Saturday, September 18, 2010

From Guinness World Records 2011: Most bottles recycled by a dog

A Labrador called Tubby, owned by Sandra Gilmore of Pontnewydd, Torfaen, UK, has helped recycle an estimated 26,000 plastic bottles over the past six years by collecting them on his daily walks, crushing them and passing them to his owner.

I recall reading the Guinness Book of World Records in the newspaper comic section in the early sixties.

I’ve been a fan ever since.

Welcome to, Humboldt County's only professional hash extraction service!

Look at what I found this morning. A new Humboldt Blog with a purpose – to make bubble hash!

This site’s still so new they don’t have any pictures in their Picture Gallery. They clearly explain their services and are compliant with 215 law, so they are advertising (found on Craigslist).

Is this just a set-up to bust lazy growers who don’t want to make their own hash? Who knows? I  just want to share the site with you and you can make your own determination as to it’s validity.

Coming Sunday: As It Stands takes on the Gainesville Baptist Church and it’s hate-spewing pastor Phelps

I really don’t look at the 60 members (most of which are Pastor Fred Phelps immediate family) as members of a church. They are a cult disguised as a mainstream church.

They think protesting at dead soldiers funerals and hating homosexuals is their God-driven right. If this was just a 1st Amendment issue, I would agree.

But, it’s not. It’s about harassment – plain and simple. See ya Sunday at The Times-Standard.


New generations experience Jimi Hendrix 40 years after his death

I recall being in Ban me Thuot, Vietnam, listening to Armed Forces radio when they announced Jimi’s death.

My friends and I were really bummed out and we held a Smoke-In at a Buddhist graveyard that night that was attended by most of the “Heads” in the 31st Eng Battalion. We played his hits on big old Boom Boxes and sang along with “Are you experienced.”

“So much of the musical legacy of Jimi Hendrix rests on memory of the legendary guitarist as the fluid, inventive musical maverick who burst on the scene in 1967 -- almost single-handedly defining the creative extravagance of the Summer of Love --or the legend who exited that scene three years later, dying in London on Sept. 18, 1970, at the age of 27.

This even-numbered anniversary year of his passing has already seen a flurry of previously unreleased music and images, and there's more to come before year's end, other opportunities to discover the Hendrix that existed before the world discovered him, the lean Seattle kid struggling to survive the critical formative years that helped make him what he would become, before his talents seemed to explode on the world fully formed.

"People think that he just...appeared one day," Janie Hendrix -- Jimi's stepsister, and president/CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, the Hendrix family company -- said in 2003. "But he also had a history and a life, from birth to childhood to adolescence to adulthood." That year the Experience Music Project, a Seattle museum, joined forces with Experience Hendrix on an exhibition of Hendrix's early life and childhood.”

Friday, September 17, 2010

As It Stands: Thoughts About The Moon

ATT0004312I was climbing to the moon the other night when my ladder ran out of rungs…


so I had to wait until the moon came to me

 Then I attached a string to it and slowly let the line out and watched the moon riseATT0003711 lazily into the night sky…while I read from my personal book of the dead.

ATT0002814 I try to let go of those who passed before me

sadly, but stoically

releasing their memories like the moon

when my mood is murky like this I search the night skies like a bat

I want to frame the moon and it’s mysteries for future reference  ATT0002213 

and borrow it’s eerie glow to light my way in the darkest nights that I know must surely lie ahead

But I dare not

the moon doesn’t belong to me with my short earthly span

for eons untold it’s ruled the night sky above this place that we pollute with the impunity of stupidity

Still - I look for the Moon over Mckinleyville when I know it’s due

We’re old friends you know and there’s still a lot to talk about 


Local farmers concerned about predicted rainfall – some crops may be ruined

I was talking with my son (Richard) today and he was concerned about an abundance of rain (2” predicted) ruining the potatoes where he works for Paul Giuntoli, owner of Warren Creek Farms.

They harvested 10,000 pounds of potatoes yesterday and are hard at it today. All of our local farmers are hustling in the fields today hoping Mother Nature’s wet passing will be brief.

Some History about Warren Creek Farms:

Warren Creek Farm has been growing organically since 1987 and certified organic by CCOF since 1991.

They conserve water and soil through crop rotation, cover cropping and dry farming. Dry farmed plants are more nutritious, store better and conserve water.

At Warren Creek Farms they manage weeds, pests, and diseases by mechanical and manual cultivation, crop rotation, strip grazing, soil testing, fertilizer management and as a last resort, application of organic program approved materials and practices.

Soil fertility is considered after annual soil testing. Green manure crops, compost, micronutrients and fallow years are used to maintain fertility and plant health.

At Warren Creek Farms they have a box recycling program. They pay their customers to save their boxes and many of them are used several times over.

Blue Lake & Arcata Bottoms (0-4 miles from packaging facility) Warren Creek Farms is owned by Paul Giuntoli, a third generation Humboldt County Farmer.

He and his wife Carla farm two plots of certified organic land – one on Warren Creek Road between Arcata and Blue Lake, and one in the Arcata Bottoms.

They have been supplying the co-op with potatoes and winter squash for more than 20 years, making them one of our oldest suppliers.

My son, Richard (and daughter-in-law Jassmine), having been working for Paul and Carla for years. Last year’s Corn Maze set records for attendance at the event. The Pumpkin Patch is another popular people pleaser and is also held at the Arcata Bottoms. In two weeks, Warren Creek Farms will open up it’s store for business. Meanwhile you can find their products at The Farmer’s Market in Arcata every Saturday.  

Jon Stewart announces ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’

I admit that I’m a long-time fan of Jon Stewart.

I love the way he goes after the political Right and Left. Even his enemies admire his ability to clown around and still make serious statements about politics and other hot issues. He holds the media in contempt, but is making his living behind the cameras and on the air. That paradox is puzzling, but somehow it doesn’t bother me.

I can’t wait to hear more about his rally. You know this is going to be an event to remember. If laughter is the best medicine, then a dose of Stewart should set you right up.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

What’s the longest you ever owned a car?


Mr. Allen Swift of(Springfield, MA.) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Picadilly P1 Roadster from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in1928.

He drove it up until his death last the age of 102!!!

He was the oldest living owner of a car from new.   Just thought you'd like to see it.

He donated it to a Springfield museum after his death.

It has 170,000 miles on it, still runs like a Swiss watch, dead silent at any speed, and is in perfect condition. (82 years)

Just thought you would find this of interest....


Thursday, September 16, 2010

States spying on us is scary but not surprising – Pennsylvania’s govenor says he’s sorry

Homeland Security is sounding more like the S.S. and Gestapo every day. Doesn’t this admission make you wonder what the other 49 states are doing right now? If I had to guess; I’d say exactly the same thing. Hi, Big Brother!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Opps! Video shows Stefani Carter plagiarizing Obama

I get a kick out of the recent crop of candidates for office this November.

Today, let’s take a look at Stefani Carter, a would-be politico, who has already stumbled (make that screwed up) when she plagiarized Barack Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention recently.

How ironic that a Republican “want-to-be” is using a speech from a Democrat. What does that say? No imagination? No scruples? No sense? You pick.  

From The Lone Star Project (Fighting back with facts):

District 102 Republican rips off Obama while padding resume

“When House District 102 Republican nominee Stefani Carter gives her stump speech, her style and cadence seem oddly familiar, especially coming from a first time candidate.  Not only are Carter’s theme and tone similar to Barack Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, several lines are virtually identical. She has clearly ripped off one of the President’s most memorable and widely heard speeches.
Some of those who heard Carter give her stump speech notified the Lone Star Project that she is “channeling Obama.” After some research, we were able to obtain a

video of Carter clearly lifting lines from Obama’s ’04 convention address.”

“Further research shows that Stefani Carter may be grossly overstating her past work experience and the importance of her duties. By padding her resume, Carter raises legitimate questions about her actual experience and background.

There is no requirement for an extensive background as a public speaker, journalist, or prosecutor to run for the Texas Legislature, but there is a requirement for honesty and integrity. That’s where Stefani Carter falls short. She clumsily plagiarized a famous speech and foolishly exaggerated her official biography and resume. Most employers would refuse to hire, or would likely fire, any applicant who plagiarized his or her public remarks or provided overtly misleading information about their background.”

Ulta Efficient Auto Contest: Super-cars Split $10 million in X Prize race

Image: Cars on track

Over the years I’ve written several columns about cars powered by non-fossil fuels.

My favorite has been Tata Motor’s cars that are powered by compressed-air.There’s some running around in England, and other parts of Europe, but they just haven’t caught on yet.

Meanwhile, all-electric, battery, and hybrid vehicles, are becoming the “in-thing.” That is a good thing for the environment. These slick vehicles featured in the article are cool, but I don’t see any hitting the mass market soon. The X-Prize top winner, a four-seat car that gets 102 miles per gallon was awarded $5 million. The vehicles were designed to encourage the development of ultra-efficient automobiles

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Museum of Tolerance to honor Clint Eastwood in November


My two favorite male actors are Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood.

One of my old reporters (Woody Woodburn)  recently honored me by writing a column about what it was like working with me at The Desert Trail newspaper in the 1980s. His column ran in the Ventura Star daily newspaper three weeks ago.

I was really humbled when he compared Clint Eastwood to me – noting the hard outer shell disguises the caring person within.

Clint Eastwood, whose most famous movie roles were trigger-happy vigilantes but whose directorial work has shown a more open-minded world view, will receive an award from the Museum of Tolerance this fall.

Tale of telepathic gorilla inspires fan to go on rampage

Alan Boyle writes:The "Ishmael" books are aimed at encouraging radical social change — but their author says hostage-taking is definitely not the change he had in mind.

Daniel Quinn's story of Ishmael, a telepathic gorilla who tries to show humans where they're going wrong, has spawned a popular series of books, an eerie Hollywood movie and a movement that takes a critical look at our global industrial society. Unfortunately, it also spawned an escalating series of threats from James Lee, who resented the Discovery Channel so much that he took company employees hostage.

PHOTO: "My Ishmael," written by Daniel Quinn and published in 1998, was cited as a guide to global change by hostage-taker James Lee. "I wish I could understand ... what he's trying to say," Quinn said. "It's hard to connect it with my book."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Year Ago, the Australian Town of Bundanoon Banned Bottled Water

I just ran across this article and had to share it. Who knew? A tiny town of 2000 set an example for the entire planet!

(Sept.26, 2009) An Australian town pulled all bottled water from its shelves Saturday and replaced it with refillable bottles in what is believed to be a world-first ban.
Hundreds of people marched through the picturesque rural town of Bundanoon to mark the first day of its bottled water ban by unveiling a series of new public drinking fountains, said campaign spokesman John Dee.
Shopkeepers ceremoniously removed the last bottles of water from their shelves and replaced them with reusable bottles that can be filled from fountains inside the town's shops or at water stations in the street.

The tiny town, two hours south of Sydney, voted in July to ban bottled water after a drinks company moved to tap into a local aquifer for its bottled water business.
"In the process of the campaign against that the local people became educated about the environmental impact of bottled water," said Dee.”

"A local retailer came up with this idea of well why don't we do something about that and actually stop selling the bottled water and it got a favorable reaction," he said.
Dee said the 2,000-person town had made international headlines with their bid, which he hoped would spur communities across the world to action.”

Law enforcement group endorses Prop 19

“Legalizing marijuana would put a big dent in drug cartels and free up police, prosecutors and judges to go after violent crimes, a law enforcement group said Monday in endorsing Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure.

Proposition 19’s passage in November would decriminalize an estimated 60,000 drug arrests made in California each year, said former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray.

“I was a drug warrior until I saw what was happening in my own courtroom,’’ said Gray, a former federal prosecutor.”

Image source

The Propaganda of an idiotic gesture leads to globalization of insanity

US pastor Terry Jones who planned an ''International Burn-a-Koran Day'' on September 11 has called off the protest after his plans were widely condemned.

The Rev. Terry Jones achieved something new, something that will be studied for generations: the propaganda of the idiotic gesture

“It is a horrifying wonder of the Internet age that a failed, half-crazed Florida pastor with a Facebook account can cause checkpoints to be thrown up on major roads in New Delhi, provoke violent demonstrations in Logar province south of Kabul, and be rewarded with the attention of America's four-star commander in Afghanistan and the president of the United States.”

PHOTO: Rev. Terry Jones at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla Photo: AP


Having credit cards means you can be a target for criminals. It’s that simple. Today’s criminals have more ways of getting your vital financial information than ever.

This cautionary article tells one woman’s story. She is just one victim among thousands every year.

Here’s some tips (and a link) that the article gives to try and protect yourself.

Read the entire article here.

*Insist the police department get a subpoena for the email accounts involved, and pull all the records.
*Every time it happened, I would send a letter to the email addresses saying, “Stop using my information,” and I would copy the police department I am working with. Sometimes that scares off the suspect
* Call the local U.S. Postal Inspector’s office and see if you can get anyone to care there. The postal service is more likely to investigate widespread mail fraud than local police.
* File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Image source

A legend exposed – famed civil rights photo journalist was an FBI informant

Rich Shulman says:I was surprised to read in this morning's New York Times that legendary civil rights photojournalist Ernest Withers has been revealed as an FBI informant, according to a Memphis Commercial Appeal story on Sunday. While such an ethical compromise would probably end a journalist's career today, no one can deny the impact Withers' images had on the civil rights movement

PHOTO:Children huddle in the entrance of a tent during 1960 in Tent City near Somerville, Tenn. Tent City was home to black sharecroppers who were kicked-off white-owned lands in 1960 because blacks were registering to vote. Pipe at top is from a stove in the tent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Opinion: K Street and the Status Quo

An unprecedented 10-year study’s surprising verdict: The real outcome of most lobbying is … nothing. Until the right party or person comes to power.

Editor’s Note: The author’s contentions are interesting, although I don’t necessarily agree with them all. Still, she makes some points and shares her sources. 

By Melinda Burns

“Who can forget Jack Abramoff, the super-lobbyist? In a pleasant operation called “Gimme Five,” he took on Indian tribes as clients, ostensibly to lobby in support of their interests in casino gambling. Privately, Abramoff described them as “morons” and “troglodytes” as he and his associates grossly overbilled the tribes, raking in $85 million while, at times, covertly working against their interests.”


“But contrary to popular belief, Washington is not widely for sale to special interests and the K Street lobbyists they hire, at least not in the short term. One of the most in-depth studies ever conducted on the day-to-day workings of Washington, and the only one based on a random sample — the prizewinning 2009 book, Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why — reveals that the groups with the most money and lobbyists don’t necessarily get their congressional way. In fact, an analysis of about 100 randomly selected issues with interest-group involvement shows that advocates on both sides of an issue tend to form diverse coalitions, more or less equalizing their resources.”

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As It Stands: Are you interested in a new process for picking politicians?

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 09/12/2010 05:51:12 AM PDT

Today, I would like to propose a new process for selecting politicians at all levels of government. Candidates would not be allowed to campaign until 30 days before election, to accept political donations from lobbyists, or to spend more than a $100 of their own money in the process.

The current system of buying political office, as demonstrated by California's Meg Whitman, who has spent $99 million of her own thus far to purchase the governorship, would cease.

Under my new system, all candidates compete in three events, a series of competitions where everyone plays on an equal field. Judges determine winners by most points accumulated. For event No. 3, the public would join in the final determination.

 The first event will be the “Hot Air Competition.” As we all know, Global Warming is caused by large concentrations of politicians meeting daily worldwide. In this event, two opposing candidates will be put in a 12' x 12' glass cubicle for one hour and given a topic to debate.

For example, “Cockroaches versus Centipedes -- which is the bigger pain and where should funding for this study come from? The loser will be the first person who can't stand the heat and steam from the build up of incendiary rhetoric/hot air and bolts outside. Or crawls out. Whatever.

In the case of a draw, the contest will be extended for 15 minutes, up to three times. Contest organizers will rely on the fact that no human being (not even a politician) can survive the temperatures generated by an hour and 45 minutes of debate in a room that small.

Next, we have the “Broken Campaign Promises Dash.” Each candidate will submit a list of 12 campaign promises to the judges. The contestants, decked out in running clothes and packing cell phones, will line up on a standard one-mile track.

When the gun goes off, they break into a run while speed dialing their contacts. The idea is to see how many of those campaign promises can be broken before they cross the finish line.

Additional points will be awarded for most complete reversals. The public can be assured the biggest and best bull-s****r will take office, based on this race. Governor or president, the public will know what they're getting.

Then there's the “Mud Slinging” competition. The average American is already familiar with this event. Current office holders are professional mud-slingers with some boundaries. For this contest all pretense of civility and boundaries will be set aside. Two candidates will trade foul verbal obscenities that would usually be bleeped on public airwaves.

Faint-hearted viewers/listeners who come to this free-for-all will be warned that the air turns blue. Each contestant has ten minutes to revile the other and repudiate any alleged criminal offenses. In true democratic style the audience, both live and on television, will select the final winner via a sound meter.

The idea for these three events goes back to 1991, when I wrote an As It Stands column for The Desert Post Newspapers in the Coachella Valley on the possibility of a Political Olympics. It too, dripped with satire.

Since that idea hasn't gone mainstream -- and the International Olympic Committee said thanks for sharing, but go away, I salvaged these three events to be recycled here. Our election process is a pathetic joke at best, and maintaining a sense of humor may help us overcome hurdles like living with clueless leaders.

With November elections looming, you'll have to move fast if you'd like to see our current election process revamped, as discussed here. Starting a grassroots movement in Humboldt shouldn't be too hard. We have our share of people dissatisfied with the current political system.

I'm looking for people who are sick of our current electoral process, and who would like to circulate petitions for my proposed election method. Let's organize state and national voters to call for this transparent election process, nationwide.

As It Stands, as you may have surmised, I don't have any politician pals, and I attribute that to good living.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...