A Pandemic of Nightly Fireworks

Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash

The battle for my Silicon Valley neighborhood began at 9:00 PM every night. A steady round of pop-pop-pop, several loud booms, and missiles exploding in brilliant displays of light. An occasional ka-BOOM rattled the windows, setting off car alarms and dogs in equal measure.

Was it the police firing rubber bullets and gas canisters at Black Lives Matter protesters hurling Molotov cocktails in the streets?

Oh, hell no.

The nightly fireworks show of firecrackers, cherry bombs, and bottle rockets started on Memorial Day and kept going until Fourth last year. Each show lasted 15 minutes in case someone did call the police and a patrol car showed up 20 minutes later. The shadowy people who lit the fireworks slipped back into the night. The pungent smoke in the air and the spent fireworks in the gutters were the only evidence that any illegal activity took place.

Not in my neighborhood, but in everyone’s neighborhood.

Scrolling through the #fireworks tweets on Twitter in the days leading up to July 4, 2020, nightly firework shows were a regular complaint for many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Three different groups may have been responsible for the pandemic of nightly fireworks.

Read the rest of the essay at Medium.

Does Your Home Need A Verified Blue Checkmark?

Are you an authentic influencer, public figure, or brand in the San Francisco Bay Area? A new service rolled out to add a “verified badge crest”—a Twitter-style blue checkmark—to the outside of your home. It’s called Blue Check Homes. I’ll walk you through the process of getting your own home verified.

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Westfield Oakridge Mall Reopens Indoor Stores

On Monday, August 31, 2020, the State of California updated its coronavirus guidelines to reopen indoor retail stores at 25% capacity. I did a walk-around at Westfield Oakridge Mall in Silicon Valley on Sunday, 9/13/2020. Most stores were either closed or empty. Apple and Target were the only busy stores. This is the second video in this playlist.

Westfield Valley Fair Mall Reopens Indoor Stores

On Monday, August 31, 2020, the State of California updated its coronavirus guidelines to reopen indoor retail stores at 25% capacity. I did a walk-around at Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Silicon Valley on Friday, 9/4/2020. The mall wasn’t restricting the number of people coming inside. Each store was responsible for restricting the number of people coming into their place of business. Popular stores like the Apple Store had long lines to get in. Most stores closed. Some stores like the Microsoft Store were permanently closed. Due to restrictions imposed by Santa Clara County, indoor theaters and restaurants are still closed. This is the first video in this playlist.

Updated 9/7/2020: Check out the list of reopened stores here.

Shaving My Head Bald During A Pandemic

It’s Day 44 (+/- a few Groundhog Days) of the California lockdown—and I’m bored. Since I’m not a vlogger, I can’t make random videos about being bored. Since I don’t have a Nintendo Switch, I can’t play Animal Crossing and invite you to my island. Last week I was so bored that I shaved my head bald with an electric clippers and s razor blade. I didn’t realize that “shaving my head bald during a pandemic” was a thing. That men who gives up a full head of hair to go bald are confidant, dominant and masculine. Who knew that looking like Mr. Magoo was sexy?

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