Archive for August, 2007

Meteor Shower: The Aurigids

auriga-2The annual Perseid meteor shower streaked by, the total eclipse of the moon showed its colors for just one night, but fear not stargazers – the Aurigids are coming, the Aurigids are coming!

The Aurigids (pronounced oh-RYE-guh) get their name from a constellation in the Northern Hemisphere near Lynx and Perseus that contains the bright star Capella, which is 42 light-years from Earth. Also called the Charioteer.

Usually no one gives a big dipper about the Aurigids, but this year astronomers have issued an alert for an impending Aurigid outburst. Comet Kiess released a trail of dust (the Aurigids) back when Julius Caesar was alive, and the earth has encountered its noteworthy debris stream only three times in the past century, in 1935, 1986 and 1994.  

Between August 25th and September 8th, peaking on September 1st we, here in San Jose, are in perfect position to view the lovely bright blue-green meteors as they streak across our early morning sky.

Viewing area: Los Angeles to Portland
Best day: September 1st
Best time: 4:37 a.m. PT
Where to look: Northeast horizon

Case Solved


What is that new building? I had been threatening to exit Highway 87 and investigate the new building going up on the corner of West Hedding Street for the last few weeks.

After parking on the Guadalupe Parkway frontage road, I questioned the first person I encountered. A Sheriff buying lunch from a food coach told me that he thought it was a lab. With my camera in hand I walked up to the construction site asking a fellow in a blue hard hat, “Is this the new forensic lab?” He proudly said, “Yes, it will be the Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory.”

The close proximity to the Main Jail seems the perfect spot for this state-of-the-art metal building with room for a 75-foot long test firing range. This new facility includes a DNA laboratory and equipment for other tests, as well as office space. Question answered – case solved.

Temperature in San José: Hot

coolingWhen the temperature hits the upper 90s air-conditioned workplaces and homes will help us through the day and night. If your home does not have air-conditioning, electric fans may not do enough, something as simple as a trip to the shopping mall or the library would help. For some, one cool place to go is to a neighborhood Cooling Center.

This morning I stopped by the Willows Senior Center* to inquire about their ‘Cooling Center’. They were kind enough to let me check out Room 8. It has a good sized TV, computers, comfy looking seating, and coffee on the sideboard. When I asked the woman at the desk about meals, she let me know that they were not a cafeteria, so it looks as though a bag lunch, and dinner, from home would be required.

Phone ahead for information:  408-277-2741- check to see if the center in your area is open.

Some people are at greater risk than others to suffer from heat-related illness and may need to be closely watched for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Check regularly on:
People aged 65 or older
People who have a mental illness
Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
Infants and young children

Room 8

Foul Play in Willow Glen?

Thrift Box

To protect a possible crime scene, early morning commuters using Lincoln Avenue through Willow Glen found their northbound route blocked at Minnesota Ave. and southbound drivers were directed to Brace Ave.

A body was found in the alleyway between Vinsanto Restaurant and The Thrift Box. Speaking with people on Lincoln Avenue the consensus seems to be the body was that of a homeless person. SJPD officer Malvini, parked at the scene, told me the cause of death would be released with the coroner’s report. I hope it was not foul play.

alley way

Total Eclipse Of The Moon

There will be a total eclipse of the moon Tuesday morning (August 28) beginning about 1:50 am. Mid-eclipse (total) is 3:37am. So, load up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on to your iPod and set your alarm tonight. On the other hand, just stay up all night.

Way too much info from NASA here.

Redwoods @ Big Basin

To the world, California is more known for Hollywood and Silicon Valley. However, when you come here, you hear of “redwoods”. You might drop in at Muir Woods on your sight-seeing trip to San Francisco or you might go as far as Mendocino. But how about checking them out next door? Getting to the redwood trees at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park is less than an hour’s drive from the South Bay.

Tall redwood trees at Big Basin


Celebration of Sal’s Life

As customers pulled into the empty parking lot at Cosentino’s Market this morning they looked confused, then after reading the sign on the door they looked saddened. The market was closed so that family and friends could attend services for Sal Cosentino who passed away on August 21st. (Open for business 12pm – 8pm)

The following was published in the San Jose Mercury News on 8/22/2007:
Salvatore D. Cosentino – After his courageous battle with cancer, Salvatore entered into rest on August 21, 2007 surrounded by his loving family. Sal was born on November 18, 1927 in Youngstown, Ohio. He joined the army in 1953 and was stationed in Germany. While on leave in Italy he met and fell in love with his soul mate, Angela. They were married on April 27, 1955 in Rome, Italy. Sal and Angela began their life together, which would soon be filled with many children and grandchildren. Sal is survived by his wife Angela, five children; Patricia Bertucelli, Isabella Costa, Anthony Cosentino, Salvatore Cosentino Jr. and Dominic Cosentino, and fourteen grandchildren. Sal was an active member of the Italian Catholic Federation and took pride in his Italian heritage. He was a man who enjoyed life and spending time with his loved ones, whether it be tending to his orchard or fishing with his sons; Sal was a man of many passions. He enjoyed traveling later in life and spent much time exploring different countries and cultures with his wife. Sal and his three brothers worked with their father to create Cosentino’s Market; a successful grocery business. They put their heart and soul into the business and made their father’s dream a reality. Sal Cosentino will be remembered for his hard work and dedication to his family, friends and business. He was a loving man whose memory will live on through his children and grandchildren. Please join us for a Rosary in celebration of Sal’s life on Thursday August 23, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Francis Cabrini Church, 15333 Woodard Rd., San Jose. Funeral to follow on Friday August 24, 2007 and 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis Cabrini Church. In lieu of flowers, we appreciate donations to Hospice of the Valley, San Jose. Lima Family Erickson Memorial Chapel serving the family.

Get Smart

No, there is no need for shoe-phones or the Cone of Silence – this isn’t *that* Smart. The cars many have loved for years in Europe are finally going to be sold here in the states.


Starting in January you’ll be able to buy one starting from $12,000 up to $17,000. These little cars get 40 miles to a gallon – which is great if you’re zipping around the south bay. I don’t have a car myself, so maybe I’m not the best one to be writing about them, but I am looking forward to being able to check these cars out. I personally hate driving large cars so the thought of driving one of these puppies really makes me think I might want to get one. Oh and did you know, Smart Cars are made by Mercedes!

But January is far off — but have no fear! If you want to see one in person AND get a chance to test drive one the Smart Car “Street Smart” Road Show is coming to town.

Tapestry Arts Festival

Up, up, and away Every year I look forward to going to the Tapestry Arts Festival downtown. I think it’s because I’m a sucker for arts & crafts and street festivals. For a few years my friends and I would make sure to go to the TAF because there’d be a Renaissance Fair booth and we’d grab some $5 tickets.

From deep fried goodies to handmade home items and paintings, the festival covers a lot of personal tastes. Proceeds from the festival go toward arts education programs in schools and arts outreach to the community

Sunday night, 6-8pm The Heartbeats will perform the Twilight Concert. Many other performers will be playing through the weekend on various stages.

When: Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-3)
Where: Downtown
Cost: FREE!

Megabus: What a Deal


San José to Los Angeles for a buck?, a subsidiary of Coach USA, has begun a daily express bus service from the Bay Area to LA. Not to be confused with Green Tortoise, where one may encounter backpacking naked hippies, Megabus is a low-cost alternative way for travelers on a budget to get to Los Angeles and back.

Reservations are made via its Web site, or by telephone. (toll free hotline 877-GO2-MEGA)

Megabus one-way fares start as low as $1, plus a 50-cent booking fee. As demand for seats increase, on each trip, fares will increase as the departure date nears and the bus begins to fill. It will be important to book early and to carefully read the restrictions.

See the Terms and Conditions section of the site.
* You must give the driver your reservation number when boarding the bus.
* Bring a copy of the payment confirmation page/ reservation confirmation email.
* Buses are unable to carry bicycles.
* No dogs or other animals (with the exception of trained service animals)
* One piece of luggage per passenger.
* Be at the departure point15 minutes before the selected trip is scheduled to depart.
* No refunds or credits will be given if you miss the bus.

The San José stop is on Cahill Street. The web site will direct passengers south of the entrance to the Diridon Caltrain station, though I have heard it may be just about anywhere near the station. Hint: Might even look near the shelter designated for VTA route 180.

For megabus information and reservations:

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