Ya Voté

I voted yesterday. Went down to the San Francisco City Hall and cast my ballot. Or ballots I should say as there were 4 of them. Propositions, declarations, local elections national elections. All done yesterday. I had to do some pretty hefty studying to make sure I got them all right.

I could see how some might think that San Francisco is over the top liberal. There were propositions on there to have the city encourage the end of ROTC. I voted against that one. Military service is an honorable act selflessness and if that's the path one chooses, so be it.

Another proposition stated that it was San Francisco's official position that the only funding made available to the troops should be for their deployment out of Iraq. Personally, I think they should be able to buy boots and have lunch so while I agree with the larger idea of making a graceful and honorable exit from Iraq, that one was simply too broad in its scope for me to get behind. Another effectively legalized prostitution. Nope, couldn't get behind that one.

But there were also good propositions on there like more funding for hospital programs and earthquake proofing for clinics. Both good ideas.

Anyway, I guess I'm now officially one of those far left San Francisco liberals who gets vilified on Fox News every night for the viewers in "real America." They just can't stand a part of the country that has universal healthcare, one of the most successful homeless veterans programs around and generally speaking one of the strongest economic regions in the world. Those are apparently all terrible things. If you believe that, here's something else you should believe: the world is flat.

Go Vote. Make your voice heard. Otherwise, you give up your right to complain for four years.

Good information

Yes I'm biased but you already knew that.

Here's a video from the Obama campaign on voters rights and making sure you are able to cast your ballot on Tuesday if you haven't already.

Go Vote!



I hoped I would be so lucky in SF that my only move would be from corporate housing to the fabulous apartment I had found in the Lower Haight.

Sadly, while I am the luckiest man in the world, I'm not that lucky.

Trav, my old roommate, and his girlfriend Celeste have decided to nest. Now that I have moved out, they are quite comfortably nesting in a three bedroom, one and a half bath palace. Good for them.

It also turns out to be good for me. I have found a rather fabulous two bedroom place at much lower than market rate in a rather spectacular part of town.

What makes my new castle so castle-y? Well to start, my bathroom looks like it was transplanted from the Emerald City. Being surrounded by green when you make yellow is quite a thing.

Additionally there's Bob. Bob is our landlord and he grew up in the apartment we're renting. He seems fabulous in that old man who's full of good stories kind of way. He's fair, he redid the floors to tear up the old carpeting and get back to the quite stunning hardwood floors and he likes me. He told me so when I came to look at the place. Apart from the obvious signs of senility, anybody who's willing to put up with me is obviously a patient saint.

So, I'm settling in. Well to my room at least. We have no furniture in any other part of the house. But boxes are being unpacked. 250+ movies are being sorted into their genres. New habits are being made. All in all, I can't complain. My address still contains the words San Francisco.


Get registered, go vote!

As told by a Jelly Donut:

BTW, I do think he's qualified. Now that Palin lady....



Someone finally takes the race issue head on. And when he takes it on, he smashes it.


Nearly 800 points.

Today the market got a knife in the gut. To most of us this is relevant to our 401(k) funds. But the truth is, the market's reaction is a much bigger indicator of a much, much bigger problem: Credit is about to become more scarce than a jackalope.

Credit is the grease on which the economy's engine functions. Without it, any economic engine quickly grinds to a halt.

A figure to keep in mind: 700 billion. That is the amount of cash that is in circulation at any given moment. That is the size the U.S. economy will plummet toward if the credit markets do not get liquid. To give you an idea, the U.S. economy is currently estimated to be 13.84 trillion. 700 billion is not a very big percentage of that. This is an oversimplification but, the point is valid. Unless someone with enough resources (i.e. the Treasury, the only group with enough resources) injects some liquidity into the credit market, we are in a world of hurt.

Without credit, we move fast toward becoming a cash economy. We simply can't do that. Imagine living out the next 3 or so years on the money in your savings account.

So, for a bit more reading, I offer up this economists take: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/29/143536/436/784/614495

She's a bit condescending and drops the f-bomb more than I'd like but I guess desperate times call for desperate language.


Burning Man 2008

I wish I could tell you how awesome Burning Man is. I wish there was a way to show you all the incredible things I saw. Sadly, I realized on day two, Burning Man is not something that can be described. Pictures are woefully inadequate at capturing the scene. There's really only one thing to say: You should go.

It's not for everyone. Actually, it's not for most people. But if you've got a creative appreciating bone in your body, the spectacle and opportunity to do be totally yourself, is certainly worth the trip.

At one point, I was asked, "Why do you do what you do?" The picture below was my answer.

2 New Wheels

Her name is Skratch Mofro. She's an Aluminum beastie who's tight frame can go lot faster than I ever can.

It was fun the other day when one of my co-workers rode his rather diminutive BMX bike into work and we figured out at half the size, his bike was at least twice as heavy.


San Francisco Profile #7: My man Ace

So yesterday was the going away picnic for my friend Alan Ezyaguirre. He's a friend I met through the roomie and he's off to Merry Ole England in a couple days. I'm bummed.

My parents have always said that I surround myself with good people. Generally they are correct or perhaps it's just the "good" are the only friends I introduce them to. Well, sadly, they won't have a chance to meet Ace. Padres are visiting next weekend. Ace leaves a few days before.

He's quite the genius. Does marketing for Apple. To give you an idea of the level, he's in meetings with Steve on the regular. Even got kicked out of one by him. Like the party loyalist he is, he never dishes me any good dirt on what fancy new gadget I'm sure to buy or what isn't. Won't even confirm the juicy rumors I find myself on the web.

To further his party loyalists tendencies, he wears the Apple uniform religiously. All black. All the time. Even his bike is black. His car is black. It's ridiculous.

He has a natural penchant for throwing out of control parties. And for some unknown reason, women thoroughly enjoy having their picture taken by him. Often in less than innocent poses and without any urging from Ace. It's quite funny but kudos to him.

He's also the first friend I feel I've made that is moving away. So I wish him luck even though he won't need it.


San Francisco Profile #6: Me

A year older, not much wiser but with a couple more wrinkles, Me seems to have a permanent smile attached to his face. He's oddly given up couch sitting for a new addiction to road biking. Still has the same fascination for DVDs but finds much less time to watch them as there's always a new restaurant to explore or outside activity to inflame Me's allergies.

Me particularly enjoys days spent up at Infineon raceway. This past year has seen classic cars, drag racers and daredevil motorcycles. All of which proved money isn't a bad thing.

Me enjoys his job immensely and works for people who are far nicer than they should be. And even if they weren't nice, there's still a fire pole in the office making damn near anything bearable.

Me has also upped his political activism in the past year. Volunteering to register people to vote. Me still struggles with pure advocacy and trying to convince someone to vote in a certain direction, but convincing people to vote can't be a bad thing.

Me's life is good. He is want for nothing. Actually, Me often finds that the wealth of good people and good times that surround him a bit overwhelming. Perhaps Me will eventually get used to the near-unbearable amount of goodness. But if Me is smart, he'll never forget how blessed he is.


Go Vote!

If you live in Indiana or NC go and do it. 'Nuff said.


Juju is a California girl

There is a universal rule. It doesn't matter what state you live in. It probably doesn't matter what country your in. The DMV takes all ever loving day. Period.

So, I have taken the CA driver's test, supposedly one of the toughest in the country. And it was hard. You've got to know things like a yellow curb is for the unloading of people and cargo. Or that it is legal to park on the street in front of a garage as long as it's your garage.

Strangely, they don't give you a driver's license when you leave. Instead, the punch a hole in the expiration date of your current license. And like all DMVs, they like to keep you guessing. So while there is a checklist of all the things you need to have when you arrive, not everything is on there. Brilliant.

It was awesome to be in line in front of a guy who was getting his tank driving license.

So Juju the MINI now has her California plates. Thankfully, she doesn't have the CA smog emissions that would take away some of her saucy character. I just hope she never forgets where she came from. England.


