Friday, May 29, 2009

The Week of Bacon

I shop at the Real Foods on Polk Street, which in addition to the common annoyance of all organic/natural grocery stores (no Coke, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or gelatin-based desserts) presents an enticing blend of mediocrity in selection and quality, surliness in service and prices just a tad shy of offensive. All the same it isn't Whole Foods or Safeway, which somehow makes it preferable.

Truth be told it's within walking distance, otherwise I wouldn't put up with it. Except for those rare occasions when their failings transcend and become beautiful accidents.

This past Tuesday, the special lady was at the Real Foods sourcing ingredients for the chop salad we decided on for dinner. She asked the wax-eared hippy at the meat counter for 1/8th lb of bacon. Being surly and thinking himself generally beyond rebuke, he served up .80 lbs, or about 650% more than we needed for the salad, thus ensuring that we would eat bacon for the rest of the week.

.80 lbs of bacon may not sound like much, but rest assured it's more than anyone should eat in a week. But I'm like the Indians and try not to let anything go to waste, so each time I hit the range to prepare dinner this week, things inevitably started with 4 pieces of bacon going into the frying pan. Then, whatever else I was cooking was sauted in the bacon pan drippings and garnished with bacon bits before being served.

Even my dog Woodstock got in on the action, taking bacon as a topping on his dogfood all week. Since we ran out Friday, he's fasted in protest of bacon restoration.

'F' is for Friday, Fun, Fancy F'in Footwork

Chromeo's my newest and truest electronic obsession since Daft Punk. But the allegory doesn't end there. Being that Chromeo's a slightly more accessible take on Daft Punk, just like Montreal's a slightly more accessible take on Paris, I'm feeling the symmetry as well this fine Friday.

Fancy Footwork - Chromeo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Let Bad Taste in Movies Go Untreated

Whether or not you believe Hollywood has played a role in dumbing down our culture writ large, there are people who are not merely victims of slick marketing and simply have bad taste in movies. Unfortunately the previous (and more dangerous) problem is begetted by the preponderance of the latter. It is my hope that with a little friend-to-friend sponshoship where Good Cinema is concerned, we can do something about this.

Upon documenting carefully, and at first without prejudice, the growing littany of crap films my co-worker, MMCY, had paid upwards of $10.50 to see in the theatre, I decided something had to be done. And not only to save my friend and colleague, but to elevate the cinema experience for the rest of us whose options only become more disappointingly homogenous with the repeated success of bad Hollywood films.

Presenting an incomplete and unordered list of films MMCY has seen in the theatre:

1. You, Me & Dupree
2. Alien Vs. Predator
3. Hitman
4. The Transport (I, II and III)
5. Mortal Kombat
6. Date Movie
7. Pootie Tang
8. Don't Mess with the Zohan

Since this list was compiled over a disjointed discourse that unfolded over a series of months, it's assembly and presentation (much like other famous lists of grievances) had a shocking effect for its brutal truth and ugliness. It went down something like a drug intervention. After which we agreed that I would function much like MMCY's AA sponsor. Whenever he's in need, doubting himself, or thinking of buying a movie ticket he has to check in with me first.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Maui Underwater

Got out to Maui for the the long weekend and had the enormously relaxing pleasure of a few days in Wailea. Excellent time for deals on travel in Hawai'i if you're flexible. Summer is 'off-season' for Hawai'i but still a great time to go with more reliable weather and warmer water temperatures.

Diving off the beach at Wailea proved to be pretty good, particularly for the special lady in the midst of her PADI cetification process. The water was a refreshing 75 degrees and visibility, by local accounts, was at high of several months. The reef out there is a little sparse on big fish, but rich in other arenas like snowflake morays, eagle rays and more big turtles than you'd ever want to see.

I'd say the flying gurnard (pictured above) I saw was the highlight of the dives, but for the following encounter that bears repeating. Our Russian comrade, Victoria, joining us on the intro dives from Los Angeles confessed before our first dive that she'd always wanted to see a turtle. On my second dive with her, I noticed a green sea turtle approaching from the south on a perpendicular tack to Victoria's. This turtle was enormous, biggest I'd even seen, the size of a kitchen table. He was wizened, old, covered in barnacles as large as baseballs, and moving at a slow, but imperturbable clip.

Victoria was moving along too, matching the turtle in speed and determination, and apparently not notcing him at all. I watched in suspended disbelief, rendered unable to voice a warning by the omni-muffling force of the water. Then, almost in slowmo, the turtle's right front flipper clubbed Victoria across the head, stripping her mask and regulator and sending her toward the bottom. The turtle, unmoved kept steadily on his original path.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I found this yesterday doing a Google Image Search for Denver Nuggets forward Chris Andersen. Strange correlations Google makes sometimes, but not entirely outside of the realm of possibile relevance.

Blogger 'Chris Andersen' of Interesting Times, posted this mashup of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that I find compellingly creepy, not least for the fact that Hillary's frosted, beltway power coif combines with Obama's cocoa complexion for an uncanny resemblance to a weathered Don Johnson:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, but what about WolframOmega?

My instincts as a carpet bagger are decent (B/B-). I have the sense to accurately detect minimal-effort get-rich-quick schemes when they cross my path, but I'm a little slow on the uptake when compared to the real professionals like

I was thinking, hey, WolframAlpha's kind of a big deal. But why even start there when you can take it straight out of the can to the ultimate of WolframOmega?

As usual, I was beat out by the more sophisticated carpet baggers, as a direct navigation to revealed GoDaddy's Domain Name Search tool/automatic URL registration system had already been there and done that as far as parking the domain and slapping some ads on it.

So, to you other B/B- carpetbaggers out there, who've time and again let GoDaddy capitalize on your carelessness, don't search here unless you want GoDaddy to steal your best bad ideas.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

'F' is for 'Friday,' and 'Fleet Foxes'

I'm really into the Fleet Foxes right now. And this song, Blue Ridge Mountains, in particular may penetrate your subconscious at level of pervasion bordering on the disturbing. For example, all night my dream was narrated with the line 'My Brother Where Do You Intend To Go Tonight?' and the haunting riff of the mandolin.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Want a Jet Pack!

I recall a co-worker of mine who told me about her father's mid-life crisis wherein he downloaded a DIY jet pack kit off the Internet and built something similar to this. He then spent his days shy of this speed record, cruising the skies of the Raleigh-Durham area of central North Carolina pretty much having the greatest adventure of his life.

His wife and kids were obviously thrilled with the brilliant results of his mid-life crisis because the bar is already set pretty high considering the phenomena generally metes out cool byproducts like fast cars, motorcycles, and new girlfriends. How do you top those? Jet Packs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just Joined Twitter

Had to see what all the fuss was about, so here I am. Peep my tweets to the right!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Thoughts on Fleas

Being both a weekend warrior and a dog-owner often presents the dilemma of what to do with my furry friend Woodstock when the destination isn't dog friendly. Whenever possible, I like to leave him with friends, since I'm basically mistrustful of dog boarding facilities and in San Francisco their fees boarder on criminal ($45 a night and up).

So it's a careful, cost-benefit analysis when you consider the return favors you typically have to produce for the imposition of your dog. Usually it's a bottle of wine, or an agreement to return the dog-watching favor at some point in the future. Whatever it is, it's got to be better than the daily fee of boarding.

Not so this last time, when Woodstock returned scratching himself so virgorously that our apartment was quickly festooned with cottony clumps of hair that he'd torn from his body. Upon closer inspection it was confirmed, he had fleas. And this is the worst outcome, sort of like spending the night with a friend and finding out and having to communicate later that there's been the transmission of a preventable, treatable, but still embarrassing VD.

Friday, May 8, 2009

An Interesting Juxtaposition

Stuff White People Like? Asian mail-order brides, of course! If Google's contextual ad targeting is at work here, this is an amazingly nuanced ad placement, reading between the lines of the meta tags and the clever banter about racial stereotypes and inferring one a little more buried in the unstated layers, but no less true.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The New York Times Immigration Explorer Just Blew My Mind!

I love maps and I love data and the spread of humanity across this great molten pot of a country of ours is a fascinating history to explore with Web2.0 capability. Naturally, then, I wasted a good afternoon playing with the NYTime's Immigration Explorer tool, which seems to have been designed with derailing my productivity in mind.

Vintage Bikes From Nepal

There are always surprises in store at Forrest's parent's hippie home among the redwoods near Point Reyes, California. Last weekend we went up for the usual fare of fresh seafood (mussels harvested from Tomales Bay earlier that day), good conversation and good wine, a few too many bottle as usual.

Forrest's folks had just returned from their winter's hiatus in Nepal and his dad Charles was busy shipping vehicles back to the States out in front of their eventual permanent departure from Asia. In addition to the vintage Triumph motorcycle pictured above, there was an old BMW bike and this cherry red Indian:
These well-cared-for bikes are holdovers from Charles' days leading motorcycle-tours of the Himalayas with the likes of Ry Cooder and Gary Busey.