Conan The Barbarian and The Turkey of Doom

Well, I was trying to be witty with the title, but sometimes I don’t quite hit it. This is about dealing with the leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. I did something this year that was always my mother’s job — ripping all the remaining meat off the carcass. This was always a job done by hand and it can get pretty ugly. My wife left the room because she did not want to witness me defiling the carcass.

There was grease all over me from the turkey fat if you saw me from behind there was meat flying off to one side and bones off to the other. It was a real mess getting the meat off the bones, but I did it in a timely fashion. We couldn’t store the carcass whole as it was too big for our refrigerator and well, bird carcass isn’t very visually pleasing to my wife. In the end I ended up with several pounds of meat so what did I do next? Well I waited a few days because other things came up, but yesterday I through the now finely shredded meat into a pot with a lovely mixture of celery, onions and carrots, i.e. the classic mire poix. To this I added three tablespoons of a spice mix called Pride of Prague which is a really good spice blend from Urban Accents. I let this all boil slowly for about an hour after adding some chicken stock and added some peas and corn in the last half hour. Now that I think about it, bacon should have been there somewhere.

In the end it tasted great and the soup/stew weighed in at a little over 10 pounds. Now my mom never really liked to eat dark meat when she could see it, just like I as a kid never liked to eat vegetables unless they were in a soup. She used to buy only a turkey breast for thanksgiving because she felt since she only like white meat that would waste the least amount of meat. That’s true, but it also cost her over $20. We decided to go cheap this year and got an 11 lb turkey for $5, yes, you read that right. Safeway was selling 8-12 lb turkeys for $5. If you purchased $25 in groceries.

We figured we could find something to do with the rest of the meat and when dark meat is finely chopped and boiled in chicken stock with some vegetables it’s pretty unrecognizable. So what did I learn from this? For under $10 we were able to get over a weeks worth of food. Top that one.


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.


Having Clout is Better than Having Klout!

My wife tipped me off to an article after I read a newspaper article about how tech savvy businesses are asking people their Klout scores in job interviews. I have been asked my Klout score on at least two interviews and I believe their influence in social media is unfair as well as unjust and I’m going to get into that area now.

I heard about Klout [which wordpress keeps automatically changing to clout so it isn’t as influential as it may want you to think it is] through some of my friends on twitter, so I jumped off the bridge because they did and joined up with said website.I started out with a score in the high 40’s which slowly moved up to 67. I thought it was pretty good at the time and then they changed their algorithm and I dropped down to 50 overnight. As a matter of fact, I noticed that everyone I saw on Klout that I had influence with dropped overnight. This was kind of like devaluing the dollar and then having banks tell you that the $10,000 you had in savings is now only $5,000. The company is acting recklessly yet companies who value social media take it seriously.

I have clout. When I walked into a Mayoral debate, several of the candidates for mayor knew me on site and walked up and shook my hand. Some didn’t because I had spoken ill of them and had even had their campaign coordinators call me to speak with me. There are many restaurants and businesses in San Francisco that when I walk into them the owners know me by name and welcome me. Some even ask my opinion on new dishes they are thinking of selling. I’ve got clout. My Klout score on the the other hand speaks differently.

Klout says it takes it’s information from many different social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, etc. Recently it’s said that it’s new algorithm uses only the four previously mentioned sites, but I disagree. I have many posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and FourSquare, but have recently declined in my twitter posts to maybe once or twice a day and noticed my Klout score decreased daily until one day I posted four tweets and it suddenly jumped up a point. Some of my fellow twits decided to do a test one day and we started a conversation on twitter about Klout going back and forth and the next day I had jumped up 5 points.

Klout is highly weighted towards twitter usage. That has become obvious and I defy them to prove otherwise. This website has reached out to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I am known, yet there are people data farmed on Klout who are shown to have influence on topics that A: They know nothing about and B: are not on Klout. When I joined it took me over a month before Klout showed that I have influence on several topics. The topic that I have the most Klout on according to the website is Smartphones. The least amount of Klout I have is on San Francisco. While I love my iPhone I regularly write about San Francisco so I think it should be the other way around. They aren’t taking this blog into account. I am one of the few born and raised San Franciscans who writes about San Francisco. I would think Woody LaBounty of the Western Neighborhoods Project should have more Klout on San Francisco than me, but his score is only 21 and his topic of influence is Geneva. I don’t know if that’s the street or the city in Switzerland, but something is not right here.

Klout is currently in beta so nobody should be taking it too seriously, so it seems strange to me that there are companies looking for people with social media skills that ARE taking Klout seriously. If people are going to use Klout they should seriously consider it’s value with a large Siberian salt mine at the moment.


The History of Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving, the day when we eat way too much, drink way too much and we all fall into what has been referred to as the Turkey Coma after dinner. This is the biggest day of the year for feeding the rich and the poor so I decided to take a look into the history of this all American holiday.

Well first off, it’s not just celebrated by Americans. Maybe on this day it is, but there are many other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving as well. The fourth Thursday of November was declared to be the official celebration date of Thanksgiving by congress in 1941. The same year we entered into World War II. Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Grenada celebrates Thanksgiving on October 25th, but that has nothing to do with pilgrims, but is a giving of thanks for the 1983 US invasion. Liberia celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Thursday in November. The Netherlands celebrate Thanksgiving on whatever day we tell them we’re going to celebrate it in honor of the Dutch pilgrims who moved here because of the hospitality they received in Leiden on their way. The Australian territory of Norfolk Island celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November because American whaling ships dropped by and said, let’s eat!

Now the oddest thing about this holiday around the world is that except for Grenada, no one can pin it down to an exact date. Christmas or yule is always on the 25th of December. Valentine’s day is always February 14th. The Fourth of July is always on, well, you get my point. Easter always changes dates, but I guess that’s because people are confused about how our lord and savior pooped out multicolored hard boiled eggs while coming back to life and gave them to bunnies to hide for the little kids to find.

But getting back to the point…Thanksgiving was a end of the harvest celebration for years that finally got it’s name in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared November 26th a day for all to give thanks. What people refer to as the first Thanksgiving that the pilgrims celebrated was [and I lifted this from the font of all truths, Wikipedia]:

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated to give thanks to God for guiding them safely to the New World. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 13 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The feast consisted of fish (codeels, and bass) and shellfish (clamslobster, and mussels), wild fowl (ducksgeeseswans, and turkey), venisonberries and fruitvegetables (peaspumpkinbeetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion), harvest grains (barley and wheat), and the Three Sistersbeans, dried Indian maize or corn, and squash. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings” — days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

Three days of eating and turkey was just a small part of it. Since the first pilgrims were near the coast, seafood was probably the biggest protein they consumed during this time. The holiday wasn’t as secular as it is today and I still haven’t been able to find out how the turkey became the center piece, but it seems that turkey day started in the 20th century.

I had never thought about it, but there is also some controversy associated with Thanksgiving and I quote [once again from wikipedia]:

Much like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is seen by some as a celebration of the conquest and genocide of Native Americans by European colonists. Professor Dan Brook of UC Berkeley condemns the “cultural and political amnesia” of Americans that celebrate Thanksgiving, saying that “We do not have to feel guilty, but we do need to feel something.” Professor Robert Jensen of the University of Texas at Austin is somewhat harsher, saying that “One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.”

Since 1970, the United American Indians of New England, a protest group led by Frank “Wamsutta” James that has accused the United States and European settlers of fabricating the Thanksgiving story and whitewashing a supposed genocide and injustice against Indians, has led a National Day of Mourning protest on Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the name of social equality and in honor of political prisoners.

Another notable example of anti-Thanksgiving sentiment was when hundreds of supporters traveled to Alcatraz on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the Occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of All Tribes. The American Indian Movement also holds a negative view of Thanksgiving and has used it as a platform of protest, most notably when they took over a Mayflower float in a Thanksgiving Day parade. Some Native Americans hold “Unthanksgiving Day” celebrations in which they mourn the deaths of their ancestors, fast, dance, and pray. This tradition has been taking place since 1975. 

However, the perception of Thanksgiving among Native Americans is not universally negative. Tim Giago, founder of the Native American Journalists Organization, seeks to reconcile Thanksgiving with Native American traditions. He compares Thanksgiving to “wopila,” a thanks-giving celebration practiced by Native Americans of the Great Plains. He writes in The Huffington Post that “the idea of a day of Thanksgiving has been a part of the Native American landscape for centuries. The fact that it is also a national holiday for all Americans blends in perfectly with Native American traditions.” He also shares personal anecdotes of Native American families coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Jacqueline Keeler of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux also celebrates Thanksgiving. She sees it as a celebration of Wampanoag generosity to starving, impoverished colonists while still lamenting the violence that followed. Members of the Oneida Indian Nation marched in the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a float called “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving.”

Well, I guess giving thanks for successfully invading another people’s lands could piss a few people off, but it wasn’t like they didn’t have a hand in it. The Indian tribes that the first pilgrims interacted with actually gave from their food stores to help them through the winter because they didn’t have enough when they arrived.

All in all, Thanksgiving to me is just a day to gorge yourself on food. Now we just have to figure out how to get our $5 Safeway turkey that’s been in the refrigerator for two days to defrost so we can cook it today.

Anthony Bourdain Makes a Layover in San Francisco

Ever since Anthony Bourdain made his first cracks about how much he hated San Francisco because of the earthy crunchy people like Alice Waters, I’ve tried to get in touch with him to set him straight. He did later, under a bit of duress actually shoot an episode of No Reservations that started to change his mind.

Tony like San Francisco has a colorful past. I’ve heard stories of him nodding off into a slump next to a stove in a restaurant he worked at from doing a little too much heroin that day. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a colorful story just like the many San Francisco has.

Tony has a new show that aired for the first time last night called The Layover where he stops in for 24-48 hours in a cities and tries to cram as much as he can into that short time. Last night was Singapore, but in a few weeks we’ll see him in San Francisco. It’s been shot already so I won’t get to meet up with him to tell him about some real San Francisco places to visit. I was surprised at some of the place he went to in Singapore last night so maybe Tony will surprise me with some good places he found that are off the beaten path. Hopefully made a trip out to the Sunset to try some of the food at Thanh Long or had one of the best burritos in the city made at El Burrito Express.

Tony now calls San Francisco a two fisted drinking, meat eating town which it is and more and I hope when I get to see the show Tony found that out as well.


Egg Jew Yung

Egg Fu Yung or Foo Yung or however people want to spell it is considered to be a traditional Chinese food. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Like Chop Suey, it was an invention of Chinese immigrants, but in this case Egg Fu Yung was created by a Jewish immigrant who frequented Chinese restaurants in San Francisco.

I haven’t been able to discover his name, but in the process found out that in 1874 the San Francisco Call had an ad boasting Egg Fu Yung as the highlight of the menu. This is the first reference to the dish in history. In China there is a dish called Fu Yung which is similar, but not exactly the same. I remembered once someone saying that if you want the best Chinese food to ask a Jew. That started me thinking why and this led me to Egg Fu Yung being a Jewish dish.

Jewish people and Chinese people have had something in common for many years. On Sunday’s the Christians go to church and have home cooked meals. The Jews, tend to go out for Chinese food. Back in the old days you didn’t see very many Christian people of Chinese decent so they had no problem keeping their restaurants open on Sundays. Back when many Jewish people where orthodox they had to adhere to Kashrut dietary laws which meant there could be no mixture of dairy with the meat products. Chinese food was the perfect choice since you won’t find chow main alfredo on a Chinese menu. When I thought about this I realized that you don’t find cheese in any Chinese dishes let alone cream sauces. The only time I’ve seen any dairy at a Chinese restaurant was when I accidentally ate one of those tiny black peppers  that was so hot it through me into a coughing fit and the waiter brought me a glass of milk while laughing at me in a kind of schadenfreude way.

An orthodox Jewish person would be guaranteed that anything they ordered from a Chinese restaurants menu could hold up to their dietary laws. I suppose this would also link in the Chinese Muslim restaurant in San Francisco because Kashrut is very similar to the Muslim’s Halal.

So back to the Jewish origin of Egg Fu Yung. Today it’s usually an omelette with ham in it, but back in 1874 a Jewish lover of Chinese Food suggested they make him an omelette with duck and vegetables mixed in. The cook threw it together and the original Egg Fu Yung came into being. Well, it was probably a little before that because for it to be the highlight of the menu in 1874 word had to have gotten around about it.

