Photo Grab Bag

Here are a few topics and photos from my trip for random amusement value.

While taking a leak at a urinal at JFK airport (man, I've always wanted to start a blog post like that!), I noticed something in the urinal. Hey!

I then realized that it was the outline of a fly, painted on the porcelain.

I actually have a photo of this concept in my “humorous photos” file (from a urinal in Amsterdam)—their caption explained:

Look harder, and the fly turns into a black outline of a fly, etched into the porcelain. It improves aim. If a man sees a fly, he aims at it. Fly-in-urinal research found that etchings reduce spillage by 80%. It gives a guy something to think about. That’s the perfect example of process control.

Personally, I think that giggling at seeing this idea put into practice made my aim worse.

Second—a new record for postcards sent this year—83 for 2007! (the total was 81 in 2006). Here are a few from the Bay Area, which included some from the National Japanese American Historical Society in SF Japantown, and St. Mary’s Cathedral. The cathedral is a Pier Luigi Nervi and Pietro Belluschi design (pretty complete set of pictures here). Despite my usual mocking of modernism, I found the design to be simple, understated, and lovely, with a tremendous soaring space inside. Although I can understand why locals mock it as “Our Lady of the Washing Machine Agitator.”

Third--a group of us went out to Putt Putt (mini-golf) in Castro Valley to celebrate vyrin’s birthday; also present were ariiadne, helava, nehrlich, snowninja7, and tuflilbuttercup. Here’s the group of us attempting the “volcano” hole in unison. Man, that hole is hard—if you miss it the first time, it’s likely to be a 20-stroke hole.

Fourth—a slug! A few of us went on a hike after brunch at Christy & U-Boat’s, and I spotted this banana slug (?) next to the path. Somebody said, “You’re totally blogging, this, aren’t you Bats?” so I had to oblige. Sorry, you can’t tell the scale—the slug was maybe 4-5 inches stretched out.

Five—Apple Store San Francisco. Beemer pointed out, “In terms of interior design, they made this perfect store of the future--like a movie set from Minority Report or something… but then they let normal people in here, ruining the effect.” Alas.

Six—all-terrain Segway--seen while walking around SoMa. Like ya couldn’t make a Segway more goofy! [grin]

Seven—San Francisco to Oakland Zip Line! Full story here--it’s basically an art project called “Wish You Were Here! Postcards From Our Awesome Future.” The artists asked Bay Area architects, city planners and transportation engineers, “What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics, or physics?” Pretty funny stuff.

Eight—while visiting Jen & Schmooz, Schmooz and I took a day to work on rebuilding their backyard wisteria trellis. My reaction while scoping out the job:

Huh… so that cut at the top of the 4x4 will be easy with a recip saw.

What? You don’t have a sawzall?

And off to Home Depot we went. Schmooz managed to snag a real bargain—the Makita JR3070CT high-end saw (Fine Homebuilding’s Best Overall in their 2005 review), normal price $175, for ~$130, with a free angle grinder! Schmooz claims that I am rapidly becoming the Johnny Appleseed of power tools among my circle of friends. Yeah, guilty as charged. But this picture was necessary. Go Maxwell!


At 5:14 PM, Anonymous josakana said...

I believe that the urinals in JFK were because the manager of Schipol, one Joachim or Johann or something, moved to JFK and that was one of the first innovations he re-implemented there. Apparently it cuts down significantly on cleaning costs.

Ah. Jan Jansen, this says. http://alljoneses.com/archive.asp?month=October2003

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Bats said...

Heh... one highlight from that article:

Apparently this only works with men, however... Apparently women try to shoo the fly away where men just decide to pee on it...

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Wes Carroll said...

I had no idea that subscribing to your blog would be such great fun. Many thanks, and great to see you this holiday season, Bats!


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