Monday, September 28, 2009


I used to hate the fog and dreary gray mornings. A few summers in heat and humidity changed me. Now I love the foggy mornings which mean cooler weather. If I wanted to live in mid west heat and humidity or Fresno type summers I would move there. Many times during the winter our house on the hill is in sun while the valley below is in fog. Our house passively solar heats when the sun is out which is nice in the winter but sometimes too warm in the summer. Yard work days are scheduled for foggy mornings but only if the yard work absolutely has to be done. The sun does keep the solar panels going. They even work on cloudy days and this year we have produced $152 worth of electricity for PG & E and are keeping our bills around zero.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is is getting warmer

I'm sitting here at home with the shades pulled to block the sun and its heat. Today's temperatures are rising to the mid 90's and it is late September. Summer is supposed to be over. Scientists are finding out they are wrong on global warming, it is much worse than they predicted. An article in this morning's paper is headlined: Satellite reveals faster melting of polar ice. Pick a spot, Greenland, Antarctica, the arctic, they are all melting and at a faster rate than previous years. Melting sea ice won't affect ocean levels but thinning glaciers will. How soon until a few beaches disappear or move inland?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Global Warming

I read today that 2008 was a little cooler than 2007 but that by 2009 or beyond they are expecting more record average high temperatures. Carbon dioxide levels continue to climb as they have been annually tested on Moauna Loa since 1959. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and we are presently at about 387 ppm and gaining 1-2 ppm per year. You can check the website for yourself, And for any global warming deniers out there check the USGS site with pictures of receding glaciers. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, Skiers, myself included won't like this global warming trend but that will be the least of our problems as the world continues to heat up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heartland or West Coast

I just spent 12 days in the "Heartland", it was fun, I have good friends there, I have relatives there, I've been there before. With that said I'm still a west coast guy. When magazines list the 5 or 10 best places to live I rarely agree. Weather is number one. We left the mid west in clouds and drizzling rain. We arrived on the west coast in clear skies and sunny warm weather. In the mid west I rode bikes with friends under gray skies and a chilling wind thinking the whole time about sunny west coast weather. Overall during our stay in the mid west we did have good weather but it was luck pure luck, a few weeks earlier and the weather was wet and miserable. Good for them the rain makes the corn grow, but then I don't eat much corn. The corn grows everywhere, travel anywhere in the mid west and the scene is the same, fields of corn or soybeans. Contrast that with where I am tonight at Lake Tahoe. Tomorrow I will be in the redwood trees or on the beach. As I said just a west coast guy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

President's speech to students

I just read the President's speech that he will give to students on Tuesday. Pretty radical stuff. In his words, go to school; go to class; pay attention to the teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide. Set goals and realize even the most successful people have failed at some point in life. Given some of the paranoia about this speech maybe the part above about "listen to other adults" should have a disclaimer. I wonder how many "other adults" will learn from their mistakes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Old Rugger

A bit of disclosure about the title of this blog. I'm a 20 year rugby veteran several years retired. I started as a loose head prop and migrated to the back of the scrum as the 8 man. The west coast is where I live and played and one club I helped initiate is still in existence after 35 years. The rugby was punctuated by great team mates, fun tournaments and rousing parties. Many of the rugby team mates are now lifelong friends and there is always a bond among those who have played the game. Fortunately through 20 years with 15-20 games per season there were no major injuries. As many ruggers will tell you there is no better game on the planet.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I just attended my second town hall meeting this time with my congress person Anna Eschoo. It was civil and orderly. There were a few loud disruptor s who were promptly shutdown so intelligent answers could be heard. Current myths were addressed and questions were answered. My guess is the crowd was 90% for public health care and 10% against. I'm wondering if the intelligent thoughtful answers to attendees questions by Congress person Eschoo will penetrate the boilerplate of the 10%. If we had a national referendum on health care I think it would pass with far more than a simple majority.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Health Care

I just received the bad news about health care costs for next year. This is becoming an annual bad day. Tea baggers are complaining about taxes but health care is what is going up at alarming rates.
We have about a 30% increase over that last three years. Just a little above inflation. We, my wife and I, currently pay more for health care than we do in income taxes. Consider that out of my monthly premiums 25-30% is for administrative costs as opposed to medicare that runs 3-5% administrative costs. I think I'm helping a health care executive to make yacht payments.

Closed Minds

After attending a recent town hall meeting I left wondering about the direction of civil discourse and critical thinking skills in America. Attempts were made to civilize the conversations which had some effect but not enough. The saying a mind only works when it is open certainly didn't apply to this town hall meeting. Few attendees came to listen most came to lecture.

As a college student I was amazed at the intelligence of some of my professors. It seems the more they knew the more they realized what they didn't know. Contrast that with workers on my summer job who could solve all the worlds problems in one lunch hour. Common sense and facts need not apply.