San Francisco has the largest Chinatown outside of China and while many of the dishes you find in the Chinese restaurants are touted as being traditional or authentic, that’s not necessarily true. When the Chinese came to America they didn’t have access to the same ingredients that they had back home so they adapted their cuisine to what they could find here. Chinese food being considered exotic to the white Americans back in the earlier parts of the 20th century caused more changes to the cuisine to help people with a, well, whiter palate eat them which would in turn make the restaurant owner more money.

Today things have changed a bit since more of the original ingredients are available, but the palate of Americans as well as Chinese-Americans still like Egg Fu Yung and Sweet and Sour Pork the way it was originally made in the good old USA.

Dr. Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine

Rarely do I have an interest in watching old movies anymore, but I happen to stumble across this one on Netflix and I had never heard of it before. The reason this movie makes it to  Baghdad By The Bay is due to the fact that there is a lot of footage shot in 1965 San Francisco. This movie has one of the most hilariously ridiculous chase scenes that is almost a spoof of Bullitt.

The premise of the movie is pretty sketchy, but I guess from the title you would expect that. It stars Vincent Price [Dr. Goldfoot] as an evil mad scientist [no stretch there] who with his assistant Igor [who Dr. Goldfoot has brought back to life from the dead]. Dr. Goldfoot is making female robots that he dresses up in gold lamé bikini’s that parade around his castle/mortuary lair in San Francisco. The reason he makes them is so that they can go out and marry rich men around the world and then have them sign over all of their finances to make Dr. Goldfoot uber-rich. Incidentally, Dr. Goldfoot makes his first appearance in they typical Vince Price like garb, but wear a pair of gold lamé elf shoes complete with the ringing little bells. Fashion faux pax in my book.

The movie gets underway with Diane or number 11 being sent out to meet her first match. In the process she gets shot for no reason several times and walks into a diner and meets Frankie Avalon [Craig Gamble] who after walking up and drinking his glass of milk starts spewing milk out of the gunshot wounds. Yes, this is definitely a slapstick, campy movie throughout. We’re talking Jerry Lewis kind of slapstick with prat falls, spit takes, people falling out of windows and huge objects landing on people’s heads where they get up afterwards and shake it off.

The real fun of the movie is actually during the car chase at the end. At one point we have Price chasing Avalon in two cable cars. They didn’t realize that because they’re connected to the same cable there was no way that you could go faster so at one point Avalon jumps off and steals a car and Price just makes the cable car drive off of the tracks in pursuit all the way to Sausalito.

That was the totally weird, how stoned were the writers when they put this together part of the movie. The car on car chase scenes were pretty funny if you know the city though. At one point they drive down Lombard street and make a right and end up in West Portal where you can see the familiar signs of the Philosopher’s Club and Original Joe’s. Avalon gives Price the slip who drives into the West Portal tunnel on the wrong side only to crash into a K-Ingelside train as it exists the tunnel. Price steals another car and chases after Avalon for a couple of blocks where they make another right and end up driving past Alamo Square. Maps were apparently not necessary back then because after they passed the park at Alamo Square they make a left and end up driving past Fort Mason and down Marina Green toward the Presidio where they end up at Fisherman’s Wharf.

The good guy wins in the end because, well, c’mon it’s Frankie Avalon, he always wins. This movies was stupidly funny and I guess back then seeing two guys at a bar drinking an 8oz glass of whiskey wasn’t considered odd. If you’re a feminist you definitely won’t like this movie that has no nudity but a whole lot of gold lamé booty shaking going on with the mindless mostly blonde [there was one token Black and token Asian girl] bikini’d women serving their evil master Dr. Goldfoot. The movie had to be a spoof on the James Bond Goldfinger released in 1964 and even as bad as it was it was still a movie that I couldn’t stop watching. It gives you a look at the old San Francisco and they way of life people had back then, well, as least from Hollywood’s view point. Now I want to go out and find that castle in San Francisco, because it wasn’t Julius’ Castle.

Incidentally, there was a sequel made called Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs only this time Frankie Avalon was replaced by Fabian.


Nickel and Dimed to Death

I read an article about a measure that now Sheriff Ross Mikarimi wants to pass that would charge people 10¢ per paper bag at grocery stores and would go up to 25¢ per bag in 2013. While I’m all about being green and a progressive I think Ross needs to think about this measure a bit more.

San Francisco has outlawed plastic bags a couple of years ago and had in affect an ordinance for a short time whereby people who brought their own bags would be paid 10¢ per bag for being green. They’ve since dropped that and being green and bringing your own bags while helping the environment, doesn’t get you any payback. Now Ross wants to force grocery stores to sell you the bags or be fined and the stores get to keep the money.

Hmmm…Let’s think about this for a second. You’re told you have to charge people for something you were giving away or else you have pay the city money and the money you collect you get to keep. I don’t see any stores arguing with Ross Mirkarimi’s proposal. If anything it will win him brownie points from all the big box grocery stores. I do think that Ross is missing a bit of the tit for tat on this. If you’re going to charge me for a grocery bag then it only would be fair that I should be able to charge you for bringing my bags. I would also like to insist that  if I bring my own bags that the store double bag everything paying me 20¢-50¢ per package because I don’t want to have to keep going out and purchasing new bags all the time.  After all Ross, it’s only the fair way of doing business, am I correct?

I have lots of bags that I would bring to the store and I’ve got good strong arms so that I would insist that ever item I purchase would be packaged individually and that I be paid back in equal kind. If I have to pay 25¢ per bag I should be paid back 25¢ for each bag I bring in and use, therefore if I purchase 20 items and bring 20 bags I should get a $5 discount on my grand total.$10 if I insist on double bagging.

This is how we as San Franciscans should look at this. If you want to take from the people, you should be willing to give back. This measure doesn’t benefit the city in anyway, but helps the stores out by dimes and quarters [I would say nickels and dimes, but that’s irrelevant today]. I don’t mind progressive thinking as long as it’s well thought out. This measure isn’t very well thought out and Ross needs to sit back and think about what he wants to achieve because last time I checked brownie points don’t buy you much anymore.



TaskRabbit Revisited

I had written an article on the company Task Rabbit that’s here in San Francisco several months ago. It sounded like a good idea, but I was skeptical. I tried it, but never got a task. Now that they’ve had some time to settle in things have changed and I felt I should revisit them.

When I first join the website as a task rabbit there was hardly anyone in the Sunset District that needed help. They’re name hadn’t gotten out across San Francisco I suppose so no one new about them. Then one day I saw that there was a woman who needed two bags of dog food picked up for her and she lived three blocks away from me. I figured since I could pick up the dog food within a couple of blocks I’d offer to do it for $10. BING! I got the task. I ran off and got the dog food and called her up and actually had to go to two different stores because each store only had one bag, but they were still close by. I called her up and dropped off the food and she even gave me a $5 tip because I had to go to two stores. When I got home my Task Rabbit account had the $10 in it. Entire time spent, 15 minutes.

Not to shabby, but then I realized that I couldn’t access the money until I had acquired at least $25. So back to bidding on tasks. I got a few more and I started to get hooked. I’ve made over $200 in the last week in less than two hours worth of my time. Many of the tasks that I’ve been performing have been virtual tasks that I could do at home like searching for the passenger side mirror for a 2002 MX-5 Miata or helping someone with their website. One task has actually led me to get some freelance work that is turning out to be very lucrative.

Task Rabbit works with a point system so that the more tasks you do and the more difficult tasks you do you get more points which raises you in level. At various levels you get perks such as a Task Rabbit t-shirt at level 5 and Task Rabbit business cards with your name on them at level 10. Once you pass level 15 you get access to the Task Rabbit VIP store where your level earning give you access to more free stuff.

In the beginning there were somewhat ridiculous tasks like, get me a 6 pack of beer. How much was that worth really? Fetch me a pint of Ben and Jerrys? Now the people placing tasks are getting more serious. I’ve got a task to hook up someone’s cable box to their home theater system. It turns out the guy who hired me did so because we had previously worked at the same company so it’s also useful for networking. After you’ve done a few tasks each month you get a free task for yourself as well. Task Rabbit calls the people who do the tasks micro-entrepreneurs and it is like freelance work, but you also have to sell yourself like you’re a start up. Some of the top people actually are making $5000 a month which isn’t something to sneeze at in this economy. I’ll be supplementing my income more with Task Rabbit, but I won’t quit my day job.

If you need a few bucks here and there and aren’t afraid to work for it check out Task Rabbit. You’ll be surprised at what people will give you money for doing. Oh and if you need a task done I’ve got a code that will give you $10 off your first task.


OK, I have to admit that when I started this blog it was supposed to be about San Francisco, not San Francisco politics. Somewhere down the line I posted a couple of articles relating to San Francisco politics and was nominated as the Best Political Blog in San Francisco by SF Weekly. I came close to winning, but didn’t. Now that the election is over I’m going to write my last political article on politics in San Francisco and give it a rest for awhile, so what better topic to write about than, #OccupySF.

People of #OccupySF I feel for you, because I was there 20 years ago and I was also there 40 years ago. Now let me explain. 40 years ago I was just a little kid and the 60’s hippies were protesting everything except love and getting high. In an interview from way back when a girl said, We’re giving up our homes and jobs so that other people can have them so they should take care of us. This was almost always followed by, Get a job you f*cking hippie!

Fast forward 20 years and you have me just out of college. I went to college because I was told, if you don’t go to college you’ll be flipping burgers for the rest of your life. Well, seeing as when I graduated from college most of people flipping burgers where younger than me or not U.S. citizens, I probably wouldn’t have been hired at most fast food restaurants anyway. I stayed at home and didn’t have to pay rent, but I kept looking for work. I worked through high school part time and through college part time. When I graduated college [1987 and the total cost back then was under $5k by going City College and SFSU] I had no debt and very few expenses. I finally moved out at 28 [which left my mother in tears for a week] and moved in with a friend to a two bedroom home in the Mission where we paid a total of $800 per month.

I found work through temp agencies in fields that had nothing to do with my degree in broadcasting. I kept looking and I think I was finally hired as a full time employee around the time I turned 30 working for a printer. 19 years later to today I’ve worked at many printers and graphic design firms and taught myself html, css, php, etc. None of these things were available to learn when I was in college, but have kept me going.

How does this relate to the #OccupySF movement? Most of you are in debt and don’t like government and/or corporations. You’re the 99%. So am I, but while I agree that we should tax the 1% just like the rest of us, I see corporations as a good thing. Let me list a few reasons why:

  1. Steady work: Most corporations have enough money that they can keep going when the economy takes a down turn. Sure there may be some lay offs, but in general you’ve got a better chance of keeping your job with a large corporation
  2. Health Benefits: There was a time at one job I had where the boss said, well, paying for health benefits are a crap shoot maybe you’ll need it, maybe you won’t. Not true. I had a stroke at 37 and most people I know once they hit their 30’s suddenly have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and need to take medications on a regular basis and need to see a doctor regularly. Small companies don’t have to give you that and if the company is under 20 employees they don’t need to pay into the Healthy San Francisco thing we’ve got going here.
  3. 401k: It’s nice to have some money when you get old enough to retire and large corporations are more likely to take care of their employees with a 401k. You pull a little money out before taxes and put it away to earn money so that when you retire you’ve got something to supplement you Social Security [you know that ponzi scheme that Rick Perry likes to talk about]
  4. Perks: Large corporations don’t like having their employees turn against them so they placate them by having refrigerators stocked with food and drink for them. The company I’m with regularly stocks a few refrigerators with sodas, mineral water, juices, yogurt, cheese, gummies and energy bars. You practically don’t need to bring your lunch to work at a place like this.
Now today you have protesters who are camping out decrying government and corporations. They have no internet access or electricity and since they’ve been doing this for several weeks they most likely don’t have jobs. I don’t have time to do this. I supplement my income by using online resources such as task rabbit. I’m able to add a couple of hundred bucks more a week from that and another couple of hundred a week through freelance work.
Yes, I always hated the rich guys at the top of the food chain in business because they got to sit on their asses all day and rake in millions, but that was because I wanted that job. I always wanted to be able to provide for my family without any worries just like they did. The problem is that to get to that place you have to work for it, not sit and demand it. Even though I’m a contractor, I look for work ever day and I know that the jobs are out there because I send out at least 10 resumes a day. So do thousands of others which is why I don’t get calls as often as I used to, but I’m out there every day trying to make more money than I did yesterday. This is why I don’t have time to camp out and protest because I have a family to feed.
Many of you may not know this, but San Francisco has a JobsNow! program still in effect that if you can find someone to hire you San Francisco will give them a $5000 stimulus bonus for hiring you. They just have to keep you for five months. There are ways to make ends meet out there you just have to get out there and find them. Enough of the rant, just think about this. Oh and by the way, I’m a progressive, not a republican.