Okay, crackhead…

Dear crackhead: Thanks. Yes, I really appreciated my first words of the morning to be “motherfucker!”, I needed that. So, thanks for doing a few hundred dollars in damage to my Jeep in order to steal $20 worth of socket sets. I hope you got a few bucks from the pawn shop for those.

Oh, and by the way: The door was unlocked. And uh, that window unzips from the outside. Stupid fucker.

Upping the Ante

Since when did they up the ante? While most Americans are simply struggling to rent a place paycheck to paycheck, and can’t even think about buying anything, in their article Buying the American Dream, Forbes has now declared that the “American Dream” involves:

a nice, but not opulent, life–private schools for the kids, a large house in an upscale neighborhood, a weekend retreat, a pricey night out once a week, a couple of very nice cars

And it costs, too, to live their version of the American Dream out here in California, you’d have to be making nearly $370,000 per year—after taxes. By “large house in an upscale neighborhood” they mean a $3M house. By “weekend retreat” they mean another $950k for a house at Lake Tahoe. By “nice cars” they mean a BMW 325i and a Lexus RX 330. Who the hell dreamt up this version of the American Dream? When did it go from “a small house, maybe a couple of acres of land” to “a rich playboy’s life”? Oh wait, maybe this is only the dream of Forbes editors.

Thanks to Jeremy Zawodny for providing the link.

REI Saratoga Incompetent?

I bought my bike from REI Saratoga about 5 months ago in May, 2005. Within the first two weeks, the left pedal fell off the crank arm, having apparently not been tightened properly. I took it back and they replaced the crank arms and pedals under warranty (since they had been rounded off a bit as well).

A few months later, I had three broken spokes in the back wheel due to mis-tensioning. I brought the bike back to REI again, and they fixed it under warranty again. When I got it back, they had put the back tire on backwards, and didn’t inflate the tires properly. I brought it in at 75psi each, and they inflated to 45psi. The tires are stamped and rated at 65-85psi.

This morning, as I was riding into work, three more spokes in the rear broke. LAME. I’m not riding off road, I’m riding on the road, not hitting potholes, not abusing the bike at all.

I am not taking the bike back to REI for any more repairs. I’ll be visiting a real bike shop to get these spokes repaired, and get a general tune-up. If something actually broke while I was riding in traffic, I’d be screwed. I’m not comfortable putting my life in REI’s hands anymore.

Borregas Bridges Public Meeting

I attended a public meeting in Sunnyvale tonight about the Borregas Avenue Bike and Pedestrian Bridges project. The project involves building two bicycle and pedestrian bridges to connect Borregas Avenue: one over Highway 101, and one over State Route 237. This would provide for a much safer North-South corridor through Sunnyvale for bicycles and pedestrians, and would connect the neighborhoods on the respective sides of each highway with each other.

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Homeless in San Jose

Like any large city, San Jose has a lot of homeless people. According to one site, as many as twenty-thousand people are homeless in Santa Clara county at any one time. Many of them live in San Jose (being the largest city in the county, and the entire South Bay).

We regularly see any number of different, fairly normal-looking people, picking through our dumpsters looking for cans and bottles to collect the deposit on and recycle. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was one person who regularly came by and went through the dumpster. What surprises me is that there is competition for our trash.

Over the past few weeks, someone has established residency in our parking lot. He has a smallish RV that he parks in the same spot every evening, goes to bed, and leaves early in the morning, likely to go to work.

What can we do about the homeless in our city? (And no, I don’t mean “to get rid of them”, I mean “to help them”.)