On Sunday Dad and I got up and went to the Metreon-area Mel’s. The place was packed (as usual) and we took our time.
Then we went to The Men’s Wearhouse and he helped me pick out 3 very nice new suits. I have to admit that 99% of the reason that I always wear dark colors is because they always match (more or less) but we angled towards a bit lighter color. They were navy, bronze, and dark blue. I’ll post pics when I get the chance.
After that we headed up to Union square and did some looking around for watches, nick-nacks, and other loot.
I like good movies and I really like ones set in SF. I believe someone on Amazon has a list or two like this. The next two obvious candidates are Bullitt and Vertigo.
Mice and I have both commented that watching old movies set in SF elicits one reaction uniformly:
Look at all that parking!
I started my collection Friday with the special edition of Basic Instinct. You’ll all recall a certain white dress scene, but other than that the movie was smart, sexy, and intense.
This edition features commentary from “Do-me feminism” matriarch Camille Paglia so I think it should be good through multiple viewings.
Some researchers seem to think so.
Just because we live in the gravitational well of the greatest city in the world, does that mean we have to be snobs about it?.
Maybe it’s not SF which is snobby, it’s simply snobby people that are attracted there.
I’ve posted here about GTD and similar sexy-computer-user fetish objects (Moleskine books, fountain pens, PowerBooks) but all of these and spiritual guru Merlin Mann will all convene at a meet-up in SF.
Gift from Merlin
As someone who recently liquidated about 9 boxes of books, the majority of which I read only once but lugged around for 10 years, let me recommend that you RENT your books through a service that’s kinda like Netflix, but for books: the public library!
Since I moved, every time I have the urge to buy a book (physical or Kindle) that I think I will read only once, I instead go to sfpl.org and see if the book can be rented. It’s a great way to be slightly more careful with your money and conserve living space.
Granted, there are times you want to have an artifact.
Anyone from anywhere in the world will find driving in San Francisco for any distance greater than 4 miles a bit daunting.
We have many, many one-way streets, streets to be shared with streetcars, iPhone senses-numbed hipsters wandering across intersections, drunken street-people, horizon-obliterating hills, a non-gridded layout, and few free parking spaces.
Therefore, when a tourist, or any other sane person, goes down a street and sees a herd of lanyard-wearing tourists crossing a square you mean to traverse that seems to have suddenly changed bearing from southwest to dead south with double-parked cabs on the right lane and the left lane is marked exclusively for highway access s/he might let off the gas or tap the brake and …
“All straight guys think: ‘Some day some woman will show up and figure all this stuff out for me.'"
Keenly aperçu by a friend of mine to the question “Why the stereotypes about gays knowing so much about drapery and track lighting.”
Well, just to show that if you make anything nerdy enough, I will do it, here’s the Google SketchUp of my future residence. Yes, it’s to scale. I don’t think it’s too bad for a first stab at the tool.
As our move in date approaches, as we choose flooring and carpet, we’re starting to have some panic about what happens when an Austin-sized lifestyle and set of accoutrements meets San Francisco space restriction.
Getting off of the evening workday train commute has a rich set of sensations and experiences all its own.
At 7:00, after being crammed in with the tired, the huddled masses, you step out into a windy tunnel or a funky-smelling stop and hurry home through the aenemic late-winter (or permanent, in the case of SF) cold back home. You replay the winnings and failings of the day and hope that you have enough ingredients at home for dinner so that you don’t have to go to Safeway and wait in that line (“I hear there’s an unemployment crisis, why can they not staff a few more people at rush hour”).
Yes, yes, yes friends. According to my awesome realtor, Vanessa Gamp, we are aiming to close on the condo on the 21st. I recorded some footage of us doing the walkthru with the builder with my awesome new Flip UltraHD!
Now this is normally where I put something really cool of the house that I took with the Flip in the blog post.
But honestly, my filming skill was so crappy and jerky i gave myself a seizure halfway through. So, here’s a snippet of Lauren and I getting an early dinner after doing the walkthru.
Here’s a still that Lauren took
A few weeks ago Lauren and I were taking the 30 Muni up to North Beach to hear a lecture. As we crossed a busy North Beach street, a pedestrian darted in front of the driver when he was heard to utter:
I was riding on the corporate shuttle to work yesterday and there were several open laptops at the table near me. We hit a bump in Route 237 and every Lenovo lid jostled and lay back down flat, facing the sky. The PC users jostled to recover proper angle. My lid just wiggled a bit. While the general gripe was “Chinese manufacturing,” my Apple, designed in California made in China, didn’t have this issue. It just wobbled a little bit.
And while I’m on the topic of laptops, every now and again I see these big pizza boxes on the Caltrain or at a coffeeshop with the word DELL on the lid.
Introduction On May 14th, I competed at a Hackfest hosted by Podio. Podio is a customizable social networking application delivered as a service (aaS). After 8 hours of coding, I placed first in the competition and won a beautiful Apple Cinema Display. In this post I will cover my hack, how it was done, and lessons learned.
Victori pretium it
Background Let me first introduce the various companies involved and technologies provided or implemented in the solution. I think of these as the ingredients in the recipe that allowed me to code my offering.
Podio In case you haven’t noticed, people are spending phenomenally large amounts of time on social networks.
Probably the most significant constant in the entire history of this blog has been where I have spent several hours of my day each work-day. For a great many years, I have been an employee of Cisco Inc. As of the 19th of this month, that will end.
Today, after two weeks of being in the two weeks’ notice netherworld that included a code sprint to try to get everything tidied up for my previous employer and jury duty, I finally got to show up at Carbon Five.
It was great taking the short walk from my house to the office. Upon arriving about a half dozen others were already there, recapping weekend fun and bike shopping in the lounge area. The espresso machine was hissing in the kitchen and everyone seemed pretty excited to get to work.
Austin Rubyist, now in SF like many of us, Mike has been designated my project lead for my first project.
A few months ago I decided that Lauren and I ought take advantage of some of the civic institutions available here in Our Fair City by the Bay. Thus I booked us to enjoy our first opera together, “Don Giovanni.” We rather enjoyed the performance and that was that. We were given an introductory offer to come and see additional operas and wound up seeing both Verdi’s “Attilla” and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” before the close of the season.
This season we were not planning on catching any shows but this poster, hanging from many a lamp-post in the city convinced me that we had to catch Angela Gheorghiu (warning: site plays music on load) in the title role:
Like most modern, large cities, San Francisco has no shortage of homelessness or panhandlers. What I was unaware of was the level of organization.
I had to do a mid-afternoon run to Walgreens to drop off some photos to be developed. While I was standing there the manager was detained by a guy pressuring him to “cut me a deal, man” such that the juice that was on sale would have a similar price discount applied to another juice. The manager insisted that that was not possible and after a bit of a give and take the customer relented and went on his merry way.
As part of my exit fom Twitter, I came across a series of photos I took
/ tweeted when I ran from the Bay to the breakers of the peninsula. It was
basically a personal run of the Bay to Breakers course.
While I’ve run the official course twice, I’ve run the equivalent path
scores of times. I love this path because it gives you a chance to see how the
city has changed between runs. These photos date from July 2015.
I was talking a colleague about Michael Pollan’s “How to Change Your Mind” and how many Bay Area software developers are “microdosing” LSD and psilocybin to help increase their productivity.
Isn’t that the most Bay Area thing ever? Discover an ego-dissolving, God-revealing chemical and then, instead of getting up and going outside to become one with nature or relate genuinely with your fellow man they ask: “But how can this make me work better?”
Kaiju Hammerhead attacks San Francisco
When I worked at DBC, we were close to one of the primary horns and that filling-rattling blare was your reminder that you lived on the Pacific theatre’s front line.
The moment the Kaiju have been waiting for is nigh. The denizens will be unable to sound an alarm.
City Lights on Columbus in North Beach, SF
We all know SF died around 2005 and has been performance art of itself since.
No Magnolia or Mother’s in Austin; no Coke sign to view from Potrero hill…waiting for them to pull Manhattan out of New York.
I remember my realtor in SF saying that she always “knew she was back home from a road trip” when she saw that sign.
Predicting the end of dominant paradigms or places is a cottage industry among
“thought leaders,” so Tim O’Reilly’s recent post on “The End of Silicon Valley as We Know It”,
came across my way with a large grain of salt. Nevertheless, his books
business, and now more broadly electronic education business, has been a part
of my life for the entire length of my career, so, a deeper look is certainly
Two key points:
Failure to Self-Regulate Means the Feds are Coming
In the case of social media platforms, manipulation of users for profit has
frayed the fabric of democracy and the respect for truth. Silicon Valley, which
once harnessed the collective intelligence of its users, now uses its deep
knowledge of its users to “trade against them.”
The fatuous arguments from 1995 taken and reapplied in 2020 hearings for
Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are finally finding lawmakers who aren’t
apt to be played. These companies are not “platforms” and their insufficient
action against purveyors of disinformation needs to be registered and
unacceptable in the future.
SV’s Tech-for-it’s-own-sake has Chased Small Potatoes Apps
SV has often pursued tech-for-it’s-own-sake and has often implemented it (or
“sleeved"* it) into businesses where it’s good, but not game
changing. For all the graph traversal brilliance in Google or Facebook, the
“sleeve” is still finding that person you lament you didn’t hook up with or
that bully whose impecunity you want to verify and bask in from your veranda in
But those same algorithms can be sleeved into science in a way that can make
our lives better. The COVID-19 pandemic makes clear that the latent,
under-rewarded leaps in life science have been literally civilization-saving.
What would happen if the playing field for technology advance were not
disinformation peddling, but gene research? Why would SV eschew life science
sleeves for technology versus social networks? Simple. It’s easier.
Doing so would require:
deep knowledge of relevant science. The hubs where that knowledge can be found
are not the special province of Silicon Valley, suggesting that other regions
may take the lead. Second, many of the markets where fortunes will be made are
regulated; navigating regulated markets also takes skills that are
conspicuously missing in Silicon Valley. Finally, as Theranos demonstrated so
vividly, it is harder to sustain a hype balloon in a scientific enterprise than
in many of the markets where Silicon Valley has prospered. Many Silicon Valley
investors have been lucky rather than smart. They may not do so well in a world
where capital must be directed toward solving hard problems rather than toward
winning a popularity contest.
Reading that, I could hear the technologists of Boston cackling with delight.
The hub of life science research (peer to South San Francisco), home of MIT,
and a short train ride from Manhattan’s ocean of cash might well call her
children back to the Northeast.
*: “Sleeve” as a term from sci-fi referring to the “body” of a being. The
implementations vary, but once computers can map a “brain,” the essence, the
“soul” of a person and can re-inject it into a different body, bodies become
little more than sleeves. Ugly? Get a pretty sleeve. Weak? Get a strong
sleeve? Need to be a robot? Inject yourself into a mechanically powerful