Need a Guest Lecturer? Ask Me

I never brought this up before, but I’ve done my time giving lectures. I guess it started when I was asked to give an oral report in school. I liked doing that very much and as a kid I was a sponge soaking up information left and right. I’m glad I’ve kept that up because I find myself learning more now than I did in school which in and of itself could be a lecture. I have a very good knowledge of San Francisco History as well as aquarium keeping and audio recording. If you have a group that would be interested in having me as a guest lecturer email me and we can make arrangements. I’m pretty inexpensive as well. I might even do it for a free dinner.

Here are a few of the lectures I’ve given in the past.

San Francisco’s Sunset District: The Outside Lands.

Why Americans never call themselves Americans.

Why Caucasian is a meaningless term.

Getting your blog noticed.

How to turn your computer into a professional recording studio.

Setting up a planted aquarium.

Are San Franciscan’s smug?

smug.JPGThere’s a podcast I occasionally give a listen to that is from Minnesota where the podcasters talk about sex. Sometimes it’s mildly amusing at other times they’re downright insulting sex nazis. On one of the recent podcasts one of the members said she’d like to move to San Francisco because of how open minded we are sexually. Then one of the other members made a comment that she’d have to be able to afford $7000 a month for rent and that the people here are smug.

Obviously this person has never been to San Francisco. Yes, rent is high here. Probably some of the highest in the US, but you can find deals if you look hard. The smug comment though got to me even more. I think with the economy crash all the techie yuppies that put the smug in San Francisco left to be smug somewhere else. They occupied only a small part of the city as well. If you travel out to some of the other parts of the city you find real community in the people who live there. I used to live west of Sunset Boulevard near Judah Street. Once you go west of Sunset the entire vibe changes. Everyone’s a little more laid back and relaxed. The people who run the stores and restaurants out there know your name and you know your neighbors as well. We all had something in common out there. We learned to tolerate the fog for the few days of beautiful sunshine we’d get by the beach. Over the years I’ve noticed that for some reason the Sunset is getting more sun and less fog which is a good reason for me to have stayed here.

We’re all good people here and I think it would be best to leave the smugness to the people outside San Francisco who like to look down on us even though they act like us or want to act like us. What do you think?

Urban Gardener: Week 7


Week 7
Week 7

I know I’ve been a little busy and haven’t put in an update, but here it is. As you can see the green onions have all died. I don’t know what happened, but they just died. Over the weekend I’ll be pulling out the peat pellets and planting the remaining seeds and see what happens. The peat pellets have been a bit of a problem outside overall.

The initial peas that were planted had a nice little harvest last night to try as appetizers last night with dinner. I’ll be putting in some spikes to hold them up over the weekend as well as spiking the second set of peas. These were all very high yield peas which shows some promise for the future. They had said they didn’t need to be staked as they were a variety of English bush peas, but I think the staking will help.

The Mesclun lettuce I first planted has taken off and I found I had to cut back some of the plants that were actually beginning to flower. The newer Mesclun hasn’t taken off as well, but I’m sure given a few more days they’ll pick up.

As you’ll see down below, the tomato that I had all but given up on has started to bear fruit. We’ve got two small tomatoes at the moment and I’ll see what I need to do the make them turn from green to red. If you have any ideas let me know.



Urban Garden: week 4


week 4
week 4

Well this week was kind of interesting because of the heat wave that hit us. I had to water a lot more because of it, but the tomato in the background there wasn’t doing so well and has perked up a bit now that it’s hotter.

The mesclun on the left we did a small harvest on last night and it had a nice spicey taste to it. We’ll have to see how well it comes back and for how long we can keep cutting it and having it grow back. I’ve never heard that before, but I’m willing to give it a try.

The oldest planted peas have only one pod so far, but I haven’t seen much in the way of growth and they don’t like hot weather too much. Because of all the concrete in our backyard the temperature actually hit 109° two days ago which is the highest I’ve seen in a long time. Luckily it’s started to cool off a bit so things are going back to normal.

My Urban Garden, week 2


Week 2
Week 2

So I’ve decided to keep the urban garden an ongoing thing. Here’s todays shot and you can see how the peas and lettuce have really grown in the last week.

The green onions have finally taken hold and we have new sprouts of mesclun lettuce coming up on the far right. We also have blooms starting on the peas and tomato so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.

Currently SF is having some warm weather and our backyard is up to 85°. This is mostly because of the fact that the backs of the houses in the Sunset have shingled concrete that absorbs the heat and radiates it back so it’s getting warm out there. 

Not sure yet, but we’re thinking of harvesting some of the lettuce to go with my SF gourmet hamburgers I’m making tonight. Stay tuned for details.

Goodbye Herb. :(

Herb Hamrol
Herb Hamrol

I just discovered that Herb Hamrol died. He was 106. That’s right 106! He’s one of the last known survivors of the 1906 earthquake. I remember him mostly from seeing him at Andronico’s supermarket were he still worked but only two days a week. I remember him telling me once not to drink or smoke or do drugs and then he admitted to quitting smoking at 80. 

Herb liked to talk to the customers and he was one sharp guy for 106. When I first heard him tell someone he was 103 I couldn’t believe I figured he might be in his early 70’s and I’m pretty good with figuring out people’s ages.

I’ll miss Herb. He was a fun guy and one of the reasons I liked going to Andronico’s. To see a guy who was able to keep going and stay sharp for so long and he even remembered back to the 1906 earthquake and used to tell people the story of his mother grabbing him and running down the stairs with him during the quake. Herb was one of those guys that just made San Francisco an interesting place to be. Goodbye Herb.

R.I.P. Deadpan Host of Horror

Bob Wilkins, R.I.P.
Bob Wilkins, R.I.P.

Thanks to my good friend Mike via email this morning I was informed that Bob Wilkins, the host of 70’s horror movie show Creature Features has died as of today. This is a bit sad to me because as a kid watching Bob on Saturday night along with ordering a pizza and hanging out with my friends watching cheesy old horror movies was the best thing a few 13 years could do since we couldn’t get booze yet.

Bob has a way about that was, well nerdish, babyfaced and deadpan. He rarely showed any emotion. I can’t remember ever seeing him laugh. He was just there, but that’s what made him something that added a bit of character in the Bay Area. I remember meeting him at a Star Trek convention at Civic Center sometime around 1976. [OK, maybe I shouldn’t have just admitted that.] All he said to me was, “Oh, Hello.” shook my hand and walked off.  That was about the friendliest I’ve ever seen him. It also made me realize how badly he reeked of the cigars he always smoked. Hopefully with a little luck KTVU channel 2 where the show ran will run a few repeats as a tribute. For now you’ll have to do with this short video I found on youtube.
Creature Features

Nuts to you!

Morrow's Nut House
"Morrow's Nut House"

Today is a bit of a sad day for San Franciscans. Morrow’s Nut House and it’s crazy owner Jackie Helbert have announced that they will close their doors for good on January 1st.

For those of you who haven’t visited I would suggest you do before the end of the year. Jackie was the loud & crazy woman who ran the place for the past 37 and had taken over from her mother. This is one of those family owned businesses that had just enough odd about it to make it truely a piece of SF history. While our local government is trying to keep all the Wal-marts and large corporate chains out of San Francisco to keep us special we still have those special odd little places like Morrow’s to keep us on our toes. Unfortunately we now only have a few more days to enjoy this little place where they roast their nuts daily. I think I’m going to take a little break from work here and walk over there just to remember the smell and to get some nuts.

I’ve Got a Guitar and I’m Not Afraid to Use It! is out

I just checked in at iTunes today and noticed that my new album has finally made it’s way to iTunes! You can check it out by clicking on the iTunes button.
Eric Kauschen - I've Got a Guitar and I'm Not Afraid to Use It!

I’d really appreciate it if you give a 5 star rating just to jump me up a bit in with the big leagues. Besides, at $8.91. It’s a steal!

If you’re not an iTunes type of person you can also get it from for the same price or listen online at emusic! [PS if you go the emusic route click on the link here to get 35 downloads for free! It helps my friends out.]

Welcome to San Francisco!

I think I’m one of the few people left in San Francisco who was born here. My mother’s one, my daughter is one, but I’ve spent 46+ years in San Francisco and now I’m back living in the same house I was raised in. In all my years I’ve managed to learn my way around San Francisco so that I can get to just about anywhere without having to say, “Where’s that street?”

I like the city so much I decided that I have to start writing about it. Herb Caen, rest his soul wrote about the good, the bad and the ugly in San Francisco and I want to be like Herb Caen. Rumor has it that he said when he died and walked into heaven his first words to god would be, “It’s nice, but it isn’t San Francisco.

So you’ll be seeing me writing about the places to go, places not to go, eat drink and party in SF [never, never call it ‘frisco]. I would also appreciate any comments you’d like to add in with. Now it’s time for me to pour me a tall glass of hand brewed root beer made at the beach by theBeach Chalet and take a seat out on my deck and watch the waves of the ocean curl onto the beach. Ah, it’s great to live here. 😉