Monday, November 30, 2009

NPR Does Humboldt Grows

Did someone else already post on this? National Public Radio's All Things Considered show did a segment on Humboldt's marijuana growing business tonight. Hopefully, it will still be available on their website when you check the link. If not, the archives?

They're also supposed to have another segment on the same issue tomorrow.


The Seasons

Heard some guy on the radio the other day say something along the line of, "...when Winter begins...". He was referring, of course, to the official start of winter on the winter solstice. I believe that's December 21.

I don't see it that way. By my way of thinking Winter starts sometime around late October, definitely by November. Then, Spring starts February 1 and goes through until middle of May. Summer starts sometime from the middle of May. Fall starts mid- September and goes through October.

At least that's the way my mind and body sees it.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stovetop Stuffin'

That's Stinker. Both our kittens like the warmth of the griddle on the top of the stove. Think it's kind of gross having a cat laying on top a stove? You try and get him to move.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Why do they call it Black Friday, anyway?

It's supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year today, but you won't catch me out there. I noticed a couple online polls that say less than 15% of the people are planning on shopping today so I guess for once I'm not alone.

Nope, I won't be shopping, but one thing I'd suggest doing is stopping by and buying something at any of the stores that chose to stay open yesterday. They deserve your support. Stop by Rite- Aid today. Buy something and tell them you stopped by just to show appreciation for them being open yesterday. That's what I'd do.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

H1N1: Cancel Those Dinners!

And those parties.

I was reading something the other day from a doctor who expects a breakout of swine flu after Thanksgiving since so many people will be together for all those stupid dinners and parties.

Well, not me, and I suggest you also nip the possibility of swine flu infection in the bud by canceling any plans you have to go visiting tomorrow night.

The Times- Standard reports 45 people have been hospitalized for swine flu related reasons in Humboldt. The Press- Democrat reports 131 hospitalized in Sonoma County. Both counties have yet to vaccinate even half their populations with only around 20% vaccinated in Humboldt, so far.

This doesn't look good. Sure, the odds are against you or a loved one dying from it, but what if the worst does happen? After all, any of us could end up being one of the over 4000 people that have died from swine flu so far this year. How would you feel if someone you know got seriously ill or died just because you wanted to go to a party?

Cancel those Thanksgiving festivities. It's not too late. Do it for the children. You can still have a Thanksgiving dinner. Just have it at home.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Virtue of Landfilling

A fun read on recycling vs. landfilling forwarded to me by our very own Leonidas this morning. Some might think a recycling fanatic (well, almost fanatical) like me might take issue with such a commentary, but I don't. Actually, the writer seems to agree with me that voluntary recycling can be a good thing.

One thing I wonder- and the commentary brings it up in regards mandatory curbside pick up that's often subsidized- is how cost effective mandatory recycling is here in Humboldt County? It's been said that it costs much less to recycle things locally than it does to send them to the landfill. I've always wondered if that's really true, especially up here where recyclables have to be shipped some distance for processing?

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Word Verification On

Due to increasing attempts at posting spam here, I'm turning on word verification for comments temporarily. I'll try it a few days and maybe the spam generators will give up.

Blew it just a few minutes ago when trying to dump around 6 spam posts from my comments moderation page. Instead of clicking on "Reject", I inadvertently clicked "Publish" and posted the spam. They'd been trying to post them to year old posts so I can't remember just where they were headed or where to go to delete them.

Update: Problem solved, as far as the accidentally posted spam goes. I'd forgotten that anything posted gets sent to me via e- mail- both the comment and where it was posted. Just clicked on the link to where they were posted and deleted all of them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

James Delingpole

I stumbled on to this Delingpole fellow on They'd linked to a global warming related piece he wrote that was published in The Telegraph. The Telegraph describes him as a "...a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything" and, from the first piece of his I read, they might be right.

Turns out he also has a blog/ web page where he posts his writings. A quick look at his archives shows some fun writing, although probably not very fun for Believers. I've added him to my personal blog list. I'll follow him for a while to see if he's worth adding to my blog sidebar.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Larger Spending Initiatives Politico's Fault?

The Oakland Tribune reminds us that the vast majority of spending measures placed on the ballot over the years were put on the ballot by the state legislature, not individuals or "special interests". While I get the feeling the gist of story might have been to shed more dirt on the legislature, I don't feel that case can really be made. I'm not saying the legislature shouldn't be blamed but the voters passed those measures so they share at least equal blame.

Besides, might it make sense if you're proposing spending a bunch of money to pass it by the people who will be spending the money, never mind it being a good way to spread the blame around if the measure gets passed?

The story also includes changes to the initiative system some in the legislature are recommending. I don't have a problem taking a look at all of them, even that one where the citizen generated initiative gets run through the legislature before it can make it on the ballot. Of course, that almost seems a case of having the fox being put in charge of guarding the hen house, doesn't it?

One reform I'd like to make, both to the initiative system and the legislature in general, would be to make it so any initiative- or law- proposed, be able to fit on to a single 8 1/2 x 14" legal size piece of paper and still have room for signatures ( in the case of ballot initiatives). Seems to me if the text of an initiative takes up more space than that, it probably shouldn't be made into law in the first place. I doubt any of the powers- that- be would be interested in pursuing a reform like that, would they?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prop 8 Repeal Petitions Available

At least one group has went ahead and had their initiative to repeal Prop 8 approved by the Secretary of State. This, after what I'd thought was the consensus of most Prop 8 opponents, that it was too early to work for a repeal of the law. I felt the same way myself but, with the effort being made, I suppose I'll go ahead and see if I can get a few signatures.

The petitions are available in .pdf format on the Sign For Equality web site. I like it when they make the petitions available to be printed out on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper. They may not hold as many signatures as those on legal size paper but they're easier to print and more likely to be filled out and sent in.

Printing is a little problematic for me right now. I finally went and bought a few legal size (8 1/2 x 14) sheets of paper about a week ago to print out some of those petitions for the decriminalization of marijuana only to find out my printer was out of ink.

It's kind of an iffy proposition to buy another ink cartridge for this old Canon printer as the mechanism that holds the cartridge in place often falls apart when you try to install a new cartridge and it can be difficult to put it back together. If we can't put it back together, the money spent on the cartridge will be wasted.

We need a new printer but can't really afford it. Maybe I'll go ahead and take a chance on buying a new ink cartridge for this old one so I can get these petitions printed out.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jerry Brown: Libertarian?

I read a news article- or was it a commentary?- a few days ago where the writer described past California Governor and current gubernatorial hopeful, Jerry Brown, as being libertarian oriented. The reason being that Brown has been saying he's not in favor of a bunch of new rules and regulations and that California might well already be over- regulated.

That, of course, piqued my curiosity so I looked a little further into the guy's history. After all, it was over 30 years ago when he was elected governor and I couldn't remember much about him.
Seems to me I should of hated him, but why?

Found this article published earlier this month that sheds some light on Brown's past. I'll have to say that after reading it I can't help but kind of like the guy if for no other reason than he seems to bounce around a bit politically and doesn't seem to fit into either the Right or Left Wing mold.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Latest Conspiracy Theory

Might this news item on the Fort Hood killings plant the seeds for our latest conspiracy theory?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Paper Recycling

I found this article in the Sacramento Bee about the "problems" with paper recycling rather infuriating. No, not because the trees we use here come from out of state and are supposedly harvested under less than green conditions. It's because nowhere in the article is there a suggestion- or even a hint of one- that we replace the imported logs with ones grown and harvested in California.

This is typical California, and you wonder why we've gotten into the economic mess we're in. Rather than use our own logs, albeit under rather strict government regulation, we're told we should cut down on the use of paper or stop using paper altogether. This attitude seems to prevail in this state and is getting worse. We are doomed.

I like what this lady wrote in the Times- Standard the other day about using paper.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Old Acquaintances

We were watching TV last night and a commercial came on. It was for this law firm out of Redding and, lo and behold, I know one of those guys. At least I think I knew him. Dugan Barr used to be married to a cousin of mine and I stayed with them in Redding for 6 weeks during one summer back in the late 60s or early 70s. Wondered if he was still around? I guess he is and still doing what he did back then.

