Merry

Christmas

 

12/25/11

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

excerpt from His Honor Da Boz' email

Peaceful Park Evacuation 

I believe the Occupy Movement has done this country a great service, by pointing out the disparity between the very rich and the rest of us, and that the people of Berkeley largely support its message.  However, the encampment in Civic Center Park has lately become a health and safety problem.  There has been an attempted rape, arrests for having knives and a gun, and numerous fights, including an assault with a 2x4.  In addition, 3 cases of food poisoning have occurred.   

Recently, the City has told the campers that the City needs to enforce our regulations pertaining to the park health and safety.  We thank the majority of the people who have voluntarily left and hope the handful of others will follow their lead. It would be great to declare victory and move on together to realizing the important goals of equity, and of making government work for all of us.
 
I would like to thank everyone for making this a largely peaceful process and also thank our City of Berkeley staff for handling this delicate situation so very well.

Sincerely, Tom Bates

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/26/11

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

" Rise of the drone: From Calif. garage to multibillion-dollar defense industry" Peter Finn at washingtonpost.com.

"In 1980, Abraham Karem, an engineer who had emigrated from Israel, retreated into his three-car garage in Hacienda Heights outside Los Angeles and, to the bemusement of his tolerant wife, began to build an aircraft.

The work eventually spilled into the guest room, and when Karem finished more than a year later, he wheeled into his driveway an odd, cigar-shaped craft that was destined to change the way the United States wages war.

The Albatross, as it was called, was transported to the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where it demonstrated the ability to stay aloft safely for up to 56 hours - a very, very long time in what was then the crash-prone world of drones.

Three iterations and more than a decade of development later, Karem's modest-looking drone became the Predator, the lethal, remotely piloted machine that can circle above the enemy for nearly a day before controllers thousands of miles away in the southwestern United States launch Hellfire missiles toward targets they are watching on video screens.

The emergence of hunter-killer and surveillance drones as revolutionary new weapons in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in counterterrorism operations in places such as Pakistan and Yemen, has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry, much of it centered in Southern California, once the engine of Cold War military aviation.

Over the next 10 years, the Pentagon plans to purchase more than 700 medium- and large-size drones at a cost of nearly $40 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office study. Thousands more mini-drones will be fitted in the backpacks of soldiers so they can hand-launch them in minutes to look over the next hill or dive-bomb opposing forces."

 

"Female Inventors--Hedy Lamarr

'Any girl can be glamorous,' Hedy Lamarr once said. 'All she has to do is stand still and look stupid.' The film star belied her own apothegm by hiding a brilliant, inventive mind beneath her photogenic exterior. In 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, she patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time.

Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna in 1914 as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. She went to Max Reinhardt's famous acting school in Berlin during her late teens, and in 1933 she showed the world her acting skills and most of herself in the film Extase (Ecstacy), which quickly became notorious for its extensive nude scenes. The movie played in America after severe cutting, and in 1937 its leading lady went to Hollywood. Louis B. Mayer, of MGM, hired her and gave her the name Lamarr. Some people thought Hedy to be the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but as an actress she was overshadowed by heroines like Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn. In 1966, she published her autobiography, Ecstacy and Me.

Hedy Lamarr married Fritz Mandal, the first of six husbands, in 1933. During their marriage, which broke up in 1937, Madame Mandl was an institution in Viennese society, entertaining-and dazzling-foreign leaders, including Hitler and Mussolini. Her husband specialized in shells and grenades, but from the mid-thirties on he also manufactured military aircraft. He was interested in control systems and conducted research in the field. His wife clearly learned things from him, because she and her co-inventor, George Antheil, later went on to invent the torpedo guidance system that was two decades before its time.

Hedy Lamarr's co-inventor, George Antheil, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1900. His parents were from East Prussia. After studying music at what is now the Curtis Institute, in Philadelphia, he went to Europe to pursue a career as a concert pianist, heading first to Berlin and then settling in Paris in 1923. He became one of the top avante-garde composers of the time, writing and playing machinelike, 'mechanistic,' rhythmically propulsive pieces with names like Airplane Sonata, Sonata Sauvage, Jazz Sonata, and Death of Machines. His Ballet Méanique was scored for sixteen player pianos, xylophones and percussion and was first performed in Paris in June 1926, in a version that had only one player piano but also had electric bells, airplane propellers and a siren. It caused an uproar."

 

Ballet Mecanique

George Antheil

George Antheil's biography.

 

"American men, as a group, seem to be interested in only two things, money and breasts. It seems a very narrow outlook" Hedy Lamarr.

