Category Archives: Living in the Bay


It wasn’t until I moved to California that all the AT&T coverage jokes made sense to me. In the less than 3 mile stretch between my house and the office, there are three dead spots where calls are guaranteed to drop and in some other areas I get knocked down to Edge instead of 3G.

If I lived in the middle of nowhere, I’d understand (maybe). But I work two blocks away from downtown Berkeley CA and the UC Berkeley Campus. I’ve seen lots of dead spots all over San Francisco, too. And of course, most of the BART stations (stations, not inside the trains) have no service at all.

They claim (yes, I called) some towers in my area are “under maintenance” and one is “under repair”. I don’t fully believe them. We’ll see.

And yet, I stay with AT&T… I like the ability of being on the phone and use data at the same time, I like the faster GSM download speeds (when there is service), I had good service all over Texas, even in the middle of nowhere (i.e. on the road to Lared0). I’m naive enough to believe they will improve here. Will they?

Solano Stroll

The Solano Stroll is an event that happens once a year. This time it happened about a month ago, and I had failed to post any photos. Basically, Solano Street is closed to traffic and about 500 local merchants set up stores. There’s music, dancing, food, etc.

Trader Joe’s

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this to anyone but I feel compelled to mention Trader Joe’s, a local supermarket chain. They have a store across the street from the office and they sell very good, very cheap food. It’s become my go-to place for quick, cheap, healthy meals.

For example, today I had a gigantic salad and some Indian food for a little over $5. And most of these things do not include chemical ingredients I cannot pronounce. This is perhaps the only thing so far that I’ve found to be cheaper than the Texan equivalent.

Tactile Dome

Discover the unseen world of the Tactile Dome—an interactive excursion through total darkness, where your sense of touch becomes your only guide!

Built in 1971, the Tactile Dome is a maze you crawl through in total, absolute darkness. You rely only on your sense of touch to find your way around. In my case, the sense of touch in my head, since I kept banging it against things.

In order to go through, you need to crawl, climb, crouch, jump, roll, swing, swim andy fight your way through a small army of zombies… in total darkness.

The whole thing takes from 5 to 15 minutes. It’s quite a strange experience, which is why some people panic and can’t make it through. I was ok, I went through four times.

SPOILER WARNING: I will now reveal some exclusive photographs from the interior of the Tactile Dome. If you would like to experience it first hand, stop reading now. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading Tactile Dome


We went to Exploratorium: the museum of science, art and human perception last week for Amit’s birthday, in San Francisco. Specifically, we went to the Exploratorium After Dark, which makes it socially acceptable for a fully grown adult to hog all the experiments on display. Add a little alcohol, and you have hours of fun. It’s great and highly recommended.

Human drinking from a toilet. Bad human!
Amazing man made tornado
The amazing man made tornado

And now check out this amazing video, and try to guess how the hell I did it.

The highlight of the museum was the Tactile Dome. But that will have to wait to another post.

Farmers’ Market

Whenever I wake up on a Sunday, I can open the door and walk 30 feet to the well-regarded Kensington Farmers’ Market. I’ve tried a few things, all of them Californialicious. Isn’t that neat?

Kensington Farmers' Market

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

Last Saturday we attended the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. It was my first time attending a car race, and it showed. Everyone had chairs, coolers, drinks, food, huge hats, ear plugs, etc.

I had some sunscreen.

In spite of my rookie mistakes, it was a very enjoyable time. I bet that if I knew what the hell is going on and I was fully prepared, I would have had an even better time (Austin, get ready).

Everyone gets patriotic at car races

And… they had an air show:

Diamond formation
Oh how cute... a heart <3

More photos at The MKX® Photo Gallery.