Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Christmas is a very close second. I mean what other holiday can kids dress up and get candy for free?

Each year, the Mister and I would pick a horror movie to watch on Halloween night, after I've carved all my pumpkins. One year, I carved 4 large pumpkins and boy, were my fingers sore afterwards. This year, I'm only doing 1 but the Mister has agreed to carve one too. In all our years together, this will be the first pumpkin he'll be carving. There's a first for everything. Tonight, we're watching The Serpent and the Rainbow. Some of our past favorites are: The Exorcist, The Fog (original), and Halloween.

So to celebrate this wonderful holiday, here are some Halloween trivia from Wikipedia:

  • The term halloween is derived from All-hallow-even (which is the eve of All Hallows' Day).
  • Modern day halloween's origins is linked to the ancient Gaelic festival known as Samhain.
  • Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century.
  • The commercialization of Halloween in the United States did not start until the 20th century, beginning perhaps with Halloween postcards which were most popular between 1905 and 1915.
  • Mass-produced Halloween costumes did not appear in stores until the 1930s, and trick-or-treating did not become a fixture of the holiday until the 1950s.
  • In the United States, Halloween has become the sixth most profitable holiday.
  • Celebration of Halloween in Mexico during the last 40 years have been influenced by the American traditions.

Stay safe, be scary, and have a great Halloween!

Postscript: Here's a picture of the pumpkins we carved tonight. The Mister carved the scary ghost on the left (Oogie Boogie) and I carved the one on the right (self explanatory).

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Still Don't Feel Like Blogging

Actually, it's because I had to get a root canal and I'm just kind of blah. It was really just one root canal that had to be cleaned because it was a missed canal from a molar that had one a quite a few years ago. Odd how that one lone root survived so long. Then when it went abscessed, it went with a bang. Had to go on antibiotics to get rid of the infection, sheesh! So that's the latest drama in my life, hehe. It was just more of an annoyance than anything else. Having to chew only on one side of the mouth was the worst. If you haven't had to do that before, try it for awhile and you'll know what I mean.

So, vacation stories will have to wait until I'm in the mood. Also, I've got 3 quilt projects that I'm trying to complete. One of them is a baby blanket for an ex-boss' new baby girl. That's priority. Another one, which I haven't even started planning, is for an expected baby girl of a friend. But that one isn't due for a few more months. Yup, exciting isn't it (oozing sarcasm here, folks).

Oh yeah, the Mister and I tried a new sushi place in Poway for lunch on Sunday. It was new to us, although we don't know how long it's been in Poway. It's called Poway Sushi Lounge. Two of the owners used to work at Sushi on the Rock so we figured we'd give it a shot. You can review the menu on their website. It was pretty good. We got the sashimi combo and it was good. Let's see if I can remember everything on it: maguro, hamachi, salmon, I think mackerel, and seared hamachi, which was interesting.

We also tried the ichiballs, which were good, too. I ordered the Centipede roll and it was just so-so. The spicy tuna in it had a kick but other than that, it was missing something. We also ordered the tako sunomono and it was very good. There was 3 kinds of seaweed and the tako was okay, slightly on the chewy side. But good flavor overall.

I noticed that they have happy hour Monday-Friday and offered a range of sake martinis. I had one in Kauai and wasn't a fan. But happy hour might be something fun to try. Overall, we'd go back and we won't have to drive too far. Oh yeah, service was great and the people were very friendly. Lunch with sodas totaled ~$50 without tip. About average for us.

I told the Mister that I want to go to Sammy Sushi this weekend. It's been on my list for awhile now. And now that the Mister has his taste back for sushi, I've got to exploit it while I can!

Have a great week, everyone. Now go and eat well.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting Back to Normal

Who would have thunk that on our first full day back from Kauai, we'd be coming home to San Diego's Fire Storms 2007? At least I think that's what the media dubbed the fires. It seems so long ago that we were there, oddily enough. We did some errands this morning and looks like many are getting their lives back to normal. I'm lucky to report that we suffered no damage from the fire, or any of my extended families. Just a lot of cleaning up to do.

I've heard a few sad stories from friends and acquaintences and my heart and thoughts go out to them.

As for getting back to normal, I still don't have the camera unpacked from the trip so those pictures will have to wait along with the write-ups. I do want to say that the Mister and I loved Kauai and have already agreed that we're going to go back next year as our big vacation. I'll have more later on the trip. I'm kind of in a lull right now and don't have a lot of enthusiasm to blog. But hopefully once I'm back to my normal routine, I'll get back to it. Until then, stay safe, have fun and eat well.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

San Diego County State of Emergency

Emergency officials are reminding residents to limit cell phone calls and use major highways for emergencies only.

Call 2-1-1 San Diego for 24-hour community, health and disaster information.

Updated information from SDG&E:

Here are some links for Emergency Information regarding areas affected by the various wildfires in San Diego County.


San Diego County Emergency Homepage:

Fox Channel 6 Evacuation information:

Road Closures on Channel 8 website:

Please stay away from all fire areas, use common sense and stay safe.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Howzit from Pearl Harbor!

Howzit everyone? I'm literally in Pearl Harbor since we're staying at the Navy Lodge on Ford Island. Just a stone skip away from the Arizona Memorial. Just wanted to pop in to say hello. Weather has been great. We had just a little sprinkle of rain this morning for about 10 minutes. I popped over to Mark's Drive Inn for some lunch while the Mister is working today. Also did a little shopping although I didn't go over to the Aloha Stadium flea market. I should have cuz I'm going through some serious crack seed withdrawals. My favorite crack seed is Rock Salt Plum. I like all the various li hing mui seeds. Tourist plums can be really good but depends on the brand. Maybe I'll have to place an order with the Crack Seed Center when I get back home. If you're ever at Ala Moana, visit the Crack Seed Center to see all the various preserves in big glass jars. They also has lots of dried goods, which the Mister calls stinky fish. Yummy stinky cuttlefish!!

I've spent most of this afternoon planning our site seeing list agenda on Kauai. We'll be on Kauai about 1:30 pm tomorrow. So more later. Aloha and hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Postscript: I actually listened to the last 2 Sabres games and what a difference a few days make. I think Lindy Ruff was reading my mind, hehe. They look more like last year's President's Award winners and can't wait to watch Saturday's game on TiVo.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Aloha oe, again!

It's that time again! I'm off to Hawaii tomorrow for a much needed vacation. The last quick 3-day trip just wasn't long enough. Not sure how much time I'll have but I will try to post updates when I can.

We'll be staying in Honolulu through the weekend and then we'll be off to Kauai on Monday! The Mister and I are hoping to get into Waikiki on Friday for dinner at Chiba-ken, yum! More on Chiba-ken here and here. I got my handy restaurant list all ready to go. And I'm really looking forward to a spa treatment at the Grand Hyatt. It's been over a year (I think) since my last spa treatment and that is just way too long.

In the meantime, have fun, eat well, and enjoy life. A hui hou kakou (until we meet again)!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fun Quizzes for Tuesday

I'm still not able to find something of interest to blog about and trying to stay away from headliners such as the sky is falling, the Earth is swallowing us up, we're all going to die of dehydration with eminent, civilization-devistating droughts, blah blah blah. Instead I thought, why not have a little fun with some useless trivia?" The Mister is a master of this kind of trivia. Amazing what he can pull out of his...sometimes. As a matter of fact, together as a Cranium® team, we are a killer team. My artistic skills, especially with that blue Playdo-like substance, is a great compliment to the Mister's cavernous well of trivia knowledge.

Click here for a short Movies Quotes quiz, which I scored a measely 10 out of 13.

I did even worse on the Famous Quotes questions (7/12).

I did better on the Misquotes Quiz but it's really a test of grammar skills. Guess that would only be a B.

