Thursday, March 29, 2007

No Aeromexico in SCK

I try to avoid linking to Tracy Press routinely, because if did, this blog would be nothing but. Just go there and read the thing. However, given my unnatural attachement to airplanes, this is hard to pass by:

District 5 Supervisor Leroy Ornellas of Tracy was the chief critic of the proposed customs station, the estimated costs of which rose to $5.9 million from about $2 million.

Good for Mr. Ornellas. And why is it that estimated costs always rise? Do you mean the project boosters lied to us?

Ornellas has long thought it risky to invest so much money on a company that’s “financially fragile,” he said.

You don't say. Aeromexico sure is not a flag carrier.

But the clincher for him was a trip he took to visit Fresno’s airport, which has seven domestic carriers, three cargo companies that use its airport and Mexicana Airlines, which schedules five flights a week.

Seven carriers?! I thought that nobody save United would fly into that hole, but obviously I was gravely mistaken. United used to have a Saab-340 feeding SFO there. But the comparison is very important because it shows just why Stockton has such a difficutly. It's the competition. You can easily drive to Sacramento or Oakland from Tracy. So, without a direct route to a first-degree hub, Stockton is not cost competitive.

When America West served Stockton in early 2000ths, I took that flight when I could, but that pretty much meant America West's east coast destinations only. Anything else would incur a $300 to $500 penalty due to the extra hop or airline change. I can drive to Oakland, park long-term there for that amount of money, and come on top.

Competition from nearby airports ruins SCK's plans. But in Fresno, it's not a problem. Either take a flight, or take a Greyhound.

That’s busy compared to Stockton’s airport, which has one company that flies to Las Vegas four times a week.

This is awesome news actually, which I failed to pick. Little Internet research discovers that the carrier is Allegiant Air. It's a small upstart airline which attempts to outmaneuver bigger carriers by flying into underserved cities... such as Stockton. They have a uniform fleet of MD-80s, which are far bigger than RJ which America West operated. It's a bit pathetic that I didn't know about this deal and had to read about it at Tracy Press. Advantage: Tracy Press.

Now it may be a good time to read something about out own Tracy Airport. Are we going to house jets or not?! Heck a couple of good King Airs would be awesome and bring the money in.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Next week is Garden Waste West of Tracy B.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Odd Clark Pest Control experience at .Clue

Seen today [link]:

Yesterday night, I found someone’s little kick-me dog in my back yard. It didn’t belong to a neighbor, and couldn’t possibly have made it over the fence, which means that someone opened the gate and let it in.

After I chased the noisy little monster out (and watched it make a beeline toward its home), I found a door tag from Clark Pest Control stuffed into the back door.

So, someone in the neighborhood lets their little dog run loose (which explains the occasional “present” in the middle of my front yard), and Clark has hired a new guy who not only forgets to leave the usual invoice on the front door, but also lets strange animals into the back yard and locks them in when he leaves.

I am also a Clark's customer, and while overall the experience was a positive one, they sure have their share of oddities. For one thing, take the disturbing newsletter imagery (no pic, sorry). Also, they trend not to bother finding old traps and install new ones. I have a place where they put 3 traps into a square 1.5 feet wide. Just how they managed that, I can't guess.

But the important thing is, termites haven't returned yet (or they hide better now).

Les Schwab in Tracy

I went to our newly open Les Schwab, near Costco, to pick up tire chains. Seems like a nice enough place; they got my chains overnight. I suspect that America's Tire workers are quaking in their boots right about now. I always was a customer of our downtown Big O. I got a good service there, and it's nice how they dillute the uptight downtown a bit. It started when we only had Big O and Wilson's in Tracy. Unfortunately, my love with Wilson's, a locally owned non-chain shop, didn't blossom for no fault of Mr. Wilson. It's just that his selection caters to owners of Suburbans more than anything.

One curious thing I saw at Les Schwab was how two employees were putting new tires on a tractor. It's not something commonly seen at Big O. Apparently, there's no tire too big for Les Schwab to handle. SUV owners rejoice :-)

On another note, I somehow thought that "Les Schwab" sounded like a curious mix of French and German. As it turned out, "Les" was the given name of Mr. Schwab. Heh.

Monday, March 19, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling

I have finally made through a week without a single posting! Go me!

Next time, the story of garden implements (I finally bought some power tools).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

Garden Waste week it is. And so, I had to fight with the shrubs half a day.

Also, I enabled sprinklers.


We have one popped up at the corner of Corral Hollow and Grant Line, where the old house used to be. I heard they pop like mushrooms all over the place. For example, in Turlock. This chain is on the expansion binge.

It's too bad that I'm not likely to patron the place. I don't like spicy things.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling

Recycling week on the west side.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Emil Villa in Livermore

I went to Emil Villa's BBQ place in Livermore. It's a small "chain", like our own Orchard. They used to have a location in central Fremont, but it closed down. The one in Livermore survives, and, according to Internet reviews, is very popular with locals. It's situated at S. Livermore Ave. between College and East, quite out of the way.

I don't know of any secret places in Tracy like that. Everyone knows that Magellan's is the most exclusive eatery, Texas Roadhouse is the most popular, Golden Corral has the most value. Everyone also has a special place, too. Brian once commented that the best waitress in town works at Banta Inn. I have an irrational affinity to katsudon at Yoshi's. However, we don't have a town-wide, popular, out-of-the-way place. Or maybe it's a secret from me.

BTW, I must remember to order Saint Luis style next time. Hate scrapping the sauce off...

Waste, Airport, French Camp

I finally made it to the county's Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility at the airport and got rid of my motor oil, brake fluid, and ATF. I managed to get lost. In the end, the simplest thing is to get to the rotating radar antenna. The HHW site is right next to it.

Stockton airport (SCK) is bustling in a stark contrast to Tracy (TCY). Corporate refugees are parked all around, and I saw a very cute Beech-19 in historical USAF markings.

I have to say though, access is the same mess as it always been. Going by Roth Road and up the Airport Bulevaurd takes one through a quaint countryside with calfs, orchards, and farms. But the road is narrow and slow. The other path leads though French Camp, which is a dying town and a pit, with streets laid out by a madman.