Friday, May 31, 2013

Noctilucent Twilight

I have never seen noctilucent clouds that I am certain of although on a few occasions I've extremely high altitude clouds that made me wonder if they were such despite the fact such clouds are not supposed to be seen elsewhere than the high latitudes and polar regions. This image of such clouds was captured by M.J.S. Ferrier at Barassie Beach, Troon, Scotland before dawn today. I particularly like the fact this photographer doubled our pleasure by treating us to the reflection of the noctilucent clouds upon the water.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memories of Daggorath

Tonight I used the word "syntax" in an online comment which reminded me of the two-word expression "syntax error". That is a computer message which harks back to my days as a preteen in 1983 playing with my very first computer, a TRS-80 computer from Radio Shack where my dad worked at the time. That computer used BASIC computer language and "syntax error" often came up if any command was given the machine which did not conform to its language. This then reminded me of my first ever computer game, "Dungeons of Daggoroth" which I played quite a bit but not for very long as I soon got hooked playing games on friend's and then later my own Atari 2600 game console. Anywho, I still hold fond memories of and harbor strong childhood feelings for "Dungeons of Daggorath" a game which captured my imagination with it's quirky appearance and feel and its creepy sound and memorable beating heart. A short internet search revealed to me the game was not only quite revolutionary but that many other people in my general age group played the game and remember it fondly and it is highly-regarded amongst gamers.  Not only that, but I also discovered quite happily that people still play it and I can download the game and play it for free now as it is in the public domain apparently. I never really thought of myself as having been in the vanguard of home computer gaming when it all broke forth upon society about 30 years ago, but now that I think about it I really was. Below is a good primer on the game.   

You Don't See This Every Day

This is security camera footage from Carl Sandburg College in Northern Illinois which experienced flash flooding yesterday.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Picture of the Day - One More Grad Pic

Friend and classmate and fellow history major Blake Burgess and I posing in the parking lot following walking at the Cuesta College 2013 Commencement Ceremony last Friday evening. Photo by Krystal Marie Sprague (all rights reserved).

WARNING: Disturbing Quake Damage Image

This image was taken and Tweeted tongue-in-cheek this morning by Zain Khan, a resident of Southern Santa Barbara County. It was accompanied by the following caption: "The devastating effects to our house from the earthquake in Santa Barbara." Of course, this is in response to the M4.6 earthquake which struck at 7:38 a.m. this morning epicentered a few miles west of Isla Vista and a mile or two directly offshore at a very shallow depth.  There were no reports of significant damage but it was widely and strongly felt in the region. This image (which by the way, shows the Santa Barbara Channel and some of the Channel Islands in the background) thematically reminds me of  the humorous 2011 Virginia Quake Remembrances circulating the internet shortly after it happened. Photo by Zain Khan (all rights reserved).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ghost Flight

While getting caught up in one of my periodic Youtube search birdwalks wherein I forget what I visited the site for and drift off following one link after the other getting further off-track from my original intent I found this haunting video. It is consists of the final several minutes of two men's lives. During that ephemeral flight they enjoy a scenic sightseeing air tour of the Rocky Mountains in a Cessna L-19. Due to pilot error they got into a situation with the terrain in which they didn't have room to turn around as the mountains before them kept rising in altitude. At the end of their dramatic emergency 180-degree right turn which begins at about the 6:20 mark in the video they stalled thrice and dove into the trees to their deaths rolling upside down as the video violently ends. The flight went missing for three years until hikers found the wreckage with the VHS cassette contained therein and undamaged by either the crash or the elements surprisingly enough.
For more info on this crash read its NTSB report.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Token White Incident Image

This image of the White Incident in Santa Barbara County was taken late this afternoon/early this evening by ValleyFireScan and posted by him on Twitter (all rights reserved).

Memorial Day 2013

Today mom and I attended both Memorial Day ceremonies held in Atascadero, first, the original and now earlier and smaller one at Pine Mountain Cemetery and then the newer and later and larger one at the Faces of Freedom Veteran's Memorial also in Atascadero. Both ceremonies were very touching and it felt rewarding and an honor to be in attendance of both of them.
Here are some scenes from them I captured:
This earlier and smaller ceremony held at Pine Mountain Cemetery used to be the primary and only such ceremony here.
Here at the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial a much larger crowd gathered to honor our nation's departed warriors.
Pastor Key leading an invocative prayer to kick things off.
Retired U.S. Navy Commander John Marc Wiemann delivering a fine keynote speech this Memorial Day.
All images taken by my iPhone (all rights reserved).

28 Days Later Remixed

Tonight I revisited the movie 28 Days Later after not having seen it since last year when I viewed it for the first time and quite enjoyed it such as one can with such a movie about downer subject matter. I found that I enjoyed it more this time around and watched all the "extras" on its DVD. The extras included an alternate ending I intend to revisit here later as well as the following Jacknife Lee music video derived from this movie. I actually like this track and how they edited the film from the movie into the song in such a way as to effectively accompany it and compliment it. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ghosts Aren't Dead ~ They're Displaced

Tonight I responded on Facebook to a thread about an acquaintance experiencing an old haunted government building and all the weird things people who work there have experienced over the years. That conversation thread got me thinking about the topic of places being "haunted" and I felt inspired to comment there thus:

I love old historic well-storied buildings myself and there are both falsely and genuinely haunted places. What haunts them are not dead people because dead people are gone from here forever. However, things not physically rooted or manifested here which used to possess an abiding presence with their Creator and were once bathed in His glory, since rebelled and were forever banished from that abode. In many cases these creatures tend to haunt/manifest themselves in places where things of interest to them occurred and/or are occurring or perhaps linger in places where things happened in which they played and/or continue to play a mischievous if not at times downright malevolent role. These things they do because they hate us because we are created and loved by that from whence they rebelled and hate, and we possess many things they can never know or have and thus envy.

Picture of the Day - Homestead Incident

Note: blurry due to iPhone zoomed-in image. This was the scene from Cortez Avenue in Atascadero of a brush fire off of Homestead Road in rural East Atascadero, CA. Note the CALFIRE S-2V dropping retardant across the left flank of the fire. This fire started on private property and before my eyes roared up the hill behind a private residence which will undoubtedly be paying a hefty fine plus expenses pending the results of the investigation by SLO Co. F.D./CALFIRE. From images in local media showing the entire burn area it appears to have scorched under 10 acres. Image taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - Von Achen Tailgatin'

This was the scene at today's 1st Annual Von Achen Ranch Rockhound Tailgate hosted by the Orcutt Mineral Society of South San Luis Obispo County/North Santa Barbara County. I had the high honor of being a seller in this rockhound get-together which saw members of both the Santa Lucia Rockhounds and the host club show up in appreciable numbers. The San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club was a no show aside from myself who is a member of all three clubs. I was able to make enough money myself to justify the gas and time and since I am liquidating I don't have to worry about replacement costs for my inventory. I hope this little event becomes a tradition! Image taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved). 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Picture of the Day - The Graduate

I HATE self-portraits or even other people's images of me. For that reason one does not see much of me on my blog. However, I am making a rare exception here as this shows me late this afternoon at Cuesta College San Luis Obispo Campus in my graduation ceremony regalia right before I lined up in preparation to walk into the gymnasium for the ceremony. Image taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - Shark Bait

As I and my Cuesta College Cohorts Blake Burgess (who graduated with me today) and his girlfriend (and fellow Cuestonian) Krystal Marie Sprague and my big lug of a pal (and also fellow Cuestonian) Kameron McMeekin burned some time in Morro Bay this afternoon waiting for the graduation ceremony to begin we espied this wryly humorously named boat in the harbor as viewed from the embarcadero. Image taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Picture of the Day - The Diploma Stork

