Monday, August 31, 2009

what the crap? Flickr stats

Holy balls. These were my Flickr stats from yesterday:


In case you can't see that number, Flickr says that my photos got 569 views between yesterday and today. For some people, this will probably not be a lot. For me, who was previously flying high with 284, this is hugantuous. I'm assuming it's coming from searches within Flickr. Hooray clear and articulate tagging!

kirby cove

My friends and I spent the weekend at Kirby Cove. Since I was the one planning the trip, despite having been on 2 camping trips in my life, I was a bit anxious to make this a good experience for my group.

For those who aren't familiar, Kirby Cove is a small camping site (only 4 groups can be there at a time) that is extremely popular in the Bay Area. In order to get a site for August 29, I had to reserve it in February. Reasons that it is so popular is a) it's cheap ($15 for a site that fits up to 10 people); b) it's nearby (just north of San Francisco), and; c) because of this:

view from our campsite
view from our campsite

It is gloriously beautiful there. The camping grounds have their own beach access, which is about a two minute walk from the parking lot.

I think folks had a good time; at least no one starved. W had a bit too much to drink, so he stopped enjoying the experience around 9:30 pm on Saturday.

There were some negatives to the site, however:
  1. The toilet situation left much to be desired. I'm not sure if they just didn't get cleaned enough or what, but the one right by our site had about 100 flies just chilling on the wall. I used the one closest to the beach, and while it wasn't perfect, the fly situation was much diminished.

  2. When people gave a heads-up about the foghorns, they were not kidding. Those mofos are LOUD. I think I slept about 3 hours total. Next time: more effective ear plugs. However, when I went to the beach to take photos at sunrise, this is what I saw:

    Golden Gate Bridge
    (That's the Golden Gate bridge. What? You can't see it? It's because someone stole it during the night. Or you know, it's shrouded in fog).

  3. The raccoons are not something to be trifled with. These were some of the bravest, nervy things I have ever encountered. Someone include them in the next group of "Profiles in Courage." You basically had to run at them screaming to get them to saunter away (and yes, I did say saunter; these raccoons were in no hurry. They knew it was only a matter of time before you went to sleep and they could ravage your campsite). They were able to get into a cooler that was being wedged closed by the picnic bench. They were even almost able to get into another cooler that was closed via a ZIPPER THAT WRAPPED AROUND THREE OUT OF FOUR SIDES. Huh? They don't even have opposable thumbs!

However, don't let this deter you from experiencing this awesome site; it was super duper fun and beautiful, and hopefully I'll be able to go again next year (because all the available sites are booked for the rest of the season).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

cootie info poster

Reeve 32288, originally uploaded by otisarchives1.

Glad to know that there is medical care out there for such a ravage on humankind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

squirrel photobomb

I could giggle at this all day.

via National Geographic, "Photo of the Day" for August 13, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Star Wars tenugui

Oh, I forgot: I picked up this tenugui (cotton hand towel) in Tokyu Hands. This was my favorite out of the set:

Russian River Beer Revival 2009

After missing last year's jaunt up the 101, I was determined to make it up to the Russian River Beer Revival this year. To be honest, I don't love beer; I didn't start drinking it on a regular basis until I got to Japan (where cheap nama beers and light lagers rule the land). Within my group of friends, there is one homebrewer and a housemate who is an artisan beer snob (defined here as "beer with a cork"). Between the two of them, I've been able to expand my repertoire of beer tasting.

I wanted to go to the beer revival this year because a) with one flat entrance fee, it's all-you-can-drink beers/ciders from over 30 breweries, and all-you-can-eat BBQ from almost 30 restaurants, and b) reputation has it that the vibe for this event is super friendly.

Most of the group going went up on Friday to camp overnight. I drove up with 3 other people on Saturday morning. We were able to park and get in line at around 11:40 am (gate opened at noon). Even though they weren't supposed to start the tastings until 1, most of the booths opened up the taps and grills about 12:15 pm.

First plate of the day

I was not totally impressed with most of the BBQ that I had (although I only had food from 5 booths), but I feel like I came away with some really good beers to add to my arsenal. Highlights were:

Temptation ale at Russian River Brewing Co.
Pouring Temptation Ale at Russian River Brewing Co. booth

Here are the rest of the pics from the day:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Live From New York..."

I'm currently 3/8 the way through "Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live" (audiobook). It's told in the words of the writers, executives, cast, and guests (with the exception of those who had passed away by the time of the publication - Belushi, Radner, Farley, and Hartman).

The omission of Gilda Radner's "voice" is especially poignant for me; she was by far my favorite cast member, and I remember her passing in 1989 as the first celebrity death that I mourned. There weren't a lot of comediennes on television that seemed to be not only respected, but loved, by everyone. Even though I'm fairly certain I was not allowed to stay up to watch SNL when I was younger, I still remember many of her sketches: Judy Miller, Baba Wawa, and of course, Rosanne Rosannadanna:

Probably the best quote so far of the book is this one by Garrett Morris, who is a cast member that I'm not as familiar with, other than being the One Black Guy in the original cast. Turns out that his relationship with SNL is ambiguous at best, as he tried to balance his comedy instincts with his struggle to be taken seriously by the show's writers and executives. It seems that what emerged from this was some semi-funny characters, and a small backlash against Morris from other black comedians. He specifically calls out Eddie Murphy:

So far, the book has been fascinating and surprisingly candid; I'm still in the part describing the early days of the show, and the storytellers do a great job in capturing not only the creative process and daily life (almost everyone involved in the show would spend entire days at Rockefeller Center, writing, rehearsing, etc.), but also just the feeling that the people involved had of being part of something new and innovative. Their mission - to put on a comedy show that had never been done before, and that pushed the boundaries of television - is the constant in this book. It's really nice to remember where this show started, how perilous and exhilarating it was. I wonder how much - if at all - this has changed in the current version of the show.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stanford ED: drive-thru care

Medgadget had a post about a training exercise here at Stanford that involved drive-thru ER care. It's a way to triage patients during high-volume situations (e.g., pandemics or other emergencies. One of the doctors involved -- Greg Gilbert -- teaches in our medical school course.
The volunteer patients made their way through the drive-thru triage as though they were being seen at the emergency room. As cars entered the parking garage, patients registered and were given paperwork. They then drove through one of two lines and stopped at the first station, triage, where nurses and emergency department technicians checked for vital signs — temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration — and gathered the patients' medical backgrounds. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff wore gowns and gloves throughout the exercise.

From there, patients drove another 10 to 15 feet for a medical screening exam, where doctors reviewed the symptoms and made a diagnosis. Finally, they were discharged or admitted to the hospital.

Full article here, via the San Jose Mercury News.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

state fairs

State fair season is starting up again, and Garrison Keillor wound up on NPR talking about them. Part of this was to promote his article in National Geographic about the Top 10 State Fair Joys, but part of it is this: that people from Minnesota are *crazy* about their state fair (or, as W recites like an automaton, "The Great Minnesota Get-Together"). There even seems to be some weird deathcage rivalry on Wikipedia about whether the Minnesota or the Texas state fair is larger.

Minnesota State Fair Gopher by Gordon Shumaker
via Gary B. Johnson

I'm from Nevada. I didn't even know that we had a state fair until I looked it up 2 minutes ago (it's in Reno). We used to go to the Jaycee State Fair (which isn't a state fair - heresy!) in high school, but only because our high school jazz band was paid to play there. The most amazing attraction was the World's Largest Pig, and it was mostly amazing because it also appeared to have the World's Largest Balls. I don't even remember if there was funnel cake -- *that* is what a limited impact that fair had on my life.

Meanwhile, a fifth of the population of Minnesota has been attending their state fair since in the embryonic stage, and another fifth was probably working there. When I told my now-friends J and R (who are also from Minnesota) that I was going to Minneapolis over Labor Day weekend, both immediately shrieked in unison, "the State Fair!!" and then tried to brainstorm a way for me to bring whatever-on-a-stick back to California for them. Mind you, I had just met them about 1 week prior to this exchange.

Minnesota State FairMinnesota State Fair
via stevelyon

Minnesota State Fair 2008Minnesota State Fair 2008
via WBUR

W finds the Minnesota State Fair essential to his identity. He is so protective of it that when I suggested we go to the California State Fair last summer, he gave me the sad, patronizing stare that clearly indicated that he felt so sorry for me, poor thing, not knowing that there is really only one state fair worth going to. It's not called the "The Great California Get-Together," is it love? What could possibly be at the California State Fair? When I pointed out that the California one probably had a lot of the same stuff as the Minnesota one, he looked like I smeared his mother with honey and tied her to a tree in bear country, and then kicked a baby otter.

I would like to add that the website for the Minnesota State Fair is boring old, and the California State Fair website is And really, which one of those would *you* rather go to?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

anthropologie in July

For whatever reason, I found myself in Anthropologie a bunch last week (thankfully, not tapping out my savings account to shop there). Some neat things:

beautiful carafes (that W finds impractical)

quill graphite pencil

honey pot (I love that it looks like Winnie the Pooh wrote it)

breaded Anthropologie display
bread display by the kitchenware

(And apparently, something that I didn't realize is that Anthropologie is like boy kryptonite. This was evidenced by my friends J and T who, upon hearing that the girls wanted to take a side trip to the store on Market Street, immediately recoiled in horror and then demanded a trip to a brewery as a negotiation tactic).

Stanford Continuing Studies 2009-10: Stanford Mini Med School

Stanford University Continuing Studies is offering a three-quarter course titled, "Stanford Mini Med School" for the upcoming year. It looks like a really great effort by the med school to make our curriculum more accessible to a larger audience outside of the campus, and sort of falls within the vision of allowing people to become active participants in their health.

It looks like only fall quarter info is available:
"The Dynamics of Human Health"

This Fall, the Stanford Mini Med School will get started with a journey inside human biology. We will start by familiarizing ourselves with the world of very small things. We will take a close look at DNA, stem cells, and microbes, and see how these and other small players form the building blocks of the human body. This will allow us to understand how human organs develop (and can also regenerate), how our nervous and immune systems work, and how diseases can afflict us. From there, the course will move beyond the individual and take a more global view of health. How do pandemics take shape? How does the environment affect our collective health? And how can we finally implement a healthcare system that makes sense for our nation?

Awesome faculty who I know who are involved are Sherry Wren (Surgery), Abraham Verghese (Medicine), Julie Theriot (Microbiology/Immunology). Sounds like a really nice interdisciplinary approach for "medicine from scratch."