200px-Gumby_and_Pokey_-_Bendable_Figures.jpgMarin County resident Art Clokey passed away Jan. 8, 2010, at the age of 88.

Art was famous as the creator of the little green claymation icon named Gumby, and his horse Pokey. Gumbys is a classic TV series from 1960s that is still popular today.

The original TV episodes from the '50s and '60s have been digitally remastered by Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creator Art Clokey.

After the series ended Clokey fell on hard times. But in the 80's a "Saturday Night Live" skit brought Gumby back. Eddie Murphy was dressed in a Gumby costume but he was a crude and angry cigar smoking version of Gumby. This became a recurring character on the TV show.

So Gumby made a comeback and "Gumby the Movie" came out and did pretty well. Today Gumby is still popular around the world.  The successful 1980s New Adventures TV series was filmed in Marin County

During his later years Art was an active environmentalist. Green was definitely his favorite color. In lieu of flowers, Art's family wanted contributions made in Gumby's name to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Clokey was a member of the NRDC for many years.

Today, Gumby has over 140,000 Facebook fans and the fanbase steadily growing each year. Ever since I was a kid I always loved Gumby and I hope you and your kids will too!

David Schene, friend and animator said about Art, "The fact is that most people don't know his name, but everybody knows Gumby. To have your life work touch so many people around the world is an amazing thing."

Art himself once said in an interview that "Gumby represents all of humanity's best self, its Divine Self. I think that's what people love so much about him. In a strange way, Gumby is love."


Clokey's Premavision Studios,

Solar Energy is beautifulCCA allows MEA, which is a Marin County JPA, to compete with PG&E through MCE.

Everyone got that, right? No??

OK OK, once again - in English:


COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION (CCA) is a California law (AB 117) that gives cities and counties the authority to procure electricity on behalf of customers.


Marin County plus participating cities and towns formed a JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY (JPA). The JPA will offer CCA services to customers - starting this year!

PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC is a private Fortune 500 company that helped pass California deregulation legislation that benefitted companies like PG&E and Enron the most. They did so by paying politicians like Grey Davis and then Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Senator Steve Peace.

Then after milking Californians for billions and hiding the money with their parent Power line transmissioncompany, they declared bankruptcy. Did I mention that taxpayers bailed them out? PG&E excels at greenwashing.

Note: PG&E will still transmit electricity, still read meters and issue bills to everyone.

MARIN CLEAN ENERGY is a program administered by the MARIN ENERGY AUTHORITY (MEA). MCE allows electric consumers to choose non-polluting renewable energy, lower Marin's greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, foster development of local green power generation and clean technologies, and protect our homes and businesses from uncertain fuel prices.

Gold Rush territory, also known as Gold Country, is actually a region of California East of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gold Country lies spans several Counties that lie along Highway 49 (yes, they named it after the famous 49ers - those men who came to California in 1849 seeking gold).

So if I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which sits on the Pacific Ocean, then why am I greeting you from Gold Country? Because I found abandoned gold mines in my neighborhood!

Last summer I learned about these abandoned gold mines in my neighborhood while doing research on my neighborhood, which is called Santa Venetia. Santa Venetia is a nice little quiet neighborhood in North San Rafael which is the capital of Marin County, CA.

I posted these brief infos about the abandoned mines on our local watershed council website.

Then I went looking for the mines. Over several days I studied the available information and the local terrain. Every evening after work I would go hiking in the hills looking for the mines. It took me 3 days and just before sunset I found one!

That's right, I found a gold mine in my neighborhood! Was there any gold you ask? Lets just say these mines were abandoned for a good reason.

The mines are located in the foothills of San Pedro ridge on a trail that starts just behind the local 7-11 convenience store.

One mine is quite easy to spot and you can even venture into it when it is not waterlogged. The entrance is not very big, you have to slide down into the mine. Spooky!

On the following day I took a neighbor to see my discovery, and together we spotted the second mine.

Now does anybody want to bring some shovels and a pick and go check this out? C'mon, don't let Indiana Jones have all the fun!

P.S. Did you know there is a REAL ghost town nearby? I swear! But that's another story for another blog entry. Out here in the Wild West you never know what you will find...

European wineries have been doing it for decades, here in California the idea of recycling cork has only started to catch on in recent years.

That's right, cork can be recycled

The cork from wine bottles does not have to end up in a landfill. It can be recycled into many useful products.  And I'm not talking about this idea.

You can also collect cork and use it to create your own cork board or for other fun projects.

Here are some interestesting cork recycling initiatives:


ReCORK, the world's largest producer of wine bottle corks, is trying to get wine drinkers to recycle cork in a big way.

The ReCORK site has a list of places you can drop off your cork.

For more details check out the North Bay Biz article "A Cork of a Different Color"

Cork ReHarvestCork ReHarvest & Whole Foods Markets

Cork ReHarvest has finally convinced an large US grocery chain to recycle cork. Thank you to Whole Foods for allowing us to recycle our cork with your company-wide wine cork recycling program!

Ready? Set? Go!

Start collecting cork to recycle!