Tag Archives: California

Arrival Brings A Touch Of Sweden To The San Diego County Fair

Arrival at the San Diego County FairI think in large part due to the phenomenal success of “Mamma Mia! The Movie” last summer which was released shortly after last year’s San Diego County Fair concluded, the organizers of the San Diego County Fair thought it fitting to bring in an ABBA tribute band as a headlining act for the 2009 San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Fortunately the organizers picked what I consider to be the world’s best ABBA tribute band out there. That tribute band is Arrival, who like ABBA, also originate from Sweden and the show Arrival is touring under is called “The Music Of ABBA”.

Headed by Vicky Zetterberg (who portrays Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad) and joined by Jenny Gustafsson (who portrays Agnetha Fältskog), Arrival brought a wonderful touch of Sweden to San Diego, not once, but twice with two shows on July 2, 2009. The afternoon show began at 2pm and while the program states the afternoon concerts are hour long shows, Arrival played for a full two hours bringing a complete ABBA show to those down at the fair early enough to catch the afternoon show. I was personally fighting with traffic and the whole mess with parking so I didn’t make it to the Heineken Grandstand Stage until 2:30pm but I did get there. Arrival were performing “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” as I arrived.

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Visiting Bates Nut Farm

Bates Nut FarmEarlier today I attended a company picnic that was being held at the Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, California. The locally infamous venue often due to the name “Bates” and seemingly endless jokes in reference to the movie Psycho or local DJs referring to it as “Nate’s Butt Farm” is actually a really nice place. They have a lot of land that they often rent out for company parties and the sort, but what they’re most known for is being a purveyor of nuts from around the world. Their “General Store” that’s located on the farm is like an old time candy shop where they make their own chocolates and fudge as well as offer the opportunity to purchase nuts from around the world often in several varieties such as roasted, raw, salted, unsalted, and more. The store also has a section that’s like a craft store with a variety of items for home decor that would fit into a country theme.

For my visit, I enjoyed browsing through the shop. They had several interesting variety of nuts from around the world, but ultimately all I bought from the nuts section was a 7 ounce bag of raw Macadamia nuts as I love to chop those up and add them to my sugar free cookies. I also decided to purchase a small box of their deluxe sugar free candies. They had a variety of them from truffles, to cream filled ones, to some very good peanut butter cup ones as well. The best part is they had some in milk chocolate kind as well. It seems a lot of places if they have sugar free its all dark chocolate and I just don’t like as much. Definitely will have to be stopping back here on occasion for some really delicious sugar free candies.

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B-52’s Rock The San Diego County Fair In Del Mar

B-52's LiveLast night at the San Diego County Fair, I went to go see the B-52’s perform with some of San Diego’s bear community. Roughly twenty or so of us went and we squatted out a section of free seats in the grandstand with a great view of the stage even though we weren’t that close. The tickets were amazingly cheap. Entrance to the fair was $13, but if you hit an Albertsons grocery store, you could get $11 tickets. The concert was included in the fair admission price, and there was an opportunity to upgrade the tickets for reserved seating, but where we saw the group was just fine.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be a giant fan of the B-52’s but I do like them a lot. I’ve never been obsessive about getting all their albums. I would say my B-52’s collection consists of a greatest hits album, the “Cosmic Thing” album, a single for “Good Stuff”, and the “Funplex” album from last year. Oh, and the “Flintstones” movie soundtrack where the B-52’s became the BC-52’s to perform “The Flintstones Theme” and “The Bedrock Twitch.” Not quite the obsessive fan I tend to be about other groups. However, I think I may be adding a few more of their albums following the show.

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My New Favorite Burger From In-N-Out’s Secret Menu

in_n_out_double_lettuce_wrapI’d like to introduce you to my new favorite hamburger from In-N-Out Burger. It is called a “Double Meat Protein Style With Ketchup, Mustard, & Pickles” and it’s from In-N-Out Burger’s “Secret Menu.”

For those not familiar with In-N-Out Burger, they are a chain of fast food restaurants that started out at roughly the same time as the McDonald Brothers opened their first hamburger stand. Both companies started out very similar, but how they proceeded into the future from there is about as different as they come. Unlike McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger is a family run company, they do not have any shareholders, and they do not franchise any of their locations. Being a smaller company that focuses on quality, they’ve only expanded their reach California into the neighboring states of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. And they’ve achieved such a cult like status that their burgers are often considered a Southern California delicacy.

Additionally, their menu has remained virtually unchanged since the company first opened its doors. Their burger selection is a choice of three, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, and their signature sandwich, the “Double Double” which is a double cheeseburger with two slices of cheese. They also offer French Fries, and the traditional fare of beverage choices, sodas, coffee, teas, lemonades, and milkshakes made from real ice cream. The company prides itself on the fact the company doesn’t own a single freezer ensuring nothing but fresh products. In fact, their French Fries are sliced and diced in the store from real potatoes.

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Guilty Pleasure – McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

McDonald's Filet-O-FishWith today being the last Friday before Easter, I am going to allow myself to indulge in a guilty pleasure. That guilty pleasure is the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

I am not a big fan of seafood by any stretch of the imagination. I find Salmon to be repulsive, and can’t stomach things like Calamari. But I do like Tuna, Cod, Mahi Mahi, Pollack, and Halibut. The kinds of fish that don’t taste overly fishy. I’ve even tried Sushi, but I just can’t get around feeling like I need to gag every time I try it. So I tend to go for fish that’s like what’s found in Fish & Chips meals, Fish tacos, and Fish sandwiches like McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish.

The only time of year I like to have the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is during Lent. It’s not because I’m honoring any faith by any stretch of the imagination, it’s because it’s the only time McDonald’s charges what I think the sandwiches are worth. A few years ago, it was great when they were 99 cents, and last year they were sneaky and raised the price up to $1.29 and they kept the same price for this year here in California. The fish sandwiches are so small, I think they are a complete rip off at their regular price, you might as well get a burger instead. I know I shouldn’t be indulging in a fried fish sandwich, but it’s the only time of year I will do so at McDonald’s.

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The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Arrival Brings The Best ABBA Tribute Show To Anaheim

Ryan Cameron Meets Arrival in Anaheim, October 12, 2008On October 12, 2008, I had the opportunity to catch Arrival for the second time when they were performing at The Grove, in Anaheim. This time it was Arrival without the Austin Symphony Orchestra like the week before.

Prior to the show I met up with Los Angeles area ABBA fans, Rod, Fiona, and Pepe. We all met up before hand at the Virgin Megastore, nearby at The Block shopping center. It seemed to be an ideal meeting place with a few options to pick for dinner. We ended up getting a table at the TGI Friday’s restaurant that was in the outer rim of the mall parking lot.

By the time we made it over to the venue we had a small line to deal with at the box office for the will call tickets. The line was being held up by some guy who bought the premium tickets which included a dinner before the show, but he didn’t know it included the dinner and was trying unsuccessfully to get a credit back due to his inability to show up on time for the dinner. In the process of his arguing with the lady in the will call booth, he caused a lot of people behind him, including us, to miss the opening song. It was a good way through “Hey, Hey, Helen” before we were finally in the building and shown to our seats. Surprisingly the seating in the venue was very reminiscent of Las Vegas style showroom seating with tables basically designed for dining, but really lousy for looking at the stage. Despite the shortcoming of the venue layout, we weren’t there for that, we were there to see Arrival!

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