Thursday, December 31, 2009

Buy It . . .

A little self promotion never hurt...right?

Loyal Readers the 2010 Just Jon Junk product line has arrived and is now available for purchase at the following link:

Just Jon Junk 2010

If you still want to purchase something from the 2009 collection, it can be ordered from this link:

Just Jon Junk

Both shops can be accessed from the Just Jon Junk Store. (See link to the left.)

The Song Of The Day - Money Can't Buy It by Annie Lennox

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Time . . .

Fake crackling fire on the television.


Christmas Tree decorated.


Seasons Greetings Loyal Readers! I wish you all a happy holidays!

My celebration will begin shortly when my parents arrive for our first Christmas gathering in San Francisco!

The Song Of The Day - All That I Want by The Weepies

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Downtown Lights . . .

Why do I love December in the City?

Because of the holiday lights and decorations.

Even thought they are the same decorations every year, I still get excited the first chilly night when I see the Embarcadero Center lit up.

Some of you may remember the above picture. I liked the giant red Christmas tree ornaments so much I used the image as my Christmas card one year. I still have this picture posted on my refrigerator.

Even the Bay Bridge looks more festive in December.

Finally, there are the Market Street snowflake lights. This picture does not do them justice.

Happy Holidays in the City by the Bay!

The Song Of The Day - Downtown Lights by Annie Lennox

Sunday, November 22, 2009

They Have Seen The Beauty . . .

For three weeks I have been trying to avoid posting an entry about my drive along the Road To Hana.

The Road To Hana is about the journey; not the destination. This is because there really isn't anything in the actual town of Hana. But the journey is filled with beautiful waterfalls, black sand beaches, trees, and bridges. Lots of bridges. All one lane.

It is recommended to start the trip to Hana by 8am. That will allow you time to get there and to turn around to go back.

I had purchased a CD called "Maui's Premiere Musical Adventure, Hana Audio Tour." The instructions said to pop the CD in when you get to the Big K (Kmart) on the corner of Hana Highway. The CD features two locals who talk you through the three hour journey to Hana. The CD was great because it also contained songs by many local Maui musicians.

I highly suggest that if you take the Road To Hana while using an audio CD; listen to the CD once before starting your trip. That way you will not spend time skipping back tracks trying to make sure you had made the right turn.

So I have been avoiding this post because I took about 200 photos along the Road To Hana.

Yes, I did leave at eight in the morning.

Yes, its true, I didn't get back to the hotel until close to seven at night.

Yes, I was completely exhausted by the end of the day.

But it was quite a beautiful adventure and there was no way I was going to be able to narrow down those 200 photos to just five or six to post on this blog. That would just not do the trip justice.

So I am trying something new. I picked the 84 of what I consider the best photos and I created a slide show to share with you the Loyal Readers. The video makes the photos a little blurry but I think you will still get the beauty of the trip.

Please enjoy The Road To Hana.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You'll Be Right Here With Me . . .

Last Monday my Grandmother passed away.

I thought it would be nice to share some memories of my Grandmother with you the Loyal Readers.

Just Jon would also like to thank guest editor Big B (a.k.a. his brother Brian) for helping to compile this list of memories about Grandma.

For the first ten years of my life, my brother and I were the youngest of the grand kids. This guaranteed several things:

1. We always sat at a separate "Kids Table" in the kitchen for all holiday and family get togethers.
2. For Christmas, Grandma would make us either a set of pajamas or a bath robe. She would also put a Hot Wheels car in the box.
3. At Christmas and Easter, the end of evening always came with a "cup" or "plastic egg" full of little chocolates.

My Grandmother was smart. She had a subscription to National Geographic, she traveled the world, and she loved to do cross word puzzles.

Maybe that is why when my brother and I were the youngest, outings with Grandma usually involved something educational.

Big B said that one of his "Top Five" trips with Grandma was the tour of the Queen Mary. I remember that trip as well, and I think I still have my souvenir post card set.

