Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Year of Ascent

For as much as the well-known phenomenon proves true for all of us, it hits me just a little harder every year.  This is to say, the older we get, the faster each 12-month increment seems to pass.  Such is the case, more than ever, with 2010.

Plan and try as I did, this year began less than pleasantly.  While the details are my own, it took just hours for me to coin the title  “The Year of Ascent.”  I knew, and clearly so, that the only way was up.  Fortunately, the initial turn in the upward direction came quickly.

Searches and discoveries.  Developments and decisions.  Gains and losses.  Trials and errors.  Successes and failures.  Excitements and advances.  Every one of these collectively culminated in a long-awaited intention fulfilled.  2010 carried me along a path that via its many curves and zig zags, overall led upward.  As it turns out, I ascended from a place in which I was not meant to remain, to one that feels better and more destined than any other. 

Miles were gained, more than ten thousand on my motorcycle to be exact.  Miles were lost, nearly four thousand in pedaling from my previous record.  My career path opened new doors, closed some of them, and continued knocking on more.  My physical fitness took a sabbatical, then returned in spades.  I loved and lost, and with a nod to Tennyson, I’m all the better for it.  My home for six months of the year served as an intended transition, leading me largely by fate to the spot in which I’m now settled.  Friendships were made, cultivated, tested, strengthened and celebrated.   All the while, my good health remains, as not one doctor visit this year would have it seem.

2010 was my first entire year as “my own boss” of sorts.  As a freelance professional with an wide-ranging media background, I landed myself a collection of interesting and insightful “gigs” throughout the past 12 months.  At the same time, I took advantage of my flexible schedule to pursue a brand-new full-time profession.  The process was thorough and intense, leading me to extensively evaluate my personal history, my viewpoints, my priorities and my overall professional temperament.  As my career search continues into 2011, I’m no doubt armed with more knowledge than ever before.

My confidence on the motorcycle was still fragile at the start of this year.  On my first large group ride in January, I was still lagging behind and fearfully avoiding the smallest cracks in the road.  As 2010 progressed, so too did my skills, ease and general riding pleasure.  At one point over the summer, I made the comment that it took me six months to put 3,000 miles on my motorcycle, and then six weeks to put on another 3,000.  While of course staying safe and defensive out there in a sea of questionable drivers, I’m thankful, with a knock on the wood next to me now, to have avoided any motorcycling incidents or mishaps.

My only physical injury of this year came on my other set of two wheels, as in the one without a motor.  A wipe out and the resulting road rash, of course, is simply par for the cyclist’s course.  I won’t blame my motorcycle entirely for my significant drop in cycling mileage, except to say that my riding time is no doubt shared between throttle and pedals.  As such, my bicycle does not get all of my ride time anymore, much to the suffering of my advanced physical fitness.  This shall change I predict, for as 2011 begins with my freshly serviced and repaired bicycle, I’m seeing some races on the horizon!  My motorcycle may just have to wait patiently.

After two years of two different intense personal involvements, 2010 declared me single once again.  All things considered, I’ve welcomed this much-needed time for myself, free of attachment and potential complication.  My longstanding friendships are very important to me, and I’m grateful for the chance this year to strengthen several of them.  A relationship will come again, no doubt, when it’s meant to do so.  In the meantime, my heart is at peace, with special places within for all those who’ve inhabited it.

Of all this year’s developments, the most obvious is my geographical relocation.  I absolutely love living in San Francisco thus far, and I’ve not doubted for one second that I made a sound decision.  After so many years of wanting to move here, I seized upon a unique window of opportunity in 2010, one of being unemployed and single.  Not only did I just move here to any old place, but it seems I found the “right” home, a beautiful spot that feels comfortable, relaxing and simply right.  Therefore, I rest all the more knowing this move is meant to be, and that I remain on that continually ascending path.

2010:  The Year of Ascent.  Questions, uncertainties and mysteries remain, and that’s life, certainly as much for you as for me.  Despite challenges that arise and setbacks that might dismay us, we all continue to ascend in one way or another.  After all, the ascent is never a straight diagonal line pointing northeast.  Rather, it’s a zig-zagging climb, one more rapid it seems with the passing of each 12 months!

Altogether, I’m standing on higher elevation right now than one this day 12 months ago.  The path ahead into 2011 looks like it continues to ascend.

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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Current Events


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One Last Look

Here on the second to last day of the year, it’s just about time to take one last look at the Christmas tree and start putting all the decorations away.  Perhaps some of you are well past me!

Shining at the Ritz!

One very lovely tree on which to cast a final glance, and perhaps take your Christmas card photo for next year, is this one in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.  Do note, you can do so while sipping a well-sized and reasonably priced martini!

Tree or no tree, the lobby bar at the Ritz is a fantastic spot to visit for an early-evening martini or two.  For the same $11 you’ll pay for a shaken, straight-up Absolut in any dreary, tacky and/or ordinary establishment around the city, at the Ritz your surprisingly modest drink price also buys you some relaxing and comfortable moments of traditional elegance, well-dressed people watching, and a small tray of taro chips on which to nibble.

Do stop in the next time you’re strolling around Nob Hill.  Of course if you want that Christmas card photo, you best go right now!

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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Restaurants


A Big Piece of History

How is it that until now, I was unaware of such a fabulous establishment?  Thankfully I seem to be meeting the right people to introduce me to the right places. 

Big 4, not to be confused with Big 5, is a uniquely inviting destination of true old-school San Francisco.  If you really know the city, you probably already appreciate this highlight of the Huntington Hotel on Nob Hill.  From the welcoming and jovial piano player, to the generous stools around the elegant wood bar, to… most of all… a huge and amazing dose of city history, Big 4 is a rich experience to be had, certainly more than once.

The history of which I speak is a blown-up photographic mural of the city, along an entire back wall of the restaurant.  Everything… the homes, the buildings, the various stages of development around town… can be seen in fascinating detail.  The year:  1878.  As you can guess, most everything we see in the mural was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906.  Be sure your drink is full as you head for your viewing, because like me, you may want to stay a while.  This is, quite literally, a big piece of history.

Speaking of drinks, one strike against Big 4 is the martini stemware.  My manhattan was surprisingly and disturbingly small.  Perhaps this is just another old-school element of the establishment, in line with the rest.  Still, I would hope the bar decides to come up a notch in martini size before too long.

I will definitely be returning to Big 4 for dinner very soon, for further history absorption and in spite of the drink size.  I recommend you pay a visit as well.  The antelope on the menu sounds absolutely delicious!

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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in History, Restaurants


Open Cycling Road

Earlier this month, I wrote that a day excursion north of San Francisco to the Point Reyes vicinity is an excellent undertaking by motorcycle.  I’m here now to say the same trip works just as well, and in terms of calorie burning even better, by bicycle.

There’s practically no vehicle traffic whatsoever out on the country roads near the little towns of Marshall and Point Reyes Station.  For most of the time, cyclists have the road to themselves, much more so than on the popularly pedaled roads around Woodside.  The pavement up north is typically iffy in a few spots, but thankfully enough most of it is relatively new and smooth, especially along the stretch of Hwy 1 along Tomales Bay known as Shoreline Hwy.

Cycling on Shoreline Hwy along Tomales Bay

Just as I highly recommend the area for a rewarding motorcycle outing, the same goes for a morning, and afternoon, or an entire day, of cycling.  It sure beats stop-and-go city riding, as long as you don’t mind the car trip to get there.  I’ll be back up there soon sans motor, as there’s much more open road to cover.  Our loop yesterday was a mere 35 miles.  Next time we’ll double this!

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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in Cycling, Daily Activities, Reviews


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No Manhattan?

Date-specific history always captures my attention, especially through photography.  As such, the San Francisco Chronicle did the capturing this morning, with this 1971 photo of the Transamerica Pyramid under construction.

As it looked in 1971.

This is the first time I’ve seen this excellent photo.  I’ll admit that until now I could not have told you off the top of my head exactly when the Transamerica Pyramid was built, though I would have guessed (and correctly so) that it’s a contemporary of the World Trade and John Hancock Centers.  Is it any coincidence that “The Towering Inferno,” set in San Francisco, commenced production in 1973?

Fittingly enough, today’s Chronicle piece discusses the now-almost-40-year-old so-called “Manhattanization scare” that rattled at least some factions of San Francisco.  Suffice to say, the article concludes with the seemingly intended-to-comfort reminder that “San Francisco did not turn into Manhattan.”

Perhaps my recent and succinct description of my new home city is inaccurate.  For months now, I’ve been referring to San Francisco as “a mini Manhattan with hills.”  Apparently, as I’ve just now come to learn, more than a few people would beg to differ.

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Posted by on December 26, 2010 in History, News


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Christmas Day “Tips” :-)

The day is here, again.  Merry Christmas everyone!

On this auspicious occasion come some important tips.  At issue here is your responsibility to ensure style, class and overall panache throughout this day of seemingly endless merriment.  If you’re dressing up and heading to dinner at a luxury resort, you have it made.  If, however, you’re relegated to a relative’s home, personal flair is not to be dismissed. 

First off, you must of course dress well.  Secondly, and more crucially, it’s vital that your host is serving on the finest china and crystal that happens to be in the house.  This is no day for paper and plastic.

Even I opted out of a tie, for the first time in five years.

I suffered such an atrocity yesterday, at a relative’s home gathering.  I was told the glass could get broken, and that the plastic plates were easier for the clean-up process.  This reasoning simply does not fly.  If you agree to host, you simply must face the aftermath.  No compromise here.  Then, what day of the year trumps Christmas as the time to break out the finest?  If anything happens to get broken, that’s life!

Don’t let my suffering happen to you!  Make sure you’re drinking from at least glass and eating off of china, with full silverware!  If you’re visiting relatives today in a trailer park, you may need to furnish such service.  In any event, no doubt you’ll look fabulous doing so!  While a tie is of course preferred, a cashmere turtleneck is indeed an acceptable alternative.

The resort is still the way to go, if you’re on the fence.  The wine will make it all run smoothly, no matter where you are.  And that’s my opinion.  Cheers!

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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in And That's My Opinion, Current Events, Humor


On My Way…

Out with the Dura Ace 12-27, in with an Ultegra 11-28.  I’m told I’ll even gain a little more climbing power, and that, to my surprise, my new Ultegra chain will actually last longer than my old Dura Ace.  If you’re a cyclist, you know exactly what this all means.  If you’re not, don’t ask!

Ok 11-28, treat me well!

After at least seven thousand miles on my old cassette and chain, I was definitely slowed down in recent months and, shall we say, cranking it for all it was worth.  It was well beyond time for yesterday’s replacement.  This morning, in my first 11-28 Ultegra ride, albeit short and flat, I immediately felt a huge and wonderful difference.  It’s like having a new bike!

As such, the climbs are beckoning.  The mileage is mine for the taking.  And come January, it’s safe to say I’ll be looking for a good road race or two.  I’m not back in top cycling shape completely, but I’m definitely on my way!

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Posted by on December 24, 2010 in Cycling


A “New” Day

A very wet 101

The road ahead was beyond wet for most of the trip, but it hardly slowed me down.  Rarely anything does.

Back now in L.A. once again, it’s time for my third set of tires on my four-year-old 4Runner.  After 30K on the factory Dunlops, my larger Nittos carried me 56K.  So now, at 86K, my second, identical set of Nittos are getting mounted as I write.

This comes at the same time my bicycle just got a much-awaited new chain and cassette today!  If the weather holds, La Grange is calling me at 6:30 tomorrow morning.  I’ll drive on my new tires to meet up and pedal on my newly serviced road bike!

It’s a “new” day, in more ways than one, whether or not the road ahead remains wet.

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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Cars, Cycling


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The Satirical Point of View

Among all else, I’m always one for a healthy dose of satire, on just about any topic under the stars.  As such, as an addendum to my entry yesterday regarding DADT, I’m now happy to present the satirical bend on the topic

The Onion is absolutely fantastic and has been so for years.  I highly recommend it as one of your regular news sources, if for nothing else than to consider an issue from its humorous point of view.  Just don’t make the mistake that one Chinese journalist did a few years back, of reporting an Onion story as fact.

In any case, satirical news lives and must live, on anything and everything!  And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in And That's My Opinion, Humor, News


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“Intelligent & Sound”

The autumn of 1993 stands out to me as a very clear and memorable period.  This was when, as a Northwestern University sophomore, I took the famous Charles Moskos’ very popular Introduction to Sociology course.

Throughout our weeks of his captivating lectures, one topic that often came up was a new Clinton-administration policy that Moskos himself had authored, which was about to be implemented into law.  This was the first time I heard about what came to be known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Moskos carefully explained to us at the time his “compromise” on trying to settle the contentious issue of gay people serving openly in the military.  Of course I believed then, as I believe now, that no gay servicemember should be forced to conceal or lie about his or her sexual orientation.  Still, listening to the brilliant Moskos’ articulate and thorough explanations of his position, and considering the need for middleground at a time when “all or nothing” was already yielding the latter, I supported our famed professor.  I even recall in a class discussion group stating, much to the appall of some, that agree with it or not, Moskos had created an intelligent and sound policy.

Now, 17 years later, as babies of the day now reach enlistment age, I join in the collective applause at the imminent retirement of DADT.  The wheels of change spun furiously this past weekend, as the Senate voted in favor of repealing the controversial law.  What had come to life as a seemingly reasonable compromise, grew into a poor excuse for illogical reasoning, wasted efforts and thousands of ruined careers.  It’s time now to welcome the long-awaited change that will bring honor to this aspect of our armed forces.

Opinions, at least through the journalistic lens, seem to more or less support this change, despite the expected concerns that will certainly, and hopefully quickly, prove unfounded.  I’ve always been confused, and a bit amused, by the so-called “panic” or “hysteria” of openly gay soldiers existing in “intimately” close proximity to their comrades.  The most ironic surprise of all will come, I predict, when DADT is gone for good (further steps remain in this overall process).  This is to say, the day will come when every current gay member of military can finally come out, hopefully to the surprise of homophobic colleagues who will come to realize their concerns over the entire matter were all for nothing.

Personally, I’ve been acquainted with numerous current and former gay servicemembers over the years, all the way from an 88-year-old World War II veteran to a recently enlisted 20-year-old young man.  I’ve heard plenty of stories from the inside.  As such, the issue at present of course is not one of allowing gay people into the military, but of allowing them to serve openly.  All branches of the armed forces already have significant gay populations, as I trust most sensible people are aware.  This has always been the great irony of “Gays in the Military.”

Charles Moskos passed away in 2008.  I wish he were around to comment on the demise of his “intelligent and sound” policy, or better I should say, the Senate’s “intelligent and sound” action this weekend.  No doubt he would have something captivating to say.

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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Current Events, Politics


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My Perfect Window

It looks like I picked the right day to climb back on the saddle.  After my crash three weeks ago, and with my road rash finally healed and the soreness subsided, yesterday was a fantastic and ideal time to get back out on my bicycle for a relatively short 20-mile loop around the city.

One perfect day for cycling

My return to pedaling could have come sooner, except for one obstacle here in the city.  It’s called weather.  Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful, clear day, coming after a nearly week-long streak of steady rain and overall wetness.  Now this morning, true to San Francisco form, we’ve returned to the same rain and wetness once again.  As such, yesterday was no doubt my perfect window of time to ride, while obviously a limited one.  I’ve said for the past week or so that when I got back out on my bicycle, I wanted at least my first ride to be under dry and pleasant conditions.  I got my wish, and I’m thrilled I did!

Through Golden Gate Park all the way to the coast, up through the Presidio past the southern base of the Golden Gate Bridge, across the Marina and around through the Embarcadero, from AT&T Park into the Mission and finally back to Upper Castro, altogether yields a respectable 20-mile course with some decent open stretches amid the traffic stop and go.  I suggest this route for any of you local cyclists who need a decent in-city spin!

I’ve love to be back in the saddle again tomorrow, for a longer ride into Marin.  We’ll just have to see if my perfect window comes again!

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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Cycling


Said But Not Said

This video clip has been getting quite a bit of play this week, certainly for its element of amusement among all else.  A current and a former president together in the same place is often newsworthy, especially in the White House itself.  In this case we get to see two distinct, and in some ways opposing, brands of charisma playing off of one another.  It’s no doubt a moment that’s captured our attention.

