Archive for September 2012

Golden Gate Bridge To Eliminate ALL Toll Collectors

This has been in progress for almost 2 years but I just noticed it on the Golden Gate Bridge website.

Some excerpts:

December 2012: Functionality Testing

  1. Toll collectors will continue to staff the FasTrak/Cash toll lanes and cash will still be accepted.

February 2013: Full Conversion to All Electronic Tolling

Toll collectors will no longer staff the tollbooths and cash will no longer be collected at the toll plaza. Instead, customers will have their choice of using FasTrak or the new Pay-By-Plate choices (License Plate Account or One-Time Payment.) Customers will still be able to pay their toll using cash in person at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center in San Francisco or at a number of new cash payment locations established throughout the Bay Area.

When the decision was made in January 2011 to convert to All Electronic Tolling, the GGBHTD had 32 full time Toll Collectors.

As of September 18:

9 have retired or departed the position for various reasons
3 transitioned to other positions within the GGBHTD
12 total have transitioned out of the toll lanes

The GGBHTD is continuing to work with the remaining 20 full time Toll Collectors to identify other positions within the GGBHTD that come open that the Toll Collectors may be qualified for.

Additional Stats on All Electronic Tolling

20 million southbound vehicles annually pay the Golden Gate Bridge toll
70% (14 million) of the 20 million use FasTrak today
30% (6 million) of the 20 million use Cash today
2.5% (500,000) of the 20 million that cross are from Outside of California

Cost Per Transaction

  • Cash $0.83 per transaction
  • Invoice $0.67 per transaction
  • Pay-By-Plate (tied to License Plate) $0.39 per transaction
  • FasTrak $0.25 per transaction

(Image some rights reserved 24thCentury)

Please Choose a Secure Password

(Originally posted May 26, reposted because it’s annoyingly relevant)

In the last 6 months, 12 18 22 25 of my friends have had their email accounts hacked. Either that, or all my friends are jumping on the Make.Money.Fast bandwagon by sending me junk email. If someone hacked your email account, what evil could they wrack upon you and your friends?

Here is a little article showing how you can make an easy-to-remember and (hopefully!) impossible-to-hack password. Please use this advice: Click me! Click! Clickie-poo! Clickie-kins!! Click-er-doodle!

Almost all of my hacked friends are on Yahoo. If you use Yahoo mail, please change your password to be secure!

My Commute

Here’s a photo from my commute last week.

Nice, eh?

I’m commuting on the SF->Sausalito ferry to my Occupational Therapy Center volunteership. I’m upping from once a week to twice a week starting next week. Right now I travel:
Home –> Bart to Embarcadero –> Ferry to Sausalito –>bike to office.
It takes about 1 hr 10 minutes, costs $6.85 with about 1.5 miles of biking each way.

I’m going to try and bike the whole route, which involves a 12.8 mile ride going over the Bay Bridge Golden Gate Bridge! It should take about 1 1/2 hrs each way.

Fixing 16th Street and 24th Street BART Station Signage

After 6+ years of riding BART, I still can’t tell when I’m at 16th Street Station or 24th Street Station. Can you? Go ahead and click on the images to look closer.

How long did it take you to tell the two stations apart? Just so you know, those are the best photos I could get of the stations from inside the train after several attempts. Most of my photos look more like this. I’ve got a lot of these shots on my camera:

Can you tell which shots are of 16th Street Station and which are of 24th Street Station? No, I can’t either. And yes, every photo has the sign pretty much in the middle of the shot; I really tried to get good photos.

For comparison, here are some shots of other stations. Same camera, same angles.

The other stations are all much easier to identify. Different architecture, different color schemes, and visible signs.

Fixing this isn’t hard. The signs at 16th and 24th just need to have some light cast on them.

Workshop Weekend Santa Cruz Oct 6&7!

You are cordially invited to Workshop Weekend, Santa Cruz, Oct 6 and 7.

I’m teaching “Real Bread (and Butter) in 10 Minutes” on Saturday, October 6th at 2:00pm.

Workshop Weekend is a weekend-long event of short, 1 to 3 hour long workshops in subjects from exploring 3D modeling and printing, building a mini robot, and creating your own jewelry to making ricotta cheese and discovering DNA modeling! It’s a festival of learning with more than 40 hands-on workshops to choose from, all taking place October 6-7 in downtown Santa Cruz — pay $30 and take as many workshops as you like! The weekend is a family-friendly gathering for kids and adults alike, bringing together arts, crafts and engineering workshops, all taught by the bay area’s best makers.

Use my coupon code to get 10% off admission: BEETLEBOTS2012
Here’s some of the workshops being offered:

  • Cheesemaking: Ricotta
  • Creating 3D Models
  • Sewing by Machine
  • Royal Icing Flowers
  • Arduino Programming
  • Rainbow LEDs
  • T-shirt Silkscreening

…and many more!

Register by going to
See you there!

Full Text:
Bread-loving guests on their way, but the bakery’s closed and the pantry’s empty? Make your own! You can make your own delicious bread inexpensively with less than 10 minutes effort, including cleanup.

In this workshop, we’ll go through all the steps needed to make bread at home. We’ll also cover topics including instant yeast vs sourdough, refrigerated dough, crust, crumb, shaping, amendments, the chemistry and biology of bread, and the thousands of varieties of this staple food.

As a bonus, we’ll make our own specialty butter while our bread bakes!

You will eat and bring home what we make in class. And with the skills you build in this workshop, you’ll see bread recipes as suggestions instead of steps to be followed. The sky’s the limit!

Note: If you have anything (possibly home made?) you wish to bring to spread on the bread we’ll be making & tasting, it would be a wonderful addition to the event!

Students must bring the following:
Optional: Something to spread or put on your finished, fresh hot bread!

Ages: 17-101
Time: Sat 2pm-5pm (0 open seats)

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front St.
Santa Cruz, California 95060
Materials: $10.00

Kinetic Sculpture and Fire for the Win

Justin Brown took my Flame Effects class at the Crucible earlier this year. He had a project in mind. A little something to take to Burning Man. Here is what he made. I am happy to tears to have been able to help!