Sunday, January 31, 2010


The race to get up the first campaign web page, anyway.

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Mason's Easy Job

Mason Matteoli thinks he's got one of the better jobs on the Carnival Valor, or at least one of the ones with the most time off.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Car Stuff

Andrew Bird sent me this link asking for my take on it. Apparently some in Sacramento don't like free parking spaces and want to offer incentives to local governments to reduce the availability of free parking.

What can I say? This is just more of the same that comes out of Sacramento where too many people seem to have way too much time on their hands. And I'll have to say- sorry, Andrew- the vast majority of this crap comes from Democrats if for no other reason than the Republicans, being the minority, usually can't get their bills even started in committee.

Funny thing is, the vast majority of the complaints I've read, both here and in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat, are about the lack of free parking spaces. If this new law comes to pass will the voters take it out on the Democrats next election? Don't bet on it.

Another good reason to return to a part- time legislature.
This just in from the San Jose Mercury News: Laws prohibiting driving while talking on cell phones haven't reduced accidents. Naturally, another Democrat wants to increase penalties for celling while driving and even wants the ban applied to bicycles.

Well, I think he's got at least one thing right: It's not so much that talking on cell phones while driving doesn't cause accidents, it's that the number of people talking on cell phones while driving hasn't changed. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if even more people talk on phones while driving than they did before the ban.

Ok. That might seem a stretch, but I've said before I've noticed up to 1 in 3 cars passing by my house with drivers obviously talking on cell phones. Some of the people I know have hands free devices:

Joy and Marc I know have hands free, but they don't use them. I assume Rob Arkley would have a hands free device but he seems to be chatting without one at least every other time he drives by. Don't know if Eureka City Council dude, Mike Jones, has one, or not. I often see him chatting away.

Whatever. Like I've said, I was opposed to the cell phone ban from the start, but now that it's here I hope you all get a ticket or two. Do I agree with efforts at steeper fines for celling while driving? Probably not. I'd rather see them come up with some way to stop people from talking on cell phones while shopping. I find that really annoying. But I'm a libertarian so I probably don't want to go there.

Free Event! Film Premier: Love, Humboldt

Mark your calendars: Saturday, February 13, 6pm to 10pm at the Arcata Theater Lounge in Arcata.

The World Premiere Red Carpet Screening of the "Love, Humboldt" short films.

Directed by Maria Matteoli... A Squadron 68 Production from the wonder team of Montel VanderHorck, Andy Rydzewski & Maria Matteoli. Director of Photography: Andy Rydzewski.

Starring the Gorgeous Aimee Taylor & the Divine Bob Wells, with James Gadd, Sharon Talvola, Mia Ribisch, Marina Sanders, Bill Cose, Gerri Cose and so many more...

Featuring original music by Mario Matteoli & Cayce Matteoli.

Showcasing the beauty of Humboldt County, its people, places and products!

Also screening the "Humboldt Made" short documentaries, Directed & Produced by Maria Matteoli, with Kenneth Thomas as Director of Photography. With original songs by Mario Matteoli & Pearce Merritt...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dent Repair Needed

Had a stupid accident yesterday (no, I didn't hit another car) and put some bad scrapes and dents on the passenger side door of my truck. Anyone know of a auto body/ dent repair guy around here that makes house calls?

I found these Dentpro guys in the phone book and gave them a call. They took my number and said one of their technicians would call within 1 or 2 hours but they never called. Looking at their web page, they don't seem to have anyone located up here.

Anyone know anyone I can call for an estimate?

Update: I guess I spoke too soon. The DentPro guy called just a few minutes after I posted this. He's down at Fort Bragg right now but said he'll stop by when he's back in town. He said it sounds like the big dents on my door my be a bit out of his league but mentioned a guy he know that handles stuff he can't. Still, if anyone knows any one- man- shop auto body guys, let me know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

True Ward Initiative Redux

Interesting, but not surprising, comment made in the Topix comments regarding the ACLU Patriot awards of a couple days ago. I say not surprising because it's the same thing we always hear when lefties try to gain an advantage in the electoral process.

