Monday, December 14, 2009

The Color Of Palo Alto And The Loss Of Our Bowling Alley

Monday: (12/14) I fixed the leftover  sauerkrauted potatoes as fried potatoes with bacon and eggs for breakfast. VERY good! Today was the nice day between two rain storms. It actually got warm and was quite nice outside. I started a pot of white beans with ham in the crock pot. We managed to take a nice walk and did some work in the yard. We also made a run to Costco for some things.

Lunch was ham sandwiches from a ham Lou baked. Dinner was the withe beans with ham.

About 6pm we hurried downtown to city hall to attend the council meeting. A developer wants to  tear down the only bowling alley in Palo Alto and Northern Santa Clara County, The Palo Alto Bowl, and a Motel six and replace them with a larger hotel, an office building and a bunch of condos. Dawn wants to protest the change so we attended the meeting. There was some confusion as to when it would start so we looked around downtown until the meeting at 8pm. Then all the preceeding agenda items were heard including an unusual presentation on "The Color Of Palo Alto". I didn't know that for the past 7 years a young man with far too much time on his hands has taken multiple pictures of every parcel in our fair city during the various seasons, a total of over 250,000 pictures, He then processed each photo to derive an average color. Then he's been analyzing the data and can report of the average color of each parcel, each street, each neighborhood the city, all parcels with a numeric address of 2358, each season, or any way you want to present the average color data. There was some useful data provided that the police and fire departments can use as well. Only in Palo Alto! Oh, of course the average color of the city of trees is green. Unfortunately, the pictures were prior to our house getting it's new siding so there are errors in the average color.

About 10:30pm, Dawn's item was heard and she along with a number of other concerned citizens spoke to the council. The city council members  listened politely and then approved the development. Money is more important than a livable city. It was actually interesting. It's been nearly 30 years since my last council meeting and it related to a protest of rezoning at our home in San Jose. Lou and I organized that revolt and the result was the same. Some things never change. We didn't get home until nearly midnight.

Tuesday: (12/15) Due to the late retirement last night this morning didn't start early. Breakfast was cereal. We chased a few leaves into the compost barrel and I unstuck the neighbors garbage disposer. That was it for work. I've been getting in to this doing nothing, if playing at the computer is nothing.

Lunch was leftover sauerkraut potatoes. Lou fixed fish with steamed vegetables and millet for dinner.

While we were supposed to have rain it turned out to be a nice day all day. The storm ran out of gas and stalled up North  a ways.

Wednesday: (12/16) Another nice morning, pretty clear and mild. It did rain well last night some time. Google still reports we're in for a little more rain today before we clear up for a while. Unfortunately, the wind and rain evidently don't have a good Internet connection.

I started the day with a visit to the the Kaiser Lab to give them some blood for an annual test. It's in downtown Mountain View so of course a visit to the Hong Kong Bakery was in order. A baked pork bun and an egg tart corrected the delay in breakfast caused buy having fasted unnecessarily for the test. Since it wasn't raining I did a little work in the backyard. I started to put some lights in the new shop.

Dinner was baked potatoes, broccoli slaw, and ham.

Thursday: (12/1 7) I had to get up early and head to my old workplace, the traffic operations center, to a pancake breakfast they put on each year. The food was good and it was nice to see everyone again. Not much has changed but they did have a big Christmas tree on the roof made from old LED signal heads. It was sure bright. Time does pass. It's now been over 10 years since we converted all the signals to LED.

I then headed over to the Great Mall, the old Ford Motor Plant, in Milpitas to look around. I found a dog collar that blasts a high frequency tone when dogs bark. We'll see if it works to quiet down Ernie's dogs. I stopped for lunch at the House Of Eggrolls in Santa Clara. They make the best egg rolls around.

And then I stopped at Costco to get new tires on the Toad. It was 1pm by the time I got there so the wait was considerable so I looked around there and at the nearby stores until after 4:30 when they finished. A bit longer that I had hoped.

Lou had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. She and Dawn also went shopping.

Lou had dinner ready by the time I arrived meatloaf, rice and soybeans in the pod.

Friday: (12/18) We couldn't get the batteries into the dog collar. The little door wouldn't open so we decided to head back and get another. Kind of a special effort since the mall is more thsn 20 miles away in Milpitas but quieting the dogs is important. We stopped for breakfast on the way at the Country Gourmet in Mountain View. Good place to eat but a little pricy when we each get an item rather than sharing and we evidently were all rather hungry. It was lucky we chose this spot because Lou got to see a bunch of her former students who stopped for breakfast on their way to work. It's great that some stores really have good work programs for developmentally challenged adults.

We made it to the mall and had no problem getting the collar replaced, just a dud on the first try. We looked around the mall some but were worn out early and returned home. It's a big mall and is difficult to get through it all in one visit.

Lou did pick up next years big calendar. Hard to believe the old calendar is already worn out.

Leftovers for lunch. Rice, soybeans and meatloaf mixed up.

I did do a little work. I exposed the drain pipe for the new shop and the yard drain pipe. I just stubbed it out before I poured the floor. It's only about 5 feet of shallow trench but the drain line that it needs to connect to is in a drain fabric lined rock filled trench and will be fun getting in to. I may not get it finished before the rain comes again Monday. Nice to get some rain but I'd love to see the sun for a moment or two. With clay soil, working in saturated ground is no fun.

For dinner Lou had prepared split pea soup and oven toast.

I spent some time in the evening working on website setup. I setup six sites with Wordpress as the publishing tool. Wordpress works great but for some reason i had some difficulty getting some of these to work. Once it's installed and works it's great.

Saturday: (12/19) Just a lot of wheel spinning by me today. I spent most of my time solving a little problem with those pesky websites I set up yesterday. They started not working and it took most of the day to figure out why and get the server setup correctly.  I still  need to get the email server working but every problem solved is a good learning experience. Now if my memory were only good enough to utilize the knowledge in the future.

Lou worked threading a loom and Dawn was busy baking scones and fruit cake

Interesting breakfast. It started with a piece of cheese cake followed by one of Lou's baked omelets. Lunch and dinner were leftovers. I discovered white beans for lunch and split pea soup for dinner.

Sunday: (12/20) I don't get busy too early as a rule but I enjoy Sunday mornings even more because of the political shows at 9am. So the day usually starts an hour later, at least. Lou an Dawn dislike them. I sort of think of them as like an oil change or some high speed driving for the heart. The blood pressure increase cleans up the cogs  in the brain a little.

I started the day with a call from our neighbor to assist with re-installation of a DVD player in his car. That was followed with a call to bring my jumper cables over. I did eventually do a little work in the shop but that was interrupted regularly to just enjoy the sunny day.

Breakfast was Lou's leftover omelet.Lunch was whatever one found. I had a PBJ English muffin. Dinner was at the Mi Pueblo Market. Lou, Dan and I shared a super carnitas burrito and a milanesa torta.

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