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May. 25th, 2008

04:15 pm - A good food weekend!

Friday, lunch: Curry, Beef don, Yakitori (Shin-Sen-Gumi, Gardena)
Friday, dinner: Yakitori (Shin-Sen-Gumi, Gardena)
Saturday, lunch: Okonomiyaki (Gaja Moc, Lomita)
Saturday, dessert: Confections (Patisserie Chantilly, Lomita)
Saturday, dinner: Yakitori (Shin-Sen-Gumi, Gardena)
Sunday, lunch: Sukiyaki (Shin-Sen-Gumi, Gardena)
Sunday, to go: Spam Musubi (Shin-Sen-Gumi 2 GO, Gardena)
Sunday, dinner: Ramen (Shin-Sen-Gumi, Gardena)


Current Location: Omni Hotel, Downtown LA
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied

09:44 am - Cake or death?

So, we were driving up 405N the other day, in LA, and we both noticed simultaneously a sign someone had attached to a (pedestrian?) overpass. It read:

"The war is a lie."

We both immediately cracked up laughing.

If it had said "war is a lie" or "war is lie" or "the war is lies" or something, it wouldn't have been funny, but because it was precisely a line from Portal but with 'cake' replaced with 'war', it was exceedingly funny.

It made me want to put a sign on the next overpass that said, "War is cake."

I'm sure it was not intentional, and I don't mean to belittle the sentiment of their message. It just stuck a chord other than the one they intended.

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Current Location: Omni Hotel, Downtown LA
Current Mood: amusedamused

May. 11th, 2008

02:21 pm - FREE stuff!

We have a few things that we're hoping to give away to someone who might need them. Please let me know if you want any of them via e-mail or comment on the post or phone or whatever.

So, if you are interested in any of the above and are able to collect it from us in the SF Bay Area, please let me know ASAP. :) Also let me know if you have any questions / want any further details.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: busybusy

May. 10th, 2008

07:35 pm - Dude, where's my pixels?!

So, Moore's law doesn't always apply.

Here's a little graph I made a while back to show the number of pixels in my current laptop's display over time. Seriously, wtf? I haven't had this few pixels since last millennium!

I miss my pixels.

The fact that my current laptop only has 990 vertical pixels (the fewest I've had since I last used 1024x768 -- progress! ahem, not) actually has implications for my productivity and ability to use my computer. One rather strange implication, for example, is that when I open Google Calendar in a Firefox tab, I don't see anything past 5:30pm. That makes it easy to not notice evening plans. It's weird the impacts technology has on one's life. Who'd have thought that having fewer pixels would make me more likely to be unprepared for stuff.

Just for clarification, I had 1280x1024 back in 2000 (Dell Inspiron 3800, Dell Inspiron 4000), 1600x1200 up to 2005 (Dell Inspiron 8200), then I dropped to 1400x1050 until this year (Dell Inspiron 600m), and now I've gained a few pixels in width (1400->1440), but lost more vital height (1050->990) in moving to a Lenovo T61.

Current Location: Ankh-Seapork
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: George Hrab

Apr. 30th, 2008

10:29 pm - "Red Lantern", Redwood City, CA

We went to "Red Lantern" the other day. Some of it was excellent. Some was "eh".

OpenTable asked me for feedback, and gave me only 750 characters, so to avoid just sending it, impermanent as a shooting star, into the aether and losing it forever, I hereby preserve my review for posterity:

So, I would go back. The decor is really nicely done. Some of the food was great. Other things were a bit eh, but there were a couple of things on the menu I would have liked to have ordered which I could try another time, and we can simply not re-order the things which didn't thrill.

I left the checkbox unchecked to indicate that I was ok with them forwarding my comments to the restaurant, and gave an e-mail address in case the restaurant wants to contact me about my comments. I enjoyed the dinner enough that I'd like them to see my comments and consider them, perhaps improve some things.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: sicksick (not from the food!)

Apr. 9th, 2008

10:53 pm - Me, quoted in the Chronicle


(They quoted part of my comment on this story in a follow-up article).

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: amusedamused

Apr. 8th, 2008

10:01 am - Horrifyingly, disturbingly cute/awful/brilliant

It really defies words. Thanks to @RobinInSeoul for the URL!

Current Mood: amusedamused/horrified

Apr. 1st, 2008

01:09 pm - SEO rap! (especially for brianrubin)

Hilarious ... and good advice too!

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: See above.

10:28 am - "INFECTED" book launch today!

Another of my compadres, one Scott Sigler (soon to be the next Stephen King), has just today launched his first major hardcover novel, "INFECTED". Ooh. It looks so shiny. Plus, check out this promo video! Wow!

I have never seen a video trailer for a book that rivals movie trailers. Holy carp!

Anyhow, my (first) copy is winging its way to me from Amazon. I think I shall go to a book store today to see it on the shelves. Maybe snap a shot or two. Maybe even pick up an extra copy.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Uncrowned

Mar. 15th, 2008

01:15 pm - "JACK WAKES UP" in print! Tomorrow, Palm(s) Sunday 2008.03.16!

Tomorrow's the big day when my friend Seth Harwood's outstanding crime noir novel "Jack Wakes Up" comes out in print, and tomorrow's the day he's hoping to make a crater on Amazon's charts. I will be with Seth and a bunch of others in a coffee shop in Berzerkeley tomorrow morning for brunch and book buying (via the free wireless) and watching Jack Wakes Up make some waves on Amazon.

Why should you care? Well, find out for yourself. Seth is giving his book away both in Podcast audiobook form and in PDF form!

Let's see if Seth can do a repeat of Sigler's 2007.04.01 Amazon coup.

Current Location: 806
Current Music: "Mad Villains" - Mad Villainy

Mar. 9th, 2008

08:13 pm - Fun, but not really quite baked yet: bitstrips

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

Feb. 14th, 2008

09:34 am - For surpheon, I'm told...

The Greatest Show on Earth!?

Feb. 13th, 2008

11:40 am - Do not adjust your set.

He did, he did, the acid kid; he did amid the squid, he did. He bid, he slid, and hid upon the grid, and rid his id of squid, he did.

Just my 2 quid.

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Current Location: 806

Feb. 1st, 2008

05:28 pm - Bizarre Firefox/web site behaviour!

So, I went to look at information about the Star Trek tour thingy at the Queen Mary, and was presented by Firefox, to my astonishment, with this:

(Click on the image of the web page to see the text detail...)

The text ... it is ... uh ... well, bizarre!

For example:

The even more bizarre thing, though, was that if I copy and paste the weird text, it comes out like this:So, ur, they seem to have managed to tickle some weird Firefox behaviour. Perhaps a broken font? I don't know. All I do know it that it was awfully funny.

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Re Your Brains" - Jonathan Coulton

Jan. 31st, 2008

04:55 pm - TSA adds more incredibly burdensome rubbish that doesn't improve security!


If they implement this across the board, or the next time I fly out of SFO, it's going to take me like 15 minutes to unpack all the cables and electronics and stuff from my backpack, and another 15 to pack it back up! Argh! How stupid.

A colleague said he's flying tomorrow, and he plans to put all his cables and stuff into a plastic bag. My problem is there's electronics or cables in every single compartment of my many-compartmented backpack, and stuff likely in any other bags I may have with me, so it would probably not be possible to pack everything if I were to combine it all into one bag, but perhaps the bundle of cables and stuff in the small front pouch can go into a quart ziplock, and the 2 power supplies in the smaller main compartment and any other junk in there can go in a gallon ziplock, and the mass of cables plus voice recorder attachment for my iPod plus bluetooth headset plus ..... in the tiny little compartment at the top can go into a sandwich bag, and .......

Ok, so I could cut it to only about 5-10 times as burdensome as removing only my laptop, but, uh, that stuff probably makes up well over half the contents (by volume) of my backpack!

This rule clearly wasn't considering geeks; only average people with their iPod, phone, camera and laptop. Heck, even an average person has a bunch of things. Blah.

Current Music: "Still Alive" (Portal end theme) - Jonathan Coulton

Jan. 28th, 2008

04:01 pm - You know you live in the San Francisco Bay Area when...

You know you live in the San Francisco Bay Area when...

Incident: 1495  Type:	Pedestrian on the Roadway  Location: NB I880 AT WASHINGTON AV
Zoom Map: 691 5C  info as of:	1/28/2008 4:00:13 PM


3:20PM	CHP Unit On Scene
3:23PM	CHP Unit Enroute
3:30PM	CHP Unit On Scene
3:36PM	CHP Unit On Scene

For the time being, you can watch the latest developments by going to the CHP incidents page, selecting Bay Area, and looking for the incident timestamped 3:07pm. Thanks to mcl for pointing this out on our work chat server.

Update 1: The incident has since vanished from the CHP incidents page! Cover-up? =)

Update 2: Actually, it's still accessible under "Filed Incidents" in the "Resources" drop-down menu.

Update 3: Perhaps unsurprisingly, this got coverage in the San Jose Mercury News!

Jan. 23rd, 2008

06:52 pm - Food, food, food and drink!

Firefox is straining from the weight of all the tabs I have chronically open, and a lot of them are food-related, so here's my round-up of all the interesting food-related stuff I've been collecting of late.

