Downtown Portland Murals, August 2019

Faith 47 and Rone murals in Portland, OR.

I spent last weekend in Oregon, first in Monmouth for my “little” (functionally giant) nephew’s wedding, and then Portland for world-class sushi (and cauliflower!) at Bamboo (known for becoming the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, and for being super tasty) before hopping a late flight back to The Bay.

There’s a mural that always captures my eye in downtown Portland, northwest of Pioneer Courthouse Square, right about here, a haunting image of a woman, full height on a brick building, by Faith 47.

From this angle, I want to stick my head around the corner of the building, to see what’s worrying her.

The work and placement remind me of an international film class I took at the local junior college twenty-something years ago, in which the instructor showed us an example of the first time a director pulled viewers into the film by leaving the action off-screen. I wish I could remember the director and film, but my “look at me, I’m into international film” example will have to stand in this rather half-ass form.

Here’s the full context:

The mural on the right is by Rone. Both are from the 2014 Forest for the Trees mural project.

‘Round the corner (about here), basically above Bamboo, is another cool one. The face on this piece by Troy Lovegates and Paige Wright reminds me of the work of Pushead, an artist whose work has loomed large in my life since my earliest memories of skateboarding and punk/hardcore music.

I wish I could figure out what the thing hanging around her neck is. Maybe next time I’m in Portland, I’ll monkey myself up on that roof and take a closer look.

Here’s the full context:

The piece on the left is by Michael Reeder; both are from Forest for the Trees 2015. The black-ish building below is Bamboo’s downtown location, and if you dig sushi, you owe it to yourself to check it out when you’re in Portland. Everything they do is tasty, but their crunchy fried cauliflower is delicious, and their Green Machine and Ocean Farmer rolls are exquisite.

Angelica and I were trying to figure out the musical equivalents of these two rolls, and the best we could come up with was that the Green Machine is Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” in that it fires up immediately and is very clear in its intentions to rock your tastebuds, while the Ocean Farmer is more delicate and complex—like a Giant Squid album, or something by another avant-garde post-hardcore progressive art rock experiment.

Wanna check out more murals on the ground in Portland? Check out and

Shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV using a EF 24–105mm f/4L lens.

I Am The 1% – According to LinkedIn

LinkedIn 1 Percenter Email Marketing

I love LinkedIn’s email marketing—they do such cool stuff with their available data.

I got a kick out of this email from business social network yesterday. Apparently, some folks are looking at my profile. Of course, 1% of 200 million members is still a pretty damn big group—so not real exclusive, but this approach certainly made some people feel like their profiles were getting a lot of action.

LinkedIn 1 Percenter Email Marketing

A very cool engagement tactic. Two thumbs up from this guy who happens to have two thumbs to give.

I Launched a Motorbike PSA Site

Lane Splitting is Legal in California

I’m a motorcycle nut—perhaps you’ve noticed. I commute on my trusty R1200R, so I ride every day, rain or shine and  I do a lot of lane splitting in heavy traffic.

Lane splitting, or lane sharing, has always been legal in California, but recently the CHP announced their official lane splitting guidelines. Because a lot of motorists don’t know that lane splitting is legal, a lot of folks thought it’d be good to get some additional PR mojo around the guidelines. So I created

The idea is that the URL is simple and thus gets the message across on its own. It’s also pretty memorable so folks who want more info can easily go the site and learn more.

There are really two audiences for the site: drivers and riders. I plan to refine the navigation and info architecture to lend itself to more sensible paths for these two audiences, but the first version of the site launched last Monday night. It’s already getting linked to from various motorcycle forums, and I’m going to do a run of lane splitting stickers to hand out at moto events and shops.

The folks on BARF seem pretty jazzed about it—hopefully that’s a good sign that riders will be into sharing the URL. I (of course) created a Facebook page as well, for people who prefer to keep up with stuff on Facebook rather than through old school methods like websites and RSS.

Anyway, it’s a cool little project for me. If you’re a rider—or care about making California roads a happier, safer place for all—please share the site. It’s Thanks!

Family Style Run to Highway 36

THE SIGN on Highway 36, Northern California.

I’ve been letting this li’l blog languish for some time: too busy doing, not much time for documenting. Anyway, excuses aside…

I’d been wanting to head up to ride the legendary Highway 36 and a few months back my pops happened to mention that he’d heard of a mythical road up in Northern California that was “over 100 miles, curves all the way to the coast.” Highway 36. Surprisingly, he said he wanted to ride it with me, surprising because he rides a big cruiser and likes to well, just cruise. So I hatched a plan to get my brother Justin to ride down from Oregon and meet us at one end of 36 so the three of us could ride it together over Labor Day weekend.

Long story short: Justin was on his way to meet us in Eureka when his bike died in Crescent City. My dad and I rode up to see if we could help him out, but the bike refused to return to life, so the next morning my dad and I rode back down to Fortuna and headed over 36 while Justin waited for his tolerant and understanding wife Ruth to come get him.

36 is a truly amazing road: 140 miles of up-and-down twisties between Fortuna and Red Bluff. There are many awesome roads in CA but the cool thing about 36 is that you’re basically out in the middle of nowhere for 140 miles—you don’t really see too many cars. And the terrain changes a lot. Make sure you fill your tank and bring water – it was cold when we started out in Fortuna but got up to 100 degrees for the last third of the ride as we closed in on Red Bluff.

All in, we did about about 940 miles in just under 38 hours. Not exactly Iron Butt mileage, but not too shabby. Next up: can I do this run in one day? Up the coast from SF to Skaggs and then Fortuna, across 36 to Red Bluff and back down 5 to home?

Photos: Easter Morning Pre-sunrise Ride Up Mount Tamalpais

The view from Mount Tamalpais at dawn on Easter 2012.

There’s a long-standing tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area motorcycle community: the annual ride up Mount Tamalpais on Easter morning. The idea is to get to the top before sunrise to catch the view as the sun comes up. It’s a pretty big deal: I’m not sure exactly how many bikes there was, but it was a LOT.

I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed at 4 AM to make it to the meetup point by 5:20 AM. I’m glad I did. It was cold, but worth it to see the sun come up on the Bay Area from Mount Tam. I’m not much of a group rider, but the few I’ve gone on—like the annual Halloween Friday night ride in SF—have been enjoyable and interesting.

I took a lot of photos. Miraculously, a few came out ok.

SOPA Is Stupid. We All Know It.

And I’m not talking about soup.

Seriously, if you’re not well-informed on this issue, go here or here or here. Or just search on the Google, which is currently sporting a blacked out logo in protest.

All that aside, as is often the case, there’s some fun coming out of this. I saw lots of awesome anti-SOPA stuff today. Here are a couple of examples.

First, a super video from LaughPong, riffing on Don McLean’s The Day the Music Died. Check out The Day the LOLcats Died:

The Oatmeal, who is pretty much the King of Awesome, whipped up an amazing animated GIF, and asked that we all pirate the shit out of it. So I did exactly that, and I’m totally not gonna credit The Oatmeal at all. Piracy ARRRGG!

SOPA is stupid.

Now that we’ve had a laugh and learned a bit, go make some noise about this.

Two Reasons California is the Best Motorcycle State in the USA

Motorbikes parked in San Francisco in December

I love California for many reasons, but speaking as a motorcyclist/biker/hooligan/whatever y’all call me, California is damn hard to beat. Here’s why:

  1. Lane splitting. If you don’t know what this means, get a motorcycle and come to California—you’re basically immune to traffic. Commuting by moto is the only way to go! A couple of years ago, when I started working at ReputationDefender (now I was commuting from Sacramento to Redwood City each day. It was about 2 hours each way by bike, but by car it was often over 3 hours each way. Moving to San Francisco solved that particularly problem, but I would have burned out real fast sitting in the car for that long. Commuting by bike is fun!
  2. The “riding season” never ends. Yeah, it got down to 34 degrees when I rode Mount Hamilton a couple of weeks ago, but take a look at these photos and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s December (almost Christmas!) and it’s sunny, and there are tons of bikes in the city.

So what are you waiting for? Get on your bad motorscooter and ride!

I Might Need a Heated Vest

Cow on the road on Del Puerto Canyon Road.

Cow on the road on Del Puerto Canyon Road.It was supposed to rain this afternoon, but I wanted to ride the Mount Hamilton>Del Puerto Canyon>Mines loop I rode last Sunday. I also just installed some Barkbuster S1 handguards and wanted to see how they worked at keeping my hands warm.

Turns out it was a really good thing I installed those handguards: my bike’s thermometer was reading 34 degrees on the front side of Hamilton and my sandwich-grabbers were chilly. I know that’s not cold for you “Yeah, I ride my GSA in the snow, so what?” kind of guys—but that’s pretty cold for us California folks. The good news is between my heated grips and the handguards, I did ok. I did spend a few minutes warming up with a skinny mocha (gotta fit into my leathers!) in Patterson before heading back over Del Puerto Canyon to Mines road.

Unfortunately, I’m not super-happy about the pair of Held Warm ‘n’ Dry gloves I picked up a couple months ago. I had high hopes: the Warm ‘n’ Dries have great reviews and supposedly work well with heated grips. Plus, I love my Held Steve IIs, just as I loved the pair of Steves I wore out before the Twos. But the supposedly Warm (and Dries) don’t transmit heat from the grips very well, and they’re so stiff that I feel very disconnected from the controls. Not good. So, I’m on the hunt for a new pair of winter gloves. Maybe the SF D-store has something for me.

So in summary… I endured near-freezing temps in unsatisfactory gloves, lost count of the cows in the road, and the rear was end stepping out more than a cheatin’ wife in a country song on the dirty roads… but I had a hell of a time. And I made it home before it started raining.

Google Maps route over here, if you’re looking to do this loop yourself.

Brisk Winter Ride & A Sweet Photo of SF

Treasure Island view of San Francisco + BMW R1200R.
Treasure Island view of San Francisco + BMW R1200R.

I headed out last Sunday for a quick loop over Mount Hamilton, across Del Puerto Canyon Road to Patterson, then back over to Mines and back to San Francisco. Check out my route and for extra points, the Yelp reviews for Del Puerto Canyon Road: “Why is there an option to review a friggen road?”

Good question, but it turns out there are reviews for Mines Road (“Yes it is a HELL OF A RIDE!”), Mount Hamilton (“Amazing views. A drive not for the faint of heart.”), and of course, The Junction (“Awesome, motorcycle haunt in the middle of no where. 10 stars for the food.”).

It was a classically Bay Area-beautiful day for a ride: temps stayed between the high forties and low sixties, and the roads were reasonably clean and dry for the most part. Surprisingly, I only saw a few other riders, including a slow-moving noob on a little dual-purpose bike. High five for your gumption, noobie!

It was clearer than usual, so I stopped off on Treasure Island to snap some photos of the city, where a friendly tourist took this photo of me with my bike. Here’s hoping the weather holds so I can get in another ride this weekend. If not, I can also tinker with my bike—I have some new bits from Touratech and TwistedThrottle to bolt on in the name of adventure via accessory purchases.

Dia de los Muertos San Francisco, 2011

Pretty sure that's Mr. The Box there on the left.

Angelica and I went out to The Mission last night for the Dia de los Muertos celebration. We didn’t make it last year, but compared to 2009 it seemed like the procession was smaller, even if there were still about a bajillion people out in various states of costume and makeup, some of it very impressive and well-done.

Day of the Dead isn’t just about goth kids having an excuse to wear makeup (like they need one) or the Burning Man crowd building stuff for the procession—although there’s usually plenty of both. It’s a very significant cultural/spiritual event with real meaning for the organizers and participants. (I know, way to go Captain Understatement!) The altars in the park were striking as always and aside from the Steve Jobs and Dio altars, they all appeared to be very personal and emotional affairs. One woman had built an altar for her husband (I think) and was there telling folks about how awesome he was in an almost joyful way. Very touching and cool.

I’m not very good at taking photos at night, but here are a few that turned out. Maybe my resolution for 2012 should be learn to take photos for realsies.

I decided to try taking videos with my point ‘n’ shoot camera*, and they actually turned out kinda cool so I posted them on the YouTubes. Here’s one of huge glowing jellyfish dancing down the street.

And one of some super cool dancing and drumming. The jellyfish show up in this one too – they’re hard to miss.

*In case you’re wondering, my camera is a Panasonic Lumix, the discontinued DMC-FS15. I’ve been super happy with it: it was cheap, takes good photos in my spite of my total lack of technique (almost all the photos here were taken with it) and the battery lasts forever.