Thursday, November 22, 2012

SurfWriter Girls Thanksgiving Greetings!

Wings ‘N Things Restaurant Gives Thanks

 Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at  

At a time when everyone is stopping to give thanks, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were glad to see that Huntington Beach restaurant Wings ‘NThings is open again, just in time for the holidays.

After a kitchen fire last November forced it to close its doors for almost a year the popular restaurant, specializing in “original Buffalo-style chicken wings,” is up and running now.

“We’re thankful to be back in business again,” Wings ‘N Things owner Pat Hayes told SurfWriter Girls. The restaurant, located at 18302 Beach Boulevard, has been serving wings since it started in 1989.

You can get the authentic style wings or garlic wings in five heat levels – mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and beyond hot – with bleu cheese or ranch dressing on the side, which helps to cool them down.

 There are barbecue style wings, too…

And barbecued pork or beef ribs, marinated and cooked in a secret barbecue sauce, that  are so tender the meat falls off the bone. 

 Plus there are sandwiches, salads and soups, along with Pat’s grandmother’s potato salad and baked beans.

“Everything is cooked to order. We make everything fresh,” Hayes explained. “The recipe for the wings is the original recipe from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.” 

 They also serve another Buffalo-favorite – Sahlen’s all-meat hot dogs.

 The Wings ‘N Things curley cue fries put other French fries to shame and SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti liked that they are made fresh and unsalted so you can salt them yourself. 

 The family-owned restaurant caters to families and is the kind of place where people keep coming back for the food and the friendly environment. “We’ve watched whole generations grow up,” Hayes said. “They even come back later with their kids. And some of the servers grew up here, too.”

Dean and Jill Katayama, who had just finished an order of wings, said they have been eating at Wings ‘N Things for years. “My daughter was two-and-a half when we started coming here and now she’s 25,” Jill said.  

Fans of the Buffalo Bills football team stop by on game days, picking up take-out orders of wings or staying to watch the games on the restaurant’s big screen TVs. “It’s packed then,” Hayes said. 

 The busiest day for Wings ‘N Things is Super Bowl Sunday. “The Super Bowl is our Christmas,” Hayes exclaimed, noting that they sold 34,000 wings last time.  “We’re very organized. People call with their order (714-848-2767) and get a pick-up time. It works really well, but it’s taken us years to get it as organized as it is.”

Hayes, her husband Donald and their two sons, Jim and Chris, who both worked in the restaurant when they were growing up, were overwhelmed by all the people that showed up when they re-opened on October 30th.

 “It was so heartwarming to see everyone come back,” Hayes said. The fire made her realize how much she and her family have to be thankful for. “We’ve been so fortunate to have customers that care about us and stuck with us.”

Now, in addition to greeting her regulars when they show up, Pat Hayes has a ready greeting for new customers: “Welcome! We have the best wings in the West.” 

When you go to Wings ‘N Things make sure you’re hungry because you’ll want to sample as many dishes as possible. And don’t worry if it gets a little messy. “We have lots of napkins,” Hayes said, “and give hand wipes when you leave.”

May all the joys of Thanksgiving stay with you throughout the year!


Sunny and Patti 
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reducing the Nation’s “Wasteline”

America’s Tidal Wave of Trash

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at 

America is drowning in a tidal wave of trash. Our waste is ending up in streets and alleys, giant landfills the size of cities…

 streams and rivers…and, ultimately, the beaches and oceans…

 According to Columbia University, the average American throws out seven pounds of trash a day. America makes up less than 5% of the world’s population yet produces 30% of the world’s waste.

7 lb. trash bag sitting outside trash container
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that, in terms of sheer tonnage, trash is now the nation’s number one export – with waste paper and boxes, empty beer and soda cans, and more going out to other countries to use as construction materials and in animal feed.

 America has generated so much trash over the years that the University of Arizona even created a pioneering academic discipline in “Garbology” to study it. 

SurfriderFoundation Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter member Andre Faubert knows firsthand how trash can pile up. In an exercise he dubbed his “30/30 Experiment,” in March 2011, he spent one hour a day for 30 days picking up trash on Southern California’s Newport/Huntington Beach shoreline (from the River Jetty to the Bolsa Chica Inlet).

By the end of the month Faubert had collected an average of 19.3 lbs of trash a day for a total of 580.4 lbs of trash – enough to create this Wave sculpture made entirely of trash. The “Tidal Wave of Trash” sculpture was designed and made by artists Hanna Cosner and Tierney Amoses.

"Tidal Wave of Trash" sculpture

America is ranked #4 in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) world rankings of waste generated each year per person – 460 kgs – putting it just behind Denmark, the Netherlands and UK.

As much as 30% of the food produced annually in the U.S. – valued at some $48 billion – is thrown away.

Edward Humes, the author of Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, notes that the nation’s annual waste now includes: 40 billion plastic eating utensils… 

 28 billion pounds of discarded food, 19 billion pounds of polystyrene “peanuts” used in shipping, “enough steel to level and restore Manhattan and plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.”

Californians use 600 plastic bags every second – using most of them just once before discarding them. With many of these bags making their way into the ocean it’s gotten to the point that there are now six pieces of plastic to every plankton.

Cigarettes – the most littered item on the planet – account for several trillion butts tossed worldwide. These, too, end up on our streets and in our waterways and oceans. A breakdown of highway litter in America shows that cigarettes are currently in the top spot, accounting for 38% of roadway trash.

 Not only do we generate an inordinate amount of trash, but we don’t dispose of it properly. Only 24% of the nation’s trash is composted or recycled. 

 The rest ends up in landfills and the environment, contaminating the oceans and creating enormous “gyres” of pollution, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling mass of trash in the Pacific Ocean that the 5Gyres Institute estimates to be twice the size of Texas.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Jeff Coffman, Chairman of the Surfrider HB/SB Chapter's Blue Water Task Force, notes that even when you can't see trash in the water it's often still there - in the pollutants it leaves behind after breaking up. "When we do our water testing we've found dissolved pollutants from metals and fertilizers - aluminum, copper, zinc, lead and iron." 

The World Bank just issued its What a Waste report in June predicting a 70% global increase in solid waste by 2025. The cost of managing and disposing of all this waste – over 2 billion tons per year – is expected to almost double from $205 billion to $375 billion.

Dan Hoornweg, an eco-author of the report, said, “We’re looking at a relatively silent problem that is growing daily. The challenges surrounding municipal solid waste are going to be enormous.”

So, what can we do?

SurfWriter Girls discovered there are many things we can do, starting with the Surfrider Foundation’s goals to: reuse, reduce, and recycle

Instead of “super-sizing” everything we buy… from take-out meals to TVs, cars and houses, we need to ask ourselves if we can get by with less. Borrowing a tagline from the classic Volkswagen Beetle ads of the 1960s, it’s time to “Think Small.”

And, once something has been used for its initial purpose, what else can it be used for? Or can it be loaned or given to someone else?

Finally, look for “green” products that are made from recycled materials and/or can be recycled. Then, rather than just tossing them in the trash when you’re done with them, put them in the recycler.  

Arizona’s Pima County Department of Environmental Quality came up with this list of 101 Ways to Reduce Waste.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti think it’s a great Bucket List for us all to get working on. The proverb “Waste not, want not” has even more relevance today…especially in a world with over seven billion people.

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