Category Archives: grumble

this is why you’re broke

There are a couple of forums I scroll through, usually to fill time when I’m completely bored (and, no, this is not about Chowhound).  Today I was reading a thread in which someone complained about their paychecks not being delivered on time, which resulted in their bank account being overdrawn.  Posts continued and then morphed into a Banks Are Evil theme.  Some posts were written by reasonable people who gave radical advice, such as keeping a cushion in your account or keeping accurate checkbook records so you know how much money you have or not spending money until you’ve checked that your deposits are cleared.  Crazy!  What really got me, though, was the poster who claimed that it’s hard to keep extra money in the bank when you’re always living paycheck to paycheck.  Then they added at the end that they usually do try to keep $50 as their cushion to cover their Xbox Live fees.

Dude.  If money is so tight, maybe you should consider giving up whatever is costing you $50 a month in Xbox Live fees.

stuff I don’t get

Slowly, slowly, I learn more tips and tricks in the technological world. One that is worth passing along involves Microsoft Outlook and the auto-fill with e-mail addresses. You know how you can type in a letter in the To: field and you’ll get a list of e-mail addresses you’ve used before? And sometimes people change their e-mail address but you forget and just go with the one that pops up in the auto-fill list? Well, to delete these outdated and not-useful e-mails, just scroll down to the e-mail address in the auto-fill list and press Delete. It’s gone. Now, when you start typing in someone’s name, their current e-mail address should be the only one there! Ta da!

Now that I’ve led off with a helpful hint, I feel justified in ranting a little bit. Apparently, there is some driving conference taking place soon and people from all over will be speaking on how drivers who text or talk on the phone have killed or maimed someone they know and love. I guess it’s a tactic to try and get stricter legislation created?

Does it bother anyone else that it seems like no one in California even cares that the no-cell-phones-while-driving law was passed? Do you ever see someone getting pulled over for it? I swear, I pass at least 5 people talking on their cell phones (or looking like they’re texting) throughout my day. Me? I either use my headset or wait until I get to where I’m going (if my headset battery is dead). I’ve also recently re-connected my phone to my car’s Bluetooth system, so if you call while I’m in the car and it sounds funny, please let me know. My theory is that all these iPhone software upgrades have made the connection technology work better? I don’t even know if that’s something you can do with software.

Is it normal that I hate it when I play by the rules and it feels like no one else does? But, I just know if I tried to do something like that, I would totally get caught. It feels like people made such a fuss about the cell phone law getting passed, but the driving environment is still the same! People driving slowly in the fast lanes because they’re on their phone; people looking like they’re going to swerve into me because they’re fiddling with their phone and not looking at the road.

While I’m on my soapbox, I going to also complain about my neighbors who run their sprinklers every day even though we’re supposed to be on a drought schedule! I think they sometimes run their sprinklers twice a day! As a side note, our lawn stopped dying and seems to have adjusted to the reduced watering schedule. Although, it did get a little crunchy during that stretch of hot summer weather and the mint plant completely up and died.

End rant. I’m also trying to see if this will post using e-mail. Fingers crossed!

Chicken update: they are in their outside coop; Sadie has been sleeping under the coop all day and night; the chickens love crickets and mealworms; they will still not lay eggs for another 5 months or so; I apparently now suffer from empty-nest syndrome (empty brooder?) and am craving new chicky fluff balls (it’s sad, really).

and my response

It has been brought to my attention that this post gives the impression that I think commodity beef rocks and that there’s no real point to going organic/natural/grass-fed/pastured/etc.  Aside from the fact that I think the term “commodity beef”  is this year’s “fresh and local” catchphrase, I would like to clarify my point.  I think pastured, grass-fed beef is great and organic foods are awesome and if everyone could afford to shop and dine this way the world would be happy (or something).  I have nothing against that philosophy.  I don’t like the idea of chickens living in cramped quarters, working in little egg sweatshops or being fattened prematurely so they can be marketed earlier.  Having said that, sometimes you just can’t afford to buy a $15 chicken.  I do what I can, applaud those who can do it more often, and certainly don’t judge those who need to budget their income around Walmart Supercenter prices. 

What I was trying to say is that I think it’s lame to call a restaurant lame just because it’s using commodity beef.  Are you saying all restaurants HAVE to use the premium ingredients and if they can’t afford to then they shouldn’t even open at all?  Should Vons close down because they offer non-organic produce?  That’s what I think it lame – the attitude that’s it all or nothing.  Life isn’t all or nothing.  People who don’t want to pay the premium for premium ingredients shouldn’t be denied a good meal out because you think it’s lame.

