California is the Poorest State

In a Feb 18 article by CALmatters on the “California Dream”, Matt Levin observes that if you factor in cost-of-living, California has the highest poverty rate in the U.S.  Stated another way, California is the poorest state in the country.  Poorer than states like Louisiana or Mississippi.  The article mostly blames the cost of housing.  In 1969, the average California home price was 3X the average annual income of younger Californians; today, it’s 7X.  At the same time, we have the wealthiest citizens, and some cities with the highest per capita income.

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Back in 2005, I was trying to be funny.  It’s not funny anymore.

Most of what you’re reading is not useful

Most of what passes for news is not useful; it’s meant to get you to consume advertising.  And really, how many times do you need to read that Trump has said something stupid?

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I learned this lesson in a time management course at HP decades ago, but was reminded last year when taking care of my dad’s funeral and estate details.  I was too busy doing useful stuff to read about the Kardashians.  It’s nice to see someone writing about this.

I spend less time reading about the latest warehouse fire in Oakland, politician lies, and other things that don’t mean anything to my life, than I used to.  Frees up time, our most precious commodity.

Santa Cruz Xmas boat parade

Becky and I had a lovely time viewing the annual boat parade from the west side of the harbor.  People on the boats and on shore enjoyed the good weather.  I think my favorite was the Peter Pan themed pirate ship being followed by the crocodile.Peter Pan

Bose Hearphones Review

I’m generally a fan of Bose equipment; I’m very satisfied with Bose QC headphones and a wireless speaker, and recommend them highly.  But I’m writing this somewhat negative review of the Hearphones because as I write this, it’s hard to find reviews.

If you are looking for ‘phones that amplify all the sounds around you, these are great.  But my application is different.

It’s hard for me to pick out a companion’s conversation in a crowded venue, like a restaurant or trade show.  The Hearphones have a feature that’s supposed to only amplify a focused area in front of you, using directional microphones.  It did not work for me.  This setting did indeed knock down a lot of the background sound, but replaced it with an irritating low-medium frequency hiss and did nothing to amplify the sound in front of me.  In fact, it was startling just how bad this worked.  There was SOME amplification of sounds 15 feet in front of me, but not of someone 2 feet in front of me.  I really wanted these to work and I tried all adjustments.

Lest you think this is purely a negative review, it is not.  There are two great things about the Hearphones.  First, if you want all sounds to be amplified in a 360 degree arc, they work great.  Second, Bose offers a 30-day hassle free money back guarantee.  I returned mine and it indeed was no hassle.  Your results might be different than mine. There’s a video review on YouTube from a lady who likes these ‘phones.

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Drove up to Prairie City Oregon for the solar eclipse of 2017.  About 1400 miles round trip but worth it.  Shared the experience with about 250 people, a few of whom watched some of the event through my telescope.  Here’s a shot taken with my old Celestron C90.
As you’ve probably heard, a picture doesn’t do the experience justice; it’s pretty thrilling to see live.  And we were all grateful for very clear skies!