Archive for July, 2009


Car Arsons

Recently in San Francisco there has been a rash of car arsons. I knew about this, vaguely, but didn’t realize one was right around the corner from where I work.

Burned Remains of Car Arson

There wasn’t much left by the time I got there. Just some broken glass and burned debris. Some of the leaves in the tree above were charred, too. I’m guessing this wasn’t the worst one.

But walking around the neighborhood I saw these flags. Dude! Take your flags down! Some people have no respect for the flag.

Destroyed Flags

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iPhoto and Facebook

I’ve been really enjoying iPhoto 09 until just the other day. RMCA and I have tons of photos from our trip to Catalonia and I thought I would upload them from iPhoto into Facebook for easy, lazy sharing. I’ve done this before with the previous version of iPhoto and an plugin from the folks at Facebook and it worked brilliantly. The new version, however, I’m not terribly impressed with.

For one it assumes that you’ve labeled everyone using the built-in Faces feature. I hadn’t. iPhoto uses these Faces labels to create your tags in Facebook. This is supremely irritating as some of the people I do not want tagged are there. Also irritating was the fact that I couldn’t add details. Perhaps I could do this using each picture’s information section, but the beauty of the plugin from before was that you could add all the relevant information.

Finally, in my list of albums there are now Facebook albums. I’m afraid to delete these now because I don’t know if iPhoto will try to delete them from Facebook. I don’t want them there, though. I’ll have to experiment with it.

Personally I won’t be using iPhoto’s built in Facebook uploader again. It’s easy, true, but too easy and without enough overt control.

PS: I’ll be uploading more pictures to this site soon, too.

2 Comments | Catergorized: apple  grrr  photos


Barcelona Days Two, Three and Four

It’s been a little busy the past several days. RMCA has been at her conference and I’ve been wandering around the city by day. Normally I would post at night but we’ve been out in the evenings, too. I think with all the walking, at the end of this trip my legs will either be stronger than they have been in years or they will fall off…

This is going to be a fast post because I’m meeting RMCA’s parents in about 15 minutes. Let’s get to the pictures!

We went and had a lovely dinner at Los Caracoles (The Snails), which was founded in 1835. Great food and really nice people working there. Very highly recommended!



I tried to have a Gaudi day but the rain was pissing down. I made it to Sagrada Familia, but the towers were closed. Despite all the rain I took a few pictures.



I loved the iron doors of Sagrada Familia and took a lot of pictures of them. Here’s a few.



Gaudi loved to work with iron decorations and I have to admit some of it was pretty amazing in its detail.



Despite the rain I wandered down to La Boqueria, which is a huge indoor market with tons of fresh food. We just don’t have permanent establishments like this in America, which is a shame.


More Gaudi iron work on the outside of Palau Güell. I want some of this for my door and house (when/if I can ever afford such!).


Details in the old part of the city. I think modern life has lost something precious with these small details.


I took a break and had some ivi negre/i (red wine) and wrote in this little cafe off the Plaça del Rei.


More details… A random stone along a wall.


Another Gaudi building up in an area called Grácia, which is an almost completely untouristed area and pretty amazing. I want to go back up there.


RMCA and I out last night. The night brings out even more beauty in Barcelona…



That’s all for now. More when I have time!

2 Comments | Catergorized: catalonia  photos


Barcelona Day One

Well, we are here in lovely Barcelona. The trip, though long, was largely uneventful. Security in San Francisco was easy; security at Frankfurt was less so (though much more polite). I kind of wonder what they would have thought it I’d shown up in Germany with the pocket knife I found for sale at SFO. Isn’t that sort of a weird security breach, that you can buy a knife at an airport and board the plane with it because you’ve already passed all the security checks?

Last night was kind of rough. After all that traveling we didn’t want to sleep until the local bedtime. Besides, we were hungry. So we went up to a place in the El Poblenou neighborhood and ate awesome tapas and drank local red wine. The octopus was very nice…


Incidentally, this was taken at almost midnight. On a Tuesday night. Yep, these folks have the right idea! But today was my first “real” day here. After seeing RMCA off to her conference I loaded up and walked from the hotel at the very bottom of Avinguda Diagonal, up to Carrer de Llull and along that entire street to the La Ribera and Cuitat Vella neighborhoods. I stopped myself just short of heading over to the very famous La Rambla so I have something to do tomorrow.

As you can see, the older part of Barcelona has old, narrow medieval streets.


A lot of the buildings are suffering graffiti. I saw quite a few people working to paint over spots on their buildings or businesses because most of it is crap tagging. Some if it is quite good as art, though, like this one…


Each corner has the street name, much like in every other European country I’ve visited. Unfortunately they are usually impossible to read here unless you get right up next to them. I was looking at this street sign because it looked a bit different and noticed that there was an old stone marking, too. Pretty cool, neh?


Like most European countries, Barcelona has a dearth of old churches. This one is the Eglésia de Santa Maria del Mar. I visited this one in specific thinking of my Navy brother.



There’s also old Roman ruins in town. This is a wall the Romans built in the 4th century. Though it is shored up with modern brick it’s amazing to look at the old stone that remains and think of all that’s happened since it was was erected. Incidentally, Barcelona was founded by the Romans at least 300 years BC.


Before heading back to the hotel I stopped by the Parc de la Ciutadella. I’d walked past it on my way to the old part of town and figured I would check it out. There were tons of kids on school excursions, all wearing the same color t-shirts (and sometimes hats). One group was getting Catalan pronunciation lessons from their teacher; I should have joined them!


Now I’m back at the hotel and writing all of this. The thing is that it’s only 7:30PM here, so there’s a whole evening to go before the day is over. I just wanted to update the blog and share a bit.

2 Comments | Catergorized: catalonia  life  photos



In a few short hours I will be going on vacation to Barcelona and the northern coast of Catalonia. I’m pretty excited and nervous. It’s a big trip and RMCA will be with me (or I with her?). We’ve got a new camera to take pictures, phones that (should) work, and I have my wallet and passport so, really, I can pick up anything I am forgetting. And I know I’m forgetting something.

See you all on the other side!

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