Archive for the ‘Geography’ category

Hey y’all (I mean: you guys)

December 28, 2013

A friend of ours turned us on to a version of the Harvard Dialect Survey, made available by the NYT recently, that asks you questions about your word choices and pronunciation, and gives you a “heat map” of your dialect. The idea is that the warmest spots indicate a high probability that a random person from that area would answer the quiz the same way you did.

Here is Dan’s (he’s from Seattle):

dan dialects

And here is Troy’s (he’s from northern California):


But Utah is us! How romantic is that?

Also, they’re potato bugs. Just sayin’ …


Mystical links to Farragut

March 27, 2011

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dan’s parents for letting us stay at their downtown timeshare for a few days last week so that we could enjoy big city downtown living.  I also owe them for making possible the discovery that there is a strong historic connection between Vallejo, CA and Farragut, TN.  Some of you may be way ahead of me … but it turns out that Admiral David Glasgow Farragut played an important role in the early history of the naval base on Mare Island in Vallejo.  From the Visit Vallejo web site:

The military history of Mare Island began on January 4, 1853 when the United States purchased the island for $83,491. In September of 1854, Commander David Glasgow Farragut and his family arrived on the island. Farragut had been sent west to personally oversee the building of a navy yard in support of the Pacific Squadron. Farragut later became a naval hero and our nation’s first Admiral for his victories at New Orleans, Vicksburg, and finally his capture of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Although Farragut dreamed of building the first naval vessel to be constructed in the west, authorization for the ship was not received until after he left Mare Island in 1856.

Many of you will know where he was born ...

I learned this from a tour guide while on a free San Francisco city tour of downtown POPOs (Privately Owned Public Spaces).

How did it take me 13 years to figure this out?!?

Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico Bridge: Update

August 28, 2009

If you have been following the progress of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge with bated breath like I have, you will appreciate how happy I was to see a stack of these flyers on the ferry home last night. I’ve been following the slow progress of this bridge since moving here in ’98– from the long arguments about design to the various stages arising next to the current bridge and visible during bus commutes. They have been building this bypass 150-odd feet in the air and will be hooking the whole thing up over the Labor Day weekend before demolishing an old section of the old bridge. See full details below:


nb: sections are NOT actually yellow or orange :-(


don't worry-- bridge will be closed all wkend long

Only 6 more days to drive on that old section before it’s gone forever! For more information of the long saga, click here. After the weekend, the new speed limit on the bypass will be 40 mph– leading to more backups. Until they build the new bridge and can tear down the bypass. Current estimated completion date “late 2013” is getting closer all the time!

Things I learned today

July 12, 2009

– The 1978 sci-fi/conspiracy thriller “Capricorn One” starred 2 men– Elliot Gould and James Brolin– one of whom was already divorced from Babs Streisand, the other destined to marry her years later.

– There was an awesome coffee shop just a block from our Tokyo hotel, but I never knew it.  Thanks for the late article on the swell coffee shops of Tokyo, NYTimes Travel section!

– The closest place to recycle batteries to our house is 1 mile away. (thanks, city recycling app)

Reason #32 the Bay Area is great

March 21, 2009

The state Dept. of Social Services recruiting gay couples to adopt– on BART. Take that Florida, Arkansas, etc.

From DE to HI

March 4, 2009

Speaking of bragging, it’s not often you finish a 10-year project. Trying to figure out which movies to watch (and when) is hard enough …

But today, at the Castro Cigar Shop, I bought two packs of Polar Ice flavored ahawaiiExtra gum, received some change, and my labors came to an end.

When I first saw the quarter in question, I thought (honestly) it was the angel Moroni. But no … that would be King Kamehameha.  As I happen to live with a Hawaiian, I let Dan have the honor of archiving our last coin (for you younger readers, Hawaii is our 50th state – it joined the union in 1959).



February 18, 2009

I don’t really know what the point of this competition is, but I like it.

This is my favorite:


Thanks, Troy, for sending that around!