Sunday, December 28, 2008

The hunt...begins...

The Wife and I took the next step towards home ownership this weekend, meeting with a mortgage person at our bank, and discussing loans. We have been pre-approved, and are especially pleased with the interest rates right now.

So now, the hunt really begins. We have been told that "inventory" shrinks up in December, and that we can expect to see more on the market in Jan-Feb. Additionally, given what we are seeing on the news, it does not appear that things are going to get better in the immediate future, so I think we have some time to do a thorough search and make sure we're getting what we want.

Today, we went neighborhood shopping. We've lived here for almost a decade, but I will admit there are still entire portions of the City we're unfamiliar with. Today's exploration: Bernal Heights. We liked what we saw, and found a place that had tasty fish tacos to boot. made a good first impression on us.

More as it happens.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Heading home

Took this photo on the way home yesterday evening. It would be a better picture if I had a real camera, instead of the five pixel deguerrotype on my iPhone (and that's an insult to deguerrotypes).

Hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and come back soon for my annual wrap up and Esqy awards!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Ivory Anniversary

Fourteen years...The Wife has managed to put up with me for over five thousand days as a married couple. Wow. I am truly a lucky man to have found someone willing to do that for so long, so since the traditional anniversary gift is banned by international trade agreements, I thought instead I would share some "then and now" photo fun at my own expense. First up, the big day itself back in 1994:

The fact that she said "I do" to that guy...I still shake my head in wonder to this day. The glasses alone should have scared her off.

Fast forward to four years ago, when we renewed our vows on our tenth anniversary, floating down the "canal" in the Venetian in Las Vegas:

Glasses got smaller, lost some hair on top, gained some on the face. I am both pleased and embarrassed that I managed to lose weight over time. She's still in the same dress...again, maybe someone is bribing her behind the scenes, but I am one lucky dude.

Now, here we are, four years beyond that, and life goes on. I look at that first picture, and I wonder if those kids could even have imagined where they would be in fourteen years. Across the continent, some more initials behind both of their names, the Reverend who married them a new member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives. Again, wow.

We've come a long way, and the fun is just beginning. Hope to see everybody on the Moon in 2014!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Little Protest That Could

Took this photo out my office window. I heard some chanting ("What do
we want? Equal rights. When do want them? Now!"), and walked over to
see the protest du jour:

Really? That's it? I'm impressed I heard them, given their small numbers, but come on...this is San Francisco, for Godess's sake! I've seen bigger protests stop for Starbucks...and then start protesting that Starbucks!

What do I want? Bigger protests. When do I want it? Eh...whenever's okay for you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear brendonesq,

Am I self-centered, and a bit of a dick?
Signed, Clueless in Daly City

Dear Clueless,

Here's a two-part test to help answer your question:
Question One: Did you buy a tiny, tiny car?

Question Two: Did you still manage to take up more than one parking space?

Did you answer "Yes" to both? Well, then you're definitely clueless, and you're probably a bit of a dick. Self-centered? I'd need a bit more information, but my money's on "yes."

Glad I could help.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Who knew... foot was so comfortable?

Friday, December 05, 2008

So serious, it's hilarious


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Sign the petition here.

My familiars are too familiar

Went through the normal morning routine, including feeding the cats, then preparing some breakfast to feed myself. Took my cereal out to the living room to watch the "news" (Colbert Report on TiVo), and both of the cats are sitting on the couch waiting for me.

What is disturbing about this is that they are sitting exactly spaced so I can sit down without moving them, but so that both are leaning on either side of me once I am settled. It's as if my couch has an aural ass groove after all of these years, and the cats are perfectly attuned to it.

I need to break up the routine. Based on how far apart the cats were sitting, I need to start running again, too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Flash Gordon, the home game!

Our tiny donkey is apparently a stranger in this temple, and therefore must try the Wood Beast.

Five points to Griffandor if you get my uber-nerdy reference. If you don't get my reference, well, you probably lead a full, rich life.

Damn you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Legs...the great equalizer

Today was one of those rare, warm San Francisco days: low 80s downtown and not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful.

Days like this, people here tend to get a little excited, and we get to see something that is a rare sight for this area of California: skin. When the sun comes out, so do the rarely-worn shorts, the wrinkled sleeveless blouses, the back-of-the-closet flip flops. Nice.

So I'm walking to the train, and I can't help but realize that I am walking behind a pair of young ladies, wearing shorts that to my old-man eyes look more like underwear, or at best John Stockton's old uniform. Notice I am not saying I didn't approve or didn't appreciate, just that it made me feel old.

Anyway, I do a quick look-around to make sure I am not caught ogling these lovely ladies, when I realize I am safe.

Why? Because I am probably fourth in line of a group of men also trying to pretend they are not ogling these lovely ladies.

Now, here's my favorite part: we all, to a man, smile. In that tiny slice of time, we share the same private language shared by all men, regardless of race, age, creed, sexuality or socioeconomic background: it was okay. We all saw each other, we all _caught_ each other, and even though there is little chance that I would have a conversation or lunch with any of the other guys, for that one suspended moment we were in on the same secret, the same vicarious joy that comes from seeing a nice pair of legs and knowing that others are appreciating them as well. It's moments like that one that give me hope for humanity, and make me understand Hemingway a little better. Like I said, nice.

By the way, the forecast for the weekend is supposed to be more of the same. I'm smiling while I type this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Clemenza would be proud

Good day off; it's days like this when I am reminded how nice it is to work for the government.

Got to sleep in a little, take myself out for a walk (no leash...I'm pretty good at staying on the sidewalks), and made a big pot of my homemade pasta sauce. The house smells fantastic right now.

Getting ready for two reveals tonight; going to watch the telecast of the final table of the World Series, and waiting on word about our friends and their first child. Both are quite exciting.

Back to work tomorrow, but a nice oasis in the middle of the week.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A place called Hope

Taken today in central Kentucky. Nice to see.

Friday, October 31, 2008

He loves to fly...

Look at how happy I am!

It's not first class, but United's Economy Plus, if it lets a big guy like me cross his legs, is pretty sweet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

C'mon ride the train

I like that Thomas is off the tracks...hopefully a prescient metaphor.


Walking home tonight, I turned a corner and ran into a young man who looked familiar. Couldn't quite place him, but he didn't have that problem.

"Hey! Yellow curry! How you doing tonight!"

Oh yeah. Our regular Thai delivery guy.

I guess we should order something else from time to time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shiny new toys

I had a great day at work; first day that I really felt like I accomplished something. Nice.

Walking to MUNI, whistling away, when the sun glints off something lying just ahead in my path.

A shell casing. A spent shell casing. Shiny and new, just sitting on the sidewalk, hanging out and enjoying retirement.

I had a great day at work. Had.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick turnaround

If you look at the post below, you will see that I have not posted in about a month; yes, it has been THAT hectic. There have been several large events in the past few weeks, some of which I will potentially blog about soon. But without question, the largest professional event has been my resignation from the Alameda County Public Defender's Office (last day: two days ago on Friday) and my acceptance of a new position with the San Francisco City Attorney's Office (first day: tomorrow!). Truly amazing; I interned with this office when I was in law school, and have always been excited about the idea of going back as an attorney. After many years, it is finally happening, and the quickness of the process, coupled with me not taking any time off between gigs, makes this all seem very surreal. I will probably ask the HR rep to pinch me tomorrow during my orientation. Which is probably not the best first impression to make.

The last week at my previous job (even typing that seems weird!) was really wonderful, if jam-packed and moving at light speed. I had going-away luncheons at both the office and court, and was on the receiving end of some really thoughtful words and gifts. I am a truly lucky person to be leaving a job I loved to move on to a position I have been excited about and wanted to try for quite some time.

The biggest immediate change will be my commute; when I was going across the Bay, I had to take two trains, then pick up a car to get my files at the office and then drive to court. Total time one way: about an hour and a half...if traffic was on my side. Now, I will be taking one train each way, and that's it. Total time one way: about twenty minutes...and that is if traffic is slow. Nice. I am hopeful that my thirteen hour days away from home will become a thing of the past, and maybe I will finally have some time to ask this woman who apparently lives with me out on a date or something. She seems pretty cool, and she doesn't even mind the cats... :)

More updates soon, but thought I should let people know I'm still breathing. Moving fast, but breathing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Staycation: The Wrapup

I got bored reading my own posts about my Staycation, so I stopped updating about it. The short/less boring version is this:

First half of the week: did very little, got a lot of rest, relaxed mightily.

Second half of the week: a series of day trips, including Monterey for whale watching (more photos and some video coming soon), a drive up north for a poker tournament, and a day trip to San Francisco that involved fun breakfast, an amazing tour of the de Young (including the Chihuly exhibition...amazing!), and then fun dinner to top it all off.

Back at work today, and I feel genuinely relaxed. I expect that to last till this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's 3AM...

I hope this was staged and supposed to be funny...because it is...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Staycation, Day Two

Day Two brought much of the same as Day One: good long walk/jog out to the beach and back, fun lunch, and watching yet another movie that The Wife would not want to see with me. Also more poker; today, I managed to avoid taking the step that I have convinced myself would be somehow bad, even though I rationalized all day about how it could actually be a good thing: I did NOT deposit money onto an online poker site. But I really wanted to.

We'll see if I am able to avoid the temptation as the week progresses.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Staycation, Day One

I am taking this week off, not because I am going anywhere, not because I have some grandiose plans, but purely because (a) I have the vacation time and want to use it, and (b) I really needed a break. Hence, the staycation.

Day One was a good one, and pretty much filled with exactly what I am looking for in slow-paced entertainment. I went to the grocery store on a weekday (a rare treat), walk/jogged a couple miles (an even rarer event, if not exactly a treat), and ate a fun sandwich while I watched a terrible movie that I knew The Wife would never watch with me. Good times.

I also played plenty of online poker (I'm in a freeroll tournament as I type this), and other than some chores around the house, the big work today was what you are looking at right now: the new look for the blog. I think it is a little more streamlined, and I like the bigger font and larger text areas; seems easier to read. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I used to play the game Risk for hours and hours, both with friends and family.

While playing, I have invaded Kamchatka through Alaska, and Alaska through Kamchatka, probably hundreds of times.

Therefore, I guess I also have foreign policy experience?

Please tell me that even conservative Republicans are insulted by this completely inane line of "reasoning."


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nothing lost in translation

I was at lunch yesterday, and after reading the beverage list, I imagined the following, circa 1948:

To: Marketing team
From: Management

While we applaud your "truth in advertising" approach, we think it is time to consider naming the final item on our Beverage list something a little more appealing to consumers. We suggest something that reflects the outdoors, as well as something that will keep drinkers from focusing on the awful, awful flavor. See if "Mountain Dew" is available.

And thus, a legend was born...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

It's face...just how bored I am...

As I type this, I am sitting on my couch in front of the television. On said television is a "show" called Hole In The Wall. Yes, that's actually the title of the show. I realize a title like that lends itself to any number of genres, but it is actually a game show about, well, a hole in the wall, and you apparently earn points guessed it...fitting through the hole in the wall.

Wow. If you don't believe me, here's a clip from the Japanese version. Don't worry if you don't speak Japanese; I think very little is lost in the translation:

Didn't The Simpsons predict we would hit this level of cultural embarassment a few years ago?

I am ashamed to admit that I have not changed the channel, and even more ashamed to admit I want to see what these people actually win if they, you know, fit through the hole in the wall. I'll let you know.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP pick

I may get sued by Parker Bros., but I have a feeling I won't be the last person to make this joke.

In response to a Republican friend's email, extolling the virtues of Sarah Palin, I couldn't resist using Google Image Search along with MS Paint to slap this together:

I have to believe we have heard the last of McCain's attacks on Obama as being "inexperienced."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best. Graffiti. Ever


BTW, Cher covered this song in her Vegas show, which we saw at Caesars a couple weeks ago. I thought it was an odd choice among several other odd choices, including "Walking in Memphis." For the "Battlefield" song, they brought out this very elaborate set piece ala Beyond Thunderdome, and her nubile dancers had a "dance off," fighting for Cher's attention and affection. Then they all changed costumes and the set was never seen again. Odd. Reminded me of the bondage dance scene in Showgirls, and that is probably not exactly the sort of association Cher wants us to make.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Going home

Well, the weekend is over, and leaving Las Vegas means coming back to reality. I didn't win ANY money, but my losses were kept to minimum. At the airport, even THIS guy wasn't winning. Sadly, made me feel better.

More importantly, I had a wonderful weekend with my wife and our friends, got to see my brother, ate amazing food, saw an idol in concert, and met Jesus.

Not a bad weekend.

Walk of shame

The view from the MGM as I head back after yet another loss in a poker tournament.

Good picture, bad streak.


Going into this morning, I haven't won a DIME in Vegas. Time to put my coworker's dollar into a slot machine.

Take a wild guess what happened. Three spins, three wins, and ten bucks leaves Vegas...with me...for someone else.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Me & Jesus

Seeing Cher: pretty amazing.

Meeting Chris "Jesus" Ferguson after the show? Completely frak-tastic!

This is one of the shots; on the left of the shot, you can see The Wife snapping more photos on her iPhone. Quite the paparazzi moment.

Chris could not have been more gracious, and this chance meeting made a great trip even better.

Frowned-upon Cher photo

Had tix to see Cher at Caesars. Watching a more-than-half naked 62 year-old woman belt out 40+ years worth of songs? Impressive AND entertaining!

This shot was taken during the opening. Although it appears that Cher is on fire, I am happy to report that is merely the lighting. No Divas were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Quote of the year

"First you take my chips, then you take my life."

- Curtis, after the "tropical" gazpacho incident.

Maybe you had to be there.

Step two

Try something different.

Step one

Play the morning tournament.

Goldilocks says...

...this bed is TOO soft!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


My brother happens to be in Vegas this weekend as well. This is him and Herself at Buzio's, in the Rio.

I promised my Mom he would eat...

Our room

Our oasis from the stink, which only serves to remind us how much WE stink. I love Vegas so much that apparently I always block out my memory of how much cigarette smoke there is, and how you WILL smell like an ashtray about 15 minutes after you land.

Nice room, though.

Peter wins! Almost.

After a highly controversial play that will likely have repercussions for the remainder of the trip, Peter fought back from the brink to take second place. Yours truly saw very few playable cards, but went out on a respectable straight flush draw that didn't pan out. Blurgh.

First tournament...the Luxor

Just bought in to my first poker tournament of the trip; this one goes fast, so lots of all-in action expected. Wish me luck.

The adventure begins!

We are at the airport, ready to go to Las Vegas! Peter brought a chip from last time, so we can hit the ground running.

I'll live post for the rest of the trip; check back often to watch the shenanigans unfold.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The line...four weeks later...

We're at the mall (blurgh), and I'm in awe that there is STILL a
line. I wonder if Apple is shooting themselves in the foot, rationing
out the iPhones like this?

Will check the stock price on Monday and see.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Things the Coinstar machine decided not to count

Coinstar rejected the following items; the machine and I were both surprised to find these things in my coin jar:

A Hello Kitty keychain fob, a paperclip, a five peseta piece from Spain, a Darth Vader collectible coin from 7-11, and a button.

Just so you know, I've never been to Spain, I am not a thirteen year old girl, and I have no idea when I was last in a 7-11. The mysteries of the coin jar continue to elude me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

If Christ leaves Bethlehem traveling 60 MPH...

Standing here on the train, getting a little creeped out. When people read their Bible, that's one thing. When they highlight and underline as they read? Yikes.

What are you studying for? Is the Rapture your (very) final exam?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The WildMan Cometh

I am very excited to see that Thomas "WildMan" Denny will be fighting on national television this coming Saturday in the Elite XC "Saturday Night Fights" on CBS. Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, or if you know me at all, you may be saying to yourself, I had no idea Brendon was a fan of mixed martial arts fighting? You would be correct; I am not a fan of the sport. But I am a big fan of the WildMan. He is the star of one of my favorite poker stories. Here it is.

A couple years ago, I was playing a poker tournament at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. We had been playing long enough that the opening jitters were gone, we had lost a table or two, and we were at that stage where people were starting to relax and talk a little more. I had a decent chip stack, so I was more than happy to loosen up and chat. However, there are two consistent questions at Vegas poker tables that I am not a big fan of answering, mostly because of the perception that comes along with both.

Question number one, where are you from? And question number two, what do you do for a living?

When I tell people I am a lawyer, you can imagine the grief that usually comes along with that. When I tell people I live in San Francisco, you can equally imagine the grief that comes with that. Put the two together, and it's a non-stop laugh riot.

So the questions were working their way clockwise around the table, and were fast approaching. Do I lie, and take a chance? Hell, I've been bluffing all morning...what's a couple more? Or do I tell the truth, and let the fun begin?

