Science, Statistics, Politics, Current Events, Photos and Life.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canyon Country the Undiscovered Land

Urban LandScapes.  Mountains, shrubs, signs and stores.

Canyon Country City Street.  Kenroy Ave. 

Kenroy Ave.  Ice cream bar tree.

Sand Canyon and Soledad Ave. Intersection.  Sign sign everywhere a sign. 

Sierra and Via Princessa.  Stater bros shopping center.  No matter how high the mountains. 

Whites Canyon Bridge.  Best veer left. 

 Firewood at the Food for More.

Same store in contrast to the previous busyness.

McDonalds in the Rain.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


You're getting a lot of photo posts because I'm catching up on my photos today.

I love reflections. 


Is he in or out?  Only his hairdresser knows for sure. 

Walk this way. 

I love reflections. 

A Visit to Saugus and Todd Longshore Park

A walk on the wild side.  I think of this as Saugus, but according to yahoo maps it may be outside Canyon Country and Saugus both. 

Alien creatures invading Saugus.  They're reflected in the windshield window, so they're not vampires. 

Saugus houses line up closer than the alien electric towers of an earlier post.  Apparently different laws describe the behavior of Saugus houses. 

Dappled mountain shadows behind urban landscape.  Nice rear of pick-up. 

Yeah.  Sculpture of an elephant foot on a pedestal.  Someone obviously felt the need to block the view from Todd Longshore park.  And it was such a gorgeous view. 

Shiny Whites Canyon with convenient dog poop bags.  Can you spot the football field lights?

Shiny picnic table lacking dog poop bags :-(.

They they are again.  No one appears to need any.  Some kind of lonely. 

Phew.  Back in Supra-Urban Canyon Country.  Ever variable consumer's choice. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Urban NightScape: Night Business

Supra-Urban Canyon Country.  Three businesses, photographed at night. 

Gas and Go.

Vital to the kids inner economy. 

Vital to the parents inner economy. 

Over 152 to Santa Cruz

Pictures along the San Luis Reservoir, route 152 through Gilroy and Watsonville to Santa Cruz, CA.

Reflections from the car window barely visible against the backdrop of undulating hills.

I expect giraffes to be wandering among the trees.

Unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes. 

We can all agree on this.

Hardscrabble terrain.  Same truck still ahead of us. 

Felt like I was in a John Steinbeck novel, regrettably not that I've ever read one.  This is the color splotch photo.  Aqua portapotty, red stripes, yellow water bucket, white truck cab. 


Then you're in Santa Cruz.  Please set your clocks back 25 years.

Electric Towers of the San Joaquin Valley

These aliens show strongly organized behavior, suggesting the possibility of sentient life.

They come in twos, standing side by side.  These two have thrown up their little hands, as if in despair. 

They march off to infinity with common purpose.  The ropes belaying successive pairs may allow communication and support in case of difficulties or injury.  The incredibly regular spacing suggests laws controlling the permissible distance between aliens and possibly a traffic jam on their internet highway, otherwise why wouldn't they be moving along?  This picture has the feel of a 50's science fiction invasion scenario. 

A spawning point, they first form three creatures, then become two pairs of alien creatures.  And they can sell your RVFast, possibly a diet supplement for aliens?  

Every creature is a little different.  These may be in the process of spawning. 

Spindly legs and weakly defined torso suggests a baby creature.

Highway 5 Over the Grapevine

The grapevine is the stretch of highway 5 between Santa Clarita and the Central Valley.  These pictures are taken around sunrise after a recent snow.  It may be necessary to click on the pictures to see them fully.  I'll have to change the shape of the blog to accommodate pictures. 

Snow patterns on the hills. 

Three different textures at top, lower middle, and bottom. 

The effects of sunrise over the grapevine, as we descend towards the central valley. 

More sunrise.  Funny place for a ski slope.  You'll want to wait for the truck traffic to clear before hitting bottom. 

The final descent towards the central valley.  A runaway truck ramp is visible on the right, with an alien invader peaking over the hill. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

KCSN Again

Minor complaint, not made clearly in the previous post. The music they are playing is very repetitious. I keep hearing Beethoven symphonies over and over. Well, movements from symphonies. If I new my music in great detail, I'd tell you which movements, but it seemed like the same ones over and over again. Other apparent favorites: R. Strauss tone poems, Bach Brandenburg concertos and Vivaldi concertos, too. Sure, I like 'em all.

Still, if you hear Beethoven's fifth once a month (and it seems like a lot more than that sometimes), all your life, from age 21 to age 70, you will hear it 600 times. You'll listen a lot to that one piece. Think of all the other interesting pieces of music you could hear as well? How about some MacMillan, Martin, Martinu, Maw, Menotti, Milhaud and Myaskovsky? All chosen for 3 reasons:
  • I have heard of them.
  • They all have a violin concerto (or violin piece accompanied by orchestra) that I've listened to (and usually like)
  • Their last names begin with the letter M
  • They're from the 20th century, and
  • They're all either dead or alive.
Okay, that's 4 reasons.

Last time I listened there was lots of Bartok Concerto for Orchestra. Nice piece, but pop classical from the very beginning. Easy listening Bartok. That's great. But they kept playing movements.

I think I know what's going on. They bought a jukebox CD player that holds about 20 albums. But they always put in a Vivaldi CD, a Beethoven symphony CD, a Brandenburg CD. Or 2. The other albums rotate.

They really should be playing Messiaen Quartet for the end of time. Mozart's Requiem. Verdi's Requiem. All for our fallen comrade KCSN.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

KCSN Update

As avid readers of this blog know, KCSN, formally a high quality, low budget, even lower powered radio station featuring classical music fired all their announcers and went to a purely DJ-less format for their classical music programming.

While the quality of the individual performances seems to still be there, there are no DJs announcing the music. Thus when hearing a good recording or new piece (key word: new) and wanting to know who was performing or what the piece is, that's no longer available. They have play lists, which appear to be about 2 weeks behind the times. If you have the patience, you can write down the time and date and wait for the play lists to be updated.

Pieces seem to be movements. I haven't heard a full three movement piece in a while, to the best of my knowledge. There's nothing wrong with classical musics greatest hits, and that's what they're playing, but there's also nothing there to get you out of bed in the morning either. No challenge. It's pre-digested pap. Eine Kleine Nachtmusic. The obligatory Bach Brandenburg Concerto. A Beethoven symphony movement. A Strauss Tone Poem -- gotta go for that modern stuff ya know. And a random Vivaldi concerto. All fine, all heard before, many times.

The announcements between pieces are remarkably lame:
  • Your classical music companion. (Is that classical-music companion or classical music-companion?)
  • Classical music that makes you feel good. (C'mon. Really? What about the classical music that makes me feel bad? Give me a little Glass or Paderewski.)
  • Playing the music that makes your day a little better. (Rock will make my day a lot better. And Clint Eastwood will make my day, period. )
  • Timeless music that makes today more enjoyable. (Timeless is right. Is this stuff over yet? )
Isn't there an out of work ad-person somewhere that could spiff up the tag lines a tad?

Verdi, Copeland, Finzi, Brahms, Barber, Copeland, Chopin, Satie, Strauss, Finzi, Chopin, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bernstein, Hindemith, Strauss, Brahms, Bach, Piazzolla, Bach, Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Hindemith, Liszt, Finzi, Beethoven, LeClair, Vivaldi, Strauss, Purcell, Brahms. That's a list of a bit over 2 hours of music from 11/23. Detect any patterns? Three pieces by Finzi! Beethoven. He's been dead for years! So have all the rest of them! Wait, I haven't heard Bach in 20 minutes. Better play some more.

Nobody still alive wrote any music?

I wonder if they realize they're competing directly against the satellite music services? No announcers, just music, randomly selected. I have access to several services. I don't listen to any of them. For a reason.

Gosh I miss Ian Freebairn-Smith.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Global Warming: Follow the Money

A short comment on global warming. In any controversy, an important aspect of analyzing the arguments when you yourself can't evaluate all the pros and cons of the arguments, is to follow the money.

Who benefits?

There is global warming side: the scientists declaring that there is global warming.
There isn't global warming side: the politicians and business leaders declaring there isn't global warming.

Note: there aren't that many "scientists" on the anti-global warming side. There are a few. But then, you can find someone on any side of most arguments. There aren't that many of those experts on the anti-side. And you can find plenty of politicians on the yes-global warming side.

How do the business leaders benefit? The benefits are short term and financial. It would cost more to install anti-pollution devices and otherwise control emissions. So in the short term, they benefit with increased profits. This is where the money is.

How do politicians benefit? Those business leaders support the politicians' reelection efforts.

How do the scientists benefit? I really can't think of anything clear cut. I'm sure you'll hear vague analyses saying that scientists have to think all like each other or they won't get promoted or some such, or they're all liberal or some such. But that really isn't how things work in academia and in science. The argument won't stand up to much inspection: plus it's indirect and unclear.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Library Parking Lot

More shots of the neighborhood. These from the library parking lot.

All 5 pictures were taken within a few yards. Or meters to be a bit more modern. Amazing what variety is out there within reach of your wheelchair.

I love signs. Most signs are advertising or "no" in various forms. This one makes no bones about being a "no" sign.

Ski ramps for winter. Or perhaps for waterboarding. Get the hose out, get it wet, and away you go. Don't forget to charge admission.

The perfect little building.

A tree in a perp line-up. Not guilty it says. But the police arrested it for felony overnight parking.

A little urban corner of inner beauty. Occasionally our supra-urban mallscape designers toss a sop towards creating a peaceful corner amidst all the muegly. Up close it's peaceful. From afar (below) it looks a touch forlorn.

A dusty lonely corner of the parking lot. Think of the cars that could have been parked here instead.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tour of My Neighborhood

A look through Canyon Country on a round trip to Placerita Canyon Park. 

Blogger cut off the right sides.  Click on the pics for full width figures. 

I drive this road daily.  I recognize the elements in this view of Soledad Canyon Road, the street signs, the business signs, the road, the hillside, but it I don't recognize the scene.  The camera sees something different than our eyes see. 

A cutout of a hillside, taken from the park. 

Do you need me to tell you this is a picture of tree? 

The path along the Creek. 


Beware.  The wildlife can be bitter and misbegotten. 
Fallen tree blocking the path. 

Mushrooms growing on the underside of the fallen tree. 

Dead tree walking. 

Oak I imagine.  Don't look to me for Latin names. 

Temporary work buildings at the Park and an antique water tower.  
The road home.  Go right young man. 

The road in a cut in the hillside.

Sand Canyon Road over the Santa Clara River and Highway 14, normally a very mundane portion of Canyon Country. It is not this hilly there.  My camera overdramatizes.