Power Station

A friend and I recently explored an old waterfront industrial zone here in San Francisco. First we poked around on our own as urban adventurers trying to access the city’s forgotten fringes. There were polite interactions with private security along the way. Then we returned a week later to attend a community engagement event organized … Continue reading Power Station

The Stockton Sandwich

I just spent a few days in Stockton, California visiting old family friends. They’re a recently retired Lutheran pastor and his wife who relocated from Southern California and returned to their hometown. Being lifelong members of the church has many benefits, but making lots of money isn’t one of them. They run a lean operation … Continue reading The Stockton Sandwich

Riding the Wave

The economy has a rhythm. There are several overlapping cycles that play out over time. The pattern is erratic and irregular, but it persists over the centuries. Ray Dalio narrates a cartoon video that describes these cycles. There’s a short term debt cycle that includes booms and busts from decade to decade. And there’s a … Continue reading Riding the Wave

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Many readers are familiar with the 8/80 urban planning meme. It’s a simple concept. Can an eight year old and an eighty year old each meet their daily needs on foot, possibly with the extension of a bicycle or a little public transport from time to time? Most North American communities fail this test. To … Continue reading 24 / 58

Army Surplus

Once a year I do a full audit of my one year food supply and do a deep clean of the pantry. I usually have a little too much of some items I’m not going to be able to use before they expire. So after a complete inventory I donate the surplus to a local … Continue reading Army Surplus

It’s Complicated

Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. The group was composed of the usual San Francisco mix: a college professor, an architect, and a collection of software engineers of various stripes. They were single-ish. Childless. Forty-ish. Well traveled. Charming. Between them they could speak eight languages. They were old enough to be semi-established … Continue reading It’s Complicated