Listen up people… One of ours is missing!!

As i was hiking in the park today I came across this notice. This is pretty serious for us in our neighborhood so people keep your eyes peeled let’s hope we find this missing kid!!!

Bad fences, a not so ideal door and a super dog!!

So, while out on my daily workout, I came upon some interesting things….

First: Bad fences. There were two of those…

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Then, there was this house with two gates on their home… The second gate is not in such an ideal spot dontcha think? I would have a very hard time reaching my key in there to get that sucker open! I suppose that would be good.

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And finally… Superdog. This little half-pint of solid muscle literally rocketed straight up this vertical cliff all the way to the top! I was amazed how strong this pooch was! I would not want to meet him in the wrong mood I tell you!

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Well, there you have it folks! Another exciting workout in the wilds of San Francisco!!

Photo walk in Bernal Heights East and south sides

Yesterday, although the winds were strong, the sun kept the gusting breeze a cool breath not a cold blow! I started at the top of the hill and read a book that I just started called The Age of Gold by, H.W. Brands.

After about a half an hour I decided it was time to walk. I was trying to figure out where the warmest and least gusty route might be.

So I started out heading east. I then investigated the east slope and moved around to the south slope. It was warm and beautiful!! Very quaint! I mean… Who ever thought there were green tree lined streets in busy metropolis San Francisco!!

I hope you enjoy these photos that I snapped along the way!

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Not your average lap pet!

While I was working out on my hike yesterday, I was heading home when I stumbled across this little guy. I wonder if these are more useful than a club to prevent your car from getting stolen??

 

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The randomness of big city living…

From atop Bernal Hill at the

I live in San Francisco.  San francisco although small in size is definitely what i would still consider a big city.  Yes it has a dense population Yes it is a civic and international destination.  And yes… randomness like this does still (for the time being) still occur.

Let me set the scene for you… We (our household) has two issues we are dealing with in regards to harassment.

Continue reading

What is up with the arrogant attitudes of the new influx of San Francisco residents towards those that they are displacing? Even the mayor’s!

The SFBG (San Francisco Bay Guardian) wrote the most dead on point article on SF’s housing crisis and Mayor Ed Lee’s acknowledgement of it (as well as partial cause).  It is so well written that i am including  it in its entirety.   Thank you SFBG!!

Ed Lee’s State of the City: What evictions? What displacement?

01.28.13 – 12:54 pm | Tim Redmond |

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Mayor Ed Lee punctuated his State of the City speech with a nice little quip: “Every San Franciscan deserves a clean, safe place to call home.” I agree.

So why, in a speech lasting more than an hour, did the mayor not once mention that thousands of San Franciscans are facing the loss of their homes — and will be forced out of the city — because of the same policies that he’s proudly promoting?

These things are always self-congratualtory and full of the requisite bullshit. But Lee’s description of the State of the City was nothing more than a fantasy to the two-thirds of San Franciscans who live in rental housing, many of whom are living with an unacceptable level of insecurity. Much of the city’s rental stock — and the effectiveness of rent control — is at risk at speculators are buying up properties, tossing the tenants out with the Ellis Act, and converting them to tenancies in common. This is a massive civic crisis, brought on in part by the boom in tech jobs and the consequent boom in high-paid young people who want to live in a city that has virtually no vacant housing.

We saw this before, under Mayor Willie Brown; we called it the Economic Cleansing of San Francisco. It was awful, and it’s happening again.

But you wouldn’t know that to hear the mayor completely ignore the issue.

Oh, Lee gave it a toss-off line; gee, the rent is too high, but we can’t ignore the laws of supply and demand. Gee, we’re going to build 45,000 new housing units, and that will fix everything.

But Lee, of all people, ought to know that housing in San Francisco has never followed the laws of supply and demand. This is a highly irregular market, because demand is essentially unlimited. Housing fills us as fast as you build it. And none of the new housing that’s currently under construction or in the pipeline will be affordable to current SF residents who live in rent-controlled units and are at risk for eviction.

When you’re evicted under the Ellis Act in San Francisco today, to make room for someone with more money, you wind up having to leave the city. That’s the bottom line. And everywhere you turn, tenants are facing that ugly prospect.

The mayor spent much of his time talking about jobs. That’s fine; he’s proud that the unemployment rate in the city has fallen to 6.5 percent, but he insists he won’t rest until everyone has a job. Actually, most economists would say that’s impossible; capitalism, by its nature, exists with a structural unemployment rate that rarely falls below 4 percent. In fact, 4 percent is generally considered “full employment.”

More important, the overall rate is 6.5 percent, but it’s way higher for people without college degrees, for youth, and for African Americans. (It’s above 50 percent for transgender people.) The tech boom isn’t providing jobs for all of the unemployed current San Francisco residents; a lot of the jobs are going to people who don’t live here and are moving here for employment. They are putting pressure on the existing housing stock. That always leads to displacement.

None of this is to say that tech jobs are bad or that we shouldn’t have companies that pay high wages locate in San Francisco. What it means is that the city first has to protect its existing vulnerable populations — and that’s not happening.

I would encourage Mayor Lee to talk to the Housing Rights Committee, or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, or any of the other tenant lawyers who are fighting desperately every day to state off evictions. He’d get a very different picture of the state of the city.

I of course can not NOT comment on a topic i have such a personal interest and stake in (I have seen this happen twice now in 20 years all being within the last 12.)
A commenter wrote… (and annon. of course… CHICKEN!)…

but it will be a significant help for those at the margin.

Some migration of low-income SF’ers from SF to Oakland ir probably natural, helpful and desirable.

This short sentence really irked me.  BADLY.  It is this smug attitude that this new migration is brimming with and it really makes me steam.   Here is my response…

That is… EXCEPT when it is your turn to be forced out of the place you have contributed to and called your home for 20, 40 or 60 years.  Then you will probably leave out that last word and maybe the term “helpful” as well.  Then you will know that every word that the author just wrote is DEAD ON TARGET.  If you think there is a problem with what the author is saying, i would bet anyone $100 that you have not lived in SF for more than 10 years and more likely only around 1-4 years.  YOU are the displacers!  Dont you see?  Do you feel any empathy to what pain you are causing good people that are losing their livelyhoods because you are here now and are working in a new field that many reg. SF residents are not professionals in.  Anyone over 40 was not born and raised with ANY computer until maybe like age 20!  How on earth could anyone in the older sector ever compete with the youth generation.  Where is any empathy or remorse with the people that are taking over SF?  It seems like they like to argue for their new SF but dont acknowledge any part that they may play in the negative aspects.  Pass the responsibility to the poor victims that they are creating… that seems to be the general attitude i have observed with this new influx.  There is not a lot of respect.  And NO acceptance for diversity!  That is what this town is made from.  It is a really sad day. I thank you author for summing up my daily thoughts perfectly.  The ones that dont, will probably never get it….

What do you think the answer to this civic nightmare?  Any thoughts?  I think you get the gist of mine if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time!… Thanks for reading!

Inside (and in site) the mind of a former heroin addict and gang member… What are these muggers M.O. and motivation?

Not a gang… just a group….

I am sure that you (San Francisco) have heard about the rash of muggings going on in Bernal Heights.  We held our first Bernal Safety neighborhood meeting tonight at Bernal Community Center to get together and exchange information and discuss ideas to help us all stay safe.  The meeting was filled with a lot of information and ideas/suggestions most of which i am sure will be well outlined on http://www.bernalwood.wordpress.com by morning (if not, i will write a post in the morning with the update, because tonight, i want to give you this inside scoop).

After the meeting, i went home and got a call from a friend.  We began talking about what was going on and i gave him the basic low down.  This friend of mine did not used to be the way he is today and he tells me matter of fact that i would NOT have liked him at ALL if i would have met him back then.  Not many people did.

Back then, my friend was a bad heroin addict and was a legitimate gang member.  He had a bad habit and was not unfamiliar with violence and crime.  This is some of the things he says he feels about these perps.  Mind you, these are just his insights and opinions not the iron truth about the perpetrators.  However knowing him, he is probably pretty close to right on target….  Let the information begin….

  • The first thing that he told me was that they are probably taking the money to flip it to buy drugs to flip that to make bigger money.  Most likely there is a drug connection.
  • He is really insistant on this one… they are most likely NOT affiliated with a gang.  In the gangs, blacks and hispanics do not inter-mingle.  In fact, there is a lot of bad blood between the two races in the gangs. So he thinks that they are NOT gang affiliated but just 3 guys that most likely are….
  • Living here and are probably NATIVE San Francisco-ers.  They know this city and the neighborhood too well.  The nooks and crannies.  That tells that they have spent a lot of years tooling around the city streets and feel right at home here on main OR small streets.
  • They probably live near Bernal… possibly in the lower lying lands.  Most likely in a rougher neighborhood where illegal activity and violence are an every day thing for them to see since they were small.  This is their world and their lifestyle.  Crime is what pays when getting a job out there is virtually impossible (especially if you dropped out of high school or come from an impoverished neighborhood that does not show opportunities to its youth the way wealthy and affluent neighborhoods seem to.. (and even those neighborhoods kids are having a hard time not to mention the adults).
  • He said that he really doubts that they want to shoot and kill anyone.  They dont want to increase the incarceration time involved with a murder if caught.  The violence or threat of violence does enough.  They still accomplish their goal.  If they wanted to kill somebody they would have by now.   I questioned this since they most likely are the same ones that shot the guy in the hand at 30th and mission last week and pistol whipped a victim.  But he remains very insistant on this not being the case.  He says not because they have feelings about taking a life but because the consequences involved if caught.  (that makes more sense).
  • My friend said that his options to come up if he was dope sick and needed drugs was either to steal it or to sell his body.  He chose the first but he said

    “I did what i needed to do when i was dope sick on heroine.  Robbing people was an easy way for me to do that. “

  • They are probably living in a very poor native neighborhood where crime is an every day happening.  It is a way of life.  Poverty and drug abuse and violence is a way of life.  They are probably living in or near the projects and most likely have an (at least one) abusive parent(s). 

There you have it folks.  From the mouth of someone who (seriously regrets his actions as a youth) has lived it first hand.

It is also something to think about… People can change.  People can make better lives and choices for themselves.  People are often just a product of their environment and until we have walked a day in someone else’s shoes, we really could not know what it is like to have to live their life.  Anyone can make a change for the better in their lives.  I personally know someone who managed the impossible and did so. He corrects me and says he is still IN the process of DOING so.

I say… good for him!

By the way.  I am so glad that i still live in a true old school mentality of neighborhoods.  It feels like it used to.  I love the fact that we are all working together.  Strength in numbers and knowledge is power.  You are AWESOME BERNAL!!

South Bernal ladies… Be aware! Armed muggings in primetime off of Cortland Ave. (2 incidents in the last 3 days within 3 blocks) **UPDATED!

2 muggings off and on Cortland Ave. in the last 3 days.

***UPDATE***

We have a description of a vehicle thanks to neighbor and victim Miranda.  Here is her words for you to hear and be on the watch for!  Once again, thanks Miranda…

MirandaJan 27, 4:32 pm

“I am a victim from november and from one it sounds like onr of the originals. I will be there tonight and i really hope there are police officers there.”

…That there is the neighborhood meeting tonight (Sunday) at 7:30 at Martha Brothers Coffee which is on the corner of Cortland & Ellsworth.  Hope they catch them soon!

—bluepearlgirl—

________________________________________________________________________

Ladies (and gentlemen too!), We need to be extra careful when walking in the neighborhood right now.  The last two nights there have been 2 incidents where ladies were held up at gunpoint and robbed.

The scary thing about these robberies is that they both happened at around 8:30-8:45pm! This is prime time people.   Practically still daylight!

The first incident happened two nights ago (tuesday) at about 8:30pm, a group of four ladies were walking on Cortland Ave. and were held up at gunpoint around in front of Taco Los Altos.  They were approached by 3 young adults (2 hispanics and 1 black males) were reported to have gotten out of a car (i am sorry, i do not know the make and model).  The ladies were held up and had their money and cel phones and purses taken from them.

Be Safe!

Tonight they struck again.  As i approached the grocery store to buy some dinner, i saw 2 police officers talking with a young well dressed girl right outside the store.  The girl was well put together but clearly shaken.  I inquired inside and was told that she was held at gunpoint as well just one block from the grocery store one block down Andover at Jarboe.  To add insult to injury, not only did they take her purse and phone, but also took her GROCERIES!!  Can you believe the nerve?!

The Good Life Grocery store on Cortland & Andover St.

A last incident that should be noted. There was another incident this week down at 30th and Mission St.  A guy was stopped by 3 young men at around 4am and was held up at gunpoint.  The guy refused to give up his phone and wallet and in the process was shot by the assailants in the hand.  I do not know if this is the same group of kids that preyed on the ladies the last couple days but it sounds pretty similar.  I wouldnt be surprised if it were the same people doing the strong arming.  They are all currently still at large.

An unnamed worker at The Good Life also told me that another thing that he thought these guys seem to be preying on are possibly intoxicated ladies.  I am not sure why he believed this and didnt press him to explain why.  I wish i had though to ask about the vehicle involved but i will look into it and get back to you all with updated information.

Dont be a hero! Be safe!!

Keep your eyes peeled ladies.  If you get stopped by a robber with a weapon, GIVE THEM YOUR ITEMS THEY ARE REQUESTING!  Your stuff can be replaced.  Your life can not!  Walk in well lit places and if at all possible, take one of the one way streets going the opposite way so you can see anyone who is coming toward you.  Put a lock on your phone.  Download a phone tracking/retrieving app (i have findmyiphone and its free!) maybe cary pepper spray and keep your eyes open.

These kids are going to be caught.  Possibly soon.  They are possibly minors and possibly do not have a record so it may take a little longer than one would expect for an adult but these kids are so bold and brazen and prolific that it is just a matter of time before they are caught.  Just keep your eyes and ears open and you are aware of your surroundings.  AND BE SAFE!

**********************************UPDATE**************************************

As it turns out, while witnessing the aftermath of victem number 1 last night, those brazen bastards actually strong arm robbed TWO more times just less than THREE blocks from where the fucking COPS WERE!!  Not only that but after visiting the comments in Bernalwood (http://bernalwood.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/wave-of-muggings-continues-near-cortland-avenue/) It looks like these have been possibly been going on since November and also over in Potrero and Glen Park neighborhoods which makes sense since they are two of our neighboring neighborhoods.  Bottom line folks… If you are just going to the store, only carry what you absolutely need.  Leave the iphone and the whole wallet at home if you are smart.  That way at least they wont get our whole lives in one fell swoop.  Be safe Bernal!  AND KEEP YOUR EYES & EARS OPEN AND OBSERVING YOUR BLOCK!!

One of the reasons i love San Francisco but especially Bernal Heights….

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Stencil of SF Giants pitcher Brian Wilson.

Stencil of SF Giants pitcher Brian Wilson.

Graffiti PURPOSELY PLACED on a home on the west slope of Bernal. I believe that our neighborhood has either 3 or 4 of these stencils up. They are done by an artist from Oakland (aka the old sf!)… Hopefully Wilson will have completely recovered from the Tommy Johns surgery and he is impressing Bocce a LOT… enough for us to offer him a competitive contract. Because at this point, Mr. Wilson is a free agent. How could we lose the beard that we all should fear?? What will i wear on game day??!! Dilemmas! Oh well, i am going to enjoy my bearded misfit champion team with Brian Wilson a part of the mismatched symphony of players and hope for the best!

Here is a photo hike around Bernal Hill at sunset with San Francisco looking oh so beautiful!

The bright flood light on the horizon is Candlestick park.

You for a rare change can see Mt. Diablo off on the left horizon.

This cute pair i stumbled upon, Ryan & Cassandra, who were driving the coolest 1970’s Mopeds!

One of their Mopeds parked on Bernal Heights Blvd.

