Moondoggies for beer, margaritas and sports

This popular sports bar in Pacific Beach is where the post-college-twenty-something types show up every weekend to relive the spirit of Spring Break.
Think loud music, think TV screens, think taut bodies and copious quantities of beer and margaritas. The food is surprisingly good and somewhat urbane for a meat market establishment like this. The burgers come with blue cheese and, in truly Californian fashion, the menu, which changes regularly, has been known to feature seared ahi with wasabi aioli, Fajitas and even risotto. The line gets long late in the evening. The heated patio is the ideal place to see and be seen.

Moondoggies
832 Garnet Ave
San Diego 92109
858-483-6550

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Dizzy’s in San Diego for live jazz

Chuck Perrin, owner of Dizzy's in the Gaslamp, envisioned a temple for unadulterated enjoyment of live jazz when he opened Dizzy's. He succeeded. You come here to listen to music, most of it performed with passion and energy, and nothing else. Perrin has kept the space – in a former warehouse right by the gleaming new Petco Park, open and sparse. The seats are foldout chairs lined up neatly before a small stage. And he sells only tea and coffee as an afterthought. But nobody seems to mind and the calendar is packed. Thus far, the venue has seen Grammy nominated Chris Walden Big Band to Orquesta Binacional de Mambo (Latin Big BandMusic) to local jazz musicians like Peter Sprague.

On their website you'll find a calendar, photo gallery and more info.

Dizzy's – Where the music matter most
858.270.7467
344 Seventh Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

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Great photography tips blog

While researching which digital camera to buy, I came across a great blog with tips on improving your digital photography skills. I added a permanent link to my bookmarks section (on the right) so you can check it out. Here is the blog topic that made me discover the site. It's just some simple comments about how to hold a camera to get the best shots, but very informative for amateurs like me: holding a camera.

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Blogging delays due to camera troubles

I started this blog earlier in the week and I was all excited to post topics about the great stuff going on in San Diego. Unfortunately, camera problems have caused this effort to be delayed. I accidentally dropped my camera and the LCD screen broke. It still takes pictures, but I have no idea what the pictures look like until I get back home and load them up on my laptop. By then its too late to take a better picture if I need to (how did I survive when cameras only used film???). Today I was going to go by the US Midway aircraft carrier and blog about it (I just live down the street), but I'll wait till I get a new camera.

If you knew me, then you would know that I'm a geek who obesseses about every electronic purchase I make to insure I'm totally satisfied with it. I often return things to the store two or three times until I'm happy. Here is the camera the I think I'm going to buy. A Canon Powershot SD700.

Canon Powershot SD700

After examining dozens of cameras, this looks like the best compact camera on the market. It's also the priciest, but you get what you pay for. The biggest selling point for me is that it has optical image stabilization. This makes a huge difference in two areas: having friends take pictures of me, and night shots. I hate when someone says, give me your camera and I'll take your picture. Most of the time the pic comes back blurry or shaky. Digital cameras are very sensitive and have many differences between them. If you aren't familiar with the camera then it's easy to move it too much or not know how long to wait before the shutter is released. Anyway, having image stabilization will eliminate most of these problems. It's also great for zooming and night shots that need stability while the lens absorbs more light. Note: The other camera I was on the verge of getting, Casio Exilim 1000, has digital image stabilization. Many cameras I looked at have this and it really just creates problems rather than solving them. The circuitry tries to figure out how to make the image stable using algorithms rather than using optics. Of course, algorithms just don't compare to pure optics and the results are less than glamorous.

One thing I plan on doing is taking videos around San Diego and posting my videos on YouTube.com and adding the links here. This would be very cool. The only problem with this camera is that many people on Amazon complain that the image stabilization feature uses little electronic motors that make a lot of noise. Not only is this distracting, but when you are making movies the microphone picks up this noise and ruins the soundtrack. What a pain! I really hope that this isn't as bad as everyone says it is, or that maybe I can turn IS off while making a movie so that the motors aren't active. I'm crossing my fingers that this isn't an issue b/c this seems to be the best compact camera on the market right now.

Oh yeah – here is a great site that does a lot of digital camera reviews: www.dpreview.com

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Discarded TV


I-5 underpass downtown on C Street. Where the homeless sleep.

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San Diego Masala – Indian food in Gaslamp

While hanging out at the gaslamp with a friend a couple weeks ago, I came across an Indian restaurant that I never noticed before, Masala. We walked in and the place looked really nice. So for my birthday yesterday I was treated to dinner there by six of my friends. It turned out to be a great way to place to spend my birthday because the food was excellent.

Marsala, located on 5th and K St., has only been open for a month and even their website is still under construction. The restaurant has a nice entry with a some type of elephant altar in the front. There are two levels and we were seated upstairs. The menu looked mouth watering. Being an Indian restaurant, there were many choices for vegetarians as well as us carnivores. Every appetizer looked delicious and we ordered naan bread stuffed with sundried tomatoes. We also ordered a mango soup that sounded strange at first turned out to be delicious. For dinner everyone except myself ordered one of the vegetarian curries. I had lamb shanks with basmati rice on the side and it was delicious. We passed around the curry dishes and everyone loved each one.

A couple of cautions: The drinks were lackluster. One person ordered a mango mojito and she wasn't too thrilled by it. I ordered a Snake Charmer (hypnotiq, passion fruit, vodka) and it tasted like pineapple juice. The other caution is that if the menu says the food will be hot, then expect it to be very spicy. On the spicy dish my mouth was on fire (but I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to spicy food).

Overall, this restaurant is a great place to treat yourself to a night of Indian food in the Gaslamp. It is now my favorite Indian restaurant in San Diego.The entrees run from $20-$30 and are well worth it.

Masala

314 Fifth Ave, 92101

619-232-INDIA

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