Just a catch-all magazine show this morning.
Welcomed Thom and Jeff to California yesterday, hung out and went to Santana Row for window shopping and Greek food; wandered through the garden at Winchester House. I realized that I met up with Mac at Santana Row as well… so, perhaps the Row is now the official blogger meeting place? TK, are you listening? Yes, soon the pull of the Bay Area will lure yet more east coasters, and maybe I won’t have to keep flying back to see people.
Got up early this morning to watch the penultimate episode of Doctor Who, which had downloaded overnight. I won’t give any anything, especially since the second part won’t air until next Saturday; I will let this one slip: the quote “She’s not Rose Tyler, not any more” was a big red herring, cherry picked out of the episode to cause heart failure among us avid viewers.
Independence Day is upon us again. Last year, only 8 weeks after I’d moved to California, I climbed the big hill in south San Jose and watched the fireworks blooming all over the south bay, little pockets of shimmering light appearing miles away from mountain to mountain. It was really amazing, surveying my new home, like a bowl full of tiny lights. This year, I live on flat ground, a low neighborhood with trees that doesn’t allow for long sight-lines. Nevertheless, last night the booms started at 9:30, and I went outside to see what I could see — nothing. They kept going, loud and rolling, and I couldn’t figure out where the fireworks were coming from, because I couldn’t see them. Not the baseball field down the road at the university, not downtown San Jose. A little research on the net nailed it: Great America. That theme park is about 5 miles away, and yet the fireworks sounded as if they were on the next block. And they’ll be going every night through the 4th. I wonder if I could see them if I got up on my roof?
Anyway, this made me think of the unfortunate people who live near Disneyland, where there are fireworks shows every night. How can they stand it? Do their dogs develop some kind of psychosis or traumatic stress disorder? Or do they get used to it, like I’ve gotten used to the planes taking off from the airport on the other side of the railroad tracks?
Last thing, very interesting: DC is experimenting with rubber sidewalks. It is expensive, but it solves the problem of buckling and cracking sidewalks due to tree roots — DC is a city of trees, which is great — which lead to lawsuits when people trip and fall.
The sidewalks are made of recycled tires. In the midst of a wasteful, backwards-sliding civilization bent on creating disposible… well, everything, this is one of those rare progressive ideas. Softer, bouncier sidewalks that are easier on the feet, they are kinder to trees, they recycle a product that would otherwise sit in a pile and sometimes burn for years, and they last three times longer than concrete sidewalks. Neat!