Archive for July, 2008

MinuteMan Project Gets Shouted Down In San Francisco. Founder Jim Gilchrist Speaks Out.

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

This was the scene yesterday on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. As promised, the Minutemen and women arrived at 11:00 AM, but they were met with a crowd of counterprotestors that numbered about 300. It soon became evident that the planned speech from President and Founder Jim Gilchrist wasn’t gonna happen.

So yes, the Minuteman Project’s message was shouted down, but that’s no biggee, really. Why? Because Gilchrist et al managed to get their message out eventually, through an ersatz news conference inside of City Hall and other conduits as well. NB: If you want to bring it to the belly of the beast, you’d better have a posse of hundreds instead of a couple dozen.  

Check this scene of a Wilfred Brimleyesque Minuteman being interviewed by KPIX-TV. Had no idea the amount of noise that could be generated by pounding on a plastic five-gallon Arrowhead water jug – it was substantial, so that pissed off the camerapeople. Oh well. Click to expand:


Comes now Jim Gilchrist (which means servant of Christ, in case you were wondering) with his “Dear San Francisco” letter.

“Dear San Francisco,

I brought the Minuteman Project to the steps of your city hall, not to foster the ridiculous hysteria or delusional perceptions portrayed by members of the ANSWER anti-free speech organization, but to bring awareness to the plight of cities all across the United States whose residents have been victims of violent crimes at the hands of illegal aliens.

The brutal carnage brought against the Bologna family is not an isolated incident peculiar only to San Francisco.

Such murderous assaults occur daily in cities coast to coast that promote a sanctuary policy for illegal aliens, whether that policy be supported by local edict (as in the case of San Francisco), or by a community’s de facto resignation to deliberately ignore laws becoming to a civilized society.

The Minuteman Project – Jim Gilchrist, President and Founder”

You can read a few other beefs they have here.

It seems there was some interdepartmental confusion that led to the recent MS-13-related shootings, but that communication between the feds and the local sheriff’s department is improving. They’re working on it.

Take a gander at some photos here and here.

And that’s that.

The Famous Biker Limo Makes an Appearance in San Francisco’s Union Square

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

National Limousine Service Inc., purveyors of San Francisco’s Finest Limousines, has a great deal for you. You see, their latest Chrysler 300 comes with a:

“…Bentley grill on the front with fog lights. As you can see it has a motorcycle decal on the side. The motorcycle is a Bourget Magnum Fat Daddy, one of the hottest choppers made. It has suicide doors in the back and lambo doors in the front. This is a real eyecatcher and that’s just the outside!”

Wow now the interior, a beautiful color combo with the best assortment of opera lights, reading lights, fiber optic lights, bar lights, and the lights change color every few minutes, so cool. It has an amazing bar set up and 3 video monitors, a dvd player and a 2000 watt stereo system. Where ever you go, you will make a statement in this limousine.”

Click to expand:


Altogether now: “Potato potato, potato, potato….” down the street with all your friends! Click to expand, you know you want to.

Ask them for “the Biker Limo” – they’ll know what you mean.

Vroom, vroom.

Price Rollback at San Francisco’s Cheesecake Factory a Huge Success

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Those rumour fighters over at couldn’t believe it at first, but yesterday was National Cheescake Day.

San Francisco celebrated by tempting hundreds to The Cheescake Factory at Union Square Macy’s, where people stood around for hours in hopes of scoring some sweet, sweet cake for just $1.50 a slice.

It was brother against brother. It was insanity.

Waiting room chairs were in short supply last night. Click to enlarge:


Orwell almost had it right:

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face, forever hundreds of people standing around waiting for enormous slabs of heavily-discounted cheesecake, forever.  

Miniskirted Accordion Player versus Patrons at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Would have to say the patrons won this one, as they outlasted this fetching accordion player, who performed for no one in particular while standing atop a soapbox on Herb Caen Way.


Update: Apparently, elements of the squeezebox community felt “dissed” by the prior line that existed in this space, despite the self-mockery contained in their very own self-chosen name. Fair enough, consider any disseses cheerfully withdrawn.

Update II: Whoops, that link went down the memory hole. Try this one instead. NB: This scene wouldn’t have seen the light of day but for the gratuitous aerophone amplifier in the lower left corner.

What Chronicle Writer Mark Morford Doesn’t Know About Math and Cars is a Lot.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

San Francisco Chronicle writer Mark Morford is entitled to his opinion, of course. Facts are a different story however. To wit:

“They know the end is near, the signs are all in place, as that giant $63K Toyota Land Cruiser V8 you bought just a couple years ago violently depreciates down to less than half of what you paid for it. Ouch.”

Do you get the rather banal gist? Gas prices have roughly doubled the past four years, so there will be a negative effect on the resale value of vehicles that get bad mileage. However, he’s made an error in the specifics. Happily, Markus showed his work by linking to this:

A 2008 Suburban 2500 with a 6.0-liter V8, four-wheel drive, automatic transmission and leather sells new for $43,235; a two-year-old model with 24,000 miles in excellent condition can be yours for less than $20,000. A new-generation 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser with a 5.7-liter V8 that gets 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway runs for $64,785; a two-year-old model similarly equipped goes for between $34,120 and $35,975, depending on its condition.

O.K. kids, you do the math. So, when Mark goes “less than half of what you paid for it” he really means “more than half of what you paid for it. But, you see, the word “less” sounds so much better, you dig?

But wait, there’s more fail to this whale. Nobody paid $64K for a Toyota Land Cruiser back in model year 2006, as the MSRP of the well-equipped base model was just $56,215 and there simply weren’t options available to get the price up to $63K.

Additionally, the comparison between the prices cited for 2008 and 2006 is apples and oranges because one is a market price and the other a list price. In the real world, you could get a 2006 Land Cruiser back in 2006 for something in the high 40’s area. Glancing at real-world used prices at, the most expensive 2006 Land Cruisers have asking prices in the high 40’s. That’s a tad unrealistic as you could buy the new improved 2008 model with a larger engine and better MPG for something less than $60K right now today. But no Toyota ever built depreciated more than 50% in “just a couple of years.”

And don’t let’s get started with the Chevy Suburban that “sells new for $43,235.” In reality, you can buy that new “$43K” Suburban for less than $33K owing to such bennies as GM’s “Bonus Cash” and a direct-to-customer rebate – each of these are worth thousands of dollars off the price of the vehicle. And back in 2006, you could have purchased a 2006 Suburban “2500” model (with rich, non-Corinthean leather) for even less. Obviously, new cars start to look tempting to buyers if they’re so heavily discounted. That drives down the price of similar used vehicles.

So, yes, SUVs aren’t in favor right now, and gas prices are a factor in that. Point taken. But that’s no reason to lie to people, Mark. 

The Land Cruiser was born in the 1950’s, right? Based upon this recent photo, St. Mark was born in the 1960’s. Click if you dare:


An incredible moment, captured by (the famous one) on the Flickr 

Who will live longer – the Land Cruiser or Mark Morford? That’s an easy one, as the Cruiser will continue to be produced in the Toyota City area long after Mark has escaped this mortal coil. (BTW, nice Diesel jeans! Don’t they go for $130+? How much do they depreciate after a couple of years?) 

And if you want to call the Land Bruiser “giant,” that’s fine. But the aforementioned 2006 model was ever so slightly shorter than a non-giant two-door Toyota Camry Solara from that era. And the current Sequoia from Toyota (you know, the kind Mark’s corporate overlords want you to buy) is larger yet – perhaps it could be labeled “violently super duper giant”? And the stuff about SUV rollovers? Well, some vehicles do better in some areas than others. It’s a nuance thing. 

But let’s not get into nuance. The point is this: “What Dreamy Chronicle Writer Mark Morford Doesn’t Know About Math and Cars is a Lot.

Game, Set, Match.

The Minutemen are Coming! The Minutemen are Coming to San Francisco!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Those anti-illegal immigrant, pro-clean highway Minutemen and women of the Minuteman Project are coming to San Francisco right this very minute.

But the call has gone out for a counter rally:

WE NEED OUR ANTI-RACISTS – SOCIAL JUSTICE ALLIES TO STAND WITH US TOMORROW and have a strong turn out to stand against the Minutemen. WE CAN NOT ALLOW OUR CITY TO BE BULLIED BY THE MINUTEMEN’S AGGRESSIVE TACTICS. We have confirmed that the Minutemen have reserved the front steps of SF City Hall tomorrow, Wednesday, July 30, at 11 am, to hold a press conference/ rally to attack our city’s Sanctuary Law. PLEASE JOIN US FOR A COUNTER PROTEST! We will meet at 10:30 am, on the lawn in front of City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. Please bring drums, bells, whistles, etc. to make some noise!

Which side will have a better turnout?  See you there!

At least the highways are clean:


The Perfect Tire Burnout on the Streets of San Francisco

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Don’t try this with just any car. But if you’ve got the skillz, you can do this all over the City’s avenues.

Is somebody getting ready to try out as a stunt driver for the New Streets of San Francisco? It sure looks that way. Click to expand:


But thank Gaia these tire marks aren’t colored red or blue.  Cause we likes our tire skid marks black, and black only, in San Francisco.

Stay safe.

The California Highway Patrol Wants You, Despite Your Marijuana History

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Back in the day, one puff of the Mary Jane could be enough to disqualify you from ever serving the State of California as a member of the CHP. But the times, they’re a changing:

Experimental use of marijuana or other drugs may not be a disqualifying factor. The recency, frequency, and specific circumstances will be evaluated to determine your level of qualification.

Best of all, they’re hiring!

The pitch people saw in Summer of 2008 along I-80, America’s major east-west Interstate. Click to expand:


You ought to give it a try. See you at the Academy in South Sacramento. Don’t bring your drugs, but DO bring your bathing suit and “dusting supplies,” such as Lemon Pledge.

Srsly, you’ve got bring along some canisters of Pledge to keep things tidy. Then soon you’ll be making six figures doing the toughest job you’ll ever love.

See you there!

The Four Seasons Branches Out in the Richmond District of San Francisco

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel is located on Market Street, close to Union Square so it’s easy for you to go shopping.

But the Four Seasons Wash N’ Dry is all the way out in the Richmond District halfway to the Pacific Ocean – thats’ not convenient at all.


Oh well.

The Lime Point Lighthouse near Sausalito: Then and Now.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Here’s what the Lime Point Light, located right next to the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge and close to Cavallo Point, looked like back in the day, courtesy of our friends at the United States Coast Guard. Click to expand:


But technological change and the arrival of the bridge in the 1930’s eventually put this station out of business. It was no picnic working there anyway, what with the occasional freighter collision and the constant rain of orange paint chips

This is how it looks these days, with just the fog station left (and the front gate open on this particular day, for some reason).


Sic transit gloria mundi