The End.

ps to the local paper – the term is “prix fixe” and it doesn’t really translate to “pre-fixed”.  Yes, it kind of make sense in that the menu price is fixed ahead of time, but still…

overheard

they use commodity beef, which is lame

*sigh* If I had a nickel for every pretentious, unnecessary remark I come across on Chowhound, I would be able to stop working and spend all day reading cookbooks.

Does every new restaurant that opens within San Diego County have to have all organic, all natural, free-range, grass-fed something or other?  Really?  Because I don’t think they do.  I think higher prices and smaller portions can be excused (but maybe not always justified) for the higher quality ingredients, but if they make a tasty dish and can keep it at a nice price point, then who am I to complain?  If that’s what it takes for them to open up and make some sort of profit, then leave them alone.  I can’t imagine how hard it is to stay afloat in the restaurant business these days.  Any days.  And, if they manage to celebrate an anniversary, maybe then you can start thinking about nudging them towards fancy ingredients.

Geez.  Lighten up, Chowhound.

because I can

I have to admit that there is often valuable information on Chowhound. Reviews of new places that haven’t triggered a visit, reviews of new places that put them towards the bottom of our must-visit list, recommendations for cities we’ll see on vacation, and sometimes ideas for new recipes (in Home Cooking). If you read enough posts, you get an idea of whose posts are worth ignoring and which posters actually offer constructive advice and criticism. There are posters who rave on and on about a food spot, to a point where you wonder if they have financial ties to these places or if they just can’t bring themselves to give negative feedback. On the other hand, you have posters who have nothing but spite for San Diego dining, nothing is ever good enough, and they are never satisfied, to the point where you wonder if they’re only dining out so they have something to complain about.

The argument has been had, quite often on Chowhound, that while San Diego is not a San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles, we certainly have our fair share of good restaurants.

It should be noted that it is impossible to call someone out on Chowhound, because you will just end up in some never-ending argument, everyone starts to take sides, and then moderators will delete the whole thing due to being off-topic.

Which is why people have blogs.

So, to “h*nkman”, I say that you must be some grumpy old man who has so much money that you enjoy spending it on food that is clearly not worthy of your praise. I also think your taste buds are completely backwards because you are one of the few that had nothing but the highest praise for The Better Half, a restaurant I visited and found quite lacking, in quantity, quality, and just general taste. Even after other people confirmed my experience, you just all out defended the place. I’m not about to get into an online argument with you over your criticism of Luc’s Bistro, but if you were so unhappy with your meal (bland? Their food may be many things, but it is never bland) I’d rather you didn’t go back for a revisit. I’d rather you just drive around San Diego with our terrible service and undeserving food and be happy with your odd tastes that enjoy bland mushy fish with a side of overcooked noodles coated in bottled chili sauce.

I will be honest and say that I may have a slight bias towards Luc’s. They are new, the owners are friendly and we’ve spent a lot of time talking to them, and I want them to succeed. They have good food and decent prices and they are unique to Poway. We’ve gone there often enough, and from the start, that they recognize us when we walk in (and sometimes tell us when our friends have recently visited, too) and I really like that. But, if I didn’t enjoy the food, if the service was always terrible, or if anything else caused us to have a poor dining experience, you can bet that we wouldn’t be there. I’ve been to The Better Half once and only once and never had a desire to return. When La Fontana was still around, we went once and only once. I dined at The Brig, only to please T’s curiosity, and we have not returned since.

We also have fairly simply tastes. While I like fancy restaurants and pretty presentation, I’m also just as happy with a grilled sausage at home. We’ll splurge on a meal on vacation, at the famous restaurant in the city, and sometimes it feels worth it. Sometimes it just feels like we spent a lot of money on regular food. One day, we’ll pile our money together at dine at El Bizcocho, but I’m not in such a hurry to do so. Not when we can fill our bellies with good food and be happy for much less money.

There are many places around San Diego that we enjoy. The truth is that we just don’t get out to all of them as often as we’d like. For starters, we live in Poway and it takes effort to drive all the way down to North Park or Starlite or sometimes even Convoy. It’s easier if we leave from our offices, but that takes advanced planning and most of our dining out occurs on weekends. After work, we kind of just want to head home and stay there. If Luc’s was anywhere but Poway, as good as it is, the truth is we probably wouldn’t go as often. So, part of its charm is that it’s so close to home and it’s so convenient for us. Which is probably another reason I’d really like to see them stay. I’ve eaten at the restaurants that preceded them and they are, by far, the best to occupy that space.

So, pooh on you, grumpy Chowhound posters.  You may think you know what you’re talking about, but I don’t think you’re rightly justified in walking around my town with your nose up in the air being all condescending and harsh.