Archive for May, 2007

360-degree Views of Downtown

DudeGoogle Maps recently added a feature called Street View. It has been talked about in the press, online, TV news, your cat probably told you all about Street View. Streets for which Street View images are available show up with blue outlines where you can see a 360-degree ground level view of that place on the map. This Google guy will explain.

What is fun is zooming in to see things you may have not noticed before while walking/driving downtown San Jose. Check here for a few things discovered by people viewing Street View across the country where the feature is available.

Microsoft’s Live Search maps has some excellent 2D views. I do not know about the quality of their 3D views, as I do not have Windows XP/Vista (a system requirement).


No Cabs at Port

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to pick up a couple coming in from Salt Lake City. As I pulled into the taxi area at Terminal C I noticed that there were too many cabs in the first taxi staging.

I was stopped by an airport police woman. I explained that I was there to pick up what is called a personal, and she waved me through. As I passed by the main fenced in taxi staging area I asked two of the cabbies what was going on. They told me that they were on strike.

I knew that drivers, belonging to the taxi union, were upset because the SJPD was now requiring that drivers re-test when applying for new permits, but no, this was something else. The guys told me that they felt the shuttle vans were getting all the good out of town calls, and all they ever got were the short rides going into town. (about a $15 ride)

When I got to the pick up spot there was one limousine, one shuttle van, and a line of people looking hopefully at me.

I was not able to get back to observe how long the cabs were out of action. I’m sure their stunt will manage to get the intended reaction from the airport, the SJPD, and City Hall. I don’t know if the cabbies are planning another strike, but I do know the drivers will not give up without a fight.

Memorial Day Snarl

Memorial Day Traffic on I-80, California

Like many, I set out on a trip during the Memorial Day weekend — my first after coming to California. I was advised to leave by 5 a.m. on Saturday to avoid jammed freeways. I got out 2 hours later than that and didn’t really face any slow-downs. On the return though, there were quite a few instances of slow-moving traffic on I-80W. The worst was somewhere near Auburn, where the additional pain was the mercury hitting 100 degrees Farenheit. I reached home after travelling an hour extra.

What was your experience?

Maximino Valle 1896-1984 SFC First Class WWI-WWII

Mixamino Valle 1896-1984 SFC First Class WWI-WWII
I realized on Friday that I hadn’t visited my "grandpa" since he died in 1984. As life became more complex and busy, transitioning from a high school freshman to 20 something years later, a father of 2 and full time corporate-type, I just never stopped by to visit. In anticipation of a busy weekend, I prepared to leave the office on Friday with the intent of visiting him in Los Gatos and catch up on 23 years…

Memorial Day


Freedom is not free – Bless the Vets of San José

Metro Music In The “Other” Park: Back for it’s 10th season.


Sponsored by Metro Newspaper, Dos Equis Beer, and produced by the San Jose Downtown Association, Music In The Other Park is back with a fun filled line-up of shows. Held every Thursday in June from 5:30pm to 9pm in St. James Park located at First Street. & St. James Street. These mini concerts are the perfect excuse to ditch the home commute, chug a few beers, and enjoy the outdoors with music. Acts include Sugar Minott, Eek-A-Mouse, Malo, and The Tubes w/ Fee Waybill. Everyone loves LIVE music, and when it’s FREE, it’s even better. Get there early, get a good spot, and enjoy the shows. For more information check out San Jose Downtown Association.

On The Street Where You Live

newhome01.jpgNothing to do this 3-day weekend other than watch paint dry or the lawn grow? Then check out StreetAdvisor.

StreetAdvisor allows users to rate and review various aspects of their street, such as neighborly spirit, dining, nightlife, shopping, parks, wireless reception, Internet access along with many others. Users can also upload pictures and videos of their street.

Now, what will you do with the remainder of your two days and 10 hours of the long weekend?

Search for Missing Person in Yosemite

Kiran of the Bay Area went missing over the weekend at Yosemite and his friends are co-ordinating a search for him. One novel method they’ve used is blogging. Some details from Find Kiran:

According to eye witness reports Kiran slipped while trying to reach for an object in the River Merced, upstream from the Vernal Falls footbridge in the Yosemite National Park on Saturday, May 19, 2007.

He got his M.S. in Computer Science from the West Virginia University in 2003, and has since been pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer Science as a part-time student at the University of Minnesota while working for nVidia in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m not sure how much of a help this effort would be. But I just wanted to highlight it and spread the word if it helps. Check out the blog for updates.

The Nemo Dream Mobile

The Nemo Dream Mobile

I saw the Disney Nemo Submarine Voyage bus this morning on 280 around 10:30am. It took the Winchester exit. The bus is moving through west coast cities to promote the June 11 opening of the new Finding Nemo submarine attraction at Disneyland.

98.5 KFOX is having a Nemo contest.

Redevelopment about to switch into hi-gear in South San Jose.

The clearing and ground preparations of the former Hitachi site in south San Jose are in full swing. As I hang a left off Cottle Rd. to enter the on-ramp to Hwy85, I can’t help but to notice how quickly the work is progressing. Soon this site will become home to just under 3000 new homes, ranging from row-houses, town homes, stacked town houses, flats, multi-storied apartments and condominiums…..phew!

The site will also include new parks, recreational open space, greenbelts, and plazas. But what’s most anticipated will be the retail shopping which will include everything from coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores to high-end clothing shops, video rental, Lowe’s hardware, and much much more. In addition to all that, the neighborhood will also get a brand new transit village with buses that connect to the existing Cottle Rd. light rail station and a new CalTrain station over on the Monterey Hwy side of the site near Blossom Hill Rd. And hey!… about a San Jose Police Dept. sub-station? Yep!…it’s part of the plan, and in the works.

By the time this is finished, I’m sure it will rival or at least look a lot like Santana Row…..but hopefully without the high prices to shop and play. The information on the Hitachi site needs to be updated, but here it is. And just for the record, the former Hitachi site was previously owned by IBM from 1955 to 2003 when it was purchased by Hitachi. In fact this was IBM’s disk drive manufacturing facility where IBM thrived long before the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area blew it’s first breaths into the “Dot-com” bubble.

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