Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Housing First?

The Tiimes- Standard write up on the recent joint meeting between Eureka and the county over solutions to the homeless problem seems rather optimistic to me. The way I read it, the consensus seems to be simply putting the homeless in houses is a no- brainer. Really? As I've wrote here before, how's that going to work in the real world?

First of all, how many of us want those living- and making the mess- behind the Bayshore Mall moving in next door to us. The homes will be next to somebody.

Call me skeptical that those newly occupied homes won't end up being a mess after too long. Never mind whatever activities the formerly homeless chose to continue right next door. 

It would also be a permanent drain on city and county finances with local government likely paying for the upkeep of those newly adopted homes for the foreseeable future. 

I don't know what the answer is. I appreciate those putting all the effort into finding a solution but I'm not sure just putting someone in a house will be as rosy a solution as some seem to think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How Many Wars Are We In?

Mint Press takes a look at how many wars the U.S. is engaged in right now. They tally up 134, although the most recognizable ones number 5. None of our current presidential candidates seem to have a problem with that.

Keep in mind, Mint Press is a rather obscure news outfit. I last heard of them when they did a debunk of the story of Syria's Assad using poison gas on opponents. Believable story, but it seemed as if their version could be true enough to me. I suspect it's a Russian news outlet.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Presidential Power Limits Not In Play This Election

Reason magazine takes a look at a survey sent out to the current presidential candidates asking what limitations they feel would restrain their authority if elected. Only one- maybe two- replied. Most ignored the survey. 

Kinda shows the mindset of elections nowadays, so no surprise there. Candidates don't campaign on civil liberties or what they'd be restricted from doing. They campaign to do something.

The two who replied? No surprise, again, with Senator Rand Paul responding to the questions. Hillary Clinton actually replied with what seemed to be a plug for her serving as Secretary of State. Well, at least she replied.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Presidential Poll: 73% Not Voting?

I don't know how anyone could take this recent poll seriously. A presidential preference poll by IVN News claims 73% of potential voters aren't happy with the current mainstream presidential candidates and thus won't be voting for them. That assumes they'll vote for some lesser known candidate?

I hardly think so. I've wrote here before that most people, most of the time, pay scant attention to politics and, as such, get their info and form opinions on what little they might pay attention to in the mainstream media. It will be no different this time. Most will vote for whomever the main news outlets convince them to. Either that, or stick with partisan loyalties.

You heard it first from me, folks, although I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I'm Trying Harry's

Kept seeing this ad for a razor show up online and it had me intrigued. Just something about it. I haven't been happy with shaving tools lately so thought I'd give it a try. Supposedly some british made razor, blades and lotion that's superior to what's available in U.S. stores. Don't really care about the lotion but better blades would be great.

Had to send them $3.00 to sign up and get a free one (I think), but the charge hasn't shown up on my bank account yet. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, when it comes it will be better than the cheapo razor I bought at Rite Aid last time.

Anyone else ever bite on this one?

Eureka Police Cam Video

The North Coast Journal mentions some legal back and forth over a dash cam video taken by Eureka Police.  The Eureka Police think the video should be granted some protections and, I assume, not released openly to public scrutiny.

I'm not so sure of the facts in this case but I am getting a bit annoyed with the attitude that seems to emerge from at least some police that what they do deserves to be kept confidential. As the first comment to the Journal story says, "What is the point of dash cam video if nobody can watch it? It might as well not exist.".

Exactly. The police are the most direct force being used on people by government. They should be open to scrutiny at all times.

Porta Potties On the Devil's Playground....Again

Our very own Richard Marks posted not long ago about the Harbor Commission's plan of reinstalling portable toilets in the marsh area behind the Bayshore Mall so the homeless can use them. You'll recall this was done previously but the toilets were removed after being vandalized.

I appreciate the position the Commission, and everyone else, is in. I suppose they have to do something. I'm not sure this is going to end up any better than it did last time and will be an ongoing problem and expense for the rest of us.

At the same time, I don't know what else to suggest and appreciate the Commission's concern and efforts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

We Don't Need A President

The Onion has it right. We don't need a President. All they do is cause problems:"We elect a president, and everything goes to pot. And now I hear we're going to have to go through this again! We just had a president, for Pete's sake, and it looks like we're going to repeat the same stupid mistake we've already made 43 times before, only for the sake of tradition."

As entertained as I can be by these elections, I don't know that I get as involved as everyone else, so I've probably been with The Onion on this longer than I realize.

Yes, I will vote in the presidential election, but more than likely for  Libertarian Party nominee, Gary Johnson. After all, I'm just wasting my vote cause there's no way he can win, No harm done.

Trump Supporters: Authoritarian?

Reason magazine takes a look at the Donald Trump supporters, coming to the conclusion that Trump appeals mostly to authoritarians. I had  a little of that feeling myself, with his apparent lack of concern for civil rights or fairness, but never really thought much about it.

The article does go somewhere I never spent a whole lot of time: defining authoritarianism. I'm not sure I've ever tried. About the closest I've ever come is suggesting authoritarians aren't believers in individual choice- not the description the Reason writer comes up with.

