We’re MOVING 30 Feet!

Folks –

Kimberly and I are MOVING! Next door. In early July. Basically because next door gives us a better layout for family & we’ll have extra childcare options…

We’ve prepared the handy FAQ below to help with any further questions you may have…

-‘deep + Kimberly!

A picture worth, well, a few hundred words.

A picture worth, well, a few hundred words.

D+K Moving FAQ

  1. What?
    We currently live in 937/939 Valencia (we live in 937, the top, & we rent out 939, the bottom). We’ll will be moving into 933/935, and will live in the top, 933 & rent out 935*.

  2. Why?
    Basically, our elderly next door neighbor is downsizing & moving to SoCal. His place is very similar to ours, a 2 unit 1880’s Victorian. Although boringly painted, it is completely vacant.

  3. The big reasons for us to move are:

    • The layout next door is better for a family, i.e. better bedroom location & it has a small back yard
    • The downstairs unit can be rented to Kimberly’s dad, Patrick. He will be looking to move in September & we’d love to have MORE childcare super-nearby to help! DOUBLE score.
  4. When?
    We’ll be moving into the top unit, 933 Valencia, sometime in July, details TBD based on various renovation projects we need to complete before then.

  5. What happens to the Deepistan National Parklet?

    Fear not for Trixie, she’ll be just fine.

  6. Will you make a bigger parklet?

    Hopefully some day! We will have to wait for all the dust to settle from all of the upgrades we’d like to do on the new place (& there will be a lot of dust!)

  7. What happens to your current place?
    We’ll start renting out our top floor unit at 937 Valencia ASAP (July!). We’ll need to make top dollar on it to have everything pencil out, but even more importantly we want to live next to people we like & like to hang out with. So yes, this could be YOU! If you’re interested in a two bedroom at current Mission rents (sorry), let us know & we’ll talk. If you know of of folks we’d like, who would be interested in an awesome 2BR, send ‘em our way. Also, did we mention it’s pet friendly?

    Our current tenants in 939 Valencia will still be living there just as before. They are good tenants and will be staying in their home of over 30 years just as always.

  8. What happens to the bottom unit of your new place?
    We have a lot of work to do in the downstairs unit over the summer, but after that, the plan is that family moves in – at least for a while. Kimberly’s dad & sister, Patrick & Megan, both will be moving out of their current building, so they’re movin’ in. Eventually, we may rent out one or both of those bedrooms too, if either Patrick or Megan only wants to stay a while…. But in the meantime it will be childcare/Conleypalooza 🙂

  9. But isn’t Kimberly pregnant?
    Um. Yes. Sanity is for the weak. Hopefully, we’ll be at least kinda settled in before Ducky is born. (Ducky = 🐥 = baby’s code name)

  10. *We just got the bottom renumbered to 935. Previously it had been 933A (which is just dumb).

Halloween 2014: The Ultimate Disco Ball!!! (?)

[Ed. Note: I delayed this post way too long, but I was busy & then recovering from too much Fall-crazy.  I hope you enjoy it nonetheless 🙂

  • For reference, here are my posts on the previous Disco Balls: 2010, 2007, 2005, 2001, 1997.
  • This post contains a few shots from my two Flickr albums of the project, but there are more there if’n you’re interested – go to “the Making Of” or “The Best of” Albums on Flickr.
  • If you’re looking for an easier version of this costume to make, do checkout 2007’s version or 2010’s :-)]

I have been making Disco Ball costumes on & off for 17 years now (!) this might be the final chapter.

I don’t think it can get any discoballier!  Disco Ball 6.0 was… well. see for yourself:

Disco Ball 6.0 In Action

About a year or two ago, it seemed like every friend I had on Facebook decided to tell me about this woman, Natalina’s, bad-ass disco ball helmet that she posted on The Instructables.

And so, being interested in disco ball technology, I read her post & was amazed. She and her helmet were, in fact, bad-ass. She had taken disco ball costumery where I had dared not go: into making her helmet an actual disco ball.

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The ‘Deep Slate: November 2014 Edition

Ed. Note: In a shocking turn of events, I’m going to get this November’s slate out well in ADVANCE. This might mean I’ve been replaced with a pod. Hmmmm…This also the most work I’ve put into a slate – I really hope you like it. (Also big props to my amazing wife for proofreading & putting up with my mental/physical/emotional absence this month!)

You can find all the online ‘Deep Slates here, but note that before 2013, I only sent them out via email.

  • Nov 3: A friend sent me a good LA Times article about Prop 48.  I’ve reconsidering my tepid no & am going tepid yes – see below for details.
  • Nov 4.  My friend Kate McCarthy’s excellent voter guide is out & so I added that to the OTHER section.
  • Nov 5.  Added the new improved logo (better for Facebook) & added this link to the results (not final.)


FOR NEWBIES: Every San Francisco election cycle, I put out my “‘Deep Slate”: my endorsements for that election. If you know who I am, you know how I skew, but regardless, I recommend you read the “MY VALUES” section below to understand where I’m coming from. THE LIST section is just the no-frills list of how I’ll be voting (for printing!) & THE DETAILS section is the longer explanation of how I arrived at each vote.

First, the most important thing: WHERE YOU CAN VOTE: You can find your polling place in SF HERE or for the rest of CA HERE.

Next, if you don’t want to read my blather & just want to know my recommendations: Here’s just the LIST. But, the blather really is the best part, so you can see what I think & how you may agree & disagree. But you should agree 🙂

Thanks, as always, to the number of folks who have asked me for my opinions. I know I say it every time but it is quite true: I really am honored by your interest.

The past two months has been fairly insane for me, mostly because of my political shenanigans: as president of the SF League of Conservation Voters (SFLCV), this ballot is a big deal, and I’ve been guiding our new board through the endorsements process, as well as hitting the streets for Yes on Props A & B and especially No on L; as an SF Bike Coalition board member, I’m busy with our hunt for a new ED; and at work, we’ve been putting out a big new release of our software. So yeah – CRAZY. And I still need to work on my Halloween costume! Eeek.

So without further preamble – let’s just get this all taken care of. My recommendations!


.ps If you like what you read, please do let me know! Also questions, criticisms, comments welcome!

The format of this post is simple:

  1. The LIST: the simple list of my endorsements for this election
  2. The DETAILS: the whys and wherefors of each endorsement.
  3. My VALUES: a brief explanation of my values and sources, to help make sense of my opinions.
  4. Other Sources: a collection of other resources & ballot slates put together by friends or organizations that I value.

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Why I Returned My Nest Protects

[Ed. Note:  What follows is part of a letter I wrote to contacts at Nest explaining my dissatisfaction with the Nest Protect smoke+CO alarms I bought.  I thought it would be useful for other people considering buying them.  I will note that the people at Nest contacted me quickly & were helpful in processing the return and explaining why the product functioned as it does.  That being said, though helpful, they could not help me.]

I have been a big fan of what you guys are doing at Nest, but I wanted to tell you why I’m returning my five Nest Protects.  I’ve spoken to your customer support staff & while they’ve been helpful, they can’t actually help me.
Sad nest


First some background, so you can understand how I got to this point. 
When the Nest Protect smoke alarm was announced, I was instantly curious because I really like my Nest thermostat.  I watched the video and my curiosity turned quickly into excitement because the video showed the Protect fixing all the frustrations I had with my smoke alarms and all the annoyance & risk those problems caused!  
At that moment our smoke alarms were sitting in a heap off in a corner, because we had disabled them so many times.  When I looked at them, I’d think “Ugh, that’s really bad. You’re risking a fire because of that heap.”  Then I went on with my life, but slightly more disconcertedly…

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Kimberly’s 37th Birthday Skullduggery: 2nd Time’s the Charm

[Ed. Note: This is the big write up to the Skullduggery (“puzzle & activity hunt”) on 8/2/2014 that I put on for Kimberly’s 37th birthday. If you want to skip to just the clues and/or answers – jump to here. This is the second one I’ve done for Kimberly’s birthday – here is the write up of the first, from last year. NOTE: If you played and don’t want to read all this, at least make sure you skip to the video at the bottom – it’s awesome!]


AdventureConleys! (this shot alone is everything I wanted out of this skullduggery!)
(courtesy of Keri Maijala)


YAY! This year, I pulled it off! This year, my Skullduggery for Kimberly’s birthday was what I hoped: Big fun for Kimberly, big fun for the people who played, and big fun for me to make (albeit exhausting – again!).

I’m writing this a few days later, still basking in the post-creative-glow, that feeling you get when you have created something that you just really love. So, what was the biggest difference between this year and last? 

This time, I realized that there is more awesome in “less grand but really well made” than there is in “super grand but kinda janky”

Last year, I had much less sense of how hard it would be & also aimed to do much, much more. The result was far from what I hoped. This year, I knew exactly how hard it would be & aimed to do what I could. As it was, it was still a little more than I could sanely manage, but I pulled it off nonetheless. There is plenty of room for improvement, but this time it was still great: I had SO MUCH FUN & so did the birthday girl & most of the players!

