Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facebook: How Weird

I finally started one of those Facebook pages for myself. Didn't really intend to, at first, but had to in order to try and find out about somebody. Sure is puzzling how that friend thing works. Right off the bat there were two people that wanted to be my friends and, yes, they were people I was familiar with.

Then, as I added two people to my friend list, all sorts of other people I knew started showing up on the list of recommended friends, many of whom I know. Took me a while to figure out how they do it. I'm still not really sure but I'm guessing they take data like who your other friends have for friends and your location and such. Weird how that works. Also amazing how many people I know have Facebook pages.

The reason I went there in the first place was to see if there was any info on Rogier van Bakel. He's the guy who does the Nobody's Business blog. He hasn't posted in almost a month and I'm not alone in wondering if something happened to him. I ran a search on his name and found he had something on Facebook so I had to register to see what he had there.

He has it set so only certain people can access his info so I asked to be added to his friend list. No response yet, but that doesn't mean anything. Still, I'm thinking something happened to him, otherwise he would of posted notice on his blog or shut it down. After all, he wouldn't want to go around cluttering up cyberspace with a dead blog, would he?

Roger van Bakel, where are you?

They're Everywhere

Connie's going to try and sell some of these at her next plant sale. How much do you think one should go for?

Update: Ok, either everybody fell for it, or nobody did. That's not a pot plant. Looks kinda like one, though, doesn't it? It's actually a Cleome. Kind of startled me when I first noticed a few of them in my wife's collection of potted plants.


State of Jefferson Redux

Seems rather odd to see the State of Jefferson brought up in the Times- Standard's Business Section this morning. The writer sees merit in making at least some Northern California counties a separate state. The problem I have with it is he sees Humboldt a candidate for this new state based on "a libertarian streak...self sufficiency and hard work...", among other things.

I beg to differ. Humboldt seemed to have a somewhat live and let live attitude when I first moved up here, with the exception of a few blue noses that went after porn shops every now and then. It's not that way anymore. Humboldt County, more and more, seems to be becoming an extension of the San Francisco authoritarian mentality. Hardly deserving to be included into a new state based on any form of libertarianism.

If the state were to be divided, it would make more sense to have it divided along a north/ south axis, with Humboldt County attached to San Francisco where it sadly belongs.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Electronic Checking

Coming to a store near you.

I noticed Rite Aid in Eureka's Henderson Center is processing checks electronically now. What that means is you don't have to fill out checks anymore. They just scan your check to get the info from it and then you sign the sales receipt. Pretty neat but it makes you wonder why people don't just use debit cards in the first place?

It will be nice when more stores, especially Winco, start doing this. One of my pet peeves is those of you that insist on writing checks for everything, especially when you wait until you're told the total to bring out your checkbook. Then, you have to fill in everything on the check and make an entry in your checkbook ledger while everybody stands behind waiting. I find that quite annoying.

In the meantime, until Winco starts doing electronic checking, how about trying what I do when I have to write a check. I think City Garbage is the only place I write checks anymore and that's only if I don't have cash. I fill out the check, except for the cash amount before I get to the scale so when I get to the scale all I have to do is write in the cash amount and I'm done.

Try it, and save everybody in line behind you an annoyance.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Watch Them Recycling Trucks

Ok. Today's the day, at least in my neighborhood.

Today is garbage pick- up day and should be the first day of curbside recycling pick up. I'm going to try and see how they do it but I can't be sure I'll be around at the right place and time. I want to see if, or how, they separate the paper from the plastic when they dump it in the truck.

They have two sections in the blue recycling containers so I'm guessing they'd have to have the hold of the truck that picks them up divided in two so the stuff could be dumped into separate sections. I'm also guessing it would be hard to make something like that work well as it would be difficult to get everything to fall into the proper section.

I won't be surprised if they actually dump the currently separated recyclables into the same place in the truck. Wouldn't that be funny? Keep an eye out and let me know how it works. I'll be working in the county today so might not get a chance to watch.

Libertarian Argentina?

Heard this on National Public Radio yesterday and this AP article confirms it: Argentina's Supreme Court just ruled that sending people to prison for personal possession of marijuana is unconstitutional.

"Each individual adult is responsible for making decisions freely about their desired lifestyle without state interference," their ruling said. "Private conduct is allowed unless it constitutes a real danger or causes damage to property or the rights of others."

Wow! Words like that aren't heard very often in this country anymore, except by the relative handful of libertarians. Almost brings tears to my eyes when you see other countries creeping towards freer societies while this country moves faster and faster into a totalitarian one.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Newspaper Tax?

I was at the Harris & K Market in Eureka yesterday. I noticed a sign on their newspaper rack saying newspapers were now subject to sales tax. Silly me. I didn't think to ask the clerk there what that was all about.

I assumed it must be a new tax raised by the Democrats, but I couldn't find anything about a new tax on newspapers online. I'm guessing it must be the old tax on newspapers Pete Wilson came up with, way back when? Maybe Harris & K just found out they're supposed to be charging the tax? I don't know. Haven't seen such signs anywhere else.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Recycling Pick Up Starts This Week

Good idea to let people know that Eureka's forced recycling program starts this week as the Times- Standard did. I saw a number of the recycling containers set out on the sidewalk on garbage day last week. A lot of people apparently didn't read the flier the city mailed out explaining how it works.

What gets me is how some, including city councilcritter Jeff Leonard, are trying to sound like they've done us a favor and they're actually saving us money. Forced recycling will only increase the glut of recyclables and will likely cost more and more over time as more items are added to the stream.

As I predicted, it looks like some are trying to force recycling on the outlying areas of the county, too. Sure, nobody in that T-S article on the closing of the recycling drop off spots in Eureka is specifically saying they want to force garbage service on the county, but the conversation is heading the same way it did for Eureka back before they started mandatory garbage service.

Some in the county want pick up service of their recycleables, but City Garbage will say they can't do that unless everybody subscribes to garbage pick up. That's how it will go. Then, we'll have the usual suspects saying there's too much trash laying around so we should require everyone to have trash pick up along with the hysterical cry for more recycling ( and that's coming from me, a recycling fanatic). Eventually, it will happen just as it did in Eureka.

Think I'm crazy? Maybe so, since I can't imagine the current Board of Supervisors supporting something like that. Then again, two members of the Eureka City Council, Jeff Leonard and Virginia Bass- both ardent supporters of the Eureka recycling program- are running for Board of Supes next time around. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to push a hysterical idea and everybody else follows. The Eureka City Council voted unanimously for the program, if memory serves me correct.

Those living in the outlying areas usually come to town for one thing or another on occasion. Just be sure and add a trip to the recycling center to your agenda. You can save yourself the cost (and some say added hassle) of being force to pay for pick up of your recycleables.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mexico Decriminalizes Drugs

This story was included as a sidebar item in today's Times- Standard. Looks like Mexico went ahead and decriminalized possession of small amounts of drugs. I can't imagine the U.S. letting them get away with that. Funny how CNN didn't report on this story. I wonder why?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Threats: Bush vs. Obama

Zombi has another one of her great photo essays up. This one takes a look at what happens when someone threatens Obama as opposed to someone threatening George Bush. Well, maybe that's not exactly what the comparison is, but something like that, anyway.

Singleton Drops Sacramento Suit?

Whoa. Wonder what happened? No specifics in this Sacramento Bee story on Singleton dropping his suit against the Squeeze Inn for violations of the Disabilities Act. It says no money was paid to settle, though.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not The D.A.'s Business

I seem to be the only one that thinks district attorney investigator Mike Hislop is a bit out of line in taking over the cold case file of a woman who disappeared from the Honeydew area back in the '70s. It seems to me that the D.A.'s office, including its investigators, should be dealing with relatively recent crimes that are being prosecuted or investigating potentially prosecutable cases. Decades old cases where the main- and likely only- suspect is dead don't count.

If he wants to investigate cold- case files on his own time, like that retired guy the Times- Standard reported on a while back, that's fine with me, but not on the county's time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The New Confusion Hill Bridge

I decided to take a look at the new Confusion Hill bypass bridge using the CalTrans webcam. Looks good. I've been wondering, though. There shouldn't be any problems with people using the bridge that are headed north as they go off the bridge and on to the freeway. But what about going the other way?

People will be flying along the bridge at freeway speeds and when they get to the south end you run into some sharp curves. I'm wondering how many people will ignore any warning signs, end up not slowing down enough when they get off the bridge and run off the road or into a tree?

Then again, we haven't heard of anything like that happening so far, have we?


Sunrise and Sunset

I decided yesterday this is the way I like it to be: It gets light around 7 in the morning and dark around 9 at night. That's my favorite time of year. Not sure when it does it the same way earlier in the year but next year I'll try to take note of when it works out like that.

What's your favorite time of the year from sunrise and sunset?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tea Party Patriots

The Times- Standard reports this morning the Humboldt Tea Party folks will be holding yet another one of their rallies. This time they're heading to Sacramento to protest out- of- control government and high taxes. This is good.

I just wonder where they were back during the Bush administration? I suspect, once the Republicans regain the White House, we'll not be hearing a word from the Tea Parties even though the stuff they're protesting now will continue after Obama is gone.

BTW; The Times- Standard article has the Humboldt Tea Party web site url slightly wrong. It ends with a .org rather than .com.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Touched By An Angel?

Well, I guess it wasn't for real since today is the 15th and the fires never happened- at least I didn't hear of any. I was hoping this guy was on to something.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Warmth of the Sun

Gotta post something up here, and I think the Beach Boys were ( heck, still are) one of the best bands of all time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Iraqi Freedom

Back during the U.S. invasion of Iraq there was plenty of arguments going on between the War Party Libertarians and those of us opposed to the invasion. Many of those in the War Party faction argued that it was our duty to free people living under a brutal dictator. I suggested at the time that the odds were, with American influence, the Iraqis would likely end up less free than they were before we invaded.

I'll take this latest news from Iraq that I'm on the way to being vindicated. It took us over 200 years to start issuing various smoking bans in this country. It didn't take anywhere near that long for the Iraqis. Sure, it's just a smoking ban, but you can be sure there will be much more to come.

At least one Iraqi seems agree with me:

"We want Saddam back," said Ala al-Kanini, a patron at the store, referring to the late Iraqi leader. "You could do anything during Saddam's time."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Gov Hopefuls Oppose Legal Pot?

The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look this morning at the known 2010 California gubernatorial candidate's positions on legalizing marijuana. According to the Chron, all of them oppose legalization. I can't help but wonder if they're misquoting or taking comments out of context with at least one candidate?

They say Tom Campbell is opposed to legalization because " could open the door to organized crime.". That's the first time I've heard that from him, if true. He has said before that he doesn't think we should necessarily legalize pot just for the taxes it would provide but should consider it as being the right thing to do (my words). That makes sense.

I've written Tom Campbell asking him to clarify his position on the issue. If he responds, I'll post his answer here.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Marks Running For Harbor Commish

Our very own Richard Marks has decided to run for Harbor Commissioner (Times- Standard link). He's seeking outgoing Commish, Dennis Hunter's seat. Too early to say just what this means as we don't know who else might throw their hat in the ring.

Wouldn't it be funny if Bonnie Neely decided against seeking another term on the Board of Supes and ran for Harbor Commissioner instead?


Funny how the story of this old growth redwood tree didn't show up anywhere but the Ukiah Daily Journal. Doesn't say much, except it apparently fell across Highway 101 somewhere near Garberville. I guess those two folks from the Bay Area that ran into it have a life adventure and story to tell.


Rain Ahead

Good news from the weather service if it proves to be true, reported the Times- Standard yesterday. They say we'll have above average rainfall this winter. This, in contrast to my own gut feeling. I was thinking the other day it would probably be a very dry winter. Another one of those cases where I hope I'm very wrong.

Then again, if you look at their prediction, they give themselves a lot of leeway. Almost like the global warming Believers: Cover all your bases: We may or may not have flooding. We may or may not have a lot of rain.

We've heard these El Nino, El Nina predictions from the weather service before. Problem with me is, I never follow up to find how accurate they were. I'm wondering if there's any source for the weather service's old seasonal forecasts and what actually ended up happening. Don't know that I have the time or inclination to try and find such info myself.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Coastal Shutdowns Begin

Looks like the state Fish and Game Commission ignored the pleas of sport fishermen and went ahead and closed off, or severely restricted, fishing in around 20% of the state's coastal waters by turning them into marine preserves. It's unclear but I'm guessing that's 20% in addition to the marine preserves that already exist.

I'm thinking this doesn't look good for Humboldt's fishing future but we'll have to wait and see. I suspect this will just be the beginning as it is with everything else in this state and it won't be but a few years before it will be difficult to buy fish caught in California as there will be few if any places to go fishing. I hope I'm wrong.

Things are looking worse and worse around here. I'm scared to death for my future.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Saving Water

Interesting story in the Ukiah Daily Journal today about some folks in Mendocino County that have made some rather dramatic savings in water use the last few years. I've actually been thinking of doing similar things and I was pleased to see that we're not the only people that don't flush our toilet every time we use it.

I know. Some people get grossed out at the thought leaving a toilet full of pee. A friend of mine seemed really bugged by it. He'd always say, "You know that's not healthy for you". Hey, think of all the water we save and, yes, I do flush it more than once a day and we always flush it after taking a poop. We've lived that way for I don't know how long and I don't know of any problems resulting from it. Wonder just how much money it saves us, if any?

Another thing we started doing earlier this year (and should of been doing since we lived here) is saving the water that would normally go down the drain when we're trying to get warm water in the bathroom. It seems to take forever for the water to get hot in this house and we've wasted God knows how much water waiting for it to warm up.

I think Connie is the one that started it. We put 5 gallon tubs or buckets under the faucet in the shower. By the time they're filled up, the water's usually warm enough. Then we lug the tubs outside to the back yard where she can use them for watering plants. I'll have to admit it's a hassle and is getting old but it's nice knowing we're not wasting the water.

We really should do the same when we need warm water in the kitchen as that takes a long time, too, but it's an extra hassle there as we might need to get dishes and such out of the sink to make room for the tub. Maybe one of these days...

As an aside, in reading the comments to the UDJ story, one commentator mentioned something I was wondering about: Shouldn't all that water running off the roof be allowed to flow into the rivers and help the fish? I don't know, but I can't imagine a few households saving rainwater being that big of a problem.

What if everybody did it?
I would think most of the water would soak into the ground near the house. Still, the ground needs water too.

Another comment said that in some states it's illegal to collect rainwater. Wow! What's that all about?

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Monday, August 03, 2009


The King of Humboldt Bloggers, Captain Buhne, is back with what looks like a version of his old blog on You Tube. This should be good. I'll have to try and keep up with Eureka TV.

Hat tip to the Northcoast Journal Blogthing for the tip.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Campbell Does Reason TV

Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Tom Campbell, does a Reason TV interview. Looks like he's trying to appeal to libertarians, but maybe that's just cause he knows this is Reason TV?

Couldn't figure out how to embed the video here so I just used a link.