Saturday, September 01, 2012

Agonizing Blog Transition, So Far

Old site:

New site:

I'm pretty much in a state of disappointment and depression about the blog transition so far.  First, not all of the blog made the transition.  Much twiddling was required to finally get that done.  Second, the comments haven't successfully made the transition.  Getting that to finally work may take some time, and time is running out (just a month to go!)

I actually possess the comments, and I could upload all 5,000+ of them by hand, but I don't want to do that.  But I don't want to teach myself XML either, so I will continue to suffer in the trough of depression.

For the moment, I've removed the redirect from the old blog to the new blog.  The redirect itself often failed, ruining people's bookmarks and destroying my traffic.  So, for the moment, I have two blogs named 'Marc Valdez Weblog'.  Not sure what to do:  Cross-post?  Let one lie fallow?  Quien sabe?

When I told Jim, the computer tech, about the new site, and when he heard I had a top-level domain now, his reaction was "Ooooh!  A vanity site!"  And that's exactly what it is right now.  I wanted something that looked better for the "Breaking Bad" reference sites - something that would render well on all browsers - and dropped some serious coin, and all I have now to show for it is agony and depression.  I've also learned that Wordpress faces many of the same html difficulties that Blogger faces when rendering Web Pages.

So, here's to vanity!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Bit Of Blog Chaos Here

After much dithering, I'm finally biting the bullet, and transferring over my entire blog from Blogger (on Google) to Wordpress (on Bluehost).

I started my blog in October, 2002 - it's older than Facebook, for chrissakes! In the meantime, the nature of blogging has been shifting, and shifting, and shifting..... And my needs have changed, too.

I'm not sure how chaotic this process will get, or when it will be done, but what I'm hoping for at the end of this long, dark tunnel is a better, cleaner, more-professional blog appearance, with widget hosting and 'Like' buttons, and all the other riff-raff and chaff that modern blogging is no longer complete without.

Republicans Created The National Debt

With virtually no help from anyone else.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Charlie Crist Endorses Obama

Like J. says, the GOP is headed the way of the Whigs! (A particularly cantankerous rump of Whigs.)

Charlie Crist will be like Zell Miller was in 2004, but kinder, and gentler:
On the eve of the RNC 2012 convention in Tampa, former Gov. Charlie Crist tossed a wrinkle into Florida politics by announcing Sunday an endorsement of President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney.

Crist's move, clearly timed for maximum media attention, is yet another major step by Crist away from his former Republican Party, toward the Democratic Party and a return to politics.

It will heighten speculation that Crist intends to run for governor or another high office as a Democrat in 2014.

B-TWINZ Is In The House!

Now, In New Mexico, They'd Have Seen This Dude Coming For Miles

The choices we make:
A man trying to create a Bigfoot hoax on a highway died after being hit by two cars, officials in Montana said.

Randy Lee Tenley dressed in a Ghillie suit -- camouflage designed to resemble heavy foliage -- and stepped out onto Highway 93 Sunday night, officials said.

"He probably would not have been very easy to see at all," said Jim Schneider, a state trooper.

A 15-year-old girl hit him with her car, another car swerved, and a third car driven by a 17-year-old ran him over, CNN affiliate KECI reported.

Tenley was "well into the driving lane," and according to his companions he was "attempting to incite a sighting of Bigfoot -- to make people think they had seen a Sasquatch," Schneider said in the KECI report.

No, Rush, It Was Because People Weren't Sure About The Strength Of The Ridge To The North

And not all of the models showed the swing to the west, either.

The world's biggest Ding-Dong at work:
It’s the government. It’s Obama.

And I’m noticing that that track stayed zeroed in on Tampa day after day after day. And the Republicans react to it accordingly over the weekend, canceling the first day of the convention. What could be better for the Democrats than the Republicans to cancel a day of this? [...]

Okay, 6:45 p.m. Saturday night the Republicans announce that they’re canceling Monday. At 6:45 p.m. Saturday night, everybody is still under the impression that Isaac is making a beeline for very close to Tampa. It was an hour and 15 minutes later that the eight p.m. model runs showed New Orleans. I’m alleging no conspiracy. I’m just telling you, folks, when you put this all together in this timeline, I’m telling you, it’s unbelievable.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Third Bike Ride With Joe The Plumber

If it's Sunday, it's time for another bike ride with Joe the Plumber! Trouble is, Joe didn't have enough money to afford the gas to come to my house (where his bike is currently stored). So, I had to go get him where is currently-parked (here, at Senior Gleaners, near Bell and Raley, north of Del Paso Heights), bring him back to my house, and then repeat the trip after the bike ride. I grumbled, but went ahead and did it. So much driving, all for a bike trip!

Since our last two bike trips went north along the river, I wanted to go south. We angled south to get to the river, but once again, ended up heading north again. It's that northbound salmon homing instinct!

Here we are, at the entrance to Fairytale Town, in Land Park. It's funny - I almost never go to Land Park, ever - but with the Race for the Arts on Saturday and this bike trip on Sunday, I went to Land Park twice this weekend!

Sacramento Riverfront

There's wildlife in them thar waters!

"I" Street Bridge.

Once again, we went to the archery range at Discovery Park.

Passing through Discovery Park, someone excitedly said to us, apropos of nothing, "They're having a big coke party on the other side of the river!" We didn't know what to make of this news.

Suddenly, I had a big calamity. My bicycle chain derailed completely and became wedged near the axle apparatus. We had to ask for tools from a fire truck crew at the park to finally unwedge the stubborn chain. Our hands were completely blackened with grease.

River patrol on the American River stops partiers on a boat for some infraction.

