Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let's Push Things Forward . . .

This is "Burberry Coat Girl."

I do not know her name.  I have never spoken to her.  However, I have often talked to co-workers about her after a treacherous ride on the 30x to work.

I named her "Burberry Coat Girl" because she always wears this black Burberry Coat.

As I have shared in the past, my bus stop is the last stop in the Marina before heading into the Financial District.  That means that the buses are usually full by the time they reach my stop and often the buses won't even stop.  If the bus does stop to let some poor soul off, all of us who have been waiting on the corner will push our way through the back door and try to squeeze in.  The only thing I can compare this to is when people try to see how many individuals they can fit in a phone booth.

So I have been watching "Burberry Coat Girl" with amazement for almost two years now.  

I, along with everyone else, may stand on the corner for up to 30 minutes trying to get on the bus.  

Not "Burberry Coat Girl!"

Every day she walks up to the corner carrying two large bags, one on each shoulder.  Her hair is still wet from the morning shower.  With her iPod Shuffle ear buds in place she has no reason to acknowledge anyone else.  And as the bus pulls up she steps in front of everyone who has been waiting in the cold for 30 minutes and pushes her way on the bus.  Every day!  

There was only one day when I HAD to get on the next bus in order to not be late for a meeting at work that I actually blocked her from cutting in front of me.  

So kudos "Burberry Coat Girl!"  You don't wait out in the cold like the rest of us.  You always get on the bus.  And someday, I hope to be as skilled and aggressive as you!

Spice Up Your Life . . .

This past summer while vacationing in Hawaii I went to a Mexican restaurant.   

I know what you are thinking, "You went to a Mexican restaurant in Hawaii?" 

Of course there will be great Mexican food in Hawaii!  I hope.

The restaurant is called Pancho and Lefty's and was recommended by my friends Sean and Erin (two of the loyal readers.)

I ordered a scrambled egg dish which I have since tried to replicate back on the mainland.  See my version below.

Start off by making traditional scrambled eggs.  As the eggs begin to firm up in the pan crumble in tortilla chips.  The chips will become soft but no mushy.  They add a new texture and flavor to the eggs.  Garnish with cheese, salsa, sour cream, ketchup, or whatever your fancy.

This new flavor combination will leave you craving more!

On a recent trip to my parents house my Mom tested the egg dish on the family and every one seemed to enjoy it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cornershop . . .

I am actually surprised I never noticed this before.  

If you want to know how to get one up on the competition.  How to corner the market share.   Well look no further than the corner of 19th Ave and Judah.

You may need to click on the picture to enlarge it so that you can see what the signs are more clearly, but Unocal 76 actually has gas stations on both sides of the street!   That is brilliant in my opinion.  You can get them going and coming!

The Song Of The Day - Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing Games . . .

This past week my Grandfather passed away.  He was 90 years old.  I thought I would take a moment to share 1o things I will remember about Grandpa.

First of all I have to say, my brother and I, along with our younger cousins were lucky because we actually were allowed to call him "Grandpa."  My older cousins called him "Ray" because he didn't want to be thought of as old.

The above picture was taken in Jan 1997.  We were at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.  It was my graduation from college trip and we had gone to see a celebrity impersonator show that night. Check out my full head of hair!

You can also see a great picture montage of my Grandfather's life set to music at Making Everlasting Memories (MEM).  Search for "Ray" "Collins".

So without further adieu I will share my "10 Things To Remember About Grandpa."

1.  When my Grandfather was still in good health,  without fail every time I saw him he would ask me, "How do you hold your pants up?"  At the time I very rarely wore a belt and he did not understand how my pants did not fall down.
2.  After the belt discussion, it was quickly followed by "Did you see Third Rock or Seinfeld?"  This was kind of a trick question because my grandfather would watch the syndicated versions of these shows at 6 or 7 at night and not the new episodes that were airing in prime time.  So I always would try to clarify what the episode was about so that we could have a laugh about whatever Kramer or Dick had done.
3.  My first electric razor was an old one I had seen in my Grandfather's dresser.  When I wanted to start shaving my "beard" we asked if I could have one of his old razors.  He cleaned it up for me and I was so excited.
4.  My Grandfather was skilled at splicing electrical cords together and fixing broken switches.  I think he fixed more than one of our hair dryers (back when I had hair) and a fan.
5.  My Grandfather took us out on the ocean and on the lake in his boat.  He always made us wear life jackets and I seem to remember we would sometimes have to switch where we were sitting on the boat to shift the balance.  I feel like the few times we went on the boat there was always a problem with launching the boat into the water, getting the boat back on the trailer, or the engine working properly.  But being under 10 years old at the time I didn't care because I was just so excited to be on the boat.
6.  My Grandpa always won at pool.  He had special rules and children were not allowed to play on the pool table.  It was only for adults.  I was lucky because when I was 8 years old my Aunt Ronda snuck me upstairs and let me play a game of pool.  We had to keep that a secret from Grandpa.  Later I did get to play Grandpa at pool and learn all about his game of choice "The One and the Fifteen."
7.  My Grandpa also liked to play Dominoes.  I know he had an intricate scoring system but I don't think I ever really understood that part.  I just liked matching the dots.
8.  My Grandpa had a sweet tooth.  He had a whole drawer of junk food in the kitchen that I think each of us grand kids discovered at some point and would eventually ask Grandma "Can I have a ____ from the drawer?"  His favorites included Orange Slices and Ding Dongs.    On the adult side he also liked warm beer.  Which to this day I have yet to try and still don't see the appeal of.
9.  My Grandpa taught my Mom, who then shared with us that you can try and get a stain out of your clothes by using the eraser on your pencil.  I am gonna be honest and tell you that it doesn't really work that good.
10.  After my Grandfather retired a couple of times we painted together.  He was much better than I was, but really neither of us were that good.  One of our really bad paintings we didn't even draw we just filled in the color on someone else's drawing.  Then he found this ratty old frame and he and I framed our work of art.  My Mom would hang our masterpiece above the fireplace when he was coming over to our house.  It was amazing!

I took this picture in 1988.  I think it was a lunch in Westlake Village for my Grandmother's birthday.

The Song Of The Day -  Straight Up by Paula Abdul (Because Grandpa thought she was a good dancer.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Your Sunshine . . .

This is my niece Megan.  Today is her birthday!   Happy Birthday Megan!

The Loyal Readers and I wish you the best on your special day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Burning . . .

Tonight a wild fire broke out on Angel Island in the San Francisco bay.  Angel Island is the largest island in the Bay at 740 acres.  The fire was first reported at 9 PM.

From my apartment the flames are clearly visible on this rapidly growing fire.

According to the 10:00 local news, fire fighters and fire trucks were being ferried over to the island which only has one fire truck permanently stationed there.  

As of 10:30 PM, in addition to the flames, I can also see the flashing lights of the fire trucks.

At least there are not tremendously strong winds on the Bay this evening.

The Song Of The Day - Burning Up (Interface Mix) by Madonna Tribute

Red Red Wine . . .

The first neighbor I met when I moved into my apartment building two and a half years ago said, "Oooooh, you have the best apartment in the whole building for watching Fleet Week and you can also go up on the roof for an even better view!"

I politely smiled and nodded my head but really had no idea what Fleet Week was and was also pretty sure the mammoth lease I had just signed specifically said we were not allowed on the roof.

A few months later I saw first hand what Fleet Week was all about and yes, I did have a pretty good view.

The following year I wanted to share the experience with my parents so I invited them up to see the amazing air show put on by the Blue Angels.  We even went up on the forbidden roof and joined all the other young party goers having a good time.

This year I decided to throw a wine party for Fleet Week and invite some friends over.  This would be my first official gathering of friends in my very small studio apartment.

(On a side note...I have been telling my friends that I would have a wine party for 13 months now.  In fact I even bought the wine glasses a year ago.  I think they were starting to give up hope as to whether this party would ever happen.  And really, I don't blame them.)

So this past week I sent out e-vites for my Fleet Week Wine Party!

I hit up the local Trader Joe's (Shout out to my brother who is a Captain for Trader Joe's in Bellingham, WA) and with the help of a very kind worker I picked up a LOT of wine, chips, mango salsa, tomato hummus dip, strawberries and some more wine.

Then it was off to Subway where I picked up a platter of roast beef, turkey and ham subs. Because nothing says Wine Party like sub sandwiches, chips, and Peanut M&M's.  I know I know, wine parties are supposed to be about cheese and chocolate.  Well, there was cheese in the sandwich and chocolate in the M&M!

There was just one little flaw in the master plan.  Since my apartment is so small I had planned to move the party up to the roof if it felt to crowded.  But on Friday, the apartment managers put up notices that said the roof was off limits for Fleet Week.  Uh oh!  

Well my guests and I decided we would stay in my apartment for the majority of the air show and then try and go on the roof for the last hour when the Blue Angels were performing.  This worked out great and there were other people on the roof too!

Thanks S, Shagun, Jen, Ryan and Sophia (who was taking this picture) for coming!

The Song Of The Day - Red Red Wine by UB40

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Fly Like Paper Get High Like Planes . . .

It's Fleet Week!   

Some San Franciscan's believe that Fleet Week is a holiday.  Fleet Week starts each October with the roar of jet engines.  On Thursday afternoon there is the familiar thunder of the Blue Angels arrival as they begin their practice routines for the weekend air show.  This can make it a little distracting when you are trying to get your work done and you see jet planes maneuvering in tight formations out the window.  

On Saturday the events really get underway with a parade of ships followed by a three and a half hour air show.  This year's show featured the The Blue Angels, Team Oracle, and The Snowbirds.  It truly is an exciting spectacle to witness first hand.  
Please enjoy these pictures from Saturday's show which I was able to take while looking out the window of my apartment.  

I also tried to record a bit of the show to share with you.  The video is of an F-16 Viper West. Now keep in mind the plane is moving very fast and it was hard for me to even find it in the view finder.  But at least you will get the idea.

The Song Of The Day - Paper Planes by M.I.A.