Saturday, March 03, 2018

A Lady Bird Mural!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Utah House of Representatives Rap Video

It's fun!

Electrical Consumption Begins Going Down

There are all kinds of reverberations here. My job basically-vanished because of these trends. Other jobs are at risk too. And maybe that's OK:
The US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil. Renewable energy prices are falling like crazy. Natural gas production continues its extraordinary surge. Coal, the golden child of the current administration, is headed down the tubes.

In all that bedlam, it’s easy to lose sight of an equally important (if less sexy) trend: Demand for electricity is stagnant.

Thanks to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to stay that way. The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”.

This historic shift has wreaked havoc in the utility industry in ways large and small, visible and obscure. Some of that havoc is high-profile and headline-making, as in the recent requests from utilities (and attempts by the Trump administration) to bail out large coal and nuclear plants.

...To be clear: For both economic and environmental reasons, it is good that US power demand has decoupled from GDP growth. As long as we’re getting the energy services we need, we want overall demand to decline. It saves money, reduces pollution, and avoids the need for expensive infrastructure.

But the way we’ve set up utilities, they must fight that trend. Every time they are forced to invest in energy efficiency or make some allowance for distributed generation (and they must always be forced), demand for their product declines, and with it their justification to make new investments.

Only when the utility model fundamentally changes — when utilities begin to see themselves primarily as architects and managers of high-efficiency, low-emissions, multidirectional electricity systems rather than just investors in infrastructure growth — can utilities turn in earnest to the kind planning they need to be doing.

In a climate-aligned world, utilities would view the decoupling of power demand from GDP growth as cause for celebration, a sign of success. They would throw themselves into accelerating the trend.

Instead, utilities find themselves constantly surprised, caught flat-footed again and again by a trend they desperately want to believe is temporary. Unless we can collectively reorient utilities to pursue rather than fear current trends in electricity, they are headed for a grim reckoning.

Box, Sweet Box

Out at Joshua Tree:
A California couple was arrested Wednesday after it was discovered their three children were living inside a box, officials said.

Deputies made the gruesome discovery while conducting an area check in Joshua Tree, according to a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

They found "a travel trailer, which appeared to be abandoned, and a large rectangular box made of plywood on the property," the release reads. "The property had no electricity or running water. Several large holes and mounds of trash and human feces were located throughout the property."

'Shoot a School Kid Only $29'

(CNN)A Las Vegas billboard was vandalized to read, "Shoot a school kid only $29," early Thursday morning.

The billboard originally read, "Shoot a .50 caliber only $29." It was an advertisement for a local firing range called Battlefield Vegas, which, according to its website, is a business owned and operated by veterans that features a "military-style complex" a block from the Las Vegas Strip, as well as additional "outdoor training areas."

The billboard company, Lamar, said it "immediately removed the billboard at the request of the authorities, and we're cooperating with law enforcement agencies as they investigate further."

A guerrilla artists collective called INDECLINE took responsibility for changing the billboard. A spokesperson for the collective said, "It was time for us to address gun reform and to do something louder than an AR-15."

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Mr. Magoo

One step down from Keebler Elf:
President Donald Trump continues to stew in his anger with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump believes has not properly defended him or gone after the FBI corruption alleged by conservatives, according to a Wednesday evening Washington Post report.

Trump has referred to Sessions as Mr. Magoo, a cartoon elderly man with poor vision, people who have spoken with Trump told the Washington Post.

Wake Up!

Study Says Cats Would Kill You If They Were Bigger

No surprise there. I remember looking through smoked glass at the Siegfried and Roy tigers lounging in a Las Vegas enclosure in 2001. Despite the glass, one of the tigers caught my movement from the corner of its eye, and I felt that complete helplessness that prey must feel.
Either way, the results of the study, while not completely a shock, are unnerving, especially a conclusion that domestic cats have a desire to kill humans and would likely do so if they were bigger and stronger.

Sacramento Folk Prepare to Party on Sunday Evening!

Wondering what Erik Daniells will do? Host his own party, perhaps?:
Time to break out the thrift store formal and take a turn in the spotlight. On Oscar Night, “Lady Bird” has a chance to soar – and that’s inspired some creative celebration.

Sacramento-grown filmmaker Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story is nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Lady Bird, and Laurie Metcalf, her beleaguered mother, were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectfully. The Oscars will be broadcast live from Hollywood at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Starting with a 4:30 p.m. red carpet walk, the biggest local bash will be at St. Francis High School, Gerwig’s alma mater.

“We’ve never had an Oscar party,” said MaryAnne Kelly of St. Francis High School, “but we’ve never had an alumnus nominated for five Oscars before.”

On Sunday evening, a life-size cutout of Gerwig (Class of ’02) will greet 350 guests to St. Francis’ Oscar party. (Tickets – $25 – are almost sold out.)

...“We found old VHS tapes of (theatrical) shows Greta did when she was in high school plus a video of an Oscar party she had with friends,” Kelly said. Those vintage tapes will be part of a video tribute.

...“Lady Bird” already has put Club Raven on the must-see map.

“It’s a funny thing; people from all over stop by just to say they’d been here,” Barnes-Arguijo said. “When I first saw the movie at the Tower Theater, the crowd started cheering when they saw the neon signs (of Sacramento landmarks).”

That same mix of pride and curiosity has filled walking and running tours of “Lady Bird” landmarks. On Sunday, Sac Running Tours will host at least three “Lady Bird” tours, maybe four, in a pre-Oscar party on the move.

“It’s blown me away,” said Jenn Kistler-McCoy, owner of Sac Running Tours. “Way more people than I anticipated have wanted to go on a ‘Lady Bird’ tour.”

Kistler-McCoy, who started the tour Feb. 11, already has guided more than 150 people on a 3.2-mile loop through East Sacramento.

“It started out with just locals,” Kistler-McCoy said, “but now we’re getting people from Grass Valley and the Bay Area. We’re reaching people from a wide area.”

The tour stops at such sites as the McKinley rose garden, Club Raven and that big blue house on 44th Street.

“My favorite stop is the same as everybody else’s; I love the big blue house,” Kistler-McCoy said. “The owners (Chris and Amy Wood) have been just fantastic; they’re so receptive.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Slowly Healing

Did some errands today. Visited the doctor who saw me on Valentine's Day - the one who sent me to the hospital. She had been following my case from afar, and marveled how mild my symptoms had been that nevertheless made her order an EKG, and spotted the heart attack in progress.

Visited the hospital and delivered thank-you cards to the four nurses who were primarily responsible for my care. Even saw my cardiologist, in passing, as he caught the elevator. He waved; busy guy!

Got prescriptions, an oil change and a new car battery. Deposited some checks.

Wore me out. No other walks today.

Joe South - Walk A Mile In My Shoes

An old favorite!

1980s Wendy's Training Video


If HAL-9000 Was Alexa



Sacramento Hailstorm 2018

We all have our survival stories. Did you hear the wolves?

Uh, oh! Graupeln! (aka little hail). You rarely see that in Sacramento!