Thursday, February 26, 2009


In case anyone's wondering: yes, I realize I'm remiss in not blogging about Feinstein's remarks at the inaugural lunch and the Chronicle's alleged dire straits. I just haven't had the time to sit and ruminate about how to do that without degenerating into a screaming rant.

Also, is it dorky to take a blog roll-call? AFAIK, the only people reading this blog are:
my sister (thanks a lot!)
people with google alerts to "Hetchy"
and people with google alerts to "Terry Gross sucks"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our Tuesday

We went up to the SF zoo and took a scenic drive for nap time before heading to a playdate. Rough times in Feb. in Northern California.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I am so cranky today. It's a non-pop day. Coincidence?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New laptop

So little :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

New book

In the chaos of the kitchen remodel, I can't seem to find my copy of Cadillac Desert, so I'm on to Loving Frank, which gets lots of praise and is my book club's selection this month.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


For almost a week now I've successfully had pop only every other day! This is a big step, to go without diet pop for a whole day on a regular basis. I'm not sure what my next step should be; one day on, two days off...?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're getting a new kitchen!

Yes, it's really happening. Follow the transformation here...

Monday, February 16, 2009

STILL more evidence the TSA is evil and wants to ruin flying for everyone

This is from a guy we know who does massive bike trips around the world with his wife:

If anyone on the mailing list has any contact with the TSA, I would
greatly appreciate any help you can give. My fuel bottle, and
incredibly difficult to find fuel pump for my MSR Whisperlite
International Stove, were removed by the TSA in San Francisco, without
us being paged (we were at the flight over four hours early),
and despite the fact that this fuel bottle and fuel pump have never
been used, and never contained any fuel within them (and thus are
completely safe for flying).

I'm not sure what we're going to be able to do. We're incredibly
beat after 40 hours of travel, and have no more internet time.
If anyone could help with this, I'd greatly, greatly appreciate it.

Here's some of the details:


My name is Greg Kaiser. I flew Delta Flight 618 out of SFO on
Saturday, Feb. 14. I received notice that a fuel bottle was
removed from my luggage. I got then notice when I arrived at my
final destination, CPT (Cape Town, South Africa). According to the
card, this was done by Covenant Aviation Security, LLC,
Screener ID: 126374.

This fuel bottle has never been used, nor never contained any fuel
of any sort. Thus, it is not in violation of any TSA Safety Restrictions.
Furthermore, within this fuel bottle was the fuel pump for my Mountain
Safety Research (MSR) Whisperlite International Camp Stove. Like the
fuel bottle, this fuel pump has never been used, and never been exposed
to any fuel.

My wife and I now find ourselves in Cape Town, South Africa, about to
embark on a large scale bicycle tour
(, and find ourselves
without the means to cook food, or without our backup source for
boiling water. We have all the other components of this piece of
equipment which is vital to our survival (including the stove itself,
which your agents correctly did not remove from our luggage, and an
entire field repair kit).

If you still have this fuel bottle and fuel pump in your possession,
we request that you immediately ship it to our hotel in Cape Town.
Time is very short, as Feb. 20 will be our last day in the hotel.
If you do not still have this fuel bottle and fuel pump in your
possession, we request that you immediately contact Mountain Safety
Research to get at least a replacement fuel pump to our hotel no
later than Feb. 20 to correct this mistake.

The hotel my wife (Mary Kelly) and I (Greg Kaiser) are at through
Feb. 20 is:

Best Western Cape Suites Hotel
Corner De Villiers & Constitution Street,
Cape Town 7925
South Africa

We have very limited internet access and are 7 to 10 hours time
difference from your officies. We hope you can resolve this
mistake immediately, as we put considerable effort into assuring
that all of our luggage meets TSA standards, and do not want our
once-in-a-lifetime trip, or our health and survival on this trip,
threatened by your mistake.

Thank you,

Greg Kaiser

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oops, we did it again

Yet again Redwood City has effed up in its efforts to revitalize downtown and gotten into legal trouble.

This time, a judge basically told the city to start over again in its environmental review of the downtown plan, which calls for 12-story buildings, thousands of apartments, etc. This is a few years after the city had to write a formal letter of apology and post a plaque in honor of their victims in a case of overzealous eminent domain seizure.

I need to go to the dentist

Saturday, February 14, 2009


It's not often I truly envy the super-rich; I ride my bike past their houses two or three times a week and gasp and gawk; I drove my dream car for a few years. But what really makes me dream is the foundations; what good could I do with, say, five hundred million dollars?

I got to thinking about this when I came across this article about Andy Grove, while I was doing research about the funders of the non-profit I just started working for.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th: Blame someone else day.

Apparently today is Blame Someone Else day. Of course, for some people, every day is Blame Someone Else Day. But I'm not naming names today.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Water, nowhere

I am reading this amazing book called Cadillac Desert (see left) about the history of water, or the lack thereof, in the American West. It starts, naturally, with the Owens Valley water grab by Los Angeles in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is truly incredible the lenths the went to -- and are still going to -- to get water to Los Angeles, which is essentially in a desert. Basically, they took water from an agricultural region -- the Owens Valley, east of the Sierras -- and brought it to the San Fernando Valley to make it an agricultural reason. That may be oversimplifying it a bit, but thousands of people died and many more than that lost their homes and livelihood along the way. And Manifest Destiny kept most people in power -- all the way up to the White House -- from questioning the moral and financial soundness of these plans.

I'm about a quarter of the way through the book, which is sizeable, and so far it's very readable and I recommend it. If you have limited reading time, though, at least get it from the library and read the introduction.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I would cancel my HBO if it weren't for Flight of the Conchords

and Big Love.

Replacing Bob Costas with JOE BUCK?!? Just to clarify, HBO didn't fire Costas or anything -- if that were the case, I actually WOULD cancel HBO. He left to go to the new MLB network.

HBO executive: "Let's replace the Greatest Mind of Our Generation with a total tool."

Monday, February 02, 2009


I am obsessed with color. I have a ridiculous number of nail polish bottles. And I am well on my way to painting every room in my house a different color. First there was the deep-red hallway:

Then our bedroom:

Then the back or "sun" room (the pic doesn't do it justice, but it's butter yellow):

And this week I finally got to paint a room my favorite color:

Oh, I've also painted one wall in the boys' room yellow, one red and one blue.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Technology is cool: we just did a video chat with Linda, who is in Sydney tomorrow afternoon while we're in Redwood City this evening!

I'm also glad we'll probably be going to Sydney in their winter, because Linda said they have humidity there in the summer. Blech.

Finally, we're still looking for a house swap, so if you know anyone who lives in Sydney and wants to spend some time in Redwood City... "Climate Best By Government Test"!!