Category Archives: google

Two things

Happy Black Friday!  I hope not too many of you got up at 4 am to stand in line, in the dark, to fight over a ridiculously discounted item.  Perhaps some of you decided to go the online route.  Perhaps other are thinking, like me, that you have other things to do instead of sweating over getting the absolute Greatest Deal Ever.  I was contemplating the Sears sale for a front-loading washer and dryer for only $999, but I guess our existing set works just fine. 

Anyway, I noticed someone googled “Reynolds Handi Vac doesn’t work” and got here and I’m not sure why.  Because I am a huge advocate of the Handi-Vac and think it works wonderfully!  I’ve now seen the sealer and bags at both Target and Wal-Mart (very similar in price, too, and cheaper than the grocery store).  Our green onions are still green – no hint of brown or anything else yucky!  The pita bread has been opened and resealed numerous times and it’s still “fresh” and the seal is still holding up extremely well.  T complains that the pita bread got smushed, but I’m not really sure how fluffy it was to begin with.

Now, it is tricky to get the wand nozzle situated correctly for optimal vacuuming.  Press too hard and the air flow is restricted; press too lightly and you don’t get a good seal.  But, you should be able to get it right after practicing only a few times.  I have noticed that when I sealed up the raw filets and flap steak, if meat juice came near the sealing spot, I had to open the bag, wipe dry that area and try again.  This is most likely why Reynolds doesn’t advocate sealing liquidy items.  But other than that, we haven’t had any problems and I’m loving this little item.  I have no desire to spend hundreds of dollars on a Food Saver now.

Interestingly enough, an ad from Bed Bath & Beyond came in the mail the other day and they advertised a wand vacuum sealer similar to the Reynolds Handi-Vac but theirs was $30!  And 5 quart bags cost $4!  For just under $3, you can buy a box of 15 Reynolds quart bags for the Handi-Vac.

There was also a google search for “how much a mini american eskimo sheds”.  Well, they shed a lot.  And it’s white fur, so it shows up on a lot of clothes, including jeans.  I have to say, though, I think Lexi sheds much more than Cassie.  You could brush them every day, but they’d still shed.  If I brush Lexi, I come away with a pile of fur.  Now, Sadie the Husky is the real shedder.  You look at her funny and her fur flies off!  I should be better about brushing them, but I’m just not.

If you already have an Eskie, it’s probably not going to be noticeable to add a second one.  And my argument still stands that if you have two dogs, a third really isn’t that much more work.  Except for the yard picking-up part.  But, if you have no dogs, you will definitely notice the fur in your house after getting just one.

Misc. stuff

Just some random notes…

T and I will be in Orlando later this week for the ASCE 137th Annual Civil Engineering Conference.  Woohoo!  3 days of speakers and sessions and meetings (especially for T).  We will be flying back Monday to give ourselves a bit of time to explore the wonders of Disney.  Like Epcot, during the Food and Wine Festival.  And the Animal Kingdom.  Because our schedules are a little out of sync (my sessions end Saturday morning, while T is in meetings all day Saturday), perhaps I will splurge and take a nice spa day, too.

Also, there have been some interesting Googles coming this way.  Instead of listing out the exact terms people are searching with, I’m just going to offer my notes and thoughts:

  • Method aroma sticks” smell good, look pretty, and are way cheaper than the ones you find in specialty stores.  If you can find the peppermint vanilla during the holiday, definitely buy it.
  • The only “quick brownies” I know of are the ones from the box, but even those take half an hour to bake.  Still, they’re decent brownies.  There are microwaveable cakes and brownies, taking a couple minutes to “cook” but I’m skeptical of how tasty they are and if it’s really worth the time saved.
  • Yes, we have a “three dog household” + 2 cats (so it’s a full house, ha ha!) and there’s a lot of fur around here.  Thank goodness we’re not allergic to anything.
  • For crying out loud, go buy some tasty things from “Nothing Bundt Cakes” already.  Especially the one on Scripps Poway Parkway, because I want that store to stick around for a long time.  Even though they close at 6pm and I’m sometimes not even home by then.
  • The “Costco plastic cutlery” comes in a box with forks, knives, and spoons and they are quite sturdy.  If you’re not careful, you could actually hurt yourselves with the knives.  Handy for parties because you get, like, hundreds of the things.
  • Be Wise Ranch” has resumed deliveries, the owners lost their home, they are rebounding very well, and don’t you dare ask them for a refund for that one missed week!
  • “Chef Gavin Kaysen” was eliminated on TNIC (so not his fault due to the melted ice washing away his salt), he is leaving El Bizcocho for New York, and he’s still cute.
  • “caramel corn using cheese puffs recipes” – see here
  • We have two “mini american eskimo” pups here, hence the need for the “Roomba for Pets”.  They are barky dogs, shed a lot of fur, surprisingly don’t get dirty (it seems to just fall off them), and have very funny personalities.  Lexi is our circus dog and can stand on her hind legs for a long time.  Cassie is just a love bug and if I had to grab one thing to save from this house it would be her.  Because T would grab Clair.  I’m kidding.  Kinda.

See you when we get back!

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?