Archive for August, 2006

Levees, 24/7

I think it’s great that they’re going to put some serious hours into levee improvement. After New Orleans, the thought of what could happen here in Sacramento weighs heavily on my mind. However, I am hoping they don’t use the same people for the double shifts and late hour projects. Have you ever tried to do exacting, precise work when you’re sleep-deprived? (And what about the Boston tunnel fiasco where the tiles fell on that car and killed someone?) Sometimes the work you get isn’t good enough–it’s just work. Expand the hours, spend the time…but if you don’t keep an eye on the quality, the volume won’t matter at all.

Alchemy?

If you put a small piece of land and an unattractive building design together what do you get? You get the drab 1970s maybe 80s design of “Alchemy” on R Street. Granted, it’s probably better than a vacant, weed-covered lot, but not by much. It would have been nice if the architects had actually looked at the building-scape of the area and done something classy. All I can say is I’m not impressed. And to call it ‘alchemy’ as if they’re making gold out of…crud is misrepresenting things. They may make a buck, but they’re turning potential gold into a drab boring landscape. More like alchemy backwards.

Cheap Eats

Yesterday I had a timely and very eloquent post about the sale of Healthy Choice meals at Safeway. The sale is over (but don’t worry- I got out with PLENTY of Chicken Parmigiana meals), but it does give us a new question: With no cheap microwave meals around, where do you go for Cheap Eats in this town ????? Comment back and try to make it Sacramento specific (let’s not take a page from Sacramento Magazine who puts Olive Garden in the Top Italian restaurant category).

44 is a big number

When you’re talking about the number of times a crime lab employee at the Sacto DA’s office improperly processed DNA evidence before he or she got fired.

The deal is that all samples of DNA evidence are supposed to be double-checked by another person, and this person didn’t have that done — at least 44 times.

I find this to be abhorrent. It is luck — pure luck — that on review of these samples only one needed fixing (and that was apparently only a technical error). The point of having DNA samples double-checked is to ensure their accuracy before they are used to deprive alleged criminals of their liberty, and in more drastic cases, their lives. The fact that the person who violated this important protocol was otherwise competent at their job is not all that important here. What is important, and what I hope the DA’s office is now trying to figure out, is why it took them 44 times to catch on?

(Sunday) Over (at) the Rainbow (Festival)

Whether you are or you aren’t, you should check out the Rainbow Festival this weekend. The main entrance is on 21st and K, and admission is only $5. There’s great stuff going on both Friday and Saturday evenings, but you should definitely make it a point to check out the Street Faire on Sunday afternoon.

I actually have never been inside the Faire, but I have jogged by it, heard the music, smelled the food, saw the fun, circled back, jogged around it again, stopped, stood, watched, wishing desperately that I could find some cash in my wrinkled smelly jogging shorts . . . .

Alas.

But now that you have notice, YOU can go! The Faire is loaded with great events and and great music — and this year, they’ve got Deborah Gibson (aka, the artist formerly known as Debbie Gibson; recall, Electric Youth)!

Like every year, there may be protests – especially this year, though, as this is the festival’s 20th anniversary. Check out this article for more info on that.

Yog-ahhhhh

Over the past week and a bit, I’ve been enjoying and getting the most out of my $10, 2-week introductory offer over at Deep Art Yoga.

Though I’ll be out of town this weekend (look out, Montreal MBers, heyyyyyy), I wanted to let you all know about this weekend’s Deep action – perfect for those of you looking to kick off fall by taking up Yoga or brushing up on your skillz.

Deep will be holding a Power Vinyasa Yoga Workshop for Beginners this Saturday from 2 – 4 pm at their studio/gallery on the corner of 21st and H Streets in midtown.

From the flyer:

Join Rachel and Anne Marie in this informational and fun Baptiste-style Power Vinyasa Yoga Workshop. Through practice, show and tell, demonstration, and discussion, we will explore the alignment principles of Sun Salutations and other basic postures. . . . .

Students practicing yoga for less than one year and brand-new beginners welcome. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to meet your teachers and get settled. Fee $20 pre-registered or $25 drop-in. For details and registration call 916-201-2593 or email amk at sacramentoyogastudio dot com.

During class today, Anne Marie described the workshop as a team-taught session designed to get you up to speed on the basic postures used daily in practice. It can teach you news skills or hone the ones you have. Both Rachel and Anne Marrie are great, personable, serious yet fun teachers – definitely check it out if you’re curious about Yoga.

And don’t forget – Tuesday night at 7pm you can still join people from Deep at McKinley Park (to the far left of the library if you face it standing on Alhambra) for just 5pm. Take advantage of the last few days of summer!

Midtown on Fire

On the way home from the gym this evening, I spied a curl of smoke coming from what appeared to be the Capitol area. It wasn’t until I got closer to home that I realized the source was, well, closer to home (not quite too close for comfort, thankfully).

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Driving down N, the smoke thickened and the sound of sirens wailed. The smoke was so heavy that I couldn’t even tell its source – thinking for a moment it might have been one of the many restaurants on Capitol between 20th and 16th Street.

Living a few blocks from the scene of the action and deciding that this blog gave me license enough to join the massive crowd of on-lookers gathered at 19th and Capitol, I hoofed it on over, camera in tow. What I found was a 3 story, classic midtown structure that’s been completely ruined by fire – taking with it a local business and likely several residences. I’m sure the local news will have a good update for us later (and I’ll try to update this site as well). In the meantime, click for a few more photos of the massive number of SFFD trucks and law enforcement parked up and down Capitol and across 19th.

I hope this makes you all double check your smoke alarm batteries, remember to pick up fire extinguishers, and get renter’s insurance.
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When a fortune cookie isn’t….Part Two

Another trip into Pick Up Stix last week got me another non-fortune cookie…Be Willing To Admit That You May Be Wrong, You’re Only Human…

A nice saying and I have to admit that it does make me feel a little better about the fallibility of human beings, but it’s NOT a fortune…

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Remember those stories about how it is “on the other side of the tracks” and how boy A couldn’t marry girl B because they weren’t from the same side ? Well, if you thought it was just a dramatic device, then you haven’t been to the neighborhood of Woodlake (kind of an oasis near the Royal Oaks post office) and then driven over the light rail tracks, where Royal Oaks changes into Beaumont. The difference in neighborhoods is astonishing.

On the Royal Oaks/Woodlake side, lawns are lush with shrubbery and there are trees galore. Some homes are approaching the half a million dollar mark in value. (You can check home values for specific homes on zillow.com.) Cross over to Beaumont, and you are smacked with the feel of the concrete jungle. Fenced in yards that are too small are everywhere, and many spots have no trees–rather, there’s a scattering of people who appear to have nowhere to go and nothing to do.

One thing about both sides of the tracks is the same. The residents are acutely aware of outsiders, no matter if your skin is the same tone as theirs or not. Expect to be noticed.

Thanks, Random Dude

This morning, feeling the onset of a headcold combined with a general grouchiness, I decided to wander farther from the office than usual and hit the Starbucks Corporate Complex of Joy on 19th and J for a reliable hot tea and a bagel I didn’t have to toast myself (from Noah’s, next door).

Because Starbucks is on one side of the tracks and my office the other, there’s always the chance that a 10 minute coffee run could become a 30 minute coffee crawl. And so it almost was today when my office mate and I emerged from two of the Longest Lines Ever to head back to the office and a stranger said “there’s a train coming, you’d better hurry if you need to get across.”

Sure enough, though the lights had yet to flash and the barriers were still raised, we heard the rumble and horn in the distance. As we scurried across the tracks, there she was – bright headlight beaming, just a few blocks south. A few steps past the tracks, the lights flased and the train passed.

So, thanks, random dude. Those damn trains just seem to get longer and longer . . . .

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