Posts Tagged ‘California’

 

It’s SoCal And I Still Walked!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

I did something tonight I would guess is a first for California. I walked to attend an event. It was a v/o workout.

I didn’t know what it was either!

I do know I’d like to dip my toe into the v/o pool. This seemed a way of learning more about a side of the business I know little.

Can I get cast? Who knows? It’s exceptionally competitive. So, probably not. But it’s still worth a shot.

Helaine thinks my voice is distinctive. She just can’t explain what makes it distinctive. And to me… well, it’s the only voice I have.

I do know in Connecticut I was more often recognized by sound than face!

There were four men and three women, plus our host, Ann. Everyone took a turn reading. We all listened and discussed. Then advice was passed out.

It was interesting to hear other reads and to hear about mine.

People came from as far as San Diego and Los Angeles for tonight’s session. It was two blocks from here!

Clouds Are Made For Timelapse

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

SoCal is normally a cloud free zone. Not today! Yesterday’s overcast (Do I get a refund off my mortgage?) was followed today by cumulus clouds. They are majestic, especially when sped up.

This time lapse was shot with my Canon 7D using Magic Lantern and edited in Adobe Premiere CS6. There’s plenty of resolution, so click the button in the lower right hand corner of the player and fill your screen.

I’m trying a new technique, so please let me know if the video isn’t playable in your browser.

My New California License Plate

Monday, March 10th, 2014

My daughter worked 78 hours last week. She’s taking a breather with Helaine this afternoon at the mouse. I am shepherding the two dogs. So far, so good.

IMAG0709-w1200-h1200I left the house for around an hour. Today was appointment day at the DMV. My plates were in.

In Connecticut, I drove 4CAST. It was a great plate. Here I had to dig deeper.

Appointments at the DMV are a very good thing, in spite of the long wait for to actually get one. I was scheduled for 2:20. I walked in at 2:10 and was out by 2:22. It would have been faster, but my rep had to stop and show the woman in the next cubicle how to scan a document.

IMAG0712-w1200-h1200The “no appointment” line stretched out the building. It was a line from which you’d be sent to another line. It was long enough to be used as the funny punchline in a TV commercial.

After Santa Ana, I complained (to you) the appointment system discriminated against those without language skills or computers. Overstated. My error.

The people in line here were upscale and stupid, or maybe the two week wait is too much? I felt sorry for them the first time. My compassion has waned.

For the past few months I’ve been driving around with no plates! The dealer throws on a tag, which makes it reasonably clear you just bought the car. I was told I could have done that for six months.

Not that I would, but no license plate would have been perfect for parking tickets or unpaid tolls. It’s a California quirk.

Comments are encouraged.

IMAG0715-w1200-h1200

It Doesn’t Take Much To Cause Trouble In SoCal

Friday, February 28th, 2014

boulder on road

The 4:00 PM PST rainfall totals are in for our second storm. If this was the East Coast or Midwest these numbers would be no big deal. Here in SoCal the bar for weather related tsuris is much lower.

canyone-road-blockedWe’ve had mud and rockslides, trees falling on homes and cars, rescues from the concrete channel known as the LA River and mandatory evacuations in Azusa and Glendora.

We’re not done! There’s another 1-2″ or rain due through early Sunday.

The threshold is lower now. The ground is saturated.

Helaine was shaking her head earlier as we watched a homeowner from Azusa interviewed on TV. He was talking about his fears. Mud was already flowing into his yard. He expected part of a hillside to let loose, wiping out a stand of avocado trees and probably taking down his substantial backyard fence. Left unsaid, whether his house might be destroyed too.

dozer debris removalWhy do people live in these susceptible areas? Simply put, it’s gorgeous.

If all you looked at was the hazards, no one would live in SoCal. We’re prone to fires, floods, slides, quakes and more. Of course everyone looks at those hazards, remembers the rest of the SoCal climate, then compartmentalizes them out of the equation.

After every disaster the most repeated word is, “rebuild.”

.ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS
 
 ID:     STATION            PRECIP(IN)    ELEV(FT)
 
 SDYBL:  YORBA LINDA            1.69         370         
 SDFRH:  LAKE FOREST            1.44         970         
 SJNC1:  SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO    1.34          75         
 SDLGH:  LAGUNA HILLS           1.27         400         
 SDSAA:  SANTA ANA              1.14         130         
 FUL  :  FULLERTON              1.13          96         
 SNA  :  JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT     1.12          50         
 CTMC1:  COSTA MESA             1.10          47         
 SDDPC:  DANA POINT             1.01         305         
 LGUC1:  LAGUNA BEACH           0.90          47         
 SDHTB:  HUNTINGTON BEACH       0.89           5     

  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN  
AVALON INLAND..................... 1.29  
HAWTHORNE (KHHR).................. 1.40  
LA AIRPORT(KLAX).................. 1.62  
LA DOWNTOWN (CQT)................. 2.28  
LONG BEACH (KLGB)................. 1.03  
SANTA MONICA (KSMO)............... 1.68  
REDONDO BEACH..................... 1.28  
TORRANCE.......................... 1.11  
MONTE NIDO........................ 2.48  
BEL AIR........................... 2.60  
CULVER CITY....................... 1.30  
GETTY CENTER...................... 2.58  
BEVERLY HILLS..................... 2.39  
HOLLYWOOD RESERVOIR............... 2.01  
SOUTH GATE........................ 1.28  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY VALLEYS  
VAN NUYS (KVNY)................... 2.60  
NORTHRIDGE........................ 2.08  
WOODLAND HILLS.................... 2.63  
AGOURA HILLS...................... 3.11  
CHATSWORTH RESERVOIR.............. 2.27  
CANOGA PARK....................... 2.21  
PACOIMA DAM....................... 2.80  
HANSEN DAM........................ 2.42  
NEWHALL........................... 2.99  
SAUGUS............................ 1.47  
DEL VALLE......................... 1.45  
EAGLE ROCK RESERVOIR.............. 2.60  
PASADENA.......................... 2.64  
ALHAMBRA.......................... 2.06  
EATON DAM......................... 2.36  
LA VERNE.......................... 1.61  
SANTA FE DAM...................... 2.19  
POMONA............................ 1.12  
CLAREMONT......................... 1.28  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS  
SANDBERG (KSDB)................... 2.18  
INSPIRATION POINT................. 3.35  
WEST FORK HELIPORT................ 5.67  
SANTA ANITA DAM................... 2.79  
SAN GABRIEL DAM................... 4.72  
MORRIS DAM........................ 3.19  
CRYSTAL LAKE...................... 5.78  
OPIDS CAMP........................ 6.33  
SIERRA MADRE...................... 2.39  
TANBARK........................... 3.16  
SAN ANTONIO DAM................... 1.67  
MILL CREEK SUMMIT................. 1.28  
CHILAO............................ 1.27  
MT BALDY.......................... 4.52  
WHITAKER PEAK..................... 3.58  
WARM SPRINGS...................... 2.38  
ACTON............................. 1.66  
CAMP 9............................ 2.06  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY DESERTS  
POPPY PARK........................ 2.64  
LANCASTER (KWJF).................. 1.54  
PALMDALE (KPMD)................... 1.02  
LAKE PALMDALE..................... 0.63  
SADDLEBACK BUTTE.................. 0.36  
VALYERMO.......................... 2.54  

I’m This Storm’s Spectator

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

prec

You will have to excuse me tonight but I’ve become obsessed with our upcoming weather. This is a first for me. My first real California ‘winter storm.’ I’m trying to gauge how pre-game coverage matches what really happens.

Viewers often accuse TV stations of hyping weather for ratings. I didn’t think we did, but this is an opportunity to watch as an outsider.

The late run of the GFS is VERY wet through the weekend. More rain than we’ve had in the last year!

For 28 years I lived in Connecticut. The hills there were more gentle than California’s steep slopes. These amplify rain’s effects. Most people are surprised to see the width of some of our washes (dry river beds). The mountains will fill those washes very quickly.

But, again, I haven’t experienced this first hand. Most of my SoCal weather knowledge is book learning and observing from afar.

Where there have been large fires, where brush hasn’t yet reestablished itself, expect landslides. Truly, insult added to injury. Haven’t these people had enough?

The vast majority of hills will remain intact. It’s just tough to say which ground is solid at any given moment.

I can’t imagine the big stuff will be widespread. We had around 800,000 without power in Connecticut after Hurricane Sandy. That seems very unlikely. Widespread outages of any number seem unlikely.

The main thrust of the first wave of rain is still offshore to the northwest of us. The GFS says .42″ at John Wayne in Santa Ana, with most centered around morning rush Thursday.

Round two gets here early Friday. For this the GFS says 3.349″ at Long Beach over 48 hours or so¹. That’s a huge amount of rain for this place to absorb. It won’t be absorbed gracefully or easily.

The good news is there are few basements to flood!

¹ – QPF, how much we’ll get, is the least accurate surface forecasters make. Giving it to the thousandth of an inch, as I did, is ridiculous.

Graphic courtesy coolwx.com

Rain Coming And Folks Are Excited

Monday, February 24th, 2014

gfs-bufkit

“It will be good for the state.” Those were Helaine’s words a few minutes ago. We were talking about the threat of rain in SoCal. We’ve had hardly any since last year’s rainy season–also a dud.

The image above is a screengrab from the afternoon GFS, using BUFKIT. If you want to know what kind of person I am, I find it fascinating. I like charts, graphs and numbers. They like me back!

I’m not going to be a whiner. Drought sounds and is bad. However, our infrastructure was designed knowing we get droughts. It needs much less than normal rain to work properly. No one is being forced to conserve.

We will finally end the fire season. That will be a relief to many. California has a tendency to burn.

Our first rain comes Wednesday evening. A cold front off a low hitting the California Coast near the Oregon border is the trigger. Not a lot. The GFS says around a quarter inch.

Meteorologists are lucky here. I’ve read and seen all sorts of quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF). It’s our least accurate prediction. They’ll all be wrong, but unlike snow, no one will check up on them.

The rain (and snow) should be significantly heavier farther north, including the Sierra Mountains. They are our sponge! Snowfall in the mountains is slowly released through early summer. Much of what would run to the ocean now flows toward the Southland.

Water from the Sierras is California’s lifeline. It’s how we house people and grow crops in the desert! Like so many other spots in America, we have overcome nature to tame a place not naturally suited for any of what now happens on it.

The second wave of rain arrives Friday morning. The GFS shows three inch range, much more than this area can easily perc. Flooded intersections and slow traffic will follow. Thunderstorms, less frequent here than back east, are possible with heavy embedded downpours.

NEXRAD is pretty bad here. Too much topography. There are lots of holes using individual radars. This is one place where composites help.

During these storms our temperature will stay in the 60s.

Friday’s deluge will taper to showers then some scattered drizzle under cloudy skies through Sunday. People here are looking forward to this brief change. I will miss my friend, the blue sky.

Sunday With the Family

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

laguna-beach-sunday

This is my sister and brother-in-law’s last full day in SoCal. We didn’t want to waste it!

family-at-breakfastStef was driving down from Hollywood, so we made reservations for a noon brunch. Traffic didn’t cooperate!

When she called, Stef was crawling through the City of Commerce on the 5. I pushed the reservation back to 12:30.

Brunch was at the Back Bay Bistro in Newport Beach. Like many places out here, Doppler is welcome if we’re eating outside.

g-h-and-dopplerWe sat on the patio, directly on the bay. A boat, just large enough to arguably be called a yacht, was moored around 20 feet away. Brunch was delicious and filling!

We turned south down PCH for Laguna Beach. Laguna was the setting for a few MTV shows, but it’s mainly an arty town with beautiful homes precariously placed atop one another on steep hillsides. Downtown is perfect for window shopping.

laguna-hillsWe found a meter at the beach. I swiped in two hours worth of parking. Laguna’s business district runs right to the water. There are shops and restaurants on the tree lined streets.

I think Trudi and Jeff have enjoyed visiting California. It’s very different from Wisconsin, especially this time of year. We will miss them. They’ll be back.

Disney Day

Friday, February 21st, 2014

IMG_6343all of us

Trudi and Jeff, my sister and brother-in-law are visiting from Wisconsin. We’re trying to show them a good time. It seems to be working!

We went to Disneyland today. It’s a school holiday in many cities and the park was jammed.

We did a lot of walking in both the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s California Adventure. It’s as much fun to walk around and look at people as it is to ride rides… well, almost. Every shape, size, shade of person was represented.

We saw the Captain Eo Tribute. The color is washed out. The film techniques look dated. Time to ditch it.

Jeff and I discussed the amazing cleanliness of the parks. There was nothing on the pavement. The place is spotless.

We came home and had dinner out with the Irvine Foxes.

It good to get the family together. It doesn’t happen often enough.

Surf City Sunset

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

sunset_Panorama

Until I moved here I had no idea Huntington Beach was Surf City. It is. I’ve been to HB a few times already, always with my camera. This afternoon it was me, “Clicky” and a bag full of lenses.

Over the past few days the forecast has pointed toward swells from a mid-Pacific storm hitting the coast. They wouldn’t be giants, but this winter has been disappointing to SoCal surfers.

“Isn’t it a little late,” Helaine asked? I was leaving around 4:00 PM.

IMG_1878The idea was to combine a little surf photography with sunset and whatever else I could find. I went to the beach unprepared! I was wearing jeans and sneakers. Somehow, the walking across the sand and into the ocean part hadn’t clicked. I ended up barefoot with my cuffs rolled up.

I like the vibe at HB. The whole beach area has a friendly feel with people of every shape, size and color.

The photo at the top of this entry is a 14 shot panorama. It was stitched together in the computer. Panoramas are very wide angle shots.

IMG_2019As I was repositioning myself near the base of the pier I walked by two girls. One was jumping while the other was trying to take a cellphone shot. I asked if I could give it a try.

I tried first without a light, but the contrast between the sky and her was too much. The finished photo uses the flash on the camera. I can’t remember the last time it was used.

Click the photo to see a larger version.

The temperature was mild and the beach stayed crowded as the Sun dipped behind Santa Catalina Island. The real show begins after sunset as the sky cycles through its colors until the clouds turn a fiery red.

And it’s January.

Damn!

Canyon Climbing

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

IMAG0479-w1400-h1400

Last Sunday’s hike was a wake-up call. It was strenuous, but I wilted much too quickly all things considered. Disappointing.

Helaine and I have been on two long walks since. Today I went with Cousin Melissa to hike Bommer Canyon.

Taxing! I held up a little better, but still needed to stop a bunch of times.

Bommer Canyon was used for cattle ranching for over a century. It was acquired by the City of Irvine in 1981. The whole Bommer Canyon Park is 16,000 acres.

I made a Central Park comparison a few days ago. Here’s another. Bommer Canyon is twenty times the size of Central Park, or a little larger than ALL of Manhattan! Bommer is just one of many publicly owned large wilderness areas in the region.

Because the canyon area is so precious and fragile it’s mostly off limits to pepole. The third Saturday of each month the park and its trails are open. Even then it’s just for a few hours.

bommer-canyon-hikeMelissa and I set out from the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp site and took the Ridge Route climbing around 600 feet in 1.7 miles. The path is well maintained and easy to follow. There is little shade. Even on this January day the sun was strong.

We passed families, other individual hikers and a lot of mountain bikers. Everyone was friendly and shared the trail. No dogs allowed, which is common in wilderness areas.

On the way down we took the East Fork. This 1.3 mile trail drops very steeply in the first 3/4 mile then levels out. I’m not sure I would have been able to reverse the route, climbing East Fork first. We took a lucky guess and won.

Because of my exhaustion the last time, I left “Clicky” home. The camera was cumbersome and added to my difficulties. All these shots were taken with my cellphone’s camera.

There’s a lot more to explore.

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