An interesting contrast

Two reporters from the Philadelphia City Paper went incognito and volunteered for the presidential campaigns. One for Clinton. One for Obama.




Oh yeah, I live at the beach

So this past weekend was one of those weekends anyone who doesn't live in California imagines is every weekend in California.

It was flat gorgeous.

And as I tried to figure out how to enjoy the blessed weather to the fullest, I came to a stunning realization. I live at the beach.

I'm so used to a completely different kind of beach, this was quite a revelation. Beaches in NC don't have skyscrapers. They don't have city right up against them.

So I gathered several friends who apparently already knew we lived at the beach and off we went. 30 minutes down the PCH later we were climbing down cliffs (another feature not found in NC.) It's quite the different experience but it's also quite the incredible experience. Watching actual waves crash against jagged rocks creates art.

On the downside the water is mmmmuuuuuuucccccchhhhhh colder. The only people in the water were in wet suits or dogs. My compadres braved it. They quickly complained of frostbitten toes. I demurred.

So, yeah. Nine months later, I figured out I'm not just close to a beach, I live there. Stunning the lack of capacity in my brain sometimes.



Sometimes what needs to be said comes from a very unexpected source.

(Apologies for the less than stellar audio.)


Politicians lie. Used car salesmen lie. Even fine, upstanding citizens of the advertising industry can tell a tall tale.

But Hillary's latest fish story is patently ridiculous. In an interview with a news channel in Wilmington North Carolina, Hillary actually says that Obama doesn't want North Carolina to vote. Seriously.


Sadly, this isn't the only instance of her saying Barack doesn't want states to vote. Fight lies with money. Donate here.

EDIT: Here's a clip of Barack saying voting should continue and that Hillary should be in the race as long as she'd like. That particular comment begins around the 2:50 mark.



My own personal Super Tuesday

I voted yesterday. I haven't officially moved to CA yet. No driver's license or voter registration. So, off to the post office I went with absentee ballot in hand. It's a bit disconcerting that the ballot envelope is so conspicuous. Official voter blah blah blah all over the outside. Plus my signature. Plus the signatures of two witnesses. If someone wanted to get sneaky with the ballots, it wouldn't be hard to pick out. I wanted to send it in early in the hopes that it's counted before the general gets started.

If you've read more than this post, you probably have a good idea who I voted for in the presidential race.

I hope nothing happens between now and then that might change my mind. Barack would pretty much have to strangle some kittens in public at this point. I've been quite disappointed in how Hillary is running her campaign. So negative. So entitled. As an example, there's a survey floating out there that says 30% of her supporters would rather vote for McCain than Obama. This gives you an idea of the effect her negative campaigning is creating. Among Obama's supporters, the percentage of switchers drops to 19%.

I remember on my 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., we were shown a marble sculpture in one of the Smithsonian museums. It was a compilation of 3 famous women. I believe Harriet Tubman was one figure. Think Betsy Ross was another but I'm not entirely sure about that. At the end was a big hunk of uncut marble. Our guide explained that particular hunk of stone was reserved for the first female President of the United States. I was struck by the experience and wondered if a face would be carved in soon.

I once thought Hillary would be the one cut into that marble. But these days, after watching her campaign operate, I sincerely hope it's someone else who's face is preserved for future generations to admire.


Apparently, I buy groceries at the airport.

This past weekend, I flew to Cape Cod to see my Uncle's art exhibit. So I spent a great deal of time in airports. I became scared when I realized the prices were no longer absurdly shocking. I've gotten so used to parting with my money in huge chunks in SF that not even airport prices are all that scary.

The weekend was a huge success. On Saturday we made our way to the Cape Cod Museum and saw Uncle's exhibit. It was stunning. The walls were a deep red that really helped his egg temperas jump off the wall.

As we walked in, several people recognized my Uncle and he was caught up in several conversations that went entirely too long. I laughed to myself a bit as I heard a woman in the background saying, "Is that Garry Gilmartin? I think that's Garry Gilmartin." She was a docent at the museum and had been giving people tours of the exhibit for weeks. She gushed on and on about how people were asking about the paintings, where could they buy one, what was he thinking when he painted this. My uncle's answers were so simple she just looked flabbergasted. No hoity-toity quadruple-entendre? No meaning of life hidden in the brush strokes? But they are so brilliant. And it's true, they are brilliant paintings. But they are brilliant for the very trait she seemed unable to comprehend. They're stunningly simple. Not over complicated. Not pretentious. Just what they are. Really brilliant captures of life on Cape Cod.

Saying goodbye was tough. Uncle recently went through a pretty major surgery but he's doing well with the whole thing. Easter dinner was great as we had a huge ham with fixins.

Glad I went. Sad to leave. Glad to be home again.

Here's a picture of Yo:


My favorite teacher

On the playground, a kindergarten teacher once asked me why I was playing with the black kids. I remember my initial reaction so fiercely, it has helped shape who I am.

My reaction was bewilderment. Why wouldn't I play with the black kids? They were my neighbors. They were my friends when I went home, why wouldn't they be my friends at school?

So I replied: "Because they're my friends."

Even today, I cannot think of a more perfect answer.

Since that moment, I have grown to consider racism one of the most vile concerns of our society. Which is why when I heard Obama's speech today, I felt heartened. Heartened to hear someone who was willing to stand in front of racism and address it as a real problem. And address it not as a black problem, or a white problem or even a something else problem, but address it as our problem. As America's problem. As a problem we can face.


Higher quality:

Once again, he challenges us to be better. I hope we are strong enough to answer the call. And to my teacher, I say thank you. While I'll never remember your name, I'll never forget what you taught me.


ACC Tourney weekend

This weekend was quite fun. Took Friday morning off and had some fried Bologna sandwiches, oatmeal cream pies and tea while watching the game with my man Joel. It reminded me of the days when they used to roll TVs into the classrooms so we could watch the Friday games during English. To all my friends who are parents in NC, yes this is why your child is developing an unhealthy obsession for college basketball. And why NC is so addicted to college basketball.

It was good to see the Charlotte Coliseum stands packed. Especially after the debacle in Jacksonville last year where whole sections were empty. This is why the tournament should be in Greensboro. Every year. Yes it gives an advantage to the NC schools. But those same fans also stick around to watch other games. Why? Because this is the greatest NCAA college basketball tournament outside the NCAA national tournament.

So congrats to my boys. Glad they won. Two goals down. One to go.

The measure

To me, there are two measures of man:

1. What someone does in a crisis.

2. What someone does when there are no cameras around.

Here is a story relating to the second measure.

Union worker speaks with Barack Obama. In 2004.



As a journalism grad, a part of me wishes that I had lived in the early 1950's. Not for the rampant smoking or great job I'd get just for being a man, but to see Edward R. Murrow. To see him take on Joe McCarthy at great personal risk. To hear his biting commentaries and feel the visceral reaction. To see his fight against the fear society Hoover created with the FBI.

As it stands, I am thankful to have Keith Olbermann. I imagine that his special comments on MSNBC have the same effect now as Murrow had then. Olbermann seems to get a bit more impassioned but his comments are as well researched as they are powerful. He is the voice I wish our nation could have and hope we would if we paid more attention.

Well, tonight he put aside his usual punching bags. No George Bush, no Dick Cheney. Not a mention of Halliburton or the missteps of our State Department. For the first time ever, his subject was, with great reluctance, a Democrat.


The scorched hills of Pennsylvania

There's a long way until the primary in Pennsylvania. This is bad news.

If the Clinton campaign decides to continue its "kitchen sink" strategy, then PA residents are going to hear fear mongering and half-truths saying Obama can't be the next president for six weeks. They are going to hear Hillary say she's not sure if he's a Christian even though she attended the Senate's Tuesday Prayer Breakfasts with him. They are going to hear her say that he voted for Cheney's energy bill giving tax breaks to big oil even though she did the same thing. They are going to hear Clinton's surrogates say the only reason he's a nominee is because he's black. And then they are going to hear Clinton blame the Obama campaign for distracting from the issues when he cries foul. Yes, all of these things have happened in the past week or so.

