At McCormick & Kuleto's annual Shuck & Swallow Oyster Challenge, 15 teams from Bay Area restaurants will have 10 minutes to a) shuck as many oysters as possible, which should be fascinating, and b) eat them, which could be disgusting, especially for those of us accustomed to paying $2 a pop, and especially considering the current record is nearly 200. But this isn't just a spectating event. There will also be a chance to partake of the bounty, and lest there be any confusion, here's one magical line I lifted straight from the event flier: "Guests are welcome to eat and drink as many oysters and wine samples as they like." The challenge starts at 5 p.m. in Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point (at Larkin), S.F. Admission is free. The oyster-and-wine pairing starts at 6 p.m. at the S.F. Maritime Museum, 900 Beach (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $25; call 929-1730 or visit www.maritime.org.
-- Michael Leaverton
Get Some Sun
Bike or Bus to Solar Power
Any way you cut them, the "Solar Homes Tours" show off alternative energy uses. Whether you get one of the pamphlets and cruise around to all 10 open-house-type sites on your own, or board a biodiesel bus that hits three, or opt for the guided bike tour, you'll get a look at practical uses of solar energy. The bike tour begins at noon at Dolores Park, Dolores & 18th streets, S.F. Admission is $10-15. The bus tour starts at 10 a.m. and noon at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 De Haro (at Southern Heights), S.F. Admission is $10; call 681-7716 or visit www.norcalsolar.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Rock It, Dog
"Lupe" was a black pug-dog who trotted up to me, sans human. It was hot, I got her some water, and then wham! She gave me that look: "You are my favorite carbon-based life form EVER! I will love you until the end of time." The next thing I knew I was taking her on walks and telling her how adorable her mucousy sneezes were. Her owner never showed. It's dogs like Lupe who need Rocket Dog Rescue, Pali Boucher's local nonprofit dedicated to helping canines and humans find each other, for maximum happiness and minimum euthanasia. Tonight, the "Birthday Bash and Baseball Auction" raises bucks for this worthy cause with a silent auction of signed sports memorabilia, Elvis items, original art, and more, starting at 5 at Terra Mia Studios, 1314 Castro (at 24th Street), S.F. Admission is $15-30; call 642-4786 or visit www.rocketdogrescue.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser