Sunday, September 29, 2013

Taking Care

I've been incredibly busy lately and will get you the reader caught up on my affairs soon. Nowever, not today or tonight nor tomorrow in all likelihood. I have been getting increasingly drawn to "post-rock" music as I have previously recently shared here. Below is another one of my favorite artists (Explosions In The Sky) and most definitely my favorite album of the genre (Take Care Take Care Take Care) let alone this particular band. Crank up the speakers and enjoy!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Breaking Huell

For those of you watching "Breaking Bad" this hilarious clip requires no explanation, but if you want one better than mine go HERE. For those of you not following the series as it nears its end just listen to the music and enjoy this 50's vintage lounge music. The character "Huell" seen here has been left at a supposed "safe house" by DEA agents after ratting out his employer whose most dangerous client's thugs have since murdered and buried said DEA agents in the desert. Huell does not know this as only those two men who were in on his interrogation (acting unofficially and without the knowledge of their agency) and being kept in this location. The show does not show him cooling his jets but some clever person has looped some scenes of him from the show and put it to music to great humorous effect.

Davis Wall Cloud

This image was taken from Davis, CA, day before yesterday by an employee at Bresnyan Carriers (all rights reserved). It shows a surprisingly well-developed wall cloud looming over the flatlands of the Yolo County just north of California's Delta region. More amazing is that this wall cloud formed in September on the last day of Summer.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

On Wings Of Eagles

I realize it is the flavor of the month at present to post on online boards and forums and such this amazing bit of GoPro camera footage shot from upon the back of an eagle in flight over the Chamonix Valley in France. However, it is just too cool not to share especially given how many people visiting this website might not have seen it elsewhere for a variety of reasons so here it is.

Friday, September 20, 2013


It was love at first hearing from me in regards to Faithless' music back in 2001 when I first heard their hits "Insomnia", "Tarantula" and "We Come 1" and later, "God Is A DJ" and "Take The Long Way Home". I plan on giving them the full treatment here sometime in the future and sharing these songs. However, for now I just want to share "Liontamer" from their 2001 album "Outrospective". It features both an amazing sound as well as some elements of its lyrics are actually rather quite profound which lyrics can be found below the music player below here.

If you place a thing into the center of your life
That lacks the power to nourish
It will eventually poison everything that you are
And destroy you

A simple a thing as an idea
Or your perspective on yourself or the world
No one can be the source of your content,
It lies within, in the center.
Only with mellow while your thin enough to slide through
Only with mellow while your thin enough to slide through

Don't let nothing ride you.

If the sun or the moon should give away to doubt,
They would immediately go out .


Swallow don't make a sound,
But tomorrow has to start somewhere.

Newspapers entertain,
Lion Tamers die in pain
This Child wise beyond words
Whose tears flow without cease

Newspapers entertain,
Lion Tamers die in pain
This child wise beyond words
Whose tears flow without cease

When there's no where, left to run to
Let me come to you, let me help you down
For when the world, gives you tomorrow
Your gonna learn to live again

We can learn to go,
Oh learn as we go

Just to live, for the day
I know it's hard, to live for the moment
Just try, anyway

Newspapers, Lion Tamers, This Child,
Lion Tamers, Lion Tamers


Monday, September 16, 2013

Burning Man Burning In My Heart

I sooo want to attend Burning Man next year after I've graduated from Cuesta College but before my university studies begin wherever that is be it Cal Poly or elsewhere or I take a year hiatus from school to reassess my options. Due to my ongoing poverty as a "starving student" and my school schedule which conflicts with it I have been unable to attend heretofore despite my recently growing interest in attending it .
I realize some folks will wonder why a Christian man such as myself would want to experience such a hedonistic and pagan event. My response is "why wouldn't a Christian wish to participate in such an event?" That is where I belong!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lightning + Aurora

