There was the usual sensationalism about a big storm off the California coast, replete with the usual fabulous inaccuracies. Yes, it was a big storm, and all such storms are wondrous in their way, but there is no need to go completely off the deep end. “Reporting” has become synonymous with “a-tither”. It seems reporters fear they won’t get any attention if they report an “ordinary” majestic storm, and therefore need to bulge their blood vessels as they speak, and hop up and down. Unfortunately, when they behave in this way to excess, it has the effect of “the little boy who cried wolf”. People get jaded and stop paying attention even when reporters paint themselves red and do back-flips. It is a pity, for the majesty of a majestic storm ought to be appreciated.

The impressive image above is actually as the “bomb” has already started to weaken. It had been as low as 950 mb and in the above image it has already weakened to 961 mb. Also it was not going to charge ashore, but rather drift north, weakening further.

What was interesting to me was not the storm’s magnitude, but the fact it formed so far south. Such “bombs” are actually common further north, but few pay attention to them when they are far from centers of population. In the Pacific they tend to be categorized as “Aleutian” lows, and in the Atlantic as “Labrador” or “Icelandic” lows, and they are amazingly intense storms few notice but ships at sea and odd people like me. For example, here is a massive storm up north off Alaska in the Aleutians barely a week ago:

That is a 956 mb low, but did you see any headlines? Or how about this 954 mb Atlantic monster, currently rolling straight towards England with Hurricane force winds:

If the American media saw such a storm coming right at them they’d get blue in the face, but British phlegm apparently isn’t entirely extinct, or perhaps being fifteen degrees latitude north of California makes them more used to monster North Atlantic Storms. This one will likely curve north just as the one in California did, lashing the Outer Hebrides (which always get lashed.) Also one thing I have noticed about these brutes is that they tend to reach a climax out to sea, and usually weaken rapidly as they approach shore, and civilized areas. If they did not do so it is likely the civilized areas would not be civilized, for civil people would have decided to bail, and go civilize more congenial environments. In fact, at certain times in human history (for example during the Little Ice Age), a lot of people did decide to bail out, and migrate elsewhere, and one reason is that these monster storms did not stay off shore, and rampaged where they were not wanted.

The current storm off California is actually well behaved, and staying off shore, and when last I looked had weakened to 976 mb. However it did swing copious rains into California, which messed me up. Why? Because a certain “indicator” I was using to figure out my own weather, in the northeast of the United States, was “drought in California.” That “indicator” received a bullet between the eyes, because the drought is over and now they are fretting about floods.

O well. If you dabble with meteorology and are even remotely honest, you expect surprises. Only complete buffoons are “sure” about what the weather will be, and anyone who claims climatology is “settled science” is a bald-faced liar. The subject has so many variables that even variables have variables, and models run on billion dollar computers have to leave some variables out, or else their creators would have to build trillion dollar computers.

I’m not so rich, nor likely to become rich writing paragraphs like the above one. Such truth gets one shadow banned, if not censored. But I don’t dabble for the money. Even as a bum sleeping in my car I still scanned the clouds, and was thirsty for hints about the future.

With my “drought in California” indicator all shot full of holes, I have to turn to other “indicators”, and one is that the California “bomb” appeared so far south of the Aleutian islands. This indicates a huge shot of frigid Siberian air was sucked south and is chilling the Pacific Ocean. Not that the North Pacific is below normal, but the “warm blob” sea surface temperature anomaly in the North Pacific is no longer a cherry red, and in places is yellow, which is an anomaly close to normal:

Also, when the Pole is robbed of arctic air, plumes of milder air are sucked north to replace the departed air, and such plumes reach northward from both the Atlantic and Pacific side, currently.

While Alarmists tend to delight at “warm” invasions of the arctic, they fail to notice how swiftly the warmth in the above map is lost to outer space. (I guarantee you there will be little sign of the two plumes by next week’s map.) They also fail to notice the extreme cold is bumped off the Pole and displaced south to East Siberia and the Canadian Archipelago, where it is in a position to attack China and the United States. Lastly, they fail to calculate, in their “albedo” equations, snow falling far to the south of where it usually falls, where the sun is far stronger. “Albedo” doesn’t matter much north of the Arctic Circle, for the sun has set for the winter, but it does matter in more southern latitudes.

However the “indicator” I currently am falling back on has nothing to do with maps. It is a she. It is (or was) a chain-smoking cook and cleaning lady my parents employed back when we were rich, back before our troubles came. She was from Prince Edwards Island, and was more familiar with the wild nature of Labrador Lows than southern people, and would regale me with tales of how the winds would drift snow right over the tops of houses. On two occasions, when I was bewailing how snowless the Massachusetts winter was, she drew deeply on her cigarette, shook her head, and midst a cloud of exhaled smoke stated the warmth was likely a sign we were about to get buried. On both occasions she was proved correct. The years were 1967 and 1969, and the first saw, as I recall, a storm called “The Hundred Hour Snow”, and the second saw a duo of February storms build snows over three feet deep, in the suburbs of Boston; I recall it because in 1969 both storms were called once-every-hundred-year storms, and I didn’t know you could have two once-every-hundred-year storms in a single month. I also recall it taking a long time for a teenaged pal and myself to extract ourselves from a deep drift where we were wedged up to our armpits, after we dared each other to jump into it from a third story. Lastly, both events were preceded by remarkable warm spells. (I recall sunbathing in January, with my shirt off.)

How can this happen? I suppose the jet stream becomes “loopy”, and can bring first warm air far to the north, and then bring cold air far to the south.

I also have learned about something called, “telleconnection.” What this idea suggests is that a downward dent in the jet stream relaxes north only to rebound south again, at a more eastward longitude.

Hmm. A unusually southward storm off California might be followed by a unusually southward storm to the east. And that would include me. And then? Then that “trof” would relax north and rebound as a big storm in Europe. Possible?

I confess such powers baffle me. On one hand they seem to work like the squishy toys kids have at my Childcare, where, when you press in at one area they bulges out at another, but at other times they behave like waves, which can do bizarre things when crests match up with crests, and troughs with troughs, and then a crest cancels a trough when they match up. I’ve seen situations where the wake of a boat comes in, bounces off a pier, and heads back out, and, as the incoming cross the outgoing, the water alternates from being completely flat to peaks three feet tall to flat again in mere half seconds.

So I tend to just observe without claiming to understand.

In the meantime we are enjoying a remarkable thaw. The crushing two feet of heavy, wet snow we got before Christmas, and near-record bone-chilling blasts we got right after, have relented. Near-record cold has been followed by near-record warmth, and the snow-cover vanished. Now the cold is starting to seep back from the north, but where California gets howling winds we experience wafting airs, or calm. Where the storm off California has “weakened” to 976 mb, the storm departing the east coast has “strengthened” to a pathetic 1006 mb.

According to certain theories involving “teleconnetions”, the map will be reversed, somehow. There may even be a Labrador Low way down south near New York City, like the blizzard of 1888, stunning the city people with four feet of snow. It makes me wonder. How can such power appear from such a weak-looking map?

I can’t explain how it happens. But it does happen. Power is not a thing mortals understand as much as they flatter themselves that they do. People are as hard to predict as the weather, and a study of history is full of dramatic rises and equally dramatic falls, with the one constant being that the people who think they can predict who will hold power and where power will shift get fooled.

I’ve been grousing a lot lately because aging has effected my personal supply of power. Or I thought it was aging, as I huffed and puffed just walking through deep snow. It seemed a triple whammy of china-virus, common-cold and ‘flu had aged me, for once I was over the trio I was much weaker. Then at my Childcare I noticed first one, and then another, four-year-old boy walking like an old man, after they were supposedly “over” the ‘flu. Lastly, a parent who took their child to an “urgent care” facility (because her child wasn’t improving) was told by the nurse there that the current ‘flu, “often persists for fourteen days.” Only then did I do some counting on my fingers and realize I was only at day fourteen. No wonder I felt so powerless!

Of course, when you run a business the buck stops with you, and when everyone calls in sick you have to show up. As boss you have the power, but at times you wish you didn’t.

Today was suppose to be my day off, but a state inspector (talk about power) showed up and told us we had to lay off a splendid, young worker, as certain paperwork was incomplete. At age seventeen you don’t have to get a “background check”, but at age eighteen you do. Apparently we abruptly had a “possible sexual predator” on our staff, which is a serious offense in the world of bureaucrats. I withheld my views, (but it seemed to me a person was guilty until proven innocent.) In any case, abruptly I had to work a nine hour shift.

My personal supply of power was low, for I’d worked hard the day before and was planning to recharge my batteries with rest. Now I abruptly was in charge of a small mob of three to five-year-old children.

The feeble low pressure in the above map was suppose to give us rain showers, but just enough cold air seeped south to turn the raindrops to fat, lazy snowflakes, the world outside turned white, and soon a fall of sticky wet snow had built past an inch in depth, and as I brought the kids outside into the playground they all wanted me to build them a castle.

Fat chance. I was so tired I was barely able to reach down and scoop up snow. But I did crouch down and show them how to start rolling a snowball. Somewhat to my surprise, they all began rolling snowballs. Perhaps it was because the snow was perfect, but it seemed silly to even attempt rolling snowballs, for the snow was so thin. Undaunted, they denuded the playground of snow in their zeal, rolling numerous snowballs.

Mind you, I was too old and tired to supply the power. The power was supplied by children who average four years old.

I think they could have completed their castle, but nature failed to supply them with enough snow.

After two hours of non-stop work, they ran out of gas. Drenched and exhausted, they were ready to go in for lunch. They were also ready for naps, which I appreciated.

As they slept in their innocence I found myself contemplating the strange mystery of power. If I was younger and stronger I would have rolled the balls for them. If I was richer I might have paid a staff to roll the balls for them. But they did it without pay, and with very little prompting. They displayed power beyond the control of the so-called powerful, and they are only four years old.

Power arises from unexpected places.

I'd bail out, but I own no parachute.
I can't face the music, when I can't play.
Life has some nerve! How dare it refute
My theory that it can't wind up this way.

Leave it to saints to be lunch for the lions.
I'll take a happy ending, for starters.
I want to see bad guys clamped into irons.
I don't want good guys to end up the martyrs.

Don't get me wrong. I know well the story
How from our disgrace a poor soul is lifted
And, shedding all shame, rises in glory
Praising the Lord, but I'd rather be gifted
By seeing the glory this side of my tomb
As on charging white horse God destroys all this gloom.

CHRISTIANITY FRICASSEE (Comments on California Wildfires)

California Wildfire The Latest

The fires in California are to be expected, just as the fires in parts of Australia are to be expected. Forest fires are part of each respective ecology. Trees in both places evolved to resist and in some cases take advantage of fires, and in both places the indigenous people conducted “controlled burns” to attempt to keep the naturally-occurring forest fires smaller and less terrifying than they might otherwise be. Conservationists, (as opposed to environmentalists), tend to agree with the idea of controlled burns, and of clearing brush and trees away from houses. These are sensible steps that can be taken, if people insist upon living in outrageously beautiful but dangerous landscapes.

I do not mean to be divisive, by separating conservationists from environmentalists. But I do think there is a difference between sensible reactions and emotional reactions. While it may be true that the original white settlers in California had no idea of the fiery ecology they were moving into, they did eventually learn, often the hard way, (and seldom by listening to the indigenous people). People’s learned responses are either pragmatic and practical, or else are yet another mistake, which will yet again have to be learned-from the hard way.

What I call “environmentalists” differ from conservationists by being far too quick to leap to a conclusion, and far too eager to put a single issue ahead of all others, and all too likely to have priorities all out of whack. Perhaps everyone is in some ways an environmentalist when young, and becomes a conservationist as they get older. “Once burnt, twice shy”.

To me California seems to be retarded in its development of the more level-headed conservationist thinking. My views are perhaps tainted, for, despite beautiful landscapes and people, the nineteen months I spent there were among the most miserable of my life. I always felt like a square peg in a round hole, but will not recuse myself from discussion, because observations have value even when they are negative.

The people I met largely lacked roots, for a number of reasons. What heritage California had (or was developing) was washed away by constant floods of newcomers. When I lived there in the early 1980’s it was rare to meet anyone over thirty who was born there. Few seemed to come there to “settle” as much as they came to “get rich quick”, like the original ’49ers seeking gold in the hills.   Many who fled there seemed to desire to avoid responsibility more than to embrace it. All Californians seemed to be runaways, (at which point I took a hard look in the mirror and wondered how much I was projecting).

Much of California’s immature thinking seemed to crystallize into the influence of Hollywood. I did not approve, especially as I was still in my late twenties and thought I was still a Democrat, and Hollywood had just given me a Republican president.

It is likely a fine example of how confused and disjointed my thinking was at that time that I initially distrusted liberal Hollywood because of a conservative. But the simple fact of the matter is I found myself distrusting most TV and most movies (and all commercials) because they all seemed dishonest. They were sly rather than straightforward, appealing to emotion rather than common sense, rabble-rousing rather than speaking to the higher instincts. Worst was the fact many people would be frank about their tactics, using words like “subliminal” with an amazing (to me) unawareness that they were confessing to owning the ethics of a snake-oil salesman. They felt they had the power to manipulated money from the wallets of others into their own greedy paws, and could “control the masses.”

Some seemingly felt they had historical proof audiences could be emotionally influenced to an irrational degree. For example, in a 1934 movie Clark Gable removed his shirt to reveal he wore no undershirt, and it was said undershirt sales then crashed nation-wide. In actual fact, however, men nation-wide may have stopped wearing undershirts because the mid-1930’s had blazing hot summers, and also the Great Depression economy was so bad men cut back on buying all but the most necessary items of clothing. Perhaps Clark Gable reflected the common man, rather than vice versa. But people in Hollywood prefer to believe they lead and others follow.

For another example, some say the movie “Bambi” turned Americans against hunting deer. In actual fact,  hundreds of thousands of farms were foreclosed-upon in the Great Depression, and millions left rural landscapes where they could hunt deer. Even if they did not move to a factory in a city, and were perhaps of the 250,000 refugees who became agricultural workers in the California countryside, their new boss was about as likely to approve of an “Okie” walking about his farm with a rifle as he would later be to see a “Wetback” with a rifle. Therefore perhaps “Bambi” is given more power than a cartoon deserves, and Walt Disney perhaps should not be seen as a founding father of the modern vegan movement. And perhaps people in Hollywood are a bit presumptive, and think they have more power and influence than they actually have. Perhaps some of them are actually more like followers of fads, than the fad’s creators. Rather than seekers of a Truth that causes emotional youths to becoming mature elders, perhaps stars and starlets are merely seekers of popularity, and are themselves somewhat juvenile.

Socialists have a great belief in the power of propaganda, even to the point of trusting in it more than they trust in the Truth. Their favorite motto, “The ends justify the means”, allows one to lie, if it is for a good cause. Of course, the “good cause” for a snake-oil salesman is his own income, at your expense. Another way to say “the ends justify the means”  is to state “My good intentions justify my unethical behavior”, but life tends to teach us otherwise.

The saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is roughly a thousand years old, and Virgil’s “The path to hell is easy” dates from the time of Christ. But even if you don’t hear these old truths, life will teach you the same thing. If you tell a lie, and another gets burned, you are going to face an angry person.

As an environmentalist your intentions may have been good, when you forbid controlled burns and allowed the deadwood to build on the forest floor to levels that never occur in nature, and your intentions may have been good when you forbid cutting the brush back from houses. But you will have to face an angry home-owner when your good intentions result in their home looking like this:

Cal Fires 3 carr-fire-ap-ml-180727_hpEmbed_5x3_992

At this point you are going to be in the position of scrambling for excuses. After all, you obviously had the power, for otherwise you could not have kept them from clearing the deadwood or cutting back the underbrush. As you have the power, you collect the taxes, and this likely involved reassuring blandishments such as, “Your taxes will fund the best fire fighters in the nation. You can buy this property with no worry.” Now you face a problem. How are you going to talk yourself out of this one? I have an idea! You can propose raising taxes even higher to fund better firefighters! The only problem is that this particular taxpayer will be paying no more taxes. I have another idea! You could learn from your mistake! But no, no, no! That would involve admitting a mistake, and the last Californian politician to do that was Ronald Reagan, when he confessed he once was a Democrat. Now it seems confessing-a-mistake is deemed a fate worse than death. Instead politicians scramble to dream up increasingly ludicrous excuses.

Perhaps it is for this reason that California’s governor recently made absurd statements about the current fires, stating the the cause was not deadwood, underbrush close to houses, and the fact it is natural for California’s forests to burn,  but rather the cause was weather being the hottest since the dawn of civilization. How foolish he looks. All it takes is a quick check of records to show it was hotter just a three years ago.  The old man must be getting feeble to come up with such a lame excuse. It’s in some ways sad; he was so much better at telling lies when younger. But they say, “there is no fool like an old fool”, and there is a tragedy worth weeping over when we witness a man living his entire life and never gaining wisdom.

Every cloud has its silver lining, and the upside to the poor governor’s sadly troubled mind is that his  emotional hyperbole clearly demonstrates what I see as the difference between environmentalism and conservationism. It is the difference between emotion and common sense.

This also irks me, for the governor is giving emotion a bad name. As an artist I am big on emotion, whereas the “common sense” of a miserly banker repels me. This suggests a further distinction must be made, a difference between matter and spirit. One must differentiate between emotion all about materialism, and emotion about higher things that sacrifice materialism. In other words, we are not talking about a difference between heart and head, but rather of a proper balance between the two. A heart is no good if it’s greedy, and a head is no good if its irrational. The “common sense” I’m talking about recognizes this distinction.

