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

Take A Picture . . .

My whole life I have seen this barn while driving on the back road CA 118. I have always thought it would make a great picture. This past Monday as I started my drive home to the Bay Area after spending Labor Day with my family I came upon the barn once more.

As I looked at the early morning sun light hitting the roof top just right to cast a slight shadow on the front of the barn, a backdrop of blue sky, and tall trees to the side; I knew this was the time to stop and get my picture.

I made a u turn and parked the car on the side of the road. I grabbed my camera from my messenger bag and started snapping.

I think this wide angle "post card" shot captured the moment perfectly.

Now that I had my shot I placed another check on my mental list of things I have always wanted to do.


The Song Of The Day - Take A Picture by Filter