Monday, March 30, 2015

Picture of the Day - Dark Mushroom

 This past weekend Scott Carson posted on his Twitter account a series of great images relating  to Cold War Era nuclear tests, especially those of the French. The best one was this one of the French Dragon Test, Fangataufa, balloon test, 945 kilotons, 1970. Courtesy of Scott Carson on Twitter (all rights reserved).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Scripture of the Day - Jesus Christ (Mark 14:27)

In church this morning (I visited Sold Rock Christian Fellowship in Templeton with a friend) the pastor read Mark 14:27. I have always found this passage to be rather ominous be it Zechariah's original proclamation of the concept or Christ's invoking it centuries later. Usually the way it strikes me is not in its original context of that specific circumstance to which Christ referred when He uttered those words nor Zechariah's specific object of that action. Rather, I find myself thinking about it in the more general context of it that timelessly applies to how followers respond when their leadership is removed from command. It is not only ominous but equally useful to remember if one is ever in a conflict where smiting shepherds is both within the rules of that time and place as well as useful towards achieving resolution of said conflict.
 "... for it is written, 'I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." 
~ Mark 14:27 (Kimicus ad Absurdum translation)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Disaster Girl

I have previously never revealed on this blog that I am an utterly unapologetic internet meme-whore on social networking sites. One meme I encountered some time ago and immediately fell in love with is Disaster Girl. The real-life story of her is surprising and just about as funny as the memes are that have found genesis from an impromptu sidewise glance from a little girl observing a real fire. No, she and the residential fire are not Photoshopped together. When she appears with that same wicked glance with a different background it is courtesy Photoshop and people with too much time on their creative hands. The first image below is the original photograph that North Carolinian Dave Roth shot of his daughter Zoe at a house fire in 2004. Following it are some of the evolutions of the image into internet meme hall-of-fame renown by various anonymous bored contributors over recent years. Initially the Disaster girl memes were of the original image with some sort of dialogue humorously attributed to the girl in that situation. Later, some wags got even more clever and started Photoshopping her into various historic and even prehistoric disasters.

This one is a private joke with my mom... although any PK would get it.
Note: this is Archduke Ferdinand whose assassination sparked World War One.
I believe that is the carnage of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Famous Vietnam War image... and she was there apparently.
Most of us remember this Photoshopped image after 911 purporting to show a tourist getting photographed atop the World Trade Center as American Airlines Flight 11 approaches behind him. Disaster Girl was there, too.
2011 Japanese tsunami.
The Miracle on the Hudson
Random forest fire
Random tornado damage
Random winter storm damage
Random sink hole
Random rioting.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Post-Modern Renaissance Man Cave Observation Post

Today I had the privilege of visiting a one-of-a-kind Renaissance man cave-observation post. This unique structure located on a hill in the Santa Ynez Valley near Los Olivos is being created by entrepreneur. I was the guest of my friend Kevin Mikelonis of Pasolumination, the lighting design expert for this project who was on-site today moving things along. What follows is my feeble attempt to photographically capture the sense of space within this place.

The man cave went in before the mansion that will occupy this lot... which in my bachelor world-view is how it ought to be done.
The location of this structure features an awesome view of the Santa Ynez Valley from within the valley itself.
I found it hard not to think of a hobbit hole when viewing this place a few angles like this one.
Apparently, these lights will be changed to satisfy the county building inspector.
For those of you who don't recognize what you are seeing, those are wine bottle racks on the wall at right.
Art will hang on the wall at left.
The black racks were manufactured elsewhere while the rust-patina-ed racks were made locally following the same design.
This small change replete with skylight bisects to the two oppositely-curving segments of subterranean hallway.
The main gallery awaits.
Looking back towards the entrance.
View from the main gallery back down the hallway.
Kevin designed this light fixture....
....and the spider leg patterned lighting elements lining the domed ceiling.
Up-close the center looks like a wagon wheel.
As good as this looks it will look better once the colorful artwork destined for these walls is in place and interacts with the lighting seen here.
For coolness one cannot beat the combo of subterranean man-cave and observation post atop a hill replete with fireplace.
The Pasolumination command post at center.
Once the heavy curtains are opened the space changes in appearance and feeling quite dramatically.
I've never before seen an elevated view of a valley from within a cave.
The valley oak atop the man cave.
The highest point of the cave-containing hillock.
View to the west.
View to the south with Santa Ynez Mountains in the distance.
View to the southeast.
View looking to the north.
The design lines of this structure are quite pleasing to the eye.
View looking to the nortthwest.
Those are real stones, NOT concrete poured into casts shaped like stones as is so common nowadays which I find disgusting being a rock lover.
These steel members come from oil drilling operations.....
..... and are used here to a rather pleasing visual effect.
These steel members will only look better as they acquire a more rusty patina.
View looking to the east.
I love the visual effect of parallel arrays of lines running at 90 degree axis from each other.
A light lens like an eye ball.
View looking to the north with the San Rafael Mountains in the distance.
View from atop the man cave hillock looking out over the Santa Ynez Valley with Los Olivos at left in the middle foreground. All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).