Monday, June 29, 2009

Red Devils Return to Pacifica #3 -- June 29, 2009

Last week the fireworks stands appeared. I haven't seen as much controversy in the Tribune this year, probably because of the economy. I took this photo on 27-June-2007 at the shopping center on Crespi.

It was very hot yesterday. Not as hot today. I have a cold.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Disney's A Christmas Carol Train Tour -- June 27, 2009

Disney's "A Christmas Carol" Train Tour, ballyhooing a new version of the story, has been travelling around the country. Today it was in Oakland. It was supposed to be at the Port of Redwood City, but they had construction going on. We had never been to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. It was hard to find, but nice. Even though we were early, the parking lot was full. The port had covered the no parking signs on the surrounding streets, so we were able to park along the road, right across the lawn from the observation car. The weather was warm and sunny, so we got the full odor of the mud flats. Everything was free.

We waited about 30 minutes in line, and were enterained by two guys, on one stilts, working with a diabolo. The train was pulled by two GE Genesis locomotives. We climbed aboard at the front of the first car behind the locomotives. The first four or five cars had exhibits. The last two or three, including an observation car, were for the cast and crew members. The first one or two cars had images of the characters and the scenes, and some Dickens memorabilia in cases, like two pages of the manuscript for Nicholas Nicholby, and some early editions of "A Christmas Carol."

The next car had touch screens that allowed us to see some of the locations.

The next car had kiosks where people could get photographed and then morph their faces into some of the characters. We all wound up as Tiny Tim.

The last exhibit car was decorated for a Christmas party and smelled of gingerbread.

After the train, we went to a temporary theater to see a preview of the movie. The lenses of the 3-D glasses were red/green, but also appeared to be polarized. The 3-D effects were good.

We drove to Emeryville and had lunch at the Chevys by the bay. It was nice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #24 - June 25, 2009

I took this photo on 24-June-2009.

Michael Jackson died. Great talent. Sad life. Bad choices.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two Years -- June 24, 2009

I launched this blog on 24-June-2007, after a false start on Geocities earlier that month. 416 entries later, I can say I've met many nice people and learned some interesting things.
I took the opportunity to review the topics I have covered so far. I see some personal interests that I have missed and will have to be sure to cover in the next year.

09/11 2
1906 3
Abraham Lincoln 3
Admission Day 1
aerial tramway 1
Alaska 12
Alexander Solzhenitsyn 1
animation 1
anniversary 1
April Fools' Day 1
Ardenwood 8
Armistice Day 1
Ash Wednesday 1
Automotive history 27
aviation history 17

Barney Oldfield 4
barry bonds 5
baseball 39
Batman 1
Benjamin Franklin 1
Benny Goodman 1
Bill's Place 1
Billie Ritchie 1
Blackhawk Auto Museum 2
blimp 1
blog-a-thon 1
blues 1
book 13
boxing 5
bridge 1
British Columbia 1
Buddy Holly 1
buster keaton 1

cable cars 16
California Academy of Science 1
california historical society 3
California Western Railroad 2
Canada 1
Carl Nolte 1
cat 23
catching up 4
Catholic Schools Week 2
Charlie Chaplin 2
chinatown 1
Chinese New Year 3
Christmas 11
Chronicle 5
Cinco de Mayo 1
Cliff House 4
Clover Milk 1
Columbus Day 2
comics 4
Creature Features 1
cruise 11
curtiss 3

DARPA Challenge 1
Dashiell Hammett 6
deer 1
Devil's Slide 1
Dimaggio 1
Disney Museum 1
Disneyland 11
Doctor P. H. Van der Weyde 24
Dodgers 2
Doris Lessing 1
Douglas Tilden 3
duck 3

Eartha Kitt 1
earthquake 4
East Bay Terminal 1
Easter 2
Edgar Allan Poe 1
election 10
escapology 2

Fairbanks 1
Famous Monsters of Filmland 1
Fathers' Day 2
ferry 1
fire 3
firehouse 20
fireworks 4
Flag Day 2
flying 1
Ford 2
Forrest J Ackerman 1
Fort Bragg 1
Fred Karno 1
Friday the 13th 1
funicular 1

G8 1
geese 1
Gelett Burgess 3
George Washington 2
Georges Méliès 1
Gertrude Stein 1
Giants 46
Golden Gate National Recreation Area 1
Golden Gate Park 7
Good Friday 2
Good Shepherd 15

Half Moon Bay 4
Halloween 3
Harold Pinter 1
Harry Langdon 1
Harry Potter 1
hats 2
Herb Caen 1
holiday 39
Holy Saturday 1
horse car 3
horsecar 3
Houdini 2

Independence Day 2
ipod 3
Italy 2

Jasper Fforde 1
jazz 5
Joe 2
John J Pershing 1
John Stephenson 1
John Updike 1
Johnny Griffin 1
Juan Marichal 1
juneau 1
jury duty 1

Ketchikan 1
Kino 1
Knox 10

Labor Day 1
Land's End 5
Lent 2
Life on Mars 2
Lincecum 6
Lincoln Beachey 1
Livy 1
llama 1
Locomobile 1
locomotive 8
Lon Chaney 1
Luciano Pavarotti 1

Mabel Normand 1
macworld 1
Manufacturer and Builder Magazine 20
Memorial Day 2
Michael Chabon 1
Midwinter Fair 2
monorail 1
mothers' day 2
Mount Tamalpais 1
movies 16
msr 1
muni 4
Musee Mecanique 1
music 8
mutoscope 2

new year 4
New York to Paris Race 1
newspaper 1
Norman Mailer 1
Nut Tree 2

Oakland 2
obsolete technology 6
Ocean Shore Railroad 5
octopus 1
olympics 1
opera 1
oracle 2
Orlando Cepeda 1
otr 1

Pacifica 37
Palace Hotel 1
Patrick McGoohan 1
Patton 1
Pearl Harbor Day 1
pge 1
phonoautograph 1
podcast 1
Presidents' Day 1
Presidio 5
pulp 2

racing car 16
racism 1
radio 11
Railroad history 28
Ralph DePalma 1
Raymond Chandler 1
Reminiscences of an Active Life 17
restaurant 9
rock'n'roll 2
Rome 1
Roof Rides 1

Sacramento 2
Saint Igantius 1
Saint Joseph's Day 2
Saint Monicas 1
Saint Patrick's Day 2
Saint Valentine's Day 2
samtrans 10
San Francisco history 75
San Francisco State University 5
sculpture 1
Seals 2
See's 1
serials 2
Shakespeare 1
Sherlock Holmes 1
ships 3
sidewalk art 2
signs 28
silent movies 16
Skagway 2
slapstick 5
snake 1
Sonoma 1
Sopwith 1
sound recording 1
Spamalot 1
spring 2
Stan Laurel 1
stanford 3
statue 12
storm 16
Sutro Baths 2

Tanforan 3
telephone 2
Thanksgiving 2
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion 6
The Prisoner 1
theater 3
Theodore Roosevelt 1
Thomas Flyer 3
Tom Lantos 1
Tracy Arm Fjord 1
train station 13
transit 29

Union Square 1

Veterans Day 2
Victor Hugo 1
Victoria 1

Wachovia 1
walking tour 4
Wall of Fame 8
war 2
Watchmen 1
Wells Fargo 2
what is this 2
White Motor Car 2
White Pass and Yukon 2
why 7
Wicked 1
Willie Mays 1
Willie McCovey 2
Willits 1
Wizard of Oz 2
wright 1

Yerba Buena Gardens 7

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pulp #2 -- June 23, 2009

I enjoy Raymond Chandler's stories. I haven't read "Finger Man" for years, so I don't remember if the cover illustration has anything to do with it.

The image is from a wonderful site called Cover Browser:

It was warm this morning and windy this afternoon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day #2 -- June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers' Day to all my fellow fathers. I miss my dad. It's been almost ten years since he passed on.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Giants Wall of Fame #8 -- June 20, 2009

In September, 2008 the Giants unveiled their Wall of Fame along the King Street side of the ballpark, whatever it is called this week. This set of plaques in honors four Giants whom I remember well.

Vida Blue was a brilliant pitcher, who was the subject of a huge trade with the Oakland Athletics during one of their regular fire sales. Greg Minton, the Moon Man, was a left-handed relief pitcher. Chili Davis was an outfielder with a wonderful attitude. Jeffrey Leonard, Hac Man, who wore number 00, should be a member of the Cool Hall of Fame. He could hit.

I took the photo on 29-September-2008 (3080).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brazen Horses -- June 17, 2009

Deborah Butterfield created a group of bronze horses, shaped to look like driftwood, and placed them in the courtyard at 425 Market. I took the photo today.

Over the weekend, the Giants swept the Athletics. Then the Angels swept the Giants. Sad.

Monday, June 15, 2009

No. 10 -- June 15, 2009

I took this photo of a sticker on a Fire Department alarm box on Howard Street on 15-May-2009. Let me know if you see 1-9 or 11 and up. I suspect he is a figure from San Francisco history, like Thomas Starr King. I'll know better if I see more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Flag Day #2 -- June 14, 2009

I took this photo of the flags at Moscone Center on 14-January-2009.
Today we had breakfast at the Sharp Park Restaurant. I had bangers and scrambled eggs. Very good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Closed Door -- June 13, 2009

I worked from home on Wednesday. On Thursday I got to the bus stop on the way home. First I noticed saw horses in front of Saint Patrick's. Then I noticed the sidewalk was being replaced, and that the doors were closed. It's rare to see the doors closed on a weekday. Then I noticed that our bus shelter was gone. I took the photo that day. Friday, more sidewalk was torn up and there was very little bus stop left.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reminiscences of an Active Life #17 -- June 12, 2009

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895.

While serving as editor of Manufacturer and Builder Magazine, he wrote many articles, including the ones which gave this blog its name. In 1893 and 1894, he published a 23-part (!) memoir in the same periodical. Here is the seventeenth part. He continues to talk about his interest in music.

The tower of the town hall in Heusden was demolished by the Nazis in 1944 in such
a way that it killed one tenth of the population, who were hiding in the cellar.

The image comes from Manufacturer and Builder Volume 4, Issue 10, October 1872, page 233.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Part Eleven

Part Twelve

Part Thirteen

Part Fourteen

Part Fifteen

Part Sixteen

Reminiscences of an Active Life.


From Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 26, Issue 6, June 1894

(Continued from page 107.)

9th. Career as an Organist.-- My last teacher, De Vries, often expressed the opinion that an organ wants improvisation by an improvisator to bring out what there is in it. This, of course, he can only do after having first made himself acquainted with the resources offered by the peculiarities of its construction, which varies considerably in different organs. In fact, they are never exactly like one another, wherefore it is absolutely necessary for a performer to examine and try privately any large organ previous to giving a public performance on the same.

This last remark reminds me of the extra duty imposed upon the organists of preeminently good organs. Their duty is to give on some week day, for one or two hours, a public performance on their organs, when they may bring out such beauties of their instruments as are not suitable to be exhibited during public worship.

Large organs contain stops which give imitations of various instruments, such as the flute, clarionet (sic – JT), cornet, etc. With such an organ, having always three or four key-boards, an organist can entertain an audience as fully as a whole orchestra with its solo players, wherefore organ concerts, in the hands of proficient performers, are very enjoyable to the public, which in Holland never fails to take advantage of the opportunity.

My teacher, De Vries, enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for his finish and taste in piano playing, and in consequence had so great a number of pupils that he was glad to let me often attend to organ-playing not only on week days, but also during religious services, of which my relatives, especially my mother, were very proud. It was so good a training for me, that on the first occasion that a position as organist in a neighboring town had to be given by competitive examination, I was far ahead of the other candidates.

The city referred to was the small city of Heusden, North Braband, with a very large church. The church authorities advertised, as customary, in the public papers, that on a stated day a public competition would take place, when candidates would be given a chance to perform before examiners, who were not allowed to know who was playing, but had to decide by number who performed the best.

When I arrived at the appointed time, I found thirty other candidates, to each of which was, of course, given a chance to examine the organ to be performed upon. Then we had to draw lots to decide the order of performance, while the sexton took charge of all of them and brought them to a house in the vicinity where the organ could not be heard, as no one was permitted to hear the others play, as this would give a great advantage to those who had to play later, because they all had to perform the same programme (sic – JT) which they found on the desk over the organ key-board. Therefore, when one had finished, the sexton went for another one to take his place.

My turn came much sooner than I expected, for the reason, as I was told, that half the candidates had withdrawn when they came to the organ key-boards and saw the programme. These programmes were about as follows, but varied according to the taste of the examiner or examiners:

1st. Introductory voluntary, to begin in the key of B minor, modulate through the keys a G major, C minor, and close in the key of A flat major.

2d. Play in that key one verse of the melody of Psalm 65 with the proper harmony, modulate to a lower key, and play the next verse in that key.

3d. Execute the thorough bass indicated by bass notes and figures on the music sheet before you.

4th. Harmonize the chromatic scale upward and downward; play scale with the right hand and harmony with the left.

5th. Play the chromatic scale with the pedals, and harmonize with both hands on full organ.

This is only intended to give an idea of the style of programmes used on such occasions; the programme on that occasion I have forgotten, as this event took place some sixty years ago.

After the information was given me that I had been elected, a paper was shown me testifying that I was the only candidate who had satisfactorily performed all the numbers of the programme. It was signed by all the examiners.

Attached to the church was an old tower with heavy bells, which were rung to call the congregation; but the chimes of bells often found on church towers were here on a smaller square tower on the City Hall, where there was clock-work moving the hands of four dials, one on each side, while at every hour and half hour the chimes played a lively tune before striking the hour. As people do not want to hear the same tune always, this tune has to be changed twice a year, which has to be done by the organist, who therefore has to understand the structure of a barrel organ, on the principle of which the chimes of bells ring automatically every hour. This is common in Holland, also in my native town, where I had assisted the organist to perform the work of changing the old tune to a new one.

I was also examined on this subject, of which I was the only candidate who knew anything about it, and of which the others did not understand anything at all.

(To be Continued.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Signs of the Times #28 -- June 11, 2009

I walked up to Union Square on 01-June-2009 and was sad to see that the See's Candy store had closed.

Yesterday I had to work from home to get Comcast to fix the problems we're having with phone and internet. They replaced the cable and the modem and so far things are working better.

Today when I went to the bus stop to go home, I found that the doors of Saint Patrick's were closed and the sidewalk blocked and the bus shelter was gone.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2009 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest -- June 9, 2009

Defending champ Leonard Oats won the 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest in Union Square. There was a good crowd, nice music, and the 49ers' cheerleaders. Read more about it on my cable car site:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Geese -- June 7, 2009

A gaggle of geese sail along the lagoon in Redwood Shores. I took the photo today. We went to a family graduation in Belmont. It was warm sitting in the sun.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spamalot -- June 6, 2009

This afternoon we went to see Spamalot at the Golden Gate. I took the photo on 03-June-2009.
The show was funny. I was sorry they had to leave out the Bridge of Death. The killer rabbit was well done. My daughter had to buy a hand puppet.
President Obama and other leaders went to Omaha Beach for the 65th anniversary of D Day.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Train Station #11 -- June 5, 2009

This is the San Carlos train station, which was built in 1888. I took the photo on 27-December-2008 when we went to the Depot Cafe in the station. The food was good. The room was full of photos and models of trains.

Tonight we went to the graduation dinner dance at Good Shepherd School. The food was good there, too. The people are always nice.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Randy Johnson, 300 wins -- June 4, 2009

Last night's game against the Washington Nationals got rained out, so the Giants played a double header today. In the first game, Randy Johnson got his 300th victory. I've seen several columns and articles saying he might be the last man to do it. The second game, started by Matt Cain, is in a rain delay.

I found a picture of Randy Johnson's rookie card on ebay.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Firehouse #20 -- June 3, 2009

The Pedro Point Firehouse is older than Pacifica. It was built by the Pedro Point Improvement Association for the volunteer fire department from 1949 to 1953. The Pedro Point Community Association, successor to the PPIA, still owns the firehouse and uses it for events.

Koko Taylor died.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bordeaux With Mabel Normand in 1916 -- June 1, 2009

Mabel Normand is one of my favorite actresses. Here she poses with actor Joe Bordeaux. The caption says this is 1916. She rode in an airplane in 1912's "A Dash Through the Clouds," and other movies.

I borrowed this image from a neat site dedicated to Mabel, Looking for Mabel Normand: