By: sp34n119w , 8:37 PM GMT on April 02, 2012

According to the font of all knowledge, April is one of those few months that has little history in terms of the origins of the name. It may be related to Latin and Greek words that mean “to open” or “opening” and thus relate to Spring and the opening of flowers. Sounds good.
Or, it may have to do with the goddess Venus (Aphrodite), since her festival was held this time of year.

Many people know that the word “Easter” is from Germanic words for this month and believe that Easter was a goddess of the dawn (new beginnings, renewal, etc.). Again according to Wikipedia, the earliest source for that information is the Venerable Bede. While it is reasonable to think that Bede would have been aware of Germanic gods and goddesses and tales surrounding them, it may be that this one was made up since there are, apparently, no sources that predate him, and no anthropological evidence to support his assertion.

One would think, as important as Spring is and as much as people around the world celebrate this time of year with rituals and feasts, that we would have kept track of the origins of the names associated with this month throughout history. The word “Lent”, for instance, is just an old English word for Spring.
But, maybe, the opposite is true. Perhaps we hold to a name, an ancient name, that was considered so sacred in itself that it did not matter where it came from. Names have power. They identify and categorize the important things in our world and some, at least, are not to be trifled with.


Sashaying Swirls:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

Clogging Clouds :

Rounding Rain:

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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72. Barefootontherocks
5:40 PM GMT on May 01, 2012
Hi sp, (and everyone)
Stopped in just to say May Day! but got trapped reading comments.

Wow. What a drawing by xkcd! I like the part about sperm whales diving deep.

Hmmm. Love is magic. Or maybe mystery is a better word all around.

Saw a mockingbird dive-bomb a squirrel. Does that count?

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71. LowerCal
1:19 AM GMT on May 01, 2012
In Woodland Hills I can have overcast most of the morning and still get hotter than Fresno, lol. Eddy can keep it cool and gray all day for sp and SB.
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70. Bogon
8:48 PM GMT on April 30, 2012
Summer Bummer? That must be the downside of having the Pacific Ocean for a neighbor.

The upside is that otherwise it would be as hot where you are as it is in Fresno.
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69. LowerCal
5:28 PM GMT on April 30, 2012
I have seen smaller birds harassing raptors. I've seen sparrows harrass isolated crows. Mature birds of smaller size tend to be more maneuverable and can safely get away with it. I wonder if that jay isn't about to have some fledgelings.

Juvenile California Scrub Jay
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68. LowerCal
5:27 PM GMT on April 30, 2012
The rain fell short of expectations here in Woodland Hills also. It was a consummate exhibition of "scattered showers" though. A few areas made the news with amounts between 0.50" to 1.00". Most nearby areas received around 0.10" but Pierce College only reported 0.01" so there's no significant update for the rain season graphs in comment 28.

Eddy's back. It's May Gray already.

Additional terms that were applicable to last year: June Gloom, No-sky July, Fogust and Summer Bummer.
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67. sp34n119w
7:53 AM GMT on April 30, 2012
I know. It's late. I was in the mood to fugue and thought I'd bring this one by here.

Not great for a Monday morning but perfect for a Sunday night :)

My week looks away-from-computer-ish at this time, though I will try to write something about May just to freshen things up.
Else, Happy Week WU!
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66. sp34n119w
8:34 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
Oh, are we having a debate? I thought we were just sharing. So, that's good to know! Whenever someone seems to be skipping over half of what I've written (perfectly acceptable in a debate but confusing in a conversation) I figure I haven't been clear and try again. I am relieved to know I can stop repeating myself!
I expect a weekend full of muggleness, but, that's fine. Last weekend contained enough excitement to last awhile :) I hope you see the sun, BC!


Several days ago Jerry Coyne wrote a long piece on Narwhals that really deserves attention. Well, it got plenty, I'm sure, but more is better.
I sure learned a ton so I'm linking it here for those who might like some interesting reading over the weekend :)


Sort of following up on the TED talk up there, Foreign Policy mag has an issue devoted to women and politics around the world. I haven't read any of the articles in their entirety but they do look worth it.


Have you ever seen little birds dive-bombing a hawk? I'm sure you have.
Well, this morning one of our local hawks was taking his shift in the eucalyptus tree (the various larger birds seem to take turns in that tree), just hanging out, occasionally calling out, and this little Jay was harassing him! The Jay kept hopping from branch to branch, lunging at the hawk at each pass and making a heck of a racket. The hawk would flinch but otherwise seemed intent on standing its ground (so to speak). Finally, the hawk flew off to a palm tree, the Jay close on his tail. The Jay seemed satisfied to have moved the hawk and went away, while the hawk then took to the air again, calling to his mate. Anyway, it was weird. Don't know what the Jay's problem was - the hawks are there frequently and there is no nest in that tree. I also wonder if Jays taste bad.


Oops gotta run! I may be around when I get sick of muggleness but, in case, Happy Weekend, WU :)
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65. BriarCraft
7:05 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
Magic and other imagined manifestations of the supernatural go away when we understand the underlying principles, the real cause of observed phenomena.

Not for me. I understand the science behind photosynthesis and biochemical cycling of carbon, but a Giant Redwood is far more than the sum of its chemical reactions. It is magical to my eyes. Science can never take that away. When the world stops being magical and super-natural for me, it will be time to cash in my chips and exit stage left.

n. - any mysterious or extraordinary quality or power: the magic of springtime
adj. - unaccountably enchanting; wonderful; marvellous; exciting

These are valid definitions and are not changed by science. In fact, magic may be enhanced by science. As I said before, it is a matter of perspective -- the perspective in choosing the definition that suits me.

The fact that we can have this friendly debate and use our minds for something beyond the necessities of living. That's magic, too. Just like cookies and milk settle a too-full tummy. Have a magical weekend!
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64. sp34n119w
6:06 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
Because, at that depth, they are UNDER PRESSURE!!!!
Oh, my, that cracked me up.

Star Wars heroes had very cool magical powers.
Star Trek heroes had intelligence and ingenuity, courage and conviction, law and integrity.
I prefer the latter, is all I was saying.

Externalized forces are unnecessary, unreal, random, useless. Magic and other imagined manifestations of the supernatural go away when we understand the underlying principles, the real cause of observed phenomena.
Poetry, love, beauty, altruism are not magic - they are emergent properties of the physical properties of the brain. They don't go away when we understand them. Reality is sticky like that.

Cookies make upset tummies better. That's a form of sympathetic magic, like homeopathy. It works just as well, too, and I had some Pepto before bed, LOL
The cookies were tasty and I don't regret my foray into the dark arts :)

... Oh, look, Spet has made an appearance ... must be part of Aubie's wayback machine's influence over wu bloggers. More magic? LOL

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63. Bogon
3:09 PM GMT on April 27, 2012
sp, I believe there's room for poetry in the world, which means that I believe in ‘magic’. Your last comment, with a smile and a wink, suggests that you agree.

With respect to xkcd I'm guessing Freddy Mercury and David Bowie. Way deep. !o)

The most interesting thing to me was Burj Khalifa. Had to do a little research. I've seen pictures (Mission: Impossible), but I found out I'm way behind on world's tallest buildings. Guess I should pay more attention.
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62. sp34n119w
5:32 AM GMT on April 27, 2012
Well, BC, that's what I figured (hence, "as you know ... ") - and even folks in real life like to do that to me, because I'm an easy mark, lol - but I've been wrong before and ended up with someone taking what I wrote very badly. In real life I can see it happening and work it out. Not so much on teh internets. This kind of communication requires giving others the benefit of the doubt in a different way and it is sometimes hard to do.
Thanks for the windup :)


I forgot to leave something earlier. An xkcd from a little while ago. I haven't been following but went through some recently and found that one to be really fun. Be sure to click to make it big enough to read :)
I have a favorite part. Guess!


A perfect golden hour experience today, sought and savored, and mentioned to reiterate the point, obviously, LOL
I was HUGE I was tiny I was all I was nothing I was


Then I came home and ate waaaaaay too much dinner followed by waaaaaay too much ice cream. Now I'm going to go have some cookies and milk to settle my stomach. No, it will work - it's magic! ;)

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61. BriarCraft
3:34 AM GMT on April 27, 2012
Not ticked at all, SP. Mostly, my intent was to wind you up and see where you went. Mission accomplished.

Perspective -- Definition
Pragmatism -- Optimism
Tomayto -- Tomahto

IMO, context flavors it all. My context is to not take anything too seriously. Especially myself.
(hmmmm.... wonder what she'll make of that)
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60. sp34n119w
12:29 AM GMT on April 27, 2012
That, too, Ylee! :)
I like to pretend I'm following weather in order to justify my being here with all the awesome people on WU. Shhhh don't tell anyone I'm faking!

Here, watch: "csi" is a handy weatherspeak abbreviation for "convective symmetric instability" and is used to describe an aspect of thunderstorm formation.
Hah! Pretty good, huh? LOL

BC - what you have written is very beautiful and much appreciated.
Having said and meant that, I will now proceed to be a jerk ...

I'd say it's more a matter of definition, then, than perspective. Semantics, maybe.

If I say the view of moonlight reflecting on the water is "magical" do you think I mean outside the physical realm? Because I don't mean that. I am describing my own emotional reaction to what I see when I use that word.

Moonlight reflecting on water and hitting my eye to be analyzed by my brain is well defined by physical processes. There is no need nor room for a magical or supernatural explanation. We are well beyond that, by this time.

Similarly, emotions happen in the brain as a result of the many complicated interactions of the gazillion cells and various chemicals that exist there. There is not more to our minds than that. I know. That seems like kind of a bummer (it's actually really cool but that's another story).
Complicated, even so complicated as to be currently inexplicable, or inexplicable by or to me or you, does not equate to magic.

So we can use words like magic and supernatural to express how we feel about an event, or how we perceive it, but, we cannot say that event was actually the result of magic or a supernatural force.

Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
That doesn't mean it IS magic. And "technology" can easily be replaced with any object or process that we don't currently understand, including biological processes.

In the context in which I wrote that I don't believe in magic or the supernatural I was referring to the Star Wars characters who have special powers, eventually explained through a "natural" occurrence of midi-chlorians in their bodies which allow them to make use of the Force in ways that are otherwise inaccessible. Other people, the regular Joe/Jane on the street, do not have access to these powers, making the Jedi and Sith a special class of citizen, above the unwashed masses, and making those masses nameless and expendable.
Jedi are like the demi-gods of Greek myth - half god and half human, like Hercules or Achilles.
Demi-gods and Jedi get (or take) special privileges in their societies. We, now, also look for 'demi-gods' - those who are above us, purely good, perfect - in order that we may follow them in hopes that we will be redeemed through our service to them. Don't deny it. It is visible everywhere.

It's why child-raping priests go unpunished and why Mitt Romney knows he can erase his etch-a-sketch. Once a person (or group of people) invest themselves, their own identity, in the perfection of another person (or group of people) they will not give it up. They will forgive nearly anything, no matter how horrific, no matter how many of them are hurt.

I don't like that. So, whenever I feel that there is something "magical" about almost anything, I look deeper to find the "technology". It's a lot more interesting and fun than magic, anyway.

There isn't anything wrong with the feelings you describe - in my opinion they should be sought and savored at every opportunity - but, to say that I believe in magic because I am sometimes emotionally moved by the sight of moonlight reflecting on water, well, that is just not true.

So ... dashing that off without even a third read-through and sure it'll tick someone off - hopefully not you, BC, as you know that I tend to take off on what folks say here without necessarily responding directly or personally. You get me thinking and then I tippity-tap away :)


Oh! Less than a tenth of an inch of rain, btw (weather blog, you know!), but, it was a fairly steady light rain for a couple hours last night, and a brief while this morning.
Don't know why I bother with reading the discussion, let alone posting it ;)

Now, I need dinner, lol
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59. BriarCraft
10:44 PM GMT on April 26, 2012
"Then again, I don't believe in magic or supernatural powers"

Ooooo, I can't resist that one. Just have to point out that you maybe just might believe in those things, but don't realize it on account of your definitions being not-quite-right.

When you say "magic", you're thinking illusions, tricks, fairy godmothers, etc. When I say "magic", I think:
There's more to our minds than organic matter and bio-chemical reactions. Thought. Awareness. Creativity. Imagination. Those things are simply magic.
Combine two cells and get a whole new individual. Must be magic.
Step outside, lay down, part the grass and take a close look at a whole other universe. Life, struggle, death, success, randomly subject to the catastrophic event of a mere footstep. Magic.

When you say "supernatural", you're thinking ESP, teleportation, ghosts, something beyond nature. When I say "supernatural", I'm thinking nature in the extreme, of the highest power, excellent, "Wow, look at that!":
The destructive power of a tornado or hurricane. That is super natural wind.
The lifespan of a giant redwood. Super-size. Super-old. Nature.
The irresistible force of water in a raindrop, in the ocean, in a flood, in a tsunami. How can something so vital to life also erode rock, destroy life, wipe the slate clean? Nature. Super.

Sometimes, we need to look at things with new eyes.

Fungi, fun guy, wool, backwards knitting, FoB nerds. Sounds magically super. Naturally.

It's a matter of perspective. Just sayin'....
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58. Ylee
8:18 PM GMT on April 26, 2012
This is a weather blog? I thought this was a discussion about Sci-Fi franchises and fungi and wool and stuff, lol!

And what's this talk of "an area of csi"? Was LAPD notified that the NWS was spying and tipping off their wherabouts? ;-)
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57. sp34n119w
12:45 AM GMT on April 26, 2012
Wow look at the radar. I think it might rain!

The latest discussion says, essentially, "Oops!" and they've upped the totals and altered speed and direction of the oncoming STORM OF THE CENTURY. No, not that. But, you know, rain.

Here they are:
"Short term (today-sat)...isolated thunderstorms had developed
approximately 350 miles northeast and ahead of the approaching low
pressure system late this morning. They were moving north northeast
at 40kt. The activity developed within an area where guidance had
indicated an area of convective symmetric instability. As the low
moves over the area guidance continued to indicate an area of csi
centered south of the area. Area will likely enhance rain rates this
evening and have adjusted quantitative precipitation forecast up as well as adjusted timing. The
areas of highest quantitative precipitation forecast is over the south facing slopes of Ventura and
Los Angeles County mountains. With current speed and movement the
low center will move east over the south half of the area just after
midnight differing and slower from previous solutions. Have adjusted
probability of precipitation up Thursday morning through Thursday afternoon...the remnants
of the system currently approaching northern California will shift
east and the southern portion will skirt the area and combine with
lingering moisture and instability over the area. Temperatures were
5 to 10 degrees up from yesterday at this time and several degrees
above normal."

See that last line? It was 72 degrees - four degrees above the forecast high this morning - not when I posted at 2:20 but a couple hours earlier. At just after 3PM it was 86 degrees here! It was like a sauna! Then the temp dropped by 15 degrees in about a minute and a half. Not kidding.
How fun is that? LOL

The t-storms they mention have pretty high tops out there over the ocean. This might get interesting somewhere for someone :)

'k that's my weather update. Cuz this is a weather blog, you know.
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56. sp34n119w
9:20 PM GMT on April 25, 2012
Karen - I'm not sure sitting at the computer counts! LOL
I like reading about all you do. By the time I'm done considering your efforts, I feel like I've accomplished something and can take the rest of the day off! ;)

I think I saw everyone at the FoB at least twice by virtue of the fact that I kept walking in circles, lol
It shouldn't be too difficult for you to get to USC from the south. It's going through downtown that is really confusing (to me). My fall back plan when I can't figure out the freeways in LA is to get off and use surface streets - the joy of a proper street grid! Mostly, anyway.
Then, I love LA. I love the buildings and the people and the sheer variety of experience that is possible there. Like any city, I guess, but this is the closest I've got to call MY city :)

Ylee - thanks for laughing! I like that - "You're new here, aren't you?" LOL

Chocolate is an unalloyed good. I am trying to not drink coffee in the mornings (taking Vivarin, though, to prevent the headache) so chocolate is necessary sometime during the day.


Newsflash: It looks like it may rain. We'll see ;)
Nice thing is, despite (or, because of) the clouds, it is 72 degrees here. Warmest it has been since Sunday.


Here's some stuff (funner stuff last):

A woman's prayer group has vowed to pray* for the women of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Isn't that nice?

* some comments at that blog are NSFWU


International Paper Company won their anti-trust case and the Justice Dept. allowed them to buy a competitor. Now they have more capacity than they need. So, they are closing their Santa Paula factory and firing 60 employees.
An interesting comment on that article (which does not tell the whole story but the comments help add to the info available) points out that IP is the last regular customer of the railroad here in town.

This is not all bad for me. I mean, it's bad for the town, so, bad for me that way. But, I can hear that factory late at night and hear the train whenever it is there. My world will be quieter.
I'd rather have the noise.


Everyone know about the DNS Changer Malware thingy?
The FBI is here to help!
No, really, go there if you don't know what that's about already.


Okay, here's some fun ...

A Burlesque version of Homer's works. I haven't read it, yet, because I got distracted by all the other cool stuff there. Read the About page for more info on The Public Domain Review, which I think is a great idea because it is so hard to sort through all the stuff available.

The downside to having found that is obvious ;)


For just a little more commentary on Star Wars along with a few other movies, you might read Scalzi's movie critic article on Evil ... or the Victim of Framing? which I meant to post the other day but didn't.


I am the laziest person on the planet this week.
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55. Ylee
7:48 PM GMT on April 25, 2012
"And they do great things - not just for themselves or some elite class, but, for everyone (except Redshirts)."

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!! That's the funniest thing I've read all day!

Redshirt:"Doc, Doc, I get to go down to the planet's surface with the Captain and Mr. Spock!!!"

McCoy:"You're new here, aren't you?"

Eat chocolate, then take a nap. Problem solved! :)

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54. SBKaren
12:35 AM GMT on April 25, 2012
If you went to the FoB then you probably walked by my niece. She goes to USC (graduates in a couple of weeks) and she was volunteering there in the afternoon! Ha!

