non-billiards : puttering around in SF

listening to
“…woke up this morning…”

some sort of Indian (dot, not feather) rice
very pungent and spicy… should keep people at a distance

obsessed with
it’s allowed once in a while, no?

now consolidated with regular ol’ OMGWTF

har har har


My boss (El Jefe) had a director’s meeting with all the other directors in the company. It was a two-hour lunch meeting, so lunch was provided. These meetings are catered and usually, the food is very, very good as the directors don’t spare expenses on themselves.

After his meeting, he had to catch a flight for an out-of-town conference. I passed him in the hallway on the way out, and he said, “Did you have lunch yet?” I said no, and he said, “There’s still food left from the director’s meeting, sandwiches and stuff — feel free to get some.” Well, that was rather nice of him, so I said thanks, and I’ll check it out.

I poked my head in the conference room and saw the catering crew cleaning up. They looked just about done packing up and there didn’t seem to be any leftover sandwiches. I spotted one sandwich on a plastic plate. I got closer to it and saw that it was a rather soggy work of art in a Ziploc bag — quite a bit different from the fresh, gourmet sandwiches this catering company was known for.


I picked it up and looked at it. It was canned tuna draped with some sort of pale cheese on rapidly disintegrating white bread. The catering guy said, “Is that for you?”

“I don’t know, is it? My boss said there were leftover sandwiches.”

“Oh, that was your boss? Yeah, some guy brought a lunch bag and took out his sandwich and put in one of the sandwiches we brought. He said he was taking it on the plane with him. I asked him if he wanted me to throw out the sandwich he brought and he said no, that we could save it for his staff.”


Note to El Jefe: how about a raise for your staff instead of your old sandwiches?


As with many people, I get a lot of phone calls transferred to me that have nothing to do with my job, but I try to be as helpful as I can with these information orphans.

A lady called and excitedly told me she had just earned her MBA and was looking for some information regarding the marketing my company does. That was rather broad information request, but after a few more questions, I figured out that she was looking for information regarding the company’s website. Apparently, she was working with someone else on a project that would track how many times web pages were viewed. Here is our conversation:

“You are working on a program to track how many times a web page is accessed or viewed?”


“Do you mean just plain numbers? You don’t need to know where the viewers are located or anything like that?

“No, just how many times a page has been looked at.”

“Oh. Well, that’s pretty basic information you could get from a server database.”


“Yeah, a server’s database could probably tell you how many times a page has been viewed. It’s pretty basic information, I imagine — and not too hard to get.”

“How? How can you know how many times a page has been seen if there’s no web counter on it?”

“Web counter? You mean those little graphic things? Like… on the bottom of an eBay page where it says, ‘this auction has been viewed “x” number of times?'”

“Yes, if you don’t have a web counter, you cannot count how many times a page has been seen.”

“Uh, no… those web counters are just graphical doohickeys. You don’t HAVE to have those on a page in order to know how many times a page has been seen.”

“What? You are saying that you can track how many times a web page has been seen WITHOUT having to use a web counter?”

“Yep. A web counter is just a cosmetic thing for a web page. It’s not necessary.”

“Oh dear. Oh my God. Then you’re saying the program my partner and I are working on — it’s not needed?!”

“Nope… sorry about that. You should probably do more research before you get started next time.”

“Oh no. Oh no.”

“Well… good luck with that MBA!”

the great outdoors
I left my heart somewhere there


Back when I was younger, shorter, and just as bad-tempered, I liked to hike around the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. In particular, there was a beach my brother, mother, and I liked to picnic at. It was difficult to get to this beach as there were no defined trails to get there. You started out at the ruins at Sutro Baths and just crept along the cliffs until you got there. There were certain patches of flowers (Douglas irises and pink amaryllis) along the trail that helped me remember which trails to take. Yes, I like this kind of nature roving Remember-How-You-Got-Here-Or-Die type of outing.

Fast forward 15 years and they’ve renovated the park area, complete with clearly defined trails. And stairs. Boooo. It was more fun with less people, and we certainly felt we earned our picnic after sliding through the cracks in sheer cliffs. Oh well. The only thing constant is change. 🙂

Regardless of how easy it is to hike to that beach now, a hearty breakfast is ALWAYS needed. Since I was in San Francisco, a pilgrimage to the Original Mel’s Diner was required.

it's mah dinah!

The old-style jukeboxes with modern technology…

tunes wit yo' food

I filled up on my favorite, corned beef hash and eggs. Mmm mmm good!

aw yeah

After the consumption of calories, it was time to burn them.

Here is a tiny sampling of the colorful native fauna. Wild blackberry vines are everywhere, and when seen up close, you can very much appreciate their color and beauty.

wild blackberry blossom

A sweet pea flower spike amidst dandelions…

Ouchies! Thistles were also everywhere, especially off the beaten path…

After walking along the path, we arrived at some stairs… and more stairs… that led to the beach. There was a nifty old tree along the way down.

We took a detour midway down the stairs to check out an old gun mount.

For those of you that don’t know, back in 1930s, an artillery battery system was built to defend the west coast from enemy attack. A series of large guns, with a minimum range of 6,000 yards and a maximum range of 44,000 yards (26 freakin’ miles!) were built. These guns were never fired in actual battle — they served more as a deterrent to attack more than anything else. The largest guns (16″) were located at Fort Funston, a few miles south of where we were.

There were smaller guns (12″) built at Fort Miley, which was where we went. That little half-moon of pale concrete under the park bench in the photograph below is where the gun used to sit. Now, it’s just a nice scenic spot. 🙂

peace out, dudes

These are sandbags that used to be part of the fortification. The outer covering has long since rotted away, and the sand has been compacted and weathered into rocky chunks.


After poking around the old gun mount, we went back to the stairs and headed down to the beach. Here is a view of the stairs from the end. Kind of spooky, no? 🙂

A photograph of the fisherman up on the cliff where the gun mount was, with the lovely Golden Gate bridge shrouded with fog in the background.

here fishy fishy

This rocky beach was actually not the exact one we used to go to, but the tide was too high to walk around the cliffs to where it was. Still, it was nice to visit the general area.

Evidence of other people visiting… or maybe aliens. 😉


After knocking around for while, we headed back up the stairs (more calories burnt) and went to visit the California Palace of Legion of Honor, a fine arts museum.

The gardeners and landscapers always do a fine job with color…


In the courtyard, there was more cheerful coloration courtesy of Dale Chihuly’s sculpture appropriately titled “Sun”.

A closeup of the “rays”. I don’t know how they move that type of art installation without breakage, either!

A view of the courtyard…

…and a close-up of the uber-famous Rodin sculpture, “The Thinker”.

shot or safety?

After our recommended daily allowance of art appreciation was filled, we took a jaunt through part of the municipal golf course next door, the Lincoln Park golf course. What a lot of people don’t know is that the area where the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, and a good chunk of the surrounding residential area used to be acres and acres of — cemetaries.

In 1901, the Board of Supervisors prohibited any more burials within city limits (most of the cemetaries were just about at capacity anyways). Over the next two years, bodies were exhumed and moved, round the clock, to Colma, a city in South San Francisco, still well-known today as the home of more dead people (well over 1,000,000) than living (1,191 as of 2000 census) with the humourous motto, “It’s great to be alive in Colma!”. Oh, and Wyatt Earp is buried there, too.

So, it was not much of a surprise when we came across this…


I could be wrong, but this is the standard layout for a Chinese tomb.

We walked around the structure, and the mound that is usually behind the tomb “door” wasn’t there anymore, so it’s pretty probable that the body and coffin were taken away and the masonry of the tomb left for whatever reason.

a vehicle for all seasons
“green” cars

life is good

En route to a shabu-shabu massacre, I ran across this car in a parking lot…

As interesting as the car was, it could not keep me from food (but then again, what can?)…

gratuitous photographs of food
go forth, and eat

life is good

…this shabu-shabu joint had an all-you-can eat as well as an ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK option on the menu. Thanks to the latter, I had sake for the first time — and in quantity, too!

The lovely meat…

…and vegetables (I especially like enoki mushrooms!)…

…and the sauces that added just the right bit of extra kick!

In case you are too lazy to scroll back up for the address:

Happy Shabu Shabu
1401 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

(415) 673-0416

Yah, it’s summer so the blog will be a little light on the pool-related stuffs…