Saturday, September 07, 2013

Round Robin Challenge: That's Odd!

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."

~Steven Wright

RRC: That's Odd

Well, it is! :) And kinda cool to! You see, Alan and I were sitting in traffic, in downtown San Francisco, last Wednesday, and it wasn't it usual jam-packed traffic, it was jam-packed traffic on steroids! No kidding, the traffic since the opening of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, has been nothing short of horrendous! No one is really sure why the traffic has gotten so much worse in the last few days, but speculation is that folks are either being super careful crossing the new span, causing the back-ups, or the commuters are too busy driving slow to get a good look at the new Oakland side of the bridge. Either way... it's ODD! I am going to do an in depth post about the new span, complete with brand new pictures, next week! So be sure to stay tuned to Ellipsis for that! But for now, I wanted to show off the photo above. That's my little blue car you see in the picture. I tried to take the photo so I couldn't be seen, but I wasn't completely successful, so I wonder, is that considered a "selfie?"

Republican Oddities...

Who better to have their portrait done in jelly beans than Ronald Reagan? Like me, he had a sweet tooth that went straight to his soul, and jelly beans just happened to be his sweet tooth weakness! And I happen to know that President Reagan's favorite brand of Jelly Beans was Jelly Belly, jelly beans! I was working as an 800 Operator in the 1980's, and one of the corporate clients I was an operator for was the Jelly Belly company! One day, true story... my hand to GOD... I took an order for 800 lbs. of assorted Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, and one desktop dispenser, to be mailed to the White House Attn. Mail Processing Room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! That was before all mail and special packages were moved to a special processing center on the other side of Washington D.C.! 9/11 changed everything, including where jelly beans get sent!

I took both photos in February of 2005, at the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory, in Fairfield, in Marin County. The governor at the time was non other than old GAS himself Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger! Blech! But the Jelly Belly factory saw fit to honor him in jelly beans, so I took a photo of the two republicans for nostalgia. LOL. It serves to remind me that nothing BAD can possibly last forever... right? LOL. I must get back up to the factory again soon, I am sure they have honored our current governor, Jerry Brown, in jelly beans as well! Only that portrait will remind me that nothing should be taken for granted, so appreciate Jerry Brown while we have him in office!

I bet you never thought Jelly Beans could be so profound!

I bet I know what you're thinking... you're thinking...That's Odd!


Okay, you have seen my oddities, now go see what everyone else is up to for this Round Robin Challenge! Simply click the link at the beginning of this post to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog. That's where you will find all you need to know to play along with us, and a complete list of participants for this challenge!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, September 06, 2013

On The Eve Of September 11th

"War is what happens when language fails."

~Margaret Atwood

On The Eve Of September 11th

Here we go again. We (America) is about to march off to an unnecessary war. A war that doesn't have to happen, perhaps more blatantly than the last one that didn't have to happen. If I close my eyes, and listen to the justifications for the current plea for war, I swear I hear Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney talking, and in place of John Kerry, is that Colin Powell I hear?


I get it. I do. Syrian President Bashar Assad is suspected of using chemical weapons on his own citizens. It's a horrendous thought. I saw a video over the weekend of children, one small boy in particular, dying a slow hideous death, with a heartbreaking look on his face that seemed to beg... WHY? I won't forget that image easily, or quickly. I understand President Obama's anger, and determination to hold President Assad accountable. No one with a soul could have done that to that child! Of course that child's murder, and the murder of those around him, must be met with justice! But what is being asked of America, it's military and citizens, is wrong! Killing more, to prove murder, no matter how it is committed, is wrong! IS AS WRONG AS IT GETS!

And it's unnecessary in that there are legal paths that can be taken to accomplish the justice those victims deserve!

If President Assad did indeed use chemical weapons, he has committed a war crime. He needs to stand trial in an International Criminal Court. PERIOD!

Yesterday, a tape made it's way to the media, which showed the execution of seven men of Assad's military, being stripped down, bent over, and assassinated by gunshots to the back of the head. That act was carried out by just one of the several different anti Assad rebel groups. Which one? I don't really know! As I said, it was one group of many, who all seem to have different agendas. Also in the news recently, was a video of a different Syrian rebel eating the heart of a dead Syrian soldier. Again, I have no idea what group that rebel belonged to! All I know is, it made me sick! And I am pretty sure it is just as unimaginable, and horrendous an act to the average American. But does average America want to risk aiding a group like that, in order to scare Assad off of using chemical weapons? Are we saying... "Sure, torture, kill, desecrate the deceased body, hold the dead up as trophies, but we draw the line at chemical weapons, so we are going to help you with your presidential problems, now be sure to remember us on your holiday lists, because we helped!"

Okay, I know, that was way over simplifying things. Or was it?

