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small red square Last night I had a barbecue sandwich down in San Jose at a place called "Sam's" - the name tricked me, for a moment I forgot that they seldom do up an acceptable 'cue in California. But it was okay. The name is the same as a place I got to know well in Killeen, Texas. I found that Sam's product quite satisfying. In California they frequently slice up some steam table meat and slather on the sauce just prior to serving; I prefer the sauce applied while the meat's on the grill (like Japanese yakitori) but some feel the sauce should be applied only after long hours of smoking, which was how this Sam does it. But for sandwiches he just slices it instead of chopping it up, the latter a requirement in my book of 'cue. Purists please note: I love Eastern North Carolina barbecue also, but it's a different animal entirely.

small blue square Today's big event was my cousin's housewarming party up in South San Francisco. My uncle (the happy one), who owns a house in the City proper (among other properties) has recently "helped out" with his only child's recent home purchase - today they showed it off, a celebration also of their son's christening (his relation to me is second cousin). I've only met my cousin two or three times before, and never her husband until now; this was my chance to meet all the family friends - a great number being teachers from the Catholic school my aunt works at. My uncle married into a devout Filipino family; my still-infant second cousin received a pile of gifts and there was a cake too, like a birthday party. We sat around watching him open these presents, almost all of a religious nature - the child's bafflement & confusion with those <1> made me a little uncomfortable. Other gifts were also in the pile, for the new household: some glasses, a water-filter pitcher, and a toaster oven - the bottle of wine I picked up from Trader Joe's en route seemed rather out of place. I'll be seeing a lot of these same people again in a few months at my uncle's big Thanksgiving dinner.

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small yellow square From The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of (Disch quote of the day):

"It's doubtful that we'll ever know, now that Reagan has entered his own private twilight zone, the degree to which SDI was a serious proposition or an inspired hoax."

SDI - Strategic Defense Initiative - the "Star Wars" missile defense system
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<1>Two different crucifixes for the walls of his room, a Noah's Ark picture book, Christian music audio- and cartoon videotapes, "God Loves You" wrapping paper and Christian greeting cards - all commented upon glowingly by the Catholic ladies present.