Restaurants I (really) want to visit:

Places I have recently been:Useful on-line resources and random silliness:

Jan. 20th, 2008

07:21 pm - A Tale of Circuit Cities

It's not so much what Circuit City did, but what they didn't do: They didn't send a circular out in this past week's dead tree spam.

While this would not normally register at all on my metaphorical radar, I was checking the dead tree spam for circulars from Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Wal*Mart, et alia, as that is the most likely source (perhaps outside the newspaper, which I really ought to have thought of acquiring and perusing, but 20-20 hindsight is only useful in as much as it can help to modify behaviour in the future) of information about shipments of Nintendo Wii consoles.

So, given zero data about which stores might have them and armed only with somewhat vague information that there was finally due to be some sort of perhaps sizeable delivery of said consoles to various stores on Sunday, January 20th, I braved the overly morningish hours to be the early bird and get the annelid of the Nintendoid variety, only to be told by the purveyors of electronics at the local Best Buy that they received no Wiis. O cruel fates!

So I began calling around the other purveyors, and discovered that all the Circuit City stores had had deliveries and were already sold out (they had opened an hour before Best Buy, and while the kind people of Best Buy let me know they had received none in advance of their opening time, Circuit City had then been open for over 20 minutes. 5 minutes is enough to ensure that no store has any stock left.

So, I can't really blame Circuit City, but it was kind of an annoying wasted morning waiting for Best Buy (a super-new store in an only partially open new ... mall (more a gargantuan parking lot surrounded by gargantuan stores) which I thought might be less traveled and thus I might be more likely to be first or close to first in line at) to open and then making fruitless calls to various Circuit City, Gamestop (which it turns out do not receive shipments on weekends, therefore need not be bothered with on a weekend if searching for a Wii as no Wii survives 24 hours on the shelf), Wal*Mart and Target stores.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: "Chiron Beta Prime" - Jonathan Coulton

Jan. 15th, 2008

11:36 pm - Conspiracy! =) Is Boeing's Randy Real?!

While looking for images of various Boeing 747 series planes, I stumbled upon this page, a blog on boeing.com called "Randy's Journal". It has a picture of a smiling somewhat elderly gentleman. If you follow the About Randy, it says:

Ok. No problem. The thing is, though, on either of those pages, if you click the title image, it sends you to http://www.boeing.com/randy/, but if you click that you get redirected to http://boeingblogs.com/randy/. No problem. Redirection. Nothing weird about that, right? But then, you notice the picture of an entirely different fellow! That's kind of odd, huh? It gets weirder! On the right hand side of that page, it reads:Um. Really? They have hot-swappable VPs of Marketing called Randy? Maybe Randy is really a fictional character and they decided to do an image update? :>

No, I don't really believe this. :) I expect it's simply a big coincidence that they happen to have replaced a VP of Marketing with another with the same first name. Funny, though!

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: amusedamused

Jan. 14th, 2008

08:12 pm - Mur Lafferty again takes the podcasting world by storm!

Mur's new podcast audio book, "Playing for Keeps" is really great, especially as read by Mur herself! It is also available right now for purchase in print in softcover and hardcover editions.

Press Release: http://www.prlog.org/10045735-superheroes-lend-voices-to-audio-novel.html

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: impressedimpressed


I HATE telemarketers.

I HATE, far, far more[1], automated calls from companies/organisations which fail completely not to be out-and-out abuse/harassment. These are recordings or computer-only calls which make me want to go thermonuclear.

The calls of this nature that we receive (on our home line) all fall into one of two categories, both horribly wrong.

  1. The message says that "by listening to the following message, you agree that you are <person-who-doesn't-exist>" ... and you have NO way to identify the scum calling you -- not even a phone number -- without you listening further, and thus by their bullshit claim verifying that you are the non-existent person! ARGH!

  2. The computer provides a way to "press 1 if you are <non-existent-person>" or "press 2 if this is the correct household but <non-existent-person> is not at home" but ... REQUIRE YOU TO CALL THEM (and they only give a number and DON'T identify what company is harassing you) to *%@^ing tell them that the person does not live here.
It is wrong, wrong, wrong that they can get away with this and not get fined up the bloody wazoo or maybe get a little jail time to let them contemplate the *%@&ing egregious harassment they are feculently spewing forth onto the world.

I don't know if there's even any rules/laws that would stop them acting in this manner. Maybe "oh, we were trying to contact John Doe, with whom we have a legitimate business relationship" is a catch-all get out of jail free card.

The primary abusers seem to be collections agencies, which seem to think it's perfectly ok to harass people, since that's what they do, but while it may be ok to "harass" the person who's failing to pay their bills, it is NOT ok to harass innocent third parties. I think these scumbags go "hm, we don't know exactly where to find John Doe, but it's cheap to have our computer repeatedly call every Doe in the phone book!" This really needs to STOP. Argh.

[1] A whole LOT more. I get very few plain telemarketer calls these days since they instituted the Federal DNC (Do-Not-Call) List. The calls now are even more infuriating, because it's harder to tell if they're simple SPAM or if they're some misdirected "legitimate" business call. Plus, the edge cases that are legal around the DNC list (charities, political organisations ... and businesses under certain circumstances) irritate me. Heck, it almost makes me appreciate telemarketers. At least there's a little bit of honesty in their blatant SPAMishness even if they are also horrible.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: angryangry

Jan. 3rd, 2008

04:37 pm - What are QMx smoking?

QMx are apparently coming out with a Cylon Raider model ...... which looks NOTHING like the actual ship it's meant to be a model of. What are they smoking?

Nov. 28th, 2007

10:55 am - Of winged men and giant elks and underground voices ...

So, the other day someone posted this to a mailing list I am on. video of people jumping off mountains and gliding mere feet from cliff-sides. Yikes! Scary and impressive and truly insane.

mcl mentioned one of the strangest stories I've seen in a long time at work. 'World's largest elk' to be built in Sweden. Make sure you watch the video for the full bizarre impact.

Also courtesy of mcl, The Voice of the Underground is silenced. Oy.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: http://www.concorderock.com/

Nov. 21st, 2007

07:04 pm - Court's ability to get things right does not inspire confidence...

I received a Juror Summons in the mail today.

Before I opened it, it amused me, because -- well -- since I'm not a US citizen, it would be illegal for me to serve on a jury, and it seems like it could be amusing to inform them of that fact. The fact that they got my name wrong (they swapped my last name and my second middle name) was really dumb too, but I didn't care too much because, well, I don't have to serve so whatever!

... but then I opened it and read it, and I have to send them frickin' proof (photocopy of passport or alien resident card) that I'm not a US citizen. I have to waste my time and money to correct their imbecilic mistake? *sigh*

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: "Dare to be Stupid" - Weird Al Yankovic

Nov. 19th, 2007

06:32 am - Amusing/interesting tabs from my web browser...

So, my laptop failed to hibernate this morning due to the fact that there was insufficient swap space. Apparently the long-running Firefox instance (probably due to flash and the like) had eaten vast quantities of RAM. So, I drove to work with my laptop running (not suspended in any way). Shortly after I arrived, Firefox crashed (silly Firefox). Restoring my session (thank the twelve lords of kobol(TM) for restore) took ... a while ... due to all the tabs in all the Firefox windows it had to restore, so I figured, rather than having 10 million tabs open because I wanted to tell people about them but hadn't got around to it, I should actually, y'know, tell people about them and/or post them and/or just close them. So, without further ado, let me give you ...

... a circus of linkitude and pictoral fun!Collapse )

Current Music: "Stupid for You" - Marié Digby

Nov. 10th, 2007

12:25 pm - Showing my colours...

Thanks to lexigeek!Collapse )

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: thoughtfulsupportive

12:12 pm - Why we should support the WGA strike

I wrote the following on a mailing list I'm on, but decided that it bore repeating here:

Consider this. What you and I get paid (for most values of you) depends on what we do this year, this week, etc.

What writers get paid is largely residuals from work they did in previous years.

Flip forward, say, 5 years. Convergence of TV and Internet (ok, I'm not convinced it'll quite happen exactly like that, but there'll be a lot more on-line content, so let's just pretend they have converged and there is no more traditional TV). If you're a writer, you're obviously not going to work absolutely for nothing ... so they negotiate new contracts (5 years from now) which give them a piece of the on-line distribution pie. Ok. Sounds good? No, not really, because they're being screwed on all their /past/ work which they should be earning residuals on.

Because of the fact that you earn on the past ... you have to look into the future to know what contract you need for the present. Capiche?

That is to say, if they think on-line distribution, streaming and so on, are going to be big 5, 10 years from now, they'd BETTER get it into the contracts for the stuff they're writing /now/ or they'll starve 5, 10 years from now. Sure, not everybody will starve, but the writers who write something today which turns out to be big but then never write anything big again could find themselves the target of daylight robbery by the studios.

This is what's happening now with older shows produced before the current contracts were negotiated. Writers getting 0% on VHS and DVD (I believe an example of this was "I Love Lucy", which has been in syndication for decades and made STUPIDLY large amounts of money), because VHS and DVD had not been envisioned when the show was produced, and had not been taken into account in the contracts.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: determineddetermined

Oct. 27th, 2007

05:41 pm - Restaurant Review: Ad Hoc

Yesterday, urox and I drove to Yountville, CA, for dinner at Thomas Keller's new (well, not very new, but new-ish, and new to us) restaurant, "Ad Hoc".


Click here for the full review.Collapse )

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Current Location: 806
Current Music: O Solo Mio

05:10 pm - I've got a theory...

... that lauratd is pretty talented at writing Whedon filk!

At the Cerrito Whedon night this past Thursday, lauratd and elite performed a filk variation on/parody of the song "I've Got a Theory" from "Once More with Feeling"! It was about Fox and SAG and the recent cancellations of TV episode showings in theatres (including for Cerrito and Parkway Whedon [Buffy/Firefly] nights).

The lyrics can be found in her LiveJournal. :)

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: I've Got a Theory

Oct. 26th, 2007

11:51 am - "I'm a Mur" "... and I'm a J.C."

Oh man, this Mac vs. PC parody by a couple of friends of mine is awesome! :)

Hilarious! Nice one, guys. :) You are both made of awesome and win.

If you don't know who Mur and J.C. are...Collapse )

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: jubilanthighly amused
Current Music: Short Skirt/Long Jacked - Cake

Oct. 22nd, 2007

05:32 pm - Foodie geek-out

Thomas Keller was on our flight home from JFK to SFO last night.

Yes, THE Thomas Keller.

more...Collapse )

Current Mood: geekygeeky

Oct. 11th, 2007

09:39 pm - "7th Son" according to Sigler!

  "If you're not listening to J.C. Hutchins' 7th Son, you're missing out. Seriously, that's some good freebasing audio meth."
-- Scott Sigler

What a great compliment. :-) From a highly talented author, too.

If you're not yet listening to 7th Son, seriously, do yourself a favour. (1) Start listening and (2) begin at the beginning. The start of 7th Son Book One: Descent. I've been a fan of J.C.'s for quite a while now. He is one heck of a talented fellow, and a nice guy to boot (though not above "cliffhangering" us horribly!).

Speaking of Scott, you really should listen to his audiobooks too.

My favourite of all (which is weird, because I'm not an American Football fan) is "The Rookie", however all of his books are really good.

His new, upcoming novel is due to drop (podcast, that is), rather appropriately if I know Scott (and I do), on Halloween.

Current Location: 806
Current Music: Cell Dweller

Oct. 10th, 2007

06:15 pm - LJTalk?

Is it just me or has LJTalk (jabber) been down (well, broken) for days? It keeps saying not authorized to me.

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Pseudopod

Oct. 6th, 2007

03:57 pm - Sweet deal if you have a bunch of coins lying around

You know those green "Coinstar" machines you see in supermarkets and so on (if you live in the US)?

Well, you can turn a pile of coins into more useful (minimized number of units; notes, etc.) money, but they take a cut (8.9%, I think). There is a way to get 100% of your money, however: Turn it into a gift certificate for Amazon.com or Starbucks or several other options and they take 0%. That deal has been on-going for a couple of years now, I think. It's standard.

Right now, however (Amazon e-mailed me this morning), if you turn at least $30 of coins into an Amazon.com gift certificate, you can then mail in the receipt to receive an additional $10 Amazon.com gift certificate by mail.

I happen to have had $41.48, apparently. :) (and now I have that in my Amazon.com account -- the GC code on the receipt can be for any arbitrary amount, which is nice; I heard the modem dialling in the machine so it could acquire a code for a specific value). That, and I'll be receiving another $10. Yay!

Y'know... if you don't have $30 in coins lying around, you could even go to a bank, ask for $30 in quarters, and then go to the Coinstar machine, ... ;)

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Current Location: 806
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Oct. 4th, 2007

03:41 pm - Podiobooks galore finishing -- and a minor claim to fame

I had the rather impressive honour earlier this week of being asked by the esteemed J.C. Hutchins to do an ID/intro for episode 12 of 7th Son, Book Three: Destruction! Wow. I mean, seriously... wow. That was so frickin' awesome. 30,000 listeners! I'm in pretty impressive company, too. :) Even more mind-boggling was that J.C. came to me and asked me to do it. You rock, J.C.!

7th Son is one hell of a roller-coaster ride of a story. Plus ... guess what? Free! Yes, a free podcast audiobook. Give it a listen. Do yourself a favour and start with Book One: Descent.

A bunch of podiobooks (podcast audiobooks) I read are finishing up soon! Yipes!

