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Thursday, July 2, 2015

California Weather News--Warning, I Get Political!

It has been upwards of 110 degrees Fahrenheit lately. After 8 years of drought, this is no novelty to California. Some of us older folk remember rain, accessible water tables for new wells, fields, pastures that were not dismissed as dangerous combustibles. Many counties have sensibly banned fireworks sales this year because the state is on fire already, but not the capital --not Sacramento. This is because the mayor is too busy in court trying to defend using tax monies to build an indoor basketball arena downtown. He is a 3-time NBA allstar and it got him elected to a political office. In his capacity and competence as mayor, he has proven himself a fine ex-basketball player. Sacramento County, however, has already lost a number of homes that give onto dry fields owned by foreign conglomerates that don't hire them disked for fire breaks. They don't care. Geezers care, and we have been trespassing on neglected prairies for two months, clearing edges and making them safe at our expense and by our own labor. Yes, this state will again pass one of our nation's stupidest holidays by burning down. I have taken a little break since the last punctuation mark and decided two things: I am garrulating overmuch about fire; I am more happily fired up about an old essay that I found among drafts from a few years back. This protracted introductory paragraph may serve to emphasize how some things don't change faster than we can keep track of them.  




As can be seen by the thermometer on the pumphouse door, our state is in the throes of a cooling trend. True, the encouraging reading is somewhat in the south shade. We had a another thermometer on an unshaded east wall but its needle spun around twice and flew off shortly after sun-up.

As refreshment I shall include a coastal seascape, to assure everyone that California is doing its best to maintain a tradition of beautiful sunsets over peaceful waters.
We have all our taps open and hope to get waves by evening.

I did find one Californian who seemed unaffected by both heatwave and temperature plunge and took a picture of her. She asked what I was doing and I said: Gathering what is best to buoy the spirits of humanity. To which she smiled that special smile and said, "Well, you look furtive. Stop it!"


And I shall, but my patriotism is unimpeachable --so not without a cautionary epilogue to the populace that our amber waves of grain, purple mountains and fruited plains are being sold to speculators worldwide. America will not fall by military invasion, so lay down your arms and try quitting the sale of America, bit by bit from sea to shining sea, to other countries --and, for gosh sakes, boycott fireworks stands!

36 comments:

  1. Wincing in sympathy. I would weep but am conserving water.
    We have been through far too many droughts and fires.
    And have a prime minister who says the future is in coal and that wind turbines are ugly and noisy and he wants to have less of them.
    Perhaps what you need is a small outbreak of concerted wickedness - just enough to produce some days and nights of rain. 40 days is perhaps excessive, but you can work up to whatever you need.

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    1. Oh E.C., When you have leadership backed by a major industry it's hard to change things for the better. Same all over, I guess. But 40 days of rain would be a good start on what's needed here. Even though it's 1 a.m., I'll go out and do a little rain dance.

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  2. We have had some very hot weather too, but thankfully are not in a drought (sometimes I find myself longing for the humidity of the west). California is in a dangerous place, maybe if you post a video online the clouds will open up. If not, at least the rest of us would have a good laugh! :)

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    1. We're getting daily advisories water conservation, like if a bug falls in your drink you're supposed to pick him up and tell him to spit it out. Definitely need rain.

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  3. Oh, Geo - I really feel it for you. It's pissing down in Scotland as I type and we had a thunder storm last night, which was so wicked it doubled as a fireworks display for me! If I could find a hose big enough, I would gladly donate.........!

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    1. I appreciate the kind thought, Helena. Eventually we'll be enjoying storms too.

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  4. Mother Nature has given so much rain to many, but keeps forgetting California. My husband just spent two weeks in Santa Cruz and reported that the sun was so hot that the sand on the beach was very difficult to walk on. Most times when I am out there this time of year, I am wrapped in a towel trying to stay warm while waiting for the fog to lift. We all hope your rainy season starts early and stays long this year. As for those idiots who want to use/see fireworks, they should move to Texas. They had enough rain this year to cover both states.

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    1. Thanks for your kind meteorological hopes, Arleen. I have been in some magnificent rainstorms in the South that cannot be exaggerated. You think Texas would share?

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  5. Nature is too big, too big to dictate to. That is in the nature of legitimate powerlessness. As to Corporate Earth, that also is too big to dictate to, but I find it difficult in my heart to call that powerlessness legitimate.

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    1. So long as we're fit enough to run mowers and chainsaws, I hope we can offset some of the insensitivities of Corporate Earth and not let ourselves leave the great garden untended --there is definitely a difference between legitimate and illegitimate helplessness.

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  6. I can't believe they didn't cancel the fireworks. We've had a really rainy spring and they still cancelled them here.

    Here's hoping your water tables rise and water is no longer a vanishing privilege.

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    1. Thank you! Many counties prudently did ban fireworks sales, as did yours, but it takes a responsible and considerate local government to do that.

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  7. Further south along the Republic's coast and we too feel the heat. Mercifully we get some marine haze overnight to help a bit. Here they have been rousting homeless from encampments in the forest and wisely banning fireworks, but too little effort is given to bringing down the trees that have expired. We need a 21st Century "Moon Shot" project, though down to earth. The likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Amory Lovin and other visionaries should convene to develop rapid deployment tankers and pumps to be dispatched to places with too much rain-flooded rivers, lakes and towns. And our interstate highway system could be utilized to build a network of above ground pipelines to augment a network of rail and truck tankers. Surely there are savings to be found in defense budgets or, heaven forbid, even in the astronomical profits in the investment banking industry. Desperate times require real creative thinking and financing.

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    1. What wonderful ideas! Most old inland population centers were established, like Sacramento, in river valleys, but such a circulation system as you describe would solve problems in so many newer communities too.

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  8. You certainly are fired up. Sorry. I had to do it. I love a good political discussion. I have been seeing the fires on the news. I have also seen the flooding and there have been tornadoes all around me. I agree that the sale of our nation is a huge danger. Many major corporations are owned or controlled by non-citizens. Even our financial institutions are owned by people from other countries. People would be wise to check the ownership before using them. However I do take exception to calling the celebration of the birth of our country "one of our nation's stupidest holidays." I do not set off fireworks but I am happy to remember the day the basis for my country was set down. To read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill Of Rights reminds me of what we are meant to be. We may have strayed from the tenets but I have to believe that we will regain them and be stronger than ever.

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    1. Wow! What a great comment. I guess I was a tad over the top with "stupidest holidays", but was thinking of people like Francis Key starting his poem at the bombardment of Ft. McHenry and the Madisons fleeing the White House with some of the documents you mention and a pistol apiece. Unfortunately, the modern celebration has got somewhat out of hand and onto the destructive side. I meant no disrespect to celebrants who don't burn things down. And I agree, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill Of Rights are among the greatest, irreducible articulations of liberty on earth.

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    2. I meant no disrespect to you. I suppose I over-reacted to all the people I see on the news who are intent upon changing the whole country into something other than what it is meant to be. I understand that times change but the basis for our country has not. Whenever someone disagrees with what that basis says they start screaming to "pass a law." The Constitution is the law. We are covered.

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    3. Thanks, Emma. I reflect no disturbance and couldn't agree with you more.

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  9. A good friend moved from Boston to Rancho Cucamonga this Spring, and seems to be having PTSD about the heat. Other friends who've lived there for years and years are worried about the drought more than anything, and say the fires (which are sort of an annual deal) are faster and bigger than they've ever seen.

    Even here, they weren't sure about the fireworks. We've had a couple of downpours over the past week, and so far it looks like all's on for Saturday.

    I hope the west coast gets a break with plenty of rain, this is worrisome. And good on all of you who've gone out and created firebreaks! Idiots shouldn't own land.

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    1. Downpours are good. Should be no problem. As to your west-coast friends, tell them our fire dept.s are well-practiced in wildfires. But then, I've stood between home and conflagration with nothing but a shovel and adrenalin too many times to say their fears are groundless.

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  10. How very strange....I suppose it's coincidence, but.....your plea might have had far-reaching effects:

    http://mtstandard.com/news/local/council-bans-fireworks-as-of-a-m-thursday/article_36e71105-10be-522e-86d0-3c8d8127b7d5.html

    Butte, the bastion of 'real' fireworks, the kind that can blow your mailbox to smithereens, has banned fireworks this year. Unheard of.