On the return trip, we made several obligatory stops in Old Sacramento, including one here, in front of Laughs Unlimited. Inside, a rock band (4 Barrels?) was playing Jimi Hendrix.

Rusting locomotive.

Highway 50 bridge over the Sacramento River.

Northbound to eastbound connector over Broadway Blvd. at the I-5/Highway 50 interchange.

On the return trip to drop Joe off at Senior Gleaners, we passed over the American River Bridge on I-5 at Discovery Park. Just upstream, an enormous raft of about 20 boats had coalesced together for, evidently, one enormous party! Was this the influence of coke on everyone's spirits, or just the end of summer on the river?



DMTC Miscellany

Cleaning up the props room.

Steve's birthday get-together at Sudwerks.

Looks Like Tampa Got Off Lightly!

The Lake Okeechobee area is a different story, however. Isaac is some strange storm!

"Breaking Bad" - Season 5, Episode 7, "Say My Name"

Technically they were on San Felipe Pueblo land, but near the boundary with Santa Ana Pueblo land, for the final scene - about here: (35.380657°, -106.505815°)

The last time I was in that general area (a couple of miles away from the final scene) was in 2010. Driving around, I kept having the sensation I had been here before. Maybe I had, when I was a kid, or maybe I was confusing it with a trip through Peña Blanca, also when I was a kid.

Now, I know intellectually that this notable landmark is the core of an extinct volcano. Nevertheless, when I was a kid, my father told me it was a monster that had been frozen into stone. No matter what anyone says, for me, it will always be a monster frozen into stone. Or, alternatively, Mike's expression, frozen into stone.

North of Santa Ana, I crossed the ditch into agricultural fields, lost the pavement, started travelling a dirt road, and kept heading north.

For centuries, the Pueblo Indians have been fiercely-protective of their way of life, and remarkably resistant to changes imposed from the outside. They have kept their grazing lands and cottonwood groves free from most of the real estate development that has marred Albuquerque. 150 years ago, most of the Rio Grande Valley in Albuquerque looked a lot like the expansive groves portrayed in "Breaking Bad". It came as a surprise to me that Santa Ana Pueblo has been working so closely with "Breaking Bad" over the years. And now again! (And San Felipe Pueblo too.)

A magnificent alfalfa field!

Driving around, I startled what appeared to be a colony of Gunnison's Prairie Dogs.

(35.370617°, -106.512221°)
I’m thinking this might be the site where Mike tosses his arms into a hole in the ground. On Google Earth you can even see a tiny spot that might be the hole cover!

It’s interesting: this site is on Santa Ana Indian Pueblo land, but the final scene point is on San Felipe Indian Pueblo land. It demonstrates that “Breaking Bad” is working very closely with both Indian Pueblos, and has good relations with both. In addition, these sites are as remote from the inhabited areas of the Pueblos as it’s possible to get and still be on Pueblo land. I’m sure that a minimal disturbance of the inhabitants was part of the package for permission to use the land.

Something is fishy at Cradock Marine Bank
Charter Bank, 2130 Eubank Boulevard NE.

Overpass where Mike calls for help. Dual overpass over the railroad at Commercial St. NE: Marquette Avenue & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue NE. Facing east.
(35.086616°, -106.645793°).

Mike with granddaughter at park: (35.118191, -106.549012).
Amazing! Same place where Marie got caught thieving from her house visits! La Palomita Park. La Sala Grande and La Palomita Rd. NE. Mike even says the name!

Last of the three houses Marie visits on her kleptomaniac journey (Season 4, Episode 3, "Open House"). 8503 La Sala Grande, NE. This site reappears in Season 5 - it's adjacent to La Palomita Park (with playground) where Mike is forced to abandon granddaughter Kaylee (Season 5, episode 7, "Say My Name"). The house is visible in the background.

Approximate Time Lapse location
Off Simms Park Road
(35.158902°, -106.491892°)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

14th Annual "Race For The Arts"

Today, I got up way early, to be part of DMTC's support group for the 14th Annual "Race for the Arts."

At the DMTC booth.

They're off!

Don't be late!

Strolling along.

Pretty tree in Land Park.

Pretty grove in Land Park. (Some evolutionary scientists say that homo sapiens is biologically driven to prefer parklike areas because they resemble the open savanna in Africa where we first evolved).

There was a theater area in the park, where a number of local arts groups performed. The groups that performed first (e.g., Deane Dance Center) were at a considerable disadvantage, however, because nearly their entire audience was out running. Here, Sacramento Theater Company's (STC's) Young Professional's Conservatory representative Arcadia German improvises patter to entertain the sparse crowd. Other STC volunteers charmed the audience with Shakespearean monologues. Arcadia made me laugh with her synopsis of an upcoming STC drama (whose title I unfortunately missed): "If you're interested in witchery and hangings and - it's based on the McCarthy Hearings! - if that's what you like, come on down!"

Elite Studio of Dance in Elk Grove performed as part of Elk Grove Youth Dance's program.

Studio 18 from North Natomas performed.

Aspiring dancers know that good nutrition is important - specifically, giving away the good nutrition to those for whom it is better suited.

A Swing West?

So far, Isaac is behaving just about letter-perfect, according to National Hurricane Center forecast.

Most of the latest model runs are showing a swing away from Tampa, and a landfall towards Louisiana, but because not all the models are showing this development, the National Hurricane Center isn’t endorsing it yet, and is trying to split the difference – they are still showing a landfall around Pensacola (see below). Nevertheless, this swing to the west seems reasonable, and could well happen, which would give Tampa a bit more safety margin.