Monthly Archives: August 2003

Welcome Liam…

Yesterday, Friday, August 15th, 2003, my cousin Liam West Kilroy was born to my mother’s brother John and his wife, Catherine. Liam is the 15th cousin/grandkid to my mother’s side of the family.
Here’s the email announcement from my Uncle John:

It’s official! We have a beautiful baby boy!

The newest member of our family, Liam West Kilroy arrived at 8:18 this morning in fine shape. He was just under 8 pounds!

Catherine and baby are doing well and will spend the weekend resting in Santa Monica UCLA Hospital before heading home.

I was over at my brother’s yesterday morning when I heard the announcement via phone. My brother and I noted that it was a fine testament to our step-grandpa, Bill West, to have a baby boy named after him.
May Liam be as calm, strong, opinionated, and delightful as his namesake.

The Somewhat Bizarre World of Search Engine Results

All of us have a favorite search engine, be in Google or Yahoo or MSN or whatever, and a good portion of the time when you search for something you get a few cool random websites that you would have never have known about otherwise. And then sometimes you stumble across some weird stuff or completely useless sites and not the website you were looking for.
On the other side of the coin, as one of the websites that come up in a search, it is interesting from my perspective to see how people end up at this site. My server logs and counter are kind enough to give me the search words that people used who ended up here at Black Phoeobe. For the regular reader of this blog, the following list will hopefully interest you or pique your curiosity as much as it did mine, as you may see how certain posts and snippets of text over the last two weeks yeilded the search results.
Last 10 queries (8/14/03):
1. ms nude universe
2. yvonne garrett
3. yvonne garrett
4. “Yvonne Garrett”
5. Sting Ray Attacks
6. Black Phoebe
7. sting ray attacks
8. “black phoebe”
9. ms black nude
10. “black phoebe”
Last 10 queries (8/8/03):
3. long beach dead alley 200
4. nude black hot chicks
5. dolphin stess test
6. “yvonne garrett”
7. cute punk boys
8. “her baby toe”
10. black phoebe
Last 10 queries (8/5/03):
1. world’s tallest black man
2. black phoebe
3. surfer dies at bolsa chic
4. f-18,crash,2003,july
5. sting ray attacks
6. phoebe
7. funny phoebe comments
9. alex’s bar long beach
Now of the above words/phrases used in a search some of them are amusing or just plain odd: ms nude universe, world’s tallest black man, long beach dead alley 200, etc. I am wondering why my friend Yvonne is so popular these days…

Road Trip, Part II: The Real Timmy the Turtle

Timmy the TurtleOn Tuesday, in San Francisco, I got to personally meet the real Timmy the Turtle. Not the cute, human male otherwise known as Tim Grim (or Timmy McD or… or… or…), but Timmy the real live turtle.
On Monday, I hung out around the hotel working on my computer while my mom went to her teacher training. That evening mom and I went to suishi and then decided at 8pm to explore the area. We drove through San Jose, then got on the freeway and drove to Santa Cruz. We went out to a bluff, watched the bonfires and saw the lights across the Monterey Bay. The moon was fuller and Mars was out and blazing.
On Tuesday, I took mom’s Explorasaurus and drove up the 101 to have lunch with Vanessa, Tom, and Floyd of Fat Wreck. As I got to the Fat office, Timmy the real Turtle was having her tank cleaned by the turtle cleaning guy. Given that Vanessa is the Official Turtle Monitor, we had to hang out while the turtle cleaning guy finished. News flash: the reptile known as Timmy is a female.
After lunch, I went up to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see their permanent collection and the Marc Chagall exhibit. The ticket was $15… CHOKE! COUGH! See Meg’s blog post on Why State Arts Funding Matters… I think we ought to, like the Brits, put a portion of lottery funds to arts and culture so that museums and other cultural destinations are free or low cost. The arts should be open to as many people as possible, not just the rich.
I finished the day up in San Rafael to have dinner with barflies.net co-founder, Alex West. We had dinner at a delightful restaurant called Limelight and then walked up and down the main drag of San Rafael, 4th St.
I flew back to SoCal yesterday (Wed.) morning, and had my scissors confiscated by the security staff at the San Jose airport. Oh well, you know me, the hairdressing terrorist… ;oP Sir, would you like a mohawk while you sit here waiting for your plane?

Roasted Garlic Road Trip

Last Tuesday, my mom called and asked me if I would drive up with her to San Jose on Sunday (yesterday), after a bit of hemming and hawwing, I said yes. I have a lot of work to do right now and was afraid of losing a few good days of design time, but figured if we were going to the heart of the Silicon Valley, the hotel would have to have internet connection, right?
When we left Costa Mesa yesterday around 3:30pm, it was hot and vaguely humid. The drive through LA was surprisingly easy, and the Grapevine was quite beautiful even if a little scorched from fire. The native, undeveloped Californian hills are really beautiful at this time of year – all golden grasses and green-grey oak trees dotting them.
The Central Valley was HOT and we stopped in Buttonwillow for dinner at Dennys. Dennys – yuck, but I love the name of Buttonwillow for a highway-side fast food pit stop.
The true delight of the drive was exiting interstate 5 to travel on the 152 to the 101. It was about 10pm when we left the Central Valley on the 152, the moon was almost full and was shining on the hills turning them silver. As we twisted and turned down the hills into Gilroy, the air was faint with the smell of roasted garlic. Silver hills, big dark oaks & eucypltus trees, and the smell of garlic.
I have a feeling that Gilroy and its environs is far more enchanting in the moonlight, than in the light of day…
We rolled into Sunnyvale around 11:30pm, and I was happy to see that the hotel had a businees center with an ethernet connection. But today upon investigation, the ethernet is now off and they have connected Wi-Fi. Yeah, I said, but the hotel guest services manager informed me that it would not be turned on for guests until Wednesday. I leave on Wednesday.
Here I am on dial-up in the hotel room. I am working today and then tomorrow meeting up with Alex West in San Francisco to trot around to the museums.

Sci-Fi Fan Quiz – Who would you be?

Thanks to the Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You? link at Carol’s Chaotic Collection of Curiosities, I took the quiz and found out that I am Galadriel:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about her at the Galadriel Worshippers Army.

Hmmm… last time I checked, I was small, cute, brown haired, and more than a little mischievious. I would have pegged myself as a hobbit, not Galadriel! ;op

Recourse for bad auto repair?

Ok, here is the question of the day for all of you out there reading this little blog:
What recourse does one have for bad/poor auto repair besides making a complaint to the shop and to the Better Business Bureau?
Here is my situation:
In February of this year, I took my Honda into the Big O Tire Store on Bolsa Chica near the corner of Warner Ave in north Huntington Beach. My brother favors this auto repair shop because the owner/manager, Rich Lindsay, has given my brother and his friends good deals on tires. I have had tire work done at this shop previous to Feb. with no problems.
In Feb., I got new brakes, rotors, cv joints, and front axel. This work was approximately $600. When I got the car back, I noticed that the brakes would pulse when it came time to stop. I called Big O, reported the problem to Mr. Lindsay, and he told me to bring it back so he could have his guys look at it.
My mom took it back for me when I went to SXSW, as I did not need it for 8 days. When I returned, she told me that she had paid another $600 to get a new steering column and assembly. Out of a Tire Store? I was upset at her, as she is famous for getting suckered into non-necessary, expensive auto repairs. The brakes were still pulsing. And the SRS (air bag) malfunction light had now come on.
Back I went to Big O Tires mid-March, I told Mr. Lindsay that I was very frustrated as the pulse was still there and now the SRS air bags had a malfunction. He claimed that he had test driven the car, looked the brakes over again, and that there was nothing wrong with the brakes. Additionally, if I needed the SRS light looked at he could not help me that I had to go to the Honda dealer for that. I replied back that the SRS light was not on before he sold my mom on the new steering assembly and that the SRS is connected to the steering, and it was obviously his responsibility, as they had done the work. He said he would fix it, but that I owed him.
I came back a few hours later to no SRS light but the brakes were still pulsing. Best yet, the speedometer was not working. I was furious. Luckily, my dad was in town a few days later and said he would help. My dad and I discovered the Big O guys had slipped the speedometer dial arm under the metal rest stop at the zero mark when they disconnected the SRS system. Basically, it was a small screw to get me back for my persistence, as the speedometer dial arm could not have gotten into that position on its own.
I talked with my dad and we both concluded that trying to go back to Big O to get the pulsing brakes fixed was a lost cause, as I would probably get more mischief done to the system.
Over the months the pulsing has gotten worse, today I took my car in for a routine oil change and tire rotation at the local 76 station. I asked the head mechanic if he would also take a look at my brakes to figure out the source of the pulse. When I picked up my car a half hour ago, the 76 mechanic informed me that whoever had last replaced the rotors and brakes had put rotors of the wrong size on and they were causing the brakes to pulse and the brake pads to get waves in them. He said I need new rotors to replace the wrong sized ones and pads.
The car needs new rotors only 5 months after they were replaced. I am pissed. The 76 guy told me that this is something brake guys do when they want to make more money, as the rotors put on were the cheaper ones.
Ok, gang, what do you recommend:
1) Calling up Big O and drilling them several new rear ends? Then demanding that they put on the correct rotors and pads? Knowing that they will most likely fuck it up more?
2) Calling up Big O, bawling them out, and then report them to the Better Business Bureau? And go somewhere else to get new rotors?
3) ….. or is there another option that I am not thinking of?

The wonders of Online Vehicle Registration

For about 3 or 4 years now, I have renewed my bouncing baby honda’s registration at the DMV’s Online Renewal website. I did again last Thurs night, July 31, and I received the new registration for 2003-2004 today! Yes, today. Four days after I registered I received the new sticker, of which two of those days were the weekend! The wonders of the internet never cease….

Evening Walk at Bolsa Chica

Evening walk at Bolsa Chica

Tonight around 7:25 pm, I decided to go for a walk down at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Reserve. I arrived at 7:52pm, when all the signage has the reserve closing at 8pm. Most folks were leaving as I arrived, which left the walking paths all to little ole me. The sun set and the Bolsa Chica State Beach bonfire smoke lilted over PCH and the water to me as I was walking.
Most of the shore and water birds took no notice of me and became very active. The best part was a black & white stilt who decided I was a threat and barked at me. It sounded like a small yapping poodle.
As I neared the bluff, about 7 night herons were hanging out on the walking path. I watched them for a bit and then turned around to go back to the car. It was a delightful walk, cool, alone, and evening.

Evening walk at Bolsa Chica