And I ordered my 80s outfit right before reading this... (posting mainly to test my spanking new Feedly integration)
Salt Point State Park on the Sonoma coast. Stunning views, plentiful seals and some cool tide pools (although the rocks on the way down are like greased butter). Apparently the sandstone from Salt Point was used to pave San Francisco which goes a long way to explain the state of the streets...
You're Not Much Use to Anyone by David Shapiro
Maybe I missed something but a character I didn't particularly care for got a blog which got fairly popular and then ran out of steam. If it wasn't short I don't think I'd have finished it.
15 second exposure from a NatureBridge night hike last night. Then s'mores!
My quick voting guide for the California 2014 Propositions:
1: Water Bond. Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, and Storage Projects.
Yes: Doesn't help with the current drought but might help with the next one.
2: State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative Constitutional Amendment.
Yes: Should help even out funding by forcing the state to save excess capital gains revenue.
45: Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes. Initiative Statute.
No. We have Covered California now. Not clear that this helps.
46: Drug and Alcohol Testing Of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. Initiative Statute.
No. Too many issues in one confusing package.
47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute.
Yes. Time to stop putting everyone in prison already,
48: Indian Gaming Compacts. Referendum.
Yes. I'm not a casino fan in general and the whole compensation through casino monopolies mystifies me. But that's the system we have and this seems like it's a tribal casino on newly minted tribal land. I'm not likely to go there but I don't see a great reason to block it.
My voting guide for the San Francisco 2014 ballot measures:
A: San Francisco Transportation and Road Improvement Bond
Yes: This borrows half a billion dollars to improve bike lanes, transit lanes, pedestrian crossings, etc. I walk, drive and bike around San Francisco as well as taking MUNI. We're killing too many people, especially pedestrians, and need to do a better job.
B: Adjusting Transportation Funding for Population Growth
No: More money to MUNI from population growth instead of tax base growth. These seem like they should be related and if not fix the tax base not the funding formula.
C: Fund; Public Education Enrichment Fund; Children and Families Council; Rainy Day Reserve
Yes: Continues existing universal preschool for 4-year-olds and other kids programs.
D: Retiree Health Benefits for Former Redevelopment Agency and Successor Agency Employees
Yes: This fixes a kink in benefits for a few city employees. Seems fair.
E: Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
No. I'm somewhat torn on this one. It probably would reduce sugar consumption but is that displaced spending going to broccoli? It's a regressive tax and I'd rather see more effort on education or making healthier alternatives more available and appealing.
F: Pier 70
Yes: Looks like a good development.
G: Additional Transfer Tax on Residential Property Sold Within 5 Years of Purchase
No. Covers way too many sales without many exemptions. Unfair to property owners.
H: Requiring Certain Golden Gate Park Athletic Fields To Be Kept As Grass With No Artificial Lighting
No: H and I are fight over installing artificial turf on the fields by the Beach Chalet. I've played soccer on gopher-ridden grass and it's lethal. I don't want to be responsible for twisted ankles so no on H and yes on I.
I: Renovation of Playgrounds, Walking Trails, and Athletic Fields
Yes. See H.
J: Minimum Wage Increase
Yes: It would be nice if more people who work in San Francisco could afford to live in San Francisco.
K: Affordable Housing
No: Not because it's a bad idea to add more affordable housing but it's a non-binding policy statement and doesn't actually seem to change anything.
L: Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities
No: This seeks to change policy to favor cars over other transit options. Nuts.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Outstanding thriller about a man left behind on a Mars mission. Almost all of the tension is sucked out by geeky humor but the leftovers are more than enough. The movie version will probably switch the geek out and install Sandra Bullock.
I have been super frustrated with the stock email client on Android which seems to crash about 50% of the time when I reply to ActiveSync / Exchange email.
Last week I discovered Nine which handles both Exchange and GMail if you're an apps for business user. It handles email, calendar and tasks beautifully and can present a combined mailbox from several accounts. The app is nicely designed and so far hasn't crashed or hung for me which has reduced the amount of daily swearing I aim at my phone considerably.
If you need to access Exchange on Android I can't recommend Nine highly enough.
One family of solutions to the Fermi Paradox is that civilizations die out before they communicate - natural disaster, nuclear war, etc. This sort of calamity seems plausible some of the time but it would need to happen all of the time. What if any sufficiently advanced society inevitably discovers irrefutable proof that free will is an illusion and just gives up?
Depressing. I prefer this.