March 30, 2006
Sopranos, Season 5
Well, well, well. I can hardly believe we had to wait this long in the Sopranos to find out that one of Tony's hardworking men likes to suck cock. Me, if I'da been Phin, I woulda gone to the Yankees game, just to see what's what.
Latest DHS Buzz
Alex Bias and his wife, Carol Jean Bias, have not made payments on their Desert Hot Springs home since November 2004; they now owe more than $76,000, according to the lender.
The Lambert Family Trust began formal efforts this week to foreclose on their Monterico Road house, estimated to be worth $350,000 to $400,000.
The Biases acknowledge that they owe the money and have not made payments for about 16 months.
Still, they were surprised that they were about to receive a foreclosure notice and were caught unaware when I called.
Carol Jean Bias immediately called the lender, yelling obscenities for which she makes no apologies, she said.
UPDATE: Here Bill Effinger bemoans the fact that The Desert Sun is not quite up to the standards of the NY Times and has shown an offensive disrespect for our mayor. I've told people that to live in DHS you've got to have a sense of humor, and I don't hear Mr. Effinger chuckling.
March 29, 2006
More, More, More Baby Hummingbird Photos
Front Yard Flora
These little yellow flowers with clover-like leaves have sprung up around this agave that was given to me by northern California friends. When I find out what they are, I'll let you know too.
HOT UPDATE: They are Yellow Oxalis, according to Bill B. Thanks Bill!
Some of the other participants on recent hikes have posted their photos on Flickr. Some of these are private and visible only to their friends. Tgkohn has one here. Jack W has four: one, two, three, four.
You may recall that I posted photos of an Amtrak train at Palm Springs station back in February. At the same time I shot this 2.2 Mb Quicktime video of the Amtrak train leaving Palm Springs on its way to Los Angeles. It closes with a clumsy pan over to Mt. San Jacinto. This one I've edited in iMovie to remove the sound, improve the contrast, and reduce the size. I'm just learning.
The windmills are featured rather nicely, too!
Two More Photos
Here are two photos taken by Scott on last Saturday's hike in the Mecca Hills. First, his photo of the pelicans:
Scott had a real telephoto lens on his camera, so he was able to get a better shot than I could, but as you can see, a tripod would have helped, but so far nobody's brought one on our hikes!
Maybe I should have tried video of the pelicans. They seemed to be just playing, as they swirled slowly in thermals, moving to the northwest only very slowly. If we had been on completely open ground, we could have walked fast enough (well, jogged, maybe) to keep up with them. The show went on for quite awhile.
Shortly after the pelican experience, we were all excitedly going up the wash, probably babbling the way girls do when they've seen some good pelicans, and most of us went right by this sidewinder without even seeing him. Scott heard the rattle and got a couple of good shots.
March 28, 2006
Oral Roberts Too?
Here's a news story that Oral Roberts suffered a fall in his home "near Palm Springs." Does this mean he lives in one of the nearby cities, or is he actually living out in unincorporated desert? Okay I eliminated the easy thing by looking in the phone book and, of course, he's not listed.
Various ones that I have not previously highlighted:
Bostonians & Traffic
The Storrow Drive tunnel between Berkeley and Arlington will have to be completely replaced. If you're a commuting Bostonian, this is your warning sign. It's time for you to buy a low-priced home in the Coachella Valley and come experience our easy, idiot-proof traffic (hey, I haven't hit anything bigger than a jackrabbit yet). That's Plan A. Plan B is to buy some mobile device that allows you to read Ron's Log while you're sitting in traffic.
Sarah Caldwell, 1924-2006
Stanislaw Lem, 1921-2006
Somebody Else's Better Video
The Forest In Winter is a 34.3 Mb Quicktime video that is a timely warning of where this rampant globalization is leading us. It's Safe For Work, if your workplace allows complete idiocy (and many do!). Headphones strongly suggested.
BTW, it's fucking hilarious.
Let's Try Video
Fototime, which I have not been using much since I discovered Flickr, recently added support for videos at no extra charge. So we are going to give it a try with this 5 Mb video I shot at the Colorado River Aqueduct siphon where it crosses Long Canyon. This is the first siphon I've seen with an open grill on the top that you could look down into and see the water rushing by, so I took the opportunity to share with you the thrill and excitement of seeing actual Colorado River water rushing past Desert Hot Springs on its way to slake the thirst of Los Angelenos and their landscaping. Can you stand it!
By the way, I did not spit into the water, or pee into it, or drop any rocks into it, or nuthin'. So you Los Angelenos, don't be blamin' me for whatever ails you.
Here's a news story about two men who were Jeeping (in a Suzuki) near Yuma, Arizona, when they suddenly found themselves going into a vertical mine shaft about 25 or 30 feet deep. The men survived with minor injuries.
I drove up the MWRA access road to Long Canyon on the eastern edge of Desert Hot Springs. There was a big clean-up along this road last year, and I had heard repeatedly that the trash had returned instantly. Now I've seen it first hand and it's pretty bad. In a lot of spots construction debris has been dumped right IN the roadway, forcing people to cut their own roadway around it. The road ends, of course, when it reaches the MWRA's siphon on the Colorado River Aqueduct. That was as far as I went, not being prepared to hike into Long Canyon itself. Here are photos from around the siphon.
UPDATE: I only learned today (4/1/2006) that the line of rocks across Long Canyon represent the border of Joshua Tree National Park. This means I can actually WALK to JTNP in less than 5 miles.
Baby Hummingbird Nap
March 27, 2006
Dead Pig II: It Still Stinks
Believe it or not, we came across ANOTHER swine carcass on Sunday. This happened before on a GOPS Jeep trip into Berdoo Canyon a couple of years ago. This time, it was near Painted Canyon. In both cases, the animal showed no obvious sign of trauma and no evidence of having been eaten by other animals. Do people just steal a pig and then chase it in the desert until it drops from heat exhaustion?