October 26, 2022

West Oakland Botany

A walking tour of the plant life under the freeways in west Oakland by a man with a non-California accent.

Filed under California,Cities/Urbanism,Science | October 26, 2022 at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2022

Broken Juggler

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A post shared by Michael Rayner (@brokenjuggler)

| October 24, 2022 at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2022

Boston Rain


Shot in autumn 2019, just before the pandemic. It starts on Beacon Hill. The video, that is, not the pandemic.

(Here's NYC.)

Filed under Architecture,Cities/Urbanism,History,Photography | October 22, 2022 at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

MSWD Settles For $175,000 For Sewage Spill At Horton

From the Desert Sun:

After large Desert Hot Springs sewage spill, MWSD [sic] will settle with regulator for $175,000

Janet Wilson
Palm Springs Desert Sun

Mission Springs Water District announced Friday that it will pay $175,000 for allowing a nearly 1 million-gallon spill of treated sewage effluent down residential streets in Desert Hot Springs last October and failing to promptly report it.

The agreement is pending final approval by the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Board, which issued a notice of violation to MSWD for releasing treated secondary effluent from the Alan L. Horton Wastewater Treatment Facility on Oct. 3, 2021. Both sides agreed to the amount in settlement negotiations, MSWD said.

The funds would be used to remove between 21 and 68 properties from aging septic systems and hook them up to safer sewage systems, with priority given to homes closest to MWSD well sites.

The district had faced up to $9.4 million in fines, after officials there waited two weeks to notify state authorities that large amounts of treated wastewater gushed through Desert Hot Springs streets. Such spills are supposed to be reported immediately.

Since then, MSWD said in a news release, the district has worked with regional water board staff to make structural and process improvements at the facility and has broken ground on a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant north of Interstate 10 in Desert Hot Springs.

“Serving a disadvantaged community comes with a unique set of challenges. Some residents simply do not have the means to connect to the sewer system,” said MSWD general manager Arden Wallum. “Using funds for projects such as this not only helps our residents and the District, but the entire Coachella Valley watershed.”

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Health | October 22, 2022 at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

Riverside County Health Department Reports

From the Press-Enterprise:

Swiss Donut, at 34300 Monterey Ave. Suite 102 in Palm Desert, was inspected Oct. 20 and received a failing grade of 87/B with one critical violation. The inspector found live and dead roaches in the restaurant, and said to contact pest control and clean the facility. Among the six other violations, ham was at an unsafe temperature in a refrigerator that wasn’t keeping cold.
L’Atelier Cafe, at 129 La Plaza in Palm Springs, was inspected Oct. 14 and received a failing grade of 80/B with four critical violations. The inspector found three dead cockroaches in different areas, along with one live fly, and the restaurant was told to get pest control before its mandatory follow-up. Some food was at unsafe temperatures in a refrigerator that was impounded for not keeping cold. The dishwasher wasn’t dispensing sanitizer, but it was adjusted right away so it was not impounded. And an employee didn’t wash hands. Among the three other violations, several areas needed cleaning and the restaurant was told to stop using non-commercial-grade equipment.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Food and Drink,Health | October 22, 2022 at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2022

Tour de Palm Springs

Yeah, we're talking about the Tour de Palm Springs that took place last February, not next. I went out and photographed the cyclists as they were riding south on Little Morongo. It's been eight months, but I took a lot of photos so they took a long time to edit. The complete set of photos can be seen here, but I'll give you two samples:
Tour de Palm Springs in Desert Hot Springs (8114)

Tour de Palm Springs in Desert Hot Springs (8269)

Filed under Coachella Valley,Cycling,Desert Hot Springs,Photography | October 20, 2022 at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2022

Everybody's Got Meter Reading Problems

From the Mohave Daily News:

City to rectify billing error

By JENI HENDERSON News West
Oct 19, 2022 2:00 AM

NEEDLES — The Needles City Council addressed concerns regarding the electric meter misreads and billing errors and came to a resolution at its Oct. 11 meeting.

There will be no late fees, no shut-offs during an audit period and payment plans will be available for up to a year for the power that was used.

In addition, the city will provide a $25 credit to every utility account for the error which City Manager Rick Daniels said will come out of the city’s general fund.

“It doesn’t move the earth,” he said, but it represents an apology and “the commitment to clean it up and for the terrible inconvenience that has happened.”

Overall responsibility for city operations and municipal utility operations rest with the city manager, Daniels said.

"And as the city manager, the buck stops here,” he said.

Daniels said meters likely were read accurately in July.

“In August, for some reason, many bills were half or even less,” he said. “Now when you get 10 of those, you think that maybe you got an equipment problem but once it crossed 20 and 50, there’s a human problem and that the meters either were being estimated or they weren’t being read, both of which are systematic failures.”

Daniels said that he’s spoken to about 50 residents and the billing office has talked with about 250 residents who’ve had issues and concerns.

An audit will be done for every account, he said, and for consumers who did not use the full hydro allocation, the city will drop the rate customers were charged for those particular kilowatts.

The meter reader responsible has resigned.

There was a cascade of events here, said Pastor James Jones, and there was more than just a meter reader that missed this.

“I’m sure there was an out of range report and if it wasn’t read or wasn’t paid attention to, then this is a systematic error that moved from the meter reader on up the food chain to the people that work in the office,” he said.

Jones said that even though the city will be switching to the automated readers, there’s still the possibility for error if people are not paying attention on that end of the bill.

“The only thing I’m hearing tonight is about the electric meters,” he said. “Well, this same meter reader read the water meters, too, so I don’t think you’ve discovered everything there is to be discovered. If the out of range report didn't catch the electric meters, then they didn’t catch the water meters, either.”

The city owns this problem, Daniels said, and is doing everything it can to correct it.

A new meter reader was hired about five weeks ago, he said.

“He’s being trained, he’s just completed his first cycle of all 15 routes,” he said. “He was trained by individuals who knew those individual routes.”

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | October 19, 2022 at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

Five Years Old

He started playing two years ago, so this is basically how he got through the pandemic. The video below shows him at age four.

Filed under Music | October 19, 2022 at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2022

Changing Seasons in Boston


Seasonlapse | Boston.

Filed under Photography | October 17, 2022 at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2022

Health Department Inspections This Week

From the Press-Enterprise:

Babaloo Lounge, at 73833 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, was inspected Oct. 11 and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. Food was at unsafe temperatures in two coolers, one of which the inspector said needed to be repaired. Among the 12 other violations, the inspector said not to cook in the prep area until the exhaust hood could be fixed, the men’s restroom didn’t have soap, raw tuna wasn’t being thawed correctly, a dishwasher wasn’t sanitizing properly, and equipment, floors and the ceiling needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection in less than a year and it was briefly shut down in 2021 because of a plumbing backup, so it was scheduled for an administrative hearing.

The Arco am/pm at 46150 Washington St. in La Quinta was inspected Oct. 12 and received a failing grade of 85/B with one critical violation. Dishes were being washed without hot water or sanitizer, a repeat violation from previous inspections. Among the nine other violations, a display cooler wasn’t keeping cold and about 40 meal and snack items had to be discarded, frozen hot dogs weren’t being thawed properly, the walk-in freezer and cooler doors needed repair, there was biofilm in the soda machine ice chutes, and the floors needed leaning.

The KFC at 725 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, which failed an Oct. 5 inspection with a score of 86/B and was closed because of a rodent infestation, was permitted to reopen Oct. 7. It also passed a follow-up inspection with a 97/A.

Upper Crust Pizza, at 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City, which was shut down Sept. 13 because of a cockroach infestation, was permitted to reopen Oct. 6, after what the inspector noted was the sixth re-inspection to verify the problem had been eliminated.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Health | October 15, 2022 at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2022

The Reading Of The Alex Jones Verdict

Nothing happens in the first 6 hours and 12 minutes of this video, but this link will take you to the point where the jury returns with their verdict.

Jones's' reaction:

Filed under Politics,Public Safety | October 12, 2022 at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

The Music Kids Listen To

Filed under Music | October 12, 2022 at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2022

Pickle Cheesecake

Filed under Food and Drink | October 10, 2022 at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2022

NYC Parkour

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| October 9, 2022 at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2022

Arkansas Attorney General Unprepared to Discuss with Jon Stewart

Read here.

Full episode here.

Filed under Gay Issues,Health,Politics | October 8, 2022 at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

Health Department Inspections

From the Press-Enterprise:

KFC, 725 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: Oct. 5
Grade: 86/B, failing
Reason: Rodent infestation. An inspector visited in response to a complaint that someone thought they saw rodent droppings in their coleslaw. The inspector saw multiple droppings, including under a prep counter, the grease tanks and a soda machine. Among other violations, there were also flies inside, and the inspector noted food debris and grease on the floors.


Wilma & Frieda’s, at 155 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, was inspected Oct. 4 and received a failing grade of 80/B with two critical violations. Multiple items of food were at unsafe temperatures; the inspector noted that none of the coolers at the cook line were functional and the food inside was on ice. One unit had been impounded at the last inspection and never fixed, and two more were impounded this time. Also, an employee didn’t wash hands. Among the seven other violations, there were flies in the facility and one landed on plates, the bar dishwasher was impounded for not dispensing sanitizer, the restrooms didn’t have hot water, another handwashing sink didn’t have cold water, the walk-in freezer had ice buildup and a partially detached door panel, and the floors needed cleaning. This was the restaurant’s second failed inspection this year so it now faces an administrative hearing.

Tortilleria Guerrero, at 81592 Highway 111 in Indio, was inspected Sept. 29 and received a failing grade of 81/B with one critical violation. The inspector saw several live cockroaches on the floor near the ovens, along with dead roaches on the floor elsewhere and several flies in the facility. The person in charge was advised to temporarily increase pest control to twice a month. Among the 12 other violations, an employee didn’t wash hands, some food was stored uncovered, and equipment and other surfaces needed cleaning. The restaurant passed a follow-up inspection Oct. 6 with a score of 95/A. However, the inspector still saw one live roach on a wall and some flies, and said to contact pest control immediately and again in two weeks.

The following store isn't in the Coachella Valley, but I'm including for its amazing level of grossness:

New Bombay Store, 1385 W. Blaine St., Riverside

Closed: Oct. 5
Grade: 80/B, failing
Reason: Failing an inspection on probation, rodent and cockroach infestation. The inspector found “excessive amounts of rodent droppings” on shelving and flooring. Numerous bags of food in the customer area had been gnawed open, leaving their contents spilling onto the shelves, and a gnawed bag of vermicelli on the floor had rodent droppings inside. Also, there were numerous dead roaches on the floor, cockroach eggs in one area and a dead roach and roach feces on the outside of a bag of food on the sales floor. Additionally, there were dead weevils on the plastic bags used to repackage bulk foods and numerous flies throughout the facility, with dead flies frozen into the ice of a chest freezer whose door pane was broken. Among other violations, there was a moldy bag of mangos in the cooler, the handwashing sink handles were “encrusted” with buildup, the walk-in cooler door wouldn’t fully latch closed and there was a long list of other areas that needed cleaning or repair. The store was placed on probation in May after failing three inspections since 2021; the May inspection led to a partial closure because of a fly and rodent infestation.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Health | October 8, 2022 at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2022

Burning Man 2022

It was the harshest Burn I've been to, weather-wise that is. If I ignore the many-hours-long wind and rain that blew one early night and somehow fucked up the timing belt in my truck, and if I ignore the second intense night wind that destroyed my shade structure, the weather was really nice right up until the Gate opened for Burn week itself. Then the weather got hellish. You know I can tolerate trans-100°(F) temps, and I don't mind the dust storms much, but when you get both every afternoon, day after day, things begin to get tiresome. Nights were much better. I discovered to my great delight that I could walk for MILES at Burning Man and my legs wouldn't hurt a bit, thanks to the new hip joint. My feet still hurt, but both hips, both knees and both ankles were like teenagers (or at least as well as I can remember what my legs felt like as a teenager). Friday was the exception for night weather. I was on the other side of the city when a blinding dust storm came up. I tried waiting it out in the shelter of some camps, but this was not a short duration wind. I actually got lost. Too many street signs had been stolen and I could barely see half a block in any direction, so it was difficult to find any landmarks, and it was impossible to see which way the roads curved. Finally, I found the D road and followed it the long way around to 4:30 and back to Burner Buddies Camp. Trying to cross the inner playa in such a dust storm at night would have been pointless and probably dangerous. I thought being on D road would shelter me from some of the wind, and maybe it did, but cutting across the inner playa would have reduced the distance by about a third.

Here's my complete collection of photos from Burning Man 2022. Included in that collection are 116 photos taken by my friend Duee. He doesn't use any photo sharing site, so he gave me these copies to post on Flickr. This was Duee's first time at Burning Man, so you can see what caught the eye of this birgin.

Here are some of the photos:
Burning Man Ticket (1029)
This year's ticket
, shot by Duee.

Gate Road (1031)
Waiting on Gate road, Sunday morning
, also by Duee.

Rootpile (1032)
Just a couple of blocks away on 4:30 was Rootpile which had Bluegrass music every night
, and one night gave away pork roast, according to Duee, who took this photo.

Sunrise (2339)
Dawn
.

Box Office (2296)
Box Office being set up
. This was five days before Bo Office would open and twelve days before Gate would open for general admission.

DPW Digging Postholes in Box Camp (0556)
Digging post holes for a shade structure in Box Camp
, where a lot of Box Office volunteers live.

Dusk (2293)
My camp
.

Morning On An Almost Empty Playa (2294)
Morning
.

Ol' Razorback (2297)
The view of Ol' Razorback Mountain from Box Camp
. My camp is barely visible in the distance, if you know where to look.

AirBox - Box Office at the airport (0561)
AirBox!
This is the Box Office at the airport and this was the first time I'd actually seen it.

Burner Buddies Camp (0572)
Burner Buddies setting up our rainbow arch
.

Empyrean Temple (0577)
Inside the Empyrean Temple
.

Empyrean Temple (0579)
Outside
.

My Trike (0564)
My trike
.

New Bikes For Burning Man (0552)
Showclicks, the company Burning Man hired to handle the software part of ticket sales, was all new this year and included many birgins
, and they all got brand new, shiny, clean bikes for the job.

Box Office (2320)
Box Office, a little more complete
, two days before it was set to open.

Gate Before Gate Opens (2321)
Gate, nine days before it opened for general admission
.

Art On The Playa (2771)

Owl at The Man (2786)

The Man (2778)

The Man (2814)

Empyrean Temple (2888)
The central spire of the Empyrean Temple
.

Empyrean Temple (2892)

El Pulpo Mecanico (2918)
El Pulpo Mecanico
.

Naked Pub Crawl (0592)
The Naked Pub Crawl
. The roads were in really bad shape this year, due to ill-timed rains. It was easier to walk.

Art Car (2950)

Burning Man 2022 (2999)

Watching The Burn (3002)
Watching the Man burn
.

Burning Man 2022 (3008)

Empyrean Temple (3086)
The Empyrean Temple ignited
.

Empyrean Temple (3092)
Watching the temple burn
.

Empyrean Temple (3105)

Waiting On Hwy 34 (0616)
My truck had to be towed off playa
. Burning Man pays tow companies to tow Burners this far - just to pavement on highway 34. Here we all are waiting for further tow service or repairs. I got towed to Sparks. During the first big night time wind storm we had, enough playa dust caked on my timing belt so that when I went to try to start it days later, the belt slipped. I got towed on Labor Day (Monday) and the shop in Sparks was able to fix it on Tuesday. Enjoyed a night in the Sparks Best Western and drove home the next day.

Pyramid Lake (0619)
Got a couple photos of Pyramid Lake from the tow truck
.

Filed under Burning Man,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | October 3, 2022 at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2022

Some Art At Burning Man


Waking Dreams: Burning Man 2022.

Filed under Burning Man,Photography | September 30, 2022 at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2022

Heavily Produced Video Of Burning Man 2022

Filed under Burning Man | September 26, 2022 at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2022

John Williams Was Engaged Elsewhere

Filed under Music | September 20, 2022 at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)