Archive for the ‘South Bay’ Category

The bay this morning


Off Oyster Point near South San Francisco. No traffic jams, no storms, no Twitter.

New Humane Society – Silicon Valley

Approximately 5 or so months ago, a brand spanking-new Humane Society opened up, and wow, it’s amazing. Individuals can sponsor the cost of a little room for a pet, until it gets adopted. The entire facility is huge, with lots of socialization rooms, a fenced in big yard, outdoor little yards for the pet rooms, etc. It was a tear-jerking walk through – the cutest animals ever are there, I swear.

It’s off Montague down in Milpitas (I haven’t visited the one here, so can’t compare). I was down there adopting a cat a friend had fostered. The staff is nice, and I sense mostly volunteer. Great response to a social issue- if you’ve ever visited Cat Beach in Foster City, you know what I mean. Hundreds of cats are abandoned there by former owners.

I asked one of the workers there if they had seen an increase in abandoned/donated pets, and she said they had, in the past few years, as more owners are moving out of their homes and into rentals, or moving away altogether.

Also, check out great article on San Jose Metblogs re: the opening (Thanks Gary!).

San Jose Bike Party

Attended San Jose Bike Party last Friday:
San Jose Bike Party
Great attendance. I wrote a post on it, as did Wirehead, and others I’m sure. Organized by San Jose cyclists, it’s a “this is how we ride,” more tame version of group bike rides. Started, I was told, by a few guys who like to get together and ride, this event grew to 4K (at the second stop). I turned off at the first stop.
Yesterday at Zeitgeist I ran into a dozen or so chopper riders who were also at the ride. “We spun off for some beers,” one told me. Also ran into some other SF Metblogs emeritus writers, in San Jose. Seems like the thing to do, for cyclists. Comment below if you attended!

I circled the Bay basically on bike + public transit. Amtrak to San Jose ($15 from Emeryville), Caltrain ($7) to MUNI ($2) and then cycled back home to North Beach.


Dept. of Schadenfreude: ‘From the penthouse to the outhouse’

A man whom police said was a transient living in his car before he allegedly ran over and killed two elderly women — one of whom he had to reach out his driver’s side window to push off the hood of his car before speeding away — was a former elite Silicon Valley engineer whose team invented a cancer-eradicating x-ray machine. But C. Wayne Cox, now 66, was laid off from that job in 1996 in a re-org, divorced two years later, and fell off the map. The white-haired former engineer was arrested while surfing the web in a Santa Clara public library after the librarian recognised him from news reports.

Get Ready To Be Sprayed… But Will "Sexual Confusion" Be Enough?

Discovered in a Berkeley backyard by a retired entomologist awhile back, the presence of the rarely seen Light Brown Apple Moth will soon have you ducking for cover.

Last May, I mentioned the agricultural quarantine that the Light Brown Apple Moth had caused statewide, and now we get official word that the aerial chemical spraying campaign is on it’s way to San Francisco.

The intentions of the chemicals used are to “create sexual confusion”, and get random male mating to occur, which shouldn’t be hard in San Francisco.

While the pesticides & insect “phermones” to be used claim on their containers “Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist,” that won’t stop California’s multi-billion dollar agricultural industry from forcing you to do just that.

Officials claim no “adverse” effects are expected when aerial dissipation of vast quantities of CheckMate OLR-F and LBAM-F will be sprayed over the Bay Area beginning as early as June. Tell that to hundreds of residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties who have reported health problems from last years coating. One of the more dangerous aspects contained in the sprays is a chemical called 2 hydroxy 4n octyloxybenzophenone, an endocrine disrupter that is contained in the “microcapsules”.

Either way, whether you like it or not, it’s your turn Bay Area…

State and local agricultural officials will “explain the Light Brown Apple Moth eradication program and address any concerns” in two “meetings” in SF & Oakland next week.

The locations & times of the two brief 1 hour scheduled public meetings are listed below, as well as info on the relatively untested stew they’ll be dropping on a vast swath of urban populous. A link to an anti-spray website and a likely useless petition is also included for those who wish to practice the futile prospects of “online opposition”.

Weekend Warrior Alert From 16th St Bart.

Y’know there’s so much going on in town , I’ve never been able to figure out why when I surface at 16th St. on most every Thursday night there’s a group of hipster spoken word sorta performers & audience types gathered…

Here’s a crappy cell phone foto for proof:

Of course, being less a journalist, and more a shy blogger kinda guy I’m always afraid to ask ’em, lest I seem an “unhipster” like “duh” dude…

I mean it is “the mission” after all…the kinda place you’re just as likely to bump into a crack dealer or the mighty hip Mayor on New Year’s eve, or maybe even the mayoral coke dealer…

uh, like, who really knows…

But, if you’d like to find exactly wassup with these yakking Bart Station frequenting ne’er do ‘ells and would like an obviously exposed to the various “elements” sorta entertaining time, there’s always a couple dozen verbose folks gathered betwixt 10:00-12:00 most Thursdaze at the stairs there

…go ask em yerself…

Me, I’m bloggin “live” from the Kilowatt and I’m more worried about Friday… and my picks and some MP3z fer yer rock n rollin entertainment pleasure are listed after the jump chump…

Newsom & Dellums promise “the nation’s largest urban area collaboration”… or with your $30 million, at least the most expensive

Forget that free WiFi folks … we’ve got something better in the pipeline to appease ye voting types…we’re talking actual working walkie talkies and stuff like that.

Huh? What’s that?
Oakland’s Ron Dellums shows off the Bay Area’s current emergency communications system he & Gavin Newsom intend to string together with $30 million in tax money they found laying around.

Apparently, moving radio waves & data between Oakland and SF is just a dream right now, but someday we may even be able to transmit communications all the way to Sacramento and San Jose. This of course requires building a special “emergency” system capable of true cross bay communications, and Dellums & Newsom, by golly, are just the sort of high tech, get things done political masterminds to take credit for this modern miracle possibly happening in your lifetime.

The two Bay Area big city mayor’s are excitedly announcing their 5 year plans to create communication between their once far off towns and add that getting a hold of over $30 million in federal dough would be a real good start.

I kid ye not, yesterday using the pretext of Sept 11th as a mighty powerful day to announce their grand plans, Oakland’s zombie grandfather dude, I mean, uh mayor, Ron Dellums and his devious youthful cross bay rival Newsom issued a joint press release.

The intriguing title was San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums Launch Regional Initiative to Connect Bay Area Public Safety Agencies

Just what is a regional initiative you ask?

Well first of all… it’s not just any initiative, it’s part of a “Super Urban Security Initiative

Second of all it’s also “strategic”

Third of all it pays ” tribute to the fallen”

So don’t go making fun of it either…

Apparently the busy twosome, Newsom & Dellums have been hard at work behind the logistical scenes, and can now promise an actual “initiative” to create a working Oakland to SF gov’t emergency radio communications network that starts at the low, low introductory price of just over $30 Million!

The current system of two cans connected by string is considered outmoded by the guy who sells Motorola Razr accessories at the mall.sfcans.gif

One gets the feeling that not since the telegraph has a communications breakthrough of this magnitude happened, and it’s nice to know that Bay Area emergency responders stand to benefit from the advancements in technology that might make this crazy dream a reality. Perhaps in another 5 years, whomever is mayor then might get to announce the invention of Cable Television, or Microwave Popcorn. One day it is believed, if things keep moving forward, man may even walk on the moon and Charlton Heston will awaken to find himself on a Planet of The Apes ( which is actually Earth !). Carnac predicts as well that Marky Mark will likely leave his Funky Bunch and then sign on to do a remake..

Well for those who were busy yesterday and somehow overlooked this stunning news, I’ll just let ya get at it yourself. It’s got some especially powerful & appropriate Mayoral quotes lauding their own joint decision making prowess. I proudly present this unaltered and largely unprecedented dual press release in it’s entirety after the jump…

Did You Know Northern California Is At War & Under Quarantine ?

Despite officials in both San Francisco and Berkeley promising stronger efforts to pursue & convict those who commit “Quality of Life” life crimes, and the federal gov’t imposing tougher deportation measures on illegal immigrants, one of the most dangerous threats to California’s citizenery remains relatively obscure.

We’ve all heard the media warnings of various Middle Eastern terrorists, not to mention Russian/Asian/Mexican and South American drug cartels & gangs coming across borders to reek mayhem, but few seem aware of the latest uninvited light brown guests from Australia & New Zealand that have hit California this year. Officials have logged almost 4,000 sightings of these destructive and deadly invaders, and there’s surprisingly little panic in the streets. State officials have put out an APB and are asking all citizens to be on the lookout, to immediately report any sightings, and some go as far as to suggest you kill on sight if you must to detain the suspect.

I’m talking about the Light Brown Apple Moth, who made his US debut right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, click here to see the PDF map. 80 percent of the moths trapped have been in Santa Cruz County, but the first sighting occurred in February in the Berkeley backyard of a retired entomologist.
apple moth.jpg
It’s apparently a real menace to us all, with capability to produce three generations a year with an unparalleled appetite for foliage of all sorts. The state’s agriculture industry faces $100’s of millions in losses if this interloper gets a more serious foothold in the agricultural zones of the Central Valley, and already nursery stock & cut flowers from 8 Bay Area & Northern California counties are quarantined and not allowed to ship interstate.

More photos, and info and even what you can do, about this perplexing problem after the jump…

Local Populations

Ate at Grand Indian Buffet (seriously, that’s the name) in the weird Santa Clara computer, defense, and web2.0 ghetto of Central Expressway and Lawrence, in Santa Clara, last week-end. For an amazing array of other Indian Cuisine restaurants, here’s Yahoo’s handy map.

Caltrain to Palo Alto

Now that I’m working in Palo Alto, Caltrain is my pal. It’s three blocks to the station and three blocks to work, with a 5 minute ride in between. The train timing in the morning, though, means that I have a 5 minute window in which both trains go whooshing by; so if I don’t catch the 8:13 or the 8:18 I’m screwed for another hour. The other trains until 9:13 are express trains that skip Palo Alto! Coming back at night it’s the same.

So I’m getting intimate with the train platform and its surrounding businesses. I can go to the drugstore at Sequoia Station and buy toothpaste or whatever, blow some money on a latte, or get a bagel. What I mostly do, though, is watch people and talk with people. This morning at coffee the most amazing woman in a tight puffy pink jacket with fur trim explained the mechanics of her hairpiece to me. There’s no way to describe the hairpiece without sounding melodramatic. It swirled, cascaded, shone, and made me want to twine my hands in her luscious chestnut tresses. Seriously, that was some pornstarlicious hairpiece! I forgot to brush my own hair this morning or even look at it. The other thing I do at the station in the cold grey morning is whip out my laptop and try to get on the Pizza and Pipes free wireless (like right now.)

No matter what, at the station there are always hunky guys in uniforms doing something. Police, security guards, dudes in orange vests and hard hats with a lot of things hanging from their belts like Harriet the Spy. Then there are smug-looking guys with manicures and nice haircuts with laptops and mountain bikes. There’s a category that I think of as “ladies in nurse shoes” who look like they’re going to work in a hospital or doctor’s office, where they’ll change into scrubs. The upper class looking women clutch their sparkly beaded handbags, lips pursed, brave and resolute, as if thinking “I can’t believe I’m actually taking the train!” Safari time, ladies. Me, I might look like I’m playing hooky from the alternative high school but if you look a bit more closely you will see the analogue to the mountain bike guys: a smug-assed GenX technocrat whose laptop bag cost more than the sum total of all the clothes I’m wearing.

On a recent trip to New York I noticed an odd synchronicity of shoes and bags. On the subway, people’s shoes always perfectly matched the social class of their carrying bags. Sneakers went with backpacks. Leather shoes (whether pointy or sensible) went with leather purses or classy-looking satchelly briefcases. And one category always had fancy square-bottomed twisted canvas-handled department store shopping bags, and the other had plastic bags from the drugstore. It was eerie. Here the rules seems a bit more mixed up.

Caltrain itself is lovely. Clean, bright, quiet, roomy, with comfortable seats. The ride through Redwood City reveals the interestingly squalid back of Cosco, a lot of grey-looking auto body shops in the very sweet neighborhood on the other side of the tracks in back of Target, and then the green, green, gated and walled backyards of people in mysterious Atherton. I think really rich Ents live in Atherton. Menlo Park has apartments, apartments, then a scrubby field, then the train station.

On the way home on Friday people all over the train (I walked from end to end) were drinking beer, kicking back, and talking to strangers. Was that special Friday night mojo? Or is Caltrain in the evening always like that?

I’ll have more to say about Palo Alto later.

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