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Dan Brekke
Berkeley, California
Still telling stories.
Interests: "I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use --silence, exile and cunning."
Recent Activity
I beg the public's indulgence for this map test. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
"When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what they must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm." --Samuel Johnson, quoted in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2016 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Among the slow-motion trends we observe in our corner of Berkeley is the proliferation of white elephant items left on the streets -- everything from ratty furniture to unwanted books to antique all-in-one office machines (complete with manuals) -- with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2016 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Science Friday filled its New Year's Day show with some greatest hits segments, including an excerpt of an interview that Ira Flatow did with filmmaker Werner Herzog, novelist Cormac McCarthy and physicist Lawrence Krauss in 2011. It's an absorbing 21... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2016 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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It isn't exactly a New Year's Eve tradition, but the last few years Kate and I have wound up spending a good part of the last day of the year outdoors. The last couple of years, we took walks up... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Dramatic evidence of the frigid depths of Berkeley's brutal winter: ice in the improvised backyard watering dish for the chickens. This has happened twice even though the recorded air temperature from a sensor about 6 feet off the ground in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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It's been a little colder than normal here in Berkeley -- and as wet as the weather annals say we have a right to expect -- so ants are looking for warmer, dryer digs. They like it when you give... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Part of the family lore I absorbed long ago was the emigration of my mother's mother's family -- the O'Malleys and Morans -- from a place called Clare Island. I'll call it a speck of rock standing at the very... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Above: From NASA's Worldview site, an image of California's first real storm of the wet season (click for a larger version, or check it out on Worldvew). Here's (a slightly edited version of) how the National Weather Service's San Francisco... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Just to note: A high approach to JFK about 5:15 p.m. on a beautiful early autumn Thursday. We flew over Scranton, Pennsylvania, then just north of the Delaware Water Gap and the New Jersey Meadowlands, then did a long, slowly... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Here we are: It was midday Thursday in the middle of a week off, and I was still looking to make a mark on the world. While idly pondering what that mark might be, I behold the very end of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Could be. I've worked and lived around construction zones many times, as well as having grown up in an area with dirt roads and lots of farm activity, and the dust that I've seen settled in those areas looks like just that -- dust.
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About a month ago, Piero and Jill, our neighbors across the street, presented us with a mystery: the seemingly ubiquitous appearance of tiny blobs of clay on their cars, their front porch, and on cars up and down our block... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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It's September, and just about time for the chrysanthemums we've been nursing through the summer with buckets of dishwater to enjoy their autumn moment. Looking at the hundreds or thousands of unfolding buds this morning, I noticed a familiar garden... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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The Rough Fire has been burning in the Sierra National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park, east of Fresno, for six weeks now. It's burned more than 138,000 acres, the biggest fire in California in -- well, in just two... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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The video above has been picked up everywhere, I think, as a first-person view of the Valley Fire as it roared through southern Lake County on Saturday evening. It was recorded by a resident of the Anderson Springs community northwest... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, about 40 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip on Interstate 15. The towers you see (shot from the passenger's seat of a car traveling about 70 mph toward Los Angeles) are each 459... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Thom and I are in Las Vegas on an adventure I'll describe later. We're staying at Caesar's Palace, right on The Strip. Our arrival last night coincided with the beginning of the NFL's 2015 season, Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the New... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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The fact it's July notwithstanding, the National Weather Service forecast rain for Thursday. Our seasonal but only faintly known monsoon -- it occasionally brings heavy rain to the Sierra and other ranges but rarely visits the lowlands with rain --... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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So, this came in the mail last week. It's the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. As a journalist who sometimes tries to extract useful information about my community, state and nation from the census data, I thought, "Cool! Now I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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At Safeco Field: Ken Stutz, Pete Cafone, me. In Seattle, a trip planned on an impulse a couple of months back. I came up here because a guy I used to work with at the San Francisco Examiner, Pete Cafone,... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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Again, from our recent trip to Woodland: Headed from Woodland toward Sacramento, Old River Road is a levee highway, generally keeping to the top of the embankment separating the Sacramento River from the flood plain to the west and south.... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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We stopped at the junction of Old River Road and Yolo County Road 126 so I could take some pictures of the Sacramento Weir -- a structure designed to let high water flow from the river just north of downtown Sacramento into the Yolo Bypass. ... The crash occurred on Old River Road about 7:15 p.m. just south of County Road 126 and west of the Sacramento River, said Robert Lagomarsino, a California Highway Patrol officer. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Sometimes on Sundays, I'll go through the newspaper obituaries. I generally don't have time during the week to do that, and I may be reverting to a family habit of perusing "the Irish funnies." I'm not looking for anything in... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
"Civilization creates for me a thousand other worlds that have little to do with my senses, a thousand illusions among which to choose. It is one of the functions of much of contemporary education and politics to convince me that... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles