Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

19 years ago… Loma Prieta & Remember to Register to Vote

Greg on N Judah Chronicles has a “what were you doing when the quake hit” question out there. I was on at the Cupertino Library waiting for my shelving job to start. Peering down to the waiting carts of books, when I felt the first tremor. I was extremely glad to miss my shift- but then it got quickly surreal as the quake continued beyond any one I’d ever experienced. You?

Also, last day to register to vote if you want to participate in this year’s national election. It just needs to be postmarked today, if you do the mail-in option: SF Gov site on registering.

Angel Island on Fire

At the end of the street

First noticed it walking back from Union Street and Leavenworth- we were on top of the hill, it was shocking and stopped us in our tracks. Then a crowd gathered, we all phoned around trying to figure out what was happening. It was around 10PM then, and the fire looked tall and light red, in the south and center of the island. It looked like a volcano crater, across the top in a line- which someone in our crowd said looked like a “lava line.”

A small crowd gathered and we all were chatting- with of course the usual drunk person screaming “It’s not OK! It’s not OK!” Later on, another person in our group yelled, “It’s armageddon!” not to sound too weird, a lot of us were just silently watching it, or muttering to ourselves little nuggets of info we’d picked up somewhere.

The weird thing about being up on Russian Hill was that we smelled the smoke really keenly, and ash even fell on my phone. We also didn’t see any emergency vehicles – just one after a half hour- on the access road on the South side. Not to say there weren’t any, we just didn’t see it form oru vantage. Also, only 1 helicopter before I left.

Later, walked out to (as far as I could get on) Aquatic Pier and it seemed pretty under control. Not really true though- as news showed later. Small groups were gathered on the steps at the cove, or out near the fenced off area near the MacDonnell road.

Just checked tv and it looks like the HD camera on the roof of the ABC news building, a 1/2 mile East showed a lot more damage. Lots of drunk sailors & partiers out- but also people with telephotos, on bikes, trying to capture the island on fire.”

More pictures here, at SFist from the souther, Yerba Buena Island angle, on SF Gate

Asian Art Museum Matcha Event: Tea and Spice

Tea and Spice
[Image by the Asian Art Museum.]

The Asian Art Museum hosts their Matcha event series on the first Thursday of every month, from 5 to 9 in the evening, and it’s that day again. The theme for tonight’s event is Tea and Spice, and I probably can’t describe it any better than they do:

Still dusty from its annual trek to Burning Man, Tealchemy’s Tea Temple will be erected inside the Asian Art Museum for MATCHA. Everyone can sip earthy tea inside this mammoth atmospheric, communal space, which celebrates the centuries-old nomadic trade and travel of the Silk Routes. Elsewhere in the museum, taste teas from India, Persia, and Tibet (courtesy Samovar) or those along China’s Tea and Horse Roads (courtesy Teance).

Discover how these different blends are brewed and grind your own spicy chai (Indian tea), mortar and pestle style. Learn about tea and its cultural influences, see art of the spice routes on a guided tour, and view Power & Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty before it closes (Sept. 21)

So it looks like I can look forward to a nice cup of tea after work today.

The museum is on Larkin next door to Main Library. Admission is $5 after 5 PM, and as they imply up there, for that awesome price you get the run of the museum. The Ming Dynasty exhibit is pretty cool.

Totally cute Oakland cyclist wins SF race

Congrats to Martina Patella, an Oakland cyclist who won the women’s event in the Giro di San Francisco cycling race yesterday.

Patella is a member of a team sponsored by San Francisco hedge fund ValueAct Capital, a firm so mysterious that even the “About Us” link on its website is password-protected. So screw them. Instead, enjoy these photos of the winning cyclist.

Film: "No Regret" Opens at Lumiere Tonight

No Regret

No Regret, promotional still

This morning, an interesting-looking film came to my attention: No Regret, by director Leesong Hee-il. The trailer can be viewed here. It first screened at the Frameline Festival earlier this year, and it’s being billed as “the first breakout gay film from Korea.” In addition, it is the director’s first full-length feature film. A whole lotta firsts going on with this one. Here’s the synopsis:

Set in Seoul, South Korea, “No Regret” centers on Sumin (Lee Young-Hoon), who leaves the orphanage where he grew up and heads to the city to study art design. After losing his job at a factory due to layoffs, he finds himself working as a prostitute in a gay bar. Initially Sumin resists the advances of Jaemin (Lee Han), who comes from a rich and conservative family that doesn’t accept his sexual identity. Eventually Sumin succumbs to Jaemin’s advances, after they briefly experience happiness as passionate lovers, Sumin and Jaemin’s relationship falls into heartache and tragedy.

Jaemin’s parents go on to arrange a marriage for him; sounds like a real tear-jerker. However, in a review on SF Gate today, David Wiegand says: “Despite the surface hokum of the plot, there are only a couple of moments when you just don’t believe that Su-Min would do what he’s doing or that Jae-Min would say what he is saying.

Shows tonight at 7:15 and 9:30; screenings daily thereafter at 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, and 9:30. Tix are the usual $10.50 general.

NOTE: There has been some confusion over where the film is actually screening; I have verified that it will screen at the Lumiere and not the Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Music: John Adams on Finding his Voice

If you happen to have a copy of the August 25 New Yorker, don’t miss this article by the composer John Adams, in which he discusses finding his compositional voice back in the 1970s and early 1980s. (Check out the keywords they tagged the article with: Adams, John; Composers; Memoirs; “Harmonium”; de Waart, Edo; Studebaker; San Francisco, California.) The abstract begins:

PERSONAL HISTORY about the writer’s years as an aspiring composer in San Francisco. … The writer’s plan was to live as a proletarian worker by day and an avant-garde composer at night. He worked unloading clothes from shipping containers. He wrote no music for a year and began falling into a depression. … [So he soon got a job at] the San Francisco Conservatory. The writer taught there for ten years, by fits and starts finding his voice as a composer.

On a personal note, I have a friend who tried that proletarian approach too, though without the Marxist pretensions; he lasted on the Oakland waterfront just long enough for a hernia to force him to do something else. He’s gone into a profession that is similarly friendly to composition: freelance software coding.

If you don’t have a copy of the issue, this 15-minute episode of the The New Yorker Out Loud features John Adams discussing his career, and in the process he hits all the main points in the article. Plus there’s background music. (Phrygian Gates!) Now I’m never going to be able to go past the south windmill at the western end of Golden Gate Park without thinking of John Adams, as he apparently lived about two blocks from there.

Mission accomplished: recycling bins to Houston

Progressive Reading Series organizer and well-known local author Stephen Elliot writes in the Huffington Post of last night’s successful event to raise money for recycling bins for Houston. They raised enough for 276  18-gallon bins, and more importantly raised the profile of the recycling program of the Texas city.

Houston to accept donation

Don’t Try This at Home…

Everyone thinks moving is a hassle.

For those who find it unbearable…

Compacted Apartment Furniture

Of course, you can always leave furniture out on the block, but this furniture was far beyond it’s prime and hell, this was more fun.

I was enjoying the rush of throwing a bedroom and 1/2 off the 2nd floor onto the concrete in the back “yard” … when I realized an issue.

What to do with the scraps?

When I sheepishly called Sunset Scavenger to ask if they would pick up “bundles of oddly-shaped wood”… they said,

“Did you throw your furniture off the roof?”


Apparently, an advanced call to Sunset Scavenger and a little effort bundling scraps into twine will get you a free pickup!

Hey, is this thing on?

San Francisco coder Alex Payne‘s gets a plug in the New York Times tomorrow; the piece went online an hour ago. Payne’s site answers that nagging question “Is there something wrong with (insert favorite website) again?”

In a blog entry in which he discusses that and other side projects, he calls the site “a quick hack” for which “I don’t have the time or resources or desire to build the ideal solution. I hope that some big ISP or networking outfit takes the simple design and puts it in front of a proper setup.”

If that concept sounds familiar, not surprisingly Payne works at Twitter.

LA Times reports Violet Blue vs Boing Boing web "sh*tstorm"

I saw that occasional SF Metblogs contributor and relentless self promoter and sex book author Violet Blue is the latest recipient of the tempest in a web teapot award. The LA Times website has David Sarno covering a fracas in which any Violet Blue mentions or posts have been deleted from Boing Boing and it’s archives.

Writes Sarno:

“I’ve been wracking my brain thinking of what issues I might’ve come down on the wrong side of,” Blue told me on the phone. “There’s been no argument, there’s been no disagreement, no flame war, none of the usual things.”

Could Boing Boing really be a Stalin era throwback that wants to erase it’s own history, and somehow have the world to believe the widely read SF Gate columnist doesn’t exist?

At AdRants they speculated a possible conflict with blog ad provider Federated Media, which seemed somewhat unlikely to be involved in editorial concerns (IMHO ) since they supply ads for dozens of popular sites including the Metblogs network.

BoingBoing eventually issued it’s own terse comment and explanation after the web “sh*tstorm” lapped up on it’s serenely acerbic shores:

“[Violet’s] posts were removed from public view a year ago. Violet behaved in a way that made us reconsider whether we wanted to lend her any credibility or associate with her. It’s our blog and so we made an editorial decision, like we do every single day. We didn’t attempt to silence Violet. We unpublished our own work. There’s a big difference between that and censorship.”

Read the LA times blog, or for a more concise semi ad biz related wrap up read more at AdRants.

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