There goes the neighborhood

First real snow of 2011-12

We finally got our first real measurable snow of the season — just a few inches, but nice to see nonetheless. It'll tamp down the sand on the trails.

It can’t be 70-something and sunny all the time. Still, going from a record high of 78 to snow on the ground is something of a shock to the system.

Happily, the streets and sidewalks retained much of that heat, so I didn’t have to do any shoveling this morning — good news for the ol’ back, since I spent yesterday raking leaves from the huge maple tree that shades Chez Dog. Looks like a bumper crop, too. I’ve already filled six bags and we’re a long ways away from seeing the last leaf on the tree.

Sounds like the cops in Oakland were engaged in a little clean-up operation of their own last night. They went after the Occupy Oakland folks with everything from tear gas to flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “City officials said they had been forced to clear the encampments because of sanitary and public safety concerns.” Uh huh. Right out of Steinbeck that is, as in “The Grapes of Wrath” and the less-well-known “In Dubious Battle.”

All the stories I’ve read make references to a schism in the Occupy crowd, with some insisting on a non-violent approach and others intent on challenging the cops to a fight. I’d love to know how much of the latter is legit and how much is the work of agents provocateurs. It’s an old trick, and one that keeps working, especially on the media. The Oakland Tribune‘s account of the evening’s festivities could have been written by the PD’s PR flack.

If you’re interested in following the Occupy movement online, bookmark Greg Mitchell’s OccupyUSA blog at The Nation. It’s one of my first stops every morning.

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13 Responses to “There goes the neighborhood”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    Thanks for the Mitchell link. The hits keep on coming, Patrick.

    With the tea baggers hyping it up on the right and Occupy America raising hell on the left, its just a matter of time before one or more of those rubber bullets turn to copper alloy.

    Flak jackets and a tip of the ASTM B131 – 07 standard to you all,


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      K, every now and then I think about selling the arsenal. I mean, who needs all that bang-bang in a civilized society? And then I read a story like that one about the Oakland police riot, remember that this is not a civilized society, and think about adding weapons instead of subtracting them.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Sounds like a winter wonderland for sure Patrick. Still 90 here in Austin. We made the quick trip to Albuquerque and southern Colorado for a long weekend and found ourselves a bit chilly in the mornings last week.

    A few years ago, we started piling our fall leaves on top of our raised beds that we don’t plant winter crops in and like magic – some fantastic soil added by Spring. All it takes is some rain and the 4-foot piles melt down like sugar. I’m trying to get my nerve up to steal some of the bags that line the curb on our street annually. Got to love the raised beds – we are composting scraps now too.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      That’s the nice part of Northern New Mexico. Nice chilly mornings and good sleeping weather, while still having glorious, warm days and evenings. It was a few weeks ago that I had to dig out the long sleeve jerseys and knickers, but its worth the trouble.

      Hope all is well in Austin, from one who almost moved there a couple years ago. Nearby wildfiires are all out, I presume? Now all you have to contend with is Perry.

      • Sharon Says:

        Khal – – we really had a fun time exploring that area as we normally visit only the more northern areas of Colorado. Beautiful rivers too and we were surprised by the Rio Grande Gorge which just blew us away – much different river than when it gets to Texas. Did not have nearly enough time to properly explore Mesa Verde, which was disappointing, but we are already planning a return visit.

        I kind of look forward to some cold-weather riding. Nothing beats cabin fever in the middle of winter like going out for a ride all bundled up to get the heart beating. Actually at this point, I’d take some 70 degree days to ride. Am ready for summer to finally close out as it was too hot with too many fires and absolutely no rain. Glad to turn the page.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Sharon, it’s been snowing all day here … light snow, but snow nonetheless. The streets and sidewalks are still clear, happily, because nobody here knows how to drive in this stuff. Hell, these people don’t know how to drive in dry conditions. So I try to stay home on that first really sketchy day.

      My leaves wind up as compost in a neighbor’s pile. She keeps a good-sized garden, and I’ve been dragging bags of leaves over there for several years now. Her tomatoes didn’t turn out so hot this year; too cool, probably. A shame, as there’s nothing better than homegrown tomatoes.

      • Sharon Says:

        Patrick – – we have found that compost is the key to “growing your own.” We had a bumper crop of the most delicious tomatoes this year despite having to water them with city water. I guess the soil is an amazing filter for all that chorline, but at least we didn’t add any fertilizer or pesticides.

      • Larry T. Says:

        There IS something better than homegrown tomatoes. They sell ’em at the local outdoor market here most days. They’re grown in nearby Pachino. Just one reason we moved to Sicily for the winter. No snow (it never snows here) but we have had rain and lots of it the past few days. Back in Iowa, I not only don’t water the lawn, I don’t rake the leaves either…nothing bad seems to result from either lazy practice as far as I can tell.

  3. John Says:

    “City officials said they had been forced to clear the encampments because of sanitary and public safety concerns.”

    So they shot people with rubber bullets out of concern for the public? They lobbed tear gas due to concerns about sanitation? Oooooh-kaaay. I guess a little Orwellian logic goes a long way out there on the “left coast”.

    Meanwhile, in other news. “up” is now “down” and “forward” is now “backward”. Well, that second one has been true for a while now.

  4. John Says:

    As if this is telling us something we didn’t already know:

  5. barry Says:

    And the hits keep coming!

    This was on the front page of my local fish wrap today

    This asshat voted for the Wall St bailout too. I still have the letter written back to me in response to my asking his reasons for voting for it. When my question was again put to him on a locally televised debate in 2010, he was “proud” of his vote for the bailout.

    I’m not much of a fan of Team D, but damn….Team R seems to bring out the worst in me.

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