Angelica and I went out to The Mission last night for the Dia de los Muertos celebration. We didn’t make it last year, but compared to 2009 it seemed like the procession was smaller, but there were still about a bajillion people out in various states of costume and makeup – some of it very impressive and well-done.

Day of the Dead isn’t just about goth kids having an excuse to wear makeup (like they need one) or the Burning Man crowd building stuff for the procession – although there’s usually plenty of both. It’s a very significant cultural/spiritual event with real meaning for the organizers and participants. (I know, way to go Captain Understatement!) The altars in the park were amazing as always and aside from the Steve Jobs and Dio altars, they all appeared to be very personal and emotional affairs. One woman had built an altar for her husband (I think) and was there telling folks about how awesome he was in an almost joyful way – very touching and cool.

I’m not very good at taking photos at night, but here are a few that turned out. Maybe my resolution for 2012 should be learn to take photos for realsies.

I decided to try taking videos with my point ‘n’ shoot camera*, and they actually turned out kinda cool so I posted them on the You Tubes. Here’s one of huge glowing jellyfish dancing down the street.

 

And one of some super cool dancing and drumming. The jellyfish show up in this one too – they’re hard to miss.

 

*In case you’re wondering, my camera is a Panasonic Lumix – the discontinued DMC-FS15. I’ve been super happy with it – it was cheap, takes good photos in my spite of my total lack of technique (almost all the photos here were taken with it, including the page backgrounds) and the battery lasts forever.

I drove out to the country yesterday to visit my dad for Father’s Day, and he showed me his latest project – a ’65 Corvair Monza. Now, I’m really a Ford guy, having owned cars like a ’62 Galaxie 500 XL and a ’62 Fairlane 2-door, but I have a particular thing for American cars of the early sixties. Also, I think the Corvair is one of the more interesting Chevy vehicles. The rear engine, pancake six drivetrain was a substantial departure from American car design of the time, and the car was at the center of a PR nightmare.

This is a true barn find – the Corvair belonged to a friend of my dad who died recently. It’s been sitting, unregistered and pretty much ignored for something like 20 years. It’s in remarkably good shape – most of the interior is intact, and the body is super clean. I think it’s missing one of the original hubcaps or something ridiculous – about as complete as you can get. It even has the original “180 HP” turbo stickers! Awesome.

So I’m out for a walk with my special ladyfriend this evening, and as we’re heading up Vermont into Potrero Hill we come across this Honda XR650L hanging from a tree.

I have to admire this person’s resourcefulness – I don’t have a good place to work on my bike either, but I also don’t have a tree. I do have to wonder, though – what will the neighbors say!?!?

I’m a total workaholic. I have trouble falling asleep many nights because even though I’ve “stopped working” my mind is still rolling through what happened today and what’s gonna happen tomorrow. I’ve long forgotten how to set up the autoresponder in my email clients because I never stop responding to email.

On one hand, this is good – I’m “driven” and “motivated.” On the other hand, it’s easy for important stuff to fall by the wayside. My own projects, working on my bike, riding my bike, this blog (almost every day I have entire posts constructed in my head that I don’t find time to actually type), happiness, life, love. So before the new year hit, I was already thinking I need to make sure I make time for real life.

I’ve noticed that one of my colleagues closes his office door in the middle of the day. What’s he doing in there? My office has a door? It does! Turns out he’s simply insulating himself so he can enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet while he eats his lunch. Genius!

I’m not much for resolutions, but I’m going to start taking a lunch. I think I’ve only taken an actual “lunch” once in the past 6 months. Once. NOT OK.

So I’m going to start setting aside 30-45 minutes a day, around lunch time, to eat lunch (wha?!), catch up on the latest tidbits at The BARF and HellForLeather, read, and work on my own projects – including this blog. Here’s where I make my grandiose prediction of about how I’ll be less-stressed, more effective, and happier. There it is.

Does this mean they're sending me an iPad? As I’ve mentioned before, I subscribe to a lot of emails. Marketing research and all that. Wading through my “lists” inbox tonight, I noticed that the Costco has a Kensington iPad case with a built-in battery. Now, I don’t even have an iPad, but Angelica does, and I reckon with its already amazing battery life and the extra five hours this thing claims to provide, the iPad oughtta last us through the next nuclear winter, at least. And, it’s got a freakin’ kickstand, which according to that annoying animated billboard on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

So I click through, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A free iPad from Costco!

Ok, it doesn’t actually say I get a free iPad, but it does say “iPod not included,” which I’m assuming is intended to clarify (for the non Tech Crunch readers) that you get an iPad, not an iPod.

AWESOME. Placing my order now.

I love Halloween, always have. One of my favorite things about Halloween is carving pumpkins. I never use a template; I prefer to come up with my own crazy designs.

This year, I found a really great pumpkin at Clancy’s over in the Inner Sunset. He was a squatty little fella with a unique shape, like he already had a face before I even started taking pieces out of him. I almost wanted to leave him as-is. Almost…

Angelica and I had a small pumpkin carving party at our place last night. I went to work on Mr. Spooky Jack O’Lantern, capitalizing on his interesting natural shape. I used a narrow blade and a small scraper for removing surface material. The wire is simply paperclips I cut to length and bent to fit.

Written on October 24th, 2010 , Miscellaneous Fun Tags: , , , ,

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Surj's House of Awesome

Surj Gish – eCommerce & Online Marketing Expert / Gearhead / Musician