Viva Calle SJ & VTA — Almost, but no cigar

Sunday, the City of San Jose celebrated its second Viva Calle.  This year they opened six miles of streets to play around in. The route ran from Japan Town in the north, to Willow Glen in the south and Midtown in the west.  It was fun, but there were a couple of issues that we ran into.  Therefore the rating of “Close, but no cigar.2016 Viva Calle Road Map Mary and I joined the route near the Shark Tank, where flower marker three is on the map.  We headed south to marker one on Lincoln Avenue.  The day was hot, but the people were having a ball.

Mary on Rail Road Bridge

Mary on Rail Road Bridge

Viva Calle through the Industrial Zone

We continued turn south from San Carlos and headed down Lincoln Avenue.    The light industrial areas weren’t too friendly for walking, as almost nothing was open and there were very few trees.

Lincoln Avenue looking southLight Rail crossing Lincoln










However, we discovered two stores at nue that completely distracted us.

Good Karma Bikes not only buys and refurbishes older bikes, but they have a monstrous collection to new and used bikes to choose from.  They definitely need to be at the top of your list if you are in the market for a bike.

Oak & Cherry Furniture specializes in furniture that is hand made, from old wood, in their local workshops.  It is a family operation, where the kids grew up sanding and painting to help with the business.  They even have a connection to a local blacksmith, who makes a lot of the handles and such that they put on their furniture.  Even if you are not looking for furniture, you might find it a very fun place to walk around and check things out.

Lincoln looking southLincoln looking north










In the Willow Glen area, the streets were packed.  Lots of tents and exhibits to look at.  I sort of felt sorry for the few businesses that were closed, as the potential for new customers, like us, was amazing.

No Cigar — Bike riders

My first complaint was about the lack of courtesy exhibited by many bike riders.  There were a lot of good ones, but the bad apples were out in force.  It didn’t matter what side of the street we were on.  Large bike groups simply didn’t know how to maneuver around pedestrians.  It made me think of the relationship between bikes and cars.  In this case, the bike riders were in the power position and scared the walkers.  Often, I would stop dead as a group approached from in front of me.  There always seemed to be at least one rider who was so busy talking to his friends that he wasn’t looking forward, assuming the street was empty.  Even scarier were the groups approaching from behind.  They would pass within inches, at a high rate of speed, without any warning.

Mary and I reverted to the old, walk facing traffic rule, and spent most of the walk on the sidewalks, just to stay out of the way of the bike riders.

No Cigar — VTA

Initially, I thought VTA was doing an excellent job.  Since we were planning to use route 64 to get home, I especially liked the signage showing the changes in the routes.  Here is an example from route 82.

82 rerouted to BIRDvta route changes










Unfortunately, they overlooked one aspect.  All along Lincoln, at every bus stopped we looked at between Willow and Minnesota, there was a notice to go to Pine Ave.  Pine Ave is only about 1/2 mile to the east, so that looked like a perfect solution.

There was just one problem.  By the time Mary and I got to Minnesota, the temperature was around 91 degrees and we were getting tired.  So, we headed east on Minnesota to catch the 64 on Pine.  However, we walked the entire stretch of Pine to Willow without seeing any indication of a bus stop or a bus.  How and where were we supposed to catch line 64?

Fortunately for us, line 25 was still running its normal schedule on Willow, so we used that to get home.

Missing component:  When you move a bus route, passengers need to know where the new stations are located.  Even if there were only two, at Minnesota and Willow, that would have helped.  Waving at the bus, if one had come by during the time we were walking the route, and hoping the driver would stop, simply doesn’t appeal to me.

So close, but no cigar.






A feral kitten hits the jackpot — It found us.

You never know what will happen when you take a walk. This time we came home with a feral kitten that we found under highway 680. Last night, James, Mary and I took a walk on S King Road, heading towards Story Road.  While passing under highway 680 we spotted this little ball of fur, curved up next to the pole of a traffic light.  It was a feral kitten, apparently from a nearby homeless encampment, surrounded by speeding cars. … Continue reading →


HTTrack is a free (GPL) and easy-to-use offline browser utility. Basically, it allows you to download the contents of a internet site to a local directory. It builds a complete set of recursively directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server and stashing them on your computer.  These are static, HTML images of the original site, even if it was built using some database centered, dynamic page tool. I find it great for archiving copies of my sites … Continue reading →

Republican Politics

I wrote the following post in 2009. I received a call from a close friend the other day. After “catching up”, he shifted to the reason behind his call. He and his wife were bothered by the debate on health care. Knowing that I was involved with the Republican Party, he called to express his concerns. His concerns were simple. In all of the reports on the Health Care debate, he did not see a true debate. He heard over … Continue reading →

Apple vs Lazy Big Brother

OK — Color me clueless, but I simply do not understand the government’s position.  They simply do not appear to know what it takes to decrypt an iPhone, so they are taking the easy way out.  Make someone else do it. 1. If you have too many failed attempts, using the iPhone to access the data, the phone will erase the disk. So, trying different passwords is not an option. 2. The first thing you do in a case like … Continue reading →