Archive for 'san francisco' Category


More Pictures

Soon enough I’ll be able to blog in my regular-irregular schedule (but at least post some stuff). In the meantime, here are more pictures from September, including the parents visit from Spain and tons of pictures of Ainara!

1 Comment | Catergorized: family  kids  life  photos  san francisco


SF Secret Public Spaces

Did you know San Francisco has a number of privately held public spaces? These spaces are on private land or buildings yet are open to the public. They are so badly labelled that most locals don’t even know they exist. You can read about them here and get the map from the link or by downloading it here. I think I want to visit some of these places…

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Bicycle Drivers License

I’m getting pretty sick of bicycle riders disobeying the rules (and law) of the road. If they were driving in a car as they ride their bikes there would be pandaemonium on the pavement. I’m tired of their excuses. I’ve read that they run red lights and stop signs because it keeps their momentum, no one else can go anyways (at a red light with no current cross traffic) and, in some cases, just because they are on a bike and setting an example for drivers of those terrible automobiles. I understand wanting to ease the burden of oil dependency, to exercise and all that rot. I get it, but that’s not an excuse.

Hey, I have an idea. Let’s make anyone wanting to ride a bike get a drivers license. Let’s make them get insurance, too. Let’s start enforcing the rules of the road. Hell, even pedestrians are supposed to cross at crosswalks and this is why there are jaywalking laws. “But think of the children,” some weepy granola hippie might say. OK, let’s think of the children who might want to ride bikes. Make them get licenses, too.

I will make one single compromise to my desire to see bicycle riders forced to obey the rules of the road. If the road is less than a city block (definitions will vary from city to city, I suppose, but let’s just say 80 meters) and is bounded exclusively by two stop signs (not lights and no breaks in between) then people may ride on that street without a license. The block will be marked by the city to indicate to vehicles and other bicyclists that the block could have unlicensed bicyclists on it. This is my pandering to the “think of the children” issue. Now go play, kids.

Dear Bicyclists,
Do not blame me (or anyone else) when it is my turn to go through an intersection and you get run over because you didn’t even slow down, let alone stop. Get a license, get insurance, obey the rules. Then when you run the intersection and you are injured you can argue with your insurance about how unfair it is you were injured while breaking the law (meanwhile the insurer can pay to have the dents and scratches fixed that you caused) and you can pay for the moving violation and deal with the cops.

5 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  rights  san francisco


Survival Kits

You know I rarely mention products on my blog unless I believe in them and use them myself*. Even then I rarely endorse products because I simply hate marketing, advertising and propaganda. That being said, I’m about to make a product endorsement. After the earthquake and resultant tsunami in Japan I decided it was time I update the family survival kit. I had one that was years old and completely out of date that could only support one person. Not good enough! Now that I’m married and have a wee child on the way I didn’t want to be caught unprepared whenever the next big one strikes San Francisco.

So I did research and eventually settled on two kits from Survival Kits Online. I chose them because of the quality and thoroughness of their kits primarily, but also because their price was hard to beat. I picked up a two-person kit and a four-person kit. The first for the car so that Rosa would be covered where ever she was, and the bigger kit for home.

Read the rest of this entry…

1 Comment | Catergorized: san francisco  technology


Relief by the Pint

On Thursday, March 24th my company, VIZ Media, will be having a fundraiser to help those in Japan after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear hazards. VIZ imports Japanese manga and anime so it’s our opportunity to help. From the release:

Time: Thursday, March 24th from 4PM – 7PM
Location: Sweetie’s; 475 Francisco Street (between Mason and Powell)
More Info: 21 and over only.
Don’t worry we’ll have more fundraisers soon.

Enjoy a pint and send your good wishes towards the rebuilding of Japan. Share a shot with the people who help bring you your favorite manga and anime AND help rebuild the country that it all comes from.

Sweetie’s will donate 10% of revenue and all proceeds from the prize raffle will go to Artists Help Japan in a partnership with Give2Asia.

Can’t go, but want to donate?
Go to to donate to the cause!

If you’re a manga and/or anime fan this will be an opportunity for you to come mingle with some of the folks who bring you your special kind of crack. I have it on good authority that there will be a raffle, too, and given all the toys we get here at work you might enjoy what is given away, too.

2 Comments | Catergorized: anime  life  manga  san francisco  work


Weekend with Cousin Jennifer

Jennifer and Rosa
Jennifer and Rosa at the De Young
My cousin Jennifer visited over the weekend from Seattle. What a great time! I’m completely exhausted, though. Visitors = little sleep for me. Not because of the guest, but just because of the way I am. I picked her up from SFO early on Saturday morning and we started our whirlwind tour after a quick breakfast at home from Tartine Bakery supported by some much needed coffee.

Despite the rainy, windy weather we started by going to Golden Gate Park to visit the De Young Museum. The copper siding has a little more patina since I was there last. We wandered around looking at old landscape photos, modern art, and giant stone heads from the Olmec culture in southern Mexico. Al Farrow Cathedral
Al Farrow’s Cathedral
One of the more impressive pieces on display (for me) was Al Farrow’s Cathedral. Made almost entirely of gun parts, bullets and bones, it made quite an impression. Down the naive was a human spine; I’m rather curious where that came from since I can kind of imagine someone not minding their spine being in an art exhibit, I can’t imagine who that person would be (since Santo Guerro wasn’t a “real” person). I’m rather surprised there isn’t anything in Wikipedia about it yet.

Of course while at the De Young it’s almost mandatory to go visit the tower and take in the view. If you’re in the area I was assured that visiting the tower is still free. The view, even on a rainy day like we had, was spectacular. The Tower of the De Young Museum
Tower of the De Young Museum
What was funny to me was listening to the tourist pointing at landmarks and calling them by the completely wrong names/locations. Someone was pointing at the church up at the University of San Francisco and claiming it was the original Mission of San Francisco (which is completely obscured from view in that part of the City). Oh well. I’m sure I’ve done worse.

Next up, the California Academy of Sciences. This is probably my favorite museum in the city. We got there a little late but we managed to snag tickets to the Morrison Planetarium to see Life: A Cosmic Story. Narrated by Jodie Foster, it was quite an amazing show. Not a bad thing to see on our first planetarium show at the CalAcademy. Unfortunately for us this was the last show of the day, and the Academy was closing right afterwards. California Academy of Sciences T-Rex
T-Rex at the CalAcademy
I guess we’ll just have to check out the rest the next time Jenn visits.

Later we had caffeine at Borderlands Cafe but that couldn’t stop the food coma after eating at Osha which has great Thai food.

“Bright” and “early” on Sunday we picked up Jon E and headed north to Sonoma for wine tasting. We’d had heavy wind and rain overnight and some of the roads were flooded but that didn’t deter us. We hit Gundlach Bundschu, Ravenswood and Bartholomew Park wineries. All were good and none of us got too buzzed (the portions are getting smaller and smaller every year; good and bad). Later that night we ate at Ti Couz and called it a night.

Now it’s Monday and I feel tired enough for an all day siesta. Too bad I’d get in trouble for that… It was a great weekend, though, and wonderful to get to know Jennifer better! Rosa and I will have to get up to Seattle to visit her sometime.

Comments Off on Weekend with Cousin Jennifer | Catergorized: family  food-drink  friends  life  photos  san francisco


Preparing for the Worst

By now everyone has heard of the devastating earthquake in Japan, preceded by the one in New Zealand and almost exactly a year earlier in Chile. These three earthquakes have the coast of California bordering on the paranoid, and maybe with good cause. There are a couple things you can do to prepare as best you can. The first is to go through this excellent website, 72 Hours, and read and prepare what it recommends.

I don’t know about other areas, but if you live in San Francisco you can also sign up for Alert SF which can communicate with you via cellular text and email about various alerts you should be aware of. You can also volunteer for NERT, the Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams. They can help train you to help others in the case of an emergency. In the case of a city-wide disaster emergency vehicles will be hard pressed (and overloaded) so if you own a motorcycle you can volunteer for MERC, the Motorcycle Emergency Response Corps. NERT and MERC require training, but think about what happened in Japan and realize that if volunteers hadn’t been available the death toll wouldn’t be in the ten thousand range, it would have been much MUCH higher.

I don’t think paranoia serves anyone, and living in fear is a way to give yourself an ulcer. That being said, it’s not a matter of if an earthquake happens in California, but when. Preparing for it can help you feel more in control of yourselves and help your loved ones through the calamity. If nothing else talk with your family and friends about evacuation routes and meeting points; it could save your lives and give you hope.

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  motorcycle  san francisco  science


Let’s Go Giants…?

Congratulations to the Giants! Last night was a madhouse on Valencia street near our apartment. I just have one question… Everyone was screaming, “Let’s go Giants!”

I don’t want them to “go”… I want them to STAY. Stay on top! Never give up, never surrender!

BTW, if you were on Valencia at 16th last night I was the one with the horn blowing. Apologies to the neighbors!

Comments Off on Let’s Go Giants…? | Catergorized: life  san francisco


The Cat Days of Summer

Gone are the cat days of summer. After the extreme (for San Francisco) heat wave we just went through, the temperature is finally cooling down. I can sit in the living room and not sweat for moving a finger. If I never live to see 90º+ weather again, I will dance. Since obviously this is an impossibility so long as I avoid the arctic poles, you will not get to see me dance and I will just suffer through it all.

Cat Days Of Summer

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Economic Solutions and Walking

I keep running in to things and think, “I should post that!” Alas, very shortly afterwards I forget.

The economy drags on. I’m very happy to have a job still given the market. As the Federal government keeps pumping money into the economy to keep it afloat (and for some stupid reason giving money to the banks that got us into the sh!t in the first place), I have to admire this simple plan to solve all of the issues at a single go.

Dear Mr. President:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

4) They MUST buy their own health insurance. – Health Plan for seniors just fixed!!!

It can’t get any easier than that! If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their constituents pay their taxes… If you think this would work, please tell everyone you know.

If not, please disregard. Then shoot yourself!!!! – 1 job opening

God Bless America.

I don’t think the cutoff age should be 50 years old… Perhaps more like 60. Still, there is something very compelling about the simplicity, and afterwards, if those folks who retired want to start brand new businesses, I’d be all for that, too. More jobs!

Meanwhile, I found this article about a man, Tom Graham, who has walked every single street in San Francisco. I like to walk (and kind of wish I did more of it) but this is a dedication I will simply admire from afar. Where the heck is DeForest (street? avenue? alley?)?

The heat’s hit San Francisco. I don’t like heat, but there it is. Most people hope the weekend ends up hot, or at least warm. I’m hoping this weekend cools off!

2 Comments | Catergorized: life  san francisco  thoughts
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