January 27, 2003
Javascript clock



Posted by jk at 08:42 AM
January 20, 2003

We were up early on MLK Monday, and it was cold out... the perfect day to walk for a nice breakfast somewhere.

Boogaloos on 22nd in the Mission, San Francisco, isn't a long tromp from Noe Valley, and we're pretty tired of Cloe's breakfast. (And there's no other reasonable breakfast in Noe.) Boogaloos has a rap of being all about some sort of hyper kinetic 24 year old scene, but we'd give it a go anyway.

It's hip. It's probably about the 24 year old scene later in the day, if at all. Dunno. Anyway, in our case, we were early enough that it was some families, some couples, small groups of friends, etc. Your basic hipster Mission crowd.

The food and menu were a bit more inventive than your standard breakfast fare. A few welcome changes here and there. Excellent home-fries and breads. The lemon-corn-meal pancakes weren't any good, however. They also don't know anything about cooking eggs. I think they used oil and cooked my omelette in about 60 seconds, leaving it slightly tough and heavy. I'm probably too picky about my eggs though, many would have thought the eggs to be fine.

I'd head back, but mostly for the vibe. The two items we tried were not anything special.

Boogaloos -- Much vibe, little tasty. You make the call.

Posted by jk at 10:00 AM
January 17, 2003
Rock Soup

We hit Rock Soup early on a Friday night a few weeks ago. We were, well, underwhelmed.

The place, located in the Outer Mission of San Francisco. Not really far out, but about where Valencia hits Mission. Middle Outer. Something.

Anyway, they have a nice live music deal where a buck surcharge on your booze pays for the music. The space is an old bank lobby and it works quite well.

The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good either. Each of the five items we ordered had no zing. The plates were all served tepid, at best. I suppose the fact that it was about 63F in the place didn't help the temperature matters much.

I'd go back to see if they were just having an off night. Well, I might. I dunno.

Rock Soup Restaurant: Not Recommended.

Posted by jk at 08:00 PM
January 14, 2003
Wells Fargo Bill Pay

Just like any utility or service, when Wells Fargo Bill Pay works, it's great. Transparent. Fire and forget.

When it doesn't work, it's like PG&E's storm repair response time, cell phone customer service and the IRS all rolled into one. Miserable.

The worst part is that they won't just do what you tell them to do. They hide behind obscure policies and don't tell you that you are being sandbagged until it is too late. Late fees. Frustrating calls to customer service. Argh. If you aren't going to do what I ask, just tell me so and I can work around the problem.

Two weeks ago I sent them a note to cancel a payment, as it was lost in the mail. I also asked them to reissue a new one immediately. Wells Fargo immediately went into action and did absolutely nothing for 6 business days.


Posted by jk at 10:01 PM
Performance Racing Tactics

Finally, I've found a book on yacht racing tactics that's easy to read and reasonably complete. The Melges Book is supposed to be a classic, but he only has a few pages on tactics. Another book that was recommended was an incredibly dense tome with all sorts of mimeographed logarithmic paper charts on hull resistance and other dense topics. A bit too much for me.

I looked at a few more sailboat racing books at the Border's in Palo Alto and was also underwhelmed. The Pally Borders has a reasonable sail section, BTW. I'd guess they stock about 35 shelf-feet on boats.

The Arm Chair Sailor in Sausalito, CA (now part of West Marine) has a zillion copies of Bill Gladstone's Performance Racing Tactics from North U. The book is full of good diagrams, has a brief overview of the rules, and even covers topics like Wally, match racing, and mixed fleets. I've read it once over Thanksgiving, and I'm about to tuck into it for a second read ahead of the Corinthian Midwinters this weekend. It's really great stuff.

An added bonus: I'm getting a lot more out of the Louis Vuitton Cup coverage on OLN after brushing up on some of the finer points. Tivo's got tonight's third final's race recorded by now. I wouldn't watch LVC coverage in real time. It's just too snoozy when the Swiss start handing Larry his ass once again. Sigh.

Posted by jk at 09:50 PM
January 10, 2003
Ice Chopper

A roofer's shovel (for example this or this) makes an awesome ice chopper and ice scraper. Here's why:

  • Heavy - A few pounds heavier than a good ice chopper. Really smashes through the ice.
  • Teeth - Concentrates breaking force into a few points. Works, perhaps, a bit faster through really thick and solid areas.
  • Scraping - Can be used to scrape as well as chop.
  • Fulcrum - Get under the ice and lift to crack it with the built-in fulcrum.

I'm not sure how long the shovel is going to last in this capacity though. The driveway wore down the back side of the teeth a bit. I'll have to see how it looks at the end of the season. In the mean time, the grinding is just making those teeth even sharper! I picked up a nice one for $26 at an Ace Hardware.

Posted by jk at 09:00 AM
January 09, 2003
Homewood & Mount Rose

I've been skiing in Lake Tahoe, California for about eight years now. I've always hit the big four (Heavenly, Squaw, Kirkwood, Alpine) and the two north shore mid-sized places (Northstar and Sugar Bowl). This last week I tried two new resorts, and was quite pleasantly surprised.

Homewood was just the perfect place to get the rust off after a few years off the slopes. If you don't mind all fixed chairs, and no steeps, Homewood's $25 mid-week special can't be beat. The Lake Tahoe views are better than Heavenly, and the layout avoids excessive runouts at the bottom of runs. Dutch Treat was a great bump run in classic early spring conditions. There is a ton of off piste and some great glades to hit that could be awesome for tree-cruising on a deep powder day. I'm not so sure about doing a beginner's day at Homewood, as the bunny slopes appear to be all tow-ropes.

Mt. Rose is really great little ski hill. It's quite a haul from Truckee (40 minutes via Brockway Summit, 55 minutes via I-80 and Reno), the Reno local factor is quite high, but it's a great place to head when the snow levels are high. The detachable 6 chair allows practically 10,000 feet of skiing per hour, if you legs are up to it. You can load, ride and unload in about 3 minutes, 45 seconds. Incredible! The black diamonds aren't really all that, but there's fun to be had. The East Bowl lift is a nice break from the high-speed-6, but it has a ridiculous runout at the bottom that's a drag. The East Bowl lift should have a half-way loading point, or be split in two. A nice slice of green runs and dedicated beginner lifts makes Mt. Rose a a nice place make some first bunny turns.

Posted by jk at 09:00 PM