Archive for the 'San Diego' Category

Jul 26 2014

Lost and Found Dog Story

Published by under Declan,San Diego

This was kinda neat, so I thought I’d get it down before I forgot it.

Elaine and I had to grab our dog Pepper and head out in the car because someone was coming to see the house we are selling.  As we drove down the very busy, 4 lane Carmel Valley Rd. we saw a medium sized dog loping down Black Mountain Dr. and turn onto Carmel Valley.  She was on the sidewalk, but all by herself and looked like she could dart out into traffic at any time.  I was sick of seeing dead dogs by the road so, even though I’m really not a dog person, I asked Elaine to pull over and let me see if I could do anything.

I grabbed Pepper’s leash and walked back toward the dog, and she disappeared up into the bushes next to the sidewalk.  I approached where I’d seen her go in and found her plopped up under a bush, panting like crazy.  It was a very hot day and she had been moving pretty quickly, so I think she was exhausted.  She also looked older once I could get this close to her.  I don’t know much about dogs (Pepper and I co-exist and that’s about it, he is a mama’s boy), so I was chicken to put my hands too close to her collar.  I could see tags, so I was hopeful to get a name and number.  I called Elaine, who was still up the street in the car with Pepper, and asked her to get some water and I’d see if I could make friends with this scary beast.

I also called Animal Control.  They said they had no one available, but would put the dog on the list and have someone come look in the area when they could.  I sat and talked to the dog and waited for Elaine to come back with the water.  My phone rang and it was my buddy Mike wanting to know why I was sitting on the sidewalk talking to a bush on the side of the road.  I told him I like it there.  Elaine came back with a big bottle of water and a bowl, then took the car and Pepper back down the street to not spook the dog.  I filled the bowl and edged my way toward her slavering jaws… ok, not really slavering… She actually would just stop panting and kind of hold her breath when I got close.  She let me put the water right under her nose, and after a couple minutes she started lapping it up and quickly drained the bowl.

I refilled the bowl and got the courage up to sneak my phone in to see if I could shoot a picture of the tags…

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But it was too blurry.  I finally got the nerve up to scritch her on the head, and while she didn’t seem to like it, she didn’t snap at me which is good because I like all my fingers.  I eventually got to her collar and tags and rolled them around to read a name, “Ohana”, and a phone number!  Cool!!! This would be over soon and I could get a friggin taco.  I was hungry.

So I called the number and get… a fast busy signal!  Over and frickin over again!  Damn it.  The other tag had a dog license number, so I called Animal Control again, told them the story so far, and they gave me another number to call.  Cool!  Good deed almost done, right?  RIGHT?  “I’m sorry, this user is not receiving calls at this time.”  What does that even mean?  Someone went to all the trouble of cutting a dog loose AND canceling all of their phone lines?  WHILE LEAVING THE NUMBER ON THE DOG?!?  My mind was racing and I was getting pissed.  Did I tell you I was hungry?

Since I was delirious with hunger and sick of sitting on the sidewalk, I tried hooking up the leash with my left hand, thinking that losing that one would impact my life less.  She was cool with this and came out from under the bushes and walked along beside me for a bit.  Then she stopped dead and wouldn’t go a step.  I pulled on the leash because I wanted to walk up the block and tell Elaine what was going on, but this dog was having none of that.  As an experienced technical diagnostician, I tried walking the other direction to see what those results would be and VOILA! she had no problem going that direction.  All of a sudden THIS WAS AN ADVENTURE GAME!!!

I called Elaine and said that I think Ohana might have some sense of the neighborhood, so I was gonna see where she’d let us go.  So we headed back toward Black Mountain Drive, another really busy street.  Ohana was anxious to get across but impatiently allowed me to hit the crosswalk button and wait a bit til it was safe.  We progressed up Black Mountain until the next corner and I did the same trial and error to see where she’d go, and we went left on Sundance.  I was getting excited now and we started walking faster up the little hill.  Well I did, Ohana was showing her age and slowed down a bit on the hill and at the next corner.  We did the Magic Compass moves again and she wanted to cross the street.  A few times as I was walking and saw someone I’d ask if they knew this dog, but no luck…

We continued down the street, house after house, looking for people to ask about her, when BAM! she stops dead again and won’t keep going.  We’re in front of a bluish house with no indication of anyone home.  Just to test the Magic Compass idea, I walk up the driveway and Ohana is happy go that way.  Oh great, now I have to see this through and go around to the front door, all the while wondering what the hell I’m going to say and how to NOT make this look like some sort of weird con game.  I heard a TV as I walked up to the door and rang the doorbell.  Nothing….  I waited what seemed like 5 minutes and went to ring it again and heard “Ohana?” come from over the back fence.