I’m looking forward to doing another one already! 🙂 Next year, the challenge will be to do it without nearly killing myself (I have a plan!)…

Big THANKS to everyone who came out & played!


Here is my write up explaining all the clues & their answers.

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The ‘Deep Slate: June 2014 Edition

FOLKS: I’m really sorry this is so late (TODAY is election day) & frankly I’m not even finished with this (I haven’t explained the positions below) – but it will be up before 6pm today I swear (& hopefully sooner!)

Gov: Jerry Brown Lt Gov: Gavin Newsom Sec State: Alex Padilla Controller: John A. Pérez Treasurer: John Chiang Att. Gen: Kamala Harris Ins. Comm: Dave Jones Board of Eq: Fiona Ma US Rep: Barry Hermanson / Nancy Pelosi State Assembly: David Campos Sup: Tom Torlakson Judge: Daniel Flores

Prop 41: Veterans Housing Bond: Yes Prop 42: Legislative Const. Amendment: Yes

Prop A: Earthquake Safety Bond: Yes Prop B: Voter Approvale for Waterfront Dev Height: NO

Hobbitses! A Few Thoughts on Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” So Far…

Hobbit the desolation of smaug ver15 xlg
10 years ago, the biggest things occupying my mind, other than the vast outrages of the Bush administration, were hobbits.  More specifically, Peter Jackson’s “Lord of The Rings” movies.  
From 2000-2004, Jackson had given me a slice of my early teens back, but with all the benefit of my adult years, some great actors, and some kick-ass special effects.  During that time, I read Tolkien’s trilogy at least 10 times & “The Hobbit”, “The Silmarillion” & “The Unfinished Tales” several times as well. I watched the movies endlessly, seeing things onscreen that I had wanted to see all my life:
7732 orig
I obsessed over all of it, from the characters, portrayals, and scenes to the film-making & story-telling itself. The books became a touchstone for meaningful consideration of deeper subjects in my life as well, from environmental ones, to the understanding of sadness and loss, to the meaning of hope.  
Thus, it was perhaps a little surprising that I went to see the first installment of Jackson’s “The Hobbit” 2 years ago, with almost no enthusiasm & very low expectations.
It had all gone wrong for me in “The Return of the King”, the third LOTR (Lord Of The Rings) movie, with a few things I found unforgivable (“Arwen’s fate is now tied to the Ring” – Gah! & the Army of The Dead being this unstoppable force) that I was largely done with Jackson’s versions of Middle Earth.  On top of that,“The Hobbit” is a not a great book.  It is a “kid’s book”, in the worst sense of the phrase, unfortunately.  All that meant that when I heard Jackson was making “The Hobbit,” I thought “Meh, well at least I’ll get to see a big dragon on screen.” (That all being said, see this…)
I’m so happy I was wrong. Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” movies, so far, have been SO. MUCH. FUN.  The first one was pretty good & this second one has been great.  I loved it.  And I’ve been obsessing about Hobbitsess again.  Thank you Mr. Jackson.  I can’t wait for Part 3.
What follows are a few thoughts from my obsessions:

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Halloween 2013: Ridiculous, Awesome & The Quest for Paleontological Accuracy in Glamosaurs

[Ed. Note. What follows is the write up of my latest ridiculous Halloween escapade: Glamosaur 3.0, along with an explanation of how I made it. If you really just want to see the pics, click here, or the “making of” pics, click here. At the end of this post, there is a bit more about my Halloween FlashDance, including the playlist. Thanks & ROWR!!!  Also, If you want to see the 1.0 version from 2006 or the 2.0 version from 2009 here are the links.]

[Also: If you like what you hear about Sew-Op down below – please DONATE – they are just getting under way and could really use your help!]

deep 2



“Didn’t you do that one already?” – Dave, my boss, upon seeing the awe-inspiring and completely new Glamosaur 3.0

“So what was the difference in materials between this glam-o-saur and the last one? Shiny fabric stuffed with foam vs … ?” – my friend Geoff on Facebook

“Oh cool! Hey – aren’t you the guy who dressed up as a Disco Ball? When are you going to do that again?” – Woman in the Apple Cafeteria


After 3 attempts, I finally made a dinosaur costume that was AWESOME. Glamosaur 3.0! All 3 have been ridiculous, but this was the first that was ridiculous and awesome. As seen above, however, “awesome” to me, and “awesome” to my public are somewhat different – but, oh well, I’m always the most important audience. Luckily, the above comments notwithstanding, most of the people who saw my costume seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, except, of course, when they were TERRIFIED:

Glamosaur 3.0 http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7401/10667097034_f78b3618b7.jpg

See! I am TOTALLY fearsome!

And as for me? I had a BLAST in it. How much of a blast? Well this video from my Halloween FlashDance party pretty much sums up how much fun I was having:

Glamosaur 3.0 Goes to FlashDance

The Making Of: Sewing + Skeleton

Fundamentally, my approach to Halloween is marked by the fact that while I have only very rudimentary crafting/engineering ability, I have loads of enthusiasm and am fairly imaginative. This tends to make every October a fresh slalom through harebrained schemes, crushing disappointments, crafting-related debris fields, and deadline pressure. But the upsides are actually even bigger: lots of creative problem solving, dreaming up & experimenting with new construction techniques, and refining ideas I’ve stumbled upon in past costumes, and mostly-amusing failures. And then, in the end, I usually have a costume that is at worst bad but amusing, or at best, awesome (& in this year’s case, quite ridiculous!).

The biggest difference between this dino and the last? I learned THE SEWING! (I know! Right!?! With like, thread & bobbins & stuff!). 

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The ‘Deep Slate: November 2013 Edition

DeepSlate Logo

[Ed. Note: After years of the ‘Deep Slate being email only, last year I moved it to my blog as well as email. You can find all the online ones here]

  1. You can find your polling place in SF HERE or for the rest of CA HERE.
  2. You can print just the LIST (all the better to take to the polls) from HERE.

Thanks again to the number of folks who have asked me for my opinions. I know I say it every time but it is quite true: I really am honored by your interest.

I’m really sorry I haven’t gotten to this sooner, but well, as usual October was busy & I’ve just had too much on my plate. And honestly, this election, while important is a snoozer. There is nothing I feel really excited about but nonetheless there are important things there. So let’s just do this, shall we.

As today *IS* election day, I hope you go vote & remember that polls are open until 8pm and you can also vote at City Hall, regardless of your polling place!

If you like what you read, please do let me know! Also questions, criticisms, comments welcome!




The format of this post is simple:

  1. The LIST: The simple list of my endorsements for this election
  2. The DETAILS: The whys and wherefores of each endorsement.
  3. My VALUES: A brief explanation of my values and sources, to help make sense of my opinions.


The key is as follows:

San Francisco Elections:

Assessor-Recorder: Carmen Chu
Treasurer: Jose Cisneros
Board of Supervisors D4: Katy Tang

Prop. A: Retiree Health Care Trust Fund: Yes*
Prop. B: 8 Washington Street Initiative: NO
Prop. C: 8 Washington Street Referendum: No
Prop. D: Prescription Drug Purchasing: Yes*

If you want these as a handy, printable list, just click here.

Read on for the details of why I’m recommending the above…

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Kimberly’s 36th Birthday Skullduggery: Epic Awesome with a Side of Fail

[Ed Note: What follows a description of “Kimberly’s 36th Birthday Skullduggery” puzzle hunt.    This post is long, but much of it is just for me, or the *really* curious.  If you played, you might only be interested in the Complete Set of Answers & Clues.  That being said, to understand why I did it & what went right and wrong, I also recommend folks read the Introduction & Lessons Learned.  If you’re really really interested, you can read the Making of (Appendix A). The last part, the Specific Improvements for Next time (Appendix B) is really just for my benefit for next time I do one :-0 but feel free to read it if you’ve read everything else :-)]

#10a Display at Valencia Whole Foods
Chocolates for Clue #10 (see below for details)



This year, I realized that after just shy of a year of being married I was already at risk of being sent to “Lame Spouse Re-education Camp” due to the fact that the last 3 years we have done almost nothing for Kimberly’s birthday.  While I was preparing my defense (“We were traveling! And there was a MAJOR work push! And last year we were busy getting married!”) it became clear that I was doomed.  

Eventually, it dawned on me that my only hope was to go BIG: Do something EPIC for her birthday this time around. In thinking it through, I also realized that her birthday fell on Sunday Streets Mission and that it was the Sunday Streets closest to our wedding day.  Practically our anniversary. More reasons to go BIG!

After still more thinking, it came to me: I would do a SKULLDUGGERY!  

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