Archive for December, 2007

Arrive Alive


My phone has been ringing with requests for taxi rides. I’m always happy when my customers plan ahead.

One of the best places to hail a taxi: A downtown hotel – like the Fairmont.

Do look at free rides.

DUI – The total Approximate Cost:–$5,540

Free Rides On VTA This New Year’s Eve

VTAVTA will provide free bus and light rail service from 7:00 pm Monday, New Year’s Eve.

The bus service will be on its regular weekday schedule.

The light rail and Express Bus 180 service will be on their regular weekday schedule; however, service is extended through 3:59 am on Tuesday.

There will be no service for most Express, Limited Stop & Rapid 522 buses on Monday and Tuesday. In addition, there will be no service on Tuesday for Light Rail Shuttles-DASH, River Oaks, IBM, Kaiser.

On Tuesday, New Year’s Day, service will run on the Sunday/Holiday schedule with the exceptions noted above.

Everything Valley Transportation Authority here.

Caltrain Free Rides On New Year’s Eve

caltrainThis New Year’s Eve Caltrain is offering free rides after 11:00 pm for those planning to celebrate in San Francisco. Caltrain is adding three post-midnight, southbound trains that will depart the San Francisco station at 12:45 am, 1:30 am, and 2 am, making all local weekday stops.

Monday, New Year’s Eve, Caltrain will follow its weekday schedule along with the extra trains after midnight.
Tuesday, New Year’s Day, Caltrain will use its Sunday schedule.

Note: Caltrain does not allow open alcohol containers on trains after 9:00 pm.

Caltrain’s schedule and fares.

For more information on fares and schedules: 1.800.660.4287

It’s Mars, Not Rudolph

MarsTonight, Christmas Eve, while you are out watching for Santa don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve spotted Rudolph’s red nose. What you are seeing is Mars. Mars has decided to come close to earth to say “Hi!” Back on Tuesday the 18th it was only 54,783,381 miles away. It is being a bit shy this time as back in 2003, it came to within about 34 million miles.

What is significant about viewing Mars tonight is that it is at opposition, exactly opposite from the sun, with Earth in the middle. In other words, it is going to be bright, big, and very easy to see. It will be next to the moon.

Mars will be viewable through late January; however, it will be zooming away from us.

The next time Mars is close and bright will be in 2016.

The San Jose Astronomical Association will have a free public star party on Friday, Dec. 28, from 7:00 pm at Houge Park in San Jose. 408-559-1221

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in The Park

The other day my friends and I went downtown to check out Christmas in the Park.

Overall, Christmas in the Park is a nice thing to take the kids to, grab the friends, or wander around before or after a dinner downtown. If you’re into rides, there’s a few for you. If you’re into overpriced snacks, no problem here (seriously, $3 for a Churro?) If you want variety from year’s past, go somewhere else. (It’s the same display, same tree, same fake soapy snow…) Granted, they need donations!

Regardless, like I said, it was something nice to do. I guess for it being the 25th year, at such a milestone I anticipated more pizazz.

Oh and Canon, I am disgusted at what you chose to decorate your tree with. As a proud photographer, loyal Canon user, and creatively minded individual… I am just sad. Just like your tree is.


*I’d just like to point out, that photo of the map with the reflection of the tree is from THIS YEAR, and yet, it says 2006.

Special Holiday Film Program at California Theatre

moviesTwo-weeks of classic movies begins tonight at the California Theater downtown San Jose. Not only will you see a great lineup of classics for the great price of $5.00 per ticket, you will see them in a classic theater.

Dec. 18-20
Singin’ in the Rain
An American in Paris

Dec. 21-23
The Wizard of Oz
Miracle on 34th Street

Dec. 24
It’s a Wonderful Life

Dec. 25-27
The Sound of Music (70mm)

Dec. 28-30
My Fair Lady

Check here for show times and more information.

All tickets are $5 and available at the California Theatre Box Office on the day of screening; advance tickets for the Christmas Eve screening of It’s a Wonderful Life are now available at the box office. Children under 12 admitted free to special matinees Saturday Dec. 22 at noon and 1:50 PM.

The California Theatre
345 South First Street, San Jose
One-half block south of San Carlos Street
December 18-30

Parking information here

Redeem Gift Cards For Cash

Gift CardsMore and more each holiday season gift cards are purchased for gift giving. It is a good way to make sure the recipient can get the gift they want; no worry about size or wrong color, or an un-cool item.

Then the happy recipient takes their gift card to make a purchase of that perfect item; but alas, after the purchase there are a few bucks left on the gift card. The card is then tossed to the back of the glove box, into a drawer at home or any number of other “safe” places never to be used again. But wait! That is all going to change…

Effective January 1, 2008 a new California law (SB-250) takes effect allowing holders of any gift card/certificate with a cash value of less than $10 to redeem the gift card for its remaining cash value.

Stay calm. The new gift card redemption law does have exemptions; the same exemptions in the law (California Civil Code Section 1749.5) that allows certain gift cards to have expiration dates are also applied to the redemption of gift cards for cash. Also, any gift cards issued as an award, loyalty or promotional program, gift cards sold at volume discount to employers, non-profits, or charities for fundraising purposes cannot be redeemed for cash.

The current gift certificate law states that a seller must either redeem a gift certificate or gift card sold after January 1, 1997, for its cash value, or replace it with a new certificate or card at no cost. Most sellers opted to issue a new card/certificate. With SB-250 the seller must redeemed gift cards/certificates for cash.

California Civil Code Section 1749.5 (PDF)

Free eWaste Recycling This Sunday, Saratoga

recycleDrop off your old, unwanted or obsolete computers, monitors, TVs, cell phones, keyboards, mice, cabling, and more this Sunday, December 16.

eWaste Services, which collects unwanted electronics from both businesses and individuals, delivers them to state-authorized recyclers that must adhere to stringent rules regarding the processing and recycling of e-waste materials.

Brookside Swim & Racket
19127 Cox Avenue, Saratoga
Sunday, December 16th
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Free event

For more information: 408-464-9999

I’m Dreaming of a Santa Cruz Christmas?


The MSN travel site has Santa Cruz listed as one of the top 10 great places in the world to spend Christmas. Santa Cruz a December destination city? Thoughts of Santa Cruz are usually of warm summer days spent wearing T-shirts and cut-offs on the Beach Boardwalk, not of Christmas.

The site suggests the Pleasure Point Inn and the Harbor Inn as two uppity places to sleep over, and they say the chef at Casablanca is said to turn out some fine cuisine. Me thinkist they had a wee bit too much nog in their Eggnog.

Visiting Santa Cruz is like taking a trip back in time to the hippie/surfer lifestyle of your, or your parents’, youth. It is the kind of village-by-the-sea where comfortable is staying over at a motel with a chair pushed up against the door and ‘good eats’ is fishie finds out on the wharf.

Beach Boardwalk
Santa’s Kingdom & the Holiday Lights Train

Holiday Lights: Bring On Your Photos!

We are right in the middle of the Holiday Season and see lights coming up all around. We enjoy the lights and many a time, we click pictures of them. How about sharing them with all? We could end up with a nice collection of what people did with lights in 2007.

Upload your photos of holiday lights in and around San Jose onto Flickr, put them into the Metroblogging San Jose group and tag with ‘holidaylights2007’. Lo behold, we’ll see them right here!

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