Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DSL Outage? No Blogging Today

Did it just happen to me? Got up at five this morning and turned on the computer. Couldn't connect to the internet. Rebooted and checked the computer and still couldn't connect. DSL modem showed everything working so I tried connecting using dial- up. Nope. That didn't work, either.

Even tried using the laptop, although at that point I was pretty sure it wasn't a problem on my end and, as I suspected, got nowhere with that.

So what do you do when you wake up and your morning routine is ruined? I needed to wash the dishes and I suppose I could have but I'd have had to turn on the lights to do that. I gave up and about 5:45 went back to bed. Had fun snoozing but finally got up at around 6:45 and gave the internet another try and it was up and running.

Problem at that point was I was two hours behind schedule so I had to condense my computer work schedule. Most important thing each morning is entering my sweepstakes. That takes from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

Did a brief news check and then zipped through my sweeps.
I'm running two hours late. Didn't have time to check out all the blogs or do any lengthy blogging myself and no way I'll be able to fly my morning hour up in Aces High. I need to get to work, especially since the month is almost over.

So, for my blog post today, I'll post something in the spirit of Eric's Sohum Parlance movie posts. See if you agree with what
this guy says are the 100 scariest movie scenes. Too bad the guy couldn't have provided video clips of all of them.

I didn't have time to check out more than five or so but I'm sure I could come up with some scarier ones if I gave it some thought.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CPR: M.I.A.?

Rich Somerville writes about his weekend get together with Times- Standard readers in his column today. He says, towards the end of his column, that a "couple bloggers from the Eureka Standard..." were there and he's looking forward to their take on the meeting.

Hmmm...I assume he's referring to our very own Carson Park Ranger, yet no word at all on his blog regarding the meeting. In fact, the last post there was made on May 18. Did Joel throw in the towel and give up on his blog?

Let's hope not.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Niche Food Industries For Humboldt

I've lived up here over 30 years and I believe this is the first I've ever heard of hagfish. But this is pretty neat. One of those niche industries that some in Humboldt will be able to take part and profit in. Hopefully this will continue to work out.

Reminds me of a suggestion I heard maybe 25 or 30 years ago during a national guard drill. I believe it came from Steve Gallant (does he still work at the veterans affairs office in the courthouse?).

He was hanging around the armory smoking and joking and suggested that banana slugs might be the perfect food export. After all, the folks in asia might just love them. Of course, he was just having fun at the time.

Maybe he was actually on to something though? After all, the Koreans apparently like hagfish, something I don't know of any Americans having an interest in. Maybe someone could come up with a delicacy- type recipe, or two, for banana slugs? We've got millions of them here in Humboldt.

I don't know: Fried... boiled...raw? Not something I'd want to try but those on the pacific rim aren't as intimidated by strange food ideas as so many of us are. They might really fall for them.

I think it would be worth a try. Who wants to take the first shot at this? No need to consult with me about it, unless you want to. Just make it happen.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shut Her Up?

Kinda, anyway. Richard Salzman's My Word column in the Times- Standard today starts off by asking how long the T-S will "subject its readers to.....Kay Backer"- Backer being the hired spokesgal for the Humboldt Economic Land Plan, a group of developers and others that want more land available for development.

Salzman then goes on to suggest Backer shouldn't even be considered as a legitimate voice in local affairs, if only because she's from out of town and a hired spokesperson. Once again, don't listen to her. She's just a hack for corporations....blah, blah, blah.

I actually agree, at least in part, with Salzman's critiques of HELP's solution to the supposed housing crisis. I don't think simply building thousands of more homes will make housing all that much more affordable to anyone.

That said, I am turned off by the conspiratorialist, evil capitalist tone of his message. This was the same sort of thing that reared its ugly head, coming from the Neely side, during the Flemming/ Neely campaign for the Board of Supervisors seat of which Salzman was involved with [on Neely's side].

Salzman's us vs. them rhetoric might serve him well amongst the hard Left, many of whom have expressed similar sentiments here. I think it might fall short amongst those with cooler heads. In fact, the us vs. them type argument might well turn off many of those who Salzman might actually need for support.

He should stick with fact based arguments rather than evil capitalist conspiracy type stuff. That said, except for his obsession with people making money, he does make some points in this latest My Word column.
As an aside, thanks to the footer in his column, first time I noticed Salzman actually has a couple web pages. Maybe someone mentioned it before and I didn't notice, or forgot?

One, for Salzman International, is simply his business web page and not much info of interest there, at least to me. Interesting though that, of the three phone numbers listed, the first two are for San Francisco and New York. The third one actually has a 707 area code but is listed as a FAX number.

Of course, often a FAX machine can serve as a regular phone as well as a FAX. Regardless, I think it's fair to assume Salzman International doesn't qualify as local corporation under Measure T.

