Posts Tagged ‘February’

OMG, They Made a Movie About the AC Transit Bus Fight – On Netflix Now – Entitled “Bad Ass” – $$ for Epic Beard Man?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

This incident in the East Bay a few years back…

…has been made into a movie called Bad Ass:

Which I guess is old news.

But the new news is that you can watch this flick for free now via the NetFlix.

It’s just released. See?

“This movie is: Exciting”

(But, sorry streamer-only NetFlix people, right now you can only have them mail you the DVD or the Blu-Ray – you can’t just stream this to your device.)

And no, I don’t think Vietnam Tom Bruso, or anyone else on the bus that day…

…will get a dime out of Bad Ass.

That’s Tinseltown for you…

ZOMG, the Sumo Fruit are Here Again! – Called Dekopon in Japan, Hallabong in Korea – Sweetest Citrus in the World

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The sweetest citrus in the world, Sumo aka Dekopon デコポン aka Hallabong 한라봉, has just hit town, and for just the second time in history.

Get all the deets from last year’s Los Angeles Times. Check it:

“I’ve tasted more than 1,000 varieties of citrus, and to me the Dekopon is the most delicious.”

And now in 2012, they even have these special mandarin oranges in New York City.

Respect! These things could turn into a bigger seasonal food fad than those fictitious Mackinaw peaches. The Mackinaw peaches, Jerry! The Mackinaw peaches!

Dekapons as seen at the new Whole Foods Haight Ashbury last year – they’re back at WF this year but without the cardboard flats:

Click to expand

It’s the biggest mandarin you’ll ever see, per the Berkeley Bowl.

Yes they’re big, yes they’re ugly, yes they’re pricey, but they’re super sweet

Its like having a circus in your mouth.

But get ’em fast, cause they’ll be all gone by next month.

Enjoy.

Here’s the Reason Why the Cherry Blossoms You’re Seeing in the Late Winter of 2012 are NOT a Sign of Global Warming

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

So, yes, January is a very early time to see cherry trees start to blossom but what you’re actually seeing are plum trees.

Now both kinds of trees are pretty much the same thing, so no biggee, but plums come out earlier than cherries – global warming doesn’t have anything to do with that.

Oh, here’s what they look like, rather a bit more pink than cherry, in my experience.

Near Clay and Davis, Financial District:

And here’s a nice shot from Flickr:

Via Son/Jon

Finally! It’s March, So Now Francisco’s Plum Trees Actually Look Like Plum Trees, Instead of Cherry

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

See?

Click to expand

My campaign to get area residents to call plum trees “plum trees” is picking up steam. Now, remember back in aught-eight, when some people called mountain lions “cougars?” Good times,* right? Well, those days are history. And, similarly, tout le 415 will be calling cherry trees “cherry trees” by January 2014 at the latest.

You’ll see.

*”Cougar corners St. Mary’s Hoopster in Danville” – that kind of thing.

That New Whole Foods in Haight Ashbury is Actually Working Pretty Good Already

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Well, looks as if Whole Foods is doing fine in the 94117 these days since opening last week. Everybody seems happy and the long-promised free samples are flowing like what you’d see at Costco on a Saturday afternoon. Take a peek, why not?
 
But what’s this, the everyday price for a can of black beans is less than a dollar? Quelle surprise!
 
Now, here’s a scene you’ll just have to get used to: an aging, go-to-hell Volvo blocking a new Toyota Prius on Stanyan while waiting to get into the lot:

But three parking lot attendants (seems a bit overstaffed but whatever) and a uniformed security guard seemed to have things under control when I dropped by. 
 
(Shoplifters will have a tougher time practicing their craft at this super as compared to the predecessor, one might guess)
 
Bon Courage Whole Foods Haight Ashbury!

Haight Ashbury Whole Foods’ Good Food Celebration a Huge Success – Graffiti All Cleaned Up – Opening Feb 16th

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

La Cocina’s Global to Local Food Festival went off today without a hitch at the Stanyan Street parking lot of our soon-to-open Whole Foods Upper Haight.

Check it. No millionaire NIMBYs in this particular shot, but they were out in force today. (They’s everywhere.)

Click to expand

Sadly, beer imbibers were walled off from the rest of the crowd:

But look! Almost all of the graffiti is gone:

Wet paint, indeed.

All’s that’s left to do is count the days until the Feb. 16th Grand Opening.

Bon Courage, WFHA!

It’s Mid-Winter, So Our Flowering Plum Trees are Blooming – 2011’s Season is a Little Late, Actually

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

First started noticing these blooms a couple of days ago:

Click to expand

Some people think they are cherry blossoms. Check it:

Well it’s late January in San Francisco so it’s time for our sidewalk plum trees to begin blossoming. Yeah, they look a lot like cherry trees and that causes people around town to start talking about how global warming / climate change is making the cherry trees of April wake up three months early or something.

You can double-check with the Friends of the Urban Forest if you want, but I’ll tell you, those flashes of pink you see brightening up the otherwise-dreary Streets of San Francsico these days are early-rising Prunus blireiana, aka Flowering Plum trees, or something similar.

Be patient and you’ll be rewarded with real cherry trees in March – check out the sked at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park.

If this January blossom is cherry, I’ll eat my hat:

This will be the scene in the Financh in a couple of months – our wild parrots love all kinds of prunus blossoms of course.

Take heart, Spring is just around the corner…

OMG, the Haight-Ashbury Whole Foods Opens Feb. 16th! But Our Graffiti Artists Aren’t Waiting Around

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

[UPDATE: Hey, have you heard any boycott talk about this gro sto? No? Me neither. Oh, wait, that’s right, this joint is outside the Fiefdom of NIMBY Valley. Carry on…]

Remember back in the day, when taggers only graffitoed buildings nearby our still-under-construction Whole Foods?

Good times:

Click to expand

Well now the little monsters are back, but this time they’re lifting their legs on the store itself.

Check it – here’s what Jackson Fuller, Your San Francisco Real Estate Team has recently documented:

Via Matt Fuller, GRI

Oh snap!

It begins.

But please, urban artists, cease forthwith. You don’t want to make adorable WF “Haight Community Liason” Nicole Watt cry, do you?

O.K. then.

But I’m sure they’ll have the  scribblings cleaned up in time for the Sacred Bread (I’m seriously – they have some weird traditions down Texas Way) ceremony on Opening Day, Wednesday, February 16th 2011, ZOMG!

See?

Bon Courage, Whole Foods Haight!

The Return of “Epic Bearded Man” Thomas Bruso of AC Transit Fame – Bus Fights Behind Him – Cheering for the Giants

Monday, October 25th, 2010

CaliberSF‘s Travis has a doozie today. Click on over to see the original version of this shot and also to catch up with Vietnam Tom.

Via Travis of CaliberSF

California NUMMI Commission Offers Toyota No Carrots and No Sticks

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Here’s the thing about that NUMMI plant in Fremont that’s closing down at the end of the month – Toyota thought about making Prius hybrid electric cars there after the departure of General Motors, but then rejected that idea. So, Corolla production will  be taken care of by an existing plant in Ontario, Canada and pickup trucks, too, will be made somewhere else if necessary. This all got worked out last summer.  

(Here’s Toyota’s current take on the situation from NUMMI spinmeister Lance Tomasu for the record. Enjoy.)

Anyway right now, California’s Toyota NUMMI Commission is coming back from Japan after trying to nag Toyota brass into keeping the Fremont factory going. Take a look at their report. The Question of the Day is why Toyota should remain the only car manufacturer in the entire western United States.

So you’d think that California would offer some carrots and/or wave some sticks around at Toyota but the Commission’s not really equipped to do that all that much.

It’s not like they can’t find some carrots or sticks in their quiver, it’s that their quiver is pretty much empty.

According to the commission, the chance for Toyota to build hybrid electric Corollas in Fremont is somehow some big benefit to Toyota that Toyota is oblivious to. That’s not really a carrot, actually, and you’d think that Toyota would have their own ideas about making cars. Would consumers want to buy a “California Corolla” just because it’s made in Fremont? I don’t think so. Very possibly, Toyota having a big pickem-up factory in Texas helps sell big V8 pickem-ups, but the average Californian would prefer a Made In Japan label, it would seem.   

Another carrot the commission could dangle would be the synergy from making cars in the same state as tiny, troubled Tesla Motors. That’s not really a carrot either, huh?

Well, how about some sticks instead? What will happen to Toyota if it shuts down its money-losing plant in Fremont? Nothing, it would seem. One might suppose that quiet diplomacy would have been used on Toyota last year, to no avail.

Back in the day, down in Fremont:

   

via CanadaGood

Now, let’s read up on the news of the past weekend. Has Toyota really “lost its way?” No. Let’s see here, did Toyota make a mistake with how it handled the floor mat / plastic gas pedal parts / ?????? / issues? Yes, but that’s just a hiccup in the sands of time.

Is Toyota’s decision to discontinue production in California without GM as a partner “suicidal?” No. 

And is the success of the Prius model due to “enthusiastic Californians” or is it due to Toyota spending billions to develop the technology and then selling them at a loss for years and years? You Make The Call.  

And are the people of Mississippi looking forward to making hybrid vehicles for Toyota in a brand-new factory that’s going unused right now? Yes. Toyota decided last year to make Priuseses in Blue Springs, Mississippi instead of California. That’s California’s loss, no argument about that.

All right, here’s entire conclusion of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s report, in bold.

“The collaborative efforts of Californians, which have bolstered NUMMI’s success, are ongoing.”

Was NUMMI a success, really? Didn’t it lose money every year for the past quarter century? Yes.

“A ‘Red Team’ of state, local government, private sector and other officials have proposed significant tax and business incentives to retain the plant.”

Presumably, Toyota knows about this, but is not interested.

 “Closing NUMMI now is a decision of choice, not necessity.”

This is true. If Toyota were really afraid of the consequences of closing down NUMMI then maybe they’d run it at a loss, if necessary, forever.

“Closure abandons a loyal, highly-skilled workforce and places a heavy burden on communities and the state when they can least afford it. The decision is inconsistent with the values that have led Toyota to unparalleled economic success. It elevates narrow, short-term corporate interests above the interests of workers, the public and the long-term interests of Toyota itself.

Don’t really get this. Why should Toyota have a plant in California instead of some other state or nearby country?  

 “Looking at the pending NUMMI plant shutdown, and then you look at larger problems that Toyota is having in America” Richard Holober, from the Consumer Federation of California, told the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission.

Well, Toyota’s “having problems in America” primarily due to a decision to save a few pennies by using a plastic-on-plastic device to make holding your foot on the gas pedal a bit easier AND not reacting quickly enough to incident reports. This issue will get solved.

“I can’t help but conclude that this is not an isolated plant closure decision, but a symptom of a much, much deeper problem with what has happened to Toyota as a corporation.”

What has “happened to Toyota as a corporation” is that it’s become the best car company in the world. This was true last year, it’s true this year, it’ll be true next year.

“Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president whose grandfather founded the automaker in 1937, admitted at a February 24 Congressional hearing, “recently we haven’t lived up to the standards you’ve come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves.” He also stated that one of the automaker’s great strengths was facing its mistakes and addressing them. The decision to close NUMMI reflects the period when the automaker pursued a hyper-expansion and abandoned its values in the interest of narrow, short-term financial goals.

“Hyper-expansion” = Making Popular Cars. “Narrow, short-term financial goals” = GM. Now, Toyota changed a bit after getting listed on the stock exchange in New Yawk, and Toyota has more hide-bound corporate culture than it probably needs but it’s doing all right overall.

“Toyota, however, has risen to outstanding heights by building its success precisely on strong core values. These included: 1) building only the highest quality vehicles; 2) customer safety first; 3) lifetime job security for its workers; 4) caring partnerships with communities; 5) concern for the environment. A very visible first step toward returning to this successful corporate ethic would be to keep NUMMI open, and show California and the world that the company has reached into its heritage to define its future.

I don’t know, Toyota participated in NUMMI during a time when there was a threat of massive tariffs being applied to cars imported from Japan. The 1981-1994 Voluntary Export Restraint plan of that era was a disaster for American consumers (and, speaking of “narrow, short-term financial goals,” the long-term health of the American automobile industry.) Something like the threat of massive tariffs on Toyota products would be a nice stick for the NUMMI Commission to wave about, but, for whatever reason, Toyota doesn’t seemed to be all that worried about that issue. 

“This is the moment for political leaders in Washington and Sacramento to address the closure. Millions of Californians are hurting in the worst job market in seven decades and are deeply apprehensive about the future. The most immediate, direct, and cost effective jobs program available is to keep NUMMI running.

There’s no question that keeping NUMMI running would benefit California. The question is why Toyota should lose money to finance an American stimulus plan?

“This stimulus plan delivers 25,000 jobs and could save $2.3 billion. The automaker and California would reap a triple bottom-line benefit: Toyota would restore its image and retain a world-class plant; workers and their families would make it through a dark economic winter; and California would get further down the road to economic growth and a green future.

O.K., the Blue Ribbon Commission is traveling home from Nagoya, Japan now.

Perhaps the their trip to Toyota City will prove useful even if the NUMMI factory shuts down on sked this month.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the Commission got.