Monthly Archives: March 2010

Worst Person on Earth?

This is incredibly shocking and outrageous – and I say that without an ounce of hyperbole. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, essentially excuses the molestation of boys by priests by pointing out that most of the victims were “post-pubescent” – which, in his view, means it’s not a problem of pedophile priests, but of gay priests…

He is a truly monstrous individual… What’s next? The old “they-were-asking-for-it,” with their tight-fitting school-boy uniforms that drove the priests mad with lust? I wish I believed in hell, just so I could know this guy would be spending eternity there…

I’m with some of the commenters on Gawker: let’s stop referring to this as the Catholic church’s “sexual abuse” or “molestation” scandal and refer to it as their “child-raping” scandal.

from Gawker

Oh man…

From the “Jesus H. Christ!” file…  And I shouldn’t be laughing, but I am…  Does kinda put things in perspective though, doesn’t it..?

from 11 Points via The Awl

Lucy & Desi

Jesus – this is fucking priceless…  Especially for you queens (presumably) who are familiar with Lucy’s disastrous portrayal of Auntie Mame…  And it’s one guy doing both voices…  Same folks who brought you Cream of Wheat by Judy.

I think my father directed this…

Sing it, Fido!

Yes, I realize it’s pretty lame to just keep posting videos – but I don’t have much going on right now that’s seems especially interesting to write about.  I mean, how many ways can I describe lying on the couch and watching TV with a 17-pound cat splayed across my lap?  Plus, this ad is riot…

The Emergency

I know I’ve already done a bit of kvelling about “These Hopeful Machines” by Bt…  But I can’t seem to stop listening to this track, so I felt compelled to share…

It’s like looking into a mirror…

This was one of a bunch of award-winning British TV ads that screened at YBCA over the weekend.  I’ll be posting a few others over the next few days that I found to be particularly good…  Oh and if you like this one, here’s the companion version

Science in the News

I guess it’s time for me to think about starting a new career as a physicist and moving to Geneva.  I am very interested in observing this phenomenon, perhaps even running some experiments of my own…

from Gizmodo

I like Skype

I’m typically an early adopter when it comes to new technology…  Hmm, actually I used to be an early adopter – I think I might have reached the age where my choices in technology are becoming calcified (“Dang kids and their Twitter and FourSquare…  And get off of my lawn!”)…  At any rate, I’ve been trying to figure out how to not get reamed quite so painfully each month by AT&T – between local service and DSL, my monthly bill was nearly $80…  And every couple of months I get some third-party charges crammed on the bill – which is especially maddening since AT&T doesn’t offer a way to prevent such charges and I’m required to call the company that made the unauthorized charges to my bill…  Really annoying.

So I decided to check out Skype. And in an effort to be servicey, here’s what I did to get my monthly AT&T bill down to less than $40…

First, I signed up for Skype.  It’s free to obtain the service – then one can either purchase pay-as-you-go credits or get unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada for $2.95 a month.  I got the unlimited plan, meaning I could now place calls from my computer to any phone number in the U.S. Pretty neat, but kind of annoying to have to sit in front of the computer and use microphone and speakers to chat…

I looked at some handsets designed to work with Skype, thinking I’d rather chit-chat on a phone-like-object plugged into my computer – but I was able to find an even better solution: an adapter that hooks up to my existing phone equipment and my computer, allowing me to make calls via local landline or via Skype from a “normal” phone…  I was amazed at how perfectly simple it was to set up the adapter and phones – and everything worked just as it was supposed to from the get-go.  And the best part? The adapter was only $40.

So, now I can make calls with my existing phone using Skype – what about people calling me?  Getting a SkypeIn telephone number requires a subscription – but since I’d signed up for monthly calling service, I got the number at a discounted price of $30 for a year.  Granted, I’ll have to resubscribe every year, but the cost is minuscule compared to what AT&T charges for local service with all features…  And I was able to get a number that includes the mnemonic ERIC at the end…  Granted, it’s not as good as my existing landline’s mnemonic of HOMO, which was sadly unavailable in Skype.

Of course, I’ve had to make some adjustments.  For example, making Skype calls using the phone handset is a bit involved. I have to enter ## to get Skype (rather than local dial tone) then 011-1-AreaCode-PhoneNumber, then * to send the call (e.g. ##011-1-415-555-1212*).  That’s a lot of buttons to press…  But for frequently called numbers, I just programmed them into my phone’s memory.

And there’s actually a great Skype add-in for Firefox.  Any telephone number in my browser is now clickable.  So, last night when I ordered Thai food from across the street, I just googled the restaurant and clicked the phone number and – voilà! (or, as so many people prefer, “viola!”) – the number is dialed via Skype. It’s a pretty cool feature…

Skype also includes voice mail with a subscription – though I’ve chosen to forward calls that aren’t answered on Skype to my cell phone.  This too is a pretty handy feature…

There are drawbacks, of course – Caller ID tends not to work as reliably as on a landline…  Skype apparently isn’t always able to receive phone number data.  And calls forwarded to my cellphone by Skype are sometimes ID’d as my SkypeIn number, so I don’t know who’s calling.  Not the end of the world, but not ideal – the caller ID data is there, so Skype should figure out how to pass it for all calls, not just some.  Maybe they’ll include it in an update…

So, why didn’t I get rid of my landline completely?  Well, partly because of my paranoia about not having a phone to call 9-1-1 when I’m pinned under some rubble when the big earthquake finally hits…  But more because it’s pretty much six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other.  If I turn off local service with AT&T, they raise my DSL rates by $10 a month.  So I switched from flat-rate local service with features ($45 monthly, including fees and taxes) to measured rate service with no features ($13 monthly).  So, for $3 more a month, I get to keep my local phone number and I can call 9-1-1 if I fall in the bathtub and break my hip…  Win-win!

Oh, and I almost forgot – AT&T knocked $10 a month off of my DSL charges for a year when I indicated I was flirting with Comcast.  And I really was flirting a bit (20 or more Mbps!) – though not once I remembered how many times over the last year my cable service has been out.  AT&T may be one of the more horrible of corporations in terms of their business and political practices – but their network works pretty damn flawlessly…

At any rate, so far so good – I couldn’t be happier with my new telecom set-up.

Cream of Wheat

Just wow…

via Joe. My. God.

This is why I’m going back to Japan.

I will buy this product at any cost…

from Dlisted

Greater than the sum of its parts?

I’ve always wondered about Chinese food/donut shop hybrids that are much more common than one might think…  Snob that I am, I’ve always assumed that such diversification would yield donuts and Chinese food that are both sub-par and have never visited such an establishment.

My favorite named place is just around the corner from me: Inga Donut.  Based on the name, one wouldn’t think to seek out Chinese cuisine here – though I guess it makes me racist to assume that someone named “Inga” has blond braids, rosy cheeks and a dirndl…

Chinese and Doughnuts: A California Mystery

from The Atlantic via Eater SF

The Sentinel Beckons

Been quite some time since I’ve visited The Sentinel.  Checked out the menu for today and was contemplating the lamb meatball sandwich with feta, tomato sauce and mint – sounded delicious, but also perhaps too heavy for lunch.  So I was going with my old standard corned beef and cabbage sandwich (I know, a day late…) Sadly, though, they were not able accommodate my request to sub mustard for Russian dressing.

Actually, not so sadly, since I quickly changed my mind and got the BBQ Pork sandwich.  De-lish-us.  Very tender and porky, the sauce subtly sweet with a bit of heat; plus carrot slaw with cilantro; all on a seeded roll.  Seriously scrumptious…  All is forgiven for the mustard incident (well, mostly forgiven – how can you run a sandwich shop and not have mustard..? It’s like the time I was in Safeway and they were out of lemons…  Lemons! How can a supermarket be out of lemons?  It’s absurd…)

“All you’ve got to do is dream and we’ll be there…”

“Ladies and gentleman…  The Crystal Room (editor: heh) is proud to present the club debut of America’s newest recording stars, The Dreams!”

God, I can’t believe the entire scene of this song performance from “Dreamgirls” isn’t floating around on the Youtubes…  So, I had to settle for this preview/abbreviated version…  And as much as “And I Am Telling You” is the big showstopper,  I thought this was the highlight of the movie…  It really captured what I imagine performances by the Supremes er, I mean “The Dreams” were really like in the ’60s…  Oh to have been going to nightclubs in the day when you could see the Supremes, Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland performing live in small venues…  Sigh, I’m such an old-school queen…  But seriously, I love this scene – the moves, the lighting, the costumes, the wigs (oy, the wigs!), the camera angles, the lighting – it is superb.

Zog’s Dogs on blogs

My previous visit to Zog’s Dogs was really quite good…  And I must make a return visit soon, if only as tribute to this most excellent of promotional videos.  Of course, the fact that the dogs are quite tasty makes me anticipate my next visit all the more…  Oh, and the fact that they serve a Prop 8 dog – two dogs in one bun.  Rock on, Zog’s…

via Eater SF

Boogie Wonderland

There is not a single thing I can say that would in any way enhance this… It is perfection.

I don’t know much about art…

I can’t quite decide how I feel about this particular project, in which an artist photographed her baby dressed up as a variety of despots and dictators. I mean, there’s something to my eye that’s inherently funny (and adorable!) about Baby Hitler or Il Ducelino – but it’s obviously also rather disturbing.  And frankly, I thought her thesis that “We all have evil within us. Even small children are evil towards each other” has some resonance…  Anyway, see a slideshow and read more here.

from Haaretz.com via The Awl

Yes, Facebook, I get it…

Not that I spend much time reading (let alone clicking) the ads served to me on Facebook…  But Jesus, really?  I’m well aware of the fact that I’m single and that I’m gay…  But Facebook’s ad algorithms seem intent on driving these points home repeatedly and ad infinitum…  Anyway, this is representative of what I see every damn time I visit Facebook…

So many questions…

Um, OK…  I guess I do, too…

from Gizmodo

Why, Hardware Store?

A beautiful Sunday here in SF – the sun is shining, my teeth aren’t chattering, windows flung open to air out the smell of old-man and stale booze…  And as the sunlight pours into my apartment, I say to myself, “Jesus Christ, what a dump! Time to do some heavy-duty cleaning…”

First order of business is obtaining a sponge-mop (someone else used to be in charge of cleaning the kitchen floor and relied on a scrub brush apparently…  And I must say, it’s amazing what I used to consider “clean” in this place…  I turned a blind-eye to so many things…  But I digress…)  So, off I head to the hardware store, a smile on face and a spring in my step…  Until of course I actually leave my apartment and must interact with humanity…  There’s the usual five-abreast-slow-walkers, reeling drunks, ambling tourists…  Nothing too out of the ordinary, so I’m only simmering at this point…

I arrive at the hardware store and, after a brief flirtation with the Rubbermaid mop (“60% more absorbent!”), I settle on the Roll-O-Matic, persuaded by the combination of both sponge and scrubby-thingy…  I head to the cashier, knowing from past experience that it will take longer than it should…  Oh, if only I knew…  There’re 6 people ahead of me – and one of the cashiers is in the midst of signing up his customer for the frequent shopper card, so they can take advantage of 5% off their $30 purchase…  “Name? Address?  Phone number? Birthday? Just the year and month! Oh, wait you don’t live in the United States?  That’s OK…  So just fill out here…  and here…  and here…  And what’s your phone number?”

Oh my god…  This goes on interminably as the line grows longer and longer and my blood pressure climbs higher and higher…  Finally, the transaction is complete – and the cashier takes off to get change for his one other extremely slow-moving colleague…  There are about 18 people in line at this point…  And the person being rung up has about 28 items… Grrr…

So, finally the other cashier returns, ready to assist the next customer, who also has about 30 items in his basket. “Do you have a frequent shopper card?  OK, let me look it up…  What’s your phone number?  And your last name?  Hmmm, I’m not finding you…  Do you want to sign up again?  OK, name?  Address?  Phone number?” etc., ad infinitum…

What the hell is with people?  I mean, I blame the cashier for not simply refraining from pushing the loyalty program sign-up when there are 20 other people fuming waiting in line – but I actually blame the d’bag of a customer most.  Did you really need a 5% rebate on your $25 purchase a year from now?  Was that $1.25 really worth pissing off all the people behind you?  And you’re actually buying “naval jelly”?  Freak…

From there, I went to the Container Store – things went pretty smoothly, save for having my path blocked by some woman who thought it was simply adorable to be teaching her toddler how to walk in the main aisle…  and I refrained from giving the little tyke a poke with my newly-purchased mop…  See, I’m not a knee-jerk children-in-public hater – but c’mon parents – keep ‘em out of my path…

The usual obstacle path back home…  But then I powered up iTunes to get some gay disco pumping and went at that kitchen floor like nobody’s business…  And now you could eat off that floor…  Well, OK, you’d only eat off the floor if the food being served were on a plate that was sitting on the floor – but still…  And now, bathroom, here I come…  Sunday, bloody Sunday…