Recycling and Best Buy

I hate recyling. Let me explain. While I like the part about keeping our stuff out of landfills, I hate everything that goes along with those “green” recyling companies. I hate the snobbishness, the “holier than thou” attitude. I hate how if it’s inconvenient, it’s supposed to be OK because it’s good for the planet. I hate the “for the price of a latte” advertising slogan. I hate the extra fees, which tempt me to throw the thing in the trash. I hate to have to go to a place that only does recyling. I don’t even like those green “eco-friendly” bags that look like they use natural dyes, even though they don’t.
                                              
I do like one location that does recyling all by itself, the Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center. I like it because it’s located in the Palo Alto Baylands. The place is pretty and I can go for a walk in the Baylands after I drop off my stuff.
Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center, June 2009

Palo Alto Recycling Drop-off Center, June 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I  like – recyling done well by companies that sell you stuff, companies I might go to anyway. I just had a very positive experience at my local Best Buy. I was recyling a old desktop computer. The pleasant person at the front kiosk told me where to take my desktop and pointed me in the direction of the flatbed carts, conveniently located in the front of the store. I took a cart to my car (parking lot with plenty of parking, trees and flowers too), loaded the desktop on the cart, wheeled it back into the store and stopped at customer service, also located in the front of the store. The equally pleasant person at customer service asked me to fill out some minimal information and told me I could leave the cart right there – they’d take care of it. I had such a good experience that I did what Best Buy hoped I would do – I looked around the store. In the mobile electronics section I chatted with another pleasant, knowledgeable person about GPS. I might even come backlater to, you know, shop.

Best Buy, Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center, June 2009

Best Buy, Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center, June 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                              

My current MBA program has a concentration in sustainability. Assuming that recyling is part of sustainability, I hope my school talks about recyling in a world where it’s simply recycling, something that’s convenient, something that we do. Best Buy is making it work by including recyling as part of what they do. I like that.

When the Present becomes the Past (I borrowed this line)

There are times when, as a family member of mine puts it, you can see the present become the past.  One day you work somewhere, you live somewhere, and then you don’t.  You can target the minute, the second, between “I work here” and “I don’t work here anymore”.
                                                           
Yesterday was that day – when I stopped working at the educational institution where I worked for almost three years.   It’s interesting.  I think of myself as more of a private industry (publically traded company) kind of person, a person who works for a hi-tech company.  But you know, sometimes a place can work its way into your heart.
                                  
I did like it a lot better when we moved off campus, to a building in a lovely office park, with, obviously, parking, and the best place to eat, down the street!
 
Where I used to work, May 2009

Where I used to work, May 2009

 

My radio station went away

From the website  http://www.kksf.com/main.html

May 18, 2009

Today marks the end of an era. KKSF-FM is no longer the Bay Area’s home for Smooth Jazz.

Everyone at KKSF would like to thank all the loyal fans of our station and the years of support you’ve given us. Over our 20 year history, you have always been there for us, and we truly appreciate it. You’ve traveled to our hundreds of KKSF listener parties and concerts, celebrated at our Sunday Brunches, helped raise over 4 million dollars for Bay Area AIDS organizations by purchasing Samplers for AIDS Relief, and you’ve listened to countless hours of Smooth Jazz music and artists. That unwavering support is reflected in a rich and successful track record at 103.7 KKSF.

The spirit of KKSF isn’t going away, however. KKSF.com will continue to thrive as your source for Smooth Jazz including a digital audio stream of the Smooth Jazz Network as well as videos on demand, concert listings and other features. We hope you’ll choose to continue to support the artists and the music online.

So the radio station now has a different format.  I understand that the owners of KKSF may have needed to do this for commercial reasons, but I don’t like it.

I’m glad I can still listen to my KKSF over the web.

Ice Plants – Point Reyes National Seashore 2006

Here’s a picture for Doug, who asked if I had any photos of ice plants on the beaches of San Francisco or Pacifica.  The closest I have is some photos of the ice plants at Point Reyes National Seashore, in Marin County, north of San Francisco.  This photo was taken at North Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, in March 2006.

Now that I’ve learned that ice plants are invasive, I understand that they should probably be ripped out of Point Reyes National Seashore.  I  know that, but the ice plants are wonderful to see in the spring – the brilliant color and the green leaves against the ocean.

North Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, March 2006

North Beach, Point Reyes Seashore, March 2006

Ice Plants

The ice plants have started blooming, here where I live, south of San Francisco, in the San Francisco Bay area.  Ice plants are succulents which form a ground cover.  The most common species in my area appears to be Carpobrotus edulis.  They are very hardy, hold water (good for this dry area) and they have beautiful pink and yellow flowers in the spring.  They were popular as ground covers for commercial spaces, and were planted along the highways to help prevent erosion.  They grow well in our climate.  Here’s a description and some pictures – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpobrotus_edulis

I like them, though, yes, I know that they are an invasive species.  Ice plants are not native to this area.  They are native to South Africa, which has a Mediterranean climate like our climate, so of course they grow well here.  I realize that we need to get them out of natural habitats such as the Point Reyes National Seashore,  and the San Francisco estuary, but I do enjoy seeing them bloom in my area, in the spring.

The ice plants are pretty along Bayshore Drive.  I went there on Sunday, April 5, 2009, and took pictures.  

The California Poppy (our state flower!) has also started blooming.  I’ll have to go take pictures.

Ice Plants in Bloom, April 2009

Ice Plants in Bloom, April 2009

The Baylands in March – Another Heron Picture

I like to walk in the Palo Alto Baylands Park, looking out onto the San Francisco Bay.   March is the end of the rainy season. 

I like how deliberate the heron looks – they always do.

Heron, Palo Alto Baylands, March 2009

Heron, Palo Alto Baylands, March 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

             

The bay is narrow, here at the southern end of the bay.

Here’s a link – map and pictures of the bay and areas around the bay.

http://baynature.org/

amarez – mszv

My Avatar

 

 
 
 

Christmas 2008 – Harbor View – Oyster Point, California

Last Christmas, before I flew to the northeast US  to visit family, I decided to do a “park, sleep, and fly” , since I had to get to the airport so early.  It’s a wonderful thing – you pay for a hotel room for one night, at a hotel near the airport.  The hotel keeps your car, takes you to the airport, and picks you up.    I love it. 
                            
I stayed at a hotel that was a little bit fancy,  a business hotel where I got an excellent weekend rate – The Inn at Oyster Point – http://www.innatoysterpoint.com/ .   The inn has a view of the Oyster Point marina in South San Francisco – http://www.smharbor.com/oysterpoint/ .  I didn’t even know that South San Francisco, an industrial town south of San Francisco (good name!)  had a marina!  I also forgot that people decorate their boats for the Christmas holidays, just like they do their homes. 

Here’s a view of the marina, at night, from my hotel room.   It was magical.    I had a wonderful time.

Christmas 2008 - Harbor View - Inn at Oyster Point

Christmas 2008 - Harbor View - Inn at Oyster Point

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                           
                   
                
amarez – mszv
My Avatar

Walking in the Palo Alto Baylands

Last weekend (and the weekend before) I felt better, so I went for a stroll in the Baylands Preserve in Palo Alto.  (Aside – recovery from knee surgery takes longer than one would think!).  The Bayland Preserve is one of the parks that ring the San Francisco Bay.  The goal is to have the entire bay ringed by parks and a walking trail, but we aren’t there, yet.

Here’s a map – http://baynature.org/places

Some pictures

Palo Alto Baylands Park

Palo Alto Baylands Park

 

 

You can see Bxybee park in the distance.   The poles are part of an outdoor sculpture. 

 

 

 

 

Palo Alto Baylands - Great Egret

Palo Alto Baylands - Great Egret

 

 

The bird is a Great Egret, a member of the heron family.

 

 

 

 

Great Egret at Sunset

Great Egret at Sunset

 

 

This one is from my camera phone.

 

 

 

 

 

I love the Baylands.

Amarez – mszv

My Avatar

Fall – where I live

This is Fall, where I live.  It rained yesterday, but it’s sunny today.  It’s not warm enough for swimming – well, maybe if the pool was heated!

My Pool in the Fall

My Pool in the Fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some trees change colors, and some don’t.  Some deciduous trees keep their leaves.   Most of the trees and plants are not native to California (just like me!), so the effect can be a little strange.  It’s so wonderful, but at the same time you look around and ask yourself “where the heck am I”?

Fall - Trees and Plants

Fall - Trees and Plants

 

 

 

Even now, in Fall, something is blooming – the bush, below the trees, has little blue flowers. 

I love where I live – San Francisco Bay Area, south of San Francisco, coastal California.

 

 

 

 

 

mszv – Amarez

My avatar

My Weather Station

I wanted to get myself a treat, so when I was in my local Longs Drug Store (sells way more than drugs) I ran across an inexpensive portable weather station.  The weather station consists of two parts: a wireless thermometer that you leave outside, and an inside unit.  The inside unit displays inside and outside temperature, the date and time, and min and max temperature.  There is a backlight and an alarm feature, which I don’t use.  The inside and outside pieces can be separated by a maximum of 100 feet, 30.48 meters.

Weather Station

Weather Station

 Here is a picture of the weather station.  As you can see, the inside and outside pieces don’t register exactly the same temperature.

I put the outside device outside, near my door, hidden by one of the containers of my container garden.  The outside device will run a little warm because it’s next to a wall, protected from the elements.  I get no end of pleasure looking at the inside and outside temperative!

 

You might wonder – why do I bother?  I can open my door and see what the weather feels like.  I’m in and out all the time.  I know that, but I love looking at something that reinforces my addiction to the wonderful and magical weather where I live, the San Franciscso Bay area (not SF itself), northern coastal California.  The temperature doesn’t vary all that much, which makes it so  comfortable.  I love seeing how it cools down at night, even during the warm season.   The weather station doesn’t report humidity, but if it did, I’d see that the humidity is generally low.  I love California.

amarez – mszv