Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hislop For Sheriff?

It's not on the Times- Standard web site yet, but the hard copy of the paper is saying District Attorney's Investigator, Mike Hislop, will be throwing his hat into the ring for Humboldt County Sheriff. He's supposed to make a formal announcement Monday.

Hislop for Sheriff? I don't think so.


End Of A Crappy Decade

I wanted to stay away from the obligatory New Year posts, editorials and news stories that everyone feels compelled to write as we end the year, so I will. I'll let J.D. Tuccille, over at the Disloyal Opposition blog, do it for me.

What he said!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Are You SAD?

I do think there is such a thing as Seasonal Affective Disorder. I think I get it as we get into December, if not earlier. I really wonder if it has so much to do with how much light you're exposed to, though?

I know I the sun going down so early depresses me, but I think I kind of like the sun coming up later in the morning. I also know the cold, damp days this time of year really gets to me and it's gotten worse as I've gotten older.

As far as sunlight exposure goes, it would seem to me that I get more sunlight than most do because I work outdoors. I would think that would be more than the equivalent of those lamps some folks recommend for helping with SAD.

I figure all I can do is wait until February 1 when I'll at least get a boost from getting past January.
As an aside, I was quite surprised to read that Londoners only get one hour of daylight in December. Looking at a world map, I can see they are a bit further north than we are, but I thought you'd have to be further north than that to have winter days that short.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

TV Antenna Adventures: Part 2

This "bow-tie" antenna is the one I've been trying to get to work with my TV. I think it's the one that came with it. Had to go to Radio Shack to get an adapter so I could plug it into the cable port. The adapter cost more than the antenna would have.

The sales dude at Radio Shack first told me I'd need a digital converter box to use the antenna. I insisted our TV was relatively new and that we bought it maybe 2 years ago and I was sure it's digital. We shouldn't need a converter. After a minute or so he agreed I was right and I left with just the antenna/cable port adapter.

After I got home, hooked up the antenna and got nothing but snow on all the channels but 9 (could barely see the show on 9- mostly snow), I wondered if the sales guy was right and maybe I did need a digital converter box.

Nah. I shouldn't need one of those, I don't think.
I was just reading the FAQ on the AntennaWeb page. They were saying I might need to rescan my channels to lock in channels I can receive. I'll try that in a little while. Maybe that will work, but I'm not all that confident in it.

I'm mostly thinking it's a matter of location although, according to that AntennaWeb map, I should be able to get at least one channel that's broadcast from the south and slightly west. That should be right in line with the window by the TV, but that's not even the one channel I did get a picture on. I need to try siting the antenna in different locations.

So, I'm wondering how much it would cost for dozens of feet of antenna wire, the idea being splicing a longer wire to the antenna and moving the antenna all around the house to see if I can get a decent signal from any direction. I really don't want to spend the money for that, though, especially since it might not work.

Then, silly me, I got up this morning and realized I don't necessarily need to re-site the antenna, I can just re- site the TV! After all, it's one of the newer ones that's relatively slim and very light weight.

After I rescan the channels, assuming that doesn't get me a channel or two, I'll move the TV next to the south window in the living room. Probably won't even have to unplug it for that. If that doesn't work, I may just go for broke and take it upstairs and set it up by the southeast window. That should be pretty well exposed to the direction that most the signals come from, according to the AntennaWeb map.

If I don't get any better reception upstairs than I do down in the living room, I'm guessing that means I'm sunk. Or maybe I just need a different antenna? Problem is, I don't want to buy another antenna unless I know I can get enough channels that it will allow us to drop cable service.

We'll see how this works. No pun intended but, stay tuned!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rabbit Ears

I just noticed my cable TV bill went up again. Not sure when it went up. I just noticed it when I opened the bill from Suddenlink that had been laying here on the table for a couple days. I'm fit to be tied!

I suppose it's not that big of a deal but, seems to me, when I first switched to basic cable just a few years ago (don't think it's been more than four years) my monthly bill was $19.00 and change. This latest bill came to $23.41. It seems to have crept up every year, just like it did when I subscribed to more channels at the higher price. I'm half tempted to give up on cable all together.

Thanks to for reminding me about old fashioned broadcast TV and those old "rabbit ears" TV antennas. I'd actually thought about this before a couple years ago. I guess I never pursued it because I wasn't sure I could handle just 3, maybe 4, channels. But this web site says I should be able to get more like 6 channels if I'm in the right location.

I'll have to check and see what channels the shows I like to watch are on. I think I still have the old circular antenna that came with our flat screen TV. I'll try that first and see how much we like using just broadcast alone and, if it's acceptable, maybe I'll dump cable.
Speaking of TV web sites, any of you pay your bill through the Suddenlink web site? What a goof ball idea they have there. They have their business web site set up as one of those news/ entertainment web sites.

I pay my bill online and each time I go there I have to look around for the log on link and then for a link to pay my bill. Seems to me Suddenlink should have their site set up for business only- a place to look at service options and to pay bills- not to have news updates and stuff like that. I can't imagine why anybody would want to go there to read news. Lame.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Quotable Quote

Read this great quote this morning although I can't remember just where I read it. I believe it was in the comments to some news article I read. Believers will hate it. Naturally, I love it. Too funny:

"Climatology is to meteorology as astrology is to astronomy."


In Celebration Of...

The national health "reform" bill passed yesterday that some around here are happy about. But not everybody. I like Reason Magazine's description of it:

"Health Care Bill That Is Hated by Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Socialists, Christians, Feminists, the Media and the American People Passes Senate."

So, in the spirit of national health care, let's take a look at one aspect of England's national health care system: The number of health care workers that find ways to get private health care to avoid delays, or so reports the Times Online.


45 Years Ago: The Big Flood

Wouldn't of thought of it myself but The Daily Triplicate reminded me that the '64 flood happened 45 years ago this week. The Triplicate looks back at the wrecking of Klamath. The Humboldt Beacon looks back at Humboldt's part of the flood.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Weird Thing To See

Was driving by the Myrtletown Pet Center in Eureka today. Noticed a girl wearing a green shirt with white lettering on the back. I couldn't tell if that was a Pet Center uniform. She's walking away from the hospital part of the center carrying a nice sized short haired gray dog. She walks up behind a dark medium sized sedan, opens the trunk, puts the dog in it and closes the lid of the trunk with the dog still inside. Then it looked like she headed back toward the hospital building.

What the heck was that about?

Mindless Environmentalism

I've never understood these proposals for removing the Hetchy Ketchy Dam. The Hetchy Ketchy Dam, for those of you in Arcata, is the main source of drinking water for San Francisco. How anyone in this state thinks it would make sense to remove the main source of drinking water for one of the state's most populous cities when most of the state is already parched is beyond me.

At least some are speaking out against the proposal and, from the comments made on the commentary, looks like most readers agree.
I'm starting to like plastic shopping bags more and more. Well, maybe not that much but I'm fit to be tied the more I hear about existing and proposed bans on plastic shopping bags.

Hey, I've love my green Winco reusable shopping bag and the wife also has a number of them. But now, if she forgets to take them to the store with her, I realize it's no big deal since our bags end up being recycled and people get paid to manufacture plastic shopping bags.

Of course, the plastic bans aren't good enough for some. Now a number of communities are thinking of banning paper shopping bags, or requiring stores charge for using them. Paper bags- a renewable resource- that can be recycled or even composted. Nope. Can't use them. We'd have to cut down some trees to do that.

If they end up banning both that will be two more things we can't buy, use or MANUFACTURE in California. The last thing these enviros care about is jobs and the people that need them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Sucks...

...and so do all the other so- called holidays.

I first wrote about my hatred of Christmas back in 2005 (
December 26 post). I couldn't help myself. I've tried since then to go against the grain and not mention Christmas. So many other bloggers just can't seem to help themselves and have to bring up some stupid nice Christmas message. Once again I can't help myself, either, except I'm not nice being about it. Just a few observations:

Not sure I understand what Martha Walden (isn't she some Green Party big- wig?) is trying to say in her My Word piece in today's Times- Standard. I guess she doesn't like the commercialization of Christmas. Well, fine. That's another reason to hate it, but she used an awful lot of space to say so.
Then there's our very own James Faulk's commentary in the Times- Standard from a couple days ago. Was he kidding? What a piece of crap that was. I wonder if he was just trying to piss me off?

He says he and his wife are going to start putting up Christmas decorations from now on. What a couple of airheads. Talk about monkey see- monkey do. And I bet he's a Believer in human caused global warming, too.
Then there's that guy down in Santa Rosa that threatened to file suit against the county if they didn't take angel and star ornaments down from Christmas trees on county property. He says they're unconstitutional.

Hey, I appreciate what appears to be his anti- Christmas sentiment, but why complain about just the ornaments? What are government agencies doing buying Christmas trees and ornaments in the first place? But, no, he just doesn't like the stars and angels because he's an atheist and thinks this has something to do with separation of church and state. Whatever. I'd be right with him if he'd complain about the trees, too.
One bit of good news for me this time of year, though. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat had a poll on their opinion page yesterday asking how people would be celebrating Christmas this year. They even included "I don't celebrate Christmas" as an option.

When I cast my vote for Not Celebrating, I was pleased to see over 12% also weren't celebrating. Checking the poll today, I notice that's gone down to just below 8%. Bummer, but that's still not bad and hopefully more will join our ranks. If nothing else, it makes me feel that maybe I'm not the loneliest guy in the world anymore.
Oh, and one other good news item unrelated to Christmas: The Daily Triplicate reports the Smith River has had their biggest run of salmon in decades. So many fish that some say you could walk across the river on them. Awesome.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Letter On The Way

Just sent in my first letter- to- the- editor for some time. David Lazarus, the writer of this piece in the Los Angeles Times about privatizing the Post Office suggested it after I sent a comment on the story to him. Not that it was all that great a comment.

I simply suggested that rather than worry about whether private shipping companies would even want to take over delivery of regular mail, why not remove existing regulations that prohibit private companies from delivering that mail? If some current shipper, or perhaps an upstart company, ends up taking a shot at it and ends up giving better service at lower costs, it might make the issue of privatizing the Post Office moot since it would likely end up withering on the vine.

So, I changed my comments a bit, checked the word count and sent it in. I've had at least two letters published in the L.A. Times and two and a half letters published in the San Francisco Chronicle. I'll admit to being somewhat proud of that accomplishment as I understand those bigger newspapers receive hundreds of letters to the editor each Monday- S.F. Chron said they receive 800 or more- so they can't print all of them.

Now I'll just wait and see if they publish it. I don't check the Times' letters regularly but they do call to confirm you wrote the letter and want it published. The phone call will let me know.


Today is the shortest day of the year: The Winter Solstice. The days start getting longer after today, although it will be some time before we actually notice it. Still, a bit of a morale booster for me. Hooray!!!

Actually, the solstice itself occurs at 7:04am today, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Just a few more minutes to go, as I'm writing this.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Johnson For Pres in 2012!

Looking ahead to the next presidential election, former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, is my favorite. While I'm not an open borders libertarian (not an immigrant basher, though, either) I don't expect to find anybody I agree with 100%.

Thanks to Radley Balko, over at The Agitator blog, for bringing me the reminder. You might want to stop by his blog and check it out. He's had some real interesting posts the last couple days (but doesn't he always?) including one today about a guy that got convicted for being naked in his own house.

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Against The Open Primary Proposal

I believe I've wrote before that I'm opposed to the initiative (or is it a referendum?) that will be on the June 2010 ballot that would establish a supposed "Open Primary" for California elections. My main reason for opposing it is it will give us less choice in elections.

