Jackson West’s Obsessive Compulsion

Please, A Small Political Favor (Updated)

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on March 2, 2011

Update: With no objections, the Rules Committee recommended that the full Board of Supervisors appointment me to seat 11 on the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. I’d really like to thank Jeremy and Justin who showed up to offer their support in person, as well as everyone who contacted the members of the committee with letters on my behalf. It’s not quite over, but it’s a big first step!

Update II, Electric Boogaloo: I was humbled by a Walter Paulson appearance at our little meeting, and he wrote an original that I really think capture the spirit of the proceedings. You can watch my whole crazy encounter with participatory democracy on SFGovTV.org.

I found out last Friday that I’m due to appear before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Rules Committee (pictured above) to make my case for an appointment to the city’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force at 1:30pm in Committee Room 263 in City Hall on Thursday. I filed the application over a year ago, so it came as a bit of a surprise! Basically, I would like to help make sure that the city is complying with the Sunshine Ordinance which, like the Freedom of Information Act nationally, ensures public access to government records locally. As a personal or professional colleague I figured access to San Francisco city records might come in handy for you or someone you love some day, and I’d like to be in a position to help.


Meet a Fellow Vain Brigand

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on January 29, 2011

So after years of wanting a cat, but it never being the right time, or the right place, or short on money, today I finally took the plunge. After doing my research at the San Francisco SPCA’s website, I came prepared with money and paperwork to their location at 16th and Bryant. Luckily, I just happened to have run into an old friend earlier in the day who sent ahead a note of recommendation to one of the staff — but I imagine I would have been well taken care of, regardless.


Where to Find Me These Days

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on January 6, 2011

While I’m having some technical difficulties with jacksonwest.com, most of the writing I’ve been doing of late has been over at Joyeur. My latest post is about losing weight and signing up for Joyent’s endurance team. Earlier I shared my ex’s cranberry jelly recipe, at it was rather saucy. Otherwise, I’m serving as the lead editor over there, and I’m pretty enthusastic about the range and quality of contributions from my fellow Joyeurs — check out their blogs, too!

I Just Had to Say Something

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on September 9, 2010

So watching the Daily Show last night, I immediately noticed something was amiss — Jon Stewart’s jacket was bunching up at the collar, and in a bad way. Having been hanging out downtown for over a month, naturally I’ve been silently judging the cut of everyone’s jib, and for a large part everyone follows the rules! It just stuck out at me that the otherwise slick production at the Daily Show didn’t catch that. (But then again, I was pretty drained and sunburned after Labor Day Weekend, and who knows, it might have been intentional?)

Anyway, to the video tape! Naturally, I’ve highlighted the areas of concern:

I would suggest hanging the jacket for the fitting over his wireless lavalier transmitter?

Granted, Stewart is squaring off with Tim Gunn, who is not only perfectly fit but managed to balance a pinstriped suit and a bold, vertically-striped shirt with a white collar and solid tie (accented by the peek of color in the otherwise black, silk pocket square).

That said, it will certainly move Tim Gunn books and merchandise! Mission: Accomplished.

From Thrift to Custom

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on August 27, 2010

The Bold Italic has thrown a men’s fashion week in San Francisco, and I managed to get a piece in about turning used finds into real daily wear for the Montgomery Street set. But one of my goals with the piece was to get something custom-made, and I did, but it didn’t make the edit — that’s okay, because I still have a new, custom shirt!

Spoon Tailor is run by Andrew, who explained to me that he used to be an engineer for Cisco. He has a small, neat shop on Sacramento between Kearny and Grant, and offers incredible prices and even more incredible service at the price.

He normally charges $85.00 for a custom piece, which is as cheap as anything online or in New York, but I cashed in on his ongoing “grand opening” deal and paid only $72 — as little as you might pay at Century 21 or the Nordstrom Rack for something name-brand.

Now I have a red and white pinpoint-check shirt with a white, double-button collar and french cuffs. I blame a subconscious fixation on Slingers for such a Rat Pack, Goodfellas choice. But it has my initials embroidered on the left cuff in serif script, so naturally I love it to death.

Sure, it was made in China like everything you might buy off the rack, but I feel like whatever premium I paid was one paid to skill and risk, not interest and fees. And Andrew, who offered to whip me up a suit for $699, is good people: Once he has your make and measure, you can order whatever you want and have it delivered to your office downtown.

Please do take advantage.

Yes, I Done Got a Real Job

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on August 12, 2010

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later — I haven’t even been able to come up with 140 appropriate characters to announce it on Twitter. Anyway, the company has a reading club! Just three days at the office so still able to keep up with internal email somewhat, and finally checked out the paper said reading club intended to discuss. Right at the top, I could tell I probably wouldn’t truly grok the whole thing, but that I would certainly learn something:

  • Expect failures. A component may crash or be stopped at any time. Dependent components might fail or be stopped at any time. There will be network failures. Disks will run out of space. Handle all failures gracefully.
  • Keep things simple. Complexity breeds problems. Simple things are easier to get right. Avoid unnecessary dependencies. Installation should be simple. Failures on one server should have no impact on the rest of the data center.
  • Automate everything. People make mistakes. People need sleep. People forget things. Automated processes are testable, fixable, and therefore ultimately much more reliable. Automate wherever possible.

Life lessons, people. Life lessons.

Immoderate User-Submitted Tags

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson West on May 19, 2010

Hulu allows users to tag videos, and oh the crazy things that users will say! Like, “Cheney is a pedophile,” currently the most popular tag for the documentary “Bush’s Brain” about Karl Rove. Good times.

The Sims Body Snatchers Invade Facebook

Posted in 1 by Jackson West on February 27, 2010

I have long been losing trust in online enterprises not to play with me or my data, and the larger they are, the less I trust them. But when I realized I am literally being played with like a toy, that really made my skin crawl.

An email arrived in my inbox from Facebook, one of the standard “someone’s tagged you in a photo” notification. Fair enough. Except I haven’t been out much and I didn’t recognize the name of the Facebook contact. (We’re not still calling them friends, are we?) So I feared the worst. Goodness knows who has digital photos of me doing any number of embarrassing things.


Sunshine, On My Shoulder, Makes Me Happy

Posted in 1 by Jackson West on January 6, 2010

So my good friend Eve Batey at the San Francisco Appeal shot me an email today with an idea so crazy it just might work. She suggested that I — me, Jackson West — might be a good candidate for San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. And right now, even if you live in San Francisco, you are probably asking yourself, “What the fuck is the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force?” Which, frankly, was one of the things that convinced me I might actually be qualified: Because I do know what it is, and not only that, I want it to succeed.

Photo by Marshall Astor.


Worlds Collide, Part Whatever

Posted in 1 by Jackson West on October 22, 2009

sf_appeal_world_of_warcraftSo yesterday I got a last-minute invitation to join my good friends Eve and Matt to talk about Muni in front of cameras. Naturally, I put on a suit and my new-to-me Cavali shirt ($7.99 plus tax at Thrift Town) because if you offer me an excuse to overdress, I will take it. But I biked there on a hot day (see: new cycling column), and there was no makeup trailer, so I was checking the footage today to see if I looked all sweaty and shiny and gross as un-powdered people on TV do, when I noticed the big World of Warcraft banner ad on the Appeal. Which stopped me dead in my vain tracks and made me post this. Because between hanging out with Eve and Matt, complaining about Muni, wearing my fancy but cheap thrift store outfits and slaying trashmobs with my undead rogue, this confluence of coincidence makes me happy. And a little scared at how well the Internet knows me.


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