Monday, April 19, 2010

Political More-ass: Prop 16

Firstly, let me just say I think The Daily Show or the Colbert Report could do something fantastic with a segment called Political More-ass, describing the ass-iest political move of late.  You can tell them I said so.

Secondly, California Proposition 16.  I just started reading about it, and it strikes me as a bad idea.  I've put some links together which support my position, as well as making fun of the proponents.

  • Good for PG&E;
  • PG&E will spend $35 million to promote this, someone must be making money off this.

  • Bad for renewable energy projects; 
  • Bad for non-profit energy producers; 
  • Provides for direct democracy:  i.e. the general populace (the unerudite jackassery*) gets to vote directly on, and determine the outcome of, every governmental decision.  BTW, this is what led, directly, to the fall of the Rome empire.
  • I still remember when the big energy companies did their "rolling blackouts" scam, declared an emergency, got a bunch of money from the CA government, and made windfall profits.  Turns out, the blackouts were all avoidable.  Remember Enron.

LA Times Article:
This puppy basically points out that PG&E is the primary proponent of Prop16 and theorizes that this is a case of a corporation attempting to legislate monopoly for themselves through the constitutional initiative system. 

SF Gate Article:
This article makes the point that Prop16 makes it very difficult for non-profit community-based (read local government) energy utilities to form by requiring 66% voter approval. 

Bay Area Council (BAC):
SF Gate Editorial by Jim Wunderman, CEO: BAC
This is the only "article" in the news promoting Prop16, and it's an editorial.  The BAC is a pro-corporation group (who PG&E is a member of) that is promoting the proposition.  Ironically, two years ago, they were hot-and-bothered about forming a constitutional convention because "Special interests have hijacked the initiative system, passing misleading initiatives through expensive campaigns".  I think these guys are idiots. 

North Bay Journal:
This article discusses the viewpoints of some debate participants. 

Fresno Bee:
Compares PG&E with junk-mail credit-scammers.

* - Special Note:  I firmly believe that the general populace is "the unerudite jackassery".  I also believe our elected officials are largely stupid and ignorant, but at least they have the benefit of being lobbied from both sides of a position.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tahoe Weekend (from 3/20-21/2010)

On March 20-21, we went skiing in Tahoe with some friends (Nilla, Dania, Chezo, Stefon, Elia, Matt) and Marion's family to celebrate my 30th birthday.  It was a great time, the snow was good, we ate some fantastic lasagne (Marion's own secret recipe), had cake, and had some great hanging out. 

Here're a few photos I took on my phone:

Dania had some photos too:

Gophers 2010!

From Drop Box
This guy lives in our shed.

Now, to business!

Inevitably, the soil softened by winter rain allows deep roots to grow, resulting in weeds and annual grasses of massive proportion.  The soft soil also permits the migration of garden nuisance, the gopher.  The gopher comes, he eats some of this, some of that, but without exception, the gopher finds something tasty which I also find tasty.  In these instances, I tend to get hopping mad and renew my vow to bring these thieves to their ultimate justice.

Two weeks ago, as we were casually picking arugula in the garden, we noticed some gopher activity in the raspberry bed, of all places.  Since we hadn't really gotten around to preparing the garden yet, it took me some time to find my trusty cache of macabee traps, but I did.  I poked around until I found the gopher hole, dug it out, and set my traps...

and forgot about them...

for a week...

and a half...


so, I checked them, and sure enough, I'd caught a gopher.  I probably caught it within the first couple hours that the traps were in the ground.  It wasn't so much a gopher, as a pile of fly larvae.  In any event, I didn't take a picture, dear reader, because I figured you probably don't need to see that.  It was gross.


Gopher count 2010!
Brian - 1 / Gophers - 0

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My hair had gotten quite overgrown, so instead of my usually weed-whacker haircut performed by yours truly, I decided to trust my locks to the talents of someone, well, talented.

After drawing out the decision for weeks, I had settled on going to the guy in the basement of the MU on campus.  To my extreme dissappointment, I found out that he'd retired at the end of last year, and there was nobody else to take over.  Fortunately, a search of the local wiki shows that Davis has the unusual distinction of keeping two barbershops per tax-paying citizen, so all I needed to do was pick one.

After reading the reviews, I settled on an old-school set of brothers downtown, mainly because of comments like "the conversation was horrible" and "if Fox News had a barbershop, this would be it".

On a sunny Tuesday lunch hour, I stopped in and let one of these pompodor maestros have at.  In slightly more than 10 minutes, he had reduced my hippy mane into the tightly cropped cut of an eight year old from the 50's.


I had hoped for something spectacular, but as I learn over and over again, most things in life can be done better, faster, and cheaper at home.