Category Archives: Panorama

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…

 

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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

NFL Kickoff 2018

I do have a fondness for many different sports and my pro sports loyalties tend to vary. My NFL passions stretch all the way back to my childhood in Kansas City – I’m a huge Chiefs fan.

It turns out that this year in Week One of the NFL season my beloved Chiefs are playing the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers, so it’s not that hard to get tickets. So we did.

The Chargers’ current home field and situation is odd. It’s their second year in Los Angeles after abandoning leaving San Diego and their new stadium in Los Angeles (which is actually the Rams’ stadium but the Chargers will be sharing it) won’t be built until 2020 – maybe. So while the Rams abandoned St. Louis and are playing in the LA Coliseum for a few years (a historic site which has hosted two Olympics, countless USC football games, and seats 93,607) the Chargers are in a much newer and much smaller stadium (only seats 27,000 max, but has a half dozen sections tarped off with ad banners because they weren’t even close to selling out the place) designed for LA Galaxy soccer matches.

It was a nice day for a game – upper 80’s but with a breeze and we were in the shade for most of the game (stupid spinning planet!).

You notice several things at a live game, first of which is that when television is in a commercial break everyone stands around for about three minutes and fans who are unused to going to live games are wondering why nothing’s happening.

You also miss all of those graphics that you see on television, like the yellow line that’s superimposed on the image to show where the first down marker is. You have to do it old school and actually look at the yard markers that the sideline officials move around! How…archaic!!

The simple fact is that the Chargers aren’t drawing many Chargers fans. This shouldn’t be shocking, seeing as how a great many of the San Diego fans (who had been loyal for decades) are neither happy nor forgiving  about the team’s departure, and LA fans don’t consider the Chargers to be their team at all. Football fans in LA are starting to re-attach themselves to the Rams (who moved from here to St. Louis in 1995 before moving back in 2016) except for those who are still Raiders fans (a very non-trivial number of fans BTW).

Despite all of the pissing and moaning about how the great city of Los Angeles should have two NFL teams after going decades without having any, the Chargers are not that second team right now. They might never be. Looking at the end zone during the game you can see almost half of the fans wearing Chiefs’ red, not Chargers’ blue.

That got much worse late in the game when a couple of Chargers turnovers gave the Chiefs a big lead. The Chargers fans for the most part bailed early, leaving the remaining crowd about 90% or more dressed in red and cheering for the Chiefs.

Listening to some of the Chargers fans and season seat holders seated around us (our immediate area was at least 50% dressed in red) it sounds like this is normal for EVERY Chargers home game. In two weeks when they play the 49ers, all of the seats occupied today by Chiefs fans will be filled with 49ers fans. Then Raiders fans. Then Titans fans. Then Cardinals fans…

Again my “MBA brain” went to looking at this as a case study in marketing. It’s one of those “what NOT to do” scenarios.

But we had fun and we’re off to a 1-0 start! We have tickets to a game much later in the season on the road (a story for later) – I suspect I’ll be looking back fondly on the weather today. It won’t be anywhere that warm (or dry, most likely) for that game.

 

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Panorama, Photography, Sports

A Visual Representation Of Reality As It Currently Exists

Pretty much like this:

In other news, NaNoWriMo starts in 62 days. (If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, type that into the Search box in the upper right corner and wade through some of the dreck that I’ve spewed out in the past.) With the world still spinning chaotically in at least five dimensions, what could be more insane that tackling it again this year?

Oh, yeah, doing that and starting to train for a marathon again at the same time.

For when good, old fashioned, “have you been smoking those mushrooms again?!” crazy won’t do!

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Filed under Panorama, Paul, Photography

TOTALITY!! One Year Later

Yeah, it’s been a year. Damn.

We were right…THERE!

(Map courtesy of Xavier M. Jubier at xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses)

(Map courtesy of Xavier M. Jubier at xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses)

We had clouds and didn’t get a perfect view, but did we ever get a spectacular one, with storms all around us.

(Click for full-sized image – it’s worth it!!)

The two minutes and 38.4 seconds of totality were one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Even through the clouds.

The next total solar eclipse in the United States is on April 8, 2024. (Really, check out Xavier Jubier’s website and maps, they’re spectacular!!) I’m looking at southern Texas for the best chance of clear skies and the maximum totality in the US (over 4:20), eastern Indiana or western Ohio to be with the most fannish friends (3:57 north of Dayton) – but there’s a good chunk of northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine that’s in the path of totality where I’ll tons of family and friends from high school (but only 3:33 of totality north of Burlington).

Decisions, decisions!

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Filed under Astronomy, Panorama, Photography, Travel

Wings Over Camarillo Saturday 2018

It’s been a long, long day. A pretty good day, a good airshow – but a long day, with another to start early tomorrow.

Here are a few quick pictures from today.

(click to get the full sized image that you can scan through in detail to your heart’s content)

Right outside my “office” there was a Warthog and a Hornet – and a bunch of our planes – and a P-38 Lightning and a P-40 and a Corsair (yes, it was in “Black Sheep Squadron”) and…

When I’m busy doing the work, it’s important to stop for a minute every now and then and remember, ‘WOW!!

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography