Tuesday, December 22, 2009

6th Anniversary of San Simeon Quake

Six years ago this morning at a quarter after 11 A.M. the M6.5 San Simeon Earthquake struck the Central Coast of California epicentered under the Santa Lucia Mountains near Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo County. The earthquake was caused by a rupture of the Oceanic Fault Zone and uplifted the mountains by several inches. Paso Robles was most severely effected where two women were killed and several others injured and damage and damage was in the many of millions of dollars.

The single most striking geologic phenomenon caused by the quake was the hot sulpher spring that at its peak generated 1,300 gallons of hot mineral water a minute. It began as an apparent leaking broken water main underneath the parking lot of the newer Paso Robles City Library across the street to the south of the central City Park which contains an original Carnegie Library. Then as now it contained the city historical society and which building was severely damaged to the point of being "red tagged" and only reopened earlier this year allowing the historical society to move back in. City crews dug up the parking lot trying to get at the leaky main only to discover there was no main but a brand new sulphur spring in an area known for them. Later it was determined this was in the location of an old bath house located atop and utilizing an old mineral spring that had long ago dried up until the earthquake reactivated it.

View from the southeast looking northwest with the Paso Robles Inn in background.

Close-up view of the roiling cauldron of highly mineralized water.

View of pumping arrangement created to siphon off the water and divert it to the Salinas River nearby.

*Note: I did a blog piece about this on the eighth anniversary of this event HERE

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Losing a Father

Twenty-four years ago today my life changed forever.

It was a foggy Tuesday morning the week of Thanksgiving and my father and I were hardly speaking as he had disciplined me recently.

I didn't cotton to his parental discipline of me as I was in a rebellious punky/bratty stage and as we had breakfast together we hardly spoke that morning.

I had school on my mind and he had two jobs that day that no doubt wore heavily on his mind.

He had one small one up in the hills above Rocky Canyon Road above Rocky Canyon Feed Store and Heilman Salvage and then a big one at the trailer park adjacent to the truck stop next to US101 off of the Wildhorse Rd. exit just south of King City.

The latter would one be a big and dangerous job up on a tower.
He installed TV antennas for those who were not able to or did not want to get cable and did not want to or were not able to afford to get satellite which was a rich man's thing in those days as the dishes were HUGE and expensive.

There were a lot of people in that category and he had only one competitor on the Central Coast and that guy was lousy so Dad did real well and was a master at customer service and satisfaction not to mention a technical whiz at what he did.

Before this bigger job he had the small test job in the hills east of Atascadero at one Karl (or Carl) Webber's residence. He was going to put up a 30' test antenna to see if there was even enough signal to justify going the TV antenna route. He was to test different spots with the first one being at the upper driveway entrance to the residence. My dad assembled three 10' sections and the test antenna at the top end and was going to walk this larger pole up and then strap it to the side of his vehicle with brackets and then rotate it around and test for signal strength. He began to walk the pole up into an upright position after assembling it on the ground and Mr. Weber used his foot to keep the pole from sliding along the ground as my dad raised it.

As I stated before it was one of those typically pee-soup foggy mornings in Atascadero when it has been cold like the one the morning of the Rainwater Murders. Due to the thick fog and Dad's lack of knowledge about the immediate surroundings there and perhaps his momentary lapse of caution in checking carefully that there was nothing above him as well as Mr. Weber's failure to notify dad that there were indeed power lines above him dad began to walk this pole with an attached antenna at the end up into an upright position right into live 12,000 volt power lines.

All morning I had felt sick to my stomach. It was not like I was physically ill but like I was nervous before a game or practice, but so much worse that it was nearly debilitating; my soul was very troubled. I mentioned to teammate Chad Davis that I might not show up for freshman basketball practice which was then coached by now Paso Robles Bearcats head football coach Rich Shimpke.

I was in Mr. Larsen's Spanish 1A class (with Kenny McNamara) and it was either 6th period right after lunch or maybe 7th period and a student office attendant brought a note into class and gave it to Mr. Larsen who read it and then told me I was requested in the office and that I was to bring my books with me. This seemed slightly irregular and odd, but I did not yet feel alarmed per se.

When I got to the office (which at that time was still in the old admin building) I was met by Pam Meyer (who reminded most of us at the time of that Mrs. Pool character on television and in movies at the time) who must have told me mom was going to pick me up for some reason as that is the only thing that makes sense in the context of how things played out and what I remember and how I remember it. In any case whatever I was told didn't overly alarm me even though it alarmed me a bit.

As I waited in the main hall there where there was a view out the doors facing to the east where I could see what was coming up the hill Mrs. Meyer small talked with me in a manner that when I think back on it was nervous chatter to fill the air while we solemnly waited for what was about to arrive.

As we talked I noticed an Atascadero Police unit heading up the hill and the very moment I saw it I knew in my heart that it was coming for me and that something very serious was going on. Not that I was in trouble but that something bad had happened. The minute that happened I interrupted Mrs. Meyer mid-sentence and told her this police car was for me and that I had to go and I grabbed my stuff and went out the door and met the police car. When it pulled up and stopped I got in the backseat and found my younger brother already there in the front seat. I asked Officer Watton (perhaps he was a sergeant) what was going on and he said "Your father has been in an accident." I asked how he was and he was evasive and said my mom would tell us what was going on which I found less ominous than frustrating at the time.

When we got onto our street and came upon our house I saw mom out in front looking at us with a face I had never seen before and will never forget. It's hard to describe it but certainly it was ashen and yet dark and troubled and serious beyond the pale. I am still haunted by it. When I hurriedly got out mom immediately told us "Dad is dead." I felt cut to the heart and stunned. It was like being punched in the face but it felt like the impact hit my entire body and I said aloud "No!" followed by sentiments I remember but whose exact wording I cannot, but essentially the typical denial and despair and anguish.

By this time mom had already called the Noyes and McGee sides of our family and the sharks were on their way to the feeding. It was during this waiting period for the family to show up that I walked down the street to my then best friend Jon Marsh's house and told him what had happened and he was really shook up by it as you might imagine. Then I returned home and much of the rest of the experience was a blur.

What happened with Dad is that as he got the antenna on the pole into the near-vertical position he noticed the power lines at the last second and yelled "Oh my God!" and then the antenna or pole came into direct or indirect contact (the electricity can arc one inch per 1,000 volts so arcing up to one foot could have occurred in this case) with a 12,000 volt line or lines and they severed and fell on dad and wrapped around him almost like an electromagnet. A primary entry path for the current entered his head through his glasses and primarily exited out his left hip leaving some rather gruesome trauma there. Mr. Webber's foot was in contact with the base of the pole and he was shocked and thrown some distance away and was knocked unconscious briefly. When he awoke nobody was around and dad was still wrapped up in the lines. Mr. Webber received some damage to his heart and an quarter-sized exit wound on the bottom of either or both feet.

He struggled back to his house and told his wife to call 911. When the Atascadero Fire Department paramedics arrived they beat P.G.&E. and couldn't wait for the power to be disconnected so they untangled Dad using a broomstick. He was in full cardiac arrest and was taken by ambulance to Twin Cities Hospital where he was declared dead. They worked on him the entire drive there and at the hospital as well.

Mom watched the ambulance on the way to the scene as it went by on Curbaril Ave. and she lived on Cortez Ave. and she saw the ambulance somberly coming back by on the way to the freeway with dad in it and got a bad feeling but didn't connect it with dad. Dad was supposed to have lunch with her after the Webber job before he went up to King City for the bigger job. He never showed. She was concerned as that was not like him to not show up as planned AND not call to explain. Then when a police car pulled up and parked she knew there was some sort of trouble, obviously. Officer Watton asked her what type of vehicle her husband drove and she told him a brown station wagon and then he told her what happened. She asked him to go get her kids as she was not in any condition to drive which he gladly did. He was very supportive and sensitive throughout the entire ordeal.

It's strange how the human mind and emotions function in the immediate aftermath of these sorts of things. An example of this can be found in my then-thought/fantasy I sometimes (but not too seriously) entertained in the days immediately following that there was some sort of "catch" about this and the government simply made it look like Dad had died so he could do something for them in his intelligence-gathering capacity at NSA as he was a former sigint (signal intelligence) gatherer. This was merely the wishful thinking of a heartbroken son.

Another example of this strange way of thinking/looking at things was when we went to visit Dad's body at Chapel Of Roses and I stayed in the room briefly after the rest of the family had left the room and just quietly and sadly looked down at Dad who looked very peaceful and I felt this strange urge to confirm what I had been told about him having a big wound on his left hip and so I reached into the coffin and felt his left hip area through his suit (one he had recently bought for a job interview down in Southern California) and felt the area quite swollen. I know it sounds crazy but here I was with my Dad and I hadn't been there for him in his hour of need (Dad had originally intended for me to help him with the King City job and so I would have gone with him to the first job, too, but he changed his mind almost at the last moment and probably because of the bad vibes in the air) and so I needed to be a part of the "event" in some way after the fact. Also, I think I needed to do that to kind of confirm in my own mind what everybody had said had happened as we all were still in the process of accepting what had happened and fighting off the urge to be in denial dad was really gone.

The family finally arrived in full force and the zoo/circus/carnival/freak show began in earnest (do I sound bitter still?) which is mostly all a blur to me now. The family was pretty worthless in that situation needless to say with the exception of my mom and her mom (my maternal grandmother who was my favorite grandparent and the one I was the closest to).

Two days later on Thursday the 28th the seven of us (Mom, me, my brother, all four of my grandparents) went to Madonna Inn for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Dad's funeral was at Chapel of Roses the following day, Friday. We had wanted it at the grave site but it was raining and so it was rescheduled indoors. On the way to or from the funeral there was a beautiful rainbow over the hills to the east where Dad had died a few days earlier. I knew in my heart it meant something and was not a coincidence.

The next day we (mom and my brother and I) drove down to Pasadena to her parents place where we stayed or perhaps we slept at a motel, I remember not. In any case the McGee House was the place we hung out at during that time. That night we hooked up with one of mom's best friends who was my friend, too, Candy Smith. The four of us went out to dinner and a movie to get away from the rest of the family for a short time and we watched Rocky IV which had just come out. The part dealing with the character of Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) being killed and the funeral and all that caused mom to have to leave the movie and step outside for a brief time as the theme was just too sensitive just several days removed from what happened with dad and the funeral only being the day before.

From the get-go following Dad's death I emotionally withdrew into a world of school and friends and sports and roll playing games and going to movies and listening to music and such. I did not deal with the emotions of losing Dad when I should have in the few years following his death. As a result it all hit me later in high school in my senior year and into my early 20's which was a very bad time as that is when I needed to go out into the world and do my thing. Consequently, it got me all sideways in life generally and along with drifting away from God I have ruined my life to this point. Only recently have I started to get my life back on track and try to regain my mojo.

A sad consequence of my personal failure is that this hurt my family at the time it needed me most as I as the eldest son/older brother was off doing my own thing and not attending to their emotional needs. What harm this did I do not know but it didn't help things for Mom or my brother. However, I do not accept blame for how my brother turned out nor do I accept the notion Dad's mother holds that Dad's death is why my brother turned out the way he did.
My brother was already starting to go in the direction he ultimately headed before Dad died but he went over to the Dark Side after Dad died. He made his own choices in life. He was and is who he is; we all are who we are no matter what happens. I was not a great brother and neither was I a bad brother, either. My brother even told me so himself several years ago and it is one of the few things we agree upon.

My Mom had no reason to stay in Atascadero as she never liked it and still doesn't, but she stayed so my brother and I could finish school here which was a tremendous personal sacrifice as her life and family she cared about and friends were centered in Southern California. She never dated and still doesn't to this day. She really loved Dad. I hope someday she meets another special man who turns out to be The One. She lost the first great love of her life who was "The One" before Dad came along (she never married her first great love of her life). Then with Dad she lost her second great love of her life.

Shortly before Dad's death mom bought him for his upcoming 39th birthday (11/01/85) a very nice telescope from a nice catalog to view Haley's Comet which was approaching at that time. There was a S.N.A.F.U. and the order would not be delivered until well after his birthday. Mom had to sadly call and cancel the order in the days that followed his death on November 26, 1985. When somebody dies so unexpectedly there are literally hundreds of these sorts of details that come up and must be dealt with no matter how painful.

Another odd and painful little footnote to this story is that shortly before Dad died he applied for a great job down in the Santa Clarita Valley and even bought a nice suit for the interview, which suit he ended up being buried in, sadly enough. Shortly after his death this firm attempted to contact Dad to inform him he had been accepted for the job and mom had to tell them he was now dead. As you might imagine that was very painful to us, especially to Mom who had to deal with them. The only bright spot in all this is that we didn't move down to Southern California and I didn't end up finishing my youth (and high school) down in that cesspool.

Not long after the accident Dad's parents and Mom and my brother and I dropped by the scene of the accident and knocked on Mr. Webber's door and he answered and reluctantly allowed us in but did not make us feel welcome. Dad's parents spearheaded the effort as they wanted answers about what happened as Mr. Webber was the only surivor of accident. He offered no sympathy nor kindness and even left his television up loud during our visit causing Grandpa to politely request he turn it down so we could hear what was being said.

On the eve of the one year anniversary of Dad's death a man knocked on our front door late in the day while I was at junior varsity football practice and served mom papers notifying her that Dad's estate was being sued by Mr. Webber (who was/is a wealthy man of some repute) who failed to warn Dad that there were power lines above him despite the fact this was on Mr. Webbers' property and he should have known this. We never thought to sue him, however, and never did counter sue. Dad's insurance covered the suit. Mom's lawyer wanted to sue this guy and felt we had a case and also wanted to sue P.G.&E. for cleaning up the site before it could be investigated and felt they were covering up the alleged fact that the power lines were sagging too low (there are rules about how far down they can sag) and that that was the cause of the accident (alleged he).

Mom rightly decided not to sue either. It was an honest mistake by Mr. Webber not to tell Dad about the power lines (Dad apparently didn't ask him if there were any hazards either) and so they both errored and nobody deserved to get sued and so we weren't going to go down to his level and sue him back. P.G.&E. did not do anything outrageously negligent. Dad's antenna mast was 30' long plus add an antenna to that and the power lines stretched straight across would have still been at 30' high themselves so it wouldn't have mattered if the lines were properly stretched or not, Dad was going to die that day. It was his time to go no matter what. The P.G.&E. work crews cleaning up the site was more likely nothing nefarious but simply cleaning up after an accident and repair job getting the powerlines Dad accidentally downed back up again as is their job to do. Occam's Razor says in essence the simplest explanation is nearly always the correct one and I and we feel it applied here. Even if not Dad was going to be a goner anyway and suing would not have brought him back or given us money we absolutely needed. More importantly it would have kept us from being able to move on about Dad by dredging everything back up again emotionally and hurt us more than it would hurt Webber or P.G.&E. We were emotionally very fragile at that time. Mom made the correct choice in this matter.

In the years that followed I have attempted to gain insight and revelation into why God took Dad away. For the longest time it made no sense to me why God took my dad away from me and from his wife and his other son. However, over the course of the years as I have attempted to piece back together what the hell happened with and to me I have come to realize that dad had drifted away from God in the years prior to his death. God warned him of this many times through a variety of incidents that he ignored but that looking back now were terribly significant.

Dad was a better man than I will ever be and I deserve to die more than he did which humbles and grounds me firmly. I have ignored many a time similar warnings as Dad received. Perhaps Dad was being held to a higher standard than I given that he was a husband and father unlike me. Perhaps it is that Dad never responded to what God was doing in his life whereas I am now, albeit belatedly. Whatever the case, all I know is that on this Thanksgiving Day (which ironically falls on the anniversary of Dad's death) I am thankful to be alive and to know what I know and feel what I feel and to have a loving Creator who has put up with so much of my shit and not taken me away as I would have done with me were I in His position. He loves me and has big things in store for me and has used what I have experienced to shape me into something He can now use for His purpose. I now look to the future with hope and humility and yes, thankfulness.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXII

Eclectic Arcania is Back!

It was three months ago this date that we last posted on Eclectic Arcania. Much has happened since that time, most notably everything has changed with us. Now it's just me. This means things here will no longer be the same. However, I will strive to have her visit us with an occasional guest blog posting. In any case I hope our readers will return and hang out with us heading into the future. I will endeavor to make this blog better than ever and hope you all are satisfied.

Fini "Us"

My girlfriend and I are no longer a couple. Our breakup was as loving and right as any breakup in history.
We were great together for 2-1/2 years and grew so much during that time and had many wonderful times together.However, over time we realized we were not to spend the rest of our lives together and mutually agreed to part ways as dear friends.We could not have gotten through our breakup without the love and support of the other person. We continue to be the best of friends but are both still hurting a lot since we made it official August 26, 2009.

K&K Earthwerks Kaput (Sort Of)

I have been forced to pull out of all my shows and and restrict my business K&K Earthwerks to just an EBay presence. Show after show this year was either too quiet or was busy with visitors who were just looky-loo's and spent little or no money. This was the collective experience of most dealers I know. However, most dealers do it on the side and not full-time like me so this wiped me out.This Saturday I will be selling at Cliff Brewen's rockhound tailgater event open to the public.That event will be held from 8 AM to 2 PM at 6384 Monterey Road in San Miguel.I will be selling not only from my business inventory but from my personal collection as well.

I'm A Paso Roblan Now!

I am now living in Paso Robles having made the move from Atascadero this month. I still have about half my stuff at the old place but on the way home from work each evening I fill my pickup with another load of stuff so I am making good progress. I was stuck in a rut living in Atascadero and needed to leave as part of my starting over in life. I must say that as the years have passed I have grown more and more contemptuous of Atascadero and even before I realized I was moving to Paso I felt that was a cooler town and one that had its shit together unlike Atascabama/Atrashcadero/Mudhole as many folks variously call it.

Shows Out, Church In

Doing rock shows for a living makes going to church secondary as shows are basically weekend affairs just like church. I realize now doing shows is for me incompatible with my relationship with God at this point in my life and it is no coincidence that the show aspect of my business failed.Since closing down the show part of my business I have been church tramping in my area looking for a decent church that is the right fit for me.
Right now the top candidates for my church home are Paso Robles Bible Church and Faith Baptist Church in Atascadero.
All Work Is Honorable

Right now while I regain my financial footing and formulate a Plan B I am doing various oddjobs for friends and acquaintances. To date of have planted fruit trees, split wood, cleaned a house and painted both it and a duplex on the same property, helped somebody move their stuff, mowed lawns, helped build a concrete slab and put a shed on it, house sat and babysat dogs at said house, did a show in NorCal for a dealer who couldn't make it himself, helped another dealer set up and break down his booth at the Big Sur Jade Festival among other tasks I have done. If anybody reading this has need of me for some task please let me know privately and we'll work something out. Of coure, on the broader picture and longer haul I am seeking a steady, well-paying job which I fully trust the Almighty will provide when the time is right.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Picture of the Day - Snake Skin

I snapped this photo at my friend Steve Shear's place in the Adelaida area last week.
It shows the skin of a gopher snake it shed as it entered a gopher hole.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stonyford Rockhounding Finds - Part 2

Our friends Ben & Eileen Halpin of Chico sent me some more photos of their recently discovered Nephrite boulders from a friend's ranch in the Stonyford, CA, area which we are sharing with you below. We invite you to check out Part One of this series.

These photos were taken by Ben Halpin who retains the rights.
Please ask his permission if you wish to use them.
He can be easily reached at Halpin's Rocks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXI

We Are a No Show This Weekend

We pulled out of the Rockatomics Gem & Mineral Society's Rockhound Roundup this weekend right at the last minute. Krissa and I were starting to load up and her back was killing her as a result of the drive down here to Atascadero from Willits via the Sacramento area. I knew darned well this would only get worse throughout the day and weekend as a result of further driving down to the San Fernando Valley and then doing a show outdoors all weekend. Therefore, I pulled the plug on doing the show. We decided we would make money at home this weekend instead by getting our K&K Earthwerks Store revamped and up-to-date.

More On Missing The Show

One of the organizers of the show graciously called me last evening to check out if we were okay given that we had not showed up as planned. I had sent the club an email informing them of our situation but they had not read it yet. Their website features no phone contacts and I had sent in my contract so I had no way of knowing the phone numbers to call them. Anywho, I appreciate that gesture of care and concern in the event something bad had happened to us en route down to the show.

49th Annual Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show Next Weekend

Next weekend, Saturday, June 13, and Sunday, June 14, 2009, the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club will host its 49th annual Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show at the Cayucos Vets Hall next to the Cayucos Pier on the Cayucos beach front. The show will run from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. both days. Admission and parking are free and there will be free door prizes and all three local clubs will have displays for our visitors to view. There will also be a Santa Maria-style barbecue out in back in the California State Parks barbecue area. There will be 12 dealers at this year's show including Wonderworks/Mineral of the Month Club, Rocks & Relics, Rock Solid Jade, Gary's Jewelry & Lapidary Supplies, Steve's Showcases, Su's Creations, Jewels by Josie, Andy DeLong, and this year for the first time, Keith Olivas. Also, K&K Earthwerks will share a booth with Jade Cove (Mike Lyons). Featured prominently at this show will be gems, minerals, fossils, crystals, jade, jewelry, beads, and lapidary supplies. We invite everybody reading this to come visit our show and have a lot of fun and equally important, learn something new about the mineralogical world.

SLO Gem & Mineral Club June Field Trip

The San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club is conducting a field trip to Gaviota Coast on Saturday, June 27, 2009. We will all assemble at the parking lot the Dinosaur Caves Park in Shell Beach at 8:30 A.M. that morning to carpool down there. We will probably hit all three state beaches (Gaviota/Refugio/El Capitan) as well as perhaps some of the unnamed coves between Gaviota and Refugio that are usually frequented by only surfers and nudists. Members of other clubs are welcome to join us as well as freelancers.

Keith Olivas Tragedy

Many of you know respected dealer Keith Olivas of Lemoore, CA, who does many of the shows in Central California and in some cases beyond. A couple of weeks ago the home of he and his wife experienced a catastrophic natural gas leak which resulted in a fiery explosion which destroyed their home, including his entire personal collection and most of his business inventory. All that survived was what was serendipitously being stored in his van at the time. A room in the Cayucos Vets Hall that I didn't even know existed will be rented by the club for an additional $150 so that Keith can come to Cayucos with his wife and the two of them get their minds off their problems for a weekend and make some badly needed money. We encourage everybody to come to the show and purchase something from the Olivas in support of one of our esteemed dealers and an all around good guy (and gal).

Cut-off Low...Weatherman's Woe

Many/most of you have noticed the unseasonably wintry weather we have experienced here in California in recent days. This is the result of an unusually intense and long-lived cut-off low that has been wobbling over our state for the better part of the past week. This low pressure system brought thunderstorms to the state early this past week which caused wildfires that are still burning as well as struck several people with lightning killing at least two of them. This weather regime end fairly soon at which point the weather here in California will start feeling seasonable again. Due to the unpredictable nature of cut-off lows, there is a saying about them which goes "cut-off low ... weatherman's woe".

California Disasters Membership Milestone

California Disasters Group on Yahoo has reached 1,400 members this week. This is actually the second time it did that before hovering just below that mark for the past few weeks but I suspect we're into the 1400's for good now and we invite our readers here to join us there for more complete and detailed discussion and reportage of disasters and other interesting natural events in California, past, present, and future.

