Archive for the 'Friends' Category

Jun 13 2010

Taste of Adams 2010

Elaine and i just finished up trying out the Taste of Adams and had a few reflections:

When we started researching the event, there were 2 different dates referenced on web sites. In fact, the Blind Lady mailed out that they had confused the date too.

The tickets cost $25 each, but Mercedes found a $5 off deal. Still, the ordering site added a $2.50 processing fee, so that kinda sucked. For what we got, we think it was over priced by about $10.

Parking was about the same as normal for Adams, so about 5 mins of hunting side streets. The ticket booth was quick, with laser zappers that read the 2D barcodes nicely. Then we got a necklace badge with numbers that some of the vendors punched, I guess so you didnt come back for another whole bite of soy chorizo burrito.

We started at Blind Lady – a slice of nicely spicy margherita pizza. Then we hit Mariposa ice cream and they were very generous with two scoops of whatever they had. The Mexican chocolate was great! Next was Tams Thai which had a line too long to wait for so we skipped it. Next was Gold Donuts. They gave you a piece of a donut or fritter, or 3 donut holes for yer card punch. That was actually a pretty nice portion and fulfills my donut needs for the next year.

Then we met up with our buddies Kay Marie and Gerardo, and headed back in the other direction. Country Kabob Greek had some steam tables on the sidewalk with a tiny piece of pita with really spicy yogurt, and a bite of yummy spanikopita. Portions too small, but very tasty.

Lestats had iced coffee and brownie bites. Elaine liked the coffee, I never touch the stuff. The brownie was fine – kinda dry. Then we ran back across the street to TAO Thai and had some nice spicy tofu and a great chicken in some sweet sauce with mixed wild rice. No skimping on the portions here! They even had a mini dessert with mochi and bean curd. Right next door was Viva Pops! where they make their own Popsicles. The blood orange was yummy, and the girls said the chocolate banana was great too.

Elaine really liked El Zarape – rice, beans, carne, and chicken. Then a nice margarita shot! Well be back! Then we walked all that off and stopped into Incredible Cheesecake where I think they gave us a wafer thin hint of a smell of a taste of some cheese cake. Really chintzy.

Next was Jaynes Gastropub, who did the best job of all of the venues to treat us as more than a bother. We were seated and served bangers and mash. The portion was tiny, but we liked the service and the friendly people. We stayed a bit and ordered some beers to keep our strength up. Senior Mango was next, and I had a berry smoothy that was a nice size. None of the others had been inside AC Lounge before, so we popped in and were greeted very warmly by the bartender. They were serving half off drinks, but we were worried about running out of time, so we pressed on.

We skipped Twiggs because of time and tried Cafe 21. They had some dried out hash on dried out bread crumbs on a tray. Quite meh. Then we jumped on the trolley, which was a really nice part of the event, and went to the Farm House Cafe and had ricotta pancakes in a butter sauce with oranges. Very rich and tasty!

The trolley driver was cool and let us take our food on board so we didnt have to wait another 10 mins for the next bus. One of my main goals was to get to Ponces, someplace Ive heard great things about, so we rode the trolley all the way to the other end of Adams to Kensington. This was about 2:40, so we had 20 mins until the end of the event.

We tried out the Kensington Cafe, which had really nice people staffing sidewalk steam tables, but served up a minuscule bite of the aforementioned soy chorizo. Double meh. Burger Lounge had a 5 minute wait while they whipped up some more food, so we skipped it and hit Bleu Boheme. My old buddy JenBen was hosting and directed us back to a gentleman serving escargot in a rich sauce. Id never had them, and they were kinda like mussels or salty, chewy mushrooms with a slightly grainy texture. Oh, and they were snails… So that was different. I liked the place and the vibe tho.

Finally, with 10 minutes to spare, I get to try out Ponces!!! But no, theyre rejecting people at the door saying they ran out of food. WTF? How the hell do you run out of food? Youre a restaurant! The snails didnt leave a bad taste, but Ponces sure did. What a shitty way to treat people.

So, all in all, it was a nice event but many of the venues didnt do themselves any favors by being cheap on the offerings.

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Jun 07 2010

LA River Ride Century

EDIT: Awesome! Kitchen just posted the Garmin log:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/36057011

Time: 07:22:09
Moving Time: 06:02:09
Elapsed Time: 07:22:11
Avg Speed: 12.9 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 15.8 mph
Max Speed: 32.8 mph

I survived my second century ride, the LA River Ride!

That’s 100 miles on a bike… and I’m feeling all of them today :) I really should have taken the day off of work, but I didn’t know I was riding before my Monday had already filled up with meetings. I was going to pass on this ride until I remembered that my buddy Tom lives right next to Griffith Park in LA where the ride begins. Tom and Jen just had a new arrival 7 months ago, Charlie:

Mobile Photo Jun 7, 2010 9 55 32 AM

Charlie’s the pudgy one with short hair… ;) He’s a delightful kid who was a lot of fun to play with. So’s Tom! Sorry, Jen, I didn’t get a good picture of you… :)

Anyway, they let me crash on their couch on Saturday night after another buddy, Terri, cooked us a wonderful pasta dinner.

Sunday came too soon and I was up at 5am with cool SMSs from work friends wishing me well. I got outside and started putting the bike together:
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then waited for Kitchen to show up. Of course, he set his alarm wrong and was way late, so I biked the 2 miles over to the park alone to get my registration materials.

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The ride was well organized and I had my bracelet and cue sheet within minutes. On the ride over, I’d noticed that my bike computer was dead, so I borrowed a way-too-big screw driver and got it open in about 20 minutes. It all worked when I shifted the battery around, then promptly died again when I snapped it back into its holder. Damn computers… Kitchen has a fancy pants Garmin bike computer, so I’m counting on him to give me the route and all the stats. Well, I should say he SHOULD have one, but he left it in his car, so when he showed up at 7:30, we picked it up as we started the ride:

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Then we were off on this almost totally flat 100 mile ride! Except they forgot to tell us that the first 4 miles was a climb up the big hill in Griffith Park. That got the heart pumping, especially Kitchen’s as he was riding his brand new fixed gear bike! He had to zig zag up the hill, but he make it! Throughout the ride, people were very impressed with his bike and the effort. They didn’t know he had a motor hidden in the tubes… :) not.

Once we were through the park, we got on the river path:

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The LA River is a concrete bank with water running at the bottom. It runs for miles and makes for a great bike path, but man, it’s kinda ugly. In some places, enough silt has backed up to support trees and bushes. I was surprised how much bird life I saw. Sand pipers, some kind of white hawk, kestrels, and ducks. It might be an interesting place to go up and photograph. I’ll have to go learn about why it was built the way it was. At the very least, many parts of it are a lesson in why to think about aesthetics when you design a city.

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There are a lot of scary creatures in there too:

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I liked these bridges:

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As a spoiled San Diegan, I mostly find LA pretty ugly:

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but Seal Beach was pretty nice:

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Long Beach was the halfway point:

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A mess of bikes:

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Friggin’ hipster:

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More riding:

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More posing:

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Then finally, after seven hours, it’s over!!!

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Time to grab the tshirt and go find a shower!

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I got some great support on Twitter and Facebook! Thanks for that!

2 responses so far

May 10 2009

Megan and Bryan Visit

Published by under Friends,Photography

I think I only have one picture of her with a closed mouth. This isn’t it…

Bryan’s learning how to count:

We saw Wolverine and didn’t go out for sushi. ;)

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Mar 01 2009

code4lib 2009 in Providence, RI

Just got back from one of my favorite conferences of the year, code4lib 2009, this year in Providence, RI. It was great seeing a lot of my liberry geek buddies, and it was a nice reminder of why I live in San Diego and not the God forsaken hinterlands of the East. Cold is just dumb.

I took a lot of pictures as usual. They’re all up on Flicrk, but here are a few I really liked:

Our hotel was right across the street from the Rhode Island State house. I forgot to fix my white balance before I shot it, but I kinda like the effect:

If all of the cars in front were as old as the one in the middle, I could have pretended it was an old slide :)

Here’s a more “accurate” shot:

We headed over to the local mall’s food court for lunch:

Lotsa folks in that one – Mike Giarlo, Rob Cassion, Ross Singer, Phil Cryer.

I really enjoyed spending a few days with our intrepid Esme:

(He lives in Florida, Mike.)

Here Dan Chudnov does his Bollywood routine in celebration of Slumdog Millionaire’s big Oscar wins:

Jodi Schneider was thrilled to see me, as always:

I finally met Ed Summers, in the middle. It’s good to see him inspiring others as he does me. Bess Sadler is enjoying the fracas as well:

Gabe Farrell, on the right, forgot he owed me $20. Never do that. It gives me WAY too much license… ;)

Mike Park left me waiting to be picked up at the airport:

Well ok, he mailed me 3 weeks before the event asking if I needed a ride and I sent him an itinerary and said I’d confirm closer to the flight. Three hours before the flight takes off doesn’t really count! ;) Mike drove me, Esme, Brad, and Dan all over the place, either because he’s a great dude, or I’m good at making people feel guilty. Either way, I win! :) Thanks Mike for being a great host.

Actually, I gotta say that the whole Brown Univ (or is that Univ of Providence?) crew kicked ass in prep and execution of this conference. BRAVO Birkin, Jean, Bonnie, and other names I can’t remember because I drink a lot.

I also take a lot of pictures, so I’ll inevitably get something cool like this:

Heehee! I love my Lensbaby!

Pizza is good!

Did you know the lead singer of Saliva is a librarian?

Ross pretends to laugh at something while trying to ignore the fat dude sticking a camera in his face:

Just looking at this costs me 14 points:

Brad, Dan, and I visited the inside of the RI State House before we ran to the airport, and decided that we should hold the next code4lib in the Senate chambers:

Never get on that end of a canon, especially when I am on the other end…

As usual, way too many pictures here:

Awesome seeing you all again!

One response so far

Nov 09 2008

Fun night of poker

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun,Photography,Poker

Thanks @dcrane2, @SDMike, @dwaynedomi, @dcrane’s Old Man, John, Preston, and @dblackman for a great night of poker. And cute photography:

Especially thanks to you guys for giving me yer moneyz!!! ;)

D

3 responses so far

Nov 05 2008

Welcome to the Twitosphere – San Diego City Beat Article

Published by under Friends,San Diego,Tech

City Beat has a twitter article today, and Gabe (@gebl) is quoted.

“If you go to the standard technology meet-ups,” says Gabriel Lawrence, director of IT security at UCSD, the glow of the pool reflecting in his glasses, “it’s all a bunch of geeks standing around lecturing each other. But look at this: There’s all kinds of people here. There’s the technology people, so, if you want to talk tech and be like 1, 0, 1-1, 0, 1-1, you can. But then there’s marketing folks, there’s radio personalities, there’s newspaper media—I mean, everybody’s here. Eric Bidwell, a candidate for mayor, is here. I voted for him because I met him at a Tweetup. This is what it should be like—you get to meet lots of people, there’s lots of ideas and it’s a fun environment.”

I wonder how drunk one needs to be to speak in binary… ;)

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Oct 26 2008

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

While attending the Access 2008 conference in Hamilton, ON Canada, I got to visit the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. It was a social event where we could mingle, look at planes, and play video games on large screen projectors. There were some very neat planes:

Great colors:

And library geeks playing games:

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Oct 26 2008

Maureen and Ruby Visit

Published by under Declan,Friends,Photography

After attending Access 2008 in Hamilton, ON this year, I drove down to Erin, NY to visit with my old college buddy, Maureen and her daughter Ruby:

They have a neat house in the woods:

Which let me grab some Fall color:

We hadn’t seen each other in 12 years, but we talked like we’d seen each other yesterday. Thanks for a great visit, Maureen!

One response so far

Sep 18 2008

Tile Floor vs iPhone

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun,Photography

Yesterday was a bad day to be my iPhone:

Thanks to @celerysword for the fix:

5 responses so far

Aug 18 2008

Red Island Repository Institute – PEI Trip

I just got back from a week on Prince Edward Island in Canada. I was up there for an intense, 5 day introduction to Fedora (the digital library repository, not the RedHat variant).

I haven’t processed the content yet, but I did take a lot of pictures. What encapsulates a trip better than a grown man in an Anne of Green Gables hat and braids?:

Jim Tuttle is so silly… I wouldn’t be caught dead…

Dang digital cameras…

PEI is famous for its lobster, and there is good reason:

They are served almost everywhere. We had these on Monday night:

We also had a few tasty beverages. Here Grant and Jim listen politely to Mike tell a story. The politeness comes from not understanding a thing he was saying due to a very strong Boston accent:

or a lot of beer.

The University of PEI’s University Librarian, Mark Leggott, took us all on a walk to the red sand beach:

which he said was lovely. We had to take his word for it because there were no lights, the moon was covered in cloud, and we were all dizzy from blood loss to mosquitoes.

Thankfully, there was a bar at the end of the walk, so we could hide from insects and Chris could get a drink:

For lunch on Wednesday, we went to the local farmers market:

where three of the locals – Paul, Peter, and Alex demonstrated the East Coast Canadian habit of stopping and standing in the middle of a walk way. I’m not kidding, these people have getting in my way down to a science.

Then we walked the length of the island on a path:

Ok, not really, but the path does stretch from tip to tip. Maybe someday I’ll bring my bike up there.

The locals bath when the sewers back up and spew what can only be raw sewage 6 feet into the air:

Or it was a clever fountain.

This was a small petting zoo for crabs and lobsters. Notice no one putting their hands in:

Jim was then sent home for “disturbing” the local livestock:

Ok, so the water and boats and beautiful:

But what is prettier than a man sized potato?

I’m talking about the one in the back…

On Weds night, we were sitting at dinner and I got the Lensbaby out and got some nice shots:

Here’s Richard Green from Hull:

Peter Binkley from Canadia:

And Mark Leggott again:

The flowers really add to the scene… ;)

On Thursday night, Grant and his daughter brought us down to see Victoria Bay:

Note the famous, ubiquitous red soil.

I got a little bit of the sunset:

Then the rain rolled in:

On Saturday, Jim and I got a car and drove from Charlottetown as far East as possible and looped back.

PEI has many lighthouses:

And pretty, red cliffs:

And pretty streams:

And more light houses:

That one is on East Point, the farthest we could go East.

Jim was too cool for all this:

And I was eaten alive by mosquitoes:

Then we went to see Pineapple Express. All in all, a pretty good day! :)

Here are a lot more pictures (Flickr link):

One response so far

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