Archive for February, 2007

February Meeting of the OC Atheists

The next meeting of the Orange County Atheists will be held Thursday, February 15 at 7:30PM at the International House of Pancakes at 18542 MacArthur Blvd in Irvine. If you consider yourself an atheist, an agnostic, a freethinker, a humanist, or are just curious, check out this month’s event. If you’re planning on attending please RSVP at our website forums. Hope to see you there!

Sweetheart Steaks

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I was speechless.

Yesterday, I picked up the Stater Bros. Circular. Much to my amusement/dismay, they have heart-shaped “Boneless Rib-Eye Steak”. Ooh ooh, oooh and it’s “cut fresh daily” and only $4.99 per lb! Because you know, nothing says “I love you” like an animal carcass carved into the shape of a Valentine’s heart.

So is this a new phenomenon, or have I just missed it year after year? What’s next? A friend of mine suggested heart-shaped McNuggets. Mmmmm, now that sounds like some good eats!

The density of my skull

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Sometimes, as I wander through my day aimlessly, I see things that make me angry. Sometimes I have a tizzy-conniption-shit-hemorrhage resulting in my head literally exploding into a zillion teeny tiny pieces. Sometimes I merely weep for the future of humanity. Think of the following as different levels of Homeland Security Threat Advisories:

Bizarre: The cell-phone-photo to the right was snapped at the Main Place Mall outside of Abercrombie and Fitch. I understand they are known for their provocative photography, but why on earth did they digitally remove this man’s ass? They’ve gone from titillating to circus sideshow. It’s either Photoshop or Kyle XY. Either way it just looks bizarre. [A clearer version of the funky photo is available at A&F’s official web site].

Disruptive: Bobby Brown (Whitney’s baby-daddy not the cosmetics queen) will be appearing live at the Downtown Disney House of Blues this Saturday at 8 PM. Now, now people! Let’s not stampede to Ticket Master all at once. On second thought, I have a suspicion you won’t need to purchase these tickets in advance.

Mildly Annoying: I saw Clay Aiken at Mexi-Casa (on Lincoln in Anaheim); a perfectly good dining experience ruined by the Gaiyken.

Irritating: The sorry state of the 22 is really pissing me off. It’s supposedly “complete” but there is still road work happening between 405 and the 55. There are closed exits, incomplete carpool lanes, unfinished gaps in the sound-walls and construction garbage is absolutely everywhere. Even worse, the contractors say they will not be finished until June 2007, seven months behind schedule.

Retarded: Nguyen wins! Which Nguyen still remains to be decided.

Outrageous: Check out this C|Net story about how Sen. John McCain wants your ISP to start “automatically scanning [the] e-mail and instant messaging attachments” you send and receive.

Head Exploding Stupidity
: Two Words: “Hoax Devices

Gateway Sees the Green, Broadcom Drops 4%

Normally I’m not posting news on the financial state of Orange County and the High Tech companies that dot our landscape in Irvine and parts to the south, but two reports caught my eye:

Gateway and Broadcom

Gateway, a company that was the precursor to the “Apple Store” through their Gateway Country Retail stores finally showed a profit and is back in the black. According to AP, Gateway swung to the black after a tax break kicked in pushing them in to profitability. A net income of 8.8 million was reported, roughly 2 cents per share. Personal Computer sales still dropped 5%, giving them only a 6.6% share of the computer market, according to the Wired/AP story.

Broadcom reported a 76% drop in profit for the fourth quarter. based in Irvine, Broadcom is a major supplier of chips for cell phones and the iPod music player. Broadcom was recently involved in an investigation of it’s CEO and Executive Board after evidence arose of irregularities in its stock option grants. The drop in profit was due to a $6 million dollar charge to the company due to the investigations. Broadcom did report strong sales in chips due to the Nintendo Wii and strong sales of bluetooth handsets and bluetooth headsets.

Schools by the Freeway

A recent USC study, go here to read the gist, has found strong evidence linking children’s overall lung health to their home’s proximity to freeways. I believe that within 1/3 of a mile was the distance the study included.

I have always been dubious of homes and schools being built so close to freeways. I have never thought that it was a good idea, and would not buy a home that backed up to a freeway, even if it was only a dollar. Seriously.

I have never been thrilled with the fact that the public school my son is supposed to atttend in a few years is directly off the most congested freeway in Orange County, but this study made me feel even worse. Granted, it is not the same as living near one, but I think I can safely extrapolate that being at a site, for 6-7 hours a day, five days a week, ain’t exactly a good thing either.

We haven’t decided if we will send him to public or private school yet. But, there are even some very pricey private schools in our area located with the freeway as their backyard as well.

Do you think the Orange Unified School District would think I am a total nut if I asked for my son to be able to attend a different school? I can either be thought of as a nut and not contribute to the blackening of my child’s lungs (although I do realize that living in SoCal itself is a contributor) or say nothing for fear of rocking the boat.

I’ve never been one to shy away from making waves, though.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Football

On Sunday, we decided to eschew the Super Bowl parties and take advantage of the beautiful 80+ degree day.

Prematurely, we congratulated ourselves on being able to avoid the crowds that normally congregate in fun places on the weekend. Because, of course, with football being so popular, we figured everyone would be somewhere, watching two teams named after animals play in a rainy place known as Miami.

Uh, wrong.

When we got to Boomer’s in Huntington Beach (decision to go there courtesy of $30 in gift certificates we got from a friend at Christmas) we expected to see an empty, desolate parking lot. Instead, it was packed.

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones ditching the game.

Instead of breezing through the 18 holes of miniature golf, we had to do the thing where you wait for the two groups in front of you, and possibly make fun of them with the other people you are waiting with. Because, you just cannot take a child to a place with miniature golf and then not do it. Not if you want to retain your ability to hear, anyway.

So it seems that football does not retain Southern California in its grip. At least not until we get a team here, anyway.

Election Day in the 1st Supervisorial

If you live in the City of Westminster, Santa Ana, or Garden Grove today is Election Day!

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Map Created by the OC Registrar of Voters

The fun of being part of a special election, the OC has seen a lot of them, is today. Go to the Registrar of Voters for more information on your polling locations or where to turn in your absentee ballots.

Since you’re not voting on a laundry list of propositions or offices, it should take you about 3-4 minutes to cast your ballot. Taking 3-4 minutes to make a decision that will guide the money and resources into the area that you live is not too much time out of your day.

After you vote, join your local bloggers at “The Last Tally” @ Proof in Downtown Santa Ana. I’ll have the returns on the big screen, the party kicks off at 10pm which will be when the final numbers will be coming in from the Registrar of Voters. More info can be found here (for the D) and here (for the R), and Independents click here to download the flier.

Welcome Pittsburgh!

The first new Metroblogging city of 2007 is now live – take a visit to Pittsburgh!

“Swan” Lake

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Have you seen the Psycho Android Fairy Swans from the Killer Robot Future? That’s the name my wife gave them at least. These “fairy swans” recently appeared in the castle moat over at Disneyland. In fact, fairy wings have been popping up all over the Resort as part of their Year of a Million Dreams campaign. As far as the eye can see, it’s pink and purple and curves and points.

While these new objects d’art add some visual flair to various areas of the Resort, the swans floating on clouds floating on water seem particularly avant-garde. As the young child standing next to us noted, “they look mean”. Which seems appropriate, because real swans are not known for their pleasant disposition.

The Whole Enchilada

On a whim, the better half and I ate dinner in Placentia last night. We were in the area for shopping purposes and decided to stop at The Whole Enchilada on impulse; we liked the restaurant’s name. I suppose that’s as good a reason as any to patronize an establishment. For instance, I am more likely to patronize a salon called “Haircut 100” than one called “Regis”.

The Placentia location (The Whole Enchilada is a local chain) was once a coffee shop of some sort, you can tell by the building’s sharp pointed roofing, jutting too and fro with out-sized expansive windows on all sides. It has obviously been extensively remodeled with a ridiculous tile roof and lots of stucco. The bizarre results leave the exterior of the building looking like a kooky mash-up of Googie architecture and a strip-mall hacienda. What the place lacks in finesse, it makes up for in effort. At least they made good use of an old building. That type of thing is a rarity in this bulldoze-it-and-start-over day and age.

The interior is clean, the decor is pleasant and the atmosphere is sufficiently pleasing, if not a bit sterile. I personally feel The Whole Enchilada could benefit by dimming the lights a bit and cranking up the ethnic music. It might help remove the tinge of cafeteria that seems to be creeping in around the edges.

The food itself is Mexican by way of Middle America. If you want authentic you might as well just head south to the source. They claim they serve authentic food, but then again, so does Taco Time. The usual chips and salsa were presented and I must say the salsa was right up my alley. Their menu says it’s “award winning”, and I am inclined to believe them, it’s some of the best I’ve had. It had substance without singeing off my eyebrows (and taste buds).

The main course portions were colossal and the standard rice and bean sides were adequate in taste and copious in size. How you feel about the restaurant’s name sake will depend on how you feel about the liberal application of cheese to your food. I’m not kidding; these cheese enchiladas could put a strain on the economy of Tillamook County. There is more dairy in one of these puppies than I have ever encountered anywhere else on the planet. Ah… so much cheese, so little time. Of course, my biggest mistake was ordering two.

The menu had a selection for all tastes, including a “light” menu that shockingly seemed to offer actual low-fat, low-carb, low-cal foods. While there is plenty for vegetarians, there’s virtually nothing for vegans, so if animal byproduct is not your thing, then you’ll want to skip it. Dinner for two with blended drinks was just under thirty-five dollars. Would I go back again? Maybe. Would I order two enchiladas again? Never.

The Whole Enchilada is located at 106 E. Yorba Linda Blvd. (at Bradford) Placentia, CA 92870 and is open seven days a week.

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