Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Day Of The End Of The World

My entire life I have been haunted by this theme to the depths of my soul. Here is one fictional visual account of such a day. It shows this event from the perspective of the Battlestar Galactica television series from the 2000's. We see this calamitous coda to civilization known in the series as "the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies" from three perspectives: the planet Caprica, Colonial Fleet Headquarters at Pycon, and the Battlestar Galactica itself, the last remaining survivor of about 120 capital ships of the Colonial Fleet the rest of which are destroyed in this Pearl Harbor-esque assault. Below is a musical tribute ("Journey to the Line" by Hans Zimmer) to this fictional calamity derived from both the television series' movie pilot and and its two spin-off movies "Razor" and "The Plan".
Check out the follow up posting to this which shows the series conclusion: "It's All Happened Before But Will It Again?

Friday, November 29, 2013

There They Go Again

For as long as there has been Star Trek there has been ceaseless speculation even to the point of dogmatic assertion by a believing minority that the main characters of James Tiberius Kirk and Spock are more than mere fellow Starfleet officers, friends, and brothers-in-arms but rather much more to the tune of being brothers in each other's arms. Of course, this mostly comes from the gay community, but no matter, it is their reality if only in their own collective minds. In any case, as such topics often are to heterosexual males, this very idea is prone to be viewed in a most humorous light. This video below (which has been around a few years) is my favorite of all such fan-based innuendos having the best song ("Here We Go Again" by Neon Trees) and the best editing of all such. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two Fireballs

Tonight on the way home to Paso Robles from spending Thanksgiving Day with my grandmother and mother in Fremont as I drove south on Highway 101 in southern Monterey County I witnessed two fireballs ahead of me to the south.

The first one I saw from somewhere in the King City area and of the two got the clearest view of as I watched it translate from left to right across my entire field of view arcing downwards, ever-slower and fainter and visibly tumbling. It appeared to have landed in the Santa Lucia Mountains or the ocean off the coast. It was clearing slowing down meaning it did not bounce back out of the atmosphere. It was not getting smaller or breaking up and it was getting fainter in glow meaning it was not burning up or breaking up but rather it was cooling down as attained mere terminal velocity and the atmosphere stopped burning it but rather began to cool it near the end of its descent. It was so close I could see it was somewhat elongated and tumbling. This object most assuredly plummeted to the ground as a significantly-sized object. The only question is if it made it westward into the ocean just off the coast or if it is sitting in the ground under some chaparral somewhere in the coast range.

The second one I saw only the end of as it exploded in a brilliant white flash of energy to my south as I drove a section of the highway within Camp Roberts placing this explosion to my south. I never saw tail or the heading of the object although my mother who was with me did. I missed it because I was momentarily glancing in a different direction.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mas o Menos

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who this morning purchased a Dell laptop computer on pre-Black Friday special for under $400 at Wal-Mart. Her sister who rides a broom loaded up on her when this purchase came up in conversation later in the morning. Mean sister said all sorts of crazy-assed foolishness. This included the comment that my friend got was she paid for suggesting that since she did not pay much she did not get much.

I thought about this beyond just the bitch cattiness. It is illogical irrationality to make the blanket statement about things that are being sold less expensively even on special at Wally World somehow automatically are of inherently inferior quality. This is often true in the world, especially at Wally World, but not all the time for all items, especially when one takes into account specials which can feature quality items at less-than-typical price points as a means of garnering traffic into a particular store or chain. Retailers can afford to do this because they already dictate to the suppliers what Wal-Mart's costs will be. Also, Wal-Mart purchases in such huge quantities that they can still make a large profit on a small mark-up as a result of selling at scale.

It is also true that just because one is paying more for something that one is automatically getting more value for their buck simply by virtue of their paying more for the good or service. Experientially, anecdotally, and intuitively we know this to be as inaccurate an assessment as the opposite assertion. Something can be priced well-beyond its inherent value due to its value being unwittingly overestimated as a result of misjudging the marketplace or simply the seller intentionally overpricing said good or service in a disingenuous attempt to extract more  than he or she knows it is worth.

In summary, we all ought to recognize that while some patterns usually hold true and are useful to recognize such as "you get what you pay for" that it is not always an accurate saying.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Moonstone Sunset

Earlier this evening I experienced the high honor of being at Moonstone Beach in Cambria to witness gorgeous sunset. It was one of the prettier ones that I have seen this year. There were a couple of other even more breathtakingly beautiful sunsets recently which I missed but fortunately not tonight's event.

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

My Top 10 Racist White Mascots

Lately there is a resurgence in the periodic political-correctness regarding school and/or team mascots due to some special interest group somewhere trying to make a self-righteous issue of a total non-issue in order to vainly validate themselves in their own imaginations. This has inspired me to honor the spirit of the Fighting Whities of the University of Northern Colorado and do another Top Ten List. This one is of (imaginary) team mascot names derived from non-white slurs and stereotypes of whites. For additional fun I added some regional chauvinism to my list by using mostly Southern or Southern-sounding location names. 
  1. The Georgia Crackers
  2.  The Pensacola Peckerwoods
  3. The Winston-Salem White Devils
  4. The Midland Mulletheads 
  5. The Birmingham Blue-eyed Devils
  6. The Huntsville Honkies
  7. The California Bleachboys
  8. The Oildale Okies
  9. The Gainesville Goobers
  10. The Wisconsin Cheeseheads

All-Time Greatest Rock Performance

To me this performance "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin at the 1979 Knebworth Concert in London is the greatest rock performance of all time by anybody anytime, PERIOD! It combines the quality of the song itself with quality of the performance of the song and the charisma of the band individually and collectively driven by the late John Bonham's drums. The song itself is rather weighty and deep and gets into existentialist metaphors derived from a journey down a desolate road that never seems to end. Interestingly, I hold this opinion of this song despite not being a big Led Zeppelin fan. However, this entire performance blows me away. Go full-screen on this and crank up your speakers and enjoy!
*Updated 6/23/16. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Say Something Is Sad

Earlier this week I heard the Christina Aguilera song "Say Something" from her new album A Great Big World for the first time and was stunned by its richly sumptuous sadness to the point of purity and melancholy beauty. It was playing on the radio on my way home from a long day's work. I tried to remember parts of its lyrics so I could Google them when I got home and discover the name of the song, but alas proceeded to forget all about it until I found mentioned in this article. This in my view is one of the sadder songs I have ever heard and the video makes it even sadder than just listening to it.

Wistfulness of Waves

The title of this melancholy yet beautiful track is "Wehmut" which in German means "wistfulness". The accompanying visually-sumptuous video for this Schiller track from the 2008 album Sehnchsucht. is both breathtaking and mesmerizing. Play this on full screen with your speakers cranked up!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Picture of the Day - Cumulus Sunset

I took this image earlier this evening at the bible study on Atascadero's West Side to which I was in attendance. A storm front had just past through and unsettled scattered thunderstorm activity in the form of cold air cumulus (and in some cases cumulonimbus) was prevalent throughout the area and further to the east with a raging thunderstorm in the area of the Grapevine a short time before I captured this image over a 120 miles to the northwest. In fact, around the time I shot this image my mother living elsewhere in Atascadero heard distant thunder from cells further to the east.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

My Top 10 Bucket List Lights

For some reason it occurred to me in recent days that there is a notably long list of lights I would like to see with mine own eyes before I leave this world and meet my Maker experience the brilliance of God's presence. Below is my bucket list of lights.
  1. The ominous blue glow of Cherenkov Radiation
  2. The piezoelectrostatic discharge of the Earthquake Light.  
  3. The spectacular explosion of Volcanic Lightning.
  4. The globular luminosity of Ball Lightning.
  5. The heavenly green glow of the Aurora Borealis
  6. The ephemeral flash of the Green Flash.
  7. The shocking brilliance of the Red Sprite.
  8. The shooting forth of the Blue Jet.
  9. The mysterious red disk of the ELVES.
  10.  The violet glow of St. Elmo's Fire.

Schiller's Shill

As any of you who follow this blog know by now I love music generally as it is an expression of the divine and a means in which humanity emotes and expresses and receives communication. However, I clearly am drawn to electronica in particular and trance music most especially although post-rock has piqued my interest of late. Schiller, one of my favorite music acts, like Faithless, is a hard band to define more specifically than "electronic" as they often jump genres sub-genres and also hybridize same. Below is an amazing concert they put on earlier this year featuring their new album Sonne. It sounds awesome and looks stunning. I would love to catch one of their concerts if they ever do one here on the West Coast. Set this to full screen and crank up your speakers and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cuesta College Offers Courses On Lying?

Last week it occurred to me that given the old saying  "There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." that means Cuesta College offers courses on lying given it has statistics courses in its math department. Of course, that thought was not a serious one in my mind but rather a jestful one. By the way, that quote was made famous in this country by Mark Twain but seems to have originated with British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It once appeared in my Quote of the Day column here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tornado Skid Marks

This image does not show any dramatic damage to human constructs or even to natural features like trees. God knows there were enough images of both types from the severe weather outbreak in the Midwest over this past weekend of which this image (from Illinois) is but one scene from its aftermath. However, I nonetheless find it remarkable for its visual simplicity and for how much of a scar mere wind created on land that is fairly barren at this time of year. A forest or stand of corn would make for a dramatic damage path but one would not expect the same of fields laying dormant for winter. Note the swirl lines in the scar area. Those are the scars of sub-vortices within this obviously multiple-vortex tornado.
Photo courtesy of Fred Zwicky - Journal Star (all rights reserved).

The Trigger Effect

I first saw this series premier of Connections hosted by well-known science historian James Burke sometimes back in the early to mid-1990's and although it offered me nothing revolutionary it did help distill for me some things that were already my mind and validated a few others. In fact, I still have a VHS recording of it somewhere from that timeframe. In any case, I found this on Youtube last night and offer it to you here tonight. The "prepper" culture has emerged since this program was long off the air and even since my 1990's first encounter with this program. Something I find fascinating is that none of the essential concepts in this program have changed and if anything this is more relevant today than on the day this first aired. That means that this episode is as ominous now as it ever was. I like Burke's expression "technological womb". The good stuff here begins at 22:29 and gets rolling from there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

John McCabe Does Earthquakes

This evening the Santa Lucia Rockhounds met at the Pioneer Museum in Paso Robles for their November meeting. Semi-retired Cuesta College geology instructor John McCabe gave a PowerPoint talk about earthquakes. It was both a general primer as well as went into additional detail regarding the geological setting of California as it pertains to earthquakes as well as our local earthquake history. This included the 2003 San Simeon Quake whose anniversary rapidly approaches.
This image is deceptive as it make the crowd in attendance look smaller than it was.
A day that shall live in infamy locally.
Now it has been nearly 157 years since this event last occurred. It has happened before and it will happen again.
Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Damme Big Splits

Are the "Muscles From Brussels" back? After taking a career nosedive, and more importantly, personal nosedive, Jeane-Claude Van Damme has reappeared in the public eye for something other than gossip column fodder. With that being said, this is a rather awesome stunt for anybody let alone a 53-year old man and it was done in one take albeit with lots of rehearsals aforetime. 

