EppsNet Archive: San Francisco

See You in Hell, Ed Lee

12 Dec 2017 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Ed Lee was the mayor of San Francisco, a sanctuary city.

My plan was to have Ed shot to death by an illegal alien but he outsmarted me by dying of a heart attack before I could put all the pieces together.

See you in Hell . . .


Those They Leave Behind

29 Sep 2017 /
Moving van

My son’s moving this weekend from an overpriced San Francisco apartment to a different overpriced San Francisco apartment.

His roommates in the current apartment are a friend he’s known since high school and a young woman who answered an ad to replace the original roommate, a college friend who moved out six months ago.

The new roommates are the same high school friend plus two college classmates.

My wife was talking to the boy last night on speaker phone . . . she was dismayed that the current female roommate wasn’t included in the move.

“We gave her a lot of notice so she’s already found another spot,” the boy said. “She’s hard to live with. She’s kind of a slob. In six months, she didn’t take the trash out one time.”

I said to my wife, but loud enough for him to hear, “He never took the trash out when he lived with us, but we didn’t kick him out.”

“You did kick me out,” he said. He then recounted how we drove him to a college campus six years ago and left him there.

Nice try . . .


EppsNet Restaurant Reviews: Don Pisto’s

11 Apr 2016 /

Our son and his girlfriend took us to a Mexican restaurant in North Beach for Sunday brunch. Later, at the airport, when I couldn’t remember the name of the place, I googled “san francisco mexican brunch” and it came back as the first result.

Don Pistos

Don Pisto’s is (according to Google) synonymous with Mexican brunch in SF. I can recommend the huevos rancheros, breakfast burrito and the pork tamale and eggs.

I also had a margarita. Maybe because I ordered it at the bar and it was poured right in front of me, but there was mucho tequila in the margarita. I don’t always drink margaritas, but when I do, I often order a second one. That option was not even on the table on this occasion.

Rating: 5 stars


Moving Back

12 Dec 2015 /
Moving box

Our boy was home recently for a visit . . . he lives in San Francisco now . . . we were driving to dinner one night and his mom, from the back seat, said to him, “You can move back if you want to.”

“I don’t think I would move back to Irvine,” the boy said matter-of-factly.

“I meant you can move the seat back. I have plenty of room back here.”


The Coffee Goes to 11

14 Sep 2015 /

We stopped in at the Nespresso coffee bar at Geary and Grant just before leaving San Francisco to drive back to Orange County. For the iced latte that I wanted, the menu offered a choice of three coffees ranked by “intensity”: 4, 9 or 11. The 4 seemed too low, and I saw no reason to go with the 9 and leave the extra two intensity points on the table, so I selected the 11.

I didn’t notice any off-the-charts intensity as I was drinking the coffee but it kicked in on the drive home, somewhere near Salinas. I could have driven straight through to South America, such was my level of alertness and energy.

Nespresso


Dogs in San Francisco

7 Sep 2015 /
Dachshund and Golden Gate Bridge

If you’re a dog or a recently released felon, you are welcome in San Francisco. Not only are there lots of people walking in SF, there are lots of people walking with dogs. French Bulldogs, Huskies and Pomeranians seems to be especially popular.

Until he got too old to really enjoy it, I took Lightning to the Irvine dog park six days a week (it’s closed on Wednesdays) for years. I’ve spent a lot of time around dogs, so I’m better than most people at identifying dog breeds.

We were walking in San Francisco last weekend when my wife pointed and asked “What kind of dog is that?” Before I could say “It’s a Labradoodle,” our boy said “Labradoodle.”

I must have been visibly stunned because he then asked me “Were you going to say ‘Goldendoodle’?”

“No . . . you’re pretty good at identifying dogs now.” This is a totally new talent. When he left Irvine, I’m not sure he could tell a dog from a squirrel . . .


Walking in San Francisco

6 Sep 2015 /

Our boy is working and living in San Francisco now, We went to visit him last weekend . . .

It’s hard to drive and park in SF so a lot of people walk to where they need to go. Our hotel was a few blocks from the boy’s apartment but for the most part, we left the car in the parking garage and walked everywhere.

On a couple of occasions, we met one of his co-workers walking past us in the other direction. (His office is nearby, 7-8 blocks from his apartment, but it’s a startup, not a huge company like Transamerica with lots of employees.) On another occasion, we met a couple of his college classmates from Cal sitting near us at a local eatery. This is not to mention the friends, classmates and co-workers that we planned to meet up with because they also live in the vicinity.

I’ve lived in Irvine and worked in town or nearby for 15 years and I never see anyone I know walking around the city, probably because I don’t walk around the city and neither does anyone else. Well, I take that back . . . on weekend mornings I usually walk about a mile to Starbucks for coffee. The average number of people I meet on those walks is approximately 0.0.

But even when we go to restaurants. movies, stores, public events, etc., I very rarely see anyone I know. Very rarely.

It’s funny that a big, international city like San Francisco feels more like a neighborhood than does a typical suburban community¬†. . .

San Francisco from Nob Hill

Photo Credit: louisraphael


Now What?

15 May 2015 /
Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over ...

We’re in Berkeley for Casey’s graduation tomorrow . . . we got a text from him earlier this week saying “I just took my last two college exams.” Thus ends a journey that began 17 years ago on the first day of kindergarten, which I feel like I remember too vividly for it to have been 17 years ago, but it was.

Now what? I don’t mean for him . . . he’s got a job lined up in San Francisco. I mean for me. I’ve had the milestone birthdays — the ones where your age ends in zero — that seem to depress a lot of people . . . they didn’t bother me at all. But my boy becoming an independent person in the world is really disorienting me . . .


Happy 21st Birthday, Casey

28 Jul 2014 /

On this date 21 years ago — July 28, 1993 — our son Casey was born.

On his first birthday, we took him to Chuck E Cheese. On his 21st birthday, he’s in San Francisco having dinner with his girlfriend so we have to wish him a happy birthday over the phone.

“I remember the day you were born like it was last week,” I say. “I was an integral part of it.”

“Yeah, so was I,” he says.

Right, but he doesn’t remember it like I do. And I don’t want to mention it on his special day, but he didn’t really do anything either. His mom and I did all the work and yet he gets all the glory and recognition. Think about that.

“Happy birthday. I love you.”


HW’s Movie Reviews: 42

12 Apr 2013 /
42

Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball!

Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already.

You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.”

When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities.

You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now.

Let’s move on already.

Rating: 1 star

Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants don’t have a single black player on their current roster (although some of the Latin players are pretty dark). Black men can play baseball if they want to but they don’t want to.


Quick Thinking

16 Apr 2011 /
Cable Car of the Powell-Hyde line in San Francisco

My kid is in San Francisco with a Northwood High musical group. Among the chaperones is the school principal. We don’t like her. More on that later.

“Avoid the temptation to push her in front of a cable car,” I advised the boy.

“Why?” he asked.

“Well . . .” Now I had to think of something. “Because her fat ass would derail the thing, costing innocent people their lives.”


Baggage Buddies: How to Save $3,500 on a Flight from OC to SF

8 Apr 2011 /

Southwest Airlines 737-300

A large group of kids from the music program at Northwood High School are traveling to San Francisco next week. Half are flying up on United and half are flying on Southwest.

As you probably know, Southwest doesn’t charge for checked luggage. United does.

Each kid on the United flight will give his or her suitcase to a “baggage buddy” on the Southwest flight. Each Southwest kid will check two bags while each United kid will check none.

Using this arrangement on both legs of the trip cuts the travel cost by $3,500.


High School Confidential

17 Oct 2010 /
Napoleon Bonaparte

I ask my boy how school’s going this year, his senior year in high school.

“It’s okay,” he says. “I don’t enjoy it that much but I do it anyway.”

When we get to the subject of his English teacher, he says, “He’s fine, other than he’s got a Napoleon complex and spends the entire class talking about himself. I know everything about him and I’ve learned nothing about poetry.

“He has a two-year-old daughter and another daughter six months old. He coaches a cross-country team. He considers himself the greatest runner of all time. We don’t know what pain is because he has a messed-up knee and he runs on it anyway.

“He thinks Mr. Plette [the AP History teacher] is soft because Mr. Plette give higher grades than he does but don’t tell Plette he said that because Plette’s his boy.

“He’s a San Francisco Giants fan. He’s missing class on Thursday to go to the Giants game.

“Did you know that he has a principal’s credential? When he took the test, other teachers were hanging their heads and walking out of the room, but he knew immediately that he passed it because he knows how to write essays.”

“I hope you’re not pointing these things out to anyone but your parents.”

“Are you kidding? It’s all I talk about.”


What if the Amount of Fog Stays Exactly The Same?

18 Feb 2010 /
San Francisco

The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it’s about to get even foggier.

 

The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay, scientists have found.


The Winchester House Effect

28 Jul 2000 /

Background

The Winchester House in San Jose was built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester (“The Gun That Won the West”) Repeating Arms Company fortune.

Winchester House staircase

After her daughter and husband died, she came to believe that the family was haunted by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles.

She consulted a medium in Boston, who told her to move west and build a mansion that would never be finished.

As long as she kept building, she would never die.

(Whether or not you believe in spiritualists, you’ve got to give high marks here for originality.)

In 1884, Mrs. Winchester moved to San Jose, which was then a rural community, and bought an eight-room farmhouse. She kept builders employed at the house 24 hours a day for the next 38 years, until her death in 1922.

By that time, the house was four stories high (it had been seven stories before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) and had 160 rooms.

Of course there was no master plan for all this construction. Mrs. Winchester had a seance room in which she consulted “good spirits” for architectural advice.

Mostly she was building for the sake of building, per the medium’s advice. As a result, the house is full of structural oddities: staircases that lead nowhere, doors that open to walls, fireplaces without chimneys . . . a classic case of ineffective change management.

 

I originally developed the idea of a Winchester House Effect in software in collaboration, I guess you could say, with a former colleague of mine — shortly before he went insane.

Man underwater

He was a project manager on a project that had fallen behind schedule, so he decided to jump in and do some coding in an effort to make up for lost time.

He unwittingly wound up trying to code the most complex program in the system, the one the rest of us had been trying to avoid.

In retrospect, I wish we’d tipped him off to maybe start with something a little simpler, but there was really no way to foresee the effect the program would have on him.

His behavior became increasingly strange and paranoid. He wound up leaving the project suddenly, although not before finishing the fateful program.

The code was bizarre; the program flow made no sense. I remember thinking at the time, “He’s created the Winchester House of software.”

His subsequent hospitalization was (we were told) for high blood pressure, and not — not — the result of a nervous breakdown.

The program was unmaintainable and was eventually rewritten from scratch.