Things I’ve noticed in San

Things I’ve noticed in San Francisco since I started living here this past summer:

  • Since the cost of real estate is so high, there doesn’t seem to be very many “newer” things, the things that are such a blight on the rest of the country. Mini-malls. Mega-chain stores. Fast food.
    • I haven’t eaten a Taco Bell burrito since I moved here. The only Burger Kings I have visited in the past few months have been when I’ve gone out of town and couldn’t find anything else.
    • I haven’t set foot in a PriceClub since I left LA. In Southern California, they’re everywhere, and everyone I knew down there had a case of toilet paper to prove their allegance to the almighty warehouse megastore. But here, there aren’t many. Plus, no one has any room to store bulk goods.
    • I haven’t been inside a Borders, Barnes & Noble, or any other bookstore chain since I’ve been here. I went to a Stacey’s once, but that’s a local thing.
  • The po-boy sandwich‘s modern day, dot-com worker equivalent in San Francisco is the super chicken/beef/veggie burrito. Numerous places in soma sell a one-pound monstrosity that’s loaded with carbos and calories, and usually low on flavor. It’s a $5 meal with a drink that keeps you going. Sometimes I don’t think of the mega-burritos as food so much as fuel.
  • Living in San Francisco reminds me of visiting Yosemite in the summertime. You have one beautiful wonder of the world after another, but you have to share it with a few million other people. There are incredible landmarks, amazing architecture, and natural wonders in every nook and cranny in the city, but chances are, there’s already a crowd of people enjoying it (and they’ve taken every parking space near it). But beauty wins out over frustration on most days. And as we get closer to winter, it feels like there are slightly less people, but maybe they’re just indoors.
  • It’s freezing up here. Being so close to the water makes for thick, wet, cold air and a breeze that slides easily through all my clothing. Every 45 degree (F) night feels like the 20 degree nights I used to spend in the mountains backpacking. I must admit I was born in Southern California, and have spent my life there until now, so I am a complete weather weenie, but it’s still cold. It’s time for wool, flannel, and fleece to make the better part of my wardrobe.
  • You can actually live in California and not need a car. It’s really possible. I have one, but most days it’s a burden. I walk, bike, muni, or take a bus everywhere and it’s great. Once a week I move the car from one side of the street to the other, and on weekends I might go shopping for food, or make the trek to Fry’s, but refilling the gas tank happens once a month, if that often.
  • If I could have any car in the world here, I’d get one of these. I’ve seen a few around, probably imported from Germany, but the smallest one is basically 2 seats on top of four wheels. If everyone had one in San Francisco, you could probably park anywhere you wanted. But then again, who needs a car here after all.
  • San Francisco is the only place in California that has a sense of history. Most buildings are turn of the century (the last one) and many large businesses have been here since the late 1800’s. Even with all the earthquakes, things stick around up here.
  • There are so many things to see, and neighborhoods to visit that it’s going to be years before I feel like I’ve seen most of it. I want to check out other parts of the city. I want to visit the coast to the north and the south of here. I want to see the redwoods far north, and santa cruz down south. I could spend every weekend exploring, and I’ll never run out of things to see.
  • If I didn’t build websites, or know anyone in the web business, I would know almost no one in the bay area. Less my building manager and a few of Kay’s coworkers, each and every other person I know up here is someone I met because of the web. People might say computers make for less social interaction, or distance you from the “real” world, but the fact is I moved to a new city hundreds of miles away and am surrounded by dozens of friends, solely because of computers and the web. Amazing but true.

Every time I see one

Every time I see one of the Palm Beach Ballots, I think of office building doors I can’t tell whether to push or pull, I think of my keychain having three identical keys that I have to go through each time I open my apartment door, office door, or brother-in-law’s house, and I think of gas pumps that take a while to figure out how to engage and “start” them. They’re everyday instances of poor design.

We all experience them every day of our lives, but what baffles me is seeing things like this and getting joke emails calling Palm Beach voters “retards that were too stupid to vote.”

Are these people forgetting what bad design does to our lives everyday? Do these people never hit the wrong button on their microwave ovens? Can they figure out how the shower works at every house, hotel, and apartment they’ve ever been in? When they rent a car, do they just jump in and drive, finding the lights, turn signals, radio, and wipers easily?

Do the people discounting Palm Beach voters as stupid lack compassion? Do they have a problem understanding voter’s frustration with the interface? Or is their judgement clouded by their politics?

Politics aside, a bad interface is a bad interface. If the tables were turned, and Bush lost key votes in the state, I wouldn’t support a Gore FL state win.

I’m extremely pleased with the

I’m extremely pleased with the new Blogger upgrade. The site, application, and publishing are all screaming fast. We had to push it out the door early because of recent scaling problems and that’s causing some weird hiccups for some people, but it seems like 90-95% of our users were unaffected. With the new backend in place, improvements and scaling will no longer be an issue. New features will be fast and fierce, and if we ever start having performance problems, we can just add new linux boxes.

Everything is going to be rosy from here on out, and if you thought there were a lot of blogs before, wait until the real explosion happens.

I looked in a mirror

I looked in a mirror today and was horrified. Feathering. Wave-shaped part down the side. Slight gel-induced shine.

I have 80’s hair.

I always know it’s time for a haircut when my head starts resembling a cast member of Family Ties. Actually, the 80’s are a good indicator of when it’s time to change anything. If you’re doing anything or wearing anything that makes you think of the 80’s, it’s time for a change.