Dr. Gil Stork, Cuesta College President, pictured here in the San Luis Obispo main campus giving us an incredibly awesome speech during our graduation ceremony rehearsal which was not merely a practice run for tomorrow's speech but was for us to hear today privately. I first met the man for the first time earlier this week at the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo scholarship award ceremony. I found him to be incredibly personable and human and cordial. For me that was reinforced by his speech today. Image taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moore, OK, Not Okay Today

Today I was mostly consumed with academic concerns but did manage to watch a couple of hours of live streaming TV coverage from local Oklahoma City newsmedia market outlets during the immediate aftermath of today's tragedy at Moore, OK. At last count 91 people were killed and that number is expected to rise perhaps sharply. Below is an interesting fast-motion version of about 15 minutes of live video footage condensed down to about 3 minutes and showing the devastating EF-5 tornado demolish a swath of that repeatedly tornado-beleaguered community. Note the debris ball envelope the lower end of the half-mile wide wedge and also note the rapid motion of the wall cloud and its rapid descent nearly to the ground during the climax of the tornado as it was tearing up Moore, OK.

Picture of the Day - Scholarship Diploma

Today at midday I attended a San Luis Obispo Rotary Club scholarship award luncheon wherein I was generously awarded by them a scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year at Cuesta College. The overall experience was magical and I was so impressed with the other scholarship nominees, young people young enough to be my own kids. Their accomplishments are impressive and their composure and presentation before the audience was stirring. It is impossible for me to be 100% pessimistic about the near-future of our civilization knowing people like these are being produced by our community and in communities scattered across our fair land. These new adults will be the leaders and movers and pushers and shakers and "doers" of the coming quarter to half century. I salute my fellow nominees and pray they live fruitful and meaningful and well-lived lives. I was also quite impressed with the caliber of people who are members of the SLO Rotary Club that meets at the Madonna Inn. I would be honored to someday become a member of that august body.  Photo taken with my iPhone (all rights reserved).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eclectic Arcania's Biggest Fan

This evening in response to my Make That Three Scholarships! column earlier today I received this positive feedback from Eclectic Arcania's biggest fan:

Anonymous May 19, 2013 at 3:18 PM
In response to this lovely little comment I kept it real and responded thus:
Dear Anonymous,

Your mother must be proud of you. You, her little baby, hides behind your online anonymity and makes disparaging comments sans attaching your name and reputation to them. This was undoubtedly the sort of thing which on the day you were born and she first beheld your countenance and embraced you within her arms was the sort of thing she envisioned you would someday grow up to do, thus inspiring her to work all the harder to raise you.

Undoubtedly your mother brags to her friends and peers that you, her favorite child, trolls the internet in such a fashion as to place you on the verge of cyber-stalking on other people's blogs.

Your mom's friends envy her that she has raised a child who has grown up to live such a meaningful and productive life that it allows you the time to dabble in an online activity for whom the world views its practitioners as lowest form of life on the internet.

I'm certain she is heartened to see you, her beloved child, appear to fully grasp the intent and purpose of financial aid as well as the benefits of acquiring an education.

Not only that, your mother would be filled with pride to see you commenting upon someone else's weight and that from a position of anonymity.

As if all this weren't enough your standards of "netiquette" have you using ALL CAPS in an attempt to place emphasis although it actually means in internet etiquette that you are shouting all of which she would find as quaint and charming as I do.

However, your mother might wonder what you meant by "FRUTILITY" and "PERSUE" and "CARREER".

Your beloved mother and I definitely wonder who "LINDA" is and if by that you meant my mother "Lynda" and if so how it would be my responsibility and not her husband's primary responsibility to provide for her.

Also, your lovely mother and I both wonder how I could support my mother as she gets older if I were to pursue a career as a security guard as you are suggesting when everyone knows a college graduate has a higher earning power than a non-college graduate.

Lastly, we all admire how fast you were able to transition from beginning to comment about the severe weather in Kansas today and seamlessly segue into your inspiring message to me.

I am grateful for this opportunity for meaningful interaction with you this day. I am heartened to know there are purveyors of truth and goodness out there in the ether of the internet such as yourself whom strive to be a positive and inspiring influence in the world on their fellow human beings and in particular, fellow American citizens such as myself.

I don't wish to distract you from the important stuff you are doing with your busy life by commenting here any further so I wish you a lovely day!

Kim Patrick Noyes

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Vino Vice - Episode One

Until a few days ago I had planned on today taking a $75 CPR & First Aid class (a refresher course for me) at the 911 Supply House in Paso Robles. However, it was cancelled a couple of days ago and rescheduled for the middle of next month. I had made the choice to sacrifice going on an exciting multi-club rockhounding excursion to Area 54 in Western Fresno County all day today in order to take that class. Therefore, I had planned on taking the field trip after all in light of this development.

Within a day of receiving that cancellation notice for the class I received a telephone call from my buddy William Buchanan who works as a supervisor at the new up-and-coming local security company Vino Vice whose focus are wine events. He asked me if I wanted to come down and work with them as a trainee at today's 31st Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival in the downtown City Park. He has been encouraging me for many months to get a Guard Card and join the team pending acceptance by the owner However, my time and money demands have not allowed for it heretofore. Billy told me if I was interested in his offer to not worry about the Guard Card for now with the caveat of picking it up later albeit sooner than later. Following today's wonderful experience and the motivation I now feel to do this again I am going to get that Guard Card ASAP once I get past college finals next week.

Today I thoroughly enjoyed myself, served the community, picked up vital experience, and hopefully impressed the team, particularly the boss and his three supervisors. It was nice seeing a good number of people I know visiting or working the event and even being recognized by one or two visitors whom I felt badly that I did not recognize, but such is having a 43 year-old's name retention ability.

View southeast from the northeast corner of Spring Street and 12th Street looking into City Park at about 8 a.m. before the vendors arrived.
View from the middle of 12th Street at Spring Street looking eastward towards Pine Street closure at the opposite end. This stretch of 12th Street was closed down for the day for the benefit of pedestrians arriving and leaving the event.
View looking southwest from the middle of 12th Street at Pine Street looking into the park at about 8:30 a.m. prior to the arrival of most vendors.
View north from the center of the park with the distinctive Acorn Building in the distance. This building was rebuilt following the 2003 San Simeon Quake which destroyed the original.
View southeast from the center of the park looking towards Park Cinemas.
View north from the center of the park with more detail of the rebuilt Acorn Building and to the left of it across Park Street from it one can see another prominent downtown building red-tagged by authorities following the quake and was rebuilt in 2005.
View southwest from in the east-center region of the park looking at the Carnegie Library Museum and showing the crowds having disbursed following the end of the event in the park at 4 p.m.
View southeast from the northwest area of the parking looking into the center of the park with the Carnegie Library Museum at right. Note that almost everybody has cleared the park by the point this image was captured.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Make That THREE Scholarships!

Dear Kim Noyes ,

Congratulations!  You have been selected by the Cuesta College Scholarship Committee to receive the following scholarship(s) for the 2013-2014 academic year:

317650 - Glenn H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship Fund              $ 625.00
327150 - Rotary Club of SLO         $ 800.00
313900 - Delta Kappa Gamma Alpha Mu                $ 625.00

If you wish to accept this award, you will need to write a thank you letter (TYL) to the donor(s).  You will receive a separate email with instructions and details about the TYL format. The Financial Aid Office must receive your TYL(s) by Friday, May 24th, 2013. You must submit one TYL for each scholarship you receive.

Students who will not be attending Cuesta and/or want to decline a scholarship award do not need to submit a TYL. Any students who do not have a TYL on file with the Financial Aid Office by deadline will forfeit their scholarship award by default.

