Friday, August 12, 2011

Church Construction Is Down

Does that mean mean we are satisfied with our cathedrals and chapels, or is the recession just affecting everything?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Live-Blogging ABQ Storms - 08/01/11

(4:00 p.m. PDT) I'd given up all hope for today, but now I see the storms beginning to move in from the southwest, from Alamo way, and new storms popping up near Acoma, so not all is lost.

(5:10 p.m. PDT) Some promising storm cells sprouting out towards Laguna way. Maybe Belen will get it. Still not too much NW of ABQ. Hopefully later.

(7:40 p.m. PDT) Not much from the west, but maybe some collapsing storms from the Jemez?

Meanwhile, Back On Mars

New and interesting vistas! But everywhere I look, Gale's nowhere in sight:
Endeavour crater, which is more than 25 times wider than Victoria crater, is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. At Endeavour, scientists expect to see much older rocks and terrains than those examined by Opportunity during its first seven years on Mars. Endeavour became a tantalizing destination after NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected clay minerals that may have formed in an early warmer and wetter period.

"We're soon going to get the opportunity to sample a rock type the rovers haven't seen yet," said Matthew Golombek, Mars Exploration Rover science team member, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "Clay minerals form in wet conditions so we may learn about a potentially habitable environment that appears to have been very different from those responsible for the rocks comprising the plains."

Gale's "Major Tom" Karaoke Video

One of the most haunting moments in the entire "Breaking Bad" television series came with the unveiling of Gale's "Major Tom" karaoke video. There is something sad and very touching about the idea that Gale didn't actually perish, but that he, like Major Tom, is simply lost, and that he lives still, somewhere, far away, out in space.

Like the Bible says, "for dust you are, and to dust shall you return."

Let's Make Dance

Tropical disorders start with Latin rhythms....

Thanks Are In Order

This cartoon seems to sum up my feelings about the Tea Party folks. I don't fault the Tea Party folks for being ignorant about policy matters: I mean, who knows enough about policy matters, after all? No, what always rubbed me the wrong way is their automatic assumption, based on no evidence whatsoever, that they represent the Real America. Thus, everyone had better pay really close attention to everything they say. They feel that it is axiomatic that they should be society's leaders. And I ask, "Why should we follow you?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Live-Blogging ABQ Storms - 08/10/11

That old monsoon died the last few days, but it seems to be back again.

(2:30 p.m. PDT) Looks like a westerly kind of day. Here's a prayer to the spirits at Mt. Taylor to provide a beneficent afternoon's worth of rain!

(4:30 p.m. PDT) Storm on edge of South Valley.

Too Close For Comfort

T. says these March murders happened not far from where he lives:
Howard Daniel Smith knocked on Lorie-Ann Irvine's door and told her, "I just killed Bill and Jay for talking smack about me stealing stuff."

"Then I noticed the rifle in his hand," Irvine said.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Oh Land - White Nights

Kelsey recommends this for all you unicorn lovers!

Liking Matt Zoller Seitz's Reviews Of "Breaking Bad"

I like Seitz's reviews. The best one of the season so far was his review for episode 3:
"Breaking Bad" is, in its heart, the story of the supposedly respectable, white, upper-middle class becoming the Other. I don't think it's an accident that those quasi-mythic drawings of Walt in the guise of his porkpie-hatted alter ego, Heisenberg, resemble old Project Bluebook sketches of extraterrestrial visitors. Walt is becoming as much an alien -- an undesirable Other -- as the illegals who have periodically sneaked across the border throughout the show's run. The series is set in a state adjacent to Mexico, a country that American politicians habitually invoke as an example of what the U.S. should all be terrified of becoming -- a place where wages are pathetically small, decent citizens toil like slaves to pay for basic amenities, the police are openly corrupt, and rapacious criminal profiteers are unofficial partners in government.

There's no use dreading the de-evolution anymore; it's already happening. Where do the Whites live? In New Mexico. As Jesse would say, welcome to reality, bitches.

A-B Normal

"State tries to show Ohio killer's brain works fine"
Does my brain work fine? I don't know. I should ask the State of Ohio, I guess.

I like this quote too:
Neuropsychologist Diana Goldstein says Sowell's brain function is normal, except for murdering people.

The Cleanliness Crusade Comes To Town

The Big Tent is getting set up:
An Arizona woman campaigning to raise awareness about the potential griminess of playgrounds at fast-food restaurants has come to Sacramento.

Erin Carr-Jordan has traveled to seven states, spoken to media outlets across the country and started a Facebook group to spread a message that playgrounds – specifically, the big, structural, plastic indoor ones at restaurant chains like Burger King and McDonald's – are full of bacteria that pose a threat to children.

...A laboratory analysis of the samples turned up several types of bacteria including yeast, coliform and bacillus – similar to the results she's found around the rest of the country.

...Scientists from UC Davis say the findings might sound gross, but they're not dangerous.

"I am very unimpressed with that list of bacteria," said George Thompson, an assistant professor in the departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Davis. "As far as kids getting any infections, I wouldn't have a lot of big concerns."
Myself, I think bacteria are very dangerous.

When I was going to the University of Arizona, I needed to set up an experiment in a walk-in refrigerator, of the sort that were only available in the Department of Microbiology, so for a time I shifted from my usual Physics and Astronomy Building perch to the Department of Microbiology, into a refrigerator under the control of Dr. Charles Gerba.

I rarely saw Dr. Gerba, however. He was moving in the opposite direction. He was setting up late-night experiments in the bathrooms of the Physics and Astronomy Building, flushing toilets, and measuring the rate of microorganism dispersal through the air.

Late one night, a security guard walked in on him. The security guard looked askance at the experimental apparatus and the unfamiliar bearded scientist, and drew his service revolver. (This was Arizona, after all.)

So, my motto is, "bacteria are very dangerous to people" (in Arizona, at least).

Horrific Woodland I-5 Crash

I found this story to be quite disturbing, in part because the crash was so spectacular, but also because I go through that area reasonably often. Six vehicles, five cars aflame, three people killed, and all in the bright sun of midday:
She said it appears the crash began with a freight truck.

"He was the final vehicle that came up," she said. "It sounds like the majority of the other people were either already stopped because of the lane closures down the road. Traffic was slowing for that. It appears the truck came on and as traffic was slowing it went to make a lane change. I don't know yet whether it did it too late or just misjudged the distance."

Leal said it appears the truck may have been traveling at an unsafe speed.

"He just came into it too fast," she said.

Sheryl Crow - Maybe Angels

Good grief. On Facebook, Heather reports she is in Roswell. Roswell, NM. In UFO country. Drinking a bottle of UFO-H2O. Soaking in that Permian Basin ambiance and staring at the sky.

I spent a weekend in Artesia once. That was close enough for me.

Monday, August 08, 2011

LFB feat. Caroline Lund - Don't Wanna Be Right

Caroline Lund - fine performer!

Neodymium Magnets

John sends this strange thing.

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

Strange. Dark.

Adele - Rumour Has It

Illusions (Hopefully) Begin To Evaporate

The recipe to cure all this is Substantially Higher Taxes and Expanded Government Spending. It worked in the Thirties and Forties. It will work now, if we just give it a try:
The stock market buckled Monday under the weight of a crisis in Europe and danger of recession at home. Reeling from a downgrade of American debt, the Dow Jones industrials plunged 634 points.

It was the worst day for the market since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008 and extended Wall Street's sudden, sharp decline. Stocks have lost 15 percent of their value in just two and a half weeks.

...The Dow finished the day down 5.5 percent. The point decline was the worst since Dec. 1, 2008, and the sixth-steepest ever. The average ended at 10,809.85, its first close under 11,000 since November.

In a bit of irony following the S&P downgrade, investors decided U.S. debt was one of the safest places to be. They also sought refuge in gold, which set a record price.

The Messenger

Badtux recommends this.

Hubbard's changed a bit since 'Redneck Mutha' days. Some lyrics:

The Messenger Lyrics
Words & Music by Ray Wylie Hubbard

I am wearing old boots with high Cuban heels
Our souls they are worn and we stand here by grace
My trousers are torn and my jacket is borrowed
I am wearing my time behind the eyes in my face

(Chorus): I am not looking for loose diamonds
Or pretty girls with crosses around their necks
I don't want for roses or water,
I am not looking for God; I am not looking for sex

I've worn out my welcome in certain small circles
In Spanish bordellos and Confederate states
But there is an angel in leathers and kindness
And she whispers my name as she smiles at my fate


(Bridge) And all the true believers are out on the road tonight
No matter what happens, you know they'll be okay
And to the rock and roll gypsies may the last song you sing
Be by Mr. Van Zandt when you're down in old Santa Fe

Now I have a mission and a small code of honor
To stand and deliver by whatever measures
And the message I give you is from this old poet Rilke
He said "Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures".

(Chorus changed)I am not looking for loose diamonds
Or pretty girls with crosses around their necks
I don't want for roses or water,
I am not looking for God; and I just want to see whats next

More Tree-Limb Thrashing This Weekend

I was up in the canopy again on Saturday, trying to teach the Oak Tree to stop it with its non-stop growth. (The tree doesn't listen.) I was also busting old broken limbs off the tree.

At one point, a big, dead limb broke off as I tugged at it with my pruning hook, and the limb, hook, and an entire assemblage of leafy debris came crashing down towards the ladder summit, where I was perilously balanced. I reached out with my powerful right arm, caught the pruning hook, deflected the assemblage from my head, and saved the day. I felt like some kind of cross between Rocky and Sweeney Todd ("At last, my arm is complete again!")

I avoided electrical contacts too. Two weekends ago, I caught the electrical cord in the lawnmower, instantly stopping the lawnmower in a shower of sparks. Satisfying from a special effects point of view, but that's all.

Breaking Bad - Season 4, Episode 4

I am glad, with Jesse's kidnapping, that the interior focus of the drama (e.g., on the Superlab, epitomized by 'Fly') may be changing, and maybe we can get out into the light again, and get even more filming locations. I was getting a bit claustrophobic, to tell you the truth! Now, how to do this and keep Jesse alive too? That is the question!

The cafe/gas station I couldn't make out at first (I was seated too far away from the screen), but upon review it is an old favorite site location (Garcia's Cafe on West Central Ave.).

The opening scene with the refrigerated truck looked like a familiar open mesa scene near Q Studios, on Los Picaros Dr. SE. That place seems to be about (34.986424, -106.637737). Certain landmarks are visible, particularly when they open the truck doors, such as Mt. Taylor, on the horizon to the west.

Later, there was the Underpass, where Los Picaros Dr. SE passes under University Blvd. SE. The Underpass can be readily seen at (35.008233, -106.625899).

Then I got confused. I had assumed they had jumped to the West Mesa, but that appears not to be the case. The last scene appears to also be along Los Picaros Dr. SE, with the camera placed at about (35.011717, -106.619376).

Tijeras Arroyo is a strange place, and has been thoroughly-trashed by the off-road vehicle folks over the years. I can’t imagine why Mike wants to take Jesse down that road, unless he wants someone to accompany him while he watches planes land and take off at the Airport.

On my last two trips to ABQ, I got photos of the Underpass, plus perhaps other sites (Karler Meat Packing Plant, maybe even 2nd St. police substation), but I archived these photos, and discovered only too late that I couldn't dearchive them. Damned computer software! I am activating Plan B to recover these photos, but it may be a few days yet. Frustrating!

I'm thinking of reorganizing my four Breaking Bad posts in the following way in the next few weeks:

Post 1 - List
Post 2 - Seasons 1 & 2
Post 3 - Season 3
Post 4 - Season 4

The posts already naturally fall in this sequence already, and just a few changes need to be made to accomplish the reorganization.

(cross-posted on Breaking Bad Filming Locations - Part 4)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Olav Basoski - New Day

Wondering About Tropical Depression Eugene

Currently Tropical Depression Eugene is very weak, heading west, about halfway between Mexico and Hawaii. No one believes it poses any threat anymore, since NHC says it's heading towards cooler water. But according to Weather Underground, it's now on an isotherm, and perhaps heading towards warmer water. So, are they underestimating Eugene? Will Eugene restrengthen? Time will tell!