Archive for March, 2011

2011.03.31

The Cost of Having Children

My wife sent me a PPT file about the high cost of having children today… Or not. While most of it was kind of cheesy (eegads, where do they find this music?!?) there were some data points worth sharing.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family.

But $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

  • $8,896.66 a year
  • $741.38 a month
  • $171.08 a week
  • A mere $24.24 a day

I understand children aren’t cheap, and the PPT made a big deal out of all the non-money, feel-good benefits in early childhood, but $741.38 a month is really not too bad. It’s significantly less than our monthly rent! Too bad that’s all after taxes.

Incidentally, other sources quote the actual figure at $222,360, $204,060, and almost $300,000. Still, even $350,000 works out to $373.93/week or $1,620.37/month. Not cheap, still much cheaper than my rent, cheaper than a crack habit, and less expensive than most people would think.

I imagine that every child that follows, much to their chagrin, will be cheaper to raise since you can buy food in bulk (everyone has to eat, even mac and cheese!), give them hand me down clothes (they’ll love it!), and generally reuse most of the stuff their older siblings had. I suppose this could explain some of the bitterness of my brother towards me earlier in life.

Comments Off on The Cost of Having Children | Catergorized: family  thoughts  work

2011.03.30

Script Frenzy Info

I’m not ready to participate in Script Frenzy, in which you write a 100 page script in one month (similar to NaNoWriMo for novels). I suppose I could; I have something in the pipe that is pretty much ready to be written but (excuses excuses) I just don’t feel I have the time to write enough every day to keep up. Still, I was looking at their How To page and man, does it have a lot of good information. If you’re interested in script writing and want to start off with easy tips, tricks, instructionals and tutorials then you’d be hard pressed to find a better page than this one. I’m bookmarking everything…

Comments Off on Script Frenzy Info | Catergorized: film  writing

2011.03.28

Paul

Paul Movie Poster
Paul, the Movie
(Sorry Zap, this one isn’t about you).

Rosa and I went to see Paul yesterday at the Four Star Theater out in the Richmond. I’ve been a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in their outings with Edgar Wright in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (and Spaced!) since they came out. Paul lacked Mr. Wright, but was written by Pegg and Frost and clearly shows their love of picking a genre (UFO mania and sci fi fans) and packing a movie with so many references it’s dizzying while still coming up with an original story. I have to admit it’s not the most original story in the world but it’s still fun and doesn’t feel contrived just to make plot points happen.

I’ve heard some people complain that if you don’t get all of the (sometimes really obscure, like Lorenzo Zoil) references in the film you won’t enjoy it. I disagree. You might not enjoy it quite as much but it’s still a crazy strange movie and the characters, while not bound to win any Oscars, are compelling enough to keep you laughing. If you want a distracting movie worth the price of admission, Paul could be the one for you. I know it was for us.

Comments Off on Paul | Catergorized: life  movies

2011.03.25

Religion on the Decline

Some say religion is on the decline in many parts of the world. In fact, it is supposedly heading towards extinction. Read this and tell me that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I know the article about Pi is satire, but it rings so true that I don’t think I would miss this brand of Republican, nor the religion that inspires them. I’m not slamming all religion, mind you, just the ones that aren’t dealing with reality and could think that Pi (?) could equal three, or that the Earth is only a couple thousand years old, or that the Earth is flat and the sun, planets and stars orbit us. There are a shocking number of people who fit this category…

1 Comment | Catergorized: political  science  thoughts

2011.03.22

Relief by the Pint

On Thursday, March 24th my company, VIZ Media, will be having a fundraiser to help those in Japan after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear hazards. VIZ imports Japanese manga and anime so it’s our opportunity to help. From the release:

Time: Thursday, March 24th from 4PM – 7PM
Location: Sweetie’s; 475 Francisco Street (between Mason and Powell)
More Info: 21 and over only.
Don’t worry we’ll have more fundraisers soon.

Enjoy a pint and send your good wishes towards the rebuilding of Japan. Share a shot with the people who help bring you your favorite manga and anime AND help rebuild the country that it all comes from.

Sweetie’s will donate 10% of revenue and all proceeds from the prize raffle will go to Artists Help Japan in a partnership with Give2Asia.

Can’t go, but want to donate?
Go to http://give2asia.org/artistshelp to donate to the cause!

If you’re a manga and/or anime fan this will be an opportunity for you to come mingle with some of the folks who bring you your special kind of crack. I have it on good authority that there will be a raffle, too, and given all the toys we get here at work you might enjoy what is given away, too.

2 Comments | Catergorized: anime  life  manga  san francisco  work

2011.03.21

Weekend with Cousin Jennifer

Jennifer and Rosa
Jennifer and Rosa at the De Young
My cousin Jennifer visited over the weekend from Seattle. What a great time! I’m completely exhausted, though. Visitors = little sleep for me. Not because of the guest, but just because of the way I am. I picked her up from SFO early on Saturday morning and we started our whirlwind tour after a quick breakfast at home from Tartine Bakery supported by some much needed coffee.

Despite the rainy, windy weather we started by going to Golden Gate Park to visit the De Young Museum. The copper siding has a little more patina since I was there last. We wandered around looking at old landscape photos, modern art, and giant stone heads from the Olmec culture in southern Mexico. Al Farrow Cathedral
Al Farrow’s Cathedral
One of the more impressive pieces on display (for me) was Al Farrow’s Cathedral. Made almost entirely of gun parts, bullets and bones, it made quite an impression. Down the naive was a human spine; I’m rather curious where that came from since I can kind of imagine someone not minding their spine being in an art exhibit, I can’t imagine who that person would be (since Santo Guerro wasn’t a “real” person). I’m rather surprised there isn’t anything in Wikipedia about it yet.

Of course while at the De Young it’s almost mandatory to go visit the tower and take in the view. If you’re in the area I was assured that visiting the tower is still free. The view, even on a rainy day like we had, was spectacular. The Tower of the De Young Museum
Tower of the De Young Museum
What was funny to me was listening to the tourist pointing at landmarks and calling them by the completely wrong names/locations. Someone was pointing at the church up at the University of San Francisco and claiming it was the original Mission of San Francisco (which is completely obscured from view in that part of the City). Oh well. I’m sure I’ve done worse.

Next up, the California Academy of Sciences. This is probably my favorite museum in the city. We got there a little late but we managed to snag tickets to the Morrison Planetarium to see Life: A Cosmic Story. Narrated by Jodie Foster, it was quite an amazing show. Not a bad thing to see on our first planetarium show at the CalAcademy. Unfortunately for us this was the last show of the day, and the Academy was closing right afterwards. California Academy of Sciences T-Rex
T-Rex at the CalAcademy
I guess we’ll just have to check out the rest the next time Jenn visits.

Later we had caffeine at Borderlands Cafe but that couldn’t stop the food coma after eating at Osha which has great Thai food.

“Bright” and “early” on Sunday we picked up Jon E and headed north to Sonoma for wine tasting. We’d had heavy wind and rain overnight and some of the roads were flooded but that didn’t deter us. We hit Gundlach Bundschu, Ravenswood and Bartholomew Park wineries. All were good and none of us got too buzzed (the portions are getting smaller and smaller every year; good and bad). Later that night we ate at Ti Couz and called it a night.

Now it’s Monday and I feel tired enough for an all day siesta. Too bad I’d get in trouble for that… It was a great weekend, though, and wonderful to get to know Jennifer better! Rosa and I will have to get up to Seattle to visit her sometime.

Comments Off on Weekend with Cousin Jennifer | Catergorized: family  food-drink  friends  life  photos  san francisco

2011.03.17

Preparing for the Worst

By now everyone has heard of the devastating earthquake in Japan, preceded by the one in New Zealand and almost exactly a year earlier in Chile. These three earthquakes have the coast of California bordering on the paranoid, and maybe with good cause. There are a couple things you can do to prepare as best you can. The first is to go through this excellent website, 72 Hours, and read and prepare what it recommends.

I don’t know about other areas, but if you live in San Francisco you can also sign up for Alert SF which can communicate with you via cellular text and email about various alerts you should be aware of. You can also volunteer for NERT, the Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams. They can help train you to help others in the case of an emergency. In the case of a city-wide disaster emergency vehicles will be hard pressed (and overloaded) so if you own a motorcycle you can volunteer for MERC, the Motorcycle Emergency Response Corps. NERT and MERC require training, but think about what happened in Japan and realize that if volunteers hadn’t been available the death toll wouldn’t be in the ten thousand range, it would have been much MUCH higher.

I don’t think paranoia serves anyone, and living in fear is a way to give yourself an ulcer. That being said, it’s not a matter of if an earthquake happens in California, but when. Preparing for it can help you feel more in control of yourselves and help your loved ones through the calamity. If nothing else talk with your family and friends about evacuation routes and meeting points; it could save your lives and give you hope.

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  motorcycle  san francisco  science

2011.03.15

10000 Miles

10000 Miles

Comments Off on 10000 Miles | Catergorized: life  motorcycle  photos

2011.03.14

Triumph Tiger XC Test Ride

Last year I was dreaming about the new Triumph Tiger 800 motorcycles coming out. Over the weekend the Triumph Demo Days truck rolled in to Munroe Motors and, well, I couldn’t resist. I had to go take a ride.

2011 Triumph Tiger 800XCThe Tiger 800s are a new pair of motorcycles geared to fit the enduro market with the Tiger 800 XC fully enduro and the Tiger 800 leaning more towards road use. On Saturday I lined up and was surprised to find no line for me to demo an XC (with road tires, not knobblies). I couldn’t wait. I’ve never done a demo ride, and my group riding is practically nil. George, the Triumph employee that drives the Demo Days truck and sets up the rides walked us through the basics and my nervousness subsided to simple excitement of riding a freshly designed machine.

I wasn’t disappointed. Oh no.

The moto is easy to handle, lighter than I expected, and had good punch for the road but not so much that I would expect to slip in off road conditions. It took me a couple tries to get used to the back brake (I’m used to my Thruxton’s forward seating position) but it didn’t take long to adjust. Sitting up higher was a treat, and the drive took us up Twin Peaks and back down which had a few fun twists and an amazing view.

I love this machine, and perhaps I’m just an easy mark for Triumph but I have the feeling that someday down the road I just might have one of these Tiger 800s… Now I just have to convince my lovely wife (not so subtle hint, neh?).

Looking up links for this article I came across the blog of Moto Saint (Ricardo Gomez) who wrote about his own experiences and loved the XC, too. I was so chuffed to be riding I didn’t think to take pictures so you should definitely go see his post!

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  life  motorcycle

2011.03.11

DRN Theme 2.0

So I’ve updated this site’s theme. It’s only taken several years to do. While not ready for public consumption it is ready to be used. There won’t be a whole lot of new features that you’ll notice but some of them are the ability to subscribe to comments, easier management of the blogrolls (for me), widgetized sidebar, better page navigation at the bottom, and more that is coming, though probably not noticeable to you (which is good!).

If you happen to notice something broken or wonky on the site please leave a comment. Once the theme is ready for general distribution I’ll leave a link so you, too, can download and try it out!

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  site
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