Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California to Queers: "Drop dead"

If there's one thing i'll walk away from Novemeber 4th, 2008 with, it's that homophobia is more powerful than racism.

I have to check myself; there's really no comparison between various bigotries. Let's just say i'm happy California didn't prove both racist and homophobic.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy birthday, Paul

Wherever you are.

Monday, September 29, 2008

the travails of parentood

I had this awesome blog post all ready to go in my head, and just when i sit down to write it, wouldn't you know my son needs help staying in bed. Ninety minutes later, and i've completely forgotten what i was going to write, and i'm somehow up past my bedtime (the very thing i just spent time trying to avoid having my progeny do).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Belated River Prom 2008 post

I meant to write this weeks ago, nearer to the event itself, but alas... i'm lazy.

Now that i have three other events that i'd like to write about, i've found the motivation to write about this one. I was pretty good about posting pictures of RiverProm, but didn't really get to explain the weekend in its entirety. Now that a few weeks have gone by, i suppose i'll be forgetting some of the details, but that'll likely make this description more tolerable (i.e. mercifully truncated).

A bit of history

I'm not sure how many years old this event is, as this was my first, but it seemed like this has been going on for a while. It originally started as a way to spruce up the run-of-the-mill drifting down the Truckee river with something other than alcohol, the traditional supplement. Someone hit on the idea of having a formal on the river. I'm not sure why this makes it more fun, but it really does.

Camping and Company

I haven't camped in a while, and even though this wasn't backpacking, the car camping was still nice. I also camped with my dates (D and M, who took pity on me while my family was out of town), in addition to driving to Tahoe and back from San Francisco. They're a fine pair to share a road trip with. The other folks at our little two-site camp were also excellent individuals: two folks i knew and liked a whole bunch already, and a pair of folks i hadn't met before, but whom i quickly grew to like.

The Prom

Before raft put-in, some of us stopped at the Dam Cafe for breakfast. I confess i didn't feel nervous at all in my sparkly purple dress... until the owner of the cafe wolf-whistled at me. I knew then i'd have to beat the boys off with a paddle for the rest of the day. He was a good sport about the people in formalwear flooding his cafe, and even suggested giving him a heads-up next year so he could provide ice cream for people in formalwear. I thought there might be more boys in dresses, but thankfully i was totally wrong. I really only had competition for prom queen from one person (i had seen pictures of her online, but they all seem to be gone now... no, really!).

There ended up being about 60-70 promgoers this year. I'd say at least 80% of them were legally intoxicated by the end of the run. Being The Dad, i remained sober and fished people out of the water. Ok, i fished people i liked out of the water. I also managed to mostly refrain from getting annoyed at the truly trashed people knocking other people's shit into the river. Or splashing people in boats that didn't really seem to want to participate in that kind of revelry.

Overall, my time was spent trying to keep the edges of the flotilla from getting snagged on rocks and branches. This proved difficult, since almost nobody else was paddling... out of the 40-50 people (with two to four people sharing a boat... which were lashed together). I did end up, by virtue of paddling, more often at the front of the flotilla... which made me the first thing that most other boats on the river saw. I quite enjoyed being the face, and having little kids (boys and girls!) admire my dress and wave at me.

Getting back to my pathetic attempts to steer the giant flotilla, there were times when it stretched three or four boats deep, but also from one shore to the other. This configuration made river crossings and what "rapids" there were interesting, in the faux-confucian sense.

By the end, the flotilla had completely lost coherence. My boat was still lashed to one with one of my new friends in it. The boat also contained someone i hadn't met, but who completely passed out from some combination of alcohol and sun. Navigating rapids while trying to direct other (drunker, less concerned) people to check her breathing and pulse was a high point for my crisis management self esteem. Getting this person out of the boat was also a lot of fun, and i can say with some conviction that she didn't drown that day, which i feel scored me more Dad points. Which were completely negated by my losing my other new buddy from the campsite. She made it to shore safely, of course, but i did have a good fifteen minutes of panic after i lost sight of her and didn't find her immediately at the end.

