Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dear Glenn Beck, We're Ready If You Are

Glenn Beck told his Fox News audience on Friday that he wants to kick California out of the United States:

Beck: OK, there's something driving me to the edge of insanity, makes blood shoot right out my eyes, and that is California.

California today, they voted against offshore drilling. Not on their land, or their shore, no. They also voted last week to raise emissions standards because it's too smoggy there and they care about the trees. Also, uh, in the stimulus, we found out today, it appears as though Hollywood can get a, um, bailout, from you and me, because nobody's going to see their movies. Hmmph! You'd think maybe they should just make better movies, and then we'd all go. But no no, let's bail them all out.

The Civil War taught us that, apparently, U.S. states can't secede from the Union. I'd like to test that one again maybe sometime. But what I'd like to know is if the Union has the right to kick out states. Because if so, I'd like to take a star right out of our flag, and California is it.

From eco-warriors running the state and ruining it to Hollywood projecting their family values and politics on the U.S., and illegal immigration driving them into bankruptcy, the Golden State drives me out of my mind, and I don't think I'm alone.


Please, Glenn, let us take the seventh largest economy in the world and 1/8 of the population out of the Union. That's sure to help America's current problems. I have a feeling you will still need our agricultural products, our technology, our biotech, and our wine. And, Disney Land, Glenn, what will you do without Disney Land!!

video

Dynamo Doughnuts: Not So Dynamic



Rand and I got up early today and went to the Mission for some coffee and doughnuts. After reading about Dynamo Doughnuts--and being a doughnut lover--I decided, with Rand's prodding, that it was time to visit this new doughnuttery.

My impressions: first, it's the Mission. I'm not the biggest fan of the Mish, but it has its charms. One of the best things about the Mission is that it's generally economical (with pockets of growing gentrification). Dynamo definitely fits into this latter category. Two doughnuts and two mochas came to a grand total of $13. That's pretty steep for this neighborhood.

Walking up to Dynamo, one would barely be able to tell they were known for their doughnuts. The pastries are instead kept on some little displays (like cake plates) near the register. Hmmm, I thought. What a strange way to advertise your wares. Now, the flavors seemed interesting. Before going, I had read about the Maple Bacon doughnut. Yum. Alas, it wasn't too be found. Instead they had Lemon-Thyme, Chocolate Almond Rosemary, Vanilla Bean, and something else I ignored. We decided on the Lemon-Thyme and the Chocolate. The lemon doughnut was easily the better of the two. We also, as I mentioned before, ordered two mochas. Maybe it was an off day, but our mochas were bordering on bad. Mine was very hot (which is fine) and Rand's was about 30 degrees cooler. Neither had any chocolate flavor. I even added sugar to mine, but it was still bitter. I would have preferred a Starbucks mocha to this bitter swill.

All in all, the doughnuts were good, but I'm not going to make a special trip again to Dynamo for them. And they either need a new barista, some better training, or new espresso.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Duck! Rabbit!

Duck! Rabbit!

Need a cute book for a kid in your life? Check this one out. I think it is fun and interactive and is sure to have the youngsters shouting, "Duck! Rabbit!" Plus, the psychological insight you'll gain will be invaluable. Future sociopath or mogul-to-be? Duck! Rabbit! will tell you all you need to know.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In other words, Wall Street got $18.4 billion in bonuses

"Granted, New York's bankers and brokers are far poorer than they were in 2006, when record deals, and the record profits they generated, ushered in an era of Wall Street hyperwealth. All told, bonuses fell 44 percent last year, from $32.9 billion in 2007, the largest decline in dollar terms on record."

It's time to eat the rich, friends.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm allergic to cats

So, I propose that all cats be exterminated and replaced with Robocats. Yes, it's a radical solution, but I really can't deal with the itchy eyes anymore. The cats have got to go.

video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I.O.U.S.A. , or The Decline of the American Empire

Originally, this post was going to be titled "Scared Shitless" because I think we all should be very afraid. I used to argue against Europeans from small countries who would offer their national systems as solutions to America's and the world's problems. "We have solved it," they would say. But, I would say, your country is the size of Missouri and your population is less than Los Angeles. Get back to me when you have about 300 million more babies.

But, perhaps I was approaching this wrong. Maybe the American experiment is wrong because it has gotten so big. In the same way that cities have problems that don't exist in small towns, our large nation creates potentially intractable obstacles: financial, military, social, and environmental. Maybe it is time to break up the US much like Ma Bell was broken up in the Eighties.

Watch, quiver, buy gold. And prepare for the new world order.

Visit the website.

Got Mercury? Corn Syrup Makes You Fat AND Insane

 

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where high-fructose corn syrup is the first--or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

Or, as my friend Justin said, "Do you think they will revise the commercial?"

-You know what they say about it.

-What? That it comes from corn and is fine in moderation?

-No, bitch. That it's so full of mercury, you would be better off feeding your children thermometers.

(***star sweep***) The More You Know


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Cat Scratch Fever in Temecula

 

From SF Gate:

What do you get when you cross irresponsibility with complete disregard for all social conventions? If you live in a trailer in Temecula, CA, you get more than 100 feral cats and dogs living among the remains of hundreds of other dead animals that had been dumped in trash bags. Not a pretty sight.

Temecula police on Friday arrested a 67-year-old man on suspicion of animal cruelty after officers responded to a call that two vicious dogs were running loose at his address in Riverside County.

The man had let animals be fruitful and multiply over and over again, and the animals had completely taken over his mobile home. Considering the nationwide mortgage crisis, police and housing officials could not sit idly by and let these squatters go unpunished. All but nine puppies and one dog were euthanized.

"The smell, I can't tell you how bad the smell was," said Willa Bagwell, Calvin Klein fragrance consultant and executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys, which provides animal control services for Temecula.

PETA spokesperson Rain Santangelo issued the following statement, "This tragedy of genocidal proportions will not go unnoticed. While I would normally promote spaying and neutering of all domestic pets, today I want to encourage all mobile home dwellers to forego this practice as a way to show solidarity with our fallen feral friends today. Their memory and stench will live on."
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Julien Quevenne: Trés Beau

I may be in lust. Check out more of Julien (oui, je veux coucher avec toi ce soir) here: Homotography: Julien Quevenne for Pepe Jeans

Great headline from DailyFill

DailyFill: Gossip, Celebrities, Sexy, Style, Urban: "Article'Slumdog Millionaire' Cast Wins SAG Award; Trades It For Bag Of LentilsAmong the other big winners last night: Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, and Heath Ledger, who's beginning to regret killing himself."

They call it telecommuting

How do I get me some of that?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wrapping up a weekend of debauchery

What better way to end this trip than a visit to the "new" Sonic Drive-thru in American Canyon? And no, your eyes do not deceive you. Those are indeed cheesy tater tots. Oh, and a diet Dr. Pepper. I'm not a glutton after all.

Seven inches a day

I know this is about drilling through a mountain, but I just have to say that any day with seven inches is a good day. Can I get an amen?

So long, Tahoe!

Thanks for the brief respite from the city on my birthweekend. Until
next time. . .

A good time was had by all

The weekend is nearly over. Renee, Yasu, Doug and Darren left around
noon to go back to SF. Doug has a flight to catch tonight. Beth and
Egan left a little later to go see Lake Tahoe before going home.
Meanwhile, Rand and I are mixing lounging with cleaning. Oh and wood
chopping. We're very butch.

All in all, I think we had a really good weekend. Great food and
drink, great friends, and plenty of laughs. Plus we had no fewer than
four iPhones and three laptops for the eight of us. Go wifi!!

I can't think of a better way to spend one's birthday. Thanks
everyone! As for all those videos. . . (fodder for future posts).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Losing at Balderdash

Too many categories! I can't think of any answers.

In vino veritas

Thank god for wine! I heart you guys.

Product review: Batter Blaster!



Are you perplexed by the complex instructions on the Krusteaz box? Do you fear mixing water and powder because of your time in the Senate during the anthrax scares? Are you simply lazy?! Then, your troubles are solved. Organic Batter Blaster is here to alleviate your pancake cooking problems.

As you know, this is my birthweekend, and I'm spending it in Tahoe with Rand and six other friends (Renee, Yasu, Beth, Egan, Doug and Darren). The six are arriving today, but Rand and I came up last night. After dinner, we ran to Safeway to get some morning essentials: milk, eggs, oranges, Hot Tamales, and, wait, what is that sitting there in the refrigerated egg section? Batter Blaster!

I had seen BB before and was curious, but not until this year, at this sage age, did I have the cojones to pick up a can. And, to top it off, BB was a dollar off with my Safeway card. Score!

Needless to say, into my basket it went. Even the guy at the checkout remarked about BB. "Wow, this is cool," he said. "I know," I said. "And it's a dollar off!" That was the extent of our conversation. Well, that and his comment about life in the "big city" which I interpreted as code for "gay." So, I winked when he handed me the receipt. Take that, big boy.

Cut to this morning. I got up at a reasonable time and decided to make some breakfast. Out came the Batter Blaster. Here's where I admit that my first pancake was more of a cousin to the pancake family. Okay, a failure. I really did not do well. I blamed the heat of the pan, my unfamiliarity with the can and its nozzle, and the altitude. Pancakes #2 and #3 were better. Pancakes #4 and #5 were nearly Platonic in their idealness.

How did they taste? Pretty good, if I do say so myself. But, let's be honest. Pancakes are really just a medium for butter and syrup. So, they tasted like butter and Aunt Jamima. Mmm, mmm, good.

To make a long story short, I whole-heartedly recommend Organic Batter Blaster. It's easy, fun, and you can tell your friends that you made pancakes from a can!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Word of the weekend: Bolus

Try to use it in non-traditional and imaginative ways. I have a bolus of hope in my heart that you will find great new definitions for it.

Ahhh, fire

I can haz warmth now.

Donner Lake

In Lolo vision.

The Tahoe trip has begun!

Stay tuned.

Packing books for Tahoe



I know I'm only going away for 3 days, but I always need to have choices when it comes to my reading material. Thus, I've packed three books so far. Will I be able to read three books? No. Will I be able to read even one with seven other people and the ensuing chaos of my birthday weekend? Again, probably not. But, I'm a biblio-optimist.

I'm taking The Yiddish Policemen's Union (which I still need to finish) by Michael Chabon, Animal's People by Indra Sinha (shortlisted for the Booker, but it didn't win), and Pablo Neruda's Residence on Earth. It's my birthday and Neruda always speaks to me.

What are you reading?

I know it's cold out there

hot todd

Both meteorologically and metaphorically speaking, it's a cold world. I saw a man plow into a woman as he was getting off the train a week ago. His shoulder hit her so hard that she looked like, oh, me on the receiving end of a Mike Tyson punch. Did he pause, slow down, see whom he had nearly trampled? Nope.

For this and for all the other ills of the world--and the below zero windchill that some of you have to put up with, I offer a recipe.

Hot Toddy

4 to 5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ ounces brandy
Lemon wedge

Combine the cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and honey in a heat-proof snifter. Top with the boiling water and stir to melt the honey. Top with brandy. Squeeze the lemon wedge and drop into the snifter.

Shout out to Nicole for the photo!

First there were Furries and now this!

Rubbies? Rubberies? Latexies? Condies?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is what 10,000 calories looks like



Look what was on my desk when I got back from lunch! Thanks Amanda!! It's composed of regular cheesecake and chocolate cheesecake and it's covered in chocolate. And it's pure sinful evil from Whole Foods.

Come to think of it, this thing may have more than 10,000 calories.

See you at Jenny Craig!!

I called to wish me an unhappy birthday



No, not really! It's going to be a great birthweek here in San Fran and later in Tahoe. Age be damned! I'm 39, going gray, and falling to pieces, but I'm here! (That was totally my Whoopi in The Color Purple moment).

