Monday, November 27, 2006

TRASH @West: Recycling

Recycling week.

Overhead door

The automatic door in my garage started to get stuck when opening, so I fixed it on Sunday. It turned out that the bolts fastening the pieces of the overhead rail stripped themselves (unless the installer did it).

I wasn't happy to find that low grade bolts and nuts were used for such a critical connection. I got grade 8 bolts from ACE as a replacement. So, the makers of the door or the opener cheapened out. On the other hand, nobody was killed or injured. I cannot claim any kind of a safety issue.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey day is rolling smoothly

We decided to roast a turkey this year suddenly (or should I say, "we" decided that I will roast a turkey). I went to Albertson's, got the smallest premium turkey they had. I don't trust my talents in cooking a big one, and nobody wants to eat that much anyhow.

I was amazed just how smoothly traffic rolled, and how much turkey the store had. I expected enormous jams and bare shelves, because it's hard to imagine how such a huge event can be sustained logistically. I can't even say the customary "viva capitalizmo", because the very same capitalism is unable to supply me with decent bread on a daily basis. And whenever I see a tongue, I buy two, freeze one. You never know when you can see it again! But the turkey day is a perfect machine in action.

Tangentially, the Afghan place in Albertson's mall was shut down and restarted as an Indian eatery. I wrote about it when it opened, only in February. That was really quick. The Chinese place in former Garlic Brothers building struggled along for years.

Monday, November 20, 2006

SJRTD Route 90

In the series of "not that anyone cares, but..." type of posting, I saw a SJRTD bus #90 with the front display saying "Tracy", which was new. Apparently, there were changes. The old faithful #20 is cancelled. Instead, we have a Hopper service #90 and intercity #26 which makes a short and sweet dip into Tracy civic center along the 11th. The idea perhaps is that riders from other parts of town should use Tracer to reach the storp of #26 or a Hopper. I'll take this as a ringing endorsement of Tracer's success, thanks.

The overall story of public transit in Tracy area is somewhat bizantine, so it's a good thing that the said transit is not very relevant for the everyday life of Tracy residents.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Garden Waste time.

BTW, the city has a guide at
They also provide calendar with
It takes a moment to get used to, but makes this rotating posting redundant.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

LCD Monitor

I wanted to get my wife a new monitor for Christmas, so I went to our Staples to look. They had only one on display which satisfied my requirements (black, adjustable position, speakers, good resolution): Viewsonic VA1930wm in 1440x900 19". The only suspicious thing about it was the price: $249. There's no way for monitors this good to be this cheap.

And it turned out that there is a catch after all. Firstly, Staples in Tracy were out of stock. The manager on duty (Carrie) offered to transfer it from Manteca store. So, we filled out the paperwork, and home I went. Two days later, I called upon the store. Another manager (James) found that Manteca sold the one that they had. He swore that they sent the request, and workers at Manteca ignored it. I am making no judgement here, one way or ther other the item wasn't here. So, James asked me to wait some more until they get it elsewhere, I agreed.

Today, they received the monitor from Modesto, and I took the delivery. I brought it home, turned on, and... found 2 bad pixels. Since it's not my monitor, I have no idea if it's going to be acceptable, and so I'm going to have the recipient to look at it. It's not as if it was going to be a real Christmas surprise.

Staples have 14 days return policy, so I have to be careful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mushroom invasion

I just found that my lawn is all covered in mushrooms. Obviously, the rainy weather spurred them. They weren't nasty, but not readily eadible either, so I just collected them and threw into the garden waste bin.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tracy Today

I went out of the house today. That still happens once in a while :-)

Staples stopped taking old ink cartridges for a $3 credit. They pretend to continue taking new HP cartridges, but not Canon ones, nor recycled HP cartridges. The scheme becomes clearer now. The $3 is not a store loyalty credit, oh no. The Canon cartridges do not contain print heads, but HP cartridges do. So Staples sell HP cartridges to the refilling companies - probably for the same $3 a pop.

While I was parked at Staples, someone tagged me with an ad for Kinder's Meats, located in the same strip mall as the Mongolean BBQ place. They have a website,, with the requisite disgusting Flash frame. It is, however, navigateable. Stucking leaflets under wipers is the oldest trick in the book, and it still works.

I dropped by Tracy Bowl to check if they fixed their DDR machine (they haven't - for 4 months now). The parking was full, and I do mean completely full. Bowlers ran some kind of competition, with teams visiting from Manteca and perhaps other places. I suppose with business doing so well it's not surprising that those people neglect their arcade. Well, mall all the way. I prefer the machine in theaters, because it's not as crowded as the Fun Factory.

I remember how I discovered our new local ag flying outfit up Tracy Bouleward, before the big bridge, and thought that the oldtimers at Trinkle Flying are going to feel the squeeze. The new folks operate a new plane, burning Jet-A, and Trinkle brothers have to do with the old Schweizner. Today I drove by Trinkle Flying's location at 25001 Kesson and they still hang on. Good going, guys! But put up a website already!

There was a lot of traffic at the Dueler connector today. One guy came down from Jimmy's (it's a bar by the river). The prison is a big employer these days.

TRASH @West: Recycling

Recycling week.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Texas Roadhouse, the evolution

The second bucket for the peanut shells is gone. You only get one bucket now, the one with peanuts. However, throwing shells on the floor is not very convenient. I used my bread plate for them, and the server (Amy) insisted that I'm supposed to throw them on the floor. Have she tried doing that while sitting in a booth? I don't have a 7tf long arm.

I am wondering, how long is it until someone slips up on a pile of peanut shells and sues.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We have new major

So, according to an article in Tracy Press, Brent Ives is new major of Tracy. Dave Parker observed [post is removed now]: "... developer money wins, the voice of the people ignored." I don't quite understand how he figured that. After all, people voted. If that is not the voice of the people, what is?

The Tracy Press article notices that "... up to $100,000 being spent on attack advertisements against his [Ives'] opponent, sponsored by developers, a supermarket chain and the political action committee of Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy." It's funny they say it, because I have not seen any ads until the last day, when someone dropped two cards, for Ives and Garamedi respectively, on my doorstep. The Garamedi's one had some pretty unrealistic promises printed on it, by the way. So, as far as I am concerned, the "up to $100,000" were wasted on me. Poor Pombo, he should've spent them on his own campaign.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Politics on Tuesday (No strike!)

I voted half an hour ago. Apparently, there's no strike.

BTW, I cast my vote for Arnie (grudgingly). I'll never forgive him the .50 cal ban, ever. But the stakes were too high, the Dem's candidate too bad. GOP, you won this time, but don't get too cocky.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Politics on Tuesday (Maybe!)

I've read about it in Tracy Press. Apparently, there's a threat of a poll workers strike.

“The whole idea of a strike is to make them (the county) feel it,” said union spokesman Thomas Dewar. “We’re always looking for leverage points when we strike.”

This is a pure and simple extortion. Only usually the victim is a business, so the crime is lost in the rhetoric of social justice. This time the victims are the taxpayers. Reading stories like this makes me wonder if Cezar Chavez was a good guy or just a racketeer.

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Garden Waste on the West Side of Tracy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Raining - switch off your sprinklers!

Last night it started raining. Although I heard the forecast, I only remembered to switch off the sprinklers right before going to bed. I am pretty sure that many people forget.