Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Let's have a great start to 2006!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Sorbet Combo at Rouge



This was the sorbet combo at Rouge this afternoon. Mango+Cactus Pear+Lemon=Yummy. (I had the healthy omelet, so a little indulgence on a Friday afternoon seemed in order.)

Friday Shoe Blogging


Pourquoi les chaussures vert? Because they have a certain je ne sais quoi. It's my first pair of green shoes is as good an answer as any.

I got these at Benjamin Lovell on 18th Street this fall. Comfy Cole Haan/Nike Air Estadio Strap. The orange stripe is really there. (I used the D70 today, Albert.) BTW: I don't stand like this. My feet were propped up on the wall in front of me on the R5.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A View from a Train

I felt like Gilligan today. I left my house at about 8:15 and went on a three-hour tour (cue the music...Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...). It took three hours for me to get to work today in Center City. Three hours.

First, I waited for over an hour for my R5 train to arrive. (To SEPTA's credit, they did keep coming on the loudspeaker and blaming Amtrak for a downed powerline, all the while extending how late the train would be.) I waited at my open air station for an hour in the cold. Ah, it finally arrived and I thought, "I'll get on and thaw out. Quick trip in." Wrong on both accounts. It was freezing on the train. And I got to experience the joy for a looooong time.

The train took two hours to putter and stutter into Philadelphia. I had a lot of time to a) write some on my Powerbook, b) play solitaire on my Treo 650, c) realize that I forgot to charge my iPod Nano, and d) realize that I have a lot of electronic gizmos. So, I decided that gazing at my bellybutton lint wasn't all that practical on a full train, so I started taking pictures with my Treo. Here's what a little over two hours on the most ancient SEPTA car imaginable gets you.


This Sony PSP ad for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was right in front of me. I should have taken a shot of the NC-17 warning: "Warning: This title may contain intense violence, blood, and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language. You must be 17 or older to purchase this item. This product is intended for mature audiences only." That was in tiny print. The ad was targeted at 13-year-olds and old guys like me stuck on the train for two hours. (BTW: I paid attention to the poster because of Albert's photo documentation of the PSP tags around Philadelphia.)


I started to run out of things to look at. I spent a lot of time contemplating my shoes. I like these shoes. They're not yellow on the stripe like it shows in the photo, but I thought it would make me appear cooler if I had shoes with a yellow stripe so I didn't fix that in PS. As I was staring at my shoes I was thinking I need a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars like Pax got.


And here's my view out the right side of my R5 car. You'll notice that there's not any blur in this picture of Philadelphia rowhouses between Overbrook Station and 30th Street Station. That's because we were standing still. For a really long time. I did have a view of a really cool stripped Acura for a while, but then the train lurched forward a hundred feet or so, so this is the shot I took.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's steel-cut oats for me



Nope, it's not a pirate's life for me. But, oatmeal is my new favorite breakfast. Low cal. Healthy. And nice when they're steel-cut oats cooked at Meredith's in Berwyn, PA. Here's a camera-phone picture of my breakfast. (Those are cooked apples on top. And a cinnamon stick. Yum.)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Spiral Ham and a Numb Tongue



This spiral-cut ham was the centerpiece of our Christmas feast last night. (The young FlipFlops called it Roast Beast. Ah, the effects of Dr. Seuss.) I could only taste the Beast on the left side of my mouth. The right side of my tongue is still numb.

I mentioned that I went to the dentist the other day. And it did seem odd that the anesthetic didn't wear off for hours. And half my tongue was numb. Still is. And from what I read, it could stay that way for up to six months. Apparently, if the Novocaine shot hits the lingual nerve on the way it can cause damage. Ugh. Anyway, I enjoyed my Christmas dinner, if I could only have tasted it on both sides of my mouth.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown



Christmas Time is Here! The iFlipFlops were awoken at 6:00 am by the youngest FlipFlop (he's 12 and still loves Christmas morning). We opened presents for over an hour. I'm wearing my pink shirt with the orange flowery cuffs right now. Groovy, baby. Merry Christmas, one and all.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Shopping is Done!



I finished my Christmas shopping at 11:59AM on December 24, 2005. Yeah! Now I can sing along with "Oh, the weather outside is frightful..." But considering it's 60 degrees in Philadelphia today, I don't think that "Let It Snow" is going to work. At least I can settle down soon for a long winter's nap. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah, my friends.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cracked Tooth



I cracked a piece off one of my pre-molars. (Number 30 for the dentists among you). It wasn't just a piece really, it was about the inner half of the tooth. I had a crater in there. Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

So, I went to my dentist today to get a temporary fix. He did a great job. And I had my mouth numbed within an inch of being Ozzie Osborn, which is why I'm not Podcasting this. Now I have to go to a periodontist in the next week or two to get my adjacent gumline cut down low enough to get a permanent crown installed (I cracked the tooth below the gumline). Ugh, I was so looking forward to chomping through all the Christmas treats. Instead, I'll be chewing all my food on the left side for a couple of days.

Oh, what was I eating when I cracked my tooth? Green beans. I wish it were something dramatic like chewing ice (I've been known to do that....and yes, I know what Freud would have said about that) or crunching a bowl of Grape Nuts. Nope, green beans. I always knew I should stay away from green vegetables. I might just have to go with Christmas cookies for the duration. There's my rationalization for the day - and I have the repaired tooth to substantiate it. (One of my favorite movies is The Big Chill, and especially the Jeff Goldblum character's line when he says, "Who can get through a day without one or two juicy rationalizations?")

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New York City Just Before Christmas


I had dinner with some friends in New York City last night at Asia de Cuba. I loved the place from the second we entered. An orange glow from lights shining through muslin set the scene. The food was yummy. And the people watching was outstanding. There was a table near us that "featured" many of the truly beautiful people of New York City. One woman was wearing very little (because she could), and Miss LiquidTreats said, "Her skirt is a belt." Belt Lady was six feet tall, six inches wide, and was wearing six-inch heels. Va-voom!

Belt Lady gave quite a show to the people seated on the ground floor as she wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her when she down near the glassed-in railing. The patrons below, seated at a long marble picnic table that holds 34 strangers packed together, cheered when Belt Lady sat down. So, she got up and gave them the hoochy-coochy again. More cheers and applause. Woo-hoo!

The food was delivered Stephen Starr style. It arrives when it's ready. Asia de Cuba is connected to Morgan's Hotel, and reflects that cool style. Here's how Morgan's describes it:
Under the direction of restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, Asia de Cuba serves an innovative menu that blends the best of Asian and Latino cuisines in a soaring and beautifully theatrical Philippe Starck-designed space. Featuring a 30-foot long illuminated marble communal table that runs through the main dining area, a 15-foot tall photo lightbox featuring a "running waterfall," ultra-comfortable high-backed white banquettes, and cozy living room areas with fireplaces.
I'm going back again. The place melded impossibly beautiful people, groovy lighting, and enough drama to make it north of interesting. (The couple right next to us were alternately having a huge fuss and then sitting on each others' laps and making out like oversexed teenagers. I flashed my camera at them, sort of a proxy for throwing cold water, and that cooled them down). That was a wonderful way to spend an evening in NYC.



I love Miracle on 34th Street. It's one of those movies I watched a hundred times as a kid. I still want to believe in Kris Kringle.



The lights on the east side of Macy's are beautiful. I stood in Herald Square and took this picture at about 11 pm. There were hundreds of people looking at the Macy's windows. I spent a while looking at the Miracle on 34th Street windows, which are on the south side of the building on 34th Street. (Yeah, I guess that makes sense.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Does anyone actually buy Cafepress gear?



I'll start with a confession: I own some Cafepress gear. A t-shirt. A hat. A tote bag. No thongs, though. It was my first Cafepress purchase - and my last.

That stuff was junk. The hat had an iron-on patch that I did better myself for my G.I. Joe badge back in the late 1960s. (I was a kid then.) The tote bag looked like a refugee sack. (The racers throw better bags away at Le Tour de France.) The t-shirt peeled the first time I washed it. (I'm just not ironic enough to wear something new that looks trashy right out of the dryer.)

So, I'm wondering aloud - Who buys that stuff? It seems like there are lots of sites that offer Cafepress merchandise. Even some of my friends have Cafepress offerings. But does anyone buy that stuff? Have you ever seen anyone wear that stuff? Have you ever bought that stuff?

I know that Cafepress looks like a big business. But I wonder. Heck, you can go to a local silk screener/embroiderer and get stuff made. Quality stuff. So, why would people buy that Cafepress stuff?

Anyways, now I'm going over to open a Cafepress site and offer a bunch of shirts that say, "I'm wearing Cafepress and I'm proud of it." Or I'll buy my namesake shirt.

I'm going to NYC this evening, MTA be damned


I'm taking the train from Philadelphia to New York City this evening to meet some clients for dinner. It should be an adventure when I arrive. The MTA is on strike. As I understand it from what my NYC friends tell me, cabs will pick up you and three of your closest friends (read: total freaks) and take you anywhere they feel like. For 10 bucks. So, if you can get a ride, you get it with people you don't know, for double the price. Just what I want, too, to be wedged in between strangers on the hump in the back seat of a New York taxi.

So, I'm going to abandon the "I'd rather look good than feel good" approach and go with the down coat, mittens, Merrell fur-lined boots, and ear muffs. I'll be hoofing it to the restaurant. I'm trying to see if the clients would like to eat at Pepe's in Penn Station. Would that qualify as a "nice dinner"? BTW: Jess has a few pointers, guys, in case you're wondering if pizza in a train station suffices as a "date."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Where can I get the world's best smoothie maker?

Anyone have any ideas about what's the best smoothie maker? Mrs. iFlipFlop wants one for Christmas and I didn't find one at Williams-Sonoma and the one at Kitchen Kapers wasn't all that cool.

The Chronic of Narnia Rap on SNL

This Chronic-al of Narnia rap was really clever on Saturday Night Live. I must say, SNL has been really funny this year, funnier than I can remember it in many years. (That, plus the fact that I'm able to stay awake for most of the show, and if I'm not, it's TiVo to the rescue.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Where's the speed trap?



I've never had a speeding ticket (here's where the knock on wood part comes in). Some might call me lucky. Others might call me smart. Given a choice, I'd rather be lucky than smart. Now I can be both. BH just sent me a link to SpeedTrap Exchange, a listing of speed traps throughout the U.S. divided by state and town. And it's open source - you can add your own observations. Point out where the traps are. Ah, the power of the internet, it's not just for Classmates.com anymore.

Now, I have to drive a few miles today. I'm going to check out my route and see if I'm at risk of a first speeding ticket. Probably not. I think I go there slowly. Or slyly.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Haiku Blogging



Space is limited
In a haiku, so it's hard
To finish what you

Gmail Mobile for iFlipFlop



Google has introduced Gmail Mobile. I'm going for it. (I'm sure at some time in the near future that Google will become the Second Evil Empire. Let's not forget, though, that the reason MSFT and Google got so big is because they have functional products.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Merry Fitzmas

Etherealgirl has a link to Merry Fitzmas. Since we decorated the tree at my house last night our tree is too full to add the Karl Rove ornament. LOL, E-girl.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Become a Republican

Become a Republican: The Movie.

Zencomix: Acme Strategy for Victory



Zencomix

New Orleans: Video from when the levees fell

A Times-Picayune photographer documented two days of devastation when the levees fell in New Orleans. Lots of good footage here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vote for ISOU


David Anderson's In Search of Utopia is one of the really great blogs out there. He's a Weblog Awards 2005 finalist for Best South American/Caribbean blog. Take a look. And help our friend with your vote.

Monday, December 12, 2005

George Bush, the War President, wasn't too popular in Philadelphia today

George Bush, the War President, gave a speech today at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. Even George Bush couldn't have ignored the assembled crowd who were chanting anti-war slogans and booing and whistling. In full disclosure, there was one middle-aged woman who was screaming "We love you Bush." (I'll leave the jokes to you.) George Bush go home was the chant of the day. (UPDATE: Flickr set here.)


Worst president ever just about sums up the sentiments of the hundreds of protesters.



These people were singing "Give peace a chance." It sounded lovely compared to the whistles and clangs.




That really is George Bush in the car. He's waving. The guy is clueless. (Sorry, it's the best shot I got because I arrived late.)




The crowd was pretty big. I'd say a few hundred people. Want to count the heads?

George Bush is in town at noon

I'm going to go over a little early to take some pictures of the protesters, and if I'm lucky I'll get a snap or two of George Bush. Captions to follow.

New Orleans Blues

It's looking bad in New Orleans. This piece in the New York Times hits it: Death of an American City.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tips on Snow Shoveling



In case you missed the 24-hour "It's a Disaster" snowstorm coverage in Philly, you might not yet know that it snowed in the City of Brotherly Snowstorms. It did. In my driveway. Which meant the FlipFlops had to search the basement for the cobwebbed snow shovels. I hate shoveling.

