Saturday, January 31, 2015

Another Progressive Ban Proposal

While we're on the subject of progressives and bans, from the U.S. Capitol comes a proposal for a ban on possession of bullet proof vests. For regular citizens only, of course. If you're with government, you're exempt. Sponsors seem to be all Democrats. No surprise there, but I'll admit I won't be surprised if a few Republicans sign on.

Progressives & Vaping

Pretty fun read in the National Review on the progressive attack on e-cigarettes:

"The state public-health department says that this [the attack on e-cigs] is justified by the presence of certain carcinogens — benzene, formaldehyde, nickel, and lead—in e-cigarette vapor. But by California’s own account, all of those chemicals are present in marijuana smoke, too, along with 29 other carcinogens."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hybrid Cars: Time to Buy?

Eric Peters, of Eric Peters Autos, says now might be the time to buy that hybrid car you've been wanting. With gas prices so low, they're having a hard time moving hybrids so deals are being made. That doesn't mean hybrids are necessarily a better of a deal overall. He goes through the numbers, pitting price of gas vs. mileage vs. overall cost. 

But, the price of gas might not always be this low.

Academic Freedom

The Raw Story looks at a bill in South Dakota that will allow teachers to question conventional wisdom on various issues including evolution and climate change. I know most teachers and school boards nowadays go along with political correctness, but I was surprised to see a law is needed to be passed to allow teachers to present both sides of an issue.

Those of you there's only one way types don't get too riled up. I get the feeling this isn't going to change much of anything. One of the co- authors of the bill is quoted as saying, "It’s purely local control,” Monroe said. “It just offers the possibility that there will be complete, open discourse.”. Just the possibility? Almost reads as if he's not that enthusiastic about it.

I like the idea of more open discourse, although I know I'm likely in the minority. 

Things seem to have deteriorated since I was in school. I've wrote here before about how well I liked the way my junior high school science teacher, Mr Clayborn, covered the evolution vs. creationism issue.

He gave a summary of both views. Then he gave opposing arguments to both views. Then he let the class take over and ask their own questions and make comments. Made for an interesting discussion. 

At the end of class he pointed out there might well be some truth to both views. He left us kids to decide for ourselves. I thought that was very well done. I get the impression he'd get in trouble or even fired for doing that today.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

That E- Cigarette Study

You might have heard the State of California is on the attack against e- cigarettes. No surprise there, especially after reports of a recent study that suggested they create more formaldehyde than regular cigarettes. Reason magazine covers a New York Times look at the study and a chat with one of the study's authors. That researcher says reports on the study are misleading.

Yet that's all it takes to get California on the warpath. 

Craigslist Stealth Campaigns

You'll remember not long ago me pointing to a Craiglist News and Views ad that portrayed local supervisor Estelle Fennell as a gun control proponent. Now they've done the same to Rex Bohn. 

Since he or she also mentioned Virginia Bass in a similar ad, we'll assume it's a stealth campaign by the Left against what are considered the middle- of- the- road or right leaners on the Board of Supes.

This particular ad has me baffled, though.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Blue Heron

The Tuluwat Examiner looks at efforts by the City of Eureka to shut down the Blue Heron. They seem to be suggesting the Blue Heron's being a breeding ground for crime is the landlord's fault. Taking that further, some seem to be suggesting that if all the tenants were moved into nicer places, those tenants would no longer cause problems.

I say that's not likely the case and they might well cause the same problems no matter where they live.

I've been looking for, but can't find, some news accounts from a few years ago about the Blue Heron being renovated. Everyone was happy because it was no longer such an eyesore. The place was reborn! Anyone else remember that? Seems to me it wasn't that long ago.

Yet the place seems to have deteriorated back to the way it was and some want the tenants moved and the place demolished. I know it's common to blame the landlords. I'll suggest tenants have as much to do with such situations, if not more.

The Game!

I couldn't care less about sports. Apparently one of the few in the world that doesn't. So I was surprised to see KIEM- TVs poll up asking if people would be watching The Game on Sunday. 50% of the votes cast the same vote as I did, at least for now. Maybe I'm not the loneliest guy in the world?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sonoma Mulls Separating Sheriff- Coroner

While Humboldt County considers consolidating its Sheriff and Coroner's offices, a task force in Sonoma County suggests separating theirs. Sonoma County's offices are currently combined and some aren't happy with the way the Coroner handled the shooting of a teenager last year.

