TODAY FROM CALIFORNIA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:
With SWAC, Joey and Dick’s departure, Hayden and I gratefully have been left to our own devices which basically means getting him up for school, dropping him off at his Taekwando lessons, doing homework after school, preparing and eating dinner, and various bed time rituals including my ongoing recitation of the never ending tales of Danny and his pony Acorn. While Hayden is attending school, I breakfast at a coffee shop named Bella Bru, located across the freeway from the French village shopping center in a smaller center designed to look like an Italian hill town.
Recently, I learned something new. Doing some background research about the Marshall Islands prompted by the energy development proposal there that I am participating in, I discovered something called “stick maps.” It seems that in order to navigate the vast trackless ocean and find their way home again the Marshall Islanders and other Polynesian peoples developed a system of navigation based upon the interference of ocean swell patterns caused by islands or other land forms. The stick maps themselves were not like this maps we are used to today but instead they simply identified the different swell interference patterns so that when the navigator senses them he knows in what direction and how far land will be.
To some extent their ability to traverse the incredible distances on their voyages of discovery and unerringly find these remote island specks, was neither trial and error nor some form of celestial navigation (which was no help in locating tiny islands). Instead they relied on recognizing the subtle variations in ocean swells caused by the islands and then heading for the cause of the disruption; all and all, a stunning example of scientific observation, deduction and application.
Towards the end of the week, Dick asked me to look at a report he has preparing on behalf of the Seismic Safety Commission to present to the governor regarding business recovery following a major disaster of some kind. It seems that although there are many emergency preparedness and governmental programs for restoring critical services following an event, there is evidence that they do not address problems of business retention. For example, following a disaster it has been observed that 25% or more of small businesses in the affected area never reopen and difficulties in retaining larger business entities of regional impact are both exceedingly complex and often catastrophic for community recovery should they fail.
I reviewed the draft report and found it wanting and have now spent the past few days attempting to revise it.
As with all good things, my Sacramento idyll came to an end on Saturday. Following a morning Taekwando session and a stop at McDonalds for a “Happy Meal” including the latest metal toy car, I dropped Hayden off at Joey’s and set off for SF with a brief stop in Sacramento for lunch with Stevie and Norbert.
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.
1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).
While John remained at Jughandle Creek guarding the Staircase, Jason, Jeanne and I arrived in Europe at Ireland’s Shannon Airport and soon found ourselves, at night, wandering lost on the top of the island’s tallest mountain and subsequently splashing through the bogs on foot until we stumbled into a remote pub where after we enjoyed a warm dinner and downed several glasses of black and tan’s, we were directed to a farm house where we spent the night. After about a week of roaming about the west of Ireland, attending late night ceilis and visiting Blasket and other remote islands we arrived in Dublin where I, on my own, followed Lenard Bloom’s legendary one day journey (we arrived in September around Bloom’s Day), beginning at the empty lot that once had been Bloom’s home to the butcher shop where Bloom slipped the recently purchased glans into his pocket and stared at the clock tower rising up a few blocks away. Then across the city stopping for a pint or two in every pub Bloom visited that was still standing; past the Strand to the Martel Tower, where Bloom met with Steven Daedalus, back again into the city, off to the cemetery and more pubs until I returned to the vacant lot where late at night Bloom returned home again into the bed he shared with the unfaithful Molly and the day ending with her ecstatic cry, “Yes”.
The Bloom tour took me two days to accomplish. Either I was a much less efficient wanderer than old Lenny or I spent considerably more time in each pub or perhaps I daydreamed a bit about Molly.
We took a side trip to New Grange the mysterious and massive megalithic tomb, older than the oldest Pyramid. One enters the tomb and traverses it through a low irregular tunnel into its very center. No light penetrates to this dark surprisingly large room except at that moment of the winter solstice when a thin beam of light finds its way into the chamber and for a few moments bathes it in the light of the worlds rebirth.
Leaving Ireland we crossed Europe, stopping for a few days in London and Paris (In London we had a difficult time locating lodging because several of the bed and breakfasts we tried refused us because of a fear that Jason would wet the bed although he was six years old at the time).
Eventually we arrived in Rome and my great Aunt’s home just outside the Lateran Gates. Since my Aunt had raised Jason for several years, I felt comfortable leaving him with her while, with Jeanne, I explored Italy and Sicily. I spent a bit of our wanderings on the trail of St. Francis of Assisi during his long residence in and near the Valley of Rieti where he created the creche, went blind, received the stigmata and generally comported himself as one would expect a half crazed holy hermit to do.
Jason and my Aunt spent most of their time outside of Rome at her home in a little village in the Sabine Mountains about 30 miles away where he was considered somewhat of a celebrity.
Completing our circuit of Italy, Jeanne and I left Jason and my aunt in the little town of Casperia, traveled to Brindisi and boarded a boat to Greece. Spent a night on the Plaka, drinking retsina, dancing in the street to the sound of smashing pottery (Doesn’t everyone?). Then off to the islands and Crete. In Crete we avoided the hippy haunts of the south of the Island preferring to explore the ruins of Knossos and to commune with the spirit of Katzanzakis at his tomb on the outskirts of Heraklion. After a side trip up the mountains of Lesithi to spend a night in a small guest house overlooking the thousands of windmills dotting the high plain prior to visiting the then remote undeveloped birthplace of Zeus the following morning, we departed Crete and again traversed the islands until we ended at Rhodes.
The medieval city was still undeveloped for tourism at that time. The Crusader castle and the town was dark and brooding. Nevertheless, we found a magnificent rustic restaurant down some narrow twisted alley where mounds of fish, sea urchins and mollusks were piled on a wooden plank trestle table and where the wine and music flowed freely.
On our last night we lounged at port-side near the supposed location of the fallen Colossus. Because we were off to Turkey the next day and had been suitably frightened by the, “Midnight Express” stories, we decided to smoke our last joint. It was a special one, given to Jeanne by a supposed friend. We had just come from the little museum of oddities a short distance away (you know, two headed dogs and six legged calfs preserved in formaldehyde and the like). I do not know what was in the joint but I heavy metaled right there and was unable to move until morning. Jeanne was so affected she never again touched dope of any kind.
Anyway, off to Turkey and the bus ride along the coast to Ephesus the white city of ruins that was just being uncovered at that time. Then through Izmir to Istanbul, one of my favorite cities; Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, the giant cisterns, the spice market and the bazaar and on and on. Then to the black market to change some money, a bus drive to a nearby city and knife fight at midnight in the freezing cold, followed the next morning by a confrontation with one of the lords of the Turkish underworld, a blond haired blue eyed giant, to plead for our lives. Then a mad dash through, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia back to Italy to pick up Jason and return to the US.
Back in the US I began working with Gutting to spearhead the Sierra Club task force negotiating with the legislature over amendments to the environmental impact law engendered by the panic among the development community as a result of our victory in the courts.
Eventually I found myself back at Jughandle with John. He was ecstatic. “We won Joe! We Won!” he kept saying over and over. “We won the law suit and the Coastal Initiative passed, now the motel would never be built.”
Although I hated to diminish his euphoria, nevertheless eventually I pointed out that the court victory was only temporary and as far as I could tell, the initiative allowed the Coastal Commission to approve permits for developments such as the motel.
John seemed, if not crushed, at least somewhat concerned.
“Oh,” he said, “what can we do about that?”
I pointed out that someone had to either be appointed to the Commission or hired on as staff in order to be there when the application for the development of the motel is filed and then work to see that it is not approved.
“Oh,” he said again, “I am really too busy with all I have to do at Jughandle and I am very much occupied with developing the cross-California heritage corridor.”
“Well,” I responded, “I haven’t worked for a while and could use some money. Maybe I’ll look into it.”
THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:
The End of the Dark Days as told by Old George:
To a mole rat referring to something as “dark” does not necessarily mean what one usually thinks of when one uses that word to describe an emotion; after all Mole Rats live most of their lives in the dark. To them, the sudden appearance of light represents danger, chaos and even forbidding times since it most often means that a breach in the security of the burrows that define their community occurred and that in turn often means predators or the rush of unhealthy air from the frightening world above into the warm, musty, carbon dioxide enriched air in which the community thrives. If it is a breech, the familiar smells that enhance the communities well being, become polluted with alien odors, often signifying trouble and danger. (to be continued)
2.Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to those who most contribute to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.
The award goes to: State Sen. Shadrack McGill (R Fla.) who defended a pay raise for legislators, including him, his predecessors in the Legislature passed, but said doubling teacher pay could lead to less-qualified educators.
McGill claimed that by paying legislators more, “they’re less susceptible to taking bribes.” However, he added, “It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach…. He (the Legislator like him) needs to make enough that he can say no, in regards to temptation. … Teachers need to make the money that they need to make. There needs to be a balance there.”
(Indeed there does need to be a balance there. Way to go, Shadrack!)
3. H. Glaber fellow travelers:
“Nature” Magazine editorial writers:
Who in an editorial in the October 2011 issue of the magazine observed:
“[T]he mouse-sized creature is one of only two mammals known to live in ant- and termite-style eusocial colonies (the other being the Damaraland mole rat). A naked mole rat queen suppresses the sexual maturity of her subordinates, and on a royal death, the female who wins the fight to take the queen’s place must stretch herself to pup-bearing size. At length, she is joined by a select few breeding males, while the other members of the colony — sterile workers — dedicate their days to the search for food and to digging and defending tunnels. Should it need to, a naked mole rat soldier can shuffle backwards as fast as its little feet normally carry it forwards.”
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise.
Vince went into the guest bedroom to remove his soiled clothes while Isabella trundled off to the master bedroom at the other end of the suite. Lina had laid out a terrycloth robe on the bed, then busied herself in the bathroom running the water for his bath.
He removed everything from his pockets laid them on the nightstand along with his belt and watch. Then he carefully took off his soiled clothing and threw them into a wicker hamper in the corner.
He stood there naked for a moment, robe in hand contemplating whether he should put it on and risk soiling the white fabric or risk embarrassing Lina and prance naked into the bathroom.
Lina’s knock on the door from the bathroom interrupted his reverie. He bunched the robe in front of his privates as she entered and crossed the room and picked up the hamper without the slightest glance at Vince.
This deflated him slightly since Lina was quite attractive. She then quietly left the room.
Vince stood still for a moment, then walked into the bathroom.
The steam from the hot bath water had already begun fogging the large wall length mirror over the sink. He walked over to the large tub. The water was still running from the tap. It spelled a bid pungent and he guessed Lina had added some relaxing herbs along with the foamy sob. On the edge of the bath stood a mug. He lifted it and sipped. It had a slight lemony taste with mustily overtones. He then slipped into the bath turned off the water, leaned back, took another sip from the drink, set it back down leaned back, slowed his eyes and after a few moments fell asleep.
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
2012: Guns provide protection from violence.
In 2007, there were nearly 89 guns for every 100 Americans. The highest rate of gun ownership in the E.U. was in Finland where they had 32 per 100 residents. But the homicide rate in the U.S. is 5.2 per 100,000, while the comparable number in Britain is 1.5, 1.3 in France, and 0.8 in Germany. According to the latest statistics available, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 murders per year using firearms in the U.S. In Germany, the E.U. country with the next highest figures, it’s 200 to 300.
(But we are much safer here from those that have guns since we also have guns to defend ourselves with. I bet those 200 or 300 did not have guns to defend themselves with. Did you know that military studies have shown that neither guns, knives or martial arts training is of any use in a surprise assault even if the initial assault fails? A gun however is very useful if your attacker announces himself first and then gives you about 10 minutes to get ready. Even so, in that case, the attacker probably has a machine gun or a cannon hidden somewhere. On the other hand, he could just be incredibly stupid, in which case, in order to protect the gene pool, he deserves to die.)
2012: More about protection.
Approximately one-third of US military aircraft are unmanned drones.
$4.5 million – Cost of producing a Predator drone. $94 million – Cost of producing a fully manned, twin-engine F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet. $2.4 billion – Cost of producing a fully manned, stealth B-2 bomber
Read more: http://theweek.com/article/index/223121/the-militarys-growing-reliance-on-robot-airplanes-by-the-numbersnbsp#ixzz1kTs6Binn
(There is some evidence that women are somewhat better than men in the remote piloting of drones. It is probably a good thing to turn war over to women, leaving men to bash each other silly playing football or something similar.)
2012: Olive Oil.
Extra virgin olive oil Sabina is, chronologically speaking, the first Italian Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) oil to gain the certification from the European Community, the production of olives and oil is a millennial tradition in Sabine.
A. : What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
Why doesn’t daddy pay his fair share?
B. : You might be a conservative if (according to Bruce Lindner) [continued]:
16: You strongly defend individual freedom, but that freedom doesn’t include a woman’s right to decide her own healthcare needs.
17: You believe corporations are people too, and are deserving of the same rights as the rest of us. Just not the same obligations to pay personal income tax free of corporate loopholes, or penalties for massive criminal behavior and tax evasion. In these matters, corporations are deserving of special rights.
18: And since corporations are now people too, you must believe in their right to a driver’s license, the right to marry, to adopt children, etc. These rights shall not be denied to Exxon, Halliburton and BP (but still immune from the right of the People to try, convict and sentence to death any corporation that conspires to commit a felony… because at that point, they’re suddenly not people again).
19: You still believe Climate Change is a myth, and the recent record highs, lows, floods and droughts around the world coinciding with climate scientist’s predictions are all an amazing coincidence. Oh, and Al Gore is FAT!
20: You believe when George W. Bush took the national debt from $5 trillion to $11 trillion, it was necessary for him to do so to keep America safe. But when Barack Obama added to it by trying to rescue the country from a second Great Depression, he was deliberately trying to destroy America!
21: You believe America is a God fearing country, and that the Almighty protects those who believe just as you do. But it’s never crossed your mind that the majority of tornados, hurricanes and floods all occur in the Bible Belt.
22: You believe that no matter who’s in the White House, the office, if not the man himself is deserving of your respect. The only exceptions to this rule, are if his middle name sounds Muslim, and if he’s not at least as white as that black guy who works down in the mailroom at the office.
“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”
Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
My brother in law George forwarded to me the following from a blogger who still finds parody possible. Check him out.
From the Borowitz report:
LA JOLLA, CA (The Borowitz Report) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today released the following letter to the American people:
Dear American People:
Yesterday, comments I made about poor people made me look terrible. This always seems to happen when I say what I really believe.
The fact is, I do care about poor people. That’s because I’m poor myself, when you compare me to Mark Zuckerberg.
According to most projections, Facebook’s IPO should net Mr. Zuckerberg a personal fortune of $28 billion. I couldn’t make a pile of dough-re-mi like that even if I fired people twenty-four hours a day.
Now, let’s take a look at Mitt Romney’s net worth: a measly $200 million. Now do you see why I consider myself poor? Compared to Mark Zuckerberg, Mitt Romney is practically a crack whore.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and envy a rich person like Mark Zuckerberg. That’s exactly what President Obama wants poor people like me to do. Mark Zuckerberg made his money fair and square, by creating useful products like imaginary sheep and angry birds. Say what you will about Facebook, it has totally revolutionized the way we waste our lives.
The fact is, if you’re poor in America, you should do what Mark Zuckerberg did: create a social network. I’ve just started my own, called TwoFaceBook. With TwoFaceBook, your profile doesn’t stay the same for more than two seconds.
In closing, there’s one more reason I don’t worry about poor people. They have Groupons.
Vote for me,
“Anyone who makes decisions that affect significant numbers of other people, concerning issues of corporate social responsibility or toxic waste, for example, or concerning mass financial markets or mass employment, should be screened to make sure that they are, at the very least, not psychopaths and at most are actually people who care about others,”
Clive R. Boddy,“Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis,”
This image could be considered the American patriot’s view of the world. The US riding high front and center and the rest drifting off into the clouds or bathed in darkness.
Pretty none the less; although the US appears a bit pregnant and green around the edges to me, don’t you think?