This image was captured last July near Pendleton, OR. and shows something I've never seen before: the gathering gloam of a high summer evening combined with an electrical storm putting an a lightning bolt combined with the greenish curtin of the aurora borealis. The human lights and the grain field simply add a little more color to an already amzingly colorful image.  Photo courtesy of Tomas Earl Wade of the NWS office in Pendleton, OR (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My 9/11 12th Anniversary Remembrance

This is most definitely a somber day of remembrance of 9/11 on its 12 anniversary. Unfortunately, many of our people have forgotten this event. Not intellectually forgotten mind you, but rather emotionally and philosophically the event has faded. To some degree this fading is inevitable and part of the collective and individual healing process. However, there is a point at which such fading and forgetfulness transcends healthy healing but is folly.

Too many of the remembrances I have seen over the years are rather trite and maudlin to my judgement. This morning I found and watched/listened to two very poignant and powerful two-part programs hosted on Youtube. The first one is a heart-wrenching and soul-crushing documentary about the telephone conversations that took place with those trapped in the Twin Towers above the impact floors. The second one is of raw fire department radio traffic that is quite compelling and devoid of the editing to which so much of what we have heard has been subjected. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Morgan Fire Vortex

When I first saw this image of the Morgan Fire burning dramatically atop Mount Diablo from day before yesterday I knew immediately what it was. However, I did not expect to see such a thing coming from this particular incident. It seemed slightly oddly coincidental that it should occur not 200 miles away from me not a month following my Fire Tornados ≠ Fire Whirls! column just over two weeks ago. This vortex clearly involves not only the fire at the surface but also the smoke headed up the rotating convection column. However, it is worth noting this is not the sort of fire & smoke vortex generated by a pyrocumulonimbus cloud such as is discussed in that previous posting here. Photo by Matt Granz (all rights reserved).

Dramatic Clover Fire Footage

I would not recommend any of you placing yourselves this close to a fire wearing only shorts and tennies, but this guy (Darren Smith) got by with it this time. Pants and heavier more protective clothing would have been better if Nomex was not an option. Anywho, enjoy this exciting video from yesterday's Diablo Wind-driven firestorm in Shasta County. For updates on the Clover Incident click on the live link.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Important Morgan Incident / Mount Diablo Fire Links

Below are some important or otherwise useful links from which to monitor the Morgan Fire raging atop Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County.

First of all the very best and most details are to be found on California Disasters on Yahoo Groups and secondarily on that group's Facebook and Reddit and Linkin versions to a lesser degree.

California Disasters:

Mount Diablo Fire As Weather Event

Here is yet another amazing and dramatic image shot last night by a professional photographer of the ongoing Morgan Incident raging atop and across Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County.  It is the best image I have seen yet of this fire interacting with the atmosphere and functioning as a weather phenomenon. In particular this image shows the smoke cloud-structure above the main convection column showing some interesting structural details. This image was captured by Jose Carlos Fajardo from Highway 24 in Laffayette, CA. All rights reserved.

Mount Diablo Aflame At Night

Here is another stunning view (this time from Brentwood) of the terrible beauty of nocturnal conflagration that was Mount Diablo last night as captured by Bay Area photographer Brittney Lauren of Brittney Lauren Photography.

Mount Diablo As Mount Doom?

This is a pretty remarkable image of the Morgan Incident ranging tonight on Mount Diablo as seen from Twin Peaks in San Francisco and shot by Karl Frankowski (all rights reserved).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Quote of the Day - Thomas Jefferson

"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable" ~ Thomas Jefferson

The Very Best Tohoku Tsunami Video

In my humble opinion this is the very best 2011 Tohoku Tsunami video clip I have seen and for a variety of reasons. These reasons include the fact that we see in it a lot of devastation; about as much as any other of the best video clips I've seen. It also shows the tsunami from the beginning starting with the water being receded initially up the inland river in the middle of the city and then the initial wave and the escalation thereafter. This video clip also shows an urban conflagration in the hours following the tsunami as the sun sets on a horrible day in Japan and that evening gloaming adding a hellish visual component to the overall scene and experience. Unfortunately, the video does not provide any indication of what city we watch here being first battered and drowned and then burned with fire. Note: I only recently found this video despite periodically checking for raw video of this disaster that I have no seen before. This leads me to believe there is as of yet more footage shot of this event that remains to be released some of which will continue to turn up over time as this did.

Note: view my Top Ten Most Dramatic Tohoku Tsunami Videos

Vesuvius AD 79 Surge Redux

This is remarkable but features only the last segment of the entire video featuring a sequential montage of scenes such as would have been seen from Pompeii as it was being destroyed by Mount Vesuvius from August 24 through August 25, 79 AD. HERE is the entire video which is well worth watching. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the embed code so I can't simply use it on this blog.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Tao of Varúð

Here is a second aural visual gem by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, "Varúð" from their 2012 album Valtari. As those of you following this blog know I have recently discovered and fallen in love with the music sub-genre known as "post-rock" and in particular have been listening of late to both Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky. "Varúð" means "caution" in Icelandic. Aside from the aesthetics of this haunting and brooding song and video is the interesting and coincidental relevance of the title with the wardrums beating in Washington, DC, as well as our living in a perilous time with a growing sense of impending doom.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Erin's Song

The Erin mentioned in my previous post on this blog starting in 2005 almost immediately became my best female friend that year or ever and remains so to this day. I regret that I don't see her enough given how life has taken us out of as close an orbit to each other as was the case in the mid-2000's. Anywho, I won't violate her privacy by getting into any specifics about her life other than to say that the following Depeche Mode track "Precious" from their 2005 album "Playing The Angel" is to my heart and mind Erin's theme song. I cannot hear it or think of it without thinking of her personality and her life story given the lyrics which I have included below the music player immediately below here. The song was a huge hit at the time it came out in late 2005 into 2006. She even went to see Depeche Mode in concert in Los Angeles when they were touring during this song's peak of popularity. "Precious" was penned by Depeche Mode singer-songwriter and founding member Martin Gore and refers to his children's experience as he and their mother, lingerie designer and model Suzanne Boisvert-Gore, divorced. However, the song is open to personal interpretation as the band prefers for all their songs and I interpret it as bittersweetly being about Erin's journey.

Precious and fragile things
Need special handling
My God what have we done to you
We always tried to share
The tenderest of care
Now look what we have put you through

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

Angels with silver wings
Shouldn't know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

I pray you learn to trust
Have faith in both of us
And keep room in your hearts for two

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

Lyrics courtesy of

Getting "Mental" at Cuesta College

This video features my dear friend Erin opening up briefly about some of her struggles. I remember these all too well from knowing her during some of her roughest years when I for some stretches feared she would be found dead someday. I can also personally relate to some of her struggles having trode that road myself albeit in a different lane in a different vehicle in a different gear.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quote of the Day - James Joyce

"Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America" ~ James Joyce on this date in 1912.

I Smell A Fish

In regards to my nation's pending "little war" by way of involving ourselves in the Syrian Civil War of the 2010's I speak as someone too old to be at risk of being conscripted if things go poorly and likewise as a man sans any progeny I have nothing to loose in that regards either. Therefore my vehement opposition to it is not in any way motivated by any self-interest.

I oppose our involvement in that war because we don't have a dog in that fight and there are no good guys there. I oppose our involvement in that war because as I see it why not let the Shiites and Sunnis as best represented by Iran and Saudi Arabia, respectively, play their little proxy war there using monies derived from selling oil to the rest of the world? Why pay we essentially pay the Syrians twice? They're already getting monies from us derived from the sale of oil. I oppose our involvement in that war because we are still recovering from (and paying for) the Iraq War and Iraq Reconstruction as well as our invasion of Afghanistan and continued occupation thereof. Why add another expensive little war to our debt? Syria is not worth ONE single American life! I oppose our involvement in that war because we would be entering on the side also supported by Al Qaeda with whom we have been at war for the past twenty years and thus we would aid that greater enemy in order to oppose a lesser enemy/non-enemy. I oppose our involvement in that war because it would needlessly upset the Russians (for whom Syria is a client state) and although we need to be firm with them we also need to wisely pick our battles with them.

It seems to me President Obama is dragging his nation kicking and screaming into a war it wants no part of and I think I know why he's doing it.  The President is thinking about his legacy now that he is in his second term and on some level realizes that a clear-cut military victory somewhere in the world would strengthen his list of presidential achievements following all his failures of leadership over the course of a mediocre Presidency. The President is just as beholden to the military-industrial complex as his Bush and Clinton predecessors were and his masters need more war now that our involvement in Iraq is essentially over and we are on track to leave Afghanistan in similar manner in the not-too-distant future. The President and his advisers at least mildly and perhaps a bit subconsciously are stuck in a Cold War mentality which views a Russian client state as being a de facto enemy and thus anybody opposed to them must necessarily have common cause with us therefore we must assist them. The President is a dyed-in-the-wool "knee-jerk" Liberal and as such is a sentimentalist who possesses a big, clumsy bleeding heart with a weakness for underdogs "freedom fighters" such as is endemic in Liberal circles. This manifests itself as a irresistible urge to dabble in "humanitarian" interventions even in oil-rich nations like Syria which would be unpardonable to Liberals were a Republican President doing the very same thing. Lastly, the President has talked himself into a corner on this matter in trying to look tough over the course of the past year or two when talking down to the Syrian government about how to conduct their suppression of the revolt. Now he fears looking weak if he does not attack the Syrians in response to their latest alleged transgression, to wit, the use of WMD's on civilians in recent days. Some aspects of this alleged attack elicit skepticism as the whole thing makes no sense, sounds and looks suspiciously contrived and thus smells rotten. Sir Winston Churchill once famously said: "The first casualty in war is truth".

Below is the famous/infamous "The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" by Country Joe MacDonald & The Fish and to my amazement this hawk (me) actually agrees with the general sentiment of the song as applied in general concept to involving ourselves in the ongoing Syrian Civil War .

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dionysus Was A Wine Snob

I'm currently reading the book "Divine Vintage" by Randall Heskett and Joel Butler which is a fascinating history of not only wine but necessarily on a related note the history of human civilization as well.
On page 20 I found the following wonderful quote:
 "Wine was available only to royalty and the wealthy. According to a later Greek story, Dionysus, whose origins were associated with a more ancient eastern deity, fled from Mesopotamia because people there drank only beer. This was a Greek way of explaining the barbarian nature of Babylonian society; they drank beer and not wine."
 This strongly suggests that our modern tendency to associate wine consumption with higher social/cultural status and in comparison beer consumption with lower social/cultural status has an antecedent in ancient history. Apparently, going way back to ancient human civilizations the winos looked down their noses at the beer-guzzlers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Post-Rock Neo-Viking Heart-tugging Chill-Inducement

I have only this week really discovered the music genre known as "post-rock" and to my surprise I have fallen hopelessly in love with it. I still love electronica, electronic dance music (ADM), and in particular progressive trance, but now there is a new love in the equation. My first foray into post-rock was finding some tracks by Explosions in the Sky and on a playlist featuring them I came across the gem below by Sigur Ros entitled "Giosli". I will not abuse you with my own analysis of this masterpiece. Suffice it to say it is brimming with wonderful imagery and metaphor and other types of aural and visual figurative language on multiple levels. On the whole this music/video paring makes my eyes moisten, my throat get a lump and my heart yearn for the feelings of youth that are lost to us upon becoming jaded adults in the modern era. There is something quite profound in God telling us to be child-like in many respects all the while maintaining maturity in the other areas where that is needful. I also wonder if as I age my musical tastes are gradually shifting and that innate thirst for and manifestation of my inner self most truly conveyed in atmospheric and moody music is taking me towards post-rock from the more rock-based pulses and rhythms of pop (good pop that is) and rock, ADM, and adult contemporary, amongst other sub-genres I love.

Rim Fire Time Lapse #2