Geneva 4 Drive-In Urban Scrabble

While recently looking for a nice location for an afternoon hike with a friend, we stumbled across the remains of the Geneva 4 Drive-In movie theater in Daly City. What first caught my eye was three old lightbox signs atop polls with changeable marquee letters.

Geneva Drive-In

Cinema Treasures tells us that the Geneva was a 4 screen multiplex that opened in 1950 on an abandoned dog racing track. It had west facing screens positioned at the bottom of a gentle sloping grade with a mesmerizing view of the infamous aptly named Cow Palace. “Great place for taking dates in the 50’s and 60’s.” Apparently Hunter S. Thompson was a frequent visitor and wrote about his experiences there. One can only imagine the freaky shit that must have gone on during its 50-year history.

Geneva Drive-In

This required further investigation. We wandered around the grounds and soon discovered a cache of leftover marquee letters strewn about.

Geneva Drive-In

With darkness coming on fast, we quickly went about to use our collective Scrabble skills to come up with this solid 17 point word score.

Geneva Drive-In

I get the feeling this place doesn’t get a lot of visitors, as the marquees hadn’t been changed in over a year as evidenced by photos on the SF Gate’s The Poop blog.

Think you can do better than QUEEF? Post links to pix and prove it.

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The Atomic Level of Porn

At monochrom‘s Arse Elektronika conference last week in San Francisco, computer historian and agitator of Internet trolls everywhere, Jason Scott gave a brilliant in-depth look back on the early days of computer rendered pornography. From early line printers generating monochromatic pinups with X’s to blocky pixelated 80’s video games with box covers much more alluring than the game play, Jason runs the gamut. Here’s the video I shot of it with Jason’s slides inserted.

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Timothy Leary videos on Archive.org

Timothy Leary lives on the Internet

Last week, I popped by a party for the launch of Timothy Leary‘s digital video archive on Archive.org. Leary, who passed away in 1996, had always wanted to be immortal in “cyberspace”. Now with an extensive video archive available to anyone with an Internet connection and an ongoing project by his estate to digitize all his physical assets, he’s close to achieving that goal.

Timothy Leary lives on the Internet

Timothy Leary lives on the Internet

San Francisco’s historical tripper elite were in attendance including John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore, Joi Ito, Brewster Kahle as well as a long time friend and collaborator of Leary’s from Harvard, Ralph Metzner. Here’s some more photos I took from the party:

Do check out the video archive, there’s tons of fun stuff to be distracted by.

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Santarchy in San Francisco

The annual rite of passage known as Santacon or Santarchy took place in cities all around the world yesterday. San Francisco, being the epicenter of freakdom and home of too many Santa suits, represented quite well. I suited up and joined the red massive on the ‘Klassic’ route which started in the tourist area of Fisherman’s Wharf. Here’s the photos I took.

Santacon SF 2008

Santacon SF 2008

Santacon SF 2008

Update: I finally got this video edited. Check it!

Santacon 2008 in Santarchy Francisco from ekai on Vimeo.


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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Two Great Benefits for Two Great People


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.