December 22, 2007

December 03, 2007

One word

Takadanobaba. Because I love to say it, and because I'm staying there for about a week, starting on Tuesday Japan time.


December 02, 2007


According to my guidebook, the Japanese for "Tea with Lemon" is "Remon Tii."

Remon. I ruv it. Hirarious.

November 15, 2007

Why was I never informed?

There is a town in Washington State called Skookumchuck. That's friggin awesome!

View Larger Map

Countrywide Financial

George Soros bought 1.8 million shares of CFC in the third quarter. Does he know something I don't? I see no reason that CFC should be more than a penny stock. I have already been proven right when I was shocked at the big jump they took after Mozilo foresaw profits coming in 4Q07. The stock is lower than it was before that jump.

But, now BofA and Soros have sunk large amounts of cash into CFC so....???? What's the dealio?

November 14, 2007


I pretty much love my pretty white little MacBook, except for the few gnawing differences that, as a longtime Windows users, really annoyed me. The NUMBER ONE problem I had was that I couldn't use the keyboard to tab through links, or make selections in popup boxes. Also, when filling out form, tabbing through the fields skipped checkboxes and radio buttons. Argh!

Turns out that there is a simple preference to fix this problem. I have no idea why Apple doesn't make this the default setting.

Thank you Tony Spencer!

This is what abandonment feels like.

The best girl in the world has abandoned me for The Big Apple, so I have to drown my sorrows with an Apple Fritter under a huge plastic donut. Thank you Happy Donuts!

November 12, 2007

Allergies suck ass. I can't wait to get home and try my new Loratadine (which I ensured after purchase was not made by my former employer!).

November 11, 2007

Architecture in Berkeley

Berkeley has been blessed over the past century with a plethora of amazing architecture that can probably match any similarly sized city in the country, and many that are much bigger. For my money, Berkeley has as many notable buildings as our larger neighbor across the bay. I just found a brief history of some of the buildings and a couple of the most famed Berkeley architects, including Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan.

While the Landmarks Preservation Board can sometimes go overboard (Alan Ginsburg once puked on that wall, so it's a historic landmark!), we are definitely blessed to have a strong preservation group to keep our wonderful architecture.

The first building granted landmark status in Berkeley (as well as our only designated National Landmark) is the Maybeck designed First Church of Christ, Scientist

One of my favorite buildings is the Julia Morgan Theater, formerly St. John's Presbyterian Church. This is still a functioning theater, and is one of many structures that may have been lost to history without the Landmark Preservation Board (in fact, the fight to save this beautiful building led to the formation of the Berkeley Architecture Heritage Association.

November 09, 2007

This is impressive!

One bit of warning, don't watch this if you have epilepsy!

George Bush sings U2

November 08, 2007

Writing articles without research

Why does the Miata always get tagged as a chick car?

Okay, stop laughing, everybody knows that only chicks buy Miatas, right?

But they don't. According to JD Power, 58% of 2008 Miatas are purchased by men. There are hardly any less chicky chick cars. I bet the Studly Tahoe is bought far more often by soccer moms than by studly men.

And Allison, I know the gay jokes are coming. I expect to see them in comments!

It's done!

Oliver is awake, but dopey. How anyone can tell he's dopey other than just him being Oliver, I can't tell.

November 07, 2007

It's all bullshit.

Bullshit to be scooped from the litterbox of life. We'll only remember the good times.

November 02, 2007

I just made some spotted dick. Thank you very much.

October 31, 2007

About sex with AARP card holders:

"If she's continent, I'm there."

The source of this quote will remain anonymous to protect him.

October 30, 2007

It's official.

My girlfriend (fiancee if you'd like to be technical) frightens the retarded. I'm so in awe.

October 28, 2007

License plates

It has been the week of truly awesome license plates. On Monday in Berkeley, we saw an older Mercedes with the plates "Bukake" and today, in the Bay Bridge approach it was a Civic with the plate "Faygele." Not surprising he was entering SF!

October 24, 2007

Time to boycott Halle Berry?

Making Jewish nose jokes is going too far. Being a Jew, without a big nose...wait, I can't even say that with a straight face. This is news?

October 16, 2007

The Bush Administration improves!

On the dumb-o-meter they are down to an 8.5. I don't think they've been under 9 3/4 since they got into office!

October 14, 2007

The Castro

Wow that chick in there is way freeaky and not nearly as hot as she thinks she is. What's up with her?

Oh that a dude? That explains everything!

October 08, 2007


To everyoneone in the US (outside the People's Republic of Berkeley):
Happy Columbus Day. Hope you enjoy celebrating the transmission of gonnorhea to poor defenseless Native Americans.

To everyone in Canada: Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy the slaughter of millions of Turkeys/Tofurkeys to supply your feast.

To everyone in the People's Republic of Berkeley: Happy Indigenous Peoples Day. Hope you enjoy celebrating the slaughter/scalpings of displaced people trying to settle the West for a better life.

Me? I'm still at work :(

This is not my beautiful op-ed columnist!

Paul Krugman channels David Byrne. Should he have given credit???

October 04, 2007

"Kanye has sold more albums, so it's official: 'George W. Bush doesn't care about black people.'"

October 03, 2007

Bike sharing

I heartily support a bike sharing program in SF modeled on Paris. I could definately see participating, it would be nice to be able to hop on a bike without worrying about getting it on BART, or having it get stolen. The one problem would seem to be one way trips -- someone hopping on a bike from Pac Heights and rolling downtown, but taking the bus back home. Nobody wants to ride uphill! Would it require a team of trucks and trailers pulling the bikes uphill?

September 05, 2007

What it boils down to....

Whenever I walk into a room, I know the most beautiful girl in the room is the one that's on my arms. That's a great thing to know!

August 28, 2007

What did the cop say to Larry Craig?

YOU da Ho!

Another earthquake in Berkeley?

I just heard on the news about a 3.0 earthquake in Berkeley. The other night there was a 2.4, and a week or two one that Allison and I actually felt. I hope it is not a sign of more to come. I have my fingers crossed, because the cat is friggin useless as a predictor.

August 22, 2007

Service charges suck!!!

When did concert venues start charging a service charge at the box office? That is a total scam! At Concord Pavilion and the Fillmore at least, you can only avoid service charges if you go at a certain time on Sundays. WTF????

August 20, 2007

Berkeley Farms-ist Tonight.

Sleep. That pretty much covers it.

August 14, 2007

Political cartoons and Karl Rove

Dan Froomkin has a roundup of cartoons related to Karl Rove way at the bottom of his blog in the Washington Post. There are a few themes, namely Rove as "The Architect" or Rove as "Bush's Brain." However, only John Sherffius got it right. The bigger loss is not to the Republican Party or to President Bush as a person. The biggest loss of the Rove years is the deep damage he has done to the country.

The guy was an amoral, winning is everything guy, and his legacy will reflect that. America isn't the Green Bay Packers, winning is not everything.

As long as Bush is in the White House and not behind bars, our long national nightmare lives.


I've got the BL-4C in my Nokia. Not the recalled battery. Check your Nokias!

August 02, 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle is skeezier than usual

There's a reason it's called the Comical.

Today, there was a big banner headline continuing their look into the homeless in the parks issue.


Right underneath, was this picture:

Wow! They found all those needles in the sweep of Golden Gate Park! I was astounded....

...until I read the caption, in much smaller type:

"Syringes collected at the needle exchange near Haight Street - other used needles have found their way to neighborhood yards and Golden Gate Park."

So, these were syringes collected at the needle exchange -- right where they should be! I can imagine CW Nevius now...."I'm writing this story about used needles in the park...where can I find a picture of used needles? At the needle exchange!"

Shame on you, Chronicle.

July 25, 2007

"Tie Down Your Load" an occasional series

Just about every day, the traffic report mentions a ladder blocking a highway dropped off a truck. I'm going to start reporting what crap people drop on the roads.

Today was a ladder and some hay, presumably from the same load. I guess sometimes you need to store hay high up?

July 06, 2007

Affordable housing DOES exist in Oakland!

Right here! Just think, you won't be throwing that money down the drain on rent. What a beaut!


First, Peter Hartlaub writes a brain dead column about how bad it is that we've banned fireworks.

Then, a girl gets her hand blown off by an M-60. I'm sure the guy didn't mean to. That's why their illegal, idiot.

Bush, the secret European?

According to Dan Froomkin, President Bush has spent 1 out of every 3 days in office either at Camp David or his Texas ranch. The only other people to get that much vacation are the French. George W. Bush, Le Président!

Two reasons I'm happy to live in Berkeley:

1. 125 degrees in Baker, over 100 even in some nearer Bay Area places (Fairfield, Livermore). Maybe 80 in Berkeley? No contest, Berkeley wins!

2. Waste Management, Inc. locks out their workers, jeapardizing trash collection throughout the East Bay. Except Berkeley, because the city does trash collection itself. So Oakland will stew in their own stench, but Berkeley will wave to the friendly trashman! Hopefully!

July 03, 2007

Stupid saying alert

The saying "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up" has always gnawed at me. It's pretty inaccurate in a couple ways. First and most obviously, if there is no crime, there's no need for a cover-up. The crime is the basis, and the cover-up is a symptom. The other, and more sinister issue, is that the cover-up is what keeps the crime from being the "it" that caused the problems. If Nixon hadn't covered up Watergate, the crimes of Watergate most likely would have had the same effects as the cover-up.

July 02, 2007

The difference between being white and not:

In the Duke Lacrosse case, the prosecutor had an eyewitness claim to a crime, but had DNA evidence that contradicted his theory. He withheld the DNA evidence, but the lawyers for the defense were able to bring all evidence to light and get the charges dropped prior to trial. The prosecutor has since been stripped of his law license.

James Ochoa was accused of committing a carjacking in Orange County, California. The victims identified Mr. Ochoa as the man who carjacked them. The prosecutor had an easy case. Unfortunately, the DNA evidence came back pointing towards a different man, not in the DNA database as the attacker. So, the prosecutors did not disclose the evidence to Mr. Ochoa, and took the case to trial. The judge gave Mr. Ochoa a choice: Face trial, and up to 25 years to life maximum sentence or plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, and agree to two years in jail. Mr. Ochoa pled guilty. Ten months into his two year sentence, a man in Los Angeles County was arrested on an unrelated crime. When his DNA was tested, it showed a positive match to the DNA collected in the Ochoa case. Confronted with the evidence, this man quickly confessed to the crime.

It was only at that time that Ochoa was freed from jail. The white, affluent men accused in the Duke lacrosse case served no time in jail and saw their prosecutor fall from grace. James Ochoa spent nearly a year in jail for a crime he did not commit, and his prosecutor was not reprimanded.

June 07, 2007

San Francisco loves their crazy runs.

Now it's the Gorilla Run:

San Francisco Great Gorilla Run (Sun/10)
Let the Fur Fly
Trade in your spandex for an ape suit this weekend for the San Francisco Great Gorilla Run, the first time the 5-year-old, London-based event will be held in the United States. Join the hordes of gorilla-garbed do-gooders on this 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) charity run through Golden Gate Park on Sunday morning. Individuals and teams, who are raising money in preparation for the event, choose a theme to incorporate into their ape attire -- you can expect to see hula dancers, firemen, Elvises, punks and even gorillas in the mist (er, fog). Participants can also walk, jog or get on all fours and drag their arms in true gorilla style. The event is hosted by the Gorilla Organization, a charity that works to protect forests in Central Africa from unregulated logging, poachers, illegal agriculture and other threats to the natural habitat of gorillas. Challenge yourself while beating your chest to get the word out on this King Kong-size problem. (And you get to keep the fur suit!) Video -- Lisa Zaffarese, SF Gate

You've got to be kidding me!

What is Jesse Serna of the San Francisco Police Department doing in a "non-public contact" position instead of a position on the other side of the bars? The guy clearly has a history of violence against innocent people, and there are at least two pending suits related to his assaults on people who caught him assaulting others.

The guy is a psychopath!

June 05, 2007

This girl basically admits she caused the death of three people. Her lawyer says she should only be charged with a misdemeanor because it wasn't deliberate, but an unsafe lane change? No wonder people think defense attorneys are scum.

I want Pocky!

A double feature!

June 03, 2007

Traffic accidents

When you're a trucker, if your accidents ends up in the major newspapers, it's not a good thing!

June 01, 2007

May 31, 2007

A little math goes a long way!

The guy who owns the Shell that was famous for selling gas over $4/gallon (often times well over 50c higher than the guy across the street) to protest Shell Corporate "celebrated" his last day before giving the station to Shell by selling all the gas he had for $2.99/gallon, a veritable bargain these days.

"Earlier, customers like Avon Curtis said it was well worth it for her to wait for 90 minutes to save $4 to fill up her Ford Focus."

$4 divided by an hour and a half works out to an hourly rate of $2.67/hr, well under minimum wage. That idiot doesn't value her time much at all! Also, figure out how much gas she wasted idling, waiting for the pumps. Some people came over from the East Bay...did they pay a $4 toll to wait an hour and a half (or more!) to save $4 at the pump? The station at University and 6th in Berkeley, right off 80, is $3.31...not that much more!

Another reason not to vote Democrat

My State Senator, Don Perata, also the is a crapweasel. In fact, he's a crapweasel's butt.

And, if you ever drive a freeway or a major thoroughfare in the East Bay these days, you're reminded of his pork by big, ugly billboards. Not to mention the electronic billboards that he negotiated for his supporters at the Coliseum.

Ya crapweasel.


Top spammer arrested in Seattle. Apparently this Robert Soloway was a huge player in the spam world, and it was lucrative for him. Sending out ads for fake viagra, penis enlargement, and mortgages must pay off!

Seriously, he's facing some big charges, related to his hijacking of other people's computers and domains (clients he signed up for his fake internet promotion business)to send out the spam. Identity theft, mail fraud, email fraud.

No word which brand of herbal viagra he takes.

May 25, 2007

May 24, 2007


Chutzpah is defined as a man who kills his parents and begs mercy on the court because he is an orphan.

With Bush, I think we can modify it to a man who obstructs an investigation and complains that it takes a long time. When you do not allow people in your organization to testify publically and when requested emails are "missing" you can't complain that it takes a long time.

Thanks to for the video.

May 23, 2007

To the guy who lives on Roosevelt near Allston:

Just a hint. If you're going to fire dance, let the neighbors know before you light your things on fire. Alternatively, turn down the volume on your headphones so you can hear the worried calls over the fence. Because, you almost had fire trucks racing up to your house!

May 22, 2007

Bottled water

First, Chez Panisse, Nopa, and others give up serving bottled water because "Shipping bottles of water from Italy doesn't make sense." Now, SFist is interviewing a connoisseur of fine waters who takes himself way too seriously. The world needs a Watermollier like I need another hole in my butt. I think SFist should find a real interview -- like someone who's compared the product at all the medical marijuana sites in the City. For glaucoma patients, yeah.

Great news!!!

Macarthur Maze going to reopen in mere days! Read all about it!

May 21, 2007

And I thought I was a sound sleeper!

I have slept through a major earthquake, falling from the top bunk at camp to a concrete floor, and who knows what else, but I've never slept through a bullet to the head.


Andy Dick for President!

A great takedown of Bush's speaking style by Andy Dick. Dick always spins things in an unexpected direction -- when he's not totally coked out, he's funny. When he is totally coked out, he's downright hilarious!

May 19, 2007


A wedding at Fenton's Creamery. Ice cream wedding reception. Perfect!

May 17, 2007


I really couldn't have said it better. Not only is torture morally indefensible, it is counterproductive.

The authors, Ret. Gen. Krulak and Ret. Gen. Hoar rose through the ranks of the military, they know what they're talking about.

I wish those in charge got it.

May 16, 2007

Evening Update

1) Long's Drugs has tiki torches on sale, 10 for $10! SCORE! I am so there!

2) When I order coffee for here or para aqui, it means I want it in a mug or a glass. Paper cups are good for to go, or para llevar. And then, only in a pinch if I don't have a travel mug. I like you People's Cafe, but you hit my pet peeve. I'll still come back though.

3) The front table at People's is a good spot to watch the flash from the red light camera at Shattuck and University go off every 3rd or fourth cycle. Nab those red light runners!

Surprise surprise

Iraq is too dangerous for Prince Harry.

Really? Who would have thought. Send some more cannon fodder, I guess.


Score one for civil rights, privacy, and marijuana trafficking!


Unintentional Humor

The best humor is unintentional, especially when it's on NPR's news shows, not normally a fount of laughter. During an interview of the dean of Regent University's Law School (the Christian school founded by Pat Robertson and attended by Monica Goodling and many other Bush Toadies), the interviewer asked how civil rights law is taught with respect to gay rights. The response talked about how they teach the Constitution, yada yada, and the cases as they stand, including Lawrence v. Texas, the sodomy case recently decided. The interviewer thought there might be a bit more to the story and responded "Is there a but at the end?"

Very unfortunate choice of words!

There goes my dream

Sergey Brin got hitched. How sad. I totally thought I could turn him gay. I know I'd have turned gay for him.

Well, it never would have worked out, if he would have wanted me to move to Palo Alto. I'm just not a Peninsula type of guy. Is Larry Page still single?

Credit where credit is due

Christopher Hitchens isn't always an idiot. Check out Chris talking about Jerry Fallwell's death. Hitchens definately doesn't pull any punches, calling out the religious right and their cynical quest for power. Maybe I should check out his book God is not Great.

My former company

I'm not really sure what it all spells out other than Impax doesn't have its shit together.

May 14, 2007


Click on the picture to see the story behind the crushed bike helmet! That's one lucky guy.

New article

The stock market has topped out.

Of course, it took so long to publish, that it's already dated. But, the sentiment is the same even if I did pick the top a few days early (I picked it at 13284, and the intra-day high today was 13383, just a smidgen higher). I got arrogant and made a concrete prediction that didn't last until publication. I should be more fuzzy.

Anyways, check it out!

May 11, 2007

An era has ended

Yes, it's true. A significant part of my life, and my relationship, is no more.

The "Cal 2000" coffee mug that my sister bought me, and that I was holding when I first met the Best Girl in the World, came crashing to the floor today and smashed into little pieces. Let's all have a moment of silence for good ol' Muggy.

The Oakland A's

So, the A's go for a month and a half when they struggle to put up a two-spot in support of the best starting pitching on the planet. Poor Dan Haren is leading the league in ERA, but is only 3-2 to show for it. Then, they go and score 17 in one game! They should be able to keep a few of those homers in the bank. So, for instance, they're playing the hated Angels late in the season, bottom of the 9th, down by 1 and a runner on first. K-Rod peers through those dorky goggles at Jason Kendall, and Bob Geren runs out of the dugout. "Ump, remember that homer that Jack Cust hit back in May against KC? Well, we're ready to use it." Bang, count the homer, A's win!

If only....
If the movie industry is going to a pull a what-about-the-children? (and don't even get me started on that type of thinking), why don't they start with the gratuitous violence that takes place on screen?

It's not the job of the arts to self-censor. It's the job of viewers to think for themselves.

May 10, 2007

What an asshole!

Asshole alert.

You don't have a million dollars, so we don't care about you. That might as well be the Republican motto!

It's amazing that this was neither my Dad nor me!

Be careful when doing home repair projects!

Especially Mr. Outwater who as had an amputated arm from a chainsaw and a hunk of metal two inches into his brain. Time for him to sit at a desk job!

The joke when I was growing up was that, whenever my dad was doing work around the house, it was my job to sit there with the cordless phone with "9" and "1" already pressed, and my hand hovering over the "1".

But, when we bought a chainsaw for pruning the trees, it did come at the end of a ten foot pole (literally!).

Berkeley Convocation

For the second year in a row, Chancellor Robert Birgenaeu subbed in for a cancelled speaker at the Berkeley Commencement ceremony. It's a hard situation. I fully back unions, and am very hesitant to cross picket lines. I commend Danny Glover and Fabian Núñez for following their beliefs and sticking with the union.

I hope the union soon gets a satisfactory deal. It's gone on long enough, with too many workers suffering low wages and graduates having a special day ruined.

Is this the same American Enterprise Institute?

Did a guy at the AEI really say what he was quoted in the Chronicle???

