adrian is rad


I feel sorry for ESL people

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:15 am

arrangement keeps the ‘e’ but judgment doesn’t?


cold stone label

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:05 am

A label on a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake, paraphrased:

Your health is of utmost importance to us. Please beware that Cold Stone Creamery products may contain trace amounts of tree nuts, soybeans, eggs…

If you’re so concerned about their health, how about warning people that the products may contain massive amounts of fat and sugar?


recent readings and thoughts, political and otherwise

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:13 pm

Here’s some stuff I found interesting in the last while or thoughts I’ve had, largely without comment.

NY Times spends 36 hours in my neighborhood (photos)–here’s the article. Not entirely unrepresentative.

I think there’s some reasons to be hopeful about what’s going on in Zimbabwe, but like pretty much everyone, I’m going to see what actually comes of it.

Here’s another NY Times piece about Palin as a stepping point to different ideas of the American West (NYtimes login required; bugmenot helps).

I’ve stopped buying Cavendish bananas, for now at least. There are other cultivars available around here.

NY Times Magazine had a piece on Bush’s last stretch and his sometimes contentious relationship with McCain.

There’s an project to find the first black African cyclists that will compete in the Tour de France.

I watched a video of two suited guys longboarding down Berkeley Hills. It’s about twice as long as it needs to be, but it’s pretty spectacular. Make sure you see the turn around 3:26-3:30.

Adam Kimmel presents: Claremont HD from adam kimmel on Vimeo.

72% of Americans apparently feel that it is important for the president to have strong religious beliefs.

Biden and other Catholic politicians have been refused communion (or its been strongly suggested they don’t present themselves for communion) regarding their abortion stance. Have their been similar suggestions or outcries for Biden (or other politicians) because of their disagreement with Catholic Church’s stance death penalty? I haven’t heard any. Maybe it’s just that evangelicals make up a louder voting block and there’s no unified position there on the death penalty.

I find adultery appalling–once I very nearly threw up when I saw a friend kiss a girl that wasn’t his girlfriend–but it’s legal and don’t think it should be illegal. I’d never thought of it (and moreso its implications) that way before.


some camera phone pics

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:13 pm

Sometimes I have my phone with me but not my regular camera and so I take camera phone pictures.

[click for bigger image on any of them]

I walked over Bernal Hill last weekend. This is a photo from the top with my neighborhood, the Mission, in the middle of the photo. (Bernal Heights is in the foreground; SoMa and downtown are to the back and right, Hayes Valley to the back and left). From the tall yellow building left-of-center, I live toward the viewer and to the left a little.

I went to an SF 49ers pre-season game a few weeks ago. This is the view from our seats.

I went to Camden Yards when I was in Maryland in early August. It was my first trip there. I liked the stadium a lot, especially how it was built into some existing buildings (or walls, really) in the area.

I liked this sign on Del Mar beach in the San Diego area. I was there in early July for a wedding.


very pittsburgh weekend

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:11 pm

Pittsburgh-style sandwiches, #1: It was approximately birthday lunch time at work, so for Friday I chose one of my favorites: Giordano Brothers in North Beach (previously; previously). Their Primanti’s-style sandwiches always warm my heart [1] and grow my belly. Very delicious stuff and hits the line of nostalgia and delicious food just right. Outcome: I was a winner, 1-0.

Pirates at Giants: the Pirates were in town so I saw them at AT&T park. Zack Duke who has been good in the past but was 5-13, ~5.1 ERA before the game. He seemed to regain some of his past skill for this game, pitching a complete game shut out and getting out of a couple really tricky jams (like basses loaded, no outs). Outcome Pirates 7-0.

Texans at Steelers: For the season opener, Dug and I went to Shanghai Kelly’s again. It’s my favorite Steelers bar. What a bunch of crazy people, cheering, yelling and drinking as early as 9:30am on a Sunday. And coming back, there were some of the same people as last year and the year before, so I recognized them. I’ll acknowledge that my Steelers fandom is among the most ridiculous things I regularly participate in and I’m fine with that. Outcome: Steelers 38-17.

Pittsburgh-style sandwiches, #2 Near the end of the game Dug was lobbying for a Giordano Bros sandwich–he hadn’t been on Friday–and I acquiesced. After all, who’s to stop a man from having a sandwich with slaw and fries on it? It was delicious again.

[1] Well, by “warm”, I mean clog.


one year on…

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:40 pm

One year ago last Friday I moved for Taiwan. Right after I returned in December, I gave you a debrief/ by the numbers sort of post so if you want to see a lot of specifics of the trip.

When Dave, my friend and coworker who was there for the first week I was, and I arrived in Taipei, it was hot and humid. Sweltering, muggy, suffocating–whatever you want to call it. We were tired and it was hot and we didn’t understand the language. We attempted a day of work and made it most of the way through, though, to be honest, I don’t think either of us were productive in the least. Dave’s luggage didn’t arrive (except, of course, his tux for a wedding he was going straight to after Taiwan) so that 6’6″ guy and I went to the store to get some clothes to tide him over. He found a shirt that fit and some socks but the largest underwear in the store, as Dave hilariously recounts, wouldn’t make it past his knees when he tried them on later.

