Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category:

First GPS Run

January 28th, 2008

Today I finally got to use my new gps watch (give it up for no rain). Check out my run from 116 San Jose (home) to Mt. Davidson and back (or all my runs online). Chart details is especially cool – When you click on it, opens a chart with elevation, pace, and heart rate info. Mt. Davidson is the tallest natural point in SF at 925 feet. GPS elevation is close, but the elevation gain on the summary data seems way off.

GPS Watch

January 22nd, 2008

Today I got a new toy!!!! A brand new GPS-enabled heart-rate-monitor super watch, the Garmin Forerunner 305. It’s the ideal gadget for serious runners and triathletes. Not that I’m a serious runner, but I do love to geek out. The GPS is pretty robust, allowing the device to record your route as you run (GPS accuracy within 10 meters, typical). The heart rate monitor keeps track of your pulse (of course), so you can see how hard you’re working. And its got all sorts of timers and alerts and other stuff.

The main reason I got it is because I *do* run and wanted to track my routes. After some looking, I was sold by this one picture – it shows a map of SF with the route highlighted, and some stats on the left. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the pic, Bijan Sabet.


Kooza, Santa’s, and my TV

Friday we went to see Kooza for Fritz’s Birthday. Kooza is the name for the Cirque du Soleil show here in San Francisco. It was amazing. It’s my third Cirque du Soleil show, not the best, but none were better – they are all awesome in their own way. Music, Lighting, Showmanship, Story (yes, the show sorta had a story), and unbelievable acts. My favorite act was the 2 dudes running in 2 giant metal circles as they spin around like a ferris wheel. I also love the couple dancing while the guy rode a unicycle, as well as the 3 crazy gymnastical girls. But the whole show was awesome and I highly recommend going. They’re in SF till Jan 20 and then San Jose till March 16.

Like last weekend, this was another busy one with friends. Too many parties and events. Even with my cold, I still made it to House of Things party friday night, a little bit of Santacon Saturday, and still had enough energy to help my friend Juan move on Sunday. Last weekend involved Amnesia, Shooting Ranges, more house parties, and Birthday expedition to the Exploratorium.

I also returned my 42″ Panasonic to Costco (after 88 days and no box, no questions asked, cash back, Hurray) and bought Juan’s Sony 40″ Bravia. I did it cuz i wanted a better picture (the panasonic sometimes was off with the colors), but some have complained about a sony backlighting issue. We’ll see.

Hot 2008 Pin-Up Calendar

December 7th, 2007

Did i ever mention i love my friends? Well, Emily got the girls together and made this HOT calendar. Pictures were taken earlier this year, and they just had their release party last night at Shine. From the back of the calendar

“While visiting a friend’s garage, I noticed he had no girlie calendars displayed. Instead of buying a calendar that had some unknown hot women, I thought it would be much more appropriate to create a calendar featuring my own hot friends. Thus, with tireless help from talented photographer and friend Gwen McKay, this calendar was borne. What this calendar doesn’t reveal about these women is that not only are they beautiful, but they are also incredibly smart – a deadly combination. I am fortunate to have such an amazing cast of friends, and I want to thank them all for their participation in the creation of this calendar.” – Emily The Great.

These 2008 calendars cost $20 – lemme know if you want one.

Scavenger Hunts

November 12th, 2007

I’ve always loved them – both as a participant and as a creator. Yep, i’ve created them before too – for friends in high school and college. But yesterday i was a participant in one here in SF, put on by Go Game. And it was awesome.

It was called the “Everywhere Game“. You create your own team (they recommend 4, but we had 6), you need web-enabled cell phone and a digital camera capable of pictures and video. Using the phone, you retrieve your missions and answer trivia. The missions often involved going somewhere, noting a sign or picture, then combining that with other clues to get the answer. Once you submit the answer on the phone, they supply the next mission. They grouped several missions together in different neighborhoods. For example, we did about 4 missions around the metreon, then did a bunch around union square, then hit the marina.  At the end we all met up at the mezzanine to watch team submitted pictures and videos and see who won.

These Go Game guys have been around, had some good challenges, but the game was far from perfect. Most pictures and videos submitted had problems, and twice during the game their servers went down. Our team did well, getting over 90% of the answers correct within the time limit. We got more points than the other 3 teams we spoke with, but still got less than half the points the winning team got. How is that possible? The go game people don’t disclose how people get points, or what is the worth of points. I remember the old scavenger hunt days – you get a list of a bunch of things and you can decide if you want to do easy things for small points or hard things for lots of points. This game seemed to randomly assign missions – except that the winning team was friends with the go game people, so it may not have been so random.

That said, our team had a blast and i’m totally down to do it again. Only $10 and proceeds benefit Alex Smith Foundation.

Have you ever done one?   Where was it, and would you do more like it?  Leave me a comment.

PDPS Sux

November 8th, 2007

Yeah, i said it. I lost my California Drivers License, so i goto DMV to get a new one, and they said .. “Sorry, can’t give it to you, NC is blocking it on PDPS. You need to call the North Carolina DMV”. “Wha? What is PDPS ??” “Nationwide computer system, no details available, but you need to clear it up with them”. “wha?”. So I called NC DMV and after 20mins on hold and being shuffled around i learned they wanted $50 for a 1994 speeding violation. Wha? 13 years ago? doesn’t that stuff expire? And besides, i remember that – i paid it all – it was settled. But the NC DMV woman on the phone is a robot, and either I play ball or I don’t get my PDPS cleared. So i sent them a check. Stupid Problem Driver Pointer System. Now i have to wait for NC to process that before i can go back to CA DMV.

Green Festival

November 6th, 2007

This weekend, from Friday to Sunday November 9-11 2007, is the Green Festival in SF. As you can guess, its a conference about all things green related – greentech, sustainable business practices, working with your environment, and many other good and wholesome things. They have tons of speakers, millions of booths (ok, not really a million), and lots of cool peeps.

Oh chad, what is this hippy crap? No, seriously – Learn a little bit about the environment you live in. You vote on election day, why not vote with your dollar and make the world a better place? Wow, this kool aid is gooood. Try to check it out.

And its not too late to help out – if you volunteer for a 4.5 hour shift, you get in for free and get prizes. I signed up, so should you!

Chad Volunteer – Friday 12-4:30pm – Box Office Lobby Host
Shayna Volunteer – Saturday 2-6:30p – Gift Center host

Sarah Gill – Saturday 1-6 Green Team

Friday 4pm – Global concerns, local actions
Friday 5pm – Innovation for Sustainability
*Friday 6pm – Bennet Freeman from Calvert – Investing Green
*Friday 7pm – Deepak Chopra

*Sat 2pm – Marisa Handler (brasstax friend)
Sat 3pm – Lessig – Green culture (using technology)
Sat 5pm – Mark Anielski – Economics of Happiness
Sat 6pm – Riane Eisler – Real wealth of nations

*Sunday 12pm – Marie Kerpan – Green Careers
Sunday 3pm – Chris Daly – Sustainable SF
Sunday 3pm – Fair Trade
Sunday 4pm – Derfel and Fenster – Sustainable Business

SF Voter guide

Update: Elections Results added in parenthesis
From sfgov – 35% voter turnout: 150,000 of 420,000 registered SF voters

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections (my sample ballot) and with these voter guides – False Profit, SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects.

Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco:

Mayor: Newsom will win by a landslide, so have fun – Chicken John (Newsom got 74%)
Sheriff: Michael Hennessey (74% for Hennessey)
A – Yes – Muni reform (Yes 55%)
B – Yes — Commisioner Hold-over (71% Yes)
C – No — Ballot reform (68% Yes)
D – No — library (74% Yes)
E – Yes – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – (51% No)
F – No — Airport Police – (51% Yes)
G – No — GG Park Stables – (55% Yes)
H – NO — Parking – (No 67%)
I – Yes – Local small business – (59% Yes)
J – Yes – Wifi – (62% Yes)
K – —– Street Ads – (62% Yes)

A – Muni reform – Yes

Muni has got problems, so you might want to vote no on this, but more important is that we send a message that saying public transportation is more important than adding more parking spots

B – Commisioner Hold-over – Yes

Closes loophole reducing political pressure commissioners and board appointees, letting them focus more on their jobs.

C – Ballot reform – NO

In effect, fixes half of a broken system, allowing special interests to get away with stuff.

D – library – NO

This seems good, but not fiscally responsible enough. Hopefully this will fail and a better one will appear on the ballot next year.

E – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – Yes

Forces Mayor to do Q&A with Board of Supervisors once a month. Last year 55% voted yes on a similar measure – but that one was not legally binding, this one is. Some say this is just squable between Mayor Newsom and Chris Daly, some say it may won’t help and just take people’s time away from other things .. i say its a step in a right direction,

F – Airport Police – No

Give airport police retirements same as SFPD. I say no, SFPD is tougher job, more expensive city, they should get more retirement

G – GG Park Stables – No

Not fiscally responsible – doesn’t follow normal procedures – why are stables that much more important than other stuff?

H – Parking – NO NO NO

Backed by billionaire Don Fisher, this just adds parking downtown so he can easily sell more condos. Bad. But worse, is the magnitude – you want 20,000 more parking spots? HELL NO.

I – Local small business – Yes

Help local small businesses get on their feet – Good for SF, doesn’t cost much. Matches with my theory that big corporations are better for many things economically, but not ALWAYS better for society. This gives local small businesses more of an even playing field.

J – Wifi – Yes

A step in the right direction on helping get wifi to everyone

K – Street Ads – Maybe

I don’t really care about this one. Gives muni money for selling ad space on bus shelters. Good cuz it brings in money to Muni, bad cuz we don’t need more clear channel ads.

Halloween Done

November 2nd, 2007

Another awesome Halloween in San Francisco. Sigh. Brasstax Renegade Sunday was one of the best, as were the parties the night before. I really love this town – so many people dress up. And not just simple costumes – people are clever and creative. Stuff like “vampire gopher”, miss teen south carolina, 80 year old grandma, blades of glory, john nash, speed racer 5, or good ol’ alice and wonderland.

Halloween night fell on a wednesday this year, and I cannot believe how many kids were roaming Fair Oaks. The secret kid hideout – between like 21st and 26th, half block from dolores, there were 6,289 kids. Well, something like that. Our friends Paul and Rosemary had about 20 peeps over to pass out candy – their 4th year doin’ it. Super fun – especially the candy storm – thats when we threw tons of candy out onto the sidewalk and the kids come running.

After that we went to Amnesia for vaudville show put on by Stars & Garters. We’re talking live music, comed acts, song and dance, garters and corsets, booty and titties, blood and guts (it is halloween). The place was a bit too crowded,
otherwise well done. Check it out.

I love my friends

October 23rd, 2007

I am so happy to see my friends rallying around Otto to raise the money he needs (see last post). Good people.

But I’m also happy to have creative friends that actually do stuff. If you know Jason and Monica, they’ve thrown many great events, and their latest project, swapsf, is awesome (no, jason doesn’t own that word). But i’m not here to plug that – i’m here to plug a short play – The Old Ones. Sorry, you can’t see it live, but you can watch “The Old Ones” on youtube.