Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Humboldt Adventure Guide?

I was doing one of my routine checks of this morning and noticed Humguide operator, Robert Morse, seems to be trying his hand at selling books. Under the What's New category I found the Humguide Bookstore. Hmmm...that should certainly be of interest to any serious Humboldt blogger.

Looking into it a little further, I checked the Miscellaneous category and found this Adventurers Guide To Humboldt County. I figured that might be interesting. Not sure if I want to bother buying the book, though.

Scrolling down the page and looking at the two short reviews of the book, the first makes it sound ok. The second one seems to debunk the first. Perhaps the first review was written by the author? Either that, or maybe someone who's never been here?

I'll have to say that the two opposing reviews kinda make you want to buy the book, if only out of curiousity. Anyone out there ever read the book? If so, feel free to leave your review in the comment section.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Polly Endert

Polly sounds like a great choice to me. It will be interesting to see what Glass and Kerrigan have to say about her.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Monopolies: Love Them or Hate Them?

Leo Sears reminds us, in his My Word column this morning, of a couple things:

First; The tax on your phone bill that started back during the Spanish- American War has been put to rest. Most of us will be getting a refund.

Second; He reminds those of us still leasing your phones from the phone company, it's time to put that to rest. People have paid thousands over the years leasing phones when it's much cheaper to buy your own, especially nowadays.

Some of you younger folks out there may not realize we didn't always have umpteen phones to chose from and buy just about anywheres, as we do now.

It used to be there was a single phone company nationwide: Bell Telephone. Back then, when you signed up for phone service, Bell would hook you up and provide you with a phone, or phones. I believe there was a small monthly price for renting the phone, but most folks never paid attention to it as it was just part of your phone bill.

There was something kind of neat about that monopoly. Bell Telephone pretty much took care of everything, even if your phone had problems. If your phone stopped working, you'd just call them and they'd send out a service dude and he'd either fix your phone or give you a replacement. Problem solved.

For whatever reason, some people didn't like that system and some of the powers- that- be took Bell Telephone to court with the aim of breaking up their monopoly. The powers- that- be ended up winning and Bell Telephone was forced to break up into a bunch of smaller companies.

Shortly after that, and I forget just what year this was (late 70s, early 80s), we all got notices of the break up and were advised we had to either buy our telephones outright, lease them from the company, or turn them in and buy another one somewhere else. I forget what company had the rights to the phones.

I chose to buy both of mine. Back when Ma Bell, as it was called back then, was broken up, buying your own phone was something that just wasn't done. I had no idea where to get one at the time so I went ahead and bought the two I already had. I still have at least one of those phones today. I believe it's upstairs in the wife's sewing room.

I paid $70 each for the phones, if memory serves me correct, a sizeable amount of money back then. Since I couldn't come up with the money right then, they set up a payment plan and I paid them monthly for I forget how long. But then the phones were mine. Of course, that's small consolation now when you can buy a phone for $10 or $20 at any number of places.

Some people chose to just lease their phones and forgot all about it, which is what Leo Sears reminds us of today. There's no reason to still be leasing those phones when you can buy your own so easily, although one question I have is who is responsible for repairs to the still leased phone, if needed?

Whether it was better just having one company like we did with Ma Bell, or dozens to hundreds of companies like we have today, I don't know. It's certainly nice to have all the choices we have now, but I do know it's more complicated if something goes wrong with your phone nowadays.

I related the story here some time ago about a problem I had with my phones. That stupid automated line diagnosis the phone companies use now said my phone lines were fine and the problem was inside my house. I didn't see how anything could be wrong as nothing had been done to anything inside the house.

I was wondering who I'd call to check out the problem. Luckily, I saw some phone guys working on the lines outside one day. It was a holiday so they were actually looking for work for the overtime. When the guy finished what he was doing he came by and checked my phone lines. Turned out the problem was with their side of the phone line and they were responsible.

As an aside, I asked the guy if anyone else was having problems. He said the next door neighbors were actually having some problem but they were with another phone company so that was the neighbor's problem to figure out. Regardless, my problem was solved.

Thing is, if that was back during Ma Bell's reign, I would of only had to call them and they would have dealt with the problem no matter where it originated- no run around.

So better or worse without Ma Bell? Hard to say since we don't know what it would be like after all these years to still have just one phone company to deal with. We might be loving it or we might be hating it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

No More Palm Trees!

I don't care if they were En Vogue at one time. I personally think they're ugly. Well, ok... maybe not ugly, but they look out of place up here as far as I'm concerned.

Besides, the few times I've had to deal with palm trees of any kind, I've found they're really a pain to deal with. So, no more palm trees.

Of course, that's more of a suggestion. Since I'm a libertarian, what you do is your business. What I do is mine.

Oh, and that same T- S article reminds us that Nancy Flemming, not only being a fan of palm trees, also advocates turning H and I Streets in Eureka from one way into two way streets. I dealt with this here way back when I started this blog. H and I streets are fine the way they are.

If it works, don't try and fix it!

No time for extended blogging here today, or at least this morning. I have to get going.

I've spent the better part of the last four days sitting here in front of the computer. As much as I hate to say it, I need to get some real work done, so it's back into the miserable outdoors to engage in the miserable world of maintenance gardening.

I'll deal with blogging and comments later on.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Never Say Die!

Apparently some aren't as burned out on the Eureka City Council appointment issue as I am. Members of the Eureka Civic Association must be among them.

They've found an attorney that says it wasn't the intent of the framers of the Eureka City Charter to allow the Mayor the tie- breaking vote in contested council appointments- Apparently a last ditch attempt to shift the balance of power on the Eureka City Council.

Of course, he seems to think the Charter allows tie- breaking votes on any other issue.

Reminds me of gun control opponents who say The People, as mentioned in the Bill of Rights, applies to the entire citizenry except in the case of the second amendment- the one that guarantees The People a right to keep and bear arms.

Eureka resident(?), Goerge Clark, must be someone who won't let go of the issue either. He had a My Word column published in today's Times- Standard, although I was unable to find it online.

He suggests that the Eureka City Council is going against the will of people by not holding a special election to fill the city council position. He refers to the city council meeting where the issue was discussed, suggesting that the vast majority of those attending wanted a special election.

Seems to me I recall reading press reports of the meeting that said the audience seemed evenly split on the issue. Besides, that was just who showed up for the meeting and decided to stay until the issue was addressed. What about the people who left early or those that didn't show up at all?

George even threw out some anti- Arkley and anti- Marina Center rhetoric, something that's been a pleasure not to hear anywhere but some of the Humboldt blogs since the election.

I guess some people just won't let it go and, since they won't, I guess I can't either, as much as I'd like to.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Eureka Council Interviews This Week

I'll have to admit that, despite being a bit interested in the outcome, I'm getting a bit burned out on the issue of the Eureka City Council appointment and/ or special election.

That said, I'm wondering what kind of questions the applicants will be asked- the interviews being held Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Will they have a specific set of questions to be asked of all applicants or will the board members be able to shoot from the hip and ask whatever comes to mind to different applicants? I suspect it will be a combination of the two.

Regardless, the interviews should be over by Friday and sometime next week we'll see who gets Virgina Bass' nod.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ashbach Fights Back

I've been fairly impressed with the local Right Wing's newest up and comer, Jonathan Ashbach, who has yet another guest commentary in the Eureka Reporter this morning. It's not often you see younger folk like him willing to publicly espouse non- politically correct views.

He sure seems to have gained the attention of the local Left, judging by the letters sent in to the Reporter in response to his commentaries: Here's the one he was responding to today. Here's another, and yet another.

I'll have to say his first two pieces, here... and here, seemed pretty much along the lines of him setting himself up as the new local right wing mouthpiece. Heck, maybe even this last piece is, but I don't mind, probably because I agree with him.

Good to see at least one young fellow willing to come out publicly against the grain of political correctness, but it's still of concern to me what seems to be his blind loyalty to the Right. I can't help but wonder what he'd be saying, for instance, if it was a Democrat that led us into the Iraq invasion?

Still, we'll keep an eye on him. Maybe with a few more years he'll start thinking more along libertarian lines.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just Cause You're Paranoid- Part 2

I'll admit to being quite nervous when driving alongside any big truck. Here's why. I've read too many times about trucks losing their loads. This mess happened down by Ukiah. I'd have been hating it to be next to that truck when its load flipped.

Speaking of traffic, The Ukiah Daily Journal gives us a heads up on increased penalties for traffic violations, including drunk driving, that take effect January 1. Too bad they couldn't come up with a way to deal with stupid pedestrians that don't look both ways before crossing the street.

I guess I'm not the only one...

wondering about this tree on the west side of 101 down by the Avenue of the Giants. Every time I go by that tree I can't help but wonder if it's going to come crashing down on top of me.

Those quoted in the Times- Standard story do make a good point, though: It might well be no more of a danger than any of the other trees around it. After all, it's been leaning like that for longer than I've been alive.

Then again, you know what they say: Just cause you're paranoid...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A New Online Humboldt Magazine?

Probably not new. Looks like it's been around for a while. I don't recall seeing it before but I've heard the name. Humboldt County Lines seems to have been up for a while. Maybe I read about it somewhere and forgot to follow up? I don't know.

Thanks to Chris Crawford over at the Times- Standard blogs for the reminder. I've added myself to their mailing list.

More Show And Tell + Camera Stuff

Working with this digital camera is a real can of worms. Nothing seems to work as easy as it did a couple of years ago when I used it more often.

Tried e-mailing some photos from the laptop to this computer. Somehow one never showed up in my inbox. I guess I missed it. Then, I couldn't save the pictures like I did with that one of the trailer.

Yesterday the trailer pic did the same thing the first time: I Saved Attachment As...and saved it as a .jpeg on my desktop figuring it would be easiest to find that way. It never showed up on my desktop. Tried it a couple more times and it finally showed up. What's with that?

Did the same thing with the pics I downloaded this morning, except no matter how many times I tried, they never showed up. I even tried saving them to My Pictures and they never showed up there either.

In desperation, I tried sending them back to my Yahoo mailbox to see if I could save them from there. It actually worked that way. When I'd click on the file, I'd get a window asking whether to save it to a file or open it with the Photo and Fax Viewer, or whatever it's called. That's not the same Camera and Scanner Wizard my laptop has.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I'll need to get this straightened out so it's easier to deal with.
Here's some Show and Tell, or North Coast Travelogue; Addendum, if you will:

This is the "waiting room" at the Oncology Clinic. Actually more of a hallway, but they do provide chairs. Not many people there right now. Later in the day when we returned, it was almost standing room only. Nice view, though, which is where I took the picture below.

This is the view, looking Northeast(?) from the fifth floor of the UCSF Medical Center- the Oncology Clinic to be more specific. I'd actually taken another shot just to the left but I must have deleted it as I couldn't find it on the camera.

It's actually quite a view. If you could see just to the left you'd see parts of San Francisco Bay in the distance. Just to the left of that you can see the Golden Gate Bridge. Further left you can follow Irving Street, which is on the north side of the clinic, about as far as it goes to the west. You can even see the ocean from up there.

It's a pretty useful place for newbies to the city because, coupled with a map, you can really orient yourself to where everything lies in relation to each other.

This picture ended up kinda weird. I didn't think it took too well when I saw it in the camera viewfinder, or whatever that thing's called. Then, when I finally got it on my laptop, I thought it looked pretty good. Then, when I got it on this computer, it didn't look the same at all. Not sure what happened there.

Anyway, this is Connie's "Attending Physician", Dr. Kristen Hege M.D. A pretty impressive lady. She radiates knowledge, confidence and a can- do attitude.

This actually isn't her day job. I understand she's only in the clinic on Mondays. The rest of the week she's Vice- President of Clinical Research for Cell Genesys, a biotec company that's working on developing vaccines for various cancers.

I'd heard she worked for some biotech company. When I finally remembered to ask her about it, her eyes really seemed to light up. She seems quite passionate about her work.

This is the wreck we came upon on Tuesday just before noon. Can't see it too well from here, but the cab of the truck was pretty smashed up. Probably should have gotten closer but I wasn't sure when they were going to let traffic through again and didn't want to have to make a mad dash for my car if the traffic started moving.

The fire guys in the yellow suits are dumping sand, or some such, on the pavement to absorb the spilled diesel.

There, now I can delete all the pictures from my camera and go find some more to take.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Show And Tell

Finally managed to get some pictures from my digital camera using the Camera and Fax Wizard on the laptop. Here's a picture of what I came home to on Tuesday: My wrecked trailer:


Or so Hank Sims, and I'll assume others at the North Coast Journal, are saying. Looks like their pick for the appointment to Eureka City Council, Ward 2, is local gadfly, Moss Bittner.

I'll have to admit to being familiar with the name, but that's about as far as my knowledge goes. I guess I should pay more attention.

It is kind of interesting that, yet again, we have someone switching residences to run for office. Interesting if only because of the little stink that was raised about it with Larry Glass. Certainly not unusual. I get the impression this sort of thing goes on all the time.

Heraldo Rallies HCDCC Resistance

Looks like our very own Heraldo, in his quest to earn the title King of Humboldt Bloggers, is making progress. Looks like his blog has become a rallying point for at least some of those not too happy with the current Humboldt County Democratic Central Commmittee, even getting a plug in this recent letter to the editor in the Eureka Reporter. I'm sooo jealous.

Oh well. I've had my fifteen minutes of fame before. I'm sure I'll have it again.

Back To Square One...

for Meredith Lintott, candidate for Mendocino County District Attorney.

Looks like the State Supreme Court denied the Board of Supervisor's request to appoint someone as District Attorney in light of the death of the late Norm Vroman. It looks like the current appointed D.A., Keith Faulder, will be facing off in a special election against Lintott, the past challenger to Vroman. Unknown, at this point, if any new names will enter the fray.

I have yet to figure out just where the alliances lie in this race as far as what forces are lined up with Lintott and what forces are going for the Vroman (Faulder) ticket. At least I'm assuming those backing Faulder were the ones that were backing Vroman.

Then again, all I know about that race is what I've read in the papers.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

McKinleyville Mulls Fluoride

I see Mckinleyville is now considering adding fluoride to their water supply. Looks like most on their district Board of Directors are in favor of it. At least one person showed up at the meeting to oppose fluoridation describing fluoride as a "toxic poison".

I'm disappointed that personal choice in regards to the use of fluoride doesn't seem to have been brought up.

Safeway Lowers Health Costs

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Weintraub, takes a look at Safeway's employee health insurance program which, unlike nearly everywhere else, seems to have actually lowered health care costs for employees.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

LIVE...From New York It's...

what I suppose one would expect.

Except I thought there was some saying along the lines of How California goes, so goes the nation? I guess this is the other way around with us following New York City's lead.

Some of you may of heard of New York City is poised to ban the use of trans fats in restaraunts. Well, state assemblybabe, Bonnie Garcia, Republican from Cathedral City, took notice and is introducing a bill to ban trans fats from all food in California. Gee, I'll feel so much safer then.

The Sacramento Bee editorializes the issue and suggests that, rather than banning trans fats, we place a tax on all such foods to discourage people from eating them- the Fat Tax, if you will, raises its ugly head again.

They also suggest the revenue from a trans fat tax could be used to buy health insurance for children and the uninsured. Didn't we hear something along the same lines just recently?

But of course: the recently defeated attempt to raise the tobacco tax! That tax was supposed to raise money for all kinds of special interests. Not only that, in their next breath we were told how many people would end up quitting smoking because of the tax.

Interesting way to look at things: Pick a popular cause, then create tax on something you don't want people to buy to fund your cause. Doesn't make sense to me and I can't help but wonder if the Sacramento Bee was one of the newspapers that came out against the recent tobacco tax because of the exact same line of thinking being used.

Be sure to check out the Bee's editorial and the comments, as well. As always, you can use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot as the password.

North Coast Travelogue: Dec. 17- Dec 19

Headed to San Francisco again this last Sunday. With the cooler temperatures nowadays, we had to decide what to use for our beverage of choice.

We traditionally take a couple jugs of iced tea which really hits the spot on a hot summer day. That probably wouldn't go over well with it being so cold so, since I needed some kind of stimulant to keep me alert while driving, we filled up some thermos jugs with coffee.

We needed two jugs because the wife drinks decaf. I see absolutely no reason to drink coffee without caffeine so one jug was caffeinated, the other some yuppy type decaf the wife preferred.

So we stop at the Cook Valley gas station, just south of Richardson Grove, to pour some coffee. I usually wait until then to drink anything just because it gives me something to look forward to.

First thing I notice was the travel mug she brought along for me was really dirty. She said she'd washed it but it looked pretty dirty to me. I went inside the mini- mart and ended up buying a cup of coffee just for the cup.

That's when I noticed, not being a regular coffee drinker, that coffee has pretty much gone the way of iced tea. Well, almost. All kinds of yuppie versions of coffee in the various new age tastes and blends, just like iced tea.

Coffee wasn't quite as bad as at least there was one tap with good old standard blend coffee. That's all I wanted. Still, you have to look for the old fashioned stuff.

Back when we started with our iced tea habit, we found it was all you could do to find regular old iced tea. There were plenty of yuppie flavored brands in those small bottles, but plain old unflavored, unsweetened iced tea was difficult to find.

After buying that first cup, I refilled out of the thermos and found the coffee Connie made was better than what I'd just bought.

One somewhat unpleasant surprise was I'd figured the coffee would really give me a buzz. I've found coffee is quite stimulating to someone who doesn't drink it regularly. I suppose it helped a little, but not as much as I expected, and needed.

I supposed it helped me enough to make it worth the hassle of making it and I guess we'll continue with that tradition for winter travel.

I'm wondering if I'll need to add a small bottle of Windex to my truck travel supples.

I'd noticed a strange film on my windshield even before we left for Frisco. For some reason, I thought it was on the outside of the windshield. It wasn't always noticeable, just when the temperature and light conditions were right. Not dealing with it earlier became a problem as we got into southern Humboldt.

It must have been the combination of sunlight and low temperatures. The film on the window became real noticeable, to the point of being a driving hazard. It became especially bad when leaving a sunny area and entering a shady area. I almost couldn't see into the shaded area in front of me because of that film.

Luckily it wasn't like that all the time but came and went. Still, not a good state of affairs. So, when we finally stopped at the Moss Landing Rest Stop, south of Laytonville, I tried to see what the strange film was all about.

I wiped the front of the windshield with my finger and it made no impression. I didn't want to do the same on the inside because I didn't want to leave a fingerprint on the window, petty though that may seem. Instead, I grabbed one of the alcohol swabs we use to wash our hands in lieu of proper hand washing facilities. I rubbed a small spot in the center of the windshield and the film came off.

Taking a closer look, I noticed that the film wasn't nearly so bad on the passenger side. Then I realized what caused it: Me.

Working in and out of my truck as a gardener, I often get into the truck all sweaty. That sweat ends up evaporating and eventually setting down someplace, the windshield in front of me being one of those places. Once the sweat is on the window, it absorbs any number of other things in the air. I'd dealt with the problem with my old truck but this was the first time, for some reason, I'd had the problem with this truck.

We left the rest stop and for some reason I didn't bother cleaning the windshield before we left. I guess that was mostly because I wasn't sure how I'd clean it with what we had on hand. I decided, though, if worst comes to worst, I'd stop somewhere and buy some Windex.

Then I realized that the alcohol swab seem to do a pretty good job in that one spot I used it, and a roll of paper towels is always left in the truck, having learned that lesson from past experience. I decided I'd try that combination.

When we got gas in Hopland I wiped down my side of the windshield with the alcohol swab and then cleaned it up with paper towels. That did a pretty good job, at least for my side. I'd get the passenger side of the windshield later.

Next time I need to remember to clean the inside of the windows before I leave.

Oh, speaking of rest stops, while we were at that Moss Landing Rest Stop, I ran into the maintenance supervisor again. He'd told me a few months ago the rest stop in Leggett was supposed to be up and running the day after I'd spoken with him. It's never been opened.

I asked him about it and I guess it has to do with their well water. The rest stops get their water from wells. I guess back when the Leggett stop was opened before, the water had too many minerals in it, or some such, for human use. Now, it has to much shit in it, as he described it. I didn't inquire further.

Anyway, I guess they're considering putting all kinds of money into rectifying the situation. I get the impression, despite really appreciating these rest stops, that the state puts a lot more time and money into them than they merit.

They may even go further, as the Sacramento Bee (username humbolodtlib, password blogspot) reported a couple days ago. This is getting to be a bit much as far as I'm concerned.

So what is it with those of you that drive so close behind the car in front of you?

I'll admit I'm a more paranoid driver than most. I like to have at least seventy five yards between me and the car in front of me when I'm on the freeway. If at all possible I'll make that 100 yards. Sure, can't always have it like that, but I try to make it that way whenever possible.

I can't figure out some of you, though. I'll be going 65 to 70, sometimes faster,and I'll see cars following the car in front of them by no more than what appears to be 20 feet. Amazing. Some even do that behind big trucks where they can't see anything to the front of them.

I get the impression some people just drive that way all the time. I don't know if it's some deep down aggression thing inside some people or just stupidity. Some of the readers of this blog must drive like that. Could you tell me why?

I've finally solved a couple laptop problems that've been driving me nuts.

First, so many of these older hotels have the old two prong electrical outlets that don't accept the three pronged male plugs most things use nowadays. That means you have to go through a hassle of sorts deciding the best place to use the laptop. Either that, or use battery power and then move the laptop somewhere else to charge it.

I finally got a two prong adapter a couple months ago. I believe it was less than two dollars at Schafer's. Problem was, I tried to use it last time I went to SF and couldn't get my laptop AC adapter to plug into it. It would only plug in about half way. I figured maybe the adapter was defective.