The AEI never says nice things about Democrats or bad about Republicans. Did they turn over a new leaf???

May 09, 2007

Sopranos intro spoof

I definately recognized a few shots here. My favorite shot is the Piedmont Boutique on Haight -- that's the one with the stockinged legs sticking out of the building!

Millions of cats and dogs

Millions of cats and dogs are breathing a sigh of relief at the retirement of this guy

May 07, 2007

Christopher Hitchens

As his latest article in Slate proves, Christopher Hitchens is a moron, even when he's smart. With the benefit of hindsight, he rightly castigates Nixon and Kissinger for some of their willfully evil acts. Yet, he is blind and self-righteous in his criticism of those who likewise castigate him for his writings supporting the evils performed by Bush and his sidekick, underling, henchman (Hitchens' words describing Kissinger) Karl Rove.

I hope that there are enough records left in emails and the like to show the evils that Bush committed in the name of re-election, just like Nixon did. It is my fear that, like Reagan, Bush learned the lesson from Nixon that any records you have can be used against you. Just as we may never know the full story of the "October Surprise" or the Iran-Contra dealings, we may never know the full story behind Iraq, the prosecutor purge, and any number of scandals out of the White House. And, Chris Hitchens better hope it stays that way or he'll end up with serious egg on his face.

May 05, 2007

My great idea!

Porno based on children's TV shows (no, not with children in it. Sicko!)

Like Reading Rainblow.

May 04, 2007

Muir Woods Tourist Club

Check out my review of the Tourist Club in Muir Woods!

May 03, 2007

The child thing....

I've never seen it written out so viscerally

One last Macarthur Mess post!

And yes, I did invent that term. I'm so proud :)

Your wonderful ANG newspapers bring the story about how the worst effects of the extra traffic are the news helicopters hovering all day long. Bonus for noticing that city officials are measuring to see if the helicopters violate the "nose ordinance." I guess they smell bad?

Anyways, here's what the toll plaza looked like about the time I would have gone through had I driven Monday (7:50AM)

More Macarthur Mess

First they announce that the 880 ramp will take a week to ten days, now it's 2 months for 580, give or take. Traffic jams, we hardly knew ye. This may affect life less than the Labor Day weekend bridge closure! No, we haven't forgotten about that!

Hey! Cool!

I'm now know as "A reader." Yup! That was my email!

I feel famous! But seriously...Mark Kleiman is a smart smart guy who I read when I remember to. I heartily recommend him. He's like a professor and stuff.

The Macarthur Mess

So the expected mess after the collapse of the bridge connector hasn't materialized. My carpool cancelled Monday -- it worked out, we all made it where we were going for free. Since then, carpool has been returning to normal with the exception that traffic has largely been absent.

If all it takes to knock down traffic is a falling freeway ramp, where can I find myself a tanker truck? I can think of some freeways to take out!!!

May 01, 2007

April 26, 2007

Conspiracy theory of the Day

Consider this:

The ridiculous Clinton investigations performed by Ken Starr et. al. were a sneaky trick to provide justification for allowing the independent prosecutor law to lapse. This is why there hasn't been a Ken Starr to investigate the Bush Administration, or in the Abramoff case.

They did this so that when they regained the White House, they could pull anything they wanted without fear of jail.

It worked until they lost Congress!

April 20, 2007

I'd like to think this came because of my post

Congress to start discussions on strengthening background checks for gun buyers.

While not bringing back the longer period to get the check done, it is an improvement.

April 19, 2007

Is this the dumbest article ever?

John Castell in Slate writes an article as a follow up to the Virginia Tech tragedy about "The Gun Law That Would Make a Real Difference" even as he admits that, in this case, it would make no difference in this instance. He does not mention the change that might have prevented the VT tragedy.

In 1998, the Brady Bill (which mandates the background check) was revised. Previously, any purchaser at a gun shop had to wait five days to purchase a gun as a thorough background check was performed. However, the 5 day waiting period expired in 1998 and was replaced by the current instant check system called NICS. This instant check failed to pick up Cho Seung-Hui's involuntary stay at a mental hospital, which should have disqualified him from buying a gun.

