Monthly Archives: March 2012

This Delicious Day in History

March 28:

37 – Roman Emperor Caligula accepts the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate.

845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

1738 – English parliament declares war on Spain (War of Jenkin’s Ear)

1774 – Britain passes Coercive Act against Massachusetts

1776 – Juan Bautista de Anza finds the site for the Presidio of San Francisco

1794 – Louvre opens to the public

1799 – NY State abolished slavery

1845 – Mexico drops diplomatic relations with US

1866 – First ambulance goes into service

1881 – Greatest Show On Earth was formed by PT Barnum & James A Bailey

1885 – US Salvation Army officially organized

1910 – First seaplane, takes off from water at Martinques France (Henri Fabre)

1920 – Actor Douglas Fairbanks marries actress Mary Pickford

1933 – German Reichstag confers dictatorial powers on Hitler

1939 – Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to Francisco Franco

1944 – Astrid Lindgren sprains ankle & begins writing Pippi Longstocking

1945 – Last German V-2 (buzz bomb) attack on London

1959 – China dissolves Tibet’s government

1960 – Pope John raises the first Japanese, first African & first Filipino cardinal

1974 – Ryan R. Sanderson is born

2012- A delicious and delightful lunch is enjoyed at the newly remodeled Hotel Bel Air, featuring steak tartar and sashimi salad, to celebrate Ryan’s 38th birthday.  Ryan rests very satisfied with the occasion and recommends the dining destination to all.

The healthy, relatively light and very well-presented sashimi salad is a must!

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Food, History


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Hold The Outrage, Thank You

Were you “outraged” by any comments, jokes or insults floating around in the media universe yesterday?  I most certainly hope you were not.  If however you were, then you missed the “National Day of No Outrage,” brought to us by comedian Bill Maher via his op-ed last week.

“Let’s have an amnesty– from the left and the right– on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.” (Bill Maher, The New York Times, March 21, 2012)

Thank you, Mr. Maher.  I could not agree with you more, except to take the practice a step or two further by instituting the same kind of national week, then even a national month, and so on and so forth until all “outrage” has been purged from everyone’s bodies!  Then maybe– just maybe– personalities can freely say what they will, offend a few viewers or listeners along the way– which is par for the course– and wake up to see another day without a big chunk of everyone’s time wasted on yet another silly, forced apology.  After all, with another nod to Maher’s reasoning, who wants to live in a society where nothing ever offends anyone?  How utterly boring!  And remember, there’s a big difference between being “offended” and being “outraged.”  Think about this.

Until this time comes, at least we have Maher’s second piece of solid, sound and refreshingly simple advice to practice daily while learning to coexist: 

“If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.”

And that’s our coexisting opinion!


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Those Were The Days

In the spirit of that famous TV theme line “girls were girls and men were men,” I’m thinking now of a time ever so long ago when “5’s were 5’s and 3’s were 3’s.”

Take 1987, during my just-beginning-to-learn-to-drive heyday of knowing my car models while imagining the one I wanted to have.  The clear difference between BMW’s 3 Series and 5 Series could be spotted a mile away.

1987 BMW 3 Series

1987 BMW 5 Series

                                                                                        I’m afraid the same cannot be said in 2012, not even from a few feet away, let alone a mile.  Upon my first glance of the “all-new” sixth generation 3 Series, I really did think I was looking at a 5.  Only upon my surprise of seeing the trunk lid badge was I corrected.

2012 BMW 3 Series

2012 BMW 5 Series

Can you see an immediate difference?  Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I wish we could still easily distinguish between a manufacturer’s major models.  Unfortunately, as I’ve lamented before, everything looks the same.  And here– modern-day technology notwithstanding– is yet another example.

And so the theme song finishes, as I too sing:  “Those were the days!”

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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, BMW, Cars, Media, Transportation


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Quite An Introduction…

The 17th of March, safe to say, is not another typical day to visit Foley’s Irish House just off San Francisco’s Union Square.  Still, seeing as my somewhat-Irish entourage and I were clad in green spirit (literally), and mindful that Foley’s has long topped my personal list of San Francisco establishments to experience, we could not have chosen a better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Unless I wait another year, my second trip to Foley’s will be nowhere nearly as loud, crowded and jubilant as my first.  Nevertheless, my St. Patrick’s Day introduction has left me thoroughly impressed with Foley’s richly and classically decorated space, coupled with an extensive food and drink menu that clearly deserves further enjoyment.  I look forward to my return and recommend your own visit, relative peace and quiet notwithstanding!


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By No Other Name

My favorite annual day of indulgence and festivity comes tomorrow, falling on a sure-to-be bustling, spirited and office-free Saturday this year.  As always, my green wardrobe is ready to go!  We’re talking of course about what could only be called St. Patrick’s Day– or — does it now have another name?

Apparently someone has renamed our joyous Irish holiday, in a move that’s simply preposterous, outlandish and asinine!  Seeing as “stupid”, “ridiculous” and “illogical” have already been used,  I must add to the list of appropriate descriptors.  If you have your own to include, do share!

There can never be another name for St. Patrick’s Day.  Any such attempt is certainly nothing more than “political correctness gone too far.”


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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Current Events, News


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“Beware The Ides of March”

“The Ides of March are come.”

Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798,

“Ay, Caesar, but not gone.”

This ominous historical date has acquired a superstitious aura, akin to Friday the 13th.

The Ides of March marks the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 B.C., while coming to be known as a day to “beware.”

On the other hand, this line sums it up well:  “But bad things happen every day– we just notice them more on days of heightened superstition.”  (Judkis, WP Style Blog)  In this case, fear not!

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Current Events, History, News


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Not One Ride Soon Enough!

It closed, it opened, and then it closed again.  The word is the Golden Gate Bridge bicycle lane will reopen– hopefully for good this time– by “the beginning of April.”

More Saturdays than not so far this year, I’m one of many cyclists “forced” to brave the bridge’s narrow, crowded, east-side walkway to Marin, then later a second time when even more congested and unruly– back across to San Francisco.  In a rare moment of not dodging slow-moving, seemingly oblivious, camera-snapping packs of pedestrians, I glance across lanes of traffic to an empty, lifeless west-side bikeway– not a worker in sight– spotting no visual reason as to why on a Saturday, an obvious day off from the bridge’s current repairs, this very necessary stretch should remain closed.  And then it’s back to the “obstacles” ahead.

Suffice to say, the beginning of April cannot come one ride soon enough!

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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Cycling, Daily Activities, News, San Francisco


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Math + Logic = ________

At this point it’s all about the math.  In the wake of Super Tuesday, the race for the Republican presidential nomination appears to be leaning all the more in favor of the largely presumed winner.

“Super Tuesday dramatically reduced the likelihood that any of Governor Romney’s opponents can obtain the Republican nomination. As Governor Romney’s opponents attempt to ignore the basic principles of math, the only person’s odds of winning they are increasing are President Obama’s.” (Rich Beeson)

In other words, it’s time for even the most conservative Republicans to put logic ahead of emotion, if this is at all possible.  From my own selectively objective, somewhat journalistic, ideally non-partisan viewpoint, I echo the common sentiment that Republicans of all degrees need to rally around Mitt Romney for even the slightest chance of winning the White House come November.

This is where the math comes in.  Romney holds a majority of delegates so far allocated, and from what I heard on a talk radio program today, Santorum would have to win two-thirds of all remaining delegates to clinch the nomination, a basically insurmountable task.  Gingrich and Paul, meanwhile, barely deserve a mention at this point.  And for anyone who didn’t already know this:  Rick Santorum is just plain unelectable by our general population.  Nominating him, however unlikely, would simply hand President Obama his reelection.

As such, one question for the GOP to answer in the next several weeks is this:  Will logic back up the math?

And this is really not just my opinion, if my opinion at all.


Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Current Events, Famous People, News, Politics


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Offensive or Not…

All the current hubbub over conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh and his inflammatory words concerns me, not so much over what he said about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke– which was indeed a stretch– but more so for the resulting behavior of his critics, the media and even the public at large.

Granted, Rush was out there on one of his typical audience-feeding rants, being his usual shocking, outlandish, offensive self, while perhaps using a less-than-accurate choice of words to describe Fluke.  After all, maybe her sex life is monogamous, and who’s to know if she charges?  Rush knew not what he was saying, as if this particular instance were unusual.

But guess what:  That’s Rush.  He’s a “media entertainer” of his own brand, catering to his distinct and loyal audience, shocking, outlandish, offensive– and in this case inappropriate– as he may be.  None of these traits is illegal.  I’ve listened to his program on occasion, and while a time or two I’ve grabbed onto a thread of his logic with which to agree, more often than not I’ve found him to be, for lack of a better term, crazy, his train heading straight for derailment.  Not once, however, have I wished to see him stricken from the airwaves, nor in any way edited or silenced.  If I tire of him, or find his topic du jour too unpalatable, I’ll change the station.  Rush is who he is, and he has every right to be so, apology or not.  What concerns me is how so many people believe otherwise.  Why is this?

Enter Kirsten Powers.  She just might be onto something with her take on the situation, as I find her talk of a partisan-based double standard worthy of some serious contemplation by all.

While all this is going on, I learned while in Los Angeles last week that the often-insensitive though widely popular “John & Ken” had been suspended from the air for speaking callously— if not accurately God forbid– of the late Whitney Houston.  A situation unrelated to that of Rush, it stands in the same camp, that of punishing often-intentionally offensive media personalities for speaking their unedited minds.  John & Ken, like Rush, enjoy a dedicated following of fans unlikely to be offended by anything they have to say.  The irony here– and with Rush– is that all the uproar, protest, boycotts and calls for their heads come from those who wouldn’t want to listen to them anyway!  Still, Rush pays the price, just as John & Ken do.

My concern remains.  Silencing voices deemed too inappropriate, while calling for the type of “civil discourse” that some might say turns us into milquetoasts, not only undercuts media diversity, broadcast entertainment, range of thought and free speech, but more than all this furthers that slippery slope of punishing anything “offensive” or outside of the so-called mainstream.  Insensitive speech, in whatever crude though legal form it might present itself, should not be shunned, but rather welcomed and used to further that much-desired discourse.  If not this, then perhaps it can just be laughed at, shrugged off, and not taken so damn seriously!

Isn’t freedom of expression, offensive or not, what this country is all about?


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