Friday, July 31, 2015

RIP Rowdy Roddy

Today it was announced that Rowdy Roddy Piper of professional wrestling and acting fame (check out his personal website HERE) died last night in his sleep at age 61. The cause of death appears to have been a heart attack. It seems cliche and trite to say he was one of my favorites... but he was. He had higher intelligence and more charisma than most professional wrestlers. He also lived a more wholesome life than many/most of them being a family man his entire life. Below are my favorite examples of his work starting with an infamous episode of his groundbreaking "show" (the one featuring Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka) on the then WWF program. That is followed below it by one of his matches in the ring against the aforementioned Snuka. 

What many people don't realize is that Roddy Toombs (his real name) was under-regarded actor who showed his surprising acting talent in John Carpenter's 1988 sci-fi classic They Live. The movie features the greatest cinematic brawl ever (vs. Keith David) with the closest competition coming from the one at the end of John Wayne's The Quiet Man (vs. Victor McLaglen). Anywho, the They Live brawl is so awesome that South Park spoofed it in the famous "Cripple Fight" episode which part I have placed below the cinematic brawl.

South park cripple fight with "They Live" side by side from JuggleLife on Vimeo.
Video posters commentary: " commentary of the creators commenting on the fight scene.I had noticed that they had made a reference in one of there more recent episodes 18x05 (magic bush) so i thought i would create a side by side of the reference to the movie They live prior to the recent one. i will put together another side by side video for the more recent episode eventually."

As I discussed in a previous post on this blog entitled "OBEY and Read This", They Live inspired political artist Shepard Fairey to come up with his now iconic and ubiquitous Obey Campaign. Rowdy Roddy and Fairey met on a couple of occasions and in tribute to Piper, Fairey Tweeted the image below in accompaniment of his condolences today. This merely serves to reaffirm the connection between the They Live and the Obey Campaign.

Courtesy of Shepard Fairey (all rights reserved).

Two More Jaw-Dropping Rocky Fire Images

Today I found two more rather remarkable images from last night showing the second night of the Rocky Fire currently burning on the east side of Clear Lake in Northern California. I specify the east side currently because there is a real sense this beast may not limit itself to just the east side of the lake. There is scuttlebutt in the firefighting community that it might grow into a 100,000+ acre monster. This fire has possessed an ornery personality from the get-go and has not changed moods since. It has also been one of the most photogenic wildfires in recent memory. California is on the cusp of a major fire siege of the order of magnitude of 2008, except this time the conditions are significantly worse and are so earlier in the year. We could be on the verge of some unprecedented fires both in behavior and in scope and in effects on the land and on society. I hope we as a people are ready for what it feels like is coming. I also hope lone wolf terrorists don't finally figure out that starting wildfires in California is probably the safest form of attack with the greatest return value.

Image by Craig Philpott (all rights reserved).
Image by Jeff Frost (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clear Lake Rock Fire At Moonrising Dusk

The following images of the Rock Incident on the east side of Clear Lake in Lake County, CA, were shot by various local photographers (and one photojournalist). I collected them off of Twitter and share them with you here in alphabetical order of photographer name. These images are my favorites of many dozens I viewed. This fire exploded into life this afternoon as two separate fires on that burned together. This fire's initial spread is symptomatic of the drought conditions that exist across the state with burning conditions possibly never before observed of this severity across such a large swath of the state in non-katabatic wind conditions. This fire has been roughly estimated at 3,000 acres but is burning with uncharacteristic vigor since sunset.

Photo by Benjamin Zuffi (all rights reserved).
Photo by Benjamin Zuffi (all rights reserved).
Photo by Chloeluvsclouds (all rights reserved).
Photo by Corrigan Gommenginger (all rights reserved).
Photo by Jen Mullin (all rights reserved).
Photo by Kent Porter of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (all rights reserved).
Photo by Kent Porter of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (all rights reserved).
Photo by Kent Porter of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (all rights reserved).
Photo by Macey Iannone (all rights reserved).
Photo by Niniane K. (all rights reserved).
Photo by Niniane K. (all rights reserved).
Photo by Niniane K. (all rights reserved).
Photo by Patricia Brittan (all rights reserved).
Photo by Tom Sweeney (all rights reserved).

I Never Feel Alone With This Song

It has been awhile since I have been able to share a new and worthy progressive trance track let alone one with an awesome accompanying video. The drought is broken by "Never Feel Alone" by Norwegian trance artist Jaco... ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Picture of the Day - Rinconada Changes

Today I took a hike on the Santa Lucia District of the Los Padres National Forest on one of my favorite trails, Rinconada Trail. My hiking wing-man had never been on it and I had not been on it since reaching the weight of 280 lbs. Needless to say, it was a first for both of us. After struggling with my first wind I felt great through my second and third winds. Of note on the ascent was the huge die-off of an invasive vine that had thrived in a sheltered drainage in the lee of the mountainside. Also, some other adjacent plants had died along with the vine colony. The cause was obvious: the spring which had supported much growth in that drainage including the vine had dried up since I last hiked this path last spring.
After getting back to the car parked at the trailhead I took my buddy around the mountain a short distance to see what remains of the Rinconada Mine adits and retorts and other mine artifacts. Since last I visited this site graffiti artists had desecrated the already violated site with much more substantial graffiti and target practice refuse.
Both photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

I Liked One Last Time

I'm not a big fan of the over-commercialized and artistically vapid bubble-gum pop EDM artists and their music in general and more particularly ones who were former Mickey Mouse Club or Nickelodeon stars. Most especially I'm not a big fan of Ariana Grande who it seems always was or has become a wretched, little, snotty, bratty, ingrate who recently got caught claiming she "hates Americans"... she being one herself.  I certainly won't be buying any of her music any time soon if not ever. However, last month during finals week I was in The Avenue on campus at Cal Poly eating lunch and on the large television attached to the interior of the dining hall the following music video played and I was transfixed as I realized what I was seeing thematically. Those of you who know me or have followed this blog know of my interests in disasters and end of the age topics. This track and music video certainly peaked my curiosity and I was startled to see something thus themed at such an unexpected place and time. I made a point of watching to the end to see the name of the song. I was startled to see I had been watching Ariana Grande (pre-anti-American comment scandal) whom I had heard about but was unfamiliar with her work. The criticism stands but the following track is kinda cool even if the song is not exceptional devoid of the context of the video.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Graphic of the Day - El Niño From Hell

This El Niño is getting narly and gnarly. The graphic above is self-explanatory and comes courtesy of NOAA.
Wind current and thermal map relative to normal courtesy of It brings to mind the movie Pacific Rim.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Lowell Fire Timelapse

Tonight on Twitter I found another timelapse sequence from yesterday's initial blow-up of the Lowell Fire in Nevada County. This one is longer and a bit better. It covers the period of 4 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. PDT.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lowell Fire Day One Timelapse

Today while I was at work the Lowell Fire in Nevada County exploded into existence and immediately behaved like an enfant terrible. The storm clouds atop the smoke column are known to science as pyrocumulus clouds. At last check it had burned 3-4000 acres but no structures yet. *NOTE: as of Sunday evening, July 26, 2015, the fire size has been downgraded to 1500 acres.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pharoah's Fury In Paso

Last night following the David Crowder concert at the California Mid-State Fair, me and some of my church family messed around for a little while at the fair itself. A few of them wanted to ride the ferris wheel so we headed over to that part of the fairgrounds. I don't do such rides so I shot these images instead. One of the rides there, a giant swing, was christened "Pharaoh's Fury" and featured at both ends the likeness of a pharoah's head adorned with a Nemes headdress. Its supports were lit in such a way as to emphasize a pyramid-like profile. It struck me the pervasiveness of Egyptian pharaonic culture across time and space. Here I was in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California, United States of America, North America, in the year 2015, thousands of years since the last pharaoh and here I encountered last night a likeness of and reference to that culture, albeit highly-stylized.
Both images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Did Done Da David Crowder Concert

Earlier this evening I had the honor and privilege of being invited to attend the David Crowder concert at the California Mid-State Fair here in Paso Robles. It was hosted by Cantinas. I had not attended a fair concert since 1990 when I watched a free The Guess Who concert. During my youth I had come to hate the fair and avoided it my entire adult life until tonight. Well, to be honest I have been to it the past three years including last night, but that was for the Artist's Reception the night before it officially opens and that has been free to me. Tonight, I had to pay $10 to get in the door but the concert was free. The reason I went is because some of my church home group family members were going and one of them had an in with an employee of the fairgrounds to get bracelets that got us priority seating. Anywho, I loved the concert. The band was great both in presentation and stage presence as well as in substance of their music and the musicality of their music. I had never heard of David Crowder before given that I tend to shun Christian music. I do this for either or both of two reasons in most cases. One, the Christian music is often of inferior quality to the secular music and in some cases even tries to imitate it in style instead of the artists just being themselves they are trying too hard to be a Christian version of secular product. Two, the Christian artist comes across as trite and superficial and religiousy and there is a general lack of spiritual gravitas. None of these concerns were revealed in this David Crowder performance which I found both surprising and delightful. I highly recommend this artist and his wonderful band.

This was my first time in this particular concert stadium (southwest corner of fairgrounds).
David Crowder and his band employee an eclectic mix of instruments from conventional to quirky.
Their violinist is both highly skillful and rather comely-looking.
David Crowder is from Texas and sports a Duck Dynasty look but it precedes Duck Dynasty.
At this point David Crowder & Co. headed to the middle causeway of the stadium to perform in the crowd home-style.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Picture of the Day - Blood Wine

Last night I attended the 2015 California Mid-State Fair's Artist Reception. This annual event reveals the voting results of the fair's art contest across a variety of art media, competency levels, and age groups. It is an invitation-only event wherein submitters and their entourages are welcome. For the third consecutive year I was in attendance by way of my friendship with local artist and photographer Susie Christian of Morro Bay. This year I was less excited by the entries than last year's crop or that of the year before.

This painting by Jim Alberter was the only one that really got my attention. Perhaps I am misinterpreting what it means but I see it as containing a negative impression of the local wine industry. The center bottom shows a newer vineyard which is a rather ubiquitous sight in these parts nowadays. Adjacent to it on both flanking sides is the old landscape the vineyards are replacing. As such the vineyard which is the insurgent landscape is stabbing into and penetrating and violating the old landscape that preceded it. The vineyard appears to go on forever into the distant horizon as if the vineyard never ends.

The wine glass is inverted which brings to mind an inverted cross and/or an inverted flag. The former is symbolic in the modern popular culture of blasphemy which around here would be any sort of criticism of the wine industry. An inverted flag represents a distress signal whcih suggests distress regarding the invasion and occupation of the Paso Robles region by the insurgent wine industry.

The red fluid roiling and rolling down the inner surface of the wine glass appear both ominous-looking and is highly symbolic in one or two ways. Since ancient times wine has often symbolized blood which it potentially does here while also representing itself. Representing wine the painting suggests the wine is descending and covering everything as if to suggest the wine industry and its interests are becoming ever more dominant in the area. Representing blood the painting suggests there is a heavy price to be paid locally for the wine industry here and the idea of blood as a cost for something (ex: blood, sweet, and tears) is a common metaphor.

My personal views on the local wine industry are highly complex and nuanced and internally contradictory. I see it as both good and bad depending upon the context. Water-wise and land zoning-wise it is bad. Revenue-wise and employment-wise it is good. In any case I really like this painting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Picture of the Day - Model A In My Alley

Guess what blocked my alley this afternoon? That's right: a Model A Ford classic. So cool!
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Monday, July 20, 2015

Picture of the Day - Dragonfly Encounter

A short time ago I was in my kitchen and something outside my window grabbed my attention. There was a large dragonfly hugging the end of my Volvo's radio antenna. The creature continued to maintain that position long enough for me to get out my camera, switch to my telephoto lens, and snap several images through my somewhat dirty kitchen window. Note the wing structure details visible here. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved). 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hurricane Dolores Hits Paso Robles

Hurricane Dolores ceased to be a hurricane over the weekend, but that did not keep it from spewing its tropical essence across the skies above the North County of San Luis Obispo County. Late last evening the flashes started to manifest themselves in my peripheral vision through my kitchen window. Soon enough the convection was close enough I could hear thunder here in Paso Robles.

In a first for me in my weather experience, I endured approximately 14 hours of fairly consistent thunder and lightning with only a sporadic half hour or so break here or there as the atmosphere reconstituted its storm self for another assault. Most of that period I was in Paso Robles although I spent some of the last several hours of it in Templeton and Atascadero this morning helping a friend move from the former to the latter often while working under lightning in the sky above. But for the grace of God went I safely.

The story here is not only of thunder and lightning, but also of an accompanying tropically-derived rainfall that caused flooding on various side-streets in my neighborhood and along Spring Street (the main drag of town) and in some businesses along it in the downtown area near me. I have not heard the storm rainfall tallies yet but I'm sure we broke records for the day if not the month as a result of this highly unusual weather event wherein the storms seemed to get stuck over the area or continued to form over it.

This rain caused a water flow alarm at winery workplace of my childhood friend and neighbor and landlord Mark which was located near the junction of Highway 46 and Vineyard Drive. He was asked by the owner to go look for storm damage and invited me to tag along. Unable to sleep and wired by the weather, I was glad to join him on the adventure as his wingman and security chief. There was no damage but we saw some amazingly vivid and surreal lightning displays and drove through serious street flooding on South Vine Street where it is a frontage road to Highway 101. We also smelt smoke from burning oak woodland somewhere near the aforementioned intersection, but we were unable to determine its source.

Getting back to the lightning and thunder, some strikes hit my neighborhood causing damage to one pole a block southwest of my home that I witnessed (which seared my eyesight temporarily) and which set the pole's top ablaze and damaged a transformer affixed to it causing the transformer to glow earily blue with some sort of unhealthy flamage. A firetruck was dispatched to it by a neighbor's call which engine Mark and I followed home and to our chagrin we realized was on our street. Upon getting home I walked down to see what was going on as it was not immediately obvious until I looked down the alley bisecting the next block diagonally to my southwest. I got yelled at by a firefighter for walking in water possibly charged by a downed powerline I did not see in the dark so I left. I regret not capturing any images of any of this.

Late last night and fairly early on in this weather event, My dog Tequila freaked out and somehow found a way through the fence and escaped into an adjacent neighbor's yard whom returned her immediately. She did the same again this morning while I was helping the aforementioned friend move. I had left her alone because it appeared at the time the stormy weather was over which turned out to be a misleading appearance. While working at my friend's new house I got a call and text message from an unfamiliar San Francisco area code number that they had found my dog running amok and wanted to repatriate it with me. I headed home with my cell phone's battery failing which was convenient timing. Quite fortunately that worked out and I did not let her out of my sight the rest of the day even taking her with me to work in San Luis Obispo this afternoon into this evening.

What follows are some images I captured of the storm. For much of the storm event I did not even try to take photos and when I did I started out with automatic settings and accomplished as much as I could at my current proficiency. Then at a certain point I felt inspired to go manual and try some new things which I'm glad I did. This is the most lightning images I have ever captured from a single event. They are not great but they are largely an improvement on my previous attempts. It helped that these storm cells provided so many flickering return strokes which made it easier for me to capture lightning bolts without playing with the f-stop and opening up the shutter for extended periods to capture whatever happened for the duration, but rather I was able to simply react to what I saw and capture it reactively.

What follows are the best images I captured in the wee hours of this morning and are shown in the order taken. All lightning images were taken from my alleyway and mostly show the church next door backlit by lightning flashes. The last four images show some minor street damage due to debris deposition.

Part A of first photo couplet showing lightning illuminated neighborhood view looking east from my house showing adjacent church.
Part B of first photo couplet showing same scene sans lightning flash glare for contrasting perspective.
Part A of second photo couplet from same location.
Part B of second photo couplet.
Blurry image showing my first lightning bolt capture of the night.
Part A of third photo couplet. Lightning bolt is in this image but this image's camera setting washed out the image.
Part B of third photo couplet.
Another blurry lightning bolt... my second of the night.
Another lightning bolt image capture washed out due to camera setting.
My most decent lightning bolt capture of the night.
With the switch to more manual settings my camera captured more of the ominously beautiful cloudscape on the storm cell's undercarriage.
By this point dawn was manifesting itself through the clouds.
Note lightning bolt at right of base of church cross steeple.
Intersection of 16th Street and Vine Street which was formerly a creekbed and returned to that purpose overnight.
North side intersection of 12th Street and Vine Street. Note: deposition obscures the corner curb.
South side intersection of 12th Street and Vine Street. Note: debris deposition atop grass.
South side of intersection of 12th Street and Spring Street. Note: trash can was observed crossing intersection of 12th and Vine in current when Mark and I were on our way to check his place of business. On our return this was located in the street. All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).