Stan’s Obligatory Blog


A portrait of the toady as a young man

Filed under: — stan @ 9:30 pm

So I’ve been reading a lot lately about Alberto Gonzales and the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. And I remembered that I went to college with him. I didn’t know him at the time, but we were at Rice at the same time for one year. So I dug out my 1979 yearbook to have a look at his “senior box”.

The Rice yearbook gives all graduating seniors a little space to put anything they want in the book. So here’s Alberto Gonzales’s. Note first that in those days, he went by “Al”. I guess it wasn’t considered an advantage to be ‘ethnic’ yet. His box is pretty standard. It doesn’t give a lot of insight into his character. Unless you consider ‘bland’ to be a form of character. But perhaps that’s what’s necessary to be the President’s toady.

Anyway, it’s not really significant, but I found it slightly amusing.

Adventures in recycling

Filed under: — stan @ 5:45 pm

This year, I’ve been seeing a lot of public-service ads about how the bottle deposit has gone up to 5¢. This is because recycling rates in California have stayed low. And this is largely because they have made it monumentally difficult to get the deposit back.

They passed the bottle-deposit law back in 1987. At first it was 2¢, and almost nobody bothered to recycle. This was largely because there was no place to go to get the deposit back. So they raised it to 2½¢, and still, nobody recycled. At that time, they had a few machines outside grocery stores that would take bottles and cans. For every two, the machine would spit out a nickel. But it was slow, and the machines broke down a lot.

So now it’s up to 5¢, and I decided to try and see if it might actually be possible to get the deposit back now. So I looked up where I could go. There is a recycling center at a grocery store close to my office, so I went up there at lunch with 20 plastic bottles. The place is outside the store, on the edge of the parking lot. There was an attendent and a couple of homeless people there. It’s only open from 8:30 to 4:30. It smells bad. And then they wonder why only the homeless recycle bottles. Sheesh.

They have a machine that you can feed the bottles into. It scans them and counts them, and it’s pretty fast. So I fed it my 20 bottles. The instructions said to push the button when I was done. And it spit out a voucher for $1. That I had to take inside the store.

So I went inside the store and went to the customer service counter. They said I had to wait in a regular register line. So, after waiting in line, I finally got my damn dollar.

Was it worth it? I dunno. Given that it was a nice day and I just wanted to get out of the office anyway, maybe. And I rode my bike there, so it’s not like it cost me any gas money. But no matter how you slice it, it was a huge pain in the ass.

Powered by WordPress