Steve Jobs R.I.P.

Yesterday evening I happened to take a look at twitter and got hit by a ton of bricks. Steve Jobs died, October 5th 2011. I kind of felt like I lost my breath for a second or two, but then I realized I had seen it coming, we all did. I’m almost certain that Steve took his last medical leave because he knew he didn’t have much time.

It’s odd that sometimes you learn more about people after they die than when they’re alive. Steve Jobs and Cupertino were coupled together like Brangelina, yet Steve was born in San Francisco. I didn’t know that until I read that after the fact. He was always the big keynote speaker at the MacWorld’s at Moscone Center. My funniest memory of MacWorld was getting an hour off work to go to MacWorld and because it was so big way back then I found myself stuck behind some slowly meandering idiot in front of me talking to a woman. To myself I’m thinking, get out of my way moron, I’ve only got an hour to see the whole place and then the moron turned his head…It was Steve Jobs. I had heard some pretty bad things about him such his dismissive behavior of fans yet I still blurted out, Mr. Jobs! and he turned around. I just said Thank you and extended my hand thinking for a second that he might possible give me a smirk and turn and walk away. He extended his hand shook it and smiled at me.

That was my entire extent of meeting Steve Jobs. I quickly walked around him and continued on with the rest of MacWorld. I figure I got my 15 seconds of Steve Jobs and that was much more than most people got. I have always been a Mac evangelist even though I’ve never worked for Apple. If you think back to the year 2000 and how life was you may remember things were a little different. Mp3 were just coming on the scene, but there wasn’t any way to organize them. There was no iTunes or iPods. There was no super fast gigaflop G4 computers yet. No iPhones, iPads or Apple TV. Airport were around to offer WiFi, but wouldn’t get extreme for another three years. We did have the sleek all black powerbook that had a clock speed of 400Mhz that was fast for the time, but it didn’t have the power anywhere near my iPhone 4 does today. By comparison, my stove was purchased in the late 70’s and if we were to purchase a new one today it wouldn’t be too much different.

When Steve returned to Apple in 1996 things changed. He became an iconic figure to the company that was parodied on numerous television shows, Saturday Night Live being one of the funniest where he was shown giving a keynote speech as if he were a God.We have to remember something though, while Steve built the first Apple computer along with Woz, he wasn’t building and designing so much as time went on at Apple. He may have inspired others to come up with the designs and if you look now Apple has people like Jon Ive and Phil Shiller and Tim Cook who will inspire those at Apple to continue when Steve left off. Apple will continue in the manner Steve intended it to because he picked the right people to lead the company.

Oh, and I last thing…

I’m sure we’ll all warm up to Tim Cook almost as much Steve, we just need to give it some time.

Why people hate San Francisco

This question came to mind today as I was looking over SFGate’s website reading the morning news. Every article has a comment section and anything that’s about something going on in San Francisco has lots of people who aren’t in San Francisco, let alone California ranting about how much we suck. I found an article on SFist from a non-resident who lives in a city where everything resembles a strip mall that driving from one town to another gives you no idea that you’re in a different city, but apparently he at least had come here once who said the following:

Top Reasons Why I Hate San Francisco:

2. The lack of parking
3. The plentiful supply of homeless people
4. Hills, hills, hills–good for views, bad for safety
5. Frequent events/protests/parades/festivals that snarl up traffic for no good reason whatsoever
6. The atrociously cold weather
7. The nutball politicians who run the joint
8. The crappy public transportation system, which only seems functional in comparison to the even worse nightmares in other cities. Being the smartest retard ain’t something to be proud of.
9. Every miserable night on the town I’ve ever spent in SF, which seem to devolve into a Sisyphean quest to find “the” right bar or nightclub
10. The  smug, self-satisfied attitude of residents who are convinced that they live the greatest city in the world. It’s the people who claim to love the environment, then commute to jobs in San Jose that really burn me up.

OK, time for me to address each comment:


Perhaps you should try driving somewhere other than downtown. Mainly Market and Mission streets downtown are the only place I see this in a rampant enough form to make this kind of comment. I personally get a chuckle when I see a sign that says, “U turn OK”. Gee, thanks for the complement. I never considered my turning abilities worthy of a sign.

2. The lack of parking

Again, go somewhere other than downtown which has plenty of parking if you don’t mind paying for it. When I used to live in the Mission district I hated that I had to park a block away from my house, but I also lived on a tiny private street that there wasn’t enough room to turn into the garage. Otherwise, I don’t have a problem. When I go downtown I rarely drive, but take Muni, see below for more on that one!

3. The plentiful supply of homeless people

OK, got me there, but then again I’ve seen lots of homeless people in every metropolitan city I’ve been too so that’s not just a problem for us.

4. Hills, hills, hills–good for views, bad for safety

This one I thought was funny. I can’t figure out one reason why they’re bad for safety unless you don’t know how to put on your parking break or are the verge of a coronary collapse. We have lots of hills out in the Sunset and I see elder Asian men and women then walking up and down them without breaking a sweat or getting winded. I’m sure they consider it good exercise, which it is.

