Spoke Too Soon

Late last week, I mentioned how nice and warm it is in San Diego. It was so wonderful to walk outside in December, especially at night, with a light jacket at the most. I thought my peacoat and scarf were retired, but I was wrong. During the weekend, we experienced some drizzle, but we had a full-fledged rainstorm yesterday.

Strangely enough, the rainstorms also reminded me of the personal blog meetups I had with the guys who formed my immediate, but somehow national blog community. Last year in December, Chris was in town for a conference, so I whisked him away to the gastromonically incorrect & gay owned diner Brians’ and then for some beers at Sole Luna. During my brief early summer holiday in DC, it rained most of the time I was there. I lost a pair of Kenneth Coles on that trip, but I got to meet up with Brian and Fredo in Dupont Circle. Fortunately, the weather cleared up and we had dinner at Lauriol’s and beer at the bar across the street.


Here is the scarf I wore. I’ve had it for a few years; I suspect Clinton and Stacy would make me part with it if I were ever on What Not To Wear. It reminds me a bit of Tom Baker‘s The Fourth Doctor scarf, but not as long. Winter scarves in San Diego are usually ornamental, but on a day like today, it kept my neck warm.

I was going to do drive-thru Starbuck on Mission Gorge, but I saw this line. Frak that. I parked and briefly braved the rain for some counter service. It was a much quicker wait than if I remained in the car.

At Starbucks, my name is John. I’ve never felt like telling a total stranger how to spell my name or butcher it, so I’ve often given my middle name. Here to get me through the rainy drive was some venti Christmas coffee and a peppery bacon egg muffin.

This was on the way to the East County college. It was very, very nasty on the 8, and also very, very slow. I had take the 125 north. Not as bad as the 8, but still rainy road condition. A majority of my students made it to class, though I would not have blamed them for not showing up. The remaining few got through their presentations.

Can you believe this was taken around 12:45 pm? I left the East County College for the Urban College, but I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for.

Going west on the 8 was scary. A few miles of the freeway were covered in a small layer of puddles, enough to make cars hydroplane. I kept going for a few miles until I returned to the Mission Gorge Starbucks and then took the off-freeway detour to the Urban College. It took twice as long as it normally would on the freeway, but I was nerve-wracked. I was also crazy enough to take some pictures.

After my Urban College course was over, I took the long way to Mission Valley to get some gas. By Texas and Madison, I wound up taking this Anton Corbijn-like photo of a police car that had pulled over a limo. I wound up seeing a second police car closer to Costco. Apparently, people in San Diego drive stupidly in the rain.

Before meeting some friends out for dinner, I stopped by the Twiggs on Adams and Idaho. I could have used a gondolier.

Here’s a closer view of the corner from Twigg’s entrance. The fun was finding the water at its narrowest point to cross to and fro my favorite cafe.


Here I am in my scarf and peacoat. I like it much better than shorts and a t-shirt, even if warmer weather’s more comfortable.

It’s still raining in the middle of the night. No doubt will it still be raining sunrise. My lesson leaned: Do not gloat about warm winter weather. Perhaps I should drive to Julian some time tomorrow to see if the entire town is snowed in.

Winter in July


I hate to rub it in for people in colder parts of the country, but this December has been the warmest one we’ve had in a while in San Diego. For me, that means the peacoat and other wintery garments collect dust. For these guys, they can wander around in shorts. It’s not July hot, but it’s warm enough.

Out for Food Burlesque…


It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded some food porn to ShindoTV. For a while, I was going out to lunch or dinner every other day and taking pictures. Food is fun and so are the pictures, but there’s only so much dining I can do in this economy. In the second night that I’ve hung out with Jen in a row, I joined her, our mutual friend Melodie, and some of her friends out at the Linkery. Jen was still in birthday mode, so what better place for her birthday than where the food is dramatically presented?

As pictured above, the kitchen is only separated from the dining area and bar by glass windows. While this has the advantage of keeping the kitchen staff from doing nasty things with the food, the true objective is more likely to give the diners a show. This is how the food is prepared and it is definitely sexy! Also, everyone can feel like they are at the chef’s table.

I could have easily included the table drinks in the pics, but your need for alcohol porn, especially beer, will have to be satisfied with the two photos below. The menu contains a bewildering list of wines, beers, and ciders, and they all can be paired with starters and courses. I played it safe and asked the waiter what went well with the link plate (where the diner can have 1-3 sausages). I ordered the Choucrotte, which essentially was three sausges with some sauerkraut. I’ll save the fun details for two photos later.

Alex, one of Jen’s friends, had a plate of flat bread with some links. Looked tasty like a pizza. Also, it was very light on both the wallet and the stomach.


Now here is where it gets fun. There was a mix-up as someone else at our table also ordered a link plate (the picnic plate). At first, I thought the chef put the wrong sides on the plate, forgetting my sauerkraut. I figured I’d ask the waiter for some sauerkraut when he came back to our table . In the meantime, I got the money shot of this plate, and Melodie and I sampled the potato salad. We only had a few bites between us.


Needless to say, the other person at our table had my plate. Once we realized that there was a mix-up, there were some casualties. As mentioned before, Melodie and I took a couple of bites out of the potato salad. On the choucrotte, one of Jen’s friends amputated one of the weenies.


She didn’t eat the piece, but I wouldn’t have been offended. I did eat some of her potato salad after all. I was left with a John Wayne Bobbit piece of food porn, though.

Now to the alcohol presentation. Food and beverage storage is usually out of site for the customers, but the Linkery has the bottled beers in plain sight for any customer who wants to walk up to the pantry in the back and see the inventory.


Modern beer kegs are ugly devices; however, the beers created by the Linkery brewery are also in plain sight. Too bad no staff member was around to give me the money shot.


The last time I was at the Linkery was in its old location, a few blocks south of the new one. The food theatre component is part of the new location. Given that there was a lot of stage tease with the food and drink, lovely presentation, and the comedy of errors regarding some link plates, I’ve been out to a night of food burlesque.

Photo Lab for iPhone

Yesterday, I mentioned the CameraBag application for iPhone. I downloaded Photo Lab, which has some artistic filters one can apply to the photos on your iPhone. The options range from simply adjusting the color to rendering the image as a line drawing. For $2.99, there are 20 filters and it’s easy to use.

To show some of the effects, I used a picture I took of my friend Jaylen. First, here’s the original photo taken with iPhone’s default camera app next to one with the Auto Correction filter applied:
Jaylen (original) Jaylen Auto Correction
Left: Original. Right: Auto Correct

Jaylen Posterized Jaylen Saturated
Left: Posterized. Right: Saturated.

Jaylen Line Art Jaylen Line Art with Color
Left: Line Drawing. Right: Line Drawing with Color.

Jaylen Stencil Jaylen Sculpture
Left: Stencil. Right: Sculpture.

UPDATE: While I enjoy using Photo Lab on my iPhone and tweaking the photos with it, the app has crashed on me a lot today. Please, developers of this fun product, please work things out so that there are less crashes. I will less likely bitch and moan and scream ‘FAIL!’ if you do.

CameraBag for iPhone

You can’t always say you get what you pay for with iPhone apps. Some of the best ones are free while some of the paid apps are utter FAIL (such as allRadio). Given that, I paid $2.99 for the CameraBag, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The iPhone’s default camera application is simply point and click. There isn’t much one can do with the “camera” besides have a steady hand and shoot. With CameraBag, that part is still true, but there are several options to manipulate the image for a “vintage” effect.

Here are some examples of the effects offered by CameraBag:

Jaylen in cardigan
Jaylen in “Lolo.”

Amber and Julie infrared
Amber and Julie in “infrared.”

Amber in vintage photo
Amber in “1974”

Sharon and Brian B&W
Sharon and Brian in “1962”

Casey in “Helga”

iPhone Photos Askew

Am I the only one who’s taking pictures where the perspective is warped on my iPhone? Perhaps I’m accustomed to the two-dimensional effect of conventional cameras, but from time to time, buildings seem out of whack. Here are some lovely examples:
5th and Washington, Hillcrest.

Ash Street towards the Harbor, Downtown San Diego.

Columbia District, Downtown San Diego.

This one almost seems to be in classical perspective, but is still a bit off:
Core District and East Village, Downtown San Diego.

Please tell me I’m not crazy.