Towse: views from the hill

January 31, 2009

Airship Ventures above the waterfront

Filed under: San Francisco — Towse @ 2:03 am

The new dirigible in town. Spotted above the Embarcadero this afternoon.


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Save The Words

Filed under: wordstuff — Towse @ 1:30 am

Save The Words — interesting words that have fallen by the wayside as new dictionaries are published.

Save The Words. Learn their definitions. Use them in memos or Scrabble.

Site says that lexicographers check for what “new” words are showing up in the language and will sometimes add a word back into the dictionaries that had previously been given a pink slip. e.g. wheatgrass

January 29, 2009

The Future of the Chron

Filed under: news,periodicals,San Francisco — Towse @ 7:20 pm

At the beginning of the year we lost John Flinn, the Travel Editor, and Lynette Evans, the Home & Garden Editor.

Starting February 1, Home & Garden moves to Sunday from Wednesday and Saturday. Food (which was all of four pages yesterday) moves to Sunday, where it will share a section with Wine, which is moving from Friday to Sunday. Restaurant news and the Inside Scoop column will show up in the Datebook section on Thursdays.

Beginning Sunday, The Chronicle will offer its readers an enhanced newspaper that will better capture the essence of living in the Bay Area. Not only will readers notice a new look and new features in its daily sections, but there will also be new sections and features that will add to the value of the Sunday newspaper.

Complete announcement

What does my crystal ball have to say about these moves?

People who currently subscribe because they want the Wednesday Food Section AND the Friday Wine Section AND the Sunday paper will cut their subscription to Sunday-only or drop it altogether. Why bother when the food/wine/home stuff has all moved to Sunday and the current news is on the Web? We’re reading stale news in the morning paper for the most part anyway. Sunday’s a nice day to go out for a walk, pick up a paper from the newstand and walk back home for coffee and a read.

Circulation will fall. Subscriptions will fall. Ad revenue (based on circ stats) will fall as well.

By Christmas, the Chron will decide to exist as a Sunday-only print paper — tabloid format — with all other news content on the Web. Estimated Net Worth $10,614.20 USD

Filed under: life,URL,webstuff — Towse @ 1:34 am

Someone dropped me a line today, asking to buy and its content for something more than $1K and less than $2K.

Coinkadinkly, just now on Facebook I found an ad telling me they could tell me what my blog or Website was worth. Well, why not? Estimated Net Worth $10,614.20 USD

Woo hoo.

How WebValuer got its numbers is anyone’s guess. SiteMeter puts my pageviews and visitors a stretch higher than WebValuer has them. There’s no ad revenue, even though WV estimates $3.84 – 9.60.* No ads, so no ad revenue.

Domains linking (est) 13,685.


Entertaining for five minutes or so. I need to get back to the guy who was offering cash for the content. (Serious? A scam? A hoax? … No, thanks.)

* His nibs said, “$3-$9/day? That could add up over the long run. …”

January 28, 2009

Plinky | Your web enabler since 2009.

Filed under: web2.0 — Towse @ 10:51 pm

Plinky | Your web enabler since 2009.

I don’t get it.

Here is a list of their prompts so far.

Good luck to them.

The times they are a-changing: Obama to sign Lily Ledbetter Act tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 10:11 pm

Equal Pay for Equal Work — It's About Time! – Huffington Post article by Steve Hildebrand, Barack Obama’s National Deputy Campaign Manager.

Both House and Sentate have passed the Lily Ledbetter Act. Obama plans to sign the act into law tomorrow. Ledbetter, who spoke at the Democrat Convention last year, is the poster child for Equal Pay for Equal Work.

Ledbetter worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber for nineteen years but only found out a few months before she retired that she was being paid substantially less than men doing the same job. She sued and won her jury trial, but Goodyear appealed.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Goodyear, ruling that her suit had to have been brought within six months of the beginning of the discriminatory practice in order to be valid. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the appellate court verdict. The fact she hadn’t known for years (and years and years) about the discriminatory pay scale had no bearing.

The bill states that the six-month window for filing suit for discriminatory pay restarts with each paycheck received while the pay discrimination is in place, as each paycheck is a new instance of pay discrimination.

Lily Ledbetter would have won her suit if this legislation had been in place at the time.

The Chron goes into more detail.

Project Homeless Connect

Filed under: nonprofits — Tags: — Towse @ 9:17 pm

Good video on YouTube about Project Homeless Connect.

Homeless Connect Bar Camp. February 11, 2009. More info on Bay Area homeless stats and “Why a bar camp?”

Chocolate news :-( Scharffen Berger. Joseph Schmidt.

Filed under: news — Towse @ 7:49 pm

But not a big surprise. And here’s my big “I told you so.”

In 2005 Hershey’s bought Scharffen Berger chocolate in Berkeley and Joseph Schmidt chocolates here in the city. At the time it was all like “nothing’s going to change.” My reaction was, Hershey’s? Who do you think you’re kidding? We’ve heard it all before, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Now the news is that Hershey’s is closing down both factories and will “consolidate production at other facilities.” “The plant closures will affect a total of about 150 employees from both facilities.”

Same chocolates, Hershey’s claims. No change at all. Just no longer locally made. The quality will be maintained, they say. Heck they were already making most of the Scharffen Berger stuff in IL anyway. What’s the diff?

Nice way to buy the competition and co-opt it, Hershey’s.

Chocolate news to cry for.


Blagojevich — just "an exploration of ideas and thoughts"

Filed under: news,politics — Towse @ 7:27 am

“You should be able to do that in a free country that guarantees the right of free speech especially when you’re doing it in what you think is the sanctity of your home and you want to do it out of your home phone because you don’t want any interconnection with the government lines so someone thinks you’re talking politics on a government phone …”


Rachel Maddow is that good. …

January 27, 2009

Kung pao chicken

Filed under: food,life — Towse @ 7:02 am

In honor of the day (Happy Year of the Earth Ox to you too!) I made kung pao chicken for dinner. Loads of cutting and chopping and mincing of garlic and fresh ginger and green onion and chicken.

The recipe — one that I’ve used for years … used so much in fact that the page has fallen out of the cookbook — calls for 1tsp. chopped garlic. 1tsp. chopped ginger. Wha? Wimps. I threw in a certain amount that might’ve been five or ten times what they asked for.

Loads of measuring and stirring — first for the goop the chicken sat in before cooking and then for the cooking sauce added after the chicken was cooked through. Measuring of peanuts. (Well, I didn’t measure, really. I scooped up about twice what the recipe called for.) Counting of red hot dried peppers. Cook this. Set it aside. Then this. Add that. Add that back in. Stir until thickened.

Cooking of rice in rice cooker. Making of veggie to accompany — in this case, a green salad with cherry tomatoes. Not very traditional but something his nibs likes. (He made it.)

Cut, chop, cook, stir.

Well worth the effort.

We’d seen a bottle of “kung pao sauce” at the grocery store over the weekend when we were getting a fresh bottle of hoisin sauce, having used up our bottle dregs when we were eating egg foo yung the other night. Bottled kung pao sauce? Why? And what’s in it anyway?

Still, I’d already been thinking of kung pao chicken and we had peanuts on the shopping list because we were out and I couldn’t make kung pao chicken without peanuts. Seeing the bottled stuff kinda shoved me over the edge.

Today seemed like an appropriate day.


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