late Fall sunset at Stinson

a Tameka Lim photo



"Pollution report on schools concerns Berkeley" writes Chip Johnson in the Chronicle.

"In the environmentally conscious Bay Area, concerns about poor air quality - or a toxic emergency - are usually associated with the oil refineries just up the East Bay shoreline in the industrial cities of Richmond, Rodeo and Martinez.

So it came as a shock last week when USA Today published a report that included three Berkeley schools in the top 1 percent among the nation's most at-risk sites for exposure to toxic air emissions.

The national newspaper identified Black Pine Circle School, Via Center and Nihaus School among the worst 400 sites in an eight-month study that looked at more than 127,000 schools nationwide. Oddly enough, the Rosa Parks Elementary School, which sits next door to Black Pine, was listed in the nation's 6th percentile group.

While some dispute the newspaper's findings, the report has caused a stir."

stir, schmer.

For over a decade now, I've maintained west-Berkeley's urban-air isn't reeeal good.


"GlaxoSmithKline, Dynavax agree to $800M drug development deal" reports the Triangle Business Journal.

"GlaxoSmithKline has signed a drug development deal with a California company that could be worth as much as $800 million.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), which has U.S. headquarters in the Triangle, says it will pay $10 million upfront to Dynavax Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: DVAX) of Berkeley, Calif.

In addition, Glaxo will work with Dynavax to develop drugs in four separate programs. Dynavax could receive as much as $200 million per program in milestone payments during development and commercialization, and the California company would receive royalties on sales of any drugs.

In return, GSK gets the rights to license the Dynavax drugs from the development programs, which are targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis."

Dynavax is on 7th Street here in Potter Creek.


"Prime West Berkeley Property Headed for the Marketplace" is a story by Richard Brenneman in our Planet.

"Berkeley's largest private development site-8.2 acres adjacent to Aquatic Park-is coming on the market, and the owners want the city to ease the rules.

Their target market would be startup companies created to commercialize technology developed at UC Berkeley and the lab that gave the United States its Secretary of Energy."

I'm told by a reliable source that the present owner of this site bought it for around 2 million dollars decades ago at auction--he out bid Rich Robbins for the property. The most recent talked about price--a while ago--was about 21 million.


I'm also told that rents of some of the established retail tenants on Fourth Street have been reduced and that this is spreading through west-Berkeley as wholesalers and manufactures are not able to meet their monthly obligations because of falling sales--some as much as 30-40 percent.




"Henry's tweaks pub grub in Berkeley" is an appreciation by Carol Ness in the Chronicle.

"The modern-day elevation of 'bar and grill' to 'gastropub' is a good thing, especially if you're into beer and wide-screen TVs - but you want your burger grass-fed and lemongrass on french fries.

Henry's, the longtime hangout of Cal frat types and Golden Bears fans near the UC Berkeley campus, made the leap this year, under the new ownership of restaurateur Chip Conley and his Joie de Vivre company.

Joie de Vivre owns dozens of hotels and restaurants in California, including Cortez and Americano in San Francisco and the recently opened Miss Pearl's Jam House in Oakland's Jack London Square. After buying the Hotel Durant, the firm renovated from top to bottom.

The cavernous Henry's Publick House, with its dingy wood-paneled walls, gave way to Henry's the gastropub. A zinc bar top replaced the bronze; the original bar has been polished to a warm gleam. Seven wide-screen TVs carry sports; a large chalkboard tracks the viewing schedule, and the place fills up on fall Saturdays for Cal Bears football.

The adjacent 45-seat dining room got a makeover too. Gone are the carpet and clubby wood paneling, in favor of a tile floor, wallpaper and booths in shades of creamy mustard and gray-blue.

Chef Eddie Blyden was brought in to elevate the menu, fresh from stints at three San Francisco gastropubs, the 21st Amendment, the Alembic and Magnolia Pub. He brought along his Caribbean-meets-West African-meets-California style, along with some of his signature dishes, including jerk chicken."


"As Obama's Energy Chief, Steven Chu Likely to Shift Agency's Focus to Renewables" is a report by Kent Garber at usnews.com.

"When Steven Chu, named by Barack Obama to be his energy chief, arrived at California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2004 to take over as lab director, he had a plan for his new colleagues: focus their research on pressing energy issues, particularly climate change.

'Steve said, "Let's apply some of our skills to problems of importance to society," ' says physicist James Siegrist, the lab's associate director for general sciences. 'He's taken chemists, material scientists, environmental guys, and tech guys and really focused them, redirected them, on national energy problems.' "


"China's internet 'spin doctors'" is a story at BBC NEWS by Michael Bristow

"Controlling views expressed on the internet is a challenge for authorities

"China is using an increasing number of paid 'internet commentators' in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion.

These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news - and then negate it.

They post comments on websites and forums that spin bad news into good in an attempt to shape public opinion.
Chinese leaders seem aware that the internet - the only public forum where views can be freely expressed - needs close attention.

China's Communist Party leaders have long sought to sway public opinion by controlling what the media can report.
That policy was extended to the internet, and many websites are blocked by a system sometimes dubbed the 'great firewall of China '". 




"Window-Smashing Burglar Sought by Berkeley Police" is a report in our Planet.

"Berkeley police said today that they have a person of interest and a vehicle of interest in connection with seven daytime "window-smash" burglaries, and one attempted burglary, at homes in northwest and north central Berkeley in the last 10 days.

Police spokesman Andrew Frankel said the person of interest is a white female about 30 to 36 years old who is about 5 feet 6 inches tall with long straight black or dark brown hair.

A community member who saw the woman said she was wearing a trench coat and had a "weathered" appearance, according to Frankel.

He said the vehicle of interest is a gray, GMC-style van with a bicycle rack on the back.

Frankel said police don't know at this point if the woman is actually responsible for any of the burglaries or if she had any accomplices.

However, detectives are attributing the burglaries to the same suspect or suspects, he said." 



Pete's Potter Creek rain gauge shows

Sunday thru Monday AM, .95 of an inch. Monday thru Tuesday AM .65 of an inch.

Pete adds that this is the first serious rain since November 2-4. Then we had 2.75 inches.


Has our BFD Station 1, our station, been temporarily closed?













"Barack Obama's energy and environment team should aim for U.S. leadership on climate change" opines the Washington Post.



"Garfield's Deandre Coleman commits to California" is a report by the Seattle Times staff.

"Deandre Coleman, Garfield High School's all-state defensive tackle, has made a verbal commitment to play football for California, according to rivals.com, a recruiting Web site."



"Oprah Boosts Amazon Kindle to $1,500 as Shoppers Seek Hot Gift" is a story by Joseph Galante at bloombergnews.com.

"Brian Bird had just received Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle electronic-book reader from his girlfriend as a gift. That
didn't stop him from selling it to someone else.

With the Kindle in short supply and asking prices on the Internet at twice the device's $359 retail price or more, he got his girlfriend's permission and found a buyer on Craigslist willing to pay $500.

'People who want to give it as a holiday gift have to pay a premium to get it in time,' said Bird, 27, a salesman for an Internet company in Redwood City, California. 'If the existing one can be sold at a
profit and I can buy the new version when it comes out in two or three months, then it's worth the effort.'

Stoked by an Oprah Winfrey endorsement in October, the Kindle quickly sold out. With Christmas a week away, used Kindles are listed on EBay, Craigslist and Amazon.com's second-hand product site for as
much as $1,500."

Donny Yost hipped this webpage to the Kindle over a year ago!





"Capitola man who allegedly stalked researchers to appear in court" is a story by Jennifer Squires - Sentinel Staff Writer.

" A Capitola man pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges he made threatening phone calls to two UC San Francisco scientists who perform research on animals.

For one week in September 2007, Justin Bhagat Thind, 33, reportedly called the researchers, both of whom live in San Mateo County, incessantly, and told them they would suffer the same way the animals
suffered, according to Steve Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney in San Mateo County.

Thind also faces similar charges in Marin County, where three other UCSF researchers he allegedly harassed live.

In San Mateo County, Thind had been charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor, and was scheduled to go to trial in February.

However, during a pretrial conference Tuesday afternoon, Thind took a plea deal that carries a punishment of up to six months in jail."


In fact, our BFD Station No 1 has been closed as part of BFD's rotating closures.













"The bargain brigade: Three savvy readers search for great wine deals" is a story by Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Readers from far and wide responded to our friendly wine competition: 'Think you're a bargain-hunting master?' Around this time of year we usually blitz our readers with our bargain wine picks. Instead, we decided to let you show us the art of the deal."



"Obama's science appointees called a team of all-stars:Accomplished and outspoken, they're likely to tackle climate change head-on" is a report by Peter N. Spotts in the Christian Science Monitor.'

Call it the "green team' or the 'dream team.' Either way, President-elect Barack Obama's choices to fill top science and environment-related posts in his new administration represent a remarkable assembly of talent.

With his picks well in hand, Mr. Obama is positioned to reverse what many see as eight years of sluggish action in the US and internationally on global warming. The picks also boost the prospects for wider use and further development of alternative energy sources. And the nominees ­ particularly those who come directly out of the science community ­ are expected to be strong advocates for erasing political interference with government research.

Many groups have sent the transition team a list of actions Obama could take to achieve the goals during the first 100 days, most of which could be accomplished by executive order."


"Reshaping Solar: Growth Expected Despite Economy" Elisa Wood writes at renewableenergyworld.com.

"Tax credits, new trends and independent companies are spurring a solar surge. Elisa Wood reports from San Diego, USA, on the growing consumer interest in solar energy, despite the financial crisis."


"The cleaning of California's air" opines our Times.

"On one day recently, California air regulators ushered in a new climate plan that puts the emissions hammer down on state utilities, refineries and large factories. Then, the next day, the state adopted the toughest diesel emission standards for trucks and buses in the nation. So much for that tough economy standing in the way of cleaning our air.

The state Air Resources Board is now holding the worst polluters accountable for heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which if met, will change the way you travel, the way utilities produce power and the way businesses use electricity. The board outlined how individuals and businesses would meet a landmark 2006 law that mandates the state would cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

A total of 31 new rules affecting virtually all facets of life were adopted with the belief that one day Californians will see more efficient public transportation, housing near schools and businesses, and utility rebates for homes that become more energy efficient, among other things.

The air board followed that with new diesel rules where, starting in 2011, accelerates the replacement of thousands of polluting trucks and buses that are not as clean as newer models with federally-mandated emissions standards.
Obviously, the board felt despite a global financial crisis and a state budget deficit projected to surpass $41 billion by 2010, the process has to begin to make good on the 2006 law called the Global Warming Solutions Act."


"Landscape is the home: David Stark Wilson" is an appreciation by Eve Kushner, Special to the Chronicle.

"Craggy mountains and curving rivers can inspire any of us. But it's rare for such inspirations to drive design work, as is the case for David Stark Wilson, founder of the Berkeley design-build firm WA Design.

He says he tends not to recognize how nature has influenced his imagination until years after the fact. That is, he doesn't start a design by contemplating fantastic sights in nature. And when he sketches the elevation of a house, he doesn't attempt to mimic the lines of a jagged peak. The site, the topography, the sun direction, the wind and other concrete issues drive the design. Then, at some point down the road, he realizes that natural shapes have found their way into his work. Wilson grew up in Berkeley and has been an avid backpacker and photographer since his teens. Now 47, he spends about six weeks a year in nature, often with camera in hand. His mountain photographs appear in his new book, "Above All: Mount Whitney and California's Highest Peaks" (Heyday Books), along with text by Steve Roper."




"Siddoway Headed to Berkeley" is a report by Chris Fetters at recruiting.scout.com.
"Sheldon offensive tackle Charles Siddoway has made his selection and will be a California Golden Bear following a number of other Oregon recruits who have made that choice in recent years; including starting quarterback Kevin Riley of Beaverton, Ore. The No. 19 OT in the country confirmed to Scout.com Saturday that he will be heading to Berkeley to play his college football."



"Miami QB to miss Emerald Bowl against Cal" reports Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Cal practiced Thursday after a three-day break for final exams, but it wasn't quite as eventful a return as it was for Emerald Bowl opponent Miami. Hurricanes starting quarterback Robert Marve was suspended for the Dec. 27 game at San Francisco's AT&T Park for an academic violation.

Miami newspapers are reporting that the suspension is based on a team rule that makes a player ineligible if he misses four or more classes. Marve's father, Eugene, told the Miami Herald that his son will not transfer, a rumor that had been swirling."


our Tameka Lim





"WBC #11 ranked super bantamweight Ana 'The Hurricane' Julaton is currently in training, but not for a professional boxing match" reports 15rounds.com.

"Julaton (4-1-1, 1 KO) of Daly City, California is currently preparing for her final exam to earn a Bok-Fu Black Belt. Bok-Fu is a style of Kenpo Karate which combines aspects of Chinese Kung Fu and Japanese Fu.

Julaton, who has an extensive Taekwondo background, gravitated to the Bok-Fu style because of its focus on aggressive self defense. 'The whole idea is that you never want to start a fight, but if a fight finds you, you want to put your whole self forward,' says Julaton. While working late shifts and going to school, Julaton began learning Bok-Fu at the WestWind School in Berkeley, California. On December 31st Julaton will aim to become a member of the select fraternity to earn Bok-Fu Black Belts. 'In the over forty-year history of Bok-Fu, there have been less than one hundred Black Belts,' says Julaton. According to calculations, a student testing for the Bok-Fu Black Belt must perform no less than 14,000 carefully orchestrated steps in a two-hour time period." 




"Weighing odds on Golden Gate Fields' future" Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Golden Gate Fields - the last major racetrack in Northern California - could be putting up a for-sale sign as its financially struggling parent company is forced to pay off big loans by the end of next year.

The unknown status of the racetrack has stoked a decades-long local debate over the fate of the prime piece of real estate along the Albany waterfront.

Magna Entertainment informed investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month that it has agreed to a plan that would pay off debts totaling tens of millions of dollars, including using 'commercially reasonable efforts to sell or enter into joint ventures in respect of its assets, including its core racetrack assets.'
Golden Gate Fields is one of the company's 10 thoroughbred or standardbred racetracks - including Santa Anita Park, Florida's Gulfstream Park and Maryland's Pimlico Race Course, which hosts the second jewel of the Triple Crown every May.

It's unclear whether the Albany track would be among those put on the block, and if so, be sold as a racetrack business or simply as real estate."




"State jobless rate at 14-year high" is a report by Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"California's unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent in November, its highest level in 14 years, as employers cut 41,700 payroll jobs, according to a report issued Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

November's figure was up from 8.2 percent in October, evidence of the deepening recession that continues to hit California harder than the rest of the nation.  . . .     

Berkeley resident Phil Catalfo, who lost a magazine editing job 18 months ago, recently experienced the EDD's congestion. He said he filed an online application, made three phone calls that got busy signals and received two erroneous denials before finally learning last week that he was indeed eligible for extended unemployment benefits.

'It's not just that the system is chaotic, but you get contradictory information,' said Catalfo, 57, who says this is the longest period of unemployment in his life."



"Madoff scam hits Jewish charities hard" reports the AP. "The Hebrew word for charity is 'tzedakah.' But it means something more, too: doing the righteous thing.

Many of the investors allegedly swindled by Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff are, like him, Jewish, and for many of them, contributing to Jewish causes is a crucial part of their culture. The effect of their losses on the Jewish philanthropic world is being seen as nothing less than catastrophic."



"Berkeley apartment body found in coffin" reports Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"A body was found in a makeshift coffin behind a false wall in a Berkeley apartment building two days after a 60-year-old man shot and killed himself there in front of police, authorities said Thursday.

Police believe the body may be the adult son of the man who committed suicide, Hassan Bin Ali, sources close to the case said.

Ali shot himself in the head with a handgun shortly before 6 p.m. Monday as officers arrived to investigate reports of an argument at the building at 2235 Ashby Ave.

Judging from the advanced state of decomposition, the body in the coffin had been hidden for some time, authorities said. How the person died has not been established, and police are treating the case as suspicious, said Officer Andrew Frankel, Berkeley police spokesman."




"Russia rewriting Josef Stalin's legacy:Archives on dictator seized from human-rights group Memorial" is a story by Alex Rodriguez, Tribune correspondent.
"Stalin making a comeback.

At first, the purpose behind the midday raid at a human-rights group's office here was murky. Police, some clad in masks and camouflage, cut the electricity to Memorial's offices and demanded to know if any drugs or guns were kept on the premises.

Five hours later, after police had opened every computer and walked out with 11 hard drives, the reason for their visit became clear to Memorial Director Irina Flige.

On the hard drives, a trove of scanned images and documents memorialized Josef Stalin's murderous reign of terror. Diagrams scrawled out by survivors detailed layouts of labor camps. There were photos of Russians executed by Stalin's secret police, wrenching accounts of survival from gulag inmates and maps showing the locations of mass graves.

'They knew what they were taking,' Flige said. 'Today, the state tries to reconstruct history to make it appear like a long chain of victories. And they want these victories to be seen as justifying Stalin's repressions.'

Stalin, the brutal Soviet dictator responsible for the deaths of millions of his citizens, has been undergoing a makeover of sorts in recent years. Russian authorities have reshaped the Georgia-born dictator's image into that of a misunderstood, demonized leader who did what he had to do to mold the Soviet Union into the superpower it became."













"Berkeley Schools Top Bad Air Quality List" reports Kristin McFarland in our Planet.

"Last week's USA Today report that placed three Berkeley schools in the first percentile of schools with bad air quality has activists, community members and school directors in an uproar.

The report studied industrial pollution outside 127,800 nationwide schools for eight months. Thirty-nine Berkeley schools made the list, all within the worst 55 percent. The Black Pine Circle School, the Via Center and the Nia House Learning Center, all located in West Berkeley, were in the first percentile, meaning that the air outside
the schools is worse at only 377 other schools around the country. Berkeley High fell in the eighth percentile, with worse air at only 9,722 schools.

Since the article's publication, the issue has received wide media coverage with all involved parties pointing fingers at probable causes. For many, it's one more example of the health hazards caused by Pacific Steel Casting Company; for some, it's a sign that the Berkeley government should take a more active role in improving its own environment. . . .

. . . the USA Today study was more comprehensive than any study to date because it included levels of manganese and other metals. The study, he said, was not conducted by 'people running around with test kits,' as Pacific Steel representatives have suggested to other publications, but with science approved by the air-
monitoring district.

However, Larson also said that the study's results are limited because it monitored the air quality for only eight months of the year; with a longer study, more schools might have made the list because of changes in the prevailing winds. . . .

California Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has called for government action in monitoring the air quality at schools."


from my log

12/1/08--10:42 AM--"burning gas" odor in front room, leave. 12/2/08--6:31 PM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, cough, short breath, wear mask. 6:55 PM "burning
natural gas" odor in front room. 12/3/08--1:06 PM--ganja odor in front room. 1:45 PM--irritant in front room, dry eyes, dry mouth, "heavy"air, leave. 12/4/08--6:51 PM--"burning natural gas" odor in front room, cough,
nose runs, eyes tear. 12/5/08--7:16 PM--"heavy air" in warehouse, short breath, dry eyes,
dry mouth. 12/6/08--1:42 PM--serious IRRITANT in front room, cough, eyes burn. ~ 7:00 PM "heavy air" in warehouse front. 12/7/08--3:42 AM--STRONG "BURNING NATURAL GAS" odor immediately in
front of warehouse. ~6:00 AM--"burning natural gas" odor in warehouse, air out. 12/11/08--10:30 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, cough, burning eyes, mouth. 12/12/08--8:45 AM--irritant in front room, light head, dry eyes, dry mouth. 12:38 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, light head, nausea, chills, wear mask. 2:45 PM--irritant in front roomdry lips, dry eyes. 12/13/08--1:10 PM: warehouse filled with "burning gas" odor, air out. ~7:00--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room. 12/21/08--5:52 PM--"burning gas" odor IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse and in warehouse front, cough.


My log is kept in a building not one hundred feet from the École Bilingue playground and a couple hundred feet from their classrooms. Immediately adjacent to this building is Ben and Natalie's home. And Pete and Geralyn's home, where Geralyn has slept on the living room floor because of irritant in their bedroom, is immediately behind this building.

(Last week, Natalie's school had Pajama Day. Most kids came in their pajamas but only one staff wore hers--Natalie's old second grade teacher.)

Potter Creek's French School was not mentioned in any west-Berkeley school air quality reports that I have read about.



Here is the full report. Check it out!



"Toxic air and Americas schools" is a Special Report on USA Today.

Our French School was apparently monitored at the 9th and Heinz campus.

Here are the results.

E Bay French/Amer/Ecole Biling.

National Rank 25th percentile

(So, 75 % of the schools monitored had better air.)

31,506 of 127,800 schools have worse air.

Exposure to cancer-causing toxics
Ranked 5 of 10

Exposure to other toxic chemicals
Ranked 3 of 10


More and a School Finder here.



How to clean up our west-Berkeley air!

Step one: Watch all the seasons of The Wire.

Step two: Re-watch all the seasons of The Wire.

Step three: Check back here in three to four weeks. It'll take that long to watch and rewatch The Wire.




"Desert wind blows health risks from Calif mines" is an AP report at enews.earthlink.net.

"Heaps of toxic mine waste rise like church steeples over this wind-swept desert town, threatening the health of
residents and of thousands of off-road bikers.

Tests on dust samples have revealed some of the highest arsenic levels in the country - as much as 460,000 times the level deemed safe by the federal government.




"Two professors from the University of California, Berkeley released a study last month that could spell bad news for those who invest and live in many of California's most popular areas" reports nuwireinvestor.com.

"According to the California Climate Risk and Response" report, $2.5 trillion of real estate is at risk from global warming and extreme weather conditions, including wildfires, droughts, heat waves, Pacific storms and a rise in sea level.

Unfortunately, the majority of this damage is expected to hit some of California's premier tourist destinations, including its ski resorts, beach communities, and state and national parks and forests, which puts an additional $98 billion-worth of assets at risk.If no measures are taken to combat or prepare for these ever-increasing conditions, they could cost California's government, insurance industry and property owners anywhere from $300 million to
$3.9 billion a year in damages. The tourism and recreation industries could experience $200 million to $7.5 billion a year in damages."




"California poised to be top state in Obama's D.C." is a report atmlive.com

"Forget Illinois: California is poised to be the top dog in Obama-era Washington.

With roughly a half-dozen Cabinet and key administrative appointees and a powerhouse congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the other end of Pennsylvania Ave., California is shaping up to be the new Texas, the alpha state whose cultural and policy making influence was inescapable through most of the last eight



I just heard a early cut of Pete's KALX production about the Holiday's. It is the next Barrow Basement Radio Theater broadcast. The episode about the Jewish mother in the Chinese restaurant with her college-age son is fall-down funny.that and more will be broadcast on KALX-FM at 9PM Tuesday, January 6th.












this time of year is

for kids




Potter Creek gardens on a Christmas past



Richmond Ramblers' Cliff Miller emails

10 eating Tips for the Holidays

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has lots of calories in every sip?It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas.

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8.Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat -- have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all costs. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.


900 GRAYSON is open December 26th and December 27th with their Brunch menu












Eternally useful links


Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com


Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com

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 www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ 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 gasbuddy.com

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 area.com 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 new Area Coordinator is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Angela Gallegos-Castillo, City Mgr Off - 981-2491 agallegos-castillo@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us


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