October 23, 2005

new calendar

so i spent the day today setting up webcalendar on my server at home. i had been using calendars.net but i finally got fed up with their flakiness. the hardest part about getting the new calendar set up was figuring out how to transfer the data from the old calendar to the new one.

October 22, 2005

pho dinner party

so today we had a pho dinner party with about 6 people over. we made our own beef stock in my large beer brewing stock pot. ronda picked up 10 lbs of beef bones for the grand experiment.

we started the cooking friday night and it wasn't looking good. we found a few recipies online, combined them, and doubled them (since we were making enough for 10 people.) unfortunatly at the end of the night the stock still tasted really watery. so sat morning we went out and bought lots more stuff and doubled the spice contents again. eventually we got something that tasted pretty good.

everyone seemed to enjoy the food and had a pretty good time.

October 9, 2005

i'm done reading

well, i'm done reading for the night so it's time to start writing and to continue drinking.

ok. so i'm only on my second gin'n'tonic, but that still enough such that it's time to stop reading the captive mind, by czeslaw milosz. (this book is closer to a philosopy book that anything i've read lately and demands full attention, ie no music and not much liquer. actually these types of books frustrate me a bit because i feel kinda dumb and doubtfull about how much information i'll be able to successfully digest and retain.)

that said, i'll talk quickly about two other books i read recently.

just yesterday i finished economics in one lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. i'm glad i got this book from the library instead of buying it. i didn't like it very much. i was looking for a book which covered general economic theories. i wanted to get a better understaning of implications of the current international trade deficit and china's huge trade surpluss, etc. instead i got a refutation of most the policies of the new deal and a long winded and super simplified lecture about the obvious benifits of unregulated capatilism. putting aside that fact that the book didn't cover what i was looking for, i didn't wholly agree with the author. (who by the way has no formal background in economics, but simply puts forth the theory that it's all simple as long as you make sure to look at the effects of policy upon all parties and not just interested parties who create the policy.) he seems to take a very simplistic view of capatilism and market self regulation with no acknowledgement of the fact that capital begets capital, and that captail (for better or for worse) translates to power in both the political and free market sectors. (which in turn can cause imbalances in a compleatly unregulated market economy.) enough rambling about that.

the other book i recently finished was Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, by Gray Brechin. i discovered this book in the footnotes of cadillac desert and it basically covers more of the history of san francisco presented in the context of manifest destiny and the continious imperial westward growth of the US up to and past the coast of california. it covers interesting (to me) historical aspects such as war the us phillipines (which i knew nothing about), interactions with japan and the japanese (both here, in hawii, and abroad), interactions with mexico, and other historical investments and involvements all over the pacific rim that were based out of the growing metropolis of san francisco. it also covered interesting local aspects related to the growth of san francisco and the outlying cities. (describing the impact of mining, logging, municipal water supply, the evolution of electrical utilities, etc.) through out all this it discussed the people driving all of this evolution and change. (from politicians to mining moguls to buisness men to newspaper publishers turned philathropists, etc.) overall the book has quite a negative outlook on the power and development that shaped the entire bay area but it was still an interesting read and it provides me with much more background to think about current events and life in san francisco. (like the tap water that comes from hetch hetcy reservoir, or how PGE came to be our power company, or the re-opening of the new de-young musem and how that is linked to the san francisco newspaper scene, etc.) ahh, the joys of useless half remembered historical contexts. ;)

ok. so i'm done with the sensless commentary. hope you don't feel robbed of your time.