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Bad craziness with Facebook login

So… this blog had two posts that weren’t appearing on the home page but were everywhere else. After considerable tweaking, I decided to clear my browser cache going back seven days.

Unfortunately I did this with Facebook open on my laptop. Facebook pitched a fit and locked me out of my laptop account, and said send a photo ID, which I did. (My iPhone Facebook continued to work fine.)

Facebook said I could recover using my email address on Gmail. Unfortunately, it somehow got me mixed up with another Bob Morris on Gmail so none of the email recovery options worked.

Finally, I recovered using my cell phone number which is linked to my Outlook email on Facebook.

And that finally worked.

I am a geek, and this took 30 minutes. Sigh.


Maybe no one wants McMansions anymore?

Boomers are rattling around in their 5,000 sq ft McMansions, eventually planning to downsize into something smaller. That assumes someone will want to buy their ostentatious, high maintenance homes so they can trade down into something cheaper in an walkable suburb or urban area. However, these are precisely the types of homes millennials want too. More and more no one really wants a behemoth McMansion that, as McMansion Hell is fond of saying, was probably built using crappy materials and cheap labor, so things will wear out quickly. McMansions often have multiple, complex roofs because it looks so grand and important, except when you need to replace it, then you’re talking $30,000-40,000. Oh, that.

McMansions will need to be repurposed. Perhaps they could be used as communal living locations, or marijuana grow houses?

Younger and older generations alike are gravitating toward smaller dwellings in more urban, walkable suburbs and cities, with restaurants and coffee shops around the corner. It’s leading to a real estate traffic jam: Increasingly, boomers are getting stuck, because most can’t buy the home of their dreams until they unload their current ones. And many millennials have neither the desire nor the means to help them out.

“What you have is everyone chasing the same type of home,” says Rick Palacios, director of research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “More and more buyers of all ages want to avoid having to deal with a huge yard and all the upkeep and the costs to maintain [a larger] home.”

Desalination can’t solve California’s water shortage

Carlsbad CA desalination plant

Many have hoped that desalination plants up and down the coast of California could produce enough water for much of California. Nope. It’s not even close. Were California to build every proposed desal plant, it would account for a mere 1% of what California needs. Plus, there’s no easy way to get that water to where it’s needed which mostly is the Sacramento Delta. Also, the Carlsbad desal plant near San Diego took fifteen years to be built, due to regulatory hurdles and NIMBY lawsuits. New plants won’t happen fast.

There is just one proposed California desal plant that will cut local surface water needs. Only one. Also, desalination is expensive, requires continual maintenance, and uses substantial amounts of electricity which – wait for it – often requires water for cooling. And forget about using solar panels on site to power it on a beach in California. The specter of acres of solar panels on a California beach would cause NIMBYs to wallpaper the project with lawsuits.

There is just one proposed desalination facility that will in fact reduce strain on a local freshwater ecosystem. The proposed California American Water plant near Monterey will directly reduce surface water withdrawals from the Carmel River. Those reduced withdrawals, however, were mandated by the state more than 20 years ago. Such mandates with direct links to meaningful improvements in stream flow should certainly be a factor in deciding whether to build a desalination plant.

While often Californians are persuaded to consider desalination as a way to future water supply security using Israel and Western Australia as examples, one should remember that California is a highly populated state of about 40 million compared to 8 million in Israel and 2.6 million in Western Australia.

Seawater desalination, while can be a very small part of water supply portfolio of some of California’s coastal regions, will not be a significant part of the pie. The math is just not there.

Deeply depressing. Three generations in one house on disability.

WaPo profiles a desperately poor family that lives on disability payments. The ten year old twins, who are the fourth generation in the family on disability, got taken off it because government says they no longer meet the requirements. The family is now unable to meet monthly expenses because of the reduced payments they get.

Yeah, I know. Get a job. Well, the daughter, 32, has a form of Down’s Syndrome, an IQ if 75, and is essentially unemployable. There are four kids. Grandma hasn’t had a job in years. There are no men in the household.

Money management skills? Nope. Cell phones, cable, and internet are $432 a month. Income from disability checks is now $2,000 a month, down from $3,100. The electricity bill is overdue, the furniture was bought on credit with no doubt usurious interest rates.

So grandma tried repeatedly to get the twins back on disability because that’s all she knows how to do. Yes, some super kids can work super hard, maybe get super lucky, and escape this poverty trap. But most can’t.

“Ruth Horn, director of social services in Buchanan County, Va., which has one of the country’s highest rates of disability, has spent decades working with profoundly poor families. Some parents, she said, don’t encourage their children academically, and even actively discourage them from doing well, because they view disability as a “source of income,” and think failure will help the family receive a check.

“It’s not a hard thing to limit a person,” Horn said, adding: “It’s generations deep.”

The 1960s were extremely violent. We survived it. And overcame

It’s been glossed over and studiously forgotten, but the 1960s were hugely violent. Civil rights protesters were beaten, attacked by dogs, killed, as white supremacist politicians grinned. President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X were murdered. Cities burned in response to the assassination of MLK. Four protesters were shot and killed at Kent State, two at Jackson State. The 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention was officially called a “police riot” by the commission that investigated what happened.

Events today are indeed troubling, with alt-right crazies killing people. However, we’ve survived violent times before, and we’ll survive them again. Civil rights protesters in the 1960s sang “We shall overcome” fought heroically, and seemingly against all odds, did overcome. Yes they did. This can and will happen again.

That whole Nazi punching meme makes me a bit crazy. Richard Spencer clearly did not know how to fight. Some Nazis do. If you have to learn from a helpful social media post how to hold your fist when punching, then your first fight should not be street fighting Nazis.

Two people were killed in Portland by a deranged white supremacist. Those intervening to protect minorities in situations like this should assume the attacker has a knife or gun, and act accordingly. That’s just the reality of the situation.

Trump is going to fall from power. Everyone knows it, including his supporters. That’s why they’re going crazy now. This process will intensify as we head into the end game.

So, be smart, act smart, fight in whatever way you think best. And remember, we shall overcome.