Hedy Lamarr's biography.

 

 

"Her bucket experience offers taste of heroism" Meredith May at sfgate.com.

"I don't have a bucket list - the idea of rushing to have fun before you die seems counter to living in the moment.

I have a superhero list. It includes all the skills and adventures I feel are necessary to become an elite human - one who helps the less fortunate, yet can also apply red lipstick while driving a Harley at full throttle. You know, someone who is that perfect blend of Xena the Warrior Princess and Lucille Ball.

As part of my self-improvement plan, I pulled up to the Silver Horse Winery in San Miguel. Sunset magazine was hosting a grape stomp, something that has intrigued me ever since I saw Lucy do it on TV decades ago."

 

 

 

"Stirring Up History" by Jonathan King, alumni.berkeley.edu.

"The Bancroft's Chez Panisse Archives give a soupçon of the restaurant's early days.

The inch-high Help Wanted ad was placed in a Bay Area newspaper sometime in the early 1970s by a 'small, successful, innovative Restaurant' in Berkeley seeking an 'inspired energetic CHEF to plan and cook single-entree 5-course dinners weekly, Fernand Point and Elizabeth David style.'

That scrap of newsprint, taped casually to the center of a vintage sheet of Chez Panisse notepaper, sits in a folder labeled "Staff: miscellaneous" within the Chez Panisse manuscript archives at the Bancroft Library. Possibly it's the very one that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1973. It may indeed be the one that, as foodie legend has it, brought only a handful of applicants to the kitchen at 1517 Shattuck Ave. But none were satisfactory to the overworked but committed young Alice Waters '67 and her comrades in cuisine, who'd converted the old house to a restaurant just two years earlier. Only then did an unknown Jeremiah Tower stride in, 'fix the soup' by adding salt and a bit of cream and white wine, and instantly land the job. It's been said that Tower's glittering career, the enduring reputation of Chez Panisse, indeed California cuisine itself-whatever that may prove to be when all is said and done-were all born at that historic moment."

 

 

 

"Oakley couple fill home with vintage vehicles" by Rowena Coetsee, Contra Costa Times.

"Visitors to the Gills' home won't find a spot to sit down when they first step over the threshold.

That's because Dennis and his wife, Tish, have parked their overflow motorcycles inside their Oakley house. All five of them. In the front room.

'What's a living room for if you don't use it?' said Dennis, . . ."

damn, didn't find the Wooler

under our tree yesterday morning

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"California's young farmers break traditional mold" Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"The average age of a farmer in California is creeping toward 60, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture is trying to attract newcomers to work the land.

The need is especially acute, given that experts are forecasting that the world will have to double its food supply to keep up with a booming population - growing from 7 billion people to 9 billion by 2050. California is a significant player in feeding the globe, providing 12 percent of the nation's agriculture exports."

 

 

"It is not a happy holiday for management of the Pacific Steel Casting Company" at abclocal.com.

The Berkeley business is being slapped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by a former employee over working conditions, but not all workers there think there's a problem.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on Friday in Alameda County Superior Court. It is seeking $30 million in damages for alleged violations to California work labor laws.

'It's a violation,' said Roberto Rodriguez. 'We don't feel fine, comfortable working with these kinds of violations.'

Rodriguez, with his attorney by his side, described what he called a systematic and routine disregard for California's work labor laws by his former employer, Pacific Steel Casting Company.

'It's very challenging work to have to go an extra couple of hours to have an opportunity to take 30 minutes outside in some fresh air and eat lunch,' said attorney Timothy Rumberger. 'I think it is very dangerous and certainly isn't fair to the workers.' "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTS FROM THE PAST

12/30/06

Oops, go BOOM!

"A small earthquake Thursday morning in Berkeley further strained the nerves of those waiting for the Big One, but the temblors are neither relieving stress on the Hayward fault nor acting as a precursor to a larger one, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey said" reports Doug Oakley of Times Media. Oakley writes further "Townley [chairman of Berkeley's Disaster and Fire Safety Commission] said Berkeley is in decent shape when it comes to earthquake preparedness, but residents will no doubt have to fend for themselves when the Big One hits."

Kind'a the Hobbesian scenario "Each man is the other man's wolf."

 

"New Berkeley library leader keeping eyes, ears open: Self-professed lifelong book lover wants to get handle on priorities for staff and community" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times.

 

And, "Closure of landmark book store tops list of biggest stories in 2006" writes Snapp. "A vote to impeach President Bush, the opening of a new college and a mayor who got re-elected by the largest margin in almost 40 years. These were among the biggest stories in Berkeley in 2006. But the biggest story of all was the July 10 closure of Cody's Books' iconic Telegraph Avenue store."

Well, the biggest story in Potter Creek was the opening of 900 GRAYSON?

huh, . . . maybe Sally's dining pavillion making "House Beautiful.

nooo, . . . could be Pete and Julie's "Alternate Tunings" debut on KALX: Pete and Lin's upcoming KALX radio dramas? huh, that's 2007.

Hmm, . . . could be . . .

Bob Kubik's marathon hike in the Sierras?

 

Just before Christmas, Bob sent this email to our mayor and council members

I'm a U.C. graduate in geology and a Berkeley resident
and I applaud your standing up to the University in
its attempts to continue building on top of the
Hayward fault. It is totally irresponsible of the
Regents. If they don't exibit good sense someone must
do it for them.

 

Scrambled Eggs and Lox "Toughest Guy of the Year Award" goes to John Phillips, harpsichord maker. John REALLY toughed-out late Fall, early Winter.

 

Berkeley's Paul Bertolli [former chef at Chez Panisse, now sausage maker] was mentioned in "The Economist," December 23rd 2006. In the last paragraph of a story about cured meats, "Feet in the Trough," the author writes "Bertolli, like other romantics that transform raw flesh into something melting and rich with a little more than salt, air and time, do not follow tradition for its own sake, but because it produces something extraordinarily delicious. And that tradition, like the meat it produces, is something that neither the moths nor worms can spoil."

Well, Ok then!

 

Many back-months of Scrambled Eggs are still browsed, yesterday's favorite was January/February 2003 .

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/29/11

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

"The University of California at Berkeley Bulldozes Trees and Other Vegetation at Peoples Park, Berkeley" by Mary Ann Uribe at indybay.org.

"[ Yesterday ] morning at about 7:30 a.m. the University of California at Berkeley brought in bulldozers and a work crew and tore down trees and other vegetation in a portion of Peoples Park on Haste St. This was done without notice to members of the community who use the park and, according to a University of California police officer who asked to remain anonymous, was done surreptitiously in order to avoid any confrontation or issue with the community.

A young woman from the University passed out fliers that were a sort of explanation of what was going on. The flier said 'In response to park users and neighbor concerns, we are doing maintenance work to address the rat infestation and safety issues of People's Park.'

Being Chair of the Peoples Park Forever Committee and a frequent park user, I have never been approached or told by any 'park user(s) and/[(or)] neighbor(s)' who expressed 'concern' about 'safety issues' in this portion of the park. When I asked the woman what were the 'safety issues' referred to in the flier, she said she had no idea and had no knowledge of any 'safety issues' in the Park."

 


"Mark Hawthorne -- aka Hate Man -- has made People's Park his home for 10 years" by Jane Tyska, Oakland Tribune.

"Mark Hawthorne hates you.

The former New York Times reporter, known as 'Hate Man,' has lived on the streets of Berkeley for 25 years and in People's Park for 10. He prefers living outdoors, doesn't want a home and doesn't consider himself homeless.

'I avoid the term "h-o-m-e-l-e-s-s," ' said Hawthorne, spelling it out like other words he doesn't like. 'If I didn't want a BMW, would you say I was "BMW-less?" '

Hawthorne sits on a log in the park, next to a Webster's dictionary with 'Hate Camp' scrawled across the cover, trims the filter off a Virginia Slims and lights it. Wearing layers of black clothing with safety pins attached, floppy hat and fingerless gloves, he sips cold black coffee from a bottle festooned with colored plastic strips. He doesn't drink alcohol or do drugs.

Hate got his name from espousing his philosophy of 'oppositionality' in a tiny corner of People's Park. His theory is that if people are honest with each other when they're opposite, they'll start to feel safe with each other.

'For me to trust a person and be comfortable with them, they have to be willing to say " I hate you," ' Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne, 75, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Stamford, Conn. He served in the Air Force and also the Peace Corps, where he spent time living in Thailand. He spent 10 years at the Times, beginning in 1961 as a copy boy and working his way up to general assignment reporter.

Hawthorne and Mom

from the Oakland Tribune

'I was normal for 35 years,' Hawthorne said. "

 

 

 

 

"Oakland's Reins Blister a Mayor Raised on Protest" James Dao at nytimes.com.

"Days after Jean Quan was elected mayor in the fall of 2010, the Oakland police put a wheel clamp on her silver Prius while it was parked outside City Hall. She cursed her husband for not paying the family's parking tickets and braced for the embarrassing news articles.


So it began: the rookie year from hell. In May, the city attorney quit, lambasting City Hall as being corrupt. In October, the police chief followed suit, complaining about micromanagement. In November, voters rejected a tax that Ms. Quan had advocated to help fix a budget shortfall. December brought new talk that all three of Oakland's professional sports teams might leave for fancier digs.

But the problem that has really besieged Ms. Quan, the first woman and first Asian-American to be the city's mayor, has been the Occupy Oakland movement, which in October turned a grassy plaza in front of City Hall into a muddy staging ground for anticorporate protest."

 

"Northern California Fishing Report" at mercurynews.com.

"Berkeley: Tuesday was the first day without limits of crab. It was half-limits of crab and full limits of rock cod. Rock cod season ends Saturday. "

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/30/11

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

"Christmas crackdown on fireplaces yields 400 complaints; New Year's may be next" by Mike Rosenberg at contracostatimes.com.

"The Bay Area's air-quality police were out in force over Christmas weekend, cracking down on wood fires. And the smoke cops could be sending out belated stocking stuffers -- hefty fines -- to several dozen people caught using their fireplaces.
Regulators said more than 400 people tattled on their neighbors for lighting wood fires in their homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a holiday tradition that was illegal this year because of poor air quality."

 

 

"US police fatalities up 13 percent in 2011 to 173" Greg Bluestein, AP reporter.

"One Oregon police chief was killed when a man allegedly took the officer's gun and shot him in the head. A policeman in Arizona was fatally shot when he went to a suburban Phoenix apartment complex to help a probation officer. And two South Dakota officers were killed in a shootout after a traffic stop.

The number of fatalities from departments across the country caused by firearms made 2011 one of the deadliest years in recent history for U.S. law enforcement.

Across the nation, 173 officers died in the line of duty, up 13 percent from 153 the year before, according to numbers as of Wednesday compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund."

 

 

 

"Overturning of Prop. 13 sought in lawsuit" Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Proposition 13, which revolutionized government financing in California by slashing property taxes and erecting new barriers to other state and local tax increases, was upheld by the state Supreme Court soon after it passed in 1978, seemingly ending all questions about its legality.

But a team of lawyers headed by a former federal appeals court judge has sued to overturn a crucial provision of Prop. 13 - the requirement of a two-thirds legislative vote to raise state taxes."

 

 

 

 

 

"Growing wealth widens distance between lawmakers and constituents" Peter Whoriskey at washingtonpost.com.

"One day after his shift at the steel mill, Gary Myers drove home in his 10-year-old Pontiac and told his wife he was going to run for Congress.

The odds were long. At 34, Myers was the shift foreman at the "hot mill" of the Armco plant here. He had no political experience and little or no money, and he was a Republican in a district that tilted Democratic.

But standing in the dining room, still in his work clothes, he said he felt voters deserved a better choice.

Three years later, he won.

When Myers entered Congress, in 1975, it wasn't nearly so unusual for a person with few assets besides a home to win and serve in Congress. Though lawmakers on Capitol Hill have long been more prosperous than other Americans, others of that time included a barber, a pipe fitter and a house painter. A handful had even organized into what was called the 'Blue Collar Caucus.'

But the financial gap between Americans and their representatives in Congress has widened considerably since then, according to an analysis of financial disclosures by The Washington Post."

 

 

"Congressional net worth more than doubles since 1984" a photo gallery feature at washingtonpost.com that includes our Nancy Pelosi.

"The 25 members of Congress with the highest net worth in 2010, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics based on disclosures filed by the lawmakers."

 

"Nancy Pelosi Would Like To 'Retire Right Now,' According To Her Daughter, Alexandra"

by Jon Bershad at mediaite.com.

 

At an estimated worth of 190 mil she can afford it. "Her people" deny the story.

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTS FROM THE PAST

12/25/07

Ron Faich, college-roomate at Madison and old-time friend emails

2008 Contract

After serious & cautious consideration.....your contract of
friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008!

It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up!

 

Ron also provides some of the best non-Berkeley photos used in Scrambled Eggs

 

 

A crew spent all yesterday trimming and cleaning the French School facility on 8th and Grayson.

 

 

"Dragon tale: Edward's day of giving" is a Times' story by Sarah Wilson

"Edward was a very young dragon who made his home in a cozy grove of pine trees. The trees were on a rocky hill near a small town. And since he -- like all young dragons -- ate rocks for dinner and pebbles for snacks -- he was quite happy."

 

"Americans' credit card debt surges: Specialists say problem is partly a byproduct of mortgage crisis and could spell trouble for economy" report the AP's Rachel Konrad and Bob Porterfield.

"Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the past year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country's largest card issuers found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.

Experts say that these signs of the deterioration of many households' finances are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for an already sputtering economy.

'Debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it starts with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa,' said Cliff Tan, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and an expert on credit risk. 'We're starting to see leaks now.'

The value of credit card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent from a year earlier to $17.3 billion in October at 17 large credit card trusts examined by the AP. That represented more than 4 percent of the total outstanding principal balances owed to the trusts on credit cards that were issued by banks such as Bank of America and Capital One and for retailers such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

At the same time, defaults -- when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt -- rose 18 percent in October to almost $961 million, according to filings made by the trusts with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

 

Zo , . . . check out the enormous dollar store--The Dollar Tree-- on Shattuck one block north of Dwight--it's on the north-west corner. The address is 2440 Shattuck.

 

 

 

 

 

12/26/07

"Oscar Peterson was widely considered one of jazz's greatest pianists" reports BBC News.

"As a child, Oscar Peterson - who has died at the age of 82 - began learning to play the trumpet, but a bout of tuberculosis caused him to switch to the piano.

This proved to be a blessing, since he was to become one of the most popular virtuoso jazz pianists.

He made more than 200 albums and won eight Grammy awards, including a lifetime achievement honour in 1997.

His hallmark was the capacity to play at lightning speed, while maintaining the ability to swing. What's more, he could play in a variety of jazz styles."

 

 

Last night--12/25/07--between 6:30 PM and 7:00PM my dark-blue 1979 Toyota 4X4 was stolen from my driveway. It was locked and parked in my fully-lighted-drive. Its license number is 1U51703. It is in excellent condition with some paint chipping here and there and with 210,00 miles.
Any information should forwarded to Berkeley PD Auto Theft at 981-5738.
Sadly, it took Berkeley PD two-hours to respond to my call. I reported the theft at roughly 7:10 and an officer arrived about 9:15 PM. The officer was courteous, efficient, well-informed and young. Congrats on all that!

 

Council Woman, Linda Maio emails

Sorry to hear this Ron. Very sorry.
Linda

 

I've received quite a few email saying how sorry the writers are. Well, Ok . . . now what are we going to do about it?

 

Andy Kruse emails

Ron- We are sorry to hear about your truck. I will forward your email throughout L.J. Kruse Co. We'll keep our eyes open for you.

Andy

 

A reader emails from Albuqerque, NM

Sorry to learn about this, Ron. . . . I looked at the crime
map for your zipcode, and was distressed to see how crime-ridden your
area is. I know you're very attached to the neighborhood, the
people, history, etc., but with the crime and bad air quality, have
you considered relocating . . . Just a thought. With my lungs harmed from 47 years of
smoking, there's no way I could tolerate the air you live in. . . . Also, while we have crime,
it's nothing like what you have there.

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/31/11

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

"Fire Burns CA Homes, Apparatus Damaged" at fireengineering.com.

"A fire spread quickly and caused heavy damage to two homes in the hills of Berkeley, California, last night at approximately 8:30 p.m. PT., according to a report from NBC Bay Area News."

 

 

"Chihuahua lost 5 years ago is returned to family" by J M Brown, Oakland Tribune.

"A California family got the best - and most belated - Christmas present this year, one that has really put them in the mood to ring in the new year.

Ann and Craig Magnussen and their two teenage daughters were reunited two days before Christmas with a Chihuahua they lost five years ago. The dog named Taz showed up in the parking lot of the Berkeley Bowl supermarket in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 23, a bit dirty and disheveled."

END

 

 

January 2012 here

 

 

 

from my log

12/25/11--Spare the Air Day--9:04AM--dry burning air in front room, mucus membrane irritation, odor. 11:08 AM--irritant in front room. 11:35 AM--dry burning air in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor. 5:17 PM--"burning gas" odor in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor, rf.6:00 PM--similar. 6:17 PM--"unburned natural gas " odor in warehouse front.

12/26/11--Spare the Air Day--7:34 AM--dirty dry air, "burning gas" odor in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dirty industrial hydrogen? 8:02 AM--irritant in front room, dry dirty air. 8:06 AM--light head, headache.

12/28/11---Spare the Air Day--7:49 AM--lights flicker. 8:00 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.

12/29/11--7:32 AM--dry burning air in front room, mucus membrane irritation,"epoxy/asbestos/hot roofing tar" odor.

12/30/11--7:12 AM----irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, "burning gas" odor .