Recapping 2015 Part 1

If you thought I’d be writing like a mad man in 2015 you were sadly mistaken. In a period of time where so much has changed for me it’s bewildering that it was the first year in over a decade that I wasn’t writing.

I managed to go over a year without a single post and it sure wasn’t because I had nothing to share. The last time I checked in with anyone on here was nearly 500 days ago. In that time I’ve made some massive changes to my life.

Let’s go through the highlights. I’ll keep this part brief, so much to share would hate to condense it into a single post! Continue reading

How I Used Social Media to Buy a Car

Wow, my first post since moving to San Diego and it only took 52 days to do it! That’s pretty horrible, I must admit. Here I thought moving to a new city would inspire me to be more active in my photography and blogging. Nope. Turns out moving and starting a new job means you have next to no free time. When you do find yourself void of responsibilities, all you really want to do is relax with your iPad and new season of Nikita on Netflix. Perhaps I’m projecting a bit… Clearly I really love that show.

For all the years I lived in San Francisco I never owned a car. It just wasn’t necessary. I walked almost everywhere in that city, and loved it. It was a healthy way to get around and it allowed me a little time to myself. When I needed to go further than a say a mile, I’d take the Muni. And despite what many of the locals might say, we have a stellar mass transit system.

My apartment had a Walk Score of 98 and a Bike Score of 95. My office had a Walk Score of 92, a Transit Score of 100 and a Bike Score of 89. Basically I had the world, just steps away. San Diego, well it isn’t quite the same here. Continue reading

Au Revoir San Francisco, I’m Moving to San Diego

So right now I’m vacationing with my family in the Florida Keys. The following week I fly to New York City to go to WeWork Summer Camp and visit Keith and the Girl. I then fly directly to Texas for work meetings and get this, on August 31 I move to San Diego.

That’s right. I’m giving up the cold blanket of fog for the warm sunshine of America’s Finest City. Starting September 1, all things going as planned, I’ll be moved into my new home and starting work a couple of days later.

If you feel taken aback by this news rest assured you’re not alone. Three weeks ago I’d never have even thought twice about moving to San Diego. I’d never even been to San Diego! Then, seemingly out of nowhere, an incredible job opportunity opened up. I jokingly responded something like, “Oh if only I lived in San Diego!” and then boom, two weeks later I’m in San Diego on interview six or eleven (depending on how we’re counting). Continue reading

Rethinking the Ike’s Place iPhone Application

If you were to ask ten San Franciscans for the best sandwich shop in town I wouldn’t be surprised if they all exclaimed Ike’s Place as the best sandwiches. Ike’s menu is absolutely astoundingly huge with eighty listed sandwiches and many more secret sandwiches that only the cool kids know about.

I’m a bit spoiled to be honest as I live just one block away from an Ike’s. I found myself tempted to eat one of their gargantuan sandwiches just about everyday back when I worked from home. Thankfully I had the willpower to know better. Their sandwiches range in price from $10 all the way up to $20 (though the average price is $10.60) and they’re famously large with The Kryptonite sandwich clocking in at 5,700 calories!

Those same San Franciscans that would have suggested Ike’s Place would also add the caveat “But be ready to wait in a long line or order ahead.” Ike’s Place is so popular that they’ve been kicked out of their shops at least twice (?) since I moved to San Francisco. Neighbors pushed them out due to the extremely high traffic. Ordering ahead of time is absolutely essential with some wait times exceeding an hour!

Thankfully Ike’s Place has an iPhone app for ordering ahead of time (no online ordering through their website which bewilders me). It’s made by mCommerce Innovations Group and it’s pretty horrible. Look Ike Shehadeh, I LOVE your sandwiches. I just want the best for you guys which is why I wrote up this post. It’s full of criticisms, corrections and the like but it’s also full of solutions and love.

Disclaimer: I’m not a real designer, I’m not a UX/UI expert for some big dev company, I’m not a real programmer or a guru at any of this stuff. This just what a casual user, who has a touch of OCD, observed when trying to order a sandwich from his favorite sandwich shop.

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Learn How to Make a Perfect Negroni

A lot of you know that I’m obsessed with wine. A handful of you know that my love of wine extends into my love of craft beers. A tiny number of you know of my love for old world cocktails. Recently I discovered a cocktail called a “Negroni” and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

Not just with this cocktail but with cocktails in general. I’m thinking about starting a YouTube channel where I teach people how to make amazing, old world cocktails and complete each one in under 60 seconds. There isn’t really anyone on YouTube doing something like this. There really aren’t any people doing reliably decent and regular cocktail videos which boggles my mind.

I decided to give this a go and make a pilot video. This was built from start to finish in Adobe Photoshop CS6. That’s a first for me, never thought about doing a video in Photoshop but since this was an experiment and since I only shot photos I figured why not? Any who, here goes!

The Perfect Negroni

  • 1.5 ounces Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 1.5 ounces Tanqueray gin
  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • 1 orange

Fill an Old Fashioned glass with cracked ice. Pour on top of it each of the liquors. Zest an orange over the glass. Express the orange peel (inverted pinch to release the orange oils across the glass) and drop into the glass. Do a gentle stir and enjoy!

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WeWork SoHo West in New York City

Back in April I spent a week in New York City to hang out with scores of people in town from all over the world for an event called Keith and the Girl Week, aka KATG Week. People flew in from as far away as Australia and China to watch a week of comedy shows and enjoy after parties.

From around six at night, every night, I was in Dumbo Queens for the festivities and normally until around three in the morning. But by day I was busy getting my normal day-to-day work done. How I was able to get on with only a few hours of sleep a night for a week I don’t know. How I was able to get any work done, however, is well known to me. WeWork.

I work out of WeWork Labs in San Francisco and love the community, features and just about everything else about the office. So when I know I was going to be in New York City for a while, the city that birthed WeWork, I knew I’d have to see what’s up. I asked Anna, a community advisor at my WeWork, if this would be possible. After exchanging email with a few WeWorkers in New York I was put into contact with Adam & Ben. Adam encouraged me to check out their WeWork SoHo West location.

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Adventures in San Francisco with Alex and Joey

San Francisco, well California in general, is one of those places that you just want to show off. When I lived in Columbia the extent I would show off my town was really limited to the University of Missouri campus, Shakespeare’s Pizza, the Artisan (RIP) and Top Ten Wines. If they were especially adventurous we might hit up the Pinnacles north of town or Rock Bridge Memorial State Park south of town. We could get everything done in a day, easily. 

San Francisco and Northern California are so different. I’ve lived here for a total of four years and I feel like I’ve only skimmed the surface. I am regularly thanking my friends Jimmy and Aaron for helping me discover new and often inspiring features of this part of the country. Whether it’s a mountain to be climbed or a fantastic restaurant at which to be dined.

So when friends visit me here in California, the list of things to do is almost certainly longer than the days they will be here. Such was the case with Alex and Joey. I picked them up from the airport a Wednesday afternoon and drove them straight to wine country for tastings at J Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards and Preston of Dry CreekContinue reading