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La Côte d’SF

The San Francisco beach scene isn’t one usually included in the tourist brochure. Nor are there TV shows about lifeguards in skimpy swimsuits at Ocean Beach. Due to its cold weather and even colder water, San Francisco beach goers usually reserve beach trips for three things: bonfires, sunsets, or the occasional mid-day sunbath. While traversing San Francisco’s arctic beaches can seem daunting, with an adventurous spirit and a heavy jacket, one can tease out their magic.

Let’s begin with the most obvious, Ocean Beach. Spanning the length of the city, this is where you’ll end up if you simply turn west and walk. Wide and expansive, but with rough waves, this beach is best for sunsets, bonfires, and dolphin watching. At Kelly’s Cove under the Cliff House, where allegedly a man named Kelly served up soup during the Depression years, you’ll find brave-the-cold surfers flirting with the waves. For the common beachgoer, however, Ocean Beach is best reserved for romantic sunset walks.

North of Ocean Beach (and across from Robin Williams’ house) lies China Beach, in my opinion the best beach in San Francisco. With its ancient sunbathers, toilets, and showers, this is a prime mid-day sunbathing beach. There are waves but swimming is good beyond the break. Surrounded by cliffs, and with great views of Mile Rock and the Golden Gate Bridge, it is quiet, picturesque, and convenient.

Finally, if you want San Francisco diversity, head to Baker Beach in the Presidio. Crowded on nice days, this is a see-and-be-seen beach, especially beyond the northern rocks where clothing is optional. Great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a wide sandy beach characterize this spot.

So next time you’re craving some Californian coastline, pack a picnic, a towel, or even a swim suit, and head for la côte d’SF!

Guide to adopting a cat in San Francisco

Choosing your cat

Choosing your cat is important. While kittens are cute they are also not house-trained and can cause quite a bit of havoc. Go for a full-grown cat or try choosing a kitten that has been fostered (and consequently house-trained). It is also difficult to determine a kitten’s personality until they are several months old. Look for playful and friendly rather than just good-looking. If the cat comes to you to be petted at least you know it’s not skittish. Most of all use your intuition. Most cats get chosen because their owners felt that the cat called to them in some way.

Necessities

There are several things you will need before you bring kitty home. Try patronizing your local pet store, such as B & B Pet Supplies, rather than the chain stores. Here is a list of recommendations based on tried and true testing:

  • Cat bed such as Four Paws K-9 Keeper Sleeper Crate Pad (18.5″ x 14″)- B & B Pet Supplies
  • Clevercat top entry litterbox – Petco
  • Go Cat Cat Catcher toy- B & B Pet Supplies
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cat brush such as Tender Touch Slicker Wire Brush – B & B Pet Supplies
  • Nail clipper such as Jw Pet Company Gripsoft Delux Cat Nail Clipper – B & B Pet Supplies
  • Double Wide Cat Scratcher – Trader Joe’s
  • Pine cat litter – Trader Joe’s
  • Natural, high-quality dry food such as Bench & Field Holistic Natural Feline Formula – Trader Joe’s
  • or Nature’s Variety Prairie Cat Food – B & B Pet Supplies
  • Natural, high-quality canned wet food – Trader Joe’s
  • or Wellness canned cat food – B & B Pet Supplies
  • Cat carrier such as Camo Pet Carrier Backpack (folds easily away and cat can sit upright) – http://www.collectionsetc.com
  • Vet – Especially Cats Veterinary Hospital

Where to adopt from

While the SFSPCA looks great and it’s nice to know that the cats get to watch TV, try adopting from next door at the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Center, aka the pound. While the SFSPCA has a 97% Live Release Rate, the combined Live Release Rate with SF/ ACC is only 87%. Additionally the SF/ ACC gets first choice of abandoned animals, and usually has more to choose from since their animals are kept in smaller cages. More information can be found here. Additionally, it might also be worth checking out the Urban Cat Project which is run solely by volunteers.

All that’s left is a little TLC and new kitty and you will be on your way to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I Asked My Friend How Things Were Going Back In The Mother Country And This Is What He Said

basically… we guaranteed our banks instead of bailing them out or letting them fail.  At the time the banks approached the government and more or less said, we will all fold by morning unless you do this, everyone the economy will shut down.  It looked like a good idea but it assumed that the banks were being honest about their liabilities and balances.

They weren’t
So a small bank like anglo, we guaranteed all the deposits debts and bonds.  Which was supposed to be a total of around 8 billion.  well guess what, they were lying through their arses about what they had and what they owed.  the banks had all been lending each other money for the days to cover their yearly reports, it was the same money patching up each bank.  suffice it to say Anglo is now going to cost us at least 35 billion and rising..
The governemtn sold it to us saying it was to protect us the depositors… but the thing is places like anglo had fuck all depositors, they were business banks taking developers money and giving them loans, a relatively small amount of the population would have been hit.
In total across all our banks there is something like 140 billion owed, and we the public have been saddled with the debt, the estimates are though that said debt has been run up by around 100 people. people who have managed to more or less disappear with the money.  Like david drumm who absconded to the US and declareed bankruptcy there so we can’t touch him.
In addition the senior bondholders, you know, foreign billionaires like roman abramohvich, are refusing to take a hit on this, so we are going to have to pay them in full, even though all investments carry risks, they refuse to take any of the pain.  So we were more or less going to pay them off slowly, for the risks they took.
Alas last week Angela Merkel told the germans that germany was sick of handing out the money, cause the money we get will be substantially from germany.  So she said bondholders will have to take a hit.  Well the bond markets where we were getting our loans from didnt like that one bit and saw ireland as a bigger risk, so the price we were paying shot up.  It was unsustainable.
The government was going to bring in a cutting budget to calm the markets but they didnt bite, the markets are irrational, so now the ECB and IMF are in town to bail us out.  Which is a lie really, its a great big loan, from them instead of the bond markets.  Alas though it means they want some control of how things are run.
So basically everyone is pretty shitting it because the IMF has a history of well… screwing everyone for the sake of making the money back for their banking chums.  Also a history of undermining democracy, supporting right wing despots.. you know the drill.
In addition it is made more complicated by our magic bullet, the National Asset Management Agency, which was buying property etc off the big developers in trouble at knock down prices, to fix the property market and give those people some money to cover their debts.  Alas it turns out they have been paying handsomely for this shit, and when it comes to sell it again we will take a further hit.
So basically the free market capitalist economy fucked up, then held us all to ransom, 

and asked for government interference in the market to save their asses.  The people who believe in low taxes, no social welfare, private hospitals etc..well they fucked up and are now demanding we take care of them.  By doing so the IMF comes in and gets to impose a Chicago school system on us, the very cause of the problems, while ignoring the fallacy from their viewpoint of government market interference to help the big boys.  It shows idealogy means nothing, it is just a means to an end.

The reason we are sort of being forced to take the medicine though is that although we have a plan and some money of our own everyone else has the jitters.  You see the money we owe from our recent loans to cover the guarantee, well its german and english and eu money so they want it back. In addition, the money the banks lost…well its german and english investors and pension money.  So they are shitting it, if we go down, they take huge hits.  Also if we go down, Spain Portugal, Greece etc will be the next ones the bond markets cannibalise.  Which could topple the eurozone, and expose the rich countries to even greater risk cause if they go… well more of their money is in those banks too.
Also england who usually give us short shrift is worried, on the one hand they are filled with glee at the thoughts of our failure…but on the other hand we are their main export market.  haha.  They sell us more to us than Russia, Brazil, India and China combined.  Also lots of big london banks…well they put their money in irish banks.
Its a huge house of cards and they are all afraid.
In addition, due to the cuts, we get to cut our protection of the sick and poor, because we are helping the rich to remain in the lifestyle they are accustomed to.  Yet they still refuse to pay higher taxes.
Its like Social welfare for the rich and we all pay for it : (

The Best Month to Visit San Francisco

September. Harvest moon, indian summer, and long long legs!

A 30+ Guide to Moving in San Francisco

There is a time in one’s life when you finally make that real move. The one out of the studio, shared apartment, or Mom’s house and into a real space -with multiple rooms that are not turned into bedrooms. This is right around the time when you’re not necessarily looking for the cheapest option, but the right balance between convenience and the second cheapest option. Time and energy has become limited and far more precious.

This is also around the time when the idea of asking your friends to spend a whole weekend lifting heavy objects for some free beer and maybe dinner begins to seem ridiculous. Also the thought of them asking you to do the same thing seems daunting, not to mention everyone’s various aches, pains, and injuries.

This is when you make that milestone transition to hiring movers. Recently I riskily choose a moving company off Craigslist called Mygrate Movers. They came in at $100 an hour for 3 strong men and one large truck, about $50 less than regular movers. Fortunately it turned out to be about the best thing I could have done. Polite, respectful, and beyond that the strongest men (not men, beasts!) I’ve ever encountered, they were hard working and tireless. Hire them if you plan to move. Also plan to spend 4 more hours moving then you had originally, inadequately, planned.

The key to moving. Is boxes. And labeling the boxes with what’s inside and which room it belongs to because unpacking and deciding where to put things takes 1000x longer than packing. Many shops or groceries will give you free boxes otherwise Lowe’s or Home Depot have them for about $1.50 a box. Begin at least a week in advance. But a month beforehand it’s important to begin purging and getting rid off all the things you don’t want to take with you or haven’t used in a year. Believe me, it’s a spiritual experience.

Finally for all you piano players out there. No piano moving problem is too big for Golden Gate Movers. Yes, it might cost more than the entire rest of your move, but hey, you own a piano.

I Paid $70 For A Joan Jett Haircut Which She Probably Cut Herself

You know when you wake up with a song in your head and it reels over and over in your mind until you actually play it? This morning’s song was Crimson and Clover. In this fashion I discovered my awkward-growing-out haircut was actually a rockin’ Joan Jett haircut!

She, however, probably cut it herself, whereas I spent $70 on looking like I cut it myself.

It’s true that the guys and gals at Oxenrose know what they’re doing. I have seen all types, from suited Marina-types to my mother, go in there and come out looking fabulous. They exude the right too-cool-for-school atmosphere, are professional, and have pleasant conversation. But cool in this case comes with a hefty price tag.

However, if you are unskilled in the art of cutting your own hair, like me, you know the importance of a quality cut. They grow out nicely (like into Joan Jett haircuts), and come with free bang trims (also an important underrated skill).

Still when I see my self-cut friends I have to admire the rock n’ rollness of it. Unprofessional, messy, and choppy, it equates to a very sexy-i-don’t-give-a-damn look. Best of all it was free. More money to spend on albums. And what could be more rock n’ roll than that?

Knockout Show! Bridget St. John & Randazzo Robinson!

Sometimes you meet your friends at a show because they came all the way from Oakland and because it’s at The Knockout. Then, you run into your other friend coming out of the bathroom only to find out that it’s her band playing that night! This excites you, this, and also drinking with your friends on a week night.

When your friend’s band takes the stage you’re impressed at how good they’ve gotten over the years, and you feel happy for them. Then they are joined by Bridget St. John (in 1969 John Peel formed Dandelion Records in order to release her records) and the performance hits masterdom level. You become entranced and all of a sudden, in the presence of great art, life becomes beautiful.

Bridget’s performance had all the characteristics of a master musician. Her performance, voice, and playing were flawless.  The clarity of her voice as well as her annunciation impressed me. However, I felt her that own lyrics lacked, the rhyming becoming distracting, but this was only a slight flaw in an overall great performance.

There’s nothing like getting more than what you paid for, especially when it’s unexpected, but when you go to a $7 show that exceeds your expectations by a  long shot, that’s priceless!

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