Thursday, September 30, 2010


I live in Oakland now and I love it but I lived in SF for 13 years and it will always feel like home to me. Lived there longer than any other place in my whole life, so it's in my blood.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nico the Monkey Dog...

This is Nico aka "Monkey" and I am watching him this week while his mommy is in the Caribbean(jealous). He is a cute and spunky Boston Terrier and he reminds me so much why I want a Boston of my very own someday. We get along great and cuddle on the couch at night and he sleeps in the bed with me as well. It's a real treat and even better because I'm getting payed for it. He's not so into it when I watch the Giants games because I get excited and make a racket and he's not sure what to make of that and he gets a little skittish when I hoot and holler and clap my hands. I'll make a Giants fan of him yet...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunset Civic Center...

I'm house/dog sitting for a friend who is in Trinidad & Tobago or Turks & Caicos, one of those Caribbean countries with two names, for a scuba adventure. She's paying me to keep an eye on her lovely house in the Piedmont area of Oakland, and give her pup lots of love. I'm happy to oblige because he's a cute little guy and he likes me. I got Nico (the dog in question) situated and rode into the city for the Pacific Sound Sunset Civic Picnic in the Civic Center plaza of SF. Daniel Bell ended up being the surprise special guest, which was a real treat because I would have had to drop $35 to see him spin the night before at an underground party. His set did not disappoint and he managed to play a mix that kept both the house and techno kids happy, me amongst them. It was hot and sunny again because summer comes late to the bay area, but this year seems to be more intense as though the sun is trying to shove 4 months worth of radiation into a couple weeks. I found a spot in the shadow of both the sound and sun next to a speaker stack where I could dance a little without bursting into flames or going deaf. I find that the music always sounds best just outside the cone of sound just slightly to the side of the stacks where it is loud but not deafening and ear plugs are not required. I also registered to vote at my new address in Oakland and got informed about some statewide propositions. The Sunset crew were not just providing free entertainment but also trying to get folks to do their civic duty and vote and I was happy to oblige. After bumping into many familiar faces and old friends, I bounced out to Truly Mediterranean on 16th street for a Falafel Deluxe and then hit the bay bridge back to the lil doggy. He was happy to see me and that always makes me feel good. I would love a little Boston Terrier of my own someday. Someday...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday in San Francisco

I had to drop my bike off at O'Hanlon Motorcycles for a major tune Saturday morning which is an all day thing so I decided to spend the day in the city while the work got done. It was hot and sunny in SF which is nice for a change but I had on long pants for the ride across the bay bridge so I was a sweaty mess after all the walking around I ended up doing. Anyway, after dropping the bike off I called my good friend and former roomy Deirdre and we met near the 24th Street BART station for some brunch. We wanted to eat at Boogaloos on Valencia, but as usual there was a line out the door so we went to the new Crepe Vine location down the street instead. I had the eggs bennie with sauteed spinach fruit salad and she had the cornflakes crusted french toast. Yumm on both! After commiserating about the recent drama in our lives we went back to my old pad and spent some quality time in the garden and I helped her move some furniture around the living room.
I got a call from my friend Tadd who had seen my Facebook post about being in the mission(first pic) and we decided to meet at Dolores park(second pic) for some cold ones and people watching. It was nice to walk down Mission street and reminisce about my many years in the mission district. I suppose it will always feel like home to me in a lot of ways and I miss it. Dolores park is always a scene when the weather is nice, with people for days picnicking, tanning, and just generally enjoying themselves. Tadd and I caught up and gossiped a bit and watched folks bolting down the hill on a homemade water slide while listened to a DJ that had set up in the vicinity. Tadd is expecting a baby around the new year and his fiance' was away for a girls retreat and baby shower in San Louis Obispo so he was happy to have the company, as was I. It turned out to be a great way to kill the second half of the day and he was kind enough to drop me off back at the motorcycle shop to pick up my bike.
They do such a great job woking on my motorcycle at O'Hanlon and I'm always happy that I took it there. My bike always seems to be so snappy and responsive after a tune up, I can really feel the difference a quality mechanic can make. I had to drop a chunk of change on the 32k mile major tune and brakes, but since I recently had the tires and chain replaced I shouldn't have to spend much money over the next several years on maintenance which is a load off my mind. Now that I don't commute to work anymore it will likely take me much longer to reach the next 16k mile tuneup, but for now my bike is in top notch shape, mechanically if not cosmetically and should take me another 100k miles before it requires replacement.
It was nice to get the work done as it was slightly overdue, and even nicer to get to spend the day with friends and being spontaneous on a gorgeous day in SF. If the Giants hadn't lost to Colorado in extra innings that night, I might have been tempted to call it a perfect day...

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Decade of Apple Improvement...

The technical specs for Apple's 2000 iMac and the 2010 iPhone 4:

According to Moore's Law the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years since it's invention. Above is exhibit "A" in proof of this concept in action. Apple's number one selling device is (roughly) at least twice as powerful, a hundred times as portable(by weight), and three times as affordable than it was a decade ago because of this paradigm. It's exciting to compare these devices at this fundamental level and extrapolate it into the future. Moore's law is is supposedly going to begin a flattening of the growth curve within the decade barring any unpredicted advances in processor technology due to the limits of scale for molecular circuits. It should be noted that the same has been said about every decade since the advent of this convention, so it may be impossible to predict the exact limits of the exponential growth of data processing.
The main drawback to Moore's law is the intrinsic and perpetual obsolescence of our computing devices. The picture above is also exhibit "A" for this problem. I look forward to the same graphic a decade hence, and revel at the thought of remembering our quaint iPhone 4s in the same manner that I do now for the original iMac.

Mozilla Seabird Smartphone Concept...

I love my iPhone. I have seen and tested the alternatives, and the android phones are certainly giving the industry standard a run for it's money but I have never been tempted to defect from Apple. Until now. Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox browser have thrown their hat in the mobile tech ring with this sexy concept video. The video has me drooling and I would seriously consider this phone as my new rig from what I see here. At this point it's still just a concept, so I can assume that it would take at least a year to hit the market, and I'm also assuming that it would be pricey with all of those hardware features. A phone with not one, but two PICO projectors, IR tracking, and a built in bluetooth headset? Delicious! And that's coming from a die hard Apple fan-boy. Competition is always good for the consumer, so here's hoping this is the direction that we are headed in mobile tech. Raise the bar, and then raise it again I say...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Favorite Sites...

I wanted to post something but my creativity seems to have taken the day off so I'll just post a bunch of sites that I enjoy trolling... =P

I'm a moderator on this forum, but it's probably not terribly interesting for someone who doesn't play this particular game:
Axis & Allies ForuMini

Gizmodo - In fact I read most of the Gawker Media Sites, they have great content.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog - For all things Apple.
The Apple Core - Shout out to my boy Jason O'Grady.
Engadget - Dry but thorough tech stuff.
Wired - Online magazine.

Huffington Post - I am getting less and less fond of this site. It's become the liberal Drudge Report.
Crooks And Liars - A one stop shop for your unapologetic progressive outrage.
Slate - Decent writing, more balanced that HuffPo but definitely slants left.
Salon - Same description as Slate.

BoingBoing - Love it!
SlashDot - News for nerds.
Pitchfork - Only good music.

That's the cream of the crop. I suppose I can add anything I may have overlooked later...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hooked on Minecraft!

