Hero or Traitor?


Recently tech pioneer Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape and board member of Facebook, eBay and HP), in an interview with CNBC, called NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor.”


Many of his colleagues in the high tech world, whose technologies have been used by the NSA, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps not, to spy on, well, just about everybody, have generally taken a more favorable view of Snowden.  He was warmly received – via his lawyer, via satellite video – at the South by Southwest tech conference earlier this year, when his lawyer read a statement from Tim Berners-Lee, a respected computer scientist and internet pioneer who wrote that Snowden’s leaks were “profoundly in the public interest.”

Self-congratulatory applause all around.

Andreessen said he wasn’t surprised by the NSA spying.  “I just thought that’s what they were doing.  I thought everybody knew that.”

Well, if they did, they certainly had no shame in playing the fake righteous indignation card.

So who’s right?

I’d Like To Buy A Vowel, And Maybe Some Meds, For The Guy

Wow!  Who knew affable “Wheel Of Fortune” host Pat Sajak was 13 kinds of crazy?


On Monday he tweeted, “I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.  Good night.”

I have to say, I didn’t see this coming.  I expect half baked mini-rants from Tea Party politicians, wayward celebs…


…and people with Twitter handles like “@hateeveryonee” (looks like someone already grabbed “@hateeveryone” with just one “e,” forcing poor @hateeveryonee to buy an extra vowel!)

This is Why Asian American Students do Better than White Students

If it seems like Asian American students outperform their white counterparts, a new study released today in the journal PNAS offers an explanation of why that might be.


According to the study conducted by two sociology professors: “Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement. Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort, whereas white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that are inborn.”

But it’s not all a bed of roses for the Asian American students: “Studies show that Asian American youth are less psychologically adjusted and socially engaged in school than their white peers. They may experience more conflict in relationships with parents because of the high educational expectations their parents place on them.”

The Money Curse

Did you know that CNN host Anderson Cooper never had to work a day in his life?


Well, technically that’s not true, but, theoretically?  Theoretically, it is very very possible.

His mother is Gloria Vanderbilt.  She is worth $200 million dollars, and when she dies, according to the New York Post, he will be getting none of it.

So, is mommy incredibly wise, or just a tightwad?



Stand Up Comedy, Flight Attendant Edition

I’ve been on more Air Greyhound (Southwest Airlines) flights than I care to count, and I’ve seen flight attendants take every approach when it comes to pointing out the rules and regs and safety features of the plane. Some play it straight, some pantomime it, some can’t conceal their boredom, but I have noticed that Southwest in particular allows its employees to joke around. It’s usually corny, but charming stuff, and it breaks up everyone’s monotony.

This woman takes it to another level.

The opening line: “Can I pretend to have your attention…” did just that – got my attention.

Custom Coffee

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“If you have a minute, I have some in my car.”


That’s what my favorite bank teller (yes, I have a favorite bank teller), Eyasu “Josh” Felleke, told me, after we started chatting about coffee.  He had read a post I wrote about a latte I enjoyed at particular coffee shop in Berkeley.

“I know the Elmwood Café,” he said one day as he was waiting for my deposit receipt to pop up, “it’s one of my favorite places.”

“How can you not love it – they still have an old soda fountain like it was 1955.”

“I know, right?”

“Still can’t decide whether I like the taste – or the smell – of coffee better.”

I Will Never Know Whether She Stole The $500 Or Not


I got in just before closing on a Friday afternoon.  It was 5:53 and I was running behind.  The security guard had already unlocked the entry door gate and was just waiting seven more minutes until he could shut and lock it.


I was the only customer in the bank.  I had deposits to make for both bars and didn’t want to keep anybody from their weekend plans, least of all me.

SAF Seeking… The shouldas of home remodeling

Why can't my room look more put together than my actual state of mind?!?! Argh!!!

Why can’t my room look more put together than my actual state of mind?!?! Argh!!!

Ah! This is why we pay professionals!!!!

I am armed -armed I tell you!- with $3000!!! Yes I am! $3000 hard-fought American dollars to remodel my new condo! Woooo hooooo!!

That’s enough right? To redo the counters, replace the flooring, fix the electrical, AND buy a storage bed from IKEA yes?

Yup. Yes I am.

Yup. Yes I am.

Who Are You?

Several months ago one of our patrons, a young man who works as a busboy at a nearby restaurant, was hit by a car as he left the bar and suffered serious head trauma.  He was placed in an induced coma for a month.


I don’t know him, but according to my staff, James is a very nice, unassuming guy who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

He has no memory of the accident.  More than that, he has suffered complete amnesia.  He is in a group care facility and his family and friends visit him daily.  He has learned to walk again, but he does not yet know who he is.  I don’t know if he has come to recognize his parents and friends or not, but one detail I heard struck me.

Laura Palmer Returns Today or TWIN PEAKS is 25 Years Old


Laura Palmer returns today to talk to Special Agent Dale Cooper. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you are not a fan of TWIN PEAKS, the seminal TV show that shook the foundations of what network television is all about. The brainchild of David Lynch and Mark Frost, TWIN PEAKS was essentially a soap opera set in a small Washington State town where the central mystery involves the murder of prom queen and all around “good girl” Laura Palmer. The show’s main character is the quirky FBI special agent Dale Cooper, with his love of all things cherry pie and coffee may seem by-the-book in that DRAGNET kind of way, but his dabbling in mysticism, New Age thinking and cosmology made him fit right in as the central mystery of “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” explored some pretty weird and odd shit that happening in the town and most importantly, the woods surrounding the town.