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January 31, 2010

Umm, yeah

I'm not sure what the point is, but it's funny and it has one photo from Desert Hot Springs. If you have to ask "which photo?" then you are not hip and with it in DHS.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 31, 2010 at 03:24 PM | Comments (2)

Desert Hot Springs Suddenly Much More Historic

Check out this Craiglist ad for some real estate. It's in that building on the east side of Palm at first street. In the headline for the ad the building is magically transported to Palm Springs. But the real surprise is that it was built in 1920! In 1920 Cabot Yerxa was gone, L.W. Coffee had not yet arrived, and there were probably one or two white settlers hanging around up here plus some Indians who got their water from the oasis at Two Bunch Palms. Yet one or more of those people had the foresight to build this structure on what would some day be Palm Drive and 1st Street — years before L.W. Coffee would ever map out the city and two decades before any businesses began operating in the city. Without such great planning and investment we wouldn't be the wealthy nation we are.

The rent is $1,620 (per month, I assume) for 1,800 sf.

I've written to the advertiser to suggest some of his info may be incorrect. Just in case he makes those corrections, here is a capture of the site as I found it.
Downtown Desert Hot Springs commercial space

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 31, 2010 at 02:53 PM | Comments (1)

California Desert Protection Act of 2010 Maps

Chris Clarke has posted good quality PDF maps of the proposals in Senator Feinstein's California Desert Protection of 2010 bill.
Mojave Trails National Monument map
This is the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument (outlined in red)
taken from the overview map of all changes. It looks crazier than a gerrymandered legislative district. Some fine government negotiations created this thing.

Here's the detailed PDF map of the Sand To Snow National Monument.
Sand to Snow National Monument proposed

The map of the changes to the northern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park show that they have been getting residential-sized parcels. North is to the right in that map because, I guess, it comes out of a Senator's office.

The proposed Stoddard Valley OHV Area is south of Barstow, between 247 and I-15. It's an area that's already used by RVers for camping, but it's remained a basically normal desert, covered with creosote. Will making this an OHV area allow it to become a total wasteland and source of dust like the Ocotillo Wells OHV area?

The map of the proposed expansion of the Johnson Valley OHV area is multi-colored because the Marine base wants it too, and they haven't decided just how much of it they want.

Today the Desert Sun editorializes in favor of the bill.

Filed under California | permalink | January 31, 2010 at 08:34 AM | Comments (3)

January 30, 2010


You are probably already recycling paper. And you are shredding docuemnts that you want to keep private. I'm certain you also buy toilet paper. Why not combine all those!

| permalink | January 30, 2010 at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

Boies & Boutros Summarize The Prop 8 Trial At This Point

Prop 8 Trail Tracker summarizes some of the highlights.

Filed under Automotive,California,Gay Issues | permalink | January 30, 2010 at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

That's Some Bad Shit

If you get the bright idea to hide 743 pounds of pot in the tank of a septic truck, then surely you'd also be too bright to slap an invalid license on that truck and paint invalid commercial vehicle markings on it. Or maybe you wouldn't.

| permalink | January 30, 2010 at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

Smoke Tree Ranch Tour

Today I went with the Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley on a tour of historic Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs. Our guide was Bill who moved to Smoke Tree Ranch with his family in 1940 at age 5. At age 6 he was assigned his first horse in the stable.

The ranch first began development in the 1920s. Most of the area is private homes, but there are some rental cottages. Prices for those start at $305/night for a single occupancy, one-room cottage. $500/night will get you the Disney Cottage which was designed by Disney Studios in the 1960s. Rates are $40 higher around holidays. You can also purchase a meal plan: $16 per day (adult) for the breakfast plan or $82 per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast plan is not available around holiday periods.

Activities include tennis, lawn bowling, swimming, hot tub, the usual birding/hiking/running, croquet, bicycle rental, basketball, horseshoes, volleyball, three holes of golf (!), and, of course, equestrian activities. It hasn't had a rodeo since Smoke Tree Plaza was built on the site of their rodeo arena.

There are strict controls on landscaping and homes. No visible lawn (turf) is permitted, but you can discreetly enjoy grass in your backyard. The color palette is strictly desert tones. Residents are called "Colonists."

Big ol' Mesquite (8853)

Ranch House (8806A)
The Ranch House
. This is where there are offices, the check-in desk, a restuarant and a card room.

Ranch House Interior (8877)
Ranch House card room

Smoke Tree Ranch - Kirby (8855)
There don't seem to be numbers on any of the houses except for rental cottages. I had thought the requirement for house numbers for emergency services was universal and without exception.

Smoke Tree Ranch - Ocotillo (5247)
Believe it or not, that thick bush is an ocotillo.

Smoke Tree Ranch (5250)

Smoke Tree Ranch - Vandermolen (5242)

Smoke Tree Ranch (8864)

Smoke Tree Ranch Cacti (5254)

Smoke Tree Ranch Carob Tree (8825)
A carob tree.

Smoke Tree Ranch Classic Killer Jungle Gym (5255)
Remember jungle gyms like this one?

Smoke Tree Ranch Silk Floss Tree (8837)
The wife of our tour guide in her backyard
. Her father brought numerous samples of vegetation with them every time they came out to the desert in an experiment to see what would survive. The silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa) is one that made it. It's the only one I've seen here in the desert, although they are found all over L.A.

Stump as Sculpture (5245)

Tecoma "Orange Jubilee" (5252)
Tecoma "Orange Jubilee"

Smoke Tree Ranch (8829)
The home of our guide.

More photos here.

Smoke Tree Ranch map
Google satellite view of Smoke Tree Ranch.
This shows road names, but you'll see none of those in Smoke Tree Ranch.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Photography | permalink | January 30, 2010 at 06:50 PM | Comments (5)

A Pee Wee View Of The iPad

| permalink | January 30, 2010 at 07:16 AM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2010

Timelapse Video of Vancouver

Filed under Photography | permalink | January 29, 2010 at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

100th Anniversary of Infrared Photography

So says Phil Coomes at the BBC. He's dating it from the first published infrared photo in October 1910. Infrared film became commercially available in the 1930s.

Dam & Bridge, Infrared
Pennsylvania footbridge in infrared

Filed under Photography | permalink | January 29, 2010 at 04:37 AM | Comments (3)

January 28, 2010

Megastore of Marijuana

A 15,000 square foot warehouse in Oakland hopes to be a one-stop shop for the medical marijuana patient. Inside will be a doctor where you can get your marijuana recommendation, along with home-grow supplies. If you need, technicians will come to your home to help with the set up. Three city councilmembers will attend the opening of iGrow.

Filed under California,Health,Shopping | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Glow

Morning Glow (5149)
The glow of the rising sun striking a house in Desert Hot Springs.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

It may be too late for this one

Reclining Shopping Cart (5241)
Tonight behind the Carl May

Is he just resting, or has the long trip and exposure to the elements pushed him beyond his limit? I nudged him, but got no response. I'm afraid he may have passed on to shopping heaven, where he can nestle in with his comrades forever.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

San Andreas Fault Presentation at Carl May Center, February 6

February 6, 2010, 5 PM at the Carl May Center, West Drive, Desert Hot Springs, Pat Hinrichsen will show the Great Outdoors powerpoint presentation on the San Andreas fault. This entertaining (no reading required!) and educational (about 90 minutes long) program will illustrate with photos, maps and a bit of dramatic re-enactment just exactly where the San Andreas fault lies, and where you can actually SEE it, stand on it, spit on it, from Bombay Beach right up to our own dear Desert Hot Springs.

After viewing this presentation you will be able to impress your friends and visitors by being able to point right at and say "That, my friends, is the San Andreas fault."

Free and open to all.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Photography,Science | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

MSWD Meeting - January 27

The audio recording of this meeting of the Mission Springs Water District board is here.

Lobbyist Update - Van Scoyoc Associates

Thane Young, the district's lobbyist, was present to talk about the situation in Washington and help the board prepare for the visit by some staff and directors to Washington in February. This year he and the district will be seeking appropriation of the full $35 million which has already been authorized. Mr. Young says he doubts that the district will get it, but it wil be asked for, nonetheless. Representative Lewis is expected to push hard for it. Last year the district got $100,000 but it was not considered a "new start." Projects that are new starts are harder to get approved.

The district will also seek funding through state & tribal assistance grants through the EPA.

The EPA will be "re-capturing" (i.e., taking back) unallocated money authorized to other states and some of that money may be allocated to California.

General Manager Wallum shared a draft copy of a 4-page pamphlet that will be taken along on the trip to Washington to leave with Congressional staffers. This was the first time the directors had seen it. Directors Brown and Bowman (and public citizen Cromwell) thought the pamphlet needed to be strengthened by a few steps. They said that the pamphlet must emphasize not only job creation (this year's theme at Congress), but also the retention of existing jobs (since the town depends on the water for is existence), and also the protection of a unique natural resource that is essential for the entire Coachella Valley. Marilyn McKay will make some miracles happen (again) before Monday, when the pamphlet must be finalized in order to have the printed product ready to go about a week before the Washington departure.

G.M. Wallum promised that next year the direction of the board will be sought in December when work on the 2011 lobbying pamphlet begins.

The Agua Caliente lobbyist has promised to work with Thane Young in Washington in support of getting money for the district. Director Brown is also meeting with City Manager Rick Daniels to get the city's lobbyist to join them. There will also be discussions with Supervisor Ashley about the Riverside County lobbyist, and with CVAG for their lobbyist. Director Wright pointed out how important it is to show region-wide collaboration. Senators have said they don't want to hear about "local" problems. They want to know about "regional" problems.


District Counsel Jim Markman gave a presentation on ethics and law. Some of his opinions differ from those of City Attorney Ruben Duran, but that's why it's so exciting going to the horse races with a lot of attorneys.

If you'd like to listen to it in detail, it begins at about 1h 7m into the recording.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Fast Work Indeed

For reference purposes, here is the original segment without parody.

The meta version.

| permalink | January 28, 2010 at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

Football Fans Protected From, uh, I dunno what

Two harmelss ads that CBS has rejected for the Super Bowl, even though it will be accepting an anti-abortion ad from Focus On The Family.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

Oklahoma Children Saved From Bigotry

The parents of a child who brought home a book about a talking bunny rabbit, Buster's Sugartime, objected to it on the grounds that it "advocated" a practice not recognized under Oklahoma's constitution. The "practice" was not bunny rabbit talking, but that one of the characters in the book has two moms.

By that same logic, children in Oklahoma should not be taught about communist revolutions, kings and queens, religious persecution or the migration of penguins because none of those are recognized under Oklahoma's constitution.

“I recently re-read a book I first read when I was in elementary school, and all the characters in it but one were advocates and apologists for an activity that is illegal in the state of Oklahoma,” [school board member Ed] Payton said. “Not only that, the main characters were engaged in burglary, theft and criminal fraud, and we would have to take that book off the shelf.”

“What book?” asked board member Scott McDaniel.

“It’s 'Huck Finn,'” replied Payton.

The board voted 3-1 to keep the book on the library shelves.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Misplaced Modifier

In his slight variation on an empty promise, Obama's statement that "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are" should have been "This year, I will finally work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Prinz Frederic Für Gubernator!

Prince Frederic and consort Zsa Zsa Gabor
Prinz Frederic von Anhalt, The Duke of Saxony and Westphalia and Count of Ascania (seated) with his lovely consort

His platform: "Return the good life to California;" promote avocados, oranges, wine, weather, beaches and marijuana; legalize marijuana and tax it; add 10¢ to every drink sold in "a Restaurant or Tavern;" add "a buck" to every liquor bottle and pack of cigarettes; open the border with Mexico and tax the Mexican workers who come in; lower DMV fees; tax bad drivers according to their driving record; speeding fines should be $50 for every mile per hour over the speed limit; tax the oil companies; promote natural gas; mandatory solar panels on every new building; reverse Prop 8 ("Let them be as miserable as the rest of us"); lift the ban on imports from Cuba.

If elected he promises he will demand a recount.

More info here. Here you can see videos in which you will hear that he can pronounce "Calfornia," unlike our current Austrian regent. Unfortunately, he has a habit of chopping the air with a pointing finger as he makes his points which does remind one of an infamous 20th century German dictator.

Here the Prince bravely presents his life history in tabloid journals!

Filed under California | permalink | January 28, 2010 at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)