Friday I took a couple hours off and visited a local landmark in nearby San Francisco: an old fireplug at 20th and Church streets with a plaque next to it. After the 1906 earthquake and fires, when shattered water mains had left the city's firefighters helpless for three days, this hydrant was found to yield water. With its flow and thousands of refugees in Dolores Park helping the exhausted city crews and horses, the fire was stopped at 20th Street. Every year on the quake's anniversary, that hydrant is freshly painted gold. It's a great story, but next time we'll need many more hydrants working.