Babe the Muffler Man


Babe’s Muffler Service in San Jose has been in business since 1953. In order to attract more business, “The Muffler Man” was created in the 1960’s. There are more than 220 muffler statues throughout the United States. The City of San Jose designated Babe as a historic Landmark. The statue of Babe The Muffler Man is located at 808 The Alameda in San Jose near the San Jose Sharks hockey arena.

Hara Model Railway Museum Revisited


The Hara Model Railway Museum in Yokohama is a special place to visit.  But due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Railway Museum is closed indefinitely.  You can start off by experiencing real train driving by trying Ugotetsu (a train simulator).  Nobutara Hara, the creator, has a nice display of his HO Gauge Models.  Mr. Hara has an impressive collection and knowledge of model train history.  The Hara Museum has some very colourful dioramas or three dimensional miniature railways.  It is definitely a worthy side trip to visit the Hara Model Railway Museum.

Vote Yes on Prop 16

On November 3rd 2020 vote yes on California Prop 16 because it will allow more diversity in public employment, education, and contracting decisions due to racial and gender bias. This year the covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis has revealed the ugly truth about race and racism in this country. Today people are quite agitated and annoyed at elected officials and institutions using race as an issue to keep people divided.

Historically it was peoples protests and the African American Civil Rights Movement that led to the signing of Executive Order 11246 (Affirmative Action Law) in 1961 by John F. Kennedy that ensured that all applicants are employed, and employees are treated fairly during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. But in 1996 the victory of Prop 209 overturned the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin for education, employment, and public contracting. This proposition was created due to the backlash against the growing population of people of color. Unfortunately twenty four years later in 2020 California is one of nine states that that still bans affirmative action in education and in the workforce. But states with affirmative action give more public contracts to people of color small businesses.

Racism and racist attitudes still exist in 2020 as evident in the opposition to Yes on Prop 16, as well as, police brutality and violence against African Americans. Opponents deny and refute the existence of racism and discrimination as it relates to our country and society. These narrow and short-sighted attitudes will only keep people apart and divided. But recent demonstrations for social equity and justice are strengthening and opponents know social change is coming.

In higher education Latinos make up over half of our state’s public school students but just 25 percent of University of California undergraduate students. The Asian American admission rate at UC Berkeley is currently at 21% down from 30%. And women in California earn less than 80 cents for every dollar white men make – and for women of color and single moms it’s even worse.

Passing Proposition 16 is a seed to begin dismantling structural racism and sexism in our society. We can only hope in the future that all people can be treated equitably and fairly rather than becoming marginalized or disenfranchised people.

Edogawa River Shibamata

Edogawa River is a large river that flows between Tokyo and Chiba. Many people enjoy the riverbank near Shibamata which features long bike or walking trails, baseball and athletic fields, nature, and vast park-lands. In the summer the popular Edogawa Fireworks Festival is held in nearby Shinozaki Park. Shibamata is also the hometown of fictional character Tora-san. There have been 48 Tora-san movies and he has been called Japan’s most beloved loser.

Laundromat Mural



The laundromat mural was painted in 2017 by local San Jose artist Samuel Rodriguez. It is a mural of Sam’s daughter and it is located at Kiem Service Laundromat at 349 East Empire Street in San Jose Japantown. The mural was coordinated by Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahn of Empire Seven Studios (E7S). Sam is a self taught artist in San Jose through graffiti art but later he developed a ‘Topographical Portraiture’ and ‘Type Faces’ style and showcases his style in community activities and work. He displays his work at many public art spaces, museums, companies, galleries and in editorial publications.


Marunouchi Line Tokyo

marunouchi line


The Marunouchi Line is a subway line in Tokyo. It’s route is between Ogikubo Station in Suginami-ku in west Tokyo then running eastbound through Shinjuku, after that it runs through Tokyo Station eastbound, it finishes at Ikebukuro Station near the Yamanote Line. The Marunouchi Line was built after the war and was completed in 1954 and was named after the Marunouchi district near Tokyo Station. It is the one the most busiest and crowded of the subway lines in Tokyo and runs both below and above ground. The subway has a unique third-rail electric system and it’s cars are only 18m per car. Recently in early 2019 the new red colored 2000 series trains came into service with lower power consumption and wheelchair and stroller access.


Dance of Peace San Jose

dance of peace san jose

The banner Defund, Demilitarize (Black Lives Matter) was created and raised up by Khalilah Ramirez and her group The Dance of Peace in San Jose on June 9th 2020 in front of San Jose City Hall. Khalilah Ramirez is the creator of performance art called The Dance of Peace and its purpose is to effect inner light, joy, and peacefulness in people. She is an artist, educator, and author based in San Jose and works with groups such as Silicon Valley De-bug, Sangham Arts, and San Jose State University. Khalilah Ramirez and her members Calia Kammer, and Sharat Lin danced in front of San Jose City Hall for their performance. Sharat Lin said the banner’s purpose was for “Peace and love for the community, instead of police brutality and killings” as it relates to the recent George Floyd killing and protests.