Dear readers,

About an hour ago, while walking home from Noisebridge, I was mugged. Two men who seemed to be in their mid-twenties, one dark-skinned gentleman and one lighter-skinned, wearing black hoodies and jeans attacked me at the corner of Fillmore and Waller streets. The dark-skinned man looped his arm around my throat roughly and yanked me to the floor, catching my bag as I fell and pulling it above me.

“Give me everything you’ve got!” he yelled at me.

“Hold on! Hold on!” I said.

I was on the floor in an instant and trying to find the strap of my bag. I couldn’t, he pulled it above my head, and the two men bolted as fast as they could.

As I got up, I pulled out my phone from my pocket and dialed 9-1-1. A few minutes later a police car sped up to me, I waved at it, and the officer inside rolled down his window as he slowed. He asked me a few questions, including asking for a brief description and the direction the perps ran. I told him, he said he’d be right back, and he sped off.

A few minutes later he returned empty handed. I tweeted. I filed a police report.

Inside my beige one-strap bag was a 15” MacBook Pro laptop, (serial number W89410HRB22) one with a specially-ordered matte display. (I hate the glossy ones.) There was also the laptop charger, my Samsung mobile phone charger, and a bunch of other odds-and-ends, including two Rubik’s cubes. All told, it was pretty expensive: upwards of about $2,500. While I’m pretty sure the data on my laptop is (mostly) backed up safely, my pen-and-paper notebook, which I’ve carried with me for more than two years and is full of irreplaceable notes and memories, was also stolen. That’s hard copy, and can’t be backed up digitally. Damn.

I don’t have a budget for replacing this stuff. Some of it can’t be replaced. I’m taking the somewhat uncharacteristic step of asking you to donate whatever amount that you can to me through the donation button below to help me weather the budget crunch I’m going to have to deal with in the next couple of months as I replace my equipment. It’s particularly bad timing; I just bought airfare for the upcoming CSPH conference as well as a conference ticket for the Poly Leadership Summit in Seattle, which I have yet to purchase travel for.


If you can’t offer me financial support, then please, please, please simply take the time to tweet about this blog post. Muggings rarely end with stolen goods returned to their owners, but the ones that do all have one thing in common: people are able to identify the goods quickly because word gets around. Here are some 140-character postings you can use to help me out. (Consider it a karmic investment.)

  • Help @maymaym recover from getting mugged on the street in #SF. His laptop and bag was stolen. Help him out: Pls RT—thx!
  • Activist @maymaym’s laptop stolen in SF street mugging. Chip in to help replace it and/or RT to get item description out
  • See 15″ MacBook Pro laptop w/matte screen selling in Bay Area in odd circumstances? Contact @maymaym. Was stolen: Pls RT

Alternatively, of course, write your own tweet or cross-post this entry and include a link back to this blog post.

So, yeah, it’s kind of been a shitty month. Thanks for your help, in whatever form it may take.