Archive for March, 2008

A beautiful Sunday

Grandview Park

The view from the top of Grandview Park yesterday afternoon. Man it was windy up there!

Together, Si Se Puede! (Yes, it can be done!)

Cesar E. ChavezToday is Cesar Chavez day in California. A holiday first established by the Cesar Chavez Foundation to honor the late Cesar Chavez. Chavez, a man who bettered working conditions for farmworkers in California and much of the United States passed away April 23rd, 1993. Fasting for 25 days in a show of non-violent protest, he lead the Farm Worker movement in it’s efforts to raise awareness of the miserable working conditions in California circa 1965. Also starting the national boycott of table grapes around 1970, “NO GRAPES” or “NO UVAS”.

Of note in Chavez’s history was his opposition to the Farm owners bringing illegal immigrants over the border as strikebreakers, although Chavez did support the ’86 federal immigration act.

The UFW during Chávez’s tenure was committed to restricting immigration. César Chávez and Dolores Huerta fought a federal law that prohibited hiring illegal immigrants in 1973. Later during the 1980s, while Chávez was still the UFW president, Dolores Huerta, the cofounder of the UFW, was key in getting the amnesty provisions into the 1986 federal immigration act. [2].


h/t to Ms. Banneker at the LA Metblog: Happy Birthday, Cesar Chavez

Weekend Forecast

This weekend brings partly cloudy skies, highs in the low 60’s and… lots of things to do! Here’s just a sampling…

  • The Whiskies of the World Expo takes place in SF today and tomorrow. Reserved seated tasting seminars with a list of world wide experts will commence at 3pm today.
  • From today through Sunday, hop across the bridge for the 4th Annual Western Regional Barista Competition at the Gaia Arts Center in Berkeley! Root on your local favorites and welcome the best coffee slingers in the west!
  • 826 Valencia is holding their 6th Annual Comedy Night, “A Night of a Thousand Scowls”, at Everett Middle School on Saturday. Featured comics include Bobby Lee, Tig Notaro, Al Madrigal, Jonathan Coulton (!!), Ian Edwards, and Davy Rothbart. All proceeds of course benefit 826 and their wonderful writing programs.
  • For the happy hacker in you, SuperHappyDevHouse 24 takes place this weekend as well. Collaborate, Create, Develop with some of the greatest creative and technical minds of the Bay Area!

Me, I’ll probably be checking out the Lee Friedlander exhibition at SFMOMA, which is on until May 18.

Check out what else is going on this weekend in the Bay Area!

SPCA Don’t Trust Controversial SF Art Institute Exhibit

deer in process of getting bludgeonedThe SF SPCA issued a condemnation today of an exhibit that’s been featured this month at the SF Art Institute, claiming that it is “barbaric and depraved”. Entitled “Don’t Trust Me”, the exhibition (originally slated to run through May 31 — but now canceled after outcry) was on display at 800 Chestnut St. and was featuring six short videos that are looped footage of animals getting hammered (and nope, we don’t mean getting drunk in North Beach ).

The critters, including an ox, a sheep, a horse, a pig, a goat, and a small deer are shown being beaten with a sledgehammer by the “artist”.

The invited presenting “artist”, born in Algeria, but based out of Paris, is Adel Abdessemed, who according to his own hype:

is open and generous, sensitive albeit controversial. For materials, he relies on bodily or embodied experiences (human and animal), ordinary household objects, industrial products, and even buildings. His work consists of the stark contrasts between beauty and violence, impulsiveness and rationality, romanticism and radicality, life and death.

Whatever ya wanna say about the guy, he’s from France and his money is worth more than yours these days, so there.

I actually wanna thank SFAI’s Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and animal hammering fan Hou Hanru for bringing this unique artistic endeavor to my attention, where I once might have had to travel to a Chino slaughterhouse to see similar art. Hou’s SFAI website bio says of his curatorial and department chairing expertise :

Hou is one of the first curators and thinkers to examine postmodern issues of nomadic identity, hybridity, globalized mobility, what he calls “in-betweeness,

Way to go Hou !!! You impressive idea thinker you !!! Keep it up and I bet our board of supes will be fighting over which street to name after you !!!

New daily flights from SFO to India via Shanghai

If your job has been outsourced to Mumbai and you want to go retain it in India, there’s a new option for you…

SFO will soon have Jet Airways as a new tenant, becoming the first Indian airline to fly from San Francisco to Mumbai and only the second airline worldwide to fly nonstop from San Francisco to Shanghai. The airline which also has codesharing with American Airlines, will begin SFO flights in May, and previously launched daily service from New York’s JFK and Newark airports, as well as Toronto within the past year.

The airline, which won an award for ‘Best Full Service Airline in India’ for the year 2007, touts it’s luxury class offerings ranging from First Class suites with private closets, dining tables for two, and 23″ flat-screens. The Premiere business class features “pods” with 73″-long totally flat beds. Even the Economy seats supposedly divy up more legroom than average and all customers can fiddle with hi-tech personal entertainment systems, complete with 200+ movies, games and Bose noise-canceling headphones.
A Business Class Pod
The Indian airline which was founded in 1993, also runs flights to and from Brussels, London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and Doha.

For more information, please visit:

Farmers Not Interested in City Take Over Of Their Farmer’s Market. Are You?

For over 25 years, dedicated family farmers and independent food purveyors from all over California have arrived at SF’s UN Plaza at dawn on Wednesdays & Sundays, setting up their temporary tents & tables to sell their produce and sundry products til about 5pm. Whether you like the wide array of greens or roasted nuts, dried fruits, dates, baked goods, cheeses, olive oils or even fresh fish & fowl, there’s something for everyone. Unlike the more pretentious and prosperous scene at the fashionable Ferry Building, this inauspicious & authentic farmer’s market is frequented by the denizens of the neighborhood, office workers on lunch break, old Chinese folks and some occasional tourists that find it upon emerging from BART. The prices are often half of what the other fancy farmer’s market might charge, and the scene about as bucolic and community orientated as one can get in “The Heart Of The City”.

If it wasn’t for the farmers & vendors who twice a week make the United Nations Plaza a lively civic gathering spot, the place is generally a desolate, if not dangerous empty expanse populated by sleepy doped up miscreants, drug dealers, ne’er do ‘ells, tweakers, stolen property salesmen and a spectacular variety of shady criminal thugs. The same city and it’s bloated bureaucracy, which had a big hand in letting the UN plaza slip into a symbolic cesspool of urban decay in the first place, now wants to manage the sole successful independently operated revitalizing factor in the area ? How uh, original…

The “Heart Of The City Farmer’s Market” at UN Plaza has long been organized and managed by an independent non-profit that was formed in 1981 starting with just 12 farmers, and some of the same vendors have been there since the inception. John Fernandez and his mother Christine Adams help manage the market that the city now has plans to “take over” after two+ decades, and they are not amused. Neither were at least a half dozen stall operators that I spoke to in an informal survey today, some who’ve been at UN Plaza since the very early days. They already dealt with this threat back in 1995, and here we go again, with a basically bankrupt bureaucracy that’s trying to dip it’s incompetent tentacles into something that isn’t broke, so why bother to fix it?

Sugar Pie & Sushi @ Yoshi’s

I’m on my way out the door to catch Sugar Pie DeSanto at Yoshi’s on Fillmore. I’ll be the guy with the front row table on the right hand side of the stage hootin & hollerin’…


For those unfamiliar with Sugar Pie, she’s a local treasure who was raised on Buchanan street, as well as Etta James cousin and an R&B recording artist since 1955 when she got her start on Federal Records courtesy Mr. Johnny Otis.

Back in the day she recorded tracks with her cousin Etta and Willie Dixon that were hits on the Chess & Checker labels, and she’s still going strong today with her latest CD “Refined Sugar” (found on iTunes).

I caught her last year at the San Francisco Blues Festival where she stole the set she shared with the aged Jimmy McCracklin’. I was impressed with this diminutive lady’s feisty persona, with her seasoned & saucy sense of fun and frivolity.


Geeks Gather

Hans Reiser & other stars of the Open Source movementWatch out at the corner of Market & Montgomery this week as software geeks with links to Linux may wanna lure you into a shifty Ubuntu User Group and other types of “free” love, with service contracts.

These traveling “Technology Strategists” ( i.e pasty & oft hefty men with telltale pony tails and glasses) will be circling the entrances and lobby of the Palace Hotel looking for blood this week as part of the Open Source Business Conference. Everyone from Googlers, to those folks at Kaplan who make those SAT prep classes to Microsoft’s minions will be vying for leads & likely sitting through numerous style imitation Power Point presentations…

expect a few jokes , like these to be going around:

% sh
$ PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense
no sense in pretending!

$ mkdir matter; cat >matter
matter: cannot create


Anyhow hear part of the software spiel via podcast or check out the Conference Website

Real E$tate $igns Of Troubled Time$

San Francisco commercial property owners are seeking lower assesment valuations, with the 10 biggest claiming a total drop in value of $1.2 billion, which means Gavin and the Supes potentially losing another $13.2 million in annual dough to play with. The New Jersey based investment group that owns Crocker Galleria downtown say that their marquee retail property alone has lost $242 million in value.

DataQuick has recently reported that …

“In the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area, the median home price fell 11.6 percent to $548,000 compared to a year earlier and 17.6 percent from the region’s peak median price of $665,000 last summer…as sales (volume) has dropped 36.7 percent last month from February 2007.”

These figures and stats can be reinforced as I observed that the normally thin classified pages of the suburban Concord Transcript newspaper last Thursday alone contained literally 5 1/2 jam packed pages of tiny typefaced foreclosure trustee sale notices…and even auctions in Gawd Forbid! the newest “shoreline” developments of San Francisco.

real estate bay.jpg

A’s Offering Cheap All You Can Eat Seats

With the combination of the sad steroids scandal shadowing baseball, and economic hard times bringing attendance down, Bud Selig and his boys have got a hard sell on their hands.

Leave it to “America’s Pastime” to pull through in a pinch, and in a country where half of all people are overweight, ya gotta keep fans fat & happy, so the teams are going all out this year…

The bloated innards of Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum will be filled with happy gorging bleacher bums this summer as the soon to be Fremont A’s offer up their take on the latest “innovative marketing” idea to hit MLB.

Hey corndog fans, have you ever craved “All You Can Eat” seating sections ?

Apparently the LA Dodgers started this ploy off a couple years ago, and it’s all the rage, with Nascar & Hockey Teams now doing it as well. Be amongst the first in the Bay Area to enjoy this symptom of our societal sickness, and an obsequious toast to obesity…

I know previous dollar hot dog nights in Oakland have long been an insanely popular tribute to the Bay Area’s reputation for gustatory excellence & impeccable taste, and if they throw in those nasty Nachos & bottomless Mountain Dews… now yer talking.

If you’d be interested in trying this out in April and filling your belly with an endless feast of soda pop, ice cream, franks and other ballpark cuisine health hazards, I’ve got discounted ticket code info below.

To purchase discount All-You-Can-Eat seats: visit and select one of the below listed games, and enter the coupon code: EATS

This will get you in for just $20 each (instead of the usual $35) to enjoy your privileged feasting section at the following select games in April…

Saturday, April 5 vs. Cleveland @ 1:05PM
Friday, April 18 vs. Kansas City @ 7:05PM
Tuesday, April 22 vs. Minnesota @ 7:05PM

Order the tickets online, then get on Bart & get yer butt down to 7000 Coliseum Way in Oakland…

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