A Sign For Tequila

I found this posted on Facebook and immediately thought of my own little monster, Tequila. the dog who has owned me since 2004 and from whom I lost my bigotry against small dogs. She is a huge dog who can't help the fact she is trapped in a tiny body. However, she does not let that hold her back one iota. She is indomitable and indefatigable.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Picture of the Day - Church Soup Nazis

Today my church (North County Christian Fellowship) hosted an in-church meal as a way to bring us together. Those who made the awesome soup meal happen are my friends from left: Terry Del Giorgio, Mare Fuson, Ted Weber, and Gary Del Giorgio of Gary's Original Sandwich shop fame in Atascadero back in the 1990's.
Note: for those of you who don't get the pop cultural reference to which "Soup Nazi" is please click HERE.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Popping Lava Bubbles

This is the most bad-ass footage of Mount Etna I have ever seen online or on television. This volcanic paroxysm just happened a day or so ago. The very two best bubble pops come at the 2:04 and 2:36 marks. Enjoy!

Jeremiah's Lamentation ~ My Lamentation - Pt. 1

Back in the time of my wandering in the wilderness (biblically, metaphorically-speaking) during my 20's and much of my 30's I was lost inside my own head and lost from the world as I suffered under the heavy burden and dark oppression of mental illness and spiritual desolation. This was the direct result of  both spiritual as well as social things in my environment such as my father's untimely death when I was 15 and then losing Grandpa McGee when I was 18 just three years later which makes this time of year difficult. All the while I was dealing with the social drama on both sides of my family (and within it my immediate family) along with all the crap that comes with coming of age at that time. The real topper on this story was my having God actively in my life yet wanting little to do with Him. This placed me in direct conflict with the Him which is never a great idea.

There were multiple levels of environmental causation for this as well as spiritual causation from my losing my dad and not having any males in the family step in and be my mentor and father figure to my being under God's reproof for my pride, stubbornness, idleness, selfishness, and unthankfulness. My mental illness took the form of major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder that I know of and perhaps others I don't yet realize.

I have turned back to God and I am doing ever better on all fronts, spiritual, mental-emotional-psychological, physical, social, academic, etc. This is not to say I don't experience up and downs and plateaus and an occasional two-steps-backward-to-get-three-steps-forward any different than anybody else. However, at least I am in a consistently healthy place yet with room to improve in some areas that continue to bedevil me and yet I am still ever growing and evolving.

This morning at church I was reading my Bible in a freelance fashion (in the cafe, NOT the sanctuary during the service) and opened to this passage and was blown away by it as it caused me to recall that dark place I know so well but have not been in for some time now, thank God. I am dividing this up into two parts for the sake of functionality on this blog and ease of perusal for you, the reader. This first part offers an insight into the place I was during those dark years, a place which I realize others have been in although in a different context and for a different purpose. The Second Part offers the upshot resolution to my ongoing story, to wit, what I had to do to get back on track with God.
"I am the man who has seen troubles by the rod of His wrath.

He has led me and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

Surely against ME is He turned; His hand is turned against me all day long.

My flesh and my skin has he made old: He has broken all my bones.

He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and travail.

He has banished me into a dark place as one who has been long dead.

He has walled me in so that I cannot escape. He has placed heavy chains upon me.

Also, when I cry and shout out to Him for help, He shuts out my prayers.

He has placed roadblocks of hewn stone in my path, he has made my paths crooked.

He was unto me as a bear stalking me, as a hidden lion crouching.

He has derailed me and torn me asunder and left me in ruin.

He has drawn down upon me with his bow and targeted me with his arrows.

He has caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my heart.

I was a derision to all my people and their taunt all the day long.

He has filled me with bitterness, made me drunk with gall.

He has shattered my teeth with gravel, buried me in ashes.

You removed me far away from peace: I forgot what prosperity felt like.

I said to myself: "My strength from and my hope in God have died",

When I remembered my affliction and misery along with the bitterness and gall.

I still remember all of this and am humbled.

My memory of it all gives me hope."
~Lamentations 3:1-21 (Kimicus ad Absurdum translation)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

CERT Trailer Outside ~ Inside

As stated in my previous posting here the North San Luis Obispo County CERT met this morning at the 911 Supply House in an encore of our inaugural gathering two weeks ago at the Paso Robles Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for those who missed it. These two meetings were for the purpose of finding out who really wishes to be more than simply CERT-trained but also a member of the local CERT. They also served the purpose of discussing the upcoming logistics and to start delving into those logistics by means of signing forms and releases and such. At the end of today's gathering we toured one of our new CERT trailers seen below.

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

Picture of the Day - Captain Keith

This morning the North San Luis Obispo County CERT met once again (this time at the 911 Supply House) for those of us who missed the first meeting a couple of weeks ago at the Paso Robles Emergency Operations Center (EOC). I was in attendance for only part of that meeting , but had to leave part-way through to go to work. Therefore, I was compelled to attend this one for practical reasons (paperwork to sign). I would have done so anyway even if I had been able to attend the entirety of the previous in order to familiarize myself with the people who attended today's meeting.  Atascadero Fire Captain and Atascadero High School alumnus Keith Aggson gave a short but newsy presentation to start things off. He was there representing his agency seeing as they have taken on the leadership role for this CERT by taking it under their wing bureaucratically and thus legally. I also discuss this meeting in my next blog posting HERE.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shawna Sommers Leads A Flight Of Gypsies

I decided to get out of my cage tonight and go to Camozzi's Saloon in Atascadero and see the East Bay Area hard rock band Gypsy Flight fronted by a cool gal named Shawna Sommers. She and I attended Atascadero High School in the Class of 1989, the coolest class at that school ever (or at any school ever). Anywho, bars and saloons are def not my preferred environment and their denizens are generally not my sort of people and tonight certainly reaffirmed that reality. Wine bars, wineries and breweries are a different matter entirely. However, I would not have missed this for anything. It's good to not only get out of one's cage as oft as possible but also to leave the safe confines of one's comfort zone and get one's soul and mind stretched just a tad. Gypsy Flight put on a great little show despite the piss-poor acoustics in the room which used to be a Rexall Drug store or similar. They more than made up for that with the power of their sound. Shawna did not disappoint us one iota as several of us from her class were in attendance. I certainly hope she and her cohorts find it worthwhile to come back down for another performance, hopefully in a different venue with better acoustics and more space for a larger crowd.

Note: I used a camera to which I am not especially familiar as my own camera has died and I have yet not acquired a replacement. Therefore, I did what I could with the machine I had in hand. Please view the blurriness and lighting limitations as characteristics intended for artistic effect.

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

Nuke Testing Sequence (1945-1998)

A friend of mine posted this on his Facebook Wall. I noticed it and was immediately taken with it. Enjoy!
Note: for more info on this please read HERE.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Picture of the Day - Pine Street Sunset

I captured this image earlier this evening from the railroad right-of-way at 4th & Pine Streets in Paso Robles, CA.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

The Eye of Google

Although I can't yet complain about the quality of their products aside from my bad experience with AdSense, nonetheless, as a matter of culture and common sense, the direction which things are going where large multinationals like Google operate de facto monopolies, I find the humor of this to be rather effective. Image courtesy of Cthulu Hand Luke on Facebook.

2013 Drought Graphic #1

Obviously, we Californians have a problem as well-articulated in this graphic.
Image courtesy of KSBY-TV San Luis Obispo.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sonne Sans Sun

This is as sumptuously gorgeous a track and separately so a montage of orbital nocturnal views of our home world as I have ever seen. To my delight the two are married below in an aural-visual extravaganza of goosebump and sentimental tear-inducing magnitude. This is also not altogether undanceable I might add. This track is entitled "Ultramarine" and is on Schiller's seventh album "Sonne" which was released last year. This footage was shot in 2011 from the International Space Station. Some of it is new footage to me and some of it appeared in another fan-created video for another Schiller track, "A Beautiful Day", which I previously shared on this blog just last month. Immediately below that is the current view from the ISS.




Live streaming video by Ustream

Sungrazers

"Human Beings Are A Disease"

I have previously posted on this BLOG the words from the following scene from the movie "The Matrix" but since this quote has repeatedly come to mind during my ongoing Environmental Biology class this semester I now feel inclined to share the actual movie scene itself. For the record, my instructor, Mr. Krause was previously unaware of this scene so I introduced him to it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Quote of the Day - "Lady Galadriel"

As stated in my previous blog posting, the following quote from Lady Galadriel's prologue to the movie "The Fellowship of the Ring" which is repeated in the other two movies of the Lord of the Rings movie franchise has haunted me ever since first I heard it. Below, I share both parts of particular interest to me of said prologue. Note, this is all surprisingly applicable and apropos to the current time and place we find ourselves in this modern world hurtling itself towards the future unknown. One can hear Cate Blanchett's voice narrate within the movie the full lines HERE.
"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost for none now live who remember it ... And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend; legend became myth." ~ Lady Galadriel

Galadriel's Prescient Prologue

Since first I heard it I have been haunted by it, to wit, Lady Galadriel's Prologue in the movie "The Fellowship of the Ring". Cate Blanchett who plays that character in all the Lord of the Rings movies does a fine job narrating this haunting and ominous and atmospheric movie prologue. To me it speaks to real life in this time and place as ominous things are afoot and darkness gathers in anticipation of being unleashed in the not-too-distant future. Within this speech are references to how much has changed and not for the better. It explains the why of it in the context of the movie. For our purposes that is not relevant as real-life inputs are causing the real life changes we are seeing but to which not all of us are paying heed. You can read part of these lines HERE.

More Than Held Together By Gravity

Back in the 2000's I was really into ambient music to go along with my love of other forms of electronica, particularly trance and what would later become known as electronic dance music (EDM). The past few years I have not been as much into ambient for whatever reason. However, just this past day I came across this amazing ambient track by the Swedish ambient outfit Carbon Based Lifeforms. This track sounds quite a bit like Brian Eno's "An Ending Ascent" which was featured here a couple of years ago. Both tracks give one goosebumps and the timelapse imagery in this video is so absolutely, breathtakingly, gorgeous one is tempted to weep at the utter and complete rapturous beauty of it all. We so live in such an amazing world. We need not dream of exploring exotic alien worlds: we live in one now! These scenes must be merely hors d'oeuvres relative to what sights and experiences await us beyond this life if we know Christ.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quote of the Day - "Lee Adama"

The very best speech ever given in a television series was given in the finale of Season Three of Battlestar Galactica by actor Jamie Bamber playing  then-resigned Captain Lee Adama as a witness testifying in the treason trial of Gaius Balter played by . You can watch this passionate speech from the finale of Season Three right HERE.

"Did the defendant make mistakes? Sure. He did. Serious mistakes. But did he actually commit any crimes? Did he commit treason? No. I mean, it was an impossible situation. When the Cylons arrived, what could he possibly do? What could anyone have done?  Ask yourself, what would you have done? What would you have done? If he had refused to surrender, the Cylons would have probably nuked the planet right then and there. So did he appear to cooperate with the Cylons? Sure. So did hundreds of others. What's the difference between him and them? The President issued a blanket pardon. They were all forgiven, no questions asked. Colonel Tigh. Colonel Tigh used suicide bombers, killed dozens of people. Forgiven. Lieutenant Agathon and Chief Tyrol. They murdered an officer on the Pegasus. Forgiven. The Admiral. The Admiral instigated a military coup d'état against the President. Forgiven. And me? Well, where do I begin? I shot down a civilian passenger ship, the Olympic Carrier. Over a thousand people on board. Forgiven. I raised my weapon to a superior officer, committed an act of mutiny. Forgiven. And then on the very day when Baltar surrendered to those Cylons, I as commander of Pegasus jumped away. I left everybody on that planet, alone, undefended, for months. I even tried to persuade the Admiral never to return, to abandon you all there for good. If I'd had my way nobody would have made it off that planet. I'm the coward. I'm the traitor. I'm forgiven. I'd say we are very forgiving of mistakes. We make our own laws now; our own justice. And we've been pretty creative in finding ways to let people off the hook for everything from theft to murder. And we've had to be, because... because we're not a civilization anymore. We are a gang, and we are on the run, and we have to fight to survive. We have to break rules. We have to bend laws. We have to improvise. But not this time, no. Not this time. Not for Gaius Baltar. No, you... you have to die, because, well, because we don't like you very much. Because you're arrogant. Because you're weak. Because you're a coward, and we, the mob, want to throw you out of the airlock, because you didn't stand up to the Cylons and get yourself killed in the process. That's justice now. You should have been killed back on New Caprica, but since you had the temerity to live, we're going to execute you now. That's justice. This case... this case is built on emotion, on anger, bitterness, vengeance. But most of all, it is built on shame. It's about the shame of what we did to ourselves back on that planet. It's about the guilt of those of us who ran away. Who ran away. And we're trying to dump all that guilt and all that shame on one man and then flush him out the airlock, and hope that just gets rid of it all. So that we could live with ourselves. But that won't work. That won't work. That's not justice; not to me. Not to me."

Scripture of the Day - Isaiah

Note: it has been nearly three months since my last "Scripture of the Day" column here. Prior to that it was a four-month interval between consecutive such columns. These are not chance facts, but rather artifacts of the fact that I have not been getting into the Word solo with any consistency for much of this year. Well,  apart from doing so in conjunction with other believers at church and home church which part of my life has been sufficient. However, that is a different sort of connecting with God and getting into His word than reading alone in personal study of the Word as part of investing in my personal relationship with God and time tithing of sorts which offers different possibilities for God to speak to me through His Word.

Anywho, below is a pointedly prescient and applicable passage quite apropos to any time and place in the human story. However, none more so than right now. It is applicable to the unbeliever as well as the lapsed believer equally so. We live in a time and place that is existing on the bubble while not fully appreciating that fact. We are in the relative calm before the storm. This passage points to the necessity for all of us to be serving God either in starting to do so now before it is too late or continuing to do so as may be the case before whatever is about to happen breaks forth upon all of us.

I am quite surprised that this passage has not been previously posted in this blog. Better late than never I suppose.  It might surprise you to know that I actually have had this passage entirely memorized my entire adult life which is rare given my propensity to not memorize poems, lyrics, Scriptures, etc.

Seek the Lord while he may be easily found, call upon while He is nearby. Let the wicked person forsake his own way, and the unrighteous person his own thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon all sin. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your way my ways, says God. For as the sky is higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down and the snow from above, and tarries not, but waters the ground that it may be fertile and blossom, that is might give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that I utter; it shall not return to me for nought, but shall accomplish my pleasure, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
~ Isaiah 55:6-11 (Kimicus Ad Absurdum translation)

Picture of the Day - Silver Horse Sunset

I captured this image yesterday evening while working the wedding at Silver Horse Winery. I took a sequence of images in order to select the best for this space. I was interrupted by the bride and groom and their photographer walking up behind me to capture images of the couple with this sunset over the hills and vineyard as backdrops. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Picture of the Day - Sparkler Wedding

Tonight I ended up working a wedding at Silver Horse Winery instead of the Garagiste Festival at Windfall Farms as originally planned. I have witnessed some incredibly beautiful weddings this year in this job. However, none was more awesome than this one. The speech by the Maid of Honor was breathtaking and tear-jerking in a beautiful way. The bride was breathtakingly gorgeous and her LASO deputy husband with three kids from a previous marriage (she was marrying for the first time and has no kids) was a handsome groom. The guests sent the couple away through a gauntlet of sparklers. Such an evening's experience helps temporarily restore my faith in humanity... until I turn on the news. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Booker Supercell Looker

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Surprisingly Bullish Toro Fire

Today being November 8th I was lulled into a sense of the annual local fire season being over and even allowed my beloved mobile scanner's rechargeable batteries to go dead. I ended up regretting that given a wildland fire (Toro Incident) started this morning. This fire was a result of an ATV accident in the hills north of Highway 41 in the area of Toro Creek Road in an area locals call "Halfway Station". It burned about 51 acres of oak woodland and chaparral with surprising vigor given how late in the year it is and how unusual this sort of activity is around here this time of year. Further south in California Santa Ana Wind-driven fires are not entirely unusual in November although rarer than in October and September. This fuel-driven and slope-driven wildfire benefited from the current historically dry fuels along with a light offshore wind. I drove out to the fire en route to working in Atascadero and capture the images below.
Note: be sure to check out the aerial images of this fire taken by Toro Air Attack (Air Attack 340) HERE

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

Toro Air Attack-Eye View

Note: be sure to check out the images I captured of this fire and related activity HERE.
These two images were captured by Air Attack 340 over the 51-acre Toro Fire today.
Both images courtesy of CAL FIRE SLU  (all rights reserved).

Monday, November 4, 2013

This Will Destroy You

As I relatively recently shared with you here I have recently begun to shift my musical center out of trance music (which I still love) and a bit more towards a rock sub-genre known as "post-rock". This has included two postings of songs by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós and the Texas post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. I have also fallen in love with another Texas-based post-rock band named This Will Destroy You (TWDY) and below is their self-titled album. I like how the band perceives themselves which is something other than post-rock: "The band describe their new sound as being darker and heavier, referring to it as "doomgaze", a portmanteau of doom metal and shoegaze." ~ Taken from their Wikipedia page. The beautiful, haunting, melodic, melancholy, moody, dark, soulful, thoughtful sound of this album really resonates with my soul. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Picture of the Day - First Official CERT Meeting

Here we are in the Paso Robles City Government Emergency Operations Center as our fearless leader Jim Fritsche shows us the countywide ICS chain of command via Powerpoint presention as we meet as the North San Luis Obispo County Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT)  for the first time. Previous CERT meetings here had been in regards to CERT training. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Failure As Teacher

As time goes on I come to respect and admire British entrepreneur and life adventurist Sir Richard Branson more and more. Below is a short essay he wrote for fellow British entrepreneur James Caan's column on Linkedin.com. There is so much wisdom contained within it and thus no wonder the man is so successful despite his admitted failures on rare occasion. I must learn to adapt his healthy attitude about failure. I feel a bit gun-shy about failure given I have failed at life and in business my first time out starting seven years ago. I'm still cleaning up the rubble of my life and trying to rebuild it.
"For some reason in the UK we find it hard to deal with failure. Even the thought comes with a stigma and in general people are reluctant to discuss the subject. In some other countries, failure is not seen as something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It's just accepted as a part of everyday life and something you can learn from.
If you want to be truly successful in life then one of the first things to do is understand and accept the concept of failure.
A key characteristic of entrepreneurs is that they are ready and willing to take risks. Of course the best ones minimise the risk and make it a calculated one. But when you do this, you must be open to the fact that things could potentially go wrong along the way.
If you become afraid of failure then it will make you too afraid to take these risks, which in itself can be a fatal business flaw as it hinders progress and development. As many people say, if you don't buy a ticket, you'll never win the lottery.
The majority of business people do not strike gold every time. I have experienced plenty of failures along the way. The real secret of success is not to become disheartened by failure. I have found that the most confident and successful people in business are the ones who have learnt to take failure in their stride.
Rather than being embarrassed or ashamed because you have tried to do something and failed, you should look at what you did and examine why it didn't work. When I invested in the failing sandwich chain Benjys, I went against all my business principles and completed the deal in less than a week. Despite having very little knowledge of the sector, I thought I could turn it around, especially as it still had a recognisable brand. Six months later I had to hold my hands up and admit it was a lost cause. They say you should never catch a falling knife but that's exactly what happened with Benjys.
The key lesson I took from that was to stick to my belief in proper due diligence and analysing every deal thoroughly. It also reinforced my attitude that if you are going to fail, do it quickly. Once you realise that things aren't going to get any better, it is best to get out while you can, rather than continuing just to try and save face.
I am also a firm believer that success is a journey rather than a destination. We should always be looking at how we do things so they can be even better next time. This also applies if you have been successful – rather than resting on your laurels, keep analysing and look for any areas of improvement.
In other words, you can learn as much from your successes as you can from your failures. When it comes to business, fear and complacency are both equally harmful approaches to take." ~ Sir Richard Branson

I'm Swept Away

Here's yet another amazing and breathtaking timelapse montage of outdoor images (one of the best I've ever seen) set to contemporary trance music of a quality that surprises me considering the subgenre was in its Golden Age a dozen or more years ago. Tiff Lacey who is new to me provides the haunting vocals of this Matt Bukovski masterpiece of electronic dance music (EDM). Crank your speakers and set your screen to FULLSCREEN and enjoy!

Power Ball

I would like to know the mechanics of how this amazing and awesome phenomenon occurred in Lachine, Quebec, Canada, the other night as a result of a wind storm disabling the electrical distribution system in this suburb of Montreal.

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XLVIII

Well here we are again: another long over-due Random Musings column as in it has been seven months since my last one here to get you all up to speed on my prosaic little life.  By the way: this blog has now received over 298,000 distinct visits. I thank everybody who takes the time to read this blog regardless if they do it randomly one time only or with any semblance of regularity. It is my desire in the future to move it to a different blog-hosting service and start generating ad revenue. It seems fair to get a little remuneration out of my time and effort invested in this blog. I have much upon which to comment but this go-around of this column will be more Kim-focused than I like simply as a practical matter of getting you all caught up on my particulars. Next time will be soon I hope and I have much upon which to opine about not relating to me directly. I actually don't enjoy talking about myself.

Education Update

Since we last talked I earned enough general education credits to earn an Associate of Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences degree at Cuesta College. However, when filling out the application papers to receive it I erred. I was not walked through the process by anybody and had never done it before contributing in my error. By checking the wrong box on a form I did not receive that degree but will do so this coming May. At that time I should pick up a second degree, to wit, an Associate of Arts in History. In the next month I am going to reapply to Cal Poly and see if God really wants me there or not. As you may or may not recall I applied a year ago and was accepted. I did not take Cal Poly up on their offer due to some important logistical issues such as housing and commuting and a desire to pick up additional units less expensively at Cuesta before making the big leap. More importantly, I knew in my bones that God did not want me to make that jump quite yet for whatever reason(s). By next summer there is a strong possibility I will be able to move into my mother's house in Atascadero cutting the commute to Cal Poly in half and cutting down on my housing costs tremendously from where they are now which is already incredibly low for what I'm getting due to the generosity of a dear friend. I've known this friend since junior high school and he is paying forward to me a good deed done him by a long-time friend of his who helped him out during his own transition from being stuck to moving forward. Anywho, I might also apply to Fresno State and UCSB as well just for kicks and see what happens. However, if I do not get into Cal Poly this time around it has occurred to me to perhaps get more heavily employed and take a one-year break from school and then reapply to Cal Poly a year from now. I would need to take that before my Creator and inquire as to His will in this matter.

Lessons From Defeat

I am currently struggling in my college algebra course this semester. I recently achieved my first ever "F" on a test in any subject my entire life from Kindergarten onwards to the present. This happened even after working hard to be prepared for the class as well as consistently working hard in the math lab on my homework. I must confess that over the past several semesters I have been attending Cuesta College either part-time or full-time I have been largely skating along on accumulated smarts and natural talent and not investing the sort of time and effort and focus that is necessary to be successful at the university level. Doing that the past three semesters earned me an A-, and two B's in classes (MATH07 / MATH123 / MATH127, respectively) that were largely refreshers courses for me. However, this semester I'm in MATH232 which is called "College Algebra" but is essentially Pre-Calculus sans a few concepts that would be broached in this class if it were for students planning to go on up the ladder and take more math (in which case it would be MATH242 and be five units). However, this class is a terminus math class for those of us for whom only one three-unit 200-level math course is required to graduate and/or transfer as is the case with me. I have long been haunted by the theme of those in a struggle or conflict whom encounter great setback but lacking the adequate nerve to succeed fail to knuckle down and hang in there and see things through to the brutal end. Most poignantly stuck in my mind as a sterling example of this is the premature panic and errant suicide of Cassius in the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.E. when he erroneously heard that Brutus' army had been defeated (when in fact Brutus had soundly defeated Octavian in their first engagement). Cassius' jumping the gun then caused his army and Brutus' in combination to be defeated once and for all. We see this concept repeated time and again in usually less-climactic and realm-changing circumstances all the time. I nearly did that myself in withdrawing from this math class and retaking in the Spring. I'm glad I did not as mom pointed out the folly of it in concept and in practical matters I realized that by simply working harder and doing better on the remaining three unit tests plus the final I can bring my average from three test scores (70, 63, and 47) up. Not only that, but with perfect attendance (which I'm on track for) my instructor will add 20 points and she takes our worst unit test score and replaces it with our score on our cumulative course final if it is superior. By being able to state truthfully that I'm in a 200-level math class when I apply to Cal Poly this month my case will look stronger, too.

Guard Carded

I am now officially a licensed security guard employed by Vino Vice, Inc., having passed the mandatory minimum initial eight-hour online no-fail course and submitted my Livescan with the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  and submitted an application to the California Bureau of Security and Investigation Services (BSIS) which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. I must now complete online another 16 hours of online instruction in less than a month's time and another 16 hours of online instruction in the next six months in order for my license to be more than merely provisional as it is now. This curriculum is broken up into modules which makes it easier and it also is all non-fail. This weekend I will be working an event (a release party) at Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, CA, on Saturday and "Giddy Up Round Up" Family Fun Day at Santa Margarita Ranch this Sunday. A week from this Saturday I shall be working perhaps the last public event ever at Windfall Farms (the old Cardiff Stud Farms out in Creston, CA, formerly owned by Alex Trabek of "Jeopardy" fame), to wit, the Garagiste Festival. The corporate owners of the property don't care to do many if any events there in the future as they move in another direction with the property from how it has been managed in its recent history. Soon, however, events will quiet down for the Winter and work will dry up until the Spring so I hope to catch some season work this coming Holiday season.

CERT-ified

In the morning I'll be attending the first ever meeting of the North San Luis Obispo County CERT. I'll have to leave early to go work but I hope to catch the first 45 minutes of it and then attend the make-up meeting for those who could not make this one. I plan to join the team having already passed the basic CERT course offered by the North San Luis Obispo County CERT program. At the morrow's meeting I also plan to inquire as to the next CPR & First Aid class offered locally so I can renew my certifications which expired last May. I'm already certified for Mental Health First Aid as of last April as I shared here previously as well.

I'm Not Vina Robles After All

They hired me last spring as you might or might not recall from my initial report. It turns out they intentionally over-hired initially and then simply called a select group out of the total to come work and blew off the rest of us. That is not how I do business nor anything with which I wish to be associated. I'm not willing to ingratiate myself in order to work AFTER I've already been hired nor, for that matter, at all ever under any circumstances. Either hire me or don't hire me but don't jerk me around! I consider working at a venue like Vina Robles an honor and privilege. I likewise feel that it is an honor and privilege for such a place to employ me. It is up to them to see my potential and exploit it to their benefit... or not. Given how a typical concert there means about six hours (max) per concert at starting pay of $8/hour and be jerked around as to if I'm actually employed there versus working with honor and respect and for a longer annual season with starting pay of $11.50/hour at VinoVice with many more hours at stake plus sometimes overtime guess where my loyalty lays? Nonetheless, I'm grateful for the very brief experience I had there and feel honored to have worked the first ever concert there.

I'm Older Than Dad Ever Was

Today my late father, James Gordon Noyes, would have turned 67, but instead died later this month 28 years ago at age 39 and nearly one month. I'm now over 43 and six months of age so I'm in a strange place as I realize dad was never my current age. He is now eternal and immortal and beyond sin and suffering and has avoided all the shit that I have plowed through since his ascension that cold, dark, damp, foggy late November morning early my freshman year of high school. God took him away and I know why which is more than most people take away from such a tragic event. I count myself blessed in this regard. God has used that happenstance and what followed to shape me into the thing He has planned for me to become which metamorphosis is still underway.

My Walk Of Late

This year has been spiritually challenging for me and most of that has been self-inflicted. Simply put, I have  not been in God's Word this year to the degree I have been in the past and need to be all the time. My schedule is busy and I tend to rush out of bed and get into my day without setting time aside for God to give to prayer and reading scripture in putting on the armor that will sustain me. It's all about tithing time not just money and making God a priority in this respect and I continue to struggle in this regard. I am a creature of habit which can be to my benefit or my bane. The dearth of "Scripture of the Day" postings here lately directly correlates with this phenomenon. That being said, I have been growing in Christ nonetheless and moving along spiritually, but perhaps not as quickly as if I'd had my nose in the Word every day along the way. I choose to change that. That is my power. All of that refers to my private relationship with God or rather "vertical" worship. My relationship with God through fellow believers or rather "horizonal" worship is doing better than ever after my 20-year hiatus from attending church and being involved with other believers. I continue to worship regularly at North County Christian Fellowship as that is where God has assigned me for now and I am content to be there. A Thursday evening "home group" from that church is my adopted spiritual family. I am also now lately visiting a second bible study group Thursday evenings that is populated by Paso Robles Bible Church members which church I have attended off and on over the past few years.

My Family

My wonderful mother Lynda seems to be moving forward in her life and big things seem to be on the near horizon for her which are rather momentous and exciting. She is a private person so I won't divulge much but for what I am willing to share stay tuned! My Grandma Noyes is also doing quite well, but must ambulate with a walker which is a relatively new development. She is thriving in her post-married life and she and I have never gotten along better than now following many troubled years in our relationship both during and after the demise of Grandpa Noyes. Grandma and I  love each other as always but now we like each other as well. Her husband was in my estimation a wicked man with a religious facade but no reality of Christ within him. He failed to lead our family and caused me much pain and hurt over the course of my life. I know his son (up until his death) felt that way to the point of tears. Forgiving him has been a spiritual battle for me. Since Grandpa Noyes shed this mortal coil his wife has thrived as I never could have imagined. This follows the pattern her mother followed who after marrying an unsatisfactory man in like manner then thrived following his demise. My brother Andrew continues to live in work in Flagstaff, Arizona. We hardly ever talk as he desires no relationship with either me or his mother. The loss is his as I have formed my own new family. Who says you can't pick your family?

People Can Be Disappointing 

A former untermensch roommate of mine from the late 2000's period of my life recently revealed to me the degree to which my ex-girlfriend blabbed very private details of our relationship with people who were even enemies. The same ex-girlfriend also made patently false accusations to a mutual friend regarding my character back nearer the time of the break-up (breakup was in 2009 and the ugliness came out of the blue in 2010). Given that I at no time during or since our breakup disparaged her behind her back to anyone or murdered her reputation in any way, shape, or form as she has done me it seems terribly cruel and unfair a development which it is. However, that merely revealed to me the true nature of the person in question whom I never really knew as well as I believed at the time (nor she, me, I suppose). I hope she is doing much better these days and is not now the same essential person who did those things a few years ago just as I am no longer the same person I once was who at times failed on my part in our relationship causing her hurt. However, from the get-go I took ownership of that shit and fell on my sword in and around the time of the breakup. Unfortunately, there has never been any reciprocity in this respect.
 
My Stalker

The aforementioned untermensch who shall go unnamed here as he does not deserve to be mentioned continues to stalk this blog (and perhaps beyond that). He periodically trolls in the comments section of specific postings. It was obvious back in the day from fairly early when I lived with him that he had absolutely no class nor character. He manner was so piss-poor that he caused me to start suspecting he is some sort of sociopathic individual. His actions since continue to confirm that suspicion. Someday he will die alone and nobody will care, least of all me. It sucks to be him.

No Love Lost Apparently

At the recent Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show at which I am one of the organizers and was in attendance part of the weekend I inevitably ran into my old boss/former friend with whom I had a falling out earlier this year as I shared on this blog (I'm intentionally not providing links to the postings but you can find them if you really wish to read them). The whole saga is rather sad and actually quite egregious. Anywho, he and I exchanged strained pleasantries and platitudes but that was it. He was too proud and stubborn and selfish to reach out and make any attempt to heal the rift. He, too, will die alone someday and that will be fully on him. He betrayed our friendship and the supposedly inviolable trust that bound it. He is like that you know. So many people get stuck in their own lives and don't even know it. God showed grace on me and delivered me from myself in this regard.






Friday, November 1, 2013

Helplessly Headstrong

By now it should be obvious that I love trance music as well as breathtakingly beautiful timelapse imagery of outdoor scenes and the song and music video below delivers on all counts. In fact, the same artist, Headstrong, has been featured on this blog previously last March. Shelley Harland provides vocals to this trance masterpiece.