Thursday, January 30, 2014

Picture of the Day - Kiler Canyon Drought

This past Monday I toiled in the earth at Kiler Canyon Farm CSA out in the country several miles southwest of Paso Robles, CA. As always I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out there and back not to mention the atmosphere and vibe and scene at the farm including the wonderful people there. As some of you recall I am a member of that CSA (Community-Supported Agricultural) and have been out there before to help with the harvest. This week being the last week in January and one in which I was out there to help weed and plant, one would expect to see greenery and at least damp soil. As you can see from the image above there is no cover crop in place as there has been no rain and even the natural grasses have not germinated. The road out there was perhaps the dustiest I have ever seen it even compared to Spring into Summer in prior years.
Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quote of the Day - Andrew Lang

I saw this quote for the very first time on a statistics tutor flyer in the cafeteria at Cuesta College day-before-yesterday. I was immediately struck by its profundity the moment I saw it, especially in light of encountering people of late for whom this well-applies.

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts... for support rather than for illumination." 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Godwin's Law Versus Photoshop

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

Earlier tonight I noticed Twitter change during President Obama's State of the Union Address. The tone turned rapidly political and snarky from one side and the other side got political and was shamelessly doing apologetics and carrying the President's water. One of my Tea Party tweeps retweeted the image above. It shows an image of Adolph Hitler with Obama's head in place of Hitler's but the cap is a fusion of the Nazi original that the Fuehrer was wearing in the original image, but part of it has been altered to show some Soviet imagery thus making this one a hybrid. I found it both superficially comical and underlyingly distressing as it is unclever hyperbole that diminishes the victims of the Third Reich and Soviet Union and grossly miscasts the President's executive powers as framed by the U.S. Constitution and ignores the fact this man was elected fair and square.... TWICE unlike Adolph Hitler's and Joseph Stalin's bloody rise to power and consolidation thereof.
Upon seeing Obama-As-Uncle-Joe I thought of all the Bush-As-Hitlers that came out and were circulated during his Presidency. That was not the first U.S. Presidency to receive such comparisons but Photoshop had made that easier to generate and dissiminate by the 2000's as compared to during previous Administrations.
Of course, Barack Obama likewise gets framed as Hitler.... was George W. Bush in his time also on Time.
Here we see Obama and Hilter's visages fused together...
.... as well as Bush and Hitler's visages.
Obama's and Bush's visages fused together....
...and finally... Bush and Obama side by side shown as Adolph Hitler.
All of this is quite juvenile and sophomoric and dishonors those who suffered under Nazi and Soviet regimes.
It also grossly distorts reality suggesting either man did not get elected peacefully and non-violently and in power acts in a homicidal and genocidal fashion.

Monday, January 27, 2014

An Idle Thought About An Apache

A U.S. Army Apache gunship just went right over my house in Paso Robles headed southbound low and in a huge hurry unlike how they seem to cruise most of the time (higher altitude and slower).... I had a sudden flash of how so many End of the Age movies start at the outset of the Zombie Apocalypse or Alien Invasion or Giant Monster's Advent in the region ..... the first signs of trouble often are military aircraft overhead or military vehicle(s) on a local highway doing something secretive, urgent, and atypical which we the viewer understand to be significant but to which the characters in the movie are not initially cognizant.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Breaking Bad Behavior Breaking In Camera

Tonight I was next door watching the movie "Adaptation" with Nicholas Cage when I began to hear many sirens across town. I tried to ignore it for awhile, but then gave in and went next door to my house and checked my scanner and computer. There I discovered that there was a vehicle accident with injuries and the need for extrication at 13th Street and Chestnut Street which is only a few blocks southwest of my location. Having just purchased a new camera with my Christmas gift money from mom I took the new camera down to the accident scene and captured these images. Talking to the bystanders I discovered that this vehicle had been being pursued by the CHP at the time of the crash and ate it on this hillside at the end of 13th Street.

This pursuit began earlier in conjunction with another incident in town earlier. One couple I talked told me the driver nearly ran into them as it sped by them with the CHP hot on its tail. From these images it is clear this driver launched from the end of 13th and perhaps even went airborne a bit over Chestnut Street and went up the hill ultimately landing on the rocks which used to be part of the historic house being remodeled on that property. The driver took out the chain link fence that cordoned off the construction area.

Note: beneath the images below is the CHP CAD report of this incident. Clearly, it is a rather long, convoluted, and rather bizarre sequence of events that is still being disentangled at this hour.

Note the SUV up on the rock pile on the hillside. 
Note the Heavy Rescue unit at right. I do not know the unit designator for it.
The neighborhood turned out in force to check out the spectacle.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Incident:  00175   Type:    Trfc Collision-Minor Inj   Location:   Crg14 / Nacimiento Lake Dr  Loc Desc:  1 MILE BEFORE    Lat/Lon:  35.640664 -120.699465
7:32 PM24[48] UPDATED ETA FOR PGE 15-20
7:30 PM23[28] [Appended, 19:31:03] [19] 1039 PRPD
7:30 PM22[30] [Appended, 19:31:03] [17] 1B ROLL 1141
7:29 PM21[31] [Appended, 19:31:03] [16] 1B 13TH / CHESTNUT - VEH TC'D ROLL 1141
7:29 PM20[32] [Appended, 19:31:03] [15] 1039 AIROPS-NO PILOT AVAIL
7:28 PM19[35] [Appended, 19:31:03] [12] 1039 PRPD
7:26 PM18[41] [Appended, 19:31:03] [6] B9-001B CODE 4 - CRESTON / GOLDEN HILL OUT W/ VEH
7:26 PM17[42] [Appended, 19:31:03] [5] B9-008B 1B BEHIND VEH ON GOLDEN HILL - 7AMU421
7:25 PM16[43] [Appended, 19:31:03] [4] B9-008B OTHER VEH THAT TC'D TOOK OFF SV - DBL FORD EPD 7AMU421 - WENT SB GOLDEN HILL - 1B BEHIND HIM
7:01 PM14[27] ETA FOR PGE - 60 MIN
6:48 PM13[26] 1039 PG/E, WILL CB W/ ETA
6:43 PM11[24] B9-004B PGandE POLE
6:43 PM10[23] B9-004B POLE SHEARED OFF - POLE #110517090
6:38 PM9[20] [Rotation Request Comment] 1039 ALLIANCE 805-226-9099
6:36 PM8[18] B9-004B ROLL 1185 FB TO HAUL - AND REG RIG TO GET IT OUT - 25 FT OTS
6:17 PM5[11] 1039 SLSO
6:17 PM4[9] [Notification] [CHP]-Problem changed from 1183-Trfc Collision-Unkn Inj to 1179-Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt by CHP
6:12 PM1[1] VEH OFF RDWY

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fatty Takes A Hike

I recently took a hike with my buddy Blake up to the summit of Valencia Peak in Montana de Oro State Park near Los Osos, CA. I was still camera-less but he captured the following images of me in my current corpulent state.

Nice panoramic shot from the top of the first little hillock we encountered.
Valencia Peak is made of the same strata as the bluffs down by the water's edge.
It felt higher up than merely 1,347 feet and that was with the stratus obscuring our view of the surrounding terrain.
No, I was NOT picking my nose but rather pushing up my sunglasses.
All photos by Blake Burgess (all rights reserved).

CAL FIRE On High Alert

I Lava Coca~Cola!

As you may or may not know I am a Coca~Cola addict (prefer Mexican Coke) and I have the hots for lava so what isn't there for me to like in this?

Something Never Before Seen

To my knowledge tonight is the first time this pattern and large-scale aerial coverage of Red Flag Warning has ever been seen over California any time of year let alone during the Dead of Winter. Most odd is the presence of such fire conditions in the Northern Sierra Nevada Range and in the temperate rainforests of Northwest California all the way out to the coastline itself. Typically the former is receiving feet of snow this time of year and the latter is receiving feet of rain this time of year.

I was initially unable to secure this image but thanks to USFS Region 5 Predictive Services and Wildland Fire Meteorologist Brenda Belongie of the United States Forest Service in North Ops (Northern California region) we can all view this incredible image. So incredible was this scene that Ms. Belongie saved it for her own edification for which we are all thankful! In an email exchange she told me:
  "Red Flag Warnings issued in January last occurred in the north…, uh, never. THAT’s the barn burning, unprecedented part about it up here at least, and it’s very rare if ever been done before in January for the south. Also like you, I don’t recall ever seeing the state under a Red Flag Warning from north to south border, even in the dead (middle) of fire season. And I’ve been around awhile in this business."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lake San Antonio Is Gone

The major reservoirs around California are down significantly due to the ongoing epic drought and images of those dry-bottomed impoundment ponds has been widely circulated of late. One reservoir getting largely ignored in all of this and yet is perhaps the most significantly effected is Monterey County's Lake San Antonio which dams the San Antonio River of Southern Monterey County.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Most Awesomest Ice Shove Footage Ever

I was shown this by a friend some weeks ago on his cell phone courtesy of Youtube. I made a note at the time to check it out more thoroughly when I got home and post it here. However, since then I kept forgetting to do either of those things until tonight. At the time I was shown this I was under the false impression it happened and was filmed on a smart phone during Polar Vortex event earlier this month. However, as it turns out it happened last Spring on the morning of May 11, 2013, at Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, dontcha know. This ice shove footage seems like a wonderful counterpoint to the post previous.

UPDATE: here is a great view of the aftermath of this event.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Most Awesomest Pyroclastic Flow Footage Ever

Despite being thematically labeled for the volcanic lightening contained therein which amounts to a minor role in this raw footage montage, the real story here in this Mount Sinabung footage is the fact that this is to my experience the most fascinating and insightful not to mention fantabulously gorgeous assemblage of pyroclastic flow footage I have ever observed. Bare in mind that the original scientific expression for this pyroclastic flow phenomenon was the French nuée ardente or "glowing cloud".

Update: here is a daytime perspective of the same type of behavior and activity.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Earth Is An Exotic Alien Planet

For me it was love at first sight of this epiphany-inducing photograph captured in 2012 in the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop, Namibia, by professional photographer Florian

Satellite Views Of A Drought

Here is a rather telling satellite image comparison of this year and last year at the same time contrasting how even last year's drought conditions pail in comparison to a year later. The white in both images is snow, obviously, and snow is the most important source of precipitation for California, NOT rainfall, as important as that is. Images courtesy of NOAA.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Picture of the Day - Power of Christ

This image shows a powerful lightning bolt striking the famous Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain above Rio de Janeiro last Thursday. A thumb at the end of the statue's left hand was damaged. Given how often the statue has been struck by lightning without being damaged I suspect this may have been a powerful positive stroke which type are much rarer than negative strokes.
Photo courtesy of Antonio Lacerda/EPA

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Picture of the Day - Cinders Over City of Angels

This is a great image taken from somewhere in the Hollywood Hills showing Downtown LA with today's Colby Fire as backdrop.  Photo courtesy of Al Seib, Los Angeles Times.

Colby Fire From Space

Here are orbital images captured today of the Colby Fire in Los Angeles County and at least one image also showing the Soda Fire in Kern County.
Image courtesy CIMSS/SSCC & MODIS & NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.
Image courtesy NOAA GOES-WEST captured at 8:30 a.m. PST this morning
Another NOAA GOES-WEST image from a short time after the one preceding it.

Important Colby Fire Links

Here is the short list of important links relating to the Colby Fire in Glendora: 

Twitter thread: #ColbyFire

Hotlist threads:

Live scanner feeds:
Live streaming TV:

September In January In SoCal

This was the scene in Glendora, CA, this morning as the Colby Fire raged in the foothills above town. This area has consumed over 1,700 acres and at least two homes. This area has not burned since 1968.
Photo by Kyle Rusk (all rights reserved).
This image of the Colby Fire earlier this morning is not a SoCal scene that is typical for mid-January. The flames fronts look somewhat like lava flows.Thanks goes to Kyle Rusk for use of these images he captured.
Photo by Kyle Rusk (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If He May Say So Himself

This business card is presently making the rounds on the internet causing not a few smirks. This Chinese businessman clearly does not suffer from low self-esteem nor is he shy about invoking a bit of self-aggrandizing Orwellian hyperbole to shamelessly enhance his image.

Jason Brown Ices a Memorable Performance

I saw this video on a friend's Facebook Wall and watched it and found myself awed by the awesomeness of this performance. I prefer watching the ladies' figure skating but Jason Brown's memorable performance here was well worth my time watching. Despite not being a connoseur of this sport it is my own observation that this is the most memorable male figure skating performance I have ever watched. It is also remarkable that it did not win Jason the gold at this competition but rather the silver.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Picture of the Day - L.A. Red In The Morning...

This spectacular image captured from the Hollywood Hills by an unidentified (to me) photographer. The view is eastward and features the famed Griffith Observatory at left. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Pictures (all rights reserved).

Monday, January 13, 2014

What REALLY Killed Off the Dinosaurs

Here is a rather humorous smartass alternative theory to what extincted the dinosaurs 65 million years ago from a retired scientist (and fellow member of an online geology forum) who goes by the online handle "Eman":
"I see it is again time to step up and correct some of the misconceptions as to dinosaur extinction --which are collective and manifold but the major cause has nothing to do with impacts but with orbital/Newtonian physics! Let me "s'plain"
We know owing to tidal friction which slowed the moon's rotation, the moon is slowing in orbit and to maintain orbit is continuously moving away from the earth. We know that the moon is much farther away today than in the past. Working back from where it is today, we know it was once incredibly close to Earth causing Lunar "months" to be scant hours if not minutes in duration.
In fact taking the calculations back a wee bit further, we see that the moon got incredibly close to the earth's surface!
And THAT is what killed off the dinosaurs---- the tall ones, anyway......" ;-)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Great Lava Of My Life

I have known about Ijen volcano in Indonesia since sometime in the 1990's while watching a documentary on television such as NOVA or Savage Earth. What was not revealed to me at that time about this volcano was its odd and spectacular nocturnal fire which I only discovered earlier tonight via an email from my sister-by-another-mother, Linsis, who had posted it on her online geology group. As it turns out this volcano produces sulphurous shimmering violet-blue flames atop the lava's surface giving it an otherworldly appearance. This is hands-down my favorite lava on Earth. Yes, there are more varieties of appearances of it than most people realize. Below are four photographs and two videos of this rare phenomenon that occurs only one other place on Earth. The first is in English at bottom and the second is in French but also well-worth watching. Since it has not embed code you may view it HERE.  

Photo by Olivier Grunewald
Photo by Thorsten Boeckel
Photo by Martin Rietze
Photo by Olivier Grunewald

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Picture of the Day - Leonid Fountain

Here is the beautiful fountain in front of the wine cave at Broken Earth Winery where I was working tonight doing mostly parking of people and helping them get back to their cars after dark and after drinking wine at the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce's "Puttin' On The Ritz" 1920's Gala. This image was taken with my older iPhone which has a dirty lens hence the image quality. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Quote of the Day - Thomas Wolfe

While looking up the specific wording of the title of Thomas Wolfe's classic "You Can't Go Home Again" (which title was a Quote of the Day here last year) I found the following hauntingly wistful, profoundly true, and masterfully-composed line from that novel as spoken by the character "Webber":

"You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My First Valencia Peak Ascent

Today I carpooled with my buddy Blake Burgess down to Montana De Oro State Park perched along the coast of San Luis Obispo County between the south end of Estero Bay and the Irish Hills and just north of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and just south of Morro Bay and Los Osos-Baywood. This was hardly my first time at this park but before today I had never hiked up into the Irish Hills let along Valencia Peak. Coastal stratus clouds were forming as moist marine air was passing from the ocean onto the landmass so we were in a cloud most of the time we were on the mountain and the entire time we were on the peak's top. I'm without a camera at present so I used my iPhone to take these low-quality images so at least you can see what I saw in general. Due to the coastal stratus I was unable capture decent images of Valencia Peak itself. I felt like pinching myself today being in such an amazingly gorgeous place in such splendid weather for this time of year made all the more precious by the inclement wintry weather of late across much of the rest of North America.
View looking northward up the coast with Morro Rock and Morro Bay visible in the distance as well as a fair amount of Estero Bay in the background and Montana De Oro State Park in the foreground.
View looking west-southwest from the first slope on this hike.
View looking southward down the coast towards Point Buchon. All images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Volcanoes' Deadliest & Scariest Attack

This image was captured this past day in Indonesia and it shows the currently erupting Mount Sinabung casting down its flanks a volcanoe's most dangerous and deadly form of attack: pyroclastic flow.
Image courtesy of Sutanta Aditya / AFP - Getty Images.

Picture of the Day - First Great Sunset Of 2014

This iPhone image did not come out as sharp as I hoped but this was nonetheless a a breathtakingly beautiful and also unexpectedly beautiful sunset earlier tonight from the countryside west of Paso Robles.
Image by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

CAL FIRE's 2013 Fire Season

This comes across as a bit self-congratulatory but it is rather interesting and certainly a useful summary of the California's 2013 fire season from the CAL FIRE perspective.