Students may submit TYL via email to with subject line “1314 Scholarship Thank You Letter”. Students also have the option of submitting the TYL in person or by mail to:

Cuesta College
Financial Aid Office
PO Box 8106
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

As a scholarship recipient, your attendance is required at the annual scholarship reception that will take place on Friday, August 9, 2013. The reception is hosted by Cuesta College Foundation and provides the opportunity for donors to meet their scholarship recipients. Invitations for the reception event will be sent out in early July.

On behalf of the Financial Aid Scholarship Committee, it is our pleasure to recognize your personal and academic achievements. Best wishes for a successful year ahead!


Maria-Belen Vaccaro
Cuesta College
Financial Aid Specialist

California Disasters Group 6 Years Later

California Disasters Group Icon/Logo/Avatar entitled "Central Theatre, on Market at 8th Street, in flames" from the SF public library historical photos collection.
California Disasters was conceived by me six years ago this very day while I was driving eastbound on Highway 58 in the Tehachipi area en route to Arizona/New Mexico. I called up my then-girlfriend and asked her to set up the Yahoo group while I was out of town which she did quite effectively and here it still stands today with over 1400 members.

We have been through a lot of disasters together, mostly wildfires but also some earthquakes and tornadoes and tsunamis and flash floods and other things as well. We have seen posted here and in some cases even discussed a lot of interesting discoveries about past hazards and likewise regarding some future hazards. We have endured our fair share of occasional drama as with any group. Despite Yahoo! Groups' losing market share from where it was six years ago here we still are going strong.

In acknowledgement of and response to the perpetually changing environment of the internet and society at large we have now expanded into Facebook, Linkedin, and Reddit. Below are links to each version of the group and everybody is encouraged and invited to any one ore more of them.

California Disasters on Yahoo Groups

California Disasters on Facebook

California Disasters on Linkedin

California Disasters on Reddit

Friday, May 17, 2013

Getting Back On The Rockhounding Saddle

Late this afternoon after nearly talking myself out of doing it as I have often done this Spring I finally made myself drive down to rockhound for petrified wood and biconiods in Templeton in a relatively-recently disked field that in recent years had gotten overgrown despite its annual mowings per the local fire codes. Someone not only brought in a tractor and disking attachment but also used a backhoe to dig out some rather heavy brush.

From the looks of it this field was probably cleared over a month ago, perhaps even two. However, between my delay in noticing this development and my being too busy and/or under-motivated to actually drive down to Templeton (the next town to the south of where I live) it didn't happen until today. Better late than never!

Over the course of the less than one-hour visit I managed to find one petrified whale bone chunk but no biconoid material. I seem to remember having better success here in the past than I did today. I suspect some fellow members of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds (I won't mention Chris Driesbach by name) got in there before I did. This was only the first or second time I have searched this field since I last visited it with my ex-girlfriend in 2008 or 2009.

By the way, this was my first rockhounding excursion of any size thus far this year! It felt good getting out and getting dirty after such a long drought (for me). However, this year school and work and my own poor time management at times have conspired to keep cooped up inside much more than I'd prefer.

Tomorrow I will miss a significant multi-club rockhounding excursion to southwest Fresno County. I had hoped to carpool to it following cancellation of my CPR & First Aid class set for the same day. However, I have been invited to come in and work a security detail all day at the Paso Robles Wine Festival at Paso Robles' downtown park, and thus will mess out on rockhounding in a new location (for me).

This is the field to which I refer and I'm sure locals will recognize this location west of Highway 101.
What attracted me to come check this field today was the relatively recent diskng of it for fire code purposes. This is in contrast to its usual annual mow job which is much less likely to expose fresh Templeton treasures.
After much searching I managed to find this solo segment of petrified whale bone which I photographed in situ. This specimen is highly silicated and will take a beautiful polish. Whenever it smacked another stone it made a very distinct clank due to all the silicon dioxide (SiO2 which is quartz) within it.
This is the general area of the field in which I found the above chunk of highly silicated whale bone. Yellow star thistle is rapidly growing back so it is good I visited today before that plant could hurt my besandled feet any more than it did.
Here is a closer-up view of the specimen.
The field in question contained a fair amount of colorful Franciscan Melange jaspers of various colors such as this red one I found today. I also saw some nice brecciated jaspers as well as radiolarian chert.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Newsmedia Fire Illiteracy

As I watched multiple live streams of LA-area television news coverage of today's fire in the Santa Clarita Valley I was struck at the ignorance of those talking from both studio and the scene as it relates to the ways of wildland fire and firefighting tactics. It seemed to me that throughout the incident the guys in the sky and the gals in the studio were making asses of themselves by making statements that did not in any way accurately describe what was going on and what might reasonably happen with the fire's behavior and future track. The worse offense was the guy in the sky for one news outlet which shall remain unmentioned who suggested the fire was burning into Castaic Lake and would soon be corralled. However, it was clear the winds had shifted and the fire was burning more northward and parallel to the lake with all sorts of flanking problems on the left flank and spotting up ahead on the west shore of the lake with the obvious potential of the fire spotting across the lake and getting established in Canyon Country to the east. I have observed this sort of lazy ignorance for decades and marvel at it given one would assume these people would learn about this stuff through osmosis since we deal with it as residence (and they as observing "journalists") year after year.

Texas Tornadoes From Space

This is an awe-inspiring satellite image of the tornadic supercell (center) that tore through Cleburne and Granbury, Texas, day before yesterday killing six people, injuring 50 people badly enough to go to the hospital and picking up at least one wood-framed home and dumping it 900 feet away. It also produced destructive hail the size of grapefruit as seen on this blog HERE. Note the overshooting tops of not only the supercell in question but also some of the nearby supercells some of which were also tornadic. A total of 16 tornadoes were generated by this family of storms. Image courtesy of NOAA.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I've Begun My CERT-ification!

Tonight I attended the first session of my Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training course at Paso Robles Fire Station #1 in the city's Emergency Operations Center downtown. It is being hosted by Paso Robles Office of Emergency Services. The previous course taught by the North San Luis Obispo County CERT was taught in Atascadero last March. I found tonight's class thoroughly engaging, edifying, and enjoyable and look froward to the remainder of it. I was surprised to learn tonight that there is no CERT team already in place in Paso Robles. I find it hard to grasp this community did not form one previously following the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake. I suppose better late than never as there is a plan in the works to form an innaugural CERT from this CERT graduating class of which I am honored to be a member and intend to become a member of this nascent Paso Robles CERT Team.

Much of tonight's class involved a Power Point presentation by retired CAL FIRE Division Chief Harris.
I can't wait for that final Saturday session next month!
Both photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

An In-Spired View

Late last week the construction of the new One World Trade Center in New York City reached a climax with the emplacement of the very top end of the building, to wit, upper end segment of the spire-like antenna tower atop the now-third-tallest skyscraper in the world and tallest such structure in the western hemisphere at 1,776 feet, a number that was quite deliberately chosen as its height. Below is a time-lapse view of this final sement being installed in a ceremony atop the building. I find this view equal measures inspiring and butt-puckering. 

Oh Hail!

The tornadic supercell that swept over Cleburne and Granbury, Texas, late yesterday afternoon killing at least six people also dropped damaging hail including this monster. Courtesy of vondaddy/Twitter (all rights reserved).

NASA's JPL Brings Firefighting to Space

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Obama Whom I Disdain Truly Is A Citizen

I have had the curious experience tonight on Facebook of debating a close friend of mine regarding if Obama is actually a U.S. citizen and the authenticity of his birth certificate. I find this not only curious but disappointing as this person is otherwise intelligent. This pseudo-intellectual conspiracy theory has been long-discredited but apparently some have not received the memo. I suspect this comes about as a result of both strong antipathy for President Obama (something I share) and deep ignorance of U.S. law (which I do not share) in respect to this matter. Below in black and white, NOT legalize is current U.S. law covering citizenship situations such as President Obama's unusual childhood creates. This continuing false assertion by some anti-intellectual Tin Foil Hatters is pure ass-hattery at this point. It is a great example of the concept of perception-as-reality wherein human beings can create their own reality, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
 A Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth IF...  One parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth and the birthdate is before November 14, 1986 but after October 10, 1952  AND...  The parents are married at the time of birth and the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least ten years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, at least five of which were after his or her 14th birthday.
Source: U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services

A Train Of Training

This week I will receive an email providing me with information about the upcoming orientation at Vina Robles for the new hires at their new amphitheater complex. This Thursday evening I'll be starting my C.E.R.T. training and this Saturday I'll be taking a six-hour CPR & First Aid class at the 911 Supply Store here in town in order to re-up my Red Cross certification for those skills since two years has passed since I initially earned those certifications. God knows I need marketable skills so I'll pick them up anywhere and anyway I can get them. In the case of the above skills they relate to subjects I already find interesting to begin with and had long-dreamed of acquiring while my segue into the local wine industry (in a manner of speaking) has been something I've been plotting for at least a couple of years now. Add to that the fact I have been working gem, mineral, and jewelry show since 2006 and picked up a skill set relating to events and consequently I feel ready for whatever I experience at Vina Robles upcoming amphitheater events.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Gotses Me A Scholarship!

Dear  Kim Noyes

Congratulations!  You have been selected by the Cuesta College Scholarship Committee to scholarship(s) for the 2013-2014 academic year.  You will receive a follow up email within 3-5 day with details about scholarship details, scholarship amounts, thank you letter requirements, enrollment standards and other important information.

As a scholarship recipient, your attendance is required at the annual scholarship reception that will take place on Friday, August 9, 2013. Please mark your calendars in advance for this important event.

On behalf of the Financial Aid Scholarship Committee, it is our pleasure to recognize your personal and academic achievements. Best wishes for a successful year ahead!


Maria - Belen Vaccaro
Cuesta College
Financial Aid Specialist

My Letter From Dr. Gil

                                                                                                                                          April 8, 2013    

Dear Cuesta Graduate, 

I want to congratulate you on meeting a milestone in your quest for higher education.  Your commitment to yourself and your future is commended.  I would like to encourage you to participate in Cuesta College’s 48th Commencement Ceremony, honoring  2012-2013 associate degree graduates, and be properly recognized for this accomplishment.  Commencement will be held on Friday, May 24, 2013 at the San Luis Obispo Campus Gymnasium.  I hope you will take this time to celebrate the honors you and your fellow students have achieved. 
Whether you are planning to transfer or move on into the workforce, this is an opportunity to reward yourself for the hard work and perseverance you have demonstrated.  This activity represents the beginning of the next chapter of your future.  I look forward to the opportunity to share it with you. 
A formal invitation has been emailed to your myCuesta Gmail.  To attend, simply RSVP to no later than May 20, 2013, providing your full name and student identification number.  For all the latest information regarding commencement, and instructions for you and your guests, please access the “Commencement 2013” channel in myCuesta. 


Gilbert H. Stork, Ed.D. Superintendent/President  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

SLO Road Trip Down Memory Lane

Tonight on Facebook I found this wonderful 1949 Chevy advertisement entitled "San Luis Obispo: Heart of Old Spanish California" from their "Roads to Romance" series. It features some wonderful scenes from around San Luis Obispo County that year including Atascadero "The Beautiful". However, I'm surprised Paso Robles did not get any attention.

The scenes of Morro Bay and environs interested me the most for some reason, perhaps because it shows Morro Rock sans the modern causeway that connects it to the shore and creates the northern part of the harbor's protection from the Pacific Ocean. At the time this film was shot the ocean entirely surrounded the rock.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Picture of the Day - Why Do Wimins Do Dis?

This was the scene in my mother's bathroom today. Yes, you are counting correctly: there are six toilet paper rolls there ready to go. My mother is hardly unique in this regard. It is common enough I once saw a funny newspaper comic strip address this very issue. Ladies, any insights into this curious behavior?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sincere For You

I have recently been dusting off some of my old trance CD's from a dozen years or so ago when the genre was at the peak of its artistic purity and have been enjoying the memories they bring back and noticing the overall decline in artistry in EDM nowadays with some notable exceptions. News Flash: dubstep is not an advancement of electornica!

Anywho, while listening to 2004's Trance Divas CD in the #5 slot I encountered (and rediscovered for myself) Lange's 2004 gem "Sincere For You" featuring the haunting and goosebump-inducing vocals of the one and only Kirsty Hawkshaw (whose work has appeared on this blog before and undoubtedly will again). I have included the wonderful lyrics below the music player. It is a pleasure to listen to EDM that actually says something and encourages one to think and feel beyond merely dancing outwardly and/or inwardly. This track has six versions many of which feature a lot of  tedious starting beats; this version gets right to the good stuff. There is no cool accompanying video but listen and crank up your sound system. Dancing is allowed!

Some will play a game with love
Steal your heart away
Some will say those words
You want to hear
But if you look closer
Is it really what it seems?
I can give you everything you need

I'll be sincere for you
Whatever's gonna happen now
Sincere for you, I will
Always here for you
Whatever you decide right now
Sincere for you, I will

I'll be sincere for you
Whatever's gonna happen now
Sincere for you, I will
Always here for you
Whatever you decide right now
Sincere for you, I will

I'm not the one to fill your head
With false security
I'm the one with nothing left to lose
Don't be taken in by
What you think is honesty
Just realize what I can offer you

I'll be sincere for you
Whatever's gonna happen now
Sincere for you, I will
Always here for you
Whatever you decide right now
Sincere for you, I will

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Keepin' It Real With Charles Ramsey

This interview has already gone viral. It features the neighbor who helped three missing Cleveland women and the child of one of them to escape their Puerto Rican jailers who used them as sexual slaves for a decade all the while impregnating at least one of them once.

Needless to say, Mr. Ramsey is an American original: no pretense here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 2013 SLOGMC Meeting

Tonight I attended the May meeting of the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club. We had a lively confab about a host of things but primarily we discussed our upcoming show next month and upcoming field trips. Below are images of some of the visual highlights of the get-together.

Mike Lyon's "Find of the Month" submission for which I voted: a gemmy blue-green cobble he recently found along the Big Sur Coast.
The winning submission of "Find of the Month" was this Pre-Cambrian worm hole-infested rock from Death Valley, CA.
New Member Stacey and "Find of the Month" winner Stacey.
Vice President Mike Scheffer giving a talk tonight on ancient and historic beads and bead-making techniques and modes of identification.
Roman beads
Eye beads of Roman-era manufacture.
Ancient beads
A fine selection of beads from Mike's personal collection.
All photos by Susie Christian (all rights reserved).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Moving A Monster Meteorite

This morning I was present when the 1,353-lb meteorite displayed at our 22nd Annual Rockhounds Roundup Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show over the previous weekend was moved out of the Pioneer Museum en route home. I missed the removal of the blue-green jade boulder past-President Richard Smithen displayed along side the meteorite but there are a couple of images of it after the fact near the end of this post. What follows is a brief visual sequence of the meteorite removal proceedings.

To view a couple of images of this meteorite right after it was placed in the museum prior to the show go HERE:

The Brothers Pellerin strap up the meteorite.

The meteorite is strapped up and ready to go.
After descending to Earth this meteorite has the rare experience of ascending.
A meteorite hanging.

Cliff Brewen articulating the meteorite over the bed of the pickup as it back into place.
Richard's 464-lb blue-green jade boulder.
I missed the opportunity to see this hoisted and lifted.
Pioneer Park the day after... a show is but a mirage.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)