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June 30, 2014


Press Release: Child Endangerment Agency: Hemet Station Incident Date: June 29, 2014 Time: 5:00 PM Incident Location: 31000 block of Pine Street, Garner Valley Reporting Officer: Sergeant Craig McDonald


On Monday, June 30, 2014, around 10:00 AM, deputies responded to a child endangerment call in the 31000 block of Pine Street , in Garner Valley. The reporting party advised she tried to put her two-year-old daughter to bed the previous evening but she would not fall asleep. Her daughter was talking rapidly, scratching her skin, could not sit still and was very agitated. Thinking there might be some medical issue with her daughter, the reporting party took her to a local hospital to be examined. Over the course of the evening, the examination revealed the child tested positive for methamphetamine in her system.

Through the course of the investigation, deputies learned that the child's grandmother, Cynthia Watson (51 years old from Aloha Oregon), was staying at the Pine Street address with the family. Deputies discovered that Watson had made a cup of tea the night before and placed methamphetamine in the tea to get herself high. At some point the cup of methamphetamine-laced tea was left unattended on a counter, when the two-year-old victim took the cup and drank some of the contents.

Watson was arrested for felony child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine. Watson was booked at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility, with a bail of $35,000.00. The two year old victim was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Filed under Public Safety | permalink | June 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

It Was 10 Years Ago Tomorrow

That Cassini settled into Saturn orbit and began to send back photos, a job that it is still doing today. Follow the link for sample images or go here.

Filed under Photography,Science | permalink | June 30, 2014 at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

It Was 150 Years Ago Today

That President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act.
Yosemite National Park

Filed under History | permalink | June 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Emergency Workflow Chart

Work Flow After Nuclear Blast
This workflow chart comes from a 1956 Civil Defense pamphlet
and provides the most accurate description that I've seen of how things would be done after a nuclear attack. We all start at the top, happily going about our day when Ground Zero happens. Then we are shuffled between first aid stations, hospitals, and identification units until we end up at our final destination: Vital Statistics Registration.

The pamphlet's full title is Mortuary Services in Civil Defense and you can get a complete copy here.

Filed under Public Safety | permalink | June 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

More About The FAA's Rules On Drones

Bruce Simpson shares his well informed opinion on the FAA's recent "recommendations" regarding UAVs.

Filed under Libertarianism,Photography,Technology | permalink | June 30, 2014 at 10:48 AM | Comments (4)

June 28, 2014

The Gate Opens

A video made at last year's Burning Man at the moment the gate opened at 6 PM on Sunday. This is something I've never seen.

Bear in mind that the speed limit of 5 MPH is very strictly enforced, which is why you see people driving the way they do. That yellow school bus, ignore it. It's not even on a road, so that tells me it's carrying gate volunteers or DPW people. It is not a bunch of just-arriving Burners who will be camping out in their merry yellow bus. It's just a bus.

The big square of neatly lined up vehicles next to the gate is a complete mystery to me. My first thought was that it is the punishment box for those fools who arrive early. They put you in there to intentionally delay you. I've heard of waits of an hour or longer. But they don't seem to make them wait very long in this video. So it just might be that if you arrive at the gate before 6 PM, but not very much before, they check your ticket and put you over until 6 PM just so they don't get too much of a build up at the gate. But why that would matter to them is a mystery to me.

Over on the opposite side of the entrance road is Will Call, which has only a few vehicles parked.

The gate will open at 10 AM this year, even though officially the event doesn't begin until 6 PM. Here's how BM phrases it officially: "The event itself officially starts at 6pm Sunday, August 24, and it's expected that participants use the earlier arrival time as opportunity to set up their camp infrastructure during the day." It sounds like they're trying to say that we can come in early, but we can only use that early time to build camp. Anybody having fun, appreciating art, making art, or playing music before 6 PM may be severely chastised.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | June 28, 2014 at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2014

The Visibility Of Tuesday's Vandenberg Launch Could Be Good

Tuesday's [July 1] early morning launch of a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFB remains on schedule. The Delta is slated to lift off from Space Launch Complex 2 West at 02:56:44 PDT (09:56:44 UTC), the start of a 30-second launch window. Following liftoff, the rocket will rise vertically for several seconds, and then slowly pitch over and head southward. Several minutes later, the Delta should place NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite into a polar orbit.

Since the launch occurs on a moonless night, the event could be visible to the naked eye for hundreds of miles - perhaps as far away as portions of Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico.

Just before liftoff, the Delta's first stage liquid propellant main engine and three strap-on solid fuel rocket motors will ignite. Observers in outlying areas (15 to 75 miles away) may see a flash on the horizon from the direction of the pad, a few seconds of darkness, and then a rising orange orb or "star." The brightness and color of the Delta at this point will be largely due to the solid fuel motors' brilliant orange flame.

At T+ 1 minute 4 seconds, the solid rocket motors will burn out and the first stage will be powered solely by its liquid propellant main engine. Since the liquid propellant engine produces a dimmer, colorless flame compared to the solid rocket motors, the Delta will drop in brightness and resemble a moving white star.

Late into the first stage burn, observers in dark locations may see a tenuous, elongated or jellyfish-like, exhaust plume from the main engine. At T+ 4 minutes 24 seconds, the first stage main engine will cut off and the vehicle will disappear.

Several seconds later, the second stage will ignite and the rocket will continue its gradual climb into orbit. For most naked eye observers, however, the second stage burn will probably be invisible.

The visibility of the launch will depend almost entirely on the weather. During the warmer months of the year, the weather in central and southern California is fairly predictable. During the pre-dawn hours, the coast and areas several miles inland are usually plagued by fog or a layer of low clouds that extend up to about 1,500 to 2,000 feet (457 to 610 M) above sea level. However, at the same time, California's interior tends to be clear.

Although the naked eye is adequate for viewing the launch, optical assistance will provide a better view. Binocular are good, but tripod-mounted binoculars are even better. An astronomical telescope will give the best view and may provide a dynamic, surreal light show.

To view the launch, find a location that is as high as possible, has an unobstructed horizon, and is far from city lights. Perhaps the best place to watch would be a spot in the coastal mountains or hills parallel to the rocket's flight path and high enough to be above any coastal low clouds.

If you plan to drive to the mountains for the launch, allow yourself plenty of time to get there and drive very carefully. Mountain roads are dangerous and careless driving or parking can lead to tragedy. Also, be aware of your surroundings after you get out of your vehicle. I once had a small rattlesnake slither by me as I waited on top of a mountain to view a launch.

For further information about viewing Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches, go to the following Web page:


I think camping on the peak of Mt. San Jacinto would give a satisfactory view.

Filed under California,Coachella Valley,Science | permalink | June 26, 2014 at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)


Turns out GoPro is being traded on NASDAQ, not NYSE, so no closing bell, but there were GoPro cameras present, nonetheless. The stock reached $31 today.

Filed under GoPro | permalink | June 26, 2014 at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

My L.A. World Naked Bike Ride Photos

This slideshow is made up almost entirely of photos shot with my GoPro mounted on the back of my helmet, so extremely little thought or skill was involved. All I had to do was keep my head from falling off. Enjoy not only the cyclists, but the changing Los Angeles streetscapes. The ride was a little over 16 miles long.

No music added. Please add your own.

Filed under Cities/Urbanism,Cycling,GoPro,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | June 26, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2014

Utah Gets What It Paid For: Another Loss

I gotta wonder if there is an online forum just for federal judges that allows them to schedule all their same-sex marriage decisions to come out on the same day.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling that found Utah's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Here's the decision written by Judge Carlos Lucero who got his law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1964. He was appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 1995 by President Clinton. Joining in the majority opinion was Judge Jerome A. Holmes who got his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1988. He was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by President Bush in 2006.

Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. dissented. He got his law degree from Fordham University in 1967. He was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by the other President Bush in 1991; confirmed in 1992. His dissent begins on page 66 of the PDF that includes the majority decision.

Justice Scalia is cited in the majority decision:

Instead of explaining why same-sex marriage qua same-sex marriage is undesirable, each of the appellants' justifications rests fundamentally on a sleight of hand in which same-sex marriage is used as a proxy for a different characteristic shared by both same-sex and some opposite-sex couples. Same-sex marriage must be banned, appellants argue, because same-sex couples are not naturally procreative. But the state permits many other types of non-procreative couples to wed. See Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 605 (Scalia, J., dissenting) ("[W]hat justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples . . . ? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry."). Same-sex marriage cannot be allowed, appellants assert, because it is better for children to be raised by biological parents. Yet adoptive parents, who have the full panoply of rights and duties of biological parents, are free to marry. See Utah Code § 78B-6-139 (adoptive parents have same rights and duties). As are opposite-sex couples who choose assisted reproduction. See §§ 78B-15-701 to 707 (providing rules for parental rights in cases of assisted reproduction); §§ 78B-15-801 to 809 (providing rules governing gestational agreements).

In his dissent, Judge Kelly says there is no fundamental right to marriage, despite the fact that Supreme Court has said there is. Later in his dissent, when citing the Loving decision, he acknowledges there is a fundamental right to marriage, but that the Loving decision was based on a Constitutional ban on racial discrimination, not a fundamental right to marriage.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | June 25, 2014 at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

Today: Indiana

Craig Bowen and Jake Miller in Indianapolis
Craig Bowen and Jake Miller get married in the first same-sex wedding in Indianapolis today.

Here's the court decision. Fourteenth Amendment again: "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana's same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional."

The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue. In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a samesex marriage. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street.

Judge Richard Young took some pains to make it clear that his decisions applies to all laws, existing now or in the future, that might try to prevent same-sex marriages; and he goes on to say his decision applies to every officer of the state government - except the Governor. We're not going to have some obscure town clerk trying to muck up the works. Not sure why there's an exception for the Governor, unless he simply has nothing at all to do with marriages. No stay, no delay, marriages start right now.

The Indianapolis Star.
Judge Young got his law degree from George Mason University School of Law in 1980. He was appointed to his seat in 1998 by President Clinton and was approved by a unanimous Senate vote.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | June 25, 2014 at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

Night Launch From Vandenberg

The launch of a Delta II carrying NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 is scheduled for July 1 at 2:56 AM Pacific Time from Vandenberg AFB. Sometimes, as the event approaches, Vandenberg will release information about the launch's potential visibility from various parts of southern California.

Filed under California,Coachella Valley,Science | permalink | June 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2014

Name That Town

Desert Hot Springs
Photo by Michael Rymer.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | June 24, 2014 at 02:20 PM | Comments (1)

"Kidnapped For Christ"

July 10, 7:30 PM on Showtime.

A documentary which follows a young evangelical filmmaker, who is granted unprecedented access to a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic for troubled US teens that bills itself as a rehabilitation center. There she discovers the shocking secrets of the behavior modification program that is being forced upon students who have been kidnapped with their parents' permission, and she makes it her mission to free a young man who will change her life.

Filed under Gay Issues,Religion | permalink | June 24, 2014 at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2014

Black Rock City Street Names


  • Antioch
  • Basra
  • Cinnamon
  • Darjeeling
  • Ephesus
  • Frankincense
  • Gold
  • Haifa
  • Isfahan
  • Jade
  • Kandahar
  • Lapis lazuli

It looks like we'll be camping on Jade, which is at least easy to say regardless of levels of intoxication or exhaustion. Lapis lazuli sounds like a cool place to live, but the outer road gets a lot of traffic and dust.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | June 23, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

The 5-Mile Airport Radius

The FAA has posted some reminders of rules for UAS/UAV/drones whatever you like to call 'em. These are not new. One of them is that if you operate your UAV within 5 miles of an airport, you have to notify that airport. I roughed in the 5-mile radius circles around the Palm Springs airport and the Bermuda Dunes airport on the map below. The Cochran airport in Thermal is not on this map, but there would be a third circle for that.
Coachella Valley Airports 5 Mile Radius
As you can see, these cover a very wide area
. The entire city of Palm Springs south of the 10 freeway is included. Even the lower part of the Chino cone. Even without any crystal ball, I can confidently predict this rule will be broken.

I don't know exactly how you're supposed to contact them, how far in advance, or what specific information you will need to tell them, but the general phone number for the Palm Springs airport is (760) 318-3800.

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | June 23, 2014 at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

Burning Man Documentary

First, there's Event Horizon, an hour-long documentary that focuses on Reno and Burning Man's effect on it. It was released in June 2012. Reno has more Burners per capita than any other city, we learn. It was produced by Nathan Aaron Heller (who has some official connection to the Burning Man org in some part of his life) and Sunny Minedew, who has experience as a videographer. I haven't watched the whole thing yet, which doesn't mean I can't have an opinion. We're talking about Burning Man, after all, and at Burning Man you never get to see all of anything. It's a talking head documentary that moves at an easy pedestrian pace; a style that is perfectly at home on PBS (or NPR). It's a lot of official Burning Man message as shared by Burning Man officials. None of those officials have ever come to hang out at our camp and the only time I've ever seen them is when I've attended some sort of official forum at Center Camp to discuss an issue related to life on the playa. I have never seen Larry Harvey, but I've never gone looking for him either. This documentary will probably give the viewer a decent intellectual understanding of Burning Man, but it's not about what it's like to wake up with your face covered in playa dust.

Duck Vehicle (1051)
And I learned that this well known art car is built on an amphibious vehicle that was military surplus from the Vietnam war
. The owner bought it in Florida, shipped it to Burbank and then created this.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | June 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2014

Lazy Pancake(s)

Your regular pancake recipe (no changes) into a rice cooker. Turn it on. When it's done, it's done. The article says about 45 minutes, but I'm sure that will vary depending on the cooker and the moisture content of your pancake.

If you try this, let us know. Pics would be nice. I don't do pancakes. But I don't think this has to be limited to just pancakes. Try any cake recipe. Or a cookie recipe to make one giant cookie.

Filed under Food and Drink | permalink | June 22, 2014 at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2014

U.S. Congress Chipping Away At Anti-Medical Marijuana Actions

A brief article about Senator Rand Paul's introduction of a budget amendment that would bar the DEA from using federal funds to go after medical marijuana operations in any state where it's legal. The House has already approved a similar measure.

Also, Senator John Walsh of Montana has introduced an amendment that would block ATF from using federal funds to violate the Second Amendment rights of medical marijuana patients. Here's the text of Walsh's amendment:

SA 3285. Mr. WALSH submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 4660, making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

Sec. __. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, none of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms , and Explosives may be used, with respect to registered medicinal marijuana patients in the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to enforce the provisions of subsection (d)(3) or (g)(3) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, against a registered medicinal marijuana patient based on either the status of the patient as a registered medicinal marijuana patient or the lawful use of medicinal marijuana under the laws of the State in which the patient resides.

He has listed the states where medical marijuana was legal when he proposed the amendment on the 18th. This seems an odd way to do it. Why not just say "where it is legal." New York state is on the verge of legalizing medical marijuana. Will the Senate re-write the amendment or will the medical marijuana patients in New York be left to the meager mercy of the ATF?

I find the strange jargon of the Senate to be interesting. The appropriations bill "was ordered to lie on the table." Then it "was ordered to get up and dance, dance if you value your life!"

Filed under Libertarianism,Marijuana | permalink | June 21, 2014 at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)

June 20, 2014

A Score Of Complaints

Barry Petchesky obtained copies of every complaint filed with the FCC about Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN. There were twenty of them, so the research must have tied him up for a whole couple of hours or so. There were a couple of especially bogus complaints. For example, a viewer in Chatham, Illinois, objected to the Miami Dolphins "excusing" Don Jones for re-education because he tweeted "'OMG' and 'Horrible'." The complainant said "This is tyranny like in Communist countries! In America, the 1st Amendment guarantees free speech EVEN WHEN THE THOUGHT POLICE & the PC crowd don't like it."

Many of the complaints mention children seeing the kiss, but none describe any signs of malaise in those children - no screaming, no crying, no seizures, no sudden redecorating.

Filed under Gay Issues,Sports,Television | permalink | June 20, 2014 at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)