Archive for October, 2009

“Coast Guard Scoops Up Oil in San Francisco Bay” – Really AP, Really?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

The news of the day from the Associated Press: Coast Guard scoops up oil in San Francisco Bay

Except that the smallest branch of the United States military doesn’t actually scoop up spilled oil in San Francisco Bay – there’s a whole industry dedicated to doing that. And if you listen to the Coast Guard, they’ll tell you that, ad nauseum. Oh well.

The Coasties are handling this spill better than that one from the Cosco Busan. Hurray! That’s good practice for The Big Oil Spill in our future:

IMG_9658 copy

The Pacific Responder and the Ocean Liberty, along with smaller vessels, are out there right now, between San Francisco and the tip of Alameda Island that’s, oddly enough, also part of the City of San Francisco.

Anyway, the USCG don’t scoop up oil.

And keep up the good work, 11th District. Just try to resist the urge to lie to us for no reason, and you’ll do fine.  


Carry on…

Ghoulish Gala Halloween Party at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor a Huge Success

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum was packed last night, owing to the Ghoulish Gala.

Let’s take a look.

The Diane and Alfred Wilsey Court, bathed in purple and blue. Click to expand:

IMG_9897 copy

And here’s the band in the cafe, doing a decent Duran Duran cover:

IMG_9846 copy

Dancing Gogo Mummies uncaged – stage left…

IMG_9890 copy

…and right, avec Red State Trucker:

IMG_9879 copy

Of course, Fake Michael Schumacher was there:

IMG_9832 copy

All the food you could eat and booze you could drink. Plus, free palm readings. Bonus!

IMG_9833 copy

Let’s follow the Joker, Fletch and Sexy Nurse over to…

IMG_9905 copy

Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine, opening today:

IMG_9906 copy

Now, let’s creep past The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

IMG_9828 copy

…and out the front, where Balloon Mom Mayumi, avec UFO balloon, was seen looking for her son, Balloon Boy Falcon:

IMG_9919 copy

All in all, a great event.

See you next year?

San Francisco’s MUNI Bus System Totally Pwned by Halloween Critical Mass 2009

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

San Francisco’s monthly semi-unauthorized bicycle parade was well-attended and exceptionally ugly last night. Did your bike suffer any property damage (“let’s fucking beat up his car!”)? For whatever reason, Halloween Critical Mass 2009 had lots of gaps so that led to confrontations at every intersection – confused car drivers were tempted to just push through to end their lengthy waits. And the SFPD seemed less pro-bike than I’m used to seeing. Oh well.

Now, grab your parasol, pack your marshmallows, count the choppers, put on your PJs, and raise your fixie. Let’s take a gander.

Just look at the stalled MUNI buses and trolleys (trollies?) stretching from Mid-Market all the way back to the Ferry Building last night: 

IMG_9667 copy

Click to expand

The riders could only just sit and stare:

IMG_9694 copy

Stare at this, a car-free Market Street:

4060334478_6063d8bb34_b copy

via geekstinkbreath

Now let’s take it to the streets. Ichiro was there. He started going on about how there’s “sexiness in the infield.” OK fine:

IMG_9689 copy

About an hour or so after the six-ish P.M. starting time, the stalled buses started to pile up: 

IMG_9708 copy

A happy corker vs. an unhappy corkee at the intersection of 8th and Market Streets.

IMG_9703 copy

After a while, car drivers start getting into this rolling Rorschach test. Some sit on their cars…

IMG_9770 copy

…while others, like this SUV driver, get out to fruitlessly confront the madding crowd:

IMG_9780 copy

IMO, parolees display the least tolerance for CM. Oh well. They just can’t handle it.

A stalled driver gets freaked out by Pumpkinhead:

IMG_9767 copy

Thank Gaia the cops were there:

IMG_9727 copy

Oops, here there are, pushing along the stragglers on Market:

IMG_9788 copy

And then an error – the main body of riders hung a right and headed up Van Ness. That’s not the way to cork MUNI, which got back to normal on Market Street round about 7:30 PM. Oh well. Van Ness from Hayes looking north up to California – the whole thing was entirely filled with bikes:

IMG_9794 copy

So there’s your Halloween Critical Mass 2009. See you next year.

A Sneak Peek of “Very Postmortem: Mummies & Medicine” – Opens Tomorrow at the Legion of Honor

Friday, October 30th, 2009

You know what you want to see? How about photos from the press preview for Very Postmortem: Mummies & Medicine, opening Saturday, October 31, 2009 at the Legion of Honor.

(And don’t forget about tonight’s ArtPoint Ghoulish Gala starting at 8:00 PM)

All photos, captions: Andrew Fox, ©FAMSF

Overview of the gallery, click to expand:


The coffin and mummy of Irethorrou. He’s the star of the show, if you will.


Forensic reconstruction of the head of Irethorrou’s father Ankhwenefer, whose mummy is currently housed in the collection of the Washington State Historical Society


Tasty mummy cookies were served to the press.


Organist Robert Gurney plays seasonal tunes on the Legion’s 1924 Skinner organ. Selections included the themes from Dr. Who and the Addams Family, as well as Bach’s famous Prelude (minus the fugue) in D-minor.


Halloween decor at the Legion of Honor, courtesy of the creative minds of the flower committee


All right, see you there!

Snowflakes! Once Again, Christmas Comes Early to San Francisco’s Market Street

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Remember the past summer, when we had lighted Christmas holiday snowflake decorations on Market Street burning the midnight oil for weeks on end? Well, they’re back on, baby, or at least four of them anyway, confusing tourists once again. Thusly:

“Why do they have Christmas lights on in October?”

Good question. They’re still testing these thing? Well that’s a lot of testing:

IMG_9607 copy

And you know what, they’ve installed ’em exactly the way I would have and I’m not even an electrician or nothing. You know, extension cords and plastic handcuffs to tie everything down. Let’s hope these things handle the wind and rain better than our Bay Bridge:

IMG_9588 copy

But couldn’t our decorations be more overtly Christian? You know, like the giant Christmas Tree of Civic Center, the one with the Star of Bethleham on top, the way we had it in 2007…


…and 2008?


The World Wonders.

Here’s What Your Canon SLR Camera Needs: A Used 1200mm Lens for Just $120K

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Hey do you have a Canon SLR camera made the past two decades or so? Sure, millions of others across the world do too. Well today is your lucky day – you can buy a 1200mm lens from New York’s B&H Foto and Electronics for just $120,000.

As soon as you get it, just click it onto your cam and start shooting.

1200 copy

SpookyVision enabled, click to expand

B&H doesn’t come right out and say it, but I think they’ve lost the tripod. Oh well.

“The Canon 1200/5.6L USM, the longest fixed telephoto lens ever built by Canon, contains 13 elements (2 Fluorite) in 10 groups and focus’ down to 49.5′. With an angle-of- view of about 2° on a full-frame 35 mm camera, calling this lens a ‘tele’ is like calling King Kong a monkey.

Built-to-order by Canon from 1993 to 2005, each lens was hand-crafted at the rate of about 2-per-year and a delivery time of about 18 months. Only a dozen-or-so were ever made. Who bought them? National Geographic magazine and Sports Illustrated are known to own a couple, the Feds probably have a few squirreled away somewhere, and a few well-heeled photo enthusiasts.

This particular lens is extremely clean inside and out. Included with this lens is a leather slip-on ‘lens cap’, the original fitted aluminum trunk case, a custom trunk case with wheels that holds the original trunk case, and a prodigious measure of ego satisfaction. Weighing in at over 36lbs and an overall length of 33 inches, a sturdy tripod and pan/tilt head is highly recommended.

Pack mule not included.”

Don’t delay, buy today.

The Scary, Bloodthirsty Jack-O-Lanterns of San Francisco Halloween 2009

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Om nom nom nom by KayVee.INC 


pumkin copy

Click to expand

Matcha: Thai River Festival at the Asian Art Museum a Huge Success

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Just look at what ten bones got you down at the Asian Art Museum’s Matcha last night – it was the Thai River Festival 2009.

Lot’s of people upstairs…

IMG_9629 copy

…to the see the dancers….

IMG_9621 copy

…but also downstairs….

IMG_9608 copy

…to make river offerings:

IMG_9635 copy

That’s it for Matchas for 2009, but Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam & Burma continues…

And the reviews for EC:ASB are in:

  • The San Francisco Chronicle says that the Doris Duke gift has provided the museum with “a trove of Southeast Asian artifacts that has given the institution a depth in this collection area unique among American museums,” and it notes that “the exhibition, and the glorious catalog that accompanies it, mark the completion of that marathon of remedial work.”
  • Continuing the conservation storyline, the Wall Street Journal tells the story of how “Some of the Buddha paintings and gilded bronze sculptures that are part of a major upcoming exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco took an unusual detour en route to the museum: They spent decades in storage in a shooting gallery at tobacco heiress Doris Duke’s New Jersey mansion.”
  • The New York Times reports that “in galleries painted smoky lilac, charcoal or bright green, inlaid glass chips gleam on upholstered benches, shadow puppets of monkeys fight demons and princes ride elephants on cloth paintings.”
  • The San Francisco Examiner praises“fascinatingly detailed paintings of royal hunts, historical tableaux, legends and Buddhist images. A particularly haunting work is the Burmese gilded wood statue of the monk Shariputra, the body leaning at a strange angle, every detail of it and the robe signifying something.”
  • Bay Area ArtQuake says that Emerald Cities is “another beautifully organized, elegantly presented exhibit with a catalogue that’s a ‘must buy.’”
  • See you there!

    Free Hot Dog Day at Zog’s Dogs on Post Street a Huge Success

    Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    So there I was on Market Street yesterday pulling my old scam – I go up to the Zog’s Dogs at One Post Street near Montgomery and I says:

    ‘We’re gonna order then Yelp about it – what discount can you give us?’

    With a quickness I had a free dog in my paw. See?

    IMG_9579 copy

    Before the ad-ons. Click to expand

    Of course, it was broken in the middle, just like our Bay Bridge, but quite tasty nevertheless. The regular price might seem a littley pricy if you’re used to Costco’s inflation-fighting $1.50 Hot Dog and a Coke Deal. I prefer the taste of Zog’s, I’d have to say.   

    Read about owner Jessie Herzog’s history of “love for sausages wrapped in buns” in this Proclamation from the Wizard:

    IMG_9576 copy

    100? Hurray!

    IMG_9575 copy

    And they’re even on the FB

    IMG_9578 copy

    See you there!

    Senator Leland Yee Leads the Fight Against Mandatory Phone Books

    Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    Phone books – they’re useless, right? What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. I’ll say it again. Hooot! Absolutely nothing.

    So let’s hear it for Dr. Leland Yee, Ph.D, Assistant Senate President pro Tempore Extraordinaire, the fightingest Senator in California, as he takes on the Telephone Book Industry on behalf of The People.

    A brief wait on the doorstep for a few days until someone puts all these things into the recycling:


    Your days are numbered, you mandatory telephone books.

    Read all about it:

    San Mateo County Leaders and Environmental Advocates Call for Consumer Choice on White Pages
    Yee and Papan: Mandatory delivery of white pages wastes paper, energy, and scarce local government resources

    SACRAMENTO – Following the successful efforts of Cleveland, Ohio and Miami, Florida, California could become the largest jurisdiction to give telephone customers a choice in receiving the white pages directory.  Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and Millbrae Councilwoman Gina Papan announced they will pursue state legislation to prohibit telephone companies from delivering the white pages unless the customer opts-in to receiving it. 
    “The requirement that phone companies must deliver the white pages comes from an era before the internet and other means of obtaining phone numbers,” said Yee.  “At a time when Californians are looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, we should give them that choice, particularly when very few customers still use the white pages.”
    “Ending the unnecessary distribution of the white pages is a step forward that we can take at the local level to address the global issue of climate change.  I am proud to take the lead on this issue to help save the environment and reduce local recycling costs,” said Millbrae City Councilmember Gina Papan.  “I would like to thank Senator Yee for his responsiveness in taking on this important legislation on our behalf.”  

    All the deets, after the jump