This was the crowd at the 800 Market Game Stop near Stockton and Fourth last night as the midnight hour approached:
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How long has it been since three-star-rated former Mayor Gavin Newsom left office – has it been a week or two? Well, we’ll leave that to the judges and justices ‘n stuff, but, irregardless, it’s been long enough* for Qantas Airways Limited to announce that its abandoning the San Francisco Bay Area, g’night, mate.
Why? Well it’s ’cause they’ve been losing mad dollars on non-stop flights betwixt SFO and Cindy, Australia for donkey’s years. Enough is enough they figure, so future flights from Down Under will alight in Dallas, Texas. (Some Bay area travel(l)ers are not amused, not at all.)
Now, weren’t we due for superjumbo Airbus A380 double-decker service by now for those non-stop flights to Oz? Oh yes, but instead of getting that, we’re losing the non-stop, regular-jumbo Boeing 747-400 service we have now. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how could this be, San Francisco is a “natural amphitheater,” a “world-class” city even. Well, not anymore, or at least SFO isn’t a “world-class” airport anymore.
However, there’s a silver lining. You see, them Rolls-Royce engines, those RB211’s and those Trents 500 and up, well they blow up sometimes, ka-boom! Call it an “uncontained failure” they do. And QANTAS well, that’s pretty much all they run these days, the Rolls-Royce. (Just look at Australia’s national flag, why not, for the reason.) So, less Qantas = less less RR = less ka-boom over our heads.
For example, check out this Qantas flight out of SFO just last summer. It had passed the Farallones with almost full tanks and then, kaboom, Rolls-Royce engine #4 exploded. Oh well. Everybody made it back safe tho. Check it on the YouTube.
Flight 74 getting a little sparky high above the deep briny – not what you want to see looking out your window. Time to dump your avgas and circle back to Millbrae:
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I hear you, you’re saying that’s the old Rolls-Royce. But, you know, that Qantas A380 engine that blewed up just after leaving Singapore late last year, that’s the new RR – indeed, that was a fairly recent vintage Trent 900 engine that destroyed itself. Oh well. The Aussie A380s have been patched up and now Qantas is flying them as far as they want again, to Los Angeles among other places. But not very long after the flights started again, yet another Qantas Rolls Royce engine went kaboom – this one was a contained failure, so that’s some consolation, anyway. Check it:
“A Qantas spokeswoman said yesterday the Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine would be replaced and the aircraft would be in service shortly. She said the latest incident involving Qantas jets and Rolls-Royce engines did not indicate any pattern of trouble. ”We certainly don’t view it that way at all,’ the spokeswoman said.”
O.K. fine. Whatever you say, lady.
Now with the SFO cargo cult. Leave us review:
“Cargo cult activity increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these in some Pacific islands observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”
See where I’m going here? Didn’t we just get done re-doing SFO so that we could handle five or six A380 superjumbos at a time? Hells yes! We saw a few test runs from aircraft with Airbus, Emirates and Qantas livery over the past few years.**
But those big metal birds didn’t come back.
No cargo for us.
So am I saying that it was a stupid idea for SFO to prepare for the Age of the Super Jumbo Jet? No, not really. I don’t know all the deets of how things costed out, and who knows, it wasn’t impossible that official San Francisco’s dream of somehow besting Los Angeles could have eventually worked out. But if you could have seen how proud SFO officials were of their A380-only, double decker jet bridges in the new International Terminal back in the day, well, you’d be thinking cargo cult too.
Who knows what the future will bring. International air travel will increase like gangbusters over the coming decade, so we’ll probably get some use out of those dusty double-decker jetways sooner or later. And maybe then Qantas will be back, with or without A380s. (The Q has abandoned us before, and we made do.) Or maybe Emirates will get a little more MPG from the non-Rolls-Royce, American-made GP7200 engines on their A380s so they’ll be able to make a non-stop superjumbo hop to the Bay Area from the Mid-East. Maybe.
(And maybe by that time SFO will be called Willie Lewis Brown Jr. International Airport, I’m seriously, that’s what the other former Mayor of SF wants, he wants us to chuck the extremely well-known SFO moniker for WLB. Can you imagine?)
Anywho, if you want to go Sydney after May 2011, your only choice will be United Airlines. Now, that flight is on an old jet that the President of United says is “unacceptable,” but at least you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles on your way Down Under.
So long, Qantas.
*They waited a only a few days – what a joke!
**Man, what a load this was:
“Sensitive to the politically charged nature of outsourcing and offshoring, the Airbus chairman for North America, Allan McArtor, said 50 percent of the A380’s components are being made in the United States. McArtor hailed the new aircraft as quieter and more fuel efficient than wide-body jetliners of the past. Final assembly of the plane will be done in Toulouse, with the first test flights scheduled for next year.”
50% American content? Absolutely not. There’s a bit of American content in A380’s (some of them have more and some less) but it ain’t nowhere near 50% and there’s no way it could have been 50%. Airbus is run by the Euros – why would they go out of their way to employ Americans?
“G’Day Airbus! Qantas A380 Arrives at SFO
“On January 14, 2009, SFO welcomed Qantas Airways’ new A380 as it arrived from Sydney – the first Airbus A380 to bring scheduled passengers to SFO. The aircraft’s arrival was celebrated with a party at its gate in the International Terminal. Sponsored by Tourism Australia, the party featured Australian music, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a kangaroo.
The International Terminal, which opened in December 2000, was specifically designed to easily handle the arrivals and departures of large capacity airplanes such as the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.
“SFO’s International Terminal, with the country’s only built-in A380-ready gates, is the future for comfortable and convenient international air travel,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We welcome visitors from our sister city, Sydney, and look forward to offering regularly scheduled Airbus flights and connections for all of our international visitors.”
The International Terminal features five gates that can be used by the A380 – three with double loading bridges and two with triple loading bridges. SFO was the first airport in the United States to offer triple loading bridges. The third loading bridge extends to the A380’s top deck, which allows the aircraft’s 500-plus passengers to be conveniently and directly loaded or off-loaded from the gate to the aircraft in 40 minutes – approximately the same time it takes to load a 747-400. Moreover, SFO can accommodate a rapid turnaround for the Airbus. SFO is the only airport in the United States with such a high level of built-in readiness.
Qantas currently offers daily nonstop service between SFO and Sydney on its 747-400 aircraft. The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.
Drop by and you’ll get to see works from:
Mario Delgado, D Young V, Megan Wolfe, Albert Nguyen, Kevin Buckley, Teppei Ando, and Tamar Solomon
Don’t miss the opening reception on Thursday, June 3rd, from 8:00 PM to Midnight.
“Ironically, although hipsters have existed in one form or another for decades, the hipster movement has become more mainstream, influencing the American status quo by supporting alternative art, music, and fashion. Like an epidemic of entitlement, the hipster condition has spread across America and over the seas to Japan and other countries susceptible to American culture. We see hipsters every day riding their fixed-gear bicycles on their way to studying film at local art schools. They drink the most expensive coffee and the cheapest beer. Imagine a world where alternative culture is pop culture; a world where Vampire Weekend plays the half time show at the Super Bowl instead of Bruce Springsteen; a world where stores selling used records and clothing are as large and as common as Walmart. The purpose of this show is to create awareness of the hipster way and the rise in demand for outrageous moustaches, vacuum sealed jeans, high-school sports tee shirts, and the over-consumption of Pabst Blue Ribbon.”
That’s harsh. Harsh but fair.
“Café Royale is a neighborhood coffee & tea house and beer & wine bar offering a wide assortment of international beers, wines and distinctive sake and soju cocktails. Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Café supports the work of Bay Area artists throughout the month through visual arts exhibitions, music programs, art markets and events to benefit nonprofits.”
See you there!
Word comes from John Arntz, Director of the San Francisco Department of Elections:
“Today is the last day to register to vote or change any registration information for the upcoming June 8, 2010 Consolidated Statewide Direct Primary Election. To facilitate last-minute registration, the Department of Elections will be open until 8 p.m. tonight to accept registration cards.”
So, maybe you’re not registered or maybe you’re registered not to your liking…
Either way, act today.
Look how much fun the political process voting can be:
Anyway, choose or lose:
“SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2010 – Today is the last day to register to vote or change any registration information for the upcoming June 8, 2010 Consolidated Statewide Direct Primary Election. To facilitate last-minute registration, the Department of Elections will be open until 8 p.m. tonight to accept registration cards.
Ways to register to vote for before today’s deadline:
1. Download, complete and mail a Voter Registration Form from the Secretary of State’s website.
2. Visit any one of the following locations to pick up a form: post offices, public libraries, some City and County offices, or the Department of Motor Vehicles. Complete and mail the form today.
3. Come to the Department of Electionson the ground floor of City Hall. After 6 p.m., voters must enter City Hall through the front entrance on Polk Street (Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place).
All mailed registration forms must be postmarked with today’s date, May 24, for applicants to become eligible to vote in the June election.
More information on voter registration is available by visiting the Department’s website at www.sfelections.org or calling (415) 554-4411.
Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
If you’re a student or faculty member at U.C. Berkeley, then you’re invited to see Bill Clinton on February 24th, 2010. The subject will be:
Admission is free for students, but faculty and staff will have to fork over $45 each. (Can you believe it? It would be cheaper for them to spend a night at Gump Station in the South Pacific.)
The rush for free tickets starts at 7:00 AM, February 18th, 2010. See you there!
Sadly, despite the words of touchy, touchy CityBright Zennie62, students, faculty and/or staff won’t be able to help you, a non-UC Berkelian, get a seat. Actually, it will be tough for the students themselves to get a ticket online.
But if you do get in, don’t be surprised if Bill shows up late, just like the last time he came to the bay area to do a big public address. Bill was late late late. Even the Mayor of San Francisco was reduced to gesticulations after being repeatedly lied to by Bill’s people about Bill’s arrival time back in 2006. Gavin’s coping strategy was to keep pointing at his watch to note the lateness of the hour. Like this:
Oh, here’s Bill:
The Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley is pleased to announce that President Bill Clinton will speak to UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty about Global Citizenship: Turning Good Intentions into Positive Action at 3:30 p.m. February 24 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Auditorium. Doors will open at 3 p.m.
Tickets for this event can be obtained online only.
Tickets to the February 24 talk
Persons or orders that violate the limit of one ticket per person will be canceled without notice. No name changes, exchanges, cancellations, or refunds permitted. Tickets are non-transferable and seating assignment will be random. Tickets should be treated like cash; they are not replaceable if lost, stolen, damaged, or otherwise rendered unreadable. Ticket re-sale is strictly prohibited.
Ever more deets, after the jump.
Are the animules friendlier during the evening? It sure seems that way:
THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ANNOUNCES EXTENDED SUMMER HOURS FROM AUGUST 3-SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
Museum to stay open until 8:00 pm every Monday and Tuesday night.
Summer nights in San Francisco just got steamier. Visitors to the California Academy of Sciences can now enjoy the four-story rainforest exhibit, the swampy alligator habitat, the mangrove lagoon, and the rest of the museum’s exhibits and shows until 8:00 pm every Monday and Tuesday from August 3 through September 8, 2009.
San Francisco residents and tourists alike can take advantage of the long summer days to visit the Academy during off-peak times for Golden Gate Park—and to catch some of the aquarium’s nocturnal animals at their most active. “We have been delighted by the strong interest that San Francisco residents and visitors have shown in the new Academy since we opened last September,” said Dr. Greg Farrington, executive director of the Academy. “These extended summer hours will help ensure that everyone who wants to visit with our penguins and zoom through our digital Universe is able to do so.”
Dr. F welcomes you:
“Throughout the extended summer hours program, all of the Academy’s exhibits will remain open until 8:00 pm on Monday and Tuesday nights, and the planetarium and 3D theater will offer additional shows. The Academy Cafe will also remain open, giving working parents the opportunity to bring their kids to the Academy for “dinner and a museum” as a special weeknight treat.
Regular admission fees will apply for the Academy’s extended summer hours; Academy members will be admitted free of charge. Unlike the Academy’s weekly Thursday night program, NightLife, during which adults ages 21 and over can enjoy the museum from 6:00 – 10:00 pm, the Academy’s extended summer hours on Monday and Tuesday nights will be available for all ages. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online at www.calacademy.org/tickets. As always, visitors who take public transportation receive a $3 discount.
On Monday, August 3, evening visitors can also choose to attend an astronomy lecture by Margaret Race from the SETI Institute. Hosted inside the Academy’s 90-foot diameter planetarium dome, the lecture will begin at 7:30 pm. During the talk, Race will describe how experts from many different disciplines contribute to searches for extraterrestrial life—and explain how the Outer Space Treaty and planetary protection policies urge “responsible exploration” when visiting other planets. Lecture tickets cost $10, and advanced purchase is recommended. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 800-794-7576.
The California Academy of Sciences is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, Kimball Natural History Museum, and world-class research and education programs—all under one living roof. The new Academy, designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, opened to the public on September 27. Admission to the Academy is: $24.95 for adults; $19.95 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+ and students with valid ID; $14.95 for children ages seven to 11; and free for children ages six and younger. The Academy is free to the public on the third Wednesday of each month. Admission fees include all exhibits and shows. Hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. The Academy is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. www.calacademy.org. (415) 379-8000.
And weren’t we supposed to get 799 more WiFi-enabled buses? Think so.
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“SFMTA/Muni announces the completion of its service schedule for the Connected Bus pilot project. Service ended May 15, 2009.
The Connected Bus improves the customer experience by providing wireless Internet access and interactive displaysof real-time information along the route, including the status of connecting routes at key transfer points. In addition, it provides Muni operations with a running “health” check on the bus of the mileage, fuel use, internal bus systems, passenger loading, and maintenance schedules to improve efficiency and reliability of the fleet. Instant “emergency” links from the touchscreen monitors to the bus operator and the police may one day provide added security features.”
So now it’s just a regular old disconnected bus?
Is this the FBI undercover? Probably not, so this must be a genuine Muzak vehicle. Can you believe that they’re still operating after all these years?
They’ve got ladders and everything. As seen recently on San Francisco’s Geary Boulevard:
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Now this is what rocker Ted Nugent had to say about Muzak a while back:
“It’s an evil force in today’s society, causing people to lapse into uncontrollable fits of blandness. It’s been responsible for ruining some of the best minds of our generation.”
In fact, the Motor City Madman actually offered to buy the company for the sole purpose of shutting it down. Harsh.
But let’s hear from the Muzakians themselves:
“Music is art, but Muzak is science. And when you employ the science of Muzak: in an office, workers tend to get more done, more efficiently, and feel happier. In an industrial plant, people feel better and, with less fatigue and tension, their jobs seem less monotonous. In a store, people seem to shop in a more relaxed and leisurely manner. In a bank, customers are generally more calm, tellers and other personnel are more efficient. In general, people feel better about where they are; whether it’s during work or leisure time. Muzak is all this and more. That’s why we say Muzak is much more than music.”
O.K. fine. This incomprehensible MUZAK STIMULUS PROGRESSION CHART proves something, just not sure what that is:
Don’t stop believing, Muzak. Never stop believing.
All the Muzak channels, after the jump.