June 27, 2017

Life Jackets in California: Want to live? Always wear a life jacket when participating in boating-related water activities.

Entirely preventable.

Completely avoidable.

Yet another Summer drowning, due to the simple reason of not wearing a life jacket.

Please, please, please:  When partaking in boating and similar water activities, always ... ALWAYS ... wear a life jacket.  A 40-year-old father drown Sunday in 50-feet deep waters in nearby Rio Vista when the kayak he and his 5-year old daughter were in overturned.

And yep, you guessed it:  Neither the father nor the 5-year-old daughter was wearing a life jacket.

The 5-year-old daughter survived.  The father drowned.

A tragedy that was completely avoidable simply by wearing a life jacket.

Life Jacket Usage:  Laws in California

Wearing a life jacket is simply common sense. But in many cases, it is also the law in California. California law requires that:
  1.  Children under 13-years-old must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on board a moving water vessel that is 26 feet or less in length. 
  2.  Any person being towed behind a boat or similar water vessel (such as skiing), and any person riding a personal watercraft (jet ski) must wear a life jacket regardless of age.
The only exceptions to the law requiring life jackets for children 13-years-old and younger are when a child is:
  1.  On a sailboat and is restrained by a harness tethered to the sailboat;
  2.  In an enclosed cabin; or
  3.  On a vessel engaged in an emergency rescue situation.

No excuse not to be smart on the water.  

Be safe.  Be smart.  Respect the water and wear a life jacket.

June 22, 2017

San Francisco Giants: No Fair Weather Baseball Fans Here

Gotta say one thing about the San Francisco Giants baseball team:

Win or lose, the Giants have some of the
most loyal fans in baseball.

Yep, I am a baseball fan, and a Giants' fan in particular.  And also a fan of any team playing the Dodgers!  😉  Looking solely at wins and losses, this year's season pretty much, well, sucks for the Giants.  The Giants currently have the 2nd worst record in Major League Baseball, and have retained this dismal statistic for a while this season.  A snapshot of division statistics pretty much shows it all for the Giants.  20.5 games back as of this morning, and clearly "out of it" for the season as far as autumn playoffs are concerned:

National League West Baseball Standings as of the Morning of Thursday, June 22, 2017.

But don't tell that to the ever-loyal San Francisco Giants' fans.  No Fair Weather Fans for this major league baseball team.  Attendance at the Giants' AT&T Park has averaged 42,622 per game this season, just shy of a 42,915 sell out.  The Giants' average home attendance this season is the 3rd highest in major league baseball's 30 teams; this in spite of the team's overall dismal performance.

And how about neighboring baseball team Oakland A's attendance?  Well, the A's are also in last place in their league, although they currently have a better win-loss record than the Giants.  Well, the A's fans aren't so keen on this losing thing.  Plus the A's more-than-crappy stadium likely has something to do with lack of attendance, too.  Attendance at the Oakland A's home games this season has averaged a pitiful 17,988 seats per game, leaving the A's near dead bottom in average attendance per home game:  29 out of 30 teams.  Only lowly Tampa Bay is worse, with an average home game attendance this season of 14,589.

Baseball is Just Plain Good Fun

To me, baseball is a game to be enjoyed not only for the actual play of the game, but for the statistics, trivia, and history of the game.  Hey, and AT&T Park ... Well, I happen to think it is the most fan friendly stadium in major league baseball.  Probably one of the best things San Francisco has going for it, along with the Golden State Warriors basketball stadium that recently started construction.  The Giants and AT&T Park are truly the only reason I make a trip into San Francisco, other than for business purposes.

AT&T Park
Home of the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team

Go Giants, and Go Giants' Baseball Fans!

Mary Rae Fouts

June 20, 2017

Heat and Pets: Please DO NOT Leave Pets in the Car When it is Hot Outside

Heat can kill and does not discriminate.  Both humans and companion animals suffer and die from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

We are in the midst of a heat wave her in the San Francisco Bay area.  High so far this week on my backyard weather station in Pleasant Hill, California?  113.1 sizzling degrees.


