The Long-Awaited George Michael Song

George Michael’s previously unreleased 2012-2015 studio recording, This is How (We Want You to Get High), was made available to the public this week. The song is featured in the soon-to-be-released movie Last Christmas, along with a collection of established G.M. and Wham! classics. There’s some confusion over songwriting credits for this particular piece.  A subscriber e-mail I received today from Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd. (what?) stated that the lyrics were written exclusively by Mr. Michael.  However, on the official YouTube stream page, James Jackman is credited as co-lyricist. Whether or not Mr. Jackman had input with the lyrics, they … Continue reading The Long-Awaited George Michael Song

Planning for — or Responding to — a Crisis

Disclosure:  This post appeared originally in slightly different form on a private social media page.   Disclaimer:  I do not work in public safety.  The information in this post is based on advice the public has already received from one source or another. Currently, the San Francisco Bay Area and parts of Southern California are in a crisis with out-of-control fires. No matter where you live, you should have tentative plans for natural disasters and other large-scale problems that occur on short notice. Based on your individual needs — as well as the needs of people and animals you’re responsible … Continue reading Planning for — or Responding to — a Crisis

When Orwellian Surveillance Starts at Home

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. On this post, I’m sharing a screenshot of something I found on Twitter earlier this afternoon.  Both Twitter entries are by the same person, and I believe she is acting with good intentions.  Her avi and username are ersased from the screenshot because of my own concerns about a phone app she is using. Unfortunately, the second (lower) message includes a link to a blogsite which recommends the app in question.  That’s where I got more uncomfortable, and I cropped the link from the screenshot. According … Continue reading When Orwellian Surveillance Starts at Home

Modernization, Aesthetics and Respect for History

Disclosure:  This post appeared originally in different form on a private social media page. This post addresses exterior changes in a historic car dealership building located at the southwest corner of Van Ness Ave. and Bush Street in San Francisco.  The dealership was founded by Ellis Brooks during the 1930s, and originally sold REOs, and then Hudsons to families whose daughters were reading early Nancy Drew mysteries.  The business went through many changes before moving to a smaller storefront around the corner.  If you’ve been curious about the fate of the historic Ellis Brooks Chevrolet neon sign at Bush & … Continue reading Modernization, Aesthetics and Respect for History

Dangerous Sidewalks in San Francisco

I don’t have statistics for accidents on sidewalks, and if the statistics were right in front of me now I don’t know if I’d believe them.  Personally, the only time I filed a hit-and-run bicyclist report was in 1992, when I was injured just badly enough to get a taxicab to the emergency room.  I’ve been in that particular type of accident on other occasions, but got up and walked away after the bicyclists bolted to avoid being held accountable.  So, I’m led to believe that incidents of this nature are underreported. Many people are unaware that it’s illegal to … Continue reading Dangerous Sidewalks in San Francisco

Whose Vantage Point? And How Much is Our Own Perspective Controlled by it? But I Digress

Disclosure:  This piece appears in slightly different form in a private social media post. Please click the link at the end of this post to read an excellent article in the London Review of Books by Julian Barnes about French Impressionistic painter Berthe Morisot and her sisters, Yves and Edma. The article in the LRB  includes an excellent quotation attributed to Gustav Flaubert: “The story of a louse can be as beautiful as the history of Alexander the Great — everything depends on the execution.” I sensed this piece by Julian Barnes did not embellish unrealistically on the lives of Berthe Morisot or … Continue reading Whose Vantage Point? And How Much is Our Own Perspective Controlled by it? But I Digress

Handling an Estate Sale Responsibly

Disclaimer:  I am neither an attorney nor a professional fiduciary, and I have no expertise on dealing with estate matters.  The concerns expressed in this post are based on personal observations. Yesterday (Sunday), I went for a walk through one of San Francisco’s relatively upscale residential neighborhoods. On my way to the public library branch, I saw a sign announcing an estate sale.  I had to give this some thought, before unwisely deciding I’d stop by the house and possibly buy something. I remembered going to a couple of estate sales, and assisting in one other.  If you have the … Continue reading Handling an Estate Sale Responsibly

The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

(Disclosure:  This post appears in shorter, different form in a private social media post.) In June, I temporarily removed the rainbow icon from my Twitter profile.  It was Pride Month, and in theory that was one of the best times to keep it visible. I removed it after a day of window shopping in Downtown San Francisco.  Clothing stores in particular were displaying the rainbow as the proverbial toy hammer that a toddler plays with: everything in the house required hammering. After seeing the glut of color that was meant to make people like me feel welcome — and spend … Continue reading The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

This month, Ronan Farrow published an excellent piece on The New Yorker’s site, describing how Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted financial contributions from Jeffrey Epstein after it was clear they shouldn’t have been associating with him. Some people’s immediate reaction may be to ask, “What’s the problem?  They need the money, and this doesn’t mean they were abetting his crimes.” There is a problem, though, especially when it isn’t just sincere generosity.  Some charities receive small donations from average people with no implied quid pro quo agreement, and those charities might innocently stay ignorant of donors’ backgrounds with no problems.  However, when the … Continue reading Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest