EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 poverty | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'poverty'

Batkid Vs. The “Supervisor”

Boys Batman WishPow! Zing! Bam! The Batkid managed to bring San Francisco together for the first time in a long time. Little Miles Scott did what no other fair or government sponsored event has done. He battled all the foes face to face except for one who hid behind his Twitter account — Eric Mar.

Oh dear. Maybe Eric was having a bad day or something, but seriously? Why the need to take a dump on a little kids day that moved the entire city? If you missed it and I doubt you did, Eric Mar posted a tweet that quickly turned viral and got everyone talking:

“Waiting for Miles the Batkid and wondering how many 1000s of SF kids living off SNAP/FoodStamps could have been fed from the $$.”

OK, at least he’s admitting to being there to grab a little bit of the spot light. He might even have been standing near Miles smiling as he sent the dastardly tweet out to all of his followers. Not so odd is that the tweet has been removed from his feed as if in these modern days of the internet anything you say won’t be archive and held against you at a later date [oh dear, did I really post that in 1994?] Here is an actually screen grab of said tweet:

Oops!

Uhm, did someone say open mouth and insert foot? Batkid’s day was provided to Miles and the City of San Francisco by a private foundation known as the Make-A-Wish foundation. Miles has leukemia which is remission which is awesome in my book and the fact that Make-A-Wish put something together for Miles that also benefitted the City by helping boost the morale of everyone is a great thing that was much sorely needed.

Last time I checked government didn’t have to power to tell a privately held company what it could and could not do or how to operate. If Eric Mar wants more money to go to SNAP then it would be nice if he would step up to the plate and donate his yearly salary to SNAP instead of telling some other company to do it.

Oh wait, Eric Mar agrees that he can’t tell a private corporation how to operate. I found this little bit about Eric Mar Vs. The Happy Meal from not too long ago:

Is there really enough room in your mouth for both of your feet? While I will agree with Eric Mar that families on food stamps/EBT/SNAP aren’t able to properly feed themselves and their kids, if that’s really such a big deal then you should have found another venue than to bring it up instead of stealing the day from a little kid with leukemia.

Miles is a great kid from what I can see and he’s a fighter to have gotten to where he is today and hopefully when he gets older because of youtube and vimeo he’ll have something to look back on and he can just smile and say, I did a good thing.

Cheers to Miles Scott and the Make-A-Wish foundation for giving the City something to get behind for once.

SideCar.banner

I Took One For The Team: $1 Rib-Eye Steak from Dollar Tree

OK, OK, I know this is supposed to be about life in and around San Francisco and Dollar Tree is a national chain, but there’s also a Dollar Tree in Colma, home of the dead people where we sometimes shop because, well, everything is a dollar. About a month ago I saw a $1 3.5oz rib-eye steak and bought one. It took be a while letting it sit in its frozen state, but last night I actually threw it on the grill and here’s what I found out about it.

First, it’s salty. It’s what foodies would call wet aged since it’s packed in a hermetically sealed plastic with a meat tenderizer mix of salt, ficin [meat tenderizer derived from figs] and bromelin [meat tenderizer derived from papaya that’s different than papin which also comes from papaya]. It was actually very tender after the five minutes it sat on the grill and only had a small area of gristly fat that had to be cut out.

3.5 oz is about the amount of protein that a person should have with each meal according to the medical community even though they also suggest 2 grams per kg of body weight so at 28.35 gms per oz I was a little under my daily intake per day. On first taste there was an obviously processed taste to it. I thought of what an army issued MRE steak would taste like. I’ve never had one, but this would probably come close to it. It was tender, very tender and compared to the top round steak I cooked with it, I actually like it better.

If you’re a person short on money, but love your meat I’d recommend you try it. It’s not anywhere near steak house quality and definitely not something you’d expect from the House of Prime Rib, but for people on a budget for a buck you could do a lot worse. Due to the high sodium content I’d suggest you have a baked potato with it or a salad with avocado so that you get more potassium to flush the excess sodium out. I think we’ll be picking up a few more of those steaks next time we travel down to the land of the dead just because they’re cheap and we can’t at the moment afford Snake River Kobe-styled beef. The $1 rib-eye’s don’t look pretty, but when you toss them on a grill for a couple minutes they’re pretty tasty.

[ad#AdBrite]

Things you need to know about unemployment.

I really like to devote this space to San Francisco, but there are a few things that come up that make me have to turn away for a moment. Today that’s unemployment. There’s a dirty little secret that the unemployment office doesn’t want you to know and today I’m going to tell you what that is.

As the regulars around here know I’ve been unemployed for quite some time. I was working for a company last year that hired me through the jobsnow program that repaid my employer for my salary because I was an unemployed Dad. The program ended on September 30th, 2010 and wasn’t set for renewal so I once again became unemployed along with a quarter of million other people. I reapplied for unemployment not sure what would happen and it turned out they reopened my previous claim.

I continued looking for work, but I was only able to find 3-4 jobs a week to send my resumes to. I received a letter from EDD shortly after January 1st 2011 telling me that a new claim had been opened for me because I had new wages to base the claim on. It turns out that I started to get about $40 more a week that I was getting before so we were in a bit of a better place.

I continue looking for work and suddenly find that the 3-4 jobs a week had turned in to 5-6 jobs a day. Now I’m starting to get calls back and even an interview or two. Then at the beginning of this month I received a letter from EDD telling me that my benefits have run out. Well that’s happened to lots of people. That’s what all the benefit extensions we’ve been hearing about mean right? WRONG. In my case because I did indeed work last year and became unemployed and the EDD automatically filed a new claim for me based on my new earnings that gave me more money I still didn’t have enough money banked to cover my first 26 weeks of unemployment therefore I have been cut off for the rest of the year from receiving unemployment insurance.

I have filed an appeal, but even in talking to someone at the EDD office they told me that if you run out of money before your initial 26 weeks has finished that you are cut from receiving any more unemployment benefits for that year. I am not someone who is trying to cheat the system. I have been looking for work and there is no where on the EDD website where it says you need to cover your first 26 weeks or you will be dropped for the rest of your benefit year from receiving benefits.

This is the dirty little lie that no one wants you to know. I see the 99ers screaming about how they’ve been collecting benefits for 99 weeks and are now being cut because they’ve run out of extensions. I was 12 weeks into my claim and now I’m cut off for the rest of the year. Luckily things for me are looking up in the economy, but if I get a job that lasts only a few weeks or months I still can’t get unemployment again because what I earn won’t go on record until next year.

Luckily I have a good chance coming up with a very stable company that should work in my favor if I can get it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

[ad#AdBrite]

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.

[gmap width=”650px” height=”200px” type=”satellite” visible=”true” static=”true” zoom=”16″ lat=”37.7797232″ lon=”-122.4131994″]

[ad#AdBrite]

Keeping your head above water in SF.

Brother can you spare $100,000

As you’ve probably figured out, I love San Francisco a lot. Even though this is one of the top 5 most expensive cities to live in in the world. Becoming a parent wasn’t something I had planned on, but I’m glad I did it. I would assume most people don’t plan on becoming parents especially in this economy, but they do.

There are a lot of things they tell you about when you’re going to become a parent, but unfortunately, there’s a lot more that they don’t. For instance. Wife has the baby takes care of baby until maternity leave is up then goes back to work right? Not exactly. When your wife goes back to work that means that you have to pay someone to take care of the baby unless you have family members to do it for you [we don’t]. So now unless your wife is making more than $20/hour her after taxes paycheck is just handed over to the day care group. Does this sound right?

You can also add to the fact that San Francisco which I’m sure other cities share this has a large number of employers who don’t offer health insurance. I’m lucky in that my employer does offer it, but won’t pay anything into it. I don’t think this is legal, but hell, I’m getting health insurance for us at a less than what it would cost us on our own to get. Unfortunately, at the end of the month my take home pay to keep the three of us fed and healthy is equal to less than my mother’s monthly social security check. Something is not right here. In a city as great as San Francisco the middle class shouldn’t be forced into poverty just because they had a child. The only thing going for us is that we own our house. If we didn’t we’d be on the streets. 

Mayor Newsom is helping out by providing health care services which we would qualify for, but the services offered are a bit questionable as they’re clinics not true health care facilities. Something needs to be done, but at this point I’m not sure what. Richard Branson just started following me on Twitter so maybe he’ll make me his new charity. 🙂