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Review – Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Los Banos, CA

Ordering Process

When I was ordering, it didn’t seem like they had any specials. My family and I usually order a special that includes an XL Pepperoni and some Breadsticks and drinks. I had to order everything separately. After being rung up, the price was kind of shocking me. I looked down at the receipt and was suffering from sticker shock for the price of an XL Pizza. I said, oh well.

Food Portions

We sat down and waited for the food to arrive. When the Breadsticks arrived, I was pleased with the flavor and texture. They were crunchy and tasted like something different versus dough.

Finally, the Pizza arrived and I didn’t pay attention to the Pan hanging over the counter. The XL Pizza was huge. On the pan hanging over, it says 20 slices, but my son counted them and they only gave us 18. It was still big. There was plenty for leftovers. The Pepperonis were small and they curled up like little bowls of flavor on the pizza. The sauce wasn’t too heavily placed making the pizza almost as crunchy as the Breadsticks.

The Cons

The only complaint I have about this place was that none of the games seemed to work. I started off with trying to get quarters for the kids to play games with using the change machine but it didn’t work. The guy behind the counter helped us out with that. I then went over to play the PacMan/Galaga game and it asked for 2 credits to play. I stuck in 2 quarters which gave me the amount needed to play, but when I pushed the Start button, it didn’t work. I tried to get my quarters back using the eject button, but that didn’t work either. The kids were then trying to play another game and I gave up as nothing seemed to work.

Overall

The Food and Service are great but there aren’t that many games for the kids to play. The place is big but all open, so once it started to get a little more people inside, it started to get noisier with the voices trying to compete with the Televisions in the place. I will be going again, but not sure about going to this same one.

If you would like to read my Review on Yelp, follow the link.  Add me as a Friend to see my other Reviews as they are written.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

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Promotion – Get Your Favorite Print

Yosemite
Yosemite

Hello All,

I have been shooting photos for quite some time now and I am going to give everyone the opportunity to get something for Christmas. Right now up until December 31, 2018, I will be giving locals (Anyone In the Fresno, California Area), copies of my work. Here is the catch…you pick the photo from all of my work(Landscapes Only Unless the Portraits Are Of You Or Someone You are Related To), you pick the type of print. I will be using Costco Photo Center to print these on anything that Costco wants. All you pay is the cost for the merchandise.

Costco can print my work on just about anything.  From Canvas Prints to Metal Prints and even Christmas Ornaments.

Select from any of my work.  Not only on this page, but if you see any of my work on Instagram, Twitter or Anywhere else.

I see this as a way to get my work out there before I die. I would love to give to my friends and families, so please choose your work and get it printed. Contact Me to make your choice and be sure to give me your contact information so we can get a hold of you.

Merry Christmas!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Joshua Tree HDR

Joshua Tree HDR
Joshua Tree HDR

One Of My Favorites

I was traveling for work and just coming back home from a long drive. I was traveling with a close friend. We had been driving all day and stopping off at certain locations along the way taking photos. We would stop and get a few shots in as we weren’t in a hurry to get home. The above photo was one of the last places we stopped at as we came up towards Tehachapi, California. I had set my camera up for the bracketed exposures and put three photos together to get the above shot. I love how the details are in the Joshua Tree and the ground and in the background mountains.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Long Exposure – Orlando

Long Exposure - Orlando
Long Exposure – Orlando

Experimenting

A few years ago, I was dabbling in Astrophotography and wanted to try out long exposures of certain areas. While working for my previous company, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime. I was asked to book my flight and hotel to Orlando, Florida to attend an exhibit show at the Orlando park. I knew I had an opportunity to get some time to catch some fireworks and some other HDR shots. When I first arrived, I spent some time exploring outside and seeing the atmosphere. I knew that because of the extreme lights nearby that I wouldn’t get any Astrophotography shots. So, I thought about some HDR and Long Exposures. I got the above shot using my Tripod and set my camera for a 30 second exposure. I thought it was great since I was just dabbling. I love the way the lights came out from across the lake.

HDR - Dolphin Resort
HDR – Dolphin Resort

High Definition

The above shot, I set my camera up for a bracketed exposure to get three different exposures. I then took the three photos and stitched them together in Adobe Lightroom. I have a Plugin called Photomatix that allows me to take the three photos and create an HDR photo with some effects.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

New Mexico

Lots of Hot Air Balloons
Lots of Colors

Travel

When I was traveling for work I was traveling a lot to New Mexico. Its one of the places where I made my first large sale. While visiting a couple of times, I heard about a Hot Air Balloon event that happens in Albuquerque, NM. I knew I had to go. I bought a ticket and got there super early so that I can be there for the setup.

Hot Air Balloons Filling Up
Fire It Up

Setup

I must admit it that I was freezing because it was so cold and I only had a light jacket. I wasn’t used to the altitude and the colder weather. When I arrived they got the go ahead to setup but that they couldn’t fly the balloons because of wind. The photo above shows a couple of balloons getting filled with heat. These things had some burners in them. From the distance where I was standing, I could feel a warmth that helped with me being cold.

Darth Vader Balloon
Darth Vader Balloon

May The Force Be With You

As I was wandering trying to get so many photos of the different balloons, I found one that was designed like Darth Vader’s Head. It was cool that they had so many styles and designs. If I am in New Mexico around the time of this event, I plan on attending. I want to be there when the Balloons go up.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Reviews – Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapater

 

Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapter
Ivendita 1900 HDMI VGA AV Adapter

I purchased this adapter on Amazon a few weeks ago for our church. I had an original Apple cable that worked great. Then all of a sudden it didn’t work anymore. So, I had to buy a new one. I found a cheap one on Amazon and it worked. During the Sunday when I was using it, I noticed I still had some latency issues but then we got about half way through the service and it started to freeze. Then it stopped. I looked at the time on the iPad and it read 9:41 when actually, we start service at 10:00. I unplugged the adapter and the time fixed itself.

This device seems to have some sort of brain in it. Every time it boots up, you can tell it is trying to load some type of generic OS.

I will not be buying this hardware anymore and will try another. I tried to leave a review on Amazon but the review couldn’t be posted because of the amount of bad reviews this item was getting. That was weird.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Have You Tried Bing?

Bing Image Saves
Bing Image Saves

Bing Gives Away Prizes

I used to use that other popular search engine to do everything and ever since Microsoft released Bing, it has been great. It has such an artistic design that makes it almost Beautiful. Then Bing started to give away points so that you can earn points just by searching for stuff on the web. I figure, why not make points for doing stuff I am going to do when I am online. They let you take those points and use them for prizes, drawings and even donating to your favorite Organization.

How To Make Points

If you are like me, then you search for stuff all the time. Why not make points for every search you do? You can also make points by referring people to join the program. Once the person makes enough points then you and them get some extra points.
I like to search for Black and White photos and especially portraits. I am always looking for ideas when I am shooting photos. With Bing, it allows you to save pictures in certain categories and look at them later. Almost like Pinterest, but you do all the searching and saving and don’t have to depend on anyone else to give you ideas. For every search you do, you get 2 points. You can max out at about 600 points per day with the questions of the day and other ways to make quick points.

Conclusion

I have used my points to buy Amazon Gift Cards, Microsoft Gift Cards and even pay for my XBOX Live Membership for the past couple of years. If you haven’t tried the program I strongly recommend you give it a try. I only use Google for their maps. If you have any feedback about the program, please chime in.

Thank you for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

 

Review – Wayback Burgers

 

Wayback Burgers
Wayback Burgers

The Location

I haven’t been out to Panoche for quite a few years now, and when I arrived, I was surprised to see this Burger Place.  We have all seen those sandwich chains inside of Gas Stations, but this was something different.  I must admit, the location is probably at sometimes, great on weekends because of the travelers along Interstate 5.  Then I realized how close it was to Oro Loma and imagine, that a lot of workers probably stop here for lunch during the day.

The Service

When we walked into the restaurant and looked at the menu, we were looking trying to figure out what to order.  The lady that took our order could have been a little friendlier or at least happy to see customers.  She didn’t bother to ask us anything about the way we wanted our order.  I even walked away without getting my cups and she didn’t even bother to remind me.  When the burgers were done, the another person from behind the counter came and delivered them to our table, which was great.  I went over after we were done to ask for a bag and saw how amazing the grill looked with all the meat on it being cooked.  I asked the chef if I could take a picture and he said sure.

Wayback Burger Grill
Wayback Burger Grill

The Atmosphere

The restaurant was nice, it had a diner look and feel to it.  They even had bottles of ketchup on every table.  And if you need extra mustard, they have bottles of those too by the soda fountain.  They have televisions which kept my son occupied as he watched one of his favorite movies.

The Negatives

I myself am a Veteran and do Honor our Nation and the Flag.  I didn’t like that the flag was sitting outside the door next to the trash can.  I don’t see why they haven’t just hung it up somewhere.

The girl behind the counter was the other piece but I imagine, she was probably just having a bad day or was not looking forward to the shift to start.

Double Bacon Burger from Wayback Burgers
Double Bacon Burger

Overall

I enjoyed the trip out to Wayback Burgers and the food was good.  The pictures look a little bigger than the actual food, but the taste was right on.  My family and I will definitely be going again and try out some other menu items.

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Flowers Outside The Doorway

 

Flowers Outside The Doorway
Flowers Outside The Doorway

At Peace

I have only been to Mexico a few times in my life and I must say, I always seem to enjoy the beauty that it has to offer.  This old abandoned house inside a small village reminds me of my travels as a young boy to Durango.  This photo was taken in a village outside of Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Elementary School Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez
Elementary School Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez

This is near the place where my mother-in-law grew up.  The name of the town is San Bernardo.  This town seemed to put you at peace.  Even the old abandoned school – Elementary School Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez was almost scary but peaceful.  By using Google Maps, you can now see that the town has been growing and even the village area seems to have Street Views.  Give it a gander.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Review – Sakura Chaya Restaurant – Fresno

Sakura Chaya - Yo-Mama Roll
Sakura Chaya – Yo-Mama Roll

Reservations

Recently, my wife and I celebrated our Anniversary and we had heard a lot of good comments about this restaurant in Fresno. I decided that was the place that we would go to. Sakura Chaya is located in Fresno on Nees Ave and is pretty easy to get to. Parking is good with lots of room. I called a couple of days ahead to make reservations. We drove all the way in to town after work and were starving by 5 pm. We showed up to the restaurant about 20 minutes before our reservations. There was a very large crowd inside. The place had Hibachi style area, a bar and an original sit down booth. We were there for the Hibachi as there was no reason to have it any other way.

Sushi and Hibachi

I have had my variety of Sushi from all the Las Vegas restaurants that I have been to where the guys have ordered Sushi. I have always expected them to order it as I was never used to ordering. I took a look at the Menu on Yelp ahead of time so I was familiar with what to expect. The Yo-Mama Rolls seemed to be the popular choice. We ordered the Edamame Appetizer and the Yo-Mama Roll. The Edamame’s were okay and seemed to be a little under cooked. The Yo-Mama Roll was amazing. It had a creamy filling which really isn’t my style but it was good.

Hibachi

If you have ever been to a Hibachi style restaurant, you know they bring you Miso soup, salad. The Miso soup was also okay. It needed a little more flavor but the salad was amazing. Because the waitress sat us down on a big section with another crowd they had to add a piece of table to the inside. This made it difficult to fit two chefs inside the cooking area. It also made it a little uncomfortable when I had to sit next to another crowd. The chef didn’t really put on a show. He started with the egg trick and since he couldn’t complete the egg trick, he decided not to do anything except for the flaming onion. They didn’t have a large variety of sauces like the other restaurants. Usually, they give you a large variety of sauces. No, they just asked if anyone wanted their version of hot sauce. It was some hot paste mixed with Teriyaki sauce.

Conclusion

Overall, the food was great and the sushi was amazing. I will probably go back again, but not any time soon. I would probably prefer Edo-Ya or Japanese Kitchen. The cleanliness of the griddle was not too great. There was a lot of small pieces of left overs on there prior to the chef showing up. The service was not too bad. The waitress was probably the nicest thing. She was nice the whole time.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez