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In The Crowd

Friday, May 27, 2005

Memorial day weekend

I will be gone all weekend having fun. Hope you do too.

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Incompetence

I've been making an attempt to add to my del.icio.us bookmarks recently, and to make the best use of the service. One of the categories I'm working to expand is the the one I've decided to call incompetence, which is mostly about how to prevent incompetence in yourself (and tangentially about the ways we can slip up just when we're most proud of ourselves). It's not a long list yet, so I was happy to see an excellent new entry today on kottke called Why smart people defend bad ideas. I highly recommend it, it's a good and thought provoking read.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sound effects

I finally saw Revenge Of The Sith today, I was deteremined that if I was going to see it at all I would do it right and this was the first DLP show I could get to that wasn't sold out. I'm pleased to say that it was slightly better than I expected.

What really struck me though was coming out of the theater and feeling like I was still in the movie. This went beyond the usual dream-like state I emerge from a theater in, and I realized suddenly that it was the sounds. I'm convinced now that the employees at ILM go around San Francisco with tape recorders finding appropriate sounds for their movies. The sound of the BART train coming down the tunnel? Exactly the same as a booster rocket on a starship. The overhead arm of the electric MUNI bus passing by a connecting line and throwing sparks? Exactly the same as the sound of lightsabers clashing. The engine of same bus revving from a stop into first gear? Every elevator in the Empire.

I'm on to you, boys.

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Help wanted

I need a recommendation for a screen scraper so I can compare Piggy Bank to myGmaps. I'm using OS X 10.3.9 and Firefox 1.0.2. Thanks!

It's fun to have a crush again, though I get them more on ideas than boys. I guess that's what makes me a geek.

2 Comments:

  • At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/dfhuynh/research/downloads/screen-scrapers/
    http://ryanlee.org/journal/one?journal_id=3861

     
  • At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Explore it live:
    Apartments
    Earthquakes

     

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New skillz

No, not numchuk skills (though that would be pretty sweet). Turntable skillz. Yes you read that right, yesterday was my debut as guest DJ at Dalva. I won't pretend I'm any good at it, but the standards are pretty low at 7:30 on a Monday night. There was no scratching or fading going on, but I did master the deck controls well enough to ensure smooth transitions between songs with no gaps or sudden unexpected noises. Plus I had a lot of fun. Of course, nobody cares.

3 Comments:

  • At 8:56 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    Oooh ooh! Are you an angry music snob dj? And please tell me you use a Fisher-Price record player, that would kick so much ass.

     
  • At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Smash said…

    Your the coolest Alicia-want to make out? Now that your a DJ, your going to be asked this question alot, so get ready. Oh and guess what fabulous president of TPATT is moving back to the bay area in June? And guess what fabulous memeber of TPATT is going to be moving to the Bay area in August? Get ready Alicia, the madness is coming. *laughs wickedley*

     
  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    Let's see... three months? I'll need to start prepping my liver now.

     

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Google Map hacks wishlist

My apologies if I am boring everyone with my current obsession. There's new stuff showing up every day that is just too exciting, I'll refrain from linking it here since it's already on my maphacks bookmarks (now permanently linked under my pic to the right). But I want more. The level of expertise required to create these is beyond my capabilities, so here's a short wishlist if anyone's feeling ambitious:

- Metrobot mashup: Use the Google Maps interface to see all businesses on a street or in a neighborhood. May only be useful to me or someone moving into a new neighborhood, but it would be very cool.

- UPS/FedEx/USPS hubs with weather forecasts: Sending something that could be damaged by cold or heat? The first wine store I worked at lost an entire quarter's worth of profits after their campaign to expand shipping to the midwest ended in a lot of red slush and broken glass. Every wine shipper I know checks the weather forecast daily in every shipper's hubs, this would save a lot of time.

- Displaying a path: Yes, you can create markers with link to photos, text and movies. But you can't show how they are related to each other or any kind of timeline. Let's say I want to put the Mission mural tour online, or document a road trip. Wouldn't a trail of some kind be useful?

2 Comments:

  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous she said…

    You've got me inspired. When I join the ranks of the unemployed next week I think I'll have to try this out myself.

