I am putting a bunch of stuff up for sale on Ebay today and tomorrow. Among the items for sale are a guitar, climbing shoes, a climbing harness, two cameras, four lenses, and other photography accessories. Check ’em out and happy bidding!

I just completed the upgrade to Movable Type 3.33 and tagged *all* of the entries on the blog. I said I wouldn’t do it, but I am glad that I did now. It’s interesting to see the types of things I’ve blogged about over the last four years.

Cheerleaders Eliminated

In this episode, teams needed to make their way by bus and train to Mongolia. Once there, they dealt with crappy trucks, semi-wild horses, crazy yaks, and flaming arrows. After it was all said and done, the Triathletes were first, Druggies were second, Lesbian was third, Bitches were fourth, Miss America was fifth, the Yellers (Rob & Kimberly) were sixth, Cole Miners were seventh, Asian Brothers were eighth, and Alabama was ninth.

The Cheerleaders could not overcome driving the wrong way, not once, but twice on the same leg. They literally lacked direction and that forced them to arrive at the Roadblock well behind the other teams. Adding insult to injury, they were unable to even finish the Roadblock due to sheer exhaustion. They were eliminated from the race.

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There are rumors abound that Michael Jackson wants to buy a castle in Ireland and is interested in starting a leprechaun-inspired theme park. Yes it was only a matter of time, leprechauns.

In 2003, when Michael Moore was promoting his book Dude Where’s My Country, he setup a mock petition to urge Oprah to run for president that he published on his website. While the petition never took flight, apparently a fan of Oprah’s named Patrick Crowe, has been urging her to run for president for years, has setup a website dedicated to that cause, and was planning to publish a book titled Oprah for President: Run Oprah Run.

That is, until Oprah’s lawyers found out about it. Crowe has received a cease and desist notice from Oprah’s lawyers urging him to stop plans for his book and take down his website citing that these could cause “damage and irreparable injury” to Oprah’s reputation. Damn, I guess Oprah really doesn’t want to be president. However, she may find it hard to prove that her reputation could be injured if a public document, in this case a book and a website, urges her to run in a court of law. Besides, I don’t see her threatening Michael Moore.

Rapper Jay-Z announced that he will be ending his retirement from recording and releasing a new album titled Kingdom Come later this year. Jay-Z is now the President & CEO of Def Jam records and doesn’t really need to record anything with a net worth estimated at $320MM. He guest starred in several rap songs during his “retirement,” fueling speculation that another album would someday drop. According to Star Magazine, Beyonce is pissed that Jay-Z is recording again and feels that he should be paying more attention to his personal life, especially with their upcoming wedding slated for this November in the Caribbean.

At a place called drinkstuff.com, because apparently you have to be drinking to order something from there, they are selling a Party Finger Forks set that allows you to wear forks on your fingers like Edward Scissorhands. The site says, “Sharp enough to pierce your food but not enough to skewer your other fingers!” Great. Via BoingBoing.

Muslims and Team Karma Eliminated

In this premiere episode of the race, teams made their way from Seattle, Washington to Beijing, China. The first stumbling block was of course, reading the first clue correctly. The teams had to go to Thrifty Airport Parking, but a bunch of them went to Thrifty Rental Car Return. Rookie mistakes. Ultimately, the planes did not land too far apart from each other due to a delay with the first flight.

After the race’s first Roadblock, teams made their way to the Forbidden City and picked departure times off a board. The Muslims came in as the “Last Team” and had to meet Phil on a mat, while all the other teams didn’t. Phil told them, “You are the last team to arrive at this point in the race. Even though this is not a Pit Stop, I am sorry to tell you that you’ve both been eliminated from the race.” I guess maybe praying four times a day was a bad idea. I thought it was unusual that there were twelve teams instead of eleven teams this time around. Well, the mystery of the twelfth team has been solved. The Muslims were eliminated and it was only half way through the episode!

The next morning, the Triathletes noticed that Sarah’s leg was leaking hydraulic fluid, which is bad news because apparently this is something that Peter can’t fix in the field. I was shocked that McGyver couldn’t just mix some chocolate milk with spit to refill the fluid. Whatever. Teams headed to the race’s first Detour. Surprisingly, almost all of the teams chose to do the more physical of the two challenges, including the Triathletes, even though the leg was leaking. After the Detour, teams needed to make their way to the Pit Stop at the foot of the Great Wall. The big twist for this race was a physical challenge, teams needed to climb the side of the wall to get access to the Pit Stop.

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The Daily Nugget now has tagging functionality and is displaying tags for entries that I’ve tagged since the release of Movable Type 3.3 on July 13th. There’s just no way I am going back to tag all of the entries on the website through June 2002. In any case, the “popular tags” cloud can be found on the left sidebar as well as a link to an index of all tags on the blog. This should make it a lot easier to find things. Enjoy and let me know what you all think.

Marc Anthony & J-Lo at El Cantante Premier

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez were on hand for the premiere of El Cantante at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this week.

The film was produced by Lopez and stars Anthony in the leading role as Hector Lavoe, the legendary salsa singer, and Lopez as his hot-headed wife Puchi. While the film did not win the top prize at the festival, Picturehouse, an independent distributor co-owned by HBO and New Line Cinema, paid just under $6 million for North American distribution rights to the drug-fuelled story of the late salsa pioneer.

The film is a biopic of Hector Lavoe, a Puerto Rican salsa singer who became crazy famous in the late 1960s and in the 1970s. However, despite his incredible success, Hector sought alcohol and drugs as a refuge from his own fame and pain. He survived the death of his brother in a car crash, the murder of his mother-in-law, the death of his father, and the accidental death of his son with his wife Puchi at his side. The weight of these tragedies, in addition to the alcohol and drug abuse, lead him to jump off the ninth floor of a hotel room in an apparent attempted suicide. Those closest to him later claimed that he saw a vision of his son outside the window asking him to come outside. Although he survived the fall he would never be the same from that day forward. He died four years later from complications related to AIDS, which he probably contracted through his extensive intravenous drug use. Also, even though he was wildly successful, due to his excesses he died penniless.

The tragic story of a man that made amazing music. I just can’t wait to see this film.

Dog the Bounty Hunter is free on bail and will wear a dog tag (electronic monitoring device) until his extradition trial. The Dog reportedly said, “It’s ironic that the bounty hunter would go around with a bracelet while arresting people. But so be it.” The criminals are on the run again.

50th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival

The 50th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival will be held April 26 through May 10, 2007. The festival is the oldest in the western hemisphere and its half century mark is a historic event. The SF Film Society is currently calling for film entries to show in this landmark event and the SF film community is abuzz with anticipation.

In related news, the Kabuki Theatre, which has been the main venue for the film festival in recent years, was unceremoniously sold by AMC to the new Sundance Cinemas in August. This brings speculation that Robert Redford and high profile supporters of the Sundance Film Festival will show up in San Francisco. It would be interesting to find out what Graham Leggat, Executive Director of the SF Film Society, thinks of the Kabuki Theater’s change in ownership. On one hand, Sundance’s loose involvement can be seen as a positive development that will increase the profile of the festival. On the other, it can be seen as Sundance attempting to hijack the San Francisco festival by controlling its main venue, but I doubt it. It’s a good thing.

For tickets, venue information and a complete festival schedule once finalized please visit www.sffs.org. Be sure to mark your calendars, April 26th through May 10th, and see you all there!

Canon Powershot G7

I love my trusty Canon Powershot G2 and still take some amazing pictures with it. But I am totally lusting over the newly announced Canon Powershot G7. I may have to sell some equipment to get one of these next month when they hit the stores.

Duane “Dog” Chapman, of Dog the Bounty Hunter fame, was arrested along with his son Leland and Tim (“Youngblood”) by U.S. Marshalls today. They are facing extradition to Mexico to face charges of bounty hunting, which is illegal in Mexico and is considered kidnapping. In 2003, Dog and his two sons traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to capture Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster, who was wanted in the U.S. on rape charges and is now serving a 124-year term.

The Dog and his family were jailed in Mexico shortly after their capture of Luster. They posted bail and never returned to Puerto Vallarta for their court hearing on July 15, 2003. Yes, ironically, the Dog and his family jumped bail in Mexico and returned to the United States. The three are to face a hearing later today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren. Good luck, Dog!

Whitney Houston has filed for a legal separation from Bobby Brown, ending a 14-year marriage that was thought by many to be doomed from the start. In the Being Bobby Brown reality series, Bobby was depicted an even-keeled guy desperately trying to be a good father while dealing with what appeared to be an “always high” Whitney. In March, Bobby Brown’s sister sold a picture to the National Enquirer of Whitney’s crack house style bathroom, fueling speculation that Whitney no longer thought that crack was whack. Crack is back! Surely Whitney couldn’t get over the bathroom photo betrayal and that sealed the end of the marriage. One down, one to go. Now she has to kick the crack habit. Good luck.

The Chronicle has rated the best taquerias in the Bay Area and I was appalled to see my favorite one, simply called La Taqueria, in ninth place–sixth place in the city. Maybe I should rank the San Francisco taquerias myself! In any case, I am sure that all of the taquerias in the top 20 listing are crazy delicious. Enjoy.

The SF Bay Area Puppeteers Guild is real, and by that I mean really scary.

Five years after 9/11 and now the media is running special features asking if we are safer. The honest answer is probably not. We’re a lot more inconvenienced (no hair gel on planes), but not any safer from terrorism now than we were on that fateful day. In fact, the opposite is probably true. According to polls, 25% of Americans believe that we were safer before 9/11, and I’ll have to agree with that. Our treatment of muslim prisoners in Abu Ghraib and other prisons has incensed muslims all over the world and now things have gone from bad to worse.

Still, don’t believe the fear mongering and stress about your death at the hands of muslim extremists. Annual mortality rates for “death by terrorism” are still pretty low. According to a recent Wired blog posting, here are some annual mortality rates extrapolated from Highway Safety and National Vital Statistics reports:

Driving off the road: 254,419
Falling: 146,542
Accidental poisoning: 140,327
Dying from work (or at work): 59,730
Walking down the street: 52,000
Accidentally drowning: 38,302
Killed by the flu: 19,415
Dying from a hernia: 16,742
Accidental firing of a gun: 8,536
Electrocution: 5,171
Being shot by law enforcement: 3,949
Terrorism: 3,147
Carbon monoxide in products: 1,554

According to this list, you stand a better chance of being shot by a cop than by a terrorist. Hey, they are there to “protect and serve” after all. Just try and be the one getting protected and not the the one getting served. Amazingly, this list doesn’t include Centers for Disease Control data that lists all the people that die from heart disease and cancer. Those things are also worse than terrorism. Well, the Bush administration’s foreign policy is pretty bad for us too, but I digress.

My advice, vote for a new Democratic President in 2008, stop stressing about terrorism, and start jogging. You’ll live longer.

Exactly forty years ago today, Star Trek launched into TV and cultural history.

We’re selling my mom’s car, a 1999 Mercury Cougar V6 Coupe.

Now that I’ve upgraded to a Hughes HR10-250 High-Definition DirecTV TiVo DVR receiver, I am selling my trusty Sony SAT-T60 DirecTV TiVo DVR receiver on eBay.

William Shatner has refused a free space trip on the inaugural flight of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in 2008. Coincidentally, the ship will be named the VSS Enterprise, as a tribute to “Star Trek.” Shatner was quoted by The Sun as saying, “I’m interested in man’s march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me.” Kirk is apparently turning into a pussy in his old age. Of course, he’ll look like a genius if the inaugural flight does turn into a pyrotechnic display.

Tiger Woods won his fifth straight tournament this weekend. Keep in mind that many pro golfers go months or even years between victories. This latest win brings his win percentage this year to a staggering 50 percent. That’s amazing!

Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter,” died today when a stingray’s barb went into his chest and stabbed him in the heart while he was filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44. Crikey.

Posted photos from my mom’s funeral and my brother’s visit on Flickr.