Monday, March 20, 2017

Just Call it The Beer Line

On Sunday, AC Transit debuts its new line 80. The line runs between El Cerrito Plaza BART station and the Claremont Hotel in the Berkeley Hills. For me, what makes this line interesting is the number of breweries and tap rooms this line services.
  1. elevation-66 - on San Pablo between Central and Fairmount, it's less than one block from the Central/San Pablo stop (southbound stop 52544, northbound stop 52066 .)
  2. Gilman Brewing Company - on Gilman between 7th and 8th, it's less than one block from the 8th/Gilman stop (southbound stop 51613, northbound stop 51791) or Gilman/7th stop (northbound stop 50404, no southbound stop)
  3. Fieldwork Brewing Co - at 6th St and Harrison, it's just over one block north from the 6th/Gilman stop (southbound stop 59688, no northbound stop) or two blocks (one block west and one block north) from the Gilman/7th stop (northbound stop 50404, no southbound stop)
  4. Trumer Brauerei - at 4th and Camelia, it's three blocks (one block north, two blocks west) from the 6th/Page stop (southbound stop 52310, northbound stop 56465). Until Trumer's rumored tasting room opens, you'll need to RSVP for a tour (offered weekdays at 3:15.)
  5. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room - on 4th between Addison and University, it's just over one block south from the 4th/University stop (southbound stop 52626, northbound stop 55146.)
  6. The Rare Barrel - on Parker between 8th and 9th St., it's one and a half blocks East from the 7th/Parker stop (southbound stop 55807, northbound stop 55738.)
  7. Novel Brewing - on San Pablo Ave between 66th and 65th St, it's four and a half blocks South from the Ashby/San Pablo stop (southbound stop 52300, northbound stop 52599.)
  8. Moxy Beer Garden - at Sacramento and 66th St, it's about three blocks south from the Ashby/Sacramento stop (southbound stop 52662, northbound stop 55919.)
  9. Hoi Polloi Brewing - on Alcatraz between Adeline and Ellis, it's five blocks south and less than one block west of the Ashby/Martin Luther King, Jr. Way stop (southbound stop 51171, northbound stop 55765.)
What's really nice about the line is that service runs until midnight seven days a week. So, if you're a beer drinker, this would be an interesting "crawl." Conveniently for me, I live within two blocks of a stop on line 80. I know I'll be taking advantage of this new line.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Celebrating SF Beer Week in Berkeley

(Banner courtesy of the San Francisco Brewers Guild)

It's SF Beer Week!

Berkeley breweries, taprooms and restaurants all have events going on. Here are the venues (please note that many are within walking distance of BART and that the others are reachable via AC Transit):

And here's the schedule:

All Week Long (Friday 2/10 - Sunday 2/19):
Friday 2/10
  • 9 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of 2017 Viking's Lament (Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Porter) and King Citra Double IPA (limit 8 cans per person for each.) They will also be tapping a keg each of both the 2017 and 2016 Viking's Lament.
Saturday 2/11
  • 10 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of 2017 Barrel Aged Eliza (New Orleans Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout) and Tundra Triple IPA (limit 8 cans per person for each.) They will also be tapping one keg of  2017 Barrel Aged Eliza.
  • 11:30 AM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse releases 2017 Mister Stout (Imperial Stout.) The release includes flights featuring the 2017 release, a blend of the 2016 and 2017 releases, and barrel aged versions of the 2016 and 2015 releases. In addition, they're re-releasing their 30th Anniversary Black Rock (a barrel-aged imperial version of their Black Rock porter.)
  • Noon, Pacific Standard Taproom releases I Need a Miracle DIPA (a collaboration between Half Moon Bay Brewing and Peter Hoey of BSG Craft Brewing) and taps other collaborations between Half Moon Bay Brewing with Benoit-Casper Brewing, E. J. Phair, Hop Dogma, Sacrilege Brewery, Moylan's Brewing, and Bartlett Hall.
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts their 3rd Annual Reunion with The Bruery and Societe Brewing Company. This is a reunion because Patrick Rue (from The Bruery,) Doug Constantiner (from Societe,) and Jay Goodwin (from The Rare Barrel) once worked at The Bruery together. They'll be here for this event. Each brewery will have 5 of their beers on tap. Inside, they will have 2 additional bars set-up so that you won't have a long wait to sample. In the parking lot, Real Smoked BBQ will be providing smoked meat goodness.
  • 7 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom hosts its Bottle Release Party featuring Half Moon Bay's Flanders Red Sour, aged with cherries and Papa Juice Old Ale, aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels
Sunday 2/12
  • 10 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of PULP IPA (limit 8) and Cocoanut German Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout (limit 4.)
  • 10 AM, Free House hosts Sierra Nevada Acoustic Sunrise, a beer brunch featuring 8 beers from Sierra Nevada Brewing.
  • 11 AM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts the Poses to Pints yoga class -- a one-hour yoga class, followed by a pint in the tasting room. Tickets ($15) available here.
  • Noon, Jupiter and Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse host Sour Sunday featuring over 60 sour and barrel-aged brews. Click the link for details. Advanced tickets start at $30 and are available here.
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel releases 3 collaborations with Cellarmaker: Tangerang! (a golden sour beer aged in oak barrels and dry-hopped with Citra and Motueka,) Smashin’ Fruit (a blend of a hoppy pale ale and a golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with passion fruit,) and Wagon Trix (a blend of Cellarmaker porter with The Rare Barrel golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with blackberries.) As part of the event, The Rare Barrel will be selling fills of 32 and 64 growlers of the collaborations. You must provide a clean logo-free (or at least taped-over) growler with a closable lid in order to purchase a fill. In the parking lot, Real Smoked BBQ will be providing smoked meat goodness.
  • 5 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts the People’s Choice IPA Competition featuing IPAs from Berryessa, Barebottle, Calicraft, and Triple Voodoo. Your votes choose the winner. Poll closes at 8 PM.
Monday 2/13
Tuesday 2/14
  • Noon, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts “Find Your Angel” Valentine’s Day Special with Angel City Brewing, a special date night deal of two special Angel City beers, a small margherita pizza, and a unique “Lover’s Quarrel” dessert pizza for $40.
  • 4 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Beer + Chocolate Flight. $20 gets you a prescribed pairing of four 4 oz beers and 4 chocolates from Blues Chocolates.
  • 5 PM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse releases Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout which you can pair with a "death by chocolate" dessert.
Wednesday 2/15
  • 4 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Beer + Jerky Flight. For just $15 per flight you'll experience a flight of 4 very unique Righteous Felon jerky and paired with four 4 oz beers.
  • 5 PM, Moxy Beer Garden hosts Game Night with Sierra Nevada and Games of Berkeley. Games of Berkeley will provide board games, Frisbee Golf, and a scavenger hunt. Sierra Nevada will provide 4 beers on tap: 2017 Beer Camp Golden IPA, Otra Vez Gose-Style Ale, Tropical Torpedo IPA, and Hop Hunter IPA.
  • 7 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria holds Pizza Port Trivia Night. Pizza Port Brewing will host this installment of Bobby G's weekly trivia night. Food includes 2 pizzas specially designed to pair with 2 special Pizza Port beers. You can gave it all with a 2 slice 2 beer combo.
  • 7:30 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts a Jester King Brewing Guest Tap Takeover. Austin's Jester King Brewery will be in house for a guest tap takeover featuring farmhouse ales and sours. Brewers Jeffrey Stuffings and Averie Swanson will also be hanging out for a bit to chat about their philosophy behind producing mixed culture and spontaneous beer. Javi’s Cooking will be in the parking lot serving Argentine empanadas.
Thursday 2/16
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of Galaxy Juice IPA (limit 12 cans per person.)
  • Noon, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Vertical Bigfoot Flight. They'll be serving flights of various vintages of Bigfoot Barleywine as well as vintage Bigfoot growler fills.
  • 3 PM, Mission: Heirloom hosts a Ground Breaker Beer Tasting. They'll be serving 7 gluten-free beers from Portland's Ground Breaker Brewery along with a menu of delicious beer garden specials. Beer tasting tickets are $10 and are available in advance or at the door.
  • 4 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts a Trillium Brewing Company Guest Tap Takeover. It will feature 6 different Trillium beers on the guest taps.  In addition, The Lumpia Company will be in the parking lot.
  • 5:30 PM, Whole Foods Market Gilman hosts the Fieldwork Beer and Bite Pairing. 3 beers from Fieldwork Brewing Company will each be paired with a delicious cheese bite. Whole Foods' expert cheese and beer specialists will talk about how best to pair your favorite beer with whatever you're dishing up. All participants will also receive a can of the 2017 Collaboration Beer. Tickets are $10 and available here.
  • 7 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts Dr Jekyll Talks Nano-encapsulation. Along with a tap take-over, Dr Jekyll’s Brewery will showcase their unique process of adding super food nutrients to their organic beer using nano-encapsulation.
  • 8 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom hosts Beer and Comedy Night featuring local comics, beer, and bar bites. No cover charge.
Friday 2/17
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of Party Cove Tropical Sour Ale (limit 6 cans per person) and Coconut Milk Double IPA (limit 12 cans per person.)
  • Noon, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts a Barrel-Aged Night. The Torpedo Room set aside 5 gallons of each Barrel-Aged Beer they've put on draft for the last year. All 16 taps will be a Barrel-Aged Beer for the day.
  • 3 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria serves Pliny The Younger. They'll have 1 keg of the elusive triple IPA from Russian River Brewing Company. You must purchase your 10 oz pour in advance at the restaurant. Tickets for one pour are $9 each.
  • 4 PM, The Rare Barrel releases a collaboration funky sour with Wicked Weed Brewing -- Happy Blending, a barrel-aged American sour ale fermented with plum and nectarine. Enjoy Happy Blending on draft as well as in bottle for on-site consumption only. Other Wicked Weed beers will be available on the guest taps. Tacos El Rey will be in the parking lot from 5 - 9 PM dishing up tacos, burritos, and tortas.
  • 4:30 PM, Free House hosts a Magnolia Brewing and Ex Novo Brewing Tap Takeover.
  • 6 PM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse hosts Beards + Fruity Beer. The Beards portion is a facial hair competition in the categories of mustache, beard and full beard, and awards (judged by last year's winner and experts from People’s Barber & Shop) in design, thickness, upkeep and Best In Show. To partiticipate in the contest, register here (or sign-up at the door.) Judging commences at 7 PM. The Fruity Beer portion is a release of 5 fruity brews -- 2 from Triple Rock, 2 from Sierra Nevada, and 1 collaboration cask-conditioned ale "filled with as much fruit as these brave brewers can possibly imagine."
  • 7 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom takes over for (the currently dislocated) Barclay's and hosts the Bay Area IPA Challenge. This is a "blind challenge" in which you purchase a flight tasters and choose your favorite without knowing which IPA it is.
Saturday 2/18
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company hosts a second-chance release of cans of 2017 Barrel Aged Eliza (New Orleans Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout,) 2017 Viking's Lament (Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Porter,) and King Citra Double IPA (limit 4 cans per person for each.)
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts The Rare Barrel Cellar Day. The Rare Barrel is bringing back a few past releases for this one day. They'll have 18 sours on tap and 7 bottles to try in house. Some of the cellar releases include Dubious Nights, Afterlight, Feed The Monster, and Apropos of Nothing. In addition, they will offer a limited amount of flights of 3 barrel samples. These barrel samples will showcase the variety of beer that they are aging in their barrel cellar. Each barrel sample is served uncarbonated and at room temperature, just like how their blenders taste through barrels in production. Barrel sample flights include a tasting glass and a poster.
  • 3:30 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts Beer and Sake Night. Coedo Brewery from Saitama, Japan, will present a haiku and movie night with delicious Japanese craft beer and sake. Haiku read off begins at 8pm.
  • 4 PM, Trumer Brauerie hosts the Celebrator Beer News 29th Anniversary Party (a fundraiser for the California Craft Brewers Association.) Advanced tickets are $60 and include food and the opportunity to sample beers from over 30 breweries. They'll have shuttles from North Berkeley BART stating at 3:30 PM.
  • 7:30 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts Beer Science Night. Anders MacCarthy, Sierra Nevada's Ingredients Specialist, will discuss the process of hop selection and new product recipe design. He’ll even deconstruct how Sierra Nevada developed their Tropical Torpedo recipe. Plus, they’ll showcase three small batch beers (available only at this event): a Mosaic single hop, a Comet single hop, and a malt-focused ale. Tickets are $25 and are available here.
Sunday 2/19
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts The Afterparty. Missed one of The Rare Barrel's SF Beer Week events? Enjoyed some special beer that you'd like to enjoy again? Here's your chance as they'll be serving beers from throughout the week all day.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Goals for The New Year

