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Posts Tagged 'crazy'

UPS Shooting In San Francisco

Just thought I should write something about this because yesterday morning I had just dropped a rider off at 16th & Kansas and continued down to go around the block to reverse my direction. Then it happened. I was on 17th St and hear what I thought were firecrackers that maybe one of the guys in the tent city was playing around with and then I saw UPS guys running yelling SHOOTER! SHOOTER! My heart started racing and my first thought was to yell over to them to get in the car, but because of morning traffic they were running faster than I could drive. 

Then I thought of me as I watched the UPS workers running past me. I couldn’t go faster or turn left or right. I didn’t even know which way was safe other than it seemed kind of obvious to get away from UPS if all the people running I saw had UPS uniforms on. 

I ducked down with just my eyes up high enough to see over the dash stupidly thinking a stray bullet wouldn’t go through the car door like everyone thinks, but I didn’t know what else to do. Luckily while the traffic was moving slowly it was at least moving. By the time I got a block away there were already police cars and an ambulance on the way. How they were able to get there so fast is beyond me, but at least they were able to.

I saw the police car and my heart slowed down a bit. I lifted my head up because the police drove by so they’ll protect me and just kept driving on. I decided it was a good time to quit for the morning since I was shaking a bit still from the whole thing.

The whole thing was just crazy and the three drivers who were killed were all well known and loved by the people they delivered to. Big Mike, Benson Louie and Wayne Chan have been identified as the victims. While we never got many UPS deliveries when I saw Benson’s picture I knew it was our guy. I didn’t really know like a lot of other people did out here that I’ve been reading about, but he was a nice guy just like Big Mike and Wayne. 

The shooter on the other hand, Jimmy Lam was a bit of a hot head and had been busted twice for DUI’s. I can’t say for sure, but the news made it sound like they were associated with his UPS driving. I don’t know what to say about that other than maybe he should have been let go, but that might have just made this happen sooner. This is an unfortunate part of living in a big city like San Francisco and when you’re that close to it when it happens I think I’m going to be a little on edge for the next couple of days. Hopefully I won’t have to keep looking over my shoulder. I’m just glad that police response was so quick.

The Emperor Norton Bridge

norton.cartoonNow that we have a new span on the Bay Bridge apparently we have to name it. There are members of the NAACP in Southern California who think we should make an exception to the rule of not naming large structures after living people and name it after Willie Brown.

Don’t get me wrong, while I’m one of the few, I actually like Willie Brown. The man has style. The man has an attitude. He has so much attitude that if he was in favor of it being named after him he would have said something already. I guess that’s all part of being a kid born in Minneola, Texas and moving to San Francisco.

So functionally, by saying nothing I think we can take that as a no vote from Willie Brown. It’s part of the passive-agressive way politicians work in that it’s not always what they say, but what they don’t say. Our Governor, Jerry Brown who apparently didn’t learn the passive-agressive technique has just come right out and said he doesn’t like the idea.

So while the people of Southern California think they know what’s best for San Francisco, we need to come up with a counter attack to put the boobs of silicone valley in their place.

I strongly stand with the members of E Clampus Vitus who want the bridge named after Emperor Joshua Abraham Norton. This is a man who in 1859 proclaimed himself to be the Emperor of the United States of America and Protector Of Mexico. The man made his own money that people actually accepted around San Francisco. This is the type of guy that should have a bridge named after him.

As a matter of fact, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is unofficially named the Emperor Norton Bridge. There’s even a plaque on the San Francisco side stating this. Why can’t the politicians see this? We don’t have people like Emperor Norton anymore in the Bay Area and I think that we need people like that to symbolize the rough and tumble, do it yourself kind of mentality that made San Francisco what it is. Not the Mark Zuckerberg’s or Steve Job’s types who are in Silicon Valley, but the real people that San Francisco had who made a difference. There is no Emperor Norton Hotel, Bar or even Restaurant in San Francisco and if there’s a small chance I missed it then it needs to be more in the forefront than in the background as long as they’re doing a good job of representing him.

We are on the eve of the naming of the bridge so I suggest that you email Governor Brown, Mayor Lee and Mayor Quan and let them know that the bridge deserves a proper name.

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Hippopotamus Hamburgers

I was reminded of this place today when I was randomly wandering around the web. It was hamburger joint like no other you’ve ever or will see. It had an astounding selection of hamburgers and was at a corner on Van Ness street. It was a place that the who’s who went to when in town which is probably why my Grandmother used to take me there.

Opening in the 50’s and closing down in 1987 it was the burgers themselves that made the place. Sure at a place like In-n-out you can get just a cheeseburger or hamburger, but what if your burger was soaked in teriyaki sauce [that’s what I used to get] or topped with bernaise sauce? They had a few odd ones like the streaker that was just a hamburger with it bun and toppings removed or the stroganoff burger which literally had beef stroganoff on top of the burger. The strangest was the hamburger sundae which was a burger with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, cherry and pickle spears. They’re menu even said, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

This was a hamburger restaurant [you’ll note on the menu they often refer to them as hamburger steaks if served without the bun] where you could get a little weird. These weren’t the average hamburgers people ate at the time. The Cantonese burger had sweet and sour sauce chopped onions and pineapple on top. Not too strange by today’s standards, but back in the 50’s that was probably weird. I managed to find a copy of their old menu so you could see all the types of burgers they sold. It’s really kind of funny. Since they had a streaker burger I’ll have to say this was probably from the early 70’s

The toilets in the bathroom also showed you a hippo head when closed, but when you lifted the lid you got to see a hippo with it’s mouth wide open ready to take a bite out of you. That probably scared a few customer’s away I’m sure.

People of all types were attracted to the place. You could see someone dressed up for a night on the town and a hippie, or priest sitting next to them. It was a time when people didn’t care about who you were, but how good the burgers were. Apparently they also attracted a lot of the local restauranteurs of the time to drop in. Vic Bergeron of Trader Vic’s was often seen there. Even Art Zimmerman of Zim’s Broiled Burgers would show up.

They were so popular that they even made a burger cookbook that had some silly recipes like the grass burger where you were supposed to mix in grass with the meat, cook it up and then watch the look on people’s faces when they ate it. Jack Falvey who started Hippo’s must have had a rather wicked sense of humor about it.I know because I was there around Christmas one year and he actually had a black Santa walking around passing out candy canes to all the kids. That took me awhile to understand and probably contributed to my dislike of candy canes, not because he was black, but I just never had seen a black Santa before.

Mid-Market: It’s Freaky to Walk Around

Everyone is talking about the possibility of Twitter and other tech company moving to the mid-market area. I had the chance to walk around the area today to get a feel for what it would be like if I had to work there. It wasn’t a pretty sight and now I’m going to tell you all about it.

As some of you may remember I have a friend that lives in the Tenderloin just a couple of blocks from where I was today. For people like him Mid-Market works because the first thing I noticed was all the Dollar Stores. If you’re single and on a limited budget Dollar Stores are the way to go. You don’t need the jumbo Costco sized items because they usually go bad before you’ve finished them [except bacon bits which I feel you can never have too much of]. Being able to get smaller food items like cooking supplies cheap is good. So that’s about where anything good I have to say about this area ends.

After noticing all the dollar stores, I started to realize that with very few exceptions I was probably one of the only sane people on the streets. I saw people who looked normal and then they’d start screaming at the top of their lungs and banging on anything that was around. I wouldn’t call them much of a threat to anyone except themselves, but there were a few tourists who for some reason thought it would be a good idea to come up here and found out the hard way they were wrong.

Then as I made my way to Civic Center Plaza I noticed that there at least 40 people sitting around on the granite slabs and almost everyone of them either had a cane or a wheelchair. These were not elderly people either. They were around my ages and in many cases younger. These could have been props if they were asking for money, but they weren’t asking for anything. They were just sitting around talking about nothing much and they just looked like a slab of granite in the sun what about the only thing any of them had to look forward to other than making it through another day.

Suddenly I hear a group of black guys in front of me start cheering, “You go girl!” and the usual cat calls, so me being male turned around to see a woman who thought it was a good idea in the middle of Civic Center Plaza to drop her pants and start peeing. I suppose if seeing a girl peeing is the high point of your day, what exactly does that say about the quality of your life? The stench of barf, urine and excrement is very present here even though the place looks relatively clean.

If you can stomach the smell and want to find food there are a few places, but not many. Mostly fast food places some of which I remember eating at and they didn’t stand up to the same places in other parts of town. There are a few diner style restaurants, but they all served pretty much the same thing. Eggs at Breakfast and burgers for lunch. If you look real hard you might find some teriyaki, but you’d really have to look hard. There’s actually more places to eat a block away on Mission street, but I was walking Market because I hadn’t had a chance to walk this part in several years.

Yes, there is the Main Library which I’ve talked about before and that’s nice, but I don’t think too many techies will be taking their lunch break to go to the library [which oddly enough does have a decent cafe downstairs].

Twitter has been offered a sweet offer from the city to stay here and take up residence in Mid-Market that the city is hoping to bring up that area. So far it looks like that will be a long time coming for this part of the city.

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