Monday, December 31, 2012

Quartzsite 2013 - Early Bird Gets The Worm (Day One)

For the second consecutive year I had the honor of visiting Quartzsite, AZ, on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in the context of helping my friend Dave Richter of Rocks & Relics fame begin shopping early from the early. He and I drove down from Atascadero, CA, yesterday and stayed overnight a few hours west of here at Hyatt Hotel in the Coachella Valley. We then got up before dawn and got to Quartzsite and started in on the early deals. The show was behind last year's schedule as fewer dealers were ready today despite the fact we followed the precise same schedule we did last year. Below are some of the things I saw.
Check out the action on Day Two!

Looking west on Kuehn Street on New Year's Eve Day. Tyson Wells Market Center is at left while while Tyson Wells Main Show Grounds is at right.
The Quartzsite warehouses of Village Originals (left) and Western Woods (right), the two main powerhouses in town.
Like last year it was clear and beautiful in Quartzsite but much colder this time around.
Heat-treated Amethyst vugs to create faux citrine vugs.
The color isn't the only thing unnatural about these: their bases are concrete casts and their outer rinds are actually paint over a stucco.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with this as by now most people should know heat-treated and yet they still buy them.
A mix of treated and untreated Brazilian vugs.
There is a danger in leaving these vugs in the direct sunlight too long: their color will fade.
Brazilian Amethyst vug kitsch.
A Brazilian amethyst vug pair created from slicing a single in half and here packed in the crate in which it was transported.
Brazilian amethyst vugs slabbed in such a way as I have not heretofore seen.
Brazilian vug wall plates of Amethyst-turned faux Citrine.
I don't really know why people go for this material.
Indonesian petrified wood sphere approximately 3-1/2 feet in diameter.
 Rocks should not look like jelly beans!
This grade of tumbled stones featured at least some natural coloration mixed with the dyed.
Folks, please don't do this at home!
Of course, not everything or even most things at Quartzsite are faux or kitsch. Here is some Arkansas Quartz.
These are generic but quite natural Moroccan fossil marble sculptures.
Moroccan Selenite light fixtures in an ice tower configuration.
These cutsey Moroccan three-candle holders were knew to me this year or else I had forgotten about them.
I'm not a big fan of the faux/reconstituted Hematite but people seem to gobble this stuff up like candy.
Oh God!
Oh God no!
Please no!
Somebody please shoot me!
There is such a thing as a kitchen table and then there is such thing as kitsch on a table.
This was new and news to me: intensely dyed Moroccan geodes. They almost look like they are fluorescing.
This piece of Brazilian Amethyst is actually large and nicer than it appears in this image and was wisely being kept out of the direct sunlight.
We did not have to shop for this Congolese boytryoidal Malachite directly from the Africans this year because Village had a bunch at a better price.
The early bird view inside Prospector's Panorama.
"Celestial Garden" consisting of a Quartz and Agate geode with Quartz pseudomorph after Anhydrite crystals and secondary growth of Selenite crystals from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Courtesy of Doug True
Large Shiva lingham of Ruby in Fuchsite from India.
Large, gemmy Barite.
Amethyst stalactites with a bit of Calcite in a vug.
 Agatized Coral with Chalcedony stalactites from Tampa Bay, Florida, region.
Large Agatized Coral with Chalcedony stalactites from Tampa Bay, Florida, region.
Agatized Coral with Chalcedony stalactites from Tampa Bay, Florida, region.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Sunset Over Santa Barbara Channel

Earlier this evening I experienced the privilege of watching the sun set over the Santa Barbara Channel as I rode as a passenger in a vehicle down Highway 101 en route to the Southern California desert.  Below is what I witnessed. Note: the mountains seen across the water are the Channel Islands, in particular, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Island.

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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Picture of the Day - My Bitches

Tequila (a chihuhua-terrier mix) on the right acts like a cat and loves the cat food belonging to Rocki (a Maine coon) on the left who acts like a dog and whom I caught eating the dog's food a few days ago. The dog barely tolerates the cat whom she feels threatened by while the cat adores the dog whom she feel she owns. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Pewter Plough Playhouse's "September Song"

Tonight I had the honor of attending one of the last performances of The Pewter Plough Playhouse's of "September Song" which pays tribute to the colorful PPP founder's overachieving life of idiosyncratic accomplishment. That man, Jim Buckley, turned 100 years young earlier this month and the play has run the entire month in his honor but ends New Year's Eve. The show centered around the life of this rather remarkable man and his life emphasizing the thread of the Great American Songbook musical canon pulling from it numerous standards that were apropos to each phase and significant event and relevant element of Mr. Buckley's life from his formative years to the near-present. Mr. Buckley who until a recent fall attended each showing of this musical play sitting in the front row next to the seat I sat in tonight was not in attendance unfortunately for me as I would have liked to have met him. The cast of three men and two women was delightful and each brought something different and essential to the ensemble cast perfectly embodying the principle of  "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Noteworthy to me is the fact the entire PPP facility was years ago resourcefully remodeled and reconfigured into the current Pewter Plough Playhouse, a building I have passed by on Main Street West Village Cambria for the better part of the past 30 years with barely a notice. 

Play program cover showing Jim Buckley.
Buckley home-turned-PPP stage with the former backyard now covered by the indoor audience area.
Both photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - What Most Women Want

Tonight I spotted this over the urinal in the men's room at the Full of Life Flatbread Pizza kitchen in Los Alamos, CA. I suppose a woman with experience with men figured this would be the only way men would notice it and take the time to read it. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Very First Full of Life Flatbread Pizza

Earlier this evening I had the honor and privilege of visiting and partaking in the culinary decadence that is Full of Life Flatbread Pizza in Los Alamos, CA. The occasion was my boss and I along with a mutual female friend joining us on a short business trip to nearby Buellton, CA, and on the way back getting paid for our assistance by way of gourmet food and nice local wines at this fabulous place. The three of us shared the Central Coast Sausage and Shaman Bread with goat cheese pizzas. Both of these pizzas were awesometacular! I enjoyed this with a glass of  Pinot Noir from Presqu'ile in the Santa Maria Valley. Usually I'm not a big fan of wines from that region but this one was quite excellent. I also shared half a glass of Grenache from Sorellina in the Santa Ynez Valley. The service was friendly and the atmosphere was funky and hip and cool. Watching our pizzas being cooked in the pizza oven right there in the dining room completed the experience. However, be forewarned: getting a table is quite an ordeal as this place is always packed and is only open Friday and Saturday evenings. Most of their business is by way of mail ordering of their pizzas with their two open evenings being a way to connect with the community and those out-of-town guests inclined to make the worthwhile pilgrimage.
The bar in front.
Wine selection at the bar. Can you spot me in this image?
Pizza oven in the main dining hall.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).