As promised, some photos from my recent photo shoot at The Picture People at Hillsdale Mall. They have locations all over the Bay Area, and you can find them at picturepeople.com. Or just click here to get to their website. The Picture People are compensating me to speak for them. But I'd go back in a heartbeat, and would instantly recommend The Picture People to my friends. Enjoy!
Q: Kishiwada, Japan is the sister city for which Bay Area town?
A:Â South San Francisco
As you may know by now Lisa Daley and I have a friendly wager going on with the Giants/Phillies league championship about to start. She's orange and black all the way. Having grown up in Philadelphia, I'll be wearing red and white. If the Phils win, she owes me a crab sandwich from The Wharf, and I'll buy her a cheesesteak if the Giants emerge victorious. Julie Shannon wisely remains neutral. Problem is, I haven't really found an authentic cheesesteak since moving to the Bay Area more than 25 years ago. An ideas?
Q: How many Friday the thirteenths are there in 2010?
A: only one. But that's enough. There's only one next year too. But we'll make up for it with three 2012.Â Are you superstitious at all? I just get a little nervous around black cats, and that's about it.
Alfred Hitchcock was born on this date in 1899, and he shot several of his best films here in the Bay Area. Did you know he had cameos in almost all of his movies? Take a look:
Q:Â There was supposed to be a fifth face carved into the side of Mt. Rushmore. Who was it supposed to be?
A:Â Susan B. Anthony was planned, but they ran out of $$.Â Right now there areÂ (l to r) Washington, Jefferson, T.Roosevelt, and Lincoln.
The backpacks were flying off the shelves yesterday at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose. Thousands of them filled with school supplies for kids that don't have the cash for the back to school stuff they need. And the need seems to get greater every year. Each packed backpack costs about40 bucks to put together, and they plan to hand out close to fifteen thousand of them around The Bay by the end of August. Our friends at The Family Giving Tree are doing the heavy lifting again this year, and they could sure use some help.
A snag sanger and a slab sounds like a nice Australian weekend.
Gilroy Garlic festival this weekend, and did you know, that the annual event raises about a half a million for local charities?Â If you go, don't forget your sunniesÂ - Aussie slang for shades. You'll need them just about everywhere this weekend.
Here's a pic (from AP) showing the shoe tree we talked about this morning on the KOIT morning show.The tree's been a tourist attraction in northern Idaho since the '40s.Â Sadly, the tree burned down recently.
What was you first online purchase? I think mine was a CD. Amazon.com turned 15 last Friday. Can you believe it? Here's an interesting time line of how online shopping has evolved in 15 short years. Amazon wasn't first. Not by a long shot. They just made it easier.
Q: How long does the average dollar bill stay in circulation?
A: about 18 months before it's pulled and destroyed. It costs about 4 cents to print a dollar bill, and about 16 and a half million are printed each day.
Just in case you missed it this morning on KOIT: The Marin Humane Society has about 80 rescued hens ready for adoption. Only five bucks apiece! You just need to make sure you live in an area zoned for this type of critter. They're all about a year and half old, and each (EACH!) will lay about 250 eggs a year.Â Get in touch with the Marin Humane Society in Novato for info. I'm going to stop off on my way home from work. Just to look, mind you.
Q: What percentage of Facebook users check the site first thing in the morning...even before going to the bathroom?
A: about 34 percent
Parents with kids in the San Ramon Valley Unified should be quite pleased today. Yesterday the district board voted unanimously to operate Subway franchises in their four high schools.Â If it works out, the program will trickle down to middle schools as well. a 6-inch sandwich, milk & fruit for four bucks. Not bad! And Subway has some great, healthy choices.
Q:Â It was July first that NBC broadcast the first TV commercial. What was the product?
A:Â Watches.Â Bulova paid nine dollars for a commercial during a Dodgers/Phillies game on July 1st, 1941.Â For some perspective, a thirty second TV ad during the 2010 Superbowl cost close to three million dollars.
We talked about this this AM,Â so if you're looking info about Project Surf Camp near Moro Bay, you can find it here. A great idea...teaching special needs kids to surf...probably something that they'd never get a chance to do otherwise. It costs the camp $160 per camper, but they only charge a $50 registration fee.
Q: Back in 1886, Josephine Cochrane invented the.....
A:....dishwasher. You had to crank it by hand. Ms. Cochrane proclaimed "If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I'll do it myself." Her servants kept breaking dishes when they washed them.
Q: What San Francisco street is named after the man who delivered water in the area in the 1850's?
A:Â Steiner.Â Â L. Steiner also had friends in high places, namely the man in charge of naming the San Francisco streets in those early days - Charles Gough.Â Gough, in additionÂ to naming a street after himself, also named one for his sister Octavia.
'Looks like Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina learned the hard way what we learned early on in our careers...a microphone is never turned off! While she was getting ready for a TV interview, she let slip a comment about Senator Boxer's hair.Â It's going to be a long haul to November.
A bunch of Bay Area restaurants will be participating in Dine Out For The Gulf Coast June 10-12. 20 percent of their proceeds will go to fisherman along the Gulf Coast. Here's a list of participating restaurants .
This weekend will be a great time to adopt a pet, especially if you live in the East Bay. Maddies Matchmaker Adoptathon will keep Contra Costa and Alameda County animal shelters busy Saturday and Sunday offering FREE adoptions of cats and dogs to qualifying homes. And for EVERY pet adopted, Maddies Fund will donate 500 dollars to that shelter. The fund hopes to give out about a half-million dollars. Here's a list of places you can adopt. Note that many pet stores are participating too!
Q:Â It was on this date in 1975 that Sony introduced......
A:.....the Betamax video recorder. And it cost almost a thousand dollars!
This summer'sÂ been a real bust for movies so far. At least I think so. Kim really wanted to see "Letters To Juliet" over the weekend, so I thought "why not"?. Maybe score some husband points. Know what?Â We BOTH enjoyed it. Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave were both great. Beautiful Tuscany countryside. I came away wondering why Seyfried is such and underrated actress. "Letters to Juliet". Just another example of how some of the really great movies barely break into the top ten for the weekend. Have you seen "City Island" yet? That's another one.
Q:Â Name the Bay Area town named after an Irish philosopher.
A:Â Berkeley.Â As in George Berkeley (1685-1753)
If you heard us this morning, your ears weren't deceiving you. Bridge officials ARE thinking about opening the new section of the Bay Bridge before it's complete. As we like to say on the KOIT More Music Morning Show:Â What could possibly go wrong? They sayÂ the new bridge will now open October ofÂ '13 instead of March '13. What's a few months?Â Not much when you consider that the original planned opening was 2004. The new span will now cost 6.2 billion, triple the original estimate. They're talking about opening the new span before architectural lighting is complete, and before temporary support structures are removed. If it's not finished when we cross it, you'd think they'd give us a break on the toll.
Q: Which was the first state to officially observe Memorial Day?
A: New York
For many, Memorial Day isn't much more than the unofficial start to summer & the grilling season.Â Well, last night on 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney so beautifully articulated what Memorial Day means to some folks, including me. Here's the text of last night's piece.
Q: What's the most popular grilled cheese sandwich add-in in the US?
A: Tomato. Bacon, ham, potato chips, and pickles are right up there too. Most popular cheeses are cheddar and American. Gouda, Swiss, and Gruyere are also biggies. How about a restaurant that serves nothing BUT grilled cheese. It's the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco, and it's opening in a few days.
Oops! The pet-related business fund raiser to help out the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, gutted by fire last week, was LAST Saturday.Â However, you can still make donations through the BEBHS website, if you wish. Thanks.
When the notice arrived in the mail, the thought of having to spend a day or two at the DMV to renew my license (no test) almost paralyzed me. So I headed to the Novato DMV office yesterday with a book,Â planning to make a half day of it. So, you can imagine my surprise, delight really, on being able to walk out about a half hour later.Â $31 paid, thumbprint and photo taken...all business complete. I'll have to say that, in that office anyway, the DMV get's a bad rap. I told them so. The staff was friendly, speedy. Truth be told, some of the CUSTOMERS were complete jerks. Chill, people. Thanks DMV
A: Long waits.Â Lunaediesophobia is the fear of Mondays, and I have it.
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society almost burned to the ground last week. It was a tragic loss that included some of the animals there. Their immediate need is for cash, and you can mail donations to the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society to:
BEBHA, 2700 9th St, Berkeley, 94710
If you have some time to become a foster pet parent for some of the surviving animals, you can get more info by clicking here.
Yup. That was Mark Twain we were talking about this morning. The one-time San Francisco newspaper reporter specified in his will that his autobiography not be released until 100 years after his death. Guess what. He died in April 1910. So that autobiography, all 5000 pages of unedited notes in a UC Berkeley vault, will be released sometime in November. Smart, smart man. This way we'll still be gossiping about him well into the 21st Century, and one source stated.
Q:Â It which Bay Area town is it against the law to spit on the ground within 5 feet of another person?
A:Â In Lafayette they'll haul you away for doing that. In Burlingame it's unlawful to spit ANYWHERE, except on baseball diamonds. Really. And while I understand what The Belvedere City Council was trying to get across, they could have worded their leash law a little more effectively: "No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash."
Can't believe Harvey Milk would have been 80! Here's a list Harvey Milk Day activities on Saturday, courtesy of the Chronicle:
10 a.m. to noon, 5 to 6 p.m.: Castro neighborhood walking tours, leaving from the rainbow flag at Castro and Market streets.
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: "Milk and Cookies Street Fair" at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, 19th Street between Collingwood and Diamond streets.
11 a.m.: Free showing of "Milk" at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St.
Noon-2 p.m.: Tour de Castro Tricycle Race, leaving from Cafe Flore, 2298 Market St.
2 p.m.: Rededication of renovated 17th Street Plaza, Castro and Market streets.
2:45 p.m.: Dedication of Harvey Milk plaque at the site of Milk's camera store, 575 Castro St.
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Family picnics, Eureka Valley Recreation Center playfield, Diamond Street near 19th Street.
7:30 p.m.: Outdoor showing of the documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk," Eureka Valley Recreation Center play field.
You can find info about all that's happening during Sunday Streets in San Francisco by clicking here.
Q: Who dropped out of beauty school, and was fired as a coat checker before she made it big in showbiz?
A: Mariah Carey. How on Earth can anyone get canned as a coat checker? Budget cuts, maybe. Trivia again for Great America tickets at 6:20.
OK, enough with the rain already! And don't tell me we need more rain. Judging by all the numbers I've seen, the drought train left the station weeks ago. Our kids have a swim meet this weekend and, as of today, we're in for more rain on Saturday. The swimmers don't care. Why should they? They're wet anyway. It'll be a pain for the parents, though. I get to the home meets about 6:30 Saturday morning to help set up, and stay until the last race, which could be as late as 2 in the afternoon. If it rains, it's going to be a long day. Heck with it. I'll just wear my swimsuit.
Q: If you were to watch ALL the video clips posted on YouTube, how long would it take you?
A: 200 years. That's not a typo.Â YouTube usersÂ post more than 24 hours of video every HOUR, and they get more than 2 billion views every single day. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion. Do you have a favorite clip? Here's one of mine. It very well may be the worst music video ever produced. In fact, that's the title of the clip.[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/YPnGPIMUnus" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Q: Her first comedy "job" was writing an anonymous column for her high school news paper.
A: Tina Fey wrote the column under the pseudonym "The Colonel" for the Upper Darby High (near Philly) newspaper "The Acorn" . She turns 40 today.
Tomorrow's trivia prize? Great America Tix!
More high school newspaper stuff: I was the photo editor for my school paper. The staff at the "Blueprint" , the school paper at Acalanes High in Lafayette must be feeling pretty good today. They just found out that their paper was named best high school paper in the nation by the American Scholastic Press Association, earning a score of 955 points out of possible 1,000. They also won in 1999, andÂ passed 59 other schools for the honor this year.
Q:Â Seattle's Charlotte Lee now holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of.....
A:...rubber duckies....5,239 of 'em. She keeps them in the basement. The woman who has only 5,238 must be devastated.Â I would be.
Trivia again tomorrow, and every morning at 6:20. Tuesday's prize? Tix to American Idol Live in August at the Shoreline, and tickets for the San Francisco Zoo.
How many movies in the box office top three from this past weekend do I want to see? Exactly, um, none.Â Iron Man 2,Â Robin Hood, Letters to Juliet. Wanna see a great movie? Catch Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies in City Island.
Illegal parking along the beaches of Western Marin County becomes more of a problem every year. In Stinson Beach, Bolinas, and Muir Beach it's become such a serious problem, especially during summer weekends, that the locals are downright scared. Driveways, fire lanes, even roads are getting blocked by scofflaw beach goers.Â The Stinson fire chief says that they'd lose some houses if the trend of blocked access continues. The Marin Board of Supes will vote on Tuesday to raise the parking fines there from $63 to $99.Â As I said on KOIT this morning, why not just raise it to an even c-note, and call it a day?
Q:Â Name the first woman to host Saturday Night Live.
A:Â Candice Bergen became theÂ first woman to host when she hosted the fourth episode of SNLÂ on November 8, 1975. In fact she hosted TWICE that first season. Lilly Tomlin, Jill Clayburgh, Raquel Welch, Madeline Kahn, and Dyan Cannon all hosted during season 0ne.Â Last week Betty White hosted SNL episode #679 to rave reviews.Â This SNL timeline is a great reflection of the pop culture of the 35 years that the show's been on the air.
Q:Â What was the tallest building west of the Mississippi in 1914?
A:Â Oakland city hall.Â President Taft himself came out to dedicate it that year. San Francisco's city hall was still being built after the '06 Quake, and was opened in 1917.
Feeling really bad for the employees at Mission Minis on 22nd Street in San Francisco. The cupcake bakery did a promotion with the coupon site Groupon, and the response was a little more than they bargained for. Deal was two dozen cupcakes for 11 bucks, or about half price. 3000 people took advantage of the offer. They were so overwhelmed that the staff had to shop for supplies twice a day. Some of the staff even threatened to quit. Oh great. Now I need a coconut cupcake. A couple of 'em.
Tomorrow is Bike To Work Day here in the Bay Area. The 16th annual.Â If you'll be biking in downtown San Francisco, check out the new dedicated Market Street bike lane. If you can't actually bike all the way to work, try biking to BART, Caltrain, the ferries, etc. If you want more info, check out The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's website. Please drive and bike safely.
Q:Â Which food favorite was invented at San Francisco's Palace Hotel in 1915?
A:Â Green Goddess salad dressing. Actor George Arliss requested it while he was staying at the hotel, and starring in the play "Green Goddess"Â Â The Mai Tai, Popsicle, Chicken Tetrazzini....all Bay Area food firsts. If you'd like to read more, here's a more extensive list.
When was the last time you heard the words "hot dog", and "healthy" in the same sentence? I'll bet it's been a while. San Francisco hotdoggery Let's Be Frank is selling franks that aren't just all-beef, but GRASS FED all-beef hot dogs. David Evans, owner of Marin Sun Farms near Point Reyes, who's grass fed ground beef we buy for the occasional grilled burger, says that grass fed beef is healthier, if you insist on eating beef.Â And new research seems to back up the claim. Leaner and higher in Omega-3 fatty acids. I'm sure it all comes at a price. There's aÂ Let's Be Frank on the way home, so I just might do some research of my own today. I'll let you know.
Q: San Luis Obispo is home to the USA's first.....
The "Motel Inn" was built by Arthur Heineman at a cost of 80 grand in 1925, and he charged $1.25Â for people to stay overnight.
Heineman built it right off Highway 101, so people traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco had a place to stop right in the middle of their trip. His idea was to come with an accommodation that fell somewhere between an expensive hotel,Â and a rugged campsite. And it worked!
But sadly the Motel Inn closed in 1991.
Your letter carrier will be extra busy tomorrow because it's the 18th annual Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Drive.
Leave canned goods out by your mailbox before your mail delivery, and your letter carrier will pick them up. Last year, the 17th annual drive picked up over 900,000 pounds of food, helping lots of hungry people here in the Bay Area.
You can't go wrong with canned tuna, peanut butter, hearty soups, dried or canned beans, canned chicken, enriched rice, rains or pasta.....you get the idea.
Need is up about 46 percent in the Bay Area this year, and about 43 percent of the needy are kids, so leave what you "can" and have a great weekend, and Mother's Day!
Happy Cinco de Mayo. This morning's trivia on KOIT:
Q: What year was Tequila first brought into the US?
Nirvana for tequila lovers in San Francisco HAS to be Tommy's Mexican on Geary.Â So the 38Â Geary Muni bus can pick you up right outside. Hundreds and hundreds of different styles and brands of the distilled nectar of the agave plant. Which by the way, is a lily not a cactus. Though you'd never know it by looking at one:
As we mentioned this morning, Matter of Trust, a Bay Area non-profit is collecting hair - human or animal - to send to the Gulf to aid in the oil cleanup. Once they receive the clippings, they make mats out of them that are apparently super absorbent, and can soak up the muck pretty quickly. If you're a salon, and would like to help, "head" over here.Â Incidentally, The Boston Globe has some of the most awesome photos of this disaster at their site.
No, you weren't hearing things this morning. Bacon Camp WILL take place in San Francisco this weekend to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. And, as promised, here's the info. Ummm. bacon.
Q: While we like popcorn here, what's the preferred movie snack in South America?
A: fried ants. Yup, saw that on Food Network over the weekend.
Trivia again tomorrow morning at 6:20 for Monterey Bay Aquarium tickets, FOUR of 'em!
Didn't have ants at the theater Saturday night. Didn't matter though. Kim and I saw a great movie....one of the best I've seen in a long time. "City Island" with Andy Garcia,Â Julianna Margulies,Â a quick turn by Alan Arkin, and several actors and actresses I've never seen before, including Garcia's real-life daughter Dominik...ALL of them great! It's a story of a slightly dysfunctional Bronx family with each member harboring their own secret. It reminded me of a funnier "Sunshine Girl", and not just because Alan Arkin was in it. You can check out the film's trailer here.Â But please, go see it because I'd like to know what you think.
Good luck with Monday. Survival of the fittest, and you'll do fine.
A sausage is a snag, and a stickybeak a nosy person. If you want to delve more deeply in the colorful world of slang from Down Under, check out this Australian slang dictionary.
On Monday morning trivia I'll be giving away Beach Blanket Babylon tix at 6:20. I'd love to go to that show again.Â BBB's 36th anniversary is coming up next month! I'd love to know how many locals they've lampooned over time.
Whole Foods opened in our town last week. Walking distance from our house in fact, and it was quite a big deal. Local dignitaries of varying importance were on hand at the ribbon cutting. Bread cutting, actually. Then it was open for business! We've been familiar with Whole Foods for quite a while, and have been aware of their high quality......and high prices. "Whole Paycheck", as the saying goes. With two teenage bottomless pits, we knew we weren't going to be able to do our "heavy" shopping there.Â Maybe a few quick trips to Whole Foods during the week. That way, our bankruptcy will occur over a longer, more convenient period of time.
Q:Â On this date in 1913, Godeon Sundbach of Hoboken, NJ received a patent for....
A: The zipper.
No, not THAT one.
...though BOTH are problematic when they break or get stuck.
Got a dime? Well then, you'll be able to eat well at Fior d'Italia in North Beach tomorrow. America's oldest Italian restaurant is celebrating 125 years in business by bringing back the menu and prices from 1886. Yup, linguine and meatballs for ten cents. Eggplant Parmigiana for 20 cents. If you really want to live large, you could blow 30 cents on roast sirloin.
Don't be fooled by the date at the top of the menu. The event takes place Fri April 30th. Nah. Shouldn't be TOO crowded.Â The 1886 prices will be in effect tomorrow from 11a-4p.Â Sounds like a fun time. But please, take care of your server with 2010 money. They'll be very busy for about 5 hours tomorrow.
Staying on topic: Up until now, only one woman has ever held the position of "gripman" on the SF Cable Car system. Fannie Barnes retired in 2002. But earlier this month Willa Johnson became the second woman in history to have that job, which requires plenty of stamina, not to mention upper body strength. Training for the job takes about a month. 80 percent of the applicants fail the training program. Ms. Johnson says that see just needs to put some work into her bell ringing technique!
The San Francisco's Anchor Steam brewery is changing ownership after being in the hands of appliance heir Fritz Maytag for more than 45 years. His leadership saved the Gold Rush era brewery from bankruptcy when he bought it in 1965. Maytag also sparked the revival of "craft brewing". New owners Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio plan to expand Anchor's operations. Geez, I hope they don't mess it up.
Q: How many meals are served every day at St. Anthony'sÂ dining hall in San Francisco's Tenderloin District?
A: 2,600, and they just served their 36 millionth meal there yesterday! A testament of the great work they've been doing since 1950.
If you've got 10 grand to burn, here's the info on that Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp we talked about this AM on KOIT.Â click here.
Time flies. Yes, I know it's a cliche. But nothing passes the time faster than watching your kids grow. That said, a happy 13th birthday to our son Jordan today. Here's to fun filled day of skateboarding, texting & hangin' with your friends, buddy. Here's an awesome birthday candle for you!
Q: What year did the TV movie "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" hit the airwaves?
A: It was in 1981. It was originally supposed to be "The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on Gilligan's Island". No lie. This stuff writes itself.
The reason I was gone a few days last week was the whole family went on SoCal college tours. Our son, Andrew,Â is a high school junior this year and we managed, with my wife's superb planning, four schools in four days..University of San Diego, UC's San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Irvine. Loved Irvine. I mean what's not to love about a school with the anteater as the mascot?Â Zot zot. We even squeezed in a day at Disneyland. We flew into San Diego, rented a car, and flew back to SFO from LAX. I coughed up the dough to rent a GPS thingy to guide us from stop to stop.Â I'll never do that again. Absolutely worthless. The thing would work for a few minutes, then freeze up. The only time it DID work was when we passed it back to Andrew in the back seat for him to hold over his head. Poor kid. We got our money back though. Good thing I hit up AAA for all the maps we needed before we left. Kim did a much better job of navigating.
If you were downwind of the Cow Palace this past weekend, there was no mistaking that, um, aroma. The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo was taking place. The first trade show in the US of A to allow on-site pot smoking, according to this morning's Chronicle. Now, make no mistake. I'm all for the medicinal use of marijuana. But it's hard for me to believe that all 15 thousand attendees were there under doctor's orders. There wasn't an Oreo or Dorito to be found for miles around. Just kidding. I think.
Q:Â When National Baseball League first started play in 1876, how may bad pitches did it take to "walk" a batter?
A:Â 9 bad pitches, as opposed to 4 today.Â Oh, and they weren't "batters" back then. They were called batsmen. You don't have to be a huge baseball fan to enjoy how the game has evolved. For example, if an umpire wasn't close enough to the action to make a call, he was allowed to ask the spectators, even the players, for advice! Here's a great site with plenty of examples of how the game has changed after that "first pitch".
Giants play their home opener this afternoon against the Braves. 1:35
As you've heard me say on the air many times, I'm not much of a baseball fan. But I absolutely love the beginning ofÂ baseball season. A fresh start. Every team has a perfect record.Â Every team is in a tie for first place.Â We remind our kids that it's a lot like the start of a fresh school year.Â Every student starts withÂ straight A's, and is tied for the top of the class.Â Now, all you have to do is do your best to stay there.
As you heard this morning: Want to be in a SamTans TV commercial?Â This might be your big break! You can find info here.
Q:Â What year did trains stop traveling on the lower deck of the Bay Bridge?
A: in 1958. The train cost about a nickle to go from SF to the East Bay, with one stop on Treasure Island. More room was needed on the bridge for car traffic. Besides, the BART District was formed in 1957, so the writing was on the wall.
Speaking of bridges, the GG Bridge has abandoned plans to offer "Adventure Tours" of the span. For 200 bucks you would have been given the opportunity to take an elevator to the top of one of the towers, or explore the the bridge'sÂ underbelly. The district figured it could raise about 9 million a year,Â which would help close a deficit that's been estimated to be 132 million over the next five years. They say that there's too much going on on the bridge to allow civilians to be sniffing around. Constant retrofitting, for example. And they're ALWAYS painting the darn thing. I went to the top about twenty years ago. back when my hair was brown. Here are the pix:
Q:Â Who's appeared on the Wheaties box the most often?
A:Â Michael Jordan with 18 times
Want to know what a 25 thousand dollar peanut butter sandwich tastes like? Well, you can find the recipe here if you're curious.
Giants/A's tomorrow night at AT&T. I'm not that much of a baseball fan, but I still look forward to the start of the season.Â A clean page. It's the definition of a fresh start.Â As of now, all teams have the same win/loss record. But for some teams, it won't be long until the wheels start to fall off.
A:Â Adam West, who also used Batman as an alias.Â Robin's real name was Burt Ward, who's real name is Burtin Jervis.
Andrew, our sixteen year old, got his license yesterday. Why do I feel so serene? Shouldn't I be a twitching bundle of nerves right now? Yes, but I'm not.Â Might it be that I don't truly appreciate the gravity of this milestone? Nope, that ain't it either, because I do.Â I guess I just have to face the fact that I really, really trust the guy. I trust his friends. I trust his friends' parents. And in some cases the parents' parents. I know lots of Moms & Dad's who were, pardon the word choice here,Â wrecks when their kids got their licenses.Â MY parents for example.Â But my wife and I are pretty lucky, and feeling pretty good. Until that first insurance bill comes around.
Q:Â About how many hours a day does the average house cat sleep?
A: 16. Take our two cats out of the count, and the average would probably go down to more like 10.Â Also, did you know that when a cat rubs up against you, he/she is marking you with his/her scent claiming ownership?Â Oh, yes. We're owned, indeed
To the person who stole the Vietnam War memorial plaque in Concord...What on Earth are you planning to do with that? eBay it? Hang it on your wall? It was removed from a rock in Newhall Community Park, and reported missing on Saturday. If anyone has any leads, please call the Concord PD anonymous tip line. 925 603-5836
Q:Â How may teams played in the FIRST NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1939?
A:Â Eight, and they were Brown, Ohio State, Villanova, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah State, and Oregon, who went all the way. I never really got into March Madness. But I realize I'm in the minority.
Want to be in the San Francisco Giants flash mob commercial we talked about this morning? Get details here.
Q:Â Corned beef & cabbage is what most American's think is traditional Irish fare. But a truly traditional meal would be.....
A:.....bacon or ham and cabbage. Oh, and getting hammered on St. Patrick's day isn't traditional either.Â Many years ago, St. Patrick's day in Ireland was considered a holy day and all pubs were closed.
Still trying to get used to the time change last weekend. Not so much the fact that it's staying light longer in the evening, but I can't get used to the later sunrise. It was a strange sight this AM on the Bay Bridge. The lights were out, and they can't figure out why. They went out at 5:45, and it's the second time this month. Power at the toll plaza stayed on, though.
Q: The Cannery in San Francisco was built in 1907 by which food processing company?
A: Del Monte, hence the name Del Monte square. The Del Monte logo is still on the building.
Del Monte used to can peaches there until the late thirties when the building was converted into a warehouse.Â Would you believe it was slated for demolition in the early sixties? What a mistake that would have been! In 1966 a developer snapped up the property and turned it into the jewel that it is today.
Six Flags in Vallejo wants you! And the theme park is holding a job fair this Saturday (1/23) to fill over thirteen hundred openings they'll have for summer employment.Â It's going to be held at the University of Phoenix, 5253 Business Center Drive in FairfieldÂ from 10-3. Openings include ride operators, games staff, tram drivers, among others. They ask that you fill out an online application here before coming to the job fair. Good luck!
Farnsworth, who died in 1971, was asked late in his life why he no longer owned at TV.Â It was the interviewers feeling that Farnsworth didn't think there was anything worthwhile to watch. Â Check out the plaque, then cross Sansome and head to Henry's for some of the best Hunan food you've ever had.Â Pot stickers, hot & sour beef, and a Tsingtao. Who knows. Maybe Philo would have gone for that.
Where have all the Pier 39 sea lions gone?Â Vanished! Up until Thanksgiving, a record number (1,700+) of the loud but lovable critters occupied the docks at the tourist destination. In fact, since 1989, they've become the tourist destination. Researchers at the Marin Marine Mammal Center say the sea lions are just following the food supply, and some that had been tagged while taking up residence in San Francisco have already been spotted south of Monterey. More abundant herring,Â they suppose.Â The scientists are confident they'll return. You can be certain the Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf merchants are counting on it.
Maybe you heard that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District banned fireplace fires Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Toast a marshmallow, go to jail.Â Or at least get off with a warning. If you'd been warned before, a $400 fine. 47 warnings were handed out by the twelve inspectors making the rounds.Â Lots of neighbors ratting out neighbors. Yeah, that's the spirit.
Did someone say spirit?Â On this very website, my wife Kim, weighs in on New Years booze consumption. Though she doesn't actually use the word "booze" - no Registered Dietitian would in a clinical context - she does offer some excellent thoughts on the subject. Click here to jump to her page.
Q:Â Christmas dinner usually consists of rice, peas, ox tail and curried goat in what country?
A: Jamaica. Actually, Kim and I had curried goat in Jamaica about 20 years ago.Â Quite tasty.Â Really!Â If you'd like to find out about Christmas food customs from around the world, click here.
Sweets are a Holiday tradition just about everywhere,Â so cutting down on sugar's really tough this time of year....made even more difficult by the fact that sugar can take on many "aliases" on food labels.Â My wife, Kim, has some ideas on how to spot those hidden sugars. Check out her blog right here.
I went to Union Square yesterday, and stopped by the flower stand at Geary and Stockton to buy some flowers for Kim, and the man who ran the stand looked so familiar, but I couldn't place him. Finally, after chatting a while, I pointed to him and said "Tucker"! (It's one of my favorite films .) He said, "...yup I was in that." His name is Al Nalbandian, and he played the jury foreman. He then regaled me with a load of great movie stories, including what a joy it was working with Francis FordÂ Coppola while filming "Tucker".Â Much of it was shot in San Francisco and Oakland. Well, twenty minutes just flew by. A real joy. If you're ever near Union Square , stop by and buy some flowers from him. Terrific guy with quite a resume, which you can see here.
Q:Â What year were electric lights first used to decorate a Christmas tree?
A:Â 1882.Â Edward Johnson, one of Edison's pals,Â used about 80 small light bulbs to decorate a tree in New York.Â Electric Christmas lights started to be mass produced in 1890.
As we mentioned on the air this morning, so many people who donated last year to the various Bay Area holiday toy drives are now the ones needing help. The San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program, now going on 60 years old, is calling this year their worst ever.Â Donations are down 60 percent, while demand is up 20. Donations to the Mayor's Holiday Toy Drive in Oakland are off by half.Â If you donate just ONE toy, that would make an enormous difference.Â Here's a partial list of places that'll takeÂ donations:
Fire stations around the Bay Area participate in toy drives. They're looking for unwrapped, new or gently used gifts for children up to age 12. Suggested gifts include stuffed animals, board games, baby toys, puzzles and arts and crafts supplies.
The Coalition on Homelessness is collecting from 9-6Â through Dec. 17, 468 Turk St., San Francisco.
The San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program, drop off gifts through Dec. 25 at any city fire station.
The Mayor's Holiday Toy Drive in Oakland:Â All fire stations, City Hall, the main library, the Oakland Zoo and other locations.
One, ONE toy would do the trick, if everyone who had the means could contribute.
Q:Â Of all the different ways to spell Hanukkah, one way begins with an...
18 different ways to spell it, and here they are:Â Xanuka, Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Hanuka, Channukah, Chanukka, Hanukka, Hannuka, Hannukkah, Channuka, Hannukka,Â Channukkah, Channukka, and Chanuqa
Hanukkah, however you want to spell it, starts sundown tonight.Â Since Kim's family is Jewish we'll celebrate it at our house. I can smell her dynamite latkes now. And since she's a registered dietitian, she's got some handy tips on how to keep the tonnage off during the holidays. Read all about it here on her blog.
This looks like fun. The San Francisco Jewish Festival will present a program of eight short films.Â It's called, and IÂ love the name, The Super 8 Hannukkah Festival. It's tomorrow at the beautiful new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. You can head over here for more info.
Julie's gonna take the Niles Canyon Railway 2009 Holiday Train of Lights this weekend. It looks like a blast. A 75 minute round-trip ride through Niles Canyon from Sonol to Fremont & you can board at either location. Two words...
Remember, the Bay Bridge repair lane closures start tonight. That's the bad news. The good news is, that a full blown bridge closure won't be necessary for this round. The official Bay Bridge website has the scoop on which lanes will be closed.Â While you're at the website, check out some of the video of the new Bay Bridge construction.Â Some very cool stuff.
As long as we're on the topic of the bridge-we-love-to-hate-and-can't-live-without, let's untangle the new toll structure on the Bay Bridge, shall we?
In July, tolls will be upped on ALL the Bay Area state bridges. The Bay Bridge, in a nutshell.. 6 dollars during the most congested hours 5-10a, and 3-7p. 4 bucks all other times on weekdays. 5 dollars on weekends. On all other state bridges the toll goes up to 5 dollars.Â Carpools lanes, no longer free on ANY of the bridges, will pay two fifty. Drive an 18 wheeler? You'll need a loan. I can see the confusion at the toll plaza now.
Q: Halle Berry, Kirk Douglas, Sandra Bullock, and Steve Martin all have what in common?
A:Â They were all high school cheerleaders!
Here's the link for Free Shipping Day.Â We talked about this this morning. About 500 retailers are getting together on Thursday December 17th to offer free shipping AND guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Don't know how they're gonna do it.
I did some Union Square shopping yesterday, and one of the stops I had to make was Macy's for a toaster on sale. This one'll be the third or fourth toaster I've bought over last year or so. They've just been garbage. My fault,Â I guess. I played it cheap, and they just stopped working. Well, I wasn't going to make the same mistake again, so I coughed up 60 bucks - marked down from 80 - for a Cuisinart. I never in a million years thought I'd spend that much for a toaster. A TOASTER!Â Of course, the Macy's ten dollar off coupon I had with me wasn't valid for "electrics". Translation? Good for EVERYTHING except the toaster you wanted. I still love Macy's, though.
Over-spending for a toaster makes me hungry, so I decided to get a quick Union Square bite.Â Last week, the Chron published a list of some of the best places in and around Union Square to get something to eat - fast or slow - while shopping.Â I went for fast and delicious and a Stanley Steamer hot dog. It was....sublime.Â My wife, Kim, is a registered dietitian, so I don't eat hot dogs that often. But when I'm really in the mood for one, I can't pass it up. Just one, and that was enough. In fact, Kim has some really good thoughts on keeping the weight off over the Holidays, and I'm proud to let you know she now has her very own blog on the topic right here on the KOIT website. Click here to check it out.
Q:Â In what country is braised carp the traditional Christmas meal?
A:Â Austria, and it's served with beer sauce and gingerbread, which makes it sound just a little bit better.Â In France,Â crepesÂ &Â oysters are authentic holiday fare.Â In Australia, where it's early Summer during the Christmas Holiday, any kind of barbecue will do.Â Wikipedia has a great list of Christmas food traditions from around the world.
I started putting the Christmas lights up around the house over this past weekend. I'm hoping to finish up this afternoon. Over the years, the decorating process has evolved into a three or four day ordeal.. I mean tradition.
But if I didn't love it so much, why on Earth would I do it to begin with? I ask myself that query every single year. And I'll ask it again next year. Here's another question I ask every year:Â How does a string of lights, in perfect working order when I packed them up after last Christmas, not work so well when I unpack them the following year ? Can anyone tell me? Anyone?Â Over the years I've learned to keep several new sets of the lights I use on hand in case a set decides to fail me. As much as I like Target, I really hate having to go when I'm in the middle of a project.Â Except our local hardware store. I love that place. My wife loves our local farmer's market.Â I love our local mom & pop hardware store.Â If two consecutive weekends pass without me showing up, they call the house to make sure I'm OK.
Q: According to Consumer Reports, what percentage of us have already finished our Christmas shopping?
A: about 3%.Â A number that's almost too small to measure. I've already started. I try to get things finished by the second week in Dec. It's a practical matter, really, because most of my family lives on the East Coast, so I need to get the stuff shipped so it can be delivered on time.
Do your kids have the whole week off for Thanksgiving? Ours do. When I was in school we got out early on Wed then had ThursÂ & Fri off.Â I think what's happened over the years is that kids took of the whole week anyway, and the schools just gave up and said "take the whole thing".
Both our sons were away from home Saturday night, so Kim and I actually had a date. We had a nice dinner at Portelli Rossi in Novato, then went to see "Precious". We knew going in that it wasn't going to be a "feel good" movie, but little did we know....VERY intense! Wonderful acting & soundtrack.
Went to fill up Sunday, only to discover that I'd left my credit card at the restaurant the night before. Glad Portelli's is open Sundays.
Q: In which country is tipping at a restaurant considered an insult?
Speaking of tipping, I couldn't believe this when I read about it. A couple was arrested in Northeastern PA when they refused to pay the mandatory 18% gratuity added to their restaurant tab. Hauled off in handcuffs! They didn't feel that they should have been forced to tip at all. And who could blame them? Service from their server was practically non-existent! How awful was it? Click here to get the whole story. If I could be accused of ANYTHING, it would be OVER tipping. I've always felt that being a good server is an art, and if I ever tried it, it would be a disaster! But I think the restaurant and police were WAY out of line on this one. Taken away in handcuffs? Please!
Q: What year was the parking garage under Union Square in San Francisco built?
A:Â 1942.Â It was the worlds first garage built under a park, and was also designed to be a bomb shelter as WWII was heating up.
As promised, here's theÂ Sarah Palin Newsweek cover. The photo was originally a cover photo for "Runner's World" magazine. I'm certainly no apologist for Sarah Palin, but Newsweek should have made that fact clear on their cover. Or maybe a little more clear, or passed on this particular photo altogether.Â There's a tiny little mention in the lower left hand corner.
Q:Â Who saidÂ "Duct tape is like The Force.Â It's got a light side and a dark side, and holds the universe together."?
A: Oprah Winfrey, who's hosting Sarah Palin on her show this afternoon. I know people who are hosting "Oprah parties" this afternoon. I'm not one of them.
Two Englishmen rowed under the Golden Gate Bridge after paddling across the Pacific from Japan, about 5,000 miles, in a 23 foot-long rowboat. They figure that with shifting tides throwing them offÂ it was more like 6,900 miles. More than six months of rowing...two hours on, two hours off, day & night.Â They ate freeze dried food, which almost ran out. Why do people do things like this? Certainly not to get someone like me to write about it.
Q: Which Bay Area bridge picked up the largest increase in traffic during the Bay Bridge closure?
A:Â 'Should be no surprise that it was the San Mateo Bridge with a 36 percent jump in traffic. The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge had a spike of about 25 percent, and the Dumbarton, 10. The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission laments that about 2.4 million dollars went down the drain at the Bay Bridge toll plaza because of the shut-down.Â But the increased traffic - and tolls - at the other bridges brought the net dollar loss down to to about 1.9 million, give or take.Â 'Hope we don't have to go through THAT again.Â Scratch that. They'll have to close the bridge again in a couple of months to make a permanent fix.
Thanks to the volunteersÂ working real hard to clean up the Alameda shoreline after that bunker oil spillÂ a few days ago.....some actually using spatulas to clean up the muck. Oil covered birds are being hauled off to the Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia.Â So far they've cleaned up 36 birds.Â Sadly 11 have died.
Taylor Swift ("Love Story") is now dating actor Taylor Lautner. Â Let the confusion begin.
As heard on KOIT. The video for Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet"Â also stars his Argentinian actress girlfriend, Luisana Lopilato. As promised, here it is...
Q: How many turns are there on the crooked part of Lombard Street in San Francisco?
A: 8, although sometimes it seems like more. Can't figure out why they call it the "crookedestÂ street in the world".Â It's not even the crookedest street in San Francisco. Vermont Ave at 20th takes that honor. The steepest? Filbert Street with 31.5 degree slope vs. Lombard's 21 degrees.
Maybe you heard us talking this morning about the Save the Dream Tour going on at the Cow Palace over the next five days. It's sponsored by the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America. Hundreds of volunteers will be on hand to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure, and maybe even find a BETTER mortgage!Â Here's a link to the NACA website, and to a Mercury News story about the event.
Q:Â What's the most popular meal ordered in sit-down restaurants in the US?
A:Â Fried chicken,Â followed by roast beef, spaghetti, turkey, baked ham, and fried shrimp. Yes, I love it all.
Speaking of restaurants, I took Kim to Acquerello in San Francisco to celebrate her passing her exam to become a Registered Dietitian.Â We got semi-dressed up for dinner. Kim wore a dynamite black dress, and she looked great.Â The maitre d', began to put the white napkins in our lap and he noticed Kim's black dress. He then went to fetch a black napkin. Very nice touch. Great meal too!
It was invented by Gordon Mathews, who later notedÂ "I'm not really pleased with some of the things I see voicemail being used for today.Â We didn't design this technology to annoy people, but rather make their lives easier." Thanks, but I guess it's back to drawing board, Mr. Mathews.
Any favorite new shows this season? I haven't had a chance to see many,Â but I'm hooked on "Glee"Â on Fox, and the new season of "Mad Men" on AMC. "Community" on NBC just hasn't been doing it for me, so bye-bye TiVo Season Pass.Â I glanced atÂ the first few minutes of the National Parks documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, and it looks spectacular! But clocking in at 12 hours,Â I'm going to have to spread it out over a month or so.Â I do have to sleep, eat, help raise a family, earn a living, exercise, and Facebook every once in a while.
Danville hero Captain ChesleyÂ "Sully" Sullenberger, who so skillfully piloted his jetliner to a safe emergency landing in New York's Hudson River last January, is heading back to work with US Airways. This leaves the door wide open for the airline to charge a "Sully" fee..... a premium levied at passengers aboard any flight with Captain Sullenberger in the cockpit.Â All the airlines have surcharges on surcharges,Â but that's one I'd gladly pay....in a heartbeat.
Q: How many balls are used during an average major league baseball game?
A:Â about 70
At a Philadelphia Phillies game the other day, a dad in the stands caught a foul ball, then handed it to his three year old daughter.Â She then, without hesitation, threw the ball back onto the field. It's a priceless video you can see here.
And this morning's trivia winner, a disbelieving Joan Forsyth of Hayward, picked up two tickets to see the re-united L&M at the Paramount in Oakland come October.
More on the concert topic..Kim and I drove up to the Wells Fargo center in Santa Rosa a little over a week ago to see Sheryl Crow. If you ever get the chance to see her live, run, don't walk, to the box office. The venue was great too. (FREE parking, what a concept!) As her encore, she and her band played Led Zeppelin's "Rock & Roll" as I've never heard played it before. We were sorry when the song, and the concert, ended.
For my wife and I, and maybe you too, it was a week for back to school nights. Wednesday we had one at Jordan's middle school. Last night it was Andrew's high school gathering. People are probably sick of hearing me say this, but I don't care....our teachers' dedication is truly awesome. Especially when you consider that they're not supplied with what they need to teach as effectively as they'd like. They need to ask parents for money to buy paper, for crying out loud. Or in some cases, cough up the dough out of their already close-to-being-empty pockets. A scandal.
Did you know that our own Julie Shannon (Kansas State) is a college football junkie? In fact every week during football season, she's going to pick winners and losers from some of the games being played that week. Granted, the season's pretty young, but she's done pretty well so far. Check out Julie's college pigskin blog here. And, as Letterman would say, please, no wagering.
If you're planning on doing some clearing-out this weekend, don't forget we could sure use any books your kids have outgrown. Again this year, we're helping out the Bay Area Childrens Book Project with the fifth annual KOIT Kids Book Drive. Through last year's drive you donated over 10Â thousand books to the BACBP, which since 1992 has put over a million books into the hand of kids who might not have access to books otherwise. You got until Sunday 9/20.Â Here's more info, including drop off locations.Â Thanks so much for your help, and have a great weekend!
Q: What year did the one-billionth car cross the Golden Gate Bridge?
A: 1985. February 22nd, 1985 to be specific. The toll was 2 dollars on Friday & Saturday, and one dollar other days.
Perry's on Union Street in San Francisco is 40 years old today. So what were the prices like at Perry's when it opened on August 20th, 1969? According to this morning's Chronicle, a 7-ounce hamburger was a buck sixty back then. A bowl of French onion soup would set you back 75 cents..now about seven dollars. The most expensive item on the menu back then was a $4.95 filet mignon. You wash it all down with a fifty cent beer or glass of wine. Willy Brown will be tending bar there tonight and tomorrow. I haven't bee to Perry's since I lived in Pacific Heights about 20 years ago. I wanna go back.
Listen for trivia tomorrow to win free movie rentals from Blockbuster, and dinner at Chevy's.
This is pretty cool. As you heard this morning on KOIT, The San Jose Public Library is taking part in a pilot program that lets you text questions, and get fast answers from the SJ Public library and San Jose State University librarians. Almost any question at all. It's available Mon through Fri 1p-6p. Overnight questions will be answered the next day. Anyone with a cell phone can use the service and, other than what your carrier charges for texts, it's free. To send a text question from you cell phone, send a message to 66746, and start with A-s-k-S-J.
Chief Bill French and and the Orinda PD weren't messing around during the using-cell-phone-while-driving crackdown last week. 61 citations in two days. Pretty good for a town the size of Orinda. Thumbs up.
A: 15, and Jane was only 33. While you're doing the math on that one, the original Jetsons series lasted less that a year, Sept '62-March '63, and 24 episodes. In the mid 80's they came up with a few more new episodes.
Q: How many men tried to escape from Alcatraz when it was a Federal prison?
A: 36 men in 14 separate escape attempts. 23 were caught, six killed and and two drowned. Five men are officially listed as missing and presumed drowned.
This year is Alcatraz' 75th anniversary, and there will be a party on The Rock on Sunday. At least two ex-prisoners are expected to be there, along with a few ex-guards and family members. The public is invited, but tickets sold out long ago.
The Oakland Police used a taser on a guy at the Coliseum the other night, and there wasn't even a Raiders game going on. Truth be told, the guy was intoxicated & belligerent. 'Don't think the officers had much choice. You're never far from a video camera/cell phone. So here it is:
Remember when I told you about the traffic ticket my wife received back in May (see my May 5th blog). Well, Kim fought it yesterday in court, and had it thrown out. Even the issuing officer, who was there in the courtroom, said that "in the interest of justice" the ticket should be torn up. The judge felt the same way.
Our oldest son, Andrew, who was three when I started on the Morning Show at KOIT, got his learners permit at the DMV yesterday. Sure, I'm a little nervous. But not as nervous as I thought I'd be. He and I did some parking lot driving, and the kid's as responsible as they come. Certainly more responsible than his Dad was at 15 and a half. But wish us luck, anyway. And have a great weekend!
Q: What car is being turned in most often during the cash for clunkers program?
A: Ford Explorer
The top 10 Cash for Clunkers trade-ins are:
1. 1998 Ford Explorer
2. 1997 Ford Explorer
3. 1996 Ford Explorer
4. 1999 Ford Explorer
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. 1995 Ford Explorer
8. 1994 Ford Explorer
9. 1997 Ford Windstar
10. 1999 Dodge Caravan
The top ten new cars being sold in the Cash for Clunkers program are:
1. Ford Focus
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Toyota Prius
5. Ford Escape
6. Toyota Camry
7. Dodge Caliber
8. Hyundai Elantra
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevy Cobalt.
Today is National Pamper YourselfÂ Day. How do YOU pamper yourself? Me? I usually eat something I'm not supposed to. Like ice cream.
Which Major League ballpark has the most expensive beer? Look no further than 801 3rd Street in San Francisco. AT&T Park sells a 20 ounce cup of suds for $8.75. Gotta pay Barry Zito SOMEhow. Where's the most expensive ticket in Major League Baseball? The new Yankee Stadium...the AVERAGE ticket price there being close to 73 bucks. The annual fan cost index will show you how other ball parks stack up.
Q: How much paint does it take to paint the Bay Bridge?
A: About 200 thousand gallons
Do you really need me to remind you that the Bay Bridge will be closed over Labor Day? Consider itdone. Closing 8pm Thursday September 8, and reopening 5am on Tuesday September 8.Â New speed limit on the bridge too....40 mph. You can find all kinds of helpful Bay Bridge info right here.
Q: What year did the first gas gauge-equipped auto hit the market?
A: 1922. Actually, the car in which I learned to drive had no gas gauge. It was an early 60's VW bug, and you had to keep track of the miles you drove. But there was a backup tank that held a gallon or so. If you ran out, you turned a lever, and there was enough gas in the back-up to get you to a filling station.
'Hope you had a nice weekend. I spent the weekend painting patio furniture...which is why I'm wondering where the weekend went. My plan was to split it between this past weekend and next. As I got going though, I realized it made no sense to clean up the mess twice, so I blew through the whole project Sat & Sun. I have flat black Rustoleum under my fingernails to prove it. I used to enjoy painting, but no longer.
Last week for the first time in a loooong time, I went surfing with my family. 'Hope to post pix in tomorrow's blog.
If you were an early Fastrak adopter, first of all, good for you. Second, you may in line for a new transponder. The older ones are starting to run out of juice, and the Fastrak Customer Service Center will begin swapping them out this Fall. You won't need to lift a finger. Can you believe that Fastrak has been in operation of ten years already? Where did THAT time go?
Q: What year was a second back pocket added to Levi's jeans?
A: 1901.Â FYI, belt loops weren't added until 1922. I guess up til then people just wore their jeans around theirÂ knees....kinda like the way they're worn sometimes these days.Â And this is local trivia because....?Â Well,Â just yesterday Levi's made a deal to keep their headquarters in San Francisco for the next ten years.Â For other strangely interesting Levi Strauss tidbits, check this out.
So, you wanna be the next Food Network star? Now there's no excuse to put off auditioning, because auditions are coming up later this month in San Francisco. If you're interested, be at the W Hotel at Third & Howard in the city on July 26th from 10-4.Â The show is now in its sixth season, and been very good for Sonoma's Guy Fieri. He won the auditions in 2006, and now has three shows on Food Network.
Q: Who said "Just let the wardrobe do the acting."?
A:Â Jack Nicholson. A couple more great JN quotes.."I've been too many places, I'm like the bad penny" and "There's only two people in your life you should lie to, the police and your girlfriend"
Three cheers for Pabst the boxer mix, and winner of Sunday's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Love that two inch underbite.
Pabst's owner, Miles Egtsad of Sacto,Â says that beyond sitting, snoring and passing gas, Pabst doesn't have much in his bag of tricks. But that's OK because Pabst took home, among other things, a check for sixteen hundred bucks.
As long as we're on the topic critters, one of our favorite topics in the morning on KOIT, the current budget mess in CA may mean shorter lifespans for cats & dogs in state funded animal shelters. Here's why. Current state law requires that shelters hold animals at least six days before euthanizing animals if they're not claimed or adopted.Â To save money, the Governor wants to cut that back to three days.Â The ASPCA opposes the idea, arguing that the move would lower owners' chances of finding a lost pet, and would give shelters less time to find pet adopters. Think this is a lousy idea? Then call the Gov at 916 445-2841.
Wed 7/1 will be the first anniversary of California's hands free law.Â As of the end of May, more that 200,000 tickets were issued to drivers holding their cell phones while behind the wheel. About a 125 dollar fine. Don't know about you, but it seems like more drivers have their phones up to their ears than ever before.
Why we love BART. The Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood concert at Oracle and A's/Tigers baseball at the Coliseum at the same time tonight. Baseball at 7:05 and concert at 8. I won't see you tomorrow because I'm taking our son Jordan(12),Â who's quite an accomplished guitar player, to see Clapton tonight. He's a huge EC fan, as is his old man. 'See you Wed.
Q: Today (June 26) is bar code day. It was on this date that the first supermarket bar code was swiped. What year was it?
A: 1974, and it was for a pack of Double Mint gum. (C'mon, people. That's why it's called trivia!)
I found it kind of ironic that I learned of Michael Jackson's death at a music store yesterday.Â Not the kind that sells CDs, but a store that sells musical instruments. That's where our son, Jordan (12), has his guitar lesson every Thursday, and I was picking him up there yesterday when the news broke on the web. The employees at the store were devastated, and they were quite young. To me, this indicated two things. A) Jackson's music knows no generational bounds, and B) his talent transcended, and was never trumped by any ofÂ Jackson's eccentricities, either alleged or established.
Rolling StoneÂ has an excellent MJ archive, with plenty of photos and features. Check it out if you get the chance this weekend. Feel free to post your thoughtsÂ here, if you'd like.Â And have a great weekend, whatever you do. I'm going to listen to "Thriller" again. This time with Jordan.
Q: Next year the number of Academy Award nominees for Best Picture will double from 5 to 10. What movie won Best Picture the last time there were 10 nominees?
A: Casablanca in 1943
"Hiking the Appalachian Trail" will never have the same meaning again, unfortunately. Instead, it'll be added to the Big Dictionary Of Euphemisms that someone is undoubtedly compiling somewhere.
If you're starved for some good economic news -Â I know I am - you'll be pleased to know that Fenton's Creamery in Oakland is doing well. Well, better than well. Business at the ice cream shop is up about 15 percent over last year. Of course it helps to have a great product. The fact that Fenton's stole a scene in the Pixar film "Up" also helped. Pixar staffers in Emeryville frequent the place, so it's no suprise that the iconic sweet shop made the final cut.
As you heard this morning on KOIT, these brands of handbags were found in tests to contain levels of lead exceeding the state's anti-toxics law:
Urban Brands (Ashley Stewart)
St. John's Bay
Nine & Co.
Liz & Co. (by Liz Claiborne)
Dana Buchman (by Liz Claiborne)
Roxy (by Quicksilver, Inc.)
Xhiliration (Target house brand)
No Boundaries (Wal-Mart house brand)
Q:Â What year did color televisions finally outsell black and white sets?
A:Â 1972.Â And here's a convenient listing of the most popular shows that year.Â I think our family got our first color TV circa 1965.Â I was just a kid.Â Up til then, on Sunday nights, my sister and I wouldÂ watch Bonanza on a color set owned by a widowÂ across the street. I remember, to this day, the owner didn't have a clue as to how to adjust the color. Hoss was green, but so what.Â Green's a color, and we were thrilled to see it.
As long as we're on a TV jag,Â George Costanza from Seinfeld called it "shrinkage". That's exactly what's happening around the country as municipalities everywhere are seeing their income from taxes and fees vaporizing. They're making up for the shrinkage by aggressively, sometimes too aggressively, issuing traffic citations to generate income.Â Happened to my wife a few weeks back. 8am. A little cloudy, but day lit and dry. She gets a ticket for not having her headlights on!! The issuing officer told Kim not to worry about it. It'll only be about a 20 dollar fine, and won't go on her driving record.Â When Kim got the citation in the mail..over 200 dollars! She's fighting it. But it's gotten WAY out of hand in Toledo, OH, where a little known law prohibits parking your car on an unpaved surface, including gravel. People are getting ticketed for parking their car in their very own gravel driveway.
Different subject. BART and the Contra Costa County library system have a great idea going. If you're a regular at the Pittsburg-Bay Point BART station, you've probably noticed the book lending machine that lets riders check out library books. If you use the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station you'll be happy to know that a "library a-go-go" as they call them, opened at your station today! CoCo County library employees will even be on hand to register people for library cards.
Q:Â He built swimming pools before he got into acting.Â He's......
A:.....Clint Eastwood.. Here are what some other celebs did "before they were famous".. Whoopie Goldberg was a bricklayer & bank teller. Danny DeVito was a hair dresser. Harrison Ford was a carpenter.Â Take a look atÂ Hardly Famous for more of these gems.
Tomorrow at Golden Gate Fields check out the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals. Yup, the dachshund races. Only 4 dolars to get in, and it's a riot! Here's a video of the same event in April.
Kim and I went to a matinee ofÂ "The Hangover" yesterday afternoon, and left the theater very disappointed. And it got such great reviews too. We may go for "Up" at some point this weekend. Whatever you do, have a great one!
Q: The average cherry tree will yield how many pounds of cherries?
A: about 200 pounds. By the way, that comes out to be about 28 cherry pies.
The problem with cherry season (now!), is if you blink, you'll miss it.Â Kim brought home some beauties from the farmers market yesterday, and they're almost gone.
So, you're an EBMUD customer, and you've worked hard to conserve water...letting your lawn die, never flushing the toilet, bathing ONLY on odd-numbered months...So what's your reward? You've won a rate hike.Â All because EBMUD is selling less water (because you're USING less!), and expenses are increasing.Â Congratulations!Â Doesn't seem right, does it?
Let's get all the bad news out of the way. I'm beginning to smell a toll hike on the Bay Area state bridges, and it looks like it'll happen January of next year. From 4 to 5 bucks. The Golden Gate won't be affected.Â Your reward for car pooling? You'll get dinged 2 or 3 dollars. The carpool lanes are now free during commute hours.
How 'bout some good news. Make it three years in a row for cable car bell-ringing champ Leonard Oats. Mr. Oats, who competed in the gripman/conductor division, made it a hat trick duringÂ the noon-time competition at Union Square yesterday. In the community division, our very own General Sales Manager "Scotty B" did us all proud by winning his second victory in a row.
Q: How many text messages does the average teen send every day?
A:Â 8O.Â The number comes from Greenbrae pediatrician Dr. Martin Joffe.Â Dr. Joffe, who just so happens to be our pediatrician, worries that texting will become too much of a distraction, if it isn't already.Â One dad called us to say that his daughter sent 190 textsÂ in three hours the other day. You can read more of Dr. Joffe's comments here.Â One of the reasons kids can send texts so quickly is because they use lots of shortcuts, and I understand very few of them. Here are some translations, FFR. Look that one up.
Regional transportation officials released their yearly congestion report yesterday. There's good news & bad news. The good news? Traffic delays in the Bay Area were down 12 percent last year.Â It's because fewer people have jobs to drive to, and that's the bad news. The most congested Bay Area highway is the I-8O approach to the Bay Bridge....an honor that stretch of highway has held every year since 1981, except for one year. In 1989 the Sunol Grade won the um, honor.
Q:Â Gary Stewart of LA set a GuinnessÂ record by doingÂ this almost 178 thousand times?
A:Â jumping on a pogo stick
Memorial weekend box office take:
The Night at the Museum sequel did better than Fox even expected, bringing in 70 million. The original 'Night made 30 million when it opened in 2004. The new Terminator flick, sans our Governor, came in second with almost 54 million. Kim and I saw The Soloist with Jamie Fox, and Robert Downey, Jr.Â over the weekend. A real disappointment. And, after seeing the previews for it, we were so looking forward to the movie. Waaayy too long! Many of the scenes could probably have been shortened by a third. My watch died in the theater. Really. The battery kicked about half way through the film. If I started looking at my watch only half way through...well, that tells you something.
The Alhambra Creek beaver population in Martinez is now nine, after four new beaver kits were spotted in the creek near downtown. This'll be the third generation born there. They believe the babies are about four weeks old, and they arrived just in time for tourist season in Martinez! Early this past Sunday, Martinez resident Moses Silva waded into the creek with a flashlight taped to his video camera, and posted the images here.
Q:Â How much trash was picked up after Sunday's Bay To Breakers?
A: about 13 tons...7 tons less than last year. The tighter alcoholÂ restriction this year is credited for the lighter trash load.Â Booze bottles are heavy, after all.Â But there's still more to pick up. Volunteers are needed to help with trash removal near the Beach Chalet 9am Saturday morning.
Please remember to vote today.
The Newsoms' Russian Hill condo is off the market, and reportedly went for just under 3 million, and sold in an astonishing short period of time...just under a month. "The Mayor's Former Residence" carries some cache, I suppose. Mayor Newsom and his wife, Jennifer, are expecting a little Newsom. So they'll need more space than the one bedroom Russian Hill pad. Yes. That's right. One bedroom for 3 mil.
Then there's the movie star/body builder who gave up film roles to become governor of a Really Big, Really Broke Western State.Â Governor Schwarzenegger wants to sell the Cow Palace, and the LA Coliseum to raise some cash. He also wants to sell fixer upper San Quentin Prison, effectively releasing 38 thousand prisoners. What could possibly go wrong with THAT?
A: Thomas Edison in 1920. Actually Edison and Henry Ford were kind of co-inventors, using wood scraps and sawdust from Ford's car factory. They sold the idea to E. G. Kingsford.
Do you prefer charcoal or propane when you grill? I have to say that I like the taste that charcoal grilled food has. But you can't beat the convenience of propane, so it's gas for us.
It'll be trivia again tomorrow morning at 6:20
Need a reason to check your phone bill every once in a while? I don't mean just glance over it, but really drill down and ask questions. That's what I did yesterday, and I'm glad. A while ago, we switched long distance plans at home. The phone company added the new plan, but failed to remove the old one...billing me for both plans AT THE SAME TIME! 'So I'll be on the phone company this afternoon, and I'll tell you how it works out.
Q: When the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, it was the tallest suspension bridge in the world. What year did the bridge have to give up the title?
A: It was pushed aside by New York's Verrazano Narrows Bridge in 1964.
I got a chance to go to the top of the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was when I was working at a lesser Bay Area radio station needing publicity shots of their air folks. My hair was still brown - over 20 years ago. Here are some pix for you:
Q:Â What year did the United States Postal Service put the Zip Code into effect?
A:Â 1963, though the USPS didn't really enforce it until 1967. Zip + 4 didn't kick in until 1983. As long as we're on the subject, the cost of mailing a first class letter went up to 44 cents today. And as I said in my previous blog, I believe it's still the bargain of the century. More postal stuff: Did you know that in Italy it's illegal to put shoes in the mail? Do you care? 'Didn't think so. Nor should you.
Fun at the prom: In Sacto Saturday night, a bunch of prom attendees at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom thought it'd be cool to see how many teens could fit in an elevator. They lost count at 24, then the elevator started to move, stop, move, then stop again, where it remainedÂ for about two hours between floors. The fire dept. was finally able to get them out. Next time try the trick in a phone booth. No, wait. There aren't any phone booths anymore.
Our sons like creating their own greeting cards, and Mother's Day was no exception.Â I go to Longs. Our kids write their own. Here's what Andrew wrote to my wife Kim, who's about to wrap up her advanced degree in nutrition from SF State in June, which makes us all quite proud:
"Take it easy today! You do so much! No Studying today! Do you hear me? None! No! Bad mommy!
p.s. Happy Mother's day!"
Jordan created a card with his drawing of an arm, including a hairy pit and a tattoo bearing the word "Mom" on the front cover, with this inside: "Mother's Day is a great day to celebrate how you became a mother. Thanks so much for giving birth to me, Mom. I know it hurt! But you're hardcore like that!! Love, Jordan."
They have their Mom's sense of humor, and as Martha Stewart would say, that's a good thing..
Yesterday more of our patio furniture cushions came out of storage, and I finally got around to changing the bark that covers our front yard. It had been a couple of years, and it was time. So I went to the hardware store and picked up seven bags of the stuff.Â So I get back home, remove the old bark, lay down the new, only to discover I'm about two bags short. So it'll be back to the hardware store tomorrow. My Homer Simpson moment. Hey, Homer's got his face on a new postage stamp, so that's not too shabby.
Q:Â What year did Congress pass legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day?
A:Â 1914. Just for laughs, I looked up the year Hallmark set up shop. You guessed it...1915.
Saturday is Stamp Out Hunger Day. It's the day that mail carriers collect canned goods along their routes. Campbell's and The National Association of Letter Carriers put this on. All you have to do is leave a sturdy bag of non-perishable food next your mailbox, and your mailperson will pick it up. And I hope he/she has a strong back.
Speaking of stamps, the cost of mailing a letter goes up two cents on Monday. It'll go up to 44 cents, which I think is STILL quite a bargain!
To help celebrate Mother's Day a bunch of Bay Area museums are offering free admission on Sunday...over a dozen in San Francisco alone.Â Here's a complete list of the participating museums. This would be the perfect chance to try theÂ Muni Culture Bus.Â It's great way to around to dozens of museums in San Francisco. You'll find Culture Bus info here.
You bring the salt, I'll bring the lime. Sorry, no tequila. I have to get up early tomorrow. Maybe Friday nite. No, wait. I have to be up at 5:30 to set up the kid's swim meet on Saturday morning. Maybe next year.
This morning's trivia on KOIT:
Q: What year was the first Cinco de Mayo celebrated in the US?
A: 1967.Â Â Students at Cal State used the occasion to highlight the need for Hispanic studies at the University.
Still shaking my head over Kim getting a "headlight" ticket last Friday. She was driving Jordan to school, and was pulled over for not having her headlights on. It was 8am, not raining in Hooterville,Â so there was plenty of light, yet she was still tagged, making Jordan late for his school's STAR testing.Â I'm totally in line with the new law requiring headlight use with wipers.Â But it wasn't raining. No wipers in use, so you'd think that the lights were'nt neccessary, right? She'll fight it. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Today is National Teacher's day in the US, and the start of National Teacher's week. Teacher's Day is observed in many other countries as well.
Today's trivia question on KOIT:
Q: In what country is Teacher's Day celebrated with beach parties?
A: The Dominican Republic where Teacher's Day falls on June 30th. I guess that's the day EVERYONE can play hooky!
Our son, Jordan, turned 12 last week.Â But we had a big party for him this past weekend. Kim wanted to bake a special cake for him, and she found this recipe, and thought it would be fun. Here's what the finished product looked like:
Yup.Â Your basic kitty litter cake.Â What birthday, for a 12 year old, would be complete without one?Â I was in charge of two things.Â The first was to microwave the Tootsie Rolls, and turn them into, well, you know. She then asked me to go to the pet store and buy a new litterbox & scoop. I told her we had some litterboxes in the garage that were no longer being used - just run 'em through the dishwasher. Presto.Â She was not amused...until I told her I was kidding. She should know that about me by now.
Speaking of critters, did you hear that a guy tried to cross the Golden Gate on a horse yesterday? He was turned back to a waiting trailer. The horse had a FasTrak transponder strapped to his head. No he didn't.
Should you snoop around your kids' emails and text messages?Â I say it's a parent's job to keep their children safe. So, up to a certain age, it's OK to look.Â The debate is raging at one of our favorite websites that deals with kids and media. It's called Common Sense Media, and it's the place where parents and kids can write reviews ofÂ movies, TV shows, and books.
So to our sons Andrew & Jordan:Â Mom and I don't snoop.....much.
This morning's trivia on KOIT:
Q:Â When Alcatraz was still a prison, prisoners in solitary were allowed out of their cells for 10 minutes every....
A:....week. And that was only to shower
After all these years living in the Bay Area, I never realized there was a Bay Area Tarantula Society. Yup, and they'reÂ having their annual convention Saturday at the Concord Veteran's Hall. Arachnophiles will be able to trade, sell and buy. I won't be going, though I think those critters are pretty cool. Snakes, on the other hand........
To kick off bay Area Dance Week, they're going to try to create the worlds largest gonga line at Union Square in SF at noon today. Don't even TRY to explain it to a tourist.
Marin CO sheriffs were called to George Lucas'Â Skywalker Ranch the other day, and they caught an intruder who claimed that she was actually invited to the ranch, telepathically, by Mr. Lucas himself. 'Happens to me all the time. 'Cept I wind up at Trader Joe's for some reason.
Here's this AM's KOIT trivia question before I forget:
Q: It was on this date in 1991 that Ed & Rick Coppage recived a patent for their invention....
A:...the bullet proof dress shirt.Â Even a .45 won't crease it.
No joke: a car made out of veggies & chocolate will go 145 mph when it's launched next month. It's actually a race car.Â Really.Â Steering wheel made of carrots, body made of spuds, and a seat made of soybeans. Runs on chocolate (doesn't say semi-sweet or milk) and vegetable oil. Are we supposed to keep this thing in the garage or the 'fridge?
Last year SF officials decided to cease or reduce street cleaning in about 20 city neighborhoods to save some dough. And they did...saved about a million dollars in the past year. That's the good news. The bad news is that they neglected to take into account the parking tickets that WOULDN'T be written for cars parked in what USED to be street-cleaning-no-parking zones...about 3 million dollar's worth.Â Saving a million to lose 3 million.Â Several supervisors said a closer look is needed. Ya think?
This is my second day back to work (using that term loosely) after a family vacation in Costa Rica...a fabulous time!. As soon as my family signs off on the idea, I'll be posting photos of our trip here. Our 15 year old will undoubtedly want some kind of fee.Â Smart kid.
I used to hear that all the time whenÂ I was a kid. See, I had hay fever. 'Still do. In fact it seems like my allergy season has begun to kick in,Â thanks in part to our neighbor's wisteria. It's gorgeous, but it's flyin' right up my nose.
This morning's trivia on KOIT:
Q:Â When eating a chocolate Easter bunny, what percentage of us go for the ears first?
A:Â aboutÂ 76%.Â I'm a tail man myself.Â Someone actually walked around with clipboard asking people which part of the bunny they bite first?Â Really?Â OK. It's a job.
I don't know why, but we got on a food kickÂ this AM on the KOIT More Music Show.Â Actually I'm not surprised, because we're usually on a food kick. I discovered a new website that collects photos of food too fattening to believe...deep fried cheese steak, the meatlog, and deep fried Tootsie Roll on a stick for example. The site's called This Is Why You're Fat. Check it out here.
More foodstuffs. The Lafayette Gallery is displaying the exhibit "Food Glorious Food"...artwork with food as the centerpiece. It'll be at the gallery on Lafayette Circle through May 9th. If you go to enjoy the show, they ask that you bring a canned good for the Contra Costa Food Bank.
AT&T's offering a 100kÂ dollar rewardÂ for info leading to the arrest of the scoundrel(s) thatÂ slashed the fiber optic cables in the South Bay yesterday cutting land line andÂ cell phone service in the area. The silver lining was a report from teachers saying that, because of the absence of text messaging, students were a little more focused than usual.Â I <3 weekends, and I hope you have a good one.Â
Hi. Jack Kulp here, and thanks a million for checking out my blog this (pick one) morning/afternoon/evening.Â I'm certainly glad you stopped by, and I hope you'll log in on a regular basis because I'd hate to think of all my best typos going to waste.Â Oh yes.Â There WILL be typos.Â Just wait.
This will be the place where you'll be able to check out, among other things, the daily trivia questions and answers heard on the KOIT More Music Morning Show at 6:20. This morning's for example: How many movie tickets does an average American buy each year? It surprised me to find out that we each purchase only about 4.6 movie tickets a year. I thought the number would be a lot higher. Maybe more people than we thought are sneaking in without a ticket these days.
We'll also point and stare and laugh or cry atÂ some of what's happening in our own back yard. Take Newark.Â Last Saturday, someone bought a SuperLotto ticket at the Lion Food Center there on Cedar Boulevard. Yup, a 35 million dollar winner, but no one has come forward yet to claim the prize. So, if you've purchased lotto tix in Newark lately, check your pockets & check your tickets. If you won,Â remember the kind-hearted soul who passed this info on to you.
And they'll be calling it the luck of the Giants, with their opening day today (rain), instead of yesterday (70's & sun).
Anyway, I promise this blogging thing'llÂ get better as I get the hang ofÂ it. So stop by when you can, and always feel free to offer feedback.Â I'd love to hear from both of you.
In the meantime join us on the KOIT More Music Morning Show starting every morning at 5.
Q: The first one of these opened in North Korea this past week. What is it?
A: a pizzeria
We hope they get the pies baked and delivered before dark, 'cuz there isn't much electricity in North Korea. Need proof? Just check out this night time satellite picture of the two Koreas..North and South
Goodbye to Stacy's books on Market in SF. Another sad chapter in the saga of Bay Area independent booksellers. They closed their doors forever after selling their last book yesterday afternoon...at 70 percent off. I loved Stacy's. When KOIT was located at First and Market, hardly a week passed that I didn't visit. I did much of Christmas shopping there.
Are you as burned about these AIG bonuses and I am? Hope so. At least I thought was, until Brian Williams broke the numbers down on the news last night. Then I really blew a gasket. 73 AIG employees will get a million each, 22 will get at LEAST 2 million, and one person, who should wear a bag over his/her head, gets 6.4 million. They should all wear bags over their heads. The aim of the bonuses was "talent retention". Ironically, a bunch of the people getting the "retention" bonuses have already flown the coop WITH the dough. Mad now? AIG's chief, Edward Liddy, appears on Capitol Hill today for questioning. Pass the popcorn, please.
'Haven't yet gotten into this season of American Idol yet. How 'bout you? I don't know if I'm burned on it or not. It's still hugely popular, and that fact isn't lost on me. Apparently one of Idol's staffers is running around telling anyone who'll listen, that the team of producers and judges has already picked the final four, despite the fact that there are still eleven people competing. Upper Deck, the trading card company, is launching a line of American Idol trading cards. They'll feature Idol winners, losers, and judges -138 in all. Trade ya a Hung for an Underwood.
Q: Last week it sold at auction for $370 a pound. What is it?
A: Tuna. Yup, bluefin to be specific
It was caught off the northern coast of Japan. The whole fish sold for over 100 grand, and was split between a Hong Kong sushi bar owner and a Japanese competitor. They say that a single piece of sushi made with this fish will go for 35 bucks. That's ONE piece. I mean, I like sushi, but....
I know we were joking about this on the air a lot, but I really DID get around to taking down our Christmas lights last weekend. But you know what? Coming back from our son's High School "college night" last night we noticed that lots of houses still have Christmas lights, not just up, but on, as well. Fine by me.
This morning we were having fun with a specialty book store in San Francisco.....Omnivore Books on Food located in Noe Valley. Yeah, books about food, but not just cookbooks. General books about food as well. And old ones at that. "The Bartenders Guide by Trader Vic", for example came out in the 1940s. I know you're asking "How 'bout a book about bacon?" There's "Bacon and Hams" that came out in 1917. Omnivore's on Cesar Chavez at Church.
Saturday I went to our local Target to buy, what else, more Christmas lights. I had to make a couple of stops on the way, and everyone I talked to said the same thing. "Whatever you do, don't go to Target. It's a zoo right now" I went anyway. They were right. It was a zoo. Worse than a zoo, but completely tolerable and manageable. Didn't the financial soothe sayers predict that the recession was going to keep everyone home this holiday shopping season?I was happy to see, on Saturday at least, they turned out be wrong...again. Despite the crowd, I was able to get in and out in under ten minutes. My strategy? Enter Target through the garden center, and pay at the garden center register, where there was no line. A snap.
Answer me this. What happens to a string of Christmas lights over the course of being in a box for eleven months, that makes them not work when you take them out of storage? The very same lights that worked when I took them off the tree last January. Saturday I took them out of the storage box, plugged them in to test before I put them on the tree, and nada! Nothing. Shook them. Nothing. Changed the fuses in them. Nothing. None of the lights lit. And half of the lights on the other string didn't work either. Whatever happened to those lights between January 10th and November 29th of this year will remain a mystery. But that's why I had to back to Target.
Q: How many women have given birth in BART stations through the years?
And the third was was born just this last Friday morning at the San Leandro BARTstation . Jessica Bennett of Hayward gave birth to a 6-pound-2-ounce girl named Jayda.
Ever wonder about those little laser lights the kids carry around these days? I knew they'd be trouble when they became cheap enough for the corner store to carry. Geez, they've gotten to the point of being party favors. But over the last three years, pilots flying over the South Bay have reported someone shining a laser in their eyes. Serious stuff, this. It can cause temporary blindness and long-term eye damage. It happened just last week to a sherrif's chopper. Well, they finally got the guy! The sherrif's office, working with San Jose cops, were able to pinpoint the origin of the laser beam near a shopping center close to the suspect's home. It wasn't a kid after all. 39-year-old Michael Weeker of Campbell was busted at his home last Monday, and could get eight years in the pokey on ten counts of shining a laser at an aircraft.
This past weekend I embarked on phase one (of three) of putting up our Christmas lights. I know it's early. I don't know if I'll have a chance to do it this weekend, so I thought I'd get a jump on it. I'll wrap up the other two phases this week, but won't throw the switch until after Thanksgiving. And when I do, you'll be able to see it from space. I'm a sucker for this stuff!
Q: The first push button phones went into service on this date (11/18). What year was it?
This morning’s trivia winner, Patty Dempsey of Newark, still has an old rotary phone in her garage.
Don’t look now, but crab season started last Friday here in the Bay Area. And a lousy season it is for the fisherman – and we crab lovers – so far. Some crabbers are already packing up their gear and heading home. What do you expect when they’re pulling pots with only one crab inside? Marine biologists claim that the light haul is due to the cyclical nature of the crab supply, as opposed environmental damage. They expect the supply to return to normal, whatever that is, by the 2010-2011 crab season. A small crab at Alioto’s stand at Fisherman’s Wharf will set you back 14 bucks. But who, besides the touristos, get crab at the Wharf?
What part of “your driver’s license is suspended” did you not understand? Of the nearly 14 thousand auto accidents in Oakland every year, nearly one-third of them are hit and runs involving unlicensed and/or uninsured drivers. The cops, and residents, are fed up. So it’s sting time! I love a good sting! The cops set up a trap outside traffic court in Oakland waiting for 18 traffic violators to enter court, receive their sentence of a suspended or revoked driver's license, then leave the courthouse. Of the 18 with suspended licenses, six left court and got right back in their cars and drove off!
Movie sequelmania! Get ready for follow-ups to Get Smart, Wall Street, Bull Durham, Lethal Weapon (5), Pirates, and Rambo. Want to see a more complete list? You’ll find it here. If you've been waiting for the followup to "Big Mama's House", today's your lucky day!
Q: Tirami Su, the Italian dessert and one of my faves, is Italian for....
A:...."pick me up" Gee, that wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that the recipe calls for about 40 shots of espresso, would it?
Just a couple days off, this past Mon & Tues, and I got so much done around the house. Along with spending time with Kim & the kids, I was able to take care of some chores that I'd been putting off for a while. Cleaned the home office, fixed a toilet that would take forever to shut off, brought in the patio furniture, cleaned and put away some of our summer gear, and replaced a bum hard drive in our TiVO. You know. Real important stuff. And finally took down our Halloween lights to make room for our Christmas lights which will go up this weekend. I know it's early, but this will be the only chance I'll have to put them up. I won't turn 'em on until after Thanksgiving, though.
Biscotti is an Oakland clothing design company that specializes in girls clothing. Bernadette Reiss, Biscotti's owner and design director, was watching TV on election night with her husband Bob, and noticed the dress that ten-year-old Maila Obama was wearing during her dad's victory speech. "Isn't that our dress?" Reiss asked Bob. It was, indeed, a dress designed at Biscotti, and sold at Nordstrom in Chicago for about a hundred dollars. As you might guess the phone at Biscotti is ringing off the hook. Reiss said that she'd like to design more clothes for the little Obamas. I'll be she would!
Q: It was on this date (11/6) in 1904 that Ed Cook became the first man to.......
A:....swim for a touchdown
Here's how the story shakes out: Oklahoma blocked a Kansas punt, and the ball bounced across the Kansas end zone into a river. Oklahoma halfback Ed Cook dove into the river, recovered the ball and it was ruled a touchdown. Too bad..no instant replay back then.
Before we put the election numbers to bed for good, here are a few more figures regarding the historic balloting that took place on Tuesday. The 2008 campaign was the most expensive in our history. 5,3 billion dollars. That's the tab when you count the presidential race, all political parties, interest groups, and all House and Senate races. The bill was 4.2 billion for the 2004 race. And 71 million of us watched the returns on the tube.
I leave the house way too early for home delivery of the Chronicle to do me any good, so it's become my routine to pick one up on the way to work. That's exactly what I did Wednesday morning after the election. I also picked up a copy of the NY Times, which I do a couple times a week. I'm so glad I did. Wednesday mornings' papers, with the historic election results on the front pages, became collectors items by Wednesday afternoon. At Fog City News on Market Street in San Francisco, people were lined up before the newsstand opened at 8a Wed. Inside a half hour all copies of the Chron & NYT were gone. In fact, by mid-morning you couldn't find a Chronicle anywhere. In an extremely rare move, the Chronicle actually re-started the presses to crank out an additional 35 thousand copies. You can bet I'll hang on to my Chron and the New York Times. A commemorative copy of the Times is selling on eBay for 400 dollars.
Q: What percentage of parents admit to sneaking candy from their kids' trick-or-treat stash?
A: about 90 percent., meaning about 10 percent are liars. I do it every year, but always tell them that, if they're missing a Reese's, it was me. I bought our candy yesterday - a bag of Reese's and a bag of "fun size" Snickers. What's "fun" about a Snickers the size of a sugar cube anyway?
Other Halloween stuff: Candy sales average about 2 billion for Halloween alone - by far the biggest candy purchasing holiday. Even bigger than Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day.
More than 10 percent of pet owners dress their pets up Halloween costumes. Half of all adults dress up.
This is the weekend that we change our clocks...back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night. It seems like every year there are more and more clocks to change, and and at least one gets left behind for a while. So, enjoy the extra hour of sleep, and have a fab weekend.
Q: On average, how many unspent gift cards do we each carry?
A: Four. That's probably about what I have stashed away. The good news is that in California, gift cards can't expire now. Bank gift cards would be the exception to that rule, though. The bankcards might also have some hidden fees attached. The California Department of Consumer Affairs has the skinny on gift card info for CA.
Sherry noticed that one-of-a-kind Cabbage Patch Kids in the likeness of both Presidential Candidates and their veeps will be up for auction on eBay starting this Thursday. The dolls wear outfits inspired by what the real candidates wear, including the Sarah Palin, complete with the Palin trademark rimless glasses, red suit, and heels. The auction will last until Election Day, November 4th, and benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
This morning's Chronicle ran an article about the demise of the school bake sale. Kind of sad, really. Back in '05, the State Legislature passed nutrition guidelines that have all but trashed the traditional school fundraiser, and the effect is being felt all over the Bay Area. And not just baked goods either. In the East Bay for example, Montclair Elementary must now hold their weekly pizza sales 30 minutes AFTER the end of the school day which has greatly reduced their weekly take to the point where parents and school staff now cover the loss to pay for field trips. During intermissions at ou kid'sschool talent shows I was always good for a couple sugar cookes and a bottle of water for a buck. But I'd give 'em a couple bucks more.
Q: What San Francisco street is named after a minister, a doctor, and a pharmacist?
A: (Thad) Leavenworth. He was also a San Francisco magistrate when he had time to kill.
Yesterday, after we played "Stayin' Alive" from the Bee Gees, I mentioned that the song's "beats per minute" closely mimics the number of chest compressions per minute the American Heart Association recommends while performing CPR. The song moves at about 103 beats per minute, and doctors recommend 100 chest compressions per minute during CPR. That's a pretty cool thing to remember.
Can you imagine anyone taking bacon more seriously than we do on the morning show? I guessthese folks do. Just do search for "bacon" when you get there. I mean, bacon toothpicks? My thanks to our General Sales Manager Scotty B for tipping me off to that one. Though I'm surprised I didn't smell it myself.
I had to do some dumpster diving yesterday for 80 bucks worth car wash tickets our son was selling for his water polo team. They were tacked to our kitchen bulletin board, but yesterday they were nowhere to be found. My last resort was to check our regular trash. Didn't find them there, though I was alarmed at how much coffee Kim and I drink. Then I moved on to the recycle container, and found the tickets at the bottom. How did they get there? No clue. Kim once took a dip in the elementary school dumpster looking for Andrew's retainer years ago, and was successful. Maybe her luck rubbed off.
I think every debate should be like this. Three guys running for the Ninth Congressional District in Indiana will be hooked up to lie detectors while they debate tonight. I can't add anything to that, other than make sure they're plugged in. The lie detectors, I mean.
For me, the challenge in using reusable shopping bags is remembering to get them out of the trunk of my car and into the store. It took a couple of months, but I'm up to about a 90 percent success rate now. I know people who are so self-conscious, that they refuse to take a Safeway bag into Trader Joe's, for example, worried that Trader Joe might think of them as traitors or something. Please! Sheryl Crow (a fave) is getting together with Whole Foods to launch a designer line of reusable shopping bags made from 80 percent post-consumer plastic bottles. Not only is Sheryl Crow generous with her time and money for so many great causes, she's probably one of the few people who can afford to shop regularly at Whole Foods. Maybe she gets a discount because of the shopping bag thing.
A: a whelp. I'm serious. And a baby turkey is called a poult, and a baby salmon is known as a smolt. I'm not kidding. Who comes up with this stuff, anyway?
Have you noticed MORE people behind the wheel holding cell phones since the passage of the "hands free" law in California? Sure seems like it to me. Now comes a Canadian software company that's come up with a way to block cell phone calls if detects that your cell phone is traveling at "driving speed", and holds calls and texts until the drive is over. Callers will hear a massage saying the person they're calling is probably driving, then they can hit a button to leave an emergency message. I'm not so sure about this idea. What if you're on a bus or a train?
More tech news...I'm feeling kinda geeky today. Look for HD TV's to really drop in price after Thanksgiving. Big time. According to the industry it's because of weak consumer spending and a big spike in manufacturing capacity. Remember that 32-inch LCD that cost about 3 grand a few years ago? Look for the price to possibly drop below 400. Now, if we could get the cost of food, gas, and tuition to drop like that, maybe a new TV might move up a few notches on the priority scale.
A: a can of beer. A tinny can also be a small aluminum, boat. We love Australian slang. Much of it we could never say on the radio. Here's a listing of some of our favorites.
Well, since the Niners and the Raiders both let us down this weekend, we had to rely on San Jose's Joey Chestnut. And he sure came through for us yesterday. The competitive eating champion won the Famiglia World Pizza Eating Championship in New York, slamming down 45 slices in ten minutes. That's not a typo. Joey edged out Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti by two slices. Deep Dish is,of course, from Chicago. Did you know that pizza can be "fast" or "slow" in the world of competitive eating? Fast would be pizza that's warm and not too dry - a combination that's more conducive to pie sliding down the gullet quicker. Mr.Chestnut picked up 5 grand for his victory, and also holds eating records in hot dogs, fried asparagus, jalapeno poppers, among other things. And there really is an International Federation of Competitive Eating.
Another Bay Area weekend hero. Lafayette's Hans Florine, and Japan's Yuji Hirayama broke their own speed record for climbing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. They made it in 2 hours, 37 minutes and 5 seconds. It usually takes three days plus. They finished with quite a flair, by doing what's called a "King Swing" - a 360 degree spin on a 90 foot rope pendulum. That makes me queasier than Joey Chestnut's pizza escapades. The trip back down the mountain takes about 40 minutes. Faster if you're not careful.
Q: Before he became famous, he was an elementary school teacher in Harlem. His name is....
A:.....Gene Simmons. The guy from Kiss with the big tongue . He speaks five languages too. Not to give away my secrets, but this is a great place to read up on what celebs did before they hit the big time.
Johnny Depp sold stuff over the phone before he made it big...big to the tune nearly 60 million for his next movie, which will be #4 in the "Pirates" series. 60 million is merely a drop in Disney's bucket, as the Pirates franchise has earned almost 3 billion worldwide. So Depp's haul for his part in the next Pirates film appears to be a record, edging out the nearly 54 million that Tom Hanks'll pull down for the Da Vinci Code follow-up in the works.
Wow. Lisa paid 3.38 for a gallon of gas in El Sobrante yesterday. Yes, it was real gas. We got a call from someone in Buffalo, listening to KOIT on the Internets, who recently paid 2.80 for a gallon at a gas station on an Indian reservation near Buffalo. I was driving in part of unincorporated Novato a few weeks ago and stopped at this little deli off of route 37. Rossi's Deli had some gas pumps out front that had obviously stopped pumping gasoline long ago. How long ago? The price on the pumps for a gallon of gas was 24 cents. So, I did some checking, and this spot notes that 24 cents would have been the price for a gallon of gas in 1957. Can you believe that we're jaded enough to think that 3.38 is a great deal now? Is it Friday yet?
Q: How many tickets has the CHP written for driving while using a hand held cell phone?
A: about 20 thousand in the three months the law has been in effect. I figure it was a lot, but not that many, so I was amazed to read that stat in the Mercury News this AM. I think I see more drivers on cell phones now than before the law was passed.
Newsflash: At a buffet, obese people sit closer to the food. That's according to a recent Cornell University study. What other pearls did they come up with? A larger percentage of "normal" weight people, whatever that is these days, faced away from the buffet table while eating. Larger people tended to face the buffet. Oh, and if you want a more favorable body mass index, use chopsticks. Can't eat ice cream with those.
The Blue Angels blew into town this week. Today they start practices for their Fleet Week air shows this weekend. Last year I discovered the best place to watch them practice is Marina Green. Here's a list of Fleet Week goings on.
Monday morning trivia on KOIT for tix to see Santana at Sleeptrain Pavilion this Sunday:
Q: What instrument did Carlos Santana first take up as a child?
A: the violin when he was 5. His dad was a violinist in a mariachi band, and Carlos would perform with the band from time to time. He took an interest in the guitar when he turned nine. His family moved to San Francisco when he was thirteen and graduated from Mission High. He became immersed in all that San Francisco offered musically, occasionally sneaking into Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium.
An update to the bat story from Friday's blog below. Good news/bad news. The good news is that the health department called us at home Friday night to let us know that the bat was "rabies negative". The bad news is, and we knew this needed to happen, the bat had to be euthanized for the rabies test to be performed. They're creepy, I know. But bats are amazing critters. I' sure that bat consumed any and every bug we might have had in the house for the 90 minutes he/she was our guest.
A real slap in the face in this morning's Contra Costa Times. They figure that 11 thousand Contra Costa families will have lost their homes to foreclosure by the time election day rolls around. That's CoCo County alone. The Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters wants to remind everyone that, if you've been relocated for any reason, you must re-register to vote with your new address . And the deadline to do so is coming up. Oct 20. You can click here to download a registration form, or to ask to have one mailed to you. If you live in or know someone who lives in any other county in CA, same thing.
Planning on tuna salad in the brown-bag today? This one had us turning green this AM. In Pennsylvania, restaurant workers at a well known hotel chain hit a crisis when the food storage refrigeration system in the kitchen headed south. So, they found a vacant room in the hotel, moved all the perishables from the fridge to the vacant room and cranked up the air conditioner in the room. The health department said no can do. Big fine. I think it'll be PB&J for me today.
Q: According to a recent survey of travelers, what's the number one irritant to most fliers?
A: a child kicking your seat back. People talking on cell phones before and/or after takeoff is up there too. The good news is that a whopping 80 percent think that cell phones should continue to be banned in flight.
So, I open the Chronicle this morning, and there's an article about how we're in the midst of bat season. No, not the baseball playoffs (go Phillies), but the flying variety. While it's not time to panic (you can if you'd like), health officials are advising everyone to be on the lookout, and use a little common sense when you do encounter a bat....advice we were able to put to the test last night. I'll get to that in a sec.
With bats, rabies is the obvious concern. The bad news is that about five rabid bats are found in the City of San Francisco every year. The good news is that in the 60 years that rabies cases have been tracked in SF, the number of deaths resulting from the always-fatal-if-not-treated disease is exactly zero. So what to do if a bat gets into your house? I know it sounds kind of counter-intuitive, but health experts urge us to close all exits, so the bat stays IN the house. Then call Animal Control, or the Humane Society. See, they'll have to pick up the bat, dead or alive, and have it tested for rabies. Do not, under any circumstances try to trap the bat yourself.
So what happened at our house last night? One of our cats, Ollie (the devil cat), caught a bat, and brought it into the house. It was about 7:30, and the bat was pretty active, flying in circles in our dining room for about an hour. Kim had the presence of mind to follow the advice that appeared in the paper this AM. She's psychic that way. She closed off all the exits to keep the bat inside, then called the Humane Society. The HS showed about an hour later, caught the critter, and hauled it off for rabies testing. We'll get the results in a few days. If they come back positive, Ollie will have to be quarantined for a while despite having been vaccinated against rabies. So, vaccinations for all your critters at home.
Q: How much grain does it take to produce one pound of beef?
A: eight pounds On average, every American consumes about 110 pounds of beef a year.
Don't forget to flip your calendar to October. Yes, October.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was quite the busy Governator yesterday, trying to deal with at least 300 pieces of legislation before the annual deadline. One bill approved by the Governor will require large chain restaurants to disclose the nutritional contents of it's menu items, and California will be the first state to pass such a requirement. Chains with at least 20 restaurant locations will have to publish brochures with the amount of calories, saturated fat, carbs, and sodium, and all the other dreck, by next July. By 2011, restaurants will have to post calories on menus and indoor menu boards. Will this affect the way you dine out? Probably won't affect my, or my family's dining out patterns. I rarely eat fast food. But when I do, it's because I'm really craving it at the time. So a calorie count next to the picture of a Big Mac at Mickey Dee's won't stand between me and secret sauce nirvana. Besides, I think the mess that we like to call our economy is impacting dining patters more than anything else.
Now that the Giants and the A's are out of the picture, I guess I can now come out of the closet with my loyalty to the Philadelphia (my hometown) Phillies. The playoffs start today with the Phils playing Milwaukee.
Q: It was on this date (9/29) that Bell Labs introduced the first practical telephone answering machine. What was the year?
A: 1950. Actually, the answering machine was invented twelve years earlier by Willy Muller. But "practical"? Not by a long shot. It stood 3 feet tall. In 1971 PhoneMate came out with a model that weighed 10 pounds and held 20 messages on a reel of tape.
At the movies this weekend Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf was tops with a take of almost 30 million. I have a feeling that'll change this weekend as word spreads about how truly awful this film is. When in doubt, crash a car. We saw it Friday night, and even our 15 year-old said it was, I think his word was "empty". The crashes were so loud, so up close, so in-your-face, and so frequent, I actually had to cover my eyes because I started to get dizzy. And that's not why I like to go to the movies, much less pay $10.50 to do so.
Too bad nobody showed up for the opening of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park this past weekend. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. By early Saturday morning, the line to get in the door was a mile long by some estimates. They let in 500 visitors every half hour. By the end of the day 17 thousand people saw he spectacular new building and exhibits. Thousands more were turned away. The next free admission day the California Academy of Sciences is October.
Hey, Happy New Year to our Jewish friends. Rosh Hashanah begins tonight at sundown, ushering in the year 5769. 5768 just flew by didn't it?
Q: What do you call a group of turtles lawfully assembled?
A: a bale of turtles
This is the big weekend for the opening of the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Saturday's the big day. Traffic and parking might be a hassle, so your best bet will be public transit. Click here for transit info. I visited there a couple of weeks ago, and it is awesome! Much of what you remember from the old Academy, plus lots of new features and a new environment will make your visit a completely new experience.
Across the bay Berkeley will strut its stuff. The tree sitters are gone, but there's still plenty things to be Berkeley about, so enjoy the 13th annual "How Berkeley Can You Be?" parade and festival on Sunday. Last year 90 organizations participated. The parade starts at 11 at California and University. The festival starts at noon at Civic Center Park. Click here for info, and have a wonderful weekend!
Q: How much bread does the average American consume in a year?
A: 53 pounds. Christina Hong of South SF was our winner this AM, and claims she does her part to contribute to that consumption, as do I. I could never do the Atkins thing. Not in a million years. Why a bread question this morning? I was inspired by an article in this morning's Chronicle food section...a huge bread spread, as it were. A handful of Bay Area Foodie Pros were asked to taste and rank some of our local sweet baguettes - thirteen in all. The loaf I love came up the clear winner... Berkeley's Acme Bread scored 99 points out of a possible 100. I can't look at an Acme TRUCK without slobbering. Pete from Los Gatos called to tell us not to overlook Beckman's bread out of Santa Cruz. Thanks Pete. Sherry thinks Beckman's may be available at TJ's.
Clowns. Have you noticed that people either love them, or are frightened to death by them? The San Francisco Clown Conservatory Class of 2008 is engaged in a PR blitz that they hope will make clown lovers of us all. First of all, yes, there IS a San Francisco Clown Conservatory. I think that's the group that broke a record recently by stuffing 121 clowns into a BART car. Well the SFCC wanted to raise some dough (bread again) for charity. Here's their idea: A 2009 Naked Clown Calendar. Before you run away screaming, please know that the,um, sensitive parts will be covered up by things like pies and top hats, so rated G this calendar will be. Proceeds will benefit the Judy Finelli Fund. Judy's a life long clown, a co-founder of the San Francisco School for Circus Arts. In 1989 she was diagnosed with MS, and is now quadriplegic. The Judy Finelli Fund works with the MS Foundation, and provides scholarships to people with MS who want to five circus arts a try. Go here if you'd like to buy. I think i's a great idea.
Q: Who said "When I was growing up, there were two things that were unpopular in my house -- one was me, and the other was my guitar."
A: Bruce Springsteen, who turns 59 today. He also said that it was seeing Elvis on Ed Sullivan that inspired him to get into music.
From the KOIT More Music (& Bacon) Morning Show newsroom: The winner of of this years Nez Perce County (Idaho) Fair hog calling contest? Her name is Jolee Bacon. Really. No lie. As Sherry pointed out this morning, "jolee" means attractive in French. Attractive bacon. Is there any other kind? In other pork product related news, the cost of bacon in England has gotten pretty pricey. So pricey that they keep it under lock and key at the grocery store, like the video games at Target. You have to ask an employee to get it for you.
Olema (pop. 55) in western Marin finally made the news, due to the fact that someone changed the town's name on the sign on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to Obama. That someone would be Olema B&B owner Kelly Emery. Most people got a good chuckle out of it. Someone who didn't ratted out Olema/Obama to Marin County officials, who sent someone out to investigate. Apparently the investigator was pretty cool about it, but did ask to have the sign taken down by "the end of the day", not specifying what day that should be. Ms. Emery complied, and hung the sign in her Olema Cottages B&B. By the way, one of the best meals Kim and I have had was dinner at The Olema Farm House. I remember because Kim was about eleven months pregnant at the time, which makes it (geez!) fifteen years ago. We'll have to go back.
As my Dad likes to say about Costco - "When they have their Christmas stuff out, Halloween can't be far behind." Even though the calendar says we're already a couple days into Fall, we still have plenty of summer weather left around these parts. One of the great things about living here. But when the cooler weather finally hits, you have to pull my flip-flops off kicking & screaming.
Q: Which one of the following performers was a first-time Emmy nominee last night....... Don Rickles, Paul Giamatti, or Kevin Spacey?
A: Actually, they ALL were. Don Rickles for his HBO special "Mr. Warmth", Giamatti for his lead in the superb "John Adams", and Spacey for his role in the excellent "Recount", also on HBO.
It was an Emmy first for "Mad Men" (one of my faves) last night. It was the first time that a show on a "basic cable" channel (AMC) won an Emmy for Best Drama.
Oracle Open World begins today at Moscone, and other venues around the City . I walked around the area a little on Friday, and it's astounding how quickly they transformed it. They're expecting about about 43 thousand attendees this week, closing Howard Street between 3rd & 4th. Over 72 thousand hotel rooms have been booked for the event that will pump about 100 million into the Bay Area economy. It seems that Howard Street, and Moscone's 2 million square feet aren't enough to accommodate the throng. With the conference expanding 5 percent a year, Oracle may have to look at other sites, like San Diego or Vegas for more room.
I woke up this morning with sore arms and a leg cramp. Did I run a marathon yesterday? No. I cleaned our garage. It was the first time I've done so in, oh, you don't wanna know. See, it's really hard for me to toss ANYTHING. My incentive this time: A postcard from our trash collection agency saying that they're accepting up to 14 bags of trash, 60 pounds or less each, on our collection day this week. I'm up to 7, and that's with a trip to Goodwill yesterday afternoon. I threw out everything I'll probably need later today. That's how I think, and that's the root of my packrat mentality, doctor.
More cleanup stuff. Coastal Cleanup was another huge success on Saturday. Over 742 thousand pounds of junk were picked up on 750 ocean, lake, river, and creek shores around CA, thanks to about 62 thousand volunteers.
Q: In which state is a kiss lasting more than five minutes illegal?
A couple of big movies opening up this weekend..."Righteous Kill" with De Niro and Pacino. The reviews for that one so far have been, well, meh. "Burn After Reading", on the other hand, looks like the one we'll see. It's got Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Tilda Swinton, and it's directed by the Coen bros. We're there.
Wow, this presidential race is tighter than anyone would have guessed. It's more important that ever to get registered and vote in November. You need to register by October 10th in order to be able to vote in the General Election, and you can do it online by going here, and have a great weekend!
Q: What year was the first telecast of an NFL game?
A: 1939. The Philadelphia (my hometown) Eagles defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers (yes, Dodgers!) at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. Only 500 New Yorkers had TVs at the time.
The Raiders and Broncos play at McAfee at 7:15 tonight. So stay away from the Nimitz starting at 4:30ish this afternoon whilst the tailgaters file into the lots.
Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier (I'm a fan) wants to reduce the national speed limit from 70 to 60 mph. She figures that, with the speed reduction, the average driver will save some 60 cents on a gallon of gas. That's pretty significant, I think. Might even save a few lives. People against the idea say that speed limits should be set by each state. Did you know that only about 2 percent of the highways in the US have speed limits over 55? That's according to the National Motorists Association.
What do you think of the new Fall TV prospects? Too many of my old faves are returning, so I don't have lots of time to check the new shows. One that I've been hearing lots of buzz about is "Worst Week", a comedy on CBS I might try. 'Looking forward to the premier of the fifth and final season of Boston Legal in a couple of weeks. I'll miss it when it's gone.
Thanks so much for your generosity during KOIT Kids Book Drive for The Bay Area Children's Book Project! It ended Sunday, and we'll get a book count to you as soon as we hear.
Q: How many slices of pizza are consumed every second in the US?
A: 350. That works out to about 100 acres every day? I don't contribute to the cause nearly as much as I'd like. Pizza is almost perfect, and we love it on the KOIT More Music Morning Show.
Product placement gone crazy. Starting with the new Bond movie out next month, 007 (Daniel Craig) will no longer be reaching for vodka martinis. Instead he'll be asking for Coke Zero. Coke Zero? Limited edition black bottles and a special Coca-Cola Zero Zero Seven have been created to tie in with the film. "Shaken not stirred" might have some messy consequences.
'Finally got my photos from the top of the Golden Gate uploaded. You'll find the link in yesterday's blog.
Ouch! Don't forget. An extra buck to cross the Golden Gate starting today. Six dollars now, and five bucks for FasTrack. Speaking of......
Here's this morning's trivia on KOIT:
Q: What piece of safety gear was introduced for the FIRST time during construction of the GG Bridge?
A: The hardhat, which was actually two baseball caps dipped in lacquer. Also introduced during construction, the safety net, non-glare goggles, cream to protect the skin from the sun and wind, and a special diet to help workers fend off dizziness..dizziness that was most often associated with too much drinking the night before. True story. Look it up.
Almost twenty years ago, a previous employer of mine had the bright idea of photographing the staff in different Bay Area settngs. Why? 'Haven't a clue. Each of us was assigned two locations. I drew straws for a spot on the Stanford Campus, and ...drum roll...the the top of the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. The others seemed to be relieved that they didn't get the bridge gig. But I couldn't wait! Not married (at the time), no kids. What the heck? So in May of 1989, we set out for the eastern leg of the south tower. There, we met our photographers, a CHP officer, and a GG Bridge employee...all great guys. I took my camera along (lwaayyyy before digital), and you can see the snaps at this link. Enjoy!
Q: In which state is it illegal to fall asleep under a hair dryer?
A: Florida. The owner of the salon can also be fined. This is serious stuff, this falling asleep under a hair dryer business.
Where in the US are the country's most generous tippers? 'Turns out it's Philadelphia, with Philly diners tipping an average 19.6 percent, which seems about right if the service is good. Honolulu is at the bottom of the list with an average of 18 percent. San Francisco was 27th with 18.4 percent. If the service is good, I'm good for 20 percent. Did you ever wait tables? Me? Never. I'd be fired in a heartbeat. Waiters and waitresses have their own website where they can rant about customers who've given them trouble. In fact it's www.waiterrant.net . Some amazing stories there.
Parts of the Embarcadero in San Francisco will be closed Sunday morning from 9 to 1, as part of Mayor Newsom's "Sunday Streets" program. So the Embarcadero will open up to biking, walking, jogging and other stuff. Lots of kid's activities, like getting to run the bases at AT&T Park. New York, Portland and Tokyo, among others, have a similar program in place. San Francisco will try it again in September. Try www.sundaystreetssf.com for more info.
Imagine that. When I called the phone company yesterday to upgrade our home phone service, there was no hold time, and the entire transaction was wrapped up in about 2 minutes. But when I told them I wanted to disconnect our Internet service (we're now on MUCH faster cable Internet service), I was transferred to another department, put on hold for over half an hour, then got a recording telling me that the office was closed. So, they get to charge me for another day of 'Net service we don't want or need. Yes, imagine that.
Q: What snack food was named simply by taking a name out of the phone book?
The inventor of the Pringles container, Fredric Bauer, passed away a few months ago. At his request, his remains were cremated, and the ashes buried in a Pringles tube. No joke.
Wow. After the thrill of the Olympics, it's the agony of the conventions. Normally, I'm a political junkie. But this year....well, I can't wait until it's over. The election, that is. It'll be Obama/Biden for me. I'm sorry the Olympic Games are over. Almost as sorry as the suits must be at NBC. The games were a ratings bonanza for the peacock, taking eight of the top ten ratings slots last week. Not to worry. The Winter Games start again in 18 months in Vancouver. NBC again.
Did you like to invent recipes when you were a kid? Well, it's been pretty hot where we live in Hooterville the last couple of days. Our eleven year old, Jordan, came in from the heat the other day with his buddy Aaron, and then proceeded to concoct an original smoothie. Here it is: bananas, grapes, strawberries, ginger ale. Aaron came up with the bright idea of tossing in a few shakes of hot sauce. They liked it. No, I didn't try it.
Q: Michael Phelps will appear on which cereal box starting in September?
A: Kellog's Frosted Flakes ! Yup, Wheaties is out of the running. I wonder how much that cost Tony the Tiger.
Where did the summer go? I've stopped asking myself that question a long time ago. One of the things I love about living here is that, despite the calender closing the door on summer soon, some of the warmest months of the year still lie ahead, and I want to take advantage of it. You have to carry me out of summer kicking & screaming. Our boys head back to school this morning, and they're both OK with it. We'll just see how long that lasts. When you were in school, when did you find out who your new teacher was going to be? We always found out on our last report card. These days, parents and kids don't find out until very late in the summer. In some cases the day before school starts! Teachers have told me that the late notice heads off any wheeling and dealing parents might try to get their kids paired with different teachers.
Q: What was the name of the terrier that played the role of Toto in "The Wizard of Oz", released on this date in 1939?
A: Teri, and she went on to a distinguished movie career, starring in eleven more films.
"Alright, Andrew. You can have an end of summer party here at the house, and you can invite all of your friends." That's what Kim and I told our 14 year old a couple of months back. I don't know what we were thinking. It must have been a moment of weakness, because neither of us are big drinkers. The big day, last Saturday, was approaching. Andrew sent out the invite via his Facebook page, and came up with a guest list of about 20 young men and women. A promise is a promise, so we forged ahead. I called earlier in the day to arrange to have the pizza arrive between 6:30 and 7. The gang started to show a little after 6, and the pies right on time. Never in a million years would I have though I'd ever pay close to 90 dollars (incl. tip for the driver) on pizza. They attacked the first of two party pies, and picked it clean. Think piranha. The second went untouched..for about an hour. Then that one was history. Juice Squeezes and water from Costco, along with a veggie tray, and the kids seemed to be happy. Some were taking turns playing Guitar Hero on the Wii, and others just talking. Then sundown...movie time. We set up the screen in the back yard, dragged out the DVD projector and showed "21", the Kevin Spacey movie about the card-counting MIT students. We timed it so the movie would end a half hour before parents started picking up. There was some interest in the film, but most were more into sitting on blankets and talking. I just had to lay the law down twice. Once I had to keep some kids from sitting on the deck railing, and then I had to put an end to the throwing of cherry tomatoes from Kim's veggie platter."Hey, NO produce tossing!" Other that that, very well behaved. Parents showed up right on time to pick up their kids (11:00), and right on time to see Michael Phelps swim for #8. We all had a blast, even Kim & I.
Q: Before his Mom let him get a dog, she made him walk an imaginary dog for a week? Who is he?
A: Ben Affleck who turns 36 today.
So BART will once again allow Segway scooters back on the train platforms after a 45 day ban. What could possible co wrong? Well maybe something like, um, a Segway falling onto the tracks, which is exactly what happened two months ago at the 24th Street station in SF. Nobody was hurt, but it caused big delays. And they want to allow the scooters back in???
Again, I'm glued to the Olympics. You too? Yeah, swimming and gymnastics are thrilling. But a couple nights ago I was taken in by what I'd TiVo'd in the wee hours of that very morning. I picked my way through the six hour recording....kind of like snacking, and watched some of the more obscure, but no less fun-to-watch sports. Just a few minutes of each, like ping pong. The doubles pong was a little boring because they never really got a volley going due to the fact that the players kept getting in each other's way. Singles pong? Now that's another story. Quite fun to watch! Then there was rowing..one of the few Olympic races you win by going backward. It takes them no time to get up to speed. Olympic badminton? FAST, and not the way I remember playing it in my yard when I was a kid. Check out water polo too..both men's AND women's. I may be biased because our oldest sone plays high school water polo. It seems like the men's Olympic water polo team is made up entirely of Cal and/or Stanford players. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget the KOIT Kid's Book Drive. (See post below.)
This morningâs trivia winner, Jane Martin of Morgan Hill, was a cotton candy maker for several summers at the Santa CruzBeach Boardwalk. Jane said that sheâd go home at the end of the day covered with the other 20 percentâ¦.sugar.
How mad are people getting over the price of gas? Pretty mad, and thereâs a name for it. Itâs gas rage, and itâs getting so bad that some gas station workers actually fear for their lives. Itâs especially bad in Southern California where gas station workers take a âbuddyâ when they go out to change the price on the signsâ¦which can happen more than once a day.Fact is the profit margin for gas station owners is extremely narrow, so the rage is being misdirected.
From our âWhat on Earth are they thinking?â Dept. The cost of gas is getting more and more people on bicycles. Itâs a great idea, but weâre starting to see more and more bikes on the road. Now, Bay Area bike riders are required by law to obey the same rules obeyed by drivers. That would mean stopping at stop signs and lights, among other things. With more bikes out there, youâd think that following the rules would be a good idea, right?Well the Metropolitan Transportation Commission doesnât seem to think so. In fact tomorrow night, the MTC will kick around the notion of allowing bike riders to roll through stop signs, and travel through red lights after halting.Câmon, what could possibly go wrong?
OK, one more gasoline story, then thatâs it. Atlanta area cops are adding a gasoline surcharge to the fines issued to moving violators. Now that makes sense.
Q: In 2007, what was the favorite snack of kids under 6?
Twenty years ago it was cookies And hereâs more good newsâ¦.kids these days are less likely to drink soda and eat sugary snacks than they were 20 years ago. While the obesity rate among kids is still high, itâs leveling off.
California tomato growers are worried that sales will hit the skids because of the salmonella scare. Please get the word outâ¦if the tomatoes were grown in California, thereâs no need to worry. My wife got an earful from one of the farmers at our local farmers market yesterday who felt that the media werenât emphasizing the fact that California (and Florida) grown tomatoes were perfectly safe and delicious to consume. Point well taken. So if youâll be hitting a Bay Area farmerâs market sometime soon, pick up a couple pounds. Pass it on.
Weâre only a few weeks away from the âhands free while drivingâ cell phone law going into effect in California. Starting July 1st youâll be subject to a fine if youâre caught holding a phone while driving. As far as hands free devices for your cell phone go, there are plenty of choices. There are the wireless earpieces that pair with your cell phone using your phoneâs Bluetooth technology. Then there are earpieces that actually plug into your phone. Thereâs a third choice, and itâs one thatIâve been using for about a month, and I love it. Itâs a speakerphone for your car, and clips to the sun visor. Itâs called the Supertooth, and itâs made by Australiaâs Blueant. When you get in the car it detects the presence of your cell phoneâs Bluetooth signal, even if your phoneâs in your pocket or purse. In fact anywhere within 30 feet.When someone calls you, the Supertooth will beep, and you just push a button on it to answer. If your phone has voice activation, you can use voice commands to dial numbers if you absolutely MUST make a call while youâre driving. Our Lisa Daley uses, and likes, a similar device from Jabra which she picked up at Costco. I found the Supertooth on Amazon.
As long as weâre in the car, letâs talk about gas prices. Letâs not. Letâs talk about water.
If you think the bottled water craze has gotten silly, just wait. Thereâs more. In the July issue of Consumer Reports I saw a bottled, fortified water for dogs calledâ¦wait for itâ¦.FortiFido. Thereâs also a water for humans thatâs been enhanced with âpositive thoughtsâ to âraise consciousness in humanityâ. Itâs called Aquamantra. Youâll feel the stress drain from your body as the cash drains from your wallet.
Q: The oldest recipe ever found is over 6000 years old. It was forâ¦
A:â¦.beerEven back then they had their priorities right.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Black & White Ball Saturday night, though we didnât stay for the âMidnight Surpriseâ.The âsurpriseâ for me would have been my still being awake at midnight. But we both enjoyed listening to Blues Traveler, and dancing to Big Bang Beat. But I think my fave is still Dick Bright and his SRO Orchestra. Iâm amazed at how theyâve evolved over the years. What I learned at the first B&W Ball I attended 20 years ago, was to wear comfortable shoes. I did just that. So, along with my tux, I wore an (almost) new pair of white Reebok Club Câs. More compliments on the sneaks than the tux.
Do you realize that, since December, eight airlines have stopped flying? Well, itâs because fuel costs have almost tripled in the last seven years. Some of the tricks that the surviving airlines are trying in order to reduce weight, and thus fuel costs: reducing the amount of water they carry on board to the absolute minimum, flying slower, washing planes more frequently to cut down on drag, and using lighter weight table settings in first class. On airline official even suggested that there might be a time when there would be two scales at check-in..one to weight your suitcase, and one to weigh YOU. A heavier YOU means a heavier ticket price. Yes, that should nicely streamline the already zippy check-in process.
Did you hear the one about the cow that blocked westbound 24 east of the Caldecott yesterday? Donât wait for a punch line. There isnât any. As you might have heard on the KOIT More Music Morning Show this morning, CHP closed westbound 24 for about an hour late yesterday morning as they guided the bovine to safety. They think that this is the same cow that wandered onto the freeway around 9 Sunday night. The cowâs owner has promised to check his fences. Yes, this would be a good idea.
Today's trivia on the KOIT More Music Morning Show:
Q: California is the top ice cream producing state in the nation. Which state comes in second?
A: Indiana. After California and Indiana, the rest of the top five areOhio, Illinois and Michigan. After the US, New Zealand is the biggest consumer of ice cream.
Tomorrow is the 14th annual Take Your Bike To Work Day, and the people at Genentech no how to do it the right way. Employees at the South San Francisco firm will compete in tricycle races, get gratis bike tune-ups, munch on barbecue, and have their bikes parked by bike "valets". In other Bay Area locations, there will be "energizer stations" with free juice, bagels and bananas. Some Bay Area ferries will offer free rides to those taking part in Take Your Bike To Work Day, and the only proof you'll need is, well, a bike. Take it easy though because it looks like tomorrow will be the hottest day of the year to date.
If you really have to have something to celebrate today, I guess you could do worse than the 50th birthday of Velcro. Swiss engineer George de Mestral came up with the idea in the 1940s after studying burrs that stuck to his dog's fur and his wool pants during a walk in the woods. He named his invention Velcro, a combination of "velour" and "crotchet," the French words for velvet and hook. Production began in France in 1958, and then moved to ManchesterNH where they had a big blow-out earlier this week.
Manchester's a very small town.
This is my favorite kind of weather, but with the inland temps here on the brink of hitting the triple digits over the next couple of days, weâre all being urged to take heat related precautions, especially to fight off dehydrationâ¦.like leave the salt off of your margarita glass. Enjoy.
What year was the first cookbook published in the US?
1742. It was called The Accomplished Gentlewoman's Companion. Umm, that's tasty badger.
What was up with Paula last night on American Idol? The judges were asked to give their opinions of the first of two Neil Diamond songs that the contestants would sing last night. After Randy did his critique of Jason Castro's performance, it was Paula's turn. Reading from her notes, she offered her opinion of Castro's first song, then his second song. One problem. He only sang ONE song. Skeptics care calling this more evidence that the judges' opinions are already in the can before show even begins. It's sure beginning to look that way.
Q: Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne all turned down the lead in what film?
A: Dirty Harry.
In fact, the producers of Dirt Harry originally wanted to make a sequel to the filmed-in-San Francisco Bullitt. But Steve McQueen said "forget it' because he never did sequels. So the script was re-written for Clint Eastwood.
With Passover starting Sunday Night, matzo is very hard to find around the Bay Area. Places like Costco and Trader Joe's no longer carry it, most Safeways have already run out. Oakland Kosher Foods is down to only one brand. Bella Bogart , religious education director at Congregation Beth Chaim in Danville says It's a big deal for us. It's not just a cracker, it's one of the core things the holiday revolves around." Adding to the shortage was a breakdown of baking equipment at Manischewitz, one of the largest matzo makers in the US.
Starbucks has setup a website for people to log suggestions. Some of our faves...ice cubes made of coffee so iced coffee won't get watered down. Here's one we like. More shelves on which to rest your cup in the rest room. Or why not just hit the head before you get in line?
By the way, besides a tiding, you could also call the group a charm, flock, murder (no joke!), tribe or gulp. A gulp of magpies? Who comes up with this stuff, anyway?
This morning's KOIT Early Riser, Pamela Ambriz, commutes from the San Joaquin Valley to Walnut Creek every morning. That's two hours in EACH direction! She was on her way to work when she called us around five this morning. Listen tomorrow morning at five, and we'll give you the scoop on how YOU can be our next early riser.
Did you have dreams/nightmares like this when you were in high school? A computer foul-up in Indiana trashed about five week's worth of grades at several high schools, giving struggling students a second chance. It happened during spring break. This reeks of Spring Break senioritis prankster's syndrome, don't you think?
Q: What percentage of workers have either planned or have been the target of an April Fool's prank?
A: about thirty percent.
Let's stay on the April Fools topic for just a sec. Our favorite pranks are the ones that take some planning, don't make someone look stupid, don't hurt anyone, and are fun for everyone. Here are a couple of my faves. At one workplace, they placed a pair of pants and shoes inside the only toilet stall in a men's room to make it seem as if some guy was using the commode . The getup sat there for hours until someone called security to check if the person had died. Needless to say there were a few, um, uncomfortable men that day.
Here's another one. At one office, all the women individually spoke to the president, confiding that she just found out that she's pregnant. By noon, the boss 'knew' that all of his female workers were pregnant and he could not tell anyone because each asked for confidentially.
Locally, don't forget the "30st" Annual Saint Stupid's Day" parade in San Francisco. The First Church of the Last Laugh is the proud sponsor of the event that starts noonish at Justin Herman Plaza. Festivities will include a Sock Exchange, so bring some spares. Also a penny toss. After all this time you'd think that Penny would want to put an end to all this nonsense. Have fun.
Q: Which president got stuck in his bathtub on his Inauguration Day, and had to be pried out by his help?
A: Our 27th President, William Howard Taft.
Karen Donahy of San Jose remembered from her history that President Taft was a little on the, um, portly side, and her logic made her a winner this morning. CNN and Fox News would have spent a month with that one.
A nice email from Hank Herre from Walnut Creek:
"I know KOIT is "Lite Rock & Less Talk" but I wanted you to know that for my wife and I the high point of our morning is listing to the three of you "chatting it up" as we head to the office."
We're sorry to hear that that's your high point, Hank (kidding!) Thanks to you and your wife for the kind words, but be careful what you wish for..or is it be careful for what you wish? Whatever.
Here's a clip from The Novato Advance police log:
"Thursday, March 13, 2008 7:39 a.m. A man was seen in front of a business on the 900 block of Diablo Avenue wearing a shirt, a jacket and shoes, but no pants. When confronted by authorities, the man promised to wear pants in public from then on."
Q: Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer character was named after a San Francisco......
Taylor Escamilla came up with the correct answer for us this morning. She's in San Leandro, and wins a family four pack of Exploratorium ducats and FoodMaxx gift cards.
More SF lore: Did you know that the law offices of the late Melvin Belli on Montgomery near Washington in The City, you could actually see the tide rise and fall at the bottom of the elevator shaft? And old Mel, during a dispute with some ex law partners, trained his dog to do his, um, business at at their front door.
Mary Hererra called me this morning a little after five, so she became our KOIT Early Riser. She lives in Vallejo, and picks up tickets to our premier of "Flawless". That's the new Demi Moore/Michael Caine flick coming out soon. You could be our early riser tomorrow. We'll tell you when to call at 5AM.
American Idol? Amanda's out. I was never a huge fan of her style, but one thing's for sure. I could be anywhere in the house while Idol was on, and she would always draw me back to the tube.
Happy St. Patrick's Day. And as long as we're on the subject, here's today's trivia question:
Q: According to legend, what effect does kissing the Blarney Stone have on people?
A: It makes people less shy.
Congrats to this morning's early riser Lee Anderson of SF. She gets tix to the KOIT premier of "Flawless" starring Demi Moore and Michael Cane. We'll be looking for tomorrow's Early Riser, as always, at 5 AM.
No good deed goes unpunished. Remember that 15-year-old seaside girl we talked about last week? Amanda Rouse stopped a loaded school bus by taking over the controls after the driver fell out of her seat and hit her head. Well, Amanda ended up getting detention because, as it turned out, she wasn't supposed to be on that bus to begin with. She got ill on the way to school, and asked the bus driver for a ride back to the bus yard before the accident. School administrators claim she should have first called in sick to the school office, so it's Saturday detention for her. Amanda's grandmother said that Amanda was where God wanted her to be (on the bus) that day. Who could argue with that?
Excited about the NCAA college basketball tourney coming up? I'm not, but many people are. It's estimated that employers will see about 1.7 billion dollars in lost productivity due to time spent on March Madness office pools, and worker wagers. The NCAA has stepped up it's anti-gambling efforts (insert laugh track here). The FBI guestimates that 2.5 billion will be wagered. Good thing betting's illegal.
This morning's Early Riser is Gammie Ramos of Napa. She was up with her 2 month old baby when we talked with her this morning a little after 5. If you want to be tomorrow's Early Riser, we'll look for you at 5.
Today's KOIT trivia:
Q: What was the first grocery store item with a bar code on the label?
A: Gum More: In June of 1974 the first bar code scanner was installed in a store in Troy, Ohio, and the first product with a bar code was scanned at the check-out counter. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. Today, the pack of gum is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
I paid the most I've ever paid for gas yesterday...3.99 for regular in northern Marin Co. Geez that hurts.
It should be be smoother flying for Southwest Airlines today. Yesterday Southwest pulled 38 of its planes out of service for inspection. The temporary loss of hardware caused Southwest to cancel four percent of their flights. Things are back to normal this morning, and you can bet that Southwest is probably the safest carrier in the air today. Did you know that Southwest's NYSE ticker symbol is LUV?
Bad news for salmon fans. Salmon fishing off California was closed Wednesday by the feds because depletion of the salmon populations along the West Coast. This will affect commercial and recreational fishing seasons under way, and our hearts go out to the fishermen.
Has anyone heard from clients one through eight? Neither have we.
Q: In which state is it illegal to play dominoes on Sundays?
Director Peter Bogdanovich will begin a three night stay at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. It starts tonight with his introduction of his "The Last Picture Show", and "At Long Last Love". Cybill Shepherd, who starred in "The Last Picture Show", will join him for Q & A later tonight.
Bogdanovich directed one of my favorite comedies. 1972's "What's Up Doc?, shot here in San Francisco, still holds up.
Good news for people who recently purchased an HD-DVD player from Circuit City. Just because Blu-ray won the high definition DVD format war doesn't mean you're stuck with a door stop. Circuit City is extending their return policy for HD-DVD players from thirty to ninety days. It'll be good for store credit towards a Blu-ray model, or whatever. I'm guessing other retailers will follow.
I was watching a local newscast a few nights ago, and a story of how vandals are attacking buses along some of MUNI's Hunter's Point routes. They showed, in great detail, how vandals were able to shut off the power to the bus by simply pulling a switch on the outside of the bus. I remember thinking that broadcasting how this is done can't be a good idea. Well, MUNI has since pulled all those buses out of service to install locks on the switches.
Have a great weekend! And don't forget....clocks AHEAD an hour before you hit the sack Saturday night.
According to Forbes magazine, there are now 469 billionaires in the US, and 101 of 'em in California. How many billionaires are there in the Bay Area?
At the top of the list are the usual suspects: Oracle's Larry Ellison has a net worth of 25 billion, those Google guys Sergey Brin and Larry Page are both worth a scoshe over 18 billion.. The only Bay Area woman on the list is outgoing eBay CEO Meg Whitman with a 1.3 billion dollar stash.
We welcome the 33 thousand members of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to their 75th annual convention at Moscone. If you'd like some free medical advice, just hang around 3rd and Howard for a a few days
Ever wish you could escape voice mail purgatory, and talk to a live person when you call your bank, or any other customer service number for that matter. Log on to gethuman.com. There you'll find pages and pages of numbers you can call to reach a real person right away.
As we told you a few days ago, Uno the beagle was close to winning all the marbles at the Westminster Dog Dog Show in New York. Well yesterday he did it. Uno was chosen "best in show", becoming the first beagle ever to do so. That's out of the 170 breeds and varieties that took part. Today Uno has a busy day making the TV talk show rounds in New York..even having lunch a Sardi's.
Q: The Five Dimensions, Hoochie Coochie Men, Steampacket and Shotgun Express are all groups that once had who as a member?
A: Rod Stewart (63 today)
On Tuesday February 5th California, along with 23 other states, will hold primaries. That's why they're calling it Super-Duper Tuesday. Here in the Bay Area, county election offices are trying to find enough people to staff polling places. Santa Clara County needs at least 1000 people to work the polling places. There are incentives. For example, if you're an employee of the State of California you're allowed to take time off, without loss of pay, to serve as a poll worker on election day.
The state also has a student poll worker program. In order to be eligible to be appointed as a student poll worker you need to be a US citizen, at least 16, a high school student with at least a 2.5 GPA.
Q: Denzel Washington is celebrating his 53rd birthday today. During his college days at Fordham, he was a standout is which sport?
A: Basketball. Bay Area connection: His college hoops coach was former Warriors head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Yes, today is National Chocolate Day. If you missed it, don't worry. The third week of March is American Chocolate Week. May 12th is National Chocolate Chip Day. July 7th is Chocolate Day. July 28th is National Milk Chocolate Day. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Day....again. September 13th is International Chocolate Day, and October 28th is National Chocolate Day..again. I'll celebrate all of them by eating my favorite ice cream..Haagen Daz Vanilla Bean.
Wednesday is missing. He's the lone male swan that graces the pond at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. His two sisters, Monday and Blanche are still there, along with another female, Friday. Wednesday went AWOL Christmas evening at around 10. A search of the area revealed some feathers near a parking lot, so they suspect a visitor was looking for a pet. Free Wednesday!
Have a fabuloso weekend. It'll be another pre-shrunk work week next week!
A: 1966, and it's celebrated December 26th until January 1st., and was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies at California State University at Long Beach. "Kwanzaa" is the Swahili word for "fresh fruits".
Now that Christmas gift giving is over, I guess today's the day that many of those gift cards'll be cashed in. Little known fact that stores don't consider a gift card a sale until the gift card is redeemed. Bay Area retailers count on the week AFTER Christmas for 16 percent of their Holiday sales.
Glide Church in San Francisco handed out a mountain of food yesterday....again! Volunteers cooked up 500 turkeys, 5,000 dinner rolls, 800 pounds of sweet potatoes, and scooped close to 200 gallons of ice cream for about 6,000 guests.
Last Christmas our boys, Andrew & Jordan started what's turning out to be a Christmas Morning tradition. Remember when you were a kid, how impossible it was to sleep past, oh say, 4 on Christmas morning? Again this year, our guys had their plan all set up. As soon as they woke up, about 4:30, they text messaged (now a verb!) their pal Max across the street saying the coast was clear. Their buddy headed over to our house, and they all watched movies until 7-7:30. Max left, and Kim and I didn't hear a thing. Not a creature was stirring! Or so we thought.
Q: The late film critic Gene Siskel often referred to this movie as his favorite, and he saw it 17 times. The film?
A: Saturday Night Fever, which premiered on December 14, 1977
Siskel at one time owned the white polyester leisure suit that Travolta wore in the movie. Later, the suit sold at auction for over 140 grand. Pretty steep for a suit that shouldnât be worn near an open flame. By the way, the working title for the film was âTribal Rights of Saturday Nightâ.
Good news if you enjoy strolling the beaches of AngelIsland. The beaches there will re-open tomorrow. Theyâve been closed since the Cosco Busan smacked into the BayBridge last month. Workers have been hard at work cleaning up AngelIsland, along with other beaches and wildlife.Even though the beaches will be reopening, officials are warning that there may still be globs of the leaked oil here and there. Just wipe your feet.
Madonna will be among the latest inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. (Where did THAT time go?) Along with Madonna, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, the Ventures and the Dave Clark Five will inducted at the ceremony March 10th at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. The party will air on VH1 Classic.
Q: What was the first cartoon character to have been made into a balloon for a parade?
A: Felix the Cat
Speaking of cats. We put up our Christmas tree up over the weekend, and to our two cats, it's nothing but an eight foot cat toy. And answer me this. How come we leave bowls of fresh water all over the house, but the cats can only see fit to drink out of the Christmas tree stand and/or the toilet? I know, I know. Keep the lids down. Thus another waste of perfectly good blog space.
We feel for the people charged with distributing toys to needy kids this Christmas. Their work had been made more difficult by all the toy recalls over the last year. Volunteer Karen Boyd, who purchases toys for a toy drive in Kansas City, bought over three thousand toys when they were on sale last Spring. Now she and her crew have the daunting task of combing through all the toys to weed out those that have since been recalled. If you're planning on donating a toy that you have purchased a while ago, that Marines' Toys for Tots campaign has a website you can check for recalled items. www.toysfortots.org.
What else can go wrong? First there was spilled bunker oil, then the weather. High winds kept most crab fisherpeople of the water over the weekend. We hope they were able to get out this morning. Crabbers are still holding out hope that they'll be able to make up for the loss of business over Thanksgiving. We hope so too.
Q: Which one of the following is San Francisco's "Sister City"?
Paris Haifa or Zurich
A: actually, all of them are SF's Sister Cities. Along with
Abijan, The Ivory Coast (CÃ´te d'Ivoire) Assisi, Italy Cork, Ireland Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Manila, Philippines Osaka, Japan Seoul, Korea Shanghai, China Sydney, Australia Taipei, Taiwan Thessaloniki, Greece
The days of the live piano player at Nordstrom may be coming to an end. The 152 store chain will decide on a store by store basis, but look for the ivory ticklers to begin exiting early next year. The decision is based partially on finances, but Nordies claims that most shoppers prefer canned tunes as opposed to live piano music, which I find very hard to believe.
If you live in the South Bay, Leiter's Pharmacy at 1700 Park Avenue in San Jose is accepting unused or expired prescriptions, which they will then dispose of properly. Why? A few years ago a US Geological Survey revealed that of the 139 streams they tested, 80 percent were contaminated with acetaminophen, steroids, hormones, codeine, antibiotics, and ibuprofen, along with other expired glop. That's what happens when we flush this stuff down the john, or add to landfills.
Guess who's leaving the Food Network? Bam! Emeril. Gone!
The Food Network couldn't come up with the kind of, um, dough for which Mr. Lagasse was asking, so "Emeril Live" will be closing down production after the December 11th taping. Not to worry. There are enough episodes in the can for reheating for years to come. The food puns stop now.
And here's some good news. Just in time too! Many Bay Area beaches that were closed because of the glop released into the bay by that container ship after it hit the Bay Bridge, will re-open this weekend.
By the way, if you want to help clean up the oil from some of the beaches that are still in trouble, you need to be properly trained. The city of Berkeley will hold a training session tomorrow (11/17) at the Berkeley Senior Center, 1900 Sixth Street 8a-1p. Space is limited to 80 volunteers.
Answer to todays trivia question: Celine Dion is the youngest of 14 children.
Bay Area food banks could always use our help - especially this time of year. The San Francisco Food Bank is about 800 turkeys short of its Thanksgiving goal of 15 hundred. The Alameda County Community Food Bank needs about 600 more birds. The Second Harvest Food Bank, serving Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is also coming up short. Produce and canned good are also needed.
Muni's going to give a double-decker bus a test drive over some of The City's busier transit routes. If the test works, the transit system will put more double-deckers to work. Of obvious concern is how the 14 foot tall bus will squeeze through the many tunnels in San Francisco. Not to worry. The Stockton tunnel, for example has 19 feet of clearance. I looked it up so you could rest easy, and have a worry-free weekend. Please do that.
Stuff we talked about on the KOIT More Music Morning Show this AM:
âLooking forward to chilly nights this winter in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace at home?Well you may have to settle for a DVD of that fire. If the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (you know, the folks that brought us Spare the Air Days) has itsâ way, itâll be illegal to use residential fireplaces on nights with poor air quality. They estimate that there may be up to twenty such nights a year. By the way, there are already similar fire bans in MillValley, SacramentoCounty, and parts of the San JoaquinValley. In fact, last year, neighbor ratted out neighbor in the San JoaquinValley, where the first fine is 50 bucks. Subsequent fines can go up to a grand. In MillValley youâll get dinged $150 for a first-time violation. In some parts of the state you can skip the fine by attending, and Iâm not making this up, a two hour âresidential wood-burning compliance school.â Insert your fave traffic school joke here. Sheesh.
Oh, before I forget, which Iâm doing more and more lately, hereâs todayâs election day trivia question:
Q: What year was the first national election held on the same date in every state?
A: 1848, when old Zach Taylor was elected to the White House.
Heads up: A section of Howard Street in San Francisco will be closed again this year, in order to accommodate another one of Larry Ellisonâs little block parties. Howard between Third and Fourth Streets will be closed starting 8p Thursday 11/8, and wonât reopen until 6a on November 17. Oracleâs big OpenWorld conference will already occupy all three halls of the Moscone Complex. Apparently thatâs not enough space for the 45,000 people planning to attend, so theyâll need to set up tents on Howard. Temporary street striping and detour signs will help drivers in the area. The whole thing went pretty smoothly last year, the first year they closed Howard. Theyâre gestimating that the whole deal will bring in about 80 million dollars into San Francisco.
The beavers ofMartinez are fast becoming a tourist attraction. A clan ofthe semiaquatic herbivorous rodents, including two parents, and two youngsters, have become so popular that theyâre drawing crowds of school kids to the shores of Alhambra creek to watch the beavers build their dam, which is progressing quite nicely. Perhaps too nicely. Since last winter, the dam has grown from three to six feet in height. The problem: The creek is part of a flood control plan. Nearby homeowners are concerned, and understadably so,that if the dam isnât removed, the winter rains might bring flooding to the area. Sure, the quick fix would be to tear down the dam and remove the beavers. But beavers are territorial, so theyâd probably be back, and in full construction mode again. The Martinez City Council is mulling over a recommendation to remove the dam and humanely, to steal a favorite Tony Soprano term, âdepredateâ the critters. I say give the beavers at least a couple of chances to stay away before taking such drastic measures.As Councilman Mark Ross said âItâs hard to believe that the hometown of John Muir canât come up with a better way than killing the beavers.â Hear hear.