SF Thoughts So Far

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

SF Thoughts So Far

“We are a mole on the back of the beast.” — me in an email sent 15 years ago when pondering a move to the West coast

I’ve been in San Francisco for a few months now. The actual number of days that I’ve been in San Francisco is much less due to travel, work, family, and good old fashioned vacation time spent in Montana. The fact that I can be in Montana in a few hours using Delta, United, or even Allegiant is pretty smooth even if there are blackout dates to work around.

While in San Francisco, I’ve been able to visit EMC and Cisco offices in downtown San Francisco by walking. That’s what I like to call awesome. I’ll eventually get around to the other satellite offices in walking distance. Did I mention how awesome that is? I don’t miss my car and I really don’t miss trying to find a parking spot.

I’ve just learned about a Cisco shuttle from San Francisco to Cisco campus that sounds like the Google shuttle. I’ll report back once I’ve got a handle on the ins and outs of that process. The timing and door to door aspect has appeal when I can’t afford to miss a morning meeting in Silicon Valley.

Caltrain trips to Silicon Valley have been on time, uneventful, and delightfully peaceful so far. It’s not too bad if you are going to Palo Alto but there are still some gaps when you want to get to a meeting at EMC. Cisco is no problem. Light rail options and buses fill in the gaps. The best part about riding Caltrain from San Francisco is that the Creamery is right across the street. Hello pecan pie.

BART is still as good as it gets for to and from OAK and SFO. The fact that I can map out a route if I have luggage (rare) is nice. Technically, I could even BART an East Bay route to get to Cisco and EMC with those same gaps filled by light rail and buses. I hope to experiment more in the coming months as I am able.

MUNI buses have been good in that they are two bucks. That said, my one trip to Tenderloin on a MUNI bus so far was delayed because someone experienced a theft then refused to let the bus driver continue until the bus driver called the police. I learned that walking can sometimes be faster than riding. Also, I was reminded that theft can happen just about anywhere in the big city.

If I get in a pinch there is always TaxiMagic, Flywheel, and Uber. While I’ve heard good things about Lyft and other ride sharing services, I’m just not as socially graphed enough for that yet.

Speaking of social graphs… My return to Facebook is mostly done. I expect being on Facebook again will assist with some of that social graph mapping. That said, I’m still treating Facebook as a place where it’s all out there and any notion of privacy or vagaries around information being protected is fantasy at best. As the saying goes… if the product is free… you’re the product. Still, value is relative and single sign on has some advantages for the lazy aspects of my dialog with here today gone tomorrow services.

The sheer number of restaurants, bars, and related consumption options is impressive as expected by being in a city proper. So far I’ve been using Path, Foursquare Lists (really really good), and Facebook — in that order. Yelp is useless to me because the recommendations seem like a search through complaints more than kudos. Maybe that will change. Maybe not.

I’ve not used Postmates yet but I have an idea of where I might use it.

I’m quickly realizing AT&T is spotty for calls and especially so with 3G data. My move to Verizon is in process.

Lastly, the new look here on the blog is thanks to a migration from WordPress to OctoPress. I even found drafts I had not published for some reason. Cleanup continues. I even enabled Disqus again.