MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now serving as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not So Sweet 16 [candidates for mayor]


As a direct consequence of our new public financing rules for the mayoral race in San Francisco, we have a cavalry charge of 16 candidates running for mayor. C.W. Nevius explains:
"It would be safe to say that many San Franciscans don't understand public financing...

Raise $25,000 and you get $50,000. Scare up $100,000 and you get a 4 to 1 match for $400,000. No wonder there are 16 candidates for mayor. It's political happy hour... this is a poor use of public funds. This is the first mayoral race with public financing and voters are learning that it allows candidates to get easy money and, in some cases, to waste it.

The weird catch-22 of San Francisco's system is that once the money is spent, a candidate can't drop out of the race unless he or she pays it back. The problem is that a 2007 change in the law made it possible to start pulling in the money nine months before the election. By the time August rolls around, candidates may be hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole and can't afford to quit."
So we have candidates who are only in the race because we the citizens of SF are paying them to run for mayor with our money. And the peculiarities of our public finance rules mandate they stay in the race in order to continue to suckle at The City's bountiful teat. But this is all fine because - you know - we in SF have a lot of extra money lying around to finance any candidate who wants to run for mayor. Why would we not want to spend $9 million of our tax dollars for the privilege of sorting through sixteen mayoral candidates? I sure can't think of anything better to do with that money.

As Ron Popeil might say - "But that's not all!" At no extra charge we will throw all sixteen candidates into the mix-master of our first ranked voting / instant runoff election for mayor. On November 8th, all San Francisco voters will cast three votes for mayor in rank order of preference. "Rank" being the operative word in that sentence. Rich Deleon ruminates about the election and The City's progressive future in today's Chron Insight:
"San Francisco voters, as usual, have a lot on their plates. On Nov. 8, they will select a new mayor, district attorney and sheriff, and they will decide on eight ballot measures. In the mayoral race, in particular, the burden of choice will be heavier than in most past elections. Voters must choose from a crowded field of 16 candidates, 10 of whom are current or former officeholders and most of whom are serious, well-funded contenders.Under the city's ranked-choice voting system, the voters will need to do more political homework much earlier than in the past, because this election will be a one-day sale without the option of a later runoff election simplifying choice, for good or ill, by whittling the 16 down to two. And as the voters survey the candidates to decide how to rank and vote for up to three, they will also need to consider two rival charter amendments that address the central focus of recent campaign debates, namely, how to control San Francisco's accelerating public pension obligations and rising health care costs to secure the city's financial future."
Who knows what kind of a gawd-awful mess will come out of this election? Recall that in Oakland's 2010 ranked voting mayoral election, candidate Jean Quan had 10 points fewer first choice votes than Perata in the first vote count. I am talking about - Her Honor Jean Quan, the current mayor of Oakland, who had 10 percentage points fewer first choice votes than the loser Don Perata.

The simple fact is that most SF citizens have no friggin' clue about the ramifications of ranked voting/instant runoffs. While the voters may not understand it, be assured the candidates who would otherwise have zero chance of winning a plurality in the election or a majority in a real runoff know how exactly how the voting system can be gamed.

Net net - As a voter it is more important to decide who to exclude from any of your three votes for mayor than it is to pick who you would prefer to see win as your first choice. In fact you may be better off ranking your favorite as your second or third choice. This is Game Theory Gone Wild. We might as well be drawing lots to pick the next mayor.

At this point, all I know for certain about my mayoral vote is that John Avalos will not get any of my three votes. In this blog I have focused primarily on his position on Sharp Park. Obviously that is not the only or even the most important issue facing our city. However, that issue is indicative of a bigger problem with his character and candidacy.

If he is willing to pander to the most radical progressive constituents, to secure their support by denying the unassailable science and documented accounting on our wonderful Sharp Park, and even go so far as to advocate giving away this historically important 100 year old legacy - this gift to the people of San Francisco, then he cannot be trusted with any leadership role in our city government. But with our convoluted crapshoot of an electoral system, and enough second and third place votes, he could very well be our next mayor.

I only regret I have but three votes to not give to John Avalos.

Maybe this is the nature of future SF campaign themes, posters and bumper stickers under this cluster-forked mess. The only message simple enough to distill to a bumper sticker in this system is a message about who to vote against. How about...

"Do Not Vote for Avalos - Not First, Not Second, Not Third, Not Ever."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

19th hole

Carl 97
Rick 99
The  Other Bob 103
MW 114

Bob TBD

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Rick on the beach again

On 18. Finishing his otherwise excellent round with an 8 and blowing the OGC win for the team.

