Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jean Kerkwilligers is Worried about How Worried to Be about Bagpipes

Dear Roger,

It seems like it's been months since you reported on the Bagpipe situation in Alameda. I'm starting to forget how I'm supposed to feel about Bagpipes, and reading that confusing book by Alameda author Danielle MacSteele didn't help.

Could you please let me know how worried I should be about Bagpipes? Lately, I've been having to do most of my worrying and complaining about Zeppelins instead.

Jean Kerkwilligers

Editor's Comments:

You can be sure that if there had been any untoward Bagpipe in Alameda recently, the Alameda Daily Noose and I would have reported on it. Obviously, we have those tartan-wrapped ruffians, the Bagpipers, on the run. That bunch of cowards must have been driven right out of town by our unrelenting critiques. Their ear-splitting racket was no match for our journalistic integrity, which just proves the old Alamedan maxim that the pen is mightier than the chanter.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One-Third of Alameda Breathes Sigh of Relief after Mighty Hunter Bags Mammon-Eating Beast


My fellow Alamedans will be relieved to know that I have returned unscathed from my most recent tax hunting safari. As we all know, the tyranny of ferocious tax beasts has long forced us all to enjoy social services that we do not even desire. Only when every one of the savage monsters has been eradicated will we be free from public schools, paved roads, waste collection and countless other wasteful services. Therefore, I sally out as often as I can (without unduly worrying my wife) to confront the dangers of taxation and bring them to the ground.

This time, I managed to bag the King of the Fiscal Jungle, the vicious, notorious Measure E. This is a victory in the fight against predatory taxation. Some say that Measure E was able to swallow an entire bank account in a single bite, although I feel sure that it would have choked had it tried that with my bank account.

Although it may seem amazing that I can defeat a fearsome tax beast single-handedly, the truth is that the lone tax hunter is assured of victory in any one-on-one battle. Only if there are two or more of them against one is it time to retreat and live to fight another tax another day. Don't listen to those bleeding hearts who oppose the wholesale slaughter of taxes. We must destroy as many of the creatures as we can if we are ever to achieve fair taxation. I welcome any red-blooded Alamedan who cares to join me on my next tax-hunting expedition.

Ned Elksfield

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bright, Young Marketing Maven Loves the Alameda Daily Noose


Good Afternoon! My name is Ashley and I’m part of the Promotions Team here at We have been seeking out high quality websites and blogs, gauging interest in doing a giveaway with one of our sites. We love the look and feel of your blog and think that your US and Canadian readers might be interested in a giveaway with our sites.

Have a look at a couple of our sites and let me know if you think that this might be something you’d be interested in. Perhaps we could give away a selection of our racks and stands! I’d be happy to brainstorm some other ideas with you if you’re interested. Alternatively you could do a review of something from our site. Please let me know if you have any questions for me. I hope to hear from you to further discuss the details of the giveaway.

Kind Regards,


**Please note: If are unable to reply to this message for any reason, please email my alternate email address at and I will get back to you. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are sure that many of our readers are likely to be in need of a source for high-quality racks and stands. We are seriously considering ordering some and writing reviews of them, since we are so adept at reviewing things. Don't feel that you have to wait for our reviews before purchasing any racks and/or stands for yourself. The Alameda Daily Noose and I have legendary levels of sales resistance, so you can be sure that when we are interested in a product or service, it's not because we are swayed by the girlish charms of some slick, unprincipled wheeler-dealer. We can tell from her naive use of asterisks that Ashley is an innocent, straightforward type who could use a few pointers on the rack and stand business from an experienced reviewer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Shopping Green with Canvas Bags

Hey, everybody! I recently learned that doing your shopping with your own canvas bags is better for the environment than those paper ones they give out at the stores, and they're even more planet-friendly than plastic bags. Why? Well, I'm not sure about that part yet, but I've noticed that canvas is nice and sturdy. They don't tear when you put heavy or sharp-cornered things in them, and they're easier to lift in and out of your hybrid SUV thanks to those substantial handles. I'm especially eager to use the clean, green bag I picked up at one of our fine local businesses, because it advertises the importance of supporting environmental superstar countries like China by buying their products in our local stores.

The only problem I've had with canvas bags so far is that they take up a lot more room in my trash containers than the plastic ones. There must be a solution to this. Maybe my readers have some suggestions. If so, I'll be sure to pass them along to the rest of you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roger Rates Recent Interwebcasts

Roger's ratings of meetings initially interwebcast in the past 63 days, with the most recent shown in green:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
Corica Have Mercy:
Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council, May 18, 2010

Editor's Comments:

City staff seems determined to go on and on about plans to develop Alameda Point, even though the electorate, by voting down Measure B this spring, soundly rejected the idea of ever changing anything at the former naval air station. The Alameda Daily Noose and I are amazed that the City still cannot get this fact through their skulls!

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
This Is an Outrage:
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board, May 10, 2010

City of Alameda Public Utilities Board, May 17, 2010

Editor's Comments:

If we can just pass proposition 16 in the election next week, this could be the last Public Utilities Board interwebcast we ever have to sit through! The Alameda Daily Noose and I can't wait to join other Right-Thinking voters in wresting control of the clean coal content of our power away from those fat cats at Alameda Muniserable Power.

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
So Many Things to Get Annoyed About:
Regular Transportation Commission, April 28, 2010

Regular Meeting of the Planning Board, May 24, 2010

Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council, June 1, 2010

Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council, June 15, 2010

Editor's Comments:

The City Council as good as admitted that the parking garage has turned out to be a complete failure and should be torn down. Of course, even the most Right-Thinking among them were too timid to suggest that sensible course of action, but they acknowledged that the garage hasn't brought in as much revenue as expected, which amounts to the same thing.

Golden AcornGolden Acorn
Run-of-the-Mill Shenanigans:
Regular Transportation Commission, May 26, 2010

Editor's Comments:

We can't decide whether the footage of boats is more boring than the meetings with people droning on about public transportation, but it's high time the City stopped holding these Transformation Committee meetings altogether.

Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council May 4, 2010

Regular Meeting of the Planning Board, June 14, 2010

Special Planning Board Meeting, June 21, 2010

Golden Acorn
Nothing Worth Complaining About:
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board, April 26, 2010

Special ARRA Meeting - AP Environmental Update, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That'll Teach 'Em!


I hear that the preliminary results on the Measure E parcel tax show it losing by a whopping 1.28% of the vote so far. I just couldn't be happier! It's about time we stuck it to those greedy school kids. The nearly 1/3 of Alamedans who are tired of having to always pay taxes that supposedly provide "public services" are tired of being pushed around by the 2/3 of voters who want to waste our money on decadent extras like paying teachers enough to live on. Why, in my day, teachers were always starving to death in their unheated attic rooms, and I ended up getting a perfectly good education from those starving teachers.

It's obvious that there is a lot of fraud, waste and abuse in the school system, because it makes up such a large part of the state budget. But if Measure E is defeated, we'll be well on our way to a bright new future of the good, old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse, where the students can darn well chop their own desks up for firewood to stay warm instead of expecting us to always pay for expensive heating systems. That'll teach 'em!

Georgina Jones

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keep Up with the Latest Squirrel Strategems

As Right-Thinking Alamedans are well aware, the Global War on Squirrels requires all of us to stay on our toes to keep up with the latest strategems of our crafty enemy. We are at constant risk from suicide Squirrels, and we can only hope that the next one will take as few of us with him (or her!) as the unsuccessful one in the Alameda Daily Noose exclusive photo below.

Yes, the image is chilling. To take off that chill, we advise you to read up on anti-Squirrel tactics now, before your own automobile has a run-in with one of these ruthless kamikazes. Thanks to an tip from an astute Alameda Daily Noose reader, we can heartily recommend starting with the book Squirrel Wars by George H. Harrison, perhaps followed by Outwitting Squirrels: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels by Bill Adler, Jr.

