Monday, February 27, 2006


There were strong winds and umbrella-breaking hail (literally) in San Francisco today. I'm sure local farmers are not going to be happy should we get those clouds around here.

I saw how hail-breaking rockets work in wine-making areas of Ukraine, it's quite interesting. I wonder if we have something like that deployed nearby.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Rotating post.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Fosters' milk shake

I checked out the Fosters' shake, but was disappointed somewhat. Too much ice content. It probably makes them healthier, but in this weather it's not something into what to indulge. Truth to be told, I do not like it even when it's hot. So far In-n-Out remains the provider of tastiest milk shakes, in my humble opinion.

Our Fosters' is at the intersection of Grant Line and Holly. It's an eat-outside burger joint. The chain probably had carhops in 50s, by the looks of it. But now it's a fairly downtrodden franchize.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gravel strips

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend pulling the grass out of my gravel strips. I suppose the right thing to do was to collect all the gravel and use a big sieve to wash it (which I do not possess). All right, doing it the grown-up way from the next year on.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

TRASH @West: Recycling

Rotating post.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I am just back from hunting gravel for a small project. It turns out that the closest place listed in the phone book, Morgan's at 7831 W 11th - does not exist at all. Stupid Pac Hell (now SBC) probably meant E 11th, which would put Morgan's right across the railroad overpass. The two other places, Delta at 155 Larch and Stewart at 23100 Kasson (behind the big Chevron tanks), claim to be open on Saturdays until 4 p.m., but in reality close way earlier. Why do you guys post the hours if you skip them? Jerks! I have to buy gravel on Monday now, and this means I cannot do my project when planned.

I'm going to have a supper at Yoshi's. That might cheer me up.

Friday, February 17, 2006

New duplexes - missed meeting

I live near the edge of my subdivision, and there's a pretty big gap, or plot of land, between it and the next subdivision. The gap is about 25m wide (about 80ft), but quite long. It stretches from Grant Line to Camelia. I suppose that the whole thing used to belong to a farmer; there is a house on the Grant Line side. Maybe the farmer sold everything except the plot, but then someone bought most of the rest. Because of the old house, the plot only has an outlet on Camelia.

Now that someone or other wants to build two appartment duplexes on the land. The project is called "Gomez Appartments".

And guess what, NIMBYA is in full swing. Looking at the people it seems as if Gomez wants to build a refinery. A lady was going door to door to collect signatures on a petition (to whom?) to stop the project. I should have talked to her and gotten all the details, but I was a little distracted, so missed that opportunity. Also, I heard an opinion that residents will go around and break car windows, presumably because decent people do not rent appartments.

The townhouses seem actually better than those in which I lived before I bought the house in Tracy, but I'll be first to admit that there will be no telling how it turns out before new residents move in. Mr. Gomez may collect some dubious renters. On the other hand, he may not. It's all in the rent he's willing to charge.

Yesterday there was supposed to be a neighbourhood meeting, but I had some schedule changes (picking up from BART) and was unable to attend. Really unfortunate.

Now I have to interview neighbours.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lyons', transform!

The Lyons' at Tracy Blvd near the freeway has converted into an independent restaurant. It is called "American Diner" now. At least it looks not franchized, the design of the signage is very plain. Usually such places retain their character... At least this is what happened to two Hungry Hunters, in Fremont and Pleasanton, when they converted into something called "Jeriho Steakhouse" (now defunct). I am surprised the Lyons' survived as long as it did, surrounded by Chinese buffets and Denny's across the freeway. And someone has a lot of gut (or stupidity) to try it again at the same site, without a major ad campaign or anything...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Almond Blossom

This is an almond tree which I has grown from a seed.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

The garden waste week is next west of Tracy Blvd.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

R - Afghan Kebab House (Battle of Afghan places)

Since we just checked out the one near Albertson's, we thought we might just as well give a try to the other one. Afghan Kebab House is located right next door to Yoshi's, in the ACE plaza. If I recall correctly, they displaced a Vietnamese noodle house of some sort.

I set it up as a battle, but there was really no contest. The kebabs are much better in here than near Albertson's. Also, you can order them "plain", which means "no rice", and save a couple of bucks. They gave me a knife, too.

Not sure if this place has a lunch buffet. The tubs were set up near Albertson's, but not here. Maybe it matters to someone. The inside decor is not as fanciful as in Tracy Kabob, but again, personally I do not care all that much.

