Friday, July 01, 2016

Modeling of Lead Concentrations and Hot Spots at General Aviation Airports

I'm pleased that a paper I contributed to just got published:

Transportation Research Record, the Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2569, p. 80-87, "Modeling of Lead Concentrations and Hot Spots at General Aviation Airports", by Stephen N. Feinberg, Jeremy G. Heiken, Marc P. Valdez, Jim M. Lyons, and Jay R. Turner.

I'm surprised the modeling worked out as well as it did. So easy to make difficult-to-detect errors with this intricate stuff.

Woodland's 'Secret' Bakery

Illegal Coordination

Both the Trump campaign and a Trump SuperPAC are bombarding foreign lawmakers with appeals for money. Not only are these lawmakers banned from donating, but there is evidence the campaign and the SuperPAC are coordinating, which is illegal, and could get Trumpites sent to prison:
Given what I've said above, the existence of this list almost has to originate in Trump Derpland. A virtual certainty. So how did the same list end up in the hands of a Trump SuperPac? I looked up Crippled America PAC and as of their last filing just a couple weeks ago, they're total budget was $40. No m or b after that $ sign, forty bucks, the price of a fancy dinner. So obviously CAP was just stood up and actually started operating just now. And now they're showing up in Tim's inbox.

Again, normally you'd just say, they're both buying the list from the same vendor. I'm also pretty sure that a good campaign finance lawyer could find a way to get lists from a campaign to its supportive SuperPacs without running afoul of the rules against campaigns coordinating with SuperPacs. But let's be honest, does any of this look like its done by anyone who has the slightest clue about fundraising or campaign finance law? Of course, not.

A Very Traditional General-Election Campaign

For all its primary-election novelty, I think the 2016 general-election campaign will be quite traditional; maybe even dull:

"There is a correlation of .99 — an almost perfect relationship — between Obama’s margin over Mitt Romney in the 2012 exit poll and Clinton’s margin over Trump in the 2016 CNN/ORC poll across these voter groups. These findings strongly support the belief that group voting patterns in 2016 are likely to closely resemble group voting patterns in 2012."

Sacramento Art Deco Society Celebrates 25th Anniversary

I need to get over there and check them out:
The term art deco was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, a 1925 Paris exhibition that called for artists around the world to create something new, not mimicked from the Victorian or any other era, Sinclair said.

Landmark art deco buildings in the U.S. include the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York.

Sacramento has only a few art deco buildings, including the East Lawn Memorial building, the Crest and Tower theaters and the Kress building on K Street, Sinclair said. Other art deco societies are located in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and about three dozen exist worldwide, according to the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies.

The Sacramento society aims to educate people about the art deco history and art through its lecture series, movies and events throughout the city showcasing the period between the 1920s and 1940s.

In the past, the society has organized museum exhibits at the Folsom History Museum featuring art deco-style items such as dining room arrangements, elevator doors and cars, said Bruce Woodward, the society’s secretary and a longtime member. More recently, the society partnered with the Blue Line Arts gallery in Roseville, showcasing art deco items with local artwork inspired by the era.

Members also advocate for preserving local buildings in danger of being torn down, Woodward said.

I Brexit'd Before It Was Cool


I live next to a large DMV parking lot. It's patrolled by guards, but they can't be everywhere all the time.

This morning, a man apparently lay in wait and surprised his ex. A huge shouting argument erupted, waking me up out of a sound sleep. I was thinking "if someone's gonna get shot, the least I can do is get out of bed." It ended with squealing tires and the man hurling nasty accusations.

Yeah, That's Us

New Mexico residents try to educate the uneducatable:
“[New Mexico] is a land filled with radical feminists, angry Indians and illegal Mexicans,” the 70-year-old man said in his letter. “We were verbally attacked twice in Santa Fe simply because we are Christian conservatives and hold a different political point of view. We were forced to ‘keep our mouths shut’ for fear of physical reprisals. In Taos, we both got a massage. I told the masseuse about our encounters in Santa Fe and that we would support Trump. Her exact words to me were to keep our mouths shut because we would be physically attacked.”

Hurl That Beer

For the last several nights, I've steered Bella away from several large emergency-response scenes, where eleventy-seven emergency vehicles converge and illuminate the night with flashing lights. There's nothing a simple Labrador Retriever can do there.

Tonight, a group of chronic partiers chose to stay inside their apartment, so Bella meticulously examined their outside space for tidbits. Last night, three partiers failed to observe us until we were quite close. They were hurling full cans of beer high into the air and watching them burst when they hit the pavement. Turns out, they live in the apartments next door to us. Oy.

Tonight we got quite close to a human couple walking their Pit Bull. We lurked in the shadows. The Pit Bull knew we were there, and kept looking over its shoulder, but the humans remained oblivious.

We've had the normal luck rousting Prudent Cats and finding Abandoned Takeout Food Containers. Someone had cast aside a cardboard sign reading "Spare Change - Anything Helps - God Bless". (They should be more careful - that's someone's livelihood right there.) Bella kept trying to turn the sign over looking for more tidbits. Indeed, she found a chicken drumstick. She looked plaintively at me for permission to pick it up, but there is no flexibility in the No-Chicken-Bones Commandment - that's what Commandments are all about, after all - and we moved on.

Bella is normally good avoiding tangling her leash around poles and street signs, but once she gets going and The Nose takes over, the Wilding starts, and before you know it, she's so focused on scent she tangles up her leash around trees and inconvenient bushes and her own legs.

The best part of the nightly walk is near the end, when we pass the strips of grass near the DMV. I quietly drop the leash and hide behind a tree. Suddenly realizing I'm playing, Bella runs with abandon back and forth, chasing me as I do a bad job of fleeing.

Air Conditioning Deity

That was a strange nap. I dreamed I was the god of central air conditioning, a jealous and erratic deity, like Donald Trump with a compressor. Place no other gods before me (in summer, anyway).

In A Pinch, Roadrunners Fly

Roadrunner in Flight

Photo Frank Carey

Missed The Sacramento Rioting

I'm pleased that the Sacramento police more-or-less stood back and let the Trump-loving Neo-Nazis get their asses kicked at the State Capitol. It's a rough form of justice.

I saw the sign posted on Broadway last week calling for volunteers to come do the ass-kicking. Tempted, but I was traveling. I figure, if the American people had to sacrifice to send my father to fire artillery at the original Nazis in 1945, when people with a similar ideology appear here under the Trump brand, we should respond with muscle. It's the same fight:
Reached via phone, the man said he had been at the rally and “defended myself ... with my fists,” but did not have a knife. He said he had been a white supremacist since 2010 but was not a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party holding the rally.

“It was just a white nationalist meeting, and I attended to show my support,” he said.

He added that he thought the police response was “pretty unsatisfactory. They failed to protect and serve, as was their duty ... I think it’s a dereliction of duty.”

The man, whom The Sacramento Bee is not identifying because he has not been named by police as a suspect, said he was walking with a group of about 18 other white supremacists on the east side of the Capitol when police redirected them to enter on the west side.

“That’s where all the Antifa were waiting,” he said. “We were just mobbed, just rushed.”

Police, he said, were “nowhere to be found.”

Forque Restaurant Highlights of the NM Trip

(Photo by James Gelet.)

Sitting at the Schwieckart Table with Sean East, Donnakay Ohmburger, Angie Stewart, Shawna Martinez, and James Gelet.

(Photo by Shawna Martinez.)

With Shawna Martinez and Angie Stewart.

The bad part about returning to Sacramento after a long weekend: not remembering where I parked at the airport. Midnight too. I discovered a demimonde of dazed people forever doomed to wander in limbo around the airport parking lot.

The good part: Bella's happiness.

Elegy for Joan L. Bromberg

I was perusing the American Institute of Physics History Newsletter, and came across an elegy for Joan Bromberg (1929-2015). Joan was a rarity: a well-known scholar of the History of Physics who lived on temporary appointments (including at UC Davis), a civil rights activist (her bus got pelted with rocks at a 1949 Paul Robeson concert), an enthusiastic supporter of Latin American science, and a lover of ballet.

I remember Joan as a faithful student in Pamela Kay Lourentzos' Sunday morning ballet class in the 1990's.

Joan's father was well-known too. Dr. Walter Bromberg (1900-2000) was Jack Ruby's psychiatrist. I remember he delivered a very-interesting lecture in the 1990's about shoot-from-the-hip Jack Ruby at Sacramento's Unitarian Church.

Joan is best known for a 1967 article "Maxwell’s Displacement Current and His Theory of Light," and the books "Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source" (1982), "The Laser in America, 1950 - 1970," (1991), "NASA and the Space Industry" (1999), and "Teoria quântica: Estudos históricos e implica.ões culturais" (2011), which received the 2011 Jabuti Prize, the most distinguished literary prize in Brazil in the field of science.

I'm sure if she had to encourage people to support her legacy, it would be to send collections of scientific journals to Cuba, to help repair the damage from the U.S. embargo. She talked about it often.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Better Call Saul" - Special Topics

This post contains Special Topics related to "Better Call Saul" (last updated January 22, 2020).

The Blog Sidebar contains links to Filming Location posts.  These include:
  • Eight "Breaking Bad" filming location posts;
  • Three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" related subjects;
  • Seven "Better Call Saul" filming location posts;
  • Two additional posts regarding "Better Call Saul" related subjects;
  • One post regarding "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie";
  • Three links to OldeSaultie's Google maps of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" filming location sites. These are the best filming location maps on the Web! The KML files available at these addresses are particularly useful for importing locations into GPS-equipped devices.

Let me know if you have any problems or questions (E-Mail address:


To avoid unnecessary friction, I have redacted the addresses of all single-family homes in these books. (These addresses are still available in these blog posts, however.)

The pictures in the print edition are black-and-white, in order to keep costs down. Pictures in the Kindle edition are in color.

"A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character"

The Fifth Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 375 pages) of the book, updated through Season 4 of "Better Call Saul," is now available and can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle.

“‘Breaking Bad’ Signs and Symbols: Reading Meaning into Sets, Props, and Filming Locations”

The First Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 290 pages) of this book can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle

This book delves into some of the symbolism in AMC's hit television series "Breaking Bad." Toxic modernity is symbolized by architectural elements derived from Chicago. Indeed, Albuquerque is used as a kind of stand-in for the City of Chicago. Like many cities in America’s Great Plains and Mountain West, Albuquerque obtained much of its architecture directly from the Windy City via the AT&SF railroad and Highway 66.

The creative team is interested in telling stories about the legacies and corruptions of modernity, particularly Chicago’s “Century of Progress” (1833-1932). In particular, Chicago-derived daylighting innovations (the practice of passive window design to help illuminate the interiors of large buildings) are featured: Glass Block Windows, Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows, and Plate Glass Windows. Once the backgrounds of scenes are encoded with meaning, a variety of stories can be told there.

A series of tables are presented - for example: Parallel Beams in the Ceiling; Twinned Features; Five-Pointed Stars; Octagons; Monkeys; Horses; Cats; Moth Orchids; and Skulls.

Certain symbols advance the plot: Native-American symbols; Foreshadowing symbols like Pueblo Deco arches; Danger symbols like bells, stagger symbols, and desk lamps; plus Earth Art.

Featured stories as told in television-scene backgrounds include: The Legacy of El Chapo; Tributes to Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”; The Badger Comes To Entrap; The Five Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe; The legacy of London's Crystal Palace; and Homages to Patrick McGoohan's “The Prisoner.”


Kelly Tow's Commemoration of My Automobile Accident

Kelly Tow heard about my automobile accident, and put together this wonderful commemoration.

"Better Call Saul" Fandom

Donnakay Ohmburger's "Better Call Saul" bench (which she won in a Tractor Brewing Co. raffle).

Donnakay Ohmburger's "Better Call Saul" bench (which she won in a Tractor Brewing Co. raffle).

Donnakay Ohmburger's "Better Call Saul" bench (which she won in a Tractor Brewing Co. raffle).

"Better Call Saul" Bench and Pillars of the Community

Since Donnakay Ohmburger won a "Better Call Saul" bench last year in a Tractor Brewing Company raffle, she deploys it at charity fundraising events and fan meetups. She placed it back at its iconic location, on August 31, 2016, in Albuquerque's Washington Park, for the "Better Call Saul Bash".

Marc Valdez.

King Tommy Au-Yeung and Donnakay Ohmburger.

King Tommy Au-Yeung.

King Tommy Au-Yeung.

Leah and Dan Winter.

Eddie Dominguez's "Pillars of the Community" (2002).

"I want to be a rock star."

KRQE Channel 13 news came on over for an interview. Frank and Jackie Sandoval drove up with their Breaking Bad RV tour. Kelly Tow from San Diego disembarked, dressed in her trendy bright yellow hazmat suit.

Videos Shown During The "Better Call Saul Bash" - August 20, 2016

Adam Ramirez and William Dickey had the great good fortune to tour Rio Rancho High School.

The Travels of the Baca Family

"Who among us is without sin?"

Adam Ramirez and William Dickey tour Albuquerque.

A Commemoration.

The art of Jake Schoonmaker.

A slide show of Saulty Dog meetups.

Photos From The "Better Call Saul Bash" Filming Location Scavenger Hunt - 08/20/16 - Albuquerque, NM

Photos From The "Better Call Saul Bash" - 08/20/16 - Embassy Suites Hotel - Albuquerque, NM

"Better Call Saul Bash" Videos

Presentation of Gifts to Marq and Ed

Marq Tells A Story

Polygonal References and Other Symbolism in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul"

I've been hunting down various geometric references in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul". Vince Gilligan likes Cartesian grids, among other things, but there are other polygons involved as well.

I noticed the cucumber slices - "Cucumber Water For Customer Only!" - are seven-sided in "Better Call Saul".

Seven sides could be a reference to Sigillum Dei, or perhaps to the Thelemic Star of Babalon. If the latter, it would complement Vince Gilligan's use of Jack Parson's story for Gus Fring in Breaking Bad.

Jack Parsons was a convert to Thelema, and had half his face blown off (see also my "Breaking Bad" Season 4 post). Or maybe seven sides refers to something else altogether.

Octagonal symbolism is present in several places in "Breaking Bad". The importance of the number eight is truly ancient, found in both Judaism and Buddhism:

"For Jews 8 was the number which symbolized salvation, rebirth and regeneration ... But for early Christians 8 was the number which symbolized the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the formation of the New Covenant. ... It is for this reason that Christian churches built during the Byzantine period were 8-sided structures."

I was very struck by the octagonal designs in the office glass block windows at Beneke Fabricators (Gonzalez Mechanical). The octagon is a very significant Christian symbol, and like catnip to Vince Gilligan.

Skyler's got the orchid on her desk, but early on, the orchid is white.

When Marie informs Skyler that Hank has arrested Walt ("Breaking Bad", Season 5b, episode 14, 'Ozymandias') the flower on Skyler's desk carries a double meaning. The flower is a very-popular variety, the Phalaenopsis Orchid, sometimes called a Moth Orchid, because the flower petals resemble moths.

In Chinese folklore, moths represent the spirits of dead ancestors.

The pink/purple color of the orchid suggests Marie's dominance of the conversation, and indeed, Marie dictates terms, but the petals suggest the spirits of the dead have already taken flight.

There are two examples of octagons from one episode ("Breaking Bad", Season 5b, episode 10, 'Buried').

When Jesse casts his money away and retreats onto park playground equipment, he is found on a spinning octagon, with (what appears to be) half of a snub cuboctahedron nearby.

When Hank tries to persuade Skyler to turn state's evidence, much of the restaurant is lit with sunburst lamps with octagonal symmetry.

The single light that is out is over the booth where they both sit.

The octagonal symmetry of the sunburst on the wind chime that Howard bumps into ("Better Call Saul", Season 3, episode 2, 'Witness').

While the DEA interview Skyler, the octagonal penthouse of the Albuquerque Federal Bldg. & United States Courthouse, 421 Gold Ave. SW, is visible out the window ("Breaking Bad", Season 5b, episode 15, 'Granite State'). Perhaps Skyler is under the protection of divine grace.

There is so much symbolism in "Breaking Bad" there's hardly any room for a plot. I was trying to track down Catholic imagery - specifically St. Margaret and the devotion of the Sacred Heart (a clue: the secretary at Beneke Fabricators is named Margaret) - so I took another look at the "Breaking Bad" final scene. Sure enough, Walter White is symbolically crucified and penetrated by the Holy Lance - the Spear of Longinus.

Heisenberg died for our sins.

Interesting. When Kim increasingly feels doomed at HHM and seeks advice from Chuck ("Better Call Saul," Season 2, episode 5, 'Rebecca'), she is briefly shown in the presence of a Phalaenopsis Orchid (aka, the Moth Orchid).

Two episodes later, when Kim ponders Jimmy's offer to join him at Wexler-McGill while smoking a cigarette on the parking garage rooftop ("Better Call Saul," Season 2, episode 7, 'Inflatable'), she does so beneath the octagonal penthouse of the United States Federal Courthouse, the same one in the background when Skyler is interviewed by DEA agents ("Breaking Bad,” Season 5b, episode 15, 'Granite State').

Adam Ramirez Envy

Adam Ramirez (from Austin, TX) and William Dickey (his friend from Maine) have been not only the most-dogged "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" filming location fans, but the luckiest as well. They've gone places I can only dream of! (But as we all know, good luck is made!)

A sampling....

Southwest Aniline, Southside Water Reclamation Plant (SWRP) Cogeneration Facility ("Breaking Bad", Season 1, episode 7, 'No Rough Stuff Type Deal'). Walt & Jesse steal a methylamine barrel.

Farmer's Market Store, Rio Grande Market ("Breaking Bad", Season 2, episode 6, 'Peekaboo').

Sunset, On the edge of East Mesa, ENE of the Chicken Farm, ("Breaking Bad", Season 3, episode 6, 'Sunset').

Happy birthday Ted (at Beneke Fabricators, aka Gonzalez Mechanical)!


Recreating the Rooftop scene with photographer James Gelet at the Gizmo Store ("Breaking Bad", Season 4, episode 12, 'End Times').

Madrigal Headquarters in Hanover Germany, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School ("Breaking Bad", Season 5a, episode 2, 'Madrigal').

Madrigal Electromotive Houston Office, Scott & Kienzle's Law Offices, ("Breaking Bad", Season 5a, episode 4, 'Fifty-One').

Where Jesse tossed away cash on Arno SE.

Parking Garage at the difficult-to-access Hamlin Law Offices.

Adam has a friend keeping an eye out for Mesa Verde Bank & Trust.