What to do in a power outage

 You may remember the days of rolling black outs; geographic areas where the power is cut temporarily to give relief to the electric grid when there isn’t enough power.

There’s a cool website where you can be notified in advance of a burdening on the system so you can take action, turning down the power usage to help avoid the rolling black outs.

Go to FYPower.org to sign up for feeds AND get information on energy saving programs, appliances and rebates.

What happened to my car?

According to the parking guru, there is a little known law in San Francisco that cars parked for over 72 hours in one spot on the street, even if it is parked legally with a neighborhood sticker, is considered abandoned.  Worse yet, the car won’t just sit in the impound lot indefinitely, it will get auctioned off!

Perhaps you’ve gotten lucky and not been towed and impounded after having parked for more than 3 days.  This is generally because DPT doesn’t always enforce it unless the car stands out in some way; being stripped, burned, or stolen.  A disgruntled neighbor can also report the car, so be careful not to block those driveways!

If you are going to leave your car for more than three days in a row, make sure you park it off street, or have a friend watch out for it and/or move it to avoid that nasty surprize!

Spare the air

 I’ve noticed in recent years that Spare the Air Alerts are happening a lot more often-that’s when air quality is poor and people are encouraged to stay indoors and reduce poluting activities such as driving and burning fires in the fireplace.

Rather than wait til it comes on the news, you can find out in advance by signing up for Spare the Air Alerts via email or phone.

Go to SparetheAir.org  to sign up and find out when not to use fireplaces, when your car should be left at home. Winter Spare the Air season runs from Nov. 1 to the end of February, although, occasionally, a Spare the Air event can occur outside those dates.

The best solution is to be thoughtful about air polluting activities everyday, by cutting down on car trips, carpooling, taking public transit and reducing the use of fireplaces.

Fight your parking ticket

Interesting news from the SF Parking Guru, David from FindingTheSweetSpot.com

With the City of San Francisco ramping up their efforts to raise capital by increasing their presence to write parking tickets, this news is particularly interesting.  Have you received a parking ticket for not curbing your wheels?  Seems that you can’t (or aren’t supposed to) get a ticket for streets that are a three percent grade or less.  How do you find out what the grade is?  Go to the surveyed streets of San Francisco at the DPW website.

For other tips, or to sign up for the monthly tip, visit Finding the Sweet Spot.  It’s a great resource.

When to buy new technology

Here’s a pretty cool website decide.com geared to helping you decide whether to bite the bullet and buy that new TV, laptop or camera.

Decide.com home screen

You can also vote for new upcoming categories.  It will let you know whether you should buy now, if prices are going up, or whether not to, if a new model is coming out soon.  Check it out, it’s pretty neat.

Converting Garages into homes

A little ‘garage porn’.  I have to admit, I have fantasies about taking some poor, tired, neglected garage and making into a sexy living space.  There are so many really cool, architecturally interesting buildings that need a little love.  The folks at Curbed National came up with some really great shots.  I particularly like the first one.  Very barn looking, converted into a neat little living space.  I was surprized to read that it is in Oakland, CA.  I expected it to be on the East Coast.  Enjoy.

Oakland, CA Garage from Curbed National

Curbed National-‘garage porn’

Better Cell Phone Service-It’s going to cost you

AT&T is working to make it’s internet signal strength stronger.  No one that has AT&T service would stop them in their quest.

Here’s how they want to do it.  A box similar to the one at the right installed on sidewalks around the city.  AT&T is working on a categorical exemption from Environmental Review.  That means they can do it without your input, so if they want to put one on the public sidewalk in front of your home, they can-and you can’t do anything.

Here’s what they could look like-graffiti not included initially


There must be a better solution!

Post from Curbed.

Former Hearst estate on the market-only $95 Million

A Beverly Hills, CA home formerly owned by William Randolph Heart is on the market for a mere $95 million dollars.  Owned by financier Leonard Ross, the home started out on the market at $165 million three years ago.

Former Hearst Mansion from Curbed

Since then, Mr. Ross has declared bankrupcy and needs to get it sold.

Does anyone really live like this anymore?  Fantastic, but looks more like a destination for a tour, like Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

The story from Curbed