Monthly Archives: October 2011

Epic It Is.

An "Epic" sip and nibble.

My next out-of-town visitor could be in for a treat, of sorts.  The $5 “Sommeliers’ Selection” proves refreshingly drinkable, and while the delicious crab cake– or crab nugget as it could more appropriately be called– is a mere morsel, for only $3 who’s complaining?  Order another one!  For quantity over quality if you must, the bowl of potato curls and skins– while setting you back another $3– looks like the way to go.  This is Happy Hour after all, so indulge in some affordable doses of happiness while taking in a stunning Bay Bridge view that any tourist is sure to appreciate as much as I did.

4:30 seems like the ideal time to hit it, as seating should still be plentiful.  After 5:00, as the hungry and thirsty crowds pour in– combined with a somewhat awkward seating configuration– your body-parking choices and wiggle room will inevitably diminish.  Either way, that Happy Hour bar menu remains in full swing until 6:30.  And if you’re staying for a full dinner, well– that’s another blog post altogether!  Impressed I certainly was, as my impending guests likely will be.  Social, savory, scenic, and in more than name alone, it’s Epic.

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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Food, Restaurants, Reviews


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A sunny, warm and crowded Dolores Park.

Surrounding destinations called, but I did not answer.  On such a gloriously warm and sunny weekend as that which just passed, my decision was quite an easy one.  I chose to stay right here in the city all weekend long, close to home, enjoying the beautiful outdoors for the welcome heat that’s always so rare and unpredictable, and for which we usually must travel elsewhere.

Now on this Monday, as fog rolls in and a crisp breeze picks up, this past weekend could very well be the last of its kind we see for quite a while.  All the more reason to have appreciated a perfect Saturday and Sunday here in late October, as so many did.  This is San Francisco, after all!

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Daily Activities, San Francisco


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Pleasure in a Lost Art

“Oh look at you!  I’m liking this,” exclaimed the friendly young woman behind the Starbucks counter as a big smile beamed across her face.  “You must have been somewhere important today, and you even kept it on.  You didn’t change,” was the input from a fellow bar patron later in the evening.  And then there’s always the standard, however vexing, question:  “Job interview?”

No chore here.

Suffice to say, for better and for worse, I always enjoy the reactions I get when sporting a suit and tie around town, aside from my simple personal pleasure in looking and feeling good.  At the same time I wonder why so many people think there has to be a specific and presumably taxing reason for men dressing well, as if it were some sort of uncomfortable inconvenience to be merely tolerated?  Au contraire, I say.  I happen to love dressing up and wish I did more often, for no other reason than choosing to do so.

I recall a dinner on Nob Hill with my parents when I was 11 years old.  As the host handed me a blazer to put on, I turned to my father and asked him why I had to wear it.  “Because we’re now in San Francisco, and people dress here,” was his matter-of-fact reply.  That was 1985.  I have a feeling the same situation in that same restaurant does not exist today, sadly enough.  It’s said the “dot-comers” ruined restaurant dress codes here in the late ’90s, as they afforded en masse to patronize the finest establishments in t-shirts, jeans, and I shudder to think, ball caps.

Fast forward to 2011, to a time when far fewer men dress up anymore, or at least are not required to.  The art of dressing well has been lost, for men anyway.  There always seems to be the woman who appears polished and elegant in a restaurant, sitting across from a man who looks like he just rolled out of bed and did some work on his car.  Poor her!  Or does she mind?

It’s not just a social matter; professionally more and more workers dress down today as well.  Therefore, jumping to the conclusion that my suit and tie indicate a job interview is a bit fallacious; after all, if no one I might be working for is dressed as such, then why would I be?  There’s indeed the faux pas of overdressing in this regard, of which one must be mindful.

Neither a wedding nor a funeral.  No meeting the president, nor appearing in court.  And no presenting myself to any potential employer.  At the end of business hours, come evening, I remained in my same clothing, in no hurry whatsoever to get out of it.  Dressing well is truly a pleasure, one with which I wish more men today agreed and did not consider a chore.  In any case, it’s high time to bring back the art of dressing well, voluntarily and with pride.  That nice young woman at Starbucks is bound to share my opinion, and I’m sure we’re not alone.



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A Welcome Reminder

A motorcycle ride out of San Francisco, north through Napa and Sonoma, and back through the East Bay is an ideal loop for a short-distance, picturesque change of scene on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  I already knew this, and perhaps you did too.  Still, it hit me as a welcome reminder yesterday, especially through the flat, open terrain of Sears Point Road (CA 37) along the northern shore of San Pablo Bay.

From there of course come the numerous beautiful rolling vineyards that sit so refreshingly close to the city.  It’s often easy to lose sight of the topographical diversity surrounding San Francisco, especially when most or all of our time is spent within city limits.  As such, like I said, the reminder is always a welcome one!

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Daily Activities, Motorcycle


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From Here…


The view is always good from here, especially on such a warm and pleasant October day as this.  I simply love where I live, as the scenery never grows old.

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Daily Activities, San Francisco



“Not Bad”

Have you ever seen or tasted a fried chicken cake?  Actually it’s called a “chicken-n-waffles” cake to be exact, and for me this was indeed a first.  Different, rich and “not bad” are my words to sum it up.  If your taste buds are so inclined, you may wish to sample such creative baking for yourself — chicken cake and more — at Monet’s Cakes on 2nd Street and Mission in Downtown San Francisco.  I think I’m hearing something about chocolate and bacon as well.

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Food


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Thumbs Up.

No complaints from me this time.  Unlike my last Castro neighborhood Asian dinner, this one quickly proved itself a strong and flavorful winner.  Now, even after spicy beef, spicy eggplant, fried dumplings and ham rangoon, I have yet to scratch the surface of the extensive menu.  Considering my great satisfaction with this first dinner, no doubt doing so will be a welcome, pleasant and delicious task.  Thumbs up to Brandy Ho’s.

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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Restaurants, Reviews


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Very Well Said.


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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Famous People


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5, 4, 3…

A new iPhone would be nice, and I’m currently eligible for an upgrade.  In about a week I can finally go and get… oh, wait… no I can’t.  Of course I was about to say the new 5, but as revealed yesterday, this is not the case.  No 5 yet exists.  Rather, the 4S is upon us.

Fine, so now what?  Go ahead and get the new 4S, and a year from now remain locked in its contract as the supposed 5s are finally dangled before us?  Or get the existing 4 for a lesser price?  Or, dare I ask, just stay with my existing 3GS that works perfectly fine?

It’s time for anyone with such questions, including myself, to stop, breathe, take a step back, and refocus.  It’s a phone.  I use mine to talk, text, e-mail, take photos and an occasional video, check Facebook, and do a Sudoku puzzle once in a while.  All of these are basics in the smartphone world, each of which functions sufficiently on existing and older iPhone models.  A better camera sounds good, but this alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor.  Beyond that, do I really need a 4S that talks to me and tells me what I need to do or not do at any given time?  Even if so, need I be the first one?

I believe I’ve just answered my own questions.  Have you answered yours?

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Current Events, News


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A “Huge” Problem

As with alcohol and tobacco, to seat belts and motorcycle helmets, government once again has its hand in personal choices.  Fortunately it’s not the U.S. government in this case.

Denmark has instituted a so-called “fat tax,” applying a surcharge to foods that, well, make you fat!  But why?  Obesity isn’t exactly a “huge” problem for this small Scandinavian nation, certainly not compared to the United States.  I’m surprised such a form of taxation hasn’t yet happened here, not that it should of course.

Valid arguments can be made in support of such a measure, but at the same time means other than across-the-board taxation exist for addressing such health concerns, such as education, programs and incentives.  A “fat tax” for all, fat or not, equates to nothing more than unwelcome government control over individual decisions that affect only ourselves.  The “bigger” issue is not what some choose to eat, but rather everyone getting penalized for their own choices.  Herein lies the “larger” matter.

I hope this “first” does not start a global trend.  And that’s my fat opinion.


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His Last Word (?)

“The one and only” indeed.  Naturally I have to hand it to a man who’s made a lifelong career out of having opinions.  While many manage to pull it off for a while in one form or another, this bold opinion giver is unarguably unique in his brand, carrying a raw style and distinct presentation that are simply unmatched.

As such, it’s a shame to see him go.  Andy Rooney had the last word on CBS’ “60 Minutes” this past Sunday night, for his final regularly scheduled time.  While the 92-year-old “curmudgeonly commentator” is not retiring, so he says, for the first time in more than 30 years he will not be ranting on a weekly basis.  Among all else, he’ll be enjoying his restaurant dinners without your interruption, while NOT giving you his autograph.  Still, as his mind continues to churn, Rooney’s last word last night may very well not be his last.

I admire the type of people there’s only one of, and there’s certainly only one Andy Rooney, the product of a nearly extinct generation we may not see again anytime soon.  He has some very big shoes to fill.  But then, will anyone dare try?

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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Current Events, Famous People, News


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