Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fatherly Advise on a Happy Father’s Day

I have learned much from my dad throughout the years. I’ve been guided on responsibility, family first, and work ethic to name a few. I humbly share with you here some of the gems of wisdom he’s unleashed over the years. Some gems have played a more integral part in my evolution into an adult than others.

[1] On interpersonal Relationships: ‘Treat people the way you want to be treated.’
[2] On the Manly Arts: ‘Measure twice, cut once.’

[3] On snow: ‘Don’t eat the yellow snow.’

[4] On Home repairs: ‘If something’s broken, you should try to fix it. If you can’t, you can still call someone to fix it.’

[5] On buffets: ‘Don’t fill your plate on the salad and bread at the front of the buffet, the good stuff is at the end.’

[6] On how to become a millionaire: ‘Buy a million dollars in real estate, pay off the loan, you’re a millionaire.’

[7] On Spam: ‘If you’re really hungry, Spam tastes damn good.’

[8] On poor behavior: ‘That’s not according to the Royal Code.’

[9] On work ethic: ‘Do what you say you’re going to do.’

[10] On determination: ‘Don’t say that you can’t do something. You say that and you’ll find that you can’t do it.

Dad, thanks for being there every day through all the big stuff and the little stuff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

California’s Drought . . . Problem Solved

In southern California we live with a constant reminder about our decades-old drought what with the ‘Be Water Wise’ and ‘Don’t Waste Water’ campaigns. There’s just no water solution in sight. Or is there?

First things first, it’s not a drought so much as it is truly southern California’s coastal desert environment returning to prominence. This ‘drought’ has been in force for more than a 100 years, since well before Mr. Mulholland brought water to southern California in the early 1900s. His resourcefulness bought us seventy years of willful neglect in considering the significant lack of fresh water without bringing it in from hundreds of miles away. Suffice it so say, it’s not a drought, this is the natural environment for the area.

Meanwhile, our valiant warriors in elected office, the fruits of a bountiful slothful ill-informed voter citizenry, have laid down the latest decree. Effective this month throughout the state, we have the privilege of watering our lawns as much as twice weekly. Should that not result in the desired decrease in water usage we’ll further have the privilege of paying higher water rates, too.

Look, I’m not willing to defend the right to have a lawn. It looks nice, but clearly it’s a luxury that has run its course, at least for this area. But I’ll tell what chaps my hide, those arrogant clowns in elected office making us give it up. A more appropriate message from the legislature, rather than June’s ultimatum, would have been the following:

We could have done things better these last few decades preparing for the inevitable, but we kind of blew it. Here’s our plan to fix it.
[1] Water your lawns only twice weekly. That’s the sacrifice we’re asking of our citizens. Many of you will lose your lawn, for that we’re sorry.
[2] For our sacrifice, we’ll give up our silly bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco and redirect the money toward a water plan. And if we get this figured out, we’d like our toy train back.’

In the face of this crisis our legislators in Sacramento have done little more than capitulate. Certainly we can start by trying to figure out what to do with that huge body of water immediately off the coast! Sure, I know, the salt content of the Pacific Ocean is an inconvenience. The contents of the Pacific Ocean could be readily usable without it. If only science had furnished us with some way to remove that stuff. Oh wait, that’s right, desalination!

You’re probably thinking, ‘Klem, you know that’s too expensive to put into practice on such a grand scale as needed for California, don’t you?’ Expensive, yes, but too expensive? If it is too expensive then why is it so widely practiced throughout other parts of the globe? Think about Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their neighboring Middle Eastern countries and their ½-inch annual rainfall. They exist with the same conundrum of a bountiful supply of salted water and not enough of the fresh stuff. Desalination. Expensive, sure, but the science is there. And, like solar power, the technology becomes more efficient and effective with each generation. So the question becomes ‘How do we fund the desalination plants and the necessary continued research and development?’

That’s the great part, the funding is already factored into the state’s bloated budget. Cross out the budget line description reserved for that ridiculous ‘bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco’ and scratch in ‘Desalination.’ That crummy train is such an amazing financial sinkhole of a delusional bureaucratic dream that the desalination plants could be green-lighted right away, given the amount of money currently being committed to that boondoggle of a high-speed train. [I could show you all the facts and figures, but for the sake of brevity, kindly trust me.] Redirect funds from the train and this desalination plan can be immediately financed in its entirety!

Truth is, this addresses an even more pressing issue. Global Warming! [nudge nudge wink wink] We’ve heard about the impending ocean tides slated to rise three feet by 2100. We owe it to our great grandchildren to drink the oceans down and occasionally sprinkle our lawns simply to retain the current safe ocean levels. California’s drought, as I see it, is the solution to the impending devastating effects of Global Warming. I’ll gladly drink to that.