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My voting slate for 2008

Otto Bannard Voting (LOC)

As a San Francisco resident, I’ve got a lot to vote for in this election. Aside from the high profile national election, there’s a ton of state and local propositions as well as a number of San Francisco Board of Supervisor seats up in the air. As an unabashed lefty, here’s who and what I voted for. Much of my selections track the League of Pissed Off Voters’ guide and the SF Bay Guardian’s voter guide.

There are several great people that I know personally who are running for public office in San Francisco this election. Most of whom I met while working to get Matt Gonzalez elected mayor in 2003. A great campaign that ended in a narrow loss to current mayor-for-life Gavin Newsom. Now these great candidates are graduating to positions of trust and authority, ready to carry the progressive torch. Please consider giving them your vote.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors
D1: Eric Mar – Solid progressive voice on SF’s school board.
D5: Ross Mirkarimi – Up for reelection. I worked for Ross on his first campaign when he won Gonzalez’s previously held seat.
D9: Mark Sanchez – Progressive voice of reason and president of SF’s school board. He’d make an awesome supervisor in the Mission.
D11: John Avalos, Randy Knox – I know John from the progressive political scene around City Hall. Hard core committed to helping people. Randy is great too, a lawyer and pal from the Gonzalez campaign.

Community College Board: Bruce Wolfe – Bruce is one of the first people I met on the Gonzalez campaign, we connected easily as he handled all desktop and network operations for him. Bruce is a technology advocate, but does so smartly and ensures that those without access get it. He’s long been involved in City College, a supporter of tenants rights, a social worker and has a great dog named Charlie.

BART Board: Tom Radulovich – Tom is rad and a solid progressive. Supporter of smart urban growth and transportation. Not uncommon to bump into him in Critical Mass. Up for reelection.

Congress, District 8: Cindy Sheehan – While Cindy has a snowball’s chance and has zero political experience, she does provide a good protest vote against Nancy Pelosi, who has strayed from her core San Francisco constituency in recent years. Hearing Pelosi on NPR say she couldn’t debate Sheehan because she was too busy in Washington helping other Democrats’ campaigns clinched this for me. A healthy democracy thrives on alternative viewpoints and debate. If we had instant runoff voting (IRV) for congressional seats, this wouldn’t need to be a protest vote.

President: Barack Obama / Joe Biden – Obama’s hat in the ring has done more to unify and inspire a massive swath of disaffected citizens in this country and around the world. While Obama may not be the perfect candidate, and really who is, his winning the presidency is historic and symbolic on so many levels. I have confidence with Obama’s community organizer roots, that he will do the right thing for the majority of voters. That’s a refreshing turnaround from the last 8 years. While I love Matt Gonzalez and his ideas, there’s no way I can support a Nader/Gonzalez ticket this year.

San Francisco Propositions

A: Yes
B: Yes – Affordable housing bond.
H: Yes – Public power YES. PG&E is waging an all out fud campaign to stop this. Ignore the hype around the fictitious ‘blank check’.
J: Yes
K: Yes – Decriminalizes prostitution.
N: Yes
Q: Yes
R: Yes – Rename SF’s sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush. I can’t think of anything more appropriate.

California propositions

1A: Yes – High speed rail = good.
2: Yes – Happy animals taste better.
4: No – Mandatory parental notification of abortion. Third time this on the ballot.
5: Yes – Rehab and drug treatment for non-violet drug offenders. A no brainer.
6: No
7: No
8: No – Would ban legal gay marriage in California, creating state sanctioned discrimination against many of my friends.
9: No
10: No
11: No – Redistricting plan. Needed but this way isn’t right.
12: Yes – Housing bond for veterans.

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My Ybike

A few weeks ago, this solar powered, GPS-enabled, picture taking purple cruiser bike showed up at my door. It’s one of 20 bikes that Yahoo! commissioned as an experiment by the fine folks at Uncommon Projects and are being sprinkled around the world. There are three here in San Francisco and I have one of them. Some others are in New York, Vermont, Sydney Australia, Copenhagen Denmark and Singapore. You can see the whole list on Yahoo’s Start Wearing Purple site.

The bike is an 8-speed Electra Townie equipped with a Nokia N95 cellphone that takes a photo every minute while the bike is moving. It geotags the photo and uploads to a dedicated Flickr account immediately over the cell network. The solar panels on the back sit on top of a control panel connected to a long life battery that charges while out and about in the sun. I could ride the bike across the country nonstop, though I admit I haven’t tried that yet. If for some reason the bike runs out of juice, there’s an AC plug in the control panel that will charge the whole thing up overnight.

My new Yahoo! purple GPS Flickr photo bike

It comes with the nicely designed cat friendly owner’s manual.

ETFM

If you dig into Start Wearing Purple, you can follow my bike on these sweet maps that plot the photos posted to Flickr. Unfortunately, the site is all in Flash and I can’t link directly to maps section. You can also see maps directly through the bike’s Flickr account.

My ybike on the Embarcadero

Here’s a set of photos and slideshow my bike took while riding on Chris Carlsson’s SF Bicycle History Tour which I highly recommend!

Screeenshot of SF Bicycle History Tour

So the verdict? It’s fun to ride, is a great conversation piece and proves that you can voluntarily surveil yourself very easily. The plus side of that is if the bike is stolen I can easily track it down. So far, I haven’t had to do that. The battery does last a long time (several days) so charging is an afterthought. The initial rev of the custom software running on the N95 was a little buggy and the phone would just stop taking photos sometimes as well as not geotag some photos. I had to open up the camera housing and force a reboot to get it going again until Tarikh from Uncommon Projects stopped by and upgraded it. It’s been smooth sailing ever since.

UPDATE: The Associated Press did a little video news segment on the ybike featuring Amit Gupta, who also has one of the three bikes in SF. Note the Unamerican sticker on the side of his solar panel box, a little gift from me. 🙂

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A Cheap Date with Veronica Belmont

The second video I did with pal Veronica for Mahalo Daily is up today. It’s on everyone’s favorite subject, cheap dates. I was lucky enough to be Veronica’s cheap date and run around town to places like the SF Giants ball park, the wine bar (cheap if you sip slowly!) and Alamo Square park for a picnic and some hawt geocache action. Yes, that’s me playing the voice of a dork named Bobbie who V rejects flatly like a square of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. 🙁 I know, keep my day job.

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Two Great Benefits for Two Great People

amytodd.jpg

This weekend there are two fundraiser events for two amazing friends of mine who’ve each had their more than fair share of hard times the past few months. The first event is Friday evening for Amy Woloszyn, who was nearly killed by a drunk driver while riding home on her bicycle in San Francisco. She sustained a lot of injuries and has no health insurance which means insane medical bills. To make matters worse, this is the second time this has happened to her on San Francisco’s streets. She’s a safe rider, an amazing artist, a passionate beautiful human being and doesn’t deserve the ugliness that the mean streets have foisted on her. She has a blog chronicling her ordeal which she is able to update regularly. Amy’s event is at Balazo Gallery, Friday the 30th starting at 6pm.

Todd Blair is a friend whom I met in 1999 while working on an SRL show in Tokyo. He’s one of the nicest and most giving human beings in the world and it is utterly heartbreaking the trauma he’s going through. He sustained massive head injuries while loading out the most recent SRL show in Amsterdam (I wasn’t there for that one). He is still in an Amsterdam hospital two months later slowly recovering as he battle complications. His love Alex is there by his side and constantly updating his blog with the daily ups and downs he’s had two endure since the accident. Todd’s fundraiser will be an amazing show of love and support from friends and artists at Somarts Gallery on Saturday, November 1st beginning at 8pm. I’m really bummed that I’ll be out of town and not be able to make either of these.

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A Day at Oil Beach

A container ship hit the San Francisco Bay Bridge last week and released 58,000 gallons of crude bunker oil into the bay. I took a walk along Ocean Beach, which is on the Pacific Ocean side of San Francisco, to see if I could find anything amiss. If anyone knows why the jelly fish are washing up, I’d love to hear about it. This was shot with the amazing and resilient Sanyo Xacti E1, which I love.

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Damn zombies back again!

It seems as though the Double L gyroscopic undead attractor was activated last night which led to countless zombies converging on the San Francisco library where a debate among mayoral candidates was taking place. One mayoral candidate didn’t make it out alive. Chicken John Rinaldi was captured and turned into a zombie as this footage indicates. Best to stay away from the west coast of the US at all costs.


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Perry Farrell, I love you man!

Perry Farrell caught rocking out

Today was one of those karmically awesome days where good things happen, just because! I was lucky enough to see Perry Farrell and Satellite Party rock out today. Twice! For free! Thanks to Corey’s tweet, I stumbled across this scene outside the Virgin Megastore in SF today. Perry and the band were doing a little street gig, complete with little mini portable amps and snare drums. I only caught the last couple of songs, Porno for Pyro’s Tahitian Moon and Jane’s Been Caught Stealing with Perry being all whimsical grabbing people’s hats and one dude’s mega iced Starbucks drink. There couldn’t have been more than 30 people not including the band.

After the awesomeness went quiet, I walked up to Perry’s beautiful wife Etty and it went something like this: Do you know if the show tonight is sold out? It isn’t, would you like to go? I’d love to go! I can put you on the guest list? That would be awesome, are you serious? I love you!!

It’s weird, over the years I’ve had several random occasions to bump into Perry and I’d always tell my pal Carlton about them. So I called him and put Perry on the line. It went something like: Hey this is Perry Farrell and I’m standing on Market street with your friend… what’s your name? Eddie… who looks like a nice enough guy. Hi!

Sure enough, Etty didn’t disappoint and neither did Jane’s Addiction, I mean Satellite Party. Third song in was Mountain Song and before the night was out they had ripped through most of my Jane’s faves: Stop!, Been Caught Stealing, Jane Says and a couple from 2003 Jane: Just Because and Superhero. Porno for Pyro’s stuff too, Tahitian Moon and the happy singalong Pets. Whatever was left, which wasn’t much, must of been Satellite songs.

Perry was beaming love to the crowd and the crowd was bouncing it right back. Lots of high fives and hugging and thoughtful sentiments, even the pit was all love, mostly. At one moment, Perry stopped to take a nice fat hit off a fan’s pipe. The crowd exploded. During the encore, Perry brought out a bottle of wine and poured the sacrament in many waiting open mouths. He then pulled a couple of cuties from the crowd up on stage and then more and more. Etty did the same filling the stage. One cutie was doing some nice sexy dance thing with Etty which the house manager or whomever didn’t like much. She was kicking people off the stage as Perry was pulling people up.

The message of the night was celebration, love, hope and a brighter future. Or was it sex, drugs and rock n roll? Same thing really.