Friday, February 25, 2005

Most clueless high school principal ever

Here's someone who is supposed to be helping kids learn and thrive in one of the most difficult times in their lives, and she doesn't want one of them encouraging her peers not to have sex. Wow.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Good riddance

When he left that Oct. 3 game, one or more of Sosa's teammates destroyed his boom box. Asked about the incident yesterday, Sosa smiled and said, "When the man is not in the house, the chickens are jumping around."

Monday, February 21, 2005

poll results

Free polls from

Friday, February 18, 2005

Maybe idiot smokers will think twice before tossing butts

A man barely escaped serious injury Thursday after a lit cigarette he tried to toss out the window while driving across the Bay Bridge blew back in and ignited the vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Bumper sticker of the day


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's a big, big day

Last night, I became an aunt! (Madelline Elizabeth Miller, 8 pounds, length and pictures to come...)

Today, pitchers and catchers reported to Arizona!

And this weekend, I'll be babysitting two Scottish Terrier puppies and hosting my mother-in-law at our home. It should be interesting.

Microsoft: Almost as evil as Walmart

THE NOSOFTWARE Patents site is reporting that Bill Gates told the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen that 800 jobs would go if the country opposed the European Union's proposed directive on software patents.

It quotes a report in Danish newspaper Børsen, which alleges that Gates told Rasmussen and two other Danish ministers last November that 800 jobs at Navision would go unless the EU passed the directive.

The ginger group also alleges today that the CEO of Philips put pressure on the Dutch government to support the proposed directive.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

WalMart closes store rather than tolerate union

Once again, WalMart has shown its disdain for the people it employs.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Charles and Camilla

This is the kind of thing I find interesting in spite of myself. An odd, real-life soap opera.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Restore Hetch Hetchy

As a staunch environmentalist, ardent lover of Yosemite National Park and life-long supporter of lost causes (i.e., the Cubs), this is an issue that is important to me.

Here is a reasoned, thoughtful take on the subject (I've copied and pasted the whole story, since the link requires registration):

Tom Philp: Hetch Hetchy feasibility grows - so does resistance

By Tom Philp -- Sacramento Bee Associate Editor
Published Sunday, February 6, 2005

Suddenly, notions of restoring Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley and restructuring the San Francisco Bay Area's water supply don't seem so far-fetched anymore.

"This thing has serious political legs," said Susan Leal, the new general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. A transcript of a Jan. 20 meeting of Bay Area water leaders reflected her comments and her obvious vexation.

The old idea that has sparked a new look is whether Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park could be restored to its natural state. The valley's reservoir supplying the Bay Area's water would have to be drained for that to happen.

The state Department of Water Resources is assessing new proposals that examine storing the same water supply elsewhere. Environmental Defense, which spent months crafting a detailed technical explanation of how to take better advantage of the rest of the Bay Area's considerable water storage facilities, is winning new allies. On the political left inside the California Legislature, there are supporters such as the Assembly's Lois Wolk of Davis. On the Republican side, Assemblyman Tim Leslie of Tahoe City is among those intrigued by a package deal that restores Hetch Hetchy while building new reservoirs.

As the reality of a new Hetch Hetchy debate is dawning on San Francisco, the city seems to be struggling to find its political moorings. The reaction publicly evolved in phases. At first, Leal's agency cooperated fully with Environmental Defense as the environmental group produced its Hetch Hetchy restoration study. Upon the study's release in September, Leal officially "welcomed" its findings. But now that those findings are being taken seriously, the mood seems to be shifting. Talk of restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley doesn't seem so welcome after all.

San Francisco's water commission, Leal said at the Jan. 20 meeting, "will be considering a very strong, detailed resolution taking a position against draining Hetch Hetchy." She has urged other governmental bodies to follow suit. And a business group, the Bay Area Council, is recruiting opponents as well.

I wrote a series of editorials for The Bee calling for a second look at Hetch Hetchy. We were intrigued by the possibility of marrying two agendas - the Bay Area's pressing need to upgrade and expand its water system and the public's insatiable appetite for visiting beautiful Yosemite valleys. So now the San Francisco Public Utilties Commission doesn't like me very much. "You have a fairly zealous opinion about this," agency spokesman Tony Winnicker said the other day.

Without going into all the technical details, the basic proposal is to eventually drain the reservoir by punching a hole through the dam, once a bigger, better water storage system is in place outside the national park. Replace the lost storage - and then some - with a reservoir that San Francisco already was contemplating for the Bay Area: Calaveras. Build another pipe (just as San Francisco proposes) to the Sierra so that 100 million gallons more Sierra water can move per day into reservoirs when the water's available.

That's enough new storage and new conveyance in the Hetch Hetchy system to raise some legitimate questions about the future of that medium-sized reservoir in the national park. Technically speaking, this idea passes the back-of-the-napkin test. (Hetch Hetchy's is just one of nine reservoirs in the Bay Area's system, by the way.) If this weren't technically intriguing, some much smarter folks inside the California Resources Agency and its Department of Water Resources wouldn't be examing it.

This very initial study phase is normally a safe harbor for both proponents and opponents of any given idea, but in this case, even the prospect of a serious study seems to be rocking San Francisco's boat.

What does history reveal about San Francisco's apparent fear of a study? For clues, look to historian Robert Righter of Southern Methodist University and his soon-to-be-released book, "The Battle for Hetch Hetchy, America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism."

As far as restoring Hetch Hetchy goes, "I don't ever think there was a fair look," Righter said. "All of the looks were done by engineers or technocrats who looked only at money and engineering. They were pretty myopic in terms of what we might be wanting in the year 2000. Nothing about recreational needs."

John Muir lost the fight to save Hetch Hetchy in 1913, when Congress approved the dam in the national park. He failed to make a convincing technical case for how San Francisco could get the same supply in other ways. The new generation of Hetch supporters haven't made that same mistake. San Francisco surely has history on its side. But this time around, the allies of Hetch Hetchy have done their homework. That's why this has legs.

Then: "The leaders of the Bay Area and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are highly sympathetic to the well-meaning goals of those who advocate restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley, and we are extremely interested in these studies and their findings."

SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal,
Sept. 12, 2004

Now: "This thing has serious political legs. ... The commission...will be considering a very strong, detailed resolution taking a position against draining Hetch Hetchy. I think it's about time that..your city councils, other organizations, take that same position."

Leal, to Bay Area water leaders,
Jan. 20., 2005

Then: "For a period of three years from the date of this agreement, the city and county of San Francisco and the SFPUC agree to remain neutral on Restore Hetch Hetchy's efforts to seek state, federal or private funding for the preparation of feasibility studies for restoring Hetch Hetchy."

City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera,
Nov. 18, 2003

Now: "We are writing you to urge you to join with us in rejecting any proposal to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite Valley."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Oct. 4, 2004

About the writer:

Reach Tom Philp at (916) 321-1046 or

Bud Selig is a numbskull

This much we knew.

Selig repeated his oft-stated position that San Jose is not an option for a team because baseball has granted the Giants ``territorial rights'' to Santa Clara County, and the Giants have said they won't allow another team to undermine their support among South Bay fans and Silicon Valley businesses.

``I have been very clear, not only here but everywhere. Territorial rights are established and that's what they are. We don't have anarchy in baseball. We don't change things. We don't move things around,'' Selig said.

Where, exactly, did the crack-smoking mental midgets at MLB come up with this "territorial rights" BS? According to, Shea Stadium is 9.5 miles from Yankee Stadium. Wrigley Field is 15 miles from Comiskey Park. Pac Bell Park is 16 miles from the Oakland Coliseum. Pac Bell Park is 47 miles from downtown San Jose!!! A) The whole concept of "territorial rights" is beyond ridiculous and thoroughly socialist, and b) the idea that the Bay Area will support the A's less in San Jose than Oakland is perposterous, especially given the mileage figures I cited.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

One more week...

That's right, seven days till pitchers and catchers report.

Here are my random thoughts at this stage in the game:

Bay Area baseball is lame. Hardly anyone cares about it (it's all about the 9ers and Raider Nation), but you can't get tickets to Giants games cause it's "cool" or something; on the other side of the bay, the A's can't even sell out when they play the Yankees or get into the playoffs!

I'm already excited about my May trip to New York, at which time I'll see my first games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway. And I'm accepting tips on what to do and where to stay while I'm there...

For some reason, I have a good feeling about Jeromy Burnitz. I kinda like his name...maybe that's it.

Monday, February 07, 2005

New low in photographer harrasment

Little did I know that I was violating copyrights... Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Scary stuff

Basing environmental policy on Biblical predictions of the end of the world... Hmmm, I'd say that qualifies as a violation of seperation of church and state, wouldn't you?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Cubs blogs

There are many. And I mean a lot. I'm not sure just how much I'll read them, since I subscribe to a very active mailing list that includes some inside sources. But my favorite Cubs blog name so far is this.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Blogs I've read this week.

I haven't really read any new blogs this week. I have been checking out some of the links on Adam's blog, especially dannyman's. Some of those are cool.

The Marathon Men have been updating sporadically, but they can certainly be excused this week.

Snipet remains a reliable winner.

Things that are bothering me today

Does anyone in California use their turn signal? Ever? Or was there some kind of shift in the six years since I moved here and nobody in the country is using their turn signal?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There is nothing good on the radio. Nothing. OK, NPR, but I don't feel like listening to that allll the time. And, no, I don't listen to Air America or whatever it's called with Jeanine Garafalo and Al Franken; a little something called "preaching to the choir."

Remember, oh, about 15 years ago, some people tried to start a radio station that only played Led Zeppelin? That is a great idea. Because there are no bad Led Zeppelin songs. None. It would be the only radio station where you would never hear a bad song.

I will never understand why stations have dj's or "radio personalities" yammering all the time, especially in the morning. Does anyone enjoy listening to this dribble?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Does anyone else think it's weird that Blogger lists people's astrological sign and the Chinese year they were born in?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Liberal cities

This is an interesting little city "guide;" of special interest, to me, anyway, was the Chicago entry. I agree with the posts. It's true that Chicago is Democratic to the core, but in many ways far from liberal.

To bad the rest of this site is no longer active.

Tributes to Susan and Nina

and memorial info.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I think it's funny

that this is the first hit when I google my husband.

"The dark underbelly of the net is pretty bloated."
-- Nathan Schrenk, after an anti-spam rant

Hillary in '08?

News Snipet links to an article that seems to indicate that Hillary is more palatable to a broader cross-section of Americans than any other possible Democratic candidate. I was under the impression (and Lightning's comment on this post seems to confirm this) that conservatives have the kind of comtempt for Hillary that liberals have for W. Is this not true?

(On a similar topic, my father-in-law commented over Christmas that having TH Kerry as our first lady would be "unacceptable." I'm not quite sure what that means, since a) the first lady usually doesn't do much, b) what would he do about it? and c) is she worse than Hillary? Again, I wonder if I have overestimated conservatives' hatred for Ms. Clinton.)

SF Chronicle story about Susan and her daughter

So sad.