Ugly, Scary Day

I normally don’t pay much attention to Halloween although I suppose when Max gets older it will be more interesting. However, this year Halloween took on a whole different kind of freakshow. I happened to be in San Francisco for some business meetings last Friday and pretty quickly regretted the decision. A perfect storm of a Giants victory parade, rain, a bikers convention (10,000 of them apparently) and Halloween meant that Market St turned into a zoo. By 7:30am there were already people lining up for the parade, booze was flowing and the punch fights had already started.

Downtown San Francisco turned into a bizarre spectacle as the usual orange and black jack-o-lantern hues of Halloween were eerily amplified by the bright orange blaze of giant fans. Probably 1/3 people I saw walking down the street was wearing something orange in solidarity. Indispersed between the baseball caps and jerseys were creepy ghosts, ghouls, zombies and the occasional Dracula. It was almost as though the underworld had crawled out to feast on some kind of orange-hued human plankton.

The undead grazing on hapless baseball fans.

This is what happens when a Giants fan sees a Dodgers insignia...

This is what happens when a Giants fan sees a Dodgers insignia…

‘Frisco is alternative at the best of times. At the worst of times it rapidly turns into an bizarre, ugly and dark place. To wear a Dodgers cap would have been as suicidal as swimming across a pond infested by salt water crocodiles, with the guarantee that some green-haired monster with a third eyeball in the middle of its forehead would devour any uneated strips of flesh left behind to rot.

Had the San Andreas Fault decided to let one rip, I doubt Hollywood could have conjured a more realistic – and supernatural – end of days.

Don't lose your head...

Don’t lose your head, Chris…

Manhood for Good, Baby…

palmsEvery once in a while you have an opportunity to experience something that gives you a resurgence of hope that the world is slowly but surely trying to become a better place. Last week I had this opportunity when I attended the 21st Annual Scientific retreat of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in San Diego. The work that the PCF in conjunction with the Movember Foundation, is truly remarkable. Because of the work of PCF-Movember, new drugs have been discovered and clinical developed, patients are living long and there is real hope for men with prostate cancer.

I, of course, have a vested interest in the prostate cancer landscape, since ImaginAb is developing new strategies for better managing  prostate cancer (oh, and I have a prostate too…). But there were also a lot of public health and government stakeholders that are closely involved and supportive of such a remarkable initiative. What I particularly liked was the informal and relatively apolitical environment – it was clear that people were there to share ideas, support the research and generally celebrate life and the progress that is being made in prostate cancer. Very high energy.

I’d also like to make a big shout-out to the Movember Foundation. What an amazing group of people. I had the great privilege a few months ago to drop into Movember HQ in Melbourne Australia, my home town. I met the team. I had a beer in the “Handlebar”. It was a truly memorable afternoon, being with a bunch of MoBros, and MoSistas that are not only changing the world in a fundamental way, but having a hell of a good time doing it.

Don’t forget to support Movember 2014! If you think your boyfriend, husband, father, uncle or pool boy deserves to be looked after, feel free to donate to Team ImoginAb.

Pay close attention...

Pay close attention… use it, or lose it! 🙂