Dore Alley – not the wrap-up

I totally have not posted on Dore Alley this past weekend yet.  Too much going on.  I did clip a fun pic taken of / by Steve Cruz who was doing some of the ‘calling’ at the Twisted Twister booth, which I’m sure you all watched!  He’s going to do it again at the Folsom Street Fair, btw.

It was a typical ‘winter in July’ afternoon South of Market, so the people baring the flesh were going the extra mile.  I retreated to the warmth of a house party on the Alley.  You know, one of those very-out-of-place lofts built right on the Alley.


Random Wednesday

Today I’m just going to take on some random thoughts and topics.

The disabled Muni guy.  The comments are all over the place over at SFist which reported on the incident downtown last week.  Check it out and decide for yourself – if you’ve ever had trouble getting on Muni downtown in rush hour you understand the problem.  I’ve resorted to getting on the Inbound subway to the Embarcadero, and getting back on the outbound from that station.  Works well except for the ‘T’, which starts from the Ballpark.

Part of the drama of the Muni incident was the reports that the wheelchair guy has been seen pushing his wheelchair places, fully able to walk.  So is he a disabled privilege abuser?  Which leads me to so-called service animals.  I’ve noticed that some people have figured out a loophole to allow themselves the privilege of bringing their pets into restaurants, grocery stores, aircraft cabins and, believe it or not, the movies.  Understandably allowed for seeing-eye dogs for the blind.  Or a monkey guiding a wheelchair for a quadriplegic or whatever.   But should people whose main disability is missing their dog for a few minutes be allowed to get a status of service animal?  I know a couple people, far from disabled, who got their doctors to certify their pet as a service animal.  Not a trained dog mind you, the pet they already had. I think its a yucky abuse.

I guess it was my car ‘breakdown’ that put me in a negative critical frame of mind today.  I have an old (1998 ) ML320.  I hardly drive the thing, I don’t have a garage space.  It sits outside getting sunstroke, bird pooped, and coated with that special San Francisco grime.  That uber-slime that materializes overnight on the car’s pockmarked skin, from the blowing dirt mixed with damp fog. Every once in a while someone steals the MB badge.  I’ve been told they make popular ‘bling’ on necklaces.

But Hugo (it’s black – I have a habit of naming cars after the color) is generally rock solid, and accelerates like a champ when I do get out on the freeway.  Yesterday honey and I went down to San Jose for the Carrie Fisher ‘Wishful Drinking’ performance.  (More later, I loved Carrie!)  On the way back we stopped at honey’s office in San Mateo where I had parked my car to join honey in the ride down to San Jose in his car (the nice family car) so I could get my car and drive back home.

But my car wouldn’t get out of first gear.  Now,  the car can haul, so I could tell it was revving a bit more than normal but it was still doing Okay til I actually went to get on the freeway.  Then, after revving to 7K rpm and not breaking 40 I had to pull over and get AAA out there.  Which to their credit they did get there quite quickly.  Mercedes own roadside service, meanwhile, still had me on hold waiting to speak to someone when the AAA arrived.

Of course as luck would have it, by stopping and restarting the car something magically changed, and the car shifted smoothly.  I was just going to have the car towed but the tow truck driver said it sounded like a computer glitch, and the car might work if I tried it again.  Which it did.  Like rebooting Windows ’98.

Of course I took it into the garage today to get everything checked.  They told me that with the 98 (the first ML model year) there had been issues with the cars going into ‘limp home’ mode when they shouldn’t – a computer glitch.  And ‘limp home’ means the car stays in first gear.

Anyway,  I have to get it all straightened out because we’re taking my father and sister to Yosemite in a couple weeks – a place my 87 year old father has always wanted to see.  I just hope the fires get controlled so the air quality is okay.

That does it for this rant I think.  Next up – Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking’.

Dore Alley – getting ready

Our friend R- is in town for Dore Alley weekend and staying with us.  I’ve just gotten back from a workout at Gold’s Brannon, where the expected Saturday morning rush was strangely non-existent (due to the also strangley wonderful weather I expect).  Just me and a few out-of-towners including the Falcon contingent, pumping up for their parts in the festivities I guess.

I have a little work to do this afternoon, then may join the honey, R- and our friend D- down at Dolores Park while its still sunny and warm.  I’m always perversly on edge when the weather in summer is this nice.  Kind of like how Angelenos get during the Santa Anas.  I know its not going to last – and the changeover to the usual blowing cold fog feels even worse than usual after a few days of sun and 70s.

Later tonight we’ll all be over at the Bay of Pigs dance.  Yippee!

July’s ups and downs

July has been am up-and-down month for me.  Well, the reverse I guess.  Started off continuing my freelance work dry-spell from later June, and then got worse when I managed to lose my (brand new) Blackberry on a BART train coming back from a concert in Berkeley.  On top of the expense I was just irritated at myself for managing to lose a brand new phone.  But I got busy and was able to replace it with a slightly used phone of the same model on eBay (where I was able to make use of a neat bidding tool called JBidWatcher – see the Online Tech Tips how-to here) for a lot less than retail price.  Soon as that happened I received a new assignment from a prior client who had been ‘off the radar’ for a few months.  And not a small assignment but a set of five pieces to write up from audio files, which will keep me busy for at least two and a half weeks.

That itself put me in a better frame of mind of course.  But wait, there’s more.  As soon as I received my replacement phone and got it set up again, I received an email from BART informing me that my phone was found and waiting for pick up at their 12th Street station in Oakland.  I had imagined that my phone was sold week ago at the Berryessa Flea Market or somewhere, but I guess it’s been sitting in a BART bin waiting for someone to match it against lost and found claims.

So I head over this afternoon to pick up my lost/found Blackberry (which does have an expansion memory card and some concert footage I would like back), and I will either keep the replacement as a spare (just in case you know!) or put it back up on the auction block.

But wait, there’s even more!  R and I went out shopping for new suits to wear for our wedding in August.  No one wears suits to work anymore, and the ones we have are – let’s just say – out of date.  R managed to pick up a great suit the first evening of looking.  I went out again the following morning, thinking I might have to spend hours wandering around Union Square and Westfield.  But within fifteen minutes I lucked into a sharp Paul Smith number that had just arrived at Barney’s.  Just my style, fit perfectly, and I got a 10% discount for opening a Barney’s account (which of course I will never use again – I can like afford Barney’s for weddings and funerals only).

Udupi Palace – South Indian Vegetarian in the Mission

Across 21st Street from Dosa, a competitor in South Indian cuisine has opened.  Udupi Palace, an offshoot of the restaurant in Sunnyvale which is a favorite of the Indian ex-pat community in Silicon Valley, offers a range of typical Tamil and other South Indian delicacies – and no meat (or tofu, for that mattter).  A wide range of Dosas, as well as Uttapam are on offer.  Appetizers include samosas and idlis.  Prices are very good – about as good as they get in San Francisco.

Runway ramp-up

Last week’s season premiere of Project Runway on BravoTV garnered nearly 3 million viewers.  WWD reports today that this opening is a record (so far) for the show, which in its first season had just 354,000 viewers and about 950,000 for the second season before more than doubling for season 3 and 4.

I can’t wait for tonight’s episode.  Will things get ugly quickly?  Characters abound this season – although it also seemed like a lot of talent as well, with most contestants already having their own clothing businesses.

Oh and I feel so fashionable today – I just got fitted for my Paul Smith suit for the wedding.  Yippee!