I don't call them "Resolutions" because once you fail to achieve a resolution, that's it. These are goals. I will strive to achieve them.
  1. Write more often. I used to write a lot more often... and it wasn't just because it was part of my job. I will be posting more often. Many posts will likely be short, but some may be longer. How they divide up will be up to time.
  2. Run. In 2016 I did a fare share of walking. It's time I picked up the pace to see how far I can run. I won't run every day (in fact, I'm not running today) but I will run some days.
  3. Cook from scratch more often. I already started on this in the morning by making the traditional New Year's Day "good luck" meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas from scratch. I did a simple stir-fry with onions and garlic for the collard greens and a variation of Hoppin' John with bacon, onions and brown rice for the black-eyed peas.
  4. Get rid of stuff I don't use. I know that I have too many items. I already have one small box of clothing that is too big for me. I have a storage locker full of many things that I have not used since we moved. There's no reason to keep it all. Time to start donating and selling.
  5. Go places I've never been. These can range from bars, brew pubs, restaurants, festivals, parks, cities, etc. There are three restaurants all within a short walk of home that I've not visited; Those may be a good start.
  6. Find time to get away from technology. That means putting away the iPhone/iPad, stepping away from the computer, turning off the TV and doing something else (and sleeping doesn't count.)
Six seems like a good number of goals.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Voodoo and EARTHQUAKE! Chips

Yesterday, I stopped in at Grocery Outlet on 4th St. in Berkeley. Grocery Outlet is a regional chain of closeout/overstock grocery items. If you grew up in the Bay Area, you may recall them as the "dented can" store. Odd things can show up at Grocery Outlet. For example, it's the only place in the western US where I've seen both Dreyer's and Edy's ice cream sold side-by-side. Anyway, much to my surprise, I found they had Zapp's Potato Chips. Zapp's are originally from Louisiana and don't usually show up in California. In fact, until yesterday, the only stores in California where I have found Zapp's were Cost Plus and Big Lots.

When I let friends know that I had found Zapp's chips at Grocery Outlet, one commented about their Voodoo flavor. The Voodoo flavor is a mash-up of several different flavors that (according to the description) was the result of an accident where an an employee spilled a pallet of spices, someone tasted the result, and liked it. It's one of my favorite chip flavors.

Zapp's "Voodoo chips"
Photo courtesy of Andrew Childs

This made recall a similar flavor that I found when I was living in Los Angeles -- California Chips' "EARTHQUAKE!" (yes, all caps with the exclamation point.)

Earthquake Chips
Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes

On the bag it said that the flavor was the result of a 6.3 earthquake near their production facility (in Oxnard) and that "When we came in the following morning all of our spices had fallen into the same mixing vat. We thought we had a loss on our hands but then when we tasted what we had, we loved it!" (I love the story; unfortunately, the chronological list of Southern California earthquakes shows that it's just a story.) When my wife and I first tried the EARTHQUAKE! chips, we both thought that they tasted like Zapp's Voodoo chips.

Until today, I had never looked into whether or not there was a connection between the two. The first thing I found was that California Chips no longer exists. The most recent update on the Internet Archive is from two years ago. An older version includes a news site that states that EARTHQUAKE! chips came out in 2005. Note from the archived "about us" page that California Chips' founder was Kevin Holden.

Two items of note from the Wikipedia entry for Zapp's:
  • In 2006 Zapp's acquired the California Chip Company in Oxnard, CA
  • Zapp's most popular flavor is "Voodoo" which was created in 2008 by Kevin Holden, General Manager and a shareholder of the company.
Would that be the same Kevin Holden who founded California Chips? Ah ha! So it's not that they tasted like each other, it's that they are the same.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

AMC Best Picture Showcase 2016 - Day 2

One week later and it was time for the second day of AMC's Best Picture Showcase. If you haven't already done so, read about the first day here.

My journey to The City had an interesting beginning. Recently, BART has rolled out some prototype cars to accommodate more passengers. During peak commute hours, BART trains have been overcrowded. These Test Cars have fewer seats so that one can squeeze in more standing room passengers. When I saw that one of the cars in my train to The City was a test car, I knew that I had to give it a shot.

BART Test Car
BART Test Car

Most BART cars have 2x2 seating; the test car has 2x1. With fewer seats, the aisle is over twice as wide as before. This allows the car to hold a significant number of extra passengers and should ease feelings of claustrophobia. I think it's worth the loss of seats.

Once in The City, I took a slightly different walking route to the theater. During my walk, I came across a construction wall mural.

Construction Wall Mural
Construction Wall on 600 Block of O'Farrell

From checking Google Street View, the wall went up sometime in 2013. The mural was added between October 2013 and February 2014. I'm surprised it's been up this long.

Once at the theater, I was given my lanyard for the second day's films, picked up some popcorn and soda, and settled into my seat.

Me and My Pass - Day Two
All set for more movies


This was a nice film about a young woman's transformation from being Irish to becoming American. It's something I would watch on a rainy day at home. Is it one of the best pictures of the year? Absolutely not. This is the film that the #OscarsSoWhite folks should be pointing at as an example.


I found myself thoroughly engaged in the story even though I knew how it would end. It was a great showcase of how investigative reporters are given an assignment and then work their butts off to see it through. What further impressed me was how close the filmmakers stuck with the story. Unlike some of the other nominees based upon real events, this had no contrived dramatic situations. I wouldn't be surprised if this wins Best Picture.

 The Martian

I was looking forward to seeing "The Martian." I'm sure folks are surprised that I had not already seen it, since science fiction is my favorite genre. Reading everyone's reactions to it gave me high expectations. I was very pleased that it delivered. I enjoyed it completely. While I would be very surprised if it won Best Picture, it was my favorite of all of the nominees.

As with the first day, we had a longer break before the last film of the day. As I had written in the post for the first day, I decided to have dinner at the brick-and-morter location for The Chairman.

The Chairman
Interior of The Chairman (at 670 Larkin)

I've been to their food truck a few times. The restaurant has the same offerings: pork buns, rice/veggie/noodle bowls, and other appetizers. I had a Chairman Rice bowl with Coca-Cola Braised Pork. The bowl included the selected meat along with pickled vegetables and sauce on top of the Chairman Rice (a mixture of black beans and wild rice.) It was filling and hit the spot.

I got back to the theater in time for trivia. This time I chose to play, and I won! I was asked, "In what countries was 'The Revenant' filmed?" I correctly answered "The U.S., Canada, and Argentina." After trivia, it was time for the last film.

I won!
My prize (actually there are two passes)

The Revenant

This was another film I was looking forward to watching. Unfortunately for me, it did not live up to all of the hype its received. I enjoyed the movie, but once it got going, I had a strong feeling about how the film would end and it took quite a while to get there. Make no mistake, I think this film will deservedly rack up a lot of awards, it just wasn't as good as it was hyped.

All in all, I enjoyed all of the Best Picture nominees. I got to watch 8 good films for a total of $65. I had $5 of concession credit each day which went towards soda and popcorn.  I won two free passes. If I have the opportunity to do this next year, I will.

One bonus... While walking back to BART, I was rewarded with a view of a lovely neon sign.

Nite Cap Neon
Nite Cap neon (Corner of O'Farrell and Hyde)

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

AMC Best Picture Showcase 2016 - Day 1

This year marks the 10th year that the AMC movie theater chain has presented a "marathon" showing of the films nominated for Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Feature Presentation. Called the Best Picture Showcase, the event has all eight of this year's nominees shown over the two Saturdays before the Academy Awards (There are also seven locations showing all eight in one day.)

I've attended three previous presentations (one in Orange, one in Emeryville and one in San Francisco.) This year (like last) the closest location was at the AMC 1000 Van Ness. While not the best location (I would have preferred The Metreon since it's closer to BART and has more dining options) it still works.

To get to the theater, I was able to hop on BART and then walk. It was a beautiful morning and the walk from Powell Street station allowed me to see some things I had not noticed before.

Daldas Grocery
Mural at Daldas Grocery

Putnam Subaru Service Mural
Mural at Putnam Service Subaru

Golden Bear Ornamentation
Golden Bear Ornamentation at 755 O'Farrell
Upon arrival at the theater, I was directed to a special check-in desk where attendees exchanged their tickets for the Day One lanyard. With the lanyard, I had in-and-out privileges. They also had a commemorative program guide and poster. My next stop was the concession stand. As an AMC Stubs member, I was given $5 in concession credit (for use only on that day) which I cashed in for a large soda (free refills all day) and popcorn (again, free refills all day.) Since the theater has Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, soda refills were easy to obtain.

With snack and soda in hand, I snagged a seat in theater number 4.  Prior to the first film, the theater manager introduced himself and reviewed how the day would proceed. Breaks between each of the first three films would last between 20 and 25 minutes -- enough time to stretch your legs, use the restroom, refill your soda and get a snack. The last break would be just over an hour, which would allow you to get something more substantial to eat. He also reminded everyone to tag social media posts with #amcbps and that trivia (with prizes) would take place before the last feature of the day.

Me and My Pass
Me and my Lanyard

With that it was time to watch the films...

Bridge of Spies

I enjoyed Stephen Spielberg's historically inspired film. While I knew that Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for a Soviet spy, I was not familiar with the story of how that spy was captured, his trial, the story of Frederic Pryor and what was involved in getting the exchange to take place. The film kept me engaged and made me draw parallels with events of today such as the rights of accused non-US nationals and the desire of some to build a wall to "protect" the USA. The film is worth watching at home. Be aware that like all historical dramas, not everything on screen is factual.


I knew very little about Lenny Abrahamson's film going in. The subject matter -- how a mother and daughter deal with being held captive in a shed and how they are affected after escaping -- is by no means pleasant. That said, the film hit me with the gamut of emotions. There were a couple of times that I was wondering where the story would go, but during those times I thought about the characters that I was watching and that in their story, they wouldn't know where they were going. This is a film worth seeing, but just be prepared.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Of the four films for the day, this was the one I was looking forward to seeing on the big screen. George Miller delivered with two hours of adrenaline-filled fun. There were times where I was wondering, "OK, when's the action going to slow down?" There were some points where that did happen, but for most of the film, the gas pedal was pressed to the floor. Interesting side note, after the film a few attendees brought up #OscarsSoWhite and mentioned how this film was literally the "most white" of the Best Picture nominees.

Before the last film of the day, I took advantage of the break to get some real food. Green Apple Market on the corner of Polk and Post won the day with a hot chicken sandwich for $6.99. It hit the spot. (This coming Saturday I may opt to go to The Chairman since I like their truck.)

Moon by the Monarch
The Moon over Geary

Green Apple Market
Green Apple Market

I got back in time for the trivia contest. I liked how the contest was run; the manager asked the audience, "Who wants to play?" He then selected someone and asked a question that was related to one of the day's films, and if the person got it right, he or she had a choice of prizes ranging from a movie pass, a tee shirt, and some other random items. If the person got it wrong, he gave other audience members the opportunity to answer it correctly. I didn't play. Maybe if they have better prizes next time.

Trivia Time
Trivia Time

That led us to the last film of the day.

The Big Short

The day started with a historical drama and ended with a historical drama. I was already somewhat familiar with the cause of the 2008 financial crisis and some who foresaw it. This covered what most would consider to be a boring subject in a pretty entertaining way. Yes, it plays a bit loose with some of the details, but even that gets acknowledged. I enjoyed it!

With the first four films done, I won't make any predictions. I'm looking forward to Saturday and the remaining four films: Spotlight, Brooklyn, The Martian, and The Revenant.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preparing For the Fall Election

The Fall 2014 election is three weeks from today. Here are a few resources to prepare:

To look up your ballot, poling place, candidate information, etc, go to Voters Edge (The MapLight Voter Guide)

If you're an Alameda County voter, the County Registrar of Voters site has links to:
Verify your registration status
Get information about early voting (it's a long ballot, and you may not have time on November 4)
Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot (again, it's a long ballot)
Learn about Ranked Choice Voting