Friday, August 30, 2013

Picture of the Day - Sunset Over Rim Fire

This unprovenanced image of another day (date not provided) ending over the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County, CA, was posted on Twitter this past day by a newsreporter. However, I could not find the name of whom took it and the "Tweep" whom posted it did not identify from whence it came. All rights reserved.

More Cal Air Nat'l Guard Over Rim Fire

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rim Fire As Enfant Terrible

Here is an ominous view of the Rim Fire as a newborn baby wildfire in the opening hours of this still ongoing saga these 10 days later at which state it has now burned 111 structures and charred over 184,000 acres with only 20% containment yet achieved.

Even More MAFFS Views Of Rim Fire

I am now fully addicted to the Go-Pro camera footage from the MAFFS operating over the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus National Forest and now into the Yosemite National Park. The fire has now burned nearly 185,000 acres in Tuolumne County. Below are three more video segments recorded by the men and women of the 146th Airlift Wing based out of Naval Air Station Point Mugu, CA.I believe I have now posted on this blog all such footage that is extant on Youtube up to the present time.

Here are some more MAFFS Go-Pro Cockpit Cam videos:

The Man Behind MAFFS 4

More MAFFS Cockpit Views

MAFFS View #1 Of Rim Fire

Rim Fire Webcam View #17

Check out the awesome lenticular cloud capping out the top of the pyrocumulus clouds stop this convection column at center-right in this image of the Rim Fire as seen from Crane Flat Helibase on the Stanislaus National Forest. This image was captured at 2:41 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #16

Not much I can say but "WOW" regarding this image of the Rim Fire as viewed from the Crane Flat Helibase via mobile webcam. This thing is now a weather phenomenon as much as it is a rolling crown fire through a live forest, to wit, the Stanislaus National Forest. Things aren't sounding too good on the scanner either. This image was captured at 1:06 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #15

Atmospherically-speaking this is the busiest and most interesting image yet captured of the Rim Fire as seen from the Crane Flat Helibase mobile webcam at 12:11 p.m. This part of the conflagration is raging on the Stanislaus National Forest. At top left we see some circular lenticular clouds ringing some pyrocumulus towers. At center is a spinning barber pole convection column of smoke capped by massive pyrocumulus clouds that have risen out of view of this image. There are more pyrocumulus clouds at far left as well. Either or both pyrocumulus towers at center or right may actually be developed into pyrocumulonimbus storm clouds.

Rim Fire Webcam View #14

The pyrocumulus clouds visible in this mobile webcam view from Crane Flat Helibase showing but one small section of the monstrous Rim Fire raging on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park are starting to generate some lenticular "scarf clouds" above them. This part of the fire is almost certainly a running crown fire through the tree tops and may soon have pyrocumulonimbus clouds. This image was captured at 12:01 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #13

The 179,481-acre Rim Fire raging on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park is off to the races again today from the look of this view from the Crane Flat Helibase mobile webcam which was down yesterday but quite fortunately is up and running again today. This image was captured at 11:36 a.m. this morning.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rim Fire From Space

Here are three cool images taken from orbit high above California. The first two were snapped by humans from the International Space Station as it wizzed by overhead and the third and last image was snapped by a satellite at night and shows the lights of urbanity as well as the fire glows of the Rim Fire, et al.

The Man Behind MAFFS 4

The first minute or so of this is just a preface (and a bit of footage previously posted on this blog). However, about a minute in to this video is a USA Today segment about the pilot of MAFFS 4 whose flying you've seen twice this week on Youtube (and on this blog in the previous post HERE) and explains the female computer voice in the cockpit that keeps broadcasting "Landing Gear... Landing Gear".

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More MAFFS Views Of Rim Fire

I neglected to post these two earlier clips of raw video of MAFFS out of Port Hueneme, CA, dropping on the 143,980 acre Rim Fire raging on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County, CA. I have posted the clip from August 22nd which can be viewed HERE. Note two things: most of the terrain visible in these two clips has since burned and this fire had not yet entered Yosemite N.P. at the time these images were recorded. The top-most player features a clip recorded on August 19th whereas the one below it was recorded the day before. 

Rim Fire Webcam View #12

This is an impressive sight on the 143, 980 acre Rim Fire burning on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County, CA, as seen from Crane Flat Helibase via their webcam.  At nearly 8 p.m. there is still a hint of pyrocumulus clouds over one convection column at right despite the sun having set some time ago and there is a lot of glow to be seen as well.

Quote of the Day - Charlie Chaplin

I only just now discovered this wonderful and wise bit of fatherly advice from Charlie Chaplin to his daughter, the actress Geraldine Chaplin, in a 1965 letter when she was 21 years of age:
"... your naked body should belong only to those who love your naked soul."

Rim Fire Webcam View #11

The flank of the 130,000 acre Rim Fire closest to the Crane Flat Helibase on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County is looking pretty impressive at present. This image was captured by the webcam at the helibase at 3:36 p.m. today. Note the pyrocumulous build-ups.

Rim Fire Webcam View #10

The Rim Fire burning on the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County, CA, is off to the races again this morning it appears from the pyrocumulus clouds seen above over the building convection columns. It appears today will be another long day, perhaps worse than yesterday which saw the fire look a bit less impressive and the growth rate slow significantly compared to the previous 2-3 days. This view is from Crane Flat Helibase by way of the webcam there captured at 11:01 a.m.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fire Tornados ≠ Fire Whirls!

Despite my own rather expansive knowledge of weather and wildfires accumulated over my entire lifetime as driven by a keen interest in both since I was six years old learned something knew recently that corrected a patently false concept I held. That misconception was that fire tornadoes were merely macro-scale fire whirls which is patently false as it turns out. Fire whirls are generated by rapidly rising hot air within a fire sans any thunderstorms in the vicinity or last are unrelated to any such that is occurring nearby. Fire tornadoes are generated by thunderstorms produced by the fire itself as pyrocumulus clouds atop the convection column rising from the fire develop further into pyrocumulonimbus clouds. Below are featured two examples of raw footage of fire tornadoes. The top clip features a fire tornado in Alaska last week as viewed from an air attack plane of the Alaska Department of Forestry and recorded by air tactical officer Tim Whitesell over the Tetlin Junction Ridge Fire which has burned over 76,000 acres and is still burning. The bottom clip features a fire tornado from the 2003 Canberra bushfires as recorded by Tom Bates, a Kambah resident (suburb of Canberra). That fire tornado generated F-3 winds (160 mph) and at times was 1,600 feet in diamater. The bottom-most player screen features a short documentary on both fire whirls and fire tornadoes. Despite being somewhat old it is still more than worth watching and features addition amazing video of earlier events than the two aforementioned. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rim Fire Webcam View #9

At 11:16 a.m. about an hour after first putting up pyrocumulus clouds the Rim Fire burning on the Tuolumne National Forest and Yosemite National Park is rally cranking them out and will for the rest of the day it appears. In this image we see both the barber pole twist of this convection column (one of many on this fire) as well as pyrocumulous clouds atop that. Unfortunately, this webcam at Crane Flat Helibase is focused in a bit too tightly so we can only see the bottom of the clouds at the top of the smoke column near the top margin of this image. Today this fire should reach Hetch Hetchy on the east and Pine Mountain Lake on the west side. Tuolumne City is now being advised to evacuate.

Rim Fire Webcam View #8

Here we go: we've got a barber pole going as this particular convection column spins as a result of the turbulence of the updraft. This also does not bode well for the burning conditions that will be experienced on the Rim Fire today. This image was captured at 10:51 a.m. from the Crane Flat Helibase webcam.

Rim Fire Webcam View #7

This is the view of the Rim Fire burning this morning at 10:11 a.m. showing it already starting to generate pyrocumulus clouds this early in the day which does not bode well. The fire is a conflagration which has burned over 105,000 acres within the Stanislaus National Forest with little containment worth noting. That acreage figure is about double the 53,000 acres it was the day before. It has crossed over into Yosemite National Park and threatens Hetch Hetchy as well as the community of Pine Mountain Lake which is now fully evacuated. This view was taken by the webcam at Crane Flat Helibase in Tuolumne County.

MAFFS View #1 Of Rim Fire

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rim Fire Pyrocumulus Explained

Rim Fire Webcam View #6

I'm running out of things to say about the behavior of the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA. This is no longer a mere fire but a conflagration and a weather event. This image was captured at 4:26 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #5

The Rim Fire raging on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA, is now exploding in breathtaking fashion. The community of Pine Mountain Lake is under the gun and a major fight to save it is about to begin. As of this morning this fire had jumped from over 16,000 acres yesterday to over 53,000 acres but given what is seen here it is surely much larger than that all the while creating its own weather including pyrocumulus clouds. This view was captured at 4:11 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #4

This thing just keeps getting worse and worse with multiple heads pumping pyrocumulus clouds on different flanks of the Rim Fire all the time getting further and further removed from one another as the margins of this conflagration on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA, expands. This image was captured from Crane Flat Helibase at 3:56 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #3

Here is the view of the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA, as seen from Crane Flat Helibase at 2:31 p.m.

Rim Fire Webcam View #2

Here is a view of the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA, ten minutes after the previous one (1:10 p.m.) as seen from Crane Flat Helibase via webcam.

Rim Fire Webcam View #1

Image of the Rim Fire burning on the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, CA, via webcam as viewed from Crane Flat Helibase as of 1:01 p.m. today.

Useful Rim Fire Links

Pine Mt. cams:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Seeing A Fire From 150 Miles Away

Early this evening between classes I posted the following commentary/observation on my Facebook wall:
"I'm currently sitting in front of the Cuesta College NCC library in utter awe as I behold the mammoth pyrocumulus cloud complex atop the convection columns of the various flanks of the exploding Rim Fire in Tuolumne Co. on the Stanislaus NF west of Yosemite NP 150 miles north of my location over the horizon."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Picture of the Day - Groveland Rimmed?

This was the scene this past day out in front of the Stanislaus National Forest ranger station in Groveland, CA, showing the Rim Fire bearing down on the town. Photo provenance unknown.

11,493 Lightning Strikes!

This graphic was released a short time ago by the NWS San Francisco/Monterey and shows the nearly 12,000 lightning strikes that struck the region (mostly offshore over the past several hours). California is already on the front end of an August Fire Siege and the lightning that did strike over land on this graphic and off of it will undoubtedly start more wildfires. Image courtesy of NWS San Francisco/Monterey (all rights reserved).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Picture of the Day - Cloud + Cloud

This was snapped yesterday by a webcam in Calabasas, CA. It shows flashflood-inducing thunderstorms blowing up over the Antelope Valley/Western Mojave Desert region in the background while a 170-acre brush fire started by a burned-out VW bug that broke down along westbound US101 rages in the foreground. Photo coutesy of UCSD/HPWREN (all rights reserved).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quote of the Day - C.S. Lewis

At church this morning Pastor Steve read the following C.S. Lewis quote within his sermon making an excellent point as always. I was blown away by this quote in and of itself apart from the sermon having never read it or heard it before today.
"By Love, most of us mean kindness—the desire to see others than the self happy. And not happy in this way, or in that; just happy. What most of us mean by God is not so much a Father in Heaven, as a grandfather in heaven—a senile old benevolence who, as they say, liked to see the young people enjoying themselves, and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be said at the end of each day, that a good time was had by all.
But if God is Love, then He is, by definition, something more than mere kindness. To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God. Because He is what He is, His Love must be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already so deeply loves us, He must labor to make us more lovable.
When Christianity says that God Loves man, it means that God really actively Loves man. Not that he has some disinterested and impartial concern for our welfare, but that in hard to swallow and unbelievable surprising truth, we are the actual objects of His great Love. You asked for a Loving God, and you have one. The great Spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect,’ is in fact present. Not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy; not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate; not the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests; but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made worlds, persistent as an artist’s love for his work, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, and as jealous and inexorable and exacting as the love between a man and a woman."
~ Excerpted from "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis

Scripture of the Day - God (John 14:6 & Acts 4:12)

At church this morning Pastor Steve briefly referenced the doctrinally compromising and overly-inclusive broad sweep of  Universalism  and its tradition of deludedly believing and falsely preaching that God is incapable of actually punishing his children in this life let alone throughout all eternity in damnation in the world to come. These Universalists proclaim that all the religions of the world are like "spokes on a wheel all leading to God in the middle" as if there is no specificity or exclusivity to God and all faiths are equally valid as modes of acquiring enlightenment and interacting with the divine. The Bible being either all true or all untrue as is its nature states emphatically in John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 that the Universalists are lying to themselves and others.
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father directly, but first by way of me." ~ John 14:6 (Kimicus ad Absurdum translation)

"Neither is there salvation in any other entity: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, through whom we may be saved." ~ Acts 4:12 (Kimicus ad Absurdum translation)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quote of the Day - Anonymous

While I don't agree that God does not exist as a separate object of intellectual knowledge unless the author means that differently than I take him to mean it but in any case there is much wisdom and insight in this quote. An online acquaintance forwarded this to me via email for purposes of intellectual and philosophical reflection and discussion with other's in our little clique. He won't tell me the name of the author who prefers to remain anonymous but I am told he is amenable to anonymous public quotings. 

"An unknown is within the universe which gives it order and predictability.
It does not exist; it does not "not exist". God does not exist as a separate
object of intellectual knowledge; but neither does the atheist's nullity.
Imagine a huge junk yard with one million parts scattered around. Over
time, these parts assemble themselves into a perfectly functioning 747
aircraft. The atheist wants us to believe that this was the result of chance."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Measure Of Our Fire Danger

I realize this image is almost certainly Photoshopped I don't care: it's funny and it is also sadly indicative of how extreme the fire conditions are here in California throughout the state from one end to the other and in all fuel regimes. I received this courtesy of Jutti Marsh, a member of California Disasters.

Emo Kid

Tonight while going through emails that I received today I saw a link to a somewhat funny emo-mocking Youtube short program. I did not especially care for it but throughout viewing it my mind kept going back to this gem of emo-mockery from the mid-2000's during the peak of the popularity of Myspace where Cal Poly students Adam & Andrew produced and performed a novelty song entitled "Emo Kid" which went viral. Finding the whole emo thing quite annoying it was love at first hearing for me in regards to this song.

Fatal Spanish Ranch Fire Anniversary

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Truthiness of Daft Punkedness

For those of you who somehow missed this story last week here it is belatedly. French electronica/techno outfit Daft Punk which was booked to appear on The Colbert Report was ordered by corporate master Viacom which owns MTV to instead appear on their VMA show next month which somehow doesn't make any sense to me since last week was last week and next month is, well, next month... but no matter. Note: read HERE for more details. Colbert took this lemon of a situation and made a Tom Collins out of it creating this amazingly clever and hilarious short song and dance skit for his program utilizing Daft Punk's hit song "Get Lucky" from this year which they would have performed on his show. Watch it below:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Just for your edification I include the official music video to this song and below that an interesting short biopic on Daft Punk.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Till The Sky Falls Down

One and a half years ago I posted "Here On Earth & Sky Falls Down" on this blog. While researching the lyrics to OceanLab's 2002 track "Sky Falls Down," I came across an entirely different song (and its accompanying video) similarly titled "Till The Sky Falls Down" by Dash Berlin due to their titular and textual similarities. I liked this 2009 one, but at the time was obsessed with the other track. While listening to "God's Compilation of Best Vocal Trance of All Time" I rediscovered this gem and fell in love with it immediately for the first time.
*Updated 11/29/16

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Top 10 Rants At Present

Quite a number of things have been chapping my hide lately and a few of them feel like a flaming stick up my ass. I've been planning on posting such a list for some time but tonight I feel pissy enough to actually get around to doing it. Below is my current list in no particular order of significance.
  1. Highly ideological people who lack the chops to face me in debate directly with facts but feel compelled to resort to straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks, false causality fallacies, Parthian shots, and other such rhetorical devices (not limited to full-bug-out retreats) of those who know they can't win in a stand-up fight with the facts. I have experienced all these of late and dispatched them without mercy. The exceptions are one of my Parthian shooters got in his car at my yard sale before I could set fire to his dogmatic assertion that Wal-Mart has NOT effectively sent American jobs to China. The other Parthian Shooter unfriended me on Facebook and blocked me there and on Twitter but not before making trite and condescending remarks of a most vapid and candy-assed and self-righteously indignant nature. 
  2. I hate tweekers, as in "hate-hate." As a Christian I love the sinner but hate the tweeker. I am certain they can be cured for the cost of a bullet cross-hemisphere to the brain. They are starting to become a problem in my life and the lives of my loved ones by way of being scary and disruptive and unpredictable neighbors who attract an unsavory and ill-tempered element into the neighborhood. In the good old days neighborhoods and communities took care of such problems sans the need for the constabulary and other legal avenues.
  3. Liberal hypocrisy gets worse year after year. I realize Conservatives are no better but of late their hypocritical excesses have not been on display to the extent it has for Liberals. From the Liberal (and to some extent black) bias of the Zimmerman saga/non-story story to the water carrying for a Liberal President who has one-upped his Conservative predecessor's "extraordinary renditions" of non-citizens (to which I never objected unlike my Liberal friends who feigned outrage) with now the assassination of American citizens abroad sans trial (to which I don't object personally but my Liberal friends also don't seem to in a convenient turn of inconsistency) by way of drone strikes on foreign soil. Add to that our President using the I.R.S. to help him win a very narrow reelection last year by way of using the I.R.S. to disproportionately go after Tea Party and Patriot Groups in a turn of malfeasance reminiscent of Richard Nixon. Liberals to this day love to excoriate Nixon for doing the very same thing but outrageously call Obama's sins of the same sort a "false scandal". Add to that his being responsible for having a then-defense secretary (Leon Panetta) whom outed the Pakistani doctor whom helped finger Osama bin Ladin which doctor is now in prison for the rest of his life on treason charges in Pakistan. Top that off with the same Liberal President possessing a Vice President who outed the SEAL Team (Six) which killed Osama bin Ladin leading to that unit being targeted by Al Qaeda. Then predictably Al Qaeda got to them and wiped out 15 members of Seal Team Six along with 23 other personnel in the shootdown of a Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade two years ago. This makes another Bush-era Liberal cause celebre, to wit, the Natalie Plame Affair pale by comparison as no Americans died and yet Liberals at the time went ape shit about that one. 
  4. Speaking of the Zimmerman Trial that sure did expose a whole lot of racism in America... within segments of the black community whom tend to come from an arch-Liberal political persuasion of ethnocentric race-baiting, guilt-mongering, blame-gaming, shit-stirring, responsibility-dodging, fact-obfuscating apologetics-for-bad-behavior-purveying on a scale that boggles the mind. This receives little notice given how long and gradual it has been worsening and how bullied into acquiescent quietude White America has been since the 1970's or thereabouts. That time frame is not a coincidence as it is around the time the civil rights movement for black Americans lost it's moral superiority and purity once and for all following a decline that began around the time that more angry elements poisoned the movement. This was symbolically capped off with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mistakenly tying the civil rights movement to opposition to the Vietnam War in 1967, which ought to have remained a separate issue. Of course, then there is the fact the Liberal newsmedia (they hate that label claiming it does not exist the way the Italian mafia has for years denied the existence of the Italian mafia). Methinks they protest too much! Anywho, the aforementioned Fifth Column Fourth Estate generated an artificial narrative of what happened in this case that played upon the reverse racist propensities and proclivities of those susceptible to such hackneyed and morally-bankrupt impulses and perceptions. By the end of the trial an entire segment of society that was disproportionately Left-leaning and more melanin-rich was convinced of the injustice of an incident which never actually happened as they falsely perceive it to be up to the present. Thank you MSNBC, et al, for your excellent job of informing a large populace of voters and encouraging ethnic harmony and national unity!
  5. Speaking of race: I'm tired of that word being abused and misused. When most people use the word "race" or one of its variants they ought to use "ethnicity" or one of its variants. There is no racism anymore given that the Neanderthals and Denisovans are now extinct... perhaps in part as a result of "racism" by early modern Homo Sapiens. However, there is nowadays most certainly ethnicism and ethnocentrism which can be ethnically-exclusive and promote ideas of ethnocentric superiority of the sort that is often misnamed "racism". There is also a myth that blacks continue to systematically and regularly suffer from white racism and white advantage as opposed to what the facts suggest which is that community's own shortcomings and subcultural proclivities and self-indulgence and indeed multiculturalistic ethnocentrism has harmed it and alienated it and separated it from the rest of society to which many of its members seem inclined to blame upon white Americans. This latter subculture and ethnicity of America as a group has quite some time ago gotten over the "black thing" and yet Black America seems stuck in the past and unaware of the changes in the rest of America. For good measure look at the fact that White America helped elect a self-identified black man as President. It has even reelected him in spite of the fact he is no good at his job by just about any measure.
  6. This is not to say that I have not been a bit annoyed with Conservatives lately. They now are inclined to viciously attack our President for doing things like spying on the American people via NSA when that was going on under the Patriot Act throughout the Bush 43 Administration, but where was the Conservative outrage then? Note: those intelligence-gathering activities did not and do not bother me on a practical level but as someone concerned with the ever-growing size and power and expense of our federal government I doubt the constitutionality of where things have wandered to and where they are headed. I also fail to see the real need for much of this Homeland Security activity and internal intelligence-gathering (which has become lavishly lucrative for many firms which is the real driving force of it). When there were failures in following then-in-force methods and procedures in American counter-terrorism that directly led to the few successful terrorist attacks on our own soil such as 9/11 and the Boston Bombings. However, I digress. Where was the Conservative outrage on expanding government after 9/11 where there is now outrage in the expansion of government under Obamacare? Where was the Conservative outrage regarding our invasion of Iraq on a false premise while there is now constant Conservative consternation over much more minor involvements in Libya and Syria to which we are far less invested in blood and treasure?
  7. On that Syria note I must confess that I am flabbergasted that the Obama Administration is sending monies to Sunni rebels in Syria of which some are Al Qaeda-affiliated formations whom are also receiving support from Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Persian Gulf Sunni-majority nations. On the other side of the axis is the Syrian government which is Shiite-dominated just like their Hezbollah allies in Lebanon and both of which are supported by Iran, the world capital of Shia Islam. First off, why are we taking sides in a fight in which we don't have a dog? Second, why are we supporting rebels some of whom we are Al Qaeda-affilated, a terrorist network at vicious war with us and against whom we are fighting and killing and detaining people at Gitmo at great expense in blood and treasure?  Thirdly, why are we sending these people money twice since they are not only receiving direct payments from us but also indirect payments as their support from other parts of the Sunni Islamic world comes from money we paid those oil-rich nations for their oil?
  8. I have experienced an odd and annoying work experience lately with an employer who shall go unnamed here as I don't wish to burn bridges: I'm technically still employed by them although I'm not getting called in to work for them. After passing my job interview with flying colors and having my hand shaken and being quite literally welcomed to the team and having attended all meetings and the one work shift to which I was called in I now find myself on the outside for not having ingratiated myself enough to the ruling caste and acting like an excited little puppy to be there for just above minimum wage. Now I'm hearing of dissatisfaction growing in the ranks with one employee quitting due to harassment by other hens and attendance is light thus far even for big events such as the recently half-filled big-name event. Perhaps if they called me I could help them out. 
  9.  Something I have long noted since I started reading blogs but that has been violently shoved in my face to a far more intensely distasteful degree in recent weeks since I became fully-engaged on Twitter and have followed some popular bloggers is this: the perpetual, petty and pernicious pedantry and sniping and nitpicking by those on the Right at those on the Left (and the reverse as well) over mostly minor and irrelevant fluff and/or distorted and exaggerated cause celebres. The Tweets just keep coming until I unfollow various and assorted bloggers since they are fanatics of the sort Sir Winston Churchill described as "one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". The content is sometimes very funny and clever after the tradition of famous wits but most of the time is monotonous and mundane, strident and shrill, not to mention belaboring a point and being prone to beating a dead horse. I have trimmed back the number of bloggers I follow to merely two and I'm contemplating cutting them loose, too.
  10. I have many loved ones and acquaintances who are hooked on a variety of "reality television programs" which on some level most of us realize are as real as "professional wrestling". However, most people don't seem to appreciate how selectively and creatively edited these programs are and to what extent people in these programs are playing to the cameras and the degree to which the producers steer the narrative not to mention control the personnel lineup on each show. If these shows were reality then there would be no "casting" and nothing would need be planted or prearranged. In the past several months charges of planting items in storage units for the program Storage Wars went to court but were ultimately cast out. I have had a personal conversation with a guest of Cash & Treasures whom hosted on adventure and told me what I already guessed had to be the case: stuff is planted so the pretty host of the show can find it in a one-hour television show. While watching another program (Call of the Wildman) at my mother's house the other day I saw the characters in the show opening up cupboards in a kitchen in an abandoned house and like a game show some had raccoons and such animals while most did not. The whole scene seemed so staged and unlikely. How did a raccoon end up in a cupboard with no means of ingress and egress aside from the closed cabinet door? Why did it hardly seem to react to the sight of humans and cameras? How could such an abandoned home hold so many animals just wildly leaving there and so conveniently to be found by the "Turtleman" and his entourage? This kind of programming is simply a means to maintain network ratings while saving a lot of money not hiring actual unionized actors and writers and directors and such as one would in a program that is entirely "fictional". Thank God for The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.

Bad Mofo

I came across this on Facebook earlier this evening and think it is worth watching once or twice. For those of you unfamiliar with GoPro cameras they are sort of the latest thing in small portable cameras for helmets or dashcams or even main battle tanks in combat zones as you saw on this blog two months ago in "A Tank's Death From Two Perspectives". Needless to say, the music video below spoofs both James Bond movies and modern computer games simultaneously. I hardly notice this is a music video given the action of the film and it's cleverness but for those of you whom care this is the track "Bad Motherfuckers" by the Russian punk band Biting Elbows.

Biting Elbows - 'Bad Motherfucker' Official Music Video from Ilya Naishuller on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stormtroopers - A Post-9/11 Parody

I came across this clever and funny spoof of both Star Wars and 9/11 in the pop cultural context of how the attacks were remembered and discussed subsequently. In case you missed it I posted a similar-themed spoof a couple of years ago entitled "Stormtroopers - A 'Cops' Parody".

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quote of the Day - Friedrich Nietzsche

While looking up a different Friedrich Nietzsche quote this afternoon I chanced upon this one and immediately was struck by both its truth and it's eloquence and I'm a guy who doesn't much care for the works of Mr. Nietzsche for what it's worth:
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

Living With Fire In SoCal

SoCal From Space With Lightning Flash

This nocturnal image of Southern California as viewed from the International Space Station and captured by astonomer Karen Nyberg in the predawn hours of July 21, 2013, shows the lights of the LA Basin, the O.C. and the Inland Empire along with an intense lightning burst from a monsoonal electrical storm. Image courtesy of NASA (all rights reserved).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"May It Be" But Better

Crap, I need to go to bed but tonight! I discovered 16klu and can't leave their Youtube channel. On their Facebook page I found this 2012 trance track which is a goosebump-inducing remix by Paul Webster of Enya's 2002 goosebump-inducing track "May It Be" from the soundtrack of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring. This is really, really good trance and it's new which gives me hope for the near-future of the genre. I also believe I'm audio-visually in love!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Heaven's Academy"

All I can say is "holy shit this is beautiful stuff" and in reference to BOTH the track "Heaven's Academy" by Russian trance outfit Plexland AND the track's accompanying music video. As I trance snob I can tell you this is very high quality music for its genre in the context of how trance has evolved and where it is now. However, as a photographer of nature and a lover of landscapes and clouds and how they so often interact as well as being thoroughly addicted to thunderstorms not to mention being a native Californian this video has it all. In my view this video is absolutely without peer the most awesome and beautiful scenic trance video I have ever viewed and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and will continue to as I keep watching it. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Utah Flash Flood Chase

Here is a new (to me anyway) type of natural phenomenon chasing and it looks interesting and fun!