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Laura Mason

Blue Angels' Captain Greg McWherter on the Most Difficult Stunts, "Chair-Flying" and 'Top Gun'

Like the Blue Angels? Of course you do. There are few things more bad-ass than flying 700 miles per hour in $21 million fighter jets. Are you watching them this weekend for Fleet Week? Of course you are.

But before you do, read what Blue Angels' Captain Greg McWherter has to say about their most difficult stunts, pre-flying rituals and Top Gun.

 

How many years have you been flying with the Blue Angels?

I've been flying with the Navy for 20 years and this is my second year as a Blue Angel pilot.

What does it take to become a Blue Angel?

Etsy Craft Labs Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary @ Museum of Craft & Folk Art

We love us some Etsy, and we know you do too. So we're excited to get crafty with them this Thursday from 6-9 pm at the Etsy Labs' Craft Bar at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art  to celebrate the first anniversary of their monthly craft labs.

Litquake This Week: Surf Lit, Tales of Hollywood Hell, Jonathan Lethem and Lit Crawl

The Bay Area has long been fertile ground for literary talent - from Jack London to Amy Tan to Dave Eggers. Litquake, now in its 11th year, is our annual celebration of the written word, and it blows through town October 1-9. It's a whirlwind of lectures, parties and lit-events, so pick and choose what suits your fancy, but definitely aim to hit up something. Here are the biggies this week:

 

Major October Deals in Lower Haight, Courtesy of I Bike SF

Haighteration alerts us to deals across Lower Haight for bikers in October, courtesy of  I Bike SF. Cyclists can score deals during the entirety of October when they brandish their bike helmets or locks.

So stop off The Wiggle and head into these spots for some biker-ly discounts: 

Nickies Bar: $1 off Red Tail Ale

merch: 20% off non-sale items

Leap's 27th Annual Sandcastle Contest This Saturday

In between Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Open Studios and the rest of this weekend's madness, Ocean Beach will be invaded by gargantuan monsters (like the kind in Tremors?), whimsical castles and who knows what else rising out of its sands during Leap's annual fundraising sandcastle building contest. This year's theme is "Sand Francisco", so get your butt down to the seashore and watch the magic happen.

Bay Area Power Couples: City Beer Store's Craig & Beth Wathen

It's hard to start a business in the Bay Area. And even harder to make it successful. We're inspired by the couples who have done it together and have decided to highlight them every week in our "Bay Area Power Couples" blog series.

For beer geeks, City Beer Store is like Oz. Here, they stock some of the best beers in the world (you can even mix and match six packs) and offer pairing sessions and tastings (they're holding a chocolate truffle and beer tasting event on October 21).  Every Thursday is also flight night, where they feature a selection of beers to taste alongside one another for comparison. The folks behind this mecca are Craig and Beth Wathen, who, it goes without saying, are beer gurus and geniuses. They're this week's Power Couple. 

Weekend Must-See Show: The Mantles @ Hemlock Tavern

Imagine a balmy San Francisco day spent hitting the waves on the outskirts of town at Ocean Beach, amidst the fog. The Mantles play music that's the soundtrack to our city, a metropolis on the edge of the Pacific: raucous, sunny surf pop tinged with a quest for meaning like a malaise lurking underneath all the fun.

Thrift Stores: Ground Zero for Halloween Gear

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Please, Lady Gaga's bubbles costume is so 2009! How about her meat dress, Snooki, a group costume with your pals portraying Tiger Woods and his mistresses, or the BP logo? Whatever it may be for you in 2010, we called up our most trusted thrift shops to see what they have to offer your too-old-to-be-trick-or-treating self.

Clothes Contact, 473 Valencia St., (415) 621-3212

Starting today, this clothes-by-the-pound ($10 per pound!) store near 16th and Valencia is setting up their Halloween section full of every crazy item you could imagine. "Ruffly pirate shirts, crinolines and tutus are big sellers," sales associate Alex said. "We have a ton of Halloween dresses, like 50s Mad Men dresses, 70s disco dresses, sci-fi dresses if you want to be a sexy alien, vintage cheerleader costumes and vintage hoe-down dresses. We have lots of stuff that could be used for Lady Gaga outfits, which will be popular this year. I'm going to be Ke$ha!"

Fair Trade Month Kicks Off With A Party @ Temple

Party for a good cause. Fair Trade Month kicks off tonight at Temple, one of the greenest bars in the country -- a celebration of those who work to make the worlds of food, drink and goods a safe and more just place for all involved. 

There will be FAIR. Vodka in the house, which is made from fair trade quinoa and also appetizers, all made with fair trade-certified ingredients, of course. Come out and support the Fair Trade movement.

Transported: The Best Transportation Apps Out There

Welcome to "Transported", our new weekly series about getting places in San Francisco, whether you take the bus or the BART, bike or drive. Come here to find the skinny on secret parking spots, the new bike lanes and how to get across town on Muni without losing your mind.

There are a million smart phone apps out there for hopping from place to place in the Bay Area, so how do you know which are worth downloading? Let us know which you use the most!

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