Nov 25
Black Friday Fail Posted by Laura Iriarte

Black Friday line
Photo credit: Shein aka tshein

November 25, 2011 – It’s Black Friday, and I’ve failed miserably at it.

It all started a few days ago…when my daughter, Alexandra, looked through an ad and found an XBox 360 4gb on sale for $100. She thought this would make a perfect Christmas present for her boyfriend. The catch was…you had to be there when the doors opened at 4:00am.

She asked me to go pick it up for her. Now, mind you, I have never participated in this Black Friday madness. Well…I have shopped on Black Friday, but not extreme shopping, not the getting up in the middle of the night when you should be sleeping shopping. But this time I agreed because there are legitimate reasons why she couldn’t go herself, and I know she’s on a budget, and well I love her and all that.

My plan was: get up at 3:30am, be at the store by 4:00am, buy the XBox, be back in bed by 4:30am.

I got up at 3:30am, and arrived at the store by 4:00am(Yes I am purposely not mentioning the store name). When I got there I walked right in, but then hesitated as I realized there was an insanelyyy long organized line of people waiting to go in(I asked later and was told they let them in to line up starting at midnight). I did the right thing and went to the end of the line, which was already moving in.

After I got in to the store I walked back to the electronics section and asked someone where the XBox was, I was first pointed to one area, where the surrounding customers told me that the ones that were left were a higher gigabyte model and were $299. That they only had 20 of the $99 models and they had been grabbed first thing. I didn’t take their word for it though and went and asked an employee, who pointed me to a different area, but they again said, “they were stacked over here, but that’s the first thing everyone grabbed”.

The moral of this story is – plan ahead. If you’re going to do the Black Friday thing, do it right. Or maybe…don’t hesitate and barge right in…

Reconnaissance: Go the day before and scout out what you want. Ask the employees where the item will be placed and how many of them they have.

Arrival: Get there many hours before the store opens and stand in line. Plan to dress warm and bring yourself snacks and entertainment. Make sure your phone is charged!

Action: Once those doors open go straight for your target bargain! Don’t be distracted by all the other pretty displays!

I don’t know if I’ll actually do the Black Friday thing again…I’m more of a Cyber Monday girl…but if I do…I’ll take my own advice. Live and learn…

And did I get back to bed at 4:30am at least? No, I stayed up until 6:00am to finish one blog post and write this one!

Have you ever done Black Friday? Any tips or tricks to share? Please comment below! :)

Nov 25
#Occupy Posted by Laura Iriarte

Smile, March & Occupy

Photo credit: Jim Arnold aka technomonk

November 25, 2011 – 1% of our nation controls all the wealth, and then there are the 99% of us.

Who am I? I am a citizen, a mom, an entrepreneur, and I’m part of the 99%.

We need answers…we need help…we need solutions!

The recent Bank Transfer Day on November 4, 2011 urged people to transfer their money out of banks and move it to credit unions. This was in protest of the banks who are now charging fees for simply using your ATM card.

The countrywide #Occupy movement is history making, groundbreaking, ground swelling evidence that we need change.

The poor are paying too much in taxes…the rich are paying no taxes…that’s messed up! Gas prices are too high. Banks are charging more and more fees.

Where do we start? How about taxes – I understand that write-offs are important and help a lot of people. I understand that our taxes help run our country and are needed. So what is the solution?

No one making under $50k a year should be paying taxes. People making over 5 million should be paying a higher percentage…but still have write offs. Generally we pay 33% in taxes. That’s 1/3 of our income. Over a certain tax bracket they should pay 40% or 50% and still be allowed write-offs to balance it out.

The president needs to regulate gas prices. We need green sustainable energy solutions. I know personally that I used to drive to San Francisco one to three times a week a couple of years ago, but now, with the price of gas, I rarely go at all. It takes me over $54 to fill up my tank, which I do once a week as it is.

That has to be dramatically affecting our economy. I know if it made this change in my lifestyle, that it is happening to others. If people can’t afford to go places, they aren’t spending money and traveling, and that is hurting businesses large and small in the long run. They’re not spending money in those places they might have gone.

Also that top 1% needs to realize that they could do so much good for our country with the money that they have.

I challenge them to take 33% of it and invest in our country’s future.

Use 1/4 for after school enrichment programs for our children. Our overall education scores are lagging way behind other countries. We aren’t number one here people. Our math and science scores are near the bottom, with more and more technical jobs opening up in the future that we won’t have the qualified applicants to fill. We need to fix this.

Use 1/4 for college scholarships for students with a 3.5 or higher GPA. We need those smart dedicated students to run our country. College prices are rising higher and more and more worthy students just can’t afford it.

Take the last half and invest in new business ventures -venture capitalist style. Help our economy by helping the entrepreneurs – creating jobs – and you may just make more money than you started with.

I’m not an economist, or a politician and I realized this may be a simplistic plan, which is far-fetched and could only work if the 1% took up my challenge.

This economy is on my mind, and probably on yours, and we have to think about this, we have to discuss it, we have to find a solution to help this economy and our nation, our children, and yes, the 99%.

Please share your thoughts and comment below! :)

Nov 14
Meet Me Here! 11/15-11/22 Posted by Laura Iriarte

Hi, I’m Laura Iriarte the Julie McCoy of the Bay Area Social Media and Art Scene! Following are events and happenings for the coming week and beyond!

Meet me here:

So, so far for this week:

Saturday, November 14, 2009 — Three Art Openings Saturday!
Yumiko Kayukawa, ESPO, and Erik Foss all under one roof!!!

ESPO at White Walls:

Steve Powers (aka ESPO)

Steve Powers (aka ESPO) isolates moments, images and phrases of daily life to create an emotional revelation within the viewer. This exhibit brings attention to matters of love, life and all the complicated situations in between. Notorious for his dark humor combined with eloquence ESPO’s paintings create a dynamic synthesis of words and images.

Yumiko Kayukawa at The Shooting Gallery:

Painting by Yumiko Kayukawa

As a recent transplant to the US, Wild Wild East reveals Kayukawa’s mixed feelings about “surviving” in two very different societies. This exhibition expresses a new perspective by melding both traditional Japanese cultures with her enthusiasm for American pop culture.

Erik Foss at Gallery Three:

Erik Foss

This overflowing, compulsive accumulation of works mirrors the chaotic conditions in which they have been made. Unseen on TV symbolizes the irony of our culture’s founding beliefs and ideologies, revealing America uncensored.

Time: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: White Walls, The Shooting Gallery and Gallery Three
Street: 835 Larkin St
City/Town: San Francisco, CA

For more info see: 3 Artists!

Also the Blog: Shooting Gallery News
Also the Blog: White Walls News

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 — Viewpointr Preview Release Meetup

Event details:
We’re new in town and we wanna meet the neighbors. I suppose we could tag along to a bunch of startup/tech meetups, instead, I figured since a lot of you guys know each other already, you may as well come to an event we host for you, kind of like a house-warming party, that the new neighbors throw.

What to expect:
Free drinks, cool people, music, good conversation.
We’re geek folk so naturally we’re throwing a geeky event.
The dress code is geek-chic + no laptop no entry.

Startup ID and other proof of geek credentials required for entry.

About the hosts:
We like to meet new people. Community is a big part of who we are and what we do. We’re here to work amongst people we admire and respect. We have a fab little company of which you’ll come to learn more about, but more importantly we wanna shake a few hands and share stories with outgoing people who naturally like checking out the “latest thing to hit the bay area”. In this instance, us @Viewpointr
Feel free to pass this along to your friends.
We look forward to seeing you there!

RSVP here: Viewpointr

Thursday, November 19, 2009 — Tech The Halls: The Technologizer Holiday Bash 2009

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Marie and Harry are throwing a holiday bash and I’ll definitely be there in my red velvet dress! :) And…bonus points! It’s at Varnish Art Gallery! If nothing else, you can definitely meet me here this week!

It’s time to celebrate the holidays and check out the latest in consumer tech gear before we head into the new year and head off to CES. Technologizer invites you to its Tech The Halls Holiday Bash. Join us for good company, delightful conversation, and great food and drink at Varnish Art Gallery, a cool venue conveniently located in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.

Technologizer founder/editor Harry McCracken, Domingo Communications principal Marie Domingo, and our sponsors look forward to meeting you to talk personal technology, Web services, social media, and more.

Plan to Tweet the event? Please do! Our hashtag is: #TechTheHalls

RSVP here: Tech The Halls

Friday, November 20, 2009 — Real-Time CrunchUp SF

I’m not planning to go to this event, but I wanted to share!

9:00 AM – 7:30 PM (PT)

TechCrunch says:
One of the benefits of covering new technology and startups on a daily basis is that you can see trends as they begin to swell and repeat themselves. One shift we’ve been keeping a very close eye on is the rise of realtime streams, and how they are fundamentally altering the way we communicate and interact with one another.

We are not the only ones who think this is a big deal. Back in July, TechCrunch editors Erick Schonfeld and Steve Gillmor organized a Realtime Stream CrunchUp. It was the first major realtime conference (there are a bunch of them now), and the response was overwhelming. It attracted 650 people and ended up as a launchpad for about 20 new realtime products, from Seesmic’s Web client to Pubsubhubbub (PuSH) to Brizzly (read more here).

A lot has happened since then: Facebook bought FriendFeed, Twitter raised $100 million, Google Wave launched in private beta. So Steve and I thought it would be a good time for another Realtime CrunchUp. The next one will be an all-day-event on November 20 in San Francisco.

Hope you can join us.

To register: Saturday ONLY, 2-for-1! Real-Time CrunchUp SF

After Saturday, register at: Real-Time Crunchup SF

TechCrunch proper: here

November 27-December 20, 2009 – The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

I attend the Dickens Fair everyyy year with my kids! It’s a holiday tradition of ours now…and I can’t wait to go again! It’s like the Renaissance Fair, but set in the time of Charles Dickens. The Cow Palace is turned into Merry Old England and every effort is made to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Get a peek at the fair costumes and setting as Amanda Palmer & Vermilion Lies wander through the Dickens Fair singing, set to “What’s the Use of Won’drin’?” (featuring Annie Clark of St. Vincent) in their video: watch!

The fair is held on weekends only!

including the FRIDAY
after Thanksgiving!
Fri. Nov. 27 thru
Sun. Dec. 20, 2009
In the Cow Palace
Exhibition Halls

For more information see their website: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

And, follow them on Twitter: @DickensFair

They even have a Facebook page: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Now thru December 10, 2009 — The Art of Zen: Landscapes Inspired by Japan
Essential photographic and painted landscapes

Location: Elastic Creative
Street: 550 Bryant Street
City/Town: San Francisco, CA

Dear Friends and Art Aficionados,

You are invited to the art exhibition: “The Art of Zen: Landscapes Inspired by Japan”.

Victoria Vedell and I are having a two person show for three months at Elastic Creative in SOMA. We both lived in Tokyo, and simultaneously were Artists-in-Residence at KAIR, in Tokushima, Japan in 2004.

In June, I returned to Tokushima with my camera to walk from temple to temple and photograph the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which is the oldest and longest pilgrimage in Japan. It is over 1,000 years old and a 1,000 miles long. The photographs I will be exhibiting were shot on the pilgrimage deep in the heart of the Japanese countryside. Victoria will be showing her lush landscape paintings inspired by her time in Japan.

Viewing by appointment, Monday – Friday 9am- 6pm. Please contact Andre:

More info here: The Art of Zen

Now through March 28, 2010 — Tutankhamun at the De Young Museum!

Don’t miss this!

de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
Exhibition Hours

Through September 30, 2009:
Monday through Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm (closed for maintenance August 3 and 31)
Oct 1, 2009 through March 28, 2010:
Tuesday through Sunday, 9 am to 6:30 pm; until 8:45 pm on Fridays.

for more info:

December 19, 2009-April 18, 2010 — The Legion of Honor Museum presents: Cartier and America

Cartier came to fame as the “King of Jewelers” during the Belle Époque for his beautifully made diamond and platinum jewelry created for the courts of Europe and Americans of the Gilded Age. With an extensive variety of jewelry forms—ranging from traditional white diamond suites to the highly colored exotic creations of the 1920s and 1930s—Cartier made its mark with the ingenuity of its designs and its exquisite craftsmanship. Cartier and America celebrates the imagination and creativity of Cartier in the 20th century. The jewelry and works of art include pieces from the private collection of Cartier.

for more info: Cartier and America

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