At least I can’t smell it 30 miles away

Yet another titan arums is about to bloom.

130,000 breath mints, please

I first noticed it last night, the aroma of someone cooking. I figured that someone in the neighborhood was barbecuing something. But it was still there this morning when I woke up, even stronger. And then it suddenly occurred to me that the all-pervading smell in the air was The Gilroy Garlic Festival.
It’s not an unpleasant smell, the garlic roasting, but realizing that one will be smelling it all weekend makes it a little annoying. Wish the internet had some kind of way to upload smells.
What’s really amazing about all this is that Gilroy, as the crow flies, is 30 miles from my house. Can you imagine what it must be like for those who live there?

The San Jose Grand Prix is also underway here, about two miles away in the center of downtown. I can avoid going downtown, but I can hear the cars whizzing on the track every so often. Living here in a valley is kind of like living in a big bowl, where smells and sounds just reverberate… I almost feel like I could yell something here and they could hear it on the other side of the city.

How the other half works

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I am enjoying a silly show on TV Land, “Back to the Grind.” The premise of this “reality” show is what happens when actors perform the actual jobs they portrayed on the small screen — right now, I’m watching Marla Gibbs be a real, live housekeeper. She approaches it much as her character Florence approached it on “The Jeffersons”, with a certain lack of enthusiasm and a bountiful amount of disdain for dirty people.
Next up: Sherman Hemsley finds himself in a real dry cleaners…

Trapped

There is a gas leak, and my car is a few yards from it, behind the yellow caution tape. I can’t go home.
I haven’t had lunch, and Diego hasn’t been walked since 6:30 this morning.
If you can read this, help! I’m trapped in Campbell!

[Update: I have been released... ]

The World Needs More Walgreens

From the category of “News I didn’t know until it was too late” comes this story: Yenching Palace is gone.

Yenching Palace is — was — a Chinese restaurant in Woodley Park, Washington, DC. As a restaurant, Yenching Palace was good, not fantastic; but as a historic spot it was great: the haunt of diplomats and statesmen, it was the scene of negotiations with Cuba during the missile crisis.

The two blocks of Connecticut Avenue where Yenching Palace was once situated is a little historic gem, with old shopping centers (across the street is “Park n’ Shop”, one of the first motor-court style strip shopping centers) and the majestic Uptown Theatre, which is impressive not just for it’s huge screen, but because it has resisted to urge to subdivide into multiple tiny screens.

There’s a CVS across the street, but hey, there was no Walgreens, which is obviously a huge oversight. So in they swoop, buying up the Yenching Palace and a piece of history is gone. Replaced by cheap drug store crap.

[Photo by NowPublic member mvs202]

The Yellow Line of Death

My local Target is littered with the dying hulks of shopping carts which suddenly stop working when taken past the yellow line. A yellow line which is, in some places, mere yards from the entrance.

It’s a family thing

You could say that the Bush family has it in their bones, this… badness. A BBC documentary takes a look back at Dubya’s grandpappy, Prescott Bush, and the attempted coup against the U.S. government:

The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

Mike Thomson investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy.

BBC Radio has a “Listen Again” service that’s good for 7 days, so go listen to it today — it expires on Sunday.
[via Boing Boing]

Use the tubes instead

Just saw this in a bulk email message:

If you do not have Internet access, please send an e-mail to [redacted] and be sure to include the e-mail address you wish to have deleted from our mailing list.

President, heal thyself

I just love this.

Taxpayers pick up Bush’s bill
David Lazarus, SF Chronicle
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Democratic lawmakers in Washington say they’re drafting a health care reform bill that would expand coverage for low-income kids. President Bush says he’ll veto any such legislation, warning that it would lead the nation “down the path to government-run health care for every American.”

Like that would be a bad thing.

What’s particularly galling about Bush’s position is that it’s coming from a man who just underwent a colonoscopy performed at the taxpayer-funded, state-of-the-art medical facility at Camp David by an elite team of doctors from the taxpayer-funded National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

If anyone understands the benefits of government-run health care, it’s the president.

Ay Caramba

Dear Twentieth Century Fox:

You know, I’ve always enjoyed The Simpsons.

But god, please, if the marketing barrage doesn’t stop soon I swear I will never, ever watch it again.

The marketing alone is bad enough, but the whoring of the characters out for co-branding with so many other companies — from 7-11 to Burger King to television channels — is enough to make me change the channel or walk out of a store to be free of it.

The irony of having television’s biggest satire of mass marketing and culture go overboard doing the same kind of marketing they parody is not lost on me… it’s just really annoying.

Love,

Gene

Irrational pessimism

Oh, the stock market. Especially where Apple is concerned, the pundits and stock mavens behave like irrational children.

Ahead of my time, I suppose

… and not famous enough in the blogging world. Twice in the last week, another blogger has picked up on something I blogged about weeks ago, and are getting noticed for it. Earlier it was John Gruber talking about iPhone fonts (something I blogged about and emailed him about weeks ago) and today, it’s 37 Signals just discovering an iPhone function that I wrote about the day after it came out.
I know this is all very petty, sort of; the lament of the “I was first!” school of journalism in a way. This blog obviously is never going to have the kind of readership that a Daring Fireball or 37 Signals will have, but every so often I’d love to get a little credit for original thoughts.