My colleague, Richard Winger, publisher of the Ballot Access News is also opposed. Here's his argument against the so- called Maldanado Measure.

Why do I refer to him as my colleague? Because we were discussing some issue via e-mail some years ago- both of us being on the same side of that issue- and we both had letters to the editor on that issue published side by side in the San Francisco Chronicle on the same day.

For the life of me, I can't remember just what issue we were dealing with at the time.

Addendum: By golly, I found the letters! The issue was Prop 62, the last open (blanket) primary initiative from 2004. Richard's is the second letter, mine the third.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Arcata Recycling

Looks like Arcata folks will be waiting a bit longer for their recycling bins. From the Times- Standard description it sounds like they'll be getting the same ones Eureka already has. The Eureka ones have general instructions for what goes into each section of the bin, but I've noticed many people put non- recyclables in the bins even after supposedly reading the flier that was sent to all residents specifying what should and shouldn't be thrown in the bins.

Yesterday, I noticed a bin that had a milk carton in with the paper items. Milk cartons aren't recyclable. I thought this person knew better. There was also a mayo container in with the glass and plastic that hadn't been rinsed out or had the lid removed. You should at least clean out food containers before throwing them in there and the plastic lids generally aren't recyclable, or so I've been told.

I suspect, as I've mentioned before, that what little I've seen is just the tip of the iceberg and the Arcata Recycling Center is probably getting tons of trash mixed in with the recyclables from Eureka alone. If Eurekans are screwing this up, you know Arcatans will probably screw this up even worse.

I'm going to send a suggestion to the writer of the story. Might be nice to know just how much of what the recycling folks are getting that isn't supposed to be mixed in with the recyclables.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Anti- MLPA Event

Folks opposed to the Marine Life Protection Act up in Del Norte County had a big fund raiser this last Sunday. Wish we'd have something like that down here. I might even show up and stuff my face.

According to The Triplicate, crabbers up in Del Norte are having a great season this year. The best in years, according to some.

It's Ahnold's Fault?

Am I missing something? The lady that wrote this letter to the editor blames the Governor and the State of California because she's getting less in her Social Security check. If she's going to blame someone for a federal program shouldn't she blame the President?

And she's not even from Arcata.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bill of Rights Day: December 15, 1791

Surprise! Today is Bill of Rights Day. Don't feel bad. I wouldn't of been aware of it, either, except that I received this press release from the Libertarian Party yesterday.

For those of you from Arcata,
Wikipedia explains what the Bill of Rights is. This is probably a good time for even those of us that know what the Bill of Rights is to take a look and refresh our memories as to what rights we supposedly have.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rating California Cities' Fiscal Health

Don't get me wrong. I love Dan Walters' column. It would be nice, though, when he brings up Standard and Poor's fiscal scorecard for American cities, that he provide a link to the actual report itself. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to know what rating their own city received. I've looked and even checked the Standard and Poor's web site. I can't find it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Beer Marketing Question

I can't figure this out. Hamms Special Light is the cheapest light beer sold in this county. At least it's the cheapest I've found. Why is it harder and harder to be found in stores?

Used to not be a problem as Winco generally stocked it. It seemed to be quite popular. There never seemed to be a full stack of cases or 12 packs in the cooler as there are with most other beers. Sometimes they'd run out of the cases and I never noticed any of the other brands come close to running out.

Then they seemed to replenish their stock less and less and there'd be times when you couldn't get any at all. Now it seems, since they ran out, they never replenished their stock even though they have plenty of the regular Hamm's beer that remains mostly on the shelves.

Why would a company stop selling what seems to be their most popular beer? I ran into the delivery guy at Winco once and asked him why it was so hard to get. That was before they stopped selling it. He said he didn't know and that sometimes they'd give him a bunch to deliver, sometimes they wouldn't.

It doesn't make sense. You'd think they'd keep track of what sells well and what doesn't and make an effort to keep the big sellers available. Now all Winco has is the regular Hamms beer and it doesn't look like anybody is buying it, myself included. I buy the Natural Light now which is the next cheapest as apparently does all my fellow drunken bums.

Why would they do this to us? I keep telling myself to call the distributor and ask about it but I always forget by the time I get home. Anybody have an idea why they might be doing this?


8 more days and the days start getting longer. YESSS!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tom On The Homeless

Nice letter from our very own Tom Sebourn in today's Times- Standard. I'll have to take issue with one thing, though. The issue of whether the homeless should be allowed to camp in the City Hall parking lot aside, I don't know that those homeless are all that much worse off because of being run off.

Tom cites the very cold weather at the time of their removal. So? It's not like they were staying inside City Hall or being run out of a National Guard Armory. They were probably just as cold sleeping in that parking lot as they are wherever they're staying now. Unless they actually found a warm place to stay, their exposure to cold hasn't changed much, if at all, from being moved out of that parking lot.

Friday, December 11, 2009

John Stossel's New Show

Liberty lovers and John Stossel fans out there (lefties out there are hatin' it) will be pleased to know he has a new TV show that started last night. Thanks to Radley Balko for the heads up. Is the Fox Business Network the same as regular old Fox? Not sure if I get that channel.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recycling Ad Nauseum

Connie brought up an interesting question last night: Are aerosol cans recyclable?

I wasn't sure but I'd thought they were. Maybe I'd seen some in the scrap metal bin at City Garbage? Couldn't remember.

So I e- mailed the Arcata Recycling Center and asked them. Here's their prompt response:

"If the cans are COMPLETELY EMPTY they can be recycled with all the other container recyclables (plastic bottles, aluminum cans, etc.).
Thanks for being so conscientious!"

One less thing to throw in the garbage. They should probably point that out on their web site. I didn't see it listed.


Board of Supes Election: Libertarian Reasoning

I receive a letter from Virginia Bass a few days ago. Actually, not directly from her. It was one of those exploratory letters asking for support and donations for her upcoming campaign for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. So, I guess it's not too early to bring up next year's election.

I've said here and elsewhere I might well stand aside in this race as I don't see any compelling reason from a libertarian standpoint to support any of the candidates that have already announced their intentions to run.

I'll admit to Virginia Bass being my favorite if only because I've met her and I can't imagine anyone meeting Virginia and not loving the gal. But, as I've mentioned before, bad things have happened in Eureka during her and fellow candidate Jeff Leonard's terms on the city council- mandatory garbage service and outdoor smoking bans being two that come to mind. As a libertarian, would I want that sort of stuff to expand to the entire county?

Then there's incumbent Bonnie Neely. I'm sure I've had issues with her over the years. I suspect most of it just involves what appears to be pandering to the county's Left. Not sure that I can come up with anything to hold against her right now, at least from a libertarian standpoint.

So, we can use this thread for you out there to point out libertarian reasons for supporting any or all of the announced candidates for Humboldt County Board of Supervisors next year. This might be difficult for some of you as I know we have at least a few authoritarian types that visit this blog.

To further confuse the issue, I'm not sure just where land use policy falls within my reasoning from a libertarian standpoint. In other words, I wouldn't necessarily hold Neely's support of Citizen's for Real Economic Growth against her simply for that support alone, although pandering to the efforts of those opposed to the Marina Center I might well.

So, here's your chance to convince me to support your favorite candidate, but you have to at least come close to making a libertarian argument to do so. Ok. Let's hear it.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I've become more and more convinced over time that the only answer to problems in this country, and around the world, is civil war. I see no other alternative. Sadly, I don't have the guts to participate- at least I think I don't- and it would be interesting to try to choose sides.