There's a buzz about this new game Minecraft so I thought I would check it out and wow, just wow. It's so simple and intuitive and bordering on genius. Although the graphics are painfully simple, the scope and possibilities are endless. Explore, collect, craft, build, and then delve deeper and deeper into the earth in search of rare elements and adventure. It has a very Robinson Crusoe vibe to it. You start with nothing in a strange land and must build a shelter, tools, and weapons from scratch. The sun rises and sets with a regularity that makes every action seem urgent. Monsters come out at night requiring you to spend a fair amount of time indoors, which is a great time to mine and explore underground...
There is nothing in the world that you cannot change to suit your whims, and everything is a consumable resource, but there is an underlying message of living within your means. If you cut down all the trees for their wood then you are out of luck, unless you bothered to plant more as you went along. The environment is yours to exploit and consume, but there is a very real world price to pay for your choices. Be careful you don't turn paradise into a lunar landscape in your lust for bigger and more...
I can see myself pouring way too many hours into this game. You can make a whole day disappear escaping into this world where you are all powerful and can constantly tweak and improve your creations. I'm so addicted, and loving it...

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Mix - "It Is What It Is"

It Is What It Is by Tycho Sean

This is a new mix that I made from a collection of songs that I have been loving lately(see sidebar). I wanted to see what I could put together using my new Novation Dicer Serato Controllers. There are a few rough spots because the trims on my mixer need to be replaced, and they short out intermittently. I also should have practiced this set a few more times before recording it but whatever, it's recorded live so you get the idea. Please enjoy and feel free to download...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fort Ord Airsoft

I just got home from a day of Airsoft action at the abandoned army base Fort Ord in Marina California, near Monterey. I went with two of my friends, Devin and John, who essentially got me into the game, and who both have more experience than I do. Devin, who is pictured on the right in the shot above, may not be intimidating to look at but he is a beast on the field. Single handedly clearing buildings with his sidearm, or barking commands to less experienced players, he is well respected by the organizers and really knows what he's doing. He lent me his Model 1911 pistol with a hard holster which is a necessity at Fort Ord as primary weapons are not permitted for indoor engagements. With all the house to house fighting at this airsoft course, I was glad to have it but never got to fire it at an opponent. I'm still getting used to the game and tend to use my time for supporting fire and flanking maneuvers. I did get to try out my brand new JG AK-47 Auto-Electric Assault Rifle (the vid in this link is the exact model that I have), and the Blackhawk Tactical Vest that I got for a great price from a local guy off of Craigslist.
The Fort Ord airsoft course is run by Roundhouse Productions and is located on a portion of the old abandoned army/navy base that was vacated in the 1990's. The play map is a rectangular grid of buildings, mostly two story barracks with the glass windows removed and the interiors gutted. There is a sloping hill on one side of the complex and various overgrown trees and beds of wild ice plant. Here are some pics to illustrate:

We went dressed as civilian militia with T-shirts and blue jeans as apposed to full camo BDUs. Fort Ord is pretty strict about the dress code so it's easy to identify what team people are on. With house to house fighting and people firing from windows you have to be able to tell friend from foe at a glance. I will probably have to get some BDUs at some point because my friends will often wear theirs and I prefer to play on the same team as them. Our militia dominated the first scenario, taking the objective from the enemy and keeping the opposing team from taking it back for the duration of the round. Each round of action goes for roughly an hour to an hour and a half. The second round game was a little more fairly matched as our enemies were given five minutes to take control of the strategic points before we could deploy. We then had to sytematically clear buildings across the fort, dislodging them from defensive positions and pushing them back as we went. I had just made my way to the firing line at the far end of the fort where most of the action was happening when they called game over. I had been in some scrapes along the way, being pinned down by crossfire from second story windows and a sniper that I could not see no matter how hard I looked for him. He sure could see me because he would pepper my position every time I poked my head out to take a look. I died more times than I killed but I had a ton of fun and that's how it goes when you're learning the ropes. One of the main drawbacks of airsoft is that it is an honor system with no paintballs to mark hits. I swear I shot a couple guys who didn't call their hits but that's also how it goes. We stayed for the raffle, which is included as part of the registration fee, but we didn't win any of the prizes and decided to skip the final round of play. My back and legs are thanking me for that right now. Sore, sweaty, and dirty, maybe I should go hop in the shower and leave this blogging stuff for later...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Giants vs. Brewers Orange Friday

I attended what was likely my last Giants game of the season tonight. It was a lackluster game with the Giants playing sloppy defense and struggling mightily against Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf. Madison Bumgarner pitched well but the offense took the night off and the defensive mis-cues really ended up hurting us. 3-0 Brew Crew was the final score. It was however a packed-house sell-out crowd, partly because there are only like 8 more home games left in the season and partly because the first 20,000 fans received free Buster Posey T-shirts as an Orange Friday promotion. My date was not a big t-shirt wearer so I scored two of them, mine and hers. Suh-weet! The tickets I bought were the definition of nose bleed. Top row upper deck with our backs to the blasting foggy wind coming through the plastic mesh that is there more to keep you from getting vertigo than to give you any sort of protection from the elements. The view was good though, and the company, and the garlic fries. We'll get 'em tomorrow boys! Go giants!

Arcade Fire Genius

When Arcade Fire created this interactive HTML5 based music video, I'm not sure they realized what a game changer it would be. This is the future. Like Michael Jackson's Thriller of decades past, Wilderness Downtown is ahead of it's time and raises the bar for all new artists seeking to make an impression through the medium of music videos. MTV pioneered the presentation of this art form but has all but abandoned it to the purview of the web and rightfully so in my opinion. Arcade fire has taken it even further afield with a personalized and rich media presentation drawing from Google's seemingly endless well of information. The video above is a screen capture vid of someone's browser based experience as I cannot embed the film itself. Because it is not a video per se, but a series of browser window presentations linking to Google Maps, it has to be experienced live and I will provide a link below so that you might try it out for yourself. The music and the concept are both top notch. I will warn you that this might be a heavy load for the processors of older computers and will not work at all for browsers that have not yet been updated to support HTML5...

Wilderness Downtown Link


I didn't intend for my reborn blog to have a culinary focus but this week has been one of amazing meals and a renewed love of good food. Last night I had dinner at Nex, which is "Next" door to Mua and has the same ownership. My good friend and coworker Hamid handles three shifts a week at Nex on top of his day job and he has been asking me to come in and take it for a spin. I invited a lovely lady to join me for dinner, who shall remain unnamed, and she does not eat meat or poultry so we focused on the fish and non-meat dishes. We were very happy with our selections; the gnocci with mascarpone porcini cream sauce (delish), the grilled blue prawns(heads on, succulent and crunchy), and the oyster special with jalapeno sorbet(drool). We also had the Nex flatbread pizza with caramelized onions, feta, olives, and anchovies. It was the perfect choice with rich flavors but not too big and the dough was very fresh and tasty. Desert was the chocolate pot-a-creme and complementary glasses of a moscat desert wine. The cocktails and service were excellent, and I felt like a VIP. If you are a fan of Mua but looking for a more mellow environment and an alternative selection of items, just hop next door to Nex. You'll be glad you did. If you see Hamid, tell him Sean sent you...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Valkyrie Tattoo

After work yesterday I made the ride up to Valkyrie Tattoo in Penngrove just outside of Petaluma, CA. It was the final sitting for my tattoo, which is my first, and quite possibly my last. I have to say that those who told me I would get addicted to inking are not correct in my case. I'm not sure that I will get any more tats, although I do have a few ideas floating around so you never know. Harry and Jen are the artists at Valkyrie and Harry did my tat in a work trade for some DJ services I provided for a wild house party he and his wife Debi threw in May. It was a fun party and I would have done it for free so the gift of the tattoo is even more touching. I have enjoyed the process and the compliments that I have been getting as a result so thanks to Harry and Debi and Valkyrie Tattoo!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chop Bar

I have been enjoying treating myself to some nice lunches at Chop Bar in the Jack London warehouse/loft district of Oakland around the corner from my work. I was pleased to find out today that it is co-owned by an old acquaintance Chris, the former owner of Bruno's and East Side West in SF. He was there to seat me and we quickly caught up. Chris suggested that I try the Bahn-Mi pork sandwich or the meatloaf daily special but I was feeling like something lighter and got the soup of the day (potato) and the heirloom tomato salad. Both were very good though I had to salt the soup (no biggie), and they got me in and out without stretching my 1/2 hour lunch and I might also mention that their pulled pork sandwich was all the rage at the Oakland food festival EatReal. A nice addition to the neighborhood and a great reminder of what a small world the Bay Area can be. Small world indeed as Chris was also having dinner at Bar Agricole the same night that I was...

Leafy Green Spring Sampler...

Leafy Green Spring Mix '10 by Tycho Sean

I'm recording a new mix sometime this week that I'm excited to share. This is my spring 2010 demo. It's very rough and mixed live, no automation, but I'm fairly happy with it...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bar Agricole

After Power to the Hippies was over I scooted over to Bar Agricole to meet my old roomie and friend Brett Kokoruda for dinner and drinks. His lady Jen was visiting from Boston and looking radiant, as well as Miles, the guy who occupies my old room and his GF. Also joining us was the wife of the owner who's name escapes me at the moment but she was lovely and great company (as well as hooking us up with 50% off our bill). It was the best dinner I have had in recent memory and I wish that I had more pictures of the food to share here. I did manage to get a shot of the desserts before we inhaled them which is a good thing. The food, drinks, atmosphere, conversation, and company were exemplary and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a casual but quality place for a date or a private party. Top notch mixology and an ever evolving menu make Bar Agricole a sure fire treat for those who consider themselves connoisseurs of contemporary cuisine. Simple, high quality and unpretentious, it's just the kind of place I love, although I did feel a little underdressed after Hippy-Fest in the park... Five stars, especially at half price...

Power to the Peaceful

The Power to the Peaceful concert in Golden Gate Park was last Saturday and it was a gorgeous day in SF. So sunny in fact that I got a bit of a sunburn. I met my friends Debi and Harry Tucker and their daughter Stella for a nice day of hippy music and people watching. Last year I commented that I was the only person there without a tattoo so I was happy that it was no longer the case. It's a free all ages concert in the park for peace and love and all that, and though I'm not a big Spearhead fan I always like to go and check it out. The crowd was large, almost 70,000 or so, and diverse so the people watching was entertaining. It would have taken me an hour longer to get there from Oakland if I wasn't riding my bike and able to slip through traffic and find easy parking. What a scene. All the underage guys were rocking Justin Beiber haircuts and all the underage girls were showing off their bodies but looking very uncomfortable doing it. It's amazing the things that you notice as you get older. I also find it interesting that those who rail against capitalism the most are there in force selling T-shirts, cold beer and water, pot food and just about everything else. I wanted to spend more time at the DJ stage but Debi and I mostly posted at our blanket and caught up and listened to the bands. Harry with young Stella on his shoulders went on a mission to the front of the stage and got to meet Michael Franti after the concert was over. Debi and I were more than happy to hold it down in the rear where we could chill and talk. Sunscreen next year, just to be safe...

Tim Love Lee on East Village Radio...

Great weekly radio show by one of my favorite DJs, Tim "Love" Lee. Checkit, and the archives. In case you were wondering, he's the one with the beard and the British accent...
Two For Tennis • East Village Radio

List of Upcoming Updates...

1. Moved to Oakland almost a year ago. Pics of my Apartment.
2. This week:
• Final sitting for my new tattoo Wednesday. Pics of that.
• Giants game Friday night. Pics of that.
• Airsoft at Ford Ord near Monterey on Saturday. Pics of that.
3. Getting back to my Jiu Jitsu practice ASAP after falling off hard.
4. Any tech related stuff that I have been thinking about in the last year of blog absence.
5. Politics of course.
6. Gaming and geek life.
7. Wuddever else I want to share I suppose.

It's been too long...

But I'm finally thinking about dusting off the old blog. I have had time to reorg my life and come up with some content ideas. Not that I had many readers to begin with, but perhaps actually adding regular content is the best remedy for that...

More to come...