Need consumer reviews on San Diego Driving Schools


Drivers School Flyers

Drivers School Flyers

OK San Diego locals – HELP!

Even though Alex still needs to earn a proper GPA in order to get his complete license, I do want to get him signed up and ready to get his permit so he can start lessons and practicing.

However, which company should I use?

I get these three flyers in the school newspaper every month. Same three.

I’ve heard of Bakkers – that’s who we used for my older son but this was before there was an online option – he hated the classes as all teens do but I honestly don’t remember being either thrilled or angry with them. Yet the majority of online reviews I find are bad. There was ONE good one. The rest were all pretty nasty.

So, I hesitate and ask you guys – which one should I use? Is there another one that doesn’t send flyers that you recommend? I really really want personal recommendations and reviews here. If you don’t want to put anything in comments for whatever reason (which you can do anonymously though that defeats the purpose of me knowing the reviewer.) you can email me directly at

Thanks so much for your help!



OMG how much do I love Directv so far?


With the new TV season starting, I have to re-create any series recordings I had previously setup on my cable DVR. Now, as many of you know, my memory is…well..somewhat challenged on details this days. Be it age, or (as I prefer to view it), just having too damn much to keep track of in the first place. So in a random moment when a TV show pops into my head that I know I want to record, well, I better make it note of it right at that moment.

Wait, did I say “take note”? How about “set up the recording right there no matter where I am?”

Because, of course, there’s an app for that. So Thursday night, when a tweet I was reading on my phone while eating dinner at In n Out reminded me that I wanted to record Chris Hayes’ new weekend morning news show on MSNBC (since it starts at 4am on the west coast)….I opened my DirecTV app and set up the recording. Which I am watching right now as I type.

A recording that I started watching upstairs while I was first waking up, and now am finishing watching downstairs. This whole house DVR thing is flipping awesome!!


I haven’t written about JV football yet, partly because there haven’t been any good pictures to support the stories BUT – the team is 3-0 after yesterday’s game and oh my gosh, speaking of love – how much do I love Friday Night Lights? Sure, the JV group kicks off at 4:30, but the second half of their game the lights came on and the crowd was pouring in early for the Varsity game so it’s certainly a more electric atmosphere at his games this year. Our #88 had a really good game with blocking that was so good that the announcer even called him out for it. Plus, he had the opportunity to return kick offs due to an injury and had a very nice run back that put the offense in a strong position for one of their touchdowns.


Ten years plus and yesterday the boyfriend calls me because the song playing on the radio made him think of me. The song? Bruno Mars’ “You’re Amazing”. Sigh….yeah, I know 🙂 LOVE.


Apparently, Amber approves of all of this, but mostly she wants to make sure the she gets all the love she can get at all times – hence my inability to write frequently:

Mama, how could you want to do anything other than scratch my chin?



More consumer reports


Disclaimer: despite recent attempts by vendors to place links and ads on my site – no one has paid me to recommend anything. Well, actually, these companies have paid me, which is why I like them – but not for THIS 🙂

However, if you are interested please click on the buttons I put up since they will give me referral credits. Which I am somehow already getting somehow on each one so I know they work, but I don’t remember asking for them before!

You’ll see two new buttons on the right side of the blog  – Ebates & Inbox Dollars. If you shop online, you REALLY need to check these two out.

I’ve had an account with Ebates since 2000, but after that first year I completely forgot about them. Then as the holidays approached and I was looking for every corner I could cut , I remembered them again and I am glad I did. They have cash back arrangements with just about every vendor I would ever use online. From 2-5%. That cash ends up in your account and 4 times a year they cut you a check. No fees, no other hoops to jump through, just hello! A check! In your mailbox. Since January I’ve received $80 from them. The next check cycle will have at least $58 in the account. How easy is that? I was already going to order items from Macy’s & Dell & Sears – the prices were no different – and then I EARNED money shopping with them? I can handle that.

Inbox Dollars is a little more complex, but they also provide a lot more ways to earn cash. (Notice how I focus on cash deals vs points that can turn into cash – I hate having to figure out how many points it takes to get to a certain cash level – just tell me how much money I have straight up please!) You do need to accumulate $30 minimum to get a check, BUT – I’ve now received $115 from them since January so it is not too hard to get there!

Why do I suddenly want to recommend them? Because of what happened this month. I got word that the Padres had signed a new TV deal which meant I would be released from the bondage of Time Warner Cable TV service and could shop around. I had settled on Directv so then I started my usual process – check on both Inbox & Ebates to see what kind of deals they have with that vendor. First I checked InBox and I clicked on their link advertising a $20 cash back flat rate deal. It took me to a page on the Directv site which showed the plans I wanted to sign up for and the the bonus free NFL ticket for a year yada yada yada. Then I went over to Ebates and did the same thing. Their site took me to the same Directv page, BUT, they had a $40 flat rate kick back. WINNER! So, two days later when I was ready to sign up, I started at Ebates and used their click through link. See that? Two days later. Oh, and from different places too. The first day I was doing my research during lunch at work (different network IP address). When I finally made the purchase I was at home.  24 hours after ordering Directv, I get the email notification from Ebates that $40 will be put into my account. Sweet! There was an up front equipment cost of $52 when I ordered the service so mentally now it felt like it only cost $12 to sign up. THEN – about 48 hours later I get another email. This one is from Inbox and it says my account has been credited $20 for the Directv sale! Huh? and Yay! Now I am UP $8!!

So – try them out. One, or both. You will get paid at least once – and maybe even twice for the same purchase!!

Phishing PSA


Depicting phishing of information from a computer.

Image via Wikipedia

My company sent this message out to employees yesterday and I thought it was such a good summary of how to protect yourself against phishing that I should share it. I’ve been very lucky over the years to avoid viruses and almost all malware and phishing. A lot of that is due to me being ridiculously skeptical about anything on the internet 🙂 Almost all of my less skeptical friends have fallen victim to something or another. I wish I could remember who first told me this, but I know it has stuck in my head for years:


Even if I know I am expecting an email from a company, I still use my bookmarked link to the company or else just type in their website address directly. I also do the hover test shown below. Anyhow – I hope this helps you keep your systems and emails clear of troublemakers!


Due to a recent increase in malicious phishing emails sent to employees, please review the following best practices guide.

The word “phishing” is made up of the words Password and FishingPhishing emails are attempts to gather your usernames and passwords in order to gain access to your email, your personal information or even work related documents.

·         Phishing emails typically direct you to a fake web page that will ask you to submit your username and password or other personal information.

·         These fake websites are often very convincing, using correct logos, colors and writing.

·         The goal of the attackers is to get the user to enter their usernames, passwords or other identifying information into a web form.

How can you determine whether an email is legitimate or a phishing attempt?

·         It is highly unlikely that any reputable organization will every ask you for your personal information by email.


In phishing emails you will most likely see the following:

o   Unsolicited requests for information, of any kind, should be considered a danger sign.

o   Real logos or photos might be used.

o   Will often use words like “Official” and “Urgent” to suggest it is authentic.

o   Often such emails will have poor spelling and grammar.

o   The sender’s name and email address may not match.  In the example below, a recent phishing email suggested it was from National University, but the email address and the mailto:  address did not match.

From: National University <> []

o   Before clicking on any links, verify that the link’s name matches its web address.  In the phishing example below, notice that when you hover over the RESOLVE link, the web address starts with  This is not a valid NUS web site.

What should you do next?

·         If you are not a customer of the site, delete the email immediately.  Do not click on any included web links or reply to the email.

·         If you are a customer and you are not sure if the email is legitimate,

o   Contact the person or organization by phone and ask if the email is official.

o   Instead of clicking on any included web links, visit the organization’s official website by typing in the official web address into your browser’s address bar.

If at any point in time you feel that you have fallen victim to a phishing attempt:

·         Change your password immediately.

·         If the email looks as if it was sent from another company, contact that company by phone to report the incident.

This week in learning: Grass & New Shoes!


More hope of sunshine & warmth for my snow bound readers. Torrey Pines beach on my way in to work this morning.

First, for my fellow crazy cat lovers, a recommendation:

Sweet Prince works for Petco corporate and brought me this self contained packet for grass seeds for the cats. Let me tell you, they LOVE it! And? it was remarkably easy to grow.

I planted the seeds in the bag just before new years. Within a week the grass had grown to the height shown and I was able to start “mowing” it to feed it to the cats. Four weeks later it is still going strong and I will probably have it for maybe another few weeks. Retail price on the Petco website is $3.47 – a BARGAIN if you ask me! Chip is a grass eater. Hell, Chip chews on ANYTHING! Plastic bags are his latest obsession. he chews on the edges of the kitchen trash bag that hangs over the edge. He’s also the one who barfs more prolifically (shocking eh?). However, since I’ve had this grass to put in his food bowl every night – which he RUNS to get – he has not barfed at ALL. Amazing.

OK, next thing. Not really something I learned I supposed yet. Still kind of another product review! All unsolicited, I assure you. Exactly one week ago I put on my favorite Nine West brown shoes to wear to work. Part way through the day I noticed that the left shoe felt odd. Turns out it had split open on one side! I have the same pair of shoes in black and brown because they were so comfortable and I wear them almost exclusively 5 days a week. Still, after only a year I was mighty disappointed that the shoe ripped like that. Upon examining the black ones when I got home, I saw potential weakness in the same spot though they are still intact for now. Bummer! They were only $45 each when I bought them, but still! Anyhow, given that I am watching my money carefully I made sure to go through every possible discount site and use every coupon/cash back opportunity I could as I looked online for a replacement pair of brown shoes. Happily, for a grand total with shipping and tax of $52 I ended up with TWO new pairs of shoes which already arrived and they fit perfectly AND are super comfy – thank you Naturalizer shoes!

And some quick hits in learning:

  • If you are at all interested in what is going on in the middle east – download a program called Livestation and, I kid you not, watch or listen to the Al Jazeera English station. Because as we all know, our own cable news channels are much more interested in Charlie Sheen’s latest arrest vs what might possibly be going on overseas!
  • Cat sneezes are kind of adorable. Cat sneezes at 4:30am when said cat is sleeping RIGHT NEXT TO YOU are not quite so adorable.
  • If you are a night owl, and you get a little hungry at 2am for a snack – please keep in mind that other people sleeping in the house WILL be woken up when you POP MICROWAVE POPCORN!!
  • Can you tell that sleeping 8 hours straight uninterrupted in my house is a HUGE challenge? Who knew that would be the case with the youngest occupant being 14 and not, say, 4 months old?

Best birthday cake EVER


It was tradition as I grew up that my mom would make the
same cake for me every year for my birthday. A truly rich &
dark chocolate chocolate chip bundt cake. Ingredients include
chocolate pudding mix, cake mix, eggs, chocolate chips and sour
cream. No frosting. It was pure chocolate bliss. On my 18th
birthday I returned to my dorm room at Bishops for the last half of
my senior year with a cake in hand. It was one of those years (like
this one), when winter break ended on my birthday. I did share with
my dorm mates, but I also pretty much ate half that cake in one
night. I then promptly had probably the worst headache of my LIFE!!
Seriously, I can STILL feel the pounding in my head 28 years later.
Over the years I made the cake here & there but after
awhile since I am the only one in the house who eats chocolate, it
drifted into the past. Then two years ago, something wonderful
happened. A store opened right up the road called Nothing Bundt
Coworkers stumbled on it and brought those little bundles of
heaven in for birthdays. Their signature flavor? Chocolate
chocolate chip of course! With this melt in your mouth cake
& butter cream cheese frosting. Oh. My. And they come in
these utterly perfectly sized single servings. I keep meaning to go
there and then forgetting. It never occurred to me to get one for
my birthday. But my sweet co worker Tracy went there yesterday at
lunch and brought one back for me. For the first time in years the
old tradition was relived! Only I did learn my lesson & I
did not overindulge. Since my trainer is going to make us all do 46
“birthday burpees” tonight, I thought I’d save half the cake as a
reward for that torture!

Wouldn’t you?




I went today after SB’s baseball game to try out Swirlicious – a self serve frozen yogurt store just opened Memorial Day weekend in Carlsbad. YUM YUM YUM. The slide show about covers it all:

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The yogurts are .38 per ounce and most of the folks I saw go through while I was there were paying between $3-$6 for their containers. Mostly it hung around $4. They give out tasters and in addition to my sorbet combo I tried every flavor except peanut butter & espresso since I just don’t like those in general. They were all really really good. That Dreamy Dark Chocolate is WELL named. I really loved the Pink Lemonade Sorbet but you have to keep in mind I like my frozen ice cream or yogurt to be more on the tart side and simple. I’m actually not much of a topping person. I definitely could see myself getting the Cookies & Cream with crumbled oreo toppings & dark chocolate syrup (not that I’ve already planned my next serving or anything!). The California Tart is a GREAT base yogurt – any topping would go well on it and it is a great blend of sweet & tart.

Anyhoo – despite it being a sort of  ‘in the family’ business to me, I was still quite pleasantly surprised at how good it is! While I was there – on a Sunday early evening – there was a nice steady stream of walk in traffic & everyone was complimenting them on the place. And that was without any advertising at ALL other than signs at the location. There were some initial challenges in getting the right equipment with the electrical system/codes there, then it took some time to decorate (I think it looks fantastic!) so when everything was signed off they just said DO IT and opened the doors. It was so spur of moment that I don’t think the website is up just yet, but here it is anyway:

If you are in town – GO – I promise you it’s worth the trip 🙂