Tag Archives: san-francisco

San Francisco Bans Sugary Drinks

If you’re a person who is addicted to sugary soft drinks, I hope you don’t live in San Francisco. If you do, you may very well start a riot the next time you try to buy your favorite cola from a vending machine in the city limits. San Francisco’s mayor Gavin Newsom doesn’t feel you need to drink these toxic beverages. Instead, he wants you to choose a healthy alternative such as soy milk. The ban that was put in place in April is now starting to make its presence known throughout the city.

Thanks to @forrestkoba, I happened to read the article about the ban on drinks such as Coke and Pepsi in vending machines located on city property. Don’t worry… you can still purchase them in supermarkets and drink them in the secrecy of your own home. However, if you want to grab a cold can from a vending machine at City Hall, you’re out of luck. You could always “treat” yourself to some Soy milk, though!

All calorically sweetened beverages have been taken out of vending machines on city property. “That includes non-diet sodas, sports drinks and artificially sweetened water. Juice must be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners. Diet sodas can be no more than 25 percent of the items offered, the directive says.” There will be a lot of pure juices, waters and non-dairy types of beverages available, though.

The directive also takes aim at snacks which have a high fat or calorie content. “There’s a direct link between what people eat and drink and the obesity and health care crises in this country,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. “It’s entirely appropriate and not at all intrusive for city government to take steps to discourage the sale of sugary sodas on city property.”

What are your thoughts? Do you agree that it is “not intrusive” when a city (or other) government steps in and mandates what you can and cannot buy to eat or drink when visiting city-owned properties? Do you feel that they are going a bit too far in exercising their plans to make the city’s residents healthier?

This Geek Met Chic in San Francisco

On June 3rd, I had an amazing time at the Chic Meets Geek event down in San Francisco. Founder and hostess Carol Tran put together an amazing event, bringing the beautiful people together with those of us who are Geeks.

Chic Meets Geek is a conference with a social atmosphere designed to connect the cultural chic and intellectual geeks beyond a surface level. A panel of both geek and chic speakers shared their inspirational backgrounds in order to bridge these two seemingly incongruous groups. Founder Carol Tran believes the pairing of these two cultures through meshing a red carpet gala and a tech conference into one event will challenge guests to reach beyond their comfort zone and open their minds.

The Vivanista blog detailed the festivities as: “Chic Meets Geek combines aspects of a technology conference, a red carpet gala, and a nonprofit fundraiser. The venue, the Automattic Lounge at Pier 38, is well-known by geeks as the headquarters of Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, a user-friendly blogging platform. Geek Meets Chic has been described as a “user experience” where one may network with people outside their normal circles.”

There were more than 400 people in attendance at Chic Meets Geek, including actor Steve Wharton. In my opinion, this was an event done right. I’m very happy to have been a part of it.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel on Easter

Once again, San Francisco will be home to the annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race on Sunday. Several dozen participants will risk humiliation (and serious bodily injury!) racing their big wheels down the streets of the hilly city.

Bring Your Own Big Wheel

Begun in 2000 by John Brumit, the event was originally held on SF’s famous Lombard Street until its increased popularity necessitated the move to Vermont Street. This year, the race is being held down Potrero Hill and promises to be one of the most exciting events yet.

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Over the years, LaughingSquid has captured some awesome photos of this event. Many of the participants show up in costumes, which brings even more hilarity and fun to the day. Throngs of people line the streets to cheer for friends, family members and their favorite costumed character.

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If I were in San Fran this weekend, this is something I could totally get involved with. Can’t you just see me speeding down that hill at breakneck speed on a flimsy plastic “bike” made for little kids? Yeah, I can’t see it either. I think I’d do better watching from the sidelines.

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This is definitely one time when I won’t be telling anyone to break a leg.

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Street Drummer: Bucketman’s Macworld Song

I was walking on Market Street in San Francisco today, when this street drummer starts singing about Macworld. I had to record the event, and (of course) donate to the artist.

His name is Larry Hunt, and he’s on MySpace – check out his profile and take a listen to the songs he has there. He doesn’t have a computer, but that didn’t stop him from somehow getting his MP3s onto the Web!

I transcribed the sheet of paper he handed to me:

Over the years, I have worked with many top artists and different bands. Presently, I have my own band called “Larry Hunt and the Blue Flame Band.” On April 8, 1992, I won the Jammie Award for “All Around Best Drummer.” Later that year, I recorded my first record: “Cool Papa Legend.”

I was born in Leavenwork, KS. I started playing drums at the age of 3, and owned my first drum set at the age of 4. In 1960, I had my first show with some big-name artists such as Brother Jack MacDuff and Three Sound. In 1966, I played for the senator of Kansas: Senator Reily on TV with Christ Unlimited. In 1974, I met Louis Bellson at the Starlite Theater in Kansas City. From 1966-1978, I played with “The Drifters,” “The Tams,” “Round House Band,” “Pandall,” “Badge,” and “Little Royal.”

In 1979, I worked with Larry Sharp and Gregg Lomt Trio. In 1983, I drummed in the Black Star Lite Band. In 1986, I joined Intervision from Oakland. In the years between 1989 – 1992, I met Cool Papa on TV with Bay Area Backroads. I played with John Lee Hooker, Deacon Jones, Gregg Allman, Steve Ganna, Al Von Johnson, Rockin Earl Brown, Ron Steward of Blues Society, Lady Margaret and the Gentlemen, Perry Walker, Survival Band, and Steppen Stone.

For more information on the drum lessons, please look for me with the “New Funk Generation” at Powell and Geary in San Francisco, Thursday through Sunday night at approximately 8:30pm.

I don’t know about you, but I thought he displayed his talent quite well. I love a good beat, no matter where it’s coming from. Because of my donation, he gave me his most recent CD (and his resume, too). As it turns out, you can hire this guy for lessons or parties.

Here he is, mid jam:

I took another video of him, but it didn’t turn out as well – so I decided to use his first “Macworld” jingle as the soundtrack for this photo montage:

How to Deal with Managed Hotel Internet Access

In order to understand this, you’ll need to watch the video first.

I decided to stay at the Orchard Garden hotel for a few reasons: it was near Union Square, was available at a good price, and claimed to be green. It was worth trying, I thought.

The hotel farms out Internet service, which isn’t out of the ordinary. I encountered my first issue within minutes of trying to get online (wireless). The account registration page, seemingly tied into my MAC address, passed me to a 404 after stepping through the form. I couldn’t get online that way, so I tried a wired connection – which landed me at the same dead end.

I got on the phone, gave the CSR a few bits of info, and within minutes I was online (after they toggled a filter on their end). Immediately, I fired up my email client and started to upload the first of what would likely be several videos to YouTube. I got about halfway through the transfer when I lost my IP address. Curious.

Luckily, I didn’t wait on hold for long before I was speaking to another customer service rep. He suggested I change my cable – which had never failed me before. No matter, I took his suggestion and had a serviceman bring one to my room. As expected, I could still not get a connection.

My third call to the managed hotel ISP yielded no answers. I was left to my own devices, and decided that I’d try my luck with a spotty 3G connection. I’m glad I had that, because…

I’m certain that many of you expected me to stream from the hotel… this might explain why I didn’t. Did anyone forget to tell them there’s a geek convention in town?

To the hotel’s credit, I didn’t directly complain to anybody (figured it would have been a fruitless effort). Turns out, the director of sales caught wind of that video – and had a bottle of white wine delivered to my room that afternoon. He was friendly, but suggested I might have warned them ahead of time of my potentially excessive usage. I’ve stayed at so many hotels over the years, and I’ve never been cut off from the Internet in any of them – ever.

Despite this snag, I’m still going to recommend the Orchard Garden. The food is great, the staff is friendly, and they have a great ethos. Be forewarned: you may have issues with your Internet access. Also note that there’s a similarly named hotel right down the block, so be sure you map things accordingly.

Orchard Hotel Review

Ponzi picked the Orchard Hotel at 665 Bush Street for our trip to San Francisco this weekend; we’ll be staying here for a couple of nights before flying back late on Saturday. But I may never want to leave.

First, we found that it was conveniently located downtown – close to restaurants, shopping, and BloggerCon. Second, the doorman stopped what he was doing to smile and open the door for us on our way in. Third, the hotel offered free wired broadband without hesitation or limitation (yes, the information is clearly visible at the front desk).

Fourth, the clerk informed us that daily breakfast was included in our room charge. Fifth, the doorman walked up to us after we checked in to offer brochures which could help us get around the city. Sixth, they have a full DVD library of new movies which they let guests borrow for free (two at a time, unlimited). Seventh, the room comes with over 50 popular cable television stations. Eighth, the TV has a DVD player hooked up to it.

Ninth… do I really need to list a ninth point as to why this is has been the “worst” hotel experience I’ve ever had?! Of course, I use that term loosely – as other hotels pale by comparison. Doesn’t matter what happens from here on in, the Orchard Hotel already can’t score less than four and half (out of five) stars in my book.

I recommend this place, wholeheartedly.

Pirillo Web Site Analysis

There’s a Silicon Valley company that’s wanting to run an analysis on how users view and interact with content and advertising on this site. If you’re local (read: in the Bay Area) and are available at some point in the near future to swing into their offices and give your expert opinion, let me know and I can put you in touch with the appropriate person. This is a great opportunity, although I’m not at liberty to share too many details about it. [[email protected]]