Thursday, October 29, 2015

VMHS Drama Dept Presents... Curtains, a musical comedy whodunit

Set in 1959 Boston, this is a ‘show within a show’ type of musical murder mystery by Rupert Holmes, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Peter Stone. This is a more modern musical, it debuted on Broadway in March of 2007. During its run it was nominated for multiple Tony Awards, with David Hyde Pierce winning ‘Best Actor’ for his portrayal of Lt Frank Cioffi. According to a VMHS Drama Department insider, this version is a bit tamer than the Original Broadway production was, in case you might have seen it in LA or New York.

The VMHS production is directed by Cory Finch and starts off at the end of the play within the play (Robbin Hood). Towards the end of the song, the lead actor collapses in the background. She is taken away and the cast breaks in to ‘What Kind of Man?’ – A song about how they hate the critics who said the show (Robbin Hood) was bad. As a guy writing up a show, I found it wonderfully ironic.

After it is determined that the show’s star is killed, a drama loving police officer Lt Frank Cioffi shows up to solve the crime but finds himself becoming involved in the production. A wide variety of silly, fun show tunes are performed, with names like ‘Kansasland’ and ‘The Woman’s Dead’.

The song ‘Show People’ is a bright spot, with many great lines about the quirky, world of stage show production life. I rather enjoyed the snarky tune ‘It’s a Business’ and the end of ‘In the same boat Completed’ is really special. The program says that the kids have spent 10 weeks in rehearsals, and I believe it, they have great stage presence and the vocals were stronger than I anticipated.

The show plays October 29 and 30, November 4, 5 & 7 at Vista Murrieta High School Performing Arts Center, 28251 Clinton Keith Road, Murrieta CA 92563. Tickets are $10, general admission. There is an intermission where the kids have set up a snack area with chips, water and candy.



Hello Football Fans,

The CFP selection committee will come out with their first preliminary set of rankings next Tuesday, November 3rd.

In the NFL, there are still five undefeated teams.  That will change this week.


The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL, on the lam from the gambling police



This week ELEVEN underdogs won outright in 55 FBS games for an upset rate of 20.0% (18.2% last week), including the shocker of the week in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech (+6h) was trailing AP#9 Florida State in a key ACC matchup at halftime, 16-10.  In the second half, the Yellowjackets held FSU in check and mustered up two field goals, one in the 3rdquarter and the tying FG with one minute remaining in regulation time.  Tied 16-16, FSU marched 37 yards in 8 plays to get within FG range for the win with six seconds on the clock, although it was a 56-yard try.  The kick was blocked, it rolled down to the GA Tech 22-yard line and was picked up by the Yellowjackets’ Lance Austin, who scampered 78 yards to paydirt on the last play of the game for the victory.
FINAL: GA.TK 22, FSU 16, and Florida State was knocked from the unbeaten ranks.


Northwestern (+7) won at Nebraska, 30-28.  Big Red kicked a 48-yard FG to start the final period and take the lead 22-20.  The NW Wildcats responded with a TD and then kicked a 27-yard FG to take a 30-22 lead, but the NEB Cornhuskers drove 75 yards in eight plays for a TD to pull within two points with 4:18 on the clock.  Nebraska’s two-point conversion attempt failed, and Northwestern's offense was able to run out the final four minutes of the 4thquarter.

AP#23 Duke (+3) was the underdog at Virginia Tech, but eked out a victory in quadruple overtime, 45-43, the longest game in ACC history.  Tied 24-24 at the end of regulation, it took four overtime periods to determine the winner.  In the 4thOT, VA Tech scored a TD but failed on the required 2-point conversion attempt, while the Blue Devils followed with a TD and successful PAT to win by 2 points.

On Thursday night, AP#22 Temple (+3) was the underdog at East Carolina, but won 24-14 to remain undefeated and stay in the Top 25.  This year is the Owls’ first appearance in the AP Top 25 Poll since 1979, and it is the best start to a season in the school’s history (7-0).  Temple trailed 14-10 after three quarters, but scored two unanswered TD’s in the 4thquarter including an “insurance” TD after blocking an ECU Pirates’ punt.

On Friday night, San Diego State (+4) soundly beat visiting Utah State, 48-14.

Washington State (+7) won at Arizona, 45-42.

UTEP (+5h) beat visiting Florida Atlantic, 27-17.

Vanderbilt (+3) beat visiting SEC East foe Missouri, 10-3.

Buffalo (+2h) stampeded visiting Ohio U., 41-17.

Colorado (+2) won at PAC-12 North foe Oregon State, 17-13.

Idaho (+1) beat visiting LA-Monroe, 27-13.

Maryland (+6h) faced favored Penn State at neutral site Baltimore and was ahead 27-24 after scoring a TD late in the 3rdquarter, but the Nittany Lions responded early in the 4thquarter to retake the lead 31-27.  The Terrapins answered back quickly with a FG, still 10 minutes remaining in the game, behind only 31-30.  Maryland was unable to score after that and the loss spoiled the debut of Terps' interim coach Mike Locksley, who was promoted from offensive coordinator after HC Randy Edsall was fired on October 11th.
Penn State won the turnover battle 5-3, which helped them prevail in this one.


AP#2 Baylor (-37) was ahead 35-7 at halftime and flirting with a cover ATS already, but visiting Iowa State outscored the Bears 20-10 in the 2ndhalf.
FINAL: BAYLOR 45, ISU 27, and the Cyclones covered ATS.

AP#7 Michigan State (-16h) had a shaky 28-26 lead over visiting Indiana after three quarters, but scored 24 unanswered points in the final stanza to win handily and also cover ATS by 9½ points.

AP#14 Oklahoma State (-34h) was ahead of visiting Kansas 35-10 after three quarters, but poured it on in the final stanza against the weak sister of the Big XII, scoring 23 unanswered points to cover ATS by 13½ points.

AP#19 Toledo (-14h) was trailing 28-10 at Massachusetts after the first half, but the Rockets outscored the UMass Minutemen 41-7 in the 2ndhalf to not only get the victory but also cover ATS by 1½ points.

Nevada (-7) was trailing the visitors from Hawaii 20-13 after three quarters, but the Wolf Pack scored 17 unanswered points in the 4thquarter to not only get the victory but also cover ATS by 3 points.
FINAL: NEV 30, HI 20

Arkansas (-6h) hosted SEC West foe Auburn and the score was tied 24-24 at the end of regulation.  After four overtime sessions, the teams had scored more points in the extra periods than during the first four quarters.  In the first OT, Auburn got first possession and scored a TD and kicked the extra point; the Razorbacks followed suit.  In the 2ndOT, ARK went first and scored a TD and extra point kick, with Auburn matching them.  In the 3rdOT, Auburn scored a TD and converted on the required 2-point attempt to lead by 8 points; Arkansas followed suit and tied it up.  In the 4th OT, Arkansas scored a TD to lead by “only” six (not yet covering ATS), but converted on the 2-point PAT to lead by 8 (now covering ATS); Auburn was then stopped on downs and the game was over (with 52 points scored in overtime).
FINAL: ARK 54, AUB 46, and the Razorbacks covered ATS by 1½ points.

In the latest Top 25 rankings, there are still 12 undefeated teams including the Top 6 ranked teams.  Two teams fell from the unbeaten ranks – AP#3 Utah and AP#9 Florida State.

FOUR teams in last week’s Top 25 lost over the weekend, and two of them fell out of the Top 25:
RANKED                                                                                            NEW
TEAM                         RESULTS                                                       RANKING

#3 Utah                       Lost at USC, 42-24, as 3½ point ‘dog                        #13
#9 Florida State          Lost at GA Tech, 22-16                                  # 17
#15T Texas A&M      Lost at Ole Miss, 23-3, as 5-point ‘dog         OUT
#20 California            Lost at UCLA, 40-24, as 3-point ‘dog           OUT

That means two teams moved INTO the Top 25:
New #24 UCLA
New #25 Mississippi State

The breakout of votes for the #1 ranking in the polls (with last week’s #1 votes in parentheses):

AP# Rank &                                                               Ranking in
TEAM                         AP Poll           Coaches Poll   Coaches Poll

#1 Ohio State              39 (28)                        49 (45)                        #1        Unbeaten
#2 Baylor                    7 (12)              10 (12)                        #2        Unbeaten
#3 Clemson                 6 (1)                1 (1)                #6        Unbeaten
#4 LSU                        5 (1)                1 (1)                #4        Unbeaten
#5 TCU                       3 (3)                2 (4)                #3        Unbeaten
#6 Michigan State      0 (0)                0 (1)                #5        Unbeaten
#7 Alabama                1 (0)                0 (0)                #7        One home loss to Ole Miss
#8 Stanford                 0 (0)                0 (0)                #8        One loss at Northwestern
#9 Notre Dame           0 (0)                0 (0)                #9        One loss at Clemson
#10 Iowa                     0 (0)                0 (0)                #11      Unbeaten
#11 Florida                 0 (0)                0 (0)                #12      One loss at LSU
#12 Oklahoma State   0 (0)                0 (0)                #10      Unbeaten
#13 Utah                     0 (16)              0 (1)                #14      One loss at USC

The other undefeated teams: #16 Memphis, #18 Houston, #20 Toledo, and #21 Temple.

According to a report from USA Today, LSU would be the top-ranked team in the BCS standings, as determined by five of the computer formulas previously used in the BCS system. Current AP#1 Ohio State would be ranked BCS#4.  Clemson would be ranked BCS#2, followed by BCS#3 Alabama.

Rounding out the meaningless “BCS Computers” Top 10:
#5 Michigan State, #6 Iowa, #7 TCU, #8 Baylor, #9 Notre Dame, and #10 Florida.
BCS#11 Memphis is the highest-ranked Group of Five team (non-Power 5) in this computer ranking, and the highest-ranked PAC-12 team is #12 Stanford.
[Editorial Comment: Good thing this doesn’t really count for anything, because Alabama is in the Top 4 and ahead of two undefeated Big XII teams, even though the Tide has a home loss and doesn’t play any true road games out of conference.] 

Computer rankings are designed to remove the human element from the championship picture, but no method or metric is infallible in college football. The College Football Playoff brought more of the human element back into the CFP selection process by having a 13-member committee make the decisions, similar to the process used in college basketball for March Madness.

The first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings will be released next Tuesday night, November 3rd.  Of course, the first set of rankings will be informative but technically meaningless; only the final committee rankings in early December will matter.


The FIVE undefeated teams from last week are still unbeaten after Week #7.
Catchup: there hadn’t been this many unbeaten teams through Week #6 since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

New England and Carolina both won at home to remain perfect on the season, while Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Denver all had a bye week to remain undefeated.  The GB Packers play at Denver this Sunday.

CAROLINA (6-0) beat visiting Philadelphia on Sunday night and remained ½ game ahead of ATLANTA (6-1), who won at Tennessee, 10-7.  The CAR Panthers won their first six games of an NFL season for the first time in franchise history.

GREEN BAY (6-0) is now 2 games ahead of Minnesota (4-2), who won at Detroit 28-19 on Sunday after trailing 17-6 in the second quarter.

NEW ENGLAND (6-0) extended its lead over the NY Jets (4-2) to 2 games after beating them in Foxboro, MA on Sunday, 30-23.

The Jets led 20-16 early in the 4thquarter after kicking a FG, but the Patriots responded with two TD’s, their first time to take the lead with 7 minutes remaining in the game and then an “insurance” TD with 1:13 showing on the clock to lead 30-20 (covering ATS).  But wait….the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets weren’t done yet.  They marched into field goal range and converted with 18 seconds left.  The score was now 30-23 (and now the NE Rats were not covering ATS).  The Jets tried the onside kick…and it worked.  Time for two plays – the first gained some yardage, and the second play (presumably to be a relatively short Hail Mary pass into the end zone) was cancelled due to a false start penalty and by rule the clock was reset to ZERO – game over.
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady was responsible for 352 of his team’s 353 yards from scrimmage (99.7%) and was his team’s leading rusher for the game with 15 yards.

CINCINNATI (6-0) extended its lead over Pittsburgh (4-3) to 2.5 games after the Steelers and starting QB Landry Jones lost at Kansas City on Sunday, 23-13.

DENVER (6-0) was idle in Week #7 and still has a big 3-game lead over Oakland (3-3), who won at San Diego on Sunday, 37-29.


The Hapless AFC SOUTH
The mediocre Indianapolis Colts (3-4) lost on Sunday 27-21 to visiting New Orleans (trailed 27-0 in 3rdquarter) to slip below .500 for the year, but the Colts still have a slim 1-game lead over Houston (2-5), who lost at Miami on Sunday (the Texans trailed 41-0 at halftime).  Jacksonville (2-5) is also only one game out of the division lead after beating Buffalo in London on Sunday, 34-31.

The Nearly Hapless NFC EAST
The NY Football Giants (4-3) captured the division lead with a 27-20 home win over Dallas on Sunday.  The Cowboys led 13-10 at halftime, but had 4 turnovers in the second half and allowed the Giants to retake the lead after three quarters, 20-13.  Later, Dallas tied up the score on a TD with 7 minutes to go.  The NY Gnats responded immediately with a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD and the eventual game-winner.

The PHI Eagles (3-4) and WSH ‘Skins (3-4) are only one game out, and the DAL Cowboys (2-5) are in the cellar alone, two games behind the Giants.

Arizona (5-2) won on Monday night, 26-18, over Baltimore to maintain its 1.5-game lead over the STL Rams (3-3) and two-game lead over SEA Seahawks (3-4).
The Cardinals were favored by 8 points, led 26-10 after scoring a TD with 8 minutes remaining in the game, but missed the extra point kick (making it still a “two-score” game).  The BAL Ravens blocked an AZ punt and subsequently scored a TD on one play from the 1-yard line, plus converted the 2-point PAT and now trailed only 26-18 (eight points behind and tied ATS) with 4½ minutes to go.  Baltimore got the ball back with still 2 minutes remaining on the clock, but with no timeouts.  The Ravens marched toward the Cards’ end zone and had 2nd-and-goal from the 4-yard line (no, the 9-yard line after a false start penalty-ouch) with six seconds on the clock.  A pass into the end zone was intercepted; game over and a tie ATS.


THREE underdogs won outright in 14 NFL games this week for an upset rate of 21.4% (42.9% the previous week). 

Jacksonville (+4h) beat Buffalo in London, 34-31.  The Jags led 27-3 in mid-2ndquarter, but only 27-13 at halftime.  JAX led by the same score at the end of the 3rdquarter, but the BUF Bills scored 17 points in the 4thquarter, including a second TD on a “Pick 6” with 5½ minutes remaining in the game to lead 31-27.  Jags’ QB Blake Bortles bounced back from his interception and threw the game-winning 31-yard TD pass with 2:16 on the clock.

New Orleans (+3h) won at Indianapolis, 27-21.  The NOR Saints were ahead 27-0 in the third quarter and nearly relinquished the lead.

Oakland (+3h) won at San Diego, 37-29, hanging on for the victory after carrying a huge 37-6 lead into the fourth quarter.


Tampa Bay (+3h) was leading 24-0 during the first half at Washington, but eventually lost the game, 31-30, when the ‘Skins drove 80 yards in 11 plays for a TD to take the lead, leaving only 24 seconds on the clock.



RESULTS for Top 25 matchups:

#4 Illinois State beat visiting #23 Western Illinois, 48-28, and moved up to FCS#3.

#8 North Dakota State won at #21 Indiana State, 28-14, and moved up to FCS#6.

#12 Richmond won at #3 James Madison, 59-49, and moved up to FCS#8; James Madison dropped to FCS#9.

#13 Portland State won at Cal Poly-SLO, 38-35, and moved up to FCS#12.

#17 Youngstown State lost at Southern Illinois, 38-31, and dropped to FCS#24.

#25 Northern Iowa won at #6 South Dakota State, 10-7, and moved up to FCS#21; SD State dropped seven spots to FCS#13.

The breakout of #1 rankings in the FCS Coaches Poll are listed below (with the #1 votes for the prior week in parentheses):

#1 Coastal Carolina                15 (15)           
#2 Jacksonville State              8 (5)   
#3 Illinois State                      3 (2)
#4 Chattanooga                      
#5 Eastern Washington
#6 North Dakota State                                   
#7 McNeese State                                          
#8 Richmond
#9 James Madison                  0 (3)
#10 Sam Houston State
#12 Portland State
#13 South Dakota State
#21 Northern Iowa                Panthers have 3-4 record; tough schedule so far
#24 Youngstown State                                  


Overall, we FFHL’ers ended up a thumbnail better than the monkey this week with a record of 41-40-3 ATS (50.6%) this week.  In the NFL, we posted a pedestrian record of 14-13-3 ATS (51.7%); in college we matched the San Diego Zoo primates for the second straight week at 27-27-0 ATS (50.0%).  Collectively for the season, after eight weeks and 672 picks, we are 49.0% ATS [52.0% NFL and 47.5% college].


Listed below is a breakdown of some of our significant picks. 
We had six contrary picks in college.
We had six contrary picks in the NFL.

                                    ATS Picks
Team                           For-Against    Result / Unsolicited comments

CAR Panthers -3 vs. PHI        6-0       WIN, Carolina wins again, 27-16
ATL Falcons -5h at TENN     3-0       LOSS, Atlanta flubs in 4thqtr. to win only 10-7
AZ Cardinals -8 vs. BAL       3-0       TIE, Arizona missed PAT kick & wins only 26-18
SD Chargers -3h vs. OAK      2-1       LOSS, Raiders win outright in San Diego, 37-29
NY Jets +8 at NE Rats            2-1       WIN, New England wins only by a TD, 30-23
CLE Browns +6h at STL        2-1       LOSS, Cleveland loses by more than a TD, 24-6

Utah Utes +3h at USC            10-1     LOSS, Trojans dominate Utes at home, 42-24
HOU Cougars -22 at UCF      3-0       WIN, Houston explodes after slow start, wins 59-10
LSU Tigers -16 vs. WKU       3-0       WIN, Louisiana State wins 48-20
FSU ‘Noles -6h at GA.Tk       3-1       LOSS, Florida State donates at end in loss, 22-16
Toledo -14h at UMASS          3-1       WIN, Rockets take off after trailing 28-10 at half
Ohio St -21h at RUTG            2-2       OSU Buckeyes won handily, 49-7 to cover ATS

This week – FFHL Week #7:
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               31-24-0 (56.4%)         44-11 (80.0%)
            HOME TEAMS          29-25-0 (53.7%)         37-17 (68.5%)

There was one neutral site game last weekend: Penn State and Maryland played in Baltimore.  Collectively, the home teams may be waking up.

CUMULATIVE after eight weeks:

                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               204-205-9 (49.9%)     333-85 (80.0%)         
            HOME TEAMS          191-209-7 (47.8%)     249-158 (61.2%)

In the 7th week:
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               7-6-1 (53.6%)             11-3 (78.6%) 
            HOME TEAMS          6-6-1 (50.0%)             8-5 (61.5%)   

Note:  four teams had “byes”, and one game was in London

CUMULATIVE after seven weeks:

                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               47-53-5 (47.1%)         68-37 (64.8%)
            HOME TEAMS          48-50-5 (49.0%)         58-45 (56.3%)


AP#2 Baylor starting QB Seth Russell broke a bone in his neck in last Saturday’s victory over Iowa State; he will have season-ending surgery.  His replacement will be true freshman and 5-star recruit Jarrett Stidham, who has played in every game this season (85.7% completion rate, 331 yards passing, 6 TD passes).  His backup will be sophomore Chris Johnson, who has been playing WR for the BU Bears this year.

Iowa State fired offensive coordinator Mark Mangino; his immediate replacement will be passing game coordinator Todd Sturdy, who will take over the play-calling.  The ISU Cyclones will also be switching its starting QB from Sam Richardson to Joel Lanning.  Head Coach Paul Rhoads is presumably on the proverbial “hot seat” (his job is probably in jeopardy as well).

Central Florida HC George O’Leary resigned effective immediately on Sunday, October 25th.  UCF had lost badly at home to Houston on Saturday, 59-10.
On the same day, Miami of Floridafired HC Al Golden after the Hurricanes’ ugly home loss to Clemson, 58-0 (worst loss in school history).

In the NFL, the DET Lions (1-6) fired their offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi after a home loss to Minnesota, and before their trip to London this week.  Quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter takes over.  Two offensive line coaches were also fired.

HOU Texans’ RB Arian Foster is out for the year after tearing his Achilles tendon in last weekend’s game.

And from Tommy Boy of the FFHL, who points out that the University of Pittsburgh uses a placekicker with the name of Blewitt, Chris Blewitt.  Now that’s a tough one to overcome.  However, Chris hit 3 of 4 field goals last week in a 23-20 win over visiting Syracuse (+7h); his only miss was from 50+ yards and he kicked the game-winning 25-yard FG on the last play of the game (he didn’t “blow it”).

LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #8 (college FB’s 9th week)

Thursday         North Carolina (-3) at AP#23 Pittsburgh
Oct 29th           AP#5 TCU (-14) at West Virginia    
                        Oregon (+2h) at Arizona State
                        Western Michigan (-20) at Eastern Michigan
                        Texas State (+21) at Georgia Southern
                        Buffalo (-7h) at Miami of Ohio

Friday             Louisville (-12) at Wake Forest
Oct 30th          Louisiana Tech (-12h) at Rice
                        Wyoming (+28) at Utah State
                        East Carolina (-7h) at Connecticut
Saturday          TOP 25 MATCHUP
Oct 31st          AP#9 Notre Dame (-10) at AP#21 Temple
Other ranked teams in action:
                        AP#3 Clemson (-10h) at North Carolina State
                        AP#8 Stanford (-12) at Washington State
                        Maryland (+17) at AP#10 Iowa
                        USAToday#23 Georgia (+2h) at AP#11 Florida
                        AP#12 Oklahoma State (-3) at Texas Tech
                        Oregon State (+24) at AP#13 Utah
                        AP#14 Oklahoma (-38h) at Kansas
                        AP#15 Michigan (-14) at Minnesota
                        Tulane (+30h) at AP#16 Memphis
                        Syracuse (+20h) at AP#17 Florida State
                        Vanderbilt (+11) at AP#18 Houston
                        AP#19 Mississippi (-7h) at Auburn
                        Miami of Florida (no line yet) at AP#22 Duke
                        Colorado (+21) at AP#24 UCLA
                        Florida International (-3h) at Florida Atlantic
                        Louisiana Monroe (+11h) at Louisiana Lafayette
                        Tennessee (-8h) at Kentucky
                        USC (-5h) at California



Thursday        Miami (+7h) at New England
Oct 29th          

Sunday            Divisional Matchups:
Nov 1st            Tampa Bay (+7) at Atlanta
                        Minnesota (Pick’em) at Chicago
                        Tennessee (no line yet) at Houston
                        Cincinnati (-3) at Pittsburgh              Steelers’ QB Ben is back
                        San Francisco (+8h) at St. Louis
                        Detroit (+5) vs. Kansas City             in LONDON
                        Green Bay (-3) at Denver                   Battle of unbeaten teams
Monday          Indianapolis (+6h) at Carolina
Nov 2nd          


Sorry, Krueg and Debbie.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A pleasant, afforable surprise in Moreno Valley: Harkins Movie Theater

On 10/21/2015, I took my family to see "Back To The Future: Part 2" at Harkins Moreno
Valley mall location. I live in Temecula, and didn't really want to drive out to Moreno Valley, but this was the closest screening of #bttf to our home. Being from Temecula, all you hear is bad stuff about 'Mo Val', however our experience was anything but bad.

Upon arrival to the Moreno Valley Mall we found the entrance to the movie theater a bit hard to find, as it is inside the mall, however once we got there the staff was very nice. The mall itself is a bit dated, but it was clean and we felt safe. We parked our car in a very well lit parking lot between a Macys and Jc Penneys.

Once inside the theater we found the place to be well kept with comfortable seats. The screen was clear and the sound was good. One of the best parts of the night was the relatively affordable concessions and the pleasant interaction with the staff at the snack line. We got 2 KitKats, a water and a Powerade and spent less than $16.

Overall, this is a perfectly good location to see a movie should one of our local theaters not have a film you wanted to see. While up that way, we also ate at Bakers Drive Thru, an Inland Empire staple for years. There are many other locations to eat nearby, and even a couple of nice hotels (Hampton and Aryes). I will have a separate review of Bakers in the near future!

22350 Town Cir. Moreno Valley, CA 92553 
(Hwy 60 & Day St. @ Moreno Valley Mall)

Taste of Siam Cuisine, Just Give It a Try

Nowadays when I walk into Taste of Siam, I am greeted by hellos and waves from whichever sister is
in the back cooking.  I am brought my water and jasmine teapot without having to ask.  And I do not need to look at the menu anymore, but I often do. There are over 70 items to choose from, so I have had dishes catch my eye every once in a while, so far, so good.

That, however, was not how it started.  I grew up in the Midwest.  We did not have Thai food.  I had to drive over an hour to get Chinese food buffet.  Needless to say, I was a little scared going in, but my husband said, “Just give it a try.”  So here I was in a Thai food place for the first time in my life, what do I order???

Being a vegetarian, the first time in a restaurant can be a little daunting.  So many questions to ask the server and wondering if they are just going to tell you what you want to hear.  Not at Taste of Siam.  The restaurant is family owned and operated; everyone knows what they are serving and how it prepared.  My server Tyler, the son of one of the sisters in the kitchen, was very helpful and informative about the food and whether or not it was vegetarian and gluten free friendly.  Most of their dishes have the option of being prepared with chicken, beef, pork, tofu or all vegetable (my favorite).

Speaking of the food, what can I say except “Yum!”  Everything I have had there is flavorful and filling.  As far as appetizers go, the vegetable egg rolls are light and crispy and my meat-eating cousin loved the chicken satay.  The tofu delight is a personal favorite: triangles of tofu coated in cornstarch and fried to a golden brown, topped off with salty crushed peanuts and a sweet and sour plum sauce, divine.

In the main course there are many dishes that hit the spot.  Spicy fried rice with personal spicy level setting (my husband has had the level five, yikes spicy, but I prefer a level three), Cashew Nuts with your choice of protein in a rich brown sauce, savory Chow Mein with roasted crushed garlic on top, and my new favorite: Pad Ka Pow.  Tons of mixed vegetables sautéed with onions, bell peppers and Thai basil leaves in a delicious garlic chili sauce.

If you happen to go during lunch hours, 11am -3pm, you can take advantage of their Lunch Special: soup or salad, one egg roll, rice and a drink with a choice of 13 different entrée options for only $8.50.  That is a great deal!  The lunch portions are not much smaller than a regular portion, and the regular portions are HUGE!  If you are there for dinner or don’t want to whole lunch set up, most everything on the menu is under $10 with the exception of the seafood dishes.

The next time you are craving Thai food, or just want to give something new a try, make your way down to Taste of Siam.  The food is delicious and the people are amazing.  Don’t despair if you have food restrictions or allergies, they are aware and willing to modify for you.  There are many different choices to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters.  They also deliver with 3 miles of the restaurant if you don’t feel like leaving the house.  As a word of caution, they are a family business, so they are closed every Monday.  Best to get your cravings during the rest of the week.  You can find Taste of Siam at the corner of Alta Murrieta and Murrieta Hot Springs road: 40365 Murrieta Hot Springs road C-8 in Murrieta, Ca.

Monday, October 26, 2015



Temecula, CA – Tom Brady gave America another reason to love him, and this isn't a snide or homo or sports fans comment. It is the comment from another parent and someone else loyal to his friends.

'There’s big money in celebrity endorsements of brand-name products. So what’s an anti-endorsement worth?

Priceless, if you’re the parent (or grandparent) of an aspiring young athlete who prefers junk food over fresh veggies and green smoothies.

Imagine this dialogue taking place in grocery store aisles across America:

Kid: “Can we get the Frosted Flakes?”

Mom: “If you want to grow up to be a star athlete, Tom Brady says you shouldn’t eat Frosted Flakes or drink Coca-Cola.”

That may have seemed an impossibility until last week. After the jump, how Tom Brady is awesome off the field as well as on it.

You’ve seen the headlines by now. Wall Street Journal:   “Tom Brady Calls Coca-Cola ‘Poison for Kids’” Forbes:  “Tom Brady Wants To Deflate Us All In His War On Coca-Cola And Frosted Flakes.” Time magazine:  “Tom Brady Says Frosted Flakes and Coca-Cola Are ‘Poison.’”

Brady attacked Coke and (Kellogg’s) Frosted Flakes during an interview in which he defended his friend, adviser and trainer, Alex Guerrero, against an unflattering Boston magazine report

Were Brady’s remarks part of a calculated attack on Big Food? Or just the off-the-cuff remarks of a guy speaking his mind in the heat of debate?

I don’t know. But either way, Brady’s anti-junk food comments went viral. And the attack couldn’t have come at a worse time for two companies suffering from and sagging sales.

Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola wasted no time in sending out their best defensive teams to try to deflect the criticism.

Here’s what Coke had to say, in its carefully crafted statement:

All of our beverages are safe and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle. We offer more than 200 low and no-calorie beverages in the U.S. and Canada and a wide variety of smaller portion sizes of our regular drinks. As a responsible beverage provider and marketer, we prominently provide calorie and sugar information for our beverages so people can choose what makes sense for them and their families.

Here’s what Coke didn’t say—that Coca-Cola has spent millionsof dollars to hide the fact that its high fructose corn syrup [HFCS] is made with genetically engineered corn. The soda giant also didn’t mention that its cousin, Diet Coke, contains aspartame, an ingredient nefariously slipped  into the food supply despite 83 independent studies citing potential health risks.

Meanwhile, over at Kellogg’s, spokesperson, Kris Charles told Time magazine:

Cereal is a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Numerous studies show that a cereal breakfast is associated with lower BMIs (body mass index) in both children and adults. As a matter of fact, a serving of Frosted Flakes with skim milk has just 150 calories and delivers valuable nutrients including calcium, B vitamins and iron.

Wanting to see for myself exactly what’s in a box of Frosted Flakes, I suspended my boycott of Big Grocery Stores long enough to check out the ingredients panel. It says: Milled corn, sugar, contains 2% or less of malt flavor, salt, BHT for freshness.

No mention that the corn is genetically engineered—because Kellogg’s also has spent millions to hide that information from consumers. And no excuses for the fact that the second ingredient is sugar. A serving of Frosted Flakes may only be 150 calories—but they’re mostly empty calories.

Brady’s Coke and Frosted Flakes comments drew most of the media attention, with quarterback calling Coke “poison for kids,” and saying that thanks to the lies we’re fed by food companies, “We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food.”

But a few media outlets provided more context, and in so doing, showed not only how savvy Brady is when it comes to marketing and corporate influence on federal food policy, but also painted the athlete as someone who believes in prevention, natural health, and taking charge of one’s own health. From the Washington Post:

“That's not the way our food system in America is set up. It's very different. They have a food pyramid. I disagree with that. I disagree with a lot of things that people tell you to do . . .  You need to be outside the box, you need to think differently if you want to sustain what for me is my peak performance, the very best that I can achieve as an athlete every day.”

As a consumer, you already know that your choices, your willingness to boycott corporations like Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s make a difference. You also know that it takes hundreds of thousands of us “regular folks” to make the same impact one super-athlete can make during one impromptu interview.
But that’s O.K. We’re all in this together, even though some of us get more glory. We need all the help we can get to bring down Big Food. And Brady may have just done more good for kids, and more damage to Big Food, than we could accomplish in months.

BTW, the New England Patriots are still unbeaten at this point just as Bernie Sanders' Vermont police have not killed a United States citizen so far this year and Vermont has a Label GMO bill in place.

In the meantime, if you’d like to thank Tom Brady for taking on Big Food, please sign this letter.

To see the whole list of the Toxic Ten Food Chains, go here. Bon appetite.

(Story source - Katherine Paul)