Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho

Morning started with awakeness. A lot like the night before. Up, shower and a quick trip to the computer to reserve a new iPhone 4S (black, 32gig). Hopefully that will put me at the front of the line. One coffee, some cat scratches and I’m off. The east Henday sure is an amazing road; it has little to nothing in common with the west Henday, once again pointing out the schizophrenic nature of Edmonton roads. Of course L was driving so I pretty much tuned out.

The airport’s relatively quiet with short lineups. I was ‘randomly’ selected for a search and was politely asked if I wanted to step into the booth or have a patdown. At 8am questions like that sound more like “Do you want uranium or kryptonite with your coffee?” to me. No comprende… Anyway the booth looked scary so I took the patdown which, in retrospect, was totally the right choice. I’ll have to see what it’s like in a U.S. Airport though.

So now begins 5 days of battery paranoia. IPhone, iPad, eReader, I am totally dependent on my ability to conserve energy and recharge. Especially the eReader as I can’t recharge it without a computer and I didn’t bring one. It’s usually good for a week or so but that is dependent on me not falling asleep on it and keeping it on all night (which I seem to do frequently). The iPads usually golden if I stay away from iBooks which chews through battery like it was chocolate cake in an office full of women. The phone is the week spot as battery life is fading.

So we will have to see if I keep up the blogging. C said I had to and I guess I will be bored enough unless Laura gets me drunk every night. For those of you not in the know, Laura is managing the events portion of the big air show in San Francisco during Fleet Week so I am just heading down there to hang out and checkout the ships and the air show. I want to to tour USS Bonhomme Richard and the HMCS Ottawa while I’m there and hopefully pop over to Alameda to tour the USS Hornet. Really want to see how big an aircraft carrier really is…

The plane boss! The Plane!

Calgary was odd. I left via Gate 34, went all the way through the terminal and then back through US customs and then back to Gate 34 again. I really don’t get the whole US thing. Why can’t we go through the same security as overseas flights?

Anyway after we boarded the was a weird kaffufle. As far as I could tell a women (elderly-ish) was declared not ok for flight. So they pulled her, and as a result her husband, off. Then they had a big reshuffling of seats to accommodate some standby passengers, some of whom had kids under 12 and had to sit with the parents. But in the end we still managed to get off the ground.

Power’s sitting at 79% now. I think that has to do with my backup issues; the iPad had trouble shutting down and was still spinning when I went to fire it back up.

Over Oregon and regretting my aisle seat choice. The foot room on the aisle seat is smaller and slightly at an angle and the guy in the middle seat is broad shouldered and snoozing. That leaves me sitting at an odd angle and unable to stretch out. And I keep getting whacked by flight attendants.

I started on the short story. Still have ending nor plot and a pretty obvious twist. Still it’s words on a page–metaphorically.

Alcatraz in the bay

I stopped in at the hotel and had one of those ‘fail’ moments with the stupid electronic keys, but eventually someone let me into my room and I checked in with Laura. She promised me tickets to the show tomorrow and perhaps a date later tonight. Dinner was a Garlic Crab and Prawn mixed grill at Sabella and la Torre’s accompanied by an Anchor Steam ale. You think would have learned my lesson in Spain and France about the prawns… and the crab legs are worse. I figure I ate about half of the available meat and smeared most of it all over my face and fingers. Good though.

After dinner I walked up the pier to the USS Pampanito, a WWII era sub and did a nifty tour of the insides. It looked huger than expected from the outside and way way smaller from the inside..

Crew quarters

Next up… A jacket, cause it’s cold…

I had a nice long walk up and down the piers and watched the sun go down on the Golden Gate, or what little i could see of it. There’s a great sea lion hang out on Pier 39 so I chilled with the sea mammals for a while and then checked out the tourist shops for a while.

The Blue Angels showed up for a meet & greet so I took a pic of the clean-cut pilot types; there was even a girl!

Afterwards I cruised up to the bottom of the cable car hill and then headed home. Laura didn’t call so I guess this is probably it for the evening. I leave you with some pics…





6G Turnabouts?

Well late last evening…9:30 for you young ‘uns… I went out for a slice of Sourdough pizza at Boudins and Laura texted me she was back. She’d been at a reception hobnobbing with Blue Angels and Snowbirds. I wandered over to the Hyatt for a drink and encountered most of the aforementioned pilots milling about. I also encountered a crowd of very friendly, and in some cases very drunk, friends, relatives and co workers of Laura. I don’t think I have been leaned on, touched or bumped up on by so many people in my life. And yes, most of them were women.

Quite the eclectic crowd, from Pat Travers Band’s agent (he used to manage Sophie B Hawkins) to the Head honcho of the airshow. Anyway I had a Crown Royal on the rocks (bought by Laura’s brother Greg) and sat back and smiled and listened to stories; they have lot. Not the most nerve-racking thing I’ve had to do but enough to make me antsy. I was home by 11.


The lobby

SF International is a nice airport; it’s long and thin with the entrance/passenger areas right down the middle as opposed to on one side. Think Paris but without all the parking and traffic in the middle. Anyway international flights are right by the entrance so it was a short walk to the BART. $8.10 later and a 10 minute wait and I was on the train to Embarcadero.

When I got off the BART, I could hear the F-18s roar by while they practiced while I was still underground. Man they are loud. I am thinking earplugs should have been on the packing list.

I walked east–it sure is hard to get oriented the first time you pop up from underground in a strange city, but I guessed right– for a few blocks and hit the F line which is an old fashioned street car. Not the hop on/hop off kind but cool nonetheless. I got off one stop too early due to overcrowding and an inability to check my map and then had to walk around the block a couple of times to get oriented, all the while the F-18s are thundering through the air overhead which is awesomely disorienting while you are surrounded by tall buildings.

Got one really tiny pic of a Blue Angel. Click on the image and look between the masts slightly to the right of center.


In the end, as previously noted, I did finally end up at the Radisson and all’s well &c.

BTW the whole battery thing worked out ok. The phone hung in there and everything charged up overnight. It is really weird being without a data connection. No tweets, no Wikipedia, no Facebook. It would probably kill me if I didn’t have a good connection in my hotel room.

Today it’s breakfast at IHOP and the I’ll meet Greg at the Hyatt and we will walk to Marina Green for the Parade of Ships and the airshow. I hear there will be a stealth flyby.

Being alone has some perks. I skipped the line and got to sit at the bar. Although for some reason it makes me more self-concious about eating, being alone that is. Or maybe that’s just residual from yesterday’s crab fiasco. Well it’s French toast this morning…W00t!

After the IHOP I walked over to the Hyatt and waited around. Greg drove me over to Marina Green. He had borrowed Laura’s rental for some errands. Seems like we get the VIP seats with tables, umbrellas and free food and drink. Morning there was fog over the water with everything obscured except Alcatraz and the high orange peaks of the Golden Gate bridge rising up out of the mist. The Coast Guard slowly patrolled along the lanes of rowers, sailboats, freighters and more boats than I’ve ever seen in preparation for the ships of war parade.


Outside the tents the field is full of bouncy things and souvenir shops, filling the lush green grass with even more colour and a generous amount of soft mud due to the recent rains. The American mentality is hidden in those bouncy things: space shuttles instead of castles, fighter plane slides instead of ramparts. Sailors and cadets litter the walkways and entrances underscoring the strong relationship between this town and it’s military, similar yet very different from Namao or Griesbach and Edmonton.


First up on the ship list is the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Can you say big? She was followed by the Antietam, a Ticonderoga class missile cruiser… Pretty much the most powerful warship on the seas these days. The Milius was next, an Aegis guided missile destroyer and then the pride of the Canadian fleet, the HMCS Ottawa… one of our frigates.

HMCS Ottawa

I had seen the SS Jeremiah O’Brien yesterday and knew she was a WWII era liberty ship, but hadn’t known she was one of the last remaining ships that took part in the D-Day invasion. She was actually refurbished and sailed from San Francisco to England to take place in the 50th anniversary festivities and then back to SF. If you don’t know what a liberty ship is, then shame on you… Look it up, it’s a very important part of the economic and political reality of WWII. Anyway the O’Brien set sail this morning then came back in with the rest of the fleet. A few more smaller ships and three of Canada’s small Kingston class coastal vessels and the parade was done.

Up above a watch company had, apparently illicitly, hired a Digital skywriting team. As far as I could tell 5 planes flew around and dropped dots of smoke to form the classic digital figures and try and sell us watches. Pretty damn cool though.

I had a hotdog and some tea while I waited. Oddly enough, even though the booze was free, I only had a glass of wine and later a small beer. Must be getting old.

On the water two seadoos cruised by. The first had a man with a small, small child in his lap and a 5 or 6 year old behind. The next had a women and another tiny child in her lap and another kid on the back. Must of been a family affair but I crossed my fingers everyone they went by cause the lap kids were really too small to hold on to anything, let alone a bouncing jetski.

First up was a pair of Prowlers… Electronic warfare aircraft for you guys not in the know. You can see the digital writing behind them in the pic.

Here is the full official list:
2 Prowlers
USCG HH-65 Rescue helicopter
6 privately owned L-39s (sub sonic trainers)
A Marine Osprey
A B-2 stealth bomber
The Snowbirds in their Tutors
F/A 18 Super Hornet
United Airlines 747
F-15 Strike Eagle (Air Force)
Sean Tucker in his Challenger III aerobatics plane
The Blue Angels’ C-130 Hercules
The Blue Angels themselves in F-18s

Some interesting facts
The Osprey is a tilt wing aircraft used by all 4 services.


The B2 left Missouri early this morning and flew here and then flew right back. Apparently they don’t land off base if they don’t have to. The longest B2 mission (or any mission for that matter) was over 40 hours in the air.

Shaun Tucker’s torque roll has him actually flying backwards after vertical push and then sliding back down.

The Internet video showing a 747 apparently flying under the golden gate bridge was at this show last year and the optical illusion disturbed Boeing so much they actually spent hundreds of hours reviewing flight plans and angles to ensure it didn’t happen again this year.

Some more random pics

B2 stealth bomber


Blue Angels’ c-130 Hercules

F/A-18 Super Hornet

And of course the Blue Angels

After the show I elected to walk home via the paths. Through Fort Mason and up on to the Hyde Street Pier which has some cool old late 1800s era schooners and tugs. I didn’t pay to board but just perused the signage on the dock. The view of the bridge from the Fort hill is pretty good. I spent most of the day actually trying to get a good pic of the silly bridge, but the light is never right or the fog interfered or something was in my eye [sniff].


Eventually I made it home down some extremely packed streets and had a cool shower to refresh myself and catch up on the blogging (chore that it is). Apparently next up is dinner at Caesars on Powell at around 8 and I still have to figure out tomorrow’s agenda, although I might just do the ship thing and get it over with. I’ll be up early enough…sigh. This morning my alarm went off at 7 but apparently the clock was an hour ahead which I discovered after my shower… So I had some time to kill. Anyway I will either tour ships, hit the SF MOMA or ferry over to Alameda and see if I can get on the Hornet. Or maybe a combination if time allows. People have been pushing pretty hard for Alacatraz but it hasn’t appealed, at least not yet. But they say it pretty fab, so you never know.

One thing I really had reinforced today was the subtlety of our Canadian propaganda. After a day like today I would be willing to swear that we have no overt shaping and influencing messages in out society. Certainly nothing like the constant ‘freedom’ reinforcing and ‘all men created equal’ repetition I heard today. Yet I know it’s not true, we certainly have our controlling thought patterns, our reinforced assumptions, our repetitive messaging… Its just not as blatant as the American’s, and perhaps not as honest. At least it’s a hell of a lot easier to filter out… Or maybe that’s the benefit of being a foreigner. Speaking of which, did you realize I was in California? There are tons of California plates everywhere! Somehow I just don’t think of San Francisco as California, so it keeps surprising me. That and the sheer number of Aussie and Kiwi accents I keep hearing.

A few more pics





Well, a few observations to end the night. First, and most obviously, if you fill a harbor full of naval ships it seems to follow that you fill the town with naval personnel. I mean lots. It is like some naval story where shore leave fills the town with rowdy sailors looking for fights. Actually, while boisterous, they are pretty well behaved. And in this man’s navy, the groups always seem to have a few women mixed in (military women I mean). And let us not forget the marines who have a way worse uniform to party in if you ask me.

Secondly, dinner was lovely and I lucked out since the party grew to 20 odd they had to split the tables and I got to sit at the little table with people I’d already met. Much more comfortable for social slugs like me. Anyway, this restaurant was just like New York hundreds of male waiters, nary a boob or short skirt in site. There were at least twice the staff of a typical Edmonton restaurant and seriously, the only women was the maitre’d and I think she might have been an owner. The service is faster, more brusque and everyone pitches in on all the tables. Just different all round.

Anyway, goodnight Internet… Sleep well.

Ship(s) Ahoy…

Alarm, shower, IHOP… repeat.

I wonder what percentage of Americans join up for a minimum hitch? There is a massive amount of US military paraphernalia being worn around here. I realize it is a military festival but it sure seems like everyone put in some time at one point or another. If the military culture wasn’t so socially transforming I could almost believe that was a good thing.

I have to admit watching the show yesterday I really start to wonder if I could have flown one of those things. I’d rock the flight suit.

Well today is ships. I will hit the Ottawa first and move on down the line. I have an invitation to go back to Marina Green for Part Deux of the show but we’ll see.

Waiting in line. I got here right at nine and was 41st in line. Apparently the Ottawa is still asleep. The marshaling point is for the Ottawa and 2 coast guard cutters but I hope to skip the cutters. I can say at this point we have a nice nameplate on the stern of the ship; nice red and polished silver letters. Not set a jaunty angle though… I might write a letter to the DND about that. I definitely think a jaunty angle would add savoir faire.


Turns out the Ottawa is touring but the USCG are the ones asleep. Still hoping I won’t have to do all 3 ships… Sigh.

But no… It’s the Coast Guard or nothing. The Bertholf was built in 2008. She mounts a 57mm balfors, one of the first in the US military. Each round is programable as to purpose and it fires 220 rounds a minute.

All the signs say no backpacks, no kids under 8 so of course there is a Toddler running laps around the 50 cal. and there is one who can’t negotiate the ladders leaving mom to try and carry him.

Bertholf with bofors

Nestled beside the Bertholf is the USCG Alert which was built in 1967. It’s much smaller and is based out of Oregon. It patrols from Alaska to South America doing fisheries patrols, drug interdiction and search and rescue.

And now we are waiting again. I’m gonna guess that they really don’t want me on this ship.

Finally got to tour the Ottawa. Just the one deck and the bridge and she (the OD) was really shy about the weapons and defense systems. She (the ship) just got back from Hawaii, Pago Pago, Sydney and more.

In her regular state of readiness (as she is now) she has no Harpoon missiles, no helicopter, no chaff… Once again we have a half-assed military policy that spends money but just not enough to actually be effective.


Check out those shoes!

I walked down to Pier 32 which contrary to sense is about 2 and a half miles from Pier 35. The Bonhomme Richard is a Wasp class assault carrier. Basically a Marine delivery vehicle. The line just to the dock is running about an hour, but at least it’s time to catch up a bit o bloggin’

The airshow is starting again. The L39s just flew past but the line is speeding up.

Well I have a bad burn on the back of my neck, small blister on my right foot and am pretty wiped from the sun but I think it was worth it. The ship was awesome from it’s drive-in well deck to the landing platforms. Zak would have been in heaven. There were landing craft, missile launchers, LAVs, Hueys, Cobras, Osprey, HumVees, grenade launchers and more. The Chinook pilots looked down their noses at the Osprey crews and the navy scoffed at their marine cargo… It was a military cliche paradise. Seriously though, it was a pretty marvelous look at military technology.






I talked to a Cobra pilot. They have a range out in the desert and they go out to train. At over 600 rounds a minute they must blow through Canada’s military budget every time they go out. But talking to him you realize that effectively using the hardware is more complicated than you think.

I headed uphill and downtown to the SFMoMA and paid my $18. After a Matisse and 2 O’Keefe’s I collapsed and decided to rest. My plan is to rest, visit and maybe take the cable car down but I am sure not walking back. My old eyes are having trouble with the paintings too. Whine, whine, whine.

Me and my sunburn… and Andrew Kudless’s P_Wall

Ok up and at it again. I really love Lichtenstein’s… there, I said it. There’s a lot of Modern art I can take or leave but he’s got it going on. There is also an industrial design featuring Dieter Rams. He did a lot of Braun’s design… pretty cool. There’s also some nice photography exhibits. They are pretty easy to peruse as a photograph either grabs me or not. If not, I walk on by… There’s also some nice architectural stuff which would make a nice photographs themselves.

There are about 4 times a day I wish I had a better camera but the weight and clumsiness are too much to make me leap to an SLR. As I said to Laura yesterday, it’s hard enough to watch without taking pictures and it’s worse taking pictures without watching. Something always suffers. My point and shoot keeps the photographic aspirations and pretentiousness to a minimum and the accessibility for ‘found’ photography at a maximum.

Jackson Pollock…


…and a stunning Chuck Close called Agnes

Well it’s another line. This time for the cable car. Don’t know how long the wait will be this time, but it looks like 2 cars full. The end of the line is pretty cool: a simple turntable built into the sidewalk. I’m going to guess the actual ride is going to take a while during rush hour as the car that just left is only A block away after 5 minutes.

Well I bailed. Just not historic enough to warrant the wait. One Whopper to go and I can catch the F line a block east. That will get me closer to home anyway. And I’ll get a seat!

There’s a protest against ‘the man’ on Market Street… San Francisco style. Featuring at least 2 completely naked men. Apparently corporate greed and war-mongering are scared by the sight of a penis (2 actually)… I wouldn’t be surprised. Sorry, no pics as I’d already put away the camera… just use your imagination… they had really nice tans… and no tan lines…


Okay so really burned the back of my neck. Stupid haircut anyway. A quick shower soothes the worst but tomorrow is going to be iffy in the sun. Not sure what my plan was anyway. I’m mulling over a beer … Just might head out and wait to see if Laura calls…

I pause now at Boudin’s Bar for a Blue Moon Belgian White with orange. Boudin is a large famous bakery. They have a 5 foot bread alligator in the show window and a bread conveyor like Hole’s hanging basket system to bring the baked goods to the retail area.

It’s supposed to have the best sourdough around… the pizza the other night was ok…

Mmmm Bread Lobster! Down, down, down…

So just because I enjoyed the Belgian white, the tap ran dry. So beer number two is a bottle of the Anchor Steam ale I tried the other day. Drinking alone seems to come a lot easier these days.

Had a bit of a text back and forth with L. I noted that between talking (or at least typing) to imaginary audiences and the ability to check FB, Twitter etc., the loneliness factor is pretty cut back. It’s a really different world than the last time I travelled alone. I haven’t even turned my old friend the tv on.

The bartender (female) has, as far as I can tell, colourful hinges tattooed on the inside of her elbow joint. With her sleeves rolled up just right it’s a fascinating look. Flashes without being flashy.

Watching bartenders is a fascinating sport. Makes you want to ask all sorts of questions, which is probably the most unhelpful thing you could do. And yes, I did finally ask about the tattoo. I didn’t ask about their measuring technique. It would be really interesting to do a quality control assessment on the amount of liquor put in each drink because they are moving fast and furious and between spillage, under pouring and a lot of what appears to be over pouring, the numbers just couldn’t add up. It looks worse than Bruce in a berry picking farm… The volumes produced don’t match the volumes sold… Mmmmm, berries.

Wow, just reviewing this makes me look worse than diva on a red carpet…”Look at me!” Anyway it was mostly written in those moments when normally you have to be social and talk to the people you’re with. No people, more writing… Maybe I can sell that to the Writers Guild as a motto or something. “Want to be a writer? Just get rid of the people! (Except for your Mom… She’s the only one who’s gonna buy your books…so stay on her good side.)” well it works for me; now all I have to do is get some readers. Maybe my Google Analytics will have taken a massive jump while I was gone and hundreds of thousands of people suddenly thought to Google ‘Bruce’ and became instantly infantilized by the drivel, thereby addicting them to the sole source of stultifying mental anesthetic that will allow them to continue their crushed existences in a world devoid of thought, hope or meaning … or then again maybe not.

I also wonder how the editors among us can get through the typos, auto-correct errors, colloquialisms, misspellings and otherwise atrocious grammatical constructions. I mean just where is their limit? Did they even make it this far? Are they doomed to never know the inner workings of my cavernously twisted intellect? Now there’s a big “Hmmmmmmm” for ya.

Rednecks in San Fran

So last night Laura said meet me at the Hyatt. After hanging in their suite, a combination office and party room, we wandered off in search of dinner. It was decided it would be the Buena Vista for Irish Coffee. Apparently they invented them there and they are pretty darn good. What wasn’t good was the kitchen had closed 10 minutes earlier. And this apparently was the traditional Sunday night wind down do. I am just hoping the pictures on the Internet today aren’t too incriminating. One of the women passed his camera to Greg and he spent the next 30 minutes snapping at least a hundred pictures. They’ve all known each other for many years and as professional people-people they are a boisterous lot. Fun… I think…

At one point I was reminded that referring to your partner in SF is a bit misleading. I don’t do it often but I’ll have to remember to refrain completely when next I’m in San Fran. And no, I didn’t make a new friend.

The occupancy laws in the US must be awfully loose because there was barely enough room in that place to shuffle. After a lot of ‘coffee’ and some scrounged up sourdough bread we headed off to Fiddlers Green, a pub down the street. After about 10 minutes my good sense kicked in and I wandered off in search of food. Nothing good would come of me staying and it was a very disconcerting scene…

Pretty much everything was closed but In and Out Burger so I grabbed a burger and fries to go and munched on my way back to the room. It was pretty good and came with the traditional “I can help who’s next!”… you can’t beat that.

Well the next morning is a slow start. 10 am and I’m finally out and about. I have no agenda today so it’s more of a “Hmmmmm, now what?” day.

But I’ve got a few things still on the tick list so cable car it is. It’s misty and drizzly so maybe it won’t be crowded. First stop though is sunscreen because with my luck the rain will stop. $14 gets me a muni day pass. Cable cars, street cars, busses etc. At $5 a car ride and $2 a bus it’s a good deal.


Apparently cable cars, as the name implies, run on a continuously moving cable power from a central facility. There are a lot of hills between downtown and Fisherman’s Wharf…steep hills. I can see how a cable car might be the only practical way of negotiating the inclines. Think underground T-bar. It runs through Chinatown (boring and I didn’t see Kurt Russell anywhere), Nob Hill and a few more places I don’t recognize. Unfortunately at the end of the line you have to disembark and line up again. This line is way longer (at least 4 cars) and it’s pretty much raining now. Good thing I packed my raincoat; I’m sure it’s keeping my suitcase nice and dry.


I’m starting to think the yellow flashing lights down the tracks and the total lack of cars after 3 left in a row doesn’t bode well. Yup… looks like a tow truck with a cable car in tow. Not sure how they are going to get it home? … Apparently they will tow it the whole way. They pushed it down to the turnaround and the hooked up again. I am wondering if they have to shut down the whole line to do this because there are no cars stacked up behind.

Soon enough the cars started showing up and I hitched a ride to the cable car museum. I hadn’t planned getting of but a very pushy very angry Frenchman was arguing with the conductor and continually jostling me because he wanted to stand where he wanted to stand. Getting off was easier.

The museum was free and pretty cool. The cables are one continuous loop and when they need to be replaced specialists splice them together over 90 ft of length. The diameter of the splice needs to exactly match the diameter of the cable. I have a hard enough time understanding how they do that with rope, let alone with steel cable. The museum is actually the power station so you can see all 4 cables spinning.


So all in all it’s after 12 and I’ve done very little today so far. As soon as another cable car comes by I’ll be back at Fisherman’s Wharf and aimless again. Contrary to expectations my ability to think ahead is not particularly improving. I’m going to guess this isn’t going to improve substantially over the next week or so. At least the rains stopped for a bit.

I got one of the hangers-on positions on the ride back. When 2 cable cars pass your ass is only a foot or so from the other guys… Whee.


Driving these things is all mass and muscle power. Yanking on friction breaks and grabbing wire, between the trolleys and the cable cars, the transit guys in SF put pretty much everyone else to shame with the amount of hard work they do in a day.


I grabbed my coat and a ticket from Pier 41 to Alameda and hopped the 1:45 ferry. After an exciting and action packed trip of about 2 minutes, we arrived back at Pier 41… and then left again. I’m not sure, but I think the Coast Guard wanted to check in because I saw them boarding the neighboring ferry when we touched in.

Once again, at $6.50 each way, the ferry is a way better deal than a tourist boat. You get to see the city from the water (metaphorically in my case as it’s pretty foggy) and all the ships in port, including the missile cruisers and, I hope, the Vinson.


Nice short ferry ride, long wet walk. I think I logged another couple of miles getting there and I think it rained most of the way. That drizzly moist rain where you keep insisting it’s not raining but you get wetter and wetter anyway.

Well the Hornet was pretty amazing. Big, complex and dead simple in some interesting ways. We got a tour of the bridge etc although the Pri-fly was closed due to the wet conditions. The docent who toured us had actually flown Panthers off her deck in Korea. Pretty cool.

2 of the tourees mentioned they were from Canada and it turns out they were from the HMCS Nanaimo, one of the Kingston class ships in the parade. In fact one was Lieutenant-Commander Jeff L. Chura, Executive Officer… (he gave me his card). I now have an in with the Navy! (or Maritime Command or RCN or whatever it is now)

The rest of the time it’s just wandering around 2 of the open decks and visiting the exhibits. It’s pretty impossible to describe so I just might not try.








The walk back seemed shorter, was a lot dryer and made my feet hurt… cue violins… stupid violins… never work right.

Unfortunately I timed it all badly so another 30 minute wait awaits. At least there’s a seat and a bathroom and only a lonely bicyclist and lonelier guard to take up my space.

The ride back ended at Ferry Terminal not Pier 41 so I got to ride the F Line again.



Back at the hotel I am trying to dry out, check my pics and decide whats up next. It’s 6:50 and I’d like a beer.

Nighty night.

I don’t wanna, or do I?


One interesting thing to note about the BART is that tickets are necessary for entry and exit. You need to have paid the correct fare for the correct station in order to leave. I wonder what happens if you haven’t got it? Are there lost souls forever doomed to ride the rails “Beneath The Streets of San Francisco”. What a great TV show!

On another note the continual reminders to be situationally aware and report suspicious packages and generally be a good citizen are faintly…well not so faintly… reminiscent of the old totalitarian 1984 type movies. They really work the technology to reinforce the rules.

This morning was the friendly cascading car alarm wake-up call. Lovely way to wake up and it was so nice of them to set it for 7:30… how convenient. A shower and quick cup of bad coffee… how do they expect us to use two big coffee cups with 2 tiny packets of sugar? It’s inhuman I tell you!

I checked out, found the wrong F line station, found the right F line station and headed downtown. Getting off was sort of a random affair as I had finally figured out the F line parallels the BART from Powell to Embarcadero, so you can get off at any time. Would have saved me a couple of blocks of walking when I first got here but hey, that’s why I am in such good shape.

One problem with this theory is that, while the BART etc. is clearly labeled, its not as apparent which station you’re at. Turns out I was at Montgomery. Still $8.10 to the airport though. A 10 minute wait and I was in my way. Not very crowded as we are heading out of downtown.

My timing sucks as I was a bit early this morning but not early enough to be useful. I figure I’ll have close to 3 hours at the airport to kill. At least I can ditch my bag and hopefully the interweb’s free.-