It’s really a spare structure… concrete and steel. Little in the way of ornamentation. It just happens to sit across a scenic gap between points of land in Northern California. It is worth a visit if you can spare some time. Look at it from Crissy Field, Ft. Point and Lands End in San Francisco. Then head over to Ft. Baker and the Marin Headlands, especially Hawk Hill, in Marin County. It’s even fun to view from below on the deck of a boat. The Berkeley Marina or Treasure Island will give you a nice look at the gate.

Why bother? Well, today is the 79th anniversary of the day the Golden Gate Bridge was opened. Make some spare time and find a bench and soak in the view.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare by Krista Stevens

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Data Dump!

See updated SF Bay Area April 2016 labor market info here and updated SF Bay Area March 2016 housing price trends here.


Tote That Barge – Under the SF Bay Bridge on a windy May afternoon

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Is it Friday again? Well… Michelle Weber challenged us to show images that evoke joy20131215-2sut_06_DSC8445that are jubilant! Michelle provided a shot of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I can relate. Having lived in New Orleans I can tell you there is nothing more fun that participating in or watching a good Mardi Gras parade. A good time is had by all. This made me reflect on a piece of serendipity I had a few years ago when a friend and I went to Sutter Creek, California to hear a Christmas concert. We didn’t know that the concert was on the same night as the town’s annual Winter/Christmas parade. Let me tell you… a good time was had by all. Here are a few shots that express small town joy.


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Photo Challenge: Face

In response to a photo challenge from Cheri Lucas Rowlands I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine… Meet Johnny Smoke.


Johnny Smoke circa 1972

One day my mom grabbed me and said, “Come along, I want to get a cat.” No clue as to why. Mom was like that. Soon we found ourselves at a nearby SPCA browsing tabbies. She liked a little gray kitten. He would be called Johnny Smoke. Johnny, you see, was a 1960s anti-smoking, horse-riding cigarette who told of the evils of smoking. Johnny, the cat, was a lean gray cigarette of a cat so the name fit well.

The photo of Johnny is from 1972. He was a grown kitty by then. As cats go, Johnny was quirky. Oh yes, people will tell you all cats are quirky. Well, they don’t know quirky.

Here are some facts about Johnny Smoke to prove my point. Johnny and my mom used to torment each other. Mom would attack Johnny and Johnny would attack mom. We’re talking full frontal assaults. I once saw Johnny leap from a hiding place beneath a table latch onto my mother’s shoulder and bite her neck before fleeing for safety. Love bites. Johnny, as you might expect, hated women. I once saw him corner my two small nieces in the living room. Creeping like a lion about to take down an antelope. The two little girls huddled, holding each other, quietly asking help as he moved in. He loved to chew on my sister’s long hair. He also ruled the neighborhood. My neighbors police-trained German Shepard was terrified of him. I saw him smack the nose of a 60-pound Weimaraner hunting dog and the poor puppy turned and ran for the hills… not returning until Johnny got back into the car in which he came. Yes, Johnny liked to go for car rides. Johnny had two rat buddies… you know, the big white lab rat kind. They used to nap together. When Johnny wanted in the house he would leap about six feet to the screen covering a back window and meow loudly until he got our attention.

Even with all of the trouble that Johnny Smoke could bring… he had a face my mother loved.

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When I think of earth I think of dirt. I used to make dirt. Working for a florist you get to do lots of odd jobs. Mixing soil for various types of plants was one of those challenges from my youth. This week we’ve been challenged by Jen H. to share our vision of our lovely little planet Earth.



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Photo Challenge: Admiration

I tried teaching once. It was a major fail. I still feel sorry for those first year accounting students. Of course, I don’t wear a watch anymore so I can never remember which side of the ledger is a debit and which side is a credit… see bad accounting joke.

One of my sisters was a school teacher… successful. One of my kids is a school teacher… successful. They got the good teacher genes.

So when you see a bunch of 6th graders surrounding a lone teacher on a ropes course in San Francisco you can think: she’s crazy… or maybe she just got the good teacher gene. Either way, you have to admire her skill and bravery. Here’s my take on the weekly photo challenge from Krista.


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This week ends on an abstract note. Ben Huberman suggested we give our spin on abstract photography. Here’s a spring garden rose with a slight spin on reality.


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