Monthly Archives: June 2011

Upon First Glance…

In the wake of all the praise I’ve been showering onto Mercedes-Benz these days in terms of styling– or that is, restyling– it looks like I must now turn a different nozzle, sadly enough.

Upon first exterior glance it looks like the child of an Acura MDX and a Honda Odyssey, an ordinary one at that.  The interior, I will say, is beautiful, but this of course does not make the immediate first impression.  My initial reaction to the new 2012 M-Class:  I’m disappointed, especially considering Mercedes-Benz’ recent design jackpots.

Take a look at the linked forum and see what you think.  Perhaps it will grow on me.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Cars, Mercedes-Benz


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Happy Pride Indeed.

Pride celebrations in San Francisco and New York always happen to take place simultaneously every year, on the last Sunday in June.  How perfectly fitting that on the eve of this year’s Pride, New York finally legalized same-sex marriage, fueling the weekend’s overall merriment on both coasts!

The New York Times sums it up quite easily

While New York lawmakers deserve plenty of praise for their decisions late last week, so too comes credit to certain Republicans who apparently had a significant if not determining hand in the process.  Along the winding and often challenging road to New York’s marriage equality, what appears to emerge now is a greater sense of bipartisanship to serve as a model for other states’ workings on this matter.  Personal relationships don’t hurt either.

In the meantime, same-sex marriage is now legal in one more state, with understandable religious exemptions in place.  Another triumphant Pride weekend has come and gone, with thousands of overjoyed gay couples now planning their nuptials.  As numerous details of the process exist to be read and contemplated, along with varying sides and outlooks to consider, nothing can take away from the happiness of this moment in history, for so many New Yorkers especially.

Congratulations New York.  Happy Pride indeed.  I look forward to all that’s yet to come, no matter the path and with all the players, in every state in the nation.

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Current Events, News, Politics


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What’s Next?

Regarding the FDA’s new required “design” for cigarette packaging, CNN this week posed the question:

“Are the images effective, or do they go too far?”

Any guess on my answer?  Most of us– or perhaps I should say most of us who live life enjoyably– do things we know full well are dangerous, unhealthy or just somehow “bad” for us, but we choose to do them anyway.  Think about this– it could be just about anything.

Personally, I am not a cigarette smoker, not because they might kill me, but simply for the fact I happen to dislike their taste and smell.  Still, cigarette smoking is legal, and sufficient health warnings already exist on the packaging.  Need smokers be reminded, again, of something most of them certainly already know?  The fact that other countries already have such packaging should not instantly justify the use of it in this country.  And let’s not argue second-hand risks in this instance.  The packaging is still there for smokers alone inside their own homes.

I appreciated an e-mailer’s input to a news program this week:  “What’s next?  Fat people on donut boxes?”

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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Current Events, News


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One More Thing


For all those great things I recently shared here about Martin Macks, here’s one more.

This one can speak for itself!

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Daily Activities, Restaurants



Now I Know.

So much has already been written, that it looks like there’s not much more for me to say.  What I WILL say, quite simply, is that I entirely concur with the numerous positive reviews out there.  I’m thrilled to have been turned on this week to a unique and impressive dining destination of which until now I was unaware.  Everyone else in San Francisco seems to know it, but perhaps I can use the excuse of still being relatively new to town.  Or maybe not.  In any event, now I know Bix.

“This retro-modern supper club, now 21 years old, has a speakeasy vibe. It’s located on a narrow street in the shadows of the Transamerica Pyramid, and you almost feel like you need a secret password to get through the darkened entryway. However, the impressive Deco-inspired interior opens up to reveal a grand space that includes a mezzanine supported by ornate columns. Bartenders expertly mix classic drinks, and chef Bruce Hill gives modern twists to some familiar dishes. There’s also live jazz nightly.”  (Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants)

Don’t be too alarmed by the deceivingly small gin glasses; I quickly got past them, especially after spotting my always favorite and rarely found steak tartare on the menu!  I can’t wait to go back and have it, no doubt dressed in smart evening attire to complement Bix’ grand and elegant atmosphere.  The booths are quite roomy, so you just might have to join me.


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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Restaurants, Reviews


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Not The Same…

Sans famous Gullwing doors


Word that Mercedes-Benz is producing a roadster version of its nostalgia-inspired gorgeous technological marvel, the SLS, comes as not too much of a surprise.  After all, a roadster followed the original 1954 300 SL Gullwing, and automotive history tends to enjoy repeating itself these days.

Going soft overhead, however, quickly eliminates the most distinctive and famous feature of the SLS.  This is, of course, the unmistakable doors that open overhead, giving the 1954 redux its one-of-a-kind Gullwing name.

No doubt an amazing feat of technology wrapped in a bold and distinctive shell, the doors are what visually define the SLS’ true character and unmatched place.  While countless luxury convertibles exist and compete in all forms, there is only one Gullwing.  An SLS roadster is just not the same.

And that’s– likely not just my– opinion.

The Gullwing stands alone, proudly so.

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Cars, Mercedes-Benz


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Not Just Satisfied…

Spicy means spicy, and rare means rare.  Anytime these two vital culinary keywords prove themselves, I know I’ve found a dining establishment worthy of my repeat business.

The chicken curry is positively delicious, fire-breathing upon request of course, by far the best I’ve tasted in recent memory.  A half-fries-half-rice accompaniment works very well, yielding an overall portion that’s probably gargantuan for many, while nicely satisfying for yours truly.

The pepper cheese-jalapeno burger called out to me as well, or perhaps I should say it was mooing as the big rare patty arrived to the table, nestled in a soft, round sourdough bun, alongside a heaping mound of crisp mixed greens.  Having asked beforehand if the chef would walk the cow past the stove, the answer from the waitress was an immediate and emphatic “oh yes.”  I knew I was in the right place, even before discovering the weekly liver-n-onions special!

The fried calamari appetizer is standard fare, surprisingly modest in quantity.  Then again, you won’t want to fill up before your generous and carefully selected entrée.  You might join me in wishing for a garlic or chipotle aioli in place of the calamari’s basic cocktail sauce.

The fish-and-chips remain to be tried, as do the ribs, which hopefully won’t have run out next time.  If I don’t hit the right day for the liver, I’ll just have to hit the curry again, this time with shrimp.  Whatever the selection, it all gets washed down with one of many import drafts.  Be sure to have company with you, as did I, so as to sample and share more than one plate.

The large open space is instantly inviting, with plenty of bar stools and high-top tables to be had.  The numerous wall-mounted flatscreens allow you to see your sporting event from all angles, while the variety of country flags on the ceiling create a pleasant international flair.

I’m always love it when I’m not just satisfied, but thoroughly impressed, with my first visit to a neighborhood dining establishment, especially one in walking distance of my home that’s been on my list for some time.  I’ll back, sooner than later, to Martin Macks.


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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Food, Restaurants, Reviews


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Sometimes You Win


San Francisco’s mad dash for revenue has recently translated into some overzealous parking enforcers.  While they’ve been instructed to write tickets for even the smallest and often invisible infractions, sometimes they go too far.  In other words, the “parking police” can be wrong.  And when they are, it’s the wrongful ticket recipient’s job to put them in their place.

Such has been my experience over the past three months, finally ending today in my favor, I’m happy to report.  The keywords are there in the above letter:  Valid, referring to my claim.  Dismissed, as well I always knew the citation should be.  And as an added bonus, inconvenience, for which the city apologizes!

That’s right, three months I said.  The erroneous citation appeared on my car in mid-March; my carefully and clearly worded letter, along with photo documentation, went out within a few days.  I received a reply about a month ago, telling me my claim was being processed and would take a bit longer than usual to resolve.  What this said to me was that I stood correct, and that the city was now coming to terms with this fact.  Then today, my vindication was sealed.

I share with this you as encouragement to contest any citation you yourself might receive, in any municipality, if indeed you truly feel you have a valid case.  Some people might just shrug their shoulders and pay the fine, perhaps quietly admitting guilt that isn’t there, or just finding the cash loss to be easier than taking the time to write a letter.

While the City of San Francisco might expect this attitude, I’m here to say:  “I don’t think so!”  For a few extra minutes of my time, I saved $65.  Plus, it feels good!  After all, sometimes you lose, but…


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Really? When?!

We haven’t been hearing much lately about the TSA and airport security, perhaps to the dismay of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Anthony Weiner.  Nevertheless, it looks like technology is well at work, as the airport security “checkpoint of the future” – or at least the concept thereof – begins to show itself.

I most certainly concur that such enhancements to the airport process of today are long overdue.  My first question of course:  Just how far in the future are we talking?  The sooner the better, I say!

Read the article, watch the video, and see what you think.  One of these days it will all be very different, while hopefully less eye-roll inducing.


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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in News, Transportation


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Bridge to Bridge Shift

Now into my eighth month of living in the City by the Bay, I continue to be impressed not only by interesting “new” cycling climbs still being discovered – as was the case around Bernal Heights Park this morning – but also by how very, VERY quickly the weather here changes.

Quite a shift it was today, no doubt.  As I pedaled out of Bernal Heights and headed north past AT&T Park toward the Bay Bridge, my jersey, shorts and gloves were very wet from the drizzle that had turned into rainfall.  The sky remained gray overhead well after the drops ceased.  Then, merely minutes later when I reached the Golden Gate, clear blue sky dominated the view.  By this time my bicycle, clothing – and body – were dry.

From one bridge to another, today’s weather shifted faster than some of my gears!  I’d add this to the list of great reasons to live in San Francisco, if it weren’t on there already.


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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Cycling, Daily Activities


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