Monday, July 30, 2012

Stockton Street Closed -- July 30, 2012

I got back from vacation and took a walk at lunchtime.  Work is starting on the Central Subway project.  Buses have been rerouted from Fourth to Fifth.  The first blocks of Grant Avenue are now two-way.  The first block of Stockton was closed today.  The weather was nice. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Charlie Chaplin Outfit -- July 29, 2012

"1000 LAFFS for 10 cents."  This ad, from the November, 1915 Photoplay, encourages boys to send their dimes to the NUIDEA Company in Brooklyn to receive a Charlie Chaplin outfit. I understand the mustache.  I wonder why it includes a gold tooth.  The "Ish Ka Bibble" button is interesting.  I remember Ish Kabibble, Mervyn Bogue, who performed with Kay Kyser.  According to Wikipedia, "Ish Ka Bibble" is a fake Yiddish expression that is said to mean "I should worry?"  I'd love to own a Disappearing Medallion Coin.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Time She Was in Battle -- July 28, 2012

The Battleship Oregon was built by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco.  Oregon served in the fleet that destroyed the Spanish fleet at Santiago de Cuba. In 1914 she visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Starting in 1925, she was preserved at Portland, Oregon as a museum ship. When World War II broke out, she was scrapped. 

From the 23-November-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image to see a larger version.


The Oregon's Boat Went Down Before a Freight Barge. 


Who Was to Blame Remains to Be Seen -— An Investigation in Order. 

Several of Uncle Sam's men had a narrow escape yesterday. They were on their way in the provision-boat for the line-of-battle ship Oregon, when the river steamer Alvira with a barge in tow, came along and ran them down. No lives were lost, but the boat and provisions went to the bottom of the bay.

The Oregon's launch was on its way to the warship and the Alvira, with the barge Orient in tow, was on her way to the Mission mud flats. The man-of-warsmen thought they could pass in front of the river steamer and found out their mistake too late. Before the boat in tow of the launch could get out of the way the barge Orient was on top of it and everything went out of sight. Two of the men were picked up by Henry Peterson in the launch Amy, and Captain Leale of the Caroline picked up another. The latter boat did a smart piece of work, and had a boat in the water and on the scene three minutes after the accident. The cook on the Alvira threw a life-buoy with such precision that it encircled a Chinese member of the provision crew who bobbed up after the barge had cleared the way.

The officers and crew of the Oregon missed their fresh meat for breakfast and dinner, but later a new boat was sent ashore and a fresh supply secured.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lunch at Beach Chalet -- July 27, 2012

My wife and I had lunch upstairs at the Beach Chalet.  There was the standard Richmond District overcast, but it was warm and muggy. 

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Armistice which paused the Korean War.  It could start up again. 

We're getting ready to watch the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics between innings of the Giants vs Dodgers. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #61 -- July 26, 2012

I took the photo on 11-July-2012.  I started posting these pictures five years ago.  I'm happy we still have her with us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Scow Schooner Alma -- July 25, 2012

We went to the Giants game today.  We parked at Colma BART and took a train to the Embarcadero.  We took an N train to Red's Java House.  We walked to the stadium and found our seats in the far left field edge of the Club Level.  Tim Lincecum got into trouble early and the game dragged along.  I was distracted when the scow schooner Alma, from the Hyde Street Pier, sailed into McCovey Cove.  The Giants made a comeback in the 8th, but lost 6-3.  We took an L train back to the Embarcadero, and caught a BART train. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel -- July 24, 2012

On our trip to Southern California, we drove down I-5 and stopped at the Hollywood and Highland mall in Los Angeles.We had lunch with family at the Hard Rock Cafe then visited Grauman's Chinese and walked around.  I took this photo of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which hosted the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

California State Railroad Museum #4 -- July 23, 2012

Today we drove to Sacramento.  Traffic was good going up.  Coming back, we heard about disruptions because President Obama was visiting Oakland, so we took the Black Point Cutoff and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Traffic was good again.

On the way up, we stopped at the Vacaville outlets.  We parked in Old Sacramento, and took a walk to the K Street Mall, where we had lunch at Johnny Rocket's.  We walked over the Sacramento train station and I took some pictures.

We went to the California State Railroad Museum.  There was an exhibit about comfort in traveling.  The many examples of chairs and seats were interesting.  Downstairs there was an exhibit of toy trains.  In the reefer, there was an exhibit of fruit crate labels.  There was no exhibit upstairs.  We had a nice stroll through the museum, then walked around Old Sacramento.

On the way back, we stopped at the Nut Tree and had something to eat at Fenton's Creamery.  I didn't see the train.  The heat was furnace-like.

I took the photo today, showing an interesting image on the side wall of the museum.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Red Cars at Disney California Adventure -- July 22, 2012

We just got back from vacation. We drove down I-5 to Hollywood and visited with relatives.  We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, my first time.  The food was good.  The memorabilia was interesting.  We continued on to the Disneyland Hotel.  The construction project was finished.  We went to 5 o'clock mass at Saint Boniface. 

The great revision of Disney California Adventure (they lost the apostrophe s) was finished.  They tried to make the park look like Los Angeles when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s.

One feature of this is a Red Car line that runs from the main gate to the Tower of Terror, with stops at Carthay Circle and Hollywood Boulevard.  I saw two cars, 623 in an older Pacific Electric livery, and 717, painted like a PE Hollywood car.  July 17 was the date that Disneyland opened.  The cars are double ended.  The terminals are stub ended.  There is a passing track on Hollywood Boulevard, closer to the outer terminal than the inner. 

There is an overhead electric wire which is not energized.  I learned on my first ride, when the trolley pole dewired, that the correct (rear) pole has to be up and in contact with the wire or the car will not move. 

A cast member (Disney's term for employee) explained that the people working on the Red Cars rotate through three jobs: motorman/motorette, conductor and station agent.  The station agents work at the terminals and stops, answering questions and getting people to wait in line.  When the crowds are heavy, an agent will walk in front of the car to ask people to get out of the way. 

One car makes a short turn at Carthay Circle when a musical show is performed there.  The other car is used as a background for the show. 

The tracks disappear behind a gate at the outer terminal. 

I took the photo last week. 

The new Cars Land is a lot of fun. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ghost Sign #9 -- July 21, 2012

This ad for Heines' Tobacco on Howard near Second became more visible after they tore down the ramps from the East Bay Terminal.  I took the photo on 15-August-2011.

Friday, July 20, 2012

18 Hours to Los Angeles -- July 20, 2012

The Harvard and the Yale were fast turbine steamers brought from the east coast by the Pacific Navigation Company to operate between San Francisco and San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles. They sailed the route from 1911 until World War One and from 1921 until 1931 (by the Los Angeles-San Francisco Steamship Company), when Harvard hit rocks near Point Arguello and sank. The effects of the Great Depression and competition from autos and railroads caused LASSCO to stop service with the Yale after 1936. Both ships carried troops to Europe during WWI and Yale served the Navy during WWII.

This advertisement, from the 08-September-1911 San Francisco Call advertises service to Los Angeles and San Diego.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Comic Book #14 -- July 19, 2012

I enjoyed reprints of Golden Age Sandman stories because he didn't have magical super powers.  He wore a suit, a hat and a gas mask, and he rendered crooks unconscious with a gas gun.  I could identify with him.

The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser (

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pulp #33 -- July 18, 2012

The February, 1940 issue of Air Adventures features "Spitfire Squadron."  I don't believe I've ever heard of a squadron of red-painted Spits.  I assume the story is set during the Battle of France.

