The Supreme Court Justices were all into the sordid details of Anna Nicole Smith’s case. It is a tale of sex, deception, and greed that has many legal twists and turns to boot. They are not expected to rule on the case until June, but they had a lively discussion in court discussing the details of the case. “‘I just want some money from this guy.’ That’s all she’s saying,” Justice David Souter said. “Just give me the money I would have had.” That’s exactly what Anna Nicole has been saying for the last ten years!

I personally think she deserves some serious compensation for having to touch that guy’s wrinkly old penis. I really don’t understand why his son is engaging in posthumous cock-blocking anyway. There’s certainly more than enough money in the bank for all parties to be satisfied. This is a simple case of quid pro quo, money for sex. Whether it was handjobs, blowjobs, or full missionary is something that was between Anna and the old fart. But a deal’s a deal and she should get paid for granting an old man his dying wish.

The Amazing Race 9 will premiere tonight at 9:00PM on CBS. Don’t miss it!

Re-enactment of Ninja Entering Home--Scary Shit Indeed

A man shot and killed an armed man wearing a ninja outfit that attacked his wife earlier this morning. The ninja apparently lay in waiting for the woman to exit her home and pounced. The woman fought back and ran in the house where her husband shot the assailant. The attack happened in Healdsburg, CA, a town in the North Sonoma wine country about 90 miles North of San Francisco. I guess ninjas really do flip out and kill people, even in Healdsburg. The moral of this story: ninjas can’t dodge bullets, no matter how cool their costumes are.

A man in a gorilla mask robbed a Baskin Robbins in San Bruno. Adding insult to injury, he fled in a silver Saturn. Silver Saturn, the vehicle of choice for gorillas and ice cream store robbers. How sad.

Many women skiers really honored the games, unlike Bode Miller, the biggest Olympic loser on Earth. The official breakdown of his performance: Downhill: 5th, Combined: DQ, Super-G: Did Not Finish, G. Slalom: 6th, Slalom: Did Not Finish. Well, at least the U.S. Men’s Curling Team won a bronze medal.

I was at Northstar-at-Tahoe yesterday taking part of the annual firm ski trip. I enjoyed the trip, but was dismayed at how many people were on the slopes–it was a madhouse. As such, I only got about five runs in the day before I gave up on the long lines. So at around 1:30PM I retired to the Lodge at Big Springs to sit in the sun and enjoy some tasty beverages until 4:30PM, which is when we needed to board the bus back home.

While I was drinking one of my gourmet Bloody Marys, I noticed this girl cupping this guy’s ass. This wasn’t particularly interesting, but what happened next caught my attention. She proceeded to rub the ass, much like you rub a Buddha, with soft gentle strokes. After about a minute of rubbing the guy’s ass with her hand she proceeded to put her hand into his front pocket. At this point, I asked my co-worker, Lauren, what she thought the girl was doing and she replied, “She’s probably grabbing the Chapstick.”

Unsure if this was a euphemism for what I thought was happening, I continued to look on. She looked and looked and looked for that Chapstick for about two minutes, but alas she came up empty handed. Or did she? The guy did seem strangely relaxed. More surprisingly was that the guy was talking to two other people as if nothing was going on. It seemed that this was a common occurrence with these two. It was a Public Dick Grab (PDB). Ah yes, the infamous PDB.

It was so surreal that I was going to walk up to her to ask her if she was searching for something, or worse yet, if she found it. But I decided not to. Instead we decided to give the girl the fictitious name of Nickhole Kockendorfer and make fun of her for about an hour and a half. Actually, we were still talking about it on the bus on the way home. All in all, it was an entertaining day. Nickhole, wherever you are, thanks for the memories. We will most certainly be posting a Missed Connection on Craigslist for you.

When the Sony Metreon opened in 1999, it promised to be the first urban entertainment destination complex of its kind. However, it turned out to be a movie theater, a mediocre arcade, a food court, and a small mall. The Microsoft store and the Discovery store fled when they realized that people that came to watch movies hardly bought anything. And several restaurants that have opened on the second floor, next to the arcade, have come and gone. The latest victim, LJ’s Martini Bar & Grill, has already announced that it will close but is being asked to stay for reduced rent.

Sony has announced the sale of the Metreon to the Westfield Group, the same company that owns the San Francisco Shopping Centre and the new Bloomingdale’s development that will extend the mall from Market Street to Mission Street, just a half block away from the Metreon. Maybe Westfield will finally allow Lowes Theatres to expand into the fourth floor, adding another nine screens to the existing fifteen. After all, the theatres and the food court are the only things that make any real money at the Metreon.

It’s sad to think that Sony’s experiment to build a mini-Disneyland failed, but it is still a beautiful building in an urban setting nonetheless. The city coaxed Sony to spend money upgrading Yerba Buena Gardens just outside the Metreon, and it’s my favorite park in the city–it’s walking distance from home. I enjoy the theatres and the food court as much as everyone else and hope that Westfield can add more screens and more food establishments to satisfy the South of Market residents who still consider it an entertainment destination.

Newsom and Milos

Rumors are abound that San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom was spotted in North Beach this weekend cavorting with none other than actress Sophia Milos. Sophia Milos appeared in earlier seasons of the Sopranos as Mafia boss Annalisa Zucca and most recently on CSI: Miami. Kimberly Newsom is a beautiful woman and admittedly the mayor is a good looking guy, but Sophia is so crazy hot that she may be too much for him to handle. Nonetheless, I wish him the best of luck in this pursuit.

A 15-pound baby was born to a 38-year-old Colombian woman in Madrid, Spain. Here’s another article with a picture, the baby looks like a 3-month-old toddler!

The Gold Spike, a North Beach restaurant known for its unique atmosphere, mediocre family-style food, and dollar bills hanging from its ceiling and walls, closed on Monday night after 86 years in operation. The owner of the restaurant and the owner of the building couldn’t come to an agreement on improvements that the building needed and that was that. A cool place that will be missed.

On Friday, Merrill Lynch predicted the launch of the PlayStation 3 console could be delayed by 6 to 12 months from its current spring 2006 window. This could result in a Fall launch in Japan and an early 2007 launch in the U.S. Merrill also predicted the manufacturing cost of the console could be much higher than previous estimates of around $500 per unit. Try more like $800 per unit after accounting for a $100 loss per unit. Based on these news, Sony saw its stock price sink 3.6 percent today, dropping to 5,300 yen ($45) per share.

Did you hear that? It’s as if millions of voices (of Sony fanboys) suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Yeah, it looks like the Xbox 360 will have an 18-month head start on Sony, not just a 5-month lead as previously thought. I knew that there was no way Sony could sell its console in the $400 price range with all of the features that they’ve been touting. Read ’em and weep fanboys–no new playstation until next year. Oh, I’m afraid the Xbox 360 will be quite operational when your games arrive.

The city council in the city of Highland, CA in San Bernardino County called San Franciscans a bunch of “kooks and nuts” and castigated San Francisco supervisors for their “tomfoolery,” as they unanimously approved a resolution “prohibiting the expenditure of city funds for attending conferences, training seminars and/or workshops to be held in the City of San Francisco.” What started all this? A decision by San Francisco voters to pass an advisory measure banning military recruiters from schools in the last November election.

Are they serious, or are they trying to bring attention to their tiny little town of 50,000 that sports an old diner as their city center. Hey, it’s no Union Square maybe they need the publicity. Are they really that excited to have military recruiters at their schools, or are they just jealous of our fabulous city by the bay? Either way, the people that are going to miss out the most are the city employees of Highland, who won’t be able to enjoy San Francisco because of the actions of an ignorant few.

A doctor in Hawaii was sued for using a sawed off screwdriver shaft instead of titanium rods in an elderly patient’s spine surgery in 2001. The doctor, who had a history of drug problems, was given a license to practice medicine in the State of Hawaii after having his medical license suspended or revoked in Oklahoma and Texas. He was already on probation in Hawaii for his drug use. My theory is that he was addicted to meth, also known as “ice” in Hawaii. He was paid a cash deposit for the surgery which he quickly squandered on ice instead of buying titanium rods for the surgery. He didn’t improvise to use the screwdriver, as stated in the trial. He must have planned to use the screwdriver all along. Loser!

Flying Luxury Hotel, the Aeroscraft

Popular Science ran an article that shows what could be the future of air travel. This is not a blimp. Unlike a blimp, which is filled with enough gas to become lighter than air, this aircraft will be filled with enough helium to lift two-thirds of its weight. Rearward propellers, in conjunction with small wings, will produce enough forward speed and lift to keep the aircraft flying. With a range of several thousand miles and a top speed of 174 mph, the aircraft will be able to fly cross-country in 8 hours at a height of 8,000 feet.

Like a cruise ship, it would have amenities such as luxury staterooms, restaurants, even a casino. This all sounds great except for the fact that unlike airplanes, this aircraft would fly below the weather, and be subject to rainstorms, tornadoes, lightning, and whatever else the clouds want to throw at it. Snow? Hail? I wouldn’t want to be on this thing while it’s being buffeted by strong winds. We’ll see if this ever materializes.

Here are the lyrics to a song that should be recorded to the tune of Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got a Gun. It would be awesome if Aerosmith recorded the song to parody Good ol’ Dick, but I doubt that would ever happen.

Cheney’s Got a Gun

Dum, dum, dum, Cheney what have you done
Dum, dum, dum, it’s the sound of my gun
Dum, dum, dum, Cheney what have you done
Dum, dum, dum, it’s the sound, it’s the sound…
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah….

Cheney’s Got A Gun
Cheney’s Got A Gun
His whole world’s come undone
From shootin’ quail on the run
What did poor Harry do
What did he put you through

They say when Cheney lost investments
He swore to give Harry pain
That lawyer had it comin’
Now that Cheney’s Got A Gun
He ain’t never gonna be the same

Read more

A flash mob event fueled by Internet postings and word of mouth turned into one thousand people beating the crap out of each other with pillows at Justin Herman Plaza for thirty minutes. Only in San Francisco.

I took a set of pictures today at Yerba Buena Gardens that I converted into an HDR image using Photomatix. It really has to be seen to be appreciated. Incredible vibrant colors and detail–check it out.

It was a handheld shot, so some parts of the image are a little blurry. You can really notice it on the floor in the lower right quadrant of the picture. Still, for a handheld Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) shot, I managed to get amazing detail after combining the three exposures. All in all, I am really happy with HDR and the Tone Mapping feature of the Photomatix software. Either way, next time I am definitely taking a tripod.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) refers to the combining of multiple digital camera Low Dynamic Range (LDR) images into one HDR image that makes much more detailed images possible. As far as I can tell this is digital photography’s Holy Grail. A post-exposure processing program that does this is Adobe Photoshop Creative Studio 2.0, but a better program is Photomatix. Go to the Photomatix website to see exactly how the program works, and go to Flickr and search for the “photomatix” tag to see some amazing examples of the program at work. Here’s a night shot of my living room that I took to test it out. I can’t wait to take some pictures throughout San Francisco to make into HDR images.

This is so revolutionary that I would guess that in five years HDR processing will take place within the digital camera. I predict that HDR will be a native feature for most consumer and prosumer SLRs. Until that day comes though, we’ll have to settle for post-exposure processing.

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a fellow hunter while hunting for quail in Texas. Cheney shot Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin, in the face, neck, and chest from about 30 yards away with a 28-guage shotgun even though Whittington was wearing a bright orange hunter’s vest. Well, with friends like that, who needs their enemies to hire assassins? Strangely, the incident was not reported publicly by the vice president’s office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the incident was reported locally by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Nice. What a dick!

The opening ceremony festivities were held today held in Turin, Italy. The world now anxiously awaits tomorrow’s exciting curling competition.

Japantown Center and Pagoda from Geary Street

A huge chunk of Japantown’s buildings are up for sale, including the Kintetsu and Miyako Malls, the Radisson Miyako Hotel, and the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatre. Many are worried that the sale of these buildings could mean the end of almost 100 years of Japanese culture in San Francisco. Japantown’s centennial is to be celebrated this year. San Francisco’s Japantown is only one of three large established Japanese neighborhoods in the United States. The other two are Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and Japantown, San Jose.

The San Francisco Japanese community is working with the owners of the buildings, Kintetsu Enterprises of America and AMC Entertainment, to ensure that the character of the community remains intact after the sales. The malls are comprised of small mom-and-pop Japanese stores, many of which have been there over 20 years. It would be sad if the tenants were forced out by a new owner or developer, never to return again. The impact is magnified by the size of Japantown, once over 30 square blocks before WWII, it is now only 4 square blocks–half of which are up for sale. Japantown lost its Takoyaki stand last year, let’s hope it doesn’t lose its character forever.

Damn, and I thought that SF Muni bus drivers were bad. A bus driver in Philadelphia, grabbed a woman by the hair, slammed her into a pole, and threw her out of his bus into traffic because she yelled at him for missing her stop. The driver attempted to explain that he had to miss her stop because of a detour, got frustrated, and yelled, “Get the fuck off my bus!” Needless to say, he’s so fired. And sadly, there is no video of the event.

The Maverick’s surf competition at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay kicked off this morning with the biggest waves being as high as 40 feet a half mile off-shore. Tens of thousands of spectators, inherent danger, and $30,000 in first place prize money is what this competition is all about. Also, there’s great coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle this year. I wish I had the time to go out there and see the competition in person.

Tens of thousands of Muslims around the world are protesting in the most American of ways, by rioting and destroying property. All over a cartoon that was originally published in a Danish newspaper months ago. The cartoon has since been reprinted in Norway, a few European papers, and in New Zealand, prompting protests by Muslims against those nations as well. Surprisingly, not one American publication has shown the cartoon depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse. It’s nice for the Muslims to be mad at someone else for a change.

Islam forbids depictions of Mohammed and many Muslims are furious. But should they be this angry? I mean, they are burning cars and embassies, throwing rocks at authorities, and putting themselves in danger over a satirical cartoon!? A cartoon isn’t a literal depiction of Mohammed, or is it? It probably isn’t worth the brouhaha that is developing. If you ask me, a few fanatics were just waiting for any fucking excuse to riot. Get over it, it’s not that serious.

Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews have been performing a circumcision rite for thousands of years that most people would find offensive. Rabbis have performed a simple procedure to cleanse the circumcision wound: they suck blood from the cut and spit it out like they are treating a snake bite! Once you get over the shock of an old, bearded man sucking on a baby’s penis, you realize that that the procedure, called “metzitzah b’peh,” also has serious health risks associated with it. Last year, in New York City, a baby died of an infection stemming from the procedure caused by herpes simplex type 1, a common virus in saliva that causes cold sores. This virus is harmless to adults, but can be fatal to infants.

I can understand the need to keep traditions, but let’s be reasonable. The procedure was meant to fight infection in a world where dust, bacteria, and viruses were a lot more prevalent. Today, if the Rabbi’s mouth is the dirtiest thing in the room, let’s keep it away from the baby’s penis for goodness’s sake. Besides, with modern day religious scandals, the Hasidic Jews don’t need this kind of heat. They don’t want to go out like the Catholic priests do they? Let’s forget the whole “metzitzah b’peh” thing an move on shall we.