Saturday, November 07, 2015

Folsom Lake Just About Bottoming Out

SO CLOSE! Folsom Lake is at 143,050 acre-feet, just a hair's breadth above the all-time lowest point on record of 140,600 acre-feet, in November, 1977. With the little storm rolling in tonight, I don't know if we'll bust that record, or not. We're almost at "dead pool" level. Just as long as the water is potable, that's what matters.

"Welcome To The 76th Hunger Games"

I can't wait!

Utah Gunfail

This blogger does a useful weekly roundup of the nation's gun accidents (a job that is properly a federal responsibility, but is prevented by the NRA from doing so).

This week, there are two stories from Utah. The South Salt Lake story caught my attention because of the lousy acting, plus it happened very close to where I once lived. The Logan story is just weird:
SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT, 10/18/15: A 24-year-old West Valley City man was in critical condition Monday after accidentally shooting himself in the pelvis — twice — during a botched South Salt Lake convenience store holdup. South Salt Lake police Sgt. Gary Keller said the suspect allegedly went into a Sinclair store at 3300 South and Main Street at 7:17 PM Sunday, approached the clerk and tried to pull a handgun out of his waistband, and that is when it all went wrong. "The gun discharged, twice, but the suspect was able to limp out of the store," Keller said. Police say the suspect's 34-year-old male accomplice, waiting outside, took the gun and attempted to hide it in nearby bushes, then tried to act like a curious bystander before leaving the scene. Witnesses saw through the act and told investigators what they saw. The suspect and his accomplice, also a West Valley City resident, went to their room at the nearby Intown Suites motel. Police and paramedics responded there after receiving a 911 call reporting a self-inflicted shooting incident. Neither of the men was cooperative, initially refusing to provide identities or answer questions. However, witness accounts, and discovery of the firearm in the bushes near the store, quickly cleared the narrative, Keller said. The suspect remained in the hospital on Monday, while his alleged accomplice was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of evidence tampering.

LOGAN, UT, 10/20/15: Several schools were put on lockdown Tuesday morning before police arrested a man who allegedly shot and wounded himself, officials said. Early Tuesday morning, a woman told police the man, Jose Almaguer, hadn't returned her car after he borrowed it Monday. The two had gotten into an argument early Tuesday morning, and he drove off in her car after she demanded it back, according to Captain Curtis Hooley with the Logan City Police Department. Police in the area searched for him, and an officer found the car on Main Street in Logan and made contact with Almaguer. Almaguer denied he had been told to return the car, but police escorted him back to the woman's residence near 290 West 1400 North. Police had no further information to detain him, so Almaguer left the area. Police searched the woman's car upon her request and found a bag of controlled substance. She told police Almaguer kept a .22 pistol in her garage, but it was missing and she believed he had it. Police tried to locate Almaguer again, but couldn't find him. Around 9 AM, the woman told police Almaguer came to her house and told her he shot himself in the arm. She said he was bleeding from his arm and head and he then allegedly fled east on 1400 North. Police set up a perimeter to try and locate the male. Police sent out a reverse 911 to residents with a description of Almaguer and the schools went on lockdown. Lockdowns were later lifted. About an hour into the search, an area resident told police a man who matched Almaguer's description had knocked on his door. Almaguer was believed to be in the man's backyard. Police then arrested him. Almaguer has a wound on his right wrist that is consistent with a small caliber gunshot wound. He was transported to Logan Regional Hospital for treatment, Logan police said. Hoodley said they are seeing more gun-type calls in Logan, but it doesn't happen very often and they "try to mitigate those circumstances and make sure our citizens are safe." "Well, when we have a gun call like this we certainly respond with a lot of officers just to try to get the situation taken care of as quickly as possible...that's one of the ways that we try to deal with it when we have a call such as this." This case is still under investigation. Police believe he did shoot himself, but he isn't being cooperative. Investigators are trying to determine how he was wounded, the connection with the drugs in the car, and if he was legally in possession of a firearm.

Florida Man Is "Armed And On The Run".

(Quoting Donna's friend Stacy, since I'm not nearly so clever):
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Police in Florida are looking for a man with no legs, hands and parts of his arms to question him about the murder of his parents.

Police named Sean Petrozzino, 30, as a "person of interest" but not an official suspect in the double murder of his parents, Nancy and Michael Petrozzino.

His parents were found shot to death at their home Tuesday morning, WFTV-TV reports. Police made the discovery when his mother didn't show up for work as a school teacher. His father was a Walt Disney World cast member, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

...Petrozzino was last seen on an ATM surveillance camera Tuesday morning leaving in a 2012 red Toyota Camry. Police consider him armed and dangerous.

"All Things Must Pass" - The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

Tonight, I went to the Tower Theater to see "All Things Must Pass", the documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records, the world-spanning record-sales colossus, which, of course, began in Sacramento in 1941 within the same building housing the very same Tower Theater.

These sad home-entertainment days, most of the seats you see in the cinema are empty. Tonight, I was astonished to find nearly every seat in the Tower Theater full. Perhaps since Tower's roots are deeper here than anywhere else, many people also felt the need to reminisce about the empire that started here.

One of the iconic images in the movie (at 0:56 in this trailer) is smiling founder Russ Solomon perched on the wooden canopy above the door of the Tower Broadway location. As I drove away from the theater, I could see that same canopy of the old Tower Broadway location (and now the Dimple Records Broadway location). Almost like Sacramento's version of the Colosseum, or something.

Ben Carson's Achilles Heel

Ignorance and arrogance:
"When you watch Carson navigating the public square you see someone who is remarkably ignorant about huge swathes of human knowledge and particularly information about US government and public policy. But you also see someone who's quite confident he's very knowledgable. So he's both remarkably ignorant and either stunningly unaware of his ignorance or totally indifferent to it. You might even say he is militantly ignorant. In all aspects of life, that is a dangerous combination. And the combination is almost always rooted in arrogance."

Take That, Exxon!

Jamaican Dancehall Tunes

Captured once again by Thursday night Jamaican Dancehall. Can't even describe the mesmerizing allure. Like catnip for dancers....

A Burrito Dream

I dream about the weirdest stuff. In the dream, I found that a burrito I had been keeping in the freezer since 1997 had spoiled and was swarming with colorful scarabs. There's a message there, but not sure what it is. Like to think it represents rebirth.

Middle-aged White American Men Death Rates Are Increasing

Middle-aged white American men death rates are increasing, and everyone else's death rates are going down:

If the white midlife mortality “had continued to decline at its previous (1979 - 1998) rate,” Case and Deaton estimate, “half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999 - 2013, comparable to lives lost in the U.S. AIDS epidemic through mid-2015.”

As a result, the ratio of black to white mortality rates dropped from 2.09 in 1999 to 1.40 in 2013. Contrary to what many Americans may still believe, drug overdoses are no longer concentrated among minorities; in fact, among the 45-54 age group, drug-related deaths are now higher among whites.

Oh, but I forget, last year they revealed that middle-aged white American women death rates are increasing too.

So, what do the Republicans think? Mike Huckabee says no health insurance for people with preexisting conditions:
It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.”

Well, one logical end point about the burden of health insurance is to get rid of it entirely. The advent of genetic testing and large medical data bases means more people than ever have detectable pre-existing conditions. That minority of healthy people that have no pre-existing conditions at all don't really need health insurance, except maybe for accidents. People can buy their own health care as they need it. And if people get too sick to afford help, they can crawl under a freeway overpass somewhere until they feel better. No more "free stuff".

Even the racially-charged GOP should recognize that it is THEIR people who need health insurance, more than ever! But those folks don't make much money, so GOP presidential candidates need to attack them too.

Profiles in Courage

'Day By Day'- "Godspell"

My high school friends and I saw the movie "Godspell" at least a dozen times. This song was strong enough to become a genuine pop hit on its own.

Remembering Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton

Time hung heavy when I was a kid in the Sixties. Saturday afternoon television-watching consisted mostly of tedious gangster movies and dull golf shows. There was just one exception: Porter Wagoner (whose exotic outfits and big eyes looked vaguely alien) and his frequent guest, Dolly Parton. They made a good team.

Let's Hear It For Sacramento's Area 4!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Judy Collins In Concert - Yoshi's Jazz Club, Oakland, CA - November 4, 2015

Jackie Shelley, her friend Donna Peña, and I traveled to Oakland to see Judy Collins perform tonight at Yoshi's Jazz Club, in Jack London Square, in Oakland, CA. Judy (age 76) has a new CD out with a variety of duets, plus a lush autobiography: "Judy Collins: Sweet Judy Blue Eyes".

Judy told stories of her Greenwich Village folk-singing days, made references to all kinds of exes and old boyfriends that mostly sailed right over my head, and sang her hits, but she also spent an unusual amount of time singing Stephen Sondheim songs: "Pretty Women" from Sweeney Todd, "Send in the Clowns" from "A Little Night Music", and everyone's favorite upbeat crowd-pleaser, "The Gun Song" from "Assassins". Hearing her beautifully-pure bell-like voice, I was thinking "PLEEEZE sing 'Green Finch and Linnet Bird' from "Sweeney Todd", PLEEEZE!" That didn't happen, but I whispered the suggestion to her. Great evening!

I've misplaced more in the last 24 hours than in the last 24 months. I tossed my iPhone in the laundry hamper, I went to work without my wallet, and I left my jacket in Oakland. Now I have to contrive a reason - any reason will do - to visit Oakland again.

I'm not a big Joni Mitchell fan, but I could tell Judy Collins admires her a lot, and that's good enough.

Of Joni's songs, I like this one the best:

Fundraiser For G-Boogie - November 1, 2015

Good time with the Step One folks.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015 - Onstage With the Thriller Dancers

Fifth part of a series of posts featuring pictures of the DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015.

Telling ghost stories with the Thriller Dancers

Jessica Arena looking uncharacteristically possessed.

DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015 - The Mad Scientist's Laboratory

Fourth part of a series of posts featuring pictures of the DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015.

The Mad Scientist's Laboratory

One time, while waiting for her father to wrap things up after a show, Ana Chan fell asleep on the carpet down here. I was preparing to close the theater, took a cursory look down there, saw no one, and turned off all the lights. Ana awoke with a start, found herself abandoned in the darkness of a cavern, and freaked.

The kids at our theater are quite admirable, and more talented, harder working and smarter than the kids I recall growing up with. That was driven home to me during our last Haunted Hotel tour, specifically for our tween volunteers, who had heretofore been too busy with the Haunted Hotel to see the entire tour. As the Mad Scientist, I ask the guests on the tour if they are hungry, and whether they might fancy some "Rongere". One of the tweens immediately recognized the French word for "Rodent", snapped her fingers, and sarcastically responded "I don't THINK so!" (Her uncle had taught her some conversational French - enough to identify Parisian urban wildlife). I was amazed. In my day, no one would have understood.

DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015 - The Seance Room

Third part of a series of posts featuring pictures of the DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015.

The Séance Room

DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015 - The Pirates' Lair

Second part of a series of posts featuring pictures of the DMTC Haunted Hotel 2015.

The Pirates' Lair

DMTC Halloween Haunted Hotel 2015 - Lobby

First part of a series of posts featuring pictures of the Haunted Hotel, starting with the Lobby.

The Lobby

The South Hallway