Monday, June 23, 2008

California Disasters Group

Our Mission Statement:

California is THE State of Disaster.
Few if any other places on Earth combine such a dynamic brew of hazardous factors ranging from geology to climate to vegetation to population density to human lifestyle choices. All of these factors add up to a perpetual cycle of disaster of all sorts.

Our purpose is for notification and discussion of disasters in California that occurred in the past, are occurring in the present, and will occur in the future. The types of disasters we cover run the gamut from natural to man-made to environmental to other significant events such as civil unrest.

We take a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted approach to this and wish to be a nexus between different sorts of online groups representing different areas of interest or expertise who might not otherwise interact with each other. For that reason we encourage cross-promotion of groups here provided they serve the purpose of this group.

We accomplish our group purpose through play-by-play accounts of incidents as they unfold or discussions of historical or ongoing disasters or future disaster hazards or posting of articles about such matters.

Be sure to check out our extensive LINKS section.

For chit-chat, off-topic discussions or extended topical discussions we ask that you join our discussion group for which there is a link at the bottom of this page.

Feel free to join us at

Kim Patrick Noyes
Group Owner

Sunday, June 22, 2008

K & K Earthwerks

K&K Earthwerks is the project of Kim Patrick Noyes of Atascadero, CA, in collaboration with Mike Lyons of Atascadero who operates as Jade Cove.
It was started in September, 2006, and first appeared at the 2006 Paso Robles Gem & Mineral Show.

Since then we have done the April Bakersfield Show once, the April Lancaster Show once, the May Bakersfield Show twice, the Nipomo Show once, the Paso Robles Show once more, the Monterey Show once, the Big Sur Jade Festival twice, the November Lancaster Show once, not to mention the Paso Robles Gun Show thrice and one community swap meet in Paso Robles once.
We are always eager to try new shows and look forward to being in the Placerville Show for the first time this coming October and hope to add the Salinas Valley Show at Spreckles and the Mariposa Show to our show repertoire.

Our 2008 show schedule past and future looks like this:

"Rock & Gem Rendevous" at Bakersfield, CA; April 4-6, 2008
Antelope Valley Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show at Lancaster, CA; April 26-27, 2008
"Art In Stone" Show at Bakersfield, CA; May 3-4, 2008
Paso Robles Gun Show; May 17-18, 2008
Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show; June 14-15, 2008
Nipomo "Rainbow of Gems" Show; August 1-3, 2008
Paso Robles "Rockhound Roundup" Show; September 20-21, 2008
Monterey Gem & Mineral Show; September 27-28, 2008
Big Sur Jade Festival; October 10-12, 2008
Placerville Rock & Gem Show; October 18-19, 2008
Antelope Valley "Rock 'N' Gem Roundup; November 8-9, 2008
Paso Robles Gun Show; December 13-14, 2008

*Note: this year we will be unable to attend the October Cayucos Show as it conflicts with our Placerville Show. This is due to the Cayucos Show being a week later than usual as it ALWAYS occurs on the weekend following the Jade Festival which is a week later than usual this year.

For those of you unfamiliar with us we sell primarily mineral specimens and lapidary material with an emphasis on quartz-family minerals such as cactus quartz from South Africa, doubly-terminated quartz from Brazil, polished ocean jasper from Madagascar, Brazilian agate and amythist, Arizona petrified wood, agatized coral from Tampa Bay Florida, Templeton Biconoids, Lake County "Diamonds", Central Coast petrified whale bone, Cambria and San Simeon "moonstones"(beach agates), but also various other minerals such as Illinois and Mexican fluorite, Mendocino County actinolite, Mendocino County jadeite, Monterey County nephrite, Lake County sheen obsidian, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff including some gemstones which include Afghan aquamarines and heliodores along with some Brazilian tourmaline and Mexican "Pink Fire" quartz and "Strawberry" quartz and a couple of small clusters of rose quartz crystals.

You can purchase all of this and more on K&K Earthwerks Ebay Store.

We hope to see you at one or more of our shows and/or to hear from you on eBay.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 2008 Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show

I had wanted to be in the June Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show hosted by the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club (SLOGMC) since I first got into this business in 2006.
This year I finally got my wish.
Dr. Bob and Helen Olson of Nature's Collectibles decided not to do this show anymore which created an opening for our K&K Earthwerks (yeah, I STILL don't have a website but that will change by the end of the year I hope).
Consequently, we got their old spot which in my judgment is the best location at the show so I was delighted, although disappointed that Dr. Bob would not be bringing his usual gaggle of Elmwood minerals not to mention cool mineral and gem inlaid boxes for me to drool over.

My business partner Mike Lyons and my girlfriend and myself all showed up in the first half of the day Friday, June 13th.
Mike beat us there and as an officer of SLOGMC (field trip coordinator) he helped the club get the show set up for the dealers.
We ambled in later than we had planned missing that part and got right into our set-up which went reasonably smoothly.

That afternoon I received a phone call from my mother who was over in Atascadero.
She reported that the Indians Fire was going nuclear and producing some incredible pyrocumulous clouds and advised us to see if we could see them from Cayucos.
We went outside and down to the main street running through Cayucos and looked up to the northwest and were flabbergasted at the scene we beheld: towering thunderstorm clouds coming up out of and looming over the header from the Indians Fire.
We were frustrated we had business to attend to and could not go up to Fort Hunter Liggett at that time to photograph them.

Late in the afternoon when we were well into our set-up we actually got some business from a vacationing Aussie couple who saw one of the show signs and knowing they would not be in the area Saturday and Sunday decided to check out the show before it officially opened.

By late afternoon we were finished with set-up and headed back home to Atascadero.

It was good to see some of our friends from amongst the other dealers setting up, to wit: Kirk Brock of Rock Solid Jade, Becky Richter of Rocks & Relics (David wasn't there this time), Richard and Cheryl Sittinger of Wonderworks, Gary and Janice Robertson of Gary's Jewelry & Lapidary Supplies, Bob Backus of Bob Backus Lapidary, and Rima Lieben and Les Reichek of Mendocino Reflections.

Club member Dan Manion, who produces the club newsletter stayed the night at the show venue (Vet's Hall in Cayucos, CA, by the pier) Friday night.

We got their Saturday morning and finished up our set-up and by show opening were pretty much ready.
There was some confusion as to if the show began at 9 AM or 10 AM as the show flier claimed the earlier time while some promotional efforts by Richard Sittinger showed the latter.

A consensus of the dealers was in favor of moving opening time both days to 10 AM but staying open until 6 PM on Saturday and closing 5 PM on Sunday.
I like that as a dealer myself and will promote that internally in the club for all our June shows, but don't know about the October as it is getting dark by then that time of year and let's be honest, Cayucos is not a night life type of place.

Saturday started ineradicably and remained thus throughout the day with more quietude than I've ever seen in the June Show and I've been there many times in past years as simply a buyer or last year when I did security for the show.
The confusion about when the show began contributed to the slow start and things did pick up around 10 AM but not nearly enough.

At the end of the show day the doors were closed and after the last customers had ambled out a pot luck barbecue was fired up which all the dealers and some club members partook in.
We had a grand old time.
Mike, myself, Kirk Brock, and Andy DeLong's wife shared a table and later Andy joined us, too.
I've never laughed harder as Kirk and Mrs. DeLong bantered back and forth and then it got better when Andy joined the fray.

We left Show Chair Diane Deem behind as she volunteered to spend the night at the venue.

We headed home for the day and after getting caught up on emails and watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica Season Three on DVD we crashed exhausted.

We were able to saunter in a bit later on Sunday morning as we were all done setting up.
The show doors opened at 9 AM and very early on it was clear today was going to be different than yesterday and in a good way.
It didn't hurt things that Mike Lyons bought from me a gorgeous Sikhote-Alin meteorite from my personal collection that he had been coveting ever since he saw it.
I needed the cash so it worked out for both of us.
Even without that things picked up from the previous day.
This was due in no small part to foot traffic picking up earlier than the previous day and the visitors we were getting were more enthusiastic buyers.
This lasted throughout the day which somewhat salvaged the show for us.
Things we busy enough that we didn't really break down our booth in earnest until about 5 PM.
Said breakdown went smoothly and quickly and we had time leftover to help other vendors break down and then clean up the venue for our club and get back home to Atascadero before dark.
I have no frame of reference as to how well the show was for me as I have no history in this particular show although I've been a dealer in the October Cayucos Gem and Mineral Show the previous two years.
I'm reasonably happy with our success the first time out here although it coulda, shoulda, woulda been better had the show been better promoted.

Obviously, I'm disappointed for everybody else that things didn't go better but I'm very excited about the future of the show and what we will accomplish in improving things for our upcoming October show and then next year's June show.
This was the first time in years that our club put on this show without any input or assistance from former club president but still current member Bob Hurless who along with his lovely wife Sandie live part of the year in Idaho now (guess which part of the year?).

Oh did it show!

We as a club failed to get done all the things that needed to be done to adequately promote the show combined with factors out of our control such as the current economic distress along with a rumored Cal Poly Graduation last Saturday (I know not if that is truth or myth).
We can't do a lick about the latter but we sure as heck can and will do much, much better on the former starting with our next club show this coming October.
That is a promise I make to all the dealers who will be in it as well as to those who won't be back until next June's show.
Most of our dealer's business was down by a third or more.
I already have a lot of ideas about this I picked up from various folks over the course of the show and will continue to collect more from other dealers and show organizers and club members.

By the way, we are now selling minerals on eBay and invite everybody to come check out our online selections here:

Our next show will be the Nipomo Rock & Mineral Show which will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on South Thompson Avenue in Nipomo, CA, August 1-3, 2008.
We are branching out into lapidary rough following a recent purchase an old collection of lapidary rough to go along with our minerals and gems and jewelry.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Box of Bones
I first met Bones on Carmel Valley Road in Monterey County. It was the Summer of 2001. Mom and I were driving south on the more barren part of the road descending down into the Arroyo Seco drainage. As we drove along an isolated stretch of the road crowded on both sides with thick, brown grasses we barely avoided running over two small, scrawny kittens who were loitering right on the edge of the pavement. We immediately commented to each other something along the lines of "did you see that?" and braked immediately and backed up a bit and got out to go try to get the two little pitiful creatures. We had little hope they wouldn't immediately bolt into the brush but we had nothing to lose and it seemed they had everything to lose.

The cutest thing then happened: as we got out of the car the somewhat larger kitten who was colored gray with a tinge of blue and was a bit healthier-looking but still in pitiful shape got up from a sitting position and started excitedly trotting towards us appearing surprised we had bothered stopping as others had clearly not done.
Immediately the other kitten, totally black, but in much worse shape and significantly smaller clingingly followed her. We were able to quickly scoop up both kittens without resistance and put them on the passenger-side front floor of mom's Ford Explorer. 

Our immediate intent was to take them home and care for them. Mom was driving and I was riding shotgun so it was up to me to look after the kittens. They both had grievously severe upper respiratory infections which caused them to have disgusting deposits of variously wet and scabby mucous deposits all over their faces but especially around their eyes and noses. They also were horribly dehydrated not to mention emaciated beyond relief from starvation and had lots of stickers stuck in their fur. It was heartbreaking to see how pitiful they were and to think they had been abandoned out there as there was no other explanation for their being there. At first, I had no desire to place water on the floor as it might slosh and make a mess. However, it was clear that both kittens, but particularly the black one was in serious trouble. Indeed, I was afraid it might die before we got home. Therefore, I placed a bit of water on the floor in some sort of receptacle and they drank of it with desperation and gratitude.

We got them home alive and as soon as possible got them to El Camino Veterinary Hospital in Atascadero, CA.
There they were cared for and rehabilitated and tested for FIV and FLV and found to be clean of those two diseases but they were suffering from serious upper respiratory infections and, unfortunately, had feline herpes for which there is no cure. For the remainder of their lives we could treat symptoms but not cure them entirely.
We found out the larger Russian Blue-looking one was a female although she really wasn't large but noticeably undersized from malnourishment and her smaller sibling was even more malnourished and was a male.

After they both came home some days thereafter they began to be accepted by our other cats although it was a process that took time. We named the female Carmel for Carmel Valley Road where we found them and we named him Bones as he was nothing but skin and bones when we found him and would remain skinny all his remaining life. We fell hopelessly in love them with them early on, probably on the way home with them from Carmel Valley Road. They were just so innocent in such a malevolent world, like feline Hansels and Gretels. They seemed to have no concept of danger or evil but were so trusting which bothered us even while it charmed us.
They were also so stoical as they never seemed to realize they were in bad shape or make any sort of feline equivalent of complaining about their situation.

The two of them were inseparable but so different. Carmel was larger and more aggressive (there is probably a connection there) and acted the part of the bossy, but protective older sister. Bones was always more sickly with near-constant upper respiratory infections and acted much more the part of the follower who clung to his sister. Consequently, she usually got her share of the cat food before he did and he got what she left behind although they always had enough to eat in our home. Carmel was the bravest little cat I've ever met who liked to aggressively confront things that frightened her, most notably, the vacuum cleaner for which she was mortified but she would frequently stalk it and attack it when I was operating it while cleaning the house.
Bones on the other hand was not merely brave, but utterly fearless. Absolutely nothing fazed him, not other cats, not dogs, not automobiles, and certainly not Carmel's bete noir, the dreaded vacuum cleaner which he would act entirely unimpressed with as it operated right next to him until I had to physically move him out of its way to continue with what I was doing.

Carmel napping:
Both cats were irrepressible and relentless in anything they did. Carmel was a bit more outgoing and cheery with the sweetest disposition of any cat I've ever met. Bones was a bit more subdued and restrained as he often didn't feel so great, but was not less sweet-spirited. He had a bit of an edge to him in a Addams Family/Munsters sort of way. He was black and looked emaciated even when healthy due to his underdevelopment and often had upper respiratory problems which made him look somewhat like something resurrected from Steven King's Pet Cemetery and sound like a feline version of Darth Vader due to his heavy breathing although that breathing was nearly always interspersed with sneezing as well.

Bones in the kitchen:
Bones in a bowl.
He also had seemingly over-sized, bulbous, luminous yellow eyes which seemed to protrude from his head more than most cats which looked funny to me. He didn't like to fight and was in little position to successfully do that but he was oft wont to creep another cat out who was eating the wet cat food he so loved by sitting down next to it as it ate and just loom over it and stare at it with his scary eyes, unblinking and unafraid which made most cats quite uncomfortable and decide to leave. Carmel on the other hand was a bit larger but nonetheless undersized and she had a beautiful short, gray hair with a tinge of bluishness and was not nearly so sickly as Bones.

Bones had this cute little thing he used to do where he'd curl up in one of the sinks in the our big bathroom and sleep. Bones also liked to have me tug on his tail and pull up his rear end a couple of inches off the ground and turn him around with his front paws as the axis of motion which seemed to get him more jazzed and playful than anything else I could do.The stories about Bones go on and on and are more than I can reasonably cover here with some already faded from memory but many still with me. 

Carmel was hit by a car in 2003 right in front of the house while we were over at my place watching a Lakers game. She lingered for over a month needing to be rehydrated and fed as she refused to swallow anything for some inexplicable reason and so was finally put down the month following her injury which also took one of her eyes. Bones soldiered on without his sister and continued to work his way into our hearts to the point of becoming our child. Bones would always sleep atop mom at night, heavy breathing and stinky breath and sometimes bubbly mucous sniffles notwithstanding.

Throughout Bones' life he had ongoing upper respiratory problems which would need periodic treatments of antibiotic to knock it back down. Later in life we became aware that he had a problem with the autoimmune disease stomatitus which caused inflammations of his gums and throat. Last month his stomatitus got out of control again and consequently his upper respiratory infection took advantage of his weakened immune system and he got very sick. We decided to have the vet remove his teeth as a last resort, something that had worked wonders for another cat we own. The vet advised that Bones was not well enough to have the procedure done until he was stabilized.

Therefore, on May 29, 2008, before leaving town we left Bones in the care of El Camino Veterinary Hospital so that when he got well enough while we were out of town the procedure would be accomplished. The next day we all went out on a rockhounding excursion into Lake and Napa Counties to the area around the Homestake Gold Mine. On the way back to her motel room later in the day, mom called the vet's office and asked about Bones.
Cryptically, the gal in the front office ominously told her to hold while the vet was summoned. When Dr. Miller picked up the phone she explained to mom that quite unexpectedly Bones had tragically died. Mom was stunned and stung as was I when I heard the news. Our little cute, fuzzy, black, sickly, skinny, irrepressible Bones was gone forever. We buried Bones next to his sister in mom's front yard. We planted a red plum tree over them whose leaves the deer keep eating.

Life goes on now but the home doesn't feel the same.
Bones left a vacuum that may never be filled.
Several other cats belonging to us have died in recent years, about eight in all.
That leaves only Willy and Buster and Smokey and Tommy now with Puffy and Rudy having drifted away.

Mom put it this way and I have to agree, "Bones was a little cat who was very big."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Indians Fire Images

The other day Jeff Minetti forwarded me some photos taken by Donald Nead while both fought the Indians Fire last week.
Both men are firefighters at Fort Hunter Liggett where this fire is now partly burning.
For updates on this fire check Inciweb and California Disasters Group.

All photos by Donald Nead (all rights reserved)