San Francisco 2004:


Fiancee going down for a conference on special education technology, training, tools and equipment. I decided to tag along and take a few days off, she added the weekend as well and we made a bit of a holiday out of it.

Flight down uneventful.

Tour of Alcatraz was creepy. Used to be a fort before it became famous as a max security jail. Tour was pretty crazy, man those cells are tiny just thinking about being in there all day makes a person squirm. The colors are horrible and the architecture is depressing and evil looking. I’d be digging out with a spoon too, just for something to do. Wow.

Tried my hand at solitary confinement. They said they would put me in for a few seconds…everyone blabbing and chatting then you go in, they close the door “boom” and then …nothing. No light, no sound, no nothing. Brutal. They left me in for a few minutes and even knowing they were outside you start getting creeped out. Very glad to be out.

We had time to explore on our own and not sure if we were in an off limits area or not, but stumbled into a room with props and a bench from the Clint Eastwood Movie “Escape from Alcatraz” stenciled across it. Also saw some cannon mounts and the room where guards tossed grenades in from the roof to quell a riot. The marks are still in the walls from the shrapnel.

While on the boat we also went under the golden gate bridge. Wow that thing is staggering. It’s huge, beautiful, and awe inspiring. Imagine the people who dream that big, where have they all gone??? You ever noticed all the truly impressive monuments are stupidly old??

I do worry about pigeon shit on your head when on a boat and those suckers are circling….

They said teams of painters just go from one side to the other and then it’s time to start over. Not sure if that’s true but it would be a lot of work regardless.
Back on the mainland the sea lions on Pier 39 sure make  a lot of noise. Crazy. Except for the one relaxing all by himself far away from the others. I can relate. Found a couple restaurants along the wharf that were really good, had some nice meals.

Also found a small Italian restaurant on a small backstreet, food was excellent but we felt like maybe we interrupted something…..??

Lombard street! Yeah try that one in wintertime…LOL

All the streets have crazy inclines and angles on them, no wonder they film car chases here. Make sure your e-brake works!!

Some strange people wandering around this place.

I attended part of the technology show. Later we were looking at products companies had. One company had a pen you could roll over text and it would explain what it was, say it properly etc. Great learning tool. When they found out we were from Canada the guy said “you guys have Tundra up there?”, I told him that was further North than where we live, and he replied “What is it exactly?” to which I replied “Well why don’t you write it down and roll your pen across it?”.

The elbow in my ribs was quite painful.

I didn’t attend any more of the conference.

Flight home uneventful.







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