I think I've already shown the True Ward system won't give the Left the advantage they believe it will.

So, Slow to Change replies to me (in part), "Boy, have you got it wrong!

It was estimated that Robin Arkley Jr. spent about $250,000 on an 11th hour TV/radio/newspaper blitz to oust councilman Chris Kerrigan from a second term. In that race, Kerrigan spent over $90,000 and his right-wing opponent spent $120,000!

He complains about all the money being spent, especially by his candidate's opponent. He also complains that it's impossible to visit every house in Eureka to make up for the money his opponent spent. What's he missing here?

His candidate won using the current system and even spending less money.

But, for some reason, this fellow and Greg Conners (I'm sure David Cobb and Larry Glass must feel the same way) seem to think that if voter's choices are limited only to their own ward, Eureka would have a progressive majority.

I've said before, the exact opposite seems to already have been proven to be true: Democrats hold the majority in Eureka and currently can vote in all 5 wards, regardless of where the voter lives. If all those Democrats voted along party lines, then "progressives" would hold every seat on the city council. They don't.

People vote for the candidate and their ideas in our city council races, not the political party.

I've become convinced the motivation for the Left's support of this True Ward system is simply to gain what they feel is an advantage in local electoral politics, just as they did with Measure T. They won't actually be getting that advantage, but they believe they will. For that reason alone- call it petty, if you will- I'm more than happy to vote NO on the True Ward Initiative should it make it to the ballot.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Who knows? No word in the paper today as to who the ACLU picked for their 2009 Patriot Award, although mention of last night's meeting was made in yesterday's Times- Standard.

I've mentioned elsewhere, but not sure I mentioned it here, that I don't know where they came up with their list of Patriot candidates. Keep in mind the purpose of this award is to honor a local community member who, "...has demonstrated a patriotic commitment to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties that the U.S. Constitution and laws of the U.S. guarantee,". With the exception of Tad Robinson, I don't see how any of the nominees fall within that category.

While Betty Chin might be due some type of humanitarian award for her efforts at feeding the homeless, I don't see feeding the homeless as contributing to individual rights, at least to where they'd fall within the purview of the ACLU.

While Larry Glass might have done some praiseworthy things around town, the Eureka True Ward Initiative shouldn't be an ACLU issue, either, as it's more of a city government housekeeping issue not involving individual rights. Besides, Larry has arguably acted against individual rights with his support of outdoors smoking ordinances and mandatory garbage service, among other things.

The Crisis Intervention Team? They're just doing their job in assisting mentally ill people. How does that involve individual rights?

You'd have to come up with a way to articulate how police review boards come within the purview of individual rights, but I'd say they certainly could fit the criteria. Saying Bonnie Neely deserves an award simply for voting for the Sheriff's review board is pushing it, though. If anyone is deserving of an award in regards that you'd have to look further down the line to the people who came up with, and developed, the idea in the first place.

Tad Robinson would be the only choice, seems to me, as I believe I've heard him argue against forced medication, among other things, before the Board of Supes. He does carry with him the dubious distinction of spending a month in jail for violating the 3 minute time limit for speaking at Board of Supervisor meetings. Still, he'll do, as far as I'm concerned.

Eric Kirk responded to one of my comments on this issue over at his blog that I disagreed with the choices simply because I disagreed with the nominee's opinions on issues, or some such. Not at all, I replied. I simply don't think the nominees meet the criteria the ACLU itself established.

It would be like the Libertarian Party of Humboldt County having a Humboldt Freedom Fighter For 2009 award and giving it to some guy or gal because they had the best floral display or largest pumpkin at the county fair. Would that make sense?

No word, even on the ACLU's Facebook page, as to who won the award yet. Haven't read the paper yet, though, so maybe it's in the hard copy?

Addendum: Ok. Page A2 in today's paper. Looks like the Crisis Intervention Team gets it. Whatever.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Just testing this e-mail thing blogspot has where I can supposedly e-mail posts rather than do them on site. It didn't work before. Will it work now?


Focus On A Boondoggle

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, takes another look this morning at California's High Speed Rail Bond boondoggle. A number of you voted for that when it was on the ballot a few years ago.

Looks now like even more people are questioning the validity of claims made about the project, including some I wouldn't of expected to. Apparently some residents of the San Francisco peninsula- who I would of expected to be all behind something like this- have been opposed to it from the beginning. A growing number of people are seeing this project as the bottomless money pit that it is.

I've said before, here and elsewhere, we need to stop the sale of these rail bonds. I believe the stem cell boondoggle bonds have already been sold but the high speed rail bonds haven't. My question is, can the legislature stop the sale of bonds authorized by voters or do we need another ballot initiative to clean up the mess we made by passing this one?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mario and The Preservation

Here's a short YouTube video of Mario Matteoli with his new band, The Preservation. Mario is on the left and his new wife, Cayce, is the gal in the middle with the tambourine. Just found out Cayce started her own blog.

POP and Probable Cause

I knew that's what those two Eureka cop cars were doing when I saw them driving south on E street yesterday, one behind the other. I saw the same two guys getting ready for another raid a few days ago in the parking lot of the Odd Fellows Hall on Buhne Street.

I've been wondering what kind of probable cause they're using to get these search warrants? Since so many of the arrested folks are already on probation, I guess it's a moot point. But what about some of the others? They always cite "numerous complaints" as the reason for going after these druggie houses, but surely a mere suggestion that there's drug activity somewhere isn't enough to get a search warrant? Or is it?

Quake Repairs

Here it is a week after the earthquake and I've noticed few windows have been repaired. The Matteoli's 6 broken windows still haven't been replaced. I noticed Redwood Pharmacy in Henderson Center had their big window replaced but the bicycle shop down the street still has a board covering theirs. For some reason I would of thought those repairs would of all been taken care of by now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Satellite Pics of Haiti

Here's a few before and after satellite pics of the Haiti earthquake. Seems like I had to look real close on some of the first ones to see damage but the last two were pretty clear.

Thanks to Popular Science magazine for the heads up.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's All Our Faults...

except mine, of course!

Steve Greenhut, formerly from the Orange County Register, has a fun read in California Watchdog where he points out how nearly everyone in the state is an obstacle to reforming state government.

I'm declaring my conscience clear, though. As I've written here before, I've voted against most, if not all, of the state's bond measures, and the candidates I've voted for rarely win. It's not my fault.

I believe this is the first I've seen of the California Watchdog. I've subscribed to their e- mail list.


Monday, January 18, 2010

What She Said...

A letter to the editor in today's Santa Rosa Press- Democrat:

Up in smoke

EDITOR: Doesn’t the wisdom of those in power amaze you? To think they will legalize an illegal drug — marijuana —¬and tax it to make up for the taxes lost outlawing smoking.

Maybe I’m just not smart enough to see the logic in this, but it is strange.




Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Outage

Power at our house, and I'm assuming others in my neighborhood, went out around 2pm. Came back on after about 20 minutes. Will that be the end of it? I hope.

Luckily, I have one of those UPS power packs and had plenty of power left to shut down this computer. Couldn't figure out, at first, why I lost my internet connection since the phone lines use their own power source. Then I realized that the DSL modem runs on PG&E power.

Breaking with tradition, I decided to try that 1-800 number for reporting power outages. Couldn't use our regular phone because it's cordless and needs external power to run it. Tried my cell phone. It wasn't working.

Last resort: The phone upstairs in Connie's sewing room. Didn't realize until now it's an old fashioned dial type phone. I've had that phone for probably 30 years. Worked fine as far as calling in to PG&E but, since it's an old dial phone, couldn't use their menu (press 1 to report an outage). Guess we'll have to get a better back up phone for upstairs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mason and The Love Boat

Off he goes on his adventure. Mason Matteoli, my nephew and Eureka's native son, left this morning for the high seas. Well, not exactly the high seas. He got himself a job as a pianist with Carnival Cruise Lines. His first performance is scheduled for tomorrow, January 17.

He flying to Florida now where he'll embark on the Carnival Valor where he's scheduled to play for three months. Then, after a month's break, he'll cruise and play on the Carnival Dream. The ships' itinerary has them visiting islands in the Caribbean.

He's started a blog, Playing The Love Boat. Not sure how soon he'll be able to start posting, or how often he'll be able to post, but he's posted a few things already. We'll keep an eye out for more.

How exciting! Sail on, sail on, sailor!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Skelton on the Prop 8 Trial

The L.A. Times', George Skelton, takes a look at the Proposition 8 proponents' argument that marriage is all about procreation. I can't imagine how the proponents could possibly win this thing but, in this state, I suppose nothing would surprise me.

Addendum: Theodore Olson, one of the lawyers trying to overturn Prop 8, gives a conservative argument for same- sex marriage.


Campbell Switches To Senate Race

Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Tom Campbell, is supposed to announce today he's leaving the governor's race and entering the race for U.S. Senate. Campbell was my favorite in the race for a while. He still probably would be but I became disillusioned with him on at least a couple issues.

Who to support in the governor's race now is the question. We have two declared Republicans, Poizner and Whitman, and one undeclared Democrat, Jerry Brown, as the major party candidates. Thankfully, with Gavin Newsom leaving the race some time ago, we don't have any real flakes among the current front runners anymore.

So, who should a libertarian support as it stands now? Not sure I have any problem with any of the front runners, but one thing came to mind:

I've read that government grows faster and spends more money when its legislative and executive branches are held by one party. That alone should encourage those concerned with liberty and efficient government to chose the Republican over Jerry Brown since the state's legislative branch is controlled by the Democrats and likely will be for the foreseeable future.

Either that, or vote for whoever the Libertarian Party candidate, which is what I might do.

Addendum: Tom Campbell explains his reason for switching races.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recycling And Earthquakes

Just a heads up for those of you that don't know: Broken window glass is not recyclable and should not be dumped in your recycling bin.

Just bringing this up because I noticed someone who had dumped the glass from a broken window in with the glass and plastic in her recycling bin yesterday. I'm sure she's not the only one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

End of Quake Miscellaneous

I'm gonna head to Winco soon to see if it's open. I'll do a bit of rubbernecking for quake damage on the way.

Connie wanted to go to Grocery Outlet today but she doesn't think it will be open. I was thinking, why not be open? Sure, they likely have a mess on their hands like some of the pictures we've seen, but seems to me customers could help with clean up and get a good deal if they worked it right.

How about they come up with a discount for stuff that came off the shelves? 50% off if it's on the floor! I imagine the main thing that would get in the way of that is fear of potential injury and the always present threat of lawsuits.
I suggested to Marc Matteoli last night he might want to try calling the glass companies today. It wouldn't surprise me if some might jump at the chance for this bonanza and open up on their normal day off. I guess not. I called K&M Glass in Eureka to see if they were open and all I got was an answering machine. Maybe some others are open but K&M seems to have felt no need to rush back to work.

Maybe they're right. It will take a while for all the windows to be replaced.

Hmmm...Just realized: Maybe the glass companies had all their glass broken?

Quake Miscellany

I'm fit to be tied after reading the Topix comments (at least the first dozen, or so) to the Times- Standard's article and follow up on the earthquake. Seems most people are intent on bashing the T-S for what they deem to be poor reporting and being "scooped" by media from outside the area. What these people don't seem to recognize is that those other news media didn't have to do their jobs directly at ground zero in the aftermath of a major earthquake.
Phone problems? I read some mention in the T-S story of someone saying their phone wasn't working. Maybe it's a problem with the phone lines, but check your other phones if you have more than one. That was our problem. Our downstairs phone wouldn't work, although internet worked fine. Finally realized the upstairs phone was off the hook after falling off a table. Problem solved.
This could of really sucked. At least in didn't happen at 2 in the morning, or when it was raining.
Local governments often offer free building inspections after big earthquakes. Think twice about accepting one. If they think your home is unsafe they can force you out of your home.

We had one done after the '92 quake. He found the house safe enough but told us we needed to get a building permit to take down our chimney. The permit was free for earthquake damage, but it was just a hassle. If we hadn't of called him I would of just taken the chimney down.

Same thing if you have earthquake insurance. Think twice before calling a claims adjuster. We had quake insurance back in the '92 quake, which caused considerable damage to our home. We called State Farm to have the damage assessed. The assessor gal spent a couple hours in our dinky house and found damage we hadn't noticed. The total cost came in just below our $6k deductible.

The bad part of it was she went back to the company and reported what she thought were unsafe conditions in the house that were outside the purview of earthquake insurance- a blocked doorway (to the right of where I'm sitting right now) is one I recall. She recommended the house policy be reassessed, or some such, which I'm guessing meant we should be paying higher premiums.

Turned out the local agent just came by, took some pictures of the house, and that was it. I suspect we owe the local agent for not dinging us and raising our insurance rates as they never changed. The door in question is still blocked. There's at least three other ways out of this room, one directly to the back yard.
I got to thinking yesterday, what ever happened to my earthquake proofing plan I got started on years ago? I wanted to secure things around the house so things wouldn't break like they did yesterday. One thing I was going to do was put latches on the cupboards in the kitchen so the doors wouldn't fly open in an earthquake.

I ended up getting a couple of those hook and eye things from the hardware store so, when you close the cupboard, you can secure the hook the the eye and the door won't open. I only ended up doing the two cupboards next to the sink that hold all our dishes. Then I forgot about them.

Could of saved a few things from breaking if I'd have used them regularly and on all the cupboards. They're latched closed now. I need to find some industrial strength velcro now. That can be used to secure televisions and such to whatever they're sitting on.
Oh, and I almost forgot: Looking at the photos in the Times- Standard this morning, I noticed at least some folks in Henderson Center were covering windows with plywood. Where'd the plywood come from all of the sudden? I guess there was probably still time to go buy some?
And speaking of covering up broken windows, I came up with a unique way to cover a few windows at the Matteolis: Old election signs.

He had maybe 3 medium sized windows that there wasn't much left of. I suggested some cardboard or a tarp. Marc went to look and see what he had available and I went back to my house to see what I had. I noticed a couple of old "No On Measure T" yard signs I'd saved from way back then. They were the larger ones about 4'x5'(?). I thought they might just fill the gap and, even better, they were made to handle weather.

They worked quite well in covering up the window space. For the last big hole, I brought over 3 "Anton For Assembly" signs. They were the more standard sized yard signs. We taped the 3 of them together and they covered up the hole quite nicely. Good enough for a temporary fix, anyway.


Saturday, January 09, 2010


Yep, this was a good one. Worst I've felt. Our house, especially the kitchen, is trashed. All kinds of broken glass. Oddly, power still on and, after a temporary interruption, internet back. Can't believe this computer is still in one piece. Might not be over yet, though. Hopefully, no big aftershocks on the way.

KMUD reporting it was a 6.5. Hard to believe. This was the worst one I've lived through in 35 years up here. Scary. Glad this happened when it was still light out.

Friday, January 08, 2010

SERVICE(!) and Saving Gas

So I lose the stinking gas cap to my riding mower yesterday and ordered a new one from Fernbridge Tractor and Equipment as they're the John Deere dealers up here. They didn't have one in stock but said they'd order one for me.

As I always do when ordering something from them, I asked them to ship it to me. Why bother driving to Fernbridge, especially for a silly gas cap? Shipping costs might well be less than the gas, not to mention taking the time to drive down there. Works well for me.

This was the best delivery, though. I ordered that cap just before noon yesterday. It arrived this morning, although whoever delivered it dropped it off next door. Not bad, huh? An order from Stockton (at least I think that's where they said they order from) and it got here in less than 24 hours.

They have a lawnmower service special going on right now. I should probably take advantage of that one myself.

