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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Sabot L'ours' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, February 19th, 2017
11:07 am
Meow Wolf II - The Fursuit Edition
Last year on my birthday we decided to go to Santa Fe and check out the new museum, Meow Wolf. We were totally blown away by the exhibit. We vowed that we would return someday and perhaps even fursuit it. Well...yesterday provided the opportunity. quentincoyote was in town for his birthday and he specifically wanted to see the exhibit which he had heard so much about. He also dropped the suggestion that he wanted to fursuit it as well. So off we went! Here are pics of the resulting fun/madness! I'm not putting this behind an LJ cut because it's so awesome and nobody reads LJ any more. Well...except me (and probably Putin)

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
7:18 am
Oscar-nominated Documentary Shorts
It was time for round 2 of the Oscar-nominated shorts yesterday. This time it was documentaries. Here's the breakdown:

"Extremis" - A snapshot of what goes on in the terminally ill ward of a hospital. Should you pull the plug? Should you live on machines? Is there quality of life? Doctors, patients, and family members all struggle with these questions in the last days of a person's life.

"4.1 Miles" - On the news we sometimes see video of the refugee crisis in Greece. For a captain of a Greek Coast Guard ship, he sees the reality day after day after day. It's really heartbreaking to see the plight of the refugees. My favorite image was of the coastline with hundreds and hundreds of life preservers washed up on the shore.

"Watani: My Homeland" - A family flees war-torn Syria for a new life in Germany. It seems as if this family had better contacts than others in the same situation. Their exile, while perhaps an emotional struggle, seems to go pretty smoothly, moreso than many that I have seen on the news. The children seem to adapt very well to their new life. It's much better than the shithole they left behind.

"Joe's Violin" - If my "Jewish Conspiracy Theory" holds true, this will be the winner. It certainly was the most uplifting of the nominees this year. A Holocaust survivor donates his violin to a girls' school in the Bronx where a poor girl learns to play his favorite song for him.

"The White Helmets" - This is my pick for winner. It follows the volunteers who respond to bombing attacks in Syria to rescue survivors. Frequently they themselves become the casualties. To me it just seemed like the best constructed with the best narrative of the nominees.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
8:00 am
Hydrology Primer
With the Oroville Dam situation now making headline news, I thought I would present a hydrologic perspective. I, myself, lived through something like this in 2009 although not on this scale. First some terms:

River flow is measured in cubic feet per second. One cubic foot is 7.5 gallons. Reservoir volume is measured in acre-feet. It is exactly what it sounds like. It's the volume of water needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep. An acre is 43,560 square feet, so an acre-foot is 43,560 cubic feet. You could do the math, but it works out that a flow of 1 cubic feet per second equals 2 acre feet per day (it's actually 1.987). So if a river is flowing at 10 cfs, the reservoir it flows into will gain 20 acre feet that day.

Dams can be used for several purposes. Water storage for cities and farms is usually the most important. Flood control is the other biggie. Then there is power generation and recreation. Those are usually secondary benefits but systems could be designed specifically for those purposes. Then there are smaller dams with can be used to aid navigation and divert water into canals or pipelines.

The most important part of a dam is its outlet works. You need to be able to get the water from out behind the dam. Usually its just a large pipe/conduit. It should be designed to release the capacity of the channel below without flooding. Many dams also have a powerhouse below it. If a dam's major purpose is power, you want as much flow to go through the plant and not bypassed by a pipe. Water is money! Next there is the spillway. This is your next line of defense to preserve the dam. If inflows are very unpredictable, it may be necessary to spill water during major floods. Normally you don't want to use the spillway because you're wasting water. It can also cause flooding downstream because now you might be releasing flows that are above channel capacity. At this point the main concern is the dam, not downstream (which would have been flooded anyway even if the dam wasn't there). This is where flood control comes into play. If the dam has a flood control component, you have to have enough capacity in reserve to handle the peak of the flood. Lastly there is the emergency spillway. This is your last line of defense to save the dam from overtopping. One of our dams has a "fuse plug" which is a small berm of dirt just below the elevation of the top of the dam. If water ever got to that elevation, it would blow out the plug and act as an emergency spillway. Once again, if you get to that point you should be shitting many bricks.

Oroville isn't a federal dam. It is owned by California. When I heard that they were going to use the emergency spillway I knew that shit was serious. Having seen aerial pictures of the dam, however, I saw that it was designed quite well in that the spillways were away from the dam itself. Even if there was a shitload of erosion, the dam shouldn't be compromised. There will be a hell of a lot of cleanup, however, in rehabilitation of the emergency spillway channel and of course the main concrete spillway with the huge gaping hole in it.

I would be curious to read the post mortem of this event. I'd like to know what the hell the hydrologist on staff was thinking. You have record snow and rain and the lake is almost full. You left yourself with no margin for safety. I have a feeling that his/her thinking was similar to mine during the Great Fuckup of 2009. I, too, was just coming off of a major drought. There was a fear that I had to store as much as possible as early as possible in case something went wrong. I filled the reservoir too quickly right before a major heat wave rapidly melted the remaining snowpack. I was a day too slow in my increasing the release and before I knew it I had water lapping up against the spillway gates. The spillway was in such bad shape that any significant flow down it would have resulted in something similar to what happened at Oroville. The big difference is that the spillway is right up against the dam. If the spillway failed, it could take the dam with it. Fortunately I ended up releasing enough water through the outlet works that the water never reached the spillway. Disaster was averted. It nearly cost me my job, but I made it through. I then went on a massive data mining effort to fully understand the relationship between snow volumes and runoff. I now go into runoff season with eyes wide open and multiple scenarios ready to go. The silver lining of the whole thing is that I am now known as the savior of the river. My fuckup caused a major improvement in the ecosystem of the river. It worked so well we did a "controlled fuckup" last year at my suggestion. Instead of a reprimand, I got an award. Now I'm being asked to fuck up as much as possible. *lol*
Monday, February 13th, 2017
8:55 am
"Real Time" in Real Time
I have to blame albear and dexter_fox for getting me hooked on "Real Time with Bill Maher." Every time I visited The Domain they would put on episodes that they had downloaded. His political and social views closely matched my opinions. I also liked that he invited a wide variety of guests onto his show from Ann Coulter to John Waters. He, like I, just want to cut through the bullshit and get to the truth. About the only thing I disagree with him is that there are people that are just too stupid to vote out there. While I agree that there are some really stupid people out there, we have to be very careful about excluding folks in any way. Things could easily shift different ways and soon you're too old or too black or too gay to have certain rights. But anyway...I really enjoy his show and have even gotten Kitty to really appreciate his brand of political humor. So we were both thrilled a couple of months ago to hear that he was coming to ABQ for a performance. As soon as I heard the news, I had tickets purchased in about 5 minutes. Last night was the show.

We were a bit shocked that they actually had security set up to get into the theater. It was a simple bag-check and wanding, but it was the first time we have ever experienced something like that at that particular venue. Perhaps there would be some right-wing resistance to his left-wing rhetoric. I had just seen a video of him getting into it last week with a Trump supporter at some town hall meeting. Would there be fireworks tonight? The answer was an overwhelming "no." It was nice to be in an auditorium overflowing with liberals and progressives. I had a little old lady next to me and she was howling with laughter at even the raunchiest of jokes. That was good because I was laughing my ass off as well. It was a 90-minute show and he probably spent most of it lambasting the new administration. Well, duh! Trump practically writes his own comedy simply by speaking/Tweeting. Many of his jokes had just been used in his HBO show's recent monologues. Of course there were jabs at religion since Bill is an avowed Atheist. About the only jokes not about religion and politics were about dick pills. It was just great to have a personality like him come and visit our state. Perhaps because we're one of the few true blue ones left out there.
Sunday, February 12th, 2017
1:56 pm
Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts
It's almost time for the Academy Awards. That means that the local art-house cinema is showing the nominees for the short-subject genre. Last night it was the animated shorts. There were the 5 nominees plus 3 honorable mentions. Here's the breakdown with links to previews:

"Blind Vaysha" - A girl can only see the past through one eye and the future in the other. She can not see the present. It was probably my least favorite of the bunch. I just didn't like the animation style.

"Borrowed Time" - An old cowboy returns to the scene of a horrible event from his past. I really liked this one. The animation was pretty straightforward, but gorgeous.

"Pearl" - The life of a father and daughter as told from the front seat of their car. I think the whole movie is available at the provided link. Of course it would be on YouTube since it highlights technology developed by Google. It also wasn't one of my favorites. It seemed too much like a video game and/or a music video. It was nice, just not Oscar-worthy.

"Piper" - The full movie is at the link. This was Pixar's entry this year. I think I read that it was included on the "Finding Dory" DVD. I really liked it since there wasn't a whole lot to not like. C'mon! It's Pixar! And it gets furry points for being partially anthropomorphic.

"Pear Cider and Cigarettes" - The tale of one man's downward spiral. I guess I really liked this movie because I'm still thinking about it. The phrase that was in my head while I watched it was "American Anime." It had flavors of "Sin City" with hints of "Kill Bill" and perhaps "Heavy Metal." It could almost be considered "animated film noir." It's definitely not you Saturday morning cartoons.

The honorable mentions were:

"The Head Vanishes" - An old woman takes the train to the beach, but her head is not attached to her body. I think it was supposed to be an analogy for Alzheimer's. I wasn't crazy about the animation or the story telling.

"Asteria" - Humans and an alien race try to plant flags on a planet. One for conquest and one for...well, that would be a spoiler. Cute and funny little sci-fi romp.

"Once Upon a Line" - A story of life and love as told by a moving line. Not to be confused with "The Line and the Dot" which was an Oscar winner back in the '60s. I grew up with that one as they usually showed it with "Tom and Jerry" cartoons.
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
7:36 pm
Climate Change
Yesterday ABQ set a record high for the date. It was over 70 when the average should be around 50. Today was another warm one. I wanted to make a note in my LJ that my ash tree started to bud today. It's going to be in for a shock. We'll be getting back to normal tomorrow with, unfortunately, a shit load of wind. Carlsbad's temperature is supposed to drop by 50 degrees tomorrow. They had been up near 90 yesterday.
Friday, February 10th, 2017
8:22 am
Europe Here We Come!
albear, dexter_fox and I (and Kitty), have been talking about going to Europe ever since Brexit reared its ugly head. Things suddenly seemed affordable to make a trip to the UK possible. The strength against the Euro also made things very attractive. We started doing some research. I have only been to Europe twice, once on a high school trip to Spain and once to attend my friend's wedding in 1995. It was then that I managed to spend a few days in London and loved it. We then rented a car in Belgium and put 7000 km on it in the course of about 10 days driving to Sweden, Germany, France, and Switzerland. It was a fun trip. I enjoyed Europe but on the other paw I was not thrilled with the "oldness" of the place. I wanted to climb mountains where there wasn't a restaurant at the summit. I loved the wildness and openness of the US. I felt much more at home when I visited Australia about 5 years later. And so a return to Europe was always on the back burner. And yesterday I turned on the stove.

I consulted with our travel agent to see if there were any good bargains out there. I was sorely disappointed. I guess going through a travel agent is becoming more and more like an anachronism. There are so many online resources available that a travel agent seems superfluous. They also get pigeonholed into what airlines and/or hotels they can use which really limits your choices. When she quoted us airfares, none included British Airways. Huh? British Airways doesn't fly to Britain?!? Oh. They're not in their system. How about hotels near Gare du Nord in Paris. No. None close by. How come Hotels.com shows about a dozen?!? So she worked out a simple itinerary and price quote and we went on our way. I went home to my online resources and continued my research. Finally last night I decided to pull the trigger. We had already worked out some dates with Al and Dex so that was our starting point. I had an idea where in London I wanted to stay, so I made a list of possible hotels. I found some decent flights and a nice hotel. Boom. Done. All that remains is to arrange Eurostar train tickets to Paris and to book a hotel there. So if any Britfurs want to meet up, let me know! Also spread the word. We'll be there the week of September 10. We hope to meet up with procyonid in Liverpool for a day trip. The rest of our itinerary is wide open. We just want to see the sites. Although when we go to Paris, I guess we'll be looking at parasites?!? *lol*

One big difference between 1995 and 2017 is that I am no longer a poor boy just out of grad school. No hostels or budget lodgings for me. It's nice hotels and business-class air travel now. Time to enjoy life!
Monday, February 6th, 2017
9:02 am
Potpourri for a Thousand, Alex
Of course we watched the Big Game last night. No party. Just scritchwuff and one of Kitty's friends. Lots of good food and beer. One helluva game too!

Earlier in the day I stumbled across "From Here to Eternity" on a second-rate movie channel. It would be the first time I had seen the movie since reading the book. I wanted to see the differences. It didn't last long, unfortunately. First, it had commercials. Second, I noticed they edited some dialogue. Huh? The movie was from the early 50's! They didn't swear back then! I then realized that they were equal opportunity censors. Of course they would bleep out "the n-word." But they also edited out "the w-word." Earnest Borgnine called Frank Sinatra a "wop." Oh noez! You can't say that! I immediately shut it off. I will never watch that network again.

The weather has been quite lovely the past few days. I even put on my partial fursuit to enjoy the stars from the patio. Unfortunately it has also been quite dry. I want my Pineapple Express back! Fortunately there is enough snow currently in the mountains that if it doesn't snow at all from now until May, we'll still end up as average. It looks like there will be a pattern change, however, starting next weekend.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
8:09 am
Happy Midwinters Day
I was happy to learn several years ago that the Pagan roots behind Groundhog's Day was that it marked the middle of Winter. Yay! It's half over! I guess it's sort of mixed blessing. While I hate not being able to sit outside and enjoy evenings on the patio, I certainly don't miss all of the bugs that seem to invade especially ants in the pet food and fleas on the pets. So only about 47 more days until Spring. Yay!
Sunday, January 29th, 2017
3:43 pm
Binging on OJ
I was updating my Netflix queue yesterday to add all of the new Oscar-nominated films. Just by chance we had "Hell or High Water" at home which is the only Best Picture nominee currently available. It was pretty good. Probably not a winner, but very entertaining (and filmed in NM!). The only other Best Picture nominee I have seen is "Fences" which was good, but also probably not a winner. Denzel was very good, but I agree with critics that he should have had someone else direct it. His performance was great, but needed to be taken down a notch.

Anyway...I was a disheartened to see almost no Best Foreign and Best Documentary nominees were readily available. I think last year I had been able to see all of the documentaries before the awards show. The only documentary available on demand was the one film from Netflix itself. Oh well. I'll watch that. When I went to add "OJ: Made in America" I saw that it was on more than one disk. Investigating further I saw that it had been a 5-part series on ESPN. ESPN had a nomination?!? I then checked to see if it was available for free from my cable company. It was! I sat down to watch. What started off as an experiment to see how it was ended up being a 2-day obsession. I watched all 8 hours in 2 sittings. It started off as I had figured. It covered OJ the athlete with lots of stats and game film. Intermixed with the sports angle they included a history of race relations in California. Hmmm. Odd. The story progressed as OJ transformed from athlete to celebrity. Then there was footage of Rodney King and the LA riots. Finally there were the murders of his ex-wife and her friend who in the wrong place at the wrong time. The story progressed from his acquittal and then his downfall as he became a pariah. Finally he hits rock bottom and is sentenced to prison for a strong-armed robbery of a sports memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas. It really is a classic American tragedy. The man who had it all, lived the American dream, and then self destructed. The race angle was also very interesting. His acquittal was nothing less than black people getting revenge for decades of mistreatment by the LAPD. Jurors pretty much stated that as a fact. It then clicked in my head that there were direct analogies to his acquittal and the election of Trump. The jurors were presented with indisputable facts. There was no way he could be found innocent! And yet he was. The jurors wanted to send a message. It certainly sounded like what we have just experienced. How could Trump win? Look at the facts! And yet The People wanted to send a message. Let's just hope that we don't become the "OJ of the World" and we lose all of our allies and end up with a bunch of thugs as our friends.
Thursday, January 26th, 2017
8:06 am
Tax Thoughts
Ah! Here we are again! Another tax season is upon us! Let's see how many rants I end up posting this year. I can't wait to see if my strategy I developed last year made any difference. Since I now file jointly with Kitty and her salary is so much less than mine, the combined salaries with the combined deductions usually means a hefty refund. And this is the focus of this post. I never understand why people are so happy to get a huge refund check. Of course! You would rather get money back than having to pay more, but don't you realize that if you get a huge refund check, you have essentially been giving the Government an interest-free loan with YOUR money?!? Ideally you should end up +/- $100 or so. But to get $2000-3000 back is just insanity! Wouldn't you rather have had $200/month more in your pocket rather than letting it sit in the Treasury? I also realize that most people are stupid with their money. If they had that extra $200 in the pocket they would probably by more furry pr0n, go to more cons, buy more Starbucks, etc. But doesn't that happen with the big refund check as well. I barely survived all year! Now I have a huge windfall! Should I build up a nest egg? Hell no! I'm off to the Bahamas! And then you come back from vacation and spend the next 11 months living paycheck to paycheck.

I mentioned getting a big refund and adopting a new strategy. What I did was to increase my exemptions thereby getting less money deducted from my paycheck. At the same time I increased my tax-deferred contribution to my 401K. So I essentially paid myself. With retirement not that far off, it's not like I'm locking that money away for decades. Also, I have seen the headlines where the IRS is delaying refunds due to massive amounts of identity theft. Riiiiight. Anything to let them keep their filthy paws on YOUR money for as long as possible. That's why another part of my strategy is to make is so that I owe them not that they owe me. Last year they delayed my refund because they said I had made an error. I made no such error. But it took 60 days for them to straighten out THEIR mistake. So from now on I want to be the one in control of my own destiny. If YOU, IRS, screw up, you won't have your filthy paws on MY money. Don't I sound like an old curmudgeon! *LOL* Oh, and stay off of my lawn.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
8:11 am
Over the Hedge
I have been a big fan of "Over the Hedge" long before the release of the movie several years ago. The creators Fry and Lewis were GoH at FC not too long after the movie's release. I playfully chastised them at a panel because they had taken a shot at furries in one of their earlier comic strips. It involved a furry fan shaving his dog to make a RJ Raccoon suit. I could tell that they were a little embarrassed being called out for their furry insensitivity. But hey, we gotta laugh at ourselves. So they definitely know about the fandom. This was a strip from last Sunday.

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It's a little scary for how true it just might be. Most of the comments were not related to furry but rather the seemingly growing intolerance towards those "freaks" on the edge. Of course the discourse broke down into political name-calling as does most debate nowadays. The link to the strip is found here.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
7:31 am
A Quickie
Just a few words to keep me in the LJ spirit.
We had "thunder graupel" on Saturday morning. Probably only allaboutweather would find that interesting.

Kitty had a blowout on Friday. Fortunately she was on a side street and only a couple of blocks from home. I got her 2 new tires and then took her for an alignment on Saturday. It was way out of whack from when she had hit a critter.

The snowpack in our main drainage basin has just hit 200% of average. I don't think I have ever seen it that high! It looks like we're in for a bit of a dry spell, though.

I am suffering through a wonderful cold. Thanks, dexter_fox! Con crud: The gift that keeps on giving. Don't worry. I passed it on to Kitty.

I just went to see if we have our Trump/Pence portraits hanging in our office yet. Nope. Our receptionist is thrilled! She gets to look at that face every day for at least 4 years. I see that he has already signed a hiring freeze for non-military government employees. Fortunately, our HR people knew it was coming and there was a mad dash to fill as many vacancies as possible before he was sworn in. Now I can hope that he signs "early out" authorization. Watch the Bear as he runs for the door!
Friday, January 20th, 2017
8:06 am
Live From Washington
I thought I would post a clip from today's inauguration parade.



So what is my overall opinion? The smooth transition of power is one of the things that makes our country great. I'm sure there were many people 8 years ago who thought for sure that America would be going to hell. I still believe in the words of The Who who said it in "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss." I think the greatest threat facing our democracy is the rise of the corporate state. There have already been many sci-fi movies out there that depict America as a dystopian wasteland caused by corporate greed. I think we're already down that road. The trick will be to not try to get into the 1%, but rather be at the high end of the 99%. Woe be to those at the bottom of the ladder.
Thursday, January 19th, 2017
9:12 am
Home
I made home on Tuesday. Monday was a 700-mile day and Tuesday was a much more relaxed 350 miles. The weather was a bit crappy with gray skies and a bit of flurry activity near Grants. One thing I noted was the lack of snow in Flagstaff proper, but Humphrey's Peak was completely white. I guess that reflects the nature of the storms so far this winter. They're more "Pineapple Express" types with warmer cores as opposed to coming out of the Northwest. The same is true for us here in NM. Temps have been fairly warm down "low" but the mountains have been building up a wonderful snowpack. This morning our major drainage basin was sitting at 176% of median. The sum of the available water at the 4 SNOTEL sites is the 2nd highest since 1980. And we have 3 storms coming in this weekend. Looks like I'll be putting on my flood hydrologist hat on this year. There will be no repeat of 2009.
Monday, January 16th, 2017
9:15 pm
Redemption
My last post reflected the way I was feeling at the time. I wasn't really happy but I wasn't sad either. The best word to describe my feelings was "meh." Things were just OK. On Sunday, however, things picked up quite a bit. The day started off on a good note as we discovered a new breakfast place. Usually Flames Restaurant was our go-to place. We had already eaten there a couple of times this trip. It's a great breakfast place! But today we tried something different and ended up at Whispers. It was supposedly expensive and pretentious, but that was far from the truth. It was downright tasty and at a reasonable price.

In the afternoon Al decided that he wanted to fursuit. I decided to join him since 2 bears are always better than 1. We only lasted a little while together, however, as I went one way and he another. I ended up in the central lobby of the convention center which was a hub for furries and volleyball players alike. I was happy to be mobbed for pics and hugs. I developed a couple of really good shticks which was a lot of fun. My furriness was being restored! I then had a classic moment as I was making my way to the elevators. I turned a corner just as a little girl, who couldn't have been more than 2, turned the same corner. She saw me and burst into tears. She ran screaming to her mother. I felt so bad! I was going to make it a point to not get in the same elevator as her. I heard her mother console her and tell her that the bear was nice. Soon she was peeking around another person at me. I engaged her in a game of peek-a-boo and in no time the screams of terror had been replaced by squeals of delight. Yay! Score! I still opted to take a separate elevator just to be safe.

I made it up to the room, showered, and then settled in to watch the Packers/Cowboys game. And what a game! Most excellent! While I was watching the game, Al and Dex braved the clusterfuck known as the Art Show pickup. I had already braved the shitshow early in the morning to pick up a piece of art I had bought for Kitty. They opened an hour late and their system was horrible. While Al and Dex were gone, I had decided to treat them to dinner than night at Gordon Biersch. We have been in downtown San Jose for years now, have walked passed the restaurant dozens of times, and yet we had never been. I was going to change that! When we got to the restaurant I was blown away that they had developed a menu especially for FC. My furriness level was finally pushed into the red! Here's a copy of the menu. Hopefully it's readable.

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So with that we returned to the hotel with our bellies full of food and beer. We partied with Scritch one more time, and then called it a night. Today we had breakfast at our favorite spot in Gilroy. We then made a stop at our favorite fruit stand where I picked up 20 cent avocados and 20 cents/lb oranges. Al and Dex were bummed that there were no Brussels sprouts this year. And now I'm chillin' in my motel room relaxing before my final leg to ABQ tomorrow.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017
11:05 am
FC So Far
It has been a pretty good con so far. I got a little depressed yesterday because I felt like a Bad Furry. Rather than spend time in con space and participate in the fursuit parade, I decided to chill in the room and watch the Atlanta/Seattle game. Football instead of furry?!? I finally realized that it was OK since I was doing the "con my way." It doesn't matter what you do as long as you enjoy yourself. I also felt better when I heard that the parade a was clusterfuck. I did run around in Sabot a little bit. He was mostly appreciated by the mundanes that were around for the volleyball tourney. Mostly I have just been hanging around in the lobby or Cub Hub chilling and chatting with folks. Of course there has been much boozamahol, but after Thursday's overindulgence, I have scaled back quite a bit. Let's see...10:00. Yeah. I guess it's after 12 in Chicago. *pops open a beer*
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
7:09 pm
FC Update
I'm typing this from the Marriott, Room 2026. Stop by and say hi! We just had power restored a couple of minutes ago. When we checked in there was only 1 elevator working and there was no power in the room. OMG! No ice for beer or booze! It was OK while the sun was still shining, but once the sun went down, I started to get pissed that the hotel had better provide lanterns/flashlights to us! *BING!* Power came on! Let the con begin!

Yesterday Al and I went to the LA Zoo and had a great time! Since there was rain in the morning, most folks decided to avoid the Zoo. We almost had the whole place to ourselves! It was so nice to enjoy the aminals (sic) without screaming spawn. Here! Have some cute otters.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
4:09 pm
Walking in L.A.
I don't know could've been a lame jogger maybe
Or someone just about to do the freeway strangler baby
Shopping cart pusher or maybe someone groovy
One thing's for sure, he isn't starring in the movies
'Cause he's walkin' in LA
Walkin' in LA, nobody walks in LA
Walkin' in LA
Walkin' in LA, only a nobody walks in LA


A bit of 80's music nostalgia. On Monday we didn't' do much of anything. The weather was crappy and it felt nice just to chill. The only exciting thing was a Costco run. On Tuesday the weather was a little better, but we were unsure. We decided to risk it and head downtown. You see the last time Kitty and I were in LA, I discovered that there was an actual downtown. I had always assumed that there were a bunch of skyscrapers in a small area, but that was about it. In driving around I saw an old downtown that looked run down, but there could be cool things there. I wanted to explore! So with the help of albear we hopped on the subway in search of Old Skool LA. And we found it! Broadway was the heart of old LA. I was blown away by the architecture! Most is rundown and very ghetto, but the potential is there for a massive urban renewal project. Dex told me that the Renaissance has already begun and I predict that many of the vacant blighted buildings that we saw will be million-dollar condos in about 10 years. My other theory was that LA is a little behind the great urban revolution because it is one of America's new cities. Whereas New York and Chicago have already undergone a dramatic renovation, LA is just a little behind the times.

I insisted that we eat at Clifton's Cafeteria which I saw featured on a news show. It's an Old Skool place that just underwent a renovation. Unfortunately the food was mediocre and the service was lacking. Oh well. We tried. We then wandered around a bit more and ended up at the library. It was a very impressive building on the inside. I messed around in the genealogical section a bit and then we were off for more adventure. Unfortunately the weather decided to turn extremely crappy so we bailed for the subway home. Overall it was a lot of fun! I would definitely do it again and try to find more hidden treasures.


In reading the "Bosch" detective books, he mentions sitting in a parking lot staring up at a giant mural of Anthony Quinn. Found it!

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Al took me to the Bradbury Building which is a living museum. Supposedly parts of "Blad Runner" were filmed here.

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The old LA Theater. Hopefully it will once again be hosting events in the future. Look at the details!

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The inside atrium of the LA Library. It even goes 4 stories underground.

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Old meets new. The view from Pershing Park

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Monday, January 9th, 2017
10:47 am
Sunny California
I made it safely to The Domain on Saturday. The storm that crippled ABQ on Friday morning was nowhere to be seen by the afternoon when I hit the road. In fact you wouldn't have even known there had been storm by the time I was 10 miles west of town. It was an easy trip to Williams, AZ where I bedded down for the night. The next morning I was off again. Surprisingly the only rain of note I encountered was in the heart of the Mojave Desert. I had told Al and Dex to expect me around 12:30 and I pulled into their driveway at 12:25. It was then time to chill and get our drink on.

On Sunday they took me to lunch at a Asian restaurant with their Thai neighbor. She had told them about the place and they fell in love with it. You can either cook meat on a grill or put it in a pot of soup. You pay for each plate of goodies you cook. 4 of us stuffed ourselves for just over $20.

In the afternoon I paid a visit to my aunt who only lives around 4 miles from Al and Dex. She's in her upper 80's and is succumbing to the ravages of Parkinsons. My cousin is taking care of her. I always thought of him as something of a loser since he is my age but has never lived anywhere else nor has ever had a steady job. But I saw the way he was taking care of his mother and gained a whole new respect for him. It's an incredibly hard job and he is doing it well. We all talked for a few hours about family history. I showed my aunt all sorts of pics from 70 years ago and she still had the knowledge of who everyone was. Unfortunately she got tired very quickly and ended up falling asleep. That was ok. My cousin and I talked about a lot of stuff. I then picked a ton of lemons and tangerines that they had growing in their yard. No need to raid an orchard this year!

I have no plans for today. The weather in SoCal is extremely shitty. I'm watching with great interest what is happening in the north part of the state. They are predicting a rain-on-snow event for the Sierras. This is the fear of all hydrologists. It can release a hell of a lot of water in a very short period of time. It's a lose-lose situation in terms of water management. When I left ABQ on Friday, our own snowpack was up at 189% of median. That's freakin' fantastic! Hopefully it will all come off nice and slowly in May.
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