Us at YellowstoneYou have reached the homepage of Rosemarie and Steve Smallcombe.  Rosemarie won her race for District 1, Mariposa County Board of Supervisors with 59% of the vote! was established to collect materials relevant to her campaign.

This website is called SMARTAVTWEAKS as Steve once had a home business selling SMART software and hardware to help people calibrate or “tweak” their video projectors, hence the name smartavtweaks.   Steve suspended sales of the SMART products in 2005 when Steve’s other commitments left insufficient time to properly support the SMART product. Steve has kept the smartavtweaks domain name active as many people come to the site everyday while researching how to understand and optimize their video projectors.   The original smartavtweaks homepage that deals with tweaking video projectors is here

Chances are pretty good that you have arrived at this website because you are interested in improving the performance, or collimating, your Newtonian telescope for astronomical observations.   Steve developed the Rear View Barlowed Laser technique based on the work of Nils Olof Carlin, and the page describing this technique has been the most visited page on the site for many years.  For this and other ideas about tweaking your telescope click here.

Rosemarie and Steve are now retired and living in Jerseydale, a small community in the mountains above Mariposa California, just a few miles from Yosemite National Park.  Over the last few years we have been owner-builders of a very energy efficient “green” house and the technologies involved in the house are described here.

Biomass/Biochar Our current project is to establish a biomass/biochar facility in Mariposa County.

Desalination I have also recently written a blurb about the energy associated with seawater desalination as the topic will often come up in conversation. Desalination of seawater seems like such an obvious and easy solution to California's drought problems. Seawater desalination has several environmental problems including the sea life kill at both the feed and discharge tubes. I think, however biggest problem with seawater desalination is that it required 10 times the energy compared to current freshwater sources in California, and the minimum theoretical energy required for seawater desalination is fundamental and determined by thermodynamics - it won't be solved by some magic membrane such as graphene or carbon nano-tubes.

Because of man's use of fossil fuel energy and the resultant climate change, our planet is like a car speeding towards a cliff. We can either decide to apply the brakes as hard as we can, by using less energy in every possible way, AND asking tough questions about how we use our current supply of precious water here in California. Or we can advocate for desalination as a solution to our water problems which would be like stomping on the gas pedal, exacerbating climate change, and go over the cliff shouting something from Thelma and Louise.

There certainly are communities where desalination is the only answer and so be it. But in any community it should be the method of last resort, and only used after all other methods of water conservation and water recycling/reuse have been implemented. The problem arrises if we start to think of it as a more general solution to our water problems without fully realizing the impact of extensive use of seawater desalination on climate change. Click here to read.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

We now have a new member of the family an 85 kWh Tesla Model S – a pure battery powered Electric Vehicle that has an EPA certified range of 265 miles.   The Model S is a dream to drive – handles and accelerates like a high-end sports car, rides like a plush luxury car, has room for 5 adults (and 2 kids with the optional 3rd row seating) the cargo capacity of a SUV, and is greener than a Prius.  And it looks kind of cool too.   We now have what is called the Tesla grin. Here is a report of our first road trip, 486 miles, Mariposa to Fresno to Pollock Pines and back in one day.

In October of 2014, we drove our Model S from Mariposa to Michigan and back, a trip of almost 6,000 miles, charging the car at Tesla Superchargers that allow Tesla owners to charge the car for free. We generally tried to charge during meals, or overnight, so charging our electric vehicle did not really add significant time to the trip. I hope to write more details about this trip in the future. As of January 2015, our Tesla Model S has provided more than 45,000 of low cost environmentally friendly, extremely comfortable and spirited driving. Yes we love our Tesla!

Dogs and Cats

Click here to see the Smallcombe PackRMS with 3 dogs

Local Organizations

As of January 2015, as Rosemarie assumes her responsibilities as a Mariposa County Supervisor, we are no longer serving as the as co-presidents of the local Mariposa Democratic Club. We will continue to serve on the Mariposa County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC).  Rosemarie is Vice-Chair of the MCDCC, Mariposa County’s representative to the California Democratic Party (CDP) Executive Board and Chair of the Education Committee of the CDP Rural Caucus. We also serve on the board of a local Environmental Group, Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government.

Rosemarie has also resigned from the Master Gardener organization to allow more time for her duties as Supervisor.

Steve gave a presentation on Climate Change at a Democratic Club meeting and local Audubon event that is available here, and is a Climate Reality Project certified presenter available for climate change presentations in the central and foothill/mountain regions of California.

Steve's email is

Rosemarie's email is

Thanks for visiting.