Let All Who Pass Here Know


So let’s say you and the spouse are talking, and you say “Hey honey, why don’t we gather up the kids and make a trip to that happenin’ place, San Francisco, Californey.”

Why, it’s an end-of-summer vacation destination.

And so you book the airline and find a hotel and plan your visit.

On behalf of the Bay Area, there’s a few things we’d like you to know.

1) First, thank you. We are happy to have you come and visit! Please, spend your hard earned dollars in our economy. We could use the help.

2) We have some of the best food anywhere. Please stay away from the chain restaurants and try a local place. You’ll be glad you did.

3) Everyone appreciates how difficult it is to navigate our geographically limited city located at the end of a peninsula, so don’t be a’feared to ask for directions. Most locals have been lost here a few times too.

4) No one calls it “Frisco.” Maybe a few people call it “San Fran.” You could probably get by with an “S.F.” Refer to San Francisco as “The City” and you’ll be doing just fine.

5) Bring your camera and don’t be shy about taking snaps. It’s hard to take a bad photo.

6) Oh, and lastly and most importantly, this is what the weather is like in August:

Just for reference, the exif data on this photograph reports it was taken at 12:08:14 pm on Sunday, August 8, 2010. In case you can’t tell, that’s part of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’m just sayin’.

Don’t pack your shorts, tshirts and a pair of flip-flops for a trip to “sunny California.” Pack pants, socks and a jacket. You’ll be glad you did.

Also, know this…San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever know.

Come on out ya’ll! Enjoy! We’re happy to have ya!

Photos by Karen Fayeth taken from the Marin side of the bridge. Many, many tourists were endured in the making of these and many other photographs.

(What all this language below means is that I took and I own the photographs posted here. If you’d like to borrow them, you have to do me the favor of giving me credit for the photo and posting a link back to this page. That’s all. Fair enough? I think so.)

Creative Commons License
Word and images in this blog post titled “Let All Who Pass Here Know” by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

That Ain’t Right


Today I have a follow up to last week’s The Great Dr. Pepper Incident.

A reader suggested to me that since the cost of that taste-tested Dr. Pepper was free, and since free is good, didn’t all the no-cost make that nasty Dr. Pepper taste better?

And heck, my readers are brilliant, so of course I considered this to be a good point.

Then I decided to embark upon an experiment.

I would try other sodas in the for-free cooler and see how they fared in the “tastes better cuz it’s free” hypothesis.

First up in my research was a Mountain Dew.

I decanted the Dew into a cup thoughtfully provided by my employers.

Now. Um. That’s not a nice color.

That looks a lot like the last time I tried taking a multi-vitamin supplement. My pee turned that color. WHY IN THE HELL would I want to ingest something the color of vitamin-tainted pee?

That said, I forged ahead. I was able to get through a good deal of the Dew before I gacked out and had to pour it down the nearest drain.

Twenty minutes later, I remembered why, besides color, I don’t drink frapping Mountain Dew.

The caffeine.

I had heart palpitations the rest of the day.

Yeah. Free. So not worth it.

Not one to be easily dissuaded…

…Or, as my father used to say, not smart enough to come in out of the rain…

The next day I plunged back into the challenge.

This time, I made sure I took on something caffeine free.

After checking the entire line of Pepsi products in the cooler, that left only Orange Crush.

Also, I’m going to have to say, that’s not a color I’d generally like my food to be. Not even the orangest of foods, say carrots or pumpkin is that shade of neon orange.

It haunts me.

The taste was even worse. I couldn’t get more than two sips through the Crush before it went right down the drain.

Experiment terminated. The lab rat can’t take it any more.

Conclusion: Free doesn’t actually make a crappy beverage taste better.

Sacrifice, all for the good of science.

Now I must go drink three gallons of water to get all that artificial color out of my liver.


Sometimes These Things Happen

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As the world continues to turn, I sometimes find it necessary to put out updates to recently published posts.

Things change, you know how it goes.

So let’s recall my post giving love to the label makers.

We turn now to the first week of my new gig. On day one, I was informed of the “corporate culture of cost savings.”

Once fully briefed on how much cheap is appreciated, I was directed to the office supply cabinet to see what I could dredge up. I had to “make it work” before any new orders would be approved.

Well, that’s fine by me. I’m a big fan of office supplies, even used office supplies, so I dove right in.

I found a very usable Swingline stapler, a tape dispenser, a new box of binder clips and though I had to dig around a bit, but I also found a staple puller.

So far so good!

There, in the back of the drawer, piled under a stack of notebooks and used binders, I found this fella:

It’s a…a…*gasp*…LABEL MACHINE!

Right there. In the supply drawer. An orphan! Just waiting for a nice girl like me to take it and clean it up and love it like a good label making machine deserves to be loved!

I snagged it up, clutched it to my heart and spirited it away to my office.

There was even a half-full label tape cartridge in there! Yes!

I plugged it in and gave it a test drive.

But this is where the story gets sad.

It would appear that this ol’ soldier has seen better days.

Despite the flashy “black on gold” label tape in there (how disco!), it seems that the little turn wheels that push the tape through the printer are busted.

In short, he cannot make any more labels.

I tried to fix it. Even busted down office supplies deserve their due!

No luck.

We just have to let him go gently into that good night. He can now go and rest easy where the old and broken office equipment goes to die. Some call it office recycling, I call it a final resting place.

Goodbye big fella! I know once you made labels that shined like the sun. It’s time to hang up the ol’ cartridge and call it a day.

*sniff* He was a hero to manila files everywhere.


So…do you think this means I can order a new one…….?

That is SO Old School!


My sister likes to give me hell about my inability to get rid of stuff.

She *might* be right, but I’m not admitting to it here.

I do, however, have a very strong “cheap” streak running through me.

I can’t help it, roots of my raising.

So this cheap streak means that when I have a possession that has served me well and works easily, I tend to keep it. And use it. Use it WELL past its prime.

Behold, one such object for which I feel great affection.

My old school adding machine.

This item was procured for me back in the year of nineteen and ninety-seven.

It was a purchase made by the admin assistant to the Director of Procurement at the Lockheed facility where I was employed.

I had to prove to the admin assistant that the adding machine on my desk was truly broken.

She didn’t believe me.

It was quite a negotiation.

Finally, my wit and charm prevailed, and this little baby was ordered, fresh from our office supply vendor.

A brand new out of the box adding machine was unheard of at that Lockheed location!

My new possession featured typical ten key navigation. The choice of accountants and those who wear eye shades alike.

Oh yes.

I love this adding machine.

It’s been with me, my trusted friend, for THIRTEEN YEARS!

I loffs it.

I used to work at a hip, hot IT company. One of my employees who is cooler in her pinky toe than I’ll ever be in my whole rig used to give me an endless stream of grief about my “old school” adding machine.

“Your iPhone has a calculator!” she’d remind me about once a day.

Yes, it does. But it’s not the same.

The tactile pleasure from the machine and that little raised nub on the 5 button, so you know where you are without looking? Delicious!

And look! If I want to, I can even print out my column of numbers!!! Check and double check!

I choose to keep the tape roll off the machine. Why waste the paper, right?

Oh my sweet glorious adding machine. It’s now found a new home, a place of honor, on my new desk at my new hip, hot IT employer.

As I drew the beast out of my backpack and lovingly cleaned it up with alcohol wipes, my new boss declared “what is that?!?!”

But then one of my new employees said, “oh, I love adding machines. I still have mine too. I love using the tape to check my number input.”

I almost wept.

We may have found a home here…me and my not-so-sleek, not-so-luxurious adding machine.

In case you were wondering, yes…I took my adding machine with me when I left Lockheed. They considered it my going away present. It was so thoughtful!

The Rhythm Is, In Fact, Going to Get You


Over the weekend, I had the honor of being included on a list of photographers asked to attend a local women’s martial arts training camp.

This is a long running event and my photography teacher is part of the team that pulls off this amazing training event every year.

As I am still a *very* amateur photographer, this event tested every single one of my limited abilities for taking clear and decent photographs of powerful ladies in action.

I’ve never been much of a martial arts kind of gal myself, so being a part of these classes, taught in many cases by world renowned instructors, was enlightening.

Oh the kicking! The hitting! The breaking chokes. The takedowns.


I found myself spectating much of the time, forgetting to use that picture-taking tool in my hand for its intended purpose. It was that intense!

But for all of that, I have to say, the class that made the biggest impression on me was the Taiko drumming class, taught by a lady named Ikuyo Conant.

This tiny woman took FULL control of a class full of strong powerful martial artists and had them drumming their hearts out.

These ladies were out on a cool Sunday morning with roses in their cheeks, whanging away at the drums and laughing. They were all having the best time. Some of the most muscle bound and rather serious women were shaking their groove thang and laughing like school girls.

It was not only a joyful place to be, it was a joyful thing to photograph. The “energy in the room,” so to speak, was overwhelming. I laughed along with them. I cheered when they made it through a sequence with nary an error.

After watching Judo, Wing Chun, Tai Kwan Do, and other ancient (and potentially rather violent) arts, I found that Taiko was head and shoulders above the rest as the class I most want to take.

I’m ready to shake the maraca’s that the good lord gave me (oh wait, cross culture reference there…whoops) while I beat hell out of a drum.

I haven’t yet processed all the photos from the weekend, and I don’t have permission (yet) to post photos of participants, but here is a quick snap of Madame Conant doin’ her thang.

And oh yes, the rhythm got a hold of me, too!

: shake shake :