Towse: views from the hill

May 27, 2010

View Alcatraz

Filed under: architecture,photographs — Tags: , — Towse @ 10:55 am
Red and White booth at Pier 41 1/2

May 21, 2010

Amazon Encore news …

Filed under: publishers — Tags: , , — Towse @ 12:19 pm

J.A. (Joe) Konrath announced May 17th that he had signed a contract with AmazonEncore, Amazon’s publishing imprint, to publish his latest mystery, Shaken, the 7th in his Jack Daniels series.

Big news? You bet! The news flew around the Web. Blogs, Facebook and Twitter updates, Publishers Weekly and the Wall Street Journal covered the news. Why? Although AmazonEncore is now a year old, Konrath’s latest is the first time AmazonEncore has signed a contract for a new book from a popular series by a known author. (AmazonEncore publishes, they note on their site, “exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate.”)

Konrath reported that the Kindle edition will be available for $2.99 in October, 2010, and the paperback edition version will be available next February.

Why did Konrath go with AmazonEncore rather than a traditional print publisher? Hyperion published his first six books in the Jack Daniels series, but when his agents, Jane Dystel and Miriam Goderich, pitched Shaken to traditional publishers, they were unsuccessful. Amazon made an offer, and, as Konrath put it on his blog: “I signed a print deal with a company that can email every single person who has ever bought one of my books through their website, plus millions of potential new customers. I’ve never had that kind of marketing power behind one of my novels. I’d be an idiot not to do this.” His agents, he reports, were with him all the way and negotiated a contract he’s happy with.

As for those traditional publishers? Konrath writes, “They passed on it. Their loss. Their big loss. Their big, huge, monumental, epic fail.”

Konrath has been making serious hay with Kindle editions of his works. (Read his blog to find out how.) Amazon was happy to snag him.

MWA member Jason Pinter wrote about the deal and what it means to other writers in his column at Huffington Post. Pinter’s conclusion? What Konrath is able to do with AmazonEncore and with Kindle books is definitely not what everyone is able to do. Joe also has “Whoa There” advice on his blog.

Read the transcript of the live internet chat hosted by HWA’s Nick Mamatas in October 2003, after Konrath had a contract for his first three Jack Daniels books. (Last item here.) If you do, you’ll understand what everyone who reads his blog, his Facebook updates or his Twitterfeed knows. Konrath is a self-promoter extraordinaire, works hard at what he does, has put in the time to master his craft, and doesn’t take no for an answer.

For a humorous take on the Konrath news see this post from

May 20, 2010

dateline: Copenhagen — Mukhtar’s bday

Filed under: video — Towse @ 10:26 am

Silly me. This makes me cry.

May 18, 2010

The General John Pope leaves for Texas

Filed under: photographs,ships — Tags: , — Towse @ 3:56 pm

This is the General John Pope, “the very last troopship to sail from San Francisco,” as Carl Nolte (may he write for years to come) wrote in his Sunday column earlier this month.

In Texas, the ship will be scrapped. And there goes a bit of history.

The General John Pope

May 15, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Filed under: life,photographs — Tags: — Towse @ 12:53 pm

Leftovers for breakfast.

This is what we served for dessert when we had company over for dinner Monday. Fixings for this one grabbed from the refrigerator this morning and put together for breakfast. This is the last until I make more. …

Homemade cream puff, filled with homemade vanilla pudding, topped w/ a sauce made by nuking chocolate chips and a bit of butter. (The dessert Monday was a bit less slapped together.)

Cream puff filled w/ vanilla pudding and drizzled w/ chocolate

Breakfast of Champions

May 11, 2010

Tuesday in San Francisco.

Filed under: life,restaurants — Tags: — Towse @ 11:07 pm

Went to the rosé tasting at Butterfly (P33) . Very crowded. Young hip crowd. Deejay. They didn’t ask for the ID they’d told me I had to bring. :-(

Too crowded for my sensibilities. (I was tempted to ask Rob Lam if I could hide out in his kitchen and have his nibs ferry me tastes of rosé.)

Tasty, but. …

We split early and went down to …P5 for a no-reservation dinner at Lafitte, which opened in April.

They sat us at the counter where we could watch the action in the kitchen. Fun.

We shared an appetizer charcroute plate. (Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Try it if Russell has it on his menu again.)

His nibs had roasted lamb sirloin (medium rare) because the house had sold out of scallops. I had seared Iberico pork belly and sweetbreads. (Tasty!)

For dessert, we shared an English pea panna cotta (amazing!).

We walked back home and up 223 (who’s counting) steps and then down the path to home sweet home.

Tuesday in San Francisco. …

May 9, 2010

The Kaiwo Maru sets sail.

Filed under: photographs,ships — Tags: , , — Towse @ 5:15 pm
The Kaiwo Maru

Cadets in the rigging

The Kaiwo Maru

Rising Sun flying

SFFD boat

Ceremonial farewell from one of the SFFD fireboats

The Kaiwo Maru

Next stop, Honolulu.

May 8, 2010

The Green Street Mortuary Band

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 5:38 pm
Green Street Mortuary marching band

01 May 2010. The band marches up Stockton.

The NPR story begins

Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a poem about them. Novelist Amy Tan’s mother was serenaded by them as she lay in state. Muckraker Jessica Mitford’s memorial procession was led by them. And more than 300 Chinese families a year hire the Green Street Mortuary Band to give their loved ones a proper and musical send-off through the streets of Chinatown.

May 6, 2010

Busy times at Pier 27

Filed under: photographs,ships — Tags: , , — Towse @ 12:43 pm

The Kaiwo Maru arrived yesterday and will be moored at P27 until Sunday.

Kaiwo Maru - Japanese four-masted barque

Looks pretty all lit up at night.

Kaiwo Maru

Kaiwo Maru as sun sets

Earlier in the week the Golden Bear  was here overnight for “a California Maritime Academy alumni reception.” Ah, those receptions. …

California Bear arrives with the tidal bore. 02 May 2010

And for a couple days before that   the F/V Frosti   was moored at P27. Current task, roaming from San Francisco to San Diego surveying sardines for CalCOFI.

F/V Frosti

All-in-all a very busy time for the pier.

May 5, 2010

Half moon rising. …

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 2:17 am

One of the things I love about this perch is watching the way the sunrise changes with the seasons and how the moonrise changes with the phases.

Here are two variants of tonight’s moonrise of the half moon. Well, this morning’s really because it’s way past my bedtime.

Half-moon 2:10A PDT 05 May 2010. The first taken with ISO 3200. The other taken with the “auto” setting and a flash for a fast shutter speed and adjusted post photo. Which is better?

I prefer the second, but the first has its charm, too.

Powered by WordPress