Saturday, January 24, 2009

Return To Sender . . .

My entire life I have been obsessed with mail.  

I wait with anticipation and excitement to see if the letter carrier will bring me anything.

With the invention of "e-mail" a whole new level of instant gratification through mail was achieved.

When I was older and began subscribing to magazines I had specific days of the week I could look forward to because I knew the latest issue of that magazine would be in my mail box.

All this brings me to the events of this last week.

Last Thursday I didn't receive any mail!  Nothing!  No bills, no advertisements, no magazines, nothing!

It happens.  Very rarely.  But it does happen.

Then I didn't receive any mail on Friday.  Hmmmmm.   I began to get concerned because, this meant there was a slight possibility that my Entertainment Weekly would be late.  If it didn't come on Saturday I would have to wait all the way till Tuesday because Monday was a National Holiday.  This was a big deal because I was not going to know what I should be watching on TV or what new music was being released on Tuesday.  I told myself not to panic just yet.

Saturday came and went with no mail again!  

I already knew Sunday and Monday were out so I would have to wait till Tuesday.

And then on Tuesday, no mail came.  

I began to rationalize that the Post Office had goofed up and put my mail on hold when it was clearly supposed to hold someone else.  Or worse, they have been putting my mail in another person's box and that person hasn't walked it over to my apartment.  Or maybe the Nation was still reeling from the historic event of inaugurating our first black president and the Post Office was taking a break.  So I decided to give the benefit of the doubt and wait for Wednesday.

Wednesday.  No mail!

That was it!  Thursday I called the Post Office.  I was pleasantly surprised to actually speak to a live person who worked in the hub that handles my mail.  

I explained to the postal worker my issue.  I asked her to check and see if my mail had accidentally been put on hold.  What I really wanted to say was, "Could you please check and make sure that my Entertainment Weekly is there, I almost missed the season premiere of Lost because I did not have it."

After a few minutes the postal worker came back on the line and said, "Your whole building is on mail hold because the carrier can't get through the security gate."


So I said, "OK, do you know if the building owner has been notified so that we can get this fixed?"

The postal worker replied, "I told you, the carrier can't get into your building."

I said, "I know, I am just trying to find out if the building owner even knows that you can't get into the building.  Does it say if they have contacted the owner?"

Once again the postal worker said, "I told you they can't get in."

Realizing I was getting no where fast I said, "Thank you, I will take care of it."

I promptly sent an email to my apartment manager asking if she was aware of the problem.

I got a lengthy response back from my manager explaining how she has been working with the Post Office for a week on this issue with little resolve.  It seems our building was caught in a quagmire of bureaucratic red tape.  The Post Office can only use their government key to enter the building so the spare key the manager left for them was not allowed to be used.  The Post Office could not disclose why their key stopped working.  The Post Office refused to use the intercom system that was reprogrammed to the apartment manager's cell phone to gain access to the building.  And on and on and on the email went.

And then at the very end of the e-mail was some good news.  

The Postal Supervisor had finally revealed that the reason they couldn't get into the building was because our regular letter carrier had gone on vacation and apparently only her special government key works on our building.  She would be back on Friday and would bring the building a weeks worth of mail!

So pictured above are the stacks of mail that could not fit into our small mail boxes.  

And yes, my Entertainment Weekly was there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Lighthouse . . .

Day two of the three day weekend, my friends and I intended to go for a hike in Half Moon Bay. 

So we hit the grocery store for food, gassed up the vehicle, and headed South on 280 to Half Moon Bay.  As we then cut across to Highway 1 we continued South.  And then like the beacon of light that it is, there before us was the Pigeon Point Light Station.  I have always wanted to see a lighthouse so I asked if my friends Shagun and Shamoli would be willing to pull off and have a look.  They agreed and unfortunately for Shagun, who really wanted to go for a hike, we never made it to Half Moon Bay.

Pigeon Point Light Station is a State Historic Park.  The Lighthouse rises 115 feet and is the tallest operating lighthouse on the West Coast.  It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.  In June of 1853 the Boston based Carrier Pigeon on her maiden voyage was torn apart by a fog blanketed rock off Whale Point and from then on the former Whale Point was called Pigeon Point.

Pigeon Point is also known for viewing Spring and Winter whale migrations.

Just to the left of the lighthouse is Whaler's Cove pictured above.

We had the fortune of seeing an elephant seal floating in the water.  The beach portion of Whaler's Cove was closed to protect this "Marine Mammal On Watch."

Just below the lighthouse was this whale head skull.

After taking lots of photos of Whaler's Cove and the Pigeon Point Light Station we decided to climb down the rocks to the beach and enjoy our lunch.  I am sure we were a sight to watch as our uncoordinated bodies maneuvered down the cliff.

After lunch we then checked out the numerous tide pools.  In the above picture you can see hermit crabs that have not had their shells painted to be sold in a mall kiosk.

I ventured out a little further and was able to see the starfish in the above picture.

And then we must have started to get a little over confident in our wet rock climbing skills because unfortunately Shagun slipped into the water.  We were very lucky she was not hurt and she had some shorts to change into.

Here we are after climbing back up the rocks.  We were trying to take a picture with the lighthouse in the background.  

Then Shagun had the good idea to take a picture of our shadows.  

So we never made it hiking but as always it was an enjoyable adventure!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blue Cars . . .

I believe that Just Jon should not only entertain it should also educate.  For that reason Loyal Readers I will now impart some knowledge from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

When parking on the streets of San Francisco, if there is more than a 3 % grade you must turn your wheels.  This will prevent the vehicle from rolling down the hill accidentally.

After receiving a parking citation last year for not turning my wheels on what I considered a "flat" street, I now make a conscious effort to crank those wheels whenever I park.  

Now being that I only drive the car about once a month my ability to operate the motor vehicle is apparently diminishing. 

When I arrived at my car today I noticed a parking citation on the windshield.  I truly could not think of what I had done wrong to deserve this unwelcome recognition from the DPT (Department of Parking and Traffic.)  There was no street cleaning, I was not in the "red," my parking sticker was visible.  So what could it be?

"Hill Parking /Over 3% Grade"

What?  My wheels are totally turned!  I am so going to fight this ticket.  

And then I read the fine print.  "Wheels Wrong Way!"

It might as well have said "Wheels Wrong Way You Moron!"

Yes Loyal Readers, I had remembered to turn my wheels, I just turned them the wrong way!  I felt really dumb in that moment.

So let this be a lesson to you.  If your vehicle is facing down hill, turn your wheels into the curb.  If your vehicle is facing up hill, turn your wheels away from the curb.  

The Song Of The Day - Counting Blue Cars by Dishwalla

A Little Bit More. . .

Taking advantage of the first day of a three day weekend, my friend Shamoli and I headed out to Kenwood, CA's Kunde Estate Winery and Vineyard to enjoy some wine tasting.

Not only were we going to enjoy a very rare 70 degree January day in beautiful wine country, but I was also going to get to see some friends.  Loyal Readers may recall Erin and Sean from the Hawaii blogs who happen to work at the winery.

Kenwood is a little over an hour north of San Francisco.  Shamoli and I arrived shortly before noon and were treated to a special tasting arranged by Erin that included six wines, cheese, crackers and truffles.

In the midst of our tasting we also had the opportunity to go on a Cave Tour.  The Caves (See photo above) are where all the wine barrels are stored.

In the above photo Shamoli and I are enjoying one of the wines we sampled.

After making some purchases at the winery we drove over to Sean and Erin's new house for a tour.   Sean is busy remodeling the kitchen and I look forward to seeing all the exciting changes he and Erin have in store for their new home.  By the way, if you are ever at the house be sure to check out the Miami Dolphin laundry room!

Rounding out the day Shamoli and I stopped off at the Petaluma Outlets for some retail therapy and economy stimulation.  

All in all a good day!

The Song Of The Day - A Little Bit More by Jamie Lidell

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seriously. . .

Seriously, this is dumbest thing.  Immediately after reading this blog be sure to try this out to see for yourself!

So Google offers a free service called "Analytics."  It is a tracking and reporting tool for web sites.  I recently added it to Just Jon because my original "Hit Counter" stopped working.  

I was reviewing the report which has more information than I even understand and I came across a section that lists the "Key Word" search engines that have lead people to Just Jon.  

Now out of everything you have read Loyal Readers, I am sure you would not be surprised if "30x" or "Muni" would bring you to Just Jon.  No, neither of those made the cut.  So what is the one word that has been used more than once as a search engine?  


Manacatti?  Seriously?  Manacatti!  

And the worst part is the Just Jon blog entry that it links to isn't even one of the better stories I have shared.

So right now Loyal Readers try it out for yourself.  Go to and type in "Manacatti" and hit "Google Search."  The first link that comes up is Just Jon!

I don't think I have ever even eaten manacatti.  

If you are not aware, the titles to each blog entry are song lyrics.  The only reason "Manacatti" was in the blog is because I used it as the song lyric title of that entry.  Too funny if you ask me!

And one last thing Loyal Readers, the best part of this whole story, I misspelled manacatti in that blog!  So all the people who are reading Just Jon looking for "Manicotti" recipes, well they are poor spellers just like me!

So rather than go back and correct the misspelling in that blog entry, I have decided to leave it. Poor Spellers Of The World Unite!  

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Junk . . .

It doesn't get any cheesier than this!   Now you can own your very own piece of Just Jon Junk!

Loyal Readers can publicly declare their love of Just Jon with the Just Jon Java Jug or the Just Jon Junk Rectangle Magnet, both available now at the Just Jon Store!

I Swear!  I am not kidding about this.  Just ask one of the six Loyal Readers who signed up on this blog to be a "Follower."  As a token of my appreciation they were all rewarded with Just Jon Java Jugs of their own.  

Now you can be just like them!

(Tracy - I have one waiting for you, because I am sure you totally want my face on a coffee mug! But I don't have your address.) 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Just So Round. . .

I will be the first to admit that I have put on a few extra pounds.  And it is not very motivating to step on a scale and see the number climb higher than it has ever climbed before.  But humiliation has reached a whole new level with the Nintendo Wii.

I just purchased the Wii this week.  I thought that it might be a fun way to start getting a little bit of exercise.  (I still have my gym membership...I just choose not to go.)

For those of you who are not aware, one of the first things you have to do is create a "Mii" which is a virtual representation of yourself.  You can customize it however you want.  Short, Tall, Skinny, Fat, Favorite Color, Hair Style, Eye Glasses, you name it, you can choose it.

I thought I was being very accurate when I made my Mii a little stockier than I would prefer.

Today I was able to get my hands on the Wii Fit game. 

The Wii Fit is a balance board that you stand on and then proceed to do activities that exercise your core to develop strength and flexibility.  However, before you get to the fun stuff, the Wii has to assess your fitness level.  

The Wii asks for your age and height.  Then it asks you to step on the board so that it can calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index.)  

The Wii Fit immediately told me I was a big ol fatty and then proceeded to increase the stomach on my Mii (See Above).  After a few preliminary tests it also determined I have no balance.  How Rude!

So far my favorite game on the Wii Fit is the Hula Hoop.  My lack of balance apparently allows me to excel at this game.  

And then there is the Soccer game where your job is to hit the soccer balls that are kicked at you with your head.  At the same time you are to avoid anything that is not a soccer ball.  If the non-soccer ball items hit you, the game makes a loud "Smack" noise.  I am not good a the soccer game and I think the reason why is because I kept getting hit by flying shoes.  The "Smack" sound got me giggling and then I lost all concentration on the game.

Here's to hoping my Mii sheds those extra pounds!

The Song Of The Day - Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Celebrate Good Times. . .

Happy New Year Loyal Readers!  Welcome to the first posting of 2009.  What an exciting year it has been!  

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a New Year's Eve Party with many of my co-workers and friends.  Everyone had a great time and what made the evening extra special was that the event was a fundraiser for the San Francisco Chapter of the Hopscotch Network.

All the proceeds from the event benefited the Drake Family whose 10 month old son Harry is suffering from Leukemia.  Harry's hospital bills have recently reached over $2 million with $20K of that being out-of-pocket.  It was an honor to know that our celebration was going to help a family in need.

So as we start 2009 I wanted to share my list of "Top 10 Favorite Just Jon" postings from 2008.  These are the entries that I had the most fun writing!  Please enjoy this trip down memory lane!

1.  And We're Rolling. . . (Just Jon goes for a roll down the hill after a semi-successful hike in Tilden Regional Park)

2.  On The Road Again (Part 2). . . (Just Jon and Wendy finally make it to the candy factory in Hilo, Hawaii)

3.  Let's Push Things Forward. . . (Three words "Burberry Coat Girl")

4.  I'm Gonna Wake Up. . . (Just Jon goes to the Madonna Concert...again)

5.  Rolling Down The Road. . . (Just Jon rides the "Emergency" bus home)

6.  Playing Games. . . (Just Jon pays tribute to his late Grandfather)

7.  I Fly Like Paper Get High Like Planes. . .(Just Jon reports on Fleet Week 2008)

8.  Hold On For One More Day. . . (Just Jon rides the 30x)

9.  Gonna Make You Sweat. . . (Just Jon learns about booty sweat)

10.  Sorry. . .(Just Jon makes his friends hike through the mud to get to brunch)

The Song Of The Day - Celebration by Kool & The Gang