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Bringing it home on 18...

Surprisingly, my ball was hit far into the scrub on the right, never to be seen again.

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

The Other Bob off the tee on 17



Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Closest to the pin

Watching my "closest to the pin" putt overshoot the hole by 6 feet. Ok, we were only the second group in the tourney, but at this moment, at 30 feet 3 inches, my drive was closest to the pin. I three putt. That was the way my day went.

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Rick apparently likes weed(s)

... based on the time he spent in them.

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Rick's 1st and 3rd attempts out of the trap on 11


He got out eventually.

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

The Other Bob cuts the corner on 11

... with limited success. Carl also cut the corner on this hole...

... taking a somewhat more aggressive line (Carl is the red dot in the distance - click image to expand) and finding even less success.

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At the turn

Carl 41
Rick 43
The Other Bob 51
Mike 57

That is not a typo. Rick is playing miles over his head. I'm really happy for him. Really.

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a pair of birdies on 9

Rick and Carl each pour in long putts for birds. Rick is playing out of his mind.

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Carl on seventh tee



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The Other Bob on the second tee

it is a bit foggy this morning .

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!


Live Blogging San Juan Oaks

After farm fresh eggs courtesy of Lulu the chicken from Rick's backyard coop, we get to San Juan Oaks at in time for our 8:40 tee off.

Me, Rick, The Other Bob (presenting his best side for the camera), Carl and The Real Bob. Which is a fivesome. We had a bit of a mix-up on the first tee - Bob was banished to a later group.


Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A taste of Chi-Town in Ess Eff

A nice write-up in the Chron today for The Grill on Bryant @ 6th. They are featuring Chicago style hot dogs and Italian Beef. Sigrid and I have been regular patrons of Moishe's Pippic to get our Chicago dog fix but, as far as I know, The Grill has the only Italian Beef west of the Mississippi. Swung by to check it out and bring home a dog and beef.

The Verdict: It is not Gold Coast Dogs or Mister Beef, but... definitely the real deal and probably as close as one could expect on the left coast. They got it right. except...

One complaint - A major faux pas on the bread. The hot dog was not served on a poppy seed bun. C'mon guys. It is not a Chicago hot dog if it is not on a poppy seed bun. You know that. I'll still give Moishe's the slim edge on their dog based on their fidelity to the poppy seed bun, but must admit I liked the foot long char dogs at The Grill, a la Gold Coast Dogs in Chicago. Now if they could just get the bun right.

The Grill, S.F.: Hot dogs with Chicago flavor
Sarah Fritsche Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open just nine months, the Grill offers up delicious, hefty burgers as well as hot dogs and sandwiches.

Restaurant newcomer Mary Ann Lane tends front-of-house, while son-in-law Greg Smith mans the kitchen.

Smith, a Johnson & Wales culinary grad, grinds his own chuck for juicy, cooked-to-order burgers, like the Works ($10.95), topped with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, sauteed mushrooms and fried onions. Fries ($3.50) are hand cut and perfectly crisp, and the buttermilk batter for the onion rings ($3.50) is made fresh daily. Smith, an avid Cubs fan, offers a taste of Chicago with the World Famous ($7.95), his version of an Italian beef, a hoagie roll bursting with paper-thin slices of beef, spicy or mild peppers (or both) and dripping with au jus. There's also the Traditional Chicago Dog ($4.95), a Vienna Beef hot dog, topped with neon green relish, Dusseldorf mustard, onions, tomato, pickle spear, sport peppers and celery salt. If you're feeling ravenous, indulge in the foot-long version ($6.95).

The Grill: 799 Bryant St., S.F. (415) 543-4745. 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Delivery available 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ($15 minimum).

The Grill - MW Recommended.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The end of an era

One year after buying Palm, HP unceremoniously consigns the company to the dustbin of history:
"HP, a storied brand that was instrumental in expanding the PC industry, announced that its board had authorized exploring "strategic alternatives" for its computer division. That's corporate speak for a sale or spin-off.The Palo Alto tech giant and the industry as a whole have seen a drop-off in laptop and desktop sales and margins, as consumers shift to tablets and smart phones.And yet ... HP also announced plans to discontinue the phones and tablets based on the operating system it acquired through its now clearly ill-fated $1.2 billion purchase of Palm last year. That means it's pulling the plug on its highly promoted TouchPad tablet, less than two months after it hit the market."
Alas poor Palm. I knew him Horatio. I was a Palm user from the very beginning. My first post on this blog was a picture taken and uploaded from a Palm Treo 600. I owned a Palm Pilot personal organizer (I and II) in the nineties when Palm created the category, and stuck with the platform right up until my Palm Pre, apparently sensing the end, committed suicide off of my terrace last month.

I've lost track of how many Palm devices I owned. No doubt I still have contacts in my phone that I entered into that first Palm Pilot that kept being transferred over the years - through the US Robotics takeover and spinout, the Handspring Treo, the Palm Treos 600, 700 and finally into the Pre. I have no recollection who these people are of course, but they are still in there. They have transitioned now through The Borg Google into my new Android HTC Evo. I still don't remember who most of these people are. They will be with me always.

I had hope that WebOS would survive when HP bought it. Not enough hope to buy another one after the Pre took it's final plunge, but hope nevertheless. It really is a great OS and in many ways superior to and more intuitive than Android. But better technology does not survive years of shitty management.
"HP has been hopelessly outmatched in smartphones and tablets despite its $1.8 billion acquisition last year of Palm, whose webOS software was the crown jewel of the deal.

The software powered the fledgling TouchPad tablet and HP-powered smartphones that are being discontinued in Thursday's announcement.The software was well-reviewed, but iPhones and iPads and smartphones running Google's Android operating system—made possible after Apple paved the way—have dominated the fastest-growing parts of the consumer technology market. HP was left in the margins. WebOS smartphones had a worldwide market share of less than 1 percent, according to Gartner.

HP will try to find ways to keep webOS alive, which could include using it in other devices such as PCs and printers or licensing it to handset makers, Apotheker said in an interview. He said he was disappointed with the designs of HP's mobile devices and believed the business would have required too much money to turn around."
WebOS is now doomed to be known as the Betamax of mobile computing.

Rest In Peace Palm... you had a good run.

BTW - the picture at the top of this post featuring my last three Palm devices, and was taken with my HTC EVO, edited in phone to apply the antique effect before transmitting directly to the blog.

Oh - and to anyone over the last few years who selected a Palm device based on my recommendation... sorry about that.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dive Day Three

After two great afternoon dives, we thought we would try to catch the end of the early morning minus tide.

video

Sun is barely clearing the ridge, but the cove looks calm

Hmm.. We might have for forgotten something. Probably the less said about that the better.

More pics later.

UPDATED PICS:

Some time later - the sun is on the cove and we have all the equipment we need.

Harlan back in the cove. Visibility is down.

Our audience is back. Harlan in the water and the seal on the rock.

Harlan and I each took one.


That was plenty after feasting on previous day's haul.

Alas poor Yorick. I knew him Horatio.

Oddly enough, Doug got skunked.

[Some of this] Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We Eat Abalone

Abalone Ceviche'

Weekend at Sea Ranch + three days of diving + great conditions = lots of good eating. An incomplete sampling of abalone prep and dining pics from over the weekend:

Picking an ab the chowder

That's a good one.

Cleaning and prepping abs is a non-trivial task

Sometimes they pop out of the shell easily ...

... sometimes not.

Cleaning, trimming...

...slicing, tenderizing, breading, and...

video
...grilling is not as much fun as eating.
(not being clever with this video - forgot the 3D option was on)


Prepped for the chowder

and into Harlan's special recipe.

Doug and Peggy help us enjoy the abalone chowder and BLAATs.

Not shown - abalone sashimi, abalone in red sauce with pasta, and BLAATs (Bacon,Lettuce, Abalone, Avacado, and Tomato sandwiches). All part of the weekend repast. Yum.

Dive Day 2

Three ab pearls Doug found in one old abalone

Doug was still dubious about our report on yesterday's afternoon conditions, but decided to join us for another late day effort diving into the low tide. We stopped at his place where he showed us the latest additions to his extraordinary abalone pearl collection. Then out to the cove.

First - we had to get the weight belt right for the newbie.

Then back down the hill...

... then into the cove.

An interested local keeps an eye on the proceedings.

By the time we got in through the low tide kelp...

... Doug had already explored the cove three times.

We found a great new spot...

Harlan checks it out...

... up close and personal

Out of focus picture of three keepers in one hole
(someday I'll get a good picture of one of these)


Harlan surfaces with his first ab

A good day to dive.

A mountain of abalone. Between us - three nines, four eights, and a seven.

Apres Dive

Got some decent video, and will add here at some unspecified future date.