Sunday, December 30, 2012

Alexander and the Dyson

Our current place is a loft on the edge of Emeryville. Each unit has one of these giant boxes attached to the ceiling:
Reznor heater
This Reznor heater is freakishly loud (imagine a 747 taking off in a small space) and so we hate using it.. I really hate using it, but the spouse will use it if he's desperate. Suffice to say, no one should be that desperate!

Fortunately Costco had one of these Dyson Hot+Cold things and with a $100 instant rebate (til Feb 1st) It was still a bit expensive but with some holiday gift cards we received from family, that helped make it a bit less painful. =)


Suffice to say Alexander likes it a LOT! He sits right next to and makes me a little nervous.. but as long as he doesn't stick his paws in or on it.. it's all good. We currently have it in our kitchen where it seems be placed in a good enough spot to warm a little of the living room area and the kitchen as a whole.. and doesn't short out the outlets.. (we originally had it plugged in near our window where it gets chilly, not realizing a good portion of our outlets were on the same circuit and tripped when I tried to use the microwave at the same time).

Here's a little video I made of Alexander looking very content:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Founders' Rock

Sean parked here when meeting up with me for my quick in/out at Pegasus for our Mom's calendar (no luck on that).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4th Street Holiday Lights

Short video from a drive down 4th Street shops in Berkeley. May try another time for a more complete pass later this year.. =)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Berkeley Station No. 5

On our way home from running some errands yesterday we came upon this ladder truck returning to the station.. We were stopped anyway, so of course I must take photos!

Berkeley Fire Department

Berkeley Fire Department
Back home in Station 5, which is located on Shattuck Avenue.

The Berkeley Fire Department was established in 1904. There are a total of seven stations in Berkeley, servicing 11sq miles. It's noted on the City of Berkeley Fire Department FAQ Page that the fire department also runs the ambulance service.

I used my iPhone so the shot is what it is..

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The End is Here

on Adeline near Essex (a block from Shattuck Ave)
stencil graffiti seen on Adeline near Essex (a block from Shattuck)

Had a long walk to our Vet to pick up cat food, on our way I made sure to stop & snap this..

Monday, July 09, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Spinach & Cheese Crepes
Spinach and Cheese Crepes at IKEA restuarant & Cafe in Emeryville. Was a good deal for $2.99 but wasn't especially hot.. on the plus side, we didn't need silverware to eat it. ;P

After walking around the store some (and checking out the newly remodeled kitchen area.. meh.. not for us) we hit up my 'new' favorite ice cream treat, the blueberry/vanilla swirl frozen yogurt:

We'd had this originally last month.. and I'd been wanting to have it again for a few days now. Like the original vanilla, the blueberry frozen yogurt is also $1 (or like me you can have it as a swirl option).

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bites off Broadway Pt 2: Dessert!

As mentioned in the earlier post, Bites off Broadway is a community event over in the Temescal area of Oakland every Friday night (from May 11th to October 12th) with the highlight being foodtruck vendors.

When it comes to dessert there may be a few options off the trucks, but if you want some really good treats, you wont' go wrong with Big Wheel Cookie Co.


Big Wheel had cookies as well brownies available for purchase.. but it was the organic iced cream sandwiches that caught our eye:

Big Wheel Cookie Co.
Lemon Ginger Cookie with Vanilla Iced Cream.

This was so good.. lemon-y ginger cookie matched the sweet, smooth vanilla iced cream and was an excellent finish to all the rich foods we'd had for dinner.

Big Wheel Cookie Co.
Expresso Chocolate Cookie with Mocha Ice Cream; rich and decadent. You could easily understand how they could run out. If you want to be super naughty this is the way to do it. =)

You can follow them on twitter: @BigWheelCookies or Facebook.. but if you want the yumminess you'll have to attend Bites off Broadway on any given Friday between now and October. =)

Bites off Broadway

Bites off Broadway is a community event over in the Temescal area of Oakland every Friday night (from May 11th to October 12th) with the highlight being foodtruck vendors.
families on blankets in front of Studio One Art Center
Families picnicking on the lawn in front of Studio One Art Center.

We found out about the event via @NomNomTruckSF which we follow on Twitter. Sean has been wanting some nomnom for a bit, so the fact it would be a nice (1 mile) walk from our home was great! We were surprised when we got there and found they weren't the only food truck.

There were at least five or six food trucks.. and the Big Wheel Cookie Co. (more on them later)

We were tempted away from nomnomtruck at first by Nick's Wheelie Good Breakfast:

Nick's had a "Maple Glazed Pork Belly Sandwich" and pork belly hash.. this was offered together as the "Pig Lovers Combo":
Pig Lovers Combo

Maple Glazed Pork Belly Sandwich
seared pork belly glazed in maple syrup, pickled red onions, mustard aioli, organic arugula and fried egg on rosemary focaccia bread.

Nick's was definitely the winner of our evening.. although nomnom was still good.
@nomnomtruckSF menu

We went with the combo which included one taco & one banh mi and a drink:
Grilled Pork Taco
Grilled Pork Taco

Grilled Pork Banh Mi
Grilled Pork Banh Mi

The taco definitely needed some Sriracha and the sandwich, although good wasn't pre-cut (we didn't remember to ask) so I nibbled off one end (again wishing I had some Sriracha) til I got about halfway, then passed it off to Sean.

Sean contemplates his banh mi choice

I was thinking we'd had the 'deli special' (lunch meat banh mi) the last time we'd eaten NomNom (at its original LA truck) and Sean was saying he'd wished he'd gone with his original plan for deli special. Next time I promise! It was still good though.. I think we just ate a lot of pork in one meal.

Sean wanted to hit up one more food truck before dessert.. Go Streatery was tempting Sean with the Oxtail and Grits.. but it was Conklin's Catering truck with their Randang Fries that won out..

Rendang Fries
Randang Fries: fries with beef randang served on top. I expected them to be super spicy but they weren't. I left Sean to eat them since I wanted to save myself for dessert..

We'd definitely go to this event again.. probably NOT every Friday.. It's a nice walk from our apartment but not a long enough walk to burn off what we ate, despite splitting the various items.

Along with the food, there's kids games and at some point they'll be doing a movie night on the lawn in courtyard there. The community pool is next door to the Studio One Art Center.. While I didn't check out what the requirements are to swim there, I can tell the families that enjoyed the pool and then dinner afterwards could easily make an evening of it.

Bites Off Broadway is on facebook if you want to keep up with the schedule of events and photos they post there.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Sunday we went to go see the new Pixar film "Brave" in 3D at the Bay Street 16 AMC Theatre..
AMC Bay Street 16

Afterwards we were pretty hungry and it's been quite some time, so we decided to hit up one of the nicer chain places for a really good burger and.. and the closest Coke Freestyle machine in our area!

I was able to order a Bison (or Buffalo) burger and had cheddar and bacon added.. Bison meat is very lean and high in protein. It's not gamey at all (I wouldn't eat it if it was, trust me!)
bison burger

Sean had the ostrich burger but opted for fries with his:
ostrich burger

The burgers come undressed because they have AMAZING fixings and condiment bars!

There's also a side where they have the mayo, ketchup, mustard and bbq sauce..

Then there's the Freestyle machine!!


The quality of the image isn't so great.. but they have a zillion options, I just have a shot of the @cokezero options.. I LOVE Cherry Zero.. raspberry is pretty good (but don't mix it with the Cherry Zero.. not so good). Sean said Cherry Vanilla Zero is pretty good.. Today we tried Orange Zero.. which, if you are a mezzo mix fan (it's orange enhanced Coca Cola, sold in Germany or available to sample at Club Cool at EPCOT and "World of Coke" locations) Orange Zero is the closet you will get currently to Mezzo Mix. I had a glass and half of it.. I'd go back for it again next time I'm at a place with a Freestyle machine.

Currently the closest Freestyle machine in Emeryville is the Wing Stop on San Pablo and the Fuddrucker's.

Fuddrucker's is a National Chain.. better than McDonalds but not near good as The Habit, but we don't have The Habit in our immediate area.

5614 Bay Street #232
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 655-5902

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lois the Pie Queen

Saturday had us walking to Berkeley for various errands. We headed up Adeline and decided to stop for breakfast along the way at a local favorite, Lois the Pie Queen.

Lois the Pie Queen is a legend and has been filling the neighborhood up with food and love for over fifty years. If you come here, bring your appetite and you will not be disappointed!


Sean and I made it over here quite a few times before we moved to SoCal, but that was well over eight years ago! Lois the Pie Queen is one of Sean's favorites, so you know we had to get over here at some point.. =)

The restaurant was the same as I remember it. The wall of photos, the dimly-lit dining room with its long diner counter and the uber-friendly service. It looks like a diner but you've entered a local family room really.

back wall full of memories

Waffles?? with pecans?? Pancakes with fruit?? Chicken with Waffles?? or eggs?? Do I want eggs?? So many things to choose from!! I decided on the Chicken breakfast with eggs and hashbrown potatoes and biscuits:

Chicken Breakfast

Sean had the Reggie Jackson Special (pork chops, eggs, potatoes and (not pictured) biscuits too!)
Pork Chops and egg breakfast

Assuming you had room after this (and if it weren't for the big walk we were planning this day, I'd be hard pressed to say we really had room for anything else) there is the pie!


There are so many pies and cobblers I couldn't get it all in one shot, so you'll just have to head over there and find your own way through that display case!

Sean decided for us with the Lemon Icebox Pie:
Lemon Icebox Pie

I am sucker for what I call "cooler" pie.. cooler/icebox.. it's good stuff! This was definitely GOOD stuff! It's not a place we can eat every weekend, or very often. I can't say chicken is something I should be eating very often.. Lois the Pie Queen is a good treat and great way to fuel up for a busy day.

If you don't think you can eat all that, just go for breakfast or just go for coffee and pie. It's family friendly (though you may have to wait for a free table, or be willing to sit at the counter like we did.

An important thing to note is that they are CASH ONLY. That's the way it used to be y'know, and Lois the Pie Queen is the same as it was these fifty plus years.

Lois the Pie Queen
851 60th St
Oakland, CA 94609
M-F 8am-2pm/Sat 7-3pm/Sun 7-4pm

No website but check out the YELP Reviews for other folks opinions and images.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Melty Yumminess in My Neighborhood

Our neighbor makes delicious chocolate chip cookies w/ spent grains!
Our neighbor Greg makes these amazing spent grain chocolate chip cookies when he's not working his regular job.. I hear he takes orders and can ship.. Big Skull baking Co. I'm glad I can get them local! =)

**this post reflects my opinions and my neighbor doesn't know I posted this**

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Personal Parking

In case there were any doubts.. This truck parks here:
on Sixth Street Berkeley

personal parking on 6th near Gilman

Found in Berkeley on 6th near Gilman, (across the street from Jimmy Beans)

Monday, May 28, 2012


In our Berkeley days (pre-2004) had we wanted pizza we would head to Zachery's in Rockridge or on Solano.. or order delivery from North Beach Pizza. If we were on campus we'd hit up Blondie's once in a while. Here in Emeryville, our local options include Lanesplitter, Arizmendi's, Rotten City (which we've not been to yet!) and more recently, Hot Italian...

Exterior Lanesplitter

Our local Lanesplitter is where Adeline, San Pablo and W MacArthur Blvd meet. Pretty ideal location for a place called 'lanesplitter', right? Turns out that Lanesplitter is a local chain and are named for that fun motorcycle habit of "splitting lanes" when they ride through traffic giving people like me a heart attack as they zoom up on the yellow line, cutting through traffic. Then again, it could be for bowling.. either way.. there's a random pin sitting above near the bar and a dust covered motorcycle perched high above just to give you pause to consider over your drink..

The drinks are posted on the chalkboard behind the bar as well on the menu.. they have a few beers on tap... and a cider.

Two River Pomegranite Cider
Two Rivers Pomegranite Cider

As for the food, you can pretty much hit the place at almost any time and there's some sort of special going on.. The first time we came here they had a "Happy Hour" special of $5 off a large pizza. This makes it only $2 more than their medium, so it's worth it.

large 'heart stopper' pizza
One of the more popular pizza choices is the "HeartStopper" (bacon, gorgonzola, roasted garlic, spinach)

it's really large!
It's really large! (that's my pint glass being held up to compare)

Other than the size,(which you can get in small, medium and large) not sure why it's called a heart stopper. I imagine like any pizza, if you eat too much, you'll have the same clogged arteries you'd get if you ate too much of anything not healthy. I'm over-thinking it here, though.. so moving on..

"Heart Stopper" pizza.. spinach, garlic, gorgonzolla, & bacon
Here's a slice.. Notice how the topping just sort of stop about an inch before the crust? (and in some cases sooner) Call me picky but I like my toppings to completely cover the pizza. You're paying for the toppings right? Otherwise it's just a cheese pizza.

The crust itself was nice and chewy though.

We came back last weekend (since one of us were craving pizza and the other was happy to go along with me... er.. ahem..) While the pizza wasn't amazing (honestly I'm not a NY style pizza fan but I DO like pizza a LOT) but the service the first time was pretty good.

Sean ordered the Vegetable Lasagne:
Vegetable Lasagne
It was pretty large and could easily have been shared if so inclined.

I ordered the 2 slice w/ drink combo:
2 slice single toping w/ soda combo (Spinach)
the combo is a large one-topping pizza. I chose spinach.

As you can see this time around the toppings go all way to the crust.. This pizza was actually better than the other pizza. It seemed crispier, and the edge was just as chewy as the other pizza we'd tried.

I got the 2 slicer so Sean could have one. He in turn, let me have about half of his lasagne. I ate about half of my half and handed it back. It was good, cheesy, robust (is there another way to say 'meaty' when talking about the denseness of vegetables?), and filling. The lasagne had a nice garlic flavor to it as well. I would totally order this alone to split between the two of us.

The lasagne came with a side salad.. I had ordered one as well off the 'sides' menu:
Lanesplitter side salad

I can't say how much dressing they actually put on the salad, but I hope it's not this much. As it was I used very little of mine and had plenty left for Sean to use so he wouldn't need to touch his dressing. The "breadstick" is that same chewy crust-like bread. Good stuff.

I think we were better off doing the combos than ordering a huge pizza. One doesn't have to stuff yourself full of pizza to leave this place full and satisfied.

I wish I could say the same about the service. It's very hit or miss.. First time (on a Tuesday) was amazing.. Manager or someone greeted us at the door, explained the menu since we'd said we'd never been here before. Our server was was a very efficient lady whose name I wish I could recall. The experience made us happy enough to come back when the mood was upon us.

This last time, goddess server was working but not in our section. Being a Saturday evening, it wasn't too crowded and they seemed to have plenty of help, but our server was distracted or just not giving a crap. It seemed like the server from the other section was picking up the slack, cleaning tables and seating people. She attempted to serve us our food but it was for the couple next to us. The busser ended up serving our food in the end.

One family had to physically get up and get our server's attention to explain they were ready to order. The couple seated next to us had to ask for their check. When he came around with it (finally) he didn't look at us or ask us if we needed anything or were ready for our check.. Sean waved the guy down finally to ask for OUR check and we were able to pay up and head out.

The pizza was definitely good enough to go back. It could be a Friday night thing, or a service anomaly (these things happen). It's one for two however you look at it.. and like Sean said, worse case, we can always order 'to go' next time. =) It's so close though, why not try it again?

Lanesplitter Emeryville

Lanesplitter Pizza
3645 San Pablo Ave
Emeryville, CA 94608