Friday, March 24, 2006

Restaurant Review: Tony Soprano's

Tony Soprano's Pizza

Tony Soprano's
87 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, CA 95113

This is new downtown pizzeria has a website [Link.] The Downtown San Jose, San Jose State area has been exploding since both City Hall and the new King Library are at the corner of San Fernando and Fourth Street. Local eateries are not so dependent on student and faculty customers who go away Summers and this has allowed more places to open and greater gastronomical variety to be available. Some of the places that cut back their hours after the dot com bubble burst are back and others have opened. Even new shopping venues have emerged. This is fun!

Tony Soprano's is one new place that shows a lot of promise. Today we got one of their New York style (thin crust) pizza's for lunch. It was really good. This is a great new place to checkout. My "new scale" rating [Link] 89.

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Book Review: Smart Mobs

Smart Mobs Cover

Smart Mobs, The Next Social Revolution
Howard Rheingold, 2002, ISBN 0-7382-0861-2

This is an important book, especially for anybody interested in the future of mass communications, politics and/or our society. Rheingold talks about how portable devices, pervasive connectivity and increasingly powerful hand-held computing is leading to the creation of virtual communities tied together by their devices and not by their physical proximity. Remember Moore's Law applies to hand-held phone/computers [Wikipedia Link.] Most of his examples are not in the US. Rheingold makes the point that we are far behind in this country in having the kind of infra-structure that supports pervasive portable computing.

Despite being printed in 2002, Rheingold's book is timely today as we look at what is happening to print journalism. Why subscribe to a paper newspaper when the technology to get information in your portable device is here, is improving, is more timely and is more compelling than print?

One of the things that really is apparent to me as I read this book, and do things like text message my friends, is that there is a mobile generational digital divide based not on incomes, but on age. Many of my older (my age) friends who consider themselves very tech literate just do not seem to get this technology and the social implications of it. Could this be because our socialization skills were developed in a pre-silicon era? We have already seen pedagogical implications of mobile technology in students using the collaboration capabilities of portable picture capable devices to cheat on exams. Rheingold over and over makes the point that we need to not think of portable devices as cell phones, he says we need to think of them as remote controls for life. In my opinion when you mix portable devices with RSS enabled software as a way to deliver podcasts, you have a killer way to deliver instruction. Here is a related Blogsite [Link].

In my opinion we hold the future of journalism, the future of education, the future of social interaction in our society; in the palm of our hands.

This is a geek must read book. It rambles a bit, but worth the effort. My "new scale" rating [Link] 93.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Book Review: Winslow in Love

Winslow in Love

Winslow In Love, by Kevin Canty, Nan A. Talese
February 2005

This is a great book. It is captivating and very well written. My "new scale" rating [Link] 95. This 2005 Book, [Link] was an absolute joy to read. Sometimes it takes awhile for a book to grab me. This one had me at the first sentence. This is an intellegent book about a subject that is almost a cliche, an older, spiritually lost alcoholic professor and a younger, equally lost, student. But, it is no cliche and has unexpected twists and turns right up to the last pages. In this book, it is the writing. Here is an example of what I mean:

"The one thing I finally figured out," says Erika, "is that you'll never ever understand what goes on between two people when they're in a relationship. Easier to see what's happening on the dark side of the moon."

This book has had mixed reviews, like this: [Link] and [Link] and [Link]. I loved it!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Movie Review: Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)

Great foriegn film for everyone
It's a love story, it's a musical, it's a tragedy, it's a foriegn film filmed in America. My "new scale" rating [Link] 90. This 2003 Movie, [Link] Kal Ho Naa Ho (tomorrow may not be) is an Indian movie filmed in New York City. Most of the dialect is in Hindi, with some spurts of English. It is about an Indian family and their Indian neighbors making a go of it in New York. The DVD has English sub-titles. It involves a love triangle and a hidden secret, or two, that once revealed changes the lives of those involved. Time well spent!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Movie Review: Crash

One Grim Movie
This 2004 Movie [Link] was one depressing film. My "new scale" rating [Link] 60. I was gritting my teeth through this film and it gave me nightmares. It had a surrealistic feel kind of like the 1999 movie Magnolia [Link]. I kept expecting frogs to start dropping out of the sky. It was too raw in how it portrayed people. Yes, I know the capacity for ugliness is in us all and we are all an interweaving tapestry of good and evil. I didn't need this movie to tell me that. Best movie of 2005? Well, it must have been one grim year for movies!

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wine Review: Lake Sonoma Winery, Barbera, 2002

A decent wine
Nice, gentle palatte, nice nose & easy to drink. Not bad, not exciting, a good wine. My "new scale" rating [Link] 79.

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Wine Review: Hook&Ladder, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2004


An all-time favorite of mine
At twenty dollars retail this is a steal. This is a wonderful Pinot. It starts well and finishes wonderfully. On your first nose you know this is something special. It has layers of delightful flavor complexity, an incredible smooth palate and a long, long, long lingering finish. Cecil DeLoach owner and winemaker at Hook and Ladder [Link] really did a great job on this wine and I love it. It is very case worthy. My "new scale" rating [Link] 95.

Winemakers Note:
The grapes provided us with a wine which is at once extraordinarily complex in its flavors and aromas while also filled with black and blue fruit flavors and aromas: Black Cherry, Blackberry and blueberry. The aroma is seared with barrel spices, cinnamon and a mellow smoky components. It is classic Pinot Noir in structure with a smooth entry yet mouthfilling. This is classic Russian River Pinot Noir produced by one of the region’s pioneering Pinot winemakers.

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