Warm Town. Summer in the City

YAY! September is summer time for San Francisco, but don’t expect to dress like the guy in the picture, or if you do don’t expect to stay that way for too long. Depending on what type of a year we’ve had summer can start around the last two weeks of August and can continue on to the first two weeks of November, but we’re definitely feeling some nice weather now.

Something you need to know if you’re not from around here is that when you get up in the morning, it’s usually foggy if you’re out in the Sunset or Richmond districts. That doesn’t tell you what the day will be like, because I woke up yesterday and couldn’t see a block away at 8am, but by noon it was sunny and bright. Now if you get up in the morning and it’s sunny in the Sunset or Richmond that means you’re going to have a pretty warm day.

Currently our foggy mornings and sunny afternoons mean we can get up into the 70’s out here. If you want to feel the heat from more than the salsa then you need to go over to the Mission district. I lived there for six years and I think I only owned 2 long sleeved shirts which I only wore to visit my parents out in the Sunset district.

So here’s how you need to dress in the “outside lands”. Layers! When you leave the house in the morning for work you should have a t-shirt, sweatshirt and a jacket. When you get to work downtown or anywhere east of Twin peaks you’ll take the jacket off. By noon the sweatshirt comes off and then around 3-4pm you reverse the procedure and start putting the clothes back on. Now with the advent of global warming it’s not always like that, but you still need something to take off when you hit a warm part of the city. Keep in mind that while downtown is warm it does pick up a lot of wind in the afternoon so you’ll only feel the heat in a windless enclosed courtyard like area.

For me, I’ve always like Sunset district weather. I don’t get depressed by fog, I get depressed by the bright glaring sun in my eyes. I think when I went to Hawaii I was wearing my sunglasses at night it was so bright there. For me a couple of hours of flashy sun is enough for me.

Save our JOBS NOW!

When people talk about the evils of the stimulus package by President Obama they here about the car company and bank bailouts and start pointing fingers and complaining about how Obama is killing America. What they don’t talk about is the employment stimulus that has given over 250,000 people jobs. These are jobs for unemployed parents [like me] whose wages are reimbursed by the government.

This wasn’t talked up too much and I found out about it quite by accident after reading a fairly well buried story on SF Gate. I got in and started making calls and got lots of interviews. I finally got a job in July from a very persistent employer who wanted me and kept in contact from March until the day I started my job.  The problem is that at the end of this month the program ends and I will be out of work again. The problem is two-fold here. The first is that I took the job and lost my unemployment benefits.  Unemployment is based on your earning of the last 18 months minus the current quarter. Since I’ve only worked in the current quarter I won’t be eligible for unemployment unless they make an exception for me. Second is that the our government is trying to extend it for a year, but while it passed the house, the republicans in congress have been filibustering against it.

Over a quarter of a million people will be unemployed once again because the Republicans hate Obama. The Republicans will be the cause of this unemployment because they believe that a cut in federal spending will help America. Unfortunately what it with do is put most of these people on unemployment which just moves the government spending from one room to another, so I ask you all to forward this piece to all your friends and neighbors and have them sign the online petition you’ll find here to ask the government to extend the program and keep the country from adding over a quarter of a million people to the unemployed list which will lead to an increase of the unemployment statistics, lower economic recovery because a quarter of a million people won’t have the money to spend and we’ll have more children going hungry…all because of a few Republicans, not Obama.

Think about this. A quarter of a million people unemployed, all of whom have families with kids who will have trouble living and making ends meet. I am only one, but it’s helping me provide for my wife and my daughter and we’re able to give back to our community by spending our money to purchase goods and services that in nine days will stop coming in. So we’re not talking about over a quarter of a million people being affected but closer to a million people being affected. Please, help do what is right so we can get America back on it’s feet.

What the Hell is up with our weather?

One of the things in fall for San Franciscans is figuring out what to wear each day. I woke up and felt kind of warm and looked out the window to see this. This type of weather usually means it’s going to be cold out, but today oddly enough at around 9am when I went outside to pick up the paper it was 67° out.

San Francisco is gifted with Indian summers where we get our warm weather starting around the last two weeks of August and it can run until mid-November. Now all my friends that have lived here for awhile has said we had one of coldest summers in years which I have to agree. So I have to suspect that because of that is why we have warm overcast days during our Indian summer. I’m suspecting if we get our sunny days, they’ll come around October. Maybe it’s because of global warming, but our weather isn’t like it normally is. I might check back around 2pm to let you know what the day turned out to be.

At The Car Wash!

Getting your car washed is a bit of a chore. I used to love every Saturday morning as I’d get up and wash my car by hand and spend a couple of hours detailing it when I was in my 20’s so I’d have a hot looking car for when I went out on Saturday nights. The problem was it was kind of a waste of my time doing it when I could get it done professionally once a month and they’d do a better job. The place I’ve found that always does the best is out on 17th and South Van Ness. It’s a 76 gas station that does a lot more than pump gas.

After you drop off your car you can walk around and watch them do their magic to your car. They’ve got lots of colorful liquids to spray on your car and then hose off and I’m sure kids would love to watch while it’s all happening. Once you get past the car wash you enter into a room with ever possible thing your car could or could not need.

The best part for me is when the car comes out and it’s attacked by what I call, “The Pirahnas”. You remember those old National Geographic seens where a cow walks into the water and the fish swarm all over it until there’s nothing but bones? Well that’s kind of what happens to your car. About 5-6 dive on your car with towels to dry it off and make it shine. There’s one guy running around putting tire dressing on, a couple more doing the inside and outside windows and dashboard. You can go and grab a hot dog while you wait at the convenience stores where you pay for gas [which you get at 25¢ off per gallon if you get your car washed. All in all I’d have to say this is the best place to get your car washed as they take care of you inside and out. I just have to get used to them yelling “ULTIMA!” when they’ve finished with my Nissan, but I have to say it does look pretty ULTIMA!

Appnation: Boy are my dogs tired.

My legs are sore from standing for a couple days at one of the weirdest conferences I’ve ever worked. Over the past two days I represented the company I work for at Appnation. It was at Moscone Center and was a convention for mobile app developers to learn ways to make money as app developers. They say it’s a mash-up of developers, venture capitalists and people who do stuff that could benefit developers [more on that later].

This was a show that compared to MacWorld was an oversized garage type of event. There were maybe about 100 people hawking their wares and the people that would come by the booth I was working were a mix of end users, VC people, but mostly people who were too cheap to purchase a booth and were coming by to try and sell their product to me to include in my app even if it had nothing to do with or was of no use to my app. In other words, in my opinion the show was a bust for the company I work for.

There was lots of talk about how to get venture capital funding for your app, but in reality most of these hip app writers live out of virtual spaces that don’t have anything a real office has. Imagine working for a company that is based in a eggshell of an industrial workspace. They have no landline phone, no printers, cheap Office Depot tables and chairs, no form of interior design what so ever, mail never gets delivered because, well snail mail is so 10 minutes ago and after all, in a month or two we’ll be moving to an even better eggshell to work out of!

Eggshelled companies are not what a Venture Capital firm has much interest in because once they give you the money they want to be able to keep track of you by something other than email and a cell phone call, neither of which they can find a real person to shake down to get the money back.

I was able to meet some interesting people there though. Steve and Reed from appMobi were right across from me and put on a good show. Steve incidentally speaks 8 languages and was happy to demonstrate that fact even though it had nothing to do with his product. AppMobi is a web-based product that lets you write mobile apps using web design skills not programming languages and then deploy your product not just to one platform, but to several. This sounded pretty cool and they’re demo showed how cool it was. Then there was Chris and Cherie from Technomadia. These were a couple of Burning Man people who actually live out of a trailer and because of that wrote an app called State Lines. This is a fun app for travelers that tells you the speed limits, smoking rules, alcohol laws in every state. Very useful if you’re a frequent traveler and only $2.99. I asked them if the app paid them well and they told me that, “It keeps them in lunch and sometimes dinner.” OK, while I can’t exactly say I’d be able to live off that, at least I know I’d be getting a couple a meals a day from it.

Probably the best thing I learned from the show was that geek girls with iPads can be hot. These girls weren’t icing on the cake like you have at car shows, but they were spouting off about objective-C, equity investors, marketing throughput, etc and their eyes weren’t all glossed over like they were just repeating what they were told to say. I’d also have to say that most of the people there were talking more about the free after parties than the products people were trying to sell, so that should tell you something about the overall effectiveness of the show.