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January 31, 2013

February Yard Beautification Honorees

Awarded quarterly by Mission Springs Water District and the Community & Cultural Affairs Commission. The owners will be recognized at the next city council meeting, February 5.

10796 Cactus Drive (1)
10796 Cactus Drive.

66146 2nd Street
66146 2nd Street.

12256 Ambrosio Drive
12256 Ambrosio Drive.

11170 Pomelo Drive
11170 Pomelo Drive.

11213 Palm Drive
The commercial honoree, Shodhan Dentistry at 11213 Palm Drive.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 31, 2013 at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2013

Congressman Ruiz Speaking At Today's Chamber Luncheon

The audio recording is here in which he acknowledges that he has visited Desert Hot Springs more than any other city the 36th District since he was sworn in.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 30, 2013 at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)


Jim Nabors, age 82, finally married his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader (a youthful 64) in Seattle, Washington. The couple lives in Honolulu and traveled to Washington just to get married.
Jim Nabors & Stan Cadwallader
The happy couple.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 30, 2013 at 08:19 AM | Comments (1)


That's the estimated number of firearms illegally in the possession of felons and the mentally ill in California. The law requires law enforcement to confiscate these weapons, but budgetary problems have prevented that. Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms for the state Department of Justice, says it would take $25 million and three years to resolve that backlog. But in some unexplained magic math, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says a bill allowing the Department of Justice to "dip" into a $20 million surplus of funds collected when gun buyers pay a fee for background checks could resolve it under a year! I like the magic math, if it would work in reality.

Filed under California | permalink | January 30, 2013 at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

Boy Scouts Changing

With money and resources drying up, the Boy Scouts of America have had a re-think about their moral position and have decided that maybe those gay leaders could be acceptable. The Boy Scouts will now let local councils determine their own policy on gay Scouts and leaders. My guess, is that the majority of Scout troops will remain closed to gay members at first. It could be very interesting at some of those big Boy Scout campouts where troops from many areas come together. You'll be mixing the open troops with those that are closed to gay people. When it comes to the tug-of-war competition, I'd want the gay bears on my side!

The Desert Sun focuses on a local family, getting John Brown's positive reaction to the news who says he's glad that his son Cody will now be able to participate in Scouting.

This decision will also potentially allow open and accepting organizations (I'm thinking some United Methodist congregations, for example) to begin sponsoring Scout troops again, which will benefit all boys.

Update: I see that this decision will not be final until a vote on February 6.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 30, 2013 at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2013

128 GB

Next week - $799 (Wi-fi only) or $929 (Wi-fi & cellular). For only $1099 you can get a MacBook Air with 128 GB and they throw in a keyboard, but no cellular connectivity. The Air also lacks Retina display.

Filed under Technology | permalink | January 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

Nethercutt Collection & Museum

This past weekend I visited the Nethercutt Collection and Museum in Sylmar with the Long Beach/Orange County chapter of Great Outdoors. Completely free to visit, it's got cars, mechanical musical instruments, antique furniture that you can sit on, and tschotskes; all supported by profits from Merle Norman Cosmetics.

Nethercutt Collection (8984)

Nethercutt Collection (8941)

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9023)
Wurlitzer organ, originally from the Denver Auditorium.

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9030)
Some of the pipes for the Wurlitzer.

Nethercutt Collection - Wurlitzer Organ (9053)
While playing, the Wurlitzer rises up about 18 inches from the floor.
They've wired the Wurlitzer into a Windows computer that will record every action and then play it back exactly.

Nethercutt Collection - Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (8933)
Merecedes-Benz 300SL

Nethercutt Collection - Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (8970)
With its gullwing doors open.

Nethercutt Collection - 1957 Corvette (8921)

Nethercutt Collection - General Motors EV1 (8909)
The second General Motors EV1 that I've seen.
The Nethercutt maintains all of its cars in drivable condition. Fuel is in the tank, and the keys are in the ignition. They say they drive every car outside at least once a year. I wonder about the EV1, though. I thought General Motors imposed a condition that all existing EV1s be rendered somehow undrivable.

Nethercutt Collection - Pierce-Arrow (8964)
Pierce-Arrow hood ornament.

Nethercutt Museum - 1948 Tucker (9074)
The first Tucker I've seen face to face.

Nethercutt Museum (9063)
This is a view from the newer Nethercutt Museum (all cars) across the street to the original Nethercutt Collection
which includes the Wurlitzer on the top floor.

Nethercutt Museum - Bugatti (9091)

Nethercutt Collection (8987)

Many more photos here.

Gripes: in the Collection, they invariably placed the information placard square in front of the car, usually within 6 inches of the grill, totally ruining any attempt to see what the front view of the car looked like and get a photo. Velvet ropes, where they use them, are very close to the cars, making it almost impossible to get an unobstructed photo. The cars are packed very close together. The Collection is viewable only as part of a group tour. There were about 50 people on our tour, and they get you through in two hours, so browsing has to be quick. But I suppose the point of the collection is to be a collection, while showing it off to visitors is secondary.

Petersen's Automotive Museum, OTOH, was put together by people from the magazine publishing industry who have a lot stronger sense of how to set up a car for visual beauty. Petersen's is a much more enjoyable experience. But they don't have a Tucker and not all of their cars run, so you take your choices.

Filed under Automotive,Photography | permalink | January 29, 2013 at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2013

Unicorn Poop Cookies

$25 for a pound - about 10 cookies.

Skeptics scoff that the dazzling creature known as the one and only unicorn is mere folklore, but Sweet Insanity is here to bake up some tasty proof to the contrary. Indeed, we can’t help but interpret this unicorn poop as not-at-all-smelly evidence that supports an intriguing conjecture: unicorns do exist! (And their droppings are downright delicious.) For mortals who remain unswayed by the facts, these are still pretty awesome rainbow sugar cookies, pimped out with sprinkles. A treat that’s truly as legendary as this “mythical” creature.

Filed under Food and Drink | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 01:03 PM | Comments (1)

14 Women Overpower Crazed Gunman

And they did it how?

  1. Whipping out their pistols, shotguns and assault rifles? Or...
  2. Chanting "Jesus" over and over?

Hint: It happened in Florida.

Filed under Religion | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

Queen Beatrix To Abdicate

The abdication will be on April 30. She will be succeeded by Prince Willem-Alexander, age 45, who will become the first king of the Netherlands since Willem III who died in 1890. Queen Beatrix is 75 years old.

Here's an article about Prince Willem-Alexander competing in a toilet-hurling contest last April as part of festivities to mark the birthday of the late Queen Juliana, who was Queen Beatrix's mother. (The Dutch empire just isn't quite what it used to be.)

| permalink | January 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

West Hollywood Explosion Blamed On Honey Oil Extraction

In the 1200 block of North Havenhurst Drive this past Friday, it occurred in an apartment building where two units are now red-tagged. The suspect is currently hospitalized for burns.

Since I didn't know what honey oil is, I had to do a little research. Honey oil is pretty much the same thing as hash oil, but lighter in color due to different extraction methods. Both products are made in an attempt to extract as much THC from the marijuana plant as possible. Here's a page that tells you how to make honey oil. The basic process of both honey and hash oil is to run some solvent across the marijuana, get rid of the solvent, and then what remains is your product. You will see on that web page that various solvents are ruled out as too dangerous or too hard to obtain (isopropyl alcohol, ether, chloroform) before they settle on butane as the safer choice! They use this device to run the butane across the marijuana. The author of those instructions never mentions it, but the second commenter reminds the readers that the butane method should be done outdoors in a well-ventilated area - not your effin' apartment in West Hollywood!

For those who would prefer to avoid fires and explosions while trying to extract THC, there is this method to make a glycerin tincture which involves nothing hotter than a Crockpot set to "warm." I imagine your home will reek after this process, so I suggest not doing it in your effin' West Hollywood apartment, but in a single-family residence or your cabin in the woods.

| permalink | January 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Comments (1)

Brazilian Nightclub Fire Recalls Rhode Island Nightmare 10 Years Past

The "Station Fire" in West Warwick, Rhode Island, in February 2003 was also started by pyrotechnics ignited by the performing band. One-hundred people died at The Station in the same way that 230 died at the Kiss nightclub fire.

After The Station fire, Rhode Island enacted strict new fire safety laws to prevent a recurrence.

A fire code enacted after the blaze means movie theaters, nightclubs and concert halls now must announce the location of emergency exits before each show.

Many venues were forced to install sprinkler systems and make other renovations. One theater that shut down six years ago because it couldn’t afford the changes reopened on Saturday after raising about $200,000 to install new fireproof seat upholstery and other upgrades.

Filed under History | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Easy Home Automation

For this project you will need:

  1. A Wi-fi router,
  2. An iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), and
  3. $50

Step 1, send your $50 to Amazon for this Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch. Step 2, plug it into an electrical outlet (we did assume you have electricity). Step 3, download the app to your iOS device. Step 4, use the app to tell the WeMo your wi-fi password. Step 5, plug something into the WeMo, like a light (not your kitchen stove). Step 6, amaze your friends and confuse your cats by turning the light on and off from across the room, or even from your front yard.

Brief article about the WeMo here. Belkin's own page for the WeMo.

Filed under Shopping,Technology | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

MSWD 60th Anniversary

Here's the almost-one-hour video of the Mission Springs Water District presentation at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week covering the history of the our water and the water district from Cabot Yerxa's first well to today.

Video provided by the DHS Historical Society.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,History | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Another Test Of The New Bay Bridge Lights

Scheduled to go full time beginning in March.

Filed under Architecture,Burning Man,California | permalink | January 28, 2013 at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2013

Berlusconi Praises Fascism

And chooses to do it at at a ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust. "The racial laws were the worst fault of Mussolini as a leader, who in so many other ways did well." Berlusconi said Italy's involvement in the Holocaust was "initially 'partly unwitting.'" Is this a sort "we were just dumb Italians" excuse?

"Obviously the government of that time, out of fear that German power might lead to complete victory, preferred to ally itself with Hitler's Germany rather than opposing it," Berlusconi said, trying to excuse the alliance with Germany. Here are a few significant dates to remind people of the chronology:

March 1938 - Austria becomes part of Germany.
October 1938 - Sudetenland becomes part of Germany.
May 1939 - Italy and Germany sign the "Pact Of Steel" alliance.
August 1939 - Germany and the USSR sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact.
September 1, 1939 - Germany invades Poland, the date generally regarded as the beginning of World War II.

So, in Berlusconi's revisionism the Pact Of Steel becomes a sort of pre-emptive surrender - a surrender that no other European nation considered making.

Filed under History | permalink | January 27, 2013 at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

Dollar General Is Open And Busy

Busy with regular people spending money. No city leaders posing for photos - yet. If you planned on buying a pink camp chair, you'll have to wait until they restock. I bought them all, but they still have other colors.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | January 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2013

Illinois Republicans Being Interesting

Earlier this month Illinois Republican State Party Chairman Pat Brady endorsed and began lobbying for a bill that would grant equal marriage rights in the Land Of Lincoln. State party rules allow for the removal of the chairman with a three-fifths vote at a special meeting if 5 of the 18 central committee members will call for the meeting. As reliable as any knee jerk, state Senator Jim Oberweis began to try to get five central committee members to commit, but so far he has been unsuccessful!

Republican House Leader Tom Cross called a move to remove Brady "the worst thing we could do" as a party.

"It reaffirms people's worst fears about our party. I think we bragged about being the big tent party over the years. And there are going to be people that adamantly oppose gay marriage and people who support it. And we need to be the party that says, 'Hey, that's fine.'"

Various groups, including women, Latinos and young people aren't listening to Republicans, Cross said,

"In the last election, we lost Kane County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County. And we lost almost all demographic groups," Cross said. "Old white guys aren't going to win the elections any more."

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | January 25, 2013 at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

Hot For Kim Jong Un's Missile

North Korean girl band "Moranbong" celebrates the launch of the North Korean rocket last month. A noticeable absence at this performance are the iPhones - but I don't know if North Korea has even gotten to the Bic lighter evolutionary stage of concerts.

NK News provides some analysis of the band here.

Filed under Music | permalink | January 25, 2013 at 08:23 AM | Comments (3)

January 24, 2013

Man vs. Subway

Could a man exit a Parisian subway train and, traveling only by foot, catch the very same train at the next subway stop? Eh, do you care? But what if I told you he did it with a GoPro Hero strapped on his head? Now, you're interested.

Filed under Cities/Urbanism,GoPro,Photography | permalink | January 24, 2013 at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)