Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crime Up Locally

Strange that the front page of today's Times- Standard has a story about how crime is up in the county but I can't find it on their web site. Hmmm???

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Removing Preview Links

I guess that's what they're called. I hate them. Anyone know how to disable them in your browser?

I'm referring to those links in the text of news stories and some blogs. They show up on my Mozilla Firefox browser as blue dots under a series of words. If you move the mouse over them, even for a split second, a window pops up showing you links to related news stories associated to that set of words.

I HATE THEM! I realize you can close them quickly, but they're extremely annoying to me. Anybody know how to get rid of them?

The next annoying thing- actually, just as annoying as the above- are those Facebook and Twitter things that open up on web sites. Sometimes I have a hard time closing those at all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Kirk Family of Redway?

This is twice I've seen the last name Kirk show up in the news in the last month or two. Last time, the Times- Standard had a story about some elderly lady, with a last name of Kirk, that led the cops on a leisurely car chase in Southern Humboldt. This time, some guy with the last name of Kirk gets hit over the head with a bottle down on a beach in Redway.

Might they be related to our very own Eric Kirk? I was of the impression he didn't have family up here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gallegos' 3rd My Word Column

I'm calling b.s. on Paul Gallegos' latest My Word column, if only because I don't think Gallegos wrote it. I can actually understand the writing in this latest one, unlike the other two that were almost jabberwocky.

Perhaps jabberwocky is being a bit generous? I'm betting his campaign manager gal, or someone else in his campaign staff wrote this last one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Might Well Vote For Him

I might vote for him, if I lived there. I tried to embed the link, but it didn't work, so I just added the link.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Banking Laws Coming

This Santa Rosa Press- Democrat editorial takes a look at new banking laws taking effect July 1. They focus on the one that forbids banks from charging super high fees for covering charges made on debit cards with insufficient funds. Now you'll have to opt- in to get such overdraft coverage.

And wouldn't you figure, a month or two ago, stupid me actually opted in to one of those overdraft deals with my credit union. What was I thinking? As I was driving home from the credit union after signing up for it I realized I made a mistake.

Like the editorial points out, if you don't have enough money in your checking account, the debit charge just gets refused if you don't have overdraft coverage. That would make more sense than having them cover the charge for a $20.00 fee as I believe signed up for.

I was just in the C/U yesterday and once again forgot to opt out of that deal. I really need to remember to get out of it next time I go in.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yes, I'm still here

Just haven't had much to write about lately.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bye, Suddenlink

For those of you that didn't read about it on my Facebook page, it's official now. We're no longer with Suddenlink cable TV (except I have to call and cancel my service with Suddenlink). We're now on Dish Network satellite TV.

I don't watch all that much TV anymore, but Connie does. She seemed interested in getting more channels. All we have are the 10 or so very basic cable channels. I switched to that because the plan we were on earlier with all the channels was getting up to $50.00 a month, and I don't watch that much TV so it wasn't worth it to me.

So Connie started hinting at me that Dish Network wasn't that much more expensive and we'd get a whole bunch more channels (although some of the channels are junk). Well, her birthday was coming up so that made an easy present. When I looked at my last Suddenlink bill, it was a done deal. I'm paying as much for the few channels I get from Sudddenlink as I'd be paying for 120 channels from Direct TV, for the first year, anyway.

Seems to me I switched to Suddenlink's lower cost plan ($16.50? a month) about three years ago and it's already gone up to over $24.00. Enough of that!

I called Dish Network yesterday and they installed it today. Not bad.

A couple things Dish Network isn't too upfront about in their advertising, though:

It took about 30 to 45 minutes to set up the deal on the phone. It wasn't until the last five minutes or so the gal told me they'd also be charging almost a $50.00 "processing fee" to my credit card. I chided her a bit for that but it really wasn't any surprise.

It looked outwardly like just a one year contract at the low price of $24.99 for the first year, but it's a two year contract. You get one year at the discount price and have to stay with them one year at the regular price of $39.99. No problem. I don't blame them. Just be aware that if you try to get out of the deal before two years are up, they charge you $17.50 for every month you fall short of completing the contract.

