Sunday, October 30, 2016

Picture of the Day - Beacon of Light at Dusk

Tonight shortly before I left the Cambria Vets Hall to head home after helping break down the show at the end of the weekend, I spotted the potential for a cool photograph in this scene which indeed turned out well. This is the first-order Fresnel lens on display in a protective glass display structure in Cambria, CA, next door to the Vets Hall. It was originally located at Point Piedras Blancas Light Station but was moved from there to protect it from vandalism and such. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Two-Day Show In Two Pics

This weekend was the 1st Annual Autumn Cambria Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show. As previously mentioned in this space, we had to move our Cayucos rock show due to our former facility being condemned until structural weaknesses are repaired. The club elected to move up the highway to the Vets Hall in Cambria, CA. Immediately below was an image shot yesterday (Saturday).

As beautiful a location as Cayucos, CA, was for our show and as charming a venue as the Cayucos Vets Hall was for our show, the new home for the San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club's Cambria, CA, reincarnation of the former Cayucos Gem, Mineral, Jewelry Show is even better in both practical and aesthetic terms. It has more square footage, more electrical capacity, easier ingress and egress from the structure, fewer restrictions on how we use the space,especially the external space, and the baseline income level of resident and tourist alike is higher.

This image I captured with my iPhone4 whose camera is not as good as that in more recent models, thus the lack of sharper focus in this image. However, it nonetheless conveys the great beauty in variety of colors and shapes and patterns of the stones in this Art of Stones display case at our show. Both photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Picture of the Day - Juice Of The Fruit Of The Vine

The past two nights (including tonight), I worked at the Eberle Winery Haunted Caves event doing security down in the wine cave. This was the third year out of the past four years I have been thus privileged to work this event in that capacity. It is my favorite event to work of all the events I do on an annual basis. While waiting for the event to start last night in the production warehouse from which primary access to the wine cave complex is derived, I took the above image of activities occurring as large stainless steel vats were cleaned or drained. I repeated taking such images earlier this evening and below is another such image. It seems apropos that such a bloody-looking sight should be seen outside a "haunted cave."  

Both images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Graphic of the Day - How Dare They

Many of my idiot Conservative (and conservative with a lower-case "c") friends and acquaintances (as opposed to my idiot Liberal and liberal friends and acquaintances) have been and continue to be thoroughly convinced that the perennial paper tiger Iran poses an existentialist threat to the United States and Israel, especially as it pertains to nuclear weapons.There are so many factual and analytical problems with this myth that I'm not sure where to begin. I'm also not sure that I should even bother to address them all here.

However, it is worth mentioning that Iran is a poor and backward country many decades of development behind her neighbors to the south across the Persian Gulf. Sanctions and corruption and mismanagement and ineptitude have taken and continue to take their toll on the nation. When sanctions were upon Iran they had nothing to lose by not cooperating with the U.N. and the West. By lifting sanctions, now the U.N. and the West have leverage over Iran as Iran now has something it values greatly that can be taken away from it. Obama's deal with Iran was actually a great idea and long overdue.

Iran's nuclear program is driven by and designed for the same sort of adversarial scenario as Pakistan's: concern about a strong neighbor dominated by a different ethnic group which speaks a different language and follows a different religion or sect of the same religion, to wit, Pakistan's India concerns and resultant nuclear program compares with Iran's Saudi Arabia concerns and resultant nuclear program. An Iranian nuke would be built for Saudi Arabia, not the U.S. or Israel. The anti-U.S./anti-Israel diatribes by the Iranian government and theocracy are for internal political consumption but are not reflective of Iranian nuclear machinations. Iran is not interested in committing nuclear suicide.

That being said, Iran makes for a great excuse and opportunity for political posturing by Conservatives and conservatives in the U.S. when in fact Iran is a paper tiger that needs to be watched but not worried about. Such distractions divert our attention away from nuclear rival Russia which does pose an existentialist threat to the U.S.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meme of the Week - Negan 2016

For those of you who have been following The Walking Dead on TV or reading the serial graphic novel this needs no explanation. Otherwise, if I have to explain you would not understand. Needless to say, Negan is the newest badassest bad guy on the planet; a villain with charisma and gravitas on the level of Darth Vader and Heath Ledger's version of The Joker. Needless to say, some part of me would rather have Negan as President than either of the main candidates. He would indeed "shut that shit down" in Washington D.C. and beyond. The meme/image macro above features an odd artifact covering the character's mouth but just ignore it. Below is a small player for a clip from the scene from which the meme image was derived. It starts right after a beloved main character has just been beaten to death in front of the show's protagonists. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overheard - Unrealistic Expectations

I saw this in a comment thread to a post on the Facebook Group The Tasteless Gentlemen.
"Porn gives you unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of how long it takes to get a plumber to get to your house." ~ John Farrell

Picture of the Day - Odd Request

I saw this sign at Oso Flaco Lake yesterday and could not resist sharing it here. I knew bird watchers were a little different but this confirms it. I don't have a girlfriend either but I don't play recordings of bird-mating calls outdoors or anywhere for that matter. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Monday, October 24, 2016

Return To Oso Flaco Lake

Today one of my regular Cal Poly classes (History 424, a teaching methods class) was reconfigured to be a field trip to an effective teacher's classroom at Nipomo High School. Philip Deichler welcomed Dr. Joel Orth's 424 class for an hour-long presentation on how to teach social studies classes at any level, but particularly at the high school level. He was a gracious host and in the previous decade got his teaching credential at Cal Poly. My wingman Blake and I got down to Nipomo early enough to have time to burn so we headed out to Oso Flaco Lake located within the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. It was Blake's first visit ever and my first visit this decade and maybe even since sometime in the 1990s. The boardwalk was new to me not having been there the previous time I visited. I found it most impressive.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Picture of the Day - Rainbow Over Bishop Peak

This morning when I arrived at 8 a.m. for classes at Cal Poly starting at 10 a.m. I was greeted with this beautiful scene of a rainbow embedded within a stormy sky looming over locally iconic Bishop Peak and the adjacent city of San Luis Obispo. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Picture of the Day - Ominous Yet Beautiful

A deep center of low pressure (an unseasonably intense autumn storm) rolled into an approach pattern just offshore of the Pacific Northwest without making landfall the past couple of days. It wrapped and continues to wrap a fetch of subtropical moisture into itself which passed and continues over California the past couple of days bringing periods of intense local wind, rain, and lightning. The image below was captured this morning in the Inland Empire region by an employee of CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (all rights reserved).

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Long Time No See Grandpa McGee

This evening on Facebook, a friend of our family, Pastor Don Rhoads, who was a protege of my maternal grandfather, the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee, mentioned in response to my posting one of grandpa's Sunday Sermons from his time at the iconic Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles sometime during the period 1949-1970, that there were video recordings of grandpa on Youtube. I never imagined there was any such thing on Youtube and never bothered to check. How foolish have I been?! Below are what I found with the topmost being the oldest (when he was youngest) and in descending order his newer stuff as he got older as near as I can visually determine his age relative to each video (I might have #1 and #2 switched wrong). Just looking at these briefly really makes me miss him a lot.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Picture of the Day - Beaut Sunset Sans Clouds

Earlier this evening I fellowshipped with my home group fam formerly known as the 17th Street Gang now rechristened (by me) the Self Help Gang as the generous hosts are my friends the Selfs of Templeton from whence this image was captured earlier tonight at dusk. The Central Coast magic hour can be so beautiful that it needs no clouds to make it so. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Shakeout in the Classroom

Today public and private facilities of various functions conducted the annual Great California Shakeout. It came on a day I was embedded in my classroom at Atascadero High School. I had not heard or read any mention of the annual earthquake preparedness drill being observed at this school and I feared they were not doing it until 10:20 a.m. this date of 10/20/16. Vice Principal Allen broke in over the loudspeaker and narrated an earthquake drill encouraging all students to get under desks and such to protect themselves. I was heartened to see this as I feel this sort of thing is incredibly important and not emphasized enough in society generally. Other sorts of drills at schools are for things like fires and shootings, things which at most schools will never happen. In California there is a 100% probability that a significant earthquake will be experienced at nearly each and every school in the state eventually, something my master teacher/co-teacher pointed out to his drill-disrupted 4th period class this morning. My mom happened to drive by a small Christian pre-school observing the drill at the time appointed so this demonstrates even private education entities participated at least in some cases which I'm heartened to learn. Below is a montage of footage from the Loma Prieta Earthquake (whose 27th anniversary occurred just three days ago) led off by the now-infamous footage of a classroom on the campus of U.C. Santa Cruz getting demolished by the quake. This is followed by a high school gymnasium hosting a girl's volleyball game getting called early. As this footage amply demonstrates, classrooms (and gymnasiums) can be hazardous spaces in a major earthquake. Taking proper precautions such as diving under desks is well-advised. *Note: I forgot to participate in this drill last year so it was nice to get reconnected to it. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dear Bill

Tonight I saw this welcome and congratulations note from a departing President G.H.W. Bush to incoming President William Jefferson Clinton on Inauguration Day 1993. It reveals a level of cordiality and collegiality almost unheard of nowadays in partisan politics. God help us all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Picture of the Day - THIS IS ISS

Earlier this evening I received word from my mother who received word from the local weather anchorman that the International Space Station was to pass over our area around 7:30 p.m. PDT tonight. I remembered to go out at that time and watched and watched and saw nothing.... until 7:33 p.m. My camera is out of commission for now and so I am and have been for some time relying on my iPhone 4 camera to capture images. This was the best I could do with said camera phone in capturing the orbiting space station.

