Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yum Yum

So this week is Baltimore Restaurant Week, which is super exciting. I am hitting two places. Tonight Ben, Jess and I are headed to La Tasca, a tapas restaurant in the harbor. On Friday, the Baltimore bloggers (many of which are reading this, I hope) and I are headed to Lebanese Taverna.

This will be my first restaurant week and I am really excited for it. Also I am completing work on the template for Eat Charm City, so I should be officially launching that soon (there is a welcome up right now because i needed some text to get my bearings on the look of the page).

I will be taking my camera tonight, so I will have some pictures on both blogs shortly. Here's hoping for good eats.

If you are headed somewhere for restaurant week let me know what you think of each place you visit. I will need some ideas of where to go as I launch the new site.

A Wild Wind Blows

So I am a little under the weather, which cause me to wake up a little late this morning, however that was not the reason I was almost an hour late to the office. No that was caused by the great automotive equalizer... Wind.

No matter if you have a little light car (such as a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid), which gets pushed around due to a shear lack of overall mass, or a gigantic SUV, which plays the role of kite such gusty conditions, you are going to get pushed around a bit. What is amazing is the number of people who don't seem any the wiser about this blustery condition.

This morning I passed no fewer than four accidents, which I am sure at least three could be directly contributed to the wind. I may have actually passed five, but i would not tell if the lady who was pulled over at one portion of 695 was in an accident, or just incredibly freaked out.

Here is my personal plea to all those on the roads, be careful... and stop making me late for work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mom Found My Blog

It is a strange experience. My mother, who would openly agree that she is not the most tech savvy person, Not only found my blog, but commented on it. A while back I wrote about how she did the little nudge nudge, wink wink about grand kids. Mom found the Blog and decided this was the thing she wanted to comment on.

Mind you I have been showing her the blog for a while, but I guess she finally figured it out. This of course re affirms that I have a super hip Mom... how cool is that?

I <3 My Mom

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Car Accident is Ending Soon??

As many of you know I was in an accident with my Civic the day after I picked it up from the dealership last in September 2006. Here are some for the lovely pics of the damage.

It looked so beautiful from the front... alas...

The back is not nearly as good. It is like the opposite of a "Butter Face"

It was so new I still had my temporary registration in the windshield and that fantastic New Car Smell. From the side you can see the real damage. The part that made me mad was the other guy got to drive away from this, I was driven to the hospital, the car dealership, the doctors and the rental place. Well it is fifteen months later and I am still going through stuff for this accident. Today there was revelation.

I got a call from GEICO and they said they were recovering my deductible and they will be working on my out of pocket expenses. This is the first bit of the out of pocket money I am getting back, and since I had purchased a car the day before this, it was a pretty big hit at the time. It will be nice to get this back, but the best part will be when i am done with everything, including the injury stuff. Who knows how long that will take, but as of today, things are looking up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yay for Tiny Little Gadgets

So I cannot talk about a super thin device that was released yesterday, but it seems to be lighter that "Air", and I am drooling to get one. Instead I am going to talk about another little device that I love. i <3 href="">Nintendo DS. So when I got this little thing it was kind of a whim. I think I was going to be headed on a trip and wanted something to do other than read. It was also right after the New Super Mario Brothers had come out. I loved the old Plumbers games, particularly the side scrollers, and thought I would give this a try. I also picked up Mario Cart DS and Brain Age.

I was really excited to see if this new incarnation really took hold and stayed true to the "It'sa Me, Mario" roots. I must say that the New Super Mario Bros. did not disappoint. I got through it, and then it was time for something else. I started both Brain Age and Mario Cart, but they really didn't grab my attention. The Totally Rad Show turned me onto Puzzle Quest, which was extremely good and I got through in just a short couple of months (I am not an obsessive gamer. I have a semblance of a life, though it is a small semblance). After I was done that I put down the DS for some time. When I picked it back up I headed back to Mario Cart and recently completed it, which was surprisingly satisfying.

Now, Unfortunately I am stuck now. I don't know what to get as my new DS game. I am thinking the new Zelda game, but I have never really been a huge fan of Zelda. Maybe there is something else out there that I have just not see. I can't see doing the brain age thing. I use my DS to relax my bewildered head, not try to train it over and over, where is the fun in that.
Anyway, if you have any ideas let me know, and if you don't have a DS, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???
PS. This is all in anticipation for Peggle Nights
UPDATE: If you are looking for some nostalgic Nintendo Fun check out

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tax Time is Around the Corner

I know what you are thinking... "Ryan you are about three months early". You clearly have not meet my dear old dad. Surprisingly, my father actually has an accountant that he brings to the house every year. The guy is great and he takes care of my dad, sister and my stuff for a pretty good price.

The issue I am having is that our appointment is on February 9th and at this point I have very little of the info that I need. Outside of some receipts for donations I have very little. I have not gotten any of the three W2s I need, no tax forms from my loan companies, no nothing. Oh my what will I do. I am actually worried about getting my W2 from my previous job, since they may be sending it my old address, which means it will need to get forwarded to me. Man, I hope I don't get caught in a bad situation. Here's hoping.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thinking About a New Project

I admit it, I am a Foodie. I really really like food. It may be an addiction. I eat it, watch it, write about it. I even have a list of people whom I idolize because they know how to cook it. Oh, I am an addict. I must continue to taste the deliciousness.

I used to be like this was about tech, but i think I have tech burnout. Most things don't really excite me in tech anymore. There has not been a really new product that has been a must have for me. The Consumer Electronics Show is going on right now, and honestly I don't really care. There have been a couple of things that have come that are cool, but overall I am very unimpressed. Plus, I am no longer allowed to write about my favorite products because I work for the company who makes them (which is really cool).!

What to do? I have thought about it for a while and I think I am going to start to write about food. Mostly resturant reviews and the occasional "home cooking" post. I am not yet sure what form this will take. I am debating between taking the real domain with wordpress plunge, like Mrs. twink is currently contemplating, or just running with Eat Charm City (with a number of template improvements and actual posts). I would also like to get reviews of restaurants from you guys, cause lets be honest, we all eat. Let me know what you think, and if you would like to jump on board and write a review every so often? Oh, and when I do get started on the new project, expect A Brick Once Said to be deleted (since I have neglected it for about four months now).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

No Reservations: Ads that I Like

So I took a quick look at my blog today, which is actually something I rarely do, and I noticed that I had an ad for Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the Travel Channel. I must admit, I became gitty like a school girl at the sight of this. You may be asking yourself a number of questions at this point.

  1. Why are you excited about an ad?
  2. Who the hell is this Anthony Bourdain?
  3. What makes him so important that he doesn't need to make Reservations?
  4. Gitty like a school girl, really?

Bourdain is an accomplished Chef in NYC who has a penchant for good food, good alcohol and cigarettes. In 2000 he wrote Kitchen Confidential. A close to true telling of what the lives of cooks and restaurateurs, the people who make and serve you food, is really like. The book was a hit and set Bourdain to on a path to becoming one for the preeminent "celebri-chefs" in the US. What i like about him is that he is unapologetic about the fact that he likes some things that most people would shun due to the potential ridicule, from foods you wouldn't eat on a dare, to the exquisiteness of fatty foods and meat and how the best chicken wings are served in strip clubs. He is a real person with a cooking/dining show. How cool is that?

Speaking of the show, No Reservations follows Bourdain around the world (it is on the Travel Channel after all) experiencing the foods that real people eat, traditional cooking, street vendors, the late night grab after getting very wasted. If not for the occasional scene in a fine dining restaurant I wouldn't be surprised if he came up with a rating scale made up of grease stains. I admit it, the show is set a Tivo fave for me.

It is nice to see that there are at least some ads and products that i would openly endorse showing up on my site, and the new advertising layout means that I can get moving ads, like the one for this show which you should watch.

If you are a Foodie, a city guy, have a penchant for leather jackets and can stomach the occasional gross out moment it is highly entertaining.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It was a Thai Weekend

Randomly, this weekend revolved around Thai Food. I have no idea how it happened, but I am not one to complain.

On Saturday, I worked until noon and then called up my friend Can-dance to grab lunch. We were going to go to Koydai, a rotating Sushi Bar right off the Towson circle, they however were closed for another four and a half hours. We decided that was a little to long to wait to eat and it would have cost a bunch in the meter. We decided to head across the street to Thai One On/San Sushi Too. This is a really good Thai place. I had some good Panang. The better part was of course the conversation. Can-dance and I have a strange little connection and it is a blast to hang out with her. Of course on of the best parts of the meal was when the staff at the restaurant was yelling at each other about how to make a Jagerbomb.

Later that night I got a text from Schnitz and Kristi that I should meet them at Lemongrass, located in the Flittaly (between Fells Point and Little Italy) section of the city. The place was pretty cool. A little trendy, but comfortable. The drinks and the appetizers were very good. Again, the company made the evening. I have not seen Schnitz in a couple of months and Kristi is out in the desert working for Arizona PIRG. It was a blast to hang out with them. Schnitz and I were previously roommates and I am sure that when people watch us interact there are either greatly amused or are horrified and confused. We are Heterosexual Life partners. (This is a movie reference. Two points arbitrary on the meaningless tote board to the first person to leave a comment with the movie.) In surprise events Mr. Grant, a Brother of ours who is currently in Wisconsin was actually at Lemongrass. How crazy is that. I thought he was playing with some cheese. It was awesome to see him.

As we parted ways that night we decided to head to Little Havannas for brunch. This got away from the Thai mania that was Saturday, but a change was needed. Plans changed pretty quickly on Sunday morning as there was a sign on the door of the restaurant that said something like this:
Gone Fishin' in Key West until the 9th
Due to this unforeseen event an old standby was in order. Geckos it is!! This may be one of the best kept secrets in Baltimore (though if I keep evangelizing that will quickly change). You can't beat good food and bottomless mimosas. The brunch buffet and the rest of the menu is just fantastic. We had a great time and I for one left very stuffed. Home for a nap, some Guitar Hero III and American Gladiators, but that is for another post.

My Mom Wants to be a Bobe

Look, I get that I am twenty six and my mom is 50, though you would swear she is not a day older that 39 (this is the same thing she has been swearing for about eleven years). I get that I have not really been in a healthy relationship for a while. I get that Mom "still wants to be young" and all of that, but seriously does she need to constantly talk about how she wants grand kids. I don't need that sort of pressure.

I love Mom and I know that she really just wants the best for me and all of that, but sheesh.

By the way, if you don't know what Bobe is you need to brush up on your Yiddish

Friday, January 4, 2008

What to Write Today???

The past couple of days have been nice and relaxed for me. I have not worked at Apple since New Years Day, which has been nice, even though I really like working there. I got a chance to head home and do some cooking. The other night I pulled out the old cookbook and made Cinnamon Panchetta (Bacon) Carbonara. It was like a gooey Mac and Cheese with bacon and a hint of cinnamon (aka MAGICAL).

The blog has been going well. Some of the comments I received about my Jeans Day post were hysterical. Matt and Geoff's are great. There is clearly nothing like the removal of denim and the inclusion of kilts to get people britches all in a bunch.

Here is my favorite lolcat of the day

Depending on my schedule this weekend I am looking forward to maybe going out.
Congrats to Vote NO'malley who reached a great blogger milestone. He got quoted on another blog. Good for you, even if I do disagree with some of your politics :)
Take a read through some of my last posts. The comments have been great, keep them coming. I will try to have better things to write about this weekend.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goodbye Jeans Week: It Was Good While It Lasted

When I was a kid I used to look forward to days off from school. Scheduled holidays, snow days, a random day off because the 100 year old water main finally gave way, the reason didn't matter one bit, I was off and it was glorious. I have gotten a bit older and I don't really look forward to days off unless I have something to actually do. Instead the corporate machine has given me a new day to look forward to


I have decided that Jeans day is the greatest thing since sliced bread (though I prefer mine unsliced in loaf form). Everyone and everything seems more relaxed on Jeans day. I am clearly not the only one. I ran into a manager as he was coming into the building today he looks at me an goes "Aww Man, today is Jeans Day. I didn't know, I have been out on vacation!" Sucker has to wear Khakis all day.

Today will end our end of year Jeans run. It was a blessed time from December 23rdish until today. I am not at all looking forward to wearing actual pants to work. Maybe I could wear one of these trendy UtiliKilts (the site is really funny by the way)

Goodbye fair Jeans day... until we meet again