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Mother knows best 

Sorry if I seem a little scattered today. The wind blew my head off while I was on deadline, and I spent the better part of my writing time looking for the damn thing. My mother always told me I'd lose it if it wasn't screwed on tight, and darned if she wasn't right on the money, just like always. You'd think I would've learned my lesson after I made a face and it stuck that way.

Speaking of lessons, it looks like Bruce Buel learned his. The recently deposed general manager of the Los Osos CSD said he's pulling up stakes and moving to Fresno because he can't afford to live on the Central Coast without a job, and all those folks who hate him saw to it that he was gainfully unemployed by the end of the recall election.

Of course, some sewer opponents may argue that all those little old ladies out in Los Osos wouldn't have been able to afford their homes if the recall had fallen through and the sewer plan had gone forward as it was, taxes and all. Somebody would've been moving to Fresno one way or another.

I'd call it poetic irony, but there's nothing poetic about Fresno, and I kind of liked Bruce. For all of the ribbing I gave him, he stuck to his guns.

Of course, my mom always told me to stay away from guns because I'd shoot my eye out. If you do end up leaving, Bruce, be safe. And remember: Your gun is always loaded.

 

Up and atom

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant just turned 20, though if you read anything about it, it'll say that Diablo Canyon Power Plant just turned 20. No nuclear. Just power.

Maybe they're trying to distance themselves from the radioactive reactions that create the energy in the first place. Or maybe they're just tired of people pronouncing it "nucular." I dunno.

Either way, this monumental occasion means that the plant can legally drink itself sick a year from now, and I don't plan on being around when that happens. I remember the hangover I had after I turned 21. Talk about a meltdown.

If I were Dave Oatley, vice president and general manager at the plant, I would've spent my whole birthday budget on two huge novelty party hats to put on top of the domed towers. For Halloween a few weeks from now, they could've spray painted the hats black to make it look like some giant effigy of '80s-era Madonna is buried there on the coast.

Nah. That's stupid. Forget I wrote it. I already did.

Instead, Dave wrote a nice note in a super-nice Tribune insert at the beginning of this nice month, invoking the evils of foreign oil dependency to nicely emphasize his nice plant's extra-nice effort to "meet California's growing electricity demands while still preserving our natural resources." Nice.

If you mention foreign oil, you're always going to get a big boo and a hiss from the audience. Foreign oil is the mustache-twirling villain in the cape, tying the blonde and curly-haired consumers to the train tracks. That makes nuclear power the big, square-jawed hero riding in to save the day. I don't know what the white horse represents. That's where my metaphor starts to break down.

We've got a whole war going on over foreign oil. At least, I think it's still going on, and I think it's about oil. I haven't seen much about it lately. Since our president - who supports the "nucular" pronunciation, by the way - has been busy with Supreme Court appointments and FEMA fiascos, he hasn't said much about Iraq. It is Iraq, right?


Foreign oil is the mustache-twirling villain in the cape, tying the blonde and curly-haired consumers to the train tracks. That makes nuclear power the big, square-jawed hero riding in to save the day.

Lots of red-blooded Americans, and even some of the blue-blooded Americans, hear "foreign oil" and think "war." Nobody hears "nuclear power" and thinks "war," unless they're from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, South Africa, Japan, Germany, or a handful of other countries that includes every nation on the globe.

Remember, though, that the nuclear power brewing here on the Central Coast isn't the mushroom cloud kind. At least, I don't think it is. There aren't any mushrooms in the pictures on the plant, just sunny wildflowers blooming in a nice, yellow field to show how nice and safe and nice PG&E is.

The publication even clucks its tongue at ignorant yokels like me by mentioning that nuclear power "recycles Russian nuclear warheads formerly pointed at the U.S. and converts them into peaceful power." I'm still trying to figure out what peaceful power is.

Anyway, I don't have anything against the plant or PG&E. It looks like they're all having a great big ball of fun in the sun, which, I hear, is another source of nuclear power, though its reactions happen 93 million miles away so we call it "solar energy."

Happy birthday, Diablo Canyon. Keep having fun - but not too much, because, as my mom always said, it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Then it's just games: Who Can Find the Eye?

 

If it feels good, do it

I've been trying to play nice lately. Just another tip from my mom. She always said that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all, and I've always taken her advice. I never say anything bad. I just write it down.

So when I saw the Tribune's huge ad about how wonderful and clever its own headlines are, I just bit my tongue and started typing. Someone here in the office called the ad completely masturbatory, but I told him that we don't print words like that in New Times.

Still, as the paper's president and publisher, Chip Visci, you should take my mom's other piece of advice: If you keep it up, you'll go blind.

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