The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nickname #16 -- July 17, 2012

Pitcher Charley Radbourn, Old Hoss, had a record of 60-12 for the 1884 Providence Grays.  After pitcher Charlie Sweeney quit the team in July, Radbourn started nearly every game, 40, and won 36 of them.  He retired with a record of 309-194. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

You Go Great When You Go Great Northern -- July 16, 2012

The Great Northern was the second transcontinental built by James J Hill and its best train, the Empire Builder, was named after him.  The Empire Builder carries on today for Amtrak.  Note the mountain goat carrying his luggage.  The trains runs from Chicago to Spokane, with sections going on to Portland and Seattle.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL -- July 15, 2012

San Francisco's Academy of Art University has a fine collection of classic cars available for study by its design students. They shared the collection at the 2010 San Francisco International Auto Show.  In 1954, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL introduced gull wing doors to the American market.  It became a very popular model for those who could afford it.  The aerodynamic design, light weight and fuel-injected 3 litre engine gave the car a good top speed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day #3 -- July 14, 2012

In honor of Bastille Day, here is my favorite French actor/singer, Maurice Chevalier, with Jeanette MacDonald in a poster for One Hour With You, directed by Ernst Lubitsch. They made several enjoyable movies together. I have always been fond of the Marx Brothers' routine in Monkey Business when they all tried to pose as Maurice Chevalier. I wanted to be Maurice Chevalier when I grew up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lotta's Lion -- July 12, 2012

I took this photo of a lion on Lotta's Fountain on 20-April-2007.  Actress Lotta Crabtree donated it to the city in 1875, so people and horses would have a place to drink water.  After the 1906 Fire and Earthquake, the fountain, at Market, Geary and Kearny, was a popular place for people looking for friends and relatives to post notices.  Since then, the people of San Francisco have gathered every April 18 to remember the earthquake and fire. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Door #24 -- July 11, 2012

The entrance to Dave's Bar on Stevenson near Third.  The bar has frontage on Third, but this appears to be the main entrance. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Alley #32 -- July 10, 2012

Looking down Stevenson Street from Third.  Dave's Bar is hidden by the truck on the right.  Beyond it is the back of the Monadnock Building.  The Palace Hotel is in the background, across Annie Street.  The Hearst Garage is on the right. I took the photo on 19-June-2012.

The National League won the All Star Game in Kansas City 8-0.  Matt Cain started and pitched two scoreless innings.  Melky Cabrera got a single in the first and scored a run.  Pablo Sandoval hit a bases-loaded triple in the first and scored.  Buster Posey caught Cain, walked in the first, and scored.  In the fourth, Cabrera hit a two-run home run.  Cabrera was chosen as MVP.  Good game. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

By the Sea -- July 9, 2012

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Among his many accomplishments was taking some of the first Daguerreotypes in the United States. PH's grandson, William Manley Van der Weyde, took this photo on the beach at Atlantic City.  It seemed appropriate for  summertime. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ernest Borgnine, RIP -- July 8, 2012

I was to learn that Ernest Borgnine has died.  In interviews, he always sounded like a wonderful grandfather or uncle.  In movies, he often played murderous villains.  I first remember seeing him in reruns of McHale's Navy.  Then I saw him in Emperor of the North Pole.  Then The Dirty Dozen, then Marty, then Bad Day at Black Rock.  I was confused about him, but I always knew he was a good actor, who wasn't afraid to open the throttle. 

The poster for Emperor of the North Pole is from the wonderful site LucyWho:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cunha's Country Store -- July 7, 2012

We took a drive down to Half Moon Bay today.  We had a nice lunch at the Main Street Grill then walked up and down the street.  We went into Cunha's Country Store and saw that the stairway to the upper room was roped off.  Then we noticed that many of the shelves were nearly bare.  A sign on the front window said "Under New Management."  I later found online articles from March and April saying the store was going to close.  I don't know if the new management came after that.  I would be sad to see it go.

We went to 5 o'clock mass at Good Shepherd.  It was the first monthly mass for teens.  There was an excellent choir.  All the readers had studied public speaking with my wife.

We had dinner at Guerrero's Tacqueria.

I took the photo of Cunha's Country Store on 27-April-2011. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Train Station #48 -- July 6, 2012

The ill-fated Ocean Shore Railroad went out of business in 1921, killed by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, Devil's Slide, and the automobile.  Things still looked promising in 1909 when this image of their proposed San Francisco depot appeared in the 28-April-1909 San Francisco Call. High speed electric cars would leave here for the coastside and Santa Cruz.  They had to make do with a much more modest terminal on Mission Street and a trip to Santa Cruz that involved a train pulled by an electric locomotive to the southern edge of San Francisco, then steam locomotives to Tunitas Glen.  Passengers could transfer to a Stanley Steamer coach which would carry them to Davenport, where they could board another steam train for Santa Cruz.  . 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Firehouse #57 -- July 5, 2012

A design for a new firehouse on Oakland's Sixth Street.  From the 17-September-1896 San Francisco Call


OAKLAND, Cal. Sept 16.— Plans were completed to-day for the construction of the new brick flrebouse on Sixth street. For several years the old engine-honse has been unfit for men to live in, but nothing has been done in the way of permanent improvements. Mayor Davis proposed in his last annual message that instead of fritteriing away money on repairs that permanent brick structures be erected one at a time.  His advice has been followed and the new building will be a model firehouse. Its cost will be about $8000 and the construction will commence at once.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day #6 -- July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July to all.

Actress Anita Page, who passed away in 2008, was a big star in the late silent and early sound period.  She appeared in Our Dancing Daughters and The Broadway Melody.

Thank you for the photo to LucyWho ( 

Happy 100th birthday to Woody Guthrie. 

I was sorry to learn that Andy Griffith has died.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Unique Comic Conjuror and Deceptionist -- July 3, 2012

This ad for the Orpheum Theatre in Salt Lake City features Imro Fox, "The Unique Comic Conjuror and Deceptionist."  I like the word "deceptionist."  Fox famously combined excellent sleight of hand and other illusions with one-liners told in a charming German accent. There was an "expert lariat thrower" on the bill who was called Will Rogers.  I wonder what became of him.  From the 03-April-1909 Goodwin's Weekly. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Won in the Clouds -- July 2, 2012

Roy Knabenshue was a pioneering American dirigible pilot and builder.  He flew Tom Baldwin's California Arrow at the 1904 Saint Louis Exposition.  He built an early passenger-carrying dirigible, the White City, in California in 1913.  That may be the dirigible featured in this Universal film.  

The ad above is from the 28-February-1914 issue of Moving Picture World.  The two ads below are from the 07-March-1914 issue.  Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions.  

The review below is from the 03-April-1914 Washington Times. Kaffir is not a polite term. 

Won In The Clouds. 

CECIL JAMES, an Englishman, accompanied by his daughter, Grace, is hunting big game in the wilds of Africa. One day. Bangula, a Kaffir, steals a rifle from the gunrack. When Bangula .s captured by his fellows he is saved from death by the interference of James. Out of gratitude, Bangula leads James and his daughter to the fabled diamond mine of the Kabangans. In the city of Bloemfontein, Roy Knabenshue, an American aeronaut, arrives with his dirigible balloon for the purpose of carrying agents of Bjornsen, a banker,. to the diamond mines of the interior. Knabenshue falls in love with Bjornsen's daughter. Mary. Far in the interior James and his daughter reach a Kaffir village near the diamond mine. From the fact that he smokes a pipe. James is taken to be a fire god by the natives, and meets Portuguese Jack, a renegade, who is worshiped as a fire god and virtually held a prisoner James locates the diamond mines and secures many rough diamonds. Portuguese attempts to force his attentions on Grace, and when they attempt to escape with the diamonds he reports them to the chief of the tribe. They hide the diamonds in the floor of the feast house where the Kaffiirs feed their victims to the lions, and when they finally escape they are obliged to leave the diamonds. How they enlist the American aeronaut in their attempt to recover the diamonds and the thrilling experiences they have make a series of great pictures.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Giants on the All Star Team -- July 1, 2012

Three Giants were voted to start on the All Star team, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera.  Matt Cain was selected as a pitcher.

I forgot to mention yesterday that we had  lunch at the Metreon, at La Boulange, which has a line out the door every workday at lunch.  We both had grilled cheese.  Very good.  After, we watched Circus Bella in Yerba Buena Gardens.