Observed in Noe Valley's Streetlight Records lingering over Alan Parsons Project CDs: San Francisco Chronicle columnist Phil Matier. Although he appeared tempted by the art-rock bilge, we are happy to report that he did not purchase any of the group's CDs. Perhaps he already has the band's complete recordings? ... The worshipful treatment accorded UC Berkeley journalism prof emeritus and press-critic-at-large Ben Bagdikian in the Sept. 3 Chronicle Q&A fairly infuriated Bruce Anderson at the Anderson Valley Advertiser. In the Sept. 6 AVA, Anderson writes that "Bagdikian passed a career on big papers, often in management jobs, without ruffling paymasters' feathers" and that today Bagdikian's role at Berkeley is to prepare "the next generation of sluts for the corporate news machines."... What gives with that huge Ben-Hom-for-mayor billboard on the 101 overpass in SOMA, blasting drivers with the words "Hom, Baby"? Is the conservative candidate trying for a hipper, cooler image? Yes and no, according to Hom's campaign manager, John Shanley. "Hom has the image of a serious Asian businessman, which he is," Shanley explains. "But he's also a fun guy, with a sense of humor." So now you know. Though Shanley dreamed up the slogan (playing off the old Giants battle cry), Hom liked it enough to encourage Shanley in the campaign makeover. "We're going to keep surprising people," Shanley vows.