By the way, Afghan Kebab House appears significantly less expensive. Two kebabs and Pakhlava set us to $23. The Pakhlava was magnificent. Go figure - a better food for less. I left them a good tip for the effort.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

R - Tracy Kabob

Tracy Kabob is a very small Afghan place in the Albetson's building. Their Shish Kabob seems all right, though I got some lamb which was supposed to be on a skewer, but wasn't, so I had to eat it with my hands. The taste was that of a grilled sheep, nothing fancy. The overall impression is of an unsophisiticated joint. At $13 a course, the place is no competition even to the cheaper Chinese buffet near Blockbuster at 11th, though nice to visit once, for variety value.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mountain House bus to BART

Tracy Press reports on the (unauspicious) opening of a bus line between Mountain House and BART. One of the problems with this kind of service is that it's hard to jump-start: it simply is too inconvenient for most people, to the point of unworkable, so nobody wants it (except greenies who do not have to ride buses themselves).

The biggest problem with commuter bus routes between Tracy and Bay Area is that they are not anywhere dense enough to support a varying schedule. In today's economy, fewer people work 9 to 5 than ever before. Worse, the schedule is not set for 9 to 5 workers. Instead, it caters to 7 to 3 workers, if anyone. Seriously, check routes 70 and 71. They depart in 5:30 and 5:50 A.M. Oh, and if you stay at work past 2 p.m., you're stuck 65 miles from home. Who do these people kid?

I experimented with our bus services a little bit, but there was just no way to make it work, schedule-wise. To add insult to the injury, the bus used to cost $11 on 2002, one way (and the driver refused to give change on principle). Are they freaking serious? At $3/gallon my car burns only $6 of gas round trip. For $22, I could drive a monster truck to work.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

TRASH @West: Recycling

The recycling week west of Tracy Boulevard.

New blog in Tracy

New blog on the block, this time by a local realtor Brian Barringer. He just put up a curious and informative selling checklist, top 10 turn-off items. Uh-oh, I'm sure someone will not just turn, but run off my beatiful low-maintenance front yard.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Upcoming: Anime at the Library

From Stockton Government Press Release:

An exciting event for teens (6th through 12th grades). Thursday, February 16th at 4:00 p.m. will be the first half of an Anime Festival! Films will be shown, anime art will be shared and the West High Anime Club will be leading us in making crafts and props. Pre-register at the Circulation Desk in the Tracy Branch Library.

Apparently, the event is run by the Friends of The Library. Not exactly sure what "the first half" means, and what is on the program. But they probably aren't going to show "Elfen Lied".

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sonic blew its last chance

Just back from Sonic, and it looks that we won't be returning. The main problem is, something very bad happened to their chicken about a year ago. When Sonic just opened some time in 2003, it offered a seemingly fresh chicken in their Grilled Chicken Burger. It was quite good at the time. But then one day is just went bad and stayed that way.

Not a big loss, really. Personally, I am not fond of the concept. Sitting there with a window open when it's +5C and making my car dirty somehow just does not appeal to me. And that without the wind, so usual in Tracy (today was calm, thank goodness).

The carhop was not wearing skates today. Perhaps the worker compensation suits have done their job finally.

(file photo: Sonic in Tracy, California, November 2003)

Localblogging is toast? Or is it?

The is not the only one who is having difficulties getting the concept of localblogging to work. We at Tracy Today know it only too well, in fact we had to stoop to politics! And guess what, we are in a good company.
by Mark Glaser

Gillmor even took the bold step of leaving the Mercury News and starting his own grassroots media startup funded by angel investors. The company’s first site, Bayosphere , was supposed to be “of, by and for the Bay Area,” with average citizens tasked with covering the minute details of life in the San Francisco area. But the site got sidetracked into technology coverage and national politics, and never had a feel for the local issues by the Bay.

So, even a huge community such as Bay Area cannot generate enough decent content. How can it be possible? And if it is just the way it is, shouldn't Dave and I throw the towel and return to photoblogging?

The key difference is, we are not making this for the money. That Google ad on the right only serves as a visit counter. So, the Tracy Today can continue as long as it is fun.

McCloskey did what?!

Tracy Press' reporter Nick Juliano writes in his blog:

Asked about McCloskey's proposal, Pombo's campaign spokesman Wayne Johnson said:

"I think we’ll wait till we get a legitimate candidate. I mean this is a guy who endorsed John Kerry for president, and he’s just finished his search of the hundreds of thousands of Republicans in the 11th district and he could not find a single one to run against Pombo.”

Shocking, to say the least, and appears to be true (according to random statements scattered on the Web). So, the supposed Republican challenger to Pombo is a donkey shill?