Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cleveland Rocks!

I came across this article on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland in the Sacramento Bee today. I know it sounds very weird, but that river actually burnt! I can remember drinking beer watching a man win a $500 bet by swimming the width of the river in a wetsuit. Randy Nueman wrote a song about it. We can owe much of our environmental regulations at the nationwide disgust at the way the industrial corridor in the Akron/Cleveland area treated the river. Sewage plants dumped barely settled sewage into the river and its tributaries!

As a kid, we were not allowed to play in the river or any of the creeks that fed it. I can remember a storm sewer burning and discharging an oily goo into the area we played ball and picked raspberries. Fish did not go up the river to spawn from Lake Erie for over 18 years, and then it was clean enough for one pike and one bluegill. Now, my little brothers catch steelhead trout, salmon (both transplanted breeds) on the river and its tributaries. They can catch fish in Lake Erie and keep the little guys with less mercury (coal-fired power plant gifts) to eat. Now there are 40 species of fish! It is pretty cool.

and silliness from today's paper--


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sextoy Chappedass

OMG, I was listening to Saxby Chambliss on Hardball tonight just before bed. He stated that absolutely the people in Iran do not hold it against the U.S. that the CIA overthrew their democratic government in 1953. Has he forgotten that the Ayatollah was the end result of the revolution to overthrow the remnants of the government we installed? I am sure that no one in Iran remembers that. And this hairbrained asshole is a Senator. on committees. And he kept talking about some Iranian named AmyJinnyDad. The last DAD had two syllables. Nice respect. Maybe learn the President of Iran's name. He might consider it disrespect if on national television I called him Sextoy ChappedAss all night.

What a tool.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thoughts on a Sunday

My morning ritual involves reading the paper and slowly sipping tea and then reading internet news. Around 2006, I was so mad at everything, I started posting. Today, I did the same and just wonder why I even bother to read anymore. If I were a depressive, I would be drinking by now. Okay, Bloody Mary's sound good any Sunday morning, but if I were to start drinking, it would be because I was in a good mood--not for depression.

What made me so depressed?
1) Iranian elections. Not as subtle as the Bush stealing of 2000 and 2004. There he only had to cheat in one state in each election. And if Republicans really believed in the true outcome of elections, like they state in Minnesota now, they would have waited for a complete recount. But I digress. Now the incumbent declared victory by a huge margin even as the polls were closing. And then the challenger is arrested. Gotta love a democracy. They learned well as we replaced the democratically elected government with the Shah years ago.

2) Right Wing Patriot Groups. The Minutemen actually invade a home and kill 2. WTF? What, were they non-whites? The worst part is that just like the late 60s, I fear that there will be much more right-wing, race violence. Is it to undignified for Janet Napolitano to go "Nayh, nayh, I told you so!" or to rescind her apology?

3) Can Mitch McConnell move to CA for a short time so he can have a chin transplant? Nothing like watching a chinless person play macho and try to break bad while looking like Elmer Fudd. I guess this my deep thought for the day.

4) Water wars in CA. Todays Sac Bee (best local paper I have had the pleasure of reading since the Des Moines Register!!!!) had an editorial section today again focused on water rights, animal rights and water use. Not once in that debate did anyone mention sustainability. Let's see, the population tripled in the last 20 years, there are government tax breaks (aka welfare and grants) for growing water hungry corn and alfalfa in a desert, people in Sacramento use 300+ gallons of water per day (national average has decreased back to around 125) and the NPDES discharge permit system in CA has no nitrient limits! Ammonia (aka a fishkiller found in human waste) is okay to discharge because we believe that the solution to pollution is dilution. The rivers are big. I have run small wastewater plants in mountain communities of less than 400 people who have exceedingly more strict discharge permits. I mean, San Diego has primary settling, which means settle some condoms and sanitary pads, some toilet paper and some feces settle out and then they chlorinate the hell out of it and pump it to sea. The ocean can dilute a ton, I guess. AAARRRGGGH! The arguments are all wrong. They are all about how we can USE the resource the best, not protect it.

Well, to ease my mood, here is a hot little toone. After that, walk the dogs. And sorry, but again a dinosaur band.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fleetwood Mac

They used to be good.

Penguins Win!!!!

Red Wings lose!!!! hee hee hee

and to celebrate--Papa Grows Funk


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Loose Ends

There was good story on the shut down of a nuclear power plant in the Sacramento Bee on Sunday. It was closed by popular vote 20 years ago. Sacramento Utilities (SMUD) has since gone into wind, solar and preventative means. The article listed one means I never thought of. My wife and I have always been amazed at how many trees there are here, particularly after living in semi-arid Colorado. Well, SMUD planted 500,000 trees to keep it cooler as along term energy plan. It works! I had a long conversation with a treatment geek who works with our firm in Burbank and she was going gaga over the green roofs she had seen in Chicago for cooling. They have been used in Germany extensively and are now finding a home in the Midwest. I am reminded of John Todd's Living Machines he wanted to introduce to urban areas and the greenhouse wastewater plants he conceived. They worked well and had specific application. In fact, for small plants, as photovoltaic cells are further developed, they would work great. Here is another source for living machines. Plants do amazing things. There has been little follow up on the work of Kathe Siedel of the Max Plank Institute as she tried to show which plants preferred which pollutants, or emitted antibacterial and antiviral secretions that could be used to partially disinfect wastewater.

Another item I saw last week were signs over plowed fields stating Congress Caused Dust Bowl. This meant the field was prepped and plowed, but there was no water allocation for irrigation as there just is not enough water for people, wildlife and farming. This year farming is losing. In fact, there was yet another ruling in Congress that fish ladders have to be built so slamon can spawn where they used to. This a means there must be enough water allocated for fish spawning. Apparently it has gotten to the point where killer whale pods are starving because there is no salmon to eat because they have no spawning areas anymore. This is a water battle that will get worse. There were miles of dead fruit trees down I-5 as irrigation is not available. CA is used to redirecting water, draining lakes and rivers, etc for economic advantage This is codified in state law, even for wastewater.

Finally, I see the Supreme Court is stopping the Chrysler sale until it can review the claims of those who are losing investment. This could be a rough one. And will effect GM. This could put a big stop on any economic recovery. Maybe the Court could look at bonuses while they're at it for bankers.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

New American Car Company

So, Roger Penske of Smart car and Indy racing and rental truck fame (he used to be a racer, too, back in the hay day of American sports car racing). Now, an offer sheet for Saturn. He will purchase cars from GM factories until 2011. Then, ??? My guess is he will will have his own engineers or purchase engineered packages from whatever manufacturer will provide the best that he sees. A car company without its own manufacturing arm. Hey, privatization can work or fail miserably. My guess is with his track record, he will succeed.

With all that said, today's music video is a good one from King Crimson

Have a good weekend,


Monday, June 01, 2009

A Sad Day, GM Declares Bankruptcy

A few words on the subject from Michael Moore.

And a few from me. It is a shame that the bizheads there never caught on to what America wanted and needed. It is a classic case of poor management plus. OMG. First, planned obsolescence. Then, bad cars. Fighting emission and safety regulations. Yet having some of the best engineers money can produce. The culture just sucked. My dad worked for them designed scrapers (Euclid) and dozers. When they were purchased by a West German firm (okay, there is no more West Germany--let's you know how long ago that was), he was amazed at what they had to work with. No more unmuffled deisels using the same transmission as a stressed member for twenty years. You could actually speak next to the machines as they ran, and many transmissions and design possibilities were open. He was happy he had to think again.

The culture sucked. It was all about non-innovation and sales and maximizing profits. Sad that mediocrity could last so long. They weren't always mediocre.

And Michael Moore is right--we could actually diversify and build things that work and are relevant. What a shock.