Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mckinleyville Cash Mob visits first local business – more planned

                          UPDATE BELOW!

I love it! You have to hand it to the Lakey family – they organized the first of hopefully many more cash mobs to support our local business owners in Mack Town.

  I’m especially pleased that Mandy Lakey was inspired to organize cash mobs after reading my column on cash mobs -

 Cash mobs: Reprieves for struggling Mom & Pop businesses.

  It’s one thing to suggest something, and quit another to actually really do it. The Lakey’s are community minded-people that make Mack Town the great place it is to live. 

Megan and Evan, owners of McKinleyville Central Market, featured with Joshua Lakey, (top photo left) owner of the Silver Lining Resturant & Gift Shop at the McKinleyville Airport. Mckinleyville Central Market was the first business to be “mobbed.”

Do you want to know more about Mack Town’s Cash Mob program? Just go to Humboldt Cash Mob and find out how you can support our local business community.

In our tough economy it’s heartening to see people get together for a positive common goal. I love living here for a lot of reasons, and the people here are one of them.

Support your local newspaper- The Mckinleyville Press – by getting a subscription and staying informed on what’s happening with your friends and neighbors.


Mandy Lakey has straightened me out about who started the Cash Mob Movement in Humboldt – it was a gentleman named Seth Geddes. THANK YOU SETH! You can thank Seth too at: seth[at]citycardmovement[dot]org.


World’s richest man loses $ 4.1 billion but no big deal – he’s got plenty where that came from

Carlos Slim Helú

Easy come, easy go?

The world’s richest people lost a combined $32.8 billion this week as concerns over a possible Greek exit from the euro area pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to its biggest weekly loss since November 2011.

Mexican Carlos Slim, 72, lost the most during the week, as shares of his Mexico City-based telecommunications company America Movil SAB fell 4.38 percent. Slim, who lost $4.1 billion, remains the world’s richest person with a $65.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

                                    In case you never heard of him:

Carlos Slim Helú (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɾlos esˈlim eˈlu]; born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican business magnate and philanthropist who is currently ranked as the richest person in the world in 2012. Slim has been ranked the richest person in the world since 2010. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, have amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. Presently he is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil.

América Móvil, which in 2010 was Latin America’s largest mobile-phone carrier, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim's wealth by the end of 2010. His corporate holdings as of March 2012 have been estimated at US$69 billion.

The ultimate future app for your smart phone: beam me up Scotty!

Getty Images

       Good Day Humboldt County!

  I was kidding with a friend about what smart phones will probably be capable of next and my wild guess turned out to be…well not so wild.

Smart phones providing transportation as in (wink wink!) …beam me up Scotty!It could happen.

Did you know teleportation is actually possible? It came as a revelation to me. The thought that a new form of travel could open up in the near future is kind of exciting. And scary. And I want to be the first on the block to get it!

“Harry Potter and Star Trek fans, rejoice! Teleportation is real. Using powerful lasers and optics to manipulate photons, or units of light, researchers in China set a record for teleporting a photon more than 10 miles (16 km), TIME reported in 2010. Now a different team of physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai says it has shattered that record, claiming to have sent a photon more than 60 miles (97 km).

Quantum teleportation, which has been around since 1997, is a little different than what you see in sci-fi movies. Considered “one of the holy grails of practical quantum communication,” as the scientists write in their abstract, teleportation is the ability to essentially move one object from one place to another without traversing the space in between. But as Forbes explains, the actual object is not moving from point A to point B. Rather, the distant photon mirrors the information contained by the original photon, essentially becoming an identical twin.” (read the whole story here)

Time for me to head on down the road…

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just for Fun Friday: The Fly-On-the-Wall Illusion

If you stare at the fly sitting in the center of the yellow-blue pattern on the right for a minute or so, and then switch your view onto the fly on your left – you’ll experience one interesting effect! Normally the cow photo looks divided into two different colored surfaces, but if you follow the previously mentioned procedure correctly – the cow photo will appear perfectly normal.

colored cow optical illusion


In the ‘Dying Doing What You Love Department’ - Man Dies During a Lapdance

TStock photo of an adult entertainer on stage. (© Mark Peterson/Corbis) hey say you should go out doing what you love. A 67-year-old Texas man may have taken that inspirational advice to heart Friday night when he died at a strip club while getting erotic lap dances. According to a manager at the Red Parrot, Robert Gene White was face-deep in pelvic gyrations when it came time to pay the girls and he was found unresponsive. Staff attempted CPR before calling emergency responders, who took the man to the hospital. We can only guess White's final earthly sights, but we're pretty sure he passed on to the other side with pleasant visions in tow. (News source)

Keeping it Real: sometimes lines blur when we ‘escaping’ from reality

         Good Day Humboldt County!

Fantasy and reality are clashing more every day. Theme parks transport people to alternate universes. Theatres offer more than just movies. Seats are built onto moveable platforms that coordinate movement (up and down, side-to-side) with what’s happening on the big screen. Monster sound systems coupled with 3-D clarity and graphics out of this world…and you have a surreal experience.

Entertainment often involves setting reality aside and just going with the story line. My column this coming Sunday – Coming Soon: A Superhero Near You - is about some people who are living their fantasies out by wearing superhero costumes and patrolling neighborhoods in search of crime.

One of entertainment’s dark sides is crazy fans. Actors, celebrities, and sports stars sometimes have to deal with people who worship and stalk them. Other so-called fans outright threaten them (and sometimes even their family) for imagined sins.

A recent example is what happened to basketball player, Steve Blake. He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and comes off the bench. He missed a shot that could have won Game Two of the NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma Thunder Wednesday. Apparently some fans (immature idiots) felt they had to take their ire out on Blake’s wife and family!    

“Various fans sent messages to the Twitter account of Kristen Blake, Steve's Blake’s wife, filled with profanity-laced death threats toward the Lakers' guard and his family.

"It's pretty disappointing that there's a lot of hateful people out there," Blake said after the Lakers' practice Thursday at the team's facility in El Segundo. "You move on. I just don't appreciate it when it's toward my family. You can come at me all you want. But when you say things about my wife and my kids, it makes me upset." (Read the whole story here)

The line between reality and fantasy is a fragile one for many people in our society. It’s no secret we have mentally ill people living in the streets of every state in the Union. But, they also can live next door to you in an exclusive neighborhood. There’s a lot of reasons why we as a society feel the need to escape. Sometimes that need turns ugly.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Gag-A-Rama: Teen finds finger in his roast beef sandwich

A customer at an Arby's in Michigan got a little more than roast beef in his sandwich last week when he bit into a piece of a finger, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reports.

Ryan Hart, 14, tells the newspaper he was almost done with the sandwich when he tasted something rubbery. He spat it out and saw the back of a finger extending beyond the first knuckle. His reaction: "I was "about to puke. ... It was just nasty."

Steve Hall, environmental health director for the Jackson County Health Department, tells the Citizen Patriot an Arby's employee had sliced her finger while operating a meat slicer and left her station without immediately telling anyone what happened. Other workers were filling an order before they became aware of the situation, Hall says. The restaurant did not close.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coffee Lovers are Buzzing about the Good News – Drink Up, and Live Longer!

                           Good Day Humboldt County!

I had my first cup of coffee when I was a freshman in high school. Like most teenagers, I was ready to give anything a try. That included trying the bitter brew my parents loved (and still do).

It was considered an adult drink. I was in a hurry to be an adult, so drinking coffee with a couple of friends at a coffee shop before going to school was extremely cool thing to do. Oh yeah…and smoking cigarettes.

Everyone seemed to smoke back in those days. I’m glad I finally quit in 2000. But, I still drink coffee every morning. I NEED COFFEE every morning! MUST HAVE COFFEE before any decisions are made for the day…like getting dressed.

Over the years, I’ve heard some negative things about drinking coffee – which I willfully ignored – and decided that if I had to die anyway…then I’d do it with a cup of coffee in my hand. Too much caffeine be damned. Then I saw this article over a cup of steaming Joe this morning:

 “One of life's simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn't matter.

The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it's a guilty pleasure that may do harm. "Our study suggests that's really not the case," said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. "There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking." (Read the whole story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trio of idiots try to sell grenade launcher to undercover fed: two imprisoned, one on bail as long as he reads an hour a day and does a book report!

Growing up I use to think school was a real drag, and when it came to writing book reports …yuck! That meant I had to read a book and make some intelligent comments in an essay afterwards. Reading and writing a report wasn’t considered punishment – just part of the educational process back then.

So why would a judge sentence someone to do a book report while on bail after trying to sell a grenade launcher and pulling a gun on a cop? Doesn’t make sense to me. I wonder what’s on the list of books the judge is providing?

I’m just guessing, but I don’t think they’ll be listed on the Top 10 at Amazon. So what do you think will be on the list? I’m thinking “Crime and Punishment,” might be one of them.

“One of three men indicted for allegedly trying to sell a grenade launcher during a deal that led to gunfire in Richmond was ordered released on bond Monday by a federal judge, who allowed him to remain free so long as he reads each day and completes book reports.

Over the objections of federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a request by 23-year-old Otis Mobley Jr. to be released before trial. She ordered him to "read and complete book reports," spending an hour every day on books and at least a half an hour writing. The judge said she plans to provide a reading list for Mobley as he awaits trial.” (Read the whole story here)

We call it Thanksgiving, Georgians call it Shemoedjamo, both celebrate eating massive quanities of food

          Good day Humboldt County!

  My wife and I were watching a series on obesity last night and how American eating habits are killing us slowly but steadily.

  It wasn’t a pretty picture by any means. Americans are pigs! We eat too much, and two-out-of-three are overweight or obese. Even our kids. What can be done? Americans love eating to the point they’re sacrificing future generations health.  

I was surprised to find there’s another country that celebrates gorging on food for fun just like us (Nod of the hat to Cracked). The European Georgians call the special holiday “Shemomedjamo” and it’s their version of our Thanksgiving. The word basically means: the act of eating to the point where your body says, "OK, we did it! We're all done now," and then muscling through another three steaks.

The only way to know if you're done eating on Thanksgiving is when physical pain gets involved. If you don't eat on Thanksgiving until it hurts to breathe, you're either a liar or a terrorist (you're welcome, FBI). In fact, many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving shemomedjamo every day, because they're so patriotic.

The literal translation for shemomedjamo is "I accidentally ate the whole thing," which is a charming way of saying "Oh my God, why isn't somebody stopping me?!"

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Illusions are art, for the feeling person, and it is by art that we live, if we do

treedvgfp         What do you see?

              A Tree?

          A Face or more?

        The longer you look

        The more you’ll see

               the Story

 illusion found here




Thinking about going on vacation? No shirt, no pants, no problem at Vegas Nudist Convention

File photo of nudists (© Tim Macpherson/Riser/Getty images)

The most stressful part of traveling can be deciding what to pack and coordinating all those outfits, accessories, belts and ties. Here's a simple solution: the Nudist Clubhouse Nudist Expo 2012, a two-day convention in Las Vegas (of course) that highlights all-nude resorts and naked-vacation (or "nakation") packages. Visitors to the expo can drop their trousers after dark at clothing-optional pool parties and grill outs. One unnamed Vegas hotel will even let expo participants ignore its regular "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy and cruise around naked. (Source)

There’s No Accounting For Taste: From Monkey Toes to Rodents, People Will Eat Almost Anything

                  Good Day Humboldt County!

When it comes to what I’ll eat, I’m not much of an explorer. Blazing culinary paths will never appear on my bucket list. I’ve got too sensitive of a stomach! The only time I ever went outside the box when it came to food was when I ate a bowl of fish head stew in the highlands of Vietnam with a group of indigenous people called Montegards. I couldn’t refuse out of courtesy, but I can still see that partial fish head’s eye staring at me in my nightmares! 

Every culture invents a food that is weird or disgusting to outsiders. These strange foods are cultural markers to show who's a member (insiders like it) and who's not a member (outsiders hate it.) Maybe a kid ate first it on a dare. They pass it on to the next generation. Then they nudge each other and laugh when outsiders gag.
For example, many cultures pride themselves on their foul-tasting local drinks, such as white lightning, pulque, chong, retsina, and so on. You're accepted if you drink it. There's stuff like Balut – see photo - that is normal fare for Filipinos that makes most Westerners cringe.

                                                   PART I : Some examples  from Mammals:

Monkey Toes
Deep fried monkey toes, eat it off the bone.

(South Africa)
Borewors - sheep,pig,cattle intestines stuffed with meat and offcuts, spiced with herds and cooked on an open flame (barbeque) and served as a meal or snack.

Pig Blood
Pigs blood with eggs. In Hungary, it is a big deal to kill the first pig of the season. So there I was in the morning watching some of my co-working chasing a pig around in the back yard. they caught it, slit it neck, and colleted the blood in a frying pan and then added scrambled eggs.

(USA Louisiana)
Nutria are large semi-aquatic rodents indigenous to South America... In the 1930's nutria were imported into Louisiana for the fur industry and were released, either intentionally or accidentally into the Louisiana coastal marshes. Nutria have caused extensive damage to Louisiana coastal wetlands due to their feeding activity. Due to this damage, officials in Louisiana are now promoting Nutria as a food source, even posting recipes. From what I've heard, they don't taste good enough to eat.

(South Africa)
Animals ranging from cattle to wild animal - springbok, eland or even elephant, get cut up into strips and hung out to dry. Once it is dry it is ready for consumption. National snack for all rugby supporters.

Squirrel Brain
(US South)
Yes, the brain of the small tree climbing rodent. You cook the head with the rest of the body (after cleaning of course), then, using your fingers and a fork, you crack the skull open and dig the brain out. Tastes kind of like mushrooms to me.

Salo is pig fat stored in vats and eaten cold, either raw, smoked, fried or boiled. I guess you could compare it to fatback. It's a delicacy over there. Making fun of the invasion of Snickers bars since the fall of the USSR, the Ukrainians jokingly call chocolate-covered salo "Ukrainian Snickers." Worse yet, some enterprising (?) Ukrainian somewhere decided to actually market the stuff! (

There’s nine more categories of weird food that I’ll share in the coming months that will either delight or disgust you! Stray tuned.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, May 14, 2012

Millions of Americans act like zombies every night…

                          Sleep walking.

This, finally, may explain our cultural obsession with zombies: Long after dark, millions of Americans basically become one.Without warning, they suddenly rise from their silent, supine states then roam aimlessly, eyes open and mouths sputtering gibberish.

About 8.5 million U.S. adults -- or 3.6 percent of the grownup population -- have taken at least one sleepwalking jaunt during the past year, according to research released today by the Stanford University School of Medicine.

By the way, did you know, when birds fly, they can sleep with one half of their brain, while the other half is analyzing the flight? That’s why you see birds going for thousand of miles without any problem. They sleep when they fly…or sleep on the fly…just depends on how you look at it.

More ammunition for Wal Mart haters: being snake bit while shopping!

It seems like a lot of people spend time dissing Wal Mart stores, as they are the corporate poster child for ripping off their employees. I’ve heard a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t shop there, but getting snake bit beats them all! I’ll make sure to stay out of the Garden Department if, and when, I visit Eureka’s soon-to-open Wal Mart at the Bayshore Mall. Here’s what happened:

A man says he reached down to pick up a stick lying in the gardening aisle of a Wal-Mart in Idaho, only to discover that it was a rattlesnake that then bit his hand. Mica Craig says he was shopping in the outdoor garden department of a Lewiston store when he was bitten Saturday. The 47-year-old man from Clarkston, Wash., says it latched onto his hand and that he screamed and managed to shake loose the snake and stomped it to death.

The Lewiston Tribune ( ) reports a bystander drove Craig to a local emergency room. Craig says he was treated with six bags of anti-venom and was told that his hand could be permanently disfigured. He says doctors expect him to remain hospitalized until Tuesday.

Hi, my name is Dave and I’m addicted to basketball…and the Lakers


               Good Day Humboldt County!

  Hi, my name is Dave and I’m a sports fan. A Laker fan to be specific. I’ve had this affliction since the tender age of eleven when the Lakers moved to Los Angeles from Minnesota prior to the 1961 season.

  I admit to having too much memorabilia, but I enjoy collecting. It’s even more fun when friends and family buy me Laker related items. What can I say?

  Basketball has always been my favorite sport. I love playing it and watching it. I know. It’s a mindless pursuit and probably killing brain cells daily…but I can’t help myself. I just recently gained access to an indoor gym (joined a health club) and getting back into my “shooter’s zone.” I’m so slow it’s like watching someone in slow motion, but as the days turn to weeks and months I hope to improve my speed and agility. I think I have a little left in the tank at 61 (soon to be 62).

  So…no surprise I’m following the NBA Playoffs. When the Lakers finally got their act together and beat the Denver Nuggets on Saturday I was finally able to exhale. I think I would have enjoyed getting a colonoscopy over watching Game 5 and 6 when the Nuggets made the Lakers look lame. Despite my outright bias for the Lakers I can’t realistically see them getting past the Oklahoma Thunder (the 7-game series starts tonight).

That doesn’t mean I won’t be hoping for a miracle. If the Lakers “Bigs” show up, the team won’t have to resort to the do-or-die Kobe show. I know Kobe is great, but he’s going to have to accept the Lakers can’t win this series if he doesn’t pass the ball. A lot. As in taking half the usual amount of baskets and playing tougher defense.

  There’s other factors that give me hope like Steve Blake’s 3-point shot coming back (5 in game seven), the defense off the bench from Jordan Hill (even some scoring), Matt Barnes slashing style of defense has been effective, and Ramon Sessions is still coming into his own and giving the Lakers some speed at the point. Finally, you can’t discount what Metta World Peace brings to the court. Toughness. I just hope he can restrain himself from any more stupid things like giving his opponents concussions!

  The odds makers barely give LA a chance in this series. That’s fine with me…I really love underdogs!!!

                                                         A brief history of the Lakers:

Founded in 1947, the Lakers are one of the NBA's most famous and successful franchises.

The Minnestota Lakers came to Los Angeles prior to the 1961 season, making the Lakers the NBA's first West Coast team. The Lakers did not change their name after this move. Now you know why they’re called the Lakers despite the fact California is not know for it’s many lakes.

Besides the relocation to Los Angeles, a second big change to the team was the addition of point guard Jerry West. A third was the hiring of West's college coach Fred Schaus to helm the team, and a fourth was the post-season addition of Francis Dayle "Chick" Hearn as the Lakers' play-by-play announcer. Hearn would go on to hold that post for the next 41 years.

The new Los Angeles Lakers improved on the previous year's results before losing once more to the Hawks in the Western Conference Finals. The duo of Baylor and West proved to be lethal and they both finished among the NBA's top 10 scorers for the next four years.

September 1965 saw another team upheaval when the team was purchased by Canadian-American entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke for $5 million. Also, rookie Gail Goodrich joined the team.The Lakers moved to Cooke's brand-new arena, The "Fabulous" Forum, in 1967 with new coach Bill van Breda Kolff.

The Lakers now play at Staples Center a multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles that opened on October 17, 1999. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. Staples Center is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AS IT STANDS: Most Americans prepare to vote, others get ready for war

          By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
While most of the country follows the presidential campaign this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is following a trend that should concern all Americans; a spike in hate groups.
So-called patriot groups, militias, and hate groups are preparing for a civil war if President Obama gets re-elected. These anti-government groups numbered 149 when Obama took office. There are over 1,200 today, an increase of 755 percent, according to SPLC, a nonprofit civil rights organization.
“The reality is that many of these groups are more and more fearful that Barack Obama will win re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear," said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report.

Last week, ten members of  a white supremacist skinhead group called American Front, which authorities described as a militia-styled, anti-Semitic domestic terrorist organization, were arrested in Florida.
The felony arrest charges include paramilitary training, attempting to shoot into an occupied dwelling, and evidence of prejudices while committing an offense. The last charge falls under Florida's hate-crimes law.
Once based in California, most of the groups activities and most of its members, are in Florida, according to what Potok wrote on the center’s Hatewatch blog.
The reason these anti-government and hate groups are fearful and preparing for war can be attributed to a variety of factors; radical propaganda, anxiety over the re-election of a black president, a sluggish economy, and an irrational fear the government will take away their guns.

I say irrational fear, because President Obama hasn’t passed one anti-gun law during his term thus far. The only people whose guns are taken away are criminals. The numbers of militia/hate groups have continued to grow, jumping from 824 in 2010 to 1274 this year, according to the SPLC report.
President Obama has actually been criticized for failing to crack down on gun proliferation. Last summer, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., led an investigation into an ATF gun-tracking operation and said the Obama administration has been less stringent than the Bush in gun-law enforcement.
In 2009 Obama drew criticism from the left for signing a bill that allowed gun owners to carry concealed weapons into national parks.
Some militias say exercising their constitutional right to bear arms does not mean they are committed to revolution. The poster boy for the militia movement is 20 year veteran, Ed LeStage .

When he found out his militia group, the 63rd Battalion of Lightfoot Militia,  was listed in the SPLC report, LeStage’s reaction was to deny his group was a danger to anyone unless they were communists or socialists who attacked them. 
That in itself is troubling, as his group believes socialists and communists are already running the government. The implication is obvious. LeStage  claims militias come from U.S. citizens’ desire to restore the country to its constitutional roots.
"He’s been after our guns," LeStage said. "Obama’s been the best gun salesman there ever was," he said in an interview with the Murrow News Service. There it is again. That fear of losing guns. I don’t see any basis for that fear, as I mentioned earlier.

On LeStage’s website he says we will probably lose our republic and turn into another socialist country if Obama is re-elected.
"Nov.8th should be the start of the next civil war," a member with the username "Thunder" wrote in January on LeStage’s website. "May GOD guide us safely," the member added.

There’s also been a steady rise in the number of hate groups, from 604 in 2000, to more than 1,000 last year, according to the SPLC report. Those include anti-gay groups, anti-Muslim groups, black separatists and "Christian Identity" groups, who hold racist and anti-Semitic views that overlap neo-Nazi beliefs.
One of the things that bothers me is the misuse of the word “patriot.” Too many hate groups co-opt the word. I consider myself a patriot, but don’t see the need to arm myself and prepare for a civil war because I want change. I have concerns about the government invading our privacy, and have written numerous columns on that subject.

Still, my reaction isn’t violence. I trust the power of the written word. I believe another civil war is not the answer, and preparing for one is unpatriotic. We must not let propaganda from hate groups steer us into a war no American can win.
This year’s presidential election is already so toxic I can’t help thinking the rhetoric will get worse now that Mitt Romney has emerged as the once and future candidate for the GOP.
As It Stands, not so quietly behind the scenes, hate groups and militias are preparing for a homegrown war if President Obama is re-elected. 

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...