, it is so much better than this.
If you think American interest in the National Soccer team is overblown, you haven't been to Grant Park. Ooooh baby!
People wonder if I'm writing some of these loopy lines on purpose. I'll be honest... I couldn't be that clever if I *tried.* The Action Bronson thing was leaning in that direction but I had no clue what "Action Bronson" was. It sounds like "Detective Comics" or "Agent Zero" or something. Who knew he was a rapper?
and this is what I write without drugs or alcohol. I fear for my sanity if I ever get involved with recreational or other substances.
Synthesized music as it was in about 1981 was perfect for me. It doesn't *sound* refined in any way, but it just hit home. Once we got into samplers and digital FM modulated noises, it got too robotic... too perfect. Oddly, the music of today incorporates synthesis much more organic than anything I've heard to date. I rather enjoy it too... but pre-digital synths always did it for me. Something beyond the rudimentary oscillators of the Moog but before the Yamaha DX-7. Prophet 5! The synthesizer that spoke to me more than any other, something like that.
You know who else was big on the Prophet 5? Peter Gabriel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E6gA7iYCWs
I want to get my... REM on...
I fought the bed and, the bed won
I fought the bed and, the bed won
There's just six hours til the, next sun
I fought the bed and, the bed won
I fought the bed and, the bed won
I'm tired... catch you all tomorrow!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Last night I decided to punt on doing anything at home and I got in the car. I decided to find a spot to park on the road running along the beach in Santa Monica and watch the sun set while I listened to the NHL Stanley Cup Game on radio. There was some plumbing going on at my apartment building... scheduled plumbing in fact, so I decided to let the handyman do his business and go somewhere else for a while.
All I did was trudge through the traffic. Then I found a spot to park and watch the ocean and people who went up and down the street. It was really peaceful out there, listening to hockey while it all went down.
I didn't see the sun set all the way, because I wanted to take a few minutes to go to Best Buy. Glad I did... it turned out that the hockey game was a runaway anyway, so I took off.
At Best Buy I was looking for a Cable Modem but couldn't find the one I wanted. It looks like Amazon.com is going to hook me up again. What I found was a complete Samsung mini-store inside the Best Buy. There was a good dude there helping me with questions I had about the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. I asked whether it'd have provisions for a screen cover and a car dock. Bazinga!
This is going to be an amazing phone! If I can persuade Verizon to set up some package deal where I get that nice ipad-esque case and the car dock with the phone I'm all-in. It looks promising.
It's not "perfect" but no phone is. There were really miniscule lags with scrolling and motion but the horde of features still wins out for me, and the scrolling/graphics/speed is about 500 times better than the DROID X2 I have now. I worry about the S4 being all plastic and extra wide, but it's also pretty thin. I just hope the battery life holds up.
Another conundrum took root recently: what do you do to charge a phone at the end of the day? They say you shouldn't leave a phone on its charger for an extended period of time, but to do that means you can't charge overnight. That seems unfair no? Otherwise you charge it fully at the end of the regular day but leave it on idle overnight? You're draining about 10% of the battery that way. What does one do?
It's not a good idea to just turn it off because if there's an emergency in the middle of the night, you NEED the phone to be on so it can ring and let you know. This was never a problem with the original Motorola RAZR phone. Well, to be fair, the phone didn't really do anything, but its phone capability and speakerphone were rock solid. Considering its thin profile it was tough for a long time, and I didn't use a case either. But I could go a few days without charging the phone at all.
I had a burrito for dinner. Now, a burrito is tough to judge for healthiness. It's entirely dependent on what you put in it. This was a relatively low carb burrito... just meat, pico de gallo, guacamole, a little sour cream, and a tiny amount of cheese. No beans or rice. Probably wouldn't have been a break the bank burrito.
Subway has surprisingly good cookies. Try a batch sometime, only three for about a dollar.
Wouldn't it be a good idea for the NFL to convert to the metric system? Everybody else in sports is already on Metric. Track and Field, International Swimming, Tennis, and a bunch of others. So it's a *little* longer to get a first down. These athletes are tough, they can handle it! I just like the symmetry of metric measurements more. Everything in else in the NFL is so even and calculated, but the entirely non-scientific measurement of the English system could be improved to a more calculated and easier to compute metric for games and stats.
Heck, why are golf tournaments not on metric by now? I would think that with the preponderance of European events and players that we'd consider a measuring distance system that works well around the globe.
I gotta admit, my Grandmother got me some White Peaches and encouraged me to give them a chance. I did, and she's right -- they're pretty good. Technically these are white nectarines but I think we can put them on equal footing with the yellow counterparts.
Speaking of beans and/or rice, my lunch was a tiny Taco Bell Bean Burrito. Those bean burritos feel like they're getting smaller and smaller. Remember when the McDonald's Big Mac was *really big*? Go figure.
Ever wonder about "organized crime" i.e. the Mobs and such? Do other criminals get offended by this term because it insults their own crime? "What are you saying our crime in uncivilized?? Ordinary?! Second Rate Transgressions??"
Would a street gang be considered disshevled crime?
Watch out for those bank robbers and their unsorted crime, know what I mean?
Anyway, with respect to gambling on sports, it's not something I do. Many who do wagers on the daily games don't spend very much and usually just have it as a means for judging their sports knowledge. I would guess the typical wager would be 5 or 10 dollars. That's not much at all, but to me I still think 5-10 bones is pretty steep.
It balances out, I wind up blowing chunks of 5-10 dollars in other creative ways, often involving food.
We all get bogus catalogs and flyers and so on in the mail. Would it be fun to get a clear plastic bin to put catalogs into? That way you can see just how much garbage you get each year, and a different bin can be set aside for credit card offers.
I remember one time, long LONG ago before I was that good at swimming, when I snuck away from home and tried swimming in the ocean in Oxnard at sunset. That was an experience... the waves thrashed me around and I was a wreck. Thankfully I got out of there quickly -- never again.
Good luck to the San Antonio Spurs.......... in Game 7. On Thrusday. Ho ho!
That's all from here! Talk to you all soon.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
First, Congratulations to all the wonderful Fathers out there, especially my Dad. He is the greatest. Muhammad Ali always would say he is the greatest, but to my My Pop is the best. Thanks for being there for me.
Next, congratulations to Justin Rose for winning the U.S. Open in Golf. He finished at one over par at Merion Golf Club, a tough place to play. It was not kind to anyone on that back nine -- not Phil Mickelson, not anyone. It was a game of survival and Rose did a good job avoiding the "disaster hole."
Congratulations to the Boston Bruins for winning their first game of the Stanley Cup final. Series now tied 1-1, and the Bruins look pretty confident to get a second win. Two games forthcoming at Boston's TD Garden.
Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs for winning Game 5 of the NBA Finals. We'll see you guys in Game 7. The Heat always put 108% effort in games they play after a loss, so it would be an unpenetrable fortress of win for the Heatles at Miami one would think.
...the only thing is, the way the Heat have to wait until a loss to play good basketball would really worry the Heat fan. Doncha think so? What's going to happen when they fall into this routine of "only playing hard when they're behind", only to put in a hard effort and shoot blanks? Imagine if the finally "try their hardest" in a game and they get nothing from the field or the free throw line? One would have to think the Heat would get burned someday with the way they give away games in the FREAKIN' NBA FINALS!
I think even if the Heat win, they're going to lose even more respect around the NBA. --but I think they still might. Game 6 is as good as a lock. The Heat after losses are just impossible to beat. We're going to a Game 7 folks.
When is a good time to trim your fingernails? Usually, when it becomes really difficult to type on a keyboard, that's a great time to clip your nails. Honestly, you ever see those women out there with the long fingernails? Would they be able to get any typing done? It would be impossible to type when 1/4 of your finger is a long nail. If they even attempted to use a smartphone, forget it. The heat sensory action would be hard to get going unless they tried it with their knuckles.
Friday morning, I was at Stan's Donuts in Westwood Village. Long time donut shop, it's been around for decades. Sometimes I go over there to get what they call the "Peanut Butter and Bannana," which is a donut filled with peanut butter and some sliced bananas. Nothing complicated -- instead of the custard you put in PB. What I hadn't realized is that they have two versions of it. So I went to the donut lady, and she's very nice, very helpful, and I asked her for the Peanut Butter/Banana. She asks me next "Do you want the chocolate chips?" Well now I was confused. I didn't know they had chocolate chips, so I looked to see if I had the right one. I answered "sure, I'll get chocolate chips." Then I think she asked if I wanted the "Peanut Butter Chocolate" which is its own animal -- peanut butter and chocolate on the *inside*. In my head I was like "no! I wanted the Peanut Butter and the banana on the inside," So I said "nah, I just wanted the Peanut Butter/Banana"
She's like "So you don't want the chocolate chips?" "Again with the chocolate chips?", I thought. Finally she pointed at the two *variants* of Peanut Butter / Banana which are basically a regular glazed top, and either nothing else or choco chips on the *top.* Now it made sense! I said to go with the choco chip version, and I apologized for getting it all mixed up. I got my donut and brought it to the office... as it turns out, the chocolate chips melted from the donut being so fresh and it got all over my hands. It was pretty tasty, though!
Obviously, my long thesis on eating healthy only held true for about 2 days. Bad job on my part, but in my defense, I was hungry. Remember, though... you can actually eat anything in the world that you want, so long as it's in moderation and balanced out by other choices later in the day.
While I'm at it, I want to place a minor defense in the name of candy. I didn't mean to imply that candy was only a vehicle for gluttonous slobs. Not true! Lots of people of all shapes, sizes, and ages can enjoy candy on a regular basis. I was merely posturing some hypotheses on what could make an obese person so fat.
Golly! I love the word "obese." It sounds so beautiful, and elegant, and easy to say. It rolls right of the tongue. Unfortunate that the word describes a painfully ugly disposition.
Speaking of "ugly dispositions"... then there were the Dodgers.
It's bad enough to lose a series to Arizona... it's bad enough to lose another series on the road to Pittsburgh, who actually play really well at PNC park anyway, so looking back, it's not terrible.
Time for quickies...
Bob Costas can make a funny about how a bad team celebrates a regular season win like its the World Series. If it's any other team fanbase in the majors, people get a kick out of it and then shrug it off. If it's the Mets, get ready for some serious verbal beatdown. You've been warned Bobbo.
What Mets fans were saying is also true: everybody goes nuts after those regular season wins now. In other words, what's wrong with having a little fun with these games? Baseball is dull enough as it is, spice up the works!
Now the phrase "decline of Western Civilization" is a bit much, but I thought Costas was just fooling around... The real question is, why was NBC showing Cubs/Mets highlights anyway?
I was at my parents' house this weekend for Father's Day. My little sister has publicly spoken out against English Muffins, so yesterday I ate a bunch of them in defiance.
I still have about 1/3 of the Giant Sub I got at Vons on $5 Friday. Do the dance! I'll eat it for lunch this afternoon.
With all the good food we had this weekend, there were no indications of good home baked cookies. A pity, but I feel optimistic for future cookies this month.
My Uncle's Mom makes a mean salsa. It's so hot, and so thick, but easy to dip chips into. Really good. Gets your motor running and clears your sinuses. Highly recommended. Versatile too! I could put the salsa into a sandwich and it'd be rock solid.
That reminds me, the bathroom is undefeated in contests vs me at my Grandmother's house for an engagement. If I'm there for a long time with the family and there's a lot of food involved, I make at least one trip there. I thought today I'd finally win -- I didn't eat much for a second helping and hardly had much for dessert aside from fruit. But no! I was back in the saddle somewhere around the 4th Quarter of the NBA game.
It's starting to heat up around these parts. Stay cool my friends! See you all tomorrow.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
My face is almost all the way back to normal. Most of the week, I struggled with some very swollen eyelids and a sore face. Finally, as noted, my buddy pointed me to some rest and "heat compression" on my eye sockets. Worked like a charm. I didn't do it all the time, but the application was frequent.
Now, my eye lids no longer hurt or feel sore when I touch them and my eyes look back to normal. The only thing that's weird is that my face is moulting. If that makes any sense... I'm moulting! Imagine if you have to take a chap stick and put it on your whole head. That's me. My entire face is peeling after it restored moisture to my formerly dry skin. That took a pile of water and some good rest, along with the heat compression to the eyes.
Given the recent health of my eye sockets, I had to spend a lot of the last two days without my glasses on. Bear with me if this yields some typos in today's blog entry.
The sports scene is accounted for itself. Lots of great sports this weekend, so I won't bore you with the details.
Who is Jesse Williams and why do I care what he's doing with his Samsung Galaxy S4?
I and my colleagues on the internets have been introduced to a Phillies fan who lives in the Bay Area. I don't know what to make of this. ...she roots for the *Phillies.*
I *love* Peter Gabriel's work. His contributions to Genesis, all his self titled albums with his warped photographs for the cover, So, and whatever I missed. He's tremendous.
Phil Mickleson shot a 67 in his first round in the U.S. Open yesterday. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I'm really surprised he could do so well after his long flight. Great work by Phil. Now to see how he blows it during the weekend and falls out of contention, hee hee, I can't wait!
Is that wrong? Is that mean? I really enjoy watching Phil Mickleson make bonehead shots after great shots to balance out his work in such wild ways. Why can't he shoot more consistently? That's what people will say, but I say let him shoot his way. He's full of spectacular moments... spectacular wins, and spectacular FAILS too. Let's enjoy Phil for who he is. It's obvious Phil himself is enjoying who he is and enjoying life.
People would get so mad at Phil... oh he's not intense enough, why isn't he more focused blah blah. He wins well enough to earn a good living and he's comfortable with himself. Why's that so bad? We can't all be the Type-A personality.
Yesterday I picked up a Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities. You know, they can really intimidate you with that parking lot which fills up so easily. Most people running through there would give up... "Oh look how busy it is, they don't even have a parking space! It's too crowded, let's go home."
Not me... I know how it works there. People go right in and out of Bay Cities over in Santa Monica. I knew a spot would open up if I drove around and around the block enough times. After about five minutes, the spot was open and I went right in to park. Wasn't so bad.
Ordering the sandwich looked daunting too -- it wasn't. They were prepared for the big rush of traffic today. I took a number and got called within a 5 minute window. So the guy asks what I want this time, in a very busy crowd in there, and I asked for the large Godmother with hot peppers. Exceedingly common order, so much so that the sandwich crew was a step ahead.
They told me that there's a ready-made one in the basket in front of me. He was right, so I took one and checked out. They only do these ready made ones, I learned, when there's a huge crowd. I have mixed feelings about this.
I'll explain. I took the Godmother home and ate it in short order, but the whole time I thought "this sandwich is not as cold as it should be... it must have been sitting out there for 20 minutes."
Given the cold nature of the sandwich, I was disappointed to have some room temperature ingredients in effect. Generally I wouldn't be this picky but the texture of the sandwich can be affected. When the sandwich is freshly prepared, it's cold and everything comes together. Here, some of the meats and cheeses were coming apart, like an ice cream sandwich that melted a tad in the sun. The sandwich itself was still amazing, but on the pallette it felt a little dissheveled.
It's fine, but not optimal. Not to mention, it doesn't get crowded like that all the time, so I'll have to remember to go to Bay Cities when it's less crowded next time, but I really appreciate the effort by them to give people their sandwiches faster.
This feels like a real donut day, doncha think? Friday, Fathers Day Weekend, offices, donuts. Boom, good train of thought. I hope to act on this my friends.
If I may toot my own horn for a moment, I believe I did a great job making healthy eating choices this week. Yesterday I ate a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and some italian cold cuts. All pretty good ingredients with fewer preservatives. It was all on a nice ciabatta like roll. The day before I had salmon for dinner. Really fresh, really good. Grilled wonderfully. The day before that I had some very thin pizza and a little dessert. Last night, I had a bowl of chicken chipotle soup with potatoes and beans, and the chicken, courtesy of Campbell's.
No nuggets... no greasy burgers... no tacos. Just well organized natural food in moderate portions for the most part. Ah! I also partook in a few english muffins.
You know one thing you might not know? I don't eat candy very much. Most of the time it's forced upon me via gifts. For instance, a halloween party or christmas, I get little bags with pencils, pens, and a couple pieces of candy. Sometimes I'll get a whole box of chocolates. I have extremely rarely bought candy on my own. I get skittles and tic tacs sometimes. Once in a while, like once a season if that, I buy a snickers bar. Other than that, any candy I get I usually just eat sporadically.
I got a little box of five chocolate pieces for Valentines Day. I am only NOW eating the pieces from the box which I opened on Saturday. I eat one piece a day, and I might have skipped a day. There's only one piece left. This is considered aggressive candy eating behavior.
Usually I just let the candy sit in the cupboard and I forget all about it. I'm sad to say that frequently I discover candy that's 2-3 years old and I'm forced to trash it.
People I know, especially relatives who are obese, like a whole other body worth of body fat on them, make me curious. How do people like they get so fat? I came up with some theories.
One, candy. They eat tons and tons of candy. I bet the frequency of candy eating on their end must be 2-3 times a week, maybe more. A bag of M&M's, a candy bar, some licorice or chocolate, and that thing.
