Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My favorite tweets of 2014

Once is an incident; twice is a trend. Three times is a tradition.  Welcome to TK's Top Tweets of 2014.

It's hard to say any year totally sucked when you have a kid because they light up your life and give you hope to carry on etc but 2014 was kind of a garbage year. Between everyone in our family dying including the fucking DOG and the world pretty much going to shit what with the police brutality and the Isis and what have you I'm not sad to see it go.

Nevertheless there were good parts and these tweets are part of the good parts.

I actually went to look up what was happening with the Giants on Sept. 25 that made Dan tweet this, which perfectly summarized a season that was beyond frustrating right up until they won the fucking World Series. The Giants were playing the Padres and were up 6-0, then gave up 8 runs in the 6th and 7th innings. My forensic analysis of the timestamp on this tweet leads me to believe that's when Dan sent this out. As it happens, the Giants then came back, scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th, and clinched a playoff spot. Unbelievable.

If there was any better summary of San Francisco in 2014 than a techie's Mom writing to tell seniors and the disabled to get the fuck out of the way of her son's road to wealth, I can't imagine what it was.

Time to go, 2014. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

What are we all doing for New Year's Eve 20 Years Ago?

Welcome to another installment of It Was 20 Years Ago Today, in which we bore readers in a very specific way: by looking at old newspapers and finding out what was going on 20 years ago.


I know it's not today, but close enough.  I have here ads I carefully copied from the December 28, 1994 SF Weekly.  We're all 20 years younger!  Let's go do something tonight, for Chrissakes.  The Internet hasn't really taken off yet so we can't stay home and post cat pictures on the Tumbeler.  Let's go have some FUN.

What's going on at Paradise Lounge?

The Loved Ones was local fave Bart Davenport's old band.  I don't think I ever saw them.  The Broun Fellinis might even still be around.

Over at Great American, we've got a "Cajun New Years Eve" f/ Beausoleil.  I don't know what the draw of a Cajun NYE in SF is but whatever.  Also look at the night before, with Cake last on the bill in tiny print. Sadly, they would go on to much bigger type.

The Cramps at the Fillmore.  I think the Public Enemy show a few nights earlier would be about 1000 times more interesting.

Finally, we have something called "Mr. Jenkins' Big Block Party" at Embarcadero Center.  I have no idea who Mr. Jenkins is, but the lineup is kind of incredible.

The Brothers Doobie and Neville on the main stage.  And look at the "Big Bang Alternative Stage," with Cracker and the Meat Puppets!  (Also Engine, who later became Engine 88 and put out a great album called "Clean Your Room."  Here's a video of them performing the song "Pelican" at the 1995 Haight Street Fair.  I was actually in the audience at this very performance, back when the idea of going to a street fair didn't give me full body wretching.  Plus I lived right off Haight at the time.  Here's a studio version of another song, "Des Moines," with much better sound.  Now I have gone down the Engine 88 rabbit hole.  Anyway.)

$65 for Mr. Jenkins' Big Block Party.  That seems a bit steep, Doobie Brothers or not.

When it's all said and done, I think I would have been just fine going to the late, great 20 Tank Brewery's NYE party, where $15 includes a reserved table and a round of beer & pizza.  20 Tank was great.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TK's Albums of the Year

I'm not a Professional Music Critic, so nobody really cares, but I was going to write about Debra J. Saunders latest stupid, dumb column because it made me so mad but then I went "You know what?  It's Christmas.  Let's just be happy and not mad."  There were so many good albums this year.

I was gonna do a video for each one but fucking Blogger keeps deleting the videos so fuck it. Whoops, there goes my Xmas Spirit.

1. Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

You haven't lived until you've heard a guy who sounds like Waylon Jennings sing about "reptile aliens made of light" and name-drop psilocybin and DMT.  I listened to this album so many times this year.

2. Cocktails, Adult Life

One of the two local bands on the list, which is crazy unusual for me.  But this album, a totally fun power pop gem, would make the list either way.

3. Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else

Am I crazy if I say this is what the Replacements might have sounded like if they practiced more and drank less?

4. Woods, With Light and With Love

I love these crazy hippies.

5. Young Fathers, Dead

It's not really going out on a limb to pick an album that won the Mercury Prize (which is a big deal in Britain, let me assure you) but it doesn't change how great this album is.  Mercury Prize =/= Grammy.

6. TV on the Radio, Seeds

I haven't had that much time with this album yet (by which I mean I've only listened to it 7 or 8 times) but I already love it.  I love everything TVOTR does.  I think 2 of my favorite 10 albums of the '00s were by TVOTR.

7. Generationals, Alix

I suggested "Black Lemon" to my friend Stephen and he said that I like that "post-MGMT stuff" more than he does.  HRMPH.

8. Painted Palms, Forever

The other local band.  Every city gets the Miike Snow it deserves.

Being a contrarian, I didn't like a lot of stuff that everyone else fell all over themselves about.  I thought the new Spoon album sounded exactly like a Spoon album.  Jenny Lewis's Voyager was whatever.  You have to be kidding me with that Leonard Cohen thing.  Be honest, you don't like Leonard Cohen.

Merry Christmas!  See you again one more time before New Years, for my annual Top Tweets of the Year post.  THE EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Urban Etiquette: Motoring in the City

Since I live in San Francisco and work in San Francisco I obviously take Muni to work since there's nowhere to park at my job that doesn't cost $18 a day.  So I never used to drive that much.  Just on weekends, pretty much.  Like, literally I would not enter my car M-F unless it was street cleaning.

Now I take my offspring to day care in the mid-Sunset area, so I drive every day.  It's been an eye-opening experience.  Everyone is a terrible driver.

1. For the love of all that is holy, USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS

Why are you stopped in the middle of the street?  Have you died in your car and now it just sits there, unattended, while your body rots into the seat?  No?  You're waiting to turn?  Your car is almost certainly not a pre-1939 Buick and thus is equipped with a mechanism designed to let others know your intentions vis-a-vis turning.  FUCKING USE IT.

2. How Stop Signs Work

It has become apparent to me that most drivers believe that Stop signs work like this: "I see a Stop sign.  I pause briefly, then continue on.  It matters not if there are other cars at the intersection, in the general area, or anywhere else on Planet Earth.  I have paused briefly and will now be on my way."

This is not how Stop signs work, you maroon.  Print this out and tape it to your dashboard:

We cool?

3. Green light means go

Why are you just sitting there?  Depress the accelerator pedal.  The odds of the North American Plate suddenly lurching to life and moving under you so as to propel you through the intersection without you operating your car are vanishingly small.

4. Double Parking: Is It For Me?

Double parking is mostly OK if you just have to run in for a second and it's a fairly wide street so the rest of us can get around you without too much trouble.


a. Anywhere near an intersection.
b. Anywhere, at any time, on Fell, Oak, Gough, Franklin, Turk between Van Ness and Divisadero, any of those little tiny streets in Bernal Heights or those alleys in the Mission, or anywhere else you're going to royally fuck up traffic.
c. When there's a perfectly good parking space right there! What the fuck are you thinking? Take the 30 seconds and park!  Christ!

5. There is no point in tailgating.  It almost never makes the person in front of you go faster and you just look like an asshole.

I'm sure I've forgotten some big ones.  Enlighten me in the comments if you wish.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santacon and a Tale of Two Internets

If you haven't lived in SF long, you may have thought Santacon was always an excuse for Chads and Jens to put on Santa suits and make themselves unpopular all over the city, but the event actually started with the Cacophony Society back in the mid-90's.  (If you're not familiar with the Cacophony Society, they're one of the things that used to make San Francisco great.  Start with the Wiki here.)

Ugh. (Photo via SFWeekly.)

ANYWAY, applying the precepts of the Greater Shitshow Theory, what started out as a cool small event eventually became a horrible public spectacle that people hate.  (In New York it's apparently way worse.)  In fact, the universal level of loathing in my Twitter feed proves that Santacon is one of the few things everyone I follow on Twitter agrees on: it's the Worst Thing in the World.

That's just the smallest sample. It was way worse than that.  It's like a group of privileged white people with more money than sense and no moral compass can't get teenager-on-Everclear drunk in the middle of the day and vomit in public while screaming incoherently any more! Boo hoo.

But this total opprobrium made me think: there is nothing that 100% of the people agree on (including, as Hunter S. Thompson sagely noted, "Jesus Christ and pure cocaine"), and those drunk Santas all look like they were doing it voluntarily, so where is the pro-Santacon Internet?  Why aren't I seeing tweets like "Having a great time at Santacon! This is more fun than going to Dartmouth as a legacy and denying that white privilege exists!"

Pretty simple, I guess.  Everyone's Internet is a pretty small slice.  I don't follow any finance bros on Twitter because I don't know any finance bros in real life, I guess.  Sure, I have some hate-follows, and I read certain blogs that make me actually angry every time, but doesn't everyone?  Getting outraged is practically America's national sport.  Baseball has nothing on "WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT VACCINES IS WRONG WRONG WRONG HOPE YOUR KIDS ENJOY AUTISM."  But for our Daily Bread, we follow and read people pretty much like people we know in the meatspace (worst term ever I've been dying to use).  I remember talking to some dude at a party and mentioning something I read on SFist and he said "What's SFist" and the room started to spin and I got dizzy and then I remembered that Everyone Makes Their Own Internet and SFist isn't exactly the New York Times.  It's one of my daily stops (if for no other reason, to hate-read Miles Long's hilariously stupid babycon takes on everything) but most people - even most people in SF - don't know it exists.

So there's a whole universe of pro-Santacon (and pro-everything else awful) Twitter out there, I'm sure.  Just not mine. Which, fine.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rain: The Movie

INT MAYOR'S SITUATION ROOM. A darkened room with huge video screens, all displaying a map with a frightening orange and green blob heading directly for San Francisco.  Uniformed men and women rush around, barking into phones and tapping at keyboards.

MAYOR bursts in, following by Chief of Staff LLOYD.


OK, what have we got?  Give it to me straight.

General BRICKS turns to face MAYOR.


I'm afraid it doesn't look good, Sir.  As you can see, it's headed right for us.


What do you mean, "it"?  Don't sugarcoat it for me, General.  Give it to me straight.


Well, Sir, it''s rain.

MAYOR's face is a mask of shock and horror.


"Rain," General?  You can't be serious.


I'm dead serious, Lloyd.  It's rain.  And it's bearing down on us like a 50,000 ton freight train full of liquid water. Deadly, liquid water.


Is that what rain is, General?  Water?  


That's what we think.  Water, but....from the sky.


What the hell are you talking about, General?  Water from the sky?  What kind of madness is this?


I'm sorry, but our intelligence indicates it's true.  Water falls from the sky and collects on the ground and makes things wet.


Technical question, General.  If you were to look up at this "rain," and you had your mouth open, could it fill your lungs and drown you?


Honestly, Lloyd, I don't know.  We don't have a lot of answers.


Goddamit, we're wasting time.  We've got to warn the citizens about this "rain."


The worst part of this, Mayor, is that it may already be too late.


Children run and play on the various playground equipment.  We see JOHNNY jump from the monkey bars and land on his feet, smiling delightedly.


This is the best day ever!

From above, we see the shadow of a cloud move across the playground.  A drop of water splashes onto JOHNNY's head.  And another, and another.  


Mommy? What's happening?


[OK, I know, two rain posts in a row.  But what am I supposed to do?  This storm was the Biggest Story of the Decade.  It would be like Walter Cronkite doing a newscast in 1969 and not mentioning Vietnam.  The movie poster picture I stole from Kate Scott's Twitter feed.  Thanks, Kate Scott.]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Anchor Drone (chuckling): Thanks for the report, Kenny.  It's nice to know not every police beating has to be a sad story.  Now let's talk to meteorologist Skip Hapless at Weather Center 10000 who's tracking a fast-moving storm heading for our area!


Anchor Drone: What's that, Skip?


Anchor Drone: What does the storm look like, Skip?

Skip Hapless: It will make Armageddon look like a free cone at Coldstone Creamery.  Lashing sheets of rain will pelt and destroy wildlife.  Your loved ones will cling to trees and pray for death.  THIS WILL BE A MAJOR WEATHER EVENT.

Anchor Drone: How much rain can we expect, Skip?


Anchor Drone: Sounds like this might affect the morning commute!


Anchor Drone: That was Skip Hapless with the weather.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Binge watch alert

I know, this is turning into 40 Going On TV, but that's sort of my life right now.  When you have a kid who goes to bed at 7, you are bestowed two gifts: (1) a fairly substantial period of time before you go to bed, and (2) the total inability to leave the house.  Either we become serious g4m3rz, read books next to each other on the couch, the steady tick tock of the clock punctuating the passing silence, or we fucking watch TV like normal people.  We watch a good amount of TV.  Although, to to be fair, probably no more - and maybe less - than the average American household.  The average is about 5 hours per day, and I doubt we get anywhere close to that.

Jesus, that was a long preamble just to talk about one show: Peaky Blinders, now streaming on Netflix.  PB is a British drama about a crime family in Birmingham (England, not Alabama, duh) set just after World War I.  How could I elevator pitch this?  The Sopranos crossed with Downton Abbey?  No, not really.  Maybe Boardwalk Empire with British accents?  I've never seen Boardwalk Empire, but I understand the comparison has been made.  Anyway, it's really good and we're currently just beginning to binge watch it.

It stars Cillian Murphy, mostly known to American audiences as The Creepy Irish Guy in Different Stuff.

It's got all the elements you want for a Complete Binge Watching Experience: a dark antihero, several intertwining plots, an even darker antiantihero, explicit violence, flashbacks, one or more mysteries at the center, and a woman with a secret.  There's also Sam Neill struggling valiantly with a Northern Irish accent.  YOU GO SAM NEILL, YOU'LL BEAT IT.

We're only three episodes in and I kinda love it.  I think there's only 12 episodes total, so you could easily knock it out before more stuff starts/comes back early next year.  (I also think it's the show they're discussing this Sunday on TV on the Radio so there's an excuse to at least catch a few eps.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

TV Roundup

I'm back!  I've been on hiatus.  This included air travel (surprisingly not that bad; travel on Monday and Friday of Thanksgiving week if you like avoiding crowds); family (great); and the incredible biscuits of the Loveless Cafe (incredible).

A girl and her breakfast (NB: bacon does not come pre-shredded).
ANYWAY, now we're back.  Sorry for the long layoff and whatever.  We are now in Peak TV Season what with some series finales and mid-season finales and basically all kinds of great shit going on so let's take a minute and reflect on the wondrous bounty the Lord has giveth upon us.  And by the Lord I mean Comcast Xfinity.

SONS OF ANARCHY - Blessedly in the final season, with the series finale December 9.  This season sort of mirrored the show as a whole; there were some good parts and some really, really bad parts.  Luckily, it seems like they're pulling it together towards the end.  The last few shows have been excellent, so I'm pretty optimistic they can pull off a satisfying end.  At first we thought everyone was going to die but maybe not.

90 DAY FIANCE - Everybody's on the train(wreck) now.  Just read Beth's outstanding recaps at Your Slow News Day. Watch it now, because this is the last season it's going to be good.  From here on out, the couples will all be totally self-conscious and playing it for the camera, just like Jersey Shore with Central Americans.

THE WALKING DEAD - Just got to its mid-season break with a SHOCKING DEATH of a formerly minor character who was given lots more screen time this season so we could get invested and then moved by her SHOCKING DEATH.  Hey, at least something is fucking happening this season.  Kill 'em all, if that's what it takes.  Why am I even watching this show.

PARENTHOOD - On a break until January 8 I think. My ideal series finale would be Zeek drowning Max in a bathtub and then sitting in his prized classic convertible in the garage with the engine running but instead it'll probably be more of Ray Romano's stupid family hogging all the scenes.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the indispensable TV on the Radio show on BFF.FM, everyone's favorite Internet radio station, every Sunday morning at 10 a.m., in which the ladies discuss TV shows and life itself.  Perfect to enjoy with your half cap and cruller or bong hit or whatever it is you do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The time is now: #dadcore magazine

Why stop at listicles? THINK BIG, MAN.

Dadcore is about knowing how to make a dinner consisting entirely of white foods and also how to make a Manhattan with one hand while holding a baby in the other.

Dadcore is knowing the people in those "Swagger wagon" ads are tools.

Dadcore is being able to discuss the relative musical merits of One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Dadcore is being able to change a diaper in under 90 seconds.  IN AN AIRPLANE LAVATORY.

Dadcore is real.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why things are not going to work out for Buzzfeed and me

Famous web site Buzzfeed is looking to hire a "Staff Writer, San Francisco."  Since I already staff write just for fun and enjoy lazily daydreaming about leaving the choking conformist corporate culture of my current job I decided to see if I'd be a likely candidate to staff write for Buzzfeed.  No, it turns out, I would not.

First, I am over 25 and have a decent haircut, and it says right there on the site "NOTICE: WE DO NOT HIRE ANYONE OVER 25 OR ANYONE WITH A NORMAL HAIRCUT."

Here are the "Responsibilities" meaning what I would be doing during the time I'm not looking at other, better web sites.

I could do this!  As long as I don't have to ever, ever say "tech/startup space" out loud.  Blech.  Blech.  I like contributing to the conversation about culture and I try to do that every day.

Here we have requirements, which is the part I like to call "WHY I WON'T BE HIRED TO BE STAFF WRITER FOR BUZZFEED"

You see that Buzzfeed is so fucking TERRIFIED of haters that they had to put in "No haters" TWICE, once with an exclamation point!  NO!  HATERS!

Well, on behalf of me and other haters, fuck you, Buzzfeed.  You won't silence us!

(Also, BUZZ FEED, I have to check the manual but I think "18 Times Paris Hilton Committed Gloriously Bad Crimes Against Fashion" is the work of a HATER so you may yet have haters on staff!  Commence your purge of haters AT ONCE!!!)

Let's see what else.  I'm not 100% sure what emotional intelligence is but I probably have that.  I have the ability, but not the willingness, to take the perspective of others, so I'm good there.  My dog had a "positive, curious, playful disposition" but I couldn't say I do.

Ok then. This has been 17 Great Reasons Why I Won't Get a Job at Buzzfeed.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Watch me go full Comic Book Guy on this clip from Parenthood

Parenthood is a soap opera for grownups about members of an extended family that supposedly live in the Bay Area.  It's also pretty clearly shot in LA, and because The Wife is now extraordinarily tired of me shouting at the TV "THAT'S NOT SAN FRANCISCO!!!  THOSE PEOPLE JUST PARKED IN FRONT OF THEIR HOUSE LIKE IT WAS NO BIG THING!!! THEY'RE OUTSIDE AT NIGHT IN T-SHIRTS!!!!," I'll have to take it to the Internet again.  *shakes fist*

In the last episode, two of the characters supposedly are going to see a band at the Elbo Room, which is an actual real place in SF (for a little while longer, anyway).  (You can watch the scene here; fast forward to about 27:20.) This is what the actual Elbo Room, which is on Valencia, looks like:

Photo via, which is a real thing and had the best picture of the Elbo Rom I could find after looking for 35 seconds
And in the Make Believe Fantasy World of Parenthood, this is what the Elbo Room looks like:

Huh.  Not bad, actually!  They sorta got the sign font right and even included the corner doorway.

But look at this, down the side of the club:

Can you see the Transamerica Pyramid from Sycamore and Valencia?  I don't think you can.  Also, guess what, Sycamore Street?  You are now served by a cable car!  (It's slightly visible lower left, and you can see the tracks there.)  DING DING!  As all establishing shots in San Francisco must begin, a cable car passes through at the beginning of the scene.

Then it goes from merely inaccurate to absurd.  As one of the characters, Crosby, approaches the door, he is searched by a bouncer wearing a headset.

A bouncer wearing a headset.  At Elbo Room.

The bouncer reaches into his jacket and pulls out Crosby's "weed."

The idea that the doorman at Elbo Room would (1) search someone's jacket pockets, (2) pull out a baggie of marijuana, and (3) not let the person enter Elbo Room carrying said marijuana is about as likely as the Elbo Room having a VIP lounge where professional athletes order bottles of Ace of Spades and make it rain.  Any two-bit stoner who can roll a joint has a medical marijuana card.  Plus is weed even illegal any more?

Crosby protests that all he wants to do is "burn a little leaf in the toilet."  We're done here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rustin Canseco speaks

Ref: here, here, here, and here.

Think about that.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best airport food is at DFW? Come the fuck on.

A couple of days ago Internet dinosaur Yahoo! (or is it just Yahoo now, sans excitement) went and published a list with the unwieldy title "Every Important U.S. Airport, Ranked by Its Food and Drink," when they could have just said "Best Airport Food" or gone full Upworthy with "Every Airport Serves Food. Which One Has The Best Will Shock You."

[DIGRESSION ONE: It was actually 3 days ago, so I guess it wasn't a "couple" of days ago, but really, can't a "couple" be up to 4?  Like if you said "I'm meeting a couple of friends at Hometown Buffet" would that ALWAYS mean EXACTLY 2 friends, or could it mean a loose assemblage of up to 3 or 4?  Maybe just 3.]

[DIGRESSION TWO: No, seriously, I really want to know why Upworthy, and Upworthy alone, has a stylebook that calls for Capitalizing The First Word Of Every Title Including The Articles Like A And An And The.]

Like everything else they do, Yahoo fucked it up.  Let's cut right to the chase: they said the airport with the best food in America was human stockyard Dallas-Fort Worth.

If you have ever flown on American Airlines, then you know the sinkhole of human misery and pathos that is DFW.  Long lines of dead-eyed humans dressed for a slumber party in a Third World dumpster shuffle aimlessly on and off the TRA'AIN from one endless terminal to the other.  Luckily, there is a plethora of tasty and nutritious food to satisfy these weary travelers!

Not really.  Here's what you get in Terminal C:

I know what you're saying.  HOW COULD IT BE BAD IF THERE'S A WENDY'S.  Of course you're right.  Wendy's is magical.  But does a Wendy's and an Au Bon Pain and a Chili's Too make for the Best Airport Food? No.

(Also, WTF, Taco Bell Express?  Taco Bell is pretty fucking fast already.  I can't imagine how you make it express.  I guess you could have a Food Product Gun that shoots a pre-made slurry of Meat Substitute and spray cheese into either a hard or soft edible wrapper, but that's about it.)

Don't come at me with your Grove Natural Snacks.  That's yogurt covered raisins in a plastic pouch.  The rest is all garbage.  I've eaten at the Texas Stadium Skybox Bar & Grill and it tasted like someone put McDonalds into a food dehydrator and then reconstituted it in gasoline.

SFO came in second.  Just for comparison's sake, here are your options in SFO Terminal 2:

Andale Mexican Restaurant
Burger Joint
Cat Cora
Lark Creek Grill
Napa Farms Market
The Plant Cafe
Vino Volo

But yeah, I guess Manchu Wok would beat the shit out of grilled steelhead salmon with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and sundried tomato-bacon vinaigrette. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Redistributing wealth for fun & profit: a Thought Experiment

Voters in Arkansas seem ... confused?  For lack of a better word?  They just voted to raise the minimum wage in their state, which, fantastic!  Good for them.  The minimum wage is way too low.  They're only raising it to $8.50 an hour but that's probably like $50 an hour here.

Guess how much this 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath with fenced yard and carport in Bella Vista is?

$675.  Let that sink in for a minute.

Anyway, Arkansans seem confused because in addition to the highly progeressive and populist move of voting to raise their minimum wage, they also voted to the Senate a guy named Tom Cotton who is against raising the federal minimum wage but because he is so breathtakingly devoid of principle announced he would vote for the Arkansas minimum wage hike because he knows how to read polls and wanted to win an election.  It worked.  He won.

Arkansas is a good state to use to think about income and wealth disparity in this country because the per capita personal income there is $34,723 which ranks 45th out of 50 states and is also home to the mind-bogglingly wealthy Walton family of Wal-Mart fame who probably drag up the per capita median income a few grand just by being there.  The Waltons are particularly venal and loathsome because they are the richest family in America with a combined net worth of $152 billion and pay their workers so poorly that many of them have to go on food stamps to live.

So here's a Thought Experiment.  In some state with a low per capita income that also has ballot measures - a state like, say, Arkansas - get the following ballot measure before the voters: a 5% surtax on all incomes above $1 million, with the proceeds going to everyone with an income under $34,723.  Now, ideally, I'd like to just distribute it in the form of crisp $20 bills or I guess a personal check but that might even be too Communist or Socialist or Fascist or whatever combination of those that radio hosts would use, so you could cut the state income taxes of everyone who makes $34,723 to a rate that matches the money collected from Richie Rich.  (Looks like the current rates are between 1 and 7% for that bracket - should be a nice savings!)

Isn't this just a naked redistribution of wealth?  FUCK YEAH.  About time we start redistributing it down instead of up, like they're doing in Kansas, where the latest tax cuts benefit the wealthiest people.

What would this accomplish?  Well, for one thing, it would help out the people who need it the most.  For another, it would tell you whether people are so beguiled by Tom Cotton types that they're willing to vote NOT TO ACCEPT FREE MONEY if it means taking a little bit away from people who make more per year than they will in their working lifetimes.  If they won't pass the Free Money For You From Some Caviar Chomping Dbag Act of 2016, then fuck 'em, we tried.

(P.S. Even in dark red states like Georgia a majority of people want to raise the minimum wage.  SOUNDS LIKE A ISSUE THAT MIGHT BE GOOD FOR DEMOCRATS.  If they weren't so good at losing they might want to pick that up.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Biggest Voting Surprises

I just voted down at City Hall! No one asked me for my ID because I'm white.  I'm pretty good at voting because I've done it for a long time with varying levels of success (still mad at u, stupid AL GORE).  But in SF the ballot is like 10 PAGES LONG and I'm busy and don't study as much as I need to and some things still surprise me.

1. Nancy Pelosi is running for Congress!  She hasn't run that many ads that I've seen.  I voted for her because I like Nancy Pelosi Drive in Golden Gate Park.  Little heads-up would have been good, though.

2. There's like a whole page of just judges.  Mostly it's just YES or NO.  I voted yes for everyone EXCEPT ONE because I like to keep them on their toes.

3. Oh shit, this year you have to vote for your favorite attraction.

I wrote in "Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater" but I hope Coit Tower wins. If you voted for Fisherman's Wharf I don't even want to talk to you.  The campaign those people ran was DESPICABLE.

4. I studied the David Campos vs. David Chiu race pretty hard but I DIDN'T GET TO VOTE IN THAT ONE.  What a fucking ripoff.

5. I voted no on the soda tax because get back to me when you start taxing LITERAL BAGS OF FUCKING SUGAR.  Do you know how much sugar is in a 1-lb bag of sugar?  ONE POUND.  That's so much more than is in a Coke.  If we are gonna tax sugar, go all the fucking way or go home.

6. Nobody's running against Carmen Chu for Assessor!  She must be good at assessing.

7. After I was done I didn't even make it back to the counter before some lady approached me and said "All done?" and then took my ballot.  WAIT DO YOU EVEN WORK HERE? I think I just got voter frauded.  Where are you, my Republican legislator friends?  HELP.

8. THIS IS NOT A JOKE, NON-SAN FRANCISCANS, but this year we had to fucking VOTE on whether to have artificial turf soccer fields and what kind of height restrictions to have at Pier 70.  This is ridiculous.  Next year we will have ballot propositions like "What should the first movie be at Dolores Park Movie Night" and "Should I pay for a garage or park in the street" and "What's your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's" and "Who's Sharon? I have her name and number but don't remember anything about her."

Anyway, you deserve to be heard, so get out there and vote if you have political sensibilities similar to mine.  If not, it's a fucking hassle and waste of time and you might as well just stay home.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

World Series game 7: Damn.

On July 29, the Giants lost to the Pirates 3-1.  It was their sixth straight loss.  Dan Uggla went 0 for 3 and struck out twice.  Dan Uggla, ladies and gentlemen.


No, nobody said that.  Everybody said this team sucks.

Today, Dan Uggla is sitting in a man cave somewhere looking down at his hand and picturing a World Series ring on it.

It is hard to describe how improbable this whole thing is.  On October 1, me and a friend agreed that it would just be better to lose the wild card play-in against the Pirates than have to endure the grim reality of getting ground up in the playoffs.  The Giants winning the World Series this year is like Matt Damon just hanging around Boston and sticking with his construction job at the end of Good Will Hunting.

So after getting genocided 10-0 on Tuesday night, things did not look good.  The Giants were sending out Tim Hudson, a retiree from Georgia who broke into the big leagues before players used mitts and has a postseason record of 0-132.  Tim Hudson managed to carry the ball to the plate for about an inning and a half.  Thanks, Tim.  You can hit the early bird now.

The Giants cobbled together a couple of runs in the top of the 2nd and then in the bottom of the 2nd Billy Butler, who I'm sure is a nice man with a good family, singled and then Alex Gordon doubled and then Omar Infante sac flied and Gordon scored and it was 2-2.  Jeremy Affledt came in and calmed shit down.  Now the Giants just needed a run.  HAVE NO FEAR, BRUCE BOCHY IS KISSING SOME BATS.

The side-eye is tremendous.
They got it in the 4th, a Morse single that scored Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval.  3-2.  NOW WHO SHOULD PROTECT THAT LEAD.

Everybody knew what was about to happen.  Madison Bumgarner was coming in.  Based on what I understand, Madison Bumgarner grew up in a log cabin HE BUILT WITH HIS OWN HANDS AS AN INFANT and invented cows.  He is as strong as rhinoceros on androstenedione and as calm and placid as a 37th-level yogi.  Despite having already pitched in 2 other games, he came into this one on 2 days rest and threw 5 innings.  Poor Royals.

Afterwards, Chevy Man passed from mortal to legend. And the Giants have won another World Series.  Prior to the start, The Wife said that whoever scored first would win.  She is an oracle, I'm telling you.

Prepare to be hated, fellow Giants fans, for we are now basically Yankees fans.  Oh well.

They've already got the banners up.  That was fast.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, we reported that Kansas City Designated Hitter Billy Butler "looks like chromosome damage and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome got together and had a party." After further consideration, this was unnecessarily mean and not in the spirit of being a good winner.  40 Going On 28 regrets the error.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World Series Game 6: What the fuck was that

I mean, Mark Ibanez, you know "Anchorman" was just a movie, right?  Or are you heading back to 1979 in your time machine after this wraps?  RIGHT ON, MY BROTHER.

Ugh, that was an ugly little scene last night.  First inning, nothing really happens.  Top of second, nothing really happens.  Bottom of second, ARMAGEDDON CAGE MATCH WITH FIRE EXPLOSIONS.

- Alex Gordon singles
- Salvador Perez singles
- Mike Moustakas doubles, Gordon scores
- Omar Infante strikes out.  WHEW, EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE OK. IT'S ONLY 1-0.
- Alcides Escobar singles
- Nori Aoki singles. Perez scores. Everything is not going to be ok.  Peavy out, Pettit in.
- Lorenzo Cain singles. Moustakas and Escobar score. Everything is terrible. Men fall to their knees.  Women weep and rend their garments. A baby is heard crying in the distance.
- Eric Hosmer doubles. Aoki and Cain score. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.
- Billy Butler, who looks like Larry the Cable Guy after reconstructive facial surgery, doubles. Hosmer scores.
- Gordon grounds out. Perez flies out.
- The fifth angel sounds; locusts upon the Earth advance to second on wild pitch; great dragon scores.

Nothing much else happened.  The Royals scored some more and the Giants didn't.  In the interest of comic relief, human tire fire Hunter Strickland appeared in some inning - 6th? 7th? who the fuck knows? - and promptly gave up a home run that sportswriters are contractually obligated to describe as "towering." At this point, we can only describe Bruce Bochy's fascination with Hunter Strickland as disturbing.  Meanwhile Tim Lincecum sits on the bench.

You want a hot take?  I don't know if you can handle a take this hot.  Get suited up.

