Dog Bites

Ooooooh, Bill!
Was that Bill Gates wandering the halls of Burlingame's Hyatt Regency during the GOP convention? Two delegates swore to Dog Bites they'd had eye contact with the nerdy Master of the Universe -- until a pair of teen-age girls squealed at him with an intensity ordinarily reserved for rock stars, forcing Gates to flee down a second-floor hallway.

Our sources offered an explanation for Gates' appearance: He was there to send a not-so-subtle message to the Democrats -- you sic your Justice Department on my software, and I'll write the Republicans a juicy check.

GOP officials and insiders gave Dog Bites non-denial denials. Dan Schnur, ex-sidekick to Gov. Pete Wilson, said that Gates, as an individual, hasn't given much money to the GOP. He added that Microsoft Corp. is usually a political fence-sitter, contributing to both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Could Gates' visit have been mere coincidence? Not a chance, a delegate told Dog Bites. "If you were the richest man in the world, would you hang out in Burlingame?"

-- Philip Dawdy

And Poems to Read, Before I Peep
Frank Riggs, North Coast Congressman and pepper-spray advocate, says he'd make education a top priority if elected to the U.S. Senate. But as last Friday's debate with Matt Fong and Darrell Issa dragged on, he showed what happens when you come to class unprepared.

Riggs managed to weave a couple of lines from Robert Frost into one of his answers: "But I have promises to keep/ And miles to go before I sleep," he quoted, attributing the lines to "The Long Journey." In fact, they come from the well-known classic taught to schoolchildren everywhere, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

-- P. D.

I Bet You Think This Song Is About You...
A recent issue of San Francisco Magazine features an interview with Stephan Jenkins, lead singer for Third Eye Blind, in which the would-be rock star/sex symbol claims to be 28.

But according to newspaper files, Jenkins has been 28 for the last two years. At one point, the Palo Alto native was 29 --though as recently as last month, he was 28 again.

So just how old is Jenkins, really? According to San Francisco voter registration records, 33. He turns 34 on Sept. 24.

Oh, and he's not really "Stephan" either. In 1991, "Stephen" Jenkins registered to vote for the Green Party. The Euro version emerged three years later -- and registered as a Democrat.

Last June, he emphatically told Examiner reporter Jane Ganahl: "I'm not Steve, I'm Stephan. Steve is the name of a used car salesman in Novato."

-- T.S.

Disgruntlement.com
Sources at CNET's troubled Snap Web site -- originally envisioned as a Net newbie-friendly competitor to AOL -- say the place is in even worse shape than its innumerable redesigns (four or five so far) would suggest.

"Morale is at the lowest point to date, and many people spend a lot of time working on employment contacts and searching for job leads," claims an anonymous tipster.

Frank Voci, Snap's former executive producer, was recently reassigned to CNET proper, and one hot rumor has him being courted by rival ZDNet. Meanwhile, his empty office has become the part-time headquarters of CNET CEO Halsey Minor. Workers received an e-mail notifying them that Minor would spend "two or three" hours a day sitting at Voci's old desk, getting to know Snap employees.

"Many of the staffers who work on Snap every day have never seen him [Minor] before and wouldn't recognize him if he walked into the room," the source notes.

-- Laurel Wellman

Curse It, Leia!
In the course of the usual weekend social whirl, we found ourselves called upon again and again to explain that a) no, we don't work at the Guardian; and b) no, we have no idea who could have OK'd their new ad campaign. That would be the one featuring the disembodied head of troubled Guardian Publisher Bruce B. Brugmann, ordering bus commuters to "Read my paper, dammit!" As one fellow dinner party guest wanted to know, "What is that about?"

We thought the key to understanding the apparently random collection of syllables might be found in another language entirely. So, using the Alta Vista Web search engine's translation feature, we tried rendering the phrase in various foreign tongues. In French, we got, "Lisez mon papier, rien il!" Back in English, the slogan was: "Read my paper, anything it!"

In Spanish, it's "Lea mi papel, maldicion el!" which, back in English, is, "Lea my paper, curse!"

In Portuguese: "Leia meu papel, nada ele!" Or, in other words, "It reads my paper, nothing!"

As we suspected.
-- Laurel Wellman

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail dogbites@sfweekly.com.

 
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