Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Are You Looking At . . .

When the Walgreens cashier asked if I wanted a bag for my purchase I was hoping for something a little more discrete than the giant clear plastic garbage bag that she proceeded to put my item into.

After a long day at work I was not really looking forward to navigating the center aisle of a crowded bus with my giant trash bag of toilet paper.

It was amazing the stares I got from people as I walked down the street with my clear Santa Claus sack filled with Quilted Northern.

Then, once I got on the bus it was like people didn't want to stand close to the guy with the twelve pack of TP.

OK, maybe the stares were not because of the twelve double rolls of toilet paper in my clear garbage bag.

Maybe, just maybe, people were staring at my pants that I had rolled up to be "man" Capris.

It was 86 degrees in San Francisco today.  I stand proud in my rolled up pants and TOMS shoes.

Oh, and if you need to borrow any toilet paper, I have a few rolls!

The Song Of The Day - Vogue By Madonna

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wow Wow Wow . . .

OK, so I am totally six months late to the party, but I just found out something very cool!

Back in April of this year I posted an entry on the blog about my friend Shagun and I visiting the San Francisco Zoo.  In the blog I included a 12 second clip of Hasani the infant gorilla doing a somersault.

Within 24 hours of my uploading the clip onto YouTube the video had been watched a couple hundred times and I could not figure out why.

Well, I just discovered that my video of Hasani was featured on CBS Channel 5's Eye On Blogs on March 31!


The Song Of The Day - Wow by Kylie Minogue 

Hot Stuff . . .

Hot days are such a rarity in The Bay Area I thought I would show you what happens when the sky is clear and the temperature reaches above 80 degrees.

The above photo is Mission Dolores Park.  The park overlooks the City and has terraced levels cut into the hillside.

On warm days Mission Dolores Park is also known as "Beach Front Property" or "The Man Shelf."

The terraces make the perfect spot to throw down a blanket and work on a natural tan.

The Song Of The Day - Hot Stuff by Donna Summer

O Terra, Addio; Addio Valle Di Pianti . . .

Friday night was the fifth FREE live simulcast of the San Francisco Opera from the War Memorial Opera House into AT&T Park.

The event continues to gain in popularity drawing a record 32,000 people on Friday to watch Verdi's Aida.

Loyal Readers may recall that last year my friend An and I went to see Tosca in the ballpark.  I found Aida much more enjoyable.  Aida included a chorus, dancing, gymnastics, and beautiful costumes.

The show started with an announcement by the general director of the San Francisco Opera, "As a reminder, patrons inside the War Memorial Opera House please silence your cell phones at this time.  You people in the ballpark; do what you want!  Play Opera!"

For those not familiar with the story of Aida.  I will give you the one sentence modern day version of the plot - "He's Just Not That Into You."

The benefit of going to an Opera at a baseball stadium is that you get to eat ballpark food!

During the intermission a cast member from the City's long running political satire show Beach Blanket Babylon came out to the pitcher's mound and lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out To The Opera."

The highlight of the evening came in the last seven minutes of the performance.  

A young couple in the row behind An and I began rustling in their seats.  They were trying to find something that had dropped onto the ground.  Considering there was a show going on, they were fairly quiet and I didn't think they were really disturbing anyone.

I was wrong.  Opera fans are crazy.

An older woman who earlier in the evening had pushed her way into the seats next to An and I turned around and told the man to sit down and be quiet.

That was when all hell broke loose.

The man responded back, "I think if you lost a $50,000 ring you would be up looking for it too."

The old lady did not seem to care about the $50,000 ring, she was more concerned about the dying Aida and Radames on the jumbo tron out in center field.  "Sit down and be quiet," she said again.

Just to be clear.  The young man and woman looking for the ring were not blocking the older woman's view as they were behind her and not even directly behind her, they were at the end of the row.

The man said back to the older lady, "Shut your mouth bitter old lady!"

At this point I turned to An and said, "We are not leaving this stadium until that ring is found!"

The young woman tried to calm the young man down while apologizing for the disturbance.

I mean really, this was a free event in a baseball stadium, did the old lady think it was going to be as quiet as a theatre?

As the show ended and people started to clear out there was more room to look for the ring.

Eventually another man spotted the ring stuck in the hinge of the seat in front of the young woman.

When the ring was freed from the seat and safely back on the young woman's finger a round of applause was given.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

History . . .

I walk with my head down.  

Mostly because I don't want to step in dog poop.

That being said, walking with my head down has allowed me to notice some cool things in this City.

The following "head down" discovery is one of my favorites.

In 1989 the city of San Francisco experienced a 6.9 magnitude earthquake.  One of the casualties of the earthquake was California State Route 480 or the Embarcadero Freeway.  

The Embarcadero Freeway was an elevated structure that ran along the waterfront.

Imagine the beauty that is the waterfront today was once blocked by a freeway.

Just in front of the Ferry Building, in the plaza on the Embarcadero, there are two bronze grid outlines embedded in the ground.   Within each outline there is a plaque.

Around each plaque the following message is en scribed:

"The Dashed Line That Surrounds You Marks The Former Location Of An Embarcadero Freeway Column"

One plaque reads:

"The freeway that brooded over the Embarcadero with all the grace of a double decked prison wall is finally gone.  In its place is a sweep of air, fog, October sunlight, piers, ships, and the silver Bay Bridge, which is 55 years old and still looks modern."  October 7, 1991 - Carl Nolte

The other plaque reads:

"We sit and eat our lunch.
And follow the swing of wrecking balls.
Demolishing the Free-way to Nowhere.
It is hypnotic, absorbing
It is happening
It is possible 
To bring light and air and vistas 
Back into human experience.
In clouds of dust with satisfying thunks
We sit and eat our lunch.

August 11, 1991 - Anonymous

Loyal Readers, what are your favorite discoveries?

The Song Of The Day - History by Madonna 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Push The Button Don't Push The Button . . .

If you stay late enough at work, you need to use your security badge to make the elevators operate.

Last week I was perplexed when I could not get the elevator to go down.

I was leaving the office at a semi-decent time.  I mean the nightly cleaning crew had just reached my floor.

Yet try as I may, the elevator was not going anywhere.

In between changing the song on my iPhone and checking email I kept hitting the button over and over again.

And then I realized I hadn't ever hit the "1" button; I had been pressing the button for the floor I was already on.


The Song Of The Day - Hollywood by Madonna

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bridge . . .

Over by AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants there two bridges that span the China Basin waterway.  There are signs on the bridge that say that you must call ahead if you need the bridge raised for a boat to pass under.

I had never seen the bridge raised until yesterday.

I was in a line of cars waiting to cross the bridge when suddenly an "Air Raid" type siren sounded.  Crossing gates were lowered across the roadway and the bridge slowly began to lift into the air.

There was a baseball game about to start so there were lots of people on the street and I heard several of them proclaim their excitement for getting to see the bridge in action for the first time.

After the bridge was lowered and the cars were allowed to cross, I looked down the channel and saw a small sail boat drifting along.

The Song Of The Day - London Bridge by Fergie

Change On Me . . .

I had to make a few updates to the blog because Blogger (the host of Just Jon) is continuing to add new features that my template would not support.

I made the last update to the blog the week before Blogger introduced all new templates and publishing capabilities.

Unfortunately, I knew then I was going to have to update the blog if I wanted to keep up.

By the way, Loyal Readers my recognize the blog background picture from a post in April 2009 when I tried to paint this image onto a serving plate.

The Song Of The Day - Change On Me by The Party (song not available on iTunes)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Play . . .

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

It's another birthday!

Happy Birthday Just Dad!

The Song Of The Day - Play by Jennifer Lopez

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Should Be Dancing . . .

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Happy Birthday Just Mom!

The Song Of The Day - You Should Be Dancing by The Bee Gees

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Roam . . .

Two thumbs up for ROAM!

Roam is the new Artisan Burger joint on Union Street.

Straight from Roam's web site:

I ordered the Sunny Side Turkey Burger.

The Sunny Side adds an Organic Free-Range Egg, Aged White Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Greens, Tomato, and Sweet Chili Sauce to the Turkey Burger.

Next trip I might brave the Bison Burger.

The Song Of The Day - Roam by the B-52's

Rock & Roll . . .

Last night my concert buddies (Loyal Reader Erin and her sister Michelle) and I went to see Ray LaMontagne and David Gray perform at the Greek Theatre on the U.C. Berkeley campus.

It was my intention to drive to the show and meet Erin and Michelle there.  When I arrived at work several co-workers said that they thought it would be easier to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the concert.  At the last minute I decided to leave my car at work and try BART.

I arrived in downtown Berkeley with my stadium seat in tow.  After picking up a sandwich at Quiznos I proceeded to walk to the theatre.  Once on the Cal Berkeley campus I couldn't help but be impressed with what a beautiful institution it is.

From the day I graduated college I vowed I had no desire to ever go back to school and get a masters degree.  For the first time on the Berkeley campus I suddenly thought, I could go back to school.  I want to be a Cal Bear.  I could learn the *#@+ out of this place!

By the time my mid-thirties body had hiked up the hill to the theatre my mind had moved well past going back to school and was focused on finding my seat.

There was an opening act but I have no idea who she was.

For the main show Ray performed first.  If you are unfamiliar with his work I highly recommend you become acquainted with his CD entitled Trouble.  Loyal readers may recall that "Trouble" was my #4 Desert Island Disc.

I can only describe Ray's voice as "BUTTER!"  He is the male version of Sara McLachlan.  Ray comes across as shy and humble.  He spoke very few words to the audience.  In fact other than the part where he introduced the band, Erin counted that he only said eight words the whole night.

Before a song would start he would say, "One, two, three, four,"

and after a song would finish he would say, "Thank you.  Thank you very much."

I am all for artist conversations with the audience, but in this instance I would just have to sit back and enjoy a true artist who can sing and play guitar live with no gimmicks.

Here is Ray performing his song Trouble.

After Ray performed there was a brief intermission and then David Gray came out.

I will be honest, I was there to see Ray and really only knew one David Gray song, Babylon.  (Erin and Michelle were the David fans in our trio.)

In stark contrast to Ray's low key performance, David is a virtual bobble head of bouncy energy on stage.   I don't think his head ever stopped moving.

David's portion of the show was very engaging and despite not knowing his body of work I was drawn into his performance.

Here is David performing his big hit Babylon.

For the finale Ray joined David on stage for a duet.  In my opinion they could drop the duet from the concert because it wasn't that great.

On a side note for all the Generation Xer's out there; before the show started Michelle pointed out the women sitting across from us looked like Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ from the early 90s.  I didn't think it was her, but we did refer to her as Tabitha several times in conversation.

Today I looked Tabitha Soren up on the Internet to see what happened to her.

Guess what?  She now goes by the name Tabitha Lee Lewis and lives in Berkeley, CA with her children and husband Michael who wrote the book The Blind Side.

Way to go Michelle for spotting Generation X's Walter Cronkite!

After the show the crowd of people began working their way out of the outdoor theatre.  I followed a group back through the Berkeley campus to the BART station.

There were two flaws to my master transportation plan:

a.  I think BART stops running at midnight (it was now 11:20 pm).
b.  I had no idea what train to get on to get back to San Francisco.

The first train that pulled into the station said "Fremont."

Well I knew I didn't want to go to Fremont.  I wanted something that would go to the other side of the Bay.

Erin called my cell to make sure I had made it to the BART station right as I was trying to decide what to do.

Everyone in the crowded station was piling into the Fremont bound train.

"Should I be getting on this train too?"

I told Erin I needed to go because I had to figure out what to do.  As I ended the call with Erin the doors on the train closed and I was left standing alone on the platform.

Uh oh, I suddenly had a bad feeling.

After the Fremont train pulled away from the platform the station agent came on the public address system as if to announce to me and only me that there were no more direct trains to San Francisco.  Any passengers wishing to go to San Francisco will need to board the Fremont train and transfer to the Millbrae train at the MacArthur Station.

Ummm, that information would have been really helpful about two minutes ago!

I looked up at the monitor to see when the next Fremont bound train was coming.

16 Minutes!


Slowly the station began to fill up with more people who had just left the concert so I was no longer alone.

The Fremont train finally arrived and I hopped on board.  Within a few minutes we were to the MacArthur Station and fortunately a Millbrae bound train pulled in at the same time.

Like Cinderella watching the clock tick toward midnight I was happy to have made it onto a train back into the City before service ended for the night.

When we reached the City I decided it would be easier to catch a bus to my apartment rather than walk back to work to pick up my car.

In the end, I am not sure that time and stress involved with taking BART to the concert out weighed the cost savings of parking fees at U.C. Berkeley and the Bay Bridge Toll.

At least now I know for the future, when given the opportunity, GET ON THE FREMONT TRAIN!

The Song Of The Day - Like Rock & Roll And Radio by Ray LaMontagne

Saturday, September 11, 2010

LOL . . .

Poster in the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Station that made me laugh out loud.

The Song Of The Day - LOL by Little Jackie

Friday, September 10, 2010

Music Makes The People Come Together . . .

Back when Tower Records was a brick and mortar store they had a magazine that was available for free just inside the front door.  Within the magazine there was a column called "Desert Island Discs" which the writer would pick which compact discs they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

As a huge music lover, I would often try to compile my own "Desert Island Discs."  Over the years my list has evolved some, but for the most part the list has remained fairly constant.

With the most recent update to the iTunes application there is a new feature called Ping.  Ping is an attempt at social networking for the music geek.

When creating your Ping profile you have to choose 10 CDs that you like.  I had an extremely hard time narrowing my list down to 10.  As I was creating my list I reflected back on my "Desert Island Disc" list.

Here are my 10 CDs:

1.  Madonna's Ray Of Light

2.  Frou Frou's Details

3.  Tori Amos' From The Choir Girl Hotel

4.  Ray Lamontagne's Trouble

5.  Mariah Carey's Mariah Carey

6.  Michelle Branch's The Spirit Room

7.  Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill

8.  Michael Jackson's Thriller

9.  Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814

10.  Terence Trent D'Arby's Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby

So Loyal Readers, what are your Desert Island Discs?  Share your choices in the comment section because I am always up for finding new music to enjoy!

The Song Of The Day - Music by Madonna

Monday, September 6, 2010

In The Streets . . .

Street tacos seem to be all the rage the last few years.  

These little mini tacos are usually made with some form of meat piled high on two tiny stacked tortillas.

Leave it to me to discover the next trend - "Street Burritos."

I discovered Street Burritos by accident really.

You see Loyal Readers, I had eaten a late breakfast that was so filling I skipped lunch and was not really hungry for dinner.  Then by eight o'clock I suddenly had the cravings for a burrito.

I threw on my sweatshirt and started walking to Nick's Crispy Tacos on Polk Street.

I ordered the Pollo Burrito.

When the server handed me my "To Go" bag I was surprised that my burrito weighed about as much as a brick.

I started my walk home and was about a block away from my apartment when the bag ripped and my burrito when kurplunk onto the street below.

As I looked at my giant burrito laying in the middle of the street I immediately thought of the three second rule.  

"Pick it up,  pick it up,  pick it up!" I said to myself.

My brief inspection in the dark left me hopeful.

It looked like the two layers of aluminum foil had kept the burrito protected.

When I reached my apartment I took a closer look. 

Was my burrito going to be edible?

The first layer of the foil was covered in gravel.

As I slowly peeled the first layer back the second layer was clean.

Thank you Jesus!   (Not the man upstairs, the worker at the taco place who double layered the foil!)

The Song Of The Day - Out In The Streets by Blondie

Sunday, September 5, 2010

That Leaf Began To Sway . . .

I love that after four years of living in San Francisco I can still come across something new in my neighborhood.

Today after finishing my breakfast at Pergamino's; I started walking toward Fort Mason.  With my Just Jon Junk 2010 Tote Bag slung over my shoulder and filled with sunscreen, camera, lawn seat and a good book; I planned on staking a claim on the great lawn over looking the Golden Gate.

As I climbed the staircase into Fort Mason's back side I stumbled upon a Community Garden.

The Garden discovered by me in 2010 was apparently established in 1976.  

Loyal Readers, because I heed my own advise; I was certainly going to take some time to smell these flowers!


The Song Of The Day - Sparkle And Fade by Krystle Warren (Kansas City) - Not Available On iTunes

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bridge On The Bay . . .

My obsession with bridges continues.

I had to take pause this morning while I was walking to work and snap a picture.

The Bay Bridge was perfectly framed within the brick arches of the former Hills Bros Coffee plant.

Remember Loyal Readers to always take time to smell the roses; or in this case appreciate the beauty of a bridge.

The Song Of The Day - Beauty In Walking Away by Marie Digby

September . . .

It's not uncommon for San Franciscans to collect and save their Muni bus passes.  These colorful little rectangle pieces of paper are the one bright spot about riding public transit.  

It is kind of like Christmas each month when the envelope from WageWorks, Inc. arrives in the mail with the new monthly bus pass.  

What color combination will it be this time?

July 07's Red White and Blue was perfectly patriotic.

Aug 09's Purple and Yellow was a slam dunk for any LA Lakers fan.

The color combinations never seem to be repeated.

As I tore open the envelope this month, I was excited to see that Sept 2010 finally put my high school colors Orange and Blue together. 

Now every time I pull my bus pass out I can think about the Chaminade Eagles.

I am glad this happened now because in 2011 they are discontinuing the Muni bus passes and transitioning to a regional pass system called Clipper.  The new "Clipper" pass will never have the charm and character of the Muni dual colors mixed with a dash of silver iridescence.

In other September News . . .

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks for its limited seasonal run!

Can I get a Yum Yum?!?

The Song Of The Day - Cry For You by September