A small group of us that camped together decided that maybe next year, a smaller, more queer event can happen. For some reason i had imagined that RiverProm would be more like a three dollar bill, but like i said... i was the only boy in a dress! It was also a bit chaotic for my tastes and while i had an excellent time, less people to lifeguard for would be nice. Feel free to contact me if you should feel like doing a RiverQBall of sorts next year!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ridiculous portions

The sandwich was even bigger than it looks: that massive pile of roast beef you see is just the tip of the sandwichberg. Beneath it lurks a much larger body of turkey. The sandwich makes a fine lunch by itself... but it came with a delicious cup of lobster bisque. I've been trying to cut back on my daytime food spending... with lunches like these from the cafeteria, i might be able to skip breakfast and dinner.

Monday, August 04, 2008

rivers, children, the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

The boys are away for a couple of weeks, and this past weekend i took the opportunity to go to River Prom (which will get its own post). The combination of river rafting and drinking (by others) led me to drop into Dad mode, looking out for people struggling in the water, or otherwise acting more inebriated than anyone has a right to be around water.

Last night, i had a dream that Antonio and i were in the river, and that i was in Dad mode, but paying attention to everyone else, and lost track of the boy. And the worst happened, of course. Technically, this makes my dream a nightmare, but i didn't awake with a racing heart or cold sweat. I did remember the images vividly, and while he seemed peaceful, the sense of loss crushed my soul, even into waking.

Today, i talk to Andey on the phone... and lo, he and Antonio are going to the river. Just what i needed to hear!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just to prevent jealousy...

... since i've posted pictures of both The Betty and The Dummy. I should show the workhorse of the stable.

(especially since i'll probably start posting pictures of a restoration project bike i picked up today).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dental Shenanigans

My complete periodontal x-ray... I'm publishing these in case i ever need to be identified by my teeth.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008


(photo by Michelle Lai, depicting a rehearsal)

Apparently, i'm in a play.

You should come! Opening night, on Friday the 13th, went really well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A good day

I know I've had a good day when the most relaxing part of it was the
dental cleaning.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thanks, Bay to Breakers!

I just want to give a shout out to the fine folks organizing bay to breakers.

Specifically, a shout of anger to those organizing the cleanup; it's been nearly a week since the event, and it still looks like someone took a giant bag full of glass bottles, smashed them up, and sprinkled the sparkling, poky bits all over half of my commute home from work (and most parts of the city).

I realize the organizers are not responsible for the idiots that bring glass containers to these events. I also realize that if the SFPD actually enforced littering laws at these events not only would the city reap a huge amount of money, but people might actually start packing out all the crap they bring in.

Nevertheless, i am wroth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big Dummy

I imagined, when i finally committed to getting it, that i'd spend a ton of time documenting my new bicycle. That's not exactly what i did with the cruiser, but i at least forced my sister to take pictures of it with me in close proximity.

It isn't for lack of excitement, however, that i failed to take more pictures. Quite the opposite. I've been far too excited to spend any time taking pictures, and have opted to spend the extra minutes on the bicycle, rather than photographing it (or writing about it). I got up extra early this morning to rectify this.

Sometime last week i stopped in to my favorite bike shop to get my brakes adjusted and mentioned having an interest in putting together a Big Dummy. As luck would have it, they had one frame left in stock and it happened to be sized correctly for me. There was a back and forth exchange about the minutiae and parts were ordered. There was the usual "your bike will be done today or tomorrow" (repeated for a few days, understandable given the bike-to-work mania last week). Finally, last Friday, i called at three and was told that it would absolutely, unequivocally, be done that day. Just not until seven (when the shop closes).

I weighed the risks (being stuck in Oakland away from my usual public transit routes home) and thought it worth it to get the bike that night. A kind colleague offered to give me a ride, and, should the bike not be ready, a ride home (he lives in my neighborhood). Upon arriving at the shop, i am reassured by the helpful staff (who all seem aware of the work in progress) that the bike is almost done, and that the shop's owner, Richard, is out test riding it at this very moment. I proceed to wait till around eight thirty with Richard as he puts the finishing touches on it.
There were a few finishing touches:
sidestand, seatpost, saddle, grips, peapod childseat. It took a little while, but it was a pleasant enough wait. I had originally had the fantasy of spending the time to visit the shop while the more important bits were done to get a feel for how things like brakes, crank, and derailer are installed and tuned. So the wait provided some of that.
In any case, the bike was finished that night, i paid the nice gentleman for his wares, let him take some pictures of me with the bike, and i was on my merry way.

It rode as i expected, like a bike, and miraculously fit into all of the elevators on my perilous BART trip home. It started two conversations on the trip home. I did some grocery shopping and found the xtracycle bags quite handy.

Saturday, i put the peapod childseat through its paces and loaded a bag with weight almost up to its maximum carrying capacity. I strapped the bag in and rode a route similar to the one i normally ride on the way to work at full speed, not slowing down for or avoiding bumps in the road. It weathered the test fine, not shifting at all or bending permanently, though i did notice a bit of flex, which seems to give the child (or simulation thereof) some amount of shock absorption if the bike doesn't have any. Two more conversations were started via the bike's novelty.

Sunday, I swapped out the bag of weights with the child, loaded up the bike's bags with a small tent city and picnic lunch, and headed out to the park. We met up with big A at Duboce park and he hopped on the back for the short ride to Dolores park. With little A, big A, and all the food and tent stuff packed, we were at close to the maximum rated cargo weight of the bike. I certainly felt it in the steering, and probably won't opt to ride like that in traffic again (but the park is fair game!). The bike was the subject of two more conversations with random people that day.

Yesterday i rode the Dummy in to work so Tara could have a look, and also to do grocery shopping on the way home. I had at least one coworker take it out for a ride, and got a few comments about it (all positive). On the way home, with three full bags of groceries, i discovered that Surly's advice about the snap deck needing a strap to hold it on was entirely accurate. I suspect that the next iteration of the freeloader kit will correct this design problem.

I am thrilled with this vehicle; possibly more so than with any other to date.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

we went to switzerland

We even kept a travel journal (one A and i have kept since we started taking trips together), but i'm not likely transcribing what we wrote in it. I did, however, take some pictures, and these i can easily share with you, dear reader.

(yes, i know, it's flash. apologies to web purists.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Almost famous

It's sad when you get upstaged by crayons.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy birthday,

I may even go to your birthday party.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008


Not for me... Or that many other folks. But BART is taking it easy
today. Good for you, BART!

Don't worry, the packed-in passengers and cyclists stranded on the
platform don't really need to get to work today.

Who the heck does usage projections for BART, anyway?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Doctor office ettiquette

Is it better for the doctor's office to be open, with all the front
office staff coughing and sniffling on everything, potentially getting
patients sick... Or to have patients wait a week or two to visit the
doc?. I mean, if it was an emergency, you'd go to urgent care anyway,

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chain reaction

One stoplight out on Oak.

That's all it took to change a 10 to 15 minute bus trip into a 45
minute trip. As I sat on the bus, stopped as often as not in traffic
on Lincoln, I imagined the weekend's rain had blocked a sewer drain
and led to lane closure or that there was some horrific accident. But

If a simple change from metered traffic to a stop sign created such a
large impact in such an uncomplicated system, I shudder to think about
the impact of my own mistakes and accidents on the much more
complicated and possibly more delicately balanced systems I
participate in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The wrong technical decision

I awoke sometime before dawn and didn't bother to check the clock,
thinking I'd get back to sleep, as I usually do, without any trouble. The dream that I awoke from, however, must have been more disturbing than my usual bad dreams.

I sit in a conference room with a coworker whom I normally regard as
amiable and not harsh at all. The dream has distorted hir features,
but I know who it is. We discuss something about work, and I ask for
clarification about something.

Then he talked about a specific technique which I hadn't heard of
before (something sie described as "trapping"). I said as much which
elicited a sneer of condescension and the rebuke "you don't even know what... Which finally goaded me into a defense of my intelligence, and to assert that I could grasp the concept of whatever sie was talking about.

This sets hir off on a rant about how I will go round and round
seeking understanding, wasting hir and everyone else's time, and that eventually I'll make the wrong technical decision anyway which will necessitate me or someone else rewriting the functionality in
question, wasting yet more time. At which point the meeting ended, or i awoke.

Good dream to have the night before going back to work.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008