Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chile Pepper Grill Food Truck

This is a photograph I took of my order from the Chile Pepper Grill food truck. What you see is (from left to right) the Alambre "deluxe" taco ($3.00) and two carnitas ($1.75 each).

The Alambre comes standard with cilantro and onions but the 'deluxe' status adds cheese, green peppers and bacon. Truthfully I really didn't feel the add-ons added anything to the flavoring or taste of the taco. The green peppers were more like dices versus slices or something of real substance and there were so few that I almost didn't realize they were in there. In fact, I only looked for them I knew they were supposed to be in the "deluxe" taco from reading the menu. The bacon was in small chunks—the kind you'd be more likely to find on a pizza. You can see a little bit of it in the photo near the top left of the taco. There was also cheese. I don't know what kind as it wasn't stated and I don't know how much there was. I guess it was pretty minimal like the green peppers. I think you can see a little bit melted on the steak to the left side of the taco sort of blending in with the diced white onions. All that being said, I have to say that the steak or even the flavoring of the taco in its entirety did not leave a lasting 'flavorable' impression. I did have it a few days ago but I can't remember what it tasted like. For reference, I can tell you exactly what each slider from the Easy Slide Truck tastes like and it's been at least a couple of weeks since I had one. Is the 'deluxe' status worth the extra $1.25 difference from 'regular' taco? I'd have to go with "No."

The Carnitas taco is just corn tortilla filled with cilantro, onions and carnitas. It's their 'basic' taco which only varies (as far as I can remember) from the choice of meat. The carnitas was tasty. I like the simple flavoring. For some it may be a little wet in the sense that they could probably dab it with a paper towel to absorb some of the juice and/or "sweat" from being in the storage container with a lid on it. Hopefully, that last part makes sense. I'm not picky and it doesn't bother me but it did make for a very drippy taco eating session. Anyway, the onions helped to add a little bit of crunch to each bite but like the Alambre, I didn't feel it added any flavoring.

In the image you'll also see to small containers above the tacos that contained two types of sauces. I don't know their official names but I'm going with the green sauce and the red sauce. I dipped a finger into each to see how they tasted. I decided the green sauce was more appealing to me. I first tasted each of the tacos without the green sauce to get a true sense of their taste. I then took a few bites with the green sauce added to see how it changed, enhanced or detracted from the taste of the tacos. I'd have to say that it changed but did not enhance or detract. For the Alambre, it actually hid the taste of the steak...maybe that's why I don't remember it much. For the carnitas, I think the carnitas meat was flavored enough that it still came through the spicy-ness of the green sauce. I actually preferred the carnitas taco without the green sauce and that's how I ate the second one.

Overall, I did not feel that I could recommend this food truck to my friends, family and coworkers. I don't think it was bad necessarily. I just didn't feel like I was awed or impressed enough by the flavoring of the tacos to put my recommendation on it for others. Now, I'm not a snoot and I eat just about anything especially if the price is reasonable for what I'm getting in return. In my opinion, for $1.75 if this is the only food truck available or it's next to one I thoroughly do not like I will most definitely eat Chile Pepper Grill tacos again. In fact, my recommendation for this food truck is to forego the deluxe option and stick with the regular taco. My tab came to $6.50 ($3.00 + $1.75 + $1.75). I could get four regular tacos for $7.00 and feel fuller from eating four tacos versus three since the deluxe I had was really an overpriced 3rd taco. I would also like the feeling that I got a good deal at 4 for $7.

So that's all I've got. Now go try it yourself.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Some people are just too pompous

So, I was subscribed to a YouTube users channel that I initially found sort of interesting. He really only appealed to me in his occasional sharing of technology "reviews." I subscribed some six months or so ago when his channel originally piqued my interest. I really haven't found anything else interesting than the first time I was piqued but I do get notifications via email of all my YouTube subscriptions. Now unfortunately, I think he's bought into gaining (and probably receiving) more advertising dollars and with that his arrogance and pompousness seems to have grown and is starting to show through in his videos.

He seems to post at least a video a day. Half of them or more are useless, very useless. Who really gives a shit about an UNBOXING!? Save the freaking unboxing for a REVIEW! But it seems that if he doesn't post a video at least once a day, he doesn't get his advertising dollars.

He occasionally posts videos of "a techie's room" which I find ridiculous. No techie has that clean of a room/desk. He's very opinionated and that's all fine and dandy except for when he comes across all 'holier-than-thou.' I've seen a few of his posts and comments on his posts that suggest he's got that "I'm better than my commentors" complex.

The below screen capture of his most recent video post shows his response/comments in regards to a pretty innocent questions. A commentor asks, "...Do you torrent?" A simple question yet DickFranco took immediate offense to it, assumes the commentor refers to piracy and puts himself above him by stating, "I do not condone piracy." What a fucking idiot! To be so crass and assuming of one of his subscribers...what a fucking douche bag! Does anyone comment about what a pussy HE is that he is a college graduate and still lives at home!? Anyway, see the screen capture and do not fall into this boys channel as a subscriber.


As you can read, another commentor explains to DipFranco that piracy and torrent do not go hand in hand. But DoucheFranco says that "when people ask if I torrent I'm sure they are referring to piracy." Again, a douchebaggery way to automatically think...IDIOT!! Anyway, as stated previously, I don't find his videos of worth. He had an opinion that on something months ago that interested me but since then he's truly disappointed. That's what ALL his videos are...his opinion on something. Granted, some people like that and like him for it for some reason but eventually they'll wake up and realize they can better waste their time on Temple Run and be more fulfilled. Arrogant-for-no-reason people like him irritate me when they are disrespectful to the people that made them who they are...essentially his "customer." Anyway...


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The cost of living in Hawaii vs Texas

I was looking for a cost of living calculator to see what a salary in Honolulu, Hawaii would have to be compared to what it is in Dallas, Texas. I don't remember the link but I think it was off cnn.com or money.com. The calculator already had an amount of $45k so I went with it. I selected Dallas and Honolulu and this is what it gave me.

Can you freaking believe that you have to make almost double what you make in Dallas to make a comparable salary in Honolulu?! What the hell!? It's that damn tourist industry making the COLA higher. I'm sure there is no way or barely a way that the locals are surviving on a minimalist's salary like this! $45k barely goes that far in Dallas!

It's also an interesting feature on this calculator when it shows where and what percent the increase is: 235% Housing, 55% Groceries and 50% Utilities.

No wonder there are so many houseless people in Hawaii—as I was told by a local the majority of the people on the streets are not homeless but houseless because they own a house but cannot afford to live in it. Sad...


Email humor 03/21/2013

A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation in Jerusalem . While they were there, the wife passed away.

The undertaker told the husband, "You can have her buried here in the Holy Land for $150 or we can have her shipped back home for $5,000."

The husband thought about it and told the undertaker he would have her shipped back home.

The undertaker asked him, "Why would you spend $5,000 to have her shipped home when you could have a beautiful burial here, and it would only cost $150????"

The husband replied, "Long ago, a man died here, was buried here, and three days later, rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance!"


Friday, March 08, 2013

Justin Bieber is a douche

Saw an E online article today about Justin Bieber "lunging" at the paparazzi. I didn't read much of the article but the photographs are humorous enough. The first one he looks like a 10-yr-old boy crying about wanting his binky. The second one shows what even more of a douche he is because his bodyguard lifts him like a big baby. I'm thinking the bodyguard should have done a 'shaken Bieber' move on him!

Bieber looks like a baby with a dirty diaper that's full of shit and is about to fall off of him. Does he really think that this style is cool, especially for a WHITE boy from Canada??! Someone needs to bitch slap these white boys that think they're 'gangsta.' Hell, the black boys that think they're cool with the pants' waist at half-ass-crack need to be smacked the fuck around too!

Black, White, Asian, Mexican or whatever the fuck you are...you look unbelievably STUPID with your pants looking like you bought them from the little people store. Do you realized how idiotic you look walking down the street in such a hilarious manner trying to keep your pants from falling completely down? Or how walking around with your hand down the front of your pants to hold them up makes you look like a complete and utter douche bag as well?

There is absolutely nothing cool or intelligent about this 'style.' You look like a douche, you look like you're shitting in your pants, you look like you need to be run over by a 'dumb ass' truck! If the law would allow me, I'd like to be the one to smack you upside your head and say, "W-h-a-t t-h-e f-u-c-k!" Not once do I hear anyone of ANY age say, "Man, I like that style" when they see it on the street. They typically say, "What a fucking ass hat!"

And in case you fucking ignorant parents who allow their kids and young adults to wear their pants in such a manner, do you know where this originated? PRISON! That's right. Your fucking kids and family members are emulating ignorant people in prison...they're not ignorant from the pants thing...they're ignorant because they are in prison. They are ignorant because they chose to do a crime and they are ignorant because they got caught! Anyway, they're prison "uniforms" were stripped of all strings that could be used as a weapon OR to hang themselves with so most of the time their pants were droopy and at half ass. So, you go on promoting and allowing your family members to look like idiots and emulate even bigger idiots!

IDIOTS!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

In the news 03/05/2013

Headline reads from the Dallas Morning News:
Man stabbed in downtown Fort Worth after panhandlers want more than he gave them

Click here for the article while it lasts.


This is why I don't (and everybody else shouldn't) give money to any beggars/panhandlers/whatever-you-want-to-call-em-ers. I don't care what puts them on the street. I just know that if they approach me, I feel that my safety is at risk and I will not hesitate in beating the wholly Hell out of them.


That's all I got to say about that!
 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mountek MT5000 hands free car mount

I recently purchased the Mountek MT5000 hands free car mount from Meritline.com which I saw in their Monday Madness Email Deals (I think). Regularly $24.95 + shipping but it was on sale for $17.99 + free shipping. I've paid for other hands free mounts around $15-$20 so I figured this would be a decent enough investment. (a few images of it below)

  


Besides the price, what caught my attention was that it used the CD slot in the radio for mounting instead of a suction cup or a clamp onto the air vent. I mean who really uses CDs to play music these days especially with the auxiliary input or direct control for MP3 players these days?

I ordered this and another item that I'm sure I'll write about some day on January 21st. I received it on February 1st. I thought this was shipped from a domestic warehouse but I can't be completely sure. If it was, the free shipping took longer than most domestic free shipping on other products I've ordered online. Since it was almost two weeks, I'd think it was definitely from a domestic warehouse because internationally I've received things in 3 weeks or more.

Anyway, the packaging was pretty good. It came in a very sturdy cardboard box instead a bubble-wrap padded envelope. There was a small booklet of instruction but I didn't use it as I had previously googled this item before purchasing. When I did, I saw a video review which explained how the mount was secured in the CD slot.

A couple of days after receiving it was when I was finally able to get it into my car stereo CD player slot to test it out. When tightening the mount inside the CD slot, I was started to think what kind of damage I could cause to it...whether it is with the mouth of the slot or the playback ability of it. The mount doesn't go much deeper than a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch but when I began to tighten the screw to secure the mount I could see the mouth of the CD slot move. The more I did it the more it moved but I didn't do it to the point of actual breakage. I'm not stupid! I actually didn't tighten it a whole lot and I've had no problems with the mount slipping or moving within the CD slot.

I tested it with a next-to-latest generation iPod Touch and a Samsung SIII with an Otterbox cover.

With the iPod Touch, the MT5000 did quite well. It was easy enough to size the holding arms down to fit the Touch. It was also fairly simple to push the button release to remove the Touch after use. With the Touch, the padding on the arms seemed to keep their shape while securely holding the Touch in place.

With the Samsung SIII, the MT5000 did well enough. Just like with the Touch, the holding arms and release button functioned as they should. However, the holding arms felt like they weren't as sturdy with the wider size of the SIII. When squeezing the arms together, it seemed like they bent back a little in a sort of "V" shape instead of holding their "U" shape (hope that makes sense). Even without the Otterbox the arms seemed weak. I had to squeeze them tight enough to be able to hold the SIII in place while I manipulated the SIII for either changing music, dialing a phone number or getting driving directions. A couple of times I didn't have them tight enough and my SIII slide out and to the floor board. After some practice, I was able to get the SIII fully secured without movement but I felt like consistent use of it this way could weaken and damage or break the holding arms. Sometimes bending a bit is better than more rigidity but I'll just have to wait and see how long it lasts if/before I break it.

My takeaways:

Pros: I didn't pay much more if anything more than I would for any hands-free mount from Fry's Electronics, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon or wherever. So far, it's done what it's supposed to do and does it fairly well. I like the fact that when I need my air vents, particularly in the summer for the A/C, one or more are not being blocked by my SIII/Touch. I like the simplicity of the design and it's very beneficial to me that it can hold my iPod Touch as well as my Samsung SIII (w or w/o case).

Cons: The overall construction of the MT5000 seems sturdy enough except for the holding arms. They seem a little less solid compared to the rest of the MT5000 and the slight flexibility of them could lead to breakage while trying to push them together to secure your device.

Depending on how big your device is, where you place it in the MT5000 and where your CD slot is on your radio, it could block the display of your radio and even disrupt the air flow from your center vents—again depending on your vehicle type and arrangement of your radio. When I have my SIII in the MT5000 situated where the top of the SIII is lined up with the top of the MT5000, the SIII blocks my LCD display of my radio. For instance, if I have it in auxiliary and am using the SIII to listen to music, I cannot see the volume level because of the way the layout is...the volume is centered during auxiliary use and the SIII is dead center. This is not a total bust but sometimes I just like to know how high/low the volume is currently set. Now when I have my SIII in the MT5000 situated where the bottom of the SIII is lined up with the bottom of the MT5000, the top of the SIII slightly blocks the center vents on my Honda CRV. It doesn't stop the airflow or block it like a holder that sits directly on the vent. It does have some clearance space of maybe 3-5 inches between the vents and the SIII. However, it could limit the air flow to the backseats. I just don't know for sure at this time as it's "winter" in Texas and I have no need to use my dashboard vents.

And to compare this to another product or two I own and use(d): The first mount has a suction cup and a bendable 4-inch arm that I used during our trip to Florida and Taos this past summer (see images below). I used it on the left-hand side of my steering wheel on the windshield (suction cup only) because it was too far away if I put it centered on the windshield. I also felt like it hendered or distracted my vision a little when I initially stuck it centered on the windshield. It came with a disk that you can use for adhering to the dashboard but I didn't know if it would jack up my dashboard or not so I haven't used the disk. This particular mount cost $17.99 at Fry's Electronics. After applying a little water (or spit when I didn't have water) to help the suction cup adhere better, it stayed mounted while my iPod Touch with the power cord and auxiliary cable rested in the cradle for the entire 12-hour drives—Dallas to Fort Walton Beach, FL and Dallas, TX to Taos,NM. While in each of the respective cities, it stayed adhered most of the time. Occasionally, I would accidentally knock it off while inserting/removing the Touch from the cradle. However, it easily re-adhered without issue and lasted until the next time I knocked it off. It currently resides under the center console of my CRV because I need to clean the windshield AND the suction cup because both are pretty dirty and the mount won't stay properly adhered. I've been too lazy to clean either. Then I saw this deal on the MT5000, I thought I wouldn't have to clean it after all. I'm lazy...I know. I figured that if I ever stuck the disk to my dash or window, that the suction cup would work even way better but I still am hesitant. Maybe I'll do it on my van dash since it's a lot older. We'll see. I haven't tested this mount with my SIII because at the time of the trips I had an HTC Evo Shift. The shift is roughly the same width as the Touch so there weren't any issues with occasionally securing my phone in the mount when I need to use the GPS. A few times I have entered my car to find that the mount is on the floorboard or it has fallen while in use during driving. Overall, this mount is very good but the need and possibly worry that the suction cup may falter makes it's use less stable and consistent...again that may change with the suction disk if I were to use it.

  

Second, I have another mount that is smaller than the one just described (see images below). I got it purely for the iPod Touch but it did hold my HTC Evo Shift as well. It had two ways to mount: either adding 'clips' to the back and then clipping it onto one of the A/C vents or it had a sort of stand about 1" x 1" with double-sided tape that I could adhere to the dash and then secure the mount to it. Again, I didn't use this dash stuff because of not wanting to damage my dashboard. The mount did exactly what it was supposed to do. However, the clips that were on the back to connect to the vents were fragile and broke fairly quickly after a few weeks of use. They didn't completely break off. It's hard to explain in words but the bottom part of the clip was thinner than the top and the bottom part is what broke off (see 1st image below). This is turn made the mount technically not clip to the vent as much as it was hooked to it. Hopefully, that makes a little sense. So, clipping (not hooking for me) this mount to a vent blocks that vent entirely. I have four vents: one on each end of the dashboard and two in the center. Depending on where I hook it, using the mount knocks me down to three vents. Not a huge deal if I'm not using them but a big deal for the people in the back seat that aren't getting enough A/C air flow during the hotter days in Texas. This mount is limited to what size device you can use. It will not hold anything much larger than the iPod Touch and it definitely will not hold a Touch with a not-so-thin case. As stated, I strictly purchased this to hold my Touch to listen to my music so it worked for exactly what I wanted it for. This is actually my second mount of this type. The first one I had for about six months. The clips broke just like my second one but I also snapped the arms of the cradle when pushing them together to secure my Touch. I was more careful with the second one but I was surprised when the first one's arms snapped. This mount has served its purpose and I'm sure will continue to do so until I lose it or it breaks.

  

Overall assessment: I don't think you could go wrong with the Mountek MT5000. I got it at a very good price and I definitely like the use of the CD slot versus a suction cup to the window/windshiled or using some adhesive to hold a flat plastic surface on the dash for the suction cup to properly and securely adhere to. It could probably use an update (if this is the 1st run) with such things as stronger cradle arms and maybe smaller screws/nuts that are used to expand the mount inside the CD slot for stability. That way it doesn't block the display of the radio. Even with all these possible updates, it is a very decent product that I've used just about everyday so far since the initial testing a few weeks ago.

UPDATE: I finally got around to uploading some photos to show how the MT5000 mount interferes with the radio display and buttons since anonymous commentor Brent asked for clarification almost a year ago which I guess this could be sort of a testament to the build of this mount since I still use it...although I am also fairly conscious to be careful with it. Hope the pics help.