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August 22, 2014

Mission Creek Fault in Desert Hot Springs

Above Desert Hot Springs and the Mission Creek Fault, Riverside County, California
Mission Creek fault, just east of Two Bunch Palms Resort
. Photo by Michael Rymer.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | August 22, 2014 at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

Even In Sunset Magazine

Sunset's article was written by a veteran Burner who brought along his reluctant birgin wife.

(thanks to George and Richard)

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

Some Residents Of Brookline Are Offended

At least 100 Brookline, Massachusetts, residents have been offended and demand - demand I say, to have New England Treatment Access Inc.'s provisional medical marijuana license stripped from them for the heinous, heinous crime of Lack Of College Degree. Makes you shudder, doesn't it? "[T]he Globe reported that its executive director, Kevin Fisher, wrongly claimed on the dispensary applications that he had a college degree."

"Fisher resigned his position with New England Treatment last weekend, and the company assured state regulators he would have no further role in its operations." But that's not good enough - not yet a full pound of flesh. The entire team must be punished and purified of their sins. Nothing less than pillories on Boston Common at dawn will bring satisfaction.

This is all understandable. Here in California it's well known that a Ph.D. is required to either cultivate or dispense medical marijuana. That's why the medical marijuana entrepreneurs who have been hanging around Desert Hot Springs City Council meetings these last several months have raised the quality of the audience a little, with their polite, friendly, rational way of speaking that does not rise to the level of developer-smarmy.

Filed under Marijuana | permalink | August 22, 2014 at 08:57 AM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2014

Best Temple Video

Certainly the best photographed video of last year's Temple burn (that I've yet seen).

The Temple will burn some time after 8 PM (Pacific time) on Sunday, August 31. You should be able to see it via live streaming at this link but it won't look as good as this video.

They are keeping this year's design under wraps (figuratively), which is why we've seen no photos of its construction yet.

Filed under Burning Man,Photography | permalink | August 21, 2014 at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

The State Of Burning Man

Burning Man August 20 2014
This is what the Man at Burning Man looked like yesterday
. They say they are running about a day behind schedule...which means they are on schedule. Photo by John Curley.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)

August 20, 2014

DUI Checkpoint in DHS Friday, August 22

Lead Up to Labor Day Brings DUI Crackdown to Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs Police Department Reminds Everyone to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Labor Day weekend is coming up. For many Americans, that means an extra day off, backyard and beach barbecues, visiting friends and family, and the unofficial end of the summer season. Unfortunately, it also means a sharp increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities. Now through Labor Day, September 1, Desert Hot Springs Police Department will be aggressively targeting drunk and drugged drivers as part of a nationwide effort to end impaired driving and save lives. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high-visibility enforcement, resulting in fewer drunk drivers on Desert Hot Springs streets.

Desert Hot Springs Police Department will be looking for impaired drivers throughout the city with plans in place for DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints on August 22, 2014, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.

"Since 2011 within the boundaries of Desert Hot Springs, DUI collisions have claimed one life and contributed to twelve injury crashes, harming many of our friends and neighbors," said Sgt. Gustavo Paiz of the DHS Police.

Every 51 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk-driving crash. Over the Labor Day weekend, those fatalities increase to one every 34 minutes. Nighttime is especially dangerous; almost half (46 percent) of the fatal crashes in nighttime over the Labor Day weekend (compared to 25 percent in daytime fatal crashes) involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.

This Labor Day weekend don't let the festivities turn into fatalities. Remember that, aside from the obvious risks of killing yourself or someone else, driving impaired can also lead to serious punitive consequences. A DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and steep financial expenses; the average DUI can cost up to $10,000.

Funding for this special operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone: Report Drunk Drivers! – Call 9-1-1. The Office of Traffic Safety is offering a free mobile app – DDVIPCA.COM – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants.

I'm not sure how the DDVIPA website (it's not an "app" as far as I can tell) is supposed to work. All it does for me is pull up a Google map of the Coachella Valley and helpfully point out seven businesses that serve alcohol. You can click on them and get their names, but that is all. Maybe this will be ready in time for Labor Day 2015.

The Google Play Store has no app called "ddvipca."

Nothing in the Apple App Store either.

But when I use my Chrome browser on my smartphone - you have to use your browser because it's a website and not an app - I am offered the opportunity to register, which I did. It then displays those drinking establishments on the map again, but now I have the ability to "check-in" and see a description of a non-alcoholic drink. I am going to have to guess that after checking in you go through some personal interaction with a bartender (or member of the helpful waitstaff) which includes your phone and then that drink, as described, will be given to you free. You have to be within 300 feet of the establishment to check in, and I'm not, so that's as far as my testing goes.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | August 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Comments (5)

Today's Weather Report

| permalink | August 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Look What Just Washed Up

Self in Boston early 1980s by Rob Meyer
A photo of myself at Government Center in Boston
, very early 1980s, shared by Rob Meyers who still lives in Massachusetts.

Filed under History,Photography | permalink | August 20, 2014 at 08:59 AM | Comments (5)

August 19, 2014

Helms Bakery Trucks

Helms Bakery Trucks
The USC Library has five photos of brand new Helms Bakery Trucks delivered in 1931

Filed under Automotive,History,Photography | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

Adam Lambert & Queen

A full 2 hour, 10 minute concert with Adam Lambert filling Freddy Mercury's role.

Bohemian Rhapsody begins at 1:54:24 but it's the very short version, like what they used to play on Top 40 radio, when they played this on Top 40 radio.

Filed under Music | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

Eight Clothing Optional Gay Resorts

Gay Cities lists what they think are the eight best gay clothing optional resorts in the U.S. Palm Springs is the only city with more than one resort listed, and it's got three!

Tortuga del Sol.


Inndulge. Wow, I think the central photo on their home page is the same one they were using when I first stayed there nearly 20 years ago. Probably they've photoshopped those shorts into different colors since then, though.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Gay Issues,Naturism-Nudism,Travel | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

No Stinkin' Dubstep DJs Needed

Some genius (named either Anita or Martin) has devised some software that will create endless dubstep with no repeats. It runs on a phone. A sample:

They've put this system with its phone into a box with a lot of speakers and they're bringing it to Burning Man. Ho hum, right? I wouldn't walk over to Playoffs for dubstep night. But here comes the real gee-whiz part: humans can interact with the system to step up the intensity of the music by turning a handcrank (like on a Model T) until it reaches a level the program considers sufficient for a drop, the red button lights up, you hit it and the drop. Here's a demonstration:

I hope you didn't fail to notice the unintended consequence. If this is on during daylight hours, Burners may feel compelled to put their head into the speakers to try to see if the red light has come on.

Their blog.

Filed under Burning Man,Music | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training With GoPros

Somewhere in the U.S.

Class 14-07 was given the unique opportunity to fly with GoPro cameras in the cockpit of Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training's (ENJJPT) T-6A Texan II and T-38C Talon aircraft. The above video chronicles 55 weeks of undergraduate pilot training for 14-07, but is a tribute to all classes past, present, and future.

Filed under GoPro,Photography | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

A Whitman's Sampler Of GoPro Videos

Luc Bergeron, possibly to show off his excellent editing skills, gives us quick cuts from 178 of his favorite videos shot with a GoPro. Felix Baumgartner isn't in there, to my surprise.

Filed under GoPro,Photography | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

It's A Trend

Palm Springs - Black Rock City by Michael Lefkowitz
Michael Lefkowitz has created the map above which shows the Black Rock City street grid overlaid onto the City of Palm Springs
. Maybe before too long we'll have one of these for every city.

Filed under Burning Man,Coachella Valley | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

"art, self-expression, and self-reliance"

Who else but Parade magazine would publish the very first 100% G-rated article explaining Burning Man. Written at whatever level Parade writes at (6th grade?) and no hint of drugs, sex, nudity, controversy. It's art. All art. Just art. (Some craft). And then we burn it.

"Honey, I read there's a lovely art festival going on just north of Gerlach. Let's take a drive after lunch, shall we?!"

I'm recommending closeted Burners use this article as a starting point when they try to explain to their grandma (or whomever) why they couldn't make it to the Labor Day picnic.

BTW, the subject of the top photo on that article is Siberfi who has a collection of very good photos on Flickr, including many at Burning Man.
Burning Man 2010
Here he is with the family unit

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 19, 2014 at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2014

Director John Brown's Farewell Address

John Brown has really, finally reached his last month as a Director for the Mission Springs Water District. Today at the board meeting there was cake, balloons, lemonade and his farewell speech:

I just want to say that when I first decided to run for the water district it wasn't because I wanted to change something or fix something. It was really because I think I, like 'most everybody in our community, felt that the water district is a strong water district, does manage its resources well, does a great job. I just really wanted to be part of that and that really came from my own work on the Cabot's Pueblo Museum Board, and as President of that, learning - we actually put that water room together, then and I...as I learned the history of the water and how really important the water is to not just the history, but the economy of Desert Hot Springs and how really intertwined it is, I really wanted to be part of the effort to help protect that water and to manage that water. I was very fortunate and honored to be selected to do that over the last seven years. And I think we've accomplished a lot in that time, especially around protecting our groundwater. We've added so many more sewers and abated so many more of those septic tanks. The effort that goes into it by staff and by the board to work for every single dime and to scratch for every single penny to just add another inch, another foot of sewer. It's really been a great effort and one where we're almost like within finger's reach of completing that. As I stand here today our groundwater is so much more significantly safer than it was seven years ago, and I'm very, very proud of that. I think for our constituents that's a very important thing.

Also in my seven years I feel we've had a much larger impact in so many other areas. When I look at the Coachella Valley and I think of our leadership role in developing the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan and really pushing for that long before...and bringing people to the table. Our leadership role was so important in developing that plan which really now helps to insure that our projects do receive consideration, we do receive money, and that money is going really at the very best place, not just for us, but for the entire Coachella Valley. And for me, having worked for so many years here in the Coachella Valley with the community based non-profit organizations, the most important aspect of that plan was the inclusion of disadvantaged communities in every single aspect of the development of that plan to insure that those disadvantaged communities were really, really included and impacted in a positive way. So I'm very proud of that. Along with that, our work with the Multi=Species Habitat act, our work with Palm Springs in developing a plan for Interstate 10 and Indian. We are in leadership positions for all of those things that have a huge impact on the entire Coachella Valley.

And when I look at the state, our impact on the State of California and our leadership role in the water community, I think there's a very great example of that, and that is that we had a...we fought back and pushed against a very mean-spirited, irresponsible initiative that was going to make it to the ballot without our legal challenges. What we did in that process was we - not only was it clear that had that initiative passed it would have been the end of our water district. It would have also jeopardized democratically elected water districts throughout our state. And what it did was it brought a lot of attention, thanks to John Pinckney and the firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, to this whole issue and some of the really flawed aspects of the initiative process in the State of California that really, really seriously need to be reformed. We did that. We really did that for the entire water community for the whole state.

And when I look at our impact nationally, I think there's a great example is right now the WRRDA ["Water Resources Reform and Development Act"] bill. This is the federal bill that funds water resource development throughout the country, and big, huge projects through the Army Corps of Engineers. We actually drafted language that is in that bill that was approved by both the House and the Senate, bipartisan, which insures that smaller districts like ours don't get shoved to the side, and actually get recognized for the work they do in bringing in other resources to match what's going on, and that our projects are given equal consideration to some of the bigger projects. You know, that's something that we did.

When I look at international, the real clear example of that is our award-winning water. Our award-winning water has brought international attention to this water district and to this community. Because of those medals and those honors that we've received year after year, there are people who travel from all over the world to come here to experience our groundwater and our wonderful hot mineral water. And that is something that this water district has accomplished, because we are the ones that are out there going through the process of going after those medals and promoting that we won those medals. And that brought international attention to our district. So I think we've got so many things to be proud of.

On a personal note, I have to mention that when I first got elected to the water district, I didn't even think or know that within a very short time I would be adopting a 3-month old medically fragile baby and trying to raise him by myself. This the emotional part because I brought that baby into these meetings and everybody has been so nice to Cody. And they've been so warm. Whether they took their turn holding him, or dealing with him, playing with him when he was fussy or reminding me that I left the sippy bottle in the refrigerator. It really was...it really is true that it takes a village to raise a child. The water district has been for Cody for over six years has been part of his village that's been raising him. I just say that, for me, that was a very remarkable and very important thing that makes it really difficult to leave all of you. I just want to say, again, in closing all of you have been so great to work with.

Arden, I've learned so much from you as a manager. About how to be patient, how to relentlessly communicate ideas and to take the time to keep talking about it. I found myself incorporating some of your style into my own style because of just how effective I think you've been. What a wonderful friend you've become too. We've had so many good times and enjoyed so many great memories.

Mr. John Furbee, you are my hero. You are a living legend in this community. You have a huge heart. You give and give and you give in a way that really inspires everybody to give or try to give to that level. I really have enjoyed our time and our friendship and I consider you a mentor. I really have enjoyed working with you over these years.

Jeff, our thinking...you're like my compadre often on the board. What I think I've learned from you and what I feel is really important is you are a person who is willing to compromise, but you're uncompromising in making sure that everybody understands all of the impacts and all of the details of decisions they're making. You really take your role of steward of the water district very, very seriously and, for me, that has been something that has inspired me to be more careful when I'm looking at the details of a deal. You really have brought that to the table for us and me.

Russ, neighbor and friend, I have to say that when you look at your background and my background, they are so different. Yet here we are, this many years together, sharing what I think has been such a cordial and mutually respectful relationship. I really have felt appreciated by you. I've felt that you are the type of person that is a natural leader in that you listen to everybody and you really try not to just find a compromise, but find a way of melding everyone's ideas to come up with a better product. It's been great working with you.

And Nancy, our going toe to toe has been epic and legendary. The chemistry we've got is something special, but I think our chemistry - two things I want to say - is you have made me a better board member, because of your expertise and your understanding and knowledge of water in our area. Every time I had to go toe to toe with you, I've had to make sure I did my homework, and that I read and that I knew, because if I didn't know, that I wasn't up on it, you were going to call me on it. "Wait a second, you don't know what you're talking about." That's made me a better board member. And I think the chemistry between us has made us a really, really effective advocacy team in both Sacramento and Washington DC. Working with you on the Hill has been really one of the best experiences I've ever had in all my time of advocacy, because again, you really bring out the very best in me, Nancy, and I really appreciate that.

I just want to say in closing, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to head an LGBT community foundation, the third largest in our country, in San Diego. It's a great opportunity. But I'm not selling my house. I built that house. I love Desert Hot Springs. I consider Desert Hot Springs to be my home. I'm going to be back here some day and Cody's going to be back here some day and when we are back here we'll look forward to working with all of you and finding other ways to help make our community better.

Thank you. God bless you.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | August 18, 2014 at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)

MSWD Approves Water Restrictions

A PDF of the complete ordinance is available here, but here's the essential part:


SECTION 1. Except where necessary to address an immediate health and safety need or to comply with a term or condition in a permit issued by a state or federal agency, the Mission Springs Water District hereby implements subsections (1)-(5) of its Section 15.02.1 Stage 1-A Drought Contingency Plan as follows:

(1) The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures is prohibited .

(2) The use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use is prohibited.

(3) The application of potable water to driveways, sidewalks, gutters, roadways, concrete surfaces, asphalt surfaces or other impermeable surfaces is prohibited.

(4) The use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system is prohibited.

(5) Watering lawns, grass, or turf is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

SECTION 2. MSWD hereby implements the following civil penalties from Section 15.09 of its Threatened Water Supply Shortage Stage No.2 for violations of the mandatory actions set forth above. Such civil penalties shall be as follows:

(1) First Violation - written warning (15.09.01)

(2) Second Violation - $100 surcharge (15.09.02)

(3) Third Violation - $200 surcharge and/or installation of flow restrictor (15.09.03)

(4) Subsequent Violation - discontinuance of service

SECTION 3. MSWD hereby implements the notice and hearing requirements for all civil penalties from Sections 15.10 — 15.13 of its Threatened Water Supply Shortage Stage No.2.

SECTION 4. This ordinance shall remain in effect for 270 days from the date of its adoption. If the SWRCB extends its emergency regulation, then this ordinance shall remain in effect for as long as the SWRCB extends its emergency regulation.

And, to show you they mean it, MSWD is letting most of the grass around their headquarters building go brown.
MSWD Removing Turf (2442)

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs | permalink | August 18, 2014 at 06:45 PM | Comments (1)

For A Sense Of Scale

Black Rock City map overlaid onto San Francisco
Someone overlaid the Black Rock City street grid onto San Francisco to compare sizes

Filed under Burning Man,Cities/Urbanism | permalink | August 18, 2014 at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

Toastmasters On The Playa

This will be a genuine, official Toastmasters meeting at Burning Man. I think this is a first.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | August 18, 2014 at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)