Archive for June, 2010

Jun 13 2010

Taste of Adams 2010

Elaine and i just finished up trying out the Taste of Adams and had a few reflections:

When we started researching the event, there were 2 different dates referenced on web sites. In fact, the Blind Lady mailed out that they had confused the date too.

The tickets cost $25 each, but Mercedes found a $5 off deal. Still, the ordering site added a $2.50 processing fee, so that kinda sucked. For what we got, we think it was over priced by about $10.

Parking was about the same as normal for Adams, so about 5 mins of hunting side streets. The ticket booth was quick, with laser zappers that read the 2D barcodes nicely. Then we got a necklace badge with numbers that some of the vendors punched, I guess so you didnt come back for another whole bite of soy chorizo burrito.

We started at Blind Lady – a slice of nicely spicy margherita pizza. Then we hit Mariposa ice cream and they were very generous with two scoops of whatever they had. The Mexican chocolate was great! Next was Tams Thai which had a line too long to wait for so we skipped it. Next was Gold Donuts. They gave you a piece of a donut or fritter, or 3 donut holes for yer card punch. That was actually a pretty nice portion and fulfills my donut needs for the next year.

Then we met up with our buddies Kay Marie and Gerardo, and headed back in the other direction. Country Kabob Greek had some steam tables on the sidewalk with a tiny piece of pita with really spicy yogurt, and a bite of yummy spanikopita. Portions too small, but very tasty.

Lestats had iced coffee and brownie bites. Elaine liked the coffee, I never touch the stuff. The brownie was fine – kinda dry. Then we ran back across the street to TAO Thai and had some nice spicy tofu and a great chicken in some sweet sauce with mixed wild rice. No skimping on the portions here! They even had a mini dessert with mochi and bean curd. Right next door was Viva Pops! where they make their own Popsicles. The blood orange was yummy, and the girls said the chocolate banana was great too.

Elaine really liked El Zarape – rice, beans, carne, and chicken. Then a nice margarita shot! Well be back! Then we walked all that off and stopped into Incredible Cheesecake where I think they gave us a wafer thin hint of a smell of a taste of some cheese cake. Really chintzy.

Next was Jaynes Gastropub, who did the best job of all of the venues to treat us as more than a bother. We were seated and served bangers and mash. The portion was tiny, but we liked the service and the friendly people. We stayed a bit and ordered some beers to keep our strength up. Senior Mango was next, and I had a berry smoothy that was a nice size. None of the others had been inside AC Lounge before, so we popped in and were greeted very warmly by the bartender. They were serving half off drinks, but we were worried about running out of time, so we pressed on.

We skipped Twiggs because of time and tried Cafe 21. They had some dried out hash on dried out bread crumbs on a tray. Quite meh. Then we jumped on the trolley, which was a really nice part of the event, and went to the Farm House Cafe and had ricotta pancakes in a butter sauce with oranges. Very rich and tasty!

The trolley driver was cool and let us take our food on board so we didnt have to wait another 10 mins for the next bus. One of my main goals was to get to Ponces, someplace Ive heard great things about, so we rode the trolley all the way to the other end of Adams to Kensington. This was about 2:40, so we had 20 mins until the end of the event.

We tried out the Kensington Cafe, which had really nice people staffing sidewalk steam tables, but served up a minuscule bite of the aforementioned soy chorizo. Double meh. Burger Lounge had a 5 minute wait while they whipped up some more food, so we skipped it and hit Bleu Boheme. My old buddy JenBen was hosting and directed us back to a gentleman serving escargot in a rich sauce. Id never had them, and they were kinda like mussels or salty, chewy mushrooms with a slightly grainy texture. Oh, and they were snails… So that was different. I liked the place and the vibe tho.

Finally, with 10 minutes to spare, I get to try out Ponces!!! But no, theyre rejecting people at the door saying they ran out of food. WTF? How the hell do you run out of food? Youre a restaurant! The snails didnt leave a bad taste, but Ponces sure did. What a shitty way to treat people.

So, all in all, it was a nice event but many of the venues didnt do themselves any favors by being cheap on the offerings.

3 responses so far

Jun 07 2010

LA River Ride Century

EDIT: Awesome! Kitchen just posted the Garmin log:

Time: 07:22:09
Moving Time: 06:02:09
Elapsed Time: 07:22:11
Avg Speed: 12.9 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 15.8 mph
Max Speed: 32.8 mph

I survived my second century ride, the LA River Ride!

That’s 100 miles on a bike… and I’m feeling all of them today 🙂 I really should have taken the day off of work, but I didn’t know I was riding before my Monday had already filled up with meetings. I was going to pass on this ride until I remembered that my buddy Tom lives right next to Griffith Park in LA where the ride begins. Tom and Jen just had a new arrival 7 months ago, Charlie:

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 55 32 AM

Charlie’s the pudgy one with short hair… 😉 He’s a delightful kid who was a lot of fun to play with. So’s Tom! Sorry, Jen, I didn’t get a good picture of you… 🙂

Anyway, they let me crash on their couch on Saturday night after another buddy, Terri, cooked us a wonderful pasta dinner.

Sunday came too soon and I was up at 5am with cool SMSs from work friends wishing me well. I got outside and started putting the bike together:

then waited for Kitchen to show up. Of course, he set his alarm wrong and was way late, so I biked the 2 miles over to the park alone to get my registration materials.


The ride was well organized and I had my bracelet and cue sheet within minutes. On the ride over, I’d noticed that my bike computer was dead, so I borrowed a way-too-big screw driver and got it open in about 20 minutes. It all worked when I shifted the battery around, then promptly died again when I snapped it back into its holder. Damn computers… Kitchen has a fancy pants Garmin bike computer, so I’m counting on him to give me the route and all the stats. Well, I should say he SHOULD have one, but he left it in his car, so when he showed up at 7:30, we picked it up as we started the ride:


Then we were off on this almost totally flat 100 mile ride! Except they forgot to tell us that the first 4 miles was a climb up the big hill in Griffith Park. That got the heart pumping, especially Kitchen’s as he was riding his brand new fixed gear bike! He had to zig zag up the hill, but he make it! Throughout the ride, people were very impressed with his bike and the effort. They didn’t know he had a motor hidden in the tubes… 🙂 not.

Once we were through the park, we got on the river path:


The LA River is a concrete bank with water running at the bottom. It runs for miles and makes for a great bike path, but man, it’s kinda ugly. In some places, enough silt has backed up to support trees and bushes. I was surprised how much bird life I saw. Sand pipers, some kind of white hawk, kestrels, and ducks. It might be an interesting place to go up and photograph. I’ll have to go learn about why it was built the way it was. At the very least, many parts of it are a lesson in why to think about aesthetics when you design a city.

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 53 56 AM

There are a lot of scary creatures in there too:

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 53 43 AM

I liked these bridges:


As a spoiled San Diegan, I mostly find LA pretty ugly:



Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 53 15 AM

but Seal Beach was pretty nice:


Long Beach was the halfway point:


A mess of bikes:


Friggin’ hipster:


More riding:

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 53 56 AM

More posing:


Then finally, after seven hours, it’s over!!!

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 52 49 AM

Time to grab the tshirt and go find a shower!

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 52 35 AM

I got some great support on Twitter and Facebook! Thanks for that!

2 responses so far

Jun 02 2010

IPad failure modes -or- Why I cant move completely to an iPad

Published by under Declan,iPad,Tech

I just got a 3G iPad for work and Ive been keeping some notes about things I like and dont like. This is the Fail post and Ill be adding more as I learn.

a href= here for the Love post./a

Cant copy from a pdf to use a snippet in an email
Cant edit a photo as much as aperture – not a surprise
Jumping from app to app is jarring
Sharing the device is very difficult – a passworded badge screen would be cool
Is there really no tab key?
To get this list to my blog, I had to email it from my Notes app and it lost all the carriage returns
When my 3 yr old buddy Sage started using the screen, she had a really hard time not moving the icons she was trying to click. Its like the UI is too slippery and a setting for that for young users might be cool.
In Flickr, I cant double click on a set in Organize view to open it, although i can select the set name as a link. But then I cant click and drag items into the set.
Wordpress app keeps stripping the HTML in my post edits.
Gmail cant show a full graphical email, like flickrs daily updates from contacts.

5 responses so far

Jun 02 2010

Things I love about the iPad

Published by under Declan,iPad,Tech

I just got a 3G iPad for work and Ive been keeping some notes about things I like and dont like. This is the Love post and Ill be adding more as I learn.

a href= here for the Fail post./a

My photos look great on it
The Wired magazine app is beautiful and shows whats possible with journals
The keyboard works well
Battery life is great – went a whole day of constant use on 50%
Netflix is just wonderful on the device, even in 3G
My 3 yr old buddy Sage mastered the Netflix and iBook interface in about 2 minutes – with some issues Ill put in the other post.
The WordPress app is very smooth. Im using it now. I wonder if itll get me to blog more.
From Samuel Atlan on my Facebook side: you can do a long press on comma to show the apostrophe (just like a long press on a vowel will show accents). Even faster, a quick swipe up from the comma key works too./ul

One response so far