J.C.'s 7th Son (not only the current book, but the whole trilogy), Seth Harwood's Jack Palms II: This is Life and Phil Rossi's Crescent are all within 4 episodes of being over. All getting in to their exciting finales!

urox and I are also within 4 or so episodes of the end of Matthew Wayne Selznick's Brave Men Run, though Matt's novel finished being podcast some time ago. :)

All of these are fantastic books. 7th Son was the first podcast audiobook that I ever listened to, and I've been a big fan all along. I've met, hung out with, and become friends with J.C., Seth and Matt. They're all great guys. I've not met Phil, but by all accounts he's a good guy too. :-) A sick, twisted guy, but no more sick than Scott Sigler, another really nice fellow who writes disgustingly horrible stuff at times. =)

Matt's book is also published in both paperback and eBook (not encumbered with DRM) forms, by the way, but the podcast version is still free.

Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Matthew Ebel - Beer & Coffee

Sep. 22nd, 2007

06:02 pm - In search of izakaya

We are big fans of yakitori as produced by the masters of Shin-Sen-Gumi down in LA. You know this if you've read my LJ at all, really. :> We have, alas, yet to find anything even vaguely comparable in the Bay Area.

We went to a yakitori place in north-western San Jose called Sumiya. It was entirely mediocre. Sigh.

In scouring chowhound for places that might have yakitori, I found a couple of izakaya places that we must try. I'm not sure if either will have yakitori, but both sound potentially interesting:

Must try these soon.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: A "Dead Like Me", season 2, episode

Sep. 3rd, 2007

05:24 pm - Long Hair

I've visited "the south", and Oklahoma (wait, that probably is in the south; oh well, you get the idea; Georgia, Mississippi and Oklahoma), and yet the one time I've ever had anybody (other than people I know joking around) say anything like the following was ... well, in frickin' LA!

urox and I had just got out of my car, in a parking lot and were walking a short distance to a restaurant, in Gardena, CA (basically suburb of LA, but it's a city in fact), and an SUV full of young males drove past, windows down, and yelled, "Cut your hair, you damn hippy!" Wow. In LA. Huh?! I mean, seriously. I was stunned. :) How do such stupid people live so sheltered a life as to think that way *in LA*?

Anyhow, this is a bit of an irrelevant aside, as that was over a week ago, and I'm sure I ought instead to be posting something about Dragon*Con, but I just remembered that I meant to post about it, since it was so bizarre.

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Current Location: DFW, gate A9

Aug. 29th, 2007

12:05 am - Travels: Atlanta (work), LA, Atlanta *again*! (Dragon*Con)

I leave for Atlanta, GA, in just over 24 hours. I have a full day of work, some remaining clothes washing, and ALL my packing still to do. Uhoh. On top of this, I hope to get 2 nights' of sleep?! Anyhow, I'm off to Dragon*Con! Let me know if any of you are going so we can try to coincide at some point.

The past week and a half has been crazy. :) I had already planned things such that I'd have 2 trips more or less back-to-back (just o9ver 48hrs in between them): A trip to LA (down early on Friday morning, back late on Monday evening) and then my trip to ATL for D*C (leaving early on Thursday morning, back late on Monday night). This seemed ... cutting things a little bit fine, but not entirely daunting. Then, however, 2 weeks before my trip to ATL for D*C, my boss asked me, "Are you available to fly to Atlanta for a customer visit Monday-Wednesday next week?" I broke out laughing. Then checked specifics on days, and said I could, but not if it went any longer than that because, as I explained, that would leave me only just over 24hrs before having to leave for LA, and then I'd be off to ATL again, this time on vacation, after only just over 48hrs more. So, I booked my trip to ATL for work on somewhat less than 3 days' notice(!) -- air, car, overly expensive (but awfully nice) hotel room -- and that was that.

While 2 close-to-back-to-back trips seemed a little daunting, 3 trips all crammed together into 2 weeks, including 2 trips to Atlanta (a place I'd only been once before, for D*C 2005) is really just kind of insane.

So here I am, about to head to ATL again (thank the twelve lords of Kobol [if you are confused, watch BSG, damnit!] that I'm American Airlines Platinum--it has its perks). Gosh! So much stuff to do before I go. Yikes. Now: Sleep!!!

Oh, BTW, P.S.: Gaja Moc (Okonomiyaki) in Lomita, CA, and Patisserie Chantilly (right next door!) are excellent. Really good, tasty Okonomiyaki, followed by the most heavenly creme caramel I've ever tasted. Also, Shin-Sen-Gumi => YUM. Shin-Sen-Gumi Summer Matsuri (festival) => FUN + YUM! Alas, didn't win any raffle prizes. Did help save the day and hold down the structure. Gosh. Oh, and WOW, SSG has a lot of employees, overall. Oh, and was recognised by 2 staff members from a restaurant (the one restaurant owned by SSG in Japan) we went to in Tokyo in April (talk about good memories!). Oh, and got to tell the president of SSG that we love his restaurants, and to please open some in the Bay Area. Oh, and did I say YUM? Takoyaki! Okonomiyaki! Yakisoba! Yaki Ika! Ramen! Yakitori! Green tea! Oolong cha! Oh, and getting to hang out with my cousin and her boyfriend was fun too. :) It's always good to see Jessi. She didn't win any raffle prizes either. Boo to not winning! Awesome weekend, though! :)

Jul. 17th, 2007

08:21 pm - An ~6"x6" patch of the inside of my right elbow ...

An ~6"x6" patch of the inside of my right elbow is a veritable geological history of tape residue.

According to scrump, it'll take a while to come off, and in the mean time I'll stick to things a lot. Heh.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Jul. 15th, 2007

10:34 am - Just got back from hospital yesterday, ...

On Monday night, I started to feel bad. By Wednesday morning, having remedied some other symptoms, it became clear that I had pain in my lower right quadrant of my abdomen (y'know, in the general area of the appendix). Doctor's office told me to go to the emergency room -- damn. Pain wasn't too terrible, so decided to drive the 25m or so to Stanford rather than finding a more local emergency room. I'm glad I did. I was admitted on Wednesday morning in the emergency room and released on Saturday late morning. I had to have an emergency appendectomy, which turned from an intended laparoscopic op into an open appendectomy. Not in the least bit fun. I think my surgical team (led, as it happens, by a surgeon from the medical clinic where I see my primary care physician [GP]) was excellent, and the nursing staff (RNs and NAs) were outstanding and wonderful. I experienced the pain running the full gamut from 0 to 10 during my stay (the worst being when I woke up in the recovery room after the op pumped up with as many drugs as they were willing to give me still in absolutely excruciating pain). I'm looking forward to being able to wean myself off vicodin.

[Edit] I guess I didn't mention above that when they went in the reason it turned into an open appendectomy was that they found that my appendix (that we thought had not ruptured/perforated at all) had not only perforated .... but had done so 2 momths ago. Yikes. So, they had to do a lot of work (1.5-2hr op instead of the planned 20 minute op), the details of which I will not turn your stomachs with here. It's ... rather unusual for someone to have a perforated appendix for 2 months and still be walking around.

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: soresore

Jul. 2nd, 2007

08:56 pm - GPS Navigation? nüvi or not nüvi, that is the question

Hey readers of my LJ (I am sorry I'm not keeping up as a reader of anybody's LJ :/) ... I'm considering a GPS navigation system.

The title's a little disingenuous, but it amused me. Sorry. ;)

Costco has the Garmin nüvi 660 available for $600 until the end of the week, and I like buying from Costco because of the strength of their return policies/additional warranty coverage to 2 years for products which have shorter manufacturer warranties than 2 years. That said, however, in this case it's not necessarily the best deal, as Amazon.com has it for $591.20. Additionally, one has to consider that buying it from Costco it's really ~$650.

Then I did a little research and found that there's a newer model, the nüvi 680, which the review makes sound even better than the 660 (see also their list of reviewed GPS navigation units and ratings/accolades).

The 680 is available on Amazon.com for only $675, which compares awfully favourably to Costco's price on the 660. Alas, Costco doesn't offer the 680.

I've never owned a GPS navigation system, or any form of GPS actually, so I'm a newbie, and I figure there's folks on my flist (heh) who know GPS kit well. Advice? Suggestions? Comments?

Current Mood: busybusy

Jun. 19th, 2007

04:57 pm - BSG vids


I thought they'd taken this down, but ... BSG Season 3 Gag Reel

A couple of fairly well done fan-made BSG music videos: I Touch Myself, Mr. Roboto

Current Location: Starbucks
Current Music: Mr. Roboto

04:41 pm - LJ Permanent Account Sale starts on Thursday

Cool. :) They're doing another sale of LJ permanent accounts (the first in 2 years) starting on Thursday, June 21st, 2 days from now. $150 forever. The last one they had was shortly after I started using LJ, and I figured it was worth it if I was going to use LJ at all (I like the feature of never having to pay them again, and having all the benefits of paid accounts and more). If you're going to do it, do it in the first 36hrs so that they have to give $25 of it to charity! =) The charities in question are good ones to support.

Current Location: Starbucks

02:28 pm - Costco RWC expansion... and AT&T tries to sit on deal... oh, plus DSL yays!

The Costco store in Redwood City, CA (where I work) has plans to remodel/expand to include a gas station and rotisserie chicken facilities. There's going to be a public hearing about it tonight at 7pm (more info). I wish I could attend, in support of Costco's plans (I want to be able to get gas near work at Costco prices! ... and their rotisserie chicken rocks), but I can't today. Damn. Going out to dinner with a friend from Ireland who's attending Usenix. Oh well. I really hope Costco get the go-ahead...

In other news, apparently AT&T as a merger condition agreed to make $10/month DSL available for two and a half years starting last Saturday (2007.06.16) ... but were planning to sit on the information -- have it available, but never advertise it, since they didn't really want people subscribing for $10/month when they could charge them more! Hah! This isn't relevant to me, because it's 768kbps dynamic IP service, and I need static IP service ... plus our direct-to-the-CO connection was only capable of 384kbps, and if we're going through the pain of over a week of DSL downtime to get switched to a connection-via-a-"Remote-Terminal" (aka "RT" -- really, a repeater, close to / at the demarc), we're going to get more than 768kbps, gosh darnit! Still, I'm amused that the service they didn't want advertised is getting lots of publicity. Hehehe.

Speaking of DSL, we FINALLY have reconnection scheduled. Thursday! Yay!!! As of last night, I thought we'd be lucky if it happened by Friday. So, 2 days from now we should be back on-line at up to 6Mbps at home. Awesome! :) I might explode if they screw it up. Let's hope they don't.

Current Mood: bouncybouncy

Jun. 15th, 2007

02:12 pm - Can't Stop the Serenity!

This weekend and next!

If any of you have any interest in...
  1. seeing "Serenity" on the big screen,
  2. helping out a really good charity,
  3. having the opportunity to win some schwag
... then please check out:... along with http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/ for more details of the overall effort (there's screenings all across the US and around the world).

Jun. 11th, 2007

06:53 pm - Random weird/amusing/cool videos

Click here for videos ... behind a cut to avoid making you load a lot of previews (5 of them).Collapse )

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Jun. 6th, 2007

07:55 pm - LA weekend

So, this weekend I'm planning to be in LA. I'm not sure exactly when I'll be arriving. I'll be leaving on Sunday evening.

I will be going to see The Blank's "Young Playwrights Festival" on Sunday at 2:00pm, which will supposedly have Nicholas Brendon in it. At $15/person, it's a fantastic deal. The Blank is an excellent theatre company. If any of you are interested in going, buy a ticket and let me know, or something. :) I'll be there regardless.

I'm also planning to attend brianrubin's WalkenFest on Saturday.

I will of course also be going out for yakitori and ramen in Gardena multiple times. Probably at least Friday night (yakitori) and both Saturday and Sunday mornings (well, late morning/noon-ish) (ramen), and possibly also Saturday and/or Sunday evening(s) (yakitori). Let me know if you are interested in going and getting food with me! Seriously, it's frakking amazing stuff.

P.S. No, I'm still not managing to find time to read LJ (too much work and stuff on my task list outside work that's way overdue :/) and I haven't finished writing up our Japan trip. Sigh. I'll try to get to it soon.

Current Mood: busybusy

07:24 pm - Hertzfeld and Sanctuary and HERO and COW and Ads! Oy vey!

I want this:

This looks potentially rather interesting:Rather interesting art project featuring Nathan Fillion:This brought back fond memories of moomooencode:The following ads made me laugh (hard) (watch them in order; Office Platoon first ... and try to guess what it is an ad for before the end):

Current Mood: busybusy

May. 25th, 2007

06:14 pm - Sweet wines, in depth.

I started writing an answer to a question on Yahoo! Answers, and ... ur ... wrote more than I originally intended! I am duplicating my answer here because, well, I spent enough time on it that I'd hate not to get a little more mileage out of it. ;)


I love sweet wines, what would you recommend?

My answer:

Oh, what a perfect question for me. :)

Massive answer behind the cut...Collapse )

Current Location: 806
Current Mood: tiredtired

May. 23rd, 2007

08:24 am - New ramen joint?!

I was trying to remember the name of a ramen restaurant in San Jose using Google (Do-Henkotsu--which has apparently closed! That sucks!), and I stumbled across what appears to be a new ramen restaurant in Cupertino, CA. http://www.ramenrama.com/

[Edit] http://www.chowhound.com/topics/386135 has a mind-bogglingly long list of places to get ramen in the Bay Area (at least, I think the list is all ramen places, or places that serve ramen). I knew there were 15-20 places in the SFBA, but I didn't think there was anything like 54. All our favourites appear in the top 10, but the ordering is slightly odd. Given how mediocre Ringer Hut was, going below 22 on the list sounds a little unwise, but then I would not have rated Ramen Halu #1 either. It would have ranked further down the top 10 for me.

Current Mood: busybusy

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