Category Archives: google

Power outage and other info

This morning we had a power outage, thankfully after the hair drying and coffee brewing and refrigerator opening and closing. At first, we thought it was city-wide, caused by the rain we had in the early morning (it wasn’t that big of a storm). Then we though perhaps a tree fell down – we have huge eucalyptus trees all over, but it hadn’t been that windy. I don’t know what we were really thinking, perhaps we were just excited because of the rain and the power outage. As we went outside, we saw a truck stopped down the street, explaining what had happened. He stopped at our house (it was our neighbor, I guess he had driven around to see what was going on?) and said that an SUV had flipped over and taken out the transformer at Metate Lane and Pomerado Road, effectively cutting off our power and out exit route that way. I had to go down Community to get out of the neighborhood. So, we lost power because a big truck flipped over. I’m not sure how that happened, as the roads weren’t that wet… maybe he was taking the turn to fast. I hope they fix it before I get home. We have bulgogi and rice to cook and eat with sesame oil dipping sauce. If we have no power, we’re hooking it up to T’s car using his power inverter.

(edited to add: it turns out this is a sad story as the driver did not survive and two children were pulled from the car. NC Times did a news blurb.)

There is your morning news. Here is some more information that people seem to be looking for, some of which I think would be useful to know:

  • “cleaning mounted animal fur” – When I brought my deer head and antelope head home from the swap meet, I wiped it down with a pet cleaning cloth and then vacuumed the loosed fur up using the brush tool. T cleaned the glass eyes with a Q-tip and 409 cleaner. I also applied leather conditioner to some of the exposed parts of the ear, as they were dry and cracking.
  • “malted milk trader joe’s” – To my knowledge, Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell malted milk. This probably means it’s laden with preservatives and other funky stuff that Trader Joe’s doesn’t approve of. But, it’s really good stuff for turning into ice cream, sprinkling over vanilla ice cream, or mixing into cookies. You can usually find it in grocery stores next to Ovaltine, Nesquick, and the powdered milk.
  • “linkery coupon” – The Community Magazine is available in the Hillcrest/North Park area that offers 2-for-1 coupons for various restaurants, extending to the downtown area. The Linkery is one of those restaurants periodically in the magazine. If you live in the area, you usually receive it in the mail. If you don’t, you can subscribe to the magazine online for $12.
  • “ice cream cardboard pint containers” – I buy these from Smart & Final. They are plain white pint containers and you have to buy one sleeve of containers and one sleeve of lids, but it works perfectly for storing homemade ice cream. Better than the plastic Gladware and such. I highly recommend these.
  • “tax added on gratuity” – Some restaurants add a gratuity tax if the “gratuity” has automatically been added (large parties, special menu, etc). Legally they can do this because once the gratuity is non-voluntary it becomes a service charge, which is taxable. However, you’ll notice some restaurants don’t add it on, while others do. Thee Bungalow does not; Rockin’ Baja Lobster does. I think it’s a petty extra charge to the customers and I don’t like to see it on my bill.
  • “best couch to have around pets” – Some people think leather is the best couch to have with pets, but I disagree. Unless you are cold-hearted with ultra-disciplined dogs, your dogs will be up on that couch, potentially leaving scratches on the leather. You could argue that fake leather couches would be the answer, but who really wants that as a couch? I have found that microfiber couches are a godsend, especially if the cushions can be pulled off and the covers are removeable (i.e., washable). The microfiber is an easy material for cleaning up spills, just wipe, spray, and clean. For bigger messes, take the cover off and throw in the wash and air dry. If you can’t remove the cover, a household steam cleaner will do a great job. Best of all, you can easily vacuum fur off microfiber without having it stick too much to the couch. Most fabric couches will require work to get fur off them.
  • “nothing bundt cakes” – A lot of people seem to be searching for this, which makes me happy. Our San Diego location is at Scripps Poway Parkway and Pomerado Road, next to Japan House and Yanni’s Bistro. Go get a mini bundt cake for a treat, they’re really cheap!

Thus ends my information sharing. Go forth and shop, eat, and clean.

Better than a Starbucks clone

If you’re a coffee drinker, you probably go to Starbucks.  There are a few stragglers who still hold out for independent coffee houses and those who prefer the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) chain.  I like Starbucks coffee, but for other drinks I prefer the CBTL menu.  If they were on every corner like Starbucks, they’d probably get more of my money.  For the Starbucks frequenters, you’ve most likely had a muffin or coffee cake at some point.  Everyone has their favorites and everyone agrees that not everything is great.  Sometimes it’s only worthwhile when the seasonal goodies are out.  In any case, for every commercial baked good produced there is someone wanting the recipe to make it at home.  For reasons beyond my comprehension, the Starbucks cranberry bliss bar is one of the most requested clone recipes out there.  I think it’s too sweet and not very good, but that’s just me. 

Starbucks is now marketing some new African coffees by offering a suitable paired baked good.  They’ve done this before, when they had a lemony coffee they would suggest the lemon pound cake.  A spice cake to go with the gingerbread latte, and so on.  What’s new is that they are now offering recipes for these new coffee-food pairings (via Baking Bites).  To get to the recipes, click on “Pairing Coffee and Food” to the right.

The two recipes being offered are Carmelized Apple Pecan Coffee Cake and Chocolate Cinnamon Bread.  Never mind that the Chocolate Bread recipe reads more like a cake recipe.  I suppose if they market it as a bread people are more likely to justify eating it for breakfast?  I’m curious how the mass-produced products compare the home-baked recipe. 

You can also look at six African-inspired recipes from Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s new cookbook (he’s the one teaming with Starbucks to come up with these coffee-food pairings).

Totally off-topic, but to the person who is searching for the “olive oil dip for bread macaroni grill“, I would like to tell you that it’s simply olive oil, poured into a dish, topped with freshly cracked pepper.  That’s it.  I’ve watched them make it at the table, I swear that’s all they do.  We like to jazz it up with a couple shakes of salt.  It’s really the bread that is outstanding – warm with scents of rosemary, rubbed with more olive oil and sprinkled with salt.  Yummy.

Also, “is trader joe’s good” – Yes, it is.  It is one of the best places to stock up on frozen foods, although not everything frozen there is worth eating.  Now, as for “dog from trader joes” – dude!  Your Trader Joe’s sells dogs??  Where do you live and how much are they?  I totally want one.  Although, the only way I get to bring home another dog is if I happen to find a bag of puppies on the side of the road.  T said so.  He also specified that I can’t have someone bring a bag of puppies to leave by the side of our street, I have to find them myself.  I think he’d give in, though, if I happened to find one in Trader Joe’s.  How can you resist being able to say your dog came from there?

Searching for answers

Sometimes, people find my site from really odd searches that I don’t expect.  Those make me laugh.  Other times, they are searching for tidbits that come from asking really good questions.  I wonder if they’re disappointed by what they find here?

Restaurant googles:

  • “house on the hill” – It’s built in a house, on a hill, in Poway, at the northeast corner of Poway and Pomerado Roads.  Steak and seafood, Wednesday jazz, happy hour appetizer specials, okay desserts.  A little pricey, but no more than The Brig and better food, in my opinion.  It’s hard to see from the road, so drive slowly until you see a driveway going up a steep hill.
  • “pamir poway” – Pamir Kabob House.  Good, cheap lunch specials.  Friendly owners and service.  Great tasting dinners, especially the lamb with sour cherries.  It’s on the northwest corner of Poway and Pomerado Roads, next to Weight Watchers and Winchell’s Donuts (does this seem odd to anyone else?)
  • “mexicantina poway” – Good food, okay guacamole, tasty strawberry margaritas.  Fast service, good in a pinch.  It’s along Poway Road behind Denny’s.  We used to go here until we found Lienzo Charro, which is just further down Poway Road near Frazee Paint.  Great carnitas at Lienzo Charro!
  • “golden spoon + hours” – They’re open pretty late during the week, but they aren’t open on Sundays.  Remember that.  When you’re driving home Sunday and you think a nice treat would be a mini cup of Golden Spoon frozen yogurt, they are not open on Sundays.
  • “where to buy wilson creek wine” and “wilson creek decadencia port” – Costco sells Wilson Creek Almond Champagne for, like, $9.  Way cheaper than at the winery.  I’m not sure who else sells their wines.  I hear there is a Longs Drugs in Temecula that sells a lot of the winery wines for less money.  The Decadencia port is one of the tastiest ports I’ve come across.  Until I had Leonesse’s port, that is.  But, since we didn’t snag a bottle of Leonesse port, the new bottle of Decadencia will have to do until the new release appears.  The Decadencia really does have a hint of chocolate to it and it goes down smoothly, even without a truffle chaser.  It’s not cheap, but it’ll last you for a while and it’s extremely enjoyable. 
  • “trader joe lambrusco” – I wrote a short piece about it here.  If you don’t want to go look, I’ll tell you now that it’s cheap ($4-5), sweet, sparkly, and easy to drink.  It’s not complex with a full body or anything.  It’s just sparkling wine.  Great for parties or an easy night at home with leftovers.
  • “fat vegas” – Well, yes, eating too much in Vegas can make you fat.  There is just too much good food in that town, both high-end and cheap, to pass up. 

