Monday, January 15, 2007

Soot in Richmond, CA; ashes in San Diego

Further on the topic of soot, Bloomberg reports on Jan. 15: "A fire at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond, California, refinery spewed soot and unburned petroleum over homes and businesses.... "It looks like any releases were pretty much soot and uncombusted hydrocarbons," said Art Botterell, warning systems manager for Contra Costa County, where Richmond is located. "At this point, there's nothing acutely toxic that we've heard of. But none of that stuff is really very good for you so we just ask everyone to go inside and button up."

The Bloomberg report does not make clear what substance was burning to yield the "soot." Soot itself is not particularly good to ingest.

Look here and here.

In other California news, FoxSports discusses the failure of the San Diego Chargers, in Monday morning quarterbacking not unlike that done by various patent law reformers concerning the USPTO.

One topic is the failure to attempt a field goal on fourth and eleven:

This was bizarre. First Schottenheimer burned a timeout to talk it over. It's 4th-and-11 on your opponent's 30 on a bright sunny day and you have a Pro Bowl kicker who made eight of 10 kicks beyond 40. What's to discuss? Perhaps overly sensitive to criticism of his conservative game management, Schottenheimer decided to go for it. Rivers got sacked, fumbled and the Patriots recovered. Hmmm, I wonder if those three points might have come in handy.

Recall separately Andy Reid calling for an Eagles punt on 4th and 15, and the later criticism.


Shaun Phillips sacked Brady on 3rd-and-13 and despite a propitious bounce of the ensuing fumble right into left tackle Matt Light's arms, the Patriots were still looking at a 52-yard field goal. Enter Florence. After the play was over, right in front of the line judge, Florence ran up to Daniel Graham and head-butted him in the facemask. Fifteen yards, first down. Stephen Gostkowski would end up converting a much-easier 34-yarder. Chargers 14, Patriots 13.

Go back to the Eagles-Giants play-off game, and Jon Runyan's "after-the-whistle" antics. Unlike the infamous groin kick in Giants-Eagles I, this one didn't cost the Eagles anything. It's hard to predict the consequences of even obvious bad acts.

CBS was more generous to the head coach, but not to the offensive play-calling:

Tied at 21, the Chargers were set up first-and-10 at their 29 with 4:30 left. That meant they were perfectly poised to have Tomlinson take over the game, leading the Chargers on a methodical, clock-killing drive that would end with a Nate Kaeding game-winning field goal.

Only it never happened. After L.T. picked up 5 yards on a first-down run, Cameron did something bizarre, something almost inexplicable. He had quarterback Philip Rivers throw to wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and the pass fell incomplete. Then, on third-and-5, Cameron did it again, this time dialing Eric Parker's number.


Now, someone will have to explain that one to me, too. In critical situations like that, where you absolutely, positively need to make a critical first down, you call on your playmakers. In the Chargers' case that would be either Tomlinson or tight end Antonio Gates. Yet neither factored in this call, and don't ask me why. Ask Cam Cameron.


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