Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Surge resurges in 2014

October 20th, 2014

Surge 2014 edition

Before Red Bull reached American shores in 1997, there were no “energy drinks” on our store shelves. Not knowing what we were missing, we went about our daily lives content with plain old coffee, tea, and soda. Hard to imagine that only 17 years ago, your local liquor store didn’t have an entire shelf dedicated to Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and 300 other beverages, each more foul tasting than the last.

But it wasn’t a sudden transition. A year before we had Red Bull, Coca-Cola introduced Surge. In both look and taste it was like an alien version of Mountain Dew. Similar amount of caffeine, similarly artificial flavor, but dyed slime green instead of neon piss yellow.

Around the same time Pepsi countered with the incomprehensibly marked Storm, another lemon-lime flavored soda that was also caffeinated — sometimes. This confusion caused more than its share of caffeine withdrawal headaches and it was dropped in 2000.

Sadly, three years later Surge met its demise as well. In spite of protests from enthusiastic fans and nerdcore rap songs about the beverage, Coca-Cola ignored cries for this fan favorite. Until now.


Coca-Cola is selling Surge again in limited quantities through Amazon in twelve packs of 16oz cans. I was able to get my hands on one of these rare shipments of Surge just before they sold out. Technically you can still find this neo-Surge online, but it’s from hoarders trying to resell the stuff at 20x the price. (Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.)

So, how does it taste? Pretty gross, actually — and exactly like I remember. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish this retro soda so I can stay up all night playing Nintendo 64 while listening to the Stone Temple Pilots.

Bud Light Lime introduces new way to induce vomiting

August 29th, 2014

New method to induce vomiting

Need to throw up? Just look at that billboard and try to imagine what Bud Light Lime’s awful new concoction would actually taste like.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run to the bathroom and puke.

Free bed frame, nightmares

March 19th, 2014


Need a bed frame? Want to have terrifying nightmares? This sidewalk bargain is perfect for you!

Collect it now, it’s near 16th and Dolores.

Best company tweet ever

May 1st, 2013

Eat24 is an online restaurant ordering service that bills itself as the OpenTable of delivery. Their website reminds users that no pants are required for delivery, but the unusual approach to public relations doesn’t end there. The above Tweet suggests another use for their service; satisfying munchies brought on by excessive nighttime intoxication.

While some companies might delete such a tweet and find an intern to pin it on after sobering up, Eat24 has left the tweet intact. And I say good for them — nobody wants to read another bland company Twitter feed.

So let me ask: could this be the best company tweet ever?

Truth in fine print

April 18th, 2013

Truth in fine print

Hold on here. Unlimited mobile phone service for a tiny fraction of what I’m paying now? That sounds too good to be true.

Let’s take a closer look.

There's the rub

Ah, there’s the rub. That’s the price for seven days of phone service. (Because who needs a phone longer than a week, right?)

$13.99 per week is what us normal people call “$60 per month.” Suddenly that amazing deal doesn’t sound so amazing, does it?

(Spotted at the dollar store at Mission and 17th.)


November 18th, 2012

Recently I had some time to explore the streets of Copenhagen. It’s the capital of Denmark, an old seaside city with a distinctly fairy tale look. Every Dane is blond, blue eyed, in great shape, and is born with a bicycle in their hands. If you forget someone’s name, you can just call them “Christian Christiansen” and there’s a 95% chance you’ll be correct.

Important fact: Danes tend to speak English fluently. I had to ask people “Do you speak English?” now and then, but the answer was always “Of course!” The majority of the time Danes sized me up immediately and spoke to me in English before I could even say hello. Something to keep in mind if you’re unilingual.


Rune stone Round Tower ramp Cupid and the three graces Rosenborg Palace

Of the museums and such, I had a great time in the National Museum, the Round Tower, the Thorvaldsen museum, and the Rosenborg Palace. Of those, the National Museum is always free and has an impressive section on early human history. If you enjoy Romantic Era art, the Thorvaldsen museum is a must. Each sculpture contains enough symbolism to make a liberal arts major’s nipples explode with delight.

There’s two towers you can walk up in and get a view of the entire city: the Round Tower (RundetÃ¥rn) and the Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke.) Since after a cramped airline flight and a lot of walking my knees were on their last legs (so to speak) I went with the Round Tower — for the first 3/4 of the way up the tower it’s a pleasant stroll up a winding ramp. After that there’s 2-3 flights of stairs and you’re out on a deck overlooking the city. Tickets are only a couple of bucks and the view is worth the price and hike.


Copenhagen airport bike pump OMG bikes!

The airport has a bicycle tire pump. I’d heard biking was big in Copenhagen and sure enough the airport bike pump was key evidence #1. There’s bike rental places are everywhere but it seems they welcome you to bring your own on the flight over.

It wasn’t until I saw rush hour during the week that I realized how many people bike in Copenhagen. The bike lanes fill up with congested traffic, bicyclists tailgating one another and riding side-by-side. But for the most part the lanes were clearly marked and people tended to obey the rules.

Bicycle fans, rejoice at the following facts about Copenhagen:

  • Mail is delivered via tricycle
  • The busiest bike lanes have their own traffic lights
  • Steep car and gas taxes encourage cycling
  • Second only to Amsterdam in terms of bicycle friendliness
  • Danish clothing companies design clothing for hipster bicyclists


Copenhagen Metro Mobile Tickets Copenhagen Metro

The first thing to notice about Copenhagen’s Metro is the drivers: there aren’t any. It’s like an airport tram, you can sit in the front and watch it move down the track on its own. The underground stations have interior doors for safety. (Coincidentally, we had two deaths on the subway tracks in San Francisco while I was away. Is this something we should be doing?)

90 minute transfers on the bus/Metro system are pricy at around $5-$6, but it’s cheap compared to a cab. The iOS/Android app makes it easy to buy an electronic ticket.

The system is entirely proof of payment. Only once did anyone check my ticket, a friendly older guy who looked well past “retirement” age and well into “Wal-Mart greeter” age.

Currently there’s a whole new Metro subway line under construction that makes a ring around the downtown area. The ring should be completed in the next couple of years. Oh, and did I mention that all Metro trains run 24/7? To put it bluntly, Copenhagen’s Metro makes Tomorrowland look like Frontierland.


Bella Center Valve at UDS

Ostensibly I was in Copenhagen for Ultra Dork Summit Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), held at Bella Center. The hotel convention center reminded me of the old Metreon, with its striking design and strikingly ill-conceived layout.

This was the event where Valve announced the beta of Steam for Linux. Soon, children might not need a copy of Microsoft Windows to play those damn video games.


Pumpkins Danish jack-o-lantern Halloween in Copenhagen

When I was in school we were taught that Halloween was an American holiday. While religious harvest holidays in the Fall dated back thousands of years, we were taught that Trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns were American traditions. But in recent years, I’ve heard of these traditions cropping up in places as far away as South America and the UK. And now I’ve seen American-style Halloween activities in Denmark with my own eyes.

At first I thought the jack-o-lanterns in near my hotel (the Nyhavn neighborhood) might be aimed at American tourists. But I didn’t see many American tourists. And I kept finding Halloween merchandise at local markets that were off the beaten path.

I visited my co-worker’s place on Halloween. He rented via AirBnB in a more suburban part of town. That night, the streets outside were crawling with costumed children going door to door! Who knew?!


Mural in Freetown Christiania You are now entering the EU

If you enjoy hippie communities, you won’t find many places that fit the bill better than Freetown Christiania. It’s an authentic 70′s hippie commune neighborhood that makes Haight Street feel like Union Square. Sure, there’s little boutiques and cafes, but there’s also a few genuinely dive-y beer gardens, stages with live music, and not to mention the “Green Zone” where people sell marijuana in an open market.

Christiania is a beautiful little neighborhood, with winding streets that you can aimlessly explore for at least an hour or two. Despite the laissez-faire attitude, they do have many rules, one of which is that photography is (understandably) only permitted in certain areas. I wish I could have taken more photos, but I think rules are a good thing for communities like this; self-policing means less interference from the government. As the sign says when you exit, “You are now entering the EU.”


