Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Josh asked me along to Math and Physics Day at Great America this past Friday. This gave me the chance to finally buy one of those ridiculous pictures that they take at the end of the loop on a rollercoaster. The photo was ridiculously overpriced for its terrible quality but the fact is they got a monopoly on cameras fixed at a position to catch my response to going through the upside down loop. There are many things money can't buy, but you don't count silly souvenirs like this among them. If you peruse the picture closely you might notice that I'm the only one in the front row who is holding their arms out. What's this world coming to?
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The spoils of victory for our dominance in the Chieftan's Trivia Night. Ironically, we won enough to cover the drinks we had during the competition. The real credit for the victory goes to Gen. Most of the question, we all knew the answers to, but whenever most of us were stumped, Gen came through. Together we made a great team, each filling in the gaps of the others knowledge.
I hate the idea of a private beach. It's fine if you own the house right next to the beach and the beach is your private yard, but when the only stretch of beach near south shore is gated off from use by some condo coop, it can really ruin your day. I shouldn't have to walk a half an hour to get a view of the sunset that doesn't involve iron bars. Especially when none of the people who own the private beach are out using it. Luckily, the luxury homes that were under construction next to the private beach did not yet have their fences up, so I got an unobstructed view of a great sunset.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Though I love my prius, sometimes one just wishes one were driving the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard so that with a squeal of the tires and a loud "Yeeeeehaaaaw" one could cross this pathetic divet in the road in a slow motion, parabolic arc.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
the bike-friendly map, which tells me that I don't want to bike over Twin Peaks. Which I guess I knew. The bike map suggested a route through Clarendon Heights which wasn't too steep. I stopped at a few points on Corbett to catch my breath, but it was doable. After coasting down Ashbury I was ready for some ice cream at the Ben and Jerry's. The ride through Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park is pretty flat, and after stopping at the ocean for a while to watch the windsurfing, I continued down the Great Highway. The climb back up Taraval to Portola is very gradual. The whole loop was about three hours, counting ice cream and beach stops.
The one very nice thing about the map is the color coding of elevation. As in, the street where I live is the brightest orange. THen again, the map thinks I live in Diamond Heights, so I'm not sure I trust its accuracy.
I was in London for a week to do some recruiting. In between interviewing a dozen nearly identical-looking candidates, I got to go to some museums and theater. (Someday, European universities will start churning out female graduates with computer science degrees. Until then, I'm doomed to interview "Matt", "Matthew", and "Matteo" all on the same day. No offense.) I saw the musical Billy Elliot, which was pretty cool. But the bit about cows goose-stepping while saluting a giant balloon with the face of Margaret Thatcher really went over my head. The wine at the theater was pretty bad, though, and I needed rather a lot of beer afterwards to forget it. Still, the little boy playing Billy could actually sing and dance, so it was a good show.
A trip to London wouldn't be complete without a trip to Gutshot. Sadly, the only game going when I showed up was the 50 pound game, which is tougher than the lower-stakes games usually happening. I was doing pretty well until I ended up all in with aces against a set of eights... very disappointing. On the plus side, that evening I found a restaurant with actual Good Food. Prior to this point I had been substisting on chocolate croissants, office food, and Guinness (with the occasional foray into those little steak pies), but it was fantastic to eat some real food. The restaurant is Orso, near Covent Garden. I had the risotto and the lamb, which absolutely fell off the bone and was delicious. As seems to be traditional in London, they serve you the normal amount of wine in a tiny glass and caraffe, to convince you that there is in fact several glasses of wine.
I've also discovered that Gatwick Airport is the way to go, to get into London. The last time I flew into Heathrow, the customs line was miles long and there were lots of flight delays. At Gatwick, I arrived two hours early and got through checkin/customs in about fifteen minutes. Not that there's anything to do once you get through customs... spent my last few pounds on some paperbacks and browsed the whiskey selection at the duty free store. The fifteen minutes even includes the security folks thinking I was some sort of British thug (what with my Blogger hoodie) and actually patting me down and poking through my wallet. Because my wallet is suspicious. It occurs to me that I haven't cleaned out my wallet in a while. I'm still a card-carrying Democrat (for lack of better options), and member of the V.Sattui wine club, but at some point the pass for the NY subway is going to expire. And I really don't know what I'm going to do with three bart tickets, each worth less than the minimum cost of a ride. I don't know what the airport security folks made of the mass transit tickets for subways in four cities... maybe I'm part of a worldwide plot to... uh.. do something.
Anyway, London is fun, but I like being somewhere where sushi doesn't come on a conveyor belt.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006