Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take 4

Last Thursday I visited the Macworld 2012 at the Moscone Center West, in San Francisco. I had an opportunity to pick up a ticket for a few dollars so I went for it.  I felt a little intimidated amongst all of those geeky Mac afficionados but hey, they couldn't tell that I hardly knew squat about anything Apple, or could they ?!? . When we moved to California, I got myself an Iphone, to my husband's dismay, who would have liked me to get an Android but, I digress. A couple of weeks later, as a combined belated birthday gift/Christmas gift, I became the proud owner of an Ipad (Thanks, husband !) so I am no longer an Apple Virgin, but still, far from a geek.  I walked around this huge array of exhibitors boasting the different possibilities of their wares, most of which were of no interest to me, but I did make a couple of purchases. The first one was a new pair of earphones.  My husband kept complaining about his earphones so I thought these would be a great improvement. They are SnuggBuds, inner ear buds with excellent bass and ambient noise reduction. Another particular plus about them is that their wires are made of cord which virtually eliminates those darn tangles. My husband is now gaga for them. My second purchase was a little gadget for me that is called iBallz and it's the ultimate iPad protector.($20.00)  It is a harness with huge balls at each corner so that when you drop your iPad, and believe me, you will, your device will not be  the first thing that hits the floor. The balls do the cushioning. The harness also has several other functions such as stabilizing the iPad and when one of the balls is repositioned under the ipad, it serves as a tilting aid. It's also ideal for gamers. I love my iBallz. You can find out more about them at I continued my visit and could have bought a couple of other gadgets but I did not want to over do it. I had to keep a bit of budget money for lunch and shoes. So on to lunch.

There  is a chain called Chevy's. Chevy's is a Mexican restaurant and purists will hate what I am about to say but if you cannot find the authentic little Mexican hole in the wall where a whole family works diligently to produce food like the real stuff, then pick Chevy's. The food is very good, reasonably priced and the service is great. And if you like the taste of Magaritas but want to skip the buzz of Tequila at noon, ask for a virgin Margarita.  A great substitution for the real thing and just as tasty, without the buzz and the extra calories and at a much lower cost.

Then it was directly to DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) I have been a customer of DSW for at least 10 years. And guys, DSW is not just for the ladies, they have shoes for you too, including sneakers. But back to ladies' shoes. DSW has shoes, shoes and more shoes + handbags, wallets, belts, socks and lots more. And the great thing about it, there is a shoe for every budget. Also, they have a discounted section where you are sure to find a little gem or two. The largest discounted department I have seen at their stores (because I have visited several in California and Washington) is the one on Powell stree,t in San Francisco. Their whole basement is filled with shoes and bags that are additionally discounted on top of DSW's usual lower prices. Double discount ! Plan your visit because you could easily spend a couple of hours in there. You can also go online to shop and I am told that they will be shipping to Canada in the near future.  Oh, and one more thing about DSW, they have a customer appreciation program where you become a member, accumulate points and when you reach a certain amount of points, you receive a coupon, through the mail, to use at any of  their stores or online. How great is that? And, before you start wondering, those are just things and places I liked on my day trip to San Francisco, I am not a paid blogger.

Finally, after a few more stops, I was back on the train to go home. Caltrain has a great service, is comfortable, reasonably priced and I loved the experience.  I was sitting kitty corner and a few rows back from the unisex toilet. Well people, the results are in and I can hereby declare that, men as well as women do not interrupt their conversation on their cell phones when they enter the washroom.  The door to the washroom was one of those sliding metal types that kept slamming back and forth as a new user entered or exited . Most people I saw going in there, either male or female were carrying on a conversation on their cell. I was curious and wanted to see them on their way out. Well folks, believe it or not, either on the same conversation or a new one, they were still talking. HUM......can't the person at the other end of the line hear what they are up to ???

Finally, here is a great Banana Bread recipe from my own collection. You can omit the nuts, if you are so inclined. Your place will smell yummy in no time !

Lori's Banana Bread
(makes one loaf)

3 very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tablespoons oil
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake or all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans work well)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pan. Peel bananas and mash them in a large bowl. Add sugar, egg, oil and vanilla and beat until batter is well blended. Beat in flour, baking soda, salt until smooth. Add in nuts, if using, and stil just to incorporate nuts into mixture.  Pour into loaf pan and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake approximately 45 minutes. Test with toothpick. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. Put pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool on rack.

Remember, each oven is different so your baking time might be slightly longer. Also feel free to tweak it to your liking.

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