Miscellany


Miscellany18 Dec 2009 02:24 pm

Folks who live in San Francisco should contact Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senators Feinstein and Boxer to let them know our thoughts on Health Care Reform.

I’m writing them to demand a Medicare buy-in that would be available immediately, with a public option for those under 55 ASAP.

Email Pelosi: http://www.house.gov/pelosi/contact/contact.html

Email Feinstein: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.EmailMe

Email Boxer: http://boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/policycomments.cfm

If you’re not in SF, you can find your

Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Representative: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

If you care about health care reform, now is the time to get your message to them that you won’t sit for half-assed measures!

Miscellany20 Oct 2008 09:35 am

I’ve got two new columns up online at Datamation:

Spam, Free Speech and the Founding Fathers — October 20, 2008
http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/3779076/

The Hassle of iPhone Passwords — October 14, 2008
http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/secu/article.php/3777706/

Due to technical difficulties, my September column didn’t get posted until October. Enjoy!

Miscellany18 Sep 2008 10:39 am

I am so insanely proud of and happy for my friend David Lawrence. Several of us have known for a while what is now just being publicized: David is going to be co-starring as a mutant villain in several episodes of the new season of Heroes.

USA Today covered the impending launch of the new season, including some cool photos of some of the new bad guys, located here.

Congrats David! Can’t wait to hate you! ;-)

Miscellany11 Jul 2008 12:41 pm

Corn starch, water, a cookie sheet, and a sub-woofer. Enjoy!

Miscellany14 May 2008 10:31 am

I received this in my email today from the nitwits at United Airlines…

From: United Mileage Plus [mailto:email@info.united.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:55 AM
To: ray@*****
Subject: New policy for flights less than 500 miles

==========================================
United Mileage Plus(R)
==========================================

******************************************
Please note our new accrual policy, effective July 1, 2008
******************************************

Dear Mr. Raymond Everett,

To ensure that Mileage Plus miles earned toward elite status
and award travel on United are aligned with actual miles
flown, we are revising our base accrual policy. Beginning
July 1, 2008, for flights of less than 500 miles, passengers
will earn redeemable miles equal to the actual miles flown.
Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) will also be awarded based on
actual miles. Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) are not
affected.

This new mileage accrual structure will apply to travel on
or after July 1, 2008, regardless of when the travel was
ticketed. Flights of less than 500 miles flown on or before
June 30, 2008, will accrue Mileage Plus miles under the
previous policy of a minimum mileage accrual per individual
segment flown.

In other words, whenever I used to fly from San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) on United, the actual air miles are 418. But to make things simple, United — and most domestic airlines — would round things up and give an even 500 miles worth of frequent flyer points. So on SFO to LAS, I was getting a bonus of 82 measly miles.

However, in United Airlines constant quest to alienate customers and generally behave in the most dickish manner possible, suddenly those 82 miles have become a bridge too far.

United used to be my favorite airline, now they’re just an absurd mockery of all that is worst about US-based airlines.

I will once again renew my call for the mass resignation of the brainless morons who run United Airlines. I am also renewing my call that foreign air carriers be allowed to offer domestic service within the US. I doubt ANA or Singapore Air would begrudge me those 82 miles, and they’d probably do it on time, in better quality, and without a chip on their shoulder.

Until that day, I need to check but I think Southwest and Virgin America will still spot me those 82 miles. I wouldn’t be surprised if other airlines would as well. If so, you can guess which airline will not be my carrier of choice for short flights!

Miscellany23 Apr 2008 11:23 am

Breville 4-Slice Toaster Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a sucker for improvements on everyday items. A few years ago, I gushed praise on an alarm clock that my partner bought for me. True to form, my quest to buy a new toaster has resulted in a choice that I’m really happy with so far. Thus, I introduce to you the Breville 4-Slice Toaster.

There are a couple of nifty features that our decrepit old Proctor-Silex toaster didn’t have.

    * Snazzy LED readout that counts down the toasting time.
    * Settings for defrosting, bagels, and regular toast.
    * You can lift up the toast to check its progress without disturbing the cycle.
    * You can pull the lift handle a little more and it raises things up higher, for easier retrieval.
    * The long slots hold 4 regular slices of bread, or even the extra long slices of my favorite round sourdough bread.
    * It beeps when it is done, in case you don’t hear the ejection.

It also looks nice on the counter. Especially next to our favorite other Breville product, their electric hot water kettle.

Breville Electric Kettle

Miscellany14 Apr 2008 06:58 pm

Howdy dear readers. I apologize for my lack of posting in recent weeks… ok, months. Due to some work and personal issues, I’ve been swamped. And then my decrepit old version of WordPress got hacked by some script kiddie who was running some sort of viagra spam advertising scam from one of my hacked pages.

But with an upgrade to WordPress, hopefully the script kiddies will scamper on to more fertile grounds. Anyhoo… I’m going to get back to blogging more regularly, and I do even have some backlogged items that I’ll get put up here shortly.

Thank you for your patience and I hope you will enjoy!

PS: Thanks again to the folks at WordPress for making their upgrade process very smooth and easy!

Miscellany19 Oct 2007 04:24 pm

Two of my favorite segments of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” are finally online!

Good Eats & Miscellany11 Jun 2007 11:24 pm

My friends and family all know that my partner and I are pretty fond of Las Vegas. It’s a great town, full of excitement and really great times. From the amazing shows to the fantastic food, we love Vegas.

In recent months, I’ve become hooked on two podcasts that are all about Vegas. The first was The Strip Podcast, with Steve Friess and Miles Smith. It’s a fantastic show, in no small part due to the incredible interviews that Steve gets through his work as a freelance journalist for some pretty major news publications. His blog and podcast have gotten attention because he has broken a few big scoops about various Las Vegas business and entertainment happenings. Miles is no slouch either: he’s the producer on the nightly news at a Vegas television station.

If you’re at all interested in some of the behind-the-scenes things happening in Vegas, or just want really interesting insights into the happenings of the *real* city that never sleeps from the perspective of some locals whose jobs involve digging into what’s really happening, check out The Strip Podcast.

But the real reason for this blog post is that I have created my first new cocktail, inspired by a call from my other favorite Las Vegas-related podcast, Five Hundy by Midnight. Hosted by Tim and Michele Dressen from their home in Minnesota, “FHBM” comes from the perspective that most of us have: occasional visitors to Vegas who spend their time between visits… planning their next visit! :-)

On their most recent show, Michele put out a request: they want a FHBM drink. I have attempted to rise to the challenge!

Searching my vast memories of drinking… well, only half-vast anyway… I actually remembered a drink I’d had a few years ago called the “Five In the Morning.” I also remembered reading it in a cocktail recipe book I got for Christmas a few years ago. As I recalled, the drink is a little bit like a Long Island Iced Tea, just smaller, with a few fewer ingredients, and with a slightly sweeter taste.

To turn the Five In the Morning into something different, I was inspired to change some of the ingredients based upon a comment from Michele: “…maybe something with Captain Morgan’s in it…” Having been a long time fan of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, and in particular their incredibly smooth “Private Stock,” it wasn’t hard for me to think up a way to make the Five In the Morning a little different. So, in the great tradition of cocktail invention — namely taking an existing drink and changing a couple of things to make a new drink — I have created…

The Five Hundy By Midnight Cocktail

Ingredients:

* Ice
* 3/4 oz Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum (Private Stock if available)
* 3/4 oz Tequila
* 3/4 oz Gin
* 3/4 oz Vodka
* 3/4 oz Triple sec
* 3 oz Orange juice
* 1 oz Sour mix

Mixing instructions:

Place ice in glass and pour in the five liquors, followed by the orange juice and the sour mix. Shake and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

I tried making one tonight and it was pretty good. I might tinker with some of the amounts of things over time, but there you have it! The Five Hundy By Midnight. I hope Michele and Tim enjoy it half as much as I’ve enjoyed their podcast.

And if Steve and Miles want a cocktail, they just have to ask. :D

Miscellany & News & Culture11 Jun 2006 07:52 pm

A friend called me this week to say he’d scored some tickets to see Leslie Jordan this weekend. I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure who she was. :-D Turns out, she’s a he… and he’s a big ol’ queen in a little tiny package.

If you’ve watched Will and Grace, or Boston Legal in the last few seasons, you’ve seen the diminutive (4′ 11″) Leslie in some brilliant performances. Dedicated queer-watchers will remember his occasional appearances on Will and Grace as the character Beverley Leslie, Karen Walker’s nemesis.

But he has a lengthy and impressive career as a character actor, including an old performance from the 1980s with comedian George Lopez… an experience which he credits during the show as helping him to survive a stint in the LA County Jail.

In his one-man show, Like A Dog on Linoleum, he takes his audience through selected swaths of his life, from his Army father who died when he was age 11, to his escaping from rural Tennessee to various southern gay meccas like Miami, Key West, and Atlanta, and his eventual arrival in Hollywood to pursue his acting dreams. Along the way he did a lot of drugs, had a lot of sex, and eventually learned some powerful things about himself.

The show is hilariously funny, brutally honest about his crazy past, and clearly carries a message from a deep place in his heart. If you have a chance to check out his show before it leaves San Francisco on July 2, you’re in for a treat. Tickets are reasonably priced and the intimate venue is perfect for his very personal show.

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