That's Good (Maybe)

Not looking good in Mendocino County, water- wise, but it's still early. Some weather guys think there's plenty of time left and that it will still turn out to be a wet winter and spring. One fellow goes so far as to say that some of the state's reservoirs and dams might get refilled. Let's hope he's right.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

That Sucks

Here we are in pretty much the middle of winter and Mendocino County seems to already be running short of water, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal. Still, some people want to take out existing dams in this state.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hislop's Supporters

Did anyone attend Mike Hislop's official announcement for his candidacy in the Sheriff's race yesterday? The Times- Standard story mentions "several dozen supporters", but I'm wondering if there were really several dozen people there?

The only picture shown is that of Hislop and Gallegos. Don't the media usually take pictures of the candidate with a bunch of supporters behind him like they did with Virginia Bass? I'm dying to know if there are any names I know amongst his supporters. Anybody know?

I also wonder why he used the Best Western for his announcement instead of the courthouse as so many other candidates do?

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Monday, January 04, 2010

North Coast Travelogue: 1/3-1/4

Had to head back down to UCSF Medical Center again Sunday.

Why should I have been surprised that the Eel River got clearer the further south we went? Muddy as expected down by Fortuna and Scotia but, by the time we got to Mendocino County, it almost seemed clear- emphasis on almost. It was still muddy, but there seemed to me to be a tinge of green showing.

I'll have to say, in the nearly four years we've been going to UCSF regularly, this had to have been the smoothest trip, traffic- wise, ever.

One of my most hated sections of Highway 101 is the Ridgewood grade just south of Willits. It takes you down to Ukiah. It's had a few sections of the grade reduced to one lane for most of the four years we've been going down it, or so it seems. Now it's two lanes both ways.

That tight one lane: Not only did that make me nervous- my reflexes not being what they used to be- that also usually means there's at least a few speed freaks that would drive right on my ass most of the way down the grade because they couldn't pass me. I hate that.

As best I can remember, this was the first and only time that I didn't have to worry as much about keeping in the tight one lane. No one was following us, either. We drove all the way down with not one car in front of, or behind us. What a treat!

And not a slow down to speak of in the Santa Rosa/ Petaluma area.We never went below 55 the whole way. Seems like most of the construction is done, for now. I don't think that's ever happened, either.
I don't think either of us wanted to have dinner delivered to the Novato Day's Inn again. Too expensive and, quite honestly, it wasn't all that good. I didn't want to check into the Inn and then hop in the truck again to go find something to eat, either. Not after the drive we just made. Besides, it would be dark soon. So, we decided to head into Novato before we checked in and find somewhere with take out.

We'd heard there was a Quizno's sandwich place close to the Inn, but we weren't necessarily set on Quizno's. We drove a short ways into Novato to look around and found a mall. We figured there should be some place to grab food there. There was. We settled on Phyliss' Giant Burgers. A nice place with 5 or 6 wide screen TVs. Even had a small bar.

I ordered a chicken burger. Connie ordered the cobb salad, the total coming to about $17.00. More than we like to pay for dinner but less than we were paying having pizza delivered. We took the food with us back to the Day's Inn.

Connie couldn't finish her salad. At one point she said, "I keep eating and eating, but it's still here". I guess that's good, but I wasn't all that impressed with the chicken burger. I thought the french fries- that I had to order separately- were pretty good, though. I feel safe in saying neither of us would be going out of our way to go back there. It wasn’t bad, just not anything exciting and relatively expensive. I'd have been happier to find a Burger King.

We did see a McDonald's, right as we drove in to town, but I loath McDonald's.

Did an internet search once we got back to the Day's Inn to see where the Quizno's was supposed to be. I figured now that we'd got a bit of an idea where things were, we should know pretty much where we needed to go for Quizno's. Their web site didn't show a Quizno's in Novato. I could of sworn it did last time I looked. Must have gone out of business like the one in Cloverdale?
Another good thing about the trip was being able to enjoy more than just basic cable TV for a night. Saw one movie I might not have watched if Connie hadn't switched to it. The Soloist turned out to involve an L.A. Times columnist I read on occasion, Steve Lopez.

I would of said I read Lopez often, but I apparently missed his columns detailing his relationship with homeless musician, Nathaniel Ayers. I love movies based on true stories and, after doing a little internet research, the movie seemed to be fairly accurate, although Mr. Ayers doesn't smoke as depicted in the movie.

The next show was another treat. One of my favorite mini- series is Band of Brothers. It's a true account about a company of paratroopers that participated in D Day- Operation Overlord- the Invasion of Europe. I'd actually seen all of the series but the first episode and they showed the first episode Sunday night. Does it get any better than that?
Breakfast the next morning at the Day's Inn Breakfast Room was a disappointment. I've said before their breakfast room needs some work. This time there were no hard boiled eggs available. No bagels available, either, and that's what Connie usually has. So, I had four pieces of wheat (not whole wheat- the phony wheat) bread and Connie had some Cherrios. Luckily she'd brought some yogurt along so was able to at least sustain herself.

The desk guy said the reason there were no eggs was the restaurant had been closed for the last 3 days. I guess that means the restaurant was preparing the hard boiled eggs? Somewhat surprising as I always thought the eggs were done by Inn staff. I guess not. Regardless, a major downer for us as we were both hungry.
We left earlier than usual to head to UCSF as we had a 9:45 appointment at the Mt. Zion campus to see a dermatologist. Once again, for the only time I can remember, we drove straight through to The City without a hint of a traffic jam. We arrived at UCSF with perfect timing- time enough to catch the shuttle to Mt. Zion without any huffing and puffing.

I was really surprised that the UCSF parking garage was so empty. I figured with the holidays being over there'd be all kinds of people with appointments, trying to catch up on business, and the parking garage would be full. That turned out not to be the case. Plenty of room to park, even later in the day.

The waiting room at UCSF Oncology was pretty empty, too. Connie's doctor, Doctor Hege, said she expected a big crowd, as well. She didn't know why it was so slow. Good for us, though.

Saw the dermatologist at Mt. Zion, Dr. Shinkaii, M.D., PhD. Both of us were surprised she seemed to recognize us on sight. We were walking down the hall to the exam room and she greeted us like she knew us. We'd only seen her once before, three months ago- a remarkable gal and a pleasure to deal with.

Did she really remember us, or does she act that way with everyone? After our second meeting with her, I actually think she remembered us. She was just too up to speed on the business we had to deal with to have gotten everything from records and charts.
The Oncology Dept. at the Parnassus Campus kinda sucks lately. Swine flu precautions are in place. You have to wear a mask and wash your hands to enter. Staff don't- they’ve been vaccinated- but patients and visitors do. I certainly don't blame them as many, if not most, of the patients there are immune suppressed or deficient. Common flu can be deadly to them. I just hate face masks because wearing them is uncomfortable and makes my nose run.
Got out of UCSF a few minutes late as Dr. Hege came up with the idea of Connie getting an H1N1 vaccination while she was there. Connie has been having trouble finding any vaccine up here but UCSF had some in stock. Cool.

Actually had a short traffic slowdown in the Santa Rosa area on the way back from merging traffic that lasted maybe a minute at most.
Stopped at the Willits Taco Bell for a pee break and dinner- to- go. Every time we've been there I've been impressed with how the mostly Mexican crew there seems to enjoy their jobs, or at least each other. It was no different this time with the guys and gals laughing and joking as they went about their work.

I mentioned it to one gal that was cleaning up in the dining room. She was an anglo gal and seemed older than the rest of the crew. I told her I was impressed with how happy the workers always seemed there. She replied that she'd worked at a number of Taco Bell's and this one was, indeed, "...the best one".
We got in to Eureka a bit before 8pm. As we're coming down E street we see flashing lights down by our house. We're wondering if they're fire engines, or what? Being a constant worrier about things going wrong, I'm always thinking we'll come home to something bad having happened. It's happened before. So what are those lights over by what seems to be our house?

It was a tow truck hauling off a vehicle from in front of my neighbor's house. There was a Highway Patrolman behind the tow truck, too. Whew! Close one.
So, we get home and both of our butts hurt from sitting in the truck for so long. A little walking around gets rid of the pain, but it's torture when you just have to sit there and drive. Anyone have any tricks for alleviating butt and leg pain during long drives?

We have foam pads we put on the seats, but that only goes so far. The only thing I can do that helps is to stop and get out of the truck and move around a bit and I don’t want to do that every 20 miles. Suggestions are welcome.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Hazardous Waste Adventure

I've had a burned out compact fluorescent light bulb sitting in my garage for at least a couple years now. For those of you in Arcata, compact fluorescent bulbs are considered hazardous waste and have to be disposed of as such.

I also had about 40 to 50 pounds of old lawn fertilizer to get rid of- some weed and feed, the rest just plain fertilizer. I decided to take them in to the City Garbage hazardous waste facility on West Hawthorn Street in Eureka today.

I expected this to be an interesting trip, never having been through the hazardous waste facility yet. Turned out it was pretty much a non- event.

You drive in there the same way you go in to the recycling center. You continue past the recycling center and take a left to go around the hazardous waste building. The entrance is on the south side. I blew it because I thought you were supposed to go in where you're actually supposed to exit from the facility. When I noticed my mistake, I swung left and that had me going wrong way into the exit from the recycling center. Luckily no one was leaving the recycling center at the moment so, no harm, no foul.

You get to the entrance of hazardous waste and there's an electronic gate, just like they have at the garbage facility. They open the gate and guide me forward their unloading spot. It had two speed bumps at each end. You park right there. I guess that's important because you can minimize contamination from spills if unloading is all done in one place.

On the left was the gal that takes your info. She asked what my zip code was first, to make sure I was from Eureka, I guess. I then started to get out and explain what I had in the back of my truck and she quickly told me to stay in my car. I guess that's a big thing there. You're supposed to stay in your car. They take the waste out themselves.

I still had to get out of the truck to get money out of my pocket. She didn't seem to like it but what else could she do? By the time I started, once again, to explain what I had in the five gallon buckets, they'd already removed them from the back of the truck and taken them into the building. I gave the gal five bucks- that's standard fee for Eureka residents for up to 15 gallons or 150 pounds- and away I went.

Kind of a nice, efficient operation they have there but I was hoping it would of been a little more interesting than that. Here's info on the hazardous waste disposal if anyone is interested.
As an aside, I was surprised to see how busy City Garbage's recycling center was today. You'd think with mandatory curbside recycling being forced on so many people, business at the recycling center would of slowed down a bit. It was all clogged up when I was there with only two parking spaces open.


Too Much Is Not Enough?

This commentary from MediaNews was published as a guest editorial in the Times- Standard yesterday. It basically explains that, while California spends much more on its freeways and roads than the vast majority of states, our roads still are among the worst in the nation. At least some of them are.

They go on to say we should be putting even more money into our roads, despite the fact we're already spending more per mile than most other states. One sentence is used to say we should spend the money more efficiently, but it seems almost like an afterthought the way I read it.

Anybody else read it that way? Kind of a goofy line of thinking to me.


Friday, January 01, 2010

Losing More Old Technology

I was wondering in the back of my mind whether my plan to switch to broadcast television might end up being undermined by technology one way or another. Then I figured it probably wouldn't as the networks make money by advertising and, by broadcasting their programs, they can reach an audience beyond what they could get using satellite and cable.

I guess not. According to this guy, advertising isn't bringing in the bucks like it used to and networks are looking for another way to survive. That might mean an end to broadcasting so they can force everyone into having to pay more and more for cable and satellite.

Broadcast TV isn't the only thing we might be losing. Doc Anchovy sent me this piece yesterday about old fashioned land line telephones. Looks like those might be going by the wayside, too, although I suspect those of us on the user end won't notice as much difference as would users of broadcast TV.

Kind of a shame. I like the idea of broadcast TV and Plain Old Telephone Service being available.