Thursday, November 20, 2008

My brother-in-law is an artist in metal

We now interrupt our irregular programming...

My brother-in-law, Fritz Church, is an incredible artist and metal worker. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and owns his own business, Fire Works Forge, which creates custom metal railings or other custom metal work that are both practical and beautiful. (He also does metal sculpture, which is beautiful, but not meant to be practical.)

I encourage you to visit his web site just to see the artistry in his work. And, if you need any custom metal work, I highly recommend him.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

How you should vote on Tuesday

I'll make this simple:

President and Vice President: Barack Obama/Joe Biden

If you live in California:
Prop 1a: Yes
Prop 2: Yes
Prop 3: No
Prop 4: No
Prop 5: Yes
Prop 6: No
Prop 7: No
Prop 8: No
Prop 9: No
Prop 10: No
Prop 11: No
Prop 12: Yes

If you live in San Diego:

City Council District 3: Stephen Whitburn

City Attorney: Michael J. Aguirre

Prop A: No
Prop B: No
Prop C: Yes
Prop D: Yes
Prop S: Bonds-No

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My dad started dialysis today

My dad's side of the family has been hit hard by Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). We know that my Grandma "Kitty" had it and my dad tells me she was on dialysis for 20-25 years before she finally got a kidney transplant in the mid-to-late 80s. She felt much better after the transplant, but due to other health issues, she died within a few years of her transplant.

Her brother, beloved Uncle Nick, also had PKD and he also died from complications in the mid-90s. My dad thinks that several of grandma's other siblings also had it.

My dad was officially diagnosed with PKD in 1992, so I went in for an ultrasound shortly afterwards and found that I also have it. My PKD is still at the very early stage with normal creatinine levels. I do have to take blood pressure medication, but I have no PKD-related pain.

My dad is a different story and he had to go to the hospital earlier this year because his potassium levels were through the roof. At the time, we thought he would have to go on dialysis immediately, but thanks to an extreme diet change (the incredibly difficult renal diet) and changes to his meds, he was able to postpone dialysis for several months. Unfortunately, he has now reached the stage where he must start dialysis and that's what he did today. I took him to his first appointment this afternoon and I'm about to head out the door to pick him up as I type this.

My dad's a fighter and I know that dialysis will be really good for him, even if it will be a hassle. But if he doesn't eventually get a kidney transplant, he will remain on dialysis for the rest of his life. That saddens me, but it also makes me all the more driven to raise funds and volunteer for the PKD foundation so that all PKD sufferers will have much better options in the future.

If you would like to support the PKD foundation, I encourage you to do so.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Looter Winstone and Stain Lane
As mentioned previously, I first saw parts of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains in the mid-80s when it showed up on late night TV (Night Flight on the USA Network), but since it was never released on video or DVD, I never got to watch it from start to finish. I remember that I really liked what I saw, though, and I've kept my eyes open for it for the last 20 years.

When I found out that it was finally getting a real DVD release, I pre-ordered the movie, waited for it be officially released and finally watched it in its entirety a few weeks ago.

Actually, I watched it twice in the same night: the second time while listening to the highly entertaining commentary track from Diane Lane and Laura Dern. Ms. Lane was 15 and Ms. Dern was 13 years old when they shot this film surrounded by punk rock legends.

Since I watched it twice, you probably already realize that I really liked this movie. I can't write film reviews to save my life, but I found the story fun, the characters very believable (and grounded in reality, even if the plot is a bit absurd) and the music is just great. But, the music has to be great when you have two Sex Pistols and members of The Clash and The Tubes not only playing music but also acting in the film as musicians. For me, though, the greatest thrill I got while watching this film was realizing that the fictitious rock band The Looters, which included the aforementioned Sex Pistols and Clash members, was fronted by none other than (an incredibly young-looking) Ray Winstone. I had only known Mr. Winstone from his roles in recent years in films such as Sexy Beast, The Departed and that abortion of a franchise movie starring Harrison Ford earlier this year. Ray Winstone is a great actor, but I now know that he is also a great punk rock singer.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm walking for PKD again

As I have for the last several years, I am walking again to fund research to find a cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). My walk is on Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 9:30 am at the Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Drive in San Diego, but similar walks will occur that same weekend all across the United States.

I walk because I have an extensive family history of PKD, including, my grandmother (who died from PKD), my dad (who is on a special renal diet to keep him off of dialysis), at least one cousin and me. My PKD has not progressed to the point where I have to worry about dialysis or a kidney transplant, but I'm still relatively young and there are many others who are not as lucky as I am.

If you want to support me in my walk for PKD, I've set up a page where you can donate money on my behalf to the PKD Foundation or, if you want to walk with me, you can join my team. The link is here.

For more information about PKD, check out the PKD Foundation.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sea Rocket Sputters

I was a fervent fan of The Linkery until they moved into their new, much larger space and decided to do ass-hat things like charge for ice tea refills (I think the charge for Kara's ice tea alone was $15 on our last visit!) while providing much slower service than at their old location. But, I'm still willing to give Jay the benefit of the doubt and I do plan to go back again in a few months, well after the growing pains have eased and they're more comfortable with their new size.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Sea Rocket Bistro, the restaurant that took over The Linkery's old location at the corner of 30th and Upas. I love seafood. I could eat seafood every single day and never get tired of it. So, naturally, I was ecstatic that a new seafood place with the same values that The Linkery espouses was moving in as soon as The Linkery moved up the street. And, it was natural that Kara and I tried the place during the first week it was open. My impression at the time was that the food was quite good, but the service was unbearably slow. I chalked this up to both the restaurant being brand new and this also being the restaurateurs' first restaurant. We left that first meal convinced that the place had real potential and that we would return after it had been open a few months to allow the owners some time to work out the kinks.

Sea Rocket opened their doors in June, had their "Grand Opening" in July and then had two favorable reviews last week in both the San Diego Reader and San Diego City Beat. So, I figured, now was the time to go back and try again. We tried again last night and we have no plans to return ever again.

First, I was disappointed they were out of the seafood paella, which looks quite good. But, I can understand that when you use only local sources and you're running a small restaurant, you will sometimes run out of stuff. After scouring the menu, Kara and I both decided to order small: we both ordered the Green salad, mine with the scallop topper and Kara's with the sardine starter, all served at the same time. I ordered a lemonade and Kara ordered an ice tea and we had a carafe of water to drink as well.

The water and the lemonade were both brought to the table in a timely manner, but the ice tea took much longer to come. (Perhaps they had to brew the tea, I don't know.) Then, the waiting began and we had to wait a very long time for our dinner to show up. I could excuse this if the place was busy or if they were short-staffed, but they were only half-full and looked to have 4 servers for 6 tables. I mean, seriously, how long does it take to make a salad, saute scallops on the rare side and grill up some sardines? The longest time might have been to prepare the sardines... but that could not have been the case (more in a second on this). I think we waited at least 30 minutes for the food, during which time I almost finished my lemonade and we drank most of the water.

The food did come, finally, and while the salad and the scallops were delicious, something seemed wrong about the salad. I quickly remembered how the salad was lovingly described as containing fresh figs from a North Park garden and, since I love figs, I was really looking forward to the salad. Hell, I decided to order the salad based on the figs. But, there were no figs in this salad and, instead, the salad had dried cherries, the kind you might buy in a sealed plastic bag from Ralphs. I summoned our server and asked about the figs and she said something like, "oh, they must have forgotten to put the figs in the salad, I'll go check in the kitchen". Seriously, WTF? How do you forget the main ingredient and worse, substitute with a vastly inferior product? The server did return shortly with a small bowl with a sliced whole fig, which was as delicious as I expected it to be, but it just seemed an incredibly careless mistake to make. Putting that aside for a moment, let me return to the sardines.

Kara is not the fish lover that I am. She likes fish, though and she wanted to be adventurous, so she selected the sardines. Now, I had read raving reviews of the sardines and I expected that they would be at least as great as the grilled green bean in ginger soy sauce (yum!) at The Linkery. I also understood that they were whole sardines on a skewer, but neither Kara nor I had much experience with whole fish. No big deal, I stopped one of the employees that was walking nearby (I think it was one of the owners) for some help. I explained that this was the first time we had ordered the sardines and we asked her the best way to "eat" the sardines. I can't believe no one has ever asked this question (hell, I think I read in one of the reviews last week that the reviewer asked the same question), and she seemed mostly bothered by the question, although she did offer some help, suggesting that we slip a knife or fork down the side to remove the fillet from the bones. Not the best attitude, but it was an informative answer and Kara and I had one each of the three sardines. I liked it well enough, Kara less so, but neither of us could understand what any of the raves were about. It was a messy proposition with little flavor and little meat once you took off the skin and bones. I liked it more than Kara, so she offered the third sardine to me. I took it, ate a little bit of the meat and immediately sensed that I had eaten the "bad" part of the fish. It tasted soft and bitter, so I slid the whole thing open and quickly realized that half the fish was still bloody and uncooked!

I had gotten the impression that the place had two signature dishes, one was the sea urchin (which I don't much care for) and the other was the sardines. So, how the frak do you mess up your signature dish by not cooking it, especially after it took half an hour to get it to the table in the first place? Once I realized that the fish was uncooked, I also realized that there was a small puddle of fish blood on the plate. We stopped our server, pointed out the problem and they offered to either replace the dish or take it off the bill. Since Kara had lost her appetite at the sight of the uncooked fish and fish blood, I asked that they remove it from the bill.

I should also mention that the sardine dish is described as being "on a bed of greens and lima bean salad". I'm sorry, but a single 1 1/2"-diameter piece of lettuce does not a bed of greens make.

By now, we were both discouraged and ready to leave. We had also been out of water for about 10 minutes and, even though we had stopped servers three times for problems with our meals, none of them had noticed that our water was empty and we were too distracted to notice until we were already thirsty and waiting for the check. I could say that we skipped dessert (which we did) and left quickly, except nothing quick happens here. The various servers passed the bill and my credit card sitting on my table a few times before noticing it was there and picking it up.

As I said at the beginning of this review, we will not be returning to Sea Rocket Bistro and I can't recommend it to anyone. Some of the food (the salad ingredients and the scallops) might have been really good, but the food preparation and wait staff are both severely lacking and have only gotten worse since they opened, not better.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Comic-con has come and gone

Thoughts on my 4th Comic-Con...

Wednesday through Friday seemed busier on the dealer floor than did Saturday and Sunday was much slower than last year. It was absolutely crazy on Wednesday.

Last year, I sat in Hall H all day for two days. This year, I only sat through Kevin Smith on Friday night and Heroes and Lost on Saturday.

Kevin Smith's panel was OK, but not as funny as in past years. I love Seth Rogen, but I hope he has more than one note in him (stoner dude).

Seeing the first episode of Heroes for the new season two months early was pretty cool. I just with Kara had been there to see it with me. Now I have to keep all these secrets!

The Lost panel would have sucked, except for the funny gifts for the people that came up and asked questions. They didn't give anything away about the next season, so it seemed like a waste of time.

The line for the big rooms — except for Hall H — were just ridiculous. I lined up 90 minutes before Dexter and still missed the first 10 minutes. I'm also pissed that I lined up 90 minues before the Battlestar Galactica panel and still didn't get into the room, plus I was only 20 people from the front of the line when they announced that no one else was getting in to BSG. I should have stayed in Hall H to see Terminator Salvation.

The TV Funhouse panel was hilarious and it was great fun being insulted by Triumph (Robert Smigel). Last year, the funniest panel was the Sarah Silverman Show, but I skipped out on Sarah this year....

Instead, I got free passes (and a free set of anal beads, the coolest freebie ever!) to see Choke, the newest Chuck Palahniuk adaptation (by Clark Gregg) starring Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald and Brad William Henke. I haven't read the novel (I seldom read fiction), but the movie was really good. Plus, there was a Q&A session after the screening with the director and writer (and supporting actor) Clark Gregg. I highly recommend the movie, but you should probably leave your anal beads at home and just enjoy the show.

Oh, and of course, I took pictures at Comic-Con and posted them here. I took a lot less photos this year and only a few with a scantily-clad female, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our house "re-do" has started

P1020551The new cabinets have been installed in our kitchen/dining area (just this morning). There's still a lot more to come with new furniture in the bedroom, dining room and living room and new French Doors (the third set since we've moved in almost five years ago) in the bedroom.

It's Comic-Con time again!

Just a quick note that I'll be at Comic-Con again this year, starting this afternoon as soon as Jimmy G swings by to pick me up. Expect lots more pictures in my Flickr photostream soon!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cult Night Flight movie finally comes to DVD

Being a teen in the early 80s, I enjoyed staying up late and watching the cult movies that were found on late night TV. One of my favorite shows (if you could call it a show) was Night Flight (on the USA Network), which always delivered bizarre and interesting stuff to my head. But of all the things that I remember watching those late nights, one movie stands out as something that I've always wanted to see again: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.

It was a story of a female punk rock band that hit it big and I remember thinking that it was pretty good. I also remember falling asleep (or having to go to bed) before it ended, so it's something that I've always wanted to finish watching, but I never saw it aired on TV again. I later discovered that the movie was never released in theatres nor on video, which added to my curiousity. Over the last few years, I've been trying to find a copy and I finally bought a bootleg at Comic-Con a few years ago. Unfortunately, the quality of the video on that bootleg was not very good, I'm a bit of snob when it comes to what I'll bring myself to watch and I've never actually watched the thing. Instead, I've been waiting and hoping for a better copy to show up.

Well, it appears that my wait is almost over. According to a new item from USA Today, the Fabulous Stains are coming to DVD on September 16, courtesy Rhino. I, for one, am looking forward to finally seeing this movie again and I am thrilled that it will be an official release that has to look better than my bootleg.

Technorati Tags: ,

Friday, April 25, 2008

Outlook 2007 - Still Craptastic after a year

You can read my original post on this subject here.

A year and a service pack later and I'm still having problems with Outlook. The latest bug is one that's plagued me since Outlook 2007 came out. I sort my Inbox by the Received date with the most recent emails at the top. When I have several unread emails in my Inbox, I like to open the oldest one first, read it in a separate window, act on it by deleting it or moving it to another folder (or ignoring it) and then automatically moving to the email directly above the email I just read. In previous versions of Outlook, this always worked flawlessly, even if the option for it is named based on the assumption that everyone sorts their Inbox in the exact opposite order that I do. In Outlook 2007, the option is found by going to Tools, Options, Preferences tab, E-mail Options button and it's the select box at the top of the dialog: "After moving or deleting an open item:"; I set the option to "open the previous item" (which should be worded as, "open the item above").

The bug is that if you receive a new email while you are reading an older email, Outlook 2007 forgets where you are in your Inbox and as soon as you delete or move the email you're reading, it jumps past the "previous" item (the one immediately above it) and instead opens up the email you just received. I don't want to read that email yet and, worse, this behavior sometimes tricks me into believing that I've gone through all the items in my Inbox after I've read the email that just came in and nothing else is opened automatically.

I did a Google search and could find no mention of this problem anywhere. So, I'm posting it here in the hope that someone at MS has a search alert setup for Outlook 2007, will see this post, acknowledge that it's a bug and fix it. Come on, MS, this worked for years and now it's broke.

Revisiting to my original list from last year:
  • ICS problem that was affecting Google Calendar - Either MS fixed the problem or Google Calendar worked around it, but it's working OK now.
  • If I shut it down and then hibernate my computer too soon after the shutdown, when I start it up again, it tells me that it "failed to shutdown correctly" and I have to wait several minutes for a fruitless and pointless error check to complete before I can use Outlook again. - This occurs much less in recent weeks. I think it was addressed by a patch that dealt with plugins or addins that didn't release all their threads (or something like that).
  • It crashes randomly - for the last crash, all I did was close a Note window and boom. - I still get random crashes, but not as many as I used to.
  • It's terribly slow - much slower to start up, much slower to deliver mail. - Still terribly slow.
  • I can't delete bad nicknames because the MS article that explains how to do this is wrong and I can't figure out where the new nickname file is stored. - MS finally documented that the new nickname file name for Outlook 2007. I think it's outlook.nk2, but I'm too tired to search for this now, but I deleted the file and I no longer have this problem or the next one.
  • Because I can't delete bad nicknames, it has this annoying habit of not sending some emails - they get stuck in the Outbox because the email address is invalid but there is no visible warning to me that they're there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crazed Pooch

When Kara adopted Gracie 9 years ago, the shelter said that she was part Dalmation and part Labrador Retriever. Her vet at the time, though, thought she was a mix of Lab and Weimaraner and we think that's far more likely to be the case.

If you know anything about Weimaraners, you know that they have a tendency to be high-spirited and to suffer from separation anxiety and that surely matches our Gracie. Again, today, she showed just how crazed she can become when we came home to find her latest round of house destruction. This time, she destroyed several cans of diet soda that were still in a case by the back door, as well as some additional remodeling of the trim around the back door. We think this round was triggered by a visit from our gardener, but with Gracie, we can never be sure.

She destroyed (see picture to the right) the original French doors shortly after we moved into the new house and she's chewed the door knobs and locks off the new doors original hardware and has chewed up the new doors hardware. Hopefully, she won't completely destroy the new doors before she wears out all her teeth.

Friday, February 29, 2008

As Bluto Blutarski would say, Food Fight!

This clip is incredible.

How many conflicts did you recognize? You can find a cheatsheat on the creator, Stefan Nadelman's web site. Link

Monday, February 25, 2008

Help put Paul Broadway on the ballot

Paul Broadway needs signatures to get on the ballot for the upcoming San Diego City Council, District Three elections, so he's looking for volunteers to spend 2 hours this Saturday, March 1, to go knock on doors. I blogged very briefly about Paul before and I'm supporting his campaign, so I plan to help out. If you're interested in helping out, we're all going to meet on Saturday at noon at the entrance to Morley Field, located at the intersection of Texas and Upas Streets in San Diego (map). Paul will be there with handout materials and will give a briefing on his plan for the volunteers.

I attended the recent League of Conservation Voters forum on environmental issues in City Heights, where all but the self-hating gay candidate participated in the first District 3 debate. Based on what I saw at that debate, Paul is the only non-Republican candidate that is truly independent of the San Diego political machine and I think that having an independent voice in local politics is a very good thing.

If you want to find out more about Paul or if you don't have time to volunteer but still want to sign the petition, you can contact Paul through his website.

Lucky 13 and Old House Fair

For the two of you that read my blog on a regular basis, you probably already know this: I got 13 correct Oscar predictions (out of 24). Going by memory alone, I think that's the worst I've done in any Oscar pool over the last 10 years. (Not so) amazingly, Kara also got 13 predictions correct, even though some of the ones she got right, I got right, and vice-versa.

On a separate note, South Park is holding it's 10th annual Old House Fair on June 21 and I've agreed to be in charge of the docents for the old house tour this year. Kara and I have both been docents for several years now and I was a head docent for one of the houses last year, so it's exciting to get involved at such an early stage.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Oscar Predictions

Here are my predictions for what will win the Oscars tonight:

Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Actress: Marion Cotillard
Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Art Direction: There Will Be Blood
Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
Costume Design: Atonement
Directing: There Will Be Blood
Documentary Feature: War/Dance
Documentary Short: Freeheld
Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Foreign Language Film: Mongol
Makeup: La Vie En Rose
Original Score: Ratatouille
Original Song: "Falling Slowly" - Once
Picture: No Country for Old Men
Short Film - Animated: My Love (Moya Lyubov)
Short Film - Live Action: Tanghi Argentini
Sound Editing: There Will Be Blood
Sound Mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Screenplay - Adapted: No Country for Old Men
Screenplay - Original: Juno (*sadly)

Saturday, February 23, 2008 or

Since I seldom update my old web site, I changed the DNS entries so that points back to this blog. You should be able to use both and to get here, but I won't know for a couple of days whether or not this is all working. You should also still be able to get here using

What a hassle!

We can't get enough of Zia

Kara introduced me to Zia and Zia's Afghan Cafe when we first started going out and it was one of our favorite places to dine. And, for a little while, Zia had a booth at the Hillcrest farmer's market where he sold his delicious chicken in pita bread sandwiches that I could never pass up. So, it was very sad for both of us when Zia stopped showing up at the market and closed his restaurant. We later learned that Zia had gone back to his beloved Afghanistan after the Taliban government was overthrown. We were happy for Zia, but sad for our culinary loss.

We later discovered that his son, Khaled, had opened his own restaurant in the Rolando area (East of SDSU for the neighborhood-names challenged) after Zia's place closed. I think the name of the place is Café Zia, although the menu says simply, "Zia wraps". The food there is wonderful and we both highly recommend it, but Rolando is out of the way, so the only time we go there is when we see a play at Cygnet across the street.

This past September, we were at the Adams Avenue Street Fair when we noticed a new place named Zia Gourmet Pizza was opening soon. We checked it out and sure enough, Khaled was opening another "Zia", this time closer to home and this time, as a pizza place. We spoke to him briefly and he indicated that he would be keeping both his wraps restaurant and this new place open, not closing one in favor of the other. We were jazzed at the prospect of having two Zia's to eat at and looked forward to its opening.

We were on Adams Avenue about a month ago, thinking that we would check out the new pizza place, but while it had opened, it had odd hours (5PM to 10PM) and was not yet open for the day. We were too early, so we ate elsewhere that night.

Kara had been kind enough to cook dinners for us every night this past week, but she was tired of cooking and wanted to go out last night. The original plan was to go to our regular place, The Linkery, but I checked the menu for the night, wasn't that impressed with the current selections, and was itching for a change. I suggested Alexander's, where we had an incredibly delicious but very noisy meal a little while ago, but Kara wasn't ready to go back to such a busy place on a Friday night. I then remembered Zia's new place, suggested it and Kara was enthusiastic about the idea.

So it was that we tried the newest Zia incarnation last night. For a Friday night, the place was almost dead with only a party of three at one table. A quick glance at that table revealed the man, Zia, himself was back in the states and eating in his son's restaurant, which was very cool. Khaled was behind the counter and greeted us warmly (he remembered us from our visits to his wraps place). A very good start.

The place is pretty bare bones. There's no signage inside and no menu board. The entire right-side of the front of the restaurant is crammed with couches and furniture (we didn't know what to make of that) with customer booths and tables to the left. There is a counter that separates the diners and furniture pile from the kitchen in the back with no signage or menu board of any kind. I didn't count, but the counter had about eight different pizza pie plates each with three to five slices each of different flavors of pizza with a paper menu stuck under the front-edge of the plate with the name of the pizza circled. The hostess/waitress standing behind the counter stood ready to take our order and we quickly understood that you could pick slices from the counter or order a custom pie. I like variety, so we checked out our options, asked some questions and decided upon four slices total for the both of us.

All pizzas come on a crust described as "mouth-watering... prepared with healthy whole wheat and herbs and spices". Here are the slices we chose with the descriptions straight from their menu:
  • French: "Our savory wild Atlantic salmon (marinated in a mouth watering combination of herbs and spices) combined with tomatoes, capers, lean cream cheese, fresh basil and topped with mozzarella." $3.45/slice
  • The New Yorker: "Our tasty and lean turkey pastrami combined with green onions, pepperoncini, light cream cheese and fresh basil and topped with mozzarella." $2.95/slice
  • Veggie: "A tasteful combination of artichoke hearts, goat feta, kalamata olives, light cream cheese and topped with mozzarella." $2.95/slice
  • Roast Chicken: "Our succulent chicken (marinated in a savory lemon-garlic sauce) combined with fresh garlic, green onion, mushroom, capers, ricotta cheese and topped with mozzarella. $3.45/slice
Needless to say, these are not your traditional pizza toppings. As a matter of fact, none of the pizza choices on the menu could be considered traditional, unless you choose the "USA Pizza (U Suggest All)", where you select your own components from a list of "Protein", "Cheese", "Sauce" and "Veggie" options. Under "Protein", your choices are chicken, turkey pastrami, baked bean curd and wild salmon. There's no beef or pork options on the menu, so no pepperoni or sausage, but neither Kara nor I eat beef or pork, so this was perfect for us.

As a meal, the food was healthy, adventuresome and excellent, well within the tradition of "Zia's". As a pizza... well, I can't really compare these pizzas to any other pizzas because the taste is so different. If I'm in the mood for pizza by the slice, I'll probably still go with my favorite place, Pizzeria Luigi, where the slices are both delicious and cheap ($5.50 for 2 slices and drink), but Zia's pizzas I don't think are meant to compete with your local pizza joint or any other pizza place for that matter. I'll go to Zia Gourmet Cafe again when I'm in the mood for something different, local, tasty and quick — something Zia. As for recommending the place, absolutely we'd recommend it, not as a pizza place, but as a good place to eat and very vegetarian friendly.

My only complaint, if you can even call it a complaint, is that I like the wraps place better than the pizza place. But then again, I haven't tried all the different pizza options and I might find a slice of Zia Gourmet Pizza that is as good as any of the incredibly delicious wraps at Café Zia. The best possible thing that could happen would be for Khaled to open a third restaurant with both the wraps and the pizza and perhaps other options here in South Park; with The Linkery moving this spring and with the renovations of the warehouses on 3oth Street between Ivy and Juniper or the reconstruction of the buildings on the corner of 30th and Beech, there are plenty of places for new restaurants to try.

Oh, and one last thing, we didn't want to disturb Zia while he was eating, but we did stop and say hello when we were ready to leave. He was very happy to see both of us (especially Kara) and he told us how he owns some land in Afghanistan now and is looking forward to going back again in March to check on it. Zia is such a nice guy and although we miss his cooking, we're both very happy for him and he seems very happy as well.

Zia Gourmet Pizza is located at 3311 Adams Ave, Suite A, (next to the yoga place run by the same cult that runs Jyoti Bihanga, Kara's favorite restaurant) in Normal Heights. It is open 5PM to 10PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and closed on Monday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tucson, the desert of my dreams?

I use Yahoo! Travel to book most of my trips and I allow Travelocity to send me their marketing emails, even though I delete most of them without reading them. But today I received an email from them with the subject line, "Visit Tucson, the Real Desert of Your Dreams" and I couldn't resist posting about it.

Is the "desert of your dreams" supposed to be a good thing? I could understand "the oasis in the desert", but, seriously who dreams of deserts? And to me, it reads more like, "you know your dreams - well Tuscon is the desert portion of your dreams - the place where illegal immigrants die and only camels survive."

Just to clarify, I've never been to Tucson (at least, not that I remember) and I have nothing against it. I just think they need to rethink their marketing strategy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Paul Broadway for San Diego City Council District 3

Due to term limits, the San Diego city council district three position is up for grabs in 2008. The first election won't be until June 3, but there are already seven "potential candidates" that have filed their intention to run form with the city clerk's office.

I've been leaning towards John Hartley because he seems honorable and because he's been pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and talking to constituents for years (he's been a repeat candidate for several elections now). He knocked on our door last year, we talked to him for a bit and we liked what we heard enough to say that we'd support his candidacy. I've not been happy with Toni Atkins lately, so I have no reason to support anyone that she endorses and I think John is an excellent representative for our community.

Having said that and taking nothing away from John Hartley, I'm throwing my support behind the newest candidate who just announced his intention to run: Paul Broadway. Paul was the owner of Sparky's (until it lost it's lease and was replaced by Hamilton's Tavern) and I've known Paul personally for several years through his participation on the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee (and his postings to sdnet.eats). I like Paul and I think he deserves our support.