Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Try this in the US

Try this in the U.S.

This month we went to pay our regular bills as usual, phone, electric and water. Well, when it came to paying the water bill, we did not get a copy as usual, so we asked for a copy of the bill. We were told that they had run out of paper, and if we would like, we could pay two months next month when they would have the paper to print the bills on.
Can you imagine being told that you can pay two months next month in California or New York?

A few months ago, we had people walking around the streets and the Malecon from the health department offering free flu shots. I am just getting over a bad cold at this time, so talk about outreach, the health workers were also going door to door offering the flu shot for free. As I have said before, this government is pouring money into health care. This is also very clear with the child care and prevention programs offered to children.
Many programs like these are being underfunded and shutdown in California, putting an investment into the future of the country in jeopardy.  By providing health care to children, it is a great vote winner. Healthy children learn better and faster.


Easter Weekend


Fun for all

Not much space left here


This is a time of year that is celebrated all over the world by many people for many different reasons. The main reason would be the religious one. Other people celebrate it because they get a long weekend off from work, which becomes a time to have fun and be with your family and friends.
Then there are those that this time marks the return to school, and this is the last fling before hitting the books.
Well, here in Salinas, we have all of the above reasons to celebrate plus one. It marks the end of the summer season for Salinas, and a time when the vendors have to make that extra bit of profit to see them through the lean time. Also, this is the time that the parents are getting their kids ready for school, and a time when the city of Salinas can get the roads cleaned and repaired after the heavy traffic of people and vehicles have gone.
Stores and restaurants will be looking to make repairs and get ready to close up until the next season.


Did you get to meet these over the Easter weekend?

Promoting their new product

Tourism Volunteers.  These kids attend the University and on
Holidays, volunteer giving out tourism maps and frisbees.  We should say a big
"thank you" for all their help.


The clocks

Well, if you live in the U.S., for the most part, you will have put your clocks forward one hour.  That is a signal that you are moving into the spring and the rebirth of the countryside, blooming flowers, birds singing and crops growing. Some children are looking forward to their exams, and all being able to enjoy longer evenings.
Here in Salinas, we do not subscribe to the movement of time to accommodate the farmers and school kids. With a 360 day a year growing season and a day length which varies between 12 and 13 hours a day throughout  the year, it is not needed.



Art Show

The art show that was held at Sin Bar was not the success that it could have been due to a number of reasons. One of the reasons was the music. If you have lived or stayed here, you will understand that when they play music here they want the whole neighborhood to hear it. The vendors that were at the show were very soon left on their own, as the prospective buyers were replaced with the very young crowd that come into the bar to buy one beer and a cup and hug it for the rest of the night.
The show was a great effort and many lessons can be learned from it. So looking forward to next season, I see no reason why we would not have an art show at a different venue and time.


Looking back 

I have been going over some of the images I have in the cloud and on my computer, and I found quite a few that make me feel happy that I am where I am. I was there for the last car manufacturing plant to close down in California. Forty three hundred directly employed people were affected and indirectly the estimate was 50,000 people employed by support and service companies. That was a hard blow for the San Francisco Bay area to absorb.


Raw steel in

Steel mill

Line supply

Robot maintenance 


Steel press shop

line dollies 


rail sidings for car transporters

staging area 

Battery shop

Quality control

Quality control 

End of the line

environment inspection

last check

out of the door

panel carries 

fork lift and UAV parking

Service vehicle

Line support

receiving area

Vehicle carriers for line

Vehicle carriers for line

tools used on the line
Flat steel to panels
Panel line support area
Just a few of the fork lifts

