Thursday, December 31, 2015

My favorite tweets of 2015

Yes, it's back, for the third consecutive and fourth nonconsecutive time, TK's 2015 Tweets of the Year.  Everybody was very funny this year.  Good job, good effort.

Remember the llamas? I do, like it was yesterday, man. That was good times.

I think "here's a lanyard for some reason" is the killer. It's almost poignant.


I did too! At least, at first.

How does this only have 29 likes? Maybe it was passed around on another account and got 7 million likes? It should have 7 million likes.

I actually went and found the real comment. It's real, or at least appears to be. Amazing.

I LOL every time I think about this tweet, to this day.

My life has been considerably better since discovering @desusnice's Twitter.

What the kids call "pwned."

And just in under the wire, one late but worthy entry:
Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The 40 Going On 28 Christmas Special


Ladies and from Clooney's Bar in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco, it's the 40 Going On 28 Christmas Special! With your host, TK!  Please welcome.......TEEEEEE KAYYYYYYYYYY

(wild applause, cheers)

TK enters stage left, holding a mic, waving


With special guests.....Internet commenters!!

A small group of ugly and malformed people wave grimly from stage right. They quickly return to vaping and forming terrible opinions.


And the Garbage City Band!!!

The band plays a quick flourish of "Semi-Charmed Life"


Thank you, thank you, thank you all for coming.  We've got a great show for you tonight, a lot of special guests are here.

LOUD CRASHING NOISE heard offstage

What...what's this?



Why it''s the Ghost of San Francisco Christmas Past! Welcome, Ghost!  How about a hand for the ghost, people?

(applause, cheers)

What's up with you tonight, Ghost?


Noooooothing, TK.  Just getting ready to head home to the Past...where everything was muuuuuuuuch betterrrrrrrrrr!

(Audience gasps)


Hey, man, that's not entirely fair.  There are still a lot of good things about San Francisco!  The economy's great, there are a ton of cool restaurants, we're building a lot of new housing ....


Whatever, dude.


Pot's basically legal.


Wait, what?


Ghost of Christmas Past, everyone!  Big hand!

(appluase, cheering)

The Garbage City Band's piano begins to play


How about a song, yeah?  Please welcome the Garbage City Singers!

The GARBAGE CITY SINGERS choral ensemble enter stage left.  


You know Geary and Sutro and Agnos and Jordan
Shelley and Feinstein, Moscone and Newsom
But do you recall
The techiest mayor of all
Ed Lee, the Mustache Mayor
Had some very greedy friends
And if you ever saw them
You would wonder where it ends
All of the other mayors
Used to care about their town
All old Ed Lee wanted
Was to not let Ron Conway down
Then one foggy taxmas eve
Twitter came to say
Our investors run this town
Won't you cut our taxes down?
Then how the VCs loved him
As they shouted out with glee
Ed Lee, the mayor hero
See you when we IPO!

(wild applause, cheers)


Thank you, thank you.  We're just having some fun with you, Ed. You know we love you.  All in good fun.  Please don't let Airbnb have my house.  I'm still using it.

TK loosens his tie, sits on edge of stage with a drink


Let's make sure we don't forget the real meaning of Christmas.  BUYING DRONES FOR PEOPLE AND GETTING BLACKOUT DRUNK.  No, no, I'm joking, of course.  I'm talking about being with your loved ones.  Like all you guys.  I couldn't do it without you.  Thanks for reading another year of my dumb commentary and ill-informed opinions.

TK raises his glass.


To all of my readers.  I love you guys.


(lifts head from bar) The fuck is going on here


I see our time is running short.  Thanks again for tuning in!  See you on New Year's Eve for our Annual Best Tweets of the Year Post!  For the Garbage City Band, the Garbage City Singers, and Extremely Don Pardo Announcer, I'm TK!  Happy Holidays!

Garbage City Band plays as TK is roughly escorted out of the bar

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wait, I want to have an I'm Leaving San Francisco Letter too

Please post it on the Bold Italic.

(I'm not actually leaving San Francisco. I'm just scared I'll miss out and won't be able to contribute to the I'm Leaving San Francisco Letter genre)

I can still remember the day I set foot in San Francisco.  The air was aglow and the fog tasted sweet, like simple syrup.  Every day I would walk to work from my huge apartment in North Beach that cost $124 a month to my very cool job doing something creative with a lot of cool people who were also cool and unusual.  Then we would go to underground dance fashion raves in SOMA before there were offices there or before people called it SOMA until 4 am and then be fine at work the next day because the very spirit of San Francisco would keep you invigorated.

It’s different now, of course; it’s not My San Francisco any more.  I guess it started when the Thorvites emerged from the sea and began eating large sections of the Sunset, their gaping, blood-soaked jaws full of pavement and stucco and hapless dog walkers.  Of course, incinerating Golden Gate Park with thermite and napalm temporarily halted their shrieking march across the city, but at what cost?  The new Golden Gate Parking Lot is convenient but I miss the trees.  Am I being selfish, though, I wonder.  What makes the old SF any better than the new one?

There were the little changes, things that seemed small but then started to add up.  The coffee place down the street, where the owner, Rose still made delicious lattes and served heavenly muffins straight from her own oven, closed suddenly and was replaced by a Physical Form Transmutation Center, another one of those places where you’d go to have your molecular matrix disassembled and transmitted to a pulsar of pure energy.  There’s probably one in your neighborhood too.  It’s like they’re taking over!  They're like the Chase banks of physical transmutation places.  And I knew the cobbler shop probably wouldn’t last, but I was more than a little taken aback when it closed and reopened as an Alien Assimilation Center.  I know our new overlords are mighty; I guess I didn’t expect them to be so pushy, too!

