Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Notebook

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

I recently started carrying a small notebook with me so I could jot down ideas and make notes about things I see and hear while out and about. So far, it has proven to be an invaluable tool and something that I find allows me to actually put to paper those thoughts and ideas I have throughout a typical day, review them in the future and then assign quality values.

I just went through the notebook and started reading entries from the beginning, the wedding of my friend Jessica's brother. Between the few telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and take-away Steak 'n Shake orders there remain several ideas I am very happy to have written down. Here are some of them, in no particular order.

  1. Curious to see if it is possible, I am going to send a postcard to my Post Office Box using a non-standard format. Instead of addressing the piece to the box itself, I am going to use the physical address of the Post Office and place my box number secondary, as one would do with an apartment or suite number.

  2. As I was sitting in the apartment of the aforementioned Jessica and my other friend Kat, I noticed something quite visually stunning. As Jessica sat diagonally from me smoking a cigarette, the plumes of smoke rose and passed through a very thin layer of light peeking between the dark curtains that hang there. At each exhalation of smoke, I became continually more mesmerized by the stream of sunlight pouring into the room, but only visible with the smoke. Like robbers finding the security lasers in a bank by spraying chemicals into the beam.

    The images became coherent as more and more smoke filled the small space. Distinct images were brought to life and for those moments when the smoke was the thickest, the dimensionality of it all was nearly sentient. The smoke played with the ultraviolet and visible light turning and spinning like the severe atmospheric storms on Jupiter that reach for hundreds, if not thousands of miles across the surface. Or like the phenomenon I badly wish to witness for myself, the Aurora Borealis.

  3. At the Peacock Lounge, a man and woman sat to my left while my companion for the evening sat to my right. She sat there content, as there was a gentle lull in our conversation, tenderly dragging on her cigarette. Just then, the man to the left turned my direction, leaned to speak behind the woman and asked my friend if she would mind giving him a smoke. She generously accepted his proposition with one caveat: they were menthol. Upon hearing this fact, the man quickly apologized, stated he was allergic to menthol and thanked her again.

    Ten minutes later, the man turned again to address us. He opened with, "Excuse me. I am not really allergic to menthol; I just do not like them." Turning to the woman I asked if she had used guilt to get him to reveal his little secret. She had. "No reason to lie about something like that," she concluded.

  4. A waiter at a local restaurant likes to ask me the strangest questions whenever I am hanging out at the bar, keeping my friend company while she works. "If zombies took over the world, what one weapon would you want to have above all others?" "If you could kill one person in here, who would it be and why?" "Who is most likely to be a closet-case homosexual?"

    I entertain these musings because they adequately pass time and I certainly do not wish to be rude to him. It does leave me wondering the source of these enquiries.

  5. I know the woman at the wedding. Yes, the bride. I know exactly where I know her from, too. But she denies it. I have no way to find out for sure.

  6. Art in the bathroom often suffers damage from the heat and humidity of the shower. Perhaps laminating art before framing it would help seal it from the moisture.

  7. I think about it every day. At least once, often more. I should act.
So simple, really. But I feel a lot better for being able to review these snippets in life and breathe just the slightest amount of animation into them. Some will become mini-projects. Others will slip further and further down this page only to become another archived idea, destined to be soon forgotten.

Photo Credit: Cristy West

Polite Bot

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
This is quite possibly the nicest (if not factually flawed) canned e-mail message I have ever received.
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at mail1.***.net. I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out. please contact support@***.com with questions or concerns

The users mailfolder is over the allowed quota (size). (#5.2.2)
Polite and sincere, but since when is an over quota failure permanent? I mean, even if the account holder is dead, there is a slight chance that somewhere, somehow the messages could be retrieved.


Assorted Bits

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
I love having things organized, but there are times that my computer tends to get away from me, specifically with my own personal files and my e-mail. I had enough last night and decided to remedy this situation. Instead of trying to "fix" my e-mail boxes, I did my preferred first step — start over. I created a new database file and moved content I needed to keep over to the new file, making absolutely sure messages that could be deleted were deleted. Amazing how much easier it is to navigate and use now. Next: my documents.

I somehow managed to get Clairol Herbal Essences in my mouth during a recent shower. While I highly recommend these pleasant smelling hair care products, I do suggest maintaining a closed mouth while using them.

Today is my friend Chris Benitez's birthday. Drop by his website and wish him well. Tonight I will be attending his not-so-surprise party and with any luck, remembering it tomorrow. Just kidding. No, really.

The countdown to my vacation in New York is now at fifteen days and counting. With the help of the internet and the Lonely Planet book I purchased, I now have a six-page document with notes and information on a variety of topics including transportation, nightspots, nerdy locales (like the fire station from Ghostbusters), museums and restaurants.

I am commissioned to produce new menus and a website for a local restaurant. I will post more about this project and review some of the food in the near future.

New York City

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

After looking at Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C., I have decided to trek up to New York City and spend more time than I was permitted on my business trip last September. The west coast destinations were nearly impossible to manage due to some of the flight restrictions — mainly the fact I would have to travel for more than a week — of my complimentary travel vouchers. And while the idea of visiting the nation's capitol was exciting, I have spent a considerable amount of time there and not nearly enough time in the Big Apple.

I will be in the city from Thursday, 14 April through Tuesday, 19 April 2005 for anyone interested in meeting-up.

Photo Credit: Chris Annis

New Stories

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
In addition to the three draft but mostly only outlined articles I am currently writing, the past week's events have compelled me to put those items on hold temporarily and instead compose several new stories based upon those events.

One story will detail a day of consumerism with a focus on the level of customer service one can encounter. The other is about a unique wedding and the random road trip that followed.

I really want to put some energy into these stories and not just make them some text thrown together on a website. That said, it may take a little while for them to come to fruition.