Celebrating Día de los Muertos in San Francisco

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This past Sunday was Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  The Hispanic holiday is observed at the beginning of November every year and is a time for families to gather and remember relatives and loved ones.  In San Francisco, the community observes the event by holding a parade in the Mission neighborhood.  Alters of remembrance are set up in the park at Garfield Square.

People gathered for the parade with candles, incense, banners, and tokens of loved ones.  There were many skeletons in attendance.  I (attempted) to do my face paint in the style of La Calavera Catrina. These are some of my photos from the night.

On the way to Alcatraz...

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Last Saturday, a few of us jumped on the ferry and went over to Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. We were headed to the infamous jail to check out the current exhibit from artist Ai Weiwei called Ai Weiwei @Large.

These are a few of the photos from the boat ride over.

Powering the ferry

The Bay Bridge in the morning

San Francisco skyline from the ferry

♫ Everything in its Right Place ~ Radiohead ♪

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"There are two colors in my head, what is that you tried to say?"

♫ Nothin' Like Tomorrow ~ Supreme Beings of Leisure ♪

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♫ On My Own (12" Version) ~ Zero 7 ♪

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Music for a Monday afternoon

Jon Stewart takes on climate change deniers in Congress [VIDEO]

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Burn Noticed

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

It's too bad that we had to leave New York Sunday morning. I would have liked to participate in the People's Climate March.

We were on TWiG yesterday! [video]

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Yesterday Ben and I had the privilege of appearing as guests on Leo Laporte's show This Week in Google, alongside Jeff Jarvis and Kevin Marks.  

It was a great opportunity to talk about the indieweb and our company, Known.  It just so happens that we officially launched Known in open beta today.  (Sign up for a site or download the platform for your own server.)

It was my first internet show, and it was a lot of fun and a little crazy.  What you can't tell is that Ben and I are sitting on the world's lowest couch, practically on the floor, and the motion-sensitive lights kept turning off on us.  

If you missed the live stream of the show yesterday, check out the video below.  Thanks to Leo for having us!

This Week in Google 266: The Indie Web

Matter Three [video]

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Today we had our first Matter Demo Day in San Francisco. Below is the great video they put together for Matter Three.

Read more about the demo day announcement on the Matter blog: The Time is Now

♫ Cirrus ~ Bonobo ♪

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Crunch time at Known! And afternoon beat to get through the emails.

♫ The Garden ~ Cut Chemist ♪

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Sunday Afternoon in San Francisco

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Sunday August 24, 2014 • San Francisco, CA

Buena Vista Park & San Francisco Park

The typical foggy grey San Francisco skies were noticeably absent today. I stepped outside this afternoon for some exercise and a walk through the two parks near my house, Buena Vista and Golden Gate.

View of Corona Heights Park and the East Bay

Across the water looking east

University of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge

Festival of Chariots in Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory of Flowers in GGP

A M 6.0 Earthquake Shook the Bay Area this Morning

2 min read

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 • San Francisco, California

Early this morning, many residents of the Bay Area, including myself, awoke to the shakes and groans of an earthquake. According to USGS, the quake hit at 03:20:44 local time (Pacific Daylight). The epicenter was north of San Francisco in the Napa Valley wine country (38.215°N, 122.318°W) near the communities of American Canyon and Napa. Apparently the shakes stretched from as far north as Sacramento down to Santa Cruz in the south.

Coming in at a magnitude 6.0, the quake felt fairly long. I’ve read that the tremors lasted 20 – 40 seconds, depending on location. I heard it before I felt it and sat straight up in bed, slightly dazed and panicked as my apartment building began to groan and then tremble. It sounded a bit like low growling thunder that didn't crack and didn't stop. I kept watching my front door with its crack of light shining through at the bottom, expecting it to swing open.  I jumped into my bedroom doorframe as the ground stopped moving, although I immediately wondered if that was actually useful.

Cleo and Cassia dove off the bed and continued to look bug-eyed and terrified for the next hour.

My home, which is in a building almost 110 years old, did not shake apart. I’ve been worrying about some of my wall hangings, my wine rack, and my drooping cupboards for a while, but they all stayed affixed. I doubt I would have been so lucky had the epicenter been closer.

While investigating this morning, I learned that one of the seismic monitoring stations is actually about 2 minutes from my home, just a few streets over on the south side of the peak. The intensity recorded at that location came in at 3.7, compared to an intensity of 8.4 at the station closest to the epicenter.

This was definitely the strongest earthquake I’ve felt, though not the first. I did manage to live in Los Angeles for 4 years and was never in town when an earthquake hit there.

Watching the news this morning of power outages and gas leaks, it’s a good reminder to get a 72-hour preparedness kit in place.

♫ Song 2 ~ DJ Krush ♪

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Afternoon work rhythm.

♫ One Step Behind ~ Hol Baumann ♪

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Evening music.

Don't throw stuff at the sea lions

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We went to watch the California sea lions in the Newport harbor after dinner. And then an idiot started hitting them with chicken and fish heads.

Don't throw things at the protected wildlife!

♫ Bloodstream ~ Stateless ♪

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I couldn't resist making a candy movie #yxyy

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If you're going to YxYY, be sure and sign up for the social site we made at yxyy.withknown.com.

♫ Strange Love ~ Koop ♪

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More nice percussion.

♫ El Toro ~ Bonobo ♪

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Sunday Morning Plum Crumble

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It’s a sunny Sunday morning here in San Francisco, and I’m looking forward to taking a long stroll through the park this afternoon before getting back to work. It’s also Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

This last week has been heavily focused on getting ready for Design Review 1 at Matter. We’ve been pretty heads-down focused on our pitch and our user point of view statements for Known. In fact, I’ve been having dreams (nightmares?) about pitch outlines and POV statements all week.

With all the focus on work, I’ve haven’t had much time to cook anything lately. I’ve had to stop buying fresh produce because things are going bad in my fridge before I get a chance to eat them. I hate all of the food waste.

Last weekend I was gifted a handful of gorgeous ripe plums. I knew I had to do something with them before they turned, and a lovely plum crumble seemed like just the thing for a Sunday morning brunch.

Growing up, we had an old plum tree in our backyard. (I think it was an Italian plum tree). It produced tons of smaller harder plums in the fall. They would stick to the ground under the tree and leave a yard strewn with pits after the flesh decayed away.

I don’t remember doing much with those plums other than eating straight off the tree. I’ve since learned that Italian plums make some lovely desserts when baked. I wanted to do something similar with these even though the Santa Rosa plum seems bigger and fleshier. My handful of lovely plums came from the Central Valley area of California, but I actually got them while visiting in Santa Rosa!

I decided to adapt this recipe for plum crumble because I had most of the ingredients. I typically don’t pay attention to recipes and mess up at least one thing while baking something new. This morning was no different. I added the melted butter into the rest of the crumble topping, rather than drizzling it on top. My topping lost its “crumble” and turned into goop. Oh well. It still makes for a fine topping for the fruit.

Sunday Plum “Crumble”

For the plums:

  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 12 to 14 plums, halved and pitted (I actually only had about 8 or 9 for my crumble)

For the topping:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten well
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together everything that goes with the plums: the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and ginger. Then add in the plums and stir until they’re coated with the mix. Pour out the plum mixture into your glass baking dish or pie plate.

In the same (now empty) bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients for the topping. Stir until everything is well blended. Now here’s where I messed up. Add the egg and continue stirring until the mixture starts to crumble. (I added the melted butter first, got the mixture to crumble, then added the egg, and it turned into goop).

Spread the topping mixture over the plums in the dish. Then, pour the melted butter on top of everything. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Let cool for just a few minutes before serving.

This would be great with vanilla ice cream for dessert or crème fraiche for brunch. Sadly, I had no crème fraiche, and I didn’t think ice cream for brunch was the healthiest idea.


♫ Palmless - Dana Falconberry ♪

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Nice new song from indie singer-songwriter Dana Falconberry.

♫ No Escape (feat. Sissy Clemens) ~ Wax Poetic ♪

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♫ Poison ~ Martina Topley Bird ♪

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I haven't heard this song until today. I like the mallet percussion.

The chaos of distributed personal data in the age of modern computing

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So true.

From DogHouseDiaries:

♫ How You Like Me Now? ♪

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The Heavy