Link, Blog, Life Dump

Back in Berkeley and sorting thru the debris pile of notes from ten days in Vegas. Not every note becomes blog-worthy and others just are random ponderings on the nature of reality or something like it.

We ran into several living street statues on the Las Vegas Strip. You know those struggling actors/waiters who get into some kind of costume and then stand still. Always a bit puzzling for me but seen as evil by one of my traveling companions. He had the reaction that many of us have to clowns the first time we actually get the dark nature of those big footed pervs. What I liked the most about this conversation was his immediate off-the-cuff comment when several of us pointed out that we considered mimes much worse. "Street statues are the Bastard Stepchildren of Mimes." What a great phrase.


Whether Weather. We got lucky last week in Vegas, only one day was over ninety degrees. Global Cooling don't you know. I drove through several hours of 90+ on the way back Saturday but it was a pleasant 52 degrees when I arrived in the East Bay early in the evening. Today is a glorious foggy, rainy and sunless day, which is weather I truly enjoy. But tis late in the season for wetness here in Northern California, the summer dry season is usually upon us by now. What does all this mean? 

Well for one thing the reservoirs are filling up. Several of the water basins, including the monster Lake Shasta are above historical average for this date and we have yet to experience the bulk of the Sierra snowpack melt. Not that the lingering drought is over but this has been a good wet winter for California and at least for today -- it continues.


Free book download. The University of Chicago Press is offering a free download every month. These are academic books but they really are free. This has been going on for about a year and the titles are usually interesting and truly diverse. This month: Cartographies of Danger: Mapping Hazards in America. You get the whole book and, of course, a pitch to download other offerings at quite reasonable prices. 


And finally today, there appears to be a hashish crisis in Egypt. It is unclear at present whether a government crackdown (perhaps not the best word choice) is responsible or just another product supply issue associated with the worldwide economic crisis. Here in California there is a similar problem with a crash in marijuana prices brought on my over supply from the Emerald Triangle and the medical marijuana initiatives. I got the marijuana story from NPR, which actually took a business perspective on the story and nearly decried the loss to the growers from this plummet in commodities pricing.