Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wednesday Vacation Blogging: San Francisco!

Can I really call it a vacation if I live here? It was a three-day weekend... and San Francisco is a vacation destination for millions of people. But I suppose this is actually just an excuse to post some pictures from the Carnaval parade and festival that happened last Saturday and Sunday. Oh well!

You'd be amazed at just who you can meet and make friends with at these celebrations.
Waiting for the parade to start.
A pre-parade pep talk keeps everyone on the same page.
Belly dancers outside the laundromat.
So many different countries are represented in the parade.
I think this limo got lost on the way to the Dia de los Muertes festivites.
The trick to shooting the floats and participants in the parade is to get there early and walk through the staging area on Bryant Street before the whole thing starts.
The James Lick Middle School contingent poses for pictures before the parade starts.
I do believe in fairies, I do believe in fairies, I do believe in fairies...
Am I blue?
Just one of dozens of floats. This particular one is made of all recycled materials.
Being interviewed after a rousing chorus of "Cielito Lindo."
Dragons at the street fair. Not sure what dragons have to do with Carnaval, but I liked the way they looked.
"I don't think that word means what you think it means." I'm hoping one of my Spanish-speaking readers will enlighten me as to what this word really does mean.
Either a costume awaiting a participant or a very different kind of float.
I'm guessing she didn't drive there dressed like that.
I saw a lot of tall people ready to participate in the parade.
A whole lot of them.
Including this guy.
Maybe dragons do have something to do with Carnaval after all.
What I really enjoy about shooting in the staging area is the candid shots of people relaxing and getting ready for their moment in the sun.
Like this young woman on her cell phone.
The colors of the floats and costumes are outstanding, made even more dramatic by the great early-morning sunlight.
Of course, some people think there's really only one reason to come to Carnaval...

You can find more pictures at my photo site, here.


On Memorial Day, we stopped at the Presidio on our way home from Rancho Nicasio, and Mrs. Generik took this picture as the sun was going down.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Hangover

Over at Democratic Underground, they've got a pictorial tribute up honoring our brave Preznit for his fearless service to our country in time of war. Skip on over and see them all. Here's just one of the photos on display there:

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mission (District) Accomplished

Generik's Guerrillas have been a busy bunch this Memorial Day weekend. Among the places they've been stationed are the Caltrain station; the Post Office; Whole Foods, Safeway and Cala; Borders and Green Apple Books; Clement Street; Polk Gulch; Oyster Point Marina; AT&T Park, and especially at the Carnaval parade and celebration in the Mission District. Most of these pictures are from Carnaval Saturday and Sunday.
One brave lad protected my dashboard while I was out deploying the troops.
Standing guard in the ticket booth at the Victoria Theater on 16th Street.
Many of the troops ended up mixed in with the merchandise at various booths along the Carnaval street fair route on Harrison, like this fellow among the keychains.
Also this soldier among the coin purses.
While a number of others found themselves attached to various floats in the parade.
A bit hard to see, this particularly unique headless and one-legged volunteer nevertheless managed to hold his own in a chess game with some Aztec allies.
Many of the brave lads blended in with the local color.
While others were selected for point duty, heading up the various floats.
No one likes pulling latrine duty, but this soldier volunteered, and never once complained.
Placed in the hand of a skeleton draping the front of a limousine, this soldier was still on duty when I came back by for inspection over an hour later.
A lot of the troops became a part of the parade; this fellow had a comfortable perch on one of many masks made completely from recycled materials that made up this particular float.
Again, just one more participant on the floats.
And one more.
This lucky soldier got to do his duty guarding the statue of Willie Mays at the Giants' ballpark.

Cross-posted at the Kommandos Project.

Friday, May 26, 2006


The day has arrived! Troops are being deployed all across the nation in an effort to spread the word about bringing our soldiers home from the Big Debacle in Iraq. Generik's Guerrillas are out there on the front lines, joing Kvatch's Kommandos, Hilton's Heroes, Mags' Marines, Montag's Minutepersons and many other troops in this coordinated assault. Find out more here, and watch this space for photographic evidence over the weekend.

Support the troops!

For Your Entertainment

From good friend and regular reader of this site Rey_Fox comes this link to a very intelligent and amusing comic strip. The cartoon today is right on target -- be sure to read the artist's statement, linked at the bottom of the page -- and some of the archived ones are fabulous as well. You'll want to especially check out "Evolution vs. Norse Mythology." Intelligent design, my ass!

Thanks, Rey!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Turn, Turn, Turn - or Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right, But Three Rights Make a Left

From an article by Sidney Blumenthal in today's comes this quote:

Bush has been proclaiming Iraq at a turning point for years. "Turning point" is a frequent and recurring talking point, often taken up by the full chorus of the president ("We've reached another great turning point," Nov. 6, 2003; "A turning point will come in less than two weeks," June 18, 2004), vice president ("I think about when we look back and get some historical perspective on this period, I'll believe that the period we were in through 2005 was, in fact, a turning point," Feb. 7, 2006), secretary of state and secretary of defense, and ringing down the echo chamber.

It would appear to me that we've turned so many corners in Iraq that we are now officially running around in circles.

Will Cause Rolling Blackouts for a Pack of Marlboros

Sometimes -- rarely, it seems, in America these days, but sometimes -- justice is served. Kenny Boy Lay and his partner in crime Jeffrey Skilling were convicted on 26 counts of fraud and conspiracy today, and you know what? That's just goddamn sweet, no matter how you slice it.

"I think absent a successful appeal, they will both die in prison," said Jamie Wareham, global chairman of litigation at the international law firm Paul Hastings. "When you're a judge that's concluded that two men have lied to you for hours and hours and hours, light sentences aren't going to flow."

Doing the Happy Dance here at the Generik Brand today! Hee hee, ha ha, hoo hoo!! Buh-bye, Kenny and Jeff! Hope you have Karl and Scooter and Big Time Dick in there to join you soon!

Ah, schadenfreude. It's what's for lunch, dinner and a midnight snack today.

What's One More Bookmark?

My good friend nashtbrutusandshort recently made me aware of yet another stop in the blogosphere worth making -- the Edicts of Nancy, written by the female version of Jesus' General, Sister Nancy Beth Eczema. "Go froth, be fruit fly and multiple," the Lout said unto them, "Oh, and while you're at it, start reading Edicts of Nancy, too!"

Or something like that. That particular part of the Dead Sea scroll was kind of mushed up and had some fossilized seaweed on it, so it was kind of hard to read and translate.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday Vacation Blogging: Chengdu

Ni hao, y'all! I made mention in a recent post of my brother, the Hoodoo of Chengdu, and it occurred to me that I have a few pretty good pictures of that city that I've yet to post here. So to rectify that situation, here are some shots of the capital city of Sichuan Province, way on the western end of China, not too terribly far from Tibet. Unfortunately, we missed some of the great attractions there, like the panda preserve and a few other sites of historical interest, but for the most part we enjoyed the city quite a bit. Like most cities in China, it's enormous and densely-populated, and our few days there barely scratched the surface. I guess that means that we'll just have to go back some day.

Chengdu has lots of color and surprises, everywhere you look.
Speaking of surprises, the public art there can be amazingly unexpected and different.
Public art, right. It's huge in Chengdu! Like this gigantic statue of Mao that dominates the exact center of the city.
The view from my brother's balcony.
Getting your ears cleaned at one of the relaxing tea houses in the parks is one way to spend an afternoon. It's an ancient ritual that is being practiced much the same way today as it has been for thousands of years. It wasn't really as bad as my expression might make it seem. I think the guy was surprised to find evidence of brain matter in his explorations. Not much, but still.
This juggler did his best to keep us entertained as we sat and sipped our tea. This was probably his best stunt, though. Kind of weak, if you ask me, but what do you want for free?
Of all the pictures I took in China, this remains one of my favorite. It's just a group of people sitting and looking at a koi pond, but I like it.
This couple in traditional dress were apparently part of a commercial or TV show being shot in the park. They made a nice portrait as they took a break and gazed off into the sky.
Kite-flying is very popular in the parks. So is kite-selling, obviously.
Fresh vegetables at the open air market just down the street from my brother's apartment.
Street fare, or "stuff on a stick." I couldn't identify a lot of it, but I did eat some.
Carnivore's delight. As the cliche goes, they use every part of the pig but the oink. Hell, they probably use that, too.
If you've ever had Sichuan food, you know how spicy it can be. Here's why.
Much like in Japan, you find a lot of consumer goods with English words and phrases on them. They don't always make a lot of sense, though. These shirts say "A representation of an eagle used as an emblem or insign (sic). King of birds - a bird of Jove." Okay, whatever.
Loved the ubiquitous inflatable advertising. They must go through a hell of a lot of helium in China every day.
I shot this picture because the mannequin on the left looks just like one of the sisters of my good friend Dan. Most women used in advertising in China, whether mannequins or models, have distinctly western features.
These bicycle rickshaws (bikeshaws?) are everywhere. At rush hour there are literally thousands of them crowding the streets, going in every direction at once.
I think this is actually a retail sales store, and not a blood bank, but you never know...
Now I'm assuming -- which is a foolish thing to do, because very often you end up making an ass of u and ming -- that these packs of dried meat are treats for pets, and not actual pieces of dogs for human consumption. But again, you never know. Zai jian!
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