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July in Santa Paula

By: sp34n119w , 8:46 PM GMT on July 06, 2012

It is a sad day. We must say goodbye to the gods of the months.

July was named for Julius Caesar (who was not a god, see) although, as WatchingTheSky obliquely noted in the previous blog's comments, this month was originally named Quintilis, being the fifth month of the ancient Roman calendar, which had its start in March, the beginning of war season. The name change was made by Augustus who took the following month, Sextilis, as his own in 8 BC.
There. Happy now, WTS? ;)

So, since I figure we'll end up talking politics (and knitting and who knows what all – maybe even weather!), anyway, I thought I'd make the blog topic a bit of a Booster Blog for Santa Paula. July is a great vacation month, even if it is a “stay-cation” or day-trip, and SP and environs has a few things going on that tends to draw the crowds. Wouldn't you like to know what those things are? Of course you would.

Having already missed mentioning the Fourth of July fireworks event, I'll simply note that it was a lot of fun to watch! From my balcony. Nice thing about a small town – the fireworks are visible from almost anywhere.

The first Friday night of the month is Cruise Night Santa Paula! July 6, starting around 5-ish and lasting until dark, there will be loads of pre-1973 automobiles parked along Main Street from, oh, about 8th Street to 10th Street (note: that's a longer stretch than it sounds, lol), with some spillover on side streets. There is always music and we've got some excellent restaurants downtown now but the draw is the cars and the people who love them.
The weather on Thursday evening was absolutely ideal and we should get a repeat for Friday.

Now, this is interesting. First Sunday at the Airport should have happened on July 1. However, it looks like they pushed it to the second Sunday, this month, making the date July 8 (I will double check). How nice. The museum and some hangars are open to the public and it is free to enter. You will see planes but, as usual, plenty of old cars, too. Seriously, this town crazycrazy for old cars.

On July 14 downtown SP becomes an art gallery and jazz club, all at once! It features art and, if I recall correctly, jazz. They call it the Santa Paula Jazz and Art Festival. Not sure how they came up with that name. In any case, one can wander downtown enjoying music and fine art for freeeeeee.

The BIG Deal this month is the Santa Paula Citrus Festival the weekend of July 20-22. The fun is centered on food contests and carnival rides, the ubiquitous old cars, and the music (and the beer garden, but, that goes without saying). There will probably be some oranges around. And avocados. And lemons (omg fresh lemonade!). Clubs selling food for fund raising purposes. The evening music lineup looks especially good this year and I know folks who dance for hours and hours at this event.
Now, I admit, this is largely a draw for Ventura county residents more than out-of-towners. It occurs to me, however, that for those with an interest in agriculture and ag history, there is plenty of that at the Citrus Festival and we now have the Ventura Agriculture Museum here in SP! It's right by the train depot. I know! It just gets better and better! Imagine parking up by the historic depot, sauntering over to the ag museum for a tour (one could probably hit the California Oil Museum, too – neither is especially large), then jumping on the shuttle to the Festival … why, it's an extravAGanza!

[no, I don't get paid to write this stuff]
[really, people, that should be obvious]

At the end of the month, the weekend of July 27-28, is the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival. If you've never been to see the balloons light up at night, well, you are missing one of life's great “ooooh … aaaahhhh” moments. Of course there will be food and music and stuff. This is one of the smaller balloon events so provides plenty of opportunity to hobnob with the balloonists, who are particularly nice people, and is worth it if you want to see balloooooooons.

That's all I got right now. I know there is a fundraiser I want to mention for any locals who may be reading but I need to get the 411 (as the kids say) (okay, used to say) and then I'll add it here.

Having filled a page and then some, I feel that I have done my duty by blog and city, and we may now all return to our irregularly scheduled random thoughts.


Sultry Swirls:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

Caroming Clouds :

Rumbling Rain:

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 89 - 39

Page: 1 | 2Blog Index

89. Bogon
1:15 AM GMT on September 01, 2012
Maybe sp can explain why the ninth month is named after the number seven.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
88. Ylee
9:13 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
There was an sp sighting on cal's blog; maybe she's going to wow us with an amazing September blog! :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
87. GardenGrrl
7:49 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
Au-gust it's not going to be a blog this month.

Maybe Trap Wire got SP. Knitting needles are pretty subversive.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
86. BriarCraft
7:38 PM GMT on August 31, 2012
Maybe the knitting needles got her...

...or she fell into a pile of yarn?

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85. Ylee
10:15 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Hi, sp! I haven't seen you on any milk cartons lately, so I guess you're doing OK! :)
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84. LowerCal
8:07 PM GMT on August 24, 2012
1) Decent
2) Appropriately cautious
3) Inventive
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83. sp34n119w
6:03 PM GMT on August 24, 2012
Decent human beings:

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82. Bogon
3:42 AM GMT on August 24, 2012
When American citizens learned that their electronic communications would be intercepted, that agents of the government were engaged in domestic spying, proponents of the plan suggested that cooperation would be patriotic, and that people with nothing to hide would have nothing to fear.

I didn't totally buy into that program. I liked it better when domestic spying was against the law. But in a case like this I'm inclined to believe that turn about is fair play. If the government has nothing to hide, they surely won't mind if we reopen the investigation into the events surrounding 9/11. It is alleged, after all, that members of the government are all pledged to public service. They work for us. Any hint of malfeasance or impropriety adversely affects their ability to govern. They should be models of cooperation.
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81. BriarCraft
10:59 PM GMT on August 23, 2012
Catching up here after too long away.

Bogon came up with a really good video in #69. I had to watch it twice because that cartoonist's hand moves faster than my poor brain comprehends.

Over on LC's blog, I followed a link for a cute video called "We're NASA and We Know It". I clicked on the author's name and discovered "TrapWire Kickstarter", which although technically it's defined as satire, is way closer to the truth than some might think. Anyway, in the for-what-it's-worth department, thought you might enjoy:

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80. Ylee
10:07 PM GMT on August 23, 2012
sp, make sure you get Bogon's address when you visit him, so I can send him a card! With no return address, of course, I don't want some Fed trailing me, lol!

Facial recognition is just a passing fad; during our children's lifetimes, I wouldn't be surprised if DNA scanners become the ID'er of choice!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. sp34n119w
8:20 PM GMT on August 23, 2012
Bogon - go for it. Another set of eyes on the evidence can't hurt. Be careful to not get carried away by the not-actual-evidence.
What have you found besides that video?
I'll try to visit you in the asylum :)


Here's Gov. Brown's speech at JPL, yesterday. It's political, as I suppose it must be, but some good stuff in there.

Couldn't ask for a nicer day. Dry, clear, sunny, warm, breezy. Ho hum :)
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78. Bogon
9:13 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
sp, yes, it's a conspiracy theory. All the makers of the documentary are asking is that the investigation be reopened. I don't think that's too much to ask, considering what's at stake. The Bush administration started two wars and deprived us of rights and privacy on the basis of the events of 9/11.

It seems to me that there is quite a bit of evidence. We have video from every news feed in New York City. There are thousands of eyewitnesses. There are samples of dust and refuse. The folks interviewed for the show have impressive credentials. What they said made sense to me, more than the official government version. Those buildings were demolished. Who did it? Who had the power to pencil whip the official report?

Maybe I'll end my days in an asylum, but I'm not going to let this lie. I can't.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
77. sp34n119w
8:21 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Hello! Okay, first, a laugh:

There. That was fun :)

Bogon - the manual is also a work in progress, in need of updating as we become more aware of what works.

It looks like maybe that video is the first you've heard of that line of thinking on 9/11. The folks who are spreading the word go too far in their conclusions, without the evidence to back it up. They sound like nutters and that makes it easy to dismiss. If there is any truth to the claims it won't be found out in our lifetime. Yep, this is me suggesting apathy, LOL
Glad you found something to watch there - it's a cool site!


Want some good news about government? Unlike previous administrations, Obama's government is doing the actual job of government in at least one way - cracking down on Medicare fraud. Maybe you've seen stories about this. I have, but thought they were basically publicity stunts, despite the size of the busts. Nice to see that it continues apace and the bad guys are getting busted. Go, Big Government!


Also, I was reading about the deportation of undocumented immigrants which is holding steady at about 400,000 each year of the Obama presidency. What's really different, though, is how ICE is doing their job. They haven't the funding to process everyone who ends up in the system, let alone to go out and find anyone who has managed to stay out of the system, so they used to just go down the list, processing whomever came up next. This too often meant that criminals remained here and free. Now, ICE has been directed to prioritize processing of criminals and get them out, while suspending the process for those who are no threat to the public to save time and money. Some folks don't like that and want everyone out and I get that but, hey, if you aren't willing to fund the agency, it ain't gonna happen. With limited funding, it only makes sense to focus on the bad guys immediately, and deal with the rest when there is some breathing room. Efficiency in a government agency. Whodathunkit?


Today is Space Day in California! Gov. Brown is touring JPL today and issued a proclamation :)


Today's weather - boring!
From the discussion:
"A stretch of very dull weather then sets up in the wake of todays
low. The area will be under the eastern extreme of an upper high 800
nm to the west-southwest of l.A. There will be weak onshore flow and night
through morning low clouds and fog across the coasts and coastal
valleys. Maximum temperatures will be a little below normal. The atmosphere will
be dry and stable with not even afternoon build ups expected over
the mountains"

seewulater :)
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76. Bogon
9:32 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
sp, today I had time to follow some of the links you posted previously. Thanks very much for topdocumentaryfilms.com. There's probably something there for everyone.

The video I'm watching now is the most outrageous thing I've seen in a long time. It's a two hour film, but I was convinced in about ten minutes. This is an action item, which transcends party politics. Spread the word.
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75. Bogon
2:01 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Hey, sp, sorry about the induced paranoia. That's sort of what the whole "War on Terror" thing is about.

I like what you said:

I think we'd all rather just get on with our lives. But, a decent society comes with implicit "some assembly and regular maintenance required" instructions.