I took it back to Schafer's and spoke to the salesman about a replacement. He explained to me there was nothing wrong with the adapter. They come VERY tight from the factory so you really have to push hard to get the plug in the first time. I suppose to help me save face he said "I could see how you wouldn't want to force it...".

It worked great and, for the first time at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, I was able to use the laptop at the desk instead of a coffee table or elsewhere. I'll keep that adapter in my laptop case at all times now.

Another thing that drives me nuts is typing on laptops. It's just nowhere near as easy as a conventional keyboard for me. I'd heard you could use a conventional keyboard with a laptop by getting a USB keyboard. I thought of doing that but I still have the keyboard from my very first computer sitting in the garage and would have liked to use that one as it's fairly compact.

I wondered if they had a USB adapter for keyboards. Doing a quick check of Tiger Direct I found, yes, they do. About the only downside was the adapter cost $7.99 and shipping was $6.99, so shipping costs nearly as much as the adapter.

Still, I received in time to take down with me so I was able to use it this last couple of days. What a relief it is to use a conventional keyboard with the laptop. If only I could fit that keyboard into the laptop case.

I checked regularly down there and was a bit disturbed by the freeze warnings all over the north state. I was hoping our water pipes back home wouldn't crack with no one around to turn the water off. I also wondered about the roads on our way back.

On the way down we didn't leave until 11 o'clock and I figured ice on the road wouldn't be a likely problem. In fact, the only snow we saw was in the hills above Garberville. But that was before these hard freeze warnings.

I was wondering if some of the shaded areas in the road,specifically between Willits and Laytonville might have the roads frozen even up towards noon on our way back. I didn't worry too much as I figured there'd be plenty of people on the road before us so they likely run off the road first and there'd be warning signs by the time we got there.

There actually was some heavy frost on the roadside up towards noon as we drove through the area. Then, after coming down the hill just north of Willits, we rounded a corner and were the second vehicle to come upon a big rig accident.

It actually happend some minutes earlier and there was some guy from the Covelo Volunteer Fire Dept. already on the scene lighting flares. As he came by I asked him what happened and he said he wasn't really sure. He said the truck driver was either driving too fast, was distracted, or both. The truck hit the guardrail and overturned.

I guess the driver crawled out of it and was ok, although an ambulance arrived shortly after we did.

The truck was blocking one lane and traffic was held up a half hour or so until it went to controlled traffic. No way of saying whether the accident was caused by ice on the roads but we noticed a lot of frost right down to the road from there to a few miles south of Laytonville.

It was kind of weird listening to the radio up near Garberville later on and hearing a road advisory mentioning the controlled traffic near Covelo due to the accident we'd seen.

We picked up what I guess was National Public Radio as we got around Leggett. I enjoy some of their lefty shows like Democracy Now and Counterspin for some reason.

Democracy Now had some interview with lefty icon, Naom Chomsky. First time I'd ever heard him and, I'll admit, I had a hard time understanding what he was trying to say but, in fairness to him, I was distracted by having to pay attention to the road.

When we got up past Rio Dell I started searching for something else to listen to and stumbled on to a radio show I must have passed by before.

I always wondered of there were any local talk shows around here. I know there's some political ones but, after acquiring a taste for the often sex obsessed talk shows in the Bay Area, I wondered if there was anything similar around here. I'd never heard of any although I seem to recall a guy and gal used to have some morning talk show.

It was a rather pleasant surprise to all of the sudden pick up a show with a guy and gal talking. They were talking about dangerous beach conditions and their personal experiences. It really caught my interest. Reminded me of some of the back and forth on the local blogs.

The show ended about the time we came to Elk River Road and, while I was paying close attention to hear who the talk show hosts were, (I'm assuming that was their normal type of show) the show came to an end and all I heard was part of the station designation; K?LG out of Hydesville(?). I wondered if that was our very own Jennifer Savage I'd been listening to?

Looking at her blog this morning, it looks like does indeed work for KSLG and the time might have been about right. We drove up to the house at around 2:15pm and her show supposedly ends at 2pm.

Nice show, at least from the fifteen or twenty minutes we listened to it. I'll leave the radio on that channel and see if that will be something I'll want to stick with.

I had a premonition of something bad happening, either as a result of our trip, or while we were gone. The house catching on fire, or the pipes freezing came to mind. I don't know if I feel that way every time we leave, or not. I probably do being the pessimistic paranoid type I am. But you know what they say about Just because you're paranoid...

As we drove up to the house I'm somewhat apprehensive but everything looks ok from what we could see driving down the street. Then I notice my trailer, the one I haul my mowers and stuff around with while working, is in a weird position with the hitch end over the sidewalk, like somebody moved it.

My first thought was some vandals just moved it to freak me out, as such things have happened before. As we get closer we see that's not the case. A car apparently hit my trailer. The whole back was smashed. The trailer is done for. I'm hoping this wasn't done by an uninsured driver.

First thing I notice is some notes on the front door and mailbox. One's from the girl next door saying she saw the car run into my trailer and it just kept on going. Then there was a business card from one of the Eureka PD Public Service Officers with a note on the back to contact him if I wanted to file a report.

Last was a note from some girl saying she hit my trailer. She included her phone number.

I call the girl. Apparently, at least according to her, she did stop after driving around the block, and knocked on our door but no one was home. She didn't have anything to write a note so she went to work and came back after work to leave the note.

Turns out she lives just four houses up the street and she does have insurance. She gave me the information and then called her insurance company. Less than an hour later they called me for some info.

Not sure how this will play out but I told them I can't work without my trailer. I told the guy I'm tempted to go buy a replacement, and send them the bill, just to get back to work as I have no idea how long this thing will drag out. He advised against that for various reasons but I reiterated this was work related equipment.

I also said I wasn't considering filing a claim for lost wages at this time, but if it drags out I might be forced to.

Anyway, the phone conversation was ok. I was impressed with their prompt, polite and apparently concerned response. So impressed I'll give them a plug: GEICO Insurance.

So, once again my constant worrying about bad things happening came to fruition.

But every dark cloud has a silver lining: At least I don't have to worry about going to work today.

I actually took my digital camera with me this trip. I don't use it often but figured maybe I could add a few pictures to my travelogue. Got a few, including one of that truck accident. Problem is, I can't get the pics on my computer.

I can't find the software I used for dealing with the digital camera. So, stuck for now. If I can get this figured out, maybe I'll add the pics later.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Just out of curiousity, does anyone have any ideas as to why the spammers will go after certain posts to put their spam on. For a week or so now, nearly all the spam my blog's been getting is being posted on a May 22 post.

Just wonder why they'd keep hitting the same page?

Musgrave Joins Blogosphere

Recently announced Libertarian Party candidate for state assembly for 2008, Ed Musgrave, from Arcata, has started a campaign blog. Nothing but an introduction there, so far, but we'll keep an eye on it.

Here's a place for those of you that want to ask questions of the candidate to ask them without joining his Yahoo Group.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Russo's America: Freedom To Fascism

Some of you might have heard of Aaron Russo. He's a film producer and was one of the nominees for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Candidate last time around (Hey, Hank Sims, should Presidential Candidate be capitalized?). Russo didn't make it.

Since then he produced a film: America: Freedom To Fascism. I heard of the flick some time ago but, quite honestly, didn't pay much attention as I'm not much of the movie goer. I figured I'd never get around to watching it anyway, despite good reviews.

I just saw mention of the film in Mary Lou Seymour's Liberty Action of the Week newsletter and noticed there was a Google video of an interview with Russo that shows some clips of his movie. I was fairly impressed, although I'll admit I haven't watched the whole video yet (Gotta break for dinner).

Looks like a flick worth watching. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. My biggest question: When will it be out on CD, if it isn't already?


Everybody still seems concerned with voting, even now that the Kuhnel recount is finished, Larry Hourany being one. He tries to remind us how important it was that Ron Kuhnel asked for a recount to verify the accuracy of the election.

It was interesting to read that the Voter Confidence Committee asked all the candidates not concede when "questions remain". Well, I still have one:

How would those asking for Kuhnel's recount feel if the recount showed he won by two votes- a much smaller margin than Leonard won by? Do we hold yet another recount?

Sacramento Bee columinst, Dan Walters, also seems concerned about voting today. He tells us how some people work to limit people's choices in elections.

Hey, I want clean elections just as much as most do, but forgive me for not getting too excited. The idea that politicians are a bunch of bums and everything would be better if we just replaced them with a different set of bums isn't something that really gets me all worked up.

Limiting people's choices? Now that might get me going. But the biggest problem, no matter what the choices are, is that government, whether it be a politician, bureaucrat or 51% majority vote, has way too much control over every aspect of our lives.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bob Barr "Joins" Libertarian Party?

It's something that's been bothering me for quite some time, the direction in which the party [GOP] has been going more and more toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties," said Barr, 58, a lawyer and consultant living in Atlanta. "In terms of where the country needs to be going to get back to our constitutional roots ... I've come to the conclusion that the only way to do that is to work with a party that practices what it preaches, and that is the Libertarian Party."- Bob Barr, quoted by Fox News.

Some of you might be familiar with former congressman, Bob Barr, probably best known for his role in the Clinton impeachment hearings. Barr, considered a far right wing conservative by most, spent eight years in congress before being unseated in a combined effort by various groups which included the Libertarian Party.

This doesn't come as a complete surprise to me. Despite his hard right wing views on many issues- including being a rabid drug warrior- Barr seems to have mellowed since he left office. He's now become a consultant, or some such, for the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations and seems to have reversed his position on the PATRIOT Act.

What is surprising is that he gained a seat on the Libertarian National Commmittee as a Region 4 representative which covers the Southeast U.S. and did so with with apparently little debate from the powers that be.

Why he would actually join the Libertarian Party is beyond me. The LP doesn't really have a history of being an effective tool for political success. But, perhaps that will change if more well known figures follow Barr's lead.

A couple things I'm curious about: Did Barr re- register to vote as a libertarian, assuming Georgia allows people to register as libertarians (some states don't)? I also can't help but wonder how many current members will quit because he joined and how many future members will join because of him?

Here's the Libertarian Party's press release on Barr.

Now, if we can just get some hard core lefties to join the LP, I could really say the Libertarian Party is the party that brings people together.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The LOWV Other Role

I was surprised to see that the League Of Women Voters actually serves yet another role other than sponsoring candidate debates and running the Smartvoter web site. I guess they also act as the Election Board for the Bear River Tribe of the Rohnerville Rancheria.

I get the impression, after reading this Times- Standard article, nothing is going to come of the attempt to recall their Tribal Chairman, Leonard Bowman.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Eel River To Get More Water

Something that I haven't followed very closely but have had some interest in was the water situation in the Eel River and how much is diverted to other areas.

The Ukiah Daily Journal reports today that the agency responsible for diverting water from the Eel is planning on reducing diversions by around a third as opposed to the 15% originally proposed.

I suppose this is good news for Humboldt, but the headline in the Ukiah Daily Journal article suggests it will be bad news for Mendocino County, or at least Lake Mendocino. This almost sounds like a smaller version of the Klamath Dams controversy.

Quite frankly, I wasn't even really sure what the Potter Valley Project- the project responsible for the water diversions- was, or where the dams in question were. I decided to find out and came up with this page, by the Mendocino Environmental Center that explains the water situation, from an environmentalist's veiwpoint, of course.

I'm sure other powers- that- be might have a different take on the water diversion than the Mendocino Environmental Center. I'd love to hear from them. Still, it doesn't look to me like reducing the diversion by a third will be much of a problem for anyone involved, at least for Mendocino County.

Humboldt's Budget Is "County Friendly"... least according to Humboldt County Administrative Officer, Loretta Nickolaus. She gave a budget update to the Humboldt Taxpayer's League yesterday. This, despite the county not being able to pass the countywide sales tax increase, Measure L, however long ago that was.

I don't know if this proves me right or wrong.

Back during the Measure L campaign, I suggested that, even if Measure L did pass, within a year or two we'd still be hearing from the local special interests just how badly they're suffering.

But Measure L didn't pass. So can I still claim I was right since this budget looks like the rosiest picture for the county in some years, according to Nickolaus?

I don't know that I'd go that far but, suffice it to say, the end of the world didn't come to pass with the failure of Measure L. I was right in that regard, at least for now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Eat Those Veggies...

but washing them first is always a good idea.

I'm surprised it took so long to hear a call for a federal inspection program for fruits and vegetables, the latest tainted food from Taco Bell apparently being the impetus for the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat's call for more federal oversight in this area.

So just what is the fed supposed to do? Take a sample of every vegetable picked and test it for contamination?

This is ridiculous. There's already state and federal regulations of one kind or another for food processing plants. What more can they do?

The worst part is, assuming the fed got more involved, many people will assume their fruits and vegetables are safe and might not take the common sense precautions they already do.

Interesting that the Press- Democrat points out that fruits and vegetables are second only to seafood as a source of foodborne illnesses, yet seafood is already monitored by the federal government, as the P-D admits.

I can't help but wonder if maybe we should get the fed out of messing with seafood? Hey, seafood ranks higher as a source of illness. Might there be a relationship.

Noticed this small Associated Press article in the Times- Standard this morning. Yet another foodborne illness possibly caused by seafood, this time oysters being suspect. The worst thing about incidents like this is it will cause some people to ask for yet more federal oversight.

Wash your food, folks, and thoroughly cook it. Wash your hands before handling food or eating, as well. That's your best form of protection, not the federal government.

Oh; That Fortuna Sea Products mentioned in the AP story about the oysters isn't from our very own Fortuna. It's someplace in Southern CA. Had me going there for a minute. I thought maybe there was yet another Humboldt County company I hadn't heard of.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Musgrave Starts Campaign Yahoo Group

I mentioned earlier on that Arcata libertarian, Ed Musgrave, announced his intention to run for 1st District, State Assembly, next time around. Now (give him credit for starting early) he's started up a Yahoo Group to develop "stands on my issues".

He hasn't mentioned rent control yet, something he apparently supports, at least according to his last letter to the editor, but it's still early. Most of what he's posted, so far, involves reigning in abuses of Child Protective Services and other government agencies.

If interested in seeing what else is on his mind, sign up for his Yahoo Group.

No Complaints About New Power Plant?

More in the news lately about the proposed replacement for PG&E's power plant at King Salmon.

Looks like the California Energy Commission will be holding an informational hearing on the proposal on December 18. I'd be interested in attending if only to see what kind of people show up.

I'm surprised that, as of yet, I've heard no objections to this proposal from any of the local environmental groups, much less anyone else. You'd think there'd be some objection to this proposal from at least one or two people.

