Crow Cackling

It was a lovely day and we had the doors and windows open this evening. Outside I could hear a couple of the local crows making one of their signature “cackling” calls back and forth.

Remember the crows when we first moved in here last May? They’ve come and they’ve gone from time to time, but they’re back now and quite vocal. The sound is a lot like the percussion section of the orchestra yesterday playing on the gourds or wood blocks.

I’m also here to report that I’m surprised how good the sound pickup is on the iPhone. I knew that **I** could hear the crow just fine, but I’m surprised that the video picked it up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Critters, Video

Fancy Music

In an effort to broaden our horizons a bit, this year we’ve picked up a subscription to a small series of concerts for the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown.

It was spectacular!

Gustavo Dudamel is the legendary conductor and neither he, the LA Phil, the soloist, or the music disappointed.

The acoustics could not be more perfect, even sitting in the second balcony at the back.

We started by hearing two pieces that I was unfamiliar with – Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2) by Carlos Chavez, and a Piano Concerto, “Universos Infinitos” by Esteban Benzecry. Both were wonderful.

We finished with two favorites of mine by Aaron Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man and Rodeo.

Hearing Fanfare for the first time live by a world-class orchestra was absolutely stunning. I had no idea how strongly it would affect me.

Rodeo was just a lot of fun. The way Dudamel and the orchestra played with the different instruments and musical lines was both humorous and joyous. Since it’s music for a ballet I was wondering how it might be presented differently in a ballet setting since it would be secondary to the dance. Maybe I’ll get a chance to find out some day.

If you’re in LA or visiting and you have a chance, go see the LA Phil! They do more pop music concerts at the Hollywood Bowl (“Star Wars” music, “Game of Thrones,” etc) but their classical concerts at Disney Hall are even better!

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Photography

Sky Crane

While the fires near us (never got closer than about 10-12 miles, but had over 100,000 people evacuated and major freeways closed for days, several dozen homes destroyed and damaged) are not out, the winds have died down, the onshore flow has resumed and raised the humidity back out of single digits, and the fires are contained enough so that the evacuations orders have been lifted and the freeways re-opened.

That having been said, the fires are still a long way from out. With the calmer winds and better humidity, the fire fighters are hitting the fires hard, particularly with “aerial assets,” that is, planes and helicopters.

One of the big helicopters (I think it’s an Erickson Sky Crane, but not 100% positive) was being based out of Camarillo (CMA) right near our hangars. It was fun to watch it come and go.

Warning – I would recommend against starting this video with the sound too loud or while wearing headphones! This sucker is really, REALLY loud.

The strobing effect of the video capture mechanism in the iPhone is also interesting – that tail rotor looks like it’s barely moving, but in fact it was going at hundreds if not thousands of RPM!

Leave a comment

Filed under CAF, Disasters, Flying, Photography, Video

Door

We found a new place to eat last Sunday. The food was very good, interesting, different – but also different was the door to the restaurant.

It was a mosaic of cells, each about 6 inches by 6 inches, and each filled with a different sort of seeds or nuts or spices.

On the one hand I found it beautiful and fascinating – on the other hand, I had questions. Like, how do you keep tiny critters (mice, bugs, etc) from getting in to eat the nuts? What about mold?

I didn’t ask. I just went with it being different, interesting, unique (at least, to me), and pretty.

That was enough.

2 Comments

Filed under Los Angeles, Photography

Wind & Fire

The Santa Ana winds have started blowing again in Southern California. (As you no doubt have heard, in Northern California the winds have also been howling and the despicable and criminally stupid officials of PG&E have turned off the power to 1,000,000+ people for several days in order to avoid liability for any brush fires that might be sparked when their horribly poorly maintained system starts breaking and dropping  live power lines into dry brush. But I digress…)

My first reaction when I got home this afternoon was the “Hawkeye Pierce” go-to response for me – humor:

“Wind damage at our house – be strong, we will rebuild!”

This had been hanging by a cup hook but twisting in the 35 to 50 knot winds it had literally unscrewed itself and fallen. Hadn’t seen that before.

Yes, there were a couple of branches down in our yard. And on the way home I had seen three separate spots where streets or business driveways were blocked by fallen trees.

But our power was still on. This barely rose to the level of “inconvenience.” Nothing like everyone who was trying to deal with a multi-day blackout caused by bureaucratic incompetence, greed, and stupidity.

Then the fires started here in SoCal. (Fortunately, nothing near us. We had enough of that shit last year, thank you very much!)

Other areas haven’t been so lucky:

Welcome to California in the era of climate change.

1 Comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

I, For One, Welcome Our AI Overlords…

Some time late last week, while sitting on my ass and perusing the internet as is my wont when I’m trying to unwind a bit, I had a question enter my mind about the weather for Saturday when I would be out at the CAF hangar in Camarillo.

Being a savvy, hip, handsome, intelligent, completely not full of shit, modern sort of guy, I said, “Siri, what’s the forecast for tomorrow’s weather in Camarillo, California?”

Simple, eh?

Until my phone, my iPad, and my watch ALL ANSWERED AT THE SAME TIME.

And all had slightly different answers.

I’m really, really looking forward to when they start arguing among themselves about those different answers.

When it gets to physical violence, or trying to infect each other with computer viruses in retaliation, then I’m turning them all off and moving to a cave in Alberta that’s 100 miles from the nearest cell phone tower.

4 Comments

Filed under Computers, Farce

Maybe It’s Part Of The Joke?

A Hallmark movie led me down the rabbit hole and into the Twilight Zone Time Machine, where I ended up watching an old Monkees video.

Listen to the music, particularly the drums, and watch Micky Dolenz “playing” the aforementioned drums:

Thank goodness they had the sense to usually be showing other band members when the more aggressive drum riffs were being heard. USUALLY.

I understand that his primary role was as the vocalist in the band, and according to his Wikipedia article he was taught to play the drums after the band was put together and could play passibly well by the time they went on tour. But on this song, “Fast” Eddie Hoh played the drums and Dolenz only sang.

Even in the Hallmark movies, when they have a character playing the piano or a violin, they at least do an acceptable job of faking it. This video? Well, not so much.

But on second thought – maybe it’s part of the joke?

 

1 Comment

Filed under Music