Sunday, September 24, 2023

Damned Granite Countertops

Stonecutting is always hazardous, and engineered stonecutting is the worst:
Silicosis can ravage the lungs of workers after they inhale tiny particles of crystalline silica while they cut and grind stone that contains the mineral.
The disease dates back centuries, but researchers say the booming popularity of countertops made of engineered stone, which has much higher concentrations of silica than many kinds of natural stone, has driven a new epidemic of an accelerated form of the suffocating illness. As the dangerous dust builds up and scars the lungs, the disease can leave workers short of breath, weakened and ultimately suffering from lung failure.
“You can get a transplant,” Cabrera told the man in Spanish, “but it won’t last.”
In California, it has begun to debilitate young workers, largely Latino immigrants who cut and polish slabs of engineered stone. Instead of cropping up in people in their 60s or 70s after decades of exposure, it is now afflicting men in their 20s, 30s or 40s, said Dr. Jane Fazio, a pulmonary critical care physician who became alarmed by cases she saw at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Some California patients have died in their 30s. 
“They’re young guys who essentially have a terminal diagnosis,” Fazio said.

"Something Rotten" - DMTC - September 23, 2023

I made a very low-key visit to DMTC Saturday night in order to support several cast members. Several cast members stood out: Matthew Draper as Shakespeare, Tea Berumen as Portia, and Pam Lourentzos as Shylock. Kyle Jackson is particularly good as Nostradamus. Kat Fio is excellent as co-choreographer and in the dance ensemble. I had problems with the one-tone, Shouty McShoutface portrayal of Nick Bottom by Hugo Figueroa (which I blame on the writing, not Hugo's capabilities). The ensemble is uneven, per usual. I thought Rachele Wurr is particularly good.

"Fiddler on the Roof" - Lincoln Theater Company - September 16th and October 1, 2023


The original Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964):
Book by Joseph Stein 
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick 
Music by Jerry Bock 
Entire Production Directed & Choreographed by Jerome Robbins

From Wikipedia:
Fiddler on the Roof is based on Tevye (or Tevye the Dairyman) and his Daughters, a series of stories by Sholem Aleichem that he wrote in Yiddish between 1894 and 1914 about Jewish life in a village in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia at the turn of the 20th century. The stories are based on Aleichem's own upbringing near modern-day Kyiv (fictionalized as Yehupetz). It is also influenced by Life is with People, by Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog. Aleichem wrote a dramatic adaptation of the stories that he left unfinished at his death, but which was produced in Yiddish in 1919 by the Yiddish Art Theater and made into a film in the 1930s. In the late 1950s, a musical based on the stories, called Tevye and his Daughters, was produced off-Broadway by Arnold Perl. Rodgers and Hammerstein and then Mike Todd briefly considered bringing this musical to Broadway but dropped the idea. 
Investors and some in the media worried that Fiddler on the Roof might be considered "too Jewish" to attract mainstream audiences. Other critics considered that it was too culturally sanitized, "middlebrow" and superficial; Philip Roth, writing in The New Yorker, called it shtetl kitsch. For example, it portrays the local Russian officer as sympathetic, instead of brutal and cruel, as Sholom Aleichem had described him. Aleichem's stories ended with Tevye alone, his wife dead and his daughters scattered; at the end of Fiddler, the family members are alive, and most are emigrating together to America. The show found the right balance for its time, even if not entirely authentic, to become "one of the first popular post-Holocaust depictions of the vanished world of Eastern European Jewry". Harold Prince replaced the original producer Fred Coe and brought in director/choreographer Jerome Robbins. The writers and Robbins considered naming the musical Tevye, before landing on a title suggested by various paintings by Marc Chagall (Green Violinist (1924), Le Mort (1924), The Fiddler (1912)) that also inspired the original set design.

The Lincoln Theater production is directed and choreographed by Jeff Teague. In general, Teague's production moves and flows very well on a fairly-small stage. Teague has an excellent eye for movement. (Friend and Choreographer Pam Lourentzos particularly praised Teague's choreography.)  Musical Directon is by Bill Zinn. The Lincoln Theater production featured recorded rather than live music. 

My attention was drawn to the Bottle Dance (I've done it myself twice; in 1997 and 2008). On September 16th the dancers managed to keep their bottles on their heads (although Matt Dunn's bottle was off-center and he had a terrible challenge to keep from dropping it), all succeeded!  I was impressed how the costumes and the background set worked together in the wedding scene.

The central character in the musical is Tevye (played very well by Gary Giurbino).  Tevye is earnest, active, doing his best to maintain Jewish traditions in an era when political violence and rapid changes systematically upended every tradition. 

Tevye is ably assisted by his wife Golde (played by Rachel Rycerz). Rachel is a wonderful Golde, with the clearest singing voice and convincing familial center. 

The three older daughters - Tzeitel (Leah Deutch), Hodel (Amanda Bistolfo), Chava (Sierra Nevin) - and their beaus - Motel (Jack Fidler), Perchik (Matthew Dunn), Fyedka (Drew Mayes) - are the familial flywheel that spins apart. All three daughters play their parts well. Deutch has a bright, winning personality.  Bistolfo has an excellent singing voice and Nevin carries the difficult acting required to portray Chava's shunning. 

There are several important character actors. The Fiddler (Kayden Dayog) has a larger and welcome presence in this production than in others I've seen. Karen Tricomo portrays Yente and her talkative ways (but had a tendency to wander off-script). The Constable (Adam Triplett) seemed measured but remote. Lazar (Jamesson Kaupanger), Rabbi (Steve Allison), and Mordcha (Travis Mononym) were ably played. 

The Lincoln Theater production was dogged by difficulties, with the cast and crew catching Covid-19, among other problems. There were changes in the September 16th show that were significant. Fruma-Sarah was played, I believe, by Amanda Bistolfo. Mendel (Vikram Verma) was unable to finish the September 16th show

(More to come) 

Role Name Hodel (Amanda Bistolfo) Sasha (Brandon Hunter) Yussell (Colin Monks) Momma (Dawn Maurer) Fyedka (Drew Mayes) Tevye (Gary Giurbino) Fruma-Sarah (Gracie Hollwager) Motel (Jack Fidler) Lazar (Jamesson Kaupanger) Yente (Karen Tricomo) Momma (Kasper Cummins-Rodriguez) Momma, Grandma Tzietel (Kay Jones) Fiddler (Kayden Dayog) Daughter Ensemble (Kourtney Sebree) Tzietel (Leah Deutch) Shprintze (MaKenna Spencer) Perchik (Matthew Dunn) Avram (Matt Toto) Belke (Persephone Hanks) Golde (Rachel Rycerz) Chava (Sierra Nevin) Rabbi (Steve Allison) Momma Ensemble (Susan M Stecz) Momma Ensemble (Tea Hanks) Mordcha (Travis Mononym) Mendel (Vikram Verma) Constable (Adam Triplett) Position Name Director/Choreographer Jeff Teague Musical Director Bill Zinn Stage Manager Patti Keeling-Haines Set Designer Brandon Hunter, Jeff Teague Costumer Laurel Krein Lighting Designer Chris Moore Sound Designer Paul Schechter Executive Director Paul Schechter Executive Producer Peggy Schechter Props/Production Assistant Kate Abila

Thursday, September 21, 2023

"Hadestown" - Broadway Sacramento - SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center - September 19, 2023

Been Spending A Lot of Time With Lincoln Theater Company

Rachel was cast as Golde in Lincoln Theater Company's production of "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened last weekend, so I have been helping transport her sons Jack and Larry up there, as well as watching the show.  Producers Paul and Peggy Schecter have been very welcoming. We used to be on the Board of DMTC in 2008, and they've all but asked me to join their Board. I'm not sure I want that responsibility since I have no organic connection to the theater company, but it is flattering, and who knows?

I've Been Busy Updating My February SWPACA Presentation

I realized I overstated my argument, so had to completely revamp the presentation.

Mitt Romney, The Blogger

We are birds of a feather!:
It’s not a surprise that Romney has turned to Coppins to help author his farewell address. Coppins, an excellent storyteller and chronicler of Republican politics in the Trump years, is a fellow Latter-day Saint who came of age in Massachusetts when Romney was governor of the state. That shared background is important. We found out last week, when Coppins published an excerpt of the biography on the Atlantic’s website, that in 2021 Romney and Coppins began meeting in Romney’s Senate offices or in his tony Washington town house, and had long conversations during which, Romney told Coppins, “no subject would be off-limits.” 
Romney also gave Coppins access to a space even more intimate, and perhaps even more Mormon: Romney’s personal journals and other papers from his time as a senator. On these pages, Romney presents himself as a vestige of a mostly mythic past, when senators spoke and voted based on their principles, not party expediency.

Jasper Welcomes Laurel on Her First Visit to the Dog Park

Maren Says Leave

Country Music has always had problems with racism and misogyny, but lately it's gotten much, much worse. So what should country artists do about it? This artist says: LEAVE! NOW!
It’s not that Morris, 33, has tired of twanging guitars or neatly cornered rhymes, both of which define the tunes that came out Friday, a decade after she moved to Nashville from her native Texas, first to write songs for established country acts such as Tim McGraw and later to sign a major-label record deal of her own. Rather, she says she’s leaving because of what she views as the country music industry’s unwillingness to honestly reckon with its history of racism and misogyny and to open its gates to more women and queer people and people of color.



 It's good Maren gets that option. I suspect it's hard on women in country music. I sort of knew these girls from the Sacramento area, but not seeing signs of huge success just yet.


Crazy Comes For The Garbage Cans

One of my neighbors (the lady with the Italian Greyhounds) warned me that one of her neighbors was in a delirium from the last stages of alcoholism and was collecting garbage cans and rolling them home. Then, one of the garbage cans in the alley was set afire and turned into a grotesque pile of plastic ashes. Then I saw someone looking through the neighbors' garbage can while using a flame for light.  If a fire starts there it's a good chance that the tree, the hedge, and both houses will go up in flames.  
So, I expected the worst when I heard the heavy scraping of a garbage can being dragged. I went outside, and found - this. I turned the garbage can back over, on the principle that one should never remain ignorant of what’s behind Door Number Two when it comes to the alley. Nothing was hidden. Not sure what it means. Maybe a portent?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

September 11th - A Bit More About Victor Saracini

At the NM Tech Facebook page for alumni from the 70s and early 80s, they had more about Victor Saracini, pilot of United Flight 175 on September 11, 2001. I have a hazy memory of sharing Dr. Loganbill's English class with Victor in the spring of 1975:

Then, in breaking news around 10:30 P.M., the authorities identified the pilot of United Flight 175, the hijacked plane that had flown into the second tower. Terrorists had stabbed a flight attendant and burst into the cockpit, where they killed the pilot and first officer, then took over the controls. All sixty-five people aboard died. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Géza felt a gut-punch when he saw the name of his college roommate flash across the screen: The pilot was 51-year-old Captain Victor J. Saracini, a husband and the father of two daughters, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 

“Oh, shit,” Géza said. 

One of us, he thought.

Never, Ever Stop

Entering Jack's pool party on August 27th at the Antelope Aquatic Center, the two high school students manning the front counter sent me back to my car to get my debit card for the $5 entry fee - the pool wasn't accepting cash. Upon reentry, the two girls asked me about my T-Shirt. I had been at ballet class just an hour before. I identify as a dancer.  The girls warmed to the subject of dance. They were enrolled in a dance class at Antelope High School, immediately adjacent to the Antelope Aquatic Center, and were happy to tell me about their class - some ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. I think they were surprised to see someone so old who still danced.  Upon departure, I gave them just one piece of advice: Never, Ever Stop.  Ever.

Jack's Pool Party

It was fun to attend Jack's 10-year-old birthday pool party on August 27th at the Antelope Aquatic Center. I went down the big tube slide and otherwise got wet with Jack, his family, and his friends.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Dance Break

Kate sends this:
I’m a big fan of dance-off scenes where warring factions express their differences in dance, like in West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and many more. I wish all disputes could be resolved that way. In The Umbrella Academy, a wonderfully inventive dark-comedy sci-fi series on Netflix, two super-powered families face off to do their interpretation of “Footloose.” It’s funny and fun to watch. And the song itself will energize you.

FAFO in Bernalillo

I feel sorry for the family, but good luck getting any relief from a lawsuit:
A New Mexico family rushing to try and save their dog’s life was stopped and held at gunpoint by the cops. ... Did Bernalillo Police officers take things too far? That’s what attorneys with the ACLU believe, and now the family plans to file a lawsuit.
...Albrecht drove down 550 through Bernalillo from their Rio Rancho home, toward the nearest 24-hour emergency vet. He spotted a Bernalillo police cruiser.
“I imagined if he was going to pull me over for speeding, I’d pull over,” Albrecht told KRQE. “He’d say something to me and then maybe even help us get there. You know, I’ve heard of stories like that before, but that didn’t happen.”
Police video from the officer’s lapel footage shows what did happen. Officer Jeramie Nevarez is seen pointing his gun at Albrecht as he shouts, “Driver, step out of the vehicle!”
The officer continues shouting commands at Albrecht, who has his hands in the air. “Face the f*** away from me!” The officer shouts. Lapel video shows Officer Jeramie Nevarez ordering Albrecht out of the car at gunpoint, and telling him to walk backward toward traffic.
“Step back! Step f****** back! Go to your left!” Officer Nevarez is shouting, as cars pass by them on the busy road. “My dog’s gonna die!” Albrecht tries to explain to the officer, who doesn’t approach the family’s vehicle.
...“I’m thinking, this is unbelievable,” Tara Albrecht recalled. “I can’t believe – it’s like, why didn’t someone just come check with us, find out what the reason our speeding was, and help us?”

Ready For The SWPACA Conference, But It's Only September

I started looking at Native American influences in "Breaking Bad" and discovered something quite striking. I've excitedly prepared my presentation for the next Southwest Popular/American Cultural Association meeting. But they won't meet until February.

All dressed up and nowhere to go....

My Neighbors Are Back From Burning Man

They apparently got an early start compared to the others. Now they've got their hose and are cleaning camping gear. My alleyway is running with alkaline mud. Most importantly, they look happy.

"I'll Send a Plane"

"Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" Casts on the Picket Line

Trying to get proper pay:
“I don’t get a piece from Netflix on ‘Breaking Bad’ to be totally honest and that’s insane to me,” Paul said. “I think a lot of these streamers know that they have been getting away with not paying people a fair wage and now it’s time to pony up.”


Cranston said they chose Sony for their reunion as the studio behind the Emmy-winning hit, along with its spinoff projects, the AMC prequel series “Better Call Saul” and the Netflix film, “El Camino.” 
“We’re not making them the enemy. They are not villains. These are people that we all will be working with once again at some point,” Cranston said. “We just want them to see reality.”

An Octopus Garden Off The California Coast

But then, just as Hercules crossed over a ridge, a curious sight floated across the screen: small, almost iridescent bulbs clinging to the seamount wall. The scientists directed Hercules down, farther into the depths.
“And sure enough, that’s where we ran into thousands and thousands of these octopus,” King said. “And we were just absolutely floored. We were just giddy.”
The scientists, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, had alighted upon what they called an “octopus garden.” The images they captured revealed nearly 6,000 octopuses — leading scientists to estimate the total population of the area could exceed 20,000.
The discovery of the thousands of Muusoctopus robustus — or “pearl octopus,” as researchers dubbed it for the animal’s shape and opalescent shine — led a team of scientists on a five-year quest to solve the mystery: Why are there so many thousands of pearl octopuses at the foot of the Davidson Seamount, and how did they come to be living there?
The researchers visited Octopus Garden more than a dozen times to find out, and a study published last week in the journal Science Advances shows they solved one part of the mystery. The pearl octopus came to the Davidson Seamount, they discovered, to nestle into the warm crooks of its wall and brood eggs.
The ambient temperature of water around the seamount is about 35 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scientists. But by using sophisticated marine thermometers, the researchers found that the octopuses were settling into crevices warmed by spring water, where the temperature reached nearly 51 degrees.
“So we’re still unsure exactly about what kind of geological circulation drives these springs, but essentially water’s getting heated somewhere underground there,” said Steve Litvin, a marine ecologist at the institute. “And just like a warm spring, you know, I don’t want to say ‘Old Faithful,’ but it’s bubbling up there out of the rocks.” 
“They’re in warm water, the metabolism is much faster,” King said, “so their life history has been very compressed relative to most deep-sea animals.”

Anticipating More Lunar Hijinks

Things are getting interesting lunar-wise. We are heading to what's called a major lunar standstill in January, 2025. So, for the next two years or so, the moon will appear to wander in the sky from where we are used to seeing it. For example, lately, the moon has been pretty far south of the ecliptic. For the next two years or so, the moon will move around and get caught in eclipses, and entertain, before settling down again.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Mick and Mitch

Courtesy of Kate.

Mug Shot

Duran Duran, Bastille, and Chic - 08/24/23

Gabe's wife Eleanor had tickets she souldn't use, so Joe the Plumber and i found ourselves at Golden One Center in downtown Sacramento to see Duran Duran on August 24th. I had not done my research, so I was unaware that there were opening bands: the well-known disco band Chic, now known as Nile Rodger's Chic, plus a band that was largely unfamiliar to me, Bastille. 

Joe was more of a rock and roll type, so Bastille (an English band) was a little offputting. He had gotten up at 4 a.m., so despite the loudness of the concert, managed to nod off for a bit. 

Before Duran Duran played, I went downstairs to get the Bottomless Popcorn for $13. I knew there'd be no seconds. Joe just had a bit of the popcorn. He's wary of me and popcorn. At one time before the pandemic we were at the Century Movie Theater near Arden and Howe, and I wanted some popcorn. People had thrown away full buckets of popcorn into the trash, so in a conserving spirit, I grabbed one of those buckets instead of heading to the lobby. 

I like all the projections!


Nile Rodgers apparently writes songs for many other groups, and so Chic sang a medley of songs from Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, and others for whom he had written songs.


Duran Duran 

 Here is the Duran Duran playlist.

I appreciated Duran Duran's dedication of Ordinary World to the people of Ukraine.

I didn't realize Duran Duran covered White Lines! I like their cover!

The Reflex was featured on "Better Call Saul!"

Moonlight Swing Orchestra - 08/20/23

I went with Rachel to see the Moonlight Swing Orechestra at the Carmichael Elks. Nice dancing. Rachel hopes eventually to be a vocalist with the band. I was surprised to see Jori Gonzales there, who was there to see her friend, who is a current band vocalist.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

"The Old Man and the Old Sea" - Green Valley Theatre Company - 08/18/23

Went last night with Rachel to see Green Valley's "The Old Man and the Old Sea" at Big Idea Theater on Del Paso Blvd. It's a wonderful show, and surpassingly strange. It was nice seeing Stephanie Hodson and Megan "Tilly" O'Laughlin onstage again. Lots of new and unfamiliar people doing very well.
Afterwards, we visited Nour's Cafe.  It was great to find a cafe open at late hours.  Ate a Chocolate Volcano thang with vanilla ice cream, plus decaf.

Southern California Mass Extinctions Were Caused by Fire

Fire changed everything:
Yet even modest numbers of humans literally burned their way into history. As soon as humans arrive on the scene, “suddenly, there’s tons of fire in the record,” Lindsey said.
These massive fires changed everything, the researchers argue. While their sources of ignition were quite different from the power lines and exhaust pipes that tend to spark fires today, our Pleistocene ancestors had few tools at their disposal to extinguish a blaze once it spread out of control.
Once-abundant junipers and oaks could tolerate drought, but had no defenses against fire. They disappeared, and fire-adapted pines and chaparral took their place. In a landscape stripped of shade, shelter and hiding places, food chains were upended. Intense fire may have altered water flows or cut off migration routes.
According to the fossil record, all of this devastation took barely 200 years. 
“This is the most significant extinction since a meteor slammed into Earth and wiped out all the big dinosaurs. It’s probably the first pulse of the extinction crisis that we’re in today,” Lindsey said.

"Theater Camp"

"Theater Camp" is a very charming movie about a dysfunctional summer theater camp in the Adirondacks. Very odd, but also very affecting. "Jiggle like a jackal!" "90% of you won't make it. You'll end up in a mental hospital, or on a go-go box in Hell's Kitchen!"


Here Comes Hilary!

Weather forecasts for Southern California are beginning to look alarming this weekend, as Hurricane Hilary will cross central Baja California and its remnants will plunge headlong into California’s Colorado and Mojave Deserts, and then on into the Great Basin. Lots of rain for dry western deserts (sorry Phoenix), but also lots of destructive flooding. 

A pessimist looks at Hurricane Hilary and offers his advice.
@demonuneed23 #hurricanehillary ♬ original sound - Demonuneed23

There are only two good paths that Pacific hurricanes can follow to get close enough to the U.S. to make a major impact: along the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortéz), or by hugging the western Baja California coast and taking full advantage of what warm water there is there. Hilary is taking the second path. 

Other storms have tried to make it (I was SO excited by Nora in 1997, but it exhausted itself before reaching the Colorado River valley). Hilary looks like the real deal, however. 

Halfway up the Baja coast the water abruptly turns chilly, and a tropical storm will rapidly disintegrate, but if it’s big enough and moving fast enough it might retain enough power to make an impact. Hilary is big enough and moving fast enough. 

Hilary will disintegrate over the driest deserts in North America (Colorado, Mojave); deserts that are underlaid by water-impermeable caliche soil, and are thus incapable of quickly absorbing large amounts of water. Raging torrents are inevitable. It will be scary.

Orwell's Shorsightedness

California Water - An Era of Good Feelings

When there's enough water, everyone's happy:
As rivers gorged with snowmelt begin to recede, and egrets glide over catch basins brimming with runoff, officials say that an aggressive and collaborative response — as well as a cooler-than-anticipated spring — helped them avoid massive community flooding and damage to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the city’s century-old water lifeline.
While an armada of heavy equipment remains at the ready to shore up flooding infrastructure and clear debris, forecasters expect the region’s waterways to return to normal by next month.
“Fortunately, much of the region experienced a long cool spring and cooler-than-expected beginning of summer,” said aqueduct manager Adam Perez.
Overall, the flow of snowmelt streaming down the Sierra has been manageable, and has triggered only minor damage, he said.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Rachel's STAR “Need to Read" Grant

Congratulations to Rachel Rycerz for her acknowledgement at tonight’s San Juan Unified School District meeting for obtaining a STAR “Need to Read" grant, through the San Juan Education Foundation, for the students at Katherine Johnson Middle School. 

Pictured left-to-right are Carol Paskulin, President of the Sacramento Women's Chorus, Rachel Rycerz. and Colleen Cadwallader, President of San Juan Education Foundation.

I Can Fix That!

My yellow car has some dings on the side, and the previous owner playfully placed some appliqués that look like crossed bandages over them. I was driving the car in the supermarket parking lot when the driver of another car gestured for me to roll down my window. Pointing at the dings he said, “I can fix that! I can fix it this afternoon.” I replied, “Oh, it’s okay,” as I tried to read the tattoo on his sunburnt arm. He continued, “I used to work in a body shop. I’ll fix it for $100. I have a garage. We can do it now!” He gave me his phone number, which I failed to memorize, and I slowly drove away. 

Is it a scam? I dunno. 

When I’m walking Jasper, I sometimes get approached in what seems like a scam. A passing big car will stop. The driver says he needs gas and asks if I’ll buy a ring - usually the most godawful gaudy ring you ever saw. The people in the car are always Arab. I say no, and they drive off. 

I don’t know how the scam works, because even the worst ring must have some value. I asked the Ladies of Jamaican Dancehall if this ever happened to them while walking down the sidewalk, and their response was, “what’s this about walking alone?”

The Navajo Angle on Barbie

Starts with the dress:
When Navajo Grey Hills weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas saw the original Barbie dolls — all blonde hair, blue eyes and 1950s clothes — she certainly didn’t see herself. 
That version of Barbie stood alone for many years until the First Edition Native American Barbie was released in 1997 as part of the company's “Dolls of the World” Collection. 
Teller Ornelas bought one of the 1997 Navajo Barbies for herself and another for her daughter, Sierra Ornelas, but she wasn’t happy with the outfit. She told her daughter she would weave an outfit for them one day, and she did. 
Now, Teller Ornelas’ efforts to authenticate the Navajo Barbie are drawing renewed attention with the opening of the “Barbie” movie, which is prompting Indigenous women to give the character a Native flair that is missing in the popular movie.

The Burning Sea

The death toll from the Lahaina fire (89, and rising) has now surpassed that from the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, in 2018 - both cases where a fast-moving fire entered a populated area with few exit roads. 

Lahaina was on the dry side of Maui. Conditions were dry, combustible grasses were present, and the area was affected by winds from Hurricane Dora, which was passing by to the south. Power lines were falling and may have set the fire. I'm curious whether there were also downslope winds present from the West Maui Mountains. The meteorological assessment will make grim reading. 

One horror of Lahaina was people fleeing into the burning sea at the shore. I heard previously that that the burning sea came from oil slicks caused by sinking, burning boats, but this fellow suggests that multiple layers of floating ash were responsible. Both explanations may be true. Unprepared people had to escape through all that, and many did not make it.

@realmattthewelder #duet with @Lahaina Fire Updates #lahainafire #hawaii #hawaiifire #hawaiifires ♬ original sound - Lahaina Fire Updates

Monday, August 07, 2023

Big Fire in Albuquerque

I worry about this fire. Nasty black smoke, and right next door to an important filming location for Better Call Saul. So fragile and vulnerable, these locations!:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Fire Rescue crews are responding to a large fire at a plastic storage facility in Mesa Del Sol Sunday.
The city has issued a warning for people to avoid the area, and to stay inside, and keep windows and doors closed.
Officials say the fire started at 5301 Hawking Drive SE Sunday. They say the winds are unpredictable, and the fire is not contained. 
Thick black smoke could be seen from downtown Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Los Lunas.

Missed Tony Ashby's Memorial Service

Gabe passed on the photos of the memorial service at the Buchanan Century Farm/Tyee Winery in Oregon for Tony Ashby on July 27th.  A reunion of Sierra Research hands!
At our breakfast on July 13th at Cafe Dantorel, Dave Deckman and Dan Welch invited to me to accompany them in their vehicle, but I turned them down, since I thought I had dogsitting to do.  It turned out I didn't have dogsitting after all, but truth was, I couldn't afford it, with all the impending car repair.  Too bad.  

Tony Ashby was the greatest guy.  He spent part of his childhood in Grants, NM, and attended the University of New Mexico in the early 60s. He was funny, and smart, and thoughtful.  May we all follow his example!

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Max and Jasper, Buddies

Cunha Big Band

I went to see the Cunha Big Band on August 1st with Rachel at the Clubhouse Bar and Grill. They are looking for vocalists, and Rachel might be a possibility.