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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
Page 2 of The New York Times print edition -- also online under the title Corrections -- is a favorite of mine. The conceit of the corrections page is that the paper will make an accounting for the errors that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
It's far too late, or early -- the end of March has turned into April Fool's Day -- to go into detail about what's pictured here. Suffice it to say: One of the many feedlots I passed Tuesday afternoon while... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
In our last installment, we were taking in the sights of Lake McClure just as night fell. Now, let's reverse gears and go about an hour or so backwards, when I arrived at Lake Don Pedro -- on the Tuolumne... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Yeah -- always pretty amazing to me how sharply outlined the high-water mark is.
Over the weekend, I went on a quick jaunt up to what I'd call the central Sierra foothills to take a look at a couple of the drought-drained reservoirs up there: Lake Don Pedro, on the Tuolumne River, owned by... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I work in a public media newsroom that doesn't have unlimited resources. We need to be somewhat selective in what we cover, and we often discuss whether this or that story rises to the level of assigning a reporter to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Well, I'm posting past midnight, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is just past. But in doing some reading on the Montgomery bus boycott, I came across a sermon he gave in March 1956. His point of departure was a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Among other happenings in 2014, Kate and I became chicken farmers. Or at least fowl cohabitants. Kate has a work friend who last spring needed to find a home for two chicks. We had thought about getting chickens -- we... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I've been doing some reading on Gold Rush history for a work project -- looking specifically at some of the Bay Area's economic ups and downs. I came across this piece in the June 20, 1855, edition of the Daily... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
We made it to another completely artificial and arbitrary dividing point in time, which by widely accepted convention we're calling 2015 (or 2015 CE, if you want to get ecumenical about it). But what the heck: Happy New Year all,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2015 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Here you go, blog fans: An actual semi-journalistic document about last night's protests in Berkeley. What follows is a story memo I wrote for the news staff at KQED, the public radio station where I work. It falls short of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Wednesday it rained. Thursday it rained. Saturday, it rained again. Right there's some news. Even though the rain didn't amount to much -- I'd guess just an inch or so here in Berkeley for all three "storms" -- that was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Here's a shot (click for larger image) from my flight to Chicago last week as the plane headed northeast toward the north end of Lake Tahoe. That's French Meadows Reservoir, on the Middle Fork of the American River, at the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Gamboling about downtown Chicago last Sunday night after the conclusion of the Third Coast audio festival, I walked up LaSalle Street past Chicago City Hall. I think I was inside once, back in the early 1970s, tracking down a copy... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Chicagoland. Where did that name come from, anyway? I just submitted that question to WBEZ's Curious City, which is a really interesting project if you haven't heard it or seen it, so maybe they'll investigate. I can tell from a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
Visiting Chicago for a few days, I drove down to the south suburbs this afternoon -- late in the afternoon, as it turned out -- to see my brother Chris and his wife, Patty. They live in Tinley Park, about... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
I've been seeing this man at the North Berkeley BART station for, gosh, at least a couple of years (time flies when you're halfway paying attention). He's one of a number of musicians who show up and perform for a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Infospigot: The Chronicles
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