Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot

Second Harvest Food Bank Truck - Donating 10 cans got you one of these turkeys:

This is an event that really makes sense.  Go out Thanksgiving morning and get a bunch of exercise, mingle with friends and make a contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank.  Perfect. The Silicon Valley Turkey Trot features races for different levels of competitiveness, a mayor's cup, a costume contest, a firefighters competition and a kids fun run.  The route wound its way through various downtown neighborhoods (all my haunts) and gave people a glimpse of what San Jose has to offer. San Jose was looking its sparkly clean and colorful best. I was so proud.

A chiropractic group formed a spine. Here are the front and back.

This guy got himself a turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ministry of Transport and Art Gallery

It is my pleasure to turn people on to this unique and special business.  The Ministry of Transport and Art Gallery is an auto repair shop for people who want car service that transcends the ordinary. First of all, Dan, the owner, is the most personable, honest, laid back guy you'll ever meet. Just being in his presence is soothing.  His prices are fair, he is accommodating and just a pleasure to do business with.  This place is not for people looking for an impersonal car repair experience.  This is a place to savor.  First there's a little conversation, then a little exploration and then maybe a little time with Cookie the dog (who goes everywhere with Dan, including on his motorcycle). The artwork on the walls may not be the finest but just the fact that it is there makes this car shop a place to be treasured.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feels Good to be the Chosen City for U.S. Figure Skating Championships

You have probably heard by now that San Jose has been chosen to host the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships (I wonder when the tickets will be available or if one can get in for free if one volunteers). If you've read my blog you've probably noticed I am a big fan of the Guadelupe River Park.  One of my points of departure when I go walking there is the little park just opposite the arena. Whenever I mention the wonderful carousel right there at the arena, I am always sorry to hear how few people even know of its existence.  And that is not the only attraction to draw a person to this park.  There are the monuments that honor the San Jose figure skating champions and a fascinating dry "pool" with quotes from famous San Jose skaters engraved into the surface. It is really fun to walk around and read the quotes and gaze up at the huge cylinders with mosaic work depicting significant events in the lives of our local skaters.  Check it out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Philz! Coffee

Today was a rare mid-week holiday and I started it off with a walk down Guadelupe River Park then went in search of  a much needed cup of COFFEE.  Couldn't park anywhere near peets because of the parade but I remembered seeing a little coffee place on Paseo de San Antonio and so I headed over there.  I became an instant devotee of Philz.  The guy making the coffee was just about as personable and upbeat as a person performing their job could be.  He guided me through the somewhat different approach to coffee and I walked away with a rich, strong but mellow cup of coffee.  He even talked me into a bit of their cream and sugar, which I never have, and I loved it.  They really do make the coffee one cup at a time with a vast menu of different blends.

As I was driving home I spotted these men who were running laps around San Jose State.  One man was carrying the P.O.W. flag and the other the American flag.  Made me think of the little memorial plaque on campus near the chapel and also what a nightmare it must be for family members of P.O.W.'s.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall Color, San Jose Style

After a morning of bill paying and chores around the house, boxer and I headed out to post the bills and get some fresh air (and food). We ended up at Sabor Salvadoreno (a very clean, proud, authentic little Salvadorian restaurant) for my second try at falling in love with pupusas.  It didn't happen, although the loroco pupusa I had was puffy and tender on the inside with cheese and herbs oozing out and the outside was nicely browned and crunchy, they just didn't GRAB me. Something I might crave about once a year.  I had ordered a fish taco as a back-up and it was great.  The fish was pan seared and super flavorful.  Then we went for a walk around the neighborhood and ran into one striking flower and tree after another.  We also saw a house decorated for a birthday party with these cute owls and I thought how refreshing it was to use something made from paper instead of commercial plastic registered trademark decorations.  We topped off the afternoon with a pumpkin twister from the Foster Freeze on N.4th and Taylor Streets. And no, he didn't get any pumpkin twister.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Possible Reason People Live in San Jose

It is November 3rd and the temperature has been hovering around 80 degrees for the last several days.  The tomatoes just keep ripening and now they have been joined by the long awaited ripening avocados which hang over our fence.  So tonight I made America's Test Kitchen "One Pan Baked Ziti" using fresh basil from my garden and served it with a salad that included fresh tomatoes from my garden and an avocado from my neighbor's tree. (BTW, I used about half the cream called for in the recipe.) Fantastic.