Friday, May 30, 2008

Note to self: Do not spend 2 hours talking to "Danny". Do not go to Anteater (Anthill?) Pub with "Danny". Do not spend two hours drinking at Pub with "Danny". Do not accept ride home from "Danny". Do not spend another hour in car talking to "Danny" after he has taken you to an empty parking lot. Do not remain in car with "Danny" after he has unzipped my pants.

Seriously, how do I get off this email list?

More importantly, when did the Anthill Pub reopen?

On Thursday, May 29, 2008, a female UCI student was waiting out in
front of Langson Library late in the afternoon when she was approached
by a young man. He introduced himself as "Danny", a student from
another (unknown) school. Danny and the UCI student talked in front
of Langson Library for two hours. Danny then suggested they visit the
Anteater Pub to eat or drink and they walked over to the Pub at

While at the Anteater Pub, they continued talking and consumed several
beers each (no food). At 9:30pm, the female student was tired and
told Danny she had to go home; Danny offered her a ride and she
accepted. They walked to Danny's car in Parking Lot #1. Danny's car
is only described as silver in color (no further description). Danny
drove the female student out of Parking Lot #1 and made a hasty turn
into Parking Lot 3-A (adjacent to the Merage School of Business and
across from the Social Science Parking Structure). The parking lot
was empty. The female objected and asked why he had turned into the
empty parking lot; Danny told the victim he wanted to talk some more.

Once parked in Lot 3-A, the student and Danny talked for another hour
or so. Danny then unzipped the victim's jeans and reached in,
touching her pubic area several times; no penetration occurred. The
victim verbally resisted and Danny stopped. Danny then put his hand
into the victim's shirt, grabbing her breasts. Fearing for her
safety, the victim fled the silver car and ran away toward Langson
Library at 11pm. Danny started following the victim on foot for 100
yards, calling to her to stop; Danny returned to in his car and left
the area. The victim made good her escape and arrived at Langson

The victim was upset over the incident, and did not immediately seek
police assistance. She sat outside Langson Library for two hours
before being spotted by others who notified police at 1am. The victim
provided the below suspect description; she was not injured.

Suspect Description: "Danny", Male Asian, 21 years, short black hair,
brown eyes, 6 ft 1 inch tall, 160 lbs. Last seen wearing a gray
sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Our safety escort service is available by calling 949-824-SAFE. A
uniformed CSO will then meet you and escort you to your destination, a
safe alternative to walking alone at night.

If you have further information on the suspect or are a witness,
please call the UCI Police Department at 949-824-5223.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

For the grape lover in your house...

(Alternative title #1: Better than a free parade!!!)
(Alternative title #2: Don't worry, "sigmoidoscopy" is the name of that little hammer they hit your knee with.)

Volunteers Needed for Grape Cancer Prevention Study

Healthy adult volunteers are being sought to participate in a study
that will examine whether a diet supplemented with grapes can help
prevention colon cancer. The study is directed by Dr. Randall
Holcombe and is designed to see whether a component in grapes,
resveratrol, acts to block a key signaling pathway involved in the
development of colon cancer.

Participants will be placed on a monitored diet for 2 weeks which
avoids foods rich in resveratrol. They will then have a limited
flexible sigmoidoscopy to get a biopsy of the lining of the colon.
Then, participants will have their diet supplemented each day with
fresh grapes, between 1/3 of a pound and 1 pound per day for 2 weeks
and have the biopsy procedure repeated.

There will be no cost to participants. Each participant will receive
$100, vouchers from Ralphs to assist in the purchase of grapes, a
digital kitchen scale and cooler bag. This study is approved by the
UCI Institutional Review Board. For more information, please call
study coordinator Micii Martinez at 714-456-7069.

Randall F. Holcombe, MD
Director, Office of Clinical Research and Trials

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Worth every penny?

The 15th annual Baoboa [sic] Island Parade is this Sunday June 1st, 11:00a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and is free to all attending.

Has anyone ever paid to go to a parade before? I guess if you want really good seats (or any seat that is not on a couch that you are about to discard), you could pay to see the Rose Parade. [I wanted to post a cool picture of Colorado Blvd the day after the parade--it's a great place to pick up furniture without having to go to the dump, but I can't seem to find any such pictures.]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You people are just mean.

Nico and I have just agreed to not spend any more money. Yesterday, I passed up a $10 off coupon at Beverages and More (because I had to spend $40 to save the $10).

Needless to say, $150 per person is not in the budget to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the (still unfinished???) restored Balboa Theater. I spent many Saturday nights at the Balboa during my high school years (yeah, well it sounded cool when I was 16) was the only theater in Southern California (in the late 80s, at least) that did not confiscate typical Rocky Horror paraphernalia at the door. Alas, all those years of throwing rice and hot dogs must have left the theater in a state of disrepair, and the Balboa has been closed for the last 16 years.

Since I've been back in Newport, the theater has looked like this:

I guess they ran out of money, and never got past rebuilding the facade. I should point out that I have little respect for any non-profit organization in Newport Beach that cannot raise a million dollars just by putting up a giant thermometer.

I seem to have gotten off topic somewhere. In summation: Nico and I are no longer spending money. If you invite us out to dinner, be prepared to pay for dinner. Also, I will not be attending the screening of the Rocky Horror Picture show for the following reasons:
1) I don't have $300
2) It's supposed to be shown Saturday at Midnight (I guess that's really Sunday), not Friday at 7PM
3) It is unlikely that they will allow me to bring in anything good to throw

Friday, May 16, 2008

Drug question of the day: What is Derbisol? (As asked by the Mrs.)

I wonder how long it would have taken me to answer that question in the days before google. The delinquents were obviously taking a standardized test. Mrs. Lasko told them: "If you've never heard of it, you probably haven't taken it," to which one replied: "I've taken a lot of stuff I've never heard of." Mrs. Lasko then told them the truth, forever messing up all those illicit drug use statistics you hear all the time.

To keep the Thingnamers interested: Derbisol sounds like a fake drug name to me...but that might be because I know all (well maybe not all, but nearly all) real drug names. The biggest problem with the name is that it sounds nothing like a drug of abuse. The -sol suffix is quite popular among hemorrhoid treatments (Proctosol, Anusol) otic treatments (Vosol, Acetasol), and parenteral nutrition (Travasol, Normosol, Hepatasol).

If you're still reading: here's a cool list of fictitious drug names. When I have more time, I'll go through and determine which ones are well named fake drugs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Slow day at work today. As it's too early to send people home early, I'll try to get some staff to take extended (unpaid) lunches. As further proof that there is little upside in trying to be funny, here's the email I sent to the crew. (I'll post replies as they come in).

Extended Lunch Today?

The successful applicant will:

1) Provide scheduled lunch start/end times
2) Provide proposed (extended) lunch start/end times
3) Use no portion of extended lunch for needlepointing, needlepoint instruction, or the purchase and/or barter of needlepointing works and/or needlepointing supplies.

scheduled lunch start/end times: 10:30-11AM
Provide proposed (extended) lunch start/end times: 11:15AM-1:15PM

Lasko does not like it if your extended lunch has anything to do with expensive handbags.

1/ 11:30-12pm
2/ 11:30-2pm
3/ ?? Not domesticated like that.

1) 12:30-1pm
2) 12:30- 2
3) Will cross stitch and buy cross stitching suppplies

RPh: 11am to 1pm

Me: Please follow directions

RPh: Keep it simple, my friend.

my lunch 12:45pm-1:15pm
propose 11:30am-1:30pm
??? ??? ??? !!!!

Ditto for me whatever xxx e-mailed! Wahooo. Lunch at Cheesecake. I love extended lunches.

Monday, May 12, 2008

99 bottles of beer on the wall

I used to have this theory that if one buys a rack for compact disc storage, one will quickly buy more compact discs to fill up said rack...requiring the purchase of a second (and third, and fourth) rack to make room for the additional CDs. My CD buying habit has been somewhat curbed in the last decade or so, but Nico and I must have >400 discs between us; (I know this because the 300 disc changer is full, even after removal of the music Nico would not want anyone else to know she owns). Obviously, CD storage is not really a problem anymore (I only keep the jewel boxes for nostalgic purposes...I suppose I only keep the 300 disc changer for nostalgic purposes, as well).

Wine storage however is another story. We have now filled: 1 small wine refrigerator (20+ bottles that we cannot afford to drink), 1 under the stairs wooden rack (80+ bottles as assembled by Nico), 1 old rusted metal thing that I painted green during pharmacy school, and has now begun to rust again after sitting in the garage for the last 5 years (15 bottles).

With the storage problem in mind, I have entered into full drinking mode. Maybe not full drinking full drinking mode, I would move to Las Vegas with my wine collection, and finish it all in 6 weeks. But I am forcing myself (and Nico, though Nico does not require much forcing) to drink a glass of wine a day. At this rate, we should be out of wine in about a year and a half (assuming a mild re-purchase rate).

So far, we have emptied:
1) Sterling Rutherford Carbernet (2004). Pretty solid cab for the price; it's on sale at Bevmo right now. I would buy more, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

2) Some organic red table wine...we suffered through a few sips before deciding it belonged down the sink. I think someone brought it to a wine party we had a couple of years ago. Note to winemakers: Nobody really wants sulfite free wine, they just think they do.

3) Bonny Doon Anglianico (2002). The 2002 was an Italian import; Better than I would have guessed, it tasted a lot like a typical Bonny Doon wine: Rhoney.

4) Bonny Doon Anglianico (2004). The 2004 was made with California grapes...we opened this one immediately after finishing the 2004, for a weird horizontal/vertical effect; I guess that would be a diagonal. Following the 2002, this bottle struck me as kind of light and fruity, but the next day (when tasted on its own), it also tasted Rhoney.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

If you want to look at my feet, say so....but don't be a God-damned sneak about it.

Jacket required, tie optional; but since I had been waiting for an occasion to wear my new Brook's Brothers suit, I thought I would overdress a little for dinner at the French Laundry. Unfortunately, my one pair of dress shoes, which were not new at my wedding, got a little beat up in the suitcase. Even more unfortunate, after walking around Yountville for a few blocks, my shoes officially made the transition from "beat up" to falling apart. Fortunately, I was able to adeptly hide under the table cloth (at least until we were well into wine #2, at which point I no longer cared what my shoes looked like).

I vowed not to take any pictures during dinner...if that's what you're looking for, or an in depth review of each course, you can easily find photo-crazy people here and here. I did snap a (blurry) Juke photo of the SNAKE RIVER FARMS “CALOTTE DE BŒUF GRILLÉE” was not my favorite course, but it was in the top 3 or 4...and the mini brussel sprouts from the garden out front were the best vegetable I have ever eaten.

Conversation with Nico during the steak course:
Me: You should totally get an order of these brussel sprouts.
Nico: There were only two of them, a whole order would cost a fortune.
Me: No it won't. They'll only bring you four of them, though.

I had another Juke photo of Nico trying to drink the "coffee" that came with the coffee and doughnuts, but it proved to be too blurry to post. Seriously, did she think the 5th spoon they brought us was just for show? So instead, here's a picture I took in the courtyard during a much needed break after course 4.

Was it the best meal I have ever had? Absolutely.

Was it worth $800? Only if it's possible for dinner (for two) to be worth $800.

Was the experience life changing? I don't know about life changing, but it has been difficult to go back to that stuff the rest of you call food...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Our First (Organized) Century

Yountville, CA (5/4/08, 6:45 AM)

A staggered start at the Napa Valley Tour de Cure allowed us to avoid most of the early morning traffic (there were fewer than 10 single bikes listening to the pre-ride instructions with us). Tour volunteers (and the Yountville Police Department) forced us to stop at every stop sign in the deserted town of Yountville, making for a very slow first couple of miles.

Easy Napa Valley rollers marked the first 20 miles up Highway 29 through Calistoga, followed by a short climb (we were passed by many single bikes) up 128 to Sonoma County and a long descent (we passed no single bikes) into the Alexander Valley.

We hit the 50 mile mark at Ridge (Lytton Springs), but the stoker would not let us stop; I guess it was only 10 AM, and they would not have been open for another hour.

The hill (128 again) was a little steeper on the way back into Napa Valley (we were passed by many more single bikes); immediately after crossing back into Napa County, I noticed that in Sonoma they are far better at maintaining their roads. My only mishap during the 100 mile ride involved running over a water bottle (both stoker and I hope it was filled with water) to avoid two giant potholes.

More Napa Valley rollers and a strong headwind (more single bikes passing us) made the 20 or 25 miles down the Silverado Trail rather unpleasant. Finally we turned back onto 29 (with the wind behind us), and rode the final 5 miles at 25+ MPH (passing over 50 singles, though many of them were doing the 50 or 25 mile rides).

Pedaling time: 6:15
Total time: 7:15

We stopped at every rest stop, but still made it back in time for tasting at Domaine Chandon (next door to the Veterans' Home) and Milat Vineyards (where we were staying), and dinner at the French Laundry.

No other tandems on the 100 mile ride (I saw two doing the shorter routes). Next up: a mere 100K at the Long Beach Tour.