Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fresno students take to the streets

Hundreds of students from all around Fresno walked out of school yesterday and today to protest the immigration bill going through Congress right now. I don't remember a protest/walkout anywhere close to this magnitude in my 12 years of Fresno schooling. Awesome video.

http://www.fresnobee.com/static/2006/327protests/

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Why I smell like a satsuma

Also, before last night's listening fest (see below), I had an outstanding early sushi dinner at Zushi Puzzle. It seems there must have been a translation or transcription error, or something, as the Kirin beer my waiter delivered to me was hobo-sized. Now I hate waste (though maybe the kids who sit next to me at work might take issue with that assertion, given the quantity of empty plastic Crystal Geyser bottles I toss in our recycling bucket on a daily basis), so I of course drank all that was presented to me.

However, this meant that I was a bit tipsy when walking home. I happened to pass by The Body Shop, and for some reason I noticed the window display which featured an impressive number of Satsuma-infused products. I tittered when I saw this, and those of you in the know understand why. The satsuma mandarin orange is my most favorite fruit in the whole world (my family grows them commercially just outside of the 'No), and ever since I was a kid I eagerly eagerly eagerly anticipated the very short satsuma season so we could go out to the ranch and pick them off the trees ourselves. And it was news to me that the satsuma moniker (technically, it's not a fruit name -- it names a specific variety of mandarin orange) has gained such marketing equity that it would be used in such a way. (Same deal with Meyer lemon and blood orange, which Williams-Sonoma uses in their dish soap and hand lotion). I admit that a part of me doesn't like this one bit. Satsumas are my little secret. What's next, Minneola tangelo toliet flushers, or Siamese Sweet pummelo after shave?

Anyhow, my excitement got the best of me, and as I was standing in front of the display at the front of the store, the aggresive saleslady came up to me. I proceeded to tell her my entire satsuma story and told her how incredibly excited I was that The Body Shop had satsuma-essence products. She saw what an incredibly easy mark I was in my semi-sloshed condition, and before I knew it I walked out with a $16 thing of extra-extra-strength satsuma bath oil (I do love to take baths, and just like Alan, get lots of reading done in the tub).

Well, apparentally I'm not quite expert at this bath oil operation yet, because I just got out of the tub after putting in a bit too much oil, my entire body is oiler than I'd like, and now I smell like a satsuma.

Music Night

I've been having some pretty good luck with music lately. It started a few weeks ago when I discovered The Go! Team via iTunes' lovely shuffle function popping up a random podcast I had forgotten I had subscribed to (I blogged about this previously).

Then, my (somewhat-embarassing) obsession with Japanese Shibuya-Kei music and it's flag-bearering superluckyfun group Pizzicato 5 led me to discover Fantastic Plastic Machine.

And that's when it started to get weird. So the deal with Shibuya-Kei is that it's this wacky fusion of Brazilian bossa nova, old school soul, French lounge-pop, hip hop, and 60s movie soundtrack grooves, seen thorugh the spectacles of talented Japanese producer/DJs. Which of course means it's perfectly natural that Fantastic Plastic Machine would lay down a highly-addictive interpretation of the Eurythmics' "There must be an angel" (on his Luxury album). Which i've pretty much been listening to at least 5 times a day for the past three weeks. I don't even like the Eurythmics! And i'm not Japanese! But anyway, of course I downloaded the Eurythmics version of the song, which now I'm into, but mostly because of the hot Stevie Wonder cameo. Unfortunately, you have to endure Annie Lennox's "la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-ing" for a few minutes before Little Stevie Wonder's harmonica shows up in your earhole.

But I digress. This post was really sparked by my four hour listening session last night, during which I rediscovered dozens of hot tracks in my collection (including DJ Nu-Mark's funky "Hot Track", which features a lovably racist Persian skit at the end), some of which hadn't ever been given the privledge of being sonically instantiated by my wonderful Sennheiser HD-555. And as luck would have it, two albums I had been highly anticipating were released last week (I never manage to keep track of album release dates beyond a vague "Aren't xyz releasing something, ummmmmm, this year?): Mates of State's "Bring it Back" and Prince's "3121", although the latter wasn't available on iTunes. I also picked up Black Star's hot "Born & Raised" from Dave Chappelle's Block Party OST, and a few other random tracks and two used CDs from Amazon I will not name but blame the second scotch for telling me to buy.

So, even though I was Coughy McHermit last night, and basically wandered back and forth from my bed to couch over a period of 4 hours, it was still a good evening.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blogger party!


















Members of the Blogger team and other assorted Googler's at our Blogger party at SxSW in Austin. Fun times were had by all.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Ararat Anomaly

Mt. Ararat has been the defining symbol of the Armenian nation since antiquity. These days, of course, it's in Turkish territory, tantalizingly near the border of Armenia. Linked below is a great article detailing the continuing saga of the Ararat Anomaly. The Turkish government hasn't allowed anyone to make an archaelogical expedition, but the Anomaly is reported by the Kurdish mountain-folk to be most certainly man-made.

SPACE.com -- EXCLUSIVE: Satellite Sleuth Closes in on Noah’s Ark Mystery

Writely -- So hot!

Yay! Writely's on board. I worked on this acquisition (from the marketing side) over the past few days. They're a great group and have created a nifty product. Welcome to the 'plex!

Official Google Blog: Writely so

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend

Let's see...

Saturday:
1. Brunch with the Chronicle at Lettus (HORRIBLE french toast. So bad i'm going to write an email).
2. Brunch #2 with the Guardian at Judy's after unsatisfying #1.
3. Read Forbes in the bath, Alan Greenspan style.
4. Interneting on the bed.
5. Decided to brave a muni ride to Union Square (through Chinatown).
6. Got lost in Banana Republic, and felt guilty buying clothes from a store I actually don't like.
7. Rode muni back home. Three foul-mouthed 13 year old black girls and a cholita hopped on. They were talking loud and swearing. Apparentally I was staring at them, though I don't know what they expected me to do given their behavior (one of them was sitting next to me), because when they got off the bus, all three of them gave me the finger and started yelling obscenities at me. I didn't even sigh, or give them a dirty look, or anything!
8. Ate two apples and popped the cork on some wine and read some books and watched three episodes of Weeds and two Arrested Developments and Allmusic.com-ed for quite some time.
9. Flaked out on a party I was invited to.

Sunday:
1. Three more episodes of Weeds and two more Arresteds.
2. Brunch with Forbes at Home Plate: "Special Scramble". Topped it off with a cinnamon roll while walking home.
3. Two phone calls.
4. Read Car&Driver in the bath, Lee Iacocca style.
5. Wandered in the rain (with an umbrella of course!)
6. Dinner: Alex's Magical Mush. Oatmeal + Fiber One + flaxseed + raisins. Microwave until mushy. Add milk and honey and enjoy -- your colon will thank you 30 years from now.
7. More interneting in bed and reading and musicing.
8. Cleaned my bathroom and removed a massive amount of lint dustbunnies from behind my bed.

I AM SO BORING.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Goofood

The Chronicle had an article today about Google's amazing foodservice operation. There are a lot of fantastic pictures, too (great photography if you ask me).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/01/FDG32H9OF61.DTL

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spore? Spore!



I'm a big big big Maxis fan, and cut my teeth on the original SimCity back in yesterdayland. In fact, if you tally up the sum total of my life that I've spent playing every version of SimCity, weeks would be the appropriate unit of measure. I even played SimAnt, SimFarm (really!) and SimTower. Oddly enough, I've never played The Sims, though -- I think I'd probably get far too into it for my own good. (Maybe when I take my someday-sabattical I'll put that on the to-do list).

But, man, Will Wright's new creation looks incredible. When this comes out, expect to not see me for a while. And when you do see me again, I might be applying to med school or something...

Oh, FYI, I'll also be out of touch when that new slim model of the DS comes out. (Super Princess Peach!)