Archive for June, 2012

Huge Billboard: “THE BAY BRIDGE – 100% FOREIGN STEEL” – But Is It, Really?

Friday, June 29th, 2012


Not at all.

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Oh well.

Making Money Off of Donated Food: Wow, the Illegal Black Market of Mid-Market is Larger Than Ever

Friday, June 29th, 2012


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This (about 20 sellers all in a row) is the most I’ve seen all in one place at one time.

The SFPD knows all about this – sometimes they care, but most of the time they don’t.

And best of all, after you purchase a bunch of food, you can go across the street to buy a stolen iPhone.

Remember, “Mayor Ed Lee Get’s It Done!”

“Run Ed Run!”

Would You Like a “Free Gift?” Well, Then Just Join the U.S. Army: MUNI Bus Stop Recruiting Station, Market Street

Friday, June 29th, 2012

In the Financh, not too far from the official recruiting station on Davis near Broadway:

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Uh, Shouldn’t the Workers of City Hall Turn Off Their Lights, You Know, At Night, When Nobody’s There?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Hells yes!

For symbolic reasons, if for no other.

It’s like this every night:

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How Close is Too Close for Parallel Parking on the Streets of San Francisco? This is It – Too Close

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Visitors ask all me all the time if my giant Toyota has ever gotten stuck between other cars whilst parked on the mean streets of San Francisco.

And the answer has always been in the negatory.

But I think this here is an actual case, what with bumpers of the black VW cute-ute SUV actually touching the cars ahead and behind.


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I don’t know, maybe you could rev your engine to gently push the cars out of your way, but that would seem to be a risky course.

I guess the driver might have to just be patient and then come back to see when escape becomes a possibility…

Well, It Appears That Rec and Park is Getting the Upper Hand Against Graffiti on the McKinley Statue

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

It goes back and forth, but lately, RPD has been in the game.

(Perhaps local real estate interests have the ear of the powers that be these days.)

Here’s what 2011, 2010, 2010, and 2010 looked like.

And this here is the sitch a third of the way through 2012:

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Looks fine to me.

That’s the update.

Leaving you will a gallery of older graffiti: 

“No Voy a Comprar Windows Ocho” – Repeat: “I Will Not Buy Windows 8” – Take the Pledge, Here’s Why

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Dude, I remember Windows 3.0. And, after that one, I remember Windows 95, 98, 98SE, Me, XP, Vista, and, of course, Seven.

And I’ll tell you, I wasn’t reverse to using any of them.

I even got a Vista box from Dell, even though many people were (and still are) sticking with XP. I didn’t care.

But Windows 8* is a big no-go.

So, say it now, aloud: “I Will Not Buy Windows 8.

Again: “No Voy a Comprar Windows Ocho.”

Buying Windows 8 is muy prohibidado. (I wrote that it in Spanish because that’s how exotic and not allowed it is.)

Now here’s everything you need to know about W8:

Fear and Loathing and Windows 8 (Or: Why Windows 8 Scares Me — and Should Scare You Too)

Well, maybe that’s a bit too much, but how about these primary conclusions:

1. Windows 8 is not Windows, it’s a new operating system with Windows 7 compatibility tacked onto it.

2. Although Windows 8 looks pretty and is great for tablet-style content consumption, I question its benefits for traditional PC productivity tasks.

3. Big OS transitions like this one traditionally cause users to reconsider their OS decision and potentially switch to something else. 

4. Microsoft has worsened the risk that people will migrate away from Windows 8, by disabling some key features of Windows 7, and mishandling the consumer “preview” program.

OK then.

Oh, remember that Farhad Manjoo, that writer who hated the Sunset District so much he just had to move away?

Well, he hates Windows 8 even more than he hates the foggy, foggy Sunset.

OK then.

So here’s what you do, you get a 16 GB, 2TB ZT Systems from the (or from Walmart online or something) for like $600. That’ll come with Windows 7 and that’ll last you a good long time. And then you’ll be ready for Windows 8 Plus or Windows 9 or whatever shakes out.

OK then.

*Now maybe they’ll offer W8 (rhymes with wait – get it?) on a phone or a tablet or something what uses a touchscreen and maybe that’ll be OK (depending on the price, of course). But if you want to get something done with a PC, then why not just stick with W7?

Can Your Aging Mercedes Leave a Trail of Blue Smoke a Hundred Yards Long? Well, THIS One Can!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

[UPDATE: This might be a gasoline-powered 230S, if that’s even possible. My bad. If anybody in town has an unusual euro-only Mercedes, it’s this guy. It might even have a manual transmission.]

Old Mercedes diesels* might be really slow, and they might emit more particulates than a fleet of new cars, and they might get converted to run on french fry grease, but…

The most cartoonish cloud of smoke coming from a car exhaust I’ve ever seen:

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…they will never die. 

And here’s the thing – old diesels are exempt from California’s annual smog check program.

That’s a giant loophole big enough that you could drive a big old honking Mercedes Benz diesel through.


I’ve only been a Benz owner for less than a year now. However, I’m beginning to think that stamping out smoke on these 616s is like trying to rid your yard comletely of dandelions – it’s a fool’s errand.

I’ve had my IP rebuilt, rolled in a new timing chain, and had the valve seals replaced all within the last 6 months. Injectors are also new and the valves were adjusted when the seals were replaced. Fuel filters and fuel lines are also new and all fluids are fresh. The only differences between mine and yours are that I have lower compression and I use perhaps a 1/2 quart of oil in 2,000 miles.

Despite this, I still have some smoke. There’s a hint of whitish smoke on cold idle at start up and a bit of black smoke when I get on the throttle or climb steep hills.

I have another set of injectors that I had rebuilt and will install them in due course. I’ll also rebuild the vacuum pump as a preventative measure. But after that, this game of “whack a mole” has to end.

There is one good thing to come from all this work, however. My engine sounds silky smooth. No knocking, no nailing, and no hicccups. The only underhood sounds you hear are the clickity click of fuel injectors popping and the combustion inside the engine. So long as this continues to be the case and my oil consumption doesn’t increase, I should consider everything else to be inconsequential.”

*Pray that this particular old Mercedes is a diesel. ‘Cause otherwise this rig prolly needs to get oil added on a daily basis…

Unbiased Report Concludes That CA State Film Credit Program Benefits are Exaggerated – What About SF’s?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Does the “Scene in San Francisco” program work? I’m sure it does for some people, but does it succeed overall, you know, for the Commonweal?


It’s the same deal with the CA state film subsidy program, which was recently looked at by the CA State Legislative Analyst’s Office.

See below.

Did San Francisco subsidize the horrible NBC non-hit show Trauma? Yes. Should it have? No. 

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All the deets:

Net Credit Benefit Likely Much Less Than Reported.

We have discussed five issues that could affect the results of the LAEDC and/or UCLA-IRLE studies:

 Unknown assumptions embedded in the LAEDC economic models and their failure to consider the benefits of alternative public or private uses of tax credit funds (which could result in the credit program having significantly less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 In-state film activity that would occur in California without any tax credit (which results in the credit program having less economic and tax net benefits than shown in the LAEDC study).

 In-state economic and employment activity resulting from out-of-state productions (which results in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 Crowding out effects (which result in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies in at least some years).

 Effects of film-related tourism (which would likely not result in significant changes in net benefits in most years).

While the total effects of these issues are impossible to quantify, their combined effects are likely to be negative in any given fiscal year—that is, resulting in the net benefit of the credit program being less than shown in both the LAEDC and UCLA-IRLE studies.

Given the conclusion that the net benefit of the credit program is likely less than shown in the LAEDC study, the LAEDC’s finding that the output-to-credit ratio was about 20-to-1 is likely overstated, as is its estimate of job gains resulting from the credit program. Moreover, given that UCLA-IRLE adjusted downward to $1.04 the projected state and local tax revenue return from every credit dollar and given that we find that this also was overstated, we believe it is likely that the state and local tax revenue return would be under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar—perhaps well under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar in many years.

In any event, even if the combined state and local tax revenue return is right around $1.00 for every tax credit dollar, the state government’s tax revenue return would by definition be less than $1.00 for every tax credit dollar. The credit program, therefore, appears to result in a net decline in state revenues.”