Our family is, and always has been, very involved with swimming. Because my younger brothers were so fast (I wasn't), much of my childhood was spent schlepping around the midwest for weekend swim meets. Hello Holidome! Centered out of St. Louis, we were all over Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and even down to Memphis…. an armada of station wagons with electronic football gadgets and towels over our heads… in pursuit of more regional records for my bros' all-star relay team to destroy. One of those 4 went on to be a swimming star at Stanford.
I just can't do it, and perhaps never again. I attended the first 8 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festivals in Golden Gate Park and have many times sung the praise of Warren Hellman and his glorious event. But we barely survived #7, and we peaked at #8 with access-passes (thank you BAD LIVERS!!)
They are predicting 750,000 attendees this year, and I don't think it's an underestimate. It's simply too much humanity for us to deal with, so this will be the 3rd year I'll miss it.
Just for shits and giggles, I'm going to create an imaginary itinerary here in case I was kuh-razy enough to go. And I'm going to be realistic. Gone are the days when you can navigate between stages to cherry pick your shows like a smorgasbord. Unless you are 6 1/2 feet tall and don't mind bumming out other people, your best bet is to pick a spot and stick with it.
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.