Worse Air

You know how I was speculating how bad it was in Redding in my last post?

My friend Linda Raven Moore lives up Weaverville way. For those of you not in the know, Weaverville’s in the mountains west of Redding. It’s the county seat of Trinity County, which is the most rural county in the state. A large chunk of Trinity County is the Trinity Alps Wilderness, a stretch of land that has been left to be natural — there aren’t even roads through it. (All firefighting in the Wilderness has to be done by hand tools, that’s how strict they are about it.)

Needless to say, Trinity County is on fire at the moment. This is about what it looked like a day or so ago:

picture courtesy Linda Raven Moore

Linda’s got more pictures at her blog entries on the subject: Smoky Weaverville and Smoky Ride. They’re worth the time to look at all her pictures.

Actually, Linda’s blogs are worth the time in general. She’s got four of them: Raven’s Roads, her travel blog, Raven’s Rides, her motorcycle blog, Raven’s RV, about life in a motor home, and Raven’s Range, the general catchall blog. She’s a good writer, and a master of the photoessay. Check it out!

(In comments, my friend David says that things are clearing out a bit. It’s more smoky in Sacramento today. I’m staying in as much as possible.)

Bad Air.

It’s ugly out there. This is a picture I just took about fifteen minutes ago, as the sun was going down here in Antelope, which is roughly twenty miles northeast of Sacramento proper. (I’m near Roseville, for those familiar with Sactown geography.)

The air’s been nasty all day. Every night, we hope it’ll get better as it clears enough to see stars in the sky. But the daytimes are just nasty. I had to take my mom into Roseville this afternoon, and our car doesn’t have air conditioning. My lungs are still feeling it. Every time I step out into the murky, ugly air, it starts to hurt to breathe. And I’m not in any sensitive group.

I’m in Sacramento. I can only imagine how bad it is in my old stomping grounds up in Redding, where there’s fires burning all around. I have vague memories of 1987, and stepping outside to see a blood red sun hanging in the air. My dad still has pictures somewhere.

Never expected I’d be snapping my own in Sactown, though.

A thousand fires. My lovely state is burning. And more dry lightning predicted.

And it’s only June.

That’s the scariest part.

(More sunset pictures on Flicker here.)

All the worry for nothing…

Copied directly from my unofficial transcript:

Spring 2008

Program : American River College
Plan : Accounting Major

ACCT 103 Intermed Accounting I 4.00 4.00 A 16.000
CISA 315 Electronic Spreadsheets 2.00 2.00 A 8.000
Course Topic(s): EXCEL 2007

TERM GPA : 4.000 TERM TOTALS : 6.00 6.00 24.000

CUM GPA : 4.000 CUM TOTALS : 41.50 41.50 166.000

Good Standing

mountain memories

Here’s an old shot pulled out of my archives. The shot’s taken from a passenger seat going 75 down I-5 as one drops into Anderson from the hill to the south. This was those last few moments of realizing that I was home after a long trip from the Bay Area.

anderson from the south

This photo is better if you click through it. You need the full sized shot to get what I’m getting at. (As it is, you can barely see it.)

Anyway, the reason I bring up this shot is that it’s about the only good shot of Shasta or Lassen I can find on quick inspection of photos I’ve stashed online. Of course, identifying mountains from a distance can be problematic. I remember once going to Adin, which is where my pioneer relatives set up their homestead, and looking westward at the snowcapped mountain.

Adin’s in the Big Valley, where Lassen, Shasta, and Modoc counties all come together. (In fact, the three big towns in the Big Valley — Adin, Bieber, and Nubieber — are all in separate counties. Also, note when I use big, I mean relatively compared to the rest of the valley, because those are small towns.) If you look at a map, and look and see what’s west of this point, you’ll see clearly that it’s Mt. Shasta, the same mountain in this photograph. But it took me several moments to realize that.

I grew up in Anderson. The mountain on my horizon has two peaks, the main bulk of Shasta itself, and a smaller peak called Shastina. The thing is, Shastina is on the west side of the volcano. Thus, when viewed from the east, as I was doing in Adin, there is only *one* peak. My visual cues to say “Yeah, that’s Shasta,” were missing.

Which is why I’m having so much fun with Raven’s photos. She went up to Corning and Orland, which are about fifty miles from Redding, and took pictures. And now I’m trying to identify the mountain, and realizing my visual cues are all wrong again.

That said, I want to say it’s Lassen, but I grew up with a view of Lassen from the west, and Raven’s photo is more from the southwest. This is what Lassen looks like from Redding. Actually, that’s taken from one of the western ridges, but it’s close enough. (And it’s a gorgeous shot. My thanks to the photographer, Duane Langshaw.)

Anyway, the point of the exercise is to show just how much fun it can be to try to identify a mountain from pictures. And if anybody can help Raven out, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

a quote fraught with meaning…

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

–T.S. Eliot, from Little Giddings

This one is going into the quotes file.

Anyway, consider this a thread for open musings. What’s on your mind, folks? Comment away, either here or on LJ.

I may have more to say tomorrow, despite the May death march.

the may death march

These are the next two weeks in my schedule.

Fri, May 9th: Mom’s 50th birthday. Taking her to lunch. Going out to dinner. Must go down to UCD and pick up paperwork. Must clean house. Homework due in Excel class.

Sat, May 10th: Mom’s family comes for Mom’s bday/Mother’s Day. House must be clean by 11 AM.

Sun, May 11th: Work day to catch up with homework. Need to call Ei and wish happy birthday.

Mon, May 12th: Mom goes back to work. I think I have homework due in Excel class. Work. Need to call and wish happy birthday.

Tue, May 13th: Mom works. I might work. I might be working on final project in Excel class.

Wed, May 14th: Mom works. I work. Final project due in Excel class.

Thurs, May 15th: Mom works. I probably will work.

Fri, May 16th: Mom works. I probably will not, but I will be studying. Need to go to Roseville and pick up ribbons.

Sat, May 17th: Excel Final Exam.

Sun, May 18th: Breathe, because things are about to get ugly.

Mon, May 19th: Work. Mom works.

Tues, May 20th: Mom works. Final exam Accounting. Must have homework done. Must have five article reviews done. May have to work some.

Wed, May 21th: Mom works half day. I work? Mom has appointment with DMV to plead with them to keep her license.

Thurs, May 22nd: Work. Mom works. Ei comes down. Going to see Caspian with Ei. Must be packed for Baycon by this point.

Fri, May 23rd: Drive to Bay Area with Ei for BAYCON!

Yeah, it’s going to be an exhausing couple of weeks.

ribbon madness redux.

I finally decided on a ribbon.

It will say:


Met katster.
(still not king)


I’m amused, anyway. :)

Ribbon mania…


Baycon’s coming in less than two weeks! I’m pretty stoked. Baycon was fun last year, and this year I’m actually staying at the hotel instead of commuting from far away. I’m also showing a friend around her first science fiction convention.

(It was pretty easy to convince her to go. All I had to say was, “Hey, guess what? People run around in costume there and nobody thinks they’re weird!”)

Anyway, this year, I’m going to be handing out badge ribbons. (For the confused, that’s why I posted my Baycon badge from last year. The trail of ribbons extending off of it is an example of what I’m talking about.) I haven’t exactly totally decided what they’re all going to say, but besides the already done top sekret ribbon for , I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to get one that says “Help! I’m trapped in a ribbon factory!”

I’m still trying to figure out some way of saying ‘I said hi to katster’ in a cool fashion, though.

Also, unrelated, the muttering you may have heard coming from Sacramento was katster studying the preliminary Baycon schedules and wondering *why* Iron Poet and Fanzine in an Hour got put in the same timeslot. ;)

not in my happy place

So yeah, I’m not in my happy place these days. Wednesday was a headache-inducing day, as I sat in the office and couldn’t focus because they’re fixing the light rail across the street. This involved heavy use of the pile driver. So far today, the pile driver has not been invoked, so I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to get some work done.

Then there was the accounting test, the less said about the better. I may lose my record of straight A’s at ARC. I’m sorta resigned to it, as I’ve been having a lot of trouble this term. It’s been busy, what with starting the new job and mom getting a job and whatnot, and some things just have to slip.

And then I get home from the test and find this:



Yeah, some asshole went and wrote gang graffiti on my car. (I found it last night, but I took the pictures this morning.)

Is it too much to ask to go back to Tuesday and have a do-over on the rest of the week?

Can has kittens.

The folks who hang on my IRC channel have occasionally seen gibberish come across their screen as a kitten walked across the laptop keyboard. That’s Ebony, and she’s the all black kitten in back. She has a paw draped over her sister, but it’s kinda hard to tell because of black on black problems.

The kitten in front is Curly, so named because her tail is kinked, and when she was little, it was curly like a pig’s tail. She’s much less daring than Ebony (and thus not prone to type on IRC), but she’s a real sweetheart when you approach her on her terms.

The two of them came into my life about a month ago, when their owner had a bit of a desperate situation and needed to get out fast, which meant we ended up providing a place to stay for three kitties (the two kittens and their momma). But their owner has found a better situation, and kitties are going to be leaving tomorrow. I’ll miss them.

Since it’s hard to see Curly in this picture, I’ll provide another here (or under the cut, for LJ syndication).

Oh hai there.Photo by retstak

This morning in Salt Lake…

Salt Lake Airport

I made it safely to Baltimore.

There’ll be more later.

okay, does this really surprise *anybody*?

93% Geek

…this is brought to you in honor of today’s interview. Now, if you don’t mind me, I’m going to be looking for something to bring me back up to speed with Java and begin the task of familiarizing myself with C#.

and the wit sparkles *after* you post

I really should have called that last post ‘Folsom Parking Blues’.

Speaking of the original, isn’t it funny how a guy that killed a guy in Reno just to watch him die ended up in Folsom Prison? I mean, Reno’s not that far from here, but it’s on the other side of a state line. Why isn’t he in a Nevada prison?

Just one of those imponderables, I suppose.

bloody folsom

Actually, the word in my head is an alliterative adjective with the city in the subject line, but meh. We’ll use that as the subject.

I was down in Folsom tonight for a NaNoWriMo write-in. I had a good time hanging out at the local borders with a quite a crowd of the local Nano folks, and while I didn’t get as much done at this write-in as I have at others, I still got my goal wordcount for the day and made it so that I’m right on target with the bare minimum, just as we head into the Veteran’s Day weekend and the 11K challenge. (Somebody suggested writing 11K words over the holiday weekend last year. I thought it was a great idea and am going to do it this year.)

But when I left Borders, I found a white envelope plastered to my car. Sure enough, I had a lovely present from the Folsom Police’s Parking Division in the form of a parking ticket. I mean, to be fair, my front plate has been off my car since my sister got in a collision that knocked it loose. (The plate has been in the trunk ever since.) However, that collision was, geez, four or five years ago when Jill was in her first tour at Davis, and while she and I have gotten three or four different tickets in that car, nobody had whacked us for the front plate being missing yet.

Until I went to bloody frickin’ Folsom.

It ticks me off a little. First of all, the car was parked in the space engine first, which means they had to get out of whatever vehicle they were doing their patrols in and walk around the car to see that the front plate was missing. Two, it was a busy Friday night in what was a parking lot for nearly a dozen big box stores, which almost means that they had to be deliberately looking for cars to ticket. And if you’re that desperate for revenue that you’re deliberately going around to see which cars you can find in minor violation of the law, well…

All it said to me is that Folsom is so hungry for money that ticketing parking violations on a Friday night seemed like a good idea. Alright, fine. I am in violation; I’ll pay the stupid fine. That said, I’m not entirely keen on coming back to Folsom because the first real time I spent in that fair city, this is what happens. It creates somewhat of an unfriendly environment, if you follow my drift.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to go back to Folsom. I know next time, the plate will be on in some fashion or another, so I won’t have to worry about getting another ticket for the same violation, but still…

It just sucks.

I’ll stop whining now.