Saturday, October 31, 2015

I Hate Halloween

But this costume is cool and creative:

Ghost Adventures Does Xochimilco

The Ghost Adventures TV show took a trip to Xochimilco, Mexico last night. The show piqued my interest because I'd been to Xochimilco at least once when we lived in Mexico. 

Xochimilco is a bunch of canals, among other things, built by the Aztecs or someone way back in the day. The place they showed last night didn't ring a bell for me except when they showed the dock area that was colorful and well lit. The show was playing on the supposed spirits that were in the canals, legend having it that a whole bunch of people were killed during the Mexican revolution and their bodies dumped in the canals.

That was news to me, at least I'd wasn't aware of it when we visited. A very colorful and peaceful place where you could rent a boat to cruise the canals. The one time I remember going there we rented a boat and had the operator float us through the canal while we had a picnic onboard. No scary stuff involved, although I do remember being told not to put my hands in the water as it was known to be quite filthy.

Despite all the darkness in the TV show, it was quite pleasant when we were there. Everything there, including all the boats were painted bright colors as the picture shows giving the place carnival atmosphere.

The Wikipedia article mentions the Isle of Dolls that played a big part in the TV show. I don't remember that, but maybe we went there. I guess the dolls were put there by some guy to keep away evil spirits, although after watching the show you'd get the impression the dolls were evil. Fine by me as I find dolls creepy anyway.

Anyway, if you get the chance, don't be afraid to stop by Xochimilco. It wasn't scary at all to me, even as a kid.

Bialik's Grok Nation

Big Bang Theory fans might enjoy this Grok Nation web site started earlier this year by the show's Mayim Bialik (Amy Farah- Fowler). It seems to be just a discussion site for various subjects. It does seem to me as if she is the one starting the various threads. I'll be stopping by on occasion and perhaps even commenting on whatever is on her mind.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Daylight Saving Time Petition

Here's an online petition to congress asking them to end Daylight Saving Time. I found the link on this CNN article about Daylight Saving

I signed the petition but will admit I'm almost looking forward to the change this year. I've been oversleeping a lot lately. I woke up 45 minutes late this morning. It might be nice to wake up Sunday morning, have the clock saying it's 6am and know it's actually 5am. Only works once, but it still might be fun.

Only the white man would think you could cut a foot off one end of a blanket, sew it to the other end, and have a longer blanket.- old indian saying

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Partisanship: More About Dislike Than Loyalty

Vox looks at a study by two political scientists who have discovered partisanship has more to do with dislike of the other side than liking one's own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tim Martin Does Socialism

The Times- Standard's Tim Martin tells us how this country is actually socialist and Bernie Sanders' social democracy has been a large part of this country since its inception. He points to all good things we have as evidence of it. About my only real problem with it is he equates socialism to government in general. I'm not surprised by such feelings coming from a life long government employee.

Local commentator, Al Parodi, offers a rebuttal in the comments to Tim's column.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Avast Internet Security

I've been using Avast anti- virus and internet security for a few years now. I've had some issues off and on with it but, since it's really giving me a hard time now, I thought I'd write a review in hopes Avast's powers- that- be might stumble onto to this while checking on what the world is saying about their program and hopefully take heed. It's been very difficult for me to try to contact them directly.

I've used at least four anti- virus programs over the years. Norton, McCafee, Zonealarms and now Avast. All of those programs have let viruses on my computer, thus none are perfect. I started using Avast at the recommendation of one of the guys at Cornerstone Computers in Henderson Center. He suggested Avast was a lot "less noisy" than ZoneAlarms which I'd been using. He was right in that regards.

I'd constantly get one alarm or another with Zonealarms about something going on inside my computer. Problem was, I didn't know what those alarms even meant. Avast used to work in the background without getting itself a lot of attention, until relatively recently.

A year or two ago after one of their upgrades, a window started popping up telling me my computer was running slower than it should and they could fix it for me. After ignoring it for a while, I bit and selected the fix it option. Then a window pops up saying I'd have to pay something like $39 per year to use that program. To me, that's akin to adware and I didn't appreciate them adding that to the program. How rude! It didn't stop with that one time, either, I got pop ups for that time and again until I found a way to deactivate it.

I also started getting a lot of what I felt were false positive virus warnings on web sites, including some I went to regularly. For a while I saw an option in the alert box where you could report a suspected false positive, but it seems they've removed that now. Even when I did report it, I never got any feedback from Avast saying the threat was real, or not. 

The most recent annoyance was their web shield giving an alert with numerous sites I'm familiar with telling me they're blocking the site because of an "invalid certificate". To their credit, they usually don't actually block the site. They just keep alerting you to the certificate problem, whatever that means.

A week or two ago it got even better when it told me it was blocking a site I visit at least five days a week- because of an invalid certificate. What got me about this was they actually blocked the site. I simply can't view it, although I can easily enough using my tablet.

I finally went to the Avast web site and tried to get some tech support without success. They do have a forum where you can search for similar problems but I couldn't find this particular problem listed. I did find a few similar issues, one which recommended turning off their Web Shield. I did that, but it still won't let me visit my site, so I'm stuck.

Anyway, Avast seems as good as any other anti- virus and they do offer a free firewall. Don't expect to be totally secure, though, and you'll get alerts whether there's a threat, or not.

The Late Murray Rothbard on Fluoride

I found this item on lewrockwell yesterday: The late Murray Rothbard writing of his opposition to water fluoridation. What I liked most is he uses some of the same arguments I've made over the years. Great minds think alike, huh?

Not too much new there for me except the studies showing fluoride's limited usefulness even when it does help with dental carries. Apparently it's most effective with kids 5 to 9 years old, with little effect before and after that. I hadn't read that before.

Another newbie is the history of the fluoride wars and the players on both sides. I'm not sure if the sides still hold true today as I've found it's more of authoritarian vs. libertarian as opposed to Left vs. Right.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Eureka's Knitting Headquarters

If you or someone you know is into knitting, or any of those other yarn type hobbies, you'll want to be sure and stop by Yarn, on Russ Street in Henderson Center. Not a new business as it used to be in Old Town. She moved to Henderson Center this summer. You can sign up for their e-mail list through their web site. It has announcements of new products, designs and classes being held.

Stop by Yarn and tell them The Freddy sent you.

518 Russ Street, Eureka
Monday thru Saturday 10:30 to 5:30, Closed Sundays

Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween Candy Poll

The Times- Standard reports on a recent poll on favorite Halloween candies. Number one is my life long favorite, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. For once I don't feel like the loneliest guy in the world.

Good thing about me is I don't have much of a sweet tooth and rarely eat candy. Otherwise, I'd probably be big and fat like so many of you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Homeless: Who Is Responsible

The Times- Standard reports on last night's Eureka City Council meeting. They were planning on making some headway toward the homeless situation on the bay. No real action taken by Times- Standard's deadline. I suspect there wasn't any action taken by the end of the night.

I found of interest City Manager Greg Sparks' contention the homeless situation isn't really the city's responsibility:

I believe this is primarily a state and federal issue to resolve,” he said.

I'm not sure I've heard that before. About the only concern I have with it is what if some time up the road the state and federal governments come out and say it's local government's responsibility?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Irwin Schiff: Income Tax Rebel

My internet buddy, Tom Knapp, looks at the recent death of Irwin Schiff. Schiff was a long time critic of the income tax and spent much of his life claiming that tax was illegal. I actually agree with Schiff, but think it's much to do about nothing for the most part.

My old Libertarian friend Josh told me years ago he thought Schiff's arguments were correct and we shouldn't be required to pay income tax. To that I agreed, but told him it was a moot point. After all, armed robbery is illegal. If someone came and stuck a gun in your face demanding your money, you'd give it to him, right? You wouldn't try arguing you don't have to comply because he's doing something illegal.

Irwin Schiff made a good example of that. He ended up spending the last years of his life for trying the above.

Taking it further, let's say a high court found arguments of the income tax being illegal were correct. That wouldn't do anything. You can be sure within a week of that ruling congress, acting in a full bi- partisan manner, would pass an income tax law that would meet legal scrutiny. That's just the reality of it.

Graveyards and History

The Times- Standard reports on what seems like an interesting project in the Fortuna area. The Fortuna Cemetery District will be putting on a show of sorts where actors will play the role of some of those interned in the cemeteries. Seems like a fun event. According to the story there's seven cemeteries in the Fortuna area so there might be some driving involved.

Older cemeteries are interesting. I remember taking a walk through the Ferndale cemetery back in the '70s. All kinds of old graves there. I believe I saw at least one headstone that said Killed By Indians. If only those headstones could talk.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

CNN Pro- Hillary?

The Daily Sheeple suggests CNN has been skewing their reporting in declaring Hillary Clinton winner of the recent debates. Not having watched those debates, I won't weigh in on that aside from it coming as no surprise.

Then, just minutes after reading that, I got a post from the National Libertarian Party Facebook page saying the same thing. One girl pointed to this page which claims CNN was removing Pro- Bernie Sanders comments and polls showing him winning the debate. 

About the only surprise there is I thought CNN had stopped allowing comments to their stories. I haven't seen any space for comments in some time. I just looked again and still don't see any. I suspect CNN really wants to control their news.

I can't imagine how we got by with only news from the mainstream media decades ago.

Get Your FBI File

The Daily Kos actually has some worthwhile items every now and then. Today, they tell you how to apply to find out what information the FBI and other agencies have about you. They link to this site that has a form you fill in that prints out a letter you can send to the applicable agency. I'm thinking of giving it a try.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Yet Another Gimmick

I saw these the other day at Rite- Aid and became curious. Then, when I couldn't remember yesterday if I'd taken my blood pressure medicine, I became more than just curious. I just went to Rite- Aid and picked some up. 

RX Timer Caps have a digital clock on them that resets whenever you put your prescription bottle's cap back on. If you can't remember if you took your medication, just look at the counter on the top of the cap and it tells when the bottle was last opened. 

Works well for me, so far. I'm just wondering how long the batteries last since there's no way of knowing how long they've been sitting in the store? I also have trouble reading the numbers on the cap and have to wear reading glasses to read them easily.

You can always buy those pill containers that are set up for different days of the week, which might work best for those that take a lot of meds, but this seems perfect for me since I just take one prescription once a day.

Rite- Aid has them at the pick up counter in the pharmacy. $9.99 for three of them- $8.99 with those store cards- one large and two small and, no, I'm not getting paid to write this.

New Inland Desalination Plant

Another one of those Facebook links takes us to a story about what will be the largest solar desalination plant in the country. What's especially interesting about this is it will be built inland, as opposed to on the coast. Agricultural water in the Fresno area is usually full of various salts, thus not drinkable by humans or wildlife. This plant will clean the salts out and make it usable.

My question is what do they do with the salts removed from the water? It says in the article the salts will be turned into something useful but they don't say exactly what. It's not just me, either. The first comment to the article asks the same thing.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Ally McBeal Dance

That's what I call it, anyway. Any other Alley McBeal fans out there? I couldn't get it out of my mind the last few days. There was a dance they did on the show to a Barry White song. I found this one on Youtube. It's the song, but I'm not sure it's the exact dance. What I remember was it being on maybe the last show and the whole cast was dancing. I don't think it was in a bathroom, either, but maybe my memory is flawed.

Buchanan: Trump and Sanders For Peace

Over at, Pat Buchanan makes the case that the ideal presidential race for non- interventionists would be between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. I'm not sure how true that is. After all, it's not what a candidate says while campaigning that matters. It's what they do after they're elected that counts.

I get the impression that non- intervention isn't an issue with most, or maybe the mainstream media just makes it look that way?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sonoma County Tightens Up Recycling

I've wrote before here how I've been appalled at the non- recyclable things that I find in people's recycling bins. Sonoma County seems to have had enough and is going to start getting tough with people throwing garbage in with recycling. If I'm reading it right, measures can include not picking up bins with unacceptable items, with fines possible for repeat violations.

Keep in mind that different areas consider different things recyclable. Humboldt recyclables go to Willits Solid Waste so I would think we go by their rules. I'm not sure how closely WSW's rules match Sonoma County's. They have a slideshow on that Press- Democrat page that shows some of the basics for Sonoma County.

I was surprised to see hard plastic containers, like water buckets, listed as recyclable. Not too surprised to see milk cartons as ok. I'm confused about clean, shredded office paper. Is office paper acceptable? It is up here. I'm guessing it's just too hard to contain shredded paper so they prefer not to deal with it.

I'm wondering if they'll ever put out the word here on what is or isn't acceptable, and start hassling people that don't comply? I suspect they might not as it gives the garbage companies another reason to raise rates. They've gone up steadily, at least in Eureka, since garbage collection and recycling were made mandatory.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tonight's Democratic Presidential Debates

Some are on the edge of their seats in anticipation of tonight's Democratic presidential debates. Over at Reason magazine, Peter Suderman tells us what to watch for. Greg Gutfeld, of the Greg Gutfeld Show, kinda gives ten predictions of what he anticipates. 

Let's see who ends up being right. You'll have to come back here to tell me. I won't be watching. I'm above that sort of thing.

Water Drinking Concrete

Another one of those cool things that shows up in my Facebook feed. News of a new type of concrete that absorbs a whole lot of water, thus believed to be some use in alleviating flooding. I'm wondering if claims are oversimplified? Don't get me wrong. I think it's neat, but maybe one of those easier said, or thought, than done things.

After all, the concrete soaks up lots of water, but where does the water go? Depending on the ground beneath it, it could very well get too much water and flood anyway, unless some pretty heavy duty work was done beneath the road to drain off the excess. And if you had to do that, how much would this increase the cost of a mile of roadway? Never mind the maintenance costs the article alludes to.

New County Sales Tax Proposal

Last night's KIEM TV News poll asks whether you'd support a new sales tax to pay for county transportation needs. At this point 90% joined me in a No vote. The Humboldt Consequential weighs in on the tax, as well, focusing more on the Board of Supes proposal to pay for polling to see if such a measure would pass.

Mixed feelings on paying for a poll. If such a poll showed voters support an added sales tax, I assume it goes on the ballot and we pay for both the vote and the polling. If they don't, we're just out $30,000. Kind of a glass half empty- half full thing.

I'll be voting No, if it makes the ballot. 

A similar measure recently failed in Sonoma County. From what I read in the comments in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat, there was simply a lot of distrust in their county government to use the money on roads. I suspect the same might be true here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Taxpayer's League Meets Wednesday

Since I have nothing else to post this morning, I'll announce the next meeting of the Humboldt Taxpayer's League. At the Samoa Cookhouse, Wednesday at noon, although lunch starts at 11:45. I see item 5.1 on the agenda is Leo Sears on the Harbor District lawsuit. I wonder what kind of reception that will get? No charge if you want to show up and rag on him about it.

Maybe Richard Marks can stop by and let us know how it goes? Hint: blog post fodder Richard.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Anti- McCain Petition has a petition up asking the U.S. Senate to censure Senator John McCain for his warmongering.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

NASA: Mars Colonies Within 25 Yrs

The Telegraph reports on a somewhat bold claim by NASA officials that we'll have earth independent colonies on Mars by the 2030s. At least they're willing to point out some of the problems they're facing:

"In the coming decades the space agency will continue to gather information from experiments aboard the International Space Station, so that crews can live in deep space without health problems from radiation and the effects of micro-gravity.
Currently the amount of time astronauts can spend in space is limited because of fears that space radiation causes cancer. Many crew members also need glasses after returning from space because the effects of micro-gravity causes pressure to build up in the optic nerve. There are also fears that astronauts could develop dementia or suffer fertility problems."

I wouldn't be surprised if we get someone on Mars even before then. I'm still skeptical they'd be able to spend much time, never mind productive time, there.

