Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wing Review: Ocean Pizzeria‎

This will be my last wing review this year and the results are not good.

Runny ranch
No veggies
Dry and tough like they were cooked in the microwave
No flavoring until side sauce is applied
Sauce was buttery and not tangy or spicy

There pizza is marginally better when it's fresh. Their sandwiches are a better bet.

Ocean Pizzeria
4150 Mission Blvd San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 581-9490

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wing Review: Dirty Birds

I have stopped in once before for a beer while waiting to pick up some food from the Thai shop. The place wasn't crowded then either. I noticed then that there prices were high, but the bartender assured me they were the best.

So the Friday night the wife and I were trying to decided were to go eat. I mentioned that I wanted to give Dirty Birds a shot, but recalled their prices were high. After getting seated and looking at the menu, I said "Ok, let me see if I got this right... for $7 you get six wings? They better be some god damn good wings."

They weren't.

Here are my notes:
Runny ranch
Dry spiced Lemon Pepper was bland

The bartender was very attentive and the beer was served in an iced mug. The wings took a while considering we were only two of seven people in the bar. I usually would try the buffalo style, but Alison was sharing so we compromised on Lemon Pepper. Although they were bigger in size, they reminded me of the wings at Boll Weevil. I wouldn't get these again, but will come back and try the buffalo when they have their half priced wings.

Dirty Birds

4656 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-2473

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wing Review: Rock Bottom LJ

I felt like I was walking into a TGIFs or something when we hit this place Saturday night for some late night happy hour special. At first I thought I was on the set for a scene from Office Space. We had just come from the Nutcracker and I was ready for some beer and wings to wake me up! You could smell the wings when you entered the bar area.

The order came out quickly and they were hot. The portion was small though. They weren't as tangy as they smelled. They had way too much paprika for my liking. Paprika is a good supporting spice, but doesn't handle the leading role well for wings. They were dripping with sauce and the veggies were fresh and crisp. Bottom line, I would try something else next time instead of the wings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No on Prop D ads on YouTube

See the ads for those opposed to Prop D. They want no Permanent Alcohol Ban and want to keep Our Beaches Free. This is for San Diego, up until a temporary ban was put in place, this was one of the last areas in California where you could drink on the beach legally.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 27, 2008

recession/depression soup

recession/depression soup

Soup solved two problems for me by helping me lose weight and save money. That wasn't the intent at first. I had to eat soup after I got my wisdom teeth out. I noticed it filled me up and I lost a few pounds.

The disadvantage though was all soups have really high salt content. And what's the deal with the nutrition label on canned soup being for two servings? Do people really only eat half a can? So I started making my own soup that's healthier. The wedding gift that we got that I use the most is the crock pot. We actually got two, one is solar... It's just not that sunny in San Diego. I haven't used it yet. Plus I would have to put it on the roof.

Costco leftovers also lend themselves well to soup. I usually make the soup a day or two after the Costco run. This will make about 8 good size servings (two weeks of workday meals for me). It's more like a spicy chili than a soup if you get technical...
  1. Set the crock pot to low heat for four hours.
  2. Add olive oil and work it around to lightly cover the bottom
  3. Add two cups of brown rice
  4. Add a handful of whole grape tomatoes (what wasn't used for salads the week before)
  5. Add a handful of sliced grape tomatoes (what wasn't used for salads the week before)
  6. Add 1/2 packet of chili powder (packets are ~1 and last at least two batches)
  7. Add couple of teaspoons of cumin
  8. Add couple of teaspoons of garlic powder (not salt)
  9. Add pepper as you like
  10. Add sliced and whole mushrooms (what wasn't used for salads the week before)
  11. Add dried shiitake mushrooms (big bag at Costco ~$10 and will last 10+ batches
  12. Add water to cover everything and mix
  13. Let this cook for two hours stirring occasionally
  14. Cut broccoli to small pieces and add (what wasn't used for salads the week before)
  15. Let this cook for one hour, stir as needed
  16. Add two good size frozen chicken breast (Costco!)
    or Add 8 turkey meatballs (costco)
  17. Once the chicken is pretty much cooked, remove and slice or shred and return to pot
  18. Cook until chicken is done (not pink)
  19. Examine the rice, most seem to cook around the 3:30 to 4 hour point. Extend cooking time as needed for rice to puff
  20. Remove and package
I use plastic containers and freeze about half and the other half in the fridge for this weeks lunch

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wing Review: Wings n' things

We went downtown last night. The original goal was to meet up for a little boat party at the Hyatt. Long story short, there's more than one Hyatt near a marina in San Diego. Since Alison was meeting up with friends for a girls night and I was to drop her off, we went to have a drink at the Top of the Hyatt. As usually, we went to the wrong bank of elevators the first time, but we eventually made it up there. We had a great view of the midway.

I dropped her off at Sushi Deli on Broadway and was craving BBQ, so I headed over to Phil's BBQ. It was about 8 pm on a Saturday night, but I got a spot with out a problem. My hopes were high until I rounded the corner and saw the line. I've never eaten here before, just have had the food when someone else has picked it up. I'm not patient enough to wait in line, so I hoped back in the car and went to my backup plan: Wing's n' Things.

I haven't been here in years. I used to go more often when they had a shop in PB and even more often when I worked for Sharp near Convoy. The smell hit me as I walked in. I ordered 16 hot wings (I skipped the breadsticks) to go and sat down to wait patiently. That's when I noticed a sign in the next shopping area over "Wing Street". Oh, what have I missed? Then I saw it was a Pizza Hut, so I assumed I wasn't missing much.

I should have eaten then there for maximum freshness, but I wanted to head home first. Was I trying to tease Shelby? The smell filled the car and spilled out on to the streets as I motored home with the top down. First bite reminded me what a good traditional wing sauce tastes like nice and tangy. In the to-go container the are swimming in sauce, and this is a good thing. I can tell you I spent a little too much time in the sun yesterday as my chapped lips were quickly on fire. My nose started to run and my eyes teared up. Despite this, they weren't uncomfortably hot. No really, I mean it. I regret not getting a few bread sticks to soak up the extra sauce. Other than that, it was a great meal. Ranch was good and the celery carrots were cold, crunchy and fresh.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wings: Boll Weevil Restaurant

On a whim, we went to the new Boll Weevil Restaurant in Bird Rock. This spot used to be a swanky place that never seemed to have a crowd. It was funny to see how different it looked. We each had a couple of beers and split a burger and wings. I was surprised that the bill was nearly $40. This was mostly due to the pricey beers.

Out waitress warned us that the wings were spicy and a lot of people send them back because of this. We chalked that one up to the clientele, families with young kids. In fact, we skipped the main dinning room when we saw all the families. Nothing against families (I'm in one myself), but there was a nice big empty bar that was separated from the rest of the place by a wall. I bet a lot of people think the wings are like McD's nuggets.

Back to the wings, they came with fries and a buttery ranch dip. The fries were nice, crisp and hot. This was another place where there was no sauce applied after they were fried. They looked harmless, like nuggets, but they had a kick to them. They were really hot and tender, but tiny in size and not many were included. The fries had the job of filling you up.

With all the choices we do have around here, I don't think we would go back. The burger wasn't impressive, the ranch was too butter and there was no celery or carrots. Or server was nice, and got us to order before the kitchen closed (9:30!).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Odd thjings about Chrome...

I just started to use Chrome ( for the first time today.  Some odd things that Google seemed to forget.
  • It doesn't handle rss feeds well at all.  It just barfs the content onto the screen evven from Picasa
  • No spell check like Firefox spell check doesn't always work (the 'Compose' tab of doesn't work, but the 'Edit HTML' does

who's that calling me?

If you get a call from 858 488-8283 it's the curch lady calling to try to get you to vote yes on 8.
Whether I'm for or against something, I still hate getting calls like this.  Of all things, these calls should be illegal!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Surf Rider paddle for clean water 2008 Ocean Beach, San Diego

Wing Review: Bird Rock Pizza (delivered)

It's risky to get wings delivered as they are often lukewarm and tough when they get here. I've gotten wings from these guys before and the are usually just ok. But this batch was different. They were tendor, better size and spicey. The sauce wasn't very thick or colorful, but it did have great flavor.

Their pizza was much better this time too with a better quality cheese. Maybe they got a new chief...

Bird Rock Pizza & Sports GrillAddress:
5737 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037

Get Directions
(858) 456-2473
* approximate times

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wing review: Firestone Grill, San Luis Obispo

These wings had no sauce and were fried like KFC chicken. However, they did have a nice spicy flavor to them. They were really tender and easily were removed from the bone. The only thing that came with the wings was the ranch. The portion was good, but we added some fries and I ate half of my wife's BBQ pork sandwich (the sauce was a little too sweet for me). The Firestone IPA was excellent. We sat and ordered from the bar. The staff was nice and attentive and the food came out quickly. I was surprised considering how crowded they were.

We got this tip after we had eaten, their tri tip is what they are known for.

Firestone Grill
1001 Higuera St Ste A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3603
Phone: (805) 784-0474

Sunday, August 17, 2008

wing review: Bareback grill

They don't really have wings, but "tenders". It was about a 6 oz chicken breast sliced up, cooked and rolled around in what looked like a dry rub. The chicken was pretty tender. I also got a side of calamari. Both of these were ok, but i would stick to the burgers next time.

4640 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-7117

first imperssions: Olympus 770 SW

After a bit of research, I purchased the Olympus 770 SW (Amazon ~$200). I got it specifically to take with me while surfing. I took a bright orange shoe string and attached it to the strap eyelet. When surfing I either keep it in my trunk pocket or around my neck.

  • The xd "H" memory card is hard to find (curently using the "M"
  • No view finder, you have to use the screen - which is tough to see in direct sun
  • Photos turn out best when the right mode is selected (like underwater) - there are 20+ modes!
  • It's hard to quickly change modes and they aren't ordered the way I would like (wish you could customize this)
  • Water stays on the lens which has messed up several pictures
  • There are tiny drops of water in the battery/memory card area after opening the door
  • Very hard to read the white button labels (camera is dull silver) , more contrast is needed
  • great size
  • tough (I have landed on it with no damage)
  • Can take a burst of pictures in most modes - great for action shots
  • good photos
After a few days, I'm overall very happy with it. I have a lot to learn about shooting in the water, but that's part of the fun. I've been taking about 70 shots per session ... I got a 500 gb external drive to store the photos.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

install hardwood floors

We ripped up our old carpet in our living room and replaced it with hardwood floors last weekend. Turns out the subflooring is concrete. I was surprised because we are on the second floor or a two story condo. We were thinking of going with a light bamboo, but we heard too much negative feedback about it's durability. We did buy a sample and were able to scratch it up pretty easy.

We used engineered Tigerwood floors by Homelegend instead. I liked the variation in color. All in all, they were easy to install once you got the rhythm down (they make a clicking sound when properly set). I did have to restart about 1/3 of the way through because there was a gap that wasn't closing up well. I was using the rubber mallet too much ( don't force it). But that's the beauty of the floating floors, you don't have to glue or nail down as you go.

One thing I would do differently would be to use a table saw instead of a jigsaw to get straighter cuts. I ended up using a hand saw and mitre box about 1/2 way through. We did need the jigsaw for the odd shaped buts, like around the door frame.

We covered about 220 square feet and the actually labor took about ten hours total. We still have to finish up the baseboards by adding something to cover up the gap. We also need to do the transitions to the front door, balcony doors and kitchen area (which is terracotta tile).

Check out the photos:

4 Clamps (to hold planks while cutting) $4
Knee pads $15
Rubber mallet $5
Utility knife with the blades (to cut up padding and carpet) $5
Putty knife to remove chunks of padding $2
Chisel to remove baseboards and carpet nail strips $7
Jigsaw $70
Spacer and tap kit $16
Harmony sound dampening and moisture barrier (3 rolls) $150
Click wood planks (11 boxes) $600
Stick on felt pads for furniture $10

So that's about $900 in tools and materials so far.

We also had to eat out every meal since we had so much furniture stuffed into the kitchen.

If you are thinking of doing a similar project my advice would be to get a table saw, give yourself a few days and don't force it. Be patient. If there is a gap, backup and try other planks. There were a few duds that I was able to use later for the small cuts.

wing review: Luigi's At the Beach

We got a half dozen wings at Luigi's At the Beach last night. They were not very good unfortunately. The sauce was too strong with one spice (almost like too much cumin). They weren't too hot. They were really tender though. They just fell off the bone. We were able to fill up on some good pizza and beer.

Luigi's At the Beach - - (858) 488-2818

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bikini bar & grill

So the place that used to be Dakine's, then a Dakine's spinoff, then a Dakine's knockoff apparently is now going to be a bar and grill.

They are building up the deck area which should give a better view. I hope the food is good and reasonably priced. You have to wonder if the stop-serving-by-9 pm beer license is going to work for them.

UPDATE: Ok, so they are no longer going to be the Bikini Bar... I guess someone else in the mall didn't approve it. I'm going to guess it was Hooters that pulled out the veto stamp. There's a yellow piece of paper stuck to the door now that says "Surfer Bar".

UPDATE #2: The sun has set on the Surfer Grill. They opened at a bad time in a bad spot with marginal food. They did do a good job of fixing up the deck and they had a pretty good happy hour, but never much of a crowd. They were closed every Monday and for the whole holiday break. There's simply a hand written "Closed" sign with a sad face.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

6' 0" Island Egg

I got a new board yesterday From Star Surfing Co. This is the first off the rack impulse buy I've done in a few years (the price was great). It's also my smallest board at 6' x 21". And to be honest, I was worried that it might be too small for me, but I took the gamble. Not really a lot of info on the board other than the dimensions, turtle logo and an doctor like signature. The receipt says Island Surfboard and I think the signature says "Will Smith". If so, it's good to see his shaping between making movies.

