|View from the Beach Park bridge|
Today the premium for a waterfront home is $200,000-$300,000.
OK, we regret it just a little.
|View from the Beach Park bridge|
|At $100/cup, sip Elida Geisha slowly (Chron photo)|
In recent years, the Bay Area has had a $43 martini made with vodka that comes from San Francisco fog; multiple $50 burgers made with luxury ingredients like Wagyu beef and foie gras; a $100 pizza topped with white truffles; a $150 truffle-filled macaroni and cheese dish; and even $700 shots.The late Herb Caen referred to his beloved City as Baghdad-by-the-Bay.
|May, 2019: the Ride of Silence for traffic casualties (Chron)|
We’re five years into the 10-year goal. And yet just two-thirds into 2019, 22 people have lost their lives on the city’s streets. That’s one less than died in all of 2018 and two more than died in all of 2017. We’re on pace to surpass the 31 deaths in 2014, the year Vision Zero began....Ticket-writing for the most dangerous driving behaviors has fallen dramatically:
One major factor is a dramatic drop in tickets issued to drivers by San Francisco police — a neglect that could be explained by too many unfilled vacancies in the department’s traffic division and ever-changing leadership of the crucial unit.
New figures obtained by The Chronicle show the San Francisco Police Department is ticketing far fewer drivers for illegal behavior behind the wheel than it did the year Vision Zero was adopted.
Vision Zero directs the Police Department to focus its enforcement on the five most dangerous driving behaviors: speeding, failing to stop at a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to give pedestrians the right of way, and failing to yield to pedestrians while turning.That's what one gets when politicians--in fact, any leaders--make big promises and don't put their time and more money behind them: zero.
The number of citations for those specific behaviors are also distressingly low. Of all the citations handed out in 2014, 30,613 were for those five violations. While that number climbed at first, it fell off dramatically in 2018. Last year, police officers handed out just 20,154 tickets for those five violations. In the first half of this year, they handed out just 10,267.
|Vice Mayor Sam Hindi and Councilmember Gary Pollard |
install the first bike symbol in Foster City in 2017.
Caltrans estimated that SB127 would cost more than $1 billion a year, or $4.5 million for each mile of blacktop. Caltrans officials said the state may lose its federal highway funds if the bill passes.In a fit of rationality California, which spent billions on the high-speed train to nowhere, is applying cost-benefit analysis to a transportation proposal.
What Wiener had pitched as easy-to-do striping and crosswalk geometry would actually require a significant investment, according to a memo from state transportation officials. Most state roads promote ease and convenience for motorists above other uses. It takes a lot of staff, equipment and money to redesign them. Caltrans estimated it would have to complete 105 pavement projects — or 599 miles — in the next two years to meet the bill’s requirements.
|More attractive volunteers could have increased traffic.|
|Climate-change information (click to enlarge)|
|Never much of a line at the Treasure Truck. I don't|
see how it can be a money-maker for Amazon.
|The sleeping pad rolls out to seven feet. Bonus: it's green, the color of the virtuous.|
|San Mateo Ave. in San Bruno|
|San Mateo Ave.: few chain stores present|
|On my 5th visit I took a flier on the chicken and waffles. It was OK, but I'm going back to bacon and eggs.|
|Water bottles at SFO: get 'em now (WSJ photo)|
First they came for our plastic grocery bags. Then they came for our plastic straws. Now they’ve come for our plastic water bottles at SFO. Yes, you read that right. Starting Tuesday, the sale of plastic water bottles will be banned at San Francisco International Airport, one of the few places they actually make sense. California has many dumb laws and statutes and bans, but this one is especially brainless—spurred by futile self-righteousness.Thanks to passing laws against things they don't like, Californians don't have guns being acquired by felons or the mentally ill, don't have human trafficking, and don't have people addicted to illegal painkillers. Despite its success, it's puzzling why the rest of the country doesn't want to be more like California.
After running late for your flight after a 30-minute security line only to have TSA confiscate your Fiji water bottle, you’ll now have to stop at a crowded water fountain to fill your own metal flask. Or buy an overpriced glass or aluminum bottle at the concession stand, paying another 10 cents for a bag. And your teeth will chatter if you drink through a paper straw. Of course you could risk dehydration instead: Men lose up to a half-gallon of water during a 10-hour flight. Oddly, you can still buy sugary drinks in plastic bottles at SFO; only healthy, calorie-free water is banned in plastic. You can’t make this stuff up.
Other fields are even worse. Starting next year, the California Building Standards Commission will require every new home to have solar panels. This will add $8,400 to the average cost of the state’s already expensive homes. With a shortage of about 1.4 million housing units, according to the California Housing Partnership, that’s a $12 billion unfunded mandate.
But maybe the housing shortage can be solved with yet another legislative “fix.” Last December state Sen. Scott Wiener introduced Senate Bill 50, which would allow developers to ignore certain local zoning laws within half a mile of train or subway stations and some bus stops. The bill would allow five-story buildings, high density and massive parking structures. Although the bill was tabled in May, many of its growing group of supporters argued it didn’t do enough to create incentives for affordable housing. That tells me another version of this bill will pass eventually. So here’s what may happen: Many towns will preserve local zoning pre-emptively by closing their train stations. Lose-lose situation.
So what? you might ask: Just take an Uber or Lyft. Not so fast. Also winding its way through Sacramento is Assembly Bill 5, which would reclassify “gig economy” workers as employees, entitled to full benefits and a $12 minimum wage. This means the cost of rides, deliveries and even manicures would go up, up, up. The bill is an overreach because most drivers truly are temporary workers. According to the delivery company Postmates, half of delivery workers quit after 80 days and about 45% work less than nine hours a week. Once again California legislators are trying for a trifecta: Fix a problem that may not exist, kill a very Californian innovation, and damage the employment prospects of the same workers they are trying to protect.
There’s more. Proposition 64, passed in 2016, allows Californians to grow six pot plants at home. Why not seven? And there is still no measurable legal limit for driving while stoned. When hungry, you can bring your dog to restaurants. Since 2015 no one can stop you. My son worked at a nice restaurant and was told that the only thing he was allowed to ask was “Can I do anything for your service dog?” Keep your poodles away from my noodles. Meanwhile, Starbucks is rolling out sippy lids, like toddlers’ sippy cups, to replace plastic straws. Iced coffee dribbled down your shirt can certainly be humiliating.
Progressive taxes with top marginal rates of more than 50%, plus San Francisco’s proposed tax on initial public offerings, will keep housing prices high—in Incline Village, Nev. California’s electricity prices are also progressive, increasing to more than 50 cents a kilowatt-hour after users exceed a meager baseline. Of course residents can offset this by picking up an electric car, which the state deems worth an almost 30% discount.
But don’t expect auto manufacturers to make out well. The California Air Resources Board didn’t like the Trump administration’s freeze on emissions standards at 2020 levels, so it waived the waiver, requiring the tougher rules and 54 miles per gallon. Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW have already cut a deal with California to meet the higher standards, but with many loopholes. Auto makers like to manufacture one car for all states, so they comply with California laws, dumb or not.
In some places, the right laws are in place but no one cares. San Francisco, like Los Angeles, has a nasty homeless problem. Fed up, voters in 2010 passed a “sit-lie” ordinance that outlaws loitering between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. “Outlaws” in this case mean perpetrators are supposed to get a ticket. But the police don’t bother with that anymore, so Karl Malden’s famed Streets of San Francisco are filled with needles and human feces, which the city spends $30 million a year to clean up—ineffectively. But heaven forbid you want to buy cold water in a disposable bottle at the airport.
|Old # 26: next door to a neighborhood shopping center|
The $520,000 project will provide bunks and showers for up to 12 officers at a time at Fire Station 26 at 1812 S. Norfolk St. In addition to the barracks, the building will be a police substation and vehicle storage site....Of San Mateo’s 125 officers, 68% live outside of San Mateo County, many as far as Tracy or Mountain House in San Joaquin County or Gilroy in south Santa Clara CountyThe project is relatively cheap at $43,000 per bed because land, the scarce resource, is being provided "free" by San Mateo.
Of the officers commuting from other counties, the average distance is 50 miles each way, according to a staff report on the barracks proposal. A San Mateo Police Officers’ Association survey found the average round-trip commute of those traveling from outside the county is two hours and 17 minutes.
|The camera sends a message. (Image from Medium)|
This is where hexadecimal or base 16 comes in. If we allow ourselves 16 number symbols, then our place values can multiply by 16 at each step. For example, the number 321 represents one unit, two 16s and three 256s, so it is the same as the decimal number 801.In hexadecimals, i.e., base-16, only two characters, FF, are necessary to count up to 255 (in our decimal system). 255 places are more than we need to translate hexadecimals into the standard letters, numbers, symbols, and control characters of the ASCII table.
The trouble is that hexadecimal requires 16 symbols, and our usual numerals only go from 0 to 9. The solution is usually to use the letters A, B, C, D, E and F for the extra symbols representing the decimal numbers 10 to 15.
This means that hexadecimal numbers can look like C9F, which represents F (i.e., 15) units, nine 16s and C (i.e., 12) 256s—that is, 3,231. In coding, for instance, colors can be represented as six-character strings in hexadecimal, which yields a total of more than 16 million possible colors, starting at 000000 for pure black and running through FFFFFF for pure white.
|"Albion Rose", 1793: a modern sensibility|
William Blake (1757-1827)....elaborated a complex mythology about a world full of angels and demons who battled for control of the human soul.In my undergraduate years I often visited the university art museum, which had a renowned British collection. I did like Blake, but for the most part British art never evoked much of a response.