The guy to my right had been keeping the hood of his sweatshirt up most of the morning, giving him a vaguely Phil Laak-type table presence. He was playing pretty well, mixing up his play and getting aggressive when he needed to. The "what do you do for a living" question got to him, and I'm thinking I need to decide whether to lie or not, when this guy pulled down his hood, revealing a neon green mohawk, along with crazy sideburns shaved to make him look like the devil. He looked around the table, and very calmly said,

"I'm Tom...and I'm an Ultimate Fighter."

The questions never got to me.

For the rest of the morning, every guy at the table sat in child-like wonder as "the WildMan" talked about what it's like being an Ultimate Fighter (not much money until you get a real name for yourself), what his training regimen was like (brutal and regular), whether he would beat up people in real life (no money = no punchy), and so on. He was a real gentleman, patiently answering question after question, and I think he even signed an autograph or two. My favorite moment was when he and I got involved in a big pot; I ended up taking it down after some semi-bluffing that let me catch up on the river, and he acknowledged the bluff. My response was simple: "This felt is the ONLY arena where I have a prayer against you!" He seemed to get a kick out of that.

I had a great time chatting with the WildMan, and I am very excited about his getting national, network television exposure. Good luck on Saturday, Tom, and best of luck in the future as well.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jimmy Dean...James Dean...

Inspired perhaps by Jen's love of the 80's song, I recently finished the book Rock On, by Dan Kennedy. The book is supposed to be a mostly non-fiction recreation of Dan's work for Atlantic Records in the 90s, and how he sort of slacks through a year and a half making a salary most of us would dream about to work in the music industry, and yet be as far away from the creativity of music as possible. Dan worked in marketing, which explains the lameass description on the cover as this book being like The Office meets This is Spinal Tap. It is difficult to express in words how tired I am of that description of anything. I guess it's like Cliche meets Lazy Writing.

Which, if I am honest, is cliche and lazy writing on my part as well. Damn you, irony.

I love San Francisco

...and its myriad of fascinating, multi-culti advertising...

Limang just happens to be one of my favorite flavors.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Her britches

As you can see by comparison, the wee one is getting less wee by the day...

Friday, July 11, 2008


[This is us, when we finally arrived at the front of the line, waiting for the next available Apple store employee to sell us our fun new gadgets. This should also be the last photo I take with my old cellphone!]

After an embarrassingly long wait this afternoon, I am finally home, sitting on my couch, and blogging on my new 3G iPhone! How cool is this? I haven't quite figured everything (read: most things) out, but I have a sense I'll get better as the weekend goes on. For now, I'm typing with one finger and having a blast.

More soon...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Subconscious filthiness?

Where, when and how did smokers come to believe that it is completely acceptable to drop their cigarettes on the ground?

I was walking to work this morning when a smoker, walking with two other people, took her last hit and, without even looking, just dropped the filter, stepped on it, and went on her way. She never broke stride, never stopped talking; I honestly doubt she even thought about the actions, let alone the consequences. Neither of her friends seemed to notice, either.

What the hell? If she had watched me finish a can of soda and then just casually drop it to the ground, and then step on it, would she have noticed? Would she have cared? Would anybody?

Are smokers as a group so deluded that they believe the filters are biodegradable, when in reality it takes years for cellulose acetate (a form of plastic) to degrade? Or does the fault lie with the rest of us, who have come to see this as normal and give smokers a "pass" on littering?

I have already sparked a Larry David-esque discussion (read: friendly argument) on the train with a couple commuters who think leaving their newspapers on the ground is a form of recycling, so I guess it's time to start with smokers. Curmudgeon powers, activate!

Friday, June 27, 2008

If I ever become a stripper...

After my BART ride this morning, I have figured out my stripper name. I choose this name not only for the double entendre, but I also like the current-events vibe, given the heightened state of alertness in our country today:

"Suspicious Package"

Now on the main stage...

Job security

For anybody new to this blog who doesn't know what I do for a living ( which also, sadly, includes large portions of my family and friends), I practice dependency law, which is a specified area of the law that deals with the issues arising from and around foster care; more specifically, dependency law deals with the issues that arise when a child is removed from the home of her parents due to abuse, neglect, or other codified reasons that represent a danger to the safety of a minor, and said danger rises to the level that requires government intervention by removal of the child from the home. Needless to say, my job stories are hilarious, and I am a big hit at parties.

What is especially sick about what I do is that my job security is basically premised on the idea that parents and guardians will continue to beat, neglect and/or fuck their children so often and to such a level that my services will continue to be needed. That can mess with your head, to say the least.

So, pushing aside all of my guilt aside for a minute, and looking at things from a purely solipsistic and monetary point of view, I am so glad that NBC is airing awful, awful garbage like The Baby Borrowers. Thank you, NBC, for showcasing terrible parenting choices in primetime. Thank you for ignoring reputable and accepted data that shows that even three days away from their parents (which, to my understanding, was the length of time it took to film the newborn sequences) can be traumatic for babies. Thank you for making parenting a "game."

Ultimately, thank you for ensuring I can continue to pay my student loans. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Believe the hype

Mario Kart for the Wii? With the optional "Wii Wheel"? Imagine how fun you think it is, then...double it.

Took some wrangling to get it home, but very worth it. I see us wasting many, many hours on this one. And regretting very few of them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I guess "piss" isn't so bad anymore?

Picked up the book, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America, by Richard Zoglin, at the library on Saturday; I have been looking forward to reading this for a while now, especially after I read Steve Martin's autobiography.

As of Sunday, I have a new reason to appreciate the book. I cannot now lie and say that I was a huge fan of George Carlin, but I certainly appreciate anybody who champions free speech and free thought, and to do it as long as Carlin did it? That's just impressive.

Here's the man himself, with his seven dirty words. I remember reading the US Supreme Court case in law school that dealt with Carlin's bit, and I remember seeing part of the transcript that was used in that trial. Fun...filthy, filthy fun... :)

UPDATE 6-24:

Just finished the chapter on Carlin this morning, and thought the following quote on pg. 39 summed the man up very nicely (apart from using the word "virtually" twice in the same sentence):

Carlin's longevity as a stand-up was virtually unique among comics of his era - a top touring comic for four decades with virtually no boost from Hollywood, Broadway, or a hit TV series. It was a testament to his ability to stay on the edge, even as the hair and beard went gray. He evolved from white-bread media parodist to counterculture provocateur to curmudgeonly uncle to apocalyptic pessimist; but what remained constant was his eye for the world's inequities and absurdities, and the caustic eloquence with which he called them to our attention.

A nice send off.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

When kittens try to check their email

Poor thing. Nobody ever taught her the home row. And then there's the whole "not having thumbs" thing.

More likely, she fell asleep on the keyboard. But the idea of her trying to check her email? That's just a lot of fun.

Monday, May 26, 2008

High standards

Saw this job posting today:

You may be wondering, where would someone with such multilingual aptitude be applying? A financial institution? A law firm? The United Nations, perhaps?

Nope, just a third-rate cellphone store down the street.

I don't mean to get all Baz Luhrmann on you, youth of my neighborhood, but given that we are nearing graduation season, I feel I need to say this: if you speak three languages, you can probably do a LOT better than Freecomm.

Aim higher, class of '08.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Honestly, your better is probably better

Maybe Nike commercials aren't the best place to find new music, but when it comes to finding motivating music for my morning run/walks, I takes what I can gets.

Thanks, Spinner.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Apple is known for making good products that are simple and easy to use. I did not realize that they also design their products with small kittens in mind:

I had no idea our wireless router could also serve as a kitty hotplate. This seems to be her favorite place to sleep (I have a sense that will change as she grows), and since I haven't noticed a drop in my signal strength, I guess my only "concern" is that WiFi may give my cat cancer.

I have let her read all the articles, and she is not convinced. She wants to see more double-blind studies. She also urged me to change my desktop wallpaper. Both good ideas.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Up, up and away!

I finished Jay Lake's Rocket Science a short while ago, and even now, I smile a little when I think about it. A solid, fast read, and a definite ode to the golden age of sci-fi, complete with Communist agents, secret Nazis, and a talking computerized rocketship that requires oil to fly back to Mars. Brilliant!

I do wish that this book had been written in a more "pulpy" style, complete with super-short chapters and the requisite cliff hangers at the end of every one. I think that would have been a nice touch, and another knowing nod to the genre. However, I still really enjoyed this book, and if you are in the mood for some 50s nostalgia mixed with atomic hijinx, I recommend this book.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The tongue bath heard around the flat...

If you read a couple posts down, you will see that our new kitten (as far as a name goes, we're leaning towards Starbuck, since the kitten is pretty frakkin' crazy) has been with us for a week, and we have been slowly integrating her into the household. So far, both cats seem pretty okay with the other, and we've only had a couple episodes where we thought the big cat was playing "a little rough."

Today, I was on the computer, and I realized I hadn't heard them chasing each other in a while, and the eerie silence started to worry me more than the normal noise. I went out to the front room and found this:

Oh my. I backed out quietly, and hung a necktie on the front door. That was a little more kitty love than I was ready to see.

I think they're starting to get along.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oh Yeah!

I don't want to be confused for a shill for the Gatorade corporation, but if you grew up in the 70s and liked orange Kool-Aid, I highly recommend the new G2 Orange. Just like Mom used to make!

I thought I might be alone in having strong feelings for orange kool-aid, but I was wrong. I don't have quite as many issues about orange Kool-Aid as this guy, but I also had no idea that the term could be used like this. I swear I am just talking about a powdered drink, nothing else.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We brought home a new kitten this weekend. She doesn't have a name yet; suggestions are welcome.

The process of adopting a kitten from San Francisco Animal Care and Control is...intense. There were several forms, a short interview, discussions about other pets in the home, and a criminal background check (I made that one up, but it seemed like the next step). And all of that was before we were allowed to touch the cat. Seriously. At one point in the interview, we were asked how many hours, on an average day, we're gone from the home. When we picked "10-12," the interviewer asked who would be watching over the kitten during those hours. I answered honestly, if admittedly like a bit of a smart ass, that this role would fall to "the other cat." The interviewer was not amused.

Overly invasive procedures aside, we're glad to have her home. They suggested we wait up to a week to introduce the two cats. We opened the door, our older cat sniffed her, licked her head, and that was about it. They've been playing all weekend, and with a minimal amount of what I call "poofy tail." If you don't have cats, trust me: that's a good thing.

Friday, April 04, 2008 done

Went to jury duty yesterday; this is the second time I have been called since I have lived in California, and the second time that I made it into the jury holding pen, sat around for a couple hours reading a book, and was eventually told that they had as many jurors as they needed for the day, and was sent home. Very anti-climactic.

To be honest, even though it would utterly wreck my current court schedule and make things very difficult on my co-workers, I would LOVE to get on a jury (doesn't say very nice things about me, I guess). The work I do currently is in a juvenile court, and because of the age of the children I represent and the nature of the cases, all hearings, including trials, are closed to the public and confidential. Translation: all of my trials are bench trials, and I have no jury trial experience. I would be very interested in seeing it in action, let alone watching the court process from the other side of the room. Maybe next time.

The most annoying part of the experience, other than the backbreaking hours I have been putting in for the past few weeks getting my cases prepped in case someone else needed to handle them, was watching the Jury Orientation video. Wow, it was soooooo bad. See if you agree by watching it here. Maybe I am a bit jaded (probably), but the phrase, "The verdict is read...justice is done," made me want to laugh out loud. I held it in.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Archaeological dig...four inches down

When I walk to my office from the train, I usually walk through Old Oakland, a historic district that has gone through various renovations over the years. I have been watching the renovations of a particular corner store with considerable interest; when they took the top layer of siding off the wall, they revealed this former facade:

I can only imagine what kinds of headache powders and moustache waxes were for sale here. Pretty cool.

They took the facade off some time ago, and then stopped working. I have a sense there is a discussion going on somewhere about what to do and whether or not to preserve the writing. I hope they try.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

(mostly) Wire Free!

Today, we made a strong leap into the late 90s by setting up a Wi-Fi home network. Like everything else involved with Apple, it was ten times easier than I thought it would be, which means the setup process took me only twice as long as it would have taken a well-trained monkey (I'll give you a minute to do that math). Now, our TiVo can download movies, and we can play Wii Tennis with our friends without actually seeing them or going to that pesky place known as "outside." As soon as my couch can produce and moderately heat various Hot Pockets, I will never have to leave my living room, let alone my home. Thank you, technology!