Archive for November 2009

Turkey Report

November 30, 2009

The Thanksgiving getaway moved down the coast from Mendocino to the Russian River this year. We rented a home on the riverbank in Monte Rio. Built in 1932, the years of river moisture and surely several floods have left the place with a pretty decent dank, musty smell. But other than that, it was a lovely getaway. Highlights included a functional hot tub, leftover turkey gumbo (thanks, Anne!), reading, cards, hikes on the coast and in the redwoods, wine tasting and visiting Bodega Bay where The Birds was filmed.

nearby vineyard

no, Dan's not reading about redwoods, he's reading about Otaku, post-modernism and how today's youth lack the need for narrative... He doesn't seem to yet realize he is on vacation

Peter after the Hitchcockian attack

After a week away of peaceful solitude, it was probably appropriate that we were greeted by this cacophany of city life right under our windows (the stimulus package finally reached our block):

diggin up diviz


The slow death of the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge

November 18, 2009

SIAJ readers ask and we deliver.

A reader recently asked for an update on the demolition of the old section of the Bay Bridge that was recently bypassed by the quickly-becoming-notorious “S-curve“.  Always thinking of our readers, I took a bus home from work this afternoon and was able to capture a few views of where things stand:


bonus peakaboo view of the GGBridge



Apparently, they dismantle the top level first


Of course, this is only the very beginning of the great dismantling.  It’s just this very last section goes down now.  We are still using about 92% of the old eastern span before hitting the new S-curve.  This allows the new suspension span the room it needs to hit the island in about 5-25 years:

I should mention for future visitors that the new S-curve requires drivers to slow down.  Despite numerous warnings, there have been over 40 accidents at the S-curve and one very unfortunate incident in which a truck rolled right off the side and off the bridge.   So take it easy!  This has led to the creation in SF of one of the more perplexing electronic highway sign messages you are ever likely to see:




No one will be able to accuse CalTrans of not giving you adequate notice.

Sunday in the park

November 16, 2009

Another Sunday, another leisurely walk to the park and back. We decided to walk down a block we’d never been on before … and what did we find?


Style 'O' Rama baby!

And on Hayes Street of all things. Although we couldn’t find a Thorpe connection, we did see this shop across the street:


Anybody else opening a business near us?


Saturday Sample Sentence

November 14, 2009

“Marcel, that chicken cacciatore was an absolute poem.”


A poem.

Concert review: They Might Be Giants @ Booksmith

November 12, 2009

That’s the Haight location of Booksmith.  They were supporting their new children’s book/CD “Kids Go!” with a free concert this afternoon.  It was an interesting crowd with ages very split– a little more than half the crowd in the 1-8 year old demographic, with the rest of the audience mostly Xers and a few GenYers.  Concerts these days tend to remind me I am no longer in my youth and this one really drove the point home.  The band opened and closed with some new material that was not familiar to me, including the title track from “Kids Go!” which closed out their set.  The younger crowd seemed to mostly appreciate the newer material, really getting into lyrics like “it’s time to jump along” and “move like a monkey!”, while I was more enthusiastic to hear old classics like “Doctor Worm”.  Fortunately, there were some numbers with universal appeal (“Triangle Man”).

towards the mosh pit

Towards the mosh pit


back with the adults (kids had rushed the stage)


some of the rowdier crowd members even started climbing up on bookshelves

I will say that this concert got off very punctually and was rather brief (no encore?), as if the band members anticipated the short attention span of many of the younger set.  They worked the crowd well with typical banter between songs (“There’s no bar here, so I’m not sure what’s going on with all this chatter out there!”).  Finally, this was the first concert I’ve been to that devolved into a book-signing afterwards.


the wait on Haight