Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 31st

It has truly been a wonderful day here in Santa Monica.   Lovely weather all around, and good times wherever I go. 

So, out of the blue, I compiled a list of inexplicable internet memes that annoy me.  I can't even explain why I'm so annoyed by them but I am.  So, bear with me, as I go through these.

Internet Memes that Annoy the 'Cow  

"Yes, please."  I've seen this so many times on twitter and even in person.   Like some babe is shown on TV and a guy will go "yes please."  What, are you 8?   That's part one.  Part two... it sounds so silly and contrived.  What can you do?

There's another one where people post a quote inside of a picture.   Now being annoyed by this makes no sense.  Why should it bother me whether the quote is inside a fancy looking picture or just written out in text?  But it does!   I don't know why either, it's so bizarre.

Facebook posts, with exceptions, that are longer than a paragraph.   Some folks out there write whole essays.  HAHAHAHAH it is a *scene*.   For me its like "thanks for sharing but man get to the point, you're taking up the whole webpage here!" 

It's not a very big list, that was it.  HAHA.

I tried to grill bratwurst links today and man, I have never tasted self-made bratwurst that good.   It was fantastic.   I finally got it right!  Low heat, covered grill, 15-20 minutes.   Everything hit home.   I just gotta remember not to let any of the links hit a stray flame on the gas grill.   When that happens you get all sorts of smoke.  It was fantastic.  I'd do it again next time I have the chance.

When you cook bratwurst or other sausage on the grill, how much effort do you use to heat or grill or steam the buns?   It's an open book.   Today I put zero effort into it and just ate them at room temperature from the package.   You know, it didn't matter today.  The taste of that bratwurst really stood out.   The bun was merely playing a bit role today.

It was a rare weekend where I attempted to not go out anyplace at all.   I was taken to a restaurant by family earlier Sunday afternoon and it was quite great.   Native Foods restaurant.   It's an all vegan restaurant, but if you just went and ate their "native chicken" you wouldn't even know it.   Honestly I think I and some family had the best chicken sandwich we ever tasted, but get this, there was no chicken in it!  Instead, it was "Native Chicken" which was a vegan chicken substitute made of soy, wheat, and pea protein.   I dare any of you to go try the Native Chicken Run Ranch Sandwich.  You would swear there was actual chicken in it.   It was simply outstanding.

That's a wrap for today.  Have a great Labor Day everyone!

First week results: LOCKS of the Week go 0-4.

The title says it all...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: August 29th

LOCKS of the Week!!

Here's our LOCKS for Labor Day weekend... the first week of picks we'll do this year.  I'm hoping to finish above .500 as always and I have tricks of my sleeve.  We start with these FOUR games:

Florida State -18 vs Oklahoma State at Jerryworld
UCLA -22 at Virginia
Alabama -26 vs West Virginia at the Georgia Dome
and who doesn't love Northwestern -11 vs GOOD OLE CAL coming off their 1-11 2013 season?

This week, all favorites.   Sometimes that's not good strategy but you're looking at some serious mismatches this week.   Seems like easy cheese; we will find out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


A staffer brought in some "Asbach" chocolates from Germany, so I tried one. The damn thing *exploded* in my mouth! Turns out they have liquor injected into the chocolate!! HAHAHAHAHA Definite :wtf: moment.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dave's SEASON LOCK of the Year: Seahawks Under 11 Wins

I have officially denoted the Seahawks UNDER 11 wins as my o/u pick of the year.  I think there are others I'll select, but with the Niners still hungry, and with a tougher schedule, even a great team like the Seahawks will get just under 11 wins for the year.  I have the Seahawks going 10-6.   One thing to watch for with the Seahawks is injuries.  The defense was mostly unscathed in 2013.  We will see if the same applies to their defense for the 2014 season.

Having said that, of all the defending Super Bowl Champions, this team, the Seahawks, with almost everyone at or approaching their prime, has the best shot to repeat as champions.  Perhaps they won't have the best regular season record but if they have everyone well in January, they're as good a team as any.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 25th

All right, here it is.   I saw the giant rubber duckie this weekend!  It was impressive my friends.  Over 100 feet tall, maybe over 200 feet tall and roughly 70 feet long.  What a wonderful inflated facimile!  It was gorgeous my friends.  Driving down to San Pedro to see it was worth the time and effort, and it was a lot of time and effort to be sure.  Freeway traffic was no big deal, but parking and waiting around for shuttles took quite a while.  There were so many people here that overflow parking lots were set up down the street for miles with a shuttle to take tourists back and forth.  The shuttles got packed.  It was quite a scene.

Awww... but isn't it worth it for this big guy?  It's so cute!

The duckie was parked at Port of Los Angeles for the "Tall Ships Festival."   I didn't even check if they had "tall ships" there.  Nobody did!  Everybody went down there and flooded the harbor walkways for the duckie.  

On the way home I looked up fried chicken... I was in the mood and I was on the Freeway by the airport at the time.  Then, as I drove towards it, I saw, on the other side of the street, Phillip's #2 Barbecue restaurant.  You'd suspect as much for a building with tons of smoke coming out of the roof.  Both of these were straddling the corner of Centinela and Beach Ave.  For me it's the "Magnificent Corner."   At Phillips, great barbecued meats, ribs, and the famous rib tips.   At Louisiana Fried Chicken, the best fried chicken I've had in town.  My goodness it was GOOD.  They use seasoning salt, not sure which kind, and fry that batter just right.  It's fresh, it's hot, it's juicy, it's simply remarkable.  The fries that they serve there are equally good, using that same seasoning salt.

One of the best parts of the "Magnificent Corner" is it's easier to get to from the freeway than I thought.  You just take 405 south to La Tijera and get off there, head east and make the right on Centinela.  If you were the kind of joker that would want to take chicken or ribs to go to your home in, iono, the coast of Santa Monica, you can do it!  The food keeps well...stays hot.  It's a dream.

There happens to be a Smart and Final wholesale grocery store next to the Phillip's... if one were to posit the idea for a party, they could head to the Magnificent Corner, and get all the food they need for one phenomenal night.   Ribs, a HUGE order of Fried Chicken, maybe some barbecued beef, then Smart and Final for the plates, forks, knives, napkins, chips, and sodas.  Picture that party!  Maybe grab a few cases of beer too.

I'm ready for a fun week.  Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 21st

One of the strangest moments is when you stay in a hotel in the town you're in.  Isn't that strange?   It's happened a couple times before, but the hotels themselves were pretty awesome.

I've struggled to find inspiration to blog about of late.   I had an idea to go grab a word at random and then write a bunch of things about it.  So I'm going to try this now.   There's a random word generator online.  Here it is!

  • crane

  • crust
courtesy of:

Well!  That is two words… cranes… there was some construction recently going down someplace, and there's ongoing construction for the Metro Expo line expansion to Santa Monica.  I look forward to its completion.   I can then park the car on the street and take the train all the way downtown, maybe even all the way to Dodger Stadium.   That'd make my driving load far lower.

It won't be as fast as driving, although it'd be more efficient when there's traffic.  I like the expansion.  I thought it was just some idea that the government had that would never get done, but here it is!  I see the tracks and the street crossings already, it runs along Colorado Blvd. near where I live.

I had a nutty idea to stop at La Cienega on the Expo Train so I could get Popeyes.  It's the most accessible Popeyes restaurant to the train and I mean it is RIGHT THERE off the train stop.   Popeyes is just good food.   It's not for everyone, but the spicy fried chicken is the best.  I enjoy it tons.  Their biscuits seem a little drier than KFC's but I think they're tastier.  There's also this cajun rice they make which I think is delicious.   Popeyes gets a lot of things right.

One time, when I was really bored and had no life, I took the Expo train all the way to downtown and boarded a transfer to the Gold Line which went up to Pasadena.  On trains I was able to get from Culver City clear to the other side of town, but the commute took nearly 2 hours each way.   Wasn't worth it, but still nice to know it's possible to get to Old Town Pasadena without a car.

So… that's "cranes."


Only thing that came to mind was the crust of a Peach Pie somebody tweeted the other day.  That looked marvelous!  It's been a very long time since I had a peach pie.  It would be of good interest to locate the nearest Marie Callenders and ask for some peach pie.  Would you be nutty enough to eat a slice of every pie on the menu?  Oh the calories that would be!  Man that'd be fun though, just once… maybe take a date to share some of those slices with you.

Favorite pies:  Apple, Strawberry, Peach, Lemon Meringue sometimes, Boston Cream, Chocolate Cream, most other berry pies, pecan, cherry… there's really not a bad pie to be had, I'm not that picky.  However, the ones I go to the most are Apple and Cherry, often because they're usually the most frequently available at restaurants.

This was the best I could do today… great writing must be inspired and natural, there's no use in forcing it.  Ha!  speaking of pie am I right?  Um… yes, that's all.  Catch you soon.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 19th

There are those moments where all you want is a cookie.
I want a cookie.
Yesterday it was 4pm and all I wanted was a cookie.  So, I went to get one from the cafe on campus.  That cookie was so good!  Oatmeal Raisin.  Delicious.  But there was more!!  I got a Peanut Butter cookie too and ate it later.
Sometimes all you want is a cookie.  I'll feel sad and disturbed, angry and lonely, all stressed out.  All I want then is a cookie. 
You see what goes on out there and a cookie can do so much good.
Imagine that?  Just a cookie!
As I say good day I am reminded of goofy texts I sent to coach on sunday.  Heres what it looked like, below.
Enjoy your Tuesday fellas.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 12th

Robin Williams died yesterday via apparent suicide.  I haven't been so sad at a celebrity death in a very long time.   I think it would have been Junior Seau as the last such shocking, saddening well-known untimely death.

He brought so many laughs to so many people.  Iconic movie roles, an incredible improvisationalist.    Just imagine anyone else going through moments like when he was at a USO function and the entire crowd turned away for "Retreat."  Haha!   His response to it was golden!!  but I was thinking, NOBODY would have the chops to improvise on a moment like that.  He made it into an incredible routine on the fly.

There's just no one else like him.   His interviews were engaging.  The bit he did on the invention of golf that Tom in NJ suggested to me was a hoot!  I'm so sad… we will miss Robin Williams.

I don't know if my manner of bouncing between so many different subjects is inspired by Robin Williams… it seems like more of a Mitch Hedberg thing, but in actuality, there's no specific person I attribute this to.   I just write what I think.  I'm usually not thinking of any one subject at a given time.  I have a lot of ideas.   Robin was able to take that kind of train of thought and really act it out in hilarious fashion.  I don't know many who can improvise on that level… Jim Carrey was pretty good at that, and maybe a couple others, but with the energy and positivity that Robin Williams brought?   We lost a true original yesterday, fellas.

I've had an unusual run of success with slots lately.   I played blackjack on two occasions on my last vegas trip but both times I was out within 10 hands.   Fortunately I only brought four units to the table each time.

I did not attempt any NFL futures bets… no way.  I tried 8 of them once and none of them hit HAHA.  I could pick a favored team, but everyone seeks the challenge of getting that sleeper pick with a decent return.   I remember picking the Texans to win the Super Bowl, maybe twice, in the late 2000's.

However, my unlikely success at slots continues.   I learned over time that the most basic machines are the ones with the best returns… which aren't great returns, but they are still pretty good if you time it right.   A basic slot machine can return between 95% to 97% of your investment… they seem to be tighter at some casinos than others.  My favorite machine is the "Double Diamond" machine, which uses "Double Diamond" oval symbols as multipliers.  Other than that, it's just bars, cherries, and 7's.  That's it!   With so few combinations and no progressive jackpot, the maximum win is only 800 credits for 1 credit spins… of course I say "only" and people are commonly getting fleeced 200 to 500 bones at tables…

The Double Diamond machine by and large has been very good to me, especially at MGM properties.   Monte Carlo, Aria, and this month at Mirage, it's done extremely well.  Here's the story:

I was on this trip with family, so I don't have much night life to comment about nor buffets… our meals were pretty good and straightforward, Wendy's, a Mexican restaurant off strip, Chipotle, and so on.  My relatives also had rooms at the Hampton Inn by the Airport which offers free breakfast.  The breakfast was nothing to write home about and the eggs there were downright awful.  Its like they made them out of mashed potatoes.

At Mirage, my parents asked if I could have them stay with me.  I thought that was a sporting move, so I said, let's do it.  My parents could not be more thankful.  It was great to have their company, and boy, they *loved* the Mirage.   The beds were so comfy.  My dad talked so much about the bed, he even wanted me to get the model of the mattress, which happened to be a Sealy model made exclusively for Mirage.  The view was gorgeous!  I ask for the pool view at Mirage and it delivers, because the pool side of the building faces the strip southbound, but at an angle so that you can really see every casino on the street.

After this fun night, in which we dabbled with gambling here and there, I tried the double diamond slot machine in the morning.   I remember my last trip to a DD machine at Aria, where I put down 20 and let it roll for a while.  and then I hit a 96 dollar win!  I was so pumped.   I thought "let's ride this out and see how big a win we can get."

My first 20 was nearly cleaned out but it took a while to deplete… there were minor wins along the way, so I said "I'm going to put in another 20 bucks".  This  was a quarter machine, playing 2 credits at a time, so each play was 50 cents.   I put in the other 20 dollar bill, and get it rolling, just a few spins later, I got two double diamond symbols and a 7, which means a triple 7 win of 160 credits (for two credit plays) times FOUR.   A $160 win!!!!   I was up to $210 for the trip, brought 140 w/ me going in.  To celebrate I went to Starbucks and ordered a mocha latte with whipped cream.

but then, being the mongo I am, I blew most of it trying similar machines at this off strip casino where we went in the afternoon.   I was down to about 60 bucks.  Then, I HAD to go after this giant slot machine with the enormous reels at MGM Grand and that thing was a complete loser and the game sucked anyway.  Oi.   Down to roughly 43 bones.

The final morning at Mirage, I was down on my aces so to speak.  I went to a different Double Diamond slot machine and tried again.  The first 20 dollar bill went for a little while but eventually ran out… and I had a decision to make!  Do I just call it a day or put in the last 20 bucks… I still had a whole day plus the next morning to go on the trip… and how embarrassing would it be to not have the option of winning money for 36 hours.

Somehow, I elected to do the last 20… I said "f$#% this, go big or go home."  So I put it in, and barely a few spins later, I won $160 **again**!!!!!!!  Haha!!!!!!  I was simply stunned…   With the win and the assorted 1 dollar bills I hadn't accounted for, I had 193 bones in pocket meaning I was up over 50 bucks for the trip.  Do the dance!

I laid off gambling for the most part from that point forward.  What a day!  I tried to get another mocha latte to celebrate my recovery but the line at Starbucks was too long, so I ended up getting that yesterday back here in Santa Monica.  Ohhh it was so good.

I can't explain it fellas… I suck ass at Blackjack but kill it in slots.  Maybe I just got really lucky that weekend.   To date, it was my best vegas profit of all time.  Usually I'm down a few bones or break even.  I would have tried more tables but with a group of two dozen that I was with which composed of three families, there were just a few windows to gamble.  We did a lot of non gambling activities for the handful of people who were under 21.  I thought that was fair, and we all still got in some decent gambling activity.

The next trip to Vegas, whenever it is, I intend to finish a blackjack round with positive money.  I haven't had a positive money blackjack round in at least two years… I will make it my mission.

So who is ready to roll?  Are you ready?    Been a good summer so far!  On to more… catch you all soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 6th

Today I ate a breakfast burrito.

I fixed printer connections at work.

I listened to a few songs on Spotify.

I noticed there were some Jets preseason tickets at just $6.  That seems rather cheap!

Santa Monica weather was surprisingly cool today.

I was at a Starbucks once and there was a hot girl there wearing tight pants but I did not bother to take a picture of her.

I think the Dodgers are doing ok.  If they get one game tonight or tomorrow, that's a good series.


Brian Wilson is the baseball equivalent of human feces.  Truth.

Katy Perry oozes greatness.

I have a podcast today.

No podcast tomorrow.

Mike does not have a show tomorrow.

Heyman is a giant turd.   Many colleagues share this opinion with me.

He's a giant turd because he speculates a lot of generic "what-if's" without providing any information in his columns or tweets.  Entirely pointless.

Speaking of pointless… I think I'll wrap this one up early.   Off to vacation.  Catch you gents later.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: August 4th

I'm sure you've seen guys declare they're going off of twitter.   You know, the big theatric annoucement and so on.  I think the most effective way to get off twitter is to get off twitter.

Last year when I did a trip with a friend of mine, I cut off twitter and facebook altogether.   It was refreshing!   I cut the board off too.   I was happy to be freed of the usual nonsense, granted this was just for a couple of days.

Bill Murray playing Baloo.   That would be like Bradley Cooper playing a raccoon.  OOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that happened!

What do you do when you start a blog entry and you don't have that much to write?   It was a slow weekend to be sure.  I read up on College Football with the Athlon Sports preview magazine.

It is a *great* magazine.  I'm impressed by how easy it is to read, yet, how informative it is at the same time.  It's very well organized.  They hit on a lot of great talking points like the new College playoff system, coaches on the hot-seat, QB transfers, and more.  It also avoids a lot of needless abbreviations.

I had one observation... Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were slam-dunk hall of famers in the NFL.  Their *sons* are nothing short of disappointing by comparison.   Nick Montana has been pretty bad at Tulane, and he can't even get a start on the team.   Jerry Rice, Jr. was cut by the Redskins yesterday.  That wasn't totally his fault either -- he suffered a shoulder injury which necessitated the move.


To compare anyone to Montana and Rice is pretty unfair.

I went to Wendy's yesterday to spend the remainder of my gift card, got the Pretzel Bun combo again, and noticed they had fresh lemonade there.  Fresh lemonade!!!!   Good ole lemons and sugar!   It's not always around at your local fast food restaurant, but it is at In N Out and it is here.   A great add by the fine people at Wendy's.  I ordered one to go with my combo.  Deeeeelicious!

I am in the middle of a project on both Spotify and Twitter.  The project is to listen to every popular music album that came out and charted (on Billboard) in 1981.   The project is called #1981inMusic . It covers everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in music.  I had to struggle through a dumpy Kris Kristofferson album and made it through only 3 songs.  I had enough and dumped it.

I try to listen to every album as much as possible... there's just going to be some schmaltzy LP's that are tough to stomach.  I'll put the Ted Nugent album on a very short leash... not a fan.

Going through these 1981 albums, I noticed that there were a lot more very high quality works that came out than I remembered!  I was aware of a handful of them but even other tunes were released that year that I really enjoyed.  Good example:  Eric Clapton's album that year "Another Ticket."   "I Can't Stand It" is one of my favorite Clapton songs and it was right on there.  X's "Wild Gift" album, one of my personal favorites, is represented too, and it surprised me because I assumed it came out a year later.

This is a fun project!  Let's not forget "Don't Stop Believin'" and its Journey album "Escape."  We're in for a fun ride!

80's music is not all I listen to.  I'm listening to some 70's moog synthesizer cuts from Isao Tomita now as I write this.   I've heard music from the Indie scene in the mid-00's when I was in college.  When I was in high school I listened to a lot of disco music.   I've started to sample more and more jazz works from the late 20th century, 60's thru 90's.  I have listened to many classical works on FM radio over the years.   But, it's pretty clear that 80's music is my home base.

I had an idea for a rock album title.  I'd call it "Smart Phones for Dumb People."  I suppose, for further explanation, it could be a metaphor for the dichotomy between advanced technology against the mongos who use it,  but it's really just a nod to the Dead Kennedys who had an LP called "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables."

I stopped playing SongPop a while ago... it wasn't because I got tired of it, but because when I moved to Santa Monica, I couldn't find proper isolation to play the game.  So it went dormant.  I couldn't play it at work at all because the sounds it made would appear pretty obvious that I wasn't being productive.  Then it started playing pop-up ads at every turn and that was the last straw.

I hope others are still playing SongPop.  The game is good if you can get through all the advertising nonsense.

Peach season had to be put on hold.  The last week of peaches at the store was simply awful.  You ever have those *bad* peaches?  The ones that taste like banana mush without the flavor?  I do everything I can in life to avoid eating that mush but this week it just tanked on me.   I was woefully disappointed.   Ergo, my next trip to the store I looked at the peaches much more carefully... they were lacking in color, which was a sure sign we'd get "tasteless mush peaches" again.  I called it off -- I switched to nectarines instead.  This week: it's Nectarine season!

The nectarines are tremendous too... it'll hold me over a fair amount until the peaches get their act together.

Friday night was fun and a little experimental.  I was at a place called "Sonny MacLean's" in Santa Monica.  It's a Boston themed-bar.   With that said, two things in play I really liked there: they play the Dodgers games on SportsNetLA on their TV's and they also have pretty good pizza.  Never have you had such a good slice of pepperoni!  At least not here in California.  They got this fancy or otherwise excellent quality pepperoni and the crust was tasty.  A great pizza had over at Sonny MacLean's.  They had this classic rock cover band which really made me laugh.  They made me laugh because they seem like weekend warriors who do it for fun... so maybe it's "they made me laugh but also inspired me at the same time."   We bounced and danced a tad... as the cover band threw down the best hits of the 60's, 70's, and 80's.  The lead singer's voice was  part of what made me chuckle.  He had a mundane, higher pitched sounding voice with barely any power and he was trying to belt out Journey songs and Bad Company.   I've certainly heard worse though!  

That's all for now... oh wait two more things:



See ya soon!