Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Super Dave Schwartz Weather Highlight

This morning I received a phone call from mom before I could even get caught up on all the news via the internet. She informed me that she had just watched The Weather Channel and they had announced that the effervescent and quirky television weather legend Dave Schwartz died yesterday from stomach cancer. I was not shocked as all his fans were aware of his cancer struggles following his announcement of same last year. I had hoped he would pull through not knowing his stomach cancer was a metastasis of pancreatic cancer which is pretty much a death sentence for anybody. I lost my friend Steve Shears to it a few years ago as some of you may recall. Schwartz was a friend of sorts through the years when he worked at TWC, including years when I was fairly socially isolated with my Kim issues. Schwartz, in his charmingly quirky way, kept me company telling me the weather for Akron, Ohio, the next day or a myriad of other meteorological things that kept my mind occupied. I hope he was ready for eternity and he and God had a conversation before he slipped this mortal coil as I would love to meet him personally someday on the other side. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Picture of the Day - Wedding Treehouse

This afternoon into this evening I worked a wedding at Pepper Tree Ranch in Edna, CA. This was the first time Vino Vice worked parking and security at this new wedding venue adjacent to another one of our recent client acquisitions. This wedding venue has the coolest draw of any in the county: a large treehouse! It looks as if it is made of wood but rather is entirely made of metal but with an exquisite artistic flair and eye for detail. Owner and artisan Darren is the genius behind it all and his personal style is reflected in various metal elements present throughout the property.
Make that two pictures-of-the-day. This tree house is shaped with many elements reminiscent of a ship including this prominent bow-like tapered front end which greets visitors as they first arrive. Various trees poke up through the metal floor of the structure which is built over the trees that sprout up from below it perfectly-placed notches allow trees to push up through the floor and grow over the structure. This is by far the most awesome structure and draw at any wedding venue in the county. Both photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, July 29, 2016

My Top Thirty Favorite Idioms

These are my favorite idioms (in no specific order) and I do use them all in my own speech. It is worth noting that a disproportionate percentage of these originate from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Yes, my family (my mom's side) comes from the South.
  1. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. 
  2. Lord willing and the creek don't rise. 
  3. A day late and a dollar short. 
  4. There's method to my madness (and madness to my method).
  5. Doesn't know his/her ass from a hole in the ground. 
  6. Like a horse on the way back to the barn. 
  7. Hear it straight from the horse's mouth.
  8. Don't have a dog in that fight. 
  9. Barking up the wrong tree. 
  10. A picture paints a thousand words.
  11. Fall on your sword. 
  12. Take one for the team.
  13. Bite the bullet.
  14. All show and no go.
  15. Snake in the grass. 
  16. Kill two birds with one stone. 
  17. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. 
  18. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
  19. Got too big for his/her/your/my britches. 
  20. Penny for your thoughts. 
  21. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
  22. Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.  
  23. Barndoor is open and the horses are out.
  24. Like putting lipstick on a pig. 
  25. The ball is in your court.
  26. Jumping on the bandwagon.
  27. Throw him/her under the bus.
  28. Steal his/her/your/my thunder.
  29. Pissed in your cornflakes.
  30. Elephant in the room.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Most Awesome Tanker Drop Ever

I first viewed this video yesterday on Facebook which is the only social networking site in which it has appeared as far as I know. The videographer known only as "808" captured this emergency drop on a Santa Clarita Valley area neighborhood in Sand Canyon under direct and eminent threat from the Sand Fire on either Saturday afternoon, July 23, or Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2016, Days Two or Three of the incident when it was burning homes and killing people. In my opinion this is the very best tanker drop footage yet captured anywhere at any time. Aside from capturing the urgency of the situation, it is very close to the action, shows the entire process of a drop including the lead plane directing the tanker along its path and where to start the drop, shows a DC-10 supertanker, and despite being taken with a smart phone, it is steadily held and well-framed videography. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Picture of the Day - Smoky Atascadero Hike

Today my brother by another mother, Mike, and I hiked the not yet completed trail system in the new 102-acre Three Bridges Oak Preserve on the west side of Atascadero off of Highway 41. It was hot and hard for me given my weight but it was what my dog Tequila and I needed at this point. Fortunately, we came prepared with ample ice water and the trail is well-graded so there are no killer sections. The smoke from the Soberanes Fire up at Big Sur/Carmel Highlands was very noticeable and air quality alerts were in place for San Luis Obispo County today. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved). 

Evolution of California Disasters Group

California Disasters avatar image captured the morning of April 18, 1906. Image courtesy of California Historical Society.
California Disasters was born on May, 18, 2007 on Yahoo Groups as a figment of my inspired cogitations while driving through the western Mojave Desert near Mojave, California. My then-girlfriend Krissa Klein's familiarity with and overall tech-savvy made it happen over the phone and the rest is now history (thanks Krissa!).

