Fresno TEA bagging

15 04 2009

There was a TEA party in Fresno today, at the SaveMart parking lot.  I drove past it as I was leaving campus.

I was on campus to get a TB skin test, which I need to work for any school district, by the way.

I don’t get why people are so against paying taxes.  If the government wants to take a few more dollars out of every paycheck to make things better, that’s great.

I don’t feel as though I’m taxed so heavily right now that a few more dollars is going to make a difference.  In fact, from what I’ve noticed, I generally get a hefty tax refund back every year.  I look forward to it.

The only tax that actually bothers me is the recent hike in cigarette prices.  Over $6 for a pack?  That’s crazy.

Paying an extra few bucks every now and then for the good of the nation?  That sounds like a good idea.

It seems as though the TEA parties were organized by conservatives to protest rising taxes.  The Right is SO American that they are rebelling against taxation, just like the Founding Fathers did back in the day.

Next thing you know they will be slaughtering Native Americans and buying African slaves just because they can.

I mean, fuck, man.  It’s just a few dollars.

It’s not like there is any sort of law that requires us to pay taxes.

Oh crap…never mind.


Dominion Pizza

17 03 2009

I have been to Italy and Sicily more times then I can remember.  Seriously, I lost count.  It’s at the point where I don’t get excited about going there anymore.

One thing I do enjoy while visiting the old country is the food.  Specifically, the pizza that is nothing like “American” pizza.  They are smaller and made to be eaten by one person.  They are not “personal” pizzas by any means, but the idea of ordering a large pepperoni and pineapple in Italy just seems blasphemous (and they won’t know what you’re talking about either, because they don’t use pineapple…or speak English).  And you can forget about dipping it in ranch dressing.  I do believe that will get you Read the rest of this entry »

Taco Grande

10 03 2009

I’m not of Mexican descent, despite what that one Greek guy told me (its a long story…lets just say I was in Greece and this guy trying to sell me gyros assumed I was Mexican…actually that’s the whole story, I guess its not that long after all).  Also, I have never been to Mexico.  San Diego is about the closest I’ve ever been so far.  So what qualifies me to critique Mexican food?  It’s not that I’m unqualified, I did already apply for my license to be a Mexican Food Critic , but its still being held in Sacramento (apparently my slight aversion to cilantro is creating some legal issues).  Until they issue me a temporary permit, I’ll have to be quick and discrete about my opinions concerning Mexican food.

Despite the risks (I’m pretty sure its a federal offense to critique food without the proper permits), I feel as though I need to tell you about Taco Grande.  I’m talking about the one on Kings Canyon and Clovis, but they are all the same (or so the owner told me, but since he owns all three in the area I would assume he knows best).  At Taco Grande, I had a burrito grande with carne asada, as well as a taco grande (also with carne asada).  I wasn’t going to go to Taco Grande and not have a taco grande, that wouldn’t seem right.

Here is why I highly recommend the food at Taco Grande:  You don’t have to think when you eat.

Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »

Pacifica Pizza

6 03 2009

As a self-proclaimed expert on all things pizza (except that Chicago deep dish “pizza”), there are certain qualities I look for in a slice of pizza. I am not claiming to be the only foodie with the same pizza criteria. However, I am the only one currently writing about Pacifica Pizza (the one on Chestnut and Sheppard in Fresno), so what I say goes.

First off, the bottom must be discussed. And by bottom, I mean crust. And by crust, I mean the bready part on the…you guessed it….BOTTOM. I have eaten plenty of pizza in my days. I grew up in New York City, where some of the best pizza in the country comes from (again, Chicago doesn’t count). They say it is something in the NYC water that makes the pizza so unique and delicious. I can’t argue with that, because I’m not a chemist (or at least Alton Brown). I am, however, somebody that knows pizza. And let me tell you something: Pacifica Pizza has just about the greatest crust I’ve tasted in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing like New York pizza. With that said, it is somewhat soft AND crispy at the same time (which tend to be the two key traits of NY pizza crust). I don’t know how those guys at Pacifica Pizza do it.

Well, I do know, but I don’t want to bore you with details.

It’s that good kind of crust, the kind that when you tear it open, “hot” comes out. Do you get my meaning? But wait! What am I talking about? I meant to talk about the bottom of the pizza, not the crust around the edges. The bottom crust (or “bo’crust,” if you’ll excuse my new addition to the English language) is something quite spectacular. Despite the thick layer of toppings (which I’ll get to in a second), it was still quite fluffy. Have you ever had pizza where the “bo-crust” is like a thin strip of leather, even though it’s not supposed to be thin crust? That is exactly what Pacifica Pizza crust is NOT like. That bo’crust on the bottom reminds you, with every bite, that you are eating quality hand-made (daily and from scratch!) pizza crust.

That’s entirely enough about the bottom. Now to the top(pings). I had a simple one item topping, and went for the classic pizza meat, pepperoni. This wasn’t some thinly sliced spicy lunch meat. It wasn’t entirely thickly sliced either, but right in between. It was sliced so that you can taste it, as well as actually feel the texture. I knew for sure that there was a slice of pepperoni in my mouth when I got hold of one.

But what’s a good pizza without a good cheese? Honestly, the cheese on ANY pizza is hard to mess up. So long as it’s melted, it’s all good. And let me tell you, this cheese was definitely melted. Melted so well and thoroughly, in fact, that the pepperoni was not about to fall off for any reason, short of some kind of highly localized pizza specific tornado (those are rare these days, and in this part of California). Neither was the sauce, which I was pleasantly surprised about. The one thing that ruins pizza for me is too much sauce. There is always the option to order it with extra sauce, of course. To me, the perfect amount of sauce is so you can taste it and know it’s there. Too much sauce is when it creates a lubricated buffer zone (kind of like Switzerland) between the bo’crust and the cheese, causing the top layer of goodness to slide off and away from my mouth. For sure, Pacifica Pizza DOES NOT do that. The cheese and toppings were firmly attached to the bo’crust, as they should be.

As for toppings, I also had some of the Heart Attack Special, which has pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, linguica, REAL bacon pieces, Italian sausage, and ground beef. This is truly a man’s’ pizza (or a woman, no offense was meant). Let me put it another way: remember the whole idea of a “meat lover’s” pizza? Pacifica Pizza has continued on with that tradition with the Heart Attack Special. The only thing that could have made it manlier would have been to add some hot wings on top, and maybe some rocks (because real men can eat rocks and spit gravel, or so I’ve been told).

Speaking of hot wings, I had some of those from Pacifica Pizza also. Were they hot? Hot enough, for sure. Were they the hottest wings I’ve ever had? No way. Were they delicious, meaty, and…umm…red? Of course! They were everything you would expect when you order some hot wings at a pizza place. Would I order them again? Most definitely, as they are now my new favorite wings in Fresno (since University Chicken shut down, that is). One thing that really seals the deal on wings is the ranch dressing. It needs to be somewhat thick and have that restaurant style ranch flavor. Pacifica Pizza ranch has all of that, and to make things even better, you get something like a pint (my definition of a pint may be different than yours) of it with the wings. Not like those other places where you get a little tablespoon in a plastic cup…those places need take some lessons from Pacifica Pizza.

Before I end this, I need to mention the Garlic Cheese Knots (I think that’s what they were called, they had those three words in the title…maybe “twists” instead of “knots”). If all else fails, ask for the garlic bread and they will know what you mean. Remember that crust I was talking about? Not the bo’crust, but the crust around the edge? Let’s call that ed’crust for now. Anyway, the ed’crust was fantastic, like I said, but the Garlic Cheese Knots (Twists?) are made from that same freshly made dough, then brushed with some sort of garlic and butter sauce that only God himself (or herself) could have made. In other words, it’s the best thing ever as far as I’m concerned (at least when it comes to cheesy garlic bread).

So what should you take away from all this ranting and raving about Pacifica Pizza? I don’t know, that’s for you to decide. Just remember that it’s probably one of the better, if not one of the best pizza places in Fresno. Take it from me, some guy (who you’ve never met) that really likes pizza (or at least claims to), Pacifica Pizza is the next step in pizza goodness. We can call that “piz’oodness” if we want; there is nobody to stop us.

8 months?

27 01 2009

Yes, eight months since the last post.  As I don’t have any truly dedicated readers, I didn’t think I was letting anybody down.

What have I been up to?  Top secret government things, of course.

I wish…sort of.

I’ve been student teaching.  All student teachers are told to not have an online personality, so that students or administrators are not exposed to what we really are.

That means put your MySpace on lock down, as well as Facebook.  Wouldn’t want the wrong people seeing those immoral Read the rest of this entry »

Is Mexico really far away from California?

16 07 2008

I arrived at the office around 3pm to pick up a student (which itself is rather unorthodox, as 99% of the time we pick up students at home).  He was waiting in the “reception” area, I went ahead and introduced myself, and we headed out to the car.  We were out there for about 10 minutes talking about such things as defrosters, blind spots, and emergency flashers.  I asked to see his permit, at which time he admitted that he doesn’t have one.

No problem, as a driving school we can issue temporary student permits. We head back inside and I get him started on the necessary paperwork in one of the empty classrooms. I return to the reception area and begin to catch up on my own paperwork.

There is a girl, who looks to be about 18 or 19 (maybe older) sitting in Read the rest of this entry »

Google Street View

25 06 2008

Of all the coincidential shit to go down, this tops them all.

If you look at the Google Street View of my house, you’ll notice that my work vehicle is parked at the curb and my Jeep isn’t in the carport.

I’m not about to give out my address or a link, but if you know where I live you can check it out yourself.

What sucks is that this can prove I was NOT out with a student, but at home screwing around.  I’m assuming my boss does not spy on us via Google Street View, so I’m in no real danger of unemployment.  Hell, I’ve been violating the dress code right in front of him for the last three weeks, and he hasn’t said anything (I’m wearing open toed sandals to work, not sporting a nipple ring)

Anyway, this means that the Street View picture was taken on a specific day last summer.  That was the Friday that I had to drive my Jeep to work in the morning (as the Matrix was in the shop and my loaner car was reclaimed by its owners).

That day was also the last time I really drove the Jeep, because it was the day that the radiator blew out and I had to have it towed back home, where it has sat until a few months ago when we test drove it after installing a new starter (and not fixing the radiator, by the way).

So if I really wanted to, I could find out what day that was from the towing receipt.  Do I have the motivation to dig through stuff and investigate?  Absolutley not.

Wait, I remember now;  I was home around noon, playing Tropico, and a dark cloud overtook the street.  There were bright lights flashing from within the center as it moved silently and slowly from north to south.  That must have been the Googles.