Then again, it's still early.

Sommerville On News Comments

Times- Standard Editor, Rich Sommerville, comments this morning on comments being made to online news stories. In the space normally reserved for editorials, they had a number of comments made in regards the most recent police shooting that were posted online.

Unfortunately, that section wasn't made available online so, if you wanted to see the comments and can't access the Comments link at the individual story in question, you're out of luck.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Humboldt Volunteers

I was doing one of my occasional checks with Sitemeter, the outfit that runs my hit counter, to see from whence people found their way to this blog. I believe it was the first time I saw someone directed here by doing a Google search for the 570th Military Police Company, California Army National Guard. I had to check into that further.

On the search results page I simply found reference to a post I made here long ago about the 570th. Looking at some of the other things that came up in the search, I found a web page with info on California's military history. That led to a page that listed a number of the citizen militia groups that were formed in the past. Humboldt Volunteers was among them.

I'd heard of the Humboldt Volunteers before, but it must have slipped by me that this was the group that killed all the indians in the Indian Island Massacre back in 1860. I guess the outfit was disbanded the same year they were formed because of the outrage over the massacre.

You can read the account of the Humboldt Volunteers and the massacre on the California State Military Museum web page.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Times- Standard Comments Heating Up

Well, the Times- Standard's attempts at running a blog seems to have fizzled, with only our very own Chris Crawford making an attempt at regular posting there. The other bloggers seem to have given it up. But, the addition of a comments section to the T-S web page seems to be working.

I thought I'd mentioned the comments being added to their web site before. Apparently Heraldo didn't catch it, as he comments on Tazman's blog. I was almost glad to see it mentioned again, as I'd forgotten about the comments myself.

Taking a look at the link Tazman provided, I'm not so sure I'll be wanting to keep going back. Much of what goes on in the comments on the T-S web site is the same sort of thing we get here in the Humboldt blogs. The blogs are plenty enough for me to handle.

Still, if some of you want to add your comments to those developing through today's article on the Honda shooting, check out the story and scroll down to the Comments link to post your own comments.

Have we created a monster, or what?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Humble Paper Deliverer

In all the years I've subscribed to the Times- Standard I only known who delivered my paper four or five times out of the dozens of carriers I've had.

One, whose name escapes me now, used to skip my house on a regular basis, or so it seemed at the time. I had to laugh when I saw his picture in the paper as Times- Standard's Carrier of the Year (or Quarter, or whatever it was).

Then there was the one young kid, whose name I won't divulge, who seemed to just deliver the paper at whatever hour of the day he felt like getting around to it. I didn't have to much of a problem with that, except on Sundays. I, and I assume most people, want their Sunday paper in the morning, not at two in the afternoon.

He went by the wayside, just like all the rest and, quite honestly, I couldn't tell you who my carrier has been for years. Sure, sometimes they'll leave a note with the paper advising you of one thing or another, but how many people pay attention to those notes?

I did pay attention to the note that came with my paper this morning. I've printed it here verbatim, with the exception of adding bold print to a couple sentences for emphasis:

To my customer,
Thank you for letting me be your carrier. December will be my last month for delivering the paper to you. I am going to go to school down south to learn to driver truck, for CR England trucking. So I appreciate your understanding, when I was late or the paper was messed up. Sorry for all those mess up or late papers. I hope you will get a better carrier than me. I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. So the end of this year I will not be your paper deliver any more. Thank you again and Happy Holidays. Good by all

To all many thanks, You paper deliver G###### M##

I don't know how long he's been delivering our paper, but we've had few late or missing papers for the last year. I can't help but like this humble fellow.

Is it just me or does that Good by all at the end of his note make it sound like he's getting ready to off himself?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Consensus Be Damned!

Or so our very own Greg says...well almost says, in his My Word column in the Times- Standard today. It's not available online yet but I believe it's pretty much along the line of what he has on his blog.

So, I say Democracy be damned! and Greg says Consensus be damned! Can't we just all get along?

Maybe we can get together and vote on this: Should Democracy, Consensus, or both be damned? I don't know. I'll have to put up a poll here asking the question. Problem is, what if there's a tie vote?

Then we'll have to get an independent person to mediate the issue. Question is: Should that person be elected, or appointed?

Dan Walters On Term Limits

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, takes a look at another supposed fix for money and corruption in politics: Term Limits.

As always, if asked for a login, humboldtlib is the username, blogspot is the password.

Let's Get The Money Out Of Politics

I've made no secret here of my skepticism regarding so- called Campaign Finance Reform- efforts to supposedly get the money out of politics. Politicians don't need to reap direct financial benefits to take advantage of government's largesse.

Termed out State Assemblydude, Juan Vargas, gives us a current example of how legislators reap the benefits of public office even after they've left.

"Given the low level of competence among politicians, every American should become a libertarian. The government that governs the least is certainly the best choice when fools, opportunists and grafters run it. When power is for sale, government power should be severely limited. When power is abused, the less power the better."- Charley Reese

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't Just Stand There...

Get mad and DO SOMETHING!

Today's Times- Standard editorial certainly rubs me the wrong way. They're upset because of all the traffic accidents on Humboldt's streets and they want something done about it.

They go on to say that all the things we already do to try and prevent accidents don't work, so we need to get real mad and demand something else be done.

Like what?

Humboldt Bait & Tackle Shops

I was checking out this story in the Sacramento Bee (if asked for login,as always, humboldtlib is the username and blogspot is the password) on some of the problems old time bait and tackle shops have run in to around the Sacramento area. It got me thinking about the issue in regards to Humboldt.

Do we have any old mom & pop style bait and tackle shops in Humboldt. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is that B&T shop up in Trinidad, the name of which escapes me. Is that one still there? Sure, there's all kinds of places to buy bait and tackle, but most that come to mind are pretty much full fledged sporting goods stores.

Back when I fished a lot I bought bait and gear at any number of places- my favorite probably being the old Payless Drugs at the 101 Mall, in Eureka. That, of course, being before Rite Aid bought out Payless and Payless had a great sporting goods section.

Seems to me there might have been some B&T place in King Salmon at one time, but my memory could be faulty.

Anyone know of any other old time B&Ts still around or that have gone by the wayside?
I was surprised to find, a few years ago, that there was a place down at the Marina that sold live anchovies. I never knew they had something like that here. The only reason I stumbled into it was when Marc Matteoli gangpressed me into kayaking with him one day and we happened by the place while paddling around the docks.

Right on the docks, with an underwater net holding all the anchovies that the attendant would scoop out for you with her net. Looked like a fun job. The perfect one for me, although it's probably seasonal.
Speaking of old bait and tackle shops. When I stayed in Redding about forty years ago, there was this guy that sold fishing tackle at a small booth. Seems to me it was somewhere near Shasta High School.

It wasn't fishing tackle, in the conventional sense, as he only sold lures and they were all used. He was a scuba diver and would dive in the nearby lakes and recover lures that got stuck on logs and rocks. He'd clean them up and sell them.

Neat idea, but I don't know that that would work here. The salt water would probably make short work of tackle that got stuck. Any divers out there that can tell us if there's any useful tackle on the floor of the bay or channel?

Not Quite Dam Busting

I'd heard rumblings over time about the L.A. Aquaduct and it's supposed deleterious effects on the Owens Valley, but I'll admit to paying scant attention to the issue. I hadn't realized that when they put the aquaduct in, they basically diverted all the water that was supposed to go downstream. Bummer.

Looks like they finally came to an agreement and have started the water flow to the rest of the river once again, according to this article in today's L.A. Times. It will be interesting to see what the results are as even the experts aren't sure.


I had to laugh, as I couldn't agree more with this letter from Donny Carroll in today's Eureka Reporter. Oh, I suppose I could disagree just a little bit: Eureka is a unique place, but so is everywhere else.
Our very own Greg "Vote Local Control" Connors once again enters the limelight with yet another letter to the Eureka Reporter. Didn't you just have one published, Greg?

Anyway, not sure just what he's trying to say. I'll assume, after reading what he's posted on the various blogs, he's suggesting that elected leadership is preferable to appointed leadership. I have a hard time swallowing that, Greg.

It will take some work to convince me that just because someone gets elected by the 50.5% of those that chose to vote, he or she will do any better job than someone is appointed by our representatives on the city council.

Of course, those representatives might well have been elected by that same 50.5% of the people themselves!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Got Insurance...

For your car, that is?

I guess beginning October 1 the Department of Motor Vehicles has been contacting car owners in the state threatening to suspend their vehicle registrations unless they have insurance. It appears some people are buying an auto policy simply to register their vehicle, then cancelling after the vehicle is registered.

Not going to argue the libertarian case for or against mandatory auto insurance coverage here, but I can't help wonder if this will be a boon or bust for local police departments? Here, in Eureka, I was under the impression they went on an insurance enforcement campaign some years ago. I got caught up in it.

The way it is now, the insurance companies notify the DMV who does and doesn't have auto insurance policies. When you send in your vehicle registration fees, they cross check their records to make sure you have current insurance.

The way it used to be, not too long ago, was you had to include proof of insurance when you sent in the registration application for your car. For me, that usually meant just attaching the little wallet sized card the insurance company provided and sending it in along with the registration papers.

One year it didn't work for some reason. I ended up receiving a ticket in the mail for not having current registration on the wife's vehicle. This surprised me at the time, as I was pretty sure I'd sent the registration in. I was also pretty sure I'd sent proof of insurance in.

So, I went out and looked at the wife's rear license plate and, sure enough, it didn't have a current validation sticker. Hmmm...I know I sent in the registration, thinks I.

I asked the wife to find her registration and she can't find a current one. I couldn't specifically remember getting one in the mail so down I go to the DMV. They tell me that, while I paid the registration fee, I hadn't provided proof of insurance.

I believe they also told me I still had to deal with the ticket in traffic court, which I was too confused about the registration to be upset about the court thing at the time.

About that time I'd mentioned the situation to a sister- in- law and she said, "Did you staple the insurance card to the registration form? Those envelopes are mechanically opened and if the card isn't attached, and falls out, it gets lost...".

Yep, that's what I did. I just slipped the card into the envelope without securing it to anything. But couldn't they at least send me something telling me they didn't receive proof of insurance? I guess not.

I was wondering about this from the time I got the ticket in the mail. The wife's car parks eight feet or less in front of my truck. For someone to see it didn't have a valid sticker on it, they'd have to be driving by real slow looking specifically for it, and I actually remember seeing the cop drive away that morning.

I went out on the front porch for a smoke about 8am and saw a cop pull away from in front of the wife's car. I wondered what they were there for. Perhaps a problem with the neighbors? When I got the ticket in the mail about a week later I made the connection.

So, I get a printout of my insurance from my insurance babe, Janet Holmes of State Farm, and took it to the DMV. Problem solved on that end. Now I had to deal with traffic court.

I call down to the courthouse and explain the situation. The lady says I still have to go to court and it would be a fine of $110. I reiterate that I had insurance at the time in question, just didn't have the sticker on my car. She says it doesn't matter: "The Judge is very serious about this sort of thing".

One thing leads to another and I call the Court Clerk again. This time I get another lady and she says if I have proof of insurance at the time in question it's just a $10 fine and I could just come in and pay it without going to court.

I go down to pay the $10 fine. The lady in the window sounds like the first one I talked to on the phone. It probably was the same one as she tells me the fine is $110 and that's it. Pay it, or I can go to court and argue it with the judge.

I tell her to set me up for a court date as I'm not going to roll over on this like everyone else probably does. She goes ahead and sets me up for a court date.

The latent conspiratorialist in me comes out. Hmmm...cop sneaks around town looking for people that might have forgotten to put the sticker on their car, or misapplied their registration, writes them a ticket, then most of them pay a $110 fine. Sounds like a scam to me. I'm convinced I've been had by The Great Conspiracy.

So court day comes. I'm full of piss and vinegar, albeit tempered by age. I'm sure going to tell the judge. This is a bunch of crap.

We start forty five minutes late. I spend close to two hours before my time comes up. Finally my name gets called. Actually, it was the wife's name because it was her ticket.

I stand up and the judge asks me if I have proof of insurance. I say, "Yes, your honor..". I start to say more but the minute I stood up I got that old agorophobic nervousness and could hardly speak, although I tried.

The bailiff sympathetically says, "Calm down, calm down..." and motions for me to relax. The bailiff takes my registration papers to the judge. The judge looks at the papers and says, "Very well. Ten dollar fine....".

Out I went with my tail between my legs, The Conspiracy forgotten, just glad to have gotten off with only the $10 fine. Still, I can't help wonder how many people fall for the one court clerk lady's line and just paid the $110?

I also can't help but wonder how much more often people will be dragged into these sorts of hassles now that the DMV is comparing insurance vs. registration records more often. Maybe more, maybe less?

As an aside, I was ranting at everyone I bumped into about this when it was happening. A customer drove up to my house at the time and I related this scam to her. Her response: "I forget to put those stickers on all the time myself, but good to see they found a new way to make some money.".


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Like Wikipedia?

Then you might like this: Someone started a Humbolpedia, supposedly a Wikipedia but just dealing with Humboldt County.

Not much there yet. But, it's just like Wikipedia and takes submissions from everybody so have at it. When I get some time, I'll submit something. Let's just hope the nutcases in the Humboldt blogosphere don't screw it up.

Kudos to Bob Morse and Humguide for the heads up on this new site.

Kuhnel Says Recount Likely

So Roh Kuhnel says he's seriously thinking about asking for a recount? It wouldn't bother me if they did an automatic recount, as a matter of routine, when races are as close as the one between Ron Kuhnel and Jeff Leonard.

One problem with recounts, seems to me, is the numbers always seem to change every time they recount. The first Bush/ Gore election comes to mind. When do you finally say Enough?

It might be just me, but I think Kuhnel looks a lot more like someone with an agenda that 's determined to win- no matter what- by asking for a recount. It kind of cheapens his image as I see it.

Hey, with races this close a recount might go either way. Heck, with races this close the results could certainly have been different if the election were held a day earlier or later.

If it was me, I don't think I'd go for the recount, but I'm sure it's not just him. He's probably got a lot of people desperate for him to win, egging him on.

Greg has a couple polls on his blog asking about the recount. Cast your votes today!

Press- Democrat Gives Up On Campaign Reform

Something that ended up below my radar screen this last election was a cap on campaingn spending for city council races in the city of Santa Rosa. I guess the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat endorsed the spending caps earlier on, but now realize they didn't work.

I'm wondering if this will cause the P-D editorial board to be a bit more cynical about campaign finance reform in the future? Only time will tell.

