EppsNet Archive: California

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 →

Japan, Day 4: Tsukiji Fish Market, Asakusa, Imperial Palace, Odaiba, Christmas

 

Tsukiji Fish Market The Tsukiji Market (Tsukiji shijo), supervised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market (Tokyo-to Chuo Oroshiuri Shijo) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo. There are two distinct sections of the market as a whole. The “inner market” (jonai-shijo) is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place, and where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls. The “outer market” (jogai-shijo) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants. — Wikipedia There’s a temple near the market. We met these girls, who spoke a… Read more →

ObamaCare Winners and Losers

 

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four. . . . Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare. . . . “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t… Read more →

Voting is Overrated

 

In California back in 1979 I helped to get the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate, Ed Clark, on the ballot. Since then, I’ve had nothing to do with politics, which I’ve come to regard as unseemly. That others can be enthusiastic about this or that politician surprises me in the same way that it might surprise me to learn that there is such a thing as an official streptococcus fan club with a list of dues-paying members. And although I can’t claim never to have voted, I can at least say that I would hate to ever have to admit voting for any of the people I voted for. All things considered I’d much rather exercise what Herbert Spencer calls my "Right to Ignore the State." — George Selgin Read more →

Banning Racial Preferences in California Helped Everyone

 

When racial preferences were banned by the voters in California, there were dire predictions that this would mean the virtual disappearance of black and Hispanic students from the University of California system. What in fact happened was a 2% decline in their enrollment in the University of California system as a whole, but an increase in the number of black and Hispanic students graduating, including an increase of 55% in the number graduating in four years and an increase of 63% in the number graduating in four years with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Instead of the predicted drastic decline in enrollment in the system as a whole, there was a drastic redistribution of black and Hispanic students within the University of California system. Their enrollment dropped at the two most elite campuses, Berkeley and UCLA — by 42% at the former and 33% at the latter.… Read more →

Dogged by Protesters

 

Obama dogged by protesters on bay visit — SFGate Dogged by protesters?! If he ever comes to Orange County, he’ll be PROTESTED BY DOGS! My owner pays so many taxes that there’s hardly any money left for pug treats! šŸ™ — Lightning Read more →

Occam Has Mislaid His Razor

 

Silicon Valley Discriminates Against Women, Even If They’re Better — PBS NewsHour An academic says that Silicon Valley is “not a meritocracy.” He doesn’t offer any evidence to support that. He just looked around and noticed more men than women in the high-tech workforce. The fact that there are more members of Group A doing X than there are members of Group B doing X is not evidence that members of Group B are being discriminated against in their efforts to do X. In particular, he says that only 3 percent of tech firms in the Valley were founded by women, as though founding a tech firm is a fun thing that everyone should want to do. Founding a startup is an ultra-high-risk activity that requires insane amounts of time and sacrifice. Do you want to have friends? A social life? Do you have a family? Do you want to… Read more →

Thousand Oaks

 

“Do you know how to get there?” “No. Did you bring the map?” “No.” “Didn’t you say before we left that you’d printed a map?” “I said I printed it but I didn’t say I was going to bring it along.” “Oh . . . well, we can call when we get out there. I know how to get to Thousand Oaks, I just don’t remember how to get to their house.” “Do you know the offramp from the freeway?” “Yes.” “So it can’t be too complicated then. I saw on the map it was just lefts and rights.” “Uh, isn’t any route to anywhere just lefts and rights?” Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on Why Your Health Insurance Premium is Going Up

 

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administrationā€™s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. — Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – NYTimes.com That headline should not read “DESPITE new health law,” it should read “BECAUSE OF new health law.” But we were going to get things for free! We were promised better things at a lower cost! In my day, most of the citizens were farmers or merchants or tradesmen. They lived by their hands and their wits. They had horse sense and they knew when they were being sold a bill of goods. Of course, that was before television. Americans today are unfortunately rather stupid. Most of them don’t know anything about economics, science, history, government… Read more →

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