rest area

welding robots asleep

welding robots waiting to be dismantled 

Line support area

training aid

Jigged doors 

UAV fork lift

Charging station for EVs

robots removed from the line

Paint shop

This Month

April 1
April 1, 1865 - During the American Civil War, Confederate troops of General George Pickett were defeated and cut off at Five Forks, Virginia. This sealed the fate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's armies at Petersburg and Richmond and hastened the end of the war
April 1, 1998 - A federal judge in Little Rock, Arkansas, dismissed a sexual harassment case against President Bill Clinton, stating the case had no "genuine issues" worthy of trial. Although President Clinton had denied any wrongdoing, a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1997 allowed the case to proceed, thereby establishing a precedent allowing sitting presidents to be sued for personal conduct that allegedly occurred before taking office.
April 2
April 2, 1513 - Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon sighted Florida and claimed it for the Spanish Crown after landing at the site of present day St. Augustine, now the oldest city in the continental U.S.
April 2, 1792 - Congress established the first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia.
April 2, 1863 - A bread riot occurred in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, as angry people demanded bread from a bakery wagon then wrecked nearby shops. The mob dispersed only after Confederate President Jefferson Davis made a personal plea and threatened to use force.
April 2, 1865 - General Robert E. Lee informed Confederate President Jefferson Davis that he must evacuate the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. Davis and his cabinet then fled by train.
April 2, 1982 - The beginning of the Falkland Islands War as troops from Argentina invaded and occupied the British colony located near the tip of South America. The British retaliated and defeated the Argentineans on June 15, 1982, after ten weeks of combat, with about 1,000 lives lost.
Birthday - Fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, Denmark. He created 168 fairy tales for children including the classics The Princess and the PeaThe Snow Queen and The Nightingale.
Birthday - French writer Emile Zola (1840-1902) was born in Paris. His works included a series of 20 books known as the Rougon-Macquart Novels in which he defined men and women as products of heredity and environment, portraying them as victims of their own passions and circumstances of birth. In his later years, he became involved in resolving the Dreyfus affair, a political-military scandal in which Captain Alfred Dreyfus had been wrongly accused of selling military secrets to the Germans was sent to Devil's Island.
April 3
April 3, 1860 - In the American West, the Pony Express service began as the first rider departed St. Joseph, Missouri. For $5 an ounce, letters were delivered 2,000 miles to California within ten days. The famed Pony Express riders each rode from 75 to 100 miles before handing the letters off to the next rider. A total of 190 way stations were located about 15 miles apart. The service lasted less than two years, ending upon the completion of the overland telegraph.
April 3, 1865 - The Confederate capital of Richmond surrendered to Union forces after the withdrawal of General Robert E. Lee's troops.
April 3, 1944 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 that African Americans can not be barred from voting in the Texas Democratic primaries. The Court stated that discrimination against blacks violates the 15th Amendment and that political parties are not private associations.
April 3, 1948 - President Harry S. Truman signed the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan, intended to stop the spread of Communism and restore the economies of European countries devastated by World War II. Over four years, the program distributed $12 billion to the nations of Western Europe. The program was first proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall during a historic speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947.
April 3, 1995 - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to preside over the Court, sitting in for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who was out of town.
Birthday - American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) was born in New York City. His works include; Rip Van WinkleThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow and historical biographies such as theLife of Washington.
Birthday - Tammany Hall 'Boss' William M. Tweed (1823-1878) was born in New York City. From 1851 to 1871, his 'Tweed Ring' of political corruption looted millions from New York City, bringing the city to the verge of bankruptcy. Methods included padding city bills by 85 percent and writing checks to non-existent persons and companies. His power was broken after a series of critical editorial cartoons by Thomas Nast were published in Harper's Weekly magazine. Tweed was arrested and convicted on charges of larceny and forgery. He died in prison.
April 4
April 4, 1887 - The first woman mayor was elected in the U.S. as Susanna M. Salter became mayor of Argonia, Kansas.
April 4, 1949 - Twelve nations signed the treaty creating NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The nations united for common military defense against the threat of expansion by Soviet Russia into Western Europe.
April 4, 1968 - Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed by a sniper in Memphis, Tennessee. As head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he had championed non-violent resistance to end racial oppression and had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He is best remembered for his I Have a Dream speech delivered at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. That march and King's other efforts helped the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1986, Congress established the third Monday in January as a national holiday in his honor.
Birthday - American social reformer Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) was born in Hampden, Maine. She founded a home for girls in Boston while only in her teens and later crusaded for humane conditions in jails and insane asylums. During the American Civil War, she was superintendent of women nurses.
Birthday - Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943) was born in Nagaoko, Honshu. He was the main strategist behind the failed Japanese attack on Midway Island in June of 1942, which turned the course of the war against Japan. He was killed on April 18, 1943, after Americans intercepted radio reports of his whereabouts and shot down his plane.
April 5, 1986 - A bomb exploded at a popular discotheque frequented by American military personnel in West Berlin, killing two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman. American intelligence analysts attributed the attack to Muammar Qaddafi of Libya. Nine days later, President Ronald Reagan ordered a retaliatory air strike against Libya.
Birthday - African American educator Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia. Freed by the Civil War, he taught himself the alphabet and eventually graduated from an agricultural institute. In June of 1881, he was asked to become the principal of a new training school for blacks at Tuskegee, Alabama. The Tuskegee Institute began in single building with 30 students but through his efforts grew into a modern university.
April 6
April 6, 1896 - After a break of 1500 years, the first Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens, Greece.
April 6, 1917 - Following a vote by Congress approving a declaration of war, the U.S. enteredWorld War I in Europe.
April 6, 1994 - The beginning of genocide in Rwanda as a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down. They had been meeting to discuss ways of ending ethnic rivalries between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. After their deaths, Rwanda descended into chaos, resulting in genocidal conflict between the tribes. Over 500,000 persons were killed with two million fleeing the country.
Birthday - Renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520) was born in Urbino, Italy. He created some of the world's greatest masterpieces including 300 pictures with a Madonna theme. He died on his 37th birthday in Rome.