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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    Currently at 4:54 AM 57°


    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD
    Monday
    Feb242014

    Freelance Crankypants

    Friends,

    On this particular Monday, the idea of responding to this Craigslist post is very appealing. Like asking an arsonist to come over and check your stove's pilot light.

    Tempting.

    - bob

    Monday
    Feb032014

    Birthday Holiday Season! Kickoff! Recap!

    [note: the pictures that are supposed to be in this post, and help it make sense, are missing from the server. our crack team of researchers are looking into it and hope to find them very soon. -ed]


    Friends,

    These are some of the things that happened yesterday as I kicked off my 2014 Birthday Holiday Season. As you know, your own birthday holiday season begins when you receive the first gift, or cake, or card and ends when the last candle is extinguished. Using this time-tested formula for happy funtimes, a given birthday holiday season can last for months—as it should.

    Let's begin with the good news that the football team that I've been rooting for in a somewhat ironic way for the past few years actually won the Super Bowl. Why did I choose them as my team? Because they represent the largest geographical area of any major sports team in America that I can think of. Nice old ladies in Alaska are Seahawks fans. People from Idaho to Oregon are Seahawks fans. Becoming a fan of this team seemed logical.


    As you know by now, yesterday also marked the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gifted and troubled, his death struck me in a weird way. I knew that he was a genius and labored under his addictions, but there was one thing that stood out on the day of my birth; he was only 46.


    I've always found the coincidence of my birthday falling on Groundhog's Day to be a bit unsettling, mostly because the ritual is pretty damn stupid. It warmed my heart then to find this picture of the new mayor of New York City dropping a groundhog during their own dumb ritual thing.


    Here in drought-stricken Southern California, we haven't seen much in the way of precipitation this winter. That's bad news for a place like Idyllwild, that relies solely on moisture that falls right here for drinking water the rest of the year. I'm happy to report that we received a light dusting of snow last night and it is currently raining.

    And that's something to celebrate.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    UPDATE: Punxsutawney Dr. Phil, from the Conan program.

    Thursday
    Jan302014

    The Photons Are Bouncing Off Of Things In The Atmosphere In A Pleasing Manner

    a lovely centered picture of a stunning sunrise in sorta-hdr

     

    Friends,

    Some days you just want to press on through your commute as fast as you can. Year in and year out you look at the same landscape. You change the channel on the radio to mix it up. Have another sip of coffee to stay alert.

    Today, on the eve of a minor precipitation event (which would be a grandiose way to hype the promise of some rainfall this afternoon) I found the sunrise so spectacular, that I had to share. My iPhone's High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting only begins to capture the depth of the colors on display, but it wasn't too far off.

    We'll see what today's sunset offers. Maybe another reason to stop.

    Your best pal in the whole wide world,

    - bob

     

    Wednesday
    Jan012014

    Happy Successful Orbit Day!

    A lovely centered picture of an exhausted puppy dog.
    Friends,

    We're starting the new year with a whimper, and why not? Someone unhelpfully decided that the Christmas and New Year holidays would be in the middle of the week, messing with everyone's schedules including Mme. Puppy Dog's. Of course we'll regroup over the weekend and provide more content. More! Content!

    That's another way to say, "words."

    It's going to be a fine new year, everybody.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    UPDATE: Apparently, lots of people hate the term, "content," so we'll be using "words" from now on. "Words" and "pictures" and some "video" and some "audio."
    Friday
    Dec132013

    Absolutely Everybody Is Talking About It!

    Friends,

    Yesterday, the fine folks at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (an obviously overwrought name designed to create the too cute by half acronym, SCAQMD) issued a No-Burn Notice for Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties due to anticipated high levels of particulates in the air. This means that you'll need to put out the tire inferno still blazing in your backyard (no, seriously, you should get right on that), but more importantly, it means that the fireplaces and wood stoves heating a touch under a third of California homes must stay cold this evening. You'll notice that our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam says that it's 27° outside right now, but overnight lows tonight are predicted to be at or a little above freezing. In other words, despite this steep warming trend, it's going to be pretty chilly tonight and for a lot of people, particularly in the mountain communities, a fireplace may be the only source of heat in their homes.

    I'm lucky in that even though my furnace has been broken for a couple years, I have several different sources of heat for my house. They're inadequate on their own, but when combined can make the Damp Dog Lodge a pretty cozy place.

    The notice went up on Facebook and my neighbors lost their minds trying to figure out how they'll stay warm tonight. If you simply went to http://www.aqmd.gov/ and put in the ZIP code of an affected region, or use Idyllwild's 92549, you'll see that burning is banned today. If you read further down into the press release linked on that page, you'll see that residents living 3,000-feet above sea level or higher, like our friends in my mile-high burg, are exempt from the order. You'll see lots of exceptions, some economic, some born of necessity, so why did people freak out? Was it because their way of life was threatened by an arbitrary governmental agency but they didn't want to take the time to do simple research, like clicking a link, on exactly how the order might affect them personally?

    Maybe!

     

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Friday
    Nov152013

    Goodbye, Blogger


    So long, weirdos.

    Friends,

    It's been a very long time and we've had a lot of laughs, but it's time to finally bid the Jaunty Little Blog at Blogger farewell. Their interface isn't playing nice with the tools I use every day, Google has made it very clear in revisions to their terms of service that content I post can be sold by them however they see fit, and maintaining two sites has been a real impediment to my willingness to post new content. Something had to give and Google has made the decision for me. The nice people at Squarespace, on the other hand, have been generous with their support (maybe because I'm paying them a nominal fee) and their tools work all the time, unlike the advertising behemoth that Google has become.

    I'll miss the old site a little only due to nostalgia, but there's more cool stuff to come at therieau.com, so please take the time and follow me over there. You won't necessarily be glad you did, but you'll be sad if you don't.

    Good night Blogger.

    Your best pal in the entire world,

    - bob

    Tuesday
    Nov052013

    Oh, You Better Believe We'll Recurve Your Distributor

    A lovely centered picture of a Sun distributor machine.
    Friends,

    Things have been pretty busy around the Damp Dog Lodge lately. How busy? I've been sick for two non-consecutive weekends, the drain lines in the Lodge are backed up (unrelated), the job search has intensified (also unrelated) and now that my dreams of a decent work schedule have been put down like a race horse named Mucilage, I'm officially leaving and arriving in the pitch black darkness. You in more northern latitudes may not care about the latter point, but we down here in the bottom of the lower 48 pay a little something called The Sunshine Tax. This is a penalty fee we incur for living in a place with nice weather that I cannot see unless I turn the high beams on.

    I think I've got a solution: Move on to something fun that pays a little more. It solves the crushing solemnity of darkness problem and makes it easier to cover The Sunshine Tax.

    There you go. Problem solved. Now all I've got to do is find a new fun gig. Shouldn't be a problem.

    Right?

    - bob
    Thursday
    Oct172013

    Octobernationals


    That's Exciting!

    Friends,

    I was driving home this sunny and comfortable afternoon with the windows rolled down and was passed by a rough looking Mercury Villager minivan. A minivan held together with duct tape and drywall screws. A minivan that smelled like taco grease and farts.

    I changed lanes and pulled up alongside at the red light when I caught the driver's eye. He grimaced a little, his eyes narrowed, and he started revving the bag of broken hammers under his imaginary race car's hood. So this was going to be a race then?

    Not sure I want to know what I would have received for winning. Fare thee well, fart van man. Fare thee well.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Friday
    Oct112013

    Well, That Settles It

     

     

    Friends,

    Remember earlier when we had a little discussion about Google losing interest in Blogger? It turns out that they're very interested, for reasons that I'm not very interested in.

    Google revealed its shared endorsements scheme in a change to its terms of service. The updates state that going forward, friends, family, “and others” may see a user’s Google profile name, photo, and any endorsement they’ve created for a company alongside ads for that company. For instance, if Jon Brodkin gave the new Nickelback album 5 stars and said in a review that the band is “the voice of our generation,” the next time someone searches for that album, Brodkin’s rating and praise could appear alongside a sponsored placement.

    Time to hold a pillow over the mirror on Blogger until it stops squirming.

    Good night, Blogger site. Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

    Your best pal,

    - bob

    Friday
    Oct112013

    Difficulties, Technical and Otherwise

     

    Friends,

    Quite a lot has transpired since the last post in mid-September. Well, it's the last post that you can see. There are a bunch of posts hiding in a tin, buried in the basement of this blog that we can never talk about if I wish to remain employed. Sort of screedy, kinda stabby. The less said about them, the better.

    What I do know is that a bunch of things just aren't working right now. The webcam is failing to upload due to a server configuration issue (bad certificate?) so the last picture you see is from the morning before the earliest snowfall I can remember. No snow pictures for you, I'm afraid. There are plenty on the internet though, just do a search. You'll be okay.

    Also, for some damn reason, The Idyllwild Weather Clam is unable to update her spot on the Blogger clone of this site. Maybe it's time to finally pack it in over there and redirect to Squarespace. They were great when we started this hot mess, but it seems that functionality is slowly falling away. Maybe Google's losing interest in Blogger. That wouldn't be surprising.

    More later today...

    - bob

    Friday
    Sep202013

    New Feature: The Destruction of Time!

    My office desk.

    View of my office featuring state of the art high tech equipment.


    Friends,

    My work schedule has been changed to what amounts to a trip to the Central time zone and back again every week, or starting and ending Daylight Savings Time twice a week. This is the first week of this and if I don't get another cup of coffee in me very soon, there's a very real risk that I'll fall asleep at my desk and my head will land on the red button.

    Did you hear me? The RED BUTTON, PEOPLE!

    - bob

    Wednesday
    Sep112013

    Never Forget To Remember

    A grand old flag.
    Friends,

    Remember when terrorists hijacked some airplanes in the United States on 11th September, 2001 precipitating a series of tragic events that killed a bunch of people? Then you'll recall that the government overreacted and made air travel more difficult for everyone while also sending a lot of kids to war to punish the country where the masterminds of the terrorist attack were supposed to be hiding. Then the government decided that they should inspect everyone's communications everywhere at all times and explain that constitutional overreach by saying that they're listening for the next terror threat, but if anybody talks about the surveillance program they need to go to jail? Remember when that happened?

    Dear readers, I hope both of you will agree that the steps the government has taken to "keep us safe" after the gut wrenching events twelve years ago dishonors those who perished on that day. Now, as the president contemplates launching a strike on yet another bad actor in the Middle East, to punish Syrian bad behavior, even the generals are hoping to avoid another fight.

    Today has been designated by Congress as a national day of service. One patriotic thing you might consider doing today would be to write a letter to your representative airing your carefully considered opinion on the matters of war, punishment, surveillance and national security.

    But please take your shoes off first and put them in the bin.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Tuesday
    Sep102013

    I Will Stand On My Head

    Friends,

    I won't actually stand on my head, but the late Cal Worthington, who passed yesterday at the ripe old age of 92 while watching football, certainly would have in his prime. He had dealerships up and down the west coast, and a jingle turned earworm that infected our little minds almost as much as Indio's "Hub of the Valley" and 30-second descriptions of the travails of the Wacky Wicker Workers. His on-air enthusiasm will be missed, but I suspect that we've moved on from his brand of aw shucks hucksterism.

    Now the most effective marketing is nuanced. The best campaigns, they will explain in webinars and marketing executive mixers, is more subtle and appeals to the buying public's deepest wants and desires.

    The difference between the honesty of Cal Worthington's pitch and today's deep mental massage marketers is that the new guys will gladly stand on your head to make a better deal.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Monday
    Sep092013

    A Note From The Editor

    Artist's representation. Not to scale.

    Friends,

    I've been a bit lax in keeping up with the demands of work, home, and this fine journal of nonsense and paranoid delusions. I know it, you know it, and my editor certainly knows it. Here's his note describing his displeasure with the current state of affairs...

    (listen. i've just about had it up to here with you and your inability to get any sort of quality output done lately. i took a big pay cut when i signed on here ten years ago, because i saw real promise. now it's pieces full of phony outrage, photo posts and something about deer? why don't you call me when you wake up and start writing the stuff that people used to come for, even though i don't remember what that was. - ed)

    Well, there you have it. A well-deserved upbraiding from the editor. Guess I should do something about it.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    P.S. Coming up later today, a financial incentive for me to unplug my dryer and what it means for smart meters! Exciting conspiracy therories!

    Tuesday
    Aug202013

    Vengeance Of The Dandies

    A lovely centered picture of deer.

    Friends,

    Sometimes people can come as close to missing the forest for the trees as one possibly might without being mauled by a bear. We have new neighbors up here in Fern Valley Corners, a grand new addition to the lodging inventory of available beds in town, and I attended their open house last weekend.

    Nice folks, and justifiably proud of their vision and the craftsmanship they've put in to realize that dream. Last weekend also featured a concert that was attended by the monied class to benefit a local private high school. Once the concert was over, the wine and cheese crew headed over to the open house for free wine and no cheese.

    I just walked around the corner and up the grand driveway to the grand entry, but noted that nobody was looking at the building. All cameras were trained on deer grazing on manzanita berries just past the parking circle. A magnificent bit of nature nearly close enough to touch. Breathtaking.

    But one polo shirted, tennis shorted, sexagenarian in the group decided that this reasonably rare collision between the wild and the wide-eyed was boring. He walked up to the deer, then turned on his heels to check out the blue Jaguar.

    Jaded? Maybe a little!

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Monday
    Aug052013

    Wait! Come back!

    A lovely centered picture of a girly dog spying something very interesting and smelly.
    Friends,

    I've hit my head very hard this evening on the kitchen cabinetry and I've surely earned a concussion for the effort. There's every reason to believe that I'll be fine, but I'm a little worried that the dizziness and confusion I'm experiencing at the moment signal something much more than a little bump on the noggin.

    But that's boring, so let's get on with a little housekeeping!

    Since I last uploaded something here over a month ago, we've had two fire scares. One that prompted the mobilization of over three thousand men and women to beat down the furious blaze that eventually consumed over 27,000 acres, and a smaller one today that was put out fairly quickly through our own corps and the quick attention of neighbors in Fern Valley. In the words of internationally noted photographer Jenny Kirchner on Facebook, "Yard abatement is important." Indeed it is.

    I don't really have a headache exactly. Truth is, my head feels mostly okay. There's going to be a bump for sure, but the biggest worry is that I don't really have a good idea where I am right now. Well, never mind that. On with it…

    During the Mountain Fire, I evacuated myself, papers, photographs, and Mme. Puppy Dog to the desert. From our emergency evacuation center in Cathedral City (whose city council has never met a boondoggle it wouldn't agree to fund in full), we could watch the flames charging along the ridge towards the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway's Mountain Station. Horrifying. I took pictures, but they're kind of terrible camera phone shots not worth posting. This one is nicer.

    A lovely centered picture of a meadow.
    Let's see, what else happened? I got a new boss at the Far Eastern Outpost of a charity from out west somewhere in a city with a mayor. You know, that mayor. Mayor Headlock, they're calling him. "Mayor Fingers" is creepier, so I'll stick with that, since all signs point to him being really creepy.

    Sorry, a little confused at the moment. I should get back on topic. Crickets are interesting, aren't they? 78 degrees in the house, shouldn't be sweating. Sweating might be bad.

    I started installing a new french door on the weekend before guests were to arrive a couple weekends ago. Here's a tip, all of the locksets you can buy at the hardware store have a defined offset. The offset is the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the lock and most are between 2 3/8 and 2 5/8-inches. You can get shorter deadbolts if you trim down the side of your door to be a lot narrower, but they're blindingly expensive. You are hereby warned.

    Very sleepy all of the sudden. Goodnight everyone.

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Thursday
    Jul182013

    Run!

    This was just the beginning of our troubles.

    Friends,

    You may have heard that we're having a little hubbub up here. Due to an inconvenience we like to call the Mountain Fire, encroaching on our pristine and very piney paradise, authorities asked everyone to evacuate last evening. 

    Reflecting back, maybe "ask" is the wrong word.

    I have found shelter at a location very near the Festival of Dirt where I could see flames running up to the ridgeline this morning. Not very comforting at all.

    I'll try to keep you posted here as events unfold, but for more up-to-date news, I'm sharing other people's posts on Facebook. Maps, photos, pessimism, it's all there!

    Stay safe.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Sunday
    Jul142013

    Ain't That Something?

    A lovely centered picture of a lemon lily.
    Friends,

    We're holding a festival in this piney paradise to celebrate a spindly and delicate flower that had gone nearly extinct some years ago. Bluegrass bands play, lectures are held and the town is full of people. The organizers even set up a webcam allowing people from all over the world the pleasure of watching a plant grow.

    You could say that this is a triumph of marketing, but really it's about a large group of people in town getting together and doing a thing. It's still about a weedy little flower, but now it's a real festival.

    Now, about that chamber of commerce

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Thursday
    Jun062013

    Great Minds

    TWA lounge photo from Shorpy!

    Friends,

    Here's a photo of the TWA lounge at Idlewild Airport taken sometime in 1964. Looks sort of like the departure lounge at the Idyllwild International Airport, without the pine tongue and groove panelling, of course.

    And the squirrels scampering around.

    - bob

    Friday
    May312013

    I'm Not Doomed


    Friends,

    I was working on the computers in the kiddos department at the Far Eastern Outpost of San Diego's Kinda Meh Charitable Organization today on "staff development day." Staff development day means that, I suppose, staff members hear about legal stuff and reporting stuff and take notes in another room—without kiddos.

    This also meant that I could try to figure out a vexing problem with two machines and watch progress bars slowly progress. For this exercise, playing the studio version of the song embedded above seemed more than appropriate considering that the lack-of-progress bars had induced a near trance state. I don't know why I bothered to look at the bookshelf to my left in classroom 3…

    A lovely centered establishing shot.
    Upon focusing in on a book that drew my attention…

    A lovely centered joke payoff.
    …I figured that everything might be okay. Somehow.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Additional Visual Gag Alert: We label things in the classroom to help kiddos with their language skills and to help them grasp big concepts…

    A lovely centered setup.
    I had some time on my hands, as I've mentioned, so I thought I'd help with some additional language cues.

    A lovely centered punchline. Zooming in will help.
    For the children.
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