Humboldt is considering (did they do it yet?) consolidation for financial reasons. Some in Sonoma recommend it to avoid undue influence during investigations. I'm not sure that's all that valid a reason, although the concern is. Seems to me, even if the agencies are separate, they still work pretty closely together. Probably the same sort of relationship police departments in neighboring cities have with each other.

Whatever. I believe most counties have the offices combined and can't recall too many complaints with either arrangement. Reasons for or against consolidation seem to amount to six one way, half a dozen the other.

Monday, January 26, 2015

SoCal City Might Repeal Bag Ban

Good news for at least some of us. Calwatchdog reports the City of Huntington Beach has taken the first steps to repeal its ban on supposed "single use" plastic shopping bags:

"...the council took the first step to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, saying there’s no evidence that it helps the environment and that voters should decide whether to ban the bags."
the council took the first step to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, saying there’s no evidence that it helps the environment and that voters should decide whether to ban the bags. - See more at:
the council took the first step to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, saying there’s no evidence that it helps the environment and that voters should decide whether to ban the bags. - See more at:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How The Hell Did They Do That?

I went into Occupational Environmental Health and Drug Screening to get my blood drawn on Wednesday. Gotta love it! $53.00 for a bunch of tests and I was in and out of there in no more than 20 minutes. It usually takes a week or so for the results to come back as testing is done out of state. This time I was surprised, if not amazed.

I had the blood drawn at around 8:30 Wednesday morning. I got my results in the mail Saturday just after noon- three and a half days. How the hell did they do that?

I know FedEx can get the samples to Minneapolis (or wherever it is they send it) overnight. Still, I would think it would take at least another day for it to get to the lab and probably most of another day to test and process the results. That would be to Friday, I would think. Then it would take a few days for them to mail me the results. Heck, it takes 2 or 3 days to send mail locally most of the time. This took 4 days from start to finish.


I'm going to have to remember to call them on Monday and ask.
Some of you might remember about 6 months ago I went in there for  a blood draw and they told me, because I had insurance, they wouldn't even let me pay cash. They're over that now, having settled the insurance company problem, although they have signs up saying they don't take Blue Cross anymore.

The lady who took my blood explained it to me, although I can't quite exactly remember the last half of it:

Some lady came in and paid cash for a blood draw, then filed a claim with her insurance company. This is where I'm a bit confused but apparently the insurance company insisted the office refund the lady some money- more money than the lady paid to begin with. The office said No Way. Thus began the big insurance squabble where they ended up severing their contract with Anthem/Blue Cross. 

I don't think they ever accepted insurance for blood draws, but you could always file a claim with your insurance company on your own.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nice Eagle Pics

Every now and then the camera they have set up at the Humboldt Bay Eagle nest gets some great pictures. I believe this one is recent. Pretty cool, huh? Join the Humboldt Bay Eagles Facebook group for more.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Gay Marriage Alternative

When the subject of same- sex marriage is brought up, most libertarians I've heard from suggest getting The State out of the marriage business altogether. Reason magazine looks at a proposal in Oklahoma to do just that...kinda.

A Republican state representative, in reaction to legalization of same- sex marriage in the state, wants to protect court clerks from having to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. His proposal would require couples to get married by a priest or other religious official. Those who couldn't do that simply file with the court clerk for common law marriage.

Sounds good enough to me. I wrote here long ago that since a surprising number of people think marriage is a religious thing, maybe we should let the churches have the word. Others, not interested in any religious aspect, could simply file as some sort of domestic living contract, civil union, or whatever you want to call it. So long as they're otherwise treated equally under the law, where's the problem?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nextdoor Again?

I thought I'd written about this site before but I can't find the post.

Nextdoor is a place where you get all your neighbors to sign up so you can share information about the neighborhood. I forget how long ago I tried it. You were supposed to outline your neighborhood on a map, then try to contact everyone in that area and have them join. I wasn't sure just what I'd do with something like that but it seemed a worthy idea.

I went ahead and tried to start up a neighborhood group. I figured mine would extend maybe two blocks east and west, and two or three north and south. Nextdoor said that wasn't big enough to get enough members and you have to have a certain number of members for them to accept your neighborhood.

I went ahead and kept expanding it to the point I had areas included I didn't really feel were my neighborhood and they finally accepted. Then I tried getting members. I forget how many members I came up short but never made critical mass. I just let it wither on the vine, then gave up altogether when they kept bugging me about ways to get more people. 

I forgot about it entirely until yesterday when my next door neighbor sent me an e-mail inviting me to join a new group. This one is the "Henderson Center" neighborhood, but it seems to extend well beyond what I consider Henderson Center. There's one post by someone down past Eureka High School. Whatever. I signed up and got the neighbors behind me to sign up. We're still 6 members short to it becoming an accepted group.

I see from the posts already on the group how it could be useful, despite being a larger area than I'd want. One lady, down near the high school tells of being burglarized. Another tells of a lost cat that was found. Julie, the gal behind me commented on what she felt was a suspicious vehicle parked for a while near her house. 

Those are things would be good to get out to the neighbors. I'd like to post a picture of a couple cats that hang around our house to see if anyone knows who they belong to.

Now we'll see if we can get enough members. Six more needed and I just thought of two more prospects. If you live anywhere near Henderson Center, feel free to join. If not, maybe consider starting up a site for your own neighborhood.

Update: After checking out the Nextdoor page further, it seems the Eureka High School area isn't the same neighborhood. You just get info from other neighborhoods should you choose to. By default, you do, but you can choose which ones you want info from. The Henderson Center neighborhood is pretty small. It might be the same one I started. 

There's also a map that shows other neighborhoods such as Westside, Cooper Heights, Hodgson Street and so on. Myrtletown could probably use one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free "Buzz" Cuts

There's a new, apprentice barber in town offering free "buzz cuts" according to Craigslist. This is that Barber Center on the corner of Grotto and E streets in Eureka. The place run by what I normally call the loneliest barber in town. Looks like he has some help now.

Seriously. Most barber shops I've seen have at least one customer waiting to be taking care of. Drive by this place and, nine times out of ten, he's sitting in the barber chair reading the paper. I've seen him playing with a laptop lately.

I've gone to him two or three times. He's ok, but nothing there that really makes me want to go back. I'm tempted to go get me a free buzz cut. Wouldn't bother me to have what little hair I have left buzzed off.

Correction: I blew it! The Barber Center isn't at Grotto and E Streets. It's on Henderson. Different places a couple blocks apart. It was the last comment that made me realize the mistake. No way the guy at Grotto and E could have been barbering for 25 years. He's too young.

Greenhut Looks at New Disability Law

Steve Greenhut takes a look at a state proposal to help businesses in dealing with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is one law by a Democrat that I'll support, although it doesn't go far enough. If I'm reading it right, it just allows businesses more time to make themselves ADA compliant and would base fines on actual "harm" rather than generic violations.

Greenhut mentions at the beginning a business in Sacramento sued for ADA non- compliance but it was in a building so old to make compliance extremely difficult, if not impossible. That business moved to a different building. As far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have had to. 

Older businesses like that should be exempt from the ADA. This proposal doesn't seem to address that.

Hospital Grading Map

St. Joseph's Hospital is the only Humboldt hospital shown and graded on this L.A. Times map. St. Joes gets a C as does Sutter up in Del Norte County. Here's the accompanying story.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Free The Kids

Tim Martin is spot on in his commentary on overprotective parents (and "authorities"). We are getting more and more overprotective of kids. 

When I was a kid we'd go out and play, letting whatever happened happen. Yep, every now and then someone might get a cut, bruise or broken bone, but we survived and learned to be more careful next time. 

I didn't have to walk far to elementary school as we lived less than half a block from it, but my friends and I would walk about two miles every day to junior high school and back. We had fun going each way. I've known parents nowadays that drive their kids to schools only a few blocks away. That's always seemed rather odd to me.

We keep hearing of more and more cases like this one where parents get hassled by authorities for such things as letting their kids walk home alone from a park or playground. I suspect we'll be seeing even more of that, and it won't be beneficial to either kids or society.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Board of Supes 2016 Campaign Starting Up?

It's never too early to show your support proclaims a classified ad on Craigslist's Politics section. I'm wondering if the writer is really supporting incumbent Estelle Fennell? If nothing else, what's with the statement "It's time to start outlawing all these guns."?

Is Estelle Fennell really anti- gun? If she is, it's the first I've heard of it, and why bring it up in a county supes race up here?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dissecting Humboldt's Homicides

An interesting read in the Mad River Union on Humboldt's recent spike of killings. No real answers, but a good look into what some think are factors leading to violent crime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen?

The New York Post takes a lighthearted look at the claim that Denmark and other Scandinavian countries are socialist paradises. I thought it was amusing, anyway. Among the other statistics mentioned is 5% of Danish men engage in sex with animals. 

What? Not sure I've seen that statistic mentioned about any country. More on that if you read on down. It might have been a bit long for my attention span if I hadn't found it such a fun read.

Hat tip to the Punk Rock Libertarians for the link.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I was just over working at the place where the bum hit me up for some change a couple weeks ago. He wasn't there this time but thinking about him got me to wondering: Where did the term "bum" come from? 

Did "bumming" come first, and then it shortened to bum? You know, the guy down on the corner bumming change? Or did is bumming an extension of bum? One of those chicken or the egg things.

Looks like bum came first, according to Yahoo Answers (from 8 years ago): "The word "bum" in this sense of "vagrant or beggar" almost certainly comes from the German "Bummler," meaning "loafer."

There you have it. Isn't this blog is a wealth of information?

Now I have to wonder how we came up with the word "bummer"?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Craigslist: Counterfeit Central?

Some of you might recall the Lost Coast Outpost's Ryan Burns wrote of selling something on Craigslist where he got paid with counterfeit money. Looks as if he isn't the only one. 

A Facebook Friend posted yesterday she met some guy via Craigslist to sell a Galaxy watch (whatever that is). She wrote the guy gave her money she thought was fake. She refused to sell the watch, suggesting they go to a store or somewhere to make sure the money was real. The guy backed out and left. 

Beware those Craigslist sales!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Panhandling Permit?

Posted on Craigslist the other day and mailed to various entities including the Lost Coast Outpost, was a proposal for the City of Eureka to require permits for panhandling. Over 300 comments on the LoCo on the proposal, so far.

My comment was along the line that panhandling is akin to asking for help and asking for help is a human right. It's also your human right to refuse the person that help should you so choose. Someone replied that requiring a permit still allows them to panhandle so it doesn't violate their rights. 

If that's the case then what's the point? The person proposing this wrote panhandling is a threat to the security of people and businesses in Eureka. I disagree. It's annoying for those of us subject to it, but not a threat to our security. Aside from that, even with a permit they'd still be panhandling, thus still a "threat" to us. Doesn't even accomplish the writer's purpose.

The permit would be subject to revocation should the permit holder be found being "aggressive" or fraudulent in their panhandling. Assuming Eureka Police have the time and resources to enforce it, what are they going to do if the permit is revoked and the person still panhandles? That's very much a possibility since that person might not have any other choice but to panhandle.  I guess we throw the person in jail for basically asking for help?

The bottom line is it's not enforceable and seems simply intended as harassment. I don't know what the answer to the homeless situation is. Harassing them isn't the answer and shouldn't be an option.

I wonder if I get hit on by panhandlers more than most? I recall the one guy at the Shell station at 4th and M in Eureka years ago. He's standing up by the mini- mart watching people getting gas.  I drive up, get out of my truck and he immediately focuses on me. 

He comes over and hits me up for spare change. Why me? He's got an empty plastic bottle and says he ran out of gas and wants spare change to get going again. Ahhh...the old out of gas routine. I actually gave him the 50 cents or more in change I had in my pocket that time.

I experienced a couple modifications of that technique just recently- within the last two weeks, actually.

Was getting some gas down at the Renner cardlock on West Del Norte a few days ago. As I was getting ready to leave one of the bums living by the bay comes walking up. I knew he was up to something before he even got close. 

He had an aerosol can of some kind in his hand. He told me he and his girlfriend are living in a tent nearby and he was washing car windows to make a little money. Not sure what he was going to use to wash the windows. Perhaps the stuff the fueling station provides?

I told him I wasn't interested and began to drive off. He hit up the county truck fueling beside me next. I could hear the guy tell him it was a county vehicle so he couldn't pay him to wash the windows. The bum was pretty cool about it, said ok and walked off.

A few days before that I was finishing up working on a place a couple blocks from my house. I grabbed the leaf blower out of my truck and noticed a guy pushing a shopping cart with a bunch of junk in it. Probably his lifes' belongings. I saw him look over at me and knew not to look back because they use eye contact as a gauge as to whether you're approachable.

It didn't work that time. He walked up and tells me he's on his way to a job interview in Arcata. He needs $2.20, or something along that line to catch the bus. Nice touch, but not very believable. He says he's got $1.70 and only needs 50 cents more. 

I have my blower going by that time and point towards downtown saying "You need to go down there". He nods as if he understands and I figure I got him to move on. I go to the back yard to finish my work.

When I come back out to the front of the house the guy is sweeping the sidewalk along D street. I guess it's the old he'll pay me when he sees I'm willing to work routine. I don't even bother going to that part of the sidewalk to blow it off. I put my blower in the truck and hop inside hoping to race off. 

He quickly comes over to the driver's side and tells me again that he's got $1.70 and just needs 50 more cents. I just tell him I have to go but good luck. I drive off. 

I actually feel a little guilty refusing a guy who says he's willing to work for whatever you'll give them, but I know that's just part of the act most of the time. Even if they are willing to work, I don't want them targeting me every time they see me around town. Sorry to say, but it's probably best to just avoid them and get them to move on.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back To The Old Ways

I don't want to go back to living in a cave, but I am considering going back to the old ways with at least a couple things. 

I was glad to see a TV advertisement last night for Clear TV. Probably more of a gimmick than anything else. They offer an antenna so you can quit pay TV and go back to the old broadcast method. I suspect their antenna is the same thing that comes with some televisions but gussied up a bit to make it look high tech.

Still, for less than $30.00 you can try it out and see how well it works. We actually found the figure 8 wire antenna from our old TV when we had Suddenlink hooked up. I'll try that before anything else to see what kind of signals I receive. 

Be nice if the movement towards broadcast TV got a lot stronger if only to keep the pay TV outfits under pressure for at least some cost control.

I'm also getting a little fed up with men's razors. More specifically, how the manufacturers seem to be trying so hard to one up each other over how many blades they can offer in their particular cartridges. The one I have now- from Rite Aid- has 5(!) blades. Way overkill, as far as I'm concerned and probably doesn't work as well as just one.

I saw an ad on TV a while back from some outfit selling the old style two sided blades and razors. I haven't seen it since but thought I wouldn't mind going back to that old style. The only exception being I like the feel and fit of the more modern handles on razors.

I mentioned my desire for those razors in another forum. Some guy mentioned they're still easy to find. I happened to check in Rite- Aid yesterday and, lo and behold, they had double edged blades. I didn't see a razor to use with them, though.

I checked this morning and found this site with all kinds of them, so I guess they are still around. I'll have to buy one. I won't buy the most expensive one. It's $310.00. Yikes!

Friday, January 09, 2015

A U.S. Senate Candidate From Arcata

Most of you have probably heard our very own (yuck!) U.S. Senator, Barbara Boxer, has announced she will not be seeking another term come 2016. One local person is starting his own campaign for the seat on Craigslist.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Developments In Legal Pot Sales

I've mentioned here before an opinion piece I read some time ago- so long ago I haven't been able to find it for reference. It was by two Canadian guys who suggested legalizing pot might not be as good a deal as proponents might think. They pointed out government's insatiable desire to get involved which will involve not only taxation but regulation of all kinds.

They mentioned that many of those supporting legalization are the same ones attacking tobacco now and will likely go after pot when the time comes and start fiddling with dosage, supposed health effects and what have you. That time has come.

The Spokesman Review looks at recent proposals for taxation and regulation in Washington State. One, sponsored by a Republican, would ban the sale of smokable products containing THC at medical marijuana stores. 

“Recognizing the health concerns relating to smoking marijuana, the legislature intends to prohibit the sale of products that must be smoked at medical marijuana retail outlets,' says a draft of the measure provided to the Associated Press."

Another, by a Democrat, would ".... eliminate collective gardens, allow home growing of up to six plants, and reduce excise taxes on recreational pot – from a 25 percent tax applied up to three times, to a 25 percent tax applied once – in hopes of making state-sanctioned marijuana more competitive with the black market."

Can't argue with trying to lower the taxes, but the bill also "... would have the state Health Department determine what levels of THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive compound, and what ratio of THC to other compounds would be OK for products sold in medical outlets.".

Those two Canadian writers were prophetic, and this is just the beginning.

N.C. Journal Does Prop 47

A rather lengthy article on recently passed Prop 47 in this week's North Coast Journal. You'll recall Prop 47 was the ballot initiative that reduced some crimes that could be charged as felonies to misdemeanors. Not sure there were any answers really offered in the article, but it did seem to again point out something I've brought up here and elsewhere.

I've wrote before that the people being released from jail now, under Prop 47, were likely being released before. The article doesn't specifically support my contention, but it does seem to suggest that if someone is charged with a misdemeanor they can't be kept in jail. 

The Journal even gives the example of what I'm presuming was a felon being released- a drug dealer was arrested with a bunch of methamphetamine and cash being released hours after being booked: 

"It led to some questionable outcomes, like in June of last year, when the Eureka Police Department booked 27-year-old Alfonso Yanez-Espana after reportedly finding him in possession of 2.2 pounds of methamphetamine and $35,000 in cash. He was released hours after booking due to overcrowding."

That was prior to Prop 47 taking effect.

But I'm curious about this misdemeanor thing. I'm not trying to start an argument, but I don't understand the suggestion that someone arrested for a misdemeanor basically walks. 

The article states there's more room in the jail, at least in large part to Prop 47:

"Prior to the passage of the initiative, Sheriff Mike Downey says, the local jail population hovered between 375 and 385 inmates, just a hair below its maximum capacity of 420. In the two months since, Downey says he's watched the average daily population drop to between 260 and 270 — a decrease of more than a hundred inmates on the average day. "

A misdemeanor is a crime that, unless I'm mistaken, is punishable by fines and up to a year in jail. There clearly is punishment for misdemeanors, and there seems to be room in jail now. I don't see why they can't have people in jail for misdemeanors post- Prop 47. If anything, there seems to be more room for them now.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Willits Bypass & Marina Center

A letter to the editor to the Willits News points out something I'd noticed myself. I read the letter the writer refers to and thought the same thing: They claim all the hold ups to the Willits bypass project are the fault of CalTrans, then use their web page to take credit for all the hold ups.

This strikes me as similar to comments I read on the Tuluwat Examiner some time ago where Rob Arkley was blamed for the lack of progress with the Marina Center project. Environmentalists came up with every angle they could to stop the project and succeeded, at least for the time being. Now that things are at a stand still they claim it's Arkley's fault. 

I'm also curious if it's the same with the Richardson Grove realignment? I know I've heard any number of lies and distortions about the realignment including pointing the finger at CalTrans for screwing it up. I can't recall specifically reading of the enviros taking credit for putting the brakes on the project, but seems to me I've heard something close to it.

Let the flaming begin!

Suddenlink Not Fixed

Went to turn on the TV last night and Suddenlink's remote wouldn't work again. Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bomb Disposal Overkill?

I'm certainly no expert but I can't help but wonder if some of this local bomb disposal stuff we hear about doesn't go a bit overboard?

The Times-Standard reports on a supposed live hand grenade found in a truck in Fortuna. The Sheriff's Dept. bomb disposal folks go down and blow it up. Was all of that necessary?

The pictures to the left are of U.S. hand grenades. The top one is the old "pineapple"style grenade used during World War 2. The bottom being the most modern type, at least of the last type I've personally seen.

Yes, they can cause damage and even kill people, but the don't detonate by just looking at them. You have to pull the safety pin, then release the "spoon"- the lever that holds the ignition pin back from firing the primer. Once the primer is hit, it ignites a blasting cap but there's also something like a 5(?) second delay before the main charge goes off. They're not something that's going to go off just by touching them. 

So why go through all the hassle of blowing it up? You could take the grenade out somewhere safe, pull the pin and throw it. Of course, that could cause problems if it didn't go off. Then you would have the dicey job of having to get in close to it and use explosives to destroy it. You could always try to unscrew the fuse assembly from the main body of the grenade. Then all that would go off is the blasting cap. 

Not sure if that's easier said than done, though. On the grenades used for training purposes the fuses can be unscrewed by hand.

But why make such a big scene over a hand grenade? All I can figure is it's standard operating procedure to handle all such incidents the same way even though they could have easily just taken it down to the Mad River bar, pulled the pin and tossed it.

Suddenlink Problem Fixed

It seems it was the box that was causing the Suddenlink remote not to work. I got to wondering yesterday afternoon if there was some way to reset the box. Easy enough, I figured, just by unplugging it from the power strip. Maybe that would correct whatever problem had developed?

I went in, unplugged it, then plugged it back in. Once the clock display went back to normal I tried turning it on with the remote. It worked...except the TV screen was still black. Then I had to figure out how to get the TV to get input from the box again. Figured that out quick enough.

Then I was a bit confused because the screen was still black, but had a message scrolling across it apologizing for "...disruption in services". Could it be just coincidence an outage occurred while I'm trying to solve a problem? I wasn't sure, but it looked like a normal outage message. The Guide worked again, though, so I used it check a bunch of different channels. They all had the same message.

I still wanted to make sure it wasn't something I did so went to the computer to contact Suddenlink tech support and ask if they knew of an outage in our area. I'd just brought up the page to enter my personal info when I heard the TV start "talking" in the other room. NBC News it sounded like to me. Yep, it was working. My reset got the remote working right again.

We'll wait and see for how long as it worked fine the first two or three days after installation.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Phone & TV Stuff

You'll recall I cancelled Dish Network because of their price increase(s). Their customer service gal kinda talked me into not completely cancelling service but going with their Pause Dish program. That means they keep all your programming and all you have to do to start again is hook up their box. That's not likely to happen.

I specifically asked if this would cost anything. She assured me- at least as best I could understand it- that, no, it wouldn't. I'd get a bill each month but it would be a credit, or some such, for $5.00. About the only way that makes sense to me is if they don't want to refund my last month, so take $5.00 from the balance they owe me. Whatever. I figured that money was gone, anyway. 

As it happened I got a bill from them this morning for $0.00. Can't argue with that.

I'd also cancelled ATT Long Distance last month. I wasn't sure if that would show up on my latest bill because, unlike Dish, they charge you after the service period is over. Nope, it didn't show on the bill I received for $57 plus change. Next month it should be about $10.00 less. That will be nice. Then I'll have to struggle with whether or not to cancel our regular phone, too.

Then there's Suddenlink, which I unexpectedly signed up for a day or so before Christmas. They hooked it up the day after xmas. Worked fine for 2 or 3 days, then the remote stopped working right. The guy who sold us the plan said to call him if there were any problems. I did. He said to go to their office and get another remote. 

I did, except the new remote doesn't work right either- same problems as the original one. So I'm thinking it's the box itself which probably requires one of their guys to come out and replace it. I e-mail the salesman again, update him on the situation and ask who should call their service guy, him or I?

He doesn't reply. Oh well. I kinda figured that pitch about him being the guy go to for problems was just that: a sales pitch. So now we're stuck with a remote that doesn't work right and I guess I'll have to call them Monday and see if they'll send someone out.

I'll have to admit, though, aside from not being able to use their system's TV guide, everything else is just fine. I might be willing to cut them a deal: Keep the price discounted to the $31.00 teaser price we started out with and I'll stay with Suddenlink. Even if we're not getting perfect service it's good enough for me at that price.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 Poll: Governmet The Biggest Problem

J.D. Tuccille looks at a recent Gallup poll where Government has gained the dubious distinction of being the country's biggest problem. It barely squeaked by the Economy this time, which came in second. For libertarians a win should be a win, right?

I'm not so convinced. Sure, Tuccille points out that, "A plurality of those surveyed (42 percent) tell Reason-Rupe pollsters that President Obama has expanded the power of the government too much. Majorities among younger Americans say that government is wasteful and government agencies abuse their power.". I'm not really sure that has much to do with why some consider Government the biggest problem.

The most common complaint I've read about government is its "...inability to get things done", along with the usual complaints about gridlock. It wouldn't surprise me if many of those citing Government as the big problem are doing so because it doesn't do enough, not because it does too much. And I'll bet a fair number of those 42% concerned about the government expanding too much and being wasteful and abusive also contribute to the over 90% re- election rate of incumbents. 

I'm not very impressed with the poll.

Golden Gate Bridge Changing

Just so those of you that travel to San Francisco now and then won't be surprised, you'll see a change to the bridge after January 10. The S.F. Chronicle reports those yellow tubes that separate the lanes will be replaced with a movable barricade.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Craigslist: Chief Mills Too Compassionate

According to this post in Craigslist's Local News and Views, Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills' compassion towards the homeless is threatening our safety.

This fellow doesn't think so.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Balko's 2015 Civil Liberties Predictions

Radley Balko makes some predictions about civil liberties in the year ahead. Or does he?