So many of us use computers today as our “workplace” and Mr. Scott mentioned that he created a page with a motivational message to be the default opening page for his browser. I love this idea and created a simple page (current version below, I plan to revise but wanted to set up something now to start from). The bolded item is based on Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy – a good motivational read about tackling the biggest, most important task of each day first thing.
I wanted to share my modest attempt at this “Start Page” idea as I think the idea is a really good one and thought you might enjoy as well. If you’d like to use my Start Page for yourself you can find it at:
I was curious about the overall impact of the venue on the neighborhood in terms of patrons and dollars – how many people are attending concerts and bringing energy, liveliness, and money to North Park. I live a couple of blocks away and it seems to be quite popular but I hadn’t seen any numbers about the average attendance, etc. Here’s the response I got from an Observatory representative (received on 8/11/2017) on this topic:
“Our capacity is 550 seated or 1100 standing. We do between 12-25 shows per month with the average of most shows being about 80% sold.”
Let’s do a bit of math to get a monthly estimated total of attendees:
Average capacity: 825[(550 + 1100)/2] (assuming half seated shows and half not)
Average shows per month: 18.5 [(12 + 25)/2]
Average attendance per concert: 660 (825 x 80%)
Total attendance per month: 12,210 (660 *18.5) ———>> In a year that would be an estimated 146,520 attendees.
What does this mean for the larger North Park economy? As a rough estimate, this infographic from event organizer / platform Eventbrite is what a quick Google search yielded. It’s a bit dated, from January 2015, but as I don’t currently have a data analyst on staff I’m going to run with it.
Based on the above, the average non-ticket spending (snacks, drinks, transportation) would be $47 per person, in addition to the average $35 ticket. Multiplying the annual attendance by this $47 per person in spending would yield a direct economic impact to North Park of $6,886,440. A good portion of this, especially the drinks category, may occur inside the Observatory venue or attached West Coast Tavern. The wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars in North Park would also receive some of this money.
Prior to Observatory opening there wasn’t a major concert venue in North Park and I’m glad there is a place where music lovers can attend a wide variety of performances. (I’m not much of a concert goer myself and haven’t attended a performance at Observatory other than the Christmas program for Jefferson Elementary, for which the venue donated the space and support services.) I see Observatory as the type of place that most neighborhoods would pay lots of money or tax breaks to attract – a place bringing money, jobs, and attractions. Hopefully Observatory will continue to listen to neighborhood concerns as well as operating as a top-notch place to enjoy a night out in San Diego.
We’ve had a couple of wood planter boxes in our sideyard that I made a few years ago for herbs and vegetables but have never had good luck with growing edibles. Yesterday, we decided to repurpose one as a butterfly garden, which is more in keeping with our lot flora in general and hopefully will be more successful than the tomatoes and basil were.
We went to a nursery in the Midway District of San Diego, Walter Andersen’s, which has quite a large selection and is on to the way to our favorite beach neighborhood, Ocean Beach. Our total purchase for the day was $77.49 for the following plants and one bag of bedding soil. I sprang for a couple of extra large choices rather than smaller pots, so the total cost could easily be closer to $50 for the same selections at a slightly smaller planting size.
Achillea Millefolium (Siren song angie)
Acelpias fascicularis (Mexican whorled milkweed)
Asclepias mix mojonnier (Milkweed)
Asclepias physocarpa (Hairy Balls / Family Jewels) – commonly named for the seed pods resemblance to the human testicle. Seriously.
All of these are butterfly friendly and pretty well suited to the San Diego climate. Some, like the cuphea and galvezia are also great for hummingbirds. Only the galvezia is a “true” California native plant but the asclepias mix is probably the most common milkweed you’ll see in yards around town and a great monarch butterfly attractor.
Wanted to share this project and plant selections in case others would like to easily add some habitat for butterflies at their own home. Cheers!
I enjoyed both of these books though the topics are quite different – one is self-help / financial advice and the other is sci-fi / adventure. Set For Life is the former and I greatly enjoyed the first half of this read, although there were mis-spellings and edit errors throughout the book. It’s mostly about building wealth through real estate and geared toward younger people looking to purchase their first property. Great advice regarding cutting housing costs (the biggest monthly cost for most Americans) and building wealth by starting with a multi-unit or roommate and growing from there.
Ready Player One will soon be a movie and I had a birthday gift card to Barnes and Noble so I bought it on a whim. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and would seem to be the target market for this sci-fi fantasy set in the mid 21st century but fixated on 70s – 90s geek pop culture. Lots of music, movie, TV, and video game references from that era and the entire plot surrounds a huge video game contest. If you’re into those sort of things you might like – if not, most of the references will probably be lost.
I’m sending out these books as part of my “Sharebook” campaign – my personal project to send out books I’ve enjoyed and start a number of book chains to continue them being passed after I first ship them.
Mission Trails Regional Park is an amazing San Diego asset. It covers 7,220 acres and is located near Downtown and urban areas like North Park, Mission Valley, La Mesa, and others. There are a wide variety of activities available – running, rock climbing, bike riding, hiking, and more. To encourage more people to explore some of the less visited areas of the park the 5 Peak Challenge was officially launched on November 7, 2015 although it had been an unofficial challenge in the hiking community prior to that launch.
Cowles Mountain is the most popular hike in the park and has a constant flow of people. I had done Cowles a dozen or more times in the past 5 years and the Fortunas once or twice but had never been to Pyles or Kwaay Paay prior to attempting the 5 Peak Challenge. You don’t have to do all the peaks on one day and it’s probably not advised but a friend had told me about doing the challenge in under hours so I decided to make that my goal.
Using the park map (below, click for pdf copy) I decided the shortest total route from the Visitors Center would be: South Fortuna, North Fortuna, Kwaay Paay, Cowles Mountain, Pyles Peak. I hopped on my bike in North Park and about 35 minutes later was at the Visitors Center and ready to go.
I used the Strava app to record the time, elevation gain, distance, and route for my 5 Peak Challenge. Including a few breaks for lunch and to register the kids for swimming lessons it took a total elapsed time of 4 hours and 57 minutes. I was scrambling up Pyles Peak to get under the 5 hour mark but managed to do it. I hiked at a moderate pace for the most part but did jog some of the descents and a bit of the Junipero Serra Trail that is a flat, paved road from the Old Dam to the Visitors Center. I also rode my bike from the Visitors Center to the Cowles Mountain base after the first 3 peaks.
I didn’t include any scenery shots on this post, other than the background on the selfies at bottom, which are required to officially complete the challenge and submit for a certificate. If you haven’t been, Missions Trails Regional Park is basically Southern California natural scrub habitat – some trees in the low lying areas but primarily short bushes and shrubs. The peaks provide wonderful views in every direction, from Mexico to the Pacific to inland mountains to the east. The day I hiked was overcast so the view distances were greatly reduced but I was grateful for the less intense sun and heat.
I’d highly recommend doing the 5 Peak Challenge or simply visiting the park to have a picnic or go for a casual hike up one of the peaks. It’s a great asset to the region and one well loved by many.
Interested in receiving a free book recommended by myself or another person? You can enter your information in the short form at the below link and you may be lucky enough to receive one in the future. After reading a book I’ve purchased or otherwise received I paste the below message inside the front cover and then send out to the next person on the list, who will hopefully read it as well then add their name and pass it on. Or, if the book isn’t their jam simply pass on without reading.
Message Inside Book Cover:
Print the below text and tape it inside the cover of a book before sending to a friend to share good books with friends. Packing tape is recommended.
Sharebook – Pass along this book to a friend!
This book is part of Sharebook. After you’ve read it, add your name below the others inside the front cover to join the chain of friends. If you have a book you’d like to pass on, print this message and paste inside the book, add your name, and send to a friend to start your own chain.
Today I’m sending out a copy of “the Airbnb story” by Leigh Gallagher, which Airbnb was kind enough to send me a copy of recently. A good, quick read of the history of the company and the rapid growth from blow-up air mattresses on the floor to a $30 billion valuation in the private market. Mostly old news if you’ve followed the company over the past few years but probably an interesting read if you’re mostly unfamiliar.
Note: My previous website (same address – johnpatrickanderson.com) had a post regarding this book sharing effort, which I nicknamed Sharebook, but has now been lost. This post replaces the old one and will hopefully lead to more sharing of great reads. Cheers!
New Airbnb Feature Likely To Be A Boon For The Platform
Airbnb has a feature currently only available in a number of cities around the world – Co-Hosting. The current list, below, includes 25 cities although additional cities are being rolled out per my conversation with an Airbnb representative this week.
So what is the Co-Host program about? Basically, it’s a way for a property owner (a “Host” in Airbnb parlance) to add another Host (the “Co-Host”) to a listing. You can tap a friend, relative, neighbor, or experienced Airbnb huser to manage your property for you. This is a huge growth opportunity for the platform and one I’m surprised is not getting more publicity. I’d guess this is because they’re currently in test mode and working out any bugs in the program. In addition to assigning management rights to an Airbnb listing, the Co-Host option allows users to set fees (management fees as a percentage of gross earnings or fixed fee, cleaning fees, etc.) and the platform will automatically split earnings and distribute to both the Host and Co-Host per the Co-Host settings.
There are a number of reasons why someone might want a co-host for their property. The hassle of managing a property isn’t for everyone and to be able to hand off some or all of that responsibility will be attractive to some. For others, travel schedules or work demands might necessitate a co-host for short periods of time or seasonally. I can see myself wanting to add one of my children as a co-host to our listings in the future and giving them limited management rights to gradually give them control and responsibility for their own business.
In addition to existing Airbnb Hosts it’s easy to see how the Co-Hosting option could enable landlords to allow long-term tenants to utilize Airbnb in a monitored and responsible way. Between landlords, existing hosts, and the growth in the number of hosts in general I see a lot of growth potential for co-hosting. It should also allow Airbnb to retain hosts as there’s an option to avoid the hassles of managing a listing but still have the earnings, flexibility of schedule, and other benefits the platform provides. Airbnb has built a huge user base complete with reviews and other data and strengthening that base and building on it will be a competitive edge for the platform against the many competitors in the field.
I recently became a Co-Host here in San Diego and am excited for the opportunity. As one of the most experienced SuperHosts in the area I’m comfortable with taking on another listing to manage and hopefully the Host will see a benefit from the reduced workload for the property. If you are considering a Co-Host in San Diego you can find my profile at the below link. I’d be happy to talk with you about co-hosting and my experience and expertise.
Wondering if Airbnb offers Co-Hosting in Your Area? You can find out by logging in, and checking at the bottom of the menu bar. If Co-Hosting is an option for you, there will be a section labeled “Management” with a sub-section “Co-hosts” on your menu bar. You can directly invite someone you already know as a Co-Host or use the “Find a co-host” option to search by location for experienced hosts.
If you’re a host on Airbnb you will likely have occasion to contact Airbnb for help with guests, refunds, bookings, or other issues. If you’re a Superhost (a highly rated host meeting certain criteria retested each quarter) there is a priority phone number you can call to receive assistance. The number for Superhost help is:
I’ve had issues locating this online in the past and wanted to share in case others have had the same experience. If you’re not a Superhost you can reach a human representative for help at: 855-424-7262
My daughter Eva is currently in Kindergarten and we recently had an event in her classroom where all the kids got to read a book they had created to a group of parents. I really enjoyed Eva’s book and wanted to post it here so that family could see it (and of course for the eventual inclusion on her college applications as a sign of prodigious intellect).
A few years ago when I started biking to work it was primarily due to a desire to improve my fitness. I was working a lot of hours and found it difficult to find time to get to the gym. I figured that a little moderate exercise (like walking) to start and end the day would be a good way to ensure at least a nominal amount of physical activity each day.
I’ve continued to bike since that first trial and now bike for most of my daily tasks – groceries, meetings, work, etc. I’ve been pondering the exercise impact of the biking I do and wanted to do a rough estimate.
This online calculator is pretty handy to ballpark the calories burned biking. There are many others but the few I tried out gave similar results.
For a typical 3 mile ride in the city I burn about 200 calories so a round-trip would yield 400 calories burned. For a daily commute and with 2 weeks off for vacation that’d be an even 100,000 calories in a year.
If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of exercise each day, trying out bike commuting might be worth a try. Bonus: it’s really fun.
CORRECTION: After posting this I received feedback from a couple of people with more knowledge than I that calculators like the one used above overestimate the calories burned biking by quite a bit. Per their estimates, including a tracked ride, the rate per mile for biking should be around 25 calories.
Based on this number, the total for the 3 mile ride, 6 miles round trip would yield a total of 150 calories burned and an annual total of 37,500 (not 100,000).
I’m leaving the original post and this edit in case others have a similar issue regarding online calculators for this purpose.