Now, about this photo. There are three amazing things to point out.

1. The chihuahua card is from my longtime friend Petra with whom I've reconnected thanks to Facebook. Go web 2.0!

2. The plate of evil (AKA pastries) is from Renee--who claims that calories don't count on certain special days. I will not be a guinea pig for this hypothesis.

3. I really do have iced tea ALL THE TIME!!

Rand and I are going to dinner somewhere secret tonight, then I'm taking a long weekend trip to Tahoe with seven great friends. The weather should be wonderful--sunny and in the 50s--and I'm looking forward to laughs, Euchre, Boggle, good food and wine, and time with friends. It's good to be in my late-mid 29s.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. . . .

Monday, January 12, 2009

Urban Poaching in San Francisco



It was the corner of Washington and Leavenworth on Sunday night. The carnage was horrific. The emotional toll this scene wreaked upon us (see Clark) was unbearable, and the psychic scars will be with us for years to come.

Why?! Why did you do it? What did the little Roo do to you? On this night of Golden Globe-dom, couldn't you just revel in the red carpet, the hairdos (and DON'Ts--see Drew Barrymore), the jewelry, the speeches, the Spielberg montage. No. Instead, you sought out this poor little creature. You hunted him, stalking him through Chinatown and Nob Hill. You waited until he hopped to this corner to watch the cable car go by, then you did it. You ended his stuffed little life, and you tied him to the top of this car for the whole city to see.

No Roos Allowed.

The funny thing is that within minutes of taking this photo, the kangaroo was gone. Rand thought this group of people walking by the car had moved it, but I'm not so sure. I think this Roo was like Lazarus. He got up all by himself. And, if you're lucky, you'll see him hopping around the Castro or Pac Heights or panhandling in Union Square. Be nice. Put a dollar in his pouch.

With this finger, I will rule the world!

ring finger

Apparently, researchers at the University of Cambridge are reporting that, based on their study, men with longer ring fingers, compared to their index fingers, tended to be more successful in the frantic high-frequency trading in the London financial district. They also note that the same ring-to-index finger ratio has previously been associated with success in competitive sports such as soccer and basketball. It all seems to come down to male hormone androgen. Greater fetal exposure to androgen can lead to increased confidence, risk preferences, search persistence, heightened vigilance and quickened reaction times.

As you can see above, my androgen levels must have been pretty high. Behold my ring finger and fear its hormonal omnipotence.

It makes me wonder, though, if I should ask for a raise while casually displaying my hands. Will the gestures be distracting or mesmerizing? Or, if I go on an interview, should I include "handshots" with my resume? If, as the researchers found, finger length counts as much as experience, then I think I should definitely start near the top of the salary range. My fingers need pampering and room to grow, so I will need a large salary and an expense account, thank you very much.

I invite you all to do the same. Handshots for all! Let the ring finger dominance begin!!

Religious Dogma

This is probably fiction (is anything sweet and innocent real these days?), but I'm hoping in a way that makes my cynical heart creak and groan that it's true. Apparently, two churches engaged in a billboard debate over the place dogs will or will not have in their respective heavens. Hilarity ensues. Thanks to Silicon Valley Watcher for posting this. Despite the Catholics' attempts to steal my Constitutional rights from me, I wholeheartedly support their Canine Conversion Crusade.

On a more somber note, I have to tell you all that cats do not, in fact, have souls and, as such, will face the fiery pits of hell for the rest of eternity. It's the least they can do for making me sneeze when I'm around them.

dogsinheaven

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes: Spielberg

Will this speech EVER end?

Golden Globes: Renee Zellweger

She's channelling Cruella DeVille tonight.

Golden Globes: Johnny Depp

Does he have lice and can he afford soap

Golden Globes: Robert Downey Jr.

On or off the wagon. Discuss.

Golden Globes: Drew Barrymore's hair

Seriously, what's up?

My ride to the Golden Globes

It's the Golden Globes!



And I am not talking about Cate Blanchett's chest. I'm talking red carpet, friends, catty talk, and our fabulous host Larisa. Be prepared for ridiculous updates as the night proceeds.

Toodles.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This PSA on Gay Marriage brought to you by . . .

Well, I'm probably the last person (the last homo, that is) to see this. I tried to watch it a couple days ago on 23/6's site, but they were having video issues. Then, today, I visited desk full of clutter and finally got to watch it. If you missed it, too, here you go. After watching it, I expect you to join my march on the gay churches of San Francisco this Sunday where we will make ourselves look larger and make loud noises to scare the gays away. Please, if you have them, bring your platform shoes and New Year's Eve noise makers. And, if you don't have platform shoes, WHY are you reading this?!! Get thee to a TJ Maxx!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Found in the fridge

 

Why is there bacon in the freezer at work? Is someone cooking it in the microwave? The toaster? The dishwasher?!
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Change the World For Ten Bucks



What small action can you take to change the world? Seriously, I'm not talking about solving the Mideast crisis or Darfour or Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Are there seemingly insignificant things you can do on an everyday basis that, when added together and multiplied by all your friends and their friends and their friends and the exponential community that grows out of daily human interaction, will significantly impact your neighborhood, your country, and your world?

It may seem trite and corny, but it works. And, there's a book and a website about it. Chronicle Books is publishing Change the World for Ten Bucks this spring. It was previously published in England and around the world under various titles such as Change the World for a Fiver. Author Eugenie Harvey uses the fifty ideas in the book to inspire change in each and every one of us. I would like to invite you to check out her website: We Are What We Do

Then, when you can't stand it any more, go buy the book and change the world.



De-cluttering in 2009

clutter

There's too much stuff in the world. Too much clutter. My closet, my fridge, my desk, the gutter, Target on the weekend, Macy's at Xmas, my parents' storage shed, and this blog. So, I'm cleaning house a bit. I hope you like it.

Next stop, that darned closet. Anyone need a tube of Head On? (Where does this stuff come from?!!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

MUNI plans to increase fares, or What could you do with $10?

fastpass2008

In a recent SF Gate article on MUNI freeloaders, Rachel Gordon dropped the bomb that MUNI is planning a $10 increase on its popular (and handy) monthly Fast Pass:

For Maddow and many other Muni regulars, fare cheats are a major irritation, especially when the prospect of fare increases is thrown into the mix. Muni plans to raise the cost of the regular FastPass in July to $55, a $10 increase.


Majorly irritated, indeed. I love it when officials punish the regular, law-abiding customers because of the officials' unwillingness or inability to fix their own problems. Now, I'm lucky because my job offers subsidized mass transit. Each month I get $45 toward my transit costs. For two years now, my MUNI pass has cost $45, so I've paid nothing. Frankly, it's my favorite benefit at work. Now, though, I'll have to pay $10 a month to ride on the unreliable, crowded, dirty MUNI system and enjoy their increasingly rude operators.

What would I rather spend $10 a month on?

Iced Tea

tea

Seriously, did you expect anything different for my first option? A venti, unsweetened black iced tea at Starbucks is a mere $2. I could enjoy five extra iced teas per month and single-handedly reinvigorate the economy--both with my hard-earned ten dollars and my five extra jolts of caffeine.

Music

itunes7_store

At just 99 cents a piece, I could fuel the music industry to the tune (yes, I said it) of TEN whole songs each and every month.

More Texting!

First text to Mom on her new phone

For $10 extra per month, I could move from the puny 200 text plan to a whopping 1500 texts per month. Now that's something to Tweet about.

To make a long story short, I can find many more uses for my $10 than simply forking it over to a bloated bureaucracy that seems hell-bent on running our public transit system into the ground and keeping San Francisco a second-class city when it comes to public transportation.

Dear SFMTA, you'll get my ten dollars if and when you raise your prices, but I'll be watching and writing. If you can take it and make some progress, I will be both shocked and happy. You won't see me holding my breath, though.