Thursday, October 30, 2008

Indecision '08: 6 days to Election Night

Only 6 days left on the campaign trail before America decides who should replace George W. Bush as President! Its hard to imagine that either candidate, Barack Obama (Democrat) and John McCain (Republican), wouldn't do a better job since the bar has been set so low over the last 8 years. Its a fiercely fought contest that's being going on for what seems like forever, it will be good to have it finally come to an end next Tuesday.

I think one of the most defining moments in the race and one that is still extremely important going into the vote next week was the candidates choice of running mates or the Vice Presidential candidate. Early on many people argued that Obama did not have enough experience especially of foreign policy - so wisely he chose Joe Biden, a Senator from Delaware with plenty of both to be his running mate. McCain, with more than his fair share of years in public office, chose to appeal to the more hard line members at the heart of the Republican party by choosing Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska who has very little experience but who believes in drilling oil in the National Parks of Alaska, enjoys hunting from helicopters and who believes the Earth was made some 3000 years ago! A satire show here called Saturday Night Live (SNL) thats been going for eons, does a brilliant take off of Palin with Tina Fey playing the role of Palin (she is the spitting image)! One particularly entertaining sketch was poking fun of Palin's view that there is no such thing as man made climate change, the skit goes "global warming is not man made its just God hugging us a bit tighter!" Hmmm.....quite amusing but also scary that she could end up in the white house, especially with McCain being so old, he's 72, there are concerns he may have health problems during his time in office such that she may, if elected, have the reigns of the worlds most powerful country! The entire McCain picking Palin, a hockey mom, had Matt Damon say that it was like "the premise for a really bad Disney movie"! And thanks to the folks at, there is now a trailer for this bad Disney movie, amusingly entitled "head of skate", check it out here.

Fingers crossed for next week....I'm throwing a party to hopefully celebrate Obama as the next President or to coordinate a mass exodus to Mexico or Canada if the other guy wins!!

Wish us luck....


Love Fest: Birds Eye View

Just to show you that its more than a little popular, here's an aerial shot of the party outside City Hall....

LoveFest '08

In the spirit of a true San Fransisco experience we donned ridiculous hats and loud shirts and heading to the city for the annual LoveFest parade and party!

A parade of floats hosting various "local" dance DJ's heads down Market Street in the city aroudn lunchtime and ending up outside the City Hall and Civic Center where the floats continue to blare out loud dance music for revellers to soak up amid booze soaked carnage. What more do I need to say!

Gotta love the party.....


Brews on the Bay 2008

For the last 5 years the San Fransisco Brewers Guild have put on a beer festival to show off the finest of SF many microbrews. Entertaining it is hosted on the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, a liberty ship built during world war two. Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the United States during the war. They were British in conception but adapted by the U.S., cheap and quick to build, and came to symbolize U.S. wartime industrial output. Based on vessels ordered by Britain to replace ships torpedoed by German U-boats, they were purchased for the U.S. fleet and for lend-lease provision to Britain. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,751 Liberties between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced to a single design. Its quite a location for a beer festival I can tell you!

There were 7 or 8 breweries present and despite what you might think about American beer, budwesier being the major export, the ales were both varied and some were really tasty! Ale drinkers of Britain would have been proud and there were views of Alcatraz and guns to mess around once you sampled all of the aforementioned brews!

Happy days!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Conquering Half Dome!

Half Dome is one of the most well known landmarks in Yosemite National Park and has been photographed many times by Californian icon Ansel Adams. As late as the 1870s, it was considered perfectly inaccessible, but now it can be ascended in several different ways. The easiest way ended being close to a 20 mile round trip after all the extra stomping around between Curry Village and the trailhead. The hiking trail begins in the Valley and culminates in climbing up the somewhat rounded east face with the aid of steel cables. It is 8836 ft above sea level and 4737 ft above the Valley floor which coupled with the 10 mile approach hike makes this a very strenous hike.

Earlier in the summer, myself and three of my friends (L-R, above right; Drew, me, Silvano and Allesandro) duly took up the challenge and can attest that as a day trip it is a stout proposition. The trail runs up the infamous mist trail, that leads to the John Muir trail, over Vernal and Nevada falls and then skirts the base of Half Dome before ascending the east face. We hit the trail around 5:30am and were on top by 10:30am just in time to avoid the overcrowded cables. In all honesty the cables are a little sketchy and I had heard that several people have slipped and fallen to their deaths,. We were not taking any chances and took climbing harnesses so we could clip in to the cables - this was a very shrewd idea as it turns out especially on the way down when there were far more people than was really safe.

Other peak bagged, bring on Mount Shasta next year!