Mood: a little bit stir crazy 2005
Now that my foot is healed enough to start being able to leave the house and walk to nearby places I'm having a harder time just staying in. I overdid it a bit today though and should put it up, give it some ice and elevate it.
But I want to go sip cocktails with my witty friends and flirt with cute boys.
I want new and odd music and clever interior decor and talented bartenders and at least one outrageous fashion mistake to wander by our part of the bar.
Since the witty friends and cute boys aren't currently beating down my door trying to coax me out, I guess I'll go get the ice pack.
ICE - In Case of Emergency 2005
Here's a good idea which I found on the blog of a man in New Zealand I've never met and who's site I can't remember how I reached:
Add an entry in your mobile phone's contacts for ICE with name and contact info (e.g. "ICE - mom" and then her name and phone number on separate lines below). Emergency services can use this to contact the appropriate people should you have an accident and need medical authorizations, etc.
This got me thinking that it's also a good idea to have an entry for Home or Mom because if you lose your mobile phone, many folks (e.g. lost & found coordinators at Filco festivals) know to look for that and call to say they have it.
And on the same concept, it doesn't hurt to have your business card in your wallet and in a pocket of your backback with "this is my wallet" and "this is my bag" written on it. Lots of people who find lost things like reuniting them with their rightful owner; make it easy. (But don't put your home address in there; there's no reason to give an invitation to further robbery to the person who snagged your wallet at that crowded festival and knows you aren't at home).
Bay Guardian: When should you eat the rind of a cheese?
Gordon Edgar [cheese buyer, Rainbow Grocery]: If it tastes bad, don't eat it. That's your complete rule of thumb for cheese
Cheese lovers' alert: Rainbow expands 2005
Maybe I'm behind the times - my foot has slowed down my travels of late - but I was just in Rainbow Grocery tonight* and the cheese section is bigger. That's right, what I consider the best cheese selection in San Francisco now has room to grow.
Now there are places with more cheese and there are places with staff in cute white aprons who'll cut pieces off giant blocks for you, but for "ya just can't go wrong" selection, trust Rainbow.
Their tasting notes are hugely helpful in selecting the right cheese and they're always right at hand to answer questions.
Tonight's cheese is a Welsh Harlech with horseradish and parsley. It is a soft snacking cheese whose creaminess is set off by the love bites of horseradish. Delicious!
*Thanks to my pal Len who picked me up from work, let me shop as long & slowly as I needed and then transported me and my groceries home AND reminded me that I'd worked my foot very hard today and I needed to ice it. Sitting here with my foot on ice and sipping on gin & tonic, I raise a toast: "To the very best friends who are always there when you need them!"
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.
- Thomas Pynchon
City Walkers 2005
I'm not the only one with this wild goal of walking every street, every block of a city.
Tom Graham is walking San Francisco and writes about it in the SF Chronicle from time to time (City of Hills, Who Is That Walking Man, Walking Man With A Mission, Around Town, City Crossing*, Peak Experience).
Larry Burgheimer says he did all of San Francisco between 1967 and 1972 (see the second letter on this page). Another letter suggests that Tasha Kelter may currently be trying to walk the whole city as well.
*I'm going to have to do these City Crossing ones. I've covered some of them and some of them partially, but I'm pretty sure #5 would be almost entirely fresh.
A satirist is a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about other people.
OK. OK, no, that's fine. I can work with that. 2005
Today I received an email from our company's travel coordinator regarding my upcoming trip to a user group meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. It said that my co-workers and I had hotel arrangements at the conference site, but that one of them was looking into other options.
Why? Because our hotel, and indeed the entire conference is taking place inside a theme park.
Okay. That's, um, interesting.
And, y'know, I'm okay with that.
I don't know where the other guys are going to end up staying, but me, I'm conveniently located:
As the hotel is part of the Gold Reef City complex, guests have access to all of the facilities - gold mine tours, tribal dancing, can-can dancing, horse and carriage rides, fun fair rides, entertainment, shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the casino and Globe Theatre.
This is gonna be one weirdass trip.
Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.
--Sir Ralph Richardson
Decemberists, I'm Yours 2005
This is the realest thing
As ancient choirs sing
A dozen blushing cherubs wheel above
Wonderful show tonight. I'll see them every chance I get now. Buy their every album. Just fantastic.
And a big thank you to the staff of the lovely Fillmore. They were great, and very supportive of me in my hobbly state. They made sure I had a seat at a table, got me safely up and down their little elevator and were consistently courteous and cool. Rock on.
Oh and my dinner of herb stuffed trout on a rice pilaf with spinach seasoned with pine nuts and currants was fantastic. Screw nachos. The kitchen at the Fillmore can pull out the stops.
All this and my pal Robert? Too fantastic for a Monday night!
Dinah cooks Ethiopian food at home 2005
Recommended product: Electrolux Pronto stick vacuum. This is a combination stick and handheld (dust buster style) vacuum and is proving to be perfect for my small apartment. I have mostly hardwood floors except for my Flor in the kitchen and the stripe of carpet down the center of my steep, curved front stairs. I tend to do my chores in bursts of work & reward (e.g. now that I have vacuumed the bedroom - including under the bed! Go me! - I will relax with a computer game for a while), so have not encountered problems with needing to empty the basket mid-job. It's probably not got enough suction for a household with kids or pets or easily tracked in dirt, but it's been great for me. I got it at Bloodbath & Beyond with one of those 20% off coupons they seem to send out to me about every 5 days and am very pleased with the value for money.