5. Frequent events/protests/parades/festivals that snarl up traffic for no good reason whatsoever

Again, downtown and they aren’t really that frequent. I haven’t seen a traffic blocking parade in ages. We have maybe one day a month and if you’re going to one of these, take MUNI!

6. The atrociously cold weather

I’m sorry, you must be talking about Chicago, Illinois, Buffalo, New York or any city up in the northern regions of the US. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen the temperature drop below 40°. Maybe you were born in Hawaii where I hear they pass out from the chill of opening up the refrigerator.

7. The nutball politicians who run the joint

Chris Daly is gone thank you. If you look at the current Board of Supervisors they’re a lot more moderate than they used to be, but seeing as you didn’t name any names you’re just coming forth with an opinionated generalization. On the other hand, I can’t name one politician from Silicon Valley except Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman who dumped tons of money to win an election that they lost, not to mention that they’re former CEO’s and not politicians. Now I personally would have liked to see Emperor Norton on the Board of Supervisors, but then I’d be dead by now.

8. The crappy public transportation system, which only seems functional in comparison to the even worse nightmares in other cities. Being the smartest retard ain’t something to be proud of.

OK, wait a sec, you’re a Silicon Valley person who has VTA and you’re telling us that Muni sucks? Last time I was down in SV I rarely saw public transportation anywhere. When I was working over by multimedia gulch it took me about 30-40 relaxing minutes on the local transit system. It took me close to an hour last time I tried driving down there and I know the fastest way to get around the city.

9. Every miserable night on the town I’ve ever spent in SF, which seem to devolve into a Sisyphean quest to find “the” right bar or nightclub

Ah, there we go. He’s a hipster, possibly from the neo-bridge and tunnel crowd which is now the Silicon “I’ve got this great start up that’s going to make millions when google buys us!” Valley crowd with the $500 distressed Diesel jeans and t-shirts with band names that broke up before they were born. These are the anathema to nightclubs because once they find the right club it’s no longer a cool place to go to and everyone who brings in the money to the clubs stops coming and they have to close down. If you’re from here or at least been here for 10 years you know where the good bars and clubs are. IF you’re in SV and have to come up here for a nightclub or bar then that probably means you don’t have much in SV. My favorite is a small, invite only with a killer sound system and fully stocked bar with no cover charge. It’s called my home and it’s up on a hill with a lovely panoramic view of the ocean from Fort Funston all the way north to the Marin Headlands. The view takes people’s breath away and then the single malt scotch kicks in.

10. The smug, self-satisfied attitude of residents who are convinced that they live the greatest city in the world. It’s the people who claim to love the environment, then commute to jobs in San Jose that really burn me up.

Oh no, you did NOT use the “S” word on us now did you? I rather like being self-satisfied. It means I’ve accomplished something for and by myself. I didn’t need a hand out from someone else to be happy or a pill prescribed by a doctor. I also refuse to commute to San Jose for a job and except for a short 3 month stint in Burlingame [which I hated] I have always worked in San Francisco. If you’re leaving San Francisco during rush hour to go to work you are driving against the commute. More people come here for jobs instead of leave here to work somewhere else. San Francisco is a small city too. It’s 7×7 miles. I know people in lots of other cities who have to drive 30 miles to work in the same city. If I had to drive 20 miles to get to work I’d be in El Cerrito or Palo Alto.

So there is my rebuttal rant. My grandmother had an old saying that was, “If you keep your own doorstep swept, you won’t have time to sweep anyone else’s.” I think that people outside of San Francisco and California even are living in such sucky lives that they have to verbally attack us because they envy us. If people who live here don’t like it, they leave to find a better place to live. Honestly, if y’all think San Francisco sucks so much, don’t tell us because we don’t really care. We’re trying to fix the things we as citizens of this fine city where the United Nations was started think is wrong with it. Perhaps it’s time for you the people outside San Francisco and California who don’t like us to start looking around at the problems you have in your own city. That would give you something more productive to do that might actually bring about some results for you.

Just to finish this off, as I was reading the newspaper this morning I came across an article on Sela Ward, the actress who is from Meriden, Mississippi. This small town named a street after her and one of the residents who was against it reason was, “Well what if she gets all cracked up on drugs out in California? Then what are we going to do with street named after her?”

Yes, we are all drug addict hippies that are so dumb that we have also just killed the “Republican brand” according to the Institute of Governmental Studies, but they’re just lefty pinko commies from Berkeley right?

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.

Smartphones for Dummies: San Francisco

There’s something about smartphones that no one wants you to know. Now that I have my brand new iPhone 4 I am an expert and will share with you my font of knowledge.

Well, maybe at least what I’ve learned so far…First off, these are phones that connect to the internet. What they don’t tell you is that they try to access Wi-Fi first, then fall back to 3g, then Edge, then GPRS as the last resort. Everything after Wi-FI is where your monthly data charges come in. Now if you’re like me and the millions of other hipsters who got an iPhone to be cool and only make a few phone calls you can find a way to save yourself the $15-$25/month as soon as that’s not a part of your contract [looking into that tomorrow].

