Rain in the Valley

Rain is finally falling in Silicon Valley. It won’t amount to much but it is good to see some rain washing the pollen and Gobi Desert dust out of the air. This storm is actually bringing some snow to the higher altitude Sierra’s as well. Spring snowboarding anyone? The west is of course still in a serious drought and this welcome bit of precipitation won’t change that. Keep saving water when you can.

Astronaut Scott Kelly is Watching You From Space

International Space Station Commander Scott Kelly is spending a #YearInSpace and he’s keeping an eye on all of us down here on Planet Earth.

He just took this awesome photo of San Francisco and the Bay:

 

 

Commander Scott Kelly will be floating aboard the ISS until the spring of 2016 when he is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan. Keep the pictures coming Astronaut Kelly!

ISS Progress 59, a resupply ship is planned to  launch of  from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a few hours bringing with it over three tons of supplies to the International Space Station.

Village Hummus Coming Soon?

Is a place called Village Hummus really coming soon to 1001 Park Place next to Starbucks? Well the banner has been there for months now and there’s a real estate lockbox on the door. The Quiznos decals are still on the glass door, remnants of the former occupant. Quiznos. Who eats at Quiznos these days? Especially when there is a Chipotle accross the street. Though the Quiznos at Park Place closed way back when the Chipotle location was occupied by a Daphnes Greek Cafe. Daphnes Greek Cafe only lists two Bay Area locations on their site now, Daly City and Alameda. So if you have a craving for pitas, hummus and falafel in this area, just head over to Whole Foods.

When I first saw the “Village Hummus” banner flying above the long empty former Quiznos location, I had hopes that it would be a place like Cava Mezze Grill which is setting up new locations in So Cal. Cava Mezze Grill has been quite successful with their fast casual Chipotle style Mediterranean food. I had never heard of a restaurant called Village Hummus in this area but I’m familiar with Hummus Mediterranean Kitchen in downtown San Mateo.

So is Village Hummus coming soon? I won’t say anything because no one ever listens to me anyway. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.

Update May 4th 2015:  There is activity at the Village Hummus location in San Mateo. The Quiznos signs are gone and Village Hummus signs have gone up. It looks like they are actually going to open at some point. Looking forward to giving this place a try.

I am Pied Piper Billboards appear in Silicon Valley

Stuck in traffic this morning on 101 with thousands of my closest friends, I pass the big LED billboard in San Carlos and there it is.

The “I AM PIED PIPER” billboard from last night’s episode of Silicon Valley breaking out into the real world of SiliconCali. This had me cracking up in my tiny narrow car even though I was only crawling at 8 miles an hour on the 101. Didn’t have a chance to snap a picture with all the traffic jockeying to get past the spilled concrete mess but here it is:

 

Unless you caught the show last night after Game of Thrones you probably would just think it was another billboard for some cloud based music sharing app or whatever else is normally on these billboards. Nope. Just good old fashioned Pied Piper viral marketing. Redditers have reported this billboard is up along 880 by Oracle Arena as well. Good stuff Mike Judge and crew.

Here is the actual I AM PIED PIPER billboard that is scheduled to be up through May 3rd.

I_AM_PIED_PIPER_Billboard_SiliconCaliAnd now that Pied Piper has Russ Hanneman funding, they are hiring.  Are you a fiend for data compression? Do you fully understand the theory behind middle-out compression? Then Pied Piper may just be for you. But if you think middle-out compression is some kind of slimming garment that Erlich Bachman wears then maybe you should just watch the show.

Wonder what HBO’s Silicon Valley will try next? Billboards with only the words:  Who is Strychnine McTwat?

 

Serious Rain is Falling on Silicon Valley

Serious rain. Yes. Genuine H2O. DiHydrogen Oxide. Wet Stuff. Liquid Gold. Whatever you want to call it, there is rain falling fairly heavily right now in Silicon Valley. Water from the sky has not graced it’s presence for quite some time here in the Bay Area but yet here it is.

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Rain in Silicon Valley 2015

 

Drops of water falling from the sky.

Quite amazing stuff.

If it was raining a Double IPA it would be some sort of brewer’s miracle. but just liquid water is just fine.

Stone Brewing’s Enjoy By 04.20.15

Stone Brewing of Escondido, California has been busy making extremely fresh limited edition beers that sell out very fast. These “Enjoy By ” beers have a short shelf life and are meant to be enjoyed sooner rather than later. This edition’s enjoy by date  just happens to coincide with another popular date for enjoyment but this one is legal in all 50 states and doesn’t require a prescription. You just have to be over 21 and lucky enough to find a bottle.

Stone Brewing has the next edition of the Enjoy By beer series set to be enjoyed by July 4th.

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#EnjoyBy95140

 

 

 

#EnjoyBy95140

 

 

As the label says:  LIVE FOR THE NOW, the present!420_Beer_Stone_Brewing_IPA_back_label

San Francisco Rock and Roll Half Marathon Returns This Weekend

The annual Rock and Roll Half Marathon hits the streets of San Francisco this weekend. The course heads out over the Golden Gate Bridge and back to the city along the bay before finishing the 13.1 mile long course at Civic Center Plaza in downtown SF. Runners will be greeted at the end of the line with this fine finisher medal featuring the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid:

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Good looking tech shirt design.

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Health & Fitness Expo and runner packet pickup was held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center North.

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There were even several cardboard Transamerica Pyramids around the sponsors booth.

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And of course there is the obligatory Rock and Roll Half Marathon merchandising.

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The headlining band for this year is Brooklyn Based American Authors.

 

 

 

Running across the Golden Gate Bridge

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You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane Mr. Bond

The FIRST teaser trailer for SPECTRE is released:

“I always knew death would wear a familiar face.”

James Bond returns in the film SPECTRE November 2015 along with the very fast Aston Martin DB10.

Very few people working in Silicon Valley today remember the danger to the valley back in 1985 when Max Zorin, portrayed by Christopher Walken was set on destroying the chip making capability of Silicon Valley so that he could corner the chip market. This film was ‘A View to a Kill’.

Hoppy Friday Silicon Valley!

Hoppy Friday! It’s a warm one today. Time to relax with a nice cold hoppy beer from Ninkasi Brewing Company. This Double IPA is a smooth drinking brew with a nice hoppy bite but not too bitter. Ninkasi’sTricerahops Double IPA is available year round and seems to widely available these days. You’ll be tasting Chinook, Cascade, Summit, Centennial and Palisade hops in every delicious sip. This is not the cheapest beer, you’ll have to spend around 6 bucks (+CRV in SiliconCali) of your beermoney for the opportunity to drink some of the tastiest, responsibly brewed beer around.

I haven’t had a chance to visit the Ninkasi Brewery in Eugene, Oregon yet but I’ll get up there sometime this year. I’m looking forward to sampling their other releases including the space based brew Ground Control that comes out on April 13th. Ground Control is brewed from brewers yeast that was launched into space on October 23rd 2014 from Spaceport America, Las Cruces, New Mexico. If you really want to geek out on the interesting process of how this brew came about, check out this fact sheet PDF from the Ninkasi Space Program.

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A triple threat of dinos prepare to crack open a Ninkasi Brewing Company Tricerahops Double IPA. Sorry no Triceratops were on hand at the time of this photo shoot.

 

Pick one up and enjoy it with your closest prehistoric friends. And beware of the sneaky 8% ABV. Don’t go driving around after relaxing with a few of these or you might go extinct.

Loud Comcast X1 DVR Cable Box

Is your Comcast “X1 Operating System” DVR extremely annoying?

Like this one:


Yep, low quality hardware rented for exorbitant prices. That’s the Comcast way. They now have decided to hack together a social media team to counteract the many negative posts and videos that have gone viral showing less than professional conduct and mediocre service and equipment. Don’t the Cable Providers realize that consumers just want to watch Game of Thrones without their equipment freezing up as solid as the icy wall of the North? And to not have their fans and electronics wailing as loud as a White Walker while trying to watch normal television? If you have to turn up the volume just to hear the conversation over the din of the evil Cable Box, that just doesn’t add value to the high cost cable TV watching experience that one comes to expect with a 210 dollar a month premium cable bill. The only time that the Comcast X1 DVR box is quiet is when it is unplugged. But of course this defeats the purpose of having a DVR box digitally recording your favorite shows while you are away. Why does the “X1 Operating System” box have to be louder than the original bad ass X1 Rocket Plane flown by Chuck Yeager?

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That plane broke the sound barrier! It wasn’t meant to be in a quiet living room cranking out 80 decibels of buzzing noise while doing absolutely nothing like the Comcast Xfinity X1 “Operating System”! By the way their X1 Operating System is really just an embedded version of Linux “Made with love in Philadelphia”.

Time for the return of Rabbit Ears?

Did you know you could still get digital television channels over the air with an actual antenna for free? Tivo (yes Tivo is still around!) now even has a DVR just for recording television from an HD antenna. Comcast is part of a dying business and is trying every trick in the book to try to get cash money from their subscribers. And it is working for some and alienating others. Eventually there will be no need to pay Comcast or Time Warner Cable or any of the other Media Monopolies for their content distribution and they will cease to exist.

Living and working in Silicon Valley