Blog: Spicy Chicken and Parnetheses

April 29, 2016

The last few blog pictures here must have you think this is some business blog am I right?  Oh ho!  

All right, here is the deal with parentheses.  I think it's too easy to abuse them.   I have to be very careful utilizing the open and closed paren.   I get rather annoyed when either I or somebody else write a sentence with all sorts of subtext that really has equal value to "regular level" text.  

For example:  Say "I went to the game today!  There were lots of good foods at the concession stands, and they were on point."

You'll have people, even me, writing it as "I went to the game today (there were lots of good foods at the concession stands and they were on point)!"  It comes off as a run on sentence.   Do we really *need* the parentheses?   Were you really trying to keep the fact about the stadium food a secret?  I mean COME ON.  It's really not that big a deal!

Sentences with excessive use of parentheses, even writing whole paragraphs inside of them, remind me of those disclaimers at the end of car commercials, "no title down on signing abtratbatbatbtbtabtbtbealtkjsblajsdnbjabbablblblblblblblblblblb restrictions apply," anyway the point of all this is, I'm really careful about how I use parentheses.  It's no different than when guys go "I LITERALLY stood in line for an hour."    Is there any other way to stand in line for an hour?  Figuratively?  Metaphorically?  Who would utilize standing in line as a metaphor?  I feel that the use of subtext where there is none is redundant.

Thanks for putting up with all that, how about something less preachy yea?  Onward.

I hear the words "drive by" and my first instinct is "shooting?"  That's very creepy I wish I wouldn't do that.

Folks peach season is here!  Do the dance!   Go out an enjoy one, albeit a tiny one right now, they should grow in later.

I sat on this topic for three months but I was going to complain about "digital drivers."   That is the driver who only jams the gas pedal or jams the brake.  That is BRUTAL driving.  No in between speeds.  You'll see that guy driving the bus sometime.   All in or all out,  and I believe buses run on a speed limiter, which only encourages the practice.   Driving a giant vehicle like a bumper car is never good for the passengers.   One time the man went so digital I almost threw up. 

Here are some updates on chicken sandwiches.  I got to try the very hyped up Chicken Shack sandwich from Shake Shack at their Vegas location.  That thing was out of this world good.  VERY good.   It's not spicy by itself, but I know that Shake Shack puts cherry peppers into burgers as an option, and it'd be just as easy to request cherry peppers on a Chicken Shack.  I'm a fan.

The Wendy's Chicken sandwich was ordered a couple weeks ago as a consolation choice for dinner.  I really wanted that Bay Cities Godmother sandwich but I forgot Bay Cities closes at 6pm and I was late by a minute. Hah, LITERALLY one minute!  It was 6:01pm.   That really was a clunker, but the Wendy's Spicy Chicken held up.   Specifically, I had the seasonal Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken sandwich w/ the ghost pepper sauce.  That sauce makes the sandwich.  It's tremendous.

Somewhere in between I had the spicy chicken sandwich at Chick Fil A.   The filets they use for their sandwiches are tasty but they aren't that crispy compared to the other two.  Of the three, I think the Chicken Shack is currently my favorite with Wendy's Jalapeno version a close second.

Something I was willing to take a flier on was the KFC "Nashville Spicy Chicken."   I want to call their bluff -- does Nashville actually do a barbecue spicy sauced chicken like that?  It was worth a taste but it may be too late for it now.

Today I switch my bedroom TV from DIRECTV to Time Warner so that I can finally get the Dodgers games.  Yep, I gave in.   It's really too bad.  The DIRECTV box as situated for my bedroom was really nice.  Ah yes, I may not have blogged about the TV going to my room, but indeed, it is now here, the second screen in the living room is no more.  The fact is that it wasn't used very much anyway outside of the fall.  I am very comfortable with it in the bedroom and it opens up personal viewing options.  More so with access to Dodger games.  Besides, when I came home on many nights, Coach usually hogged the tv watching news or some other nonsense and I could never get in Lakers games on the road either.  I always felt like putting the Lakers on screen 2 was going to annoy him or his movie was going to annoy me via distraction from the game.  It didn't work, so this spring I thought it was sensible to finally move my TV into my own room.  The Lakers ought to be pretty competitive next year, and I'd rather just have full autonomy of that screen with the sound.

Boy, if the Dodgers work a deal w/ Directv to get their channel on there before November I'm going to be pretty annoyed!   I mean I will *now* because I held out for three bleeping years.   What a disaster that whole thing is.

But it is a Friday, time to soak it all in fellas.  Have a great weekend!


Podcast: 2016 NFL Draft Preview (04-27-16)

April 27, 2016

Ron in NJ joins Dave to cover this year's NFL Draft with a blend of fairly big QB's and big time support players at the top of the draft this year.   Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are the QB's to watch, not quite as much cachet as Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were, but could they be difference makers?  Did the Rams over-do it with their trade for the #1 overall pick?  What's the scoop on coveted left tackle Laremy Tunsil.   Then we start the 2016 Draft Projections featuring Ron's expert prospect analysis.  Complete draft coverage this week in the City.


Blog: All you gotta do is ask!

April 26, 2016

It's a constant battle against fees, bogus or otherwise.  I had a charge on my credit card statement recently I knew didn't belong and I said this is outrageous.  I called the credit card company and I presented my case, citing evidence and logic.  Remarkably, they refunded the charge without a ton of trouble, although it did escalate up to upper management.  Wonderful!

More recently, I made an error with my checking account which resulted in a fee which shall not be specified.  It was pretty big though!  Thankfully, an email with customer support resolved the conflict as well.   Basically it was the way in which I set up bill payments.  I used a wire transfer -- not the best of ideas.   Wire transfers are usaully for the more contraband transactions, or more accurately, payments to systems on other parts of the globe.   It also tends to be reserved for enormous payments.  Certainly a bill payment isnt on the scale of what they had in mind!  Lesson learned.

There are many cases where I had something lacking, I went to ask for it and I received fulfillment.   Years ago I met someone and wanted to meet her for lunch, so I went and asked her to get lunch and it worked.  I mean it only lasted the one lunch but the principle still held am I right?

The invention of popcorn pants was another case of wish fulfillment.  It so happened I asked for popcorn and needed a box... they didn't have any boxes but they still were able to fill the gap w/ these funny looking popcorn pants.

There was a second, looking at footage of Steph Curry leaving the court in Houston with a nasty knee injury, where I thought he was carrying popcorn pants.  Take a look.

I realize it's a serious situation but that popcorn looks delicious.   Does Toyota Center do a good job with the popcorn?  I'd love to find out from Rockets fans.

This is a cheat, but in years past, AT&T park had the best stadium popcorn.  It's a cheat because they outsourced Popcorn Production to the Century Theatres movie chain.   I don't beleive they do the popcorn anymore, but when they did, ohhh baby, popcorn and the garlic fries were the best.

Another notable who *loves* popcorn?  Giants play by play man Duane Kuiper.  It's a true story!  He professes his love for popcorn numerous times each baseball season.  I'm not a Giants fan, but there's tangible respect for their broadcasters.

That's all for the moment.   Draft Preview podcast tomorrow!  Details to follow on Twitter: @ditcow

Podcast: 2016 Masters Recap Show, NHL Playoff Preview (04-13-16)

April 13, 2016

John & Mike re-join Dave to open our Golf coverage for 2016 with a most unusual 2016 Masters.  We recap Jordan Spieth's unbelievable metldown on the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.   How on earth did Jordan come apart so quickly?  Or was it the byproduct of several bad holes he had for the weekend?   An unlikely winner emerges in Britain's Danny Willett.  Danny's steady play turned a 5 shot deficit into a two shot lead all in the blink of an eye.   Lee Westwood puts on a nice run but settles for second place, while Dustin Johnson's short game betrays him yet again from the top of the leaderboard.  We cover all the particulars from this year's Masters, including the pageantry, the television coverage and more.   Time permitting, we will have a 30 minute NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Preview to close the show.


Blog: The Art of Conversation, Shake Shack Debunked

April 12, 2016

Quickie blog entry today.   I know there are radio hosts out there, some on prominent stations, who get annoyed when a guest talks too much to elaborate a point.   I honestly never subscribed to that.  Now there is certainly a statue of limitations to this concept -- whatever the guy is saying it's got to be interesting.  Overall, though, I like hearing what the guest has to say.  I think of my podcast as a living room and anyone that goes on the program with me I invite to sit down and share a few moments.  

I don't think of interviews as vehicles FOR ME or as a means to get to another spot.  There is no other spot.  I suppose that is the value of podcasting.  You don't have the time restrictions or the pressure to do other things.  Hey!  Even if I did have other spots to get to, if the guest was good enough I'd roll the guy over to the next segment if nobody else was scheduled, much like Letterman did.  In fact, David Letterman would even kick other guys OFF the next spot to keep the ongoing guest going.  He probably did that a lot for Julia Roberts.

I think it just depends on how the conversation goes.  If it's great, I want to stay with it, keep it going.  I learned a lot doing podcasts for 8 years.   That sense of timing and rhythm needs practice to get right.  I like to think I have a lot of it down.  Questions I'd ask of anyone on the show is stuff I wondered about all along.   Some shows need more prep than others, but I trust and value the guest to be the anchor with me serving as the starter to his or her engine.

This podcast really is fun to do, and we have another one tomorrow with John and Mike.   We have a monster of a Masters Recap show, it's going to be crazy.  A lot of brouhaha this time with a nutty choke by Spieth and some outright madness with the three holes in one on 16.  Incredible.

I think the folks at "Mark in the Morning" hit it on the head without knowing it when asking "what is the big deal with Shake Shack in WeHo?"   Why is there 200 people in line for a burger that's almost as good as In-N-Out when In-N-Out is just a few blocks away?  It's the same reason we had 2 hour waits for Dunkin Donuts when they opened in Santa Monica: big-time East Coast loyalty.  People out east LOVE Shake Shack, and why wouldn't they?  Fresh ingredients and fun combinations.  I think its terrific.  but I DO NOT think it's worth waiting for 2 hours.  It makes sense though, many transplants from the New York area are excited to get a taste of home, and I think the translation will be canon.  I go to the Shake Shack in Las Vegas frequently and its just like the one in New York City.

It is very good, but at the end of the day it's just an In-N-Out facsimile.  I can't fashion any such place worth a wait of longer than 20 minutes.   And that's just to get the order in!

I think that was all for today.  More tomorrow, have a good evening fellas!

Blog: Dave vs the Apple Store

April 10, 2016

My shameful conversion to a Apple homer continues.   I'm borrowing a friend's Apple TV this spring.  Know what?  It's pretty good!  You can watch Hulu on any device, but on the Apple TV it's a lot easier to use.   It's nice to just use a remote to control everything.  I set up on there too.  The Hulu subscription is unbelievable -- you can watch every TV show there is on this thing.  

All I've done thus far in the blog is write an Ad for "Apple TV", let me tell you the story of the remote!

The remote for the old Apple TV was busted, the middle button was pushed all the way in and man what a challenge it was trying to enter my long-ass email address into the MLB app to get to my games... it took almost 15 minutes!!   I said that's it, I need to get another remote.  The Apple TV belonged to Canadian Karen, so I asked her if I could get another remote.  She agreed, and I went to the Apple Store to get one.

Now take a look at the picture above, that is what the Apple Store looked like that day.  It was packed, I tried to go find a cash register... and I was looking all over the store.  Where was the damn cash register?!   I felt like a complete idiot.   It wasn't until one of those guys with the goofy shirt with the Apple logo ran into me and I asked to go find the cash register.   Turns out, there aren't any cash registers.  Imagine that?   All of those guys with the goofy shirts have their own mini cash registers so he just rang me up at a table.

That's just such a wild concept... roaming cash registers.   Could you imagine going to the grocery store and the guy stocking the bananas could ring you up by the oranges?   Would they just scan everything in the cart as it was?  What would you do about the bags, just put bags by every shelf?   Mind blowing, really.

I went on a vacation to Las Vegas about a week ago, and in Las Vegas they were staging the ACM awards, which are the Country Music awards.   I will tell you this -- these guys LOVE Dr. Pepper!  I hadn't had a Dr. Pepper in ages but they were plugging Dr. Pepper all over the place, I mean this soda was a hayuge sponsor.   So, I thought, do as the yokels do and take a Dr. Pepper, and it was good.   

When I got home, I was at a restaurant and asked for Dr. Pepper, they didn't have any.  A couple days later, I had dinner somewhere else, asked for Dr. Pepper, no dice.   It was at THAT moment, with pasta on my fork, I learned why it took so long to drink Dr. Pepper.  Barley any of the restaurants sell Dr. Pepper.   Think about it!  Most restaurants, especially the sit down places, have a marketing deal with either Coke or Pepsi.  Dr. Pepper is the independent, they would be the Ross Perot of sodas.  While admirable, and certainly more profitable than Perot was during his election, it's still a bit of an outlier.  It ain't easy being Pepper.

Boy that blew me away... it might be a while before we see a fancy restaurant serve Dr. Pepper unless they have some very specific tie in with the Pep.   I could imagine some Texas themed places would go all-in with Dr. Pepper.  Some places serve 7-Up, so I might give them a shot at having Dr. Pepper too.  Ah!  In-N-Out.  I think they have Dr. Pepper and Coke together.  It may be time to give those guys a visit.

Other notes...

Anybody want to buy a 12 input audio mixer from me?   Had the worst luck with Guitar Center, those guys said they were overrun with mixers so I couldn't sell it back to them.  Lame.   

We had some rain over the weekend, but the rain we were promised vs the rain we actually got is very disappointing.

I keep seeing those IS 250s on the road, but my goodness, overwhelming literature raving about the used Infiniti G37's over the Lexus IS series.  The difference is in the handling, the steering is just world's better on the G37.  I'd take that.  I can dream, right.

Long ago I thought I would spend the rest of my life with my 1994 Camry.  Much like pets, the car is looking long in the tooth.  Little things are wearing out here and there, but overall the car drives like a champ.  I hope to get that G37 someday.  One of my own, in fact.   My dad has one -- it's an all wheel drive model, the G37x.  I'd probably get the rear wheel drive model instead, which is said to be a little faster.

They don't even make G37's anymore.  All the more reason to get a used one... I'm told the G37's are still more satisfying to Infiniti owners than the current Q50's that replaced them.  

This whole decade has turned out to the GOLDEN AGE of Bay Area sports.   You had the Giants, the 49ers, and now even the Warriors are looking like the best team in *their* sport.  What a time to be a fan of sports in Northern California.

What's the weirdest time you ever went for a meal?   I would say it happened back in college at about 4:22 am.  I went to a Denny's that morning, not even after a night out, it was middle of the week and I just got up way early.  I was up early but I couldn't go back to sleep, so I went for breakfast.

I had another Denny's off-hour meal once when I was trying to follow a Dodgers pre-season game in Korea and it was after 3am.  I was on AIM with a friend of mine, Tony, and we mutually arrived at the prospect of meeting for breakfast, so we left and met at this Denny's in Goleta, CA.  What a scene... there were a handful of people there, some were coming in from a night at the bars, and it was a good time.  We caught up, as friends do, and had some coffee and breakfast.

I had a moment with the people at the Cosmopolitan buffet during that trip a while back.   I went over to the dessert station and noticed something was amiss.  Surely enough, I realized the chocolate covered strawberries were *missing.*  The next day I called them back to confirm they weren't being served.  They assured me it was just an issue for that day.  Their supplier did not have strawberries available so they had to go without.

That was very nice of them to offer an honest explanation, and they even told me they had strawberries the next day.  I went so far as to talk to the manager and he said the next time I came ask for "George" and he'd come over, introduce himself, and offer a free champagne.  That was really nice of him!   I'm thankful that the people at the Wicked Spoon Buffet car about their customers.  They admitted to the absence, even gave an open, honest explanation, and provided compensation.  I didn't go back THAT day but perhaps I'll go back on the next trip and thank George for his courtesy.

If you get Driscoll strawberries in your area, JUMP ON THOSE SUCKERS.  Man they are so good, I mean outstanding!

I'm really starting to dig those whole grain breads with the multiple grains in them.  One of the breads I got recently had 12 grains in them, and taking a bite, I believe it!  On the package,  it said "made without corn syrup."  This is huge!   I think I noticed a difference, it just felt right in my mouth, more organic or something.

Izzy's Famous Deli over on 15th and Wilshire has some tremendous rye.  The Yelpers have said a lot about the rye already but believe the hype.  That rye is outstanding.

Take a slice of rye bread, toast it, then add some butter.   Just that tastes so good.   

April 10th.. no sign of peach season.  Dave sad.  Dave very sad.

I think things are going to be different this year for the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals.  Better team construction, more complete on both offense and defense -- guys they're going to have a big run in the playoffs, I can feel it!

That's all for now.  Farewell you all.  Farewell to Kobe, not a moment too soon.   And kudos perhaps to the Warriors on a new NBA regular season wins record?  We'll find out in a few days.  Til next time...

Podcast: Seinfeld Trivia: A Podcast About Nothing (04-05-16)

April 5, 2016

It's our Seinfeld Trivia contest featuring Gerry, Lou, and a special appearance by Kevin on the Cape.  All three guests will compete to see who is the "Master of his domain".   We'll revisit some of the best moments from the "Seinfeld" sitcom plus recap our personal favorite moments. 


Podcast: WWE Wrestlemania Preview Show 2016 (03-29-16)

March 29, 2016

We cover Wrestlemania this week, 2016 edition, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.  How will the WWE stage this big event without arguably its more popular wrestler Daniel Bryan. Bryan announced his retirement earlier this year.  Will Roman Reigns be enough to carry what has already been termed "a shipt headed straight for the rocks" by The A.V. Club.  Plus we look at the latest WWE Hall of Fame Inductees and much more from professional wrestling.  What to look forward to in the Championship matches, the Battle Royal, and the Divas Matches.


Podcast: 2016 MLB Preview Show; Division Previews & Predictions w/ Gerry & Ari (03-23-16)

March 23, 2016

Gerry in Piscataway and Ari in Philadelphia join Dave to preview the 2016 MLB Season.   Who will emerge as the World Series champs following an exciting postseason last year?   Can the Royals make a THIRD run to the World Series with their young roster?   Can the Mets build on their exciting run with their young phenom pitchers?   Will the Nationals turn around their disappointment and make the postseason?   Can the Dodgers overcome the loss of Zack Greinke and usher in two new pitchers Julios Urias and Kenta Maeda?  In the AL, what's left for the Yankees with a depleted lineup?  Can the Blue Jays add to their pitching to make a repeat run to the postseason?   Will the Tigers rebound from a dismal 2015?  Are the Indians finally going to be as good as the hype?  Will the Angels have a rotation to help Mike Trout and the bubbling offense?  Likewise, can the Cubs back in the NL take the pennant this time around after a surprise trip to last year's postseason?  We preview all the teams and make our division predictions and share some other storylines from this year's MLB season to come.


The Tikka Masala Incident; Android Traitor

March 22, 2016

I was at a staff lunch recently where they had chicken tikka masala on the menu.  My friends, tikka masala is quite good!   You'll see it at many Indian restaurants.  Tremendous, really.   The chef gave me the chance to take it, but I also had the alternate choice of falafel with pita bread or another alternate of grilled ribeye with onion rings.  What a spot!  I needed a moment to think about it, but my heart was pushing towards the masala.

I stepped aside let some people pass and the chef, really nice guy, quite friendly, was busy helping them out.   I thought it over and said "you know what?  We're getting the masala."   I went back into the small queue to get it, but here's the crazy part.  Would you believe, the manager guy with the nice sweater vest and tie stepped in to help out?  While that was nice of him to help I said "oh here we go, its the manager dude, sweater guy is going to stinge on my portions."   But I was in queue I couldn't wait that out any further so I went with it.  Little surprise: the man was practically counting the rice grains for the bed and scraping every so gingerly on the chicken morsels.  Blast!   I got a small portion of the masala, still good, but not as large as the mounds of meat I saw on other peoples' plates.

I really blew it that day.   I knew that the chef was going to hook it up and he was still very friendly to the end, and even the manager was a nice guy, but he was still a manager and wanted to economize.   It was my error, I took too long to commit.  We call this in our parts: first world problems.


I'm a traitor.  I was Anti-Apple for years, vehemently anti-Apple for some of those years.   Then I got the iPad mini.  Things changed.   I learned, "damn, this thing is pretty good!  Fewer delays, better interface, the thing just works."   After a while, it was time to replace the phone and my Samsung Galaxy S4 choked to death.  I had to take the battery out and put it back in to revive it on numerous occasions.  The storage space was comical.  only 16GB for which 10GB were taken by "other files".  What the hell were these "other files anyway?"  What a pile of rubble that was.   I now have converted, effectively to another technology religion... its an odd feeling, but the quality of the iPhone makes it so satisfying.  The new phone is an iPhone 6s with 64GB of storage.  In the early going it runs like a champ.  I'll report back to you in a few years with how it holds up.

My Citi "Forward" card sets me *back* every month.   Not a clever name for the thing.

I can't remember if I spoke of cars on here recently, but during my unplanned hiatus from the blog I really learned a lot about cars.  I want a new car.   The camry is still working fine and it serves my purpose of getting me to other places.   It's not stylish though, and 183 horsepower, while great for a Camry isn't my style.  I want an engine baby!   I gotta get into the meat engines.   This is another heel turn.  Five years ago I thought I could get by on two Toyota Camrys over 60 years.   I crave more excitement out of the car now... I cant settle for just a Camry!  but I can do the next best thing.............. Lexus!

The happy intersection of reliability and performance.   Luxurious besides.  If you're a car dealer reading this, I am looking for a 2011 or newer Lexus IS 350 sedan .  It's got to have that 6 cylinder engine.  I'll never get back to that v8 on the 'vette I once drove, but certainly a car this new and this powerful will fit the bill.    If a man can dream, he also will dream of the Mark Levinson sound system upgrade.  Boy would I like that.  

Ever notice they don't give cars like that away on "The Price is Right?"  I know exactly why that was, but the fact remains, Lexus would have me jumping up and down way more than a gas hog Escalade or a crap Chevy Aveo.   Who could go out in public and admit they have a Chevy Aveo?  You can't show that thing on the street can you?!   I'd suspect guys who would be in line for an Aveo would split the difference and get a old Corolla instead.  Even the ones who need a cheap small car... take in a 20 year old Saturn, or even the Neon. 

Just imagine, that moment I was called up on stage for getting the price right and they open those fancy doors to reveal a Chevy Aveo.  I wouldn't jump... I wouldn't even smile.  I would throw the game.  I would pick 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 in that order for "Any Number."  I would write 27, 277, 2777, 27777, 277777, 277778 etc for "Ten Chances".  I would hit on 17 for "Hit Me".  I would never take the eggs when playing "Hole in One or Two".

Anyway, you get the idea, get a Honda Fit instead, or maybe that new Fiat thing, whatever its called.

I had no idea just how popular "Dancing with the Stars" was.  It just takes over the entire country.

Somebody suggested a while ago I just print out my blog and read it in front of people at comedy clubs. 

I put a big ole spoonful of canned peaches next to the tikka masala on the plate.  We're so close to a new Peach season, and I've missed the fresh ones so much. 

Did you get your butt handed to you by the Daylight Savings time change too?  It has saved me nothing. 

Hopefully one day we'll all be awarded sleep savings time.  That's an investment long overdue am I right??

More to come next time, all the best fellas.