Wednesday, April 23, 2014

HCLDF Endorses Elan Firpo

Tom Sebourn reports the Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense Fund has endorsed District Attorney candidate Elan Firpo:

"The office of District Attorney plays an unparalleled role in both the protection and violation of our cherished liberties. Few public officials hold such power to take away one's freedom as a prosecutor does. We urge all citizens who share our concern for protection of the freedoms we hold so dear to join us in working to elect Élan Firpo as Humboldt County's District Attorney."

They are correct, and such an endorsement should pull some weight. Unfortunately, at least some voters up here might consider concern for civil liberties a bad thing.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Going Down With The Ship?

That ferry sinking offshore of South Korea is the second time in recent memory we've heard of a captain allegedly jumping ship and leaving the crew and passengers to fend for themselves. The other recent incident being that ship off Italy that ran into a reef and the captain was allegedly one of the first into the life boats.

Kinda burns you up, doesn't it? Hey, even if the captain yells, "FOLLOW ME!", as he leads the charge to the lifeboats he's at least showing some leadership. Apparently these last two didn't even seem to do that.

CNN takes a look at some of the ethics and laws involved. We'd like to think ship's Captains have passenger safety as their primary duty. If they don't, they should get some sort of punishment. As I read the CNN article it's more a matter of how different countries handle it.

A few years ago I was watching one of the home video shows on TV. They had one of a small cruise ship that was chartered by a scuba diving club. The ship got into some trouble in rough seas. The club members thought something might be wrong so at least one of them went to the bridge to check on the situation. 

The bridge was deserted. They look out the see the captain and crew in a lifeboat saving their own skins with no word of warning to everyone else on board. They basically deserted the ship.

The passengers made out ok. The video shows them in their scuba gear sliding down a rope to a nearby reef where they pretty much just floated around until rescued. The narrator of the video said nothing could be done about the captain and crew that abandoned the passengers. They'd apparently broken no law.

I don't recall what flag that ship sailed under, but nobody should be able to get away with that. At the very least, along with a lot of public humiliation, the captain should never be allowed any position in the command of a ship again. I don't have a problem with countries that would give prison time for such behavior, either.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Top 15 Small Cities In California

Cities Journal has come up with their picks for the top 15 small cities in California. Arcata is number 15. Healdsburg (yuck!) gets #1. They seem to be taking the yuppie approach in their grading. Still, I was surprised to see Dunsmuir #14 and Montegue #7 among their choices. 

My pick would be Catalina Island's, Avalon #11. Spent less than a week there as a kid but loved the place. They don't mention that the water around Avalon has been rated the most polluted in the state- their aging, leaking sewer system being the cause.

Funny that I consider Arcata a town, but Eureka a city. Wonder where you draw the line between calling a place a city as opposed to a town?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Facebook Selfies

I'm just asking: Am I the only one that thinks it's weird when people put multiple pictures of themselves on Facebook? Three people come to mind that put one picture or another of themselves- often multiple times a day- on FB. I think that's weird. I'm not referring to old family type photos. I talking about current digital photos.

Do you do that? Do you think it's kind of weird?

LPs On The Comeback?

That's Long Playing, for younger folks who might never have seen or heard of one. That's what we used for music back before tapes and then CDs. As I recall there were three different speeds of vinyl records back then: 33 1/3, 45, the 78. I'm pretty sure just the 33 1/3 one was considered an LP. The 45s just played one song on each side. I'm not sure I ever had a 78.

The Times- Standard reports music store owners claim sales of old vinyl records are starting to climb. The San Jose Mercury News says the same. Can you even buy an old record player anymore? I actually have an old turntable, cassette player/recorder and radio out in the garage I still use today, but I haven't tried records on it in decades. I can't remember the last time I saw an actual record player for sale in a store.

As far as any supposed comeback goes, I don't get it. Records could be problematic to keep and use. Leave them in the heat too long and they warp. Get a scratch on them and they don't play well, or at all. Once you got a scratch, there wasn't much you could do about it. 

I'll miss one thing about vinyl records, though, at least with the LPs: The covers. The covers had their own unique photography and art on them, often with all sorts of information about the band and the music. Those are a treat to see even today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Hen In The Fox House

Kind of a kumbaya can't- we- just- get- along commentary by former Fox News leftie talking head, Sally Kohn. She thinks those nasty right wingers that most lefties hate are pretty nice folks:
"My time at Fox News was marked by meeting and working with some of the kindest, smartest, and most talented people I've had the pleasure of meeting in life. As I said in my TED talk, Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet – and even now that I've parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor."

How sweet. Yes, I mean that, and I'm sure Hannity is a swell guy in person. I have a hard time with his partisan screen persona. He's one of the reasons I rarely watch Fox News.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Invasion Wagers

Traffic Problems:Everybody's Fault

I thought this San Francisco Chronicle commentary on the city's traffic hazards- both vehicular and pedestrian- was nicely done if only because it was so even handed. I'm not sure I would have been so nice. Be fun to try and write something similar about those walking and driving in Eureka.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Freddy Mourns KXGO's Demise

All good things must come to an end but I still can't get used to radio station KXGO being gone. I enjoyed having it as an alternative when my usual stations, KHSU and KMUD, go on the geek. Both of them switch to goofy stuff at the same time on weekends so I'd usually switch to KXGO until Monday.

Been working the dial to find a suitable substitute. All the stations I've been finding just don't cut it. The wife listens to 95.5FM and suggested that one, but that's all San Francisco music. Hate that stuff.

Anyone have any suggestions?

N.Y. Times Does The Yurok Language

The New York Times has a story about attempts to save the Yurok language. Eureka High School and at least one familiar name- Susan Masten- is mentioned.