Virginia City in 60 seconds

Lets do a speed run through historic Virginia City, Nevada. This former mining boom town from the 1860s was once home to the largest silver load in U.S. history and historic figures from American history. Samuel Clemmens got his start as “Mark Twain” while working at a Virginia City newspaper. Today it is home to a little over 700 residents and hosts visitors, many from nearby Reno, NV.

Ice Cube vending machine

Ring of Fire Eclipse 2023

I journeyed 6 hours east of San Francisco to the town of Winnemucca, Nevada seeking fairer weather to experience the October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse. Unfortunately, the San Francisco weather followed us and we had mostly cloudy skies all morning. I managed to catch glimpses of the Ring of Fire and Wedding Ring formation of light around the New Moon.


I visited Shibuyala, a small chain of stores that models itself after the cosmetics/gift stores found in Tokyo. Shibuyala, an amalgam of “Shibuya” and “L.A.”, sells an unusual mix of Japanese cosmetics, snacks, toys, and stationary. In the Shibuya store is a store within a store: a Gashapon site.

Coin-operated vending machines selling random capsule toys have been present in US supermarkets since I was a kid. But in Japan, they took these capsule toy vending machines to another level. Gashapon are the branded vending machines containing gifts created by the Japanese toy company, Bandai. Some Gashapon machines dispense random capsule toys within a theme or IP, such as Demon Slayer, Spy-X-Family, Sanrio, and others.

The Shibuya I visited was in the Shops at Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia, CA

Cal Academy Bugs

I visit the “Bugs” exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. This traveling exhibit was created by the New Zealand Museum in partnership with Weta Workshop (the film and SFX studio that created “The Lord of the Rings” series). The exhibit is a lavish experience in light, color, and sound.

The exhibit places the viewer inside the insect world at a scale of a bug. The bugs are detailed, realistic, and human-sized, making them as terrifying as they are beautiful.

July 4th San Francisco

I had a rare opportunity to visit an apartment that overlooks Ghiradelli Square and the Aquatic Cove. This advantaged me with a clear bridge-to-bridge view of the July 4th fireworks.

Mysterious object impacts on moon

Thanks to science we now have compelling evidence that Team Rocket is real. #moon #astronomy #pokemon