Bethany McLean

the author, along with Joe Nocera, of "All the Devils are Here."



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

You can mess with your mind or just get some insight into our ruling class by carefully watching Charlie Rose converstion with authors Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean, They talk about their new book "All the Devils are Here:The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis" and more.

Rose is curiously ill-at-ease. Maybe because as he hints, McLean knows more than he does, or more darkly, because some of "the devils" are his friends and acquaintances.


On 8/10/10 I posted.


"Following are links to Bethany McLean's Miller Center Forum and her 2001 Fortune article 'Is Enron Overpriced?' that helped bring Eron down.

'Is Enron Overpriced? In March 2001, Fortune pointed out that Enron's financial statements were nearly impenetrable.

(Editors note--Remember when it seemed outrageous to suggest that Enron shouldn't be the golden child of Wall Street? Before the congressional hearings, before Arthur Andersen was indicted, before the SEC and the DOJ got involved, Fortune's Bethany McLean asked whether a company that traded at 55 times earnings should be so opaque. Here is what she wrote.)

"Is Enron Overpriced?

It's in a bunch of complex businesses. Its financial statements are nearly impenetrable. So why is Enron trading at such a huge multiple?

In Hollywood parlance, the 'It Girl' is someone who commands the spotlight at any given moment -- you know, like Jennifer Lopez or Kate Hudson. Wall Street is a far less glitzy place, but there's still such a thing as an 'It Stock.' Right now, that title belongs to Enron, the Houston energy giant." ' "



Paul Solman gives a hard-hitting interview, largely a product of tight editing, with Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean on the PBS News Hour. Brief and succinct, it is here


And Lt Andy Greenwood BPD emails


Check the out authors [ Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean ] on Jon Stewart's Daily Show from two days ago, . . . Comedy Central/Daily Show website. Interesting stuff.
 best regards,






Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

"Unions Yield on Wage Scales to Preserve Jobs" Louis Uchitelle,

"Organized labor appears to be losing an important battle in the Great Recession.

Even at manufacturing companies that are profitable, union workers are reluctantly agreeing to tiered contracts that create two levels of pay.

In years past, two-tiered systems were used to drive down costs in hard times, but mainly at companies already in trouble. And those arrangements, at the insistence of the unions, were designed, in most cases, to expire in a few years.

Now, the managers of some marquee companies are aiming to make this concession permanent. If they are successful, their contracts could become blueprints for other companies in other cities, extending a wage system that would be a startling retreat for labor."

A tipping point or a blip?

end Miscellaneous Ramblings



Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge showed 1.5 inches for Friday through Sunday morning.



Grampy's' biplane

Pete Hurney's Grandfather flew this Curtiss off of Long Island in the 1930's.

photo from his Dad's collection


Check out Pete's KALX show, Scratchy Vinyl Monday 3-6PM.

His last Scratchy Vinyl playist is here.


" Jewish Activists Fight in California" by Elad Benari,

"A physical altercation broke out on Sunday between right-wing and left-wing Israel activists in Berkeley, California, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

The incident took place during a meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace at the South Berkeley Senior Center. Activists from San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs arrived at the meeting and began to heckle the Jewish Voice for Peace speakers. The incident escalated and resulted in pepper spray being used by a StandWithUs member against two Jewish Voice for Peace members.

Berkeley Police and paramedics were called to the scene; however, no arrests were made."

Aw jeez.



"NorCal cities bring pot growing into the light" by Marcus Wohlsen at

"As cities get set to levy taxes on medical marijuana retailers, some localities in Northern California are already moving toward creating government-sanctioned marijuana farms to help supply them.

Cities hope to rake in even more tax revenue from medical marijuana cultivation, which has remained in the shadows although it has been legal in the state since 1996.

On Monday, Oakland will begin the application process for four permits to run industrial-scale marijuana farms within city limits.

In Berkeley, a successful ballot measure to allow medical pot cultivation in industrial zones has would-be growers scrambling to score scarce real estate.

Farther north, the small towns of Sebastopol and Eureka have also passed ordinances allowing for the creation of major cultivation operations."




"Hold the Doom and Gloom on Climate" by Kate Sheppard,

"Is all the mounting evidence that humans are warming the planet only making us less likely to take action? That's the conclusion of a new study by two University of California-Berkeley researchers, 'Apocalypse Soon? Dire Messages Reduce Belief in Global Warming by Contradicting Just World Views.' "



"UC May See Increase in Out-of-State Enrollment" by Alisha Azevedo at

"Higher Costs, Less Aid Could Turn Away Many Nonresident Applicants From Enrolling in UC."



"UC Berkeley's 33rd Annual Real Estate & Economics Symposium" at



"Silicon's Long Good-bye:Researchers make transistors out of a material that's better than silicon" by Katherine Bourzac at

"Sometime in the coming decades, chipmakers will no longer be able to make silicon chips faster by packing smaller transistors onto a chip. That's because silicon transistors will simply be too leaky and expensive to make any smaller.

People working on materials that could succeed silicon have to overcome many challenges. Now researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a way past one such hurdle: they've developed a reliable way to make fast, low-power, nanoscopic transistors out of a compound semiconductor material. Their method is simpler, and promises to be less expensive, than existing ones."








Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

"Amy Luna Manderino of Berkeley CA won the title of Miss Cougar California 2010 at The Standard in Fresno, CA" is a press release at

"She won a free week at Hedonism II Resort & Spa at Negril Beach in Jamaica, during International Cougar Week, March 27 ­ April 2, 2011. Previously she won the title of Miss Cougar East Bay and a free berth on The International Cougar Cruise, December 3-6, 2010, aboard NCL's Norwegian Sky, departing from Miami and visiting The Bahamas, courtesy of Ms. Manderino was elected by the cubs (younger men) who attended the conventions."

Well, Ok then.

Da Boz emails (excerpts)

Chief Michael Meehan presented the Department's report at the November 16 Council meeting.  The report shows a 17% drop in violent crime and a 7% drop in property crime for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2009. The police department's goal was for a 10% reduction in crime.  I would like to commend BPD for their effective services.  

Despite this positive trend, we have seen a recent increase in pedestrian robberies (especially in North Berkeley) that the Berkeley Police Department are currently working on. 


I'm all in favor of less crime. Still, I'm wondering, . . . in early community meetings the Chief felt strongly that our crime statistics were inadequate yet now he uses them as a base line from which he concludes crime has dropped. Just wondering.



"Although the final touches are still in the works, the long-awaited Ed Roberts Campus opened" is a story at

" Located at the Ashby BART station in south Berkeley, the Campus is a universally and sustainably designed center for services, advocacy, education, training, and policy related to disability rights."

Our Swerve furnished the majority of the campus offices--photos to follow.

end Miscellaneous Ramblings




"Suspect sought in Berkeley home-invasion rape" Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Authorities are looking for a 27-year-old Berkeley man suspected of climbing through an unlocked bedroom window in the northern part of the city and sexually assaulting a girl early Sunday morning.

But detectives believe the suspect, Omar Sosa, quickly fled from the Bay Area and may try to escape into Mexico.

The attack at a home on Evelyn Avenue was reported at 6:11 a.m., police said. The girl's age was not released.

Within hours, investigators had obtained a warrant for Sosa's arrest on suspicion of rape, sodomy, false imprisonment, oral copulation, burglary and sexual battery.

Police said Sosa may be driving a gray 1997 Ford Ranger with a double cab and a white camper shell."


"Seismically Unsafe" by Garvin Thomas is at

"A recent investigation uncovered nearly 180 buildings on UC and CSU campuses are seismically unsafe

So, which buildings on University of California and California State University campuses do you not want to be in when the big one hits?

Well, there is no, single place where the state keeps that information."




 "UC Berkeley vows to build museum despite finances" report Matier & Ross at

"UC Berkeley is pledging to find the money to replace the seismically unsound Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Even as financially strapped UC Berkeley is preparing to raise tuition 8 percent next fall, it has pledged to spend as much as $20 million in campus funds to help build a $96 million art museum."





"Berkeley High struggling with alcohol, drug use among students, survey says" by Doug Oakley, Contra Costa Times.

"When it comes to marijuana and alcohol use, Berkeley High School students surpass their California counterparts, according to a recently released survey.

Students who took the survey also reported coming to school drunk or high at almost double the rate of other California students."



"New Ways to Pick the Best College for You" by Lynn O'Shaughnessy

    "Social media sites are dramatically changing the way teens and colleges connect with each other to find the perfect match. Today, a teenager can take a tour of a campus, attend a class, chat with an admission officer and accumulate enough reconnaissance on a school to fill a book - all from thousands of miles away.




"Manipulating the charitable mindset"  at

"Let's call it corporate givernance.

"By this time of year, about 80 per cent of large Canadian companies have launched their annual charitable fund-raising campaigns, the explicit goal being to spur a big pot of pooled donations from their employees. Behind the scenes, there is also the hope that raising money together will foster group cohesion and motivate people to work better as teams. So what if there's in-house competition for resources and recognition? At least there's this common cause, so pony up!

But can you really manipulate people's mindsets to prompt them to give more?

Apparently, you can. A research team of Stéphane Côté and Bonnie Hayden Cheng of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, along with several psychologists from the University of California, Berkeley, recently published two studies that suggest that the key to encouraging more empathetic and charitable behaviour is to make people feel like the underdog - if only temporarily. "








"Lawrence Berkeley lab worker killed in crash remembered fondly by family: A gifted mechanic, Craig Hopkins loved to help others whenever a need arose" by Doug Jastrow, Contra Costa Times.

"A day after his fatal accident Friday on a steep and rain-slicked road in Orinda, friends and family of Craig Hopkins spent the day remembering a man known as a talented mechanic who delighted in sharing his skills to help others.

'He just loved to be able to fix things, anything with an engine,' his brother Kevin Hopkins, a Concord resident, said Saturday. 'He had a love of that his whole life.'

Craig Hopkins, 49, was driving home from his job at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, where he had worked as a mechanical engineering technician since 2001, when he crashed his pickup truck on the hilly Fish Ranch Road near the Caldecott Tunnel, according to police. His brother believes Hopkins simply lost control on the windy road, slick from the recent rain."



"New Southside joint safety patrol already a success" is a press release from UC Berkeley Community Relations.

"After only a few months of operation, a pilot program on the city's south side that set up a joint safety patrol by the University of California, Berkeley, Police Department (UCPD) and the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is showing successful results.

Like all patrols city- and campus-wide, the new Joint Southside Safety Patrol's main charge is to suppress violent crime. It also is focused on what has been a troublesome town/gown issue: unruly parties of 10 or more people in off-campus student rental housing and fraternities that create a significant public nuisance.

Since its launch in August, the joint patrol has received approximately 135 calls for service and issued 79 warning citations for noise complaints. Officers have only had to return to eight locations to cite repeat violations, which carry fines starting at $750 if issued within a 120-day period. In fall 2008, police received 384 calls during a similar period, but officers issued only 72 warnings.

'The community sees the increased police presence and enforcement of public nuisance violations. We're seeing quieter parties that are more respectful of the neighborhood, which can be attributed to the increased visibility and responsiveness of the Joint Southside Safety Patrol,' said Caleb Dardick, director of UC Berkeley's Local Government and Community Relations office.

Both campus and city police agree that the joint patrols are effecting positive change."




"Re-imagining California higher education" is a report by Sarah King Head at

"A report from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, has analysed the challenges faced by tertiary education in California and its relationship to economic growth - and proposes some radical solutions for rejuvenating a faltering public higher education system that was once the envy of the world."




"How Much Does Birth Order Shape Our Lives?" by Allison Aubrey at

"There are lots of expectations and assumptions about how birth order may shape our adult lives, and many of them go back ages. Centuries ago, the oldest son had huge incentives to stay on track and live up to family expectations - that's because, by tradition, he was set to inherit almost everything.

'Historically the practice of primogeniture was very common in Europe' says Frank Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley. 'So firstborns had every reason to preserve the status quo and be on good terms with their parents.'

Now you may think any 'first-born' effect would have completely disappeared in modern times. But not so, say experts who study birth order. Researchers first examined the status of firstborns among Washington power brokers in 1972."









Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Pete's thermometer showed 39.9 degrees Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Richard who doesn't have an outside thermometer said simply "Damn cold."

This, "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" is a special with rich people

including Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. Check it out, Sunday morning November 28th at 8AM on ABC Channel 7.



If The Rich are insensitive to "the needs of others" what group is most sensitive.

In my 73 years' experience, not a "scientific survey" mind you, it's Black Folks. Not only are they sensitive to the needs of others but are helpful to others in need.

A memory from "The Day" sticks in my mind. One weekday afternoon on my way back from Berkeley Hardware, I found myself coming up to the corner of Berkeley Way and Oxford. There standing in the middle of the intersection was a middle age white woman, distraught, pacing, screaming and throwing her clothes to the ground. People and cars ignored her. Cars continued to drive through the intersection. Students going to and coming from class "didn't see her"

Then, a young black man walked up to her through the traffic and began talking. After a short while, now less animated, he helped her pick up the clothes. He took her to the curb sat her down now calm and continued talking.

I remember he had on a knit, rainbow-floppy-cap.






"Tuning In To The Brain's 'Cocktail Party Effect' " by Jon Hamilton,

npr graphic

"Scientists are beginning to understand how the human brain accomplishes a remarkable trick known as the cocktail party effect. It's what allows us to pick out the words from just one speaker even when we're in a room full of other voices that are just as loud.

For decades, scientists have puzzled over how our brain is able to focus on certain sounds while filtering out others. Now they say they're finding clues, thanks to new research on birds and bats."



"Upper-Class People Bad at Reading Others Emotions" by Catherine Donaldson-Evans at

"They may seem like they have it all, but new research has found that upper-class people are lacking one thing: the ability to decipher people's feelings.

A study by a team from California and Canada found that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds can read people's emotions better than their wealthier, more educated counterparts, according to the Association of Psychological Science, which sponsored the project.

That's because people from the lower echelons of society must rely more on others for success, said co-author Michael W. Kraus of the University of California San Francisco.

He used child care as an example, saying that those who can't afford to pay for it have to depend on family, friends or neighbors to watch their kids while they're working, going to school or running errands. Those who can afford care and other services tend to act more independently, he said.

The findings, published in the association's journal Psychological Science, were based on a series of experiments.

One looked at volunteers who worked at a university, some of whom had college degrees and some of whom did not. Participants were told to examine several photographs of faces and describe the emotions each face was expressing. Surprisingly, people who had a higher level of education did worse on the perception test than those who were less educated.

In another exercise, university students were asked to read a stranger's emotions during a group job interview. Those with a higher socio-economic status, gleaned from reports the students filled out about their family background, had a harder time accurately guessing what the stranger was feeling than those of lower social standing."


Or more blunt"Rich People Don't Care How You Feel" at

"Something money can't buy: The ability to read others' emotions.

A new study published in Psychological Science finds that people with lower incomes and less education are more adept at emotional perception."



"New, public-private 'WPA' needed, Reich says" a report by Onell R. Soto at

" 'Don't be discouraged,' former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said during a visit Thursday to San Diego. 'Here in San Diego there's people of good will. You, working together, can do more than the federal government.'

The way out of the depths of the Great Recession is putting people to work, and San Diego can lead the way through a public-private partnership, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said during a visit Thursday."




" Microsoft' of Machine Tools Runs Plants From Mount Fuji Base" by Jason Clenfield,

"At the base of snowcapped Mount Fuji sits a bright yellow compound that is home to one of Japan's most profitable -- and secretive -- companies.

Fanuc Ltd.'s systems tell lathes, grinders and milling machines how to turn steel into an Apple Inc. iPhone case or aluminum into the rib of a Boeing Co. 747. More than half of the world's computerized tools, including those used by suppliers to Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co., use Fanuc controls.

'They're the Microsoft you've never heard of,' said Scott Foster, an analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. 'If Mount Fuji erupted and took them out, the world would stop running.'

Fanuc's operating margin rose to a record 44 percent last quarter, the company said, making it the third highest on the Topix 100, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. To further boost profits, President Yoshiharu Inaba is focusing on China and India, Asia's two fastest-growing major economies.

'We're working harder than ever to penetrate the Chinese and Indian markets,' Inaba, 62, said last month at company headquarters. 'All of our capacity is running full-out.' "



"Audi aims to be luxury-EV leader; plug-in hybrid due in 2014" at

"Audi has big plans for its electric vehicle business.

'By 2020, we want to be the leading premium seller of electric vehicles,' Franciscus van Meel, Audi's manager for electric mobility strategy, said at a recent technical workshop at the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany."





From Chief Meehan's 11/16 report to our City Council.

"Organizational Restructuring 
The Berkeley Police Department has implemented a significant restructuring of the 
organization. The overall purpose of these changes is to improve communication and 
information sharing across functions and to coordinate and align resources where they 
can most effectively reduce crime and victimization, enhance crime prevention efforts, 
and respond to community concerns. With this reorganization each of the major 
divisions of the Department is under new leadership.  
Organizational changes include the consolidation of two previous divisions into one 
Support Services Division under Director Lynne Ohlson. This realignment places 
records, dispatch, property and evidence and jail management information under one 
Creation of a new Professional Standards Division under Captain Cynthia Harris. This 
newly created Division, which includes Personnel and Training, brings BPD in line with 
national standards and best practices. The focus of this Division is to streamline 
procedures and improve systems and processes to make BPD more efficient, effective 
and accountable. 
Consolidation of several Units in Investigations under Captain Dennis Ahearn. Homicide 
and Robbery formerly separate, now work together in a joint Crimes against Persons 
Unit. Additionally, Crime Analysis has been expanded. We are working to better utilize 
data and information when making both tactical and strategic decisions. 
Establishment of Operational Area Commands in Patrol under recently promoted 
Captain Erik Upson. Patrol Lieutenants now each command a different geographic area 
of the city and will serve as Area Commanders. Each of the Area Commanders is 
working directly with his/her respective Area Coordinator. This shift will allow for better 
coordination and information sharing among operational units, provides Area 
Coordinators access to more resources, and ensures community concerns are 
addressed at a higher, more coordinated, level. 

Comp-Stat, short for computer statistics or comparative statistics, has a proven record 
of reducing crime and improving the overall operations of major metropolitan police 
departments. Police Departments in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New 
Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond have experienced 
reductions in part 1 crime since their adoption of the Comp-Stat crime reduction and 
accountability model. The essence of the model is to provide a basic road map for 
getting police officers back in the business of proactively addressing crime trends rather 
than just reacting to them. A vital component of the model is its emphasis on holding 
police managers directly accountable for combating the crime in their assigned area and 
providing them the authority to deploy their resources to achieve the desired results. 
The Berkeley Police Department implemented this model beginning in May of this year. 
Crime Analysis 
The Crime Analysis Response Strategies (CARS) team has been formulated to provide 
up to the moment crime analysis throughout the city.  Rather than waiting to compile 
statistics at the end of the month, the CARS team is mandated to identify crime 
problems as quickly as possible. The team has 2 formal meetings each week, but 
distributes information amongst its members on a constant basis. 
Once a problem is identified, the team explores the dimensions of the problem, 
including the determination of dates, times, specific locations, and persons of interest.  
Each member of the team brings a different perspective and set of resources to the 
table.  Representatives from Operations Division, Investigations Division, the Crime 
Analysis, and the Community Services Bureau collaborate to focus BPD resources on 
the most significant and current crime problems. 
Once the problems are defined the team moves on to strategies for eliminating the 
problem.  The strategies employed have included both traditional enforcement 
responses, and more creative responses that tap into resources and groups outside 
BPD. "

Chief Meehan's full report here.


"Turkey dinners handed out in Alameda Co" is a story at

"In Berkeley, members of the city's Police Department, the Berkeley Boosters Association and the University of California Police Department met at 6 a.m. to assemble 250 food baskets.

Each basket contains a turkey, fresh produce and enough canned and packaged food to serve about eight people. They will be handed out by uniformed Berkeley police and parking officers.

Twenty Berkeley and UC police officers raised about $8,000 for the food baskets earlier this year when they rode more than 200 miles in three days on their bicycles."




"Morning Benders" a story and photo essay at

"Berkeley, California-bred four-piece band The Morning Benders are the Muhammad Ali of pop-rock: their summery melodies float on leader Christopher Chu's airy vocals like butterflies, but their lyrics sting like bees that've crawled under your sleeve when you weren't looking."

The Morning Benders finish up their tour tonight in a big way, with a headlining show at Webster Hall and a stacked bill of indie pop rising stars with both Twin Sister and Cults opening the show."







Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Our Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl had a couple of mentions on local TV Wednesday. Channel 2 Evening News devoted a few minutes to interviewing bowl shoppers and Channel 4 did a minute on Thanksgiving shopping, taped at the Bowl.

Be careful when inviting a friend to dinner unfamiliar with our Thanksgiving holiday. Our French friend, Gerard arrived with a wicker-basket filled with Spanish wine, French cheeses, Italian and German sausages, French and German breads, Spanish desserts, and candles. All mixed deliciously with our traditional fare. Oh yes, he even brought his own rustic side-board and of course his Kim.

Our Geralyn just returned from a ten day vacation in Hawaii.

Rumors persist of a Fourth Street Apple Store--more about this sooner-than-later.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then is continous imitation more flattering?

end Miscellaneous Ramblings



"Lemony Snicket's 'Composer is Dead' comes to Berkeley Rep" by Jackie Burrell, Contra Costa Times.

"There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of children's plays, television series and Hollywood flicks, but when it comes to the classical music arena, pickings are slim indeed.

There's Saint-Saens' century-old 'Carnival of the Animals,' Prokofiev's 74-year-old 'Peter and the Wolf,' and 'Tubby the Tuba,' the Danny Kaye album penned by Paul Tripp and George Kleinsinger in 1945. So the very idea of a brand new children's work for the 21st century, 'The Composer is Dead,' sent shivers of delight through the classical music-loving crowd -- even if the plot was a tad startling."


"New on the California Music Scene, Connie Lim" is a press release at

a Margie Barron photo

"Hey music lovers, there's something special about the charismatic Connie Lim. The former pre-Med student at U.C. Berkeley is poised to make an impact in the recording world with her infectious music. It's an exciting new California sound, with songs that are modern, but also feel nostalgic. The kind of music you might hear in background of Hellcats, One Tree Hill, or Gossip Girl, which helps create a mood with the storytelling."




"A tribute to canned cranberry sauce: Nature's perfect (processed) food" is at




"Jet lag causes memory loss" is a report at

"A new study by researchers at the University of California has indicated that chronic jet lag alters the brain in ways that cause memory and learning problems long after one's return to a regular 24-hour schedule."



"Developing countries can cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the poor:Clean energy investments in rural areas go hand-in-hand with alleviating poverty" is a story at

"In the developing world, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is often seen as being in conflict with alleviating poverty, since improving the standard of living is usually associated with increased energy use.

A clean energy development initiative in rural Nicaragua, however, demonstrates that there are cost effective steps developing nations can take to reduce carbon emissions and at the same time help the rural poor reduce their energy expenses, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley.

In a report in this week's issue of the journal Science, UC Berkeley graduate student Christian E. Casillas and professor Daniel M. Kammen analyze simple steps taken by Nicaragua's Ministry of Energy & Mines and the nonprofit blueEnergy to reduce the cost of energy while reducing carbon emissions for a community of 172 households on the country's Mosquito Coast."




"Tom Campbell Joins Berkeley Research Group as a Director" at

"Berkeley Research Group, LLC (BRG), a preeminent expert services and data analytics firm, today announced that Dr. Tom Campbell has joined the firm as a Director in the Emeryville, California office."




"U.S.G. and P.T.A" is an op-ed piece by Thomas L. Friedman at

"For me, the most frightening news in The Times on Sunday was not about North Korea's stepping up its nuclear program, but an article about how American kids are stepping up their use of digital devices: 'Allison Miller, 14, sends and receives 27,000 texts in a month, her fingers clicking at a blistering pace as she carries on as many as seven text conversations at a time. She texts between classes, at the moment soccer practice ends, while being driven to and from school and, often, while studying. But this proficiency comes at a cost: She blames multitasking for the three B's on her recent progress report.' I'll be reading a book for homework and I'll get a text message and pause my reading and put down the book, pick up the phone to reply to the text message, and then 20 minutes later realize, 'Oh, I forgot to do my homework.' "




our Susan Brooks emails

Susan Brooks Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios

Jewelry & Works on Paper

Sawtooth Building 2547 Eighth Street, Studio 24a
(between Dwight & Parker) West Berkeley

4 Weekends

11-6 pm

November 27-28, December 4-5,11-12, 18-19
& open Dec. 20-23 11-5 pm & Dec.24 11-2 pm

Also open 11-5 pm Thursdays (except Thanksgiving)
and by Appointment plus extra days during the week through the end of
the year.


Please join me @ the studio During The20th annual Berkeley Artisans
Holiday Open Studios
A Free Self-Guided Tour of Artisan Workshops.
100 handpicked artists & craftspeople open their studios during this
annual event, 25 in our building.

I co-founded this event 20 years ago because I believed strongly in the
work of the hand and the survival of craft as an art form and a viable
Artisans not only create their work, they also create their jobs.

Hope you'll stop by.


Susan Brooks
2547 Eighth Street 24a
Berkeley, California 94710
510 845-2612





Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

"Last-minute Thanksgiving shopping can be stressful. KRON 4's Stanley Roberts was at a popular Berkeley grocery store on Wednesday and saw many shoppers get angry in the parking lot" is at with video from our Potter Creek Berkeley Bowl. It's from Robert's KRON feature "People Behaving Badly."

Myself, I've thought parking problems at our Bowl are often the product of commom-sense-challenged drivers as much as design flaws or over-crowding.

But KDFC-FM, 102.1, has beautiful and varied, tastefull holiday music.

end Miscellaneous Ramblings




post from the past


There is a God and She loves old Jews

Lipofsky at a Chicago deli with a bagel, cream cheese, tomato, onion, and lox


end post from the past



"Worthington and Arreguin Supporters Celebrate Victory" by Steven Finacom at our Planet.

"Re-building a progressive coalition in Berkeley, and enjoying a sense of accomplishment after beating back an election attack orchestrated by Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, seemed the informal themes of a post-election victory party organized by Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin on Monday, November 15, 2010.

By my count, nearly 150 people showed up to the early evening gathering in the patio of the Bateau Ivre restaurant on Telegraph Avenue. Scores stood outdoors in the Daylight Savings darkness and unseasonably warm weather to congratulate the winners, while volunteers passed out donation envelopes .

Near the beginning of the event Worthington introduced a previously unannounced guest, Oakland Mayor-elect Jean Quan. She was met with cheers.

'I had to come today because Kriss Worthingon has been one of those people you can count on as always being there', Quan told the crowd."




"Which Shipping Company is Kindest to Your Packages?" is asked at
"We mailed a bunch of sensors on an epic journey to find out which shipping company is the most careful with your packages. Here's what we found."



"Field guides help identify garden pests" by Joe Eaton and Ron Sullivan at

"What's bugging your garden - and is it a pest or a protector? Good field guides will help you find out."





"Cal player's imprint left on and off field" by Jonathan Okanes at

"When Derrick Hill returned from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in 2006, one of the first things the Oakland native did was hop on BART and get off at the Downtown Berkeley station. Hill had announced his commitment to play football at Cal during the high school all-star game and figured he should become more familiar with the town he was about to call home.

'I just walked around and it felt like somewhere I needed to be,' Hill said.

As it turned out, the Berkeley community needed Hill just as much, if not more."








Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings


Today is 900 GRAYSON owner Chris Sulnier's daughter, Margot's birthday.

After 25 years, I've had my first mediocre meal at Juan's. Juan's food has always been ordinary in the best sense of the word. Nothing fancy but always the same, hot, fresh and alot. Last week's was luke-warm of small portion, served on a cold plate and with a glass of flat beer.

Our Bowl is selling Christmas trees.


A city worker was clearing leaves from sewer-openings early yesterday morning.

Around 9 AM yesterday morning there was a police action on San Pablo just south of Caffe Trieste--three black and whites and more officers.


If you want to find something in past Scrambled Eggs go to Google search plus your key word. I've found more often than not you'll find it. For instance click on ronpenndorffrankel for stories about, links to our Berkeley PD Ofc Andrew Frankel in Scrambled Eggs & Lox.


When I was a kid in the mid-West I saw Ben Hogan play at Tam O' Shanter just outside of Chicago. I remember it still, Hogan the private man followed by a small, quiet and respectful gallery. Sam Snead was more fun to watch but my Old Man insisted we follow Hogan. Now a friend of Hogan's has written about the man she new, very different from man, we the public knew.

"Mr. Hogan, the Man I Knew" by Kris Tschetter

"An LPGA Player Looks Back on an Amazing Friendship and Lessons She Learned from Golf's Greatest Legend

Ben Hogan is known as the greatest ball striker of all time, and he was also one of the most private. These are the Hogan stories that you've never heard, stories that unlock the mystery to who he was as person.

As a collegiate golfer in the 1980's, Kris Tschetter was fortunate enough to gain membership to the prestigious Shady Oaks Country Club in Texas where Ben Hogan was a member. There was an unwritten rule at the club: Don't bother Mr. Hogan. But 18-year-old Tschetter was unaware of the spell he held over the golf world when she first passed him in the halls of Shady Oaks. Maybe it was Tschetter's work ethic, or maybe it was just her youthful enthusiasm, but Hogan noticed her practicing and offered to help her with her swing. And a unique friendship began."


"This Week with Christiane Amanpour"

"The Giving Pledge" with Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and Ted Turner, is here.


end Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings




"Cal's Memorial Stadium farewell isn't so fond" Monte Poole at

"Trudging out of this incarnation of Memorial Stadium for the last time were a stream of Cal folks, players, coaches and fans, chins to chests, looking as if they didn't believe what they had seen.

As if it all had come too suddenly -- the conclusion Saturday's game, the finality of this unremarkable season and maybe even the end of this 88-year era for the facility."




the full chart and more are here




"Willie Nelson charged with pot possession in Texas" is a story at

"A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says country singer Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas."


post from the past


Willie Nelson was busted this week. During a routine traffic stop of his bus in Louisiana, the officer found a pound of weed and some mushrooms. Willie was charged with misdemeanor possession and released. "WANTED! The Outlaws" is my favorite Willie Nelson CD--an effort with Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, check it out!

end post from the past








posts from the past


And just what is it that Albert's smoking in that pipe?


Back in The Day Selling Records on Telegraph Avenue--Holiday Sales and Bittersweet Tales

What I remember about working during the holidays at Campus Records in the '60s was that Albert didn't have central heat in the shop. Recently, when I mentioned to him that I was thinking of moving to Vermont, he reminded me that it gets really cold there and observed, perceptively; "Hell, in the shop you use to stand in front of that electric heater in Fall." I remember "the cold" more than the holiday madness.

Though I do vividly recall a late-Christmas Eve when Albert and I were selling records almost faster than we could ring them up-having begun celebrating with brandy in early afternoon we were, of course, happily drunk.

But generally the holiday rush worked against staff happiness and Albert's policy of careful attention to the customer's needs-accompanied by informed and slightly snobbish opinion. "Come back after the rush . . . and you don't want that Bernstein performance anyway," Albert would exhort.

You really couldn't take care of the customer's needs during those hectic weeks just before Christmas and I particularly remember ignoring my regulars just so I could sell pop Christmas albums to last minute shoppers.

Of course, the entire staff were non-believers-and cultural elitists-but that didn't stop us from aggressively selling those popular holiday albums. Mitch Miller Sing Along albums sold very well and, to ourselves, we justified selling these records by working in, "He's a classical oboist you know."

Few cared.

But much more importantly, the rush interfered with "hitting on the chicks." In these tense times of retail combat, often after a sale when you were just about to strut your music knowledge in front of some impressionable coed, Albert would bark in his best ex-infantry manner "Disengage!"

Of course he was much more understanding in ordinary times and only when he was fighting with Connie, his wife, would he so explode. It was during one of those times that the famous "Play Boy" incident occurred.

Campus Records was located behind Campus Smoke Shop-also owned by Albert-and the two shops were connected by a short, wide passage way. And at this passage way, on the Smoke Shop side, were the magazines. (Magazine profit was very small, for the there is little markup and magazine profit depends on large sales-and the return of worn, dog-eared copies could be difficult and cut dramatically into an already small profit.)

For months a fellow would come in on magazine-delivery-Thursday looking for the new "Play Boy"-not to buy, but to dog ear. Ordinarily, this just annoyed Albert. But one Thursday, after continuous phone confrontations with Connie, he'd had enough.

I can clearly see the fellow eagerly take up the new magazine and become absorbed in its pages-one can easily imagine his bliss.

But not Albert.

Albert could only imagine a difficult return and a difficult Connie. He quietly walked up next to the fellow, pulled his Zippo lighter from his pocket, and set the lower left-hand corner of the magazine on fire. The guy didn't immediately grasp what was happening-probably sensing only that his passions were hotter than he'd imagined. Eventually, forced back to reality by the flames licking his hand, he fitfully dropped the object of his reverie.

Albert stomped out the flames and I think Albert and Connie separated shortly after.

There are more tales here.


end posts from the past




"Librarian, 91, enjoys a car buff's dream job" by Alan Elias, Contra Costa Times Correspondent.

"Gazing across the car collection, the 91-year-old archivist for the Blackhawk Museum knows he's enjoying a car buff's dream job.

The Blackhawk Museum, the brainchild of Blackhawk developer and car collector Kenneth Behring, opened its doors in 1988. Now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum boasts two spacious buildings and about 100,000 square feet of upscale exhibition space that plays host to a rotating display of nearly 100 automobiles.

For the past 22 years, Jorgensen has overseen the building of the museum's modest-size research library, a collection that currently stands at approximately 100,000 publications. Many are in excellent condition, while others, including a 1904 Auto Car magazine, have covers that are a bit dog-eared and showing their age. All of them, however, provide a glimpse into the history of a machine that has changed the world.

'It probably is as good a library on old cars that you'll find anywhere,' Jorgensen said."





"Unlikely Tesla, Toyota alliance quickly results in an all-electric RAV4" by Hiroko Tabuchi at

"It was over glasses of red wine on a May evening in Palo Alto that Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, and Elon Musk, founder of the electric-vehicle startup company Tesla Motors, first talked through the particulars of a partnership they had just announced.

By the end of their chat, according to Toyoda, they had settled on at least one project: an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 sport-utility vehicle. On Wednesday, a mere six months later, the two automakers showed a prototype of an all-electric RAV4 at the Los Angeles Auto Show."



"Some vehicles defy easy classification. Take the plug-in electric Peraves E-Tracer, headed for California roads next year. Balanced on two wheels and operated with a throttle, it's similar to a motorcycle" writes Susan Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times.

" But it's also fully enclosed in a Kevlar fiberglass shell, two bucket seats, a floor-mounted brake, windows, even a windshield wiper, its interior feels more like a car - a toppled-over, traveling egg with windows all around, providing fantastic visibility.

It is, at once, an electric automobile and a motorcycle - and a prizewinner.

'It's not a hybrid. It's a hybris, a snake, a serpent with two heads,' said Roger Riedener, the Swiss chief executive who dreamed up the idea and who walked away with $2.5 million in Septemberfor winning the 2010 Automotive X-Prize Alternative Class.

Beating 127 other X-Prize entries competing to build the world's most fuel-efficient vehicle, the E-Tracer can travel more than 200 miles on a single gallon of gas equivalent and reach a potential top speed of 200 mph.

It is the only X-Prize winner scheduled to go into production. About 100 of these 'less than $100,000' vehicles will be built each year, their shells assembled in Thailand and their drivetrains installed in San Dimas at AC Propulsion, which developed its electric motor and battery system.

The target market for the E-Tracer: California, home to 'real men and women' who like a challenge, said Riedener, 53. Recently, I was given the first media test drive of this intriguing, and daring, vehicle.

My having test-ridden almost 200 motorcycles and dozens of cars was a good baseline, but I wasn't sure it was adequate preparation for a vehicle whose stats were both impressive and terrifying. The E-Tracer weighs 1,260 pounds, about three times as much as an average motorcycle. Its wheelbase is 120 inches, more than twice as long as a Harley."



"Tracer video: Susan Carpenter takes the X-Prize winner for a spin"

"Susan Carpenter writes about cars and motorcycles, and this week she kills two birds with one stone. She test-drives the E-Tracer, the X-Prize-winning electric vehicle that looks like a cross between a car and a motorcycle.

The E-Tracer beat 127 other X-Prize entries competing to build the world's most fuel-efficient vehicle. The 'cabin motorcycle' can travel more than 200 miles on a single gallon of gas equivalent and reach a potential top speed of 200 mph.





"CD rates in Berkeley, California" by Mitch Strohm at

"Shopping CD rates in Berkeley, CA, can be time consuming, especially when institutions throughout the nation seem to be offering only dismal rates to the conscientious investor. CD rates have been sinking like the Titanic, but some better-than-average yields can still be found in your area of California."








post from the past



Andrew and Kirsten's condo isn't on fire


This is the often-seen-at-night Potter Creek cloud forming at about 6:00 AM this morning. It forms up from the ground some where around Dwight and 4th. I believe it to be vaporized waste-water.



Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings

Traffic at Scrambled Eggs "almost daily page" is up 30% 2010 over 2009.

A very reliable source says there will be a Berkeley Apple Store in the old Slater & Marinoff location sooner-than-later, Patsy Slater now retirering to dog walking and volunteer work. She's hooked up with "Students Rising Above."

For a more than irreverent look at medical marijuana, Kentury Fried Chicken, and aberrations of the male anatomy check out southparkstudios medicinal-fried-chicken episode.

For what verge on mind numbing revelations watch Charle Rose conversation with film maker Charles Ferguson. They talk of Ferguson's documentary about the 2008 financial collapse, Inside Job.


end Penndorf's Miscellaneous Ramblings



"Scientists are one step closer to learning how to program cells the way other people program computers" by Tina Hesman Saey, Science News.

"Researchers led by Christina Smolke, a biochemical engineer at Stanford University, report the accomplishment in the Nov. 26 Science.
Click here to find out more!

Smolke and her colleagues created RNA devices that could rewire cells to sense certain conditions and respond by making particular proteins. Such technology might be harnessed for creating cell-based therapies and cancer-fighting treatments. Someday, scientists might also be able to flip an RNA switch to make plants more tolerant to drought or coax yeast to produce industrial chemicals.

Other researchers have reported building RNA-programming components before, but Smolke's group is the first to integrate all the pieces into a fully functional system, says Adam P. Arkin, a systems and synthetic biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. 'It's sort of like building the first functional car,' says Arkin, who was not involved in the study. 'Yeah, combustion was around and there were things that rolled, but actually putting them together' was the real breakthrough.


"Contract between UC, academic student employees challenged" in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

"A significant movement has emerged among the University of California's academic student employees to not ratify the agreement reached by UC and union negotiators two weeks ago.

On Nov. 16, after negotiating since June, representatives from UAW 2865, which represents over 12,000 teaching assistants, graduate student instructors, readers and tutors on UC campuses, reached a tentative agreement with UC on a new contract.

Union members on various campuses who are unsatisfied with the terms of the agreement started to organize a 'Vote No' campaign almost immediately.

By Monday a web site dedicated to the campaign had logged over 700 pledges to vote no on the contract."


"Novey, CA Police, Prison Union Adviser, A Political Loser This Year" is a story at

"California labor leader Don Novey placed a multimillion-dollar bet on Meg Whitman to become California's next governor and lost, says the Sacramento Bee. He played the game with other people's money. A lot of it. Now one of the state employee unions that the labor legend advised to oppose Gov.-elect Jerry Brown must negotiate a new contract with the incoming administration. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which Novey is credited with building into a political powerhouse before he retired eight years ago, is going after its former leader over a contract dispute."


"Tesla Motors stock shows strong gains since IPO" by Dana Hull,

"Doug Cheeseman of Saratoga tapped into his retirement savings to buy 700 shares of Tesla Motors early on, when it was $17 a share. On Friday, Tesla's stock closed at $35.32, just shy of Wednesday's all-time high close of $35.47.

'I wish I had more shares,' said Cheeseman, a biologist who travels the world leading wildlife safaris and who drives a blue Tesla Roadster when he is home. 'At the time I bought the 700 shares I thought "This is risky.'"Now I think that in two to three years it will be near $100 a share.'

Cheeseman is not the only one bullish about the Palo Alto-based electric-car company that began publicly trading shares June 29. Although Tesla has yet to turn a profit, several recent announcements have boosted investor confidence."



"Richmond-based ship search for ways to clean up offshore garbage patch" by Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times.

"It might be easier to clean up if the lawn chairs, water bottles and fishing nets all clumped together like a giant island of trash.

But the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is more scattered, which makes things challenging for the crew of a Richmond-based ship trying to find ways to clean up the mess."


Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from


Bay Area foreclosures from

Our City Council update is here.


Our Planning Commision update is here



You can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.


Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.


Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.


Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.


Our City of Berkeley Boards and Commissions page is here--redone and friendly.



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay are here.


Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!


All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Crooks."


Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

The original owner of all posted material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate.