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About TheSaint

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  1. I honestly don't ever remember seeing a launch from Vandenburg from my house in North LA County where I grew up. My wife never remembers seeing one from her house in Orange County either. I don't think that was ever an option, sorry.
  2. Don't get me wrong: I really like In-N-Out. I was raised on it. There was one within walking distance of my house growing up. The fact that the town we moved to in Arizona had an In-N-Out is really nice, I eat lunch there probably every other week. But, for destination eateries for tourists visiting Southern California, I actually put it pretty far down the list. It's a really good burger, but there isn't anything particularly unique about it. Most people can get a really good burger in their home towns, either at a regional chain or a local joint. The individual In-N-Out restaurants aren't particularly historic or noteworthy. Even the original Baldwin Park location is just another restaurant next to the corporate headquarters now. I don't think a trip there would be disappointing, the food is great. But I think that if someone is asking for a classic Southern California dining experience, especially if they have limited opportunities, there are lots of places I would send them before In-N-Out. If someone were to ask me for a unique Southern California fast-food burger experience I would send them to Tommy's, especially the original shack down at Beverly and Rampart. That's a burger that you can't get anywhere else, in a historic location that has been preserved. But that would be with lots of caveats, because I know that even in SoCal Tommy's can be polarizing. Everyone either loves it or hates it.
  3. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. "A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value—you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble‐sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand‐to‐hand‐combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you—daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. "More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might have accidentally "lost.". What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. "Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)" - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Wikiquote is your friend. )
  4. "This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  5. Yeah, been following that since saabfan made his submission. It's cool, but his original submission was cooler. This one seems to depend on a lot of stickers where the original had a lot more individual pieces to provide detail. Kinda bummed about that. Not that I'm not going to buy it, mind you.
  6. I will believe that when I see it. Trying to get somewhere in Boston was one of the most traumatic driving events in my life. My wife and I were putting our heads together, and we really can't come up with any really good recommendations for dining right in the area around the park there. It's serious Chain Restaurant Hell. McCormick & Schmick's is good, but it's kinda high-end pricey. There's a Mimi's Cafe up on Harbor, that's beating the average. I can think of all sorts of places that are nice and pricey: Catal, Napa Rose, Morton's, Ruth's Chris. Lunch with kids is tough.
  7. My wife and I have been saying that we were going to hold off on taking the kids to Disney World until they were all tall enough to ride all the rides. And then when Thing #3 went in for her annual checkup this January she was 47-1/2". My wife and I looked at each other and said, "Well, that snuck up on us." I guess we better start saving money for a trip to Florida. Surreal was this: I went to boot camp, A school, and nuclear power school at the Naval Training Center Orlando back in 1987-88. When my wife and I went back to visit Disneyworld in 2006, the whole base was gone. Just gone. It's all housing developments now. I would be shocked. Because frankly I wouldn't even say that Los Angeles has the worst traffic I've ever seen. I reserve that title for Boston. CSC is more downtown, my days hanging around in downtown were more than thirty years ago in high school when I had buddies going to USC. A lot has changed since then, a lot of the places I went to eat around there are long gone. The Pantry is still there, right up Figueroa, but you might have a hard time getting in there during any normal meal time, we used to go there at like 2:00 in the morning. But it might be worth a shot, it's outstanding diner food. If you want to drive up to the north side of downtown, Philippe is excellent, and historic. The original Tommy's hamburger stand is up at Beverly and Rampart, but that may be an acquired taste. If you want decent Mexican food (and, let's be honest, if you leave Los Angeles without eating decent Mexican food, that's a crime) there's an El Cholo up on Flower St in downtown. Great margaritas. At Universal you'll have City Walk right next door, shouldn't have too much trouble finding something decent to eat there, although I doubt it will be much cheaper than eating in the park. Oooh, just saw that they have a Karl Strauss brewery there. I know where I would be. Just sayin'. It doesn't sound like you're going to have a car while you're in Anaheim, but if you have any opportunity at all, there is a Zankou Chicken right down Ball Road from the park. It's amazing. Those people turn roasted chicken into a controlled substance. From looking at their website, I guess they've teamed up with one of these online delivery sites now. So if you're sitting around in your hotel room and you're sick of soggy park food, that's my best recommendation for you.
  8. Hi, ex-Angeleno here. I will reiterate what others have said here: Do not underestimate Los Angeles traffic. It was bad when I last lived there six years ago, and it has only gotten worse. Rush hour extends well outside of the hours you would normally associate with rush hour. In the morning it starts at about 6:00 and runs until 9:30-10:00. In the afternoon it starts sometime between 2:30-3:00 and runs until about 7:00. You will find that there is rush hour traffic on the weekends as well. For example: Disneyland to Universal Studios, 35 miles up the 5 freeway, you're looking at at least an hour and a half during traffic. That's if there are no accidents. Pack your patience. I don't know what your normal trip looks like, but if you're looking for ideas for outside-the-park dining or stuff like that, just ask. My wife grew up in North Orange County about 15 minutes away from the park. (Her sister actually worked at the burger joint in Tomorrowland when she was in high school, that's where she met her future husband.) We're back there visiting family at least once a year, so we know the area pretty well. We used to be Disneyland Annual Pass holders, until we had kids and it just got too expensive, haven't been in the park now for about eight years.
  9. Yes, at the end of the day it is all about caloric intake. But sugar, in-and-of itself, has some pretty bad effects when consumed in excess. It spikes your blood sugar, which leads to glycemic stress, which over time leads to type 2 diabetes, among other diseases. For the same lifestyle choices and caloric intake, if more of your calories come in via proteins, complex carbohydrates, and other low-glycemic-index foods, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes drop significantly. One thing I miss about California: Having my own lemon and lime trees.
  10. Couldn't tell you. All I know is it's the best milk I've ever tasted. My kids are seriously disappointed when we have to buy store milk. We skim the cream off and it's awesome in coffee. (Makes kick-ass White Russians too. )
  11. We know a lady down the road who keeps cows....
  12. I corrupted my vegetarian roommate in South Africa with bacon. I'm out cooking bacon and eggs for my breakfast one Sunday morning and he comes out of his bedroom. "So, do you have any extra bacon?" "Extra bacon? I thought you didn't eat meat." "Dude, just answer the ******* question." So he joined me for bacon and eggs every weekend after that. Closet carnivores, LOL.
  13. As far as beverages go, try adding flavors to your water. Those Crystal Light beverage flavor packets aren't bad. Just plain old Kool-Aid is good too, and while it still has sugar it has way less sugar than soda does. I used to make my own iced tea and iced coffee by the gallon, back when I was single. Got out of the habit after I got married. Again, they weren't zero-sugar options, but they were way less than soda. And you don't necessarily have to do away with soda either, maybe just cut back on it. All-you-can-drink soda fountains are an option, not a mandate. Sometimes, depending on your personality, moderation and reduction can be a better strategy than cold-turkey abstinence. And, if you want to reduce your sugar intake, you might want to expand your view beyond just your beverages. If you look at most processed/pre-made foods, one of the first ingredients in them will usually be some form of sugar (many times they will disguise it by using a scientific name: glucose, fructose, etc). So another great way to reduce your sugar intake is to cook your own food from scratch. If you're smart about it, it's cheaper too. And once you have some basic skills down, it tastes better. Did someone say BACON!
  14. MRAP survivability isn't really a question. They are significantly better protected than the M113. There are stories from Iraq of MRAPs encountering contact IEDs consisting of hundreds of kilos of explosives. The MRAPs are generally written off, but the crews generally survive with little or no injury. In fact, survival rates for crews in MRAPs in IED attacks were higher than the survival rates for crews in M1 Abrams MBTs.
  15. Well, remember, MRAPs are designed to survive contact detonations of landmines and IEDs. If the crew can get to the MRAP and button up, they're probably going to be okay, even if the rocket on the pad explodes. If they have a chance to put it in gear and get more distance between themselves and the rocket before that happens, that's gravy.