Monthly Archives: April 2012

Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar Grand Opening!

The residents of Orange County, Westminster to be specific, have a new sushi restaurant in town, Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar. I am here to tell you that if you are a fan of great sushi, you do not want to hesitate checking it out. I promise you, you have never had a sushi experience like this. In my youth I looked forward to things like Christmas and getting my driver\’s license. As I got older, things like tax refunds and stock dividend checks were anticipated anxiously; they all pale in comparison to how much I was looking forward to last Saturday and the Grand Opening of Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar.

Friends and followers at Facebook thought that I turned vegetarian because most of my food photos lately have been of fruits and vegetables that we either juice or barbecue. For the previous three years, those photos were all of the various sushi rolls that my friend, Song Kim, invented; each a true work of art. In October, the sushi photos stopped. Many put one and one together and came up with vegetarian. The fact of the matter is that Song decided he wanted to open his own place. I tried going back to the establishment I met him at and enjoyed for more than three years, but it was not the same. It is one thing to know the ingredients, but if you do not know how to put them together, it is not going to be the same. I decided I was going to have to wait for Song to open his new place. Continue reading

If you are in Arizona, you may be pregnant

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and if this does not prove it, I am not sure what will. I am talking about Arizona\’s recently passed House Bill 2036, which contains the following language: \”Gestational age\” means the age of the unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.\” You might want to read that again. Arizona\’s legislators have written into law that a woman is now pregnant prior to conception. I graduated from high school in 1971, which means I have not taken a Biology class since 1969 or 1970. I know that since I graduated there are new countries taught in Geography, new rules about punctuation in English class and, of course, fuzzy math. I can accept that there are going to be countries that change their names, new words will be added to the dictionary and new theories on how to solve mathematical equations. As someone that believes in evolution I can accept that people may eventually be born without tonsils, but birth beginning prior to conception? I do not think so.


I remember when I first heard about this proposed legislation, it may have been on The Daily Show or Colbert Report, and thinking that the inmates are truly running the asylum if this was \”real news.\” It seems that I learned of this legislation around the same time that Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson introduced her amendment to Oklahoma\’s \”Personhood\” bill, which would have made it illegal for a man\’s sperm to be spilled anywhere but inside a woman\’s vagina. The thing is, Senator Johnson was making fun of the stupid laws being proposed, and sometimes passed, that attempted to regulate a woman\’s reproductive system. She was merely showing how insane government has become. A woman standing up for women\’s rights, almost sounds natural; the Arizona legislature must be made up of all men, right? Well, sadly the Governor of Arizona is a female, Jan Brewer. I have not Googled her to find out how old she is, but menopause must have been a very long time ago as she seems to have completely forgotten the entire process of how a woman gets pregnant. I wonder how she would feel if she was in her 20\’s and now legally pregnant, unless she is menstruating. Continue reading

Rock and Brews, El Segundo

A couple of weeks ago, my buddy Phil told me about a new restaurant in El Segundo that had 50 beers on tap, so it did not take much convincing to get me to head over to Rock & Brews last Saturday to check it out. Rock & Brews is partially owned by Gene Simmons, so it was a safe bet that with the combination of rock and roll and 50 beers on tap this was going to be a pleasurable experience.

The weather was so-so, but we wanted to go for a bike ride and I figured it would be easier to find parking with motorcycles than with a full-sized car. As it turns out, Rock & Brews has plenty of off-street parking, which was a pleasant surprise. The building of the restaurant itself reminds me of an auto repair garage. I was told it was supposed to resemble being backstage at a concert venue. All I can say is that I must be getting asked backstage at the wrong places. Rock & Brews was bigger than some venues I have attended. That being said, when it is open it only has three walls as the north side opens into a large patio. While this is not a problem when the weather is nice, it will be interesting to see what it is like when the weather is foul. Continue reading

BNI Noon Networkers at South End Racquet Club

Last week at a Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce event, I was approached about coming to a meeting of the BNI Noon Networkers at the South End Racquet and Tennis Club, which was held today. BNI stands for Business Networking International, an global business networking organization that has been around for 25 years. The premise is that each chapter limits membership to one business per category. For example, at the networking event I attended today, there was a realtor, dentist, graphic artist, auto mechanics, computer repair person and several other occupations represented. I was invited since they wanted a photographer in their chapter.

It was my first meeting with the group, and they definitely exude enthusiasm. Whether it was the recital of the BNI Networking Code of Ethics, or the 30 second pitches members [and guests] made, there was lots of applause. We were encouraged to utilize BNI to improve our VCP, Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. While I was there I did pick up a couple business cards I am pretty sure will be used and I gave out a few. If you are a small business owner, you might want to see if BNI has a chapter local to you. Continue reading

Back to Dr Forouzesh for test results

Tanya and I went back to see her Rheumatologist, Dr. Forouzesh yesterday; with the primary intent of getting the results of the Vectra DA blood test and the bone density test that were conducted two weeks ago. She also had an ultrasound done to check her thyroid because of nodules that are growing on it. Her neck has been swollen and swelling for a couple years now. The results of these tests were going to help Tanya decide if she wants to get stem cell therapy or not. Needless to say, it was a visit we have been looking forward to.

As I sat and listened to Dr. Forouzesh and Tanya go over the test results, I have to admit a certain amount of relief. To my untrained ear, it sounded like Tanya could be a lot worse off than she is today, at least according to the test results. Of course, there is one part of the test that might suggest that she does not have Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease/Rheumatoid Arthritis, but that is why they take seven vials of blood instead of one. The bone density test results were very good, so I guess at this point in time Osteoporosis is not a concern. Dr. Forouzesh did say Tanya needed more Vitamin D and Omega 3. There was an indicator of possible heart issues, but they ran a test in the office and I guess it is not something to worry about . . . yet.

\"Blood Continue reading

Waves of Grain Beerfest 2012 – Roundhouse Aquarium Fundraiser

These photos were taken at the Waves of Grain Beerfest 2012, held at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, CA. This was a fundraiser for Roundhouse Aquarium in Manhattan Beach, an environmental organization committed to fostering and promoting the education of the oceans, tidelands and beaches of Southern California. It is tough to beat a fundraiser that showcases craft beer, but Waves of Grain did just that by providing craft beers from around the country as well as several local breweries.

Local breweries in attendance included Bootleggers Brewery from Fullerton, Cismontane Brewing Company from Rancho Santa Margarita, Golden Road Brewing from Los Angeles, El Segundo Brewing Company, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery from Redlands, Strand Brewing Company from Torrance, Smog City Brewing from Tustin and Old Orange Brewing Company from Orange. Other breweries in attendance included Allagash Brewing Company, Anchor Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing Company, Black Market Brewing Company, Chimay, Drakes Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Karl Strauss Brewery, Kona Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Lost Coast Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, North Coast Brewing Company, Schneider-Weisse Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Unibroue and Widmer Brothers Brewing. Continue reading

China Tea House Torrance

I enjoy being introduced to restaurants I have never tried and I really like Chinese food, so when we were invited to join some friends at the China Tea House in Torrance I was quite eager to try it out. Besides, free dinner is always good. I was told that the place always had Chinese people dining there, so it had to be authentic.

When we arrived there were not many people there and the only Asian that was not an employee or in our group was getting something to go. It was early, so I was not going to let the lack of customers influence me. We let our host order since he was familiar with the menu. We started off with some egg rolls and hot sake. The egg rolls were okay, nothing special, but there is only so much you can do with an egg roll. The hot sake was not hot. It was barely warm. They put the sake bottle in a teapot of hot water which warmed it up a little, but lukewarm sake is not very tasty. Continue reading

Photos from the Budris & Van Haren ribbon cutting

These photos are from the ribbon cutting ceremony for Budris & Van Haren, Attorneys at Law. There was an impressive turnout of Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce members; as well as The Mayor and about five city council members. The law firm of Budris & Van Haren specializes in both Criminal and Family Law. If you have a friend that needs help, don\’t get involved.

I am donating the watermark to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, to bring awareness to this organization which is the only one helping those with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD, otherwise known as Rheumatoid Arthritis/RA); and as part of my promise to Tanya. Continue reading

Thirsty Bear: Tapas and craft beer

A couple weeks ago I went up to San Francisco to attend Ad Tech and the Marketers Ball. As I only went up for the day, I did not have a room to go to while killing time between the two events; I had a parking spot and there was no sense moving, so I called Tanya and had her do a search for a micro brewery that might be within walking distance. After a few minutes she came up with the Thirsty Bear, which happened to be just a couple of blocks away from where I was at the Moscone Center. A micro brewery that serves tapas and Spanish food, how can I beat that?

As I approached the establishment I realized I had been here before, but it must have been for a private party that was upstairs or in the back somewhere because I had never noticed that they had a wide selection of craft beers on tap. Come to think of it, I never realized they sold food. It was around 6:00 PM, so the place was pretty packed. The bartender, Noe, assured me I could order dinner at the bar so I grabbed a stool and ordered a beer sampler. They had everything from pilsner to stout; however, they were out of the Howard Street IPA. Judging by all the frowns I noticed in my time there, it must be pretty good. I will be back; hopefully they will have some in stock. Continue reading

April Networking at Noon at The Crest

Tuesday was the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce\’s April Networking at Noon; this time being held at The Crest on Cabrillo in downtown Torrance. The monthly Networking at Noon is a great way for Chamber members to meet informally over a [usually] nice lunch, exchange business cards and give a 30 second introduction to remind people what service their business provides. It is also an opportunity for the host restaurant to showcase their establishment. Unfortunately, I think The Crest proved to be a pretty poor place to try and conduct a meeting. Sharing an area with regular bar customers was just too noisy; and I know I was not alone in not being able to hear most of what was said. Be that as it may, we were able to meet with a few people that we met at earlier functions and it is becoming obvious that we are being recognized and business will be done. As I have been attending trade shows for close to 10 years, I have learned that networking opportunities are what you make of them.

Since the networking function was held on Tanya\’s birthday, I have added the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation\’s watermark to the photos as it is Tanya\’s favorite charity. Continue reading