I sigh and try to remember that change is inevitable.  The Mission was an Irish neighborhood once, then Hispanic.  Now it’s Biomutant.  From “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” to “Oye Como Va” to “Feast on the Skulls of the Screaming Ones, For We Are the Damned of the Night.”  All good songs, just different voices.  Change.  In 30 years, the Biomutants will be the ones getting pushed out, and they’ll probably complain about how the Drillbots have ruined the neighborhood by drilling holes in everything and driving right over the intricate temples of human bones the Biomutants spent so long assembling.  “I remember when this was a cool neighborhood, before the Drillbots messed everything up,” they’ll whine, in between bites of a child’s forearm.  It’s inevitable.

The last straw was when Gozor and his Reptile Clan won the Battle of Potrero Hill and slaughtered the last of the Golden Cadre.  The streets had barely stopped running thick and red with clotted blood when I came home to find a 3-day Notice tacked to my door.  Gozor was Ellis Acting me out.  A quick look at Craigslist and I knew my time in San Francisco was over.  I’d had some pretty sketchy apartments here, but $3000 a month for a muddy Hellpit dug in the sandy soil and covered with a bamboo lattice seemed a little ridiculous.  Especially since I also had to share a cooking fire with Jaku the Forgotten One, who honestly did not look like he kept a clean kitchen.

So farewell, San Francisco!  I shall remember you as you were, that beautiful, charming, grey City of Wonder, and not like now, just another backwards province in the Borakkian Empire.  I hear Portland is still not overrun; maybe I’ll try there next.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Coldplay is a gift

Fey British Mom-rockers Coldplay were announced as the halftme entertainment for Super Bowl L.  Predictably, everyone lost their goddam minds.

Chin up, footballers! It could be so, so, so much worse. Just check out this list of Super Bowl halftime performers.  It is truly a dark tome.

FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS, it was mostly marching bands, which is fine because no one cares and you can go get more Jell-O with marshmallows in it and a Hershey bar or whateverTF they ate in the late 60's.  The producer of the Super Bowl IV halftime show, in 1970, no doubt had a headful of the cheap and plentiful blotter acid that flooded the market back then because he booked Carol Channing and the Southern University Marching Band, two entities that had almost certainly never been in the same room together.

Super Bowl V, 1971, featured the first appearance of Up With People, a "musical" sensation so bland and earnest it makes It's a Small World look like Cannibal Corpse.  Up With People would return to darken the Super Bowl stage again and again, in 1976, 1980, 1982, and 1986, before they were blessedly sent to a re-education camp in the North Dakota desert and never heard from again.

UPDATE: Commenter Stoney claims to have no memory of Up With People!  Let's fix that.

Shoulda kept your mouth shut, big man.

What we think of as the Event Halftime didn't really start until Michael Jackson did it in 1993.  (Don't even try to suggest it started in 1991, with "New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), Disney characters, Warren Moon, 2,000 [presumably terrified] local children, and audience card stunt")  Suddenly Carol Channing, the USC Trojans Marching Band, and UWP were shunted to the side to make way for more palatable artists like The Blues Brothers (1997) and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (1999).

The path to Coldplay was paved by similarly self-important anthemizers U2 in 2002.  Somehow-younger-seeming-than-U2 Paul McCartney was in 2005 and the Stones in 2006 but surprisingly not Elton John or Paul Revere and the Raiders in 2007.

(I started looking into this because Olu texted me about Peter Hartlaub's suggestion that Huey Lewis play the SB and I was honestly shocked Huey has never played a SB.  Is there any more perfect SB artist?  He's as smooth and featureless as a beach pebble, and even has an album called "Sports."  It's amazing the NFL didn't invent him solely for the purpose of playing halftime shows.)

So in closing, stop bitching about Coldplay.  At least it's not Charo with the Southeastern Missouri Marching Beavers or whatever they have.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm on hiatus

It's that time of year. Time to engage in some uncomfortable air travel and see the relatives and whatever.  I'll be back.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I know what you've been thinking.  "TK, I'm already bored of governors threatening to kill refugees who might stray across their state line.  Can you find me any stupider reaction to the terrorist attacks in France?"


From Erick Erickson, prominent right-wing radio host:

An adult wrote that.

The central thesis of this prose poem is that it's too dangerous to see Star Wars because, I gather (although it's not explicit) the Administration can't keep terrorists from doing something involving metal inside a theater showing a Star Wars film.

There are many points here, but just to start:

1. People do, in fact, get shot in movie theaters.  Just not by terrorists from other countries.  

2. There are somewhere around 270 million guns in America. There are around 2.7 million federal employees,  That's only ONE member of the Administration per ONE HUNDRED GUNS. How's one dude gonna keep his eye on a hundred guns?  Can't be done.  If someone wants to shoot you, no, the Administration can't really protect you.  Sorry.

3. Since 2012, 16 people have been killed violently in American movie theaters, 12 of them in one incident (committed by a native-born US citizen who bought his arsenal of guns and ammunition legally, I might add).  That's about the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 5 hours.  The real "threat scenario" is driving to the fucking theater.

4. Nobody gives a shit if you see Star Wars or not. 

Jesus, these people.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Today in Our Garbage City: This city isn't for you anymore, it's for Them

I don't think anyone really appreciates yet the level of fuckery that's going to accompany the arrival of Super Bowl L in February which is not being played in San Francisco at all but rather in Santa Clausa or whatever but will effectively shut down downtown because no Regional VP of Sales who's getting sent to the Super Bowl as a reward for beating revenue targets for three straight years wants to go to the Cheesecake Factory in Santa Clara when he could go to the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square.  So the NFL and Business Fingerpuppet Ed Lee have joined forces to shut down the foot of Market for 2 weeks so business douches and Patriots fans can wallow around in money and celebrate a sport that's not even played professionally here any more.

Despite the obvious annoyance that this shitacular is going to be, I was more or less agnostic on hating it until this came out:
The committee planning Super Bowl City are asking that Muni’s overhead wires be taken down near Justin Herman Plaza, the San Francisco Examiner has learned, potentially disrupting service of Muni’s historic streetcars and wire-dependent buses.
Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the plaza, said she thought the potential plan was well-known.
“Yeah, that’s real,” she said. “The [Super Bow] committee has been very open about it. They’ve said that’s what they want.”
She added, “They’ve definitely been asking to take down the overhead wires on Market Street.”

You get this?  These dickbrains want to take down the wires that the fucking buses and streetcars use, because I guess they'll interfere with the views or something or, more likely, because they think that might keep the ugly vermin that ride Muni from making it into their Morbidly Obese Capitalism Zone.  FUCK YOU, SAN FRANCISCO!  If you need to get somewhere on lower Market in February, you should have either started a Fortune 500 company or been better at football.

Sources with close knowledge of the project also confirmed the potential plan. Those sources, who would not use their names for fear of reprisal from the Mayor’s Office, also said removing numerous wires on Market Street may cost a “seven-figure number” requiring “lots of overtime” to remove correctly.
So much here.  The only people who can talk about this must remain hidden in the shadows lest whoever the fuck it is who really runs this yard visits a terrible revenge on them.  But hey, we've got plenty of seven-figure numbers to throw around, now that all that money from Airbnb registrations is rollng in, right?

Elsewhere, the lovely Palace of Fine Arts, long a civic institution, is being boring and not doing what you're supposed to do in Our Garbage City, which is generate TONS O' CASH.  So hey, let's fucking MONETIZE THAT BITCH!!!

From 7x7:

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of San Francisco’s most iconic public buildings, and some folks are none too happy about potential plans to turn the cultural landmark into a luxury boutique hotel. 
Back in December 2014, Rec and Park issued a press release announcing a request for proposals for what general manager Phil Ginsburg called "a unique business opportunity" for private businesses to pitch creative takeovers of the 140,000 square-foot structure. As of last week, the city has accepted three proposals for the fomer Exploratorium space: two would transform the building into a hotel, and one suggests opening a museum and restaurant.

Whatever.  Fine.  That's where we live now.  If you're not generating ROI, you're fucking dead to us.  LEARN TO CODE, PALACE OF FINE ARTS, OR GET LEFT BEHIND.

(Also, bless your heart, makers of the petition to stop this, but it's "San Francisco," not "San Fransisco," sweetie.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TK's Post-Election Takeshop

We were also considering TK's Take & Eggs or Tartine Takery, so you got lucky with the title we went with.

WHOA HOW ABOUT THAT ELECTION.  I actually can't say I'm surprised about anything, including Prop F going down.  Imagine that, the side with 10x more money winning!  It's only been that way since ANCIENT FUCKING ROME.  I mean, if Gaius Nobodius raised 8 million denarii, he could knock off Cicero.  "CICERO: BAD FOR ROME, BAD FOR YOU. My name is Gaius Nobodius and I approved this message."

The first thing everybody talks about is the LOW VOTER TURNOUT like ohhhhh nooooo only 132,262 people voted oh dude that sucks.  What the fuck makes you think the extra 300,000 people who could have voted would have done any better?  It's not like the 300k people who didn't vote are super well-informed about the issues or would have voted for Amy whoever for mayor instead of the techbro figurehead we're stuck with.  If you couldn't be bothered to vote, there's very little chance you wouldn't be swayed by the Prop F ads telling you that Prop F will basically turn SF into Cold War-era East Berlin and the CIA will be watching you through your TV.

So yeah, Ed Lee won, no big surprise there since it wasn't really clear whether the people running against him were joking or not, but I guess it's kind of surprising that he only got 56% of the votes in an election where he was basically running unopposed.  San Francisco is famously fractious, but you can still get more than 56% of people to agree on things that are basically unopposed, like beer is good or the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty.  Doesn't make any damn difference, though, Ed's 56% counts the same as Kim Jong Whatever's 100%, and both of them don't give a shit what you think.

The interesting thing is that Aaron Peskin got sent back to the Board of Supervisors which is good for people like me who like assholes who call people drunk in the middle of the night or who are themselves assholes who call people drunk in the middle of the night.  I just want shit to be more interesting and it seems like he's good at that.

Then we have Prop J, the legacy business fund thing that will help keep shops that people don't spend enough money in to support any more open after they should have gone out of business and I'm just bummed they didn't have this like 150 years ago because you know blacksmith shops and tanneries would be so fucking hip right now.  Can you just see the beardos in suspenders all hanging out all around the smithy.  God I love the Mission.

Anyway, good job, Garbage City. I'm sure the Airbnb thing isn't over. Hey, I have an idea for a ballot proposition - you can run your Airbnb like a hotel, but you have to provide a hotel bar in every building and also pay-per-view porn and a minibar in the room.

Oh fuck, we have to vote again next year?  Great.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Proposition F isn't really about Proposition F at all

Proposition F - the anti-Airbnb ballot measure, for lack of a better pithy descriptor - has become the shitstorm of this election. It's turned comments sections from trash into Superfund-site-level toxic sludge, made Nextdoor even more hilariously unhinged, and filled everyone's mailboxes with the papertrash equivalent of 3 Examiners a day.  It hasn't helped that Airbnb is financing an anti-F campaign that makes the Willie Horton ad look like a Harvard debate club salon.

Forced to do what?  To report to the government when you're sleeping in your own bed, according to this not-at-all fearmongering and hilarious No on F ad.

The actual proposition tinkers with existing regulations in more or less minor ways - reducing the total number of nights you can rent out your place from 90 to 75, and allowing neighbors to sue you if they think you're violating the terms, along with some other stuff - but to hear the anti-Prop F people, you'd think it was the Apocalypse combined with the Cuban Revolution and now everyone will have to leave their houses and let a poor move in.  They also say the current system is working, which is patently bullshit, since we have a newly-operating full-time Airbnb hotel 2 doors down from our house and no one's doing shit about that.

As you can probably tell, I'm lowkey pro-Prop-F, but it doesn't make any difference because Airbnb's Gigantic Fun House of Money combined with a total voter turnout of about 48 people, most of whom work for Airbnb, pretty much ensures that they've got this one in the bag.

Still, it's become obvious to me this isn't actually about the proposition itself.  It's about two views of a changing San Francisco.  A lot of people (me, to some extent, included) see San Francisco changing quickly and, to their minds, unpleasantly, and Airbnb is a very visible, very loud manifestation of that.  Remember that nice family that lived down the street?  They had to move to Fairfield, and now their place has a kegerator instead of a playpen and it's like Phi Delt is recreating the Fall of the Roman Empire there every weekend.  To this group, Airbnb is a huge shining symbol of the New New San Francisco - Our Garbage City - where the tech companies shit all over it and do anything they want because there's a perfectly good city government that they paid good money for.  To them, Airbnb and Uber and all the rest are the New Boss, swaggering around town and telling them exactly how it's going to be now and why your way sucked and the new way is better and just shut up and look at your phone.  There's a velvet rope in front of Bi-Rite now, and it snakes through the Mission to the front doors of Vida.

The others side is a strange agglomeration of super-libertarians who are all IT'S MY PROPERTY I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT and Tech Kids who think anything with a .com at the end shits out cotton candy and genuinely well-intentioned people who really do use Airbnb to rent out an extra room once in a while and don't understand why everyone is so pissed off about that.

So this isn't really a vote about whether or not you should be able to rent out your place for an extra 15 days or whether the busybody neighbor is actually going to get their shit together and calm the voices raging in their head enough to sue you, it's about fear of what this city's becoming or may have already become.  This observation probably isn't unique or even interesting, but maybe helps explain why everyone is so fucking worked up.  Maybe.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Tech Fuckup Pool: Join today!

The big Airbnb shitshow last week was a hoot!  From the time that one tech company trashed Dolores Park to the time that other tech company painted shit all over the sidewalks (and that's just the ones I remember from the past few months), one thing's for sure; TECH COMPANIES KEEP DOING STUPID SHIT.

Which means it's going to happen again.  Probably soon.

Which means we need to get a pool going.

My initial idea was going to be that you have to pick a tech company AND a type of stupidity, so like if you had "" and "Homeless-related" and paid homeless people $5 to hand out flyers that said "Don't be as dirty as me" then you'd win.  But there are too many ways in the universe to fuck up, so let's keep this simple.  You just pick a tech company you think will fuck up in the next, say, 6 months, put it in the comments, and if you want to you can make a guess about how they do it but that's not required.  So of course it's better if you say LYFT CHRISTMAS PARTY FEATURES ENDANGERED ANIMAL HORS D'OEUVRES but you can just say LYFT and that will do it.

Will there be a prize?  Of course there will be a prize!  I was thinking about making the prize this "Webvan Advertising Floaty Pen Eskesen Denmark Twist and Click Grocery Service" but if you read the fine print it doesn't even write any more!  Just like Webvan itself, it is sadly defunct.  I don't know, I'll think of something.

The deadline for entries is FRIDAY OCTOBER 30, for no particular reason.  Let's go fuck up, tech companies!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

These Airbnb ads are really something

You've probably seen some version of this story by now:

Airbnb Apologizes For Tone-Deaf Hotel Tax Ads, Will Take Them Down “Immediately”

For the past couple of hours, Airbnb has been getting slammed on social media for a San Francisco bus stop ad that was shared on Facebook. How bad was it? People (including Martha Kenney, who first shared the ad) started speculating that it may have been hoax, perhaps posted by someone who wanted to make Airbnb look bad.

via Techcrunch, and ultimately Martha Kenney, I guess. Thanks, Martha Kenney!

The other ones were even worse:


Friday, October 16, 2015

Here's another Music List that maybe only one person will be interested in

Mostly just because GG asked for it.

But then it turned out to be unexpectedly interesting!  Maybe mildly interesting.  Interesting because my list of my favortie songs of all time had one distinguishing demographic characteristic: ALL WHITE DUDES.  But then  I made this list of my favorite songs from the last 5-6 years and it's at least a little more diverse.  I mean, it's still not a Benetton ad, but it's at least a 5 Fulton.

Does Benetton still make ads?  Is that reference still relevant?

Here are My 20 Favorite Songs, 2009-2015.  As always, in no particular order:

TV on the Radio, "Second Song"
Azealia Banks f/ Lazy Jay, "212"
Vampire Weekend, "Worship You"
Elbow, "Leaders of the Free World"
Mikal Cronin, "Weight"
Kanye West, "Black Skinhead"
Kanye West, "Runaway"
Foxygen, "No Destruction"
Generationals, "TenTwentyTen"
Waxahatchee, "La Loose"
Woods, "Moving to the Left"
Ryan Adams, "Ashes and Fire"
Sturgill Simpson, "Living the Dream"
Sturgill Simpson, "You Can Have the Crown"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Haim, "The Wire"
Neko Case, "This Tornado Loves You"
Sleigh Bells, "Crown on the Ground"
Lorde, "400 Lux"
Avett Brothers, "I And Love And You"

WHAT DOES IT MEAN.  I don't know.  You'll see that Sturgill and Yeezy are the only two artists with 2 songs each, and boy what I wouldn't give to see that double bill live.  I bet they'd totally be into it too!  Let's make that happen.

Have fun at Treasure Island, everybody!  The National, ugh.  I know, turn in my Dad Card at the desk.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

SONG BATTLE: The Aftermath, plus Complete Lists

A while back, I happened to mention on Twitter that I had done the very Gen X white male semi-music-obsessive task of compiling a list of my 20 favorite songs of all time, a task heretofore reserved for those on the spectrum and guys who identify with John Cusack in "High Fidelity."  One thing led to another and before I knew it I was locked in some Mortal Combat for Music Geeks-type situation with Olu wherein we would both go on Burrito Justice's radio show on, Monarch of the Airwaves, and have some kind of competition, I guess, pitting some of my songs against some of his songs.  Seems fine.