I countered the Queen Mary trip with my memory of going to see a traveling exhibit of Jim Henson's Muppets. Big B got a little plastic Fozzie Bear and I got a little plastic Animal as a souvenir on that trip. For some reason I think that trip also included an art exhibit of "giant angels." I could be wrong.

Big B's next favorite trip was to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA. That camping trip was also memorable because we both took separate trips to the emergency room. I think he had strep throat and I needed stitches after an ill fated dive into the campground pool.

My next choice was the La Brea Tar Pits.

Big B came back with Fairfax. This was long before The Grove shopping center existed. We went to go to Farmer's Market for lunch and window shopping. Big B said that this is where he bought his "SC" mug that he still uses.

Going with the farm theme, I brought up the time we went to the Ventura County Fair. I remembered two things about this trip. First, we got caught in some running of the pigs which I remember being very scary. Second, we got to go on one "ride" and my brother and I chose the Fun House. The only problem was, we never figured how to get into the fun house and eventually gave up after trying to climb up the exit slide.

Finally, Big B brought up the trip to the "Blue Whale" shopping center. Now I have to quote my brother on this one. He said, "it was in the middle of nowhere." I will say, as a child, I too thought we had gone to the end of the earth to see that mall. Reality is, the "Blue Whale" is more commonly known as the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Ave. between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive. So I guess we were still in the center of it all.

Above is the most recent picture of Grandma with my mother and I. Whenever I came down to Southern California I always made a point to stop in and visit with Grandma.

In addition to the memories that my brother and I just shared, my favorite memory is one that just involved Grandma and I.

Grandma loved sushi. About ten years ago Grandma and I went on a date. I picked her up in my little black BMW and we headed over the Conejo Grade to Agoura where we went to a little Sushi Restaurant. I remember she seemed so happy.

In more recent years, when she was less mobile, sometimes I would go to the grocery store and pick us up some pre-made sushi. It was no where near as good as what you would get in a restaurant, but we would sit at the kitchen table and enjoy our "California" and "Unagi" rolls.

I think that is what I will miss the most, my sushi dates with Grandma.

So Grandma, I will think of you when I eat sushi, and I will think of Grandpa when I have a warm beer.

Ahh, who am I kidding, I am not going to drink a warm beer. Sorry Grandpa, I still don't understand why you liked that.

The Song Of The Day - Right Here (Departed) by Brandy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stop The Press . . .

I interrupt this blog to bring you this special report!

You may remember back in August I posted an entry about a photo of me that was being used in an online marketing campaign for my Company.

Yesterday, I was told that the photo, along with 47 others, appear in a print advertisement in the Fall 2009 issue of Good magazine. This issue is on newsstands now!

I had never heard of Good magazine until yesterday, but I can confirm that it does exist.

When I joked that I had finally become a Gap model I didn't realize that I really was a Gap model.

*And yes Dad, it is a $6.00 magazine!

The Song Of The Day - Batdance by Prince

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Come Fly With Me . . .

Tuesday was all about flying high. I had to get up early and make the 45 minute drive back to the airport because I had booked an early morning helicopter tour.

The activity booth salesman had recommended that I take the Molokai Tour. This tour would include views of West Maui and the Island of Molokai.

I had never been in a helicopter before and as a precautionary measure I wore my "sea sickness" wrist bands.

After a brief safety lesson, myself and four other passengers had life vests strapped to our waist and we were quickly walked out onto the heliport. They then guided each of us under the spinning propeller of the helicopter so that we could have our picture taken.

Seriously, couldn't they have taken our picture without the ridiculously looking yellow life vest fanny pack thing that they insisted be worn as shown in the photo above. I don't even like the above picture, but since it was the only one I have of me and the helicopter I felt like I had to buy it. Also, be sure to take note of the dumb pilot in the cockpit giving the "hang loose" sign.

I was fortunate enough, or so I thought, to get a window seat. We were told seating was solely based on our body weight. Although, I found it very funny that for $50 extra dollars I could have "guaranteed" the front seat. Suddenly, weight was not an issue if you showed them the cash. I was just fine sitting in the back row.

The helicopter gently lifted off the ground and floated up to our cruising altitude. Despite being a little overcast the view was pretty cool.

Cool, but not spectacular. Considering how much a 55 minute flight costs; I was really hoping for spectacular.

The water below was so clear you could see the coral reef.

The tour was with Sunshine Helicopters and the pilot's name was Steve. Steve was a real talker. He told the same joke twice. Don't believe me? I have the proof. I bought the DVD of our flight. Steve told us about how he flew in the military. He told us how he used to be an aerobics instructor on TV in the 1980's. He passed around a picture of himself as an aerobics instructor in the 1980's. His most recent claim to fame was that he was the pilot who flew Reid and Jillian around the Island on the last season of The Bachelorette. Steve yapped for the entire 55 minutes. This was a one way conversation because we all were wearing headsets that prevented him from being able to hear us.

After crossing the Pailolo channel we reached Molokai. This is where we saw Hawaii's tallest waterfalls. Then we crossed over a mountain to the arid side of the Island where Steve was able to spot some animals running along the bluffs.

When Steve was "chasing" out animals from under the brush he was really excited.

"Here, I'll spin around so that you can see them again."

It was about then that I realized I was not feeling so great.

"Really Steve, you don't need to spin us around. I saw it good enough the first time."

I found myself closing my eyes at times, taking deep breaths, and trying not to get sick.

Then Steve said, "Hey everyone, how about we fly over to the Island of Lanai so that you can see that one too!"

"Really? I would be totally fine if we called it a day and headed back to the airport!"

"Just fifteen more minutes, just fifteen more minutes, just fifteen more minutes," became my mantra.

We eventually made it back to the airport.

As we were waiting in the lobby to preview the DVD of our flight I heard one of the other passengers say she wasn't feeling so well.

"Oh my God, I am so glad you said something, because I was feeling sick the whole time," I said.

It turns out dare devil Steve's piloting had actually made all five of us nauseous.

I bought the DVD of our flight not because of the stunning imagery, since it is kinda hazy throughout the video; but more because I wanted to see the parts that I had closed my eyes for.

It is also really funny because there are points where the camera was filming us in the cockpit and you can see when I start to not feel so good. Suddenly I become extremely focused on adjusting the overhead air conditioning vent.

Now, when I planned the activities for Tuesday I didn't really think about the fact that I might get sick on the helicopter tour. So it probably wasn't the best idea to book parasailing for that afternoon.

Fortunately, my "sea sickness" wrist bands kicked in and I did not get sick on the parasailing boat.

Tuesday had really strong winds and the water was rough.

The parasail operators were having a very hard time launching the parachute because of the wind. It was so windy that even though I was a single rider they made one of the other passengers go up with me because they didn't think I weighed enough.

This is the second time I have gone parasailing and once again it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that I highly recommend.

After parasailing I was done for the day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pass That Dutch . . .

Monday I didn't have anything planned. I went back to the town of Lahaina to stop at one of those infamous activity booths so that I could discuss booking what activities I wanted to do for the rest of the week.

After a very expensive breakfast that included a $9.00 cup of coffee, I plotted out the rest of my week.

Monday was going to be a free day and I would spend the afternoon soaking up the sun on beach at the resort.

Loyal Readers who are also on Facebook know why I took the above picture. As I was walking around the town of Lahaina on three separate occasions in two days I had people come up and offer me marijuana.

I should have responded with, "Umm, hello, my hotel is totally non-smoking!" I don't think they would have seen the humor in that though.

My joke on Facebook was, "Apparently Stocky Bald White Guy translates to "Pot Head" in Hawaii."

I took the above picture as photographic evidence that maybe the bucket hat and Crocs I was wearing caused the locals to profile me as a "Pot Head."

One conspiracy theorist stated that they thought it was undercover police officers trying to catch tourists buying drugs. I doubt it.

After my day of soaking up the sun I had dinner and then once again drove back to Lahaina to go to Maria Lanakila Catholic Church.

The church was having a prayer service from 7 to 9 PM in thanksgiving to God for the gift of newly canonized Saint Damien of Molokai. The prayer service would include the presence of the reliquary bearing a bone fragment of Saint Damien which was making its way from Rome back to the Cathedral in Honolulu.

I misunderstood the bulletin and thought it was going to be an open adoration from 7 to 9 PM and didn't realize it was a prayer service starting at 7 PM. I arrived about twenty minutes into the service but just in time to line up to take a turn placing my hand on the reliquary to say a prayer to Saint Damien. This whole process was very regimented by the Knights of Columbus in full dress.

After the service they handed everyone a metal with Saint Damien on one side and an image of Maria Lanakila church on the other side.

On my way back to the resort I stopped off at Barnes And Noble Bookseller for a frappuccino and picked up a copy of "Holy Man - Father Damien Of Molokai" by Gavan Daws to learn more about the man who ministered to the lepers in Kalawao.

Sunday Morning . . .

Sunday morning I was off to an early start as I headed into the town of Lahaina for 8:30 AM mass at Maria Lanakila Catholic Church. It was 80 degrees and no air conditioning, just a bunch of open windows and some ceiling fans. Mass ran long as I think the priest wanted to make a connection with each person that he gave communion to.

After church I set out to explore the town of Lahaina. I soon came upon the famous Banyan tree. The tree is located behind the old court house and takes up almost the entire park!

After spending some time at the Banyan Tree, I continued to explore Front Street along the water. It was here that I saw this old sunken boat in the ocean.

After strolling up and down Front Street I finally decided on a place to eat and had a delicious breakfast burrito with tropical salsa.

Refreshed from my meal, I decided to drive across the Island to the town of Wailea because I knew there used to be a Gap there.

Yes, I needed to continue my Shopping Mall Tour Of America and find the Shops At Wailea.

I found the mall and had a good chuckle when I discovered that the only Gap on Maui was a women's only store. As I stood in the store for several minutes I reflected on the fact that it was full of winter sweaters and puffy vests and it was 87 degrees and humid outside!


After exploring the rest of the mall I headed back to the resort.

I decided I would buy a ticket for the hotel's on site Luau for the evening.

The Luau was an all you can eat buffet with traditional Island fare and delicacies. It was also an open bar with standard cocktails, beer, wine, sodas and fruit punch.

After dinner The Myths of Maui show began with singing and dancing. The evening culminated with a Fire Dance Finale.

I was seated at a long table with a woman named Toni who had nothing positive to say about this Luau experience. It was NOT up to her expectations.

Frankly, I thought it was fine. I wasn't expecting much from a Luau at the hotel that is put on nightly. It was exactly what I thought it would be.

Toni was also willing to share her thoughts on everything! The town of Oxnard, where she and her husband own a condo, religion, TV weatherman, The Gap, local tours on Maui, airlines, and probably more things that I have already forgotten about. Thank God the show started or I think she would still be talking to me.

After the Luau it was time for bed.

The Song Of The Day - Sunday Morning by No Doubt

Vacation . . .

About a month ago I was reviewing my paycheck stub when I noticed my vacation balance. I had reached the cap once again and was no longer going to earn vacation hours until I brought that balance down.

Here's the thing; I have taken time off already this year, but my balance is still extremely high from my time working in stores. That being said, I looked at my work schedule and it seemed like I might be able to take some time off.

Normally, this situation would result in a "staycation." A week of waking up by 10am to catch The View followed by several more hours of television, a shower by 1pm, a trip to a mall by 3pm, followed by some food, and more TV. Then I would repeat the process the next day.

This time I wanted to do something. That something ended up being a spur of the moment trip to Maui which was an Island I had never been to before. I was a little apprehensive because I was going to be taking this trip by myself and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy 7 days and 6 nights alone. With the encouragement of my co-workers I booked the trip.

My intention was to blog about the experience daily so that the Loyal Readers could enjoy the trip too. Unfortunately, the hotel did not offer free Internet access and I was too cheap to pay for it. That resulted in the two brief "picture" posts last week. I was trying "mobile" blogging from my iPhone and I wrote this whole piece about the first day of the trip only to discover that it would upload either the photo or the written content but not both. At that point I decided to scrap the whole blogging idea and just enjoy the trip.

