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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 don't really have too much time on my hands. I have actual work I might be doing and undoubtedly will do. But wildfires have been a major professional preoccupation this summer -- here's a current example of what I'm... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I have just gone an entire calendar month without a post on The Blog. I supposed that's been a long time coming -- I have been more and more occupied by my paid writing activities and have had less and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Just remembering: It was two years ago today that our dad passed on. I'm not sure a day goes by that I don't have some thought of him (and yes, of our mom, too -- she died in August 2003,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Earlier this month, Kate spotted some wild fennel stuffed into a yard-waste bin here in the neighborhood. Wild fennel, which has become profuse here, is kind of weedy and annoying; once it takes root, it's very hard to get rid... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
We have a bathroom sink with a broken stopper -- or at least a stopper I've been ineffective at fixing. So I followed up on a months-old resolution and bought an old-fashioned rubber stopper. To cover all bets, I got... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Hey, Marie: You know, I think the idea of moving water out of the Great Lakes for all the thirsty lands to the west has been discussed. It seems ridiculous at first -- look how far you'd have to ship the water (and the mountains you'd have to cross. But then you look at how determined the engineers have been and the feats they've already achieved (to get water to the Los Angeles area, the State Water Project pumps it to an elevation of over 3,000 feet), and you think -- well, with enough time and money and persistence, almost anything could happen. There have also been schemes to bring water into California from the Columbia River system, or even from the Mackenzie River in arctic Canada. But here's a problem: No one wants to give up the water they have. Illinois's neighbor on the Great Lakes went to court in the early 20th century because the state was sucking so much water down the Illinois River system that it was causing lake levels to drop and causing concern about the long-term future of the entire region (the state and city of Chicago still operate under a U.S. Supreme Court order from the 1920s that limits how much water can flow out of Lake Michigan through the rivers).
OK, here's another little experiment. I spent part of the last 10 days or so taking a little bit of a crash course in California groundwater for a radio feature. The feature's done, but I still need to do a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I was out for a walk with The Dog late this afternoon. We hit several of the usual stops: the house of a neighbor who is a soft touch for dog biscuits; the schoolyard where every once in a while... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
From USAirways Flight 718, en route from San Francisco to Philadelphia at 33,000 feet, somewhere between east of Capitol Reef National Park, west of Canyonlands National Park. I've got to see this from ground level sometime. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Desultory Twitter browsing led me to the following obituary from Lake County. The county is home to Clear Lake, California's largest wholly contained freshwater lake -- Lake Tahoe is much bigger, but is split with Nevada-- and is oddly isolated.... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Yeah, John, that's true. The sequel is that one of the residents targeted for this attention actually seems to have moved his/her trash receptacles off the streets.
Though I'm spending the week in Seattle, an informant alerts me that the simmering hyperlocal brouhaha over trash receptacles on the sidewalk in the 1500 block of McGee Avenue (just north of Cedar) appears to have entered a new phase.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I'm up in Seattle for a few days with my sister and nephew, who are checking out the campus of The Evergreen State College (note the "The") in Olympia. We drove down there yesterday, then continued up the west shore... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
We did a car-camping trip down to Central California last week: spent a night on the shore of Lake Nacimiento on the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county border, then a couple nights at Wheeler Springs, a National Forest campground on Highway... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
For those seeking random, sometimes helpful and often stern advice from anonymous strangers, a stroll through Berkeley rarely disappoints. On a walk back from downtown to our manse in the North Berkeley flatlands yesterday, I encountered a detailed sign posted... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
We watched the start of tonight's/this morning's lunar eclipse from the sidewalk in front of the house. A couple of neighbors came out to see the moon starting to enter the Earth's shadow -- but the show was a little... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
The further adventures of a California reservoir. A year and a week ago -- late March 2013 -- Kate and I camped in the very nice Loafer Creek campground at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The lake, the main reservoir... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Carl: I'm cutting off comments to this post. If you want to discuss further, you can email me using the link at the top right of the page.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2014 on The Last of Hunter at Infospigot: The Chronicles
We had that rarest of Berkeley weather days yesterday. OK -- not as rare as snow. But we did have this: Early in the afternoon, thunder started to roll as a storm headed our way across San Francisco Bay. We... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Kate recorded this the other morning while walking The Dog in the neighborhood. The audio contains two distinct calls from one bird. When she got home, she said, "Listen to this -- what do you think it sounds like it's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
The under-appreciated Crassula ovata, jade plant, reportedly native to South Africa and ridiculously easy to grow in our mild dry climate. It tolerates lots of inattention. The highlight every year: in the late winter and early spring, it flowers. I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
There were three mockingbirds flying from tree to tree and from post to post in the neighborhood on the Spring-Ahead morning. I got out my audio recorder but they flew on before I got much. Then we went out for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Anyone who has ever read this blog regularly -- not a huge group, but one that I sort of know -- have seen for awhile that the posts come less and less often (or do I mean more and more... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Yeah, we're one of those outfits -- we let The Dog get on the furniture. And here he is today, Day Four of the Return of Winter to the Bay Area. It seems that every time we've been out since... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
It's so dry that … Well, by way of the California-Nevada River Forecast Center, go-to source of data on winter storms during winters when we have those, here's the latest attention-getting drought note: TODAY MARKS THE 44TH CONSECUTIVE DRY DAY... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles