Sunday, October 10, 2010

This, That and the Other

We've had a remarkably cool summer this year, only a few days over 100 degrees and a lot of days below 90 degrees. The yard should be doing better than it is, but my knees have been a problem all summer, and I've done very little beyond the minimum.

The State of California finally passed a budget, sticking it to poor children and their mothers, the disabled and state workers. The Legislature wasn't willing to tax ATT and Comcast, even though the cable providers got a windfall when the government ordered the switch to digital transmission. Those who had chosen not to get cable or satellite service discovered that their reception was, well, non-existent, and they had to get cable service to receive the standard broadcast signals.

The Governor was particularly incensed that state workers received defined-benefit pensions and sought to increase employee contributions and reduce benefits. In this he succeeded partially, but only by depending on the inability of most people to do third-grade arithmetic. For instance, the "savings" will allegedly be $100 billion in the coming decades. The problem is that said savings will only begin about 25 years from now, and will be reaped over six, seven or eight decades. At that point $100 billion doesn't seem like nearly so much money.

We have a new resident in our yard, Miss Hissy. J discovered her (we have declared her sex, not knowing how to do so with snakes) while clipping ivy and initially thought we might have a rattlesnake in the yard. I called the local 311 service to find out what we should do and was told to leave the snake alone. It would move along on its own. J then did research and discovered that Miss Hissy was, in fact, a gopher snake--entirely harmless to humans.

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