Let it Snow

December 7th, 2009

I was out and about today and was startled to see just how low the snowline was from last night's (12/6/09) precipitation; not only was Mount Diablo white almost to the base, but the Concord Hills were snow-covered and even the low peaks in Briones park to our west had a sprinkling of the white stuff.

On the news they said that snow had not fallen this low in this amount since 1978, and from what I can see, I believe it. Here, see for yourself (click for double size):

That's Diablo seen from Concord/Pleasant Hill at noon today; note the Concord (Clayton?) hills to the left. Sorry about the resolution, that's from my cell phone. A new camera is on my Christmas list (hint, hint).

Pussification of the American Male, part CCLIX

December 6th, 2009

WARNING: Profanity-laced rant!

We went to buy our Christmas tree today, at a local lot whose proceeds benefit some high school swim team or something. As usual, when looking around the lot all the trees have obvious flaws, and when one gets home and gets decorated it always looks perfect. Knowing this fact, my son and I were able to choose a tree in record time. I told him which ones would fit in the room, he picked one, and we took it home.

I had brought my pick-up truck (Ford F-150) so transporting the tree home was no problem. However, I like to keep the tree outdoors for a few days to suck up some water and shake out the dead needles, and I want it to take up a minimum of space, so I asked the young man who removed the lot stand to tie it up.

"We don't have a bundling machine," he replied apologetically.

"So the fuck what?" I snapped. "Loop some God-damned twine around that bitch and tie her the fuck up!"

Okay, I didn't say that. But I sure as hell thought it.

I grew up on a Christmas tree farm. My grandparents owned it. Every year from age zero through college I spent all weekends in December working on the tree farm. We didn't have a bundling machine, either. You carried twine and pruning shears and you hogtied that tree like a thirty-second kinbaku (Link not safe for work!!!) master. I've tied trees down to volkswagon beetles. I've tied a tree on the top of a fucking Winnebago, and let me fucking tell you that shit has to be tight.

So I don't have a lot of patience for this "we don't have a bundling machine" shit. So the fuck what? You have some God-damned twine, don't you? You have two hands, don't you? I won't ask about the brain because that shit's obvious. It ain't hard! Tie the tree up! "Don't have a bundling machine." What the fuck do you when your electric toothbrush breaks? If your bicycle chain snaps do you stand around crying like a little girl or do you walk the fuck home? When the electric ignition on my cheap-ass propane grill broke I switched to kitchen matches without more than a few curse words, but this guy would probably still be standing there weeping with a limp steak in his hand.

"Don't have a bundling machine"... shit.

Kids these days are pussies.

Sick Leave

December 3rd, 2009

At such point as I am a CEO, one of the company policies will be:

If you in the office, and you are sick, you will be docked a day's pay.

If you come to work sick you get other people sick, and that costs the company much more than if you had simply stayed home! Sneezing, coughing, nose-blowing in the office (when not explained by seasonal allergies) will be grounds for having your pay docked. People with the ability to work from home may of course do so. We have generous sick leave. If you start getting sick while at work, go home! There's no excuse for this, people.

That would be an odiferous conference hall

December 2nd, 2009

So it's December 2nd and for some reason, downtown San Francisco is overrun with homeless people.

Yes, wags, this is something unusual. I've worked in the Financial District for three years now and am passingly familiar with most of the homeless and the panhandlers in the area. Yet today both on the walk to work and during lunch I saw four to six ill-clad, urine-scented people pushing shopping carts where there usually would be one or two. And they're all people I don't recognize.

Is there a convention? Did Seattle bus a bunch down here? What's going on?

We're Saved! ...Thanks to Science!

December 1st, 2009

So neal points out a very interesting article over on BBC News, about how scientists have discovered a novel way to kill bacteria - even those worrisome "superbugs" which have developed immunity to conventional antibiotics.

Hooray! After all, we've all been worried about the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the coming return of bacterial pandemics and the New Black Death. Or at least I have. But now we need no longer worry! Thanks to Science!!

Actually, the article and the technology therein reminded me of the oligodynamic effect, a not-fully-understood phenomenon wherein various metals and their alloys are natively hostile to bacteria, to the point where a brass doorknob will disinfect itself in about eight hours.

Interesting stuff.