Yes, it's been gloomy and I would be whining, except I haven't been outside too much. Well, I have, but not enough to care what the weather was like.

Actually, we were in the 5K on Saturday in this overcast weather but that was actually good. If the sun were out it would have been very hot. Still, I was dripping by the time we were done. Tooooo much humidity in the air.

I'd probably go to more events like the FoB more often except I just hate driving to L.A. I hate the freeways, I don't care for the environment (not the books - L.A.!), and I hate dealing with traffic.

I am already stressing about driving up to USC for my nieces graduation in a couple of weeks. She's from Carson City, NV and she knows L.A. FAR better than I do. So does her mom. Crazy huh?

I've seen quite a few good TEDvideos.

BTW - I'm sitting while I do this...are you impressed???
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53. sp34n119w
10:44 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
Well, I got around, here and there, finally. Other people's blogs are much more fun than mine :)

Here, have a TED talk:

Didn't get that nap. Had chocolate, instead.
See wu later :)
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52. sp34n119w
8:57 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
See? I'm back! ;)

gg - I'm thinking it's good to keep your co-workers guessing about your sanity. You're welcome! ;)

I did read the next entry (... irony). I get Coyne's blog via RSS feed so see them all. As a group, the folks who comment there are a step above the usual internet denizens in their sense of humor and breadth of general knowledge (and they are more polite than most) so once I start reading the thread I find I can't stop - and you never know where they'll go with it. This in contrast to some other blogs where I read just the OP and ignore the comments.

My favorite posts of Coyne's are the biology posts - including the odd critters he finds. He just finished "Owl week" where he had a post each day about owls. Videos, pics, stories, biology ... anything owly. Cool.
It reminded me that I hadn't heard my local owls in quite awhile and I began to worry. They recently did some tree trimming nearby and this is not a good time of year for that. I was thinking about that the other night when I went downstairs to check on garage cat and, when I got there, I heard one loud *screeeeech* that was an owl. Like s/he was letting me know s/he was okay :)

calpoppy - oh no Outer Limits! When I was about 7 or 8 I talked my sister (who was 'babysitting' while our parents were out) into letting me watch Outer Limits with her on the little B&W TV in her room. She said I couldn't because I'd have nightmares. I said I wouldn't because I'd feel safe with her beside me. She let me crawl into her bed and watch ... and I had horrible nightmares! For days and days! LOL I was, and am, a total wimp when it comes to scary movies.
I could watch Twilight Zone, though. Go figure.

Bogon - George Lucas has said that he intentionally used a standard story formula for Star Wars. He has also denied it a time or two, which is weird, but, he is weird.

In a series of interviews with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell talked about the various story formulas and character types and such that have been used throughout the world and through time. He loved Star Wars and worked with Lucas and, I think, those interviews with Moyers were filmed at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch. I should read my own link, probably, instead of going from memory, lol

I saw Star Trek in syndication but didn't know it wasn't new. I always liked it. I was eleven when Star Wars came out (I think) and liked it, too. In neither case did I consider the socio-political messages being sent by their creators. Not until years later.

Having watched those Campbell interviews when they first aired, and having done some small amount of study in that realm, I can see what the respective creators were trying to do and they are quite different.
Both are fun to watch, though, without any analysis!

I do prefer Star Trek. I'm not a huge fan of heroes who can do no wrong. Or, rather, who can do wrong, repeatedly, and get away with it while others suffer the consequences. Because heroes are special and above it all and that ticks me off.

In Trek the characters are flawed and have weaknesses. They lean on each other to shore up those weaknesses, make up for their individual flaws, and get things done. They don't have any magical powers to fall back on and have to muddle through, working together, just like the rest of us. And they do great things - not just for themselves or some elite class, but, for everyone (except Redshirts).

Then again, I don't believe in magic or supernatural powers and I am a pinkolibrulcommiesocialistscum (something like that). And it's all because of Star Trek! LOL

Well, anyway. You're right about the movies, especially the first one, and I still like them :)

I liked the first three Star Wars, too. The last three? Not so much.

Thanks for offering your take! I do realize that most folks think these things are all fluff, but, that's what They said about Shakespeare, at the time. These two story-lines are part of our culture now, based on previous cultural memes, and inform our views - even for those who never saw them - whether we like it or not!

Ylee - I did! It was! He was! Could be! LOL
He is very very tall. He didn't look too happy when I saw him and he'd just left the stage. He didn't look too healthy, either.
I'm supposing it's a kid's book since he was on the kids' stage.
Of course, most of the FoB is kid stuff, anymore.


There was sun this morning as the fog blew away but then real clouds showed up. Now it's chilly and grey and windy and rain is coming.

Up to an inch of rain forecast, here in SP, starting sometime tomorrow (probably evening) and ending Thursday (probably by morning). Seems there is some confusion about timing, still.
The weekend should be warm and sunny, hurray! Then the return of the marine layer, boo!

I need to take a nap. I'm thinking 'til Friday.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
51. Ylee
7:07 AM GMT on April 24, 2012
You saw Kareem? That's awesome! Was he selling a book or something? He probably didn't care much for USC either, lol!

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50. sp34n119w
11:35 PM GMT on April 23, 2012
Hello! Hello! Hello!
I have a story!
I went to the LATimes Festival of Books yesterday (Sunday) and had a wonderful time. Also, strange. Something odd always happens around me at the FoB. That is, things happen that don't directly involve me, but affect me.

I managed to make it to two panels – Science in the early afternoon and Nerds later (no, that isn't redundant) – and both were good. The panel of nerdy writers (plus moderator) was one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. Every one of them was on fire and together they were in perfect sync. Even the Q&A was funny. I left thinking maybe I should make the effort to go to cons or something because I can't tell you how enjoyable it was to be surrounded by people who laughed hysterically when John Scalzi off-handedly said he has developed an immunity to iocane powder as he was handing out redshirt cookies.
I didn't get every reference but their stories and hijinks were enough to keep me laughing the entire time. Turns out, even Scalzi thought it was an exceptional event (and he does a lot of these things) so now I'm thinking I'd be disappointed if I went out of my way to attend other events. That's a relief. I don't have time to become a con follower.

