Blogs

Save Energy and Money - the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Home Energy Saving Kit
Save Energy and $$$ with the DIY Home Energy Savings Kit - Now Available for Check out! This no-cost kit contains devices that will help you easily reduce energy and water use, saving you money on your utility bills. Users can expect to save, on average, $200 per year after installing the DIY Toolkit's equipment. You get to keep: Compact fluorescent light bulbs that save energy compared to incandescent light bulbs Outlet gaskets that seal the void around your outlets and prevent heat loss Weatherstripping that keeps out cold drafts by sealing leaky windows and doors Low-flow showerhead that gently...Read more...
Clyde Arbuckle with man in cemetary
I remember standing outside of La Villa Delicatessen on Lincoln Avenue about 1977 or so, when out walks a mustachioed fellow in a kind of khaki uniform with a broad-brimmed, circular hat like a park ranger would wear. I watched him as he began to survey the scene with a kind of contemplative seriousness. I wondered who on earth this guy was. In 1978, I began working at a used bookstore on the corner of Lincoln and Franquette Avenues, near Curtner. One day this same fellow walks in, still wearing that distinctive outfit. The owner of the bookstore, Myron Wahlstrand,...Read more...
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The Cuckoo's Calling cover
My favorite genre is mystery – I love trying to figure out 'whodunit' and I especially love it if I can figure out the mystery before it is revealed. See if you are a super sleuth by picking up one of these 5forU books! Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick & Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true… What really happened to Nick's beautiful wife? The Cuckoo’s Calling by...Read more...
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Anonymous
Troy Laundry Company
Photo courtesy of Edith C. Smith Collection/Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San Jose State University As a teenager in the 1970s, I remember going with my dad one time to pick up his cleaning. That sounds pretty boring, but when we pulled up to the cleaners, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was an incredible old building that looked as though it had stood untouched for fifty years, and that was in fact pretty much the situation. The signage, the windows, the doors, the paint; everything appeared to have been untouched since the day the building was...Read more...
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A Confusion of Princes cover
Sci-fi is one of the areas where YA fiction really excels. Here are a few titles that can get you started or can feed your love of the genre. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card : Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games at the Battle School; in fact, he is engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the result of decades of genetic experimentation, Earth's attempt to make the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will...Read more...
Bossypants cover
Like many others in the Bay Area, I have a lengthy commute every day. When I get tired of listening to top forty radio, the news on NPR, or whatever CDs I have lying around my car I love listening to audiobooks. SJPL has a great collection of audiobooks for you to enjoy. Below are some humorous choices for your drive home. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris David Sedaris, an NPR favorite, is consistently hilarious. In this audio version of his sixth collection of essays he reflects on, among other things, language barriers, his relationship with...Read more...
The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns cover
Do you like to read well written books with family and relationship themes? If the answer is yes, then you may enjoy reading the following titles. The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway : Gal Garner doesn't have much spare time what with her teaching job and frequent hospital visits due to her kidney disease. What time she has is devoted to cultivating a new rose variety. Her strictly ordered life is turned upside down by the arrival of her teenage niece. The Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton : At a family picnic, sixteen-year-old...Read more...
Historic El Camino Real sign
Photo: El Camino Real marker along The Alameda in San Jose Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I was curious about the green bell poles that you occasionally see alongside our roadways. I got to thinking about them recently, and decided to research them a little. It turns out that they mark roadways that are generally considered to be a part of the original El Camino Real, or "Royal Road" ( California Historical Landmark #784 ). The El Camino Real began as a footpath to connect a series of twenty-one Spanish missions (from San Diego to Solano), two pueblos...Read more...
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David Crockett cover
I always thought that Casanova was a legendary, if not mythical, figure -- a one-dimensional Don Juan who seduced women and did little else. I found out recently I was wrong. Casanova was an historical person. He wrote a book about his adventures, and those adventures go considerably beyond a series of romantic conquests. To find out for yourself, check out our translation of Casanova’s History of My Life , as well as these other stories about adventurous lives. History of My Life by Giacomo Casanova: The colorful memoirs of the legendary eighteenth-century lover recall not only his amorous exploits,...Read more...
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Anonymous
Schurra's Candy store in the 1930s
Schurra's in the 1930s. Photo courtesy of Schurra's Fine Confections Back in the 1980s (not so long ago), I had a girlfriend who lived on Sunol Street. One end of the street meets The Alameda, and right on the southeast corner was Schurra’s Candy Factory. Walking passed the store at night, we’d put our noses near the narrow crack between the double doors near the back of the building where they made the candy. Pure heaven. We felt like Charlie Bucket standing outside the gates of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. Before moving next door to the present location, you could...Read more...
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