4 headed sheep, near nuclear power station, Wales
4 headed sheep, near nuclear power station, Wales
  • SAN FRAN: OBSERVED AND OVERHEARD
    • 22/11/2011
whilst wandering around the city on my own, i've done some people watching and eavesdropping.
Just saw a tramp polish off three abandoned half full pints outside the pub I'm in. good on him. I noticed the wastefulness, maybe they had to run to the theatre or something but anyway, this tramp is sat there now, taking his time and enjoying his drink
I wonder what decisions in life led him to that point, if he chose that lifestyle, or if my lack of drive will lead me to the same exisyence
I consider knocking on the window, buying him some of the nice (not mice) cheese soup I just ate and listening to his story. but maybe that price would be too high, maybe like me today he just wants to get in with life on his own. maybe the last thing he wants is to be forced to talk to some precocious bourgeois foreigner. I look up again and he's gone

on the bus, two girls are talking about Movember, (a guy just got on with an awkward mustache)
They seem to think it's just a guy bet thing, and then complain that its sexist and exclusionist.
One of them went to a mustache party last year, and following the rules of "it must be your own hair", went downstairs. "why didn't i think to use hair from my head?" she remarked


fast food burger. I was craving but it made me feel dirty and the place was full of lonely senile old people which was sad and creepy so I rushed and legged it before one could start telling me their implausible life story
wrinkly old guy in corner: I'm (something Jewish in retrospect), whats your name?
guy trying to eat burger in peace without being rude: David
oh are you Jewish?
not recently!
I am. and a doctor, those burgers will take twenty years off your life you know
ok sure (derisoury laugh, takes another bite)
seriously, how many years you think I am? (he looks old. and not in a way you'd be envious of, like "i hope i look that good when i'm that age". whatever age that is)
ha! I dunno, 75?
I got 84 years, you wanna lay off the burgers, it'll add twenty years to your life, I know I'm a doctor, have the fillet o fish
okayyyyyyy (slurps enormous bucket of soda)
I finish bolting my food and run away
  • SAN FRAN: EXPERIENCED
    • 22/11/2011
So i tried to do some less obvious stuff
I picked up the local paper, and on the inside cover was a list of lectures, one of which was on the solar power industry. "That sounds interesting" i thought.
And it was. At the Commonwealth Club, being filmed for cable tv and broadcast on radio, two CEO's from california solar tech companies were expounding their views on the market.
1. China produces a lot of panels, very cheaply (although their government subsidies) and undercuts US manufacturers
2. Parts of Germany can run off 40% solar already
3. 7 gigwatts of solar capacity were installed last year, that like 10 nuclear power stations. This seems like a lot, for solar to still barely be registering in terms of contribution to total.
A lot of their statistics seemed a little too good to be true, but the principle applies that you can mass produce enough solar panels in a few months to negate spending 10 years constructing a cumbersome nuclear plant.
So a good game to be getting into right about now.
The audience then got the chance to ask questions, which were wasted on vague hypotheticals about creating US jobs. I wished i had chance to come prepared.
The audience did seem to be mainly middle aged club members with passing interest, this was not a teaching lecture
  • SAN FRAN: MET
    • 22/11/2011
When i'm drinking alone in a brewpub, people often hear my accent and start up a conversation.
Don was an older guy (a young 61) with a daughter starting college in performing arts. He would have been sent to Viet Nam having dropped out of college but a back problem got him acquitted. So instead he lived on the coast and chatted to Clint Eastwood in a bar he used to own there.
John was a highly passionate and eloquant 25 year old african american, who half lectured and half discussed about the continuation of racial prejudices, and their ridiculousness.
he is positive about our generation moving on but doesn't believe in himself as being able to have an impact, that we are past the times and need for great individuals like mlk
He was drinking with a guy named Neil who revealed he was a Sheriff and then showed me a photo of his cousin, bodyguarding a young Prince Charles in Austrlia. in beachwear.
RANDOM!!!
Rory. So i was down an alley looking at some grafitti when this big silver wannabe-rolls royce pulls up, and a big black dude jumps out. He has a camera so i make a comment about the cool art in this alley.
It turns out he is a pro photographer, who likes to shoot his models in front of street art. On queue, a pretty and scantily clad young lady emerges from the car and lolls against the wall.
He gave me some tips on good streets to visit, we shook hands and i left him to it!
Dutch guys!
In the hostel we met these two dutch guys over dinner, one named Jonas, is a professional poker player. He does a 9-5 in the online poker rooms, relieving beginners of their greedily laid out stakes. He doesn't make millions, the ups and downs average out to a normal wage, and he's they've just come from Vegas where he made enough to cover the costs of their stay there
  • SAN FRAN STUFF
    • 22/11/2011
so i'm now on the bus heading up towards Yosemite, and it's time to sum up the week just gone in San Francisco.
Well i did a lot of different things, so it's hard to know what to mention and what to leave out.
I'll try chronological order.
................
ok i tried chronological order but it came out BORING. so i've split it up by themes instead:
OBSERVED AND OVERHEARD
EXPERIENCED
MET
TOURISTED

TOURISTED
So i did hit up the famous tourist attractions, Coit tower, twin peaks, fisherman's wharf etc, which was all fine if cheesily touristy. You could do them all in one day if you take the bus, but i walked everywhere cos i'm a cheapskate. Although i frequently spend $6 on a beer.

I took the boat to Alcatraz, originally a civil war army base, protecting the opening of san francisco bay and the openings of all northern californias rivers
It evolved into the famous max security prison, although given the number of escape attempts, things weren't too secure.
After it closed, it was occupied in the eighties by native indians protesting about broken land promises.
All in all though, it was a bleak, cold windy rainy place, with no fresh water, an teasing views of the metropolis.
So i was glad to be able to get back on the boat and head for civilisation

BIKE THE GOLDEN GATE! Adverts are everywhere. But on a perfect sunny day, Swiss Sarah and I took the ferry to Sausilito and walked back, stopping for a scenic picnic and crossing the bridge at sunset. One of those days when the majesty of things just comes together.

other proper tourist things... art gallery... not the best... photo gallery and commercial art galleries, much better. Overheard one dealer making a $50,000 sale over the phone "oh ya i think this would look great in your condo, i'll just place that order for you now"
Cable car museum. interesting. Beat Generation (jack kerouac) museum. interesting.

All in all San Fran is a great city, with all its hills and architecture and different cultural neigbourhoods. Lots to do.
  • i made this today!
    • 20/11/2011
finally got package with camera timer that has been following me around the country...

Untitled from stuart pinchin on Vimeo.



browse by location

Iceland

Slovenia

Hungary

Slovakia

Hungary

Slovakia

Poland

Slovakia

Poland

Czech Republic

Poland

Czech Republic

England

Thaliand

Hong Kong

Thailand

RSA

Zimbabwe

Malawi

Tanzania

Kenya

Tanzania

Rwanda

Uganda

Kenya

Norway

Sweden

Denmark

Germany

The Netherlands

Cuba

Cayman Islands

France

Switzerland

Italy

Switzerland

England

Wales

Scotland

England

France

Holland

England

Germany

England

USA

England

Thailand

Malaysia

Singapore

Fiji

Australia

Samoa

Fiji

Australia

New Zealand

Cook Islands

Mexico

USA

Canada

USA

England