Crazy San Mateo Woman

A woman in San Mateo has covered the roof of her house, her garage door, and her car with what she claims are messages from God. According to the story, the messages are a barely intelligible garble involving cloning, abuse, rape, the Mafia, Castro, Hitler, the Constitution, hurricane Katrina, Watergate and President Bush. Sometimes, she starts reading her messages to the world using a loudspeaker on her car. Lovely!

She started doing this in early 2006 after her husband moved out and she lost custody of her son. Gee, I wonder why her husband would leave her!? Perhaps it’s because she’s nuts and wanted to get away from her. Now, the city of San Mateo has ordered her to take down the messages from her roof or face fines of $50 per day starting in late March. Will that be enough to stop the messages!? Stay tuned.

All I can say is that car is fucking priceless! I almost want to drive to her house to take a picture of it before she goes to jail. This type of crazy just doesn’t happen every day.

An obese 26-year-old man Chinese guy died after a seven-day “marathon” online gaming session on the last day of the Chinese New Year holiday. The guy weighed 330 pounds and probably didn’t move much for seven days. My guess is he developed a blod clot that traveled to one of his lungs.

Anyway, the article continues to say that about 2.6 million — or 13 percent — of China’s 20 million Internet users under 18 are classed as addicts. Huh!? China has 1.3 billion people and there are only 20 million Internet users under 18!? They must mean 20 million online gamers under 18, not total Internet users under 18. It seems low to me. Can that stat be right!?

Newsom’s stalker has a dangerous history of violence and was diagnosed as bipolar. Great! These are exactly the qualities you want in a good stalker. I mean, really!? If he was just an average guy with no mental problems the story wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining and fun for everybody.

The big news of the day is a landslide in North Beach that took out seven buildings. These buildings are now red-tagged, which is only one inspection away from condemned if the damage is deemed irreparable. The sad news is that people from 80 units in 4 buildings will have to find another place to live. Mama and I are very familiar with the red-tagging process, since we had to move after our apartment building caught fire back in 2001, just days before 9/11.

Strangely, Mama and I happened to walk through Telegraph Hill to see Coit Tower and the bike race that was going on last weekend. We hadn’t been to Coit Tower in years and decided to head up there on a whim. As we walked down from Telegraph Hill, I had commented to Mama that I had never noticed the condos on the top of the hill that slid above Broadway! How’s that for serendipity!?

Apparently the mayor is being stalked by a guy that takes pictures of his bulge at public events, has touched him wearing purple latex gloves, and–the straw that broke the camel’s back–got into his apartment building under false pretenses. Needless to say, the mayor is seeking a restraining order against this psycho.

Kevin & Drew Eliminated

The first thing we find out on this episode of the race is that during the Pit Stop, Drew couldn’t catch his breath and needed to get oxygen a total of four times due to altitude sickness. It’s funny that they mentioned this, showed Drew getting oxygen for about 20 seconds, and abruptly continued with the race. You can tell that the producers are concerned that Drew may knock himself out of the race for medical reasons.

The first clue advised the teams to make their way from Ecuador to Santiago, Chile. All teams made their way through to a flight from Lima, Peru to Santiago, but Rob & Amber and Team Prada did not make the flight due to a delay in their connecting flight. This essentially took Rob & Amber from first place to last place. All of the teams went to a Roadblock that was open in the middle of the night. Awesome!

The Roadblock was a hard ass puzzle that allowed Team Prada and Rob & Amber to get to sixth and seventh place. Ultimately it didn’t matter since all of the teams were bunched up on the same flight to Calama, Chile. The interesting thing about this is that it didn’t allow the teams to sleep through the night. It was a flight, followed by a Roadblock, and immediately followed by another flight.

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It’s been discussed on-and-off for many years, but Coit Tower may finally get a well-deserved makeover just in time for its 75th birthday celebration in 2008. However, the additional traffic that an improved tower may bring is scaring nearby residents.

High Maintenance Bitch Sign

Seattle residents are angry at the store sign for a new dog store called High Maintenance Bitch. They are really pissed at the sign but not the products, which include Gel-ous Bitch bath gel and Street Walker paw cleanser. I don’t own a dog, but I would totally go to this store. Hell, I wish there was one in my neighborhood!

I think it’s time to settle down, Seattle!

New Zealand fishermen have caught a 990-pound, 39-foot-long squid in Antarctic waters. That’s a whole lot of calamari!

I personally believe that the future of UI design will include touch technology and voice recognition, much like what Tom Cruise uses to search through precog data in Minority Report. This amazing video found on the MacRumors site shows a demo of multi-touch screens being developed by a company called Perceptive Pixel. It’s simply amazing–check it out. Via Knowing.net, thanks Larry.

Microsoft confirms Halo 3 beta keys will be inside first shipments of Crackdown. Microsoft promises that the Halo 3 beta experience is more than a demo and will be a robust experience. I have just been notified by Gamefly that Crackdown shipped to my home. Hopefully I will be able to review the Halo 3 beta firsthand.

Study finds that surgeons who play video games are more skilled than those that don’t. And here everyone thought that video games just gave you stronger hands for masturbation! While video games make for better surgeons, playing more than one hour of video games per day decreases a kid’s chances of getting into medical school. Oh, the irony. Big ups to Masher for sending me this.

A San Francisco man returned from a two-week vacation to his apartment in the Haight-Ashbury district and nearly tripped over a dead body in his apartment. The cause and time of death of the deceased is not yet known.

John Vito & Jill Eliminated

Within the first minutes of this first episode, the teams were all introduced. Kevin & Drew admitted that they are “five years older, five years more out of shape.” Rob & Amber claimed that they have new tricks in store that will help them win the race. Uchenna & Joyce admitted to having problems in their relationship because of their failed attempts at having a child through in vitro fertilization. Teri & Ian looked like they are in way better shape than before, kicking ass on some bikes. We’ll see.

The start of the race was some park in Miami. Phil warned everyone not to take anyone else for granted. Duh!? The pre-race speech was nothing special. The same thing that everyone has heard before was said. Then “travel safe, go!” Teams found that they needed to make their way to Ecuador. As the teams ran to the cars, Charla was actually ahead of Drew. That has to be a bad omen for them—they are out of shape!

Teams got to Ecuador on two flights that were two hours apart. The first flight had the lead five teams which included Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, Oswald & Danny, Charla & Mirna, and John Vito & Jill. The teams were sleeping on cots under a tent in a restaurant terrace! This seemed strange because the teams normally stay at hotels and seems to stay in separate rooms. Maybe the All-Stars edition is about keeping the teams in closer proximity than usual in between legs. If teams can’t get private time at the leg stops, prepare to see some fireworks.

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There are no race “virgins” here. Everybody has been on the race once before and knows what to expect. I don’t foresee any alliances, except maybe the Coal Miners attempting to make friends. They may make friends, but I doubt that there will be any team waiting for another like in the last race, that means you lame ass Cho Brothers!

There will be some secret weapons too! According to Charla, she will be wearing “heelies,” the roller shoes that little kids wear with wheels on the heels. According to the pre-race interview, Charla expects Mirna to pull her through airports and other places on these “skates.” At least they admit that Charla may break her leg or get hurt in the process. That will be some crazy shit to see.

Oh, and Teri & Ian claim to be using disposable underwear that they don’t have to carry around once they use them. Surely we won’t see them, but the fact that they admitted this in the pre-race interview is proof that they are uninhibited, or crazy.

Commercial real estate is hot again in San Francisco. Companies with leases expiring in the South Bay are deciding to move their operations to San Francisco to be closer to tech workers, cheaper rents, and the city lifestyle. Yahoo and Microsoft already have offices in San Francisco and Google may soon be joining them. Also other existing SF tech firms are expanding their space.

Due to the increase this will have on commercial real estate lease prices, residential real estate prices may also go up. Perhaps the upward pressure on commercial prices brought about by the influx of Web 2.0 companies will offset the overall slowdown in the residential real estate market. This effect is likely to be stronger near downtown, where the tech companies are located, and not in the outer districts like the Sunset or the Richmond.

Up until today, I thought that San Francisco only maintained a sister city relationship with Assisi, Italy, Which makes sense because the cities share the namesake of the same patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. However, a quick search on the city website found that San Francisco maintains sister city relationships with 14 cities around the world! Who knew? The website also has fun facts about San Francisco including the official city bird, tree, and flower.

Mama and I just returned home after taking a walk to the Ferry Building and back in what has to be the most beautiful February day in San Francisco history. It was 70°F degrees when we left, shortly after 10 am, at high noon at the Ferry Building it was about 74°F degrees, and right now it has cooled a bit to about 69°F degrees. By all intents and purposes, it’s a perfect day in San Francisco.

Typically, the weather here from January through March means almost constant rain and cold. However, this year has been an anomaly with little or no rainfall for weeks and months at a time. Although the lack of rain is disturbing, you can’t argue with the weather for the last three days. It’s been fantastic!

This is a reminder that the Amazing Race 11, the All-Stars edition, will debut this Sunday night at 8:00 pm on CBS. In a recent TV Guide interview, Phil Keoghan revealed that the challenges are much more difficult and overall they are “wanting to push things a little harder because they’ve done it before.” Be sure not to miss it.

Chad Vader in Action

I just found this funny video series titled Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager. It’s a simple premise, Darth Vader as the day shift manager of a small grocery store. It sounds a little corny at first, but whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of the dark side! These videos have great effects, high production value, and have to be seen to be believed. If you are a fan of Star Wars, the five video episodes in this series will have you rolling on the floor laughing your ass off. Enjoy.

