Out of order parking meter reads “FAIL.” Looking forward to seeing one that says “pwned” next time.
The Buena Vista Social Club Pays a Visit
A SCANNER DARKLY.
Look closely below the right tail-light. You’re starting to see these new square bar codes everywhere. Their design makes them easier to capture with a portable scanner, such as a smart phone. It only makes sense that they would now show up on vehicles.
Think about how old-school it is for cops to have to pull up close enough to read off a license plate into the radio Adam-12 style: “Alpha Charlie Diamond, One, Four, Six. Tags are current. Copy?” when instead they could convey all the information with a quick scan of the bar code.
Expect to see these on vehicles everywhere, sooner than you think.
The last time I bought a lottery ticket this year was in April, but when I was driving in East San Jose yesterday afternoon and heard that the Mega Millions jackpot was up over $600 million, I decided it was time to buy in. Not because I thought I had any chance of winning, but because a jackpot like this is a social event that takes on a life of its own. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and I wanted to do my part.
A dollar won’t even buy you a donut in most strip malls anymore. So if that same buck can get you a pull on the one-armed bandit that will give somebody somewhere a $600 million payout (actually less than half that in a lump sum payout), why not?
There was no chance to pull off the road until I got out of East San Jose and into South San Jose and completed my last stop of the day. The sun was setting as I slid into a diagonal parking space in a strip mall alongside Interstate 85 that had a Safeway and an official lottery retailer.
It turned out to be a very dramatic sunset, which was nice because 2013 hasn’t been a great year for sunsets so far.
I was not really surprised to learn that one of the two winning tickets for the Mega Million jackpot was sold in a strip mall in East San Jose. It’s one of the few good towns left for working class optimists.
I still haven’t checked my numbers, and I doubt I will. Having been in East San Jose hours before the lucky numbers were picked there is as close to winning the thing as I’ll ever come.
What I did manage to accomplish in East San Jose that afternoon was getting my first up-close gander at a biodiesel pump in a mainstream gas station.
One of the great things about visiting Alameda is knowing that an old-school doomsday preacher like Harold Camping was going about his busy day on the very same island.
Sometimes I would even drive real slow by his house (pictured above) just to bask in his eminence and remind myself that the quiet, suburban tree-lined streets are often populated by people whose minds run deeper and wilder than we could possibly imagine.
The last time I drove past his house was on Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, at 2:42 PM. That is when this photo was taken. He died 18 days later.
R.I.P. Good Reverend. I know that the world really did end on October 21, 2011, no matter what the others say.
At this strip mall on the edge of East San Jose, I looked up at these trees and realized I was looking at the gangsta lean silhouette of the mysterious Easter Island statues.
East San Jose Lavanderia.
Magic Hour in San Jose.
Ford Falcon Ranchero. San Jose.
This was my last stop of the day on Thursday. I had never seen anything like this Falcon Ranchero before. It was good light for photography, but the old guys on the block were all gathered at the corner. I knew they would be watching me, so I settled for these two furtive shots from across the street.
16 hours after returning to the Bay Area, I am called off my normal delivery schedule and rerouted to handle the Ygnacio Valley stops. Comprising parts of the cities of Walnut Creek, Clayton, Concord, and Martinez, it’s a district I seldom visit.
Though technically part of the San Francisco Bay Area, this region feels palpably distinct from other Bay Area communities. Geographically, climatically, and socially, it conjures the Central Valley more than the San Francisco Bay, thus affordiing an opportunity to collect some unique Bay Area Driver photographs. Unfortunately, my Iphone only had enough available memory to record a handful of shots, but sometimes less is more.
Using me as an example, it’s quite possible to grow up your entire life in L.A. and not know that there are any other islands offshore besides Catalina. In fact there are seven more. A fringe benefit of flying from LAX to Oakland on Southwest Air and sitting on the left side of the aircraft is a chance to view a majority of these islands in rapid succession and realize just how nearby they are.