    I'm all for it, not the least for the comments in the local rag saying it's just a first step in Obama coming for their guns. Oh were it so.....

    Though not on a par with your drought, it's starting here in earnest: the rivers are at Sept. levels and temps.

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    1. Just read the article in Montana Standard. Quite a kerfuffle! Silver Bow County commissioners made a difficult and unpopular decision, but I think it was the right one. There are other ways to gather and celebrate --picnics, music, games or just considering our founding documents (as Emma mentioned above) and appreciating their import in the privacy of our thoughts.

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    2. Oh dear. No, the worthies of bsb county don't have a suggestion for their voters to do instead of drinking and watching the fireworks, while setting off their own with no regard to direction.

      Yes, I've suggested for years that buttians should go up to the lakes and rivers, and absorb nature. Along the lines of Walton, etc. Hasn't quite caught on yet.

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    3. It will catch on, by and by. There is magic in the world.

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  11. We've had more than our share of water lately...sorry for hogging it. I do hope things improve for you soon

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    1. Thanks, Delores. The governor's office has gathered some pretty intelligent conservation guidelines and they'll see us through. We're all being careful.

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  12. I so love your line in the comments: "...if a bug falls in your drink you're supposed to pick him up and tell him to spit it out", but very much sympathize with the conditions that led you to write it. We are having a cool and wet spring/summer so far, and I feel spoiled. (Spoiled as in lucky, not spoiled as in moldy.) It's making it easier for my husband to replant our lawn which was decimated by last year's heat and dryness. I hope you get gentle, long rains soon.

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    1. I am looking forward happily to better weather in autumn. People have let all their lawns dry up here. Many have replaced their front grass with drought-tolerant plants. Others have benefited from the local ballpark grounds keeper's advice to use more fertilizer --so, less water. We're trying to be good!

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  13. Just came in from turning on outdoor lights and closing front gate where a raindrop tapped my head, then another and another. I cannot disconnect this rarity from the good wishes in this comments section. There is magic in you each. To all, my thanks!

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    1. In too late to claim any hand in the rain magic but we did have thunder here with no rain yesterday - do hope it went to you! Wishing you (and the world) independence from institutionalised stupidity xx

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    2. Lisa, your good wishes contain a special magic.

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  14. I'm slow in leaving a comment because I was outside, desperately trying to redirect Tennessee's torrential downpours to California. If raindrops are tapping your head, my efforts must be working.

    I think you should get political more often, since I wholeheartedly agree with your aforementioned views. You're always rational, not radical - - and that's one of the many things I like about you.

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  15. By the way, you were right on target about it being one of the nation's stupidest holidays. Or, at least, most dangerous.

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    1. Kind Jon, as a rationalist I realize I should have written "dangerous" instead of my other, poorer choice, of adjective. But laboring for free on foreign investors' property got me wondering why we sell off our grasslands without requiring cautionary maintenance of the owners. I got mad! It was fun.

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  16. We've been very fortunate here. The temperatures have been higher than usual, but we've also had rain, so no drought or much in the way of wildfires this year. Having experienced both, though not to the extent that you folks in California are experiencing, my heart goes out to you. It'd be insane to risk having fireworks under the kind of conditions you guys are having. I sure hope the weather takes pity on you soon.

    We've had off-and-on monsoons today, so there may not be any fireworks in our little town tonight. (Oh darn. My hubby might be disappointed, but I'm not a big fan of the heat, booms, smoke, and smell.) Maybe we'll have enough rain to counteract the effects of our new anything goes law to keep some of the local loonies from staging their own personal fireworks shows after over-imbibing, too. (Totally nuts.)

    Still, I love the fourth of July. And look forward to watching the concert on TV. Now THAT'S my kinda fireworks!

    Have a good one, dude.

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    1. Susan, your plans for the 4th sound ideal. And yes, now that we're relatively safe from the "local loonies" (delightful expression), I can face pyrotechnics with some confidence. Dudes do that. Happy 4th!

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