Web 2.0 Video

I just found this amazing video created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. The video explains the evolution of the web from its humble HTML beginnings to the introduction of XML, RSS and beyond.

It explains Web 2.0 in just under five minutes. It flows extremely well. It is a work of genius that deserves some sort of award. It should at least be nominated for something.

Mysterious tar balls are washing up onto Monterey Bay beaches. Their source is unknown. Experts are trying to determine if they are from oil spilled from a passing tanker or linked to heavy ocean swells.

Eagles Video Still

The crew of a television show in St. Louis, filmed a segment on eagles but had technical difficulties with their wireless microphone set. Most of the filmed footage was unusable, as the questions posed to Aileesha Breedlove, the African-American woman wiping a tear in the segment, were inaudible. This hilarious video with a South Park style song is what they came up with to try and salvage the segment. It took them about four hours to do it from concept to finish. Oh, and it actually aired. Rock on. Via BoingBoing.

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Intel announced a parallel processor that would give business and consumer machines teraflop performance. The super chip, which is the size of a human fingernail, would consist of 80 cores and would have the same power consumption as today’s processors. Now all we need is for all programmers to learn to write for an 80-core processor and things will be great.

Gavin Newsom opened his campaign office today and vowed that he’s “not going away” amidst recent scandal and criticism. I wish our mayor the best of luck in staying away from the booze and hoes.

Edward Jackson © Chronicle by Katy Raddatz

If you have been to San Francisco’s shopping district, between Union Square and the Westfield Shopping Center, you’ve more than likely seen Edward Jackson. Jackson is the energetic power tap dancer that sets up shop to dance near the cable car turnaround at the end of Powell Street. He has been a fixture in San Francisco for the last eight years but will be leaving the city next Saturday.

Unfortunately, our city is no longer the best place for street performers like Jackson, who depend on the generosity of strangers to make a living. The situation is surely amplified by our homeless problem. Thanks to the chronic homeless, it seems people are less willing to reach into their pockets nowadays, even to support great performers like Jackson. Jackson has been forced to leave for economic reasons.

He will be missed. When my wife and I have out-of-town guests, we make sure to visit Union Square and one of the attractions is catching a Jackson performance while we pass the cable car turnaround. His energy and enthusiasm has been an asset to this city and his performances have been enjoyed by tourists and San Franciscans alike. I wasn’t surprised that he was cast for the promotional trailer of the 2004 San Francisco International Film Festival. He is talented.

Over the past few weeks Jackson’s ex-girlfriend has been lobbying Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office to give him a Certificate of Honor for his contributions to the city before he leaves for Australia. If you have enjoyed one of Jackson’s performances over the years, you should consider an email. Letters in support of Jackson can be sent to the mayor’s liaison Jason Chan at jason.chan@sfgov.org.

Also, if you are in town next Saturday, stop by and wish Jackson luck on his world tour.

In a surprising and certainly humorous twist, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, 64, now claims to be Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter’s father. I am sure that the fact that Dannielynn stands to potentially inherit a fortune worth more than $470 million has something to do with it. Hell, everyone wants to be the Baby Daddy of Anna’s baby. I wonder how many more will come out of the woodwork–stay tuned.

Anna Nicole Smith

Reality TV star and former Playboy model, Anna Nicole Smith, died this afternoon after being discovered unconscious in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. She was 39 years old. Anna Nicole’s son, Daniel Wayne Smith, died at age 20 just days after the birth of Smith’s daughter five months ago. Pathologist Cyril Wecht said a lethal dose of methadone and antidepressants caused cardiac dysrhythmia, leading to his death. The cause of Anna Nicole’s death is not yet known.

If you ask me, she could have been suffering from post-partum depression compounded by the loss of her son five months ago just days after giving birth. Her depression could have lead to drug abuse and this could be another tragic overdose. We won’t know the details until the autopsy is conducted later this week. Her death leaves many items up in the air. A paternity battle over her five month old daughter and the legal battle over her late husband’s estate.

Her lawyer and widowed husband, Howard K. Stern, will have his hands full taking care of a baby and fighting two different court cases, all while grieving her death. Can you imagine having a paternity battle while your wife is dead!? Sad.

Whorecraft promises to be “the first fantasy adult website of its kind.” Sorry, I like my porn sans elves.

University researchers have performed a research study and found that people that played video games a few hours a day for one month were able to identify clustered letters 20 percent better than those that did not. The articles states, “in essence, playing video game improves your bottom line on a standard eye chart.” This may explain why after 35 years I still have better than 20-20 vision. I don’t play a few hours per day, but the few hours I do play per week are likely to keep my vision from deteriorating.

An astronaut caught in a crazy love triangle decided to go on a road trip, wearing diapers to minimize bathroom stops, to kidnap and possibly murder her rival. Lisa Nowak was caught by police after she tried to pepper spray her rival, Colleen Shipman, in a parking garage. Shipman managed to escape the assault and called police.

Police found Nowak at a bus stop and arrested her. They found a bag in her vehicle with a tan trench coat, a new steel mallet, a new folding knife with a 4-inch blade, 3 to 4 feet of rubber tubing, several large plastic garbage bags and about $600 in cash. Police also found a half dozen latex gloves, MapQuest directions from Houston to Orlando International Airport, e-mails detailing the affair, the diapers she wore to reduce stops along the highway and a letter indicating how much she loved her man, Bill Oefelein. Well, you can’t say she wasn’t prepared to kill her. Those astronauts sure know how to plan.

So, all three of them are astronauts–that’s a bizarre love triangle for sure! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, a woman astronaut scorned is even scarier because they tend to be very calm and methodical. I am surprised she wasn’t able to execute a perfect murder. NASA must be really losing their edge. Astronauts just aren’t as smart, or as sane, as they used to be.

Seven Deadly Sins w/Combos
We’re certainly *all* going to hell. Via Indexed.

When it rains it pours. Newsom has now said that he is seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, but said that alcohol had nothing to do with his affair with an ex-aide’s wife. How will Gavin complete destroying his promising political career? Stay tuned next week when Gavin admits to having sex with the underage city hall male interns while snorting heroine in his office. Really, can the Newsom campaign get any worse!?

Prince at Super Bowl Halftime Show

Prince’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLI was nothing short of amazing. He opened the show by being lifted onto the center of the stage. He was wearing a turquoise suit with an orange shirt and a black head scarf–a look that only Prince can pull off. Playing an orange telecaster, he went into a high-powered performance of “Let’s Go Crazy.”

It was raining throughout the performance and the lighting accentuated the rain and smoke that was flowing from the stage. Next a marching band came out onto the field to accompany him on “Baby I’m a Star” which turned into a medley that included Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” which he sang as a duet with one of his background singers. Wow.

He did not have a guitar for the first medley, but was given a blue Telecaster for the next medley which consisted of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” with his own lyrics leading into “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters. During all this surely the audience was wondering, “Is Prince going to be electrocuted?” This looks really dangerous. Raining. People going ape shit. Rain on the camera lenses, rain on the microphones, rain on the instruments, rain on the lights, crazy ass lights everywhere. Just amazing. You could almost picture Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters at home watching the Super Bowl going, “Holy shit, Prince is playing our song!” while jumping around his living room high-fiving everyone. I have to wonder if he even knew Prince would sing it ahead of time.

What came next was even more incredible. After the second medley, Prince was handed a custom-made purple guitar in the shape of his symbol and proceeded to sing “Purple Rain,” in the rain, with the stage giving a purple glow (also shaped as his famous symbol). The camera angles were amazing. The rain got heavier. The audience was in awe. Motherfuckers just couldn’t believe it. He threw his head scarf into the crowd and went into his solo. A virtuoso performance followed by the outro. In the middle of the outro, he invited the crowd to sing with him saying “Y’all wanna sing tonight!?” The response was deafening. The whole stadium sang. So much so that Prince knocked down his microphone stand and finished the show by letting the audience sing. That’s balls right there.

The crowd singing turned to a deafening roar as the show ended and one couldn’t help but think that it was the best Super Bowl halftime performance ever. Please keep in mind that this was all live, not like Britney Spears, or Janet Jackson, or Justin Timberlake, who all used some sort of pre-recorded vocals. The band on stage was only a female drummer and a bass player. Ultimately, it was Prince as a one man show, flanked only by one backup singer and two dancers for most of the show. Three guitar changes. Five songs. A historic once in a lifetime performance that we will remember for a long time. It made us wish we were there.

Apple is warning iPod and iTunes users not to upgrade to Vista due to compatibility issues.

Ruby Rippey-Tourk © Luke Thomas

A huge shocker hit the Chronicle this morning. Apparently, Gavin Newsom was sleeping with his Chief of Staff’s wife about a year and a half ago, while he was in the middle of divorce proceedings with Kimberly. Alex Tourk, who is now Gavin’s campaign manager quit the campaign abrubtly after the affair was brought to light. His wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk (pictured here), confessed to the affair as part of some substance abuse program (oh, tragic)!

This is about loyalty. The saddest thing in this is that Gavin betrayed a guy that was very close to him, even hanging out with him at times, by sleeping with his wife. I think after the divorce Gavin would have bagged anything that moved, but his friend’s wife!? This is a self-destructive side of Gavin that we had not seen before.

There’s also rumors about a pregnancy that “went away” and a possible sexual harassment case that may be stemming from this brouhaha (oh, even more tragic)! Damn, the mayor’s life is turning into quite the soap opera.

Update: Newsom Apologizes at Press Conference