Friday, January 23, 2009

Did You Ask Me What I like About Delfina?

Did you ask me what I like about Delfina? Was that you or someone else? Because somebody asked me that question the other day and I was either too busy or too distracted to give them a quality response. So here goes--the top 5 reasons why I like Delfina:

1.) Delfina serves good food simply. I hate it when decent chefs show off and put strawberries on salmon or use 45 ingredients to make a $30 version of mac and cheese. Delfina serves food that uses great ingredients and then gets out of the way. I am so tired of heavily sauced, cheese covered and over seasoned food.
2.) The service is prompt, non-threatening and non-formulaic. I am so tired of servers wearing tuxedos and exhibiting little or zero personality. Every member of the wait staff at Delfina wears their own clothes, without the silly hats or vests covered with buttons that say things like “Ask Me About Our Chicken Wings”.
3.) The wine list at Delfina is not pretentious and way out there somewhere in monetary stratosphere. A lot of restaurants in this town feature wine lists with bottles starting at $70, with an average price of around $120. That’s fine if your last name is Getty or Gates, but don’t these places realize we’re in a recession? Give me a decent red for $40. Why not? Delfina sells wines in all price categories so there’s something for non-wine snobs like me.
4.) Another reason I like Delfina: Roasted Fulton Valley chicken with olive oil and mashed potatoes and king trumpet mushrooms ($18.00); Wild nettle ravioli stuffed with Bellwether sheep’s milk ricotta and walnuts ($18.00) Salt cod mantecato with walnut oil and fennel seed flatbread ($10.50); and a wonderful homemade mozzarella with crostini ($10.00). That’s what I had there the other night and I’m still thinking about how good it was! And I didn’t go broke either!
5.) The people at Delfina are nice. I know that sounds kind of trite, but it’s so true. They make you feel welcome, and they put you in a relaxed mood immediately. I am so tired of the so-called “hip” places here in the city that specialize in ignoring you if you’re not Gavin Newsom or Barry Zito. Delfina treats everyone as if they were the Mayor or even an overpaid washed up major league pitcher.

3621 18th Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 552-4055

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Display It Right with a Top-Tier Cardboard Display

Display It Right with a Top-Tier Cardboard Display. In the new world of POP (point-of-purchase) advertising, cardboard displays are high-tech, low-cost, big-impact vehicles for effectively displaying and marketing your products. If you want to sell something on the retail level, you have to make sure the public can see it, view it unimpeded, gain access to it and enjoy the experience you've created with the product. Well-designed cardboard displays will achieve this for you--and much, much more! All you have to do is check out and see what they have to offer. You'll be amazed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cougar Attack!

The other day I was talking to a rather attractive, post-50-year-old woman in a bar when I referred to her as a “cougar”. To say the least, she didn’t appreciate it.
“I am not a cougar, you idiot!” she exclaimed. “A cougar is not a nice thing to call any woman and if I was a little more intoxicated, I’d slap you so hard that your ears would ring!”
Wow. That was the wrong thing to say. This woman had come at me like an angry rabid, well—cougar. I was surprised by her negative reaction because I thought I was giving her a compliment. I was trying to tell her that she was good-looking and probably capable to attracting young men into her lair. She explained that a cougar was a female who preyed on men much younger than herself. Oh well, live and learn.
When I told my fiancée what had happened, she had the same reaction (after interrogating me about why I was talking to a hot woman in a bar)
“What were you thinking?” she queried, with a look on her face that always stops me in my tracks. “Don’t be calling women cougars, you slob!”
Ouch! Obviously older ladies don’t like the new “C” word.
So, I did a little research and this is what I found:
First, I went to Wikipedia and saw this definition:
Cougar – an older woman, usually in her 40s or older, who usually sexually pursues men in their 20s and 30s.The term has been used in (American) TV series, advertising and film. The 2007 film Cougar Club was dedicated to the subject.
Then I started Googling all over the Internet to learn more. I found out that cougars have been around a long time. So much so, that there are now cougar dating sites (, cougar chat rooms, cougar social clubs and even cougar clothing lines. Cougar hookups that last more than one drunken night are called “age gap relationships” and terms like “cradle robber” and “baby snatcher” are now considered boorish.
So, now I know. No more calling women cougars. And no more talking to 50ish women in bars. Not if I still want to get married to my 46-year-old fiancée in May!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Random Thought

Every once in a while someone appears in one of my dreams and says something so random, so unrelated to absolutely anything, that it's quite honestly disturbing and confusing. Like last night, I was having a pleasant dream in which I was rowing a boat down a peaceful and serene river, the wind in my hair and the sun on my scalp, when suddenly, Mr. Ed the Talking Horse (from the TV show of the 1960's) showed up and said, "Industrial knobs." I was like, "What did you just say?" And Mr. Ed replied, "Industrial knobs. They're the future. Get on the industrial knobs bandwagon right now. Early adopters will make big hay." And with that, he disappeared, leaving me to wonder what he meant. I hate that, but it happens all the time. What did Mr. Ed really mean? And what should I do about it? I don't know about you, but I'll be Googling "Industrial knobs" right now. What does this horse know that I'm not aware of? And whay is he telling me about it in my dreams? (Stay tuned.)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

No, You're Not Drunk! It's Just Greg Pike and His Amazing Pets!

When I first saw Greg Pike's cat-on-dog with rats on display in San Francisco, I thought I was hallucinating.

There is a guy who has been walking through the Marina in San Francisco recently with his very own small circus. It’s a fascinating sight that snarls pedestrian traffic and draws a crowd wherever it goes. It’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever witnessed and I can’t help but write about it.

The best way I can describe it is a cat and two rats on top of a dog. I know that it sounds like something out of a Dr. Seuss story, but it’s true. The dog is a Rottweiler Lab mix and on his back he is carrying a American Tabby. Draped around the cat’s neck are two pet rats. This menagerie of four creatures is an amazing sight, to say the least.

The man behind the madness is Greg Pike, a 40-something drifter from Telluride, Colorado who has an uncanny ability to make animals do whatever he desires, it seems. When I asked him how his foursome of pets came together, stacked upon each other and apparently okay with it, he said, “I did it because people said it couldn’t be done.”

The stunt has gained Pike national recognition and garnered him more than his requisite 15 minutes of fame. He and his animals have been featured on David Letterman, CNN, and are a favorite on YouTube.

I spent a couple of hours with Pike the other day and it was fascinating to see how people (mostly tourists visiting San Francisco) reacted to the spectacle. Most were enthralled and eager to ask questions. “Do they ever fight?” “What are their names?” “Can I pet the dog?” “Can I hold one of the rats?” Pike is very cordial and extremely patient, especially with kids. He asks for donations, but isn’t pushy about it.

Some passers by are immediately skeptical. One woman said, “You must have drugged those poor animals!” Pike’s response was, “What would I drug them with?” He pretty much blew her off. Why can’t folks just take something wonderful at face value, rather than look for a conspiracy? I was not as nice to the woman. “We gave her your Xanax!” I replied.

Pike puts it all in perspective. He realizes that he isn’t changing the world with his canine, feline and mouse mountain, but he also believes that if he can slightly alter one person’s attitude about how humans and animals need to live together in peace, natural enemies or not, then it’s a worthwhile endeavor to him.

“People try to call me a ‘pet whisperer’, but I’m just a simple guy who taught a couple of creatures a few tricks,” he said. “Some writer called me a modern day St. Francis and I laughed. It’s gained me a little fame and I’m happy for it. I’m not using it to preach or politicize or anything like that. I just thought people would enjoy seeing it, so I’m out here.”
Copyright © 2008 Ed Attanasio
Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha San Francisco. For more information, visit the author's website.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Tough Writing Assignment

When I do these postings sometimes, they ask me to write about things that I know little about. It's difficult to write something and sound knowledgeable when you aren't familiar with the subject. Like this posting, for instance. They asked me to write about bearings. What the heck do I know about bearings? Very little. So, I ask myself--how would the great Ernest Hemingway write about bearings? What would the legendary writer find interesting and intriguing about bearings? Bearings, as far as I know, help things turn--such as wheels and conveyors and many of the moving parts found in automobiles. Would Hemingway be able to capture all this in approximately 60 words? If he could, he's a better man than I!

Let the Sun Shine, Toyota Declares

Toyota, who’s Prius is the most popular car on the hybrid market today, is upping the “clean and green” ante with a new vehicle in development that will run partially on the sun’s rays. They will also start the long-range development of a car that will run solely on solar. Both vehicles will take several years to design and build, but the sun will be around for awhile, so it’s a win-win.

Sales of the Prius are still huge, but not as high as they were last summer when gas prices spiked through the roof. Here in San Francisco where I live, pro-green residents gobbled up Priuses like jelly bellies or iPods. I saw a guy the other day trying to open the door of what he thought was his Prius, until he noticed that his (same color and year) was parked a few spots over.

Consequently, a lot of Prius customization companies are cropping up all over the country -- so that owners can distinguish their Prius from all the others out on the road.
Toyota should be praised for announcing this new endeavor. If only the Big 3 would get on the solar bandwagon – with real projects rather than lip service. And people wonder why Japan is kicking our derrieres when it comes to selling cars!
I saw this yesterday in the Nikkei News:
TOKYO —Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported today.
The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market. Toyota’s offices were closed today and officials were not immediately available for comment.
According to the Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.
The solar car is part of efforts by Japan’s top automaker to grow during hard times, the Nikkei said.
In December, Toyota stunned the nation by announcing it will slip into its first operating loss in 70 years, as it gets battered by a global slump, especially in the key U.S. market. The surging yen has also hurt the earnings of Japanese automakers.
Still, Toyota is a leader in green technology and executives have stressed they won’t cut back on environmental research despite its troubles.
Toyota, the manufacturer of the Lexus luxury car and Camry sedan, has already begun using solar panels at its Tsutsumi plant in central Japan to produce some of its own electricity.
The solar panels on the roofs add up in size to the equivalent of 60 tennis courts and produce enough electricity to power 500 homes, according to Toyota. That reduces 740 tons a year of carbon dioxide emissions and is equal to using 1,500 barrels of crude oil.
Toyota is also likely to indirectly gain expertise in solar energy when its partner in developing and producing hybrid batteries, Panasonic Corp., takes over Japanese rival Sanyo Electric Co., a leader in solar energy, early next year.