The second web page is simply a collection of his past writings, as one would expect. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. One could argue that's what this blog is for me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Attack Of The Tomato Killers

Yet another disease to worry about now. This time it's tomato yellow leaf curl. It pretty much destroys tomatoes. It's been found for the first time in Southern California. Whether it would make it this far north is problematic, but it sounds like our damp climate might not be suitable for the vector that spreads it.

We should at hope, at least.
It would almost seem like a moot point, worrying about tomato health on the coast in Humboldt. Sure, to the south and west of Eureka, lots of tomatoes are grown. In the damp areas along the coast it can be dicey whether you'll get tomatoes at all, outside of using a greenhouse.

Well, you'll likely get plenty of tomatoes, if you're lucky enough to avoid the early and late blight that is so common here. Getting ripe tomatoes on the coast is another issue all together.

Back when I had an active vegetable garden, I ended up doing fairly well with tomatoes, although they'd still take FOREVER to ripen. I finally settle on two varieties that seemed to do best for me here on the coast: Cascade Early (sometimes called Early Cascade) and Northern Delight.

Cascade Early, which I can't find on the web sites of the nurseries I used to order it from, is an indeterminate variety. Indeterminate means the plant doesn't grow to a set size or shape. Those are the ones where the vines can spread everywhere.

I particulary liked Cascade Early because it was blight resistant. It would get blight, but the blight wouldn't go through the plant like wildfire, as happens with so many other varieties. I found that by keeping a close eye on the plants, once you detected blight, you could give them one or two sprayings of copper fungicide and that would usually (but not always) keep the blight under control.

Northern Delight was one I tried because it supposedly got ripened fruit in something like 55 or 60 days, if memory serves me correct. It was a relatively small determinate plant, meaning the plant would grow to a certain size with a certain number of tomatoes and that would be it.

I was hesitant to try a determinate variety, at first. I didn't want to just have tomatoes for a couple weeks and then that would be it. But, since it was supposedly so early ripening, I gave it a try. I figured maybe by the time I'd harvetsed the Northern Delights, the Cascade Earlies would be ready to pick.

I was pleasantly surprised with the number of tomatoes, the size of tomatoes and the length of harvest with Northern Delight. We harvested bags and bags of 1 1/2 to 2" fruits from those plants over a period of over a month or more. Probably did better with them than we ever did with Cascade Early.

Northern Delight did get the blight, though, and spraying wasn't as effective as with Cascade Early. Still, it was well worth planting both varieties. Got lots of tomatoes, although neither variety's fruit ripened anywhere near as early as they were supposed to. I'd plant between late April or May and still usually have to wait until August before I got ripe tomatoes, depending on the weather, of course.

Gardeners on the coast here have more than enough challenges in regards to tomatoes with our cool, damp weather and the early and late blights. Let's hope this tomato yellow leaf curl doesn't make its way up here.

Humboldt Mob Boss(?) Busted?

Well, probably not really a boss, but does anyone know this Michael "Tek" Williams guy?

Supposedly a local event promoter himself, it looks like he was trying to shake some other promoter down over an upcoming event.

Kind of exciting, actually. Who'd a thunk such things would happen around here, at least in regards local events? I could see it over drugs and such, but a dance?

The question is, is this just the tip of the iceberg? Is this Arcata's deep, dark secret coming to light? Will the promoters of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, among others, come forward now that this Williams guy is in jail and admit they've been paying the money to hold their event(s) too?

Did this Williams guy have all of Arcata running scared?

Probably not. I'm sure this is just an isolated incident.

Isn't it?

Friday, May 25, 2007

When CO2 Attacks

Interesting story, at least I thought, about how deadly carbon dioxide can be under the right circumstances. I don't recall ever hearing about this when it happened.

Thanks to for the heads up on the story.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Richardson Grove's 101 Widening Mulled

I'd always thought about it. Now others seem to be seriously talking about widening Highway 101 at Richardson Grove. I never thought anyone would seriously talk out loud about that.

It is tight through there. I'll be the first to admit it gives me the willies when I'm driving through there opposite a big truck coming the other way.

It's almost as bad as The Slab used to be, but the slab was nowhere near as lengthy as Richardson Grove. Any of you remember that part of the highway way back in the '70s? I believe it was a bit north of Confusion Hill (I can never remember exactly where it is but I recognize it when I see it).

Before they made a bypass for The Slab, you had to go around this real narrow cement slab that seemed to be perched on a cliff. Back then I was amazed it could handle two way traffic, as little room as there was. Scary to me, even in my late teens.

So, it will be nice if they can widen the road at Richardson Grove a bit, but they don't have all that much room to work with down there, regardless.

I wonder if any of the environmental community will try to stop the project, assuming it's eventually approved?

New Airport Not likely

Or so says Humboldt County Airport Manager, Jacquelyn Hulsey. This coming after all the speculation we went through here the other day when the Planning Commission recommended moving the airport.

A local pilot also seems to think the current airport is fine as it is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Travelers Ripped Off Again

Once again, people traveling through the area get their stuff ripped off. This time their bicycles being stolen. This seems to happen a lot. At least we seem to read about it in the paper all the time.

So what's with that? Do we have crooks hanging out on 101 watching for people traveling through so they can rip them off?

Midgen's Wreck

A few days ago I posted about a car accident State Senator Carol Midgen was involved in. She was supposedly "reaching for her cell phone" which distracted her, causing the accident.

I was wondering if she was one of those who voted for the recently passed ban on using cell phones while driving.
According to this update on the accident in today's Sacramento Bee, she did vote for the cell phone ban.

Witnesses say she wasn't driving all that before the wreck, either.

As always, if asked for a login, you can use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for a password.
Update: Ouch! This report on this incident from the Los Angeles Times, while shorter, makes it sound worse.

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat's coverage seems to be a bit milder.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shut Them Up!

It was nice to see some praise for Congressman, and Republican Presidential hopeful, Ron Paul, in today's Eureka Reporter. I have no idea who the guy is that wrote this guest opinion.

Paul's breaking with the rest of the pack on Iraq and 9/11 has raised some eyebrows from all sides of the aisle. At least one on the Left as called Paul "my new hero". Some in the GOP want him excluded from future candidate debates. Michigan's GOP Chair, Saul Anuzis being one calling for exclusion.

Would that be condsidered censorship? I don't know. If not, it probably comes close.
As I've mentioned here not long ago, we've seen our own calls for exclusion from public debate, mostly in letters to the editor. Unlike the Ron Paul affair, the letters I've noticed criticizing the papers for printing non- politically correct letters seem to come mostly from the Left.

I believe I commented on one sent in by our very own Robash which suggested the paper shouldn't be publishing letters from a particular person. For the life of me I can't remember the subject Robash wrote on, though.

Then, there was a letter on May 2 in the Times- Standard. I couldn't find the original letter online but a letter in response is here.

In the first letter a writer criticized the paper for including hurricane expert, William Gray, in an article dealing with supposed global warming. The problem: Gray felt the oceans are more responsible for global temperatures than man is. What got me is that was one of the more even handed news articles I'd read on the issue.

But that's not politically correct. Don't listen to Gray and don't publish him. He's a nut case.

Such efforts to suppress the open and free exchange ideas should be of concern to those on all sides of the aisle.
But all doesn't appear to be lost, at least here on the North Coast.

I've read time and time again about various schools, both lower and upper level educational institutions around the country, quashing written opinion because it's not poltically correct. They often do it by calling such non- pc opinion Hate Speech.

Not so at Arcata High School, of all places. Sure, some are protesting the publishing of a letter in the school newspaper calling homosexual behaviour, among other things, an immoral lifestyle. But school staff are defending their publishing of the letter.

Good for them. Then again, I suppose the fact that such a letter raised enough controversy to be considered newsworthy isn't probably all that good of a thing.

Robert Atkinson, pastor of a church in Fortuna was quoted in the article as saying, "
If saying no to any behavior is hate speech, then I think we're really in trouble.".

I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

3000 Hotels???

I was surprised to read that Humboldt County has approximately 3000 hotels, motels and inns. That's according to Tony Smithers, head honcho at the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

I wouldn't be surprised by 300, but 3000? Wow. Hard to believe.

I've also wondered about the claims of occupancy rates. I read something in one of the papers a while back claiming fairly high average occupancy rates of our local lodgings. Smithers says our 90% occupancy rates led the state a couple years ago.

I find that hard to believe, as well. I can't help but wonder if they're fluffing the numbers by including the motels that have been converted to homeless housing, many of which are easily identified by just driving down Broadway in Eureka.

Not that I'm complaining about having so many hotels or an average 90% occupancy rate, if true. It's just hard to believe.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Not For The Public's Eyes

Well, we finally get to hear some reasons why the District Attorney's office wants to buy all those rifles, but that may turn out to be a public relations flop for the D.A.'s office.

Paul Gallegos, when asked if his office had a use- of- force policy said his office's policy is not a matter of public record.

Ouch! That doesn't look or sound good.

A New Airport?

To hell with moving in next to the airport and complaining about the noise. What if the airport moves in next to you?

Looks like they're talking about relocating the
Mckinleyville Airport. The question I have is, where would you move it to?


Hmm... I see why that post on the Republicans yesterday originally wouldn't allow comments. Apparently blogspot made some changes to their pages. Now, when I post something it seems to automatically disallow comments. I have to click a button to allow comments.

Did that happen with anyone else?

Do As I Say...?

Well, looky here. Seems one of our State Senators got involved in a car accident the other day. Looks like she should have been held at fault according to the story: "Migden,... said she was reaching for her ringing cell phone and took her eyes off the road.".

A few questions immediately come to mind:

Was she using a hands free device? I'm not that familiar with cell phones so don't know if she'd still need to handle the phone with a hands free device.

How did Ms. Midgen vote on the law that was passed a while back making it illegal to use a cell phone [without a hands free device] while driving?

Were state legislators exempted from that law?

I tried briefly to find the cell phone bill but couldn't find it. If anyone else has time, please let us know what you find out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Joy's Fifteen Minutes

How cute. My buddy, Joy Finley, gets another fifteen minutes of fame by getting her picture published in the Eureka Reporter. This, the result of a "Surrender Is Not An Option" day demonstration help by local Republicans at Congressman Mike Thompson's office.

Looks like a whopping five Republicans showed up to hand some trinkets and a letter to Thompson's staff. I suspect they were probably better received than the anti- war demonstrators that were pestering Thompson's office for so long (Are they still there?).

Well, nice effort, Joy and the rest. Makes a lot more sense demonstrating for something you feel you have differences over, as opposed to demonstrating at his office for something he's already pretty much on your side with, as was happening with the anti- war demonstrations.

Dunk Joins Libertarians?

I doubt it, but I was surprised to see Director Jeff Dunk, of the McKinleyville Community Services District, be the sole vote against a feasibility study in regards to fluoridating Mckinleyville's water.

Remember, that back during the election for the MCSD seats, I mentioned here that Dunk was the last candidate I would vote for if only because he suggested the MCSD should provide even more services than it already did.

Well, maybe I'll take that back. Maybe not. We need to keep in mind that this was just a vote against the feasibility study, not fluoridation itself. Still, sounds like Dunk's on my side of this issue.

Something's Missing Here

I don't get it. Why would Fortuna and Arcata be diverting less trash from the landfills than Eureka? It says here that Arcata's been diverting over 50% since 2003 and Fortuna's been diverting 60% since 2005. Why would Eureka fall behind?

I can't help but think it's more than just the collection process in Eureka. I'm wondering if it's because more people use the Eureka transfer station for things they can't do in either Arcata or Fortuna, although I have no idea what those things might be.

I know Fortuna has Eel River Disposal to dump trash at, but don't the Arcata garbage trucks dump their loads in Eureka? Hmmm... I wonder if some statistics are being manipulated here?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Quality Plant Sale

Friday & Saturday, May 18&19, 9am to 3pm:

Violets, begonias and fern(indoor), angel trumpets, pink jasmine, guem, snowballs, veggie starters and more.

3579 Dolbeer St., Eureka (Across from Kennedy Field near Sequoia Park)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

DA's Office Follows Vroman's Lead

Looks like the Humboldt District Attorney's office is following the lead of the late Norm Vroman, past D.A. of Mendocino County. They're in the process of buying some AR15 semi- automatic rifles, a gun safe and body armor, to list a few things.

Those of you who have been here for a while will remember that Mendocino's Vroman took some heat during his last election over this same issue: buying weapons some thought were innappropriate for the job and office.

In that case it was, imo, simply a matter of his detractors taking any shot they could at him during an election. However, it evolved into a case where federal authorities supposedly ended up with search warrants for Vroman's home, them supposedly having suspicions of illegal weapons being stored there.

I doubt this is the same sort of thing, if only because I don't think D.A. Gallegos is the driving force behind the purchases. It sounds like newly hired D.A. Investigator, Mike Hislop, is the one behind this to me. Why does he want or need them? Why not?

I really don't care what kind of guns anyone, including local law enforcement have, per se. The question of whether it's well spent money is another issue altogether. As the Reporter article points out, the county has more than its fair share of special operations type law enforcement units available.

It also correctly points out that having the D.A.'s office involved in such operations certainly begs the question of conflict of interest.

Besides, I've been thinking: Since I've lived up here- over thirty years- I don't know that I can recall a so- called assault rifle used by police in a situation where nothing else could have been substituted.

I'm not saying police shouldn't carry them, I'm just saying I don't know once where a supposed criminal has been apprehended with one where a pistol or bolt action rifle wouldn't have served just as well. In fact, I think carrying a semi- automatic rifle might well limit an officer's options under certain circumstances thus excacerbating a situation.

You can't help but wonder if this is just a case of a gun buff, or two, in the D.A.'s office wanting to have some new toys to play with?

Eureka Reporter Does Buhne

It's not even in the obituaries. The Eureka Reporter made mention this morning of the demise of the Buhne Tribune blog.

To quote: "
One of the big reasons for his blog’s popularity was the mystique that came with it, he said. Once a real name and person was attached to it, it just wasn’t the same.".

I guess I was pretty much right on when the Times- Standard quoted me in regards this. I suggested that much of the reason for his success was the mystery involved in who he was and whether he could continue that success after being outed was yet to be determined.

Well, I guess we know now.