     
  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Andrew said…

    I agree about publishing trails. Just a lot of different pictures, etc is nice, but not necessarily contextually helpful.

    It would be nice to put up guided walking tours of towns, or murals (like your suggestion). The tour would pull up pictures along the tour, offer discussion, etc.

    Other users could then go and add commentary to the tour and annotate it. I think this is what geobloggers is working on.

     

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

I caved


I couldn't resist any longer. And it was totally worth it, too. The flavors were incredibly intense and the aromas were so strong it was like fruit perfume.

Let's see...25 flavors, 2 scoops a week...yeah, that should take me through summer just fine.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Google Maps hacks

Note: After spending a couple hours revising this page, I realized this is exactly the kind of thing del.icio.us is perfect for. Doh! I've created http://del.icio.us/maphacks to continue keeping track, let me know if you've found some I don't have up yet (my e-mail address is in my profile).

Some of my favorites (note that many of these do not work in Safari):

- Craigslist housing finder, (author)

- USA traffic, (author)

- Cheap Gas in the USA, (author)

- GeoBloggers, (collaborative project)

- Foundcity, bookmarks for the physical world (currently Manhattan only)

- Chicago, USA crime map, (author)

- Recent earthquakes in the USA, (author))

1 Comments:

  • At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another earthquakes gmap

    http://kharkoma.homelinux.com/gmaps/gmapeq.html

    cool hacks

     

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Danger, Will Robinson

You may have noticed that I've been tweaking the site template a bit over the last couple of days. I've still got a ways to go so you'll have to bear with me, I have exactly zero experience in CSS (and almost as little in HTML) and I'm just kind of winging it. So please let me know if I break something. Gracias.

1 Comments:

  • At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow! thsi is great, i have never seen any thing like this. Dr. Smith is not around so chil. have a good day from Sal, Santa Baarbara

     

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The messenger bag

One of the things I immediately noticed when I moved here was that there's a kind of Bay Area casual dress code, particularly in the downtown/SoMa areas. It consists of sneakers, dark colored jeans or twills, a hooded sweatshirt (in colder weather, with a jacket on top), and a messenger bag. It took maybe a week before I found myself wearing the exact same thing. Why? Practicality. You need the sneakers because in the city people walk, bike or take public transportation rather than drive. Jeans are fashionable and have remarkably good windbreaking capabilities, keeping the wearer comfortable and stylish both morning and evening. Hoodies are warm but not bulky, and the hood can block the wind/rain/pigeon shit, eliminating the need for a hat and scarf. And of course, if you're in transit without a car you need something to carry all your stuff, preferable something spacious and yet easily slung across your body for maximum theft deterrance and stability.

I recently came across this article from 1997 about the need for more stylish, masculine carrier bags. What caught my eye, apart from the fact that I have still not seen much in the way of stylish bags for men eight years later, is that the author uses the term "manpurse". If I remember correctly this was originally coined in a Seinfeld episode. It's not a very nice word, it's deprecatory and there's a strong implication that the bag is unmasculine. And then what do you call it when a woman carries one? It's not really a purse, and "messenger bag" is long and unwieldy. I have a solution. According to Merriam-Webster, a "satchel" is a small bag, often with a shoulder strap, and dictionary.com has it as a small bag, often having a shoulder strap, used for carrying books or clothing. Perfect, right? Satchel is a solid, gender-neutral, inoffensive word that means exactly what we're talking about. Help me spread it.

I'm currently perfecting my satchel-construction skills as part of my crafting efforts. Send me your ideas and requests and I'll see if I can incorporate them into a redesign of the modern satchel.

3 Comments:

  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Jason said…

    I believe the first reference to the manpurse was not in Seinfeld, but in an episode of Family Ties when Alex has his first date after a break-up with his long-time girlfriend.

    I'm trying to find the episode on TV Tome, but work keeps rearing its ugly head.

     
  • At 2:27 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    While you're out creating things, check this out: barbarahorowitz.com This woman is making a zillion armed with just a pair of scissors and some skinnyass models. Dude. We can do that!

     
  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    Hmmmm, maybe you can do it. It's the opposite of what I'd do, I'm all about carefully constructed clean lines and simple shapes. But if you like it, go for it.

     

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Not time to go off the grid just yet

All the paranoia recently about Zaba the new free public records search seems a little unfounded. I'm not on there at all, though my father is. He died ten years ago.

I'll wait for the update, thanks.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:11 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    Yeah, uhm... none of the links work anyway.

     
  • At 1:33 PM, Anonymous stan said…

    How did you manage to not be on there when five of the ones that were under my name are actually me???????

     

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Transformers

When I was a little kid, I wanted to live in a house designed by Q. Secret doors, hidden passageways, swiveling shelves, two way mirrors all seemed just the ultimate in cool, and to tell truth they still do. Which is why my heart leapt when I saw this.

1 Comments:

  • At 10:07 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    Friends of my mother live in a house that is built into a hillside. There is a greenhouse-like porch that extends from said hill, and solar panels on the "roof," but otherwise it's just a hill. The entire interior is like this link. You would love it.

     

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dodgeball

Everyone in this this town seems to be using Dodgeball. Jonathan first mentioned it to me last September, but the service doesn't exist in smaller cities like Santa Barbara yet so there was no way of trying it out. I forgot about it until I saw that it was acquired by Google. Google has been making some smart purchases recently, though I wish they would buy Metrobot or that someone would figure out a way to incorporate that info into their maps like the craigslist housing hack.

But I digress. Dodgeball looks pretty cool and seems to actually work for its intended purpose, unlike most social software that seems only to encourage the creation of profiles. Endless, endless profiles. Since, unlike at home, I seem to be acquiring friends who have no connection to each other apart from...well, me...it could be fun to try it out. There were plenty of people last night using it, from what I gathered observing the line outside the party.

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Onion Party Kicks Major Ass

Where to start? Any description will fail to do it justice. Let me just say that it was NOT POSSIBLE to be a wallflower or fail to enjoy yourself at this party. I was supposed to go with three other people, none of whom showed. I had to stand outside in the cold waiting to get in for over an hour. Who cares? Best fucking party of my life.

The randomness of the attendees, the skill of the DJs, the cheap booze, the silliness of the hosts all combined in a glorious, harmonious whole. I danced with a homeless guy. I danced with yuppie chick. I danced with a couple guys and glanced over to see a blowup of the famous "Gaywads, Dorkwads Sign Historic Wad Accord" headline and realize that my dance partners resembled the photograph. There were spontaneous outbreaks of breakdancing, a Rainbow Connection sing-a-long, goth chicks dressed as dark fairies with tendriled wings, hipsters, hippies, Marina girls, dot com holdovers and industrial obsessives. Everyone had a great time, and nobody gave a shit what you wore, how much you made or who your friends were.

Needless to say, I signed up for the newsletter.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Movie night in the park

Last night was Delores Park Movie Night, when San Francisco-based films are shown on an outdoor screen for all us free-loaders to enjoy. The movie night itself has reportedly been featured in at least one film, but since I am not a fan of the genre, subject or actors involved in that production I'll have to take my informant's word on that. Last night's movie was Vertigo, which was a a lot kitschier than I remembered. It was fun to see it with a crowd of people though, everyone bundled up against the evening cold and picnicking on the grass. I was excited to see the Tamale Lady in the flesh for the first time, I have mentioned her before but never had a chance to actually taste her tamales so I dug deep and ordered two for dinner. They were okay, but I think the appeal of the Tamale Lady lies more in the fact that she shows up at midnight in the bar when you're drunk and hungry than in the quality of her tamales. That, and the fact that they are vegetarian, which is undoubtedly the root of the flavor problem. The best, most fantastically delicious tamales I've had were actually from the stand at the U.N. Plaza Farmer's Market, though I haven't yet given Roosevelt Tamale Parlor a try. They don't skimp on the lard, which as everyone knows is a key component in the finest tamales.

My original plan for the evening also involved attending the SF DocFest opening, a roller disco party on the fifth floor of a building right down the road. Despite the fact that I am naturally suspicious of any party involving roller skates, alcohol, and above-street-level locations I was planning to go, but my date had to cancel at the last minute and then the movie ran late. On the one hand, this means no amusing photos of me flat on my face in a tangle of limbs. On the other hand, it also means no trips to the emergency room. So we'll call it a draw.

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Wait a minute, what's this?

Steve's wearing loafers, no laces on his shoes! Boooooorn to be wiiiiiiild!

I knew the hours I spent memorizing Steve Martin routines in my formative years would come in handy someday. Remind me to tell you sometime about the day the earth was destroyed.

Anyway, that was a long and pointless way to lead up telling you wear to find the most exhaustive compendium of shoelace lacing and tying on the internet. Via the always amusing and occasionally edifying Manolo. Superfantastic!

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Amnesia

Monday night I was planning to do what I always do on Monday nights, which is to go the bar and listen to Martha DJ. As it turned out though, she was ducking out early to go to Amnesia to see Toshio Hirano play. Toshio is a Japanese man in his 50's who sings exactly like Jimmie Rodgers. Yes, just like the Singing Brakeman himself, right down to the yodel. Apart from the novelty of it he's actually quite talented, and he mixes a little Hank Sr. and other classics in there to mix it up a bit. It was a nice, mellow and mixed crowd for the most part, and everyone enjoyed the show. People even got up to dance, I myself was invited to waltz and since it seemed the thing to do I did. That turned out to be a mistake, my dance partner is now referred to as Stalker Jim and I think probably barred from the club. At least I hope so, since I actually had a good time despite him and I plan on going again. People, eh?

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Enough! or Too much

I did way too much in the last week to go into any detail now, suffice to say that I went to more restaurants and bars in one week with David and Ian and Sheena here than in the previous three months combined. I'd gotten into a little rut recently, but the trip home and visits up here have knocked me right back out of it. Thanks guys, it was a lot of fun. A brief roundup of restaurants not previously covered (bars will have to wait):
Zante's Pizza (and Indian Cuisine) - I cruised by Zante's one afternoon with a seriously empty stomach and something about the combination of pizza and Indian food sounded ridiculously tasty to me right then. They do both normal pizzas and a full Indian menu, but I went for the Indian Pizza. It's a pizza dough topped with a mild curry sauce (heavy on the carmelized onion), then a thin layer of spinach cooked saag paneer style (but without the paneer), then toppings, then mozzarella and a little more curry sauce. Delicious.
Lil' Baobob - Recommended by my roommate but kind of disappointing. She likes it better than the larger Bissap Baobob around the corner, but I think that had more to do with the fact that it's her kind of crowd at the bar than the food. Really good guacamole and great mixed drinks with ginger and tamarind flavors, so Lil Baobob or the main location would probably be a good place for happy hour. Rumor has it that they serve half-price pitchers of their specialty drinks on Tuesdays.
Tartine - Delicious and extremely rich French pastries and lunch dishes. Recommended to me by pretty much everyone I've met, the quiche was one of the best I've had. Still haven't tried their desserts or legendary croissants though.
La Mediterranee - I think this is my new favorite restaurant. Reasonably priced wines and a ten item meze dinner for $13.50 of which eight things were delicious beyond my expectations and the other two were merely good. It's a cozy little place and there were lots of couples on dates there, but ideally I think you'd bring a group of people and spend the evening feasting. Too full to try the desserts this time, maybe next trip.
Gourmet Dim-Sum and Cafe - Really tasty steamed shrimp dumplings, custard buns, etc. all made-to-order and served fresh from the kitchen as opposed to from a steam tray. We were stuffed full (mostly with shrimp) for about $8, and everything was good. I'm really wishing I didn't just try to google the restaurant because all I found was their last health code violations report. Oh well, at least they weren't cited for vermin.
Los Jarritos - One of the nicer Mexican restaurants in the Mission, we went for brunch and I had really tasty machaca with thick, flavorful corn tortillas. After reading their citysearch reviews it sounds like I need to head back for dinner sometime too. Maybe this will be where I find the elusive superior Mission burrito I keep hearing about but not tasting?
Pakwan - Cheap, tasty and completely no-frills Pakistani & Indian restaurant on 16th and Guerrero. I especially liked the Chaat Masala, Ian raved about the Saag Ghost. The naan was a little disappointing, fluffy rather than chewy, and it's BYOB so you're better off bringing a bottle of wine from home than counting on the anemic selection in the liquor store across the street.
Last Supper Club - A popular, noisy, kind of trendy Italian restaurant founded by the people behind Luna Park, but apparently sold a couple months ago. The bar staff was a little spacey, but we got a good recommendation from the wine list and the waitstaff were on top of things. The entrees were solid but uninspired, the soup was delicious and the dipping sauce good too. Again too full for dessert, which makes me wonder what the chefs are thinking when they load up the plate. Don't they want me to order more? Also, they were already sold out of the most appetizing thing and it wasn't even that late. Maybe the new owners need a little time to settle in.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to spend the next week digesting all that food. Mmmmm, food.

