Face Mask or Ass Face

Yes, I know the face mask debate is a tired topic. But the CDC last week released a statement saying masks may be our best protection from Coronavirus, even better than a vaccine.

What’s so annoying, is this isn’t new information. We already know masks are more effective than an a vaccine because they work on everyone. That is everyone that have it over their mouth and nose and not just around their neck while they shop at Home Depot.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe in science, or you’re a conspiracy theory QAnon nut job. You can’t have it both ways. It’s a naturally occurring airborne pathogen, or a Chinese bioweapon. Take your pick, but either way, you should be wearing a mask if you want to end this god damn pandemic and return to normal.

Return to Tomales Bay

We were back in Tomales Bay this weekend for more kayaking. This time we stayed in Dillon Beach at a little one-bedroom cottage we rented a few blocks from the beach.

We dropped the boats in where Tomales Bay meets the Pacific Ocean at a private RV park called Lawson’s Landing. This place is unique in that it’s the only place one can see rednecks and Trump supporters in Marin County.

When we arrived the night before, we got news Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died. So seeing all that trash whooping it up was all the more disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong. I love camping, and I own a camper, but RV’ing is not camping. It’s a trailer park flash mob. I admit it. I hate being around rednecks. They can’t have a good unless it’s ruining someone else’s good time. Everything they bring has a 2-cycle engine and requires gas. So they’re stinking up the place and drowning out everyone else’s music. If I didn’t give a shit about the environment, I’d invent a diesel powered Bluetooth speaker that belches black smoke to Uncle Cracker.

Back in the boats, life was good again. Low-tide was ending and all the clammers were heading back to shore. We crossed the boat channel and careened along the coves of Point Reyes before heading back against the tide and wind. It took about three times longer to cover the same distance. Still, totally worth it. All morning we were surrounded by seals and brown pelicans. No shark sightings, which was a little disappointing.

After kayaking, we packed a picnic with Caprese sandwiches and cold beers. Then we just chilled on the beach for a couple hours. You know, like a couple of boogie lib yuppies.

For dinner we drove down to Nick’s Cove. We met up with some friends and their 11-week old American Bully puppy – Bear. There was a perfect sunset, followed by just a sliver of moon. A great night to see the Milky Way. We closed Nick’s and drove back up Highway 1 in the dark. A totally different experience from driving it during the day.

AQI

I have a headache and my chest hurts this morning. I can only surmise it’s due to the poor air quality we’re currently experiencing. It’s that, or I am having a psychosomatic reaction to knowing how bad the air quality rating is. Right now, it’s at 175, which is considered pretty bad. There’s a prediction it could get up to 400, which is really really bad. Anything over 100 is unhealthy.

This is all being caused by the raging wildfires all over the west. We’re just not getting past all the fires burning in the Bay Area. Last I checked the SCU fire that was just a few miles from us is contained, but not completely out. That’s pretty crazy seeing as it started nearly a month ago. 

The current fires contributing to the poor air quality, and the orange skies earlier this week are way up north in the Mendocino National forrest. That fire, has surpassed, in size, the fires down here. The fires down here were ranked 2nd and 3rd largest in California history. It looks like one or both of those will be broken. Not anything to be proud of.

That’s just California. Washington and Oregon are suffering immensely as well. Over a half million people are under an evacuation warning in Oregon. That’s insane. I’m used to fires down here, I’ve never really seen anything like this up there. 

A couple years ago, I read a book called “The Big Burn” by Tim Egan. The book tells the story of a massive fire that destroyed forests spanning Washington, Idaho and Montana in August of 1910. Similar to this year’s fire, they were made worse by super dry conditions and strong winds. 

The book not only tells the story of the firefight, but how it influenced Teddy Roosevelt to focus more on preservation of the forests instead of caving to the industries that wanted to clear cut them. 

The fire burned over 3 million acres and killed 78 people. Here’s the link to the book if you’re interested.

It’s a really good book. I’m surprised it was never made into a movie. Give it time, I guess.

Laurie Kilmartin

Back in 2019 when live comedy was still a thing. I booked and produced a show at Crooked Vine Winery featuring comedian and writer Laurie Kilmartin. She is one of the funniest comedian around, hands down.

I had been producing comedy shows in the Bay Area for about a year, booking local comics. Once I got the hang of it, I decided to reach out to one of my favorites. I think I first saw Laurie on Conan O’Brien where she is also a writer for the show.

We couldn’t have asked for a better night for the show. The weather was terrific. We had two amazing food trucks and everyone who performed has the audience laughing their ass off.

I don’t have any video I can share, but trust me, it was awesome.

The highlight for me was getting to hang out with Laurie the next day as I gave her a ride to the airport.

  • Austin Blaylock, Me, Laurie, and Samson Koletkar
  • Laurie…murdering
  • Samson
  • Austin
  • Fans

Hi-atus

I know it’s coming up on a year since I last posted something. Not for a lack of having anything to say, as much as inertia. So here’s a big post in terms of bandwidth, not necessarily content.

August 2020 was a blur. It started out pretty low-key. We went kayaking up in Tomales Bay and stayed at Nick’s Cove. It was a great relaxing weekend, just the kind of break we needed to prepare ourselves for plagues 6 and 7 of 2020.

  • Loaded up the new Outback with the Kayaks
  • Nick’s waterfront cabins
  • All the big names
  • Boat house
  • Hog Island in the fog
  • Hog Island of oyster fame, in the morning
  • Tomales Bay

What started as an unpleasant heatwave – temps around 105-110 range became a local blackout. For us, it wasn’t a rolling blackouts like the rest of the state. The substation in our town had a massive failure. So we checked into a hotel. The next morning we woke up to a lightning storm right out of Ghostbusters.

In about an hour, there were over 12,000 lightning strikes. Many of them set off fires that are still burning, having claimed 1.6 million acres and counting.

The SCU Lightning Complex fire has the dubious distinction of being the 2nd largest fire in California history, and the one closest to where I live.

At one point we were 1 mile from the evacuation zone. I live in town, far from nature, so wildfires didn’t used to be a concern for me. Ever since Santa Rosa in 2017, all bets are off.

The skies and air quality has been improving. Today feels kind of normal. A week ago, we had one of the worst AQI scores in the world at 300. It was the worst I’ve seen, and I’ve been to Delhi, India in October.

Today a friend asked how we were doing with the fires. I told him it looks like we’re out of the woods for now, because, after all these fires, I think California is out of woods.

  • First signs of smoke from the SCU fire, 10 miles away.
  • Mount Diablo in the distance
  • Smoke from the LZU complex fire 50 miles north
  • Sunset under cloud of smoke.
  • Vineyards of Concannon
  • AQI 300+
  • 1 week of fires
  • Scorched earth at Sycamore Grove
  • Burned hill where I mountain bike weekly.