Saw a harbor seal in the Bay today on the ferry ride over to SF from the East Bay, but no whales.

Updated the Flats page today.

It’s a good thing that the holidays actually arrive at some point. Otherwise, Alameda might experience some sort of Holiday Decoration Apocalypse. What happens on our street is something like this:

  • Someone on the street deploys a moderate number of Christmas lights and decorations around their house and property early in December or late in November.
  • Someone else sees these lights and decorations and gets inspired to get their own LADs (Lights And Decorations) out. However, this person deploys slightly more and complex LADs.
  • A third person sees the LADs deployed by the first two properties and decides to deploy their own LADs, again more complex and numerous than the second person’s LADs.
  • A fourth person sees the LADs of the first three properties and deploys LADs slightly more complex and numerous than the last set of LADs to be deployed.

This process continues nearly towards infinity. The only thing that actually stops this vicious cycle is the arrival of the holiday for which people are decorating. If Christmas never arrived, the street where we live would eventually disappear in a small mountain of LADs and nobody would get any sleep due to the resulting light pollution.

In sports, teams often package players in a bundle when making a trade. For instance, a basketball team might say, “Ok, you have one of our really good players in exchange for one of your better than average players, but you have to take this overpaid stiff off our hands, as well.” In this fashion, the two teams generally get equal value. One gets a really good player, but suffers the penalty of taking on an overpaid stiff. The other team gets a better than average player and is relieved from the burden of paying the overpaid stiff. I think we should do something similar with the Panama Canal. For instance, we should tell Panama that they can have the Canal, if and only if, they take Jimmy Carter, Jesse Helms, and Jerry Falwell off our hands, as well.