Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Mexico Hiatus

SWPACA 2017, here I come!

Don't Touch

Tyler Island Evacuated

Just downriver from here:
Sacramento County advised residents in the Tyler Island area south of Walnut Grove to evacuate Monday due to a compromised levee.

About 20 homes are in the area, said Sacramento County Water Resources spokesman Matt Robinson. Tyler Island is protected by a ring levee.

The county expected imminent failure of the North Fork Mokelumne River levee, the National Weather Service warned early in the afternoon. Robinson said there was some disintegration on the land side of the levee but no water has gotten through. Workers are piling rocks at the weakened point to shore it up, he said.

California River of Denial

The Stupid. It Burns.:
MERCED, Calif. — Jeff Marchini and others in the Central Valley here bet their farms on the election of Donald J. Trump. His message of reducing regulations and taxes appealed to this Republican stronghold, one of Mr. Trump’s strongest bases of support in the state.

As for his promises about cracking down on illegal immigrants, many assumed Mr. Trump’s pledges were mostly just talk. But two weeks into his administration, Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that have upended the country’s immigration laws. Now farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them.

“Everything’s coming so quickly,” Mr. Marchini said. “We’re not loading people into buses or deporting them, that’s not happening yet.” As he looked out over a crew of workers bent over as they rifled through muddy leaves to find purple heads of radicchio, he said that as a businessman, Mr. Trump would know that farmers had invested millions of dollars into produce that is growing right now, and that not being able to pick and sell those crops would represent huge losses for the state economy. “I’m confident that he can grasp the magnitude and the anxiety of what’s happening now.”

1958 Albuquerque

I like this ABQ film clip. It shows the Crazy Horse Trading Post. My mom sold jewelry at the Crazy Horse 1972-75.

Supermarket Cow Dance

I apologize- I forgot to milk the cow this morning.

A Selection of Cake Auction Photos - DMTC - Feb. 11, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Interview With Joe Countryman

No good news at Oroville Dam:
The Bee: If the top ​of the emergency spillway ​goes, is that basically dam failure?

Countryman: It’s not going to be the (main) embankment failure, but it’s a failure. If it does happen, there’s nothing saying that the ground is going to stay where it is. That force of water will start tearing that hill apart​,​ and it could eat back into the reservoir and drain the reservoir.

The Bee: If that happens​,​ is it a “who knows what will happen?” situation?

Countryman: Yeah, it’s speculation, but most of the speculation would be it’s not good. It will be a helluva mess downstream. I think they’re taking the right action. I think between now and Thursday​,​ when the next storm arrives, they need to get the reservoir down as low as they can. Tomorrow, they need to start grouting the hell out of that embankment to try to shut off where that leak is.

The Department of Water Resources released a video shot by a drone over the Oroville Dam. Water is seen running over the emergency spillway as well as the main spillway.
Department of Water Resources

​The Bee: Say the top 30 feet of the emergency spillway does break off​,​ and it sends a pressure wave down the system​. That would raise concerns of levees failing in Oroville and other towns along the Feather River channel. ​Would it cause a big risk in Sacramento?

​Countryman: ​It’s hard to say​, because there is a lot of volume in the floodplain, but once the levee burst​​ most of that water is going to be leaving the river and spreading across the land. With the Yolo Bypass and everything​, my gut tell tells me that Sacramento probably doesn’t have major concern.

The Bee: But Marysville, Oroville, Live Oak​? The Highway 70 corridor?

Countryman: That’s gone. I’ll tell you right now that’s gone. If they lose that 30 feet that’s gone.

"Hansel and Gretel" at Chautauqua Playhouse

The music for "Hansel and Gretel" at Chautauqua Playhouse was very good. Warren Harrison says he adapted music from the opera of the same name, dating to 1893, by Engelbert Humperdinck and Adelheid Wette, and indeed, Carolyn Gregory sang several arias. Nice!

Karen Sandoval was fun as Rosina Rubylips. For a show aimed at very young children it's important that the villainness not be so scary as to alarm the children, and Karen does a great job. Loved Warren's spirited performance as the Father.

I liked Hansel. Gretel was quite good. She is apparently involved with California beauty pageants, but learning more is hard, since they keep those hush-hush.

Two more weekends!

Spooky Facebook Marketing

Facebook knows I'm planning a trip to Albuquerque, because I'm getting ads for Hotel Chaco. The marketing is either hilarious or alarming, depending on mood. For example, "Hotel Chaco - for the restless", or "we've been preparing for your visit for 1,000 years". It sounds like full moon at an Indian burial ground, but how could it be any more restless than Hotel Blue during the Central Cruise? I'll drive past to soothe the spirits. Maybe bring some sacrificial turquoise.

Dam Failure Near Elko, NV

Floods in rural communities are so miserable:
No injuries have been reported, but authorities said there appeared to be extensive damage to several ranches and farms.

About 30 residences have been impacted by the floodwaters in Montello since the Twentyone Mile Dam broke Wednesday afternoon, Pitts said. A 10-mile stretch of State Route 233 remained closed.

"Evil Does In Fact Die"

Well this is harsh:
“Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited [sic] sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days,” said the obituary, which apparently crashed the Carnes Funeral Home website by Friday night.

Lake Oroville's Problems Are Our Problems

Here in Sacramento, we need to start thinking out our next moves. Even though we don't know how much is coming yet, it's all coming our way. Getting my Go Box ready....:

Big Fortune

I wonder if this means the tree branch hanging over the house will drop?

Completely Insidious

American citizen:
Bikkannavar is a seasoned international traveller — but his return home to the US this time around was anything but routine. Bikkannavar left for South America on January 15th, under the Obama Administration. He flew back from Santiago, Chile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on Monday, January 30th, just over a week into the Trump Administration.

Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn’t supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar’s phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn’t know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device.

Dictatorship is Almost Here

Less than a month into the Trump presidency and we're already at this point. This argument is the only one that really matters. If Trump wins this one, we are in a dictatorship:
Challenging a federal court's ruling, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told ABC News "the judiciary is not supreme" and the president's powers on immigration "represent the apex of executive authority."

Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' upholding a lower court's temporary restraining order on President Trump's executive action that temporarily bars entry into the U.S. of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Miller said, "We have equal branches of government in this country."

"The judiciary is not supreme," he said on "This Week" on Sunday. "A district judge in Seattle cannot force the president of the United States to change the laws and our Constitution because of their own personal views."

SWPACA Approaches!

Fun times coming! Roughly a thousand academics will converge at the Southwest Popular/American Cultural Association (SWPACA) Convention, to be held Feb. 15-18, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Albuquerque.

SWPACA is a nerd’s paradise. Four days of sophisticated academic talks (free, and open for anyone to attend) about a host of popular-culture subjects, including:

Women Beat hipsters; Cormac McCarthy; Grateful Dead; comedy and violence in music; Harry Potter, Science Fiction & Fantasy; Horror; Films; Comic books; Black identities; Alfred Hitchcock; Rap and Hip hop; Women in TV; Pokemon Go; Queers on TV; Witches on TV; Food; Apocalypses; Haunted houses, Native Americans; the politics of Middle Earth; Zombie culture; Margaret Atwood; Fashion trends in the Russian Arctic; Chicanos in the Trump era; Fairy tales; Advertising; Detective novels; Fangirls; Theater; Computer culture; On the road; War and culture, and many more.

Basically, there’s something for everyone! A nerd’s paradise! You can wander from room to room for hours, learn awesome things, and never be bored.

Wedged among these many subjects are two sessions, chaired by Nick Gerlich, on Breaking Bad (BrBa) and Better Call Saul (BCS). Nick is also leading a tour of filming locations on Saturday, Feb. 18th.

There are five speakers lined up. The room will be ‘Enchantment C’. Here is the schedule:

Morning session, Friday, February 17, 2017 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
Breaking Theoretical: Why People Watched "Breaking Bad" - Nick Gerlich (West Texas A&M University)
Streamline Moderne and Jimmy McGill - Marc Valdez (Independent Scholar)

Afternoon session, Friday, February 17, 2017 - 1:15pm - 2:45pm
"Caballo Sin Nombre": Spectral Violence in the (Post)Western Borderlands of "Breaking Bad" - Chris Muniz (University of Southern California)
Say My Name: Walter White as Rumpelstiltskin and Reading "Breaking Bad" as a Classic Fairy Tale—for Adults - Preston Wittwer (Brigham Young University)
Breaking Binaries: How "Breaking Bad" Challenges TV Paradigms - Hayley Wilson (Middle Tennessee State University)

Regarding my talk, I noticed Vince Gilligan and company have been using Albuquerque's architecture to tell separate (and sometimes tangential) stories in the backgrounds of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" scenes. Understanding and interpreting their code is my topic.
If you can, please attend!