Messin’ with mah mind

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This is false spring. I *know* this is false spring. Mother Nature has yanked my chain like this before.

Every year, in fact.

When I first moved here in 1997, it was a bad El Niño year, and I’d never seen so much rain in my life. Just when I thought I’d never see the sun again, the clouds parted and the temps warmed and flowers started to bloom. I was so relieved.

As I frolicked in my first false spring, a friend and lifetime Bay Area resident told me, “it always rains for Easter.”

I gave her a “feh!” and kept dancing in the cherry and almond blossoms, thrilled with the sun on my face.

Then, when Easter rolled around, dark and gray and cold, my kind, forgiving friend took a long drag off her cigarette and caustically said, “told you so.”

Yeah. And she’s been right every year since.

But I can’t help it. I hate the dark damp winter. It’s cold. It rains. It’s perpetually damp. I’m a desert rat! I am not built for rain!

So when, in February, the clouds part and the temps get up into the sixties and the first blossoms come on, the California poppies burst through the cracks in the pavement and tulips and irises find their way upward, I can’t help but be overjoyed!

In news from the east, I see feet and feet of snow, but for me, I’m digging out my favorite pair of flip-flops and trying to find my flowing skirts. I hate jackets! No more wellies!

Yes!

The temps are well into the sixties. My yard has exploded with clover and dandelion and all manner of life!

I love it! And every year I imagine it will stay like this.

I sing, I dance, and I frolic!

And as I do, a longtime Bay Area resident reminds me that there is more rain to come.

There always has to be a dream killer practical person, who is, of course, always right.

But forget about rains yet to come. I’m all about sun that is here TODAY!

Look at that, inn’it that purty? 67! Today! Yes!

Every Holiday Needs a Song

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You know Clinton and Bush(s)
and ‘Bama and Reagan
Carter and Kennedy
Ford and Nixon

But dooo you recaaaaalll
The most hated President of alllll?

Andrew Johnson, the first impeached president
Was not a really wonderful dude
And if you ever saw him
You would even say he blews (as a president)

All of the other parties
Used to laugh and call him names
The National Union Party
Never managed to hold any sway

Then one foggy April night
John Wilkes Booth came to say
Lincoln with your hat so tall
Won’t you go away?

Johnson was sworn in the next day
Now he’s the guy in charge
All his wishy-washy Confederate leanings
Crashed ahead on the country like a barge!

Two years later Johnson was impeached (unsuccessfully) for the first time. The next year, 1868, Congress made it stick, so buh bye Johnson.

He may not have done much with his time as commander in Chief.

But in his short rein, he did manage to buy Alaska.

Home of Mz. Palin and Republican grief.

So his legacy lives on……

Or, one might say….

Andrew Johnson, the first impeached president,
You’ll go down in history!

Photo and facts courtesy of the Andrew Johnson Wikipedia page.

I’m not ashamed to admit it

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I love the Olympics.

I really, really adore watching the Olympic games, both summer and winter.

I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been a fan of the Olympic games. I used to lament that it took SO long between games (back with both summer and winter games were done in the same year).

It probably harkens back to my youth. I’m of the era that watched the U.S. Men’s hockey team do the impossible (the so called “Miracle on Ice“) in 1980.

I am also of the Mary Lou Retton generation. Watching that tiny girl full of courage stick the landing on a flip over the vault and land squarely on a bad knee to win the gold. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

I’m also of the Dorothy Hamill era (tho I never had the haircut), the Kristi Yamaguchi era and while we’re at it, I’m of the Carl Lewis flying through air with the greatest of ease era.

Man. Am I ever excited for the games to start tonight!

And hey, this time around, I’m not so many time zones away from the games, so no events that I might want to see that are scheduled for 3:30am. Yes!

I’m fired up to watch Apollo Ohno skate again this year. I have a big fondness for men’s speed skating (and it’s not just the tight body stockings, but that sure doesn’t hurt!).

I’m also ready to see who emerges from these games as the athlete with heart, crazy endurance, or able to pull a feat of magic out of the Olympics. Michael Phelps did that for the summer games last year.

I wonder who will we be talking about long after the winter games are over?

The show begins tonight. I’m ready!

Best Laid Plans

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Or something like that.

I’d meant to do a round up post on my thoughts and experiences from spending Thursday afternoon at MacWorld 2010.

This, the first year without the presence of Apple at the show.

But I pretty much summed it up on Twitter:

“Steve kicked the baby bird outta the nest and it ain’t flying. At all.”

The air is out of the show. I have been going to MacWorld shows as a feature of my employment since 1995. I’ve seen a lot of ’em.

I’m used to the buzz in the air all around Moscone Center. Even in Apple’s down years, there was a lot of energy in San Francisco surrounding the show.

It was the wondering, the excitement, the anticipation. What will be announced? Can I lay my hands on an iPhone (no, they just twirled in a tantalizing fashion in a glass case with security guards), what accessories can I buy. What cool 3rd party products will I see?

There was no buzz. There was no “wow” product at the show. There was no life.

The surrounding streets were eerily calm. The San Francisco flagship Apple store, located within walking distance of the show, was no more busy than an average day.

Even the people running the booths at the expo were lacking energy.

What was once one of the most hotly anticipated shows in the tech geek world is now nothing more than a limp echo of what it once was.

So that’s that.

End of an era, I suppose.

In search of The Perfect Bite

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I knew this guy, back in the hazy college days, who really, really loved to eat.

It was a whole fantastic sensory experience for him to have a good meal.

He’d dropped out of college and was doing some freelance cowboying at the time, so he could eat big heavy meals and work it off the next day.

So, obviously, we were fast friends. I also love a good meal (but am less adept at working it off).

This friend introduced me to the concept of “The Perfect Bite.”

Say, for example, you are sitting at Thanksgiving dinner. On your plate is a slab of hot turkey, mashed taters, gravy, stuffing, corn (if you’re into that sort of thing) and cranberries (also a pass for me, but this is for example’s sake).

The Perfect Bite means you take your fork and you get a piece of turkey, some stuffing, a swoop of mashed taters (with gravy on it), some corn and then seal the end with a bit of cranberry.

The Perfect Bite encompasses all that is good on your plate. All the wonderful tastes together to make a forkful of delicious.

The Perfect Bite generally happens during what you consider to be a really, really good meal. It is sort of a way to savor the delicious.

The friend and I, we used to compete on The Perfect Bite. “Look, looky here…I got the perfect bite, look….yuuuuumm…..” as the fork would slide home and the yummy face would come on.

The best time for The Perfect Bite is really as you are getting to the end of your plate of food. Most stuff on there has already managed to mingle over the course of your eating along, so it’s super easy to make a Perfect Bite.

For whatever reason, this concept has stuck with me and I’ve managed to introduce it to The Good Man.

I recently made some kick ass green chile chicken enchiladas. As I ate, from the other side of the table I heard, “hey, look at this! The Perfect Bite!” He had a good piece of enchilada with plenty sauce, beans, salad and capped the fork with BOTH sour cream and guacamole.

It really was a perfect bite and his yummy face proved it was true. I was envious because I no longer had on my plate the resources to make a Perfect Bite. I’d already devoured the guac and sour cream so I had no horse in that race.

Ah well.

I thought about this concept again last night. We splurged on a rib eye steak dinner. We so rarely eat beef anymore, hence the “splurge” part of the deal. Lovely steak, baked tater and steamed asparagus made up the plate.

I kept trying for a Perfect Bite but couldn’t quite get there. Either the potato wouldn’t cooperate and would fall off the fork. Once I lost the meat bite in my puddle of steak sauce. And those dang slidy asparagus spears were too recalcitrant to be the sealing factor on the fork.

So no true Perfect Bite. But I sure had a whole lotta fun trying!

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