What I found even more interesting yesterday was “body-language expert” Tonya Reiman’s analysis of the impromptu Clinton-Obama exchange.  As she discussed with Bill O’Reilly on his show, there was definitely a series of power plays taking place.  Specifically, Reiman believes President Obama was the alpha in this situation, in the way he put his arm around President Clinton and then pulled the former president’s hand close to his own body as he shook it.  The two men also displayed very little if any eye contact with each other, indicating, according to Reiman, a minimal level of warmth or comfort between them.

Whatever the case, and for however much anyone wants to analyze it, this moment serves as a prime example of the many fascinating elements of body language.  As in many different situations, there’s often much said that’s not said.  What do you think?

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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Current Events, Politics


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Boring, But Necessary

After a tedious afternoon of e-mails, online chats, phone calls, purchases, cancellations, tests, failures, fixes, retests, and, ultimately, successes, this WordPress blog now falls under my own domain,  The website I had for the past couple years, is no longer.  As such, I will continue adding to and developing this new site you see here, with the intention of showcasing all the same content, plus much more!

This has to be the most boring post I’ve ever written.  Fittingly, it comes on the heels of a very boring, yet necessary and long-in-coming, day.  Now that I have these technicalities out of the way, and now that you know it, I can get back to some more stimulating activities.

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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Daily Activities


There’s Something About…

In the spirit of the now-almost-classic movie “There’s Something About Mary,”  I’m thinking now of a sequel.  Perhaps it should be titled “There’s Something About Bristol,” or “There’s Something About Sarah,” or better yet, “There’s Something About Anyone Named Palin.”

After I wrote here just last week about how the Palins seem to incite strong and distinct reactions from friend and foe alike, now comes this laughable bit of news.  Really now!?  I mean, the girl might not have talent, but is she worth destroying your television?  I think it’s safe to say it’s “not just her” in this particular case, though it’s fairly amusing to think she could be the “last straw.”

There’s something about this entire turn of events.  I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it sure makes for a fun news story!

And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in And That's My Opinion, Humor, News


Blog Work

Much work remains, in order to get this blog into top shape.  In fact, this WordPress site is turning out to be not just a blog, but a fully featured website.  Before too long, this online destination will be the new

I’ve spent the past couple hours making changes to pages and categories in the above dropdowns.  And again, more remains.  If you haven’t already, check out these changes. 

I’m simply, in this moment, blogging about my blog, as my brain is rather consumed in it tonight.

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Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Daily Activities


“Time Out”

As wonderful as San Francisco always is, getting out of the city and into the countryside is always a welcome, and in these parts usually beautiful, event.  Such was the case on this gray yet dry day, on a group motorcycle ride heading north.

A touch of Indiana, a glimpse of Wisconsin, a slice of upstate New York, and even a little piece of Maryland.  All of these places flashed through my mind as we rode on two-lane roads through the wide-open regions of Marin and Sonoma Counties.  For the diversity of topography throughout the relatively small area we covered, I did indeed experience moments of feeling as if I were in other parts of the country altogether!

Our ride destination today:  Dillon Beach.  This very tiny coastal town does not even have a gas station.  (Trust me, I know this, as my tank was bone dry by the time we reached the nearest place to fill up.)  Nonetheless, it was truly wonderful on this day to feel so far from, yet so close to, San Francisco.  I highly recommend Dillon Beach as a day trip for anyone who wants some “time out” of the city for a few hours, while enjoying some gorgeous countryside.

Then of course, this was a day back on my motorcycle, at last!  It’s hard to believe that from my bike’s one-year anniversary on November 1 until today, I rode a total of only about 150 miles.  Then today alone, we put on roughly 135.  I’m always happy to be back in my motorized saddle, especially when the roads are dry.  Today was the ideal day for a relaxing and rewarding excursion.

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Posted by on December 12, 2010 in Daily Activities, Motorcycle



Political Reality

Remember back on November 5, when I wrote about my idea for a reality TV show?  While my idea has yet to take off, another all-new kind of reality show is already up and running, one much more likely to have at least a mild-to-moderate impact on American politics and culture.

Imagine if Richard Nixon had had a reality show of his own in 1968.  Or how about Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992?  Either of these could have been quite insightful, if not amusing.  Politics, and the ways in which politicians present themselves, have drastically evolved throughout recent decades.  Now going into 2011, reality TV is a clever and perhaps powerful tool for politicians and other public officials to own, in ways that neither Dick nor Bill could have imagined in their time.

Politics and reality television have merged via Sarah Palin.  Like her or despise her, support her for president (should she run) or wish her to get eaten by a caribou before she shoots it, you have to admit Sarah Palin is one of a kind.  She has come into national fame and seems to incite reaction from just about everyone, for or against her.  It appears she’s continuing to walk a distinct path, while blazing her own trails and remaining in a category mostly her own.  Perhaps this explains some of her allure.

Reality TV will show her to us like no sit-down, scripted broadcast interview will.  I believe she is NOT qualified to be president, nor could she come any closer to being that she already did two years ago.  Nonetheless, she’s on TV, serving up a new brand of “political reality.”   She’s quite a character, that’s for sure.  And agree with them or not, I like characters.

And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in And That's My Opinion, Media, Politics



What a Find!

What a find!

Jaw dropping, for those few of us who appreciate the significance of this unplanned acquisition!  This rare find came upon me purely by chance, when I “dropped into” a thrift store yesterday to “drop off” some donations.  While waiting to be helped, as I glanced at the rack of clothing next to me, I could have dropped right there myself!

These shorts need no words and no explanation.  If you know where they come from and how long it’s been since they’ve been readily available, then you’re with me.  If you don’t, then they’ll mean nothing to you.  Simple as that.

Suffice to say, it seems the thrift store had no clue what they had.  As I paid the paltry price, I told the clerk these were quite rare and came from a very special place.  She was unfazed and simply took my few dollars.  Not that I’m any aficionado of thrift store shopping, but there are certainly some surprises to be discovered, when least expected I’m sure!

My surprise find will no doubt travel with me to their original home, whenever this may be…

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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Daily Activities


Why The Prius?

I don’t like it, and I don’t get it.

Just what is it exactly about the Toyota Prius that so many drivers seem to like so much?  Don’t say fuel economy, because there are plenty of car models out there, more and more every year, hybrid and not, that get excellent mileage.  So if that’s what you’re after, you certainly have a multitude of options.

I’ve watched seemingly sane and otherwise tasteful individuals trade in their beautiful, stylish, luxury automobiles, in exchange for the funny-looking, uninspiring Prius.  Sadly, this includes a member of my own family.  Gladly, in turn, my opinion has not gone unexpressed.  In any case, downgrading to a Prius is a truly painful event to hear, let alone see!

Still, I’m an open-minded man.  Yes, I am!  As a close friend of mine initiated the same aforementioned downgrade for herself, I’ve had direct access to one of these oversized golf carts.  As such, I’ve recently taken the opportunity, more than once in fact, to find out just what exactly is all the rage.

Is the “car” on?  Oh, it is.  I need to back up now; how do I put this thing in reverse?  Ah ha, I have to push this little stub upward.  Interesting.  Is there anyone behind me?  Gee, this one’s a toughie, as I can’t see much out the very slanted and obstructed rear window.  I’ll take my chances.  Ok now, where’s drive?  Over and down?  I would not have naturally guessed that.  Finally, let’s punch it!  Wow, this poor little engine is really screaming to keep up with my heavy foot!  Now, freeway speed:  Is this all this thing can do?  Let’s stop at the nearest saloon and take a break.  So to shift into park… Oh, I have to push a button instead?  How would I know to do that?

My conclusion:  The Toyota Prius is confusing, unexciting, and grossly underpowered.  Surrounding visibility is limited, if not absent altogether.  The various electronic indicators built into the cavernous dash strike me as uninteresting and unimportant.  The seats do not seem to want to welcome anyone for any long duration.  And most of all, looking at the car as a whole:  It’s just ugly.  Something positive now, for balance?  Well, I’m told it gets good gas mileage.

I don’t get it.  Why the Prius is so popular?  After this many years on the road, is it still a political statement of any kind?  Do “greenness,” conservation and practicality come with the purchase of a Prius, somehow making the owner feel better about his carbon footprint?  Who knows.  In any case, the Prius seems obviously designed for those completely uninterested in, or oblivious to, any sort of driving performance.

I don’t like it.  Did I say this already?

And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in And That's My Opinion, Cars



My New View

Typical of San Francisco, the weather seems to be changing by the hour on this Monday, alternating pretty much equally between sunshine and cloud cover. Either way, it is now from the above viewpoint that I will be able to evaluate just about any day… any day, that is, when I’m at home. This is, after all, the view from my newest residence on Roosevelt Way.

Much progress has been made, while more remains to be accomplished. As I settle into my new view, I’m already feeling comfortable and satisfied with this choice I’ve made for myself. I’ll definitely be relieved when all my moving tasks are finally complete, thus freeing up my time for all else that awaits!

The view is looking good, in all respects.

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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Daily Activities, San Francisco


8 Always Beats 6

I drove two different 8-cylinder SUVs for a combined period of more than twelve years. For almost the past four years, I’ve driven my 6-cylinder 4Runner.

Today, I towed the above U-Haul trailer with my 4Runner, marking the first time I’ve done so with this vehicle. Naturally, this brings back memories of the numerous occasions on which I towed the same-sized U-Haul trailer with one of my long-departed 8-cylinder engines.

I’ve always missed driving an 8-cylinder vehicle, and today I missed it 100 times over. I still made it to my destination comfortably and in good time; I simply noticed the difference and did not enjoy it. As such, even if I tow a U-Haul only once every four years, it’s worth it to me to have all eight cylinders for the occasion.  This fully loaded 5×8 trailer caused my gas mileage on this trip to drop to about 15 MPG from my 6-cylinder’s usual highway 20 MPG.  I was still doing about the same speed with the trailer as I would without.  No doubt the mileage would be all the worse with 8 cylinders, but so be it.

I purposely downsized once, and once is enough. I look forward to returning to what I once had, because of course, 8 always beats 6!

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Posted by on December 3, 2010 in Cars, Daily Activities


When Rare Means Rare

I always appreciate any time when rare means rare!  That’s how I eat a high-end burger; just walk the cow past the stove, or bring me the raw patty if you must.  There’s no greater vexation in my book than an establishment that somehow confuses RARE with medium or some other ghastly term for overcooking.

Fortunately, my time in Los Angeles this week has bled more praise out of me than complaint, at least on the burger front.  I’m therefore very happy to come to you now with two very delicious yet different burger recommendations for the next time you’re wandering around the greater L.A. area.

First:  Father’s Office in Santa Monica.  Their burger is already famous, as word-of-mouth and the written reviews have indicated.  As I never trust anyone else’s opinion before my own, it was well past time I lost my Father’s Office virginity this week.  The baguette is fresh and generously portioned, covering two delicious cheeses (one of them gruyere I believe), a small-leafed mixed green blend (including arugula), carmelized onions, and mouth-watering, properly cooked, ample beef!  Go for it… It’s well worth the $12.50.  (There’s a Father’s Office in Culver City as well.)

Second:  Fleming’s.  While it’s a high-end chain, I’m going off my experience at the one in Woodland Hills.  As the bartender there proclaims, with which I agree, Fleming’s has the best happy hour in town!  We’re talking a huge (and I mean HUGE) properly cooked burger, on a brioche bun with one of three cheeses of your choosing, onions, iceberg wedge, tomato and chipotle mayo, presented with two huge onion rings to boot!  The overall style is more traditional than the aforementioned, but I’ll say the quantity is greater.  Most of all, the price is less:  $6.00!  Can’t beat it.  Go!

In both cases, rare is rare, thankfully enough.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Would you?

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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Food, Restaurants


On My Way…

The first day of the last month of 2010 has arrived, unbelievably enough.  Still in Los Angeles this week, I’m increasingly anxious to get back to San Francisco and into my new home.  I’ll arrive to my new residence this Saturday and begin moving in, with the hope of being settled in by next week at this time. 

Also by next week, I had better be physically recovered from last week’s cycling injury, so that I can get back to exercising daily.  In the midst of post-Thanksgiving consumption, coupled with no workouts for the past seven days, I’m feeling horribly out of shape. 

In any case, it’s a new month, and my new home is waiting.  Stay tuned for photos in the coming days!

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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Daily Activities