Something Sounds Off Inside The Savemart At Bullard & West

A glitch in the Matrix is audibly happening inside the Save Mart at Bullard & West, if you want to go and check it out.

Formally it was Home to just ranking #2 on the Most Annoying Parking Lots in Fresno. But now, I am starting to believe, is taking part in a bizarre experiment to see how much the human brain can withstand.

What the hell am I talking about? 

For months (hell, maybe all year), the in-store music that plays over the PA system has been messing up. It cuts out and skips regularly. Like, a lot.

Here, listen for yourself:

Am I the crazy one? You hear how the song skips out, right? You hear it too…RIGHT!?

It’s like a wire is loose or something, bad connection somewhere.

I’m shocked at how long it has been going on because I can’t believe the employees are able to live with it. It’s super annoying and to hear it all day every day should drive you to fix it immediately or just keep it off.

But the staff has learned to ignore it, I guess.

I for one don’t go in there much unless it happens to be super convenient for me. I understand I am weird on many levels and I hope you can tell I am having some fun here, but little things can be a big deal.

If you don’t care about how annoying something like a constant drip of audio glitching could be to customer’s and especially to employees of the store, maybe I don’t care about shopping there either.

But also: Glitch in the Matrix!

My neighborhood Save Mart might very well be the portal where the computer programing running this simulation called “Life” is updated.

The store has new floors but couldn’t be bothered to fix the PA system? Interesting. 

WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU, FRESNO!?!? WE ARE ALL IN IT!

Take the blue pill (or is it red pill?) and check it out for yourself and tell me I am crazy. Crazy right.

This is the Save Mart that Kopi and Mayor Swear Bear shop, for fucks sake! THIS CAN NO LONGER STAND!

Best Fresno Area DMVs To Go To: I Only Know One

I am awful at doing abnormal adult tasks.

Going to the doctor? I choose no. Taking cans to the recycling center? Nevermind, dump it in the bin. Getting the car smogged? I’ll wait until it’s past due.

I need deadlines and someone twisting my arm at the same time.

This is why I waited until the last couple of days I could do it to get my driver’s license renewed.

I tried to get an appointment a month out and I was too late. All of the available times were after my birthday.

Couple that with this: the California DMV forces you to actually go into the office after you have renewed your license twice in a row online. And now I have a perfect storm of personal weakness.

I have to go into the DMV, like a normal human. The DMV is truly the great equalizer.

What Are The Best Wait Times For Fresno Area DMVs?

So then I start researching Fresno area DMVs. We have:

  • Fresno (Olive)
  • Fresno North (Blackstone & Sierra)
  • Clovis
  • Madera
  • Coalinga
  • Visalia
  • Mariposa
  • Merced

Wandering through Google it seemed, timewise, one was not significantly better than the other. The DMV closest to my house, the Fresno North location, seemed to be the worst though and had some bad reviews on Google.

TANGENT ALERT!

It is ridiculous to trust Google reviews of the DMV. Any idiot (like me) can write a review and there a lot of people out there that look for any reason to moan about the service at a place; lots of self-important people out there that have no empathy for somebody working in a service based job. Google and Yelp are filled with these.

So I don’t trust these bad “I had to wait three hours! The people there are terrible!” reviews. I just take them under advisement.

End tangent.

But there are better wait times at smaller DMV locations, right?

It feels like this is true. And most people were advising as such when I put it out to Twitter. My first thought was to go to Mariposa since it’s in the woods and such. But it was quite the drive. What about Coalinga?


Ohhh, coupling a lame task with a fun task sounds pretty damn good. Coalinga is in the lead.

Madera and Fresno (Olive) got some mentions too as places that are not that bad of a wait. But I am thinking Coalinga, yep, as crazy as it sounds:


In the morning, I will take my first drive to Coalinga.

I made a legal U-Turn on those plans.

SICK! I’m sick the morning I am planning to go. I assume it was from working out in the bad air all week, but I dunno. Anyway, it was a perfect excuse for a procrastinator like me. I’ll DMV tomorrow or something.

But later that day I was finally fed up with myself. Time to rip off the band-aid, put on my seat belt go to the very same DMV I have been trying to avoid all along: Fresno North.

I waited until 3:30. I hear that they have to process you, once you are checked in and they want you out of there by 5, so I’m thinking the longest I should be there is an hour and a half.

I went to the “Start Here” line. There were three people in that line. No people in the “Appointments Only” line. I waited maybe 5 minutes in the line. The man at that window said I need to go over to the computers and someone will help you.

Over there I walked right up, a nice woman helped me to a waiting computer. Took ten minutes tops doing the stuff I needed to do. Then the nice woman told me to go to Window 4.

The Woman At Window 4

There was a woman at Window 4 with no wait but she was helping the window next to her and I waited a few minutes while she sorted that out.

Once she got me going, filled out a couple things, found out my left eye is weaker than my right (hoped she didn’t notice), and then had to go to another window to have my picture taken.

via GIPHY

This is where I waited the longest. There was only one person ahead of me but this took still 15 minutes of waiting to get to me – they definitely could use another picture machine.

Once my face was done breaking their camera, I go back to Window 4. She signs me off and I’m done!

I think I spent roughly 45 minutes there tops. Not too shabby.

The woman at Window 4 said they were not real busy and we theorized that people might not yet realize that office was open again since a whole plumbing issue had them closed for a bit.

At any rate, my stress about it was overblown. As usual.

Pro Tips For The Fresno DMV

I can not speak to getting stuff done that relates to your car and such, this might be a whole different experience. This seemed to be what all the people waiting in the center of the office were doing. Good luck to them.

Here are a Prius size amount of DMV tips I picked up:

  • The best days are Wednesday and Thursday, first thing in the morning.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Get an appointment set early as you can. You get to move past what is usually the worst line, the “Start Here” line.
  • Be nice to the people working there. They have heard and seen it all, being a dick to them is not going to help you and is bad for your Soul.
  • A lot of car-related DMV tasks can be done at AAA, if you are a member.
  • Have your phone fully charged before going in, or bring one of them old-timey books.
  • Assume you’re going to be there an hour at least and relax, bro.

Thanks to everyone at the Fresno North DMV, I will be less likely to procrastinate next time I have to come in.

I Am Voting Yes On Measure P For The Fresno I Deserve!

Measure P Fresno banner

Sometimes Fresno has to figure things out its own damn self.

That’s what Measure P is. Fresnans having to go around the Mayor and the City Council and get something done for Fresno when nobody else will.

Fresno is horribly behind the rest of the country when it comes to green space. At times we are the worst. The damn worst. Like, no other city in the County is worse, worse.

For a little numbers perspective on how bad we are:

Sactown spends so much more it isn’t even comparable and Bakersfield doubles us! Really!? BAKERSFIELD?! … Bakersfield?   Fucking Bakersfield.

Aren’t we better than Bakersfield at, well, everything?! I guess not.

No on P People are just scared.

Having a completely funded Police and Fire force and occasionally filling in a pothole is all they care about. Apparently, that is all a city is good for.

The Mayor and all those that oppose Measure P do not trust me, don’t trust you. They think you can’t do two things. They think, if you vote yes on P, there is no way you have enough fire in your belly to vote yes for something else. That something else being more taxes to bolster Fire or Police.

If we really need to, we can vote yes for all the things. It’s fine. Please stop selling Fresnans short.

Best thing is, I don’t have to do anything but mark YES!

I won’t have to plan any of this. Won’t have to dig a hole or grade a field. Just fill in the box next to yes.

You might say I won’t even have to pay for it because there is no way in hell I am going to notice a 3/8 cent sales tax.

What does it matter that my table’s bill at Pismo’s is $141.85 instead of $141.03! I don’t know if that is the right math. I stopped fancy math learning around Freshman year at Bullard.

But that is pretty close to what it would look like, you get the point. It’s not going to be noticeable and it will do a lot of good for our city.

If nothing else. If you never vote. Vote for this!

On Tuesday. Walk in. Mark “Yes” on P. Get sticker. Walk out.

Then one day expect to find a trail or park where there wasn’t one before and you didn’t have to do a damn thing.

If we don’t vote yes for this now, Fresno will be stuck with the same amount of Parks. The same amount of sub-standard existing Parks. It will be that way for a long time.

You KNOW that our Council will not do anything on its own. You KNOW our current Mayor won’t do anything. You KNOW it will be more of the same.

We can not have “more of the same”!

Please let’s go around city leaders and get this done for Fresno our own damn selves! Vote “YES!” on P!

Fulton Street Party Is All Fresno Music Goodness!

Fulton Street Party set list 2018

Fulton Street Party! Glad that Tioga is around, otherwise this might not have happened.

The Fulton Street Party is Saturday, celebrating one year of traffic returning to Fulton. It won’t be the hullabaloo that was last year’s party.

But thankfully, Tioga Sequoia Brewing pushes for something to happen and is making a day out of it, highlighted by the Battle of the Bands style competition happening all day with all local acts.

The two “best” bands will win slots at next year’s Grizzly Fest.

This will be a great snapshot of the state of Fresno’s music scene and it’s free to check out. Gaze at the flyer above for set times. I definitely have a couple picked out already.

Tioga will also have super fresh Fulton Street IPA (nice and hazy) flowing all day along, with other things going on within the block surrounding Tioga’s Beer Garden. Including the main stage for bands in the lot across the street from TS.

Sounds like a damn fine day to me. Hope I see ya there!

Maybe I’ll finally check out Chicken Shack.

Fresno Recycling: What Can I Put In The Bin?!

What do you not put in the blue bin? What goes in the trash? Sadly more than you think.

I have never considered recycling as a money-making endeavor, for cities. They are Government. They are supposed to help society do good things, make things better, even if it does not make money.

I am a dummy.

In the case of recycling, the City of Fresno and a lot of cities across the nation, for the most part, only accept recycled material they can make their money back on.

Recently, this reason has caused the city to accept less material in the blue bin.

If you’re in the County and use Republic Services or some other garbage dudes, these rules seem to apply the same, I was unable to find a definitive difference.

Things you can’t put in the blue bin but thought maybe you could (the bummer facts).

You can check keepfresnoclean.com for more but here are the highlights:

  • Bottle caps.
  • Clothes and blankets.
  • Air filters.
  • Used (soiled) pizza boxes.
  • Dry cleaning bags.
  • Plastic grocery store bags.
  • Coffee machine pods.
  • Plastic drinking cups (from places like Dutch Brothers, ect.)

They all go in the grey trash bin, in case you are wondering.

The plastic drinking cups and bottle cap thing threw me. The City of Fresno site says ALL plastic can be recycled, but I don’t think it has been updated in a while.

This sucks. I have been putting all those things listed (with the exception of pizza boxes) in the recycling bin. Now what?

Why Can’t We Recycle All The Plastics?

Well, it apparently relates to something called “Operation Green Fence.” This was a thing to clean up the amount of recycling material that China takes in.

China was the main customer for most of the United States recycling materials. But for reasons, it is no longer profitable enough for China to take all our junk so they started weeding out the less profitable material.

That’s why things like bottle caps and plastic cups are no longer allowed in our recycling bins, it’s not profitable enough. You would think it would not matter, you pay decent money for the service, they should take all the recycling you can toss at them.

But, that is not the real world.

You and I may not like it but we are own on how to deal with much of the recycling. The City of Fresno can only do so much, I guess.

Pack in. Pack out.

What can we do?

Bring your own cup.

Places like Dutch Bros. encourages you to bring your own cup for them to use (since the drinks they put in plastic cups are the cups you can’t recycle).

I’m pretty fond of Yeti cups:

You can also try to find a recycler in town that will take the plastic the city of Fresno won’t. I want to recommend some but I can’t because I have no knowledge of any. If they can’t make money back on it, why would they?

Buy reusable water bottles.

Even though you can still recycle plastic water bottles, maybe there are times you can lug around your own and reduce plastic production. Perfect for all those disgusting looking kombuchas you drink.

Does Fresno still recycle more than other cities?

We are supposed to be the top (per capita) recycling city in the country. Even if that is still true, it doesn’t feel like it anymore. If these rules apply to all cities, I guess we are cool.

I’d like to know we are working to find ways to take more stuff in the blue bin. Hopefully, Fresno is.

In the meantime, if I am not sure which bin my junk goes in, I will put it in the blue one and let them sort it out. Maybe there is the off chance it will get recycled, even if it does not make money.

A Guide To The WSL Surf Ranch Pro 2018 at Kelly Slater’s In Kinda Fresno [Lemoore]

Surf Ranch Pro

Yo! I have some details you need for the Kelly Slater, World Surf League, Surf Ranch Pro. I really want to say it’s in Fresno. I can’t because, technically, it is in Lemore. But hey, it’s the Fresno region. So with all due respect to Lemoore, I might say the Surf Ranch Pro is in Fresno, once or twice in this post.

How is a pro surfing even being held outside of Fresno (errr, Lemoore)?

This is the second event held at the Surf Ranch. The first was the Founder’s Cup in May. Kelly Slater built the Ranch in secret as he fine-tuned the wave machine so that it could produce the perfect wave (or pretty close to it) for surfing. It’s now ready for regular competition.

This is a little of what it looked like when they tested out doing a surf event at the Ranch:

The inaugural Surf Ranch Pro is what’s next. Let’s figure out together what days we want to go.

When is the Ranch Surf Pro and what is the schedule?

It is a three-day event, which is pretty rad. Begins Friday, September 6th and goes through to Sunday, September 8th. Located at 18556 Jackson Ave, Lemoore, CA 93245. Or you could say it is just outside of Fresno, off Highway 41.

View a map here.

  • Friday Schedule:
    The competition begins!
    Gates open at 8:30 AM.
    Surfing begins with the women’s comp at 9:00 AM, men begin at 12:30. There are a couple of hour-long breaks but it’s pretty much surfing all day. A day that ends at 8 PM.

The complete agenda can be found here.

  • Saturday Schedule:
    Gates open: 7:30 AM.
    Ranch Pro competition continues. Surfing begins at 8:00 AM with the men’s. Women go from 3:00 – 5:30.
    Concert at 7:30.

This is the night that Blink 182 Social Distortion will be playing. To you, this may mean the day to avoid because you don’t want to be just the girl at The Rock Show. Or this may be the day to make sure you are there to enjoy All The Small Things. The concert is included in your Saturday ticket.

Again, here is the breakdown of the schedule, if you need it.

  • Sunday Schedule:
    Gates open: 8:30 AM
    Men’s and women’s quarter/semifinals begin at 9 AM.
    Men’s and women’s semi/finals begin at 1:30 PM.
    2018 Ranch Pro Men’s and Women’s Champion is crowned at 4 PM!

What kind of Ranch Pro ticket situation is there?

Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch
Surf Ranch photo by LAtimes.com

Ticket price. This is where people have been freaking out.

A single day General Admission Ticket is $100. That is the cheapest you can go. You can get your kid in (10 & under) for only $10 bucks. Or you can choose the full 3-day and only pay $199, $25 for a full pass for the kid.

This may sound shocking at first.

Especially if you are new to WSL events. But it is a legit pro event in a unique setting in your backyard, Fresno. It will be ok.

I am willing to bet that you will drop $100 going out that weekend, why not just go to the Surf Ranch Pro instead?

To ease some price pain, you can get 50% off GA tickets for Friday and Sunday if you use the promo code “local” at checkout.

If you want to do it up, take advantage of a rare inland surfing event in Fresno (whoops I did it again) and watch a pro surf event like a rockstar, the full VIP 3-day experience is $499.

All your ticket buying options can be found here.

Are we parking in some dude’s almond orchard?

Probably. Parking is shuttled from a nearish lot and is included in your ticket. Or you can pay $50 to VIP park. You also might convince a Lyft or Uber driver to take you there from Fresno and back but I dunno.

Answers to more of your event questions can be found here. Including camping and other frequently asked questions.

Surfers to watch making critical carves at the Surf Ranch.

The World Surf League is the premier league for surfing. It is legit, which makes it that much more awesome that is coming here. The next stop for the Tour after this is in France, for freaks sake!

The men’s leaderboard looks like this coming into the Ranch Pro. The Top Ten is dominated by Brazilians with Filipe Toledo leading the pack.

Leading the women is Austrailian, Stephanie Gilmore. Check out Steph going up against Tyler Wright in a competition from 2017:

DOES KELLY SLATER STILL SURF IN THE WSL?

Yes. But he has had to drop out of WSL events this year due to a foot issue that has been slow to heal. He has not been able to surf in the WSL events this year because of it. Unsure if he will be able to surf for the Ranch Pro. He is a surfing legend and I hope we get to see him out there somehow.

Sorta unrelated but check out pro skimboarder, Austin Keen, spending some time at the Surf Ranch and doing things at Millerton Lake I wish I did:

Things to do in Fresno or Lemoore.

If you have wandered into this blog via Google, have never been to the Central Valley and are wondering what to do in the area around the Surf Ranch, I can help.

Let’s keep this SUPER simple.

I have no recos’ for you in Lemoore. Sorry, Lemoore, but I want you to stay in Fresno. I am going to keep you close to Highway 41 because that is what is close to the Surf Ranch and it will be easy to come into town using it.

Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden
Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden picture by twpatterson.com.

Downtown Fresno is the closest thing to the Ranch. I would check out Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden for your beer drinking and hanging out. Food is just one street away from there with Hop PK.

Tower District in Fresno is another area to check out. Lots of options for eating and nightlife and beer.

River Park in Fresno, if you like to play it safe, do some chain shopping or chain eating. There are a few local places worth checking out though, namely Pismo’s and Westwood’s BBQ & Spice.

The food Fresno is famous for?

Tacos and tri-tip. You can start your tri-tip journey at Doghouse Grill (if you find parking) and start your taco journey just about everywhere, or ask Fresno Tacos.

Any more Fresno questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter or leave your question about the Ranch Pro or Fresno, in the comment section of this post.

Hope to see you out there and thank you Kelly Slater and the WSL for coming to Fresno! *Lemoore.