Travel Stuff: 5/12- 5/15

Stayed at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco Sunday and Monday nights. There's often some sort of group having meetings or conventions there. This group was probably one of the more odd ones we've seen so far. They were having a big brouhah at the hotel the last few days.

At least I think that's the group. Their web page, unless I missed it, didn't mention any meeting in San Francisco.

About the only problem with them was they really cluttered up the hotel. They were EVERYWHERE.
I was hoping the hotel had their ATT Wifi up and running again. Last time we were there it wasn't working and you had to fight for space in their business center to go online with the hard line DSL. When we got there, I asked about it. The guy said it was up and running.

Went to our room. It was on the 8th floor this time. First time we'd been stuck on the top floor. No big deal, thanks to elevators, except the elevators are slowest to the 8th. Since there's no floors above you, you can't catch a ride as it's coming and going. You have to wait for it to go all the way to the 8th.

The guy was right, or so it seemed. Connected right away with ATT. That was pleasant, especially after the fiasco the last time we were there. It wouldn't last.

Got up next morning to check the e-mail and do my internet stuff. Couldn't connect. I tried for probably half and hour. I'd get connected, then get disconnected. I couldn't connect, then I could. Then the connection would slowly get weaker and weaker until I'd get discoed again. It almost seemed like what happened last time but the messages I was getting were more varied.

I wondered if the 8th floor was too far from the signal?

Eventually I went down to the front desk and asked the gal at the counter if anyone else had reported problems. She was one of those chinese(?) types that, whether they understood me or not, I had a hard time understanding her.

She didn't seem to understand exactly what I was saying, giving me a card from ATT that explained how to connect to the wireless network. I tried to explain that I knew how to, and had connected before, but it just wasn't working. Eventually she seemed to understand. Either that or she was brushing me off. She told me to come back at 9am'ish and see the Front Desk Manager.

Didn't have time to see the manager guy at 9am as we were heading to UCSF. When we got back, the front desk was real busy so I didn't bother then.

I had the distance thing in the back of my mind so I grabbed the laptop and went down to the lobby. All the Sound Healing people were taking the seats with tables but I found one fairly comfy chair and just set the laptop where I suppose it's supposed to be: my lap.

I got connected but had a bit of a hassle logging in for some reason. It did seem the 8th floor was too far away to get the signal reliably.

By the time I'd checked my e- mail the front desk had gotten a bit less busy. I went to one of the guys behind the counter and asked him if anyone else had problems with wifi on the 8th floor. He responded along the lines of wifi being unreliable for a number of reasons and he doesn't even use it at home.

Wasn't exactly what I asked, but he continued and said they'd loan me an ethernet cable. I told him I'd brought my own and asked if that dsl plug on the bedside table was where you hooked up. Yep. Did it cost anything extra? Nope.

Cool. I wondered what that thing was. It looked like a DSL plug but had a label that said Wayport on it. I'd always figured it was an additional DSL service you had to pay for, the label being on there and all. Apparently not.

I went upstairs, plugged into it and I was good to go.

The only problem was location. The plug was across the room from the desk. My cable was only seven or so feet long. I'd have to use the computer either on the bedside table, the bed, or the floor. Not enough room on the table. Eventually, I settled for the bed. A bit uncomfortable, but I could deal with it.

Next time I'll have to be bold and ask for a room anywhere but the 8th floor.
Eating in the car is so lame. Why do I always do it?

We'd bought a couple sandwiches at Quizno's in Cloverdale for lunch. We decided to eat about the time we got to Leggett, mostly because the time was right. We stopped at the Leggett rest stop for a pee break and broke the sandwiches out as we left. We should have eaten and then left.

No problem for Connie, but for me quite a hassle. To their credit, Quizno's really stuffs their sandwiches full. First half of mine wasn't too much of a problem. Second half made quite a mess. So we're getting on the freeway and I'm trying to keep the contents of the sandwich from falling out while negotiating curves at high speeds.

Finally I put the second half on my lap and waited until we got on a straighter section of road. That didn't help much, either. I ended up dropping a big blob of mayonnaise or something on the steering wheel. I grab a napkin to wipe it up and it just smears it all over the wheel. The whole left side of the wheel is all slippery now. That sucked.

Eventually I wolfed the sandwich down and then went back to trying to clean the steering wheel. Napkins wouldn't clean it up. Finally I asked Connie for one of her hand wipe thingies- those moist napkin things you use when you don't have water available for handwashing. They cleaned it up first try. Love those things.
Got home a little after 2pm, taking a bit longer to get home than usual, or so it seemed. Nothing had changed in Eureka since we'd left.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

There Goes The Neighborhood?

I think not.

Yet another treatment center/ half- way house is making its way to Eureka. This one will be right in the armpit of Eureka- the corner of Union and Wabash- not all that far away from my house.

