California (San Francisco) locations

With David Backman

Spring and Summer 2009

One of the joys of a place like San Francisco is that there is not a shortage of interesting things to do and see. Dave and NOT get a chance to explore different events and things to do and see.


Pi Day

Celebrated annually on March 14th (specifically 3/14 at 1:59) at the Exploratorium, the holiday honors everyone's favorite ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. It also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday - a geek twofor!

Pi Day Founder

NOT and Pi Day Founder Larry Shaw stand at the Pi Shrine Plaque in the Exploratorium.

Pi Shrine

NOT starts to try and memorize the first 100 digits of Pi.

Pi Day Friends

All that Pi and no Apple or Cherry? Friends Mark Cohen and Sandi Shorago help celebrate, even if it is no ala mode.


Despite the jokes being near San Francisco, Fairyland is a park in Oakland that "where children’s literature comes to life and kids can be kids." NOT visited during their annual gala.

Fairyland Entrance


Fairyland Owl

Sleeping? Sounds like a good idea to NOT.

Fairy Nots

That's for Tiny Nots, right?

Fairyland Swimming

Well at least one of the group gets to go swimming!  Especially helpful after finding out that the toilet really was for Tiny Tots and not Tiny Nots.

Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park

In the middle of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park is the Chinese Pavilion, gift of Taipei to it's sister city of San Francisco in 1981.

Chinese Pavillion


Chinese Pavillion Plaque

Two sister cities were made, side by side and hand in hand, is peoples well-being thus made.

Residing in this wide world, cooperating closely from our hearts, the universal brotherhood is thus made.

A scenic spot in U.S.A. for ascending remained, easterly coming culture, a real friend can not be wanting in this wide world.

A great ocean on R.O.C. for crossing lain, westerly looking from the golden gate, the world although so wide becomes as near as in the neighborhood.

/s/ Mayor of Taipei, R.O.C.
/s/Speaker of Taipei City Council, R.O.C.


A lone paddleboat drifts on the lake, set loose by Dave and friends after an unpleasant encounter with some surly teenage workers.

Letterman Digital Arts Center

At the Presidio in San Francisco, there is a 23 acre complex called the Letterman Digital Arts Center that houses Lucasfilm, Ltd. divisions including LucasArts and his a special effects company.


The Lucas complex is unmarked. By any signage that is. The presence of Jedi master Yoda does not help the complex hide. Maureen and Mike Johnson found it.

Thermal Detonator

NOT could only gaze from a distance at the Thermal Detonator Leia threatened Jabba the Hutt with in Return of the Jedi.

Willis O'Brien

Stop motion pioneer, and Oakland native, Willis O'Brien pioneered stop motion animation in the cinema with such characters as King Kong (1933).


Philo T. Farnsworth invented the electronic television, which made Saturday Morning T.V. cartoons possible. NOT has visited the site of his lab in the Napa Valley.


Going really "Old School" NOT also visited with Eadweard James Muybridge, father of cinema. Famous for his use of multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip that is used today, Muybridge was the first to film a horse in gallop, confirming that all four hooves leave the ground in the process.  NOT's feet never left the ground in this photograph.

San Francisco Sights

Miles Archer

The foggy hills of San Francisco was the stomping ground for Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade. In the Maltese Falcon, Sam's partner Miles Archer is murdered early in the story in an alley.  The death of this fictional character is commemorated by a plaque at Burritt Alley that, for some reason, stands about seven feet off the ground, which helps account for NOT's flight in the photo. Then again, when at the site of a murder, remaining a moving target makes it harder for you to be the next victim.

Beach Blanket Babylon

The song goes "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" not "She's Got the Whole City On Her Head."  This piece of massive headwear is part of the costume for the San Francisco show "Beach Blanket Babylon" displayed in the airport for the shows 35th anniversary.

North American Travel

United States Travel

California Travel

Photos courtesy of David Backman

Last Updated January 2010