Monday, June 29, 2009

Manic Monday!

A collection of random thoughts...

I love how well my 2-year-old communicates: "I get in my seat and eat gwiwed cheese!"

I also love how boxes of random eBayed Legos show up at our house from time to time.

But I hate Target's web site.

And I was too tired to post this last night.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sue to restore Hetch Hetchy

Oh snap!

Bay Area water hypocrisy exposed

Published online on Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2009

One of these days, a water-starved farmer will walk into federal court and demand that O'Shaughnessy Dam come down, finally restoring glacial Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural grandeur and releasing a natural flow into the Tuolumne River.

Such a lawsuit wouldn't get the farmer more water. But it would expose the hypocrisy of Bay Area environmentalists who depict San Joaquin Valley residents as ignorant hillbillies making a mess of the desert and the Delta with their irrigated farms.

Hetch Hetchy -- the twin to Yosemite Valley -- should have been restored decades ago, say many environmental groups, including the Sierra Club.

But the only way the dam falls is if a federal judge orders it. And no environmental group will sue. Why?

They say it's better handled with cooperation and education. My explanation is simpler: it's because the dam holds some of the best drinking water on earth -- granite-filtered water reserved mostly for the allegedly environmentally conscious folks of San Francisco and other Bay Area cities.

Amazing, isn't it?

But the only way the dam falls is if a federal judge orders it. And no environmental group will sue. Why?

They say it's better handled with cooperation and education. My explanation is simpler: it's because the dam holds some of the best drinking water on earth -- granite-filtered water reserved mostly for the allegedly environmentally conscious folks of San Francisco and other Bay Area cities.

Amazing, isn't it?

Environmentalists sue to restore the Owens River and Mono Lake. Environmentalists sue to restore the San Joaquin River and bring back its salmon run.

But they won't unleash their lawyers on Hetch Hetchy, one of the world's great wonders, or demand that San Francisco surrender its drinking water so that the Tuolumne River can teem with salmon again.

Can I prove that environmental groups are picking other battles to avoid a backlash among their Bay Area supporters? No. But it sure looks that way.

Here in the Valley, east-side farmers are giving up, on average, 170,000 acre-feet of water each year for the reintroduction of salmon into the San Joaquin.

Shouldn't Bay Area residents forfeit a similar amount -- about half of Hetch Hetchy's storage capacity -- to recharge the Tuolumne, the San Joaquin and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with cold Yosemite water?

Shouldn't we enjoy Hetch Hetchy Valley, as it was before powerful San Francisco interests stole Tuolumne water rights -- and broke John Muir's heart -- in the early 1900s?

San Franciscans beg to differ. They claim that the dam has created a beautiful lake and Hetch Hetchy Valley was overrated -- its spectacular vistas mere figments of Muir's imagination. Two of the loudest opponents against restoring Hetch Hetchy are Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Three years of drought and the dramatic degradation of the Delta are hog-tying west-side farmers. They are trying to survive with a fraction of their usual water deliveries.

What are San Franciscans giving up? Not their precious Hetch Hetchy tap water.

Let's give the San Francisco greenies a dose of aggressive environmentalism. Let's sue to restore Hetch Hetchy.

The columnist can be reached at or (559) 441-6632. Check out his blog at

Recession depression obsessions

A couple weeks ago I was at the Menlo Park Farmers Market and my favorite vendor (Phil the Prune Man, guy in the 49ers or Giants cap with all the dried fruit and nuts) was pontificating on the state of the world, as he is wont to do.

"I just don't want to know anymore; it's too depressing."

He was talking, of course, about Iran Iraq health care bailout layoffs blahdee blahdee blah. It was then that I realized why Jon & Kate and American Idol absorb people's attention the way they do: people just can't deal with the death toll in Iraq and the chaos in Iran or really understand credit default swaps and GM's bankruptcy. So they look at the Gosselins, whose lives they can sort of relate to, but who have problems big enough to make their own look small. They look to American Idol for, well, I'm not 100% sure because I've never watched it, but maybe there's just something about the elimination/reality/game show genre that's super-addictive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mommy wants turtle shoes!

Yesterday I was reading Parenting magazine (which really should be called Mommying, because it's 100 percent geared toward women, as far as I can tell) and found an item singing the praises of this lovely piece of footware. Being the lover of turtles, wedges and hot pink that I am, I decided that we needed enough shampoo, etc, for a trip to Target! As usual, my first task after entering the Target was to purchase smoothies and salty snacks for the munchkins, so as to keep them from whining through the entire shoe shopping expedition. But when we got to the shoe department, no hot pink turtle sandals were to be found.

After spending another 45 minutes or so browsing around the Target, and oddly not finding about three other things I had on my list, I went home and, during nap time, checked the Target web site. Yes, indeed, they are available! But only in size 11. Let's check eBay, I say. Oh, yes, lots of sizes available, many for more than double the list price!1 What's going on here? My best guess is that someone who works at Target or Parenting bought up a bunch of these after they find out it was going in the magazine, but before the item ran. Very clever. Either way, Target is really making out on some of their fashion items.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Manic Monday!

Anyone know where to get Dots (potty training motivation) in bulk?

I may have to go to Target today.

Redwood City needs many things, but this would be a good one to start with (or maybe it could come right after In n Out).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top 5 Friday!

Top 5 Things I may do with my extra free time:

5. Sew

4. Scrapbook

3. Blog

2. Become a professional organizer

1. Start a Redwood City news blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Those Americans

Even at the start of the Obama era, I have to marvel at the dumb stuff we continue to pull years or decades after the rest of the world has clued in. Like, oh I dunno, climate change.

Or how about the fact that our idiotic drug and gun policies are destroying Mexico?

Or that there are two dozen other industrialized nations -- including ones that our soldiers fight with -- who allow gays to serve openly in the military? My mind is particularly boggled by the story of this guy who was an Arabic translator who was fired six months after 9/11 because he was gay!!

Maybe when I go to Australia next month, I can affect, say, a German accent? Or maybe just wear a shirt that says "My house has solar panels, I don't own a gun and I don't hate gay people. Oh, and I believe the earth is a few trillion years old."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Manic Monday!

There's a lot up in Emerald Hills that Nathan and I wanted to buy a couple years ago and build a fab MKD house on; the new owners have built a house that looks like it belongs in some dismal midwestern subdivision -- and it's GRAY! (what's the emoticon for "gag"?)

I hate it when I'm craving In n Out but don't have time to drive to Mountain View or Milbrae. Stupid Redwood City.

Least favorite thing about homeownership: disposing of rodents that die in our yard.

Have I mentioned recently that I wish Janice Joplin were alive to beat Faith Hill unconscious with a copy of her unbearable cover of "Piece of My Heart"?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Manic Monday!

Project Runway starts up again right after we get back from Sydney!

If I'm getting ready for an outing with my two kids (and no other adults) and I don't use screaming, panicking, rushing or a cattle prod, it takes an hour.

My spice drawer I adore:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This is almost as bad as bailing out GM

Jerry Hill wants to give Half Moon Bay a bunch of money to pay their lawsuit settlement, which was brought against them because of their no-growth policies. If Half Moon Bay has to go under and the residents get fewer services, good! Because the no-growth policies came from the residents, who believe: "I'm in, now shut the door!"

"The fear and concern for me and the state is a potential bankruptcy not due to financial mismanagement, but due to a lawsuit that created a unique situation for Half Moon Bay," said Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who introduced the legislation.

Click here to find out if Hill is your representative, and don't vote for him.

And thanks to Watch Dog San Mateo for pointing this out.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This is a lot of drugs

On Monday I spent almost 3 hours in a doctor's office getting dozens of little pin pricks and needle marks and blowing into some kind of contraption and hitting off a inhaler to try to figure out why I'm sometimes (mostly during intense exercise) short of breath. The findings:

- I'm very allergic to mold (which I found out from a blood test a couple years ago) -- but who, exactly, isn't?
- I'm a tiny bit allergic to cats, but not at all to dogs;
- My ability to rapidly exhale (presumably indicative of my lung capacity) is so-so, and improved by 30 percent by an inhaler with a couple medications in it.

It was a lot of information at once, and kind of overwhelming. The doctor wrote out this detailed "plan" that includes the inhaler, two pills and two nasal sprays. She drew out this whole explanation complete with sketches of some lung parts, but I didn't really understand it and of course I can't read any of her handwriting. Maybe I'll get a clearer explanation at my follow up appointment a month from now.

We'll see how I feel after a couple weeks of serious allergy meds.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Screw our schools

That appears to be the official stance of the vast majority of Redwood City residents. Today's election on Measure E put one issue on the ballot: yes or no. Yes = give our school district money it needs to function, No = our children who don't go to private school can make do without, say, science teachers and pencils. More than 60 percent of people who bothered to vote in this election voted yes, but we live in this effed up state where everything needs a 2/3 super-majority to pass, and we all know that you can't get more than half of any one group to agree on anything, unless it's, say, a group of newspaper reporters choosing whether to get liquored up or not get liquored up after a long day in the newsroom.

More than 75 percent of registered voters couldn't be bothered to drag their sorry hides to their local polling place (likely as not to be all of 100 yards from their front door), putting them solidly in the "screw our schools" camp with those who voted "no."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Manic Monday!

I get the feeling Conan O'Brien is aimed at my age group, but only the most milquetoast among us.

Regular viewers of Lost and Cubs fans have a lot in common.

Nathan and I did not sign up for all this public scrutiny when we signed up to have a crew of cameramen follow us around and record every move of us and our eight kids.