EppsNet Archive: California

Fireworks Safety is Overrated

 

9-year-old girl loses hand, fingers after fireworks accident in California — Fox News She can still play in the NFL. Just ask Jason Pierre-Paul. Read more →

How Is “Gun Control” Supposed to Work?

 

In Wake of Orlando Shooting, Obama, Others Call for Stricter Gun Laws — WSJ Maybe we should have stricter laws against killing people. Oh we have strict laws against killing people? Having laws against things doesn’t stop them from happening. How are stricter gun laws going to stop mass shootings? How is that supposed to work? I was planning to shoot 100 people but I didn’t want to do it with an illegally obtained gun. Because I might get in trouble with the law. It doesn’t make any sense. Making guns harder to buy or illegal or making certain kinds of guns illegal doesn’t stop anyone from getting them. We have an “assault weapons” ban here in California. The rifles used by the San Bernardino shooters to kill or seriously injure 36 people are illegal in our state. If you’re going to shoot 36 people, why do you care about… Read more →

EppsNet Restaurant Reviews: Pea Soup Andersen’s

 

I’ve driven past Pea Soup Andersen’s many times in my journeys from SoCal to NorCal and back . . . finally decided to give the split pea soup its day in court. The waitress seemed to be always teetering on the edge of exasperation, at my table and at others as well. She said things like “Let’s do this” instead of “Are you ready to order?” I don’t know if surly waitresses are part of the Andersen ambiance or whether that was just the luck of the draw. The soup was delicious though, served with bacon bits, croutons, diced ham, scallions and grated cheddar cheese, all on the side so you can customize the soup any way you like it. Rating: . . . no deductions for the waitress as I feel she was within the normal bounds of surly coffee shop waitress comportment. Read more →

Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

 

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States. Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse. For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity,… Read more →

Occupational Certification a Guarantee of Quality?

 

I had fingerprints taken this morning, not the old-fashioned way with an inkpad but with a biometric device that required a certified technician to roll each of my fingers back and forth on a scanner. I emphasize certified technician because California law requires any individual who rolls fingerprints manually or electronically for licensure, certification and/or employment purposes to be certified by the state Department of Justice. You can’t just put any person off the street in charge of advanced optical technology. Thanks to the use of an expensive machine vs. an inkpad and the certification requirements, the cost to me of having my fingerprints taken was about $70. California is big on occupational certification. More than 200 professions from doctor to tree trimmer require certification from one of 42 government bureaus and boards. Does this elaborate and costly web of regulation assure the highest quality of professional service? Each fingerprint… Read more →

God: “I Gave Him a Sign”

 

I hope I don’t die some cartoonish death like skiing into a tree or being launched out of my car and flattened against a freeway sign. It’s funny when it happens to other people though. The only thing funnier would be if he’d left a spread-eagle person-shaped hole in the sign and then died when he hit a second sign. When reached for comment, God said, “I gave him a sign.” Read more →

Pange Lingua

 

Dulce lignum, Dulces clavos, Dulce pondus sustinet. Sweet the wood, Sweet the nails, Sweet the weight you bear. Read more →

My Name is Fido

 

From an actual email: Hello, My name is Fido and I’m an IT recruiter at TechDigital Corporation. We are currently hiring a .Net Developer/Software Engineer preferrably [sic] with experience in the Financial domain for a W2 or C2C Contract for one of our direct clients in Green Bay, WI. Fido Xavier Recruiter I live in California. Are there no software engineers in Wisconsin or anywhere between California and Wisconsin? On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

Dogs in San Francisco

 

If you’re a dog or a recently released felon, you are welcome in San Francisco. Not only are there lots of people walking in SF, there are lots of people walking with dogs. French Bulldogs, Huskies and Pomeranians seems to be especially popular. Until he got too old to really enjoy it, I took Lightning to the Irvine dog park six days a week (it’s closed on Wednesdays) for years. I’ve spent a lot of time around dogs, so I’m better than most people at identifying dog breeds. We were walking in San Francisco last weekend when my wife pointed and asked “What kind of dog is that?” Before I could say “It’s a Labradoodle,” our boy said “Labradoodle.” I must have been visibly stunned because he then asked me “Were you going to say ‘Goldendoodle’?” “No . . . you’re pretty good at identifying dogs now.” This is a… Read more →

Walking in San Francisco

 

Our boy is working and living in San Francisco now, We went to visit him last weekend . . . It’s hard to drive and park in SF so a lot of people walk to where they need to go. Our hotel was a few blocks from the boy’s apartment but for the most part, we left the car in the parking garage and walked everywhere. On a couple of occasions, we met one of his co-workers walking past us in the other direction. (His office is nearby, 7-8 blocks from his apartment, but it’s a startup, not a huge company like Transamerica with lots of employees.) On another occasion, we met a couple of his college classmates from Cal sitting near us at a local eatery. This is not to mention the friends, classmates and co-workers that we planned to meet up with because they also live in the… Read more →

Prescience

 

Unexpected rain in July makes my decision not to wash my car since last year look eerily prescient. Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Incentives (or Lack Thereof)

 

According to this article on TechCrunch, “Every California high school must establish computer science courses as part of its core curriculum.” From the same article: “Most California teachers have little or no training to teach computer science.” Do you see the problem there? I’ve been a programmer for many years . . . I’d be glad to teach computer science to students, teachers or anyone who wants to learn it if there were even a modest incentive to do so. Which there isn’t. One way to measure how much people want something is how much they’re willing to pay for it. There’s no shortage of people talking about teaching programming and computer science, which is free (the talking, that is), but without the incentives ($$$) very little is going to actually happen. Read more →

I’m in Semi-Solidarity with the Protestors

 

I support the UC Berkeley students protesting tuition hikes but maybe with a little less conviction than I used to because my kid is a senior and no matter how high tuition goes I won’t be paying it anymore so I hope the boy was in class yesterday and not out causing a disturbance . . . Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

 

The worst thing you can do to people, aside from physical injury, is give them the idea to blame their failures on vague impersonal forces or the actions of anybody but themselves. It doesn’t promote success or happiness. I don’t know any happy people who think like that. For example, I read this in a New York Times article about an impoverished area of West Virginia: John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County. That is just awful. I live in Southern California, not too far from the ocean . . . I’m familiar with undertows (although I’ve never heard of a “dark” undertow). First of all, sorry to be pedantic but undertows aren’t dangerous . . . they’re just after-effects of individual waves. What’s dangerous is a riptide . . . a concentrated flow of water that… Read more →

I Am Disenfranchising Myself

 

I was looking over my vote-by-mail ballot for the California election . . . there’s not one person on there I would trust to represent my interests above their own. It’s like voting on which gang of thieves will be allowed to break into my home and rob me. In previous elections, I’ve usually voted for all the Republican candidates because I dislike 99 percent of Democratic programs, whereas I only dislike 95 percent of Republican programs. Not much of a choice. This year, I ripped up the ballot and threw it in the trash. Read more →

Good Riddance to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

 

Two teams of scientists say the long-feared collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun, kicking off what they say will be a centuries-long, “unstoppable” process that could raise sea levels by as much as 15 feet. — West Antarctic Ice Sheet’s Collapse Triggers Sea Level Warning – NBC News.com I’m trying to think what the big deal is here. The Southern California city I live in, which is currently 12 miles from the coast and 70 feet above sea level, will, in 500 to 1,000 years, be only 55 feet above sea level. My favorite beachfront restaurants and hangouts will no longer be standing, but they wouldn’t have been anyway. Read more →

NYT Misrepresents California’s Affirmative Action Results

 

In reporting on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold a Michigan ban on the use of racial preferences in admissions to public universities, the New York Times looks at results in other states that have banned racial preferences. Here’s what the Times says about my state, California, which voted to ban racial preferences in UC admissions in 1998: Hispanic and black enrollment at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles dropped sharply after voters approved a statewide ban on affirmative action. Those numbers have not recovered, even as the state’s Hispanic population has grown. That is a misleading analysis for a couple of reasons: One: Affirmative action was banned at all UC campuses, not just Berkeley and UCLA. Ignoring all the other campuses allows the Times to say that black and Hispanic enrollment “dropped sharply” when there was actually only a 2 percent decline in… Read more →

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