Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Time for Outsidelands August 11, 2011

Filed under: Geek,Music — geekchef @ 5:55 pm
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Here is my schedule

Here’s some last minute tips for SF Outsidelands, happening this weekend in Golden Gate Park.

Prep:

Check out the lineup and schedule and make a plan. There are a ton of amazing bands, many playing at the same time. Decide which ones are must see shows and then work around those times. It takes a while to move from one stage to another, so keep that in mind while you plan.

Look at the map. It’s big and there is a lot going on. Get an idea of the layout ahead to save some time as you run between stages.

Pack the night before. Gates open at 11am and it will take at least an hour to get there, even if you live in the city. I live 40 miles from SF, it usually takes me an hour to get there (and park) but I’m planning on a two hour trip. I don’t know about you, but I just want to grab and go tomorrow morning.

What to pack:

Sealed bottle (max 1 liter) of water or empty reusable bottle. They will make you empty your bottle unless it’s factory sealed. You can add water any time at one of the refilling stations inside.

Snacks. SF offers amazing food and this festival is no different, but the lines are long and the prices are high. Grab some snacks to cover you between meals.

Layers! The forecast is sunny with highs in the low 60’s and temp dropping ten degrees in the evening. No idea about wind and no guarantee this forecast is accurate. Bring something warm for the late shows; you can use it as a cushion or pillow during the day.

Don’t forget sunscreen! It might not be that hot, but it’s full sun all day. Protect your skin or you will get burned.

Other tips:

Camp out (as in watch the band(s) lined up before.) If there is a band you really want to see, you might need to get there early to ensure good seating. This is important for the big name acts at the end of the night, it gets really crowded and if you want a good spot you’ll have to put some time in. Hang out at that stage ahead of time and move forward as the crowd clears.  I’m pretty sure I will be parked at Lands End all day Saturday.

Take public transit. Unless you already made parking arrangements, you will not find parking. Believe me, it’s hard enough to park in that area on regular days.

Explore the City! SF is a great place, grab breakfast near Irvine street before you head in and grab drinks after the show anywhere in the city. Check out yelp for suggestions.

Be green! Outsidelands does their best to stay green with a solar powered stage, recycling and compost bins. Follow along and bring reusable or recyclable containers for your snacks. And of course, don’t litter.

Be careful, be smart! This is a safe place as long as you are smart. If you get trashed and wander off to a sketchy area, you are really asking for trouble. I know a lot of people like to party hard at concerts, but three days outside in crowds and funky weather is rough enough for me, I can’t add booze without burning out.  Don’t do anything that will end up messing up your experience.

Extra warning to people planning on stopping by Hippie Hill for mischief during your trip: There’s good odds you’ll get ripped off and/or busted. Everyone knows about the concert and will be looking for tourists to scam and police will be in full force and on the lookout for knuckleheads.

 

Badge Whore April 18, 2011

Filed under: Geek — geekchef @ 6:36 pm
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Today I decided to embark on a mini quest. I want to earn as many Foursquare badges I can in one week. Fortunately I live about 30 miles from one dense badge-lootin’ locale, San Francisco. Since many of the badges are food-centric, this seems completely up geek chef’s alley – don’t you think?

Today I planned a test run. I stayed local and sought out to earn the Stanford “All Right Now” badge  and test out a new camera lens in the Ronin Garden.

The test case was successful, I got my badge but maybe not as many good shots as I hoped. I need some lessons on how to work my camera 😦

Wednesday I will attempt to get up early and train hop around the city (earning the BART badge) and check out some food, drinks, music and art. The goal is to collect at least 3 badges. Stay tuned for more.

 

Coupon Funded Donation July 30, 2010

Filed under: Food,Geek — geekchef @ 4:31 pm
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I made my first drop off at my local food bank today! I unloaded 16.5lbs of food (about 14 boxes of cereal) and a ton of personal care products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons and first aid supplies). The total retail price is $133. With clever shopping and tons of coupons I actually spent about $25. I forgot to keep some of the early receipts, so I’m guessing on the to first couple of transactions. Currently I have $21 in store ‘bucks’, which spends like cash at specific stores, so that brings me down to $4 for $133!!! Go me!

I’m so happy I could make this work. It was fun hunting down these deals and felt great unloading my packed trunk, knowing I paid next to nothing and will help many needy people.

Here is a great coupon in the Rite Aid circular, which you can pick up in the front of the store:

Grab a copy when you enter the store, tear out the coupon while you shop, grab one ACE Instant Ice Pack ($1.29) from the Travel Size isle and you have $2.71 to apply to the rest of your order. You can combine this coupon with a box of Colgate toothpaste and a printable coupon for another $.75 – $1 off PLUS $3 good on your next purchase.

It expires tomorrow (7/31/10), so act quickly!

I picked up another cold pack/toothpaste deal and a box of pasta, used one of my ‘bucks’, paid 7 cents and got 3 more ‘bucks’ back.


Feel like helping out? Here’s a link!

 

Walk or Run? June 29, 2010

Filed under: Craft,Geek — geekchef @ 3:39 pm
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I’ve been planning on buying an embroidery machine for a few months now. I’ve been using the one at the Techshop and it is slowly driving me insane. It’s hard to make enough time and due to the excessive use, it’s often out of order. No good.

The original plan was to take part of the money from the deposit on my old apartment and buy the same or a similar machine as the one I’ve been using. But while researching prices and features I came across the Janome MB4, a super awesome semi-industrial embroidery machine. It is super sexy, in that automated embroidery machine kind of way. It does everything I want it to do, better than all the other machines I’ve been looking at. But, and this is a big but, it is 4 times more money.

Now I thought about it a lot: compared the upfront cost with it’s resale value, the time savings and efficiency, and figured it was very possible that this machine would eventually pay for itself. But, I just don’t have that kind of money.

So with a little sanity check from my mom, I decided to give it a year. I’ll buy the best one I can within the price range I afforded myself. In a year if I’m still going strong and have made/sold enough badges and whatnot to sustain this project, I’ll see about getting the big gun.

So please continue to buy my stuff, tell your science-y friends about the badges and keep giving me all your wonderful support. I really love making things, I’d really love to be able to make this an actual living one day. But at least, I’d like to continue breaking even on a larger scale. 😀

 

Science Scouts May 17, 2010

Filed under: Craft,Geek — geekchef @ 3:37 pm
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I’ve been spending a lot of time away from the kitchen this month. Slaving over a hot sewing machine instead. You see, a while ago I discovered The Science Scouts, a super awesome site that celebrates the science-y accomplishments of nerdy types like me.  They have created badges for accomplishments, but no actual – tangible thingies to sew on a bag or lab coat. So I took the initiative and picked up where they left off.

My plan was to make the ones my friends and I have accomplished, and sell a couple extra on etsy to pay for the materials. However, I have gotten such great feedback from everyone, including O.O.T.S.S.O.E.R.A.A.A.P. itself, that I’m going to try and make a few of all of them (90 something, if I counted correctly), WHEW!

So if you are interested, please let me know. You can reply to this post or contact me via etsy with a list of the badges you want and I’ll contact you when they are ready. I am also thinking of ways to show off the badges i.e. sashes, etc., and will make them on special order.

Be warned, these are handmade, not in any way professionally done. There will be minor flaws, at least in the first few, but all of them are made with love. I hope you find them as special as I do 🙂

A fellow Science Scout modeling his sash for me

First sucker, ahem, (custom order) customer

Thank you all for the wonderful support! My etsy store got so many hits, it was crazy. I am almost completely out of stock, more on the way. Please do send special requests, I will do my best fill your orders right away.

You guys ROCK!

 

It’s been a while March 30, 2010

Filed under: Geek — geekchef @ 1:03 pm

Sorry for the blackout. I’ve been writing a few posts in my head but haven’t had the time to get them out. I’ve been cooking, dating and geeking. Posts about the first two coming soon. In the meantime, I give you this:

I have argued Nerd vs. Geek several times, this should help. Thanks to Great White Snark for the tie breaker.

In related news, WonderCon is this weekend. I will be attending, please check the link and let me know if you would like to meet up at some point.

 

Too Fat to Fly February 17, 2010

Filed under: Geek — geekchef @ 5:04 am
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This isn’t the first time I’ve gone off topic, but I feel that I should warn you, the following is an angry rant and a call to action. Please read knowing that this subject has truly upset me and I am sharing my opinion with my readers.

I’m an insomniac. I have a really hard time getting to sleep most nights, so I spend a lot of time reading in bed. Tonight, while I was checking my twitter feed, I noticed that Kevin Smith posted an update regarding the Southwest Airlines issue. As a fan of Mr. Smith and already sympathetic to his plight, I clicked the link. About 15 minutes in and I was ready to kill.

Here is the story: Kevin Smith, a director/writer/actor/geek whom I greatly admire, was ejected from an airplane for being too large. Now without going any further into the story, let’s all agree that situation really sucks and must be mortifying. But wait, it gets better!

Kevin, who is admittedly a large man is also a regular traveler and has NEVER been too large to accomplish the following: 1) fit in the seat 2) attach the seat belt 3) lower the armrest 4) fit within the space of his seat so to not discomfort the nearby passengers. This flight was no different, but it was made clear to him that the airline made their decision, based on a vague policy that they refused to explain, but firm to enforce. Southwest’s staff made efforts to resolve the situation by offering a meager amount of compensation, but continued to refuse Kevin’s request for a clear explanation or a genuine apology. A twitter storm followed, Kevin vented his frustrations and Southwest’s PR caught wind and have struggled to save face. I have listened to both sides and have decided this is truly unfair.

My decision is based not on Kevin’s unique instance, but for the countless number of people who do not have a voice. While on the flight home Kevin sat next to a woman of size who was also singled out and made to feel ashamed about her weight. Her story would have ended there if she wasn’t sitting next to a celebrity who already had an axe to grind. In his podcast regarding the incident, he mentions that he probably would have let the issue go once he got home if it wasn’t for the girl sitting next to him. He saw the tears welling in her eyes and saw his daughter, saw every other fat kid who got bullied because of their size and wasn’t going to take it.

Here is where Rachel gets upset. My sister has Downs Syndrome, I’ve spent my whole life ready to knock the crap out of anyone who dares tease my baby sister because she is different. I see a person with disabilities on the street and I instantly become protective of them. Hoping maybe if I protect them from the evils of the world, karma will protect my sis.

As my sister has gotten older, she has also gained weight. The way I see it, she now has two targets painted on her chest. My sister, who has a hard enough time getting through life with the limitations of her body, does not deserve to be picked out and humiliated because of her size. Not only is it out of her control, most people with Down’s carry extra weight, but she doesn’t have the capacity to understand Southwest’s political bullshit. You can not tell her that it is not personal, it’s just policy. She won’t understand. She will understand that someone is telling her she is bad, she is being punished and no one will tell her why. I can only imagine how hard it would be for her and would never wish that upon anyone.

The situation stinks, it was handled poorly and it is one more reason why I think the whole airline system needs a remodel. The humanity in flying has slowly drained away and our rights and respect have gone with it. We are nothing but cattle and dollar signs. I truly believe that this sort of thing happens regularly and next time it could be someone you care about, someone who doesn’t have a public forum to share his story and get a response. Next time it will go unanswered, unless we do something. Boycott Southwest Airlines, write them a letter, speak up for injustices, stand up for the kid getting bullied – someone loves that kid, it could be someone you love.