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  • Home to a mess

    Posted on January 8th, 2008 Jeff Keller No comments

    As you may have heard, the weather was terrible in the Bay Area while I was on vacation. Just up the hill from me there was a big landslide that has put several houses in jeopardy. I arrived home on Sunday to find a huge mess in the front yard (the house was fine, thankfully). Here’s what happened (and is still happening), in pictures:
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    Just to the left of the front stairs, a seasonal creek turns into a waterfall, which pours into a storm drain owned by the city. The drain clogged, the basin filled with water, and then everything poured over my retaining wall and down the driveway. The neighbor said he’s never seen it this bad before.

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    Here’s the view from above. You can see the trail of rocks, branches, and dirt going down the driveway. See the bucket near the stairs? There used to be a plant in there… when I got home, it was full of water, rocks, and nothing else.

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    Here’s the root cause of the problem: there’s supposed to be a storm drain here… instead it’s just mud and rocks.

    Both myself and my neighbor have called the Public Works department, who have promised to send a crew out to clear out the drain. Nobody has shown up. My neighbor spend most of Saturday trying to dig out all the crap, but he didn’t succeed. Today, I tried to dig it out, and my biggest accomplishment was getting my clothes wet. There’s a good foot of mud on top of the drain, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere. The rain is supposed to stop, so it’s not going to get any worse, but this thing needs to be cleaned out. I’m hoping the city will actually do their part — it is their drain, after all.

  • Very cool pics of the day

    Posted on December 30th, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment

    I’m a big fan of both of these photos, which were taken with the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS:
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    This is my attempt to pay homage to a famous photo from many years ago of the same view (if you know which photo I’m referring to and can find a link to it, let me know). This was taken from the top of California Street (at Gough) looking toward the Bay Bridge. I shot it in color, and all I’ve done to it was crop it and convert to B&W.
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    I took this sunset shot out of the sunroof of my car. Totally spur of the moment, at a red light. I like it!
    I’m off to Kauai on Tuesday, and naturally, I’ll be posting pictures of my trip as it happens! Happy New Year!

  • Yay for me

    Posted on December 29th, 2007 Jeff Keller No comments

    Today was my last day of adoption counseling in 2007, so I checked the computer to see how many cats I adopted out this year. I was expecting maybe around 30-35 cats. Much to my amazement, I’ve found homes for 66 cats since I started as an adoption counselor in February! That’s pretty amazing, if you ask me! While my “job” isn’t always easy, it’s been really rewarding, and I always look forward to my Saturday afternoons at the shelter.

  • Lessons learned in 2007

    Posted on December 22nd, 2007 Jeff Keller 3 comments

    Back in 2005 I blogged about the lessons I learned that year, instead of making new years resolutions for 2006 that I wouldn’t keep. I decided to do the same thing this year, so here are my top lessons learned in 2007:
    1. I can say “no” without having to give a reason
    2. Don’t go into business with friends
    3. Trust your gut (still get burned by this one occasionally)
    4. Don’t expect other people to treat you the same way you would treat them
    5. Instead of being frustrated with people who don’t share my beliefs, I should surround myself with those who do (which isn’t easy)
    6. It’s not the actions of myself or others that cause stress and anxiety — it’s the way I interpret those actions
    7. Just because someone doesn’t share my belief system, it doesn’t make them a bad person
    8. Changing your irrational beliefs and thought processes takes forever
    As you can tell, I’ve spent a lot of time on the couch this year. Hopefully I can put what I’ve learned into use in 2008!

  • BestBuy in-store pickup still sucks

    Posted on December 19th, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment

    I’ve written a lot about BestBuy’s in-store pickup this year. It bordered on useless most of the time — I could pull the product off the shelf faster. After a nasty Wall Street Journal article (which I was featured in), things seemed to be changing for the better. The next time I tried it, I got my iPod Touch without any issues. Then, BestBuy added a “one minute or less” guarantee, while really upped the ante.
    Well, I tried it again today, and things are just as slow as ever. I stood in line (with two other people behind me) for 10 minutes waiting for someone to come over and process my order. One of the customer service people acknowledged me, but then kept on processing returns. Finally, she came over, and I commented that I’d been waiting in line for at least ten minutes. She didn’t apologize — just took my credit card and punched things into the computer.
    The “one minute timer” was conveniently hidden behind the counter so I couldn’t time her, but the whole transaction took more than the minute they promise. Despite that, I didn’t get the $10 credit they are advertising. At that point I was too fed-up with them to bother asking. Sigh.

  • Flameosaurus Rex

    Posted on December 18th, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment

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    Look out, Flame’s hungry! In reality, he was yawning while I was taking some photos of him. I guess it was a big yawn, too, as all his claws are out.
    PS — I made an “lolcats” version of the photo and put it on icanhascheezburger, so check it out!

  • The Audi Driving Experience

    Posted on December 3rd, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment
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    Back in August, I signed my dad and I up for the half-day Audi Driving Experience at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. Today was the day! We first learned some emergency driving techniques (steering while slamming on the brakes, emergency lane changes), and then it was off to the track for the drive of a lifetime. My dad and I got to drive a total of eight laps each, half in an S4 and other half in an R8! While the S4 was fun, the R8 was out of this world! Don’t think I’ll ever get another chance to drive a $125,000 sports car again anytime soon! After the track time we did some autocrossing… I didn’t get one of the better times. All in all, a fun time and worth the money.
    Click the link for a few pics from our day! Oh, and if you want to see a video of one lap around the track in the R8, I posted it on YouTube.

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  • 2007 SF International Auto Show

    Posted on December 3rd, 2007 Jeff Keller 1 comment
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    Last week, for the umpteenth time, my dad and I made our annual trek to Moscone Center for the big SF auto show. There wasn’t anything terribly exciting this year… well, except for a few Audis! Anyhow, hit the link for the highlights from the show (in my opinion).

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