Friday, October 09, 2015

New Eureka Parks And Rec Blog

I received an e- mail notice yesterday from Eureka Parks and Recreation announcing their new e- mail notification list. They also pointed out their new blog which announces all things new in Parks and Recreation. I didn't see any instructions for subscribing to their list. In my case, I guess I'm already on it and just have to unsubscribe if not interested. I suppose you call up Parks and Recreation if you want to be on their list.

Let It Rain

All the talk of El Nino has people hopeful, although earlier reports said it wasn't likely to bring a lot of rain or snow to Northern CA. Then yesterday I got a breaking news from the Sacramento Bee with a headline to the effect that now they believe this El Nino pattern might well dump a fair amount of rain on NorCal. 

I didn't follow the link as I was getting ready to shut down the computer. Besides, if it's that big a deal, surely I'll see it reported elsewhere later on. Nope. Haven't seen anything close to it, aside from the normal talk of El Nino as in today's Times- Standard

The T-S did point out something I keep needing to be reminded of as it's contrary to my memory: We usually don't get much rain until November or later. I keep expecting the rain to start any day now. Thinking back, it seemed to me we'd usually get a week or so of rain in September, then it would stop and we'd go into our so- called indian summer. Later in October or November the rain would set in.

I guess not, at least according to the weather folks. They say we don't usually get substantial rain until November or later. 

I'm waiting to see the first mention of rain in the forecast but never see it, at least not anything substantial. Kind of a bummer, as I'd like to see it rain. Of course, if we do get substantial rain for days at a time, then I'll probably be complaining about it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The November Election

I received my absentee ballot in the mail yesterday. Only one office up for grabs on my ballot: Humboldt County Board of Education, Trustee Area 4. Only two candidates: Lorretta Eckenrode and Bernadette Arwood. That should be a real cat fight, huh?

But seriously, I just went to the League of Women Voters' Smartvoter site to see if there's any info on these two. Nope, not yet anyway. They both have Facebook pages but nothing pertinent there, either. Not sure I just want to blindly choose one or the other. Unless more info shows up, I might just skip this one.

Some Phones Need Modems

Phones nowadays are quite a bit different than the old ones. The old phones that you plugged into the wall jack had their own power source. Actually, it was the phone companies power- separate from your other electricity source- that allowed those phones to work even if the power was off. Never knew that until a phone company guy told me. We have one of those old phones upstairs.

With the new cordless phones, it's not quite the same. Your power goes off, the phone's receiver won't work so no phone calls. I have our current cordless phone on a battery back. That might help but the battery is years old so maybe not.

Then there's the cable phone systems, which I think the guest writer in the Times- Standard is referring to. Must be, because our cordless phone doesn't have a modem. I was surprised to learn that those cable phones need a back up battery in their modem to work in a power outage. I guess they used to give everyone a back up free, but now they've stopped doing that. Check your phone's modem and see if you have one installed if you want to make calls during power outages.

Then again, there's always the cell phone for that.

Local Movie Maker Has U.S. Debut

Maria Matteoli's movie, "The Wine of Summer", has made its debut in this country, reports ScreenDaily magazine. Maria and some of her family drove down to Los Angeles for its official opening. She won some film prize overseas for that same movie.

Maria was born in Eureka and currently lives not far from me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Harbor Commission Lawsuit

The Times- Standard reports on the lawsuit filed by Leo Sears over supposed impropriety on behalf of the board members Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. The problem seeming to be a deal having been made between the district and Coast Seafoods Co. 

The District borrowed a bunch of money from the company to clean up the old pulp mill on Samoa. In return (not sure if this is being questioned), the district extended Coast Seafoods' lease. The issue seeming to be that board member, Greg Dale, is employed with Coast Seafood, thus a conflict of interest existed.

I'm underwhelmed. The deal made seems, as best I can tell, to be in both parties' interest and there was no down side to it that's being claimed. Greg Dale apparently wasn't present on the board when the decisions were made. He broached the subject earlier at some Chamber of Commerce meeting. You have to wonder what else public officials are supposed to do at such meetings? Talk about the weather?

I also have to wonder if this same deal might have might have been made if Greg Dale wasn't even on the board? I suspect it would have. We can quibble about the fine points of conflict of interest, but in this case it seems to me no harm, no foul.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Syria & Russia: Truth or Lies

Or maybe somewhere in between? In regards my last post on Syria, we've seen since then statements in the news from western powers that the Russians are hardly hitting ISIS and are, in fact, just making things worse. According to this news report- from a source I've never heard from before- Russians have dealt devastating blows against ISIS. 

Good news, if true but, I do notice other pages from this web site seem to be strongly pro- Russian. Perhaps this is another Russian propaganda site? Still, that doesn't mean what they wrote is untrue. It just means they get to tell their side of the story. 

I'm not sure the United States needs its own web sites. We have CNN and the rest of the major news organizations to put our spin on things.

Hillary The Unlikable

The Daily Sheeple looks at what I'm guessing is a recently published book on the lives of Secret Service agents. According to the book agents consider being assigned to guarding Hillary Clinton to be a form of punishment. Believable to me as I've read similar sentiments elsewhere. 

I might have mentioned here before a commentary by a guy saying Hillary would never be elected because of the same sort of thing. He wrote, to paraphrase, "When husband Bill walks into the room, the place lights up because people liked him. When Hillary walks in, the room goes cold...".

Perhaps she's the most unlikable current politician, or at least most well known. Back in the day I read something about older presidents and agent's impression of them. Worst president to work for: Lyndon Johnson, him treating agents like servants and having them carry his bags and such. 

Best one to work for: Jimmy Carter, who let them stay in guest housing on his farm and them fish in his pond, among other things. A genuinely pleasant guy!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Putin & Syria: So?

Reason magazine knocks it out of the park again with a look at Russia's interest in Syria. A good case made that it really shouldn't concern us. About the only thing I disagree with is the second to last paragraph:

"Obama's critics portray him as weak and lost in the face of the bold Russian challenge. But the truth is he's engaged in geopolitical jujitsu, using the opponent's strengths against him. He's avoiding risks that carry no commensurate rewards. "

I don't think Obama is weak, but I'm not happy with the saber rattling I've heard from the U.S. government. I have a hard time believing he's being strategic with "geopolitical jujitsu". He seems to just be playing the the tough guy card as is often the U.S. role. 

In fairness, though, recent news reports of U.S./Russian dialogue don't sound quite as bad as they did earlier on.

Water Folks Agree With The Freddy

It's been frustrating to me to keep hearing people saying we need to conserve water in Eureka and the surrounding area. I've wrote here and elsewhere time and again we have plenty of water and water we don't use just goes out into the ocean.

Thus I was pleased to read in the Times- Standard this morning others are questioning the need to conserve water for the very same reasons I've brought up. Those quoted include the boss at the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District:

In the rest of the state, where a lot of the supply is interconnected through a series of reservoirs and canals, conserving in one metropolitan area can benefit other large metropolitan areas,” he said. “In our situation up here, we’re isolated.

In other words, whatever water we use up here isn't at the expense of the parched areas.  We also have millions of gallons a day of water considered surplus.

When you think about it, if there was a need to conserve water in the greater Eureka area, it would make more sense to be drawing more water from the Mad River and storing it somehow rather than letting it just run out to the ocean.

No need to applaud, but you can be sure I'm basking in my greatness.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Neighbors and Local Ordinances

I've mentioned before the Nextdoor Neighborhood e-mail list. It's a relatively easy way to communicate with the rest of those in your neighborhood, although the neighborhood boundaries can be quite large. Most seem to use it for neighborhood watch activities.

I had my doubts about it when signing up with it again earlier this year. Could it be used by neighbors to snipe at each other? Yes, and it has been, at least once. Had a incident a couple months ago where one neighbor complained- perhaps falsely- that her neighbor was engaged in criminal behavior. That led to him posting about her and creating a rather difficult situation I got involved in which almost resulted in a physical fight on my front porch with one of them.

I thought maybe this sort of thing wasn't for me. It still might not be, but that died down. Today,  someone in the Eureka High Neighborhood posted something a bit different. She suggested the City of Eureka be more proactive in enforcing local ordinances. Here's just part of it:

"I don't agree with the laissez faire attitude the city seems to have. We live in an incorporated city, you can't just do whatever you want, otherwise, what is the point of municipal codes? I don't accept the excuse that it's this way because we live in Humboldt Co. That excuse has kept us from having nice things long enough. If a person wants to live outside of the municipal codes, then maybe some other unincorporated part of the county would be more to their liking. I pay property taxes, and I expect the city to enforce the codes that were passed for the benefit of its citizens.
These are just basic codes I'm talking about that are part of any modern community. And that's my point, neighbors wouldn't have to meddle if the city enforced its own codes."

That was in response to my reply to her where I suggested nothing wrong with complaint driven enforcement, but part of what I liked about the area since I moved here over 40 years ago was the live and live attitude of most people. We also don't need The City going around hassling everyone as a matter of course. Complaint driven enforcement should be the rule. 

This gal would have none of that. I can't help but wonder how long she's lived up here? Seems like someone that moved up here from the big city wanting to bring the big city mentality with her. To be fair, though, probably more than enough natives up here with that mindset.

Regardless, my main point in posting was the the Nextdoor Neighborhood list and the resulting block party held at Carson Park in August. Get to know your neighbors! What's to not like about it?

It might be a plus that you get to know your neighbors. On the other hand, you may find you don't like them. I can think of at least two I've found I don't.
On a related note, years ago when the late Tish Wilburn ran for Eureka City Council, she called me up- or did I call her(?)- wondering if the Libertarian Party of Humboldt County would endorse her candidacy. Her main campaign issue? Enforcing local ordinances.

I had to tell her that isn't the sort of issue I would think most libertarians would rally around, much less as an organization. She didn't understand that no matter how much I tried to explain it. Oh, well, at least she took it well.

My Last Time At Church

Speaking of church, I've never understood why any guy would want to go to church once he's old enough that he didn't have to. I had to go all the time, mostly at my mother's insistence, but quit around age 13 after getting in some trouble. My mom didn't argue about it. She just knew I didn't like it and realized it didn't seem to do any good for me.

I was a happy fellow on Sundays until '76ish when I went to basic training for the national guard. Off to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo I went. I'd asked a friend a lot about the army and basic training- he was a Viet Nam veteran. I asked about church, telling him how much I hated it. He said I'd want to go to church in basic as they'd put you on work details if you didn't go. I told him I'd rather be on details than go to church and never backed down from that.

The first week in training, Sunday came. The drill sergeant told the company we had the opportunity to go to church but, if you chose not to, just let them know and you wouldn't have to. He didn't say anything about work details, but that didn't matter to me. There was my opportunity, or so I thought.

Except then they ordered the company en masse onto buses and we were driven across post to some Catholic church. When was I supposed to opt out? No one ever asked. We get to the church and fall out of the buses into formation. I'm thinking this might be where they ask if you want to attend. Nope. Drill Sergeant calls out, "Files from the right, March", or some such, and we file into the church. 

Uh, oh. I'm trapped, and that early in the training cycle I was too intimidated to approach the drill sergeants while in formation about anything. Into the church I went. Oh, NO!

Once inside, nothing really new. I was raised Episcopalian, pretty much the same as Catholic except Episcopalian priests can get married. They had their little march down the aisle carrying the cross up to the pulpit, or whatever it's called up at the front. Then the prayers and songs. 

I didn't really participate. I stood up when everybody else stood up and knelt on cue, but I didn't say anything or sing. What really got me was the guy to my right seemed to be a church boy. When they'd do some song he'd move his hymnal over to me so I could read the words and join in. I didn't, but made it look like I was singing. I was hating it.

Finally, when I got the impression things were winding down, I'd had enough, got up and walked outside. Thank God that's over with was about the closest I got to saying a prayer.

That was the last time we did church en masse. After that they had it set up so troops could go to church but you went on your own. Not me, of course, and I have to wonder if I was the only one hating that first Sunday? As I recall after that, most everyone stayed in the barracks on Sundays having a nice, quiet day off reading the Sunday paper. Now that was pleasant.