Monday, May 28, 2007

A fantastic long weekend...

On Sunday, Jeff and I took Matthew down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to meet up with our friend Paolo, who had driven up from LA. It seems that the rest of Northern California had the same idea. Monterey was a zoo, with screaming children everywhere. Nevertheless, it was fun to see Paolo. The aquarium is pretty darn fantastic as well...particularly the popular jellyfish wing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hog Butcher to the World...

Yes, today I flew to Chicago, and since the "Windy City" seemed a bit pedestrian for a blog title, I looked for a more colorful nickname for my host city. ("Gem of the Prairie" was out after I had to sit in *!#*!+#@ traffic on the way from the airport!) Still, tonight's hotel window photo could very well be the most picturesque yet. I'm at the Hilton Suites with a beautiful room overlooking Lake Michigan. Not too shabby.

This evening, my buddy and coworker Steve scoped out a new restaurant for us: aigredoux. I had a fantastic heirloom tomato and goat cheese appetizer, followed by a buttery shrimp accompanied by a flavorful lemon-Parmesan risotto. Desert was a mouth-watering sticky toffee cake.

To wind down tonight, I was having fun looking at some of the more bizarre photos from Bay to Breakers. For example...this guy. I mean, in any ORDINARY situation, a man dressed in a caveman outfit carrying a video camera would be downright CREEPY.

I love these next two photos. These two guys had rigged up a rickshaw out of an old leather chair. At this point in the race, they had pulled this thing almost five miles. Then...tragedy. Standing along the route, we heard this incredible POP, like someone had set off a large firecracker. was a tire blowout. And these guys trudged on, with 2.5 miles still to go!

This is a fun photo. The sexy bee women, closely followed by a very un-sexy naked/fat costume. Great juxtaposition.

And finally, for sheer lunacy...a bee and a banana wrestling for control of a they roll down a hill in the park.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It doesn't get stranger than this...

Today, some 60,000 runners, walkers, and drinkers took to the streets of San Francisco for the 96th annual Bay to Breakers. The route crosses our 7-mile wide city from the shadow of the Bay Bridge, through Golden Gate Park, and finishing along the Great Highway at Ocean Beach.

So, for today's post, I present a cross-section of the wacky walkers as they passed through the Park. These die-hard striders dress in everything...and nothing...a true Only in San Francisco event. The seeded runners began at 8am...and the inebriated walkers were still making their way past 2pm. This is basically a city-wide block party.

I tried to trim the photos down to just a few, but really, these were just too fun. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just ducky...

Avid readers of Tribulations (oh, you know who you are) might be wondering if I have drifted off to some extended hiatus...perhaps taking time to find that novel in me or circumnavigate the globe. Well...nothing quite so grand, but I certainly have been bouncing around. So, let's rewind nearly two weeks with some notes and photos that were supposed to be posts of their own.

A brief 15-hours in Monday evening (late), up for an early briefing, and an early afternoon flight home. No room for a proper meal at Two Bells :( Captured another view from the Seattle Hilton.

Home to SF to host Brooks for two nights. Drinks on the town both evenings.

Saturday in the park. A long walk through the myriad of "rooms" at the SF Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Stealthy squirrels surprised us as they chased each other through the underbrush. Lunch at the de Young. Made yummy chili for dinner.

Another week, another trip. Off to Orlando early Sunday for a week of meetings and a conference. Stayed at the charming Peabody...where they still hold their famous duck march twice daily to a grand Sousa soundtrack. Picked up silly exhibit tchotchkes. Got a fake parrot tattoo.

Spent a few free hours Thursday evening at Disney World's Epcot. I am still inspired by Spaceship Earth and its history of human communications...but boy is it looking dated. Sponsor Siemens still makes me chuckle. Refurbished ocean exhibit to a Finding Nemo theme was a pleasant surprise. Fireworks were delightful...but needed Jeff at my side. (Heard later that Jeff had to clean up Buster's throw up in the living room...really wished Jeff was with me instead.)

Flew home Friday morning...a hazy, humid central Florida morning. First leg...a large man the temperature of the Sun sat down next to me. Second leg...upgrade...aaaahhhhhh...although the man sitting next to me took off his shoes AND socks. Good thing there was free wine.

I leave you with the most ridiculous item from the past two weeks. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the Urine Off sales crew at the conference I was attending. This just goes to show the range of products and services available to the discerning customer. As the tagline states..."the name says it all".