2 Comments:

  • At 6:07 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    I hate you. Now I'm craving Indian food.

     
  • At 9:38 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    If nobody got the William Blake reference I'm going to be royally peeved over here.

     

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Onion SF

According to the link on the craigslist SF front page, not only is The Onion about to begin publishing an SF version but they will be hosting a free party next Friday at 12 Galaxies. While I am somewhat wary of "writers who apparently also DJ", at least the between-song banter should be good. Also, it's free and ridiculously close to my house. Should anyone be in town for, oh... Bay To Breakers and be interested in attending this shindigg with me, let me know.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

So how is the arc wave stabilized?

I'm glad you asked! Be sure to check the gallery of household and other uses as well.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Oh yeah

I have just discovered (and joined!) the Dive Bar mailing list. Soon, I'll be spending my Tuesday nights thwarting Mensans, crafting unique gifts, or my own personal favorite, torturing those still in my former profession. Sadly, I discovered it a day too late for the last event, but there are sure to be many good times ahead.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

Cheers

Nothing like a taste of the sweet life to remind you why you might like to have an income. Jonathan's party was a hell of a lot of fun, as I'm sure those of you who attended will agree. I was happy to discover that the maraschino liqueur was as tasty as it had been rumored, and don't worry I have already pledged to reduce the amount of bitters dispensed in future cocktails. Also, I will try to remember the correct name and ingredients of the cocktails I'm mixing, though it does discourage the spirit of innovation somewhat. I was happy to see that Jonathan survived the evening, despite being crushed under the avalanche of female admirers. These are the risks a good host has to take I suppose.

I had barely had time to turn around for the drive back, but happily I had company to keep me awake. Thanks David, and thanks doubly for the fantastic sushi from Toyko Go Go. From the looks of the menu and drinks list it's a place best known for its unusual combinations of flavors, but I have to say that the fish itself was as fresh and delicious as any I've had. I'm going to have some difficulty settling back into my usual routine, thanks to all for a wonderful weekend.

5 Comments:

  • At 9:29 PM, Anonymous shoshie said…

    A bevy of bountifully-bottomed beauties does not an avalanche make. Hmm... wait... does two qualify as a bevy? ;)

    Can anyone explain the large, very sore bruise on my upper thigh? Or perhaps how I got chocolate syrup all over my back? That one's gonna drive me crazy for weeks.

     
  • At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    IYI: Party photos here: http://www.jnolen.com/blog/2005/05/ive_woken_up_on.html

    Thanks again for the bottle, Alicia. Make sure you get me in on the next order -- I'll never use a maraschino cherry again.

     
  • At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    Sorry, link didn't work.

    IYI: Party photos here.

    Thanks again for the bottle, Alicia. Make sure you get me in on the next order -- I'll never use a maraschino cherry again.

     
  • At 11:43 AM, Anonymous kristan said…

    I MISS MY FRIENDS!!!!!! You all look so fabulous, healthy and happy in those pictures.

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Smash said…

    um yeah hold back on the bitters-dear god. Is there anyway for you to send me some of those pictures? I feel some are definatly myspace worthy. Give me a call, I have some funny stories regaurding TPATT, The American Film Insitute (AFI, ha ha ha), the hotness,Thadd, and metal shows on Sunset. sigh. i love those guys.

     

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