Sunday, July 26, 2015

Returning Library Books

A lady writes to the Times- Standard about her vandalized library book. Apparently she had a friend return it for her. The friend gave it to the guy in line in front of her as he agreed to return it. She ends up getting a bill for $20.00 from the library for a wet book. How that happened, who knows, but she should have just used the drop box as a comment to the letter suggested.

That reminds me of my own returned book story from back in the early '80s. That was back when the library was in the basement of the courthouse where the Court Clerk's office is now. I used to go in there fairly often.

I'd gone back in to get more books and return one I was done with. Back then, when you'd have a book to return, you'd just set it on the front counter where there was a sign saying to leave returned books. I dropped the book off, then went to look for some other ones. There was a librarian sitting within four feet of where I left the book.

Next time I went in, the librarian dude tells me I have a book overdue. It's the one I left on the counter last time. I told him I set it right on the counter where I was supposed to and he was sitting right there. He said they had no record of it being returned but seemed as if he believed me. I even went to where it was on the shelf in case someone had put it back and just missed recording it. Nope. The book was nowhere to be found. Somebody must have taken it.

I guess the guy believed me. They never charged me for the book.

The name of the book? I believe it was External Security and dealt with retail security and ways to stop thieves from ripping off stores.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Washington Post Does Bees

The Washington Post has a story on Colony Collapse Disorder of honeybees similar to the one I posted here a while back. It's no surprise to see a couple comments to the story suggesting the story is some sort of conspiracy by the Koch brothers, just as we read here. 

More reinforcement for my claim that people believe the "science" that fits their ideology and overall worldview. It's a glass half full vs. glass half empty, or worse, depending on what role private industry has in the issue.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lost Coast Outpost Radio News

I listen to KMUD radio while driving around at work. After beer o'clock, while out in my garage, I listen to whatever that 105.5 FM station is. The Lost Coast Outpost does a super brief news announcement every half hour or hour on 105.5. What gets me is it's always the same story- someone gets arrested, or a big pot bust, over and over.

I can't blame them for my probably having read that same story online. I do wonder if they have to always feature the same story probably four times the whole time I'm listening. They usually have more than one story on their web site. Can't they or the radio station feature more than one?

Rant over.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Lost Dog

I told myself I'd never play the Good Samaritan with lost dogs again after an experience I had years ago. I couldn't help myself yesterday. 

I was out on the sidewalk by my truck when a golden retriever type of dog showed up a few feet away on the corner. He was skittish and seemed confused, darting back and forth. He came closer and then started to run out into E street. This was just before 4pm when there's a lot of traffic. I called to the dog and got him to come back to the sidewalk. Then I grabbed a dog biscuit from the truck and coaxed him close enough to grab his collar.

Sweet dog but seemed frightened. I found a couple phone numbers on a tag on his collar. I tied a nylon strap I had in the truck to his collar and tied the other end to the water faucet pipe by our front porch. I tried calling the numbers on his collar. No answer on one, voice mail message on the other. I left a message. 

Didn't get a call back right away and had told myself if I don't get one I'm letting the dog go once the traffic on E street calms down. Perhaps he can then find his own way home? Then I tried calling animal control and see if they could come get the dog to hold him until we can find the owner.

I guess Eureka doesn't have any dog catchers anymore. Phone book said to call the County Animal Shelter. I called the Shelter. A waste of time. Got some recording that eventually told me to call a number if my situation wasn't one of those mentioned. No mention of what to do if you have a found animal, or maybe I missed it? I called the other number, which turned out the be the Humboldt Sheriff's Office. Another recording saying to call 911 if it's an emergency. For other business call back between 8am to 4pm. Waste of time again.

By this time I figured the owners must have gotten my one voicemail, but I tried again, desperate. I don't want to let the dog go, but it's not spending the night here. Been there, done that. I called my neighbor Julie. She might be able to help, and might be able to recognize the dog as the one in the enclosure at a house a block away. I wasn't sure.

Julie comes right over. She doesn't recognize the dog. She sends a text message to one of the numbers we'd been calling. I'm hinting at putting the dog in her enclosed back yard. She won't fall for that but takes a picture of the dog to post on the Nextdoor Neighborhood web site, then leaves to go post it.

Maybe 15 minutes later my bum nephew comes over and doesn't seem happy with seeing the dog in my garage. That motivates him to call one of the numbers we had, again. Lo and behold, someone answers. She'd just got home from work and didn't know if her dog was missing. She checks and says she'll be right over. Within five minutes she comes and gets the dog. I asked her where she lived. Yep. Huntoon and F Streets. That was the dog after all.

I got my tablet and checked the Nextdoor Neighborhood web site. The announcement and photo of the lost dog was already up. I made a quick post that the owner had been found. Problem solved. All's well that ends well.

Update: Just after 8am this morning I got a call from the Animal Shelter. I'd forgotten I'd left a message. I guess they are there, but only from 8 to 4.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staples Moving To Bayshore Mall

The Times- Standard reports Staples is moving to the Bayshore Mall after being at Eureka Mall for who knows how long. I'm betting they don't last long there and can't understand why they'd want to move. Not too big a deal to me personally as I rarely shop there. This almost guarantees I won't be going there even that much.

Supes Dealing With County Pension Problems

The Times- Standard did a good job explaining the county's employee pension liabilities. It's good to see the Board of Supervisors have publicly recognized the problem and are considering action to deal with it. Establishing the trust fund to help pay the debt sounds the best to me. 

Next question: Has the City of Eureka been doing anything to deal with their pension debt?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Normal" Local Temperatures

Today's Times- Standard looks at recent temperatures, focusing on global temps and records. While I suspect they're trying to tie into the global warming thing, I have gotten the impression the summer temperatures here in Eureka have been above average for at least the last two years, this summer being the third. They do mention local temps: 

“We were above normal, but only a tiny bit. And I think for July so far, for Eureka, we’ve been pretty close to normal too,” said Eureka National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Carroll.
Carroll said the average high for June was 0.1 degree below normal and the average low was 1.3 degrees above normal. Overall average temperatures for the month of June were 0.7 degrees above normal, Carroll said.
“We didn’t set any record highs for June here in Eureka,...”.

Only a tiny bit? I've lived up here 42 years. Maybe my memory is faulty but seems to me summers are normally more than a tiny bit cooler than this. I was telling a customer the other day that the average summer temps in years past seemed to be between 55 and 60, with going up to 65 or above being a heat wave. That's not to say it hasn't been warmer on occasion. I'm referring to the norm.

I pointed out to the customer that the last 2 or 3 summers have seemed abnormally warm, with temps in the high 60s to low 70s being common. Is it just me? The customer seemed to agree, but she might have been just being polite. What say you?

Monday, July 20, 2015 Gas Price Petition

When I first read of this new petition on, I figured it would be something blaming greedy corporations for recent spikes in gas prices. Nope. This one asks the powers that be to ease state fuel mandates on production of gasoline that cause gas shortages and higher prices. Those mandates cause higher prices all the time. Why not ease them to keep prices down while state refineries are having production problems.

Virus Scan Advice

I use Avast anti- virus and have found a number of viruses on my computer through the years. Now I'm wondering how many I might have missed?

I don't remember if it does it every time but, after doing a full system scan, if Avast finds a virus it often recommends restarting the computer and scanning on startup- a boot scan. Some time ago I went ahead and followed their advice only to cancel it after a few minutes. It took too long.

Yesterday, after the old Win32.Adware virus was found, it advised me again to do a boot scan. Since I had time, I went ahead with it, not really expecting anything to be found. Nope. All kinds of stuff in there.

I kept checking on the progress, but was getting bored with it after about ten minutes. Boot scans take longer as they're slower and more deliberate. I was about to cancel again when it found another virus- the same kind it had already found in the earlier scan. It then gives you a bunch of options for dealing with it. I chose Fix Automatically, or whatever that option was. I realized later I should have chose Fix All Automatically so I wouldn't have to sit there and do it over again.

It kept on going, eventually finding six other different viruses. After a while it stalled on yet another one. I can't recall the message but something about a file being corrupted and it couldn't deal with it. At that point, since it didn't seem to be scanning anymore, I cancelled the scan and downloaded Malwarebytes which is supposed to be able to get rid of that last one. The others were all sent to the virus chest where they can't do any harm.

Funny thing was, I had no idea anything might be wrong with the computer aside from one small thing I don't think was related to any virus. But that was enough to remind me to run a scan again. I'm wondering if maybe I should just do the boot scan instead of the standard full system scan from now on?

If you've been ignoring boot scan prompts, I advise following their advice.

Update: Installed and ran Malwarebytes as it's supposed to be able to get rid of the Hupigon-ONX trojan- seems like a bad one from its description. Malwarebytes didn't find it but came up with three other suspicious files. I think that happened when I used Malwarebytes before. They're quarantined and I can always bring them back if something isn't working right.