A student was caught in Atlantic City trying to get a pair of scissors and two box cutters into a plane. It wasn’t accidental either, the scissors were inside a bar of soap and the box cutters inside a lotion bottle. Maybe he was trying to test security, maybe he’s Al Qaeda, or maybe he’s just a f***ing psycho. Whatever his trip was, the good news is that he is going directly to jail–do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200. What do you think were the odds of him being beaten to a pulp by passengers had he gotten on the plane and acted up?

Our team came in 2nd in the Dragon Boat Novice E Flight yesterday. However, I did not stay for the medal ceremonies. I was just too beat up after getting up at 6:00AM and racing four times. I left at 3:45PM and was asleep by 4:30PM. Our team looks forward to doing better in the Dragon Boat races next year.

Today is the Dragon Boat Race Day and I predict that our team, Velocity, the name of our team, will kick some serious ass. Check out the CDBA website for details and wish us luck.

Mama and I went to Napa today with Otto and Ilka where we played the Chardonnay Vineyards Golf Course. The course was amazing! Vineyards lined the fairways and the picturesque views were absolutely breathtaking. If you are ever in the area you should check it out.

Two film producers have been paying bums a few bucks to fight each other and do stupid stunts on tape (also see CNN story). Authorities estimate that they’ve sold over $8MM of these videos! What does that say about our society? Although this may be a great solution to San Francisco’s homeless problem, it’s pretty screwed. The producers are now being sought as part of a criminal investigation since you can’t pay someone to commit felony battery.

I will be attending my first classes this evening at USF. I will be holding a ceremony this afternoon in which I will place my Xbox in the closet for the duration of the semester. However, I vow that The Daily Nugget will not become The Weekly Nugget, or even The Monthly Nugget. I will attempt to blog at least once a day, wish me luck.

Here’s a follow-up story from yesterday’s blog entry.

This old man is the luckiest man alive. He was heading from the port of Long Beach to Santa Catalina Island, a 26-mile trip, when the mast of his boat broke. Adding insult to injury, the outboard motor and the two-way radio failed. He was lost at sea for over 3 months, he lost 40 pounds, but survived consuming rainwater, sea turtles and seagulls. Homeboy was roasting a gull when they found him.

I had taken this week off to visit Puerto Rico about six months ago. However, this was before Mama and I realized that we both would be starting school and would have classes this week. So, I kept the vacation days and will be spending some time downtown and at the wharf relaxing and taking pictures prior to starting my classes on Thursday evening–like a tourist.

San Francisco has a huge homeless problem. There are violent panhandlers abound and it wasn’t unusual to see people defecating and urinating in public fountains until the city turned them all off. About five months ago, Mayor Willie Brown sent a special envoy to New York to find out how they solved the homeless problem that plagued them for years. That’s the last we heard of the special envoy. I think that Mayor Giuliani paid the mob to make sure that the homeless in New York “swam with the fishes.” Perhaps that’s where the San Francisco envoy ended up. Irregardless, with the looming city elections, the ongoing homeless problem is becoming a huge political issue.

Ok, I’m up! Damn, this is extremely early for me since the only seven I know is “PM”, but here I am, bright and early. I will bike about 22 miles round trip from my house to Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands and back. Then I will go to Lake Merced for Dragon Boat Race practice and paddle like a madman for two to three hours. Wish me luck.

It seems that the country of France just beat out the State of California to become the world’s 5th largest economy. California has held the 5th place spot for years largely in part to the dot-com boom and now slips to 6th place.

I changed the entire site format to allow for a sidebar on the Daily Nugget pages. I essentially moved the site off center by 150 pixels to allow for this extra sidebar which includes additional links and information. In addition, I changed the background colors slightly and the blog entry comments now allow HTML tags due to Larry O’Brien’s comments yesterday.

Farscape was cancelled by the SciFi Channel due to declining ratings. I couldn’t believe this when I heard it. This show is crtically acclaimed, has amassed a huge cult following, and SciFi just increased its marketing for it a few months ago. It just doesn’t make sense! Leave it up to greedy network execs to screw up a good show. Does anyone else care about this, or am I a hopeless nerd?

Ex-CEO of Tyco can’t make bail because a judge froze $600MM of his assets. The guy needs to post $10MM to secure a $100MM bond to stay out of jail on Riker’s Island. The judge stated that he can’t use any of his frozen assets or even his ex-wife’s house as collateral to secure the bond because he may have obtained the money to buy that house illicitly while at Tyco. Time to pucker up.

Apparently, the only way to afford to live in the Bay Area is to squat on State or County land and live in a tree. I bet this guy used to work at Pets.com, Petopia, or something and is just down on his luck. I sure do miss the sock puppet. Damn, had I known about this, I would have built a treehouse years ago. I bet it’s too late now that officials are on to the scam.

It seems that wearing pajamas in public is pretty common in China. It’s only a matter of time before this starts happening on Irving Street in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset District (aka Chinatown II).

5 Stars

The Sopranos season opener did not disappoint. After fifteen long-awaited months, the show opened with the proper mix of deception, tension and violence. The main story lines centered around Tony urging the Family to earn more money to help pay Uncle Junior’s lawyer bills. “Don’t give me some f***ing bulls*** about the economy either!” Also, the first death of the season occurs when Tony tells Christopher that a newly retired cop killed his father. It’s shaping up to be another great season.

Today was my school orientation and the realization that my life (specifically my quality of life) will certainly change for the next two years. It’s going to be hella busy. I can already see the Xbox collecting dust. It’s sad.

I am definitely feeling like an old fart compared to the “kids” on campus. I shouldn’t have waited so long to go back to school. Oh, and what the hell do they feed kids nowadays? It seems that every 18 year-old on campus is 5′ 11″ or taller. So, not only do I feel like an old fart, I feel like a f***ing Keebler elf.

Amazingly, Christopher Reeve has regained feeling back in his body. Scientists are looking at his recovery more closely in search of answers. Hell, he may walk yet. Stay tuned.

I finally got my new Canon S9000 photo printer. I can finally print some of the more than 1000 digital shots that I’ve taken over the last 9 months. My first project is to make 8.5″ x 11″ prints of Meerenai’s publicity shots. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

This is just too weird–check it out.

Tattered Flag

The last year has felt like a beat down for many Americans. The attacks of 9/11 reminded everyone of the frailty of life, the risks of building up walls from the rest of the world and living with a false sense of security.

For us personally it wasn’t a great year either. In addition to 9/11 we dealt with a fire in our apartment building, the death of Nippy (one of our cats), and the theft of our mountain bikes. Truly, it felt like the last year was filled with tension and a lot of negative energy.

So, today, we reflect. As I reflect I have a sincere hope that this next year yields better things for our world, our country, and our daily lives. Remember to tell your loved ones that you love them, often, and live life to the fullest. Rock on.

Kodak just recalled 75,000 digital cameras because a short circuit within the camera can cause the user to receive a jolting electric shock. Is it any wonder why Canon, Nikon, and just about everybody else is beating Kodak in digital photography.

People link the recession with 9/11, but the truth is that the economy was heading South before the planes hit. A year later, everyone seems to agree that the events were unrelated even if the attacks made matters worse. Experts are saying that the corporate scandals at Enron and Worldcom will have a bigger impact on the economy than the attacks and I for one agree.

No, I’m not referring to the way I feel after yesterday’s bike ride and paddling on the dragon boat. Instead I am referring to the four car smackdown that I was involved in earlier today. Check this. A guy speeding down Van Ness in a Mustang plows into a Honda Civic, who hits a Van, who hits me at about 5-7MPH. The power of inertia at work, kids. All the other cars except mine were thrashed pretty badly. My bumper suffered no real visible damage, but it shifted position about a 1/2 inch. Lucked out. My ass does hurt though, from the bike ride not the accident.

Started the day with an 18 mile bike ride from San Bruno to San Mateo which left my butt a little sore and then in the afternoon I went to Lake Merced for dragon boat practice. My firm is a sponsor and participant in the 7th Annual Northern California Dragon Boat Championships. Check out the California Dragon Boat Association (CDBA) for more info.

One of the partners in my firm is transferring to the city of Dubai, in United Arab Emirates and we had a little get together to hear about his new position. One interesting fact is that in Dubai they don’t heat water to make hot water, they cool the water to get cold water. It’s 115F to 120F there during the day.

I spent all day playing Xbox games that my friend Bruce gave me. The best games in the batch are definitely Burnout and Project Gotham. I am not usually a fan of racing games, but both of these are top notch. I am waiting to receive an Xbox MAME Emulator so that I may play arcade games on the Xbox. Cool!

I finally got the chance to post the photos from the Chicago trip. Please let me know what you think of the pictures.

Mama and I returned to San Francisco after spending four days in Chicago. We were really impressed with the city, particularly the housing prices, since 2-Bedroom luxury condos downtown start around $200k. much cheaper than San Francisco. If we were willing to put up with a little snow it wouldn’t be a bad place to be. Anyway, I’ll post photos from the trip as soon as I get a chance, most likely tomorrow.