Thursday, April 28, 2011

The newest San Diego Charger is Corey Liuget

And the newest San Diego Charger is....Corey Liuget! With the 18th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chargers took the DT from Illinois, who'll probably play DE across from Luis Castillo. Hopefully this takes some pressure of Castillo, and helps clear up more rushing space for Shaun Philips and Larry English. Can't wait to see the kid in action!

Below is his Draft Preview video, and he obviously played pretty well here in Fresno, since most of this video is him destroying Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn and our running backs.

Check Out San Diego Chargers Gear Here

Monday, March 28, 2011

A new domain!

You may have noticed a change in the domain name here! To make things easy for you, feel free to hop on over to the main page at or to check out this blog, the updated URL is

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Gave In...

...And I got a Kindle. It's one of those things that I suppose seemed inevitable, but I'm kind of impressed at how long I held out. I'm liking it so far, although I've only played around with it a little bit. I've got a couple Kindle books downloaded already, and I think the next step is to try checking out an e-book from the library and getting it moved onto the device.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Videos from the Japan earthquake and tsunami

Well, I've spent a good chunk of the morning watching video of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan today, so I'm going to compile some of the videos I've found here, and keep updating as I find new videos:

A whirlpool off the coast of Japan:


A water surge in Santa Cruz, CA:

Cars and boats being pushed around by the waves:

Footage of the quake from indoors and outdoors:

Raw footage from a grocery store:

An oil refinery fire:

Tsunami waves flooding a the port city of Kamaishi

Added at 12:53 PM Pacific

More first person video of the quake:

Road damage after the quake:

Tsunami TV coverage from Japan:

Whole Wheat Bread: Dirty South Punk

A few weeks back I went to go see Murs at a small local venue with a friend. Before Murs came out, there were a few other acts, the first being a punk band called Whole Wheat Bread. They were definitely the best of the opening acts, and in a rare move I bought their CD. I love the disc, it's just been playing over and over in my car since I go it. So if you're a fan of punk, check them out. Their album "Hearts of Hoodlums" is on Amazon, both in disc and MP3 format, and you can get it here: Hearts of Hoodlums

In the meantime, enjoy this video for "Bombs Away". The video itself is kind of weird, but music videos tend to be that way. Just enjoy the song for now!

Rogue Review: "Birds & Bees: A Cost Benefit Analysis"

This year I had about a half dozen shows I wanted to get to, but so far I've only made it to one. It was definitely not a disappointment, I really enjoyed myself.

"Birds & Bees" is a tough show for me to review honestly because I know both people in the show, but I'm going to do my best.

The show follows a couple talking about where they are now. They talk about the various stages of their relationship, with scenes cutting back to show the happy, sex-crazed, early part of the relationship; the "all I can do is think about him, why won't he call me" and "I'll call her later, I'm going to read a book now" stage; and the "big fight".

The show ends with a choice. The audience gets to choose from three endings: happy, sad, and amicable separation. I've read other reviews saying that this is a good way to get people to come back to see the show again, although this is no guarantee you'll see a new ending (unless you bring a bunch of your negative friends to root for the "bad" ending....or something similar with the other endings).

As a whole, I really enjoyed this show. I laughed a lot, I enjoyed the music, and it does hit a true spot with me, and probably with just about anyone out there. When times get tough, like during the "big fight", you have to make a choice. And that's where the cost benefit analysis comes in. It's not always "the hot sexy time" vs "the big fight" time, there are a lot more variables involved, but we've all been there. Is it worth sticking around? What should we do? Too bad we don't always have an audience to choose for us!

The show starts with the cast talking, and cuts to a video of an older band performance, which is the night they met, and there is a picture slideshow of the couple during their early part of their relationship. I really liked the concept, but this is the part of the show where I was confused. Particularly with the slideshow. At this point, I wasn't really sure that we were seeing a couple. Their early banter didn't make that clear enough for me, and the slides showed the two of them having fun, but most of the pictures could have been some good friends hanging out. Near the end of the slideshow, there is one picture of the couple kissing, but my general confusion about their relationship left me wondering if it was just the angle that made me think it was a kiss.

Once the video and picture part of the show was done, and the acting part of the show started with the "flashback" scenes, things became very clear. And this is the part I enjoyed the most. I felt like the use of media was clever, but could have been left out of this particular show. Like it would have fit in better somewhere else.

But that's it, the rest of the show was a lot of fun. There were lots of little one-liners that I loved:
Lady: "I'm going to sing you a song I wrote for you. Why don't you sing along?"
Guy: "Oh, I know this one? Ok, I'll play with you."
Just clever and subtle.

"Birds & Bees: A Cost Benefit Analysis" plays at the Broken Leg Stage, and they have two shows left, on Saturday at 1PM and 5:30PM. Not a great show for young kids due to language and a little sexual content. Check out their Rogue page here:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I went to see "Spamalot" last night

I was fortunate enough to get a pair of tickets to go see Spamalot at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno last night. I've never seen it before, but as a fan of Monty Python, and a huge fan of The Quest for the Holy Grail, I was stoked.

The night was a lot of fun. I was exhausted going into it (just a long week and a long day), so I was kind of worried I'd have trouble making it through the show. Fortunately, I was very wrong. Once the show started, I had no issues keeping focused. The songs were great, the story was great, and we had a great time.

Although based on the Monty Python "Holy Grail" movie, the show doesn't follow the movie exactly. I found that the first Act was more in line with the movie, and the second Act expanded on a different story for the play. Although if you've seen the movie, you know that it doesn't really have a "conclusion" in the typical sense, so this was great.

For the Monty Python fan, there were plenty of familiar scenes. Arguing with Dennis, arguing about whether a swallow could carry a coconut, the Black Knight, the Knights of Ni, the French castle to name a few.

Among the big changes from the movie to the play, I really enjoyed The Lady of the Water. Only mentioned in the movie, she had a prominent role in the play, and I really enjoyed her. A bit of a diva (even a song lamenting that she's been offstage too long), she guides our hero King Arthur on his quest for the Grail.

And finding the Grail? Of course they had to, you need some closure! And that's where some audience participation comes in. Not only did they "find" the Grail in the audience, the lady got to go on stage, be serenaded by the cast and had a quick polaroid snapped! And around this time there was plenty of one liners following the day's headlines (something about California's Father of the Year....Charlie Sheen!).

Overall, lots of great fun, if you get a chance to see it, you'll love the silly, irreverent humor (perhaps I should use 'humour'?) that we've all come to love from Monty Python!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How the San Diego Chargers were built

On ESPN's "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" from the week before the Super Bowl (, Gregg Easterbrook talks about how the Packers and the Steelers were both built through the draft, as most teams claim they'd like to do. He looks at how the majority of the starters for both teams were either drafted by the team, or picked up as an undrafted free agent after the draft. Each team had 18 out of 22 starters spend their entire career with that team. No starters were obtained in a trade, and only Charles Woodson was a big money free agent.

After reading this, I got to thinking about my team, the San Diego Chargers. AJ Smith talks about wanting to build through the draft, but how has he done over the years? For the purposes of this, I used the Chargers depth chart posted on the website on 2/11/11 (

We'll start with the offense. Ryan Mathews, Jacob Hester, Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeil, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez and Jeromy Clary were all drafted by the Chargers.

Malcolm Floyd, and Kris Dielman were both undrafted free agents signed by the Chargers.

Kris Wilson was a free agent pickup by the Chargers, originally drafted by the Chiefs. This is a spot where you could argue that he's not really the starter, that's Antonio Gates, who was placed in IR after the Chargers were eliminated from playoff contention. But since the last depth chart had Wilson listed as the starter, we'll go with him.

And Philip Rivers. What do you do with him? Technically, he was drafted by the Giants, and traded to the Chargers. But that was all part of a trade situation from the get-go, and Rivers never signed a contract with the Giants. So I think we can say that Rivers has spend his entire career as a Charger, basically being drafted by them.

That's 10 offensive starters who spend their entire career with the Chargers.

On the defensive side, Luis Castillo, Shaun Phillips, Brandon Siler, Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason and Eric Weddle were all drafted by the Chargers.

Jacques Cesaire, Antwan Applewhite and Steve Gregory were undrafted free agents signed by the Chargers.

Antonio Garay and Kevin Burnett were obtained as free agents.

That's 9 defensive starters who have spent their entire career with the Chargers.

So 19/22 starters is actually ahead of both of the Super Bowl teams. What does that mean? Nothing really. The Chargers didn't make the playoffs this year So this only really says that the team does build through the draft, bringing in players as rookies and developing them, rather than going after big free agents.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fresno Food Review - Iron Bird Cafe

I've only been to the Iron Bird Cafe a couple of times now, but it's where my book club meets, so I know I'll be finding myself there more in the future. So far I haven't had a chance to sample a lot on the menu, but I feel like I can still write a brief review.

The food is what you would expect at a cafe: breakfast food, soups, salads and sandwiches. And coffee of course. I've tried the Grilled Chicken sandwich, which comes with the standard fare: lettuce, tomato, cheese, but it also comes with a pesto aioli spread which is really yummy. Normally I'm not big on trying out new sauces, but this one was really good.

Today I tried out the Downtown Mocha. The drink was really good. A carefully crafted mocha. The only downside is that it is a little small for the price, but I watched the guy make it, and he did spend a lot of time making sure it was right and presenting it nicely.

The staff at Iron Bird is great. Everyone has been really nice when I'm there, and I never feel unwelcome (You know how that is, you go to get a coffee, and you end up feeling like you're interrupting the person - none of that here).

The place itself is very clean and welcoming. Iron Bird also offers free wi-fi, you just have to get the days password off your receipt when you order.

A lot of my friends swear by this place, and one of them I know spends a ton of time there. Honestly, I can't blame them. I would probably spend a lot more time there if it had a better location for me. It's right near the Tower District and downtown Fresno, so it's a great spot for lots of people.

If you haven't been there yet, then you should give it a shot!

Restaurant: Iron Bird Cafe
Location: 1915 Fulton Street, Fresno (At Divisadero and Fulton, just south of the 180)
Overall: Highly Recommended
Company Website:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fresno Food Review - Harlem Wing and Waffle

**This is the first in what I hope to be a series of restaurant reviews in the Fresno area.**

Last night we headed to Harlem Wing & Waffle at Riverpark in Fresno. As you can guess from their name, the menu isn't very expansive. They have chicken wings, chicken fingers, and waffles. There is more than that, but not much.

They may not offer many choices, but there are lots of variations on those choices. They have full wings which are breaded, and they have "winglettes" which is the smaller wings you would see at someplace like Red Robin or a pizza place. When you order your wings, you can pick a flavor. There is plain, buffalo, suicide, spicy bbq and many others (I forgot to grab a brochure, so I can't give a full list, but I know there were well over a dozen flavors to choose from). Among our group we tried about a half dozen of the flavors, and everyone was satisfied.

Most of us had the waffles. They were small, maybe 3-4 inches in diameter. But really, that was a perfect size. If you couldn't finish it, you could take a couple of small ones with you, instead of having to take half a big waffle home (like you might with a normal sized waffle). They were also very light and fluffy.

My wife tried the onion rings as a side, and they were just standard onion rings. Nothing overly fancy and impressive, but nothing wrong with them either.

The staff was great. The girl at the front counter was really friendly in explaining our different options. She was also very nice about cleaning up a little "mess" one of our friends had (someone needs a sippy cup next time!). There was a guy who was going around the dining area cleaning up the tables, and he even stopped to ask if we needed anything, which was nice. The guys who were cooking were very polite as well. The girl at the counter had stepped away to clean some stuff up, and when I went up to ask for a knife, they were both quick to find one for me. None of that "I'm in the kitchen, I don't deal with customers" stuff.

Finally we come to what might be the greatest thing about Harlem Wing & Waffle: the price. I ordered the 12 wingette combo, which was $8.99. In comparison, at Red Robin I could get around 10-12 wings for the same price. Except that this combo also came with 4 of the small waffles and a soda! All of their combos are like this. Get a bunch of food and a drink for a good price. At any other place, I would probably have paid close to double the price to add a drink and the extra side.

I have to give a big recommendation to Harlem Wing & Waffle. The only downside I can think of is that it is at Riverpark, which can be an unpleasant experience if it's too crowded. Surprisingly, Riverpark was pretty clear for a Friday night, and there were plenty of tables at this place. So get out there and try some Wings and Waffles!

Restaurant: Harlem Wing & Waffle
Location: Riverpark, Fresno, Next to the IMAX theater
Overall: Highly Recommended

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Am Going to Read 50 Books in 2011

I don't generally make New Years Resolutions. I try to stick to goals. And I do have a goal for 2011. I want to read 50 books. Just under 1 book each week. I think this is doable. I've got a decent list built up that I want to read, and I know I can find more as the year goes on.

I'm going to keep a list here of the books I plan to read or have read. I'll update fairly frequently as it regards to this goal. I'm of course going to keep more specific tracking over on GoodReads.

The first 20 books on my list are books that have won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for science fiction. I'm in a group that is going to go through these throughout the year (on a side note, if you're interested in joining us for this, come visit our group here:

The rules? Nothing too concrete, but it has to be a mostly word book. In other words, I won't count the latest treasury of "Pearls Before Swine," or a compilation book from the "I Can Has Cheezburger" site. But I would count a blog-turned-book book like "Stuff White People Like" or "FU Penguin," since it's mostly text. The book doesn't have to be all high falutin' or anything. Young Adult does count, I plan to read the 2nd book in the "Lorien Legacies" series (i.e. the sequel to "I Am Number Four"). I also would like to re-read some books I read as a kid ("Where the Red Fern Grows," "A Wrinkle in Time") and that I never did read as a kid ("The Chronicles of Narnia" series). Other than that, I'll adjust the rules as necessary.

Currently the list stands at 36 books I plan to read, with 1 completed. So I've got my plan of attack, plus room for a little over a dozen books that I can randomly find throughout the year!

Six books done, 44 to go. I'm well on pace (although Maus and The Metamorphosis were pretty short, I do admit that).

Seventeen done in eleven weeks. Good pace, actually a lot better than I thought I was!

I haven't really been keeping track, since this is all but done! 40 books down!

On to the list!

  1. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi, Started 1/15/11, Finished 1/19/11
  2. The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon, Started 1/19/11, Finished 1/26/11
  3. Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold, Started 2/16/11, Finished 3/3/11
  4. American Gods, Neil Gaiman, Started 3/9/11, Finished 3/13/11
  5. Forever Peace, Joe Haldeman, Started 4/22/11, Finished 4/29/11
  6. Doomsday Book, Connie Willis, Started 5/14/11, Finished 6/11/11
  7. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card, Started 6/15/11, Finished 6/18/11
  8. Speaker For the Dead, Orson Scott Card, Started 6/18/11, Finished 6/24/11
  9. Neuromancer, William Gibson, Started 6/28/11, Finished 7/5/11
  10. Startide Rising, David Brin, Started 7/17/11
  11. The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke
  12. Dreamsnake, Vonda N. McIntyre
  13. Gateway, Frederick Pohl
  14. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman, Started 4/2/11, Finished 4/6/11
  15. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, Ursula K. Le Guin
  16. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
  17. The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov
  18. Ringworld, Larry Niven
  19. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  20. Dune, Frank Herbert
  21. Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood, Started 1/3/11, Finished 1/6/11
  22. In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks, Adam Carolla
  23. Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  24. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
  25. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Started 1/16/11, Finished 1/28/11
  26. The Meowmorphosis, Franz Kafka and Cook Cooleridge
  27. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim, Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz
  28. The Rookie, Scott Sigler, Started 6/25/11, Finished 6/27/11
  29. Ancestor, Scott Sigler, Started 1/28/11, Finished 1/21/11
  30. City of the Dead, Brian Keene
  31. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold, Started 1/29/11, Finished 2/13/11
  32. The Living Dead 2, J.L. Bourne (Various Authors)
  33. The King of Plagues, Jonathan Maberry, Started 3/28/11, 4/2/11
  34. Dust and Decay, Jonathan Maberry
  35. The Night Eternal, Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro
  36. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore
  37. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen and Seth Graham Smith, Started 1/6/11, Finished 1/14/11
  38. Maus, Art Spiegelman, Started 1/26/11, Finished 1/27/11
  39. The Hangman's Daughter, Oliver Potzsch, Started 1/31/11, Finished 2/6/11
  40. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Jeff Lindsay, Started 2/8/11, Finished 2/16/11
  41. Zombielicious, Timothy McGivney, Started 2/21/11, Finished 2/23/11
  42. You Might be a Zombie And Other Bad News, Cracked.Com, Started 2/28/11, Finished 3/5/11
  43. The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood, Started 3/4/11, Finished 3/9/11
  44. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, The Oatmeal, Started 3/9/11, Finished 3/13/11
  45. Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi, Started 3/13/11, Finished 3/16/11
  46. Breaking News: An Autozombiography, N.J. Hallard, Started 3/14/11
  47. Catalyst, Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Started 3/18/11, Finished 3/28/11
  48. The Fiche Room, Suzie Carr, Started 3/19/11, Finished 3/25/11
  49. Dearly Devoted Dexter, Jeff Lindsay, Started 4/6/11, Finished 4/9/11
  50. Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba, Started 3/14/11, Finished 4/12/11
  51. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, David Sedaris, Started 4/5/11, Finished 4/5/11
  52. The Zombie Autopsies, Steven C. Schlozman, Started 4/11/11, Finished 4/13/11
  53. Dead Spell, Belinda Frisch, Started 4/14/11, Finished 4/21/11
  54. What You See In The Dark, Manuel Munoz, Started 5/1/11, Finished 5/14/11
  55. Bossypants, Tina Fey, Started 5/6/11, Finished 5/8/11
  56. Blood is Red, Scott Sigler, Started 5/8/11, Finished 5/8/11
  57. Coraline, Neil Gaiman, Started 5/14/11, Finished 5/31/11
  58. Pump Six, Paolo Bacigalupi, Started 5/31/11, Finished 6/5/11
  59. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, Started 6/12/11, Finished 6/15/11
  60. Sundiver, David Brin, Started 7/6/11, Finished 7/16/11