24th 2011
That’s Life #350 (3-24-11)

Posted under That's Life Columns


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The Constitution is not an instrument for government to

restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people

to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate

our lives and interests. -Patrick Henry



Get Some Of Your Money Back!



               Those of you who are regular readers know when I tell you about things I’ve checked them out really well. Like when we do restaurant or business reviews we go there, utilize the service, pay the bill and then tell it like it is.

               There’s a PG&E sponsored and financed program now going on this area through a program called “Energy Savings” which is a subcontractor hired and paid in full by PG&E for the work they do on PG&E customer’s homes. They’ve already serviced more than 1,000 homes in this area FREE and I’ve not heard one complaint.

               Your just call this magic number (707-635-3415) and they send a rep to your home to qualify you and arrange for an “energy audit.” To qualify you need to meet a criteria based on certain income and number of people in the family…but don’t count yourself out until you talk to their rep.

               Once you qualify they check out your home (you own or even one you rent) apartment, or mobile or modular home, to see where you are wasting energy and do what they can to  stop it. They will replace light bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent ones, install weather stripping, add attic insulation, replace an old Refrigerator (older than 1992), change shower heads, and up to three inside and one outside light fixtures. If you have central air conditioning may install an evaporative cooler which can lower your summer monthly air conditioning costs from like $80 down to $20 a month. They will check your water heater and put a blanket on it if needed (if can they can reach it) and check your water heater, gas stove and gas fireplace for carbon monoxide leaks.

               The company’s main focus is weatherization to stop all air leaks (they even put gaskets on all of you light switches and electrical outlets) so you don’t lose heat in the winter or cool air in the summer. I really like this program for all seniors and low to middle income families but don’t count your home (rentals, apartments, whatever) out until you talk to their rep. It is my sworn duty to get everyone back as much money as possible from PG&E…the only choice for gas and electric for most of us. (See the “Energy Savings” ad on the back page of today’s paper.) Where I heard they had this program going on this area I had to write this piece to let you know they are legit and you should call them. Anyone that has or had anything other than a good experience with this program needs to let me know. So far all we’ve heard is the do good work at no cost to you and they help you lower your PG&E bill…You’re welcome!




The Boys (& Girls) of Spring



               It’s that time of the year again when pro ball spring training is going on and hundreds of local boys and girls from T-ball to high school are out playing America’s favorite pastime…Baseball. The simplest of games when you stop to think about it. You only have to do three, (*make that four, things)…throw, catch and hit a ball (*and have fun). It can take hours to learn the basics and years to master these skills, but the premise itself is simple.

               I started playing at eight in the first year of Little League in Dayton, Ohio and played all the way up through high school…all at second base. I put my eventual 108 pound soul into each practice, game, win and defeat. I was so tiny I could get a walk when ever I wanted and the highlight of my career was an unassisted triple play. The point being is I knew a little about baseball when we moved out here in the 60’s. That’s when Quentin Larson and I started Little League here in Dixon. Later I again served in most capacities from President on down. Linda and I also helped get Bobby Sox off the ground and coached a girl’s team the first year and she managed the first ever girls Bobby Sox All Star team…This was all well before we ever had kids.

               When we had a break in the weather recently I went around town to watch both boys and girls teams practicing. Everyone needs to thank the many men and women giving up the many hours it takes to coach their kid’s teams.

               I was surprised to see some coaches teaching advanced plays and baseball theory when the players hadn’t quite mastered the catch, throw and hit basics. That’s putting the cart way before the horse. The kids want to hit, run, catch and throw and HAVE FUN. With the littler ones you see neat things like the third base player selected is whoever can get the ball from third to first (or at least near it).

               This legacy will out live us all and having arranged for the Little League Complex/city agreement when I was on the city council gives me a little satisfaction of having done something worthy in my 12 elected years. The same goes for Northwest Park. Knowing without my pushing and insistence it would have just been more homes, and seeing the hundreds of kids using it, makes all the carp I took getting these things done worthwhile. Catch, throw, hit, run, and have fun.

The Amazing Cucumber


This information was in The New York Times some time ago as part of their “Spotlight on the Home” series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.  My first wife Linda loves these things so here:

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?  Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache?  Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes?  Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?  Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finished a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints?  Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

14. There are reported other uses for this useful veggie but I won’t go into them here. I tried to verify all of the above but couldn’t.






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