How about a Stranger than Fiction quiz? I got another whopping 8/10.

And of course I had to take the Dog quiz. And of course, I scored the best on this quiz, 9/10. I didn't know the name of George W's dog.

You can try other quizzes from the main page. Have fun!

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Sad Sports Weekend

The Buffalo Sabres lost both its first 2 games. Sigh...they actually look hauntingly familiar to the end of last season, which is not good. I suppose part of it could be blamed on the abscence of Drury and Briere but I don't know how much credence I would give that explanantion (notice I didn't say excuse?). The majority of these guys were on the team last year. So it's not as if they were playing with all new teammates or a new coach. Half the time, the guys played like they didn't know where anyone was. So the lines were different, but how is that different than what Lindy Ruff was doing towards the end of last year and throughout the playoffs? But maybe that's the problem. Not much has changed other than a few faces from last season.

Ruff had a difference of opinion, "We improved in a lot of areas, we improved defensively. Our penalty killing was a lot more aggressive and on the same page. I thought our power play, we had two or three that were really good, and we got one power-play goal." He must mean having them play a little more up ice on the blue line and shooting a little more. That’s what gave Spacek his opportunities to score. But I still don’t think they are shooting enough.

The Sabres had 8 PP opportunities, that's 4 more than what they gave the Islanders. Okay, so that's definitely a positive. But both teams had 1 power-play score. Hmm, 1:8 ratio doesn't look all that good to me, but then maybe my expectations are a little higher than Ruff's and maybe he's thinking 1 is better than none. Another thing that irritated the crap out of me was that the Sabres were back to their puck-passing dance during PPs. They have got to increase their shots on goals during PPs rather than sitting back on their heals, passing the puck back and forth waiting for that perfect shot. Sometimes you just got to let it rip and be there for the rebound. If it takes you 3-5 seconds to set up your shot, what do you think your opponents are doing during that time?

Friday's 1st period actually looked like the Sabres that everyone feared last season, actually looked like the President's Cup Award winners. But the rest looked just like the team toward the end of last season. Maybe their penalty killing skills have improved, I don't know. I didn't do a comparison on those stats. And let's tell it like it is okay? Capitalizing on power-plays was and still is one of problems they struggle with. But maybe Spacek will change this.

We should be thankful that Ruff took what Spacek said to heart. Ruff and Spacek had an “airing out” conversation at the end of last season. Who would have thunk Spacek would be the go to man for PPs? Hey, if he want to earn his big paycheck, I say let him! I’m all for call him “da PP man” rather than the putz who looks like Dan Akyroid. Perhaps Ruff will learn from this and have similar talks with the rest of the team before the team becomes 1-10 (oh geez, just shoot me now).

In all fairness, the Sabres did have chances to tie or even win the game. Sometimes it all rides on the luck of the bounce. If Connolly had a little more luck, a couple of his crossbar hits would have bounced right into the net.

Ruff also said, “It’s going to be baby steps. There’s some guys that are trying to find their way, and this is a test for us.” Well, okay, I'll agree with that for now. But let's see how far the baby steps take them at mid-season. Maybe Ruff needs to run some tapes from earlier games of last season when they were so deadly to Friday and Saturday's games. It certainly can't hurt.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Buffalo Sabres Season Opener Tonight

Yes, kids, it's that time! Sabres are opening their 2007-08 season tonight against the Islanders on home turf at 7:30 ET. Game will be shown on MSG in HD (HD baby!). Everyone watching will be interested to see how the Sabres do without last year's co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Well, let's not get into my feelings about the loss of Drury. I'm trying hard to move on. It is what it is.

Don't' have much time to blog today since I'll be stuck in a half day management meeting. Geez Louise. But guess what? It's Aloha Friday, do dee, something something something! And it's a game night! woohoo! I just got to make it through that meeting without killing anyone. I'll secretly sit there singing the Aloha Friday diddy in my head, doing my toned down version Friday dance, and hide away in my own little Brazil. hehe. Gotta run. Have a wonderful weekend. Now go and eat well. And if you have some time, try to catch a hockey game or two!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kauai - My Motivator Today

On these kind of ho-hum days, it's really hard for me to be motivated about anything. I hate it when I get into these moods. Lucky for the Mister that these moods aren't the norm. Work has me pretty down, which unfortunately has been the norm lately. So in a half-assed effort to motivate myself to find something positive, I searched to find something in today's news to blog about. But it's not going so well and I feel like I'm trapped in the song, Dirty Laundry, by Don Henley. I'm sure there's a bubble-headed bleach blonde looming around the corner just waiting to kick me when I'm down.

So rather than be a wet rag and infect everyone with my blah mood (the Mister already got an earful of it this morning), I thought I'd focus on one thing that does make me happy and excited. It's our upcoming trip to Kauai. Leave it to Hawaii to cheer me up, hehe.

Here are some interesting things (at least to me) about Kauai that I found. Many of these places are sites I want to see. Kauai is called the Garden Island, which I'm told is very obvious once there. The National Tropical Botanical Garden, the only garden of its kind to be chartered by Congress, is located in the South Shore. Not only will you find an array of plants and flowers, you'll also see some ancient Hawaiian stone walls and taro terraces. A side note about being chartered by Congress. I had to look this up because I don't know what it means to be chartered by Congress other than it required a law to be passed like a Bill (remember that School House Rock about the Bill? "I'm only a bill, sitting on Capitol Hill..."). And in all honesty, I still don't know what the significance is and that it's quite nebulous to us common folks. I actually read a CRS Report for Congress (all 17 pages) by Ronald C. Moe that comes to the same conclusion. Read this if you have trouble sleeping tonight. It'll put you right out.

If you've ever been to Oahu or Maui, chances are good you've seen at least one of the blow holes. Kauai's blow hole, Spouting Horn, is also located in the South Shore. Can't wait to add pictures of that to my blow hole picture collection.

In the Lihue/Kalapaki area, you'll find the Wailua Falls featuring 80-feet waterfalls. This is where they shot the opening scene of "Fantasy Island," that is if you're old enough to remember the show.

If you're interested in seeing ancient sites, the Coconut Coast (north of Lihue) is the place to go. One of the ancient site is an old legend about the Sleeping Giant, or the Nounou Mountain. I think this was one of the first legends I learned about in school. The legend says the Nounou Mountain was a pesky giant who ate constantly. The Wailua villagers were tired of feeding the giant and tricked him into eating a bunch of rocks hidden in fish and poi. The giant was so full that he lay down to take a nap, fell into a deep sleep, and has yet to wake up. Funny to this day, I still cannot see the sleeping giant when looking at a picture of the Mountain. The Big Island is really good for this type of site seeing, too. But that's another blog for another day.

In the North Shore of Kauai, you'll also find more sites shot in movies. A scene with Mitzi Gaynor from "South Pacific" was shot at Lumahai Beach (she's washing that guy right out of her hair). Old history can be found in the town of Hanalei. It's one of the earliest areas settled by the ancient Pacific voyagers. If you're into scuba diving, you might want to check out the Waikanaloa and Waikapalae Wet Caves.

And finally, the West Side. Here you will find the Captain Cook Monument, where British Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii in 1778. This is not to be confused by the Captain Cook's Monument on the Big Island, where he was killed. The monument in Waimea is a replica of the one that stands in his home town of Whitby, England. Also on the West Side, the main street in the town Hanapepe was used in the miniseries, "The Thorn Birds."

One of my rituals prior to visiting the islands is searching for local events. Unfortunately, we will miss the Eo e Emalani i Alaka`i Festival on 13 October, 2007 to be held at Kokee State Park. This festival is in honor of Queen Ema. I think it would have been fun attending the Festival.

Well, that's it for this blah day. I'm off to pick up my lunch from Spices of Thai. Maybe that will give me the pick-me-up that I need. Think I'll play a bit of Rayman on the Wii when I get home. Those rabid bunnies just crack me up!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

That Is Not Ratatouille in Mission Bay Park

Can you imagine this? You, your sweetheart and your dog, taking a nice stroll along the jetty at sunset, enjoying this beautiful place we call San Diego. And then all of a sudden, you come across a scurrying blanket of black/gray accompanied by a very odd sound, almost like gnawing. The blanket is moving across the ground, almost wave-like. You can't really tell if it's a single organism or thousands of something else. Your skin begins to crawl, your dog's hackles raise like you've never seen it before, your sweetheart's palm goes cold and clammy. An excerpt out of a Stephen King novel you ask? Ney. It's the rat infestation at Mission Bay Park! Exaggeration? I don't think so.

Wow, how did I miss this story the first go around? My subconscious must have made my eyes gaze over this byline. You see, I hate rats. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Mice are right up there with rats. So just reading that there's a rat infestation at MBP makes my skin crawl. Well, not that I frequent MBP much, or ever. Closest I've been is to Fiesta (stinko) Island for a dog walk. But yes, my friends, there's a rat infestation at MBP. The rats would come out around sunset to forage on the trash in the picnic areas and along the shoreline rocks frequented by fishermen.

Exterminators contracted by the city Park and Recreation Department have been using rat poison in infested areas as part of the eradication plan, as well as clean-up maintenance. Good news is, the eradication seems to be working. But shall I ask the question that's begging to be asked? Where are all those dead rats? Perhaps they are in those little "rat condos' in the riprap, decaying among all those rat droppings. Ew, can you imagine the smell? And even if all the rats were gone, could you have a family picnic at MBP knowing that there was a Stephen King type infestation there? And speaking of rat droppings, what about all that in the picnic areas? I don't know about you but I think I'll keep my picnics to my backyard.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Weekend Report (10/1/2007)

It was a nice weekend here in San Diego. The Halo party on Saturday was really fun. The only disappointing thing about it was some of the food from Mo's Island Grill. The kalbi ribs was a total bomb, severely under marinated and lacked any flavor. None of us really dug into it and I ended up throwing much of it away. The Korean Chicken had good flavor but the crust was so-so. Most of the crust seemed like it fell off during the cooking process. The Lava Chicken was really good. This was the first time I tried the Lava Chicken. Kind of reminds me of chicken katsu but with a little more flavor in the batter. The Kalua Pork was tasty, although a bit too salty for my liking. The Mister and I agreed that the quality of Mo's has somewhat deteriorated in the past few months. It's a hit or miss, which is too bad because I felt Mo's was developing a serious following. I just don't understand how some places let this happen, certainly doesn't make good business sense. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop going (yet) but I certainly won't get their catering in the future. I sure hope they don't go down the same route as Da Kine's.

Other food at the party: chips and homemade salsa, homemade Hawaiian mac salad, watermelon, beans and salad for the Vegan friend, awesome sharp cheddar from Costco's cheese show and crackers. Nothing extravagant.

So back to the party. We started with the Nintendo Wii. It was really fun watching everyone playing all the various games. They did some bowling, tennis, boxing, Excite Truck, and my favorite, Rayman. I think Rayman was the funniest to watch because it probably was the most physically demanding of all the games, next to boxing. I only wish I had the camcorder going.

Then on to Halo 3. Like the rest of us, my friend, Jazzy, had a bit of a learning curve on the new mapping of the buttons. 99 did pretty well since he played the night before. Since there was only 4 of us playing Halo 3, the larger maps were a bit harder to navigate (where is everyone?), although the new Duel feature was really helpful once we figured that out. Infection wasn't as fun as I thought it was going to be but maybe it's better with more people. Overall, good game playing day.

Sunday was kind of a lazy day. The Mister watched football, I did laundry and took a nap (hehe). Now it's Monday and I'm back at work, ugh. So that's it. Have a wonderful week! Now go and eat well.

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