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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Old School Never Fails

“One of a Kind.”

“A Tasty Classic.”

“An Institution.”

What can I possibly say now that hasn’t been expressed once, twice or 5000 times over the past 163 years?  For all the positive reviews out there of “San Francisco’s oldest restaurant,” both my discerning eye and satisfied palate heartily concur.

The bread, butter and water are already on the counter as you sit down.  While images of bygone times decorate the walls as history permeates the air, one very thorough yet no-frills menu awaits.  Tadich Grill remains the unmatched place to savor a real meal while enjoying a unique journey through time.  Despite today’s higher-than-1930 prices, portions remain more than generous as service proves extremely efficient.  After this long it’s safe to say the entire staff has procedure and routine down to a science.

Time and again the rave reviews have poured in, a book awaits your purchase, and a brief yet informative history synopsis covers the daily printed menus.  As the establishment’s website proclaims:  “The Tadich Grill experience is like no other.”  To this, upon my much-anticipated second visit and repeat enjoyment of the best liver-and-onions in town, I happily add my own accolade:  Old school never fails!

 

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On The Nose.

“This must be a 1958,” I declared with quick yet careful thought, if not just calculated guessing.  “You hit it right on the nose,” the gentleman replied.  “1958 it is.”  Oh, how I love it when I’m dead-on with MBZ model years!

Spotting it well ahead of me in the gray-sky distance while cycling through Golden Gate Park, I knew right away this one would stop me in my tracks.  And let me tell you, it was well worth my break in cadence, not to mention an excellent photo-op.  What I had the good timing to encounter has to be the most pristine Mercedes-Benz 190 SL I believe I’ve ever seen in the open air, outside of a showroom or auto show that is.

If you’re even more spellbound than I am and happen to have a bit of cash to spare, this timeless automotive masterpiece can most certainly be yours.  All Steve at CarPlanet will need is the money of course.  See if you can guess this classic’s asking price; you might just hit the figure on the nose!

 

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May The Party Go On…

Not everyone can be a “life-of-the-party type” as she once described herself, nor will anyone ever be quite like her.  Still, may those she inspired keep her fabulous wit, wisecracks and energy alive and strong.  For an impressive life 95 years long, Phyllis Diller lived hers more than well. She will forever remain a true original.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Famous People, Humor, News

 

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On A Clear Day…

Even without personal watercraft it’s so easy to get out on San Francisco Bay, thanks to the commuter ferries linking the Embarcadero with Marin County.  For those of us who don’t normally use them, it’s also easy to forget this simple privilege exists.  The views are truly spectacular, especially on a clear day such as this one.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Daily Activities, San Francisco

 

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And Now, “Back to Normal”

The celebrations have ended, the final medal count is in, and the mass exodus has begun.  The sun has set on the Games of the XXX Olympiad, completing one more chapter in athletic history and leaving the world with a fresh batch of indelible memories.  While Her Majesty did not attend the Closing Ceremony, instead we got the Spice Girls, Eric Idle and a giant octopus.  Two amazing weeks have ceremoniously come and gone, and now amid post-Olympic pride and glory London can get “back to normal,” whatever this might mean.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Current Events, News, Travel

 

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It’s All in the Name

Following my initial review, I watched and waited.  And I was surprised and satisfied.  The 2012 “Dallas” season finale seized nostalgia and hit it out of the park, at least for those of us who might see what’s really happening.

The heated exchanges between Bobby and J.R. took us back, while the sight of alcohol before Sue Ellen’s eyes triggered memories.  We were even treated to but one extended scene with a very aged Lucy.  Still, the final “surprise” twist of the season trumped it all, which for true “Dallas” fans should be no surprise whatsoever.

It’s all in the name, and this name is Rebecca.  The coincidence sat in my mind throughout the season, as the name of actress Julie Gonzalo’s character did not go entirely unnoticed.  As it turns out of course, there was never any coincidence at all.  If this sort of gasp followed by thought followed by understanding is what producers of the TNT series intended, then I’m here to say they did one hell of an excellent job.

For those of you in need of a quick refresher:  Rebecca was the name of Pam and Cliff Barnes’ mother; she died in a plane crash in 1983.  In 1984 Cliff’s girlfriend Afton gave him the heave-ho and left town, returning in 1989 with a young “secret” daughter revealed to be Cliff’s.  In the 1996 “Dallas” reunion movie, Cliff and Afton were reunited, and at this time Cliff finally met his now teenage daughter (her age accelerated just a bit), named Pamela Rebecca after her aunt and her grandmother.  Are you still with me?

Sixteen years later, a character appears on the new “Dallas” series, named Rebecca.  Low and behold, the season ends with the revelation this Rebecca is, yes, Cliff’s daughter.  So again, if we think it out, there’s no coincidence and no surprise.  The nostalgia by now is spinning out of control!

Naturally it gets more complicated, leading me to wonder what we the viewers are supposed to remember, and what the new show’s producers might want us to conveniently forget.  Take that 1996 movie for one:  Then-teen Christopher spent significant time with then-teen Rebecca, all the way to knowing that his uncle Cliff is her father, making her his cousin.  And if he knew this in 1996, he would know it in 2012.  So why would he marry his cousin?  Or does Cliff have more than one daughter, if not more than one named Rebecca?  Or is Gonzalo’s character merely impersonating someone named Rebecca, as was suggested in this season finale?  Or are we supposed to forget the 1996 movie ever happened?  Have I lost you?

If this all seems hard to follow, rest assured:  The newest “Dallas” plots have been very hard for even me to follow.  With layer upon layer of deceit and manipulation packed into a mere ten-episode story arc, there’s been no moment throughout the new series to blink without missing something.  Unlike the old days of the 30-episode season with plenty of time for character and plot development, now everything happens fast.  Then it gets either resolved or advanced even more quickly.

Storylines get rushed, various performances prove unconvincing, and the overall flow leaves something to be desired.  This is the essence of “Dallas” in 2012.  At the same time, as with any new ensemble the actors thankfully grew into their roles throughout this first season, while the overall energy ramped up as I grew a little– just a little– more comfortable with the overlapping complexities coming at us.

All the while we’re hooked by that damn nostalgia proving itself the driving force.  From Miss Ellie’s gravestone to the former Ewing Oil offices, from John Ross mastering the ways of his father to a 63-year-old Bobby on his near-death bed (as opposed to a 36-year-old Bobby on his complete-death bed), we the viewers have been generously peppered for a second season of modern-day Ewing shenanigans, come January 2013.  Perhaps Afton will appear to deliver us some answers, Rebecca’s mother after all.  Among all else I can’t wait to hear how Cliff transformed from a cheap skate eating Chinese takeout in his average condo, into a high roller flying around on his own jet with a team to dispose of a body at a moment’s notice.

May the nostalgia continue, again for those of us who really know ‘Dallas” history and can manage to keep up.  If you can’t, then why watch?  At the end of the day, this series really is for us, the longtime all-knowing fans.  And now we have the name “Rebecca” to lead the way into the next exciting chapter.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Media, Reviews

 

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It’s Different, Apparently.

So I found the answer:  6.5 inches shorter, 3.3 inches narrower, and 4.6 inches lower.  If you happen to be pondering the same question I did, then these specifications might satisfy at least your initial curiosity as well.  Suffice to say– even with some challenge to the immediate naked eye– several key differences do exist between the new BMW X1 and its close sibling the X3.  We’ll soon see how well the X1 is received here in the U.S., eye-catching as this little guy is.  Of course success might depend on whether you choose to call it a crossover or an SU– pardon me– SAV.  As I’m not one for “crossovers” myself, let’s go with the latter.

The shorter, narrower, lower X1.

The longer, wider, taller X3.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in BMW, Cars, Daily Activities, Reviews, Transportation

 

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A Voice of Reason

Amid the political hysteria and seeming abandonment of common sense surrounding gay marriage comments by the CEO of Chick-fil-A, a refreshing voice of reason has now emerged with which I entirely concur.  I’m happy to say I support marriage equality, freedom of speech and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Protestors against the Atlanta-based chicken restaurant chain are all too quick to cry out accusations of discrimination.  The irony here, however, is that any potential discrimination is not on the part of Dan Cathy’s operation, but rather his opposition.  Thankfully Mayor Bloomberg recognizes this distinction and appears wise enough not to follow suit with others in his position.  What will be wiser is for the others to align with Bloomberg.

I disagree with Mr. Cathy’s position on gay marriage and “family values.”  Still, he has the right to his beliefs, and– though in my opinion unwise for any business that relies on a customer base to take a stand on any polarizing political issue– he has the right to express it.  It’s simple freedom of speech, appropriate or not.

In turn, we the customers have the right to choose to either patronize or steer clear of a Chick-fil-A.  Anyone behind the counter will be happy to take money from a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, an atheist, a gay, or a martian, because it’s just another customer ordering a chicken sandwich.  After all, as the company states on its website:  “We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time.”  Mr. Cathy has not declared that gay people are unwelcome in his restaurants; this in itself would be illegal and a reason to react.  Instead, he simply expressed his viewpoints, which– disagree with them as I do– are his to have.  Moreover, given decades of running the business on “biblical principles”, none of this should come as any surprise.

Am I going to develop a complex and feel inferior if I choose to enter a Chick-fil-A?  Absolutely not.  Such complaints against the company seem entirely unfounded, as no instances of discrimination or harassment have been cited.  It seems that anyone who goes in for a piece of chicken will receive the same, equal level of “second-mile” customer service, just as Mr. Cathy’s operation has pledged to provide all along.

Neither the chain as a whole nor the CEO himself is going to determine the outcome of gay marriage in this country.  However, some will attempt to “better” the situation by making it worse.  So in the meantime, have a Chick-fil-A sandwich, or don’t.  Either way, listen to Mayor Bloomberg!  His voice of reason shapes my own.

 
 

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