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Mendocino County Today: December 9, 2012

RUMORS OUT OF UKIAH say an “A-List celebrity,” female type, will appear in Mendocino County next week to agitate for Mendo against the feds’ attempt to subpoena the County's pot records. Not sure what an A-List celeb is but we're not surprised that the issue has begun to attract major outside attention of the David vs. Goliath variety.

SPEAKING OF DEVIL WEED, according to a story in the current Rolling Stone Magazine — “Reefer Sadness” — it's Vice-President Joe Biden's fanatical opposition to any loosening of the pot laws that drives the Obama Administration's zero tolerance stance.

EVER WONDER WHY those security camera photos of bank robbers are so blurry? Gwen Hastings of the Lost Coast Outpost blog writes: “The reason the video extracted image is so shitty is that most of the banks are still on analog NTSC 380-600 line technology being converted to digital not more modern 720P or 1080P digital sensors with WDR/HDR features along with global shutter (allows straight lines to be straight). The video cams which allow this range about 1500.00 on up to about 3000.00 per cam at present and mostly used for computer vision/video analytics automated inspection, license plate recognition systems etc., i.e., cams which have rolling shutters are available for about half that in either resolution but in fast moving action straight lines won’t be, well, straight — and that extrapolates to lettering on apparel and license plates. (By the way, 30 cams at 720P is a very staggering load to a 100mbs switch and a fair load to a gigabyte switch to say nothing of the specialized high speed storage to store the incoming video. 1080P x 30 is an insane load (think fiber optics).) You want the best cams? Any of the recently built plush casinos have those kinds of cameras mentioned above. The good and expensive ones, that is. You would think banks are more profitable after the bailout — but bank robbers are a lot more rare than casual cheats and rip-offs at casino tables evidently. PS. After market Photoshop filters which allow summing of extracted video frames allow one to increase the apparent dynamic range and brightness/contrast of the image.”

SPORTS CHAT. Kobe Bryant said the other day that when he and his teammates went to see the new movie, ‘Lincoln,’ Steve Nash fell asleep and two guys were surprised by the film's end with Lincoln's assassination. They didn't know Lincoln had been killed.

THEN THERE'S THE beleaguered Colin Kaepernick, 49er's quarterback and, obviously a huge talent in the tradition of the Niner's great quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. He's just a kid, but a kid whose every move on and off the football field is under total surveillance by millions, and now his birth mother — no mention of his birth father — pops up to say she wants to “be part of his life.” Or some other Dr. Phil-like cliché, our reactions to every human thing that happens to us being prepared for us by media. We react to it all the way we've seen the stars react to it all, hence statements from thousands of crime victims like, “We are glad he's been arrested so now we can have closure.” Closure. As if tragedy ends or can end. The dilemmas for Kaepernick are plural. Birth Mom doesn't seem to be a nut. She's a registered nurse with a job, and she's raising an eight-year-old, apparently by herself, an indication she's been unlucky in love at least twice. Maybe Birth Son could meet her some place for a quick thank you. “Hey, nice to meet you and thanks for the gift of life. You seem like a nice lady and all, but I don't know you and I gotta get back to the weight room.” Maybe Birth Mom's after a cut of Birth Son's dough, and one has to wonder if her son had turned out to be a freeway killer awaiting resumption of state executions at San Quentin if Birth Mom would be as interested in her Birth Son. Which doesn't seem like fair speculation, but one wonders about these things, doesn't one? But Kaepernick, if he ignores her, might come off as hard-hearted, although he was adopted as an infant and has zero memory of, or connection to, Birth Mom except that original umbilical. If I were him I think I'd stick with the people who raised me, my real parents who, in this case, clearly raised me to be a good person. He's a great kid, as the world can see. It would seem to be a betrayal of Mr. and Mrs. Kaepernick if Birth Mom were invited to function as third parent.

THE SMART TRAIN boondoggle rumbles dumbly on with the news that SMART wants $6.6 million more to buy additional train cars, an astounding request considering that the first train is not scheduled to run until 2016, if then. So, like, why more cars for a railroad that hasn't happened yet? The line is supposed to eventually run between Cloverdale and Larkspur and, as we know, is a pet project and a sort of employment programs for the Northcoast branch of the Democratic Party.

TAKE THE ANDERSON VALLEY EYESORE CHALLENGE! (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the ugliest, which is uglier?)

Anderson Valley Elementary, Boonville

Ricard Building, Boonville

Former Last Resort Bar, Philo

Goldeneye’s Heart of Redwood Fence, painted white — a sacrilege!

The New Boonville CDF station office.


  1. mk December 9, 2012

    CDF blockhouse gets my vote, for sheer depressive value. Bonus points for the orange visitor kiosk out front.

  2. Peter Warner December 9, 2012

    OK, I’ll bite. Note my strong bias against just about any human construct, save some artistic work, and none of these would be worth rendering except, perhaps, in flames.

    AV elementary — well, it looks functional, at least, and the blue kiddie-corral sets off the russet buidling tones well: 3 on scale of 10;
    Ricard Building — too many westerns as a kid, i guess, but this seems to retain some vague suggestion of a wild west frontier town establishment; just park a horse in front instead of a pickup next time: also, a 3;
    Former Last Resort Bar — “former”? still looks functional compared with most other bars, to me, it just needs an a-kilter Bud sign in the window; the “brothel” wing to the left provokes the imagination: 2;
    Goldeneye’s white picket fence: this is NOT a picket fence, looking more like a bourgeois horsey corral such as those that riddle the San Luis Obispo County landscape, and the looming stake-infested monocultural displacement of oak woodlands and grassland behind it cannot be ignored: 1, for the horizon backdrop;
    CFG station: off-the-scale institutional dreck, although the small orange edifice to the left adds some charm to an otherwise gulag-like aesthetic: 0.3

  3. December 9, 2012

    I was surprised when friends who worked in both Reno and Lost Wages told me that the bulk of casino security is dierected at employees, not gamblers.

  4. Michael December 9, 2012

    Hey, Bruce, you’re bringing back the Eyesore of the Week. Shades of 1986! Next maybe we’ll see you in a raccoon costume disposing of refuse.

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