Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day shift.

One of my co-workers needed the day off, so I offered to take the day shift.

1st day shift (12 hours, 7a to 7p) that I've worked in over 9 years.

Not too shabby, went by quicker I think, a bit busier, not to bad though. Was fun, and I didn't have such a hard time getting up in the morning. Which is what I hate the most...getting up at 6am to be somewhere that early. bleh.

Time for some much needed sushi as a conselation prize. :D ha!

and to get a run in.

Less than 2 weeks till the Sequoia 50k in Oakland.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bay 2 Breakers (SF) vs. Keep Austin Weird (Austin)

So, recently there has been a huge uproar in the bay area (SF really) about the upcoming Bay to Breakers event in May. In tradition, it has been one of the craziest parties in SF, drawing near to over 80,000 people to the embarcadero before starting the 12k run to the ocean (through Golden Gate Park ending at Ocean Beach) I've participated in a few of these, and it is always flipping awesome to see the shit that people come up with as far as costumes go. The record for this race was somewhere in the ballpark of 110,000 runners. Starting in 1912 as a way to lift the city's spirits after the great fire of 1906, it is the longest consecutive running footrace in the world. (runs from same start to same finish) Some years, the participation was down to under 50 people, but has never stopped.

There is even a group that runs it backwards, dressed up as Salmon, swimming up stream. hahahaha I remember seeing them that year (2004), and here is a video from 2006.

Recently though, the rights to this event were purchased by one of the sponsors for this run, being ING.com, and they've have decided that they needed to tame it down a notch, and implemented new rules that included, NO ALCOHOL, and NO ROLLING FLOATS! What the fuck!? This all but negates what the whole bay to breakers experience is. Including some really amazing and imaginative floats, as well as the "poor man's" float...ie. shopping cart with a keg in it and some kind of decoration. hahahaha genius!

Yes, while the front running bastards, maybe 5,000 actual runners are done and gone before the rest of the crowd even gets started, it's still a race mired in tradition that must not stop.

Unlike Austin's "Keep Austin Weird" movement, and event that was started more along the lines of protesting commercialism and over development of Austin, this race in SF is one of the funnest events of the year, started mostly to bring the spirits of the city up after a devastating event. (Fire of 1906)

The Hash House Harriers have been running an event here for many years...usually stopping at Stowe Lake ( in GGP) for the after party. They usually make a long weekend of this event...here is some photos from 2004 that I dug up. First few are of the run on Friday, and they rented the whole floor at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown for the after party. It was nuts, we had hashers that were having to show the little Chinese dudes how to tap the kegs faster, cause we were going through so much beer.

One of the beer stops in North Beach. Some friends from Dallas h3, and yes, this is when I was harrier...hahaha the flowing locks, long since gone. :(

This was hilarious, the homeless dude, had some rap jammin' on the boom box while asking for money, but wasn't impressed when one of the hashers decided to dance for him and then ask the homeless dude for money...for dancing. HAHAHA :D
Day of the event, Sunday morning, luckily there was beer at the start, and lots of tortillas...for the great tortilla toss...and trying to bean the reporters up on the scaffolding before the race even starts.
The theme for this year ended up being "The Gropenator" as this is the year, that Governor Davis was ousted from office and Arnulhd "get to the choppa" Schwarzenegger then took over. Not a lot of people in SF liked him, so they went with the whole groping events, that were in the media, and built the "gropenator" as you see below.

We (the collective hash) groped EVERYONE, even some of the reporters who thought it was hilarious. Hashers took turns carrying this float the whole way.
This is (I think) Fell st. leading into GGP. Jam packed. They have bands playing on street corners, and people along the way have house parties on their front yards. Great party.

So like all great things, some people are going to complain, and rightly so, cause with all that alcohol, there is always a group of people (large group) that will fuck it up for everyone else. The amount of drunkenness and trash left at the end, had a lot of people up in arms.
I think if the city, just provided better facilities (more porta-potties, better security, and maybe more accessible trash collection) it would be a different story.
Anyway, with the new rules, there was a grass roots movement that went into effect, and within several days over 4k people had joined, and communicated with city officials, to come to a decent compromise and keep this tradition alive. They secured an audience with city officials, race organizers, and sponsors to talk it out and mediate to some kind of compromise.

some groups:
Facebook group
Save Bay to Breakers
Petition to Save B2B

What has Austin done to Keep Austin Weird!??

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seattle trip, part 2.

So on Friday my friend Rachel flew up to Seattle to hang out and come to the Seattle Hash Stuperbowl party. Being that she'd never been to Seattle, I offered to play tour guide and show her around the sights. Especially since the weather turned out so well.
Took her down to the market for a bit of lunch at Kells Irish Pub in Post Alley. Then tooled around taking photos and seeing the sites.

From the market, we drove up to Gas works Park
"This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal - later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950's made the plant obsolete."

It does however, have an amazing view of the downtown skyline of Seattle. In the summers, we used to go out on my buddies boat and race in the Seattle Duck Dodge right here on Lake Union. Loads of fun, and with a couple of cases of good beer, it made for an amazing day of sailing, racing and drinking once the boats were tied up in the center of the lake. Lake Union does not allow for any ship to anchor up in it's waters, except for the officials boat. Which everyone tethers up to, when the racing is over.
After gas works park, we made our way up and under the Hwy 99 bridge and I had a little conversation with this fella. Seems he's quite lonely under the bridge, eating VW bugs. He did mention that some miscreant had painted his finger nails pink, but he was comfortable with it. ha! The Fremont Troll has some interesting history, (located in the Fremont neighborhood, self proclaimed center of the universe) and was sculpted here in 1990 by four Seattle area artists. One of which was also an architect, named Steve Badanes. What is even more coincidental and funny, is that I was lectured to by Steve Badanes, when I visited Vermont in 1993 and attended an extensive summer course on Sustainable Design and Build Course. Pretty cool. Quirky dude, and hilarious to boot. When he lectured us in Vermont, he was winding down a tour of all the cities where he had an office, and was celebrating his 50th birthday in each city. Genius. haha
After visiting the troll, we headed out to the Ballard neighborhood to check out the Ballard Locks.
A system of locks seperating the fresh water lakes, from the salt water of the Sound. Maintaining the level of the Lakes at about 22 feet above sea level at all times. It also includes a Salmon run keeping Salmon moving in and out of the area. We've run several hash runs through here, always a cool spot to run through.

Dicks burgers, a Seattle institution. They're quick, cheap, and small..I can usually down about 6 of them on a good night of boozing it up. :D They are open until 2am, and there is usually a police cruiser parked in the lot watching to make sure things go smoothly. And yes, they're always packed and have a line of people ordering food. Today's special was .10 cent cokes with your burgers.
Forgot to add these two photos to the Underground tour posting. Just some castings that were down in the tunnels that I saw while on the tour.

After a pretty long day we decided to go and visit my friends Jimbo and Karen, who live in West Seattle. Last time I was here was a little over a year ago, and there boy was still pretty small. He walks, talks and is a bruiser these days. Always laughing and smiling, cute kid. Got to playing with him, and while it may not appear like it, he's laughing his ass off in this photo.
This is him right after I put him down, asking for more.
Instead, we decided to down a beer and settle down. haha j/k. no beer for the little guy, but had to keep an eye on him, cause I don't think he would have hesitated to take a good swig. good man. Had a blast, and I'm always reminded of how cool it is to be in Seattle, when I visit. I didn't get any photos at the superbowl party, but it was a great game, and I got roped into cheering for the Steelers, cause I don't like the Arizona Cardinals, and of course, Assma had an extra steelers jersey.

I laid a hash trail run (5 miler) along the water way, up a large hill, and then down through a park. Pretty easy run, to me anyway, but got lots of bitching for making it so "long". wtf?! hahahaha too funny. either way, it was great hanging out with friends I hadn't see in years and catching up.
I'll be back. Working on a trip out of country, hopefully it comes through and I can make it. (crossing fingers)

Seattle trip, part 1.

So a few weeks ago I went up to Seattle to visit and see some friends.

I flew up on Wednesday to hang out with Jason (Assquatch ...don't ask), and spent the next few days catching up and seeing my old haunts in Seattle. The weather happened to cooperate marvelously, the sun was out, it was clear, and not as cold as it had been for weeks. :) Perfect.

Shit ton of photos from the trip. I'll try and get them in order.
Showed up to the no-balls H3 run (end of the run, actually) on Wednesday in Tacoma, and caught up with some friends/hashers I hadn't seen in a couple years. Traditionally this is an all womens H3, but being a "visitor" I was allowed. :D And boy toy was there, since his wife was also running that day.

The next day, Jason and I took Holly's bike to Aurora Suzuki for a service check. Goddam that's a bright jacket. Then we went about shopping for motorcycle stuff. Up in Queen Anne hill, there was this restaurant that had a "Keep Austin Weird" sign above the front door. Pretty cool to see how far that sentiment had reached. A bummer to know that the "Keep Austin Weird" movement has pretty much died off and isn't being kept up due to too many lame Austinites! lame! hahaha And wait, the hash happy hour is no longer at Lovejoys!??! WTF?!?!?! seriously?
The Triangle tavern and hotel. Favorite spot of the hash to go to before the Mariner games. This is also down in Pioneer square.
Late evening in the Pike Place Market. The weather was phenomenal, for those that know Seattle and it's weather, we were very lucky.

Elliot Bay. This used to be my view from my bay front apartment when I lived in Seattle. 2 blocks from the public market. Damn, I miss this city very much. Might have to take a job up here for the summer.
Looking down from the small park outside the public market, down the Alaskan Viaduct towards the ball park, and Mt. Rainier in the background.

The Smith Building in the background. (the pointy one below :) ) was hailed as the tallest skyscraper outside of New York city for many years. Located in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle along skid row (named that, for the logs that were sent skidding down it from the top of the hill to the mill that was located on the waterfront) Loads of history in Seattle, some more hilarious than you might expect. Like for instance, did you guys know that the Seattle Public School system was founded on the backs of whores?! No? Well, the most famous (and richest) madam of Seattle, donated all of her money when she died to the city of Seattle to establish a school system. While she gets little to no credit (for obvious reasons), it was via money made from the countless "seamstresses" in Seattle. Hear all about it on the Underground tour which starts down in Pioneer Square.
Yep, there were over 3,000 registered "seamstresses" residing in a 3 square block radius. Even a few cross-stitchers for the men who preferred to go the other way. hahaha

An old photo of the Smith Building, located inside the Underground Tour memorabilia museum.
This parking structure was built after the Seattle Hotel that used to be located here. The city said, after it demolished the hotel, that it would put up something that was beautiful and gave back to the city....instead, they put this crappy parking structure. It does look funky, and is nicknamed the "sinking ship"
A view of the hotel that used to be located where the parking structure above is now located along Skid Road.
A view along the sidewalk, on the underground tour. This used to be the 1st floor of downtown Seattle.
For many years, the existing buildings maintained their "1st floor" shops up and running, with the sidewalks covered over so that people would stop dying when they fell down these 8-10 ft drops. They added these skylights to help bring light down into the long tunnels. All these years later, the sky lights still exist, and the glass has turned to a light shade of purple due to the manganese in the glass. This area was active until about 1907 when it was condemned and no longer used. All the buildings and businesses just moved up one floor and that became the 1st floor. Tour groups now go into the underground areas, under specific permission only, and must pay each building owner "rights" to bring people through. I think it's somewhere along the lines of about 10k per month per building. sheesh!

The Seattle Public Library building is kind of a weird design, but very cool. I included a link about it.

The Seattle skyline from Queen Anne hill, one of my favorite spots to check out the city.
to be continued...

The Rev

At the Boom Boom room in SF.

The ladies...dirty.

Yeah, lots of booze, couple flasks of Jim Beam.

Night out! Us at the Boom Boom room, and The Fillmore
Had some Mexican food prior to the concert. Odd thing is that it was a Chinese guy running the joint, who couldn't understand what we were ordering. geez. I want a damn quesadilla, not a frippin' quesadirra!