Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day Tribute From The Cast Of "Gypsy"

This morning, on Good Day Sacramento.

U. of U. Professor Tried To End The Dreaded Inversion

Caption: Norihiko Fukuta, a former University of Utah meteorology professor known for his ideas about busting the Wasatch Front's temperature inversion with cloud seeding involving liquid carbon dioxide, died on Monday. (Tribune file photo by Rick Egan)

I could talk endlessly about this, and I probably will (see my comments at the link), but not just yet:

If Norihiko Fukuta's idea had worked, the former University of Utah meteorology professor might have become a revered figure in Utah history.

For he had a plan that would have done away with one of Utah's, certainly the Wasatch Front's, most despised characteristics -- the winter temperature inversion.

But Fukuta's theory that the inversion's gray stranglehold on the skies above mountain valleys could be broken by seeding clouds with liquid carbon dioxide never came to fruition, doomed in part by inadequate funding to mount a large-scale test.

Fukuta, a faculty member in the U.'s meteorology department (now atmospheric sciences) from 1977 to 2001, died Monday from renal failure. He was 78. He is survived by his widow, Yoko Fukuta.

A native of Japan, Fukuta received a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Nagoya in 1959. He came to the United States in 1966, working in California and Colorado before going to work at the U. He established a reputation as an expert in cloud microphysics, developing cloud seeding generator technology in hopes of controlling the weather. His weather modification methods were patented in several countries, including the U.S.

He wrote two books and more than 200 articles in reviewed journals. Fukuta also was president of two private businesses -- Weather Climate and Environment Management, LLC in Maine and Weather Management International, LLC in Utah.

Fukuta believed a plane spraying as little as 10 pounds of carbon dioxide into the top of an inversion mass could create holes in the clouds big enough to allow the sun's warming rays to reach the ground. That would help reduce the temperature difference between lower-level air and warmer air above that acted like a lid, holding in all of the pollution, fog and cloud moisture that combine to form the unhealthy, gray gunk of an inversion.

In 1986, the state Advisory Council on Science and Technology thought enough of Fukuta's cloud-seeding theory, which he dubbed "Project Mountain Valley Sunshine," to declare that it was "scientifically meritorious and meeting an important state need and worthy of funding for further study at the pilot scale."

But the council did not have any money to conduct widespread testing, a problem Fukuta encountered for the rest of his career.

The lack of support, which stemmed partly from skepticism about the practicality of his theory, did not diminish his ardor for the idea.

As he told The Salt Lake Tribune in 1987, "Please urge the Utah people of think positively, because God helps those who help themselves."

12th Annual East Sacramento Home And Garden Tour

Here is David Lubin Elementary School on the occasion of the 12th Annual Home And Garden Tour in East Sacramento, on Mother's Day weekend, 2010.

Here is Persia (on the right), with her school friend Wendy (on the left). Persia specializes in art photography and she likes doing weddings, portraits, etc., but, today, I bought two bird houses from her.

I also bought something like a funerary pot from Sacramento's sister city, San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua, that was on display nearby (not that I have any plans for a funerary pot, it's just that it has a unique shape and I liked the frog motif a lot).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Ph.D. Comics Turns Its Cosmic Gaze To NM Tech

John seems a bit dubious:
I wonder if being featured in a comic represents some great milestone for an institution...
Yes, it is indeed a glorious milestone for NM Tech! Huzzah! Let’s see if Cal Tech can match it!

"Jack And The Beanstalk" - DMTC YPT

Elena L. as Jack.

Here are a few images from opening weekend.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

First Report

First report:
Jan is out of surgery...

...and is in recovery and doing well. She'll be in the hospital for a couple days, and can see visitors after 8 pm tonight.

Busy Weekend Approaches

Woman overheard as she yakked on her cell phone in a sidewalk cafe:
On Friday night I go out with the Bad Boy, and on Saturday night I go out with my girl friend.
Best of luck to her! It's going to be a busy weekend!

For myself, I've got that deer-in-the headlights look contemplating this weekend.

First, Keith Wise says come see his stuff at J Street Wellness on Second Saturday, at 23rd & J. He said something about doing readings too (tarot maybe? I dunno...).

Second, Adam Sartain, well-known on the DMTC stage, plus candidate for State Assembly District 9, will be hosting a campaign fundraiser at Luna's Cafe on 16th Street on Saturday night, featuring singer Autumn Sky.

I can't quite picture Adam at Luna's Cafe. Luna's is the go-to place in town to see French existentialist performance poetry done by friends like my former next-door neighbor, Gil and Sherry Rodriguez. Indeed, the only time I've ever been to Luna's was to see French existentialist performance poetry. Candidate, or not, Adam has big shoes to fill there at Luna's. He'd better be able to slam that French poetry better than Gil to catch the attention of the caffeinated intellectuals trying to unwind with heladas (iced fruity tropical health drinks) instead.

Plus, as mentioned, Persia says come see her stuff at the 12th Annual Home And Garden Tour in East Sacramento this Mother's Day weekend. David Lubin Elementary School is located at 35th & M Streets (3535 M Street), Sacramento. Persia specializes in art photography and she likes doing weddings, portraits, etc.

Indeed, since Adam is doing a neighborhood walk on Saturday afternoon near McKinley Park, I've suggested it might be best to walk on over to David Lubin Elementary School and catch the foot traffic.

Plus, there is "Jack and the Beanstalk" over at DMTC, and "Gypsy" later that night.

And that doesn't even cover whatever else might be happening around town this weekend.

That's right! "Let's Go!" opens this weekend, at:
Calvary Christian Church
2665 Del Paso Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815

Too much! I need a helada!

Metaphor Eggbeaters At Full

Just funny:
ALTERCATION - Finding all the cliches and mixed metaphors in this Eric Alterman paragraph is like cutting fish in a barrel with a butter knife. A shout-out in Monday's HuffPost Hill to the citizen copy editor who can identify all of them, with a bonus point for spotting the factual error:
"And yet even with all its proverbial ducks lined up--a populist crusade is just what the doctor ordered for a divided and dispirited party going into perilous midterm elections--the administration and its lieutenants in Congress are still shooting as many blanks as real bullets at the bad guys. It's not that their bills are all bullshit, as the Republicans' clearly are. They contain many worthy measures that would, as almost any fair-minded economist will tell you, provide a proverbial 'step [or two] in the right direction.' But somewhere along the line, whether in Obama's White House, Tim Geithner's Treasury Department, Barney Frank's House Banking Committee or Christopher Dodd's Senate side, a decision was made to let the big fish get away."

Birthday Party For Betty Schoepf

Invitations went out late, and so some of Betty's compatriots during her years at DMTC (the 80's) weren't able to attend her 85th birthday party at DMTC on Wednesday evening. Nevertheless, those who did attend had fun.

(Thankfully, Steve has not uploaded my karaoke rendition of 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun').

Here We Go Again!

Smash, thud!:
NEW YORK » In one of the most dizzying half-hours in stock market history, the Dow Jones industrial average has plunged nearly 1,000 points amid worries about European debt.

The Dow has managed to recover two-thirds of its losses and close down 347 at 10,520. But all the major indexes lost 3 percent in a day that recalled the market turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis.

There were reports that a technical glitch hastened the selling. Even so emotions are running high. Traders are concerned that Greece's economic problems will hurt other European countries and ultimately, the U.S. recovery.
Well, that's interesting! Farewell, once again, to the 401K!

I had to laugh at this story from yesterday:
The Hill is reporting that House Republicans are set to send a letter to Timothy Geithner objecting to the inclusion of any U.S. taxpayer funds in the $144 billion bailout deal for Greece hammered out by the European Union and the IMF. U.S. IMF commitments put the hook for Americans at somewhere between $3 and $10 billion, which is not much compared to what other European countries are chipping in, but House Republicans are men and women of principle. Not one dollar should go to save the feckless Greek from their folly! If Greece gets a bailout, you can bet that Portugal and Spain will be holding their hands out in short order, suggested Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), vice chairwoman of the Republican Conference.
Now, Timothy Geithner probably pisses away between "$3 and $10 billion" every day before breakfast, so House Republican letters of this sort are of no interest to him. What is of interest, however, is just how quickly the government responds when real money is at stake. As it is today!

Pay attention, for once, House Republicans! Stop the silly grandstanding!

God's Nervous Little Militias

Actually, I think these folks have it all wrong. It has never been safer to be in a church than it is today. People watch way, way too much TV and grossly exaggerate the world's dangers.

Safety's not the real game here. Frightened people are malleable. The goal here is to make mistakes happen, since armed people take unnecessary risks out of bravado, and frighten people yet more. These folks want to draw bright lines in the sand and cleave people from one another. And if they subvert the mission of churches in the process, too bad:
BATON ROUGE -- Persons who have have been qualified to carry concealed weapons should be able to keep them strapped on in a church or temple as a way to enhance security, a House committee said today.

The Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 8-3 for House Bill 68 by Rep. Henry Burns, R-Shreveport, sending it to more debate on the House floor.

The bill would allow a church to hire a security force or create its own by authorizing the church's board or pastor to tap parishioners who have concealed weapons permits to bring them to church. State law now bans weapons in houses of worship.

The bill does not limit the number of congregants who can be used as the security force.

Burns said his bill does not force churches to participate.

"If we are going to turn a church into the wild, wild West, how can we put our hearts and minds into God's business" asked Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport. "If we can't feel safe in church doing the business of the Lord, where else can we feel safe?"

Burns' bill was amended by Rep. Mack "Bodi" White, R-Central, to require a church that allows armed parishioners to serve as security guards to notify all members in announcements from the pulpit or in the weekly bulletin or newsletter.

Burns said the bill is needed to protect people who live in araes where crime may be a problem or where police response may be slow. "It is a church choice," he said. "We live in a different world today" where violent crimes invade church services.

The Best Of Luck To Jan Isaacson On Her Surgery Today

Sometimes surgery is the best....

Keith Does Things Differently

Over at Step One, I had heard that taking class with Keith Goings was fun, but it wasn't until very recently I ever had that pleasure. Keith is very much a dancer, not really a workout kind of guy at all, but on some Wednesdays he gets to teach our workout class. So, what is a dancer going to do? Repetitive, even tedious, movements? Don't think so!

Keith is quick and fast, and keeping up with him is both a challenge and a delight!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Last Week, Kate Visited ABQ And Went To Tent Rocks

Now, I've never been to Tent Rocks, even though it's not that far from ABQ. It's sort-of in the wrong direction from everything. The nice thing is that New Mexico has lots of places that are sort-of in the wrong direction from everything, and one can spend just-about forever discovering them.

Sinking Of The Deepwater Horizon Drilling Platform

Ye Gods!

Gary Johnson Profile

Gary Johnson was an interesting New Mexico Governor - a socially-liberal, economically conservative libertarian big-sky hybrid. He wasn't the New Mexico norm - more like someone from Montana or Colorado. I think the times are not in Johnson's favor - this is an era of big government bailouts - but times can change, of course, sometimes quickly. He'd be an improvement over most - no, all - of the current GOP field:
Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and a likely candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is talking about hookers.

"It's never been a consideration that I would enlist the services of a prostitute, myself personally," he says. "But if I were to do that, where would I want to enlist that service? Well, it would probably be in Nevada, where it's legal, because it would be safe."

When's the last time Mitt Romney engaged in a hypothetical like that? But Johnson doesn't even blink. It's not like this is the only topic on which he risks offending the GOP's base. He also favors legalizing pot, supports abortion rights, and opposes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh, and he doesn't go to church. "I don't think you'll ever hear me invoking God in anything I do," he tells me.

It is an incongruous foundation from which to seek the mantle of a party whose last president, George W. Bush, famously claimed that his favorite philosopher is Jesus Christ.

Johnson faces other obstacles, too. Aside from his low name-recognition, he has no discernible power base. After eight years on the job in Santa Fe, he was term-limited out of the governorship at the end of 2002 and stepped back from public life thereafter.

...A 57-year-old fitness fanatic who climbed Mt. Everest in 2003, Johnson chooses the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South as the venue for our interview. Besuited and with reading glasses dangling around his neck, he answers almost every question with a smile and, sometimes, an idiosyncratic, wide-eyed expression. The overall effect is of a courtly, mildly eccentric uncle. This, in itself, makes him seem like a misfit in today's aggressively orthodox -- and virulently partisan -- GOP.

Ask Johnson what he thinks of Barack Obama, for instance, and rather than the stream of vitriol that might issue semi-automatically from the lips of some party colleagues, he answers: "You can't help but like him."

...Johnson seems ill at ease with the belligerent icons of modern-day conservatism. What does he think of the idol of the Tea Partiers, Glenn Beck?

"I have not watched Glenn Beck. I don't watch him."

Does he listen to Rush Limbaugh?

"I don't. Not that I haven't [ever]. But I don't tune in to Rush."

...He went to a Tea Party event in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, he says, and was impressed when one attendee gave him a handout that claimed to identify the movement's top 10 priorities.

"Basically, one through 10, it had to do with the economy and spending and taxes. And I thought, 'This is who I am! This is what I care about!'"

Then he adds: "There was a lot of fringe there."

What does he mean by "fringe"?

"My son had a conversation with somebody who was a birther, [who] described 'birther' to my son. Well, I didn't have that conversation, but --"

Johnson stops abruptly. A full six seconds of silence ensue. Would he like to complete the thought?

"Well, just to get to hear that ... To me, it's just hard to grasp," he says, a little sadly.

On other issues, Johnson doesn't bother to hide his disdain for his party's hard-liners. Take the incendiary new immigration law passed in Arizona, for instance:

"I just don't think it's going to work," he says. "I think it' s going to lead to racial profiling. I don't how you determine one individual from another -- is it color of skin? -- as to whether one is an American citizen or the other is an illegal immigrant."

Johnson favors an expansive guest worker program and is uncomfortable with the idea of mass deportations. What about the idea of increasing security by means of a border wall?

"I have never been supportive of the wall," he replied. "A 10-foot wall [just] requires an 11-foot ladder."

Up until now, Johnson's main national claim to fame has been his effort, while he was New Mexico's governor, to legalize marijuana. The push failed, but Johnson remains committed to the cause.

"I have always seen this as a gigantic issue, when you consider what we spend on law enforcement and the prisons," he says. "The fact that we are arresting 1.8 million people a year -- and to what end? We have had virtually no effect on this in decades of pursuing current policy. I don't know why we can't accept marijuana use similar to alcohol."

All of this raises an obvious question: What is Johnson doing in the Republican Party?

He argues that the GOP is a broader coalition than is commonly portrayed. On the marijuana issue, he contends that there are "as many very conservative Republicans" in favor of legalization as there are "what you might call left-wing Democrats" opposed.

"I haven't found the Republican Party to be exclusive as much as inclusive," he adds.

Still, he concedes that the libertarian strain of Republicanism he embodies is somewhat marginalized in today's GOP. "On the other hand," he is quick to claim, "the rising wing, the heartbeat, really, of the Republican Party right now is this rising libertarian element -- the campaign for liberty."

12th Annual East Sacramento Home And Garden Tour

Persia called with important news regarding the 12th Annual Home And Garden Tour in East Sacramento this Mother's Day weekend! David Lubin Elementary School is located at 35th & M Streets (3535 M Street), Sacramento.

Persia will be there selling handicrafts and photos and things!:
Welcome to the 12th Annual East Sac Garden Tour.Once again, we are proud to showcase seven beautiful gardens in the East Sac Area that you will enjoy.

We would like to thank our many sponsors, volunteers,and garden designers, who make this tour possible. Each year the Garden Tour raises funds for the children at David Lubin Elementary School. These funds supplement the daily education with a variety of programs. Find out more about these programs and helping benefit the school.

...Each year David Lubin is proud to present the East Sac Garden Tour. It has become a tradition in our community, and it has become a necessity in making our school stand out in it's excellent education for the students. We as parents, teachers and administrators take pride in offering our children program outside the box in order to expand their view of the world, and contribute to their love of learning.

We hope you enjoy this year's tour and know how much we appreciate your participation.

Tour is May 8th & 9th from 10 am - 4 pm. You may use your ticket on either day, or if you don't have time to see all of the gardens in one day, you can come back and finish.

Garden tour tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 on the day. Luncheon tickets are $15.00. In these these tough financial times for schools, we appreciate those who support the tour by attending, and we know that every ticket counts.

Cheesy Beef Burrito

And no one works for less than Mr. Cheesy Beef Burrito:
An Everett man who may have been on drugs was scaring women and children at the corner of Broadway and Cross streets on April 28, police said.

When police approached Derek J. Goodwin, 29, as he sat in the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Broadway, Goodwin allegedly told them, "You are dismissed I don't recognize your authority."

Police said Goodwin was irritated, slurred his speech and had pin pointed pupils. When Officer Richard Lavey asked Goodwin his name, Goodwin allegedly said, "My name is Cheesy Beef Burrito." As Goodwin spoke, food was shooting out of his mouth, police said.

Police said Goodwin then stood up and started yelling at workers and customers, "Cheesy beef burrito, cheesy beef burrito."

Goodwin tipped over chairs and a table in KFC as police tried to cuff him.

Police were originally called to Broadway and Cross street by a Department of Public Works employee who allegedly saw Goodwin scare a woman and child as they boarded a bus. Goodwin then rap up to the employee, who was operating a mini street sweeper, and banged on the windshield.

Goodwin was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.