I was late to the game of the internet and social networking and missed the old talk groups and got in on Yahoo Groups during what was perhaps the beginning of their decline or end of their peak in 2005. I have since stuck it out as the Yahoo brand has declined over the subsequent decade.

Now, with large parts of the Yahoo franchise just now this week sold to Verizon, I am forced to take stock of the current situation. We all know that Yahoo became Yahell at some point (probably when current CEO Marissa Mayers' team degenerated Yahoo Groups into the cluster fuck known as Neo Groups as the company's focus and priorities drifted elsewhere and the quality of the Yahoo Groups product declined.  I have stuck it out but have also felt restless and moved into other social networking platforms in order to improve the California Disasters experience and brand and move it past Yahoo Groups.

I consider Twitter the current home of California Disasters while Yahoo Groups' California Disasters formulation remains the second option as it is the social network in which the most members actively contribute posts although Twitter is almost caught up to it. In third is the Facebook formulation of California Disasters while the Reddit subreddit CaliforniaDisasters is what I consider the fourth-place formulation of the group.

I invite each of you reading this blog post to join one or more of these California Disasters formulations immediately and stretch your horizons and be part of California Disasters' evolution into the future as at some point Yahoo Groups will be permanently shut down as has long been anticipated as happened to Myspace's Groups service.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Graphic of the Day - California Wildfire Changes

The sheer volume of evidence for climate change is so overwhelming and can be seen in so many different subject areas that it boggles the mind that there remain deniers. I would imagine that in most cases they are ignorant of facts such as those reflected in the graphic above. Some deniers will try to attribute the larger fires to poor forest management but half these fires burned in primarily brush or in one case, rangeland. We have the best understanding of fire ever, the best equipment, the best-trained firefighters, the best emergency management and yet our civilization is getting its ass kicked every year by wildfire and it is getting worse as we fall further behind the curve due to the changes taking place in the natural environment year in and year out in recent decades.

Monday, July 25, 2016

49th Annual Rainbow of Gems Coming Soon!

Orcutt Mineral Society 49th Annual
Rainbow of Gems Show Is right around the corner.
August 5-7, 2016
(Friday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4)
Nipomo High School
525 N. Thompson Ave. Nipomo.
50 Outside and 10 inside dealers plus displays and lapidary arts
demonstrations.  G Brothers Smokehouse will serve up some tasty vittles, including a Barbecue Saturday evening at 5:30.
Kid’s activities, Central Coast Gold Prospectors, Pie sales, and Our Treasure Chest (drawing Sunday—need not be present to win).  Great prizes!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Picture of the Day - Pissing In The Oval Office

Yesterday afternoon at the Sikh wedding at Greengate I worked, I encountered this high-end port-a-potty. The Fresno-area owner was on-site to attend to his mobile facility, one of four he owns with much greater ambitions to expand. He decidedly  dislikes the current President and was thus inspired in the naming of his business. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Picture of the Day - Soberanes Fire Smoke

Tonight I worked a wonderful Sihk wedding at Greengate in Edna, CA. This was the largest event I have ever worked, to wit, 625 RSVP'ed guests and an unknown number of party crashers. As the day progressed more and more smoke from the Soberanes Fire near Carmel Highlands on the Big Sur Coast of Monterey County to the north drifted into view and by sunset added some nice color to this evening's magic hour. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Citizen Fire Photojournalism 101

Today during the 2 p.m. hour, driven by strong westerly winds, a roadside wildfire along the eastbound/northbound slow lane of the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) ran hard across an adjacent wash further south, into some low-laying hills even further south, and still further south up into the Angeles National Forest at the western end of the San Gabriel Mountains. Tonight, the Sand Fire has run over the spine of the mountains and as of this posting is threatening Little Tujunga Canyon and environs over on the San Fernando Valley side of the mountain range.

Given the population density in the general area of this incident and the fire being up on a mountain range that is easily viewed from just about anywhere, a wealth of photographs and video footage of this conflagration was captured, some of it even very good or even great. Below are the very best non-fire photographer images of this incident I found on Twitter. To me this is citizen journalism at its best. The images are presented in the order I was approved to use the images by their creators whom I thank with all sincerity. I will continue to add more images as permissions come in as some photographers undoubtedly went to be bed early and won't see my requests until the morning.
*NOTE: remember that these images belong to these photographers and they control their use and retain rights to them unless otherwise specified.

This may be the very best image Everett Orian has ever captured on a camera. How iconic-looking and quintessentially Californian: In-N-Out Burger sign at dusk in an urban setting with double palm trees and a raging wildfire header in the background.
Daniel Scruggs, Jr., shot this very artistic image in Lake Forest tonight showing the setting sun sharing the sky with smoke from the Sand Fire.
Beth Shott shot this image from her neighborhood in the Sand Canyon Ranch area this afternoon early in the fire's progression right after it entered the Angeles National Forest. Note the BAe-146 jet tanker dwarfed by the twisting convection column.
Claudia Peschiutta shot this image along Placerita Canyon Road this afternoon. Note a bit of pyrocumulus cloud poking out of the top of the main convection column.
Matt Hartman shot this image from Glassell Park looking up over the Verdugo Mountains as the Sand Fire heads towards the camera but at a safe distance and many obstacles in between. To me, this massive header is quite reminiscent of a wedge tornado headed towards the camera such as are seen in Tornado Alley in the spring.
Brooke Hansohn captured this image from Burbank with the Verdugo Mountains in the background showing the fire running up into the Angeles NF at the west end of the San Gabriel Mountains and popping quite a bit of pyrocumulus cloud atop the main convection column.
Kevin Gill shot this ominous image from Santa Clarita which shows the fire not obeying the tradition of laying down after the sun sets as most wildfires do. The current red flag conditions effecting this area are manifesting themselves in this rather rambuctious nocturnal fire behavior.
Leonard Elick captured the drama of the early stages of the fire's initial foray onto the Angeles NF in the first couple of hours of the incident. Note the Erickson Skycrane rendered nearly invisible with the background of the smoke.
Carla T. captured this image from Valencia tonight showing both the intensity of the now nocturnal fire as well as the rather impressive extent of the fire over the western end of the San Gabriel Mountains and adjacent hilly areas.
Jose Cruz captured the moon rising through the smoke of the Sand Fire tonight as viewed from Newhall and it well conveys the degree to which the wind is pushing this fire to not lay down after dark as is typical of most wildfires.
Keith Garcia captured this intriguing and ominous view of the Sand Fire from all the way down in Hermosa Beach at the coast which gives one a good sense of how widely viewable this fire is across much of the LA Basin. The water tower reminds me of the "tripods" in the 2005 movie War of the Worlds.
Jack Husted captured this image of the Pasadena area from what I assume was a helicopter. The College Hills are at left and the San Gabriel Mountains are at right and center. The fire has moved up into the western end of this mountain range. I find the weird filtered daylight under a smoke deck most fascinating as there is an apocalyptic aspect to such a scene. Also, I came from Pasadena and find weird images of the place most fascinating. I watched fires burn in these mountains as a child such as the Pinecrest Fire in 1979 and my family was directly affected by the Kinneloa Fire in 1993.
Benjamin Woodle captured a series of amazing images and this one is my favorite. The entire series was taken from the same location in Santa Clarita. I like the backdrop of the nocturnal conflagration with the dark silhouette of the high-tension powerline pylons in the foreground of the image. Very artistic!
Laurenzo shot this moody scene on Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena tonight. I was born just down the way at Huntington Memorial Hospital and have many childhood memories of riding in the car with family down this street and elsewhere in this part of town. My parents used to store family belongings at one of the Public Storage Co. properties in this neighborhood back in the 1970s and I still have the locks they used. It is interesting to me to see my old hometown made to look strange due to this fire's smoke at dusk.
From Santa Clarita, Andrew Dawson shot this intriguing image tonight of the ominous but beautiful night-time wildfire with a bit of moon-made bluish sky above the fire and a visually-pleasing pattern of illuminated neighborhood swirling up the grade towards dark ridges backlit by fire.
Greg Doyle captured this hellish scene from adjacent to the famous Wildlife WayStation demonstrating how far the fire has progressed overnight from being a tiny little spot fire along the Antelope Valley Freeway nearly 12 hours ago.
Alanes captured this moody image from the O.C. at dusk showing the extent of the smoke cloud over the Southland.
Johnny Petillo captured this scene from what looks like the San Fernando Valley which shows how far this fire traveled in less than twelve hours.
Mo Sab took a winner here from the Santa Clarita Valley showing the moon rising over the conflagration and illuminating the smoke cloud top. The mix of fire light, moonlight, and city lights is amazing in this image.
Isaiah Talley captured the essential element of the wind driving this nocturnal conflagration through brush-covered terrain.

Of Irony, Ideology, Idiocy, and Idiosyncrasy

I am noticing some interesting trends emerging in recent days and weeks on social media.

First of all, it seems that a great many Liberals and Conservatives define the other as anything that is not in lockstep agreement with their own narrow worldview. This black and white binary thinking is intellectually unsophisticated and cognitively simplistic.

Secondly, it seems that a great many Liberals and Conservatives don't seem to understand what those two terms define both of the label they identify themselves as being as well as the label they claim to oppose.

Bernie is a Liberal, NOT Clinton or Obama both of whom are Corporatists as genuine Liberals like to point out. However, good luck trying to point that out to Liberals who only want to win in November at any cost and thus reveal themselves to be less ideological than they are tribal.

Cruz is a Conservative, NOT Trump who is an anti-free trade, pro-single-payer Populist not-so-long-ago Democrat and Hillary Clinton fan. However, good luck trying to point that out to Conservatives who only want to win in November at any cost and thus reveal themselves to be less ideological than they are tribal.

Thirdly, a notable number of my Conservative friends, indeed some of the more nasty ones, now attack my objective Centrist observations as not only Liberal which is not so new but what is new is that they toss in the fact I just graduated from college and somehow that must have magically transformed me virtually overnight into a fire-breathing Liberal. And of course I must be a Liberal because I do not adhere to their narrow worldview. In reality, my Centrist perspective on these things is not only unchanged from when I first entered college, but it has been validated and reinforced. It is a shame to see this abhorrent behavior as I am a former Conservative and at times am tempted to go back and then I see these people act ugly in a way that is integral to their political culture and chronically fail to live up to their own creed and thus expose the foundational flaws in Conservatism (the people) and I then regain perspective.

It is a widely known fact that people ideologically to the right of center are perennially less educated than those ideologically to the left of them. Given this fact and how Liberals like to flaunt it as if it makes them any better or more correct than Conservatives (which it doesn't), this sort of anti-educational/anti-intellectualism further seems to support the view that Conservatives aren't as bright and as well educated as Liberals. This is ironic both ways as another stereotype is that Liberals have chronically bleeding hearts and are overly-emotional sentimentalists while Conservatives are more unemotionally, ruthlessly calculating in a socially darwinistic Ayn Rand sort of way. Both of these stereotypes run counter to the fact the Left is better educated and the Right is very sentimental and emotionally-driven.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Two Most-Hated Americans

This joke started on Reddit and is now making its rounds throughout all corners of the internet:
"Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a plane crash. Who survives? America."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Broken But Not Condemned

I discovered this song tonight quite by accident. It really struck a nerve in my heart and really speaks to where I am right now in my life. I've felt real broken the past month and a half or two as a consequence of many things happening to me at once, some of it inflicted upon me and some of it self-inflicted. I'm finished feeling broken. I am reminded in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. As for the artistry of this amazing 2013 Depeche Mode track "Broken" from their album "Delta Machine", they seem to keep getting better and better as their 80s and 90s stuff was great, 2005's "Precious" which I shared HERE was awesome and now this.

Friday, July 15, 2016

2016 Graduation Partay

Last night at my friends Ted & Janet's home, my church family (centered at North County Christian Fellowship) held a celebration of my recent graduation from Cal Poly with a most awesome gathering of human beings and a magical evening happened. It was just what I needed as I have been in sort of a funk over the past month. I feel rejuvenated and ready to move forward now. Thank you all, my lovely adopted family and friends, for the best evening I've had in a long time.

The feast table pre-feast-view. This was the maiden voyage for this gorgeous table.
My peeps gellin' like Magellan.
I love these people!
The feast table feast-view.
My host and hostess posing with Fatboy.
This cake tasted as good as it looked and none was left by the end of the evening.
All images (but two) by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Picture of the Day - My Cal Poly Diploma

I just picked this up from Michael's finding out via text message from my buddy Blake that he has just finished framing it for me there (he being the master framer in the Paso Robles store). Now I can show it off at my graduation party tonight.
Image by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hollister Adobe 2016

Today I joined my history mentor Dennis Judd to a Cuesta College Board of Trustees meeting on the main campus in unincorporated San Luis Obispo (SLO) between SLO and Morro Bay in the shadow of both Cerro Romauldo and Hollister Peak. We attended this otherwise boring kabuki in order for Judd to "prepresent" along with other activists the interests of the future of the historic Hollister Adobe located on the campus adjacent to Camp San Luis from which the campus was carved. Before and after the meeting we visited the old structure and snapped a few images.

Southwest corner view of Hollister Adobe.
Grinding mortars formed from a serpentine boulder located adjacent to the adobe.
This corner was probably never 100% perfectly shaped even when new and the years since have not helped matters.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, July 1, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Western Wildfire Changes

Recently I found these two informative and accurate graphs on Twitter. Both address a particular aspect of changes in wildfire in the west. These changes are largely due to climate change. My climate change skeptic friends will argue that mismanagement of forests by way of removing natural fire from the natural environment for the better part of the 20th century is the cause of more severe wildfires. While that is a factor, it only applies to forest ecosystems, but is not a factor so much in the chaparral and grasslands where fire patterns are also changing. Others will try to argue that the preponderance of interface zones, particularly in the Western U.S. are to blame for increasing property losses. That, too, is a factor, but also only partly accounts for the problem as property losses are but one measure of a fire's potency while not being a factor in fire frequency and fire ferocity, which are more to the point of these two graphs.