The "Gun Show Loophole" is also an inconsistency in current law, but it is not the problem that allowed Cho Seung-Hui to purchase two guns.

April 14, 2007

Weirdness for today

I'm not sure what's funnier:
The performance by the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (the predecessor of one of my favorite bands!)
Buddy Hackett, Shari Lewis (sans Lambchop) and Bill Bixby (not green that day) trying to figure it out
Or, the fact that Chuck Barris seemed drunk the whole time?

April 13, 2007

RIP, We hardly knew ya

Dine Out For Life

Open Table is sponsering Dining Out For Life on April 26. Participating restaurants will donate a significant portion (25% up to 50%!) of their bills on that night to AIDS related charity. Many are in Berkeley, Oakland, and SF.

I think I'll be going to a nice dinner that night!

Some restaurants I can vouch for:
AsiaSF--your tranny show headquarters!
Liason Bistro--nice-ish French food in Berkeley
Destino--went here for Dine About Town, good Peruvian
Speisekammer--German food in Alameda. Yummy, and huge beers on tap!

Go, get a nice dinner, and cure AIDS! What more could one want?

April 11, 2007

Flat Tax

A very key point is buried in David Lazarus' article about the flat tax proposal in the Chronicle today. He pretty much says the big disadvantages of the flat tax proposal made by Alvin Rabushka of the Hoover Institute. He points out how the flat tax would eliminate progressive taxation, but he buries the alternative by Ron Wyden and Rahm Emanuel that would keep the progressive nature of the tax code while ending the deductions and loopholes.

The flat-tax proponents have scored a linguistic coup, as they have equated tax simplification with the flat tax. A flat tax isn't inherently simpler (well, very much slightly simpler than the Wyden/Emanuel plan which would take a 10 year old with a basic calculator). But, it is a windfall for the rich.

If the proponents truly cared about the tax simplification, they wouldn't tie it to a flat tax, which is unpopular and unpassable. This makes the flat tax advocates a net negative for tax simplification. If people didn't conflate the idea of simplification (would be good, and popular) with a flat tax (bad, and unpopular) they would be more likely to support it. If the flat tax advocates truly cared about simplification, they'd back the Wyden/Emanuel plan. But, most of them have as a primary goal a tax windfall for the upper income folk.

The other big problem with the plan as proposed by Rabushka (I'm not sure about the Wyden/Ehmanuel plan) is that it exempts capital gains and dividends. The result of this would be corporations creating a special class of stock for executives who would be paid minimum wage and reap millions tax free through special dividends.

There are ways to simplify the tax code, but a flat tax is not necessary.

April 10, 2007

Bay Bridge is closing...again!

This time it's for keeps! Last year for Labor Day, they only closed the lower deck as they were demolishing the section of the upper deck that is now part of they bypass.

This year, the whole bridge is closed for Labor Day. Caltrans really is going to put the labor in Labor Day!

I just hope it opens by Tuesday morning for the commute! I wonder if people on Treasure Island are going to be isolated the whole weekend?

April 09, 2007

Proposal for the Gav

Gavin, to improve your life, a small suggestion:

Restrict yourself to dating girls who live within the City and County of San Francisco. Dating women out of your jurisdiction only leads to problems.

Of course this wouldn't eliminate his biggest woman problem but isn't that why he went to rehab???

Best of luck, Mayor Newsom!

March 27, 2007

A few words about my blog's namesake

First of all, going to gives you a notice that the site has been suspended. Berkeley Farms (the dairy, not the blog) didn't pay their hosting bills? OOPS!

In other news, Berkeley Farms (again, the dairy) is headquarted in lovely Hayward, CA. Not Berkeley, as Berkeley Farms the Blog is. Maybe their tagline should be "Farms in Hayward?" but who would drink milk from Hayward?

February 23, 2007

Credit cards

Credit cards can be helpful, they can be very bad. We all know the stories, racking up credit cards, paying minimum payments, ending up paying double the principle in accumulated interest. Check out according to the calculator. That stuff is old news. Personally, I pay off my cards almost each and every month. I hate paying interest. They are useful to me -- they help me see where my spending is going, and they give me cash back and plane tickets, and at least 30 extra days to pay for something.

What is news to a lot of people is how much you can accomplish just by asking. The credit card companies need your business -- you are worth it to them, especially if you're a good customer. If you meet or exceed your minimum payment each month on time, they see you as a good credit risk, not very likely to default on your debt, especially if your credit score is good. If you need something, just ask.

Just this past month, I had a slightly larger than normal bill, due to some traveling and toys I bought myself. It definitely wasn't a problem, but it was just a bit more than I had in checking. However, my paycheck was coming in the day after the due date of the bill. I call up and get a friendly customer service rep. I ask if it's possible to move the due date back one day. The reply is negative, it's impossible. I briefly try reason, after all, I'm a good customer, yada yada yada. I ask for the supervisor, and the CSR says sure, but it won't do any good. The operator picks up the phone and agrees, it's impossible to change the due date once the bill is issued, but she can make it so that a payment a day late shows up as on time. A second of pondering confirms to me that, indeed, it is the same thing. I can pay my bill a day after due date. I confirm with her -- no late fee? No interest? Duly satisfied, I take down her name and note the time of the call.

I set up the online-payment to pay a day after the due date. When I got this months bill, indeed I find that it comes with no fees and no charges. They actually did right by me. Chase is good, if you know how to ask for what you want.

A list of other things to ask for from your credit card:
    Cancel late charges. No brainer. If you miss a payment (only on occasion, no more than once per year) for whatever reason, call them up and promise not to do it again. A charge of at least $20 and sometimes up to $39 can get wiped off in an instant.

    Drop the annual fee. Sometimes they might, sometimes not, depending on the card and your credit situation.

    A break on the interest rate. They might temporarily give you their introductory rates, or permanently drop your rate. This is useful if you carry a balance, but you need to have a history of on-time payments to get this one. Interest is what you pay the credit card company to take the risk of you defaulting. If you are a high risk, you'll pay more.

    Credit limit. If you're looking to make a big purchase, and you have a mileage or rewards card, ask for the credit limit to be bumped up. Then, pay it off at the end of the month. For instance, if you are paying cash for a car, or as the down payment, put it on your card. Ask for an increase in your limit, or even send some money into the credit card company ahead of time, creating a negative balance. For instance, if you have a $5,000 limit and are trying to buy a $10,000 car, send a check of $5,000 to your credit card. So, when you buy a car, you can put $10,000 on the card and get that many miles. Just make sure you pay it off at the end of the month -- you will be paying hundreds of dollars a year in interest if you don't.

Really, whatever you need from your credit card company, it never hurts to ask. The worst that will happen is that they will turn you down. Of course, it is necessary to be a good customer -- always pay your bill on time!

February 12, 2007

Teaser in the Onion

Eddie Murphy Fucks Self for $20 Million.

Allison and I were talking about Eddie Murphy the other night. He was the funniest, dirtiest motherfucker when he was like 23 years old. Then he got older, had kids of his own, stopped snorting coke, and made shit like Haunted Mansion.

I guess it just goes to show that people are way funnier when they're stoned.

February 11, 2007

Best. Graffitti. Ever!

Jesus Saves.

At Costco!

I guess when you're planning your last supper, you need that combo pack of 18 pounds of chicken for all your friends. Why bother turning water into wine when you can get magnums for $5 each? Maybe someone should have clued him into Two Buck Chuck!

February 09, 2007

Back to school

Working on my application for grad school! Hopefully come fall, I'll be in the MS program for Biostatistics at Cal State Hayward East Bay.

Huh huh, I said "Master." I'm in the mood for a break from the nine-to-five thing. Also, with an MS in biostat, I could probably do a lot of independent stuff and eschew the full time thing. That would be pretty nice!

February 08, 2007

How could I not include my favorite video ever???

You think Muni is bad?

Maybe SFist should have included this bus line where a woman spent 25 years in the wrong direction before finding her way home!

Overheard in San Francisco

Over the weekend on the 71 Haight/Noriega, two tourist girls (maybe 20's?) get on. One asks the driver "Where do we get off for Haight Ashbury?" Driver responds without a hint of irony: "Haight and Ashbury."