Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quote of the Day - Lincoln

Okay, clearly former President Abraham Lincoln did not say this, but he seems like the kind of guy who would if he could. The message of these meme/macro is obvious and so very salient at present given the preponderance of sheeple posting alleged quotes on social media websites that are false or misleading. This image is an internet meme/maco and accurately attributing its creator is impossible.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Funding Uncle Sam

I snatched this from somewhere off the internet some time ago and only just now rediscovered it in a graphics file. In this political season where amongst many other themes, there is the recurring theme of the proper size and role of government, here is a look (as of 2004) at how your money is spent funding the bureaucratic behemoth that is the United States Federal Government. Be sure to left-click on the image to expand it. I realize this image even then is too small to read most of it, but the particulars are not the point here anyway. I want you to focus on the complexity and scope of the structure of the bureaucratic monster.
Graphic created by Jesse Bachman. Copyright 2004 (all rights reserved).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Nation-State Fragilty Index

The folks at the FundForPeace generated this graphic of the global stability sit-rep for each sovereign nation per a color-coded threatcon index. Being the irrepressible geek of random information that I am I could not resist looking at this when I encountered it on Twitter just minutes ago nor can I keep myself from sharing it here. Actually, self-deprication aside, this is fascinating stuff if one is a political science/geography/history aficionado. Left click image to enlarge.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

At Least I'm A Member of Phi Alpha Theta

With my Cal Poly undergrad career recently completed (two weeks ago), I have been taking some inner inventory and internalizing what I just experienced over the course of the past two years and accomplished when all is said and done. This is all rather complex and rife with conflicting emotions. I'm not yet able to be happy or excited about it as the joy of the experience got sucked right out by the events which transpired in my life both over the course of my two undergraduate years at Cal Poly as well as during yet another stretch run of yet another quarter. As a result of the shit sandwich which was the last couple of weeks of my undergrad career (got pertussis, was overwhelmed by senior project, two regular papers, and three finals, combined with Loved One doing their thing again as if on cue) I mostly just feel relieved it is over, grateful I survived it and grateful I was given the opportunity to go back to college in my 40's and grateful for the honor of being able to attend Cal Poly given the kind of school it is, grateful I graduated with a BA and grateful I was accepted into grad school there. I am also feeling a bit frustrated that I did not get better grades due to my own lack of adequate time-management at times and deadline anxiety issues combined with inexcusable distractions being thrown my way by people I love and trust. I need to figure out how to accept what is and focus on that gratitude, forgive people and myself and move on, and be content with a B+ average at Cal Poly despite being smart enough and capable enough of having gotten an A average. I am somewhat disappointed it did not work out for me to get involved with any on-campus activities like the Christian group or the Rose Parade Float-building club. Not living on campus but rather in Paso Robles made it effectively impossible to partake in these things nor did I acquire a girlfriend or wife there as I had hoped might happen. Perhaps I was expecting too many things to come out of my experience there or I am ungrateful for all that did come out of it. I need more time to sort things out both in regards to Cal Poly and in life generally. In any case, I did manage to accomplish one other thing at Cal Poly besides getting a diploma: I gained membership into Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society whose symbol is above.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Molten Mount Looms Over Liquid Lake

Yesterday afternoon a wildfire started on the south margin of Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada Range of Kern County, CA. The Erskine Fire quickly evolved into a conflagration and firestorm which burned over a number of housing tracts charring 19,000 acres as of this posting and destroying betweeen 80-100 homes/structures and killing two local residents who were overrun during the initial or extended attack phase of this fire. This is yet the latest in a growing list of wildfires whose extreme behavior signal a change in the intensity of wildfire in California not only resulting from the ongoing drought but also more subtly but no less  significantly from climate change. A great many wonderful photographs and video sequences were captured of this event, but none come close to the magic contained in the images shot by photojournalist Michael Cuffe who combining his skills with being in the perfect location and setting what with the moon location and phase and all, created some surreally beautiful yet ominous images of this fire, the best in the photographic sequence being above. Photo courtesy of Michael Cuffe (all rights reserved).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Not Out of Reach For Me

I recently rediscovered this progressive house gem amongst my bookmarks and enjoyed it last night. I finally realize it always belonged on this blog and somehow I forgot about it after initially discovering it some time ago. In 2013, Alle Wagt a.k.a. Allen Watts hailing out of the Netherlands, created this wonderful track "Out of Reach" which is remixed here by Aussie deejay Thomas Hayes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Da Vinci Does Xenomorphs

This eye-catching and ominous Da Vinci-esque diagramming of the late H.R. Giger's xenomorph by Elkin Salamanca Alarcon is modern art quite to my liking. Illustrations and accompanying writings by Elkin Salamanca Alarcon (all rights reserved).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Whose Got Nukes

There is a lot of contradictory information about how many nukes each of the nations in the nuclear family of nations possess, especially in regards to the United States and Russia. This seems to be the most reliable source or as good as any of the top sources. The U.S. and Russia have made major reductions since the Cold War and yet still have more than enough nukes to destroy each other and even move piles of rubble around.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fish Fire Day & Night

Two major wildfires broke out on the Angeles National Forest in eastern Los Angeles County this afternoon, about an hour apart. The more easterly now-1,500-acre Reservoir Fire began near Morris Reservoir in San Gabriel Canyon. An hour later, the now-3,000-acre Fish Fire began in the hills above Duarte, CA. The Mount Wilson Towercam is a wonderful way to watch wildfires when the operators are pointing it at a nearby wildfire. I learned this during the 2009 Station Fire. Below is an image from the Towercam captured during the peak of the fire's daytime activity and the latter image was captured tonight as the Strawberry Moon rose over the eastern LA Basin. Images courtesy of UCLA (all rights reserved).*Update: both fires were combined into the San Gabriel Complex overnight. Updated 6/21/16, 2:05 p.m.

Both images courtesy of UCLA (all rights reserved).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Inaugural Cambria Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show

This weekend the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club hosted its inaugural Cambria Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show at the Cambria Vets Hall. This was the former Cayucos Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show relocated to Cambria due to the Cayucos Vets Hall being condemned a little over a month ago following an inspection by state engineers. A small, rag-tag segment of our already small club made the magic happen in Cambria, exceeding all expectations given the short amount of time to reorganize the relocated show in a new community 14 miles up the highway. What follows is my photo account of how the show floor looked today and an image of each our our beloved and mostly long-term vendors.

Club member Leslie managing the welcome counter.
View looking south towards the stage.
Another view of the show floor looking south.
View looking north from the stage.
The stage area occupied by Richard Sittinger who helped get us into this venue.
Another view looking north from the stage.
View from the southwest looking northeast.
View looking east into the side room which is much larger than the one at the Cayucos Vets' Hall.
View looking west from the side room back at the main hall.
Show Chairman Mike Lyons at left with one of his jade people.
Pam Spears with Sister Stones.
My friends Keith and Marcella Olivas.
Andy Delong and his lovely wife Sonia I keep trying to seduce away. (joke)
Kirk Brock in his Rock Solid Jade booth.
Jen toiling away in the Rocks & Relics booth.
Santos Sarabia in his I Luv Rocks booth.
Aaron Miller of Ancient Earth Trading Post.
Scary Gary from Tulare and his better half Janice... two of my dearest friends in the rock world.
Mary Mary (Rafferty) whose gaze at the moment this photo was snapped was quite contrary.
J. Michael Santos and Charlotte Stewart of StarStruck Meteorites were in our show!
Esteemed clubmember Leslie Nelson and her daughter.
Jessie & Josie brought the Gaoiran family barbecue operation (Morro Bay Catering) and took care of business as always.
Richard Sittinger and his Wonderworks ladies. Without Richard we would have been up a creek without a paddle. All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pismo Beach Bonfire of the Vanities

This evening I indulged in a welcome respite from the constant rhythm of responsibility and crisis which has defined my past several weeks. I attended a beach bonfire gathering of friends and their friends at Pismo State Beach down on the beach itself, the world-famous one the public may drive out onto. The wind was initially brisk in route inland to feed the Sundowner Wind event which fueled the Sherpa Fire this evening in adjacent Santa Barbara County. Fortunately, the strong seabreeze calmed down after sundown so we could enjoy some fire-twirling by friends. It was a fun way to celebrate my buddy Blake's birthday as well as both our recent graduations from Cal Poly and reunite with some friends/acquaintances we both know from our Cuesta College days. Most meaningful was seeing our mutual buddy Kameron McMeekin whom we have not seen nearly enough the past few years. It was also really nice to see Lonnan and Britt McIntyre after too long a time. Oh, and now I can finally place Ashley Reika who better get back to blogging!
Our gathering is at left where a fire disk can be seen being made by Kameron.
This is the light of the magic hour near high summer along the Central Coast of California.
The fire twirling commences at left.
Kameron's fire twirling.
This was the first time I had seen Kameron do this although he has been doing it the past couple of years.
I like the artistic effect of these images I captured with my camera quite by accident.
There is something rather primal-feeling about people gathered around a fire after darkness falls. All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - Sherpa Fire Pyrocumulus

Tonight I indulged in a beach bonfire party celebrating the end of my undergrad experience at Cal Poly and celebrate my buddy Blake's birthday. This was held at Pismo State Beach where the public can drive down onto the beach. At various points along the drive from Paso Robles to my destination I could catch glimpses of the Sherpa Fire blowing up and generating pyrocumulus clouds at a later hour than the typical peak burning period of the day. This image was shot around 7 p.m. close to when it bumped up against Highway 101 and spotted into the freeway median. I'm having problems with my camera and this was the best image I could get. The focus here is on the foreground and not the background which in this case is for the best given the lint that would be prominent in the image were the focus otherwise.  Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sherpa Fire Apocalyptic Scene

This is the scene tonight in Las Flores Canyon at the refinery location up the canyon from El Capitán State Beach on the Gaviota Coast of Santa Barbara County. Both the refinery and the state beach are evacuated at this hour as are other nearby communities and facilities. The Sherpa Fire began this afternoon on the Chirpa Ranch in the Santa Ynez Mountains adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest where most of this fire has burned thus far.  Previously this blog reported the fire began on the Rancho La Scherpa Christian Conference Center which was in incorrect. Thus far the wind-driven fire has consumed a guestimated 500 acres, but the true size may already be ten times that number. Dreaded sundowner winds are predicted to kick in overnight after non-Sundowners already whipped up this fire earlier with wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. Update: nearing midnight Sundowners have arrived and are now up to 50 m.p.h. Photo courtesy Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara Co. FD PIO (all rights reserved). *Note: last updated 6/17/16 at 1:15 p.m.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Picture of the Day - Mystery Men's Room Delights

This afternoon I was in Cambria canvassing the commercial district promoting the upcoming gem and mineral show there this weekend. When I walked into a public men's room in East Village I was confronted with this unexpected and curious sight. I'm assuming this was intended as an innuendo-loaded joke. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Picture of the Day - Chillin With Einstein

Today I officially graduated from Cal Poly walking in the commencement ceremony and afterwards chilled out with Albert Einstein outside the south entrance to the Baker Science Building. Photo by Blake Burgess (all rights reserved).

My Cal Poly Graduation Ceremony

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Leon Panetta Kills It

Today Cal Poly held the first two of three graduation ceremonies. The university is divided into six schools and two schools walk in each of the three commencement ceremonies. I walk tomorrow with my fellow College of Liberal Arts graduates and the graduates of the Orfalea College of Business will walk with us. Today I worked crowd control for my company during the 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. commencement ceremonies. I was stationed up in the primary bleacher structure on the west side with the assignment to keep aisles and walkways clear per the fire code. Being positioned where I was I was ideally situated to observe the ceremony which was the third year in a row I worked the Cal Poly spring commencement ceremonies. Today's commencement ceremony attendees were treated to a most excellent speech by Leon Panetta. While I am not a Democrat and do not agree with him politically on many things and view some of the things he did working for the Clinton 42 and Obama Administrations as significant mistakes, I do recognize his lifelong service to my nation and my part of California in particular when he was a local congressman. I also must confess that he gave one hell of a commencement address not once, but twice today. I was duly impressed and must reassess my perception of him. Above, I have a recording of his afternoon address which received a standing ovation more so than after the morning performance of it. I regret that he will not be speaking during my commencement ceremony tomorrow which will be keynoted by somebody else.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Finals Week Soliloquy

Tonight I am at home alone recovering from my recent bout with either bronchitis or pneumonia as well as the effects of finals (which I completed Tuesday) and senior project (which I completed Thursday of last week) at Cal Poly as well as caring for and caring about a dear Loved One's brokenness. I feel utterly drained and a bit anti-social. In fact, I keep entertaining the idea of ditching my graduation ceremony at Cal Poly this Sunday and just going to the beach alone. However, I know I would regret that decision were I to chose that option so I plan to walk Sunday. I feel a bit discombooberated after all I have experienced and endured over the course of my journey, especially the past two years at Cal Poly and more so this just-ending spring quarter. For the first time in my life I feel middle-aged and I hate it. It feels like too many things have hit me in too short a period of time.

The past two years at Cal Poly have been an amazing experience that has helped me to grow as a man and broadened my horizons. I have been forced to reassess some of my opinions and realizations and make improvements, while other opinions and realizations have merely been reinforced. While at Cal Poly I did not join the Rose Parade float team as I had originally planned, but I did become a member of Phi Alpha Theta. I made some new friends at Cal Poly including one of my professors. While I did not find my wife at Cal Poly or even acquire a girlfriend, I did manage to maintain a celibate lifestyle and keep myself sexually pure in a sexually-charged environment. Of course, it helped I was a fat-forty-something living off-campus for the duration, but still. And yes, I became a Fat Fuck at Cal Poly. Between graduating from Cuesta College in mid-May, 2014, and starting at Cal Poly in late-September, 2014, I lost 25-30 lbs. Over the following two years I quickly gained that back and doubled it up to a 50 lb.+ weight gain. I seem to have fallen just under a 3.5 GPA for my Cal Poly undergrad career.... too many otherwise good papers turned in late caught up with me too many times and I let some A's get away from me.... my bad.

However, I also had a lot of distractions in my private life with the aforementioned Loved One's struggles not helping my already difficult time dealing with my chronic procrastination problem. This two-pronged assault on my GPA began in the Winter of 2015 and kept up right into this week. If this continues either I won't graduate from grad school next year or my Loved One will have to find somebody else to help them if they fall again. Have I been helping or enabling or a bit of both?

I don't know what to expect with what comes next: Cuesta College summer school health ed class (Health 202) to satisfy a requirement for the teaching credential program that I did not get fulfilled at Cal Poly. At least this will be one less unit and a thousand dollars cheaper than had I completed it at Cal Poly. However, I shall have to drive (or ride the bus) to Cuesta College main campus in SLO for six weeks, starting next Tuesday, three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.). After that I will have to return to Cal Poly a month earlier than other types of students because I will be doing in-class work at Atascadero High School with my master teacher Ben Tomasini. We will take classes before the local schools resume classes so that means going back to school mid-August instead of late-September. Fall 2016 quarter will be 16 units PLUS some in-class time each week with our master teacher. I hear it will be the roughest quarter of the grad program.

God is sovereign, God is in control. God knows what I'm doing, I do not. I'm just trying to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ and let the chips fall where they may. I have come a long way, yet have such a long way to go. I am merely an explorer and sojourner here; life is fascinating, but so very ephemeral. May God protect me from the storms to come!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Picture of the Day - Brave New World

As I left the Cal Poly campus for the last time as an undergraduate late this afternoon, I took one final reflective stroll through the History Department's part of The Maze, the home of the College of Liberal Arts. There I encountered this door signage I had intended for a while to share but kept forgetting to snap a shot or could not find a good time to do it when I did not look like some weirdo snapping iPhone images of the History Department's exclusive loo. Personally, I feel it is too preachy and culturally divisive. Why not the good old-fashioned "unisex" label? It was non-gender specific before that was en vogue. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Coleman Fire - Day One

Today I needed a break from being home alone, sick with pneumonia and some sort of weird eye inflammation (not red eye) and recovering from the emotional toll of two weeks of family turmoil right during the last leg of the quarter and my Cal Poly undergrad career. The moment I became aware that a new wildfire (Coleman Incident) had broken out on the post of Fort Hunter Liggett following on the heels of the still-burning 3,000 acre Stoney Fire nearby, I grabbed my dog, my meds, and my camera, and got in the car and went firechasing for a few hours. I headed north on US101 and then headed west on Jolon Road and followed it all the way to Pine Canyon Road where I captured the following images prior to firefighting assets making their way into the area as they began to do as I left to head home. By the end of today's burn period the fire was reported to have consumed 2,800 acres and some projections suggest it might ultimately burn 30,000 acres.
*Note: updated 6/05/16

I captured this image on Jolon Road between Lockwood and Jolon with view looking northwest.
Skull-faced cloud (side perspective with sun as glowing left eye).
All but the first image were captured on Pine Canyon Road at Shetland Drive looking west-southwest into the Ventana Wilderness Area just outside Fort Hunter Liggett.
I didn't have to wait long for the fire to slop over the main ridgeline in this case the right flank of the head.
Note the tanker retardant drop being made on the fire's edge at left.
A short time later the left flank of the head slopped over the ridgeline.
Today's fire activity was slope, fuel, and wind driven alike.
No noticeable sunspots today.
The contrail suddenly emerging from behind the cloud surprised me and after making an adjustment I shot this image.
All photographs by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).
*Note: thanks Linsis for cleaning up the lint artifacts in these images!