Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tres Lagunas Fire Close Call

A la verga, dude! That's pretty scary!

John writes from OK City about Northern New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness and the Tres Lagunas Fire:
We drove this road in 1976 (I think) but it wasn't nearly this exciting. Be sure to turn on the sound--It's almost like a Cheech and Chong dialogue...

Freaking Out About The Drought

When will the drought in New Mexico ever end?

Bruce is getting worried about it all:
William deBuys Author, A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the Southwest, The Age of Thirst in the American West

Consider it a taste of the future: the fire, smoke, drought, dust, and heat that have made life unpleasant, if not dangerous, from Louisiana to Los Angeles. New records tell the tale: biggest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona (538,049 acres), biggest fire ever in New Mexico (156,600 acres), all-time worst fire year in Texas history (3,697,000 acres).

The fires were a function of drought. As of summer’s end, 2011 was the driest year in 117 years of record keeping for New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, and the second driest for Oklahoma. Those fires also resulted from record heat. It was the hottest summer ever recorded for New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, as well as the hottest August ever for those states, plus Arizona and Colorado.

Virtually every city in the region experienced unprecedented temperatures, with Phoenix, as usual, leading the march toward unlivability. This past summer, the so-called Valley of the Sun set a new record of 33 days when the mercury reached a shoe-melting 110ยบ F or higher. (The previous record of 32 days was set in 2007.)

And here’s the bad news in a nutshell: if you live in the Southwest or just about anywhere in the American West, you or your children and grandchildren could soon enough be facing the Age of Thirst, which may also prove to be the greatest water crisis in the history of civilization. No kidding.
I reply:
Hi Bruce:

Preaching to the converted here. I definitely think water is a big, big problem.

That said, I think the interim solutions are actually pretty darn simple, and lack of will and a lack of infrastructure is the only reason we don’t proceed. In other parts of the world subject to these problems, they collect rain water.

Australia is a First World kind of country, but it is expected that every residence collects their own rain water. There are exceptions – recently-built residences in urban areas lack them – but every ding dang place in the interior has them. They have to. Interior Queensland, for example doesn’t have much in the way of ground water resources. So they can’t do what people in NM do, and dig a well. The droughts in Australia are so extreme that any ground water they have would be exhausted. NM is more fortunate. But we will get there eventually. And then we will do what they have always done. They have the infrastructure. We have it for livestock, but not people.

Some laws might have to change. In Colorado, it’s technically illegal to collect rainwater. Interferes with watershed drainage, they say.

In Mexico, they have water pressure problems, so they have nifty water pressure units on apartment buildings that could well double as water heaters. If water was a problem it probably wouldn’t be hard to add rainwater tanks too. They have the infrastructure. Do we have a market? Maybe someday!

Regarding NM’s current extreme drought, it’s definitely the worst in my lifetime, but it’s probably no worse than the drought just before I was born, in the early 50’s, and not as bad as the 30’s. The difference now is that ABQ has many, many more people.

What’s worrisome, of course, is that the archaeologists see records of droughts in the 1200’s and 1300’s that were definitely worse than the 1930’s one – much worse. So, the climate hasn’t shown its full range of potential in modern civilization’s run. Mother Nature can surprise. Climatologists are still wonderstruck at the current drought in SW Australia that stuck around despite La Nina and they reckon is the worst in 1,000 years, or longer. NM’s current 5-year drought doesn’t even compare to that. But someday, one might.


Hip Hop Workshop

This afternoon was Krystle's Hip Hop Workshop. To my surprise, the number of folks in the workshop were rather small - maybe 10 - which just means we are an elite crowd, I guess. We did glides and waves and Nina and I coached each other. It was fun!

(This last week, Pepper has been coming in and quietly observing classes. That's a big step in his recovery!)

Dropped by Sacramento Pride after the workshop, but they had almost completely wrapped up by 5:30 p.m., so I didn't see anyone.

Mowed the lawn.

Today, my digestion is totally jacked after eating last night a hot dog, popcorn, a cookie, a large diet soda, and a personal pizza. I felt dreadful the entire day!

So, I came into work to do some actual, real-live work. May as well boost my hours! Update the blog, etc. Haven't eaten almost anything all day. Afraid to try, actually. But I've been porking out the last month - I'm up to 183 pounds now, an all-time record - so I can afford a day to kind of ease back on the calories.

I just wish I could sleep....

A Night At Raley Field

Raley Field

Stacy got lucky at Celebrate Davis, and won a bunch of Sacramento River Cats tickets. So, off we went!
Watching the person watching the FOX 40 sports casters.

Raley's Park

Raley's Park

Steve and Jan Isaacson

National Anthem

Batter up!

Heads of State make a dash for it (Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Gray Davis).

Trying to get action shots.

Fireworks. (Raley used to drive my dog Sparky crazy back in the day). Sacramento River Cats lost to Tacoma Rainiers, 6-4.


Cats! How apropos!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stopped By To See If They Had Built A Descanso In Memory Of Toussaint Harrison

The McDonald's at Howe and Arden, where Joseph Paul Leonard bludgeoned Toussaint Harrison to death last week.

No monuments, no flowers, no memories, zilch.

Vanished almost immediately from the papers too. And who is Joseph Paul Leonard anyway? No clue.

It's hard to believe one could simply be so casually murdered on the street and leave no impression.

Did Not Realize Sacramento Area Had Roadrunners

Also did not realize they aren't very common on the Colorado Plateau, which is precisely where Warner Brothers places them in their cartoons.

E.'s Tahoe Vacation

M.: Oh, you scared me!

E.: You scared me!

M.: I didn't realize you were back. How was Tahoe?

E.: It was terrible. We lost so much money! So much money! Both of us!

M.: Not so good, huh?

E.: And nobody is there! The hotels are so empty! MMMMAAAAAAARRRRRRRCCCCC! They will have to close those places down because no one is going there anymore! I see it happening soon. Everyone goes to Red Hawk and Thunder Valley and those places now!

M.: But the weather is so nice these days! You would think everyone would want to go to Tahoe!

E.: It doesn't matter. And I was so nervous! MMMMAAAAAAARRRRRRRCCCCC! The roads are so scary! And C. doesn't notice that the lanes merge! MMMMAAAAAAARRRRRRRCCCCC!

M.: Yes, the mountain roads twist and turn!

E.: Look, here are some pictures of the Chapel where we are going to get married next summer. It's a real spooky place!

M.: Looks nice!

E.: But don't worry. Even if I get married, nothing will change. I'll still be here. Even if C. gets jealous, nothing will ever change. I wouldn't do that to my Baby Brother!

Disturbance Passing Across Central NM At Height Of Afternoon Might Mean A Little Bit Of Rain

The possibility is there. Hope it comes to pass. Small storm over Corrales. Good, good. Will it rain at the official rain gauge at the Sunport? It never seems to rain there, no matter what happens. But any amount is welcome.

[UPDATE: Oooh, outflow from the Jemez is striking the ABQ area just as storm reaches rain gauge. They are showing 0.02" at the moment. Here's to more!]

[UPDATE 2: And that's it, for now! 0.02"! Storm outflow from the north looks like it triggered the thunderstorm cell near Mountainair. Pretty cool. But not enough time left in the day to get much more started.]

A Breaking Bad/NHL Playoffs Analogy

There are plenty of reasons for Blackhawks and Bruins fans to feel confident about the teams they root for entering tonight's game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

...Experts are playing it safe and calling for a long series. How could this match-up be decided in less than six games? Both teams are solid from every angle of the puck, and both teams are playing near the peak of their abilities as they enter the Stanley Cup Final. With the firepower concealed in each lineup, this appears to be a case where an unstoppable force will be attempting to nudge an immovable object.

...I like to look at the NHL playoffs, and especially the Stanley Cup Finals, as a season of AMC's Breaking Bad. When you start a season of Bad, you know the situation. Although you expect to be surprised, you feel like you have a general idea of where things are going. In truth, you are stupid, and wrong.

What makes both Breaking Bad and the NHL playoffs so special is their respective drama which unfolds in ways that viewers can never see coming. Again; you may expect to be surprised, but what ends up surprising you the most is your complete inability to have any idea what lies ahead, until it happens and blows you away.

...To those who have not viewed an NHL playoff game, I offer the same advice I offer to people who have not seen Breaking Bad: watch it. If you understand it, you will fall in love, and become completely hooked.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Haven't Quite Decided About All This Secrecy Stuff

I haven't expressed much of an opinion yet about the secrecy debate. I think the current debate doesn't get into the complications of secrecy. There are all kinds of secrets. Some are good to keep. Some are bad to keep.

In general, however, I support Manning, Snowden, Assange, and the Anonymous others. Our secrecy state is simply too big. The only hard secrets should be those directly-related to the operation of nuclear weaponry. The rest of the secrets are fungible and should expire over time. They don't. And that's the problem.

We don't even understand our own history, given the density of secrets. The CIA, which should function as a sort of newspaper-reading graduate school for political authorities, is off doing God knows what. Heck, we are only now beginning to fully understand what Watergate was all about. We definitely will repeat history, over and over again, if we don't even know what it is. We don't understand it - we can't understand it - clouded as it is in events that supposedly *didn't happen*.

Call me Anonymous:

Benny Benassi feat. Channing - Come Fly Away (Adam K & Soha Remix)

I've posted this before, but as the summer monsoon approaches, it's for a bit of anticipatory celebration.

Looks Like Some Thunderstorm Activity In NM Today

Not enough, but gotta start somewhere.

Sylvia Tosun - World Keeps Turning (Alex M.O.R.P.H. & Chriss Ortega Remix vs Bellatrax)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Still Fighting The Malware

I hate you, MagNiPic!

Looks like I will have to abandon Google Chrome and embrace Mozilla Firefox.

I hate change.

Working On Fourth Draft Of My Recall Book

Hopefully last one.

Happy Squirrel

I had just laid out hard-boiled egg and peanuts this morning for the Scrub Jays, when I turned around and saw that a squirrel had already jumped on the food, and scampered into the hedge. I reached into the hedge to touch the chewing squirrel, and I think he would have let me, he was so happy. Then, I'd be touching a squirrel. I didn't know what would come next, so I decided not to touch him, but hissed at him instead.

Puzzled Why It Still Won't Rain In NM

Too much shear. Damn.

Maybe rain near Ruidoso and the Gila Wilderness. Not quite there yet.

Sebastien De La Cruz - Star Spangled Banner - 06/11/13

FEMA Makes The Correct Call

Damn arrogant Texans for making the request in the first place:
Even though numerous homes and schools were destroyed by the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people in April, FEMA has refused to send funds to help rebuilding efforts in the small town. The AP reported:
According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, FEMA said it reviewed the state’s appeal to help West but decided that the explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.”

The blast killed 10 first responders and brought national attention to the agricultural community. President Barack Obama traveled to the area to attend a memorial service for the first responders and others who died trying to help.

The FEMA funds would have helped pay for public repairs such as roads, sewer lines, pipes and a school that were destroyed. It does not impact emergency funds FEMA has provided to individual residents. Last month, FEMA estimated the agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration had approved more than $5.6 million in aid and low-interest loans to West residents impacted by the blast.
Remember, this is NOT a natural disaster, but more akin to a crime, and there are responsible parties who NEED to be held responsible!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lots Of NM Content Now Being Placed On-Line

Maps are cool!:
Map of New Mexico, A.Z. Huggins, U.S. Surveyor General's Office, Santa Fe, N.M. Engraved and printed by C.W. Sherwood, propr. Union Lith. Co., Chicago, Ill., 1876

Surprisingly-Little Press So Far Regarding The Bicyclist Assailant

This whole case is very disturbing, in my opinion, and I'd like to see more about it, but so far it has a surprisingly low-profile in Sacramento:
The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the bicyclist killed in an altercation last week as Toussaint Harrison, 34.

Harrison was fatally injured Thursday morning when a driver hit him, then got out and kicked him, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Joseph Paul Leonard, 60, ... has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He was originally arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, until Harrison died Saturday.

Witnesses say Leonard and Harrison got into a fight in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Harrison was attempting to flee when Leonard hit him with his pickup at Howe Avenue and Arden Way.

Highly-Annoyed At Advertising Malware Intrusion

MaagNiPic sent over an intrusive advertising banner on my Blog Admin page featuring miniskirt-clad derrieres and the advice to "Spank Me". Got a program to clean out the infestation.

The Chatter Of Baby Scrub Jays Talking To Themselves

Scrub Jay parent takes a brief break from the labor of opening a peanut.

Lately the Scrub Jays have been very busy in the hedge just outside my bedroom window. The parents stash the 3 babies there during the day, and travel back to deliver food. The three baby Scrub Jays, still downy, but all able to fly these days, huddle next to each other on a branch. I'm slowly figuring out their geography. My hedge is mostly the Morning Feeding Spot. Judging from the anti-feline cacophony yesterday afternoon, when a cat crossed the street, the late afternoon spot is three houses down the street.

My baby Scrub Jays are learning early the proper deference and respect for the human race. My back yard's gate is directly beneath their favorite resting perch. As I left the yard this morning I couldn't help but disturb them, as I was only 4 or 5 feet beneath them. So, as I passed under, all 3 shit in unison.

I think they are more annoyed than panicked. They've seen me before. I move slowly, predictably, and don't stare (birds get flummoxed by human raptor-like stare). Still, when I returned, a parent hopped across my field of view when I passed closest to babies, to distract in the event I meant harm. They react to humans much different than to cats: we're the lesser danger.

No Business Doing What I'm Doing With A Goat Skin, But I'm Doing It Anyway

After a year's delay, I finally decided to put the head on the Djembe. So, I spent much of Saturday wrestling with a Goat Skin. Djembe sounds like crap, though. There is more skill involved here than I realized.

The New Star Trek Movie

It was OK.

Sometimes The Trouble With Being Out Of Step With Everyone Else Is That I'm Out Of Step With Everyone Else

I had trouble getting to sleep on Friday night, so I was slow getting up on Saturday. I know the "Oklahoma!" Fundraiser was scheduled hourly at the Davis Farmer's Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but I wasn't really ready till shortly after 11 a.m. I headed to Davis for the 12 noon show, but traffic at the Yolo Causeway caused me to miss that show. I went shopping at Target instead. I dropped in at the theater, which normally would be busy with set building, but the set for "Cats" is already done, so no one was at the theater. I was at the Farmer's Market for the 1 p.m. show, but apparently the Fundraiser was already finished. So, I did a bit of shopping as the farmers put away their goods - bought some cilantro, fingerling potatoes, onions, corn, and Indian food. But the trip was a bit pointless.