: views from the Hill

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I felt the earth move ...

We walked the 1.7mi or so down to Postrio for a 7p dinner so we could use a gift certificate we placed the winning bid on at a non-profit event last June. The certificate was good for a chef's tasting menu for two. We splurged on the wine pairing with the meal and were well into dinner when I felt my chair give a shake.

"Earthquake," I said to his nibs. He nodded.

My chair shook again. "A good earthquake," I said. He nodded again.

My chair shook a third time and we looked up to see the inside of the light fixture above us begin to sway. The light fixture itself was locked in solid.

The shaking stopped and as we always do, we began to guess what the magnitude had been. I guessed a 3.2 somewhere in the near East Bay.

No one in the restaurant seemed fazed by it all. The women sitting next to us mentioned it to the waiter. "You probably just had too much to drink," he replied.

re the magnitude Turns out I was nowhere near: the quake was a a magnitude 5.6. 5 miles NNE of Alum Rock, CA (in East San Jose, up in the hills where I grew up). 9.2 km (5.7 miles) deep. Lasted quite a while too. We didn't feel the quake as strongly as we would've if the quake had been shallower.

We haven't had anything as strong as a magnitude 5.6 in quite a while.

Hadn't seen this at the USGS site before. His nibs says he'd seen it: it's a relatively recent addition to their set of earthquake goodies:

Real-time Forecast of Earthquake Hazard: Maps showing the probability of strong shaking at any location in California within the next 24-hours.

The Web is a wonder.

Update: According to the Chron, the quake was the strongest since the Loma Prieta in October 1989. I thought so last night, but couldn't find any verification for the gut feel. The Chron also quotes folks saying that this quake, which happened right where the Calaveras splits from the Hayward, might have consequences for spots further north on the fault lines. Batten down those hatches!

Potrero Point power up for vote

The yackyackyack (or some of it) these days on San Francisco blogs, at the Port Commission and in San Francisco newspapers (SFExaminer and SFChronicle) is all about the Potrero Point power station and moves afoot to supplement/replace it.

Even Aaron's gotten into the spirit of things, making a half-hearted attempt to eliminate the San Francisco Department of the Environment -- firing all its employees, keeping only the department director -- because Jared Blumenfeld, the director, is against the proposed new natural-gas-burning power plant at Potrero Point.

Ah, the smell of politics in the morning.

What is this proposed power plant and why is it taking so long to make a yay or nay decision?

Well, part of the time delay is due to political maneuvering, part of it is due to neighbors who don't want any power plant at all in their backyard (although how to shut down the existing Potrero Point power plant without creating the energy resources required by the California Independent System Operator ("CAISO") is a question) and part of it is due to folks, including Jared Blumenfeld mentioned above, who want San Francisco not to build a fueled plant but instead to tap into wind/sun/wave generation to provide the energy required by CAISO and the FEC.

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Above is a picture of the existing Mirant power plant, located at Potrero Point, at the edge of the Bay at 23rd Street.

The Mirant plant consists of the natural-gas-fueled Potrero Unit 3 and three diesel-fueled peakers -- Units 4,5, and 6. The plant uses "once-through" cooling, sucking 206 million gallons of water a day from San Francisco Bay and returning scalding, polluted water. The current facility operates 24/7 and is estimated, even with equipment refurbishment, to be years past its operating usefulness. Dainty, isn't it?

Sited on four acres north of 25th and Maryland, adjacent to the new Muni Metro East facilities, the new plant, staff says, will be "essentially hidden behind Muni Metro East facilities." Unlike the existing Mirant plant, the new plant will use recycled water and does not discharge into the bay.

The city-owned power plant will consist of three "peakers" -- combustion turbines that supply electricity only when demand is high and existing power resources are inadequate -- each with an 85' high exhaust stack. (The exhaust stack at the existing Mirant facility, shown in the photo, is 280' high.) The three natural-gas combustion turbines for the plant were part of a legal settlement by Williams Energy. The turbines will supply 150MW and will tie into the power substation at 23rd and Illinois. (You can see the substation on the left in the photograph.) A fourth turbine received in the settlement will be installed at the airport.

With the installation of the new plant, the way is open to shut down the Mirant facility, which has a RMR (Reliability Must Run) designation and cannot shut down as long as there is insufficient In-City energy resources to replace it. CAISO's requirement was 150MW of generation in San Francisco proper, which is why the plant has to be located within the City limits.

Is there a guarantee that the existing Potrero Point facility will be shut down? No. But the likelihood is good and without the new plant, the likelihood is nil.

The Trans Bay Cable project -- to be operational first quarter 2010 -- will bring an additional 400 MW into the City. Between the peaker turbines and the TBC, CAISO feels that the City will meet the FEC requirement for reliable power and will move to remove the RMR designation for the existing Potrero Point power plant.

Shutting down the Mirant plant is a high priority not only for people who live in the area but also for some of the movers and shakers downtown at City Hall. This is good. I'd willing trade three relatively-clean peakers for the Mirant monster belching particulates into the air and spewing 206 million gallons of scalding, polluted water into the Bay every day.

Did you know the park at the water's edge on 24th Street sits at Warm Water Cove? Will they have to change the name once the Mirant plant is shut down?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Turn, Turn, Turn*

Note the difference between October's full moon (above)

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and September's.

Update: and October cropped. [for Asha]
There must be a science lesson here somewhere ...

Update2: and then, of course, there's always

That's 14Nov 2005. How weird is that?

Oh, wait. Daylight Savings Time ... clock falls back ...

* (Turn, Turn, Turn - Pete Seeger)

Alas. Zee Passage ees gone, vamoose.

Driving back from the dump/Costco/TraderJoe's fieldtrip on Tuesday, we noticed that Passage, the wonderful sculpture by Dan DasMann and Karen Cusolito, was being loaded onto a flatbed truck out in front of Pier 14.

Alas. Sorry to see Passage go, but moderately happy that at least we were able to enjoy the art piece for over four almost three times longer than the six-month installation that was originally planned.

July 2006 blogpost w/ pics. For pics only, just click on the pic above.

Update: and FINALLY! I stumbled across a photograph of the work as it was originally installed at Burning Man (while I was trying to determine whether the title was Passages or Passage) and had one of those aha! moments. Now, I get the title. ...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Garbage, waste, trash, oh my!


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This morning we spent two [stenchy] hours getting a tour of The Dump


I mean ...

"Norcal Waste System, Inc's Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center" at the border of San Francisco and Brisbane, San Francisco County and San Mateo County (which causes problems, you betcha)

with our buds from SPUR.org.

I hadn't been on an educational field trip to the dump since the younger younger one was in Tiger Cubs.

Twenty years later ... Different dump. Still as fascinating. More, maybe.

Field trip report to follow.

Update: As promised, a field trip report about my morning at the dump. Caution: long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kinch "Dishing Up the Fall Harvest"

Joyce Gemperlein's Chefs At Home for the Wall Street Journal (20 Oct 2007) focuses on David Kinch of Manresa (Los Gatos, CA) with Dishing Up the Fall Harvest. Recipes included.

Which reminds me, we haven't been to Manresa since we moved up here full-time. THREE YEARS. It's been three years. Used to be easier when we lived at least part time just a couple miles up the road, but now any Manresa dinner plans involve a fifty mile trek coming and going and it's a bit of an excursion.

... but we have a dinner chit that we were high bidder for at a charity auction earlier this year.

We need to make plans.

[from a link at Eater SF]

Archives, come get your archives ... (Time Magazine)

Time Magazine archives back to 1923 are now available online and FREE!

Time's search algorithm doesn't work so hot. They claim that if I put "sally j towse" into the search engine, it will return only articles that contain "sally j towse," but it appears to return articles that include "sally" or "j" or "towse."

When I pop simply "towse" in, I get a Towse going back to the 20s and 30s, but not my Letter to the Editor that Time used back in the 90s.

Special collections, covers, and more.

Thanks, Time!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Archives, archives, ARCHIVES!

On the heels of the Daily Show opening its archives to the world FOR FREE!, comes word (1) via Sour Grapes' Google Reader cache and (2) via link from the article that Grapes' snagged of more archives coming online.

(1) The Economist will put the Economist Historical Archive 1843-2003 online for a free look initially and then on a subscription basis -- fees not given.

(2) As of Nov 3d the Guardian and Observer newspapers will be available in an online digital archive. Free for November. Fee-structure post-November not given.

The first phase of the Guardian News & Media archive, containing the Guardian from 1821 to 1975 and The Observer from 1900 to 1975, will launch on November 3.