I’ve found there are tons of free Wi-Fi out there and there’s even a free app for the iPhone called of course, Free Wi-Fi Finder. While this works pretty good, I’ve found that if you see the #G or E or ° on your iPhone that you should go into your settings and try and turn on Wi-Fi. Chances are you’ll find an open system. I was wandering around my local Safeway and happened to remember this and turned it on and found that Safeway offers free Wi-Fi. So I connected and now because it’s a smartphone it remembered it and every time I’m in that Safeway it will automatically hook up. This is good because the cell phone reception is nil inside so I can run Skype if I need to make a call and call out over Wi-Fi and be a VoIP geek for a bit.

This secret has kept me from getting a Smartphone even when I could have afforded one because it was the data plan that pushed me back. I already pay less per month for much better Wi-Fi at home, why should I pay more for a slower connection outside the house?

So I think this weekend I’ll go fishing, but I’ll leave the pole at home and go around my neighborhood and as soon as I find I don’t have a Wi-Fi signal I’ll see who’s I can latch onto. I’ll also do that at the pizza place by where I work since I know they offer free Wi-Fi and they have good pizza considering they aren’t in New York.

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iPhucked…by the “wertsgeflauben”

What the hell did he just say? Wertsgeflauben. It’s a word I just made up and there’s a good reason for it. It’s a word you use when you want to tell people something that you don’t want them to understand. Weird things like this pop into my head at times, not like visions of Kathy Bates riding naked on a donkey singing Sondheim tunes [oh wait, where the hell did that come from?] While it sounds German, I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything in German. It’s just some stupid nonsensical word like “unbundled” which is what Apple is using instead of “discount”. I started my new job today with a tech company that writes apps for the iPhone. I figured I should probably get one so I started to look into it. I’m looking at the new iPhone 4 and running through choices and decide to select 16Gb black iPhone 4 [oooo all you mac groupies dontcha just wish you were hot like me!] I start through the process and it says $199 with a little 2 superscript next to it which I should have realized meant scroll to the bottom and read the fine print. Here’s the fine print:

Requires new two-year AT&T wireless service contract, sold separately to qualified customers; credit check required; must be 18 or older. Existing AT&T customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS should check with AT&T or use For those who are not eligible for an early upgrade or who wish to buy iPhone as a gift, the prices are $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB). In CA, MA, and RI, sales tax is collected on the unbundled price of iPhone. Service may not be available in all areas or at the signal strength, rates, speeds, or bandwidth as demonstrated. Wi-Fi Internet access required for some features; broadband recommended; fees may apply. Some applications, features, and services are not available in all areas. Visit to check AT&T network coverage in your area. iPhone is configured to work only with wireless service provided by AT&T. Warranty information available at When available, transferring your mobile number to a different service provider will terminate your service with your existing provider; termination fees and other charges may apply. Some features may require added fees. Contact your service provider for more details. Use constitutes acceptance of Apple’s software license agreement and third-party terms located in the iPhone box. Unauthorized modification of your iPhone software violates the software license agreement. Inability to use an iPhone due to unauthorized modifications is not covered under your warranty.

OK, that shouldn’t have been a big deal because I noted that I was upgrading [after my two year contract ran out] so this shouldn’t matter. So this phony surcharge shouldn’t apply. When I put in my zip code they tell me that my tax is $56.12!!!! That works out to about 28% sales tax and I quickly clicked on the speak with a representative button and all that Coreen could tell me was that it was because it was “unbundled” and they had to charge the full price. She never told me what the full price was or how I could bundle it with something else so that I could pay only $17 [state tax] or $18 [San Francisco tax]. She just kept telling me that it was because of Uncle Sam that I had to pay that much. Which I suppose Uncle Sam is going senile and forgot that California sales tax is 8.5% and in SF it’s 9.5%. I finally told her thank you for being so unhelpful and closed the window and picked up the phone and called Apple. This time I got Ryan who sounded a bit more American than the person I had been typing with since his grammar was much better and he finally told me that “unbundled” meant “discount” after I told him that nowhere on the page does it say that $199 is the discounted price. This came after 5 minutes of him trying to get around me asking him what I could “bundle” it with to reduce the tax. I finally said, “Ah so you’re saying ‘unbundled’ when you really mean ‘discounted’. Ryan politely said yes, very softly because I think he realized what a scam it sounded like.

The worst part of all of this is that I’ve been an evangelist for the Apple line for over 20 years. I even gave Steve Jobs a selling point when I said in my previous blog From where I sit, “Apple Macintosh, it just works” long before they used it for their ads. I even said he could use it if he’d give me the choice of Apple products each year. He never returned my email by the way. I’ve gotten quite a few PC people to convert over to the Mac and they love it and they’ve thanked me for making their life easier.

So now let us all embrace the word that means nothing and everything, “Wertsgeflauben.” It will save you money and get you out of a bind. Didn’t get the work done that your boss asked you to? It was because of the wertsgeflauben. Can’t pay your bills? It’s because of the wertsgeflauben. What was that sound? The WERTSGEFLAUBEN! Geez, I think I’ll start writing Dr. Seuss style books now. I have created a monster.