Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SF in a weekend.

Melina and I decided to go to San Francisco for our anniversary. We woke up late on Saturday and got down to the airport to catch a quick 90 minute flight to SFO. From the airport we used the BART to get us into town and then grabbed a taxi to our hotel. It was about 3 pm by the time we got settled in.

First order of business was to "Bike the bridge", so we headed off to the Bike rental place (huge and does a very good bit of business). Along the way, we stopped and took a look and some pictures from the top of Lombard Street (the crookedest street in the world). At the shop, we got two very decent bikes and headed off. Our route brought us down Hyde street, along the embarcadero and eventually up some pretty killer hills leading up to the base of the bridge. We stopped a few times while riding across to take it all in and snap some photos. On the other side we coasted down the hill and then eventually had another climb or two before rolling into Sausalito. We had time to kill before the next ferry left so we grabbed some pizza and a bloody mary. The ferry left right at sunset and we were treated to an amazing orange and red sky as we were shuttled back across the bay to San Francisco. It turns out we hopped on the wrong ferry, because this one took us all the way back to Pier 1, and we wanted Pier 41. It turned out to be a nice mistake because it gave us the opportunity to ride our bikes all the way back along the wharf, on a beautiful night.

After turning in the bikes, we got back to the hotel in time to get ready and go off to the Mission district for dinner at Foreign Cinema. The food was good and wine was great and the company was perfect. As it turns out having hot sauce on everything you eat from breakfast through lunch can cause some distress in your digestive system. Who knew?

I felt better the next morning and we got up early and hit the Buena Vista for breakfast and Irish coffee. Then we rode the cable cars all over town stopping in China Town and Union Square. Down in the financial district we hit the SFMoMA and the Yerba Buena gardens, before settling down at an Irish pub for lunch and drinks. Later in the evening we cable carred back to the Wharf and walked down to Pier 33 where we hopped on the Alcatraz ferry for a tour of the old prison. It was every bit as much fun as we had expected.

Monday we hit the Boudiin bakery for some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and then got dessert at Ghirardelli. We had enough time to relax and buy some gifts before heading back to the airport for our trip home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I left my <3 in SF


I was trying to find just one picture to put on here for the San Francisco blog post. Then I found a way to put them all here. I will let the pictures tell the story. Who says you can;t get much done in one weekend?Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 16, 2009


I've learned that in tennis, a good racquet really can make a huge difference. I demo'd 3 different sticks this week. The Babolat Pure Drive GT Plus, the HEAD Youtek Radical Pro, and the Wilson KFactor 6.1 95.

The Wilson is the heaviest of all three, but head-light, and has the smallest hitting area. I shanked many. It has very little power, as it is made for players that generate most of the pace themselves. When there is a lot of pace on the ball this racquet has great control...if I can manage to put it in the sweet spot. Neither one happen often in the matches I play. This is a pro's racquet, and something I am just not ready for yet.

The square handle on the HEAD felt odd to me, as did the leather rather than synthetic grip. The demo had really crappy strings on it, so it's hard for me to really judge how well it might have hit if it was strung well. I tried it for maybe 10 minutes before moving on.

The Babolat was way different. This is a powerful racquet and generated more spin than I thought imaginable. Moving from the Wilson to this, I sailed the first few but once I adjusted, the topspin was unreal. Even my highest shots were dropping in. This gave me a lot of confidence. I had the fewest amount of unforced errors that I can remember. Its just so forgiving. The extra spin on serves had me hitting most of the early serves into the net. Once I was up a few games I started really going after them to compensate, and WOW. I never could have imagined what a difference a racquet could make. It is so forgiving and gave me all the confidence I needed to start going after EVERY serve. By the third set I was so confident that I was hitting flat serves at 100 or better that were in by 2 feet.

So, I am going with the Babolat. That means that I have a few Wilson's to sell if anyone is interested.


We all kind of saw this coming...

Didn't we?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Richard Dawkins