Ready?  Here goes. Chuckleheads like Scott Ostler say to start Madison Bumgarner tonight but that's silly. START LINCECUM.  He's got loads of big game experience, his last outings out of the pen have looked good, and he'll blow their fucking minds.  BLOW. THEIR. MINDS.

Tim Hudson is nice and a good story and all but Tim Lincecum has a proven track record of winning World Series games.  If he struggles, boom, bring in Hudson or Pettit again or Julian fucking Tavarez for all I care, just START TIMMY.

Somebody get me a petition going.  THOSE ALWAYS WORK.

So that's it.  Tonight is the whole thing.  We have a pediatrician appointment at 4 and if that doctor does anything more than twirl her around and say "Yep, looks good," we are taking that toddler and marching right the fuck out.  PARENTING!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

World Series Game 5, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: Rise of the Lizard Pitcher

INTRODUCTORY SIDENOTES: (1) Sorry this is late.  I was busy yesterday so the WSELE was OTBE (overtaken by events, as they say).  (2) I am no longer aware of what the difference is between the World Series regular posts and World Series EXPRESS LANE EDITIONS are so I guess they're all WSELEs now.  I think I thought the regular posts were longer?  And then they all turned out to be the same length?  Either way, this is a boring little peek behind the scenes that nobody asked for or wanted.

We began Sunday night with the series tied 2-2.  Both teams would have liked to win this game.  However, only one team had Madison Bumgarner.  He does not blink, ever.

Seriously, the camera would hold on him in the dugout like this and there would be no movement or blinking for the entire time.  BLINKING IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS.  Blinking is for losers.  Madison Bumgarner is not a loser.  He is the Lizard Pitcher and we have him and you do not.  Royals lose 5-0, and it never seemed that close.

Also, you would think I would get sick of being Wrong on the Internet but my thirst for wrongness is exceeded only by my thirst for Anchor California Lager and VICTORY or something like that.  Anyway, the surest way for a player to have a great game is for me to slag him off.  First I denigrated Gregor Blanco, and he hit a leadoff home run.  Then I questioned the baseballness of Juan Perez, and Sunday night he hit a double that scored two runs.

So this is for you, Jake Peavy, starting pitcher tonight: You are terrible at baseball.  What are you even doing.  You should be running parts for a garage in Tempe, not playing organized baseball of any kind.  You scare me worse than a New York City cop with Ebola.

There, that should do it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

World Series Game 4, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: I did not see that coming


The Giants aren't dead!  They're not even sick.

This is coming from a man who texted someone last night in the fourth inning "This series is over." So grain of salt anything you hear from me.

Last night the Giants were down 4-1 and looked like shit.  Vogelsong pitched a great first inning and then Jesus had other shit to do because he fell off a cliff and got yanked.  Yuck.  So it looks pretty bad.  The Giants are down by 3 runs and they are not especially good at coming back from 3 runs down or 2 runs down or any runs down.

So they just went out and scored 10 more.  WHAT. THE. FUCKING. FUCK.

One sidenote - I was shit talking Juan Perez yesterday and he went out last night and GOT A HIT so apparently all I have to do is hate on someone and then they're great.  Oh, same thing with Hunter Strickland! I bad mouthed HS after his meltdown the other night and then he just came back last and pitched a 1-2-3 lights out ninth.  Granted, there's a lot less pressure with a SEVEN RUN LEAD but still!  Nice to have you back, Hunter. And your 100% predictable Instagram feed (courtesy of Encyclopedia Benner who tracked that down).

That was fun! I had forgotten about the Giants scoring runs. It's a thing they do sometimes when they're not KILLING ME.  It's tied 2-2.  Bumgarner tonight.  You know what that means.  Inning-long interviews with people while the game is going on. I hate Fox.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Series Game 3, EXPRESS LANE EDITION: This is a drag

Sorry I don't have time to do a full-length in depth update or whatever it is I usually do.  I've got an 18-month-old running around yelling "Trapes!" and "Patchik" (because she can't say "g" or "c" so "grapes" comes out like "trapes" and Patrick is the name of the T. Rex skeleton at the Academy of Sciences which she is in love with and wants to go see every day) and so I'm kinda in the weeds here.  This will be the ultra fast drive by edition.  Luckily nothing memorable happened, from a Giants point of view.

(That would be a great SF trivia question - what is the name of the T.Rex at the Academy of Sciences? - because I don't think the name is on the sign anywhere.)

Tim Hudson is 55 years old.  First pitch, KC leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar launches a double that looked like it was going out.  Oh no.  The only end up scoring 1 in that inning.

An old man looks for a comfortable place to sit.  Photo stolen from SFGate but fuck it, I paid for a Chronicle subscription in the '90s and only got like 2 papers so they owe me.
Fuck, not like it's Hudson's fault.  His job is to keep the opponent from scoring a bunch of runs and he did that.  His job is not to score runs, and he didn't do that.

The Giants cannot hit baseballs.  If the Giants were your phone it would have no bars.  They had 4 hits in the whole game, which as a team is only 4 more than I had personally, and I'm not playing in the World Series.

Michael Morse got a hit.  He's about the only one that gets any hits anymore.  The Giants did get 2 runs in the sixth but it never seemed like they were in it.

This is the scariest thing I've read all day:  "Bochy plans to start Juan Perez in left field in Game 4 against left-hander Jason Vargas, but did not eliminate the possibility of going with Morse even with his lack of defensive playing time since he got hurt."  This is the scariest shit since The Ring.  If you think "we need help on offense," you do not think "JUAN PEREZ IS THAT HELP."  Juan Perez is batting .125 in the postseason.  Tim Hudson is batting .250, and he's not supposed to be able to hit.

Meanwhile, we're all just Waiting for Bumgarner.  If they lose tonight it may already be too late for the Angel of Hickory NC to save them.  It's very hard to win 3 games out of 4.  It's much harder to win 3 games in a row, all of them elimination games.

If I could only think of some time in the past that's ever happened.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

World Series Game 2: This Pitcher Is a Pipe Bomb

When Gregor Blanco hit his leadoff home run to begin this little shitshow, I was on the bus, listening to the MLB app, which cuts in and out, at least on the 5L, but was on when Blanco hit the opening HR.  Me and one other guy wearing headphones both fist pumped and said "YES" at the same time.  It was a great beer commercial moment.  We should probably be friends now, Guy On The Bus Who Also Fist Pumped.

That was pretty much the last good thing that happened.  Also, I got some feedback from the public after that about how I had questioned Blanco's leadoff skills, but leadoff guys are supposed to get on base, not hit home runs, so I stand by it.

The game goes on.  It's 2-2 when Peavy leaves.  Machi comes in and promptly gives up a run-scoring single to Billy Butler, who looks exactly like what you'd expect someone named Billy Butler to look like.  Then Javi Lopez gets an out.

Then shit went seriously south.

Hunter Strickland is a conundrum, a pitcher who can throw 100 miles per hour, which is good, but who also has a demonstrated propensity for giving up home runs in the postseason, which is very, very bad.  He gives up a 2-run double, then the expected home run.  Let's see what happens next.

Oh my.  That's doesn't look good at all.

Here's a closeup of Strickland yelling:

(Clip via Vine user or Viner or whatever they call themselves Ryan Pizzuto)

As you can see, some believe that Strickland said "Get in the dugout boy," which would be a very bad thing to say.  But my team of forensic lip readers have determined that what he ACTUALLY said was "THAT'S NOT SK8ER BOI," a reference to April Lavigne's 2002 hit, because Strickland heard Omar Infante's traditional home run chant, which is to sing "Sk8er Boi" as he rounds the bases, and recognized immediately that instead of "He was a skater boy, she said see ya later, boy," Infante was singing "He was a skater boy, she said he's a hater, boy," which is completely wrong.

Despite this lyrical brouhaha, one fact remains: if we see Hunter Strickland anywhere near the field of play for even 3 seconds at any point during the rest of this World Series UNLESS the Giants are up by 15+ runs, Bruce Bochy should be institutionalized and/or fired.  Hunter Strickland should be a hazy memory from here on out.  By the end of this thing, we should be scrunching up our faces and saying "Strick...Strickman? Strickfan? I don't remember."  The FBI should be looking for him before this is done.

That's all.  The Giant don't have the capacity to come back from 5 runs down so it was over. It was never going to be a sweep.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Series Game 1: Boring

I'm not gonna say that I have amazing predictive powers, but do I have amazing predictive powers or what?

(CAVEAT 1: Only if you consider 7-1 a "blowout." 7-1 could be a blowout!)

(CAVEAT 2: Please ignore the Readers Digest Large Print Edition font size but I'm so old I wear contacts AND use reading glasses sometimes and setting my iPhone font size to "Elderly Man" is the only way I can read/write texts without putting on glasses.  I'm at an age where every male in my peer group has to lift up their glasses to look at something you're showing them on your phone.  Don't laugh, you're going to get old and die someday too.)

OKAY THEN.  Here's the Giants plan: (1) Lay low for a whole season and don't make anyone think they're a contender; (2) Sneak into the playoffs via a one-game play-in system that didn't exist a few years ago; (3) Rough up the other side's ace in the first inning of Game 1, just like the last Series they went to.

First inning: Fucking GREGOR BLANCO gets a leadoff hit.  That should be the sign that something is very wrong.  I'm sure Gregor Blanco is a very nice man but he is not a major league leadoff hitter except oh maybe he is.  There's some silliness with Buster Posey getting thrown out at home AGAIN and then boom, Hunter Pence home run.  3-0.

“It was really loud in my head,” Pence said.

I bet it's always really loud in your head, Hunter.  Anyway, thanks to some early runs and then the coolly efficient killing machine known as Madison Bumgarner, a human lawnmower who is expressionless as he destroys and thinks mercy is for suckers, this game was boring.  Admit it, you were bored.

It gave us time to reflect on other things.  LIKE IS KEN ROSENTHAL REALLY THAT TINY??!!?

Not Photoshopped, I swear to fucking God
WHAT THE FUCK.  That's a railing behind him and then that oddly malevolent guy has to be, what, at least 6, 7 feet back.  Let's do some math.

I don't want to bore you with the calculations, but my scientists inform me that Ken Rosenthal is about three and a half feet tall.  He is a tiny Reporter Pixie, plucked from the Magic Forest to annoy the fuck out of us on Fox.

That's about it.  Nothing much happened.  One Royals guy hit a home run, and Billy Butler, whose head is as spherical and featureless as an orange, came close to one but missed and he looked so sad and little leaguer that The Wife actually felt bad for him.

Let's don't kid ourselves.  It's not over.  The Royals are an actual baseball team with real players and Madison Bumgarner can't pitch every night.  Actually, he probably could but that wouldn't be fair.  Anyway, more games coming.  It's going to be really loud in our heads.