Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunny Sunday

Yesterday's malaise has only served to make me restless. It was the first day I had not left my apartment in a long while, and the first time that I really just did absolutely nothing. And while that sounds like a good thing, it really drove me crazy.

After some gnashing of teeth over trying to pull together some competitive Blokus, I realized that I was going stir-crazy. I decided to get outside for a quick bicycle ride with Aus to regain my sanity.

Casual Blokus and board game cross-training later at the Croshiro's.

75.7 °F / 24.3 °C
51.1 °F / 10.6 °C

Japanese beer in Japan town with the Japanese. Chicken karaage and tonkatsu ftw. The burners are trickling back into town, white playa-covered vehicles dot the parked cars.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lazy Caturday

Boo Boo in the Morning

No reading the news,
No alarms and no snooze.

Not a meeting in sight,
No appointments tonight.

Video games and TV,
Delivery and a bad movie.

I didn't leave my box today,
What a lazy, lazy Caturday.

71.2 °F
56.7 °F

Sat at the couch. No beers and no smoking, just sweet, refreshing, laziness.

Friday, August 29, 2008

William Stout Architectural Books

Assemble the the ultimate collection of art and architecture books and put them all one place and you have William Stout Architectural Books. It's easy to stand in a single place for hours and never get bored.

A Good Place to Spend the Hours

The tall, densely packed shelves have a library ladder on a track to reach books near the ceiling. If I had bookstore, I'd want it to be this one.

Library Ladder

94.5 °F / 34.7 °C
58.5 °F / 14.7 °C

Looks like the heatwave is over. Today was the last call for the heat, but the fog is back and tonight I will sleep well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Accepts

"To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is -- you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.

What is that American promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will, listen now, cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you. It's about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who are young at heart and who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America."

-Barack Obama

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 2 Again

Ninety One and Sunny

A person who looked a lot like a friend of ours (but was not) was ejected from the yard. She left with her bike, completely drunk, balling, and screaming, "I got kicked out on my BIRTHDAY!!!" She is going to hate Thursday.

I, however, am going to love Thursday. It's supposed to be hotter than today. I'll be outside with a beer at the Jay 'n' Bee Club (map) for the Stop AIDS project.

91.2 °F / 32.9 °C
55.9 °F / 13.3 °C

Mission Control drove her car to LA and left it there! Congratulations Mission Control. Jason S for Scientist, Seth, Rolf, Derek and Ben in the roll call.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day Back after 40

Are these people really Hillary supporters? The woman in the following clip claims she is an independent. I love how Chris Matthews allows her to fully make a mockery of herself. Talk about post-rational.

If you go to you'll find a comedic anti-Obama site replete with quotes like, "Christians Burned Alive and Obama Still Tied to Odinga...Why Is Sean Hannity the Only Media Source Covering This One? Blood Brothers or Cousins...?" I'm not sure to be afraid, sad, or laugh at the parody. Perhaps we need a former congressional investigator to write a report about Republicans in costume at the DNC.

I could not handle another day of the DNC. Instead I ran a few errands (like picking up my Yeti-bama Tee) and going for a ride. It was good to ride after having taken off a week from any long rides. I ended up at the ZG for some perfectgeist conditions; sunny, over 80 degrees and empty.

Non-sequitor photo, me with a snake:

85.1 °F / 29.5 °C
54.5 °F / 12.5 °C

Third table from the elephants. Burning Man is on! Ah... the golden week in SF, no need for the back-up bar this week!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Post Rational

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been consistently dropping the phrase "post-rational" to describe the behavior of the emotional Clinton supporters.

What the hell is post-rational?

From Earl Barnett:
"William James was a psychologist and philosopher from the end of the 19th century specializing in the psychology of religion and was the father of pragmatism."

From ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience‘ by William James:

“…The opinion opposed to mystical philosophy is sometimes spoken of as rationalism. Rationalism insists that all our beliefs ought ultimately to find for themselves articulate grounds. Such grounds, for rationalism, must consist of four things: (1) definite statable abstract principles; (2) definite facts of sensation; (3) definite hypotheses based on such facts; and (4) definite inferences logically drawn… Nevertheless, if we look on man’s whole mental life… we have to confess that the part of it which rationalism can give an account is relatively superficial. Its is the part that has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. But it will fail to convince or convert you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its conclusions” (pg. 74).

