Happy 2020! Is your NTP time still synched?

Well it is now the year 2020 and the only flying cars we have are Teslas on Autopilot careening into barriers on the freeway.

Merry Christmas Silicon Valley!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus and Happy Kwanza or whatever holiday you celebrate or don’t celebrate. The tech world is here for you. Ready to monetize, I mean make the world a better place with your data. 

Enjoy the low volume traffic on Bay Area roads and the quiet streets of the valley. They won’t be that way for long.

 

The classic Belgian Christmas Ale from St. Bernardus. Best enjoyed chilled in the snow. If you see snow in Silicon Valley you’re either on Mt. Hamilton during the rare below 4,000 foot snowstorm or you’re hangin’ out with the wrong crowd.

How can Shakes from Shake Shack San Mateo be this bad?






Shake Shack San Mateo fails at making a Shake! The word “Shake” is the first part of their name, Shake Shack! You’d think they would have at least the process of making of a shake down solid. But nope. Not yet. At least not at this location.

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Shake Shack sign in the North Block of Hillsdale Shopping Center

Shake Shack’s newest Bay Area location opened recently in the modern new addition of the Hillsdale Mall known as the North Block.

We have visited Shake Shack locations in London, New York and the Washington DC area, and while the locations have been busy and over hyped, the food was at least tasty and matched what we had ordered and paid for.

Here’s how we experienced the complete failure of Shake Shack’s signature shake on a recent visit. After having a great dinner at the fairly new Japanese Teishoku restaurant, YAYOI, also at the Hillsdale Mall we decided to give Shake Shack a try for a holiday dessert.

We waited in the line for shake orders as the automated kiosk was for meal orders. Some locations we’ve been to had separate lines just for drink orders but it depends on the location. The line moved along and we ordered the Coffee Fair Shake along with the seasonal “Pie Oh My” Concrete with blended pumpkin pie. For those not familiar with Shake Shack’s frozen offerings, the Concrete is kind of a mixed up mash of frozen custard and toppings.

After a looong wait our order was finally called, the buzzer we were given never actually buzzed. We picked up the Coffee Fair Shake and the Pumpkin Pie Concrete and moved out of the crowded order wait area. But something didn’t look right, the “coffee shake” was way too light colored to have any amount of coffee in it and the “Concrete” looked more like soup than anything remotely like concrete.

This wasn’t a hot day, it was in the high 40’s outside and this location was getting plenty of cold air blowing in through the constantly opening doors. So how were these frozen treats left all soupy and gross and presented to the customer like that?

After trying the “coffee” shake it was obviously not the coffee shake we ordered so we took it back to the counter and were presented with a new shake that looked exactly the same except for a “Malted” sticker on the top. “This one is coffee”, stated the counter worker. Somewhat reassured that we got the right one, we ventured outside of the crowded area and sat down to enjoy the new North Block outdoor area with fire pits and a large lit Christmas tree. We were trying to place the flavor of the shake, definitely not coffee, maybe it was caramel and vanilla? It was hard to place given that the shake along with the concrete were given to us in a melted state that just tasted like sugary syrup. Cracking the lid off the melted concrete revealed nothing pumpkin related, just some chocolate chunks swimming in a murky sea of some sort of melted sugary concoction. Maybe these were made earlier in the day and just kept under a warming lamp until some unsuspecting customer ordered one?

After a lot of wasted time and a total of $11.48 with the $1.00 tax spent on foul tasting liquid mush, we dumped the remains of the not so frozen treats in the trash and left with the taste of disappointment lingering in our mouths. Disappointment apparently is the new flavor of the “Golden State” and the Bay Area. High costs, long waits, heavy traffic, dirty, crumbling streets and a direction that does not seem like anything resembling forward.

Hillsdale Shopping Center is located at 60 31st Ave, San Mateo south of the downtown area and has plenty of other food options that might not disappoint.

Though, if you want a real shake, skip the “shack” and head to Jack’s Prime just south of the Hillsdale Mall on El Camino Real. I recommend the coffee shake with Oreos.

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The melted cups of disappointment served up by Shake Shack. What was supposed to be a Coffee Fair Shake at top and what wasn’t the Pumpkin Pie Concrete at bottom.

Shake Shack melted my faith in the simplicity of the Shake.

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Shake Shack is Now Open! Just not ready for business quite yet.

Happy Halloween Silicon Valley!

Happy Halloween Silicon Valley! The Kincade fire smoke has mostly cleared from the Bay Area but it’s still a spare the air day. Just don’t spare the candy!

The dangers of the high wind event have passed and the fire fighters were much more prepared this time with prepositioned fire crews

Remember when Think Geek used to have cool stuff for Halloween? Like these free t-shirts that were a different theme every year?

Here’s the Horror Movie Monsters themed shirt design with Timmy the ThinkGeek monkey fending them off with a cricket bat, just like Shaun of the Dead. Now ThinkGeek is a ghost of a company absorbed by Game Stop. The actual domain thinkgeek.com just reroutes to Gamestop with a few pictures of Think Geek era merchandise.

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ThinkGeek’s 2014 Halloween T-shirt with Timmy fending off legendary horror movie monsters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Wonder Halloween on the High Seas 2019

Here are a few photos from the cruise so far.

The Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Wonder Halloween on the High Seas cruise

2019 Halloween Merch on the Disney Wonder

Awaiting arrival of the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship at San Diego

The Sun sends a beam of light to where the Disney Wonder will soon be.

The Disney Wonder cruise ship, after a two week drydock in Victoria Canada, will arrive at this San Diego pier in a matter of hours. The #DisneyWonder will be sporting new features and upgrades that keep the small but growing Disney Cruise Line fleet fresh, efficient and safe.

The Disney Wonder is set to sail on a 5 night Halloween on the High Seas cruise to Baja Mexico.

Are you ready to join Mickey’s Fang Club?

Stay tuned for updates on the new changes to the Disney Wonder since drydock!

Miss KFOG? Try This Station

Well, the venerable rock station KFOG is officially dead, even the call letters are retired. As over the air broadcast radio becomes an increasingly desolate landscape with the transition to web based entertainment, we are forced to turn to the web as well.

This internet radio station broadcasts high above those bloated indifferent cumulus clouds:  https://thirdrockradio.net/

America’s Space Station inspired by new rock discovery. Give it a try.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Enjoy tonight’s micro moon, which is also the harvest moon. The next time a full moon will fall on a Friday the 13th will be 30 years from now.

For me this Friday the 13th was a workday. Had to wrap up some work that wasn’t very Silicon Valley like. It wasn’t Agile, or DevOps-y, or Machine Learning or even anything important at all by tech standards. But it was part of a contract deliverable to a customer so such is life. These things are sometimes unavoidable in the tech biz driven life. Maybe I’d rather just be sipping an ale and eating chicken vindaloo while watching old reruns of Red Dwarf. But the skutters won’t have it. They would have me transferred to an unimportant hollogram in an instant.

Apollo 11 Landed on the Moon 50 Years Ago Today

50 years ago, on July 20, 1969, NASA Apollo 11 Landed on the surface of the moon bringing the first humans to another celestial body other than Earth.

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Budweiser Discovery Reserve Command Module shaped bottle and astronaut Snoopy on the Moon during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

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And Now His Watch Has Ended – Of Anything at all on Television

Game of Thrones, one of the best shows on television in recent memory, somehow was allowed to end based on some 12 year old’s fan fiction. Eight long years of careful foreshadowing, plot building and sometimes even character development was thrown away as if into a sky cell.

For the night is dark and full of terrible writing.

Arya the Explorer heads “West of Westeros”. Really?

HBO was, for a while, thought to be immune from the manipulative bullshit of standard television . But nope. Game of Thrones was good enough to make people forget that “The Sopranos” also ended very badly on HBO with it’s “fade to black” The End finale.

Don’t get me wrong, Game of Thrones Season 8’s finale had some powerful, well done moments, but they were all disjointed and lacked flow in the actual story. The actors valiant efforts to make the scene believable felt wasted in a story that made no logical sense. Something was definitely missing in the finale. Was it an errant anachronistic coffee cup?

HBO is done. The high priced model of subscription television is done. And HBO knew it. Before the last few tragic episodes of Game of Thrones, HBO was pushing Chernobyl and whatever other new TV series that they think will retain paying subscribers after the confused Game of Thrones ending.

The latest Game of Thrones episode just proves that, given enough hero worship, any crap writing can be deemed genius and pushed forward to production. SNL has been doing it for years and most of the stoned TV watchers as that hour don’t notice at all. The writing has been dumbed down in an attempt to please all. But time and again, attempts to please all with any production end up pleasing no one. So that is where we are today with the much anticipated Game of Thrones finale. No one is pleased. EspecialyJon Snow.

Living and working in Silicon Valley