Update: I rode by the shop yesterday to give them positive feedback and the guy that helped me when I bought the board informed me that the shaper's name was Mark Smith.

I took it out yesterday afternoon near the pump house in PB and got several good rides once I figured out it was more of a front foot surfer. It displaces a lot less volume than the 6' 2" fish I'm used to ridding and I did miss a few waves I normally would have gotten. There was some descent size in the waves, so I'm sure that helped. I don't know if I will be taking her out on those ankle to knee slapper days.

On a side note, there are a lot of Irish kids vacationing in San Diego these days.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

looking for a sunburn? Don't vaca in SD on Memorial day.

Looking for a sunburn? Don't vacation in San Diego on Memorial day weekend

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Some camera phone photos from PB...

Saw these gives almost drive by this group. What is that in those red party cups?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Converting MP3's to ringtones for Sprint PCS phone

These are the steps that I used to use for converting MP3's to ringtones for my Sprint PCS phone (free!). This was a really popular post on my site before TA shutdown. I no longer use Sprint (on AT&T waiting for my iPhone), but can probably help if you run into a problem with these steps.

A. Convert MP3 to WAV
1. I have been using JetAudio to convert (Other apps, like WinAmp work too):
2. Locate the MP3 in Windows Explorer
3. Single right click on the file and select "JetAudio | Convert with JetAudio"
4. From the "Output format" drop-down select: WAV
5. Click the "Config..." button
6. Click the "Select WAV Format..." button
7. Select "PCM" for the "Format" drop-down
8. Select "8,000 kHz, 16 Bit, Mono" for the "Attributes" drop-down
9. Click "OK"
10. Click "OK" again
11. Click the "Start" button
NOTE: By default the WAV file will be in the same folder as the source MP3 file.
B. Edit length to 30 seconds
NOTE: I'm using the Windows Sound Recorder to shorten the length
1. Click "Start" and select "Run..."
2. In the "Open" field type:
3. Click the "OK" button
4. From the main menu select "File" and click "Open..."
5. Double click on the WAV you created above
6. Cut out sections of song with "Edit| Delete Before/After Current Position"
NOTE: If the volume of the ringer is too low, the volume can be increased:
- From Sound Recorder's main menu, select 'Effects'
- Click on 'Increase Volume (by 25%)'

7. Save the shortened file with the "File | Save As..." option
8. Make sure the Format is: PCM 8,000 kHz, 16 Bit, Mono
NOTE: Use the "Change..." button if it's not correct
NOTE: Any other setting and the end result will sound like a chicken
C. Convert the WAV to smaller QCP format (Qualcomm PureVoice file)
1. Download, install and open the GCD Creator from:
2. Click the "WAV to QCP" button on the left
3. Click the ">" button
4. Browse to and double click on the altered WAV file created above
5. Click the "Convert WAV" button
NOTE: The QCP file is created in the same folder as the source WAV
D. Upload file to your Sprint PCS phone
1. Open your browser to:
2. Click the browse button, navigate to your desktop
3. Double click on the .QCP file you created
4. Give it a title
5. Type in your Sprint PCS phone number
6. Click the "Send to Phone" button
E. Load on your Sprint PCS phone
1. You will get a "New Text" message
2. View the message
3. Click the "Go" button
4. It will say that this is "Not trusted content", select "Continue" radio button
NOTE: It downloads to phone
5. On the "Confirm" dialog select the "Use" radio button and click "OK"

From here it will exit the browser and you can play, set as or erase.

If the ringer volume is too low compared to your other ones, the volume can be adjusted in section B, number 6.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Trunk opener switch

Part Number: 25380-42g00
Name: Trunk opener switch
For: Nissan Pathfinder 1993 (surf vehicle)

The switch that opens the tailgate broke and I could no longer open the tailgate window from inside the vehicle. In fact, since a key broke off in the rear lock, there was no way to open it at all.

I went to Kragen, but they didn't have the part and told me to check with Nissan. The local Nissan dealer figured out the part number, but the item was not in stock. Plus it listed at $40.77. Too rich for my blood.

I couldn't find anything cheaper online. So, I went to Radio Shack to see if they carried switches... and luckily enough they do. I got a automotive switch for $2.99 (2750739 SPST 25A Rocker) and stuck it in there. It works great. Looks ghetto, but works great. Plus since the struts that hold open the glass are shot, it would always close on it's own. Then I would have to go back to the driver's area to open it again. Now I can lock it in the open position until I'm done.


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