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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

    Entries in idyllwild (93)

    Tuesday
    Jan312017

    The Magic Of Webcammery!

    A lovely centered picture of the computer room
    Friends,

    Over the weekend, I replaced the old webcam server with a not nearly as old webcam server and the results so far have been better than I'd hoped. The new server is more responsive, has more storage, and should be able to stay up and running more consistently. Plus, it's a nice way to keep technology up and running and useful that some Cupertino-based computer companies have deemed obsolete.

    During the transition, I temporarily lost one of the primary cameras, but I added a new one that's taking great pictures. Now you can see what the neighbors are up to during most of the day and some of the night.

    That's not creepy, is it?

    Your pal,

    - bob
    Monday
    May022016

    One Half AA?



    Friends,

    I'm sorry to report this morning that a) Southern California Edison is not very good at the whole consistently providing electricity thing and that b) the trusty old Power Macintosh that provides images for the Jaunty Little Webcam did not survive the last extended outage. The good news is that I think the problem with the Mac is its geriatric clock battery which is no longer charging and not keeping the clock alive. Wake On LAN and Restart After Power Outage? Yeah, they're handled by the clock.

    The good news is that replacement batteries are cheap. The bad news is they won't show up until the end of the week, so we're sunk until then. Save a good thought for the old Macintosh that she'll live to see another day, won't you?

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Friday
    Aug152014

    Hemet.


    Friends,

    I've taken a break, in case you haven't noticed, to take care of life. It's been a tumultuous month or so but you'll be pleased to know that the tumult is largely over. I'll get back to that in a little while, but you should know that I took a little trip to Hemet today.

    I had a check to deposit and the closest branch of my bank is in Riverside County's home of potato farming, Hemet, California. Once I managed to wade through the traffic, the incessant lights and the low-motor skill holders of driving licenses, I rolled up to the parking lot and caught the attention of enough skinhead loiterers that I thought I should head inside.

    Once I was buzzed through the outside doors and the vestibule doors (not entirely unlike this, and you know how that turned out), I was greeted by a pudgy security guard who insisted on shaking my hand and disco playing from the overhead sound system. Friday. Disco. The teller at the end motioned me over, "I can help you."

    Then I noticed the name badge on her teller window. "Excuse me, can I ask you a personal question? Is your name really Shimmy?" "Well, my name is much longer, so most people call me Shimmy."

    "With the disco playing and your name, this may be the most fun bank branch I've ever visited." "Why thank you," she said. "We try." 

    So if you're having a bad week, head to the Hemet branch of my bank. They seem to be having a pretty good time.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Tuesday
    Mar252014

    Festival!

    A lovely centered picture of a pretty dog.

    Friends,

    It's time for our own cherry blossom festival, so here they are. I'm filled with glee.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Friday
    Feb282014

    Sometimes The Glass Is Mostly Empty

    Friends,

    A big Pacific storm is headed our way today and will bring us some rain. In some places, like my piney paradise, quite a bit of rain. Then this idiocy happened on Twitter (about 500 times from a series of like-minded nitwits)...

     

     

    Gee, really? The two inches of rain today aren't going to turn our arid desert into a tropical rainforest? How about shut the hell up?

    I blame how we've come to understand the word drought. Since we live in a mostly dry place, shouldn't what we now think of as drought be considered normal? It seems like the times when moisture falls out of the sky are extraordinary, not the dry spells. 

    And before you raise your hand to mention climate change or poles shifting or coronal ejections, yes, it's always been this way forever. Dry deserts are not new.

    So let's reset the measurement and get rid of the D word. That way most of us, perhaps with the exception of Ian, can enjoy the rainfall as it was intended. Spoilsport.

    Your best pal in the whole world,

    - bob

    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

     

    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

    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

    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

    Wednesday
    Jul252012

    The Most Vile Human Being In Idyllwild*

    Friends,

    There's another dog poisoner running around on the hill at the moment. His latest victim is not expected to survive the night and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't freaking out about it. The news came to me on Facebook and I wrote a comment, as you do (even though that may be the dumbest way to work out your feelings about an event ever in the history of human interaction, or non-interaction):

    I would very much like for this person to be found. An arrest made, wherein this person is provided all of the legal protections that the law allows. For a psychological evaluation to be conducted, and lawyer to be at this person's side for his defense. Don't get me wrong, I do also wish bodily harm on this miscreant, but a conviction might send a stronger message. Hopefully.


    But this isn't what I initially wrote. I was a teensy bit more furious...

    I would very much like for this person to be found. An arrest made, wherein this person is provided all of the legal protections that the law allows. For a psychological evaluation to be conducted, and lawyer to be at this person's side for his defense. Then I would suggest that he be presented in a coliseum where mountain lions might remove his limbs in a terrible and violent fashion, but while he is delirious from the pain and loss of blood his final wish is granted - a last meal...


    But I was worried about what the broader audience might think. They might judge! On social media!

    - bob

    UPDATE: From Facebook, "Jack's dog was up walking, and ate something this morning, temperature spiked last night. Good news, but not out of the woods yet, since he was told that they did not think the dog would make it." Did you know that keeping a mountain lion on retainer is surprisingly affordable? Must be the off-season.
    Wednesday
    Oct192011

    Mountain Lion Spotted! Still Checking For Pumas and Cougars...



    Friends,

    My part-time, next door neighbor called last night to let me know that when she drove home from her cabin on Sunday, she had to make a panic stop halfway down the street to avoid hitting a mountain lion. "I don't know if you leave your dog out overnight (I don't because she'll bark at rustling leaves and nobody will get any sleep), but I'll bet that mountain lion would have no trouble climbing your fence."

    I have a couple thoughts about this. The first would be that she must not have been that worried to wait until Tuesday. Maybe it looked sickly or sort of unmotivated. The second is that despite the delay, I still took time out of my evening last night to lose my mind over every tiny noise inside or outside. But my biggest concern isn't that the nice kitty will climb the fence…



    Your pal,

    - bob

    Wednesday
    Mar092011

    Division By Zero, Imaginary Numbers Confound The Elderly

    Another aspirational photo.

    Friends,

    There are people who live in this world who seem to embrace the rut their lives have fallen into. That's not surprising. What makes my head spin around is when those people become angry that something out of the ordinary has occurred within their scope. I was heading home this afternoon and had to perform a marginally flashy lane change to get around one of these people to hit the waning green arrow to make the left turn up the hill.

    This garnered me the number three spot at the next light with the time to look in my mirror to see the passing victim plod through the intersection against what was surely a red light by this time. He ends up sitting in the other lane about three more cars back and leans out his window, "Hey! What's your f[***]in' hurry!" I turn around and shout back, "I gotta get out of here!" This was true.

    True, but not complete. Ever since my friend Clare implanted the notion that the Valley is a vortex, sucking alumni back in if they're not careful those decades ago, I haven't been comfortable spending any more time than absolutely necessary. It has become a creepy place that must be avoided, or at least visited only briefly with a clear exit strategy. At the end of my workday, I gotta get out of there and I do with all the muster that the teensy tiny racecar can bring to the fight. My week-daily mania also extends to the people who would stand in the way of my goal of scratching and clawing my way out of their sea level hell.

    Mr. Shouty was disturbed that I made my way around him. Around the lumbering chicane he was piloting without aim, heading back to what must be a just barely adequate home to wait out yet another few hours in his poorly drawn life. He was an em dash in the sentence of my day, but his outrage made me stop and consider my own motivation. Why had I considered him the embodiment of all that's wrong with that dusty waiting room called the Coachella Valley? Why?

    My real answer to him should have been, "what's the hold up?" This beautiful life and the lovely things in it, particularly at the higher elevations where I reside, aren't going to last. That's obvious, but I'm also concerned that today's angry man doesn't approach this brief time afforded us with more urgency, or at least understand why somebody else might. His finger wag seems to be a surrender. He doesn't have much of a destination and isn't too fond of anybody who might have one of their own.

    Of course I'm reading much more into this than the plain facts present, but I don't care all that much. What I do know for sure is that the interchange was helpful in clarifying where I stand. Gasoline up here in my little burg is up to $4.19 a gallon for regular, which is an outrage, and slowing down for fuel economy's sake seems like a good idea, but there's no place like home. And there's no place like this home.

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Sunday
    Feb202011

    Storm Watch 2011! - Motor Racing Edition

    Snowy ridgeline. Friends,

    I was supposed to head to the desert early this morning to see the vintage auto racing at the new Chuckawalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center. Unfortunately, something happened overnight...

    Fun game: find the teensy little car! A foot and a half of snow fell on my little town and buried the cars. This wouldn't be too tough to deal with except the local government hadn't yet plowed the road, so I called off the trip.

    Taken after the plows arrived. With the ice and snow on the ground and the new brakes I installed only yesterday, I wasn't sure that traveling off the hill was a good idea.

    Chilly forest time. Was watching the Daytona 500 on teevee a good substitute? Not at all.

    Sticky. But the neighborhood is very pretty today.

    Your pal,

    bob

    Monday
    Jan102011

    Sunday In The Park

    Four-low might be a good idea.Friends,

    Governor Moonbeam II has released his first/next budget for this here golden state and he has laid down some painful cuts extending over the next few years. Here in America's Very Finest (and cleanest!) Forest, we've lived with a lack of services for quite a long time, so this is really nothing new to us. This is the street in front of my friend's house and her neighbors, who live there full time, managed to get somebody in a truck with a plow to run down the middle of the street once a week ago. Not the county, just some guy.

    And now it's all ice.

    She'll not be driving down there into the Fern Valley holler anytime soon.

    The fog! It's coming! I continued into town and took a shot of the fire station. Oh look, some fog...

    Then I turned around and shot the other way.

    It's here! The fog is here!

    Visibility could be slightly diminished! Good gravy! Noooo!

    - bob

    Monday
    Jan032011

    Programming Note: Sometimes A Chain Is Just A Chain Edition

     

    Friends,

    Now we start getting into the good weather stuff at this time of year. There should be almost a foot of snow on the ground at the Damp Dog Lodge by now (my tracks out of the driveway this morning are nearly filled in, as you can see) but the bitter cold from last week hasn't materialized. Of course, the denizens of the Festival of Dirt would strongly disagree with the latter...

    - bob

    Wednesday
    Dec222010

    Storm Watch! 2010! WTH!!11!one!! - Honda! Discord! Edition!

    Flippy!

    Friends,

    I think we all know that during inclement weather events (again with the event. really? -ed) there might be some value in exercising caution while navigating the byways of this here metropolis. However, as I approached my driveway coming home from work this afternoon, that calculus seems to have been flawed. Revised:

    (we all) - 1 = most of us except for person trapped in her car laying on its side in front of my house

    Get ye to a hospital.

    Mme. Puppy Dog was losing her mind as the fire chief pulled up in the driveway, the CHP parked behind that guy, the ladder truck (for double-decker Honda Accord rescues [sadly, they only have double-decker honda accords in england. -ed]) next to Ponch, and the wrecker parked nearby. The nice thing is that the rain stopped and it started snowing. I would hope that this is much more pleasant for the people rescuing said sideways person than a torrent running down their collars.

    I'm sure that'll buff right out.

    I don't know the circumstance that led to someone pulling a half-Chitwood in front of my house, but I can guess. Too fast. Road too slick. Somebody pulling out from the back of Chez Noisy across the street. Bing, boom, bam, and there you go. Mister or Missus Accord gets taped down to a board and earns a trip to the hospital.

    This year really hasn't been dangerous enough, right?

    - bob

    Sunday
    Oct312010

    Happy Hallowe'en - Part II, The Parading

    Friends,

    There isn't really any conventional door to door trick-or-treating here in my little town. The houses are too far apart and it gets really dark (and spooky!) once you're out of the range of either of the two street lights. Hence, the Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade (or Harvest Parade or Pumpkin Festival Parade or something like that) and the turnout this year was the largest I can remember so here are a lot more pictures than I can remember ever posting. Enjoy!

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010 Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    It's nice to see the families get out.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And the Roma people.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And the hoards in a queue, but what are they waiting for?

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Oh just for Steve at Idyllwild Heating to pour buckets of candy over their heads. Yeah, no kidding.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Hey Gingerbread Man, bring buckets of candy and we'll talk.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Most of the businesses down North Circle Drive had buckets of treats to share.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    It's good business, because it helps you earn a good reputation with the nicer people in town.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    But why wasn't anybody lining up for cider? Because it was two bucks a cup, perhaps.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Maybe some people were waiting for something a little stronger.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Here's the best shot of the throngs I could manage. There had to be hundreds of people there.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And jellyfish.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And dogs dressed up like squirrels.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And a guy who dressed up as Elvis, but may have been a little distracted—by himself.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    The people who were chose a theme were fun. I see what they're doing here.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    But I don't get this. Any help?

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Maybe I should've asked these guys.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    I showed this picture to our own Idyllwild Weather Clam who was confused and wondered what the shark was supposed to be.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Claudius and Helena brought their daughter Moonbeam. Always good to see the local time travelers getting out and about.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    And here's sexy sailor girl posing with sexy Scooby Doo.

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    Pippi says what?

    Idyllwild Hallowe'en Parade 2010

    "That's the end of the parade!"

    - bob

    Thursday
    Sep022010

    A Road More Dangerous Than The Most Dangerous Road

    Friends,

    The roadworks happening right now on the Palms To Pines Highway are extensive and have involved a lot of stoppages during the warmest part of the day. I find that I'm annoyed sitting in traffic (surprise!) so I've diverted to taking what is colloquially termed The Banning Road—a poorly considered and haphazardly engineered pile of twists and turns that had inspired my most famous car crash. It's no wonder that there are so many bits of motorcycles littering the roadside along the way.

    Yes, with a new set of shoes (from your mom's hyundai. -ed My Mom wouldn't have a Hyundai, but these new tires sure were cheap...) I've started carrying a little more speed in those off-camber turns. This is a big mistake. The radii tighten mid-turn as a rule rather than an exception. Oh, and there's no end of gravel, larger rocks and other debris right at the apex of many of the hairier corners. The steering goes light, the rear starts with a little howl, then starts to snap. Don't brake here, because a spin is coming. Normally, if the road surface were clean, a little more throttle would induce a bit of oversteer and I could power right out. No drama. What's happening instead is the summertime version of curling. Without the brooms.

    I could really use a broom.

    - bob

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    Idyllwild Weather Clam Presents The Next Ice Age

    Looks like the snow plows have been busy.Friends,

    On this, the 22nd of April, I have half a foot of snow in my driveway. As you can see from the webcam picture above, the county snow plow crews were hard at work pushing that snow into my driveway this morning. Too bad they didn't actually plow the roads last night. The twisting, winding mountain roads that snake down to the Festival of Dirt. I know times are tight, but in my little town we don't want or need too much from county government. Just patch the potholes and keep the roads clear. That's about it. Sadly, it seems that they can't even manage that.

    But I lived (barely) to gripe about it! So that's something...

    - bob

    Thursday
    Feb112010

    Idyllwild Photo Blort - Winter 2010 Edition

    The Village Hardware people aren't calling for their promo shot.
    Friends,

    Hey, lookee here. I took some shots last Sunday before the latest snowfall and forgot to get them off the camera. It's a quiet time in my little burg, early in the morning before the shops open and people wipe the syrup and pancake crumbs off the corners of their mouths and get out in it.

    Oooh. Strawberry Creek Plaza in the morning. So delightful.
    The automatic locks at the post office clicked open and let me in to get my mail, but the market was still closed. Only minutes remaining to buy beans and tomato sauce for Super Bowl chili. Plenty of time for another shot...

    See those clouds? Snow's coming...
    The cloud layer has changed, foretelling the snowfall later in the day. Maybe. Or they're moving in the wrong direction.

    Much prettier than a drive to Hemet, at any rate. Just saying.

    - bob