Monday, October 31, 2011

Caveat Emptor Moldavite

I attended a wholesale show this past weekend and came across some fake Moldavite I am sharing this with you so you the reader can be a more informed consumer. The material was the centerpiece of four separate expensive pendants. I will not identify the dealer in question who I found selling this material so as to not upset the applecart of my friend who is in the show. However, just to spice this column up I offer two clues. If seller of the fake Moldavite were to know I outed him he'd try to throw me in the Black Hole of Calcutta and make me sari I did so. Update as of 12/03/11: two of the four have sold to to some simpletons.

The color is slightly grayer than the real thing and the etching is a bit less sharp than the real thing.
Notice the rather large diameter saw marks on the back of the "moldavite"?
Both photographs by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scenes at a Gem Faire

I captured the following images over the course of the three days of this past weekend's Gem Faire in Santa Rosa, CA, in which I assisted my friend David Richter proprietor of Rocks & Relics.

The show opens with a trickle
Wendell and Alex in Wendell's booth
Royya and Amber in their booth
John and his son dressed for Halloween
Too bad this light did not last all day
The rock crystal quartz skulls sold well for Halloween
I loved the light this time of the morning
A rare moment of peace
Amber and Royya dressed to kill
An oasis of real stone beads in a sea of cheap Chinese beads
This show is in a big Quonset hut
The booth baited with goodies
Like the sign this show was a bit off-kilter
All photographs by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Golden Gate And San Francisco Views

On the drive to Santa Rosa this morning I captured these images as I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and then over on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate. The San Francisco Bay Area was in the grips of a Diablo Wind event today which made the weather absolutely the most beautiful weather that ever visits this region year-around.

All photographs by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XXXVI

Thanks to all of you this blog keeps growing in popularity while simultaneously the quality of the content keeps improving (I feel). I'm adding a couple of new elements to this column this edition as I attempt to expand it beyond simply being a personal newsletter about what is going on with me.

What Is Going On With Me

I'm continue doing quite well in school. Last week I took the math and English placement tests so that I may take math and English classes next semester. My walk with God continues apace with periodic back-steps but the overall trend is forward. My leg is healing after I hurt it pretty harshly at work earlier this month to the extent I feared I'd broken it. I have had all the work I could manage of late with the caveat that I could not drive to as much work as I'd like given the problems with my car.

Oh, And About That Car

I have replaced that 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue (transmission is failing) that I was generously given by a friend last June with a 1994 Volvo 850 that I purchased at a discounted rate of one grand. The owner is one of the best friends of one of my best friends. He wanted more money for it but cut me a deal on a perfectly operating car that was simply one car too many for the household which owned it so it was sold to me. Next week I plan to get rid of the General Motors product. This Volvo is the first non-GM automobile I have ever owned.

Santa Rosa Gem Faire This Weekend

This coming weekend (including Friday) I shall be in Santa Rosa, CA, helping my friend Dave in his Gem Faire booth. In the past this has always been a good and we humbly hope to continue that pattern once more. For those of you reading this who live in that area please come down and visit us in the Rocks & Relics booth. 

Busy Week For California Fire Anniversaries

I cannot help but notice all the anniversary notices on my California Disasters Group commemorating significant fires in California history that happened historically over the course of the past week or two. These include multiple fires from the years 1993,1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.By coincidence there are Santa Ana Winds and Diablo Winds raking California at this moment.

Change of the Seasons

Here in Paso Robles, CA, this past morning it felt to me like it was the coldest morning thus far this Autumn. This evening felt like the coldest evening thus far this Autumn as well. I suffer from mild Seasonal Affectivenss Disorder (S.A.D.) and don't particularly enjoy the shorter and colder days and even colder but longer nights we are headed into here on the Northern Hemisphere. However, I do enjoy katabatic winds which are common in California in the Autumn and the overall change of the seasons as it pertains to interesting weather.

Occupiers = Tea Partiers

I realize most of you reading this column vehemently disagree but it really is true. A populist is a populistTea Partiers are populists and Occupy Wall Streeters are populists.

Populists = Extremists

This idea is unpopular but it is likewise true. Populists as a general rule are extremists. History is full of examples. I'm going to invoke Godwin's Law here and point out that the Nazis started out as populists... as did the Communists in Russia and elsewhere. Is there a separate law regarding making Communist/Lenin analogies?

Cloverfield Movie Review

I viewed the movie Cloverfield for the very first time just a few nights ago. It's basically an American Godzilla-like movie with an altogether new monster never before seen. The scary factor is decent and the special effects are good. The plot is okay but not great. The characters are mostly obnoxious as hell and I found myself rooting for some of them to die... and they all did. The film itself is shot in the format of a home video taken by one of the main characters in the film who is thinking he is filming a going away party for a friend when something seems to fall out of the sky and land in the harbor adjacent to New York City. A 350-foot tall monster apparently from outer space but that is never confirmed then begins to smash the city and eat people. It even carries a nasty little surprise on its back like many real-life critters do when they have offspring. I give the movie a B grade but would  not call it a B-movie by definition but much better.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Join California Disasters Today!

"Central Theatre, on Market at 8th Street, in flames" courtesy of the SF public library historical photos collection

California is THE State of Disaster. Few if any other places on Earth combine such a dynamic brew of hazardous factors ranging from geology to climate to vegetation to population density to human lifestyle choices. All of these factors add up to a perpetual cycle of disaster of all sorts. The purpose of California Disasters Group is for notification and discussion of disasters in California that occurred in the past, are occurring in the present, and will occur in the future. The types of disasters we cover run the gamut from natural to man-made to environmental to other significant events such as civil unrest. We take a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted approach to this and wish to be a nexus between different sorts of online groups representing different areas of interest or expertise who might not otherwise interact with each other. For that reason we encourage cross-promotion of groups here provided they serve the purpose of this group. We accomplish our group purpose through play-by-play accounts of incidents as they unfold or discussions of historical or ongoing disasters or future disaster hazards or posting of articles about such matters.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Trip Down Market Street

The historic silent film "A Trip Down Market Street" has been around in bits and pieces in an inferior condition for years. However, in recent years the entire film was digitally-restored to it's original complete length by the commission of San Francisco film archivist Rick Prelinger. After some thorough detective work by Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum archivist David Kiehn it was incontrovertibly determined to have been recorded by the Miles Brothers on April 14, 1906. This was a mere four days before the infamous earthquake struck The City and the ensuing urban fire storms consumed most of  The City including the Miles Brother's studio and archives. It is haunting and mesmerizing watching this film as the ghosts of people and buildings and various modes of transport pass before the camera and pass before history itself. Some of the individuals seen in this film undoubtedly died or were injured four days later. This is the purest version of the film extant on the internet. I prefer its stark silence in contrast to the many other versions on the internet that feature musical soundtracks.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Picture of the Day - San Simeon Creek Inlet

Yesterday on the way home from a rockhounding excursion further up San Simeon Creek shown here on the left side of the photo below (blocked by the sand forming a lagoon) I stopped by the place it enters the Pacific Ocean. Over the course of the past 20 years this place did more to save my sanity than any other single thing I did aside from prayer. In my unfettered sanity of recent years I have become insanely busy and unable to make it over to this incomparably special place. It felt so incredibly good to see it again yesterday if only briefly. The weather that could not have been more beautiful but then that is rather normal for this region during the month of October. It is worth noting that this is one of the very best rockhounding beaches anywhere on Earth.

Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

San Simeon Creek Jasper Jamboree

The Santa Lucia Rockhounds conducted a field trip to San Simeon Creek in northwest San Luis Obispo County on the Central Coast of California this fine morning. Field Trip Coordinator Pete Duckworth set it up with the landowner and the entire morning went well for the club. The weather was perfect as a rather strong katabatic wind event was underway over at the coast and in the coastal valleys (in other words, we were having a Santa Ana Wind/Diablo Wind). This made it strangely and stirringly warm at the immediate coast early in the morning in the second half of October no less. Given how I love such weather phenomenon I could not have been happier rockhounding or no rockhounding. As a club we rendezvoused  at 8 AM at the Washburn Overflow Campground parking area at San Simeon State Park just north of Cambria along Highway One. From there were convoyed up San Simeon Creek Road to the usual parking area. Club member Roger Larsen and I parked downstream of the main group in order to hit stretches of the creek less picked over. This was to no avail as the creek needs a thorough cleansing by a strong run of water this Winter in order to refresh the supply of rocks. This same area had already been hit earlier in the year by our club and perhaps others as well. This creek is legendary for its colorful and various, quartz, chalcedony, agate, jasper, chert and combinations thereof. There is also cinnabar, myrickite,  marine fossils and arrowheads on occasion as well. NOTE: DO NOT attempt to visit this location without prior approval from the landowner or you will be caught trespassing and arrested.

Sunrise over a Santa Ana Wind-swept coastal plain
Club members gathering at the rendezvous point... and showing off their rocks.
Gaylen Moyer showing off his sphere of  Stone Canyon Jasper fashioned by Cliff Brewen
More members showed up and soon we convoyed up San Simeon Creek without a paddle.
My little monster Tequila looking deceptively innocent.
Club member Roger Larsen traversing a bed of cobbles
Club member Roger Larsen and Past President Gene Bilyeu
The primary collecting spot looking upstream
The primary collecting spot looking downstream
One of my four finds.... all of which I gave to Kency Scott
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)