Now, I have lots of pictures to share with you! I hope you enjoy my trip to Maui (one week later.)

I booked my trip through

My flight was on United. One tip that I learned is that you can save five dollars on your checked bag fee if you check the bag in over the Internet prior to arriving at the airport.

I stayed at the Royal Lahaina Resort in what was supposed to be a "Garden View" room. I was pleasantly surprised that my "Garden View" room actually had a view from the ocean to the mountain when standing on the balcony. See photos above. The resort was great. It featured several swimming pools and a white sand beach that was never crowded.

That being said, the Royal Lahaina Resort was not actually in Lahaina. It was about ten minutes past Lahaina; which was about an hour from the airport.

The Song Of The Day - Vacation by The Go-Go's

Friday, October 23, 2009

UPDATE - Pigeons . . .

Update - The Pigeons have been evicted!

When I got home from work on Thursday there was a package on my doormat.

There was a composting bucket to comply with the City's mandatory composting law that recently went into effect and a notice.

The notice said that the building owner had "netted" the top of the light wells between the apartment units to prevent the Pigeons from coming back.

Woo Hoo!

The Song Of The Day - Sally's Pigeons by Cyndi Lauper

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cool On Your Island . . .

This past weekend was the Third Annual Treasure Island Music Festival. The two day event featured 26 performers from around the world. My friend Shagun and I attended Saturday.

Treasure Island is a man made island in the San Francisco Bay and it was closed to regular vehicle traffic over the weekend. In order to get to the festival ticket holders had to board shuttle buses at AT&T Park. Despite the extremely large crowd, the event planners kept the lines moving fairly quickly.

Once in line I was tempted to sell my ticket because people were offering to pay double the face value of the tickets for this sold out event.

Once on the island, we were able to wander through the "Treasure Chest" of food and merchandise booths. There was also a midway, ferris wheel, and several interactive attractions.

Everything at the event had a "pirate" theme.

The above photos are from the Pirate Photo Booth.

I really only wanted to go to the festival to see one of the twenty six acts. I wanted to see The Streets. The Streets is a rapper from England. I first heard his music on the play list when I worked for American Eagle. His raps were not only catchy because of his Birmingham accent, but also his knack for rhyme.

The Streets did not disappoint. He even jumped into the crowd at the end and crowd surfed.

Throughout the festival there were roaming stilt walkers, hula hoopers, and double dutch jump ropers.

The crowd was pretty young and most of them looked like they had just come from shopping at an American Apparel clothing store.

All in all it was a good day and a good show.

I am glad that Shagun and I did not stay till the end of the event because apparently that efficient shuttle bus system was not so efficient at the end of the day. One of my co-workers said they waited in line for three hours to catch a bus back to the city!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lost In A Melody . . .

Loyal Readers, once again I have stumbled upon the rare species known only as "White Person" in a natural free and uninhibited state.

Fear not, because the White Person does not attack unless provoked and I maintained a safe distance at all times.

This time I was able to document the "White Person" performing the drunkus intoxicatious mating dance.

Please enjoy this rarely caught on tape brief moment of "dance."

The Song Of The Day - Lost In A Melody by The Delays

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Keep On Waiting . . .

This weekend was Fleet Week in San Francisco. If you don't know anything about Fleet Week, it's kind of a big deal around here. The festivities reach a pinnacle on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 to 4 pm when there is an Air Show above the Bay. The biggest act in the Air Show is the Blue Angels.

This years Fleet Week was at risk of not even happening due to the economic down turn which resulted in the inability to secure proper funding to pay for the event. At the last minute CVS/Pharmacy came in as a corporate sponsor and provided the needed cash to keep the event going.

The first event of Fleet Week is supposed to be a parade of ships crossing under the Golden Gate Bridge at 11:30 AM. At 11:29 I perched myself in front of the window to watch the boats.

Off in the distance I could see a fire boat crossing under the bridge shooting streams of water into the air.

All right here we go!

The fire boat was followed by what looked like a small Navy vessel.

OK, maybe the big one is coming next.


That was about it.

Kind of a let down.

The Air Show started at 12:30. This is my fourth time seeing the show and it is pretty much the same thing every year.

Some stunt planes, a blimp, a passenger jet, a couple fighter jets, some more stunt planes, the Canadians (as seen in the photo above.) You get the picture.

The truth is most people are only here to see the Blue Angels. They want to hear those jets roar across the Bay at 3 PM.

Finally three O'clock rolled around and it was time for the Blue Angels. Their performance always starts out with a larger cargo plane barreling above Van Ness Ave. heading straight toward Alcatraz Island on the Bay.

Car alarms began to sound due to the sonic vibrations this plane put out!

Woo Hoo here we go!

And then there they were, the Blue Angels had arrived!

People on roof tops across the City began to cheer in unison.

The Blue Angels made their second pass and came around for a third.

They were only about ten minutes into their performance when they disappeared into the distance.

Hmmm, I don't remember them doing that before.

And so we waited.

Me and the thousands of people who had lined the water front.

Five minutes.

Ten minutes.

I don't think they are coming back.

I ran to the computer to check the Fleet Week web site for updates.

"Parade of ships cancelled due to rough waters."

Oh, that explains why the ship parade was such a let down.

About ten minutes later there was a small blurb that said, "Blue Angels grounded due to fog!"

People were clearly upset.

I think they were not as upset because the Blue Angels were grounded; but more upset that there was never an official announcement that the show was over.

The one piece of silver lining was that weather permitting the Blue Angels would still fly on Sunday.

Well Sunday was even gloomier than Saturday.

Then SF Gate reported that the Blue Angels would still fly at 3 o'clock but with a modified version of their show.

Below is a brief video I took from the roof of my apartment building.

The Song Of The Day - Bye Bye Baby by Madonna

Sunday, October 4, 2009

O...Saya . . .

On Saturday, my friends and I went to "Film Night In The Park" for the final show of the season. Presented by the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, the event is free with a suggested donation of $6.00.

As you can see in the above photo, even before the sun went down, it was very cold and the bottle of wine I brought didn't warm me up.

The movie being presented was Slumdog Millionaire.

The movie was great, but I have to share a funny story from the evening.

As I was preparing to for the night in the park I layered up with jackets, fleece and a ski cap. I had a beach towel and a yoga mat to sit on. The yoga mat had come with my Wii Fit and I had never actually taken it out of the shrink wrap.

So I am riding the elevator down in my apartment building with a young lady who lives on the floor below me. We strike up a conversation and she notices the yoga mat in my bag.

"Where do you do yoga?" she asks.

"Oh...Uh...Ya, See...I don't actually do yoga. I am going to use this to sit on in the park. The mat came with my Wii Fit and I've never used it."

This was right up there with the time in college when I bought a babyGap diaper bag to carry my books and used the changing pad to sit on the grass during breaks. When people would ask me where I found such a functional bag I was never sure if I should tell them the truth.

And just like in college, the young lady didn't really have much to say after my revelation.

The highlight of the night was when I was waiting for the bus to go home. I looked down on the ground and there was a $20.oo bill. Instead of just grabbing it, I pointed it out to the crowd of people waiting for the bus and asked if anyone had lost a 2o? No one claimed it, and they all said I should take it. No arguments there.

The Song Of The Day - O...Saya by AR Rahman and M.I.A.

This House . . .

My fellow blogger and friend, Redhead Jen, is a member of The Junior League of San Francisco. On Saturday the JLSF presented the 15th Annual Home Tour.

For $65, ticket holders were given the opportunity to tour five homes in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. The street had been blocked off to create a Marketplace for artisan vendors. And these homes, they were not homes, they were mansions.

To put it in perspective, the first house on the tour is currently on the market for $12.9 million and features the stand alone bath tub as shown in the photo above. Check out the view you would have from your bubble bath!

The five houses on the tour ranged from traditional classic turn of the century architecture that had been lovingly restored to a house with a garden that features a renewable closed loop hydroponic growing system.

At first, I was a little turned off by the idea of paying $65 to tour five houses. But as I walked through the homes and admired the one with a "gift wrap room" and "putting green" in the bedroom, I realized that this might be the only time I will ever see inside these amazing residences.

The Song Of The Day - This House by Tracie Spencer

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life Is Wonderful . . .

Sometimes riding the bus turns out to be an enjoyable experience.

Take for instance yesterday morning's commute to work on the 47. The gentleman in the above photo had a ukulele that he played while singing softly the whole ride.

I think he was channeling his inner Jason Mraz.

The Song Of The Day - Life Is Wonderful by Jason Mraz

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leather . . .

Every year on the last Sunday in September the Folsom Street Fair is held. This street fair is the world's largest "Leather" event and it spans five blocks South of Market.

Everyone who lives in the City claims that you have to experience the fair at least once.

This year three friends and I decided to brave the event.

In the above picture we had just arrived and were ready to have a fun time.

One block in and our outlook had totally changed. Clearly we were over dressed for the occasion.

Call me conservative, call me prudish, but seriously these are the only two publishable pictures that were taken the whole day.

The street fair is kind of like a car wreck, you know you shouldn't look, but you can't seem to turn away.

All I can say is I may never recover from the things I have seen.

The Song Of The Day - Leather by Tori Amos

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Give A Little Bit Of My Love To You . . .

On Sept 27, 2009 the retail world lost one of the greats when Don Fisher, co-founder of The Gap, passed away at the age of 81.

I started working at The Gap when I was nineteen years old. Immediately I felt a sense of belonging. A sense that can only be equated with being part of a family. "Family" is often the term I have used to describe my co-workers. They are all part of the Gap Family.

That sense of family I truly believe cascaded down from the top. And the top was synonymous with two names; Don and Doris Fisher.

As a sales associate in the field; the Fisher's garnered the same respect and awe as Hollywood celebrities. The Fisher's were and are Gap royalty. And as a Gap employee I felt I was part of their family.

I have had the honor and privilege to be in the presence of Mr. Fisher on several occasions.

The first time I saw Mr. Fisher in person was when I had just transitioned from the field to the corporate office. I was eating lunch in the cafeteria when I realized that Mr. Fisher was sitting at the table behind me. I was giddy with excitement to be that close to the founder of the company that I so much loved to work for.

What impressed me most was that Mr. Fisher ate at a table right there in the cafeteria with all the rest of the employees. He didn't separate himself. He sat with his people. On numerous occasions I saw Mr. Fisher like this in the cafeteria.

In typical Just Jon fashion, my one personal interaction with Mr. Fisher was kind of embarrassing.

I was heading toward the exit of the office building when I saw Mr. Fisher was walking toward the door to come in. I slowed down so that I could hold the door open for him.

Normally, when you hold the door open for someone they say "thank you" for doing so.

I was so excited to be in his presence that as I held the door open, I said "thank you" to him.

Mr. Fisher looked a little confused by my statement, but nodded his head and continued on his way.

What I was trying to convey was that I was so thankful for having the opportunity to be a part of his organization. I was thankful to be a part of this family that he had created. I knew that working for The Gap had helped to define me and mold me into the person I am today. I was thankful and I wanted him to know that.

This past year I was able to see Mr. and Mrs. Fisher speak to the headquarters employees. Like celebrities, they received a standing ovation as they entered the room. As they told their stories I was moved. They have touched so many lives around the world and made them better. Why? Because the Fisher's promote giving back to the community. They lead by example.

My thoughts are not only with the Fisher Family, but the entire Gap Family during this time of loss. And once again Mr. Fisher, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the family.

The Song Of The Day - Give A Little Bit by Supertramp

Above photo from Individuals - Portraits From The Gap Collection, Melcher Media

Box . . .

So remember how for a year and a half we were inundated with television and radio commercials announcing the government mandated change that would require the shift of television broadcast from analog to digital format?

Remember how those same commercials said that you would need a converter box if you were still using an antenna to get your television signal?

Yes, well I thought I was exempt from all that because I had cable TV.

Then last May I received a call from my cable provider who told me that I needed to sign up for a cable box if I wanted to continue to watch television. I quickly informed her that it would not be necessary to get this box because I was using cable already. She told me that I was incorrect and that come June 12th, 2009 I would need her magic digital box converter. Then she told me the box was "Free!"

I then had a lengthy conversation about how I was not willing to pay any more for my cable services and that I wanted to make sure there were no hidden fees and that my bill would not be going up just because I agreed to get her magic box.

She assured me she was on the up and up and that I had nothing to fear. My cable bill would not go up.

So I agreed that she should send me the box right away.

That week a big black box arrived in the mail complete with lots of cables, a new remote, the aforementioned magic box and more instruction booklets than I would ever want to read.

The whole thing was overwhelming. I started to think about how I was still getting all the channels I was supposed to get and how I still thought the lady was wrong and that I didn't really need the box. So with that I decided to shove the magic box into the back of my closet and enjoy my nightly television shows.

I thought if anything on June 12th I may have to pull the box out of the closet and hook it up.

June 12th came and went and my television channel line up did not change.

Ha! I knew I was right! I didn't need your magic box after all.

Over the next few months I forgot all about my magic box in the back of the closet.

Then on Tuesday this past week I came home from work and flipped on the TV to watch a little AC 360 while I ate dinner.

Uh oh....Snow! How about MTV? Snow! VH-1? Snow! E!? Snow! Bravo? Snow! Lifetime? Snow!

I was still able to get the network television broadcasts, but I never watch those channels.

Dinner quickly got shoved aside.

I need to find that magic box in the back of my closet!

I cracked open the box and started quickly scanning the numerous instruction manuals.

"Upon receipt of this package, please call our 1-800 number to complete your set up."

Oh crap, its been four months since I got this package, I hope my access code still works!

I called the 1-800 number and spoke to a nice woman who spent the next 15 minutes ensuring that my magic box was properly receiving its new digital signal. We then spent about 10 minutes making sure that my new TV remote was working properly. She explained that it would take about 45 more minutes before all the TV stations were properly broadcasting a signal to my magic box.

Um, did she realize it was already 7:55pm and I needed this bad boy to be up and running by 8 to see the new Fall Season?

After a couple minor hick ups the magic box was working like a dream and I was able to see all the shows I wanted.

Thanks magic box! I knew I needed you all along. Not.

The Song Of The Day - Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thunder . . .

Note to self:

Random lightning and thunder storm at 4 in the morning will scare the crap out of you if you went to bed with all the windows open.

This was the first time I have heard a thunder storm since moving to the City three years ago. The lightning was so bright I could see the flash with my eyes closed.

The Song Of The Day - Thunder by Prince

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pigeons . . .

I have new neighbors.

Sort of.

I don't like them.


They are noisy.

Not exaggerating.

Like most apartments in San Francisco, my building was designed where the bathroom windows open up to a central atrium. The atrium has an opening at the the roof level. See photo above.

After three years of living here, at some point during the last month several pigeons figured out how to get into the atrium from the roof.

The pigeons are my new neighbors, and we are not friends.

Look at the death stare he is giving me in the above photo for trying to shoo him away.

You may have won round one Pigeons; but the battle is just beginning.

The Song Of The Day - Sally's Pigeons by Cyndi Lauper

Get Together . . .

Over Labor Day weekend I headed down to Southern California to see my family.

On Saturday I went to see my Grandma at her new place in Simi Valley.

We arrived just in time to have lunch together in the dining room. I had the broccoli cheese soup. I also saved room for the custard filled cake with chocolate frosting. Yum!

Grandma's new place is perfect and my mom did a great job decorating it.

Take note of my shirt in the above photo.

Get it?

"Jj" = Just Jon

The Song Of The Day - Get Together by Madonna