Sunday, October 31, 2010

M O N E Y . . .

In 1990 my mother gave me the above Coca-Cola plastic piggy bank.  I vowed to only put pennies into this bank.

Over the years the bank has moved from home to home to apartment to apartment from So Cal to Nor Cal.  As the years have gone by the pennies became to much for the aging plastic to contain and cracks started to form.  Packing tape was strategically placed over the cracks in hopes of keeping the bank in one piece until it was filled to the top.

Recently it was clear that the bank was not going to make it much longer.

So yesterday I decided to cash in.

I looked up where the nearest Coinstar was located.  I also knew that I had about as close of a parking space as I was going to get to my apartment if I was going to attempt to move this bank.

Unfortunately the bank was so heavy I could barely move it.

So I made the strategic decision to empty the bank into two nondescript reusable shopping bags.

Despite being separated into two bags I could still barely lift the pennies.  This was going to require the use of my "granny cart" if I was going to make it to my car.

I got the granny cart filled with pennies to the corner and realized for the first time just how steep the hill my car was parked on top of was.

Halfway up the hill I was sweating and out of breath!  The pennies were ridiculously heavy!

When I reached the market with the Coinstar I popped the trunk open and took the first bag of pennies out.  The strap on the bag immediately ripped and the bag of pennies went splat onto the rain soaked asphalt.  I lifted the bag from the bottom this time and waddled into the store.

This was my first time using a Coinstar and I was mortified at how much noise these machines make.   Especially since I knew that I was going to have to do this process twice!

Slowly but surely I put handful after handful of pennies into the tray and fed them into the tiny slot.

As I loaded the pennies into the tray I thought back to 1991 high school chemistry class with Mrs. Reeves where we did an experiment that changed the color of pennies to "gold."   Deep inside me that was the only penny I kind of wanted to keep.  But that would be like finding a needle in a haystack to recover one penny.

The first bag finished processing and was a total of 5,886 pennies!   That was $53.54 after the service charge was deducted!  Pretty cool because this was the smaller one of my two grocery bags of pennies!

I went out to the car and carefully picked up the second bag of pennies from the bottom and again waddled my way into the store to start the process over.

About halfway through counting the second bag of pennies a miracle happened!

Glistening like the north star in the tray of pennies to be processed was my "Gold" penny from high school!


The second bag finished counting and totaled up to a whopping $73.52!

In total that was 13,897 pennies in 20 years that I pulled out of my pocket or $127.06!

The funniest part was when I went to the cashier to redeem my Coinstar vouchers.  I didn't even think about the chance that I would be given pennies back.  As the cashier redeemed the first voucher for $53.54 I heard the change dispenser go clink clink clink.  I looked down and saw four Abraham Lincoln's looking at me!  How ironic that I just gave away almost 14 thousand pennies to get four back!  That is just a cruel joke!

The Song Of The Day - Money Honey by Lady Gaga

Friday, October 29, 2010

Give and Get is Here!

It's Give and Get Time Again!

Get 30% off when you shop Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic!

5% of the amount you spend will be donated to Teach For America!

Give and Get is Here!: "Enjoy 30% off from November 11-14 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy plus we'll make a 5% donation to a non-profit."

And if you really want to help me the above item! 

The Song Of The Day - I Wanna Give It To You by Shanice (not available on iTunes)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whatcha Say . . .

For anyone who has ever waited in line at a Starbucks at 8:30 in the morning there can be up to 30 people waiting for their coffee.

Under normal protocol when the barista finishes preparing your drink they will yell out, "I have a grande non-fat white chocolate mocha for _______" at which point you walk up and take your drink.

So today I couldn't help but laugh when the barista yelled out, "I have a coffee."

No size on that coffee.  No name for who she made it.  Just coffee.

Really?  A coffee?  At Starbucks?  You don't say.

The Song Of The Day - Whatcha Say by Jason DeRulo

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'd Be Joining You . . .

If you don't have a ticket to get into AT&T Park for the World Series,

And you are not one of the hundreds of people partying it up on a boat or kayak on McCovey Cove hoping to catch a home run,

Then you might as well join the rest of the people who don't have tickets to the game in the Giant's Dugout Store under the stadium and watch the game on the multiple TVs hanging from the ceiling.

I was actually surprised at how unregulated this operation was.  Total $#!% show!

Also, it is interesting because the game on the TV's is on a 10 to 15 second delay.  So you could hear the crowd in the stadium go nuts but you had no idea what they were cheering for.  All the people watching the game outside the stadium were like a delayed reaction cheering section.

Congratulations to the Giants for winning game one!

The Song Of The Day - Joining You by Alanis Morissette

Free . . .

Let's go Giants!

