Monthly Archives: October 2003

The Santa Ana Winds Have Started

At 8:24 pm (PST) the Santa Ana Winds started.
I walked out at 8:55pm and the the ashes from the fire were whirling everywhere along with leaves and debris. Yet, the stars were still obscured by clouds and fog.
Now at 9:36pm, there is ashes and dust on every surface in the house and the sky is clear. Mars is shining orange gold half way up the southern sky.

The Santa Ana Winds Have Started

At 8:24 pm (PST) the Santa Ana Winds started. Or at least, after 2 days of claims that they had been blowing through the Inland Empire, they have travelled southwest throught the Santa Ana Canyon to the coastal areas.
I walked out at 8:55pm and the the ashes from the fire were whirling everywhere along with leaves and debris. Yet, the stars were still obscured by clouds and fog.
Now at 9:36pm, there is ashes and dust on every surface in the house and the sky is clear. Mars is shining orange gold half way up the southern sky.

Snowing Ash

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I woke up late this morning to weird diffused brown-yellowish light streaming into my room. It was not the bright yellow of California sun, nor the soft, diffused grey light of fog/inversion clouds, but an odd apocalyptic brown-yellow mist.
After a week of high heat in the 90s, yesterday was cool and misty. Thick fog rolled in by 8pm and blanketed Orange and Anaheim, and most likely the rest of the LA basin but I only ventured as far as the Doll Hut. When I woke up, I half expected the fog to still be lurking about, but the color of the light was so odd, I got up to investigate.
I took my camera and looked out all of the windows of the house into the back and side yards, and found the world to be draped in soft orange-brown-yellow tones. Upon exiting out to the driveway, I found a layer of ash on my car and on every surface. Ash was falling down much like a light snowfall. The sun, which was trying to break through the fog / cloud cover, was a reddish-orange ball.
CNN.com and the LA Times are reporting that the Rancho Cucamonga Grand Prix wildfire has grown to over 16,000 acres and has closed down the 15 fwy. They are both reporting high Santa Ana winds are flaming the blaze. Usually if the SA winds are coming through the Cajon Pass then we here in Orange would not be socked in with fog / inversion clouds, as the SA winds usually roar down the the Cajon pass through the Inland Empire then it speeds up through Santa Ana Canyon to clear out all the air through south LA and north / central OC.
The ashfall seems strangely out of place given the lack of winds here in Orange, the stagnant cloud layer, and we are approximately 50 miles southwest of the Grand Prix Fire. It is now 3pm, and the sun has not burned through the cloud cover. We are in an all day twilight with ash continuing to fall lightly down.

Thurs. 10/23/03 – Day of Extremes

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Audobon Warbler in front of Blue’s place

Ever have one of those days that by 6:00pm you are so frustrated and tired that you could just cry (or if you are a guy – hit something)? Yesterday was that day for me….but it marvelously turned around after 6:00pm and by the time that I pulled the little honda to park at home after 2:00am, I looked up at the stars and was delighted.

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Yesterday was the Earth’s Birthday!

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

According to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, the Earth’s birthday is Oct. 21st. She is a Libra, and is now 6007 years old, so says the book. Happy Birthday to Mother Earth…

Current theories on the creation of the Universe state, that, if it was created at all and didn’t just start, as it were, unofficially, it came into being ten and twenty thousand million years ago. By the same token the earth itself is generally supposed to be about four and a half thousand million years old.

These dates are incorrect.

Medieval Jewish scholars put the date of the Creation at 3760 B.C. Greek Orthodox theologians put Creation as far back as 5508 B.C.

These suggestions are also incorrect.

Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656) published Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti in 1654, which suggested that the Heaven and the Earth were created in 4004 B.C. One of his aides took the calculation further, and was able to announce triumphantly that the Earth was created on Sunday the 21st of October, 4004 B.C. at exactly 9:00 A.M., because God like to get work done early in the morning while he was feeling fresh.

This too was incorrect. By almost a quarter of an hour.

…the Earth’s a Libra.

The astrological prediction for Libra in the “Your Stars Today” column of the Tadfield Advertiser, on the day this history begins, read as follows:

LIBRA 24 September – 23 October

You may be feeling run down and always in the same old daily round. Home and family matters are highlighted and are hanging fire. Avoid unnecessary risks. A friend is important to you. Shelve major decisions until the way ahead seems clear. You may be vulnerable to a stomach upset today, so avoid salads. Help could come from an unexpected quarter.

This was perfectly correct on every count except the bit about the salads.

Last night, Tues. Oct. 21, 2003, I hosted the postponed Book Club at my place, and we discussed life, the world, supermarket strikes, grading papers, food, the amazing (or horrifying) nursing & poo antics of babies & toddlers, and a little bit of the book. I read above exerpt that talked about the Earth’s creation date and her horoscope for the day and then Heather pointed out that today was the Earth’s birthday. We all got a good laugh that Good Omens Book Club was on a date that featured prominently in the book.

Preach it Brother Shea!

A 100% Pure Product of American Protestantism – in this blog post Mark Shea tells it straight and links to an article that spells out the extreme results of American Evangelical culture.

“Same with American Protestantism: at it’s best you get saints like Billy Graham or Jim Eliot. At its worst, Brother Bubba’s Informercial Gospel Hour.”

Mr. Shea forgot to mention that American Protestantism at its worst also gives us George W. Bush and his cronies.
As a nice Californian Christian person from a family that is a mix of Catholic and Protestants and Agnostics, as well as someone who attended a conservative Protestant Evangelical college, this post reminded me why it is very important to be flexible, be open to the tenets and emphases of the other major branches of Christianity, and why not to take oneself and one’s beliefs so darned seriously.
Christians of all the branches of the faith should read Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” to loosen up and have many great laughs.

Crown is Up

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Big thanks to Dan Callis, the painter of Crown, for coming over to find the wall studs and hang the painting up with earthquake proof hooks. The living room actually feels like home now.

Out of Control Crafts

The Tampon Angel (via Teresa Nielsen Hayden).
The big question that the website doesn’t answer is which brand of tampons to use? Tampax for a tall angel or OB for a short angel?
If you are crafty, then I double dog dare one of you to make one and display it on your tree this year…
[Side note: it is really frightening that tampon manufacturers have very peppy promotional websites in pink and blue.]