Not only is this cool moped called “Swinger” but even more stylish, it is made by JC Penny’s!

The city beyond.

Downtown with the Bay bridge on the right.

The Eiffel Tower of San Francisco… Sutro Tower!

See the sky? It is fighting between day and night.

almost straight ahead (unable to be seen her but it is there!) the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mighty Sutro Tower atop Mt. Sutro (aka Twin Peeks)

Night has won the fight and the lights of the city have come on, but it is still somewhat light. I love this 5 minutes of the day!

And as soon as it comes, the light of day is gone and night is upon us. Looking at Sutro Tower from Holly Park, one of the oldest parks in the city.

I walk around my neighborhood almost every day so you all have seen some photos from this location.  The fantastic thing is that it has 360 degree views of San Francisco and it is filled with the nature.  Life could be worse!  I love you San Francisco!

Supervisors reinstate Mirkarimi, rejecting Lee’s interpretation of official misconduct | SF Politics OH HELL YEA!!!

Supervisors reinstate Mirkarimi, rejecting Lee’s interpretation of official misconduct | SF Politics.

This is the first victory for the old progressive SF since our awful and horrid mayor ED LEE took (stole) office!

See folks.  No matter how much political witch hunting and lies and public pushing of their agenda, the truth still rules the law!  I think greedy Ed Lee fucked himself up by lying on the stand when asked if he tried to talk him into stepping down and he said no because he not only asked Ross, but a couple other sups.  including Aaron Peskin who said he would not lie and take the stand if called.

This is the beginning of the end for our fucked up mayor Ed Lee.  I hope at least.  He deserves to be recalled!  What a waist of tax payer money!!

Fleet Week’s Blue Angels final day flying. Seen from atop Bernal Hill. Oh what a beautiful day!!

I dont think that once in the last 20 years, have i seen an entire week (yes i mean 7 whole days!  and it is still going now!!) with incredible weather during Fleet Week.  Usually we get a couple days, but (as in last year), the fog came in right around the time they started flying and only were able to do one trick and pass over the bay before having to call it.  Some years, they dont even fly.  If they cant see their plot points it is very dangerous as well as if it is too foggy, we cant see them.  This week though, none of that issue as you can see below.. It was maybe the most beautiful weathered Fleet Week in the last 2 decades!  It was really awesome. :)

Blue Angels doing their loop-de-loop over SF bay. Thank heavens they use the smoke or i’d have never been able to capture it on my iphone!

One of my favorite members of the Blue Angels team… FAT ALBERT!

From atop Bernal Hill at the top by the Microwave tower. the little speck in the sky fat albert leaving scene of the fly by!

Oh what a view!

That speck up there is not a plane, but a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk.

Neighbor and his boy were enjoying the sites at the top too. They were very nice.

Hey hey hey!

Oopsie… a little bit of trouble atop the tower. I dont know if the girl who was running on the roof of the tower got arrested or just warned. Note… should never trespass on city govt. property while hundreds of people are there watching.

whoops. another guy being talked to by the popo. i saw him later though so they let him go. yea.

pretty steep up here at 436 feet up.

while we are here, lets check out our 49ers! Candlestick is just to the left of the bluff.

I hope you enjoyed the photo recap.  I know we dont have the best view to see all the exciting flying, but i personally think that 1. the views of the city make it worthwhile!  And 2. not having to fight the traffic makes it all doable!

Another day on the red chert hill if bernal! Isn’t the light beautiful?

A little over a month ago, I woke up one morning and had this total click into different way of life. I started hiking a couple of miles up and down the steep hills of San Francisco’s bernal heights. Where I live (about 350 vertical feet up from sea level in not quite 3 blocks, and another 150 for the next two which get me up to Barnal heights blvd that goes around the hill (if you walk the loop it is .02mi. Short of a mile. Shoot, I can easily go a mile just going the couple blocks to the bank or store on cortland (depending on how much isle strolling I do and what path I take. So, the other day, I was doing my hike up and around the rock and the light was just magic. It was an incredibly beautiful day over the weekend with the Americas Cup at sail at the opposite end of sf. It is just to prove to the world that sometimes one should think of stepping out of the gym and into the world. The payoff’s are so good that you can actually forget that your legs are burning and actually feel a little piece of the universe coming back into you!

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This also was the day we buried our beta fish Tyrone. Fitting I thought. Angelic almost!

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My really Really bad day… part 2.

So, so far today, things have seemed to have reversed back to the hopefully smooth with good planning day with a little bit of smooth working luck.  A far cry from yesterday!

My day ended after a visit to my local dispensary (which i truly think is the one main thing apart from it being a beautiful and fairly warm non windy / foggy day that allowed me to get through it).  After sitting down for a few minutes and watching the Celtics vs. Miami game in the first quarter.  After chitchating about how tough it has got to be for all of the big basketball sized guys who were not born with gazelle like coordination with the guy that worked there, i left.  (I had a roommate like this who was 6’6″ and wore a size 16 shoe but had absolutely no coordination.  Poor guy!).

Anyway, i proceed to Big Lots where i quickly gobble up the items i needed (which happened to be things like laundry detergent and dish soap and condiments and bread mix etc.  Not light things.)  I decided that i would shop heavy and take the bus up to the top of the hill.  I threw my back out the day before and re-injured it that morning and was not taking any chances ascending 400 feet in less than 3 blocks with 4 heavy bags.

I was not in a hurry and knew that patience on a day this that was going to be the only thing that will allow me to get through it unscathed.  I walk out of Big Lots and check my Routsey app to see when the next MUNI was expected.  It said 22 minutes.

22 minutes eeh.  I have to walk a block and a half to the bus stop which would take about as long in minutes and then i got a good 19+ minutes to enjoy the sunset.

The bus stop is in front of the gas station on 30th and Mission, opposite the Walgreens. When the gas station changed hands about a year ago, a 7-11 went in.  This is a fantastic thing to come into this part of town.. Slurpees and good coffee and cheap(ish) cigarettes… a good combo!

I decided that this would be a perfect time to get myself a cup of coffee or hot chocolate for my nice late afternoon break/bus wait.  I set down my bags and proceed to make myself the most perfect afternoon cup of hot chocolate coffee!  It had it all!  1/2 & 1/2 a mocha creamer and a white chocolate creamer, a little sugar and 4 packets of non dairy creamer along with a good 2/3 colombian roast!  It looked to be the perfect dessert cup of afternoon coffee!  I paid and went to the bus stop.  There is a concrete shelf/wall/bench that holds the plantings in behind the bus stop that makes for a perfect little squat while waiting for the 24.  

Without ever taking a sip of the coffee, I go on knock it to the ground where it showered my foot and the right lower half of my body as well as the sidewalk.  I never got a taste.  I started to laugh.  I should have known.  It was visibly apparent that this was just another event in my highly jinxed day.  That was the prelude to the final injustice.  The 6 block MUNI experience (i can not bring myself to call it a ride.  It was so much more!  It only took about an hour and 10 minutes or so to get there.  Let me tell you.

note the flip flop

Ok.  sitting there with my spilled coffee and incredibly stick shoe and my bags of stuff.  I start talking with a couple of other locals about the egregious rental inflations and gentrification of the city which was good and bonding.  We needed this to maintain our victimized insanity that would soon unfold.

some of the cool locals in this MUNI mess with me.  and below, my bags remained unscathed!  Yea!

Ok.  Bus #1… The 22 minute bus.  I had been waiting for 22 minutes at about 5:45pm so needless to say, there were quite a few of us getting on.  It is also a big unboarding stop for the 24.  It is the last stop before it goes up and over Bernal to the Bayview so people who live east board, people who have come from Divisadero & Castro street usually most of them unboard here.  After awaiting the bus to unload, we start to board.  We get about 1/2 boarded and the driver tells us to unboard because he is taking that bus offline.  Another bus will be there soon.  He didnt know how long.

I descend the steps of the bus and in doing so, proceed to pull apart my flipflop at the toe.  Lucky for me though it was so sticky that it stuck to my goddamn foot and i made it back to the concrete bench.

I look on my Routsey app again and it says 5 min. and 6 min. are the next busses to be arriving.  I looked at that 6 min. bus but got once again caught up in conversation so when the 5 min. bus arrived, i got on it.

A wheel chair boarded and while this was happening, the 6 minute bus blazes around us.  I dont even know if he stopped at that stop.  I knew i should have tried to get on that bus!  So now the #3 bus was in position #2.  #1 was heading back to the barn.

We get the wheel chair guy boarded and proceed to wait.  And wait.  We probably were loaded onto the bus waiting for at least 8 stop light rotations.  A LONG time.  Finally the bus doors close and we wait about another minute and FINALLY finally turn the corner from 30th onto Mission.

We only go one block and turn left onto Cortland st… or so it was expected to.  We turn the corner and get maybe 2 bldgs. past the gas station and there is BUS #1 STOPPED ON THE SIDE!!  We couldnt believe it.  We pull up behind the first bus instead of getting into the left lane to turn left.

After a few seconds of talk between the drivers, we are informed that we must unboard and go across the street and wait at the stop at the corner of Cortland for the next bus.

If you want to see or hear a group of unhappy riders, i got a front row seat.  Me being one of them too, but, knowing how cursed i was doomed to be before the day even started, I felt almost responsible for all of these people being within the destructive radius of my jinxed luck of the day.  It must have been my doing!  It just doesnt take an hour and 4 busses to make it 8 blocks these days with MUNI. (in the 1990’s especially the early part, this would not have been too unusual).

Finally about 8 minutes and the 4th bus arrived and safely carried up the big ass hill to my final assend to my home.

I made it home finally and just started cracking up.  It was so bad of a day that it was humorous.  But just the little stupid things.  The big stressful things that went wrong got sorted out well.  It took a long time but things went better than expected when it comes to the shit that could have unraveled my life in the span of an afternoon.  It was this that was being worked on and could have gone either way.  I got really Really lucky!

Probably because of this, i took all the hilarious fails with a breath and patience and made it home FINALLY in one whole piece!  What a day!

Typical walk to go to the store…. Welcome to my neighborhood of Bernal Heights.

I decided that i would take some photo’s of what i see when i walk to the store.  It is about 8-10 blocks away and down a huge hill to get to.  So i take my time when at all possible.

One of the first things i come across upon my descent is one of my more favorite houses… the “red house” as i call it.  It sits on a strange triangular piece of property which makes this house a little unusual.  And totally adorable!

You can see the red house and its strange property shape here by looking straight ahead beyond the bushes and shurbs.  There is a walkway on both sides of the house and i am about to show you the left walkway next.

…shortcut stairs to Virginia Street.

This is the view from the middle of the path on the way down.  Notice our beautiful Mount Sutro lounging in a little fog….


 

 

After going down, one has to come back up.

And this is now where i introduce you to my little park… the Eugenia Steps….  These steps are great because, first, they are wonderfully cared for by a caring neighbor who takes pride in his work (birdie told me that there was nothing but weeds until he had gotten ahold of it.  Now it is really clean and well tended!  Thank you sir!)  We start at the bottom looking up in this first photo

Now we are looking down the steps from closer to the top.  This is probably about 300 ft. rise from the store at the bottom.

…and because we are so far up there now, it affords us some beautiful views and a place to sit and enjoy them! Yea!

…looking west….

looking north towards the mission.

and on to the last little leg of the steps….


and one last departing shot while the branches of the trees swing apart in the wind long enough to get a photo….

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of my route to the store at the bottom of the hill.  It being so beautiful sure helps the pain of walking up almost 400 feet straight up.  Keeps one from needing a thigh master though!

Here is my little taste of San Francisco from way up there and there.

I would not be posting this post if it were not for my diligent neighborly comrades over at missionmission.org and buritojustice.com.  They have been so generous and wise to post these two videos.  I thought since i watched the clips within 20 minutes of each others tweets, it must be telling me silently to post the two and make it a theme day!

I really haven’t posted too much on San Francisco, although it is not just a city i live in to me.  I will go into the details of me learning of my lineage to one of the iconic founders of this beautiful town and the learning adventure it has sent me upon that is still in full study mode even today.

This city is filled with amazing, crazy, bizarre, heart warming, heart breaking stories.  It always has been.  It seems as time goes on, it is becoming more and more behaved with each decade that passes.  It sure makes it fun for me to be able to go back and learn about my ancestors while so much insanity and debachary existed.  Makes me feel a little less like a black sheep and more like right at home!  I love you San Francisco!

 

flying high above Delores Park. *notice the new childrens play structure in the center as well as a beautiful crash landing!*

http://fuckyeahnoisebridge.tumblr.com/post/22113623796/sebastian-flies-a-plone-over-delores-park

 

This is our mascot of SF.  It may not be the Eiffel Tower but, you’d be surprised… It can really grow on you.  Like that really ugly guy that ends up becoming so endearing that he becomes adorable. Kinda like that.  Anyway, here is our beloved mascot… Sutro Tower.

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This bathroom was just too funny to pass up sharing it with you!

We have this cute little shop down on Cortland St. that is a used kids clothing store.  In the very back of one side (they are in side by side storefronts that make up the store), they sell used womens clothes.   I love shopping in this secret little gem of ours but i never try anything on.  It is so cheap i just figure if it doesnt fit right i will just donate it back.

Anyway, one day i decided i had to see if these pants fit.  They were with stretch and i did not know if they would make it all the way around.  When i went into the bathroom, this is what i saw…

…With hand sanitizer and money for our tip jar!

 

Note.  Sign says please do not put paper in the toilet.  The water for the sink didnt work, BUT they did have hand sanitizer instead so everything is okay!  I also love the tip container.  I would put money on the fact that they put the money in to make people think it is the right thing to do….  I was cracking up!  Broken sink, broken toilet, hand sanitizer and a tip jar!  Perfect!

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I have noticed since my own Grandma’s passing just how many of us use WordPress to express mourning.

I started my blog, i think around last November.  I was inspired by our AWESOME local Bernalwood.Wordpress.com blog (which is one of the cleverest blog and communities that i have ever come across!) to start my own.  They were on WordPress so i signed up in turn.

It was incredibly easy to get stared.  It was however, a little bit harder to create a cohesive blog.  I did not even think about that when i started it.  I guess i just thought it would be about any and everything that interested me or that I found amusing or outrageous.  This lead to a lot of re-blogging.  I really felt a little like I was cheating by doing more of this than actual writing myself but i did not know in what direction to start these writings.

Then came December 23, 2011

My roommate had a cat named Tiki.  She was the runt, that was not breathing, from the litter from her mother, who was brought in as an alley cat and died shortly after giving birth.  Tiki may not have come into this world without a helping breath from Jason, but once she got here, she was a toughie!

When i moved into the house, Jason was not home very much (like i mean ever!) and the other roommate ended up mostly feeding her .  As soon as i got there, I was it.  I was adopted new mommy. She picked me as her mom and was by my side from that day forward.  She slept with me, she was fed by me, she even went on a short  walk around the block with me.  She was basically mine by then.  But she was also Jason’s because he raised her. We both loved her very very much.

On December 23, 2011, she died.  It was one of them most awful, violent, horrendous experiences I have ever had to witness.  I think i will always be a little bit traumatized from watching her writhe in pain and howl, with blood coming out of her mouth, over about 20 LONG minutes until she finally died.

I was NOT prepared!  I knew she was 19 years old, but to go out in such a painful way….  It was just awful to every sense of the word.

That moment was when it all came together for me.  That was the time that i decided to do my 10 day homage to Tiki, ending on Dec. 31, 2011.  I thought i would be able to grieve and honor her and also start my new year with some closure.  (It also helped that the next day after she died, i rescued Arthur from being put to death by about 2 hours on Christmas Eve.

Since then, i have had 2 friends pass as well as my Grandma.  Maybe i am extra aware of it because it is so fresh, but i really have been noticing how a lot of people use WordPress as a vehicle to pay homage to those that we love, that we lose.

I know for me personally, it has been EXTREMELY cathardic to the point of almost therapy to have had this outlet to use to express all the emotions tied up in that kind of loss.  From what i keep seeing on people’s blogs, I think others have found this too.

It is really cool because not only can you alert people that you have had a loss, but, you can do a tribute to that person so that their death becomes less about you and your greif, and more about the person you lost and their life.

So for this amongst a lot of other things, I thank you WordPress. for creating a forum for all of us to honor those we have loved and lost!

I miss you Grandma, Tiki, Big Ben and Lentle (this is the dec-april 2012 list).  I hope you are in a place with no stress and pain and only positive energy that surounds your spirit!  I am looking up or out or around at you and i hope you are looking down or over or through or however it might work, to see how much the people in your life love and appreciate you.

(I could not do a piece on loss without saying ‘love you little guy’ to my kitty Sasha who passed away in 2007.  Still feels like yesterday

(above: Tiki about 3 months before her death.)

.

(Above: Sasha and Me circa. 2003.)

(above: Family (dad taking picture) circa 1978 with Grandma leading us to our departure gate)

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A clarification of my blog. What it is about, and where it is headed in 2012.


I have been doing some 2012 new thinking lately.  A few things are creating this need to reflect upon my life and what it is all about not to mention this blog.

I started this blog as a neighborhood blog and posted on relavent things that i was interested in (Art and design and craft and clever things.)  It quickly became an outlet for an extreem and sudden loss of my roommates kitty  (who was mine by this time because she had adopted me almost immediately upon moving in 2 years prior and my roommate rarely came home).  She was 19 so it was her time, but it was an incredibly sudden and violent death.  VERY traumatizing.  It all happened over about 20 minutes of horrific body spasms and drooling a lot of blood.  The most heart wrenching yeowling in body writhing pain right on my bed in front of me.  My roommate happened to be home at the time (OH THANK GOD!!) and we were all crying and screaming and telling her it was ok to let go and that we loved her.)  She died in my roommates arms.  Just where she should have because she was born not breathing and he breathed for her and she came to life and so i guess one could say it was full circle.  Regardless, it was HORRIBLE to have had to watch.  I was devastated as was everyone who witnessed it.

My blog now had turned into a healing and honoring device that helped me create closure with the loss.  I also got my new little kitty Arthur 2 days after Tiki died.  The loss of her life allowed me to save little Arthur who was slated to be put to death the following day at 3pm.  I picked him up at 1pm.  He was so terrified but has really come so far in just 3 short months.  He now sleeps and hangs out on not under the bed and now has even let several people other than myself pet him.  Every day or two i have a new breakthrough with him it seems.  It is really rewarding.  And as he becomes more comfortable he shows more and more of his personality.  He is hilarious.  A true character.  More to come on this in the future, but i must get back to my original point.

I went to a great little store opening tonight down the street so i could check it out and do a posting on it (watch for it.  I am going to go back and do some photographing without all of the people there to showcase this cool shop that sells electric bycicles)  I asked someone who the owner was to get permission to take a few photos.  I explained to him that i wrote a little blog.  I may have even said neighborhood blog, but i realize that i have moved from writing and posting really relavent things to me, i had begun using it in a similar way to facebook.  It was a depository of reposted blogs that i thought were interesting with a few personally written blogs intermixed.  I think i needed to do this because not only was i mourning the death of our kitty but also two friends and an ended relationship of a year.  I was really stressed out, scattered and depressed.  The blog although was not my own writings as much, kept me still looking for things that impacted me in a profound enough way to believe it worthy of rebloging or posting.

There is nothing wrong with doing this.  It creates a depository of relavent entertainment to the times pertaining to my life.  A snapshot of culture from my perspective so to say.  But when i started to think about it, i realized that there was no real common thread to my blog.  I hadnt been writing as much about my city and neighborhood.  It was and is kinda all over the place.

I may not correct this 100% but i think it is time for me to really figure out what this blog of mine is all about.  Is it a sort of therapy?  Is it a modern culture statement?  Is it a design and art/craft showcase?  Is it a way to have a voice in this ever failing time?  I dont know, but i promise this to all of you sweet people who have followed the hodge podge of interests posted here so far, that I am going to start really writing again here.  In a sense it is going to also be part online journal.  A way for me to think aloud.

This works well in two ways.  First, i will not ever have to worry about another house fire putting my journals at risk or a move losing them, and second, i can write a lot more before my hands begin going numb while typing than writing.  I will still keep journals.  That will never leave me, but i am going to trust in the readers that they will accept my writing as a thank you to them listening to my thoughts.

It will also continue to be a neighborhood blog as well as a city blog.  However,  i havent wanted to start getting too upset and angry in my observations, and lately, that has been the thoughts associated with things that i see happening in this (once) GREAT! and now Good city of San Francisco (see posting on Sherif Ross Mirkirimi’s political witch hunt).  So i am going to write what i am pondering and what i feel and what i see around me and what i discover, and who i am.

I just thought that of this leap year with the Mayan calendar ending and all, i would begin to clarify my direction hopefully to both you all and to myself.

I look forward to seeing whats in store for us!  I hope you are too.

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Emelie Koshland’s spring 2012 collection looking for feedback! ;) thanks!

I  am so excited to FINALLY share with you some of my more recently finished pieces of jewelry.  These pieces have a special place in me because of the truly enormous amount of time and work that it takes to complete one of them.  Mind you, i do not forge the copper or hammer it into nice even round wire, but beyond that, i do everything else.

The beads are these pieces main focus.  The process for these (which i think is the funnest part of it all!) is to start with (usually) a piece of translucent polymer clay.  From there they get hand mixed with other polymer clay to create 100% unique beads.  There are not 2 alike.  I make canes sometimes and slice those into discs, (you can see these in the photo of the bracelet at the bottom of the page) which allow for a repeating pattern, but even those are hand tooled and slightly different from each other.

The wire chain is hand made links assembled by hand.  This is probably the hardest part on my hands.  When i am working on assemblage, my hands are usually blistered and cut up.  I do not mind though.  It is exciting to see these creations start to really take form so, on goes a band-aid as well as the show!

The final part is creating the clasp and clear coating the piece.  I used to buy clasps to use on my pieces until i started to see a trend in weak material.  They just didnt hold up so i began making my own clasp.  It works well because it allows a continuity to the piece.

I used to sell these at a gallery here in the Mission District in San francisco but havent in a while (after the inventory started to get thin and needed to do a new collection).  I would love to hear any feedback on wether you think it worth my time to try and sell these again.  Otherwise, i am stocked up for all of the females in my life for all kinds of gift needing holidays.  It is kinda a known thing.  I have been giving gifts like this for many years.  But it is okay as long as your motto is you can never have too much fun durable jewelry!

handmade by Emelie Koshland

bracelet by E. Koshland

supplies that have already been made.

the process of making a necklace with hand made links

e.koshland necklace

bracelet with discs.

It is time… I would like to share with you some of my own photography.

I hope you like my slideshow.  All photos were taken as is on a digital point and shoot camera.  NO photoshoping of any kind.  What you get is what you see.  I am just one lucky girl to have such a beautiful canvas to live within!  Enjoy!!  Any comments are surly appreciated by the way… :).

Burning man short… Now these are my people!

This is an excellently done short film based on Dr. Seuss’s poem “Oh, The places you will go!”.  This is one of the best examples of how my generation is oh so young at heart.  I am not the desert type thus never venturing to Burning Man, but these ARE my tribe.  Every one of them look familiar wether i know them or not.  I know what these guys are all about and this short film captures it perfectly!  Creative, Silly, Bizarre, Witty, Progressive, Free and Beautiful!

Turning that ugly table into beauty!

Whoever says that that old little table or dresser needs to be thrown away just because the top is all raggedy and torn up with water rings and missing finish?  In just an afternoon along with…

  1. An outdated datebook with full color images.
  2. An old ugly piece of wooden furniture.
  3. Sand Paper.
  4. Modge Podge.
  5. A paint brush.
  6. A cup of water
  7. And scissors.


The first thing you are going to do is spend an hour or two cutting the date book apart.  Cut out the artwork from the daily calendar.  Cut them clean and in a linear pattern (i used rectangles).

Next, go through your new stack of cut artwork finding the ones that work best together.  I usually go by a color story rather than an image theme, but the choice is yours.

Then you will want to sand the top of the table making sure all lifting sealant has been removed and it is sanded down to be able to have a solid foundation for adhering.

Wipe table free of saw dust.

Starting in a corner, take your Modge Podge and dilute it a little bit with water and apply it to the table.  Also apply the Modge Podge to the back of the artwork.  Lay wet on wet.  Taking your brush with undiluted Modge Podge, paint the top of the piece of art applying from the center out, removing air pockets with the brush as you apply.

Continue until you have all pieces down and top is covered.  Let completely dry.

Apply another coat of Modge Podge over the whole table to seal it.

and… Voila!  You can turn this…

into… this!

Finished table.

Mission Street rapist has been caught!

Thank you to whoever it was that called in the tip that got this monster arrested!  BRAVO!!  I can now breathe a sigh of relief walking around town now.   Police are asking anyone with any further knowledge to please contact SFPD.

http://www.kron4.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=2659

The sky was on fire tonight.

When I went outside tonight this is what I saw. I think this is the closest thing to what I would consider to look like the sky being on fire.

It was really beautiful!

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A new year, a new piece of jewelry for me to make…

I started back about 5 or 6 years ago making some jewelry when i had to drop out of school and move down to my dad’s house for a year due to a apt. fire.  While living down there in the south bay, i was going stir crazy.  I could not do sculpture, ceramics, print making, or any other really messy heavy equipment involved arts due to the lack of space.  I started discovering the joys of polymer clay.

I am a true color girl.  I LOVE color.  I like the way they react with one another, i like how they make us feel, i like how, kinda like music, can either make or break a mood.

I began making some jewelry using copper wire (that is sealed so not to tarnish) because i could afford it along with polymer clay.  The degree of complexity one can do with polymer clay is immense (sorta how ceramics is).  It may be a form of plastic and you may be able to cure it in a 220 degree oven, but it does not lack the difficulty i crave.  There are a lot of little things that got improved or adjusted over the years.  The beads are still not totally round, the links are not exactally the same size, etc, but i really think that that is what i LOVE about these pieces.  They are truly one of a kind.  They are TOTALLY hand made.  They are made with true passion and care.  AND they are just cool.

I have decided to post one of my pieces for you to see and see a little of the process.  I hope you like it!  If you do, please let me know and leave a comment.  Thanks everyone!  Happy new year!