Friday, July 31, 2015

Sports Stadiums

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters takes a look at sports stadium subsidies. I think he's being too nice, but maybe that's because I couldn't care less about sports. 

I've never figured out why, in an anti- business state like California, there isn't more outrage over politicians pandering to wealthy professional sports teams. As Walters explains, it's happening all over the state, not just in Sacramento.

"As Sacramento builds a new downtown arena for the Kings, with roughly half the money coming from the city, the 49ers football team has already decamped from San Francisco to a lavish new facility in Santa Clara, Oakland’s Athletics baseball team and its Raiders football team are demanding new venues, the Warriors basketball team is abandoning Oakland for a new arena in San Francisco, the Chargers football team is on the verge of moving to Los Angeles as San Diego politicians frantically try to mollify its owners with promises of a new stadium – and so forth."
ad more here:

I'm sure some will say sports stadiums bring money to communities, Everything I've read- and Dan Walters seems to agree- says they bring in little, if any. Unless you're one of the teams, their staff and others that are directly involved with them. Everyone else takes a hit.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yet Another Damned Political Quiz

I don't believe I've seen this one before. Another one of those quizzes that supposedly tells you where you are politically. The comments on the Facebook post over this seemed skeptical. It does seem rather odd to have liberalism square in the center, but it worked out pretty well for me.

The star marked "You" is where I landed. My score's description: "You're on the right and libertarian quadrant of the political spectrum! You prize individualism and personal liberty above all else. You believe in private property and the free market. You tend to be patriotic but you're sceptical of the state and you find little to no value in government institutions. You believe that success depends on the individual's ability to pull themselves up by their own boot straps and take advantage of the opportunities they have. You see taxes as a form of oppression and you believe that the greatest threat to freedom is big government. You believe in a society of independent and hard-working individuals who take care of themselves. You want big brother out of your bedroom, out of your bank account, and off your property!"

Eureka Police Homeless Policy Poll

The Eureka Police blog has a poll asking what you think the proper course for homeless policy should be. As I write this just over 65% chose "Focused Enforcement". I seem to be the only one that chose "Not Sure".

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not Quite Warp Drive

The Telegraph reports on what looks like a promising development in space travel. An electromagnetic drive developed over 15 years ago, but ridiculed, is being looked at now as feasible. It uses solar power to generate microwaves which generate thrust. 

Considered akin to the Impulse Drive of Star Trek lore, it will make space travel much faster than it is now. They believe it could get someone to the moon in around four hours, Mars in 70 days. That would take out one of the biggest barriers I've always felt prohibited man from making a serious effort to land on Mars. Current plans would take as long as six months to get there.

Neat stuff. My only question now is what if there isn't solar power available if you're too far away from our sun or another star?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Returning Library Books

A lady writes to the Times- Standard about her vandalized library book. Apparently she had a friend return it for her. The friend gave it to the guy in line in front of her as he agreed to return it. She ends up getting a bill for $20.00 from the library for a wet book. How that happened, who knows, but she should have just used the drop box as a comment to the letter suggested.

That reminds me of my own returned book story from back in the early '80s. That was back when the library was in the basement of the courthouse where the Court Clerk's office is now. I used to go in there fairly often.

I'd gone back in to get more books and return one I was done with. Back then, when you'd have a book to return, you'd just set it on the front counter where there was a sign saying to leave returned books. I dropped the book off, then went to look for some other ones. There was a librarian sitting within four feet of where I left the book.

Next time I went in, the librarian dude tells me I have a book overdue. It's the one I left on the counter last time. I told him I set it right on the counter where I was supposed to and he was sitting right there. He said they had no record of it being returned but seemed as if he believed me. I even went to where it was on the shelf in case someone had put it back and just missed recording it. Nope. The book was nowhere to be found. Somebody must have taken it.

I guess the guy believed me. They never charged me for the book.

The name of the book? I believe it was External Security and dealt with retail security and ways to stop thieves from ripping off stores.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Washington Post Does Bees

The Washington Post has a story on Colony Collapse Disorder of honeybees similar to the one I posted here a while back. It's no surprise to see a couple comments to the story suggesting the story is some sort of conspiracy by the Koch brothers, just as we read here. 

More reinforcement for my claim that people believe the "science" that fits their ideology and overall worldview. It's a glass half full vs. glass half empty, or worse, depending on what role private industry has in the issue.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lost Coast Outpost Radio News

I listen to KMUD radio while driving around at work. After beer o'clock, while out in my garage, I listen to whatever that 105.5 FM station is. The Lost Coast Outpost does a super brief news announcement every half hour or hour on 105.5. What gets me is it's always the same story- someone gets arrested, or a big pot bust, over and over.

I can't blame them for my probably having read that same story online. I do wonder if they have to always feature the same story probably four times the whole time I'm listening. They usually have more than one story on their web site. Can't they or the radio station feature more than one?

Rant over.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Lost Dog

I told myself I'd never play the Good Samaritan with lost dogs again after an experience I had years ago. I couldn't help myself yesterday. 

I was out on the sidewalk by my truck when a golden retriever type of dog showed up a few feet away on the corner. He was skittish and seemed confused, darting back and forth. He came closer and then started to run out into E street. This was just before 4pm when there's a lot of traffic. I called to the dog and got him to come back to the sidewalk. Then I grabbed a dog biscuit from the truck and coaxed him close enough to grab his collar.

Sweet dog but seemed frightened. I found a couple phone numbers on a tag on his collar. I tied a nylon strap I had in the truck to his collar and tied the other end to the water faucet pipe by our front porch. I tried calling the numbers on his collar. No answer on one, voice mail message on the other. I left a message. 

Didn't get a call back right away and had told myself if I don't get one I'm letting the dog go once the traffic on E street calms down. Perhaps he can then find his own way home? Then I tried calling animal control and see if they could come get the dog to hold him until we can find the owner.

I guess Eureka doesn't have any dog catchers anymore. Phone book said to call the County Animal Shelter. I called the Shelter. A waste of time. Got some recording that eventually told me to call a number if my situation wasn't one of those mentioned. No mention of what to do if you have a found animal, or maybe I missed it? I called the other number, which turned out the be the Humboldt Sheriff's Office. Another recording saying to call 911 if it's an emergency. For other business call back between 8am to 4pm. Waste of time again.

By this time I figured the owners must have gotten my one voicemail, but I tried again, desperate. I don't want to let the dog go, but it's not spending the night here. Been there, done that. I called my neighbor Julie. She might be able to help, and might be able to recognize the dog as the one in the enclosure at a house a block away. I wasn't sure.

Julie comes right over. She doesn't recognize the dog. She sends a text message to one of the numbers we'd been calling. I'm hinting at putting the dog in her enclosed back yard. She won't fall for that but takes a picture of the dog to post on the Nextdoor Neighborhood web site, then leaves to go post it.

Maybe 15 minutes later my bum nephew comes over and doesn't seem happy with seeing the dog in my garage. That motivates him to call one of the numbers we had, again. Lo and behold, someone answers. She'd just got home from work and didn't know if her dog was missing. She checks and says she'll be right over. Within five minutes she comes and gets the dog. I asked her where she lived. Yep. Huntoon and F Streets. That was the dog after all.

I got my tablet and checked the Nextdoor Neighborhood web site. The announcement and photo of the lost dog was already up. I made a quick post that the owner had been found. Problem solved. All's well that ends well.

Update: Just after 8am this morning I got a call from the Animal Shelter. I'd forgotten I'd left a message. I guess they are there, but only from 8 to 4.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staples Moving To Bayshore Mall

The Times- Standard reports Staples is moving to the Bayshore Mall after being at Eureka Mall for who knows how long. I'm betting they don't last long there and can't understand why they'd want to move. Not too big a deal to me personally as I rarely shop there. This almost guarantees I won't be going there even that much.

Supes Dealing With County Pension Problems

The Times- Standard did a good job explaining the county's employee pension liabilities. It's good to see the Board of Supervisors have publicly recognized the problem and are considering action to deal with it. Establishing the trust fund to help pay the debt sounds the best to me. 

Next question: Has the City of Eureka been doing anything to deal with their pension debt?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Normal" Local Temperatures

Today's Times- Standard looks at recent temperatures, focusing on global temps and records. While I suspect they're trying to tie into the global warming thing, I have gotten the impression the summer temperatures here in Eureka have been above average for at least the last two years, this summer being the third. They do mention local temps: 

“We were above normal, but only a tiny bit. And I think for July so far, for Eureka, we’ve been pretty close to normal too,” said Eureka National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Carroll.
Carroll said the average high for June was 0.1 degree below normal and the average low was 1.3 degrees above normal. Overall average temperatures for the month of June were 0.7 degrees above normal, Carroll said.
“We didn’t set any record highs for June here in Eureka,...”.

Only a tiny bit? I've lived up here 42 years. Maybe my memory is faulty but seems to me summers are normally more than a tiny bit cooler than this. I was telling a customer the other day that the average summer temps in years past seemed to be between 55 and 60, with going up to 65 or above being a heat wave. That's not to say it hasn't been warmer on occasion. I'm referring to the norm.

I pointed out to the customer that the last 2 or 3 summers have seemed abnormally warm, with temps in the high 60s to low 70s being common. Is it just me? The customer seemed to agree, but she might have been just being polite. What say you?

Monday, July 20, 2015 Gas Price Petition

When I first read of this new petition on, I figured it would be something blaming greedy corporations for recent spikes in gas prices. Nope. This one asks the powers that be to ease state fuel mandates on production of gasoline that cause gas shortages and higher prices. Those mandates cause higher prices all the time. Why not ease them to keep prices down while state refineries are having production problems.

Virus Scan Advice

I use Avast anti- virus and have found a number of viruses on my computer through the years. Now I'm wondering how many I might have missed?

I don't remember if it does it every time but, after doing a full system scan, if Avast finds a virus it often recommends restarting the computer and scanning on startup- a boot scan. Some time ago I went ahead and followed their advice only to cancel it after a few minutes. It took too long.

Yesterday, after the old Win32.Adware virus was found, it advised me again to do a boot scan. Since I had time, I went ahead with it, not really expecting anything to be found. Nope. All kinds of stuff in there.

I kept checking on the progress, but was getting bored with it after about ten minutes. Boot scans take longer as they're slower and more deliberate. I was about to cancel again when it found another virus- the same kind it had already found in the earlier scan. It then gives you a bunch of options for dealing with it. I chose Fix Automatically, or whatever that option was. I realized later I should have chose Fix All Automatically so I wouldn't have to sit there and do it over again.

It kept on going, eventually finding six other different viruses. After a while it stalled on yet another one. I can't recall the message but something about a file being corrupted and it couldn't deal with it. At that point, since it didn't seem to be scanning anymore, I cancelled the scan and downloaded Malwarebytes which is supposed to be able to get rid of that last one. The others were all sent to the virus chest where they can't do any harm.

Funny thing was, I had no idea anything might be wrong with the computer aside from one small thing I don't think was related to any virus. But that was enough to remind me to run a scan again. I'm wondering if maybe I should just do the boot scan instead of the standard full system scan from now on?

If you've been ignoring boot scan prompts, I advise following their advice.

Update: Installed and ran Malwarebytes as it's supposed to be able to get rid of the Hupigon-ONX trojan- seems like a bad one from its description. Malwarebytes didn't find it but came up with three other suspicious files. I think that happened when I used Malwarebytes before. They're quarantined and I can always bring them back if something isn't working right.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Best Tomato That Won't Be Sold

Slate magazine tells the strange story of a newly hybridized tomato that is believed the best tasting ever. Not coming to stores in America any time soon, though. Why? Growers think we don't care about flavor, among other things. Italy sounds interested, though.

Water Wasting

The San Jose Mercury News has a story on the use of water flow restrictors. Water districts aren't really using them yet but have them available if customers refuse to control their water use. They have used them before:

"The district did use them in previous droughts. Famously in 1977, as TV cameras and newspaper photographers recorded the moment, the district clamped one on the home of Raymond and Phyllis Olson, a Hayward couple who were using 883 gallons a day."

883 gallons a day??? You'd have to work to use that much water. I wonder what they used it on? 
No need for those up here as we have a surplus of water, unlike pretty much everywhere else in the state, but I still get annoyed when I see people wasting water.

Was working over by Eureka High School a while back. I drive up and the guy living next to the tennis courts is watering down his truck. I assumed he was getting ready to wash it. I go to work, then see him hosing down the plants around his house. Not watering, just spraying the foliage. Then he hoses down the driveway a bit, then back to the plants.

I'm there 30 to 45 minutes. By the time I leave he gets back to hosing down the truck again. I'm not sure if he ever got around to washing it.

The Asian folks that live caddy corner from us did major makeover of their yard earlier this year. For some reason they felt a need to pressure wash their sidewalks. We didn't think much of it at first. Over three hours later when the guy was still washing down the same 30 to 40 feet of sidewalk we started wondering what the hell he was doing. 

I guess he just liked seeing the water spray, just as the guy did hosing down everything in the front of his house. People like water.
We really shouldn't be annoyed by people wasting water, though, at least up here. Down in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties they've been dealing with serious water shortages for three years. As a result, people were scrimping and saving to conserve water. They conserved fairly well, only to see their water bills increase. 

People were pissed, and rightfully so. You use less water, your bill should be lower, or so it would seem. The problem was the water districts weren't selling enough water to pay everyone and maintain infrastructure so they had to charge more for less water being used.

I'm not sure if that would happen up here. I'm not sure how much water use we pay for in our monthly bill. I get the impression we'd still pay around $50 if we didn't use any water. We did see water bills go up quite a bit after all the mills closed. The large amount of water they used essentially subsidized the rest of our bills. 

With that in mind you have to wonder if it makes sense to get pissed off at someone you see over irrigating their lawn or otherwise wasting water. We do have water to waste up here, and they might be saving everyone else money.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Times- Standard Deleting Comments??

The Times- Standard ran a story today covering anti- tobacco legislation that got snuffed in the state legislature. It was actually a guest story from one of the Media News Group's Bay Area papers. The gist being it's all a conspiracy by "Big Tobacco".

I felt it my duty to post the link to the You Tube video explaining the reasons for California's war on e- cigarettes, explaining it's just a money grab to make up for the money lost as people quit, or reduce, their smoking by switching to e- cigs. That comment seems to have disappeared. Hmmm???

Of course, it could have been flagged by some other viewer with a tobacco obsession. Or it could be that the link embedded the video in the comment and that's not allowed? I tried to remove it but couldn't figure out how. Or, someone at the Times- Standard didn't like the comment. That's what first comes to mind, but I wonder if they have enough people working there to keep track of their little used comments section?

Addendum: I'm getting the impression the T-S comments don't allow links. I tried it again and it disappeared just as the first one did.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Burglars Talk Burglary

This just in from the Nextdoor Neighborhood web site for Eureka. A You Tube video of interviews with some burglars telling how they think, how they steal and things you can do to at least make them think twice about coming to your home.

The first part runs almost 18 minutes but, despite my short attention span, I found it intriguing. At the end it goes into part 2 which runs 5 to 10 minutes.

I can't help but kinda like the guys interviewed. Something about their honesty and candor makes them seem pretty decent.

Chappelle On Political Correctness

Comedian Dave Chappelle is back and doing a nationwide tour. I love this quote from him:

"I support anyone’s right to be who they want to be. My question is: to what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?"

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gorgeous(?) Sunny Skies

It kinda bugs me when I read headlines like in today's Mad River Union. They make it read as if it's a good thing we've got warm temperatures and sunny skies in the forecast for the next few days. 

 "Another day In Paradise... Humboldt is going to be ridiculously beautiful for the next several days."

I guess I'd rather have it warmer than cold... or would I? It sucks when it's hot and you have to work outside. It can also make it hard to sleep at night.

My main issue is most of us would like to see some rain, even though that's rare in summer here. Another example is that Channel 3 weather guy, Torrance Gaucher- not sure if that's how the name is spelled.

When he first showed up some months ago, he gives the forecast of gorgeous sunny skies with a big smile on his face. As if that's a good thing. Except the wife and I were thinking it's not. We needed rain, and he's acting as if that's not even an issue. He seemed out of touch. 

Someone might have said something to him. He still gives the impression of looking forward to sunny skies and high temps. He just doesn't smile as much when he says it anymore.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Case Against Bike Helmets

This fellow makes a pretty good case for it making little sense to wear a helmet while riding a bike. He's not saying not to to wear one. He simply thinks there's little, if any, evidence of the need for one. In fact, he suggests wearing a helmet could make things worse. 

Well done but, should I ever get another bike, I'll wear a helmet as I always have.

Keep reading past the ads. I got the impression he was done writing. When I scrolled down past the ad I realized he'd kept going.

Old Folks Writing Letters

A couple older folks had letters in the Times- Standard today. The first one was brief and to the point:

"On the one hand medical science is helping us live longer but then on the other hand there’s no place to put us."

The second one is longer. An older couple moving because of the distance to medical services. He has to drive to the Bay Area regularly, as do I:

What happens when the day inevitably comes I cannot make that drive?

Scary stuff when it's going to happen to you.

Playboy Does Freedom Fest

A writer from Playboy magazine gives his observations of the recent Freedom Fest in Las Vegas and some of the libertarians who attended.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Some of you may have heard the new climate change theory that made some papers recently. A mathematician believes sunspots are going to decline until 2030 causing a mini- ice age. She claims her models are 97% accurate. Reason science correspondent, Ron Bailey- whom I've gotten the impression is a Believer- takes a look at that one. 

I suppose their [educated] guess is as good as anybody's, but I couldn't help but question earlier stories I'd read about this, mostly in the British papers (not PC enough for the U.S.). The theory is based in large part on a period in the 1700s where there were virtually no sunspots. That supposedly caused global cooling. Whatever.

Being an equal opportunity skeptic, I had to wonder how they knew how many sunspots there were in the 1700s? I know they had telescopes way back then, but could they accurately count sunspots for a long enough time to create an accurate database? 

This web site on sunspot observation tells us the Chinese were observing sunspots as early as 800 BC. But even after telescopes were developed it's hard for me to believe people back in the 1700s had the time to sit around looking at the sun. Oh, well. Maybe they did, and that web site did remind me that sunspots can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. I saw a couple myself back around '92ish.  

That was at the Port of Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Back then the air was all smokey from the Kuwaiti oil fires. You could usually look straight at the sun without protection.

We were sitting along a seawall after being up all night. The sun was a big orange ball. I looked at it and could swear I saw a large hourglass shaped sunspot with a small dot next to it. I grabbed my mini- binoculars and took a closer look. Yep, a very large hourglass shaped sunspot with a smaller circular one of to its left. Pretty neat, so I passed around the binoculars so everyone else could see.

Neat stuff. A life experience. Whether sunspots affect the earth's temperature remains to be seen.

Monday, July 13, 2015

FDA vs. Vaping Petition has a petition up urging the FDA to reject efforts to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco and to stop referring to them as tobacco products.

Reduced School Zone Speed Limits

The Times- Standard reports on efforts to reduce speed limits near county schools to 15 mph. This first came out as reducing them to 10 mph. I reported here earlier Rex Bohn told me it was 15 as opposed to 10. He got that right, but he got it wrong that only two schools would be affected. According to the Times- Standard ten schools are targeted. 

In fairness to Rex Bohn, there's only two letters difference between two and ten. I suppose that could be an easy mistake to make.

"People (were) walking across the street with their children in a crosswalk almost getting hit time and time again,” Weiss said.".

I don't buy that for a minute. That's not to say there aren't near accidents but, if someone is nearly getting hit as they claim, it's probably because they're not paying enough attention. Reducing the speed limit will likely just make them feel safer, less attentive and more prone to close calls. 

It looks like the Natural Resources Services Division of the Redwood Community Action Agency is one of the major players in this solution in search of a problem. I've added them to my shit list.

Bees Coming Back

According to an article from the Property and Environment Research Center, bees have been making a comeback. U.S. honeybee colony numbers are at a 20 year high. The site won't let me copy and paste anything here so you'll have to use the link for the full story.

en d
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high. - See more at:
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high. - See more at:
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high. - See more at:
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high. - See more at:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Energy Rates Going Up

Calwatchdog takes a look at the latest plan by powers- that- be to raise our energy rates. It's somewhat confusing to me. I can't help but wonder if that's by design? Makes it harder to point fingers. All that seems sure is high energy users will pay less, those using less pay more.

I believe our PG&E bill has gone up at least 50% over the last year or two. Used to be this time of year we'd pay a $25ish, or a bit more. Our latest bill was $37.00 plus change. I'm pretty sure that's mostly a result of AB32, that global warming crap. I've read it can be expected to go higher from that alone. If so, that means with the new rate structure most of us will see our bills go yet even higher than with AB32 alone.

I'm not sure why they can't just charge everyone the same, with some exceptions for wholesale purchases. 

The Tablet: This Should Be It

I was checking the Roboform web site again this morning. Since I started messing around with this new tablet- what's it been, a week or two?- I see they've made Roboform compatible with a couple of new browsers, but still not Chrome, which is already on the tablet. 

I use Firefox on this computer, and kinda would prefer it on the tablet, but why install yet another browser if I can figure some workarounds using the installed ones? Then, two or three days ago in frustration, I tried installing Firefox. Something went wrong and it didn't work. I went back to trying to figure out workarounds.

Yesterday, I noticed there's a link you select on Roboform for the Firefox plugin. Hopefully, it's referring to the Android version and not the desktop. I decided this morning I will install Firefox. This time I'll go through the Mozilla web site instead of Google Play. If all works out and the Roboform plugin works, that should be it. Then I'll get my bum nephew to uninstall anything I've added that I don't need.

I also went to Staples this morning and bought a stylus pen and nylon case for the tablet. About $30.00 all told. Probably should have waited and gotten the stylus from Antich Automotive where we're told they have them as promotional items. But, looking at my receipt, the stylus I bought only cost $2.00. I could have sworn the tag on the shelf said something like $14.99.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Need a Stylus Pen

I almost have this new tablet figured out. Using a web page for my bookmarks looks like about all I can do at this point. I ran into one problem with that. The small screen makes the links small and too close together. That makes it hard to choose a particular link.

This morning I figured I'd just open the bookmarks file in Netscape Composer again and separate the links from each other. Rather than this,


I'd make them spread out like this, 




I figured that should be no problem. Nope. For some reason, even after spreading the links out, they end up back close together again after I save the file. Must be an html thing?

Then I realized I probably wouldn't have to worry about how close together they are if I used one of those stylus pens- the kind you see on some credit card machines. I see Staples offers them. I'll stop by tomorrow and buy one.

Deputies Picket the Bohnster

The Lost Coast Outpost reports the Humboldt Deputy Sheriff's Organization is going to picket 1st district Supervisor Rex Bohn's campaign kick off event. This, because they see him as not supportive of law enforcement. Their reasoning? Not that he's cutting funds from the Sheriff's Dept. He's just spending them the wrong way:

"As Barney recently explained to the Outpost, the union is frustrated that Measure Z money was devoted to hiring new deputies rather than giving raises to those already on the force. “We’re all for hiring new ones, but we want to keep the veterans we have,” Barney said. “It does no good to lose four or five seasoned deputies only to be replaced by four or five rookies.

There you have it. It might make sense that you'd want to keep experienced deputies. I'm not sure how big an issue that really is up here. I do get the strong impression that most people wanted Measure Z money spent on more deputies. Not more on the ones we already have. 

And It wasn't just Rex Bohn that decided Measure Z allocations. The other supervisors were involved along with a lot of public input. Seems to me the supes are doing pretty much what the public wanted.
As far as the suggestion we need to keep paying deputies (and for that matter all local police officers) more to keep them from going elsewhere, oh, well. 

There is some truth to that but, as I pointed out elsewhere, we can play the wage game as long as we want with little to show for it. There will always be some other county- more likely counties- that will be able to pay more than we can. One upmanship over wages with other counties is a game we need not play. We'd likely lose no matter how high wages went.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Half Hearted Plug for Dashlane

I'll give Dashlane a plug if only because they seem to have the most customer oriented service and tech support I've experienced. They make a password generator application so you can log in easily to sites requiring passwords. Quite honestly, I couldn't care less about the password stuff, and can't imagine how very many people would. 

I wanted to use it for its automatic form filling function. I had problems getting started with it so e-mailed their tech support. They e-mailed me back within a day. I eventually sorted out some of the problem but they e-mailed me back a couple days later to see if everything is ok. I replied, asking another question. They e-mailed back and e-mailed back yet a few days later to see if I had it straightened out.

I was impressed. It seemed like they actually cared, even though it's a free program. Will I be using their product? Nope. Well, maybe. See below.

After spending days trying to get it set up on my new tablet, it simply won't do what I want, and my last e-mail told them as much. The deal breaker? You can't import bookmarks to their browser and you can't use their form filler with anything but their browser. What use a tablet browser would be without the ability to import bookmarks is beyond me.

You could go search and find web sites you need bookmarked, then add them to the Dashlane browser. Except that would be a pain in the ass. Might be ok for a one time deal and real simple urls but, longer extended addresses with lots of characters? Yuck! Not happy with that prospect.

But, as I told Romy, the tech support guy or gal, the form filler I use on my desktop, Roboform, is just as bad with the tablet. I haven't been able to get it to work, either. My next try might be installing Firefox. If I can't figure a work around, I'm out of luck.
Another thing I thought of trying was saving my bookmarks as an html file. Put the text on a web page on my freeservers account, then use Dashlane to go to that page to copy and paste the url into the Dashlane browser. That assumes there's a way to bookmark stuff in Dashlane. I'm pretty sure I saw a bookmark link. 

Either that, or make the bookmarks on the web page active links. Then I'd only have to go to that one page, click on the link I want, then bookmark it on the Dashlane browser. Hmmm...? That might work. Seems pretty easy in thinking about it. I'll give that a try.

Update: It works. I tried exporting my bookmarks from Firefox, copying and pasting them to my web editor, then editing and uploading them to my Freeservers site. The way I tried it first, it didn't work well because the links weren't active. That would mean I'd have to go through a big hassle turning them into active links.

Then I tried opening the actual bookmarks file in my web authoring tool, editing and then uploading. Works fine. How it will work with the tablet? I'll find out in an hour or so after beer o'clock when I'm playing with the tablet again.

A Libertarian Democrat?

No, I just needed a title.

There's been back and forth between the Left, Right and libertarians for years about which party represents more freedom and which are the "fascists". I feel the answer is fairly obvious as who do we hear most often running down the libertarians and talk of less government or taxes? Democrats and those further to the left. 

Something I always bring up is that I've heard many a Republican say that one thing or another shouldn't be government business. I've never heard that from a Democrat. Never. Until now. In USA Today California State Assembly Democrat Mike Gatto tells us why the recent strengthening of vaccination laws is unconstitutional:

"But could the government mandate that everyone use condoms to stop the spread of HIV? Such intimate decisions are not for government to make."

Not exactly as strongly written as I would have liked, and keep in mind Democrats have been pushing condom requirements for actors in porn films, but close enough for me. I stand corrected. But, no, that doesn't make him a libertarian.

The Wedding Cake Thing Again

Over at Reason magazine, Scott Shackford looks again at the Oregon case where a Christian couple were fined $135, 000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. This time he focuses on the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)- the agency that levied the fine- and their thinking behind it.

Apparently BOLI tried to defend it's decision by sending out a release citing a case where they ruled in favor of a Christian gal who was supposedly forced to attend some sort of Scientology training seminar. She felt it ran contrary to her religious beliefs to attend that seminar. BOLI agreed with her, yet they use that example to show they're even handed?

As Shackford points out, their rulings oppose each other. In the wedding cake case, they rule against religious freedom. In the Scientology case they ruled for it. A rather poor example for them to use as an excuse.

What Shackford didn't address is any common link between the two cases. The rulings were exact opposites. Was there any common link? It seems to me there is one: They ruled against the business owners in both instances, regardless of the facts.

Shackford goes on to point out that discrimination complaints are rare in Oregon- seven in the last seven years. That kind of enforces what I wrote here earlier about discrimination actions being rare enough in this country they make national news when they are alleged to have taken place. 

I wish the now out of business Kleins luck in their appeal of the appalling fine levied upon them. I wish the worst for the lesbian couple that sued them.

Warning: S.F. Travelers

If you're planning on heading to San Francisco this weekend, you might reconsider your route, or even going at all. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports long delays are expected at the Golden Gate Bridge due to the closing of Doyle Drive at the south end of the bridge. I read something yesterday saying delays of up to four hours are expected.

You'd be hatin' it to run into that without warning.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Recycling Having Problems

Interesting story in the Washington Post on the current state of recycling efforts. Recycling companies across the country are having a tough time of it. We've heard tidbits about this in our local news although I don't think anywhere as comprehensive as the Post story. They're all losing money:

" Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation’s busiest facilities here in Elkridge, Md. — but it is still losing money. In fact, almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red.".

I've wrote before about enjoying recycling for some time. I'm also aware of the more hysterical aspects of it, especially forced recycling which resulted in the glut of recycling materials we face today. That results in much lower demand for recycling materials. 

Some of my earlier observations are validated in the story. For instance, the non- recyclable items I've noticed being thrown into the bins. It's not just Humboldt:

"By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system."

I've always wondered why the local collectors- City Garbage and the rest- don't make some effort to educate people as to what should, and shouldn't, be placed in the bin. The only thing I can recall since garbage and recycling became mandatory in Eureka was one mailer sent out at the beginning. Since then, nothing, and I'm sure things have changed.

This might be a good story for the local papers or TV news. Start out with the problem, then a talk or story about what should or shouldn't be thrown in the recycle bin. The silence from the recyclers seems deafening to me.  I would think all they'd have to do is put out a press release or call for a press conference and local media would come running.

I'll take slight issue with one aspect of the story. They wrote:

"Dwindling have been the once-profitable old newspapers,".

Yep. Newspapers used to be profitable. They imply their decline being more recent. I could be wrong but I thought it's been decades since newspapers were a hot item. I recall living in Tustin, CA in the '60s and youth groups would come by the house to collect newspapers for fundraising. 

It wasn't too much later- probably a bit after I moved up here in the '70s- I saw some news thing on TV about a glut of used newspaper. They showed warehouses of pallets stacked high with newspaper. The guy being interviewed said recycling makes people feel good, but they couldn't find enough uses for the paper. I wonder if, or how, that's changed?

I wonder if government efforts to encourage recycling haven't made things worse? For the most part it worked fine before they tried making it mandatory, although we might well have ended up with the same problems as more and more people took part in it. 

Maybe that old saying about if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it should have been applied to recycling years ago?
As an aside, one of my more recent sightings of trash in recycling bins: I won't say where, except for an alley near Eureka High School. I notice a string of lamps, the kind used either for yard lighting, or maybe to string up for a party, filling an entire bin. 

You're not supposed to do that.  Why anyone would think that's ok is beyond me.

Driscoll On Humboldt's Pot Future

One of my favorite commentators, contrarian environmentalist Uri Driscoll, was published in the Times- Standard this morning discussing the future of the marijuana industry in Humboldt. That sort of thing usually has my eyes rolling into the back of my head. It did this time as I browsed through the article. If someone else had written it, I wouldn't have bothered reading. Then I came to this part:

" If indeed there is to be a need for large amounts of marijuana to be grown in Humboldt County, perhaps the Samoa industrial site is most suited. The county and/or the Harbor district could develop a co-op type facility where Humboldt residents could rent an area that has been converted into a greenhouse and share processing and growing equipment. Regulations and security would be rather simple to enforce."

Great. Let's turn one of our few, if only, industrial sites into a pot garden. Whatever. But he did make a point right after that. Unlike current grow areas, Samoa does have access to lots of water. Fifty million(?) gallons a day is the surplus available from the closing of the mills:

"While marijuana growing may not technically be a coastal dependent industry, it is heavily water dependent and there is plenty available that is not being diverted from streams."

There could be a downside to that should it actually come to pass: If those marijuana farms use up all our surplus water, those of us in the greater Eureka area might have to actually follow water use restrictions as those elsewhere do.

Oregon's Mileage Tax Experiment

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat ran a guest commentary today about a program in Oregon to see how well a mileage tax might work in replacing the gas tax. California and other states have been considering the same thing. The problem being people have been switching to higher mileage cars. That means less gas bought thus less tax revenue. That's a legitimate concern.

I've read other stories and commentaries on mileage tax proposal. I can't recall any that addressed one very likely outcome. Paint me as skeptical if you think for a minute they'll get rid of the gas tax. It's as Ron Paul pointed out when addressing the question of adopting a national sales tax vs. a flat tax. We'll likely end up with both- a mileage and gas tax.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Car Shopping: Epilogue

Our recent car purchase was bugging me. Not the car. It's real nice. Almost too nice. It was all those extras they kinda slipped under my defenses. I told myself I'd go back and ask to cancel all the extras in a couple days. I didn't want to deal with it right away. I hate business stuff, and I was already burned out over this.

But not Connie. On Monday she's up and ready to see our insurance gal and to go to the credit union to see if they could give us a better deal on the financing. She mentioned her plans, trying to start a discussion with me about it. I was rather abrupt, not wanting to deal with it. I told her to go ahead and do whatever she wanted.

When I came home from work she said Provident Central Credit Union had a much better deal on both interest and insurance. She'd gone ahead and told them to start working on whatever it took to transfer the loan. Their manager called Lithia leaving a message. An hour or two later she said they called back and said we'd have to go in to sign a few things to change the deal.

Sounded good to me. The neat thing was it sounded like we'd be switching to a better financing and insurance. It didn't include the thousands of dollars in add- ons we'd bought into. Oh, well. I told myself I was going to deal with that, anyway. With this change in financing I felt better prepared to deal with changing the rest of it.

We got down to Lithia just after 1pm. Went inside and kind of stood around until some gal came over and asked if we needed help. We told her what we were there for. She went to one of the back rooms, came back and said someone should be out to see us soon. I paced back and forth while Connie sat in a chair for what seemed like an hour, with the same gal coming by about half way through telling us he should be out to see us any minute.

The Sales and Finance Manager finally comes out. I realized when we left we hadn't waited anywhere near an hour. Maybe half of that. He asked generally what we wanted to do but seemed somewhat familiar with what we were there for. I mentioned that not only were we switching to Provident, I also wanted all the add- ons removed.

I expected him to try and talk me out of at least some of those but he didn't. He just asked us to follow him to his office. He told us he'd had Coast Central Credit Union send the loan packet back to him and we'd start over with Provident as the original. Made sense as it would be easier than shifting loans from one credit union to another. Good thinking on his part.

About the only thing he said in regards the add ons was the free oil changes for the life of the car (just under $600) was a good deal. I told him the bottom line with that was I'd rather pay for those as needed rather than pay up front with interest. The big thing, I told him, was I really didn't want to drive to South Broadway to get my oil changed. I'd prefer someplace closer like Antich Automotive where I get my truck serviced. He understood that.

I took the time to look at the itemized list of things we'd purchased as options. Probably closer to $4000.00 than the $3k I'd thought it was on Sunday.

He had us sign three of four revised forms, then called Provident. Got hold of the manager and made some arrangements, including faxing her a copy of the new purchase agreement. About that time the sales guy we bought the car from came in to see how we were doing. I jokingly blamed the whole thing on him. 

That was it. Maybe an hour and half from the time we left home until we got back. Now we only owe $13k plus change as opposed to the $17k it was just a few hours ago. I feel better about this now.

Referendum on High Speed Rail Possible

This article from a TV news station isn't too clear on the nuts and bolts but there's movement afoot in the state legislature for a referendum to overturn the earlier one that voters passed to establish high speed rail in California. 

"The initial cost estimate in 2008 for the rail was $33 billion, and has since gone up to $68 billion with some projections up to $100 billion. Recent studies even show the entire project could cost as much as $200 billion dollars."

I'm somewhat optimistic about this, assuming the legislature passes it. Opposition has been growing to this boondoggle  ever since it was first passed. Even some die hard believers in high speed rail have joined the opposition. 

No word in that article as to how the process actually works, but let's hope it makes it. If it does, I wouldn't be surprised if it passes.

Monday, July 06, 2015

July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

I would have never known if it weren't for Facebook, but today is National Fried Chicken Day. Not sure I'm in the mood for any right now. Maybe tonight? For the rest of you, since we don't have KFC anymore, there's always the fried chicken at the Winco deli.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Car Shopping: Finale

I found this Nissan Sentra on Craigslist this morning. Everything looked good and it was being sold at the Lithia dealer on South Broadway. That's where I bought my work truck I've been very satisfied with. I've always felt Lithia was careful to sell quality used cars, if they were to sell them at all. At least from my prior experience.

I wanted to make sure they were open so went to their web site and found they had one of those live chat apps to talk to a representative. I gave that a try. Clicked on a link and a chat window opened. Before I could do anything some guy types "Good morning. How can we help you". That was fast. 

I ask him if the Nissan Sentra was still available. He says to hold while he goes to check. He comes back and says it is and asks if I wanted to make an appointment to look at the car. I told him I didn't want to make an appointment but we'd come by sometime within the next couple hours. He gets my name and phone number then tells me he'll let the sales guys know and to tell the front desk who I am when I get there.

We get down there a bit before noon. Some guy was out placing flags advertising sales. Turned out he was the sales manager. We asked him about the Nissan Sentra. He's not sure if it's still there and goes inside to check. He comes out and said it had been sold at the end of the previous day. Figures (I had a feeling that online guy wasn't local). We tell him we're looking for something like that- smaller and good on gas. He asks us to wait for a minute while he goes to find a regular sales guy.

The sales guy comes out, his name was "Toppy". Pleasant fellow with the gift of gab. By that, I mean someone that seems to know how to easily talk to people. They don't have a whole lot of used cars but the ones they do have are nice, as I expected, but a bit out of our price range and large for my tastes but, hey, this isn't about me.

Connie seems slightly interested in a black Chevy Cruze. I'm not happy with a black car but didn't say anything. We kept going back to a 2013 Hyundai Elantra- kind of a mix between gray and blue (picture isn't the same color). It was over what I wanted to pay, but the guy suggested the price wasn't set in stone. It wasn't really that expensive considering the year and miles- just over 30k miles- but that's because it was a former rental car. I have no problem with rentals.

I forget exactly, but I think they were asking a bit over $13k. After all would be said and done, that would probably be $15k or more, but that was probably the best we could do there. If nothing else, though, I really do trust that they try to sell quality used cars. I mentioned to the guy my concern was mostly monthly payments. I didn't want to pay over $200.00, although I knew that was asking a bit much. 

I finally suggest Connie take a drive in it. We get in, drive to Herrick Avenue and back. During the short drive, I reiterated to the guy monthly payments were my main concern. He confirmed $200 was a bit low to expect, but he'd see what he could do. 

We get back and he invites us inside to figure out the financial details. I know where this is going so reminded him we didn't say we were going to buy the car. It depended on what kind of deal we could get. He said he understood. Here we go! I know I'm about to buy a car.

My resistance was low, anyway. I wanted to get this car buying thing over with. I was stressed and had the beginnings of a headache the whole time. The sales guy takes all our info. Checks our credit, insurance and all sorts of other stuff. Then he starts rattling off sales points about warranties for various things that I'm thinking will cost extra, but I don't really recall him mentioning costs. He probably did. He's just good at slipping that stuff in low key.

I'd agreed somewhere along the line that $250 monthly payments would be acceptable. He got it close to that at $271, or thereabouts. Then he started going though various figures and all sorts of paperwork. I wasn't just burned out at that point, I was fried. Finally after an hour or more, at some point I said, fine, let's do it. We signed some more papers and I thought that was it. Nope.

He says to hold on and we had to go somewhere else to finalize the deal. Ugh! The sales manager, the first guy we saw when we arrived, comes out and introduces himself. He asks us to go to his office where he's got a stack of papers to sign. Here we go again!

It seemed like an hour just going through all that paperwork, signing or initialing this and that. That's when I got to actually see some of the stuff I let slip through because of my weakened state: Some free oil change deal that cost a thousand or more dollars. Some free dent repair thing good for 100k miles or some such, and something else that escapes me now. 

As best I could see, that added $3000, more or less, than I had originally hoped for, although I know they always slip in costs. Oh well. I wasn't going to argue about it that late in the game and, for the condition of the car, it would be nice to have some "free" dent repair. The oil change thing you're actually paying for, although I'd prefer to pay as we go than up front. 

Oh well. After close to 2 1/2 hours, a new car. Bigger than I would have liked, but otherwise very nice- almost too nice. At least the car buying headache is over and we actually have a car I wouldn't feel uncomfortable driving to San Francisco. Had we bought some of the older, used cars we'd seen at other dealers, I probably wouldn't feel that way.

Anybody interested in a '95 Geo Metro in very rough shape?

Addendum: Our bum nephew has asked to buy the Metro for $100. SOLD, assuming things work out. The rest of you, post your offers here.

Vaxxer Debunked?

This commentary in Epic Times claims the doctor saying Jim Carrey's arguments have been debunked has been debunked himself. I've read this twice and I'm not seeing it, at least not yet. Maybe it's in Part 2?

Jim Carrey claims he's not opposed to vaccines, just the thermosol used as preservatives. The doctor claims that makes you an anti- vaxxer and you can't be pro- vaccine but against the preservative used in it (why not?). What a waste of an argument. Quibbling over whether someone is anti- vax, or not. That's not debunking anything.

No debunking I can find in the rest of the article, either. I get the impression the writer thinks there is. He goes on to address studies, some of which would be considered anti- vax and those pro- vax. The doctor has suggested his studies are the good ones. The writer seems to claim others are just as valid. 

Who is to decide? We see this same sort of thing time and again when arguing GMOs, fluoride, global warming and on and on.

That people see "science" differently is good to point out, but not a debunking. All it does is illustrate something I've pointed out here more than once: "Science" nowadays is for the most part based on ideology (and politics). Often the studies themselves, but more importantly what studies someone deems valid. 

Some are going to believe studies showing vaccination can cause autism. Some are going to believe ones that show it doesn't. Which ones they accept is based on their world view, or ideology. I don't see pointing that out as debunking anything.

Was It Something We Said?

Someone that moved to Arcata a couple years ago didn't like it according to this Craigslist ad:

Why did I come to Humboldt? (Arcata)

I came to Arcata because I heard it was a great place to live so I brought my family. I found a full time job working with a local company. I shop only at local, small businesses. I believe in being a part of the community. However, I found something very different. I found a community that was "locals only". I found an area that was not welcoming. I don't understand it. Without migration from "non-locals", your area is doomed to fail. I am very aware of how Humboldt works and how it functions. Marijuana will be legalized. It's coming. You are going to need people like me who believe in the community and small business. After 2 years, I have decided to take my family and move on. Best of luck Humboldt. You are going to need it.

Might have been more fun of a read if they'd been more specific. Anyone have a guess as to why? Fess up if you might have been one of those who chased them off. Meanies!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Trio AXS Tablet Update

I thought I had everything I needed set up on this new tablet. Stumbled on how to get my bookmarks imported from the desktop. They have it set up so the Google Chrome browser on the tablet can import them from the Desktop Chrome.. via Google.

What you do is go to the desktop Chrome and import bookmarks from Firefox. You have to make sure a box is checked in settings for "synching", or whatever it's called. On the tablet you have to register and log in with Google, or maybe it's Google+. Magically, my bookmarks appeared, although I discovered them by accident. Not sure when they actually showed up there.

They don't automatically update. I had to open Chrome on the desktop this morning, dump the old Firefox bookmarks and import the changed ones. Then the tablet picked up the change. One thing that bugged me at first is the bookmarks aren't as I'm used to on the desktop. They're a bunch of square files. Better than nothing I thought at first, then I realized since it's a touch screen, that's probably the best way to do it.

So one biggie solved. Now I needed to see if roboform would work with it. That's what I use to fill in my sweepstakes forms. I found it on Google Play, downloaded and installed it. Set it up and it works to fill in passwords, but I couldn't figure out how to fill in fields. I kept looking and looking, finally going to the roboform web site for answers. Then I check their support site only to find it doesn't work with Chrome, Firefox or other browsers. Just the Android one with the tablet.  Grrr...that really popped my bubble.

Problem with that is I'll have to figure out how to get my  bookmarks to that browser. That, and I can't seem to be able to get that other browser to open now.  

So still looking for answers and I found this Dashlane app that suggests it's used for Android, but the web page isn't really clear about that. It's starts out saying it can be used to fill forms with Android, but it reads as if they're talking about desk tops. I just sent them an e-mail asking to clarify. If they say it works with a tablet and Chrome, I'll dump roboform and use that. If not, I'm stuck...again.

Car Shopping In Eureka

Time to buy the wifey a newer car so I've been looking around online. I'm surprised at how big the average car for sale is nowadays. We wanted something smaller than what I've been seeing. Why would someone want a four door sedan that can carry six when most of us don't need to drive around more than two people?

One of my favorites is the Ford Fiesta. You don't see those around very much. But this isn't about me. This is supposed to be for her.

Saw a Fiesta online at Harper Ford, then I saw this Ford Focus. Connie thought the Focus looked acceptable so I kept that in mind. Saw what I thought was a nice Ford Fiesta at a Fortuna dealer, but I am not going to drive all over the county just to buy a car. The wife is a recreational shopper. I am NOT. I had it in mind to just hit Mid- City Motor World. She wanted to go look just about anywhere, including Mckinleyville. Nope, that's not going to happen. 

My reasoning for Mid- City, and more specifically Harper Ford, was they have so many cars, or so I thought- one stop shopping if you will. I've also been partial to larger dealers since I bought my work truck. That thing was immaculate when I bought it. I get the impression larger dealers have more resources to make sure cars are squared away before sale. 

Due to scheduling conflicts, we couldn't go out on Friday and decided to try today, July 4. Connie thought it might be crazy on July 4. We were to find the exact opposite. They were all closed, save one.

I was going to drive straight to Harper Ford, but she said a few things as we started out indicating wanting to at least take a short look at Sole Savers. Ok. We'll go check it out.

We get there and nobody's home- closed for July 4. We still got out and looked around. A couple potential purchases, maybe. The problem was there were no prices listed on some of them. Didn't make me really want to take more than a cursory glance without prices to go by. We left without even taking a note.

As we started up 7th Street, Northwood Chevrolet/Hyundai was just a block away on the corner. Naturally, she suggested we stopped there. Lo and behold, they actually had a sales guy working. He was a across the street, but came over to show us around. They had mostly what I'd consider larger cars. That's when I found out Connie and I have different ideas about car size.

Most of their cars I would consider at best mid- sized. She seemed to be looking at a few of them half- assed seriously. Whatever. The one that caught both our interest was a 2011(?) Ford Focus hatchback. Even that one seemed a bit large to me. Nice car, though, priced down to $12kish. As we got ready to move on, the sales guy said he had plenty of time and we could take a test drive. Nah, but we did take his business card and I was serious when I told him that car was on "our list".

Across the street, out in front of the Hyundai building, was a red Chevy Spark. We'd seen that in the paper some days earlier. No real info in the newspaper ad so I checked online. That was the only Spark they had and, unfortunately, had a four speed transmission. Both of us would prefer an automatic. If that had an auto trans, I was thinking of buying it sight unseen. Cheapest new car I'd seen. 

Off to Mid- City Motor World. They were closed. We parked and looked around. Most of their cars seemed either large, expensive, or both. The Ford Focus hatchback I saw on Craigslist was nowhere to be seen. Nor was the Ford Fiesta I'd seen earlier on CL that morning. About the only one that caught my eye was a Nissan Versa for something like $11k. It was a newer one, too, which made us wonder why so cheap. Then I saw something on a paper laying on its seat saying it was a former rental car. That's why. Still, I don't mind rentals. That one goes somewhere on the list.

Not really a whole lot of choice at any of the places we'd been to, so far. This wasn't looking too good. The Nissan Versa had me thinking Nissan. I really like some of their cars. The Versa being one. Since we're already out and around, I suggested the Nissan dealer.

Nobody home there, either. There was one nice blue Versa, brand new, for about $16.5k. We weren't planning on buying a new car but at that price- and they advertised 0% financing- I wondered how much a monthly payment would be? Nice. There was also a used one at a price we could afford, although I forget how much. We put both of those on our list.

I was thinking of going home but Connie suggested going to Roy's Auto Center. Okaaay, we'll go there.

Nobody home, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was probably six cars, maybe more, along the fifth street side worth looking at. Nissan Versa- two of them- and a few other brands that I can't recall as I write this. Most with automatic transmissions and looking in good shape. Limited warranties and all worth putting on the list. 

We might stop by there tomorrow, assuming they're open. Two or three of their cars seemed worth putting at the top of our list.

We got home and I don't know that it was more than 20 minutes before Connie goes, "Maybe we should try Lithia Dodge". Nope. Nothing against Lithia, but I am NOT a shopper. Enough of this for one day.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Test of Tàblet

Just trying a blog test of the tablet. You dont want to do this unless you have to.

Google Chrome vs. Firefox

I was just getting ready to try and import my bookmarks from Firefox to the new tablet. I read somewhere yesterday something about they automatically show up on the tablet's Chrome browser if you already use Chrome on the desktop. So, I opened up Chrome for the first time in years and will have to say I like what I see.

I've been pissed at Yahoo and Gmail ever since they increased their screen resolution requirements. My monitor wasn't adaptable to theirs so I used the closest setting. That causes problems in both mail programs with not being able to read a whole e-mail horizontally and it often won't let me scroll to the right to see the rest of it. From what I've seen with Chrome in the one minute I had it open, Yahoo and gmail work fine.

The Compose page for this blog works better, too, although the text is smaller- almost too small. So far so good. I'm going to have to try using this for a while. Maybe I'll switch to Google Chrome.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

A New Toy

My sister sent me a brand new tablet. A Trio 7.8" Quad Core. Why? I guess she likes to buy things for people. I told her I'm not sure I'd use it that much. I would like something small to replace my laptop when we go to UCSF twice a year, but I'm not sure this would handle the few things I usually do with my laptop.

After checking things out, I see it might suffice. It's a pain in the neck getting started. I'm starting to figure it out. Main problem right now is I can't connect to anything. This comes with some free 5 month deal with T- Mobile, but I can't get finish the sign up procedure. It just freezes up. 

I don't have wifi yet so that's out unless I use someone else's. I'm connecting with the Matteoli's wifi connection from across the street, but the signal is weak and I don't have the password. If my bum nephew comes over today he'll show me how to get in. Other than that, I have another friend near the high school with wifi. Maybe I'll go over there in a bit.

This could be fun once I get all the kinks out and can use it. Be a lot easier to throw this in my duffle bag than taking the laptop, keyboard and every thing else I usually take with me to UCSF.

Political Correctness Killing Comedy

I've been reading more and more lately of comedians complaining about political correctness. Jerry Seinfeld stopped making appearances on college campuses because of political correctness. So has Chris Rock. Comedian Stephen Merchant feels the same way, and points to The Left:

It feels like we’ve come from a point when I was growing up, where the right, if you like, were dictating what could be said and done and seen – where Mary Whitehouse was the figurehead of censorship,” said the star of Hello Ladies, adding, “Increasingly now it feels like it’s the liberal agenda that dictates what can and cannot be joked about.”

I'm trying to place comedian Artie Lange. The name sounds familiar. He says, "Political correctness is the direct enemy of comedy. Humor is to feel loose and not take yourself too seriously. You should be able to joke about everything race, religion; sexuality. Everything should be okay to joke about.”

I agree.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Libertarians & LGBT Alliance: What's Next?

Reason's LGBT expert, Scott Shackford takes a look at the future of relations between libertarians and the LGBT community. One item of agreement, same sex marriage, seems to have been resolved. Where do we go next?

"But just because libertarians and gay citizens were aligned in the pursuit of ending government mistreatment, that doesn't mean other goals line up. Libertarians draw that bright, hard line between government behavior and private behavior. Others often do not, and what many gay activists see as justice and equality in the private sector, libertarians see as inappropriate government coercion."

Shackford then goes on to look at certain issues such as religious freedom, transgender recognition and adoption. Hard for me to read through it all and get a feeling for just what he thinks. I get the impression he thinks most problems we might see the LGBT community might want addressed aren't really problems at all, can be handled without more government involvement, or perhaps we'll just end up on opposing sides.

I don't think the LGBT community will agree. My experience, albeit limited, is they generally lean strongly left, if not authoritarian. Thus, forcing bakers to bake cakes for them or photograph their weddings isn't out of the question. 

I hope I'm wrong but, as we've already seen with Johnny's comments here, getting government out of marriage goes too far. Government needs to be in charge of it. The same will likely apply to most other issues.

That New Vaccination Law: SB 277

The Lost Coast Outpost reports on the Governor signing a law strengthening vaccination requirements. Mine was the second comment made to the story. Mostly things I've written before here and elsewhere. Here it is:

I find this rather disturbing. I happen to be pro vaccination, but I don't think a good case was made for strengthening vaccination requirements. I write this as someone whose wife lost immunity to measles from a bone marrow transplant so was at greater risk than most.

The recent measles "epidemic" consisted of a few over 200 people in multiple states. Hardly enough to be called an epidemic, except for measles being pretty rare in this country.

Over half the people infected were those already vaccinated. Not only that, but the hotbeds of anti- vax sentiment, Marin County and Santa Cruz, didn't have spikes of infections (we had to stay in Marin during the "epidemic". Rather unnerving but no harm done). I just don't see a compelling case for this law. 

The other side is you're essentially talking of holding someone down and injecting someone with something they believe- I think wrongfully- is very dangerous for them. I would think doing that to someone is justification for strong resistance, including deadly force. Think about if someone tried to inject something into you that you greatly feared.

This law isn't something that should be applauded.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised an anonymous pro- vax commenter chose to go after me. Nor should I be surprised he or she apparently didn't even read what I wrote, ignoring that I'm pro- vax and the wife can't be vaccinated for measles and thus is vulnerable.

He or she gives a few of the vaccination talking points, including we'll have major epidemics without this new law. I pointed out again the last "epidemic" showed the spread of disease wasn't too wide and eventually seemed to poop out on its own under the old standards. He or she ignored that.

Funny how some people feel they have to pick a fight with you even when you pretty much agree with them overall, except for the need of a new law.

I will admit to being somewhat surprised that comment only got 4 up ticks as of last time I looked. 145 comments, and only 4 up ticks? Then I realized most people don't understand not taking a hard line on an issue one way or the other. You're either for something or against it.