Monday, October 31, 2011

Pretty Neat Saws For Sale

This guy on Craigslist is selling some old logging saws circa 1925 that were supposedly used in the Yaeger Creek Logging Camp. Not any rust on them, either.

When I was a caretaker on a ranch up in Maple Creek back in '76-'77, I used a similar saw about 4 or 5 feet long to cut firewood. What a pain in the neck that was.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Near Record Chinook Run On Russian River

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports on what seems to be a near record run of chinook salmon in the Russian River. They even mention how the local water authority uses information on salmon numbers to manage water releases from Lakes Mendocino and Sonoma, something they couldn't do without the dams in place as I brought up here not long ago.

Am I great, or what?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Death Penatly Ban Initiative Circulating

A new initiative is being circulated for the November 2012 ballot. The Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement Act (SAFE) will ban the death penalty in California and replace it with life without parole.

I'll be circulating a petition or two. I'd consider myself generally opposed to the death penalty but I'm not the type that sheds tears over the execution of some of the scuzbags that have been executed. If nothing else I think we spend too much money on the death penalty with little to show for it. I also tend to be appalled at the cavalier attitudes many have towards someone being executed by The State: Oh, well. He must have done something wrong!

So I'm here to help.

This was another one of those instances with the news media where I couldn't find a point of contact for petitions. No links to the proponent organization on the few news articles I could find. I hate it when that happens. Why can't the newspapers provide links for both proponents and opponents for a measure?

A quick search for info on SAFE did lead me to their web site where I added my e-mail address and zip code to their list. I quickly received an e-mail that provided a link to give them my name and address so I should get a petition or two when they become available.

If you'd like to do the same, go to the SAFE web site and give them your info.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fredster Makes the Tri City Weekly

The Tri City Weekly's cover story this week was on haunted houses in the county. The writer contacted me for some info after reading a post I made here (March 15, 2008) a few years ago on the same subject.

Here's the part he put together from our interview:

'Fred Mangles has lived in several Eureka locations since 1973, some of which are haunted.

”The house I (currently) live in on K Street was haunted,” Mangles said. “I would go upstairs and feel this weird cold draft, it felt strange and I heard noises. My wife, Connie, would sometimes feel like there was a little girl behind her tugging at her shirt. But then we got a cat and it went away. I think it is because the ghost got someone to play with.”

He said he lived in a house on the corner of Trinity and E streets that spooked him. He would wake up with odd sensations. He had heard stories of people dying in the house, but never verified them. He said that before he moved into that house, a fire charred the upstairs."

Never mind the misspelled last name. Everybody does that.

I'm not sure where he got some of that. I don't recall saying most of what he wrote and he got the houses in reverse. I live at Trinity and E Streets now, not K Street, and both the wife and I used to have weird feelings upstairs. I never felt a cold draft or heard noises.

The house on K Street was when I was staying with the Scarpellinos back around '74ish. The upstairs was rumored to be haunted with reports of people seeing someone in the upstairs window when nobody was there and one guy reporting seeing an image standing over someone else while he was asleep.

That was it. If you want to read the whole story, here it is: Haunted Humboldt County's lore includes spooky stories, macabre myths.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Antich Automotive Does E-Mail

Thought I'd give a plug to Eureka's Antich Automotive since they respond so quickly to e-mail. That may not seem like such a big deal but I've noticed many businesses with web sites can take days or weeks to respond to an e-mail, assuming they respond at all.

I've had more than one local business simply not respond to e-mail inquiries I've made. I've always felt if some business isn't going to respond to e-mail (and they need to be honest with themselves about that) they shouldn't include an e-mail address on their web site. That may turn web site visitors off but it's better than having them send an e-mail and not get a response.

In this case I was already on their e-mail list. I get notices to bring my truck in for service regularly. I've been happy in dealing with them so decided to get an estimate on replacing the front axles on the wife's Geo Metro.

I sent an e-mail to them late Saturday morning. Within five minutes I received a reply from the guy's blackberry saying he wasn't in the office and that he'd give me a price on Monday morning. Lo and behold, it wasn't even 8am this morning when I received another e-mail with the estimate.

That's what I call prompt and efficient service, at least as far as e-mail goes. Nicely done, Antich Auto!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Abolish Limited Liability Corporations?

Radley Balko, over at The Agitator, started up a discussion on whether Limited Liability Corporations should be abolished. Not a subject that really keeps my attention but some of the comments are pretty much along the line of what I've felt.

For those of you who think that corporations and business in general are the root of all evil, ala the folks at the Humboldt Herald, this may not be a discussion you'll enjoy. The rest may find it interesting.

Public Service Announcement: Internet Scams

I realize nobody here is a sweepstaker as I am, but since this sort of scam can be used against those who haven't entered drawings I thought I'd give it some attention. I would have thought that with the publicity given the various scams over the years people would be wiser, but this gal apparently fell for one. Here's what she posted in the "Winner's Circle" forum at Hypersweep the other day:

"I rec'd an email from that I had won some incense and to get it, I would need to pay $6.50 for shipping. It came out on my PayPal a/c and said I could cancel it if I didn't want it, so I canceled. I just didn't need or want the incense to pay the postage for it.".

See anything wrong here? First of all, you should never have to pay shipping on a prize you won. I've won dozens of prizes over the years and have never been asked to pay shipping on any of them, even rather large items like this Alienware computer I'm typing this on.

Second of all, you don't go to PayPal to cancel any supposed prize as she was told to do. If you wanted to "cancel" a prize award, you'd go through the business that sponsored the drawing itself. PayPal shouldn't have anything to do with it unless you'd arranged a payment with some business beforehand.

What happened here, and I told her this in the forum, was she likely received a phishing e-mail. Either that, or maybe an unethical sales attempt, but probably a phishing attempt.

They were trying to get her financial info. They likely provided her a link to the "PayPal site" that was a close enough copy of the real PayPal site she couldn't tell the difference. Once she entered her e-mail address and password, they had it. Now they can access her PayPal account and do whatever they want with it.

Myself and one other Hypersweep member recommended she immediately change her PayPal password, at the very least. She hasn't commented back yet so there's no telling what action she's taken or what damage might have been done.

Oh, and those that were telling me that the $1000.00 I won a few months ago was likely a scam. As I wrote back then I tend to know legit sweeps when I see them. I received my $1000.00 a few weeks later and have since paid off my credit card balance. I was never asked to for any financial info, or asked to pay any shipping or processing fees for that prize.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Klamath Dams: I Won

I hadn't intended on starting a debate when I commented on a Humboldt Herald post announcing a forum on the removal of the Klamath Dams. No one else had yet posted when I commented I've yet to hear a compelling reason for removing the dams. I've brought that up here before at least a couple times.

Just as happened here when I've brought up the issue earlier, no good reasons were given. I was a bit surprised that all I got were the same generalities I've heard before: Algae and dying fish. My bringing up the recent record runs of salmon on the Klamath despite the "fish killing dams" was cast aside by at least one or two intent on tearing down the dams.

I let the dambusters have the last word back at the Herald by leaving their last comment (as I write this) unchallenged as it speaks for itself:

"So, there you have it, all is well, no problem exists. I guess some people just love dams, and detest rivers as God gave them to us."

Uh, huh. I detest the rivers. I'd say I won that one if that's the best they can do.

Addendum: A couple recent Times- Standard stories illustrate the benefits of the surplus water that dams provide. This one tells of an effort by Friends of the Eel River to mount a fish watch on the Eel River and its tributaries. The concern being that low water flows might result in a fish kill.

Data gathered might result in more water being released from the Potter Valley Dam to raise water levels in the Eel. The raising of the water levels to assist fish migration wouldn't be possible without a dam to provide that water.

I thought I'd read a similar story about the time the T-S story was published that specified the Van Duzen River as having fish in it that might end up stranded. I don't believe the Van Duzen has a dam of any kind upriver so the fish there might well be damned (no pun intended) if rain doesn't raise the water level for them.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zombie Does Occupy Wall Street

Not quite what I was hoping for but photojournalist Zombie did take a crack at the Occupy Wall Street movement. It looks like there wasn't a big turnout for OWS in San Francisco, at least compared to Fleet Week, so she focused instead on a comparison between the two events and asks which event really represents the 99%?

The essay spans three pages so don't neglect the link to the next page at the bottom of each entry.


Monday, October 17, 2011

It's A Heat Wave

Hard to believe it's supposed to be 69 degrees today, isn't it? Especially with all the fog and clouds. But that's what is forecasting. It gets a bit uncomfortable for me when I'm working outside, but I wouldn't mind if it stayed warm like this all winter.

Except for snow. We need to cold weather for snow to replenish our water supply. And maybe a little frost to sweeten my brussel sprouts. Other than that, this is fine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feds Go After Medical M.J. Advertisers

Looks like the kinder and gentler Obama Administration is taking their war against medical marijuana up a notch. They're threatening to prosecute media that publish advertising for the clinics. This seems to be more than a bit over the top. What's next? Will they start going after anyone that advocates for using medical marijuana?

Oh, my God! Looks like we're already moving in that direction with the City of Los Angeles pressuring the RAND Corporation to retract a study they did that concluded medical marijuana outlets might help reduce crime. How soon will the feds start doing the same sort of thing?

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the links.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Cool New Quote About Aging

I'm working on this new statement about age. I came up with it accidentally while chatting with another player playing Aces High about an hour ago:

"I'd rather be four years younger and have a mortgage to pay off than four years older and not have a mortgage."

Pretty cool, huh? Except it doesn't roll off the lips all that well and takes just a hair more thinking to understand than I'd like. How about...

"I'd rather be 56 and have a mortgage to pay off than 60 and not have one."

That's not bad, either, but I'd rather leave out specific ages. Also, "...and not have one". One what? I suppose mortgage is obvious but some folks might read that to think it's about death, or something along that line, when it's supposed to be about not wanting to get older.

Maybe "I'd rather be 56 with a mortgage to pay off than 60 without one.". Hmmm??? Nope. Same thing and it almost could sound like I'm expecting to lose my home in four years.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CA: Ground Zero for Muni Bond Crash

An interesting synopsis here of a longer Vanity Fair piece on what at least one authority believes to be another potential economic catastrophe: The crash in the municipal bond markets. He thinks California will take the brunt of it. That certainly wouldn't surprise me.

The Vanity Fair article itself is lengthy and a bit beyond the capacity of my attention span. I still haven't gotten to the part where the muni bond collapse is discussed.

I did find the first couple pages entertaining, though. The author describes meeting The Governator and joining him on a crime filled bike ride through the streets of Santa Monica while they discuss the state of The State. I thought that was a fun read just by itself.

Friday, October 07, 2011

MJ Dispensaries and State's Rights

As most of you know by now, the kinder and gentler Obama Administration has set its sights on California's medical marijuana dispensaries. Without getting into the pros or cons of medical marijuana, I hope at least some on The Left will take another look at their disdain for state's rights.

This is what happens when you have centralized federal control of things. Regardless of how Californian's have chose to deal with medical marijuana, the feds have said they don't care and, in fairness to the Obamatons, this same sort of thing would have likely happened under a Republican administration. In fact, I'm sure it has, although I'm not going to look up specifics.

The issue of federal control vs. state's rights certainly has two sides. I'm not sure anyone would want to dissolve the entire Bill of Rights and hope states came up with their own. As it is, states are allowed some latitude how the Bill of Rights is applied, though, and that's probably as it should be.

I'd really like to see this attack on the states be a rallying point between otherwise opposing sides. I won't be holding my breath as partisan concerns nearly always trump any common ground that the sides otherwise might find.

As an aside, if you haven't yet heard, there's more movement afoot at the federal level to expand U.S. drug laws
outside the country with a proposal having been introduced to make even talking about drugs outside the country illegal under U.S. law. Radley Balko gives us a heads up on that development.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Humboldt's Worst Roads?

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat seems to have taken a poll of the worst roads in Sonoma County. I don't recognize any of the names.

Maybe we should do one up here? I don't get around much and most of the county roads I've been on seem ok to me. About the only really bad section that comes to mind inside Eureka is a patch down on 2nd Street between X and V Streets.

Any other really bad sections of road out there?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Zombie Does An Affirmative Action Bake Sale

Photojournalist Zombie has another fun piece up. This one covers an Affirmative Action Bake Sale at U.C. Berkeley put on by the college's Republican group. Too bad she hasn't been able to cover the Occupy Wall Street protests, but maybe there's still time?

Rainy Season Starts?

Maybe. We've had over 2 inches of rain since the other night when the rain started. I hope this means an end to watering the things in my back yard until next summer. We'll need to remind those who water their lawns to turn off the water, too.

You may laugh but my experience has been that those Keep up with the Jones types determined to have the greenest lawn aren't concerned about the cost of the water they use and often leave their water timers on after the rain starts.

I remember once going to mow a guy's back yard in late October or November. It had been raining for some weeks but as I drove up I noticed his sprinklers on. No big deal for him as he had money to burn.

I'm just hoping we still have our Indian Summer to look forward to. Seems to me the usual pattern is for it to rain for a week or two at the beginning of the season, then it stops and we have a week or two of nice warm weather before winter sets in. I hope it hasn't already happened. I don't want winter to start just yet.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Should Cops Preview Their Own Videos?

An Oakland police officer video taped his shooting and killing of a suspect. Should he be allowed to refresh his memory by viewing his own video before he writes his report? I'm not sure where I stand. I sent the story to Radley Balko over at The Agitator and will be interested in seeing what he has to say.