Archive for March, 2007

Film Festivals in San José

film.gif The Cinequest 17 Film Festival closed last Sunday night. Even though attendance at the Festival was at an all time high, I was surprised to find that many people that live in or around San José had never heard of it.

For me, one of the highlights of the Festival was meeting and being entertained by Stewart Copeland, the drummer and film maker of “Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out”.

Stewart explained how the movie came about. The boys in the band (The Police) were out shopping one afternoon, in 1978, and bought super 8 mm cameras. He jokingly said that Sting got rid of his camera as soon as he realized that if you were behind the camera you would not be in the movie. Stewart spent several years filming the antics, trials and tribulations of the band. The bits of film were stored carefully in shoe boxes until recently when they were pieced together, by Stewart, as a retrospective look at the bands evolution.

Listening to Copeland speak, many are surprised that he does not have an English accent. Though born in the USA he grew up in the Middle East. Later back in California he attended UC Berkeley. He feels his early years abroad helped him develop a unique drumming style.

When asked a question by the moderator, Stewart would often ramble on, sometimes getting to the answer; sometimes not. A random statement about Britney Spears was just one of the interesting interjections we heard from Copeland. (He said that we should cut her some slack.) The audience found Stewart Copeland so entertaining I believe if he had time for yet another career, he could make it as a stand-up comic.

Cinequest 17 may be over, but there are more film treats coming to San José. This March, as part of the 25th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, films will be presented at the Camera 12 Cinemas. (201 South Second Street)

Camera 12

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall
In a parking lot behind an office building in Mountain View near the Google and Intuit campuses are two sections of the Berlin Wall. Story has it that the owner of the property had escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 and when the wall fell in 1989 he had these two sections brought over.

You will find the two sections at 2685 Marine Way in Mountain View.

Wikipedia has a list of locations for Berlin Wall portions around the world.

Give Us a Break


This coming Thursday, March 15, our local Starbucks will be giving us a coffee break.

From 10am to Noon a 12oz cup of premium drip will be FREE!

To receive a text message reminder for coffee break, text BREAK to MYSBUX (697289)

Saturday Night

Tonight I took a cab load of passengers to Saint Christopher Church, in Willow Glen, for an early St. Patrick’s Day dance. They asked if I would come back for them at 11pm.  


To kill some time I brought my cue into California Billiard Club in Mountain View. The final match of a 9-Ball tournament, on table #4, was just about over. I played on table #5 and made sure that I kept out of their way.

California Billiard Club is a good place to practice your game or a good place to watch professionals play. I don’t know the name of the guy who won the tournament and went home with the $1,000 prize, but his opponent and winner of $500 was Billy Palmer.

Now What?

Pink and Orange

Near Crystal Springs Reservoir Highway 280 between San Jose and San Francisco.

Why is the house on the hill pink and orange? Is it a layer of primer?

William Nicholson designed and built this house in 1976. The house formed over giant inflated aeronautical balloons. A frame of half-inch rebar, a coat of cement then gunite shot over all.


House Pics

the Wave magazine

Daylight Saving Time

In past years there would be a small box on the front page of the Saturday newspaper reminding you to “Spring Forward.” This year daylight saving time comes early (this Sunday) and numerous stories have been written on the subject. Ranging from updating computer software to tips on how to handle one less hour of sleep. The early change has to do with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to help conserve energy.

Computers will need to be updated for the new time changes. I checked Microsoft’s Daylight Saving Time Help and Support Center, followed the instructions to download an update program and had everything taken care of in minutes. On my Mac, I just ran Software Update. Check here for more info on how the time change affects the Mac.

You may think you can update the time manually on Sunday but on the old daylight saving time date, your clock will change again. In addition, it will change too early to standard time in October. Daylight saving time will end on the first Sunday in November this year.

You may also need to update your PDA and other electronic devices that are time sensitive.



Last night around 11:30 p.m. I shut down my Mac and was heading for bed when I heard the distinctive wailing of firetrucks racing down Meridian Avenue. I could tell it was something big.

It was a three-alarm fire at the Branham House apartments at 1624 Branham Lane near Meridian Ave. Four units were destroyed and others had some damage. Branham High School, which is within walking distance of the complex, was opened for use as a shelter for about 30 people.

The fire was reported at 10:57 p.m., a time when most people were asleep or about to retire. A fire at any time would be horrendous, but it would seem to be especially more difficult to evacuate at night. I would be pressed to find my shoes, not to mention important papers.

The possibility of loosing everything got me to thinking that it might be a good idea to have a small box packed with documents, phone numbers, spare keys, extra cash, a check book, and a few days of medications ready to grab on the way out if hit with a disaster.

Donations for the displaced families

Free Electronic Waste Drop Off

e-recycle.jpgYou have that old VCR that eats tape. That Pentium I that doesn’t even come close to having the system requirements to install Linux. Or a number of other electronic equipment that have seen better days. What to do? Dumping these items into your trash bin is not a good thing to do as they contain toxic substances. There are free electronic waste drop off events upcoming by state approved recyclers that must adhere to stringent rules regarding the processing and recycling of e-waste materials. Recycling of these items is funded through the state and thus you will need to fill out a state-required e-waste form.

For more information, including items that are accepted and not accepted, and a list of drop off events in the Bay Area:

Universal Waste Management

Electronic Waste Management

San Jose 1975

The San Jose Redevelopment Agency Website has a “slideshow” of photos taken downtown San Jose in 1975. A recent photo taken at the same location follows each ’75 photo. Most notable in the recent photos are the tree-lined streets. In the 1975 photos downtown looks barren with very few trees. It is a nice peek at the past and a look at what has changed.

Update: The Buena Vista Neighborhood Association created a web page of the photos side-by-side (1975 and it’s 2006 photo) and identified the locations. They also have a web page of comparison photos from the 1930’s and 2007.

Cinequest the Press Conference

Stewart Copeland Founder of  "The Police"
Stewart Copeland

Jens Michael Hussey, Director of Public Relations, held a Press Conference at the Hotel Montgomery where the guests included Stewart Copeland, Minnie Driver, Director David Hewlett, Director John Jeffcoat, and local Director Russell Marleau.

First to the podium was the director of “The Curiosity of Chance”, Russell Marleau. What I found most interesting was the fact that they managed to shoot the film in only 25 days. Because the film was shot in Belgium it was difficult to find a cast that spoke English, and there was a scramble to find costumes and sets representing the 80’s.
Screening: March 8th, 10th, and 11th.

Next up was John Jeffcoat, writer and director of “Outsourced.” John was not happy with some of those coming in to the casting call. He felt that they looked too much like actors. For reality they looked to a local school to find talent, and even in some cases hiring the parents of their new found stars.
Screening: March 8th.

Star of Stargate Atlantis, David Hewlett, and now director of “A Dog’s Breakfast” told us the title translates to, ‘making a mess of it’. Might laugh your bum off.
Screening: March 6th.

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