31 July 2010

Craigslist Crack-Ups: Part 2

And here are some more favorites. The treasures just keep on coming:

Do you need a suit  I have a decent Olive green suit. Comes with a green shirt and tie.
  • Calling all incredible hulk look alikes...this offer won't last long!

Wedding/Party supplies, includ. fresh unopened 1/2-&-1/2 Left over from a wedding, we will happily give away about $50 worth of party supplies:
- 3 pints HALF 'N' HALF for coffee, unopenened; never taken even out of the fridge!, dated Aug. 3 so it's still just fine!
- 1 large roll of white paper STREAMERS, still rolled up (unused)
- approx. 35 "deluxe" plastic WINE GLASSES (need washing)
- approx. 35 "deluxe" plastic FORKS that look like silverware (need washing)
- 5-10 each "deluxe" plastic SPOONS & KNIVES that look like silverware (need washing)
- 1 pkg. of 8 disposable ASHTRAYS
-2 antique-look aluminum VASES, about 14" tall
  •  Looks like they pulled out all the stops for this celebration. Truly, a wedding is not complete without disposable ashtrays.

veggie oil I've got two 5 gallon jugs of used oil to give away. I haven't been driving my car as much as normal due to injury. This is good quality oil for making biodiesel or filtering for straight vegetable oil cars. First to respond gets it.
  •  Again, only in the Bay Area...

Mannequin Legs great for an artist or someone who likes legs!
Free Mannequin Legs! Pair of mannequin legs from a vintage mannequin. My mannequin Lola is pretty, tall and vintage. She's a part of my life now so I can't part with her head/torso, however, her legs are taking up a lot of room in my small apartment. The legs are connected at the pelvis by a bar, but can be used as two separate legs as well. Lola stood around 6' tall as a full mannequin, so the legs are full size. The feet are cute, they remind me of gelfling feet from The Dark Crystal. There's a gap between the big toe and the rest of the toes to allow for sandal or thong display.
  • Thanks god they included a close up pic of the toes. That could make or break the deal.

28 July 2010

Craigslist Crack-Ups: Part 1

For those who are not privy to the craigslist phenomenon, it's truly a wonderful thing. Started right here in the Bay Area in 1995 and since expanding to over 700 cities worldwide, craigslist is the ultimate online garage sale. People can post their trash and their treasures online for free in hopes of finding a home, making some cash, or just getting rid of some of their junk.  And while I use craigslist myself for personal shopping, it also provides me with hours of entertainment.  Check out some of the most recent craigslist posts:

broken concrete "clean"  free broken concrete peices for you come and take one and all i dont care no emails just come and get it
  • Alright, now I'm sure there are plenty of good uses for broken concrete. I just can't think of any right now. And apparently the fact that the concrete is clean is REALLY important, too. I mean, did this guy miss the third grade punctuation test or something? he needs to retake the third grade really "bad" maybe he was too busy giving away clean concrete to pay attention in class.

YOU take it to the recycle place I am remodeling my house. I've tried to save what I can from the landfill but just don't have the energy to take it to the recycle place. I have various scrap metals and two window panels from the sliding glass door I replaced. If you want it, please come get it, but please take it all.
  • Only in the Bay Area would this fly. Getting someone else to do your dirty recycling. Within an hour I bet he had all sorts of Go-Greeners begging to help him recycle. Seriously, if you have the energy to remodel your house, you can take your own trash to the recycle center.

Free horse manure (Sebastopol) FREE Horse manure. We can load. Please call to set-up a pick-up time. We would appreciate a little money for the cost of diesel for the tractor but not requied. By appoitment ONLY!!
Free Wool Free wool from 7 just shorn sheep - great for crafts; spinning or what have you! Just call to make arrangements to pick it up in S. Sebastopol.
  • I think someone needs help cleaning up their farm.

Free Wood from Closet - damaged Our Closet fell down and broke. Have the wood if you need it. You will need to pcik it up.
  • What the....

24 July 2010

The Apple Revolution

I have always been an advocate for Apple products, even during pre-iMac days when everything was PC. For me, it has always been Apple all the way. So you'd think now that we live near Apple headquarters my loyalties would have taken off. Well, let's just say I've been going through a technology dry spell, and my hiatus from the I-world became all too apparent last week.

A friend in Singapore asked if we could pick up his new iPad and send it to him (it won't be available there for another couple of months). Upon its arrival, I made my first trip to an Apple Store since returning home from Singapore myself. Among the counters of curious consumers playing with MacBooks and iPods, I began to scan the store for the sales counter...hmmm. Nowhere to be found.

So I head to the only logical place, the Genius Bar, where other consumers had formed a line. This must be the counter where I pick up the iPad, I thought to myself. But as I stood in line, I noticed everyone in front of me had used products in hand...hmmm. No new products being handed out here.

Finally I stop a pleasant fellow in a blue Apple T-shirt, tight jeans, red espadrilles, and wild curly brown hair that was a little too long. His look and his layed-back easy going attitude (as well as his dress) epitomized the Apple-tude.
"Can I help you?" he asked and I explained that I couldn't find the counter to pick up my iPad. He led me to one of the display computers, asked for my e-mail address, clicked a couple of buttons and said he'd meet me back there in 3 minutes. OK? So where do I check out, I wondered, but I didn't say anything.

Three minutes later he arrives with iPad in hand. I hadn't paid for it yet so I asked where I could process my order. Right here, he said...we were standing in the middle of the Apple Store, no cashiers to be seen. I trusted he knew what he was doing so I handed him my credit card. At that point he grabbed what I think was his iPhone, swiped my card down the side, then asked me to sign on his iPhone screen. Viola! Transacation complete.

Seriously, I feel a bit un-California to be surprised by this.

***Thank you Apple for letting me "borrow" your logo image.

20 July 2010

Heavenly Highway 1

The term God's country had little relevance to me...until we drove the historic Highway 1. From Cambria to Monterey, this stretch of highway truly feels a bit like heaven.

We started our trek from Paso Robles, heading west to the coast. While the crown jewel is the coastal drive, the "getting there" wasn't bad either! Winding roads through hills that keep the cool sea air from blasting Paso; vineyards and wineries leading the way; and morning fog making for an eerie
proach to the quaint town of Cambria. Could it really get any better than this?

Whether starting in Cambria (as we did) or elsewhere along Highway 1, this lazy vacation town is a must-stop. The main strip of downtown boasts quaint shops and bistro-gourmet dining. Try Indigo Moon for a bountiful brunch experience. Live music every Sunday, outdoor garden seating, and copious cuisine make this stop more than worthwhile. And the food is fresh and affordable! Eggs Benedict served atop crab cakes instead of muffins; fish and chips that put its competitors to shame (I think they fried the entire fish for this dish!); and thick, juicy, gourmet burgers served with a side of sweet potato fries...there is a little something for everyone here.

Continuing north back toward home, the road takes you down, up, and up-close-and-personal with the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Winding along mere feet from sea level and climbing up for beautiful views are what this drive is all about. Try accessing the fireroad across from Ragged Point for some killer panoramas and a good hike (4 miles gaining 1,700 feet gives even the in-shape a workout). Or for the tourist in all of us, visit the Hearst Castle (media mogul William Hearst's
picturesque mansion) in San Simeon.

From Ragged Point (a good pit stop along the way), Big Sur starts to dominate the east side of Highway 1. All along the way, hiking trails invite the adventurous, and viewpoints invite the rest. But for hikers and non-hikers alike, one trail is a must for everyone...the McWay Waterfall Trail. A mere .6 mile stroll along boardwalk takes you to Big Sur's most distinctive photo-op – an 80 foot waterfall cascading into the ocean.

Continuing north takes you to the heart of Big Sur and toward Carmel and Monterey. But for a quick dinner stop away from Carmel crowds or Monterey mayhem, try Big Sur Roadhouse. Though the happy hour was what led us in, the California-Latin cuisine kept us there. Some of the freshest tortilla soup I've ever had – chunks of veggies and delicate broth served with homemade tortilla chips.

With outstanding food, outstanding views, outstanding hikes, and fewer crowds than you'd expect, Highway 1 is truly a bit of heaven right here in California.

17 July 2010

Paso Robles: The West Loop

While the East side offers hours of entertainment, Paso’s West side story is just as tasty. Might I suggest our West loop for a delectable day of wining.

Wild Coyote: Approached by a winding road and nestled among the hills, this winery is a Santa Fe-styled surprise. Complete with adobe-walled tasting room, pottery peppered hills, and even a teepee out front, the tasting experience here is hard to beat. And while the wines were a bit disappointing the views were not. Wild Coyote wins for the best Paso

Halter Ranch:
A ranch style farmhome houses the Halter Ranch tasti
ng room, and tours of the vineyards and restored 19th-century barn are available. Don’t leave without trying their Sauvignon Blanc. Aged in stainless steel, it still has creamy characteristics from being aged sur lie.

Le Cuvier: The service in this winery is top-notch. Each wine is paired with tasty tapas-styled treats in a casual barrel room atmosphere. If you like oak, this is the place for you. Some of their wines have laid in oak for over 3 years!

The wine industry certainly is one big happy family. And you’ll know this the minute you walk into Tolo's red farmhouse. Set in the winemaker’s kitchen, you’ll be poured wines from behind his kitchen counter. Not only that, his next door neighbor at Tablas actually trained him in all he knows. Yep, one big happy family.

The biggest presence in Paso also gives the biggest first impression. Beautiful grounds, nice views, isolated atmosphere, and a grandiose tasting room all add to the wine tasting experience here. Specializing in Bordeauxs but making a little of everything, this region-wide wine distributor still manages to keep quality high.

Four Vines:
Did I just walk into an 80s bar? With wine pourers punked out in torn black T’s, you can’t help but feel a bit like a rock star yourself. And the red Chihuly-esque chandeliers oddly complement the wine room decor. The best part though? You get to keep the glass. (I chose the “Zin Bitch” glass.)

Touted as the oldest family owned winery in San Luis Obispo County, Rotta has produced wine since 1908. While their reds and whites are good, the dessert wines are the real winners. Try Black Monukka for a sweet treat. Rotta is the exclusive producer of this rare, cognac-esque dessert wine.

10 July 2010

Paso Robles: The East Loop

Highway 101 conveniently divides Paso Robles into two side – East and West. Though I found both to be separate but equal, many visitors claim allegiance to one or the other. For a day of tasteful entertainment, might I suggest our East side loop. Make the Highway 46 drive to Tobin James first. The drive out, a bit urban to say the least, puts you in perfect position to mosey your way back through more appealing scenery.

Tobin James:
Is this really a winery? From the outside it looks like a fancy truck stop; from the inside, a Texas honky tonk with wood floors, long bar, and beer taps (I think they're just for show). This tasting room gets an A+ for atmosphere, making everyone feel relaxed and right at home. Try their Late Harvest Zinfandel for something hard-to-find elsewhere.

Rockin' R:
One of Paso's newer wineries, it is quality not quantity here. Only offering 3 wines for tasting this stop is still well worth your while. Rockin' R offers excellent blends...with a catch! While the wines bear names like "Pink Freud," the varietals used remain a secret. Join the wine club and try your luck at guessing. Dinner for 2 and two bottles of wine await the winner.

A truly elegant experience. White table clothes coupled with French-Reggae music complement the wines beautifully. Though prices are a bit above Paso cost standards, they are well worth a splurge. Try their Syrah (one of the best I've had!) or their creamy Sauvignon Blanc. Both are sure to please.

Rhone blends for everyday drinking...and wigs. Yep, you read right. Wigs in psychedelic colors (including a Marge Simpson mock-up) are just waiting to fuel the wine-tasting fire. What could be better than wine tasting with wigs?!

While the wines aren't my palate's preference, the tasting room is a no-miss. Beautiful landscaping, an iron gate, and huge animal sculptures welcome visitors to the tasting room grounds. As an added bonus, pistachios are grown on property and can be purchased in the tasting room.

Pear Valley:
Beautiful views! Did I mention Pear Valley has beautiful views? Try some of their Rhones for a pleasant surprise at a pleasant price.

Here, we found a little bit of home in Paso. The winemaker is a former employee of Livermore's Concannon Vineyard (right across the street from where I currently work). A beautiful tasting room, friendly staff, and Livermore-style wine. Their Sangiovese is a must try!

Falcon Nest:
While the tasting room is a bit shabby and the owners a bit unconventional (the winemaker-owner walked in with a rifle!), if you like big, oaky wines Falcon Nest is the place for you. These wines are how I imagine the Old World wines once were.

07 July 2010

Passing Through Paso

For those making a trip along historic Highway 1, Paso Robles is worth a pass through. Located almost equidistant from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield (and just 20 miles east of the coast), Paso Robles is an ideal long weekend destination for California residents and visitors.

Yuppies from L.A.; hikers from the East Bay; computer geeks from Silicon Valley; blue collar Bakersfield residents; and of course a bit of redneck from the surrounding smaller towns, Paso is a crossroads for the eclectic.
Even the locals – farmers, winemakers, and migrant workers among other populations – add to the unlikely mix. But regardless of population and visitor diversity, they all come for one thing – WINE!

One of the lesser known wine regions nationwide (but touted and revered by locals), wining and dining is what folks come here for. Zinfandels and Rhone varietals are must tries, as well as Sauvignon Blanc (some of the best I've tasted in California!). You'll pay reasonable prices for outstanding wines, and with over 100 wineries to choose from you are bound to find something that titillates your palate.

While I like to give credit where credit is due (Napa's Cabs are hard to beat), Paso Robles kicks the pants off of Napa's culinary options.
Unlike Napa's options which include break-the-budget high ends, less-than-spectacular low ends, and Rutherford Grill (yep, that about sums it up), Paso's restaurants and bars frame the main square and offer quality cuisine that anyone could afford. Like the diversity of Paso's residents and visitors, happy hour honky tonks and bistro-gourmets neighbor high-end french restaurants and "exclusive" uppity clubs. For every palate (and every budget) there is a little something for everyone in Paso.