Friday, February 27, 2009

The Obameter

This website is handy, but unsatisfyingly named. Generally when you turn two words into one, you're aiming to make linguistic magic. Mike, for example, argues that Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" should be the "Shocktrine", and I agree.

Obameter is awkward to say, particularly when you are accustomed to the pleasing second "a" in "Obama". Obamameter is better, I'd argue.

But the main point is, this is a neat tool to see how Obama is following through on his campaign pledges. If there's something similar out there that you think is better, I'd love to see it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Never Ever Lick An Envelope!!!

I used to document all the emails I received that were intended for Gary Brennan, a headstone engraver in Ireland. I started responding to the bereaved to let them know I couldn't help with their loved ones' inscriptions, and they stopped writing to me. 

Now, though, some emoticon-happy chick (cutiekissa3) thinks I'm her brother. The newest one from her: a hysterical warning about the dangers of licking envelopes. Believe it or not, I am not a big proponent of licking things that are not food products, but I also think cutiekissa3 needs to chill a little. The odds of cockroach eggs getting inside a cut on my tongue, being nurtured by my warmth and saliva, and finally hatching in a gigantic explosion of tongue and cockroach babies seem pretty slim.

Says cutiekissa3:
That is so gross I am about to throw up.....*PUKES*

Other email addresses on her distribution list include summergirl10, malmonkey2, ILoveTwilight190, and talenthunter (good luck), so at least I'm in good company.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pick me Pick me

Maybe previous presidents did this and it didn't get press simply because previous presidents haven't been quite so dripping with awesome, but I am really digging the Obamas' decision to invite cool people to things. 

If that seems a little vague, let me give an example: the group sitting with Lady Obama during the president's speech to Congress tonight. They seem pretty kickass, on the whole.

What I am thinking is, the Obamas should take me to the next big speech, or rally, or t-ball game they attend. Then the New York Times can write up something like: "Sitting next to the Obamas were Heinrich Gutennacht, who is single-handedly reversing global warming; Ingrid Romanov, who teaches dance to quadriplegic children; Tina Turner, who is hot and old; and Genevieve Brennan, who is from New Jersey."

Is there an application I can fill out?

Love that dirty water

I'm going to be in Boston from Wednesday to Saturday next week, and I'm getting pumped up about visiting my favorite places. Everyone who ever made the questionable decision to visit me in Cambridge knows that I am SERIOUS about my Boston-area bars and restaurants.

For sure, I will be hitting up:
  • Charlie's in Harvard Square
  • And probably Grendel's Den as well
  • The Cantab in Central
  • And Hi Fi pizza
  • And maybe one hit wonders night at the Phoenix
  • Ooh, and The Field
  • And River Gods
  • What about Sissy K's in Faneuil? Ok, that's a bad idea
  • Also bad, but tempting: Scorpion Bowls at the Hong Kong
  • And ooh, fries and belgian beer at the Publick House in Brookline
Gah, it turns out I miss Boston! Who knew? And what am I missing?


Woohoo - a migas (and Trudy's) shoutout in Bitten! Not a Bittman post, but still. 

I have, oddly enough, also been to the other place called out in the article - Amaya's Taco Village, with a publisher. I didn't get the migas, though. As the writer says, they're hangover food.

Mmmm, Trudy's. Mmmm, hangovers. In Austin in three weeks!


Was going to do it for professional reasons, but of course that's now how it's working out.

Holler at me: GenBren.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Jersey croissants, representing

The country's best croissants are made The Little Chef Bakery in Princeton, says Serious Eats. I have walked by this bakery dozens of times, and never bothered going in. Why? For some reason I had the impression that it baked fancy dog treats. I don't remember why I thought that, but I thought it very snotty and Princetonian and so I shunned it. Shun, shun. 

And it turns out that was a mistake, and their croissants are very much people food.

Good looking out, Teppi.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lawrence Lessig is my new bicycle.

"Companies have figured out that the return on lobbying is higher than the return on innovating."

I just went to a Lessig talk, and while I am blue that he is no longer working on copyright issues, his new project sounds awesome.


This Saturday is, apparently, the 2nd annual NorCal Regional Grilled Cheese Invitational. Conveniently, Mike and I will be brunching at a friend's house right by Dolores Park, and so will be able to stop by to taste some victory.

It's business time.

Um, so there is a website, Bedpost, that lets you track your doing-it. The URL is - is that a verb? As in, tonight I bedposted? Does that refer to the doing-it, or to the documenting thereof?

"Ever wonder how often you get busy?" Well, no - it's not the sort of thing I just oops forget about.

Based on the screenshots on their homepage (I didn't sign up as a Beta tester), you enter the date of the doing-it, the duration of the doing-it, the partner in the doing-it, and some "descriptive tags". Descriptive tags!!! You also get a personalized calendar, color-coded based on some value - perhaps length of time? Satisfaction? Position? Location? Partner? (Bob is dark red, John is light red...?)

But there is something appealing about the quantification of scrumping.

Indoor Skydiving

I like going fast, be it on skis (I will fill you in on my Steamboat trip later), on a bike, or at the end of a parachute. I do not, however, like putting my life in danger on a regular basis.

I feel like a wind tunnel is a nice solution. Maybe this weekend?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last Tuesday

I love Fancy Lady Drink Night.
I had absinthe! And did not use a flash to document. Oops.

Damn it feels good to be a liberal

At the end of this video, Susan Sarandon gives a shoutout to a site Mike built for the Capitol Climate Action on March 2. I wish was going to be in the DC area then...

Friday, February 6, 2009


Normally I think is irritating, and contrarian for contrary's sake. But when I do check it out, I usually find a few articles that are seriously interesting. Like this one, for "The Big Bang Theory". Has anyone watched this show? Is it funny? Because, working where I do, Asperger's is a part of my daily life, and the 50% of the time I don't find its telltale tendencies infuriating, I find them amusing. 

Oh, and ask me about my formerly-favorite game, Hallway Chicken. 

Last Weekend: A Timeline

A new weekend is almost upon us, and I realized I hadn't yet reckoned for last weekend, which was full of daring and adventure. 

4 p.m. - Leslie and I pack up the California Raisin and make a break for Sonoma.
6:30 p.m. - Leslie and I realize that both Pomo Canyon and Willow Creek are closed for the season. Oops.
7  p.m. - We find a nice spot in Bodega Dunes; its proximity to a high school rave pleases us, as our group will not be the most obnoxious in the campground for once.
7:15 p.m. - We attempt to make a fire, and do an energetic and inspired Fire Dance.
7:17 p.m. - The fire goes out.
7:30 p.m. - Mike G. and Mike D. appear, and promptly begin attacking logs with a hatchet.
7:35 p.m. - A fire is successfully built. Mike D. shotguns three beers, waxes rhapsodic over Ruffles.
7:40 p.m. - Leslie attempts her first-ever beer shotgun. Fail.
8 p.m. - The Jameson's comes out, as does the hobo pie maker for quesadillas.
8:10 p.m. - Everyone is drunk and happy.
10:30 p.m. - Scrambly shows up. Everyone is drunker and happier.
1:30 a.m. - Mike G. almost tumbles into the fire.
1:31 a.m. - Mike G. denies that he was almost a flaming ball of hippie. Time for bed.
3:30 a.m. - Mike D. and Scrambly go to bed.
Sometime between 3:30 and 10 a.m.: Scrambly, in the fetal position next to the fire, rolls over onto Mike's lamp and melts his sleeping bag; against all odds, does not die.

10:30 a.m. - We emerge slowly from our tents to a gorgeous day. Leslie begins cleaning her bike. 
10:30:30 a.m. - Leslie begins cooing to her bike, Luciano the Italian Stallion.
10:31 a.m. - Everyone tries to ignore Leslie cooing to her bike.
Noonish - We get on the road; Mike D. takes off for a drive, Scrambly for the restaurant, the rest of us for a ride.
12:30 - 2: Ride along the Sonoma Coast. PERFECT.
2:30 - Stop at Wildflour Bakery for fresh bread and sticky buns. DELICIOUS. I don't have cash; they just tell me to mail them a check later. Whaaaa?
3:30 - Ride the hills around Valley Ford; I experience PTSD on a killer climb that was part of the Holstein Century.
4:30 - Say hi to Scrambly's goats, Pancho and Lefty; one of them tries to kill us. Leslie shares a moment with the other one.
5 - Dinner at Scrambly's: oysters, mac and cheese, grits, fried chicken...
8 - Home and "Deadwood". Ahhhh.

Ok, I'm running out of steam here, but you get the idea. Sunday we went to Redwood City for the Superbowl. Great game + tasty food = excellent Sunday. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Digital books, no e-reader required

Today we launched 1.5 million free books that you can read from your iPhone!
Pretty sweet, huh? They're only public domain books (hence the "free"), but all the classics are there. The OCR isn't perfect yet, but you can tap the screen to see the original page. Eventually we'll open this up to in-copyright books as well, though you'll have to pay for that. Still, it's a good start.

Ok, I am almost convinced

If Mr. Ellsworth is filling out the "25 Random Things" survey on Facebook, it can't be all bad.

I think, though, that I would prefer Mr. Ellsworth's list (#7: I braid my horse's tail by moonlight, #19: I like my lavender gloves and wish I could wear them everyday, #22: Swearengen scares the piss out of me) to that of this Jim Beaver dude.

For You Bacon-Eaters

Bacolicious slaps a piece of bacon across any website.



Ah ha ha Bill Gates tried to get TED-goers to feel like poor people. That is just so obnoxious, in so many ways. But way to spend billions on health initiatives, Bill - I can't fault you for that.

Also, it is too bad for the audience that I was not there, as every single mosquito would have beelined (mosquitolined?) straight for me. Because I am super sexy to them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ahhhh SF Beer Week Ahhhhh!

I am so excited.

Things I want to do:
  • Millennium 4 course dinner and beer tasting
  • Beer to Brakers bike ride
  • Alembic Dogfish Head pairing menu (I might love Sam Calagione a little bit)
  • Haight Ashbury afternoon beer walk
  • Park Chalet beer trivia night (I will ROCK that)
  • Rogue Cheese Tasting
  • Good God I don't even know what else