Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Mi Casa Grill Restaurant Review

Our family went to Mi Casa Grill, a new Mexican restaurant place on the corner of San Pablo and Macdonald Ave in El Cerrito, CA.

Wow. Really good!

We sat outside where we enjoyed seeing people walk by and hear some street noise (and, you know sitting outside for COVID is a thing).

Beautiful plating, innovative use of flavors and textures. One example being: having avocados 3 ways in a taco: creamed, fresh and deep fried; you’d think it might be weird or boring but it wowed! In one bite, I felt I had been taught a beautiful lesson about the magical avocado! The Torta Cubana sandwich was absolutely sublime! They had some spendy items on the menu as well as less expensive; I now trust them enough to get a fancier item!

We will be back, with family and on adult date night!

Use Two Factor Authenticaion!

If you get a notice from Facebook saying that your password changed, look into it! If Facebook doesn’t hear from you for a month, they’ll assume the change was legit. If it was a bad person, they’ll then have free reign to do any nefarious thing they want in your account, including spamming your friends or locking you out of your account forever!

This problem has now happened to two loved ones! Today we caught the baddies before the countdown finished.

When you’re done, enable two-factor authentication on your account (and all of your accounts!). It’s a tiny bother to set up but VERY worthwhile! Here’s how to set it up on Facebook

Free Car Jack!

We found a free car jack under our Prius today! Yay! I’m sure the catalytic converter shield we installed on the car has nothing to do with this!


They left the car 1/2 jacked up on a fine hydraulic jack. But they took the bar you use to pump it up. They must have had to leave in a hurry.

Megan had the shield installed. I think it was around $400. The insurance deductible is $500 so it almost doesn’t make sense to get one until you factor in the week of waiting for the car repair and the fact that there’s nothing stopping them from stealing it a second time!
The mechanic who installed it (Steve’s Auto in El Cerrito) said that thieves sometimes cut through the shields so if you make them, make them sturdier than you think they should be, and that’ll be about right.

Voice Typing for Gmail??

Voice Typing for Google Docs works so well. Why oh why isn’t there a voice typing feature for Gmail? I have seen a few

There’s a Chrome extension called Dictation for Gmail with 100,000+ users but I simply don’t trust the organization behind it enough to push this button:

I can’t find out enough information about and Greg Sadetsky, the developer of this “free” extension, to trust them with unlimited access to my email! I would pay money for this!


Windows Sandbox Virtual Machine

Windows Sandbox is a nice, quick virtual machine that you probably already have.

It’s great to use virtual machine software like this when you need to download and run suspicious software that might have a virus or be otherwise unsavory. Instead of hoping and praying that your anti-virus holds up, you just start a Sandbox and ‘tada!’ you have an extra throwaway computer! Run programs in it, access the internet, copy files wherever. When you’re done, close the Sandbox and everything in it is GONE forever.

Find out how to turn on Windows Sandbox here. (I didn’t say “download” it because you already have it if you have Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education build 18305 or Windows 11!)

It’s not as powerful as other virtual machine software like Virtualbox or VMware but it’s way easier to set up!

Clippy Lives!

I’m starting to use a web-based Microsoft Outlook for a new job and I swear to god Clippy still works there!

To translate into English: every “helpful” prompt the app gives me is asinine, anti-helpful and makes me think scornfully, “What the hell were they thinking?”


Dynalist: My Favorite Productivity Tool

After 5 months of continual use, I can say that Dynalist is my favorite productivity tool!

In brief, it’s a To-Do list manager. The format is pleasantly simple: start with nested bulleted lists, add some slick search tools, keyboard shortcuts, works-anywhere (Chrome, android app, etc), and Google Calendar integration and BAM, I’ve got a great todo-list, note-jotter, keep-me-on-time tool!

It’s sweet spot is working with short bullet items, up to 30 words or so. You can also write longer documents in it but for true document writing, it’s better to just link to a Google Doc.

I tried several other todo list managers last year and this one came out on top! I paid for a year’s access but if you don’t need the Google calendar integration, the free version works perfectly well!

Time For Your Second COVID Booster Shot

If you’re over 50 and it’s been 4+ months since your COVID booster, it’s probably time to get your second booster.

In photos: Total Reported COVID deaths,   CDC

Yes, people are still dying from COVID.

A Joke

What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing himself in Spanish?

Taking My Winnings

After 8 calls to PG&E over 5 months, they fixed the rattling manhole cover outside of my daughter’s school. It’s the little things, right?

I feel like I’m putting a lot of energy out into the universe and not getting much in return.

The offending manhole cover

It now sits flat! Hurray!


My notes. Too many notes about too small of a problem!


3-18-22 follow-up:
On the Madera Parents Facebook group, my message about this got 45+ likes and 18 personal accolades. It seems more than just a few other people were bothered by this issue!