Archive for May, 2007

Pissing in the grass, alas

My favorite Bay to Breakers moment this year was on Van Ness and Hayes, as the race crossed Van Ness Avenue (above). My path crossed that of the race about 9:40 a.m. — I was on my way to Herbst Theater for a graduation ceremony.

By that time the “race” was mostly made up of costumed revelers walking along with cups of beer. Drunken sorority girls were scampering up to the San Francisco Unified School District HQ building on the corner, because there is a strip of grass and some hedges in front of the building, and relieving themselves behind the hedges. As I walked by, a few girls sprinted up and one cried “Fuck it, I don’t need to go behind the bushes!”

Snow’s debut as announcer

Lost in the analysis of the 15-3 pounding the A’s gave the Giants last night was the debut of former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow as color announcer. Snow, who retired over the winter and was hired by the Giants as an instructor and sometime announcer, had done a few innings behind the microphone here and there beginning in spring training, but this was his first stint doing a whole game as color announcer behind Dave Flemming, who did play-by-play for the whole game.

Having the same two announcers — one talented but still with some rough edges, and the other very knowledgeable but with little experience behind the microphone — for the whole game exposed some of the weaknesses of both.

Supervisor Ed Jew’s home/office raided by Feds

City Hall blogger Luke Thomas at The Fog City Journal has reported this evening that the FBI raided first term District 4 supervisor and florist Edmund Jew’s home today, supposedly looking for evidence of cash transactions on his computer…

Jew is a relative newcomer to city politics, having mostly been preoccupied with running the Chinatown flower shop on Waverly Place his grandfather started over 80 years ago. His business made news awhile back when security cameras in front of his New Canton Flower shop recorded three youths assaulting a homeless man.

Although considered a conservative, and is a former vice president of the County Republican Council, he’s now claimed membership to the Democratic Party. He’s sided with the mayor and Sean Elsbernd on many issues, but shown some independence in his votes on the board. Within the past few weeks he’d voted No with Chris Daly against the Hunter’s Point Redevelopment & Stadium Project, No in a 9-1 vote against the city taking a loss on a PGA golf event at Harding Park, and No in a losing battle alongside Elsbernd to the idea spending $28 million of city money on affordable housing.

Jew’s mainly been known as an advocate for small business and is an advocate for Sunset neighborhood schools, and getting rid of the city wide “diversity index” particularly in the city’s westside which artificially creates percentage based standards for ethnicity/race in school populations. He alos serves on the board of the Chinese holocaust Museum.

His most controversial issue lately though has been somehow making a few calls to the Mayor, and getting the repaving of Noreiga St moved up a year or two, which did not go unnoticed in city political circles.

For more on Jew’s troubled situation as it develops at Fog City Journal

and SF Gate

WeekendDreaming: To Do

Bocce Not sure about you all but my friends figured out this weekend’s plans by 5pm on Monday. The “free weekend” before we all leave town to camp on Memorial Day. I’m tring to rally the family around building a bocce ball court (see me fail.)

Saturday: Film in the Park. The season starts Saturday, May 19th with THE GRADUATE in Washington Square Park!

Saturday-Sunday: : O’Reilly’s Beer & Oyster festival in Fort Mason. The parking signs were out on Monday, that’s advance planning!

Sat & Sun: Maker Faire in Spam Mateo. The DIY amazingness converges down on the Peninsula.

And, how could I forget: Bay to Breakers, bisecting the city. All morning, Sunday.

SF Bio-Fuel user with new & now dead F-350… who is at fault?

Who knows what evil lurks behind this door?

Well it’s actually the semi- clandestine HQ of the SF Bio-Fuels Cooperative, who operate a membership only collective that dispenses from a garage in a SOMA alley. For one unfortunate Coop member, his greasy bio fuel experiment lead to a sticky situation…
photo from KQED Quest

In eco-concious San Francisco, where everyone wants to be greener and hipper than the next guy, a local man whose business is turning algae into fuel might have gone a bit too far, and now he’s out a new truck engine. Ford claims that the bio-diesel concoction he used likely gobbed up the fuel injectors, and thus by using a non-approved fuel ,the warranty was violated. The owner has suspicions Ford’s got problems it won’t admit… somebody call the lawyers! biofry.jpg

Said the owner, Peterson Conway, a member of the SF Bio-Fuels co-op, and according to the NY Times, an executive with the GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, “I supposedly blew up my brand new $55k truck, with just 200 miles on it, running B99. I say supposedly, because I can’t believe it was a fuel problem-but Ford is sticking me with $17k bill for a new engine (major labor required to remove cab etc..).”

Apparently though Ford has since backed down, with more info and links after the jump…

Automotive Kindness

Bay Bridge (Just wanted to say- happy bike to work day! Sorry this post is so car-centric.) On the 1st street approach to the Bay Bridge I decided to do a quick oil check at the gas station there. I open the hood, and start swearing. I had forgotten to put the oil cap back on last time I added oil – only a few days ago, the joys of old cars- so it had exploded all over the engine, seeping out of the hood, etc. This had been going on while I was driving over 17 in insane traffic last weekend, too. An army serviceman pumping gas into his car across the station yells out, “Need some help?” He must have heard me saying “F—k, f–k, f–k” to the engine. I yell back, “Do you have an oil cap?” He trots over, looks at the engine, then points out that it’s right there, a few inches from the oil opening. I had just assumed it had flown off- but no, the cap had survived 2 days of driving, sitting neatly on top of the engine.

Best not-buy

A couple days ago my wife and I went to the Best Buy in San Francisco to get a new TV. We were prepared to spend several hundred dollars but needed to scope out what was available, and we needed advice from a sales clerk.

While we were talking to the clerk, we had to raise our voices over some booming hip-hop music coming from the adjacent aisle. I went around and looked, and there was a teenager standing in front of a huge stereo setup, soaking up the music. I came back to the sales clerk and asked if he would ask the kid to turn the volume down, since it was really hard for us to hear each other. He did, and the volume went down for a little while, but a minute later it was back up loud and we were shouting to each other again. This time my wife dragged the sales clerk over to the kid and made him ask the kid again.

Again, the teenager turned down the volume and we went back to our discussion of contrast ratios and the meaning of “720p.” Again, a minute later the music was up loud again.

Hip Hop Chess & Life Strategies in SF This Saturday

The Omega Boys Club is hosting the Hip Hop Chess Federation event this Saturday. Scheduled participants include RZA of the Wu Tang, Casual of the Hieroglyphics, DJ QBert, Boots Riley of the Coup, Balance the mix tape king, documentary filmmaker Kevin Epps, author Josh Waitzkin, Stockton’s Okwerdz, Bay area rapper Shamako Noble and many many more…

The group is dedicated to helping young bright minds actualize their potential. The event is open to anyone who loves Hip Hop and chess, nonviolence, and learning. The Hip Hop Chess Federation doesn’t care about your faith, race or landbase. Come kick it!

More info, time and location after the jump

Poetry Room at City Lights

Kerouac Alley First- went to the art fair in Kerouac Alley. This is the street between Vesuvius’ and City Lights, Broadway and Grant St. The art was OK- the band was good. It’s an incredibly short alley so not quite a block fair like Union Street. The best bit of that area- besides the cool new alley art– is found if you head into City Lights, go to their old Poetry Room which is now a stairway up to their new Poetry Room.

It’s incredibly quiet up there now that the alley is closed off to traffic. Two chairs sit below two windows, and you can enjoy the latest poetry favorites. It was Emily Dickinson for me, but then again it usually is. Paul Madonna of All Over Coffee read there recently and they have his books displayed. His cartoons remind me of blogs that I like- the powerlines, the overheard conversations, stuff like that.
City Lights

A Castro Goodbye to Falwell

In response to the death of the man who said, “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.” People were actually laughing and dancing on the “grave” set up at the corner of Castro and 18th. A couple more pics after the jump; I especially think the Tinky-Winky is a nice touch.

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