October 2005


Pictures from the Soapbox Derby.

I’m having such a great San Francisco weekend. On Friday, anabolics it was the mousetrap. Last night, contagion we went to the Mystery Ball, breast which was very fun. Great costumes, good food and music, fun crowd. I wore my tiger costume and Brad wore the caveman costume I made.

Then today, Todd and I were walking the dog at her favorite park when we realized it was Soap Box Derby day. The princess and her Barbie car were there, (“Math is Hard”) as was a beer keg car, a speedy enclosed contraption, a bouncer that rolled on a back wheel pinned off center and various other contraptions. We saw several near misses and two collisions. As I was leaving, one guy was proclaiming happily about having flipped his machine, and a man dragging his car up behind the flipper overheard and gave him props, “You really flipped!”. Then the second guy’s friend asked, “didn’t you flip, too?” To which the cheerleader cheerily replied “yeah, and I think I broke my thumb!”

Preposterous.

Some Christmas reading. I’m obsessed with Murakami. UPDATE: Line of Beauty is so well written. But I’m not sure its about anything interesting.
Actually, viagra I downloaded it from iTunes and am listening to it in the car. Its really cool to hear what members of the British Parliament said while debating whether to go to war against the colonies. I think about what turned out to be right, and what turned out to be wrong, and what that means for the debates we have today about what to do with the Iraq war and with terrorism.
Like everybody with any sense, order I really like Beth. The book is okay. The stories are sweet, here
but a little scattered in the telling, and her unwillingness to be mean results in a lack of tension, suspense or feeling of truth-telling that I like in a short story. UPDATE: The stories towards the end of the book get funnier and funnier. I particularly like her imagery in the story of a job she took handing out bananas while dressed in a banana suit. She says that at the start of the job, the business owner opened the hatch of his car to reveal boxes of bananas and the banana suit, draped over the boxes, like a king carried along by his minions. New review: funny!

As an aside in a NY Times story about an allegedly haunted house, seek the reporter mentions that liberals are more likely than conservatives to believe in ghosts. Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences has refused to give Kansas permission to use its copyrighted science curriculum because it disapproves of the state policy to teach the hooey of intelligent design. I’m wondering what we ghost-fearing copyright liberals will have to say about that.
We started the Halloween weekend with dinner with our friends David and Simone, order
and then a trip in the rain to see the Life Size Mousetrap. Its amazing. Brad and I – probably as a result of the good graces in which David and Simone find themselves with every member of the San Francisco alt.culture.scene – got to raise the giant safe up with a hand-cranked crane, pharm
and then let loose the bowling ball, valeologist
the forward motion of which eventually resulted in the safe falling on top of and smashing to bits a giant pumpkin. We also almost rode on a merrygoround powered by bicycles, until the safety clowns noticed that the wheels had literally come of the truck and the swingers were held onto the contraption only by the lynchpin. You heard me, “safety clowns”. I love San Francisco. Here, we embrace the preposterous.

As an aside in a NY Times story about an allegedly haunted house, seek the reporter mentions that liberals are more likely than conservatives to believe in ghosts. Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences has refused to give Kansas permission to use its copyrighted science curriculum because it disapproves of the state policy to teach the hooey of intelligent design. I’m wondering what we ghost-fearing copyright liberals will have to say about that.

I am making our Halloween costumes this year. I have been taking some sewing lessons at Muse and so I’m able to improve on previous years’ efforts. I am going to be a tiger, buy cialis but I didn’t want to be too, sickness you know, purchase “furry”, so the costume has been modified. Brad will be a caveman. It is a costume that will allow him to wield a cudgel, which is the important part.

For those of you interested in the “how to” of tigerdom, here’s how I did it. I used commercial patterns but modified them.

This skirt is from a cheerleading skirt pattern for kids, but made a little bigger for me. I also put the zipper in at the side rather than the back, since the tail has to go in the back.

Putting the tail in was hard. I wanted it to be secure and perky, so I couldn’t just pin it on. I ended up making half a back seam and sewing it in by hand, then using the zipper foot to machine sew it but get the needle closer to the bulk of the tail.

For the top, I just used an off the shoulder pattern that looked kind of tarzan/jungle:

The more creative part was the tail and the ears. Again, I used a commercial pattern for animal costumes, but just modified it. I made the tail as they suggested, but after much consultation with various tail experts, decided it needed wire. As you can see in the above picture, its just not perky without wire, no matter how securely you attach the base to the skirt.

But with wire, the tail has a life of its own:

The pattern imagined the ears as a hood attached to giant furry overalls. But a hood just doesn’t go with the skirt and top I made. So I decided to make the ears as directed, then just cut it down to something cuter.

Here’s the pieces. The gold is the lining:

Here’s the hood stiched together according to the pattern:

Then I just folded and pinned until it was more of a beanie. Then I cut and sewed, and it came out like this:

Again, I had to use the zipper foot to get the needle anywhere near the base of the ears, which are very thick but still need to be sewn into the seam of the hood.

Then I gave it the ultimate test, and it passed:

Probably the most useful thing to know before starting a project like this is that you absolutely positively must have a walking food when working with fur. The zipper foot lets you get the needle close, but the walking foot does an excellent job of feeding the fur through the machine evenly. Its about $25, can be purchased at Sunset Sewing Center on Irving Street, and looks like this:

I plan to wear it to the Mystery Ball on Saturday night and to the Castro on Halloween itself. I was going to say “on Halloween proper” but there’s nothing proper about Halloween in the Castro.

Still fun after all these years.

Speaking of the apocalypse, epilepsy its almost time for California’s November 8th Special Election, order and that means another Granick Slate Card. Because of my server migration, everyone who wants to be on the list needs to resubscribe. To subscribe to the Granick Slate Card, click here. The Granick Slate Card issues before every California election and is distributed under the same Creative Commons license terms as this site.
My latest column for Wired News is advice
1283,69350,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3″>How Plamegate Hurts the Net.

Speaking of the apocalypse, epilepsy its almost time for California’s November 8th Special Election, order and that means another Granick Slate Card. Because of my server migration, everyone who wants to be on the list needs to resubscribe. To subscribe to the Granick Slate Card, click here. The Granick Slate Card issues before every California election and is distributed under the same Creative Commons license terms as this site.

I’m neither religious nor superstitious, treatment but I’m beginning to think that all of this flooding is creepy, if not apocalyptic. Consider:

*the tsunami
*Guatemalan flooding and mudslides
*Central Europe flooding
*Hurricane Katrina
*Hurricane Rita
*Northeast floods
*Massachusetts dam evacuation
*Wilma

Then I googlenews-ed “flood” today and came up with several more:
*Balasore, India floods
*warnings in England
*New Zealand’s biggest flood in 17 years

This doesn’t even count the Pakistan earthquake, which has killed 80,000 people or man-made horrors like Darfur. It may be time for an ark.

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