Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why would you wear that?

I've decided to start a periodic feature...WHY WOULD YOU WEAR THAT?

Here's the first entry:
In the security line at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
This was an interesting outfit we saw while waiting in the security line at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It's some sort of fishnet sweater. I don't understand...

Back in Phoenix

We're back from our trip to Hawaii. We had a fantastic time...


I'll post a full entry about our trip soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Only three more days and we'll be in Hawaii!!!
We'll be meeting up w/ my parents and sister's family in Oahu.

This will be my third visit to Hawaii (prior trips to Oahu and Maui) and Patty's first time.

I've been busy doing research on where we should eat during our stay... =)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is college???

ASU is building a new dorm near campus called Vista del Sol.

Here are some of the features of it:
  • each room will have a full sized kitchen, full closets, and full-sized beds
  • heated 87,000 gallon pool w/ underwater speakers
  • outdoor area equipped w/ 200 chaise lounges, cabanas, and outdoor kitchen
  • ampitheater
  • basketball and volleyball courts
  • multiple lounge areas
  • community center w/:
    • 52 seat mini movie theater
    • billiards, ping pong, and foosball tables
    • arcade games
    • 8,000 square foot gym
    • yoga room
    • and of course ASU students must have...complimentary tanning beds (???? only at ASU...)
Will students living here be studying?!?

When I was studying at Purdue for my undergrad degree (back in the mid '90s), the dorms I lived in (Tarkington Hall) didn't even have AC.

Here's the layout of the room I lived in for three of my four years at Purdue:

Purdue Tarkington Hall room layout(from

Basic Room Dimensions Width: 11' 7" | Length: 16' 2"

A=closet; B=desk; C=twin bunkable beds; D=radiator; E=window; F=beam

Included "features":
  • Desk chairs (2)
  • Desk/dresser combos (2)
  • Beds (2)
  • Closets (2)
  • Desk lights (2)
  • Towel bars (2)
  • Book shelves (2)
  • Corkboard
  • Network connections (2)
  • Phone with voice mail
  • Curtains
  • Waste Basket
  • Mop Sink Room (one per floor)
We also had a common bathroom at the end of the floor (shared among ~40 guys).

More about Vista del Sol:
New ASU housing offers luxury amenities with dorm rules (The Arizona Republic) make sure you check out the slide show...
Movie theater, tanning beds to highlight new dorm (ASU Web Devil)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cranking Up the Volume (Forbes)

Interesting article from the Feb. 25, 2008 issue of Forbes:

Cranking Up the Volume

From the article: (highlights are mine)

Scans (excluding old-fashioned X rays) per thousand insured people went from 85 to 234 in the U.S. since 1999 (see chart). Consumers demanded scans whenever they ached, and doctors went along, sometimes out of fear of lawsuits. Expensive fact: Pittsburgh has more MRI machines than Canada.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes and Cibo

A few weeks ago we went to see Disney On Ice: Princess Wishes at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. The show was definitely Patty's idea...after multiple "hints" from her, I finally bought tickets a few weeks before the show.

I was one of the few males there. We were surrounded by moms (a few dads) and their daughters. Most of the girls were dressed as princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.). Here's one of them (I love this picture):
going to see Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes
There was tons of Disney stuff for sale...seemed like every 50 feet or so there was a stand selling stuff. Here's a shot of one of them:
Disney stuff for sale...
Here are some shots during the show:
Mickey and Minniethe Seven DwarfsTinkerbell in the carriagefire and fireworks
The show was actually much better than I expected. It was an entertaining show and well worth the price paid (~$24pp).

After the show, we decided to grab a late night snack. BTW, the show ended at 9:30pm...we are never out this late!

I've been wanting to try Cibo for a long time so we went there.

We ordered the following:
  • Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil - $9)
  • Thomas Kemper Root Beer ($2)
  • Fresca (a warm crepe filled with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit, topped with more fresh fruit and whipped cream - $8)
  • Lavender Earl Grey ($2)
No pics as it was too dark...

The pizza came out about five minutes after we ordered it. It was great. I had originally planned to eat only a slice or two (and save room for dessert) but we ended up finishing the whole thing.

For dessert we tried the Fresca. It was massive - loaded w/ fruit, ice cream and whipped cream...very tasty. I thought it was very good. The only negative was that the crepe was a bit on the thin side so it kind of got lost among the other items.

The tea was also good. The lavender and Earl Grey was a really nice combination.

I thought the food was great and the prices were very reasonable. We'll be back!

Places mentioned:

603 N. 5th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Wary U.S. olympians will bring food to China (International Herald Tribune)

Found this interesting article via another blog (

Wary U.S. olympians will bring food to China (International Herald Tribune)

From the article... (highlights are mine)

When a caterer working for the United States Olympic Committee went to a supermarket in China last year, he encountered a piece of chicken — half of a breast — that measured 14 inches. "Enough to feed a family of eight," said Frank Puleo, a caterer from Staten Island who has traveled to China to handle food-related issues.

"We had it tested and it was so full of steroids that we never could have given it to athletes. They all would have tested positive."


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Letters from Iwo Jima

We watched Letters from Iwo Jima a few days ago. LFIJ is an incredible movie about the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers. It's hard to believe that an American director (Clint Eastwood) made such a fantastic Japanese movie. The DVD also includes about an hour of interesting extras. Can't wait to see Flags of our Fathers (a companion movie told from the American perspective).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

(Image from

This year is the year of the rat. You can find out your "fortune" for the year here (click on your animal sign).

Marion (+ Banks) for Shaq?!?

According to multiple reports, the Suns are close to trading Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for...Shaq. What are they thinking?!? Shaq is almost 36 and well into his "declining years" of performance. If the deals goes through, it will be (yet) another head-scratching decision by the Suns organization.

UPDATE: It's a done deal. Read more here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Audi R8

Catch the Audi R8 ad during the Super Bowl?
If not, you can see it (and more) here.

It looks killer! (drool...)

Super winners and losers (from Yahoo! Sports)

Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) names winners and losers of the Super Bowl in this article:
Super winners and losers (from Yahoo! Sports)

Here is one of them:

LOSER: Phoenix as a host city

It's far too spread out and the downtown lacks life, which means you wouldn't even know the Super Bowl was really happening. The stadium is nice, but it is one of the strangest architectural works you'll see, plopped down in the middle of a suburb that still is a lot of desert. The NFL's decision to stage its fan "NFL Experience" out in a parking lot there didn't help. Oh, and it's not even warm there this time of year.

Um...Glendale was actually the host city so I guess it is the "real loser"?

I remember during the broadcast they were showing overhead shots of downtown Phoenix and saying it was the "host city". It's sad...but there would have been nothing interesting to shoot in Glendale itself. Oh well. Jordin Sparks did a incredible job singing the national anthem. Here's the video if you missed it:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

We rented 3:10 to Yuma last weekend. The movie is a remake of the 1957 film 3:10 to Yuma (which I have not seen). Great movie. Excellent cast. Check it out!

Giants - 17, Patriots - 14

What an exciting game...down to the final second!

Foodbar, Scottsdale, and celebrities?!?

We went to try THE FOODBAR yesterday afternoon. FOODBAR opened last year in the new Scottsdale Waterfront development (which is adjacent to Scottsdale Fashion Square). When we arrived at the Waterfront area, it was packed -- tons of out of town visitors for the FBR Open and Super Bowl. I've never seen so many people walking around the streets in Phoenix/Scottsdale. It was nice to see...

Here's an interesting pic (Little Shop of Horrors?):
picture at the Scottsdale Waterfront
There were Patriots fans everywhere! Just a guess, but it seemed like they outnumbered Giants fans about 10 to 1. Here's one of them:
Patriots fan in front of Foodbar
Back to FOODBAR...

Here are two pics of the showcase and cashier area:
Foodbar - showcase areaFoodbar - cashier area
I ordered a Croque Madame (Smoked ham, fried egg, Swiss, chives, fire roasted Anaheim chilies - $8) and Patty had the Chicken Panini (w/ pesto mayo on foccacia -$8.50).

Both sandwiches were very good, although I preferred my Croque and Patty preferred her panini. I really liked the crusty French baguette (all breads are from local supplier, Simply Bread).

Here's a picture of the Croque Madame:
Foodbar - Croque Madame
and here's the Chicken panini:
Foodbar - Chicken Panini
A cool James Beard poster in the bathroom:
James Beard poster
The seating area is interesting. One side is lined w/ normal two tops. The other side has "sideway" seating, in which you sit sideways, and the table area is to your right or left. This lets two people share a table space. Here's a pic:
Foodbar - seating area
They also have counter seating at the other end of the restaurant. Here' a pic of that area:
Foodbar - counter seating
While we were looking at the food items, I spotted a cobbler that I wanted to try. We would be back soon to try it!

After lunch, we went to Fashion Square for a bit of shopping.

Marcel Shipp (running back for the Arizona Cardinals) was signing autographs at Dillard's. Here's a pic:
Marcel Shipp signing autographs at Dillard's
While we were at Dillard's, I overhead someone saying that comedian/actor Chris Rock was just spotted in the store. I'm pretty sure we past by a few celebrities/musicians/athletes while in the mall. There were tons of people gathering around this group of guys in the food court (didn't recognize them but they are the "big guys" near the railing):
Scottsdale Fashion Square food court
They stayed in the area for about ten minutes taking pictures.

After shopping, we headed back to FOODBAR for an afternoon/pre-dinner snack. I had to try the cobbler!

On our way there, ESPN was broadcasting from the Waterfront (as well as at UOP Stadium).

Here are a few pics:
ESPN broadcasting from Scottsdale WaterfrontESPN broadcasting from Scottsdale Waterfront
I recognized Tom Jackson, but not the other guy... (Merrill Hoge or Kirk Herbstreit???)
ESPN broadcasting from Scottsdale Waterfront
A somewhat closer shot of Tom Jackson:ESPN broadcasting from Scottsdale Waterfront
A cool new statue commemorating the Hashknife Pony Express (read more here):
Passing the Legacy statue at Scottsdale Waterfront commemorating the Hashknife Pony Express
...and finally, FOODBAR. Here's the cobbler (apple and cranberry w/ scoop of vanilla Haagen-Dazs - $4):
Foodbar - apple and cranberry cobbler
The cobbler was pretty tasty. I thought the fruit filling was a bit tart by itself, but with the ice cream it was just right.

We both liked FOODBAR. We'll be back to try their dinner offerings.

Places mentioned:

7114 E. Stetson Dr, Suite 105
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(@ The Scottsdale Waterfront)

Friday, February 1, 2008

First attempt at making beef noodle soup

Last weekend we tried making beef noodle soup (niu rou mian or 牛肉面) for the first time. NRM is one of my favorite foods...but unfortunately in Phoenix, there is nowhere to get good NRM (so every time we go to L.A., I have to get my NRM fix).

It was quite easy to make. We somewhat followed this recipe that I found on another blog. The hardest part was prepping the meat. Scratch that. The hardest part was waiting for two hours while it simmered (and being tortured with the fragrant aromas of NRM throughout the house).

beef noodle soup
It turned out quite good. The broth was really nice. The beef was soft, but didn't have enough of the flavors soaked in. Next time we're going to try using two pots, one with a concentrated broth for simmering the beef.