Waiting for El Nino

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Last fall, Californians were warned by “the experts” to prepare for El Nino. We were told where to get our sandbags, how to prepare an emergency kit – which most Californians have anyway, and to make sure we had alternate escape routes planned – just in case. Time to build an ark!

Well, the rain finally came.

The reservoirs are full, the Sierras have snow, surfs been up, and the hills are green. Everybody’s happy even though the rain stopped several weeks ago.

The other day, while watching the weather report, the presenter told us “Even though it looks like a storm front is headed our way, don’t expect rain because it was a “dry storm.” Huh?

Who knew a storm could be dry?

Anyway, the “dry storms” have brought us daytime temperatures in the high 80’s, Santana winds are beginning to blow and I’m getting shocked by static electricity every time I touch metal.

It looks like El Nino has left town and the “experts” have just told us to get ready for “La Nina.”

In the meantime, enjoy Sting singing Heavy Clouds No Rain:


Cali Costco Carries Mexican Coke


The Real Coca-Cola is Back
The recipe for Coca Cola was invented in 1886 by Colonel John Pemberton of the Confederate Army. When he was severely wounded in battle, Pemberton was given morphine for the pain and like so many other soldiers, he became addicted to the drug. Being a pharmacist by trade, the Colonel was determined to create a medicine to counteract his addiction.

Using cola nuts and Damiana – what we know today as “black mamba”, Pemberton created his signature French Wine Coca drink. When the temperance movement began, the alcohol had to be replaced with something else, so after some trial and error the syrup was mixed with carbonated water creating the perfect fountain drink and, as they say, the rest is history.

In the 1980’s I stopped drinking Coke because the taste changed. At the time I didn’t know the bottling companies here in the U.S. had replaced the cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup – a result of high tariffs on imported sugar and government subsidies for U.S. corn growers.

Recently we’ve been able to get Coke made with cane sugar in local Mexican restaurants. Then last week, I was at Costco and they were selling Mexican Coke in bottles, by the case! Yep, I put a case in the cart right next to my case of diet iced tea!

After consuming all that sugar and caffeine we’ll all be bouncing around like Justice Crew.
Enjoy the boys from Oz performing Boom Boom:

Autumn Road Trip

Tesla Model S

Time to Bring Out the Classics
We are in the slow season – the weeks before the busy holiday season kicks in. The weather is great, people are at home, so it’s time to take advantage of those wonderful, winding back roads that are so much fun to drive.

Here in California we are dealing with gasoline price manipulation – yet again. We still hear the baloney about the winter blend at the refinery, but back in 2008 when
the price at the pump  was under $2, they never mentioned the winter blend. Hmmm. See here.

Now the price is 2 1/2 times what it was 4 years ago. So, where are our representatives who are supposed to represent our best interests? Oh yeah, stuffing their pockets with graft from the lobbyists. See here.

Anyway, before the road trip becomes too pricey and we have to dodge self-driving cars, it’s time to take to the back roads, turn up the music, open the sun roof and drive!

Enjoy Conductor Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  –  Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 Molto vivace:


Photo by Chris Martin

Southwest ‪Monsoon‬
The summer monsoon we experience here in San Diego is part of the low pressure system over the desert in Arizona and part of southeast California that pulls tropical moisture north from the Sea of Cortez and the Gulf of Mexico.

In July and August many Zonies (folks who live in Arizona) drive west to San Diego to escape the heat.

This year’s monsoon has brought higher temps along the coast. It’s unusual for the beach to experience 80°F+ heat.

For the past week we’ve had to have the A/C on. Ugh. At 5AM this morning it was 70°F and the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife – kind of like being in the south in the summertime. On the plus side, it makes for great sunsets at the beach.

Enjoy the great Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime:

Rock Star

The Rock Update
Here at Laundelles we’ve been waiting and watching for the final piece of Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass exhibit at LA County Museum of Art. See here and here.

It looks like our waiting is finally over. LACMA announced Friday that ‘The Rock’ will roll on Tuesday, Feb.28 at 11:00 pm. According to the route map, the first stretch will take it from the quarry to Granite Hill Drive along highway 60.

From L.A. County Supervisor, Zev Yaroslavky’s website:

“The route was finally settled back in October, but then problems arose as word leaked that this would be an unconventional shipment, and the haulers began to negotiate permits with the 21 cities and four counties through which The Rock required passage. Most communities were accommodating, but a handful raised multiple issues. At various points, intervention was required from members of the Board of Supervisors.”

According to LACMA, the rock will travel only at night, escorted by eight California Highway Patrol officers. During the day, it will be parked and watched over by four security guards. Its layovers, with one possible exception, will last only a day and most will be in the middle of various roadways, with space on either side for traffic to detour around it. The epic journey is expected to take nine or ten nights, traveling at less than 10 miles per hour.

Estimated time of arrival at LACMA is early Saturday morning on March 10. You can check the progress by calling the Rock hotline: 323-857-6262.

Enjoy Kiss performing, what else – I Want to Rock and Roll All Night:

The Rock is Ready to Roll!

Where and When

From Zev Yaroslavsky’s website:
The Rock cometh—no, really. 
After months of postponements, the 340-ton boulder that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been awaiting since August has cleared what museum officials hope will be its final road blocks and is now scheduled to roll shortly after the first of the year. Read the rest here.

Enjoy Diana Krall – Where or When:

Where’s the Rock?

Road Trip
The LA County Museum of Art and earth artist, Michael Heizer have been waiting for the arrival of a 340 ton boulder.

For five years the artist has been planning an exhibit called ‘Levitated Mass” which will open – hopefully, before the holidays. Heizer actually conceived the project back in 1968. That’s right, 43 years ago!

What took so long? The problem was finding just the right boulder. Heizer spent years (decades) searching quarries and finally found what he was looking for at a quarry near Riverside, CA in 2006. The artist paid $120,000 for the rock in addition to $100 a month storage fee for the last 5 years.

Installing the museum’s latest exhibit isn’t as easy as hanging a painting on the wall. There are two parts to the project. The first part, was installing a concrete trench – which was completed earlier this year. The second part of the project will be the installation of the boulder which will be suspended over the trench. Once the rock is in place, it will straddle the 456-foot-long, 15 foot deep concrete walkway. As people pass under it, the boulder will have the illusion that it is floating unsecured above them. Not to worry, California seismic officials have signed off on the project and are comfortable that no one will be squashed by the boulder should we have an earthquake.

Dig a ditch, suspend a boulder over it. Sounds simple enough until you consider the boulder is one of the largest monoliths to be moved since ancient times. That’s right – think pyramids of Egypt.

A team from Emmert International built a special transport vehicle with 196-wheels and 44-axles around the 21 foot tall, 340-ton megalith that is strong enough to carry more than a million pounds.

So how many people does it take to move a 340 boulder? An entourage of some 60 drivers, steerers and police escorts. The move will take 9 nights at the speed of 6 miles an hour to travel over 120 miles of roads.

Although the transport vehicle is as wide as three freeway lanes and nearly as long as a football field, it will only travel a few hours each night when traffic is lightest. People along the route will be told in advance that it’s headed their way.

Originally scheduled to arrive at the museum on Oct. 3, we are still waiting for the rock. I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of waiting.


From 1965 The Kinks -‪ Tired of Waiting‬: