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April 30, 2010

Samson Martinez Arrested

You probably remember the 16-year old who was shot near Via Real and Hacienda on April 6. Two adults and one juvenile were apprehended with our police department's usual efficiency. There was, however, still one adult suspect at large. Today that suspect has been arrested.
Samson Martinez
Samson Martinez
; the tattoos are "TCB" and "DHS."





Arrest Made in Shooting Case

DATE/TIME OF UPDATE: Friday, April 30, 2010, 1:15 PM

SUSPECT: Martinez, Samson Garcia; 18 years, Male, Hispanic, 5' 6", 210 lbs, Brown/Brown;

Address: Transient, DHS

CHARGES: Attempt Murder with a Gang Enhancement; Bail: $1 Million

The investigation of the below described attempt murder incident led our detectives to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Samson Martinez for shooting the 16 year old male as described in the previous releases. The investigation into his whereabouts led detectives to Palm Springs where he was arrested last night, by Palm Springs Police officers, without incident. He was transported to Riverside County Jail where he is currently being held with a bail of $1 million. The gun we believe was used in the shooting has been recovered during the course of this investigation.

Any information regarding this press release should be directed to Desert Hot Springs Police Sergeant Dan Bressler at 760.329.6411 x315.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | April 30, 2010 at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2010

Tablet Market Adjusting

The iPad has been heard from, and now comes news from the Windows side of the tablet market.

HP has killed their Windows 7 tablet. The main problem was Windows 7. HP has also recently acquired Palm, which means they own the Palm WebOS. Maybe they'll come back with a tablet running some version of that.

Microsoft confirmed the rumored Courier when it announced it would terminate the project. Courier was to have been a dual-screen tablet.

Filed under Technology | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

Mary Gibson has passed away

Mary Gibson

Mary Gibson, Director of the Mission Springs Water District since 1985, passed away today. From her bio on the water district website:

Mary is on the Executive Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies/ Joint Powers Insurance Authority. Her association with MSWD began in 1964, as secretary/treasurer to the Board for four years. Mary was Desert Hot Springs' Senior Inspiration Award winner in 2004. She was the first woman president of the Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce board and the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year in 2001. During her 20 years on the Riverside County National Date Festival board of directors, she was vice president and president. Mary was on the Palm Springs Unified School District's board of Trustees for five years with positions as clerk and vice president.

She was the winner in 2004 of Iris Award presented by the World Water Rescue Foundation "for her 30 years of outstanding dedication to protecting and preserving the waters of Desert Hot Springs." The other winner that year was U.N. Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Rashid Alimov.

She was the first DHS resident elected to the board of the Palm Springs Unified School District. She was a mover and a shaker who helped make Desert Hot Springs what it is today.

UPDATE: The Desert Sun's obituary for Mary Gibson.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)


"Hatcam" would more accurately be called something like "Hatpod" or "Tricap" but "Hatcam" does sound better. They make a baseball hat, available in any of three color schemes, and in the bill of the cap they have installed a standard tripod screw mount for your camera. Now, you could use it with any camera that has a tripod mount on the base (almost all do), but there's the weight factor. What they suggest (and will sell to you) are either the Flip Mino, the Flip MinoHD, or the Kodak ZX1. I wouldn't even consider the Flip Mino. If you're buying a video camera now, why go with anything less than HD? You'll regret your fuzzy memories the rest of your miserable life.

Let's compare the essential differences between four small HD video cameras:

Flip MinoHD 1st Gen.Flip MinoHD 2nd Gen.Flip UltraHDKodak ZX1
Price Amazon*$148$200$150$80
Price B&H*$160$200$149$77
Weather ResistantNoNoNoYes
Weight3.4 oz.4.1 oz.6 oz.3.2 oz
BatteryInternal onlyInternal only2 AA2 AA
Memory4 GB internal8 GB internal8 GB internal128 MB internal
plus SDHC cards up to 32 GB

* Prices at Amazon and B&H vary by color! So, shop around.

I'd say the Kodak wins. Lightest weight, biggest memory, cheapest price, and it uses easily replaceable AA batteries. The weather resistant feature makes it perfect for Burning Man. And it comes in pink.

The Hatcam hat alone, with tripod mount, is $30. Their camera prices are inflated. $180 for the MinoHD 1st Generation, $140 for the Kodak.

In their FAQ they answer my top question:

Does the camcorder feel heavy on the brim of the hat?
The reason why we utilize the pocket camcorders is because they are the lightest camcorders on the market. Both camcorders are so light you'll forget you're wearing the hatcam. Our patent pending mounting system was designed to give the camcorder added stability. The mounting system and camcorder make the hatcam so stable and lightweight that you will be completely satisfied with the "feel" of the hatcam. You'll forget it's even on. That's our promise to you.

Filed under Photography,Shopping | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 05:47 PM | Comments (2)

DHS Relay For Life On Saturday

The 24 hours of walking (and fun) that is Relay For Life begins at 9 AM Saturday, May 1, at Desert Hot Springs High School. If you are a participant, or if you plan to visit before 8 PM, we're asking that you donate at least two cans of food which will be used to stabilize the Luminaria instead of the usual sand. Afterwards, the canned food will be donated to Food Now. The canned food should be (A) nutritious and (B) heavy enough to not be blown away. That means no Pringles! Luminaria can still be purchased online, or you can buy them at Relay itself.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Rhode Island Republicans Advance

The Rhode Island Republican Party officially welcomed the Log Cabin Republicans at an event held in Providence last night. I don't know for sure, but I suspect this is the first time the Log Cabin Republicans have been officially welcomed as part of the real Republican Party. If they keep making progress like this, full liberation should be achieved around the year 2350.

Wicked Pissah! Photo by Sarah B in SD.

Raymond Beltran, organizer of the Rhode Island Log Cabins, was a registered Democrat as recently as 2008. One of the reasons he switched parties is because of the "Democratic Party's inability to 'produce results' for gays and lesbians." Yes, that's good Log Cabin logic.

Using similar reasoning, if I were disappointed at the lack of measurable snowfall in Desert Hot Springs, I would move to Death Valley, camp at Badwater and organize a snowman building competition.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

You Need This Shovel!

A video with very good music that demonstrates the astonishing array of functions of the humble spade. It appears to be a Chinese language version of the Home Shopping Network.

Filed under Shopping | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

California Supreme Court to Hear Plastic Bag Ban Case

The issue to be decided in the Manhattan Beach plastic bag ban case is NOT whether a city is permitted to ban plastic bags. It's to decide whether the city has to complete an EIR before banning the bags. The city determined that the scope of the plastic bag ban was so small that an EIR was not required. Plastic bag manufacturers disagree. Those manufacturers prevailed in Superior Court and again in the Court of Appeal in a 2-1 decision. The dissenting appeals court judge said "that requiring a small city like Manhattan Beach to expend public resources to prepare an EIR for a ban the city felt was environmentally friendly was stretching the CEQA code and EIR requirements to 'absurdity.'"

Is "absurdity" an accepted reason to skip over the EIR in California? Maybe the Supreme Court will clarify that.

Filed under California | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

"Unfathomable Shock"

That's how Eric Bellm describes the feelings of the team working on the Nuclear Compton Telescope that was to be launched via balloon in Australia earlier today.

Mr. Bellm goes on to say:

NCT's core components appear to have come through remarkably unscathed. The cradle landed upright, and the detectors and shields appear undamaged. The card cages were scattered about, but their exteriors show only minor damage. The electronics bay was destroyed, though, and all of the systems in it suffered some degree of damage. Virtually all of the cabling snapped. Many of these systems have been tested and used for decades. They have become so familiar that their loss feels oddly personal.

Filed under Science,Technology | permalink | April 29, 2010 at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

Funerary News

Via Obit:

Promession is a method of disposing of a body sending the deceased along on his or her voyage to his or her next phase of existence. The body is first dipped in liquid nitrogen (-321°F or -196°C) and then subject to ultrasound for 60 seconds. The resulting coarse powder is then vacuum-dried (yes, just like Maxwell House). Any metal parts are extracted. The end product is a pinkish-beige (we ARE all pink inside), dry, odorless, organic matter. You do NOT want to put it in an urn on your mantel because, as we said, it's organic matter. It WILL decay. It can (and probably should) be buried. You do not want to compost it for the same reason you don't throw any meat into your compost heap. The advantages to the Promession process are that it costs less than whole-body burial (about the same as cremation) and the end product is good in your garden (when buried).

Sea-Urn solves the embarrassment of wind-tossed ashes when you dispose of cremation ashes at sea - or in any body of water. Once the ashes are placed in the Sea-Urn, you go to your preferred watery place and put the Sea-Urn in the water. It becomes gradually waterlogged, sinks and dissolves in about twenty minutes. "Ron," you may ask, "couldn't I accomplish the same thing with a simple 99¢ cardboard box?" Yes, you could, so long as you make sure it doesn't have any leaks and you seal it up with a water soluble glue, like Elmer's. No plastic tape!

Shell is the very same concept as Sea-Urn, but rather than the Sea-Urn's traditional appearance, Shell looks like an alien escape pod from Star Trek. Very California.

Francois Robert might take your bones (if you don't take advantage of any of the above methods) and re-arrange them into some symbol worth photographing. Slideshow of photos here.

| permalink | April 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2010

A Different Mexicali Earthquake Video

The L.A. Times is hosting this video of the effects of the April 4 earthquake in Mexicali. The difference between this one and all the others you've seen is that this video shows a pupfish pool called Devil's Hole. It's in Nevada and is technically part of Death Valley National Park, although it is not contiguous with the main part of the park.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times is no longer hosting the video. But you can see it here.

A map showing the distance from Mexicali to Devil's Hole.
Mexicali to Devils Hole

| permalink | April 28, 2010 at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Desert Hot Springs Senior Center

I don't think I've been on the Senior Center's mailing list before now, but they asked me to post this, so here it is:

DHS Senior Center Schedule for May 2010
11-777 West Dr. Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
760-329-6411 ext 210


- 10:30a Arthritis Exercise $2.00

- 11:00a-1:00p Weatherization Program

- 11:30a Lunch $3.00 donation requested

- 1:00p First and third Monday of every month Immunization shots provided

- 1:00p Art Class $3.00 donation requested


- 8:30a Chair Massage donations appreciated

- 9:00a Blood Pressure donations appreciated

- 9:30a Fun Singing

- 10:45a Tai Chi $2.00

- 11:30a Lunch $3.00 donation requested

- 11:30a Hidden Harvest May 11 & 25

- 12:00p Pinochle

- 2:00p Book Club meets second Tuesday of every month


- 8:00a Paralegal by appointment 1st and 2nd Wednesday of the month

- 9:00a Mahjong

- 10:00a-12:00p Secure Horizon Representative May 12th

- 10:00a Line Dancing $4.00

- 11:30a Lunch $3.00 donation requested


- 7:00a Tops

- 10:45a Tai Chi $2.00

- 11:30a Lunch $3.00 donation requested

- 12:00p Pinochle no charge

- NEW ACTIVITY! 12:30p Chair Yoga $3.00 donation requested

- NEW ACTIVITY!1:30p Piano Class $3.00 donation requested


- 10:30a Arthritis Exercise $2.00

- 11:30a Lunch $3.00 donation requested

- 5:30p-7:00p Ballroom Dancing

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

Amending Hawaii's Open Records Act

The Washington Post is reporting that the Hawaii legislature has passed a measure allowing the state to ignore repeated requests for President Obama's birth certificate. So, I was curious enough to go read the bill itself to see how they wrote it. The bill does NOT, in fact, address Barack Obama's birth certificate specifically. What it does is insert this into their open records act:

provided that an agency shall not be required to make government records available or respond to a person's subsequent duplicative request, if:

(1) After conducting a good faith review and comparison of the earlier request and the pending request, the agency finds that the pending request is duplicative or substantially similar in nature;

(2) The pending request has already been responded to within the past year; and

(3) The agency's response to the pending request would remain unchanged."

The change sunsets in 2014.

| permalink | April 28, 2010 at 04:42 PM | Comments (1)

The Unicycle For The Rest Of Us

You can buy it now for only $1,500. Made in America. A battery charge will take you about 10 miles. Recharging takes about 2 hours. None of the videos show anyone wearing a backpack, a fanny pack, or carrying a bag. I wonder if there's something about its dynamics that require the rider to be some sort of standard human without baggage.

Filed under Cycling,Technology | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

Perry v. Schwarzenegger Closing Arguments June 16

Put it on your calendar! Also, May 7 will be the day for the defendants (pro-Prop 8) to submit their motion to suppress the testimony of what had been their own star witness, Dr. Tam.

Filed under California,Gay Issues | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)


Since they've got a Google ad popping up on Ron's Log now, I guess it's time to mention Areolas Spa and Resort, the newest spa in Desert Hot Springs. Clothing optional and "based on tantric traditions." They say, "Tantra is the 'ancient science which uses specific techniques to expand and liberate the consciousness from its limitations.'" Rates start at $129/night. Day use is $25, reserved a day in advance. The website says they may be offering classes, clinics or retreats on these subjects:

  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Zen and Meditation
  • Couples and Singles [eh?]
  • Tantric Massage
  • Sacred baths for Couples and Singles
  • Women's Sensuality Class and Clinic

They've got all your spa services, plus more. We know they're on the right page when we read this: "[We] have traveled the world researching small resorts and have designed Areolas to blend what we have personally enjoyed. We chose Desert Hot Springs as one of the few true vortexes of the earth."

"Areolas is designed for couples of any lifestyle and a place for single women and groups of women to feel comfortable." Translation: gay couples are welcome, single men are not.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Naturism-Nudism,Travel | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Vincent Kartheiser

In this long-ish interview in The Observer, Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell on Mad Men tells us some unusual things.

  • He lives in Hollywood, but...
  • He lives in a one-room bungalow.
  • He has no car. He takes the bus or walks.
  • He doesn't have a toilet in his home. Goes to his neighbors.
  • Has no television.
  • Might get rid of his bed.
  • Hasn't had a mirror for "six or seven years." Uses the mirrors on parked cars.
  • He doesn't "really use an agent." [Sounds like hedging].

Filed under Television | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Will Winter Never End?

The Desert Sun talks to all the usual suspects about when this damn cold weather will end, or, more specifically, when will it touch 100° again? The answer is (of course) nobody knows.

It's not entirely unusual for the valley to stay below the century mark through the month of April.

For instance, the valley didn't reach the triple-digits until May in 2008 and 2006, AccuWeather data shows.

Sometimes, the 100-degree barrier is broken in March.

The earliest the valley has entered the triple-digits is [February] 27, when Thermal saw a high of 100 in 1986, according to the Western Regional Climate Center.

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

Cleaning A Camera Sensor

Watching this video I have become convinced I should pay a professional to do it.

Filed under Photography | permalink | April 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2010

Today's Cloud

Lenticular cloud over Palm Springs Photo by °FlorianLenticular cloud over Palm Springs Photo by NancyCain

UPDATE: Here's a third photo, this one taken by Roger Rice from Mission Springs Park.
mission springs park cloud by Roger Rice

Lenticular clouds 04.26.2010
View from the upper tram station
by bossco.

Andy Cardenas posted his on Facebook.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | April 27, 2010 at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)