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January 29, 2013

El Chilito - Canby's Best Restaurant

El Chilito defines the phrase "hole in the wall". It's a tiny little place, but don't let that deter you from giving it a try. It truly is Canby, Oregon's best restaurant.

If I'm in town and feeling the need for really good, authentic Mexican food, I head to El Chilito to get four asada tacos (with everything) and add their homemade hot sauce, a squeeze of lime, and some pickled jalapeƱos, and I'm a happy boy. Their horchata is really good too, so I've got to have one of those to wash it all down.

I'm just a basic taco guy, but they also have really good burritos, quesadillas, and beans & rice.

Initially I gave this place 4 out of 5 stars, based on comparing them with my top Mexican choice in the area, Luis's Taqueria (in Woodburn). I actually think El Chilito's asada tacos are a little tastier, but Luis's is a notch above in these key areas: homemade tortillas, atmosphere and cleanliness, and freshness of ingredients. If El Chilito starts making tortillas like Luis's, I'll put up another star to 5 out of 5.

[Update: 1/29/13]

I stopped in to get a to-go lunch from El Chilito again today, and have decided to up my rating to 5 stars. I recently tried their "al pastor", and I actually like it *better* than the asada -- I didn't think that was possible! The al pastor has a little sweetness to it, with a rich, warm flavor that I just can't get enough of. They still don't have homemade tortillas, but I decided that if I found myself craving this place just as much as Luis's, then I'd better give it the same rating. Canby's best right here.

January 24, 2013

Ticket to Ride

Noah was introduced to the game Ticket to Ride over the weekend, and has since used some of his Christmas money to buy the 'Europe' version of the game.

The last two nights have been spent playing, and I have to admit that it is actually quite fun and challenging at the same time. Noah won the first two times we played, but I beat him tonight -- yes! Steph likes it, too. If you are looking for a game that requires strategy, yet moves along fairly quickly, I highly recommend this one.

For a pretty good explanation on game-play, I recommend watching this YouTube video: TTR - Europe (If you can get past the poor sound and the fish-eye camera lens, it's really an informative video)

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January 12, 2013

EliteBook

In recent years, I have found myself transporting our 15" Gateway laptop around more and more. It's obviously not as bulky as a 17", but it is still just a tad larger than what I would like -- plus the battery won't stay charged for more than about 5 minutes, so it's portability really is questionable. As it became more and more evident that Windows 8 was going to take over all new PC's, I decided it was time get myself something smaller, so I purchased an HP EliteBook 8460p running Windows 7 Pro. There are still a few EliteBooks out there on the internet running Win7, but most have transitioned to Win8 by now.


I opted for a 160 GB SSD (solid state drive) because I am really impatient and I wanted it to be extra speedy (start-up happens in a snap!). 160 GB is small by SATA hard drive standards, but we have a 1.5 TB SATA hard drive on our HP desktop, along with a fully functional secure network, so I didn't really feel the need to put a bulky SATA drive on my new laptop. I thought of getting an "UltraBook Folio", but they didn't come with any kind of optical drive, and the one I was eyeing only had a 128 GB SSD -- all for more money than the EliteBook.

So now I can officially say... I switch to Mac, and then I came back. I'll stick with PC's from now on... unless the only option is Windows 8. But for now, I'm happy with my Windows 7 Professional.

January 10, 2013

Orange Belt

Noah earned is Orange Belt in December. We are so proud of the effort and dedication he has put into this so far -- it really is a great fit for him.