What A Week!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this week’s hardly been a holiday. While my neighborhood has been spared from the fires, it was not risk free. Most San Diego neighborhoods are built on top of hills, and the hillsides (suburban and rural) are lined with chaparral, which is simply plenty of vegetation to catch fire. The fires were largely limited to rural areas, but densely populated areas close to them, such as Rancho Bernardo and Poway, were vulnerable and took heavy damage. There will be more stories in the news in the weeks to come as these people struggle to resume their lives and rebuild their homes. What is very unfortunate is that some of these people were still recovering from the Cedar Fires disaster, which happened four years ago.

Thanks to those who kept us in your thoughts. I would especially like to thank Brian and Danny for their responses in some of my fire related posts. There was also a Flickr user who sent me some thoughtful messages. I’m glad to know that fellow San Diego bloggers Ted and Rob are ok.

I’ve gotten word that one of the teachers out in the East County school lost her home in the fire. I’m sure we’ll hear about more friends, colleaguues, and acquaintances in this situation in weeks to come.

As for family in San Diego, I’m glad everyone’s fine. My immediate family (mother and brother) are all in central San Diego, away from the fires. My brother’s children (my niecce and nephew) live with their mother in East County, but their area is unaffected. I visited my uncle John (my paternal grandmother’s brother) and my aunt in Mira Mesa yesterday. It had been a while since I’ve seem them, but I worried about them this week, since their area had more smoke than here. I promised not to be a stranger.

As far as I know, the community colleges resume on Monday. I’ll be catching up on grading papers and doing prep work for classes. I’ve lost more or less a week’s worth of lessons, so I’ll have to exercise some flexibility with plans and deadlines.

Updates

Photopshop: Some People Have Too Much Time On Their Hands

Apparently, some Photoshop users found the time to skewer dumpy man on the streets and publicity whore Greg Parker. Adam Frucci of the Gizmodo blog solicited these images from users early this week and here are the frightening results.

My favorite result is where someone used a clip from the Star Trek: TNG episode “Conspiracy” and have Picard and Riker phaser him until his head explodes.

I wonder what Parker’s going to do with his iPhone once he’s purchased it. Sell it on e-Bay, perhaps, complete with Parker DNA (eeeeww!). He’s soliciting donations on his hardly updated blog about the experience. Dude, if you want blog readers to pony up some cash, you got to give some content. Talk about how stinky you’ve become and how you probably would pee your pants (or worse) rather than give up your place in line. At least the friend of yours who set up the blog should have the decency to get you to dictate updates.

Update:
New York Times reports on the sale of iPhones in 5th Ave Apple Store, Manhattan. Everyone’s favorite Photoshop target is pictured with two iPhones. The donations must have come through. Stay tuned on eBay…

Update 6/30/07:
Read Fredo’s account of the iPhone sale in DC.

Deer Sushi

A horse’s ass is better than yours! – Cibo Matto, “Beef Jerky.”

The idea of deer sushi sounds like a Cibo Matto song from the late 1990’s. There is something so odd, so surreal about Japanese sushi chefs incorporating horse and deer into their sushi that it might as well be served by a Japanese art rock song along with some Sci-Fi wasabi. However, in the New York Times this morning, sushi chefs in Japan are grappling with featuring deer and horse meat, among other non-traditional sushi ingredients, due to worldwide limits on fishing tuna. While tuna is not the only seafood used in sushi, it is one of the most popular.

The limited availability of tuna challenges the definition of sushi in Japan. While sushi may go back several centuries, the popular delicacy only dates back to the 19th century. The vinegared rice was originally created as a preservative for fish (and not eaten), but making rice balls, or nigiri, together with fish is more of a recent development.

Sushi has become such as definitive part of Japanese culture and cuisine that changing it seems unthinkable. However, given the history of sushi, it has evolved over the centuries and was even changed by innovation in the 19th century. There’s no reason to think that it can’t adapt now.

Enjoy this humorous video on Sushi etiquette by the Rahmens*, a Japanese comedy troupe:

*official site in Japanese. Hopefully, some info can be gleaned here in English.

Links:

The Hiltons Do Not Know Their ABC’s

This just in: ABC declines offer to interview Paris Hilton.

Greediness doesn’t always pay. When ABC offered to pay the Hiltons for a post-prison interview, they turned it down, claiming they had a better offer from NBC (which was just smoke to blow up ABC’s ass). Now that they are willing to interview “with no strings attached,” ABC’s no longer interested.

Well, you can’t fault Barbara Walters for trying before ABC turned down the Hiltons.

What’s Paris learning in jail? A whole lot
, it seems.

Update on Huffington Post (6/23/06): Paris Hilton to be interviewed by Larry King for free.

The Hiltons Do Not Know Their ABC’s

This just in: ABC declines offer to interview Paris Hilton.

Greediness doesn’t always pay. When ABC offered to pay the Hiltons for a post-prison interview, they turned it down, claiming they had a better offer from NBC (which was just smoke to blow up ABC’s ass). Now that they are willing to interview “with no strings attached,” ABC’s no longer interested.

Well, you can’t fault Barbara Walters for trying before ABC turned down the Hiltons.

What’s Paris learning in jail? A whole lot
, it seems.

Update on Huffington Post (6/23/06): Paris Hilton to be interviewed by Larry King for free.

This is seriously frakked up!

Religiously motivated hate crimes are not cool at all. Reported in the NY Times this morning, Umair Ahmad, a Moslem teenager in Queens attacked a Vacher Harpal, a Sihk classmate, in retaliation for insulting his mother. Even though Vacher apologized, Umair wouldn’t accept it. Instead of insulting him back or walking away, Umair chose cut Vacher’s hair after making him go into a school bathroom. His reasoning? His religion told him to do it. That seems to be a favorite excuse of many perpetrators regardless of their religious beliefs.

I’m glad it didn’t stick and that he’s charged with felony hate crimes. His look-out should have been charged. Many of these perps don’t do their dirty deeds without some help.

I hope that other hate crimes offenders don’t get off lightly, especially those who attack gays and minorities in the name of Jesus. The First Amendment does not extend to hurting other people, contrary to what some people may think.