Change Is In The Wind
My good friend Lin Kerns is making more changes early this week on this blog. There are to be new graphics of various sorts most of which are already up as you can see. There is now a new background image, a new addy bar icon, as well as an icon that denotes the end of a blog post (which temporarily features a thumbnail image of my pooch but shall eventually be a cartouche of my name). Also, the number of volcanocams has been reduced down to one, to wit, the one at Mount St. Helens, Washington. Thanks, Lin !!!
Goosed by Google
I got screwed by Google Adsense last month. Google claims there was "invalid" activity on the ads on this blog at that time. Given I never once clicked on any of these ads myself I assume this to mean that somebody else was clicking on one or more of the ads Google had placed on this page in the context of my Adsense account. That person or persons did so an inordinate amount of times and in such a pattern that it was viewed as cheating by me or on my behalf. Consequently, this blog will not be able to be profitable as long as it is on the Google server. Therefore, I will be throwing Google under the bus at some point in the coming year and moving this blog elsewhere so it can be profitable. For the time being it shall remain where it is while I continue to build up a viewership and plot my next move.
The Big Four-Oh
I refer to this being the 40th installment of this column, NOT my age which unfortunately is careening towards 42. I feel much younger than that and am actually rather enjoying my fifth decade of life. I still have not lost my hair although some gray has come into my side burns and beard and mustache which has me shaving them most of the time nowadays. I'm not vain enough to color them but I am vain enough to shave them off. I am blessed with the same good vision I have had all my life to date. Senior moments seem to happen more frequently but that is countered by the fact I feel smarter than I ever have regardless if that is an actual reflection of reality or not.
Given my continued poverty as well as my suffering mildly from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) and this being the roughest time of year to deal with that here in the Northern Hemisphere as well as the fact I have a tiny family (it's basically me and mom and grandma) so no warm, big family to grab me and pull me in during the Holidays and add to that the fact this is the time of year I have lost most of my deceased family members and to that add the fact I continue to be single which although nice freedom-wise and drama-wise is nonetheless rather lonely, especially in this snuggle-friendly time of year. Given that I am aware of what I'm dealing with it allows me to counter the melancholy when it creeps ups which is certainly empowering but I nonetheless continue to endure struggles that make this time of year my least favorite one. I'm a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and sandals and broad-rimmed hat and sunglasses kinda guy and let's be honest, it's too damned cold to wear any of that right now... well except for the hat and sunglasses.
I Know Somebody Who Is NOT in Poverty
That would be my ex-girlfriend. Sadly, we don't talk at all ever so I know nothing of her life anymore. However, I read in the March 10, 2011, edition of the Anderson Valley Advertiser that she won her settlement against law enforcement authorities in Mendocino County following an erroneous drug raid on her apartment last year. She was injured in the attack and then an attempt made to cover it up by the officer in charge, a man with a reputation for FUBAR's and SNAFU's. Here is what appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser:
This takes some of the strain of urgency off of me in regards to the few grand I still owe her. I ALWAYS hold to my obligations but my circumstances the past couple of years have kept me from ever getting ahead enough to finish repaying. her. At least now I know she is not hurting for money while she awaits that happening.
A civil rights claim for a negligent and irresponsible search warrant and violent injuring of an innocent victim was settled this week against the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Ukiah.
The claim was filed by Krissa Klein of Willits, and stays in effect against one of the defendants, the State of California. Under the settlement which Klein accepted to avoid litigation, the County of Mendocino and City of Ukiah will pay her $35,000 in damages.
According to Klein’s claim, Officer Peter Hoyle of the Ukiah Police Department and Deputy Sheriff Raymond Hendry, members of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, wrongfully obtained a search warrant for her home in Willits. Had they done the required research they would have obtained the correct address, which was not the Klein home. After forcing entry, Office Hoyle violently threw 21 year old Klein to the floor of her bedroom in March 2010. The records completed by the officers proved they failed to follow multiple legal requirements of the Major Crimes Task Force regarding search warrants. Hospital records show that Hoyle visited the emergency room where Klein was treated demanding the bill be sent to his office, and falsely “stated he was not the officer involved.” In the settlement, Klein obtains compensation for the injuries the police wrongfully inflicted on her. She said that she “hopes this initial victory will result in local police officers following the law.” Klein said she has always supported law enforcement but believes that police should be held accountable when they violate the laws they are sworn to uphold. “Hopefully this will encourage other innocent victims of unlawful police practices to speak up so this won’t happen again and we can be safe in our homes,” she said.
Attorneys Barry Vogel of Ukiah and Brina Latkin of Albion represented Klein. Vogel said the police investigation reports reveal unconstitutional abuses if not a planned cover-up. He and Latkin were surprised at extent to which their client’s injuries were minimized by the defense team. Vogel noted that the claim is still open against the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement which supervises the Major Crimes Task Force, headed locally by Special Agent Robert Nishiyama. Vogel said “If changes are not immediately made to conform to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court regarding the 4th Amendment rights of the people to be secure in their homes further claims will be pursued.”
Vogel noted that there have been previous claims and litigation involving Officer Hoyle.
Off To Grandma's House I Go
After a lovely Thanksgiving 2011 with mom and grandma I shall be reprising that for Christmas with a day trip up there. Mom and I shall get up before dawn and drive up to Fremont and spend the day with my last remaining grandparent and the return late that evening. I have some cool stuff planned for the day which hopefully provide content to share here.
You All Are Crazy
Last evening I was out driving around and doing chores in San Luis Obispo (hadn't been down there on my own in a while) and Atascadero (where I used to live). The Christmas insanity was in full force. It was so bad driving back from SLO and over the Cuesta Grade that I elected to get off the 101 Freeway at the first possible opportunity and take El Camino Real to Atascadero just to get way from the Running of the Bulls that was that freeway last night. I used to be a part of that nonsense back when I had money. Becoming poor has been incredibly healthy for me on so many levels. I have now been poor enough long enough to be permanently reprogrammed. When I get my financial ship refloated one of these days I shall never again rejoin that Christmas orgy and insanity.
The Occupation Jumped The Shark (Already)
Well, that sure was fast. The Occupy Wall Street Movement is so last month. Part of it is they were always a "flavor-of-the-month" movement and thus destined to flame out. Then there was the problem of their own appearance and behavior doing nothing to help their cause. Then there is the fact that their tendency to park it in the middle of , well, parks in the middle of commercial districts and interfere with commerce including the commerce of Democrat-leaning entrepreneurs doomed them. Even the Neo-Liberal news media seems to have turned away from them to some degree. The Chattering Classes need to do Christmas shopping, too, kiddos, so get back to your college campuses or your parent's house in the suburbs. One bit of irony that seems lost on everybody is that Obama's 2008 campaign was largely funded by Wall Street Democrats (the dominant group there) which seems lost on not only the Occupier ding-dongs but quite intentionally by the Fourth Estate.
Fall 2011 Semester Is Done
Last week I took my finals for my three classes at Cuesta College and now am out of school for about a month. Next month I shall officially become a full-time student taking four or five classes. I believe I got two A's and a B this past semester which means my 4.0 GPA just went away but that was never gonna last anyway I suspect so I'm not going to worry about it. I missed some homeworks in my Spanish class that were worth more than I realized at the time. On all my other coursework in that class (including all tests) I achieved A's.