Competitive Panhandling

Unless you just arrived from Mars, odds are high that you have see the panhandlers working the off-ramps. It is a pretty simple scam. Look scruffy, carry a sign with a sob story, and make eye contact with the drivers waiting at the light. While there might be some seriously needy people, the vast majority of them are completely a scam.

Oh, yeah, some will have heartbreaking stories, but take note of how many of the pan handlers look pretty well nourished. Hmmmm.

Of course, "good" corners are popular, and that can lead to panhandler fights. Yesterday, on my way home, there were two groups of beggars arguing rather loudly, and threatening each other with knives.

I guess there is competition in all human endeavors.

(for the record, your donations are far better given to one of the organizations who help the homeless.)

Apartment Living – Communal Trash

The continuing saga of apartment living; today we will talk about the common trash area.

The complex has three parking lots, and in each parking lot has a common trash collection area. Three large trash bins, and one recycling bin. One would think that would be sufficient capacity. And they would be, if all was normal.

Fortunately, the pickup happens 3 times a week, so roughly every other day the trucks come.

 

Almost as soon as the the dumpsters are empty, the vultures move in. First to fill up is the recycling. Unfortunately the tenants here when they move, often jettison unwanted furniture and appliances. Straight into recycling. So by noon, the bin is full. Then they move to filling the trash dumpsters.

Alas, by late afternoon after the pickup, the trash bins look like the picture at the top of this post.

Then two things happen. First, there are some pros that come by to dump more. I see the same green older Chrysler minivan dump furniture and appliances. Overloaded to the max.

Second, the scavengers come. They pawl through the recycling looking for things with value (aluminum cans, metals for recycling, etc.) There are at least three different waves I see. Competitive recycling at its finest.

Then within 2 days, it all begins again.

I will say one thing, the maintenance staff of the apartment do a pretty efficient job of keeping it orderly, and as clean as possible. It is a daunting task.

Relocation: The Commute

Recap: I have been relocated to the San Jose area after living in Arizona for 11+ years. I grew up here, so I am not too shocked at what we have come back to. Today I will offer my observations of the commute, and the drivers, particularly how they have changed in the last 11 years.

When we left California in 2003, we lived in a small condo in South San Jose, near 101 and Bernal Road. I was fortunate that I worked at Cisco then, and I was able to ride the Light Rail end to end. About 45 minutes, restful, and it was paid for by Cisco.

Alas, I am not so lucky this time. We are not far from where we used to live, but I work in a pretty unaccessible spot by transit (well, not inaccessible, but it requires at least two bus legs and a lengthy light rail trip). Shortest travel time is 1:56, the most convenient connections is 2:17 in transit. And my employer doesn’t pick up the monthly pass.

Bollocks

Read moreRelocation: The Commute

Apartment Life – the less pleasant bit(s)

I forgot how much “fun” it was living in close proximity with a wide demographic. That was brought back into focus last night around 11:40.

The master bedroom is facing the street (boo) but it also is over the little patio we have on the back. At about 11:40, there was a bit of a family feud going on. Drunk Boyfriend was yelling at the kids. Something about not putting something else away or some such crap. Yada yada. Then the mother gets into it, and off to the races. It turns into a monster screaming match until almost 1:00AM.

No physical violence, but enough 4 letter words and motherfuckers to peel paint.

Sigh

Reminds me of the Condo’s we lived in back in 2003. South San Jose near Bernal and 101. Not a bad place, and we owned (I don’t think there were too many rentals there).

Our neighbor across the walkway was a single asian-american woman, real nice person when we talked to her. But she played the field. There were at least 3 boyfriends who would come and spend the night. And every Sunday morning there would be a fight. We used to call it “Sunday Morning Fights” and listen in while we were eating breakfast.

This was different, yet it was the same.

I have to remember that we are renting, and as such are transitory here. As is every other tenant.

Still, I am saddened by the argument last night, and hope it doesn’t repeat. Alas, I will not be surprised to have it replay frequently.

Apartment Living Part Deux

Settling into apartment life is interesting to say the least. There are benefits and detriments of course in the life. This episode I will be just have some random observations.

The people

We are lucky that all our neighbors are pretty friendly. We wave and say “Hi” and they all say “Hi” back. This is easy for us, as we generally try to befriend our neighbors wherever we are.

Read moreApartment Living Part Deux