Doggy googling:

  • “dogs eating zucchini” – Most dogs like vegetables.  Mine love carrots and lettuce, but not green beans.  They seem to be on the fence regarding zucchini.  I’ve found quite a few half eaten zucchinis from the garden just lying around the yard, tossed aside.  Did they not finish because they didn’t like it or where the zucchinis too big?  I don’t know.  But dogs can eat them, some do eat them, and Sadie likes to play fetch with them.
  • “coconut macaroons good for dogs” – I wouldn’t say they’re good for dogs as they have too much sugar.  They won’t kill your dog, since there’s no chocolate involved.  However, if your dog eats too much coconut, there may be unpleasant side effects.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go google it somewhere else.
  • “roomba fur” – The Roomba does not come with a fur case.  You can buy plastic designs to stick on your Roomba, but that seems kind of weird to me.  The Roomba does suck up fur and also accumulates it well on its brushes.  If you are looking to buy a Roomba to help with your furry floor problems, I recommend you go for the “special” Roomba for Pets, and I mentioned here.  Please note, I have no idea how well it works on carpeted surfaces as our house has laminate flooring throughout most of the rooms.
  • “dog room” – Our dogs have their own dog room.  Most people call it a family room or tv room.  Coincidentally, the dog room is where the big screen tv and new comfy couch are.  One could argue that it is so the dogs have somewhere to sleep and something to entertain them while we are gone.  It’s really because the tv room is in the add-on room, so it is separated from the rest of the house by a sliding glass door and also has a built-in doggy door to the backyard.  It’s a good place to lock the dogs when we aren’t home.

And so ends this round of Google responses.  What have we learned?  Poway has some good eatin’ and my dogs are spoiled.  But really, is that anything you didn’t already know?

I *heart* Bass Pro Shops!

Okay, first of all, I have to announce that I don’t really get the “I <heart> something” statements. Why not use a heart symbol? Why not say you love it? Or really really like it and think it’s beautiful and kind, in case you’re not ready for the commitment of saying you love it. So, I say I <heart> Bass Pro Shops in jest, but I really do love that store.

I never knew they existed until we went into the one in the Silverton hotel/casino in Las Vegas. I was also a little tipsy and we had just spotted Santa (no, really, it had to be Santa because he was accompanied by a huge bodyguard and why would a bodyguard just be following some fat white guy with a beard in a Hawaiian shirt?) watching the mermaids and then I saw that there was this cavernous store with a waterfall and fish in the front. And then? We went in and did you know they have life-size displays of moose fighting, lions stalking giraffes, and also a cougar going for the jugular of a deer (or maybe antelope)?!? Also, every type of mounted animal on the wall, plus flying geese and ducks, AND sharks and such above the boat sections. There is even a huge tank of bass and trout so you can test out lures! This is just one more thing introduced to me by T. Or while I am in his company. Same thing, still awesome. It is because of this store that I have an antelope AND deer head hanging in my living room, flanking the fireplace. I will post a picture to show you that I am serious. They came from the swap meet. Only because the moose/buffalo/something was too big to fit in the car.

I am off-topic again. On our many drives to and from Vegas, we noticed that a new Bass Pro store was being built in Rancho Cucamonga. It has finally opened but we had Cassie with us last weekend (never leave a dog in a warm car!!) and it was way too crowded to stop. Plus, traffic had been bad and I was cranky and you just don’t mess with me when I’m like that. Even to suggest we go look at walls of deer heads and mounted animal displays. Seriously, where do they get all their mounted animals? Do they have a warehouse full of surplus stuffed animals? If so, how can I get in there?

Today I had to go to California City for work. It’s a long drive but I started early enough than by the time I was driving back through Rancho Cucamonga I was kind of hungry and also needed fuel (for the car). I drove in to the parking lot, drove around, then drove back to the freeway because I couldn’t find parking and figured it was just like any other store and not worth the hassle. Oh, they have opened an Islamorada Fish Company restaurant next door, which is where I was going to go for lunch. I got to the freeway stoplight, then did a u-turn because I really wanted to check out the restaurant and I had plenty of time and I deserved a break. Found parking at the back of the lot and walked into the restaurant to sit at the bar. I didn’t take pictures of the food because I felt silly and was surrounded by people at the crowded bar. If I had a table or booth, you would have pictures.

The menu is pretty extensive and covers almost every type of thing you would want at a seafood restaurant, even steak. They also have a raw bar with oysters or clams, but I didn’t try these. I had calamari and a salad with grilled scallops on top. The calamari was a small plate, but still decently sized, with small (but not tiny like House on the Hill) pieces that were tasty, tender, and not over-battered. I’m picky about my calamari appetizers but I would order this in a heartbeat again. The salad came with a tarragon dressing, and maybe tarragon means “sour” on Islamorada because it was. Almost too sour to eat. Luckily, my 6 scallops were perfectly cooked and not rubbery. They were garlicky and seasoned, but not too salty. Yum yum yum. If we go back, I would order the grilled seafood plate with scallops. Or maybe try their “famous” fish sandwich. I do like the fish sandwich at Point Loma Seafoods. They give you 1 complimentary loaf of bread, kind of like sweet bread, that has a coating of sugar on top. If you sit at the bar, you need to specifically ask for bread or they won’t automatically bring it to you, unless perhaps you look tired and hungry and your food may take a while and the nice bartender asks if you would like some bread to tide you over. The bread is okay… soft and sweet like King’s Hawaiian Bread, but I don’t get the sugar topping. And maybe I wasn’t as hungry as I thought I was. I took home most of the salad. I would have been fine with just the calamari. And maybe a cup of chowder.

The place is decorated with hanging fish and sharks, maybe to tie it in with Bass Pro Shop or maybe all their restaurants are like that? It’s cute, and I enjoyed watching the fish in the huge tank behind the bar. It’s not too expensive, considering my salad was HUGE, but it was still $16 for the salad (because of the scallops) and $6 for the calamari (worth it). I also don’t know who all the cars belonged to, because neither the restaurant or the store was that packed. The restaurant was full with a 30 minute waiting list, but unless every person drove their own car, I don’t see how it could fill the parking lot. All in all, if we have a chance to stop again, I would like to. The shop has cute raccoons on trees and a moose by the indoor stream. The restaurant has good food and friendly service and good acoustics because even full it wasn’t noisy with chatter.

Also, more googling (sorry, I’m new to the blogging and I get a kick out of what people are looking for and then find me):

  • “menu for poway bbq”Poway BBQ is gone, baby, gone. Doesn’t even matter if I had told you what was on their menu, chances are you never would have been there when the door was open.
  • “leonesse wine” – Yes! Good wine! Pretty location! Do go and visit if you are going through Temecula. We are part of their wine club and are attending our very first Wine Pick-up Party on the 25th. I will try to remember to take pictures and tell you all about it.
  • “best restaurant poway” – Hmm… well, House on the Hill was a nice surprise and it’s probably the nicest restaurant in Poway. Pamir Kabob House is a good choice for something different, not expensive, and yummy. Other than that, I would send you to Sushi USA in Rancho Penasquitos, just off the freeway exit.
  • “how many times are dogs supost to bread” – Uh, well, I’m not really sure how you got here. Also, does Google do spell check, because maybe they should? I am in high favor of spaying dogs, although I admit that all my dogs came from breeders (or “breeders”) and not the shelter. Although, I used to volunteer at the local shelter when I was in college and came home with 2 cats that way. This is probably why I don’t go to shelters anymore. In any case, if you happen to be teaching your dogs to make bread and I have misunderstood your search, I believe they can make bread as often as you can produce ingredients. If you’ve found a way to get them to wash their paws and knead the dough without eating it all, please let me know as I think this is a good way for my dogs to start earning their keep around here.

Vegas dog, baby!

We went to Vegas this weekend to see my parents. They moved out there in 1996 and have been enjoying it ever since. It makes for a nice place to visit, considering we always have a place to stay and my mom likes to go out to eat a lot. Sometimes I take the dogs, sometimes I don’t. Lately, I’ve just been taking Cassie since he’s the best behaved dog. Lexi tends to pick on my mom’s Maltese dogs and Sadie is just so much bigger than they are that they are intimidated. But Cassie gets along with everyone and she’s just a sweetheart. She’s also a very good car-traveler. And I wanted to give her a haircut to get rid of the mats on her back. It’s a long drive to Vegas and after a while Cassie falls asleep…

cass0
@ 6:00 pm
cass10
@ 6:10 pm
cass20
@ 6:20 pm
cass30
@ 6:30 pm – out!

Look at all that fur on her! It makes her look so fat! She really isn’t. She’s a husky dog, a good eater, and heavier than Lexi, but she’s not overweight at all. Her fur is so dense and thick that it’s a bear to brush out. Want proof that my pup is pretty skinny?

 

casscut

There she is all shaved down. We trimmed the fur around her head so it didn’t look so ridiculous. I think she looks cute, like a little puppy. But not really like an American Eskimo. She looks so different than before we gave her a haircut. She acts a little different, too. At first, she just wanted to hide, even though we weren’t laughing at her. Then, last night, she slept all curled up on the bed right next to me – she was cold! Poor baby.

 

Lexi does not recognize her. I would think that dogs smell the same no matter what and that Lexi and Sadie wouldn’t give her haircut a second thought, but when we came home Lexi did not accept this tiny dog as the Cassie who left a couple days earlier. I think after tonight they’ll all be back to normal.

btw, someone googled “why does my mom have three dogs” and to that person I’d like to say, “I don’t know!”  My mom has four dogs and I don’t know why.  So, if you figure out why your mom has only three, please let me know.

 

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Google searches

As this is a very new blog, I like to look at everything related to its “stats” – how people found me, who they clicked on, and what searches they did that brought up my posts.  That’s the best one, the searches.  Because it amuses me, here’s what people have been trying to find lately, only to end up here:

  • “nothing bundt cakes flavors”Nothing Bundt Cakes has over a dozen flavors and they are all good.  Always try the flavor of the month, call ahead if you want the holiday Pumpkin flavor, and do tell me if the February Red Velvet doesn’t impress your loved one.

  • “japan house, scripps ranch” – As far as I know, Japan House doesn’t have a website, but they are located at 12205 Scripps Poway Parkway, which is in the city of Poway, not San Diego.  It’s a little Americanized and sometimes the lone server gets overwhelmed (but he’s really nice and tries his best), but the food is standard and good and will definitely quell a craving for a teriyaki bento box.

  • “24 hour fitness annual renewal” – I pay $20 to renew my annual membership, due to some great deal I found years ago.  I hear most people pay $20 a month to stay home and not go to the gym they belong to. 

  • “gratuity tax restaurants” – Most restaurants add gratuity for large parties or during special events (San Diego Restaurant Week, anniversary menus, etc).  However, in all my eating, I’ve only come across one that adds tax on the added gratuity.  I’ve done the research and understand this is legal because once gratuity is no longer voluntary it becomes a taxable service charge.  Whatever.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially when it’s done by a mediocre chain restaurant.

  • “thai scripps poway parkway” – That would be Takhrai Thai, located in the same shopping center as Japan House and Nothing Bundt Cakes at 12265 Scripps Poway Parkway.  Good food!  Great lunch deals!  I would say their Thai food is better than Cafe de Thai, but I can’t argue with Cafe de Thai’s close proximity to home.

  • “cakes dogs can eat” – I’ve never made a cake specifically for my dogs, but ljc has.  I would think that as long as you stay away from chocolate, onions, grapes, salt, and excess sugar, any cake would be fine for dogs.  Just because it doesn’t taste good to you doesn’t mean your dog won’t enjoy it.  Dogs really like yogurt, cottage cheese, and peanut butter.  Mine love carrots.  If I were to make them a cake, I’d probably make a carrot cake (no raisins) without the sugar and frost it with cottage cheese.  Or I’d make pupcakes (get it? cupcakes for pups? ha ha!) so they can each eat one and not fight over a big cake.

  • “how to get more zucchini from a plant” – I’ve never had trouble with having too few zucchini from my plants.  If you find you aren’t getting a lot, perhaps you don’t have bees or bugs to properly polinate your plants?  Zucchinis put out two types of flowers: male and female.  One looks like a flower (I think that’s the male) and the other looks like a teeny tine baby zucchini with a flower on the end (female?).  The female flower needs to be pollinated by the male flower.  You can do this yourself by touching all the flowers to pollinate them.  But when you find you now have a glut of zucchini, please don’t come here searching for “what to do with too much zucchini”.  I will just tell you to make zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, or give it away.

  • “upscale fancy dinner party desserts” – I don’t know if you are looking to make desserts or buy them.  My dinner parties can get fancy, but they’re certainly not upscale.  I do well with my German Chocolate Cake, tiramisu, a molten chocolate cake, or chocolate fondue.  Small desserts are also a hit, as they look pretty on a platter: cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, coconut macaroons, small creampuffs, or mini scoops of ice cream.

  • “poway dining” – See here.  Also, here (hi Scott!).

Google is like Big Brother

Don’t you love how Google tells you how people found your page by search terms?  Some of them I get and I think it’s cool that maybe someone is learning that Nothing Bundt Cakes is a new shop here and that their lemon raspberry cake is awesome.

But, to the person who was looking for “truck mirror”?  Well, I don’t have a truck and I don’t think I’ve been talking about mirrors, although we do have a lot of them in the house.  So, good luck to you and I hope whoever broke your mirror gets seven years of bad luck.  Unless it was you, in which case that’s just total superstition and you should be just fine.