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September 25, 2013

Los Angeles Verdes (The Green Angels)

I'm trying to contact The Green Angels in San Quintin, Baja California Del Norte, Mexico. The Baja is a maddening sort of place, where the internet doesn't really mesh with the 3rd world hell that is the baja desert.

I found an email address for Los Angeles Verdes on a tourismo website promoting Baja California:


http://www.sectur.gob.mx/wb/secturing/sect_eng_angeles_verdes

angelesverdes@sectur.gob.mx

But that didn't work, of course. Returned as undeliverable.


This site has some phone numbers for the Green Angels, at least:

http://www.discoverbajacalifornia.com/green-angels.php

01-800-990-3900 Tijuana, Ensenada & El Hongo toll roads
1-800-888-0911 Tijuana, Tecate toll roads


http://www.car-insurance-for-mexico.com/green-angels.htm

If for some reason you need assistance call "060" (Mexico's version of 911) or pull to the side of the road and lift your hood, this will signal the Green Angels that you need assistance or contact them Toll Free 24 hours seven days a week at:

Baja California Highways Emergency Toll Free Numbers:
• 01 800 990 3900: Tijuana - Ensenada & El Hongo - La Rumorosa Toll Roads
• 01 800 888 0911: Tijuana - Tecate Toll Road

You can dial this numbers from any conventional or cell phone; they will direct emergency assistance to you including towing services to the nearest tollgate or mechanic in the area.

So, it looks like these numbers (above) would probably work if you were in Mexico. However, I'm not in Mexico. So, I think I need to dial something like 011-52-ten digits.
011-52-

http://www.ehow.com/how_6740532_dial-mexican-800-number-states.html

011-52-800-990-3900 (indecipherable - didn't go through)
011-52-800-888-0911 (indecipherable - didn't go through)

But both of these numbers are a little too far north. We're looking for something closer down to San Quintin.

http://www.bajalife.com/grangels/index.htm

02-684-9715 or 02-684-9761

I can't figure how these "02" numbers (above) are supposed to work.


http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=45743

Here we go:

But the main 24-hr Green Angels HQ number in Mexico City at 011 52 55 5250 8221 (from US) covers the whole country. That should work from a satphone (or +52 55 5250 8221 if it uses a mobile-style international access code).



http://www.howtocallabroad.com/mexico/


Calling Mexico from the United States:

011 - US exit code; dial first for international calls made from the USA or Canada
52 - Country Code for Mexico
Phone Number - 10 digits, area code included
sample call from US to a landline in Mexico City: 011 52 55 ???? ????
to call a cell phone add digit 1 after 52

011-52-02-684-9716

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 25, 2013 at 9:51 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 23, 2013

Gary Patton missing from the Baja Peninsula of Mexico

Very sad to learn that Gary Patton has gone missing from the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.

Gary Patton was last seen on September 5th, 2013, at the Jardines hotel in San Quintin (SAHN kah-TEEN), in the lawless fronterra with Mexico, in the Mexican state of Baja California Del Norte.

Last reported to be heading south from San Quintin across the Punta Prieta desert, one of the most inhospitable places on the face of the earth. And I would know because I had to switch onto my reserve tank in the middle of it, and that's a bad feeling. The Punta Prieta desert makes the Owyhee Desert look like a rain forest. Makes Moab desert look downright hospitable. Makes the Loneliest Road in America (US 50 across Nevada) seem like a crowded interstate.

Sadly, he's been missing for over two weeks. Possibly, he's in Bahia Los Angeles (Bah-EE-ya loze AHN-guh-leeze). Or, possibly, he's on the Pacific coast of central Baja surfing. That's what we're hoping for. Any information, please contact his relatives or the authorities as described below in the flyer.

Bueno suerte, amigo. Via con Dios.

http://www.reddit.com/r/MissingPersons/comments/1n0l7q/gary_patton_is_missing_from_baja_mexico_last_seen/

Above: This shows the location on the Baja Peninsula where Gary was last seen.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 23, 2013 at 9:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Key & Peele: Rap Battle Hype-Man

OK...so this one has a little history behind it...It started off 9 months ago with a Montage of the Worst Hypeman in a Rap Battle. The role of the "hype man" in rap music is a backup rapper and or singer who supports the primary rapper with exclamations and interjections, and attempts to increase the audience's excitement with call-and-response chants, etc.

So, when this montage came out about the worst hypeman in a rap battle came out, one guy on Reddit said ""this looks like it could be a Key and Peele skit".

9 months later, Key and Peele finally got around to making it into a skit Key & Peele: Rap Battle Hype Man. Hilarious. And the funny thing is, they didn't really have to exaggerate it that much.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 22, 2013

What not to write...

http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4242/the-art-of-fiction-no-42-isaac-bashevis-singer

"...while facts never become obsolete or stale, commentaries always do. When a writer tries to explain too much, to psychologize, he's already out of time when he begins. Imagine Homer explaining the deeds of his heroes according to the old Greek philosophy, or the psychology of his time. Why, nobody would read Homer! Fortunately, Homer just gave us the images and the facts, and because of this the Iliad and the Odyssey are fresh in our time. And I think this is true about all writing. Once a writer tries to explain what the hero's motives are from a psychological point of view, he has already lost. "

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 22, 2013 at 11:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

4WD - Low Range

I got back from Central America and climed in bed, pulled the covers over my head, and went to sleep for 6 weeks. I have the ambition of a cat.

In September, the hummingbirds left, the grasses went to seed, and the bears came and ripped down the bird feeders to gorge themselves on black oil sunflower seeds for before the snows of winter. And then the rains came, flooding the canyons, and shattering the rainfall records.

I'm afraid of the bears, and things that go bump in the night. They're loud, and they wake me up when they crash into the picture windows to strip down the feeders from the overhang. I cower in my bed, a loaded WWI U.S. Army M1911 Colt .45 in the nightstand. A single nudge from my thumb sends the reciever crashing forward, loading a round into the chamber, and it's ready to fire.

In the night, I had a bad dream. Dreamed that I was working two projects, and got released from both projects at about the same time, meaning I was out of work.

In a panic, I woke up, relieved to be unemployed and lounging around in bed at 10:30 a.m. Surfing the internet, eating bags of halloween candy and sipping diet cokes. The paranoid housewifes are always waffling about how bad everything is for you. Sodas. Candy. Genetically modified foods, but they're wrong. So wrong. If it was that bad for you, I wouldn't be alive.

The maid comes and starts cleaning up, and I lay in bed, surfing the internet as she cleans around me. Robin says I should leave while the maid cleans, but I'm like..."Why? It's my house. I pay her to clean it. Why should I have to get out of bed?"

Finally, she throws me out of bed to wash my sheets. And now I'm pouting, making coffee, watching her race through the house, a miracle of ambition and energy. I feel like I could drift into a coma. I wonder if anyone's ever fallen asleep and gone into a coma because they were just to lazy to be alive?

Jennifer comes up and drives the two of us around in the Tahoe to inspect some areas washed out by the Colorado floods. We play a game called "Bridge Inspector", where we vote on whether the drive-way bridges over Bear Creek are safe to cross. They get voted either "Good" or "Badbadbadbad."

Bridge-Inspector is just an excuse to get some time behind the wheel before her Jeep arrives, a 4wd 6-cylinder 5-speed Sahara.

Last year, on Spring Break, she fell in love with the Jeep we rented as we rolled across Oahu with the top down.

This year, on Spring Break, she learned how to drive a Jeep with a stick shift in Cozumel. Mexico is a brilliant place to learn to drive, because there are no laws, really. Once you get past the military checkpoint of soldiers brandishing FAL's at the airport, you can pretty much do anything you want.

What she wanted to do was learn to drive a stick. And she learned. Upshift. Downshift. To start off on a hill with only two feet to somehow manage three pedals all at once.

At school, she's the only girl in her grade that knows how to drive a stick. The other girls just balk. Jaws dropping.

"I tried to drive a stick shift," one girl offers. "But I couldn't make it go. How'd you learn to drive a stick?"

"My dad taught me," she replies, "when we were in Mexico."

"Your dad taught you to drive a stick shift in Mexico?"

"Yah."

"I've never even been on a plane. I've never seen the ocean. Do you have a car?"

"I'm getting a Jeep."

"Your dad bought you a Jeep?"

"Yah."

"Why?"

"Because I got straight A's last year."

"You got straight A's?"

"Yeah. He said he'd get me a Jeep if I got straight A's, so I got straight A's."

"Where is your Jeep? Is it here at school? Can I see it?"

"No. They're shipping it here from Illinois."

"Why? Aren't there Jeeps in Colorado?"

"Yeah, but I wanted a green one, so we're having it shipped from out of state."


My neighbors warned me against getting Jennifer a Jeep. "It's too dangerous," they crow. "Aren't you worried she's going to flip over and die?" they chant.

"No. We're all going to die. I'm worried we're not going to live."

Her grandmother said the same thing, harping on me about how dangerous a Jeep is.

I'm like..."The CFO of Amazon just got killed on a bicycle and no one talks about how dangerous bicycles are. Let it go."

We're rolling past million dollar houses with all of their furniture in the driveway. Backhoes, front-end-loaders, trucks, all sorts of gear trying to repair the damage from the flood.

We end up on a dirt road and I tell her to put into into 4wd, just for practice, really. And she's like "What's the difference between 4WD Low Range and 4WD High Range?"

And I'm like...seriously? Like...how have I not taught her that? Like...suddenly I'm useful to someone, somehow. So I teach her to stop, put it in neutral, and shift into 4 wheel low. A lound clunk is the clue that it's now in 4 wheel low.

"You hear that?"

She nods, innocently.

And then later, into 4 wheel high, so she can see the difference in speed between Low Range and High Range.

I let her drive onto the pavement in Four Wheel High so she can feel how the truck acts on pavement in 4WD. Hear the whining of the gears and the axles and transfer case.

Listen for that sound. You have to learn what it sounds like to be in 4WD on the pavement so you'll recognize if it ever happens by accident.

"You hear that? Feel how it's kind of shaking a little? That's what it feels like when you're in 4WD on the pavement. You can only use 4WD when you're off-road. If you're on pavement, and it's in 4WD, it will ruin the drivetrain. Got it?"

She nods as we pass a woman painting an oil painting on the side of the road, "en plein air".

"Pull over here...take it out of 4WD...I'm going to go take a photo of this woman painting. Do you know why that woman is painting on an easel on the side of the road back there?" I ask Jennifer.

"Why?"

"Because we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth...the Colorado Rockies."

Jennifer puts the Tahoe into neutral and shifts into 2WD with a loud "CLUNK".

"When will my Jeep be here daddy?"

"I dunno, baby. Is it out of 4WD? Let's go home."


Posted by Rob Kiser on September 22, 2013 at 2:39 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

September 18, 2013

'Business Cat' Returns!

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

More of that "Smart Diplomacy" we were promised...

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/09/12/russia-carrier-killer-ship-enters-mediterranean/?intcmp=obnetwork

Russia's 'carrier killer' ship enters Mediterranean. Well done, Obama. Well done.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Libtards Double Down

They're trying to make it look like the Navy yard lunatic attempted to buy an AR-15 but was turned down. But it's not true. Just a made up "let's make it fit the narrative" media nonsense. Instead, what did happen, is he bought a Remington 870. For those of you too stupid to know what that is, it's a 12 gauge pump shotgun. That's right. A pump. Meaning...not even semi-automatic. It's a single shot. Oh. And he bought 15 shotgun shells. So, my guess is that he laid out a total of about $300. And with that, he killed 12 people.

So, the gun laws didn't work. The gun control didn't work. Nothing will work, except to allow people to defend themselves. Gun-free zones don't work. They're just killing fields for lunatics. But the libtards don't buy it, so kill away, lunatics. Kill away.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/17/miller-new-york-times-gets-it-wrong-about-navy-yar/

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 18, 2013 at 5:14 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 17, 2013

CNN - So Painfully Stupid

CNN is so painfully stupid that they think an AR-15 is a shotgun. The Dimocrats made the Navy base a gun-free zone under President Clinton. That's the reason for the mass shootings. They can only happen in "gun-free zones". So, that was Clinton's deal.

