Rants and Raves


[originally posted Feb 9, 2014 – found via the Wayback Machine]


This one’s a rant.

Two years ago when I started at my current gig a coworker brought in some amazing doughnuts for the group. We devoured them and asked for more. We wanted to know where we had to go to get our own.

He told us that the person who made them had been making the doughnuts from home and various pop-up kitchens but didn’t have a shop yet- but that would be changing soon. He had been consulting with the biz owner (he does small business advice, consulting, etc.) and had helped find possible spots to move in to start the business and had everything else just about ready to start/grow the business- but they needed some capital. They had chosen to go the Kickstarter route to raise their funds.

We all thought this was pretty clever of him to hit us all up with catered doughnuts that morning because most of us signed up to help on Kickstarter by the end of that work day.

In case you’re not aware of how Kickstarter works you can basically find a project you like that is unfunded and read the proposal (they usually have well-made videos and demos of the product or art they’re working on). The creator has a very specific monetary goal to hit and they have a very specific set of events or products they will create/provide/purchase if said goal is reached.

There are also various levels of funds a backer of a project can provide. For example there were two projects I backed from authors for books they were getting published. They both had the books finished and were running Kickstarter projects to aid with publishing costs. One book offered PDF copies of the book at the $10 level, but I selected a hardbound/autographed copy at a higher level.  And I did the same thing for a comic book artist who was publishing a graphic novel. Hey- I like signed copies.

In the case of the Doughnut Dolly project, there were the same types of multiple levels of backing- eg if you backed $5 you would get a hug if the project were successful. Higher levels would mean doughnuts- and if you backed $100 you would get:

A punch card for a dozen doughnuts and three cups of coffee; a 12oz bag of LOLA beans from Catahoula Coffee Co; a Doughnut Dolly mug; a Doughnut Dolly magnet; my heartfelt thanks and a hug. A Doughnut Dolly Lunch Box. Perfect for hauling all those Naughty Doughnuts around!

Okay, by the fact that I’m publishing this you can probably guess what happened. But you’d be wrong.

The Doughnut Dolly did meet its Kickstarter funding goal. This meant the backers would be charged and get their rewards once the business was moved in– scheduled for MAY 2012. Also-

Everyone who contributes to this fundraiser will be invited to an exclusive party at Doughnut Dolly; to show my appreciation and to celebrate a successful group effort!

As most backers waited patiently for their emails for the reward news and just general update about the business some noticed that the store had a Facebook page up and was already open and operating. There had been no updates from the owner on the Kickstarter page and emails weren’t being replied to when sent either directly, through Facebook or via Kickstarter.

Two months later the owner finally started to reply to people on Kickstarter saying the rewards- mugs and magnets- had been ordered and apologized for some of us not getting our email updates.

Riiight- must have gotten caught in the spam filter. And according to her employees – mugs and magnets weren’t ordered – “those aren’t happening”.

It turned out that even our co-worker had been given the cold shoulder and he eventually cut ties with her. He had told her countless times to be sure to answer emails and get the rewards out. I think they had a falling out soon afterwards be cause I don’t think he speaks to her any more.

So eventually three of us just decided to drive over to the shop and pick up the doughnuts. The owner wasn’t there, but the employees treated us really well. They did provide us with doughnuts, and I was lucky enough to get their last bag of coffee beans.

But they apologized to us on behalf of the owner. And as I wrote above, they said the mugs and magnets weren’t happening (in not so many words). They both had the vibe that they had borne the brunt of other backers frustrations and it was obvious that we weren’t the only ones who had shown up to collect and didn’t get what they were owed. I felt bad that the owner would leave her employees in a lurch like that.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably wondering SO WHAT?! Kickstarter campaigns fail at various stages all the time. Why are you writing about this?

I’ll tell you why- all the projects I’ve backed have been successful, with this one exception.  Actually, there  was one that didn’t meet its Kickstarter goal, so it didn’t get started, so I don’t count it.

But you ask- well, according to Kickstarter, it’s successful right? It hit its pledge goal, it got funded, and the shop opened. And according to the page/owner some rewards went out. But obviously I disagree.

Another reason I’m ranting and venting is that one of the vendors in Temescal alley told us that Hannah is planning on using Kickstarter to help open a second location (one with her own kitchen). She couldn’t even use it the first time correctly and now she’s going to use it again?

And the main reason I’m ranting is one of her employees mentioned (before they knew we were there to collect our rewards) that Hannah was going to consult a bagel business on how to use Kickstarter so they could open or expand their own shop.

Ain’t that rich? I wonder if she’ll advise them on how not to answer emails and how to not do it properly?

At least I got my doughnuts (which were really good) and I got to hang out with Steve, his kids, Basile and Ash outside of the office. But no mas.

Steve D and his trooper sons waiting in the rain for Daddy’s Doughnuts. Pic by Basile


Sapiens – ****

Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. Harari’s writing style makes it easy for the reader to stay engaged across topics ranging from biology, anthropology, genetics, and history.

I picked this up to read because I heard an interview with Harari speaking about his newest book and I thought I should read this one before I start the newer book (Homo Deus).

View all my reviews

I want to like Scoot, but there’s always that ONE GUY

I like the idea behind Scoot, I really do. I even think about renting them every once in a while. But once a week I see someone doing jackass crap on them.

This past weekend Isaw two hipsters on Scoots trying to get on 101. C’mon, Scoots aren’t highway compatible. I know people don’t want to look up CA DMV laws, but it even says that on the Scoot FAQ (see below).

Today’s ONE GUY? Riding in the bike lane, then on the Presidio trail.

I get it- I know the spot is beautiful you can see the sunset, and take great pics.

But get off the damn scooter, leave it parked somewhere legally, then walk over to the bench. Don’t ride on the sidewalk, then the trail and then on the overlook.

Also, I’m old and ranty. And I’m sure I do stuff as a cyclist that annoys people.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let’s ride our scoots all over! Get off my lawn. TBH – great spot for pics


scoot faq
scoot faq


Today’s Butthead

On almost every commute home, there’s usually a driver that does something dumb at this light on the Embarcadero.

Drive from the far right lane to the left lane? Check
Run the light with an illegal left turn? Check
Run across two train tracks while you do your illegal turn? Check

It was good to see some SA Kids playing with Sting last night

Sting and Last Bandoleros at The Masonic on Feb 6, 2017
Sting and Last Bandoleros at The Masonic on Feb 6, 2017

It was nice seeing some kids from my hometown playing with Sting last night at the Masonic. I hadn’t seen or heard of Last Bandoleros before, but I’m looking forward to checking them out more. Plus, they’re from SA!

In other news, I switched earplug brands and tried out some Alpines last night- they were great. And they’re a million times better than generic Hear-os for music.

I’m not bagging on the Hear-o, they’re not made for music, but I usually take a pair with me to concerts.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you want to buy a pair of Alpines. They come with two types of end pieces (the tiny metal bit on the end in that pic).



Russian Slot Mafia

An interesting read:

Russia has been a hotbed of slots-related malfeasance since 2009, when the country outlawed virtually all gambling. (Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, reportedly believed the move would reduce the power of Georgian organized crime.) The ban forced thousands of casinos to sell their slot machines at steep discounts to whatever customers they could find. Some of those cut-rate slots wound up in the hands of counterfeiters eager to learn how to load new games onto old circuit boards. Others apparently went to Murat Bliev’s bosses in St. Petersburg, who were keen to probe the machines’ source code for vulnerabilities.

Via Wired

Links for Jan 23-Jan 31

Hey man, where’d you buy those empanadas?!?  I bought them from Venga Empanadas – go check them out on Valencia.

Hey man, where’d you get those co-co-co-things? They’re called COXINHAS and I bought them at – Cafe de Casa

Anything to read this week?

Sure- try:



Reading and Links Jan 15 – 22

Who killed the great British curry house?

VeloNews Podcast on race weight.

Interesting research findings on the background and players in the DDoS attack. Who knew there was a Minecraft Protection Racket?

A large, successful Minecraft server with more than a thousand players logging on each day can easily earn the server’s owners upwards of $50,000 per month, mainly from players renting space on the server to build their Minecraft worlds, and purchasing in-game items and special abilities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top-earning Minecraft servers eventually attracted the attention of ne’er-do-wells and extortionists like the lelddos gang. Lelddos would launch a huge DDoS attack against a Minecraft server, knowing that the targeted Minecraft server owner was likely losing thousands of dollars for each day his gaming channel remained offline.

I’m too depressed to post the long list of links about new #facts I was reading.

Some Readings – Jan 8 – Jan 14

Some links and things from the week:

I need to think of a better way to share what I’m reading. Not everything I save to Pocket is worth a share, nor are my random bookmarks. For example, I went off the deep-end reading about DACs and amps and DAPs when I went to look up something about a pair of headphones. Hoo-boy that was a deep dive into something…