Wonder if he knows Jason Singleton?

Brown: Don't Dismiss Feinstein

I used to hate the guy, but I'll have to admit to enjoying San Francisco pol, Willie Brown's, column in the San Francisco Chronicle. Today he suggests not counting Senator Dianne Feinstein out of next year's race for governor, at least not yet. My gut feeling says she won't run, but that doesn't mean anything. I wonder what kind of track record Brown has with political forecasts?

Then again, I guess he's not predicting she'll run. He's just saying not to count her out. That's slightly different. I think.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Conklin OTW But Delayed

Anybody know this guy? Some guy from New York that was headed to Eureka ran off the bus in Santa Rosa. I'm sure he'll get here eventually. Probably heading to Humboldt Herald's.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Recycling: Addendum

So, yesterday I was doing some of my self- appointed recycling nazi duties. Checked the recycling bin sitting out on the curb in front of a place I was working at.

Some time earlier I'd checked this same bin and found a salad dressing container. Problem was, the lid was still on and it hadn't been rinsed out. This was blue cheese or some other kind of sticky dressing. It should of been given at least a brief rinsing out. I figured I should keep on eye on this household if for no other reason than I figure there are hundreds, if not thousands of households doing the same sort of thing.

Yesterday I found some more recycling no- nos: First, a chunk of styrofoam in the container section. Sorry, folks, styrofoam isn't recyclable here, although I read of a place in Napa County where you can take styrofoam and they'll make new stuff out of it.

Also in the bin was a dozen or so plastic shopping bags. Nope. Those aren't acceptable for recycling anywhere anymore. Even if you go down to the City Garbage Recycling Center, they no longer accept the "plastic film". However, you can still take them to any of the local grocery stores. They're required to have containers available for disposing of plastic bags. What they do with them once you drop them off, I don't know.

I also found one of those paper/ fiber egg cartons in the paper section of their bin. I was pretty sure those aren't recyclable, either, but not sure enough. I checked this morning and, no, they should not be put in the recycling bins.

I didn't see any of them yesterday, but I have noticed in other bins (and at City Garbage recycling) people tossing in beverage 12 pack containers- those beer and soda packages meant for cold storage. Those aren't recyclable, either. Since they've specified paper containers used for cold storage, I'm guessing that also includes paper food packaging for items that are frozen. I don't think those are supposed to be thrown in with paper or recycled, either.

The Arcata Recycling Center web site has a pretty good list of things not accepted although some things are left a bit unclear. For instance, I know styrofoam isn't accepted, but what about those styrofoam flats the stores put underneath meat when they wrap it? I asked a guy at City Garbage about them and he said they didn't accept them, despite the #6 or 7 label. I just throw them away now.

Here's the list of things that can be recycled although many items shouldn't be tossed in your curbside recycling bin.

So why do I care about this since I'm opposed to forced recycling and garbage pick- up? Because we've already created a glut of recycling materials that will probably get worse as more and more people are forced to recycle. That means it will get more expensive. It won't make things any better if the people doing the recycling start charging us for all the garbage that they have to sort from the recyclable stuff and I wouldn't blame them for doing so.

Let's try and do this right.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Recycling Doing Well

It looks like someone's trying to put a positive spin on the forced recycling that's been implemented in Arcata and Eureka. I'm referring to the story that appeared in Sunday's Times- Standard. Don't know if that's writer Donna Tam's spin to it or just the lines she's been given by the sources she's dealing with.

I guess I must of missed something, though. I knew it looked like the Arcata City Council was bound and determined to institute mandatory recycling as Eureka did. I must have missed that they actually did it. And this after what appeared to be some fairly strong opposition from the community, at least from accounts I've read in the papers.

As far as being successful, no doubt they'll get more recyclables with a mandatory program, but at what cost? Tam's sources don't mention that, except that rates are expected to go up by next summer.

As far as all the bins being put out for collection- mentioned as a sign of success- I wonder how much of that is being done and, if it is being done, done the way they wanted?

I'll have to admit to peeking into recycling bins around Eureka on collection day. Many of them aren't anywhere near full when they're put out for collection. City Garbage suggested people wait until bins are full before placing out for collection. Some do and some don't. I guess that's no big deal.

I've noticed that on streets where collection takes place in alleys, most of the bins just sit in the same spot all week long. I've looked in some of those and many are empty and some look like they've always been empty. I wonder if the trucks just come by and dump the empty bins thinking they're full?

As for our house, we put our bin out about every 3 weeks. That's how long it takes to fill the paper section of the bin. We could go twice that long before the plastic and glass section gets full. Yes, it is more convenient for us, but we didn't need it forced upon us. Now we have another bill we have to pay, no matter what. I expect that bill to go up.

From the tone of that Times- Standard story, I think we'll be seeing them trying to force it on yet more cities and the entire county and you can bet rates will rise steadily, too. I still say this is something the State Attorney General should look into. Somebody's making a bunch of money on this and it isn't just the garbage companies.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fred & The T-S Agree???

This is a first, to my recollection. The first time in over 35 years of living up here that I've agreed with the Times- Standard's voting recommendations. This one for Harbor Commish, only.

Ok. So I didn't openly support Wilson. I probably would have, though, if only because I feel Hauser's too much of a Believer when it comes to the railroad. I don't have a problem with Believers but it could become a problem if it comes to someone counting, and spending money, on something they believe in. So, in that race, I might well have joined the fringe left and voted for Wilson. Or, maybe just stand aside, and not vote in that race.

I have a Richard Marks sign in my yard so I guess that counts as an endorsement. My reasons are right in line with the Times- Standard's.
As an aside, the lefties win again. There's a notice on the Eureka Reporter editorial page within the Times- Standard that today is the last day the ER will be publishing their opinion page there. The ER says it's their decision to do so. Still, I'd love to know how the ER ended up getting a page in the T-S in the first place?

But nice win for the Left. Their battle cry finally came through for them, even though it wasn't really responsible for this win : "SHUT THEM UP!"

Halloween: Getting Better

It's no secret to most here that I hate not only holidays, but nearly any kind of special event or ceremonial occasion- Christmas and Thanksgiving being my most hated. I decided Halloween- you decide whether that's a special event or whatever- is gradually becoming the least annoying to me, and that's a good thing.

Sure, the stores still dedicate their seasonal shelving to candy and Halloween decorations, and that's annoying. But what else are they going to put in those seasonal shelves, anyway? Yep, you still see people putting up the stupid Halloween decorations, but it seems to me there's fewer and fewer people doing it. That's a good thing.

The best part of Halloween, though, seems to be the attitude of parents who take their kids trick or treating. They don't seem to be bothering nearly everyone as much as they used to.

Those of us that have hated Halloween for time immemorial- myself being a prime example- make a point out of not putting up Halloween decorations. Some of us even go to the point of keeping the house as dark as possible on Halloween night as a way of letting people know we're not interested in participating. Still, used to be you could always count on some kids or parents that have no problem coming to the door, anyway. HOW RUDE!

For any of you parents still doing this, STOP IT. If the lights are off and there's no Halloween decorations up, that means that household has opted out of the trick- or- treating crap. In fact, I think we ought to make it an unwritten rule that if a house doesn't have so much as a pumpkin out front, you should leave them alone.

But it's gotten better over the years. I think more kids and parents are starting to understand some people want to opt- out and are respecting the default opt- out signs: No decorations and keeping the lights low and windows covered as much as possible. I've noticed fewer and fewer kids coming to our door over the years. For what might have been the first time ever, I don't think anyone came to our door last night.

Thank you. Maybe this is a sign that Halloween will eventually be delegated to the dustbin of history? Now if we could only figure a way to get people behind shutting down all the other ones, especially Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Damn. Now that I brought this up, I just realized today is the first day of the worst part of my year: "The Holiday Season". Yuck. Wish I could be out of town until January 2.