I meet the one criterion about no shoveling today's snow: sedentary lifestyle. But, I went out there with my teenage boys and my wife, who can shovel more than all of us put together. Anyways, no heart attack. That's a decent start to the day.

Ding Fries Are Done

A different way to look at a Christmas classic: Ding Fries Are Done.

(via BH Int'l)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Lennon: Oct.9, 1940 - Dec. 8, 1980


John Lennon was killed 25 years ago but his message of "Give Peace a Chance" still lives on.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Imagine: 25 Years Ago John Lennon Lived Here at The Dakota


I made a little pilgrimage today to The Dakota. It struck me that 25 years ago today, John Lennon lived here and was enjoying his life. 25 years ago tomorrow is another story.



Here's the entrance to The Dakota. I wasn't the only one there today. Lots more people will be there tomorrow.

Michael Reagan says Howard Dean should be 'hung'; Reagan officially declared stupider than his father



Michael Reagan, son of former president Ronald Reagan, who was not seen as one of the geniuses of the American presidency, spawned one lower in the gene pool. Reagan, the son, says that Howard Dean "should be 'hung'" for comments Dean made about the lost cause of the Iraqi War.

Um, Michael, pictures are hung, people are hanged. Unless you're talking about Tommy Lee, who is hung but was not hanged.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tom DeLay, still a criminal

Just in case you were wondering, Tom DeLay is still a lying scumbag.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's Missing Monday

Here are some very pointed posts about missing people on this Missing Monday:
Tierra Elizabeth Sanders on The Smedley Log

Tammy Kendall, David F. Isele, and Inez Deleon on PaxRomano's Ramblings

An aggregated piece by Pax on PhillyFuture.
Look around. Be aware. People are out there.

When graffiti becomes art

Albert snapped a pic of this piece of graffiti art in Philly. Stunning. I'm really aggravated with the scumbags who tagged my entire suburban train station with garbage signs last week. Why couldn't they do something like this instead of their rampant vandalism?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Disappointing

Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Tree Lighting on Rittenhouse

The Christmas tree lighting was last night at Rittenhouse Square. I took a few minutes out of a very busy schedule to walk over and take a few pictures. I'm glad I did. It's the first connection to the holiday season I've had. Yum.


They counted down 3-2-1 and the lights went on. Oohs and ahhs.



Santa, Santa, Santa. The kids were really cheering when Santa arrived.



This Father Christmas was towering over the crowd at 10-feet tall. He would envelope children in his cloak by asking, "Do you want to enter the Winter Wonderland?" He was a big hit.

Big Surprise: George Bush Lied

Isn't it surprising when the President of the United States lies? Of course, for George Bush you would just call that Thursday. Bush lied in a speech yesterday about Iraqi troops leading a battle in Tal Afar, Iraq. An embedded Time Magazine reporter was there. Bush's story was a complete lie.

City Hall Philadelphia: En Couleur



I like it. Philadelphia's City Hall is lit up in gleaming color for the next couple of months. I thought this picture by Blankbaby was the best I've seen. Exquisite.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day


Pax reminds us that today is World AIDS Day. Let's not forget.

That "We All Have AIDS" concept is from Kenneth Cole, who is one of the really great business people with a conscience. "We All Have AIDS If One of Us Does" is the idea. AMFAR is doing a big event today around the idea in Bryant Park.

1000th U.S. prisoner to be executed since 1977

The United States re-enacted the death penalty in 1977 with the execution of Gary Gilmore. Now, this week the 1000th prisoner will be executed and each state governor doesn't want it to be in his state. I've always been conflicted about the death penalty, but have moved more and more toward eliminating it as I process the idea. And I have a personal reason for saying so.

The worst nightmare - literally a nightmare - of my adult life happened in 1977 the night that Gary Gilmore was executed. That night, January 17, 1977, I had a dream that was as real as could be that I was Gary Gilmore. I remember the preparation. The details. And I had the dream all the way up until I was executed by firing squad (remember that he was shot to death?). I was really scared, and I can still remember that dream like it was yesterday. I know, it was just a dream, but it was terrifying all the same (my heart's pounding right now as I write this).

Anyways, Execution 1000. We just passed Execution 2000 in Iraq. The Death Millennium.