Posted by: blogone | January 27, 2006

San Diego Diary 2006 – Week 2 Review

San Diego CA, 27th January 2006.

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Happy Birthday Mozart.

The British Library have a really excellent resource called "Turning the Pages" and you can turn the pages of Mozart's Musical Diary. Well worth a look.

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Still no camera. I didn't get to see Paul when he was in Vegas. I must arrange to have my camera sent over to me. I only got the durn thing less than a year ago so I can't justify the purchase of anohter one…can I?

Last Sunday Andrea and I went to the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Fresh produce, Moroccan knickknacks, breads, fish etc. It runs from 9am – 1pm in the car park of the DMV, with live music, stalls selling fruit juice and breakfast / brunch its a really nice way to spend a Sunday morning.

On Tuesday Andrea introduced me to a fantastic eating experience called the SoupPlantation. This is a casual eatery with a good menu of wholesome, fresh food. Its a giant buffet salad bar basically with ice cream , soda and breads as the add on. You take a plate and build your salad, then you can go back and have Soup, bread, ice cream etc. Thoughts of Alan Partridge and the TravelLodge 12 inch plate scam came to mind. I was discussing the merits of opening a SoupPlantaiton in Dublin and the possibility of its success. I also had the same thought about iHop – looking back I agree with eveyone who said iHop wouldn't work. I think the chances of success with a heal thy option format like SP would have a much better chance of success. Comments anyone? mcdonald.alan@gmail.com

Things went really upmarket when I got Andrea to come to WalMart with me. I read Sam Waltons biography Made In America (another excellent book, suggested to me by Justin). I really like going to WalMart just to marvel at the size of the place and the prices. Andrea does not. She would prefer me not to mention that we went there and that I bought two cups and two bowls from t hem. I also shouldn't mention that when I got home one of the cups was cracked. Did this put a crack in my relationship with WalMart, hell no.

I've been in touch with some of the people from 'the old country', Gary (who sends very funny text messages), Valerie and I've been on the phone to Mum, Dad, Mary & Paul I had a c onversation with JK too.

I was sitting at the kitchen table on
Thursday morning gazing out to the street when the oddest thing I saw that day passed my window. A man riding a Penny Farthing passed by. He zoomed passed and off up the road. I wanted to run behind him shouting "You're living too far in the past man, come back to the present…" or "Where's the circus, you circus freak…". I think you'd need a fairly robust ego and strong legs to ride one of those things and then a gain you don't want to have to tell the story to your girlfriend about how you were beaten up by a man who cycles a Penny Farthing bike do you?

 

Andrea and I have been good this last week, we've been walking most mornings and we got a Freezbe and football and playing in Balboa park. My aim is to get fit this year. With the help of Balboa Park, the Soup Plantation (minus the ice cream) I think I might just do it. Although the Mexican food industry in California might have something to say about that. At least I'm winning my battle against Anorexia!!

What else has been going on, well not much, I was on campus at SDSU a couple of times and generally still in 'finding my feet' phase of this trip.

For now, all the best.

Alan

What I'm reading

The Rule Of Four

***: My good friend Noel suggested this book. Noel gave me a copy of The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow**** (I have finished it but not given it back – sorry!), a really excellent book I'd recommend to anyone. See below for a summary.

With The Rule of Four I had to work harder, for me that is not good. I couldn't identify with the characters (not that I can identify with drug runners, CIA officials or prostitutes, you'll find them all in The Power Of The Dog). The Rule Of Four is worth reading. The Power of the Dog is a must. Here's some blurb from the cover leaf…"A mysterious coded manuscript, a violent Ivy League murder, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide in a labyrinth of betrayal, madness and genius in The Rule Of Four."

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:**** This book explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy.

The Power of the Dog****:

From Don Winslow (“A writer so good you almost want to keep him to yourself”—Ian Rankin), an electrifying new novel of love and revenge, politics and influence, corruption and honor. Moving at breakneck speed, it tells a riveting, sometimes harrowing story set in the shifting nexus of power among the Latin American drug cartels, the American mob, and the U.S. government.

Spanning the years from the rise of the Mexican drug Federación in the 1970s to the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s to the vicious drug wars of the 1990s, the action ranges from Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and the halls of Washington to the streets of Tijuana and the deserts of the American Southwest.

The players: a DEA agent, a drug lord, a call girl, a hit man, a priest. Caught up in the war on drugs, willingly or not, each is trying to escape the sins of the past while negotiating the treacherous currents of the present. Their seemingly disparate lives—taking shape on one side of the law or the other, or straddling both—slowly converge as they struggle to overcome, in any way possible, the “power of the dog.”

From the jungles of Latin America to the vicious netherworld of the California–Mexico border, this is the war on drugs you haven’t seen—its devastations and deliriums, its alliances and betrayals, its pawns and kings.

What else…?

Hooked on Sudoku – www.websudoku.com – a really excellent, clean site (no ads, no registration, easy to navigate) to play Sukoku online.

What's on my iPod Nano:

Audioslave

Dalai Lama

The Killers

The Onion Podcasts

Queens of the Stoneage

Van Morrison

The Stone Roses

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Responses

  1. I thought the Rule of 4 was a good read when compared to the Da Vinci Code. The plot is less silly and the ultimate end of the quest is actually something worth solving hard puzzles for: a horde of lost Renaissance art v “My great, great, great (a lot of greats here) grandfather was Jesus (but don’t tell anyone!)”
    But I suppose the DaVinci code is more entertaining – guys disemboweling themselves to leave cryptic messages, crackpot religions, over-the-top national stereotypes, plot holes you could drive an Airbus through …
    In comparison the Rule of 4 is a bit less exciting, the characters spend a lot of time studying and running around under Harvard, also they’re all a bit too good to be true.
    I’ve also read The Historian and The Shadow of the Wind which are the more “literary” type of historical mystery (and recommened by Richard and Judy!) but I guess none of them might have got any publicity if it wasn’t for the Davinci Code
    Anyway thats enough about historical mystery books !
    NL

  2. Helloooooooo you

    Looks like you have a great time too !!
    Get your camera sent to you ASAP I want to see pictures :).

    Take Care

    xxx
    Aurelie


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