(Apropos of John Cusack, please enjoy this Internet thing "John Cusack's 30-Year-Dating History Is B-A-N-A-N-A-S."  John Cusack had sex with Janice Dickinson on a plane!  Janice Dickinson [who is on this season's Couples Therapy, BTW] is CRAZY but in that really kind of disturbing way and not the fun throws-plates-on-the-floor-at-parties way.)

AAAANYWAY it was lots of fun and we probably only bored about half the people listening, which would be a new personal best for me.  If you were doing literally anything worthwhile yesterday and missed it and now your life is an Empty Void and has No Meaning, you can listen to it here.  NOTE: If your life is an Empty Void, you will especially enjoy the Joy Division vs. Elliott Smith duo about halfway through.

We didn't get to all our songs, so in the interest of completeness, here are our lists.

TK's Top 20 Songs of All Time

in no particular order

(Like I said, I first compiled this list in 2009.  Before the show I went back and made a few changes because I've grown as a person since then and also I fucked up in a few places like putting "Ghosts" by The Jam on the original list instead of "In the City," which is about 1000x better.)

First, the ones that made the show:

Rolling Stones, "Monkey Man"
Guided by Voices, "Everywhere with Helicopter"
The Jam, "In the City"
Wolf Parade, "Shine a Light"
The Clash, "Rudie Can't Fail"
Beulah, "Landslide Baby"
The Weakerthans, "Reconstruction Site"
Elvis Costello & The Attractions, "Beyond Belief"
The Shins, "So Says I"
The Libertines, "Can't Stand Me Now"
The Replacements, "Bastards of Young"
The Velvet Underground, "Cool It Down"
Elliott Smith, "Independence Day"

And the ones you didn't hear:

The Wrens, "Ex-Girl Collection"
Trashcan Sinatras, "Circling the Circumference"
R.E.M., "Disturbance at the Heron House"
Modest Mouse, "Gravity Rides Everything"
The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl, "Fairytale of New York"
Pavement, "Spit on a Stranger"
Game Theory, "We Love You Carol and Alison"

And now presenting Olu's Top 20 Songs of All Time

also in no order that I'm aware of

The ones you heard:

Built to Spill, "Else"
DJ Shadow, "The Six Day War"
Blonde Redhead, "I Am Taking Out My Eurotrash" [Ed: This wins for Best Song Title of the Day, if nothing else]
The Roots, "You Got Me"
Fugazi, "Waiting Room"
Cat Power, "Cross Bones Style"
Guided by Voices, "Watch Me Jumpstart"
Joy Division, "Twenty Four Hours"
Brand Nubian, "Slow Down"
The Pharcyde, "Passing Me By"
Galaxie 500, "Ceremony"
Bill Withers, "Who Is He and What Is He To You"
Shannon, "Let the Music Play"

And here's what Olu left on the bench:

GZA, "Duel of the Iron Mic"
Sonic Youth, "Tunic (Song for Karen)"
Gossip, "Heavy Cross"
Souls of Mischief, "93 'til Infinity"
Nas, "New York State of Mind"
Notorious B.I.G. f/ Methid Man, "The What"
Elliott Smith, "2:45 a.m."

Olu also noted that he was "missing" 2 songs which means I guess they'd be on there if he had a redo, The Clash, "Guns of Brixton" and Neutral Milk Hotel, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea."  You know what?  I might put NMH's "The King of Carrot Flowers" on my list if I did it again.

Who won, you ask?  Who knows?*  It seemed pretty evenly split to me.  And it's really not about the competition.  It's about the spirit of togetherness and enjoying good music.

*I won.

I'm looking forward to the next one!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The One-Offs

Oh, California Department of Public Health Most Popular Baby Names 2009-2013, how I love thee.  Everyone already knows that the most popular California boys' names in 2012 would be Jacob and Ethan and Matthew and, God help us, Jayden.  So go on with your Emilys and Mias and Sofias.  We all see you.  The best part of the CDPHMPBN is that it lists how many babies in a given year got that name.  So, for example, in 2012, exactly 1,007 Zoes arrived in California, followed closely by 1,006 Madisons.  There is a 100% chance there will be a Zoe or Madison in your California life at some point.

But we don't care about them.  We care about the ONE-OFFS.  That's right, those names that were bestowed just one time in the State of California in a given year.  And we've learned that, if nothing else, California parents are fucking CREATIVE AS HELL.

So for example in 2012 precious ZEPLIN and ZESAR and ZIPO zipped out of some forward-thinking Moms.  "Popsicle you have, now to me you must give," young YODA might say.  SOCRATES and PERICLES are giving democracy a spin, while SAW and BLAYDE are just cutting up.  MOBY and TIESTO and ZEDD will be manning the playground decks, while CHAOS seems to be in trouble all the time.  No worries though, BUD's here.  And why settle for just one when you can have ERICS?

The girls are having just as much fun.  In fact, they're a RIOT.  Wait, is SANSA a Game of Thrones character or a beta blocker?  I forget.  TAEDYN seems like the wreckage left after two more popular names collided.  Maybe CASHLYNN can help pick up the pieces.  I hope SNOW WHITE and CINDERELLA are in the same class; the other kids' minds will be fucking blown.  I hope they go to Disneyland with RAPUNZEL one day.

Finally, presented without comment:

There's gotta be a story, right?  I hope there's a story.

If you're Bored at Work, feel free to go mining and do share any good gems you unearth therein.  Have a good weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Have Read the Lindley Meadow Picnic Area Rules, and They Are Fascist as Hell

Everyone's debunking!  Some people have read Proposition F, and other people have read what people who read Proposition F said.  Who knows?  Everybody's probably wrong.  Whatever.  For everyone's benefit, I read the Lindley Meadow Picnic Area rules and they are not what they seem!!!

One of the grandest green spaces in glorious Golden Gate Park is Lindley Meadow. Its grassy area stretches along the south edge of JFK Drive in the center of the park, spilling down a steep bank into a wide flat space with picnic tables and grills tucked into the eucalyptus border. Lindley Meadow is a splendid place for a party!

Right off the bat, LIES.  Lindley Meadow isn't one of the "grandest green spaces" in Golden Gate Park, despite what this alliteration-addled author might have you believe.  It's an average green space at best.  In fact, it's really brown in places, as you can see in the photo above.  Good luck with your garbage picnic in the middle of that dirt hole.

It's a "splendid place for a party" if you like choking dust and grass stains, all right.

Let's get to the "Picnic and Party Features," which is just the GG Park jackboots' way of saying "Life Restrictions/Buzzkills":

1. Restrooms are located at the Equestrian Center just west of Lindley Meadow.
2. Cheers! Beer and wine are welcome at Lindley Meadow, but kegs and liquor are not. Remember: carrying open alcoholic beverages outside the picnic area is never permitted.

Oh, I guess we all should wear matching uniforms and sing "How Great Thou Art" too. Have you ever been to anything fun that didn't have kegs and liquor?  ANSWER: NO.  Beer and wine is fine for the kids, but a function without kegs and liquor is like a day without a dumb startup.  You probably can't have any snacks with high fructose corn syrup either, but I haven't checked with Eric Mar to be sure.

Also, I carry alcoholic beverages around my house all the time, which is "outside the picnic area," so come and get me, Happy Police, I guess I broke the rules.
3. Jump! Inflatable play structures are welcome (additional permit required). No electricity is provided.
See how they snuck that "additional permit required" hoping you wouldn't notice?  That's them telling you that your 10,000 square foot inflatable Larry Ellison Japanese Junior Jump Palace will be hung up in Planning for 18 months before you finally get a permit.  Happy Birthday!  NOW THAT YOU'RE MUCH OLDER.
5. Food-Trucks require an extra permit.
Here's a perfect example of the Regulatory State smothering our economy.  Today it's "Food-Trucks" that require a permit, tomorrow it's "Your-Disgusting-Fucking-Kale-Salad."  BACK OFF GOLDEN GATE PARK JUST LET ME LIVE!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Today in Our Garbage City: Civic Design by Chuck E. Cheese

If you think the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney World is cultural caviar, I've got some good news, via Willie Brown's weekly column in the Chronicle:
If things go according to plan, Tony Bennett won’t be leaving his heart in San Francisco much longer.
He will be keeping it here as part of bigger-than-life statue atop Nob Hill, in front of the Fairmont Hotel.
The sculpture is being made by local artist Bruce Wolfe. Tony will be posed as if he were singing, and the statue’s base will be rigged with technology that will play his signature “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” whenever someone walks by.
Fundraising for the project is being lead by Charlotte Shultz and Fairmont general manager Tom Klein. The idea is to honor the song, the singer and the Venetian Room, where the singer and song came together to make so much magic.
It’s going to be one heck of a tourist draw. Can you imagine how many people will be hopping on those little cable cars that climb halfway to the stars for a selfie?
The hope is to have it done by August, when Bennett will celebrate his 90th birthday.

Madre de Dios.  A robotic Tony Bennett, doomed for all eternity to sing one song over and over and over again.

At least until the Robot Revolution happens and the Bennettron 3000 is free to exact a horrifying revenge on Charlotte Schultz and Tom Klein.

Seriously though, Jesus fucking Christ, who thinks this is a good idea?  I also have some technical questions about how this is going to work.  If it sings "whenever someone walks by," does it start over again?  Because a lot of people walk by there and I'm imagining the first 2 notes of the song on an endless hiccuping cycle.  Or will the song just be playing all the way through, 24/7?  HOPE YOU LIKE THAT HOTEL GUESTS.  Some VP of sales from Cincinnati, driven mad by sleep deprivation, is going to yank Tony's robotic voicebox and become a civic hero.

This is the kind of cheeseball garbage that fucking Myrtle Beach would turn down for being too tacky.  There are a million ways to honor Tony Bennett but this is the worst anyone could think of.  Why don't you just loose an army of Roombas with speakers taped to the top, circling the city nonstop, each blaring the song on infinite repeat?  Then everyone can enjoy it!  

Seriously, what the fuck.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gentrifork: Pitchfork reviews of SF gentrification articles

(An occasional series.)

Tech overkill destroyed the loveliest, liveliest city on the West Coast

Adrian Weckler

Irish Independent, 2015


Finnegans Wake, perhaps the crowning achievement of Irish literature, begins "a way a lone a last a loved a long the / riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs."  Lovely, no?  This piece of Irish literature, "Tech overkill" etc. by Adrian Weckler begins by trodding on more familiar ground: "A friend of mine pays $5,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. To buy it, she says, would cost $1.4m."  Perhaps more comprehensible, but so done.

Since Gentrification Work (just "Gent" now, amirite?) splintered into its various subgenres like Bitch House and Teslawave, Dumb & Boring has become one of my favorites; hell, I've dabbled in it myself.  But slipping past the forgettable first track here, "Friend With Laughably Expensive Apartment," I'm afraid Weckler brings nothing new to the table.  Indeed, he's gentrifying the genre itself, kicking out more interesting ideas for sad, sick, familiar passages.  Just check this out, from "This City Shuts Down Early" (a track, I might add, that can trace its lineage back even to the pre-Gent days of Wish This Was New Yorkism):

They may all be responsible, hard-working people. But as I walked the streets of the city 10 days ago, I was struck by how everything was quiet by 11pm. It seemed that anyone staying up after that was working on some start-up project or teleconferencing with an office in China.

How droll.  Did you perhaps poke your head in for a quick “nǐ hǎo” or are you just guessing? But yeah, I guess the one block on 2nd you based this entire story on doesn't have any bars open past 11.

Things don't improve in the next track, "Everything Used to Be Better":

This is a relatively recent thing. The first time I travelled to San Francisco I was 19. It was a magical place, unlike any other US city I had been to. There was a pulsating artistic atmosphere about the place.
Today, San Francisco is still physically beguiling. But culturally, it's now a chilled out version of Manhattan without the legacy. The tech boom has pushed out local character and imported people who look, talk and act the same.

Translation: Nobody offered me molly this time.

Homeless Mentions are the Twitter parody accounts of Gent: everyone's got one, and they're all terrible.  Weckler gamely rises to the bait:
The city has retained enough of a liberal ethos to tolerate a (very) large number of homeless people, where other cities might be more harsh. (This is striking: there are small armies of homeless people lining streets in San Francisco.)

There you go.  The homeless are either a symbol of the Lost Heart of a Once Great City or a small army between us and the beautiful vistas.

I remain convinced that D&B still has a lot to offer.  I'll throw on a masterpiece of the genre like Nellie Bowles' "The 2,500-Person Tech Mixer That Was Not a Party" sometimes and just let the uuggggghhhhhh wash over me.  Weckler's got a long way to go, and multiple references to Slack won't take him there alone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Today in Our Garbage City: Everyone seems to be enjoying the sidewalk advertising!

Oh yay!  There's another Big Tech Conference in town which means a lot of dudes in goatees and dumb looking white cross-trainers will be runing over you on the sidewalk because they're looking at their phone.  This one is even specialer though because something called "Bluewolf" decided to mark the event by putting shitty graffiti all over the goddam place.

Photos via We Built This City
According to their Twitter bio, "Bluewolf" "is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results."  I have no idea what the fuck that means.  Bluewolf sounds like it should be a microbrewery in Boulder or a psych metal band from Austin.  Instead I guess it's a bunch of jackoffs creating the fuck out of some results.

They also have the shittiest tags I've ever seen.

Anyway, a proper hue and cry was raised, and Carla Marinucci of the 'Gate was ON IT:
Gordon contacted the advertising firm contracted to do the work. The person she spoke with said his firm had tried to contact several city departments to get permission to post the logos, but was rebuffed. Still, more than 60 logos popped up on sidewalks Monday.
Gordon said the contractor — CivitasNow owner Jacob Taylor — told her his company would begin removing them.
But Blue Wolf CEO Eric Berridge doesn’t see the harm in plastering his company’s logo on the public sidewalks.
“We think it’s great for the city of San Francisco,” Berridge told us, noting that he lived in San Francisco for years after going to UC-Berkeley and growing up in Belmont. He said his company employs “hundreds” of people in the Bay Area.
He shrugged off any possible penalties from the city, saying “I’m sure that it will all work itself out. Everyone seems to be enjoying it. We went through the proper channels.”

Here's everything people loathe about tech companies in one neat package.  Utterly oblivious tech CEO thinks "it's great for the city of San Francisco."  How far up your own ass do you have to be to think that the City of San Francisco will enjoy your ugly graffiti that's meaningless to 98% of us?  And who's enjoying it?  Show me one person not employed by Bluewolf who's saying "Man, I wasn't sure this boring-ass lanyard party was going to be any fun, but these ads I can walk on have REALLY TURNED THINGS AROUND FOR ME!!!"

Sigh.  It's just another example of tech treating San Francisco like their own little private playground and not a city with hundreds of thousands of people who don't give a shit about building digital solutions or optimizing results.  Remember when that other tech thing celebrated making a ton of money by trashing Dolores Park and then walking away?  Yeah, it's like that.

Jesus Christ, it's not that complicated.  DON'T PAINT ADVERTISING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY.  How can you not know that?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Does rain cause earthquakes? WE INVESTIGATE.

A while back, the National Weather Service - Bay Area posted this on Twitter:

It's basically a graph of historical rainfall in September in San Francisco.  What's the first thing you notice?  BOOM, 5.07" in September 1904.  Typically, there's not a ton of rainfall in any year in September, so 5.07" really stands out.  And of course, about 19 months later, in April 1906, there was a VERY EXCITING EVENT in San Francisco.

So this got me wondering.  DOES RAIN CAUSE EARTHQUAKES.

Answer: YES.

In March of 1957, there was a 5.3 earthquake in San Francisco.  In December of 1955, SF got a ridiculous 11.47 inches of rain.  Remember all that rain last December?  That was 11.70 inches.  That's a lot of rain.  Point being, big rainfall in 1955 was followed by earthquake in 1957.  See the pattern?  PATTERNS ARE SCIENCE.

In December 1889, SF got a ridiculous 13.81" of rain.  This was followed in April of 1892 by not one but two earthquakes within a couple of days, a 6.4 in Vacaville and a 6.2 in Winters.  PATTERNS.

The wettest month in San Francisco history was January 1862, with a Mount Waialeale-like 24.36 inches.  Sidenote, can you imagine if we got 24 inches of rain today?  Local news would have to go to an all-rain format.  Anyway, the rainpocalypse of January '62 was followed in short order by a 6.3 in the Santa Cruz Mountains in October 1865.  December 1864 also had a healthy 8.91 inches of rain, so that probably didn't help.

SO WATCH THE FUCK OUT.  Last December, as I mentioned, we got a very healthy 11.70 inches.  This winter we may get more because of a looming El Nino.

If we get up to double digits in rainfall any month this winter, there will for sure be a bigass earthquake in the next 14 to 36 months.  There is no way this will not happen.  Make peace with your God and say goodbye to your loved ones.  We are all toast.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hey Roman Mars, redesign this

Monotonal podcast host/busybody Roman Mars for some reason has decided that the San Francisco flag needs to be changed.  From the Chronicle yesterday:

A Bay Area radio talk-show host has launched a mission to bring down San Francisco’s official flag, calling it an eyesore and uninspiring.
Roman Mars, host of the design show “99% Invisible” on KALW, said the city’s banner, adopted 115 years ago, carries all the “big no-nos” of flag design, and he believes it’s long overdue for a makeover.
Mars said most San Franciscans aren’t even aware the city has its own flag. It’s only visible in a few select places, most notably City Hall and the Ferry Building.
“It’s ugly,” Mars said. “It’s mainly just not used. I think that’s the biggest tragedy of it.”

Fuck you, Roman Mars.  A lot of people like the San Francisco flag.  I like it a lot.  A lot of other people like it a lot.  Now I wish I had never donated to your pledge drive.  I want my $20 back.

It's got a cool phoenix.  It's got the badass motto in Spanish.  So what if you can't read it from the ther side?  Step around to the front and stop being such a fucking baby.

What's more, Roman Mars doesn't even fucking live in San Francisco.  He lives in Kensington.  I had to Google it just because I always forget where Kensington is.  It's apparently "an affluent unincorporated community and census designated place located in the East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County, California, United States."  If you want to redesign flags of cities you don't live in, Roman, why not pick San Diego or Houston or, for God's sakes, Huntington, West Virginia? (Scroll down and gag.)

Maybe it's because, as far as I can tell, Kensington doesn't have its own flag!  That explains why Roman wants to meddle in flag business in cities where he doesn't live.  Let's fix that!  Maybe if we design a flag for Kensington, Roman will just leave us alone.  God knows we have enough problems already.

My first inclination was just to go simple.

Or maybe something that reflects the local populace.

But to attract the jaundiced gaze of Roman Mars away from our beloved San Francisco and to his own municipality's flag, we had to go big.  Here it is, your new Kensington, California unincorporated community flag:

I like it!  It really says "Kensington" to me.  LOOK OVER HERE ROMAN MARS!!!  WE'RE READY FOR YOU!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Million Dickhead Listing SF: This is the end

Friends, we have reached the End of our Journey, but instead of a man fake-proposing on one knee with a garish Neal Lane ring, we instead have a bunch of assholes giving money to a bunch of vipers.  Sigh, such is life.

The producers are obviously trying to make the Justin-Roh conflict a Thing because we pick up with them slapfighting while Strokes Haircut stands limply to the side.  I don't care, this whole thing is obviously staged and lame and even Justin insulting Roh by telling him he's from Hayward doesn't even make it more interesting, even if it is true.

Justin is still trying to sell that firehouse with all the fucking stairs and people are still bitching about all the fucking stairs.  He's trying to talk the owner into putting in a $100K elevator and she won't elevate so she's just going to take it off the market and wait for a "better time" like WHAT THE FUCK LADY what's a "better time" to sell real estate in San Francisco than right fucking this second?  "Nah, I don't want 500K over asking, I want the sky-god Namaroth to personally invest me with the power to transmute objects and rain fire from the heavens onto the skulls of my enemies.  Also a 5-day close.  Those are my terms."

The whole Justin-Roh playfight climaxes with a lunch at Sens where they're trying to make a deal and it makes professional wrestling look like a Ken Burns documentary.  There's some fucking bidding war that's about as exciting as the silent auction at St. Ingrid's Spring Fling.  Whatever.  Later, Justin is finally getting his own place like a real grownup!  Based on the view, I think it's maybe Buena Vista?  You think?

The fact that he's renting a place not in the Marina is shocking to me.  Just picturing him anywhere outside the Marina or South Beach is hard.

Andrew's still dealing with Joffrey and Mom and the $20 million dump in Tiburon.  There's a $17 million offer from a "couple from Norway."  I bet it's the Ikeas!  Isn't Ikea from Norway?  Or Sweden.  One of those.  One of those Viking/blonde/slash through the letter O places.  Anyway, since they seem to be buying it as an investment, Mom thinks they're "not the right people."  FINALLY, someone is discriminating against stunningly beautiful blonde people.  ABOUT FUCKING TIME.  Keep moving, Horgor.  We don't like your kind around here.

Instead of selling to Billy Bookshelf, Mom decides to RENT the fucking place out like it's a studio on Craigslist, except this studio is on 6 acres and rents for ONE HUNDRED FUCKING THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH.  That better include water and garbage.  Other than the residents.  KA-POW SEE WHAT I DID THERE!!!! PWNED!!!!

Fittingly, Andrew's new office that is under construction appears to be in Pleasanton, from which fiance Paaaaal says he'll "take over San Francisco."  From fucking Pleasanton?  Right, just like the Falklands took over Yorkshire.  Try taking over Tracy first, just to warm up.

So that's it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

SFist or SFGate comment?

Regular readers of SFist and SFGate may have noticed that the comments on SFist stories have . . . . changed lately.  Let's just say that the comment section at SFist, once a fairly SF-representative - and by that, I mean "progressive" or maybe just "stoned," I guess - place, has begun to resemble the comment section at crosstown non-rival SFGate, whose commenters run the gamut from slightly more conservative to batshit crazy.

Let's take a recent local story, as reported in both organs. The story involves a man who was smoking at the West Oakland station and when cops confronted him they say he freaked out and "resisted violently" and then when he was trying to pull a gun out he accidentally shot himself.  I mean, that's what the cops say happened.  I have no idea what actually happened because I wasn't there.  None of the commenters you will read were there either, as far as I know.


And SFist:

Below are a selection of comments.  HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN.  Try to guess which site the comment came from, SFist or SFGate.  Ready?

It usually isn't ordinary tobacco I smell at Bart stations. Now we got a mix of gun smoke mixed in as well. Glad he accidently shot himself before he could shoot anyone else.
Great. Here come the white guilt protests tonight, please don't fuck up my commute home, kthx.
Considering they shut down part of the freeway the other night in protest of a car jacker with a gun getting shot by OPD, I think there will definitely be a protest about this.
Where are the protesters? I guess black lives don't matter in Oakland.
BART should close West Oakland, Fruitvale and MacArthur stations. Trips would get faster and crime would drop. I'd say close 16th St. in SF also but that area is gentrifying quite a bit (except the area right around the BART station, ironically).

This all means something, I guess.

Answers: gate, fist, fist, gate, gate