Oh wow, our pal Greg Gardner put together a really nice collection of new music from local bands. It's called In A Cloud, which describes the recent winter weather and the album itself is a time capsule of San Francisco sounds in 2009-10. My favorite song is a sweet little thing called "Baby Held" by the elusive and pseudonymous Jacques Butters; you can listen to it below. There's plenty more on the album — a lovely track by Sonny & the Sunsets, a good one from the Sandwitches, a keeper from Kelley Stoltz. You can buy it directly from Greg's label, Secret Seven Records. Yay.
Perched among the tall buildings in downtown San Francisco, my office can feel like a nest in a tall tree. Yesterday evening, the birds that live atop the Transbay terminal swirled up to, and around, the windows of our conference room, and the aerie-like feeling was stronger than ever. One bird even landed, briefly, on the ledge of the window. I have no idea what kind of birds they are, what brought them to us, or what they hope to achieve. But I am in awe of them.
Okay, one last political thing. In the wee hours before yesterday's inauguration, a genius prankster named Alex Zecca reportedly covered every "Bush" street sign from downtown to the Marina with a sticker that said "Obama." I heard about it when I got into work, but missed the chance to see it for myself. Luckily, Vanessa Naylon saw it happen. Awesome.
Last June, Mara organized a bake sale to raise money for Barack Obama. It was a typically chilly summer day in San Francisco, but we made a fistful of cash, AND we got our picture taken by a passerby who happened to be a professional photojournalist. His name is Joshua Lott, and he posted it on a blog called The Stumping Grounds, which features one photo per day from one of the many photojournalists covering the campaign. Ours was posted on June 24th.
[Danger: I could only get the video to play in IE. Not sure if it's my particular array of Firefox add-ons that are blocking its mojo, or what.]So every few weeks I sift through the mostly asinine archives of SFist, and today, against all odds, I found something interesting: A llittle blurb about urban beekeeping in San Francisco with a link to a CurrentTV short. The director profiles this guy Jon Ralston, someone I vaguely recall from my time in the bee club. He's younger (in beekeeping age, anyway) and takes a very similar approach to beekeeping that I did: Just get a hive, put it in your backyard, let the bees do what they do until someone complains. Worked for me until my landlord stumbled upon it during a very active day (that turned into a swarm), and became terrified. I also identify with Jon's reasons for getting into beekeeping in the first place — feeling closer to the outdoors, and having a source of cheap gifts. He seems like an interesting guy, and he's got a funny blog, too: My robot is pregnant.
Pretty much the only thing the director told me: "Don't look at the camera." Dang. More on my explosion onto the local public television restaurant-reviewing stage sometime soon; until then you can check out my episode of the Check Please Bay Area here.
The weather has been getting nicer, so I've been jumping at any chance to ride my bike. Last Thursday morning, I rode across the Golden Gate Bridge and up into the Marin Headlands as the sun was coming up, and I stopped to take some photos as it was peeking above the horizon. When I was going through the results, I realized that the individual pictures didn't really do justice to the moment, so I poked around the Internet looking for something better than Photoshop's stitching utility. Autostitch to the rescue! It's simple, straightforward, and it instantaneously produces panoramas without discernible seams even with just a few pictures.
(I was so intrigued by the above results that I decided to try it with cellphone pictures). Last Saturday, we had a picnic at Kirby Cove, a little valley on the Marin side of the bridge. It was foggy and cold for the first hour or so, but then it started to burn off and I took some photos with my little cell phone camera. Once again, Autostich worked magic on it. Here's to technology!