A day in San Francisco

Most of the folks I work with actually live in San Francisco and commute down to Mountain View each day. I wouldn’t be willing to do such a long commute each day (especially given San Francisco isn’t my favorite city), but I am willing to do it occasionally. I spent yesterday in the San Francisco office, which means all those guys could have a break from commuting. I might end up doing this more regularly if we can work out the logistics a bit better.

The commute was a bit insane. Light rail from my house to Castro Street in Mountain View. The Caltrain shuttle to work. Then a work run shuttle to San Francisco. At least I didn’t have to do the light rail in the evening — Catherine and the kids picked me up from work. All up I think I spent about two and a half hours commuting yesterday.

The San Francisco office is really nice, and I got to bump into a bunch of people I haven’t seen in ages like Chris (who used to take me shooting in Phoenix). That worked out well because apparently I should visit some folks in the Seattle office next week, even though I didn’t realize they existed until yesterday.

(Have I mentioned that I am in Seattle next week for SIGCOMM 2008 yet? I don’t think I have. I am in Seattle next week — let me know if you’re there and want to have a coffee or something. I probably wont make it out to Redmond or Kirkland though because I wont have a car.)

Anyways, while in San Francisco I made an effort to go to the Pirate supply store at 826 Valencia — San Francisco’s only independently owned pirate supply store. It was cool. I knew the trip was coming up, so for the last week I’ve asked people to recommend second hand science fiction books stores in San Francisco as my gtalk status message… Its cool that three people replied with recommendations, and all of them said that I should go to Borderlands Books. The store is small, but had a great selection. The best David Drake, Roger McBride Allen, and Terry Pratchett collections that I have seen in any bookstore so far. Finally, we went to Ritual Roasters for a coffee. They make a good coffee, and have a cool logo. A bit crowded though. All of this was for my first time in the Mission as well, which was an interesting place. A lot like Newtown, but with more hispanic people and a lot dirtier.

So, I think I’m trying to say I had fun. I’ll be going back to the San Francisco office again I am sure.

How open source hackers party

It was Leslie’s birthday the other day (Leslie is the lovely lady who runs the Summer of Code), so James, Serge, Leslie, Lisa, (some lady whose name I can’t remember right now), Ben, Alice and I set off for San Francisco in a stretch limo. We eventually made it to an apartment block part by 10:30 and had a great time for many hours. The apartment block party concept was interesting, and I hadn’t seen it anywhere before. Basically, if you’re going to have a party in an apartment you might as well stop pretending you’re not going to disturb the neighbours, and invite them as well. In this case it was a block of four apartments all having parties at the same time, and you could wander in between them.

It gets better though. Each party had a different feel, so when you got bored with one, you just wandered on to another. Another thing I liked about the party was that there was a bouncer, which stopped random people from just showing up.

Anyways, a good night. I like limos. I should have more of those.

Public transport to San Francisco from Santa Clara

Colin wonders about public transport in California, which I must say is much better than the public transport I m used to in Canberra. Colin, to get to San Francisco, jump on the VTA light rail and head to the Castro Street (Mountain View) station. There, jump across to the Caltrain station, which will take you the rest of the way to San Francisco. I would think without having done it that you should allow about 45 minutes for the journey.

Here is the Caltrain trip planner for that journey… $7 seems pretty fair to me. I don’t really believe the two hour estimate that it gives there, but I guess it might be right.