american virgins

Rattling shifters
And four underfilled tires
Belie their glory.

We took our bikes out yesterday for a glory ride around San Francisco at sunset.  MY GOODNESS WAS IT GLORIOUS.  Strangely, it was the first time either of our bikes had been ridden outside in the US, despite their rather long stint in Europe's out-of-doors.  Although they've been bruised and beaten by their boxed travel from Istanbul to London to Chicago to Indianapolis (by plane) to San Francisco (by post), they were ridable immediately with a few brake adjustments and some tire pumping.  Here's the map of our ride : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/27151974/.  Just 15.15 km, but enough to fill us with rapturous glee.

Also this weekend was the West Coast Wiki Conference.  It was actually an "unconference," which is to say that the attendees set the agenda of talks and discussions the morning of.  It was a neat experience... my friend Eugene Erik Kim of Blue Oxen Associates helped with the organization and funding for the conference, and he was the one who pointed me and Evan at it originally.  His work focuses on collaborative intelligence, which is to say, helping people work together better.  It seems like a natural thing for him to support such a thing as wikis, then.  :)

The big topic of the conference was non-textual media.  The morning keynote speech from Ward Cunningham (the inventor of the wiki) got everyone fired up about where wikis could go in the future.  It doesn't seem unreasonable that a system could be built which does the following things:

0) allows many users to make changes online, probably using a timeline-type interface with simple cut/paste functionality
1) supports and provides clips with Creative Commons licenses
2) avoids rendering the video as a single file in lieu of streaming single clips at Youtube quality
3) permits download at HD quality if desired

So, go to it!

Following the conference, we had tickets to the Wikipedia 10th Birthday Party celebration in SF, which was conveniently a few blocks from our house.  Featured were a DJ playing music from around the world, several noteworthy guests (the chair of Wikimedia, for instance), and a projection screen with the tail of Wikipedia's edit logs scrolling by.  Also, a giant cake in the shape of the Wikipedia logo (that cake is actually from a different celebration, but they all look similar).  Super sweet!

Other things about the weekend... well, FreeCiv.  My friend Joe and a friend of his, Brett, invited me and Evan to play for a couple hours on Sunday afternoon, and we had so damn much fun that we wound up playing much of Monday, too.  It *is* enjoyable, if you're a strategy/empires games person.

Oh, and we have a new decoration in our apartment now, too!  On Saturday we went out to Lowe's to get a strawberry pot, potting soil, curly parsley, rosemary, chives, Greek oregano, strawberry plant, basil seeds, and hot pepper seeds.  We put it all together, and, voila!, we have an herb garden appropriate for a tiny studio apartment.  I love strawberry pots because of the space-conserving possibility to plant lots of varieties of plants in a stack.  I'm not sure about the potting soil we got, though... we didn't read closely until it was too late, and technically the soil says it's for mixing with topsoil outdoors?  Any gardeners know if this will be a problem?

Last week we entertained our first guest off couchsurfing.org.  His name is Matt, and he's actually around the area for a week or so more; we're hoping we get to hang out with him again sometime.  In support of couchsurfing, I would like to say that I've never had a bad experience with either hosts or surfers, and that the strength and security of the site come from its socialness.  You all should really consider listing yourselves.  Even better is to list on warmshowers.org: it's a hosting site for touring cyclists exclusively, and I have to say that you'll never run across a rude or lazy touring cyclist.  It simply doesn't come with the territory.

Oh, and a recipe.  We made some delicious "emergency food" one night when we were too lazy to go out to the store and didn't have much left in the house.


2 bundles soba noodles
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp water
1 pinch sugar
1 small bunch chopped green onions
1/3 package tofu, chopped
1 small package fish flakes (kezuri-bushi)

Boil the soba noodles for a few minutes until they are tender.  Run them under cold water until they are nice and cool.  Transfer them to something that won't leak.  Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water together in a dish with the sugar, then pour it over the noodles and mix them around a little.  Serve the noodles into bowls and garnish with the tofu, green onions, and kezuri-bushi.  Yum!

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