It will contain exact replicas of the original newspapers, both as full pages and individual articles. and will be fully searchable and viewable at guardian.co.uk/archive.

Readers will be offered free 24-hour access during November, but after this trial period charging will be introduced.

The rest of the archive will launch early in 2008, making more than 1.2m pages of digitised news content available, with Observer content available from its launch as the world's first Sunday newspaper in 1791.

[continues ...]

Hope springs eternal that both archives will discover, as the NYT did, that fees are not the way to go, that revenue generated by selling advertising based on page hits from a shipload of people is more lucrative than charging a fee to a coracle full.

When the lights go down in the City*


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Watching the lights go off on the Bay Bridge last night.

That blaze of lights on the other side of the Bay is the Port of Oakland, destination of most of the shipping traffic that we see from our perch.

Lights Out SF was a feel-good event that got people involved who hadn't been involved. I'm not sure whether anyone said to themselves, dang, I can make-do with only one lamp burning at night, not the seventy-seven I turned out for an hour on Friday.

I swopped out three incandescent light bulbs with three CFLs. Consuming less energy bit by bit, but nowheres near being a cragger.

For those who can (those who have individually metered electric and have been living in their place since at least last October and who, unlike us, don't have solar and a meter running backwards and so don't have any way of knowing how much energy we used last October or this), you have until Wednesday to sign up for the San Francisco Climate Challenge. Challenge kicks off Thursday.

[* Journey. LIGHTS]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Google joins Lights Out SF


Turn those lights off tonight from 8-9p and replace (at least) one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb

Lights Out SF

Update: Pictures to follow.

Needless to say, not all the lights in SF went out.

Our neighbors downhill, the ones we thought were the most green, the most tree hugging, the ones... who were the most logical ones to turn out their lights didn't.

Aaron, our guy, our supervisor, our Chair of the Board of Supervisors, had no lights on at his place. Was he home? I don't know. But (luckily for him, with all the neighbors watching) he didn't have a peep of light shining out of his windows.

We didn't turn ours out until :10 after because ... well, because we were on the other side of the bay and the meeting went on and on and on and...

We got home ... whipped up a quick dinner. Turned our lights out at :05 or, maybe, :10 after.

And kept them off for over an hour.

Are we forgiven?

The Bay Bridge lights took =forever= to be turned off. We watched the crew with their blink-blink-blinky lights on their vehicle stop and turn off lights, stop and turn off lights, stop...

Obviously, the system had =not= been set up to turn off all the lights on the Bay Bridge rigging at once.



We =did= discovered that we had all sorts of earthquake-what-if lighting available but we had =no= (and I mean =NO=) candles here, at this address.

So, no romantic dinner by candlelight. We managed with other illumination.

I =will= be moving some candles here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flickr: The Guess Where SF Pool

Great fun at Flickr that I've been missing out on. Folks post an unlabeled picture taken anywhere in San Francisco and other folks guess where the picture was taken.

A really interesting collection of photos of San Francisco.

Flickr: The Guess Where SF Pool

Thanks, Anna

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean by Justin Berton, SFChronicle.


At the start of the Academy Award-winning movie "American Beauty," a character videotapes a plastic grocery bag as it drifts into the air, an event he casts as a symbol of life's unpredictable currents, and declares the romantic moment as a "most beautiful thing."

To the eyes of an oceanographer, the image is pure catastrophe.

In reality, the rogue bag would float into a sewer, follow the storm drain to the ocean, then make its way to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.


At the end of the article is a link to Save The Bay's Bay Trash Hot Spots. Click on a hot spot and get the details of dumped trash between Hunter's Point and Candlestick Point, Colma Creek's trash, trash in Coyote Creek in the south bay and more.

3.5 million tons of plastics and other debris floating out in the ocean between us and Hawaii! Yikes.

Do what you can to help, or at least don't make it worse. Minimize bag use and don't let the ones you have get loose and wind up in the wild.

His nibs and I are signed up for a SPUR tour of Norcal's transfer station out on Tunnel Ave next Tuesday AM. Should be interesting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Watch Daily Show Video Clips Online

By golly they DID IT!

Watch Daily Show Video Clips Online

Comedy Central's putting all Daily Show videos online (paired with subtle and well-thought-out advertising, natch).

1999-Now. Seven thousand one hundred twenty-eight videos so far.

The national productivity index makes a whooshing sound as it plummets by.


Interesting mashup showing San Francisco rental data: SFRentStats

And the nice thing? SFRentStats refuses advertising because it's just mashing up Craigslist data.

Paul Madonna - Open Studio 2007

Paul Madonna Open Studio
Sat & Sun, October 20 & 21
290 Guerrero St, @ 15th (San Francisco)
(Top Buzzer)

Paul Madonna Web site

7x7 article on All Over Coffee, Paul Madonna's new(ish) collection of drawings.

Madonna's collection is a classic, the perfect gift for the San Francisco-philes of your acquaintance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NYC Woman Finds Python in Her Toilet

NYC Woman Finds Python in Her Toilet

"And when she brushes her teeth, she said, 'I'm looking over my shoulder.'"

Update: WARNING. Mute your computer. The article opens on a page with a LOUD advertisement.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NYC Bride Sues Florist Over Flower Color

NYC Bride Sues Florist Over Flower Color [AP]

The florist sez he told her he probably couldn't match exactly the color she wanted. He provided pastel pink and green hydrangeas when the bride wanted dark rust and green ones.

Ruined her day, it did.

Bride is an attorney and is suing for $400K in restitution and damages.

And get this: the original flower bill was for $27,435.14!

Yikes. I hope her dear husband knows what he's getting into.

[More complete NYTimes article]

[tons of comments at the SFChronicle]

Monday, October 15, 2007

CAN-SPAM works?!!!?!

Porn Spammers Get Five Years.

Nice coupla guys.

Harsh sentencing of Kilbride is credited to his attempts to prevent a witness from testifying at the trial. Kilbride received six years in prison and Schaffer received a 5-1/4 year sentence. Each was fined $100,000 and had to forfeit $1.1 million of their porn spam profits. They also had to pay $77,500 in restitution to AOL, which claimed 1.5 million of its customers complained about their spam.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Right Brain v Left Brain

Right Brain v Left Brain

[via Adventures who plucked it from Bryce, who skinned it from Kottke]

Seems the direction you see her spinning determines whether you are left-brain or right-brain.

Right-brain here and I couldn't for the life of me get her to reverse her spin direction until I looked away and in my peripheral vision, she reversed direction! Then I couldn't get her to spin as I'd originally seen until ... I looked away and in my peripheral vision ...

from the original Herald Sun article:

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking"


Parlor trick?

Eventually, as I was creating this post, I had all of her obscured except her feet and the shadow of her feet and she seemed to be reversing back and forth in a 180deg range.

I must be PERFECTLY BALANCED mind-wise.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Voting, elections and paper trails

Spent the day at Stanford yesterday for his nibs' once-every-five-years reunion. As part of the program his class convened a panel of five classmates who talked about their lives since Stanford. His class has been around for a while, so there've been many years "since Stanford." All the stories were interesting.

One of the panelists was a woman who'd been in the Peace Corps and then been a middle school math teacher and administrator for years. She'd "retired" from that job years ago to sign on as an international elections observer with the UN Electoral Assistance Program and other agencies. She told stories about facing your fears, of not getting paralyzed with fear when situations got dicey, of getting out of East Timor before the election results were announced, of observing elections in Macedonia and other places.

Her comment that I'd like to pass on:

A word on voting machines. From my experience observing elections worldwide, you should ALWAYS have a paper trail in case there is a need for a recount. ALWAYS.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Only in San Francisco or someone's treasure needs a new home, stuff found on the street: a continuing story of San Francisco

See his nibs walk up Union.

See his nibs walk up Union and find on the sidewalk where Union crosses Grant one of the ubiquitous bits of "free" stuff you find on sidewalks in the City.

See his nibs think, oh, Sal will find this highly amusing.

See his nibs bring the sidewalk treasure home with its sign still attached.

Only in San Francisco.

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And, perhaps only in San Francisco, would someone then take a picture of the free! sidewalk treasure and blog about it.

[et voila! Let me introduce you to my new Canon A570 IS. The Nikon CoolPix 5600 (purchased in November 2005 and used to take a gazillion pictures in the last two years) had been on its last legs for a while. The aperture wouldn't close without tapping the camera against the heel of my palm multiple times, with increased force.

Finally, as of last weekend, the aperture wouldn't close at all. The final straw was the streaks that I'd been dealing with in pictures for a while now. Usually one or two pictures in a set would have the streaks showing, but the streaks were ALL OVER MY PICTURES OF THE BLUE ANGELS.


Yes, soze here's the new camera and now I have to internalize all the whizbang gadgetry until I don't even need to think about just how exactly you set things up if you're taking pictures of fireworks or need to take pictures (in a museum, say) without any flash. The IS (internal stabilization) should be mighty helpful.]

[BLOG] Sara Zarr: The Stories of a Girl

Word out in today's SFChronicle that Sara Zarr -- whom I met many many moons ago at a WTQ gathering of misc.writers, back when she lived in this fair city, before she moved to Utah -- is a finalist for the National Book Award for The Story of a Girl in the Young People's Literature division.

Yippee! Yahoo! for Sara!!!!!

Sara's Web presence: The Stories of a Girl

Sara is published. Sara is a finalist for a National Book Award.

Sara no longer engages with folks on misc.writing.

Hmmm. Is there a connection?

(A slight one, perhaps. Her success is primarily due to ... Sara is talented, and determined, and focussed and ...)

Yay, hooray for Sara!

Monday, October 08, 2007

More photos from the weekend

Soze F-Su, we had the Bixby Creek Gang in house.

Saturday, two of the gang were pre-engaged to be with friends on the WWII Liberty ship USS Jeremiah O'Brien to have a day on the water with CB Hannegan's providing BBQ food and Blue Angels & al. as entertainment.

They left the place soon after 7A to walk down to Piers 30-32 where the JO'B was picking up passengers. Three of us walked down the steps with them to Sansome, to see them on their way and because I had a bag of greencycle to drop off in the green bin at the bottom of the steps.

After breakfast, the rest of us went down to the Ferry Building for the Farmers' Market, then through Chinatown to check out the fruits and vegetables, then on to the rooftop of a tall building at the corner of Broadway and Laguna to watch the air show, getting there just after noon, when the Parade of Ships came into the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge.

I've added Saturday's pics to the earlier Blue Angels gallery. The smudges are still there on Saturday's photo set (drat!) but (hooray!) we ordered a Canon A570 IS an hour or two ago with a discount coupon and free shipping. Arriving on Wednesday, if all goes well.

[Click to enlarge image]

The first added pics show the USS Jeremiah O'Brien under way from Piers 30-32 to their staging station outside the Golden Gate for the Parade of Ships, which started at noon. A tug and one of the fire ships, spraying water, followed closely behind.

[Click to enlarge image]

Quick cutaway to a gorgeous hawk that was circling overhead and settling in nearby trees along the Filbert Steps.

Next stream of shots are from the rooftop in Pacific Heights, showing the Parade of Ships, which included a number of American and Canadian military ships with the Jeremiah O'Brien cruising through as the finale.

[Click to enlarge image]

The Blue Angels flew from 3-4 p.m. Photos kick in at #109/163.

Preceding them were a bunch of fast jets, helicopter search and rescue teams and acrobatic aircraft.

The pilots did amazing things with formation flying, corkscrews, climbs and dives, tearing at each other at full speed only to pull to either side just in time to whiz by, avoiding a collision. ... sometimes while flying upside down!

Fun to watch, but a job I don't aspire to. (Good thing!)

[Click to enlarge image]

And all the while, everyday shipping traffic kept coming into and out of the Bay. We wondered what the crews thought of the action overhead.

[Click to enlarge image]

The Coast Guard kept the hundreds of sailboats and powerboats that were out on the Bay away from certain areas and we couldn't figure out why until at one point one of the Blue Angels buzzed so low, it created a huge wake in the waters.

Zoom! ZooM!

[Click to enlarge image]

Crowds of people watched the action from building rooftops. The crowds down on the waterfront were enormous.

SFC video of the Blue Angels

And then the day was over. We moseyed on home by way of Fort Mason, Aquatic Park, up Columbus with a stop at XOX Truffles for sustenance and home-again home-again riggety-jig.

Total day's walk: 6 miles.

Beautiful weekend.

Sunday, the Bixby Creek Grandees joined us and a bit later one couple left. We sat around eating and talking for a while while we mulled over our options for the day: Strictly Bluegrass? Castro Street Fair? Burning Man installation?

Eventually, we walked down to the Embarcadero to catch the F-Line out to Valencia Street, but the cars going toward the Castro were packed, too packed to stop. "WHY?" we thought. "Isn't everyone headed to the waterfront for the Sunday air show?"

We walked over to Market Street and caught the F-Line there, figuring that anyone headed in that direction was probably headed for the Ferry Building, but no, the cars were still crowded, but at least less crowded and willing to stop for the six of us.

The cars remained crowded. Sure people got off, but more people got on and the cars remained packed the entire way.

It wasn't until just before we got off at Church and Market, and someone asked us how many more stops until Castro, that we realized that, duh, Sunday was the Castro Street Fair and everyone who wasn't watching the Blue Angels was heading to the Castro, on the F-Line.

Our first stop was 2223 Restaurant because the niece of the wife husband of a cousin (or some such relationship) of one of the gang has her oil paintings showing at the gallery for the next two months.

After checking out the oils, we walked down to Valencia because (and the afternoon had been set up to accommodate) one of the gang had heard tell of but never been to Borderlands. We stopped on our way to Borderlands at Paxton Gate because I adore the place and like to take unsuspecting visitors there.

From Paxton Gate on to Borderlands where I bought a signed HB copy of Christopher Moore's A DIRTY JOB -- a book with characters based on some creatures you can find at Paxton Gate -- and TNH's MAKING BOOK (which I'm pretty sure I have somewhere, but I can't find it) and the someone who had initiated the trip in the first place bought three other books and ... well, then pokey-poke into shops and bookstores in the neighborhood, killing time until Destino opened.

A pair of the gang has plans to visit Machu Picchu next spring and had asked a day or two earlier whether we could recommend a Peruvian restaurant in the city. Better than that, we told them Sunday, if we're all doing a fieldtrip out to 2223 and Borderlands, we can have dinner at Destino before we head back.

So we did.

And it was good.

And we got home and sorted out who was taking what food home, and binoculars and jackets and what-not. Get the cars out of the parking spaces. Bye-bye. And to bed for us.

I love these people. We should do this more often.

Friday, October 05, 2007


[Click to enlarge image]

I need to get a new camera. The lens on this one is damaged in some way, cleaning doesn't help, and, especially when you're taking photographs of sky &c., smudges are noticeable. Alas.

Oh, and a few in the set show the new Airbus A380 airborne.

[Click to enlarge image]


Updated: Photo set

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Blue Angels are BAAAAACK!

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The Blue Angels are here for Fleet Week. Scouting today, practicing tomorrow, a show on Saturday and one on Sunday, both at 3 p.m.

I was lucky enough to catch a good shot of the Diamond Formation. Two other planes have been flirting with the sky, flying crisscross over the Bay to the east then north, then back again and again. They've been at it for almost two hours now, distracting me from my pickup chores.


Reminds me of an old friend's installation ceremony and afterblast when she became a Grand Matron of the Eastern Star years and years ago now. We were not Eastern Star or Mason, but she wanted us there, so we went. Her family was there.

"And this is my grandson Steve," Marian said. "Steve's in the Air Force. He flies planes. What kind of plane is it you fly, Steve?"

"An F-16, Grandma."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Morning ferry heads up to Vallejo 6:37A

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The days grow short. The sun rises later. Skidding into fall.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Google Analytics

Having fun with Google Analytics.

I set up Google Analytics for Internet Resources for Writers the other day. Picked up my little bit of code from Google and added it to every page on the site.

I only have two days' worth of stats so far, but I've found out that 18% of my traffic comes from search engines, 32.5% comes from direct hits and the other 49.5% comes from links on other sites. Turns out of the 242 visits in the last two days, ninety of them came via stumbleupon. 37%!

I have a 60% bounce rate (meaning the visitor hit one page and left), which is sucky if you're trying to sell somebody something, but if someone wants a bit of information, finds it on the first page they look at and leaves, that's cool with me.

And if someone doesn't find what they're looking for (like the person who came via a search engine search for /dental office supplies free printable photos/), well, that's cool too. (I had to do that search to see if I really show up. I do! #4 on the returned hits!)

Other fun features of Google Analytics include a pretty map showing visitors' locations.

Cease and desist notices from the Tenderloin Housing Clinic

"From Tenderloin Housing Clinics own court records and you thought YOU had bad neighbors? "


[via Curbed SF]