Thursday, December 31, 2009

SmokeysMountain Isn't The Smoky Mountains

I found this post on one of the blogs that I follow called The Smoky Mountain hiking blog..    Obviously not a local story but a comparison story on how different things are in the Smoky Mountains compaired to SmokeysMountain(Diablo)...Finally, the bear warnings for the Little River Trail have been removed. The bear activity warning had been posted on the Little River Trail for several months this year, and was the last of six trails that had bear warnings during the year.

Also, several backcountry campsites and shelters have been re-opened or have had posted warnings removed in recent weeks.

Back in October there were 5 backcountry campsites and shelters that were closed, in addition to at least 18 that had posted warnings. There were also six trails at that time that had warnings as well.
...    What a different kind of place that is than this...California sure has been tamed over the years....I just thought it was an interesting comparison...Notice how they describe the differences between the Griz and the Black on  the green warning sign ...

Tonite There Will Be A Blue New Years Moon !

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!     Once in a Blue Moon... We have all heard the old saying but here is what it refers to... A Blue Moon isn't really blue at all that is just the term which describes the second full moon in one calender  month...This only happens every couple of years hence the saying...So keep your eyes on the sky as you Celebrate New Years Eve tonight because tonight's Blue Moon will be most viewable in the final hours of 2009!!!   Send "your" cool pics of tonight's Blue Moon to

The Sea Lions Arent Gone ! They Just Went To Moss Landing...

As many as 1000 Sea Lions were counted at Moss Landing ...While we are relieved to still see them they are not really a welcome addition to the Marina there... They are posing a problem for fishermen as the are taking the fish from their nets and taking over the Docks...Marine biologists say the Lions will likely leave in the spring in search of more food...

EartQuake in Brentwood This Morning at 6;01AM

This morning my wife felt a little shaker and she went to the computer and checked the USGS and sure enough there was an EarthQuake this morning with the epicenter just 15 miles from Concord ...Click HERE for the USGS details on the Quake...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

10 EarthQuakes in the Last Ten Minutes

They have been shakin all day down in Mexicali ...Click Here to view them on the USGS site Click the red squares to view the most recent ones and see the data    Earth Quakes Today In California  

A Late Evening Ride up hwy 49 Last Night at 11PM

Here is a posting from the Sierra City web site posted last night at 1;30am during the snow storm up there...If you are familliar with the Sierra City area then you can picture the beautiful scenery described here by these lucky locals......a late evening ride up hwy 49 last night at 11PM,,,. Except for the CalTrans crews there was not much traffic out. We did find and assist one motorist stuck in the snow bank on that slippery corner just west of the Yuba Pass. We were slipping and sliding around (laughing) trying to keep afoot while hooking up the tow rope. We got them back on the road with no damages and followed them down the road as far as Bassetts. It continued to snow constantly all evening covering the trees and giving the landscape that fresh, sparkling glow.

Several cars were parked at Haskell, Green Acres, and a few at Clark Station. Boot tracks left ample evidence of the hearty souls up to enjoy the winter wonderland. Cabin lights back in the trees through the falling snow gave the whole scene a look that even Norman Rockwell would have enjoyed. What a great start to 2010. Life is Good.

East Bay Park District Exceeds 100,000 Acres

Click on the picture for the Story about East Bay Parks exceeding 100,000 Acres...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dive with Great White Sharks??? Seriously

Since 2002 Shark Diver has been thrilling shark fans from all over the planet with “Safe and Sane” shark encounters with the world’s top shark species.

Divers and non divers seeking out the grand daddy of shark diving, the Great White, can join the Shark Diver crew in San Diego, California from August through October aboard some of the top shark diving vessels in the industry.

“It’s all about providing a once in a lifetime personal experience for our clients” . “About 20% of our divers are booked as the ultimate gift by spouses and family members, these family members end up having the time of their lives.”

Gifting adventure travel has increased dramatically since 2003. According to The Adventure Travel Report “one-half of U.S. adults, or 98 million people, have taken an adventure trip in the past five years. This includes 31 million adults who engaged in hard adventure activities like whitewater rafting, scuba diving and mountain biking.”

For more information:

Shark Diver: 415.235.9410

Image Credit: Juanmi Almay

The Gunfight on Pinole Creek

One of the most desperate gunfights in old Contra Costa occurred in 1867. A Chileno, Narato Ponce, was a notorious East Bay thug, murderer and horse thief. Shot nearly to pieces by Sheriff Morse in a bloody gun battle at the present intersection of Highway 580 and Tassajara Road, Ponce fled on foot into the Black Hills of Contra Costa. Ponce was bleeding badly from 13 buckshot and three pistol balls. The Governor of California, Frederick Low, placed a $500 bounty on Ponce’s head. Sheriff Henry Classen of Contra Costa assigned George Swain to assist the Alameda Sheriff, Henry Morse, to run Narato Ponce down.
In the Black Hills an old man was discovered who had tended the wounded Ponce. Treated to some tough, third degree questioning, the law officers learned that Narato Ponce was hiding somewhere near Pinole on San Pablo Bay. The lawmen began systematically searching the scattered adobes dotting Pinole Valley. At the upper end of the canyon was the jacal of Jose Rojas located next to Pinole Creek. Swain spotted a man half buried in the adobe floor beneath a bed. Seeing the glint of a pistol barrel Swain hastily retreated through the front door pulling his six-gun. Ponce closely followed brandishing a revolver. Swain turned and snapped off the first shot which missed. John Conway, an Oakland policeman, fired his Spencer rifle but also missed. More shots were fired as Ponce ran up the canyon.
Sheriff Morse was on the opposite side of the rain swollen Pinole Creek. Firing his Henry rifle – Morse missed three times confused by Ponce's flapping sarape. But Conway's Spencer rifle finally found its mark shattering the outlaw’s right hand. Cornered, the killer stepped to the edge of the creek, and took careful aim at Sheriff Morse with a six-gun in his left hand. Morse squeezed the trigger of his Henry rifle a split second before Ponce. The desperado fell face first into the mud. Shot through the abdomen, Narato Ponce was dead within five minutes. A coroner’s jury of four Anglos and two Hispanics ruled the shooting was justified.
The affair was warmly applauded by the entire law-abiding community of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. And coming so soon on the heels of an earlier gunfight with Narciso Bojorques, Sheriff Morse now enjoyed a nearly legendary, fearsome reputation among the remaining Bay Area gunslingers and killers...         I found this at  Contra Costa History

Sherrif Morse,George Swain and The Black Hills Of Contra Costa

George Swain was one of the best Contra Costa lawman during its bloody, frontier era. As a young man, he began his turbulent career fighting the rustlers preying on the thousands of cattle roaming the vast John Marsh rancho. Swain could outshoot, outride and out rope most of the native born Californios. Sheriff Morse described him as " a brave and thoroughly reliable officer,…always be depended upon to do his full duty when in a tight place."
In 1866 one famous episode clearly shows George Swain’s courage and pluck. One of the nastiest cattle thieves in the East Bay was Eduardo Gallego. He boasted that that "no white man could take him." Tipped off that the fugitive could be found in a jacal at the foot of Mount Diablo, George Swain and his brother David met up with Sheriff Morse in Dublin. The bandits, Pancho Caravantes and Pancho Ruiz, another escapee from the Contra Costa County jail, were also rumored to be hiding with Gallego. Boldly plunging deep into the Contra Costa wilderness of the Black Hills, the tiny posse unexpectedly stumbled on a band of 30 heavily armed vaqueros mounting up to go on another raid. Spotting Gallego among them, the quick thinking George Swain made use of the element of surprise. He galloped out of the brush, put a six gun to Gallego’s head, and disarmed him of his knife and Navy Colt revolver. Suddenly handcuffed and shackled to his horse, Gallego was quickly whisked away before his companions could react.

In July 1866 George Swain again had the opportunity to prove his mettle. Tracking two outlaws and cattle rustlers, Juan Robles and Jesus Cruz, to a hideout in the Black Hills near Mount Diablo, Swain surprised them sitting around a camp fire. Instantly George covered them with his Winchester while Sheriff Morse slapped handcuffs on them. The cattle were recovered and returned to their Contra Costa owner.

"Grizzly Adams" on MT.Diablo?

Here is a cool Local Legendary Figure ! You may remember the legendary Grizzly Adams from the popular TV show in the 70s... His Character was played by Dan Haggerty  portraying a burly thick bearded mountain man who had a Grizzly as a friend ...What you may not know about John Adams, better known as 'Grizzly' Adams, is that he actually roamed the Contra Costa wilderness during 1854-55. He is remembered as one of the strangest characters that the Old West ever spawned.
Born in 1812 in Massachusetts, Adams was an adventurous lad exploring the swamps and woodlands of his home. But serious injuries suffered at the jaws of a circus tiger forced him into the boring life of a village bootmaker. In 1849 the call of gold proved stronger than family or friends. Adams quickly abandoned his home and headed for California seeking a fortune and the spice of adventure.
Once in the far West, Grizzly Adams made and lost at least three personal fortunes. Adams found digging for gold, farming and ranching less appealing than living as a professional hunter. Also known as the 'Wild Yankee', John 'Grizzly' Adams developed a fearsome reputation as a killer of grizzlies. More than once he survived hand to hand combat with the giant beasts. He always carried a huge bowie knife. This was a wise precaution for it saved his life several times.
Eventually Grizzly began earning money trapping bears and selling them for use in exhibits and bear & bull fights. Two huge grizzlies, 'Ben Franklin' and 'Lady Washington,' were raised from cubs and were his favorite companions. These magnificent creatures followed him everywhere like giant dogs enhancing his legendary status among even the hardest-to-impress frontiersmen.
On expeditions to the Humboldt Mountains in Nevada and the Rockies, Grizzly Adams hunted buffalo, bear and collected furs. He also brought back live bears, wolves and pumas to California for sale and exhibitions.
By late 1854 Grizzly had abandoned the gold fields of the Sierra Nevada's. Adams found the poorly explored, hot, brushy Coast Ranges of California a paradise for bears, pumas, deer and even an occasional jaguar. He established a permanent hunting camp in the isolated Corral Hollow area of eastern Alameda County at the very edge of the San Joaquin Valley. From his base camp Grizzly Adams would often hunt on Mount Diablo and its Contra Costa foothills, a wilderness rich in elk, deer, bears and mountain lions.
Like so much of the Old West, Grizzly Adams was a mass of contradictions. He loved adventure but after being mauled by a Bengal tiger as a young man, he spent most of his life as a simple cobbler. Adams made his reputation killing grizzlies but deeply loved his many grizzly pets and companions. The 'Wild Yankee' delighted in telling "whoppers" to the incredulous public but some of his wildest tales turned out to be true. In the end his death by a monkey was as strange as his life as both a killer and friend of his ferocious bears.This Historic account of John Adams  can be found at Contra Costa History...

Re: Mountain Lions

Here is an old comment I found,,,I used to work in Muir Woods, and I got really tired of all the city folk from around the world freaking out when they heard that Mt. Lions had been sighted in the area, so I did a bit of research. I looked up the list of all the reported mountain lion attacks in the state of California back to the turn of the last century, and compared it to a list of homicides and violent crimes in the state for the same period. Guess what? We should have posted a sign as they left the park: "Warning: You are now leaving Mountain Lion Habitat (You are about 27 thousand times more likely to be killed by a human than a Mountain Lion, and about 400 thousand times more likely to be violently attacked by a human)"....This posting courtesy of Jeff...

Mountain Lion Kills Big Dog

This is not a local story but I found it to be an interesting I witness account... “Bubba” was killed by a mountain lion outside Tara Haymond's back door in Gypsum around 2 a.m. Sunday. The dog was about 150 pounds and “abnormally large for a Great Pyrenees,” Haymond said. Haymond also has a large, orange-and-white barn cat that went missing a few days ago.
...GYPSUM, Colorado — Tara Haymond woke up at 2 a.m. Sunday to the sound of Bubba, her 150-pound Great Pyrenees dog, crying.
“I thought I better tell him to be quiet so he wouldn't bother the neighbor,” she said.
She opened the sliding door next to the bed and discovered a mountain lion on top of Bubba.
“There is nothing in anybody that would prepare them to find that,” she said.
The 47-year-old grabbed a shotgun but couldn't find ammunition, so she started hitting the cougar with the gun.
“The cat didn't even flinch,” she said. “Then I realized the cat might hurt me so I stopped. I guess I might be lucky in that way.”
Her husband was home and she also called a neighbor and Eagle County Sheriff's deputies to the scene, which is near the Sky Legend neighborhood at Gypsum's Cotton Ranch development.
The cougar was still on the dog when they arrived and didn't move until the sheriff fired on it several times, Haymond said.
Bubba was still suffering, however, so the sheriff put him down as well at the owners' request.
The deputy was unavailable for comment.
According to John Grove with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the mountain lion was young — about nine months to a year old — and it was very skinny. Probably it was sick or starving or both, which could result in such atypical behavior as attacking an animal in a populated area. Since this was an anomaly, residents shouldn't be overly worried about any more “aggressive” animals in the area, Grove said.

Where Are All The Sea Lions ?

One of the top tourist attractions in SF has vanished? The executive director of the marine mamil center says that back in October he counted l over 1700 sea lions at pier 39...The marine mamil center says that these are migratory animals and we shouldn't be so shocked... Sometimes they go to the channel islands about 350 miles from here but Aquarium officials aren't so sure...In the past there has been an abundance of herring and other food for them in the harbor..They say that there is a shortage of food in the bay and that may be why they have disappeared as they will  go where the food is....As far as the tourists go they dont seem too worried about why ,but they are a bit disappointed to not see them

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mountain Lions and Our Mountain

The animal population I am most frequently asked about is that of the mountain lion, also called the puma or cougar. There are twenty-seven different subspecies. The local variety is one of the largest subspecies, but it has become extinct in may of the areas where it once thrived. It would not be entirely accurate to say that there is a mountain lion population on Mount Diablo. Lions have been known to range over 20 miles in one night. They use Mount Diablo as part of their range.
No other animal presents a stronger case for the importance of wildlife corridors, such as the one connecting Mount Diablo with Morgan Territory park, and with Black Diamond Mines Regional Park.Over the years, there have been many mountain lion sightings. Here's a glimpse of a few recent ones: a very large, dark-colored mountain lion was seen on Mount Diablo in the Pine Canyon area; a mountain lion and cub tracks appeared around my photography blind while I slept one night in 1989 on Mount Diablo, and; a mountain lion and cub (I believe the same pair) were spotted a few weeks later near Danville. Still another sighting of an adolescent occurred on the road near Juniper campground in 1990. All three of these young lion sightings were probably the same lion. I also got a fleeting glimpse of an adult last year in the Morgan Territory area. Based on these sightings and others, I believe a handful of mountain lions use Mount Diablo as part of their range. While it may be true that Mount Diablo is the most important part of their range, without corridors to other protected lands, they will probably not survive in the area.
This material was excerpted from an article written by Michael Sewell for the 1991 Spring edition of the Mount Diablo Review. Mr. Sewell is a licensed wildlife guide specializing in wildlife photography trips.

Salmon Fishing in Concord?

Here is an interesting post I found at the Outdoors Forum Board from way back in 2006 its an interesting tale of the local Salmon Run here in Concord ...By Denis Cuff

