Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stuck in a Rut?

I may have made light of my Father's Day gifts, but actually Elliot and I quite enjoy the book I received, "Daddy Kisses."

So I set out to see if the same author had any other books.

Sure enough, she does: "Daddy Cuddles," "Mommy Hugs" and "Mommy Loves."

Hmm...I'm sure they're all delightful, but geez, talk about a limited range as an author.

This is worse than Stephen King.

UPDATE: Apparently this video is not in English. Oh well, I have been trying to reach more of an international audience.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's a Good Start

I was reading an article on the Yae Area's Tesla Motors when I came across the company's logo. It's pretty cool...very sleek and modern.

But I kind of feel like there's room for improvement.

Maybe like so:

Or, even better:

Maybe Tesla should have been the sponsor of the new Transformers movie, instead of GM.

But it is called "Revenge of the Fallen," so I guess it makes sense.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Man In The Mirror'

I don't know if this was inspired by Elliot's tribute or what, but "Man in the Mirror" is now the No. 1 most-downloaded song on iTunes.

Kind of odd. Is this how we're choosing to pay homage to the man — by buying one of his crappiest songs en masse?

If U2 is killed in a plane crash, will we all rush to our computers and download "Lemon"?

If Bob Dylan has a heart attack, will "Knocked Out Loaded" top the charts?

Fortunately, I already own "Human Touch," so I'm good if Bruce Springsteen kicks off.

Oh Dear

Remember when Northwest Airlines decided to rebrand the company as NWA? (Apparently they didn't run the idea past anyone under the age of 45.) Fortunately, the Delta acquisition took care of this problem.

But this is infinitely worse.

From the BBC:
Russia's energy giant Gazprom has signed a $2.5bn (£1.53bn) deal with Nigeria's state operated NNPC, to invest in a new joint venture.
The new firm, to be called Nigaz, is set to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Nigeria.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It Should Be 'Danger,' Not Heathcote

We clearly gave Elliot the wrong middle name.

He's not especially advanced in most ways, but he does have an uncanny ability: You can set him down anywhere, and he'll find the most dangerous thing in the room and crawl directly to it. It could be stairs, electrical outlets, fireplace tools — he'll seek it out.

We took him to the doctor yesterday and they ushered us into this giant play room. Every surface was soft and child-proof. I put him down for a moment, figuring there was no chance he would get into any mischief.

He immediately scrambled off. He passed all the fun toys in his path and found the door to the supply closet, which somebody had left ajar. By the time I caught up with him, he was pulling down a large metal stand onto his head. What the heck? (The good news is, the doctor said he has "rock-solid motor skills.")

I'm trying to figure out if there's some commercial application for this skill. Maybe he could work in a uranium mine? In this economy, we all have to contribute.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Elliot Pays Tribute (Sort Of)

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror.
I'm asking him to change his ways.

And no message could have been any clearer.

If you wanna make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and then make a change."

(Or try to make out with yourself, whichever.)

The Hood Versus The Burbs

Some people don't think it's appropriate to raise a child in a seedy urban area. They may have a point, but I will say this: People in the ghetto give babies lots of attention.

When I wheel Elliot through the neighborhood or carry him in the Baby Bjorn, strangers shout out to him — FROM ACROSS THE STREET. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen in the suburbs.

This morning I had him in the stroller, and a homeless guy approximately a block away yelled, "Yo, is that your baby? NICE BABY!"

A few minutes later, Elliot was showered with attention by a couple of women (prostitutes?). They turned to me and said, "You did good, daddy."

My point is: If I trotted out Elliot in some neighborhood in Marin or the Peninsula (or even Noe Valley), people would be too blasé to freak out when they saw him coming. Babies are no big deal there.

The hood also teaches you not to judge a book by its cover. I was walking with Elliot down Sixth Street recently when we passed two thugged-out gentlemen. Elliot and I both yawned at the same time, which apparently created a cute image. One of the men looked up from his negotiations with the other (which I can only assume involved bargaining over Russian-made assault rifles) and said, "Awww...that's a Kodak moment."

See, it's all good in the hood.

Missed Opportunity

Most of you have probably seen this story: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford disappeared for a long weekend. Today it turned out he was in Argentina, having an extra-marital affair.

I won't pass judgment on Sanford, but I will say that this whole scandal could have been easily avoided.

Hello, the man works in Columbia, South Carolina. He SHOULD have had an affair with a woman in Bogota.

That way, if anyone called to see where he he was, he could have honestly said, "What? I'm in Colombia."

Problem solved!

Next question, please.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Shouldn't Have Complained

At least I didn't get a Father's Day "electric chair."

In the Name of the Father

Remember when I was concerned about what kind of gifts I'd get for Father's Day?

Well, when the big day finally rolled around, I received a blue onesie (which is WAY too small for me) and a book called "Daddy's Kisses."

Where the heck is my Globe Liquor Dispenser??

I did get a giant pickle as part of my Father's Day lunch. (Please, let's not dwell on any unintended symbolism of receiving this for Father's Day — I just really like pickles.)

But on the whole, this appears to be a case of Elliot once again stealing the show.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BuboBlog Reviews 'The Hangover'

We finally saw "The Hangover" today, and it was very funny. But parents should beware: It contains several instances of baby abuse.

The infant in the film is:
(a) abandoned in a closet
(b) struck with a car door
(c) put in a moving vehicle without a car seat
(c) left unattended in the car (in the hot Nevada sun!)
(d) snarfed on

And that doesn't even mention the scene involving feigned baby masturbation.

Is this grounds for a boycott? Well, we already paid to see the movie, so I can't really participate. But maybe I can withhold a half-star and only give it ***1/2 asterisks (out of 4). Ooh, burn! There goes the movie's word-of-mouth.

Anyway, at least the baby turns out alright in the end. And there is a nice breast-feeding scene, so La Leche League should be psyched about that.

On the whole, we quite enjoyed the film. Zach Galifianakis was great as the idiot-savant brother-in-law who carries Skittles in his satchel (that last part hit a little close to home, actually). There also were some great small roles, including the guy who runs the wedding chapel, the easily bribed doctor, and the Daily Show's Rob Riggle as a cop. I also was glad to see another appearance by the Dan Band, which does a hilarious cover of "Candy Shop" (you'll recall they were also in "Old School").

I wasn't as crazy about the turns by Mike Tyson (who didn't add all that much) or Ken Jeong's Chinese gangster (who was a bit too over-the-top).

Also, what's with the trend of male nudity in comedies lately? Eek. (Thankfully, the baby was fully clothed.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free Ink

While walking through the neighborhood recently, I came across this flier offering free tattoos.

Is this a common thing? I didn't realize the tattoo industry had adopted the free-sample business model. They realize that tattoos last forever, right?

Actually, this might be a trap.

Will they give a you a tattoo of "Mo" and then you make you pay for the last "M"?

Or you'll have to pay if you don't want your Smurf tattoo to have a subtle Hitler mustache?

Or maybe they'll just give you whatever that terrifying drawing in the flier is (Medusa with jumper cables?) and you'll have to pay to have it removed.

Shabby Or Chic?

I have this T-shirt that I bought for $5 in Lake Tahoe. At first I was embarrassed to wear it outside the house, since it seemed a bit cheesy/touristy.

Well, no longer! The lettering is beginning to deteriorate, giving it an ultra-hip Abercrombie & Fitch look. (Abercrombie & Fitch is still ultra-hip, right? Please say yes.)

I'd say it's worth at least 70 bucks now.

Sadly, Kelly has a different viewpoint and wants to throw away the shirt. She's also concerned about the letters coming off in Elliot's mouth and choking him.

Maybe I'll just have to go back to wearing this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fessing Up

There was a bit of a brouhaha in the Chicago area recently when a woman did a blog about having a terminally ill baby. It turned out there was no baby — she made it all up.

The hoax was discovered after she posted pictures of herself with a doll, pretending it was her kid. (Damn you, Internet sleuths. There's no putting anything over on you!)

This is bound to increase scrutiny on all baby blogs, so it's probably time for me to come clean myself.

There is no "Elliot." I made him up to get more attention and YouTube visitors.

His pictures are actually just doctored Photoshopped images of this doll.

As you can see, I'm really good at Photoshop.

Also, we actually live in Cedar Rapids.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

'Motor Functions Enabled'

In his latest video, Elliot bears a frightening resemblance to the Terminator.

Exquisite Taste

We went to a realtor's open house today (we're not thinking of moving or anything — just looking).

Anyway, the place basically had no furniture or decoration, except for one thing: a Space Jam clock.

