Towse: views from the hill

April 3, 2010

A work in progress …

Filed under: damn,SJTblog — Tags: — Towse @ 9:19 pm

So, whilst trying to add Disqus comments (in lieu of Blogger comments which filled up with spam in no time at all), I discovered I had to move to a Blogger template to get the Disqus commenting enabled.

Fine. Whatever.

But now when things aren’t working / don’t look the way I’d hoped, I find I can’t reinstate my old home-brew template because Blogger thinks it’s busted.

November 5, 2008

Proposition 8 Passes. On to Plan B.

Filed under: damn,election2008 — Towse @ 4:11 pm

Election Results – November 4, 2008 – California Secretary of State [map showing how the state voted, county by county. Illuminating!] Update: The CASoS has taken down the map, alas. The above link now points only to the text results. Update: The map is back

Proposition 8 passes.

95.7% of the precincts partially or fully reporting as of 7:49A. Yes:52.1% No:47.9%

Update: 96.4% precincts partially or fully reporting as of 9:23 a.m. Yes: 52.2% No: 47.8%

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. The only saving grace is that Prop 22 passed in 2000 by 61.4% to 38.6%. Saving grace: the gap has closed as much as it has in eight years. Now written into the state Constitution, the only way to un-do the amendment is by a similar vote by registered voters. The Legislature can’t undo a Constitutional amendment (not that they could even rescind Prop 22 when they tried — Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill).

Could voters come to their senses and reversed the amendment when some more time passes? If we cut the difference from 12.8% to 4.1% 4.4% in eight years, could we bring this to the ballot again in five years and have it pass?


Seems funny to me that amendments to the Constitution take only 50% +1 of the vote but raising taxes takes 2/3ds approval. Perhaps Constitutional amendments should also have that threshhold, but please not until we’ve rescinded this mean-spirited, unfair and wrong amendment some time in the future.

Or, alternatively, we can go to Plan B, as soon as everyone’s regrouped.

Plan B: Change state law so that all legal schmegal dealing with joint tax filing, hospital visitation, inheritance, health benefits, time off for sick family, adoption, &c. for couples is based solely on civil registration at City Hall or the county courthouses.

Let churches marry whom they please, and let it be solely between a man and a woman, if that’s what the church deems, but church marriages will not be valid registration for the government benefits accruing to couples. Only a civil partnership registered at City Hall or the county courthouse will have legal status, and civil partnerships will be available to heterosexual and homosexual couples.

July 25, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

Filed under: damn,life,people — Towse @ 5:55 pm

U.S. professor of inspirational “last lecture” dies

Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:46pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Randy Pausch, a university professor whose “last lecture” celebrating life in the face of terminal cancer became a book which made him a best-selling sensation, died on Friday at age 47.

Pausch died at home of complications from pancreatic cancer, Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught for 10 years, reported on its Web site.

The computer science professor was best known for his “last lecture,” entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” which he gave in September 2007 just weeks after learning he was suffering from terminal cancer.

Footage of the poignant and inspirational lecture became a hit on the Internet, viewed by millions of people.

A book based on the talk, “The Last Lecture,” was translated into 30 languages and became an international bestseller, Carnegie Mellon, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said on its Web site.


The server at Carnegie Mellon is swamped and not responding, but when it comes up for air, click here for more Randy Pausch information. (I’d checked in just yesterday to see how he was doing. … and was glad to see he was still with us. And, now, not.)

December 16, 2007

Terry Pratchett news.

Filed under: damn,people — Towse @ 5:39 pm


I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s, which lay behind this year’s phantom “stroke”.

continues …

September 22, 2007

Red Sky At Morning

Filed under: damn,life,photographs,San Francisco,weather — Towse @ 7:58 pm


Posted by Picasa[click photo for more]

Spectacular sunrise yesterday, presaging the rain that started last night as a drizzle and moved into, yes, real rain (not wicked rain, just maybe a quarter inch or so) overnight.

The rain’s stopped and …

his nibs is up on the roof, bailing out a puddle of water from a plugged up drain.

The leaks are back, in a different place this time, due to a different cause, most likely an installation flaw for the new roof for which we just paid a zillion dollars (what with other work to be done and the cost of uninstalling and reinstalling the solar panels that rest on the roof).


But … good thing I heard the drip drips behind me and we got the buckets and towels in place, good thing the rain wasn’t any harder than it was, good thing everyone will be out here in a few days (as soon as the roofer boss is back from vacation and available) to check out what the problem is and fix it before real rain (and Autumn) blows in.

June 27, 2007

[UPDATE] Angora fire

Filed under: damn,life,news — Towse @ 12:38 am

The fire’s jumped the fire break and is down at Emerald Bay Road. Propane tanks exploding. All hell and all that breaking loose. Fire folks are evacuating Tallac Village.

ABC News coverage
SF Chronicle coverage

April 23, 2007

Dang! Meeting notes. Port of San Francisco: January 25, 2007

Filed under: damn,photographs,politics — Tags: , , — Towse @ 10:41 pm

Meeting notes. Port of San Francisco: January 25, 2007

I’d been searching for more information about the proposal to develop San Francisco’s new (and needed!) cruise ship terminal using the existing terminal at Pier 35 and the overflow terminal at Pier 27 (instead of Piers 30-32) when … buried there in the midst of it all in the January 2007 Port Authority meeting notes, “Port will fund demolition of P36 in Port’s FY 07-08 budget.”

No… no… nonononononono….


  Posted by Picasa  Posted by PicasaTaken 10 Aug 2006

Funny. We’d been at the Telegraph Hill Dwellers meeting on 26 Feb 2007. Monique Moyer, Port Director, was the speaker. I specifically asked during the Q&A session what was happening with Pier 36 and she did not say they were putting funding to take it down in the next budget.


I asked her later about it too after the meeting was over and she did not say it was a done deal. She said it would cost $5m to demolish Pier 36. She also said that if anyone wanted to refurbish it, they’d have to spend $5m to take it down and then spend whatever it took to rebuild it.

If I could only win the Lotto!

April 15, 2007

RIP Jill May

Filed under: damn,life,San Francisco — Towse @ 7:45 am

Her children pay their respects.

No one should ever ever die this way.


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