Archive for the ‘food’ Category

San Francisco lunch with Thomas Hawk and Davis Freeberg

Monday, February 13th, 2006

I don’t often head in to San Francisco, despite it being close by. When I lived in Berkeley, my friend Mike (who now lives in Davis) was terrified of driving into the City, and felt like doing anything in S.F. took much longer to accomplish. I’m not that bad, but the City can be intimidating. That didn’t stop me from hauling Sammy up there to meet with the real-life people behind the names “Thomas Hawk” and “Davis Freeberg” of the Thomas Hawk Digital Connection.

We met for lunch at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher in the Ferry Building — somehow I have managed to never visit the Ferry Building previously — and talked for nearly two hours about blogging, technology, photography, and (naturally) TiVo. Thomas’s article is forthcoming and will cover what we talked about.

I enjoyed meeting Thomas and Davis a great deal. They are very enthusiastic about technology and at heart I think they want TiVo to succeed as a company.

Thomas Hawk, Davis Freeberg (on the right) at Taylor's Refresher, San Francisco, February 13, 2006 (Thomas on the left, Davis on the right.)

Afterwards Sammy and I did some shopping and I took a picture or two (with our Nikon point’n’shoot, since Tracee had borrowed our Canon Rebel XT). Even though I had already had lunch, I couldn’t help but get some bread and an apple turnover from the Acme Bread Company, and sample the crab cake sandwich and clam chowder at the San Francisco Fish Company. (I only had a little bit of the crab cake; the rest I brought back for Kimi.)

Next I’ll post a picture or two in the style of Thomas’s site — the difference being that I’m not a good photographer, while Thomas is a pro.

Sammy is normally so well-behaved, but I think Taylor’s was a little loud for him, and he wasn’t as enthusiastic about talking for two hours as I was, so he got a bit fussy. Fortunately, he loved the Ferry Building itself and was happy to nap both for the ride there and back.

Update, 14-Feb-06, 9:33pm: Thomas Hawk’s article detailing what we talked about is now posted at his site. Thanks Thomas!

Goooooooooooooooooal x5

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

This evening, Jay K. (Director of Customer Support at TiVo) had arranged an offsite for the TiVo operations groups (service operations, customer support, manufacturing, sales operations) to see the USA vs. Japan exhibition soccer game at Pacbell SBC AT&T Park in San Francisco. Not everyone made it, but there were enough of us to make a crowd.

Jay and I took the Caltrain up, and we met up with everyone at the Acme Chop House before the game. I’ve eaten there before, and while I don’t eat red meat (so the chops and steaks do nothing for me), there’s enough seafood on the menu to keep me interested. Their calamari is really good.

The soccer game was actually thrilling. Our seats were on the bleachers just behind the goal. (Spoiler ahead.) USA scored the first three goals and dominated the first half, and then Japan scored two, dominated the second half, and threatened to score again several times — fun to watch. I was impressed by how many Japanese supporters there were, and their coordinated cries of “Nip-pon, Nip-pon” put the home team’s crowd’s half-hearted “USA, USA”s to shame.

Rich Thomas (of Sad Salvation) was there too, and we talked a bit about blogging. He took pictures, unlike me, and I’m new enough to blogging to be curious about what it’s like when two bloggers cover the same event. (Update: Rich’s post is written.)

Between the Superbowl, the Olympics, and this soccer game, someone would get the impression that I’m interested in sports or something. In reality, normally I hate sports. In particular, I hate baseball (maybe because it’s alien to me, having been born in England).

Caltrain coming home was incredibly crowded and slow: two hours. I almost passed out.

Two lunches and a haircut

Thursday, February 9th, 2006
Rob and Sammy, Mountain View, CA, February 9, 2006 Ariana and Sammy at Amarin Thai restaurant, Mountain View, CA, February 9, 2006
Elisa and Sammy at Amarin Thai restaurant, Mountain View, CA, February 9, 2006 Kimi's new haircut, with Sammy, Mountain View, CA, February 9, 2006

Rob came over for lunch today, and we lugged Sammy over to Castro St. and ate at Hunan Chili (formerly “Twinkled Spring,” how crazy a name is that?). The Sesame Chicken was wonderful, spicy and tasty. The Prawns with Mixed Vegetables were bland and overcooked. The soup, egg rolls, rice and ice cream were all fine. Fortune: “You will be surrounded on all sides by luxury.” Fine, yes, thanks, but is it my luxury? Overall, the deliciousness of the chicken outweighed the mediocrity of the prawns.

I had completely forgotten that I had agreed to pick up Kyrie’s step-mom, Elisa, and Elisa’s daughter, Ariana (a junior in high school). So when they called me, I dumped Rob, changed Sammy as quick as I could, and met A&E at the Caltrain station. Fortunately they had called ahead, so they didn’t have to wait long. They were starving, so I took them to Amarin (my very favorite Thai restaurant in Mountain View, fittingly introduced to me by Kyrie). Ariana had the vegetarian Pad-Thai and Elisa tried the buffet (which I haven’t had); they both declared it delicious. It was so warm today (unseasonably so) that we ate in their patio. Afterwards we stopped by Tapioca Express (“Suddenly, I want more!”), a new experience for Elisa. She seemed to enjoy her Brazilian Coffee Snow Bubble with pearls.

Later Kimi returned home sporting her new haircut. Sexy! I encouraged her to dash off and see Brokeback Mountain with Yvonne to show it off; perhaps Kimi will review the movie here later.

Sammy is zonked out. He was extremely happy and bubbly today; I can’t believe I only have until next Wednesday left in my paternity leave.

My brother and sister live in Saint Ralph

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

It was a rainy Saturday morning when Kimi, Sammy and I headed up to San Rafael to see my youngest brother Harry and my sister Joanna’s new apartment in San Rafael.

Their new apartment is basically empty — in his room, Harry has only a bed (a futon, on the floor), a TV, and a computer desk with his computer; all his clothes, books, CDs and other things were tucked into his closet. Joanna has four or five sitars and little else. The overall impression is stark. But the apartment’s spacious, the location is great, and they have a large beautiful creek right outside.

Kimi and I have so much stuff; part of me is envious that they are so unburdened. But of course it’s also nice to be able to sit down at a table when you want to eat, and I am a packrat because I like having my games and books and CDs and other junk around.

A bit later, my brother and sister-in-law Rob and Kelly arrived, and we went downtown to Rafter’s, a brew-pub, and I thought the food was very good (I had the clam chowder and a grilled chicken salad; Kimi and Jo split a pizza with shrimp and mango).

Harry showed us around his company’s office (Mind Control Software), and it had the great energy of a small startup — board games everywhere, ping-pong table, walls covered in interesting stuff. But it’s basically one giant bullpen for 30 people, and I can’t imagine getting work done in that environment.

Back at their apartment we tried out Carcassonne: The Discovery, which I’ll review separately at some point. In short, I think it has some interesting mechanics but overall the tile balance seems off.

Then it was off to Kyrie’s for her 29th birthday party. A long and busy day for Sammy but he performed like a champ.

Of course, Harry blogs as well (and in fact his blog is really the inspiration that got me started), so here’s Harry’s version of the same event.

Asena

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Kimi, Sammy and I drove up to the island of Alameda this evening to meet up with an old friend of Kimi’s from Oregon, Chris C., who was in town for a class.

We ate at Asena, and it was delicious, a very good restaurant. Kimi had chicken with filo, Chris had the Mahi Mahi special, and I had pasta with crab meat.

Well worth the drive.