[His] muscle-bound, mutable heroes, such as Urizen and Orc, are shown undergoing mythological adventures of intricate complexity, which baffled readers at the end of the 18th century.
But they seem fit to be rediscovered now. “You think of how Blake’s imagery and universe anticipates graphic novels and superhero comics perhaps more directly than fine art practice,” [Curator Martin] Myrone said. “That, you might say, is one of the places where Blake’s legacy has ended up.”
|Without the haze you can see the East Bay hills.|
The provision of open space is intended to offer residents and visitors opportunities for quiet introspection in a location that provides visual relief from buildings, concrete and noise associated with urban life.The quaint language of nearly 60 years ago also provides blessed relief from the noisy puffery associated with nearly every green program today.
|Mulan Rouge (Disney publicity photo)|
If Liu Yifei's political stance gets no more publicity, there's a good chance it will be forgotten when the film is released. So Disney, stay on the good size of Donald Trump; the last thing you want is for him to tweet about Mulan, reviving the controversy and potentially killing the American audience.
Liu, in her own post, added in Chinese, “I also support the Hong Kong police,” and included heart and strong-arm emojis. Liu has 65 million followers on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. The original post received over 2 million likes and an outpouring of support, and Liu’s post was liked 81,000 times.
Liu unadorned; not unadored...yet
Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, was cast as Mulan in 2017 after Disney saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, according to the Hollywood Reporter...
Although her sentiment received an outpouring of support, Liu also quickly faced backlash from many across the world who support the protests, with the hashtag #BoycottMulan emerging on Twitter. “She could be a powerful voice for justice but instead, she supports this brutality,” one Tweet said of Liu.
|Alerts since May are fast and furious|
I first came upon this reflective poem a few years after college. At the time the life-as-a-river imagery resonated with your humble blogger, whose arc of life no longer rose steeply.
The snow melts on the mountain
Inspiration: the McCloud River
And the water runs down to the spring,
And the spring in a turbulent fountain,
With a song of youth to sing,
Runs down to the riotous river,
And the river flows to the sea,
And the water again
Goes back in rain
To the hills where it used to be.
And I wonder if life’s deep mystery
Isn’t much like the rain and the snow
Returning through all eternity
To the places it used to know.
|$39.95 at the Iwilei Home Depot|
“The Trump EPA’s disgusting campaign to hide glyphosate’s well-documented links to cancer from American consumers is hideous,” said Brett Hartl, the director of government affairs for the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is just the latest example of the Trump administration’s disturbing push to ignore peer-reviewed independent research by leading scientists in favor of whatever pesticide companies claim their own confidential research reveals.”Whether or not there is a warning label, users of Roundup--or any other powerful substance--would have to be naive not to take precautions such as wearing protective clothing, eyewear, or gloves. On the other hand the vast majority of home gardeners can take comfort because people who work with the chemical in agriculture or professional gardening seem to be the only ones at risk.
These custom-built seesaws have been placed on both sides of a slatted steel border fence that separates the United States and Mexico. The idea for a "Teeter-Totter Wall" came from Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State UniversityThis project is self-described as an "act of activism" and is undoubtedly political.
A Tufts paper states that models based on the Mount St. Helens (1980) and Mt. Pinatubo (1991) volcanic events predict that a Mt. Shasta eruption would "destroy" the nearby towns of Dunsmuir, Weed, Mt. Shasta, and McCloud, which have a combined population of under 10,000 people. The nearest city, Redding, has a population of 92,000 and is likely to be placed on high alert.
There is a serious volcanic threat in the contiguous U.S., but it isn’t in Wyoming. It lurks hundreds of miles to the west, inside the snow-capped, picture-postcard peaks of Mount Rainier, Mount Shasta, Mount Hood and others. They might look like ordinary mountains, but in fact they are volcanoes—and potentially dangerous ones....
(Photo from AGT, a Mt. Shasta CPA firm)
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which erupted last year, ranked as the [USGS'] No. 1 “very high threat.” Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano and five Alaskan volcanoes were also in that category. Of the 18 U.S. volcanoes designated as “very high threat,” the other 11 are situated in California, Oregon and Washington. Washington’s Mount Rainier, near Seattle, which has erupted dozens of times in the past 10,000 years, ranked No. 3; California’s Mount Shasta, which last erupted about two centuries ago, ranked No. 5; Oregon’s Mount Hood ranked No. 6. Yellowstone, by contrast, was ranked No. 21, and didn’t make it into the “very high threat” category.
|Costco: temptation averted|
|Before 10 a.m. parking is easy.|
|Fook Yuen midnight take-out|
|Not seen often: open till 2 a.m.|
|Hawaii Kai workouts: appealing scenery|
|Foster City: view from the bridge on July 4th|
|Hawaii Kai: Hanauma crater in back|
Hawaii Kai is now a prosperous community of million-dollar homes, but I remember when it was a dry, hot expanse of dirt roads, bushes, and tangled foliage, home to pigs and chickens.
The “pig man” would come to our home in central Honolulu and pick up a week’s supply of our table scraps, which had been ripening in a three-foot steel can, and take it to his hogs. He would show his gratitude by inviting us to an annual luau at his farm. The food was plentiful and tasty, but the powerful stench emanating from the pens and the large horseflies buzzing about the dishes weren’t esthetically pleasing. Then again an eight-year-old didn’t know what "esthetics" meant or that they were supposed to matter.
For hours I would watch the hogs, who rolled around in a nameless mixture of mud, slop, and waste material. The new residents of Hawaii Kai roll around in BMW and Lexus SUVs and would be horrified to have the pig man as their neighbor. I hope he sold his land at a good price to Henry J. Kaiser, the visionary industrialist who developed the area.
|(Graphic from searcyfinancial)|
Several new studies show that the so-called smart money is prone to many of the same errors as amateurs...Professional investors hold stocks too long. They react erratically to stock splits. They may even buy one stock when they intended to purchase a different one—almost as often as supposedly clueless individual investors make the same kind of blunder.Sometimes a sector is so hot that just by including a keyword in its name a company's stock could take off--witness the near-panic buying that greeted "cloud" and "blockchain" offerings. In the near future one can expect space mining, life extension, and artificial intelligence businesses to experience similar booms and eventual busts.
|At Kuhio Avenue and Kanekapolei Street in Waikiki|
Unbidden, stand upon your shores today where I thought so soon to receive a royal welcome on my way to my own kingdom. I come unattended, except by the loving hearts that have come with me over the wintry seas. I hear that commissioners from my land have been for many days asking this great nation to take away my little vineyard. They speak no word to me, and leave me to find out as I can from the rumors of the air that they would leave me without a home, or a name, or a nation.Nearly 80 years before Saul Alinsky issued the Rules for Radicals, Princess Kaiulani understood that as "a poor, weak girl" her best chance lay with what would become RFR#4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
Seventy years ago Christian America sent over Christian men and women to give religion and civilization to Hawaii. They gave us the gospel, they made us a nation and we learned to love and trust America. Today three of the sons of those missionaries are at your capital asking you to undo their fathers' work. Who sent them? Who gave them authority to break the constitution, which they swore they would uphold.
Today, I, a poor, weak girl, with not one of my people near me, and all these Hawaiian statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am strong, strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of 70,000,000 people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to mine.
As American society retreats from Judeo-Christianity due to its failings and supposed irrelevance, religion's precepts are disowned as well, precepts such as:
In the past, whether you were racist could be judged by your actions. You held ugly biases, you said or did things that were definitionally discriminatory. The bad news is that you were this way, but the good news is that you could change. You could widen your lens, let some love in, say, think or do better things. You could improve....
(Babylon Bee satire)
Now the idea has taken hold that the charge of racism doesn’t derive from thoughts and actions, from what people say and do, but from who they are. If you are white that accident of birth left you racist, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve got white privilege. You are unconsciously favored, and unconsciously assign disfavor. Either way you’re guilty. No action or word can turn this around.
|From April, 2013|
[Biologist Satchidananda Panda at California’s Salk Institute] fed a group of mice a high-fat diet around the clock for 18 weeks; they developed fatty livers, pancreatic disease and diabetes. Another group was fed the exact same number of calories a day, but all during an eight-hour span. Surprisingly, the second group stayed slimmer and healthier for much longer.
There is a logic to it. When we eat, our body releases insulin. That disrupts the process of autophagy (from the Greek, meaning “self-devouring”), by which cells deconstruct old, damaged components in order to release energy and build new molecules. Autophagy helps to counteract the aging of cells and builds immunity. Fasts stimulate autophagy and allow the full molecular process to take place, as a team led by Frank Madeo at the University of Graz in Austria found in 2017.
|Eat during a fraction of the day (WSJ)|
Although [Tropical Storm] Flossie is forecasted to lose strength as it approaches Hawaii, it is expected to generate dangerous high-surf conditions mostly along the east and southeast shores of Hawaii over the next couple of days.My parents' home is a quarter-mile away and is part of the Ala Wai Canal flood zone. Well, we've escaped flooding from hurricanes before; here's hoping our luck will continue to hold.