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Everyone knows that living in Monterey is expensive. Rent is outrageous to begin with. Then you find out about the hidden costs.  Those fun surprise costs that drive up the total cost to live here and leave you as broke as they can make you.

Hidden cost #1. Water.

Because local politics won’t let a desalination plant be built the cost of water in the area has been held at an artificially high rate.

Family of 5 in a 3 bedroom house. Monthly water bill. $200.  $137 of which is for water, the rest is fees.

  • $14.76 Service charge. no other explanation.
  • $4.58 Pension Surcharge. Huh??
  • $15.72 Coastal Water Project Surcharge #1. #1? What?
  • $1.34 Carmel River Dam Surcharge.
  • $.38 Forest Lake Tank #3 Surcharge
  • $8.50 Pacific Grove City Fee
  • $.17 Pacific Grove License Fee
  • $14.14 Monterey Peninsula Water Management Fee
  • $2.55 PUC Surcharge. ?? No idea
  • $3.40 Pacific Grove Franchise Fee. ??

Total Fees BEFORE the cost of actual water? $65.48 a month.

SURPRISE! Plus you now have to pay the criminally high rates for the actual water.

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Seeing Dr. Nash today made me remember an old joke that’s been passed around a bit. If it doesn’t make sense, then you probably hang out with normal people. Some of you out there will start nodding your heads and thinking of people this fits. Especially some of you in the HPC arena.

How do you tell an Introverted Scientist from an Extroverted Scientist?

An introverted scientist looks at his shoes when he talks to you. An extroverted scientist looks at Your shoes when he talks to you. (-: Ba dum!

We were surprised today by an announcement that there would be a question and answer session in the conference room with Nobel Laureate Dr. John Nash. Dr Nash became famous to most people outside of academia through the movie “A Beautiful Mind” which was loosely based on his life.

Dr. Nash is now 80 years old and, as may be expected, a bit of an introvert. He was diagnosed as a Paranoid Schizophrenic back in 1959 and has been hospitalized multiple times for the disease. He takes no medication for the condition and just uses his intellect to keep the paranoia and delusions at bay.

It was very interesting to hear him speak. When asked about the stimulus plan his response was

The government needs to be seen to do something. It needs to have the appearance of knowing how to solve the problem. Just the appearance of knowing how to solve it will improve the perspective of the American public. Which will help improve the economy. So, they can’t do nothing, they must appear to be doing something. Which will help.

After hearing folks ask questions about the economy, his mental illness, the movie, wall street algorithms, etc I decided to ask him what interested him now. After years of pursuing Differential Equations, game theories, economics, what did he find interesting now? He now likes to read about other sciences, especially Astronomy.

I spoke with my buddy Darrin back in Tennesee today. He was out looking for aftermarket parts for his new toy. A 2009 Yamaha R1 in Red and White.

Toys toys toys!!!

2009 Yamaha R1

2009 Yamaha R1

I found this pic on the Yamaha site. I am droolin!

HPC Books Press now has a website and I have hear rumors of the first books being started.

Check out the website and sign up for updates when the books hit the shelves. I’ve linked their banner to their website. So, click the link below.

HPC Books Press Banner

HPC Books Press Banner

Congratulations guys and the best of luck on this endeavour.

Note to self. Valentines Day is February 14th. NOT the 15th. Don’t get this wrong. Again.

Don’t ask.

A tad bid of trivia about this years AT&T’s Golf tournament in Pebble Beach. The AT&T is filled with celebrities and professional golfers and normally brings a pretty good crowd.

Well, between the bad economy, the bad weather (Lot’s of wind and rain), and the draconian rules put on the crowd (only allowed to enter on official buses, no cameras, no cell phones, possibly searched before allowed on bus, etc etc.). The attendance this year has been pretty low.

The volunteers however have come out in good numbers. In fact, the other day they had enough volunteers to fill all the needed slots, so they made the rest stand in strategic, photogenic, locations around the course so that when the TV camera’s panned they would see people watching. They actually used the volunteers this year as crowd fillers. Go figure.

Another side note. One of the people we know here is a waiter at a local restaurant. Well, Bill Murry came in with a dozen close friends at about 10:30 at night. A half hour before closing. Well, he wanted dinner and drinks for everyone. The restaurant stayed open late just for him. Turns out he’s a pretty cool guy.  Friendly and personable. That and it didn’t hurt that he tipped really really well.  Go Bill!

What happens when some really smart computer people get together and try to share their knowledge? You get something like the new HPC Books Press.

I have the privilege of being one of the first to announce the creation of a publishing company dedicated to High Performance Computing. Look for great things to come of this. Not just the theoretical knowledge you’ll get at University, but the rubber meets the road let’s get a “XXXX” system up and running and productive, kind of knowledge.

Here is the first advertisement.

Congratulations John and John! The best of luck on this endeavor. I look forward to the first book coming off the press and being one of the first to start stocking my geek shelf with your publications.

For those of you that know me. You know I’ve had a beard since, well, shortly after my first was born, about 12 years. I’ve shaved 3 times since then. The last time was only a couple of weeks ago. As proof I submit this scary photo of myself and Roberta taken at a company dinner at the Whaling Station in Monterey.

monterey_dinner

The girls have all expressed their opinions on my mug and I’ve since grown my beard back. I actually made it almost 2 weeks clean shaven. It’s amazing how old I can look and yet don’t feel it. Oh well.

Today was Molly and Nora’s 10th birthday. Hard to believe my girls are into the double digits.

My Sis called tonight to wish them a happy birthday and when Nora was done talking she said something that stopped me in my tracks. She asked Sis if she would “like to talk to the other twin”. Her exact words. Not would you like to talk to Molly, or my sister, but “the other twin”.

Roberta didn’t even bat an eye when she said it I guess they’ve been saying it back and forth off and on lately. They hear it from so many other people that they’ve started saying it themselves.

I just can’t get it out of my head. It’s almost as if their individualism has been stripped away. They’re not Molly and Nora, but one of the twins. I suppose I might get used to it, or it may be a phase that goes away. I just don’t like it. I’ll have to watch my tongue if I hear other people refer to them that way. I might be tempted to “correct” them in the way they address the girls. 

I can be a protective dad. It’s allowed.

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