I think we're due for a tuneup. Hope we can find the manual.
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74. sp34n119w
9:14 PM GMT on August 18, 2012
Best laid plans …
The trial of the punk band, Pussy Riot, has concluded, and the three women have been sentenced to two years in prison after five months of pretrial imprisonment. Their closing statements have been posted online.
I read through two and a half of them. Here are a few quotes from the second, Yekaterina Samutsevich's, statement:

Today’s educational institutions teach people, from childhood, to live as automatons. Not to pose the crucial questions consistent with their age. They inculcate cruelty and intolerance of nonconformity. Beginning in childhood, we forget our freedom.
… if approached from the point of view of Christian culture, we see that meanings and symbols are being replaced by those that are diametrically opposed to them. Thus one of the most important Christian concepts, Humility, is now commonly understood not as a path towards the perception, fortification, and ultimate liberation of Man, but on the contrary as an instrument for his enslavement.

[The people] no longer have a sense of themselves as citizens. They have a sense of themselves simply as the automated masses.
And Cory Doctorow, over at boingboing, also quoted her.

Anyway, thought it was relevant to our current discussion, in its way.

note, ftr: found those links from Stephen Fry's twitter feed.
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73. sp34n119w
7:46 PM GMT on August 18, 2012
Bogon - thanks for the video. I haven't watched the longer version but am grateful for the short one - I'll send that along to some folks I know who want to blame ... anyone, someone, a different someone every day. It is a large and seemingly intractable problem but the first step is understanding that it is complex, and not as simple as pointing fingers at China or a particular CEO.
I think we'd all rather just get on with our lives. But, a decent society comes with implicit "some assembly and regular maintenance required" instructions.

LowerCal - gee, thanks. If it weren't Disney I'd be less disappointed. I like Disneyland.
As for cctv and facial recognition used inappropriately - I do think we have more to "fear" from corporations than from government, at the moment. Problem is, it's getting harder to separate the two institutional forms, and the next President (and Congress) will pick at least one Supreme Court Justice and those folks, all together, will help determine how and when these technologies are implemented.

Riffing ...

In related news, the FAA is set to give the green light to using drones over U.S. airspace (more than they already do, that is). Hey, what could go wrong?

What it comes down to, in this case, is that billions of dollars were poured into developing drone tech for use in the "War on Terror"(tm) and the private companies that make and run those programs want to keep the money flowing. Our government is only too happy to oblige. Thing is, our government is determined by the voters, still, so it is ultimately our call.
You know, I've been thinking ... this may be what is behind the gun lobbies, too. I mean, it's obviously about money but what I wonder is if the makers of things like assault rifles just are not willing to take only what they can get from the military, so fight for the "right" of citizens to own those weapons of mass destruction. Just musing ... which leads me to privately-run prisons that need criminals to stay in business and, in fact, need more and more criminals, with longer sentences, in order to grow their business and satisfy their shareholders. Thus, we need more activities to be criminalized and that means we have to catch the "bad guys" and what better way than with drones and cctv and facial recognition tech?
It is a lovely little police state we're building here, isn't it?

Ylee - chicken! ;) I don't blame you ... and I know that if you have the time, you jump right in :)

Not vaporized, yet, but there was a series of small earthquakes just 5 miles away this morning, following a few others on the same spot in the past week. Happened the other side of Sulfur Mountain, which is just north of me and along a fault line that runs with Santa Paula Creek and Highway 150. It's called "Sulfur Mountain" for a reason - it reeks of sulfur and is another area that was tapped for oil. Hmmm ... geologically active, oil, sulfur, hotspots ... I'm telling you, there's a volcano waiting to blow back there!
Or, you know, not. I'm all in paranoid mode, thanks to Bogon and LC, LOL


PSA: if you are a youtube member and hate that you can't see "uploads only" anymore and don't know how to fix it ... change your favorites or bookmarks link from http:\\youtube.com to http:\\youtube.com\my_subscriptions and then you get new videos that you have not watched to show up.
Took me weeks to bother to hunt that down, LOL, so thought I'd pass it on.


Did you see the story on npr about how a new species of insect was found on Flickr? So, there you go. An upside to all the newfangled technology.


Going to try to get around wu today but ... it's kind of hot, and really humid (by my standards), and I may just head oceanwards.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
72. Ylee
2:46 AM GMT on August 18, 2012
Guess where I'm not going! :)

Glad to see you weren't vaporized by a hot spot, sp, although it sounds like your laptop is trying to do it to you, anyway! :)
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71. Bogon
2:09 AM GMT on August 18, 2012
Thanks, Cal.

As the article says, "So much for smaller government!"

We can try petitioning the Senate. We can try to work the system, but I fear the system is already broken. It seems to me that we are at war. It's a class war of aggression that we (ordinary citizens) did not start. We may have to finish it, though, before it finishes us.

Note that I have always been, and remain, a peaceable, easygoing guy. I do not consider myself a rabblerouser. It's just that I fear peaceable and easygoing are not going to avail from here on. I, for one, do not welcome our new overlords.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
70. LowerCal
12:52 AM GMT on August 18, 2012
Bogon, thanks for the short version. I'm still working my way through the long version. It is interesting but it is long.

Tangentially related (via Occupy) is this story.

The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology | Naomi Wolf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a paranoid rant.

Except that it turned out to be true. News21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government – for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.

Fast forward: after the Occupy crackdowns, I noted that odd-looking CCTVs had started to appear, attached to lampposts, in public venues in Manhattan where the small but unbowed remnants of Occupy congregated: there was one in Union Square, right in front of their encampment. I reported here on my experience of witnessing a white van marked "Indiana Energy" that was lifting workers up to the lampposts all around Union Square, and installing a type of camera. When I asked the workers what was happening – and why an Indiana company was dealing with New York City civic infrastructure, which would certainly raise questions – I was told: "I'm a contractor. Talk to ConEd."
The story gets better and by that I mean worse and it's not very long.

It made me even more motivated to take this action.

Tell your senators: End warrantless spying on Americans
.... Sen. Jeff Merkley is trying to change that and rein in intelligence programs that are spying on Americans. And this week he introduced the Protect America's Privacy Act (S. 3515) to do just that.

Tell your senators: Co-sponsor Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act to end warrantless spying on Americans.*

The FISA Amendments Act will expire unless it's renewed before the end of the year, and rather than carefully review its implications, the Senate is on track to rubberstamp its renewal.
While Merkley's bill does not repeal telecom immunity for illegal spying, restore privacy protection to library and bookstore records, end National Security Letter abuse, or roll back the worst abuses of the PATRIOT Act .... it does make three major changes to the warrantless wiretapping program that help us end some of the abuses ....

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69. Bogon
3:56 AM GMT on August 17, 2012
sp, you're right. It's not just the Republicans. Congress (including both parties) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the guys who absconded with a trillion dollars, then stuck tax payers with the bill. It's not really about politics any more. It's about a tribe of greedy bastards who want to rule the world.

Most Republicans are sold on the program. They will do nothing to raise taxes on the rich, tighten environmental laws that might obstruct business as usual etc. Some of the Democrats are still wrestling with their consciences, but they don't have the votes to override Republican stonewalling.

Believe it or not, there is still a left end to the political spectrum. You won't hear about it on Fox News, but there are examples of left-leaning rhetoric if you look for them. I ran across one this week. It's a talk given by anthropologist David Harvey, followed by a q & a session. If you watch the whole thing, it takes about an hour and a half.

For those of you who don't have that amount of time, here's the short version.

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68. sp34n119w
10:16 PM GMT on August 16, 2012
Wish I could be more sociable here on WU but it just isn't happening, right now :(

Ylee – excellent points that I'm sure many don't realize – thanks!
In this case, the oil change was for my old (1989) car. I don't go by the 3000 mile rule on that one any more, anyway, since I don't drive it much. The idea was to get an oil change and take it for a long drive before getting the smog check that was due, in hope that would help it pass. As it happened, I got called away from that task on that day and never did get the oil changed. Did pass smog, though!
On the car I drive most I just wait until the “maint reqd” light comes on and tell the car's owner, who calls the dealer shop to find out what scheduled maintenance is due. Easy peasy :) I think the oil is changed every 6000 miles on that one.

Oh! HELLOOOOO! lol Thanks for the bump, just in time :)

Briar – no, you're not bad, at all ;) and thanks for your thoughts and the links. More oil news from awhile back – photos of Deepwater Horizon as it blew. I think I saw a few of those before but not all in one place.
You might also be interested in a first-hand account of the Earth Summit back in June(?) in Rio from a young activist. It and the comments which follow are a bit depressing but, ultimately, the young woman's optimism wins out.

One school of thought says that little earthquakes take the pressure off. However, it may just add pressure in another area of the fault. Or, it could be a foreshock of a bigger quake. Wish we knew!

Bogon - oh, I don't know. Maybe I'm just feeling contrary today but, it seems to me, Democrats aren't saying much, either. Lots of double-speak on both sides, no one actually addressing issues or considering solutions. Some double-speak is more pleasant to listen to, however, depending on one's POV, LOL
Wait, that came off as much too "fair and balanced" when, in fact, I agree with you! Just frustrated at the level of discourse, on all sides, I guess, even though some are worse than others.


Some while ago (years, I think), I wrote in the blog about hotspots in the mountains just north of SP and our little valley. I occasionally try to find more info and never can – seems no one has an ongoing investigation. The hotspots are either from oil-ish deposits that caught fire and are smoldering underground (which is a fire hazard) or they are indicative of something coming up through the faults (which is significantly scarier).
Well, an ongoing underground fire is being blamed for a fire that broke out yesterday north of Fillmore and south of the Condor Preserve (maybe 10 miles NE of here), and I learned from the newspaper report that local fire crews keep the areas around that are cleared of brush in anticipation of just such an occurrence. I am assuming, though I don't really know, that this is the same type of hotspot that I read and wrote about, previously. Interesting, no? Someone's watching, they're concerned, but nobody is really researching it, that I can find. Well, anyway … somebody might remember that topic from way back, so I'm “updating”.
Oh, and, the fire is out, apparently.


The videos I promised some days ago … well, one of them …
Research on moral behavior is fascinating, don't you think? This TED talk is both entertaining and informative (and, as usual, relatively brief).


My concern for the SPPD is unfounded – a newspaper report says that they're all fine. That's good.
Local paper has want-ads for police officer and a chief. If anyone's interested. lol


Here's a major time suck for you – a site that has full documentaries online for free. I watched “What Darwin Didn't Know” last night and it went well enough after I adjusted the quality down. [Note that NOVA did a similar doc called “What Darwin Never Knew” but the one I watched was the BBC's.] Most of the docs (if not all) are available on youtube but it's nice to have them all in one place and reasonably well organized.
Think I'm going to watch the Tesla biography tonight … but there is a current one, perhaps the first in a series, called “Culture in Decline: What Democracy?” which looks like something I ought to watch. We'll see.


So, yeah. Halfway through August and my blog title still says “July”. My best idea for a new blog is about July, anyway. Maybe I'll just let it run, as is, for awhile.


Oh, weather. It's been hot, but, not very hot. Perfect for me, really, as long as I'm not here at the computer where the heat trapped in the room can get oppressive. Nice and toasty outside, with a pleasant breeze.
Late last night there was a small chance of rain in our forecast and it looked okay on the satellite. But, no go. As I noted in calpoppy's blog the other day, the Pacific is winning this round in the battle with the high pressure, as it usually does, so the monsoon is not getting here.
There is a low out there, wrapping some monsoonal moisture … but it is a long way off and I don't know when, where, or if it will come ashore. Er, maybe I should read the discussion … nah. I've had as much luck as they have had this summer.


So my laptop is now a frying pan and I'm off to enjoy the breeze :)
But, aren't you glad I dropped by? harhar
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67. Ylee
10:12 PM GMT on August 16, 2012
Hello! :)
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66. Bogon
3:20 PM GMT on August 14, 2012
BriarCraft, Republicans have hijacked the political dialog in this country. You can talk about inconsequential stuff like who wore what to the grand opening on the red carpet, but you can't talk about real solutions to real problems.

"La, la, la! I can't hear you!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
65. BriarCraft
7:51 PM GMT on August 12, 2012
Predictable side-effect of your little oil tank fire. Oil Futures traders, aka price-fixing over-paid gamblers, are reportedly busy jacking up the price of gasoline again. The media makes it all sound reasonable, but my theory is that prices aren't affected by the market so much as they are driven by the gamblers. It's always somethin'.

Yeah, drive baby drill.

Like that's really the answer.

Oops! I'm starting to sound political. My bad!

And I think it's a sad thing that prices and drilling continue to make more media noise than the folks in hospital as a result of the fire or more tons of pollutants going into the air.

Okay, I'm really bad now.

That Shake, Rattle, and Roll (as in quakes) is maybe a good thing, don't you think? Better small, frequent quakes to relieve pressure than wait and build up pressure for the Big One.
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64. Ylee
8:28 AM GMT on August 10, 2012
sp, if you have a late model car, you don't have to stick to the old adage "an oil change every 3000 miles" anymore. Newer cars have better engines that can have their oil changed every 5k-6k miles, with no negative effects on performance or engine life! You can save money and do a little bit for the good of the environment! :)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
63. sp34n119w
8:30 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Ylee – thanks for getting that link here. I listened to both Wheaton and Shatner – remarkably different!
Yes, poor Augustus is getting short shrift … well, I did give him credit in this post, as the one who named July and August!

gg - I have folks yelling at me for sending them the Corgi cam link! I'm over it, pretty much, but some I know still can't stop watching. Oops ;)
Don't know what (or when) I'm going to write for August but appreciate the excuse to eat more goat cheese, LOL

Bogon - hey, even Sam Harris has to eat ;)
I had planned on buying that, someday, and am grateful to him for putting it out there for free for a few days. He has a way of getting large concepts across in very few words and “Lying” definitely made me think.
Thanks for your thoughts and … I wonder if there is a cure for systemic lying. There is a treatment, anyway.
My favorite quote, atm:
“You can be honest and kind, because your purpose in telling the truth is not to offend people: You simply want them to have the information you have, and would want to have if you were in their position.”
Sam Harris in “Lying” p.9
Dang but that makes sense.

You wrote:
I still miss the old mower sometimes. With its beat up dull blade it operated by flailing the lawn into submission. That was more satisfying, in a way. The lawn looks better now, but I don't feel it is being properly chastised.

That made me laugh out loud :) I chopped wood with a machete once, for much the same reason. Very satisfying, if painful and slow and messy.
Good luck with both rain and mowing!

calpoppy - looks like your chances for monsooooon is improving this week. Might even get some thunder here.

My cast on edges always look bad, lol. I practiced a crochet cast on and like the way it looks – matches the standard bind off – so will use that whenever it suits the project. Can't wait to see your pics! Wrap the scarf around a chicken and you can post it to WU! ;)

My little dino is cute, isn't he? I can't remember ever buying a plush toy before but that one got my attention. Maybe for the reason Ylee liked it – the teeth! I was only going to keep him up until someone guessed but no one did so there he sits.

LC – thanks for the on-the-(shaky)-ground reporting! And the graphic. I was wondering if you'd noticed the one last night. I didn't feel either of them. Weird to have two so similar in size right on top of each other. And, since these two followed the Parkfield quake a couple days ago, and it's darned hot, I think your prediction is a safe one!
The Yorba Linda quakes were pretty shallow. That may account for your not feeling last night's or the aftershocks, so much. Glad there doesn't seem to be any damage or injuries!


Seems we've got ourselves an oil tank fire over in Fillmore. They're letting it burn out (20,000 to 25,000 gallons worth) and just keeping it contained.

Oil refinery fire in Richfield, that started Monday, is already sending gas prices up. And people to the hospital.

Learned the other night, with reasonable certainty, that what looks like a launchpad on South Mountain is, as suspected, more oil drilling.

So ends today's segment of “Cali Oil News”, LOL


Got a couple videos for your edification but will bring them later. Need to go get my oil changed right now. I know, right?
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62. LowerCal
5:04 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
At my distance I didn't notice any of the aftershocks recorded so far, not even the 3.4.
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61. LowerCal
4:59 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Distance was just about 50 miles.
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60. LowerCal
4:47 PM GMT on August 08, 2012

OK, the initial estimate is magnitude 4.5 and I'll give myself that but it was probably less than 100 miles from me. I was surprised to see there was a quake of the same magnitude in almost the same location last night because that one didn't wake me.

Today's quake started out like riding on a dirt road covered with small, loose rocks and faded over a period of about 8 seconds.
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59. LowerCal
4:37 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
I'm guessing a 5 + or - and 100-200 miles from me.

My prediction is we'll be hearing the phrase "shake and bake" for a few days. ;^)
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58. Bogon
2:17 AM GMT on August 08, 2012
Finally got decent rain tonight from a small local cloud that went scooting up highway 87.

You're right, the next step will be mowing. Now that the grass has moisture to work with, it will proliferate without restraint. The weather forecast sounds iffy for mowing, though. There might be a window of opportunity tomorrow.

The good news is that I got a new mower last year. The new machine is sharp enough to slice the grass cleanly. Doesn't matter much how tall it is. After all, a blade of grass cuts pretty much the same anywhere along its length.

I still miss the old mower sometimes. With its beat up dull blade it operated by flailing the lawn into submission. That was more satisfying, in a way. The lawn looks better now, but I don't feel it is being properly chastised.
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57. Ylee
10:10 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
Hi, sp! Ol' Augustus is gettin' kinda jealous, lol!

Hope you are doing well!
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56. calpoppy
10:51 PM GMT on August 05, 2012
A dinosaur avatar!!! I love it!!!

Well the first project is almost done!! Just got through with the bind off and now on to the fringe. Watched the video on the bind off, pretty simple, but my start wasn't so pretty. But I don't think anyone but me is going to examine this scarf. And I think it is beautifully imperfect!!
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55. calpoppy
5:43 PM GMT on August 04, 2012
Congrats on the rain/thunder!!! We got nada! But today is looking very good. With clouds developing on the north side of the San Gabriels. T-storms almost always start in the exact same places on the north side. The real gulley washers though come out from the mountains.

I get to watch something other then plants today!!
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54. sp34n119w
4:35 PM GMT on August 04, 2012
MORNING thunderstorm?!?! What the whosits?
I did go read the discussion yesterday afternoon and They said we'd have another morning of marine layer today before that misery-making high pushes its way towards us. So, my foggy morning brain registered the morning grayness as fog when I woke up. Imagine my surprise when it started sprinkling and then I heard thunder! It stopped 'raining' pretty quick but the thunder rolls on an hour later. Again, lightning-caused fire danger is high.

LC - oh, thanks! Helps to know it wasn't just me. I hadn't seen clouds like that and was intent on work when I heard the rain and for a few seconds thought it was a skateboard on the sidewalk - nearly knocked my desk over to get to the window when I realized it was raining, LOL
Think it surprised LOX, too!

Bogon - yep, it's weird! Well, monsoons in August are not weird but there are usually some signs before hand, and Ventura county valleys rarely see anything from it - mostly just pretty clouds over the mountains.
Hope you get some rain, yourself, though it will be much more than we get and will prompt another round with the mower!


Will get back to random (and show better manners to my commenters) when the excitement is over ;)
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53. Bogon
4:00 PM GMT on August 04, 2012
Rain in August in Southern California? Perhaps congratulations are in order.

I'm still looking for my first August rain in the Dry Slot. Today started out mostly cloudy, so I guess that's a trend in the right direction.
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52. LowerCal
4:26 AM GMT on August 04, 2012
The tstm activity was a surprise to me too. As of yesterday morning there was no hint of the possibility this far west.

Throughout the day today I was looking out a north facing 8th floor window in the central San Fernando Valley. A beefy altocumulus that was revealed as the marine layer burned off mid morning demonstrated something was up. (Of course it's intentional, har.) Early afternoon I saw a dry lightning bolt from a cumulonimbus calvus cloud strike on or behind the mountains. By mid afternoon there was fully developed cumulonimbus incus.
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51. sp34n119w
10:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
I have rumbles!!!! Also, lightning, which is not so good. Also, rain! Which may or may not be good.

The thunder is loud and fun.
There are at least two fires in Ventura county that started after the storm came in so supposing they may have been lightning triggered.
Rain at 2pm was full of big fat drops - also a lot of dirt! I mean, my shirt and arms had lots of bits of stuff on them and I don't know where it came from. Maybe the rain hit hard enough to bounce dirt off a nearby building. Anyway, when that rain ended, I took a shower to get the stuff out of my hair.
Raining right now and it kind of smells like celery.
All in all, pretty surreal, LOL

BTW, where did this come from? Look at the rgb loop and you can see the clouds coming from the west that were showing on the wv last night. But the rain is coming from a lower deck and from the SE. What's up with that? Maybe I should have been reading the discussions but who knew it would rain and stuff?

Hope calpoppy is getting some!

