Tag Archives: Birthday

Celebrating Robert’s Birthday At Disneyland

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation via Socializr.com from Mike Trueblood inviting people to come celebrate the birthday of his partner, Robert Shadbolt at Disneyland. The date was for January 15th, a Friday, which normally I wouldn’t be able to do because Friday nights start my week of work at the casino. But that could be easily fixed with a time off request for a night off. I don’t usually get the chance to use my pass with friends as most of my friends have Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 type jobs and I work the middle of the night inclusive of weekends, so I jumped at the chance to share a day at Disneyland with Mike and Robert.

My requested night off was approved and I changed my “Maybe” to a definite “Yes” that I would be attending and was able to coordinate some details with them ahead of time when I saw them both at the bar on Wednesday night. The rough plan was that the guys would be there at 9 am and that I should call them around that time to coordinate locations. I was planning on being there early, but I was coming from my parent’s home in Temecula instead of from San Diego as they called me for some help setting up their brand new television for use in their home entertainment system. My folks wouldn’t let me leave in the morning without breakfast first, so I didn’t get to leave as early as I wanted.

Continue reading Celebrating Robert’s Birthday At Disneyland

Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Nanaimo Bar FactoryYesterday, I took on the daunting task of making four batches of Nanaimo Bars using the Sugar Free recipe I developed earlier this year. (For those new to my blog and unfamiliar with my adventures developing my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar recipe, click here to see all my Nanaimo Bar entries. The recipe also appears below.) It was the first time I have made multiple batches in one day and it was certainly an interesting experience. As the dessert is a layered treat, I did all four sets of each layer before moving on to the next layer. It was definitely a big production and of course, I couldn’t do them all the same, so I did three batches as the regular version of the recipe and one batch in the peanut butter variation.

Part of the reason for doing so many batches at once is that I promised a batch to be a gift for a friend for his birthday, also I’m attending a couple of Thanksgiving events that I don’t want to arrive at empty handed. Also my roommates really liked the peanut butter variation when I first tried that variation of the recipe but I haven’t made a second batch of that one, until now.

I had to set up the kitchen into almost a factory setup with many little “stations” to handle the various preparation work. I had a food processor station, a mixer station, a boiler station, as well as a station to store the pans between batches. And I was jumping between the various stations often working on more than one batch at a time. In some cases I was putting butter into the double boiler to melt for the next batch while finishing the chopping and mixing for the previous batch. It definitely felt like quite like a factory production with various stations I set up in the kitchen to handle the specific preparations tasks. It definitely worked really well for getting the base layer made.

Continue reading Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Need A Witty Card? Try A Smart Alex Greeting Card

FanVacIf you’re in the market for a witty greeting card, you may want to try a card from Smart Alex, Inc. I came across a small selection of their cards in a local shop here in San Diego, and I wasn’t even intending to purchase cards that day, but ended up leaving with the perfect card for an upcoming birthday for a friend.

As illustrated by the image with this blog entry, I was highly amused by the card depicting a box fan and a vacuum cleaner with the fan taunting the vacuum with “You Suck” and the vacuum responding “Blow Me.” I literally laughed out lout at the sight of that card and had to have it for a friend of mine. The inside of the card read “Happy Birthday from your biggest fan. Hope your presents don’t suck.”

They had several other great cards in the shop, all of them just a little bit edgy and borderline risqué, all of which appeal to my wicked sense of humor. Probably my next favorite card features some older ladies at a card table in a retirement community. One says to other, “They say women outlive men.” The other lady replies, “So that’s why there’s no men around here? I thought I was in the lesbian lounge.” Click here to see the card.

Continue reading Need A Witty Card? Try A Smart Alex Greeting Card

My Grandmother’s KitchenAid Mixer – Consulting Mary Occhino About Coincidences

Mary OcchinoOne of the programs I really enjoy on Sirius Satellite Radio is Mary Occhino’s “Angels On Call” program. Mary is a psychic intuitive and also is a medium, able to communicate with people who have passed over. I often enjoy listening to Mary’s program learning about psychic things and have been fascinated by all the calls she takes. The program feels a lot like a lesson in the law of attraction rolled with a little of the paranormal. Whether or not you choose to believe that its possible, I happen to be fascinated with it.

The show is on the Sirius/XM Stars Satellite Radio channel (Channel 102 on Sirius, 155 on XM). Mary Occhino’s program broadcasts live Monday through Friday at 8 am to 11 am Eastern time zone, which is unfortunately the ungodly hours of 5 am to 8 am here on the west coast. So on work days, I’m still at work during the show, and on my off days I tend to be asleep at that hour. But fortunately, I have a Sirius Stiletto 100 radio and can record the show and play it back later in the day.

Continue reading My Grandmother’s KitchenAid Mixer – Consulting Mary Occhino About Coincidences

Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 2)

Grizzly River RaftingAs I made my way out of the Disneyland Park to meet up with both of my parents and my grandfather outside of the Rainforest Cafe in the Downtown Disney area, I realized I should have just gone over to Tomorrowland and gotten on the Monorail to ride over to the Downtown Disney area. What I ended up doing was heading back to the main entrance of the park, exiting through the entrance plaza, passing through the exit of the security check lines, and then having to basically walk the entire distance of the Downtown Disney area because I forgot the Rainforest Cafe was on the far side of the Downtown Disney area. And I also forgot it’s parked right next door to the Monorail station.

Normally I don’t mind the walk but after having done the previous day at Knott’s Berry Farm and all morning in the park in close to 100 degree heat, my legs were starting to get rashes from all the walking, so I was a bit sore by this point in the day. I was surprised I made it over to the Rainforest Cafe before my parents and grandfather. The Rainforest Cafe is near the parking lot and I was coming on foot from the middle of Disneyland and having to walk through the entire Downtown Disney area just to get there. I didn’t end up having to wait too long though, it was just a matter of trying to find a somewhat shady spot as the mid afternoon heat was really starting to take its toll.

Continue reading Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 2)

Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 1)

Disneyland Birthday ButtonWhen it was announced in 2008 that the Disney Resorts would be offering free admission to one park for people to celebrate their birthday in 2009, I knew I was going to make plans to enjoy Disneyland for my birthday. It’s not the first time I’ve spent my birthday at Disneyland. The last time was in 2004 back when I last had an annual pass to the parks. I was excited to come to Disneyland for my birthday as I haven’t been to the park since right around the time Space Mountain was re-opening following two years of being closed to completely replace the tracks.

I posted a note on my Twitter account to see if any of my friends would be free and available to join me at Disneyland, and I suppose the one thing as you get older is that the responsibilities of the real world doesn’t always allow your friends to come play with you in an amusement park on a “work” day during the week. So aside from several notes of regret of not being able to come from local friends and notes from international friends where the travel distances were prohibitive of being able to come, it was looking like I’d be doing the park on my own. No big deal as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been the type of person to allow the fact others couldn’t come to stop me from enjoying the things I want to do. Besides, I’ve done the Disney parks several times on my own when I last had annual passes, sometimes I’d end up at the parks on a whim and would have no time to invite others anyway.

Continue reading Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 1)

Trying The Which Wich? In Santa Ana

Which Wich? Santa AnaSince originally being introduced to Which Wich? sandwich shops by Brian Hill, I’ve also become a fan of the shops and have recently made a point to try out all three of the Which Wich? locations here in San Diego. And since there’s just one additional location in California at the present time, I thought I might as well check it out too, since I’d be in the area to visit Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland for my birthday.

As I wrapped up my afternoon at Knott’s Berry Farm, I punched in Which Wich? into the Google Maps on my iPhone and it pulled up the Santa Ana location and I used the directions feature to tell me how to get there from Knott’s Berry Farm. It was just a short little drive down the Interstate 5, past Disneyland, and once I found the right highway exit, just a couple of miles to the East of the highway.

I got there in no time at all and despite the relative emptiness of the shopping center in general, the Which Wich? location was actually busy. There were a couple of people waiting for sandwiches to be made, one at the register, and a couple filling out bags for their orders and a number of people at the various tables in the shop. There even was a California Highway Patrol officer enjoying a sandwich in there at the time.

Continue reading Trying The Which Wich? In Santa Ana

An Afternoon At Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry FarmAs part of my birthday celebration, I planned to get a room up in Anaheim for the night of September 2nd, so that on my birthday I could get an early start at Disneyland. Since went ahead and booked a room through Priceline and got a great deal on a hotel, the decision to be made was should I just head up early in the afternoon, or go up in the evening. I thought I might consider going into Disney a day early but didn’t really want to spend that much money as a day at Disneyland isn’t cheap.

After passing by the discount wall at work, I saw they had coupons for Knott’s Berry Farm that would drop the admission price down to $29.99 from the regular $52.99 price, so it sounded like it might be worth doing since I haven’t been to Knott’s Berry Farm in at least a decade or so. It could be fun. Well the only thing that had me a little concerned was I wasn’t sure what time I would get to the park because I had a few errands to run after work before I could finally hit the road and get there. The concern was due to the fact the park was only staying open until 6pm. This just seemed crazy to me as it’s still technically summer, and labor day isn’t until this coming weekend, so the early closing time sounds a little premature.

Continue reading An Afternoon At Knott’s Berry Farm

The Almost Sugar Free Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake - Top ViewAs I’ve started to become proficient in making sugar-free alternatives for desserts that are compliant with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program, one of the challenges I’ve had in mind that I wanted to attempt for myself was to make an as close to sugar-free as possible Black Forest cake for my birthday. Not any of the fancy Black Forest cakes made with Cherry liquor or several fancy layers as those to me aren’t Black Forest cakes to me. For me, I tend to like the plain ol’ neighborhood supermarket variety of Black Forest cakes.

The reason I love these kinds of Black Forest cake is because it was always something special my grandmother would get from her local SuperValu Grocery store back in Calgary, Canada when I was a kid. She would do this especially for me when I would come to stay with her or at least that’s what she would tell me. Its not so much that the cake was anything special in itself, just the memories of time with my grandmother where she would make me feel like I was the most important person in the world and we were getting to enjoy a special treat together. I miss my grandmother since she passed away at the end of 2001, so I generally like to celebrate my birthdays with a Black Forest cake to not only celebrate my birthday but to feel like I’m still having a special moment with my grandmother.

Continue reading The Almost Sugar Free Black Forest Cake

Attack Of The Birthday Offers From Restaurants

Birthday BurgerIn today’s world of viral marketing we find businesses wanting more than ever to make their interactions with their customers more personal. It’s not unusual to find opt-in subscription boxes on many of their websites and in addition to asking for your name and e-mail address, they often ask you for your birthday and or anniversary dates as well so they can make additional offers to you to celebrate your significant personal holidays in addition to all the public holidays.

It seems that a lot of restaurants in particular operate their Internet mailing lists through an Auto-Responder called Fishbowl. So it ended up being highly amusing that today, I all of a sudden go hit with several birthday offers all starting today and ended on two weeks from today on September 10th, with my actual birthday being one week away on September 3rd. So I have two whole weeks to celebrate with the various restaurants that I have signed up to be on their lists at some point in time.

With so many offers coming in all at the same time, it’s kind of interesting to look at the various offers to see which restaurants are being more generous than others. Some are free meal offers with no strings attached, some require another meal be purchased as a buy one, get one free kind of deal, some its a free dessert, and one offered a straight up discount up to a certain amount. So let’s take a look at the various offers, I’ve received, keeping in mind, I am currently single, not dating anyone at the moment, and I have a job where I work late night hours, so not the most conducive for having someone join me if I take up any of these offers.

Continue reading Attack Of The Birthday Offers From Restaurants