Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Living with Janet Marchant: Your Wonderful Green Bin!

Every Monday evening, my hubby has gone through the chore of dragging our family's Gray Bin, Blue Bin, and Green Bin to the sidewalk. I am thankful that I have him to do this onerous task because they are too big and heavy for me to pull!

As I watched him out the window last week, I thought to myself how nice it was to have a green bin, but that we've got to do something about those other ones. Yes, I'm always thinking about how to be more green!

And then it struck me — Let's just stop using the Blue and Gray bins!
If we put all of our weekly "output" into the green bin, we'll be a greener family for it!

I called up ACI the next morning and I explained my idea. The nice man who answered the phone didn't really understand what I was saying, but he finally caught on when I told him that I wanted to cancel the service for our Gray and Blue bins, and upgrade our Green bin to the EXTRA large size. I think then he finally got what I was talking about, and was glad to help adjust our service. A truck came just a couple of days later to do the exchange.

So now our family is doing Green-only waste management, and it feels great! I encourage all other Alamedans to do the same.

Just to give you a sense of what it's like, I've kept track of what we put into our green bin for the last few days since we started. Here is a list:

- Kitchen scraps: banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, orange peels, moldy fruit, chicken bones, pork chops that we left in the refrigerator too long, and so on. I double-bagged these in some heavy- weight "Hefty Bags" so that it wouldn't stink up the bin while it waited to be picked up.

- 3 or 4 hefty-bag-fulls of styrofoam packing peanuts that came with all the stuff we ordered from, our favorite online store! (No need to double-bag these; they don't smell bad at all!)

- Our daughter's old bicycle. (Now that she's going to be a kindergartner, she's getting too old to be riding a bike; I don't think she'll miss it since I've been driving her to all her "summer camp" activities.) Fortunately the bike is small enough to fit into the XL-size bin!

- A couple of hefty bags full of empty containers like juice boxes, cereal boxes/bags, milk cartons, coke cans, and so on.

- Our last old-style "tube" TV. (Yipee! We've finally finished the transition to flat-screen now!)

- A big box of books and magazines that I'm done reading

- A whole bunch of mystery junk that I found under Chad's bed when I finally got around to hauling out his room.

Anyhoo, all of this went into the Green Bin. It's almost full and we have a few more days until pick-up, so I might have to order a second one. That's OK - the more we put into the Green Bin, the more we are helping our Planet!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Agenda-Driven "Newspaper" Tries to Force Us All to Like Squirrels


You won't believe the outrageous thing I saw in that crummy excuse for a "newspaper" that I never read! Right there in the July 28th edition, those lousy editors had the nerve to publish something about how wonderful Squirrels are when they are eavesdropping in public. Eavesdropping? Hah! More like collecting intelligence to use against us in the Global War on Squirrels.

By quoting someone saying that Squirrels are wonderful, those agenda-driven "journalists" are trying to force us all to like Squirrels, which is ridiculous. We all know that Squirrels are the opposite of wonderful, and that they are trying to destroy Alameda. Well, I guess they just found another ally for that effort. That "newspaper" must have completely sold out to Big Acorn. I think I'll cancel my subscription, even though it won't be the same opening my door in the morning and not seeing a two-bit "newspaper" that I can kick aside and refuse to read.

Frieda Bellows

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fwd: This Just Makes No Sense

Dear Friends, Editor:

I just happened across an online letter that really has me scratching my head in disbelief. Can anyone tell me if the writer is really serious about this ridiculous claim that Mayor Beverly Johnson wasn't born in Alameda? I mean, I went to school with her from early on, so I know she grew up here, and her family lived here, and I don't see why she wouldn't have been born at Alameda Hospital. Why would anyone make up a story about her having been born outside Alameda, when there isn't even one tiny piece of evidence to suggest that's true?

It doesn't really matter to me whether Mayor Johnson was technically born in Alameda or not, but I'm really puzzled about why someone would think it's so important. If you have any ideas about that, I'd like to know. If you know anyone else who might be able to explain this whole thing, feel free to forward my message to them, but please don't send it in to the news media or blogs or anything like that. I don't want to be responsible for any public fuss over something this silly.

Have a good day,


Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I understand that the kids these days sometimes send their letters to the editor to us through the "gee mail" instead of the postal service, but we wish they would at least have the courtesy to use the proper salutation. We understand that every Right-Thinking Alamedan would like to be our friend, but given our tens of thousands of visitors* to our soon-to-be-award-winning daily noosepaper, the logistics are simply impossible. We have corrected the error this time, but next time you may not be so lucky. Oh, by the way, you're welcome.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jimmy Ward Asks, "Why Do My Parents Hate Ice Cream So Much?"

Dear Mr. Grumbel,

My parents are mean. They say because we are in a bad a conomy, we cant always have five cartons of ice cream in the freezer. I demanded that they always keep all my favrite flavors in the freezer, but they said to stop talking about it all the time, because that much ice cream doesnt fit in our family budget. They are wrong though because it has nothing to do with the budget.

I don't even know how much ice cream costs so how can they say that I'm trying to tell them how much money to spend on it? They should just get the ice cream and then figure out how to pay for it. They'd better not take it out of my allowance though because I need that money. Oh and they better not cancel our cable TV or stop bying Super Golden Crispy Sugar Smacks either cause those are neccessecities.

They won't listen to me which is mean. Why do my parents hate ice cream so much? Ice cream has milk kids need for strong bones so I guess they want my growth to be stunned and break both my legs, but I guess theyd like that cause they probly hate kids too. Mister Grumbel will you tell them that they have to get five cartons of ice cream every week no matter what?


Jimmy Ward

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I think little Jimmy makes some very good points in his hard-hitting grumpy letter to the editor. Isn't it about time Right-Thinking Alamedans started gathering signatures for a ballot measure to mandate minimum ice-cream stocking levels? After all, healthy bones and teeth are too valuable to let crumble away.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Concerned Alamedans: "What Are You Trying to Hide, Mayor Johnson?"

Dear Roger,

As you know, a group of concerned Alamedans has been investigating claims that Beverly Johnson is not eligible to be mayor of Alameda because she is not "a natural born citizen" of our fair Island. We believe that Johnson has been concealing the fact that she was actually born in Oakland. Whether her parents were Alameda citizens at the time is irrelevant—she was born across the estuary, which means she is not legally suited to govern our Fair Isle according to the City Charter!

Due to our pressure, Johnson finally issued her birth certificate, as well as an "It's A Girl!" announcement that appeared in the Alameda Puppy Trainer on Oct. 3, 1958. However, anyone looking at the attached "document" can see that it is a cheap forgery!

What are you trying to hide, Mayor Johnson? It would be so easy to clear up this confusion—just show us your REAL long form birth certificate! If left festering and unanswered, this situation possesses the potential to send our city into a time of great peril, and our group will have no choice but to file suit to challenge each and every one of Johnson's actions as mayor.

Morly T. Aitz

Friday, July 24, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Dealing with Pesky Bugs and Weeds in the Garden

Here in Alameda we are graced with wonderful weather, and one of the advantages of our temperate climate is that it's a perfect place to have a little garden in your back yard. Of course I wouldn't dare eat any home-grown vegetables or fruits—I'll leave that to the professionals to put dinner on my table, thank you very much—but it's a great place for decorative flowers and bushes to show off your "green" thumb.

Alas, there's always a dark lining around every silver cloud: Our climate also makes it a haven for weeds and insects. These are definitely not part of the plan that God wrote down in the Bible! Did you read about bugs and weeds infesting the Garden of Eden? Of course not!

My least favorite weeds are those little grasses that look like clover—even though they most assuredly are not clover. And my least favorite insects are spiders and, even though they are popular in children's stories, ladybugs. They just give me the creeps.

But this column wouldn't be here unless there was a solution! Now with new eco-friendly pest control from Raid—"kills bugs dead"—and the ever-popular Roundup, you can destroy all weeds and bugs in your garden—in fact, in your entire yard—for generations to come.

So stop by your local nursery or hardware store to stock up on the new "Green" varieties of Raid and Roundup. I recommend one spray can of Raid and one extra-large bottle of Roundup per square yard. Be sure to apply to your entire yard (including any trees) and if you don't mind sneaking into your neighbor's back yard while they are on summer vacation, you can do them a favor by a thorough application there as well!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Roger Rates Recent Interwebcasts

Roger's ratings of meetings initially interwebcast in the past 28 days, with the most recent shown in green:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
Corica Have Mercy:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
This Is an Outrage:

Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council
July 21, 2009

Editor's Comments:

There was only one truly nooseworthy event at this meeting, and the Alameda Daily Noose and I have already covered it thoroughly, although it may become necessary to rehash it on a slow noose day in the future.

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
So Many Things to Get Annoyed About:

Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council
July 7, 2009

Golden AcornGolden Acorn
Run-of-the-Mill Shenanigans:

Regular Meeting of the Planning Board
July 13, 2009

Golden Acorn
Nothing Worth Complaining About:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scoop! of Taxpayer Surprise

City leaders experienced yet another revelation at last night's meeting of the Alameda City Council. Still reeling from the bombshell dropped at the July 7 meeting, the mayor and council listened in rapt attention as Alamedan Karl Kurzfristig addressed them concerning Agenda Item 6-A, "Public Hearing to Consider a Planning Board Recommendation to Abandon the Proposal to Establish New Zoning Provisions to Limit the Height and Size of Two-Story Residential Buildings for property located on the 3200 Block of San Jose Avenue, Adams Street, and Washington Street."

"I don't know where you people get off telling me that you're not going to tell my neighbor he can't build a second story on his house," Mr. Kurzfristig began. "Now, maybe you think my opinion doesn't count, but you know what? I pay taxes."

"Right, right," laughed the mayor, "next you're going to tell us that you vote!"

"Yes," Mr. Kurzfristig replied, "I do. I pay taxes and I vote."

The mayor and councilmembers gasped, then fell silent. After an uncomfortably long silence, the chambers began to fill with urgently rising whispers. "Order! Order!" commanded the mayor, "If what you say is true, Mr. Kurzfristig, this changes everything. I mean, if you pay taxes and vote, you have pretty much earned the right to dictate exactly how this city should be run."

"I should hope so. Now, what are you going to do about my neighbor?"

"Well, let's start by prohibiting from adding a second story to his home. Maybe we can also let you park in front of his house. How much did you say you paid in taxes, again?"

"Plenty. I think you should force him to lend me his tools. Oh, and I think I should get to use his hot tub, too."

"Done. Anything else?"

"I'll let you know if I think of something. I do pay taxes, after all."

"Indeed, and you vote as well. Thank you, Mr. Kurzfristig, for enlightening us this evening!" the mayor concluded, adjourning the meeting early in his honor.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Combination Yogurt/Sushi/Nail Salon to Open on Park Street

In response to high customer demand, the Drilspak Corporation has announced the imminent opening of Alameda's first-ever one-stop spot for all of our residents' Frozen Yogurt, Japanese food, and nail-care needs.

The shop, to be called YogoSushi Salon, will take over the now-defunct Starbucks location at the corner of Park Street and Central Avenue.

"We've identified the trends that are important to Alameda residents," said Drilspak spokesperson Amanda Attenberg. "People just can't get enough frozen yogurt, Japanese food—especially sushi—and fingernail/toenail care. We're solving these needs all at once by opening up YogoSushi Salon."

Alamedans interviewed by the Alameda Daily Noose and me were ecstatic about the idea. "I've always gotten hungry while I'm getting my daily manicure," said Gold Coast resident Jeanne Kimballa. "Now I can eat some cheesecake-flavored yogurt with blueberry toppings with my right hand while the nails on my left hand get trimmed, buffed, and polished."

West-Ender Dave Krill was similarly enlivened. "I've always wanted to treat myself to a pedicure—what man wouldn't—but I've never had the time during my lunch hour. Now I can relax with a some of my favorite nigiri pieces while getting my feet pampered."

YogoSushi even has something for the kids. Mr. Krill continued: "My kids aren't interested in getting their nails done, but they love yogurt and sushi! And I'll bet they'll jump at the chance to put some of those mini California rolls onto their yogurt as a topping!"

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are looking forward to the opening of YogoSushi Salon. The establishment is expected to open in mid-August, pending a review from the Alameda County Health Department.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alameda Daily Noose Awarded Coveted Award

Dear Mr. Grumbel and the Alameda Daily Noose:

On behalf of the McDonalds Corporation, we would like to congratulate you on being the winner of the coveted "McDonalds® Website of the Month™" award for July!

As an avid reader of your noosepaper for nearly all my life, I know that you have been proud of your status of being a soon-to-be-award- winning noosepaper. It was your editorial words praising McDonalds in your July 16 edition that prompted me to submit the ADN to corporate headquarters for consideration of this award. The board agreed unanimously that you are deserving of this highest honor.

You will soon be receiving a package with your trophy which we hope you will display in your nooseroom. In addition, your award package will include a gift certificate for a Big Mac®, redeemable at either our Towne Centre or Webster Street locations. Also, you may use our WebBadge™ to proudly display this honor to all your readership for the months to come. And, to top it off, we are featuring your name "in lights" on our signage for the rest of the month. We have enclosed a photograph which you may publish if you wish.

Again, Congratulations!

Roland Singh
Regional Manager
McDonalds Corporation

Friday, July 17, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Green Computing

Most of us Right-Thinking Alamedans are now not only going "green," but we are also learning how to use computers. I am pleased to announce that as of this column, I am now going "green" even in the use of a computer to write this very column!

Yes, instead of using a standard-issue computer made out of toxic materials such as tungsten, copper, bismuth, potassium, silicon, and carbon, my computer is now made of 100%-certified, hand-carved, old- growth, sustainable wood!

This is a beauty. I usually try to avoid pitching specific products in this column, letting you the reader do your own research to find the most green supplier, but I have to break my own rule just this time. I picked up this Kiwi 6ES at Green Depot on High Street for only $399 plus tax. Under the "trunk" this beauty features a quad-core, 3GHz AMC Pentium, 1.6 KB of SSD RAM, and a 20 MB Bio-RAID hard drive—enough hard disk space to hold every word in the dictionary!

But all that raw power means nothing compared to the feeling I get when booting it up every morning, knowing that I'm using green materials when I write my column. Remember, every tree that is turned into a computer or stylish iPod is a tree that can no longer harbor dangerous Squirrels.

So why wait? Join the green computing revolution today!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Shopping Local" Is Not Good for the Economy


A few days ago I was putting down some pages from last week's edition of the Alameda Puppy Trainer on my kitchen floor. Just after my new Shar-Pei (or is it Sharpay?) did his business, I noticed a full-page article exclaiming that Alamedans should "shop local" to help the economy. Normally I don't read what is in the APT, but the text on this page was big enough that I couldn't help but read it. The article was signed by a bookstore that apparently only sells "blue" novels, and an ice cream parlor whose name I couldn't quite make out (due to the puppy's business) but it seemed to be called something-ucker's so even if I could read the whole name, I suspect that it would not be suitable for printing in a family Noosepaper.

The article proclaimed that shopping local businesses was somehow good for the economy. This is not exactly objective reporting, I must say. Two "local" businesses saying it is a good thing? That's neither fair nor balanced. Of course they are going to be saying this. They are probably hurting for business—not surprising considering the immoral nature of their specialties.

Everybody knows that economics is about circulation of money. Circulation means moving around all over, not just moving around a little bit. When your kitchen is smelling just a bit too much like puppy and you want the air to circulate, for instance, you don't just open up a door to another room, you open up a door or window to the outside! You want your blood to circulate all the way around your body, not just around in your foot, right? It's the same with money.

An Alamedan spending money, then, has a duty to help their money circulate far and wide! That means spending your money as far away from Alameda as possible! I like to go to Walnut Creek to spend my money, for example. I also spend money through the mail; the "Fingerhut" catalog people all know me on a first-name basis by now!

Of course, many right-thinking Alamedans don't want to go outside of Alameda, which is a good idea considering how dangerous it is to do so. The best way to help your money circulate, then, is to buy from national businesses who have a local branch in Alameda. If you want ice cream, then, buy it from Baskin-Robbins. If you want coffee, buy it from Starbucks. If you want books—all kinds, and not just "blue" ones—buy them from Borders. Although some of your money will unfortunately stay in Alameda, you can rest assured that most of your money will be circulated to places far away.

Glenn Hurbrook
Harbor Bay Isle

Editor's Note:

Mr. Hurbrook raises some good points! The Alameda Daily Noose and I can think of so many other opportunities to circulate your money to help out the economy! Instead of eating at one of Alameda's "local" restaurants, eat at McDonalds—they have two convenient locations on either end of the Island. Don't use an Alameda-based bank—do your banking at a bank that is based on the other side of the country. Rent your videotapes from Blockbuster, not a local video store. Every time you send your money outside of Alameda, you are pitching in!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Act Now to Halt Bagpipe Contagion


Now, personally, I never read any of those so-called newspapers, preferring the balanced coverage of the Alameda Daily Noose, but someone recently forced this appalling clipping into my hand. When I saw what horrors it contained, I felt compelled to send it on to you:

Yes, now there are Irish Bagpipers. Things were bad enough when it was just Scotsmen who were wandering around, menacing the populace with ear-destroying Bagpipes, but now it has become apparent that Bagpiping is contagious. My guess is that the disease of Bagpiping is spread through the air, and possibly also through contact with Tartan. If the Irish have already caught the bug, can the innocent citizens of our own precious island be safe? Lest anyone question the severity of this threat, let me point out that the Bagpipes have clearly already completely clogged the streets of those other nearby cities that are not Alameda. Any fool can see that the density of Bagpipes in those cities has brought with it many other urban ills, including cable cars, Children's Fairy Land, and the excessive tree growth evident in the photo.

If Alameda wishes to avoid a similar fate, we must inoculate our city against Bagpipes. Many of us moved to Alameda because it was a nice, quiet town without a lot of Bagpipe traffic, and we want to keep it that way. Besides, Alameda already has a higher Bagpiper density than any other city in the Bay Area, so it's obvious that we can't allow even one more Pipe band to locate here. Right-Thinking Alamedans must act now to halt the spread of Bagpipes, preferably while wearing protective respirators and earplugs.

Drake Census

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Avid Noose Reader Asks Why Some People Are Still Able to Watch TV, Whereas She Can't

Dear Roger:

I was delighted to read Edelina Johannson's letter in the July 6 edition regarding rambling letters. I couldn't have said it better myself.

I was surprised that she mentioned watching Jeopardy. I was under the impression that there was no more television as of a few weeks ago, but I was afraid to ask anybody about it for fear of appearing not "hip" and "cool". Nobody else seemed to be talking about there not being any more TV, so I assumed that I must have missed the news story about TV coming to an end. I just figured that this was the natural progression of things, from Radios to Televisions to Computers.

And yet, here is Ms. Johannson watching Jeopardy? Now I am envious of her! Every day, several times a day in fact, I have turned on my television but all I see is static. It reminds me of that movie from a few years ago where the little girl would turn on the TV and stare at the "snow" and say "They're here." It started out as a good movie but it got too frightening for me after a while, so I turned it off. Anyhow, this is all I see when I turn on the TV now. All my favorite channels are gone.

Do we have to have cable or one of those personal satellites installed in order to watch TV now? Can I receive TV over the antenna like I used to if I pay somebody? I just want my television back -- there's is little left to live for without it.

Most truly,

Annique Moonsanta

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I have not yet gotten to the bottom of the T.V. mystery, but our readers don't need to watch T.V. anyway. They can rest assured that they already see all of the moving pictures that are worth seeing, since we publish them in our Award-Winning Noosepaper.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Greening Your Bookshelf

Sometimes people ask me, "Janet, where do you get all of your neato-keen ideas for saving money and the enviro-whatsis?" upon which I gently remind them that it's pronounced "enviro-mint," as in "mint chocolate chip ice cream." Then I let them in on a little not-so-secret, which is that I often get ideas from pictures or chapter headings in books.

So if you like the way books look with your living room decor, and you're looking for more inspiration in the green living department, don't delay; have some of these titles shipped to you on the fastest jet you can, from your favorite online bookseller:

Anne of Green Gables: the story of a spunky young environmental pioneer who moves to Prince Edward Island to bring the miracle of modern Green Building renovations to a dumpy old farmhouse.

How Green Was My Valley: a man looks back fondly on the beginnings of clean coal technology research in his Welsh home town, where the now booming industry has no doubt made his native valley even greener!

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: a woman gets sound advice from her elderly friend about selecting and cooking organic produce and meat alternatives for the restaurant market.

Green Eggs and Ham: this is just the ticket for getting kids excited about free-range, cage-free, free-love eggs and the biodynamic pigs that taste so good with them.

There are plenty more books chock full of Green Living tips, but that should get you started. Unlike some condescending and unhelpful manuals, these books are truly accessible, and provide models for Green Living that Anyone can follow. Why, they even tell you what to do when you get a bad dye job on your hair! Otherwise, I might never have thought of wearing a darling straw hat until my hair grows out again, which should only take a few more months. So what are you waiting for? Let's all bone up on our Green Reading today!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dismay over Inaccurate Depiction of Historical Alameda


I had been hearing "buzz" about a musical production entitled "Ragtime" which I had assumed was a left-thinking, radical feminist production by thespians about women's monthly rituals. Not for me, thank you! But then I came across this video and discovered that the play is actually a story about new immigrants to Alameda, one hundred years ago.

The thought of immigrants started to raise the well-trimmed hackles on the back of my neck, but then I realized that this story took place 100 years ago. So these characters' grandchildren would be well-adjusted Alameda natives by now. All right, that is acceptable.

But then…I looked carefully at the video, searching for something else to get upset about. And, lo and behold, I saw it. The end of the trailer depicts a statue in our beloved bay that I had not seen before. A tall figure, arm raised in defiance, upon a great pedestal. I did some checking in Major's Guide to All Historical Things Alameda, and I confirmed that there was clearly never a statue like this in our offshore waters.

I encourage all right-thinking Alamedans to boycott this show due this his historical inaccuracy. Stay well clear of the so-called "historic" Kaufman auditorium on July 11, 12, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26! Our city's playwrights must not toy with mixing fact and fiction into their works and confuse a generation of impressionable children in the audience.

Most sincerely,

Jim Crowley
proud Shoreline Drive resident for 5 generations

Editor's Note:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I concur with Mr. Crow's wise advice: Stay far, far away from Kofman Auditorium on all those dates he mentioned. In addition to the high risk of historical inaccuracies, we would also like to point out that Kofman is haunted by a phantom problem that, despite our wildly praised reporting on the issue, is still not fully under control.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mayor, Council, Staff Meet Their New Boss

At last night's city council meeting, the mayor, council, and representatives of City staff were formally introduced to their new employer. The introduction occurred during the public comment period on Agenda Item 6-A, "Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Amending Master Fee Resolution No. 12191 to Revise Fees," when Right-Thinking Alamedan Lon Geddoff rose to the podium and began what at first appeared to be a run-of-the-mill complaint about the staff recommendation to raise fees at the golf course. After establishing his Right-Thinking Alamedan credentials with a brief overview of his family's genealogy and several amusing anecdotes about his exploits on the links over the years, Mr. Geddoff dropped the bombshell: "You know what? You people work for me," he explained, shaking his finger informatively, "How dare you clowns try to raise my greens fees? After all, I pay your salaries!"

The mayor was stunned, leaning over to the vice-mayor to whisper, "So he's the one!" Several staff members, terrified at the prospect of being fired by the boss they had only just met, whipped out bottles of Wite-Out® and began revising the staff recommendation to exempt Mr. Geddoff from paying greens fees, with the lost revenue to be made up though a special fine and towing fee for parking in front of the Geddoff residence without the express written permission of Mr. Geddoff. The council approved the revised recommendation unanimously and, after asking their boss if it was OK to ignore the Brown Act just this once, went on to issue proclamations declaring July 7 to be "Lon Geddoff Day," the first full week of July to be "Lon Geddoff's Fascinating Golf Stories Appreciation Week," and the whole month of July to be "Geddoff Family History Month."

"Golly, Mr. Geddoff," the mayor went on to explain, "if we had known all along that we worked for you, we never would have done all those things to annoy you, like raising greens fees or taking too long to fix that pothole on your street. Now that we understand who's boss, we'll see to it that this stuff never happens again." "You're darn tootin'!" Mr. Geddoff replied, nodding in satisfied approval.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Group Knocks John Knocks Whyte's Blimp Rapid Transit Plan


As a leader of InAction Alameda, and a new grass roots local political movement called Save Our Beleaguered! Bridges and Stop! Marauding Ugly Titanic Highly Audible Flammable Unctuous Crackpot Kock-Amamie Zeppelins! from Destroying the Island Group (or S.O.B.! B.S.! M.U.T.H.A.F.U.C.K.A.Z.! D.I.G.) I was outraged to read in the Chronicle, none other than John Knocks Whyte, using the state budget crisis as a cudgel with which to push his Blimp Rapid Transit scheme.

A few months ago, John Knocks Whyte was pushing a loony idea to build a Zeppelin mast at the Coliseum BART station and have Nazi Gasbags (sometimes called 'blimps'), ferry passengers to the Oakland Airfield. Well after Right Thinking Alamedans formed S.O.B.! B.S.! M.U.T.H.A.F.U.C.K.A.Z.! D.I.G. and put the kibosh on that crazy plan. But now, John Knocks Whyte is attempting to revive that plan and hold all of Alameda hostage to his Blimp Monopoly. As he wrote in the Chronicle and on his own website, he wants Alameda County to shut down the High Street, Park Street and those two new bridges—the one to Bay Farm Peninsula and that newfangled bridge at the end of Tilden Way all to save money. Now, keeping out the riff raff from other places sounds like a dream come true to many Right Thinking Alamedans, but we at S.O.B.! B.S.! M.U.T.H.A.U.C.K.A.Z.! D.I.G. immediately realized that this is nothing but a sop to Big Zeppelin, the Greedy Hydrogen Trusts and to John Knocks Whyte who is obviously behind this plan. Once John Knocks Whyte closes all the bridges, those greedy blimp monopolists like John Knocks Whyte and Big Zeppelin will decide how much you will pay to get off the island. I call on you Rog, and Coho Jenkins to join our group and stop this crazy proposal.

Yours in Outrage,

Howard David

Head of S.O.B.! B.S.! M.U.T.H.A.F.U.C.K.A.Z.! D.I.G.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Real Problem Is Rambling Letters, Not Grumpy Ones

Dear Roger:

I read Ned Sneering's letter from a fortnight or so ago with partial agreement. But what Mr. Sneering failed to realize is that his letter itself was an example of the real problem with letters to the Editor these days. It's not grumpy letters that are the problem, it's rambling!

Right-Thinking Alamedans have had to deal with rambling for years now. Not just in letters to the Editor, but in all walks of life. Just yesterday, for instance, I received a phone call from some political group dedicated to saving our cats and dogs, and all the person could do was just read from this long script talking about the plight of homeless kittens and puppies, while I waited for an opportunity to interrupt her and tell her that I just was too busy to talk on the phone. My casserole was almost ready to come out of the oven, Jeopardy was just about to return from a commercial break, and there were some noisy teenagers riding their skateboards across the street that I really wanted to glare at. Fortunately I was finally able to convince this well-meaning but ultimately misguided "tele-marketer" that I didn't want to hear her speak anymore, just in the nick of time to hear the "answer in the form of a question" from three-time champion Richard Whilling, of someplace called Montana or Montania. (Sorry, I didn't catch the city's name exactly. In any case, I was very impressed with his knowledge of 16th Century Industrial Revolution-Era Millinery.)

The teenagers, alas, had long departed, but I think I know what house they live in. I have my eye on you, teenie-boppers! Come riding by my part of the block and I'll have your number!

I hope I'm driving my point home here, because a letter to the Editor needs to get to the point quickly and without delay. Most importantly, a letter needs to be short. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are writing a letter to the Editor, make sure to edit, edit, edit your letter down to the bare essentials. Your sentences should be short and to the point, only containing a single relative clause. Never use a big word when you can use a diminutive one. And pay attention to the needs of your Right-Thinking readership. After all, by writing a letter to the Editor, you are writing an editorial. You are effectively sharing your thoughts with the world. It's an ominous concept, that you have, for a moment, the undivided attention of all Right-Thinking Alamedans. Nobody is more deserving of your best efforts than Right-Thinking Alamedans, so make sure your words are well-crafted and tuned to their needs. Above all, be sure that you are not being redundant! For example, it is imperative that your letter be absolutely pared, honed, and sharpened. Whittle your letter down to the absolutely bare necessities to get your point across; consider that many writers these days (and even in days long gone) just drone on and on with long, long sentences that continue on as if they were in some sort of James Joyce or Ernest Hemingway novel, for example Ulysses by James Joyce has a section with just two sentences: one that is 11,281 words long and one that is 12,931 words long (Did you realize that? It came up on Jeopardy tonight also). Keep in mind that having a sentence of this length would not only bore your readership but also — I'm not quite sure how — possibly be too long for the Internet to handle. I have a friend whose grandson is very much into computers, especially computer systems I've never even heard of — that's how smart he is — so he would know for sure. He is always telling her about his computers with strange names. One is called the "Why" or the "Whee" or some such, but It's spelled so oddly. Young people with their newfangled words. I'll never understand how the language can change so much as we Elden.

In conclusion, I cannot stress how important it is that your letter be easy to read for people with poor eyesight! Although I love the yellow color of the Alameda Daily Noose as it flickers across the "Web TV" that the aforementioned grandson installed so many years ago when you first started publication, I find that my eyes have become wantsome in their ability to distinguish contrasting colors. When you write your letter to the Editor, my advice to budding journalists is to use short sentences, and even shorter paragraphs. That will help guide the viewer's eyes to the important parts of the letter.

I do hope to write another letter next week if I can think of another topic. Before I go, I should mention that I believe that the Alameda Daily Noose is both the "Bee's Knees" and the "Cat's Pajamas." Both of these terms were invented in the 1920's "flapper" era that I remember so fondly. This is a modicum of trivia that was revealed in tonight's round of Final Jeopardy (shortly after the Millinery topic I mentioned a fleeting moment ago).

Yours, etc.

Edelina Johannson

Friday, July 3, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Greening Your Independence Day

Soon it will be time to celebrate the historic declaration of our nation's independence from that dark liquid to which its entire population had become hopelessly addicted, namely, British tea. Since nothing says "independence" quite like blowing things up, I hopped into my hybrid S.U.V. and began my annual trek to the fireworks stand. On the long drive, I started thinking about the environmental impact of the large purchase I was about to make: Just how green is our fireworks display? I resolved then and there to make this our greenest Independence Day ever!

Upon arrival at the stand, I started browsing for kinder, gentler fireworks. I skipped right past the snakes and sparklers, of course, because everybody knows those are lame. After some searching, I finally found something that looked promising:

What could be more innocent than a "warm greeting" from an adorable baby nestled in what looks like a box of fresh, delicious organic produce? However, upon closer inspection, I discovered that this adorable baby apparently "shoots flaming balls." I wasn't sure, but I thought something like that might involve chemicals, which we all know are bad for the environment.

It took me a while to get the attention of the proprietor of the fireworks stand—he was hard of hearing, and he really had to concentrate on working that cash register with his remaining fingers—but once I did, he dropped a bombshell on our plans: Apparently, all of the fireworks in his stand are made with chemicals! Greening our Independence Day was going to be tougher than I thought.

Devastated, I climbed back into the S.U.V. and hit the road. As I zipped along in the hybrid-and-carpool-only lane, the newly widened freeway that leads to our house sliced through a grove of evergreen trees, and the idea finally hit me:

Who needs a fancy, chemical-laden fireworks display when a simple evergreen bough contains just as much fun and beauty? I cut across traffic, drove off into the ditch (that four-wheel drive comes in so handy!), got out my trusty chainsaw, and cut down the biggest tree that would fit on my roof rack.

I know what you're thinking: Is cutting down an evergreen tree really a good substitute for fireworks? You're right, those needles can be very sharp, and may not be suitable for young children. If your family is not quite as adventurous as mine, I suggest substituting a head of organic lettuce for the evergreen bough:

The lettuce provides an explosion of greenery that is almost as thrilling as the evergreen, but with soft, leafy edges instead of dangerous needles. Unlike the tree, which goes straight into the wood chipper, the lettuce can even be re-purposed as a delicious post-fireworks salad…because if there's one thing children like more than safe fireworks substitutes, it's salad! I liked the idea so much that I made an extra trip to that hippie grocery store to pick some up.

I'm so excited about tomorrow, but please, if you see my husband and children, don't tell them about my alternative plans for our family fireworks display. I know the green surprises I have in store are going to knock their socks off, and I'm sure the children in particular will be speechless, crying big tears of joy over all the good they'll be doing for the planet!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Roger Rates Recent Interwebcasts

Roger's ratings of meetings initially interwebcast in the past 28 days, with the most recent shown in green:

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Corica Have Mercy:
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board June 8, 2009

Editor's Comments:

Given the surplus of restaurants in this town, the Alameda Daily Noose and I are furious that the Building Panel even considered approving a permit to operate some building down on the waterfront as a "banquet facility." As far as we're concerned, "banquet" is just a fancy French word for "food," and Alamedans already have too many food choices as it is. Shame!

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
This Is an Outrage:
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board June 22, 2009

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are outraged at the continued hijacking of Alameda's boards and commissions by shameless shills for Big Ship. The airing hours of pro-boat propaganda, once confined to the Traffic Board, has now spread to the Planning Committee…and as if five straight hours of boats weren't enough, the Building Commission has upped the ante by broadcasting seven hours! This corruption of our government by enemies within further validates the Alameda Daily Noose's and my unwavering opposition to this nautical nightmare.

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
So Many Things to Get Annoyed About:

Golden AcornGolden Acorn
Run-of-the-Mill Shenanigans:
Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council June 16, 2009

Golden Acorn
Nothing Worth Complaining About: