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San Francisco, USA

 

Santa Monica Night Photos

One night I was walking around and taking some random picture in Santa Monica. After a few accidental mistakes, I found it fun to take pictures without aiming for clear and sharp focus. These are a few that I like.

Santa Monica Night Shoot
Santa Monica Night Shoot
Santa Monica Night Shoot
Santa Monica Night Shoot

I finally found the words to describe the style. It is avant-garde damn it.

2016.07.10 comments

 

Beyond Homelessness

The Chronicle is running a series Beyond Homelessness. They call the problem a civic disgrace. They have an editorial proclaim the reduction of homelessness to the extent humanly possible must be San Francisco’s No. 1 priority.

I applaud their call of civic duty. I am frustrated by the problem as anyone do. But grandstanding aside, I am not optimistic that the city will make much progress. 10 or 20 years we will revisit the issue. I am afraid what the future may not be much of an improvement of compares to today.

Their language concerns me. We talk about political will, about holding public official responsible. But what if this is a problem so difficult that nobody really know how to solve them? I compare this to some recurrent campaign to "cure cancer". It makes a good slogan for a rally. The problem is, to the best knowledge current science, we do not really know how to cure cancer. Some ambitious politician might "declare war on cancer", or set an arbitrary time line like solving the problem in 10 years. But I can see little scientific basis that would lead to such solution. As much as we wish, these political campaigns, without scientific basis to backup, will just fizzle out sooner or later.

Unfortunately I think this is likely what our current campaign on homelessness heading. If it is about provide enough funding and services, these will be easy problem well within the capability of the politician. After all, we are already pouring sizable resource in the tune of 240 millions dollars a year into this. But I am afraid these resources only scratch the surface. The deeper problem is that some people who has lost their capability to take care of themselves and function in the society. Fixing people is much harder problme than fix things, which mostly call for more funding. I don't even know if the bureaucracy has any place in fixing a person. Much more helpful than the bureaucracy is perhaps the support from a social network.

To further the cure cancer analogy, it is commonly accepted that the best way to fight cancer is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Living a healthy life style, proper nutrition, early screening are way more effective than to treat cancer after it happens. So our attention should go beyond fixing the problem after it happens to minimize someone ending up in the street in the first place. In the long run, if we can reduce new homeless by prevention, it maybe the most effective way to keep the problem under control.

2016.07.04 comments

 

Deck Maintenance

Another year, another home maintenance project. I spent an afternoon to replace some severely rotten deck boards. This is how it looks after.

Deck maintenance

It isn't obvious what I have done. Well look at wreckages that I have pulled out. Now the new boards are safe and sound, amm... sort of. I have enough left over materials scavenged from previous project. The only new material I bought $2 of metal hangers. The job is done for now. Until next time.

Rotten deck board

2016.07.03 comments

 

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