Archive for January, 2008

2008.01.27

Snowboarding at Night

There are many times in my years of snowboarding that I’ve travelled back to San Francisco along 80 at night and seen people skiing and snowboarding down an artificially lit slope. I never found out what resort it was nor really thought about trying it myself. Until yesterday.

The resort is Boreal and, sure enough, they are open (at least right now) from 9AM – 9PM. This is brilliant if you are, like me, a late riser and don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn so you can make the drive up for a day trip and yet still want to board for longer than a couple hours. Banana Boy and I arrived close to noon (maybe a bit after) and snowboarded until almost 7PM! After six hours with only a short break we were pretty much done. We really lucked out with the weather, too. For the last several weeks CA has been deluged with rain. Yesterday there was no rain all day until the last bit of the drive home. So we had fresh powder, clear weather, and a long day. My leg muscles hate me today!

Going down the slopes at night is a little strange at first, but a lot of fun. The only real issue was straying into the truly dark areas. Honestly, though, it was probably a good thing. When I couldn’t see what the exact terrain is in front of me was, I bent my legs more than normal to compensate (shock absorption) and my performance was actually better than in full daylight.

Boreal’s runs are a bit short for my tastes but they have some good ones. Lift tickets are some of the least expensive I’ve seen for a good sized Tahoe resort and the lines for the lifts were ridiculously fast yesterday. It’s very possible that Boreal might replace my usually day trip location, Sugar Bowl, or at least be a very solid alternative. For folks with kids they even have several short green runs and a sledding/tubing park! My recommendation? Boreal: highly recommended for day trips.

Comments Off on Snowboarding at Night | Catergorized: friends  tahoe

2008.01.23

Where the Hell are the Forks?!?

Forks seem to be disappearing at an inordinate rate. At my house we used to have tons. Somehow we got down to four. Weirdly the number of spoons we have seems to be growing. Is there any way the forks could be evolving into spoons? Meanwhile all the forks at work seem to be gone. Even the plastic ones that seemed so bountiful and were saved from people’s take out for future use.

WTF is up with all the disappearing forks?

3 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  grrr  life  work

2008.01.22

Mosaic Screensaver in Mac OS 10.5

Unbeknownst to me, Mac OS 10.5* has a screensaver that builds mosaics from existing photos. It actually does quite a good job of it! It will require you to have plenty of pictures in you iPhoto library or some folder to build good images, though. You can see here where to set it in your screensaver preferences. Click the third icon and let the system build out the image database. My machine is old so the first image is slow to load, but once it starts it’s really quite mesmerizing.

My only gripe is that I’ve set mine to use only my “High Rated” photo album. It does for the image to be mosaicked, but it used every picture from my photo library to build the elemental pictures in the mosaic. If you have images you’d rather not share with the public this could be a nuisance. Otherwise, give it a go and be amazed.

Seeing this screensaver, though, made me wonder why iPhoto doesn’t have a built in method of creating mosaics. Obviously the software exists already. Maybe a future update of iPhoto? The US Patent Office has recently published a new mosaic related patent from Apple, so this must be in the pipeline.

In the meantime if you’re interested in creating your own personal mosaic images on your Mac I recommend MacOSaiX. It’s quite versatile and has some interesting features; not only can you use images on your computer for the mosaic tiles, but you can query to sites like Flickr and Google Images for source material. Pretty cool.

* Yes, I refuse to call it by its cat name…

Comments Off on Mosaic Screensaver in Mac OS 10.5 | Catergorized: apple  geek  photos

2008.01.21

Absinthe Again (or Not)

Last summer on my trip to Europe (part business, part pleasure) I picked up a bottle of absinthe in Prague. I also picked up four brilliant antique glasses in Paris to drink it in. Alas, I can’t seem to get my varied friends together to sample the “green fairy.”

Drinking Absinthe and Writing My Journal
Absinthe Writing
It’s funny because I noticed Jordan (who seems to lack permalinks?) recently posted his story quest for absinthe. Reading his story got me thinking about the absinthe again. My first experience with it was when I lived in Prague. My friend Richmond and I were sitting in Bunkr. I was writing and drawing in my journal when the first shot arrived, Bohemian style. My writing is pretty clear and coherent if a bit depressing. A musing about my love life. The drawing I made was pretty good, though. By the time I had the second shot my handwriting is straying and pretty messy. Clearly my thoughts are wandering, too.

After the third shot… Well, I don’t know what the heck I was writing about, and it’s barely legible anyways! Well, that’s not true… Obviously I was thinking naughty thoughts in a vampiric way. Even reading it now my eyebrows are crinkling and I’m thinking, “What the heck was I thinking?!?”

Anyways, the point is that absinthe is an interesting drink and it would be fun for me to see how my friends react to it. How to convince them?

8 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  memories  prague

2008.01.20

First 2008 Tahoe Trip

Yesterday I went up to Tahoe with five friends to snowboard. It was my first trip of the season. Every year I am amazed at how much fun being up there and racing down the slopes is. Though this was just a half day it was enough to get me excited. We went to Sugar Bowl since it’s one of the closest. Usually I park on the gondola side but they wanted to hit the main lodge; I think it’s the first time I was ever there. I still prefer the gondola side…

Favorite part of the day… Watching Mookee race down a particularly steep slope, wipe out, and slide face down like a frisbee for about fifty feet before managing to stop himself. Not only once, but twice. I have to say that slope was a blast to speed down, though. I haven’t been that scared and excited since one of the first times I ever snowboarded and my friends took me down one of Kirkwood’s black diamonds. I rode it down that time on my butt. This time recklessly full speed ahead!

On the way home we stopped at Ikeda’s… They have the best freaking pies on the planet!

2 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  tahoe

2008.01.15

New Cafe Racer Society

Ever since I got my motorcycle I’ve been interested in reading about them. I’m not really into the macho motorcycle culture, though, which is why discovering The New Cafe Racer Society was brilliant. The author, SA, is interested in motorcycle design, culture and history and the articles range from anime motorcycles to helmet design and steampunk hacks. There’s tons of interesting material and strange discoveries. SA is also involved, with m.christian, in a site called meine kleine fabrik which has some of the strangest posts I’ve seen in a long time. Great stuff if you’re ever looking for something new and interesting to read. They’re also somewhere here in San Francisco; if you guys are reading this drop me a line and let’s get coffee!

2 Comments | Catergorized: geek  motorcycle

2008.01.14

Stardust

Stardust, the Movie
Stardust
I just recently picked up Stardust on DVD. Brilliant.

Back in my high school days my friends and I watched a few movies probably far too much. The Princess Bride was one of those films. It appealed to our romantic sense of adventure. Plus girls liked it, too, so our female friends could hang out with us stinky boys while we guzzled Jolt and ate Oreo cookies. Highlander was another but I think that was more for the boys; it had blades and boobies both of which, as a teenager, were immensely more interesting than the girls who weren’t sharing their boobies and didn’t have swords.

That’s neither here nor there, though. If I were in high school today Stardust would be one of the movies we would watch again and again. It has adventure, romance, magic, and great humor. I’d heard that it was marketed horribly (stupid marketers) and that’s a shame because this really is a great film. I have a feeling that despite the fact I’m not in high school anymore I’ll see this many more times.

3 Comments | Catergorized: memories  movies

2008.01.09

Top List of the Top Lists of 2007

Everyone loves lists, especially the really short ones that don’t take much thought. Of course you’re smarter than that. First of all you like lists to stimulate thought, even if those thoughts aren’t deep or interesting to anyone but yourself. Second of all, lists by themselves are over far too fast. What you want is a Top List of the Top Lists of 2007!

Lucky for us, Mark Morford put together just such a list called The top 12 ‘Top 10’ lists of 2007, along with some awesome commentary. So kick back, sip that coffee and spend a couple extra minutes reading.

Comments Off on Top List of the Top Lists of 2007 | Catergorized: thoughts

2008.01.08

Almost Human Again

It hit on Saturday. I had a vicious sneeze that tore up my throat. I thought that was it, but my throat and the cough that went with it just got worse. By Sunday I was down for the count. I used to pride myself on my generally superb immune system but in the past year I’ve gotten sick a few times and this one was like a hammer on my head and chest.

I’m feeling tons better now, almost human again, but still frustrated. Although my pride in my general health has been gingered at this point, really, I just want to get to 80% health. I’m going stir crazy here at home with nothing but the TV for company. NHK called me the other day and it was the first time I’d spoken in 24 hours at least and, of course, I had a coughing fit. Poor guy probably thought he was responsible for killing me.

Anyways, I’m actually hungry now, hardly have a cough (though I’m not talking because I don’t want to press the issue), and will hopefully be well enough to get out of the house tomorrow. This also means the posts should be returning.

Blah blah blah. I just wanted to say I was really sick but I’m much better now. Sometimes I am way too wordy…

4 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  life

2008.01.04

Storm Damage

During lunch today I took a walk and took a few pictures of the damage from the storm. While this wave seems to be over for now there’s supposed to be another front coming in tonight. While I do love storms and horrible weather in general, I don’t like the damage so much. I empathize too much. I guess they’ll call this the Great Pacific Storm of 2008. I kind of wonder if this is just the first of many to come.

The first picture shows a car completely smashed by an uprooted tree. Two of the tires popped. When I took the picture a little girl came up and said, “Cool!” The second picture show two immense branches that came off a tree and buried two cars and a truck. It was taken in front of the pool I swim at (that I need to start doing again).

Storm Damage in San Francisco, January 2008   Storm Damage in San Francisco, January 2008

Comments Off on Storm Damage | Catergorized: life  photos  san francisco
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