Friday, December 31, 2004

Picked up camera #1.

#1 is the pocket camera.

I swear to gawd, even by the time the 11th hour and 59 minutes came I had no idea what i wanted, as there are literally thousands of pocket cameras that fit my somewhat loose/somewhat strict criterion.

The ones i wanted were, of course, more than i budgeted. The ones that were under my budget, i wasnt really feeling them.

Nothing in that sweet spot.

So, yesterday - i walked into the local Wolf Camera, strode to the counter and announced 'Im buying a camera right now. I want to spend as much under 200 bux as is humanly possible, it must be 3 megapixels or above, with a fast f2.8 lens for night shots, and did i mention that it must cost under 200 bux?'

And so we spent an hour browsing their clearance area.

This being San Francisco, the guy at the counter was someone interesting. He shoots images of jazz musicians. That's his riff. We talked and listened to jazz as we went through the cameras.

So, of course - by the time i was done, i had a bunch of cameras to choose. But this time, I was happy to make a choice.

The cameras were all good, and dirt cheap. And,naturally, all fuji's.

I chose a Fuji 6800 zoom, even tho i couldve gotten a newer F601 for only 10 bux more.

Thats ok. Ive got a sweet-looking camera designed by Porsche, pocket sized, something good enough to have been rebadged as a Leica, solid and just what i need.

All for only 150 bux plus tax.

Cant beat that with a stick. Im happy.
JPennant: i feel good about what i bought
McClint: well where's the fruit of your labor?
McClint: we wanna see pix! :-)

When Im good n' ready. :)

Ive got a long list of things I wanna see meself.
So, next.. camera #2.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Are ya happy to be here?

Dori, who recently moved to Portland from New York, has this to say about the West Coast..

that's the general consensus here, in a place where it's pretty much okay to be broke if you're trying to pursue some sort of creative dream (right now, what i'm pursuing is figuring out my creative dream, but hell, it's a start).

yeah, one small part of me is fucking freaked out - the other part of me is kind of happy to be put in this desparate position - a time to think about ways i can support myself creatively, in a place that supports that kind of thing.

Yep, thats exactly how Ive felt.

Which kinda leads into something I was asked recently...

gabz: so, are you happy you came westward?
JPennant: you know, youre the first person to ask me 'happy'
gabz: you're kidding
JPennant: nope
JPennant: its usually variations on 'are you glad', 'is it what you thought itd be' etc
JPennant: but 'happy' is specific
JPennant: the short answer is no
gabz: d'ohh
JPennant: no, not bad
gabz: but, i do understand: it's culture shock.
gabz: and you're not the first to say that cali doesn't make a person 'happy'.
gabz: it's interesting... but, please expand
JPennant: actually, im more homesick, but im not gonna move back
gabz: yeah. i hear ya.
JPennant: that said, its nice
JPennant: my brother sent me a care package yesterday
gabz: awww
JPennant: it had pastries and bread from Brooklyn
gabz: nice!
JPennant: that was the first time since 2002 Ive had that
JPennant: it reminded how far away I am
JPennant: Im not melancholy at all
JPennant: but kinda homesick
JPennant: ive made good friends
JPennant: the situation is improving
JPennant: and im lucky to be where i am :-)
JPennant: that occurred to me the other day
JPennant: i was walking up some pretty and dreamlike street
JPennant: and Im like, "Dude, IM IN SAN FRANCISCO living free and easy. this time is a once in a lifetime kinda thing!"
JPennant: so, feeling lucky and appreciative is the long answer :-)
JPennant: makes sense?
gabz: absolutely

Like Dori said, you get a lot of support out here when youre broke but trying to do something creative. out east, its about the money first and foremost.

Its brave, and almost suicidal out there trying to do what Im trying to do out here.

They respect dreams here.
Gonna pick up camera #1 this weekend.

JPennant: im currently in the tenderloin looking at the traffic pass by on geary
JPennant: makes me feel all literati an' shit
gabz: hahaha
gabz: the rain mus make for some interesting photos.
JPennant: youre right, it sure was nice tonight/this morning with the lights off the wet sidewalk and streets.. neon and flourescent
gabz: it's kinda cool
gabz: all shimmery and stuff
JPennant: it did not suck :-)
gabz: hehe

So, short answer:

No, it does not suck.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cool waters

I drink
tap water.

Its not because Im being so cheap, but because the tap water can be very, very good.

New York has traditionally proclaimed their tap water as the best tasting water in the world.
Uh, yeah. These are the same people who are maniacal in their collective affection for Poland Spring bottled water, that has a definite *crunch* to the flavor.

Now, the gold standard used to Naya water from quebec, which was so pure that the water tasted 'sweet' and went down soft. I would drink nothing else, my body thanked me.
Its no longer that way, because theyve pumped so much of it, it now has a limestone aftertaste to it. Sad.

Florida water from the florida aquifer is considered so clean, that simply aerating the water is considered all the treatment it needs to be potable.
Right. Due to the various heavy metals therein, it is so NOT potable.
Neither is the South Florida water that has a greenish tinge to it.

No way Im drinking that crap from the tap.

But the water in the Bay Area, ahh yes. Snowmelt water from the Sierra's.

Especially now, cold crisp and clean.

Mmm, tap water.

Fresh from the mountains.

They should bottle this stuff.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Yo Mac

Happy birthday, Clint.


I had
broken the screen on the laptop back in June, I think. I only replaced it a few days ago. In that time, I worked around things by working with the broken screen in the area that was still clear, adapting my techniques to that limitation.

I didnt realize I was still retaining my habits until I found myself unconsciously twitching the cursor to the right , where I had crowded my icons and start-bar on the laptop. I was doing this on the mac, as well as on the laptop even though there was no longer any need.

Very hard to break habits, even the ones that may seem dead and buried, Im finding.

Long story short, next years resolution is taking shape, its about changing habits.

Now, what about them?

Adopt new ones, stick to the good ones, leave the not-so good ones alone.

Which ones?

As I said, its taking shape.
As anyone who lives with a Virgo will attest; we hate surprises.

Or, more accurately, we do not like to be surprised.

So, say we buy something for ourselves, the chances are we will know as much as is humanly possible about that object.

This christmas, I was bought a gift.. a one shot coffee maker.

If I had bought it, I wouldve known a lot about that item.

Because it was a gift tho, due diligence was not necessary.

So, long story short - the thing makes a fine cup of coffee.

And it is going back.

I had to flush the unit out for a long time to get rid of a nasty petroleum product taste out of it.
It leaks, because the pressurised tubing cannot hold the water.
It is loud and vibrates when making coffee. It actually sounds like a cheap aquarium aerator.
And it feels flimsy ad poorly assembled..

And according to other users on the internet, it is prone to catching fire.


Surprises like that I dont need.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

I worked the graveyard shift this morning.

At 3:15am
I saw a SFPD officer run by my building, baton drawn, sprinting down/up (direction is rarely a sure thing in San Francisco) Geary .

Curious, I walked outside to find a police cruiser blocking the cross street, the trunk open. I walked up to the cop sitting inside to find out what/where/why, the explanation being there was 'a situation' a block away.

As I walked back to the building, the person who had been rummaging thru the open trunk of the cruiser rushed past me.

The heavy backpack the cop was now wearing was almost taller than he was, his flak jacket clanking as he sprinted down/up Geary.

In his hand was an automatic rifle, a tactical version of the AR-14, no chrome showing as everything on it, including the magazine, was painted flat black to eliminate reflections.

About 20 minutes later, the cruisers in the area screeched off, signifying an all clear of sorts.

I doubt I will find out what happened, as unless someone dies, what happens in San Francisco never makes the papers.
At 8am, I got off work and walked down Hyde street, picking up an early edition of the Sunday paper to check out the after-Christmas sales.

The air was coldly crisp and laden with moisture with a fog-like haze covering the city. It tasted sweet and clean as I took full breaths.

The Tenderloin, with its tall old buildings and fire-escapes on the sides reminds me of the Upper West side of manhattan. A good number of the shops, deli's and laundromats were open for business, which surprised me.

Quite unlike New York, which on Christmas morning is always a ghost town, eerily quiet without the usual rumble, horns and people, with even 24 hour places closed and no traffic.

I made a detour from my usual route home to get something from the Safeway. Open 24 hours, but closed on holidays apparently.
When I got out of the Chruch Street underground streetcar station, the newspaper vendor had a mechanical santa blowing a trumpet. Cute.

That rated a Merry Christmas.

Normally, a spoken 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holdiays' from me, feels like forced holiday cheer, so I avoid it.

Today I didnt.

It felt unforced.

At 10 am, I walked down to the Mission District, close to home, where to my surprise, the local stores were all open, from the donut shop to the fruit stands to the grocery stores.

People have to make a living.

I picked up a roast chicken and other sundries and walked home to catch some sleep...

My first Christmas day in San Francsisco.

Friday, December 24, 2004

An offering

From: "thunder-dog"
To: (San Francisco Freecycle Network)
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 18:19:56 -0800
Subject: [SFFN] Offer: The Holiday Spirit

I realized I have received quite a bit of extra Peace & Happiness recently and this seemed like the place to pass on.

It wasn't new, and it was a little dinged up when it was being given to me, but when I received it, it shined right up when I paused a moment to appreciate it. It seems to have grown while I had it and I hope someone else out there can use it, or if they get to much they can freecycle it.

Blessed Be


And, it's free even.

Tish, tosh Mac

I had
never used a mac until I started working at AOL in 1995. That's where clint and i met sitting next to each other supporting Mac clients.

One of the ongoing things between us is that he is all about Macs, while I represent the forces of the Dark Side.

(Not exactly true, as i went on to become a cross-platform computing consultant for businesses that used both macs and pc's.)

With the advent of OSX, I felt the need to get back into it. Plus, nowadays, having a mac is the 'in' thing to have.

Now, thanx to him, i have a mac again.

He thinks he will make me a total mac head.. :)

McClint: what have you named your iMac?
McClint: every true mac user names their mac something other than the default "Joe Pennant's Computer"
JPennant: *sigh*
JPennant: Julia
McClint: hehehe
JPennant: so Im weak
McClint: are you just pulling a name out of the air to make me happy or did you really name it that?
McClint: one of us! one of us! one of us!

JPennant: I can see you dancing around the room. *grump*
McClint: juuuuust relaaaaaaax
McClint: don't tense up
McClint: dont resist
JPennant: its even got a cute icon for the hard drive now
McClint: oh yeah
McClint: it's all coming back to you
JPennant: well, its been traumatic as a mac owner
JPennant: my first one, I hardly used
JPennant: the second one blew up
McClint: the laptop?
JPennant: yup
McClint: but you havent been the owner of a brand new mac, have ya? always second-hand?
JPennant: i am a mere mortal
JPennant: i cannot afford a brand new mac
JPennant: well, i could back in the flush days, but i couldnt justify it
McClint: yeah it is a tough goal to attain

Actually, i named my Dell laptop Oscar, but i didnt put a cute icon for it on the desktop.

I did put a white Apple sticker on the lid.

Its a Mac thing. ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

cryptic announcement


Dec 22, 2004
9:20 P.M.


Status: In Transit -On Time
Scheduled Delivery: Dec 23, 2004


Note: Your package is in the UPS system and is on time with a scheduled delivery date of Dec 23, 2004.

The screen, boss! The screen!

Ahh, its just another piece of the puzzle ive had to wait a long time for.
Another xmas present came care of Kodak today.

One of the 200 free copies of the lateDon Blair's last book on Portrait photography they gave away recently.

Righteous. :)
Today's horrorscope sez:
There are some things you earn in obvious ways and other things you earn in not-so-obvious ways. But you can bet that any gifts you receive now are well deserved.

Sho' you right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

One of the ooh pretty people

JPennant: hey mars, got my mac :-)
mars: yay
JPennant: :-D
mars: early xmas?
JPennant: yup
mars: which mac?
JPennant: an imac dv
JPennant: clint had it lying around, sent it over.
mars: very cool
JPennant: yeah, he really loaded it up for me
JPennant: ironically, i feel like im back in sync with the rest of the world :-)
mars: hahaha
mars: why?
JPennant: well, i like macs, but i couldnt get my hands on one, and it seems like everybody else is jumping to mac land, while Ive been using them for years.
JPennant: plus, i think i felt frustrated because i couldnt get started on alot of my desires and plans without a mac
JPennant: 2 years worth of frustration
mars: and now you can get started?
JPennant: yes

JPennant: heh, cant stop playing with it.
mars: lol
JPennant: so pretty
JPennant: hee hee
JPennant: <--- making the icons dance in the dock, back and forth, back and forth
mars: lol would you stop! hahaha
JPennant: :-D
JPennant: you cant say you dont do it too :-P
mars: heehee shhhhhhhhh
JPennant: heeheehee

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Too toasted to think duhrr, eh

I had coherent
thoughts earlier, but because i was feeling stressed (the Great Flood in my apartment, the buttards at Bed Bath & Beyond wasting my life, making the mistake of giving a shit about work and coworkers and one who sold me a shitty memory card, walking around SF's shitty mall, my feet killin me..), i felt the need for an alcoholic drink tonight.

why i then picked a sweet raspberry cider from canada instead of a good raspy beer, I couldnt tell ya.

Let see,there was some rant about Borders in there..

Expensive? Sure.

Charging the suggested retail prices on DVD's and calling it a sale? Priceless.

Like the Black Adder boxed set for $109.00??

somebody is smoking the wacky baccy there.

AND they didnt frickin have the DVD sets I wanted, eh.
An audacious thought entered my head as I perused Ebay this morn.

"Whoa. THAT cheap? Maybe. Nah. But, I really could. Can I? Ooh, maybe I just can. should I?"

G: nice!
JPennant: extremely
JPennant: this beast was 3 grand when new
G: wow!
JPennant: so, by february, i may get it
JPennant: who am i kidding
JPennant: by february, all things go well, I WILL get one.
G: there you go!
JPennant: :-)

Ahh, thats just Canadian raspberry likker fueling the bravado.
Its foggy and chilly here in nor*cal.

But compared the wet and cold sweeping through the east coast (even florida) and the midwest, this is not so bad.

Although it was colder tonight in juneau, Alaska.

Must be the canadian alcoholik raspberries doing its job and making me feel toasty...
Clint, is the man.

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 11:36:09 -0500
Subject: Merry xmas buddy
From: "Clint Mc"
To: "Joe Pennant"

UPS tracking # 1Z3WX8060374xXXXX

Estimated delivery date: Dec 20.


And so it came on the appointed day...

JPennant: woohoo!
McClint: hehehehe
McClint: is Habib your pseudonym? :-)
JPennant: now i definitely need to score a router
JPennant: and order the DSL
JPennant: the UPS is on its way
McClint: very cool
JPennant: yes, verily :-D
JPennant: thanks man
McClint: HO HO HO
JPennant: ((((manly hug)))
McClint: hey now! stop grabbing my ass!
JPennant: wasnt me :-)
McClint: hahaha

Again, its the canadian likker talkin, eh.
Heh, I was too knockered to post this last nite,, eh...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sox, underwear and destruction

The first paycheck
, being a short check, was designated for essentials only.

Naturally, i bought a bunch of computer schtuff first. So, Im waiting for a santa claus dressed in brown to bring me a laptop screen, notebook CD burner, a Uninterruptible Power Supply and USB reading light. (What? that's essential. Ive wanted one since i saw fred obsessively using hers, plus i type in the dark a lot...).

So, anyway - theres enough left over for items on my christmas wish list - a coupla DVD's and ... Total Annihilation.

Yes, as regular readers know - that game is jinxed for me.

But i want that game. It brings me peace, blowin' stuff up.

So when the screen arrives from Butte, Montana (my first ever e-bay purchase), I can waste time effectively.

However, speaking of jinxes and destruction - I need to go buy some socks and underwear.

Why? Well, apparently merc retrograde is still running amok, i rolled out of bed yesterday to go to work, I stepped into water on a floor that had been bone dry a mere hour before.

It seems someone's bathtub down the hall had backed up and flowed out into the hallway and under my door, ruining a bag of laundry and other things (My diego garcia print! Ruined by water damage! Aaaargh!).

I tossed the clothes and everything that was sodden out. It was mostly t-shirts, underwear and socks that was bachelor-old anyway, so it wasnt that much of a loss. But they are essentials, so theyve gotta be replaced.

Eh, new boxers are always good. And wool socks for the winter.

And, Total Annihilation. :D

Saturday, December 18, 2004

"This professional photographer gave me this advice to get started 'Three words: go. make. pictures'."

Joseph Rodriguez

Care package from someone who cares

LilBro signed on at 12:39:42 PM.

JPennant: happy fucking holiday!
JPennant: :-)
lilbro: lmao
lilbro: u the fuckin man.
JPennant: wassup droo
JPennant: send me a care package
JPennant: patty, cocoa bread, and the hard dough bread from allan's bakery on nostrand
lilbro: mmm, sounds expensive
JPennant: heheh
lilbro: gotta be packed in dry ice an shit, and overnighted, and someone gotta sign 4 it
JPennant: ok, fine, leave the patty out of it
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: some bun and cheese too :-)
JPennant: ok, leave the cheese out of it
JPennant: :-D
lilbro: cheese can go
lilbro: i'll get some of the costco cheese
JPennant: yeah , all jamaican cheese is colby jack anyway
lilbro: colby jack?
JPennant: yeah
lilbro: nigga u eat american, an like it
JPennant: fuck that fake ass cheez food shit
lilbro: nah its kraft
JPennant: same thing :-)
lilbro: whateva, u gettin it free right? so shut your yap, slut
JPennant: some allan's bakery bread, mmmm
JPennant: man, i miss ny right now
lilbro: i miss u nigga
lilbro: fuck ny
JPennant: heh

JPennant: ny at christmas. nuttin like it
lilbro: whateva
JPennant: heh
lilbro: yo, now i got your order, i'm out
JPennant: right on!!!
lilbro: gotta send it before christmas
JPennant: you da man
lilbro: i know this already
JPennant: the west coast is nice, but some things you need
JPennant: that aint out here
lilbro: smell u son
lilbro: yo gotta do some paintin in the house, i'll holla
JPennant: aight layta
JPennant: much luv
lilbro: more 2 yah
JPennant: :-)

LilBro signed off at 1:14:58 PM.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Girlfriends after hours

Lilbro, a man
who will scorn anything corny, has a favorite TV show - Girlfriends.

I get off work at midnight, and I make sure Im home at 12:30 in time to catch - Girlfriends.

I didnt like it when it first came on, but in reruns - its oddly riveting. Sorta like the Seinfeld reruns.

Yeah I know, its just a soap opera in lightweight sitcom form.

Or maybe i just wanted to see the episode where Todd proposed to Toni, or where the word 'litigous' caused the mother of all hard-ons between lawyers..

(Even tho I already know that Todd left Toni, but she hasnt told Todd that she's pregnant, and William cheated on Monica, and left her for the woman who took his job at the firm and is now with Joan who is vying with him to be senior partner..)

Between meetings and bus travel and appointments , i had a little time before werk (trademark of .zannah) to go fondle cameras in preparation of next month's purchases.


As much as i am a believer in handling the item you aim to buy, it is a distinctively unsatisfying process, ranking right down there with *bad* first dates.

Worse when youre feeling rushed and frustrated.

But it is part of the process, as it is no longer conceivable to me to buy something without getting to know it beforehand.

(Yes, thats a thinly veiled reference to humans too).

My style of shopping is to lock into what I want early and wait before i buy it, then go get what I want in a burst of intensely impulsive activity (also my dating style, interestingly).

But this is also frustrating to the salesperson, who wants me to buy when I saunter up to the counter, when all i want to do is cop a feel before I buy.

So, in addition to a brief look-see with a crippled item that does little to help me evaluate what Im getting, I now have to essentially lie to another human being as to my intentions (wow, the allegories keep piling up), and this makes the experience worse.

so, ugh.

Because it has been sold out in most local places Ive visited, today was the first time ive been able to actually hold a s7000 in my hands, even tho Im quite familiar with its predecessors, so its not an unknown quantity with me.

But i also went to check out a dark horse in the camera stakes, the Panasonic Lumix FZ line.

Although ive been fairly impressed with them since I first saw one at Frye's, the generic Panasonic name has kept me from even seriously considering buying one, it keeps jumping to the head of the line. So, with the prospect of getting a good deal - I went to the camera store to check out this camera.

Based on a brief, unsatisfying feel - it gave me little reason NOT to buy one. So, its in the running.

Im getting a s7000, regardless.

But now, Im considering buying 3 cameras instead of two, funds permitting.

Im gonna have to do more hands-on testing before I commit tho...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas in New York.

Just got a card from the Cappy. Made me wanna go visit. See my friends.

And see NY all commercial for Christmas.

JPennant: i miss ny
JPennant: specially now
Mamahell: its freezing here~!
JPennant: ahh, the best time :-)
Mamahell: ick
JPennant: oh shush :-)
Mamahell: i will take mild winter anyday
JPennant: they got that here
JPennant: all *^%$ year long
Mamahell: yeah but you don't get a hot summer either right?
JPennant: 3 weeks of it in october
JPennant: its mild from about february on tho
JPennant: winter is from november to feb
Mamahell: thats why they call it "SUNNY CALIFORNIA"
JPennant: *pshaah
JPennant: sunny and cold
JPennant: *grump
Mamahell: haha
JPennant: they dont show that on TV
Mamahell: no they don't....nor do they tell you the water is ALWAYs cold
JPennant: yup. Baywatch had shrinkage and freezing nips
Mamahell: freezing nips are a plus
JPennant: heheh

Today's horrorscope:

It looks like things are going your way, so back off, and trust the process. Otherwise, your expectations could get so high that your nervous system doesn't know how to react! As the teens say, "Be more chill."

I was teasing Kate about being a Pisces yesterday, being all sensitive and stuff, telling her to be like me, her opposite sign.


virgos are JUST as sensitive, we just hide it better.

With merc retro in full effect, Things are in turmoil, but it feels like things are finally going my way.

The temptation is react to every hiccup, every shift - but nah.

Things are good, even in this period of change, so no need to trip and let nervous emotions get the better of me.

Gotta chill and let things ride.

Not let emotions get the better of me.

Heh, there is a reason we Virgo's are referred to as Vulcans.
JPennant: hookay
JPennant: you ok otherwise?
JPennant: baby steps :-)
Mamahell: baby steps are alot larger then you think
JPennant: yeah
JPennant: a lot tougher too
JPennant: but its going my way
Mamahell: its all u can ask 4
JPennant: you said it
Mamahell: :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hating to wait for jello

Doing the
mental calculations.

Its gonna be January. not in time for Christmas.

JPennant: my only frustration is that Im gonna have to wait till january.
McClint: you've gone this long without
McClint: you can go another couple months
McClint: but it is so close you can taste it :-)
JPennant: yes indeed
McClint: if you still haevnt gotten a camera yet, i might let you use my camera for a few minutes hehehehe
JPennant: heh, nah
JPennant: by the time you come, i will be equipped
McClint: dont wanna be teased like that?
JPennant: actually, ive let go offers of cameras
McClint: are you crazy, man?
JPennant: probably
JPennant: but as you say
JPennant: i dont want to be teased
McClint: ya know.... you and i are very similar
McClint: we both "eat jello with a fork"
McClint: we do things our own way for our own reasons
JPennant: yup
McClint: and I do, in fact, eat jello with a fork :-)
JPennant: heheh, thats another matter
McClint: hehehe
McClint: it is an easier task than nailing it to a wall
JPennant: LOL

Heh, feels like Ive been playing Survivor...

Last night, twas a Saturday night...

- I saw a few hundred Santas walking through the tenderloin up Geary. Some wearing fur, some glitter t-shirts, fur-trimmed daisy dukes, christmas lights, strobes...

Not long after, there were many drunken and high Santas on Geary Street, crowding the bars, spilling out into the street and sidewalks.

At the peak, the line of male and female and other santas crowded the sidewalk all the way from union square to van ness avenue, spanning the length of the tenderloin.

The inhabitants of the Tenderloin were bemused, mostly. Many saying theyve never seen anything like that.

That bemused me, considering the things Ive seen on Geary and in the Tenderloin .

- As the night darkened to the midnight, many women came out of the closet.

Two or three at a time, some on dates, some from the bars, some acquaintances, some not.

Young old, some fitting the lesbian sereotypes, most not. Mostly asian. A lot of young 'uns, many not looking like they were barely out of the malls, dressed for the malls.

Raised my eyebrow again.

- Just before midnight, the prostitutes came out to ply their trade.

Never. Seen. So. Many. Transvestities and transexuals. In one place.

In my life.

Hate to admit.. some of them looking GOOD.

And thats just one night in the Tenderloin.

Friday, December 10, 2004

This guy is KILLIN me here.

JPennant: urgh. this guy is torturing me
McClint: hehehehe
JPennant: And now he's willing to negotiate. Oy.
McClint: a digicam for a red MINI?
JPennant: he'll kick in cash for the difference
McClint: yeah but still funny to see
JPennant: well, a dealer wont take a camera system for trade in, so it makes sense to me
JPennant: well, if a lottery ticket comes in paying, i'll pick it up :-)
McClint: but of course

Only sheer poverty is keeping me from getting in contact with this guy and seeing if we can make a deal/payments.

Naturally, today's horrorscope sez:

You're eager to make a deal, and the last thing you want to do is ask for the opinion of a disinterested party -- but that's the thing that's going to help you the most.

Making a decision from a feverishly excited state is too risky!

Fine, fine.

But, man. I could make good use of that camera...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Worker Boi

McClint: yo ho ho
JPennant: yo humbug
McClint: hehe
JPennant: wats goin on
JPennant: i hadda wake up far too early this morn
McClint: why did you have to wake up early? and define "early"
JPennant: went to bed at 2:30 woke up at 8
McClint: ah yeah that's early
JPennant: and I gotta work til midnight
McClint: oh yeah that's right! i forgot you're a workin man now
JPennant: i dont think of it as working for money
McClint: whoring yourself out?
JPennant: i think of it as working for the things i need :)
JPennant: the work is bone easy
JPennant: far less stressful than IT
JPennant: i didnt appreciate just how stressful that work is until now
McClint: hehe

JPennant: cool :-)
misterB: so, if you don't mind me asking, what are you doing for the dough-re-mi?
JPennant: swing shift ******* for my landlord
JPennant: easy money, low stress compared to IT work
misterB: ahh, cool. I think I saw that in the movies before. ;-) hehehe
JPennant: heh
JPennant: i did this before in college
misterB: the over-qualified guy working the late shift, to tide him over until he got his big break... :-)
JPennant: LOL. thats so LA
misterB: you think? I usually think of NY or any east coast locale.... they don't have as many of that kinda apts here...
JPennant: oh, i meant the 'big break' :-)
misterB: yeah, the "big break" on Hollywood kinda thang?
JPennant: yup

Baby steps. Making my own breaks.

The rest will follow.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

One of my utterly disgusting habits..

I sleep
with the TV on.

When im alone, i like doing that, although its mostly because I use the TV as background noise and am too lazy to turn it off.

In any case, I woke up this morning to Regis & Kathy Lee -- err, Kelly.

Whats interesting about sleeping with the TV on is that my mind tries to adapt the dreamstream to the background noise, making up a new story.

What was really interesting was the dream i woke up to took what was going on the Regis show (he dared something with Kelly) and my mind took it and made something new, where a character in my dream was dared to crash a party and do something un-noticed.

An ex (Le Girl) did the dare, dressed in an evening gown, and carried it out.
What struck me in the dream was that she looked awesome in the dress (in real life, she is more the natural outdoorsy/hippie type, so Ive never seen her buffed to a high sheen), and I woke thinking, WOW, i would love to photograph her and my friends in high-art/fashion/fine art portraits.

As the dream wears off, the excitement is wearing off (no more noise from Kelly and Regis), but i still think it'd be a great idea.

Just wrote that down so i wouldnt forget.
Another thing ive started doing that id normally never do is enter sweepstakes with the same desperation of buying lotto tickets.

I normally NEVER do that. I dont wanna enter sweepstakes to put my name and address on mailing lists, where the odds of actually winning are astronomical.

Makes no logical sense.

No, just no.

I would tease the cappy unmercifully about doing that. She'd just put her tongue out at me and keep sgning up. :)

But now, its like an inhibition has fallen away.

I see a sweepstake, the prize looks good, and I enter.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Current Conditions for San Francisco, CA

Rain and Windy

Severe Weather Alert from the National Weather Service




Another winter storm. My windows are actually rattling around, my walls occasionally shaking.

Man, I feel sorry for anybody who has to be outside.

Apparently it had been snowing in the northeast yesterday.

Hm. Guess i should be counting blessings, eh.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Image takers

Im getting tired
of no images. Too used to expressing myself with pictures.

Ive been actively looking for cameras now.

Looking for a good pocket cammy as well as a large lens prosumer. And still eye-ing a good digital SLR

Reading the about page of the uber-talented Rachel of and the list of cameras she currently owns and uses reminds me of my own little list that ive got in mind.

There are cameras Id like to have, but cant because of cost and prejudice i wont. Canon's fer instance.

Stupendously great cameras, one and all - and its the favorite of everyone from grandma's to professionals. But something in me just doesnt wanna deal with them.

Right now, Im looking for a good pocket camera. The Canons would be an obvious choice, specially at the price point I want (less than 200 bones - with tax). But I just cant.

Simply not feeling it. Not sure why.

Hm. Frye's has a Kyocera 5mp unit on sale for $179, normally 300 plus beans. Wow.

Oh yeah ,camera list..

- Pocket camera for unobtrusive everyday use. My old Fuji MX2700, which was the size of a deck of cards is probably the template, but now I want, in addition to a small size, something with an a minimum of 3 megapixels, optical zoom lens, white balance control and selectable ISO .. all the good stuff.

You would not BELIEVE how many cameras that fit the crieria there are available.

Ok, fine. Under 2 hunnert bux.

You would not BELIEVE how many ...

- Fuji S7000

Ever since Stella died, ive been pretty firm on that as her replacement. A 6 megapixel cammy that can produce 12 megapixel images, along with the traditional sweet-handling ergonomics of Fuji cameras.

Irony is, I dont wanna spend 450 bux for it. So, ive been eyeing the Fuji s5000, which has a more powerful lens reach and is 200 bux less, while being smaller and lighter and nicer to handle. And does nice picture.

But.. what about the predecessor of the s7000, the s602? This just might be one of those cameras that is actually BETTER than its replacement. And if I can sniff around enough, it can be had for that magic 200 bones..


Youve got the professional version of the s7000, the s20 Pro, which can be had for less than 100 bux more than s7000.

And except for sensors and options, these are pretty much all the same camera.


Its only because of money do I get to pick only one...

- Fuji S2 Pro

sounds like its just a fuji thing, eh? Actually, this is a Nikon thing on this level.

At this level, to get the best out of your equipment, you need quality lenses. A lot of them. which can cost more than the camera itself.

This means, at this level, a digital SLR is a &%$$#@& inve$tment. People think that the camera is the biggest investment. HA!

So, I buy nikon lenses and i can use them with Fuji AND Nikon AND Kodak cameras.

I get a canon, and its only canon. *pffft*

I like choices.


Your thoughts are more important than you know. What you create in your head now is what will take form in the physical world later. That applies even more than usual this week. If you focus your mind's eye on what it is you truly desire, there is no doubt at all that you will get it sooner or later. Make sure your thoughts are positive.

Yeah, I have what i need in mind.
Hadnt spoken to her since mid 2002...

JPennant: i think the last time i spoke to you , it was before my spin into the depths of some greek term
cece: what term might that be?
JPennant: *shrug* something meaning fiery depths or cauldron :-)
JPennant: since im not a librarian with excellent recall, i'll throw a 'haephestus' into the ring
cece: librarians don't have excellent recall.
cece: We're just resourceful.
JPennant: hehe
cece: But either way, it sounds like a painful experience.
JPennant: it has been worth it
JPennant: on all kinda levels
JPennant: the tempered steel, what doesnt maul you makes you stronger, sorta thing
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: but im taking baby steps
JPennant: taking baby steps on my way up
cece: larger steps usually mean a bigger fall.
JPennant: zactly

JPennant: so my taking over the world plan is on track
cece: what's the first step on world domination?
JPennant: clean my room
JPennant: :-)
cece: LOL

Why Dont You Do Right ...

Ever since
my last breakup, Ive been trying to .. do right.

Kinda make up to people I might have not been so nice to.

so, I navigated to the web site of an ex, read up on how she is feeling.

Not so great overall.

I remembered her birthday is coming up, so i figured that I should queue up a birthday card, since I was in the process of doing it for gg and lilbro.

Then, I tried to remember her email address. Mmm, having not sent her an email in years, i was drawing a blank.

So, I tried to work out her addy from her name.


My brain could NOT retrieve her name. Damn.

I remembered her face, her mannerisms, her nature, her family, our dates like they were yesterday .. but her name was stubbornly coming up blank.

Have I become so efficient at moving on?

JPennant: man, something happened to me yesterday
JPennant: remember when i dated ***** ***?
Glinessa: yep
JPennant: well, her birthday is coming up, so i thought a card would be nice
JPennant: then I realized I dont have her email
Glinessa: lol
JPennant: eh, no problem I thought
JPennant: i can prolly figure it out by her name
JPennant: for the life of me, I couldnt remember her name!
JPennant: that just freaked me out
JPennant: i mean, i remember everything about her
JPennant: but her name? nope
Glinessa: lol

JPennant: she's another tiger ;-)
JPennant: y'all are too too tough
Glinessa: too too?
JPennant: yep
JPennant: tough on yourselves, tough on the people you love until they prove themselves to you
Glinessa: hahaha

Or, am I just a dick?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The mothership arrives

Ever since my
friend Clint and I became cubicle buddies @ AOL, he has had a life's dream.

Being a Cappy, he knows what he wants and wont let go until he gets what he wants.

This week, he learned the mothership has arrived.

McClint signed on at 10:30:45 AM.

McClint: joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe

Auto response from JPennant: siestas are good for you

JPennant: yo clint
McClint: THERE YOU ARE!!!!
JPennant: was sleeping
JPennant: wassup papi
McClint: well it appears that I am going to need a tour guide beginning Jan 30th :-D
JPennant: rght on!
JPennant: congrats man.
JPennant: excellent :-)
McClint: i just got back from San Diego thursday night
JPennant: so, how was it?
McClint: we went to Tijuana wednesday and when we got back to this side of the border we had to stop so my cohorts could take a pee. while i waited in the car I figured I'd check for messages on my answering machine
McClint: the company chick called 4 times
McClint: just saying "call me back"
McClint: so i called her right then and she told me that I got the job
JPennant: heheh
JPennant: you musta been smiling on the plane
McClint: hehehe i couldnt sleep the next 2 nights
JPennant: heee

McClint: well i've got almost 2 months to figure it all out
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: congrats my friend :-)
McClint: danke!
JPennant: aight chat atcha later
McClint: you better be a good tourguide!
McClint: hehehehehe :-)
JPennant: LOL
JPennant: i will introduce you to the Muni buses
McClint: later

McClint direct connection is closed.
McClint signed off at 11:53:08 AM.

Happy for him.
Happy birthday, gg

All the best to my favorite princess.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The ride stops here.

No, nothing is wrong, dont hit reload to try to bring up the broken images.

I didnt expect the ride to last so long, so this isnt unexpected.

After 7 years of free service, my hosting server has been shut down.

So, for awhile, there'll be no pictures.

No worries, I didnt lose anything as ive got everything backed up, Im looking around for another host, pictures and a few other things Im working on (literally).

In any case, I'd been thinking of doing things differently as well as putting into place some personal and commercial stuff, and this is further impetus to put it into action.


Heh, and no fred - im not gonna blame this on Mercury retrogade. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Baby Steps

from the current Sam and Fuzzy:

"Im not afraid of falling, Im afraid of landing."

Today's horrorscope

The only thing that is holding you back is self-doubt. For some strange reason, you seem to believe you do not have the talent to be a success. On the contrary, you have more talent in your little finger than most people have in their entire bodies, but until you get your head straight, you might as well not have any at all.

This past week, Ive been browsing through all kinds of photographic resources. Checking out professional photography information. Window shopping for cameras.

I feel like the train ride is about to start, and its time to start packing.

Yes, I want this bad. And honestly, i want it all right now.

i have to remember, tho..

misterB: baby steps
JPennant: yes


I started another baby step today. For the cause baby, for the cause.

Normally, when I do something new, my internals go all squishy, but this time - no.

Naturally, I started analyzing this non-nervousness.

- I've been through worse, having to start from step one doesnt bother me.
- Ive done this before and I know what I have to do.
- This isnt my only option, so the fear of failure isnt as daunting. Again, going back to a starting point doesnt bother me.

Good. Lets get this party started.
I have a friend who has sung on (as well as off) Broadway. Stupendous talent and dedication.

However, she is a black actress in a tough and competitive business. Keeping her dreams going while trying to survive is amazing to me.

kimmie: Hey, I need to go. Got to vocalize before rehearsal tonight.
kimmie: Singing with the Oratorio Society here in the Roc.
JPennant: wow
JPennant: awesome :-)
kimmie: It's not that deep, believe me.
JPennant: feh, yes it is :-)
kimmie: But it's closer to the genre of the music I'm working toward singing. That and the fact that they've got me singing soprano...
kimmie: I've spent most of my life singing alto or mezzo, much lower repertoire, not as much work.
kimmie: This as you see, I've got to be well warmed up for it.
JPennant: love your dedication
JPennant: you are a true artist
kimmie: Aight, enough chit chat. Take care. Glad to hear you're doing well.
JPennant: ok luv
kimmie: catch ya later.
JPennant: (((hug))
kimmie: ditto

The thing i think distinguishes true artists from the dilletantes is their bulldog commitment to keeping their work going.

That's tall.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

What I want for Christmas

Im sighing
and drooling over this:

Fuji S2 Pro system for sale or trade - $2000 (cole valley / ashbury hts)
Reply to:
Date: 2004-11-23, 11:08AM PST

I am looking to find a new home for a Fuji S2 Pro that I am under using. Seems like it wants to be with someone who will use it to its potential.

In addition, I have three lenses: 60mm micro f-2.8 (not D), 24-120mm f-3.5-5.6D and 70-300mm f-4-5.6D all AF Nikkor, haze and polarizer filters, sb-28 flash with sb-17 cord and off camera slave, 40gb Tripper hard disk compact flash card storage, 2 compact flash cards each 512mb and a Lowe Pro camera bag.

The camera is about a year old and has a three year extension to the warranty. Everything is in like new condition. I would like to sell the system complete. Purchase price would be $2,000.

Thats about 6 grand worth of gear all told. *sigh*

I could *really* make use of that.

That'd be a great christmas gift. :)


Virgos arent normally one for gifts. This makes it seem that we dont care..

It is known that Virgo are trifling. And so, once it comes to giving gifts, everyone wants to give Virgo some insignificant thing. This is quite wrong.
Virgo is not small-minded, Virgo is practical.

Normally, Im one for gifts i can actually use, specially these past few years.

However, this year, think I'll treat myself to a few things ive long denied myself.

Not a big deal, just something i'll enjoy.

My list:

- Spiderman/Spiderman2 DVD box set

(Hey, Ive liked Spiderman since I was a tyke..)

- The Alladin DVD

(Partly for Robin William's work, partly because this was my niece and I's favorite video to watch together.)

Other things i want, but I can delay the gratification:

Id go for season's 1 - 4 of the Soprano's - but holy hell, have you SEEN how much they want for that???

BBC America has said that "Chef! - the complete collection" will be out on DVD. *sigh*
In BBC speak, 'soon' rarely means 'anytime soon' , so not in time for this christmas. Or likely the next.

in the meantime, i'll amuse myself with quotes from the show:

"Will someone rearrange this plate so that someone in the later stages of malnutrition will take a passing interest in it."

" Let me explain the order of things: There's the aristocracy, the upper class, middle class, working class, dumb animals, waiters, creeping things, head lice, people who eat packet soup, and then you. "

" Those amateur biologists among you would find many things of great interest on the floor here. I could certainly be walking on the cure for cancer, smallpox and the common cold...however you'll never find out because I'll kill you all if someone doesn't CLEAN THIS FRIGGING FLOOR!"

Also, the complete Black Adder set.

Heh "Oi 'ave a Cunning Plan." and other quotes that make me giggle:

"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn. "

Blackadder: Baldrick, I would like to say how much I will miss your honest, friendly companionship.
Baldrick: Thank you, Mr B.
Blackadder: But, as we both know, it would be an utter lie. I will therefore confine myself to saying simply, 'Sod off and if I ever meet you again, it will be twenty billion years too soon.'

Heehee. *wipes eyes*

ok, now. Where was I....

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Moniker, tag, label, signpost

misterB: ok, here's a dumb question...
misterB: how much longer are you going to keep the "Itinerant outta NY" title on the site?
JPennant: eh, havent thought about it

There is a reason Ive kept it.

Remember those signs where you can tell how far you are from any piont in the world? A point from where you can orient yourself.

Even tho was born in jamaica, grew into adulthood in Chicago, lived in Florida .. it is from new york where I orient myself.

New york is where my nascent dreams and passions turned into desire, stoking and crystallizing the direction of how i wanted to live my life.

New York is where this is coming out of.

Im not simply an Itinerant. I am Interant Outta New York. :)

Plus, i like the phrase.
New York makes you driven.

It makes you want to achieve, to use yourself to the best of your capacity.

I dont think I really tapped into my ambitious side until I got there.

Julia Child once said being in Paris was an awakening for her. Many places have that effect on people. San Francisco is such a place. New York, to an extreme extent, is another.

I worked hard in New York. But eventually, I realized I wanted more. Much more.

And what i wanted, for now .. wasnt in New York.

Thats why I went outta New York.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Black Friday *

McClint signed on at 6:14:57 AM.

JPennant: why arent you at Best Buy buying 17 dollar DVD players???
McClint: hahahaha
JPennant: f'real!!!
JPennant: :-)
McClint: naaaa i'll pass
JPennant: 500 dollar new laptops, you know you want it
McClint: Fisher Price? :-)
JPennant: theyre showing it on tv here , people actually trampling each other to get to the deals
McClint: yeah that's why I'm not at the stores
JPennant: whoa, i should be at target picking up a 5 dollar rice cooker :-)
McClint: there you go!
JPennant: heheh
McClint: then get a 20 pound bag o'rice
JPennant: thats the plan :-)
JPennant: but

This is not a good day to take risks with money. You may think that because you have been rather frugal lately you can now go the other way and splash your cash on things you don't need. That's true, you can, but you will regret it later when you need that money for something more important. Keep your belt tightened a little bit longer.

JPennant: Aint that a bitch? :-)
JPennant: im not a shopper anyway
McClint: ditto
McClint: if i know of something I want, i go directly to where it is, grab it, and make a beeline to the checkout
JPennant: yup yup

McClint: being a tightwad ain't easy. it takes lots of practice
JPennant: it really does

Went out
and about and ended up in SF's Union square, the tony hotel and shopping district.

It was great. The area was absolutely packed, almost 6 abreast on the sidewalks, natives and tourists alike doing their Black Friday shopping.

Macy's was done up all christmassy, the decorations were up, traffic was at a standstill, and the official christmas tree was up ready to be lit.

Damn, it was great. i was expertly moving through the crowd at a New York pace, slip-sliding, waiting and dawdling at will, the old skills coming back.

The majority of folk werent as surly and self-contained as they would be in NY tho. As crowded as it was, the excitement of the holiday season was palpable and people were genrally, mellow.; Nice.

(although to emphasize how San Francisco even that moment was, there was a Starbux promotional van giving out small mint mochas. and beside them were Scientologists giving out... stress tests. I took several mochas and avoided eye contact with the Dianetics peddlers.)

The energy of so many people in one place... ahhh.

Perked me up something nice.

Made me miss New York a little bit less.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


My best
thanksgiving times were always thanksgiving in New York.

when I lived in Chicago and Florida, i always flew, rode and drove to New York. Heat, dry, wet, cold, snow. Always great.

And right after, Ma would go shopping. :)

Hated it. The shopping, that is. For ma, it was her little yearly treat because she would go to the 34th street area and shopped everywhere.

Thats her idea of fun, shopping. And she loved to drag me around with her. Her way of showing love.

The shopping i wasnt fond of, but being out and about in the crisp of a New York fall with the energy of the hustle, bustle of shopping.

Thanks ma. ;)
In all my times in New York, I have never, ever been to the macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

On thanksgiving day, i preferred to be with my family and the eating. And standing out in the cold??

nah, i preferred to watch it on TV.

now, I wish i had gone to at least one.

I'll get to a parade.
NYTimes: Turkey Is Basic, but Immigrants Add Their Homeland Touches

My ma took to the Thanksgiving holiday with a vengeance.

For her, this was the family's high holy day. The time to have her kids around her. If we werent in NY, were summoned.
She would put on a feed, spending all day to make the turkey.

The menu would have a jamaican flavor tho.

Mashed potatoes and gravy? Heck no. Jamaican rice and peas. Much better. :)

and even tho we had the Turkey, there would be a chicken too, for whats the best meat to go with Rice & Peas than chicken? And we had a little curried stew. Plantains, natch. Sweet potatoes, but the jamaican version.

Jamaican fruit punch, flavored with real fruit juices.

She would insist on having cranberry sauce.

Nobody, except her, would eat that.

Mamahell: Hey JOE
Happy holidays !
JPennant: hey hey :-)

Because Ive been living on my own all over, working and not working, holidays without ritual, most holidays dont register as all that special.

It's all the same to me.

Frankly, at the least - i dont even realize when the holidats come around and at the most, theyre annoying, becasue everything shuts down while Im trying to do things.

Pay attention, and you'll realize i dont go around saying things like 'Happy Holidays'.

i just dont. :)
Hmm ... early thanksgiving eating.

Serotonin kicking in...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Maybe, I need to grow up.

That's something I never thought Id be saying to myself at this age.

Frinstance, although this aint a hard and fast rule, I never really think its a good idea to get back with an ex you've broken up with on bad terms. There are usually good reasons you've broken up.

And it's hard to be friends afterward, once you've crossed that line.

E, its worked for me.

But now, I've been proffered an olive branch. And I'm actually at a loss what do in response.

You know, cuz I wasn't THAT mad when her parting words to me was that I needed to grow up.


On rotation

Why dont you Do Right - Peggy Lee

I had an argument once with an ex about, I think, the ingenue singer Norah Jones. That she's pretty with a pretty voice, surely, but she doesn't move me.

Peggy Lee moves me.

Of her songs over the years, Id say her definitive rendition of 'Fever', and her well known 'He's a Tramp' are my favorites.

But, 'Why Dont You..' , yeah baby. Her measured voice with Alan Silvestri's nimble classical/roadhouse dive jazz piano .. doesnt get much better.

'get outta here
get me some money too..'

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Frisco potato

JPennant: ive hardly left sf since july
JPennant: heh, thats so NY :-)
misterB: hehe

Sure havent, except for my meanders to the marin headlands, and thats only because a MUNI bus goes there on sundays.

Yeah. I think Ive been to Oakland and Berkeley but once or twice since i came to San Francisco.

Part of it is that its muy expensive to travel around the Bay Area. Unless youre travelling within local areas, cross county lines and BART will evaporate a 10 dollar ticket with a quickness.

Thats very unlike NY.

But sorta like NY, if you live in The City, you dont really NEED a car. And if you dont have a car, you'll be disinclined to leave the cosy confines.

In fact, Ive become so parochial, that when i search Craigslist, I confine my search for the city, rarely bothering to even check the east Bay or peninsula, places that are within easy reach.

Like NY, everything I need is within the city, but unlike NY, everything i need is not within my neighborhood. When I lived in Brooklyn, the barbershop, chinese takeout, supermarket, laundromat, dry cleaners and bakeries were all within 2 square blocks.

Here, its more like 4 - 6 square blocks.

The other difference between here and NY?

Only tourists take cabs here.
A Fat Darrell

This is a sandwich served by Rutgers University at the R.U Hungry Grill and Pizza and grease trucks all over that area.

The ingredients on a long roll:

- chicken fingers
- mozzarella sticks
- marinara sauce
- a lot of french fries.

Mmmm hmm.

1400 calories and 65 grams of fat.

Or to put it in terms the lay person can understand:

You would have to eat two Big Macs, one-and-a half Whoppers or three 6-inch Subway meatball sandwiches to come close to the 65 grams of total fat in the Fat Darrell.

Dang, I miss the east coast.:)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Hunter, gatherer, skinflint

Last night
, i was hugging an almost new microwave home on the N line streetcar, then a second trip with some Ikea rugs and small folding tables and frames.

Heh, 5 bux for all that schwag. :)

This is the way to do it.

Granted, this is the HARD way to do things.

My mom was the queen of leftovers and frugal living. Ma knows how to make a dollar stretch.

I had no idea what 'frugal' meant. I used to think that meant get the best deal and not spend money if you can avoid it.

Heh, I was such an amateur.

For ma, it was years of supporting 5 kids, her mother and assorted relatives on a secretary's salary. She didnt take any shortcuts.

To this day, me and lilbro marvel as how she would come home on her shopping day carrying bags fulla stuff, heavier than her almost. ;)

I worked with a guy back in the 80's who supported his wife and kid and a cadillac on 7 bucks an hour as a hospital orderly.
To this day, I can only imagine how he could do it.

Now, i have an inkling. An inkling.

I was never really a spendthrift by nature. Im a virgo, after all, and I insisted on getting good value for my money.

Now, i realize, my thinking was screwy.

I thought all I had to do was make a lot of money, spend as little of it as possible, save some - and things would be good.
I oculd live my life any way i wanted.

Found out it isnt that wasy.

I read The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad, Poor Dad and other financial attitude adjustment books.. took the advice within to heart.

Found out it isnt that easy.

A process, a system, a philosphy.

Found out it isnt that easy.

It in fact, requires discipline, patience, a recognition of what's really important..

But most of all ..


And then that's when it starts.
Lets see, what else...toaster oven.. rice cooker...

JPennant: Hey mr b, you have a rice cooker?
misterB: yes, but of course i got one
JPennant: hehe
JPennant: im gonna look at one tomorrow..
misterB: is it a sealed one, or just a loose lid?
JPennant: umm, i think a loose lid
JPennant: itrs too cheap to be a sealed one
misterB: yeah, i had one of those.. the one with a locking lid works so much better
JPennant: ok
misterB: yeah, you just have to watch it closer so it doesn't burn
JPennant: really
misterB: yeah, definitely better rice cookers
misterB: since the lids not sealed, it can dry out and burn
misterB: the sealed lid kind can sit for hours on warm
JPennant: oh yeah?
misterB: but the other kind will dry up if you let it
JPennant: ahhh

misterB: oh, back to the rice cooker... if you like to eat brown rice, the sealed one does a great job on brown.. makes it much softer than any other way
JPennant: oh cool!
JPennant: but i still gotta soak it before hand?
misterB: i dont, and it still comes out great... just add a bit more water
misterB: it's almost like a pressure cooker, so it softens up those tougher husks
JPennant: can i add like my own ingredients to the mix too right?
JPennant: like i love butter, garlic rice
misterB: sure. you'll probably just have to make adjustments on the liquid
JPennant: ok
JPennant: can i cook other things in the rice cooker?
JPennant: steam vegetables and such?
misterB: hmm, possibly. might be a bit tougher with the "less expensive" models though
JPennant: i guess I can have more than one rice cooker :-)

JPennant: Im gonna prowl the thrift stores and see if i find any
JPennant: i dont wanna spend over 10 or 15
JPennant: i figure I'll get what I want if im patient and determined :-)
JPennant: its not just about the money
misterB: nod

Friday, November 19, 2004


I hate it
when I gotta trek for more than a block for decaf.

It's not that there isnt coffee within a block. But you will get gouged for shit on a just because, and Im not having that.

There is this place that will charge a buck 25 FOR A SMALL COFFEE. Christ. And worse, the decaf sucks.

(Their trick is to call the small cup 'medium'. Hey, if starbux can get away with that crapp,so can everybody else apparently.)

Ive had bad coffee, but you have not lived until you have had bad decaf. So, bad - that some if this swill IS NOT EVEN COFFEE. Its some sort of ground nut and plant husks whose primary purpose is to turn brown upon the application of hot water and taste vaguely nutty.

Not. havin'. it.

So, i will trek long distances for good decaf.

Now, i gotta walk all the way to 16th street and mission.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Haze is fog, fog is haze and ne'er the weatherman will predict either in the weather report.

On my firefox
status bar, i have the plugin. Shows me the weather for the next few days.

Lets just say its not always accurate.

I think its partly because the meterologists at dont actually live in the bay area. So they look at their weather computers do their calculations and ... get it wrong sorta.

In New York, you really cant trust most of the weather people, because most of them are in new York because its the biggest media market. They get their shytte from Accuweather and put on a show for their audition tapes.

In Chicago, the weathermen have been there for YEARS, with tenures measuring in decades. In chicago, because weather can be life or death - you cant mess around. Those guys are GOOD.

I could watch Tom Skilling on WGN and know the weather ANYWHERE on the north american continent.

Here? Even the most experienced weather people will give an educated guess, beeecause the weather here is ... fragmented. They know theyre likely to be wrong. The rule of thumb is that they tend to be a day too early on their predictions.

So, although fog is a constant in san Francisco, you could have desert heat in one part, cold in the hinterlands and blizzards in the mountains. All at the same time.

The national weather services are usually right, for the general area, but dead wrong for local weather.

So, for today, predicted sunshine in san Francisco.

Heh. It was sunny aright, if the sun could get through the blanket of fog. And the blast of freezing winds in half of the city.

So, as of now, they are predicting partly cloudy tomorrow.

Safe choice. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Starry-eyed mule in the china shop


Make the effort to do what partners and colleagues want you to do today, even though your heart may not be in it. By this time next week, you will need their assistance in things that are important to you, so be smart and get in their good graces now.

JPennant: yo
McClint: hey
JPennant: my horrorscope again was on target. scary.
JPennant: so, i walked outta the house this morning expecting today to be a simple day, turned into a long day
McClint: for what?
JPennant: eh, hadda keep my stubborness under control. Dont like doing what i dont want to do.
McClint: dont be obstinate
JPennant: i am stubborn
JPennant: takes effort for me to go with other peoples flow, even if it benefits me
McClint: that's being obstinate
JPennant: well yeah, but I can be flexible ... just stubborn about it :-)
McClint: hehehe


JPennant: nah, youre in the home stretch
JPennant: dont be stubborn ;-)
JPennant: cuz, as we know, youre nearly as stubborn as i am :-)
McClint: shiiiiiiiiiiit
JPennant: heehee

Dont let me have to tell the world about the exploding headset, Mr Clint. :)


Today's horrorscope

This is probably not the best of times to make decisions you may not be able to back out of later, so consider all the options and all the possibilities before deciding what you are going to do next. Better still, don't decide anything at all. Others may be annoyed that you are dragging your feet, but what can they do about it?

JPennant: im being noodged into taking a job I dont necessarily want
Glinessa: so then don't take it
JPennant: its an option
Glinessa: what type of job is it?
JPennant: job I did in college
JPennant: **** ****
Glinessa: beneath you
JPennant: eh, its good money
Glinessa: you'll be bored and will not do it
JPennant: im bored anyway
Glinessa: ok...then ask yourself this
JPennant: k
Glinessa: will taking this job put you in a better position, overall, than you are now?
JPennant: only if Im disciplined about it
Glinessa: will you be? is taking the job going to open up new doors for you to do what you really want to do?
JPennant: gonna talk to some people about my options
Glinessa: i hear ya

JPennant: im very good at saying no
Glinessa: i know ;-)
JPennant: heh

Glinessa: but remember, life gives you many distractions from the goals we wish to have to look at each thing that comes up as a distraction or something that will get you closer to achieving those goals
JPennant: I wont know if its truly a distraction until I try it
Glinessa: then do it
JPennant: lets see what happens. gonna explore my options tho, do some reasearch
Glinessa: good plan

JPennant: I dont want to be fucked by going to a higher income bracket too soon
Glinessa: lol
JPennant: f'real
Glinessa: i hear you
JPennant: ive suffered too much these last few years to muck it all up
Glinessa: lol
JPennant: suffering is holy :-)
The only thing you can be sure of at the moment is that you cannot be sure of anything. If you need to make a decision concerning your career, wait until Friday when an excellent aspect will make sure you make the right decision. Don't let anyone, no matter how well-meaning, persuade you to act before then.

its not that i follow my horrorscope, it just confirms what Im gonna do anyway.

Although ... its kinda getting scary.

Maybe I dont need to know.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Early edition

JPennant: one thing ive come to like about the west coast ;-)
JPennant: football comes on at a reasonable hour
Glinessa: lol

Its a cool thing to wake up on a weekend, and football is on at 9am.

And monday night football is on at 6pm.


Not like the ol' days... Id have to wait til 1pm for the Chicago Bears games, unless they were on the west coast, and noon in New York

Its also kinda nice to wake up and the financial markets are already open, even tho I dont really pay attention since i dont work on Wall Street anymore.

And I dont have any money. ;)

When I first came out here, id keep my laptop time on East Coast time, better to synchronize with my peeps.

now, eh. Im on when Im on.

So, yeah - football at nine.

Although the drawback is that one of my favorite programs, CBS Sunday Morning is on at *#^^&@ 6am.

What kinda devil worship is that??
Another cool thing is that Im able to read the next day's NY papers online before I go to sleep.

As well as my favorite web comic.

Again, pretty cool.

The drawback to that tho is that waking up in the morn, a lot of its old news, as the media outlets are drawing their news from the east coast. The only real news seem to be the news from this time zone.

Funny thing Ive noticed in that mein.. there is not a whole lot of diversity in the news.

This is not to say that this isnt a great newspaper town, with the dominant SF chronicle, the free SF Examiner, the San Jose Mercury news, the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times, supplemented by the excellent edgy and opinionated free weekly papers, the East Bay Express, SF Weekly and Guardian.

This wealth may seem to make my assertion about news diversity ridiculous.. but its not New York.

I can get the NY Times and WSJ out here, but there is no real tabloid like the NY Post and Daily News out here, their content not totally diluted by AP wire services.

I do miss that.

Man, if they printed the national edition of the Post out here.. I think Id be happy. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2004



Louisiana Sunday Afternoon - Diane Schuur

Some singers will take an old standard, like Franne Golde & Peter Iver's song of desire and loving set in the bayou, and make their version the definitive standard.

Diane schuur OWNS this song.

Her five octave wails and growls sends chills thru my gut every time I hear it, her phrasing putting into my mind the shadows, moss, heat and mist in the bayou.

And Ive never been there.


My father was a cop for over 20 years. When he retired, the only thing he kept as a daily reminder of his JCF days was his heavy silver uniform belt buckle, wearing it with thick leather belts.

And his ex-con friends.

Like many things, i didnt understand about my fathers viewpoint until i got older, and I was horrified that he would consort with people he'd actually put in jail.

i thought my father had lost his everloving mind.

My father even trusted them to watch over me when he wasnt around, for which they actually did an exemplary job.

Now, having come to California, ive met a lot of people whove done time, and ive come to now appreciate, if not wholly understand, my pop's point of view.

Many older ex-cons, with the stupidity of youth driven out of them, have a quality that is probably shared with veterans who've been in war: An appreciation for what they want out of life and the determination never to waste the opportunities they receive.

This, as my father did, is a quality i appreciate and try to live.

For I made some promises to myself: Use money for a purpose, not simply to spend it when I can. Make things happen. Get out and about without being forced.

That last one, Ive failed miserably this past week. Only this afternoon did i leave the house since wenesday.

I gots to do better.

Next week's horrorscope concurs:

No matter how much of a homebody you might be, you must not limit your movements this week. In fact, you should aim to be on the move every day.

The more you get out and meet new people, the more likely it is you will learn something to your benefit. Fate will be kind if it can see you are making an effort.

Yeah, cuz I promised myself.
I did set out this afternoon.

Partly to get a good meal, partly to restock supplies, but mostly to get my ass out the door.

Nice day, in the San Francisco idiom. Sunny, little fog, relatively clear, no wind and temps in the mid sixties.

The sun is bright as usual but high clouds and the waning of the fall/winter sun produced wispy shadows everywhere. So, after my meal i took a random bus (the #37 Corbett) and took the scenic route through the Cole and Noe Valley neighborhoods of million dollar properties perched over much of greater San Francisco.

(A San Francisco pronunciation guide; 'Noe' is not pronounced "No". It is pronounced "No-E", as in "Joey". Sorta like showing yourself as a non-NY native if you pronounce 'Houston Street' as you would the texas city, instead of 'How-ston' like a proper deranged New Yorker.)

The view alone lifted my spirits, making me glad I ventured outside.

This time on that ride, I realized something. I could see my house and realized how I could go straight home downhill by going down 14th street.

The more you stay in one place, you eventually 'anchor' yourself, and directions become meaningful. Up a street, down the block. Dont even have to think about.

Good to gain familiarity, dont want to lose the wonder.

Another promise to myself.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

And now, the weather

Before i
came here, my over-riding impression of San francisco from afar was that it rains here constantly.

Every time id see some image of the area on TV, there'd be umbrellas, rain-slicked streets and so forth.

Well, in truth - there is a wet season and a dry season.

During the dry seasons that ive been here, it hardly rains between march and october. So much so that the hills turn an ugly brown.

Then there are the wet seasons. It rains for days at a time, on and off as a stream of low pressure systems are swept in from the upper pacific by the dominant jetstreams.

The hills become a lush green.

someone once told me that the worst place to be in northern california during the winter is to be outside sleeping. He had done it for two seasons, vowing he would never do it again.

Cold and clammy, the rainy winter season here is no picknick inside or out. Except for overhead protection, the damp cold will always creep in.

Im on the lookout for a space heater.

In this weather, it is always a one or two fleece day or night.
"I just started watching CSI, never got a chance to see it."
"OH! Then catch them on SPIKE TV!! Theyve got all the original episodes.."
"Dont have cable. :)"
"Oh, Im sorry."

Whoa. I swear, its like if you dont have cable, you might as well be homeless.

The average american has to pay 21 scheduled bills monthly.

My aim is to keep it to five.

cable can wait.
With all the recent rain, the hills are turning green. From where I am, i can see most of the high points of san francisco, and apart from the fog-wreathed heights of Mount Davidson, the hills have been brown since early last year.

The marin headlands are green again. Even alcatraz, which looks like a guano covered rocky outcrop is greening up nicely.

When the sun comes out, its a gorgeous sight.

Friday, November 12, 2004


A couple of years ago, i took some pictures from the top of the Bayonne Bridge.

Soon, a bunch of Port Authority cops screeched up, lights blazing, asking what I was doing.

That was before 9-11.

Now, except for the Brooklyn Bridge I believe, you cannot take pictures of the bridges of new york.

While at the Port Authority Bus station late in 2001, taking pictures, a cop warned me that taking pictures were very verboten. Taking pictures of the 9th street PATH station in the Village, i was told that was forbidden by a cop parked out front, and FOLLOWED down into the tube to make sure I didnt.

You cannot take pictures of sensitive structures in NY.

Even without a camera, I plan images wherever i go, and it bothers me that I have to judge a photograph by what i am allowed (or not) to take.

Here in tourist-oriented San Francisco, its nowhere near as intense - but there are definitely no pictures zones. Many of the places I go, like the subway tunnels, BART stations, federal buildings (and considering a good portion of san Francisco is still federal property - even though its rarely marked as such) et al, are off limits. Ur if not off-limits, will subject me to scrunity.


Still gotta take pictures tho..
The Peterson jury did the right thing.

Every time I go by the Berkeley waterfront where the bodies washed, a stunningly beautiful view of the Bay .. it just saddens me.

Justice has been served.