Delish

image

I sometimes stop by Delish for lunch when I neglect to bring food or am too lazy to prepare some. The other day I opted to have my sandwich there. Being somewhat a creature of habit these days, I got the same thing I always get, the grilled pesto chicken pannini. I ran off and left my wallet sitting in my chair.1 and someone was kind of enough to turn it in.

I freak out about an hour later, call, they have it, I run back by. One of the employees had gone out of his way to find me and try to get it back to me. Sadly, I don’t keep any phone number references in my wallet. (Maybe I should?) Anyway, I was touched that in this day and age, there is still some honesty in the world. I had about $60 in cash in the wallet, and it was still there. Not a dollar was missing.2 

So, not only is the food good and the staff friendly, they’re honest! They’ve definitely earned a loyal customer and I am calling the owner so he knows of the good deed!

If you’re local, it’s on Van Ness right next to the somewhat new Phil’s coffee shop. Stop by sometime. Tell’em Moby sent ya!

  1. Don’t ask me how I accomplished that []
  2. Yes, I gave them a fat tip for being so honest. []

Dong

Ding dong Prop 8 and DOMA (parts at least) are dead! lol It is high time too. Courtesy of the rulings, ss-couples can now not only be recognized at the state level but also the federal level. This is truly historic times for us.

To wake up and feel like an equal citizen for the first time1 is amazing. And unlike before Prop 8, there is a sense of finality to the issue. There will be no more Prop 8s. We’ve gained recognition at a whole new level and I couldn’t be happier. To feel recognized and accepted under the law is just unbelievable. In a way, it is almost anti-climactic.

Of course, the fight is not over. We still have equal rights for our Trans brethren and we still have a slew of states that don’t yet recognize gay marriage and/or bar it completely. The latter is only a matter of time. If you read the DOMA ruling, the justices pretty much set it up. The bias and basis for these laws is based only on discrimination and ignorant religious dogma. As new cases wind their way thru the courts back to the supreme court, the issue of ss-marriage will be decided once and for all. All the states with these horrible restrictions and bans on ss-marriage will have to suck it up, just like they did for women voting, the end of segregation, and interracial marriages. All of which, they also tried to use religious dogma to enforce.

The tide has shifted to our side. Thanks to the multitudes of us living openly/honestly, the world is beginning to see we really aren’t that different. We want the same things in life. We aren’t out to destroy civilization. Hardly. lol With 7 billion people clogging up this poor planet, there is zero danger there. I look forward to the future w/new dreams that I never thought possible.

  1. Ok. 2nd time. The first time was when California ruled we could get married before Prop 8 []

GHHD 2013

Well, GHHD #1 has come and gone this year.1  This year was especially significant due the recent rulings of Prop 8 and DOMA, both of which got the axe! (More on those later)

My personal pride was somewhat subdued. I think I was so emotionally worn out from the day of the ruling, I just couldn’t muster super excitement. That is not to say I wasn’t happy. Anyway, I noticed a large number of straight people at the events this year. The number of straights in attendance has been increasing dramatically in recent years but this year seemed even more so. (More on that in another post)

I always go early to the events because I don’t like the drunkenness that ensues later on. Plus it isn’t yet unbearably busy. For a social person, I get really frustrated in cramped crowd environments. Anyway, the party was busy very early and since I had Cooper I had to take him home and come back. The most striking thing about the Pink party was the couples. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed so many couples before. Maybe it was the significance of the weekend but it really seemed like a lot more couples were in attendance. A good thing of course. I mention it only because I was struck by it.

I admit I had a moment of sadness for being single. I was a single guy surrounded by couples and I do like being coupled. But, then I remembered I am single not because I have to be but because I choose to be. When a guy comes along that compliments me in the way I need/want, then I’ll couple up again. I have no desire to be in a LTR just to avoid being lonely. It is a recipe for disaster and never ends well. So I pushed my momentary sadness away and embraced the freedom that I had and so rightly deserved.

Of course, Pride is barely over and many are whining about “do we need pride anymore?”  Yes we do. Just because it is no longer a benefit to you, doesn’t mean we do away with it. But more on that later too.