Not In My Back Yard

I thought the writer did a good job covering the problems of convicted child molesters vs. the neighbors in this L.A. Times story.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The author in this Washington Post commentary takes a look at the relationship between Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats and wonders if it isn't time for Libertarians to align themselves with the Democrats.

I'm not so sure that I agree with his conclusion(s), but might agree that libertarians and liberals gain nothing by fighting over government's inevitable growth. Note I said might agree.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blue Noses On The Loose Again?

I suppose they always have been.

An item in today's Sacramento Bee about a shop opening in the Sacramento area got me to thinking about similar efforts in the past around here. In the case of Cupid's Love Boutique, the name of which isn't even on the store, some folks aren't happy that the business will be selling, among other things, sex toys and XXX DVDs.

So what's the big deal? I say leave them alone. Then again, I don't live there.
The most recent situation that comes to mind around here was the opening of T. Great Razooly's Tip Top Club on Humboldt Hill. As many of you know, The Tip Top Club is an "exotic dancing" establishment. For those of you in Arcata, that means it's a strip joint.

The Tip Top Club took over an old restaurant, the name which escapes me right now, just off the freeway across from King Salmon. If memory serves me correct, the building had been vacant for some years prior to Razooly becoming interested in it.

After much broohah, which included Libertarian T. Great Razooly being arrested for opening the business without a permit, Tip Top opened. There have been no problems to date, at least that I'm aware of.

There was an effort by people in the neighborhood to stop Tip Top from opening. I might have been sympathetic to their concerns, except it's not like a business, namely a restaurant, hadn't been in the same building before. It wasn't like a new invasion of their neighborhood.

I was also to learn later on that Tip Top doesn't even have a liquor license. What the point is of having a strip club without a liquor license is, is beyond me. Nonetheless, that's Razooly's business. I would think the place probably attracts less traffic than the restaurant there before it. The signs outside are tasteful enough. What's the problem?

I don't know that there is one, except for some folks that don't approve of certain types of behaviour.

I could see some cause for concern if Razooly was opening a Humboldt branch of The Great Alaskan Bush Company. The Bush Company is in Anchorage, Alaska- a world reknowned strip club which I've had the pleasure of visiting a couple times. A great place to hang out at, even without the girls, the only exception being the cost of liquor there.

But even with the Bush Company, it's pretty tame on the outside. What's the problem?

I'm not sure it was always that way around here, as I haven't followed it to closely. I do know, when I first moved up here in '73, the building on 5th Street in Eureka that housed the old Co- Op and previously Kacy's Supermarket, used to be a XXX book store, at least I think that's the building it was in. Maybe it was down the street a little further?

The blue noses in Eureka, along with the Eureka City Council, finally got rid of that place. I think they changed the zoning or came up with some ordinance, or some such, to shut it down. I didn't think much of it at the time and, in hindsight, did think the place was pretty tacky: A XXX bookstore with a sign, if memory serves me right, announcing such, on one of the main drags of Eureka.

Maybe no one would have bothered with them if they'd been a little more low key?

Back around then Eureka also had it's very own Head Shop, Fool's Jools. Anyone remember that one? They sold drug related paraphanelia, among other things, and were on H Street, right across from the Post Office/ Federal Building.

I paid a bit more attention to it's demise, if only because I knew at least one person that worked there. Barry Scarpellino, whose family I worked for at the time, even sang a jingle that ended up on a Fool's Jools radio commercial.

Some in the city weren't happy with Fool's Jools. Seems to me an ordinance was drafted prohibiting businesses that sold drug paraphanelia. Either that, or they chose to enforce some law or ordinance already in existence.

I was kind of irked to see that happen, even at my young age. Why not just leave them alone? They weren't causing any problems.

The Eureka blue noses were having their day back in the '70s.

I forget what year it was, but there was a big stink some decades ago over the Fortuna Theater. I forget how it happened but the Fortuna Theater became an X Rated theater (did they even have x ratings back then?).

Many residents were outraged. Police ended up raiding the theater and arresting people. Eventually, I forget the details, the X rated Fortuna Theater was closed down, never to be reopened as X rated again. I believe it is open for family entertainment, though, to this day.

One seemingly permanent victory for the blue noses, and I almost can't fault them. Do you really want the only theater in town to be X rated?

Hard to say if the blue nose's victories in Eureka were long lived, or not.

At least a couple sex shops have opened over the years. One, the Pleasure Center, on 3rd(?) Street, went out of business. It wasn't the blue noses, though, I don't think. I was told they either moved to Arcata, or, the Arcata store that was the main business decided not to bother with the Eureka store anymore.

I'm not sure when the other one opened. Good Relations (is that on 2nd or 3rd Street?) opened in Eureka. It sells sex oriented stuff. I can't help wonder if someone isn't trying to shut them down, although I haven't heard of any such movement.

Maybe the difference is they're fairly low key, despite being right out in the open. If you drive by the place I think you'll agree it's nice and low key with no one shouting sex slogans, or anything else. From what I've seen, it fits right in with Old Town, Eureka.

I'd like to think that's the key to this whole thing of the sex industries and other such things: If you keep them low key, and not right in people's faces, maybe the blue noses wouldn't get so aroused, but maybe not. That Cupid's Love Boutique, in the Sacramento Area, hasn't even opened yet and they're getting hammered.

Are You Evil?

I hesitate to even mention this one- yet another one of those tests- but I will. There's always the delete option if comments get out of hand.

This test supposedly tests how evil you are. Once again another test that's somewhat wanting, if for no other reason than some things it asked if I've done I might well have done decades ago, but would never consider doing now.

Nonetheless, my score was good enough for me:

***You Are 24% Evil***

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

How Evil Are You?

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Over

The election that is, unless any recounts are asked for.

I was thinking of not even bringing up the subject as I often take an almost perverse pleasure in avoiding what everyone else is talking about on a given day. Well, a lot of the time, anyway.

But, I felt I had to bring it up if for no other reason than to rag on everyone who was telling us the way everything would end up. This goes to show most of us don't know what we're talking about. Sure, some of you ended up right, but it wasn't because you had acquired any inside wisdom. You were just lucky...this time.

Maybe this will teach some of us to just shut up and wait for the results to be released next time?

The only question I have is whether Bonnie Neely and Nancy Flemming will kiss and make up now?

Captain Murl Online

Thanks to both Eric Kirk and Hank Sims for the heads up on this one: Eric, for a blog post which reminded me I hadn't checked out the North Coast Journal this week and Hank, for his Town Dandy(?) column where he plugged Eureka Police Captain, Murl Harpham's web site.

Being a Murl Harpham fan, I was excited to see this. He's got a whole bunch of old cop stories on there, at least one of which I'd heard before from another retired Eureka cop. They do need some editing work, though. There's some letters missing and a few wrong choices for words used.

Still, it was fun to read through his stories and I think they could be made much better with a little more work.

For instance; I think it might help if he'd be a little more specific about some locations. He tells the story of catching a burglar breaking into a safe at a business on South Broadway. It would be fun to know just what business that was, assuming Murl even remembers. If the business no longer exists, maybe something along the line of, "Where Richard Miller Honda is now...", or some such.

Anyway, fun stuff for Murl fans, but clean up the typos, Murl. Weren't you a journalist before you joined EPD? It shouldn't be that hard. If you clean it up and add some more stories, it might make a good book.

I'm about half way through the stories now. I'll get to the rest as soon as I can.