Please don't twirl the microphone.

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shirt printing

Dear Lazyweb,

What's your preferred source for t-shirt printing?

Our current supplier costs us $10 for a single color on black, 10 business days turnaround. The printing is good, and the shirts are high quality, but that still sounds expensive to me. Are there better options?

(Please don't suggest "Cafe Press" or "stencil them yourself".)

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"Another habitue of Martin and Horton's, and an occasional visitor to the Cobweb Palace, was an itinerant healer who called himself the King of Pain. He was probably the most ornate personage in the San Francisco of his time -- his customary attire was scarlet underwear, a heavy velour robe, a high hat bedecked with ostrich feathers, and a heavy sword. When he went abroad, he rode in a coal-black coach drawn by six snow white horses. The King of Pain made a fortune selling aconite liniment from a pitch at Third and Mission streets, but he lost all his money at the gaming tables and finally committed suicide."
-- The Gangs of San Francisco, Herbert Asbury
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Current Music: no, I can't actually do that

DNA Lounge: Wherein I tell an old story that probably I shouldn't.

So here's a funny story. And by "funny" I mean, "so funny that I sometimes have a hard time getting out of bed."

This is an old story, and has nothing to do with our current battles with the government. Or with any other absurd lawsuits we might or might not currently be dealing with. I didn't tell this story back when it happened because there were lawyers involved, and they always advise you to never say anything to anyone. But it's long over now, so now it can be told. I guess.


Several years ago, there was some kind of scuffle and one of our customers who was dancing on the stage fell off and hurt her ankle. She sued us. I'm not sure what exactly her reasoning was, but she did, because this is America, and you can sue anybody for anything. She claimed she had spent $4,000 on medical bills (chiropractors!) and asked for $500,000 in pain and suffering.

We learned in the discovery phase that this woman had also been in three automobile accidents in the previous two years, for which she had been going to chiropractors already. How about that.

We submitted this claim to our insurance company, like you do, and their lawyers handled it. They ended up settling the case by paying her around $11,000. And here's where it gets fun:

Our deductible was $10,000. So the lawyer, who was working for the insurance company, did right by the insurance company. It only cost them $1,000! But he didn't try to negotiate anything lower, because that would have been a waste of his time, since he wasn't working for us, and that was the part we would have to pay. Oh, but it gets better.

It turns out that the fine print on our insurance said, in longwinded, 4-point, incomprehensible legalese, that the rates we had been paying for years were merely "estimates". So after our claim, the insurance company "audited" us, and retroactively raised our rates for the last four years by $20,000 per year. So the fact that we filed a claim at all caused the insurance company to demand an additional $80,000 from us.

At that point, we hired our own lawyer who negotiated that $80,000 down to $40,000, paid out over a year instead of being due immediately. Plus several thousand more for the new lawyer, obviously.

In summary... Customer with a fake injury sues us for half a million dollars. Ends up getting $11k, of which her lawyer probably takes half. We're out almost $60k. Insurance company turns a $40k profit.

What's the lesson here, kids?

I think it's, "people are scum" and/or "never start a business."


I would be remiss were I not to take this opportunity to mention our legal defense fund.


yadda yadda Caddyshack yadda yadda

Spokane to detonate squirrels

The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way, the agency said.

"You're kidding," Humane Society Director Gail Mackie said when she learned the news.


keyboard fail!

Dear Lazyweb,

My beloved Kinesis Evolution keyboard seems to have completely died.

It is many-years discontinued, and not available on eBay. Kinesis has no back stock, or parts.

Please help me find one of these keyboards. Or, you know, five.

My wrists thank you in advance.

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The Brick Testament has reached Revelation.
(But it's no Apocamon...)

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DNA Lounge: Wherein there is some more press on the War on Fun.

Some recent press on the War on Fun:
SF Weekly: ABC Vendetta Against All-Ages Venues?

Coming on the heels of the state agency's recent vendetta against the DNA Lounge, it seems fair to question what ABC's real agenda is; regulating nightclubs with ticky-tack infractions to the point where they are forced to go out of business doesn't seem to be in the best interests of anyone. And ABC's Gestapo tactics seem a bit heavy-handed. According to [GAMH / Slim's publicist Leah] Matanky, "ABC has gone after all clubs with an All Ages license, DNA included. Their goal seems to be to put each said venue out of business, in whatever way possible."

SF Examiner: Squeezing the fun out festivals

Some are predicting that many of The City's street fairs -- which range from outré gatherings such as the Folsom Street Fair to more traditional events like the North Beach Jazz Festival -- might vanish by next year.

"I think this is going to be the make-or-break year for about a half-dozen festivals, including ours," said Brad Olsen, founder of the How Weird Street Faire that takes place every May in SoMa. "The City bankrupts these events with the fees they charge."

SF Bay Guardian: Can Fun police itself?

Yesterday's Bring Your Own Big Wheel event showed how a weird, community-based event that draws thousands of people and even has a real element of danger can be remarkably responsible, well-organized, and self-policing, without any help from police or other city officials, who mostly stayed at bay until the event was over. Nonetheless, city officials continue to insist on expensive permits and the hiring of too many police officers on overtime for most events, making it increasingly difficult to stage the fun that makes San Francisco what it is.


What's in the Box?

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BART two!

I don't know how seriously the recommendations by this group are taken, but the SF Planning & Urban Research Association says:

SPUR recommends that we plan and build a new subway line through the South of Market area. It is probable that such a new subway line could be implemented incrementally, starting with the turnback, and would eventually link up with a second Transbay Tube to the East Bay. The new tube should accommodate four tracks in order to include BART and commuter rail.

SPUR believes that either Folsom or Townsend streets would be appropriate for the new alignment, although there are serious pros and cons of each. The new regional subway line should run under at least one of these two corridors.

I think "hell yeah" is the only appropriate response here. Especially since BART's consistent but not-entirely-believable excuse for why there is no late-night service is, "we only have one track, so we have to shut down the whole system to fix anything anywhere."

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