Turning the S.F. Bay Bridge Into a Park

I read today about a fascinating proposal to turn a span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge into a park.

The aged Eastern Span of the bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2013 with a new span, engineered to better withstand The Big One. Rather than demolishing the retired span, one group is advocating that it be turned into a park with tennis courts, walking trails, and a futuristic collection of pods strapped to the underside of the bridge, for who knows what kind of  mischief and shenanigans. Either high-priced loft condos or homeless encampments, I presume.

bay-bridge-park

Turn it into a park. Futurist architects have proposed turning the retired Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge into a park when it gets replaced in 2013.

bay-bridge-tennis-courts

Only in San Francisco. There's plenty of space for tennis, sun bathing, and shopping-cart clad homeless encampments 🙂

See more of the above photos on The New Bay Bridge, a Web site hosted by a group of j-students at UC Berkeley complete with videos, drawings, and interactive timeline. Photo and idea credits here.

Another bridge bites the dust
The 80-year-old bridge, which connects San Francisco with the East Bay via Treasure Island, was closed this week after a section of the recently repaired span busted apart. Engineers (via Popular Mechanics) blame it on Harmonics, the same culprit that took down the famous bridge in Tacoma, Wash. (If you didn’t watch the Tacoma Bridge collapse in your high school physics class, watch it collapse via YouTube)

Buy It On Layaway

Buy it on layaway.

Kmart economics: Buy it on layaway.

 

I saw a commercial last night in which Kmart touted its layaway plan for this year’s holiday shopping season. Layaway is not a new concept at Kmart, but the idea of paying in installments for something before you get to own it does seem revolutionary in this age of the credit card.

Thanks to the current economic woes, the pay-to-own model seems to be making a comeback. In fact, several retailers are embracing the concept in a renewed way (see the short list). I think it’s time the Weekndr family did too.

Layaway seems so old fashioned, but that’s only because we’ve been living through an economy that encourages buy-now-pay-later. And why not? Credit card companies saturate us with gift offers and low interest rates. In college, I applied for credit cards mostly as a means to avoid doing laundry: I got a free T-shirt, they got my obligation of debt.  

I don’t expect we’ll become Kmart shoppers anytime soon, but it might be time to stop spending money before we have it. 

– Mr. Weekndr

On the Cover of Fine Woodworking

 

My first cover shoot for Fine Woodworking magazine.

I’ve been wrapping up a project at work to create a bundled DVD and magazine based on my Web series, Getting Started in Woodworking. The series is an attempt to reach out to young people to get them interested in learning the old-man skills of woodworking. It turns out I’m somewhat of an anomoly being under the age of 60 with no plaid shirts and a love of the centuries old craft.

While the photos above are just a spoof, a real cover with my mug is due out in mid December. I’ll be sure to let you know so you can head down to your local home center to pick up a copy.

Good Morning Yellow Jackets

We woke up this morning to a swarm of yellow jackets streaming into our house through a crack in the wall.  And we hadn’t even gotten our coffee yet. Until you experience such a sight, you can’t understand the panic that ensues from seeing your living room fill up with mad-as-hell yellow jackets each the size of a peanut. 

Imagine waking up to this little guy and 50 of his friends.

Imagine waking up to this little guy and 50 of his friends inside your living room.

For the past few weeks we had noticed some yellow jackets gathered around a spot outside our house where the chimney meets the wall. It was two stories up so there was no easy way to reach it without a tall ladder. Rather than borrowing a ladder and inspecting the situation, we ignored it. Bad idea.

Apparently the little buggers had created a nest inside the wall where the chimney meets the house and for the past few weeks they have been planning their attack. This morning was b-day.

A few dozen buzzers made their way into the house by the time I armed myself with the vacuum cleaner and start sucking them up. The rest of the family ran screaming while I fended them off, and when the coast was clear I went out to the woodshed and grabbed a can of wasp killer. Since we don’t have a ladder tall enough, I removed the panes from a nearby window and aimed the nozzle squarely at the hole where I could see the yellow jackets entering their nest. 

No one was stung, which is the good news, and after a day of sucking and spraying the hangers on that trickled in, we’re pretty confident that the situation is under control.

Unfortunately, these yellow jackets revealed yet another issue we have to deal with. If they can enter our house, so can the stinging cold air come winter time.

Weekndr Endorses Obama Biden ’08

 

It’s official. Weekndr.com has announced its endorsement of Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the the next president and vice president of these here united states.

We’d prefer to fast forward to November 5 and just get it over with already, but in the meantime the yard sign is awaiting stakes and the bumper stickers have been applied. Matt was tempted to order the “Republicans for Obama” version (just for fun – we’re Demos all the way) to post on his F150 but we’re a blue state and we figured it wasn’t worth ticking off the local minority party population.

Introducing Weekndr.com

21 Weekends To Go…

Welcome to our new blog, weekndr.com (pronounced week-end-er), your source for all the news about the weekend adventures of the Weekndr family. 

Check back regularly to find out how we’re spending our weekends. We’ll be posting photos, video and commentary about our adventures in the Northeast and abroad. And don’t forget to leave us a note with the comment feature, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re also introducing our Weekend Countdown, which we’ll update weekly so you don’t forget how precious weekends are. There are only 52 weekends a year, you know.

Cheers,

The Weekndrs