Monthly Archives: April 2008


Pittsburgh named nation’s sootiest city

LOS ANGELES (AP) ― A city outside California has for the first time been named the sootiest in the nation, one of the categories the American Lung Association uses to determine the most polluted cities in the country.

Los Angeles still took the all-around pollution title, though.

Pittsburgh overtook Los Angeles in the category that measures short-term particle pollution or soot. Los Angeles, the country’s longtime soot and smog leader, has enacted aggressive measures to tackle sources of pollution, resulting in a substantial drop in particle pollution levels, said Janice Nolen, the association’s assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy.

“It’s not that Pittsburgh has gotten worse; it’s that Los Angeles has gotten better,” Nolen said. “If the trend continues, Pittsburgh will top two lists, and LA will only be leading the nation in ozone.” 

Still, Los Angeles held its own in two other categories measuring year-round soot levels and smog. And statewide, 26 of California’s 52 counties with air quality monitoring stations got failing grades for having either high ozone days or particle pollution days.

The association’s “State of the Air: 2008” report, being released Thursday, was based on air quality measurements reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by state and local agencies between 2004 and 2006. The study looks at three key pollution measures.

The eight metropolitan areas considered to be the nation’s most polluted by every measure were Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia-Porterfield and Hanford-Corcoran, all in California; Washington-Baltimore; St. Louis; and Birmingham, Ala.

The cleanest cities were Fargo, N.D., and Salinas, Calif.

The rankings were based on ozone pollution levels produced when heat and sunlight come into contact with pollutants from power plants, cars, refineries and other sources. The lung association also studied particle pollution levels emitted from these sources, which are made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.

The study found that about 42 percent of residents nationwide live in counties with high levels of particle or ozone pollution.

“When you think of the impact of ozone on our respiratory tracts, imagine putting acid right in your eye. It’s that corrosive,” said Tony Gerber, a pulmonary specialist and assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco. “This corrosiveness causes severe irritation and leads to problems like asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing, chest pain and even death.” 


Wisdom. Wisdom?

“I am not what happend to me, I am what I chose to become.” – Jung

“Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten.” – button

“Do not ask for whom the dog barks. It barks for thee.” – doormat

“Don’t lick nothin’ that sticks to your tongue.” KTP

Conversations du jour

MAS: Did he have a few drink before he said that?
Me: Yep
MAS: Well, there you go. You know that, right?
Me: Whazzat?
MAS: When guys drink, they talk outta their ass.

Me: *looking at reflection* Why are those highlights so light?
Me: Oh yeah. First ones on, firetruck, evacuate me and cats, etc. Meh, maybe they’ll go away soon.

Me: Oh HAI, Obi!!1! How are youuuu? Does you have the hunger?
Me: Wait. Your ear isn’t tipped. You’re not Obi. I have another freakin’ cat?!

Me: Today. Sucks. (x50)

On my mind right now: a trip to Clearwater beach. Feeling the humidity immediately upon stepping off of the plane. Malibu and Diet Coke. Coconut shrimp. The warm breeze swirling around my face. Saltwater leaving white marbled patterns on my legs as it dries. Steamed shrimp dusted with Old Bay seasoning. Maitais. The sound of waves crashing to become the perfect background music. Sitting on the balcony, high enough to watch the ocean and the the town come alive. Buffalo shrimp from Frenchy’s. Building a sandcastle. The sweet smell of sunscreen. Reading a Carl Hiaasen novel. The warmth of the sun slowly creeping into my body, making me completly warm. Being part of the scenery and watching the world go by. The smell of the air as a storm rolls in. Tiki bars. Long walks on the beach, day and night. Feeling so relaxed I’m practically boneless, and not worrying about deadlines, the future, the past, the job, or school… and just being.


It’s so cute – CNB, my cube neighbor, calls weed ‘grass’. (I love hearing the generational slang for things like that.)

Pixel was released yesterday evening. She’s a feisty (read: mean) little thing, charging the sides of the trap and hissing at everything. She was a curious kitter; I remember her looking at me through the window while I took her photo. She disappeared for a long time after that, so long that I feared her dead, and I was glad to see her return.

I trapped the last of the colony, Indy, last night, as well. He took a while to get. I almost had him twice – over halfway into the trap – but he turned around and walked out. He’s bigger than I thought and looks like the oldest of the group. He and Pixel have the same face, so I wonder of the relationship, and I’m curious as to how old he is.

I need sleep and I need a break from work. And I need them both NOW.

I made Cliff purr this morning! It was oh-so-slight, but it was there!

It’s my Grandfather’s birthday today. He would’ve been 85.



Some photos of Maya, the friendliest of the ferals, enjoying the stay with us after her spay surgery. She was released a few days ago and rejoined her colony. I hope she stays around for a while; I really like this lovable little cat.

Pretty girl!

(Girlfriend fell asleep on my lap like that.)