Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category:


March 4th, 2009

I just bought my ticket to San Francisco for SnowCamp weekend, flying out Thursday 4/2, returning Monday 4/6. Rejoice. I was on the fence about when to visit SF this spring/summer, and Snowcamp won. You really can’t beat it – the best crew of crazy fun loving trouble makers this side of the mississippi (which side are we talking about?), dressing up (this year’s theme is Fairy Tales) and enjoying delishous tahoe powder (if it doesn’t all melt by april). In addition, carrying on the spirit of Otto, funds will be raised to send girls from Hunter’s Point to summer camp. Deets on FB. Any suggestions as to which Fairy Tales thing I should dress up as?

And 2 weeks later I’m going to Coachella Music Festival, another Thurs-Monday adventure which I’m totally excited for. Check out the amazing lineup and our house for the weekend.

Goodbye SF

August 28th, 2008

After 10 years in SF, and months of “about to leave” … I got on the plane yesterday and left San Francisco. The main reason I moved is because I want to be with Shayna as she starts grad school in Chicago. But almost as important is that I need a change. I need to change my career. I need to change my lifestyle. I don’t need to change my friends, I love them dearly. But it has been tough to change other things with friends doing soo many fun things in SF. I want to be serious about something, something I can sink my teeth into. For that reason I’ve decided to start studying for the GMATs which I plan on taking this fall, leading to MBA and Business school next fall. More on that in another post.

Da Boyz

Pub Crawl Silliness

I haven’t fully digested this move yet, I feel like i’ve been just going through the motions. I planned a week alone in SF to pack and say goodbye, but it was over before i knew it. I did have my fun and i did get to spend some quality time with friends, for which I’m grateful. Specifically, I loved my surprise welcoming committee at the airport, Janine and Ben’s wedding (including an hour in the pool), Paul’s daughter’s first birthday (Free the Pony!), one last pub crawl in lower haight, dinner with friends, 2 days of outdoor music festival at GG Park, quality time with good friends for brunch, dinner, and one last hike on Mt. Tamalpais. And Big Ups to Juan for being a great friend for over 10 years.

Oh, and our roudtrip a few weeks ago from SF to Chicago was great. Shayna did an excellent job recapping roadtrip 2008, and i think my roadtrip pictures say it all. I do want to go back to Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons (give props to Tatanka), that place is BEAUTIFUL.

As i mentioned before, I moved to chicago. Chicago. Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. I’ll have more to say in a week or two. Till then, I got a wedding in Atlanta and a new apartment in Logan Square to get used to.

We are the party of Change. YES WE CAN.

Marathon Done

August 28th, 2008

Finish Line Fun

Just a quick note saying … Done. I accomplished my goal, finishing the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, August 3. Shayna surprised me at the finish with a bunch of my friends, snacks, and beer. What more can a boy want? We ended up hitting Zeitgeist for the rest of the afternoon.

SF Marathon via chad's GPS

I was sad that my body gave out on me – after running for 17 miles, my knees stopped working, to the point where when i run i would fall. So the last 9 miles or so i walked. My training was good – I never got tired, i guess i have to admit i’m not 18 and indestructible anymore. And since then, I haven’t been able to run more than 6 miles without my knees hurting again. Time to get back into biking …

Bay to Breakers

May 20th, 2008

Swedish Chefs

Another successful adventure of dressing up and drinking with 80,000 other San Franciscans. However, this year, for the first time, I ran the entire 12K. Yep, I ran it, then went back and drank it. I crossed the Start at 8:02am with Checkoway, who hung with me half way, then I finished the rest by myself, clocking in at 65 minutes for 7.46 miles. Then I got on my motorcycle and headed back to Hayes valley, where my friends where startin’ it up. I joined the German Lederhosens and my fellow Swedish Chefs and the rest .. is best told by the pictures. I will say it was as fun as always and seemed like there were more people than ever before. My favorite costumes were actually .. us!! It was simple, easy to find others in a crowd, we had great props – throwing flour and spanking people with a wooden spatula or bagutte is super fun. More from Shayna.

