Thursday, November 29, 2007


To bake a marmalade roll, you need slab marmalade. Ufortunately, it's nearly impossible to find, and jar marmalade is no good: it leaks out of the roll onto the baking sheet.

Thanks to Mexicans though, Lucky (Save Mart, nee Albertson's) carries mexican slab marmalade, which is good enough.

When we were buying it, the clerk asked if it was sweet. We said, it should be, but we want to try it. She said, many people were buying it. So why didn't she ask them? They do not speak English.

I really appreciate how our Mexican friends bring the slab marmalade and tongue with them, but please, learn English. It's not that hard. If I did it, so can you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling

We return to normal garbage pickup schedule after the Thanksgiving. West side - Recycling, East side - Garden waste.

Neighbourhood video store

I don't know just how these establishments stay in business in the age of Neflix, but here we go: there's a video store at the Ace corner of Grant Line and Tracy Boulevard, between Jack in the Box and SpeeDee Lube. The strangeness continues inside as well: they have racks of N64 games, Blu-Ray titles and Anime. Amazing... Their sell prices are fairly steep, for example the Vandread is offered for $30 per DVD, whereas I got them for $16 at DVD Pacific. I wish they offered complete series though. There's little sense in renting Excel Saga v.3 without watching the rest, but this is exactly what they offer. Like I said, strange! But I wish them all the best, especially now that our Blockbuster terminated their anime collection.

Anime in general is a tough market for the stores. The titles are expensive, so fewer people buy than otherwise would. Anime is heavily series-based, with a small number of one-DVD releases. Anime is vast, and caters to a wide range of tastes. So, a store has to stock an big number of expensive DVDs before a casual shopper can count on finding something. It's no surprise that Blockbuster and Target have given up, and Best Buy feels the squeeze. The only retailer in the area which flourishes is Fry's. Evidently they can afford to stock enough to break over the treshold.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hooka hmm

Janice reminds that we have a kalian bar in town now. This is something made popular by Iraq vets, as I heard. May be a fad, may be here to stay. In Frisco such places are usually cesspits of druggies, but then what isn't a cesspit there? Maybe suburbia can make it decent. Phear our pawa.

Friday, November 23, 2007

SF Auto Show

I'm just back from the auto show in SF. As usual, I have serious trouble fitting into any car, and sunroof makes it downright impossible -- except the new Accord and Ridgeline. I also like the little egg-shaped Toyota Yarris a lot. The Toyota FJ is quite nice too. It even has a volmeter.

The most fun was definitely the Mercedes commerical van which Chrysler kept after the divorce under the name "Sprinter". It was a huge step forward after the Ram van. Very nice, low floor. When I have a computer and network consultancy, I'll drive around in a Sprinter, with a ladder strapped inside.

There was also a large number of great cars outside of my range, but I pretty much ignore anything with a price tag above $32k (e.g. the most excellent Nissan Pathfinder -- way too expensive). The Sprinter was just a little above $35k, which is actually very cheap for a van.

The show runs until December 2.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Amadeo in the MapBook

I received something called "The Map Book" in the current batch of junk mail, and it included a reprint of Amadeo's posting about bikes. I wonder if they asked for permission. There was no URL for the blog, which I think was unfortunate.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Patelco in Tracy

I forgot to mention that Patelco came to Tracy with a branch in the new plaza behind the Best Buy. Patelco is a faily basic credit union, which started as a union for Ma Bell employees. I am a member for some 8 years, but there's not much to report. The best thing is probably Patelco's no-nonsense online banking system. Patelco has its share of oddities, for example I found no way to withdraw money from my savings account without incurring a penalty, and persuading a teller to add money to a car loan's the principal required literally telling them what computer command to use (LOPC). Anyway, I'm glad that they're local now, it saves me gas.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Montero in Tracy Toyota

I was in Tracy Toyota for service today and saw a sharp looking 2002 Montero, 38,000 miles, for $18k~. Just throw a winch on it, some OME suspension work, and go four-wheeling -- on leather seats. If Carfax finds no show-stopper like a flood, a very sweet deal, I think. It needs new rubber though, looks like it uses a spare currently on the rear right wheel.

Right across from the Montero sits a used RAV4.3 on non-standard Toyota wheels and, get this, with mismatching spare cover. My only idea just how this could happen is that the original wheels were all stolen. So, the RAV saw rough times, avoid. Oh, and there's no discount; same price on this sad vehicle and other used RAVs they have.

I really liked little Yarrises. It's some $13k to $16k, compact, 36mpg (new rating). Perfect to go to Safeway or college. The safety rating is "good" on them, which is not "excellent", certainly, but on the other hand I keep hearing how people die in head-ons with Suburbans and F-150s while driving luxury cars like Q-35 and such. I think as long as you do not get into a head-on crash in it, it's safe.

They did not have a single Land Cruiser. I guess nobody in Tracy is rich enough to afford one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Long John Silver's down

In my years in Tracy I never wanted to visit the place... Fish - yuk, right? But someone was talking fish and chips (and hush puppies), so I thought I'd give it a try. What do you know, it has closed too. Windows boarded, for lease sign.

The sad American Diner from across the street (former Lyon's) collapsed a bit before that. What is going on? I suspect that the trendy places near Home Depot syphon customers away from these stalvarts.

Monday, November 12, 2007

TRASH @West: Recycling

Recycling week is upon us.

No NYPD Pizza

Now this is just weird. I was going to check out the NYPD Pizza which has just opened a few months ago in the new plaza between Kaiser and Grant Line Rd., maybe blog it. And it has closed, there's a big sign "FOR RENT" on the shop. In contrast, Mountain Mike's in former Lucky plaza is doing strong, and I remember eating there before I moved to Tracy, in 2000. How does it happen? Lack of business acumen, poor area, or what?

Next block to the defunct NYPD Pizza is a famously unlucky eatery, which changed owners no less than 3 times since 2001 (I checked it out when it was called "Buffalo"). Maybe it's just a tough area.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Crazy Ron Paul supporters

Across from the Right Aid, some asshat nailed a hefty Ron Paul sign to a living tree.

Tangentially, I am just wondering where do these people come from? Every idiot knows that gold standard is a retarded idea.

Regarding the Don's question, it's very easy to trawl blogs these days. You just sign up for Google's alerts. For example, Cheri told me that Google sends her an e-mail every time someone blogs about Tracy, California.

Now let's see if they are as ferrocious as I heard.

Monday, November 05, 2007

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

This is a Garden Waste week West of Tracy Boulevard.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gun Show in Sacramento

I heard on AM 1530 that there's a McMann Roadrunner show at Cal Expo this weekend. It's a bigger and more exciting show than what Nordikes typically organize around here. Unfortunately, I may not be able to attend, due to homework and housework. Oh well.