: views from the Hill

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Prop 8 update

Prop. 8 backers sue to change ballot wording

Seems Jerry Brown (formerly Governor Moonbeam, currently State Attorney General perhaps Governor again after the next election, who knows ...) has authorized the following ballot language for Proposition 8: "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Says he, since the time the petition signatures were collected, the court confirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Therefore, Prop 8, which reads "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." would disenfranchise those who just May 15th got the right to marry and his wording is fine and good and valid.

Prop 8 proponents claim Brown's verbiage is "inherently argumentative and highly likely to create prejudice" and they aren't eliminating anyone's rights. They're simply trying to reinstate the definition of marriage that existed in California before the judicial decision in May.

Ya. Right.

Yay! hooray! for Jerry Brown. You go, guy!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Neighborhood dinner

And so it came to pass that we had our second annual neighborhood progressive dinner last night.

As usual, I skipped town -- after offering my minimal help in designing the flyer and settling on dates (dinner scheduled for a week and a day after we got back) -- and left the delivery of invites, acceptance of RSVPs, and scheduling to my charming co-conspirator, co-host and next-door neighbor.

We got back from Africa and I sent a note: Is dinner still on? Did we get enough RSVPs? Indeed it was. Indeed we did.

Some last minute re-shuffling of venues and a dinner we had. First stop, Napier Lane for kickoff and appetizers. Next stop our lane (and the charming next-door neighbors') for appetizers. Then upstairs next-door for salads. Then here for tapas (goat-cheese-stuffed Anaheim peppers, chicken piccata empanadas, beef and pepita sauce empanadas from me and vegetable frittata from a Napier neighbor). Then back next door and yet another floor up for dessert and coffee.

Neighbors included a couple who is putting their San Francisco life on hold and heading to Malaysia for a few years, a neighbor I'd never met but whose apartment I'd wandered through on one of our open house Sundays a couple months back, a neighbor who has left her job to go back to school for a post-graduate degree, the neighbors who have the colossal re-model just uphill from us, others, and the chocolate guy.

The chocolate guy lives on Napier Filbert but, because his life is still in boxes, decided he couldn't host and in lieu brought the desserts for the final gathering on the top floor next door. He had chocolate bars

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and two types of chocolate gelato (chocolate/cardamom ym!) and I went home the happy owner of a bag of chocolate nibs from his latest tonnage. My assignment: think up new ways of using chocolate nibs.

"add to salads" is already a known use.

I finally put the bag away this morning. I'd been nibbling out of hand during and after breakfast, over reading the Sunday papers. Nibbling out of hand is good enough for me.

Say, Timothy. Why not just sell nibs as a straight-to-the-vein snack for chocolate lovers who don't want to wade through all the other ingredients needed to make a chocolate bar?

Tcho -- the chocolate guy's chocolate -- is that good. Tcho is a San Francisco company, working out of Pier 17.

Buy online! but only if you think milk chocolate is not worth the paper it's wrapped in and dark chocolate with chocolate content > 70% is the way to go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

U.S. professor of inspirational "last lecture" dies

Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:46pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Randy Pausch, a university professor whose "last lecture" celebrating life in the face of terminal cancer became a book which made him a best-selling sensation, died on Friday at age 47.

Pausch died at home of complications from pancreatic cancer, Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught for 10 years, reported on its Web site.

The computer science professor was best known for his "last lecture," entitled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," which he gave in September 2007 just weeks after learning he was suffering from terminal cancer.

Footage of the poignant and inspirational lecture became a hit on the Internet, viewed by millions of people.

A book based on the talk, "The Last Lecture," was translated into 30 languages and became an international bestseller, Carnegie Mellon, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said on its Web site.


The server at Carnegie Mellon is swamped and not responding, but when it comes up for air, click here for more Randy Pausch information. (I'd checked in just yesterday to see how he was doing. ... and was glad to see he was still with us. And, now, not.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony

Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Backers of a November initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California plan to tell voters in the state ballot pamphlet that the constitutional amendment would protect children as young as kindergarten age from being taught in school about the virtues of gay and lesbian matrimony.

"If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage," supporters of Proposition 8 said in ballot arguments that went on public display this week at the secretary of state's office.

That marriage lesson is more than likely part and parcel of the sex education lessons for kindergarteners that the gay agenda is forcing on the good citizens of California.

Yikes. Don't say they didn't warn you. ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Britishisms beyond zebra crossing

[1] BA in-flight magazine. July 2008

From context, the meaning was relatively clear.

Merriam-Webster on hoarding:
1: a temporary board fence put about a building being erected or repaired —called also hoard
2: [British] billboard

[2] Independent. 18 Jul 2008

"Neither candidate looks likely to balance the budget without swingeing cuts." Context again clear, but etymology?

Merriam-Webster on swingeing:

Etymology: from present participle of swinge
Date: 1575

chiefly British : very large, high, or severe swingeing fines swingeing taxes

Which in turn brought me to Google Books and Hensleigh Wedgwood's A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH ETYMOLOGY, publ 1872:


e.g. swindle

Swindle G Schwindel swimming in the head dizziness giddiness In a figurative sense Schwindel is applied to dealings in which the parties seem to have lost their head as we say to have become dizzy over unfounded or unreasonable prospects of gain. 'Als der Assignatenschwindel Assignat mania zu w├╝then begann' 'Er hat bei dem Akticn schwin del Share mania viel geld verdient' -- Genz in Sanders The word may be translated madness delusion Then in a factitive sense schwindeler one who induces delusions in others Einem etwas abschwindeln to get something from another by inducing delusion to swindle him out of something The parallel form ON sundla to be dizzy connects G schwindeln through ON sund a swimming with svt ma svimma to swim svimra Da si tmlc to be dizzy Du swijmelen falsa imaginari instar dormientium vertigine laborari Kil Da svingel dizziness darnel from producing dizziness svingle to reel as a drunken man.


Festival of Sail kicks off with parade of ships at noon today

We live where we can see the water because his nibs wanted to see boats, boats, boats!

And we do.

The Festival of Sail kicks off at noon today with a parade of ships sailing in through the Golden Gate.

I'll be downtown for lunch with his nibs and will miss the ship parade, but I've been enjoying some of the runup this morning.




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[1] The fire boats serving San Francisco Fire Department from the Bay spray a welcome for an incoming military ship.

[2] Some masts over by the Ferry Building. And a ferry, and a docked dinner cruise ship. The Delta Queen, the largest of the dinner cruise ships on this side of the Bay, has been docked elsewhere to free up some room for the wooden ships to dock. The ships will open for tours starting tomorrow. We've been enjoying views of a two masted ship, docked at Pier 19 since we got back.

[3] Another smaller boat.

Monday, July 21, 2008


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Working on pics.

I promised the PCV that I'd get my favorite photos pulled together in a more timely manner than norm.

Our guide had backed up a bit when he saw our visitor headed our way, backed up just enough that he cleared the path over to the right that the elephants used to cross the dirt road. Our visitor came within a foot of the hood and veered off to the right.

Our South African companion in the front seat is deathly afraid of elephants. She was not at all amused as the beast got nearer and nearer and nearer.

The First Today Show: January 14, 1952 with Dave Garroway

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