Monday, October 31, 2011

Take the J Bus

When I had first moved out to California in the 70s, two guys who became my best friends at the time were two other Chevron kids who had moved from Kentucky the same time we had.

They had a couple Bill Cosby LPs, and I got my first real introduction to that comedian beyond the Saturday morning cartoon.  And one of the bits that he did was on Street Football.

It’s all about the planning stages that kids go through for playing football in the street.  There are so many lines from that one that can stand alone.  One of my favorites is:

“Okay now, Shorty, you’ll be the Coke bottle top.”

“I don’t wanna be the bottle cap, coach.”

“Okay, what do you wanna be?”

“I wanna be the piece of glass.”

But then this morning as I’m coming out of Emeryville, and getting on the freeway, I’m behind an AC Transit bus.  I look at the designation and I see it’s the J bus.

“Cosby, you go down to 3rd street.  Catch the J bus.  Have them open the doors at 19th… I’ll fake it to you.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Origen Opens Tomorrow

Last week, Jennifer received an email for being a friend of Nibblers.  Nibblers was a restaurant in Pleasant Hill that did small plates and was run by a wonderful man named Daniel.

he is an amazingly knowledgeable man, and we had several great times there, not the least of which was a birthday dinner for Jennifer.

The email she received was an invitation to a preview of Daniel's new restaurant Origen on Telegraph in Berkeley.  We decided on an evening, and made our reservations.  We planned for the day, and set aside money for what we expected to be a possibly expensive evening.

Tonight we went an experienced the “Farm to Fork” plan of Origen.  we didn’t order, they just brought out food asking about cocktails or wine that we might like with the meal.  We had a squash and gorgonzola pizza.  We had a potato and chard soup garnished with bacon.  We had a salmon wrapped in Artic chard with cloved figs.  We had a chuck burger with gruyere and homemade red pepper ketchup.  And we finished with a chocolate pavê infused with plums and orange zest.

When we were done, we asked for the check, and our waiter explained that there was no cost for the meal.  This was a celebration of the new restaurant for the friends of Nibblers.  So we left a very nice tip, thanked our waiter and our host, and came home.

This is a place we plan to patronize.  And we hope that those of you who are local will as well.  Go and enjoy.

Decision Decided

So I had been leaning toward the blue rocket with red fins for coloring my tattoo, and then I saw this picture for an upcoming cover to Action Comics, and my decision was confirmed.


Sunday, October 23, 2011


We got one of those wine aerators the other day at Costco.  I opened it up, and set it out, when I noticed that it came with directions.  I find the need for directions for an item like that similar to the need for directions to use a toothpick.

Insert screen.

Pour wine.

Drink wine.

Mmmm… wine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shake Me

I missed the first earthquake today.  I was working in Santa Rosa today, and came home to some things shifted on shelves.

Then this evening we had an aftershock.

Jennifer was upstairs taking a shower, and it really freaked her out.  It started with a pretty loud band, and then a lot of rattling and shaking.

I was sitting on the couch, and what did I do as a geologist?

I sat there and grinned and rode it out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chess! The Trainwreck!

Last night, Jennifer and I went to see the Willows Theatre’s production of the musical “Chess”.  It was the worst production of anything we have ever seen at the Willows, or just about anywhere else.

I discovered the music of “Chess” in the ‘80s with the song “One Night in Bangkok” on MTV.  It has remained one of my favorite songs.  Jennifer came to “Chess” from the song “Anthem” which had been covered by Linda Eder.  Both of us eventually acquired the album, and thought about seeing the musical.

A few years after we were married, we were in San Jose, and happened to be walking around downtown, and we came across a theatre there who were putting on the show.  Unfortunately the tickets were out of our range at the time, and we both had to leave disappointed.

Then last year, when the Willows Theatre announced their return season, we saw they were doing “Chess”, and we knew we had to see it.  We’d been looking forward to this for almost a year, but last night destroyed our concept of the show and our trust in the Willows.

The acting was stiff.  The choreography was horrible.  The sound was mushy, and not all of the singers could project well enough to carry their voice to the back of the theatre (and it’s not a big theatre).  The secondary male lead was horrible; he couldn’t sing in the range the songs were written, and we kept thinking his voice would crack.  And he sang “One Night in Bangkok” and muffed it.  Badly.  There was live music this time at the Willows with a bari sax, a cello, a violin, and electric keyboard, and drums and guitar.  But the violinist couldn’t hit the right notes.  There was even one song where the musicians were supposed to play in a minor key (we think), and they couldn’t even play that convincingly enough.  If you’re going to be dissonant, you’ve got to do it big and with confidence.

The only redeeming part of the show was the female lead.  She had a great voice, and carried things.

I have no idea what show this reviewer and this reviewer went to see, but it certainly wasn’t the one we attended.  We feel we wasted 3 hours of our lives, not to mention the money we spent on the tickets, and gas getting there.  We’ll certainly not be going back to the Willows Theatre anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tungsten Hydrogen Oxygen

As you know, one of my favorite comedy skits ever is Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First'?” and the various variations thereof.
So, I’ve recently been more serious about reading the webcomic “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal” and I came across a recent strip they did.

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