That scares me to think that Hillary's supporters support her for reasons beyond logical, rational thought. They think jihad is without rationality. Perhaps it's the same thing I fear in both, faith-based post-rationality.

That said, post-rational is also described as being a relatively positive thing as well.

"In his wisdom, Master Lao understood something 2500 years ago that we in the West are only now just beginning to appreciate: that rational thinking is not the final stage of human development. While the Western world has long held rational thought to be the epitome of human development, new research is in agreement with Master Lao, pointing to other ways of thinking beyond (read: better than) rationality. Scientists are eagerly investigating these newly identified “post-rational” ways of knowledge, describing them by many names: contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber speaks of vision-logic; Malcolm Gladwell refers to “the power of thinking without thinking” with the adaptive unconscious; in the Emotional Intelligence literature the movement is categorized under several names. Indeed, this post-rational stage of knowing have been under observation for some years: Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung and his Jungian followers call it intuition; the great martial artist Bruce Lee referred to this higher stage of awareness as “It”; and Zen masters throughout the ages simply use the term mushin (literally, no mind, as in, “beyond rational thought”). For interested readers, current research into post-rational ways of knowing can be found in Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling Blink; Gary Klein’s The Power of Intuition; Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology & Spirituality; and Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee’s Primal Leadership, among others."

source: Earthpages

Regardless of what it actually means, I have this sense that the elitist media has shown up and I'm not sure their commentary is going to hurt or help win over the post-rational Clinton supporters. The best way to create helpful dialog with a community who believes in faith is call it post-rational? Still I love Rachel Maddow and she was on fuego during the first day of the DNC.

Otherwise the DNC has been about as interesting as watching paint dry. I took a break to clean the grease off my stove it was so awesome. Senator Kennedy replete with brain tumor and thinned silver hair was still, as Jess put it, "more animated than Nancy Pelosi." Pelosi's speech was insipid at best. Still, it's awe-inspiring to see how the last Kennedy brother still has so much strength and love in the Democratic party. The string of teary eyed men was truly moving.

Meanwhile news of Biden's pro-RIAA track-record broke my heart. It's hard for me to watch him at the convention now. :( Joe, is this really the right thing to do?

Non-sequitor photo:
I Got the Beets

75.0 °F / 23.9 °C
58.3 °F / 14.6 °C

Nice but windy. Brunch at hipster enclave, Bugaloos with David, Dina, and Olivia. Dinner take out from Pizzaria Delfina; Boar Gel Pizza!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Shelves

Shelf Yeti

Weekend project accomplished thanks to Seth and Dennis for their fourth floor shelf muling. I was even done in time to catch some of the Rock Make Street Festival. There were a lot of great artists and surprisingly cute and chic things for sale. Not your typical craft fair.

A delicious bowl of noodles topped with a magical turkey meat sauce with thai chilies and shitake snap pea stir fry whipped up by Danielle and Dennis was finished with a Mojinto (Cucumber Gin Mojito). YUM.

Meanwhile it looks like politics has pushed the post-cold war out of the major headlines. Now that the Olympics are over, I can finally go back to feeling less guilty about the rest of the sorted news from all over the world. Now what am I going to watch from 1-3am?

72.5 °F / 22.5 °C
57.2 °F / 14.0 °C

Another beautiful sunny day to avoid the crowds.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Some socially conscious cartoon fun:

I'm not sure if we'll ever see everyone out of their cars anytime soon, but I guess awareness is the first step. On that note, if you haven't already checked it out, the recently redesigned Bay Area Rapid Transit website adds a few new helpful features and a great new visual design. Too bad the trains and the stations can't look as cool.

69.6 °F / 20.9 °C
57.0 °F / 13.9 °C

I got a call at 11:30a from Roy asking if I was going to be at the ZG. Hoping to avoid the overrun weekend scene I retreated to the back-up bar for Blokus and Budweiser.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama Biden 2008

It's Biden as the veep. He's everything Obama isn't. And of course the message via text was a stroke of grass-roots indie genius. Still it was only moments until the big networks also broke the news but it's nice to know that the Obama campaign appreciates democratized information. It is also refreshing to see that non-traditional forms of information delivery are being used to extend the immediate audience.

After a brief visit to the Children's Hospital to see Brad's baby girl, Q, it was decided that the window to make it to the ZG had elapsed. We took up pitchers at our nearby patio and braved the cold of the summer. When we could take it no more, we headed for food.

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Get #75: Whole Deep-fried Red Snapper

Whole Fish

I hope I made my great-grandma proud of my fish eating skills:

Rolly Polly

68.0 °F / 20.0 °C
57.7 °F / 14.3 °C

Back table at the back-up bar. I didn't even try the ZG.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First ________?

This is a photo-series of me showing my PhD film student friend a film from the Internet.

Is this going to take long?

He needed a break from screening these horrific short film entries to Sundance. I guess watching movies for a living is not everything most people think it is.

Meanwhile the last couple days have had some really fun bits.

Pre-loaded iPhone
Four-eared cat
Olympic Photo Gear
Toronto Bike Thief

Meanwhile I've been backing up my photo collection and have come across a couple shots from the ZG, back when photography wasn't so taboo in the yard.


Bar Shooter

It was so beautiful out so I decided that I'd go to the ZG for a beer. It would have been the first time I've been back there since day 40, but alas, I forgot, in my unemployed state, that today was Thursday. Thursday + Sunny = Packedgeist. But the difference today was that I didn't have some silly streak to uphold. I was in to survey the crowd, and out a couple minutes later.

Take out from Old Jerusalem FTW. Get a dozen falafel and 2 orders of hummos and dinner is served.

Eat In

Take Out

You can even order online.

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72.7 °F / 22.6 °C
59.5 °F / 15.3 °C

Beers at an undisclosed location elsewhere in the Mission. Stay out of my back-up bar you f*ckers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Figure, Line, Memory, and Contrast


Art, Graffiti, Vandalism


No Idea What This Says

73.0 °F / 22.8 °C
58.3 °F / 14.6 °C

Another beautiful day in the Mission. Barely left the house.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 44: Why am I still counting?

I've not been back to the ZG since returning from LA last night, but I'm there in spirit. If I could get there I would, but my foot prevents me from going anywhere. After taking two cortisone injections between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal for capsulitis and mild neuroma (sounds like a tomato with mental problems), my foot feels like an overstuffed haggis.

Water and Bones

Alas Dr. Saunders says to stick to the one-beer-plan at home. Poker is at my house tonight. Chili is on the menu.

Chilling Out

Meanwhile, after NATO threatened a suspension there were not only fries, but peace brokered by the French. Russia claims to withdraw by Friday. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile the Olympics ramble on neighboring China. Note to self, stop watching the news.

I wonder if Russian athletes are ashamed to be competing while they're waging war. I know ours aren't (at least not publicly). Still, I was pretty miffed by the dubious tie break that left Nastia Liukin's superior performance with a silver on the un-even bars.

71.8 °F / 22.1 °C
58.1 °F / 14.5 °C

Oddly overcast but humid with breaks of sun. I'm fashioning a picnic table in the living room.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 43

LA to SF by car. 5 hours and change. Driving is exhausting for something that requires so little physical exertion. Taking photos is pretty challenging though, that's fun.


Muxtape finally gets some attention from the good folks at the RIAA. It looks like they're trying to minimize the issue, hopefully they can work something. I'm not holding my breath.

79.1 °F / 26.2 °C
64.8 °F / 18.2 °C

68.9 °F / 20.5 °C
57.4 °F / 14.1 °C

Outside table at Home in LA. No beers today, only driving.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 42

Black Hole Face

Another day in LA. Matt showed me his hi-res art-photography studio. He has a 200 mega pixel large format camera for shooting paintings and a large-format epson printer for making reproductions. The quality of the digital reproductions versus those made on film is really amazing. Just a few years ago the best professional film-based reproduction was not only not nearly as detailed, but wrought with color correction issues. When using film there are several steps required for digitization and at each step are opportunities for accurate color representation to go wrong. With a hi-res digital photo there is one step to digitize and with a printer in the studio, colors can instantly evaluated for accuracy.

The camera itself works like a scanner, it scans, line by line, the incoming light. With such a process you not only need a ton of light, but your subject can't move. When the subject is in motion, the scanning process captures the motion in a continuous decent. The effect is very psychedelic.

Portrait a la Francis Bacon

Blokus and Settlers with Sudeep and Abby.

68.5 °F / 20.3 °C
66.8 °F / 19.3 °C

There was no table outside with beer.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 41: You are what you eat.

On the forty first day we drove far away from the Zeitgeist. Six hours to LA to see some of Jess' friends from the Internets. Driving long distances in California always re-affirms my faith that Californians are the worst drivers in the world. Still the trip was safe and (barely) without incident. To the driver in the hideous gold Honday Pilot who cut me off on 5, I only wish yourself upon you.

Warung Cafe

After a long day and a stop at Warung for some concept-pupus and a beer, we headed to the Griffin to meet the Internet. After an awkward few meet-up-concept moments the crowd of nerds quickly became a mass of geeks, each from a different city, each with a different story, but all, by night's end, securing an impending hang over.


The nearby Del Taco was unavoidable after my 3rd drink, and like flies on crap, we filled ourselves with barely identifiable food products that approximated your lard-drenched taco bell favorites. From an extensive menu you could also get cheeseburgers and french fries if your faculties were adequately impaired. I created my own tacos dorados (aka The Chalupa) by ordering soft and crunchy tacos and assembling them with hot sauce. I didn't spend more than five dollars but it sure doesn't feel like.


The after party at Miguel's stretched on into the morning. There were head-smacking backflips and more than just a few high-fives. The neighbors were out late, boozin' in front of their 5 and 14 year old girls. Monica and Kevin made a trek to the ever-present Del Taco. I had a rare opportunity to chat with Audrey, I'm glad that she faces some of the challenges we all have when looking for inspiration.

Breakfast was had at Astro Family Restaurant, who's throwback 50's architecture was like eating in a scene out of the Big Lebowski. Our waitress, who at 5am was probably on her last legs of the day, was not appreciative of our audience.

85 °F / 29 °C
67 °F / 19 °C

Sat outside at Griffingeist, smoking section, second table from the door. I had at least a pitcher's worth while talking to a local crew. I wasn't sure what to make of them, but I felt like I knew them by the time I left.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 40, It's Biblical

And Sat in Hiding

On day forty it was Friday and sunny. That also means it was packed. Fortunately we had good neighbors. Hank and Jeff, long-time ZG fans from the 90's recounted their underage drinking memories here. I had to lock my bike up outside for the first time in forty days, and for nothing. After going out to run an errand after my first beer I was able to bring my bike inside.

"It is remarkable that the time track of a cycle of 40 days can be used to very effectively (almost perfectly) measure and meter out the rate of each passing solar year.

Currently, the track of a cycle of 40 days can be used to determine the epoch of the annual transit to within the average limits of only 2.2 seconds per year.

The cited measure of the annual transit only requires keeping a tally of one day in each cycle of 40 days. The result of subtracting 40th days from out of the time stream is a fixed calendar count of 3205 days in correspondence with every cycle of 9 years."

I'm not quite sure what that means but you can try reading this article about the Significance of Forty Days. If you're into physics and some light math you might even buy it!

Meanwhile back in SF:

Peaches by The Stranglers was on again in, probably for the 50th time in 40 days. A self-proclaimed music snob next to us claimed it was The Fall. Psshya; maybe if your pants weren't so tight you might be able to know who sings this song.

After forty days I've learned many valuable lessons and have seen wondrous things. I've also come to appreciate the passing of the days.


73.8 °F / 23.2 °C
54.7 °F / 12.6 °C

Mission Control on day 31. Matt, Kenji, Ben, Kreeger, Mike, Claire, Minal, Rolf, Mig, Alyson, Peter, Randy, Dana, and Morgan.

Safety gear encouraged:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 39

Mission Purple


I posted on day 31 about a bike inspired by a pair of shoes. I saw a bike in the mission that has to have been inspired by:

Purple III: SF Treatment

I have to stop playing Crack Attack. I also need to stop reading the news. I know that doesn't make it go away, and sadly I know this isn't over tomorrow.

I'm still watching the Olympics and watching Phelps make more history. I know that this is un-American, but how does a human being do this without modern science? I'm not claiming any of the athletes in the Olympics are currently doping, but I can only hope this is the truth. I suppose I've seen one too many doping scandals.

It's difficult to tell what to trust in the world of over-informed self-proclaimed experts. Still if you want to believe something, and someone validates your theories, that can be a powerful thing. Based on the last election, roughly 50% of Americans have similar political views to mine and the other 50% would probably also agree if they were curious enough to seek something other than Fox N*ws.

Of course, there are those on the right like Dr. Richard Miller in Pennsylvania, who recently dropped "ultra" from his "ultra-conservative" title who can even get me riled up about those "fire-breathing liberals." I find my conversations with him to be revealing for both of us. I told him that there were gays that worked in my company. He told me the energy crisis and climate change are made-up by liberals in the capital. I for one, welcome the warm weather:

69.1 °F / 20.6 °C
54.7 °F / 12.6 °C

Third from the elephants. Mission Control on a full month. Liz gives her a drink on the house. The fog is in by 7 and we escape with time for dinner and a move.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 38

Cease what?

So as much as I'm conceptually opposed to the Olympics I can't not watch, it's either that or MTV's wonderful series Made (which I'm actually not all that opposed to) and it definitely beats the news. NBC's coverage has been very red-meat and pick-up trucks so far. Beach volleyball, boxing, more beach volleyball, a little more boxing, swimming, gymnastics, beach volleyball, and more boxing.

What about cycling?!
Not the Olympics

Judo? Badminton? If you were lucky you might have seen 5 minutes of these sports in prime time. Or if you're up all night, like me, and can catch USA's coverage, you might see something obscure like Women's Field hockey. But fear not, that's why we have the Internet! If you go to and install Microsoft's Silverlight package you can get video of almost any event you can think of! After a short ad, of course, you can even catch some crazy triple flying-smash badminton finishes.

While this is pretty awesome, you cannot watch video in full screen. That sucks, and for what? Do you really expect people to click on that banner? *sigh* If you're on a mac you can use the system zoom by holding down the control key and using either two fingers on your track pad, or use the wheel of your mouse to fake the full screen, but your mouse pointer is still visible. Even still, I think it's excellent and it works in FF.

If you're into cycling you should watch Cancellara tear up the Men's Individual Time Trial.

83.1 °F / 28.4 °C
55.9 °F / 13.3 °C

Afternoon yoga on a beautiful Wednesday. The crowd was light during the best part of the day making for perfectgeist conditions before the fog rolled in. Mission Control on day 29, Anthony in from NY. Table in front of the grill.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 37

Afternoon bike ride, Downtown - Presidio - ZG. The summer time is coming, but the fog is still ever-present after 7:30. By 8p it's time to get inside.

As it was over 70 at some point today the ZG was consequently filled to capacity. When it's crowded the chance of mishaps rises exponentially. Today Mission Control spots a poor schmoe who, while carrying two burgers to the back yard, tripped down the stairs. He managed to save one of the burgers but, mortified by collective "OOOooo!" he scurried to his table with an empty plate, leaving his burger on the stairs.

The bike parking was jammed today. Was it good for your bike? Mine gets around.

bike parking bike sex

2008 US Air Guitar Championship photos finally up. Seems like no one cares. After this last championship, I'm not sure I have enough patience to deal with the crowd this event draws.


I also swung by the Gama-Go to pick up an order of yetis

and place my order for my new t-shirt:

I got one for Jess too. $5 dollars goes to the Obama campaign.

73.8 °F / 23.2 °C
55.0 °F / 12.8 °C

Mission Control day 28, Marc, Sumeet, Brad, and Dennis holding down the table in front of the truck.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 36

Sunny, beautiful, Monday, Perfectgeist. Monday again, the regulars are in abundance on this warm summery afternoon, but the fog is in-bound, back from a day's hiatus. The Zeitgeist Film Festival is back on this Monday. We have a beer with Corey and Mission Control on her 27th day.

The Olympics are now in full swing as is the Georgian conflict. The idea that the world has time for sports during times of war is somehow this amazing thing. The world is truly just too big for us to care about it all at once.

Meanwhile here in town, I hope the Exploratorium gets its 50 year rent-free plan together. I love science museums. Natural curiosity should be encouraged.

I also happened into these balloons twice today.
Balloon Foreshadowing
They followed me to the ZG.
Balloons Again

72.9 °F / 22.7 °C
56.3 °F / 13.5 °C

Sixth table from the elephants.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 35


Pacifica, Mori Point ride from SF with Brad, Dennis, and Seth (thanks for the GPS data Dennis). We were trying to do the Planet of the Apes ride but did not have enough time to make it the whole way. Still it was fun doing a some mild single track on my road bike. Distance (mi) 33.83 Elevation Gain (ft) +8,671. Jess also rode 33 miles in the city while we were out, beers = earned.