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50. Bogon
4:14 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Finally made it through Sam Harris' PDF file Lying. It's a nice read, not too long. Too bad Sam wants to be paid for his work. You can download it and read it (today) for free, but the save function on my Adobe Reader is disabled. This would make a good pamphlet to hand out to the kids in Sunday school.

Harris devotes a chapter to each of the reasons we might find for lying, then systematically shoots them down one by one. It's a journey of self-examination. Reading it made me aware of how endemic lying is in our society. We've got a bad case of it, folks. We need to find the cure.
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49. GardenGrrl
4:11 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Hey the corgi cam is back up!

Well August should be easy it is;

National Immunization Month
National Goat cheese Month
Happiness Happens Month...which could possible be a holiday put on by corgis and goats to benefit humans.
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48. Ylee
5:00 AM GMT on August 03, 2012
This might work! :)
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47. sp34n119w
12:05 AM GMT on August 03, 2012
Hello, again :)
Not getting a new blog up, yet (sorry,gg!), so get to respond to your comments!

Ylee – hey, you've got me traveling the world on a regular basis so it seems only fair that I get to distract you once in awhile ;) Love the volcano blog!
You aren't missing much at the Chopra thing. Just put a bunch of sciencey-sounding words together randomly and you've got the gist. The Shakespeare site is fun, though!
You can post the NASA url as text and I'll Copy & Paste to see it.

Briar – first … OMG GOAT IN A BOAT!!! That absolutely made my day and is still making me smile :) The goat thing … well, that goes back a ways, to a discussion with shore regarding goats on fire and, more recently, calpoppy's pics of the little kids, with some other stuff in between. Um. You know ... best not to delve too deep, there ;)

Next, I had a similar experience with my folks. I consider myself so lucky to have been raised where I was, in SoCal suburbs (I know – that sounds odd, lol) that exposed me to a wide variety of people and ideas (not to mention natural wonders), where nearly everyone – not just my parents but all adults – generally treated each other with respect and kindness, regardless of race or creed or ability, setting the example for us kids. So I thought that was normal, that people of all sorts naturally accepted and even celebrated each others' differences and could be true friends. I am grateful to my parents and all those other grown-ups who allowed me to believe that – mainly just by keeping their mouths shut when kids were around. I know now, of course, that most of that was out of necessity, more than anything, and eventually learned more about those adults and their prejudices, and about the world at large. That's okay. They did the right thing by not passing it on, perhaps realizing that the days of homogeneity in our society are long over (not that they ever existed – just the power structure was homogenous, and now it isn't).
And my parents actually were/are pretty accepting of others or, at least, willing to question their own perceptions and beliefs, and alter as indicated. Also a good lesson!
Didn't mean to write that much on that, lol. Spent a lot of time with mom the last few weeks so I am feeling a bit … what? Nostalgic? I suppose.
Thanks for adding to that, and for sharing your experience.

calpoppy – oh, my, more peaches? Yum! I'm not going to make it out there, after all :( My window of opportunity for that long of a day trip has closed. I'll just have to imagine your fresh peach cobbler! But, I have the info for next year :)

Isn't that Shakespeare thing a hoot? I can never come up with a decent insult – people just laugh at me if I try – so I'm keeping that bookmarked! Meantime, I'll stick with cutting sarcasm. I may be deluding myself but I think I'm pretty good at that.

gg – good comment! LOL I'll try to follow through, for tradition's sake, but it might be a few days!


Since this is a SP Booster Blog, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the Santa Paula Police Department, who have had a heck of a bad year, so far. The Chief has been ousted, there has been an uptick in shootings (including idiots shooting at P.O.s – no deaths or serious injuries) (except one perpetrator who didn't make it after firing at officers), two officers died in car accidents and one reserve officer is gone for alleged DUI and related vehicular manslaughter. Put all that together and morale has got to be pretty low, right now.
My personal experience with SPPD has been minimal and positive (well, there's this one guy who really needs to flip the chip off his shoulder, but, hey, that could be true of anyone in any line of work) so I don't know if all this is a really big deal, or not, and don't know what else might be going on in the department. Just saying that, from what I can see, the SPPD is in need of a little love and I'm sending it out there for them, wishing them safety and smoother operations.


The sexual harassment dust-up continues apace in several online and real-world communities. Weird how it all comes out at one time. I suppose that has to do with crossover between communities and it spreads as it catches folks' attention. Anyway, I wanted to mention this last week but couldn't get to it, time-wise … from Butterflies and Wheels, at Freethoughtblogs, a guest post by a long-time game designer about the violence against women in the gaming community and what he thinks men might do about it. It sort of speaks to Ylee's point about raising kids up right.
[sorry but C&P the url since I have a feeling wu might not like the link]
http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/ 2012/07/a-call-to-arms-for-decent-men/?utm_source= feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fr eethoughtblogs%2Fbutterfliesandwheels+%28FTB%3A+Bu tterflies+and+Wheels%29

That essay is really long and, because of where it is, you might not be able to get there (if it's blocked by your computer), so if anyone wants to read it and can't, let me know, and I will copy the entire text (the author gave permission for such, as long as it is entire and there is attribution) into a wumail or outside mail, as you like.

Also from the gaming side of things, the issue has made the NYT, and that is a briefer and less prescriptive, yet excellent, overview of the whole thing.

It has also shown up in regards to a scifi con, which is terribly disappointing. I mean, I don't go to them, but had heard/read that they were on top of this problem. What I've been seeing is about Readercon, one of the most well thought of cons around. I heard about it at Scalzi's blog but you can get links (do you care? LOL) at Under the Beret


Now click for the live Corgi puppy cam. It will make everything all better, within minutes, I promise.
Um, unless you hate puppies. That would be sad for you and also make my promise null and void.


What shall I write for an August blog? :)

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46. Ylee
7:06 AM GMT on August 02, 2012
I don't know if this will work or not, but here's a link to a NASA video with Wil Wheaton in it! Edit: Didn't work. :P

I would comment on GG's comment, but, well, you know.... :)
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45. GardenGrrl
10:21 PM GMT on August 01, 2012
Tradition dictates I must leave a comment.

Comment :)
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44. sp34n119w
8:07 PM GMT on August 01, 2012
I am catching up in the Real World and will be around here ... soon! I hope, LOL

Must share a couple things -
Video of John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton performing a short skit in Burbank. Since I wrote about seeing them there, I thought I'd post the link.

Sam Harris has made available his short ebook, Lying, for free until Friday. Here is his article on Jonah Lehrer's problem containing a link the .pdf.

Hope WU all are well!
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43. Ylee
4:18 PM GMT on July 31, 2012
Just checking in, and whatever you're up to, I hope it's fun! :)
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42. calpoppy
7:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2012
Thou bawdy folly-fallen plebian! Guess where I was!

I am thinking of going back to the U-pick, for O'Henry peaches, which are huge and tasty. I want to freeze some and all of ours from last Sunday have been eaten or put into cobbler. Maybe Tuesday!

You must be busy enjoying life, have fun!!!
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41. BriarCraft
8:36 PM GMT on July 26, 2012
RE #29: Well said, Ylee. Very well said. If I may add, isn't it really just different forms of bullying? If anyone is perceived weaker (many women) or different (race, sexual preference, size, disfigurement) or somehow inferior, others who aren't so inflicted seem to feel it's their mission in life to make those others miserable in some manner. And you're right that parents can make all the difference in the world if they would only make the effort to teach respect. Teachers can help, but I think it's what is learned and observed at home that counts the most.

I am living proof that such teaching works. When I was young, my parents taught me that all people are not equal, but that they deserve to be treated with equal respect and have equal opportunity to make the most of their skills and abilities. They worked really hard at that lesson, teaching me not to stare, to speak politely, to treat others with as much respect as I wished to receive from them. They taught me that trust needs to be earned, but respect is a right. They did a good job with those lessons. So good, in fact, that it wasn't until I was an adult that I learned that my dad really couldn't tolerate women in his blue-collar workplace or long-haired men (as in hippies) and my mom was homophobic. They had chose to hide their own prejudices so that I wouldn't be infected.

RE #32 and #34: Another way to have other text instead of the word "Link" is to highlight something you've already typed before hitting the Link button. Then paste in your link address and voila! whatever you highlighted first is now blue and underlined and clickable.

Not quite sure what's going on with goats here lately, but here you go...
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40. Ylee
9:08 AM GMT on July 25, 2012
Gee, thanks, sp! Here I am, taking a break from cam searching, going through the blogs, and then get completely derailed by your links!

Quoting Scalzi: "You know, it's perfectly okay to email me when you see a typo, instead of posting on the boards! "

I tried to go to the actual Chopra website, but all it told me was to upgrade my browser; the rest was a blank screen! I think there is a deeper meaning in this, lol!

I already saw the lightning APOD; I'd like to have one of those cameras to film hummers! :)
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39. sp34n119w
8:38 PM GMT on July 24, 2012

Ylee - the gal wearing the shawl is the Doctor's current companion (one of - her character's husband is the other). Her name is Karen Gillan (er, I think).

WTS - yup ... I should look at the pics and see if they show the colors!
Don't give up! It's only mid-July-ish - you've still got a shot at monsoons!

Karen - after the mini heat wave we had Friday through the weekend, I'm not going to complain about a little morning fog, and I know you won't, either! I've had every window open for two days in a row, all day, so life is good, weather-wise :)
Thanks for the link to the book review. It does sound compelling and I'll probably chicken-out on reading it. I know others who would like it and will pass it on.


A few links ...
Yesterday's apod was weather related - super-duper-slo-mo lightning.

Also from apod: In Europe, on the 15th, the moon occulted Jupiter and four moons. I mentioned that in LC's blog and was hoping for pics here on wu but no luck (that I saw).

John Scalzi wrote an essay called, "A Self-Made Man Looks At How He Made It" that I think folks will find interesting. Others are talking about it and different folks focus on different aspects of the piece.


This has been going around for weeks but I just looked at it yesterday - wisdomofchopra - and today I got:
"Everything is beyond an abundance of bliss"
which is just ... very Chopra-esque ;)

How can you not love that, "Thou frothy clapper-clawed odiferous stench", I'd like to know! LOL


That's enough silliness for one sitting. Hopefully it will help counterbalance the various forms of misery that are understandably pervasive at the moment.

Have a happy, wu, whatever gets you there :)
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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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