The “Well That Blows” Edition Of Guess The Amount: Frond Farewells

In the wake of last night’s seriously strong winds (in which window rattling was the norm and some howling gusts blasted the north side of our Silver Lake house hard enough to make it creak and shrug and leave me fitfully dreaming about waking up atop the Wicked Witch of the East in the Land of Oz), I’m relieved to report that other than a potted plant or two, there was no damage sustained — and I hope the same can be said for you.

But of course, there was the inevitable “just put those anywhere” backyard redecorating our twin palms do with their never-ending supply of dead fronds, like so:

Which I then gathered into the following pile, all the better for you to take a guess in the comments how many there were and win the temporary adulation of all of us at (as well as perhaps some sort of semi-trivial prize):

Next comes the joy of bundling them into manageable sub-piles for a sanitation department bulky item pick-up date to be named later.

The never ending rain has filled Sawpit Basin

Full drainage basin on Sawpit Creek

I got the tip off from a friend a bit further up the hill from me that the Sawpit Drainage Basin here in Monrovia is full.  I popped over on my way back from a few early morning errands and not only was it full, it was actually starting to drain off the spillway.  This the first time in several years (2005?) that that has happened here.  Then again, we’ve had a relentless 6 days of rain, and with my informal measuring system not too unlike Will Campbells, we have measured close to 17″ in the Foothills since it all started.

LA has been under a series of watches and warnings since it all started.  Today is being forewarned as the worst of the storm since it all started.  Details of watches/warnings affecting us all via Accuweather are HERE.

At the rate the rain is falling, I may wait for a lull in the activity and check out the ducks and their ponds along the San Gabriel River later this morning if I can make the time to do so.

Sawpit Spillway and drainage area.

San Gabriel River runs very full this week.

San Gabriel River looking south from Encanto Park bridge.

So much for JPL’s prediction earlier this fall for a La Nina winter punctuated with colder and dryer than usual conditions.  The rain that started on Friday has already dumped nearly 9 inches of rain on my corner of LA in the Foothills and looks to be worse. The Folks at the National Weather Service via the good folks at Accuweather has issued a flash flood watch until Thursday morning.  Its been reported there that we can expect more rain this week than we have received any other week in recent years.  How’s that for a La Nina?

In the brief lull from the rain this morning I took a walk along the San Gabriel River near Duarte.  The river is the highest its been in years and appears to be cutting a new channel not unlike what it did after the heavy rains in ’05.  The only critters out this morning were families of ducks in two large ponds that have formed in the river.

Where are your favorite places to enjoy the rain here in the LA area?  What’s your favorite rainy day song?  Enjoy my favorite after the last image.

Looking north from the bridge towards Azusa and Fish Canyons.


Silver Lake STROMWARTCH!!11!!

It’s not the easiest read, but as of a few minutes prior to posting this, the precipitation station I set up in front of the porch webcam has collected a representative sample of slightly more than three inches of rainfall since it was put in place Friday morning at roughly 9:45 a.m.

Even less visible are the black lines I inked every half-inch onto the container (augmented using my incredible fauxtoshawp skillz). With heavier rains expected today and more to come Monday, it looks like I shouldn’t have stopped marking at five inches.

Of course I’m timelapsing the accumulation at a frame a minute, so if all goes well, I should have a really crappy YouTube clip of the condensed version of the condensation collection once the clouds quit crying.

This Day Brought To You By The Sun

Sunrise over Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier

Working night shift has its positives and negatives.  Negatives include being awake all night while my friends and most businesses sleep, awkward eating habits and sleeping through gorgeous days like today.

However one of my favorite positives of being on a night schedule is I’m usually awake for the sunrise.  Since it was so warm out this morning, I ventured 1 block over to snap some pictures.  I’ve included a few here.  Check out the rest here.

In front of my house, looking down the street.
Buoy's on the Belmont Pier
I wasn't the only one enjoying the sunrise.

Happy Thanksgiving From The Left Coast

Taken today, Thanksgiving 2010. Walkers in white are part of the annual Turkey Trot.

While much of the country enjoys the snow or endures snow-less freezing weather, here in Los Angeles we enjoy a beautiful clear day.  The water here in Long beach is so calm, it could easily be mistaken for a lake.  While I admit that I could do with it being a bit warmer, I am NOT complaining.

Today, I am thankful to live in Los Angeles.

Go Outside!

No.  I’m serious.  You need to go outside today.  It’s beautiful out right now.  Isn’t this why you live in Los Angeles?  To enjoy weather like this when the rest of the nation is in less-than-desirable conditions?  Look:

Isn't it pretty?

This was the view earlier in Long Beach.  And I’m sure it’s looks similar elsewhere.

“Not everyone has the luxury of having weekends off, DAVE!”
*slide glasses back up nose on angry face*

Trust me.   I know.  I work most weekends and holidays.  But I also know you can walk outside and enjoy the weather, if only for a few minutes.

So uh……..go!

And if you have the time, come down to Long Beach.  It’s beautiful.  And we have a great bike path.

Are you ready for 10:21 on 10/21 for the Great Shake Out?

Across LA businesses, schools and even those at home are planning to “drop, cover and hold on” in the biggest Earthquake Drill yet planned for CA.  Just in case you are unsure what to do here are a few video’s on what  to do should the big one hit.  There’s even a good video talking with those that remember the Northridge Quake and what not to do when a big quake starts with a little redundancy of the message “Drop, cover and hold on”.

There is still time to register as a participant at The Great California Shake Out, do so HERE.

Hat tip to commenter “bentien” over at USC for the most current videos on the topic.





Shake Out planned for 10/21 at 10:21.

Ready for the big one? Practice with me and another nearly 7 Million Californians on 10/21 at 10:21AM. Its easy, sign up with The Great California Shake Out and follow the simple instructions to participate HERE.

Looking for more than participating in the drill? They have the resources available to help you organize a drill in your home or office. Their website HERE.

Still looking for more. The Los Angeles Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is looking for some regular folks to step up and be ready to help out in a catastrophe. You can visit their web site for information on how to sign up, take FREE classes and be ready to help the community out when the big one hits.

Check out LA Moves web site for more quake information that is Los Angeles Specific. Their site is being constantly updated with local information and activities. They have a big event planned to coincide with next years Shake Out.

Got your earthquake kit for your home completed? I check mine twice yearly and toss out the old stuff and put in new. That includes both food stuff and batteries for the flashlights. Do you have your own personal quake kit for your cars (water, snack bars, blanket, flashlight and first aid kit)? What about for at work? If you work in an office environment where dress shoes or pumps are de rigueur do you have some tenny runners to swap out to for the long walk to a shelter or home?

For you newbies to LA who haven’t been in a real quake yet do you know what to do? This short vid from the ’08 Shake out still applies.  Youtube HERE.
And just for a reminder as to what to expect when the big one hits this Youtube video from last years simulates the shaking intensity from epicenter in the desert to LA just to prepare you for what to expect when a large quake strikes. Youtube HERE.

Red Flag Warnings Saturday (9/25) evening until Monday evening (9/27)

Twitter announcement from LA County Fire.

I just got the twitter announcement.  Heat in the triple digits in the Valley’s coupled with extremely dry air has triggered LA County Fire to issue Red Flag Warnings.  If you live in an area that is at risk you should already know what to do, more precisely where not to be parking.

Aside from the fire risk.  Remember to keep you and your pets hydrated during this heat wave.

Brush fire breaks out in Monrovia Canyon area

From the official city web the first information on the fire I spotted as I was exiting the 210 FWY about 1:15.

A small brush fire is burning in Monrovia Canyon Park. No structures are threatened and no evacuations have been ordered. The fire was apparently set off by a downed power line. A major Fire Department response has put dozens of firefighters and equipment on the scene. Watch this notice and the City of Monrovia page on Facebook for further updates.

From the old timers in the neighborhood they advise that that area has not burned since the mid-1960’s and is a concern to them.

According to my daughter the best place to view the ‘copter activity is from the Pavillions Shopping Center at Myrtle and Foothill.  For gawds sake…don’t attempt to drive up the hill for a better view of the activity, stay out of harms way and don’ t do anything to impede the fire fighters.  As for me, I have my suitcase still packed from the weekend so all I’m tossing in is the trusty insurance policies in the car and will be set to boogie if the fire gets bigger and they order evacuations.  (Good excuse as any not to unload the car and do nothing for a bit).

UPDATE 2:48PM from the city facebook page:  Firefighters have contained a small brush fire burning in Monrovia Canyon Park. Full encirclement is expected later this afternoon. No structures are threatened and no evacuations have been ordered. A major Fire Department response put dozens of firefighters and 40 pieces of equipment on the scene. Keep checking with us and our website for more details. Thank you.

5.4 Quake Hits So Cal

I first suspected an earthquake might have been happening when I felt a tiny shaking while I was sitting at my desk.  Then some stronger shaking occurred and I looked at my Twitter stream.  All my friends in L.A. were tweeting “EARTHQUAKE.” It was good as confirmed.

Of course, it’s not really confirmed until a seismologist at USGS has reviewed the quake findings:

Date-Time Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 23:53:33 UTC
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 04:53:33 PM at epicenter

Location 33.417°N, 116.483°W
Depth 11.7 km (7.3 miles)
Distances 22 km (13 miles) NNW (332°) from Borrego Springs, CA
23 km (14 miles) SE (131°) from Anza, CA
33 km (20 miles) NE (52°) from Lake Henshaw, CA
41 km (25 miles) SW (215°) from Indio, CA
45 km (28 miles) S (174°) from Palm Springs, CA
94 km (58 miles) NE (41°) from San Diego, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles)
Parameters Nph=122, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.26 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=4

Don’t forget to fill out the “Did you feel it?” shake survey and check out the Shake Map!