More from the USAG National Championship:
B Goode

79.0 °F / 26.1 °C
60.1 °F / 15.6 °C

Mission Control on day 26. Chance and his sister Monica were in town for a Giant's game. It was NICE out and surprisingly not very crowded. Between the game and how amazing it was at Dolores Park, the ZG was actually do-able. Still we were out quick and b-lining it to the park. Sixth table from the elephants on the bar side.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thirty Four, No End in Sight

The Olympics Going for Gold Day Two:

It's a good thing the President is watching the news or he'd see what I see on the front page:

How can one man be expected to care about so many things go on in the world? I'm sure he looks at the Internets and does the Google at least once a day.

Again the question how long am I going to do this? After some thought, I wonder if this is a streak or a habit. My lawyer-in-training friend Robert assures me that if I don't know how I got here, that's a habit. I guess so far so good. Robert showed up to the ZG today in a suit. But unlike the rest of the guys who show up here in suits, Robert has his left pant leg stuffed in sock and arrived on a bicycle.

Jason is back from his adventure at sea with a slew of hilarious and awesome stories. My favorites are of the gay cook who cut his hair, sold him cigarettes and always let him in on the fresh apple turn-overs. Either way, it was a great experience I can tell. I'm sure he's learned a ton about why trying to quit smoking aboard a research vessel out to see for a month is probably not the best idea.

Air Guitar shots trickle forth:
Air Bassistant

72.0 °F / 22.2 °C
55.2 °F / 12.9 °C

Third table from the elephants. We got lucky it was reasonably packed when we arrived, but happen to catch an opening. Sumeet (Sara, her friend Naishi, and her date) make a brief appearance. Nate present. And, of course, Angela, who on her 25th day, seems to have lost count.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 33 on 888

The Olympics started today. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the Olympics in China. I tend to like the concept of the Olympics and I'm glad that millions of Americans will get the approved vision of modern China. But it's still difficult to see how the American Dream is alive, well, and unsustainable there.

I celebrated the opening day of the Olympics by going to the US Air Guitar National Championships.
Betty Back Stage

Review forthcoming on SF Jukebox.

Meanwhile, someone sent me this great post on the quality crowd on Fridays. I'm sure I saw this guy and about twenty other guys also matching this description. I AR A DUMASS.

Speaking of Internet memes (thanks Tim) , I came across a timeline just in case you weren't sure I was IN UR BASE KILLIN UR DOODZ and when U CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER. It's scary to see this has become our new legacy. I try to keep up with the memes, but just like most lost in the tubes, I miss a lot.

How does something get a million and a half views and I've not seen it?

66.2 °F / 19.0 °C
55.4 °F / 13.0 °C

Fourth table from the elephants on the bar side. Mission Control on day 24. Karyn takes a break from the horror movie in her bathroom. The calm of my morning yoga lasts all day.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 32

No brakes today. Thirty Two and no end in sight.

I can't go a day without the question, "How many days are you going to do this?" It seems that I should start a pool. How many consecutive days will (can) Koshi and Jess go to the ZG?

a.) 32-35
b.) 35-40
c.) 40-45
d.) 45-50
e.) 50+

So I've been doing the veggie thing for almost three weeks but have recently started to put small amounts of meat back in my diet. I could only go for so long with bacon.

WAKE 'N' BACON: Never not have a reason to get out of bed:

Sumeet is finally back in town after 32 days. We were worried he wasn't going to be let back into the US. Sara was also worried. Dennis, Danielle, and Eric on Day 32. Mission Control does her 23rd before heading to see Patton Oswald. We hear the Stranglers again, this has to be at least the 20th time I've heard the Stranglers in the past 32 days. Webe Sushi at 16th and Valencia postgeist.

The kitchen has streamlined their process. No longer listen for your name, just listen for the "If you ordered food, COME GET IT!" announcement.

If you're in SF tomorrow you might want to check out the spectacle that is US Air Guitar.
Group Portrait

65.3 °F / 18.5 °C
54.3 °F / 12.4 °C

Fourth table from the elephants on the bar side.