Wednesday Random Fun: Links of Interest and Such

I’ve been accumulating another pile of links of interest I keep meaning to post, and figured today would be as good a day as any to post them.

But first, a quick note on the photo here…I was on the N returning from a Facebook event in Palo Alto, and the stupid door got stuck open AND was making that loud long piercing shriek it does when it gets stuck. Immediately a group of N Judah passengers went into action and fixed it so we could get moving again. Anyway, I never got to thank ’em properly so here they get a few minutes of primetime on the blog.

Next, I wanted to do a more formal link to my friend Zarina, who has a really cool, artsy blog at FoxyMonster and uses it to promote her custom jewlery at Etsy and another at Zazzle.com. All of her products are really cool, but my main reason to give her some promotional consideration was because she was the one who really pushed me to start this blog in the first place, after I’d sent off the now-famous “email to 20 friends” that got this whole idea kicked off. Besides a lot of her products feature skulls and how cool is that?

Next, I got a link the other day promoting the newly expanded tax savings program in the “stimulus” package for employees – apparently you can now spend up to $230/month in pre-tax income for any sort of commuting purposes.

San Francisco pre-emptively passed a law requiring some employers to offer some sort of transit subsidy, but it seems they jumped the gun before the federales had a chance to do something a bit more comprehensive. But people I know who participate in it already (either as a subsidy or as a pretax benefit) say it’s a nice little bonus, and it’s not a pain for the employer to administer.

Now, of course, independent contractors such as myself get no benefit from this, but that’s a whole other column on the other blog…

Next, some newsy links: Eric at Transbay Blog has done a great job detailing the Sacramento disaster budget for MUNI, et al, as well as what the final “stimulus package” will be paying for.

I have to say it kills me that we’re going to continue to sink billions of dollars into a subway to nowhere, while Geary burns and it can take you longer to get from the west side to down town that it does to go from the westside to Palo Alto…

Finally, I got an email from the person who runs a fansite based in the UK devoted to the 70s TV show Streets of San Francisco and was asking me about filming locations as one of the site’s fans was planning a trip from Europe to SF for the specific purpose of scouting out locations from the show. Thanks to Google, MapJack, and some screenshots, we figured a few out. However, I had to explain in one episode where our heroes are allegedly at an apartment complex on Stanyan Street, they were, in fact at an apartment complex on the Burlingame/Millbrae border!

There is a new Streets of San Francisco show coming to CBS, but I’m guessing it’s going to be like most programs, and film the exteriors here, and the rest in LA. Without any soundstages (like Quinn Martin built in the 70s), it’s not easy to film here, no matter how many little credits a bankrupt city offers. Plus, with the exchange rate in Canada once again in Canada’s favor, SoSF 2009 may become part of the Vancouver-verse of TV we have nowadays.

Either way, I’ll still watch it. Personally I think it would be awesome if they did a show about crime on MUNI and maybe brought to life some of those crime reports the police stations publish (such as the awesome one by Captain Chignell) if nothing else.

(By the way, you can get $4 off any shirt in our our Zazzle Store this week. Just use the code PATTYSHIRT09 and you get a discount!)

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5 Responses to Wednesday Random Fun: Links of Interest and Such

  1. Janice says:

    My step-father was on the crew for Streets. He has a lot of stories about changing street signs and such. I had started getting the old episodes from Netflix. Always fun spotting the inaccuracies. Need to queue some more up.
    I’m still not 100% sure how small business owners and 1099 folks are going to benefit from the non-transit part of the package. The IRS says we “may” be able to make a deduction when we file our 2009 taxes.

  2. Joel says:

    That’s cool that they fixed the door, but from my experience, riders that try and chip in and help in situations like that have often seemed to make the situation worse.
    That said, three times in the past two weeks (three!!!), us passengers had to get off a disabled N because of door problems (always at Van Ness or Church and Duboce, of course, meaning I had to wait for another full N or two to pass before I could get on one), so I guess I’d take any help I can get to get moving.

  3. Greg says:

    @Joel: well it’s better than nothing. I have noticed on crowded trains sometimes it’s so crowded, people standing in the stairwells lean against the railings, not realizing that keeps the doors open….but sometimes it’s so packed they can’t really move out of the way…

  4. Eric says:

    One time I was on the M in the back car, and none of the doors opened. The driver didn’t seem to notice. At the next stop, people were starting to panic, so I pulled the emergency release.
    I went and told the driver, and man did she look PISSED. Like this was all somehow my fault that the train was broken in the first place.

  5. WOW!!!
    Thanks heaps!!! I’m super flattered!!
    🙂

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