Windmill boat View from Round Tower Windmill at Bella Center

Denmark is big on wind energy. My hotel claimed to be 100% wind powered. Given that the nearby winds often felt like being tackled, I can believe it.

The photo to the left above is a boat designed for installing offshore windmills. The thing is massive, about the size of an oil platform. The right photo is a view of the coast. The windmill installation boat in the middle. If you look at those small white pillars just offshore, each one of those is a windmill.

Denmark doesn’t have any oil so wind makes sense. But I suspect another reason behind all the bicycling and clean energy: the entire country is flat and nearly at sea level. If the sea were to rise two meters they’d have a Kevin Costner scenario.


If it wasn’t obvious from everything above, I really enjoyed Copenhagen. It’s one of those places that’s both welcoming and foreign at the same time. And most importantly, more often than not the Danes make a great cup of coffee.

How to “sew” buttons that don’t fall off

November 14th, 2012

Magic button

Ever buy a shirt or jacket that you really like, only to have the buttons fall off in a few days? Sure, they give you one of those little packets of buttons, but why don’t they just make the buttons not fall off in the first place?

After thinking this through for a couple weeks, I think I’ve found a solution: a way to make your buttons not fall off. Best part? No sewing is involved.

You will need:

  • Button
  • Inner button
  • Metal eyelet
  • Wire
  • Scissors

Use the scissors to remove the existing button(s). Now cut a small hole for the eyelet where the button was. Follow the directions on the eyelet packaging to install it.

Feed the wire through the button, through the eyelet, then through the inner button and back around. Twist the ends of the wire to make it stay in place.

Bam, you’re done. As long as the eyelet and wire hold — and they will — your button isn’t going to fall off.

DIY Mason jar soap dispenser

October 12th, 2012

Mason jar soap dispenser

Here’s a DIY project that’s actually useful: a soap dispenser built into a Mason jar. It’s stupidly easy, so if you have no talent but want to jumpstart your Etsy career, this is for you.


1. Mason jar, or whatever.
Mason jar or you could use a cool looking peanut butter jar, etc. I’m told Mason jars are hip, it’s what the cool kids are using these days. The jar is your choice, but it does need to have a metal lid.

2. Kitchen sink soap dispenser.
You ever see these? Some kitchen sinks have a special hole and you can put a soap dispenser in there. Don’t buy one of the cheap-o ones, those break after a month or two (trust me on this.) Delta makes a sturdy one you can get for ~$35.


A drill, etc.
Something that makes holes in metal.

Or a knife, you need to cut plastic.


As you probably guessed, the only step is to punch a hole in the top of the jar’s lid and screw in the soap dispenser in to that hole.

You can drill one big hole if you have the proper sized drill bit, or you could just drill a bunch of small holes to perforate the lid and safely remove the middle part out with a pair of pliers. The hole doesn’t need to be perfect; the soap dispenser is much wider than the part that fits through the hole.

You’ll likely need to cut the soap dispenser’s straw/hose so that it fits in the jar.

Okay, you’re done! add soap and wash your filthy hands.

Unfortunate pun in fortune cookie

September 14th, 2012


This is an actual fortune from a fortune cookie at Big Lantern on 16th. You can’t make shit like this up:

Are your legs tired? You been running through someone’s mind ALL day long.

Either Confucius was highly overrated, or this is inauthentic Chinese wisdom even by fortune cookie standards.

Sadly, not one patron at my table had tired legs.

Fruit of an ATX tree

September 10th, 2012

Fruit of an ATX tree

Oh these heavenly late-summer days, when the ATX tree’s tender blossoms mature into beautiful power fruit. Children climb the branches, looking for the ripest one they can find for their gaming PCs.

On a lucky day in early September, a lucky child could even find a 750 watt ATX power supply. But alas, many fruits, such as the one pictured above, will not even have SATA power connectors. Such is the way of mother nature.

(Spotted at Dolores and 15th)