Posts Tagged ‘aluminum’

How Do Thieves Break Your Car Windows Quietly on the Streets of San Francisco? With Tiny Ninja Rocks!

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Has it been ten years since Ninja Rocks have been enshrined in our California Criminal Code? Yes!

Celebrate by breaking into cars this year, as people are already doing on McAllister Street right near City Hall.

But don’t use a hammer to get car booty. Hammers are heavy.

Use ninja rocks to break windows instead. (They’re super light so they’re easy to carry around.)


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“466. Every person having upon him or her in his or her possession a
picklock, crow, keybit, crowbar, screwdriver, vise grip pliers,
water-pump pliers, slidehammer, slim jim, tension bar, lock pick gun,
tubular lock pick, bump key, floor-safe door puller, master key,
ceramic or porcelain spark plug chips or pieces, or other instrument
or tool with intent feloniously to break or enter into…”

Celebrating the Return of Dog-Dish Hub Caps: New VW Beetle with “Heritage” Alloy Wheels

Friday, October 12th, 2012

You see in my day, people’d be putting wheel covers to make simple steal wheels look like aluminum or magnesium alloys.

But these days VW is offering wheel covers on top of alloy wheels to make them look like old-school hub caps on steel wheels.

See? Here are your 17″ heritage alloy wheels on a 1013 VW Beetle:

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(In Soviet Russia, wheel cover you!)

The Toughest Job in Town: Window Washing the Alcoa Building Through Its Unusual Exoskeleton

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

See what I mean?

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They must use extension sticks or something.


Know Your Black Aluminum Skyscrapers of the Bay Area: One Maritime Plaza, aka the Alcoa Building

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Well, here it is, or what you can see these days, after the Alcoa Building got surrounded by Embarcadero Center.

Nevertheless, it remains:

One of earliest examples of expressed seismic bracing using external trusses and X-braces.


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But check out how she looked back in the Mad Men era, back in the 1960s.

Anyway, it sure looks strong – I’m sure it will ride out the next Big One with aplomb.

Bon Courage, 1 Maritime Plaza!

The Smooth & Striated by Hector Zamora

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Has Steve Rhodes been nominated for a MacArthur Genius Award yet? Cause it would be a shame if he ever had to take a gig that would interfere with him recording turn-of-the-millennium San Francisco for posterity and I think winners get $100k per year for a half-decade. And that’s enough to get by on in the 415 these days, right?


“He is going to change the configuration of the aluminum drying racks each week through March 26

Which do you prefer, the smooth or the striated? Discuss.

From Steve Rhodes, obviously Click to expand your mind

The People Who Sell Cork Wine Stoppers Want You to Forget About Cork Taint and 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Wonder what would happen if you showed this empty-headed, funded-by-Portuguese-taxpayers, “green” media campaign promoting the use of cork over other wine stopper materials to somebody like Mayor Gavin Newsom, who’s, let’s say, sort of on the facile side. Well, I’d bet he’d be all yeah, but – he’d get all nuanced with a quickness, talking about the pros and cons of how best to keep the vino inside the bottle-o and how this thang isn’t such a simple black-and-white (or green-or-not) issue.

Of course it’s not a simple issue. Maybe it’s a small issue, but it’s not simple.

Well, the people who sell cork are on a tear these days, telling dudes they won’t be able to have sex and telling gals they’ll lose their jobs if they ever have anything to do with anything but cork.

Oh, so that’s what TCA looks like? Thanks 100% Cork!

Cork taint up close.

Cork people, your campaign isn’t “humorous,” it’s just stupid.

In closing:

2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, TCA, 100% Cork Taint!

2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, TCA, 100% Cork Taint!

2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, TCA, 100% Cork Taint!

And now, the ham-fisted ad campaign from the poor, quasi-bankrupt Portuguese govmint:

“Beware the Holiday Party Faux Pas: Wine Topped with Artificial Stoppers

Office Worker’s Career Nearly Dashed by Failure to Choose Natural Cork

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15, 2010 — Her career looked so promising until she committed the ultimate yuletide faux pas: showing up at the annual company holiday party with a bottle of wine – dare we say it?! — sealed with an artificial stopper.

Such is the sobering message from a video released recently at Party Faux Pas that depicts the sad tale of an office worker who fails to realize that artificial wine closures can undermine the environment.  Not to mention the fact that metal and plastic wine closures are about as festive as moldy mistletoe.

The clip, narrated by not-so-internationally renowned wine sommelier Garth Lockwood, is one in a series of videos produced by 100% Cork, the nationwide campaign to educate wine drinkers about the environmental, social and technical benefits of choosing natural cork closures over artificial stoppers.

Additional videos, including those without tongues placed in cheek, can be found at  The site also allows viewers to sign a pledge that will be sent to major wineries and wine retailers urging them to increase their reliance on wine finished with natural cork.

Reasons to Love and Choose Natural Cork

On a serious note, cork allows wine to properly age in a healthy and controlled environment and has proven to be the ideal closure for more than 400 years.

From an environmental perspective, metal screw caps and plastic stoppers produce 10-24 times more greenhouse gases and consume as much as five times more non-renewable energy than real cork over their life-cycles, according to a peer-reviewed study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees grown in the Mediterranean Basin. Contrary to popular belief, cork oaks are not cut down or harmed during the harvest, which provides among the world’s highest-paid agricultural jobs.

Cork oaks can live for hundreds of years, and there is no shortage of corks or cork oak trees.  Demand for cork provides an incentive to plant and maintain the Mediterranean’s vast oak forests, which every year offset the carbon produced by 2.5 million cars.

The World Wildlife Federation has called the use of plastic and metal wine closures a “major threat” to Mediterranean cork oak forests because their use undermines demand for cork.

About 100% Cork
100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with real cork stoppers because of cork’s environmental, technical and societal advantages.  The campaign seeks to recruit and organize wine consumers to request that winemakers and retailers choose natural cork over artificial stoppers.  The campaign is funded by the Portuguese Cork Association and the Cork Quality Council.


San Francisco’s Alcoa Building Rolls a Ten the Hard Way: Aluminum + Plywood = ?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

The north side of our Alcoa Building now has four symmetrical plywood inserts where windows should be.

The two shown here look like a pair dice showing fives, a hard ten, if you will. Appears as if something vents through them for some purpose. (I fear the worst.)

Let’s hope the aluminum facade regains its proper dignity soon.

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The Shiny Shiny Top of San Francisco’s TransAmerica Pyramid

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Well, lookie here at the shiny, shiny top of the Transamerica Pyramid. Now, of course, at night during some special times (your November-December-New Year’s holiday mish-mash plus the Fourth of July) you can see an electric light up there, (as seen here on the far left). 

But this shot wasn’t taken at nightime. That’s the noonday sun shining off of the westward face of the four-yard-tall mini-pyramid that tops the whole shebang.

Click to expand:. A seen from the brand spanking new Crissy Field Overlook in the Presidio:   

Here’s a better look in black and white from the same angle just a few minutes later:

Of course, you can still see the reflected light but the intensity is about a hundred times less than the direct reflection seen in the colour photo.

It’s probably a polished metal panel up there, possibly aluminum.

Look for the Star of the Pyramid – you just might see it someday, if the sun lines up just right.