Also, CNN is still claiming that the shooter used an AR-15

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest proponents of a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 that suspected shooter and military contractor Aaron Alexis is believed to have used, issued a statement Monday asking "When will enough be enough?"


but the FBI confirms that an AR-15 was not used.

FBI Washington field office just confirmed gunman was NOT armed with AR15. Spokesperson says 1 shotgun and 2 pistols recovered

-- Pamela Brown (@PamelaBrownCNN) September 17, 2013

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

September 16, 2013

Pixar's 22 Rules for Storytelling

http://imgur.com/a/MRfTb

Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you've got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th - get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back
around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write 'cool'. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 16, 2013 at 4:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Impending Climate Catastrophe May Be Called Off


http://reason.com/blog/2013/09/16/impending-climate-catastrophe-may-be-cal

Impending Climate Catastrophe May Be Called Off, Suggest Leaked Copies of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's New Report
Ronald Bailey | Sep. 16, 2013 2:23 pm


Over at the Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley reports that a leaked draft version of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's forthcoming Summary for Policy Makers finds that earlier projections of future warming have likely been too high. In his column, "Dailing Back the Alarm on Climate Change," [ link ] Ridley reports that according to the IPCC ...


...the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPPC thought in 2007.


Specifically, the report notes that new estimates of climate sensitivity - roughly the eventual amount of warming that would expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide doubles - suggests that that there is a chance that the increase global average temperatures be as little as 1 degree Celsius. More significant are the new estimates of the rate of future warming on its way to achieving equilibrium at doubled carbon dioxide:


A more immediately relevant measure of likely warming has also come down: "transient climate response" (TCR)--the actual temperature change expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide about 70 years from now, without the delayed effects that come in the next century. The new report will say that this change is "likely" to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and "extremely unlikely" to be greater than 3 degrees. This again is lower than when last estimated in 2007 ("very likely" warming of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, based on models, or 1 to 3.5 degrees, based on observational studies).


Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.


In addition, Ridley reports that more recent estimates of climate sensitivity from newly published peer reviewed studies are even lower than those suggested in the new IPCC report.


But, wait there's more. The Daily Mail has also gotten hold of a leaked version of the IPCC Summary and it reports that the UN climate panel admits that computer model estimates of average global temperature increases have been way too high [ link ]. The Mail notes...


...the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment, published in 2007.


Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade - a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models.


But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade - a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction.


The 31-page 'summary for policymakers' is based on a more technical 2,000-page analysis which will be issued at the same time. It also surprisingly reveals: IPCC scientists accept their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures - and not taken enough notice of natural variability.


This rate of warming is in line with the global average temperature increase of 0.14C per decade [ link ] that the satellite data have reporting since 1979.


If the draft version of the IPCC Summary stands that would suggest that the climatologists assembled by the UN have now come to basically agree with a recent study in Nature Climate Science, which I reported last month, that the observed rate of warming has been about half of what the computer model have been projecting [ link ].


Further massaging of the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers is currently under way and the final version will be released on September 27. Stay tuned.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 14, 2013

Mount Evans

Jen and I ran up Mount Evans on August 31st.


Posted by Rob Kiser on September 14, 2013 at 11:10 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

September 13, 2013

Repairing Synology DiskStation DS413

So, I'm replacing a drive in my 12 TB Synology DiskStation DS413. It looks like the drive that failed is Disk 2.

This website shows How to repair volumes on Synology NAS.

It doesn't really say what to do, so I'm going to yank out Disk 2. It says they're numbered from Top to Bottom or from Left to Right....

Swapped out the drive...seems like a perfect match...both drives say WD 3.0TB SATA / 64MB cache WD30EZRX.

Now, when I turn it on, it's beeping like hell again.

Under "Storage Manager", I click "Beep Off".
Under "Storage Manager" > "HDD Management", it says the new volume is "Not Initialized".
Under "Storage Manager" > "Volume", it says the status for Volume 1 is "Degraded".

The directions say to "Simply include the hard disk in a volume or Disk Group and it will be initialized."

It looks like my only option here is to go under "Storage Manager" > "Volume" > "Manage" > "Repair". Click "Next". Select "Disk 2". Click "Next". All data will be erased. Are you sure you want to continue? Click "OK".

"The volume can be expanded to 7.81 TB without stopping related services. Please note that services on this volume will be interrupted during space expansion beyond 7.81 TB."

Click "Apply".

Now, under "Storage Manager" > "HDD Management", it says all drives have a status of "Normal" and a S.M.A.R.T. status of "Normal".

Under "Storage Manager" > "Volume", "Volume 1" says "repairing". It says the status for all drives is "Normal". The status for the Volume says "Repairing (Checking parity consistency. 0.51%) ".

So, my guess is it's working. I'll let it run all night and we'll see where we are in the morning.

Update: It ran the "parity consistency" check for about 16 hours, and then decided that everything is OK. Now, my Volume status is 'normal", as is the status of all 4 drives. Woohoo!


Posted by Rob Kiser on September 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

The Neighborhood Car

So, my Tahoe is in the shop because the fuel pump went out last week. It has an arsenal of guns inside of it, which is somewhat concerning to me, as I'm not sure how they would handle it if they figured this out.

Today I have to go pickup Jen, so I finally crawl out of bed. Load the dishwasher, run it, clean up my bedroom as best I can, and run down the hill to get Jen.

Now, the car I'm driving is essentially a "neighborhood car". It's a car that the neighbors maintain, and loan out as needed for emergencies. The closest thing to it that I'm aware of is the "airport car", which is so cool there aren't words, but I don't really feel like going into it at this point. Basically, it's a free car to drive. Treat it good. Fill it with gas. Keep the karma flowing.

I'm rolling down the hill in a light rain. It has rained all week, and I'd wager money this week has been the wettest on record in Colorado's history. The Climate Change zealots were calling for a drought, and instead we got a flood, but no matter. All they have to crow is that "it changed!", and then they pat themselves on the back for being such disciplined scientists.

Head down the hill and swing through Morrison for gas as the car is below Empty. Fill up with 10 gallons of gas in the Subaru, but now I notice a bunch of sight-seers checking out Bear Creek. Ogling and taking pictures of the flooded creek with iPads and such.

Pick up Jen from school, go to the Chevy dealership to pick up the truck, but of course, Jen and I test drive it, but they haven't fixed it, so we head back to the shop. At the shop, Jen has an idea.

"Let's get the guns out while we're here..." she offers.

I'm like "Bingo!", so we start transferring the guns between vehicles, from the Tahoe to the Subaru, one at a time, covered by a leather jacket. Eventually, Jen says "Is that all?" and I'm like....laughing...."No. Not even close."

Finally, we get the entire arsenal moved over just as a guy comes out from the Chevy dealership to see what's going on. Jen quickly covers the arsenal and slams the hatchback shut as he arrives.

I close up the Tahoe and announce flatly, "It's from when y'all replaced the U-joint....the driveline isn't balanced..." and toss him the keys.

Jen and I drive home through Morrison, and stop to shoot the raging Bear Creek. Talk to a few people. Everyone pretty much agrees that it hasn't been like this since the '70's. Really ripping.

Head back home, and just before we get to our house, police and ambulances and fire trucks everywhere.

Now, keep in mind that we've got more weapons in the vehicle than the national guard. Oh...and I don't have a driver's license. When I got it reinstated, they said they'd mail it to my house, but I've never seen the thing. And, the 30 day temporary license they gave me expired some time ago. So, yeah.

We stop and ask some rubber-neckers what happened.

"Some woman lost control and ran down into that house....she's not inside of it, but right up against it I think."

Jen and I laugh about this for some time. Like it's a one car accident. How could that happen?

Drive home and unload the weapons, one at a time, dispersing them throughout the house in preparation for the zombie apocalypse.

Last night scared me. I'm glad to have my .45 back in my nightstand. Probably most people don't know what it's like to have wild animals tearing the birdfeeders down from the eaves, but it's not fun. It's scarey as hell.

Now, into the Tahoe and off to pick up Piper, just a short way up the canyon.

Grab Piper, and now up to Evergreen to see what Bear Creek looks like there. The Highway 74 through the canyon is closed. Upper Bear Creek is closed. Lots of people taking pics. Lots of police standing around looking down on the people they're supposed to serve.

We only have two guns in the car, as there were a couple in the front seat I'd missed. But we get out and take a few shots. Jen ducks under the yellow tape to get some shots of Bear Creek before the Colorado State troopers start bellowing at her in a baritone thunder to get back away from the bridge.

Down the hill towards Costco, but there's a crazy rainbow across the sky, so I pull over onto the shoulder of I-70 for some panoramic shots of the rainbow. Jennifer has to show me how to take a panorama with my iPhone.

Then down to Costco for $400 in groceries because I'm tired of living on Ramen noodles.

Drive home slowly, praying that the rain won't push loosened boulders down onto us in the canyon the way it did a while back.

By the time we get home it's dark, and we unload the groceries in a light rain. The girls go upstairs to change, and I hear a caterwauling in the dark. I tell Jennifer to call for Pokey, as her cat door is open, grab a trillion candle-light spotlight and head outside to see if the cat is still alive.

Shining the light up into the trees...this is not good. This is how we spent our nights with Timmy. We'd find him up in a tree and spend hours calling him down, before I finally gave up and left him alone to figure it out on his own.

But this is Pokey, and I know there will be a full-scale grade-A meltdown if Pokey doesn't come home tonight. No one will sleep tonight in this house if that cat isn't found.

Shining the light in the trees...looking....looking....looking....thinking about the predators up here....coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, bears, hawks, owls...I've seen all of these animals with my own eyes up here...cats don't survive long in these hills. Timmy and Pokey are the only two cats alive in Peaceful Hills. The trees are all plastered with posters of missing cats, but it's no use. They're all gone and they're not coming back.

Shine the lights into the neglected flower garden, and two glowing eyes.

"Pokey...come here baby...."

Pokey runs off behind the house, and up onto the redwood deck. Now, she's caterwauling and hissing again at Timmy, who's hiding beneath the BBQ grill. Aha. So that was the noise I heard. Not Pokey being eaten by a coyote, but Pokey screaming at Timmy to go home.

Whew. That was a close one.

Repair and replace the bird feeders.

Bring Pokey in the house, lock all the doors, turn off the outside lights, and then I load the guns, placing the around the house so I won't ever be too far away when the zombie apocalypse comes.

I plug in the spotlight so it will be recharged and put an AR-15 with a 30th round mag, collapsible stock, flash suppressor, and light mounted on the rails beneath the bed.

I won't mention the bear to the girls, I'm sure the bear will return. He's getting ready to hibernate for the winter. He loves sunflower seeds. Lots of calories. He'll be back for more. No doubt about it.

I knock on the girls' bedroom door.

"Night girls, I'm going to sleep."

And I slip into bed, hoping the bear doesn't return.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Things That Go Bump in the Night

So, I heard a loud bump last night. A concerningly loud bump. Then Pokey comes flying up the stairs.

Right about now, I'm wishing all of my firearms weren't at the Chevy dealership (don' task).

I go downstairs and look around. Nothing broken. I lock all the doors. Turn off some lights. Nothing really obvious wrong. So I'm like..."stupid cat...settle down....I'm trying to sleep."

And I go back to sleep.

Then it happens again. A loud dull noise. Hard to ignore. If Pokey made it, it sounds like he may not have survived the fall. So I go down with a flashlight, check around. I can't find the silly cat anywhere in the house. So, I go back upstairs and look under the bed. And there's Pokey. Frozen.

I'm like...."Would you please settle down so I can sleep. I've got to get up and go to work in the morning." Ok. So, that's a lie, but it's a cat so, does that even count?

And then this morning I'm looking out the front picture windows on the house and I'm like..."aha....so that's what caused the noise last night...."

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 13, 2013 at 2:34 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 12, 2013

Peppar Angelica Walsh and Richard Walsh

THE STORY DESCRIBED IN THIS FLYER (below) IS NOT ACURATE!!!!!!!!!

THE STORY DESCRIBED IN THIS FLYER (above) IS NOT ACURATE!!!!!!!!!

Today, I saw this flyer circulating on Facebook. I googled it, and could find nothing on the girl, the father, etc. This seemed odd in the age of the internet, that there would be zero information about this abduction on the internet four days after she was reported "missing".

So, I called the Janesville, Wisconsin police department, as instructed by the flyer, and basically what they said is this. "We have heard of this. We are aware of the family. We have communicated with them, but the police are not actively searching for either of them, and the reports that the mother is giving are not accurate." That's paraphrasing it, but that's the gist of what they told me. So, my guess is that the girl is with her father and, what we have, at worst, is a custody dispute. But the nonsense about him being armed and dangerous and the police looking for him is not correct. If it were true, you would be able to google his name and find a police bulletin. No bulletins or notices exist for the father or the daughter.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 12, 2013 at 5:41 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

September 8, 2013

The Ambition of a Cat

After watching Pokey today, I've finally come to grips with the fact that I have the ambition of a cat. I'm reasonably sure I can out-sleep him.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

September 7, 2013

The Raptor's Cry

And in the summer, came the hummingbirds. Perched in tall evergreens, they attacked all that dared to cross the yard.

"Where are the feeders, human? Why are they not up? We've just returned from Mexico, quite thirsty. It was a long voyage."

"Yes. Yes, little birdies. Do not fret. I have just returned from there as well. Let me mix you up some secret sauce for the hummingbird feeder."

I filled the hummingbird feeders, the black oil sunflower feeders, and topped off the water in the bird bath. How romantic it is to have something that depends on you for survival, even if only a few feathered creatures.

Jennifer helped me as the birds appeared. So dried and cracked, the brain is. A funny thing to try to recall what you're certain you once knew. What's wrong with the brain that it knows it once knew a bird's name, but can no longer recall it? Who designed this brain, with it's odd shortcomings. It's peculiar inadequacies.

"Black-capped Chickadee?" I ask.

"No daddy. It's a Mountain Chickadee. See the black line through its eye?"

"Yes. Yes. Angel. Now I remember. So it is.

And now come the raptors. The immature red-tailed hawk that I've watched grow up in the valley this summer. The odd gull-like cry I've learned to recognize in an instant. And with him, as an escort, a pair of Turkey Vultures. And another hawk, almost completely white beneath.

Why do they travel like this in groups? It seems that they all want to keep a close watch on their competition. I'm secretly ashamed at how similar they are to us.

Yesterday

I'm driving down the mountain's twisting veins. Gut wrenching hairpin turns down a 5% grade. Going to pick up Jennifer from school, and suddenly the engine cuts out, as though I've run out of gas. But I haven't. I have plenty of gas. Never mind that.

Now, things get interesting. The brakes quit working. The power steering goes out. And I'm rolling downhill through a twisting canyon with no brakes and no steering. In theory, the power steering still works if you turn it hard enough. In theory, you can use the emergency brake if you have to. But that's all theory.

Instead, I turn the key, which turns the engine over, and generates enough power to steer and brake in the turns. Other than that, I just coast. Finally, I make it through all the turns. Now, it's a straight away, but I'm still gaining speed, racing down the mountain. I'll be OK now. I'm going to live. I'll just let it coast until it stops.

It feels like it's still running, as I coast uphill. Finally stops at the top of the grade. I coast over onto the shoulder.

Now, I have other problems. The truck is, essentially, a rolling arsenal. I couldn't tell you how many guns are in it, but at least 10, I would say. And I don't have a valid driver's license.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 7, 2013 at 3:12 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 3, 2013

Status

I retained an attorney, he requested a continuance. I asked for a jury trial. So, the trial is scheduled for some time in October.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

September 2, 2013

Sherman County Kansas

I'm heading out to Sherman County, Kansas today. I have a court date tomorrow. The judge has a mind to put me in jail, for reasons not entirely clear to me. I tried to find an attorney to represent me, but have not been successful so far. The problem is that Goodman, Kansas is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So, all the attorneys I saw listed there have disconnected phone numbers. I'll check with the court house in the morning and see what my options are.

However, if I don't post back on Peenie Wallie by tomorrow night (Tuesday Sept 3rd), then it's safe to assume that I'm locked up in the Sherman County Jail for an unspecified period of time.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink