GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

A bit of blog housekeeping to improve access to previously published posts

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 6, 2011

I’ve done some rearranging and tweaking in hopes of improving access to San Diego water-related information contained in my older blog posts.

This blog is configured so that the home page displays the last ten posts that were published, in reverse chronological order. Thus every time a new post is added at the top, the old 10th post gets pushed off the bottom of the page to make room.

Old posts can be found by clicking “Previous Entries” at the bottom of the home page and at the bottom of successive pages, basically going back in time. That can be useful to get a feel for the blog but it’s not helpful for finding something specific.

To find something on a particular subject, you could do a keyword search on the right-hand side of the blog. Below that are drop-downs to browse posts by month or by category.

What I’m doing now is making another way to browse for specific posts. It’s “Topics” on the horizontal menu bar above. Until now “Topics” contained just a few entries, including the Water Purification Demonstration Project.

To further populate the “Topics” page, I went through my archive of posts, decided what topic each post belongs under, and created pages for each topic listing the relevant posts. I’ve published 450 posts since I started this blog in June 2009 (this June 23 will be GrokSurf’s second anniversary!) and was fairly selective about including posts for the “Topics” page.

Anyway, now when you click “Topics” on the menu bar you’ll get a list of topics. Click on one of those topics for a page containing a list of relevant blog posts, and in some cases much more detail on the subject.

I hope you find this enhancement useful. Please try it out and feel free to use the comment form below if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

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A holiday gift

Posted by George J Janczyn on December 9, 2010

I am sometimes annoyed when commercial advertising is intrusive when I view other blogs and websites and have become increasingly uneasy about what happens on my own blog. I use WordPress as my blogging platform and there is no charge for it (but there are extras I can pay for). It has served me well but one drawback is that the service automatically inserts ads into my blog posts as a way of offsetting the cost of providing the free service. For readers with a desktop, the ads appear at the end of each post, which isn’t too bad, but on mobile devices like my Droid Incredible the ad appears at the top of each post. Definitely annoying.

I’ve decided I don’t want to subject readers to that annoyance any more (although the reader might then better focus on annoying things I might write!). So I took the plunge and paid the annual fee that will stop ads from appearing.

Happy holidays!


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A clear Friday morning in San Diego

Posted by George J Janczyn on November 26, 2010

(haze magnified by telephoto, though)

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Google Street View car hanging out in Del Cerro

Posted by George J Janczyn on November 10, 2010

A Google Street View camera car has been parked in front of a Del Cerro home at night for the past week or so. During the day it’s been roaming the surrounding neighborhood (where I live). Perhaps the driver lives there or maybe is staying with friends. I assume Google is re-shooting the neighborhood with the latest 4th Generation HD-quality cameras.

This morning I had my DSLR because I was coming home from a surfing photo session at the beach, so I pulled over to take a picture (I know, there are already millions of pics in Google Images). I quickly discovered the driver was inside the car preparing to leave and I had to move quickly for my camera.

In this sequence, the driver executed a slightly-illegal u-turn (he’s in a one-way single lane), went back to the end of the island and angled to the other side before crossing the intersection. He did this in order to avoid having to drive straight ahead for a block and legally u-turn into the lane going the opposite direction. Running late or saving energy, I guess.

Pics are clickable for enlargement.

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Stories that keep attracting readers

Posted by George J Janczyn on April 14, 2010

For a mini-retrospective, below are my top six blog posts, in terms of total page views and in terms of sustained interest. The first, a story about Alvarado Creek and Adobe Falls, has been by far the most popular page on my blog–it has gotten nearly three times as many hits as the second-place post. It’s nice to see continued interest in stories even after they’ve grown old!

1. San Diego’s Alvarado Creek and the future of Adobe Falls

2. A quick look at the San Vicente Dam-raising project

3. Water reuse is imperative for a sustainable San Diego

4. Debris flows and the San Gabriel Mountains

5. Bringing water to Balboa Park

6. I originally planned to make this a top five list, but am including the sixth-place page — Ongoing Coverage — because it covers important local issues that deserve more attention.


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San Carlos Area Council meeting

Posted by George J Janczyn on March 2, 2010

Our guest speaker is Professor Patrick Abbott, a San Carlos resident and an expert on natural disasters. Dr. Abbott (Ph.D. in Geology) will discuss the recent earthquake in Chile and the resulting tsunami, the Haitian earthquake and the fault lines in San Diego County. It promises to be a non-political, educational and informative meeting. We hope you can attend at the San Carlos  Library, 7265 Jackson Drive. It begins at 7 PM, is free and open to the public. Thank you. John Pilch, President, SCAC


Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Time: 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Place: San Carlos Branch Library
7265 Jackson Drive

1. Call to order and Roll Call of Directors
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Approval of Minutes of the February 3, 2010 meeting.
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Announcements and Public Comment
6. Reports from Elected Officials’ Representatives and Agencies

a) San Diego Police Department – A/CRO Edward Zwibel (858-495-7943)
b) State Senator Christine Kehoe – Sean Wherley (645-3133)
c) State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth – Ellen Malin (596-3136)
d) State Assembly Member Marty Block – Lisa Silverman (462-7878)
e) County Supervisor Dianne Jacob – Caroline Braun (531-5522)
f) County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price – Erica Holloway (531-5533)
g) Mayor Jerry Sanders – Denice Garcia (236-7056)
h) Councilmember Marti Emerald – Chris Pearson (236-7042)

7. Guest Speaker: Professor Patrick L. Abbott, Ph.D. Univ. of Texas at Austin
and Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University
Topic: Earthquakes, Tsunamis and other Natural Disasters
8. New Business
9. Pending Business
10. Adjournment

Dates to Remember:

1. Next Scheduled meeting: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 7 PM
Location: San Carlos Branch Library

Two Local Projects for which applications have been filed. The Valero Gas
Station at Navajo and Jackson and a Childcare Center in a Single Family
Residence at 6261 Jackson Drive, adjacent to an existing childcare facility.

2. Next Executive Committee Meeting: Date and location TBD.
For more information, please call John Pilch at 619-462-1408
or by e-mail to:

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Morning view

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 11, 2010

Antenna cluster at Mount San Miguel keeps radios crackling for morning commuters

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Woman run over by own car in San Carlos

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 2, 2010

A fleet of police cars converging a few blocks from my home attracted me to the corner of Wandermere and Golfcrest Drives around 2:30pm in San Carlos where I learned of an accident involving a woman and her vehicle. A police sergeant speaking with a local Channel 8 news photographer said that the woman caregiver for a local resident had left her parked car in the driveway and saw it rolling backwards into the street, attempted to stop it, and fell and was run over by the vehicle. I didn’t learn the extent of her injuries (later: I heard she suffered a fractured pelvis). The street was closed in both directions while police conducted their investigation.


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George’s Day

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 1, 2010

[Reprinted with permission from Juan Cole of Informed Comment at Need I add that I wholeheartedly agree?]

There is a delightful custom in Barcelona. On April 23, St. George’s Day, men give their girlfriends or wives a rose. And the women give their male beloved a book. The gift of the book is said to have been initiated in 1926 as a commemoration of Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote

The rose is more traditional. It is said that after St. George killed the dragon to save the maiden, a droplet of its blood sprouted into a rose.

Perhaps under Catalonian influence, April 23 has already been adopted by UNESCO as the International Day of the Book. However, I don’t think very many people know about this day.

The advantage of the way the Barcelonans do it is that it ties book-giving to individual romance, and so makes it universal. Obviously the precise Catalonian custom, however quaint and colorful, is pretty sexist and needs updating. But if it is altered slightly, I think we have here a commemoration worth widely adopting.

I propose that whoever loves someone else romantically of any sex give the loved one both a book and a rose for George’s Day.

If we do it that way, I think George’s Day could be promulgated successfully as a day internationally observed by individuals, just as Valentine’s Day has become.

April 23 has the advantage of falling at a time of year when there is little to drive customers to bookstores. Moreover, despite UNESCO’s effort, there is no popularly recognized special day for book-buying. One can give a book on lots of occasions, but it is just one possible gift among many. Having a special day on which only a book will do as a gift would be a great good thing. And, of course, buying someone a Kindle file would also work.

It is true that St. George is a Catholic saint and so on the surface not suited to universal commemoration. But I know of nothing objectionable about him, and the main legend associated with him is that of killing the dragon. That is of course a mythic deed common in world mythology– Indra and Vrta, Faridun and Zohak, Thor and the Midgaard serpent. Killing the dragon of ignorance on behalf of the Book is a universal.

Besides, in the US we don’t have a problem widely commemorating St. Valentine’s Day. And then there is our appropriation from Catholic sources of St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras, and virtually any other excuse to get tipsy, so why not at least put one saint to literate use?

What say you, bloggers and bibliophiles? Shall we push George’s Day, April 23, with all the vigor that the jewelers put into Valentine’s Day?

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Pizzeria open for Del Cerro/San Carlos area

Posted by George J Janczyn on January 31, 2010

Mountain Mike’s Pizza is now open for business in the Keil’s shopping mall at Jackson Dr. & Navajo Rd. The restaurant occupies the space that previously held the Navajo Community Service storefront which closed last summer because of the city’s budget problems.

Inside, a high ceiling and brick walls create an inviting atmosphere, with homemade photos hung for decoration. The seating area is divided into two open rooms, each equipped with two large flat-screen TVs tuned to sporting events. There’s a salad bar in front and a nook in back revealing several game machines.

The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, create your own or gourmet pizzas plus beer & wine. A medium cheese pizza goes for $11.99 ($1.99 each additional topping) or a medium gourmet for $17.49. Delivery charge is $2.


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