Taking back the weekend

“It’s too early to say whether it’s a trend, but Victrola Coffee & Art in Seattle shuts down its free Wi-Fi on Saturday and Sunday.”

Victrola has been, since opening, my favorite Cap Hill coffee house, but I admit, I’ve stopped going. It’s been nigh impossible to get in and once you’re in, it’s just as difficult to get a table. The last time we were there, the husband pointed out that every table along the north wall had one single person with one laptop at it, from the window to the back of the store, all facing the same way like passengers on a bus. We’ve been going elsewhere, to the new Fuel on 19th, the not so new but suspected Republican Europa on Prospect, the Essential Bakery in Madison, or that tiny Fargonian, also on Madison. Oh, there’s a little place on Union and 20th, they’re awfully nice there. Hell, there’s even a Tully’s on 19th and Aloha. And, of course, there’s Verite, but it’s not really on our regular route and it’s a little too far to walk. Anyhow, there’s no shortage of alternatives.

The Euro-husband loves going for “kaffee und kuchen” – it’s fairly institutional behavior where he’s from. It’s interesting to think about Victrola, full of the technorati with their iBooks and Americanos and then to imagine someplace like the Zauner in Bad Ischl on a Sunday, full of hatted ladies in church clothes with a slice of fruit tart and a cup of tea. I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I’ve been meeting a collegue at Zoka in Wallingford for coffee and project management chats regularly. There’s been many a time when I’ve thought it would be nice to go to the coffee house in Aigen (my other home in Austria) with the laptop to get a latte and read my email. And even though I don’t need the calories, I fully embrace the kaffee und kuchen excursion.

It’s cool that Victrola is looking to strike a compromise between the dominant styles of coffee house cultures. I hope it works for them.

It’s called the First Amendment

Congressman Bachus (R-Ala) needs to throttle back on the jingo and rent a sense of humor. Too much Bible-thumping and flag-waving can be detrimental to your common sense. To take Bill Maher to task over a single sentence in what essentially was a recruitment speech (if you support the war you should join the armed forces, they need you) is not only silly – as a congressman, it is stupid. Pull your head out of your ass, Spencer, and celebrate our few remaining political freedoms. Oh, I forgot, that will probably get you thrown out of office in Alabama.

Protection or Oppression

High school students in Bakersfield, California, have gone to the ACLU to file a lawsuit against their school principal for censoring their story about openly gay students and their lives. The students were “out” prior to the article being written and if minors, written parental permission to be included in the story was obtained.

School officials are claiming that the story may incite violence among the student body. They are only interested in protecting the students.

Hmmm… I wonder. Are they protecting the students or themselves? If a high school must acknowledge their openly gay students and provide them a platform to express themselves, how does this endanger the students? Wouldn’t exposing the discrimination and persecution that these students almost certainly face help protect all of their kids? Shouldn’t an institute of learning shine a light on the ugliness and reinforce the idea that all students are equal regardless of sexual orientation?

Bullying has been shown to be a major contributor to the motives students cite for violently attacking their fellow students and teachers. Why would you turn your back on an opportunity for students, likely to be bullied, to share their experience and gain some support from their classmates?

Thanks to Amanda at Pandagon.

The Fleeting Fun of the Female Orgasm

Does the female orgasm have a purpose other than pleasure? Does it serve some sort of evolutionary imperative? Or perhaps it is an adaptation made for the survival of our species? Do people really care? Well, apparently a lot of researchers do and they have come up with all kinds of ideas.

For the most part, I find all of this conjecture pretty amusing but then I read this:

“Perhaps the reason orgasm is so erratic is that it’s phasing out,” Dr. Hrdy said. “Our descendants on the starships may well wonder what all the fuss was about.” (emphasis mine)

I can tell you this, if it is phasing out there will be a lot fewer descendants wondering about it. Hetero men and lesbians had better hope that the female orgasm is here to stay and that they become more regular and powerful. In fact, I think that hetero men and lesbians should continue to search for and experiment many different ways to increase the frequency of female orgasms during sex. Otherwise a lot of people are going to be very frustrated.

Die Wunder der Natur

Thanks to Nonfamous Networking ™ my show is now hanging at Cafe Verite in Madrona. The opening is tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 16th) at 6:30 and of course you’re invited! Bring friends, too.

The work is collage made from early 1900s source materials – German natural history encyclopedias and Italian arts journals. If you’re thinking you need coffee and a cupcake, please head down to Cafe Verite at 1101 34th in Madrona.

Think Globally, Buy Locally

Disclosure: my company, Symantry, is in conversation with this company regarding marketing services.

As most of you are aware, I am a big supporter of local business. It is only when I can not find what I need that I venture outside of the Puget Sound to purchase goods or services. Recently, I was introduced to Judy’s Book. Not only is it a place to get references for local crafts people, restaurants and other products but you can join and recommend your favorite vendors to others in the area. Judy’s Book also serves New York and the Bay Area so you can check out recommendations before you visit those areas, too.

With more and more people going online to search for what they need, local businesses are finding it harder to compete with national brands. This community site is one more way you can help to promote your favorite local vendors.

Smurf firmness issues

I met Gael from Pop Culture Junk Mail [oh, and her day job at MSNBC] in cooking class. Her blog is really fun and today her comments on Smurf firmness issues are too good not to pass along. Apparently the folks at GermanDeli.com are rueing the day they stocked Gummi Smurfs.

Gummi Smurfen

FWIW, I didn’t even know that they make Gummi Smurfs [Gummi Smurfen, of course, in the original German], but apparently the quality control is not so great. Either that, or people who buy Gummi Smurfs are just obsessive freaks. Probably the latter, now that I think about it. And after all, nothing’s an older tradition here at Nonfamous than having fun at the expense of obsessive freaks.

I Like Ike [at least enough to quote him]

From our friends at LGM, a walk down memory lane to the saner Grand Old days before GOP stood for Greedy Oil Plutocrats:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

We can only pray he turns out to be right!