It might sound like a fish tale: a lot of big salmon swimming past shopping carts to travel up the heavily urbanized Walnut Creek flood channel.
But a state agency is a believer. In fact, the Department of Fish and Game is going to propose letting people keep one or two salmon legally caught in the lower creek, agency officials say.
Anglers now can catch salmon, but they're required to throw them back.
Department officials say they're willing to consider relaxing the catch-and-release restriction in light of interest from anglers and hefty salmon runs during fall and early winter the past three or four years.
"There isn't any environmental benefit to stop people from harvesting fish in this area," said Kevan Urquhart, the department's fishery supervisor for the Central Coast region. "It would expand fishing opportunities."
Salmon have limited places to spawn in Walnut Creek because the fish rarely can jump over a flood control structure near Willow Pass Road in Concord.
As a result, removing some fish shouldn't damage their population, Urquhart said.
There would be one catch to the proposal, however.
Anglers could catch fish before Dec. 1 each season, but not afterward. That would prevent people from mistakenly keeping or injuring steelhead trout, a threatened species known to swim up Walnut Creek.
Local fishermen had mixed feelings about a rule change.
David McCants of Pleasant Hill said he fears allowing harvesting would wipe out the Walnut Creek salmon run.
"It's a bad idea," said McCants, a fly-tying instructor with the Diablo Valley Fly Fishermen. "You have a very large population of people in the area, and a small urban stream. I fear you'd deplete the stock in no time."
McCants predicted poaching would increase.
He said some anglers already illegally catch fish with nets or treble hooks in violation of a rule that allows fishing only by barbless hooks there.
Jim Turner of Concord agreed poaching is a problem, but added that he doesn't think it would get worse if anglers kept a fish or two.
"It would be nice to take home a fish once in a while," Turner said.
The fish in the creek die quickly after spawning, he said.
Nicole Kozicki, a state fish and game warden from Contra Costa County, said she doesn't think poaching would be worsened. Her department would continue to patrol the creek for rule violations.
She called the current poaching problem moderate, not huge.
"I think you're giving more opportunity to fishermen," Kozicki said. "Some people like catch-and-release fishing, but then there is the guy who would like to take a fish home to eat."
Fish and Game Department fishery managers and wardens intend to draw up the rule change in time for a vote this summer by the state Fish and Game Commission.
If approved, the rule would be in place in time for anglers to keep some salmon when they arrive in fall 2007.
The state doesn't do fish counts for Walnut Creek, but Jim Hale, a local biologist, estimates that 3,000 salmon came up Walnut Creek in the past season, and more than 10,000 the season before that.
Most of Walnut Creek salmon are strays or hatchery fish, Urquhart said.
But several local anglers say they've seen salmon laying eggs in creek gravel.
"You've definitely got wild fish returning to the creek where they hatched," McCants said. "It's a nice little place to fish. We should protect it."....
  Currently Salmon fishing is not permitted at all in California...So the numbers are most likely increasing and there are right now quite a few thousand very large  salmon making their way home to Concord for the holidays...

Owls don’t give frequent flyer miles

I found this story this morning and I thought I would post it for you...Sadie, a Pomeranian, flew when she was snatched by a great horned owl in Davenport, Iowa. According to the Quad-City Times, the owl took the small dog after Sadie was frightened by fireworks and fled into woods. She was carried for more than 20 blocks before the owl lost its grip and Sadie fell to the ground. Fortunately, Sadie suffered only minor physical injuries — a broken tail and minor bruising. A driver saw a dog falling from the sky, got out of her car, and grabbed Sadie before the owl could. Sadie was reunited with her owner.

Great horned owls are one of the largest and most widespread North American owls and hunt from perches by diving down to the ground or by gliding slowly over the ground. The prey is usually killed quickly when grasped by the owl’s large talons. Great horned owls may take prey up to three times heavier than its size.These large Raptors are in your neighborhood as well and if you live in a wooded area I am sure you are aware of them and may have even heard them at night...courtesy of the Alberta Tribune...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Get Out There And Catch Your Christmas Rainbows

This is a Great time to take the kids to Contra Loma Reservoir in Antioch ! Or maybe just a drive out there by yourself for a few and cast out a line...However you decide to,,this is a good time to go and get yourself a nice big fresh Christmas Rainbow Trout... The week before Christmas, the East Bay Regional Park District planted an additional 4,000 pounds of extra large rainbow trout at Lake Del Valle in Livermore, Quarry Lakes in Fremont, Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton, Contra Loma in Antioch and Lake Temescal in Oakland. According to the Park District Fisheries Program Manager, Pete Alexander, this plant from the Desert Springs Trout Farm in Oregon contains a wonderful strain of rainbow trout with bright colors, pink meat and great fighting ability. The trout will range from 1.5 to 4.5 pounds each. In addition to these trout, Shadow Cliffs, Quarry Lakes and Temescal will be receiving rainbow trout from the California Dept. of Fish & Game Urban Fishing Program.

Is Christmas for Everyone?

Recently the mayor of Claycord posted about Christmas for Everyone and how they were able to Bless the less fortunate of our community inspite of their recent Christmas burglaries... After reading some of the harsh comments posted by members of this community about the over population of drunkards at the park there... I am re-posting this story as it is easy to become hardened to the homeless of Concord by the sights we all see around the Claycord area..I am referring to the 13 Drunkards of Claycord and the likes of course ...Those guys have been harassing and loitering for years and years but they do not represent the homeless population in Concord...Though they do not have homes most of them,,,they are something else entirely...No, here is the face of Concord's homeless ...Just a guy trying to stay out of sight as he pushes and drags everything he has in the world up and down a local street here in Concord. I don't know his story,but I do know that it is important not to forget the less fortunate as we head into the Holiday Season this year..So let's all not let the 13 Drunkards cloud the Issue ... Homeless people exist here in our city and I do not have a solution to this problem...However Kindness and Generosity to those who actually are genuinely in need goes a long way... Remember , its getting colder at night.....Smokey...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

150 years after the Coal

Native Americans have lived in the greater Bay Area for thousands of years. Black Diamond was located in the back country between three tribes: Chupcan (Concord), Volvon (Clayton) and Ompin (Pittsburg). All three nations spoke the Bay Miwok language. With the arrival of Spanish, Mexican and American settlers after 1772, the Bay Miwok way of life changed rapidly. ...In 1859 coal is discovered north of Clayton. For a time it is the chief source of fuel for manufacturing on the west coast. The two towns of Somersville and Nortonville ultimately included about 1,000 residents each and became ghost towns around 1885...From the 1860s through the turn of the last century, five coal mining towns thrived in the Black Diamond area: Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartville, West Hartley and Judsonville. As the location of California's largest coal mining operation, nearly four million tons of coal ("black diamonds") were removed from the earth. The residents of the mining towns were from all over the world, and their life was characterized by hard work and long hours. Occasional celebrations and a variety of organizations and social activities served to alleviate the drudgery of daily existence. .. ..Until the discovery of coal, cattle ranching was the major industry in this area. After the mines closed, some miners found a new career in ranching. Abandoned mining town buildings became barns, railroad ties were used as fence posts, and boilers were converted into water troughs. Descendants of original mining families still graze cattle in the Preserve.The current population of Antioch Ca. is one hundred thousand  two hundred nineteen .courtesy of the history of mt.diablo/

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Greatest Story EVER !

And it came to pass that in those days , there went out a decree from Caesar Agustus that all should be taxed.  And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city...
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house of lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child...
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for him in the inn.
And there were in the same country the shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round bout them: and they were sore afraid...

And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people...For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even into Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the lord hath made known unto us...
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.
courtesy of the King James Bible Luke  2; 1-16...   Happy Birthday Jesus !

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Borge's Sleigh Rides, Stateline, Nevada

Being one of the top 5 sleigh rides in the country this is a Lake Tahoe tradition... Family owned and operated for more than 30 years, Borges Sleigh Rides in Lake Tahoe, Nevada takes you on an exciting ride in one of five different handcrafted sleighs... The sleighs range in size from a cozy two-seater to a party-sized 20 seater... Blankets are provided to keep you snugly and warm... Choose a 30-minute or hour-long ride, but either way, don't forget to take your camera to capture the memories and the views...courtesy of

Borge's Sleigh Rides
P.O. Box 5905
Stateline, Nevada 89449
775-588-2953 or 800-726-RIDE

Honey Baked Ham is Selling Fast

If you have seen Christmas with the Kranks then you are familiar with the holiday rush on the Honey Baked Ham that happens right about now!...The Honey Baked Ham store  downtown on Galindo  was doing some kinda business today !!! As I drove by the store about an hour ago There was a line of folks out the door and way down into the parking lot ...For those of you that still need to go and get yours,,,you better boogie ! ..MERRY CHRISTMAS   NORA !..

1985 One Of The The Worst Years In Aviation History

In 1985 as we know there was a plane that crashed into the SunValley mall killing 7 and injuring more than 80 people... This tragedy was something that will always be remembered by locals here as a very dark day in Concord... What many of us may have not known or perhaps forgotten is that 1985 was a horrific year in the skies for aviation all around the globe that year having claimed One Thousand forty nine lives in seven major plane crashes including 248 American airborne soldiers

The year 1985 was the one of the worst years on record in aviation safety circles. The year kicked off January 1st with the loss of an Eastern Airlines plane with 29 passengers and crew aboard. Then, three weeks later, a Lockheed Electra chartered from Galaxy Airlines crashed near Reno, NV, killing 70 of the 71 aboard. In May of that year, two Soviet aircraft, a airliner and a military transport, collided in flight and killed 94 people. And in June, a terrorist bomb destroyed an Air India 747 off of Ireland, killing all 329 aboard.

In fact, on August 12th of 1985, the worst single-airplane accident in aviation history occurred when a Japan Air Lines 747 suffered an explosive decompression while climbing through 23,000 feet. The failure of the rear pressure bulkhead caused a portion of the vertical stabilizer to be blown away, rupturing all four main hydraulic fluid lines. Controlling the aircraft solely by engine thrust, the crew was attempting to return to Tokyo when the aircraft clipped one mountain ridge, flew across a valley, and impacted a second mountain approximately 400 feet from the summit. Of the 524 aboard, 520 perished in the crash.

Lastly, on December 12th, a chartered Arrow Air DC-8 crashed just after takeoff off from Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, killing 256 people, 248 of which were soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division. One would hope for a quiet holiday season in the aviation industry. However, on the 23rd of December, only two days before Christmas, tragedy struck again.

... ...Click HERE to read more @ Check

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Star Gazers on the Sierra Buttes

Last summer while in Sierra City I noticed a flyer at the local swimming hole that was titled "Star Gazers on the Buttes" it said that Bay Area students from SF State University as well as various professors would be aiming their Hi-Tech Telescopes at the sky at the Packer Saddle area which I was familiar with having been all over that mountain growing up...As we arrived up on the mountain we saw many different sizes and shapes of telescopes all being prepared by college students and their teachers...  Above is a shot of the sunset view from the Packer Saddle staging area that evening...Just about at dark I was talking with a man from Moraga who had a very interesting looking telescope and offered to show me the planet Saturn...Wow was that cool ! I had never seen Saturn with the naked eye only in pictures before this and to see it from the top of the Sierra Buttes was a real treat ... Pictured here is my son looking at Saturn as well ...


The East Bay Regional Park District employs approximately two-dozen interns each year in a variety of internship projects in most of the nine different District divisions.  Each project has a 375-hour maximum; may be 37.5 hours per week for 10 weeks; 30 hours per week for 12.5 weeks; or other schedule variation to meet project and student needs.  Questions may be directed to the District’s Internship Coordinator, Human Resources Officer Sonja Stanchina at (510) 544-2152 or

SF plant thought extinct found near Golden Gate

The last, wild Franciscan Manzanita was believed to have perished in the 1940s when the city cemeteries where it grew were moved south to allow for neighborhood expansion.
But when construction crews recently cleared eucalyptus trees in the city's Presidio area, it exposed the only specimen known to exist in the wild.
Botanist Daniel Gluesenkamp spotted the manzanita shrub in the Presidio, a federal park overseen by the National Park Service.
Gluesenkamp reportedly spotted the rare shrub, which he was familiar with through his scientific work, as he drove from the Golden Gate Bridge into the Presidio. He later visited the site to confirm his sighting — the first in nearly 70 years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Extra Large Rainbow Trout Coming THIS WEEK !!!

The week before Christmas, the East Bay Regional Park District will be planting an additional 4,000 pounds of extra large rainbow trout at Lake Del Valle in Livermore, Quarry Lakes in Fremont, Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton, Contra Loma in Antioch and Lake Temescal in Oakland. According to the Park District Fisheries Program Manager, Pete Alexander, this plant from the Desert Springs Trout Farm in Oregon contains a wonderful strain of rainbow trout with bright colors, pink meat and great fighting ability. The trout will range from 1.5 to 4.5 pounds each.  In addition to these trout, Shadow Cliffs, Quarry Lakes and Temescal will be receiving rainbow trout from the California Dept. of Fish & Game Urban Fishing Program.