Did someone say free lunch?

Not only are they giving us free hot dogs for lunch at work today in celebration of the San Francisco Giants, but there is going to be a trivia contest with the winners getting tickets to the World Series!

Crossing my fingers that my new found knowledge of all things Lincecum, Williams, Ross, Uribe, Zito, and Posey will pay off!

The Song Of The Day - Free by The Party (not available on iTunes)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Face . . .

Just Jon now has a fan page on facebook.

For the past two years Loyal Readers have told me that the Google "Follow" option is too complicated to figure out.

Based on this feedback I am now providing another option for following Just Jon.

You can click the facebook "Like" link at the bottom of the sidebar on this page.

Post updates on facebook will now appear in the News Feed from Just Jon and not my personal facebook account.

In honor of the new facebook fan page I will be posting some links this week to my favorite Just Jon entries from the last two and a half years.

Happy reading!

The Song Of The Day - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Celine Dion

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Water's Edge . . .

Water's Edge

With time to kill at the water's edge
I sit and watch the waves rise and descend
Distant airplanes prepare to land
Beyond the lone tree rooted in the sand
Sky of blue white and grey
Hints of rain to come this day

The Song Of The Day - Water's Edge by Cyndi Lauper

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shake Shake Shake . . .

Apparently I was the only one in the office who read the memo.

On Oct. 21 at 10:21am the second annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill took place.  And just like earthquake drills back in grammar school, you were supposed to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!"

So at 10:21am a voice came over the public address system in the office alerting everyone that we were to drop and cover.

Yet, somewhere between age 12 and "adulthood" people become too cool to look stupid getting under their desk to practice earthquake safety.

I have no shame.  I was the only one who actually dropped and covered in my area of the office.

Here's the deal.  I lived through the Northridge earthquake of 1994.  I was thrown off the top bunk of my bed at 4:31am.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I don't care how stupid I looked.

The Song Of The Day - Shake Your Booty by K.C. & The Sunshine Band

Kids . . .

Each year the Gap holds an open casting call searching for the next faces of GapKids and babyGap.

This year my friends from grade school/high school; Jason and Adrienne; entered their two gorgeous kids in the contest.  

Winners of the Casting Call will receive a professional photo shoot, a photo in babyGap and GapKids stores nationwide, and a $1000 Gap GiftCard.

Please help Jason and Adrienne out by clicking on the links to vote for Aidan and Cameran.

Voting is simple.   Just enter your email address twice.   And you can vote once a day!

Voting ends November 14 so get clicking!

The Song Of The Day - Kids by MGMT

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He Called Me Baby Baby Baby . . .

It all started in Crate & Barrel.

I was looking at a table on the third floor when I heard "he called me baby baby all night long..."

I stopped right where I was standing and pulled out the iPhone.  I fired up the Shazam application and held the phone up to the nearest music speaker in the store.

Thirty seconds later Shazam had determined that the song that was playing was called Kandi by One Eskimo.


When I got home I started searching YouTube for videos by One Eskimo.  By nightfall I had run to the local Barnes & Noble to buy One Eskimo's CD.

Upon further research I discovered that the lead singer of One Eskimo had previously been a solo artist.  That meant I now needed to find Kristian Leontiou's debut CD.

Thanks iTunes!

Not only did iTunes have the CD, but the new Ping function alerted me that One Eskimo was coming to San Francisco and would be playing a concert at a bar close to my home!

So tonight I was right in front of the stage for One Eskimo's concert!  And after the show I got to meet Kristian and tell him how much I enjoyed the show!

I didn't have my camera with me to take any video of the show, but here is the music video for the song that started it all...Kandi

The Song Of The Day - Kandi by One Eskimo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time To Get Down . . .

My favorite FREE San Francisco annual event took place this weekend.

Kim Epifano's Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater's presentation of the 7th Annual San Francisco Trolley Dances.

Trolley Dances is a 90 minute guided walking/Muni tour through parts of San Francisco featuring seven dance performances.

This years performances included:

Sunset Chinese Folk Dance Group
Joe Goode Performance Group
Christine Bonansea 2x3 Project
Phaedra Ana Jones
Sara Shelton Mann/Performance
Ensohza Minyoshu and
Epiphany Productions sonic dance theater

My favorite performance was Sara Shelton Mann's Fred.  The dance was a very physical number demonstrating loves push and pull.  It was borderline disturbing watching the dancers violently throw themselves into each others arms, but I think that was the point of the performance.  Art that moves you at your core is always a good thing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thank U . . .

I recently discovered that there is a competition called the Blogger's Choice Awards.  While I don't know that Just Jon perfectly fits any of the available categories, I did submit the blog for "Best Blog About Stuff", "Best Humor Blog", and "Best Pop Culture Blog".

Without any fanfare I added the link to the competition on the blog.

A BIG thank you to the two Loyal Readers and one co-worker who shall remain Nameless who took time to vote.

Much appreciated!

The Song Of The Day - Thank U by Alanis Morissette

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Neck . . .

Ladies, this is just a wardrobing suggestion. Store can not be held responsible for related neck or back injuries sustained from wearing your purse around your neck.

The Song Of The Day - My Neck My Back by Khia

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Looking For An Angel . . .

Saturday Oct. 9, 2010 was the first day of the San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show.

As this is the fourth year that I have seen the show I can report that it is literally the same show every year.

This past August I had received a notice alerting me that they were going to be painting my apartment building and that the project should take about a month and a half.  My first thought was, "Well, they better be done by fleet week because I don't want my million dollar view obstructed."

Two months into the project and it is only half way done!

Typical Just Jon luck would have it that I arrived home on Friday evening to discover that the painters had reached my side of the building and had covered over some of my windows with opaque plastic and black sheer cloth!

Seriously?  Seriously!  You couldn't have waited until Monday to start my corner of the building?

We had also received notices that stated we were not to go on the roof to watch the air show.  (I have broken that rule every year.)

I decided this year I would not break the rules. (See Megan, when you scolded Uncle Just Jon for this infraction two years ago he did learn his lesson.)  I put on my shoes and walked the three blocks to the water's edge to view the show from sea level.  I thought this would give me a whole new perspective.

Turns out it's really not that different from being six stories up.

The highlight of the show this year was right after the Blue Angels did the above formation.

In what can only be described as a divine act, four birds took to the sky as if to mock the Blue Angels!

"Big whoop we can do that too, and with zero carbon footprint bizatches!"

I am not kidding when I say that the crowd erupted into thunderous applause cheering on the four birds!

It was awesome!

Here is a brief video of some of the Blue Angel's passes over the Bay.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grill Gleamin . . .

Friday, we had a team lunch at work for our newest members at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen.

This trendy eatery is located South Of Market on 2nd Street near South Park.

Operated by Heidi Gibson - Commander-in-Cheese and Nate Pollak - The Big Cheese; the kitchen has been open about six months with lines out the door for these gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Heidi has won the Grilled Cheese Invitational seven out of the last eight years!  After watching their two brief YouTube videos located on the restaurant's web site you can't help but root for the success of these two entrepreneurs.

I ordered the Moscone which had fresh mozzarella, fontina, roasted tomatoes, basil-lavender pesto, and kalamata olive tapenade.  The sandwich came garnished simply with a beautifully ripe strawberry.

My sandwich was quite good but I couldn't help but have sandwich envy when I saw my co-worker's Mushroom Gruyere which had fontina, gruyere, roasted wild mushrooms + gold potatoes, melted leeks, caramelized onions, and thyme butter.  This only means I will have to go back and try it too!

If you go, be sure to check out the small details like the kitchen utensils that were linked together to form the roped off eating area or the bean bag toss game just outside the front door.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Something Different . . .

I bet your local Banana Republic doesn't have this in the window...

Let's go Giants!

The Song Of The Day - Something Different by Shaggy featuring Wayne Wonder (not available on iTunes)

Blue Jeans . . .

A pretty good deal that also helps an innovative cause.

Also take note, the video was shot in and around my neighborhood!

The Song Of The Day - Blue Jeans by Ladytron

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spinning Around Move Out Of My Way . . .

What happens after several glasses of wine and conversations about childhood activities...

Somersault challenge!

Thanks Shamoli for catching the moment on film.

The Song Of The Day - Spinning Around by Kylie Minogue

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Connect . . .

Music is a very important part of this blog.  

Each post features a song that is usually available on iTunes.

iTunes recently added the Ping application which allows users to follow artists, celebrities, and other music lovers.  The application appears to still be evolving. 

If you like music too, I have added a link to my Ping profile on the bottom left side bar of this page.  From my Ping profile you can choose to follow me which will allow you to see the songs I like and purchase.

I am not sure why iTunes/Ping isolated my music taste to Electronic, Hip Hop/Rap, and Pop because I like more than just those three genres.

My iTunes library is pretty extensive as I have 5,811 songs and counting.

For "The Song Of The Day" I have selected the most played song from my iTunes library -

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miss You Much . . .

It is with great sadness that I must announce the loss of Baja Fresh's downtown San Francisco location.

We broke bread, I mean chips, together many times over the last several years.

Your closure was so sudden and unexpected.

I'd like to pour some mango salsa out for my Baja homies.

The Song Of The Day - Miss You Much by Janet Jackson