Category Archives: general

new beginnings

As most of you already know, I moved from Nebraska to San Francisco in July. I haven’t really written anything since that happened – not for a lack of things to say, but a matter of priorities.

Today is a rainy, chilly day – the kind that would probably result in some snow and a Christmas letter back home. In that spirit, some thoughts on life in the city:

  • I’m living in a tiny studio in SoMa not far from Townsend Street. It may be small, but it’s warm, modern, and I have nice neighbors, so it’s hard to want anything else.
  • I had interview requests from around 20 companies when I came out here. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that Eventbrite was where I wanted to be. (Obvious disclaimer: any thoughts or opinions expressed herein are mine alone and may or may not reflect those of my employer.) I signed on as a Mobile Software Engineer and worked on the 2.0 release of the Easy Entry iPhone App. Obviously working on iOS apps is a ton of fun, but it’s even better to have incredibly smart and fun co-workers. Speaking of which: Eventbrite is hiring. Come play with us!
  • Testing our iPhone app has resulted in getting to attend some pretty cool events. Like the TechCrunch Disrupt after party featuring MC Hammer, Kaskade at the Warfield, and Fleet Week at Fort Mason featuring Warren G, among others.
  • In a life milestone, I attended my first John Digweed show.
  • I gave the carless life a shot for 3 months after moving to San Francisco. I am very close to Caltrain, Muni Metro, and Zipcars, but all in all, it simply didn’t work out. Fortunately, I can walk to work, so my car is free to a life of leisure.
  • _MG_8772I went back to Missouri at the end of September to get my Accord and some of the belongings I hadn’t brought when I first flew out here. The trip back to California took me through Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and of course California for a total of 3,200 miles over 10 days. No mechanical failures occurred and my Accord reached 191,000 miles on the odometer. I got to spend some time among the Tetons, around Yellowstone, and went camping in Wyoming._MG_9178
  • Commuting by car (and for that matter, public transport) is relatively hellish here by midwestern standards, but recreational driving is at least as fun here as it was in Missouri. CA-35 and CA-84 are breathtaking and I plan to see some more of CA-1 after the holidays. I’ve also visited Laguna Seca; Infineon may follow next spring.
  • complementary colors be complementin'.As far as people around here go – well, there are nice ones and not-so-nice ones. There are a lot of ‘transplants’.
  • The fact that Caltrain is still diesel and not electric bothers me a lot.
  • Gran Turismo 5 finally came out.
  • I am making up for my previous inability to do so by buying a ton of stuff at IKEA.

I’ve been here long enough that I’ve kind of forgotten about the day-to-day weirdness. If there’s something you wish you knew – ask.

Beverage Review Roundup

I’ve been a pretty simple Coke and Dr. Pepper guy for a long time. Recently I’ve tried to branch out a bit. Here are some of my findings – good and bad. (Surprising or not, none of them contain high fructose corn syrup.)

Sprecher Cream Soda

Came across this incredibly tasty glass-bottled cream soda at Bread & Cup last year, then again a few weeks back at Menard’s. Amazingly sweet and with a tinge of caramel and honey as the label states. Loaded with real sugar, but what did you expect?

Natural Brew Cream Soda

Another glass-bottle entry, I was not in a hurry to drink this stuff. It was a little too acidic, but somehow a strange leafy aroma still came from it. Not overpoweringly sweet, which was a nice change, but not nice enough to outweigh the other strangenesses. Wholly unenjoyable for me.

Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream Soda

Another premium glass-bottle cream soda. Equal parts black cherry and cream soda, more or less. Definitely a tasty variation, and not nearly as sweet-overloaded as Sprecher. Apparently they produce a regular cream soda as well, so I’ll be excited to try that out to see how it compares with Sprecher’s.

Sobe Strawberry Daiquirri

Plastic bottles now! Hooray. Smooth with milk in it. A little on the sweet side, but it keeps you from slogging it down right away, which is good, because each bottle sneaks in 2.5 servings – 300 calories in a hurry.

Sobe Orange Cream

All of the above applies, but thankfully, it’s a bit less sweet. The orange flavor isn’t as prominent as the strawberry flavor of the above variety, but again, that keeps it from being quite as much of an attention-stealer.

Red Bull Cola

I’m a pronounced fan of regular Red Bull (gtfo SFRB), so I was excited to try their entry to the simpler cola world. Unfortunately, I was let down. Yep, it’s all natural, but the end taste reminds me of something we might have come up with in our 8th grade “synthetic cola” lab: it tastes like cola, plus lime, minus sugar. Red Bull, I know you have some sucrose and glucose sitting around – let some more into this drink and it would have been perfect.

First Blush Grape Juice – Merlot

How in the hell do you screw up grape juice? I have no idea, but these people seem to have managed the feat. It tastes like grape juice concentrate, which is completely overpowering. It’s not that it tastes bad – perhaps mixing this with seltzer water (à la Izze) or even just water would have made this tolerable. But as it comes out of the bottle, it’s a bit like drinking the cherry sno-cone syrup out of the bottle – what tasted good in moderation requires conscious effort just to swig.


A few good ones, a few bad ones… worth a shot. In the mean time, Hy-Vee has started carrying real-sugar Coke and Fanta in glass bottles. Both of them are staples for my sugary-drink needs, but throwing in some variety makes every bottle of whatever drink I choose a real treat.