If this is what passes for staging in the post-boom housing market, all I have to say is: awesome.

Getting It Right

Remember when I complained about shows and movies that name 40-ish characters Connor?

Well, we started watching "Dexter" and I was wondering if this was a similar case of unrealistic naming. Michael C. Hall, who plays the titular character, is 38.

Well, it turns out the name "Dexter" peaked in popularity in the 1960s and '70s — as you can see from this Baby Name Wizard chart.

So a person that age is actually the most likely to have that name.

In other words, this is a case of very realistic naming. Kudos to the writers of "Dexter" — you guys nailed it.

UPDATE: Probably should have given credit to novelist Jeff Lindsay, who invented the Dexter character.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

London's Guardian newspaper did a piece about how the Golden Gate Bridge keeps getting destroyed in movies.

They posit that the bridge is a more viewer-friendly landmark to wreck, since people are still a bit edgy about destroying New York buildings.

From the story:
In the closing moments of Terminator Salvation, resistance leader John Connor (Christian Bale) is hunkered down in the remains of San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge. It's been wrecked by a nuclear attack: the suspension cables have snapped, half of the north tower is gone and the bridge has turned from its familiar shade of International Orange to Fallout Grey. Welcome to dystopia, Hollywood style.

Nuclear terrorism is only the latest fictional indignity to hit the bridge. In the last decade directors have gone to town on the landmark. It's been variously melted (in 2003's The Core), bitten in two (in this year's Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus) and picked up and dumped further up San Francisco Bay by a disgruntled super villain (in X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006).

I'd never heard of this shark movie, but I found a clip on YouTube. It looks quite awesome.

But how could the Guardian forget the bridge's collapse in the made-for-TV movie "10.5" (2004)? Apparently, they don't read BuboBlog, since I've mentioned it multiple times. (You'll recall that there was also a sequel. I didn't see that, but it seems unlikely they destroyed the bridge a second time.)

It's probably worth noting that the bridge is at least threatened by the Romulans in the new "Star Trek" film, since they drop their planet-destroying drill into the Bay. The Romulans also flew menacingly close to the bridge in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

And this classic scene took place on the bridge.

In addition, the bridge figures into "Monsters Vs. Aliens," where it's the scene of havoc — though not destruction.

Then there's the bridge scene in the 1985 James Bond film "View to a Kill." Again, I don't recall it being directly threatened. Didn't it involve a plot by Christopher Walken to destroy Silicon Valley? Tip to Hollywood: Only have villains try to destroy things with recognizable landmarks. I don't think anyone's going to be upset if the Campbell Pruneyard or the Great America Drop Tower are obliterated.

Going back even further, Superman saves a school bus from plunging off the bridge in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie (1978), Herbie the Love Bug rides up one of the cables in "Herbie Rides Again" (1974), and Kim Novak dives into the Bay near the bridge in "Vertigo" (1958).

Clearly the bridge inspires risky behavior. I guess that's true in real life too.

UPDATE: Click here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rebellious Youth

Remember when I said Cheerios was my favorite food growing up?

Well, someone has a differing opinion.

Pretty harsh reaction from a guy who likes to lick the floor.

I later found the regurgitated Cheerio in the folds of Elliot's onesie.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Keep On (Food) Truckin'

The Wall Street Journal did a story on the gourmet food-truck trend, and they mentioned our local Chez Spencer truck:
In San Francisco, a skewer of escargot in puffed pastry costs $2 at the Spencer on the Go truck, operated by chef Laurent Katgely, who also owns Chez Spencer, an upscale French restaurant.

It also looks like Slanted Door's owner might jump into the market:
One fan of Mr. Odermatt’s truck is chef Charles Phan, of San Francisco’s Slated Door fame, who likes the truck’s “really yummy” porchetta sandwich of roasted pork loin rolled into pork belly and sliced onto a French roll. He says the truck’s open design reminds him of street food in his home country, Vietnam. Mr. Phan says he is also in the early phases of planning his own lunch truck business, which would also allow consumers to observe the food.

Speaking of Charles Phan, he recently opened a swanky Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. We got to try it the other night, and it's quite good. Unfortunately, it's been criticized for its seedy location (haters) and its odd name — "Heaven's Dog." Apparently people don't like to think of dogs when they eat Asian food.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Shock and Awwww

Is Elliot the cutest baby in San Francisco? Maybe not anymore.

This six-month-old gorilla named Hasani at the San Francisco Zoo is giving him a serious run for his money.

'Missing Baby Found in Sandwich'

At first I thought this headline might be a twist on the ol' baby-mistaken-for-burrito story.

But apparently they mean the town Sandwich — in Massachusetts. Well, that's just confusing!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Going Overboard

Remember when Elliot was first born, and we took him on a subway while he was still in his stroller?

A Muni operator quickly chastised us for breaking "federal law" by not taking him out of the stroller inside the train. (It turns out that this was maybe not federal law, but Muni policy.)

Anyway, a mom in New Orleans confronted a similar situation — and maybe took things a bit too far.

From the Chronicle:
A 17-year-old mother was so angered that a city bus driver ordered her to fold up a stroller carrying her toddler, she poured a bottle of milk over the driver's head and then stabbed her, authorities said.

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority rules require strollers to be collapsed so they do not block aisles. After the woman refused several requests, veteran bus driver Hanella Johnson said she would not move the bus until the stroller was folded, Officer Garry Flot of the New Orleans Police Department said Thursday.

"The woman then got up and spilled milk from a baby bottle on the victim," Flot said. "Then she took the baby and stroller off the bus."

Johnson, 41, followed Derrion Scott off the bus Tuesday, and a scuffle took place near the bus door, Flot said. Johnson was treated for a 4-inch-deep stab wound and got out of the hospital Wednesday.

It doesn't say if it was breast milk she poured on the driver. If so, gross.

Also, the stabbing part was excessive.

Dear Amazon...

What kind of dad would enjoy this Globe Liquor Dispenser?

Because I'm that kind of dad. Please adjust your recommendations accordingly.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Fashion Accessory of the Season

I'm usually a little self-conscious when I wear the Baby Bjorn.

So I'm glad to see that it's getting some serious product placement in the new movie "The Hangover."

This ought to do wonders for my street cred!

Where's 'Inept Dad'?

I was visiting Amazon.com today when I made a startling discovery.

I stumbled across a gift guide designed to suit "all kinds of dads" — and yet, none of the categories apply to me.

I would have a pretty hard time passing myself off as Outdoorsy Dad, Active Dad or Do-It-Yourself Dad. (Outdoor power tools? I didn't even know they made those.)

I might have lobbied for Hungry Dad, but then it recommends BBQ, which I don't really like.

And sadly, I don't even hold the remote control in the family — since Kelly's better at fastforwarding through commercials on TiVo (possibly due to her nimble carnie hands). Anyway, Remote-Holding Dad is out. She's also in charge of the computers and gadgets in our home, so no Techie Dad.

Where does that leave me?

Oh Amazon, why must you cruelly mock my existence on this planet!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

More Behind-the-Scenes 'Fissure'

Here's another installment of the "Fissure" behind-the-scenes featurettes from the Fissure TV site. I'm not in this, but the lead actor, James MacDonald, talks about the script and what drew him to the role.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Socking It Away

This is odd. There's a restaurant-bar on our block called Julie's Supper Club. It was quite popular in the 1990s but fell into decline, finally closing about four years ago.

It then reopened under new management — an event I blogged about back in 2006. (Fun fact: The same building was used in 1974 to hide Patty Hearst when the SLA had her in captivity.)

Anyway, the new restaurant never really promoted itself and always seemed pretty empty (except occasionally, when it would have these raucous events with lots of drunk revelers). I never understood why it was so poorly managed.

Well, the reason is now a little more clear: Apparently they didn't have a liquor license — despite having a full bar in plain sight.

The police shut it down last month, resulting in some pretty awesome high-jinks by the owner and bartender.

According to the Examiner:
At 1 a.m. May 10, officers were doing nightclub permit checks in the 1100 block of Folsom Street when they observed Julie’s Supper Club open for business. One officer knew from previous contact that the business had been operating and selling liquor without a license. The officers saw a fully stocked bar with a bartender pouring drinks for money. The bartender directed them to the owner when asked about a liquor license. The bartender then fled from the club.

The owner grabbed cash off the bar area and fled to the bathroom. One officer followed her and saw her stuff cash into her shoe. About $500 from the owner’s sock and about $900 more was seized, along with DJ equipment and turntables.

Did she have the DJ equipment in her sock? If so, that's pretty impressive.