Archive for October, 2007

2007.10.30

Earthquake… Woohoo!

5.6 rumbler just happened, centered somewhere just north of San Jose. Very exciting! Am I the only one who likes these things so long as they aren’t too big?

(Later)
Quick update with a link. No damage, though for the first time ever I had something fall off a shelf (no, it didn’t break). I think it only fell because I haven’t completely restored my rooms to their pre-party state…

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  san francisco

2007.10.30

BSG: Razor in Theaters

If you’re a fan of the new Battlestar Galactica series you, too, are probably going crazy with this immense dry spell before Season Four starts. SciFi Channel is filling the gaps with mini episodes like they did before Season Three but the current excitement is about a two hour for-TV movie called Razor. It will fill out some of the backstory for many of the major characters and also explain what happened to the old Cylons those familiar with the original Galactica series know. The movie will premier on television on November 24th.

However, you could have the opportunity to see Razor on November 12th in a movie theater by going to this site and registering. It’s only showing in limited cities, but the Bay Area is one of them (others are Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle). San Francisco proper was already filled up by the time I checked, but I will be going to the 10PM showing in San Mateo. If you’re interested sign up and if you need a ride let me know!

Who’s coming?!?

Comments Off on BSG: Razor in Theaters | Catergorized: geek  san francisco  tv

2007.10.29

Party Wrapup

Me and Sebastian, Halloween 2007
Me and Sebastian
First of all, a huge Thank You to everyone who came to the party on Saturday! I hope you had as much fun as I did. I hope you had the luxury of recovering on Sunday because I did not; Jon E and I cleaned! It took us all day but that’s because we took our time and we had almost no energy. The last group wandered out at about 3AM and those of us crashing here finally got to bed around 4AM!

A number of people asked about the music, provided by KT (disguised as an OSU fan last night). They are called mashups. What are mashups? Basically take elements from two (or more) songs, preferably of different genres, and lay those elements over each other to create a new and often very “original” song. Wikipedia has much more information, including a detailed history. Many of the songs are from San Francisco’s own Bootie. You can download two great collections here and here.

I’ll be posting pictures when I get the chance though I will try to be discrete and not post certain pictures. You know who you are! Meanwhile the picture up there is of me and “Sebastian” who was the gayest non-homosexual ever to grace one of our Halloween parties. PS: for those of you who drank Becherovka with me, we finished the bottle… How are you feeling? :)

2 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  life  photos

2007.10.27

2007 San Diego and SoCal Fires

San Diego Fire 2007
Fires Raging in SoCal
It’s unbelievable what’s happening down in Southern California. Fires have been raging out of control for days and though many are coming under control now, already half a million acres have been consumed. 487,000 acres – about 760 square miles or imagine a square 28 miles on every side. San Francisco is only a bit over 7 miles on a side! The fires (at least the smoke) can easily be seen from space. Of course President Bush made the mandatory trek to the scene of the devestation and I’m just hoping his people handle it better than the handled Katrina. Though federal aid has been promised, they aren’t off to a good start “winning hearts and minds” of the general public. Senator Dianne Feinstein is trying to get money to prevent forest fires (sounds like an old slogan) but I would expect her to; it’s her state. As for the Presidential candidates

Anyways, my sincere condolensces to those that have lost homes, businesses and -worst of all- loved ones.

If you’re looking for pictures of the devastation then Zimbio seems to have a fairly decent collection (which is where I found the picture below) and there’s a Flickr Pool which is where I found the smaller picture at the side (link to original). It’s remarkable how similar that picture looks to the one I uploaded in 2003

Fires in Southern California, 2007
Image from the LA Times (warning: link will resize your browser window)

Comments Off on 2007 San Diego and SoCal Fires | Catergorized: life

2007.10.26

Reminder: Party Saturday Night!

Here’s the original invitation for the party we’re having at my place on Saturday, October 27th…

All the preparations are almost done. One more day and we can have an awesome time dancing, drinking and checking out some of the whacked out costumes people will be wearing! A few people have told me what they’ll be wearing and it’s going to be great. I will definitely have to make sure I have enough batteries to keep my camera going all night.

I have to thank KT for gathering together an awesome collection of music. She went way above and beyond the call of duty and gave me hours and hours of music to choose from.

Tonight we had our first “early arrivers” (one night early) just like I feared in a dream I had a few days ago. Fortunately they fully plan on coming tomorrow night, too.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

1 Comment | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  life  san francisco

2007.10.26

VIZ Media Has a Blog

A little over a year ago I pitched an idea to my CEO here at VIZ Media. “Hey,” I said, “We should have a blog so we can communicate better with our fans!” I thought the pitch went well but because of the nature of my job (I’m already quite busy!) I never had time to push the initiative.

Fast forward to this past week. VIZ Media has just officially launched its blog which is called, cleverly, VIZBlog. There’s not much there yet, but it’s pretty funny stuff. Very informal. I love Urian Brown’s Godzilla post!

I’m really happy they’ve built out this blog but, and I hope my co-workers who worked on this really hard don’t take it personally, it’s going to have problems going forward. Comments look like a disaster (they’re published inline!), the template has most irritating Flash (automatic turn off for most blog readers) and the scaling and layout is, frankly, awkward. That being said I believe this is still a work in progress so I will go talk to a few people and at least give some feedback. They could also make it a little more obvious from the front page on how to get to the blog.

And regardless, if you’re a fan of manga, anime and particularly VIZ Media, check it out regularly!

(Disclosure: I am currently an employee of VIZ Media.)

1 Comment | Catergorized: anime  geek  manga  work

2007.10.24

Giving Unexpected Thanks

I have to give thanks to a most unexpected person. At my last job my boss was very anal (shall we say) about being late. Timeliness and tardiness were serious issues with him and for year I worked hard to keep off his radar. This wasn’t always easy as I have a hard time waking up at the best of times and I was hampered by an hour long commute in which anything could cause delays in the 37.5 miles I traveled. So keep in mind that I had a boss that kept a record of how late I was (it came up in reviews every year!) even if only a couple minutes.

This morning I forced myself to wake up from a disturbing dream. In the dream it’s supposed to be this coming Friday night and I’m walking down the front stairs, off to meet friends. Suddenly my old boss shows up.

“What are you doing here?” I asked once I’d gotten over the shock of even seeing him.

“I’m here for the party.”

“The party isn’t till tomorrow night,” I said. At least, I thought, I’m pretty sure the invitation specified Saturday night and not Friday. Crap! What if I gave everyone the wrong date! They’re going to start showing up any minute now. Nothing is ready! And how did my boss even know I was having a party?

He started walking up past me and into the apartment and my anxiety grew. “Wait, you can’t go in!” I forced myself awake. What a weird dream!

Then I looked at my clock… 11AM! Late for work! Damn! I find it supremely ironic that the one person my brain could have chosen to kick me out of my sleep state was someone who was anal about tardiness. My gratitude and unexpected thanks to my old boss!

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  work

2007.10.22

iPhoto 08 Gripes

Old Poloroid of Me, Mom, Chris and Heather
Old Family Poloroid
I got iPhoto 08 a few weeks ago along with the rest of the iLife package. I was initially not impressed with the automatic splitting of my photo library into “events” because my collection is haphazard, non-contiguous and completely out of order by dates. It took a lot of wrangling to get its default breakdown into some semblance of order. I have to say I still don’t like the whole thing, though at least going forward it will be easier.

My main gripe now, though, is with the Smart Albums. Smart Albums are essentially live searches of your photos based on certain criteria. I use them primarily to synch specific photos to my iPod and iPhone since I don’t want to copy the entire library over. This past weekend I scanned some really old photos of my family and thought it would be great to have a Smart Album of just my highest rated pictures of my family.

All of my pictures are tagged with keywords with people’s names so you would think I could create a Smart Album with the criteria

Rating is greater than three stars AND
Keyword is Mom OR Dad OR Chris OR Heather OR (etc)

This is not the case, though. The Smart Album function cannot handle simple Boolean strings. I have the options of either matching all or any options. This limits me to all AND or all OR.

To me this seems rather retarded. How has Apple missed such a simple and potentially useful tool? Or do they have it and I’m just missing something? Hopefully they include this in future updates because it seems, to me anyways, that it shouldn’t be too difficult to implement.

4 Comments | Catergorized: apple  grrr  photos

2007.10.21

It’s Getting Too Expensive to Live Here!

I knew even before I moved to San Francisco from Washington, DC that the Bay Area was going to be expensive. That was 10 years ago. The first place I got was $550/month. It was a tiny room in a three bedroom apartment containing four people (none of whom I really liked). My first job here paid me $23.5K and after taxes that didn’t leave much. I ate a lot of Indian Hurricane Stew that year (Dinty Moore stew with curry thrown in) and managed. Barely. When my wages started increasing me and two friends got a great flat in the Richmond District (the urban suburb of San Francisco, along with the Sunset District). My rent is higher but I have more room and, fortunately, I’m making more now. I’ve got a really good deal.

I do crave my own apartment, though. Someplace to call my own. This summer I started looking idly for a new apartment. Was I shocked.

In the short span of a few months, finding an apartment in San Francisco has gone from a challenge to a nightmare – with landlords demanding rents that are beyond laughable. We all know it’s expensive to live here, but $1445 for a studio in the Mission? $2500 for a one-bedroom in Cole Valley? $3685 for a two-bedroom in Noe Valley?

Ridiculous! Somewhere in my life I picked up the notion that housing should cost 1/3rd of your take home pay and at most 1/2. How can people afford to live here at all?

SF Gate has an article about the cost of living out here outlining the costs. Keep in mind this is just the basic expenses and doesn’t include discretionary spending!

How much households must spend on average each month to live in the Bay Area:

Single adult: $2,469

Single-parent family (two kids): $5,489

Two-parent family (one working): $4,423

Two-parent family (both working): $6,422

This is a huge problem, and a huge portion of this problem comes from the cost of housing. I’m very lucky that I can afford my place now, but the prospect of moving seems almost impossible. With single family homes averaging $553,000 (according to the first link) I can’t even think about buying.

No wonder so many locals fantasize about a huge earthquake to drive out as many as possible so the market is forced to readjust. When I moved here ten years ago my $550 piece-of-shit room seemed out of control. These days it wouldn’t even rent you a closet. Maybe I should have titled this “It’s Already Too Expensive to Live Here!”

1 Comment | Catergorized: dc  grrr  life  san francisco

2007.10.20

Ignoring the Law

There are a lot of laws on the books that are so ludicrous or old or too difficult to enforce that it’s staggering. They are the law, however. How does the system deal with this? Tim Wu has written a five part (actually six entries!) series called American Law.Who are some of the criminals?

What group lives in the greatest defiance of American law? Criminal organizations like the Mafia or inner-city gangs come to mind. But if you account for volume and time, otherwise peaceful religious groups like the Amish or Mormon fundamentalists are certainly contenders.

Not that religious groups are the only criminals out there. Almost every one of us in some way, whether because we sometimes enjoy prescription pills, tacitly support illegal immigration, burn a mixed music CD for a friend or (or course accidentally!) visit a porn web site once in a great while. Let alone that almost everyone fails to come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign.

There’s much here I knew but never thought about in the context of a legal framework, and it will be interesting to see where some of the fresher issues, like copyright in the digital age, will evolve.

Comments Off on Ignoring the Law | Catergorized: political  rights  thoughts
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