20 March 2009 @ 09:27 am
I'm excited for the last episode of BSG tonight. I had missed most of the half-season, and I've been quickly catching up over the last few nights; I have one episode before the final one left. My parents have an HD-DVR, though, so I'm recording it and the actual final episode on that and will watch them tonight! It looks like the SCIFI-HD channel is showing the episode early, though (east coast time, I can only assume!), as well as at normal time, so I may get to watch the episode as soon as I'm back from working at the Getty....

A few spoilery thoughtsCollapse )
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Current Music: in my head: G&S - "The Good Grand Duke of Pfennig-Halpfennig"
15 January 2009 @ 11:53 pm
BUT I'M NOT IN GERMANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beloved Google friends, please help?
Current Mood: confusedbemused
13 January 2009 @ 01:11 am
"The Face of the Enemy"? Crazy. Spoilers for the pre-4.5 webisodes....Collapse )

Anyway, fun and gripping, but I can't wait for Friday!
Current Music: in my head: "If we're weak enough to tarry" from Iolanthe
26 October 2008 @ 11:20 pm
wageslave asked me a few days ago why I care so much about Measure KK, a local Berkeley measure that requires a vote before implementing the dedication of lanes on Telegraph (or elsewhere, potentially) to buses.

Since I just wrote a long e-mail to the Daily Cal about this, I figure I'll post it here, unlocked, in case anyone wants to read it.


I disagree with Rebecca Saltzman's take on Measure KK (10/24). She's swallowing the inaccuracies of the No On KK backers, who are calling KK anti-transit and anti-environment.

All that KK does is require a VOTE on any proposed lane-changes on Telegraph. It does not reject the BRT plans out-of-hand. And the reason that it got put on the ballot in the first place is because the currently proposed plans have the potential to be anti-cyclist, anti-local-business, and pro-congestion (which in turn makes THEM anti-environment).

I am a cyclist, a driver, a pedestrian, a Berkeley student, and a very occasional bus-rider. As a cyclist, I am aware of the danger buses already pose to cyclists, when there are two lanes of traffic and a lane of parking with a broad margin for a cycle lane. If the parking is removed to make way for a dedicated bus lane, the risk of getting crushed between a proverbial rock and a hard place (by which I mean a bus and the sidewalk) will increase immensely. I've lived and cycled before in a city that had no parking lane between the bus and the kerb -- believe me, the approach and passing of every bus is terrifying.

As a driver, I have seen the heavy congestion that Telegraph suffers from during rush hour. I have also participated in the crazy game to find parking in the blocks surrounding campus at most times of day. The removal of a lane of traffic would not convince drivers to take the bus instead of driving -- one drives because it is convenient, or because one needs to have one's car for some reason, *even* in the light of the difficulty of finding parking near campus. And so the congestion will increase further, while buses continue to travel along mostly empty, and that will harm the environment, as cars creep along more slowly and pollute further.

As a pedestrian, I have often found that walking to campus (I live a mile south along Telegraph) is STILL faster than waiting for a bus. And before someone says, "Aha, but the BRT will fix that!" let me point out that I know from riding the bus that the delay problems with the buses are not due to traffic. It's actually thanks to things like their unwieldiness in pulling over and the unexpected delays from having to wait for the ramp-unfolding-and-refolding when a wheelchair is boarding the bus or disembarking. Or stopping while pedestrians cross the street (which they will still have to do even with a dedicated bus-lane).

Rebecca Saltzman talks about how important buses are for students. Strange as it is to think, the students she's talking about are primarily people who live somewhere less than a mile or two within the reach of campus, for approximately two-thirds of every year. The proposed lane removal extends to as far away as San Leandro. That's showing an awfully cavalier attitude to the permanent residents of Berkeley and Oakland. And there's a reason why nearly every storefront along Telegraph sports a green sign saying "Yes on Measure KK."

And the website for No On KK says things like, "Measure KK requires that every time the Berkeley City Council wants to make a street lane change to improve transit and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Council will have to put it on the ballot." That's pure falsehood. Measure KK specifically requires that if the Council wants to PERMANENTLY DEDICATE A CURRENTLY EXISTING LANE TO BUS-ONLY OR HOV TRAFFIC then this must be approved by a vote. It also points to added costs, "including the cost of an additional required planning study." Perhaps "planning" and "study" are the key terms there. Research and learning are what UC Berkeley is all about. Let's support the application of some of that to things outside the university.

Here is an article from the Daily Planet that well expresses some of the problems with the proposed lane-removal.

A friend [by whom I mean wageslave, naturally] recently asked me why I care so much about Measure KK when there are more important things on the ballot to worry about, like getting Prop 8 defeated. My reply was that all of my friends and family already know that Proposition 8 (and similar things like Prop 4) is bad and wrong. If I donate money to something, or spend time phonebanking, it'll be in aid of getting Prop 8 defeated, or Obama elected. But this is an important local issue, a non-partisan issue, and it's one of those things that on the day of the election many people are only vaguely going to remember seeing YES and NO signs around Berkeley, and then they'll vote for what seems to maintain the status quo -- "if in doubt, vote no" is the received wisdom, but in this case a no vote is what will change Berkeley. A yes vote allows us to have a subsequent say in *whether* Berkeley is changed, and *how* it is changed.
Current Mood: strangely political
06 October 2008 @ 11:18 pm
Bold the establishments you've been to. Underline your favorites. Strikethrough the ones you don't like.

I"ve been to about a third of theseCollapse )

No Andersen's? No IHOP??

I've been to a few more of these than I thought, but I don't feel too much like I've given in to corporate America.
Current Music: Madeleine Peyroux - I'll Look Around
27 September 2008 @ 09:08 am
When you see this, quote Babylon 5 (or Crusade!) in your journal.

Current Music: in my head: some "kadosh attah" or other
30 August 2008 @ 11:42 am
Silence broken by a meme, of course... I'm delighted to note that I've eaten almost all of these.

The blog Very Good Taste has come up with a list of 100 items that every omnivore should try in his or her life.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea [but I've had nettle beer and nettle soup...]
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp [there may have been carp in some gefilte fish I had once]
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper [because I'm not insane]
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar [I'm fine with the cognac, but not the cigar; someone else can have the cigar]
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects [not sure, I'd have to think about it]
43. Phaal [I may have ordered this once; I remember getting something that was listed as hotter than vindaloo]
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu [not sure, I'd have to think about it]
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini [I don't actually like gin, but I do like Hendricks, so I could be persuaded]
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin [is this something other than white clay? I won't eat plain dirt.]
64. Currywurst
65. Durian [never again... never again]
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake [all of the above, I think!]
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette [clearly I should rectify this next time I'm in Texas]
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill [depends on how flattened and how long it's been lying there and what sort of animal it is; I'd be fine with eating this sort of venison, for example]
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa [I've had roses, and I've had harissa, but I haven't had rose harissa...]
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor [I may have... but I don't think so]
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
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Current Music: the hiss of the cappuccino machine
27 June 2008 @ 09:06 am
A hybrid variant (adaptations from aphenine and lordcodfish) of that book meme that's going around:

The Big Read thinks the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books they've printed, listed below.

01. Bold the books you have read
02. Italicise those you intend to read
03. Underline the books you've seen a film version of
04. Place books that you have started but never finished in round brackets
05. Place books that you read in school in square brackets

snip!Collapse )
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Current Music: in my head: some recit from Purcell's Dido & Aeneas