President Obama has shown a shocking lack of leadership in this situation! God! I am now agreeing with some republicans! Do you know how profoundly sad that makes me? Honestly, I don't know how we can be sitting here, on the eve of the 12th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, standing on the cliff of yet another war! I supported President Bush's original plan to go into Afghanistan. 90% of my fellow Americans were with me in that. But by the time we heard the drumbeats of war in Iraq, I no longer trusted the word of President Bush, or those around him! I never supported going into Iraq, and if you remember me from my old AOL Journal days, you know how heavily that war sat on my mind and heart! I think that all these years later, we all know what that was all about! We don't need to rehash that situation, but we don't need to forget it either. Especially not now! I will not blindly support any human man, it makes no difference to me who the president is, wrong is wrong!

Dear President Obama...

I get the stand you are taking, but I cannot support a military strike now or ever! I want to see Bashar Assad stand trial in an open, international court. Make an example of him, and set an example while you are at it! If he has used chemical weapons, act accordingly, act legally. The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said this past Tuesday that, any action taken against Syria would be illegal without Security Council approval or a sound case for self defense. Please Mr President, don't make everything worse by committing an international illegal act! You represent WE THE PEOPLE! The majority of Americans don't want you to do this. LISTEN TO US. Remember who you are, or at least who you were, or at least who you told us you were. God, I don't even know which one it is! And that makes me profoundly sad for both of us! You say if America strikes Syria, it would be limited and no boots would be on the ground, but what about the unknown? Maybe you believe that sir, but what about events you can't foresee? And what about the adjoining countries? What happens if Syria strikes other countries because of our actions, do we defend them? Or do we leave them to pick up the pieces on their own? Mr. President, the answer doesn't always have to be war! The answer needs to be, what doesn't happen nearly enough... JUSTICE!

If there is a regime change Mr. President, do we know who, and what we will be putting into power?

"There are causes worth dying for, but none are worth killing for."

~Albert Camus

Sincerely, And With Respect,

Just Me

Mood: Sad/Reflective

Note: I Titled This Post "On The Eve Of September 11th" because of how I have, ironically, written so many posts about how I wish we could all go back to Monday, September 10th, 2001. The day before everything changed. We could have all made different decisions. Some of us could have stopped what happened, and those of us who couldn't have done much to have changed the day, could have taken that particular day a lot less for granted.


International Court Of Justice (The Hague)
List Of Parties To The Chemical Weapons Convention
Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons
Chemical Weapons Convention
Brutality Of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma In West (New York Times)

Thursday, September 05, 2013

North Beach Pizza (A Restaurant Review) Culinary Bucket List Series #1

North Beach Pizza
1462 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, California

North Beach Pizza ****1/2 (Out Of 5) Rated For Take-Out (Culinary Bucket List Series #1)

"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."

~Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly

Okay, so yesterday Alan and I decided to try one of those restaurants I told you about a while back. You know... the ones on my culinary bucket list?! Anyway, a couple weeks ago, Alan and I decided to give North Beach Pizza a shot, but unfortunately we couldn't find a place to park. That's a problem in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, so I don't usually take points off a restaurant because of it. Still, it was disappointing at the time because pizza on that particular day would have been just what the doctor ordered! But what a difference 2 weeks, and the unofficial transition between summer, and autumn, known as Labor Day, makes!

With less students. Less tourists. And less honeymooners walking and driving about, finding a place to park yesterday was a lot easier! We found a place on the first pass down Grant avenue! So, as I was completely beat from a day of photography in San Francisco, Alan very sweetly offered to walk across the street and into the cute little corner pizza shop and order us 2 slices (yep, they also sell by the slice) of pizza to go. When I am visiting a new pizza place for the first time, I always order a slice with just cheese, so I can get an accurate taste of the sauce, cheese, and crust as separate components. Each, by the way, was first rate! The sauce was spiced quite nicely, all the flavor it should have, but not so much you can't taste the lovely flavor of the tomato. The cheese was just Mozzarella, but it was a nice quality cheese, with a slightly smoky flavor, and there was plenty of it! And finally the crust... OMG... yes... it was authentic sourdough!

I was hoping that a pizza shop, located in North Beach, and calling itself... North Beach Pizza...  wouldn't make the mistake of using any dough other than sourdough! If they had made that mistake, I would have taken at least 3 stars off! But they didn't, and the crust was perfect! Thick, but not at all doughy. The sauce, the cheese and the crust came together very nicely! The initial service was a bit slow, it took about 8 minutes to finally be waited on., That wasn't good, but once the order was taken it was boxed and we were ready to go in  just a couple minutes. The last test was the fact that we were taking it home to eat, which meant taking it during commute time, through the downtown area and across the Bay Bridge into the East Bay. Yikes!

Traffic in the San Francisco yesterday was a damn nightmare! It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to get home, and the pizza held up perfectly! It didn't loose it's shape, it didn't get hard or oily. It warmed up in the microwave exactly as it should have! It was yummy! Microwaving it didn't cook the crust a second time, making it hard, instead it was just, dare I repeat myself? Okay, why not... it was YUMMY! I am sure we will be back for another slice of pizza at North Beach Pizza, from time to time, and we may give the shop located here in Berkeley a try one day. But as a rule I don't usually patronize restaurants in Berkeley, because the parking literally drives me crazy! But hey, we found a place to park yesterday in North Beach, so you never know! These things are almost always left up to the whims of the food Gods!


"The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star."

~Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A Late Autumn Memory

"I love running. I am not into marathons, but I am into avoiding problems at an accelerated rate."

~Jarod Kintz, At Even One Penny, This Book Is Overpriced. In Fact Free Is Too Expensive, Because You'd Still Waste Time By Reading It.


Well. Shit! I can't upload the photos I was going to post, because for some reason Picasa won't let me! Hells BELLS. So, instead of the lovely, slightly spectacularly colored, autumn like tree one can find in late summer, you get this repeat of the lovely, slightly spectacularly colored, autumn like, Snowy Egret one can find in late autumn! It's from Thanksgiving weekend, 2005. To this day, that day, and the memory of the time I spent photographing it, makes me smile!

That Snowy Egret was as beautiful as it gets!

And so were the leaves! Ahhh... the colors of autumn! Can't you almost smell cinnamon?

I hope Picasa will be up and running tomorrow!

If not, perhaps I will post an Ellipsis Flashback. I will make it a good one. Maybe something with some humor. Or maybe we will talk about the war. Or the war that is sitting in the wings. Sigh. Who knows?

Life is uncertain.

Mood: Sad

~Me :)

Note: If you are having problems uploading photos to Picasa, please let me know! Or if you aren't having problems with Picasa, but you have some insight, please feel free to share! :)

Note: Here are the photos I couldn't upload to Picasa. Thank you Photobucket! :)
 photo AutumnSaysHIBOaklandCaliforniaSeptember3rd2013KodakPostedSeptember4th2013.jpg photo AutumnSaysHIOaklandCaliforniaSeptember3rd2013KodakPostedAugust4th2013.jpg

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Little Rose That Could

Red/Gold Rose
September 2nd, 2013

"There is no exquisite beauty... without some strangeness in the proportion."

~Edgar Allan Poe

This rose made me smile yesterday! It has had such a tough season, with aphid invaders forcing me to cut it back twice, but finally the aphids have been gone for well over a month, and it is beginning to bloom again! I call it, The Little Rose That Could. It is a small replant from late last season, so given the circumstances, I couldn't be happier with it's beauty! If the weather holds up, I should see several more blooms before the end of the season. They will begin to go dormant in December, but in California, I might see some fresh blooms for Christmas, it's not unheard of. Personally speaking though, I think this rose looks most lovely on a Thanksgiving table. Fingers crossed, I will be able to do just that!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Labor Day 2013 :)

"There is no substitute for hard work."

~Thomas Edison

Have A Happy, Safe, And Relaxing Holiday!



Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

I'm Seeing "DOTS" Before My Eyes (A Game Review)

"We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing games."

~Benjamin Franklin

Obsessed. I am obsessed! Let me tell you how it began. You see, last June, in a mad fit of boredom, I decided to jump over to TechCrunch and take a look around at the latest and greatest in the world of online and mobile games. I read a glowing article, not literally, but figuratively speaking, on a new free game called Dots. It was a simple enough premise... so simple it almost seemed tedious and boring... so I put it in my "maybe later" file.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when I had to run a errand to my pharmacy. What does a pharmacy have to do with this... I am about to tell you. You see, on the phone I was assured that my medications were all filled and ready to be picked up, but when I got there... nope... it was going to be at least 45 minutes. Sigh. So, with time on my hands, but not really enough time to start a Words With Friends game, I decided to download the free game Dots.

Beware of this game! It's FREE. It's EASY to play. And it's HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! The object of Dots is to connect two or more of the dots of the same color together. If you can form them into a box, even better! You have 60 seconds to achieve your goal of connecting the dots, and of course, the more the better! I love that it isn't time consuming, in that you can play one game, and then close it if you have to. Unfortunately, like a certain potato chip, I can't seem to enjoy just one!

The premise might sound overly simplistic, but believe me, it's not as easy as it sounds!

It's a great game, especially if you find yourself with a bit of time, here and there throughout the day! I highly recommend it if you have a trip to the DMV, in your future. It would also work to make standing in line at Walmart a much nicer experience! Wait... nah... I don't want to mislead you... there is nothing that can make that a nicer experience... but playing Dots will make the time pass a lot faster!

So in that sense... . :)

My Dots Stats

Best Score: 224
Trophies: 16 of 30
Total Dots: 45, 939

I give Dots 5 out of 5 Shiny Game Pieces!

Dots is available for free from Google Play, Amazon Apps and The App Store