While I'm on the subject, another podcast which I enjoy is Tod Maffin's How To Do Stuff. They're fun and interesting and seem to all be under 5 minutes which makes them fit very nicely among a shuffle play of songs.
A good example one to try is How To Wash Your Face Properly. He doesn't always do so much with music and sound effects; this is probably the most "produced" one I've heard. Other good examples are How To Walk In High Heels and How To Hammer A Nail Properly.
Recommended listening: Living On Earth's September 2, 2005 show
Guy Hand's segment "The Middle Ground" on the compromise between nature and agriculture in west Marin county is particularly excellent.
(Discovered serendipitously through a podcast subscription in iTunes when it came up in my shuffle play. How about that? A "radio station" that only plays stuff I might like.)
[My pal Striatic commented in October 2008, (I think noting this as my earliest cocktail photo): "the beginning of an era!" I replied, "This is an auspicious first drink, to be sure. Good to know it wasn't just some crap drink with crap ingredients (though I have upgraded my cherries to Luxardo and prefer orange bitters now)."]
Special to Paul N. regarding the 50 book set of the classics with which she returned from working at the library book sale:
It could have been worse...
Sunny Saturday 2005
Lovely light today. I slept in and then woke, unfortunately, from a dream about work (I could do without this sort of overtime or at least without the knowledge that my subconscious is grinding away all night). Mercifully, instead of dim grey gloomy light the house is bright and inviting and sunshine scrubs away tension.
I lazed about for an hour checking email, looking at things on the Web, chatting on phone and IM with friends, before getting up and getting going on small tasks around the house.
My foot is healing. It'll be two weeks ago tomorrow and the bruising and swelling of those two toes has gone down. It's sore if it gets touched, so life continues in "cautious hobbling" mode. I figure another week and I may be able to upgrade to "being very careful and walking slow", but it might take another two.
Fortunately, there's plenty of things I can do without having to walk a block. Little bits of housework, balancing my checkbook, preparing for my trip to London & Africa, more futzing about with iMovie.
When it's time to put my foot up, there's a good game of Pharoah (with the Cleopatra expansion so pyramid building isn't such a pain in the ass), a movie from Netflix (Kinsey) or loaned by friends (Horatio Hornblower), or any of the score of books I'm reading.
Today I'm enjoying my unflooded house in my neighborhood without the sound of gunshots and the clean, drinkable water that comes out of my tap and the electricity powering the music on my new Mac. Count your blessings.
Meanwhile in Mississippi 2005
My cousin Jeanette lives in Biloxi, MS.
She was able to get back there earlier this week after having retreated to Mobile and then, after Katrina passed, to her mom's place in Athens, GA.
When she got back she found to her surprise and pleasure that her mobile home was not completely destroyed. Unfortunately, it was missing most of its roof.
Her friends found a billboard that had blown in and put that up on top so things were at least partially sheltered.
The billboard says "Welcome to Gulfport!"
Bad Upgrade 2005
Springstreet Networks, the folks behind Salon and Nerve personals appear to be conducting an exercise in how not to change your service. The new look is cluttered and unsophisticated. Some email messages are lost. Some users have just vanished. (Too bad for you if that email courtship was progressing nicely!) If you had more than one account, they've been merged. If you had pictures that weren't on display, they're displayed.
Oh and how did they announce this? I thought not at all, but now a friend tells me he saw a popup window that said something about it. Too bad most of us have popup blockers these days. And this from a company that has your email address?
Tacky and poorly managed, Springstreet; you really could have handled this so much better.
Current outrageous expensive fantasy: tiny house.
Fine hosting, for the discerning web geek 2005
The TextDrive hosting for life offer returns for a limited offering. Get in while the gettin's good.==== Update July 13, 2009: See updated notes here for other things to consider.
Brad is sending a little help to Hurricane Katrina refugee centers. Please help fund the simple, mundane dignity and comfort of clean underpants.
I'm sure if it goes over goal, Brad will just send MORE underpants (or maybe start adding in socks).
The Comforting Web 2005
When you suddenly wake saying "Oh my god. Pableaux." wondering if a friend from New Orleans is safe, and it's late at night, you can flip on the bedside light, grab the laptop and visit his blog to find out what's happening.
And when the news is good (he's okay) but also sad and bad (his city is gone), your uncle will send you a link to a page full of pictures of cats sleeping in ridiculous positions and you'll find something that will make you laugh (Junior returns with the Sideways Sofa Snorkle Relax-0-Matic) and you'll be able to get back to sleep.
Thank you, Internet.
Some people have friends who will IM them with the URLs to porn. Some people have friends named Joel who know what will really get 'em hot and bothered is movies of powerful user interfaces.
Begin at the beginning 2005
For future reference, the wonderful comic Achewood, by Chris Onstad began on October 1, 2001.