Spontaneous Drinking

They say a great idea comes from seeing a need and satisfying it.

In the Web 2.0 world, most of the ideas come from taking what people have been doing and putting an “Un—” in front of it.

So you have BarCamp an un-conference. Then you have Lunch 2.0, the un-power lunch. Heck you’d think this whole Web 2.0 bubble would be powered by 7 Up, the un-cola, but really it’s something more like Red Bull, which as near as I can figure is the un-un-cola.

In case this turns out big, I’m blogging the newest thing in the Web 2.0 social: Spontaneous Drinking Night in SF (join the Facebook group).

It’s an un-event.

After all, what ever happened to kicking it back for a few beers with friends after work and talking about the latest viral video—in this case, the kissy anus face?

Do the kissy-anus-face

Do the kissy-anus-face
Eddie Rickenbacker’s, SoMa, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
3 exposures @ 1/30sec, iso 320, 35mm (47mm)

Here’s the idea: Need an excuse to drink mid-week? Someone sends out a Facebook message with the deets: some bar in SF, most likely with a bunch of geeks, and no set agenda other than to have a few beers after work.

Oh yeah, you’re thinking: Damn that client was a moron, but I’m not in the capital of geekdom and alcoholism (San Francisco) where they have yet to have a first official event but somehow managed to get 269 members.

That’s okay, “like an STD in the 70’s,” we’ve spread virally to Silicon Valley and Vienna. And if there isn’t a chapter near you, what’s preventing you from setting one up and telling us about it?

Hope to catch you at the next event.

[The ur-un-event and the Long Tail after the jump.]Continue reading

Brain error


19th century German neurophysiologists successfully map out the brain after a transcontinental flight

Researching my last article was amusing, but doing so made me realize an error in something I said last month.

I didn’t recognize someone I should have because I was jetlagged and hungry. She was non-plussed with my behavior and threatened to “take me off her Facebook.” Now, if I were Scoble, I’d be just happy to have room to add a different friend. But I’m not, so I value every person I’ve managed convince into accepting a friend request. This led to this apology-cum-excuse:

“I’m sure you know how it is: visions of chocolate after a transcontinental plane ride will take over the entire parietal lobe of your neocortex—temporary prosopagnosia is an unwanted side effect. It’s a survival thing.”

Since you’ve read the last blog entry, you see the obvious error in my excuse. Clearly the fusiform gyrus is located in the temporal lobe, not the parietal. Doh!

Still, since she hasn’t unfriended me yet, I’d have to say, that it amounts to as good an excuse as any: when in doubt, blame the chocolate.

[Chocolate blogging and another nitpick after the jump]Continue reading

Squash soup

“Hey, What’s up? How’s your Mickey D’s?”

Me: “I haven’t left yet. You know me, I’m such a fuck up.”


“I think I’m an affront to San Franciscan’s everywhere eating stuff like McDonald’s, but I got to flush out the nice food I ate today. I think I had butternut squash soup or something for lunch.”

“That stuff is good! When I came here, I had squash soup and I thought, Isn’t California wonderful? Who would have thought you could make a soup from squash? You and I are on the opposite ends of the food spectrum.”


“But you do have a point. Someone like you needs to clear out the vegetables with a good meat scrape.”

Continue reading

My love affair with chinatown continues…

This is an article written by my Uncle Francis who spends his retirement sending amusing e-mails to family members that eventually get to me, and leaving hilarious messages on my cousin’s answering machine. I’d thought I’d share his latest dispatch with you…

Breakfast with Uncle Francis

Breakfast with Uncle Francis
Oakland, California

Nikon D200, 50mm f/1.8D
1/60 sec @ f/1.8, iso 100, 50mm (75mm)

Yeah, he looks like a teddy bear, but he’s pure evil :-D.

My love affair with the China town continues…

Every Sunday after 7:30 AM mass, I have been driving down to the downtown Oakland to have breakfast in Chinatown over past ten years. Once there, I used to devour a sumptuous meal such as a noodle set with big pineapple bread, freshly brewed coffee, and a few cups of jasmine tea at the ABC Cafe for bargain price ($3.50). I could finish the meal in no time and often still felt hungry. But that was so until last year. After getting to the pinnacle of my golden age 70, it isn’t so any longer. Beyond one dim sum plate & tea, my stomach starts grumbling, ‘stupid old man, no more, OK?’. Although it makes the stomach filling easier for most men of my age, this old man, who has perpetually self-generating real or imaginary worries, is different. If the old man cannot eat at the ABC Café, what should he do for next Sunday breakfast?

In past 5 years, a number of first-rate dim sum restaurants popped up in the Chinatown like wild mushrooms. The foods there are fantastic, and waiters and waitresses appear sincere & some even cordial. Since these restaurants are almost always packed with long waiting crowd, the old man’s first worry is about getting refused right at the front door for lack of a table to sit one guy. Even after getting seated by a chance, his second worry follows up, “Can I gulp down only one dim sum plate (plus courtesy green tea) and make a graceful exit without hearing dirty Chinese curses on cheapskate behind my back?” Lately the ripe (‘hopelessly’ is a better description) old age toughened my thick face even thicker. I gave up the damn pride and challenged to myself – ‘old man, let’s JUST DO IT! You have nothing to lose.’

[The search for sticky rice after the jump]Continue reading

More fast food math

Updating this post. Here are the current prices at the Fisherman’s Wharf McDonald’s:

  • double cheeseburger: $1
  • bacon cheesburger: $1
  • hamburger: $1.19
  • cheeseburger: $1.29
  • bacon double cheesburger: $1.59

The Lunch 2.0 story so far

Lunch 20 @AOL.COM

AOL, Mountain View, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G
f/4 at 1/25 second, iso 500, 12mm (18mm)

Summer is here and Lunch 2.0 is starting up again. There are two events scheduled already, and from two of my favorite Web 2.0 startups to boot!

The first one will be at LinkedIn. Which is important because their founder is on the board of the company that pays my salary. We’re the second entry in their newly-born corporate blog! Next step: get Mario to blog about my LinkedIn Haikus (they really work, honest!).

The other one will Ning on June 14. Little known factoid: Ning was our very first Lunch 2.0, even if they didn’t know it. (Ahh, back in the good old days when Lunch 2.0 meant sneaking into a company’s cafeteria and sticking our Lunch 2.0 flag in the ground… or fork in their cake.)

IMG_0563.JPG by Mario Sundar

Gina Bianchini of Ning and Reid Hoffmann of LinkedIn at Web 2.0 Expo. Two people dear to my heart. And it’s not because they’re hosting Lunch 2.0.

Oh, who am I kidding. It is. We love you guys! 😀

The what and wherefore of lunch-two-point-oh

Lunch 2.0 is about participating in an interesting conversation over a free lunch.

If you are interested in being a diner, going to a Lunch 2.0 is really easy. Just say you’re going to attend and our hosts will deal with the fallout. 😀 Afterwards, write about it in your blog, post some photos, or produce a video. (Send us an e-mail so we can link it.) While that’s not a requirement, it’s that sort of buzz is what pays the bills when our hosts have to justify this craziness to their corporate overlords. Or, if you are a corporate overlord, host one yourself…

If you want to host a Lunch 2.0, it’s really easy to become an “eatery.” Just send Mark or me an e-mail. We really want to eat your lunch. Honest! Mark explained our philosophy best:

Lunch 2.0, much like Web 2.0, is all about being open. We welcome any companies that are interested in hosting Lunch 2.0 events 🙂

C’mon Lunch 2.0 has got to be hipper than that moleskine that you carry around to keep your lo-tech creds up.

Lunch 2.0: Taste the buzz.

Warning: A long and inconsistent story ahead

Speaking of waxing nostalgic, I think it’s about time I finally post this article about the Lunch 2.0 story. The first time I tried to write this was in response to a query by FutureWorks back in October of last year. The second was in February to celebrate the first anniversary of Lunch 2.0. This will be the third attempt, so it’ll be a long one…

It’s about time I got my story straight about this Lunch 2.0 thing (or at least, my lies consistent). What follows is the honest-to-God truth (uh, sort of).

[How we created Lunch 2.0: The True Hollywood Story after the jump]Continue reading

More thoughts while waiting for my fast food

I’ve talked about this before, but since I’m on the move again, grocery shopping is out and fast food is back in. Here are three thoughts that have occurred to me while waiting for my order at the nearest three fast food joints:

When I was in college, a “Thirsty two ouncer” from AM/PM was a huge drink. Just now, at Carl’s Jr. I used a coupon for a free 32 oz. drink. I had to put a medium cap on it. I shudder to think what a large looks like.

When ordering the Sidekickers from Arby’s (Mozzarela Sticks with Marinara Sauce, Loaded Potato Bites with Cool Ranch Sour Cream, Onion Petals with Tangy Southwest Sauce, or Jalepeno Bites with Bronco Berry Sauce) you save a penny if you get two orders of the small instead of a single order of large. FYI, in all three cases, you get five in the small and ten in the large. I guess the penny is a “I’m-not-a-glutton” tax.

At McDonald’s you can save nine cents if you order a double cheeseburger without a patty instead of a cheeseburger directly. (Yes, that’s right: the double cheeseburger costs less than the cheeseburger.)Continue reading

That Teflon causes cancer thing

What did I cook this in?

Sweet and Sour Chicken closeup

Sweet & Sour Chicken closeup
Sunnyvale, California

Panasonic DMC-LX1
1/30sec @ f/2.8, iso 200, 6.3mm (28mm)

From: 11/24/05 11:24 AM

Yesterday at work, I had a long discussion on whether or not Teflon causes cancer. The paranoia is best outlined in articles such as this. (Nora, stick to romantic comedies, because I’m going to rip you a new asshole by the time I’m done with this article.)

Basically I decided to “call bullshit” based on what little I remembered of my college organic chemistry class (misspent pre-med youth), I couldn’t see how anything in the body could react with polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon® = DuPont’s trademark of PTFE) or keep it from passing right through our system.

When I got home something they mentioned rang a bell. Almost a year ago there was something about how some teflon-like lining of popcorn bags were being pulled—something about how the oils in popcorn butter leach the stuff out.

Uh-oh! Better do some research.

[More than what you want to know about non-stick cookware after the jump]Continue reading