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A mosque in San Jose that's about a 20 minute drive from my house received hate mail yesterday.

There's something kind of surreal about a letter that begins, "To the children of Satan," with the "i" dotted with a cute little circle. There's nothing else funny about the letter, though. The writer promises that Trump "is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews."

It just so happens that the Evergreen Islamic Center, which received the letter, is fundraising to complete the construction of a new masjid (mosque) right now. I've sent them a small donation and a message of support, and I think it would be wonderful if other San Jose residents did the same to show that Muslims are welcome in our community.


Jan. 9th, 2011 05:00 pm
wshaffer: (mini-me)
Just had a really fun experience buying new running shoes down at the Running Revolution in Campbell.

When I first decided to try out running, I bought myself a pair of running shoes on sale at, not wanting to invest a lot of money in running shoes when I wasn't sure if I was going to stick with it. The shoes ended up working out better than any pair of shoes bought sight-unseen over the internet had a right to, but I always wondered if I could do better with a properly fitted pair of shoes. Running Revolution does a whole biomechanical analysis to help you find the right shoe, so I decided to go check them out.
Short version: I have awesome new shoes! )
The Environmental Working Group just released a report saying that tap water in many U.S. cities has high levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium. #5 on the list of cities with the highest concentrations? San Jose, CA, the city whose tap water I consume every freakin' day. California has proposed, but not yet enacted, a safe limit for hexavalent chromium of 0.06 ppb. San Jose's water has slightly more than 22 times that amount.

We do filter our tap water in various ways, but I don't think any of them involve reverse osmosis, which appears to be the reliable method for removing hexavalent chromium.

I'm not entirely clear yet on how much I should be worried about this. I'm not certain that drinking tap water contaminated at this level exposes me to more risk than any number of other things I routinely do each day. But I'm not pleased.


Nov. 16th, 2007 11:03 am
wshaffer: (ace)
Daniel, I, and [ profile] obadiah went to see Carmina Burana performed by Ballet San Jose last night. Great fun. I think that's the first time I've ever heard Carmina Burana performed in its entirety (as opposed to the bits that people are always sticking on film soundtracks). The ballet was quite good, too - very different from other ballet that I've seen. (Which isn't saying much, because I can count the number of ballet performances I've been to on the fingers of one hand. Still. I liked it. I ought to get out to these sorts of performances slightly more often.)

We had a nice dinner beforehand at E&O Trading Company in downtown San Jose, who deserve a plug for not only having tasty food, but for going out of their way to make sure we were served quickly when we told them we had a bit of a time crunch. (I had cleverly picked a restaurant for us to dine at that turned out to be closed, so we had to scout around for an alternative, which left us short on time.)