Two, an inordinate amount of meals. I can relate to this practice from my own experience. I used to just eat a meal any time I felt like it... prepare a sandwich or a mound of snacks, munch, then after a while, go make another meal. Once I did, I started to balloon way out of control. This was ten years ago. My family was worried about me! I had to encumber an extremely strict diet... I remember getting addicted to diet sodas back then. It was really tough, but it saved me. Anyway, leading up to that epiphany, I was having 5-7 meals a day. It was rough. Now as part of this, the others who I know that happen to be this fat were not only eating this many meals, but they were loading up the truck like moving day. Those plates were loaded!
It takes a lot of mental ruminations to realize that you can get the same satisfaction from one round of food as from three rounds of the same food if you *just* give it time. The biggest problem with weight loss with most people is patience. You *need* the patience to get to better health. Best example of this paradigm is popcorn. It only SEEMS like you need the large popcorn to get the most out of popcorn, but I would bet you 9 times out of 10, most people with the small popcorn would be too lazy to go back to the counter to order more pocorn.
I tend to play this half way and get the medium. Eat some of it, then save the rest for later. The sticking point is value per dollar. There's usually a buck difference between the small popcorn and a large popcorn. This is a genuine conundrum! Why would I not extend the value of my dollar to get more popcorn? Valid point! However, if you're at the theater alone, the extra 50 cents is not worth destroying your metabolism. Now, that's a hard conclusion to reach, but those who make it will go far, as the Oompa Lompas say.
Oompa Loompas, though, were a bunch of sanctimonious jokers. They keep stressing good diet and health and morals and look at *them.* Devious little fat oranged faced goobers who eat candy for a living!
How can we entrust the advice of persons who can't even exert proper self control at a chocolate factory, my friends? I take their doompaty doo advice with a grain of salt.
Did it ever blow your mind, when you were a kid, that salt would be used to make sweet confections? Cookies for instance... it combines, like, Vanilla, flour, sugar, AND salt. Whoah... mind blowing.
Tortillas... I'd be surprised if anyone was definitive about the tortillas they liked. You can't, in my view, use the same ones for everything. Carne Asada tacos are fine with flour tortillas but they are perfect with corn tortillas. Enchiladas simply *can't* be made with flour tortillas. They would fall apart. On the other hand, fajitas make no sense at all with corn tortillas. It just depends on the situation.
You ever have a party and get a box of cookies, or a bag of tortilla chips for the party, and you're left with over half the box or bag? Frustrating situation because you spend the rest of the week trying to finish the box, but you can only eat one cookie at a time, or a few chips at a time. Before you know it, you're still stuck with leftovers, the food is stale, and you're sick of cookies.
I don't drink on a daily basis, but the reason for not drinking more has less to do with alcohol and a whole lot more to do with calories. Each of those beers and cocktails is a good 300 calories! I cannot afford to put extra calories like that into my system. So, whenever I can, I try to avoid it.
Social situations, vacations, weekends, I'm all in, but during the week I keep it dry.
Even if I were to get donuts, as I suggested in this space, I'd commit myself to one donut, maybe two. Not more than that. A true fatty might try to stuff the envelope box and go after a half dozen. How many donuts do you think Mike Francesa can eat in one sitting? I'll estimate six.
That's all from here, enjoy your Father's day weekend, and salute your pop!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It does seem to be improving, steadily. I told a friend of mine about it and he told me to use "warm compression to my eye lids." I wasn't exactly sure what that was, but I applied a warm wet towel to each eye and I felt some notable improvement.
My buddy knows what he's talking about!
I also didn't do a podcast yesterday, but I had it planned that way all along. Despite my ongoing eye scenario, I still was good enough to work today and I even got to attend the end of year dinner at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood.
Let me tell you, Napa Valley Grille is first class, all the way. It's probably too much money for what you get, but the food is pretty good. I ordered the salmon on the recommendation of yelp. IT WAS AMAZING.
The salmon was grilled over a wood fired grill, and it had this crust on it that just made my day. What a great piece of fish. It was sumptuous and satisfying. With it, I ordered this "potato puree". Don't panic folks, that's just a fancy term for "Mashed Potatoes."
Fancy restaurants always dress up the vocabulary of basic foods like that. For instance, they can't be associated with greasy/sweaty pizza shops so their pizzas are called "flat breads." Ooh, so fancy! It must be exquisite... nah, it's just pizza. Hee hee...
But yes, do try the salmon at Napa Valley Grille. It's great!
I think as you get older, into your thirties, fish becomes more and more appealing. When you're a kid, all you want is chicken nuggets and pizza.
Ok I still want chicken nuggets and pizza, but things like fish become a much bigger deal. The best fish at a restaurant is just fantastic. I've had some of the best of the best... Usually when it comes to choosing a fish type I go salmon, halibut, and swordfish. Those are the most "steak like" fish filets you can come up with.
You know what? One of my colleagues at the table, across from me, had what looked like a porterhouse steak, or at least a filet mignon, divided into small pieces. It looked pretty rare too. Ah! But it was seared Ahi Tuna. She cut me a deal too: give me a piece of her ahi tuna in exchange for a piece of my salmon. Deal!
The Ahi was also tremendous, and it looks like porterhouse steak too! I think we all know what I'll be ordering next time.
You ever notice that when you get offered the dessert menu at a restaurant they ask you "Do you want coffee?" It'd be nice if they offered it from the beginning. What if you'd rather have coffee than cola? Stuff like that.
Do people who don't eat meat look at a porterhouse steak and ask "boy that looks a lot like a good Ahi Tuna!"?
Motorola is going to die a slow death... I can feel it. If you make a good phone, like a quality solid phone, people will hang onto it well past their upgrade date. Up to now, I know two people, and me, who have or had the DROID X2 Android phone, and so far, both people got the X2 replaced when they had the chance. The X2 is TERRIBLE, unless you love the phone freezing on you, or the text box not entering anything after you type, or the phone making 52 phone calls in succession on its own, or the thing rebooting when you attempt to take a picture.
Nobody likes that stupid phone! It is a joke. My upgrade date is in a month and a half, and, you know it baby, the Galaxy S4 will be its replacement. Besides, have you heard any buzz about any Motorola phones in the last two years? Samsung has taken all of its thunder. I can't even say they *stole* their thunder, because Motorola just gave it to them!
"This is the End"... I saw a sneak preview for this movie at Wonder Con in Anaheim (I blogged about this, I believe). It looks like a really stupid movie, but it also looks like it has great potential. I'll check it out soon!
So we have a Star Trek Movie, a much anticipated Superman movie, the "End" movie, Hangover 3, and a few other surprises. Major improvement from the utter disappointment of last summer's movie season.
All day I kept thinking yesterday was Thursday. Why??
Sometimes, when you're seeking for answers, the answer is "I don't know."
Skittles in popcorn... it might not be as bad as it sounds.
I think I just had an "I don't know" moment. Time to wrap it up. Catch you all here tomorrow!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Yesterday, I made a last second decision to go to the Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium. Got the tickets from Barry's Tickets, which is a ticket re-seller across from Staples Center within the Luxe Hotel downtown. I took the bus home in great time. I even had time to fill up the tank. Getting onto the freeway was a breeze.
My ETA to get downtown was 6pm... I was just about ready to get onto the 110 freeway from the 10, but naturally, traffic slowed down dramatically near the interchange. It was about 5:45pm, or rush hour.
By the way, how can you call it "Rush Hour" when that's when traffic is the *slowest?* What joker would have come up with that phrase? Call it sludge hour or something... ok moving on...
As we got to the onramp, the cars started to move like a line at Disneyland. I was chilling, listening to 100.3 FM the Sound, and then I heard the fans go haywire. Then I looked at the dash, and the temperature meter was climbing towards the H! It was climbing towards the H and I was on an onramp... and this was one of those *long* onramps where you make this giant swooping arch onto the Downtown Harbor Freeway (110). So I was surrounded by cars, no off ramp for another mile and a half, and traffic at 3mph.
I was yelling every obscenity in the book! All while some "Bad Company" song was playing or something like that. Every curse word out there I used it... "EFF THIS! MOTHER EFFER that! GOD, JESUS, MOTHER OF GOD, etc etc"
I thought, "This is how it ends... my cars engine will blow up in the middle of the 10/110 interchange, I'm going to lock down half of Los Angeles."
While all this was going on, I opened the vent and fired on the heater... and my Dad taught me about this many years ago when his car was overheating. Using the heater at full blast removes heat from the engine block. Thankfully that kept the needle from the top, but it was still much higher than normal.
I kept yelling more and more until *finally* I hit the 9th Street offramp. Then I used the phone to locate a nearby gas station and I tried to find the 76 station all while the car was as hot as coals. On my way I found a Chevron station at Union St... I passed on it and went to the 76... it was jammed... didn't look like they had any service shop or anything so I left the 76 and went back to the Chevron station at Union. It was a huge gas station, thankfully, so plenty of room to park. I parked the car and went to the window.
I asked the lady, "I have an emergency, my car is overheating, can I get some water?"
She points to the area behind her, which happens to be a huge garage. I thought "Great! I can get some service mechanic to help me." So I went over there and found nobody. All I saw was the garage and some boxes inside.
I went back, and tried to ask her where to look and she just pointed at the same area without talking to me.
I went back, and then I put it together... she was pointing at the stupid air and water machines. The garage was discontinued and used for storage. Really?! My car's engine block is about to explode and you're making me PAY a bunch of quarters for a water hose? In my mind I said "She can get bent! I'm not wasting !#&*$%@ quarters on their (#$*!$& water!" What kind of a gas station is this?? Instead of helping they're trying to plug their bogus water machine. I was like @$@% this, I'm going to a Jiffy Lube, so I looked up the nearest Jiffy Lube on the phone and left.
It looked like that gas station was not the answer, so I went down to Pico Blvd and headed back westward towards the Jiffy Lube, which was in Mid-Town. The traffic could not be any slower... it was just stop and go for a good while. Then I stopped at a signal, looked over, and found... an AUTO ZONE!
I said, "This is even better than a Jiffy Lube!" so I pulled over and parked at the Auto Zone store. Once I went in, the guys there were *extremely* helpful, generous even setting me up with replacement coolant. In fact they said "ooh, don't use regular water it'll just evaporate. You want this 50/50 prestone fluid." I was desperate by then, so I went for it, prepared to be fleeced. They even went over and helped to put it into the radiator and had me turn on the engine to let it run through the system. We checked the cap and he checked the radiator as the engine ran and he didn't see any leaks.
I was shocked! The radiator wasn't shot, I was just out of coolant. Now this is bound to happen, becuase well fluid evaporates eventually, but as far as we knew the engine was staying cool. Surely enough the needle was right where it should be, at 40% between C and F.
I could not thank the Auto Zone guy enough, his name was Jordan, and the dude was as clutch as I've ever seen MJ in a big spot. My effing goodness was I relieved. I was so scared in those sixty minutes. I thought my engine was done. I thought the radiator was destroyed. Neither was the case. It was just out of coolant.
In fact, once all this was patched up, it was about 6:50 pm... I still had plenty of time to get to the game, although I knew I'd be late. So even after all that, I decided to go through with the trip. I went back downtown, only a mile away, picked up the ticket at Barry's and went to Dodger Stadium.
I got to my seat and so ended a very frightening moment, easily the scariest moment of the year. First I thought my radiator was cracked. Then I thought my car would explode and lock me inside one of America's most traveled onramps with no shoulder. I'm just glad to still have a car. The fact I made the Dodgers game was secondary.
Great game last night, though! Dodgers really had a good game against the Diamondbacks. They won the game, even though it shows up as a loss on the scoreboard. Honestly, is there a bigger joke in baseball this side of Jonathan Broxton than Brandon League? The Dodgers played a *great* game, and League literally gives the game away. If I was managing, he not only wouldn't pitch the 9th again, he'd be relegated to 6th inning duty and like it.
Anyway, aside from that, the Dodgers did really well against the first place D'Backs. I don't think anyone in the West finds the D'Backs to be a credible threat. In fact, I didn't even know they were in first place until this weekend! Their offense is tremendous and Goldschmidt is nearly unstoppable, but the pitching is not going to answer for them long term. Their bullpen does *not* look that good. Heath Bell was nearly as bad as League last night.
At the game I had the Super Dodger Dog and the deluxe nachos. Yes, Dodger Stadium has two types of Nachos, it's very weird. They have the regular nachos with the "El Sabroso" round tortilla chips from the factory. Then, there's the deluxe nachos, only available at one station way down the third base line with the cafeteria line. These use freshly fried triangle chips, the nachos and a good helping of jalapenos. I rather liked the nachos, actually. The Super Dog was pretty good as always. It turned out to be a good good night.
Do you ever go to the baseball park and not order any beverages? Not only no beers, but no soft drinks either? You wouldn't believe how much you can save by not ordering a soda. At Dodger Stadium, they have drinking fountains throughout the concourse which do the job for me. I used similar strategy for Spring Training games in Arizona.
It's not ideal... after all I was craving a Diet Coke the entire drive home, but I don't regret the move.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight. When a series is tied at 1-1, the winner of Game 3 wins the NBA Finals 12 out of 13 times, going back to the start of 2-3-2 in 1985. Without a doubt, both teams want those numbers on *their* side.
I said, haphazardly, that "San Antonio will win game 3," but I really didn't think it through. I can't automatically assume that the home team wins Game 3 in a Finals series tied at 1-1. This is a regrettable comment. I'm not that convinced that the Spurs win Game 3, but I dare say we'll have a very competitive game.
I like triangular chips more than round chips anyway. Even at the store... Mission Sells tortilla chips both ways, and the round chips always evoke the image of something cheaper, even if they're pretty good. I just don't like round chips... I can't figure out any particular rhyme or reason for it... I think I just like the triangles more... they're easier to dip into things and work around toppings.
Pretty long entry today, and I have more quickies to share, but I'll get into those later this afternoon. For now, enjoy your Tuesday!
Sunday, June 9, 2013
For those new to websites, the "jump" is a "to be continued" link that lets you read the rest of the blog entry via the article itself. Once you click the "Read More" link below, you'll get to read the rest of the entry. Let me know what you think of it!
Big weekend in sports: Heat dominate Game 2, Nadal wins an 8th French Open, Puig continues his greatness at the plate and more...
Onward... *after* the jump:
Saturday, June 8, 2013
What a good run for the Kings... Stanley Cup fever followed by a bid at a repeat... a fan couldn't ask for much more. Thank you Kings for two years of great hockey we'll never forget!
Good luck to Chicago as well, as they enter the Cup Final against Boston. It should be a great, great series.
Onward... Go Kings!
Friday, June 7, 2013
[story continued after the jump]
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Over the years, we had Magic's Baby Hook, Jordan switching hands down the lane, Dr. J whipping a layup around the backboard, and last night, Tony Parker falling to one knee with time running out on the shot clock, only to recover and get off a jumper that bounced around the rim and *then* fell in. What a shot that was!
The whole night, the people where I was at, Tony P's Dockside Bar and Grill, with *Coach*, were rooting hard for the Spurs. The Blackhawks and Kings game was on at the same time, on screens next to the ones showing the NBA game. The audio of the hockey game was in effect, even, but tonight's crowd was all in with the NBA, the Spurs, and the Heat.
It was with good reason. This was a really intriguing matchup, and both teams were well coached, prepared, and motivated. The game moved along pretty nicely and both teams had their spurts. With every minute you could sense the excitement in the crowd as the Spurs inched closer. What took me by surprise was how *much* everyone wanted San Antonio to win! I was shocked... the fervor and vigor in their voices when the Spurs got a basket. It was a scene!
Finally the Spurs got the lead and the crowd yelled for joy. Boy was that fun! It would get confusing sometimes because I would be focused on the hockey when everyone would scream at something, only to look over and see that it was a play in the NBA Finals Game.
After a while, I gave up and just divided the attention in half. Both games started and ended around the same time. Then, the Spurs were nursing that four point lead. It was up to Parker to ice the game. Once the shot went in, the bar EXPLODED! Over 150 people erupting with joy at the shot! I was stunned at how much everyone got into it!!
Boy, people here in California really hate the Heat, don't they? Nonetheless, it was all in good fun. That was just an incredible game to watch. Through it all, the Spurs never gave up. Incredible coaching job by Greg Popavich tonight.
So before all that hubub, it was Coach, myself, and our friend who joined in for the game. I tell you nobody creates buzz like the NBA around this time of year. It was a good matchup and everyone in the room had a beat on the two teams. It was pretty interesting. Some folks said "Oh the Spurs are boring I won't be interested." Folks like that have the Spurs all wrong. They've been an interesting offense for quite some time, and Parker is known for spectacular moments. What none of us saw coming was how big he'd step up in a Finals game like this on the road. What a moment.
My only regret on the evening was ordering the Blue Cheese and Bacon stuffed burger. If I had even ordered the burger with just the bacon, I'd be all right. I was on a Blue Cheese hot streak after my love of it as a wings dipping sauce. So, naturally, I thought I'd have no issue eating a Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger. AU CONTRAIRE, my friends. After a few bites I felt a little gross. Eating blue cheese straight up is like ingesting toe jam from a foot. Oiiii...
It's a shame too, because the meat in that burger was spectacular! I could taste it! and I could taste the embedded bacon within it. Then I got a good bite of the melted blue cheese.. it was downhill from there. It's just too sour. I wouldn't like Brie either. It's a great name for a girl, but not a great cheese to me.
I saved half of the burger and took it home, but it's a judgement call as to whether I'll eat the other half. Stay tuned.
Time for some additional quickes to finish the week:
It's for the best the Kings are a single game from elimination. I saw a pretty hobbled, tired, worn down team on the ice last night. Even Jonathan Quick was starting to wear down after a while. It happens in sports. It'd be impossible for anyone not to be banged up the year following a deep playoff run. I don't really think it was so bad last night. The Kings may have lost, but there's still at least one game left to play in Chicago.
Yasiel Puig keeps finding ways to top himself. Last night: a late inning grand slam, opposite field. This kid can play! So far, anyway.
I'd like to take exception to Jerry Seinfeld's claim that canned fruit is useless. You really can't find a better method of pie filling than canned fruit. Surely you could go get the fruit fresh and then set up a glaze for them, but why waste all that time when it's basically glazed *for you* in the can. Know what I mean?
Sometimes you don't want to fuss with refrigerating, or even freezing, fruit to keep it going. Canned fruit takes out a lot of the guess work.
What is your favorite canned fruit? I would go with peaches, but oranges is a close second. I like the "fruit cocktail" canned fruit as well. I've not seen anyone attempt fresh "fruit cocktail." How do they make the cherry so bright red?
I've been in an ice cream mood all week. No dice so far. I haven't figured out the place to go get it yet... meaning, a restaurant or form of ice cream. Do I want soft serve? A bowl? A cup? A cone? I have yet to sort out the semantics.
I'm glad Friday is here. This week at work has been brutal. I spent most of it trying to locate a copy of old software to reinstall. I went clear down from North Campus, all the way down to the southern part of Campus to find a colleague in a tall building with a spare copy of the software. I got it.. then I went way up to the northern end again to meet the person at a basement office (not at our usual bulding but one well to the west of it). I started to install the CD, only to see it ask for a license key I didn't have! Oiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii... then I ran back to my office about half a mile East and worked the phones. Eventually, after telling the colleague about my problem in email he sent me the volume license he had (the license is campus wide so the key would work both ways). What a major relief!!! The license worked (which we had already paid for so no issue with legal tender). The program installed and all is well... but that was a week long unintended project.
I went to three of the four corners of campus within a 2 hour period. I was spent. A lil edgy as well, but not edgy to the point where I snapped at anyone.
Friday I will dedicate to keeping a simple schedule. I look forward to it. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Dave Medina's Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do you like "Subway" so much?
I grew up on it.. I remember the commercials when I was a kid for the $1.69 meatball 6 inch sub. My Dad and I would go there in the early 90's, and it felt like such a revolutionary thing. "Oh no way, the guy gets to put the ingredients in one by one exactly how you want it?" They also used to have the sandwich boat deal, where they'd cut a V out of the bread and stuff the meat and cheese into it. I gotta say, it used to be better quality ingredients. Maybe it was just the prism of youth, but for some reason I remember it being tastier, but to help aid the difference in quality, I always ask for the oil and vinegar than salt and pepper, and I'm sure to request onions.
Dave, seriously, there are *way* better sandwiches, why are you so loyal to Subway?
It's not a true-blue loyalty, to be fair. I think that's a little overblown. I just don't think it's the wretched hive that many others out East think it is. It is what you pay for, no doubt. My *favorite* sandwiches are actually from other places: the Godmother at Bay Cities in Santa Monica... spoke about them before. I like the Roast Beef hoagie esque sub (although with cheddar cheese) from Victor's in Palms. I like the club sandwich (the one with the roast beef and the turkey and bacon) from Jersey Mike's. Hell, I love just the plain roast beef sandwich from Jersey Mike's. Phenomenal. Far as normal two slices of bread sandwiches, nothing beats the pastrami sandwich from Langer's. I think of Subway more as the gap-bridger between the more expensive sandwiches and dopey sandwiches I make at home using Roman Meal bread or something.
Why were you rooting against Teheran's No Hitter yesterday?
That wasn't rooting against Teheran or the Braves. I was squarely rooting against that clown Chip Caray. Dude can't call a big baseball play out of a paper bag! What a joker HE is... He couldn't even handle a clear cut game ending play in a division series on TBS. Do we really want him ruining what should be a fine moment for a Braves pitcher? I would feel bad if I was Teheran (apologies for spelling, not enough time to go to Google to check it) and that doofus belted some gibberish to punctuate my all time best performance.
What is your feeling about Ottis' return to the board?
No feel... it's still a message board either way. --ah who am I kidding, it's fantastic! I had it all wrong when I thought he was gone completely. It's true what they say, sometimes you just need a break. The reasons are not important. Who knows? He may have just returned for one day, but it was still good to see him mixing it up again. That's all I have... I don't want to write up some enormous jinx or anything.
Will the Kings win tonight?
No. I think they *can* win, but a lot of people are going to overvalue the Duncan Keith loss due to suspension. This would yield a false sense of security for the Kings players and subsequently I feel like Quick could get blitzed. Fortunately there's a Game 5 coming up either way.
Peaches? Are they finally in season?
Resounding YES! Last week, I went to the Kosher Market and found a few of them in a pile. I was still unsure of the peaches but I got them anyway. Once I got home, I took a bite and I was mesmerized. Welcome back, Peaches!
Who is your favorite (female) swimmer?
It changes every year: such is the nature of a sport where your peak years are around 20-22. Tough one... I mean in terms of actual swimming, it's obvious: Missy Franklin. But you guys know where I'm going... you want to talk about the complete package... excellence in swimming, personality, charming good looks. For the moment, I'm leaning Lauren Perdue. Back in the Olympics she TURNED DOWN an advance from LeBron. That took serious guts... its one moment, but damn that was great! She's also a cutie.
How could you sell out on Chloe Sutton? HOW DARE YOU!
I haven't!!! She's obviously a great personality and a gorgeous woman. The problem is, she hasn't had enough of a presence in the Olympics (yet) to really make a splash, in so many words. She didn't even make the Final of her one pool event. But bear in mind, that was her first pool-related Olympics so there's still much more to come! Perdue has a gold in the 4x200 Free she got in 2012... Iono.
Are the Bruins winning it all bros?
It would seem that way, but I'm staying with my original prediction... Blackhawks are the team. It's been a Blackhawks kind of year, and I think if they survive this setback with Keith, they'll be fine. I see no reason why their defense can't lock down the Bruins too. The Bruins rely on puck control to get any kind of an offense... the Hawks are way too fast to let them have it. Between the two, I also have Corey Crawford as the better goalie over Rask, by a smidge.
Are you doing this Q&A format due to the lack of actual Random Questions on the podcast lately?
Why don't people go into Podcast Chat anymore?
Ohh, that's not a question for me to answer. It's not really in my hands. My goal every week is to put on a good show and set up some nice banter with the guests and the Junk-Man. I feel like we continue to maintain this standard of excellence.
Isn't it self serving to ask questions to yourself and then answer them?
Yes, but I'm bored with the previously used "make inane observations about everything" format... I felt I was due for a "grins/adjusts mic" moment. For whatever reason it's getting me to think up better ideas too. I'll go back to the regular format tomorrow.
Is there a real difference between 7-Up and Sprite?
Yes! Sprite is sweeter, but 7-Up has more fizz in it, aka carbonated water. Subtle differences that 90% of the universe wouldn't even notice, but I tend to like 7-Up more between the two. It tastes more "real."
Would you watch MTV if it went back to showing music videos?
No way. A TV station is no longer the appropriate outlet for music videos. Why would you go to a TV channel for videos when you can just dig them up on Youtube? It's way easier, more instant, and even has less commercials. Anyone who keeps moaning about "why can't MTV be like the old days when they played videos?" is missing the point of evolution. Technology is such that we can now avoid the middle man and queue up any video we want! New, Old, big artists or little. It's quite tremendous.
Thoughts on the new Panera Bread opening in Westwood?
You kidding?? This is amazing! Do the dance!!!! I saw the sign on my way home and I was doing a mental jig in my head... woo hoo! At Panera, they can't miss. Roast Beef sandwich, it's a hit. Bagel, it's a hit! Cookies, they're hits! Coffee, it's a hit, although more of the slow climber variety hit. Think of them like "Lifehouse" or "Daughtry" or "The Fray"... they don't get that high up on the chart but man they hang around *forever.*
Seen any good movies lately?
Last movie I saw in the theater was "42." Big fan. There are a few that are out that I may check in-to. Epic is said to be pretty good. They're telling me that Star Trek: Into Darkness is good, but I'm skeptical.
Who are you *rooting* for in the NBA Finals?
Heat. The Spurs could stand to lose an NBA Finals for once. They're currently 4-0 all time in NBA Finals appearances. Nonetheless, this is going to be a very, VERY interesting series. If the Spurs win, I'd be really happy for 'em anyway. Pop is a fantastic coach.
You just sold your Marantz AND your Harman Kardon Vintage receivers... whats your next stereo?
If all goes right, it will be a NAD Integrated Amplifier. Yes, friends, my Hi-Fi journey comes full circle! My first ever personal stereo I purchased was a NAD C340 Integrated Amp back in about 2002 off Ebay. It was bent on one end but it sounded great! Looking back, I was a moron for selling it back. It was really really good, and not that old either. It was so easy to use, and sounded pure. I can make it all right again by picking up either a new NAD or going for another used one on Ebay.
When will you go see Puig in person on the Dodgers?
Soon! Might be Friday, tomorrow. Braves are in town this weekend, and I bet I could find a nicely priced ticket.
Pizza of the Week?
Mentoined it yesterday -- the pizza of the week is Rocco's... they don't do slices, so make sure you can eat heartily! The only thing is, they went a little "California" on us and put a lot of extra cheese on the pizzas. Not a fan of this. Gotta let the crust stand up on its own and let the sauce take over. Cheese is usually a cop out to me, but the cheese itself is tremendous. Just gotta tone it down, is all.
If Lauren Perdue and Chloe Sutton were in the same room with you, how do you play it?
There's always room for two.
Mitch Hedberg -- Legend?
Yes, next question.
John Tennant Construction Commercials haven't been heard on the Radio.com WFAN Stream in weeks! Any ideas?
Nothing positive on radio.com's streaming website develops intentionally. Some goof probably swapped out audio files by mistake. Immaterial at this point -- I moved onto the iTunes feed of WFAN, which eliminates the localized ads, thank God. The "local ads" were horrendous anyway, and they also would repeat a specific ad 58 times in a row within the same spot set. Oi.
Does Jeopardy write real answers for its game board or are they taking *questions* and just rewording them into "answers" to fit the format?
It's a total ruse. Every one of those "answers" are just questions in disguise. Here's one from last night: "The Dodgers departed this NYC borough for the west in 1957" So basically you mean "What NYC Borough did the Dodgers Depart from in '57 to go West?" With a QUESTION MARK? Does anyone answer actual questions with question like responses?
Seriously though... if someone asked you "Who's winning Game 1 of the Finals tonight?" do you go "It's the team that hails from Miami and uses its name to refer to hot temperature"?
Let me break format for a second...
Game show responses usually indicate the intellectual quality of the game.
WWTBM: "Astroscience, Final Answer."
J!: "What is Newton's Fifth Law?"
Wheel of Fortune: "P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I think that's all I got. Hope you enjoyed it...!