SF Bay Area day trips with no car (or planning!) needed

I had breakfast yesterday, one table over from an adorable older couple from Pittsburg, so obviously Ashley​ and I made friends. They had such a great SF vacation plan. All their day-trips were tours with no car needed (to Napa, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Muir Woods).

Why don’t we do these day-trips while living here?? Not just “let’s be tourists in our own city!” – I didn’t realize you don’t need to spend the time/$$ on car, hotel, planning yourself.

Have you done a great day-trip like this? Or know a good site to find them? I’ll update this post with the best ones I hear from or find myself. Ideally:

* leave from downtown SF
* provide all transport/food/tours
* NOT a party bus
* diverse fellow tour-takers

Typing Instructors for coding

I’ve been thinking a lot about typing lately. I skipped typing class in high school because… well mostly because it was in between me and programming class, and I wanted to program, damn it! The principle of the school was convinced: I’d had a 286 or better since I was in elementary school, that seemed legit. I could type fast enough, wasn’t looking that often, and I’d get enough practice while coding anyway, right? So I skipped two semesters of pre-reqs and jumped into the deep end.

I was half-right. Typing didn’t keep me from graduating with great grades, or getting great jobs. But 15 years later, I was at that same plateau. I could mostly touch-type in email and chat, but when programming, sometimes typos meant I couldn’t quite get into flow. I’d hit hiccups on number signs, symbols, and more involved vim commands (Is anyone out there touch-typing commands like this?

 :10,$s/\.oldClass/.newClass/gc

 

Whatever tools you use… master them.

My intern host at Google told me once “whatever tools you use… master them.” This conversation was about text editors, but the keyboard is an even more basic tool. Long story short, I developed a new-found appreciation for the fundamentals.

So I went looking for the ideal programming typing instructor. This is subjective, obviously, but my ideal would be fun, relaxing, self-paced, effective at teaching me, and it would weight symbols like these more heavily:

 < > [ ] { } . ; $ ^ && || # @ = + - " '

 

Here’s what I came up with, roughly in order of how much I’ve used them and how much I can vouch for them: Continue reading