Monday, November 29, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn!

How exciting. The house across the street- the old boarding house next to the Matteolis- is on fire. Fire engines all over the place. Fire seems to have started in the roof.

Connie came in just before 10:30pm and woke me up saying the house across the street was on fire. Sure enough. Large flames coming out of the roof.

All kinds of people from the neighborhood out watching the festivities. Marc Matteoli was out on the sidewalk next to the place and seemed to be enjoying himself. He was chatting with cops and firemen he seemed to know.

After a while he came over to our side of the street and asked if we were the ones that called it in. We weren't. I was a asleep and Connie didn't know anything about it until the fire engines pulled up.

I told Marc I was disappointed they had it under control so soon as the best thing that could probably happen for the neighborhood was for the house to burn down. It was used as a boarding house before being left abandoned and was a constant source of problems.

Marc replies, "No, no, no. It's a beautiful old house. It just needs a new owner". I replied that who else is going to buy a house like that unless they're going to turn it into another boarding house. The place has 11 bedrooms. It's highly unlikely you'll find a family large enough to move into it.

He went back across the street after that. We watched for a while longer but within a half hour the flames were out. Still smoke billowing out of the roof and windows, though.

I was surprised at how many people, including firefighters, were standing around taking pictures.

Big hole left in the roof by the time I went back to bed. I could still see the flashing red lights outside at 1:30. Don't know how long the fire trucks stuck around.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Singleton Busted!

I normally wouldn't post something like this. I don't know that it's right that people arrested for driving under the influence should have their names published in the newspaper before they're convicted. I couldn't help myself this time after seeing our local bottom feeding lawyer, Jason Singleton, in the Times- Standard's D.U.I. arrest log this morning.

Probably not a big deal for him as he's got plenty of money to pay the fines involved.

No More Topix Comments At T-S?

This is day 3 that I've noticed the Topix comments have been removed from the Times- Standard web site. Shame, as I had fun with them. Probably more fun than I do with the local blogs.

I'm guessing they got tired of dealing with moderating comments?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bush/Obama Inflation Arrived?

Leonidas seems to think so. I just got home from Taco Bell where a 7 Layer Burrito used to be $1.79. At least I think it was last time I was there a few months ago. It was around $2.19, before sales tax, today. That's quite a jump.

It the coming months and years it might be tough to tell just what's causing any price jumps in California since voters made sure the last couple elections prices for food and energy will likely go up in this state, regardless. Either way, if inflation isn't causing the price increases, there will be hell to pay in California when the inflation does get going.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gas Prices Rising Soon

California is looking at anywhere between a 30 to 80% increase in gas prices within the next five years, reports Cal Watchdog. This a result of AB32- that global warming law. That will be in addition to any nationwide increases in gas prices.

And just you watch, when these prices go up we'll be hearing Californians blaming the "greedy oil companies", despite the fact a majority of Californians voted for the price hikes.


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Berry Summit Traffic Cam

Was just checking to see what the snow looked like around the state on the Cal Trans Traffic Cams web site and noticed they have a camera up on Berry Summit now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Airport Screening: Two Voices

One of the stupider commentaries I've read on the new airport screening procedures naturally comes from the Sacramento Bee- no surprise there- which reminds us, "Much screening is more about peace of mind than actual safety."

A more sensible view in my mind comes from- no surprise here- Steve Greenhut, formerly of the Orange County Register: "If the X-rated scanners don't cause the public to start pushing the pendulum back in a more sensible direction, then I'm not sure there's anything that will save what freedoms are left in this nation.".

Let's hope so, but I'm not holding my breath. And I don't support fliers opting for pat downs instead of scans. I say don't fly, period. Take a bus, train or your car to wherever you might need to go until this nutty stuff is stopped.

Necessity is the plea made for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.- William Pitt

Housing Prices Going Up In California

At least for new ones, and it won't be a case of market forces driving them up.

As of January 1, the Modesto Bee reports, all new homes in California must be built with fire sprinkler systems. That's expected to increase home prices by thousands of dollars.

New home buyers, of course, won't be any better off then than they are now. They'll be taking a big hit, adding insult to injury. This likely won't work out well for anyone, except plumbers and sprinkler system suppliers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Anyone know of any local stores that sell pickled green tomatoes? Every now and then I get a yankering for some but I haven't been able to find them anywhere but online anymore.

I used to buy them down at Pete's Market on South Broadway years ago. I believe it was Del Monte or one of those other big pickle companies that offered them back in the late '70s. I guess I must of been the only one buying them as I can't find any major canner that offers them now.

The story of my life: I like something, but nobody else does so they stop making it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Toll Roads: The Libertarian Way?

At first I was a bit amused at this article in the San Jose- Mercury News on plans for additional tolls being levied on folks not only entering San Francisco, but leaving.

I'd often thought, while driving past the northbound lane toll booths on the Golden Gate Bridge, it would make more sense to charge tolls for leaving rather than entering. Hey, I don't want to go to San Francisco in the first place. Shouldn't you charge for what people want to do- like leaving?

Then I got to thinking and, all kidding aside, the idea of setting up more and more toll booths, where people often have no choice but to pass through, is kind of scary. They could put them just about anywhere and make all kinds of money and you wouldn't have any choice but to pay whatever toll they felt like asking for, unless you just stayed home!

About the only thing remotely funny about these kinds of ideas is you'll hear some libertarians suggest we privatize all the roads and fund them guessed it: toll fees!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ME, ME, ME!!!

That's what it looks like the California Senior Legislature is about. This story in the Redwood Times takes a look at some of the legislation they're getting ready to lobby the real state legislature for. Nearly all of it something to do with senior citizens, like special protections, or some such.

I realize all special interest groups do this, but would think the seniors would be a little better about not pushing it. After all, I'd be willing to bet nearly everyone in this Senior Legislature is on MediCare, Social Security and a host of other government programs, never mind any retirement programs from the private sector.

I would hope these folks would realize they're already receiving many benefits younger people aren't and be grateful for those, not asking for more.

But they won't. One thing most seniors have in common is they have plenty of time on their hands. You can bet this group will be using that time to come up with more ideas to benefit themselves.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gooo....Gary Johnson!

I've brought up former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, here before. He's one presidential candidate I'll be enthused about supporting in 2112. The New Republic has a nice piece on him today and he's got a Facebook page you can Like.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Dangerous Foods For Driving

I'm not sure what to make of this list of the ten most dangerous foods to eat while driving. While his points about the individual food might be true, I think you could say the same sort of thing about eating or drinking anything while driving, except maybe a granola bar. The reason these food and drinks make the top 10 is probably just because they're the most often consumed while driving.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Where Were You?

I was a security guard at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant at the time of the Nov. 8, 1980 quake. I was working the graveyard shift at the time and was outside on the trail between fuel storage tanks 1&2.

I happened to be facing south east and saw two bright flashes over in the Bell Hill/ Tompkins Hill direction. Then the ground started shaking, so much so that I had to steady myself on my feet. Despite that, I still wondered if it was my imagination as this was the first big earthquake I'd been awake for.

The swaying and squeaking of the lamps on top of the fuel tanks assured me that there really was an earthquake going on.

After it stopped shaking it was strangely quiet. I got on my radio and called Security. No answer. I called again. No answer, then the shift supervisor came on over the radio and said the two guards inside the security building had locked themselves out. They'd left the building when it started shaking.

It took a while for me to realize the reason it was so quiet was Units 1 and 2 had shut down, thus no power generation noise. They were designed to do that in case of an earthquake of a certain size.

I remember seeing the fire trucks and ambulances heading south on the freeway. I wondered at the time if the C.R. dorms had collapsed, or some such. Didn't find out about the bridge collapse until a little bit later.

A water line broke on the east side of Unit 2. Quite a gusher blowing there until they got it fixed. Nearly all the maintenance people ended up coming in shortly after that to deal with any needed repairs.

Oddly enough, when I got home that morning, I don't recall any damage to speak of at my little house. The aftershocks went on for 3 days.

Oh, and that first family that went off the bridge, they were friends of one of our other supervisors and had left his house a few hours before driving south to drive over the bridge.

Where were you?

Just The Beginning

Here's a SacBee story about a trucking business that's facing very tough times because of California's air quality regulations, and this is before AB32 really gets going. Things will likely get much, much worse in this state.

I have to agree with one of the comments to the story that it is rather telling that the Bee waited until a week after the election to run this story.


Friday, November 05, 2010

My Blood Boils...

when I read stories like this. A tenant from hell moves in and uses the legal system to live there for free. The landlord ends up losing her home as a result. Wonder if the gal is related to Jason Singleton?

Apparently the lady has done this same thing across the country and there's been all kinds of judgments against her but nobody can collect. They really need to get a picture of her and spread it all over the country so she can't rip off anybody else.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Signs Down, Please!

Let's get those campaign signs down. If you're too lazy to remove them entirely, at least pull them up and lay them flat so we don't have to look at them.

My Question is...

Is Bonnie Neely even speaking to Virginia Bass or Nancy Flemming anymore?

Monday, November 01, 2010

My Letter

I wrote a letter to the Times- Standard some weeks ago in rebuttal to a My Word column they published opposing Prop 23. I've seen at least two other letters in the T-S opposing Prop 23 since then but none supporting it, including mine.

So I'll publish mine here, changed slightly from the original I sent in:

Prop 23 doesn't roll back any of our air quality laws except AB32 and it only suspends that one until the economy recovers.

Prop 23 will save everyone money. Even opponents of Prop 23 admit we'll likely see increases in energy costs of up to 60% as we are forced to buy more of our energy from renewable sources and heavy fines are levied against companies exceeding CO2 limits.

Prop 23 won't stop you or your community from using solar or wind power should you chose to do so. It just won't force you, as AB32 does, to use expensive renewable energy you might not be able to afford.

Here in Eureka we're facing a possible 50% increase in our water and sewage bills. We'll also likely be seeing increased food costs soon as Prop 2 (cage free eggs) is implemented. Along with that and any new taxes coming our way, do you really want to see up to a 60% increase in your electric bill?

I don't, so I'm voting YES on Prop 23.

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat published a nearly identical version of the letter I sent to the Times- Standard within a couple days of me sending it in, but it only made the online "extra" letters.


Election Predictions?

Received an e-mail this morning reminding me I haven't made any predictions on the outcome of tomorrow's election. I e-mailed back that I'm usually not the one to throw out guesses on election outcomes.

About the only prediction I'm willing to make is that more bad things will result from tomorrow's election than good. In California, that's nearly always the case.