I wondered if Ohana normally rang the bell and what the heck was going on here (remember… still hungry) when the door opened and a lady stood there.  I said “Yep, I found Ohana out by the traffic.”  She thanked me and was very happy to see her.  She’d been looking around the house for her and couldn’t find her.  I told her that I’d called the number on her collar and the woman said that she was in the middle of moving and all her numbers were disconnected.  At this point I kinda didn’t care, I was just stoked that this dog had led me half a mile back to her home!  I fist pumped, patted Ohana on the head (still a little scared to be honest, but out of my mind with hunger) and headed back to Elaine.

Then we got some friggin tacos.

2 responses so far

Jan 10 2012

The Missing/Stolen/Returned iPad Saga

Saturday 12/31/11

So, I have an iPad – 64G, 3G, ATT.  It’s a work device that I use all the time, especially for travel and in the gym so I have something to distract me from 40 minutes of hell on the elliptical.  Over the holiday break, I committed to getting into the gym every other day.  Our YMCA was open until 4p on New Year’s Eve, and I was sweating my fat butt off right up until the place closed.  I took a quick stop in the men’s room, and hustled out the door as they were closing up.

Sunday 1/1/12

It was later on the next day that I realized that I couldn’t find my iPad.  I looked in all the usual places, scoured the house and car, and tried out the “Find My iPad” app on icloud.  Once it didn’t show up, I realized that I must have left it in the men’s room at the Y!    Well, the Y was closed all day, so I left voicemail there and told myself to get to bed early so I could hit their door at the 5:30am opening on 1/2.  I also changed all my passwords, and deactivated the device from all the important services.

Monday 1/2/12

I actually went to bed at 1am (damn Skyrim), but was up and out the door at 5:20a and at the Y at 5:30a.  My buddy Damon was also just pulling up for a very early swim class, because he is insane.

We walked in and I asked at the front desk if the iPad had been turned in, but nope.  I wasn’t surprised, as they’d been closed up solid since I left it, so I walked over to check the men’s room.  Uh oh, no iPad…  I went back to the front desk and I filled out a slip saying what I’d lost and the nice young lady said they’d talk to more staff as they came in later.  In fact it might take until tomorrow as there were people still out on the the holiday break.  I was upset, but mostly at myself for leaving it behind. I kept trying the “Find My iPad” app, but nothing.  I saw there was a way to send a message to the iPad, so I put my phone number in there.  I also noticed a switch that would send me an email when it was found – so I hit that too.  I printed some LOST IPAD signs, and went back and stuck them up around the Y.  Worried, but feeling like I’d done all I could, I went about my day, keeping my eye on my email and occasionally trying the app again.

Then at 9:29p:

Woohoo!  Someone at the Y found it and turned it on, right?!?  I ran to the computer and hit the location link, expecting to see a map of my neighborhood and the Y.  Instead, the device is showing up about 24.4 miles to the south, in a town called El Cajon!

I have a screen grab of the map with the green dot locating the iPad right on a specific address, but I’m not sure of I should post that.  I’ll get into that more later.  Basically, I KNEW where my iPad was, and it was nowhere NEAR the place I’d lost it.  Suddenly I had a theft situation rather than a dummy-lost-his-iPad situation.  So I did what a normal person would do and called the police.

I called the San Diego Police non-emergency line and explained the story so far to what sounded like a very overworked lady.  She asked if there was a police report, and I said no because I just now discovered that it was stolen.  She directed me to a web site to fill out a form to get the police report started.  I got a little panicked and said “but I can see it now!  Why can’t we go get it?!” to which I got more of a push toward the web site to fill out a report.  I’m sure those of you who know I run an IT shop and highly promote a central ticketing system are just laughing your heads off at this delay… but, to my mind, time was of the essence!  I pressed harder and she said she could give me the El Cajon Police Dispatch number, but wasn’t sure what they might do for me.

So I called them and they listened to the story, then asked for a police report.  Le Sigh – I don’t have one because… blah blah – go fill one out and call us back.  Ok, back to the web site, filled it out, grumbled about UI design, got the confirmation email and number, and called back El Cajon.  They said come on down and we’ll have a squad car meet you by the address and do a “Peace Call.”  It’s 10:30p by now, and I’m all amped up from the situation, so Elaine says she’s going with me.  We hop in the car and head south for the 20-30 minute drive.

On the drive, Elaine has the “Find My iPad” app going on my iPhone, but it goes red, meaning that the device is no longer on.  We’re committed tho, so we keep going – at or below the speed limit, of course.  We get to the arranged meeting spot at 11p, on the same block as the address that showed up on my map, and wait.  In a little bit of a sketchy looking place.  Surrounded by suspected iPad stealers!  At about 11:40p I call back to dispatch and they say no one is available, but they know we’re waiting.  About five minutes later, 2 squad cars pull up and I get to tell the story again.

The cops were great, and offered to go knocking on doors, but that address is a 50 unit apartment complex.  Given that GPS can be +/- 25m, the dot on my map could encompass 6-8 apartment units in the 2 story building.  Added to that, the building is “known cop-unfriendly” and not a nice place.  As soon as they started asking questions, everyone would know about it, and I’d probably never see my device again.  And since the device was no longer responding to the app, I couldn’t make it sound off to make it easier to find.

At this point, I was frustrated to know that I was within a block of my iPad, but could do nothing about it.  The cops offered a few suggestions, such as sending a message to the unit offering a reward, and to watch Craigslist, – something I should have thought of myself!  They were both adamant that I NOT meet with anyone from Craigslist without the police.  They told me of someone who’d been killed in San Diego not long ago after confronting a Craigslist person.  They also suggested sharing the address with the people at the Y to see if an employee or member matched.  We drove back home, defeated and deflated.  I sent a lock command to the device, setting a password and with the reward message,  then we headed to bed.

Tuesday 1/3/12

On the way to work on Tuesday, we stopped into the Y and talked with a manager, telling her the whole story.  She happened to also be the HR person and said they had no one working in El Cajon, but that they contracted out their cleaning and they’d follow up with them.  I then headed into work and one of my guys suggested that I send a wipe command from our email server.  Even though I’d changed my email password, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to also wipe my work email from it, so I did.  More on that later…

Wednesday 1/4/12

In the meantime, I’d been watching Craigslist, and got a match!  64G iPad, 3G, ATT!  So I set up a fake gmail account and mailed the Craigslist email address.  I also mailed one of the cops for advice about how to deal with the mails I would send, and he got back to me with some thoughts.  I got a response back soon after I went to bed from the Craigslist person, asking how close I was to his asking price, and if I could come get it now.

The facilities manager at the Y called me on Wednesday, very upset about the whole situation, and said he was following up with the cleaning people.  I later ran into him when I was working out and he was very nice and concerned that the cleaning company hadn’t gotten back to him.  I could really tell he cared personally and as a representative of the Y.

Thursday 1/5/12

The Craigslist response back was from a hotmail account with a person’s name, so I passed that name on to the cops in email and with a call to the Y facilities manager.  It was probably a made up account, but it was worth trying.

I had to run out of town for a day for work, so I didn’t reply back to the Craigslist person until tonight, asking for more details about the iPad he was selling – as advised by the cop.   I got back a very short reply saying “Too bad, I sold it for $200″ and that was it.  I mailed back thanking him for the info, thinking that I might be able to squeeze more info later by being nice.

Friday 1/6/12

So, now we’re up to Friday, and nothing seems to be happening.

Saturday 1/7/12

On Saturday morning the phone rings at 9am.  It was a lady from the Y asking if I’d lost an iPad, because they had it at the front desk!  I said “very interesting!” and that I’d be in to pick it up.  I went right over and it was my iPad, grey cover and all!  I asked the ladies at the desk if they knew more about where it came from.  One of them said that she’d closed the night before and that it wasn’t there, but when she’d opened this morning, there it was on the front desk!

The device was all out of power, so I got home and plugged it in, trying hard not to touch it too much because I had some thoughts of trying to lift the fingerprints I’d see on it (this is a lot harder than you’d think… ;) ).  I’d fully expected the device to be wiped to factory default – especially if it was being sold off – but it popped up with my background screen (which includes my name) and all my apps installed.  It also started syncing with my Mac over wifi, so I left it alone to charge up and get caught up.  I was a little worried that maybe it had some phone home software installed or something, then I remembered that I’m not that interesting.

I did not have a password on the device when I lost it, mainly because it’s a pain in the neck to use it all the time, and because my wife and kid use the device sometimes and I didn’t want to keep reminding them of the password.  I thought I’d dealt with this by sending the lock and password command when it was gone, but I was surprised that the device asked for no password when I turned it on.  In fact, I was able to play around with it for about 20 minutes with no problem.  I also noticed that my reward message wasn’t on it.  It wasn’t until I ran the “Find My iPad” app again from icloud that the lock came on and the message appeared.  I don’t know why the lock didn’t happen as soon as the device got power.

Another lovely feature was that work email wipe command I’d sent.  I assumed that it would wipe my email – but nope, it wiped the whole device!  The iPad had been prompting me for my email password, since I’d changed it days ago.  I went ahead and put it in, looked away, and when I looked back, the device was wiped and asking for a setup language!  So, no worries about spy software, but that was a surprise.  I ran a restore from my computer and it all came back in about 30 mins.

Sunday 1/8/12

Imagine my surprise this morning when it was wiped again!  I guess I needed to totally delete the device from my work email server’s awareness for it to stop trying to wipe it.  I’m afraid to put my work email password into it now tho!  ;)

By now the device is in full working order and I’m back on track!

Monday 1/9/12

But I’m left with a LOT of questions!  I called and left a voicemail with the Y facilites manager.  He called back, unaware that I’d gotten it back!  He was thrilled and I asked, “What did you do?!?”  He said he still hadn’t heard back from the cleaning company, but he was even more interested in talking to them now.  I am dying to hear what he learns!

Tuesday 1/10/12

I’m gonna go ahead an publish, even though there are a lot of questions unanswered.  I’ll add more later as I know it.  I’ll also tack some other lessons learned on here, and more as I think of them:

  • I should have put a password on the device.  Even if it’s a pain in the neck.  I could have reduced the stress of the situation by knowing that the data were safe.
  • I thought that having a map with a green dot on an address would ensure I got my iPad back pronto.  Thank goodness, cops follow the Constitution and won’t kick doors in based on a map I printed up.  I REALLY wanted them to, but it would have been dumb.  Now, had the device been active and I could have made it make a sound, the cops would have done a lot more.
  • Fill out a police report as soon as you can.  No one will do anything until you have that magic report number.  I learned during filling it out that I could have filed under “Lost Property” when I knew the device was missing.  I didn’t have to wait until I thought it was a theft.
  • Don’t hold your breath waiting for the cops to do anything.  I have never heard from the San Diego police.  I just filled out a web form and it went into a black hole.
  • The San Diego area has a lot of police forces.  El Cajon is a totally different jurisdiction.  I remarked to the cops I met how it seemed that they cared a ton more than the police closer to my house.  They said that while El Cajon is certainly underfunded for police (hence my 45 minute wait in the parking lot), SD City is decimated.
  • Wipe means wipe!  Well at least from the Outlook web client.  And don’t forget to take the device out of the known list and re-add it later, or you’ll get wiped each time the devices talk.
  • Customize your device if you can.  I had a known dent on mine, but think about the Craigslist picture and how you could help convince the cops that it’s your device that’s listed.  No, don’t dent the device, work people… ;) But silly stickers don’t hurt.
  • The folks at my Y are great and take member concerns very seriously.  Well, except for widening the entrance turnstile for my fat butt!  ;)
  • Tweeting vague references to a big story you are going to write up really aggravates people.  Do it often!  ;)

 

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Nov 12 2010

Declan’s Favorite San Diego Beer Places

Published by under Beer,Declan,Fun,San Diego

Friends from out of town often ask me where are good places to have a beer in San Diego. After emailing out the tenth reply, I decided to write up my favorite places, and to put them on a map to help people find them. I hope you find it useful!

