Thursday, January 20, 2022

Talking to (Solar) Power

There's a lot of people out there who really don't like PG&E, the regulated public utility company that supplies power to much of Northern California. 

Add over one million more households - all of us who have solar panels on our roofs - plus all those millions more who benefit from rooftop solar or want to put rooftop solar on their homes, apartment buildings, schools, farms, parking lots, etc.. Why are we all so pissed off?

All of the big public utilities in the state now want to rollback and penalize those people who want to use the sun for their energy needs, rather than continue to kill the planet by burning fossil fuels. For all the ins and outs:

Environment California

Save California Solar

Even Arnie thinks it's a dumb idea

What to do? Get the current governor involved!

Call Governor Newsom at 916/445-2841  

Sign any and all of those petitions that you can find online

Hand write a letter to Governor Newsom at 1021 O Street, Suite 9000, Sacramento, CA 95814. Since so few people now remember how to use stamps, your efforts here might really get noticed.

SAMPLE SCRIPT (cribbed from Solar Rights Alliance)

“I am opposed to the CPUC’s proposal to make it more expensive for people to put solar panels on their roof.

Consumers should not be penalized in any way for making solar at their homes, schools, businesses and houses of worship. California should do more to promote local solar, not less. People need relief from high energy bills, blackouts and air pollution. 
Making rooftop solar and batteries more expensive for everyone, especially middle and working class people, makes no sense. It’s the wrong direction for California. Please step in, protect the public interest, promote more rooftop solar for more people, not less. 
[CPUC Docket #: R.20-08-020]"

Thank you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Pandemic To-Do Lists

Somewhere back in early 2020, in that pre-pandemic time, the basket beside my desk (you know, the one for recycling old to-do lists? Oh yes, I do lists, or rather I have lists - I'm pretty sure that even my lists have lists. But just like everyone else, I don't always "do" them. ) was emptied. And then the pandemic lockdown hit, and somehow in my panic-brain, I became afraid that I would forget things. 

So I never emptied the basket again. Just in case - a lost phone number, a forgotten repair, an unresolved task that still needed attention could all be recovered and solved as long as I could find the correct information stashed on one of those lists.

Until today. I've been thinking about emptying it for a while, but after so long, those lists had become a part of my life during these pandemic times. You know, a record, even. 

Unfortunately, a very boring and repetitive record of a somewhat boring and certainly difficult time for many of us.

So just in time for the out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new season, the lists are gone. All ridiculous two pounds and 6 ounces of them. And if I've forgotten or lost something, too bad. I probably wouldn't have gotten it done, anyway. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Bounty

Oregon Homestead Sweet Meat Squash

Sweet Meat - a classic squash variety of the Pacific Northwest, traditionally first eaten on Thanksgiving. This 10 pounder was locally grown in the front yard. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

End of the Season

Evidence of the end of summer: 

A late season sighting of a katydid on the soon-to-be-faded calendulas. The summer garden is all wrapped up, except for a few sweet peppers still clinging to bedraggled plants. We've eaten the last of the tomatoes and in their place, daikon radishes are flourishing.

And it's RAINING! 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Foster Fail

 Or Failed Foster? In 2010, when we adopted Princess, we were "failed fosters", all the blame clearly landing smack dab in our laps. But since blame is now considered a bad thing, we are a "foster fail", just one of those things that happens sometimes. And indeed it did just sorta happen. 

Luna sleeping in the laundry pile, Sept. 21st

Luna Doodle (formerly Leela), arrived here in a mixed litter on August 12th. She came out of the carrying crate purring and ready to play, even though she only weighed 12 ounces and was pretty wobbly. The two brothers were much less sure about the whole thing, but they quickly warmed up to the world and were adopted as soon as they were ready (snip-snip).

Luna stayed with us for another week to gain some weight, went in for spaying, and still has to wear the Cone for another few days. So although all those travel-round-the-world- plans are on hold yet again (yeah, let's blame it on the kitten, and not on the state of the world), playing Fierce Feather on the kitchen floor has its rewards. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Summer's Officially Over - Time to Vote

 "Crazy" "Weird" "Ridiculous" "Very silly" "Nightmare"

If that's how mainstream media characterizes the recall election, just imagine how us regular voters feel. A big waste of money - approximately 275 million dollars worth - and a silly waste of brain space. 

Nonetheless. if you haven't done so already, sit down for just a short minute or two, fill out the brief ballot, stick it in the envelope, sign the envelope and send it in. All by September 14th

And then go out and enjoy our real Bay Area summer of September. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Inedible Pieces in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto

It's not to eat, but an art installation to view at the Berkeley Art Center (BAC) which is situated within Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto

Created by artist Cathy Lu, well, I could blah-blah along, but instead, let's just use the words from the Art Center's description:

For the most ambitious iteration of her ongoing installation project to date, CATHY LU strings together nearly 2,000 pieces of slipcast ceramic fruit into an elaborate net suspended over the bridge outside BAC. Lu has long been interested in various fruits as evocative reminders of distant homelands. As an artist of Taiwanese descent who grew up in Miami, her work unpacks how experiences of immigration, cultural hybridity, and cultural assimilation become part of the larger American identity.

Glazed in dark greens, golds, and blacks, the piece is ripe with papayas, pineapples, plantains, jackfruit, durians, bitter melons, ginger, and more. Members of the community were invited to participate by sharing their fruit stories via voice message. Selected recordings play as part of the piece during gallery hours.

It's definitely worth the bother to go see this installation, even if you can't eat it. But no worries, there are plenty of other food options nearby. 

Cathy Lu: Customs Declaration continues through the end of September, 2021.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Party Time!

Fostering kittens can be a load of work and worry because they are so very tiny and fragile. But once they settle in, it's pretty wonderful. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Trip East

 I wasn't eager to travel across the country, especially since it involved flying on a commercial airline, but it was my mom's 91st birthday, so you do what you have to do. 

And in the beginning, she wasn't too sure about hosting me, either. 

But we worked it out. Mostly.

I cooked, washed dishes, did the laundry, chauffeured her about and then cooked some more. I would have done some much-needed yard work (I even brought along my own gardening gloves), but the tick situation seemed so dicey, that it just wasn't worth the risk of contracting Lyme disease.

Besides, it was icky-sticky hot and humid (total yuck!), with hazy gray skies and rain (yay!) most every day. 

To ensure my welcome, when cooking wasn't quite sufficient, I made a pair of glass garden towers. She had already collected the glass pieces, I simply had to arrange and glue them together. They were supposed to be shared with other family members, but she thought that the looked really nice in her front window with the light shining through. I have a hunch that these two are going to be staying at Mom's house for a while. I also think that she will appreciate them more than those other would-be recipients.

And then we did puzzles. Puzzles and more puzzles. Big and little, small pieces and even missing pieces, we did puzzles each day. I have never been much of a puzzle-maker(?) doer(?) puzzler(?) but my spatial reasoning skills certainly improved during that visit. I'm sure that my mosaic making abilities will also benefit from these puzzle exercises. 

And when the puzzle looks like the French Riviera, what else can you do but open a bottle of rosé and pour a glass?

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Talk of the Town

 Not really, just my little 27' wide block. And only the talk of the many pedestrians, bicyclists, baby stroller pushers and dog walkers who use my street:

Yes, those lilies. My, oh, my, but the regal lilies (Lilium regale) truly outdid themselves this year.