Saturday, April 19, 2014

Top 15 Small Cities In California

Cities Journal has come up with their picks for the top 15 small cities in California. Arcata is number 15. Healdsburg (yuck!) gets #1. They seem to be taking the yuppie approach in their grading. Still, I was surprised to see Dunsmuir #14 and Montegue #7 among their choices. 

My pick would be Catalina Island's, Avalon #11. Spent less than a week there as a kid but loved the place. They don't mention that the water around Avalon has been rated the most polluted in the state- their aging, leaking sewer system being the cause.

Funny that I consider Arcata a town, but Eureka a city. Wonder where you draw the line between calling a place a city as opposed to a town?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Facebook Selfies

I'm just asking: Am I the only one that thinks it's weird when people put multiple pictures of themselves on Facebook? Three people come to mind that put one picture or another of themselves- often multiple times a day- on FB. I think that's weird. I'm not referring to old family type photos. I talking about current digital photos.

Do you do that? Do you think it's kind of weird?

LPs On The Comeback?

That's Long Playing, for younger folks who might never have seen or heard of one. That's what we used for music back before tapes and then CDs. As I recall there were three different speeds of vinyl records back then: 33 1/3, 45, the 78. I'm pretty sure just the 33 1/3 one was considered an LP. The 45s just played one song on each side. I'm not sure I ever had a 78.

The Times- Standard reports music store owners claim sales of old vinyl records are starting to climb. The San Jose Mercury News says the same. Can you even buy an old record player anymore? I actually have an old turntable, cassette player/recorder and radio out in the garage I still use today, but I haven't tried records on it in decades. I can't remember the last time I saw an actual record player for sale in a store.

As far as any supposed comeback goes, I don't get it. Records could be problematic to keep and use. Leave them in the heat too long and they warp. Get a scratch on them and they don't play well, or at all. Once you got a scratch, there wasn't much you could do about it. 

I'll miss one thing about vinyl records, though, at least with the LPs: The covers. The covers had their own unique photography and art on them, often with all sorts of information about the band and the music. Those are a treat to see even today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Hen In The Fox House

Kind of a kumbaya can't- we- just- get- along commentary by former Fox News leftie talking head, Sally Kohn. She thinks those nasty right wingers that most lefties hate are pretty nice folks:
"My time at Fox News was marked by meeting and working with some of the kindest, smartest, and most talented people I've had the pleasure of meeting in life. As I said in my TED talk, Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet – and even now that I've parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor."

How sweet. Yes, I mean that, and I'm sure Hannity is a swell guy in person. I have a hard time with his partisan screen persona. He's one of the reasons I rarely watch Fox News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Invasion Wagers

Traffic Problems:Everybody's Fault

I thought this San Francisco Chronicle commentary on the city's traffic hazards- both vehicular and pedestrian- was nicely done if only because it was so even handed. I'm not sure I would have been so nice. Be fun to try and write something similar about those walking and driving in Eureka.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Freddy Mourns KXGO's Demise

All good things must come to an end but I still can't get used to radio station KXGO being gone. I enjoyed having it as an alternative when my usual stations, KHSU and KMUD, go on the geek. Both of them switch to goofy stuff at the same time on weekends so I'd usually switch to KXGO until Monday.

Been working the dial to find a suitable substitute. All the stations I've been finding just don't cut it. The wife listens to 95.5FM and suggested that one, but that's all San Francisco music. Hate that stuff.

Anyone have any suggestions?

N.Y. Times Does The Yurok Language

The New York Times has a story about attempts to save the Yurok language. Eureka High School and at least one familiar name- Susan Masten- is mentioned.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Government Hitting Kids for Debts?

It's hard for me to make heads or tails out of just what's going on here. According to this Reason magazine article, at least one U.S. government agency is going after deceased person's kids to collect debts they claim the deceased owed the government. It seems they're hard pressed to even probe the debt existed. 

Not good, especially if the tendency for government policies to expand not just in practice, but in scope, continues.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting Lost

A 66 year old man was found by sheriff's deputies after having become lost. He wasn't too far off the beaten path. I have to think there were other contributing factors. After all, the guy would only have to keep heading west and eventually he'd find some road, even if he had to walk all the way to 101.

I did a lot of backpacking in my teens and early twenties. I was often by myself and never came close to where I felt I was lost except for once, and I was a bit more off the beaten path than that guy was.

I headed up to the Marble Mountains back in the early 80s. It was still early in the year but I figured I could make it to Monument Lake. That's not too far a walk- maybe a couple hours? I worked graveyard shift that night, then drove all the way up there- past Some's Bar in Hoopa- the next morning.

I got up to the Haypress Meadows trailhead and started in. I'd been there before so figured it's no big deal. Once I got to the actual Haypress Meadows, though, I could see small patches of snow. As I turned northeast(?) from the meadows, there was more and more snow. It got to maybe a foot deep as I made my way toward to trail to Monument Lake.

I'm not sure I was even as far at the bottom of the trail to the lake when I figured the snow was too deep so decided to turn back. I wasn't worried even though I couldn't see the trail. I figured I'd just follow my footprints in the snow. As I started back and crossed a small creek, it got weird. 

Where are my footprints??? I thought I'd crossed the creek right there and I should see my footprints on the other side of the creek but they were nowhere to be seen. No worries. Must be just a few feet downstream. I looked around a bit but, nope.

Uh, oh! I looked around and didn't really recognize anything, despite having been there before. The snow was screwing me up. For a fleeting moment I felt the panic we're told to try and avoid when lost. 

I told myself to calm down. It was fairly warm out, even at night. I had plenty of food, a compass and a map. Besides, I really wasn't that far from the trailhead, but that didn't help much when I couldn't find my trail.

What probably saved me from really losing it is telling myself if worse came to worst, if I just headed south, eventually I'd hit a river or the highway. No biggie. I'll get out of this, but where the hell are my footprints/

I walked a short distance further down the creek and finally saw my footprints maybe 30 or 40 feet from where I thought they should be. Whew! How did that happen? I quickly walked back to Haypress Meadows where I set up camp for the night and walked out the next morning.

That's my almost got lost story.

Bulk Trash Removal

By that I mean disposal of "bulky items", such as mattresses or washing machines. This morning's Times- Standard article doesn't make it clear that if you live in Eureka or Arcata where garbage pick up is mandated, part of the deal is they'll pick up bulk items for free. 

I don't know about Arcata but in Eureka they'll pick up two items a year at no additional cost. In Eureka, just call 442-5711 to schedule a pick up. Not sure who to call in Arcata as it's not listed on the Recology site.