Monday, January 28, 2008

Austin Eating

Food is one of the ways we consume different cultures, whether those cultures be a few hundred or a few thousand miles away. When we eat cuisine from a cetain location we presume to know its people, its culture and way of life a little better. Eating BBQ in Austin, Texas, is a perfect example. Texans mean business when it comes to bbq and you don't want to mess with anything fancy.

The photos are from The Salt Lick, quite a well known BBQ joint, and rightly so. You pull into the expansive parking lot and the first thing you smell when you open the door is sweet smell of bbq smoke.

Three things you can tell about Texas and Texans from its bbq:
1. Texans like things big

2. Meat is king. Texans have guns and will use them.

3. Looks can be deceiving. Just like the spicy looking sauce might be sweet, Texas looks rough and tumble but its got a softer side.

4. They love Sam Houston and the Lone Star Symbol

5. Orange is their favorite color.

Okay, the last two have no relationship to bbq but it might as well.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


If you happen to see somebody who looks like me standing or riding a bike from Tony Hawk's new line of bicycles, say on a website or product's not me, just my body double. (shown photo is not me, obviously)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Globe'ing Good Time

There are few things as simple and fun as the Harlem Globetrotters. There is nothing negative about them (except maybe having no white players). Everything about them puts a smile on your face. I remember watching them on television growing up. Now that I am old I finally got the chance to see them in person from courtside seats. Not bad.

Age Old Question

Do you ever feel your age? On this day, as I turn 37, I don't feel 37. When I turned 30 I didn't feel three decades old or two decades old when I turned 20. I never felt I was whatever age I was at the time. Most certainly now. 37 conjures up images of somebody who is responsible, settled and secure. I guess it is because I do not fit the stereotypical image of a 37 year old male...gut sticking out, kids hanging on my legs, in mortgage hell and looking for a mistress. I am not saying I feel like a kid. Although I do feel a lot younger when I am around my mother. It is a strange feeling. I feel adolescent almost in the company of parents. I am happy turning 37. Even more happy that I still get carded every now and then.

Trader Traffic Jam

I like Trader Joe's. I can pick up quick meals and a good price. Its tomato soup is great. But the Trader Joe's in my neighborhood (10 blocks away) is way too popular. Lucky for me I can just walk there but a lot of goofballs will probably wait 15 minutes to buy their Two or Three Buck Chuck because there is not place to park. The lot is the size of TJ lasagne.

What is funny is TJs is supposed to be this eco-friendly store. It led the way years ago with fabric bags and here are its customers spewing exhaust to spend money.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


For nothing more than a little fun, I thought it would be interesting to extrapolate some of the numbers I played with last week to predict what prices would be in ten years IF the rate of inflation and appreciation remained the same as it’s been over the last decade. So, with some very basic math, I averaged out the increase for single family homes, lofts/condos/TICs and Multi Unit buildings in five neighborhoods and applied it to a new neighborhood, Glen Park 2017. Not only do I doubt that the rate of appreciation will remain the same, but I hope with all my might that it doesn’t because not a damn soul will be able to afford a tank of gas let alone a modest house in Glen Park.

Glen Park
2007 vs. 2017

Average cost of a single family house
2007 - $1,059,660
2017 - $3,274,349

Average cost of a cup of coffee

Average cost of a Condo/Loft/TIC

Average cost of a gallon of gas

Average cost of a multi unit building

Monday, January 14, 2008

Family Cabin

Growing up I spent many summer days at the family cabin up near Twain Harte. I have not been back in over 10 years and made a visit over the weekend. It sits on 120 acres of land and is perfect for those looking to escape every day life. You have to travel about 3 miles along a dirt road to get there. No running water. No electricity. That is isolated. It is too run down for use and the likelihood of it ever being in decent shape is slim.

It would be a tough rental since it is so isolated but after a compete renovation it would be great for family gatherings or use within the family.


Life zips by. Tether ball during recess fast becomes being tethered to obligations in need of a vacation. What better way to hit you over the head with the fact that life moves fast and the only thing you can do is hold on for a wild ride than a zip line. A blur of trees, shrubs and hiking trails flies past your feet as you travel 35 mph from above. A metaphor for life if there ever was one. Just yesterday I was running through irragation water in field with a small piece of plywood trying to country surf.

Celebrating our birthday's, mom and I headed up to Moaning Caverns in the Sierra up by Columbia to check out the caves and take a ride on its new zip line. 1500 feet of adrenaline.

You step off a 25-foot wooden tower and the high-pitched zipping sound of a metal trolley is all you hear. I am thrill junkie but mom is not, so for her to do this was pretty courageous.

After the zip we trekked down to explore the caves.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rising Prices

2008 marks my 10 year anniversary of moving to San Francisco (August).

Take a look at the average price for a place in Pacific Heights then and now compared to some common goods. If only a condo increased by the same percentage as a gallon of milk. Will it continue? Unlike in a majority of the U.S., I say yes.

Pacific Heights
Average cost of a single family house
1997 $1,706,000
2007 $5,022,000

Average cost of a USPS stamp

Average cost of a Condo/Loft/TIC

Average cost of a gallon of milk

Average cost of a multi unit building

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Windy Ways

The Bay Area was hit with a rather hard storm yesterday and it is supposed to continue for a few days. The wind was especially fierce. In some parts it was gusting up to 95mph. On my run this morning, between rain showers, it was more like an obsticle course having to jump over or avoid all of the branches and downed trees. Golden Gate Park was hit so hard many roads were closed.