Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't call me "MmmTacos4U" when we meet at the bar

Rand, Rachel and I (and later Leigh) went to the Haight tonight. Supposedly an art walk was going on this Friday night, but we saw no evidence of it. Instead, we went to the Booksmith (and saw Joelle) and had dinner at Magnolia brewery. My sausage was deelish. And the beer wasn't too shabby either. We finished the evening with a sundae. Now I'm fat again. Thanks hippies.

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

HuffPo takes an interest in swimming

With all the controversy surrounding these full-body high-tech swimsuits, I had never thought about the danger inherent in their construction. Ricky Berens discovered this in Rome on Sunday when his suit split while he was stretching.

If swimming is going to be this PG to PG-13 rated, then I want to lodge a formal complaint to FINA. Think of the children!! They and we don't want to see this. We would rather see our swimmers in rip-proof Speedos.

And, on another note, neither AP nor Getty Images took a photo of Mr. Berens' face in Rome. I wonder what distracted them.

Posted via web from toddx's posterous

Alice Waters hates sharks!

Northern California's high priestess of all things foodie had a little misstep in May at the "Food for Thought" forum in Hartford, Connecticut. When asked what her last meal would be, she answered that would have Cecilia Chiang make shark fin soup.

Stop the effing presses! Shark hunting is destroying the planet and the species! How dare Alice Waters ask for something soooo delicious as her last meal on the planet?! How dare she want to consume the tasty broth prior to casting off this mortal coil? Has she no soul!!

I, for one, am appalled and will state unequivocally here and now that I will not consume shark fin soup as my last meal. Instead, I hope to dine on some foie gras stuffed harp seal with a side of poached dodo eggs. Wait a minute. My quick Google search tells me that dodo eggs are out of stock at the moment, sooooooo, let's change that to some veal and a cup of "blue whale" bisque--it's the next big thing. Trust me.

Posted via web from toddx's posterous

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beers at the White House

Ah the Beer Summit. It was the perfect storm of academe vs the masses vs racism vs classism. Add to that the ham-handed entry of Presidential politics into this clearly local issue, and you will arrive at today's meeting of minds and livers in our Capitol.
 
I don't think anything will come out of this except an awkward photo op (see above). But, I do believe that Americans have learned something incredibly important today.
 
According to NPR this morning, each of the three men claimed different beer preferences. Gates likes Red Stripe. Crowley's taste leans more toward the crisp Belgian white Blue Moon. But, and here's the kicker, President Obama's favorite beer is BUD LIGHT!
 
I'm sorry, Mr. President, but Bud Light is swill and I want my vote back. Give me Hillary and a hefeweizen and all will be right with the world.
 
Cheers.

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Tonight's dinner

More salmon (I know but the wild sockeye is in season) with roasted veggies with red pepper and some cheesy orzo. Mmmmm, parmagiano reggiano.

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Worse than brain cancer

Paper jams make me want to do a few things:

 
1. Strangle the person who left the jam
2. Strangle the manufacturer
3. Strangle the producer of the crappy recycled paper that ALWAYS gets jammed
4. Walk quickly and quietly away from the copier in order to avoid blame and/or additional work.

Posted via email from toddx's posterous

Not the best way to sell the public on waxing

It burns!

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The Book vs. the Kindle: Green Apple Books puts the smackdown on Amazon

Green Apple is one of the great independent bookstores in San Francisco, and they have pulled out all the stops to show you why books, real books, are vastly superior to Amazon's gadget du jour. Enjoy the videos, visit their blog, but most importantly, support them and your local independent bookstores by buying some books.

Posted via web from toddx's posterous

How To Hijack 'Every iPhone In The World'

Check out this article at forbes.com

If you receive a text message on your iPhone any time after Thursday afternoon containing only a single square character, Charlie Miller would suggest you turn the device off. Quickly.

That small cipher will likely be your only warning that someone has taken advantage of a bug that Miller and his fellow cybersecurity researcher Collin Mulliner plan to publicize Thursday at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. Using a flaw they've found in the iPhone's handling of text messages, the researchers say they'll demonstrate how to send a series of mostly invisible SMS bursts that can give a hacker complete power over any of the smart phone's functions. That includes dialing the phone, visiting Web sites, turning on the device's camera and microphone and, most importantly, sending more text messages to further propagate a mass-gadget hijacking.

"This is serious. The only thing you can do to prevent it is turn off your phone," Miller told Forbes. "Someone could pretty quickly take over every iPhone in the world with this."

Posted via web from toddx's posterous

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pie Truck: Get pie delivered to your home!

Check out this website I found at pietruck.wordpress.com

Posted via web from toddx's posterous

The Man Booker Longlist, or When Did I Stop Reading?

The longlist for the Man Booker prize was announced yesterday. In case you missed it, here are the novels that were longlisted:

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
Summertime by J. M. Coetzee
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
Me Cheeta by James Lever
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
Not Untrue & Not Unkind by Ed O'Loughlin
Heliopolis by James Scudamore
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Love and Summer by William Trevor
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

I have a pretty good history with the Booker prize list. I've enjoyed the winners and usually had read a few of the nominees or at least knew something about the books. Not so this year. Don't get me wrong. I know who A.S. Byatt and Coetzee are. And I'm familiar with Colm Toibin and Sarah Waters. And that Heliopolis title rings a bell. But that's it. I'm basically out of the loop. If it's not on Facebook or written in 140 characters or fewer, I probably haven't read it.