LA Riots

April 30th, 2008

LA Riots Rock. I saw them last night at rickshaw stop in san francisco, and this DJ Duo kept us on our toes mashing it all up – punk, electro, rock, hip hop, booty bass – including a lot of annoying yet polished static (bring earplugs) to produce an incredibly energetic fun show (altho a fight between two drunk girls erupted around midnight). I also saw LA Riots when they opened for MSTRKRFT at Mighty on March 1, 2008, which obviously kicked ass. And the best part about last night – it was free, part of scion’s 20th CD sampler release party – the second one i’ve rocked here in SF. Read more on LA Riots, download MP3’s. Go Team.

Oh, and there was this one killer track last night that went something like “back it up” or “backup” .. I need a copy.  Ya feel me?


SF DPT vs Chad

April 23rd, 2008

I get lots of Parking tickets, and I’m happy to pay them when I’m at fault (altho it is hard to remember to move your car before street cleaning, or when your parking meter runs out of time, etc). But when I feel that I am wronged, I fight. Here’s my story:

DPT is the Department of Parking and Traffic, part of SFMTA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the same wonderful people that bring us that always on-time, never broken, citywide coverage transportation organization called ‘MUNI’.

Yuri’s Night

April 8th, 2008

It’s on. Shayna and I are volunteering this Saturday 9am-1pm, it goes 2pm-2am, and tons of our friends will be going to south bay to check it out. But chad, what is it? Well, lets let Yuri’s Night Bay Area do the talking:

“Yuri’s Night is a celebration of space exploration—and mankind’s curiosity, scientific ingenuity, technical achievements, and spirit of collaboration that have made it all possible. This year, NASA’s 50th anniversary, the Bay Area will be home to the largest Yuri’s Night celebration ever, with 8,000 people joining astronauts, artists, scientists, engineers, and musicians to pay tribute to our global space heritage and to celebrate how much more is out there to be discovered!”

Personally i’m going to have fun and listen to music – one of my favorite DJs ever, Tipper, will be playing a twilight set. But there will also be fun costumes, interesting art, fascinating science, and friends. What more could you want for a saturday? Buy your ticket now!

SF Marathon

April 7th, 2008

San Francisco Marathon Course Map, 2008

I just signed up for my first marathon – the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, August 3, 2008. It seems only appropriate to run my first in my favorite city ever. I’m not sure how much real training I’ll do – I ran a half-marathon over thanksgiving, and that went well. So i figure i’ll stick to my hour runs 3 times a week, using my gps watch and heart monitor, with the occasional long run every now and then. If anybody else out there is running it, lemme know !!

GPS Hike to Sykes Hot Springs

February 19th, 2008

Last weekend Shayna and I joined Terry and Dana on a backpacking and camping trip to Sykes Hot Springs. It was awesome. I’ve done many day hikes and overnight backpacking trips and this was one of my favorites. Not too far a drive from SF, the trail was part dusty, part lush forests, had views of the ocean and beautiful mountains. The first day ended with us arriving at a clear, refreshing river winding through camp (altho it was cold) and nice warm campfire after dark. The next day we slept in, had breakfast, soaked in the hot springs for an hour, and hit the trail back home. It was totally fun to do all this with another couple, especially Dana and Terry.

Team is Ready To Start

We decided to go last minute – Dana mentioned they were going on friday night, and saturday we thought about it, wondering if it was going to be too cold (it is February), and if we were allowed to have campfires (California is sensitive to them fires). After an hour of research, Shayna just said – if we’re thinking about it so much, lets just go!! And we did. After playing a little bit in Golden Gate park we went home, packed, and drove down to Monterey. All the cheap hotels were booked, we ended up staying in Seaside, just north of Monterey, for $100. Not so cheap .. but it was President’s day weekend. The next morning we got up, got some coffee, breakfast and sandwiches and hit the roads. We got to the ranger station about 9:15am. We were trying to hike with Terry and Dana, but they weren’t sure when they’d be able to make it. As it turned out, they showed up at the ranger station right after we did. Hurray.

We started the hike at the Big Sur Station, about 30 miles south of Monterey or 2.5 hours south of SF. We hiked the 10 miles in with our camping gear and food to Sykes campground, the fourth camping area along Pine Ridge Trail. Along the hike we stopped for beautiful views, pack adjustments, snacks, and pictures. By the time we got to camp we only had an hour of sunlight left and it was pretty crowded – we had to run around to find a decent camping spot. We setup our tents and it was getting too dark so we waited till the next morning to do the hot springs. Terry got the fire going and we basically hung out by the fire eating, drinking, and puffin’ till bed. We slept in, had some breakfast, another fire, packed up, and hit the hot springs on the way out. Our campsite was on the right bank of the river, and the trail and hot springs were on the left bank, so just like the previous day we had to wade across the freezing Big Sur River – it was as deep as a couple feet in some spots. And if you’re barefoot, you can’t run across the riverbed rocks like I did. Heh.

Sykes Hot Springs Tub

The Sykes Hot Springs were nice, but not that nice. I’ve read several reviews of them online (mark verber’s excellent details, 2004 NY Times , brian’s blog, yelp) but let me set the record straight as of February 2008, when we went. There were 3 hot tubs – each had man-made walls and varying sizes. There were 2 by the river, and a third one uphill from the one that was more downstream. That third one uphill was the biggest and the one we soaked in. It could hold 6 strangers or 10-12 close friends. The one downhill from that could hold 4-7 people, and the one upstream from that could hold about 2-5 people. You can smell sulfur in the air and there is a little bit of algae/dirt in the tubs. When we arrived at camp on Sunday they were all full, and the clothing optional rule was in effect. But as I said it was getting dark so we didn’t go in. On Monday morning we jumped in the only one that had room – the one uphill – it had just 2 UCSC girls in it at the time. The temperature was nice, the reported 100-degrees seemed about right. That’s not as hot as most hot tubs which are more like 104, but hot enough to ease them sore muscles. The downhill one was about the same temperature, but people said the upstream one was a little bit colder.

Let me list some quick details if you’ve never been and want to go.

  • Where – Start at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, off Hwy 1, about 26 miles south of Carmel, 2.5 hours south of San Francisco. The trailhead is in the parking lot of Big Sur Station (not Big Sur Lodge, but just south of it).
  • When – Its open year-round, but best in spring and summer. If you don’t mind crowds, weekends are fine, but start hiking as early as you can. The ranger station by the trailhead opens at 8am – you’ll definitely want a campfire and thats where you get the permit.
  • Hike 10 miles along Pine Ridge Trail through the Ventana Wilderness, part of Los Padros National Forest (map)
  • Camp at Sykes – leave plenty of time to find a camping spot – it’s hilly and can get crowded during the summer and on weekends. You could camp at Barlow if short on time or the ranger implies its too crowded, which is about 3 miles before Sykes.
  • Bring extra shoes or sandals to wade across the river. It sux to hike out with wet shoes.
  • Recommend: water filter, moleskin, GPS watch, fire permit

As I said, this trip was awesome. But it wasn’t the hot springs that made the trip – Big Sur region is just beautiful. The hike, campsite and river, and friends were all above average. The hot springs were just icing on the cake. Plus, it was shayna’s first backpacking trip and my first with my GPS watch. You can check out our hike to Sykes Hot Springs on Google Maps or see hiking stats on motionbased.

Vote: Feb 5 Primary

February 4th, 2008

Update: Election Results in Parenthesis  182K (45%ish) votes cast in SF (from Usual Suspects), California results from sfgate, from LA Times. Now back to original.

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Like my voter guide last fall, i’m listing my recommendations with links to more info. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections and these local voter guides – SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects. Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco – Endorsements for February 5, 2008:

President, Democrat: Obama (Obama: 52% in SF, 42.4% in CA; Clinton: 44% SF , 51.8% in CA)
President, Republican: McCain (McCain: 53% in SF, 42% in CA; Romney: 22% in SF, 34% in CA)

Proposition 91: No – Gas Tax (No 58%)
Proposition 92: No – Community Colleges (No 57%)
Proposition 93: Yes – Term Limits (No 53%)
Propositions 94–97: NO – Gambling (Yes 56% – all 4 same)

Proposition A: YES – Parks Funding Increase (Yes 72%)
Proposition B: No – Police Retirement (Yes 65%)
Proposition C: No – Alcatraz into Peace Center (No 72%)



Oh jeez. this is a national issue, with lots of coverage. Here’s a few summary ones: On The Issues, 2008 Election ProCon, Financial view from opensecrets, NYTimes, and as a honorable mention sidenote: GlassBooth, MoveOn, Vote Smart. And everybody has their opinions on the candidates, so here’s mine. For Democrats, i like Obama for his vision, speaking skills, where he stands on many issues, and things he says he will do. But I also like Clinton on many issues. Most importantly, I think she has the experience to get her agenda accomplished. I like McCain alot for a republican. He’s a non-nonsense, tough fighter – wants to end global warming (YAY), fiscal conservative (yay), fix campaign financing (YAY) but also wants to stay in Iraq (Boo). He’s also been around, and will make a good leader. Did i successfully avoid the question? Maybe I should get into politics.

Update: Voted for Obama. Why? well, I think an Obama-McCain battle will be better for Dems. I also feel idealistic, wanting a strong leader and change .. even if he doesn’t have experience. And it seems republicans really hate Clinton, often for personal reasons, which makes me think more would rally for McCain if he was against Clinton in November. However, I learned Obama’s health plan is not as good as Clintons.

Prop 91, transportation funding: Strong NO

Everyone’s voting no on this – shouldn’t even be on the ballot (but legal foo keeps it there). Something about Gas tax.

Prop 92, community college funding: Weak No

In 2004, when the legislature raised student fees to $26 a unit, 305,000 students dropped out. By comparison, the UC system has 180,000 total students. Wow. I guess we better give Community colleges more money. Wait a second .. this does alot more than that, good for community colleges but good for education? And it doesn’t specify source of funds. UC system will prolly lose, as other things from the general fund. Another sounds good, but financially unsound. And with budget issues in sactown .. i say no.

Prop 93, term limits: weak Yes

This one is tricky. Right now elected officials can do 6 years in state assembly (3 2-year terms) and 8 years in the state senate (2 4-year terms) for a total of 14 years. This proposition changes the term limits 2 ways – from 14 years max to 12 years max, but allowing those 12 years to be in either senate or assembly (so can do 6 2-year terms or 3 4-year terms). Some say prop 93 is an attempt to shift power from lobbyists back to elected officials – lobbyists don’t have term limits, and often win over newly elected officials. I never found any statistics that showed how many senators/assemblymen hit that 14 year mark, not sure how that matters. But it will allow incumbants to keep on doing what they’re doing. Specifically, 42 incumbants who are being forced to retire due to term limits, will have more time if prop 93 passes. Some say the real problems still exist, such as gerrymandering, and this does nothing to fix that, making elections more competitive. I’m not a fan of prop 93 per se, However, i say yes cuz i think it sends a message that we want to fix things.

Props 94-97, Native American casinos: Weak No.

Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 are basically the same, just different tribes. They seem to help the richest tribes, and not help most of the poor ones. Doesn’t really help out California budget issue, either, altho it does give some money. No clear reason to vote yes.

Prop A, park bond: Strong YES

This bond will give $186 million to new and existing parks in SF. The money spent will be monitored more closely than before, with monthly reports available on the web, hopefully raising the bar for financial accountability in our government. I love parks, and it would take alot for me not to vote for them. I am also fiscally responsible, and even tho this one ain’t perfect, it tries.

Prop B, police retirement: Weak No

SF needs help with its police force, especially since many of them will be retiring soon. This prop allows retiring police officers to defer retirement for 3 years. Financially, its unclear if this is good or bad – retiring officers get paid more than younger ones, but not if you include training. I agree police need help, but this clearly does not solve the problem of police force size, it merely delays the problem. Some suggest having civilians do desk jobs, and put those officers on the streets. Cbanging policy so police focus on violent crime will work. Of course hiring more young officers is beneficial.

Prop C, peace center: Weak No

Having a peace center on alcatraz does sound appealing. But i like history, and i enjoy the alcatraz tour, so losing that does not sound appealing. And since this plan for the peace center is a plan without alot of details, i can not endorse it.