Towse: views from the hill

June 26, 2007

Why you may not want to be named for an ancestor

Filed under: life — Towse @ 11:32 pm

Ichabod Ebenezer Fiske

Or, being a girl, I could’ve been named for Ichabod Ebenezer Fiske’s grandmother — Mehitable Fiske.

Paris Hilton’s Prosecutor Under Scrutiny

Filed under: California,news — Towse @ 9:44 pm

Paris Hilton’s Prosecutor Under Scrutiny

“He was living in somewhat of a glass house,” said Raphael Sonenshein, a political scientist at California State University, Fullerton.

Will not rent (really!) to people from Belgium

Filed under: life,news,real estate — Towse @ 1:17 am

From Craigslist via Curbed SF

Room for a Woman in a No Guests Place

… and please if you decide to rent this furnished bedroom from this piano teacher, don’t come to me a month down the road, crying and twisting your hanky.

S.F. condo rules snarl FBI agent’s plans

Filed under: news,real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 1:03 am

S.F. condo rules snarl FBI agent’s plans
by Adam Martin, The Examiner

The buyer is suing everyone involved, it seems. Who do you think is at fault here?

  • The brother of the deceased owner, who sold the place at market price when it was a restricted Below Market unit? [maybe he didn't know]
  • The buyer (an attorney) for not checking the title report that showed the restriction? [maybe she lets her "people" deal with the details when it's not a court case]
  • The real estate folks on both the seller and buyer side who didn’t check into whether the unit was a Below Market unit? [anything to do with the commission being based on sale price?]
  • The appraiser who didn’t check whether there were Below Market restrictions and appraised it at market price?
  • The butcher?
  • The baker?
  • The candlestick maker?

The comments tail is a doozie.

[via Curbed SF]

June 25, 2007

For sale: 366 Lovell, Mill Valley

Filed under: architecture,real estate — Towse @ 8:51 pm

Have $4.395m to spare? Check out 366 Lovell

I especially like the open doors onto the deck, and the view.

Ah, well.

Angora Fire updates

Filed under: environmentalism,life,news — Towse @ 7:33 pm

Back from our annual week at Camp, obviously.

Yesterday we were heading south to the annual Men’s Club dinner and had KCBS on. They made mention of a fire in the South Lake Tahoe area. Uh. Oh. We’d just returned from that neck of the woods.

Seems the fire started up on Angora Ridge and the Angora Lakes Resort had been evacuated. Homes were ashes. The fire raged with no control in sight.

This noon, news isn’t much better. 240+ structures burnt. 160+ of those someone’s home. 2500 acres. Less than 10% contained. All from a fire reported less than a day ago, a fire probably caused by human activity as there was no trace of lightning or other natural cause before the fire began.

Camp Richardson, out on Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe, has been evacuated. I’m assuming that means Camp has been evacuated too. Those skinny, twisty roads that take people into and out of the lakes areas and the Desolation Wilderness would not be the best things to depend on if the fire is roaring down the mountainside toward you, especially if the people on the road include your family, another sixty or seventy families from Camp, all the people with family cabins and the people at the resort across the lake.

The El Dorado County Sheriff has a PDF up which gives the status of homes in the area. So far, the home of the only family we know on Tahoe Mountain has a status of “OK.”

When we were at Camp, we learned that the fire crew stationed at the lake (including the Camp director and other Camp staff) had already been called out on fires four times this season and the season has just begun. “This doesn’t bode well,” we said. We all agreed that the area was a tinderbox and something had to be done to get the fire crackly vegetation crap out from under the trees and do some serious fire fuel/tinder abatement and not dawdle around with a bit here and a bit there and the ten year plan.

Hope our fire teams have the fire under control soon.

Four more months of high fire danger in the state.

x’d fingers.

Update: Map of burned area (so far) courtesy of “Lily Lake” is mislabeled. Should be “Upper Echo Lake” and “Lower Echo Lake” (the larger one). Weird to think how different it all must be from the area I was hiking in just last week.

Update2: Web site says that Camp was evacuated yesterday afternoon. When staff is given the all clear to return, they’ll pack up the belongings left behind in the cabins and ship them to campers who had to split in such a hurry.

The guy in charge and seven staphers are at Camp to do what they can to keep it from burning but have been told they MUST get on boats and get out to the center of the lake if the fire comes down onto camp grounds and their stretch of the lake shore.

Don’t get heroic, guys. We all love the place, but …

Updated news from the Chron

[URL] Swivel

Filed under: information,resource,URL,webstuff — Towse @ 5:17 pm

Love data and mashups and obscure weird factoids and coincidences?

Check out Swivel.

For a taste of what’s on-site, check out Tasty Data Goodies

June 24, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards supports same-sex marriage

Filed under: life — Towse @ 7:05 pm

“I don’t know why somebody else’s marriage has anything to do with me. I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”

Well, yay! Hooray!

We were at breakfast in the communal dining room yesterday when a friend stopped by. “Congratulations for making history,” she said to the older younger one and his partner.

History? Maybe. So far as we know, Friday night was a first at Camp.

Friday night at the hugely popular Camp week-roundup slide show, the sequence of “couples photos” taken against the backdrop of Lower Falls included photos of the two.

The photos were met with applause and some cheers. (One of those cheers and some wild applause were mine.)

The pair was congratulated afterwards, although I’m sure some folks had their knickers twisted. Too bad. The guys were disappointed three years ago — the last time the older younger one and his partner had come to Camp with us and a few short months after their marriage was declared void — when, for the first time ever, the Camp photographers chose not to show any couples photos at all in the slide show.

The times they are a-changing.

(What? That nice young man who’s been coming to Camp since he was three is gay? And that “friend” of his whom he brought is his “partner”? Mabel, get the smelling salts! Haven’t they heard of don’t ask, don’t tell?)

June 16, 2007

Eric Burdon, remember him?

Filed under: history,life,music — Towse @ 4:39 am

I’m just like so bummed.

His nibs sez, “Hey. Look at this!”

Eric Burdon and the Animals are playing at the Chukchansi Gold Resort And Casino in Coarsegold, CA.


[heart sinks]

Those were the days, my friend.

[/heart sinks]

MyWire Top Stories

Filed under: app,life,periodicals — Towse @ 1:52 am

MyWire Top Stories

I mentioned I think — or maybe it was in a different space — that I moved all my bookmarks into last week and I’m working my way through, updating, changing, deleting, deciding whether a given bookmark should be “public” or not …

I click on old bookmarks. Sometimes they are dead as a doornail. Sometimes they shift you over to a new URL. Sometimes …

Came across this one just now that had really morphed.

A while ago I was trying to decide whether to give up some magazine subscriptions and (truth tell) piles of old magazines — archives of periodicals that I might look at once every three years and, instead, sign on AND PAY $4.95/mo to KeepMedia, which offered 150+ titles online.

We sympathize with the postal carrier who, not just for us but also for others, walks down 40+ stairs from the nearest street to reach the cross path that connects with our walking path. He walks down the path to our stoop and up 18+ steps to our door to deliver our mail and magazines. And back down again and up and down again and up … as he walks down our walking path, delivering mail.

He walks another almost 100 steps down the steps to the next walking path to deliver another batch of mail.

Maybe, I thought, we could lighten his load.

I thought about it, do I want to give up my physical magazines, um. I thought about it, set it aside, thought about it. …

Turns out good thing I didn’t tie my wagon to that horse.

KeepMedia is now and a fine app may be, but it’s not what KeepMedia promised.

Word to the wise. Those packrats amongst us worry about stuff like this … give up your physical archives? Trust the Web? Trust the vendor not to change his business model?


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