Monday, May 2, 2016

Scripture of the Day - Schadenfreude In Scripture

The Germans have a wonderful word for what otherwise in English and many other languages would be a phrase or clause to describe taking pleasure in someone or something getting its comeuppance. This word is schadenfreude (deriving pleasure from others' misfortunes) . I would argue that the English word "gloat" is not precisely the same thing. God has something to say about this in the Book of Proverbs.
"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and don't take pleasure when he stumbles because God will take note of it and become angered at you and remove his hand from your enemy (with the implication of placing upon you instead)." ~ Proverbs 24:17-18 (Kimicus ad Absurdum translation)

Quote of the Day - Socrates

At first glance this seems like a contemporary critique of Millennials or even younger people today, but actually it was penned by Socrates in lamenting the youth of his day.
"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." ~ Socrates

Picture of the Day - Reed Family Mass Grave

Today I partook in my first fire chase of this year's fire season. I heard CAL FIRE SLU North County ground and air resources dispatched to CAL FIRE BEU's adjacent South County in Indian Valley outside of San Miguel/Bradley near the intersection of Indian Valley Road and Hare Canyon Road. The fire burned about 3 acres and I only traveled as far north as San Miguel as I noted no header. To make the short jaunt north worth my while, I stopped at Mission San Miguel Arcángel and shot this image of the Reed Family mass grave. The Reed-Vallejo Clan who occupied the mission property were slaughtered by six men (5 whites recently arrived from the Gold Country and a local Indian) in an armed robbery resulting in 11 deaths. I had previously not understood the significance of this cross until an employee of the mission over at the mission event center told me about it the last time I worked there. I had previously looked for this grave marker expecting to see a name on it. For some reason this family is buried in an unmarked grave. Were they not good Catholics? The property was secularized and privately owned at the time of the Mission San Miguel Massacre/Reed Family Murders in 1848. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, April 30, 2016

High Energy Life Of Elephant Seals

After the Phi Alpha Theta Cal Poly contingent left Hearst Castle this afternoon it stopped by the elephant seal rookery near Point Piedras Blancas to see the latest social dramas unfolding on the beach there. What follows are the high points. To view images of our group's Hearst Castle tour go HERE.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

A Great Place To Spend The Depression

Today I joined some of my fellow members of Cal Poly's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta for a tour of Hearst Castle. About a dozen of us availed ourselves of this opportunity to take a break from our studies and take the regular tour four just $4. We took the 11 a.m. tour and spent about three hours up on the hill both for the tour and milling around the grounds afterwards exploring the part of the estate open to the public apart from the tour. I visited this place only once previously and that was with my mother and my late father's parents back in September, 1995. At that time we took the tour only and did not do any exploring the grounds apart from the tour. I did take some photos back then but I was less of a photographer then and had an inferior camera. I thank chapter president Jennifer Freilach for making all the arrangements for this delightful excursion. After we finished our Hearst Castle visit we headed down the hill and visited the elephant seals at the nearby rookery near Point Piedras Blancas, photos of which can be viewed HERE. Following that, we had lunch together in Cambria and then headed our separate ways. Note: the title of this blog post is a quote from the late actor Cary Grant who described Hearst Castle thus and he should know given he visited the place 34 times.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary monument at Hearst Castle Visitor's Center.
The tour begins.... that's Floppy Hat Dean from our group in foreground.
Edge of the Neptune Pool structure.
Front of Casa del Sol which is where the SLA bomb detonated back on February 13, 1976.
Point Piedras Blancas and the California Coast and the Pacific Ocean as seen from Hearst Castle on this hazy day.
Looks to be a serpentine tile on the pavement... there were many other such tiles in the vicinity.
The Neptune Pool sans water due to San Simeon Quake crack damage. This pool was leaking 5-6000 gallons of water per day until the drought made that no longer acceptable and the pool was drained both to save water.
The Neptune Pool is also drained for repairs and rehabilitation. Two years ago Lady Gaga finagled the refilling of this pool to accommodate her music video.
North-side view of guesthouse Case del Sol.
William Randoph Hearst instructed project architect Julia Morgan to create a "profusion and confusion" in regards to the landscaping. As is evident here, she did just that and quite well.
A quintessentially California scene.
I like that sarcophagus most of all things in this image.
The cat idols of Sekhmet, Egyptian Goddess of Healing (and warrior goddess).
This statue is over 3000 years old and is composed of diorite with veins of pink feldspar profused throughout.
The top-most statue is over 3000 years old as is the bust partially visible at right. The one below it  and the bust at left are undated. All four feature Sekhmet.
Casa Grande
Casa Grande
Casa Grande
White marble mermaid
The gold on this grill is 22 ct. gold as is most of the gold on the estate.
The Assembly Room where Hearst where guests mingled and the evening began with cocktails.
The Assembly Room has only the second largest fireplace in the building.
This "casket" was for presenting gifts to nobility in France. The glass panes are actually rock crystal quartz.
Ceiling of the Assembly Room.
The Refectory which name was used for the dining hall of a monastery.
Upper portion of the Refectory.
Disturbing statue on left side of the fireplace in the Refectory.
Right-side Refectory fireplace statue. Fireplace at left is the largest in the estate.
Morning Room ceiling... note scaffolding at right as it is being restored.
Billiard Room.
Billiard Room fireplace view.
Phi Alpha Theta photo-off!
Casa del Mar guesthouse.
View from Casa del Mar porch looking down.
Casa Grande
Renaissance wellhead
Unfinished end of South Wing of Casa Grande.
Backside of Casa Grande.
Backside of Casa Grande looking into Morning Room.
Lightning-sculpted palm tree.
Early modern brass cannons.
Early modern mortar.
Another early modern brass mortar and brass cannon.
That other early modern brass cannon. Note the exquisite artistic detail.
Indoor Roman Pool.
Detail of beautiful tile mosaic on floor adjacent to Roman Pool.
The Grotto on the Playboy Mansion has nothing on the grotto here.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes and permitted by California State Parks (all rights reserved).