Of course, I'm exaggerating. In fact, I'm reading Middlesex right now. And I just picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog from my local library (SUPPORT YOUR LIBRARIES!!) What kind of reader am I, though, if I'm reading something that most people read six or seven years ago. I mean, Oprah read it for Christ's sake. As for Elegance, well, let's not count that chicken before it's hatched. I haven't even opened the book yet. So when did I stop reading? And why?

It's too easy to get distracted. The internet, Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, and don't get me started on television. It's trash, but I watch it. And watch it and watch it. Add to that going out to great restaurants and watching a movie now and then and hanging out with friends and WORK! There goes my week.

Then again, I always found time in the past. Maybe I've changed. Perhaps I've lost my ability to pay attention for any length of time--although I did watch all five episodes of Torchwood: Children of Earth (excellent, by the way). Or, can I just blame the books? Very little has "spoken" to me recently. Sputnik Sweetheart may have been the last novel I devoured. I've been "reading" Animal's People for a year now. Let's face it: I'm not finishing that one. Before that, I got caught up in some science fiction by Dan Simmons. So enjoyable, so fat-free.

I need a story, with characters, sprawling and dramatic and funny and odd. Which takes me back to Middlesex. I'm enjoying it a great deal. With luck, it will help break this dry spell. Until then, as always, recommendations are appreciated and I'll see you on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sandra Lee on crack

She's a guilty pleasure and this video really encapsulates all that I love about Sandra--well, love to hate.

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is really why you're fat

Compared to this, we're all fat.

mischabarton5150hold
Mischa Barton

My favorite quote about books today

I just read this in a cover letter of all things, but I think it's quite wise:

I also believe if the only way to enjoy photos, illustrations and ideas was via a Kindle and someone came along and said, hey, look at this new mode of delivery! It’s on paper and bound together and you get great color and resolution and you don’t need any power – that person would win the Nobel Prize. I think the key idea in these times to be very careful in planning what sorts of books are ideally suited to print – and consider the design and presentation perks that go along with print that cannot be mimicked in code. I believe both forms have their place for different projects. I also believe that people like the tactile, erotic experience of holding a book – and that this is not going to go away any time soon. --Leslie Roberts


You go, Leslie. I hope a publisher wins the Nobel very soon. Until then, buy a book: for yourself, for a friend, for a stranger.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

San Francisco: The 7th Meanest City in the Universe!

When it comes to the homeless and homelessness in general, SF is one mean place. If you haven't spent much time in San Francisco, then you've probably missed the coordinated and institutionalized attack on homeless people that happens on our streets. In fact, today it's nearly impossible to find a homeless person in SF. They are as endangered as the dodo bird, the blue whale, and the elusive straight Mission hipster. It's war out there, my friends, and the homeless ranks need your help.

Listen up, SF. Be nice. Adopt a homeless person. Lease them your front steps. Give them a quarter. Lend them your deodorant. We're better than this!

Don't be like these heartless yuppies. Let the homeless (the sparingly few, the nearly extinct homeless) sleep wherever they want, defecate at their whim, dig through whatever trash receptacle catches their meth-addled attention, and ask you for change on your way to work. Homelessness is not a crime! Trespassing is not a crime! Public urination is not a crime! Now, get out there and help us get more homeless on the streets of San Francisco. By 2010, I don't want to see an empty park bench in the city.

Cat nap on my driveway from Kris M on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Todd is away from his desk

carrot_1995

Until he returns, please direct all questions, complaints, kickbacks and chocolate to Mr. Carrot.

I will be away at Gay Retreat 2009 in the glorious warmth of the Russian River area. It's always good to get out of the city. And, when it happens to be with six great friends and over a long weekend, then it's something to look forward to. I'm more than ready to kick back by the pool, catch some rays, read a good book, play some games, and have someone bring me the signature drink. Wait, who's making the signature drink this year?!!

Okay, if you have any great cocktail suggestions, send them my way. Until then, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yes, there are other bookstores besides Amazon

The following "open condolence letter to former Amazon affiliates" comes from Kristen McLean, executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children:

Boy, it sure sucks to be dumped.

There you are, doing a great job of recommending awesome books, handing Amazon the sales, and they just up and leave the party.

To add injury to insult, I'm sure it didn't feel good to hear from the Wall Street Journal that collective sales from your sites only "account for a relatively small slice of Amazon's traffic, so the move isn't likely to cause major damage to the company's business."

It's like the morning after the prom, when in wrinkled dress and wilting corsage you realize they're just not that into you. At least, not when they may have to collect millions in state sales tax that could help fix bridges, keep schools open and fund libraries at a time when your states are truly suffering.

And they seemed so nice.

Well, I want to invite you to the indie party. While the flashy prom has been happening at the country club, we've been holding our own get-together in the gym. What we lack in glamour, we make up for in charm. Like you, we love to recommend books. We think it's cool that you're recommending books, and with us there's no such thing as too small. We won't marginalize you. And we all pay our local taxes.

Best of all we have an affiliate program too! It's called IndieBound, and we'd love to have you be a part of it. You'll get a reward for using it, your readers can keep getting their books off your site, and your state will benefit in the end. Everyone wins.

Again, we're sorry that you lost your date. (We never really liked them anyway.) We promise we won't leave you hanging.