WorkShop Winter Clean

I generally live with a decent amount of chaos, and am not fastidious about being neat and organized in my physical life. Digitally, I like things trackable, with in reach at a thought, and where they belong. However, there is a certain satisfaction that I get from taking chaos and transforming it into order that only comes when using my hands to make it so.

This weekend we tackled “The WorkShop.” It had become a nightmare.

Ahhh!!

After a few projects left un-resolved, and the need to store my old car for our three month road trip, this place had become a glorified storage container.

No more!

  • Step 1: Sell the car. Done in 2 hours via Craigslist. Cash in hand.
  • Step 2: Clear out the stuff we don’t need. Street pile and junk garbage pick up.
  • Step 3: Have a place for all things. Working on it!

Now to just put the stuff on the tables away…

Getting there… Still more to do.

Back Home

Coming home after a 3 month / 11,000 mile road trip is somewhat of an adjustment. 

No longer do I need to spend any time planning where I will be next, or how I need to get there. No longer is finding a place to camp how I end every day.

After a week of driving from 6am to 11pm every day to get across the country, I am taking time to just relax. But man, will I will miss those views…

 

Autodidactic Learning

I have recently been asked my opinion on returning to school by a few friends. We are all in our late 20’s, and it is a transformative time. The pervasive feeling seems to be either to commit to your current career, or make a shift, now by going back to school for some more education. (Personally, I plan to shift my career and focus every five years or so until I die.)

Going back to school for a PhD, Masters, or other degree or certificate can be a good choice, but in this day and age where you can learn anything online, showing what you know is often better than a degree.

My alternate approach to learning started early. High School always frustrated me. I felt that it was using an outdated model which placed in inordinate value on my ability to memorize and repeat random facts. Learning was not spontaneous. Most teachers would not follow an idea deep and emerge somewhere unexpected. They followed the lessons.

I used to spend long hours at home in our basement “playing around” on the family computer. I had discovered that I could learn real skills and applicable knowledge online. I taught myself how to code HTML and CSS, how to use Photoshop, After Effects, 3D design programs and video editors. My brother and I filmed sci fi battles where we rotoscoped lightsabers in place of brooms, shot electric fireballs across rooms and played with slow motion.

My junior year I joined the yearbook staff, and taught myself pagemaker / indesign. We decided to do an additional digital yearbook that year, and it fell to me and and a classmate to put it all together. For the first time I started learning to project manage and juggle operations tasks.

I got into film photography, and convinced a family friend to pay me to photograph a birthday party. I learned by trial and error again how to best compose, develop and sell photos. These trials led to a job doing product photography and web design for a pre-Etsy custom parasol designer. (Prissy Parasols!)

Recently, I wanted to get into woodworking. I spend most my time on a computer, and I wanted to build things with my hands. Things that don’t disappear when the battery dies or the power goes out. Things that might outlive me.

I joined a free furniture building class at the San Francisco Community college. It was initially great, and provided access to tools, and an instructor who was knowledgable. Unfortunately, the class was large, several people were slow learners, and I couldn’t move at my own speed.

I ended up spending $1,000 on wood-shop tools via Craigslist, and through trial and error, Youtube videos, and immersion I taught myself basic furniture building. I now know other woodworkers who I can learn from, and have work to show for my time.

Arguably, I learned more from these attempts that I ever could in school. True learning follows passion, which can only develop from experimentation and immersion.

Cafe Culture

The social role of cafes in 2013 – 2014

I went to a cafe this morning to get some work done and change up my work environment. It always helps me zone in and focus. I am able to set an “Until my battery dies, I will work on this one project” time frame.

Today, the world had other plans. I got to the cafe, ordered food, got my coffee sat down, and… no internet. Hmm. Went to the counter and asked about it.

Yeah, it is down. We have a guy coming this afternoon to fix it.

I personally was upset, because I had just paid for food at this place expecting to stay their for the morning and work.

This brings up the question “What is the primary purpose of a cafe in 2013–2014?” I was planning on using it for internet and to work. Others were there for food and socializing. Most people had laptops out. What is the primary use of the “Third Space?”

As an experiment, I pulled out a sharpie from my bag, and clandestinely hung an “Internet is down :( ” sign from the door. As I watched from the window while I ate my food, I saw person after person frown and turn away — headed to more internet rich pastures. In fact, of those who saw the sign not a one entered the cafe.

How often do you go to cafes alone for a meal vs to work?

5 Tools to Optimize your Web Design Workflow

The toolbox you have for creating websites affects the projects you work on and how you approach them. If it is hard to do something you will do it less often, which means you may take the easy way out. These are some of the tools I use that will help you optimize your web design workflow.

CodeKit – you want this, it makes your images smaller, automatically injects CSS changes to your page from Sublime Text so you can code live, and will compile SASS or LESS to CSS automatically if you ever start using either of those CSS languages. (Use SASS, it is better, and has more support in the professional community)

Chrome’s Developer tools are going to be your best friend. Built-in to Chrome, they let you test everything for problems, design in the browser, and will let you learn how to code better than any other tool. Simply right click on any part of a web page anywhere, select “Inspect Element” and it will show you where the element was created in the code, the css that styles it, and allow you to edit it.

STFP – this is a plugin for Sublime Text that allows you to upload via FTP from within Sublime, and sync local and remote version of your website. Saves having to use Cyberduck for most things.

Emmet – This is a shorthand system for creating large amounts of HTML quickly. Learn the basics first, but once you understand what you are doing, graduate quickly to this style of writing HTML. It allows you to plan the skeleton of your site rapidly, and fill in from the in side out. There is a plugin for Sublime Text.

Adobe Fireworks – A big one – this tool is perfectly set up for web design. It has object based layers, will show you the CSS that is needed to make the designs you create, and it allows you to make clickable mockups.

That should be enough to fill your weekend ;)

Wool – The Silo Saga

Wool is one of the best science fiction stories I have read in recent years. If you like dystopian futures, this series is made for you. Part of a set, this Wool Omnibus is books 1-5. There are prequel and sequel sets as well, but starting with this set works best.

It is written by Hugh Howey, and was a breakthrough success. He was originally planning to write one, but his fan insisted, and he followed up with the whole series.

  • Number 1 Bestseller on Amazon
  • Winner of Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012 Award

PopSci turns off comments because they are “bad for science”

PopSciPopular Science has made the choice to turn off comments because they can be “bad for science.”

Comments are a common problem on the internet, and they tend to trend towards the lowest common denominator. Youtube is known for its miserable comments, and Google has recently been addressing this by incorporating Google+ moderation into it’s youtube commenting system.

While debate is an important part of a community, it seems that until there is a way to make sure that they don’t degenerate into meaningless arguments, they will be more and more moderated.

$1 Oysters in San Francisco and the East Bay

$1 Oysters in San Francisco and the East Bay

I love raw oysters on the half shell. I grew up eating gulf coast oysters by the bucket full with my grandfather, and have loved them ever since. They can be expensive, but they don’t have to be!

I put together this list of where to get $1 oysters in San Francisco and the East Bay no matter what night of the week it is – I hope it is helpful.

Enjoy!

East Bay

San Francisco

Monday

  • Luka’s Taproom & Lounge

    2221 Broadway

    (between Franklin St & Grand Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94612

    (510) 451-4677

  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Hog & Rocks (5:00-6:30)

    3431 19th St

    (between San Carlos St & Mission St)

    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Boxing Room (11:30-4:30)

    399 GROVE ST @ GOUGH

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415-430-6590
  • Mission Rock Resort (3:00 – 7:00)

    817 Terry Francois Blvd

    San Francisco, CA 94158

    415-701-7625

Tuesday

  • The Rockin’ Crawfish


    211 Foothill Blvd

    (between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94606
  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Hog & Rocks (5:00-6:30)

    3431 19th St

    (between San Carlos St & Mission St)

    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Woodhouse Fish Company

    2073 Market St

    (between 14th St & Reservoir St)

    San Francisco, CA 94114

    (415) 437-2722
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679
  • Boxing Room (11:30-4:30)

    399 GROVE ST @ GOUGH

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415-430-6590
  • Mission Rock Resort (3:00 – 7:00)

    817 Terry Francois Blvd

    San Francisco, CA 94158

    415-701-7625

Wednesday

  • The Rockin’ Crawfish


    211 Foothill Blvd

    (between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94606
  • Marc 49

    4915 Telegraph Ave

    (between 51st St & 49th St)

    Oakland, CA 94609

    (510) 652-2100
  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Hog & Rocks (5:00-6:30)

    3431 19th St

    (between San Carlos St & Mission St)

    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679
  • Boxing Room (11:30-4:30)

    399 GROVE ST @ GOUGH

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415-430-6590
  • Mission Rock Resort (3:00 – 7:00)

    817 Terry Francois Blvd

    San Francisco, CA 94158

    415-701-7625

Thursday

  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Hog & Rocks (5:00-6:30)

    3431 19th St

    (between San Carlos St & Mission St)

    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679
  • Boxing Room (11:30-4:30)

    399 GROVE ST @ GOUGH

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415-430-6590
  • Mission Rock Resort (3:00 – 7:00)

    817 Terry Francois Blvd

    San Francisco, CA 94158

    415-701-7625

Friday

  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Hog & Rocks (5:00-6:30)

    3431 19th St

    (between San Carlos St & Mission St)

    San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679
  • Boxing Room (11:30-4:30)

    399 GROVE ST @ GOUGH

    San Francisco, CA 94102

    415-430-6590
  • Mission Rock Resort (3:00 – 7:00)

    817 Terry Francois Blvd

    San Francisco, CA 94158

    415-701-7625

Saturday

  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge ($1.25 every day, $1.00 sundays)

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679

Sunday

  • Marica Restaurant

    5301 College Ave

    (between Hudson St & Manila Ave)

    Oakland, CA 94618

    (510) 985-8388
  • Cafe Rouge

    1782 4th St

    (between Virginia St & Hearst Ave)
    Berkeley, CA 94710

    (510) 525-1440
  • Mayes Oyster House

    1233 Polk St

    (between Bush St & Fern St)

    San Francisco, CA 94109

    (415) 885-1233
  • Hyde Street Seafood House and Raw Bar

    1509 Hyde St

    (at Jackson St)

    San Francisco, CA 94109

    (415) 931-3474
  • Waterbar (11:30-5:30)

    399 The Embarcadero S

    San Francisco, CA 94105

    (415) 284-9922
  • Bar Crudo (5:00-6:30)

    655 Divisadero St

    (between Grove St & Hayes St)

    San Francisco, CA 94117

    (415) 409-0679

If you know of anywhere else to get $1 oysters in San Francisco and the East Bay, please let me know and I will update this list!

Top road trip apps – road tested from coast to coast (Warning: One of them is probably illegal!)

I am currently in Wells, Nevada at a Motel 6. I recently drove from Oakland, CA to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and am now on my way back. I used a lot off road trip apps!

  • Total Distance: 5624 miles
  • Time: 9 days of driving.
  • West to East – Tui the dog, Mandy, and Myself.
  • East to West, just Tui the dog and me.

Tui is quite the conversationalist, but I have still had plenty of time to play with road trip apps and find some that do an incredible job.

My Top road trip apps

Downcast

DowncastDowncast is a great podcast app that does both audio and video podcasts. It makes them easy to find, and you can create podcast playlists. Say, a Moth, an American life, followed by an episode of Stuff to blow your mind, and then a Planet Money.

Road Ninja

Road Ninja Road Ninja is meant for road trips! It shows you what businesses are at the upcoming exits, and how far away you are from said exit. You can sort by Gas, food, sleep, coffee and many more.

Audible

audibleAudio books. Good player UI and syncs with Kindle if you happen to have both the audio and ebook. Get a free book when you signup! (Coming soon — How to get a free ebook and half off Audible for 3 months)

Google Maps

Google MapsMuch better than the default Apple maps. Inline directions, updated interface, tons of useful information. Gets me from A to B.

Adobe Kuler

KulerSo much fun. Extracts colors from live video of photos and makes swatches.

Georgia
Ga

New Mexico
Newmex

The last one… Sorry mom… Netflix

netflixSooo this one might not be legal, but I rigged up the iPhone to the edge of my mirror and had Netflix documentaries going for a little bit. They sounded great through the car stereo, and they were in my field of view without me having to focus on them. I could glance at the screen, see who was behind me and keep on going.

“But officer, I wasn’t texting…”

These are just my top road trip apps, what are yours?

Sell your iPhone now, keep it until the new iPhone arrives

Right now two services are allowing you to sell your iPhone, but you don’t have to send it in until mid October, after the new iPhone is available. This saves you the worry of being without a phone, and still allows you to get a good price for your current phone before the new one comes out.

How to sell your iPhone, and keep it too

Check out these sites and see which one offers you a better deal to sell your iPhone. The going rate is around $200 for a 16gb iPhone 4s, and $340 for a 16gb iPhone 5.

Both sites allow you to lock in a price. Gazelle till October 15th, and NextWorth for 30 days from the time you lock it in.

The new iPhone is supposed to be announced on September 10th, so you should have plenty of time after you sell your iPhone to go grab your new phone, get it up to speed, then mail in your old one.

If you use these links, you will get 10% more for your phone!

These prices will be getting less the closer to the iPhone announcement date, so go ahead and lock in your sell price now!

Gazelle logo tm Nextworth logo