I also noticed, when checking my newly opened online account page they have me listed as paying $6.00 a month for some service warranty. I don't remember ever agreeing to that. The guy that installed the dish mentioned it to me earlier and said if I didn't want it I didn't have to sign for it. I didn't, but it's on my account right now. I'll have to keep an eye on that and make sure it's removed.

Things I like, so far, from my hour or so of experience: There are a lot of decent channels from what I can see and I do get local channels, unlike some others I've heard from. Most channels seem to be available in both High Definition and regular, too, so it makes it look like a lot more channels.

I also like the menu channel where it shows you what's available to watch on your plan. You click on the show you want to watch and it takes you right there. No more going through the paper's TV guide and seeing a show you'd like to see only to realize your Suddenlink plan doesn't offer that channel.

So, good bye, Suddenlink. No real hard feelings. Your prices just go up to fast for someone like me.

A Rather Strange Encounter

Ran into a rather odd situation while working yesterday. I was up on Pine Hill in Eureka mowing a lawn on the corner of Union and Madison.

I didn't notice when it pulled over but a blue Volkswagon pulled to the side of the road on Union Street, right next to the house I was working at. It looked like whoever it was just pulled over temporarily as the rear wheels were out into the street quite a bit. I could see someone in the driver's seat's head bobbing up and down as if they were trying to adjust something- as best I could guess.

So I'm hoping it isn't some medical emergency and hoping they'll pull out and drive off since they're in the way of where I'd be mowing next. The car doesn't leave and I have no choice but to mow next to the car.

I'm passing by the car and see some old lady in it. As I turn to go back the other way she motions at me to come to her and then steps out of the car as I approach her. She asks, "Can you help me? I can't get this car to move".

I look inside and see she appears to have the automatic transmission shift lever in the Park position. I slide inside the car to make sure and push the release button on the lever to make sure it moves. Yes, it does. I tell her she has the car in Park and she needs to press on the button and move the lever to where the D is on the shift panel to put it in Drive.

She says something like, "I tried that but it wouldn't move". I have her get back in the car and talk her through it reminding her to but her foot on the brake while shifting the gear. Finally she says, "Oh, there it goes. Maybe I needed my foot on the brake to move the shift lever?". I told her I didn't think so but whatever works.

Off she goes as I wish her good luck, hoping she gets far enough away so I won't be involved if she gets in a wreck.

I'm wondering, if she couldn't figure out how to change gears in that car by herself, how did she get to where she was in the first place?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mind If I Take It For A Spin?

The big bombers come to Eureka again. Wish I could go to the airport to see them. The B24J is usually my heavy bomber of choice when I'm playing Aces High. Do you think if I told them I'm a B24 pilot in Aces High they'd let me take theirs up for a spin?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Lakeview Gusher

I'd never heard of California's Lakeview Gusher until reading this story in the Los Angeles Times. The thing blew and 378 million gallons of oil gushed uncontrolled for 17 months until the well collapsed underground and sealed itself.

YouTube has a rather unremarkable video of what the Lakeview site looks like today. That's probably the most boring YouTube video I've seen to date.

Hacker With An Arcata Past?

Anyone ever met Adrian Lamo? He's the guy that supposedly hacked the New York Times computer network and, more recently, turned in a U.S. soldier leaking classified information.

Near the end of this Sacramento Bee story, it says the only newspaper he reads online regularly is the Arcata Eye. I can't imagine why he'd be interested in the Eye if he hadn't spent some time up here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Views On Prop 14

The New York Times has some commentary today from different talking (or writing) heads on the effects of Prop 14. None seem all that impressed with it and none seem to expect much change in Sacramento will occur because of it.

That link should take you to Dan Weintraub's commentary but scrolling up or down will take you to the five other writer's comments.

And, in case anybody's expecting me to comment on Prop 14's passage yesterday, I don't have much to say. It does go to show, as Dan Weintraub alludes to in his commentary, the nutty thinking of so many where voters think if they just changed the way we vote we can fix this broken state.

In practical terms, being a third party guy, it may seem the downside would be pretty much the elimination of 3rd parties from general elections. Then again, it also might make things easier for me as there will be more races I won't feel a need to bother casting a vote in anymore.

GO, Downey!

YESSS!!! Mike Downey wins the race for Sheriff with 66% of the vote, according to the latest figures at Heraldo's. Looks like I was pretty close with my prediction of a landslide for Downey. I figured it would be closer to 70%, earlier on, though.

Then all the Hislop signs started showing up and I'll admit they had me worried. After all, we do have an awful lot of flakes living up here and their numbers seem to be increasing every day. Heck, Hislop got over 40% of the vote. Just goes to show how many flakes do live up here.

But not to worry. It's over now and the good guys won, at least in the Sheriff's race.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010


You're just wasting your time. Watch this Moody Blues video instead.

Election Day

Today is Election Day and some of you get to go to the polls. I won't be going since I voted by absentee ballot two or three weeks ago.
Eric Kirk has his voting recommendations up on his blog. A clear Authoritarian slate he's picking, as would be expected, if only because he's voting in the Democratic primary. What other choices does he have?

But seriously, Gavin Newsom is a clear Authoritarian and Eric has long been a fan of his so the label fits if for that reason alone.

I see Eric also, as expected, is voting no on Prop 16 & 17- the PG&E and car insurance initiatives.

I mentioned here earlier I stood aside and didn't vote on those issues but, since Eric is voting against them, I'll go ahead and mark the YES box on the wife's sample ballot to nullify Eric's vote. Connie doesn't always follow my recommendations but she doesn't usually follow the issues that closely so often takes my advice.
Kudos to Rose Welsh for posting Kevin Hoover's rather convoluted explanation of his endorsement in the District Attorney's race. Reading it, I got the impression he would be voting for Allison Jackson, only to come to the end and see he chose Paul Hagan. Strange line of reasoning, from the way I read it.
So, the campaign signs in my yard come down at 8pm tonight when the polls close. I hope the rest of you do the same. If nothing else, just pull them up and lay them flat on the ground so we're not all being yelled at anymore.

And no, I don't stay up to watch the election results. Too many bad things happen on elections, especially in this state. I'll read the results in the paper tomorrow morning.

Hey, I don't mind watching car crashes, earthquakes, shootings or other disasters on YouTube after they've already happened. I don't like watching them in real life so I'm not going to stay up and see what will likely be more disasters taking place as election returns come in.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Good ol' Days In Afghanistan?

Here's a pretty interesting look at what Afghanistan was like back in the 50s and 60s, assuming it's true. What makes me wonder is the first picture of the record store. The only writing I can see is in English. I would think there would at least be an Arabic version of the sign alongside the English one if that was really in Afghanistan.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Plastic Bag Ban

The California Watchdog has a good read on the latest effort in the state legislature to ban plastic shopping bags. I am sympathetic to the problem of those plastic bags ending up all over the place, but they do have other uses and are recyclable. The recycling centers aren't accepting them now but you can recycle by returning them to the store.

What really gets me about this latest proposal is it supposedly bans paper shopping bags, as well, if they're not made from recycled paper. Seems to me more than 500 jobs are at risk with here if you throw paper shopping bags into the mix.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Quality Plant Sale

Rain or shine!

Friday & Saturday, June 4th & 5th, 8:00 am until 3:00 pm
3579 Dolbeer St. Eureka 95503 (across from the National Guard Armory near Sequoia Park)

African violets, rex begonia, fern & hoya (indoor)
Roses, princess bush, hydrangea, poppy
Geranium, foxglove, nigella, bromeliad
Angel trumpet, dahlia, dianthus, abutilon, geum,
Jasmine, honeysuckle, buddleia, fuchsia
Succulent and cacti
Noble fir, palm, Meyer lemon, Empress & Catalpa trees
Strawberry, raspberry, herb and artichoke

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

No On Prop 14

My colleague, Richard Winger of the Ballot Access News, has a nice commentary on the "Hidden Zinger in Prop 14".