Category Archives: Bay Area

Practically

Do you know those items of clothing you have in your closet that you don’t really find comfortable but you keep and wear because they are acceptably dressy and usually clean (unlike your favorite personal items ;). And yes, when you wear them, everyone you are working with thinks you are dressed fine, but you’re thinking “I’m wearing my stupid pants” or “my scratchy shirt” or “the one with that makes you look like a banker”.

I had a pair of Brooks Brothers khaki pants that I could wear to almost any meeting, but they always felt like a uniform yet I always took good care of them because they were practical and well made.

Welp, yesterday we helped Tom celebrate his impending nuptials by playing paintball and other good, clean fun activites. I wore those damn khaki pants knowing they’d get trashed and I could never wear again.

We had a ball and they got trashed. Thanks Tom, we’re all so psyched for the both you you. Juni too! =)

2 Dogs 1 Hole, Best Case/Worst Case and Pixmund & The Sea Monsters

Moxie and Pixley Wigglebottom (and Merci and Justing and Molly and I) had a great doggie day at Fort Funston this week.

Hole Swappin’

Super Worm Breeding

Pixmund & The Sea Monsters

[If you don’t see the videos, click through to the entry]

To leave comments on any video, click through and click on thumbnail to get to video’s page.

Pixley is one of 18 Danish Swedish Farmdogs of Dogster. How cool is that?

Realtime Data on California Wildfires on CA.gov

About 5 years ago I decided to stop watching local news because of the paucity of news that is actually covered. Lately I’ve been skipping local print news outlets as well. So though I knew about the rampant numbers of wildfires in California, I knew very little. I’ll sheepishly admit I did not even realize that the reason the recent sunsets (that made me recall time ins Loas, Bangladesh and Indonesia) was due to the heavy smoke in the air.

So this morning I wanted to get an understanding of the “1,000 wildfires”. Let me be the last to report, it’s awful out there. Up and down the state of California dozens hundreds of fires are destroying forests, human residences and animal habitats. Lighting strikes (many not even associated with storms) as turning the tinder into roaring fires.

But I wrote this entry because I was surprised and impressed by the up-to-date and highly informative web-based information and data being shared by state and civic agencies and a couple print media outlets.

CAL Fire, The CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, has a very up-to-date, data-rich website.

This is a section of a PDF updated as of this morning at 8am


 
This chart is from a larger PDF this is updated weekly.

(Go to the CAL Fire incident homepage to see links to the most up-to-date PDFs)

 
California’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) has made available an interactive Google Map to details active fires, new fires, contained fires, shelters and other resources.


 
The Sacramento Bee is adding the CA OES interactive map with links to photos from fires they have covered. They also have an extensive photo slideshow.

 
The CA OES also posts smoke plume maps. Here’s a screen shot.

How to vote in CA and Bay Area June 3rd, 2008

California votes again. There are plenty of races and ballots that I have little or no opinion on. There are, however, a couple critical items that there is only one way to vote on. For those I offering guidance on how to cast your vote.

CALIFORNIA STATE BALLOT MEASURES
Prop. 98 : NO
By allowing eminent domain you allow for the end of rent control. Rent control is half the reason why San Francisco is San Francisco and Oakland is Oakland. Even landlords want rent control as though they may lose out on some peak revenue during frothy times, it means they are much more likely to not be vacant when things turn bad … and they always do. This is an attempt to modify the California constitution to abolish rent control, not a local initiative. Do not be misled.

Prop. 99 : Yes
99 would mean developers and landlords will no longer be able to use eminent domain to take control of properties and land.

SAN FRANCISCO PROPOSITIONS
Prop. D: Yes
Diversity is important. Require the city to appoint more women, minorities, and people with disabilities to city boards and commissions.

Prop. F: YES
Rebuild Hunters Point the way the community has come together and decided it should be done.

Prop. G: NO
The wording in this prop, also designed to rebuild the Hunter’s Point district sounds idyllic as they come, but it’s all promise without firm commitments based upon the efforts of an out-of-state developer. This is a junk proposition. Do not be fooled.

