Sunday, December 9, 2018

High-five gang at Pinnacles National Park

It was a beautiful winter day at Pinnacles National Park. We did our first outdoor lead on the Regular Route on Chockstone Dome. Not a hard climb, but perfect for a first lead.

Left of the Regular Route: the Chockstone: Pinnacles National Park

The Regular Route: Pinnacles National Park

Overboard: Pinnacles National Park

 The aftermath. I need to re-sort this gear.
Santa Cruz, California

Monday, October 22, 2018

President Ozymandias: Belief vs. Evidence

Sad but true: President Ozymandias

Context:

Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Farming on the edge

I wrote about the marine terrace a couple of years ago, but just had some pictures from the second terrace, looking down toward the ocean and the first marine terrace. Here's that picture:

Back Ranch Road, Santa Cruz
Here's where your artichokes (and Brussels sprouts too) come from, on the first marine terrace:

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, California
Just a few feet behind me as I took that picture was the edge of the bluff:

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, California

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Spam

Santa Cruz, California

Carr fire smoke, August 4, 2018

Interstate 5 southbound near Weed Airport Road, Weed, California

Driving south from Oregon to Santa Cruz last Saturday, the smoke was dense from the Oregon border all the way to Sacramento. Normally, you can see Mount Shasta from I-5, but not a glimpse of it on this trip. That's Black Butte in the distance on the left.

There were two large fires: the Carr fire west of Redding, and the Mendocino Complex fire farther south. The Mendocino Complex fire became the largest fire in recorded California history later in the week.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Truck

This is a real truck, not just a pickup truck. I'm guessing this is from the 1940s.

Santa Cruz, California



Is this what ventilated brakes look like?


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Buses, cafe, engineering school

I'm fascinated with vehicles, particularly trains and buses. Buenos Aires runs on a mix of public buses, subways, taxis, bicycles, and motos (scooters or light motorcycles). There are a lot of cars too, but many people get by without them, because the buses are ubiquitous.

I think that many American cities (including Santa Cruz) are overlooking the potential of public buses.

Also, Buenos Aires has cafes down.

Bar Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo

Facultad de Ingeniería, University of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires



Buenos Aires

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Courtyards

Latin America has some beautiful courtyards hiding behind unassuming facades. Most of them are private houses, but some of them house shops or restaurants.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gopher-proof

Santa Cruz, California
Until the gophers figure out how to use wire cutters, they won't be able to get into my raised beds. A couple of winters ago, they ate about half my garlic crop.

More Buenos Aires buses

Buenos Aires, Argentina
The school buses in Buenos Aires are pretty fancy -- like city buses with comfortable seats. And they're orange, not yellow.

Buenos Aires
Many of the Buenos Aires buses have this weird thing attached to the wheels. It turns out it's a device that keeps the tires inflated to the optimum pressure automatically.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Walker Evans, time, and angle parking

As I noted here several years ago, Walker Evans liked angle parking. Here's Greensboro, Alabama:

Greensboro, county seat of Hale County, Alabama. 1935 or 1936. Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration.

Google street view lets us check out what these places look like now. They still have angle parking -- Yay! But it looks like C.A. Johnson and Son is gone (the corner lot is now empty -- here's a link to the street view image). The rooflines of the third and fourth buildings on the left confirm that this is the same block. Walker Evans had a better angle though -- he must have shot from second floor or the roof of one of the buildings on the right side of this block. And the cars were way cooler.

Greensboro, Alabama. Google Street View, January 2017.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Laguna Torre review

El Chaltén, Patagonia

Three years ago today, I hiked to Laguna Torre in El Chaltén, Patagonia with Annie and Libby (thanks to Google Photos for the reminder). It was a cold summer day with a light snow flurry while we were on the trail. When we got to the lake, it was cold and windy but beautiful in a bleak way. Previous hikers had built some primitive rock walls to shelter themselves from the wind. They came in handy for us.

Laguna Torre, Patagonia

It wasn't until we left El Chaltén on a clear day that I realized the view we had missed at Laguna Torre that day:

Cerro Torre from Laguna Torre. Photo: Stefan Straub (from Wikimedia Commons)


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Art of Steel 2

Santa Cruz, California
A cloudy day in Santa Cruz. See Art of Steel for this pickup as a work-in-progress.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Garden in September

Santa Cruz, California
 I added a raised bed in the front yard for some winter vegetables, because it will get far more sun than the back. Ready for planting:

Santa Cruz, California

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse 2017

One of my colleagues made a great pinhole viewer from a long and narrow Amazon box. Here's an image of today's eclipse:

Solar eclipse. Mountain View, California

My cereal-box viewer worked too. The image was brighter, but much smaller.

Pinhole eclipse viewer. Santa Cruz, California

I dug through my Mom's slides last night, and found these ones from our eclipse expedition to the total eclipse in Virginia Beach in 1970. We made some really big pinhole viewers for the trip:

Virginia Beach, Virginia (photos by Angela Bacher)