Start reading as soon as you can. Both the seed and the safety of Alameda may hang in the balance.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Brenda Snook Says Community Needs to Get Creative to Fund Education


I believe that every child should have the opportunity for a free, public education, but this parcel tax we're supposed to be voting on is the wrong way to fund it. It's a complicated issue, which is why the City should put a moratorium on public education for a year or two, to give us time to figure out what would be a fair way to pay for it.

So, if we all just vote against Measure E, then we can start over and get people involved in the process this time. Maybe the community can come up with some really creative ways of funding public education, preferably without anyone having to pay taxes for it.

Brenda Snook

Friday, June 18, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Recycling Your Summer Fun!

Happy summer, everyone! I know I'm a little early, since it won't be the official first day of summer until Monday, but it's the perfect time for some summer green living tips.

Usually at this time of year, I'd be getting ready to load the family into the hybrid SUV for a trip to Yosemite or to Disneyland, but have you seen how much it costs to get a whole family into Disneyland these days? I am seriously interested in saving some of that green for other things this year, like our suddenly-readjusted mortgage.

That's why I've come up with a better plan for family fun this summer: we'll just rehash our old vacations! There are plenty of photos from other trips that we can look at together to relive the excitement as a family.

We can say to the kids, "Remember the time when we went to Disneyland and spent half our time in the cinema, because after that we went on a ride, and Chad felt sick afterwards, and then he threw up and we all ended up going home because it turned out he was coming down with the flu? Wasn't that a lot of fun?"

Wow! I could really get used to this armchair traveling, and I'm sure the kids will love it too. So why not get started today with saving some green by recycling your family vacations?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bah! Global Grumpiness Summit to be Held in Alameda

The Alameda Daily Noose and I have just heard that a conference on grumpiness is scheduled to be held this fall on the U.S.S. Hornet. Apparently, the main goal of the conference is to "identify the 10 things we can do over the next 10 years to raise the Global Grumpiness Index (GGI) by 10 points." Although the Alameda Daily Noose and I can see the value of increasing Global Grumpiness, the conference organizers obviously didn't consider the horrible traffic impacts that they will have on our Treasured Island when all of those outsiders drive through town on their way to the Hornet.

As one can easily see from the photo below, showing the participants in the first annual Global Grumpiness Summit a number of years ago, Alameda could very well have a few things to teach the conference about Grump. Despite the fearsome facial hair and defensive postures of some of the individuals in the photo, certain of them look almost cheerful. Right-Thinking Alamedans could quickly put an end to that. However, any possible benefits to them of holding the conference here would be outweighed by the enormous imposition on those of us who live in Alameda.

That means it is time for us to use the power of our grumpiness. If enough Alamedans start complaining about the conference right now, we might be able to save them the trouble of holding it at all; Alameda is already responsible for a larger percentage of the world's Grump than any other comparably-sized city, so if we double our output, we could probably raise that index by 10 points in no time. The Alameda Daily Noose and I already do our part, so it's up to our less-diligent readers to pick up the slack and get grumpy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Annoying Phone Calls, Letters and Yard Signs


I support Measure E to fund Alameda schools, but I'm sick of students calling me on the phone to remind me to vote for it. I'm also sick of getting fliers about it in the mail, and seeing letters about it in the local papers and signs on people's front lawns. And I can't stand it that people are talking about Measure E wherever I go.

Why can't the schools just run a nice, quiet campaign instead of getting in everyone's face with annoying methods like public advertising and word-of-mouth?

Misty Poynte

Editor's Comments:

Although we are puzzled by Miss Pointy's inexplicable stance on Measure E, the Alameda Daily Noose and I have to admit that she has hit the nail on the head when it comes to annoying political campaigns. There should really be some kind of law against people urging other people to vote for -- or even against -- ballot measures.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coho Jenkins Just Can't Wait for Alameda Daily Noose Election Guide

The Alameda Daily Noose and I have been told that a certain Mr. Jenkins has been making noises about not having enough information for the June primary (he also seems a little confused about the election date, much as Brenda Snook was). We certainly understand that all of those candidates and propositions can be confusing if you don't have a firm grasp on the Right-Thinking way to make voting choices. That's why the Alameda Daily Noose Generic election guide is indispensible for just about any election. We were going to wait until closer to election day to re-publish our famous guide, but since there is such a demand for it, here it is now:


Vote for the fresh-thinking outsider who will root out the rampant fraud, waste and abuse in government, solving our budget problems once and for all. Look for the man (or woman) of action, who won't just think outside the box, but will blow up all of the boxes, making it impossible for anyone to think inside them again, and leaving other politicians blinking in the unaccustomed light of day. If we could only just once elect such a governor, we'd be out of this mess in no time.

Lieutenant Governor

Just vote randomly on this one. Nobody even knows what the Lieutenant Governor does, so it can't make any difference who we choose.

U.S. Representative

Vote for the candidate who is not a fruitcake.

State Senate/State Assembly

Vote for the noble, brave challenger who runs against the corrupt, incompetent incumbent. If all goes well, the noble, brave challenger will win, and you can look forward to voting his or her corrupt, incompetent butt out of Sacramento in the next election!


Vote for the candidate with the least so-called legal experience. A judge is just someone who gives opinions all day, and what makes a judge's opinion any more valuable than that of, say, a Noose man in the classic sense? Never give one of those elitist types your vote.


Education is supposed to be about The Children, not quote-unquote teachers or so-called administrators. That's why you should not vote for anyone older than age 17 for a school-related office.

County Supervisor

Vote for the candidate who is not an evil robot. If all of the candidates are evil robots, vote for the one who is a good evil robot.

State Propositions

Vote NO on everything except propositions that:
Promote puppies, rainbows, and kittens.
Tie the hands of those know-it-all elitist judges.
Stick it to the bums in Sacramento.

Local Measures

Vote NO on anything that:
Raises taxes.
Sounds harmless (it's a trick).
Sounds suspicious (it is).
Secretly reroutes all Alameda bus lines onto Grand St.
Claims it will not raise taxes (only a measure that secretly raises your taxes would claim not to raise your taxes).

Vote yes on everything else.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day, Alameda Style

Every Right-Thinking Alamedan knows which flag to fly highest today, of course, but let's not forget about the other fine flag traditions in our city. This is a great day to display symbols of community values such as our solidarity against Squirrels:

And, those who live in certain neighborhoods may want to send a reminder to their neighbors to respect the peaceful sanctity of the holiday by refraining from excessive noise-making:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I will be flying all of these flags proudly today, and more. It's a great day to be an Alamedan.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: How to Turn Green While Getting Rid of Unwanted Oil

Forgive me if I'm not my usual chipper self today. I've been losing some sleep over the oil spill that is still going on in the Gulf of Mexico. Every time I close my eyes, I see those oil-covered birds again. It makes me feel green around the gills, and not in a good way. Just when I think that I have a lid on my anxiety, and that everything is going to be okay, more bad news comes pouring out of the gulf. I sometimes wonder if there will ever be an end to it.

But then, thank goodness, there was a bright spot in the news recently: BP is going to start burning some of the spilled oil to prevent it from polluting the ocean!

I was amazed to hear that. I'd never thought of burning oil to dispose of it. When my husband and I change the oil in our hybrid SUV, we usually just pour it down the storm drain (I know there are signs telling you not to, but everybody does it anyway, right?). Now that BP has shown that burning oil is better than dumping it in the water, though, I think I'll try that next time we change our oil. It's hard to believe that all of that yucky-looking black smoke is okay for the planet, but it must be, right? RIGHT??

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Frieda Bellows Questions Need to Keep Alameda Schools Open


I keep hearing people say that we should pass the Measure E parcel tax so that we can keep all of Alameda's schools open. But how can we be sure that there will be any teachers to teach in those schools? The state of California keeps cutting our funds for teachers, so eventually there probably won't be any teachers.

Sure, it would be nice to keep having schools in Alameda, for people who like their children to be educated (although I personally don't think education is really necessary now that you can look up everything on the interwebs). But we don't really have any control over whether there will be teachers for those schools. It might be better if we just accept that kids in the future are going to have to learn everything from their computers, and stop trying to plan our community around schools.

Frieda Bellows

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lon Geddoff Tries a New Kind of Doughnut

Dear Editor,

As you no doubt are aware, I like donuts. I just wanted you and your readers to know what happened to me this morning.

I was taking my usual morning constitutional, which consists of me getting into my XXL-sized diesel King-Cab truck, driving over to The Donut Hole over on Encinal Avenue, and picking up a dozen donuts for my brunch enjoyment. Well, I was running a little late this morning because of really interesting report on "Wake Up Alameda" about non-Alamedans sneaking past a lackadaisical border patrol with the intent of causing harm to us. By the time I got to the Donut Hole, they were out of my usual Powdered-sugar-dusted cinnamon donuts. At first I was outraged, but then I realized that I didn't have any choice in the matter -- what would I be without my morning pick-me-up -- so I opted for all that was left, the coconut sprinkle flavor. The owner kindly threw in an extra one for me to try and make up for my dismay. (making it a "baker's dozen" -- get it? He is a baker, and I got a "baker's dozen" donuts from him!)

Anyway, what I wanted to report was that I found that this new flavor was absolutely delicious! I had no idea that I had been missing out on this for the last 36 years since my beloved dachshund passed away and I started this morning ritual to fill the gap in my life. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should change over to getting coconut-sprinkle every day, or should I go back to my normal flavor, or should I do something really daring and try a completely DIFFERENT flavor tomorrow and all the days to come? Perhaps you or your readers can give me some advice.

Lon Geddoff

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are dedicated to bringing our readers late-breaking developments in the Alameda doughnut situation such as the cinnamon-sugar crisis Lon Geddoff mentions. We hope that our readers will have some suggestions for helping him through this difficult time. For example, when I go to The Donut Hole, I like to get a fresh-baked Alamedian, because it reminds me of John F. Kennedy's famous statement of solidarity with the citizens of our embattled island: "I am an Alamedian." We all knew that he meant he was an Alamedan, and not a type of doughnut named for our city, but it's still funny to think of a doughnut being our leader.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Brenda Snook Is the One Who Is Confused about June Election Dates


I think you may have gotten the dates of the two different June elections confused in your yard sign round-up. The primary, which is the election with all those propositions, is actually this week, on the 8th, not on the 27th, which I don't think is even a Tuesday, by the way. The school parcel tax ballots are the ones that need to be mailed by sometime near the end of the month, to stop them from over-taxing us even more.

It's understandable that you made a mistake, considering how complicated this month is, voting-wise, but that's all the more reason not to get people even more mixed up with inaccurate information. Could you please publish a correction so that all of your readers will be sure to get their votes in?

Brenda Snook

Editor's Comments:

We know we shouldn't have to keep repeating this, but the Alameda Daily Noose and I never make mistakes. We don't know where Brenda got the idea that we had confused two different election dates, but she is welcome to go to her polling place today if she believes that it's time to vote already.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Election Yard Sign Round-up: A Special Report

Last year, our scoop of noose showing the only pro-measure-B (and thus, anti-measure-Acorn) sign to be found in Alameda demonstrated our journalistic integrity and also helped preserve Measure Acorn.

This year, with the election just around the corner (Be sure to vote on Election Day, June 27, or mail in your ballots by June 26) we here at the Alameda Daily Noose thought it would be a good idea to take a drive around the island and see what yard signs are on display, and get a sense of what the public is thinking (and also to keep tabs on any non-Right-Thinking Alamedans).

Naturally, the most popular signs are all the variations of the "Keep Measure A(corn)" signs that are on nearly everybody's lawns, even after nearly four years. We know that there are different sides to the issue, and that the yard signs don't always agree but what we can all agree on is that Measure A must be preserved for all eternity.

As for the current state propositions, we here at the Noose can never keep track of all these confusing numbers, but fortunately the yard signs have made the choices clear.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Greening your Election

Wow! I just found out that any candidate or proposition on the June 8th ballot can be made environmentally friendly with just a little bit of the other kind of "green". There's an organization called "Californians Vote Green" that can make it happen if you purchase placement in one of their fliers.
Now that I know about this, I am definitely going to vote for all of the candidates and propositions recommended by "Californians Vote Green". If I had known about it earlier, I might have chipped in some money to get even more propositions on the green list, so that I could feel even better about voting. We all know that buying green products is good for the planet, so the more of the election we can buy, the better! I think it's wonderful that even something as random as changing laws for automobile insurance can somehow become good for the environment. I don't really understand it, but I'm sure going to vote for it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ACLO, Bastion of Immorality and Inaccuracy, to Shut Down

Alameda Civil Liberties Opera (ACLO) announced yesterday that they have closed their curtains for the last time. Their press release cited "financial difficulties due to the recession" but we here at the Alameda Daily Noose know better.

First of all, there is no recession. The economy is going great, and as columnist Janet Marchant will tell you, it's also going green. Why, all you have to do is look at the fact that the oil companies are allowing millions of gallons of crude oil to gush freely into the ocean (thankfully, not the ocean attached to Alameda, so we don't mind) to show you that our oil-based economy is doing just fine if such untold riches are allowed to go to waste.

But the Alameda Daily Noose and I digress. We know that the theatre company has closed up due to public pressure, no doubt something we helped bring upon them. Wasn't it vigilant ADN reader who helped expose the red-light district that ACLO was trying to establish? And remember when ACLO was begging for money right around Christmas time a year ago, when clearly they had already gotten money from ticket-purchasers? (How uncouth!) How about when ACLO admitted in a letter to the Noose that the theatre was haunted? Surely they must have known they were scaring patrons away -- not good business acumen if you ask us!

Worst of all ACLO offenses was the way that their "operas" (How can they be operas when the performances were always in English?) portrayed life in Alameda so inaccurately. Case in point: West Side Story, which reader Lynn Irving reviewed and exposed as a sham. And then there was Ragtime, produced last year, which peddled an unlikely story about immigrants (still shuddering!) to Alameda, and falsely depicted a green, torch-bearing statue in nearby estuary waters. There is no such statue anywhere off the coast of Alameda; the Daily Noose and I checked.

It's high time that this bastion of thespianism is closed for good. We say Good-bye to ACLO, and trust that hereafter, the perilous world of opera will never again darken Alameda's doorstep!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alameda Daily Noose Proudly Supports Freedom of Right-Thinking Speech

A certain technology-savvy youngster just informed the Alameda Daily Noose and me that someone out there in the interwebs has suggested that we ought to censor some of our content. Now, we realize that some of our investigative reporting can turn up shocking revelations, but anyone who thinks it would be better to hide ugly truths from Right-Thinking Alamedans is clearly not familiar with the fundamental principles of running a high-quality noosepaper.

For starters, this is a family noosepaper, so by definition, we select only the noose that is fit to print. Beyond that, we scrupulously allow anyone to say whatever the he—uh, that is, heck they want about our stories, as long as they agree with us. We do not now, nor will we ever censor. Furthermore, we publish every single letter that is submitted to the Daily Noose, except for the ones that we don't.

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are known for being completely unbiased in our reporting, and for treating every issue with the seriousness that it deserves. Freedom of speech is a cherished right for all Alamedans, except for the 15% who foolishly voted in favor of turkey sandwiches, which no true Alamedan would ever do, thus proving that those turkey-huggers don't actually live in Alameda if they do in fact exist at all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Slow Noose Day

With Memorial Day observations past, and the lingering scent of backyard barbecues lulling even the savage Squirrels into complacency, the Alameda Daily Noose and I find ourselves facing one of those days in which nothing truly Nooseworthy happens. The pace of unwanted changes has slowed to a snail's pace, and no amount of prodding can induce the populace to get off the dime and start complaining.

We know that we should be glad. Complete lack of change is exactly what Alameda needs, after all. And yet, something is missing from our lives when we are not in the fray of outraged grump, dodging errant insults meant for others. But as summer heats up, and the heat makes Alamedans crankier, we're sure to be back in the thick of full-blown complaining in no time.