Out and About in SF with ICHC’s Ben Huh

I met up today with Ben Huh, CEO of ICanHasCheezburger.com to catch up and take in some SF culture. We hit the galleries and the graf and street-style stores in the Lower Haight and then took in the finishing touches of a 3-story LOL Cat mural painted by Josh aka Jazlink .

Fifty24 Gallery
Hit the lower haight w/ ben huh (ICHC)

Ben Huh / Armsrock

D*Face Stencil

Cosco Busan street stencil
Three color stencil of the Cosco Busan accident
Seeing this made me think how events become part of a shared consciousness and mold culture.

Art at D-Structure

The Chicken Colonel is Lord

Lower Haters
Spidey Senses Tingling
8-bit art piece that says “My Spidey Senses are Tingling.” Yes if you really insist you can buy this piece of art for me.

Invisible Bike Mural, Quincy St, SF
Three story Invisible Bike at Quincy St.

O Hai!
LOL-on-LOL

Looking at all these photos I realize something very important … I gotta figure out how to clean the lense on my camera phone or bring my real camera with me more often.

Pride of Madeira: Bay Area Beauty

Photo By Madeira Walking, hosted by Flickr

Northern California nurtures a wealth of blue and purple blossoms (a phenomena that has led me in fruitless queries for some geographical or meteorological explanation), but my favorite is the Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans).

A migrant from the Portuguese island of Madeira off the coast of NW Africa, once a specimen establishes itself, the plant can withstand xeric (drought-like) conditions, blasting winds and sustained periods of rain. Most of the ones I see around the Bay Area grew naturally, though they make a superb addition to any sizable yard. If you live around here and haven’t paid much notice before you’ll see them all over the place. They are in bloom for another month but I believe they’ve already hit their peak for the year. Take time when checking out their massive bloom cone as also highly appreciated by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Photo by Kasey Kasey, posted on Flickr

Photo by Tigotigs, hosted on Flickr

Photo by

Photo credits: (all hosted by Flickr)
1. Madeira Walking
2. Kasey Kasey
3. Tigotigs
4. tzejen

California and Oregon Ban Salmon Fishing: Salmon So F*cked

The salmon population in the Pacific of the Wester U. S. is so decimated the Pacific Fishery Management Council has enacted a complete ban on all commercial and recreational chinook fishing.

This is not something that has happened before, ever. Since humans have lived in North America there have always been massive populations of chinook salmon. Now it’s in danger of collapsing altogether.

In September 1996 I was in Forks of Salmon at the confluence of the North and South branch of the Salmon River which dumps into the Klamath 100 miles south of the Oregon boarder. The 25 foot wide river was full of spawning and dying salmon. I just did some Googling and 2005 was the lowest salmon count to date (325 salmon came up the river vs. 6,000 the year I was last there) and in 2006 salmon fishing was halted in the entire Klamath system.

View Larger Map

There are only a handful of non-dammed rivers on the West Coast and the inland water ways, such as the Sacramento Delta is “a sewer.” Have you ever been to Los Baños off the I-5 near Fresno? It’s a dusty dry agri-business of seeming no redemption. I recently learned the San Joaquin River, the mighty river that roars out of the Souther Sierra supported huge salmon fishing operations all the down in Los Baños, now you wouldn’t even want to swim in the San Joaquin, it’s full of fertilizer/chemical runoff. Below is why the population of salmon on the San Joaquin is zero:

Today, the journey for that same fish is an impossibility. To reach its native spawning grounds, it must navigate a gauntlet of dams and reservoirs, pass by 11 power plants and circumvent 500 miles of canals. In two sections of the river that account for approximately 60 miles between Fresno and the San Joaquin River Delta, there is no water at all.

Here’s the state of the water quality as it approached Stockton, CA

A trip to Stockton, 40 miles east of San Francisco, reveals the seriousness of the San Joaquin’s “secondary” problems. The river here is a brew of fertilizer, algae, pesticides and sewage. In late October, the water is the color of chocolate milk.

It’s estimated it would take years years of major state works to clean up the river.

It should come as no surprise to any person that we have harvested fish like they were buffalo while we concurrently pollute, dilute and reduce their habitats. We all know we’re changing our world to benefit our lives in other ways. It’s just very important that we know the real cost/benefit equation and not delude ourselves to the real expense our existence is almost certainly costing the fragile little lifesource that is the planet earth.