Archive for August, 2007

2007.08.29

Bfvvv

I just wrote this out in an email to Annemone and I hope she’ll forgive me for posting it here but the story is too funny. I’m still a bit under the weather. Being sick sucks. I don’t have it bad now, but my throat is still a bit dry and swollen and it’s definitely affecting my mood (many apologies to my co-workers!). Anyways, last night I had this dream…

I’m asleep and I’m having a dream about consoling Jennifer Aniston, which I don’t get because… why would she even be in a dream of mine? No idea. Maybe because I recently heard she was about the same age as me and that struck me as interesting. Anyways, I haven’t been sleeping well because I’ve been snoring like a freight train. It’s been waking me up at all hours of the night which really sucks for getting a good night of sleep.

Somehow I managed to incorporate the snoring into my dream last night, though. You know those kids that put speakers in their cars and crank them up so loud all you hear is the muffled vibration of the bass drum? In my dream that’s what I heard. Bfvvvv. Bfvvvv. Ba-bfvvvv. All the while trying to keep Jennifer Aniston from crying (and she wasn’t crying because of my snoring). Weird. Anyone care to take a stab at analyzing this?

Bfvvv. Bfvvv. Can you imagine how loud I must have been? I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the police! “Yo! 911? Tell that fool boy next door to wake his sorry ass up!”

2 Comments | Catergorized: life

2007.08.28

Tezuka in the House

Tonight the Asian Art Museum held an event for their corporate sponsors. Jonny and I made our way over and enjoyed the art of Osamu Tezuka and Taiso Yoshitoshi. Tezuka is best known in America for Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion (originally called Jungle Emperor by Tezuka). Yoshitoshi I had never heard of and was desperately impressed with. Though his work is over a century old it looks so much like stylized manga, almost a blend of Japanese and some American techniques. His line work is phenomenal, and much of his work was woodblock printing. For a brilliant overview with loads of pictures please visit Sinister Designs (less sinister than you’d think!).

Of course I can’t ever have a night out where some idiot doesn’t spoil the mood. I was walking through the Tezuka gallery when three well dressed and sophisticated looking people -a man and two women- walked by me. I over hear one of the women say, “Well, it’s no Road Runner or Bugs Bunny.” Her friends got a laugh out of that. The description mentioned the character travelled from Taiwan to Syria. The other lady said with an air of disbelief, “When I was a girl I didn’t even know where Syria or Taiwan was. How can this be real?”

Ladies, and your gentleman friend, I suggest that perhaps Asian art is not for you. Why were you even there? Did you expect to see some bland Saturday morning cartoons? It’s one thing to not like certain kinds of art. Everyone knows I’m no fan of most “modern” art. Still, there’s critically making fun of something and being simply rude and ignorant.

Oh well. I think I’ll have to head back and see if they have some prints of some of the Yoshitoshi pieces. It’s been a long time since I liked something so much I’d consider buying a print. In fact the last time I can think of was back in 2002 when I saw Bouguereau’s The Broken Pitcher.

Comments Off on Tezuka in the House | Catergorized: life  manga  san francisco

2007.08.27

A History of Math

Now before you go screaming at the headline there, understand I was never great at math and this isn’t about actually doing math. However in the past couple days I’ve been sick and in my slight fever I’ve been reading various histories of math. It’s really fascinating stuff! Who knew! I’m not really reading some of the technical histories like set theory or Pell’s equation but I am loving some of the general topics like math from various cultures, the histories of zero and Pi (Ï€) and about math being taught in London coffee houses. Cool stuff.

My math is, despite what many think, spotty at best. It’s like when I took physics. I could explain the concepts of various physics to the students better than the teacher could, but when it came to taking the test and doing all that math… Well let’s just say I got a “C” and leave it at that.

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  science

2007.08.25

You Know What I Hate

You know what I hate? I hate being sick. I’ve had the good fortune not be sick in a very very long time now but I still remember what it’s like. I still remember what it’s like well enough to realize I’m getting sick now. That weird irritation or tickle in the top back of my throat. Damn.

When I was a kid someone told me that when I got older I wouldn’t get zits anymore. They were only sorta right on that. I still get them, just rarely. The same with being sick. I don’t get it often, but when I do it pisses me off.

Grrr.

2 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  life

2007.08.23

Welcome to The Island

Not so long ago me and some friends formed a sort of secret society. I won’t go into the details here -for obvious reasons- but I will divulge one of the goals.

We wanted to form our own country.

Now, this is a lofty goal and one I would still like to pursue. One of the stepping stones on the way to this was an idea we called The House. Now, this was not a literal house but a whole bunch of interconnected things. Buildings to live in, yes, but also workshops, studios, forests, fields, etc. The House could be located almost anywhere in the world, and one of the more interesting ideas was to create it on an island.

The Island I Want to Buy

It just turns out that for only 250,000 Euro (about $350,000) we can make it happen (here’s the eBay listing for as long as it remains active). Look at that place! Yes, it’s a bit remote (Fiji isn’t exactly commuting distance from… anywhere) but with satellite hookups and a fast internet connection that won’t be so important. Plus we could then get a huge honkin’ boat to cruise the world and… the surfing there would be amazing!

Anyone want to spot me the money?

9 Comments | Catergorized: friends  life  projects  surf

2007.08.22

A Nation of Non-Readers

Shameful.

One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

I know a lot of people are surprised that I’m always reading something, especially many of my coworkers, but the thought that one in four Americans haven’t read anything in the past year makes me sad. That many prefer watching movies or cruising the intertubes comes as no surprise to me. I do the same thing. Yet I still manage to read a good haul of books in a year.

I used to regularly “review” the books I’ve read on this site and perhaps I should continue with that trend. I’m currently reading Neal Stephenson’s mammoth Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and System of the World). I’m on the last book. Yes, it’s slow progress at times but so-o worth it. Even when I don’t have a “real” book in hand I am fortunate to work for a company that publishes Japanese manga, and I’ll frequently rip through the latest Death Note, Bleach, Monster and more. If you ever ask what I’m reading and I say, Nothing, then you will know that I’ve been kidnapped by aliens and been replaced by a doppleganger while I’m off helping the aliens save the universe.

I’ve nothing against TV, movies, video games, and the web. I do all of these things, too. Yet I still read. I’d love to say that only stupid people don’t read books, but I know that’s a generalization. Instead I’ll just say that most people who don’t read are stupid. Non-readers probably don’t deserve to participate in the civilized world. I just don’t get not reading.

I’ll stop ranting and encourage to you go pick up a book and read it. What are you reading anyways?

8 Comments | Catergorized: books  grrr  manga  thoughts

2007.08.20

How To Fix An Unlighting Zippo

A long time ago, about 14 years ago now, I was given a brass Zippo lighter from my coworker Zoka. Zoka was from Bosnia and had fled the warzone there when Yugoslavia was butchering itself. He and that Zippo had seen more than their fill of negativity and he wanted to give it a new life. So he gave it to me. I’ve been carrying it ever since and I hope I’ve given it a better life.

I thought I lost it once, and almost had it confiscated another time, but I still have it and it still works. Except it wasn’t. Somewhere in the past few months it seems the Zippo decided it didn’t want to light anymore. Strange given that Zippos are one of the most reliable devices of the modern age.

I was lamenting this fact to a current coworker, Zionvlad, and he recommended shortening the wick. Really? Something so simple? Sure enough I shortened the wick tonight and the damn thing seems to be working again. So if you ever find that your Zippo isn’t lighting when it should, try shortening the wick; you just might find that with simple devices, the simple tricks work best.

Comments Off on How To Fix An Unlighting Zippo | Catergorized: life  memories  technology

2007.08.19

Gushing Woman

Gushing Woman
Gushing Woman Flyer
I’m not a fan of Burning Man, that stupid congregation of new age hippies in the desert of Nevada. It’s turned into something distasteful. I’m sure I’ve said worse about it but to say I hate it is enough introduction.

That’s why I got a good chuckle yesterday after surfing in Bolinas when Banana Boy pointed out the Gushing Woman event. Yes, it’s probably just another hippie event (and you know how much I loathe hippies…) but still, it’s funny that someone cared enough to sponsor an event around the concept of “gushing” woman. Gushing. What a word!

I might have to go surfing that day just to check it out!

8 Comments | Catergorized: life  surf

2007.08.16

Top of Their Class

I’m sure you’ve seen them before, especially if you’ve ever been in the suburbs.

“My child was student of the month”
“My child is an honor student at [fill-in-the-blank school]”

This is the ones I really want to see, though.

My child wasn’t the worst in special ed
(alternative) Your child should be in special ed
My child dropped out of [fill-in-the-blank school] and makes minimum wage
My child is barely passing at [fill-in-the-blank school]
My child is going to college with money we made suing [fill-in-the-blank school]
[fill-in-the-blank school] class of [year]: Losers!
My child can do no wrong at [fill-in-the-blank school]

I mean, I doubt I’d ever see any of these but it would be funny.

2 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2007.08.14

More Parking in San Francisco?

So some pack of idiots wants more parking in San Francisco. “Wah! We want to drive our cars and we don’t want to pay for it!” So the Board of Supervisors is, for the first time in a very long time, caving in to these people. Bad idea.

OK, so let’s figure this out. On the one hand we have a City that pretends it has a fantastic public transportation system. In truth, the system in the City is tolerable, though just barely. Seriously, if it takes me an hour to travel from home to work and it’s barely five miles, that’s not good. Part of the problem is because the bus lines are laid out like crap. Another part is simply because they are buses and are at the whim of traffic (meaning CARS). Yet another part of the overall issue is we have so-o many people driving into the City from the rest of the Bay Area for work.

So we need two things, neither of which requires more parking. We need a way to get people not to drive into the City, and we need better public transportation within the City. There are already plans underway to improve BART. I hope they will also add tons of parking at the various BART stations as they they have done with the metro in DC where they have massive, multi-story car parks for riders in the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.

The second brilliant thing would be to get rid of all these stupid, unreliable buses that MUNI runs. If you’ve ever needed to be somewhere on time you already know the buses are never on time. What we need is to build more light rail, like the N-Judah or the J-Church. Light rail needs to criss cross the City. I know there are those that think light rail is a bad idea, but it is better than buses in almost every way possible. Plus, trams on rails, without automobile traffic impediments, can actually keep a schedule. Trust me, I’ve seen it in Prague. You could set your watch to their schedule!

These two simple ideas (however difficult to implement) would reduce the number of cars coming into the City and would reduce the need for residents of San Francisco to need a car in the first place. Brilliant!

Finally, for the sadistic folks out there, let’s have fun contemplating how to punish cars. First of all, tax them for residents to support public transportation (also give tax breaks to people that can prove they don’t have an automobile). Second, get rid of all free street parking. That’s right, every street spot will have to be paid for. Lastly, create “pedestrian only” zones (no streets for autos at all) throughout the City like Union Square, Pier 39 up to Ghirardelli Square, Valencia Street between 15th and 24th, Norht Beach and more.

Radical ideas, but c’mon, if they’re going to push their agenda on us then we should push our agenda on them, right? In my final assessment, we don’t need more parking, we need smarter management of what we already have.

7 Comments | Catergorized: san francisco  thoughts
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