America's Cup 34 has already started. Remember those two zippy Oracle catamarans cruising the bay this summer? Teams Spithill and Coutts (my kids love to say koootz) have already raced at World Series events in Cascais, Portugal and Plymouth, England - which just concluded. Next up is San Diego in early November.
We've been watching Live From Europe with our morning oatmeal via youtube.com/americascup. Once you start to "get" it... it really gets entertaining. It's all about teamwork and technology! They are working very hard to appeal to a wider tv audience that knows little about sailing with the assistance of precision GPS, onboard cameras, helicopters, and computer graphics by Stan Honey, the same guy who brought us the 10 yard line in football, the hockey halo, NASCAR's RACEf/x, and baseball's PITCHf/x, among other triumphs.
We watched fleet races, where all 9 teams compete at the same time, and match races where they face off in duals to win the bracket. So far in the total standings, Emirates Team New Zealand is in 1st place followed by Oracle-Spithill (Spithill is the captain), Oracle-Coutts (koootz!) in 3rd, Sweden's Artemis Racing, and Team Korea in 5th. Watching Team Korea blossom in the final days of Plymouth was the biggest thrill at our house. Maybe we are just real keen on the white tiger graphics, but it was huge fun watching them emerge.
Finally.... a song about Alameda Zombies that I didn't make up myself!
Super Adventure Club is a San Francisco-based duo with a brand new album out on what I assume is their own record label. The music is actually pretty good but probably wouldn't have gotten my attention is it wasn't for this song about Zombies in Alameda.
I can tell that you're not from san francisco
Cause you're riding on a bike that's not a fixie
So tell me once again where it is your from
Cause you're smellin kinda a funky and your face is lookin glum
Alameda is a perfect place for fixies because our island is completely flat. The only hill is the bike bridge going over the estuary. If you ask me, hilly San Francisco is a retarded place for fixies. But... they are mostly right. Zombies do prefer geared bikes.
An old client of mine recently started up a new company over on the peninsula that sells hardwood flooring. I've been helping to promote his flooring styles on Craigslist and wow… what a completive market! Most times I post an ad, it's flagged and deleted within an hour or two. Other ads stick around long enough to keep renewing although they aren't much different. I'm very careful about sticking to the rules so it's frustrating that it keeps happening.
Traditionally, I'm a tequila and beer guy. And far from a wine snob. But in the interest of taking advantage of the Bay Area -- and the fact that my kids seem to have swim meets up in Napa Valley regularly -- we've been getting to know the Napa region fairly well.
My 10-year-old just loaded up the first 3 John Carter of Mars novels onto his kindle. Being a Star Wars fan, I figured he'd be hooked all summer long. Surprisingly, his summer reading drifted back to George Orwell so I'm hoping to get him excited with updates on the movie. Disney's "John Carter" will finally be released in March of 2012, one hundred years after being written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Speaking of civilized, we recently visited Vancouver, British Columbia for a combo business/pleasure trip. We navigated the city for 5 full days mostly by foot, bicycle, and public transit (and the occasional taxi.) Compared to San Francisco, the weather sorta sucks (which says a lot if you know SF) but Vancouver makes San Francisco look ***archaic*** when it comes to transit. They really have it figured out.
We did something different for Monday night's QotSA show at the Fox Theater in Oakland. We sat down! I can't remember the last time we sat down for a show, but we had 8th row center mezzanine (row H) and it was rather civilized. Perhaps too civilized for a Queens of the Stone Age show, but being a Monday night after a long week of travel, it was a good call. Unlike the Warfield in San Francisco, you can bring drinks to your seat (nice cup holders) and, given that they were moshing downstairs, it was civilized indeed.
And do you know what else is civilized? QotSA is punctual! The opening band went on exactly at 8:00 pm and the Queens went on EXACTLY at 9. They play a fierce, condensed show so we were back home to pay off the babysitter at 11:15.