adrian is rad


the world cup is over; the gees is still hanging on…for now

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:37 am

I’m been trying to think of what to say about the World Cup now that it’s over.

In many ways that’s very similar to how I and many South Africans feel now: after a month of intense concentration on the World Cup and months of build up, we’re at a loss as to what to do now. We have to watch, talk about, and think about other things. But what else is there to talk about. The year’s biggest rugby competition isn’t providing enough distraction.

When people talk about the World Cup now, much of the energy is spent talking about the pride South Africans feel. South Africa hosted without major incident, visitors enjoyed the country, and the event went smoothly. The people that I’ve talked to are enormously proud of that.

There’s also talk of the gees—the spirit—that the World Cup brought. Many saw a united South Africa for the first time. For a month, people were just people and South Africa was, at least temporarily, that post-racial, post-class idealized society one dreams of.

But, in the end, South Africa is still a highly unequal society in economic terms and I don’t see how the newly found utopia can survive with such unfortunate realities. South Africa will always have the World Cup, though, and that view of what this country can be.


right to the finger

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:43 am

A runner got arrested for flicking off SA President Jacob Zuma.

Maxwele was jogging on Cape Town’s De Waal Drive just before 6pm last Wednesday when a convoy of six government cars sped past him.

“I waved them away, as if to say ‘hamba’, because of the noise. After that a black BMW X5 pulled up and three guys jumped out, pointing guns at me,” Maxwele told Sowetan.

Say you want about the current or past US administrations but I think they would at least respect one’s right to flick them off.


bacon + sausage, white house style, sxsw and motown

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:10 pm

Some people took sausage and wrapped it in bacon and slathered it in bbq sauce. Does anyone really need to ask why this has gotten some attention?

I found this article about transitioning White House style interesting.

It has fun quotes, like:

In the West Wing, Mr. Obama is a bit of a wanderer. When Mr. Bush wanted to see a member of his staff, the aide was summoned to the Oval Office. But Mr. Obama tends to roam the halls; one day last week, he turned up in the office of his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, who was in the unfortunate position of having his feet up on the desk when the boss walked in.

I’m once again heading to SxSW, which happens in a month and change. The preliminary list of bands is dizzying. I’m looking forward to it, though.

It’s Motown’s 50th anniversary this month. Popmatters put together a good list of their 25 top singles. It includes a streaming music player. On my other blog, I put together my favorite Motown songs from 1959, their first year.


no. 8

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:21 pm

Martin Van Buren was an interesting president, not particular for what he did—after all, his main presidential legacy was the Panic of 1837 (does that look familiar to anyone?)—but for who he was.

He was:

  • the first president to be born an American citizen.
  • the only president to not speak English as a first language. (he was raised speaking Dutch). [1]
  • the first president from New York.
  • one of two people to have been the Secretary of State, President and Vice President. (the other way Thomas Jefferson[2])

[1] Imagine the backlash today about such a person: how unamerican can you get?

[2] Awesome band name that I came up with in 11th grade and recorded a total of one song (in German) with: DJ TJ and the Founding Fathers.


round the water San Francisco ride

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:29 pm

View Larger Map

I did my first long bike ride in a while yesterday and certainly my first new route in a long time. It mostly hugged the water around the bay and coast of San Francisco. It was based on the SF Chronicle’s “Outer Limits” ride. It ended up being about 27 miles.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday. Warm, but not hot, clear, even out by Ocean Beach, and there were some gorgeous views throughout. I also went through a number of parts of San Francisco that I’ve never seen before: the Presidio, Seacliff, Land’s End, Lake Merced and parts of the Marina.

I also missed some turns, went the wrong way and blew a tire (while riding without a spare for the first time I can remember) and so I almost got stuck out on the Great Highway (among all those ghosts). It’ll be better next time.


behind the scenes

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:06 pm

I found Newsweek’s Secrets of the 2008 Campaign 7-part series of articles really fascinating. The basic gist was that both campaigns allowed behind the scenes access on the condition that the info wasn’t published till after election day. It’s pretty interesting to see the candidates as human and, for the most part, more decent than their advisers and handlers.

Also, there are even some funny parts:

At one point, Mark McKinnon, a media adviser who had worked for Bush-Cheney ’04, described the difference between the Bush campaigns he had worked on and the McCain campaign as the difference between the Royal British Navy and Capt. Jack Sparrow’s ship in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” McCain loved the comparison. He began making guttural pirate noises, punctuating his jokes and one-liners with “Aaarrgh” and occasionally greeting reporters with this oddly cheerful growl. PIRATES FOR MCCAIN T shirts (complete with skull and crossbones) eventually sprouted on the backs of campaign volunteers and even a few reporters.

Start with chapter 1.


I’d rather

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:54 pm

I’d rather you vote in opposition to me than not vote. Get on it.


I voted

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:02 pm

(by mail).

Someone give me a cookie[1]!

[1] Actually the worst part of voting by mail is not getting a donut after voting. Maybe I’ll just have to go to the Jelly Donut.


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.


barack obama built me a robot

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:56 pm

In case you haven’t seen it. There are even shirts.


America is (or seems to be) . . .

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:55 pm

dark, quiet, sparsely populated, wasteful, English-speaking, diverse, casual, expensive

filled with…
people who drive everywhere, giant cars, giant portions of food, giant supermarkets, giant stores, giant napkins, whites, blacks, latinos/as, smiling people


myanmar on my mind

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:55 pm

I first heard about the mounting protests by monks in Bangkok. Considering Thailand is a neighboring country to Myanmar, I was concerned that it might just be a region news story. I’m glad it’s not.

I am concerned about the fact that monks are being beaten. The countries Minister of Religion (or something like that) even said “If the monks go against the rules and regulations in the authority of Buddhist teachings, we will take action under existing laws.” Wow.

The images of so many monks marching is pretty powerful:

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