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August 31, 1999 2000PDT

Was at the San Jose Historical Museum down in Kelley Park last night, sitting in an unadorned room with red walls for an orientation; the small crowd mostly elderly. Another volunteer deal Susan's talked me into, this one's a fair and antique car show to be held on the Museum's grounds in about three weeks; a Saturday afternoon and evening. This is a place where they've moved or built several old buildings, many renovated to their nineteenth-century splendor - a trolley even drives around among them on a short loop. Looks like my task will be maneuvering through the festival in a golf cart, replenishing booths with ice and water.

As the meeting began I was given a raffle ticket, and instructed to deposit half of it in a clear plastic box; when the event was ending my number was drawn first but I made no response. Eventually another ticket was drawn, and the winner handed an envelope which seemed to contain two restaurant gift certificates. Much hoopla was made of the similar drawing to occur during the actual fair; a local BMW dealer's donating a new vehicle, I think the two-seater model which looks like a pumped-up Miata. Only 600 tickets will be sold for $100 each, all monies go to charity donation and I'm wondering could my luck with this group hold? If the car's undesired the winner can claim $30K instead, which would probably only be fifteen after taxes but still a nice piece of free money.

On my way down I paused at the Cupertino Yaohan for a small tray of take-out sushi; at that late hour its price was being marked down. You buy these from one of the little "other" shops arrayed to either side before the actual supermarket checkout chutes - most of the stores in this chain feature this layout and a few of them (especially the flagship in Torrance down in LA) have so many they resemble miniature malls. All the shops are Japanese, about half sell fast food, like noodles and bento; the others have stuff like videotapes for rent, tea, and ceramics. Away to the left, beyond the tables for eating in, one can find the ubiquitos Kinokuniya book store, through its separate entrance. I ducked into the toy store to check on availablity of Neon Genesis Evangelion gear; they did have a black T-Shirt featuring three of the main characters

five cartoon heads
but I almost alway avoid message T-shirts (especially the non-silk-screened type with those icky plasticy-feeling iron-ons) and this was no exception. The toy store within the Yaohan is always overloaded with the current faddish objects from Nihon; now, of course, that's Pokémon; but for some reason they also had a bunch of shiny Sanrio products. The videoplace across the aisle did have something Neo-Gen: some nice posters which were obviously promotion decorations, and not for sale. Outside, sitting in my car with the door ajar, munching, reading, and listening to the classical music station, I glared over at the adjacent Hawaiian Delight store - why can I never seem to be here when it's open? Peering in through the windows I see a circular rack of tasteful, brightly-printed clothes, a wall of large glass jugs containing - candy, perhaps? And more bottles on shelves in the back.

Riding my bike home from work today, just before I entered the tunnel where the 85 freeway passes over Stevens Creek I noticed a large white bird flying along with me over to the left. Thought it might maintain its path above the creek through the tunnel, but instead it angled up and flew away - first assessment was swan but the neck was kinda short, so now I'm guessing egret. Entering downtown Mountain View I paused at Susan's computer shop and hung around for almost an hour, letting her interrogate me. I'm really enjoying our sessions together; she's somebody I feel I can say just about anything to. Naturally she was eager to learn the details of my date with the English Girl, since she set up the dinner where we met.

I've successfully talked Tony into an aerial reconnaissance of Burning Man on Labor Day. He'll pilot one of those single-engine planes he's learned to fly, and I'll be in the other seat playing navigator (with a GPS unit) and taking pictures. Arrival isn't guaranteed, weather and mountain flying may force an abort, or worse - we'll be refueling going and coming in Nervino, Nevada, about 2/3 of the way between here and Black Rock City. Now that the event's started daily reports are available at the website - I found this image to be especially intriguing.

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