Spring arrives in Northern California!
Two feet of snow in Chicago, all snowplows deployed and garbage trucks fitted with plows. Meanwhile, in the gentler climate we have in San Jose, the plants are bursting back in to life.
I work for a company that rhymes with oh.
I have heard that going through official channels takes months, and will only happen with a doctor’s note, in which case an ergonomic consultant is hired to write up new specifications for the blah-de-blah. I just wanted to try something out, and maybe change my mind, so I used a screwdriver. I hear the term for this is “Self-Initiated Cubicle Reconfiguration.”
An antique Chevy pickup truck, spotted in San Bruno.
I rode Caltrain up to San Bruno for a team lunch today. We parked near this beauty, and I got my picture. When this truck was new, the area was mostly orchards.
That “Sea of Glass” building from a different perspective.
While clicking around in a WordPress install last night I discovered that under Appearance > Media I can change the size of images posted through WordPress.
Row Houses in Mountain View
When I was born, the communities between San Francisco and San Jose were sleepy little agricultural communities developing in to suburbs. These days these towns are suburbs developing greater density along their travel corridors. This row of newer houses stuffed close together on tiny lots is something you might see in San Francisco, Chicago, or the outer boroughs of New York City.
Looking down the aisle of an empty Caltrain
I love the double-decker Caltrain fleet, mostly because the older ones are the same type as the older Metra trains I sometimes got to ride as a kid. Too bad they swapped out the reversible seats: I guess they were too prone to smash fingers.
Today I boarded at San Jose Diridon (where the non-Gilroy Caltrains start their run towards San Francisco) and the doors were open a few cars down the aisle. In the quiet of a Sunday evening it felt kind of like an abandoned space craft from “2001.”
That is my bicycle on the right. I’m glad to see the reflector on the patch kit blinking back at the flash.
Maxwell enjoys a sunny nap on the porch while I read my book on Sunday.
It has been extremely nice weather in the region. Yesterday I bought a sling chair from CVS and relaxed out on the porch with a book and a glass of water. Maxwell joined me, napping safely on the far side of the porch, enjoying the sunshine and the parade of birds that pass by the porch feeder.
Walking to work Monday morning I passed a restaurant on Castro St that was closed. In their front window was this table of half-eaten food. That is a failure on multiple levels: you’re supposed to clean up at night: wipe down the tables, sweep, mop: multiple passes through the dining room. And if you’re going to somehow manage to not bus and clean a table, you shouldn’t miss the table in the front window.
I won’t name names, but I’ll note that they have 2.5 stars on Yelp. I tried to leave them a message through the contact form on their web site, but the contact form is broken too, so I left the message via an identical form at their web design firm, with the advice that they fix their client’s contact form and pass my message along.
Meanwhile, I was frustrated with my own photo. I can live with the glare from the dirty plate-glass window, but there’s way too much light bleeding off the styrofoam cup. As a naive post-processing rookie, I stumbled around through Gimp’s filters and couldn’t come up with anything good. But the Retinex filter thing got me funkeh goodness: the washed out food on the table has been crisped up, and all the reflections in the plate-glass have been brought out too, rendering a sad story as some sort of broken memory one would prefer to forget.
So, one of my peeves is companies that charge new customers a lower rate, and then raise the rate after you have had them for a while. I think it is really weird that loyal customers are charged more than new customers. For example, I signed up for basic cable service with Comcast at $60/mo, but paid the introductory rate of $30/mo, which is about the most I’m inclined to pay for monthly television. (And I’m only willing to pay that much because I prefer to live with someone who likes TV.)
Anyway, my rate recently went up to, as best I can tell: $45/mo for the next six months, after which it will go up to $60/mo. “Homie don’t play dat.” So I called them and explained that I was only going to pay them $30/mo, either through them or DirecTV, which both offer new customers $30/mo. They transferred me to some other lady that said that it was $45/mo or bust unless I wanted the cheaper $30/mo package but no more Bravo. I said I’d check with my sweetheart and the lady on the phone said “okay, $30 package for you.”
Not sure if we have Bravo or not, I looked online. Aside from pirating shows, which is inconvenient for the non-techy sweetheart and the old analog television, Amazon.com offers “Top Chef” and “Project Runway” which is what we watch on Bravo, for $2/episode. If both shows are running then we’d pay $16 in a month, otherwise . . . ah and yes, Amazon on-demand service pipes straight through the TiVo: no technical expertise or computer connections required!
So, I think I’m paying Comcast $30/mo now, and if I don’t have Bravo then I’m purchasing shows a la carte. Vivé consumer empowerment!
Update: Comcast got in touch with me due to this post, and switched me back to the six-month $30 rate that includes Bravo. Thanks, Comcast! I guess I’ll have to blog about this again in August.
A lego train, a polar bear, and two squirrels. Things I've loved since I was small.
Late in the day and I have no photo. Looking across the living room and I like the result. The lego train is a gift of Mei, and I’m pretty sure all three stuffed animals are from Grandma. Polar bears, squirrels, and trains have long been favorites of mine.
Mountain View VTA Light Rail Station
Today, all eyes are on Egypt. This morning it sounded as if Mubarak would be removed from power, and I felt a euphoria at all the times in my life when I have pumped my fist in the air and chanted with the crowd that “The People–United–Will Never Be Defeated!”
At lunch, we watched the captions on the TV as Mubarak spoke, and said he wasn’t resigning. I have work to do but I have Al Jazeera on in my headphones.
It felt like today could be one of those days when the people triumphed. Not today, but soon.
A 38 Geary Muni bus, bound for 48th Ave
This evening Mei and I ran up to San Francisco to dine with her sister at a French restaurant on Geary. While waiting for dessert I took a peek at my e-mail and there was a message from an acquaintance who is a transit consultant in Australia, who wanted to double-check a claim he was making about the destination sign for the 38 Geary bus.
As we waited to pay the bill, I borrowed Mei’s camera and stepped out to the street, and there was a Geary bus! But I was too slow on the draw. Alas, the transit consultant was thinking about one of Muni’s most frequent lines, and another bus was right behind.
My Alarm Clock
Maggie runs the house. She declares when it is breakfast time, time to go outside, and time to eat dinner.
I named her Maggie for the Simpsons character who is small and doesn’t speak. Usually she has an adorable silent meow. But when she is excited to receive her meal, she does an impressive monkey imitation.
I did another of her feline companion, Maxwell.
Some firefighters look over their truck on a sunny Saturday.
We had some errands to run in the city this weekend. I also spent a little time hunting the 38-Geary buses to photograph their destination signs.
A large mandala in the sand at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
Castles made of sand.
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