Some in the neighborhood object to it, which is to be expected. Even local gadfly Sue Brandenberg piped in at the planning commission meeting citing all the crime and decandence that already goes on in that neighborhood.

Seems to me, she actually makes a case for putting the treatment center there. Hey, the area can't get any worse, can it? There's already enough drug activity and other crime there. What difference will a treatment center make at this point? If the center had any effect at all, it would probably be positive.

I am familiar with the neighborhood in question, having maintained properties within a block of that old church.

Better to have the center there than a nicer neighborhood where it actually could have a negative effect.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nothing In The News Today

Didn't see anything in the news I felt like commenting on today. Of course, last I looked, the Times- Standard hadn't been delivered yet. Maybe when I read the hard copy I'll find something that I didn't notice online.

Hey, why am I even mentioning this? I don't have to post something every day, do I?
Interesting editorial in the Sacramento Bee, though. They support early release from prison for non- violent offenders. I found the comments to the editorial even more interesting.

What hasn't been defined is just what non- violent offenders consist of. I wouldn't have a problem with it if was "offenders" in "victimless" crimes, but burglars and such?

It also isn't brought up in the editorial that many, if not most, convicts don't serve their whole sentence as it is. One could argue we already have early release, of sorts.

As always, if asked for a login to the Bee web site, use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot as the password.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Our Ship Finally Came In

Just one, though. Evergreen Pulp will have two ships hauling pulp out of Humboldt Bay now, instead of just one. It seems this will benefit some but not others.

While the 20, or so, longshoreman that live in the area will have a little more work, no mention is made of what the truckers who've been previously hauling pulp will be left to do. I also wonder how many truckers it took to handle what a ship carries?

They say there's a shortage of truckers nationwide. Maybe it won't be too hard for them to find other loads to haul?

NOAA Comes To Town

I see some officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were in town yesterday. They were checking out all things Humboldt Bay, including the oysters.

One of the photos accompanying the article shows the manager of Coast Seafoods offering an oyster to NOAA Director, Margaret Davidson. Hmmm...I would think Ms. Davidson would be aware of dioxin contamination in the bay. Aren't the oysters supposedly contaminated?

Maybe the contamination isn't as bad as some make it out to be and she knows the oysters are safe to eat?

Then again, no mention in the story of whether she accepted the oyster and ate it.

The Wal Mart vs. Gottschalks Thing

I thought that was a pretty even handed story the Times- Standard did on the speculation over Wal Mart supposedly being interested in buying Gottschalks. Time will tell if Wal Mart actually is interested in such a deal. Even if they are, I doubt an actual Wal Mart will end up at the Bayshore Mall. This looks like just a business deal to me.

One thing I never knew was K Mart bought out Sears some years ago. As someone in the story mentioned, I haven't noticed any changes in Sears since K Mart took it over.

But, sometimes changes do occur. I think- what used to be- Payless Drugs in Eureka went downhill after Rite Aid bought out them out and actually took over and changed the name of their stores. That happened so long ago I can't remember what exactly it was I liked about the old Payless as opposed to today's Rite Aid.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Life Goes On

Well...this sucks. It looks like the picture tube on my TV went out. I get sound, but no picture. Maybe I'll try it again in the morning.

I think I'd usually prefer to fool around with the computer, but I hate not having the choice. It's kinda nice to flop down on the couch and just doze off watching TV. Now, I guess, I'm stuck with the computer.

Life goes on.

Yet Another Local Political Group?

At least that's what our very own Shane Brinton wants to do. He wants to start up a Humboldt chapter of the California Young Democrats. I would have thought there would have already been a chapter up here. I guess not.
Speaking of Democrats, if you don't get the hard copy of the Times- Standard, you missed the picture of our very own Carol and Greg Conners, along with some others, at the State Democratic Party convention held a couple weeks ago. Always eager to hog the camera, Carol and Greg are, but you wouldn't know it from the photo in the paper today.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Guess It Must Be True


That's news to me. I didn't feel a thing.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pols Desperate To End Term Limits

I've said before here that I'm ambivalent about term limits. There's arguments to be made both for and against them. Most politicians seem to hate them and, as Dan Walters points out in today's Sacramento Bee, are trying anything they can to change California's voter enacted term limits law.

Dan makes a good point in that the the pols should try and give reasonable arguments for ending or modifying term limits, rather than deceive voters with the intent of their pending term limits initiative.

Despite being ambivalent about term limits myself, that so many politicians are desperate to get rid of them, I can't help but think term limits might be a good thing.

The Pond Club

How cool. Looks like there's a new club starting up in Humboldt: The Pond Club. That should be a fun one. I'll bet Carol and Greg will be among the first to join. I believe they have a small fish pond at their house.

Who doesn't love ponds? I always have. Maybe this will motivate me to dig a hole in my back yard and put together the pond kit the wife's parents gave me as a gift some years ago? That will take some work, though.

As an aside, for some real pond inspiration, best book I ever saw on ponds, if memory serves me correct, was called The Pond Book. A friend brought it to work when I worked at Juvenile Hall. I forget who wrote it or who the publisher was but it was just a book full of pictures of ponds people had built. Really neat.

Couldn't find it on but I did see it on the shelf years ago in the book section of Pearson's Garden Center.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Take The Bus?

Something that's been in the news lately, but I often don't think about with the same perspective, is medical transport needs in the county. The latest being reported in the Times- Standard are people in Fortuna that are having a rough time getting to Eureka for medical care.

Hmm... never really thought Fortuna to Eureka would be a problem. Kind of puts a strange twist on what I have to deal with: Having to go all the way to San Francisco fairly regularly for medical care. I'm wondering if I have it better or worse now? If I had a rough time trying to get to Fortuna for medical care, I suppose I'd really be in trouble.

So, the Fortuna City Council has decided there's not much that the city can do in regards to the transportation problem. That private transport company sounds like about the best idea, but who would pay for it? And what about Redwood Transit System? I see from their web page their bus line goes right through Fortuna.

Problem is, some patients aren't really able to physically deal with traveling on buses. They're often in poor physical condition to begin with.

Maybe a look should be taken at people living even further from Eureka and see how those people deal with the problem? Anyone from Garberville used to dealing with this sort of thing?

Loneliest Guy In The World?

Sometimes I think I must be the loneliest guy in the world.

I don't seem to have the same interests and pleasures others do. Like sports: Couldn't care less about sports. TV shows: Sure, I probably like some shows others do, but it seems when there's some show I really like, not enough others do and it gets taken off the air. The list goes on.

Then, there's the weather. It was real warm yesterday- hot, by my standards. Everybody seems to be loving it, but me. It wasn't just yesterday. It happens all the time.

There's this one girl that used to work at Rite- Aid. Won't mention any names, but I haven't seen her there in some time. I'd go in there on a hot summer day. My face beet red from working in the hot sun and my t- shirt damp with sweat. I'm hating it.

She'd always have to say something. Weather was the usual comment: "Isn't it just gorgeous out there today...?". That used to really irk me. I finally had to tell her I wasn't a sun lover and I'd hardly call warm, sunny days gorgeous. She'd sympathize, but next time you'd see her she still say the same thing.

Most everyone else is the same way. On a day like yesterday, it seems most people are walking around commenting about how great the weather is. Whatever.
That said, yesterday did have its bright side, no pun intended. I ran into Babs Francis (of Babbetta's restaurant fame) yesterday. First time I'd seen her in a while.

I was just done mowing a lawn and she was picking up her daughter, Sabrina, next door. It was a pleasure seeing Babs again. Even more of a pleasure when I mentioned that the weather was too hot for me and I was thinking of calling it a day.

She agreed and said she didn't like the warm weather either. We got to talking and she seemed about as bothered by hot weather as I am. I remembered then that her hubby, Stan, is the same way.

How cool (pun intended). Maybe I'm not the loneliest guy in the world.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Greenhut Registers With LP

It came as somewhat of a surprise to me to hear the senior columnist for the Orange County Register, Steve Greenhut, will be ending his twenty five year relationship with the GOP and signing up with the Libertarian Party.

It's not that his libertarian sentiments weren't obvious, but he'd taken the LP to task many a time. I was actually surprised to hear he was registered to vote as a Republican, as well. I'd always assumed he was a Decline To State, or some such.

Welcome aboard, Steve! Anyone else that may want to follow suit, you can register to vote as a Libertarian using the link at the top of the Libertarian Party of Humboldt County web page.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Dry Year?

I guess not for Humboldt County, but counties just south of us are facing the possibility of drought conditions this fall. They're going back and forth trying to figure out ways to keep their water supplies up. Taking more water from the Eel River is one thing being considered.

I hate it when stuff like this happens. I like water, at least in rivers and lakes.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Everybody's A Winner!

The Times- Standard mentioned today they were awarded either first or second place for a couple news categories in the California Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest.

One of the stories mentioned was the homeless series by writers Durant and Faulk, Homeless In Humboldt. Interesting that particular story received criticism from Media Maven, Marci Burstiner, among others.

The North Coast Journal also received their fair share of awards in the contest, as reports our very own Hank Sims in this week's Town Dandy.

Not to be outdone, the Eureka Reporter racked up a few awards themselves, as they mentioned earlier this week. I can't find the piece online to link to, though.

Oh well. I guess the important thing is the way this all worked out: Nobody's a loser, everybody's a winner. Doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Friday, May 04, 2007

The "Pointless Project"

Ouch! Just noticed the Arcata Eye slammed the People Project- those folks that did that homeless encampment/ demonstration in Arcata.

Pesky Critters

I've been worried about whatever kind of critter took up residence under my house. It's living under the bath tub. You can hear it moving around, especially in the morning. I was worried it might be skunks again.

Some years ago we had a skunk living under the house that eventually turned in to seven or eight skunks. We finally ended up getting rid of them with the help of Chase Comfort, of Wildlife Services, and some #6 birdshot from my 16 gauge shotgun.

After we finally cleared them out, I went around the house and blocked off any possible avenue of entry the critters could use to get back under the house.

Skunks aren't actually as big as they seem. They just have a lot of hair.

I found that out when they were under the house and I saw them go under the house through an opening under the kitchen I thought they'd be too big to get through. That opening was closed by nailing a small board across it.

Problem was, that location was my location of choice when I'd put out rat poison- having a running battle with rats under the house despite having three cats at the time. So, I didn't nail the board on too tight so I could pry the board off to put poison in that spot.

I either didn't replace the board once, or something pulled the board off because we could hear things under the house again. I finally noticed the board wasn't in place and something had pushed through some downhanging parts of the wall to get under the house. I was hoping it wasn't skunks again.

Maybe it was the possum that's always coming around at night to eat the cat food left outside? I was hoping so. From the scratching I could hear on the bath tub it sounded like it could well be.

Finally, I saw the possum going under the house this morning- in broad daylight. After it went under the house I realized I should have taken a picture of it for this blog. Too late.

Then, not ten minutes later, I'm sitting here and see something next to Stinker on the back stairs. It's that damned possum eating the cat food. Stinker's maybe a foot away just watching him.

I actually went to get the camera and then realized I wasn't sure where I'd left it. Besides, I'd have to put batteries in it and then go through the hassle of putting the pictures on the laptop and transfering them to this computer. For some reason I can't get this computer to download pics straight from the camera.

I gave up on the pictures and went out to remove the food. Hey...he can fend for himself. Besides, this is some really expensive cat food the wifey bought for Stinker. He's got a skin problem the wife thinks might be from eating corn. This cat food doesn't have corn it it, and it was pricey.

So I open the door and the possum just stands there. I tell him to leave and he just stares at me. I motion like I'm gonna hit him and he cowers a bit but doesn't leave. I finally reach for the bowl and he moves down to the sidewalk. I bring the bowl inside and yell at Mr. Possum to leave. He starts waddling away and then turns and bares his teeth at me and finally walks out of the yard going through the side gate.

Pesky little critter. While it's kind of neat having some wild animal around that seems used to you, it's a bit too familiar with people for my comfort.

Still, better than having the skunks under the house.

Registered Narcotics Offenders?

I was just reading the Eureka Reporter story on the Mark (I thought it was Marc- I know the guy) McClung sentencing. He made news a while back for holding a knife to a girl's throat, among other things.

Looks like he'll be off to prison. No surprise there, I suppose. What did surprise me was reading the following: "upon release from prison, McClung must register as a narcotics offender.".

Hmmm...I've certainly heard of people having to register as sex offenders, but narcotics offenders? Is this something new? How does this work?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Humboldt Rose Society

Don't feel like commenting on any news items today. Instead, I'll just plug a new web site I noticed listed on Humguide. The Humboldt Rose Society has their web page listed now. Don't know how long they've had the page but this is the first I've heard of it. Lots of information there for the Humboldt gardening crowd.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kick Them When They're Down?

I find it the Monday morning quarterbacking we see after an incident such as the collapse of that freeway overpass in the East Bay disturbing, to say the least. People immediately look to blame someone and in that case, naturally, the driver falls under scrutiny.

Now we find out the driver had a criminal record of sorts and some are questioning why he was allowed to haul hazardous cargo. Sorry, if I don't go along with that one. Isn't the guy allowed to have a job after he's paid the price for his past criminal activities? Some people apparently think not.

Enter the San Francisco Chronicle's, Debra Saunders. She takes a look at the issue and, as far as I'm concerned, leaves little left to be said.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yahoo Messenger....Again

I broke down and installed Yahoo Messenger again. I've installed and uninstalled this damned program umpteen times over the years. I've actually found it useful at times. Sometimes very useful, but after a while I get tired of it and uninstall it.

Funny that when I installed it last night, I only had a handful of Friends on my list. What happened to my old list? I guess it's been a while and maybe they're no longer on Yahoo Messenger?

Oh well. You can imagine how I'd be apprehensive about posting my Yahoo ID on this blog with all the riff- raff that frequents it, so I won't. If any of you have YM and want to contact me, e-mail me and I'll give you my ID via e-mail. There's an e- mail link in my blog profile.

Thompson Back NCRA

I suppose it should come as no surprise our very own Congressman, Mike Thompson, supports the North Coast Railroad Authority. Of course, the only specifics he mentions in his letter to the editor are in regards Sonoma County.

I'd be interested in hearing how he would justify reestablishing rail service to Humboldt County. We've heard some general ideas here before, but none I would consider worth the money spent.