Dogs in Hot Cars = Death!!

Which reminds me:  Do not ever,  ever leave pets in cars when it is hot, even warm outside.  You may think you trip into the store will "only take a couple minutes", when actually it will take you 20 minutes.  The inside temperature of a care rapidly climbs, creating great risk of injury or death from heat exhaustion or heat stroke to the enclosed pets.  Take a look at the chart below:

And yep, I was in my local grocer Lunardi's Sunday at 11:30 AM.  90 plus degrees outside, and over the intercom comes an announcement that 2 distressed dogs are in a blue sedan car in the parking lot.  Luckily in California, people can break vehicle windows to removed distressed dogs in situations such as this without criminal prosecution.  Yes, it is a state law.  However, how sad such a law should have to exist.

Stay cool and hydrated everyone.  And that includes our Faithful Canine Companions and other Companion Animals.

Mary Rae Fouts

June 19, 2017

Police K9 Hancock Recovering from Pit Bull Attack During SWAT Raid in Oakley, CA

K9 Hancock, a canine member of Concord, California Police Department's K9 Team as well as the Central Contra Costa County SWAT Team, was injured will assisting in a search and arrest warrant in Oakley, California on Saturday, June 17.

The warrant pertained to a home connected to a suspect wanted for a murder earlier that day in Concord, California.  Hancock was injured when the Oakley home's resident Pit Bull broke loose from his collar, charged officers, and attacked K9 Hancock.  The Pit Bull first bit Hancock on a front leg, then clamped onto Hancock's neck, at which time an officer shot and killed the pit bull.

Thankfully, K( Hancock is expected to make a full recovery and is comfortably resting at home.

Thank you for your community service, K9 Hancock!
Rest up and get well soon!

Photos from the Concord Police Department are posted below.  Also, read Concord PD's Facebook post about the event.

K9 Hancock received Emergency Vet care after attack by Pit Bull.
Note bite wounds on right front leg and left neck area.
Poor Doggy!

K9 Hancock recuperating comfortably at home.  Good Boy!

Mary Rae Fouts

June 13, 2017

Mountain View Cemetery: Lack of decorum sparks complaints and public discussion.


de·co·rum:  Etiquette. behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety.

Regretfully, not by some visitors to Oakland, California's historic Mountain View Cemetery.
Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery
Photo credit:  mountainviewcemetery.org

223-acre Mountain View Cemetery was established in 1863 by a group of East Bay pioneers under the California Rural Cemetery Act of 1859. It provides stunning views of the East San Francisco Bay Area.  Mountain View was designed by the renown landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City's Central Park and much of UC Berkeley and Stanford University's landscape.

Mountain View Cemetery has  been promoted as a place for the public to enjoy for its beauty, along with its function as a cemetery.   But, regretfully, a few people ... Idiots ... are treating Mountain View with great disrespect, and possibly jeopardizing public access to this beautiful and serene location.

The miscreants? They seem to generally fall into 2 categories: (1) Hell raising teens who are drinking alcohol, playing basketball on grave site areas, and setting up impromptu band "jam" sessions in the cemetery, and (2) dog owners and walkers who are walking dogs off leash, and walking dogs in prohibited areas.  Read more about this issue in this East Bay Times article.

I have always believed that most people try to be generous and good.  But here a select group of people ... likely a small minority of all who visit Mountain View Cemetery .... are acting disrespectfully, with no decorum, in a place of rest that demands respect from all visitors.  Where are the teens' parents?  And as for the dog owners and walkers?  They are likely the same ones who walk their dogs off leash in public parks and trails where off leash dogs are prohibited, while leaving their dog poop behind.

Decorum, Rotary Phones, and The Good Old Days

Decorum.  So said when people fail to observe simple etiquette.  Sometimes I miss the Good Old Days of suits and dresses at baseball games, men always opening doors for ladies, TVs with antennas and 3 channels (an no remote), bacon and eggs every day for breakfast without worrying about cholesterol and fat, and rotary dial phones that always worked.