We went to get some shabu shabu for dinner that night. The menu was entirely in Chinese and the people working there didn’t speak English at all so we ordered by pointing randomly to a line on the menu. The beef, which–as it turns out–we had ordered was pretty good. A thus I started my almost four months in the country.

It’s so hard to sum up four months in a place with so many varied experiences. Theer was the time in Jianmen, the Taiwan (Republic of China) island 2km off of mainland (People’s Republic of) China that I went to because it had a very interesting history of isolation followed by English colonial-by-way-of-Singapore influence followed by heavy military presence and bombing. It was a fascinating place. The people there also spoke very little English and even though I was near the end of my time in Taiwan and I’d had a one-on-one Chinese tutor, my language skills were not enough to get me by. I was in way over my head. At a noodle restaurant that was drying its fresh noodle on racks outside, I pointed and gestured that I wanted a bowl of whatever everyone else was having and that I was just one person to be seated.

After 15 minutes of mulling around near the entrance, I took the proprietress’ pointing at a bowl to mean that it was mine and I should follow. It was not my food and when I sat at the tableful of strangers, it was obvious I had sat in someone else’s seat. One guy, who was at the table with his friend–the other person at the table, an old woman, seemed unrelated–got me a chair. Later he offered me some of the chicken he and his friend were sharing. Pointing at the chicken and then the three of us: “together.” He also gave me tips about the hot sauce: “good”, pushing over one bottle. Later when the proprietress gave me a funny look while he was paying I didn’t make much of it–after all, as far as I could tell, I was the only white guy on that island, so I got plenty of funny looks. He came back over to the table “you no pay.” I felt ridiculous for nearly crying in the middle of the restaurant but I couldn’t help it.

There were the hoards of guys in Bangkok that tried to sell me fake tours or “massages”. There was the cab driver in Taipei that short-changed me.

I obviously stuck out, perhaps not as much as my 6’6″ tall friend when he was there, but I did. Sometimes it was fine, or even good. I’d make a faux pas or get myself in a jam and people would give me some leeway or help me out. Other times it just felt more like I was a complete outsider. In four months of taking the bus every single day, both ways, and often again in the evenings, I saw another westerner on the bus exactly once. I’m sure the women on the bus thought I was a bit odd.

It’s hard to explain what living there was like because there were so many different experiences. On an average day, my activities were mostly the same: wake up, shower, eat, work, eat, work, maybe run errands, make dinner, and go out or watch TV or write or read or play guitar or whatever. It was just what I was eating was different and the surroundings and people were completely different; the language and writing were (for the most part) not understandable.

I’ll try to give you a better taste through some photos. I’ve picked out some of my favorites because they give a feel for the place, because I like them artistically or because I think they’re quirky or funny. Feel free to ask more about any of the photos if the caption isn’t sufficient and I’ll give you more info if I remember.

You can also read some of my posts from when I was in Taiwan or otherwise traveling.

Taipei, early September

Shabu Shabu restaurant on XingAn Rd.

taxi at an intersection

Danshui Night Market, at dusk

Longdong Park along the northern coast

Scooters near Keelung

seafood market along Fuji harbor

sales/ net girl at seafood market along Fuji harbor

a mock-up (machine) shop

(many more below the break)



announcing! august 2008 mixtape (vol. 24)

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:22 pm

Yup, a little late on this one, as if that’s unusual!

You can download the zip file with the following:
1. mp3s of the songs
2. liner notes (pdf)
3. playlist files (iTunes txt file and an m3u file)

(for the iTunes file, simply import all the songs to your library and then go to File->import and then select the song list (the txt file). you should now have the 2008august playlist in your iTunes with all the songs in the correct order).

Go ahead and check out the liner notes. This one has a bunch of folksy stuff, some soul and some slowcore, the new and the classic, like Johnny Flynn, Andrew Bird, Lykke Li, Unwed Sailor and Early Day Miners.

Adrian’s August 2008 mixtape (rapidshare link [1])

If you like the artists or songs, I suggest supporting them by buying their music, going to a show, buying merchandise from them or at least telling other people about them.

[1] If you’re having trouble with the rapidshare link, here’s what you do, step-by-step. 1) Click on the link. 2) scroll down and click “FREE” 3) wait till the counter gets to zero 4) enter the letters in their graphic into the box 5) click “download”


birthday giving

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:03 pm

Somehow I started a tradition a couple years ago of donating some money to charities around my birthday. Here’s how it worked out this year:

Criteria: I like Africa and South Africa in particular. I like efficient organizations. (I only donate to four star charities.) I think international charities can help more people per dollar than American charities. My primary concern is saving lives now and in the future. At the same time, I think one should strive to help out locally and nationally as well.

Okay, that’s it, I think. I’m a little reluctant to post about this as always.

if it happens a third time, you may punch me

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:58 am

A second pair of glasses is at the bottom of a large body of water. This time I thought I was taking out a notice jet skier, but he turned out to be an experienced jet skier with a penchant for speed and sharp turns.

und er muss alles trinken

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:54 am

I’m pretty sure I heard beer pong explained in German as I was walking out of the airport yesterday. The explainer: a moderately effeminate Asian man.

(His accent was either native or very very good, too.)

wedding party favors

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:53 am

Seriously, every wedding should have the following party favors: gatorade and advil. Maybe just lined up by the door so people can take them as they leave.

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