Friday, August 31, 2007

Boy Books & Girl Toys

I'm a member of an all guys book club which is an endless source of humor for my wife. Last night we had a men's and women's book club meetup at a local bar. Richard, one of our members, met an attractive woman from their book club at the Commonwealth Club and suggested that the 2 clubs meet. She eagerly agreed so the date was set. It was a fun evening... mostly young, single cute chicks with one attractive married woman (which was good since I was the only married male). The ruse of an intellectual "meeting of the minds" was a good ice breaker for what was for both sides a chance to exchange looks, witty banter, and hopefully... a few phone numbers.

The girl's club is a bit more open minded than ours when it comes to sticking to the books. We police our meetings to make sure we actually spend a decent amount of time discussing the previous books and get in heated exchanges over what the next book should be. Their meetings include wine tasting trips to Napa, cooking classes and even... a Tupper Ware-style sex toy party sponsored by Good Vibrations. It was the married woman who confessed this to me. Maybe the fact that I was married made it easier for her to share this juicy secret. Its interesting when an attractive woman you don't know confesses that she owns sex toys. You want to ask a lot of questions but you have to feign only casual interest so she doesn't become uncomfortable and change the subject. She told me that the girls spent over $500 on "toys" that night earning her bonus store credits which she has yet to redeem. I left wanting to know more. I let her know that my wife was looking for a book club and that she might enjoy discussing "books" with the girls. She extended an invite today so we'll have to see where it all leads.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bocce... Like father, like son

This is Buzz and Alexander at Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos, CA. When I was living in New York, I would occasionally see older men playing bocce in some of the Italian neighborhoods. But there is something special about bocce that I think the Italians have known for a long time. Bocce is a game for all ages. It takes skill to master but almost none to play. But it is experience and not physical strength that allows men to continue playing into their later years. Lastly, the primitive simplicity of the game... throwing balls in the dirt makes it possible for kids as young as 1 or 2 to participate in a mock game without disrupting the real game further down the court.

I first came to this realization while playing with some friends and my brother and sister in law. It is beautiful in it's simplicity. Seeing Buzz and Alexander wonder the court together made me think that it would have been nice to play with my father.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stumbled upon this billboard today. Its a smart campaign and a clever Acronym for Sony that they are using to promote the high image quality of their TVs, digital cameras and VAIO computers. Sony still has lots of challenges to overcome but maybe this is a sign they've turned the corner... at least from a marketing perspective.

Old and New San Francisco

This is an old but newly exposed apartment building just off Market Street In San Francisco. The city recently approved a new zoning plan for the Upper Market area that will allow for buildings along Market St. to be up to 10 stories tall. Since Market bisects the city at angle there are numerous odd-shaped lots like this one that will now be turned into large apartment buildings. I had never seen the shingled apartment building in this photo until the demolished the building and billboard that were here.

The plan was controversial but I think it is a good one. There are so many old, single story buildings in this part of the city that were always ugly and have gotten worse due to disrepair. It didn't make sense to fix them because the owners probably weren't making enough money from rent of a single story business. The city also has a long term housing shortage that it needs to deal with and in-fill housing (the name for expanding urban density with existing lots) is the right way to deal with it. It should also do away with some of the seedier businesses that have occupied this part of city for the last decade or more. We are close enough to Market St. and adjoining Church St. That the plan could have a positive or negative impact on us. Hopefully it will be positive. We have a parking lot across the street from us which gives us great natural light but a homeless problem as well so it could go either way if they build something big across from us.