This Ain't No Dumbo

My mother told me about this story of Kham Lha the protective protected elephant today which story had previously escaped my notice but has gone viral apparently... and with good reason.

Picture of the Day - Category Five Hurricane

While in a local gas station paying for my gas earlier this evening, I spotted this bottle and could not resist getting it given my obsession with disasters and the eclectic.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Loma Prieta Quake Remembrance In Five Images

I find it nearly unfathomable that it was 27 years ago today that the Loma Prieta Earthquake and the then-concurrent 1989 World Series pitting the San Francisco Giants against their crosstown rivals the Oakland Athletics. Where has the time gone? That was the defining disaster of my coming of age and yet nearly nobody I'm going to school with at Cal Poly and certainly nobody I am teaching at Atascadero High School was even yet born when all that happened. I feel both old and timeless in a contradictory hibridity I cannot adequately put into words.

I still remember CNN Sports Tonight's Fred Hickman referring to the 1989 World Series as "Bays Ball."

I have one or two original copies of this newspaper stored somewhere on the premises.

I have added this location to my bucket list of places in California I wish to visit.
Photo by Fogcat5/Creative Commons.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

This Is Never Gone

Tonight I found my first major electronica musical discovery in quite some time and despite my more recent turn towards progressive house this is a 2007 trance track, perhaps one might even argue it is progressive trance. "Never Gone" comes from Polish deejay Adam Nickey remixed by English progressive group Above & Beyond. This track really gets going at about the 2:00 mark. The longer versions don't get really rolling until over a third of the way into their 9-minute runs. I get annoyed at even greats tracks that take too long getting going. This one is worth the wait or just fast-forward.

Songda the Stormy Dragon

I saw this image Tweeted last night in reference to its likeness to a dragon. It shows the first large-scale batch of moisture from the late Typhoon Songda encased in an upper level low pressure system rotating across the Pacific Northwest and environs. This interesting coincidental likeness to a cultural reference brings to mind the recent Hurricane Matthew skull likeness I shared HERE.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Picture of the Day - Songda Gloaming

I captured this image tonight at Robert Hall Winery during a lull in the valet parking action for tonight's Salt Lick BBQ Dinner event. The last light of day penetrates the cloudy remnants of Typhoon Songda now impacting California as the jet stream pulls this moisture into drought-stricken California this weekend. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Scripture of the Day - Paul (Rom.13:12)

This morning a short time ago as I was putting my room in order, changing over from night-time configuration to daytime configuration (I live in tight quarters and must move some things around for either configuration), the verse came to mind loud and clear:
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." ~ Romans 13:12 (King James version)

All Along The Watchtower Revisited

The announcement two days ago that Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature has led to an explosion of interest in and discussion of his career and works. Unfortunately, this has included some debate and controversy as to if he was deserving of the prize or if the prize should even be awarded to song lyricists at all. In the meanwhile, I cannot avoid thinking of his most important song (in my humble opinion). Below is an excellent, but short analysis of it. Note: I have opined upon this song on this blog previously back in 2012 which you can read HERE.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lately On A Good Day

After an extended run of a rough stretch in life, things have been a bit better for me the past several days. Above & Beyond's wonderful progressive trance track "On A Good Day", which in the past I've shared with specific friends in difficult periods of life, I now share with you all as it is a great anthem about surviving oft-alienating and oft-isolating post-modern life and overcoming existentialist angst. Ignore the silly-at-times montage of band fan home video accompanying this official video and focus on the awesome lyrics which I have included below:

"Little bit lost and
A little bit lonely
Little bit cold here
A little bit feared
But I hold on
And I Feel strong
And I Know that I can
Getting used to it
Lit the fuse to it
Like to know who I am
Been talking to myself forever, yeah
And how I wish I knew me better, yeah
Still sitting on a shelf and never
Never seen the sun shine brighter
And it feels like me
On a good day
And it feels like me
On a good day
I'm a little bit hemmed in
A little bit isolated
A little bit hopeful
A little bit cold
But I hold on
And I Feel strong
And I Know that I can
Getting used to it
Lit the fuse to it
Like to know who I am
Been talking to myself forever, yeah
And how I wish I knew me better, yeah
Still sitting on a shelf and never
Never seen the sun shine brighter
And it feels like me
On a good day
Been talking to myself forever, yeah
And how I wish I knew me better, yeah
Still sitting on a shelf and never
Never seen the sun shine brighter
And it feels like me
On a good day"

Picture of the Day - Stormy Songda Sky

This afternoon into this evening I worked a Cal Poly sorority dinner event at Avila Beach Golf Resort. As the day progressed, the sky got stormier as the atmospheric river that is the jet stream continued to send a surge of left-over moisture from Typhoon Songda hurtling towards the West Coast of the U.S. For this reason tomorrow's Alta Music Festival here has been rescheduled for the indoor environment of the Fremont Theater in SLO. Above is the mobile stage which is all that remains here of the rain-moved concert. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Giant Meteor

A political slogan many/most of us can agree upon.

Picture of the Day - Self Same Sunset

Tonight I shot this image at my Self Help Gang church home group in northwest Templeton during the Central Coast magic hour when light is veritably magical around here. The clouds are moisture from the business end of an atmospheric river spanning the length of the Pacific Ocean running west to east on a jet stream carrying water moisture from Typhoon Songda. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Word of the Day - Salutary Neglect

Today my master teacher at Atascadero High School shared a non-in-the-textbook expression with his 10th-grade world history classes to which I have never before been exposed: Salutary Neglect
This act of effective teaching on the part of my master teacher is in accordance with one element of my personal teaching philosophy: use scholarly language and terminology that is useful and appropriate but not to be found in the core curriculum or textbook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

RE: Member Berries

One of the cleverest and most original plot devices to be devised by the creators of South Park are this season's "member berries", anthropomorphic talking berries that wistfully induce us into endorphin rushes of nostalgia for the past as we remember it, not so much as it actually was. If you are unfamiliar with the series then this will mean little to nothing to you.

Monday, October 10, 2016

More On Swanton Pacific Ranch

For those of you who read yesterday's blog post you know I visited Swanton Pacific Ranch yesterday. During the tour of former owner Al Smith's home, Director Brian Dietterick encouraged tour guests to check out this video on Youtube for more information about the ranch. There are other such videos there but this one is the first option and for good reason as it is the most recent one. Some of the faces contained in this video are of people I encountered yesterday including the aforementioned director and the young lady at left below. To view yesterday's adventure here either scroll down or click HERE.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Cal Poly Day

Today I had the honor of participating in the annual Cal Poly Day at Swanton Pacific Ranch near Davenport, CA, in coastal Santa Cruz County. My friend Ted Weber is the head architect at the site and invited our mutual friend Marty Self and myself to join him for the occasion. All three of us are graduates of Cal Poly SLO. The ranch here was bequeathed to Cal Poly by an alumni, Al Smith, who transformed Orchard Supply Hardware into what it has become before selling it to another company. He liked railroads and bought up all the various remaining parts of the Overfair Railroad that was created for the Pan-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. He then relocated it to the ranch and set up there on a new 1/3 scale railroad system which he christened the Swanton Pacific Railroad which we were able to ride on today. We also took a tour of Smith's simple yet functional home which our host Ted has designed the additions and enhancements to as well as other structures on the property either upgraded or built anew with more such projects here on the way.
*Note: this property and the surrounding area provided timber for lumber used to rebuild San Francisco and environs following the 1906 Earthquake & Fire.

Today was the first time I experienced any sort of sense of honor or privilege from being an alumni of Cal Poly and it was kinda cool.
A couple of Cal Poly coeds sawing competitively.
While we waited for our train ride there were things to watch or look at like this old jeep.....
.... and some old cars being looked at by two old men.
All aboard!
This was the turn-around point of the ride with the engine moving up to pull the train back to the station the other direction.
Marty gellin' like a felon.
Al Smith's residence (with Ted Weber-designed upgrades and additions).
I have a thing for curio cabinets and was immediately drawn to Smith's cabinets.
Ohlone Indian artifacts from the ranch and vicinity. 
More Ohlone Indian artifacts from the ranch and vicinity. 
I still remember the Lockheed Fire monitoring it from afar at the time but didn't realize it burned 1,100 acres of the ranch.
The burn area of the Lockheed Fire is still visible around the ranch as seen here from the area of the rail station. 
This beautfiul covered patio area is adjacent to the Smith House and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Our friend Ted Weber designed the structure. 
He also designed this beautiful barbecue structure. 
Marty pointed out this is a "Weber" grill in the truest sense. 
I felt like the odd man out not wearing a Hawaiian shirt today while hanging out with my church home group home boys which was all the more ironic given I have been an avid Hawaiian shirt aficionado for much of my adult life. 
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).