Monday, October 31, 2005


Two weekends in a row of relative uneventfulness!
Which is pretty nice, given how much running around we’d been doing before.

Friday, we ran into Daniel at Lanesplitter, got a little drunk, and went back to Paul’s house to drink more, bake brownies, and expose Daniel to the wonders of Get Your War On.

Saturday flew by, mostly while I was sitting in the hammock reading, or nursing the good cat while Paul put his new radiators onto the good bike. Saturday night, I had to return to the city to work at New Wave City. It was OK. I kind of hated the door setup. For the record, I really really hate the “drinking” holidays. Halloween is becoming more and more of that to me, but maybe just because I was working. But, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, etc., are really trying for me. Look, are you a drunk, or are you not? If not, you really shouldn’t try to make up for it all in one night. You aren’t going to wear it well.

And, are you a ho or not? If you are dressed as a ho for Halloween, you are basically a ho, but just scared to admit it all the rest of the year. Which means you’re just a self-hating ho the rest of the time. Love it, live it, or leave it. But don’t make it your Halloween costume.

The best costume I saw was a couple that came as Team Zissou, from Life Aquatic. I loved that movie. I also really like the camel outfit, for some reason. Guys in fatigues? Stupid, what are you, a frat boy that didn’t know what to do with himself?

Sunday I cleaned up the house a little bit, and spent what seemed like a few hours on the phone with SBC DSL tech support. Supposedly, they’ve fixed it today, and it should work when I get home. I’m not holding my breath.

Then Paul and I started walking: down to Grant, into China Town, through North Beach, where we stopped at an Irish Pub-slash-Indian restaurant for some Guinness, to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we did not stop at Hooters for another beer, then up to Ghiradelli Square and up Polk Street, which was UP. Stairs and stairs and stairs to some parks and vistas overlooking the Golden Gate and Fisherman’s Wharf. It was quite nice, and somehow a spot I’ve missed before. We were starting to sober up, so we stopped for a bit of Guinness at Bigfoot Lodge before heading to the store and then home.

What's Wrong With America, part #6465854

Right-wing Christians would rather find out the hard way, that Little Suzie's been dry-humping the Smith boy after school.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Goodbye Dr. Gong

Tonight as I sat in Sparky’s picking over my fries and grilled cheese after class, I thought this: Tonight, there is a sprinkling of people throughout this great city, thinking sadly about Dr. Gong, about his end, and feeling small and lonely. I know there are a lot of us even just in the city, because Dr. Gong, just by virtue of his profession, must have known many people, and from knowing him in one small capacity, I know that a person such as that must have touched on many other lives in other ways.

Dr. Gong was just my dentist. I can’t say he was a friend, or that we bonded exceptionally. He was an affable guy, always chatting about his hobbies and work. I could say he was my favorite dentist, but I’ve only had a few dentists. In my life, I saw him two or three times a year, and through his friendly conversations, I’d picked up quite a bit about him. Maybe some of it isn’t even true, just the gaps I’d filled in.

He loved to take pictures, loved to fish, was very interested in bicycle races when they came to town. He’d tell me about flying to New Zealand or someplace to get on a fishing boat for certain types of fish I’d never heard of. I listened to stories that told me about a guy who’d set up a pretty good life for himself. A practice he’d grown, a schedule he’d designed to keep his sanity (worked Saturdays as a way to keep his schedule less chaotic, more calm.) He’d expanded his office and wanted to hire someone to help. But, he wondered how to acclimate his patients, who’d grown attached to him. He had model trains on display in the last room of his office; it always reminded fondly me of my dad.

And of his family, I didn’t know a lot. I knew he had kids, college age, and he was proud of them, as I assumed they were of him (he was a guy I thought you would be proud to have for a dad). I mentally compared him to my own dad, a guy who had the satisfaction and peace that comes from having done the one important thing he could: raising kids that he loved and was proud of, and now just living the life he’d created to be comfortable and meaningful for himself. Yes, he was known to take on projects to help at the school, or some dental work for those in need. I imagined him satisfied, and looking out into the distance, seeing a future of working in his practice, watching his kids do great things, and plodding into old age enjoying his hobbies with his wife.

Which is why it is with such sadness that we have to wonder why. It seems stupid to mention that it was senseless. I live in a city where I hear about senseless things all the time. But never do they touch down in my life, in a way that seems so wrongly placed. It just does not seem right. I first assumed it was a mistake, but as the story developed, the details were a little too close. For the record, a man came up to Dr. Gong at 7:50 this morning, shot him to death, and then went to his car and shot himself. It doesn’t seem like there is any chance of a real motive-- just a truly fucked up nonsensical act. A very *permanent* act.

For some reason, I really liked my dentist. Oddly, I’d recommended him to several people, and it seems I’d mentioned more than a few times to Paul that I liked my dentist, that he was a nice guy. How many of your friends have told you that they like their dentist? Dr. Gong seemed to actually care about his patients. He’d chat with me honestly about my concerns, and check with me on stupid insurance crap. I mean, what do you want from a dentist? He made an impression though.
He was just really fucking nice.

Some knew him only as the dentist, as i did. I can’t claim to imagine the pain of those whose lives have been taken or irrevocably derailed. I feel horribly for his family at this time, and for all those who knew him better than I did. My thoughts are with them at this time as they embark on this unwelcome journey toward healing and learning to live without, and, hopefully, eventually, forgiveness. Some knew him closely, some tangentially, some of us big and some of us small, all tonight, feeling a little smaller and sadder.

Goodbye, Dr. Gong. Thanks for the great work and conversations, the interesting fishes in the waiting room, the stories about fishing and Lance Armstrong, the incredibly beautiful views from your office windows, and the model trains on the wall.

I write this tonight to mark the date and record in my mind the memories of a guy whose life seemed quiet and rich, who is gone now for no reason, and whom I don’t want to forget.

Senseless shit

I just received some really fucked up and very sad news in a very strange way.

A reporter from the Examiner contacted me on tribe because I had given a little review of my dentist, of whom I’m pretty fond. (I mean, for a guy who sticks obnoxious shit in my mouth and drills at my nerves from time to time)

Telling me that Dr. Gong has been shot.

The news shows a man in that area being shot and killed in a murder-suicide, but doesn’t yet show his name.

The reporter said witnesses said it was Dr. Gong, and that she’d called the office and the very shaken secretary had not seen him show up to work (not like Dr. Gong at all)

This is a very very sad thing. Dr. Gong is a really really nice guy.

ipod goodness

So, a few weeks back, I got my new computer. A little iBook, since I’m poor. It worked out pretty well for me, price-wise. Since I’m taking a class at City College, I got a student discount on the computer (I want to say it was like $200 off or something) and a free ipod mini after rebate (which I’m still waiting for, but whatever). Plus a cool printer with scanner and memory stick reader for $29.

If I get nothing out of my Mandarin class adventure, at least a got a good deal on my computer.

Anyway, I wasn’t really in the market for an ipod, but it was free, and I like it. I even got a cool case for it to protect it from me. (I’m hard on my stuff).

What’s cool today in my ipod world? Stanford has a bunch of lectures, panel discussions, and generally interesting stuff to listen to for FREE. I’ve downloaded about ten (slow download, really really slow) and listened to a few so far, and they are worth checking out. I can feel my brain swelling with ideas. I feel smarter today than I did yesterday. Princeton has some stuff too that I have not yet checked out.

I need to unplug my television again, but I love the Simpsons too much.
Oh NO!

Getting paid to poop is one of the greatest things about being employed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This disgusting news from CNN

"According to documents released with the questionnaire, Miers pledged unflagging opposition to abortion as a candidate for the Dallas City Council in 1989. She backed a constitutional amendment to ban the procedure in most cases and promised to appear at "pro-life rallies and special events."

Asked in a Texans United for Life questionnaire whether she would support legislation restricting abortions if the Supreme Court allowed it, Miers indicated she would. Her reply was the same when asked, "Will you oppose the use of city funds or facilities" to promote abortions?"

Wait a minute? I thought that she and Bush were claiming that she had no interests for or against abortion? Wasn't that the bullshit they were trying to feed us last week? So were they LYING? That is unimaginable.

Backing an amendment and promising to appear at rallies make her a fucking LOBBYIST for something, a far cry from the impartial judge they claimed her to be.

Let your senator know this is NOT OK.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Do you really have time for this shit right now?

I will be dead for a long, long time.

Old guys and dirt

Now, I don’t mean to sound too much like a guy who just can’t stand riding bitch because he’s too manly for that, but… It’s HARD passengering when you’re so used to being the rider. I mean, I like riding on the back. It means I get to drink. But after 100-some-odd-thousand miles of my own riding, I find it more challenging than I used to. Early on, the first few times I got on a bike, it was someone I knew, who rode a motorcycle. Now, it’s got to be someone I know and TRUST. Which gets a lot more selective as I get more experienced.

Paul is a very good rider. He’s a better rider than I ever was, even when I was a better rider. He, uhh, maybe likes to enter corners a little hot for my taste when I’m on the back, and I can never tell whether it’s on purpose or he didn’t know where the offramp turned.

We ride a lot, as in “how about we go to Reno to watch a few hours of racing and then come back this evening?” And I am poor, so a couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that those long boring freeway slogs were giving us shit mileage when we rode separately. I can’t gloat about my 50mpg if between the two of us, it’s really cut to 25mpg by bringing two bikes. That doubles the money we’re spending on gas. Which adds up, when you’re the kind of people who ride to Reno for lunch.

So, two up, we’ve been doing for some of these freeway slogs. Which brings me to Saturday morning.
Things I thought about while sitting on the back of the FZ1: (not really in any particular order)
1.) I am a shitty passenger. I have to try really hard to remember NOT to do a head check when I know Paul is going to change lanes.
2.) That hot pink lowrider full of ghetto boys is the funniest thing ever. They look like they are having a lot of fun. Yay!
3.) Concord is NOT the East Bay. It’s, like, the South Delta, or something.
4.) What IS that other dirtbike park that is right next to the freeway just before the pass?
5.) When it’s windy, I try to duck down behind Paul so I don’t give steering input.
6.) Making a conscious effort to look into the turn and lean slowly slightly into it with him.
7.) Oh, hey, that’s the spot where I got pulled over that one time. The one time a CHP officer WASN’T a dick to me.
8.) I can’t believe Jason actually moved out here by Mills. It’s like a million years away from everything, what was he thinking?
9.) Paul is the Best. Thing. Ever.
10.) We are going to die.
11.) Hah! This is the commute they wanted to make me do, if they moved to Tracy! Fuck that!
12.) Cop. Does Paul see him?
13.) Those cows look happy. Where is the goat I saw last time?

So you can see, it was a nice ride for me. I’ve offered to trade off, so Paul can passenger half the time. But I’m not sure he really wants to. For one thing, his legs are longer, and probably wouldn’t be happy on the back of my SV. Plus, you know, most guys don’t want to ride on the back. Even I have to struggle with it.

We were going to Carnegie (Tracy) to watch vintage and sidecar motocross. I have watched vintage motocross, but never sidecar motocross in person. What fun! I took a whole bunch of pictures of weird bikes in the pits, and even a few of the races. Highlights posted here for your total amusement. The crowd at vintage motocross is not as mullet-y as the past few races we’ve gone to see, but more of an old-guy-with-family crowd. It was fun, and we were home in time forPaul to wash his vintage Yamaha MX, and for me to drink beer and get sleepy and too lazy to go to the party we intended to visit.

I can’t imagine it would have been any better than watching sidecars amble around a motocross track though.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Friday: IS "punk" just angry hippy?

I am finally getting to the point in my life where I can go somewhere and feel old. Friday night we went to Gilman (I can’t believe that place is still there) to see MDC. About a block from the entrance, where the kids were sitting in their cars and on the sidewalk, I suddenly felt soooooo old and out of place. I mean, these kids must have averaged about 17 years old. 11 years seems like an eternity when it’s staring at you with its wide-eyed idealistic exuberance. I may have been more like them, once. And none of them would think that in ten years I was what they would become, jeans and a hoodie, no patches, nothing ripped, not a stud or spike to be seen. What happened to us?

When we got near the building, however, Dave Dichtor came out and I felt a little less old. Huh. How long have they been around, anyway? I think they were old-school when I was growing up, so these kids must be, like the children of the original fans. Normally that would make me think that the band was outplaying its useful time, but MDC was still good times. Dichtor wears his years on his face, but he smiles when the music starts, and then he’s got more energy than I’ve had in a long time. And he’s got something to do and something to say. Still, one of my favorite bands. Yay! And getting tapped by an underage girl to buy beer out front made the night memorable.

The biker lifestyle I've been hearing about

If you don't own a good rainsuit, chances are, you are not truly living the "biker lifestyle."

Friday, October 14, 2005

hen hao

I have successfully told the Chinese speakers in the office that I have a very handsome boyfriend, and they even understood me!

I feel so accomplished.

I think the midterm went OK. Not too painful, not too great though, either.

This weekend:
Friday night, MDC is playing
Saturday, possibly the deYoung or a warehouse party thingy. Maybe a ride? Maybe cleaning up the garage and my apartment? I don't know?
Sunday, same? Hopefully with cupcakes and/or ice cream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The fog is setting in heavy; winter is on its way.

My morning commute through the Tenderloin has been road-soaked for the past couple of months (street cleaning?) so I am ready in that regard. I do need to re-waterproof my riding gear, as it’s been around the block a lot this year, and won’t hold water out, I fear.

It’s a love-hate thing with winter now, since I always preferred rainy days before I got a motorcycle. I don’t hate riding in the rain, but there are a few storms I could have done without. Somehow, the worst storms of the year always find me up on 280, slogging through hail and sheets of water and high winds (the WORST) behind some dumbass cager doing 50 in the left lane. Each gust moving me about 5 feet across the lane, gripping the handlebars, wishing I was there already. Worst when I ride the dirtbike; it's like a big sail, with no weight of its own to keep my planted.

Rain just means I have to leave a little earlier for work, and plan on hanging up my frog toggs to drip on the floor in my office. It means dealing with stupider cagers, and finding that I left my pocket open, and all my stuff got wet. It means the Tenderloin won’t smell as bad, and that on those few non-rainy Sundays, the hills won’t be clogged with squids.

Here we go again, time to hunker down.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I’m still making efforts

So I invited people to go to the Supermoto races with us on Saturday, and some people wanted to go. OK, it turned out no one went, but there were people who said they wanted to. People are busy. My point being, I need to start making that effort again; it’s like I forgot there were other people, and that those people might actually be interested. I get a lot of “no” out of a handful of people and I forget there are other folks who might be “yes.” Mental note: try to make plans, and see people, and be social.

I know a lot of people, yet there aren’t many these days who would warrant a phone call for a chat or a ride or a trip to the movies. What happened? I know a lot of people, but they are people I run into places I go. Faces that pop up, but I can’t summon of my own accord. Or don’t. I can’t help but think I’ve wasted my time and heart chasing things that don’t payoff.

It’s time to reset the dial. Turn it a few clicks to the left, rotate out the old, try the new, or at least under-used.

Sunday we called Daniel up and asked him over for BBQ. It was nice, and low key. Paul had spent the morning breathing life into his old dirtbike that had been sitting for a few years. I had given my self a much-needed boredom day of loafing around his place with my laptop but no internet. It’s nice to see old friends, without having to be a big to-do. Beer and BBQ and a whole lot of sitting around. We painted the cat with food coloring.

Saturday we went to Stockton for Supermoto races. It was a lot of fun. I vaguely knew a couple of people racing, so it made it interesting. AND, and this is why you should wish you went, we got to see some guy race the new Aprilia twin supermotard. It was cool, and the guy gave up really racing after the third or fourth lap and just did wheelies and shenanigans for the rest of the race. He still didn’t finish all that badly. Were it a little bigger, say, a 600, it might make a wonderful streetbike. I think. Also, crashes, mullets, free red bull, and some incredibly stupid umbrella girls. (um, the umbrella is supposed to shade the racers. How hard IS your job?!?!?!) A great time.

Saturday night I worked at New Wave City at DNA, which was fun, busy, tiring. I like it when we are at DNA Lounge. I meant to get to Berkeley afterwards, but discovered that it is nearly impossible to get to the East Bay once the bridge closures start. Spent a lot of time trying to get there, then decided I didn’t want to spend any more time or gas with the drunk drivers, and went home. This bridge shit is going to be going on for a LONG time, and is really fucked up.

We have to do some wild cramming to try to get through our Mandarin mid-term, but after this, I mean to make a point to reconnect with old friends. There are plenty of people in my life that I just run into in clubs or on the road. I hardly even go to clubs these days, so I think I’m missing out with some of these folks. On the other hand, I’ve tried so hard with others who just don’t return the thought. Fuck a lot of that. But don’t give up. Just move elsewhere. Keep making the effort.

I am relatively free this coming weekend. I am thinking, perhaps some riding, perhaps some sort of get-together with friends… I don’t know. I hear rumor that MDC may be playing SF this weekend, but didn’t take the time to check that out yet. I may be too old? I also want to hit the deYoung opening for sure, despite the crowds. Am open to other ideas…

credit card companies are dumb.

Hello dumbass companies,
Recently I've closed a long-time DSL account and a credit card account because they just weren't good deals. On both occasions, when I told them I was closing the account, they tried to offer me a better deal. But it's too fucking late. I had already opened more competitive accounts.

How about you take care of the customers you have by giving them a good deal, so you won't have to spend the money trying to replace them when they leave? Why do you only want to take care of me when I'm leaving? Stupid. Dumb business decision. If there doesn't HAVE to be an annual fee on the United Miles card, don't fucking put it there in the first place. Credit card companies spend $50 to get each new customer. So there's your stupid annual fee, only you've lost the customer.

I love the feeling of scissors through a credit card.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


For the record, it is not a sport unless:
1.) It has a motor.
2.) There are fancy outfits.
3.) There is a very real chance of death.

Anything else is just a game, and probably a boring one.

Keep America Rolling

I get a lot of pitches for credit cards and such. I've taken a few steps recommended by Motley Fool to cut some of this crap down, but for now it's still coming in thick.

What to do with these credit card offers? Today I sent junk mail from my recycling bin out to American Express and Bank of America in their prepaid reply envelopes. I hope someone in the envelope-opening department over at Amex will find the Thomas Kinkade offer more useful than I did. And I hope that Bank of America will truly consider some cosmetic dentistry.

Free fun. Thank you Amex! Thank you for supporting the United States Postal Service.

Everybody wins!
Keep America Rolling.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Marisa got older last week. So after a quick oil change for both our big bikes, Paul and I went to stuff our faces with others at Bucco di Beppo in celebration. Marisa has a boyfriend with whom she is constantly liplocked, which is a little icky. But makes me happy for her though. Yay Marisa!

Saturday morning, we hopped on our touring bikes and headed East. The AMA national finals for the Supermoto series were being held on the streets of downtown Reno. We had a lot of fun. High point was watching a little kid plow into a bunch of hay bales. Actually, the whole thing was a high point, except for the Denny’s on the ride to, and the stretch of freeway through the shitty “East Bay” on the way back. We were home by 9:30 or so, in time for pizza.

Sunday we went out to Sears Point to watch the AFM races. Watched a little pileup in Turn 9, some cool old shitty bikes racing vintage and dinosaur, and the real reason we were there, race 10, where Charles was gonna beat Creech, and Dale and Jack were going to do tiny sportbike ballet. Charles did not beat Creech, but it was fun to watch a guy named Brien Whitlock go fast. At least nobody crashed. I mean, no one I know. After loading the tiny sportbikes into trucks and sharing some Murphy’s, we went for shitty Mexican food, and parted ways. I guess this will be the last time I watch Charles roadrace. I really only go to hang out with my friends anyway. Roadracing is bo-ring.

And now, a few photos from Saturday's Supermoto: