Day 149: Summer Craving

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Every year around this time, I crave mango ice cream. Summer is getting closer, but my craving comes from an unlikely source: the Los Angeles Lakers.

I’ve been to the last eight Lakers championship parades, dating back to  when Magic Johnson led a rally in front of the old city hall. I was at the Forum when Pat Riley made The Guarantee. I was on Figueroa and 7th for the ShaKobe years.

After a few of the parades, my brothers and I made it to Little Tokyo for lunch and dessert. We’re fans of a little nondescript ice cream shop tucked away in the Japanese Village Plaza. They serve a delicious mango ice cream and it always tasted the best on warm June days, especially after a parade.

Day 148: Google I/O 2015

Google Photos

Google Photos

The big news from today’s Google I/O was the Google Photos launch. In short, the Photos part of Google+ is now a separate entity called Google Photos. I played with it earlier today and it’s terrific. The best part? The free unlimited storage for your photos and videos. Yes, Google one-upped Flickr, right when I was thinking about taking advantage of Flickr’s free 1TB of storage.

One thing that flew under the radar, though, was news about Google+.  Google’s Vice President of Streams, Photos, and Sharing Bradley Horowitz talks about Photos and Plus here. In short, Google+ isn’t going anywhere, much to the chagrin of those who call it a ghost town or worse; reading between the lines, it seems like Plus will be streamlined and re-focused on what it does best, which is connecting people of common interests. I don’t think it’ll ever take over Facebook’s place as the default social media network, but of course I said the same thing about Myspace years ago.

Day 147: Happy Hours

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My buddy Ricardo and I put together an Unofficial Yelp Event tonight and it was a blast. A dozen of us Yelpers enjoyed craft beers at the Hamilton Family Brewery in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and chowed down on some snacks that my wife and I brought: salt-and-vinegar cracklings and chicken empanadas. There were plenty of laughs and good times during our two hours at the brewery; hopefully this is the first of a regular series of events.

Day 146: A Moose in the House

There's a Moose in the House

There’s a Moose in the House

My wife picked up a copy of There’s A Moose in the House at Barnes & Noble. It was in the clearance section, so she only paid two bucks ($9.99 list price) for a light and entertaining card game.

The theme, artwork, and object of the game are funny. You are trying to fill your opponent’s house with moose by playing moose cards onto empty room cards. There are also door cards to close empty rooms to keep the moose out and “moose trap” cards that remove moose from a room, leaving it available for another moose to enter. After the deck is exhausted, moose in your house are counted; the player with the fewest is the winner.

It’s a simple game and takes about 15 minutes to play. The instructions are a bit longer than necessary and somewhat unclear until a run-through or two. After a few warm-up games, you’ll be giggling as you and your opponents try to bring rampaging moose through each others’ homes.

We liked the game, but I doubt it will be part of our regular rotation of games. It might play better with more players; it was okay with 2 players, but up to 5 can play and I think our nieces and nephew will enjoy it. Still, I can’t think of many better ways to be entertained for two bucks.

Day 145: Zombiefied

Rick Grimes is not feeling well.

Rick Grimes is not feeling well.

Over the last three days, I’ve been out of the house exactly once (for Saturday’s Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga). Thankfully, my wife has gone above and beyond in taking care of me, nourishing me back to health while I spent most of my time in our room. When I was craving In-N-Out animal-style fries, she went out and got me an order to munch on while I zoned out on the TV. Now that’s true love.

Since I’ve been such a zombie lately, I decided to watch some zombie films. But either my illness gave me Attention Deficit Order or I’m getting a bad case of cabin fever, since I couldn’t stay focused for the entirety of Dawn of the Dead. I still wasn’t up for getting out of the house, though, so I searched for zombie short films and found some excellent viewing material.

Below are the youtube links for two of my favorites; one is funny and the other is surprisingly touching. The best thing about these short films? You can watch both in less time than the previews at your local movie theater.

Too Late

Cargo

Day 144: Sunday Sickday

Day 143: Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga

(Last night I posted this on my Google+ page; after being sick the last two days, I learned my website had exceeded its bandwidth)

I’ve been in bed sick since Thursday and I was getting a bad case of cabin fever. Thankfully, I was feeling a little better today, just in time for Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga. This was the seventh year of the event and it’s better than ever. In addition to all of the amazing cosplayers, attendees were treated to Star Wars storytime with Darth Vader, arts and crafts (my wife and I wore our Yoda ears proudly), origami, artists (we scored a quick-draw sketch of Han and Leia by Jimmy Purcell), customized Star Wars cars, a fun lightsaber demonstration by the Saber Guild, kids costume contest, Wack-A-Jar-Jar (hilarious!), and my personal favorite, Jedi Elvis (songs from The King re-worked with Star Wars lyrics … yes!).

It was three hours of free Star Wars fun for the whole family. I liked how all of the activities were kid-friendly. It’s never too early to get the next generation into Star Wars and considering all of the light saber duels, costumed wee ones, and big smiles on everyone throughout the day, it’s safe to say that Disney’s multi-billion dollar investment will pay off in the years to come.

Day 142: Tea Time

Tea time

Tea time

Ugh. I caught a bug a few days ago and it hit me hard last night. My throat’s sore, my body aches, and I feel sluggish. I’m trying to take the positives out of this illness, though, and I can think of two things:

1. I love hot tea with honey and lemon; being sick lets me drink this all day long.

2. I should be somewhat better by tomorrow, so I can live-tweet from Star Wars Day at the Cultural Center in Victoria Gardens.

Day 141: Next Binge

The X-Files

The X-Files

My wife has never watched the X-Files, so we’re starting with the pilot and she’s leaving it up to me to pick-and-choose the best episodes to binge. It got me excited again for next year’s limited series and I’m going through articles with titles like “Best X-Files Episodes to Watch Before Next Year” and “Scariest X-Files Episodes Ever.” I’ll introduce her to Eugene Tooms next, then perhaps cool things off with Jose Chung.

I hope she takes to the show like I did so many years ago. It’ll give us another excellent series to binge together … and I definitely don’t want to watch Home by myself again.

Day 140: Letterman

David Letterman

David Letterman

Tonight’s the big finale for David Letterman, who wraps up his late-night run after 31 years.

My cousin showed me the way to Letterman back in the mid ’80s, when a wacky character named Pee Wee Herman was being introduced to America. I loved Letterman and his silly, genre-redefining comedy, from Larry “Bud” Melman to Stupid Pet Tricks, the Velcro suit to Mujibur and Sirajul. By the time he moved to CBS from NBC, I’d lost interest in late-night television, except for the occasional episode of Arsenio Hall or, later, the Conan O’Brien show. For me, staying up late back then was for doing anything except watching television.

There’s something to be said for Dave’s longevity. Late-night comedy has changed a lot in my lifetime and Dave was right in the middle of those changes, taking the torch (along with Jay Leno) from Johnny Carson (who took it from Jack Paar and Steve Allen) before handing it off to Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and the rest of the digital-age hosts.

While Dave hasn’t had his best stuff in years, he was funny whenever I did manage to watch some of his show. It was comforting to know that he was there on CBS, plugging away and available if I happened to turn on the TV after 11:30pm. I’ll miss that.

Farewell, Mr. Letterman.