: views from the Hill

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I follow 214 blogs with bloglines.com.

Sure ... I said, "Follow." but in real life I go away for three weeks and come back and see someone's posted seventy-eight blog entries in the interim and it takes me a while to get up to speed. ... if ever.

And then there are people whose blogs I really like who update every six weeks or so, durn 'em.

And then there are people whose blogs I like but I really should move them over to my delicious.com bookmarks because I just don't keep up, even though I'd like to in theory. I've been doing that bit by bit.

Usually when I get back from away, I catch up on the easy pickings (people who haven't posted much) and then I start in on the people for whom I have a backlog of a hundred or more posts to catch up on.

One section of my bloglines setup is a collection of blogs of people I've met on misc.writing or close thereto. Tonight I noticed the following on the list of unread posts for the blogs in that list:

# Alan 's Google Reader (118)
# DebbieOhi - Inkygirl: Daily Diversions (119)
# Deck: Cyber Curmudgeon (118)
# Kemnitzer/Peeking into the rock (118)

We're talking twenty-six blogs in that subset, peeples, and four of the twenty-six blogs have either 118 or 119 blog posts waiting to be read.


Nora Ephron on Hillary, HillRaisers, and "narcissistic mortification"

Ephron doesn't have as rosy a take on Hillary's speech last night as I do:


"My favorite part of Hillary Clinton's speech last night was when she admonished her followers not to put their affection for her over the issues. When she reminded them that what's at stake is far more crucial than their loyalty to her. When she reproved them for thinking for even a moment that her historic thrilling campaign was more important than the real campaign to defeat the Republicans.

"Where any of her followers could have gotten the idea doesn't seem to have crossed her mind. The fish stinks from the head down. The Clintons' narcissism (and yes, I know, it's an overused term but if there was ever a moment for it in our national life, this is it) perfumed every bit of Hillary's campaign, and it leaked down to her contributors and followers. "Were you in it for me" was her funniest line of the night."


Read the entire column.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kos: It's a hell of a thing.

Jefe has an excellent post titled, It's a hell of a thing.

And in reply, I posted in the comments:

Life is full of things that are a hell of a thing and I get deep into the dark ooze if I think about it too much.

When I hear stories like the one you tell, or I hear about the guy who was minding his own business riding in a car that was crossing the bridge last Sunday when a drunk rear-ended the Mercedes he was in, killing him, or I hear about ex-Raider Gene Upshaw, who died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer. He'd been diagnosed on Sunday.

It's a hell of a thing.

I live like I will live forever when it comes to making plans for staying out of the poorhouse when I'm on a pension, but I live like a truck may come off the overpass tomorrow and squish my Mini flat when it comes to not putting a certain class of things off until "some day."

Hugs don't get put off. Friends. Important things. Things that I don't want to wind up years from now thinking, I wish I had that time back again. I wish I got a do-over. ...

DNC: Montana Governor Schweitzer's address

So far ... tops on my list: Michelle Obama's speech. Kucinich. Hillary's.

... and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

What a guy. You go KICK BUTT, Schweitzer!

He had them up and cheering.

"Stand up, Colorado! Stand up!"
"Florida! Stand up!"
"Michigan! Stand up!"
"Pennsylvania! Stand up!"
"Get off of your hind end!
"In the cheap seats! Stand up!"


Mark Warner Democratic Convention Speech: Text

Mark Warner Democratic Convention Speech: Text

I am way not keen on Mark Warner.

As I watched his speech, something went woop!woop!woop! in the background.

Warner's speech

Well done, Hillary.

Amazing speech.

"No way. No how. No McCain."

"Keep going. ..."

Well done, Hillary.

Part I
Part II
Part III

Monday, August 25, 2008

Michelle Obama @ DNC

Took me a long time to get the vid for this, so if you've been having the same sorts of issues, here you go.

I don't remember other political spouses doing their thing at conventions.

Michelle's was ... pretty good! I think.

... and I think, after labeling this "politics," maybe I should have a "2008 elections" label, eh?

Update: I've added an election2008 label to the stasho'labels. I'll fill it in over the next while.

And so it begins ... Balsa Man, A Diminute Effigy For A Reduced Community

Folks I know remember the original Burning Man events out on Baker Beach and ... refuse to go to the what-now-it-is experience out in the Nevada desert.

(Shout out! to Don who's off on his post-significant-bday Burning Man experience! and to those folks his nibs worked with in the Exploratorium tech haven who are burners in their off-hours!)

Here is an alternative this Saturday out at Baker Beach for those in town.

We'll be up at Donner Lake with the Bixby Creek crowd who soon (well, now, obviously) will no longer have a Bixby Creek place to gather because our illustrious hosts are selling their place and none of the rest of us -- much as we love the place and the memories -- have the wherewithal to buy it.


[via Laughing Squid]

Ted at the DNC

Towse's True Confessions...

I have never been a Ted Kennedy fan, for various reasons I won't go into here.

But this made me cry.

(Thought it was interesting that C-SPAN thought they had to identify Caroline Kennedy as "daughter of John F. Kennedy".)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden and smart women

Adele Stan @ Huffington Post (Careful, Joe! "Smart Woman" Jokes a Dicey Game) isn't the only commentator to hear Biden's crack about his wife Jill's doctorate degree as a slam against smart women with too much education.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous. My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, she also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem."

Call me naive or slow to take offense when none's intended, but I interpreted that kidding to be aimed at her doctorate degree not on the fact she's a woman with a doctorate degree.

Joe Biden has a law degree from Syracuse University. Jill Biden has a PhD in Education from the University of Delaware.

In the words of a famous person, "Lighten up, folks."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Follow up on "The Omnivore's Hundred" list

Follow up on The Omnivore's Hundred list post.

K asked,
Where on the list are: head cheese, Rocky Mtn.Oysters, Finnan haddi?

I've eaten head cheese and Finnan haddie.

Mom used to make Finnan haddie when we were young. Not one of my faves at the time. Didn't like her Swedish meatballs either. Maybe I would now.

She used to make Grandma Towse's goulash -- which is not really goulash by any stretch of the imagination -- and humored me by letting me have the macaroni and the ground beef and the tomatoes separate on my plate. She then tossed the ingredients together for the goulash for the rest of the family. For some reason, I liked the ingredients fine apart but I thought that goulash was awful.

Note: this is the singular instance I can recall of Mom making anything special for anyone not much liking what she was making for dinner. I think it was because I wasn't asking her to go much out of her way -- just give me the separate ingredients before you mix them all together.

Had Kobe beef as part of a Dissident Chef dinner over at Crush Pad last night.

Earlier this week, after his nibs had seen my list, he said I'd already eaten both Kobe beef and horse.

"Really?" I said. "Horse?"

"Yes," he answered. "Well, =I= had it in France and I don't think I've been there without you."

Maybe so. I have a mind like a sieve.

I meet your head cheese, Rocky Mtn.Oysters, Finnan haddie and raise you:
  • tongue (beef tongue is soul food for his nibs)
  • pork or lamb kidney (kidneys of any sort. I like them. his nibs doesn't.)
  • tarasun (Buryat 'vodka' distilled from soured milk)
  • fiddle-leaf ferns
  • yak (We passed on a chance to eat yak eyeballs.)
  • Retsina
  • chicken feet
  • scrapple
  • tripe or menudo

and I'll stop there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Comcast mail and Usenet connections have been refused since yesterday p.m. What changed?

Those of you spot the tweets over >>> there will notice that I was having problems with e-mail and Usenet connectivity since yesterday.

What changed?

After much poking and what not, here's what needed changing. I'm putting it here so I can find it again should the situation pop up.

Error msgs indicated that comcast mail connection refused as was pop.gmail. Wassup with that?

Being as I send mail to my personal accounts both to comcast.net and to a gmail account as backup, I could still read my e-mails.

As an aside ... turns out =still= that about 10% of mail sent to comcast.net lands in some sys$null in comcastland. The mail that is picked up from the gmail account is more complete. I check the comcast.net bin every once in a bit in case someone sent e-mail directly to the comcast.net account. Usually the only source of mail sent directly to the comcast.net account is comcast itself.

I use the gmail account when I'm "wandering". ...
When I'm "home," Tbird grabs the gmail account POP mail and puts it in my local folder.

SOLN: (hours later): for whatever reason thunderbird.exe was no longer on McAfee's goodguy list. Add thunderbird.exe to the goodguy list maintained by McAfee's firewall.

That cleared some of the problems, but next up: pop.gmail.com timed out.

SOLN: the word from gmail. Simply put: Use port 995. Have SSL set.

So what happened 'twixt then and now? I'm not sure. I suspect the problems with the McAfee firewall are connected with an update they pushed yesterday. I have no idea where the port/SSL problems with gmail came from. Maybe I fiddled things around while I was trying to make things work earlier today and forgot to set things back where they were. Happens.

Update: Outgoing mail wasn't going out this morning. (You can tell how much e-mail =I= send.) Had to set the port for smtp.comcast.net to 587. Comcast.net blocks the default port: 25.

Fish Tale Has DNA Hook - Students Find Bad Labels

Fish Tale Has DNA Hook - Students Find Bad Labels - NYTimes.com

Two teenagers, recently graduated from high school, decided to check whether the fish in restaurants and at the fishmongers is really what it's labeled as.

Upshot? They found 25% of the fish with DNA they could identify had been mislabeled.

(The mislabeling usually meant the fish was identified by the seller as a more expensive fish than it really was. Shock.)

The teenagers shipped the fish off to someone at FISHBOL who did the DNA analysis using a newish technique that is simpler and cheaper than a full-bore analysis.

Bad enough that your wild-caught salmon might not be wild-caught. It might not even be salmon!

How to Smell Like a Used Bookstore

How to Smell Like a Used Bookstore from Dwight Garner's PAPER CUTS blog about books for the NYT.

Review is of Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. Garner quotes from a perfume review in the book.

DZING! (L’Artisan Parfumeur) ***** vanilla cardboard

Olivia Giacobetti is here at her imaginative, humorous best, and Dzing! is a masterpiece. Dzing! smells of paper, and you can spend a good while trying to figure out whether it is packing cardboard, kraft wrapping paper, envelopes while you lick the glue, old books, or something else. I have no idea whether this was the objective, but I have few clues as to why it happened. Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good-quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us. L’Artisan Parfumeur is, for reasons unknown, planning to discontinue this marvel, so stock up.

Sounds nice to me.

My American Prayer and musical stops along the way

My American Prayer is a Web site to promote the pro-Obama Dave-Stewart-and-Seth-Dalton-directed video (with a cast of thousands, including Joan Baez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barry Manilow) called My American Prayer.

Wandering away from there I found there's also the new "Yes We Can" video (a musical video with no connection to Will.i.am's classic) out from Maria Muldaur and Bonnie Raitt. Recorded at Studio D Recording in Sausalito.

Count down to November.

Joan Baez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barry Manilow?!?!! Yipes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"We become what we think about." Earl Nightingale

I grew up listening to short, inspirational spots on KCBS narrated by Earl Nightingale.

What a voice that man had.

Through some weird click to click to link to click, I stumbled across a free audio of Earl Nightingale's classic The Strangest Secret today over at the Mark Victor Hansen site with added commentary by MVH, but ... well, I stopped the audio to write down a thought and backtrack and had to start ALL OVER AGAIN!.

and again...
and again...

Yeeks. Can't deal with that.

Go over to YouTube and find Earl Nightingale's The Strangest Secret, unfiltered and uncommented.

part 2
part 3

"We become what we think about." -- Earl Nightingale
"A man is what he thinks about all day long." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want Mark Victor Hansen (he of CHICKEN SOUP fame) and his commentary and Earl Nightingale's classic, here 'tis.

Beautiful soup, so rich and so green, bubbling in the soup tureen

via Paula -- foodie stuff, which originated over at Andrew Wheeler's Very Good Taste.

I so seldom do these things ... but this appealed. I'd never have seen it but for Paula. Thanks, Paula!

The Omnivore's Hundred

Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you've eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (no ... yak butter tea though)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (not that I remember. ...)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (not that I remember. ...)
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - I don't recommend Maui pineapple wine.
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream - My sister made THE BEST coffee ice cream for the family BBQ on Sunday. Yum.
21. Heirloom tomatoes The Dissident Chef prepared a 10-11 course dinner a week or so ago that had tomatoes in every course. Loads of heirloom tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries - used to pick them at my grandparents' farm
23. Foie gras -- Paula says, "cruelty!!" but I say, "Yum." PETA and other folks are really aiming to get rid of all meat animals including chickens, who have a much worse life than the geese, but they start with foie gras. Because most people don't eat it, they don't care if it's banned. If they'd started with the Sunday roast chicken, they'd've been stomped out of business.
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (Raw? No.)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I haven't had that many cigars in my lifetime, let alone big fat ones.)
37. Clotted cream tea -- Clotted cream. Ym. With scones to spread it on and jam and tea? Dbl-ym.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects -- Grilled grasshoppers in Yunnan, iirc. I used to put chocolate covered insects in my dad's stocking back when I played Santa.
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu - I don't play Russian roulette either.
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal - don't like the oversized soda
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini - I've had so few martinis in my lifetime. Never a dirty one.
58. Beer above 8% ABV - La Trappe Quadrupel (Koningshoeven) is 10%ABV and my beer of choice at La Trappe restaurant on Columbus Ave, North Beach, SF.
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads - his nibs wooed me with home-cooked sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (not that I remember. ...)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian - saw some yesterday in Chinatown. $1.09/lb. Some day ...
66. Frogs' legs - when I was very young I used to go to the pond with my grandfather to catch the frogs for frogs' legs.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain - comfort food from the days in Brazil
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu - I believe this was the firewater we picked up in a market in remote Yunnan
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini - how could you stop at Harry's Bar in Venice and not indulge?
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict - I judge hotel restaurants by how good their Eggs Benedict are at breakfast. (Eggs Benedict at breakfast, Reuben sandwich at lunch. If a hotel restaurant can provide both of those flawlessly, I'm there.)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - cheating really. We went to a Penfold's event at the French Laundry and the tasting menu was what we got. We usually opt for the tasting menu at Manresa (two-Michelin-stars).
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (not that I remember. ...) I've had cuy, though.
90. Criollo chocolate (don't know)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake -- tastes like chicken!

John Cleese -- available 24/7

John Cleese's Cleeseblog

John Cleese on Twitter

John Cleese on friendfeed

John Cleese ning

John Cleese podcasts

... A taste of Cleese. [via laughingsquid]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Opening Summer 2008 | press club

Opening Summer 2008 | press club

Waiting. (Waiting. Waiting.) for Press Club to clear up whatever ABC issues they're having and open ... and not just because Sophie will be pouring Mount Eden Vineyards' wines.

The wineries involved in this new and different wine bar opening (SOON!) on Yerba Buena Lane are Hanna Vineyards, Mount Eden Vineyards, Fritz Winery, Chateau Montelena Winery, Miner Family Vineyards, Pahlmeyer, Saintsbury, Landmark Vineyards.

Should be fun. Support your local winemakers.

FORA.tv - Videos Covering Today's Top Social, Political, and Tech Issues

FORA.tv - Videos Covering Today's Top Social, Political, and Tech Issues

FORA.tv is advertising for unpaid interns on CraigsList.

Toddled off to see what's up with that. I'd seen a stack of FORA.tv lit over at the Commonwealth Club offices on Saturday.

Long Now talks. Aspen Institute talks. Commonwealth Club talks. ...

Here's a Roger Rosenblatt interview with Amy Tan at the Chautauqua Institution on July 10, 2008. The interview is broken out in sections. If you only want to hear Tan speak on "Writer's Memory" you can click straight to the spot.

E.L. Doctorow on the Problematic Nature of Writing Novels

The indexing is superb. You can select one of the broad subject ranges and then one of the sub-sections. You can search for subjects. You can find all videos from the Hoover Institution.

Brilliant stuff.

I am one vote. T-shirt from Zazzle.com

I am one vote. T-shirt from Zazzle.com

Friday, August 15, 2008

California License Plate 2GAT123

Here is my "find out something new every day" for today courtesy of a post Dangerous Bill (Penrose) made to misc.writing.

Read the Wikipedia entry about California license plate 2GAT123.

(I knew about 555-0100 to 555-0199, but this license plate biz is news to me and news to his nibs as well.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Film Terms and Definitions: chyron

Maybe the next time I have to look up chyron I'll remember what it means.

(Three's the charm.)

The Obama Campaign's 40pp rebuttal to Jerome Corsi's book

Unfit for Publication [PDF] - the Obama campaign's 40pp rebuttal to the "facts" in Jerome Corsi's book.

Reminds me a bit of Usenet. If someone spouts a bunch of stuff and you can see there's at least 30% of it that's wrong right off the bat, you go looking to see what other "facts" might be wrong.


Corsi seems an odd duck.

Perhaps, though, I should volunteer as copy editor when the campaign is writing up these lengthy, smear-fighting essays.

p2 As you might expect from the book's shoddy foundation, many of its claims are also completely false. The Obama's never gave a million dollars to a Kenyan politician.

misplaced apostrophe Maybe it started out as "Obama's campaign" and morphed into "The Obama's" without needed tweaking of punctuation.

p5 Obama Writes That His Father's Third Wife Refused To Life With His First Wife


And so forth and on. I tuckered out about page nineteen, but I've saved the PDF and I'll continue reading later.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

new video: "Republicans and military men on John McCain"

This election has the internet (columns, blogs, newsgroups, sites, videos, commentary, Web2.0 electioneering) playing a huge part, for those who use the internet.

And even for those who don't, if they read the papers or watch TV.

McCain's ad comparing Obama to Paris and Britney didn't have much play in paid air time, but it was on the Web getting a zillion views and MSM picked it up and talked about it and wondered about it and speculated about it and suddenly a fairly small media budget got a factor of n more traction than it would otherwise.

But it's not just the videos produced by professionals and paid for by campaigns or major political parties. I am stunned by the brilliance of some of the non-campaign videos that are popping up. (And stupefied by the webisodes that were shot of John Edwards and paid for by his campaign, but that's another story. ...)

The younger nib grew up making videos and belonging to movie/video clubs and competing in movie/video competitions from his teen years as did many of the Y generation.

Those years of practice show up when professionals donate their work to the cause: will.i.am's Obama 'Yes, we can' video and Paris for President.

Those years of practice show up too in the amateur videos made for YouTube distribution.

This morning I came across a link to "Republicans and military men on John McCain" in the comments tail of a Huffington post. Visuals. Captures. Background music. Amazing work from someone who seems to be the same age as the younger nib.

Director: Aaron Hodgins Davis, Skidmore. Uploaded 31Jul2008.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Orwell's Diaries

Orwell's Diaries

The Orwell Prize, Britain's pre-eminent prize for political writing, is publishing George Orwell's diaries as a blog. From 9th August 2008, Orwell's domestic and political diaries (from 9th August 1938 until October 1942) will be posted in real-time, exactly 70 years after the entries were written.

Orwell's 'domestic' diaries begin on 9th August 1938/2008; his 'political' diaries (which are further categorised as 'Morocco', 'Pre-war' and 'Wartime') begin on 7th September 1938/2008.

The diaries are exactly as Orwell wrote them. Where there are original spelling errors, they are indicated by a ° following the offending word.

[via Laughing Squid]

Found at Looney's -- Matt's video

Watch Matt do his silly dance around the world from Thimpu to Timbuktu to the Giant's Causeway to Rio.

Like Looney, I'd never seen this before, although it's one of those viral things that swept the Web three years back. Where was I? Obviously not where Matt was filming his clips.

Looney said this was a happy vid and it is, but it also made me tear up a bit. All those places. All those people. Every one linked by Matt Harding and his silly dance.

Update: I figured what the tearing up was about. Matt and his dance reminds me of the younger nib, who will be "away" until June 2010 -- dancing, like Matt, with people he meets along the way.

Update2: An earlier Where the Hell is Matt? and another.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Strothman Agency

The Strothman Agency (of which I've written before) dropped a line to say

"The Strothman Agency is moving. As of July 28th, we will be located at 6 Beacon Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02108. This will also be our new mailing address."



Archer gives a summary of the divorce judgment which is online (lengthy PDF) for all to peruse.

The summary is Classic Archer.

And, yes, I trundled off to read the PDF (well, not thoroughly and not all of it) and Archer did indeed capture the spirit of the Judge's decision.


(I confess that I'd forgotten who McGreevy was and then it was, oh, yeah. New Jersey. That Governor. The long suffering wife. The confessions of homosexuality. The aide who swore there'd been Friday night threesomes for years. Now I remember. Lovely.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Twitter StreamGraphs

Twitter StreamGraphs

Oooh. Pretty! Then take one of the ribbons and click on it.

Say, search for "Obama" and click on "jobs" and see how the ribbon runs through it, what the tweets say, &c. and forth.

If you check "towse" (why would you?), you can see tweets I've deleted and re-written and you can get a feel for just how compul^H^H^H^Hnscientious I am.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Garbage (and recycling and more!) redux

The trash police: Gavin Newsom is proposing the nation's first-ever mandatory recycling and composting law. Be prepared to pay hefty fines if you toss coffee grounds in with the newspapers.

Read the article.

Read the comments.

People can be such whiners. Gestapo! It's so hard to recycle. &c. and so on.

Yes, proposing outrageous fines if people don't sort their garbage (and maybe cutting off their garbage service ... that'll teach them!) is nonsense, but the City pays a fortune to truck garbage to the dump over by Altamont and with gas prices rising not only is the dump filling (and where will we put trash then?) but costs are rising too.

Our field trip to the dump -- AKA "Norcal Waste System, Inc's Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center" -- last October was enlightening.

Read the trip report with piccies to see why getting people to separate out their recyclable stuff AND ESPECIALLY THEIR GREEN CYCLE is a must if we're going to control the garbage stream (and the fuel costs and the personnel costs and ...)

That said, my comment on the Chron article:

Dear Mayor Newsom.

Come visit. I'll invite some neighbors over. We'll explain how difficult it is to recycle at all when you live off the Filbert Steps.

(1) NorCal won't pick up blue bins here. Paying extra isn't even an option. We FINALLY got a locked bin -- locked so tourists won't throw trash in -- that the immediate neighbors share up at Montgomery and Filbert, but neighbors who live at Filbert and Montgomery bitch and complain about us parking our recycling bin anywhere near their buildings. Add a green bin? As if.

(2) I have a dish on the counter for green-bin scraps. From there, the scraps go to a covered compostable-bag-lined re-purposed menudo pot over by the 'frig. Every 4 days or so -- MAX ... any more than that and the bag will disintegrate and maggots and crud grow -- we tie up the bag, put it in ANOTHER bag, walk it three-plus blocks to our car and DRIVE to drop it off in a large green bin we have access to.

We try, Mr. Mayor. 'tain't easy. Make it easier for us.

His nibs said, why didn't you write about people putting non-greencycle stuff in bins left out for pickup and the greencycle people refusing to pick up the bins? Why didn't you write about neighbors getting upset about people picking through blue bins for cash-refund recyclables and the bratty neighbors kicking the full bin and contents down the stairs, spreading recyclables down the steps to the next landing? Why didn't you write about ...

I told him that the SFChron allows you 1000char for comments and I was down to my last ten or so. ...