Monday, January 18, 2016

The Best Bars in Livermore, CA

1. The Last Word
This bar fills fits the bill when looking for a comfortable atmosphere to have a few with friends or a loved one. A trendy and upbeat atmosphere, The Last Word is a great place to relax and enjoy a fresh beer, cocktail, or appetizer.

2. First Street Ale House
Complete with an extensive beer list and weekly "pint night," this bar is both family friendly and great for louder parties. It often has a short wait time and boasts a consistently fast turn around on food. If you are hoping to watch the big game while enjoying fresh beer, this is the place for you.

3. The Beer Baron
Craft beer lovers will enjoy this bar, which keeps thirty different beers on tap at all times. Newly remodeled, it carries a classy, warehouse feel and is located in downtown Livermore. If going on the weekends, look forward to an in-house DJ and some live music.

4. The Good Time Tavern
A clean and classy dive bar alternative to the more showy and expensive bars, The Good Time Tavern is a local favorite. It has a traditional bar atmosphere, complete with pool tables, a jukebox, and a couple arcade games. This venue is best known for it's relaxed atmosphere and inexpensive drinks.

5. Double Barrel Wine Bar
This venue is a high class stop for those preferring to drink wine over beer. The list of wines comes with a menu that focuses on staying in season and local, and the restaurant carries a rotating list of craft tap beers as well. For a relaxed evening, reserve ahead of time and enjoy music on the back patio.

6. Tap 25
Named after it's twenty-five rotating craft beers, Tap 25 is a smaller venue that has a clean and cozy feel. This stop has weekly music and is located in the historic Blacksmith Square of downtown Livermore.

7. The Rock House
Well known to have the best burgers in town, this restaurant/pub is a lively atmosphere to enjoy great food and drink. The Rock House is family friendly, dog friendly, and casual. The beer is a mix of local favorites and established names.

About the Author: Andrea is a guest contributor from The Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa a wonderful Livermore hotel in California.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Durango, CO Restaurants




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There is no shortage of great restaurants in Durango, CO. With an active dining scene, there is always somewhere new and fun to check out, but some of the old favorites are always a hit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Family Fun in Rhode Island


Year-round activities both on land and in the water make Rhode Island a place that will be enjoyed by the entire family. With its many museums, parks and historic sites, there is something for everyone.

Friday, March 22, 2013

TGIF?

English: Tacoma, Washington bridge at night.
It's five o'clock on Friday evening. The office is empty except for Ralph, our IT troll, and me. The window panes are vibrating slightly from the traffic fifty feet away, and this whole place smells of cleaning supplies. Even the janitors have gone home for the weekend.

Monday morning I'll fly out to Georgia for our quarterly review. I'll spend a week in Atlanta discussing projected sales, refund percentages, database developments, customer service automation, budgeting, growth plans, staffing, benefits, supply, et al.

I'll be asked how I feel about moving to Boston or Detroit for awhile to help start up our third or fourth operation.

I'll sleep in a hotel room, and spend almost every waking hour with our management team. I'll train a new lead for our plant down there because the last lead - my right hand girl - has just been promoted to a management position in another department.

I'll leave Georgia for Texas, where I'll stand before a judge and receive my divorce decree. And then, I'll come back to Tacoma and move into my new place within 4 days.

I can't remember the last time I felt so excited.

But in the meanwhile, I sit here looking out my window at the rush-hour traffic. It's raining, the sun is gone. People are going home to their families and loved ones. I have a good four hours of work left, and no one at home waiting to hear all about this.

I know, I know. I said I had a renewed appreciation for being single. And I do. But nights like this, I wish I had a boyfriend. We'd order a ten o'clock pizza, watch a movie while we talk about our workdays, and fall asleep together on the couch. Nights like this, I want to share my excitement.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dr. Hwang Controversy

Seal of the United States Office of Science an...
First things first: now that I have all my ducks in a row, I'll be ditching the lab and going on a three week road trip through the Southwest. I start Monday in Chicago, drive down to Oklahoma City and take it from there. Death Valley, Vegas, and Park City are definitely on the list. As such, I won't be able to post for three weeks. But fret not! I will be back; this blog will not be sit idle. That, my friends, is the truth.

Dr Hwang's cloning (ala, Snuppy)? Well, it turns out that such work maynot be exactly truthful. A scandal over Hwang's work with stem cells is brewing to no small degree. A last look at Google News' referral of the Bloomberg article on the Dr Hwang controversy showed 671 related stories. The controversy erupted as such:

1) Dr Hwang et al. publish a Science paper (interesting because Nature has a much higher impact factor, especially for biology) suggesting that they are now able to create pluripotent, donor-matching stem cells from human epidermal cells and oocytes (human ovarian eggs).

2) Word gets out that the oocytes he used were actually from a postdoctoral researcher in his lab! That's a conflict of interest if I ever saw one. Further, Hwang makes the ridiculous assertion that the eggs were forced on him.

3) Hwang's US collaborator at the University of Pittsburgh, Gerald Schatten, leaves the project and demands his name be taken off the paper.

4) Roh Sung Il, another postdoc in Hwang's lab, makes a statement today claiming that out of the supposed eleven stem cell lines created by Hwang's lab, nine are fictitious and the remaining two may not even be pluripotent. Ouch.


This may turn out to be a case of "falsifying data," the cardinal sin of scientific research (is there a cardinal sin in the practice of law?), just like this genius turned dumb. Falsification of data is Science's summum malum for several reasons: first, it calls in to question the veracity of all the author's previous publications, some of which may have been used to base other work; second, it is a form of embezzlement if the author is receiving grants that rely, obviously, on the truth behind his study's assertions; and third, other authors may have filed grants using the untruthful author's results as cause for further investigation. Let there be no doubt, John Q Public of South Korea: if Dr Hwang is guilty of falsification of data, it will be you, the Korean taxpayer, who is paying for it.

So where do these acts lie, legally speaking? Well, at least in the US, the NIH has established one of my favorite sites, what I like call the PI blotter(in labspeak, PI stands for principal investigator, or the person running the lab). This delightful little site lists in an easy to read format all those in the past year who have been found guilty of scientific misconduct--much like your local police blotter! Individuals found guilty of such crimes are often "disbarred" from scientific research for a set period of time. In one instance, a PI has gone to prison.

I was interested to note, however, that most of what makes scientific illegitimacy a crime is an Executive Order, not a federal statute. While this may seem somewhat strange, it makes sense when you look at it in terms of the federal budget. The Executive Branch controls the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). [Note: ever wonder how the President is able to say things like, "We're going to go to the moon!" or "Build the Fermi collider!" and actually get it done with little argument from Congress? In a nutshell, this is why.] The OSTP works with the Office of Managerial Budget (OMB) to allocate funds to various departments with a scientific bent (Labor, Energy, etc.) The NIH, subsumed under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), gets allocated a certain amount of money for bone plate research and other medical research. The Executive Office (i.e., the President), therefore, hold the NIH's pursestrings. Piss off the NIH, you piss off the President. A little more meaningful than cutting the heads of parking meters, huh?

So before you try to clone something, please, check the veracity of your tissues. Or, as Shakespeare could have written (had he been alive to see this): To thine own cells, be true.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Better Supply Chain For Consumer Safety

Nintendo Wii Injury
Nintendo Wii Injury (Photo credit: evansonline)
Its as if safety has become one of, if not the most complicated thing to understand and legislate in modern times. I think there are certainly fair and reasonable ways to deal with protecting consumers from an increasingly demonized private sector...but we need to be realistic about it to truly succeed. It's not about what fell off a conveyor system, it's about what ends up in a consumer's living room when we're talking about reducing risk.

In our modern era, where political decisions often resemble bumper sticker marketing slogans rather than sensible nuanced policy, simplistic over-reaction is always a danger. A perfect example…the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which President Bush signed in 2008 after lead was found in many childrens’ toys. The law requires every material in products aimed at children under 12 years old be tested by a 3rd party lab for lead levels. It’s a massive undertaking for large stores and a near impossibility for smaller toy makers and retailers.

Most people - including regulators, manufacturers and the impacted retailers - seemed to think the law would be postponed or modified before taking effect February 10th. After all, there isn’t even enough capacity in the nation’s 3rd party testing labs to handle the new workload. No such luck. In fact, as late as Monday, regulators were frantically putting FAQs up on the internet to help retailers, from posh children’s boutiques to thrift stores, figure out what needs to be tested or pulled from shelves.

But the question we should be asking is; is this the most efficient way to protect consumers from a supply chain risk?

This situation reminds me of advice a colleague once had for the toy industry after WalMart and Toys R Us voluntarily imposed new phthalate restrictions on their suppliers. They urged that testing (which smart retailers already do on their own - a scenario that’s NOT allowed under the CPSIA) was only part of the solution, and that retailers must push for greater visibility into their supply chains and hold their vendors accountable when the rules are broken.

Wouldn’t that be a better way to protect children, manufacturers, retailers and…perhaps even a few politicians, who could claim real world results through comprehensive, collaborative risk reduction strategies? I guess that approach won’t fit on a bumper sticker.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Assessing a Property

Private Equity - World Economic Forum Annual M...
With whatever real estate company you use, your agent should be committed to helping you get your home sold at the best possible price in the least amount of time. They should be known throughout the real estate industry for their experience and expertise which would translate into a smooth move with a seasoned professional. They should be able to provide several key things:

Market Analysis

Your agent should do the homework before suggesting a possible list price for your home. They will perform a comprehensive market analysis based on homes sold in your area and homes currently on the market. Information about homes that failed to sell also will be provided indicating prices that buyers were not willing to pay. Learn more about a  market analysis here.

Property Condition Assessment

The condition of your property will have a lot to do with the selling price and how quickly your home will sell. If there are minor repairs that you could perform easily, or perhaps some cosmetic upgrades that will make your home more appealing, your agent should discuss those enhancements with you, and which makes the most sense from a financial and practical standpoint. Learn more about property condition assessments here.

The goal is to make your house more appealing than the competing houses on the market and this is where the experience of an Equity Group agent begins to pay off.