Is the Lake Half Full or Half Empty?


You might have heard that California is in the midst of a four-year drought, looking at the real possibility of year five. I am here to confirm that is true. Over the past year, pictures of Folsom Lake have appeared showing the lake at an alarmingly low-level. It has been so bad that there have been archeological finds unearthed as the lake level fell. There were even bones from a probable homicide uncovered.

Intrepid reporter that I am (?), I recently visited Folsom Lake to verify claims that due to the recent rains, the lake had fully recovered.

Here is what I found:



While not quite back to “normal”,  it does look pretty good. The local paper publishes information on the capacity of local reservoirs and river levels each day, as well as snow depths for the Sierra Nevada.  Since California’s water is very dependent on the depth of the snow pack and the water content of the snow, that is critical information. The snow pack is much improved over last year.

There is one area that has not improved, and that is California aquifer. The ground water in the central valley has been pumped out to the point that the land is sinking. Only recently has the California Department of Water Resources begun to discuss regulation of ground water. Replenishing ground water, refilling aquifers is not just a matter of plentiful rainfall or a healthy snow pack.

Folsom Lake is located near Rocklin, California. I doubt that any city has been more aptly named. Here is a photo of the land formation typical of Rocklin.

P1000771 Note: Although this area is very close to Folsom Lake, but it has never been IN the lake.

California remains beautiful and somewhat green.






The Parton/Spock Continuum

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about men and women relationships lately. They are truly puzzling at times. I’ve also been thinking a lot about politics- also truly puzzling but that is true all the time.

I’ve come up with a technique for thinking about men/women relationship based on a rather archaic political technique. This particular technique is called a “semantic differential scale”.  It was used in olden days before twitter, the internet, instagram, netfllix and cell phones by political scientists who attempted to determine public opinion about certain candidates  or issues by interviewing “subjects” and recording their answers to specific questions on a continuum.

I’m told they actually used to do this by telephoning people using a “land line” between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and that the people subjected to the calls actually answered and participated in the survey!

A very simplified political “semantic differential scale” might look something like this:

Liberal __________1_________2______ 3________4_________5________6____________ Conservative

The questioner had a series of descriptive words, some considered liberal, and some conservative.  For example the question might be, Do you consider candidate X a tight-wad (Conservative) or a mindless spendthrift (Liberal) . Depending on how the subject responded, an X would be placed on the continuum at a certain point and the results would be entered by a data entry drone into a sparkling new, state of the art Tandy computer.

My “relationship semantic differential” is a little less complicated:

Dolly Parton_______1________2__________3____________4____________5_______ Mr. Spock

Dolly Parton is cute, bubbly, giggly, not overtly serious.

Mr. Spock is analytical, logical to a fault, and has no sense of humor.

This semantic differential is used in a different way. it is self-administered, and the results are for personal use only. When you are considering a relationship with someone, this just might be a useful tool. (or not).