Randomness

I was looking over my blog postings while killing some time at work and realized just how random I am. Some postings are history lessons, some are about my car, some are little short fictional stories, and some are basically just journal entries on my life. Are all blogs so chaotic or am I just gifted/cursed with a head full of wonderful chaos? I’ll have to ask the wife, maybe she will know?

So keeping in theme with the randomness of the day, here are some observations:

1.) I read blogs about Death Valley and other parts of the desert and people like to exclaim about how hot it is. Yet, most of them haven’t even visited during the hottest season. For us desert dwellers this is nice weather. I really want to call these people pansies, but then I realize I could never live where they do. Some live in places where they get multiple feet of snow per winter. F**K THAT! I hate the cold and I have arthritis. Others live in the city…I can’t stand cities. I can barely tolerate visiting them for a few days. Living in them? I would go insane. Too many people, too much traffic, air you can taste…no thanks.

2.) Kittens are the cutest damn things in the world.

3.) Engineers and PHD. Chemists are really really smart…yet really really dumb at the same time. No common sense.

4.) My grandparents are getting very old. This is not something that pleases me.

5.) Life is unfair and the world doesn’t owe you a damn thing. Get off your ass and do whatever you need to that will allow you to better your life. Stop making excuses and don’t blame the town where you are from. It all falls on you and the decisions you have made in life. Stop being a fuck up.

6.) What the hell, California?! (I feel that this phrase covers many topics and situations).

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A little bit about Concealed Gun Carriers.

It has been a long while since I have written anything. Mostly I have just been lurking, liking, and commenting. I have been thinking of writing something about Concealed Carry in California, but this blogger took the words right out of my mouth (in a manner of speaking). The blog is central to Texas, but it differs very little in California. Other than it is a lot harder to obtain a CCW in Cali.

Firing Pins

I’m starting to see a lot more of these around town.

no-guns-icon

Now in the State of Texas, this sign by itself, legally, means exactly nothing. But still, it makes me wonder why such animosity towards guns, and more specifically gun owners. (I see more of the proper Texas legal signage as well.)

I have a Concealed Handgun License, or CHL. Other states have similar licenses but may be called different things. Concealed Weapons License (CWL), Carry Concealed Permit (CCP), Carry Concealed Weapons License (CCW) and so on. But for the most part there is one thing they all have in common. They allow to owner of the license to carry a firearm on their person for the purposes of self-defense.

So why the signs? I would imagine it is based on fear and ignorance. Those of us with permits are not anxious to ever pull out our firearm, unless we…

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It’s been a bit

I haven’t posted in a while, mainly just reading and commenting on other peoples posts. It has been an eventful month for me and I’ve been doing a bit of adjustment. My wife and I were married on April 10th in a nice little outdoor ceremony of family and friends that might as well be family. My sister officiated the wedding.

Wedding

Since then, it has been moving in to the prefab house/trailer thingy that my wife was renting, learning to cohabitate, money issues, being a new father to two beautiful little girls, a new work schedule, and repairs on the rental. Our landlord is in Japan and can’t easily facilitate the myriad of repairs this place needs, so we do it and have the cost taken off the rent. It is a fairly beneficial relationship for both parties. I have been so busy and tired that I haven’t posted or even wanted to take the time to write. The urge is coming back however.

Maybe with new inspiration I will write something that people will actually want to read?

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She was wating for me…..

My dad died last June, the weekend right after fathers day to be exact. He had a major aneurism a couple of days before Fathers Day, as he walked in to The Roadhouse in Kramer Junction. His Chrysler 300C was sitting beside the diner for a couple of days before my fiancée and I drove her up here. After he died she sat up here for a few months, and then was moved back down to my dads house, where it sat. My siblings and I all agreed (even the ones that do not get along), that the car belong to my brother T. T bought the car for my dad about three years before, and before my dad died he probably put close to 3,000.00 in to the car.

When my brother bought the car for my dad it had a little over 74,000 miles on it. As it sits now, it has over 247,000 miles on it, and still runs pretty strong. Mostly highway and interstate miles. The car had been in really good shape, but as my dads health became worse, his cognitive abilities lessened, the miles grew, and the car became a bit battered and bruised, inside and out. Hence, the 3,000.00 that was put in to it. Water pump, radiator, hoses, alternator, oil pressure sensor, windshield, etc.

My brother T let the car sit, he didn’t want to deal with it at first. I think later he just wanted to let the car “retire.” However, as I am getting married on Friday he agreed to let me have the car for my fiancée. She needs something other than my 21 year old, falling apart Explorer, even if it is only for a couple years until we can afford a decent car for her.

The car has been sitting since June and hasn’t never even been started as I had the only key, no ones else wanted the responsibility of the key. So last night I caught a ride to my dads, jumper cables in tow as I figured the battery would be long since dead. I walked up to my dads car wondering if I would have enough gas to drive the 20 miles to the nearest gas station, wondering if I was going to get pulled over for driving a car that wasn’t registered or insured, wondering how much money this was going to cost me in the long run, wondering if I was even going to be able to get the car registered in my name, worried that something would go wrong, and then I got a strange feeling that I should try the key, so I did.

She unlocked when I hit the button on the key fob and turned over when I started her. She had about a quarter tank of gas and all the tires were fully inflated. She had an oil starved tick from the top end when I started her, but as the oil flowed and she warmed up, she quieted down.

I pulled my dads clothes out of the trunk and put them in his house, along with his glasses and address book. I’m not sure what will happen to them, but I know that my fiancée and I will take care of his car.

As I pulled out of the gate and drove down the road, she started running even better. After using up most of the old gas and replacing it with new gas, she ran even more confidently down the road.

It was like she had been waiting for me to come back and rescue her the whole time.

Categories: Cars, Death, Family, Life | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Bank Robber Awarded 165 Million Dollars By A Brooklyn Jury”

I don’t even know how to respond to this.

The Habanero of Texas

Brooklyn, NY- (THOT)- In a sentiment reminiscent of the “support the criminals” culture circulating in America; a Brooklyn jury, made up of 11 black and one Hispanic jury members, awarded bank robber Byron “T-Pain” Richsone an astounding 165.5 million dollars.

The settlement stems from a 2013 incident in which T-Pain rushed inside a Wells Fargo bank, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and a .50 caliber Desert Eagle handgun, before ordering the tellers to fill a pillow case with stacks of money. He then stole each of their purses, wallets and jewelry before fleeing the bank.

All bank employee’s were later found dazed and confused while locked inside the bank’s vault wearing only their undergarments.  The bank employees later reported that T-Pain literally, “stole the shirts right off their back,” in addition to their money and valuable possessions.

Bank Robbery money recovered at the scene of the shoot-out with T-Pain Bank Robbery money recovered at the scene of the shoot-out with T-Pain

The crux…

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in the end, it’s just an opinion

Read this.

Stories that Must Not Die

I am not an anti-vaxxer, nor do I religiously bow down at the altar of science.

I understand the societal benefits of herd immunity but I don’t like the idea of government mandates to require it.

I do not think that vaccines directly cause autism or other autism spectrum disorders, but I do find it interesting how the incident rate of these diagnoses are increasing right now.  Per the CDC, in 2000 the rate was around 1 in 150 children and in 2010, the rate was 1 in 68 children.  The current recommended vaccine schedule calls for 49 doses of 14 vaccines before the age of 6.    In the 1990’s there were only 9 recommended vaccines administered in far fewer than 49 doses.

Are our medical professionals better trained and is society more accepting of these historically stigmatized disorders, making the current percentages more of an accurate representation of…

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The Phantom: The Unsung Inspiration of Modern Comics

Wanted to share a little comic book history

Ramblings Of A Comics Fan

First appearing in newspapers on February 17, 1936, the Phantom was the first character to wear the skintight costume worn by so many superheroes today. He was also the first character to wear a mask with no visible pupils. Creator Lee Falk explained  that Ancient Greek busts inspired the idea of the not showing the Phantom’s pupils when he was wearing his mask, incorrectly believing that  the busts displayed no pupils (in fact they did; originally the eyes would have been painted on, and over time the paint had faded) which he felt gave them an inhuman, awe-inspiring appearance. In an interview published in Comic Book Marketplace in 2005, Falk said the Phantom’s skin-tight costume was inspired by Robin Hood, who was shown wearing tights in films and on stage.

The Phantom has been staring in new stories since his first appearance in 1936, but not every Phantom story is about the same Phantom –…

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The Prospector

The wind whipped his beard and the blowing sand stung his sun and wind leathered face as he kneeled down and picked up the rock. He looked see if it had the right color, a trace of a vein, a fleck of gold, anything to give him hope. It of course had nothing, but he knew this area had already played out.

He stood up and looked towards the setting sun, figuring that this was as good a place as any to set up camp for the night. He didn’t see the beauty of the sunset now, as he did when he was younger. Numb to the bright red, pink, and orange hues that the desert sunset gave, it was just a sunset now. He took the rope to Joseph, his old mule and tied it to a thick Creosote Bush, then tied a feed bag with the last of the oats on to Joseph’s head. He was careful to take care of Joseph, the cantankerous old beast carried all his provisions, including his water. If Joseph wondered off or was injured, he might not make it out of the desert alive.

As he settled down for the night, eating some old jerky and drinking warm, stale water, he thought about the next town he could get supplies and news. He would be there by the end of the next day and would see if their were any new strikes in the area. He didn’t hold out much hope though, he hadn’t heard of any new strikes in years. The big companies owned all the mines now and most everyone he knew had died or gone off to some hospital in the Southern cities.

This was all he knew, all he knew how to be, and he would keep doing it until the buzzards took him.

As he settled in for the evening, a plane went screaming overhead disturbing his reflections. Joseph brayed and bucked, but soon settled back down in to his oats. Jets he thought, last time he had been in town he had seen one streak overhead and asked the woman at the store what it was. She said it was a new type of plane being tested at over at Muroc, it was called a Jet.

He remembered when the Corum family first settled that area, it had been big news when they had brought the post office in. He thought about times gone by as he drifted off and 60 years of prospecting the desert rolled through his brain as he slept.

Categories: History, Stories | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cars and Cats

I like cats. I like Cars. Cars and cats do not go together.

When I stay at my fiancée’s place, where I will soon be living, their is only a small carport to park under. This saddens me as my car is left out in the elements instead of covered by a garage. Then I think about my car in the elements all day at work and I give a small sigh of resignation and move on with my day.

However, this last six months or so cats in the neighborhood have taken to jumping on and off my car, peeing on the powder coated rims, peeing on the wheel wells, peeing on lower parts of the doors, etc. The effect of the cats jumping on my car; all kinds of pay prints and scratches in the clear coat and paint. At the same time, the ammonia in the urine eats up the paint on the body and powder coat on the rims. You can see spots on the rims clear coat that have been totally eaten away already. Not to mention the stench of cat pee around the car when you try and wash it.

I see various cats outside in the morning when I leave for work, so it is hard to pin point which cat is doing it. In fact, it could be more than one cat. I hear cat fights outside the window a lot. I could complain to the owners if I find out which cat(s) are doing it, but I have a feeling my complaints will fall of deaf ears.

Some of you are probably thinking, “get a car cover.” I could, but the car cover in itself is a problem. First, their is just the hassle of putting on and taking off a car cover every day, or multiple times a day. Plus, living in the desert, the dirt and dust that gets under car covers starts acting like sand paper every time the car cover moves. I would be trading cats for a sand paper equivalent. Not a good option.

This leaves me with three option categories:

1.) Extreme measures. Leave out bowels of anti freeze or just stalk them with my 22 rifle.

2.) Try and find some sort of deterrent. Spray, ultrasonic, etc.

3.) Trap them and take them to the pound.

Category one presents many problems: A fiancée/wife that would probably be beyond angry with me. Don’t want to be kicked out of the house weeks within getting married. Plus, can you imagine our little girls reaction when they find out dad is murdering cats? I shudder to think of the tears. There is always the possibility of fines and/or jail for animal cruelty too.

Category two seems like a viable solution. However, when I read the online reviews I can’t seem to find any that always work. Either some cat’s just aren’t affected by them, or the cats learn that the deterrents are more of an annoyance that can be overcome.

Category three would be pretty easy. The fiancée isn’t opposed to it provided that we give a warning to the cat owners first. She likes to play fair for some reason. I’m leaning towards this, but the pound may have issues with me coming in frequently with trapped cats, especially if they have identification of some sort.

Anyone out there face this issue? Anyone have any ideas?

Categories: animals, Cars | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Los Angeles, Owens Valley, and Water

My Maternal family came to the upper Mojave Desert in the 1950’s. During that time my grandfather started talking to the “old timers” as he called them. These were men and women that were in their 50’s -80’s back in the 1950’s. My grandfather tells one story in particular about a man who came to the Antelope Valley and Mojave area with his father when he was a young boy, sometime around the late 1890’s or 1900. The old man said that at the time this part of the Mojave Desert was a very different type of Desert, almost a grassland. There were still some antelope in the Antelope Valley (Lancaster/Palmdale area), and the area was lush with wildlife. The old man, as a boy, had to ride on a mule that his father led. His father wouldn’t let him walk across this high desert/grassland because their were so many rattlesnakes, it was dangerous. These days you have to try to find a snake.

When the Death Valley 49’ers eventually struggled out of Death Valley and Panamint Valley, they came to the Indian Wells Valley. The springs they found there, down along what is now Highway 14 and in to the Antelope Valley is what kept them alive long enough to reach Los Angeles. If you go out on remote parts of what is now Edwards Air Force Base you will find remnants of duck blinds, springs, and artesian wells. That area and in to the Antelope Valley was prime duck hunting through the 1920’s. The whole area had spread out farms and ranches that were irrigated with groundwater. Up through the late 1960′ and early 1970’s there was still just enough groundwater to have a large alfalfa ranch between Boron and California City.

What is now the upper Mojave Desert, from the Antelope Valley to Mojave, to Boron, North to around Ridgecrest, and even some ways east of Boron, wasn’t the desert we know today. Wondering what happened to it? What made it the way it is now? The easiest and most direct answer is this; Los Angeles.

LA was a small and dirty city at the turn of the last century, desperately in need of water. In contrast, the Owens Valley was a farming community and was becoming the fastest growing area in California. The Owens River flowed in to Owens Lake, which was 20 miles long, pretty darn wide, and had steam paddle boats that ferried people and mining products across. There were large farms and ranches in the area, all of which used irrigation farming, and wildlife, especially birds, were abundant. In 1904, two men, Fred Eaton and J.B. Lippincott traveled through the Owens Valley on a camping trip and marveled at the available water.  Fred Eaton was the former mayor of Los Angeles and had also worked as a supervisor for the water company. J.B. Lippincott worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, which was at the time looking at a public irrigation project in the Owens Valley which would have greatly helped out the farmers.

Eaton went back to LA and convinced William Mulholland, the head engineer for the water company, that the answer to LA’s water problem was the Owens Valley, over 250 miles away. Lippincott, working for the Bureau of Reclamation, went out and surveyed the Owens Valley, found out where the water flowed, how it flowed, how much of it their was, and where the key water rights and ranches were. Instead of giving this info to the Bureau, he gave it to Eaton and Mulholland. Eaton and other LA officials were able to pass a bond in LA to get enough cash to buy the key ranches to gain the water rights in the Owens Valley. In these days, news did not travel like it does now, and the Owens Valley had no clue LA was out for its water.

After the bond was passed,at the end of 1905, Eaton and Mulholland, using Eaton’s extensive political contacts, as well as dubious tactics such as bribery and deception, to acquire enough land and water rights in Owens Valley to block the irrigation project. Eaton posed as a rancher that was working for the Bureau of Reclamation. The Owens Valley thought that he was buying land for himself, to be a rancher, and buying land for the irrigation project. By the time they found out the truth, it was too late. by 1907 LA owned the key water rights and the irrigation project was blocked. At this point the rest of the water rights were obtained through bribery and coercion. In 1908 the LA aqueduct began to take life.

When the aqueduct was completed in 1913, the all of the water that had once flowed in to the lower Owens Valley, and Owens Lake, began to flow in to LA. A substantial portion of it was diverted in to the San Fernando Valley, a agricultural community that was not yet part of LA. It just so happens that all of the key players in the purchasing of water right in the Owens Valley and various high powered political and public figures had all recently purchased land in the SFV. The land values skyrocketed, surpassing the purchase prices.

After the aqueduct was completed in 1913, Lippincott immediately quit his job at the Bureau of Reclamation and went to work for the LA Water Department.

In the 1920s, the Owens Valley farmers that had not sold out were watching their farms drained of water, nearly every drop of which was pumped into the steadily growing San Fernando Valley. By the mid 1920’s the Owens Lake had become prematurely and totally dry. In 1924 and again in 1927, protesters blew up parts of the aqueduct. This period of time is known as the California Water Wars.

In the late 1930’s LA again needed more water, so the aqueduct was extended North through the rest of the Owens Valley, Long Valley, and in to the Mono Basin. It was completed by 1940.

It was also during this time that the Antelope Valley and the upper Mojave Desert started to become the desert that it is today. The Owens River and Owens Lake fed a multitude of underground rivers and streams and traveled many many miles South. When the river was diverted, and the lake dried up, the desert took on the form we know now.

What of the Owens Valley? With its giant lake drying up faster than nature intended, their was nothing to hold down the lake bottom and it became a giant unnatural salt flat. For many years it became the single worst source of dust pollution in the United States, it still may be. The wind will create alkali dust storms that that carry away as much as four million tons (3.6 million metric tons) of dust from the lakebed each year. The dust plumes can at times be seen from space, and will travel as far South as LA, can’t say I feel sorry for them though.

A decades long court battle ensued because of these dust storms, with the Owens Valley finally winning in the end. LA has to now put back just enough water to stop the dust storms and create some bird habitat.Not enough to restore Owens Valley. LA wasn’t exactly happy about having to give back water. Last year, they devised a way to till the land and cover it with giant dirt clods. In theory, the clods will hold the dust down and LA will only have to give 1/3  as much water as before. Only time will tell if this method actually works.

Today, NASA says that California only has one year left of water. It seems that in the end, LA raping the Owens Valley didn’t help it. Karma is coming, just too late to actually affect the men who legally stole the water in the first place.

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