Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXVIII

*Note: I've repaired the blog subscription feature here and invite you, the reader, to subscribe to this blog if you have not already and care to do so.

Eclectic Arcania is Cleaning House!

In addition to the aforementioned detail I have also culled the herd of my blog postings here eliminating over three dozen posts that for various reasons I wished to delete. I also deleted all past pending posts that I had neglected to finish and publish here all of which were from the period 2008-2009 and were exclusively related to rock shows I did during that period. By now I have forgotten many/most of the pertinent details relating to the experiences of those shows and in some cases never downloaded the accompanying photos which are now no longer available. I have kept all previously published rock show postings however as I feel they hold some value and benefit to me and perhaps others as well.

I have also culled the herd of Kimmer's Favorite Blogs while also adding a number of blogs to that list. The remaining blog links have all been checked that they are still active and that the blogs are still active in most cases.

An upcoming change here is going to be the visual look and layout of this space which will better reflect who I am and what this blog is all about. My ex-girlfriend did a fine job setting it up in early 2008 when it reflected our creative collaboration. However, that collaboration ended a year and a half later in 2009. Yet this blog failed to reflect that change as I lacked the emotional wherewithal to bestir myself to carry on without her given how much I associated this place with her and needing to move on in regards to her I also needed to take a break from my creative activities here. Fortunately, that period is now over as of last month and Eclectic Arcania is back.

K&K Earthwerks Store Redux

As with my blog so now with my Ebay store I have been unable to bestir myself to do anything with it because I strongly associated it with my ex-girlfriend and needed to walk away from it for awhile for the same reasons as my blog. And as with my blog so now with my Ebay store I am ready to start over anew and am eager to transform K&K Earthwerks Store into my store instead of "our" store as it was when my ex-girlfriend and I were still together and the store was our collaboration. She did a great job and I am forever grateful to her for her getting me set up and established on Ebay given my chronic technophobia.

I will soon be culling the store inventory of things that have not sold and will not ever sell and will instead dump them in my friend Ryan Adam's soon-to-be-opening art gallery in Atascadero. I will only leave in my store inventory the sorts of items that fit my niche of rare and unusual if not at times ugly minerals from hard-to-find places that in some cases are now closed and no longer producing that connoisseurs of such seek out.

I will be adding a line of Benitoite and Neptunite from New Idria as well as a line of Cinnabar nodules from the New Almaden Mine as well as a line of Elmwood minerals as well as a large line of Dale Harwood rare and uglies that are typically Ebay gold. I also plan to cull my personal collection of anything that I do not love and that has provenance. The stuff I do not love and that does not have provenance I will dump in Ryan's gallery and price it to move. Since I'm upgrading the quality of my store the prices will reflect the elevated niche I will be occupying but my prices will be reasonable for what I'm offering.

Spring 2011 Semester is Over!

Week before last I finished my 2010-2011 academic year at Cuesta Community College. Although our grades have not been officially entered into the records I already know I got straight "A's" in my three classes (8 units total). I achieved the same outcome in the two classes I took the previous semester which means I completed a total of 14 units this past academic year and earned a 4.0 GPA. I feel the Lord is directing me to increase my course load to about 14 units next semester and stop working for Dave Richter except for the local shows. This means I will need to find some part-time work locally which will require a "God Thing" to happen... again.

God Gave Me a Car...

Within a short time after posting on my Facebook "Wall" that I needed to purchase a used car within a certain price range I received a call from an old friend. She received a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue for free from her church, Harvest Bible Church, here in Paso Robles. She is the volunteer church secretary and during a time of severe need a year or two ago a car that had been donated to the church was given to her as a gift. She is now back on her feet financially and purchasing the soon-departing pastor's current car and asked him what she should do with her old car. The pastor told her to give it to somebody else ala "Pay It Forward". She was contemplating whom to give it to when she saw my Facebook Wall posting and knew that moment she was to offer it to me. So in our phone conversation she laid out the details for me and by the end of the conversation I knew I was to accept this beautiful gift. The plan now is for me to take receipt of it this weekend. I will need to smog it and get the brakes fixed and some minor electrical things dealt with and then I will be outfitted with a car that actually works. This will be the first car I have owned since early September 1990 when I traded in my 1988 Chevy Beretta for a 1990 Chevy S-10 4WD Blazer which I in turn traded in for a 1994 Chevy S-10 4WD pickup in June 1994 which pickup is now broken and can't pass smog and is not worth fixing assuming I could even afford to fix it which I cannot.

...After I Got Pulled Over

The #1 cylinder in my V-6 4.3 litter engine has inadequate compression and the unburnt fuel going into that chamber is going out my tailpipe. As that fuel passes through the catalytic converter it is destroying it. I can feel the diminishing power over time whenever I try to accelerate. I can't afford to fix it and have not since last year before my registration expired at the end of June. I have been driving the truck around with an expired registration since that time and have avoided detection through a combination of luck, pluck, providence, and skill... until about a week ago.

I was traveling southbound on Vine Street here in Paso Robles a few blocks north of 24th Street when a northbound San Luis Obispo County Sheriff patrol car that passed me suddenly swung around. I immediately pulled onto the nearest side street but he saw the maneuver and followed me and pulled me over.

I had dreaded this moment for a year and finally it was happening. I just fell into God's hand in this and trusted Him to make things work out because there was nothing I could do but simply plead my case and cause. This was about to be my third interaction with SLOSO deputies inside a year as I dealt with Deputy Kemp the day I found my friend Dave Brooks dead last August and then I have attended a few bible studies at the home of Deputy Calagna. Both men are class acts and I hoped to experience more of the same.

Two deputies got out and came up on opposite sides of my vehicle and the lead one on my side explained that my tags were expired. I immediately explained my mechanical and financial situation and that I was working on a solution. I also pointed out that I had a valid driver's license, up-to-date insurance, and that I had paid the registration fee for my pickup so that I was paying to use the roads just like everybody else but that because of merely this smog issue my tags were expired. I also revealed that Cuesta College police had already ticketed me about this very thing. The deputy was very reasonable and understanding and professional but firmly yet politely admonished me to get this situation resolved because technically I should not be driving around in my pickup under the circumstances. Approximately a week later God gave me a car!

My Pond Is In Place

I have now successfully installed a pond in my backyard and cleared the area around it in preparation for a herb and flower garden which my next door neighbor Lori will help me design and plant next month. In the meantime I'll work to get the pond ecosystem thoroughly balanced and established. At present I have algae mats and some sort of water vine in it plus small fish and tadpoles and polliwogs and water skeeters and some other assorted stuff in it. I'm trying to find snails for it but have thus far been unsuccessful. The Salinas River has been the source of these flora and fauna. I used a plastic pond insert that used to be in mom's backyard when she had a pond during the previous decade.

Kiler Canyon CSA

I have joined a Community Supported Agriculture operation several miles away whose drop house for their vegetables and herbs is next door where my neighbors Lori and Dori live and whom both work there. Kiler Canyon CSA is a wonderful agricultural endeavor that provides me with an amazing array of the bounty of the garden for a mere $21 a week for a half bushel basket which is the smallest consignment of food and still more than I can get through in a week. I plan to devote an entire blog posting to Kiler Canyon CSA at some point in the near future.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 Observance

Today Atascadero as a community came together and held a beautiful solemn assembly at the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial in honor of our fallen men and women for Memorial Day 2011. I had the honor of being in attendance and recorded the following images.

I raved about this veterans memorial in this blog back in 2008.


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Atascadero Fire Department Roster of Apparatus

As I was driving through Atascadero yesterday I drove past Atascadero Fire Department Fire Station #1 and noticed there was some sort of non-profit event and open house for the public which featured most of the apparatus of that department minus their hydraulic tower ladder housed over at Fire Station #2. I decided to briefly stop by and snap these photos.

Engine 7591 (formerly Engine #1)

Engine 7592 (formerly Engine #2)

Engine 7565

Engine 7573 (formely Brush 7 or Brush 9)

Also referred to as a DRT

OES Engine 275 (loaner from the State of California)

Atascadero State Hospital Fire Department Engine 7999

San Luis Ambulance Medic-31 (Medic-41 is stationed in Atascadero)

No kidding!


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spring 2011 Biconoid Hunt

This morning the Santa Lucia Rockhounds conducted a field trip to a location in the Coast Ranges of San Luis Obispo County where Biconoids are found in abundance. We met up at the OSH parking lot in South Paso Robles at 7 AM and left caravan-style for the trek to the location to which we as a club had the permission of the ranch-owner to be there until noon today. There was a proviso that we all sign a waver and only those with a second signed copy of the waver on their person could be on the property. Having signed this at the rendezvous point we followed club president Richard Smithen to the collection site and spent the morning collecting and enjoying the beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather and interesting geology.

Our morning rendezvous

Our parked convoy below the collection site.

Hillside containing the largest and best biconoids.

Closer in view showing some of the larger Biconoids scattered about.

Even closer in view showing Chris Driesbach and Dave Murray hunting.

My little dog Tequila excitedly wanting to get involved in the action.

Jason Martines posing with a possibility.

Jason has a reputation in the club as one of the two best in the club.

Chris Driesbach found this biconoid and split it in two.

Half A

Half A

Half A

Half B

Half B

Chris Driesbach's above Biconoid is notable for several reasons: it is relatively large in size ( about 18 inches diameter), features the classic and distinctive biconoid core configuration, is filled with druzy quartz, quartz filling is stained by iron oxide, and Half B contains a stalactite-like structure.


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Central Coast Skyscapes - May 2011

Today the sky was interesting over the Central Coast for the fourth consecutive day with rain the past three days. I regret not getting some storm photos from yesterday but I was distracted. The day before was too sopped in to get any decent images. Today saw scattered rain early on but cleared this afternoon. Below are some images I took late this afternoon into early this evening.

Heritage Ranch area

Paso Robles view southeast towards Black Mountain.

Rain showers over the Black Mountain area.

Paso Robles view northeast towards Parkfield-Cholame.

Cuesta College North County Campus is the collection of red-roofs.

Paso Robles view north-northeast towards Parkfield.

Highway 46 East heading out of the Salinas Valley at Paso Robles.


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Randon Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXVII

I try to post a blog entry each and every day but of late my busy schedule (not lethargy or procrastination or writer's block) has diverted my time and energies elsewhere. Originally the 27ths installment of this column was to post a week ago but better late than never.

Finals Week

This is finals week at Cuesta College and today I took the last of my finals for this semester, to wit, my First Aid & CPR class final this afternoon upon which I believe I did okay enough to get an "A" in that class. Yesterday morning I took my History of California class final and last evening I took my Geohazards class final. I feel I aced both of them and I am fairly certain I got an "A" in my geology class and am fairly confident I got an "A" in my history class which would be the hardest "A" I have ever earned at any level of education. Dennis Judd is an amazing teacher of professorial fiber although he works at a community college. One must really work hard to succeed in his class as he has high expectations for his student's writing of essays and grasp of how a broad panoply of historical details in the aggregate creates a detailed picture of a time or place or person and places the subject in proper context. Context is everything and God is in the details. His multiple choice questions are often not as easy as one would expect for multiple choice questions. Mr. Judd is so amazing a teacher and I respect him so much that I'm presently tempted to change majors from Emergency Management towards teaching history... something my late father had planned on doing as a young man before military service during the Vietnam Conflict sent him in a different direction in life. For now my major will remain unchanged. I'm pondering upon the idea of attending Summer School which Cuesta College will have this year unlike last year.

On The Home Front

My home improvement and living space transformation process continues apace with some slow-down due to preparing for my finals and work in Atascadero last week. This rain we've been having may cause me to postpone installing a pond in my backyard and finishing the sanding and staining of my patio furniture until next week. However, in the meantime I have some indoor organizing and consolidating and clutter collating and culling projects to complete. Since my more productive period last week I've kept a trickle of items that need to go away from me actually leaving my life while bringing into my living space a modicum of items all which are either necessary or unnecessary but positively and inexpensively add to my healthy living environment. A perfect example is found in my today rewarding myself for finishing the semester and completing my finals by purchasing myself a nice but inexpensive wind chime in the mid-tonal rang. I did not previously have a medium-sized wind chime in my wind symphony while I already possess two large wind chimes and one small one. Last Saturday I purchased myself a glass reamer for making my own fresh-squeezed orange juice. Leaving me has been a trickle of pots and pans I don't need and never used that cluttered my kitchen and CD's and DVD's and VHS cassettes I don't desire anymore as well as a surplus Cold War-era East German police officer's overcoat that never fit me but that I kept cluttering my closet or foot locker with all these years. Many other such things I've been up to since last week.

My Old Digs Are Up For Sale

Yesterday while I was getting organic free-range eggs at Dunning Farms in my old neighborhood I drove by my old place at 10755 Colorado Road in Atascadero and noticed the place was empty. A For Sale sign was leaning against the fence inside the front yard. I have researched online and discovered the place is estimated to be worth $344,840 while it is being listed for sale at $425,000 which is way less than it used to be worth during the real estate boom when I moved into it in mid-February 2004. Given the acrimonious way in which I parted ways with the former owner I find this strangely satisfying for reasons that I can't currently sufficiently wrap my mind around.

Rapture This Saturday...

Cult deader Harold Camping's self-prophecy of the Rapture happening this Saturday, May 21, 2011, followed by the destruction of the world precisely five months to the day later on Friday, October 21, 2011, when a mega-quake of magical proportions follows the Sun around the Earth starting in New Zealand and ultimately destroys the planet. This is so outlandish one can't easily make this shit up... well, unless one is self-deluded raving lunatic with a messianic complex like Harold Camping.

...Or One Could Attend Gem Faire This Weekend!

If the Rapture doesn't pan out this Saturday you can come to the Gem Faire this coming Friday through Sunday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. If you are one of those people who hedges their bets and wants to be ready in case the Rapture does occur but wants to shop in case it doesn't happen then come to our show this Friday. And if it will make you feel any better I'll be there helping David Richter in Rocks & Relics booth. ;-)

What's Up With This Weather Anyway?

We get rain in May and/or June just about every year and some folks talk about how odd it is forgetting that it happened just last year. However, what California is currently experiencing is rather odd actually as the rain has been here for two days and will continue overnight into tomorrow morning. 2010-2011 has been the wettest La Nina period in California's recorded history although the current episode is ebbing. Even this current stormy period is not the first rain the Central Coast has received in the past week with at least one other episode of scattered rain last week as I shared on this blog in photographs.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crazy Willy

One of my beloved feline friends is Willy The Cat otherwise christened by me "Crazy Willy" and the "Flying Mad Dutchman". I found little Willy on a hot Summer day in 1998 while eating lunch on the front porch of my mother's home where I was living at the time. I kept hearing this pitiful crying of a kitten somewhere nearby. I stopped eating and started searching for it by ear and traced it to a landscaping juniper bush in the next-door neighbor's yard. The neighbor's sprinkler was on and getting the juniper plant wet as well as me as I worked to locate the crying kitten. I struggled to get a glance at it as the source of the crying evaded me but I finally got a gander at this tiny vulnerable pitiful-looking little orange kitten inside the prickly hedge with matted wet hair plastered with juniper needles. I grabbed neo-Willy who initially was terrified that I was about to eat him but I immediately caressed him and spoke comfortingly to him and he responded with an immediate and obvious 180 degree emotional turn from terror to excitement that he had a new friend and savior in me as he clearly knew he was in trouble.

Mom and I nursed him back to health and he soon demonstrated to us how he got in trouble in the first place getting separated from his mom and litter mates too soon in life. Willy, as it turned out was an impulsive, spastic ADHD Type-A personality dare devil kitty with no self control. No doubt his brash and adventurous streak led him at even that young an age to head out from the nest after his mom had left her babies for a short time and he got lost and I fortunately I found him.

Since Willy entered our lives he has never ceased to entertain us and bring us the utmost joy. Willy was one of my best friends at a time in my life when I had few human friends during latter par of my dark years of self-imposed social isolation. Most of the cats in my life from that period are now buried and gone with only Buster (born in late July 1995 still living in mom's house) along with Willy's adopted brother Puffy (born in 1999 in mom's house). Buster's brother Rudy lives down mom's street but visits her every day for love and some wet cat food.

Anywho, below are three images of Willy I captured today while working at mom's house.

There's a cat hidden somewhere in this picture.

Willy's logic: if I can't see them they can't see me.

Liquid orange cat cascading out of the bottom of this curtain.
Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cuesta College Storm Views

Today after I got out of my Geology 212 (Geologic Hazards/Environment) class at Cuesta College North County Campus (Paso Robles, CA) I was delighted to see the scene below out to my north to northeast. These storm cells produced brief rain and hail but no lightning.

Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all right reserved)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Picture of the Day - Weed Whacked

My weed-whacked boots and socks. Image taken following work on my friend Steve's property in the Adelaida area. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rocki The Cat

Rocki The Cat has been my dear feline friend since 2008 or thereabouts. I have been blessed with many wonderful cats over the course of my life but Rocki stands out as one of the best if not the best cat I have ever had the privilege of owning. Rocki has dinstinctly Maine Coon, features but is small for that breed in no small measure due to her malnurishment during critical days and weeks in her early development. This breed is one to which I was unfamiliar until I met Rocki. I have since discovered that Maine Coons are very special cats and I've become so spoiled with Rocki that I want only cats of that breed from now on. Rocki entered my life one day when I and my mother and my then-girlfriend were out taking an evening walk up Rocky Canyon Road. We were greeted by Rocki coming out to meet us asking for help. She was a tiny sickly kitten who was emaciated and dehydrated and probably the only survivor of her litter. We found her in a wildland area a good distance from any human habitation so her mother was probably feral. We went back the next day and searched the area for any of her litter-mates who might have been in the area but found none. My then-girlfriend nursed Rocki back to health during the critical days and weeks that followed. Since that time we have jointly owned her although Rocki has lived with me. At some point in the future Rocki will go live with my ex-girlfriend when she gets her own apartment. In the meantime I continue to be blessed with enjoying the pleasure of having Rocki in my life. The following sequence of ten photos were taken this evening and are in the order they were taken:

Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all right reserved).