Win This Watch

Since I've got nothing else to post today, here's a one- time entry drawing for a cool, manly Zodiac watch. I'm not one for wearing watches, or to have anything else attached to my body but, if I was, this is a pretty nice one. The drawing expires on January 10.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Record Cold? showed the temperature in Eureka as 22 degrees when I got up this morning but that's not a record. This page says the record was 20 degrees in 1888.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Marks' Credentials

Cracks me up, this statement from today's Times- Standard editorial on our very own Richard Marks:

"...a longtime Democrat with progressive credentials, Marks has also long served as an advocate of the working class, and knows that jobs and employment are absolutely imperative for any future that includes big plans for Humboldt Bay.".

I'm surprised the editorial staff at the T-S realized the difference between the two: Progressive Democrat vs. advocate of the working class.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Eddie, Are You Kidding?

That song's been going through my head all morning. Loved Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Been hearing a little of their stuff on KHSU lately. Might of heard some on KMUD, too. Wish they'd play Zappa more often. If anybody from KHSU or KMUD reads this, consider that a request.

Friday, December 04, 2009

ACLU Backs Eureka True Ward System

I can't imagine why the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union would get involved with the effort to return Eureka's city government to a true ward system. How does the way Eureka runs elections and city government fall within the realm of civil liberties? I don't think it's a good idea for an organization advocating certain interests to get involved in issues outside their purview.

Sure, I could see how it might be an issue if a certain group of voters was being disenfranchised, but I haven't seen any evidence of that from the discussions that have taken place over this. Changing the way we vote in regards our ward system should be more along the line of housekeeping business for city government, not a civil rights issue.

I wrote earlier on that I didn't think this issue is that big of a deal. I also said I wouldn't be signing the petition. Call my reasoning petty or frivolous, but I still won't sign the petition.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Read The E- Mails Yourself

Someone put up a nice web site that makes finding and reading the e-mails involved in the Climategate affair a little easier. No, there's too many of them so I'm not going to spend much time there.

Enough has already written about this, but I'll go ahead and put in my two cents worth:

If anything, this has shown a lot of people what many of us have been saying all along: Certain elements within the scientific community have been manipulating data to come to a desired conclusion and have been doing everything they can to shut down voices that disagree with those conclusions.

I suspect this sort of skullduggery goes further than just climate issues. I can't help but wonder how much of this sort of thing is taking place in the proposals for the Marine Protected Areas, or whatever they're called?
That said, the Climategate papers don't prove global warming isn't taking place- as so many Believers keep pointing out. They don't prove global cooling isn't taking place, either.

But the issue that keeps getting lost in the discussion is how much man contributes to climate change, assuming he contributes at all. When someone refers to climate change, Believers tend to think that person is referring to man- caused global warming. That is not always the case.

Many of us believe (and try to prove us wrong) that climate change has taken place throughout the millenia, is taking place, and will continue to take place to varying degrees as time goes on. Even some Believers agree with that.

I myself have gone on record here as saying man can have some local effect on weather (although I might have mistakenly referred to it as climate), but that effect is minimal, if not insignificant. Yet, by saying that, I'd be one of those the Believers would point to as supporting man- caused global warming and added to the supposed 99.9% of scientists that "believe in climate change".

Everyone on this planet owes a debt of gratitude to whoever it was that managed to get hold of the Climategate e-mails. How far those e- mails will go in helping reverse the Global Warming/ Climate Change hysteria that has taken hold of us, remains to be seen. I suspect it won't go far, at least for many Believers.

Trying to convince most Believers that man has little, if any, effect on the climate, is like to trying to convince a Christian that there is no God.

Hat tip to J.D. Tuccille for the heads up on the Climategate e-mail web site.

Addendum: One of many editorials on the issue floating around right now, this one, from the San Diego Union- Tribune, calls for serious inquiry into the situation. The Tribune folks, by their own admission, seem to have been pretty much going along with everything they've been told about Global Warming, until this development.


Jen Savage Join Blog Death March?

Can it be that our very own Jennifer "Jen- Jen" Savage has sent her blog to its final resting place? If so, she'll be joining Carson Park Ranger, Boy Most Likely, Ekovox and Captain Buhne, to name just the ones I remember off the top off my head. Who might be next?