The writer comes up with some child specific questions to determine adult tendency towards authoritarianism: "These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.".  Probably a good of an approach as any, so works for me. 

Authoritarian, or not, I'll still admit to getting a kick out of Trump's brash in your face political correctness be damned statements, although I'm not sure much is gained by them.

Monday, January 18, 2016

CA: Legislature Opens To Lobbies

Calwatchdog reports the doors to the state capitol are being a bit re- arranged, with business and lobbys being given access to the old public access venues. At least they're being honest about it.

I have a different take on special interests than most, as I've wrote here before. We're all special interests. You, I and all the different groups are special interests that have our own things we want government to do, or not, for us. 

I'm not sure I see anything wrong with that, short of the crony capitalist stuff that regularly seems to go on in Sacramento. For instance, fire alarm companies lobbying for laws requiring smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in new homes. Or companies involved in drug testing lobbying to make it easier to drug test high school athletes. I'm told that sort of thing happens all the time. It shouldn't. 

Not sure how you can draw the line between a special interest such as myself or a gun rights group and one that is in the fight for strictly some profit. Then again, is there really anything all that wrong with profit?

They say they'll change the door arrangement eventually. I'm not sure it matters since the whole thing has been an open secret up to now anyway.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cell Phone Bought

I ended up buying this phone yesterday from the Tracfone web site. Funny thing is I can't remember the name right now and I don't think it's listed anymore on that site. Around $43 with shipping. It has wifi an 3 or 4g capability. Not sure about much else, which is why I went for the lower cost phone.

Went to Radio Shack yesterday to get some actual face time with a sales guy only to find they don't carry Tracfone anymore. He recommended CVS, next door. Went there and they just had two old, cheap phones like the one I had years ago. Sales girl didn't seem to be phone savvy but recommended Target as having all kinds of phones.

I didn't feel like going to Target so just told myself I'd take a chance and buy a decent looking one from the Tracfone site. I might well be disappointed eventually. They say 3 days shipping with Fedex but I never received confirmation of my purchase.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Maybe I Should Smoke Pot??

This is just one of many articles I"ve read about marijuana killing cancer cells. Since I have tumors now, maybe I should consider smoking pot? I'm tempted, but not really in the loop. Haven't smoked it for 30 or 40 years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mendocino Has Pension Problems

I don't follow the Mendo papers as much so hadn't heard much about it but an editorial from the Willits News tells of the county's problems with public pensions and finance. Hard to say how it compares to Humboldt's as I don't have all the numbers.

Cell Phone Questions

Anybody know a bit about cell phones and the various contracts? I've decided to get a new one after not being very happy with the phone I have, having used it the last few weeks for the first time of any length.

Much of it was just cell phone ignorance, having never used the phone before. Took me a while to figure I had to press Send to send or receive calls. Even after I figured that out the buttons are so small it was hard to press the Send button or dial a number, especially in the dark. I want something easier to handle and with more capability.

I want internet access, which I guess means a "smart phone" type thing, but am clueless as to where to start and can't afford hundreds of dollars. The one in the picture is an LG121G Destiny ($89,99) offered by Tracfone, but am unsure about their terms. This one does have some intrenet (I think). Anyone have one or used one before.

As far as internet goes, do you go for 4G or WiFi, or do you have a choice?

The one pictured says it gets triple minutes for life but breaks those down into text, data and voice so I get the impression it's not as simple as just renewing my minutes each month for $7.00 as I currently do with Tracfone. The minutes clause also stipulates, "Except with Smartphone Only Plans". What's a smart phone only plan? I can't find anything saying what those are and how they're different.

Anyway, suggestions are welcome, especially some explanation of the plans, how they work and how much they cost. If it's too expensive, maybe I'll just stick with the $30.00 phone I have, but I'd rather have internet capability.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Times- Standard Letters

I was surprised to see Times- Standard columnist, Tim Martin, being fairly nice to GOP front runner Donald Trump. I suppose he's not too far from me. I won't vote for Trump but I appreciate someone that doesn't bow to political correctness.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bad Times

It began prior to December 12, that date sticking out because it was my first in the hospital. I'd been having some medical problems I didn't think much of at first. Then they got a bit much to ignore. My left foot began dragging on the ground. I was forgetting things, falling down and dropping things. After a couple of rough falls, I went to my doctor. She diagnosed a stroke on the right side of my brain.

She also told the wife if I fall down again to call an ambulance and let the hospital figure out why. Not long after that I took another fall. She called an ambulance and I ended up at St. Joseph's Emergency Room. After some time there, the hospitalist gave a preliminary diagnosis of tumors in my brain and scheduled an MIR scan. The scan later showed not just a couple tumors, but two rather large ones.

I was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital and ended up hating it.To be fair, some of my recollection could be drug fueled. They gave me some drug before the MRI scan that was supposed to calm me down. The name started with an A. It seemed to me it just gave me bad dreams that carried over into my next time awake. The whole time seemed like a dream.

First annoyance of St. Joes is their seeming obsession with people falling down. They want everyone to stay laying in bed and weren't shy about telling patients to get back in bed over and over again. The beds have alarms that go off if you try and get up without permission. Get out of bed unnannounced and a bunch of nurses come running over and jump your case. That was annoying enough to set me off on the wrong start and I became argumentative.

As I recall the buildings we were in were concrete square buildings akin to something a jail would look like.With staff telling you to do this and that it did seem like a jail, too, especially when they'd insist you couldn't leave. That really pissed me off and they brought it up more than once.

I'd wake up in the morning feeling I wasn't far from home and decided I'd walk home so I'd ask for my shoes. I'd be told, almost verbatim each time, "You don't need shoes. You're not going anywhere. You're in a hospital under a doctor's care. We'll release you when we feel you're ready.". You can imagine that didn't set well with me and I got rather hostile over that.

They had some thing about "impulsive actions", too, they brought up more than once. I think it was the first night there I got up to go to the bathroom. Some guy grabs me in the dark and tells me to get back in bed. I tell him I need to go to the bathroom. He says that "impulsive behavior" isn't safe, so we get into an argument over that. Bunch of crap.

Anyway, St. Joe's was like that the whole time. A total nightmare for me with no end in sight.

They'd opened my brain and done  biopsy of the tumors earlier, some doctors deciding I should go out of the area for treatment- Stanford, most likely. They didn't seem to feel the situation was all that urgent but should be taken care of at first opportunity so I waited for a way to go to Stanford.

After a couple days I was moved to the main St. Joe's campus- what seemed like a more real hospital with real bathrooms- actual bathrooms not being found in the place I'd been staying. That was a pleasant break and after a day or so a Cal-Ore LIfe Flight was found to fly us to the Bay Area,

Nice guys in the flight crew. Smart and pleasant. They took us to Eureka's Murray Field and we took off from there. Connie got to fly in the co- pilot seat. I just lay in the back in the gurney with my legs kinda locked beneath it. I couldn't move or see much. Took a couple hours to get down there.

I guess we landed at San Francisco airport, although I couldn't tell from my view. An ambulance came and picked us up taking us to the Stanford area. Just looking out the back of the ambulance, I couldn't really telll where we were or were going.

Then I got the feeling we were there, except not what I'd expected. I got the impression we were on a dock with water all around us because it seemed so cool and damp. They wheeled me out of the ambulance and into a small room. Didn't seem like any 'official" hospital room. I'd describe it as maybe a hospital room with a whole bunch of people waiting in it- mostly asian types. I told the wife it reminded me of one of those Chinese meat markets where they sell both dog and monkeys both- mostly just because everyone seemed oriental.

Didn't seem to be much order there, either. Just a bunch of people sitting with one guy sitting up front apparently taking charge of the group. There we sat, except somehow I ended up in a hospital bed.

Eventually, some guy came in and started asking me questions. I don't know if he was a doctor, or what? He got done and there we sat again. No real complaints except I felt damp and cold. Then I tried to sleep and remember waking up to some asian doll over my bed saying something like "Mr. Fred.I'm sorry, but I need a blood sample". I'd just nod and assure her she could have whatever she wanted.

Next morning, somehow or another, we ended up in the actual hospital. Unlike my preliminary impression, now I became impressed.

 Stanford has a stellar impression among hospitals. If deserved, it must have a lot to do with their nursing staff. i was more than impressed with them from the start. "Is there something we can get you", seems to be the first thing you'll hear from them. Very helpful, pleasant an accommodating at all times and no doubt in my mind they have the technical aspects of their jobs down pat.

That part was good, but it was still a hospital and they were almost as obsessed with people gettting out of bed as the St. Joe's dweebs were. Stanford just seemed to be able to put the bed thing in perspective, as opposed to St. Joe's who got all carried away.

So Stanford was good for the couple of weeks there, but still a hospital when I wanted to go home.

Not much internet there, either. WiFi didn't work 9 times out of 10. My tablet broke so that didn't work either. i mostly just lay in bed and watched the same movies over and over again, but at least the nurses were fun

i really wanted to leave, but Connie wasn't helping. Seemed to me she was finding every excuse not to: It was either too early or too late to drive home for her.

I finally gangpressed her into calling Enterprise Rent A Car so we could leave. Much to my surprise they actually had a car available on such short notice- a Hyundai Elantra, same as Connie's new car.

We got lost leaving Stanford wasting a couple hours driving in circles. Once we found 101 North, though, we went fairly quickly to the Villa Inn at San Rafael where we often stay. Not a bad way to end the worst 3 or 4 weeks of my life.

This probably doesn't read too bad, but I really hated it, especially staying at St. Joseph's.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Home. Home Again...

Home, home again.
I like to be here when I can.
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
.  ~ Pink Floyd

Finally, after what were probably the worst three to four weeks of my life, I'm back home. I'll try and tell the story here starting tomorrow and try not to get too carried away. Life was not good.

No, I wasn't in jail, but felt very close to it.