Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I like everything about the food, from the chewy sourdough crust of the pizza, to the well-constructed seasonal salads. I think it's something like 20 bucks for a cheese pizza, but I'll be darned if I'm going to settle for what else passes for pizza in B-Town. I occasionally like a nice thick Zachary's pizza, but for a traditional pie, Nick's Pizza is my favorite now for some time.
They'll deliver (I use GrubHub online), but tonight I drove down for a pick-up, to save time. While I was there, I also couldn't help but purchase a fresh loaf of sourdough bread, and 2 giant cookies from their pastry wall.
Oh Nick's, you got me. Take my money, make me fat, I do not care.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Since my wife and I bought a house in West Berkeley, Oscar has repeatedly helped us with odd jobs. We started out with small things, but I have found that there’s really no job that is too complicated for Oscar. Here’s what he has done for us, in order:
- replacing the faucet on the sink
- installed a doggy door and re-hung the door too
- hanging large white boards in my office
- hanging a pot rack in my kitchen (he helped my wife with this for my birthday)
- hauling away debris in his truck
- putting in a slab of concrete, to house a new shed
- replacing two windows with energy efficient ones
- go to Home Depot and choose materials
- restoring built in oak shelves, from unusable to gorgeous and stable
Oscar charges $30/hour, but I have literally had to insist he takes the full amount we agreed for the jobs. That's such a welcome contrast to every other handy man and contractor who quotes one rate and asks for more at the end.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
"We tear up when an American president gives a rousing movie-speech and we cheer hard when the SEALs parachute in to save the day. We may not know our own national anthems but all sing along to the Star Spangled Banner when it plays."
What fearful animals we showed ourselves to be at the first attack, in the fall of 2001. And what a price we pay for the illusion of safety.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The truth is that things happen simply because we will them to, and the calculus effectively ends there. Sometimes, it's a chaos of intermingled wills that produce results - often tragic, unexpected results - but nonetheless it's just people wanting and and dreaming that makes the world what it is.
And that's a beautiful realization - it's a guiding insight. If simply wanting things to happen makes it so, then we must focus on wanting the right things, and let ourselves yearn for the future.
You see, I am no Calvinist, no believer in set destiny. Unpredictable chaos is effectively the same thing as non-determinism, and so when people have opposing wills, things get complicated and unpredictable. You can't predict all of the future, all of the time. But as an individual, you can will your own destiny, and those that do not instead get swept up in the wills of others.
So this insight is actually an actionable thing, a thought you can use. The obvious use is that by knowing this fact, you can start doing anything. It's mostly a matter of want, will, and time for anything.
But that's the obvious use. The non-obvious use is predicting other people's behavior. In any sort of business or political dealing, you simply have to analyze what people want, and then you will know what is going to happen.
The quintessential business example is a contract. You might think that a contract will tell you what is going to happen in a business relationship, and indeed it does sort of codify it and let the two parties probe each other's thoughts. But if you really want to know how the deal will play out, then the real question to ask is who wants what, and who has more will.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
My wife Anna and I jabbered excitedly when we heard a new restaurant was moving in at Sacramento and Ashby. Having just moved to south Berkeley (Acton St.) recently, we are eager to see any new businesses around, and at .3 miles, Moxy Beer Garden is pretty close to our house. It's a great Berkeley burger place, beer garden, and has a outside seating area for lunch.
I think that Berkeley Bowl West is doing a lot to bring together the neighborhoods around San Pablo Park, but the Sacramento corridor is still a little roughshod, and Moxy is a great addition. We just need another bookend up up north, maybe to replace where the illegal dispensary was, and we'll really be set.
Before Moxy, there was a restaurant called Casa Vino that filled the spot, but it didn't fit the neighborhood, with its expensive wine and bland, yet hoity toity food. We only made it in once on a Groupon (do those things still exist?).
Moxy is great though! First, it makes a great spot for a family lunch. We brought our 6-month-old along, and there were a bunch of other families there having Saturday lunch. The food was all excellent too - we had a pair of medium-rare, perfectly cooked burgers, an over-generous basket of fresh cut fries, and a truly delightful salad made from arugula, sprouts, feta, olives, and vinaigrette. The salad was really impressively sized and quite tasty, and I thought the fresh butter lettuce made for a great burger topping. Service was fast and friendly too.
The only criticism I might offer of the place is that the iced tea could be better. There was nothing wrong with the iced tea, but I tend to think having a really good iced tea (passion fruit anyone?) reflects well on a restaurant, because the non-drinkers remember still getting a tasty drink. I hear they are listening to feedback too - apparently the fry baskets used to be less generous, but when customers said something, they fixed it.
Anyways, we are delighted to have Moxy Beer Garden down the street. I like to think that a vital part of Berkeley is springing up around Sacramento, San Pablo, and the area around San Pablo Park, and Moxy is part of that! Pretty good ratings on Yelp too.