a tune… a haiku… an infrared loop


‘The Man From Muscle Shoals’ On Shame And FAME


Producer and FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, left, with R&B singer Clarence Carter.

“We don’t use arrangers in Muscle Shoals. … We do it from the heart.

— Rick Hall founded FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and worked his magic to create a signature Southern sound and launch a string of hits dating back to the 1960s. At FAME, Hall produced career-defining records by Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Wilson Pickett, but those successes came after a humble upbringing in a poor, rural area of Alabama. He spoke with NPR’s Linda Wertheimer about his new memoir, The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey From Shame To Fame. Hear their conversation at the audio link.


Finally the explanation… ~ Thanks Andy Wilson

…for all the mayhem in the world.

Not a blonde joke

The Last Ice Merchant

For over 50 years Baltazar Ushca has harvested the glacial ice of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo. His brothers have long since retired. “El UÌltimo Hielero” is a story of cultural change and adaption.

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~~~  WATCH  ~~~

Pete Inglis killed in skiing accident in Alaska.

Very sad news,
Pete Inglis, Pi, long-time assistant Snow Safety Director for Telluride was killed yesterday by cornice fall while climbing in the St. Elias Range of Alaska.
sterbie (Craig Sterbenz)



Peter Inglis, a 20-year veteran for Telluride Adventure Guides, was killed on Wednesday after a cornice fall in the St. Elias Range, Alaska. Jaime Palmer, a well-known Telluride skier, stomped out the letters “PI” into a snowy face within the Bear Creek area yesterday as a tribute to Inglis. The Telluride legend was profiled by Taylor Van Roekel in the December 2013 issue of Backcountry, and now here.

~~~  READ MORE  ~~~


Inglis making turns down Heaven’s Eleven outside of Telluride in 2005. [Photo] Brett Schreckengost



The Secrets of ‘Pulp Fiction’: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie on Its 20th Anniversary

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Today (10-19-14), Quentin Tarantino’s gonzo pastiche Pulp Fiction is a cult classic. We reveal the film’s most closely-guarded mysteries as it turns 20.

It’s arguably the best film of the ‘90s—a postmodern pop culture smorgasbord awash in nihilism and dripping with retro cool. Pulp Fiction, the brainchild of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (with an assist from Roger Avary) remains one of the most batshit-brilliant movies in modern cinema; a ‘roided-up rollercoaster ride packed with more quotable lines than a half-dozen Shakespeare plays.

After being passed up by TriStar, who reportedly found it “too demented,” it was picked up by Harvey Weinstein and his Miramax Films, and released in theaters on Oct. 14, 1994—the same weekend that another modern classic, The Shawshank Redemption, expanded nationwide. It’s now regarded as a camp (and cult) classic. But the little-known stories behind the making of the film are almost as fascinating as the flick itself.

In honor of Pulp Fiction turning 20, here are 20 things you didn’t know about the film:


California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say


The severe California drought that has led the state to order cutbacks in water use may not have been set off by climate change, scientists say, but global warming is making the situation worse.

“The drought is made of two components: not enough rain and too much heat,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton. “The rain deficit isn’t clearly connected to climate change, but the planetary warming has made it more likely that the weather would be hotter in California.”

Warmer temperatures worsen drought by causing more evaporation from reservoirs, rivers and soil. Scientists say that the warming trend makes it highly likely that California and other parts of the Western United States will have more severe droughts in the future.

“The 21st century for sure is being characterized by persistent, ubiquitous drought in the West,” said Deke Arndt, the chief of the climate monitoring branch of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “The projection is for that to continue.”

The current drought, which began in 2011, is the worst in 120 years of climate record-keeping in the state, and some studies suggest it is the worst in more than a thousand years.

Recent research has blamed natural variability, rather than climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, some scientists say that conditions in the Pacific Ocean have led to the formation of ridges of air off the West Coast that have kept storms from reaching the state.

~~~  READ MORE  ~~~

Kiitella Project: Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum – Hall of Mountaineering Excellence awards


Gotta schmooz when opportunity arises. The award artist, Lisa Issenberg, with Hall of Mountaineering Excellence inductee and Gala keynote Mark Udall. Photo by JR.

See more by Kiitella


A few years ago ~~~

Django in his youth with  G. Gardner


Aspen ~ Bernie Arndt

…another snapshot from the bizarre mountain town.

Twilight Windows L50-1002842

The only club that would have him as a member…….


The Brits wouldn’t have us. The Americans certainly wouldn’t have us. The Nordic club said no way. So, after knocking on the door of pretty much every Expat club in Dhaka, the Dutch club finally took us, now I’m a member of the Dutch expat club.  Apparently I have to swear allegiance to the Dutch royal family and take language lessons. But at least I can drink.

The Brit

Thunderstorms Soak Chile Desert in Years of Rain and Kill at Least 9 ~~ The last time this happened was in 1997 during an el Niño. The Atacama desert was in full bloom and it’s the driest desert in the world.. JR


Thunderstorms brought the equivalent of 7 years of rain to Chile’s Atacama desert region and caused deadly flooding Thursday.

Antofagasta, Chile, where the annual average precipitation is 0.13 inches, saw 0.9 inches of rain in 12 hours.

“The Atacama Desert is an extremely arid region and has been for millions of years. As a result, the terrain is hard and rocky because rainfall isn’t frequent or abundant enough for either weathering rocks into sand or supporting the kind of ecosystem that would help turn rocks and minerals into soil. Without soil and plant cover to help absorb rainfall, it just runs off instantly as torrents of water,” weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said.

These torrential rains caused the Copiapo River in northern Chile to overflow and kill at least nine people, while simultaneously knocking out power, making roadways impassable and leaving 19 people missing.

Thousands evacuated after officials warned of mudslides in the normally-parched region.

Chile’s Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy called the flooding “the worst rain disaster to fall on the north in 80 years.”

TV images showed brown, muddy waters flooding the streets and reaching a hospital in Copiapo city. Some people living along the river had to be rescued by helicopter because roads were blocked by water and mud. TV footage showed several families waiting on the roofs of their homes, including a man who had punched a hole through his roof to save his toddler.

At least seven people have been killed and 19 people were listed as missing in three communities hit by flooding, officials said.


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Kiitella’s Gold Hatchet Award Held By A Stoked Mikaela Shiffrin

11089004_807926092577919_3933777257607550381_oPhoto: Jamie Walter Mikaela Shiffrin won the women’s slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort by 4.31 seconds. When the World Cup came to Sugarloaf in 1971, organizers paid tribute to the area’s logging heritage by awarding the top skiers custom-made hatchets. Kiitella’s custom awards for the 2015 U.S. Alpine Nationals are a nod to Sugarloaf’s logging and ski racing history. The “gold, silver and bronze” hatchets are hand-fabricated with satin-polished, jetcut brass and stainless steel, and solid rivets. Handles were supplied by Snow & Nealley, a Maine axe manufacturer since 1864. What a bonus for Lisa Issenberg, the artist behind Kiitella, to receive such positive responses from the award winners. See “gold, silver and bronze” awards.

a morning musing on very frozen groomers ~~~ Bernie Arndt


Morning Snow Surfaces
Holding their secrets.
Poker face and prostitute hard.
But she will not lie
even though she has had
“a lot of work”.
You can tell by the hands.
Everyone softens by late afternoon.



‘Justified’ Creator Aims To Stay True To The Late Writer Elmore Leonard


Timothy Olyphant plays Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on FX’s Justified, which is based on a novella by Elmore Leonard. The show’s creator, Graham Yost, says the only “tussle” the writers had with Leonard happened during the pilot, over which hat Raylan should wear.

The FX series Justified, which is in its sixth and final season, is based on the novella Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard. Leonard was an executive producer of the series until his death in 2013. The show’s creator and showrunner, Graham Yost, says he has made it his mission to stay as true as he can to Leonard’s vision and storytelling style.

“Ultimately I look at this show as Elmore Leonard’s show, and we’re all in service of him and his view and his way of writing and creating these characters,” Yost tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “So whatever feels like it works within that world is something we’re open to.”

Set in Harlan County, Ky., which is coal mining country, the story revolves around two men who have known each other since they were in the mines together as teens: Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, and Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. Raylan is now a deputy U.S. marshal and Boyd is an outlaw whose criminal activities include robbing banks. Raylan wants to move to Florida to reconnect with his ex-wife and their 5-month-old child, but first he wants to bring Boyd down, which means catching him when he pulls off his next heist.

The show is violent, but Yost says he and the writers have to walk a line to keep the network happy.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Olyphant, left) meets with security expert Ty Walker (Garret Dillahunt, center) and gangster Avery Markham (Sam Elliott). Yost says the show is violent but it can’t be too violent because of the network’s parameters.
Byron Cohen/FX
“Elmore’s world is a violent world,” he says. “In the best Elmore scenes, you think that something is either going to take a hard turn into romance and some kind of liaison, or it’s going to take it the other way and go into violence. There’s often something oddly humorous about the violence in Elmore’s movies and in his books.”

The show relies so heavily on Leonard’s vision that Yost says fans who want a peek into how the show might end should read Leonard’s works.

“Not because that will tell you how the series will end,” he says, “but because it’s always a good idea to read some Elmore Leonard. But there is, in his world, a certain way of ending things, and we aim for that.”


Precipitation forecast through mid April for Colorado and information on the California drought

The precipitation forecast for the next 15 days is neither encouraging or completely dismal. While the heaviest precipitation will likely stay to our north and our east, there are signs that we’ll see another storm or two through the first half of April.


Information from a recent scientific paper that attempts to explain the California drought and the state’s increased risk of drought due to warmer temperatures.

The title of the paper is “Anthropogenic warming has increased drought risk in California” and is freely available to read here: http://m.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/23/1422385112.full.pdf

Below copied relevant passages from the text of the study and tried to display them in an order that honestly and quickly summaries the paper:

California ranks first in the United States in population, economic activity, and agricultural value.

California is currently in the midst of a multi-year drought. The event encompasses the lowest calendar-year and 12-month precipitation on record, and almost every month between December 2011 and September 2014 exhibited multiple indicators of drought.

Although precipitation deficits are a prerequisite for the moisture deficits that constitute “drought” (by any definition), elevated temperatures can greatly amplify evaporation, thereby increasing overall drought intensity and impact.

Temperature is especially important in California, where water storage and distribution systems are critically dependent on winter/spring snowpack, and excess demand is typically met by groundwater withdrawal.
The impacts of runoff and soil moisture deficits associated with warm temperatures can be acute, including enhanced wildfire risk, land subsidence from excessive groundwater withdrawals, decreased hydropower production, and damage to habitat of vulnerable riparian species.

Because California’s dry season occurs during the warm, summer months, soil moisture loss through evapotranspiration is typically high—meaning that soil moisture deficits that exist at the beginning of the dry season are exacerbated by the warm conditions that develop during the dry season, as occurred during the summers of 2013 and 2014.

While a recent report by Seager et al. (30) found no significant long-term trend in winter precipitation in California during the 20th and early 21st centuries, which is consistent with our findings…

…we found that the probability that below normal precipitation co-occurs with warmer than average temperatures has increased recently, with warm+dry years occurring more than twice as often in the past two decades as in the preceding century.
Although there is clearly value in understanding possible changes in precipitation, our results highlight the fact that efforts to understand drought without examining the role of temperature miss a critical contributor to drought risk.

Analyzing historical climate observations from California, we find that precipitation deficits in California were more than twice as likely to yield drought years if they occurred when conditions were warm.

Indeed, our results show that even in the absence of trends in mean precipitation, or trends in the occurrence of extremely low-precipitation events, the risk of severe drought in California has already increased due to extremely warm conditions induced by anthropogenic global warming.

Climate model experiments … reveal that human activities have increased the probability that dry precipitation years are also warm.

Further, a large ensemble of climate model realizations reveals that additional global warming over the next few decades is very likely to create ∼100% probability that any annual-scale dry period is also extremely warm.

Numerous paleoclimate records also suggest that the region has experienced multi-decadal periods in which most years were in a drought state, albeit less acute than the current California event. Although multi-decadal ocean variability was a primary cause of the mega-droughts of the last millennium, the emergence of a condition in which there is ∼100% probability of an extremely warm year substantially increases the risk of prolonged drought conditions in the region.

Explanation of the last bullet point: There have been big droughts in the past 500-1000 years, and these droughts were caused by natural, non-human factors. But, the recent warming of the earth, most likely caused at least in part by humans, shifts the probabilities toward drought in California, simply because of the warmer temperatures.

So what does all of this mean?

While years with low precipitation in California do not seem to be on the increase, and are not forecasted to increase during the coming decades, it is clear that temperatures have increased and are forecasted to continue to increase. This increase in temperatures increases the risk of drought because it strains water supplies due to more evaporation and faster snow melt (or more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow).

To be clear, this paper is NOT saying that there will be less precipitation in California in our future climate, but simply that, due to warmer temperatures, the risk of drought has and will increase.

open snow