Bombsquad on Blossom Hill Road San Jose

I just drove on Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, and was confronted with a large number of police cars blocking the sidewalk and parts of the parking area in front of the Five Guys Hamburger joint. When I was closer, I could see the Bomb squad was actually there with a truck and a police officer in bullet proof vest and helmet peeking around the corner of a store.

Police officer peeking around a corner

Police officer peeking around a corner

When I could see into the street as well, I saw a man in full body armor working on a package sitting on the ground.

Bombsquad officer is working on strange package

Bombsquad officer is working on strange package

Thanksgiving Shopping

After this years dinner, we decided to go shopping early with Thanksgiving. How about 10pm at the Toys’R US? Every year Black Friday shopping starts earlier. For the stores it’s the biggest day of the year, but their revenue gets eaten up by the run on Internet shops. To be able to compete, stores open early in the morning, or even late at night.

We had to stand in line for a long time. The people in front of us must have been there at least for two hours, which means they left the dinner table immediately to go to the store. And while it was cold, we “only” had to wait for 45 minutes to get inside.

The bargains were not that good, lot’s of plastic junk from China. At least we were filmed for the local news by NBC.

Next year we just stay at home, and shop online. No rush, no cold and get a good night sleep :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Party City Customer Parking Only

Every Sunday I go to the Farmers Market at Kooser Road, at Meridian Ave in San Jose. It’s a popular destination for those who like to shop for organic fruit and vegetables.

Since the market is taking up a decent amount of parking spots, I’m sure the stores around the parking see some sort of impact, as parking gets more difficult during the Sunday shopping. However, there might be more potential customers walking by their stores in the way to the market.

I took below picture this morning, as I’ve been asking myself if the store in question actually can do this from a pure legal point of view. What if I park my car in these spots, which are reserved for only 15 minute parking. What if the security man is telling me to move the car, as the parking spots are for Party City customers only.

party city san jose customer parking only

Don’t I pay taxes of which these parking spots are being maintained? Can a store just reserve these spots during the Sunday Farmer’s Market?

Student Curb Service Real or Scam?

Last week, we got a notice our number of the house was newly painted on the curb stones at the street again. The notice was from Student Curb Service, where they highlighted the curb stones were freshly painted for convenience of police and fire department in times of need.

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All sounds good right? Your house need to be identifiable when needed, and students need to know what an honest job feels like…Like they say:

Curb numbers are used by police, fire and ambulance, as well as delivery men. Most addresses cannot be read from the street at night. Freshly painted curb numbers are easily seen by the headlights of a car.

Because this service is not offered by the city, we provide it for everyone on a donation basis. Since we cannot find everyone at home during the daylight painting hours, we paint the addresses for all residents. Your donation for this service is strictly voluntary.

Only, we got the exact same notice only 3 months ago in our mailbox, where I don’t see any changes to the paint of the number on the curb stones. Is this a scam or legit? So far we have not paid anything, but should we pay these poor students or would our money be spend on all other things except on education?

Anybody know if this is a legit operation?

Update: some more research showed more suspicious people (source):

''Students'' have shown up at my door roughly every four or five years collecting for painting my number on the curb. And I used to give them money. Not any more. That's because the roots of the big eucalyptus in front of my house have pushed up the street just enough to allow an occasional puddle to form, which covers and discolors the number. But you don't have to pay for this service which, most likely, is conducted illegally.

The other day I came home and there was a note taped to my door saying that as a service to the residents, numbers will be painted on our curbs. This is nothing new, but because I have large, clearly visible numbers on my house, I have never wanted the number painted on the curb.
The last time they did this was probably a few years ago and when they came to collect (donations), I told the man that I had not wanted it painted and, therefore, would not be paying for it. He was visibly irritated but left without saying anything. When I saw this note I decided to call and tell them ahead of time that I did not want this service. They say it has a value of $15 and that they will take all contributions and to make your donation when the ''student'' calls at your door. I can tell you for sure that the person who was collecting last time was no student!

Silicon Valley Roller Girls

Hot-August-Fights Saturday evening, time to get out of the house. On upcoming I stumbled on an event I have never been: Women's Flat Track Roller Derby. San Jose has it’s own team, the SVRG, short for; the Silicon Valley Roller Girls.

A roller derby is exciting. The two teams try to score points and block the other team at the same time, to avoid they score any points. As the girls are on roller skates, and the track is fairly narrow, you can be sure that there are one or two casualties in a couple of rounds.

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I didn’t know the rules, but in the book I could find the general rules.

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All players had interesting names and funny helmets.

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The Derby was not close at all, SVRG swiped the floor with their opponents.   

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Before you go sit somewhere, make sure you check if the seating is not dangerous. You might want to sit somewhere else if you see this sign on the ground:

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