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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 It's Related (6)


    Jaunty Little McBlogface


    You may recall the sad saga of Boaty McBoatface, which I won't retell here, but now Google has released their artificial intelligence engine to open source. The natural English language parser?

    Parsey McParseface.

    My Friday is made.

    Your best pal in the whole world,

    - bob


    I'm Doomed


    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released their latest report on the crashworthiness of "compact SUVs" which groups the little Hyundai with the Ford Escape tall-ish micro station wagons with wee body on frame trucklets, which includes the only one extant—the Jeep Wrangler. Guess who did poorly?

    C'mon, guess.

    Yeah. I own one of those wee little trucklets and this report says that I'm going to die a horrible death in their new and redesigned crash tests. This is yet one more data point telling me that driving around is dangerous. Commuting 101 miles a day is crazy, right? I'm surely exposing myself to far too much risk every weekday.

    But wait, there's another big problem with a lot of driving that the insurance industry group fails to mention...


    Stick with it until the end.

    I'm smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I'm smart and I want respect!

    - bob



    Small Stories About Disappointing Things

    Don't look away.

    As the tags indicate, I think these things are related to each other in some way. I'm not sure you'll agree, but let's throw this stuff in the pot and see if we end up with stew...

    • There were a couple little automobile races on Sunday, starting with the American classic — the Indianapolis 500. My houseguests and I didn't care so much, but we watched the thing anyway and towards the end, fell in love with the pluck of rookie JR Hildebrand. What a clever fuel strategy! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! Look! It's the white flag and this kid's in front! And then he crashed on Turn Four, right before the finish line. On to our next story...
    • Nascar certainly can't let Indy Car have all the fun, so they decided to run a longer race on the same day. Again, we didn't care until the very end, but what's this? Dale Earnhardt Jr. is winning in the last lap! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! What a clever fuel strategy! Then he ran out of gas and some other guy won. Now for weasels.
    • My dear friend called this evening with a story that gives sharks and bastards a bad name. Her father is struggling with Alzheimer's Disease, but lawyers would like to depose him to testify in a dispute over a land deal from the 80s. His lawyers protested that he was too ill to travel and sit and speak under oath for hours, but the opposition hired an investigator to prove this wrong. Video camera at the ready, the investigator ignited an M80 outside his front door and recorded him ambling to the window to determine the source of the commotion. See? He can move around just fine, your honor. One more...
    • As long-time followers of this mess surely know, my hours at the Far Eastern Outpost of San Diego's Omnipresent Charitable Organization have been cut in half. In fact, my Wednesdays are literally cut in half to make the timing work. This knowledge did not prevent one of the bosses from getting huffy that I was not available to solve problems with his personal home computer not receiving company email in a timely manner. Allow me to clarify — one of the people who got together and decided to send me halfway out into the dodgy financial wilderness has the gall to protest that I'm not there often enough? Really? Seriously? I find this behavior stunning.

    So, how was your Wednesday?

    - bob


    Earthquake Watch 2011! - Fallout Edition

    ol' buddy, ol' pal.


    It's been a couple weeks since horrifying devastation was wrought on Japan by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and giant tsunami, but what we seem to continue to focus on isn't the human tragedy, but the threat of the unchecked release of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Some people I trust don't think we should worry about it here on the left coast of the United States, which makes perfect sense to me. Some suggest that the plant was bound to fail in the first place. All I know now is that it's time for everyone here in unincorporated rural southwestern Riverside County to lose your minds because they've found radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima plant in a collector in Riverside. Shhh!

    The amount they found is as tiny as you would expect according to the monkey botherers over at the EPA [warning: PDF link]. All the usual suspects are here though. You've got your iodine, your cesium, your tellurium; all stuck to a little gizmo waving around up in the green-gray atmosphere of Riverside, CA. How much? The press release doesn't say except to patronize us with a "100,000 times less radiation than a roundtrip international flight (to chernobyl? -ed)" line. We're big boys and girls (speak for yourself. -ed), we can take the numbers. If anything at all has come of the calamity that has befallen Japan, it's that we've all become amateur physicists through the reporting.

    Of course some people seem to be having difficulty adjusting to this new world we're facing. Take for instance the fellow in Hemet who took after a couple people with a samurai sword yesterday. I know you're thinking two things; first, aren't the Hemet police under siege from deadly gangs of dentists? Why yes they are, but things have calmed down to the point where they could immediately arrest the assailant. The second, and most important question you have must be, what does this have to do with that?

    Certainly not this. Or this hysterical tripe.

    - bob


    Division By Zero, Imaginary Numbers Confound The Elderly

    Another aspirational photo.


    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


    It's Related! - Everything Edition

    Cuppa? Friends,

    Today's Desert Sun is running a story from City News Service about how a Vagos motorcycle club member and his lawyer are upset with the Riverside County District Attorney for harassing bikers. As I mentioned earlier, these folks are fine upstanding pillars of the community, and it seemed that perhaps they were just misunderstood rather than "an extreme threat for law enforcement" as the D.A. claims. But who is Vagos member Harry "Doc" Hart to speak for this social activity club of his?


    “They demonize us and start locking everyone up left and right. In their eyes, everyone's a criminal,” Harry “Doc” Hart, 61, a Hemet dentist and Vagos member, told reporters.


    Dentists! Clearly this is not a coincidence.

    Wake up people!

    - bob