Sometimes they really are indistinguishable

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

When a non-techie friend of mine moved to San Francisco, she overheard two guys talking next to her.

“What are you up to,” one of them asks?

The other replied, “Oh, I’m trying to learn Python.”

“Excuse me,” my friend interrupted them. “But I believe it’s called Parseltongue.”

(After living here for a while longer, she became very embarrassed. And though it wasn’t exactly what he meant, I still think Mr. Clarke would approve.)

Transamerica

Photo from August 30, 2007

Transamerica
North Beach, San Francisco, California

Panasonic DMC-LX1
1/500 sec at f/4.0, iso 80, 15.6mm (70mm)

Part of the same photo roll as this photograph, I ended up processing it also before I noticed the error.

It’s a “tourist snapshot” of the Transamerica Pyramid. From a photographic standpoint there is nothing to write about because I took it the same way any tourist might. Even though the camera shoots RAW, the dynamic range of small camera CCDs back then were just not up to the task of recording anything useable in the shadows. All I could do is use the “pump the blues” trick that any nature photographer knows to do for outdoor photos.

Even though Transamerica has long since moved to the East Coast, because it was built by them and its still in their logo, it’s still called the Transamerica Building and has been a the salient fixture of the San Francisco skyline for my entire life. I read somewhere that when it was built it was considered the ugliest building in the city until the Mariott “Jukebox” was built in 1989. I guess after that the One Rincon Tower Fan were built, San Franciscans were like, “You know, the Transamerica pyramid actually looks kind of nice.”

I snapped this photo outside my favorite sandwich shop at the time, Giordano Bros, which, like Transamerica, has moved to a different location.

A lot of people don’t “get” the All-in-One sandwich because they didn’t grow up in Pittsburgh, but putting french fries and coleslaw in a sandwich seems the most natural thing to do. Before I even ate at Primati’s I used to put Snyders of Berlin BBQ potato chips in my chipped ham sandwiches when I ran out of Isaly’s BBQ sauce.

Ever wonder why it took a Pittsburgh franchise to popularize the Bob’s Big Boy sandwich as the McDonald’s Big Mac? Go eat an All-In-One and then go eat a Big Mac and your culinary mind will be blown.

I may not have the tastebuds of a foodie, but to make up for it when I eat, with a single bite into a sandwich, my mind can travel trans-america from San Francisco, to Oak Brook, to Pittsburgh, to Los Angeles and back again. And that’s why my favorite sandwich in San Francisco when I snapped this photo was Giordano Bros’s Coppa All-in-One.

Pork Tocino

If you live in The Richmond, you know that B*Star Bar is like eating at Burma Superstar but without the line.

Breakfast plate with pork tocino, garlic fried rice topped with two eggs cooked over easy. Spoon in foreground
Pork Tocino with Garlic Fried Rice
B*Star Bar, The Richmond, San Francisco, California, United States

Sony DSC-RX1
0.013 sec (1/80) @ f/4.5, iso400, 35 mm

My favorite brunch dish there is the Pork Tocino. Grilled jerk pork over a bed of garlic fried rice and cherry tomatoes, topped with scallions and balsamic vinegar.

Since Marie loves their Huevos Racheros, I end up ordering this dish a lot. The only times I don’t is when we bring a guest, then I suggest they get it and I order something else.

Continue reading about some WordPress plugin notes after the jump

Happy Holidays: Web Programmer Complains SF Is Full of People Just Like Him

[Hat tip to the literary genius “founder” of DickWhack or whatever-the-fuck-it’s-called](http://valleywag.gawker.com/happy-holidays-startup-ceo-complains-sf-is-full-of-hum-1481067192):

I just got back to SF. I’ve traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down (almost all) of San Francisco. Why the heart of our city and surrounding environs has to be overrun by crazy, entitled, money-grubbing, startup hipsters I have no clue. Each time I pass by one, my love affair with SF dies a little.

The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, this lower part of society keep to themselves. They sit in their parent’s basements, eat cheetos, program quietly, and generally stay out of your way unless you need a leash in League of Legends. They realize it’s a privilege to be in meatspace and view themselves as guests. And that’s okay.

In downtown SF these ironic-t-shirt-wearing lib(ertarian)tards multiply like tribbles, give you the evil eye (when they bother to look up from their iPhones), and act like they own the city — as if it’s their place of leisure, gluten-free, grass-fed restaurants, and Belgian craft microbreweries… In actuality it’s the live-work city for a hell lot more than a bunch of VC-funded beggars trying to make a business model around helping similar lowlifes securely send dick pics to one another. It’s a disgrace. I don’t feel safe planning out my next meal without having my eyes accosted by their shitty reviews on Yelp or nasty “tips” on FourSquare on whether or not the place accepts BitCoin.

You can preach compassion, equality, and be the biggest lover of humanity in the world, but there is an area of town for self-entitled worthless drains and an area of town for the people trying to actually get shit done without being secretly stalked by some dude wearing Google Glasses. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us with their hooded sweatshirts flaunting their fly-by-night social mobile gaming startup when their business is on the Internet and their money comes from Sand Hill. They can eat and “work” somewhere else. It’s a burden and a liability having them so close to us sucking up our LTE/3G bandwidth with their Instagrams of their latest bacon and truffle-oil infused lunch. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I’d consider thinking different, but the young trust fund white male ordering a code monkey to make a website designed for other white 1%ers like them hasn’t made anyone else’s life better in a while.

PUBLIC Bikes

I wrote this article to celebrate National Bike to Work Day. Please note below that PUBLIC has a sale on that expires today.

For the last two years, I’ve lived about a block away from South Park. Earlier this year, I snapped a photo at a new bicycle store that had popped up late last year:

www.publicbikes.com

www.publicbikes.com
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Apple iPhone 4
1/15 sec @ ƒ2.8, iso 100, 3.85mm (37mm)

The exterior is both striking and very àpropos of this hotbed of Web 2.0:

Outside public bikes

Outside PUBLIC bikes
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
17 exposures (auto mode), iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

These display bikes are cleverly locked to the stand. They are also all test-rideable.

Model showroom

Model showroom
PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/400sec @ ƒ4, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

There is also a basket of flyers for passerby too shy to come in to the store. From the catalog flyer, I learned that the dog, Simone, is not for sale. 🙁 The day we came inside, Simone wasn’t in but Dawn’s dog, Riley, was subbing for her. He’s not for sale either. 🙁

Flyers

Flyers
PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/250sec @ ƒ3.5, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

That would have been the end of things had we not recently decided to move to the Richmond district on the other side of the city. The move necessitates commuting and running errands by bicycle, and Marie had no bicycle she could confidently ride and safely lock. We spent days looking at and test-riding bicycles around the city. And, for some reason, we kept coming back to PUBLIC bikes.

The first time we stopped by, a person on his way out tried to convince her to try one of the bicycles—she didn’t have the time that time. (We would later find out that he was the founder of the company.)

Continue reading about buying a PUBLIC bike after the jump.

I can't wait!

Brian Shire's been a bad boy.

Tekrat tests the computer controlled vinyl cutter.

Tekrat wrote me today:

So TechShop SF is finally open so that means I can finish up a lot of projects I’ve been meaning to do. One on the list was this graphic I wanted to print up a while ago. Unfortunately the one I tried on my laptop was the only one that came out right today 😀 Is the Macbook Air have the same as the Macbook Pro? As soon as I get my new blades I can cut another…

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Stacked Apples

iPhone 4, iPad, MacBook Air 13″, MacBook Pro 15″, MacBook Pro 17″

Must. Be. Patient.

Mapping the Long Tail (of drinking)

It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years, since we’ve last had a Spontaneous Drinking Night—an event with only two rules: a weeknight and less than twenty four hours notice.

_DSC1455

Spontaneous Drinking Founders (minus one)
House of Shields, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, SB-800
1/30sec @ f/2.2 iso3200, 50mm

Cindy Phung, Andrew Mager, and Robert Balousek. Only one founder is missing from this photo.

But Greg was visiting and House of Shields may be closing soon so we had to schedule a reunion.
Continue reading

Lolcats can never be FAIL'd

Last month, my friend and fellow kimchee-eaterM.J., had three books sent to me. FailNation, How to Take over Teh Wurld, and Graph Out Loud. That’s important that I have friends like her because I’m usually the last to know about the latest memes.

Three new books and their respective websites: FailBlog, ICanHasCheezburger, and GraphJam.

I mention this because if you happen to be in San Francisco today at 6:30pm you really need to go to the book launch party. I came to get their last book signed:

I’ll certainly be there in order to get the books signed (and then give them away later, like I did last time).

Ben Huh signing their first book.

See you at the party!

(Full disclaimer, I now work for Automattic—though I didn’t at the time M.J. sent me the books. ICanHasCheezburger, GraphJam, and Failblog are VIP customers of WordPress.com.)