The weather went from sunny to overcast while I was cracking up. I expected to have another hour or more to wander the book stalls but many had already closed up and most others were packing up at 4 o'clock. Too early! I had money to spend that did not get spent!
Also, this was the second year that the FoB has been at USC (previously at UCLA) and my first time there. The campus is lovely but I found the booth layout vexing. It seemed like I was always behind the tents, unable to see who was in them. I often found that I'd walked in circles. I did see a few of my faves but missed others – no idea if they were even there or not.

I have a love/hate relationship with the 110 through downtown. I'd say that yesterday's experience came down on the “love” side of that balance, so that's good.

Then there was a bomb scare that kept us from the car for about a half hour (some had been waiting much longer). Then the elevators in the parking garage weren't working and you can guess who had to climb the stairs to the fourth level to get the car (I'm told that there was some concern for my heart's ability to handle the task and consideration regarding how long to wait before calling for help – isn't that sweet?). Then there was an accident on the 126 and there is no way around an accident on the 126, but, by the time we got there, they had one lane open and we only lost twenty minutes or so. Looks like nobody died in that one, despite the CHP site stating that there were five vehicles involved and four bodies in the road, so another (qualified) good thing.

I travel around a bit. I go places and do things. Usually, everything goes reasonably smoothly – sometimes very smoothly. But, almost every time I go to the FoB, things go whacky. I know it's coincidence but it still feels weird.

Anyway, at least this time nobody in my own party got hurt or sick – and we all had a great time!

Oh, and I saw Julie Andrews and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, briefly (and not together ;) ), and Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine, and the C-SPAN truck! Were you watching? Did you see me? LOL


You ever been so tired that you can't get up the gumption to go to bed? Yeah, that's where I was last night after a busy weekend. Luckily, I was able to sleep in this morning. Of course, that means lots of work to do in a short day. I wanted to share the FoB experience and have spent break times writing about that, leaving me no time for responses or blog hopping, again.

Thanks for stopping in gg, calpoppy, and Bogon!
I'll be back.


Oh, weather. It's going to rain. Yes, it is. Probably south of here more than here!
Maybe I'll C&P some of the discussion later, lol
Today it is grrrrrrray and cold. 'They' said it might clear more at the coast than inland and here, at least, there is no sign of sun, and everything was wet with drizzle this morning. Someone needs to have a chat with the weather gods – they don't listen to me – and tell them it's late April in SoCal. Not to mention in the Northeast and elsewhere that it's freezing and snowing. That's nuts.

Anybody feel the little earthquake this morning? Apparently people here did but I didn't. Well, unless that's what woke me up, LOL!

See wu later :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
49. Bogon
11:48 PM GMT on April 22, 2012
Don't know if you can tell, but my remarks in #47 are facetious. Now calpoppy's post reminds me of some personal history.

I was in high school when Star Trek first aired on NBC. New shows were broadcast at 10 o'clock on Friday night starting in September, which conflicted with the weekly football game. My parents, teachers and many of my fellow students thought that I should show school spirit by supporting the team. That was a no-brainer. My allegiance belonged to Star Trek!

By the time the first Star Wars movie was released, I was in my mid twenties. A friend invited me to go see it. I had never heard of Star Wars. I had no idea it was to become a six-part franchise. It was a ripping yarn. Until I read Brin's analysis, that was enough.

I tended to focus on the humorous elements, such as C3PO and R2D2, or on Carrie Fisher in a harem costume. Then there was the geek factor. At the time the special effects were remarkable. The sociopolitical implications of depicting a hereditary aristocracy escaped me. After all, the fictional events portrayed in the movie took place "long ago and far away". Who knows what it took to govern a galactic empire comprised of dozens (hundreds?) of nominally intelligent species? It's not my problem! I assume that each planet had its own form of government, much as nations on Earth do now, which ran the gamut from enlightened philosopher kings to democracies to cabals, dictators or warlords to anarchy.

The question of which universe I prefer, Star Trek or Star Wars, should be easier. It's not, really. It's like comparing apples and oranges. I can understand Brin's argument, but that's only one dimension among several along which one can compare works of this kind. Star Trek was at its best on television. The cliché-ridden weekly adventure did not translate well to the big screen. The first Star Trek movie sucks. Most of the rest are forgettable or self-parodying. Star Wars, on the other hand, was and (thanks perhaps to Lucas' re-editing) remains among the best exemplars of its genre. It is still a ripping yarn.

I can no longer remember where or in what order I saw the rest of the Star Wars flicks. For a long time (sixteen years!) there were only the original three, now numbered IV through VI. I still think of those as canon and of I to III as apocrypha. Nevertheless, Star Wars is a single unified epic tale. Star Trek was episodic. Made for television, the stories were typically facile and followed a certain rhythm, punctuated by commercials. Special effects were cheap. The original series occasionally explored subjects that were topical in the late 1960's. Those shows can look dated or contrived now. Star Trek became a franchise, too, with a handful of spinoffs, some of which did a better job of exploring the potential of the medium. Some did worse. Star Trek is a mixed bag. I remember watching an episode of a Saturday morning cartoon version once, based on a story by Larry Niven set in a completely different fictional universe. I guess the producers thought the kids wouldn't know the difference.

Speaking personally, it's hard to remember how I felt at the time. I'm no longer the person I was in 1966 or 1983. It's certain that, if you had interviewed me then, I would have answered differently.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
48. calpoppy
7:57 PM GMT on April 22, 2012
I am all for Star Trek over Star Wars. Maybe because when Star Trek first came on it was so different. But then I was a big fan of Outer Limits. My brother and I still laugh over the episode with the Zantis!!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
47. Bogon
12:08 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
It took me three days, but I finally made it through the article about Star Trek versus Star Wars.

David Brin certainly takes the debate up a notch. I had never considered the question in term of mythic archetypes etc. This will definitely put a kink in my enjoyment of escapist entertainment henceforth. Why, just yesterday I sat through Predator vs. Alien for the second or third time. Now I will have to reexamine the screenplay to determine what effect it may have on mankind's future.
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46. GardenGrrl
10:07 AM GMT on April 21, 2012
Okay, along with Ylee you are ruining me at work too. I don't log in to WU at work but do lurk on occaision. Was laughing, snorting and generally alarming my co-worker.

On flora/fauna fun did you follow the upper right arrow that says something like "Oh the irony burns". The comments section is hilarious. Blasphame has never been so funny.

Yarn, Daleks, fungi conventions the guy thinks I've gone off the rails, thank you :D
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45. sp34n119w
9:50 PM GMT on April 20, 2012
Should you check your email?


But where are the pink bunny slippers?


Happy Weekend, WU!
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44. sp34n119w
8:26 PM GMT on April 19, 2012
BC - thanks for noticing the critter! It's silly, I know, but I like to know that at least one person has clicked :)
I've never seen either of those, either, and wonder if I have and didn't know it. The caterpillar is very small in addition to being a master of disguise.

I sent you the link for the blanket so, for others who want to look it up, it's called the Ten Stitch Blanket. Very much geometric. Should be fun - a simple pattern with opportunity to practice a couple of neat techniques, but, to be honest, I chose it because it gave me an excuse to buy some yarn that I really wanted but could not justify without a pattern, LOL I found it in the nick of time since the yarn, in the colors I wanted, is being discontinued.

Ylee - hey, I get laughed at for playing with string all the time! And a few other things, too. Most things I do. Anyway ...
You can tell the guys that knitting is a traditionally male occupation since ancient times - because it is! Indications are that only men knitted or did any kind of knot-work. You might start a new trend among your co-workers ;)

There is a lot more behind Star Wars and Lucas' message than simple space opera, but, it can definitely be enjoyed that way!

The new Star Trek was superficial fluff. Also changed the whole tone of the franchise. The article I linked inadvertently speaks to that but it is a looooong article to read.

Oh, I've just wandered off in the middle of writing this ... to look up Majel Barrett-Roddenberry and her role in that last film ... which, eventually, among other things, led me to the wiki page on Andromeda. I only watched the first couple seasons of that but really liked it. It seemed to stay true to Roddenberry's ethos, it was darker than Star Trek, and it had plenty of eye candy. That's all I really remember, lol
Did you ever see that show?


On another note, the Washington Post has a couple of interesting articles on religion.
In Defense of Religious Freedom is commentary on religion in the military (a recurring theme, here).
Then they've got a report on the Vatican cracking down on American nuns. Who can blame them? You know what rabble-rousers nuns can be!

Olde Quote of the Day:
The tolerance of liberty can be maintained until complete federal and state control by Catholics has been accomplished.
-- Bishop O'Connor, Pittsburgh (1810–1872)

Second Olde Quote of the Day:
In the middle ages of Christianity opposition to the State opinions was hushed. The consequence was, Christianity became loaded with all the Romish follies. Nothing but free argument, raillery & even ridicule will preserve the purity of religion.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Enough of the Catholic bashing? lol
It just turned out that way, today. Though the first link is more about latter-day Prods.

Maybe I should save the Baptist joke for another time :)


Lovely day, ho hum. Trying to soak it up and store it for when the fog comes. And it will.

Happy Thursday!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
43. Ylee
11:50 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
LOL! My reputation here is shot enough because I sit in my shack most of my off time goofing around on the computer(Everybody else does stupid stuff on their smartphones, what's the difference? I'm learning stuff here, for one!), I can't imagine what the guys would say if I brought some virgin wool in here and started whacking it with a toilet plunger! ;-)

I think Spain could get out of their financial mess through fungi, don't you think? ;-)

I didn't watch rhe new Star Trek movie, but from what I saw of the trailers, I probably wouldn't like it. Roddenberry's vision was big picture; a grand society mostly getting along while exploring the cosmos. The new Trek looked like superficial fluff.(Feel free to correct me of my ignorance!)

Star Wars is just a big space opera, without the singing(Pavarotti as Jabba comes to mind!). It's done well, but to me it doesn't have the soul of the early Trek!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
42. BriarCraft
10:49 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
Really enjoyed that camouflaged caterpillar. I've never seen anything like that. Wiki says it's found in most of North America, but I've never seen a green moth either. Fascinating no matter how one describes the camouflage.

I'm also fascinated by your backwards knitting. I used to knit socks and sweaters and even doilies, but I never heard of backwards knitting. At first, I was puzzling why one would want to knit backwards, but your explanation to Ylee makes perfect sense. Now I'm curious what kind of pattern is going to require lots of 90 degree short-row turns. All I can think of is some sort of geometric design. Inquiring minds want to know.
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41. sp34n119w
8:21 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
OMFSM! Spain has an Association of Fungi Dyers! They are having a week-long symposium, in conjunction a mycology conference, called the "15TH INTERNATIONAL FUNGI & FIBRE SYMPOSIUM 2012". The activities include collecting mushrooms in the forests! In the Pyrenees! And they are going to make paper from mushrooms! Then dye it! And other things!
Okay, you know what? I need a winning lottery ticket. Immediately.


Ylee - it is challenging. I almost quit trying after my first attempts but, really, it's no worse than when I first started trying to knit frontwards. Easier, in fact, since I now have a notion of what the yarn is supposed to do, where it is supposed to go, so it's just a matter of teaching my fingers to put it there.
Knitting without turning is valuable when working narrow fabric (because it's a pain to turn a project to knit a small number of stitches, then turn back to do it again, etc.) and when knitting things called "short rows" which are, not surprisingly, short rows of knitting. They are worked for shaping (your sock heels are probably made with short rows) of various sorts. The project I'm practicing for is only ten stitches wide and uses short rows to make a 90º turn in the fabric - and there are a lot of those corners. Plus, it's a blanket, so will get large and difficult to turn as it grows. It would normally be done that way, though, and I may do so if it seems easier when it comes to it.
More than you ever wanted to know, am I right? LOL
Thanks for asking :)
You know, with the time you have at work you might like to take up knitting ... just saying ;)

LC - well, I know we can never believe models that far out but the way this year has been shaping up I don't think we can count out the possibility of rain. I do see that the precip prob maps have done a complete turn-around from when you first posted them. Of course, I also know now that they aren't talking about a gully-washer!
Right now I just want it to be nice this weekend for the Festival of Books - and it will be!
Sure is a good day today :)


Today I read an old (1999!) article by David Brin (scifi author) about Star Wars and Star Trek and the Odyssey and Iliad and scifi vs. "literature" and more. I really enjoyed it (shocking, I know). A little rambling, actually, but he puts into words many of my own thoughts about those types of stories. It was written well before the Star Trek reboot and yet perfectly explains why I despise that movie.
How nice :)

What do you think? Do you prefer S. Wars or S. Trek? Why?

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
40. LowerCal
7:07 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
Wasn't there something showing up long-range, though?

The long-range predictions of the weather models (about a week out and therefore of considerable uncertainty) were indicating an approaching front on our doorstep with light precipitation rates. How much rain would we get from it? The short-term climate outlooks (6-10 day and 8-14 day projections of average weather in those time frames) suggested it would dry up before it passed through.

Today the GFS and ECMWF weather model forecasts (specific scenarios) for about a week from now show cutoff low 500-1,000 miles WSW producing heavier precipitation. The short-term climate outlooks suggest the low could eventually make a move ENE coming onshore in about 10 days sideswiping us with more April showers.
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39. Ylee
3:05 PM GMT on April 18, 2012
sp, knitting backwards sounds challenging, like walking backwards! Is there an advantage in the end result of knitting it that way that can't be achieved by doing it conventionally? I know almost nothing about such stuff! :)

Good luck!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
38. sp34n119w
4:39 AM GMT on April 18, 2012
LC - LOL "So what?" was pretty much what I thought! Climatology says zero inches so ... yeah.
Very helpful of them to let us know that we may have a trace of rain, or not, at some point in time, or not ;)
Wasn't there something showing up long-range, though? I haven't looked at the models but saw mention of it, somewhere.


Two things.
One, I made that flora/fauna link in comment 32 sound really boring. I linked it mainly for the PRETTY PICTURES of a critter folks might have seen dozens of times without realizing it. Just so you know.

Two, I don't think calpoppy is going to felt her lovely new wool with a toilet plunger, lol
I do think this is an interesting look at cleaning new wool -

As usual when I start something new, I get obsessed with knowing all I can, even if I'll never do anything with that knowledge! Believe me, I have no intention of spinning, but, can't help being fascinated by it all. So, I run across these things.

I am now inspired to do some knitting tonight.
Not working directly on a project but trying to learn a new technique - knitting backwards, or, knitting without turning - for an upcoming project. Also, short rows. Also, knitting short rows without turning. Very exciting. I'll be going now.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
37. LowerCal
11:50 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
So, how is it useful, exactly?

In periods of extremely low climatological precipitation it is true that the distinction between "Normal" and successive gradations of "Below normal" are mostly a, "So what?". The only use I can think of is to make one increasingly skeptical of long range weather model hints of possible precipitation a week from now. ;^)

However, if you take a look at those self updating maps today you'll see that the 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks are both giving us a 40-50% chance of above climatological, lol.
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36. sp34n119w
11:10 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
gg - I can't believe how many butterflies you got. And so many different kinds at the same time! Amazing.
Oh, a long walk with Roxie and butterfly gazing sounds like a perfect day :)

calpoppy - Those colors are awesome and I especially like the way she spun them together in that ball on the left. No, I like the dark brown ball best, all chocolatey-like. Er. They're all beautiful!
Funny you had to talk her into paying for it, LOL
I've never knitted (or crocheted) with nubby yarns before but I always like the results of others' objects. Nice thing is it will hide any slight, um, oopses.
Wait. You can't whack at wool - it'll felt, won't it? Soak it and rinse a lot and blot it dry, is what I've seen. Maybe I'm wrong ... yeah, read more! ;)
But what an exciting project - from sheep to wool to yarn to scarf - you'd better post pics! ;)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
35. calpoppy
9:56 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
The brown wool is from Patches who is no longer around. The white is from Coqui (she is a french Merino or Rambouillet)

The loose skeins are not washed and there is a bit of a process to do so. Thought I would give a try. It takes a toilet plunger and a lot of whacking the wool on the sink. I will explain better when I read more about it!! It does sound rather odd :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
34. calpoppy
9:47 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
I went and visited the sheep where my scarf will come from today. I went ahead and bought the yarn. I have never haggled over a price with the seller who kept discounting the price! I started higher and she kept countering lower. She is a neat lady! Here is what I ended up with :)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
33. GardenGrrl
8:39 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
Hi, we made it through the rain. The yard is awesome. It is an amazing beautiful day so Roxie went for a long walk. Am waiting on a phone call so I can go outside and enjoy the butterflys some more.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
32. sp34n119w
8:16 PM GMT on April 17, 2012
LC - Thanks for the explanation. So, how is it useful, exactly?
I'm never going to be a proper weather geek, am I? LOL
That's okay - that's why I have you and WU!


A cartoon about those yellow ribbons and a review of Maddow's book, which I have but have not read, yet. Don't know if I can stand it.

Currently (still) trying to get through "Cheap" but it makes my mind wander. Must focus and get through it.


Flora/Fauna fun. Linking to WEIT but he's got the link to the originals there. I take exception to his use of the term "cultural mimicry" in this context and so do others in the comments and I thought that was an interesting discussion so that's why I linked it for those who might also be interested in that.


Insanely lovely day today - wishing WU the same :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
31. LowerCal
12:19 AM GMT on April 17, 2012
sp, those short term forecasts are much easier to read at full size. Right click the map and then "View Image" on the popup menu. The dashed lines on the maps are climatological precipitation for the period, 6-10 days out or 8-14 days out. For both periods the climatological amount for us is on the low side of the 0.1" dashed line. Therefore the expectations of +33% to -33% (Normal) and -40% to -50% (Below normal) both forecast we'll be getting less than 0.1" in the respective periods, lol.
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30. sp34n119w
9:33 PM GMT on April 16, 2012
LC - good point, lol Though I sometimes feel as if I'm waiting on one of those old modems!

Thanks for the graphics. That really helps to see how weird this season has been. Hope it's just a glitch.

Those precip probs don't make sense to me. If our average April rain is less than half an inch (and I expect that usually comes in the first half of the month), how can they have "Below Average" in the 2 nearer-term forecasts? Seems that if we get none it will be normal and if we get any it will be above average, won't it?

Karen - that's a way cool video and you can really hear the thunder! I'm glad you brought it here :) And, yes, you are nice - much nicer than me since I had watched the video in your blog and never commented on it :(
My excuse is that I got distracted by one of the associated vids!

You are in for a crazy week! I can't wait to hear all about Pageant - once you've recovered sufficiently ;)


After today (which is still a little on the cool side), this week is going to be perfect, weather-wise. Mid- to high-70's here and sunny with not too much wind.
Looking forward to open windows :)
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29. SBKaren
1:10 AM GMT on April 15, 2012
I heard thunder too and posted a short clip in my blog. I'll bring it here, cause I'm nice :) Its such a novelty for us when we get thunder. Just doesn't happen all that often :)

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28. LowerCal
12:40 AM GMT on April 15, 2012
... you wonder where people find the time ....

They're not waiting on a modem with a 3kB data rate these days, lol.

Anyway, as promised, as of 2012.04.13,


Graphs created with LibreOffice, a free download.
Data source: Los Angeles Pierce College Weather Station


Precipitation Probability Maps from the Climate Prediction Center
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27. sp34n119w
6:43 PM GMT on April 14, 2012
Have you all seen what Google would have looked like in the 80's? Pretty nifty thing, there. Makes you wonder where people find the time ... LOL
Found at Whatever.

Saw a rainbow just before sunset yesterday.
Beautiful day today after the rain. Out to have some fun in the sun!
Happy Saturday :)
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26. sp34n119w
9:30 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
LC - hurray! I wondered if that line would get to you - it looked like it was falling apart. And hail, too! Very cool.
I had about an hour's worth of thunder this morning, too, and plenty of wind and rain to go with it. Our high rain rate was the same and total precip also around an inch during that time. Not too shabby!

I know we sound silly to those in places with more extreme rain events, but, as you note, size doesn't always matter!
They can laugh at us all they want ;)

Looking forward to the graphics update. It's a season to remember.

BC - well, when you put it all together like that, I can see where it would lead to bizarre thoughts! LOL
I know that sign was supposed to just be funny (and it is) but now I'm hungry!
I have always said that the egg came first, for that same reason. So, not crazy, to my mind ;)
I left a comment in your blog two days ago and it didn't post. My connection went wonky at that exact moment and by the time I checked I'd forgotten what I wrote! Well, I know I was jumping on the nag-wagon about you taking care of yourself, not pushing too hard, so maybe it's better that it went "poof"!

Karen - pretty sure you're getting rain about now. Your worms are going to love it :)

WTS - I bet the latest swirly is going to whack you with its tail ;)
Perhaps your patience will pay off with the Orioles - you already got a couple great pics!

calpoppy - Feathered dino squeaky toy For The WIN!!!
Ah, blogging doesn't get much better than that :)

Unbeknownst to you, however, that pic connects to my latest knitting endeavor, via the colors, so I like it even more!

Still a bit worried about your kids up there - couldn't find an update in the news this morning on who pulled the trigger. Since it's Alaska, I expect an interesting tale to take the edge off the sadness.

gg - wherever did you find that?!?! I may have nightmares 8-/ LOL


The thunderstorm was really fun! The whole building shivered a couple of times and one thunderclap actually set water jiggling like a small earthquake had hit. I saw a few flashes from lightning but we've had a low deck all day so no visual on the strikes.
After the line passed the birds came out in droves to compare experiences of the storm. By the time I considered trying to capture their conversations on video (like Karen and her gulls!) the rain had started again and most of the birds had gone back under cover.
Checked the CHP site a few times and there were lots of single car spinouts but not a lot of bad stuff in Ventura county areas. Our roads, especially the older ones, just can't handle the sudden downpours and, believe me, the puddles form so deep so fast that there's no way to avoid them.
[ADD: for kicks, checked (LA division) again after posting, and saw:
which tells you what rain does to us! LOL]
Just yesterday I noticed that Santa Paula has a new weather station on WU! And it's at the airport! FINALLY!
I could not figure out why that airport did not have a weather station somewhere online - happy they are here :)
Their data begin March 23 so it did take awhile for me to notice.


Looky me - all weathery newsy and stuff, lol
I've spent the bulk of my day playing with rain so don't have anything else to talk about! And need to go get some Friday stuff done ... bah!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. LowerCal
8:42 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
Another hour has passed and now we have accumulated just about an inch of rain since this morning. If you're quick with math you already know it rained about .50"/hr. That's bona fide heavy rain anywhere.

BTW we had some brief bursts of BB size hail too.
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24. LowerCal
7:18 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
I've been hearing thunder here at least every couple minutes for the last hour. Several tops of 10,000 feet have passed very close in that time. Tops like that may not be worthy of remark to someone in Oklahoma but hey, we have lots of significant (for us) rain events when I don't see any tops reach 10,000 feet. Anyway, the strong (for us) line has passed now and we've accumulated over half an inch since 6:30 this morning with the rainfall rate reaching almost .25"/hr at one point - not bad for coastal SoCal in April.

I'll update the rain season graphics when this event is all over - probably tomorrow morning.
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23. BriarCraft
10:56 PM GMT on April 12, 2012
but someone threw a squeaky toy and I had to chase it!

So I did chase after some rather bizarre thoughts prompted by some fun posts found above:

horn in on everything your friends are doing - that's how you get all the good food!
the Colonel would have needed a bigger bucket!
Can I get some one ton soup with that?
and a truckload of mashed potatoes! Must have mashed potatoes.

and came up with these offerings:

Chicken and egg debate unscrambled
It's a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg. Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life. Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in prehistoric times, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg.

...no apologies for crazy entry from crazy person (aka April Fool). After all, it takes one to know one...
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22. SBKaren
10:20 PM GMT on April 12, 2012
So what's that they say about April showers bring May flowers? Let's hope that's what we get out of these storms!

I have so many worms in my compost....I could easily give some to Calpoppy and anyone else who wants some. They are quite abundant!!!
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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke