The sprinkler issue

I had to write this article today because the solution to my problem was so simple.  Since we’ve been in the house, I’ve probably change quite a few sprinkler heads and nipples.  In my front yard, about a year after we moved in, I discovered a hidden sprinkler head that was buried underneath the grass.  Tried as I may, replacing the sprinkler head and nipples (before you start laughing, the nipple is the plastic piece that connects the pvc pipe to the sprinkler head) had no effect, the sprinkler head would pop up, but very little water would come out of it.  More recently, I had a couple more sprinkler heads in the backyard that were having the same issues.  My initial thought was that there was a crack in the line.  But after giving that some thought, that didn’t make sense as if there was a crack, the water pressure on the rest of the system would be worst and in my case, the water pressure was fine.

Out of dumb luck, I took the sprinkler head from the front yard and took it apart.  I noticed that there were a lot of mud in there so I cleaned it out.  It then dawned on me that there must be mud/dirt stuck in the system.  I then took a long nipple, about 8″, and screwed into the the pvc connecter and turned the water on.  Sure enough, about 2 seconds later after the pressure built up, BOOM!!!!  I saw a chunk of mud and debris in the water line shoot straight into the air and after that, clear water came through.  I then placed the sprinkler head back on the nipple and voila, it worked like a charm.  I did the same procedure with the sprinkler heads in the backyard and that cleared up the issue as well.

So the issue here is that when I turned on the sprinkler head, I had no water coming out.  The cause was that these sprinkler heads were the last outlet in the line.  So when dirt/mud got in there, probably from me changing out other sprinkler heads, it pushed them to the very end of the line and that’s why those sprinkler heads would end up having issues.

Til next time.  Hopefully someone finds this useful.

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The River

My family and I were recently invited to join some friends at Echo Lodge in Parker Damn.  Echo Lodge is west of Parker, AZ and just south of Lake Havasu.  I’ve been on a boat many times in Newport Harbor, but never in the river so this was a first for me.  We stayed at Echo Lodge Resort and since we didn’t have an RV, Echo Lodge has a service in which you can rent a trailer that they will drop on your site.  The trailer has the regular amenities (bathroom, stove, microwave) and 4 beds.

The one great thing about Echo Lodge is that they have a bar/wading pool (about 2 ft deep) that the adults can have drinks while the kids run around.  The drinks are dirt cheap (well compared to Orange County bar prices) .

I wanted to leave you with a picture of the river.  I took several photos and stitched them together

panoramic shot (1280x291)

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Site migration

This week has been an interesting week.  My buddy whose account we were using decided he wanted to change hosting company from to  So I gave it a shot since I was getting free hosting.  My issue was that my personal site, besides this blog, is about 10gb without the zip files.  Ftp-ing the files down to the local machine and back up to ipage was a pain in the rear and I kept running into issues.  Long story short, neither of us liked ipage so we ended up getting a new Bluehost account.

The challenge I ran into was using ssh and putty.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve played with unix or vax so I can’t remember the syntax.  With the help of one of my other buddies, I use the tar command “tar -cvzf filename.tar.gz” to zip the file up.  I also discovered something interesting while I was trying to transfer my 10gb file.  Bluehost has a one hour timeout for the ftp session for a share ip and two hours timeout for a dedicated ip.  For 10gb, it takes close to two hours so after an hour I’d was stuck with a 6gb file and the rest never came through.  I finally use the split command to split up my massive file, ftp’ed that over and then use the cat command to put it back together.  The site is almost 100% complete.  I have a few files left that I have to move to the correct directory.

Btw, I have to say, it is soooo much faster to use the SSH and putty to directly move the files from server to server.  When I was downloading the files and then uploading them back to the new house, it was taking about 18 hours.

Hopefully someone reading this will find it useful.  If you get stuck, please feel free to email me or post a comment and I’ll do my best to get you through it.

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The little whole in the wall mexican food joint

Taco Jerez – great little place on Beach Blvd south of Slater.  They have a website with nothing but their address.  I was there recently so I took a picture of their menu.  The menu is quite small but the food is good and the food comes out FAST so I like it!

Link to their website –


17681 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Taco Jerez Menu

Taco Jerez Menu

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Oh Distance Derby, why have you gone up in price?

The Huntington Beach Derby, formally known as The Distance Derby, was a great race for many years.  I’ve ran the Distance Derby four times in the past 5 years and loved it because it was just a local race.  No frills, no thrills, and best of all the cost was dirt cheap.  The cost use to be $25 and it’d be mostly locals that showed up.  There would be a few hundred people, at most, at the start line and you’d start at the Huntington Beach Pier and head south toward Newport Beach.  A quick u-turn right before the bridge that crosses into Newport and headed straight for the dog beach and then another u-turn to head back to the pier.  Everything was on the boardwalk (beach path).  The run didn’t offer much in terms of give-aways etc.. but it was a great 10 mile run.

Well, the year is 2012 and starting last year, they revamp the Distance Derby to become the now the Beach Derby in which they combined the 10 miler, 10k, and beach activities that were once part of the Sunday Funday event.  It’s a good event for Huntington Beach but the cost has definitely soared.  I used to pay $25 to run this event.  In 2011, with a coupon code I paid $35.  This year, 2012, with a coupon code, it is $48…..waaaaay over priced.  So I’ve decided not to run this year and hoping to find myself another good local run that doesn’t quite cost an arm an leg.

To the city of Huntington Beach and the event sponsors, you guys took a great event, commercialized it and….well it’s just not what it use to be.

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Home Improvment…that pesky toilet

I must be on a roll tonight since I haven’t blog this much in such a long time.

When we moved into our house, our contractor took care of some things, including the toilet.  Recently I started hearing the toilet have a dripping noise after the flush has been completed.  So I knew there was a leak somewhere but I wasn’t sure where.  I went to Lowe’s to pick up a toilet repair kit and wasn’t sure how to replace it.  Went on youtube and bam!  Sure enough there’s video that shows how to replace it.  So simple.


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I use to own a Cannondale Jekyll 400 (2003) full suspension mountain bike.  At the time I bought that bike, which cost me close to 1k, all I wanted was a mountain bike and I didn’t know much about bikes.  Over the years, I rode that bike quite a bit but the one thing that always bothered me was that it was a full suspension, great on the dirt, sucks on the road since the suspension gives when you stand up and you lose quite a bit of momentum.

After having kids, I found out that full suspension bikes are just not kid friendly.  Can’t hook a trailer up to it and couldn’t attached a child seat to it since the rear fork configuration were different.  My friend ended up giving me his old mountain bike that weighed a ton…well at least that’s what it felt like to me.  But I was able to attached a child seat on it and I rode it around for a while.  The weight of that bike however was on the heavy side so I always struggled with it when I picked it up to put it away on the bike rack in the garage. So I just got tired of it…

So I started looking for different bikes and I had no idea what I wanted to get.  Luckily for me, I have a buddy that is really into biking so he said I should start looking at 29er’s.  I said what???  He said 29er’s, they been around for a while.  They are 29″ wheels as opposed to 26″ wheels which most bike are.

So I started looking into 29er and I wanted something different this time.  I wanted a bike without any suspension, which is called a rigid frame and no gears (well single speed) and it had to be light as my Cannondale.  Slightly off topic but a bike with front suspension is called a hard tail, no suspension on the rear.  Also difference between a single speed and fixed gear is that a single speed you can back peddle, you can’t with a fixed gear.  So I went to the local bike shop, found a 29er with the configuration that I like, rode it and I really liked it. Unfortunately, the gearing wasn’t right because it was a stunt/trick bike and it wasn’t good for cruising so I passed on it.

My friend had recommended I go to ( and check out their selection.  Which I did but I also did some research on my own.  I found two other bikes, a Redline and Cannondale that had the same specs but the price…well it was way more than what I found on so I ended up getting a Gravity 29 from

Here are the bikes from Redline and Cannondale with the same configuration.  I paid $349 for my bike.

I don’t regret buying the bike from, the price is great.  But you get what you pay for.  Don’t get me wrong, the bike is great but the finish and other things that you get from a high end bike is so much better.  My bikes has dings and scratches already cause it wasn’t powder coated, it was just a regular paint job.  However, it gets the job done and I really like it

My Gravity 29’er from

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Kid Friendly Restaurants in HB

I’ve googled quite a bit looking for things to do with my kids and places to eat but they are so generic that is is hard to determine if the recommendations are any good.  Especially since my wife and I have an infant and toddler, we normally like to go to places that have more noise and also more tolerant to kids.

Here are a couple of places that we find that seem pretty good

1.  Zubie Dry Dock (Magnolia and Adams) – great place.  Bench seating and there’s an arcade section.  The place is somewhat noisy to begin with and other people bring their kids so it’s a great place.  Your kids can be running around having a blast and you don’t have to worry about disturbing someone else meal.

2. Cappy’s (on PCH between HB and Newport Beach, it’s on the Newport Beach side) – this is a breakfast place.  Though not my number one pick but the fact that it’s pretty noisy in there, it worked out well.  I think the best part was that the owner ask the waitress to give our kids some toys (they were inexpensive toys that they kids could bring home) and that kept one of them quiet for a while.

3.  Islands (Brookhurst and Ellis) – I’m really iffy about putting this place on there.  I’ve been there when it’s noisy and I’ve been there was it was quiet.  On the busier nights, when it’s noisy it works out great.  But I’m sure that most of the other chain restaurants would be the same?

I’m always in the hunt looking for different places that are kid friendly and don’t cost and arm and leg for a meal (cough cough Rain Forest Cafe cough cough).  If you have any good suggestion, please feel free to post a comment and let me know.


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Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach on family night….forget about it.

Every year near the end of September, Oktoberfest starts up in the Old World Village in Huntington Beach.  Until last year, I’ve never actually stepped foot inside of it.  However last year, I ended up there with some friends and it turned out to be a pretty decent event with lots of people.  Seems just more like an outdoor bar if you asked me but it was still plenty of fun.

I always thought that Oktoberfest was for the adults until recently when I checked their website and learned that Wednesday and Thursday night is family night and admission is free.  We round up some people and headed there last night and turns out….disappointing.  On family night, there is food, beer, a band that plays, and a gymnast who also performs.  But sadly, there wasn’t much of a crowd and the music wasn’t very up beat so it was hard to keep the kids entertained.  While I do appreciate that it is a free event, it just didn’t have the pizzaz to go with it.

My suggestion, wait until Saturday and take the kids to the Daschund races (wiener dog races) instead since that seems to draw more of a crowd.

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The Mai Tai Recipe

This is just a reminder for me, however if you want, you can try it out.  I’ve been working on perfecting my Mai Tai mix but so far, I’m not sure if it’s correct.

But anyways, here it is:

2 oz of Guava nectar (Kerns)
2 oz of pineapple juice (Dole’s)
1 oz of triple sec
1 oz of Rose sweeten lime juice
1/2 oz of sweet and sour mix
1/4 oz of grenadine
1 oz of light rum (Bacardi Superior)
—> mix together in shaker
1 oz of dark rum (Myer’s) as floater


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