Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone . . .

The way we live our lives has dramatically changed over the last twenty years as a direct result of the invention of the cell phone.

Twenty years ago I remember always carrying change in my pocket in case I needed to make a phone call on one of the two public telephones at my high school. I memorized phone numbers for friends and work. If I didn't have the phone number memorized I would refer to my Day Runner or Franklin where I had neatly written every important contact down.

Now, twenty years later, I literally can not tell you what my home phone number is. If you want to know it I will need to look it up on my Smart Phone.

Many of my friends do not even have a land line in their home. There is no need to have a land line any more because your phone is in your purse or pocket. If you need someone or something, just push the speed dial to be connected instantly.

I bring this up because this past weekend my co-worker Darcy lost her cell phone. And just like the Joni Mitchell song says, "You don't know what you got till it's gone!"

Because of Darcy's loss we have been talking at work about how dependant we are on our Smart Phones. How do you contact your friends and family when you don't have a home phone? If you do have a home phone, you still probably would not be able to call anyone because all the phone numbers are stored in your Smart Phone.

In an attempt to make light of the situation I decided to get Darcy a new communication device.

I made Darcy the iCup.

The iCup is the original communication tool; two cups connected by a string!

After presenting Darcy with the iCup I realized it did not offer all the bells and whistles that perhaps she was looking for. Darcy needed a data plan for texting.

I got it!

I upgraded Darcy's iCup to include a 100 "Sheet" data plan for texting! (Pencil included)

The iCup was quite the conversation piece.

My favorite comment of the day, "Does it work?"

That question was followed by the person picking up one of the iCups to test it out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everybody A Little Respect . . .

Sunday was the 40th Annual Gay Pride Celebration in San Francisco. The Gay Pride Parade is the closest thing to Mardi Gras the City Of San Francisco has to offer.

My friends and I staked out a prime location for viewing the parade with optimal chance of getting free goodies handed out by the parade participants. There was also a good chance that we would be seen on the television broadcast of the parade. (We were!)

The parade started promptly at 10:30 in the morning and lasted over three hours! The first 15 minutes of the event was lead by the group Dykes on Bikes. These women riding motorcycles and scooters roared down Market Street setting the pace of the parade. Later there would be two other groups with a similar theme; Mikes on Bikes and Tykes on Bikes.

In an ironic twist for this blogger, a very popular float was the "Crazy Cupcakes!" It seems I can't escape this dessert for the life of me.

There were several cheer leading groups from across the State demonstrating their strength, stunting and spirit!

The first of the many Celebrity Grand Marshal's was Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker. Alice Walker is best known for writing The Color Purple.

Our prime viewing location was right where San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began shaking the parade spectators hands. This was a tough choice; take his picture or shake his hand. I went for both and succeeded!

Another Celebrity Grand Marshal was Andy Bell who was the lead singer of the band Erasure.

The above picture shows Andy's reaction to my friend An yelling, "Andy I love you!"

I almost missed the Celebrity Grand Marshal's I was looking forward to seeing the most. The Backstreet Boys! I had turned away from the parade for a moment and when I turned back around they were passing us by!

Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys.

Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys.

Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys.

I was also excited to see Nick Verreos of Project Runway season two fame. He was the contestant who won the My Scene Barbie competition and had his design manufactured into a limited edition Barbie.

By the end of the parade I had collected a bag full of free junk including lots of Mardi Gras style beads.

Watching a parade is hard work! We crashed for a moment in the Bloomingdales lounge before heading to the Civic Center where the festivities continued with food, music and friends.

Below is a video of some of the parade. The first three minutes of the video is just a portion of ladies that started out the parade!

In honor of the Backstreet Boys and Andy Bell; for the first time ever, Just Jon is featuring two songs of the day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet Surrender. . . UPDATE ! ! !

In Sunday's blog post I told you about the new cupcake store Susie Cakes. I ended that post by saying that I may have to go back for more cupcakes on Monday.

All I could think about Monday was getting home so that I could go to Susie Cakes and purchase another cupcake. After a long day at work I finally reached Chestnut Street and was devastated when I walked up to Susie Cakes store front only to discover that they are closed on Mondays.

I got over my devastation pretty quickly when I just walked over to one of the other three cupcake stores in the neighborhood to satisfy my fix.

On Tuesday I was picking up my dinner and once again found myself in front of Susie Cakes.

"I should definitely go in," I thought to myself.

(That didn't take much convincing.)

Susie Cakes also sells whole and single slices of cake. So this time I decided to try a slice of marble cake.

When I got to the register the cashier handed me my slice of cake and said, "Here is a free cupcake too."

FREE CUPCAKE! Shut the front door!

I happily made my way home eagerly anticipating the delicious marble cake.

By the time I finished the slice of cake I had a sugar headache and was sick to my stomach. I vowed never to eat a piece of cake again. It was too rich. It was too sweet.

Why didn't I just stop eating when I had the chance?

Like that would have ever happened.

I took the "FREE" cupcake to work the next day to share with a co-worker who has as big of a sweet tooth as me. She said she would save the cupcake until after lunch.

After lunch we were walking down the street back to the office we saw a van parked on the corner handing out FREE CUPCAKES!

Yes, my new nemesis Susie Cakes had followed me to my place of employment to tempt me with her tasty treats.

Despite having vowed just twelve hours earlier never to eat a piece of cake again, I accepted the FREE CUPCAKE with open hands and drooling mouth.

That leads to tonight, when I stopped by my good friend Susie Cakes to say hello.

I was just window shopping when I heard the words come out of my mouth, "I'd like the peanut butter cupcake please."

Damn you Susie Cakes!

At which point the cashier leaned in and said, "Here are some cookies for you to try too!"

I haven't had this much food guilt since the first time I went to Krispy Kreme and found out you get a free donut just for walking in the store.

By the time I got home my guilt had reached an all time high.

I knew there was only one thing to do.

I needed to talk to my personal trainer. . .

I powered up the WII Fit and winced when I stepped on the balance board and heard the TV say "Ouch!"

Then I made a peace offering in the form of a Susie Cake Cupcake to my WII Fit trainer.

She was having nothing of it.

"Let's do the standing knee pose," was all she could say.

OK OK I get it! No more cupcakes!

My trainer is so mean!

In The Navy . . .

This week a warship dropped anchor in San Francisco.

After doing some research I decided the ship was blog worthy.

The warship is the Russian cruiser Varyag which is the flagship of Russia's Pacific fleet. The ship has 16 cruise missiles on board.

What made this ship's visit to the City even more historic is that it is the first Russian surface warship to visit San Francisco in 147 years. The last visit was in 1863.

The ship was open to the public on Thursday for several hours and the line to get on board was rivaled only by the lines of people seen in front of Apple retail stores trying to get the iPhone4.

The Song Of The Day - In The Navy by Village People

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Go Outside And Start To See The Day . . .

One of the greatest things about summer time in San Francisco is the neighborhood Street Festival. This past weekend was the North Beach Festival.

Here are a couple of images from Sunday that included some amazing sidewalk chalk art, music, food and crafts.

The oddest thing I saw on the side street stage was a "Pet Blessing" ceremony.

And to the lady that was not paying attention to where she was walking and walked right through the middle of one of the sidewalk chalk murals; you are lucky you made it out alive!

The Song Of The Day - Go Outside by Cults

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sweet Surrender. . .

Oh my God, seriously? I don't know that I can handle this.

On Saturday another cupcake shop opened up in my neighborhood. I have no will power over these little calorie infused delights!

I haven't even tried American Cupcake yet! That is how fast these stores are popping up.

Above is my Chocolate "Frosting Filled" Cupcake. (The cupcake tipped over because of my poor wrapper removal.)

I enjoyed the frosting on this cupcake very much. The cake portion however was a little dry. (Don't read that assessment to mean I won't be going back to Susie Cakes because they definitely warrant a future visit... maybe as soon as tomorrow!)

Bon Appetit!

Impression . . .

Saturday my friends and I went to the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibit. This showing featured masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Manet, and Degas from the Musee D'Orsay in France.

Here are a couple of shots I was able to sneak while inside the exhibit.

Also on display was the famous Whistler painting Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother. I was amazed at how large this piece was in real life.

The exhibit was a little claustrophobic because of the large crowd but well worth the trip.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Woo Hoo Yum Yum. . .

Who doesn't like to get free stuff?

If you need something sweet and delicious and don't have any cash, stop by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop in Ghirardelli Square where they give out free sample Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares for just walking through the door!

I never met a free dessert I didn't like!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Graduate . . .

As I put on my facebook status last Friday, "My little Miss Megan graduated 8th grade tonight. Uncle Jon is not ready to accept that his niece is in high school!"

Despite my refusal to accept this right of passage into the next stage of her life, I am so proud of all of her accomplishments.

Above Megan can be seen with the rest of Assumption Catholic School's Class of 2010. Megan is in the third row from the bottom, fourth from the left.

For all the family members who were not able to make it to Bellingham last Friday, Just Jon is happy to share with you the exact moment Megan graduated 8th grade!

Please enjoy this video clip of Megan's name being announced and then watch as she walks through the receiving line of faculty and staff from her school to receive her diploma and bible.
(And yes, each graduate made this same walk. There were 43 graduates. It was a late night!)

The Song Of The Day - Graduate by Third Eye Blind

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Are You Ready To Jump . . .

Less than one day after graduating 8th Grade, Megan was playing in an all day volleyball tournament for her new high school.

Megan is in the middle playing for the Squalicum Storm (White shirts). She is facing the camera about to set the ball.

The Song Of The Day - Jump by Madonna

Swim To The Ocean Floor . . .

Trunks? Check!

Rash Guard? Check!

Goggles and Snorkel? Uh oh...

Thank goodness for the the Fred Meyer department store next to Grandma and Grandpa's hotel. One quick shopping trip later and we are back in business!

The Song Of The Day - Swim by Madonna

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sleepless In Seattle . . .

The best part about Seatac International Airport?

The giant window wall with benches, rockers, and tables to sit at and watch the planes land and take off.