Why does this matter?

Mathematically, it is nearly impossible for Clinton to win the nomination. PA is also a battle ground state in the general election. Which means when Obama returns to campaign against McCain, his credibility in a highly populated battleground state will be very low.

She could frame the debate about the issues. She could campaign on the differences in their platform. Admittedly, there are not many.

But if she chooses to continue her scorched earth campaign (which seems likely), and if Obama becomes the Dem's nominee (which seems likely), and if Obama loses PA, the blame can be placed at Hillary's feet.


Religion, Race, Sex & Politics

I would love to think that a presidential candidate's race, religion or sex would have nothing to do with their candidacy. Sadly, that's not where we are in our history. I've seen many interviews about voting for Barack because he's black, voting for Hillary because she's a woman, or voting for McCain because he's led by his Christian faith.

I find this wrong.

I will not vote for Barack because he's black. I will not vote for Hillary because he's a woman. I will not vote for McCain because of his Christian faith. This is as stupid as saying I'd vote for John Edwards because he's white.

And yet, all three continue to enter into our politics. Recently the conversation seems to be centered around who can play more of the victim.

For example: http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_8533832

In this article, Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to be a VP candidate makes some rather astounding, potentially even racist comments. And then backs them up saying sexism is worse than racism. No. It isn't. They are both abominations. Committing one to highlight the other is despicable.

Especially on a day when eight American soldiers die in a war we shouldn't be in, children are going hungry in the richest nation ever to exist, our government is buying bad housing loans just to be sure the economy continues it's false credit bubble and still the writ of habeas corpus can be suspended on a whim.

I plead with all three campaigns. End the BS. Our country needs you to rise above and discuss real issues.

EDIT: Unbelievably, this has become a campaign strategy: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23582781#23582781


Keeper of my money

In my time at my new agency, I've been lucky to meet some truly talented people. One of those people is Mrs. Sherry Hastings. An art director of fine caliber, she has moved on to making wallets. And they are brilliant.

I bought one from her early in the process so now I can say I knew her when.


So, open your old wallet, take everything out, use your credit card and wait eagerly for your new money holder. Your rep will thank you.

Offered without comment

A Clinton supporter turns in his badge

New ink

I finally did something I'd been threatening to do for 4 years. Got another tattoo.

This one is in honor of my dad. It's a strip cropped from a woodcut print he did. All black, a band around my arm.

It's something I'd been shopping around to various artists in NC but never quite found someone who I had confidence could do it. This was especially important after getting my first one done by someone I am now convinced was doing his first one. Not good.

At Black Heart Tattoo in the mission, I found a guy named Mike Lucena.

His portfolio can be found here: Black Heart

It's peeled and still looks good. So a great deal of thanks to Mike. If you're ever in need of ink and in Brooklyn, he's moving, Mike's your man.

Careful what you wish for

There is a great deal of hoopla surrounding the primaries in Florida and Michigan.

One thing to keep in mind: According to Randi Rhodes of Air America, there was not a single dissenting vote in the Florida Legislature against moving up the primary date. Not one Democrat voted against the measure even though the DNC had stated they would punish FL if they moved the primary up.


Because after the recent presidential election, Democrats were screaming for a paper trail to go along with the electronic voting machines. So they got it. As a part of the same bill that moved up the primary dates.

So to cry victim and say that the Republican Governor and Legislature did this to Democrats knowing their vote wouldn't count in the general election simply isn't true.

BUT, that brings us to the present. Notice the Republican Gov. of Florida is pushing hard to hold the new vote.

Again, why?

Could it be he knows that something to vote against, gay marriage for instance, turns out Republicans like no other? Could it be because he knows the name Clinton unifies the Republican base more than any other name out there? Could it be that he knows the Republican base is lukewarm on John McCain? Could it be that he realizes she likely cannot catch Mr. Obama without a new vote in Florida and Michigan, two states filled with her typical base?

It could be. It likely is. Careful what you wish for.

Now I firmly believe no one should be disenfranchised. I believe we should find a way through this so that a new vote is done with time for the candidates to campaign.

But, I think it is also true disenfranchisement to go out and say the pledged delegates don't have to vote for the candidate they are "pledged" to. Yes, Hillary herself said these words today. It is also disenfranchisement to seat the Michigan delegates when only one of the candidates left was on the ballot. Also a position the Clinton campaign has expressed.


Supporting Barack Obama

Here is one of the reasons I have contributed monetarily to the Obama campaign:

The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act.

In this instance, Obama crossed the aisle to work with Senator Lugar (R-IN) on a bill that funded and worked to strengthen the Nuclear non-proliferation agreements. Additionally, and equally importantly, it worked to secure weapon caches of shoulder mounted missiles. A weapon used a few years ago in Africa to target a commuter plane as it was taking off from an airport. These weapons have become more and more accessible on the black market according to the co-sponsors and could end up in the hands of insurgents in Iraq attacking our troops. Additionally, these weapons could be used in a terrorist attack against our infrastructure with devastating effects.

This is one of many bills that he has either sponsored or co-sponsored. A comprehensive list can be looked up on the Library of Congress website here: http://thomas.loc.gov/

Donate here.


I don't like pushing my political views on other people because I don't like having political views pushed on me. Thus, I find myself in a conundrum. I feel compelled to take action on behalf of Barack Obama. Most of my need to express my support has been brought about by George Bush's presidency. I am not unique in this motivation as evidenced by the record turn outs in recent primaries. It has never been clearer the effect a President can have on our country. But, I approach my advocacy with a conflicted heart. Part of me needing to do something. Part of me not wanting that something to disrespect the sacred decision of my friends' votes.

So I ask your forgiveness. From here until election day, I will be posting some of my thoughts about the race on this blog. I will only post what I find interesting or pushes me further in one direction or the other. Please ignore them if you'd rather not read them. I will continue posting about my adventures out West and hope you will continue to enjoy those.


9 Degrees

Just got back from a family ski trip to Colorado. And one night, it was all of 9 degrees outside. This of course made for absolutely fabulous snow conditions at the two absolutely huge resorts we were able to ski.

I think John said it best: "You could take a picture of this but it would do no justice. A picture just makes it too small. You have to be in it to appreciate it."

Speaking of large, we also rented a Ford Expedition to handle skis, boots, snowboard and my over 6 ft cousins. I drove it to the airport this morning and that's just too much car. I know some people have 17 children but I'd bet the majority of Expedition owners definitely do not. But of course, I'm biased.

As for the skiing, much fun was had. There was one tense moment where one of my cousins took out the pretty girl on the slopes. Thankfully all were ok.

I had a great time skiing through the trees and the wide trails on various occasions. My skiing improved greatly over the course of the three days. There were definitely moments where I was sucking wind thanks to the 9,000 foot elevation change from my now native SF. The soreness in my legs is testament that I was working hard. And the lack of clarity in this post is further evidence that it wore me out.

On to the next adventure.


Eating Goose

Yes, San Francisco has a pillow fighting club. Yes, they held their big event of the year yesterday. Yes, I went. Yes, it rocked. And it lasted four hours.

I received several invitations from friends and showed up at the plaza in front of the Ferry Building a little early. There were girls in pantsuits and heels. Others showed up with custom made pillow bashing devices. Two guys geared up with full-on UN Peace Keeper regalia.

And promptly at 6:00, pillows broke loose. I'm in these somewhere:


You may see goose down explosions in some of the videos. Many pillows blew out after too manly a swing. At some points, it looked like a blizzard. There was one moment where a gust of wind came through and created a feathered tornado that everyone paused to check out. "Wow, that's one of the most amazing thing's I've ever seen," was one guys summation. He was promptly hit in the face. At one point, one of these pillows exploded right in front of me. This lead to a mouth full of goose down and coughing the rest of the night. Next year, I'm not laughing at the guys with scarves over their nose and mouth.

Apparently by the end of the event, the goose down was up to some people's knees. And all of it was gone this morning.

One of my pics:


San Francisco Profile #5: 36c

I stumble across you on my way home. It's been a long day and I'm absorbed in the thumping beats of my iPod shuffle but the sight of you snaps me back to reality. There you are on the sidewalk. All by yourself.

A bra.

At some point, you were loved. For you are not just any supportive garment, you are frilly. You are pink. Maybe you are even Victoria's Secret. Yet after days and days of sitting on the cold concrete, you have become dingy. Lost that clear pink hue that once attracted someone to pull you off the rack and pay too much money for you. The only thing broken about you is your spirit. Your belief that you had a few more good wearings in you.

A sad sight to be sure.


It is the oddest thing. In this town, you will find random clothes on the sidewalk. I think I've mentioned the piles of clothes before. But this was the first time I have come across just one unmentionable. Just sitting there. Waiting to be talked about.


Juju runs the PCH

This past Saturday was gorgeous. It was the kind of gorgeous that makes you get outside regardless of anything else. The kind of gorgeous that invented sports. The kind of gorgeous that makes men actually want to cut their grass and fix the gutters.

Obviously I had to do something outside. In pondering my options, I also realized that Juju, my MINI, hadn’t been out of her cage in almost 2.5 months. Now she loves the garage. A sanctuary that keeps her paint from getting keyed randomly. (A tragedy a friend's brand spanking new VW recently suffered.) But it’s no place for a pure driving car like Juju to spend a day like this past Saturday.

So what better way to stretch her 17-inch, race tire covered rims than head to the Pacific Coast Highway? We decided to venture south.

Abso-freaking-lutely incredible.

Windows down. Sunroof open. Music blasting. There is no better way, or stretch of road, to drive. There are comparable slices of asphalt. The dragon's tail in NC for example. But few others provide an incredible view of giant waves crashing on huge rocks. Very few have reinforced guard rails to be sure you don't mess up and go spilling into the Pacific. And even fewer have turnouts who's views rival the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For example:


Just trying to keep up.

I can't keep up with this city. There's so much to do it's amazing.

Starting with New Year's Eve. My roommate was spinning at a club right alongside the best Breaks DJ in the world. Needless to say it was quite an evening.

From there, unfortunately, the start of the year saw some layoffs at our agency. I made it through but several friends did not. That was tough.

I also started teaching a class at the Miami Ad School - San Francisco branch. Finally a chance to corrupt young minds.

The third weekend of the month also marked my first trip to Tahoe. Which was truly one of the most breathtaking ski trips I've ever been on. I have never seen so much snow in my life. It had been pouring rain in SF for days. Downpour levels that mix with wind to turn umbrellas inside out and then dump water on their owners when they get turned right side out.

Increase the elevation 5,000 feet and that means snow. Lots and lots of snow. On the way to Tahoe snow was covering absolutely everything. There is a summit on the way to Tahoe and on the sides of the highway going up to the pass, the snow on the side of the road was easily up to 8 feet in some places. We passed by one Hwy 80 sign that I could only see the bare top of. I must admit, this is quite a different world than the snow levels I’m used to. I’m usually happy if I see ice on the rocks on the way up to the hills in NC.

The actual ski mountains, note the plural, are just as gorgeous. I've never had as much terrain to ski at any point in my life. Or such difficult terrain. Thank goodness I demoed an excellent pair of skis as they kept me upright in spite of many of my best efforts.

From there, we go to this past weekend's SuperBowl Party. I shall say nothing about the game except that I was quite disappointed. My sense of woe was thankfully assuaged by a project I finished with a friend just before the game. 28-layer dip. Yes, your 7-layer dip just hung its refried beans in shame. 28 distinct and tasty layers. Man it was towering. And delicious.

So now hopefully you few loyal readers understand why posts have been so few and far between. There has been much going on. Most of which continues to confirm my love for the city and my life out here. I also renew my promise to bring you more detail as things happen.