Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Father Junipero Serra Revealed in Golden Gate Park – Take a Look at the CalAcademy’s Neighbor

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen this old statue in the Music Concourse area like this:

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Before, there was a lot of shrubbery around the thing, to hide it, I thought. But now, most of that shielding is all gone.

Oh, here’s what I had to say back in aught-ten. Hey, do you suppose that the recent pruning could open up SFGov for a constitutional challenge?

Mmmm. I’ll tell you, in the past, judges have concerned themselves with how prominent religious symbols can be. Like with the nearby Prayerbook Cross and the Mount Davidson Cross.

Anyway, I’ll look into this. I’m just saying that this cross has become A LOT more prominent…

Frisco’s Very Own Sunken Radioactive Aircraft Carrier – See the USS Independence Courtesy of Dr Robert Ballard

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Here’s the history of the USS Independence wreck, down 2600 feet, near the Farallon Islands, and here’s the video feed live, like right now, or a little delayed, but good enough.

Before Bikini Atoll:

And after:

And now live video…

Catching Up with the NEW Stow Lake Boat House – Photos – It’s Just the Same, Except for the “PRIVATE EVENTS”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Well, I guess the transition to the new vendor at our Stow Lake Boat House in Golden Gate Park is fully complete, not that you could really tell. Four Yelp stars, currently.

Things were a little contentious for a while there, what with the crew from Save Stow Lake, who supported the former vendor what operated this place. Get a taste of that conflict here. (And see what became of down below – it’s kind of funny.)

Here it is, looking more like Camp Crystal than what you’d expect to see in Frisco:

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Here’s your seating area for the cafe. The worry back in the aughts was that this room was going to go upscale, become an upscale dining establishment. That didn’t happen.

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Now back in the day, the old vendor simply raised prices without telling/getting permission from Rec and Park, so today’s prices are basically the same as back in the aughts. The new Family Boat seats six, I figure.

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Le Cafe, complete with pink popcorn for sale, as was desired by the alarmist preservationists who supported the former vendor:

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Oh, this is new – room rentals

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I don’t think the Save Stow Lake people saw this coming, ’cause I don’t recall them complaining about the specter of private parties in a public park, oh well. I think it’s like $100 an hour to have a birthday party in a rented room these days. Naturally, visitors will think a bathroom is where all the people are milling about, so this sign keeps them out and points them across the street, fair ‘nough.

Now if conditions get too rough for you out on the high seas of this quite artificial “lake,” well you can always dial the snack bar and they’ll talk you home, like the air traffic controllers from Airport ’75

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So that’s your update.

Now, here’s what’s become of So who’s selling what here? IDK, but, from Japan, it’s the “Telephone Lady” who has tax tips for you:


Anyway, that’s the bizarre end to the bizarre movement to “save” Stow Lake, which of course is still with us even though these Save Stow Lake people lost, big-time.

Happy Boating!

A View of the East Bay From Top to Bottom: Mt Diablo, Oakland, San Francisco – How an Accident of History Put Part of The City on Alameda Island

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Here you go:

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The Port of Oakland showed respect for the SF City Limits – can you see how the landfill project in the upper right ends abruptly? That’s the border. But the US military just didn’t care and it kept filling until it was satisfied. (You can see how the SF part looks different – it’s a wetter / greener area.)

Ans here’s another way of saying it – see our little homeslice?


Anyway, lots of people still don’t believe me. But you do, right, Gentle Reader?

Pier 80 is Now Known for Being a Homeless Shelter, But 5 Years Ago, It Was Home to This SCUD Launcher – THAAD, North Korea and Us

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

This was the view we had of Dogpatch / Pier 80 a few years back:

Basically, that’s an old Marine Corps junior aircraft carrier that would get towed annually to Kauai, Hawaii to launch SCUD-like missiles for testing of Lockheed Martin’s now-famous THAAD missile defense system.

And here’s the news of the day, in early 2016:

China warns South Korea that deploying THAAD missile system would trigger a Cold War-like arms race

Yeah, maybe. Is THAAD a good idea for the Korean Peninsula? I have no idea. But, this is recent Bay Area military history, which there’s not too much of these days.

I’d wondered about this vessel since I first noticed it back in aught-seven. Read all about it:

From 2013:

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”


From 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill.

Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?


The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

And from 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli

This Infamous Mall in Bucolic Placer County, CA is on the Front Lines of Terrorism, Apparently – “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING”

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

I don’t know, man:

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And yes, that’s a real security guard, locked and loaded for bear.

And when I say infamous, I mean this flash mob thing from aught-ten.

And, oh yes, no photos allowed, of course.

I just don’t know, man…

The A-Team, 94117 – The Best Van Ever Graces Masonic

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Our Changing Presidio: A Military Observation Tower Located Just North of the Richmond Replaced by a Communications Tower

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

First, it was all like this:


Get all the deets here.

You see I’m six-foot-one and a ton of fun, so things were a bit wobbly on the staircase going up, back in the day. Empty beer cans are what you’d find up there.

But now the Presidio isn’t a military base – there’s no need to have an observation tower for training recruits anymore.

Radio communications, that’s the present need on this ridge, and it’s The Future as well.

Here’s how things look these days:

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This scene makes me think of the Old Days.


A Man In His Forties

A Steam Clean for the May Queen: SFGov Spends Thousands More on the Panhandle’s McKinley Statue, Once Again

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Here you go, this is what it looks like when the RPD spends thousands of your hard-earned to steam clean the McKinley Statue. (Hey, whatever happened to KKK Katie?)

Get up to speed on this neverending game of cat and mouse here – just keep reading down.

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IDK, are these people contractors paid by the RPD / SFGov? Prolly. Looks like a pretty easy gig, just get some machine and some green vests and then you’re raking in some sweet sweet govt cash:

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And actually, I don’t know how much offensive Nazi graffiti was cleaned up this go-around. I hadn’t noticed any.

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Perhaps these people were just cleaning the steps this go-around and this wasn’t a five-figure budget-crusher for the Arts Commish / Rec and Park Dept? I know not.

I can see why elements of SFGov, politically-connected, white & wizened millionaires who live in million dollar houses far outside the city limits, want to just throw up their arms by throwing up a metal fence around these steps at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and local real estate interests, the realtors who live and “prospect” in the 94117 – they want an ugly fence as well, around this iconic meeting place.

I can see why, it’s their cry for help. But I don’t approve of no fence.

(And, mind you, the very same people who want the Great McKinley Fence are those who 86’ed the harmless Panhandle Bandshell a few years back…)

Explaining Why the “Haight Street Rat” Isn’t “as close as you can get to the intention that Banksy had”

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Here it is, back in 2010. That greenish building that used to be a bank housed Villains Vault at the time:

Click to expand

Detail, camera left:

Und camera right:

A thin red line connects these two elements, one assumes.

Here’s the update:

Banksy’s ‘Haight Street Rat’ graffiti holes up in an S.F. gallery by Rachel Howard

Now let’s say that Banksy caught Villains Vault displaying and selling unlicensed Banksy reprints as well as stuff from other street artists, you know, flagrantly, back in 2010. So then Banksy was all enough is enough, so he was all THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE.

And then he drew the line.

So really, the line is the piece, instead of the rat, right?

So if you just have the rat, you’re missing part of the story, right?

So it’s not just The Rat In The Hat Comes Back, right? I’m not saying that Banksy is all that deep but he’s deeper than a simple put-a-beret-on-it.

Now I understand why that KRON guy just went for the rat, but to do this job “as close as you could get to the intention Banksy had,” you’d have gotten the rest of the piece.

Just saying.

Or, IOW:

“The original Haight Street Rat stencil is a beret-wearing rat clutching a marker and a red line that extends from the rat to the neighboring building on the corner of Haight Street and Belvedere Street. On the adjacent building, the rat has seemingly written the text “THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE” in red which can be seen from the street above a clothing store that allegedly took street artists’ works and printed them on T-shirts and other apparel for sale without giving the artists any credit or revenue.”


“Named the Haight Street Rat for its placement atop a Victorian building on Haight Street, the stenciled rat clutching a red marker is now neatly framed and displayed in a location entirely unlike the one in which it was created: the lobby of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown L.A., the city’s tallest tower and perhaps its most conspicuous symbol of capitalism. It’s a baffling venue for a piece of site-specific street art that initially wrapped across two buildings…