Friday, December 07, 2012

Automation Blows A Hole In The Bottom Of The Economy

And especially for less-educated men (I'm thinking Joe The Plumber) that's not a good thing at all:

The economy no longer reliably and consistently transmits productivity gains to workers. The result is that many millions of Americans, in particular less-skilled men, are leaving the workforce, a phenomenon the country has never seen before on the present scale.

...“This is something that has been happening and building for years and is now really rooted in the economy, and it’s vicious,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington. “There’s a remarkable disconnect. The problem isn’t a lack of the economy producing sufficient income to make everybody’s living standards improve—it’s that the economy is structured so that the majority don’t benefit.” Or, to state the point more cautiously, the majority doesn’t benefit from productivity gains very much—certainly, less than our parents and grandparents did.

...So, productivity is rising, but it isn’t being evenly allocated; the top is effectively disconnected from the rest of the spectrum—slippage No. 2. One reason, especially pronounced in the past decade or so, is that fewer of the productivity gains are flowing to workers, and more are flowing to investors. Chart 3 shows what happened. From the end of World War II through about 1980, almost two-thirds of every dollar of income generated by the economy flowed to workers in the form of wages and benefits. Beginning around 1980, workers’ share began to slide and, in the past decade or so, has nose-dived, to about 58 percent. The difference went to shareholders and other investors—who provide capital rather than labor—in the form of higher returns on their holdings.

...First, globalization has reduced American companies’ ability to raise prices, and thus to increase their workers’ pay, without losing competitiveness against companies in, say, China and India. Second, a smaller share of the value that companies produce today comes from the physical goods made by people like factory workers, and a larger share comes from ideas and intangible innovations that people like software designers and marketers develop. Between the early 1980s and the mid-2000s, Shapiro says, the share of a big business’s book value accounted for by its physical assets fell by half, from 75 percent to only 36 percent.

“So the basis for value shifts,” Shapiro explains. “This is the full flowering of the idea-based economy.” Which is great if you are a brain worker or an investor; otherwise, not so much.

...As a result, less-educated workers are in trouble, and men are in trouble, and less-educated men are in deep trouble. The problem has become more serious than most people realize. “It has reached a very extreme point,” said David Autor, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

...In effect, the economy is telling less-educated men: Get lost. And they are doing just that.

...If you are out of the workforce, economic growth can’t reach you, at least not directly. You might live off a girlfriend, receive welfare or disability payments, or dip in and out of the underground economy. But the performance of the economy as a whole becomes largely irrelevant. “A lot of these people will never work again,” said Looney at Brookings. “Less-skilled workers are falling so far behind that they are going to place a huge strain on the social safety net in the coming decades.”

Russian Rendition Of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"

Exploring The Haunts Of Victorian Rogues

This is so cool!:
Hidden away somwhere in England underneath a lake lies the fabled underground ballroom, built by a victorian eccentric and his 600 mining men, who dug out the lake, payed for by swindled investors , then went onto ownership of the builder of the Titanic, after its creator killed himself with a cyanide tablet, on hearing it was time to face the music of his debtors.

World famous author H.G Wells based a character in one of his books on the very same man.

The legacy : One of the finest follies on earth, the Underwater Ballroom or more accurately billiard room

Our mission to find, get in and take some photos for posterity and make a clean exit, not an easy task in freezing conditions and relying on a little dingy.

What Could Go Wrong?

I like the idea a lot, but....
New plan to put a beehive in every Berkeley middle school

A new initiative, spearheaded by Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard Project, aims to put beehives in the city’s three middle schools by next spring.

...“It’s so important for the kids to understand how many of the foods we eat and enjoy could not be possible without bees and other pollinators,” said Cornforth. Bees play an important role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States, according to the BEES literature, as well as pollinating plants that animals graze on. The recent problem of Colony Collapse Disorder has made understanding pollination all the more important.

The Politically-Engaged Earth Scientist

Why shout out the blunt question on everyone’s mind? Werner explained at the outset of the presentation that it was inspired by friends who are depressed about the future of the planet. “Not so much depressed about all the good science that’s being done all over the world—a lot of it being presented here—about what the future holds,” he clarified, “but by the seeming inability to respond appropriately to it.”