Krissa & Kim Relationship Milestone

On this date three years ago, the two of us met for the first time along the South Fork Eel River at Dos Rios in Mendocino County, California. The date then was June 6, 2006, or 6/6/06. ;-p
We had immediate friendship chemistry which gradually grew into more than mere friendship.
Krissa was interested in me first going back into late 2006, but we did not officially become we until the week of Valentine's Day 2007. I first started noticing Krissa as a young woman and not merely a friend while she was down to visit me over the course of her Winter Break 2006-07. At first I was uncomfortable with our age difference while she never was but in time I accepted it and became "okay" with it. I'm glad we established the friendship first as that is the most solid foundation upon which to build a relationship aside from inviting God into any relationship which we have also done. Tonight we plan to go out and have dinner and see a movie to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stonyford Rockhounding Finds - Part 1

My friend Ben and Eileen Halpin of Chico recently rockhounded at a friend's ranch in the Stonyford, CA, area and found some suspected Nephrite Jade boulders as well as a nice big boulder of Robyn's Poppy Jasper which can be purchased at their website Halpinsrocks.com. I invite you to check out Part Two of this series which contains more detailed images.

Twin boulders of suspected Nephrite Jade.

Suspected Nephrite Jade Boulder

Robyn's Poppy Jasper

Robyn's Poppy Jasper

Robyn's Poppy Jasper

Ben reminds me that he has more of these materials available as well as more nice Brecciated Jasper.

By the way, the individual in the photos above is not Ben but the owner of the property upon which the material was found.

These photos were taken by Ben Halpin who retains the rights. Please ask his permission if you wish to use them. He can be easily reached at Halpin's Rocks.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XX

The Big Sikhote-Alin Meteorite Sold!

The large Sikhote-Alin Meteorite I arranged to have Geoffrey Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites (he's also one half of the "Meteorite Men" duo on the Science Channel) sell for me finally sold this past week.
It first went on the market around the time of the 2009 Tucson Show where it it made its U.S. show debut after being purchased from David Richter of Rocks & Relics at the 2002 Munich Show who in turn sold it to me back in 2004.
We sold it for over three times what I paid for it with Notkin receiving a reasonable commission per our consignment arrangement.
This meteorite almost certainly would have sold much sooner were the economy not so bad this year.
However, I am grateful it fetched the price it did as well as when it did as it could have remained unsold for quite some time.
Notkin handled this entire matter with the utmost professionalism and courtesy and with due diligence and thus we highly recommend him to anybody. He's also a really nice guy, as well.
By the way, he has a fascinating and informative blog entitled Meteorwritings on Geology.com.

Krissa is Coming!

Tomorrow I drive up to Willits to get Krissa and bring her back down to Atascadero so she can spend her Summer break with me to which I'm greatly looking forward. She has a dentist appointment in the morning so she had to wait until then before coming down despite her last day of class being on May 21st.

Krissa is 21!

This evening Krissa turned 21 years of age during the 7 PM hour but she won't be doing any barhopping I can assure you.
The third anniversary of when we first met is on June 6th meaning, yes, we met on 6/6/06.
That also means I first met her a mere week after she turned 18. Ack!
I did not see her as anything other than a friend until early in 2007.
I did notice how much weight she lost between the first time I met her in June 2006 and the second time I met her later that year in September 2006 or thereabouts and noticed she had a nice figure but then proceeded to ignore that fact.
I must say I was initially quite uncomfortable with our age difference while she could care less from the get-go.
However, in time, I got used to it and accepted it and now don't think much about it.
We established the friendship first with no hormonal or emotional storms to cloud our judgement which is important and I'm glad.
Now, here we are about three years later and still friends and speaking to one another.

On the Employment Front

This past week was my third week working two days a week for Steve and so far so good.
I like working for the guy and we get a lot of work done all the while entertaining each other as we share several common interests and numerous viewpoints about the world. All the while I"m paying bills which until this job I had been falling behind on due to slow shows this year. I'm also learning skills I can use down the road when I have my own farm situation.

49th Annual Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show

This past week we escalated the promotional efforts relating to San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club's 49th Annual June Cayucos Gem & Mineral Show.
Fliers began going out to businesses and I belatedly sent some to each of our dealers.
From now on I will give the dealers at our two shows a year the fliers for the next show about half a year later.
We have already busy promoting this show over the internet for some time now which will continue right up until and through the show.
This coming week will see even more activity with banners going up and fliers going out en mass and a newspaper add being purchased in the New Times and possibly The Cambrian newspaper. Furthermore, I will be writing an article about the show to be offered to any local newspaper that will receive it for purposes of free publicity in exchange for free content.
By the way, my part-time employer Steve will be in that show selling his showcases and such.

Rockatomics Rockhound Roundup 2009

Krissa and I shall be in this show this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 5th through 7th, 10 AM to 5 PM, on the campus of Pierce College.
For additional info check HERE.
We will be in this show for the first time ever and are grateful to get into it and excited about its potential.
However, we are a bit wary given how many shows this year that we were excited about which failed to live up to our expectations.
We have not seen much online promotion of this show which is not to say it has not been promoted well online.
Consequently, we are slightly concerned the Rockatomics Gem & Mineral Society is not promoting it as well as it could be and needs to be promoted.
We hope our concerns are unfounded in fact.

K&K Earthwerks June Yard Sale

As of now we plan on conducting a multi-family yard sale here at my house here in Atascadero on Friday and Saturday, June 19th and 20th, 2009, 7 AM to 2 PM and invite the world to show up and lighten our load and fill our wallets. We will give out more details closer to the time if our plan holds together. Today, I and one of my roommates conducted a dry run of sorts yard sale with little promotion to just work out a system to make the real deal go smoother in a few weeks. We did get a few people coming by who saw our lone advertisement on Craigslist that was only up about day prior or so.

On the Rockhounding Front

Nothing much has happened for us on this front for quite some time.
Actually, the only rockhounding I've done this month was at the ranch of that guy we met at the Superior California Show earlier this month who invited us to join him at his place to look at the geology there and tell him what we could read of what we saw as well as to do a little gold panning (we found nothing).

Weather Notes

May is over and so is climatological Spring in California and earlier so this year than "normal" whatever that means anymore.
It seems California is a month or more ahead of schedule this Spring when it comes to seasonal benchmarks. We've effectively been in fire season all month whereas in a normal year the fire season doesn't get significantly going until June and even later in the North State.
Early this month we experienced the Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara County.
We've also seen significant monsoonal moisture and convective activity (thunderstorms) over much of California over the past week with resulting wildfires. Typically, we don't start seeing this until June at the earliest and some years even later.
This does not bode well for what we may expect this year over the course of California's annual fire season.

Four Things I've Noticed About Recent Fire Seasons In California

Four big changes I've noted in recent years when it comes to fire patterns in California are as follows:

1) Fires are getting BIGGER in California (and Arizona) despite better technology and knowledge of fire behavior.

2) Fire sieges now occur in BOTH halves of California in the same year as opposed to alternating year to year or even less frequently.

3) Fires now occur year-around in California and with near-regularity as opposed to every now and then as in the past.

4) Fire sieges in Southern California related to Santa Ana Wind Events now happen nearly every year as opposed to every several years or so as in the past.

Santa Barbara Area Fire History

This subject came up on my California Disasters Yahoo group recently and I compiled this list which I posted there for purposes of comparison and identifying patterns of when fires happen over the course of a calendar year. Here is the list for your edification:

Refugio Fire ~ September, 1955
Coyote Fire ~ September, 1964
Wellman Fire ~ June, 1966
Romero Fire ~ October, 1971
Sycamore Fire ~ July, 1977
Honda Canyon Fire ~ December, 1977
Eagle Canyon Fire ~ September, 1979
Wheeler Fire ~ July, 1985
Painted Cave Fire ~ June, 1990
Marre Fire ~ September, 1993
Harris Fire ~ September, 2000
Gaviota Fire ~ June, 2004
Zaca Fire ~ July, 2007
Gap Fire ~ July, 2008
Tea Fire ~ November, 2008
Jesusita Fire ~ May, 2009

Note: Some of these are a bit further away from Santa Barbara but in the general vicinity in any case.

Also note: the above list does not include the following fires which burned along the Highway 166 corridor in far northern Santa Barbara County near the San Luis Obispo County line:

Spanish Ranch Fire ~ August, 1979
Spanish Ranch Fire ~ July, 2000
Perkins Fire ~ June, 2006


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gun Incident - South Atascadero

This afternoon a three acre fire was started on the hill behind the shooting range in rural South Atascadero just off El Camino Real.
It caused a little bit of trouble with some running and spotting but the air attack plane, a battalion chief, and several engines were all that were ultimately needed to quelch it. A fire at this locale due to shooting at the range occurs about every three or four years. This one was about the same size as the previous one, but a bit less dramatic with no air tanker drops as the previous one happened a bit later in the year when Tankers 94 and 95 were stationed at Paso Robles Air Attack Base for the fire season. They are not there right now due to the earliness of the date relative to the official start of fire season which I believe will be this Monday, June 1st.

Right flank of the fire flaring up on the crest of the hill.

Left flank of the fire flaring up on the lee side of the hill as viewed from the west.

Both flanks of the fire losing steam as viewed from the east side of the hill.

Minor flare-up on the left flank as viewed from the east side on Carmel Rd.

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Monsoon Visits The Carrizo Plain

I took the following sequence of photos while out on the Carrizo Plain earlier this decade.

It was a Summer day with monsoonal moisture streaming into the region and storm cells popping up all over the place.

Mom and I drove down the length of the Carrizo Plain sky-watching.

We drove on out of the Carrizo Plain National Monument and down to Hwy. 166 which we took west to New Cuyama where we had lunch.

The first two photos were taken on the way south before the storms hit but as they were building.

We returned to Atascadero by the way whence we came and found ourselves in the aftermath of a flash flood of which we had just missed the worst.

The last two photos were taken on the return trip after the storms had rolled through.

Soda Lake Road is the recently-flooded road pictured.

Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes - all rights reserved.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Geoffrey Notkin: Man-About-Meteorites

This past January I had the privilege of speaking on the phone with Geoffrey Notkin, a genuinely nice and most definitely knowledgeable fellow.

Notkin, has been very well known in meteorite circles for some time but has more recently become rather well-known to Travel Channel watchers in an episode of Cash & Treasures which focused on Notkin's Meteorite Adventures as well as currently to Discovery Channel watchers due to his being one half of the cast of Meteorite Men.

Well before his more recent introduction to the general public he was already a busy fellow with a variety of projects and the talents to match them as evidenced by his personal website Notkin.net.

He also has a column on the Geology.com website entitled Meteorwritings as well as his own Meteoriteblog.

Of greatest particular person interest to me in regards to Notkin, at least at present, is his Aerolite Meteorites business to which I have consigned my large Sikhote-Alin meteorite for sale which you can view HERE.

As you may have noticed the price is not posted on the page and that is so that folks don't have a coronary when they read it as it is being offered for an amount that is not the sort of money most of us possess, including me!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XIX

Oy Vey

Bills are piling up, things are getting a bit scary and I'm feeling a bit besieged tonight .... tempted to question my assumptions about this being the correct path in life for me.
However, everybody I know who has been successful in business has had one or more of these periods but stuck it out and ultimately prevailed.
Fortunately I have a show this coming weekend which is a perfect segue into my next topic...

Anderson Gem & Mineral Show

This weekend I will be doing the Superior California Gem & Mineral Association's club show in Anderson, CA. It will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The show is being held at the Shasta County Fairgrounds. I hope to see some of you there.

Where Are My Show Bloggings You Ask?

There in the queue of bloggings I need to publish but none are finished and most aren't even started but I hope this month to get caught up.

I Gotses Me Some Workses!

Steve Shears has hired me to do farm work for him and today was my first day.
We moved (with a tractor) and split (with hand tools) and stacked firewood (about one to one and a half tiers) and planted some trees (one fig, two persimmons), and fixed a tractor.
Today was only a half day as he and I had other things going on earlier in the day.
I am scheduled to be out there again tomorrow.
This is a good gig as it is part-time and on-call but will not effect my shows.
In fact, Steve is a dealer, too, selling display cases and such at shows, including rock shows.

What Really Caused the Jesusita Fire

I can now tell you with absolute certainty that my hairbrained hypothesis that it was caused by some errant hot debris falling off of a Delta II rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) at about the same time simply isn't true. It has now been authoritatively determined to have been caused by day laborers cutting brush from a trail using power tools during the heat of the day during a Sundowner Wind event.

Whatever Happened To Those Sundowners?

All through this past weekend Sundowners were predicted to move into the Santa Barbara area and thus the Jesusita Fire burn area but they never materialized. However, they are forecasted to strike tomorrow and Wednesday.

Cerro Grande Fire Anniversary

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of the start of the Cerro Grande Fire in New Mexico.
The fire started as a prescribed burn on the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, NM. A cold front came through the area shortly after the burn was initiated and high winds associates with it caused it to flare up and run and spot and burn right into Los Alamos, both the city as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The fire consumed 47,650 acres and 260 homes.

Schwein Flu

The rampant hysteria seems to be finally subsiding after it had killed a whole one American citizen....in the meantime a myriad of other hazards killed far more people during the same period. Of course, before that it was the notion that the sky was falling with the economy as some breathless commentators were even deigned to compare it to the Great Depression.
So, now it appears we, the people, have to move on to the next hysteria du jour.

Speaking of the economy

Anybody notice the ongoing trend of good economic news (or economic news less bad then anticipated)? I'm also experiencing my own anecdotal verification to this by way of noticing more construction occurring in the North County region of San Luis Obispo County. People also seem more optimistic and less fidgety than they were late last year into early this year.

AHS Class of 1989 Reunion

This is my first mention of this on Eclectic Arcania but hardly the last. I have been tasked by the organizers with finding those of you who went to school with me (and were in my class) but are not on the list of you with whom we have contact to send RSVP's and such. If any of you are reading this please contact me and let me know your email address and/or phone number and/or mailing address so we can talk about the reunion.

Tempus Fugit

It feels somewhat surreal thinking in terms of having a 20-year high school class reunion coming up....can it be possible? Where did the time go? Where did my youth go? Oh, I know, I squandered both! Oh well, at least I know now and am making corrections which are ongoing.

Dad's Days & Mine

Speaking of time passing, my late father, James Gordon Noyes, was born on November 1, 1946, and died on November 26, 1985, meaning he died at 39 years, 25 days.

I reached 39 years, 25 days yesterday, Mothers Day, Sunday, May 10, 2009, having been born on April 15, 1970.

For a number of years now I've set it as a goal to make it past Dad in terms of days spent on this Earth given how Dad died tragically prematurely in a freak electrocution accident in the hills east of Atascadero, CA.

To me it was a straightforward goal to achieve if God willed it. However, tonight, while on the phone with my girlfriend I suddenly saw this matter in an entirely new and deeper context and was temporarily overwhelmed with sadness and melancholy.

It dawned on me that I have more than simply lived to be older than Dad but now am into territory Dad never traveled.

I suddenly realized it is as if for Dad the clock stopped at 39 years, 25 days and will never move forward for him again while the clock for me continues to move past where it permanently stopped for him.

I was and am now treading territory that he never traveled.

From now on it is no longer the case that he has been down this road before and thus I can take comfort in the thought that he made it and so can I.

I now feel more alone and in some respects feel Dad is now further away than before.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Picture of the Day - Osama bin Lutheran

Doesn't the figure in the church emblem look like Osama bin Ladin?
This church is located in Cameron Park, CA.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Picture of the Day - Mission San Antonia de Padua

Sanctuary at Mission San Antonio de Padua at Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey Co., CA. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Picture of the Day - Halcon Road Washout

Halcon Road in rural southeast Atascadero washed out by the Salinas River earlier this decade. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XVIII

Jesusita Fire

A fire started above Santa Barbara yesterday that was christened the Jesusita Fire.
This one came as somewhat of a surprise given it is still the first week of May (I accidentally started to type "June").

It began yesterday afternoon and driven by a modest Sundowner burned burned through about 200 acres of brush above the Mission Canyon area on the Santa Barbara Front.
It put up a lot of white to light brown smoke but burned no homes.

By nightfall the fire had calmed with the very winds that fanned it and made it possible given how early in the year it is for this sort of fire (in heavy brush when most early season fires are in grass).

The one saving grace yesterday was that humidities were actually relatively high at about 35-45% with modest temperatures. In fact it was cloudy upwind of the fire.

Today dawned distinctly warmer and dryer and although I live about a hundred air miles northwest of this fire the winds that become the Sundowner over the Santa Ynez Mountains must first blow by me here in Atascadero.

I worked the first half of the day at my mother's house and monitored the situation throughout the day.

I specifically checked KEYT-TV at 3:30 P.M. to see if the fire was doing anything and they had no coverage of it at that time.

Unbeknownst to me at just about that time the predicted Sundowner hit with a vengeance and according to witnesses the situation changed from pretty quiet to chaos over about a twenty minute span.

By late tonight it appears scores of homes are destroyed and two hikers known to be in the fire area are missing at last word.

Furthermore, five firefighters are known to be burned with three from Ventura County FD being sent to the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks while a Los Angeles County FD rig was damaged (all the exterior plastic was melted).

To give you an idea of what the Sundowner did to the weather today, Santa Barbara Airport smashed its old record high temperature for the day which was 86* F. with a new daily high temperature of 100* F.

The reason for this is due to the Sundowner coming from the northwest and over the mountains. As air ascends to pass over the Santa Ynez Mountains it dries out due to orographic lifting which causes moisture to condense out of the air. Then when the air descends onto the Gaviota Coast on the other side the mountains it compresses which causes it to heat and hence the lower humidities and high temperatures along the Gaviota Coast today compared to inland in the Santa Ynez Valley north of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Tomorrow looks to be about as warm but dryer and with high pressure aloft building in from the west the next couple of days the winds could be as strong or stronger than what we saw today.

If this forecast plays out as forecasted there could be a calamitous fire in the Santa Barbara area as a repeat of today's conditions but with a much larger fire area from which to start could lead to unprecedented destruction there.

Did Delta II Rocket Start Jesusita Fire?

Coincidentally or not, the fire began at about the same time as Vandenberg Air Force Base launched a Delta II rocket with a semi-secret payload of a spy satellite.
The USAF denies any connection but residents in the area of the point of origin report hearing a loud band or explosion immediately preceding the outbreak of the fire so one has to wonder if something broke off the rocket on ascent.

Vandenberg Witness

While looking up the time of the Delta II rocket launch at Vandenberg AFB a short time ago I came across this WEBSITE. All I can really say in response is S...H...E...E...P...!...S...H...E...E...P...!......

Proscript Gems & Minerals

The other day I received a phone call from one Don Ricky of Proscript Gem & Minerals.
Apparently he is a former member of the Santa Barbara gem and mineral club that seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth as did their club show some years ago.

Don told me he used to be the main guy who put that show on but got tired of not having any help of which to speak and then he left the club after one particular member (club officer) started doing things in a manner with which he did not agree and to which he was not willing to be a party.

Anywho, he used to do shows, stopped for a number of years and now wants to get back into the game and called to ask me about getting into the upcoming SLOGMC June show.

I had to tell him his odds are slim given Dean Welder of Peregrine Rocks & Trading Post is ahead of him in line and only God knows whom else. Don is a nice guy and I hope to meet him sometime and maybe even do some rockhounding with him.


Tonight my girlfriend and I had our first big heart-to-heart/state-of-the-relationship talk in awhile.
It was not only enlightening and therapeutic for both of us but also "detoxifying" to use a chic expression. Relationships are certainly complicated things and yet so much about them is so simple even a caveman could conduct one successfully. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch.
However, genuine love and like and thus respect and humility and patience and empathy and open lines of communication and being a good listener will go far in a relationship and in turn make a relationship go far.

Quote of the Day

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

~ Winston Churchill


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

SLO Gem & Mineral Club Monthly Meeting

Tonight the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club held its monthly meeting in SLO-Town.
I took some photos of those in attendance to give the outside world a view into our little world in hopes more folks interested in rocks, gems, minerals, fossils, and lapidary art will come visit us and perhaps even join us as we are a small, but warm and friendly bunch with a passion for rocks.

At each meeting we hold a Find of the Month Contest and everybody shows their best find of the past month and the members vote on which one was the most impressive. Needless to say, I'm too modest to say who won tonight.

Club president Noah Doughty showing off his two most recent finds: black jade from the Big Sur Coast and petrified whale bone from Hazard Canyon of which the jade he entered into the Find of the Month Contest.

George "Hib" Moore, past club president Bob Hurless, Melcena Brixley and Sandie Hurless at the rockhound round table discussing vitally important matters, to wit, rocks.

A contented Dianna Deem (show dealer chair) immediately following her impromptu post-work shift dinner of the club meeting snacks and, yes, she will kill me for posting this photo and explaining its context.
Helen Whigham and club secretary Lynette Bayless up to no good as usual.

Mike Shipsey showing off his Ant Hill petrified marine mammal bone finds.

Dan Manion (club newsletter) and club treasurer Mike Sheffer trying to look innocent.

Like I said, I'm not one to brag...about the fact my Ant Hill Shark Teeth collected last month won Find of the Month for May, 2009.

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

Monday, May 4, 2009

SLOGEM.ORG Website Up & Running Now!

Throughout much of this afternoon and throughout this evening I have worked to get content on all the webpages of the long-empty website of the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club which you can now view HERE.

I invite you all to check it out and I am open to any and all helpful advice and constructive criticism.

However, remember, we are limited in budget as far as graphics and features are concerned and as far as content is concerned we have only just begun so consider this a rough draft and judge it accordingly.

Kim Patrick Noyes
SLOGMC Vice-President

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rocky Canyon Quarry Hike

Today I took a short mile and a half (one way) or so jaunt up Rocky Canyon Road from the intersection with Halcon Road all the way to the back of Rocky Canyon Quarry. Just past the house on the left within sight of that intersection is a gate as motorized traffic is discouraged except for residents and Rocky Canyon Quarry activity.

Today was a Sunday so the quarry was shut for the weekend and I had the place to myself. There is an easement through the quarry for those traversing the Rocky Canyon Trail but they discourage wandering off of that easement. I am mostly respectful of that but did stray a little bit on this day in order to feed my passion for taking some photos. Besides, being a rock guy like I am means I cannot remain exclusively on a public easement through any quarry.


Entrance view

Shaped like a volcano.

Arrows lead the way through.

This contraption reminds me of the Queen Alien in her egg chamber.

Pleasant-looking texture.

More eye-pleasing textures.

A cave of sorts.

The quarry equipment rests in a hallowed out canyon area created by older quarrying.

More gravel, but hey, what do you expect? It's a gravel quarry!

Plenty of signage all the way through the quarry so no excuse getting lost.

Interesting interplay of shadow and shape.

Pines planted in the original terraces are becoming noticeably large now.

The Experimental Test Plot (native plants) was planted in 1993.

Beautiful blooming wildflower whose name I know not.

The long grade at the back of the lower quarry area.

Panoramic view from the back of the lower quarry area.

View from below of the newer upper quarry area.

My late paternal grandfather designed and sold conveyor belt systems.
Seeing the conveyor belt systems here makes me think of him.

The closer pile of gravel is actually sinking into a hole that feeds onto a conveyor belt.

I am now contemplating talking to the quarry people here (Union Asphalt, Inc.) and seeing if they would give the SLO Gem & Mineral Club a guided tour as our club field trip one month this Summer when it is otherwise too hot to do much rockhounding on the Central Coast.

All photographs by Kim Patrick Noyes. All right reserved.