Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wine Glass Door Chime

By Droog Design. $265
At Friend, 401 Hayes Street.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Rain

It was raining so hard as I drove to work yesterday that I pulled off the highway in San Mateo and turned back. My little Mini was being pushed around by high winds and standing water. Perhaps I need rain tyres. Anyway, I'd rather miss a days work than risk a car accident.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I switched to the new Blogger a few weeks ago. Now, to take full advantage of Blogger, I've dumped the old template and started using Layout, which promises to be easier to use in the long run.

Layout for Blogger is pretty easy to use, but it doesn't have the full flexibility or features I need. So it's back to HTML to create my slide rule custom header. Luckily for me I found the instructions on how to do this at LaCour.

Another issue is the Blogger Navbar across the top of my blog. To get rid of it I added this code in the template above /* Header.

The main problem remaining is to solve the way text sometimes runs down the side of the

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This is what I'm watching on my iPod. This is a tongue-in-cheek look at this weeks' internet goings on.

It's on Channel 4 and is availible as a free download from and iTunes.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Drosselmeyer Nut Cracker at Scandinavian Details

These nut crackers by Drosselmeyer (named after a character in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite) are cool: Drop the nut in. Squeeze the handle. The shell fragments don't fly everywhere.

Scandinavian Details in Hayes Valley also has a good selection of Tivoli radios. And they have the best selection of gadgets I've seen in a design store.

On Hayes Street between Gough and Franklin.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Jong Mea Restaurant

Lani's parents are Chinese. I'm fascinated by her Chinese heritage. I love to look through photo albums with her, and listen to stories about her family. Her family is beautiful. Here's a story from her Blog:

Jong Mea Restaurant
During lunch, while in discussion about the history of Chinese food in the United States, it led to a conversation about my family's restaurant, Jong Mea. My parents tell me the translation of Jong Mea means "China & America". But I've been told it can also be translated as "Midwest". Regardless, both translations fit to a tee, and knowing my grandfather (the founder), this was intentional. Jong Mea opened in 1951, one of the first Chinese restaurants in Columbus.

We had locations in Mansfield and Columbus, OH (my birthplace), and Indianapolis, IN. There was another location in Houston, TX that I knew very little about, probably because it was sold off in the mid 60's. My parents managed the Columbus location in the mid 70's to mid 80's. My aunt and uncle then took over the Columbus location until it closed in the mid 90's. My parents opened a 2nd Columbus location for a short time, then
took over the Indianapolis location until it closed in 1998. My great uncle's family managed the Mansfield location until it closed, which I think was in the late 80's.

At the height of business in the 60's and early 70's, the Columbus location had on weekends, 7 waiters, 3 bus boys and 3 assistant managers (answered phones, seated customers, processed take out). We opened from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Lines used to snake around the corner with a 30 to 60 minute wait. We had celebrities such as James Shigeta and Gordon MacRae as patrons.

I worked as a cashier on weekends during my last 2 years in high school in the late 70's. Although I hated the work, it gave me invaluable experience that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Because my parents worked long hours, I learned to become self-sufficient at home. By the age of 10, I already knew how to do laundry and cook a simple meal.

When I wasn't working, we did have wonderful parties. Thanksgiving, Christmas, dinners with my grandparents and their friends. My dad often prepared the meals for these occasions. I found this to be a bit surprising because he didn't cook much at home until my siblings and I were teenagers.

At some point, I'll have to devote time to rummage in the storage room to find pictures, have Pete
scan them and post them on a future blog. Then you'll know how OLD I really am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Monsoon umbrella stand caught my attention at Friend on the corner of Hayes and Gough streets. I like it because the dish shaped base will collect the water drops from a full size umbrella placed inside, and from a compact umbrella hung by the handle.

$132 at Friend, or $119 atMotif.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


My friend Josh has an instinct for tech and gadgets. He 'gets it' quicker than anyone I know.
His post from Sunday is about Blogs as Widgets: Blidgets!

Read the original post, with links, on Tretakoff Musings.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Estrella Apartments

Drive along Hayes, across Van Ness, and before you turn right onto Franklin look up and you'll see the brick eastern wall of the Estella Apartments on 340 Hayes.
This side of the building attracted my attention many years ago because of the white lettering painted at the top advertising the building as having a "steel frame" and "electric refrigerators".

This apartment building is unusual for San Francisco. It uses brick for all the exterior walls, and has metal framed windows. Only commercial buildings and warehouses were built like this. Residential buildings were wood or reinforced concrete with wood framed windows.

Many smaller SF buildings have brick facades, but look down the side of the building and you will see wood siding.

Categories:Architecture San Francisco

Sunday, February 18, 2007

PC vs Mac Parody

I've been using an iMac since OS X was released for the desktop in 2001. First I bought an iMac G4 becaused I loved the design, and now I have a 20" Intel Core-Duo iMac. It gets the job done in style, and I recommend it to everyone. I also own a 60GB video iPod, and I'll probably buy an iPhone in June.
But I'm not an Apple fanboy! Apple is in the business of making money. They've found they can best do that by selling innovative and well designed products. That has become their niche in the consumer electronics market. That is why I buy their products.

Click here to watch the PC vs Mac parody by Laurie McGuinness.
Click here to watch Apple UK PC vs Mac ads.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Stream Chair

The chairs' asymmetric frame is made from two closed loops of metal tubing. There are 16 permutations of the design, and they are all functionally equivalent.

Thanks Max Longin Furniture Design Addict

Friday, February 16, 2007

3M Nuclear Grade Duct Tape

The 3M company held an expo at my workplace last week. I was interested in seeing their latest epoxy and fast curing urethane glues.

But it was their duct tape that caught my interest. We've all used duct tape to make temporary repairs that end up being permanent. So I am very curious and a little concerned that 3M has found a ready market for their Nuclear Grade 8979N duct tape. "Ideal for demanding duct tape applications in the the nuclear power plant..." and "Temporary capping of pipes." I didn't make that up.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Leg Saver

Even more gun chairs here.

Categories:Furniture Art

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Finetune lets you quickly create a playlist then embed it in your blog/webpage/MySpace. Very nice!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ask a Designer

We don't get the chance to talk with the person who designed our home furniture. The next best thing might be to chat with a design student about their furniture designs.

DWR is hosting this event at their SF Potrero Street store.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Le Cob Bath

Le Cob bath (named after Le Corbusier) is sold by Omvivo. Designed by Omvivo CEO and Chief Designer Joseph Licciardi.

Le Cob, is made from white Corian with glass sides. It has a direct overflow into a stainless steel drain-pan that can be filled with coloured glass pebbles. Corian, by DuPont, is strong, repairable, stain resistant, and can be easily shaped.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


Thank you Josh for pointing out the Pandora music website.
Click on the Pandora link and you'll quickly get the idea of how it works: Create your own radio station by selecting an artist or song that you like. Pandora then streams music of that genre to your computer. You can create multiple channels. Nice.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Slide Rule Watch

Most circular slide rules on watches were for aviation use, and have "60" at the twelve o'clock position on the D-scale. The Ikopod Megapod by Marc Newson has "1" at the twelve o'clock position, making it better for general arithmetic use. Very nice watch, but expensive at almost $4,000.

For an affordable slide rule watch, I recommend Citizen. I've worn a Citizen Navihawk for the last 8 years, and if I lost it I would buy the Skyhawk. The Skyhawk retails for ~$400, but the street price is almost half that. The watch is well made, the bezel has just the right amount of friction, and it never needs a battery.

Thanks Retro Thing

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Can't Cantilever

When the new de Young Museum in San Francisco was being built, I thought the cantilevered west end of the building looked like a UPS loading dock.
Then the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston made the cantilever its' main exterior design feature.
Now, the new centre for modern music and jazz in Amsterdam, Het Muziekgebouw, is proof that we must leave the cantilever to the bridge builders, and stop pretending that this feature is anymore unique than a bus shelter.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

AA Rechargeable Batteries

These batteries have been around for a few months, but I just noticed them. Especially useful if you have a cordless mouse.

£11.40 ($US22.44) for a pack of 2 delivered.


Monday, February 05, 2007

QM2 Departs for Hawaii from Pier 27 Today

The QM2 is scheduled to depart from SF Pier 27 today at 5pm.
You can follow the movements of the QM2 on the SF Bay Ship Tracking Page.

(All new passenger vessels, and all commercial ships over 300 tons must carry Automatic Identification System AIS transponders.)

The QM2 passing by Alcatraz as she entered port yesterday.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Queen Mary 2 Docks in SF

Late this afternoon the Queen Mary 2 sailed into SF Bay. It's the largest ship to ever enter the Bay.

In service since 2004, the ship is too large to fit through the Panama Canal, so her appearance in SF is quite a treat. I took this video from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Cunard are very careful not to call her a cruise ship. She is a passenger ship. A very grand ocean liner.

Categories:San Francisco

Saturday, February 03, 2007

USA to get Vauxhall/Opel Astra

Autoblog is reporting that GM will import the Astra to sell here as a Saturn.
This is great news to anyone keen on European made hatchbacks, because rumour is that the Saturn Astra will be sold here as a 3-door and 5-door car.

Friday, February 02, 2007

BBC TV Downloads for Free World Wide?

In San Francisco BBC TV is available as part of a premium Cable package. Not all programmes are shown, and some of the best programmes are sold to ESPN or Discovery channels. So finding a favourite program can be a hassle.

Now the beeb has announced iPlayer to launch in the next few months:
"After downloading the service viewers will be shown a schedule displaying all the BBC's shows from the previous seven days. Once downloaded, viewers will be able to store the programmes for up to 30 days before watching them. After that they will be automatically deleted from the hard drive."
No word as to whether this is only for the UK, so I assume we'll be able to use it.

Now if only I could get Granada TV productions, I could watch Coronation Street. I heard that Annie Walker and Ken Barlow are still on the programme!

Thanks Autoblog The Gaurdian