That’s probably an apt description of legions of scientists who have labored for years only to see their findings met with shrugs—or worse. Researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, for instance, published a paper in Nature Climate Change this week showing that carbon emissions have reached record levels, with a 2.6 percent projected rise in 2012. In another AGU presentation, Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posed the question: “Will realistic fossil fuel burning scenarios prevent catastrophic climate change?” He did not seem optimistic. “We might end up burning 900 billion tons of carbon” from oil, gas, and coal, he announced. “We can have a managed path to lower emissions—or do it by misery.” A guy next to me in the audience gave a kind of hopeless snort. The head of NOAA and polar experts held a news conference at the conference entitled, “What’s going on in the Arctic?” This year broke all sorts of records: the lowest recorded sea-ice extent, the lowest recorded snow cover extent and duration, and the most extensive recorded melting event on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, among other milestones. “I’ve studied Greenland for 20 years now; I’ve devoted my career to it,” Jason Box of Ohio State University intoned somberly, “and 2012 was an astonishing year. This was the warmest summer in a period of record that’s continuous in 170 years.”

Werner’s title nodded at a question running like an anxious murmur just beneath the surface of this and other presentations at the AGU conference: What is the responsibility of scientists, many of them funded by taxpayer dollars through institutions like the National Science Foundation, to tell us just exactly how f**ked we are? Should scientists be neutral arbiters who provide information but leave the fraught decision-making and cost-benefit analysis to economists and political actors? Or should they engage directly in the political process or even become advocates for policies implied by their scientific findings?

Radio Hi-Jinks: Royal Edition

More media misbehavior:
A nurse who transferred a prank phone call from two Australian radio presenters about the Duchess of Cambridge has died in a suspected suicide – two days after being duped.

Mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, who was working on the switchboard when 2DayFM obtained intimate details about Kate, was found dead near the King Edward VII Hospital today.

...The station apologised for 'any inconvenience caused' but provoked widespread fury and disbelief by continuing to continuing to promote its hoax, calling it 'the prank call the world is talking about' before playing clips of the recording.

As the backlash grew the DJs both deleted their Twitter accounts. The radio station's Facebook page was bombarded with thousands of abusive comments from outraged users.

...The Australian station and presenters advertised the stunt worldwide and today Christian was continuing to boast about the prank 'making international headlines' on Twitter.

...The station is owned by Southern Cross Austereo, an Australian media group formed in a merger last year that has a collection of TV and radio brands, and claims to be able to connect with 95 per cent of Australians every week.

The prank call was pre-recorded and vetted by lawyers before being broadcast in Sydney.

...Hospital boss John Lofthouse confirmed his staff had passed on information about Kate, saying: 'This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore.'

Thursday, December 06, 2012

He Was For It Before He Was Against It

The Senate passes understanding:
Today in Senate maneuvering: Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blocked a bill based on his own proposal, after he called for a vote on the bill in the first place so that he could prove that it would fail.

The legislation would have given President Obama the authority to raise the debt limit on his own, unless Congress could come up with a two-thirds majority to vote to stop him. The bill was based on a proposal McConnell made last year that would give the president “last-choice option” to avoid a default on the nation’s debt.

McConnell proposed a vote on the bill this morning, arguing that Democrats wouldn’t have the votes to pass it. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at first declined, but then called McConnell’s bluff this afternoon. This time McConnell blocked the vote.

“The Republican leader objects to his own idea,” Reid said. “So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill.”

“This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “I don’t think this has ever happened before.”

RIP, Patrick Edlinger

Awesome climber!:
Patrick Edlinger, who has died aged 52 after falling down stairs at his home, was often described as “the God of free-climbing”. Overcoming sheer vertical rock faces and horizontal overhangs, often without safety ropes or even shoes, he was widely known in France simply as “le Blond,” and among his English-speaking fans as “the blond Adonis”.
Visual too.

Why "Breaking Bad" Is The Best TV Series, Ever

I missed this when it first came out in July, 2011 - Chuck Klosterman explains why BrBa is the best TV series, evah - but it still makes good reading:
There's a scene in Breaking Bad's first season in which Walter White's hoodrat lab assistant Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) tells Walter he just can't "break bad," and — when you first hear this snippet of dialogue — you assume what Jesse means is that you can't go from being a law-abiding chemistry teacher to an underground meth cooker. It seems like he's telling White that he can't start breaking the law after living a life in which laws were always obeyed, and that a criminal lifestyle is not something you can join like a club. His advice seems pragmatic, and it almost feels like an artless way to shoehorn the show's title into the script. But this, it turns out, was not Jesse's point at all. What he was arguing was that someone can't "decide" to morph from a good person into a bad person, because there's a firewall within our personalities that makes this impossible. He was arguing that Walter's nature would stop him from being bad, and that Walter would fail if tried to complete this conversion. But Jesse was wrong. He was wrong, because goodness and badness are simply complicated choices, no different than anything else.

2012 WGA Nominations Out!

And the nominations for Episodic Drama says it all:
"Buyout" (Breaking Bad), Written by Gennifer Hutchinson; AMC
"Dead Freight" (Breaking Bad), Written by George Mastras; AMC
"Fifty-One" (Breaking Bad), Written by Sam Catlin; AMC
"New Car Smell" (Homeland), Written by Meredith Stiehm, Showtime
"The Other Woman" (Mad Men), Written by Semi Challas and Matthew Weiner; AMC
"Say My Name" (Breaking Bad), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC

RIP, Morton Friedman

This is VERY BAD news for the Sacramento arts community! Morton Friedman was one of the power lifters when it came to local arts philanthropy (like Sacramento Ballet) and he leaves very large shoes to fill:
Morton L. Friedman, whose drive and vision as a lawyer, businessman and philanthropist shaped the culture in Sacramento from law and medicine to the arts and retailing, died Wednesday. He was 80.

...Few movers and shakers in Sacramento have made as big a mark in as many areas of civic life as Friedman. He was a man of boundless energy and generosity, and his name regularly appeared on lists of the most influential people in the region.

With his wife of 57 years, Marcy, he built a fortune that they tapped freely to benefit the community. Their philanthropy included a $10 million donation that made them a driving force behind a major expansion of the Crocker Art Museum.

...Friedman had a tremendous work ethic. Piles of legal briefs, depositions and other documents littered his office as he personally handled more than 300 cases at a time. Despite his success, he was a modest man who preferred to eat lunch at his desk or at Denny's.

...His biggest success was Arden Fair. He bought half of the shopping center with business partner Dennis Marks in 1975 and rebuilt it along with adjacent Market Square into one of the nation's top-performing shopping centers.

...Meanwhile, Friedman and his wife were among top donors to charitable and civic causes. Besides leading fundraising for the Crocker expansion, they wrote many checks to Jewish groups, the Sacramento Symphony and programs that encourage literacy, safe neighborhoods and tolerance in schools.

..."The community has been very good to us, and we believe very strongly in putting something back," Friedman said in 1994.

...He took a hands-on approach to philanthropy, from washing dishes at fundraisers to personally phoning donors for the Crocker museum.

..."People want to see us participating rather than just throwing money around," he said. "The key to success is involvement."

'Tis The Season For The Sliding Rocks Of Death Valley

Caption: Rain, ice, and strong winds likely work together in getting the rocks on the move. Rock movement is more evident after stormy winters. Image by Arno Gourdol

Interesting that people still haven't seen these rocks move:
It's the time of year when the sailing stones of Racetrack Playa in California's Death Valley are on the move. ... Extremely patient scientists studying the wanderliths have concluded that wetter winter weather plays a role in the stone rolling, but they're still not exactly sure how it all works.

...The sailing rocks are not small. Many are about the size of a loaf of bread and weigh upwards of 25 lbs.

The dry lake bed that is Racetrack Playa is pancake flat. It's 4 1/2 miles long but only rises one inch along that entire length.

Trails as long as 1,500 feet have been found. What's even more puzzling is sometimes you can follow these trails and there's no rock at the end of it.

...Rock trails will overlap, cross, travel in parallel, make wide curves, sharp turns, and zigzags.

Grand Canyon Age Intrigues

I don't have an opinion here, but I think it's an interesting debate to have, nonetheless:
Though the exposed rocks are ancient, most scientists believe the Grand Canyon itself was forged in the recent geologic past, created when tectonic forces uplifted the land that the Colorado River later carved through.

The new work by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and California Institute of Technology argued that canyon-cutting occurred long before that.

...Their interpretation: The western Grand Canyon is 70 million years old and was likely shaped by an ancient river that coursed in the opposite direction of the west-flowing Colorado.

Lead researcher Rebecca Flowers of the University of Colorado Boulder realizes not everyone will accept this alternative view, which minimizes the role of the Colorado River.

...It's not the first time that Flowers has dug up evidence for an older Grand Canyon. In 2008, she authored a study that suggested part of the eastern Grand Canyon, where most tourists go, formed 55 million years ago. Another study published that same year by a different group of researchers put the age of the western section at 17 million years old.

...Geologist Richard Young of the State University of New York at Geneseo said his own work suggests there was a cliff in the place of the ancient Grand Canyon.

Flowers "wants to have a canyon there. I want to have a cliff there. Obviously, one of us can't be right," he said.

Whatever the age, there may be a middle ground, said Utah State University geologist Joel Pederson.

Researchers have long known about older canyons in the region cut by rivers that flow in a different direction than the Colorado River. It's possible that a good portion of the Grand Canyon was chiseled long ago by these smaller rivers and then the Colorado came along and finished the job, he said.

Unsquare Dance - Dave Brubeck

Marc's First Bungy Jump - YouTube Version

It occurred to me I needed a YouTube version of this video. First bungy jump, ever. Have jumped twice since. Need to return to NZ to jump again!

Gangnam Style Mashup

Australia's Prime Minister Declares The Mayans Were Right, And The World's End Is Nigh

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tornado Kills Three In Auckland, NZ

Yes, the North Island, in particular, is vulnerable to twisters....

There seems to be an Antipodean tradition to reach for the closest musical instrument in order to commemorate disasters. Some of these disasters, like the Jan. 2011 Queensland floods, produced truly moving songs. Today's Auckland tornado is already celebrated in song....

Got A New Starter For The Saturn Sports Coupe

And hopefully that solves the car problem....


Went and saw the Daniel-Day Lewis movie.

I was a bit bewildered by the introduction sequence, when two black soldiers alternated between recitation of the Gettysburg Address, and making bold appeals to Lincoln's more-forceful intervention on behalf of the slaves. So well-spoken and educated these soldiers were, when the reality was likely very, very different. Alas, it's Spielberg!

I liked Lincoln's Dream. Very evocative, with Abe standing on the prow of a ship racing into the howling darkness towards an imperceptible shore.

I liked the political minutiae. Illustrates just how little room the politicians had to maneuver in.

Worried about whether the abolitionist emphasis was correct. Somehow, I think the balance was wrong here.

Liked the acting.

Doing genealogy a few years ago, I discovered I was related to Pennsylvania Senator Richard Brodhead. I was hoping he'd show up in the movie, but he didn't. He was apparently a cipher in his own time, and has almost vanished from the pages of history. In Allan Nevin's eight-volume history of the Civil War, Brodhead appears fleetingly in just two paragraphs. The Senator from PENNSYLVANIA! How is that even possible? Even morons from that amazing age have books dedicated to their memory. Guess I'll have to write the cipher's biography myself.

Watched Vanessa Williams' "Dance With Me" Again, In Order To Marvel At Rick Valenzuela

"Dance With Me" is a great dance movie, not least because it shows Vanessa William's dance partner, Rick Valenzuela, at his best!

In 1982, I was associated with Desert Terrace Dance Studio in Tucson, and Rick and Sandy Valenzuela were the hot young couple there (together with Lonnie Mitchell and my charming instructor, Margaret O'Hanlon).

Rick Valenzuela was an amazing ballroom dancer then! Astonishing, really. And as the movie clip shows so clearly, Rick only got better!

Filming Resumes Today On Season 5 Of "Breaking Bad"


Kelsey B & Matt Fox - Be With You (LoveHigh Club Mix)

The best of the remixes!

Gabe Buys A Truck

Wonders never cease!

Agent Instructed And Deployed

And now, the waiting....

Paris Looking For Her Musical Niche

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

So, This Is About Texas?

Whatever it is, it's awesome!

(This video has flashing lights: seizure warning)

Concerned About The Dizzy Spell Last Friday

Maybe a bit too concerned. In reaction, I started up the potassium supplements again, thinking maybe that was the source of the trouble. Was I having microstrokes, or something? I was having slight trouble pronouncing the word 'meteorological'. When did that start?

So, I went to the doctor today. He measured my blood pressure as being low: 110/71. That may be the first time in my life anyone ever measured by blood pressure as being below normal.

Maybe this is what 'normal' means. Other people get a bit dizzy when raising the head quickly, but to me that was a foreign sensation. And whoever said I was pronouncing 'meteorological' well anyway?

The doctor suggested cutting my dosage if problems persist.

[UPDATE: My potassium levels are apparently now 'normal'. First time in years!]

Being Numerate, Japanese-Style

This is amazing! (Also via WTF, Japan, Seriously)

Cider, Cider - Tempura Kidz

Via WTF, Japan, Seriously

Perplexing Finish To DMTC's Sunday Afternoon Show Of "A Christmas Carol"

It was a strong Sunday show of "A Christmas Carol", until the very last line. J., who plays Tiny Tim, blanked at the final instant. J. is supposed to cap off the heartwarming show by proclaiming, "And God bless us, everyone!" Instead, he said, "And God help us, everyone!"

A very modern touch, actually. Makes you wonder what happens next. I imagine Scrooge gets committed to Dr. Fogg's Asylum For The Irrationally Happy. Like Bedlam, but with better wallpaper and better drugs.

History Of The Middle East


Marc & E.'s Excellent Shopping Adventure

Jetta forgot we were supposed to see 'Lincoln' tonight, so no movie there, but E. said she was bored and wanted to go to the mall instead. But first, she had to wait for Chris' goodnight call, which normally came shortly after 8 p.m. So, shortly before 9 p.m., off to Arden Fair Mall.

E. was bewildered when we arrived at the mall shortly after 9 p.m., and all the stores were closing and the people were leaving. "It's after Black Friday, the Official Start Of The Christmas Season," she proclaimed. "The stores should be open until eleven!" Alas, those hours don't start until next week, so E. was left bereft. I think she remembers the heyday of mall shopping, in the Eighties, when people still had enough money and compliant retailers accomodated their demanding shopping impulses. Ah, to be rich and living in the age of Reagan again!

So, off it was to Target. We bought a few items: a nighttime cap, sink mats, garbage can, etc.: no more than $40.00, total. We bought replacement light bulbs for the bathroom. E. did comparison shopping between two brands and had trouble deciding: I decided instantly based on the logos alone - none of it really mattered. Then, back to home.

But there was a temptation: Dimple Records, on Arden Way. I couldn't resist stopping. Didn't buy anything, and got back in the car. Then the car wouldn't start. Dagnabit, it was that sporadic starting problem again! I knew the car would eventually start on its own, but a wait of more than an hour would be required. How long? Didn't know. So, time to call AAA. Ended up getting towed back home.

And, in the morning, the car started. Like I knew it would....

Russian Rope Swing

Very similar to bungee jumping.

Monday, December 03, 2012

UBBFT Bumper Sticker

Them's my peeps.

The Stark Difference Between Northern And Southern California

Like, wow!

Australia's National Myth Is Still Forming

Australia is such a young country that its identity isn't firmly fixed. With his movie 'Australia', Baz Luhrmann aspired to provide a national myth equivalent to France's 'Song of Roland' or England's Arthurian tales. I find it amazing that Peter Allen's 'Tenterfield Saddler', a 1972 song which has a line referring to Liza Minnelli, is now almost Australia's unofficial national anthem. Broadway-type songs seem to function in a different way there than here. You can't disguise the communal enthusiasm for 'I Go To Rio'!

Australia's Road Trains - A Documentary

Adam Sartain's excellent but harrowing road adventure last night got me thinking about road adventures in general, and about the world's largest semi-trucks: Australia's Road Trains, with their staggering size chasing everyone off narrow roads, fancy kangaroo grills, and immense dust plumes. Country music soothes the travel across the Outback, yet they too are vulnerable to mud:

Republican Nihilism Has Infected The Entire Party

David Gergen used to be the attractive public face of partisan Republican seriousness, so much so that he won pundit status and was sought after everywhere for his opinion. His latest column, however, regarding what he believes is Obama's overreach, struck me as so detached from reality, so nihilistic, so blind to obvious facts, that it must be viewed as Exhibit #1 in highlighting the complete bankruptcy of the Republican Party. Because if David Gergen is no longer capable of coherent thought, what can we think about everyone else in the party?

There just aren't any serious people left in the Republican Party. Last week, Obama and Geithner gave a detailed version of their opening position in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, in the hope of teasing out a serious response from the GOP. Obama and Geithner gravely misread the situation. There will be no response, other than a temper tantrum. The Republicans no longer have anyone capable of detailing a coherent reply. They are children who no longer possess the cognitive skills. They were so used to overawing their opponents over the last generation that they don't know how to respond to a situation regarding thought and skill. So, off the Cliff we will go!

Gergen suggests that Obama is unreasonable in even thinking that Susan Rice might be a good Secretary of State. Why would Gergen think that? All Obama wants is the right to decide who his administration's nominees should be (rather than first passing muster Republican Senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham). You know, the same right all Presidents should have, and have always had in American history (until this 'Benghazi' thing). Everyone knows why McCain and Graham are promoting Massachusetts Senator John Kerry so hard for the post: because they reason that recent GOP Massachusetts senatorial candidate Scott Brown could pick up the empty seat cheap and easy in a special election. In other words, a typical, cheeseball Washington power play.  Why should Obama play into their hands?

And remember, unless action is taken, we will sail off the Fiscal Cliff! Obama isn't 'pushing' anyone over the Cliff. These events were set in motion by George W. Bush a decade ago with the legislative maneuvers required to pass his initial tax cuts. It's a lot like rafting towards Niagara Falls in a barrel. If no one takes action, sailing over the Cliff is inevitable. No pushing required! Obama isn't trying to humiliate anyone: he is simply pointing out that the tax barrel is in a river of time that will inevitably spill over the Falls. If pointing out the obvious now counts as humiliation to the childish GOP, there truly is no hope for the party:
Instead of turning the GOP willingness to deal on taxes into a win-win, the White House seemingly wants to humiliate them by insisting they cave entirely on increasing tax rates -- or take responsibility for going over the cliff. Instead of sitting down and negotiating directly with leaders from the other side in private getaways, as presidents like Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan did, the president launches a campaign-style offensive against them.

The proposal that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner put before Republicans on Thursday, as reported by The New York Times, was clearly intended to score political points with Democrats rather than entice Republicans into serious negotiations. It was full of nonstarters. One example: It demanded that Republicans lock in to $1.6 trillion of higher taxes in December and in exchange said that spending cuts one-quarter that size would be the subject of talks next year. Come again?

...Old White House hands from the GOP side -- people who like our Presidents to succeed --are privately warning that if the White House and allied Democrats keep pushing so hard-fisted on deficits, Susan Rice and Senate filibuster rules, relations with Republicans on the Hill will become even more poisonous in the next four years than in the past.

Impressive Northern California Rainfall

This was the California monthly precipitation map as of yesterday, before the rain from this latest storm really started falling. Today's map will only emphasize the huge dichotomy between Northern and Southern California's water fate.

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento's rainfall so far this water year (July 1 - present) is about double the average, but it's far, far less farther south.  A huge rainfall disparity between the halves of the state has always existed, but so far this water year, it's much bigger than usual.  If it doesn't change, it will mean happiness in the north next year, and desperation in the south.

Caption from the Sacramento Bee (photo by Randy Pench): Wesley Jones holds a pumpkin which was partially clogging a storm drain in front of his house on 36th Street in east Sacramento. Several houses on the block had flooding under their homes, in their basements and in Jones' case, a flooded garage. Heavy rain early Sunday causes streets to flood in the area including east Sacramento where some residents worked to unplug clogged drains to keep their homes from flooding. Sunday, December 2, 2012.

According to his Facebook posts, J.E. got caught by this flooding too.

Myself, I got caught in the traffic jam on Highway 50 near the 59th Street exit while heading to Pam's ballet class this morning. I had started early, though, so I made it to class on time, even as Pam was delayed by both the marathon and the same traffic jam.  I had mild problems in my basement from the rains, but the clatter of the rain really disturbed my sleep and made for all sorts of disordered dreams about water and ruin.