Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Chicago Dog with onion rings at Jerry's Dogs


Chicago Dog w/side of onion rings

As the image label says, this is the Chicago Dog with a side of onion rings from Jerry's Dogs. It's their "signature dog" (which I found no place on their site which describes their dogs' taste, flavoring, ingredients, etc.) garnished with mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomatoes, pickle spear, sport peppers, celery salt, poppy seed bun.

My receipt itemized like this:
  • $4.00 —— Chicago Dog
  • $3.75 —— Make it a Jerry's combo
  • $1.00 —— Add onion rings
  • $2.00 —— Subtract a coupon
  • $0.58 —— Tax
  • -------------------------------
  • $7.31 —— Total cost

Here is my take: The hot dog was nothing memorable. It lacked any kind of long-lasting flavor. You may get some flavor in the initial bite, just barely, but then nothing big enough to sustain and make someone go, "Hm, that's a good hot dog!"

I tasted the fillings/toppings more than the dog. I could taste the relish, onions, tomatoes and mustard. In fact, it could be a mustard, onion, relish dog because that's almost all that I tasted.

I did take a bite of just the dog to see if it had any kind of flavor. I guess it did, just barely. Truth be told I've had more flavor grilling my own Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National hot dog than what this dog gave me. And even a store-bought Johnsonville Beer Bratwursts tastes way better than this Chicago Dog and a pack of five only costs me around $5.99

So, that's it. I won't be returning to get any more dogs from Jerry's Dogs. I did see that they also had burgers and may return to try one of those if the many other closer places to me are closed for business or something.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

90 cents gas rewards at Tom Thumb!

I've been to Tom Thumb a few times to grocery shop over the past week or so but I haven't had to get gas since I haven't driven twenty minutes each way to play tennis each weekend like I used to a month or so ago.

Anyway, today, I had to gas up my van. The price per gallon was $3.19 but using my gas rewards that I've built up, you can see the price I ended up paying in the image below. That's a 90 cent savings! This is a huge bonus as my van normally takes anywhere from $50-$60 to fill up from almost empty. Today it was $37.50!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm definitely applying for this job


The proof readers at Del Mar College or HigherEdJobs.com need to be fired...or at least severely beaten.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bar Ashwood Kitchen or Ashwood Bar Kitchen

I can't tell for sure how the name of this restaurant, bar, and/or kitchen should be said from the logo. I guess the biggest word is the official name but I don't want to presume.

Anyway, I read an article (here while it lasts) today and it reminded me that I actually ate there. So, here's my take...

A friend and I went to Ashwood on Friday August 15. She mentioned that it used to be Bonchon. I never ate at Bonchon but we decided to try Ashwood. It was around 12:30 on a Friday. The place was empty except for the 6 or 7 waitstaff standing around, a buslady, a bartender, 1-2 managers (couldn't tell for sure) and a hostess. The inside reminded me a lot like The Nodding Donkey. I asked our waiter how long they've been open and he said a week. I guess he meant for training as well since the article says it opened on Thursday August 14.

I ordered the Black & Bleu with a side of onion rings. My friend ordered the Cowboy Burger with a side of fries. She thought the Cowboy Burger was good enough but wasn't wowed by it. The Black & Bleu was okay as well but the bleu was way too runny. I felt like it came out of a bottle like a salad dressing. I bit into the burger and it all squirted out on my plate so then it became just The Black. I guess that's why they called it bleu SAUCE. It tasted good enough but dipping my burger into the runny cheese to have it with my burger was not ideal. The onion rings were large, well deep fried and crispy without the spicy or peppery flavoring other places use which was a plus as I do not prefer the peppery flavoring. The fries were laughable, bigger than Smashburger's but less tasty and overall less appealing. If it were my restaurant, I'd be embarrassed to serve those. Visually, they kind of looked like boiled and browned earth worms. HONESTLY!

My total bill with a soda was $12.99 and I tipped $3.01 even though our waiter really didn't do much...think of Genghis Grill "waitstaff." And it's an OCD thing to have to end in $.00. It makes the checking register easier to balance.

All in all, the burger and rings weren't bad but Digg's Taco Shop makes a pretty tasty Hamburguesa for $5.50 and it's much closer to my work. Add a side of okay-but-better-than-Ashwood fries for around $2.00 more.

Funny thing is the tab cleared my bank as Bonchon. They probably will want to change that if they last longer than a few months.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Soundlogic DJ Headphones with Mic (DJM 8/5894)

A couple of weeks or so ago, I purchased the Soundlogic DJ Headphones w/mic (DJM 8/5984) from PulseTV via Rakuten.com (formerly known as Buy.com). They were regularly $79.99 but were on sale for $15.99 with free shipping.

I already have a couple over-the-ear headphones from different companies. One is noise-cancelling from Amp'd Mobile and the other is Skull Candy's 2XL. I like the Amp'd over the Skull Candy strictly because of the "basicness" of the Skull Candy headphones but that's really why I bought them. I'm complaining about the Skull Candys because I thought I'd try them out since they were on major sale at like $7.99 versus $59.99. I wanted a kind of "throw away" headphone for rough and tough use at a low, low cost.

Anyway, back to these Soundlogic headphones...

Just looking at the headphones, they look pretty good. I liked the black and red combination. The cord is connected to one earphone (like my Amp'd but not Skull Candy). The cord does have an in-line microphone but I don't use it as that's not the reason I purchased. I just wanted it for audio.

Upon closer inspection, they feel pretty cheaply made. They are a light-weight plastic. I've used them about ten times for about two hours each and they seem sturdy enough. I haven't really thrown them around or anything but I have dropped them from about three feet and they didn't break.

I guess these are call over-the-ear but they feel more like on-the-ear. I don't have a big head at all but they feel like they are maybe outlining my ears. The pads aren't huge and I asked my wife if she could hear what I was listening to. She said a little yes. They muffs aren't the softest but that are comfortable enough for maybe two hours or so — I haven't really used them longer than that. They aren't as cushioned and they are more of a vinyl material. I do know that I felt like my Amp'd Mobiles are more comfortable than these Soundlogics.

I'm not an audiophile and I'm not sure audiophiles are really as "expert" as they say when it comes to headphones. You can only get so much sound from headphones and it really becomes the personal preference of the individual listener versus an overall general experience for everyone. I didn't find any problems with the sound from these headphones. There was enough bass and treble for my preference while watching a movie. I haven't really used for long periods of time just to listen to music other than the day I opened them. At that time, they sounded just fine but again I didn't pay too much attention than just to see how they initially sounded. I was just testing for suck or don't suck and they didn't suck. Maybe I'll try them again for music and pay more attention for updating this review.

They work. They sound good for my tastes. So, for $7.99 I can't really complain.


Need for Speed (2014)

Need for Speed (2014). Saw this movie today. I went into it with low expectations as when I saw the previews, it really just looked like a different version of The Fast & The Furious. I'm not a huge fan of ALL of the movies of TF&TF but I figured if the movie was anywhere close to one of them or above Tokyo Drift then it wasn't too bad of a movie.

The storyline wasn't necessarily weak as much as it was been-there-done-that. Taking into consideration that the movie is based on a game that is completely about driving and no FMV or character building, I didn't expect a grand storyline. That being said, the start of the movie was predictable to me. Within the first 10-15 minutes, I predicted that a particular character was going to die or at least get seriously injured. I was right.

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of continuity and making things as real-to-life as possible. Granted I know that many, if none, of the things in this movie would ever happened but if they did, I'd appreciate the movie makers making it as realistic as possible. Without giving too much away, the second race in the movie has three very, very fast cars that are exactly the same make, model...everything. There's a part where one of the racer cars has to slow down A LOT to avoid an accident or road hazard while one of the other racer cars just keeps on going full throttle. However, seconds later, the car that had to slow down has somehow caught back up to the car that just kept on going. Not likely!

Then there is some cross-country driving done in a one-of-a-kind Shelby Mustang which they show near the beginning of the movie was able to hit a top speed just over 230 MPH. In case you don't know, that's really fast! I guess you could look at it as that's driving half as fast as some passenger airliners fly. There's a part where they are in the canyons and the token cutie girl is driving. She's driving pretty fast but some guys are able to catch up to her in a couple of 4x4 vehicles. Yes, they are 4x4s and the other is a Shelby Mustang but on the straight-aways the Mustang would leave them in the dust. There were quite a bit of straight-aways during this chase scene but the 4x4s were ALWAYS on the tail of the Mustang. [Spoiler alert] There is a point where they are nearing a cliff. All vehicles are hauling extreme ass towards it. The Mustang is lifted to safety by straps attached to a helicopter at the last moment but the 4x4 vehicles were somehow able to not drive off the cliff.

Anyway, it was the (little) things like this which irritated me most about the movie.

The race driving is just like TF&TF. It's fast, non-stop, hair-pin turns and near death or death stunts. It seemed like it would have been an entertaining and enjoyable movie to make for the actors. I mean who wouldn't love driving fast as shit in all kinds of make and model sports cars?

The acting if you could call it that was laughable and predictable. Again, I don't think the movie took itself seriously too much but I'd imagine they spent a lot of money and would like to make it back and then some. However, this is the same I felt about some of TF&TF movies —— somewhat entertaining but such a huge waste of money!

I've seen a few episodes of Breaking Bad and I think Aaron paul did a good job in those that I saw but I'm not sure why someone thought he or Imogen Poots were big enough draws to 'solo' this movie. Many of the supporting cast and their interactions were funny and many times better than the main characters'.

FINAL VERDICT: It's watchable. The driving is pretty cool to an extent but nothing not already seen a bazillion times before. The story line lacks but if you just go into it as an action rip-off of The Fast & The Furious or even closer to Cannonball Run then you should be okay. I wouldn't have paid ANY movie theater price but $1.30 at Redbox was probably a fair price.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Looks like Rollngo has increased their prices

I was craving me some Asian food and stopped by Rollngo on Greenville Ave last night. I wasn't really hungry but my kids would be after band camp, so I just picked up one order of the pork egg rolls (3 to an order) and two orders of their steamed dumplings (10 to an order).

I got home and took the food out of the bag and saw the itemized receipt. It showed the dumplings at $5.99. I believe I paid $4.99 when I previously wrote about visiting Rollngo. I think that was back in June.

So, just like I expected, they have already begun to increase their prices. Granted it's only a dollar but a dollar is a dollar! I also happened to notice an advertisement while standing in line to order that mentioned their banh mi sandwiches (I think) are buy-one-get-one. I didn't see the three-for-$10 advertisement but I also wasn't looking at the sandwiches to order this time around. So, it could still be offered but I just wasn't paying that much attention.

The pork egg rolls were still pretty good although they didn't put in any dipping sauce (and I forgot to check to make sure). The dumplings were pretty good too. My youngest got home from band camp that evening and ate four of them in about three minutes or less.

$5.99 for steamed dumplings puts them closer to the likes of Pei Wei or Royal Thai pricing but I think Pei Wei and Royal Thai dumplings taste much better although there are usually only four or five dumplings. I think Rollngo may have just gone-n-rolled off my lists of Asian restaurants at which to regularly dine.