My plan for today was to do the construction of some furniture I bought yesterday. Assembly is probably a more accurate word as nothing Ikea sells really rises to the effort threshold construction implies. Though I have to say it does remind me to be appreciative for real craftsmanship of the type my grandfather used to exhibit and a thankfulness I don’t have to spend two weeks/months/years building a friggin’ chair.
After that it seemed advisable to actually leave the house (being gorgeous outside and all) and since the least laborious thing one can do on gorgeous day is go to the movies I yelped around a bit looking for walkable Coolidge Corner replacements (The Balboa & The Four Star seem like possibilities). The latter only being three blocks away, I went over there only to find the mastercard/visa stickers removed from the window. Cash only is for people with cash which is not me. I decided to walk north a bit, thinking to scout possible dog-park locations.
Eventually I saw two guys come out of a little path in a bluff so cut down there to find the main entrance to Baker’s Beach. Did I know I was moving within easy walking distance of a nude beach*? I did not. I stuck around for my first California-style Pacific ocean sunset.
The plan for tomorrow? Buy a monthly T pass then ride around on it all day muttering muni muni muni to myself until people think I’m crazy and I can convince myself to stop calling it the MBTA.
*Everyone had clothes on. I wouldn’t have even realized it without SMHB’s shot from last March.
Another welcome and more immediate change is something they’re calling ‘liquidity’. Basically, Kiva has decided to refund partial payments back into user accounts as they’re received from the borrowers rather than wait til loans are paid in full (often, 12 or 18 months). This will increase the rate at which funds can be turned around and reinvested. As such, I got a few small partial payments, letting me fund Ms. Pen above, whose single word description for need of a loan was “Pigs.” Pigs it is, then. This is my first loan to Southeast Asia.
UPDATE: Ok, what the heck. Here’s mine.
At long last, voting is closed and the results are in. Thanks to all those who participated in Dog-a-palooza, be it directly by submitting shots (and then voting) or in a more oblique fashion by voting for this or that unrelated thing. Also thanks for those helpful suggestions on the very real issue of POTD subject equity.
I’m going to attempt to try to sidestep the sort of controversy surrounding the math in the hevelonian anniversary post by using three different scoring methods to determine the winner. First (and most democratically) I’ll use a quasitative analysis to pull the presumed top vote from each comment. Second, I’ll give each mentioned shot a vote, regardless of it being indicated a clear favorite, as the instructions mentioned legality of multiple votes. Lastly, I’ll keep to the one comment one vote concept but split the voting power up based on the number of shots mentioned. For our purposes a three-way split is worth 0.33 points.
Top vote per person:
Winner: Puppy Kisses, 3pts
1st runner up: Moon Doggy, One more, blue eye, The Winning Shot, 1pt each
Multiple votes per person:
Winner: Puppy Kisses, 5pts,
1st runner up: One more, blue eye, The Winning Shot, Doll dog, 2pts each
Winner: Puppy Kisses, 1.58pt
1st runner up: Moon Doggy , 1pt
So, by all three measures the overall winner here is Puppy Kisses, below. Congratulations Nell! Please pick up your BFP ($25 gift certificate to Best in Show) in person at the BFP prize window (located at 510 26th Ave, San Francisco)! As a bonus prize, you’ve earned your very own menu link along the hevelonian top header menu. Thanks again everyone for playing!
Blissed, waiting for truck
Please, can you bring bed upstairs?
Air mattress gone flat
I am a big believer in the wisdom of the masses (not really, but let’s go with that for now) so will let the random lurkers and spambots that visit this site decide on the winner. We’re all Diebold up in here so you can vote as many times as you like with no paper trail to come back to bite ya.
All nine entries can be found en masse, or individually below (in reverse order to counterbalance the recency bias). Vote in the comments, and don’t vote for your own (unless you’re really that desperate for the tux).
Grandpa Jon Charms GoonDog
Contemplating (People Food) Cookout
The Winning Shot
Best for the End of dog-a-palooza
MNH, a Wildcat at Heart
One more, blue eye
I can’t get over how steep this city is. I don’t know that I even want to get over it. Being from Kansas (remember? Or this?) you’d expect some level of psychological or physiological bias towards less extreme topography, but still, man, just wow. None of the photographs I’ve taken do it any justice (the one above is from patrick boury). Everywhere I turn here there are so many opportunities to stumble into waves of delirious vertigo.
Here’s a quick example to illustrate the kind of heights we’re talking about. This morning I caught a train to work, which drops me behind my building rather than on the street in front of it. So, one block away. Rather than climb the hill there’s a rather fortunate elevator, which takes us up to the NINTH (!?!) floor of the union (to level “I” – they use letters rather than numbers to keep your brains from exploding). Upon arriving there, you realize you’re not quite to street level yet – you have your choice of yet another elevator or a flight of stairs to go. Ten stories? One block? What planet is this?
From my office to the place I’m staying in Noe Valley is roughly two miles. Walking that distance yesterday took me up and over two ridges that are high enough to make you question why you’re even driving on them. If you click through to the large map, the darker topo lines here mark 200′ changes in elevation, the lighter ones 40′. On the walk yesterday I crossed by my count fourty-six (!) of these lines in the total round trip. If I weren’t moving out towards the flatter part of the city, I’d never need a gym. As it was, despite being a cool 65 degrees here I was sweat soaked clean through by the time I got home.
Two interesting things happened today though. This morning, I’m driving up the 101 from Palo Alto when a bird swoops across the highway maybe twenty feet in front of me, low enough that I think it’s lame and I’m going to hit it. A half-second later I realize it’s not a slow clumsy bird, but a hawk with a large rat or gopher still struggling in it’s talons. Awesome. Maybe more of this would be the solution to Allston’s rodentia problems.
The other – I stepped off the elevator at what I’m hoping is the right floor of my new office, look up to my left and see the view of the bridge above. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Golden Gate since I arrived in San Fransisco, and structurally it looks like JP got it right. I get the feeling I’m going to like coming in here – it definitely beats the view of the Tobin from CNY.
I meant to put these up earlier but got distracted by other things. Switzerland tag, flickr sets from SH & LP.
For those of you following along the last week, thanks for reading. It’s really been a great time getting out here, allowing me to reorient my perspective on a lot of mundane day to day problems that had been hanging over me recently. I’m starting the new job on Monday and am much looking forward to it.
States seen: UT, NV, CA.
Total/daily miles driven: 3690.9/938.6
Number of traffic violations in San Francisco: 17
Time spent in San Francisco before first traffic violation: 1 minute 58 seconds
*I won $0.75! And only had to spend $1.25 to get that.
ps. My full photoset from the trip is here…
States seen: ID, UT.
Total/daily miles driven: 2967.5/215.1.
Number of cracked windshields: 1
SPECIAL GUEST BLOG FEATURE!!11! Mikey speakz
okay, so a few things need to be clarified. Salt Lake isn’t as dry as they lead on. went to the car for old skunk Modello, temp is 99, when i decided to walk to the gas station because, well i did see a hot biker chick, but more so because i saw two fellows with a case of Bud light. I was nervous at first about buying beer here after all i had heard, but it was cheaper than anywhere else i bought beer, $5.99 for a 6 pack, and no problems.
With that said, Nano just asked did anything exciting happen today. -pause to breath in- Actually a lot has happened today. Only a few hundred miles driven. But i think the realization that this is really happening, i mean Nano’s move, has set in. Salt Lake, which we haven’t seen yet, seem incredible, but it is dwarfed in our minds for the ultimate prize of San Fran tomorrow, a grueling 12 hour drive. This is for all intense and purposes the end of the trip. Tomorrow symbolizes a return to jobs, responsibilities, and the day to day world.
America is beautiful, vast and welcoming. I am honored to escort my friend to a new life and proud of his choices. Sorry, in light of my lame post it is time to take my leave and Venture once more into the breach by painting Salt Lake red. Stay tuned for Nano’s regularly scheduled post once we are done.
States seen: WY, MT, ID.
Total/daily miles driven: 2752.3/560.2.
Number of violations of the “No Chain Restaurants” policy: 1
Number of children seen playing in the Old Faithful “thermal area”: 2
Number of children scaled by boiling water, acid pit or magma, per posted warning: 0
ps. It’s consensus that my driving partner has completely lost his mind. He won’t stop singing about peas and unicorns. I actually like him better this way.
pps. I may have failed to mention that we almost hit a smallish baby deer on the way back from Devil’s Tower yesterday. We slowed down, another followed across, and we were on our way. I was reminded of this today as we approached Yellowstone at a healthy 60mph clip and a fully sized adult deer sprinted right to left across the highway directly in front of us. MV was driving and slammed on the brakes before the deer cleared our front end by about six feet. If he had stopped, we woulda had a big bloody broken-glass broken-deer broken-us sized mess.
States seen: SD, WY.
Total/daily miles driven: 2192.1/501.9.
Number of (incredibly threatening) male bikers / (non-threatening) Wall Drug signs seen: 40,000/150.
Number of female bikers seen: 6
Percent of car occupants willing to risk life and limb to compliment biker chick physique and tattoo placement: 50%
PS. I haven’t had to hurt Mike yet though he’s pushing his luck stealing my gchat.
UPDATE: I was remiss not to mention that Sundance, WY is not named after the Sundance Kid, rather the opposite. The Sundance Kid spent some time in jail here (either “a few nights” according to a grizzled old biker dude in the bar here last night or 18 months if we trust the wikipedia), thus drew his nickname from the town. Sundance, UT was later named such after the Sundance Kid, so is indirectly named after the town as well, as is the film festival.
States seen: IL, WI, MN, SD.
Total/daily miles driven: 1690.2/655.6.
MPG: Too tired to do math. Thirty something. Mike drives like a maniac on fire.
The hope for tomorrow is Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil’s Tower, and on to Yellowstone. Stay tuned, it should get better from here on out.
*not at Angelic Brewing Co. It appears they’ve gone out of business. :(
States seen: PA, OH, IN, MI, IL.
Deer carcasses/rainbows seen: 2/4.
Total/daily miles driven: 1034.6/574.9.
Total/daily MPG: 34.8/33.8. Today’s average was a bit worse than yesterday, likely due to the lack of long downhill segments to go-go gravity boost down. But it’s probably the best that we’ll have from now on as the human anchor has joined the crew.
ps. Thanks to la papa de KKV for dinner & Chicagoland entertainment…
pps. Happy 8/8/08! Day of Flickr and Olympic opening ceremony too!
ppps. Saw Red Sox lose on TV at the bar despite wearing the hat bpoo gave me. The (exceedingly cute) waitress liked it, as she was originally from Newton.
Aside for tomorrow morning: will someone please remind my copilot to heed the following dictum…
1 And this is the law ye shall follow when traveling with brothers, whether by chariot, camel, donkey, cart pulled by slave, shoulders of slave, small boat, leviathan, silverback gorilla, or another personal conveyance. 2 The owner of the vehicle shall always be the pilot, unless leprosy hath taken his legs. The pilot must always wear a safety girdle. 3 He who wishes to have the second-best seat may only declare so after leaving the door of the temple, the tax collector’s house, a den of iniquity, or any other place. He, too, shall wear a safety girdle.
After that, it was a hella lot of highway, trucks, rain and mist (no gorillas). I went through Scranton, made obligatory unfunny Dunder Mifflin jokes to self, then shortly thereafter passed the exit for the actual town of Mifflinville. Exciting, but not sufficiently so to stop. KPH called from Hawaii and tried to convince me that there there weren’t any active volcanoes there. This turns out to be disinformation.
States seen: MA, CT, NY, PA
Miles driven: 459.7
Overall MPG: 36.2!! – The hypermiling strategy is working! Thanks to Steven for the de-roof-racking and John McCain for the tire inflation reminder.
Day 2 preview: Tomorrow night will either go see TMLMTBGB or the Red Sox vs White Sox at Comiskey. Tickets for both still available…(!)
UPDATE: Other sources for CT ice cream…
The last two days have been extremely difficult. Professionally, I’m less than happy about the way a couple of my projects were left at DFCI (though rationally I know the fault for the most egregious of these lies external to myself). Emotionally, it’s been hard to be around my sisters and friends for the last time in … who knows how long. And at risk of sounding like a wimp or something but man, I own a lot of heavy junk. But however lousy the getting off part has been, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all going to be worth it once I’m in San Francisco. A new job, a new city, a new coast, a new ethic, a chance at a new me. People have been reinventing themselves in California since when, the Gold Rush? Or, before – you just know the Aleutians had to be stoked when they finally made it down the coast from Siberia.
I’m not sure what kind of access I’ll have over the next few days but am hoping to post occasional interesting things as I’m able. Photos I’ll throw in this flickr set, and assuming I can find the itouch that has wandered off I’ll update facebook with obligatory unfunny statii. And, please, please please, come visit me (& VC) sometime soon.
Day 0: 0 miles