Monday, April 25, 2005

Starbucks Vs. Pot Clubs *Update*

Apparently there are now 43 known marijuana clubs in San Francisco. That's six more than when I last addressed this topic in March, and it means pot clubs are closing the gap with Starbucks. I rechecked the Starbucks site this morning, and there are still 71 of the coffee shops in SF. So that's 71 vs. 43.

This race has officially gotten interesting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Separated At Birth?



Squatters!


Well, it looks like we won't be moving into our new place anytime soon. Kelly had a nice conversation with our tenants yesterday, which I believe ended with the phrase, "You'll have to kill us first."

So now I'm trying to remember that episode of the Simpsons where the grifters take over their house. Didn't Homer get them to come out somehow? If only I could remember how!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

We Did It


Today is the closing date for our condo, so we are now homeowners! It's also the date we officially become landlords, since our tenants may not be moving out for a while.

I already told our male tenant that he can only live with two women if he proves that he's gay. And Kelly has begun wearing colorful muumuus.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What A Steal

Today's Wall Street Journal has an item on "urban neighborhoods with upside potential." They highlight three homes for sale in supposedly gritty areas of Chicago, Boston and San Francisco — the idea being that you'll find an undiscovered gem in a gentrifying neighborhood.

OK, but the place they pick in San Francisco is a four-bedroom Victorian on Webster that costs $1.1 million! It's technically in Hayes Valley, which is a gentrifying neighborhood, but it's on the edge of the area and just two blocks from Alamo Square's postcard row (hardly the hood!). Is this really the best example they can come up with?

As a post script, I checked the selling realtor's Web site, and the asking price must have gone up (perhaps because of the story) — it's now $1.25 million.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Huh...OK

Is it just me or does spam get increasingly random with each passing day. Here's one I got today. First it tries to sell me valium, viagara and other erectile-disfunction aids. Then it provides a free dating tip. Then it closes with an offputting militaristic message.
Darlin! :) Nick, Visit our Great Pharmacy Shop and SAVE 80%
VIAGRA VALIUM AMBIEN CIALIS, many others

Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.

Have a good day.
P.S. If you're not ready to die for it, put the word "freedom" out of your vocabulary.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here We Go Again

There's a restaurant space near our apartment that's become the Bermuda Triangle of restaurant locations. Everything that opens there seems to close almost immediately.

At one point it was a Max's Diamond Grill, then it became Vixi's (which I thought had a lot of potential, but it quickly vanished). The spot is across from SBC Park, so you would think it would do OK — at least during baseball season -- but no one can make it work. (Momo's, which is next door, seems to do very well all year round... but we heard recently from a local barkeep that they fired their veteran bar staff and that the service there may soon suffer.)

Anyway, the latest plan is to open Kingfish there. Apparently this is a popular seafood restaurant in San Mateo with "New Orleans flair." Sounds kinda cheesy -- the walls are decorated with folk art — but I wish them luck.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Joke-E-Oke

So there's this new variation on karaoke called "joke-e-oke." Instead of singing a song, you do a standup comic routine -- reading the jokes off a teleprompter. For instance, you might deliver bits by Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock. And you can either choose to deliver the jokes in their trademark style or go your own way.

I read about this phenomenon in a story on Wired News (forwarded to me by my brother Max) and figured I should check it out.

Friday night Kelly and I went to the RX Gallery, a lounge near Union Square that's the proving grounds of this new technology/art form. I figured the place would be crowded, since joke-e-oke must be taking the world by storm. But apparently the storm is of the calm, slow-moving variety, and there were only a handful of people there (more did arrive later, though). We sat near the front, and Kelly was soon recruited to do a joke-e-oke set.

Here's how it worked: You would go on stage, and they would tell you what comic you would be doing -- there was no choice in the matter. Kelly, for instance, got Woody Allen. And to make matters worse, the audience would be encouraged to heckle you. Every now and then, messages would flash across a big screen, such as "You suck!," and the audience would shout them at you.

Under the circumstance, I thought Kelly did pretty well. She managed to deliver the lines in Woody Allen's frustrated, exasperated style (though I suspect it because only because she was frustrated and exasperated). I went up later in the evening and did knock-knock jokes with another guy (who stepped on my lines).

Probably the most potentially embarrassing thing was the fact that an NPR reporter interviewed us afterwards for a story on joke-e-oke. I pray she doesn't use any of our interview because I seem to recall Kelly professing her admiration for Jeff Foxworthy and me saying something about how this wasn't as fun as singing El DeBarge "Rhythm of the Night."

Friday, April 01, 2005

Comic Timing

Did anyone else notice the April Fool's Day gag in today's comic section? There are three comics (maybe more) with the same joke: Pearls Before Swine, Foxtrot and Get Fuzzy.

There are slight variations, but all three strips basically have one character using a ouija board as a ruse to harm another character. In the case of "Foxtrot," the plot seems most forced. Since although Jason has an antagonist relationship with his sister Paige, it doesn't usually manifest itself in violence.

Taxi!

Google has this cool new feature that lets you track the exact locations of taxicabs. The service connects to GPS responders within each cab and uses that information to overlay locations on a map.

Unfortunately, the service isn't yet available for San Francisco. San Jose is the only city in California that's currently active [What the hell? Has anyone ever taken a cab in San Jose? -ed.].