Monday, January 24, 2011

work thoughts

please bear with me for a moment while i briefly express myself.

i wish one or two of my jobs would pay better so i didn't have to do the third job. or that one of my hobbies was actually a job. or, maybe i just wish i didn't have a stack of papers to grade with no desire to grade them.

that's all.

monday haiku

if you're not watching
shameless then you are missing
out on great t.v.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

lunch review: watts family grill



good, solid bbq restaurant. i went there and ordered the watt's riot to go with some friends before one of the nfl games. i was happy that they were able to accommodate on the spot, and the guys behind us ordered the same without any problem.

the ribs were decent, but i've had a little better lately. the pork was amazing and tender. the chicken was decent, tri tip was good. what really stood out to me was the baked beans. they were great. almost like a chili bean.

the watts riot is a big meal, that they say serves 4. i think with all the sides and meat you could easily serve 5 or 6. i'm a big boy, and the guys with me are pretty big eaters as well and we had left overs.

good place, and it's pretty close to my neighborhood so i'll be back to try some of their combos or their chicken & waffles.

1448 N Blackstone Ave
Fresno, CA 93703
(559) 268-6800

Friday, January 14, 2011

"productive" friday

these are the things i accomplished (cough cough) today that make me feel "productive" about a friday:
- finished call of duty: black ops. i didn't realize i was almost done, and sorta feel that the storyline ends very weird. and unexpectedly.
- went to lowes to make sure they had door in stock. tomorrow, i'm getting a new front door & have a friend w/a truck going with me. didn't want to have him drive to the store to find out it wasn't in stock, so today i went over there to check.
- activated costco membership - yep, i'm a member again, this time thanks to a friend's family business that put me on their account. i also looked around, had a few samples, and ate a slice of pizza.
- bought coffee @ cafe corazon. still the best around, and every week i enjoy a walk over to buy a freshly roasted pound.
- researched scaffolding & ladders - as i move forward in my mural project, i'm going to need a tall ladder, and so i wanted to check rental prices from companies in fresno. i think i've found what i'm looking for.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3 cents

today i filled up the motorcycle at one of the gas stations i usually go to. there are two am/pm-arco's near my work, so i usually hit one of them up because the victory runs on premium, and they've got good prices. for those that don't know, am/pm takes cash & debit, and i usually pay cash. you can insert your money out at a terminal, and after you're done pumping you get change inside. my bike usually takes about 4 gallons to fill, and so that's always going to give me change off a $20.

such was the case today. i prepaid with a $20, and filled it up. when it was done, i noticed that my total was $13.37 (that's right geeks, 1337). i walked in and waited in line for my change, $6.63. when it was my turn, the salesclerk gave me my change and i walked out of the store.

as i put my change in my pocket, my mind turned over, because the change just didn't seem right. i hadn't looked closely at what the cashier had given me, just sort of glanced and put it in my pocket. did she give me only 3 coins? how could she have given me correct change with only 3 coins? so, i reached back into my pocket and could only feel 3 coins. i pulled them out - two quarters and a dime. i reached back in my pocket, no other coins to be found. the cashier shorted me three cents. i stood there dumbfounded for a second, wondering if i should just move along with my day, or go back and get my 3 cents. i mean, it's only 3 cents. and as i stood there thinking, i got a little bit pissed. it wasn't about the actual worth of the money, it was about the principle of it.

i went back inside and stood in line for the same cashier. when i got to the front of the line, i said to the cashier, "you shorted me on my change. it's only three cents but..." and before i could finish she was handing me the three cents. she didn't check my change, didn't check my receipt, didn't let me finish and tell her how much it was. it really seemed like she knew exactly how much she had shorted me, and was quick to fix the error.. it felt like she had intentionally shorted me and probably does it regularly to customers, but most of us just stuff our change in our pocket without checking. sure, it was only 3 cents to me, but over thousand of transactions it adds up nicely for the business. shady.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

el olio wolof final concert review

i know i've blogged a lot lately about el olio wolof, but i don't mind. they were a great band, and i think have had big impact on the fresno & greater valley indie scene over the last six + years. when i heard they were moving on to other things, i knew i wanted to see them every chance i could get. i saw their last fresno show, and when i talked to r.c. and he told me about their very last show ever, i knew i needed to at least try to be there. there partisan in merced is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, so that and a $5 ticket price assured i'd be there saturday night. for a fan of this band, what was more important than their finale last night? all members, past or present, were going to play as el olio navigated through their entire history and catalog of music (one ex member didn't make it).

i could tell you about the two opening acts, but that's not why i went to the show. i will say that both neal jackson and willy tea were both very interesting and talented musicians. the crowd was especially familiar and responsive to willy tea.

the crowd overall had a very good, friendly vibe. most everyone there knew who el olio is, and was there to send them off in style. of course, there were also people there that didn't know el olio, and there was your handful of annoying people that are there, taking up space, talking loudly, and not paying attention to the show. (sidenote: why pay $5 to get into a concert and not pay attention at all?) but really, it was a very warm feeling in the partisan last night. during some songs you could just feel the energy as people sang along and the floor bounced with movement.

when el olio started, i was sorta in the back of the crowd. but, as people moved in and out of the crowd i was able to move forward, eventually ending up about five feet from the stage. consequentially, i didn't take any videos of their very early on music.



although you don't see it in any of the videos, r.c. sort of narrated the changes in the band through the show, along with some of the people they met along the way. kinda nice to see who they started with, who was added when, and to watch the band literally change on stage to reflect the band changes. but, eventually you had all of the members, past and present, on stage.



there were a lot of photographers, both the fan variety and what seemed like more professional variety there on the night. this is alright, but the "pros" seemed to feel like they had priority on being close to the stage. i often observed photogs weaseling their way to the front, taking up space where people were enjoying the music, to get their shots. i suppose they're doing there job, but i found it a tad annoying trying to watch the show through people's cameras. btw, my videos were all shot while i was leaning on a wall. no one's view was obstructed by my shots. during this third video you'll see a photog enter the frame, take some shots, etc. enjoy looking at his california baseball cap.



i will admit that the flashes from cameras did create a magical, firework-esque effect combined with the house lights.

and now for my favorite el olio song, tree shakers/tree climbers. there was no way that i wouldn't be recording the last ever performance of this song.



sorry about the video on this last one. i forgot that while you can rotate the camera, it stays recording the same way.



what a night. i hope all the best for the members of el olio wolof in their future endeavors. and, if you ever get a chance to go to a show at the partisan, you should.

Friday, January 07, 2011

smokin them bones

i'll say right off the bat that this is probably a 5 star place, but i'm going 4 stars because i've only been there once and i want to give it another try to really confirm that 5th star. but, really, this is a five star place in my opinion.

i had heard about a new bbq spot in town and wanted to try it out, and since i had some free time today i thought i'd go find it. and really, you've got to find it. to track down the location i googled 'smokin them bones fresno' and the only worthwhile hit was something on twitter - fortunately someone i know so i knew that the directions were legit - on mckinley east of first. and, that's just where it is, on mckinley, just past the shopping center with popeyes & carl's jr, on the right if you're headed east. there is a small, 8 or so car lot + street parking.



i came in and it was just me and the staff, but by the time i was finished with lunch the place had several customers. the staff had a friendly report with all the customers, and two guys came in and had tracked the chef down from another bbq spot he had been at. the service was very quick and the restaurant was nice and clean.

i surveyed the the menu and of course decided to get ribs. originally i ordered the rib dinner, but switched to the rib sandwich - 2 ribs on bread + 1 side. for my side i ordered the cajun friend rice. the rice was my first surprise. when my order came up it looked lovely, and the rice was very tasty. it had rice, sausage, squash, onion and maybe a few other little things. very good tasting.



the ribs had a light sauce coating but were very good. the meat was super tender and easily came off the bone. honestly, i want to go back and order a whole rack or more. very good.

i noticed that they make (& i think sell) their own sauces - bbq & hot sauce. i hadn't used the hot sauce with my meal, so i put some on my fork just to taste - another nice thing. not too hot, good smokey spice flavor.

overall, great experience, and i'll definitely go back.

open mon-sat 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.
3298 e. mckinley, fresno, 93703
559.237.1700

ghostbusters inception

wonderfully recut trailer for ghostbusters.



i'd see it.

which, btw, this trailer actually makes me want to rewatch ghostbusters. i haven't seen the original in quite some time. i'm sure not all the effects would hold up, but i think it would still be a rather watchable film.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

the rap guide to evolution...needs you?

i saw this over on boing boing and thought i'd share it here, mainly because it's got fresno ties. baba brinkman is a guy who has performed @ the rogue festival, and i caught him one year. he's pretty interesting, and basically what he does is rap. the first year (2?) that he was at the rogue he did rap canterbury tales. the year i saw him it was the rap guide to evolution, and it drew a mild amount of controversy, at least in the comments on the rogue page for it. well, it seems that he has a dvd out now, and here is the trailer for it.



he's trying to raise funds (isn't everyone these days) to do all the post production, so i thought i'd share that need with fresnans who might want to threw him a few bucks.

i also will admit that i probably disagree with him at some points about behavior and biology, but that's not that important here.

Fantasy Fiancé

alright, so i thought this video was pretty funny, but it has some problems. problem 1: there is swearing, so if that bugs you, don't watch. problem two: the ladies in this are portrayed as nincompoops, so if you can't get past that, don't watch. problem three: the ending isn't that great. it's funny, but i think they couldn't figure out a great way to end it. so, if that won't bother you, watch.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

border fences don't work

i saw this video and thought it quite interesting. basically, it shows 2 young ladies climbing the border fence between the u.s. and mexico.



now, assuming that the video is accurate, and these two climbed it on their first try and in under twenty seconds, i have little hope that this fence could actually keep anything out that wanted in. hell, if you can be up and over in under a minute, it's not even like it would be a deterrent.

Monday, January 03, 2011

monday haiku 1/3

rams choke away their
chance for the playoffs and ruin
last bit of weekend

pajama jeans

my wife saw this commercial and decided it was the answer to all her problems.



UPDATE: it appears hmac @ the beehive had a similar post last february, although the video was different.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

new year's vacation

we spent new year's eve and a few other days over in santa barbara, and it was a fun time. but, it's also nice to be home, sleep in your own bed, and get back into the rhythm of life.

but, i also wanted to share a few photos with you from my trip. this first is from nye, were we rang in the new year at a bar called old kings road. this was the door to the ladies' room.



the sinks in the mens' room also were out of order, but i guess we could duece if needed.

the second photo i took because of word choice. it was outside of the restaurant we had breakfast at on the first. is "your" the proper word?



here is a link to a definition of your.

so, i've been trying to rework the sentence so it seems better, at least to me.

the original:
we appreciate your not smoking here.

my first attempt:
we appreciate you not smoking here.

my complete rework:
thank you for not smoking here.

the end is near for el olio wolof



new years bring new opportunities. they can also bring on the end of good things. such is the case this upcoming week as we see the end of one of my favorite bands, el olio wolof. we knew it was coming, and it's not like it's a new announcement, but there last show ever is upon us.

next saturday in merced will be great, that i am sure of. there will be great music as most, if not all, of el olio's members reunite like voltron and they perform their entire catalog of music.

to purchase tickets, click over here. even if you don't want to buy tickets, click over anyway and read the great retrospective on the band. seriously.