‘The time has come to set aside childish things’

January 20, 2009

Yes, I know, Barack Obama probably is going to disappoint me. He probably is going to disappoint a lot of people. Nearly every politician — nearly every person — fails to live up to the potential of what he could achieve, and that always is

Thank you for being our president. Make us proud. Artist Arlene Elizabeth created this portrait of Obama from 1,000 origami cranes.

My daughter (with white backpack) writes a message to President Barack Obama in San Francisco's Civic Center on Inauguration Day: "Thank you for being our president. Make us proud." Artist Arlene Elizabeth created this portrait of Obama from 1,000 origami cranes.

disappointing. But standing among my fellow San Franciscans in Civic Center Plaza on Inauguration Day, it was impossible not to share some measure of the hope, pride and excitement that filled the crowd as Obama took the oath of office and issued an inspiring call to strive toward the pinnacle of our collective potential, even knowing that we may fall short of the goal. That, after all, is what many Americans of the post-Baby Boom generations have awaited for so long: a call to make big changes, a call to do great things, a call to right wrongs, a call to strive to become better than we are. Earlier generations heard their own calls and faced their own tests in accordance with the challenges of their time, and if what I saw in that crowd on Inauguration Day was any indication, young Americans are eager to take up the challenges and opportunities of our day. I hope for the sake of the country that we can remember that while falling short of our potential is part of the human condition, so is getting up to try again.

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San Franciscans sing “Star Spangled Banner” at inauguration viewing

January 20, 2009

San Francisco is widely regarded as a reserved and cynical place, but when my daughter and I watched President Barack Obama’s inauguration at Civic Center Plaza the air was alive with pride, patriotism, expectation and hope. I have lived in San Francisco for most of my life, and I have never seen anything like it. The crowd captured the vibe of the day by singing “The Star Spangled Banner” from the heart, something I never expected to see in San Francisco. Watch it here.

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Obama inauguration: a San Francisco perspective

January 20, 2009

I’m getting ready to head out for some of the public events in San Francisco related to today’s inuaguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. In light of the historic nature of this inauguration, I’m pulling my daughter out of school for the day and bringing her with me. I hope waking her up with hot chocolate convinces her that today is as important as I’ve told her it is. Look for liveblogging here at PretePress.wordpress.com and Tweets from http://twitter.com/tomprete as much as I can manage. I’ll wrap up in a post later today.

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Collected morsels from the Fancy Food Show 2009

January 20, 2009

Didn’t get a chance to do more than Tweet in between walking and eating at the Fancy Food Show on Monday, but in case you missed the Tweets from twitter.com/tomprete directly, here they are all together — plus a couple of corrections of my fat-thumb typing.

Heading out for Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Tweets and liveblog at pretepress.wordpress.com as wireless connections from inside allow. The wireless reception in Moscone Center was flawless.

NextBus on inbound L Taraval wildly inaccurate. Said next train in 17 mins, but actual time was 3 mins. Thanx, NextBus.

Fancy Food Show: Serrano ham, blood oranges. They’ll need a stick to get me away from this section.

Fancy Food Show: OK, mezzeMarin has lured me from the serrano ham with these great little spears of olives, anchivies and peppers. That’s MezzeMarin.

And MezzeMarin’s anchovy fillets are fantastic.

Fancy food show: nice to see a booth of Potuguese stuff, including from Sao George, but naught from Terciera, alas. That’s Portuguese and Sao Jorge.

Fancy food show: Oh, no – Van Vooren foie gras. I’m a goner.

Fancy food show: Fresca Italia gets the beauty prize so far, for its cheeses. Like art.

Fancy food show: This convention is great, but what an environmental downer. Millions of tiny plastic spoons, cups, plates, etc.
… And why does Moscone Center only have hot-water faucets in the restrooms, and only the kind that don’t automatically turn off? The restrooms in the halls were like this, but the restroom in between the two halls of the show did have auto-off faucets.

Fancy food show: wow, Patti LaBelle has a spice mix brand?

Fancy food show: The green/sustainability angle is big, of course, but Gidi is the only booth so far the uses compostable spoons. Kudos. Green themes were trumpteted by a lot of booths, and some of them didn’t have any samples or giveaways at all, so they didn’t use any packaging. But I only found one other booth that used compostable service, and the woman at that booth complained that San Francisco is the only place where people are bothered by the use of so much plastic.

Just met Reno Rossi, owner of Marin Cheese Co., who knows my wife. Guy has no personality whatsoever. (Hah!)

Fancy food show: we’re counting houndstooth sportcoats. 27 so far.

27 houndstooth sport coats. I think we’re done.

Fancy food show: Just passed Mario Batali. I’m not getting paid so I decided not to throw elbows to get through the throng for a pic. If you count seeing the back of his head and the side of his face, then sure, I saw Mario. I think I caught a glimpse of the clogs, too.

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Fancy Food Show, here I come

January 19, 2009

I’m spending the day at the Fancy Food Show at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Look for short posts from the show today, plus tweets at http://twitter.com/tomprete.

Wireless connections are a bit spotty in Moscone Center and no cameras are allowed in the show, but I’ll post what I can, when I can.


Mobile gadget test

January 17, 2009

This post is just a test of the wordpress.com gadget from my mobile phone. I’m lying in my backyard hammock with my daughter, trying to not think about how strange the balmy weather is for January.


Bad Vibes Bob washes up on Ocean Beach

January 8, 2009
This boat was washed up on San Franciscos Ocean Beach the morning of Jan. 8, 2009, at about Quintara Street. I dont know how long it had been there, or whether the spray-painted words "Bad vibes Bob" were there before it wrecked.

This boat was washed up on San Francisco's Ocean Beach the morning of Jan. 8, 2009, at about Quintara Street. I don't know how long it had been there, or whether the spray-painted words "Bad vibes Bob" were there before it wrecked.

Bad, bad, bad, bad vibrations.

Bad, bad, bad, bad vibrations.

Note the DVD cover for Cheech and Chongs movie Up in Smoke. A clue as to how the boat wrecked, perhaps? Some of the windows on the boat were smashed, an apparently dead motor was inside and the cabin interior was all smashed up and wet.

Note the DVD cover for Cheech and Chong's movie "Up in Smoke." A clue as to how the boat wrecked, perhaps? Some of the windows on the boat were smashed, an apparently dead motor was inside and the cabin interior was all smashed up and wet.

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