Here’s THE MAP.

I haven’t tried to list every place in San Diego, just the ones that I regularly visit and feel comfortable recommending to people. I have certain biases and preferences, so don’t be upset if you’re favorite place isn’t listed. Throw me a comment and I’ll see if it’s a place I’ve forgotten, or some place new I should try!

My main bias is that I’m old and I can’t stand places that blare music. I like to talk with friends over a beer, and a jammin’ jukebox just makes that hard. Only two of the bars I frequent can lure me in past the blare of the music – Toronados and Hamiltons. Their beer selection, and the specials they provide for their customers make them worth the noise. Mostly. ;)

Another bias is that I like a lot of selection. San Diego has a reputation for big, hoppy beers, but I like dark, sweet, funky, and sour stuff.

I list three kinds of places:

    Beer Stores: indicated by the shopping bag icon
    Bars: indicated by the beer mug icon
    Breweries: indicated by the brewery’s logo

It makes for a messy map, and I’ll work to make it cleaner over time.


View Declan’s Favorite San Diego Beer Places in a larger map

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Aug 07 2010

My first model shoot

Published by under Declan,Fun,Photography,San Diego

Gabe and I attended the Amateur-Professional Models and Photographers and More SD meetup run by the energetic, friendly Britt. We met at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach right at sunset.

IMG_3627

The models were running late, so Britt got down on the sand and helped us set up our lighting and shots. I quickly figured out that coming straight from work was a bad idea… My dress pants and shoes are now full of sand. ;) I also got a great workout squatting and kneeling to get the best angles.

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That’s Ashley, the first model who showed up. I was able to get a little sunset action, but it was pretty cloudy:

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Gabe enjoyed the whole experience:

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Marisa showed up next:

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Then Angel came a bit later:

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There were about 10 photographers:

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The models would pose and move their eyes from one lens to another. I learned a lot about how to give direction by listening to the other photogs. Britt was also very helpful in how to talk to the models and help them give you the best shot.

I had a great time, well worth the $15 Britt charges for the event. She is one of the most friendly people I’ve met and loves helping. She gathered some of us after the shoot and we headed to Pizza Port for a couple beers and she talked even more about the craft. Lots of fun!

Click here for lots more pictures on Flickr!

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Jun 13 2010

Taste of Adams 2010

Elaine and i just finished up trying out the Taste of Adams and had a few reflections:

When we started researching the event, there were 2 different dates referenced on web sites. In fact, the Blind Lady mailed out that they had confused the date too.

The tickets cost $25 each, but Mercedes found a $5 off deal. Still, the ordering site added a $2.50 processing fee, so that kinda sucked. For what we got, we think it was over priced by about $10.

Parking was about the same as normal for Adams, so about 5 mins of hunting side streets. The ticket booth was quick, with laser zappers that read the 2D barcodes nicely. Then we got a necklace badge with numbers that some of the vendors punched, I guess so you didnt come back for another whole bite of soy chorizo burrito.

We started at Blind Lady – a slice of nicely spicy margherita pizza. Then we hit Mariposa ice cream and they were very generous with two scoops of whatever they had. The Mexican chocolate was great! Next was Tams Thai which had a line too long to wait for so we skipped it. Next was Gold Donuts. They gave you a piece of a donut or fritter, or 3 donut holes for yer card punch. That was actually a pretty nice portion and fulfills my donut needs for the next year.

Then we met up with our buddies Kay Marie and Gerardo, and headed back in the other direction. Country Kabob Greek had some steam tables on the sidewalk with a tiny piece of pita with really spicy yogurt, and a bite of yummy spanikopita. Portions too small, but very tasty.

Lestats had iced coffee and brownie bites. Elaine liked the coffee, I never touch the stuff. The brownie was fine – kinda dry. Then we ran back across the street to TAO Thai and had some nice spicy tofu and a great chicken in some sweet sauce with mixed wild rice. No skimping on the portions here! They even had a mini dessert with mochi and bean curd. Right next door was Viva Pops! where they make their own Popsicles. The blood orange was yummy, and the girls said the chocolate banana was great too.

Elaine really liked El Zarape – rice, beans, carne, and chicken. Then a nice margarita shot! Well be back! Then we walked all that off and stopped into Incredible Cheesecake where I think they gave us a wafer thin hint of a smell of a taste of some cheese cake. Really chintzy.

Next was Jaynes Gastropub, who did the best job of all of the venues to treat us as more than a bother. We were seated and served bangers and mash. The portion was tiny, but we liked the service and the friendly people. We stayed a bit and ordered some beers to keep our strength up. Senior Mango was next, and I had a berry smoothy that was a nice size. None of the others had been inside AC Lounge before, so we popped in and were greeted very warmly by the bartender. They were serving half off drinks, but we were worried about running out of time, so we pressed on.

We skipped Twiggs because of time and tried Cafe 21. They had some dried out hash on dried out bread crumbs on a tray. Quite meh. Then we jumped on the trolley, which was a really nice part of the event, and went to the Farm House Cafe and had ricotta pancakes in a butter sauce with oranges. Very rich and tasty!

The trolley driver was cool and let us take our food on board so we didnt have to wait another 10 mins for the next bus. One of my main goals was to get to Ponces, someplace Ive heard great things about, so we rode the trolley all the way to the other end of Adams to Kensington. This was about 2:40, so we had 20 mins until the end of the event.

We tried out the Kensington Cafe, which had really nice people staffing sidewalk steam tables, but served up a minuscule bite of the aforementioned soy chorizo. Double meh. Burger Lounge had a 5 minute wait while they whipped up some more food, so we skipped it and hit Bleu Boheme. My old buddy JenBen was hosting and directed us back to a gentleman serving escargot in a rich sauce. Id never had them, and they were kinda like mussels or salty, chewy mushrooms with a slightly grainy texture. Oh, and they were snails… So that was different. I liked the place and the vibe tho.

Finally, with 10 minutes to spare, I get to try out Ponces!!! But no, theyre rejecting people at the door saying they ran out of food. WTF? How the hell do you run out of food? Youre a restaurant! The snails didnt leave a bad taste, but Ponces sure did. What a shitty way to treat people.

So, all in all, it was a nice event but many of the venues didnt do themselves any favors by being cheap on the offerings.

3 responses so far

May 31 2010

Yelp Review for West Coast Tavern

Elaine and I had dinner out at West Coast Tavern and liked it so much that I wrote a Yelp review.

Click here to read it.

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Jan 25 2009

San Diego Night Time Panorama

Published by under Declan,Photography,San Diego

I’m SO happy with how well this shot worked:

Hit this link to see a big version.

And hit this link to see a huge version! :)

This is actually 2 shots from the Balboa Park bridge over Rt. 163, toward downtown San Diego. I used Autostitch to put them into one shot.

More pix from that night here:

3 responses so far

Nov 05 2008

Welcome to the Twitosphere – San Diego City Beat Article

Published by under Friends,San Diego,Tech

City Beat has a twitter article today, and Gabe (@gebl) is quoted.

“If you go to the standard technology meet-ups,” says Gabriel Lawrence, director of IT security at UCSD, the glow of the pool reflecting in his glasses, “it’s all a bunch of geeks standing around lecturing each other. But look at this: There’s all kinds of people here. There’s the technology people, so, if you want to talk tech and be like 1, 0, 1-1, 0, 1-1, you can. But then there’s marketing folks, there’s radio personalities, there’s newspaper media—I mean, everybody’s here. Eric Bidwell, a candidate for mayor, is here. I voted for him because I met him at a Tweetup. This is what it should be like—you get to meet lots of people, there’s lots of ideas and it’s a fun environment.”

I wonder how drunk one needs to be to speak in binary… ;)

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Aug 23 2008

Is Schmap a Scam?

Published by under Declan,Photography,San Diego

I take a lot of pictures. I’m an amateur with a decent camera, so some of them are ok. I’ve never seriously pursued getting any of them published, but I’ve thought about it.

So I was pretty thrilled to get this email a few months ago:

:: Schmap: San Diego Photo Short-list
Hi Declan,
I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has
been short-listed for inclusion in the fifth edition of our
Schmap San Diego Guide, to be published late July 2008.

http://www.schmap.com/shortlist/p=35034345554N01/c=SH20282878

Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can:
i) See which of your photos has been short-listed.
ii) Submit or withdraw your photo from our final selection
phase.
iii) Learn how we credit photos in our Schmap Guides.
iv) Browse online or download the fourth edition of our
Schmap San Diego Guide.
While we offer no payment for publication, many
photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as Schmap
Guides give their work recognition and wide exposure, and
are free of charge to readers. Photos are published at a
maximum width of 150 pixels, are clearly attributed, and
link to high-resolution originals at Flickr.
Our submission deadline is Wednesday, 2 July. If you happen
to be reading this message after this date, please still
click on the link above (our Schmap Guides are updated
frequently – photos submitted after this deadline will be
considered for later releases).
Best regards,
Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

The link went to a permissions page to use the photo that didn’t seem bad. I Googled around to see if anyone else had dealt with them and looked at their site – and it all looked ok. So I said sure. Hey, I’ve got an ego… ;)

A few weeks later I get this in the mail:

:: Schmap San Diego Fifth Edition: Photo Inclusion
Hi Declan,
I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo
has been selected for inclusion in the newly released fifth
edition of our Schmap San Diego Guide:
Downtown San Diego

http://www.schmap.com/sandiego/tours_tour2/p=2028D01/i=2028D01_29.jpg

If you like the guide and have a website, blog or personal
page, then please also check out the customizable
widgetized versions of our Schmap San Diego Guide, complete
with your published photo:

http://www.schmap.com/guidewidgets/p=35034345554N01/c=SH20281996

Thanks so much for letting us include your photo – please
enjoy the guide!
Best regards,
Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

Pretty cool! Indeed, if you go to http://www.schmap.com/sandiego/tours_tour2/p=2028D01/i=2028D01_29.jpg you will see some text about San Diego with my picture up at the top left.

I still had the feeling that this was too good to be true. The picture is an ok San Diego skyline, but it’s not great. There’s too much water for the frame size and the proportions are kinda dinky. Yep, them are pro terms… ;) The main thing that was bugging me is that the URL they gave me had a specific URL in it.

So, I went to the root Schmap site and surfed to the San Diego map, explicitly NOT using their URL. As I suspected, I couldn’t find my picture at all.

I’m guessing that Schmap plays on the desire to have one’s picture noticed so that the photographer will link to their site, thus elevating their page rank. Rather than a promotion of my picture, they are using my desire to have my picture used to further their site with that widget.

Scam might be too harsh of a term… This is a form of mutual promotion, but it feels less than honest on Schmap’s part not to include the photo in a general search for San Diego.

21 responses so far

Jul 19 2008

Lunch at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

We tried a new place for lunch yesterday called Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (address: 4718 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117). It was very niiiice!

Phelan (@imagium), a BarCampSD buddy, had requested a while back that when we declare a BarLunch on Twitter that we pick somewhere in the Kearny Mesa area, closer to him so he could join us. Being a good manager, I put the work back on him and he suggested this great new place.

Here’s Phelan and surprise guest luncher Erika!

Paige was there too, but we kept her under the table.

First, they bring out a big pot of soup (original, spicy, or a split pot with both) and set it to boil on a hot plate in the middle of the table:

Then they bring out a platter of thinly sliced meat, vegetables, tufu, noodles, string mushrooms, and monkey brains.

Ok, maybe not monkey brains – fish balls and meat balls.

Then you cook. Yer own lunch. Why do we have to pay if we’re doing all the work?

Mmm! It was very good! Gabe give’s it a thumbs up:

Even the boy liked it!

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