Category Archives: Panorama

Mare’s Tails

(Click on it to see it in all of its glory!)

These high, thin, wispy cirrus clouds are often called “Mare’s Tails.” They were particularly lovely tonight at sunset over Southern California.


Filed under Panorama, Photography, Weather

The One That Got Away

This is the view from the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Hospital parking lot about 5:45 this evening as I arrived. There are storms coming and it was an interesting view.

It’s an okay view. But it’s the one that got away, the sunset that was FREAKING SPECTACULAR about a half hour earlier.

I don’t have any pictures of it to share.

It was enough so that even in our office it was like being in a giant neon tube. Oranges, reds, pinks, like some sort of Technicolor acid trip from the 1960’s.

But I was on deadline and had to get things done so I could get a FedEx package off and get out on time to get here, so there aren’t any pictures.

Possibly a poor choice of priorities. My apologies.

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Filed under Los Angeles, Panorama, Photography, Weather

A Brief Respite From The Rain

Los Angeles is hardly turning into a tropical rain forest, but we are in our “rainy season.” There’s quite a bit of variation in what that term means from year to year as well, but this one seems to be tending toward the more rainy, wet, “El Nino-ish” end of the spectrum.

My sense of that could also be skewed by the fact that it rained almost every day in Seattle and Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.

Regardless, we’re looking at a weather forecast that has it raining almost every day for the next six days or so, and we got rain last night and this morning. So it was a pleasure when I came out of the hangar this afternoon to find that the sun was breaking through.

(Click to enlarge)

As I was hoping, this in turn led to a nice sunset.

It’s important to appreciate the little things every day if you can. Everything out there doesn’t suck, even if a lot of things do. Find the non-sucky items and embrace them.

For instance, the way the different layers of clouds are illuminated and glowing at different intensities and  all different shades of pastel colors.

That’s non-sucky.

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Filed under Panorama, Photography, Weather

Waxing Crescent In Deep Twilight

As I was leaving the hangar tonight, there was a gorgeous two-day old waxing crescent moon just above the horizon in an orange and yellow and red sunset!

And the panoramic view (click to enlarge, as always!):

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Filed under Astronomy, Panorama, Photography

Calm After The Ordeal

A certain measure of calm has returned after the last two days of anxiety and fire.

(It’s a panoramic image – click to enlarge to all of its glory!)

The winds stayed calm last night. That helped a lot, at least in our area. There were still some massive areas burning down toward the ocean, especially around Pepperdine University, but many areas saw the fire’s spread slowing or coming to a halt.

Thursday night, when we first started dealing with the Woolsey Fire it was at 2,000 acres. This morning it was at 37,000 acres with 0% containment. (Thus the anxiety and packing of cars and mandatory evacuations of 250,000 people.)

When we got up it was smoky. We couldn’t see any open flame where we were, but everything that burned yesterday was smoldering. By noon there were a couple of spots down where Victory, Vanowen, and Kittridge all end at the Ventura County line (maybe two miles south of us) that had lit off again, but the water-dropping helicopters were on them pretty quickly.

We’re not out of the woods yet. Late tonight through Sunday we’re supposed to have the winds kick back up, possibly as bad or worse than they were yesterday. Given that most all of the brush in open areas has already burned near here, I’m not too worried about it for us, but we’ll keep the cars loaded overnight just in case. If the winds get chaotic and blowing from different directions through the canyons, smoldering brush lights off again, embers start getting thrown into new open areas (like Chatsworth Reservoir, let’s say), things could get exciting again.

But it’s like wearing your seat belt. You never expect to have an accident (well, at least *I* don’t, YMMV) but unless you’re an idiot you always wear a seat belt. I don’t expect to have to bug out at this point. I consider it far less likely than it was 24 hours ago. But I would hate to hit that one-in-a-whole-bunch circumstance, need to bug out, and do it with just the clothes on our backs just hours after unloading the cars.

We’re fine. We’ll be fine. It was nice to have a calm day. Let’s have another one tomorrow.

You too! We all deserve a little bit of calm.


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Filed under Disasters, Panorama, Photography

Someplace Special – September 30th

Anaheim, California

In the decades when it was primarily known as the sole location of the original Disneyland (let’s be real, it’s still pretty much known for that) it was called “The Happiest Place On Earth.” I’ve been to Disneyland a few times over the years but it’s really not my sort of entertainment – this place, also in Anaheim, does it for me.

I became an Angels fan when I moved to California in 1974 to go to school at UC Irvine. Coincidentally, this panorama was taken three years ago when they had a “UCI Night” and gave out Angels/UCI hats. (You can see someone wearing on on the right side of the picture.) I went with my daughter, who is also a UCI alum. (“Zot! Zot! Zot!”)

We have a lot of family memories at Anaheim Stadium, from times I went there when the team was terrible (before the kids were born) to the times we went there for the MLB All-Star Game. We’ve seen playoff games there, we’ve gone to many a home opener, I’ve gone on dates there, I’ve taken infants only a month old there.

Today was the last game of the regular season and that closes out the 2018 campaign for the Angels. For the third year in a row we have a losing season and have missed the playoffs, and it’s been nine years since we’ve won a playoff game and sixteen years since our one and only World Series championship.

The other thing that happened this year is that we didn’t make it to a single game. I can’t verify it, but that may very well be the first time in the 44 years that I’ve lived out there that I didn’t get to an Angels game. In fact, I didn’t get to any games at all this year for the Angels, Dodgers, or anyone else.

That right there may symbolize my 2018 in a single fact as much as anything.

But, as with the Boys of Summer, spring will arrive and hope will truly spring eternal. There’s always next year…



Filed under LA Angels, Panorama, Photography, Sports

So Many Buttons & Levers

So many buttons & levers & instruments (and they’re all in different places!) and struts and new things!

(click to enbiggenate)

A small panorama from the back seat of the SNJ.

A lever and at least one gauge that I’ve never used before, since I’ve never flown a plane with a constant speed prop.

On the left side of the seat (you can’t see it in this view) is a big lever with a yellow knob, and at the bottom center of the panel are two green lights. The green lights are good because we were on the ground and the landing gear was down. Another new thing for me.

Also the first time with a stick instead of a “control yoke” – known to you and I as a steering wheel.

I have my pilot’s license. We need pilots at the CAF, particularly on the lower end aircraft like this one. (Everyone wants to fly the fighters or the bombers, the trainers are the poor sisters of the group.) If I could ever catch a break on my time demands (or make one) and could get current again in a “normal” aircraft (a Cessna 172 or 150 usually) then I could start training in the PT-19 and in a year or two…

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Filed under CAF, Panorama, Photography