Debra Saunders got Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's on the record pledge to go above and beyond the eviction responsibilities of Eminent Domain. Brown pledges to relocate two Oakland Auto Shop owners evicted last month. John Revelli, who owned and operated Revelli Tires, and Alan Fung who ran Autohouse, were paid about $100 per
square foot plus relocation costs in exchange for closing their businesses and giving up their land, against their will. But finding new spaces in this real estate market will be tough. According to Saunders:
The mayor also made a pledge: "It's not easy, but I personally pledge to
do everything I can to get this guy [Revelli] located." Fung, too.
Brown is running for California Attorney General. I'm sure many will watch and see if he keeps this pledge.
Meanwhile, California state Senate Republican Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) and Democrat Dean Florez (D-Shafter) are working on legislation limiting Eminent Domain's reach. At the national level, a bipartisan alliance of Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) is working on similar legislation.
Yesterday I talked with a recruiter about a job opportunity here in the city. For the first time in quite a while I got excited about a tech job. If a company is too large, the programming department is too separate for my tastes - you are told to stay in your seat and code. Yuck. I've come to the conclusion you can code for three days straight MAX. Other days you need maintenance: testing, planning, stepping back a few paces & evaluating progress. Evangelizing. I think a big part of software development is persuasion. There's also listening.
I think you have to maintain a sense of excitement and celebrate milestone achievements when you are in tech. Otherwise things slow down, you slow down and become a seat warmer. I left my last job because that seat warmer phase was setting in, and while they were paying me a good hourly rate to keep that seat warm, I didn't like the bad habits it reinforced: idleness, automaton-ness. I had to shake things up. There were a few panicky moments, but it was the right move.
In The Secrets of Consulting, Gerald Weinberg walks you through the hilarious back-and-forth world that is consulting. People hire consultants to get advice about a problem. But those people will not admit there is a problem, even though they hired the consultant to solve it. So the consultant has to suggest a solution to a problem that does not exist. To avoid hurting the manager's ego, the consultant must convince the manager that the consultant's idea was the manager's all along, which leads the manager to wonder why he's paying the consultant such a high hourly rate. And so on.
As one of the very few prominent and visible women in our field, I
have the opportunity to directly ask the people that ask me to speak at
conferences and participate in events why they choose fewer women. The
answer is consistently: “Well we asked so and so and she said no.”
as much relevance as there is in needing to fix the underlying social
issues in getting women to IT in the first place, there’s another
concern here too. Women have to take responsibility and STEP UP. The
more women that are visible, the stronger and more positive a message
we send to young girls world over that they can achieve great things.
Last August I spent 10 days in New York City visiting my brother who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. My stay overlapped with the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden. I hooked up with some SanFran friends who told me about this place called The Progressive Traveler's Bureau at an atrsy venue called The Tank - think of a Democrat's refuge in a city overtaken by riot cops and Republicans. The Tank had all sorts of activites - a big screen TV, refreshments. It was set up with wifi and had a complete bloggers corner - with progressive bloggers! "Blog away" theTank's shift manager said. There were two bloggers sitting on the couch. "Have you met Markos?" the shift manager asked me. Uh, no. I introduced myself to kos of the dailykos. Nice guy. Then I stuck out my hand to the guy next to him, "Hi! I'm Alison."
The [Hollywood death] spiral begins with a shortening of the delay, or "window," that
separates a movie's theatrical release from its video release. In the
early 1980s, in order to avoid having new movies in theaters compete
against themselves in video, pay-per-view, pay TV, or free television,
the studios set up a series of insulated windows for each format.
This delay between theatrical release and video is called the video window. The windows are ever shortening with time.
movie played in theaters only
movie available on VHS
movie available on pay-per-view, VHS, HBO
Movie played in theaters only
Movie available on DVD
Movie viewable on theater screen while its DVD release is already advertised
Last night I was in the Mission district talking with some clients about an upcoming project. Somehow the subject of racism surfaced. One woman named Michelle said she was exploring all the variations of racism within the hispanic community. Being one of the few gringos there, I kept quiet at first. But then I found and angle that allowed me to join the discussion: I asked if she had seen the movie Crash, a film about alienation, prejudice and racism in modern day Los Angeles.
Michelle said Crash was "a very good commercial film." I think she called it commercial because it starred Sandra Bullock, an actress Michelle doesn't like. A few others had seen Crash, and talked about how many different ethnicities carry prejudices. Then Juan, the leader of last night's group, expressed interest and said he was going to try and see the film. I advised Juan to try to see Crash in a theatre if he could, because there will likely be multiple ethnicities in the audience watching the picture with you. That adds a dimension to this film that you will not get at home.
I heard something interesting on the radio about Sandra Day O'Connor a few weeks ago, shortly after the justice announced her retirement. I cannot find the transcript and cannot remember who was speaking - it may have been NPR's Nina Totenberg.
Apparently, O'Connor dislikes media appearances and interviews. But in her early SCOTUS days and even earlier, O'Connor made herself available for every possible media appearance that came her way. O'Connor, as we all now know, was accutely aware of the underrepresentation of women in her profession. And in case you don't know, here's an example: she graduated third in her Stanford Law School class, and upon graduation, only found one law firm offering her a job. A secretarial job.
And within one lifetime, (actually just one professional lifetime, which is less than one lifetime,) women represent over half the student body in law schools today.
Ya ya, post hoc ergo propter joc, I know. X occured before Y but didn't cause Y. But visibility is a part of any political campaign, which is why candidates make all of those yard signs. Just...an interesting little story.
We know women have come a long way, but our country's paucity of female engineers and scientists is absolutely puzzling. While we quibble over the cause of this phenomenon, I can get totally behind one perscription to close this gap: Donna
Milgram, executive director of the National Institute for Women in Trades,
Technology, and Science, a group based in Alameda, CA, says,"it's important for girls to play with Legos and chemistry sets and
develop spatial relationships and problem-solving skills."
My brother Ian had a chemistry set. Since I was prohibited from entering his room, I never got to play with it (his door had no lock, but the invisible mental gate cast by one's older brother can be surprisingly impenetrable.) Behind his bedroom door, I always envisioned this fantasy lab filled with smoldering beakers and test tubes overflowing with vibrantly colored liquids. He was about 10 at the time, and I was 4. In the following years, Christmas after Christmas, I begged for a set from Santa. One never materialized, but we had some other toys in our house and neighborhood, both hand-me-downs and garage sale bargains, which were really fun. It was only later in life that I realized they were educational to boot.
Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Tinkertoys. I don't know if I alone had this epiphany, but Legos made some great houseboats for Barbie and Skipper to cruise around the kiddie pool delta on. If you lacked the deluxe Mattel Barbie dream home, Lincoln Logs could be stacked high enough for Barbie and Ken's door frame height requirements. And Tinkertoys could at least make a Barbie Teepee or Tent, if all else failed. Could this be how I developed understanding of spatial relationships which helped me in math classes later on? I don't know, but I re-discovered a few more favorites last weekend at Noe Valley's The Ark , a "Quality Toy and Crafts" store on 24th Street in San Francisco.
insurance renewal insurance policy deciphering registration renewal fee title transfer fee state title fee nonusage fee blah, blah, blah
CityCarShare sends technicians to check up on cars at each POD every Wednesday. Insurance and maintenance fees are all included with membership. All I have to do is pay my $10 monthly membership fee, plus monthly usage fees, keep my driver's license, and return the car with at least a half a tank of gas. There's even a gas card in the glove compartment.
For absent-minded folks, all parking tickets are promptly paid by CityCarShare, then charged to you as part of your monthly usage fees. No separate envelopes for the GoldenGate Bridge ticket, city of Mill Valley ticket, Berkeley ticket and San Francisco Parking and Traffic ticket. Just one consolidated payment to CityCarShare.
Zipcar is for-profit. It will be interesting to see how it competes with nonprofit CityCarShare.
Elsewhere: Dan Gillmor weighs in on carsharing at Bayoshphere: "Today, car sharing in the Bay Area is just about invisible to the general public. Bring on the competition."