There was some bad news this year as well. Two shootings happened right outside the fair. It appears they weren’t straight on gay crime but details are still emerging. Two people were shot and so far both are expected to recover. This saddens me. While we welcome straights, often times as their numbers increase, so does the crime. And I’m not saying gays are less prone to crime than straights. But there is a fundamental difference between a drunk straight and gay guy. Gay guys usually just want to get laid, not start fights. They might read you to filth for some unknown slight vs trying to beat you up or shoot you. I’m not sure what the answer is here but I worry the outcome will be much like our old Halloween parties…shut it down. I hope not.

Now that it is over, I have plenty on my mind and even more to rant about. It certainly gave me blog fodder for a couple weeks. lol

I hope you all had a safe and loving pride, even if you didn’t celebrate or care.

  1. Gay High Holy Day []

Belly

Apparently, I have a habit that is a carry over from childhood. lol

While at the movies the other day, a friend and I had to relieve ourselves after the movie. I can’t just unzip. I have to unbuckle, unzip, and basically open the fly to do my business. After said business is done, I tend to hike up my shirt so I can close up shop, so to speak. I was told that my habit of hiking up my shirt to my chest is something only kids do.

Having never though about it, I just laughed and shrugged it off. Well, after pondering on it for awhile, I couldn’t seem to place any other adults doing it the way I did. Who knew? I didn’t know it was not a very adult thing to do. I mean no one has ever commented on it before so how would I? Of course, now I find I’m self-conscious about it. hehehe. I guess I’ll have to be mindful while in public to behave in a manner suiting an adult. hehehe

Pics

Someone on FB asked me the other day why I don’t post many pics anymore. Well, I said some time ago I was pulling further away from FB. And while I haven’t made the break completely, I just don’t feel the need to give them my data to harvest. And with the recent Instagram purchase scandal, that decision was reaffirmed. I do still post random pics but mostly of Cooper and/or pics shared by others of me already on FB. Ninety percent of my activities there are commenting on friends stuff, my blog updates, news stories I comment on, and Foursquare updates. As FB pushes more and more to share all our data, I am sharing less and less. I’ve already begun going thru and unliking pretty much every page or commercial site I ever “liked.” The bombardment of ads increases more and more every month it seems.

So if you really wanna see more pics of me you’re gonna have to jump over to Google++ from time to time. I moved all my pic storage to picasa before Goolge+ came out but now that it is all nicely integrated, I like it even more. I get tons and tons of free storage and the extra storage is a fraction of the cost that sites like flickr charge. There is no way I can post all the pics I take to my blog w/o overloading my subscribers email boxes. lol I am working on a photo album link to pop up on the blog sidebar though. (If you want to add me on Google++, click the sidebar link to my profile there.)1

On a slight tangent, I’ve noticed several friends and blog buddies pulling away from FB as well. Some have deactivated their accounts all together while most have just logged out for extended periods of time. I discovered this week even my roomie has ditched FB for awhile. I guess I’m not the only one tired of the data harvest that is FB these days. That is pretty much all it is now. They’re saving grace is user volume. But like myspace, they might wake up one day and find themselves irrelevant. More and more of my friend list is making the jump to Google++.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to ditch FB completely.

  1. Keep in mind, I do not add profiles w/porn or nudity. I have no problem with either but it is not the purpose of my social profile. []

Big Load

You were so thinking something dirty weren’t you? lol
Am I the only one that has become desensitized to FB and twitter? It just seems to be so much random info that I have begun tuning it all out. FB drives me absolutely nuts. The new layout is horrific and not at all user friendly. Not to mention, they sprung new ‘groups’ on my friend lists which annoyed the holy hell out of me. And on top of that, I got a lovely message from FB last week telling me they are phasing out RSS feed support. That means no more posts from my blog showing up on FB. I can still manually cross post them of course but that defeats the purpose. I’m not sure who is in charge at FB but from my perspective they are putting nail after nail in their own coffin. I’ve completely stopped adding new people on FB unless it’s someone I actually know. And it’s fine that they are phasing out support. I can share once from Google++ and bounce it out to twitter and FB at the same time so take that bitches.
I think I spend more of my time on Google++ these days primarily because the streams are more about data vs crap. People share funny, cutesy stuff galore but I’m also finding tons of news links as well. And the sharing just seems more intuitive to me. I’m also being careful on how many folks I follow or circle. I’m trying really hard to avoid info overload again. Its actually been quite nice logging on and only having to sift thru 10-20 updates compared to 100’s.

As an early-adopter I’m not at all dismayed by the current small amount of updates. This will change once Google+ starts releasing more API’s for developers to integrate with Google+. Its a double-edged sword but it really does seem as if Google+ is moving into Plus being centric to the entire Google+ experience. The changes across their many services already indicate a gradual shift to total integration, which I love! Even better, managing, using, and updating is so much easier and nicer than FB. twitter still gets props for being the easiest site to update but its a one-trick pony and Google+ has a whole stable.

Pretty Cloud

I’ve become a fan of all things Google+ as of late. Don’t get me wrong, while I’m definitely drinking the koolaid, I am not unaware of problems with working solely in the cloud.1  That said, I’ve been using gmail, picasa, docs, maps, etc for years. Recently, I’ve jumped on the beta bandwagon of Google+’s new music and +1 services. I’ve rambled enough on +1 already so no need to be redundant, redundant.

Storage is pretty excellent. Each service gives you a default amount of usable online storage. That said, you can upgrade to 20 gigs for just $5.00 a year.2  Even better, the storage is shared across all your Google+ services. This is a big bonus for me and a large factor in my decision to use many Google+ services.

Gmail has come along way since its inception. Its now very robust and user friendly. Its built in spam filter is excellent. The new +1 like theme is very easy on the eyes. Enough said.

Maps has always been excellent via the web or mobile. Google+ continues to integrate it with Places and Navigation. Maps has been my go to service for directions, MUNI, etc for years. The navigation mobile app is awesome as well. The down side of course is it requires a cell connection to triangulate the gps.  That can be a problem when you ride a motorcycle thru the middle of nowhere. lol

picasa is good but not yet excellent. I say ‘not yet’ because I have high hopes for the service that has sort of floundered in feature updates until recently. Storage, uploading, sharing, and even editing is pretty good. Its integration with +1 is obvious and also off to a very good start. Unfortunately, organizing, tagging, and otherwise managing content once it’s online is not all that great. Batch editing/organizing is very lacking and cumbersome. I’m hoping as the merger into +1 continues, this will change. picasa also has a desktop app. While the app is very robust, its also a bit confusing. The interface is cluttered and its very easy to get confused on what is where. The mobile site is basically for viewing and sharing. While there has never been an official mobile app, the new +1 mobile app has pics integrated. It could use some more features. I recently migrated all my pics from flickr over to picasa. I got a sick kick out of deleting my flickr account. lol They charge a ridiculous $25.00 a year for a fraction of the storage offered by Google+. The only call to fame flickr still had over picasa was its online organizing. Not enough to make me pay an extra $20 a year though.

Docs is doing better after also languishing for awhile. Dropbox is still more user friendly, especially via the mobile app. Mobile Docs tends to be sluggish. I’m still bouncing between the two currently. For stuff I need quick/dirty access to, I still use Dropbox. For generic storage and not so high-demand stuff I use Docs. Primarily because of the storage options mentioned above.

The beta music service works as advertised but it is still very basic at this point. It offers storage and playback, both of which work flawlessly. Currently, there isn’t much beyond that. You can download your music to a device or computer. Its still beta but I hate that its so basic as to be too basic. Google+ has a habit of doing that, so all is not perfect. I’m hoping it gets some major feature upgrades.

So there ya have it. My review of all things Google+3  lol  The down side to cloud computing is of course, access. If you don’t have access then you don’t have shit. Several services offer offline support but that sort of defeats the purpose IMHO. That said, we are fast approaching an age where the entire planet will be blanketed in some sort of access to the web. The only time I really don’t have access myself is when I’m out riding the bike. Otherwise, I’m plugged in to the hilt, just like a good little borg.

  1. Cloud is basically everything is online, apps, data, storage, etc []
  2. They offer even more if you are truly a memory hog. []
  3. Actually, not all. There are a ton of services that I don’t use []

+1

I was lucky enough to score a beta invite to Google+’s new +1 (plus one) aka Google++.1 I’ve been using it several days now and already I like it way better than Facebook. First and foremost, if and when you ever decided to leave Google++, you can take all your data with you. I’d love to see you try that w/FB. Mind you, some of the features are very similar just with different names. Friend groups are called Circles for example.

Visually, the layout is very user-friendly and easy on the eyes. I found it very simplistic and uncluttered. One might say too uncluttered. Of course, being in beta that is understandable. Anyway, if you’ve ever used Facebook, you’ll find some familiarity to it. Overall, it’s a much nicer interface. Navigation is super easy as well. While everything isn’t 100% integrated, its very easy to bounce around to your gmail, calendar, contacts, youtube, buzz, etc via the ever present in-page toolbar that is common to most Google+ sites. Your news feed aka Stream is pretty straight-forward and easy to navigate as well.

My personal opinion is that integration is going to be key for Google++.  Right off the bat, you get the option to merge your existing picasa account when you sign up. The two services worked seamlessly together. Changes/additions/deletions in picasa showed up immediately in +1. You still have to do most of your editing/organizing thru the picasa site directly. I expect that will change over time. Google+ has focused on tying a lot of their services together and +1 is obviously going to become the hub of that integration. Not to mention, you have easy access to your main Google+ dashboard right from the site via the afore mentioned toolbar.

The chat function is called “hangout”. You can chat with up to 10 people at once, with or without video. I encountered one bug while using it but I think it had more to do with my cheesy laptop cam. Otherwise, it worked as expected.

Privacy is much easier to use. For some this will be a big bonus. Beyond the option to take your data with you if you leave, every section can be customized to your liking. It’s a simple right click on the section to customize settings. Some are auto-shared, others are not. I found it very intuitive. You can immediately make changes. It also respects your settings from picasa as well i.e. public vs private albums.

A huge bonus for me was the mobile app. Its currently only available for Android devices but I read an iOS version is coming as well as a mobile website. The mobile app is equally simple and easy to use. It had one feature which I fell in love with immediately. You can set you Android device to automatically upload your pictures and/or videos from your phone directly to the site. You can upload all your existing media as well as auto-upload any new media you acquire. Even better, the upload directly is automatically marked private. This is obvious for so many reasons but I appreciate the fact that they realize every pic I take with my phone isn’t always fit for “public” consumption. heehee  Sharing is expected and made easy but it isn’t forced on you like Facebook does.

There is a new feature which I’m still getting used to called Sparks. Its basically like their tag service which lets you set a saved search option that constantly updates. In other words, if you like all things Android, you can set a Spark that updates constantly from across the web with any references to Android. You can set it to be as detailed or vague as you want. Basically, you save a key word or phrase and it will update for you continuously. I currently consume most of my news via my phone’s RSS app but this might be a nifty feature for those who don’t utilize their phone for reading.

People are already incorrectly referring to it as a “Facebook killer.” Hardly. Facebook is firmly entrenched into our way of life. And I don’t think Google+ is under any illusion it will kill Facebook. That said, this won’t be a failed venture like their Wave Project. Google+’s only failure here would be to let the service languish as it has for a variety of other beta projects in the past. Its obvious Google+ has big plans for this new service and if I’m right in my thinking, it will quickly become a portal for all things Google+ and social networking. Even in beta, its off to a huge start. Done properly, it will become the competitor that the doomed mySpace used to be. Competition would encourage FB to actually respond to more user feedback/complaints. A good thing in my book. Both FB and Google+ have huge user bases, of which often overlap, so I can’t either killing off the other.

Of course, being in beta there are a few cons. I think many of these will change over time. The biggest being you can only auto-add friends via your current list of Google+ users. You can manually add/invite others but that is very time consuming. There is currently no option to add friends directly from your twitter or Facebook accounts. You can search your hotmail or yahoo email, but I don’t use either of those so that didn’t help me at all. There is very little integration outside of other Google+ services. You also can’t import or export to/from twitter. You can pull an RSS feed of your stream but that’s sort of a workaround.

As mentioned, the service is off to a roaring demand. In fact so much in demand, inviting others has been turned off a couple times already. If you’d like an invite, make sure your email address (preferably a gmail one) is included with any comments below.

PS. I’m sure you noticed, I added the +1 icon to my blog posts as well. click, click, click!

  1. Thanks to several blog buddies who sent me invites []