Sunday, November 27, 2005

TRASH @West: Recycling

West - Recycling
East - Garden Waste

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Open on Thanksgiving

Both Golden Corral and Hometown Buffet are open today (and GC is open tomorrow). GC serves turkey and pumpkin pie. Thanks to those who work so we can eat!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Iranian store

I dropped by the Royal Foods at Washington Blvd. in Fremont, near the 680 exit. It was an Iranian ethnic store originally, but since around 1999 they started to cater to Russians. I wasn't there in years, and it seems that they improved somewhat. Pelmeni are the Popkoff brand, so I grabbed five trays. The Napoleon cake is still lousy, but you can't expect everything to be perfect, I suppose.

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Rotating post.

Caltrans' mail-in survey

Received weirdest junk mail a few days ago: a survey on behalf of Caltrans which asked about my trip over Altamont. The best guess is that they are trying to create a trip graph, but to what end, it's hard to fathom.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gas $2.46 @Shell

I filled up at Shell at Grant Line today, for $2.46. Recent roller-coaster prices made the gas a good conversation starter, really.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Credit cards march onwards

Paid with a credit card in McDonald's today (the one near the freeway). They do not ask to sign a receipt, just like a gas pump.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Early commute, updated

By the way, I am super dense. One thing which always puzzled me was who the heck are people who clog the I-205 around 4 p.m.? Now it occured to me that if they drive to work around 5 a.m., by 3 p.m. they are out to pasture and start driving around. So much for 9-to-5 workers.

I am contemplating going out to Yoshi's tonight.

Early commute

I went to Oakland airport in early morning, staring at 4 a.m. and back by 5:45 a.m. When I was going back, the 580 freeway was a sea of lights all the way through Livermore and across the Altamont. The merge area with I-5 was moving slowly, though not stopped completely. Lots and lots of trucks, too.

I keep wondering, who are these people who come to work at 7 a.m. Must be retail employees of some sort. When I commuted, I do not remember getting to work before 10.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

TRASH @West: Recycling

Almost forgot :-)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dublin Regal started to suck

Went to Dublin today, what do I see? Fuddruckers stopped selling the Oistrich Burger. They only have plain beef burgers now. Hello, people! I can have that stuff right here in Tracy (Sonic makes very passable imitations. Heck, I can build my own in Orchard.). Next, Regal theaters removed their DDR machine. For crying out loud!


Listening to Japan-a-radio at 24kb/s now. Very good quality when played with VLC. Comcast sustains 128kb/s MP3 stream easily, but why slow down my surfing unnecesserily, right?

Wal Mart

Wal-Mart had a small note at Instapundit today. We, of course, have one in Tracy, and what I found curious about it, is how it destigmatized itself in the short few years while I lived here. When I moved in, Wal-Marts in general were stores where socially disadvantaged shopped for substandard goods. A dirty parking lot full of trash was a necessary attribute. Now it's still a cheap place, but it's something Target is trying to imitate.

So, what happened? I guess all other places simply started to cheapen a bit, in a futile attempt to compete, and that only served to drive shoppers over. Indeed, why pay more for the same level of quality? New people watered down the shady character of the place.

The only thing I cannot forgive Wal-Mart for is abandoning guns in California some time in 2003. They excuse they used was disgusting in its duplicity. They claimed that some associates violated California regulations, and closed down "to retrain associates". Of course, they never intended to reopen. They just wanted to dampen the backlash and present sportsmen with a fait acompli.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

DDR today

I am back from the DDR at West Valley Bowling. It was very good, I am getting better and better, and have lots of energy from all the eating and sleeping. It never ceases to amaze me how crowded the place gets sometimes, with people playing bowl.

A few of bowl customers came up to watch me doing a track, and this made me stumble a little. I took them for competitors who sized me up. Bleah. Should work better under pressure.

Ex Food4Less

Paid with a credit card at former Food4Less today. Awesome. However, they are all out of beef tongue. Curses!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Rotating post.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Car time

I changed the belts of alternator and A/C in Galant today. The replaced belts were installed maybe a couple thousand miles back by A.C.E. at 57W Grant Line. They are, essentially, brand new. However, they started squealing horribly when the car was cold, and it was getting worse and worse. A.C.E. used Goodyear belts. I bought OEM belts at Modesto Mitsubishi.

I managed to forget that P/S belt on Galant 2.4L is separate, and only ordered two others. We'll see if this one needs replacement as well.

This got me a little disappointed in A.C.E. They aim to be a higher grade shop, which makes them fractionally more expensive than, for example, their neighbour California Proserve. But not only they gave me substandard belts, but also they lost the regulating bolt from the tensioning pulley on the A/C side. I had to buy a new bolt in Home Depot.

For some reason, I am having a bad luck stretch with independent shops. My favourite transmission place, J&M (run by Mauricio Urtega), managed to return Galant to me with a leak from the tranxale pan. I certainly hope that this is only a poorly installed gasket rather than a stripped bolt socket. Stripping a socket and not telling me would ruin the trust in the shop.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Forgot about the trash day

I forgot to put out the trash bins yesterday. Fortunately, I noticed this in the morning, and took them out to the opposide side of the street, which wasn't collected yet. All is well that ends well, I suppose.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cheap tools only

I went to Auto Zone to get a set of metric open-ended wrenches. They only had super-cheap stuff. This was to be expected, though I thought that Auto Zone was a small step above Kragen on that count. After all, they stock Mobil M1 filters, and Kragen does not. I am not complaining, they do what they have to do. However, where do people buy tools such as Snap-on and Stanley? Is it all Internet something these days?