Wednesday, December 29, 2010

North Coast Merge Wars

I was surprised to see David Young's My Word in the Times- Standard this morning.

I wasn't aware of any roads up here where there was a problem with two or three lanes merging into fewer lanes. I've commented here before on such problems on Northbound 101 in Willits and stretches of 101 in the Santa Rosa area where lanes are reduced and drivers that think they should be able to wait until the last moment to merge so they can jump in front of everyone else that merged earlier.

We've even had such drivers defend their behavior when I'd criticize them here, but I don't think there were more than one or two that did and they did so anonymously. I'll give Mr. Young credit for his gall in criticizing early mergers under his own name in a newspaper where a lot of folks will read it. That's pretty brazen.

Checking the Topix comments to his My Word piece, I was not just surprised but disappointed that three of the first four comments seemed to agree with him. Luckily, after I commented agreeing with another in the opposition, others piped in and agreed that Mr. Young seems to be an arrogant and rude driver.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Car Mechanic Needed!

I know. It's supposed to be Automotive Technician now. Call it whatever you want, do any of you have any recommendations for a good mechanical guy to do some work on the wife's '95 Geo Metro?

We've had this looked at twice by the dealer (I realize dealers are often the most expensive place to take your car). The latest estimate, to replace the distributor and do a "major tune- up"( dealer's words) is close to $1000.00. I'm hoping I can get the work done for less than half the dealer's estimate by getting the parts myself and having a private mechanic or shop do the work.

I have three places in mind to ask, one I've already dealt with but he makes me just a bit nervous. Any good recommendations will be considered. Eureka shops get preference.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Justice Stuff

I think the 11 years Josiah Miller got for killing that Crescent City girl is a travesty. I realize they didn't have much in the way of physical evidence so felt their best bet would be to plea bargain to involuntary manslaughter, but I don't know that I could have gone that route had I been making the decision.

Circumstantial evidence alone makes this look like 1st degree murder. I think I would have just gone for broke and charged for murder. We can't blame Gallegos for this one.

Here's a life ruined. What seems to be a normal, squared away gal, ruins her life by driving drunk and killing two people. I don't feel any safer with her having to spend 3 years in prison.

I'm not sure why I feel sorry for the girl above but am outraged that the 18 year old girl that was texting while driving and ran over two people in a crosswalk, killing one, wasn't even cited for cell phone use.

Remember Gwendolyn Walker Smith? She's the serial squatter that uses the legal system to rip off landlords for tens of thousands of dollars in rent and damages. One landlord in Sebastopol lost her home because of Sleazebag Smith. Looks like she got caught doing the same thing in Oregon and authorities have filed charges against her.

Let's hope the charges stick and she ends up doing some jail time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have A Rotten Christmas!

I hate Christmas. Always have. So I want you to be as miserable as I am this time of year.

Old timers here know this isn't the first time I've made this rant, but it's a rant that needs to be made. I've posted this one on the morning of Christmas Eve to hopefully make your Christmas a little less joyful.

Enough said. If you want to know more about my hatred of Christmas, you can go read my first ever I Hate Christmas Post from 26 December 2005. Scroll down to the My Favorite Day (that's the day after Xmas) post.

You can also read my December 9, 2007 post, I Hate It, or my December 23, 2009 post, Christmas Sucks.

Have a rotten one!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Dry Niagara Falls

I had no idea this ever happened until now. Here's some pictures of the Niagara Falls with the water shut off. Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Now we've went and done it. All of us poo pooing these claims of man made global warming, myself included, while doomsday approaches. Not only are we having more record warm and cold days, tomorrow will be the darkest day in 456 years!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reason's 2010 Nanny of the Year Award

Reason and Reason TV have come up with their nominations for Nanny of the Year. Can you guess who won?

Thunder and Lightening Inbound?

Looking at doppler radar just a minute ago and it looks like we might have some thunderstorms inbound. Just heard some thunder so maybe we'll have a show!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Burned By Urgent Care?

I kinda feel like I was.

I went into St. Joseph's Hospital's Urgent Care Clinic a couple Saturdays ago. I had a head cold or flu I just couldn't seem to shake and felt I had to do something about it. Was taken care of quickly and efficiently and really liked the place. Heck, I told myself I should probably go there instead of the physician I normally see.

As I left I asked how much I owed them since I pay nearly all my medical expenses out of pocket. The gal says she couldn't tell me as billing is done later on but, if I'd make a partial down payment, they'd give me something like 30% off the bill total.

I figured the clinic itself probably wouldn't charge more than $50.00 so wrote them a check for that amount. That was just for the clinic. The physician or P.A. charges separately. I went home thinking I'd probably get a refund of some amount for the check I'd just wrote.

Just got the bill today. They charged me $168.00 for that visit. I don't think it lasted an hour. In fairness, they also deducted the 30% which was $58.00 from the total along with the $50.00 down payment I made. Looks like I still owe them $59.20. So, $109.00 for an office visit that would cost me $65.00 at my normal doctor's office.

YIKES! A rather unpleasant surprise. I wouldn't think that would be that out of line if that was all I owed them but I still have to pay the Physician's Assistant. I'm thinking now that's likely to cost more than I expected, too. I wouldn't be surprised if I pay another $100.00 for her. $200.00+ for a visit to the doc? We shall see.

I guess I won't be going there again unless I absolutely have to. Shame, as I really like the place and was really disappointed to hear they're going to close it down.

Addendum: Oh, again in fairness, they also have a note on the bill saying if I pay the total due within 30 days of the billing date, I can deduct 20% off the current total. I appreciate that.

How Much Power To The Fed?

It's no secret I'm appalled at efforts by The Left (or Right) to have government force people to deal with private business, whether it be trash service or health insurance. Naturally, I was quite pleased to see a federal court declare the federal health insurance mandate as unconstitutional, although I'm sure that issue isn't over yet.

Real Clear Politics has a pretty commentary on the health care mandates, but I liked Radley Balko's take on it. He simply asks those in favor of government mandates how much power they think the government should have to force people to do business with private companies. Does The Constitution put any restraints on government?

The comments to Balko's piece are interesting, although I didn't have time to read through anywhere near all of them. And, yes, some lefties seem to think there shouldn't be any limits to what power the federal government should have.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Algore Dumps Ethanol

Who would of thunk? I guess Al Gore finally realized what a scam ethanol is and has stopped calling for increased production and is even suggesting ending ethanol subsidies.

Not likely to happen, though, according to this RealClearPolitics article. I never cease to be amazed at how hard it is to end a government program once it's been started.


Friday, December 10, 2010


Interesting how we can get all fired up about something just hearing one side of the story. I read this commentary in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat this morning about a guy convicted of murder. After reading it I felt he certainly deserved clemency or another trial.

But, it didn't take long for me to find this page that rebuts arguments for the guy's innocence. They make it sound like the guy certainly is guilty.

Just from what I've read, I'd say the guy might of been rightfully found guilty. His Wikipedia page seems to lean towards guilty, too.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Questions: New Eureka Open Door Clinic

Interesting North Coast Journal Piece on the the proposed expanded Open Door Health Clinic in Eureka. Unless I missed something, a couple questions come to mind:

Both proposed locations for the clinic are on, or near, the waterfront or protected wetlands. I didn't see any mention of how the California Coastal Commission would be involved with this. Wouldn't they involved as they are with Marina Center?

It also looks like the plan is rather grandiose for what revenue the clinic can be expected to bring in. I'm sure the vast majority of Open Door Clinic patients are on MediCare, MediCal, or have no health insurance at all. How will they be able to pay for expanded operations when they're building such an expensive project?

Even a related story in today's Times- Standard says more and more doctors are going to have to stop accepting MediCal/MediCare patients. I'm more than happy to see new or expanded primary care facilities in the area, but I don't know that they'll last long with the kind of revenues I anticipate them bringing in.

KSLG Clothing Drive Friday

From a KSLG press release:

KSLG announced that it will broadcast live from a winter “warm and fuzzy” clothing drive Friday, December 10 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Eureka Co-op, Fourth and B streets.

All the clothing collected will be given to Betty Chinn’s group “Betty’s Blue Angels”. Chinn recently received the Presidential Citizen’s Medal from President Barack Obama, and will stop by at 3 p.m. to oversee the donation.

More info at the KSLG web site.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Law Enforcement Revenue Enhancement

Radley Balko takes a look at local police departments encouraging the use of red light cameras. While they claim it's for traffic safety, it seems fairly obvious revenue generation is what really matters.

Along that same line, law enforcement agencies in California are finding sobriety checkpoints more and more profitable, according to California Watch. Unlicensed drivers, not drunk drivers, are proving to be the cash cow.

What will they think of next?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Pilots Needed

Here's my annual reminder that we can always use new pilots in Aces High, the online World War 1 and 2 fighter sim game. Above is a video clip one of the guys made that I just noticed on the Aces High web site. I'd like to do something like that.

It's not just planes in Aces High, either. You can also take out a PT boat or a tank. Free 2 week trial available now at the Aces High web site.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dumbest Pro- Prop 8 Argument?

I've written here before I've yet to hear one good argument against same- sex marriage- a possible exception being that some religious folks are worried their churches may be forced to perform same- sex marriages. This piece in Calwatchdog has to be the sorriest attempt to justify Prop 8 I've seen to date.

I've read it at least four times now and it just doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe it's just me? I'm surprised that all of the readers commenting say it makes complete sense and should be included in court arguments defending Prop 8.

I don't get it. The gist of the argument, as best I can tell, is that liberals should support Prop 8 because keeping marriage restricted to a man and woman protects women. The writer goes on to say that marriage came about historically to protect women from various threats. I think that's the first time I've read that.

Nowhere in the opinion, unless I missed something, did the writer explain how allowing two guys or two girls to get married threatens a guy and girl who want to get married since no one is suggesting that guy and girl can't still get married.

Nor do I understand, assuming that girl is getting married for some sort of protection, how a same- sex marriage would threaten that protection?

It seems to me this is an argument of desperation, if it's an argument at all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

New Bird

Not really a new bird, but the first time I believe we've seen one in our back yard.

This is a Townsend's Warbler. We're in their winter range. Just noticed it today. Connie saw it yesterday and today after I saw it. Striking yellow color that really stands out. Let's hope it sticks around for a while.