Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Plywood skyscrapers, update

Remember those plywood high-rises near the BART station in Dublin? I thought they were built according to the affordable housing mandate. High density, walking distance to BART, right? As it turned out, they are actually luxury condominiums. What a fraud.

But actually, I can imagine some poor (e.g. no money) hardcore lefties willing to live in those, all the while hoping to move up the BART pole towards the Embarkadero.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Garden Waste week is upon us in the West.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Antioch raid and UNO

In my Silicon Valley days, I used to frequent Pizzeria Uno, in Fremont, Mountain View, and other places. It was a good pizza. However, despite being popular, the chain started closing down some five years ago.

So today I was driving through Antioch and saw "UNO Chicago Grill". Same Ford-ish oval of a logo. Apparently, Pizzeria Uno decided to reinvent itself.

The fare is basically the same, with the new-found emphasis on steaks.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pickups of Australia

Sydney is exactly like San Francisco. The character of the city is the same. Same streets, same houses (of all sizes), same leftists, same buses. Electric trains substitute for BART.

One thing you can not see in Sydney though is F-150. They have mid-size pickups, but they always have aluminum cargo boxes.

Another typically Australian thing is "an ute". It looks like El Camino, transported into modernity.

Cute, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fun with license plates

While I was away in Australia, my Neon was parked in its usual place. Can you see where this is going? Right, my new plates arrived while I was away. And Tracy Police impounded the car (case number 00555). Yesterday I paid $108 of the release fee to the police, then $410 to release the car. $70 of those were lien, because the police person processing the car mistyped the VIN and it came as "not on file". At least the car seems not to be damaged, not even the gas syphoned. The towing was handled by our local shop ACE, rather than one of those professional towing vultures, so probably this is why.

I guess it would be too much to expect for cops to remember that they processed a stolen plates report a few weeks earlier. But not finding the VIN disappoints me. The silliest thing is, there's nothing in it for the cops or the city, the lien goes to the DMV. It's just a mistake. Although I suppose if it costed them rather than me, it would be less likely to happen.

{Update: ACE refunded my $70 in lien. Way to go.}

Sunday, January 21, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling (again)

I was away travelling (see the post about Greyhound), so a week was missing. The next week is recycling.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I wanted to try Greyhound when I travel next time, because we have a stop in Tracy (at the intersection of Grant Line and Holly, with counter in the Bonfire Market). But it seems that I'm foiled again. My next flight from SFO is on Sunday, and Greyhound's schedule is not cooperating as well as I would wish. They depart at 7:55am and 4:45pm. The first is a bit too early, the second one is too late. Oh well, until the next time. BTW, fare is $19, which is a tad expensive, but reasonable, considering that I'd be saving a big chunk of my BART ticket.

Monday, January 08, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling

Oh yes. The new week. The last one was the week of Christmas trees.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I went to IKEA in Emerville and then had lunch at P.F.Chang nearby. Strangely, there was no line. Usually P.F.Chang's wait is no less than 40 minutes. I had stuck there once for an hour, lost patience and went to Fuddruckers. Dunno what's up with that.

Emerville is an artificially manufactured shopping district, a dream of city planners everywhere, materialized by magic of taxpayer money. I have to say, it is a nice shopping place, with pretentions of upscale flavor. Parking sucks because of endless jams in the narrow and non-redundant passageways. But it's cheap. I only spent $1 for a stop a tad above one hour. In Frisco it would be $12 anywhere near Union Square.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The sweet smell of exclusivity

I visited Sakura last week and managed to catch a store open from across the parking, called "Pots and Pans". I only saw it closed before. It is a small cookware store, which sells pressure cookers from Kuhn-Rikon, among other things. I may be off base, but isn't Kuhn-Rikon a little too out of mainstream for a little store in Stockton? In San Francisco, I believe, they can't be found anywhere short of Sur-la-Table (which is where we got our 6L unit). I left Pots and Pans with a spare gasket.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Eve

As usual, we visited Magellan's and left $111 there. It was pretty good, although I mixed up lamb chops and lamb shank. Their "Moscow Duck" is delicious, too. Neither of us can discern any connection to Moscow, but perhaps they meant Moscow, Kansas.

In a wonderful display of public defiance of insane laws, my neighbours from down the street were launching decent fireworks, presumably imported from other states. We had to make do with the trash available in California.