Todays San Francisco weather report

According to the radio, the weather for today was Partial fog burning off by noon, followed by patches of smoke with mostly cloudy skies.

Another beautiful day in the city. As Mark Twain is supposed to have said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." Pretty accurate, too.


Manholes and gongs

So I was sitting at my desk this afternoon on a conference call when I heard a loud Ka-Boom! My boss ran from his office and asked me what happened. I said I didn't know, but could he please pass me my water bottle and an earthquake survival kit just in case the building fell down. He said it wasn't an earthquake and I said yes I know, but the building can fall from kabangs and kabooms as well as earthquakes and I want to be prepared. It's that narrow minded thinking of his that has him second on the office list of "who would I eat first if stuck in the rubble after an earthquake." Actually, that list is based purely on most enjoyable eating considering they may be my last meals. Not to lean, not to fatty. mmmm.

Anyway, one of the pleasurable quirks of working for a small company is that I had to put my desk together (this is relevant I swear). I worked for 1 week at the kitchen table, 1 week at someone else's desk while they were out of town, then finally figured it was time. Never having used an electric drill, I figured what's to know: plug in, push, done. I plugged in, pushed, nothing. Pushed harder. Nothing. Someone from our east coast office happened to be visiting and noticing my near incompetence (near incompetence, or a game of Tom Sawyer's Painting the Fence is Fun?), he took the drill from me, sat down, pushed...and nothing. Pushed again. Nothing. Someone else asked if the drill was turning in the right direction, which made him grimace in shame and I asked, "it goes in 2 directions? Interesting, just like a manual screwdriver." I didn't get into a technical school based on my ability to do things but instead on my ability to put things together like that. Anyway, we got the desk together but it's a bit wobbly.

Last Christmas, I received a desk gong (still relevant, keep with me). It is about 3 inches tall and comes with a tiny little gong knocker. This sits on my desk and because my desk is so wobbly, every time i sit down, type, move the mouse, eat yogurt, the gong sounds. I think it is sort of pleasant. The people who share my office space (numbers 1, 3, and 5 on the office "food chain") and I have discussed this could be our early warning device, sort of like how when animals are fleeing the forest you should too because there is probably a dinosaur or something coming. It is the office mockingbird if you will.

Anyway, what I am writing about is how I botched my shot for a nice little paid injury vacation. That's right, had I been thinking when the kaboom happened, I would have screamed in pain and knocked my desk over on my leg. I would have owned San Francisco after that! Instead, I asked my boss for an earthquake kit and never ever got to the window to see what the fuss was about.

The "official story" is a gas explosion, but you know how "they" cover things up. Actually, the explosion made the manhole covers pop off, speaking of covering things up. I walked outside later and they had news cameras and helicopters and policeman all making sure the manhole covers still fit. And they did. Know why manhole covers are round?

A few years back, or so local legend goes, a lady went out to buy some coffee and was hit with a manhole cover after just such an explosion. I bet she ran into the manhole cover to sue the city, which she did and she won. Just for getting hit with a flying manhole cover like a frisbee. If it had come at me, I would have flicked it back at the city ultimate style. Baaaatttaaa!



These things are awesome! Love national geographic. I had never heard of them either.
Nudibranchs - National Geographic Magazine


the elevator pt1

The three of them stood in the elevator of the Rosario apartment building being carried up to the 23rd floor. The Rosario was an old bread warehouse converted into “refined and luxurious” loft apartments. Most people in the neighborhood just called it the “BreadBox.” None of the three had ever been in the building before but they had all heard the stories circulating the neighborhood. Everyone had. The apartment quickly became home to a number of local artists and eccentrics who were drawn by the unique apartments, hardwood floors, fireplaces, modern kitchens. Of the apartments and the people living there, most of the talk was about The Doorman. It was said he performed magic tricks as tenants and guests waited for the elevator. True to form, The Doorman had made a bright yellow flyer for the party the three were attending appear out of her ear, and he picked some fake roses from underneath one of their hats. The neighborhood rumor mill said as The Doorman became more familiar with you, his magic become more personal and, occasionally, more profane. Many of the stories were exaggerations on reality, although it is nearly a confirmed fact he pulled a mammogram image of a child from a woman’s shopping bag before she was even aware she was pregnant. It is also almost entirely true he made a condom appear from the back of a young girl’s knees the night after she had spent time on those knees before she lost, with a mixture of excitement and fear, the rest of her virginity. He gave the young lady a smile and a wink, and the girl’s unsuspecting mother just entered the elevator and went about her day, commenting in the elevator about the oddness of their doorman without noticing the sweat and blush from her daughter. Other stories, including the one about making a child disappear from behind his desk and reappear on the elevator as it opened, and the one about the flying three headed dog attacking Mrs. Schneider’s canaries were the stories of bored and lonely people in the neighborhood. The people said he never slept, and so far, nobody had been able to prove this one wrong although people knew it couldn’t be true. Given the publicity these stories brought to the building and the number of people who came to view and rent apartments, management did nothing to abate them and many in the neighborhood felt they were the ones making most of them up.

When the elevator came, the doorman hit the button for the 23rd floor, smiled, and said, “Have a good evening. I will see you when the party ends.”

The elevator sang an old jazz tune softly in the background even as it began to hum it’s ascent. Eddie was the one holding the roses, after all they had appeared out of his hat, but threw them down suddenly as they reached the 7th floor.

“This is stupid.” He was dressed entirely in black. They had discussed what to wear to the party and decided anything would be fine. He chose black, as do so many, because it is simple and slimming, but more subconsciously us all to move easily among the shadows of our dreams. He was thin, usually quiet even with friends, and almost disappeared into the corner of the elevator. The roses lay at his feet, resting on his black boots, the only color in his . “I don’t understand how we got invited to this or why we came. Or why I came. It’s just stupid. It’s going to be bunch of arty types talking about arty things I don’t like and everything I talk about, they aren’t going to like.”

The other two in the elevator did not respond, staring ahead like strangers. Eddie had been having this conversation with them for the last week, and they told him he didn’t have to come. He said he might not come. They all knew he would come. As much as Eddie talked about hating this type of crowd, it was exactly the type of crowd he truly enjoyed because it was different. He wanted to let his whimsical nature set a course for his life to just follow. Instead, he was an engineer, following his father’s path and the paths of a million other people just like him. Rather, who he seemed to be just like. When introduced to new people at a party, they never remembered his name and most didn’t remember ever being introduced to him. He was silent, featureless, a whisper.

For many years, he had cultivated this existence because he was socially awkward and enjoyed the easy calm of isolation. Now, as he grew older, he wanted to cultivate friendships with different types of people. For some people, people like Eddie, it’s easier to long for a new life than to actually create one, and he felt he would always be miserable living somewhere between his desires and his reality.

He kicked the roses off his foot, sighed, and disappeared back into the shadows of the elevator’s corner thinking about the evening and thinking about his life. The elevator bell rang welcoming them to the 23rd floor. The three of them stepped off the elevator.

He's right

I had a lot of fun at Dr. and Mr. Lubang's wedding a few weeks ago. Good times.

A dream

I had a dream last night. I'm not generally one for dreaming, or remembering dreams, or then staying up worrying about my dreams. Anyway, somehow in my dream I was an assassin. They say dreams are windows into the soul... That's why dreams are so wonderful, the inner me. I was apparently working for two competing organizations (Note: I don't remember anything about them, except they both knew i was working for the other somehow. Maybe I was so good nobody cared, any piece of my action was worth it. Rock on). Anyway, I decided one day I didn't like the lifestyle and I told one of my bosses. So you want out? Yes, I can't do it anymore. You're going to kill me aren't you? If not me, then he will. I said I would do one last for him if he offered me freedom. I believed him when I left, then I knew it wouldn't happen.

I was at home, knowing they would expect me to run. I waited. I remember in that half dream consciousness being afraid. I remember not being able to wake up. I waited. I went downstairs, it was a house I didn't know. Someone was at the computer, somebody I love. Almost my dad, but not quite. They were at the computer, at the kitchen table, in front of the screen door leading to the porch. I pretended to go to the computer but looked out the window. I saw somebody, even in the dark I could see them. I stared, they stared at me and I remember thinking they couldn't see me. They always see you, they always know. Dreams like movies sometimes. I ran out, remember chasing them. Suddenly it was light out and I knew I was still chasing the same person, but now they were different. They were running with a backpack on. I caught them, dragged them down, turned them over. And I woke up.

Waking up f@(*&ing sucked! Like a weakness somehow, like I couldn't handle it, or my subconscious half awake self at 3 AM couldn't handle it. And I couldn't get back to sleep! And I didn't drink yesterday! This should teach me. Cheers.


Movie Review

I saw the latest Rambo movie the other weekend. It is certainly a bit silly and a tad violent, but I wondered mid-way through if maybe it wasn't trying to be this generations Apocalypse Now. Except without the humor.


Becoming an optimist

I decided (again) to become an optimist. But not one of those glass is 1/2 full optimists, that's to big a leap. I'm aiming to become a glass is 1/4 full optimist first and, if successful, making the transition to a glass is 1/2 full optimist. Unfortunately, I'm not very hopeful. Damnit. I'll start with a glass is 1/8 full...


Work therapy

I had my Q1 employee review with my boss and it was just an exercise in futility. I sincerely enjoy working for my boss, hate my company right now, and I'm not even sure how to answer questions anymore. I am trying not to be negative, but I think the company is seriously screwing me (and has been for a while) because of this one project I can't get off and is meaningless to my career. So the balance now is they promised me a fairly large bonus if I complete the project by the end of year. Until then, I need to not explode at anyone internally and get fired. I can quit when the check clears. I really want to ask my boss what he thinks the odds are that I resign within 2 weeks of the check clearing, but I'm not quite that bold.

Anyway, we were talking about my workload and my boss said, "It seems like you have some trust issues with people in this company." And I responded, "Is this an employee review or a counseling session?" then I refused to go into details about why I think most of my coworkers and managers are incompetent. Not that I could do their jobs, but I don't have their positions. It's like if I complain about professional athletes, you cannot retort you can't do it. I know that, but obviously I'm not a professional athlete. However, I expect our developers to develop well, product managers to be consistent and improve the product, and managers to manage effectively, among others. That's the "team" concept of working in a company. I won't get into it, but I think I have a strong case.

This not trying to be negative means i just have to stare at people I work with a lot without responding because I can't even think of positive spins anymore and I can't have the same conversation every 6 months about how now we will actually implement what we talked about 6 months ago... It's making me extremely tense, but it is pushing me to exercise more to relieve the stress. Maybe it's a good thing.