Friday, November 30, 2007

Star Sighting Recently

Anderson Cooper coming out of the Biltmore Court and Tower. A stretch limo was waiting for him. He looks just as stunning in person as on television.

Hide Sushi Dinner

Excellent dinner at Hide yesterday. Yellowtail belly and mackerel were especially buttery. Albacore was not so good. Check came out to $40. Ordered tempura dinner, beef and sashimi dinner and sushi (2 orders yellowtail belly, mackerel and albacore tuna).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Verizon aanounce it will open up its network in mid-2008

Finally, consumers will be able to buy cellphones /mobile devices sold by companies other than Verizon and use them on Verizon's network. Consumers will be also be able to get special features and applications on their phones not offered by Verizon.

The iPhone runs on a GSM network; Verizon uses CDMA technology. iPhone users will not be able to use the iphone on the verizon phone unless Apple Inc. comes up with a new CDMA phone.

Deal on Virgin America Airlines

I just bought 50% off tickets pp (or buy one get one free) for a flight from lax to jfk from dec 14 to dec 18. used promotion code "diggnation". I paid $379.60 for 2 tickets. Must purchase even number of tickets. what a steal! no expiration date posted, but deal available for future dates between
Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
New York, NY (JFK)
San Diego (SAN)
San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Washington, DC (IAD)
Unfortunately, there are no flights between lax and las.

Promo Code discount is only valid for two guests traveling on the same itinerary. Offer ends at 11:59pm Pacific Time on December 7, 2007. Promo Code is valid for travel in the Main Cabin between November 26, 2007 and March 19, 2008. Blackouts are December 19, 2007 through January 6, 2008, February 14, 15 and 18, 2008.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Factor's Deli on Pico

Factor's deli yesterday night for dinner (on pico, couple of blocks west of robertson). Nice, casual restaurant. Ordered Matzo ball soup ($5.95 for a bowl). Around $13 for most typical sandwiches - I ordered the corned beef. Very tasty. Service wasn't too good yesterday - our server seemed fake friendly enough. I can understand if they run out of bagel chips but no other "bread/crackers" was even offered by our server (and she never passed by for another 10 minutes) after serving our soup, so I had to ask another server who kindly brought us melba crackers and saltines. My sandwich was served but our server quickly left and did not even offer to bring dijon mustard/horseradish and I didn't get a chance to ask for it. Am i the first customer to have mustard/horseradish with my sandwich?
Both sandwich and soup were very good.

AMF Bowling - Mar Vista

had not gone bowling in years since the bowling alley near santa monica and western closed down a couple of years ago (setting location of the big lebowski movie). Went to AMF bowling center on venice blvd in mar vista with friends saturday night. seemed a bit pricey but i don't know what the going rate of bowling is anymore. it amounted to $19 per person for shoe rental and bowling for the rest of the night (we arrived around 11 pm and it closed at 1 am). i don't remember paying more than $10 for shoe rental and bowling way back when. i'm buying my own shoes the next time i go bowling. unfortunately, the store inside the bowling alley was closed but a variety of shoes and prices were displayed in the window as low as $40.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

El Coyote

El Coyote last night. Pretty good, reasonably priced. Hasn't changed much since I last went there a couple of years ago. Mild salsa is served warm and was very tasty. Ordered guacamole ($6) - very good, although it seems a bit creamier (I think it's the addition of sour cream) than typical guacamole, but the sour cream does give it a nice flavor. My main dish was carnitas (shredded pork) served with rice, beans, guacamole, tortillas ($11). Nice casual environment. Parking is $3.50.

LA City Wesite for Service Request

E-requests at for graffiti removal, street repair, light repair, rent stabilization ordinance, etc.

You may also contact the City department directly by calling 3-1-1 or fill out an online service request form regarding:

Abandoned Vehicle ,Animal Services Bulky Item Pick-up, Housing Department Complaint, Illegal Construction ,Illegal Dumping Park/Recreation Center Concerns ,Pothole Repair ,Public Safety Sewer Concerns ,Sidewalk Repair, Speed Humps, Storm Drain Concerns, Street Lights Out/More, Street Resurfacing Street Sweeping Traffic Enforcement Traffic Signal/Signs, Trash Container Pick-up, Tree Trimming Other

Aviation Consumer Protection Division

Aviation Consumer Protection Division website. File airline complaints, etc. See air travel consumer reports.

The functions of the Aviation Consumer Protection Division are as follows:
Receives informal complaints from members of the public regarding aviation consumer issues
Verifies compliance with DOT's aviation consumer protection requirements
Provides guidance to the industry and members of the public on consumer protection matters
Makes available to the public information on pertinent consumer matters

Now I know where to file a complaint.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Beowulf 3d Imax at universal amc

saw beowulf 3d imax at universal on saturday. went there saturday at 3 to watch 4 pm show. both 4 pm and 7 pm show were already sold out. i purchased tix for 10 pm show. $5 for parking. Pay $10 parking and get $5 credit with movie tix purchase. ins and outs are allowed, same day. if all movies are sold out for that day, parking voucher is issued for another day, but no refunds on parking, according to the parking attendant.

beowulf was very entertaining. 3d effects weren't as impressive as i thought it would be. although it could have been the seat i was sitting at at the top right corner. i still remember captain eo (starring michael jackson) at disneyland which was great in 3d.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What do the things on our money mean? CBS Saturday show

Pyramid and eye -
pyramid symbol represent strength and durability
13 steps on pyramid represent 13 colonies
the unfinished pyramid - future growth of the nation
eye "the eye of providence" on pyramid

great seal of united states
latin word e pluribus unum means "out of many, one" - many states, but one country
annuit coeptis "he has favored our undertakings" referring to god
novus ordo seclorum "new order of the ages"

in god we trust phrase - coins/bills
phrase on coins since late 1800, not on bills until 1957
congress made it our national mono - president eisenhower signed it as a law requiring it on all currency

$1 bills last in circulation on average for 2 years while less common bills such as $100 bill last in circulation up to 7 years

ben franklin and alexander hamilton ($10 bill) are non-presidents on money
no one alive can be on any money

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Country for Old Men

Watched no country for old men at the grove last night. I was hesitant to watch this movie but glad i did. i had heard it was scary and the last 2 coen brothers movies i saw, i wasn't too happy with. but this movie was good. it was one of the better movies i had seen in a very long time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dinner at Bombay Cafe

Bombay Cafe. Indian food. Pico/Bundy. Probably hadn't been here in about 3 years. Used to go here quite often. Last I heard, it had a new owner. Although everything seemed the same (ambience, menu items and taste/presentation of food). The menu prices seemed a lot higher now but that is expected. Dinner receipt:

1 samosa appetizer $8
1 tikka massala chicken $16
1 garlic naan $3.50
1 pullao rice $8
1 iced tea $3.00
tax $3.17
Total: $41.57 not including tip

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Westwood area

Since i'm hardly in the area, I decided to go to dee dee reeses in westwood. After parking the car, i walked by a Red Mango yogurt shop which is supposedly what Pinkberry got their idea off of in korea. Red Mango had a similar, modern feel. Same type of menu, regular flavor or green tea. I ordered the small at $2.50. One topping was $1.00, 2nd topping was $0.25, 3rd topping was another $0.25. I had 2 toppings (mango and rasberries) , so my total was $3.75. No additional tax was added, unlike pinkberry. I'm not a conoisseur, but Red Mango tasted similar to Pinkberry b/c I certainly could not notice any distinguishable difference between the 2. The mangos were not ripe and didn't taste good, but that's probably attributed to mangos not in season anymore.

i walked by dee dee reese and there was a long line, so I decided to pass on it. The ice cream sandwiches (ice cream scoop between 2 cookies) are now $1.50.

DMV Renewal

Due Date 1/8/2008
Registration Fee $41
License Fee $63
County/District Fees $10
Total $114

ID 450176

Need smog check this year unfortunately. I went to www. Some places offer coupons. I was able to get one for The Smog Check Center (Sunset/Hobart) for $29.95 plus $10 certificate for a total of $40. Fast service, clean environment. The guy there told me that California is going to require that all smog check places update their equipment by December. The smog check test prices will increase to about $70 and will take 40 minutes rather than the average 15 minutes.

My car passed the smog check at both 15 and 25 mph.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Joel Grover NBC investigation on Taxi Cabs again in Los Angeles

Joel Grover NBC investigation on Taxi Cabs again in Los Angeles, West Hollywood again - updated from May 2007. Taxis still overcharging. 9/10 taxis overcharged in West Hollywood. Taxis tried to overcharge by charging over a flat fee to lax, charging $0.35 cents instead of the actual $0.20 per 1/11 mile/30 seconds waiting and overcharging by counting more miles than the actual miles.

Tips To Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of When Taking Taxis - NBC
1. Plan your trip. Know what distance you are traveling and what the taxi companies/legal rates are. Know roughly what your trip should cost before you take it.
2. If you feel like you're being overcharged, ask the cab driver for a receipt. The receipt should have the driver's name, cab number, as well as pick-up and drop-off locations.
3. Once you have a receipt and you think you are being overcharged, question the driver. If the don't concede, tell them you are going to complain to their company, the city and the police.

Various Local Taxicab Rates

Beverly Hills
$2.20 a mile
$35.00 flat rate to LAX

Los Angeles
$2.65 Flag drop (First 1/7th mile).
$0.35 for each additional 1/7th mile ($2.45 per mile).
$0.35 For each 47.5 seconds waiting time and/or traffic delay ($26.53 per hour).
$42.00 Flat fare for trips between LAX and downtown. Area bounded by Alameda St., Santa Monica Fwy., Harbor Fwy., Cesar E. Chavez, Union Station and Chinatown.
$2.50 Surcharge for all trips originating at LAX. $15.00 Minimum fare for trips originating at LAX (In addition to the $2.50 surcharge

West Hollywood
$2.20 flag drop, the first 1/11 mile; $0.20 each additional 1/11 mile or 30 seconds of waiting. Flat Rate to LAX is $35.00.
TAXICABS AUTHORIZED TO WORK IN BEVERLY HILLS: Beverly Hills Cab; United Independent Taxi and Independent Taxi.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ralph Lauren Goose Down Pillow

Also shopped today online for goose down pillows. My sister had purchased me a Ralph Lauren goose down pillow from Robinsons-May for my birthday during my sophomore year in college. To this day, the pillow is still in good condition and very soft, even after daily use for 13 years, 8 hours a day. I decided to buy another Ralph Lauren pillow based on my experience. Went to RL website and the goose down pillow (standard or king size) were on sale for $55 (original price was $69). I found a RL 15% off total purchase coupon code plus free shipping for total purchases of $195. I collaborated with a friend to purchase more pillows to get free shipping and voila, more savings for me. Averaged at about $51 per pillow.

Update: Very happy with this pillow purchase. I guess I did need a new pillow. My shoulder soreness is a lot less now. Noticed both first and second day of use. I should have got this a long time ago. I may order more.

Laser Toner Cartridge-Samsung ML-1710

Shopping online all day today. I finally had to order new laser toner cartridge for my samsung ml-1710 (a discontined model). So many different websites sell the "compatible" cartridge, which is not oem, at prices so low ($30-40). All the oem samsung cartridges were $80. Took a while to decide because of the price difference. After reading many, many reviews, I decided to buy the oem from office depot. I found a $20 off coupon for purchases of $75, so my total only came out to $65 including tax. Many of the reviews were good and bad, but some had stated that the compatibles leaked toner or didn't print consistently or clearly which skewed my purchase decission.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Friday night, Neil Young at Nokia again. Side seats at 315 degree angle from stage, so couldn't enjoy it as much as Tuesday night. Saw Daryly Hannah, Trent Reznor and Chris Kattan. Had late night breakfast at Pacific Dining Car (6th and Witmer, opened 24 hours a day). Serves breakfast all the time-good blueberry pancakes.($10-15), steak and eggs. Good steaks also, but pricey at $40-50 a la carte. Macaroni and cheese here is to die for. Valet parking is $4.50 until 2 am. I would rather find metered parking on the street next time. The valet parking guy told me he wasn't going to charge and also didnt give me a ticket, but then decided to change his mind when he brought the car to me. Sleazeball.

Had lunch with friends at Aunt Kizzy'z back porch. Soul food. Good. I didn't like the ambience-very dark for lunch. Didn't look to clean either, but it had an "A". Not full restaurant at that time. Ordered plate of food (cafeteria style) and paid. It was cheap ($8.95) for plate which included choice of meat (pork chop, fried chicken, smothered chicken) and rice or stuffing and choice of 2 sides (mashed potato, macaroni and cheese, red beans, collard greens, etc). It was in Marina Del Rey.

Saw Lars and the real girl movie. Very boring, not realistic. Longer than it should have been. I was bored of the movie early on after the first 15 minutes and unfortunately it never picked up. Don't watch it. You will waste your time and money.

Cast Iron Skillet from sur la table ($16.95) already seasoned. Cooked steak on it. Wonderful, crispy.
Asahi for dinner last night since Hide was too crowded. Always consistent at Asahi. Slighty raised prices by $0.25 to $0.50.