May 31, 2008
The Desert Sun Is Always Helpful
The Desert Sun tells us that rattlesnake season is here! I guess all those snakes rattling at me (I haven't actually seen any of them yet this year) over the past several weeks have simply been staff sent ahead by Big Snake to make sure his desert home was properly prepared before his arrival.
The Desert Sun avoids including any mistaken "safety" suggestions by simply not including any safety suggestions.
More Photos From The San Andreas Fault
These are from a high spot east of Palm Drive, south of 20th Avenue. Much to my surprise, there's a paved road up to this spot. There are a few houses near here, a horse ranch, and lots of illegal dumping.
Need Some Windows?
Today Pat and I went exploring some of the ridges and dunes on the Banning branch of the San Andreas Fault south of Desert Hot Springs. You see a lot of strange stuff out in the desert, but today I saw oneof the strangest:
Someone had a quantity of glass door sliders or windows and stored them out in the open desert. Many have been broken, but most look like they are still in one piece, although the frames are probably deteriorating from resting at an angle. If these were surplus or stolen, why weren't they sold?
Entire Town Removes Self From Google Streetview
Last January the city council of North Oaks, Minnesota, asked Google to remove its streetview images in their town. All the roads in North Oaks are private and Google's photo-car was trespassing when it went through there. It's Google's policy to remove images of private homes when requested, but this is the first time an entire city has been removed. Here is an image at the very brink:
Where Google streetview ends in North Oaks, Minnesota. What lies beyond is not for us to see.
Paez Eats Lead, Taken Into Custody, Still Alive
In yet another episode of stolen car, hot pursuit, shots fired, SWAT team called, Anthony "Clumsy" Paez was cornered and finally arrested early this morning in the unincorporated area south of Desert Hot Springs. Currently, he is resting at Desert Regional with three gunshot wounds in him. Two other suspects were taken into custody as well. One of them had also been wounded by the police.
UPDATE: The other man arrested with Anthony Paez was a 15-year old juvenile with outstanding warrants. Now the Desert Sun is saying that ONLY Paez was injured, but they don't say why they earlier reported that a third suspect was also shot. The article says nothing about the third person arrested except that he is still in custody.
May 30, 2008
"when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope so that they can be somewhat equal to the prey"
Cinema at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard in (duh) Hollywood will host four movie nights. Yes! Enjoy fine films outdoors with the living among the dead. Tomorrow night it's The Party at 9 PM (gates open at 7:30 PM).
Hack Your Canon
A website offering you a method of hacking the firmware on your Canon point-and-shoot giving it addtional functionality. According to the FAQ, these are some of the benefits:
- Shooting in RAW, with RAW Average, RAW Sum, and RAW Develop features
- Live histogram (RGB, blended, luminance and for each RGB channel)
- Zebra mode (live-view under/over-exposure subject-area alerts)
- DOF-calculator, Hyperfocal-calculator with instant Hyperfocal and Infinity focus-set, and more
- Battery indicator
- RAW and Video space-remaining gauges with custom low-limit alerts
- Scripts execution (exposure/focus/bracketing, intervalometer and more)
- USB-cable remote shutter-release
- Motion-Detection triggered photography (fast enough to capture lightning strikes)
- Customizable high-speed continuous (burst) Tv, Av, ISO, and Focus bracketing (unlimited shots)
- 99 constant bit-rate and 10 constant-quality video compression levels
- 1 Gig video-size limit removed in earlier cameras
- Zoom during video for cameras without
- Shutter, Aperture, and ISO Overrides (shutter speeds of 64" to 1/10,000" and higher)
- High-speed Flash Sync at all speeds up to 1/64,000 second (even faster in some cameras)
- Custom framing, cropping, and alignment viewfinder Grids (user editable)
- File browser
- Text reader
- Some fun tools and games :)
- Fully customizable CHDK display, info placement, user-colors, fonts in menus, etc.
- Custom CHDK User-Menu (for instant recall of up to 10 favorite functions)
Anthony Paez on "Most Wanted" List
To update you on recent shootings, Salcido is in custody
and Hernandez has been cleared of suspicion, leaving only Anthony "Clumsy" Paez who has been elevated to Riverside County's Most Wanted List.
If you have info about him you can call Crime Stoppers at 760-341-7867 and remain anonymous. Or call DHS Police at 760-329-2904.
UPDATE: Hernandez will be charged "with conspiracy to commit a crime and aiding and abetting an attempted crime." She is the aunt of Anthony Paez, which is why the police stopped her on Monday. They thought she had Paez in the car, but it turned out to be Salcido, who opened fire on the police officer.
Naegleria fowleri Update
Naegleria fowleri is that amoeba that we all get warned about when we go swimming in natural hot springs. We are told it may live in sediment in warm water and that if you dunk your head, the amoeba can get into your nose and travel to your brain, which it turns into a cafeteria. Then you die.
Here's info on the CDC report about last year's deaths due to Naegleria fowleri infections. What we've been told is all true, but the risk level seems to be pretty low. In 2007 there were only six deaths in the U.S., all male, and not one of them was exposed in a natural hot spring.
Six deaths was not an unusually low number.
Last summer's six cases were a lot compared to most years. But the CDC says there's no evidence that the brain-eating amoeba is on the rise. There were eight cases in 1980, seven cases in 2002, and six cases in 1978, 1986, and in 1995. Since 1937, there have been only 121 known cases.
121 known deaths since 1937! That's more than the number of deaths by meteor, I would guess. There might be other lesser killers that don't come readily to mind.
Salton Sea Photo Exhibit
Trials and Triumphs of the Salton Sea
An exhibition on the Salton Sea and the Restoration
Photography by Christina Lange
Imperial Valley College
380 East Aten Road
Imperial, CA 92251
Library - Open to Public
Exhibition starts June 4th, 2008
Directions: IVC is just West of CA-111 about 4 miles North of I-8
Guest parking: Metered 50¢/hr or Day permits $1
May 29, 2008
Update on Gardner's Cairn
Today a few of us went on a Great Outdoors hike to Willis Palms, another oasis in the Coachella Valley Preserve. It's the oasis along Thousand Palms Canyon Road on the I-10 side of the Indio Hills. (Google map here.) Even though the oasis is obvious and easy to get to, I had never visited it. Equestrian development in Thousand Palms is pressing ever closer to the oasis, so I thought it would be a good idea to get out there sooner than later. The complete set of photos is here, and these are some samples:
May 28, 2008
Regard this map. Does it show likely McCain voters versus likely Obama voters? Does it show concentrations of illegal immigrant populations? Does it show where gay people would live if marriage were legal in every state?
None of the above. It's a map of suitable killer bee habitat.
So far, killer bees haven't spread to all regions of the United States considered climatologically suitable for them. One of the biggest mysteries, says [apiarist Wayne E.] Esaias, is why the bees haven't chosen to take advantage of the more productive and presumably more favorable environmental conditions in the Southeast. The key, he speculates, is that the bees are establishing themselves in areas filled with plants with blooming patterns that mirror those found in their ancestors' African homeland. For example, in the arid American Southwest, well-populated by the bees, many of the plants bloom profusely only after the rainy season begins
A Couple More Suspects From The Weekend Crime Spree
UPDATE: The police are no longer looking for Jessica Jiminez Hernandez.
Jessica Jimenez Hernandez has met with investigators and is no longer sought for questioning in this matter. The Desert Hot Springs Police Department would like to thank everyone involved in the dissemination of the "wanted" flyers and information.
First, we have the wheel man (is that what you call it?), the moll who, on Monday, was driving the black BMW from which alighted Francisco "Pancho" Salcido, who immediately began firing on a DHS Police Officer.
The Shotgun Wielder
Next we present the "alleged suspect" [all individuals are presumed innocent until the next missed appointment with their parole officer] in Friday night's attempted traffic stop where a shotgun was fired at two CHP officers during pursuit. It's Anthony "Clumsy" Paez who has spent some time modeling for law enforcement officers:
DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT
FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF TWO POLICE OFFICERS
DATE: 05-23-08 DAY: FRIDAY / TIME: 11:13 PM
INCIDENT: PC 664/187(a) / ATTEMPT MURDER
VICTIMS: 2 ON-DUTY C.H.P. OFFICERS
LOCATION: 66200 BLOCK OF ESTRELLA AVE, DESERT HOT SPRINGS.
Name: Paez, Anthony
Height: 5'8" – 5'9"
Weight: 160 Lbs.
LKA: 66164 Hacienda Ave Desert Hot Springs
Anthony Paez has been identified as the suspect who shot at the two on-duty California Highway Patrol officers on Friday evening in Desert Hot Springs. He is to be considered armed and dangerous. Paez is already wanted in connection with a 2007armed robbery, for which an arrest warrant has been issued.
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT:
On 05/23/08, at approximately 11:13 PM, while on patrol, two California Highway Patrol officers (in a two man unit) observed a silver colored 4-door, 2007 Toyota Camry traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle's driver violated additional traffic laws, at which time the officers attempted to make a traffic enforcement stop.
As the vehicle was traveling westbound Estrella Ave, west of Palm Drive, the right side passenger leaned out the window and ultimately fired three times at the officers' patrol vehicle, with a shotgun. A pursuit ensued; however, the vehicle was able to evade officers. The suspect vehicle was subsequently located in the 66700 block of Terrace Way, in Desert Hot Springs, abandoned. The vehicle was found to be an un-reported stolen vehicle from the unincorporated area of Desert Hot Springs.
Neither of the CHP officers were injured as a result of the incident nor did they discharge their duty weapons at the suspect vehicle.
The Desert Hot Springs Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in this on-going investigation.
Any questions regarding this press release should be directed to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department. Anyone with any information regarding this crime should also contact the Desert Hot Springs Police Department and ask to speak with Detective Essex or Detective Sergeant Gil.
Dispatch Tel: (760) 329-2904
May 27, 2008
Union Station Los Angeles
Los Angeles City Hall
Willow Hole Oasis
Pat noticed that recently the Coachella Valley Preserve had put up some new signs around the Willow Hole Oasis indicating that hikers and equestrians were now permitted, so we went out today to do a little walking around. Besides the oasis itself, the area adjoins the new big wind turbines that are being built on the windward side of Edom Hill. The complete set of photos is here, and these are some samples:
The way the desert used to look with mesquite holding the sand dune in place, and no invasive plants.
Everyone Who Believes In God Is A Christian
Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, "Under God" out of the Pledge, and "In God We Trust" to be taken off our money?
But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don't just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that's tough, this is America folks, it's called free speech. And none of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford are afraid to speak up. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond: if we don't see you today, by the grace of God, we'll be here tomorrow.
UPDATE: Salcido has been arrested.
The helicopter stopped circling last night some time between 10 and 11 o'clock. I thought that meant success had been achieved, but here's the DHS Police press release I received just a few minutes ago:
DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT
FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF A POLICE OFFICER
Location of Occurrence: Cactus Drive North of 1st Street, Desert Hot Springs
Date/Time of Occurrence: May 26, 2008 / 3:04 PM
Name: Salcido, Francisco
Height: 5’09" – 5’10"
Weight: 180-200 Lbs.
LKA: 66000 Block of 1st Street, Desert Hot Springs
Weapon Used: .45 caliber semi-automatic – still outstanding
Involved Vehicle: 2006 Black 4-Door BMW – California License # 5TGE613
Female driver is wanted for questioning
Francisco Salcido has been identified as the suspect who fired at an on-duty Desert Hot Springs Police Officer in the area of Cactus Drive, north of 1st Street, in Desert Hot Springs. The firearm Salcido used is still outstanding. He is to be considered armed and dangerous.
On 05/26/08, at approx. 3:04 PM, an officer was following the above listed vehicle, believing a wanted subject was inside. As the vehicle traveled southbound on Cactus Drive, approaching 1st Street, the vehicle slowed down to a near stop, at which time the officer turned on his emergency lighting equipment to conduct a vehicle stop.
During the same time frame, Salcido exited the vehicle from the passenger side and began walking away, southbound on Cactus Drive, while the vehicle was driven away. Without any provocation whatsoever, Salcido turned around with a handgun in his hand and fired multiple rounds at the officer. The officer returned fire from his duty weapon. The officer was not hurt, nor does it appear as if Salcido sustained any injuries either.
Salcido ran from the scene, southbound on Cactus Drive, to westbound 1st Street, then northbound through a vacant lot, towards 2nd Street. An extensive search for Salcido met with negative results.
If Salcido is seen, immediately contact the local law enforcement agency or the Desert Hot Springs Police Department Dispatch @ 760-329-2904. Salcido is dangerous and should not be contacted.
Det. Essex or Sgt. Gil
Here's the Desert Sun report, from which they've eliminated any mention of a search warrant.
UPDATE 1/14/2012: Francisco Salcido was sentenced to 56 years to life on January 13, 2012. "Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald Johnson imposed the upper terms for each of the felony counts, which included sentence-enhancing gun and gang allegations."