Mama and I are heading to Las Vegas to attend my cousin’s wedding. We’ll be leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning for the airport to make a 7am flight and will be returning late on Sunday night. We didn’t want to upset the Vegas gambling gods by overstaying our welcome. We definitely go by the three day max rule–it’s best for all involved. We’ll be seeing Adolfo & Wanda on this trip as well so we’re really excited. Wish us luck.

Gavin Newsom in Disbelief

All hell has broken loose at City Hall because Chris Daly has accused the mayor of being a hypocrite in cutting the city’s substance-abuse treatment programs while the mayor “artfully dodges every question about allegations of his own cocaine use.” He went on to say “Where does Gavin Christopher Newsom get his substance abuse services, and how much do they cost the city and county of San Francisco?”

Newsom (pictured here hearing about Chris Daly’s allegations for the first time) responded by saying “Absolutely not…this is so gratuitous, so erroneous that it’s just patently false.” Newsom then sent a letter to Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin requesting that the board address Daly’s conduct. Meanwhile, Chris Daly refuses to apologize saying he stands solidly behind everything he said.

Other members of the Board of Supervisors have distanced themselves from Daly. Peskin said. “The entire episode is conduct unbecoming an elected official.” Many people think that Daly has taken politics to a new low in this city, and it’s only going to get worse during an election year.

Half Dome Cables

A 37-year-old Japanese man was hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite. He was talking and laughing with his four friends as they worked their way up the backside where a series of anchored cables and steps are used to get up the final 400 feet. Then he slipped. He didn’t have time to speak or even shout before he slid off the side of Half Dome to his death, becoming the third fatality within a year off the 4,800-foot granite dome.

Mama and I have been talking about doing this hike for the last couple of years and are hoping to be able to do it this Summer. However, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do this climb with a harness and an anchoring system (a piece of nylon tied to each other and another piece of nylon with a carabiner attached to the cables). Hardly anybody does the climb this way, but I’ll be damned if a careless slip is going to cost us our lives.

The granite rock is slippery smooth from decades of climbers using the same path to ascend the slope. The way that we are planning on doing this, one of us would be attached to the cable by a carbiner at all times. If one of us slips, at least one will be tied to the cable. Sure it may slow us down to have to unclip and reclip the carabiner at each pole during the ascent, but this forces us to think clearly about our footing. We’re definitely not going out like this guy.

5 Stars

Forza Motorsport 2 is a racing game like a Ferrari is just transportation to the grocery store. To call this a racing game is to deny the fact that it is a car racing simulator disguised as a game. The first time you smack the side rail and hear the sound of metal crushing you realize that this isn’t your dad’s car racing game. This is real. I loved Championship Sprint as much as the next guy, but this is so much more than that. If you have an Xbox 360 you need to run out and get this game!

What happens when you are the CEO and you get paid over $70 million the same year your company’s stock price drops 30 percent? They fire your ass and then tell the world that it was your idea.

PillCam

I thought this was a Photoshop contest joke when I saw it, but it’s real! There’s a pill equipped with two cameras, one of each side, a battery, and a flash that you can swallow to get 2600 images of the inside of your Esophagus in about 15 minutes. Sure, I bet you’re thinking that’s huge pill to swallow (pun intended), but it’s less invasive and more comfortable than the “camera on a stick through your nose” endoscopy that has been the norm for almost 20 years.

In San Francisco, dogs outnumber children and their owners pamper them like kids.

In 1957, a few folks in Oklahoma thought it would be a good idea to bury a brand new car, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, in a concrete time capsule for 50 years. The concrete structure was built to withstand a nuclear explosion, but apparently not seeping ground water. The car turned into a rusted mess! Check out the cool photos of it being unearthed. Even cooler are the photos they took when they buried it.

A drag-racing car on a city street during a parade in Tennessee tried to do an exhibition burnout. The driver lost control of the car and plowed into the crowd of onlookers killing 7 people. What the hell were organizers thinking letting a drag racer do a burnout on a city street? Am I the only one that thinks that was really dumb!?

At NHRA drag racing events there is a huge reinforced barricade that is many feet away from the stands because of safety concerns. Even then, large pieces of rubber and metal and car parts have been known to still fly into the crowd and hurt people. The section of the parade where this accident happened didn’t even have a barricade!

It’s sad that people died because of the stupidity of a few parade organizers and the brief mental lapse of one driver.

Update: Death toll revised to 6 people.

Earlier today, I was at a work function at the home of the Office Managing Partner. A group of us decide to play a friendly game of volleyball in the back yard. Everything was going fine until the competitive juices started flowing. My teammate hits the ball over a few bushes and I made a play for the ball, missed, and fell hands first into a bush, a goddamn rose bush!

My hands were pretty cut up by rose thorns and I bled profusely for a good twenty minutes. I even managed to scratch up my right knee and thigh. The moral of the story: let the ball go out of bounds you idiot! Really, was it worth risking life and limb while chasing a volleyball. At a work event no less. Now I have the distinction of being the only person that bled during the festivities. Nice!

This guy from Taipei can shoot 140 balls per minute and make damn near all of them.

I don’t now what they are feeding, or not feeding, squirrels in Germany, but apparently one of them decided the she had had enough and started biting people. It jumped through a window and started biting someone in a house and then continued on with its rampage through the streets before being taken out in a blaze of glory by a crutch. Crazy.

My friend Michael Dobrich has won $9,257 thus far by cashing in two separate WSOP events this year. He is now contemplating whether to apply his winnings towards a seat at the $10,000 buy-in Main Event to be held July 6th through July 17th. All I know is that if he does play the Main Event and gets “in the money” I am flying to Vegas to cheer him on. Good luck Mike!

Northern Italian police captured a ninja thief after a long manhunt.

The Daily Nugget is crippled because I started fooling around with the Movable Type 4 Beta without backing up my SQL database first. The website is a little screwed up right now and will remain this way for the next couple of months until MT4 becomes stable.

Camacho at Sentencing

Hector “Macho” Camacho, a former super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight boxing champion, is now a convicted felon. He plead guilty to a 2004 burglary in which he climbed through the ceiling of a computer store and left with seven laptops and about $5,600 in checks and cash. The judge sentenced him to the maximum 7 years in prison, but suspended 6 years of the sentence.

Camacho claimed he was “trying to retrieve his computer and was ‘crazy’ on tequila” when he broke into the computer store. Based on his sentencing guidelines, the judge may have actually believed his story. Camacho may be able to serve the remaining 1 year of his sentence under house arrest in Puerto Rico if authorities in there agree to monitor him.

That’s not the end of his problems. He was found with a stash of Ecstasy when he was arrested for the burglary charge and must return to court to deal with those charges later this month. Can you believe this guy was the world champ before Oscar De La Hoya!?

2 Stars

Okay, am I the only one that thought John From Cincinnati was hella lame? Anyone? I know that David Milch threw in a few “cocksuckers” into the script, but is that enough for him to live down the fact that he threw in the towel on Deadwood for this!? There are nine more episodes left, let’s hope that they are better than the first one.

The last few minutes of The Sopranos were filled with tension and impending certain doom. A couple of shady characters walked into the restaurant, Meadow was almost hit by a car crossing the street, and then nothing. Cut to black with no audio! Much to everyone’s surprise, Tony survives the end of the series even if his future is uncertain.

David Chase mindfucked us all again by not killing Tony or any member of his family. Surely some will say it was genius and others will simply be annoyed that there were so many loose ends. Many wanted closure. But that is exactly how life is: untidy, unpredictable, and uncertain. Cut to black.

5 Stars

Ocean’s Thirteen was a fun film unburdened by romance or love interests, Julia Roberts is not even in it. The film is about the Ocean’s crew pulling off a caper, plain and simple. They seek to pull off this caper not merely for the money, but to ruin the reputation of the villainous casino owner, played by Al Pacino. Al Pacino’s character screwed with one of the crew, played by Elliot Gould, and now he has to pay.

The spectacle of how they do it is the payoff here. The specifics on exactly how they do it is hard to understand at times, but that doesn’t even really matter. The film is clever and funny at just the right times and the high arching storyline moves at a fast clip. Ellen Barkin, the only woman in the film provides all the sex appeal in the film even though she’s in her fifties, and it turns out to be just the right amount.

The film makes the life of being a world-class thief look cool and fabulous. At the end of the film you feel like you want more and hope that they would get together again for another caper. Unfortunately, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh have promised that this is the last Ocean’s film. Even if they don’t make another one, they are definitely going out on top.

“John From Cincinnati” airs tonight after “The Sopranos” and it’s gotten very few good reviews. The consensus is “HBO and David Milch gave up on ‘Deadwood’ for this?” Exactly. Apparently the show is confusing and filled with vague references; not very grounded in reality like, a western; and John, the title character, is simply annoying and not very engaging or charismatic.

The series is so bad that critics expect HBO subscriber defections after the series finale of “The Sopranos” tonight, since only “Big Love” and “John” are the only dramas supposed to keep people watching. Of course, there’s also “Entourage,” it’s entertaining but may not be enough to save the network from attrition. Stay tuned.

Paris Hilton was released from jail under house arrest after being there only three days because of an “unspecified medical condition.” I didn’t know that being allergic to jail was a good enough excuse to be sent home. How many underprivileged Latino or African-American kids Paris’s age get sent home after complaining of a tummy ache? None! In our society people with money are allowed more due process than people without money.

Fairness doesn’t exist. Let’s all get over it. It’s called Economic Favoritism.

When rich non-famous white guys get away with murder, literally, it doesn’t make the news. However, when a rich and famous black guy like O.J. Simpson does it, everyone is in an uproar about it. It’s the system that gives preferences to the rich, regardless of color. It just so happens that most of the rich are white. However, slowly but surely this too is changing.

Will Paris be returned to jail, or will she spend the rest of her sentence “trapped” in her 5,000-square foot home in the Hollywood Hills? The fact that this is what the world (including this blog) is talking about is probably the saddest thing. Stay tuned.

I will be heading off to McLean, VA this morning on business returning late Thursday night. It’s a long way to go for such a short stay, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Google Maps Street View has had everyone in the blogosphere talking about invasion of privacy even though the photos were all taken from a public street. Of course, Google fails to mention that the photos were taken with a 500mm zoom lens, but what the hell. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I wasn’t caught with my hand in my pants scratching my balls when the Google truck passed by.

Before you make your own decision Mark Morford’s column on the subject is a must read, here’s an excerpt:

Ah, Google, you great wicked benevolent super-cool vaguely disturbing Big Brother ├╝berbitch mega-company, quietly taking over the entire goddamn Net universe and most of the terrestrial world, too, one cool but simultaneously unnerving innovation at a time.

Do no evil they say, but everyone recently seems to be convinced otherwise. Ironically, just search “google street view” in Google News to get the latest in pissed off columns and news stories.

The temperature is 66┬░F degrees and the sun is out. Seems like the perfect Summer day, right!? Wrong! There is also 25 to 30mph winds heading in from offshore. It’s crazy! You have to lean into the wind about 3 degrees just to keep your balance out there right now. Just got back from having a late lunch and almost fell since the a strong gust came and ended abruptly. It’s bad. For those of you that are new here, welcome to Summer in San Francisco.

A Southwest Airlines plane crash landed in the Oakland Airport, nobody was hurt.

Paris Hilton started serving her jail term last night for violating probation.

The rumors and speculation are over. A few days ago, it was announced that Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica will end after next season. Ending the show after next season was a decision made by the show’s executive producers Ronald Moore and David Eick and not by the network. The fourth season will begin with a two-hour episode airing in November and the rest of the episodes airing in early 2008. Here’s hoping that they make the last season count.

Mayhem at Gas Station

The same Shell station that last month had incredibly high prices as part of an ongoing protest against Shell, and that happens around the corner from my house, was pumped dry yesterday when the owner lowered his prices to $2.98 for regular and $2.99 for premium grades.

Vehicles were lined up for blocks trying to get into the gas station and ran their car engines for hours only to save $5 – $10 for a tank of gas. Unless you are the proud owner of a Hummer, in which case you would probably save even more. Still some people drove there from over 30 miles away and paid bridge tolls to get there and then waited for three hours. I suspect that many spent more than $10 trying to save $10!

It just goes to show that people are stupid and Americans have a herd mentality about consuming just about anything, including gas! It was clear from the cars in line that many who came for the gas were NOT even from the city, I mean, the cars were humongous! The good news is that most of the traffic was on Harrison Street and did not inconvenience my block.