It is a distinction accentuated  in a time of crisis. When wildfires burn out of control some ordinary individuals are heroic, and some not so heroic.

The fire fighters are forced by the urgency of the situation to fly hot-dogging dives unbelievably close to trees, and to use fire retardants which might be less than advantageous to the endangered woolly tufted caterpillar.

Carr fire continues to rage
Because of the refusal to have controlled burns, and the outlawing of cutting brush back where it would be wise, these fires have huge amounts of fuel to burn and can leap right over the barrier created by roads. Therefore fire fighters start fires by the sides of roads, and allow these backfires to burn slowly upwind to the major fires,  so the major fire has no fuel to jump the road with, but the firefighters must work hard to keep their backfires under control and keep them from jumping the road.
Cal Fires 4 ap_18209829005145-e1533046530421
And as all these heroic efforts are occurring, there are, of course, some who behave less heroicly
APTOPIX California Wildfires
It is a bit embarrassing to admit, but, as a man attempting to follow the Christ, I find that some of the best examples of less-than-heroic behavior involve snide comments made by people who, at least in some cases, profess to be Christians, about other Christians facing the fire. As this behavior is difficult to describe, allow me to give you a snippet of the chatter on “Twitter”, as the city of Redding was threatened by raging fires and a particular church called “The Bethel Church” was also threatened:

I’ve seen a number of Reformed folks on Twitter rejoicing over the fire going on in Redding Ca. claiming it as a judgement of God over Bethel church while simultaneously mocking them. If that’s Christianity, count me out. Thankfully it’s not.

  1. So, does anyone else find it interesting that Bethel Redding hasn’t been able to stop this Carr fire that is burning out of control in their city? Maybe one of their Holy Spirit fire tunnels got out of control?

  2. Bethel church is literally asking their brainwashed worldwide followers to give money to them for their relief in the fire ???? Like what has bethel done in the last week to aid its citizens? Not open their massive cult doors that’s for sure

  3. My alma mater has opened its doors as an evacuation center for the Carr fire in Redding, but Bethel Church directly across the street hasn’t. I just have to wonder why.

  4. …38 years. As long as the Bethel cult members don’t repent and allow Jenn and her supporters to continue cursing and committing sexual perversion, they will add fuel to the fire and kill more than 2 people.

  5. It’s awful about the Carr Fire, for the people, their homes, lives, &animals. I mourn the lost firefighters. But, Bethel Redding Church is a horrific affront to a holy God &especially to His spirit. I hope no injuries,but I do hope the fire causes a dispersal of all its adherents

  6. PLEASE PRAY: Fires are burning near Redding, CA. Many of our Bethel friends have had to evacuate & more are now preparing to leave their homes. PRAY for winds to change, for RAIN, for fires to be contained & extinguished, and for God’s protection over the area & firefighters.


    For what it’s worth, I did my best to do a bit of fact-checking on the Bethel Church, and apparently they did offer to open their doors to the refugees from the fire, but “authorities” (I gather the Red Cross) felt the offer could be dangerous. Their sanctuary had a single entrance and single exit, and was surrounded by brush, and the fire was drawing close. Rather than a refuge, the place might turn into a big crematory. Therefore the church switched its efforts to other ways of helping their stricken community.

    To me not-opening-the-church’s-doors seems a sane and pragmatic response, by people dealing with a somewhat insane reality. Most of us cannot imagine having such a fire raging on the borders of our community, burning up homes at the edge of town. Therefore it seems, at the very least, unhelpful, to criticize the Bethel church for closing its doors to people in need.

    (By the way, the disapproval towards this particular church seems to be because some feel its members have a faith in Jesus which is too “radical”.)

    Earlier I stated that what separates a conservationist from an environmentalist is that the latter are “far too quick to leap to a conclusion, and far too eager to put a single issue ahead of all others, and all too likely to have priorities all out of whack”. Are we not seeing the same thing in a different form, when Christians add the flames of criticism to the flames from wildfires fellow Christians already face? How is this helpful? (Especially when no fact-checking is involved, and what is involved is largely gut-level dislike.)

    Criticism is only truly helpful if it has Love and Truth at its core. A heart does no good when it’s hateful. Therefore, before I criticize California any further, I think I might be wise to go take a hard look in my own mirror.


I was looking “upstream,” for hints at what the weather will be like downstream, here in New Hampshire, after our Thanksgiving snowstorm, and I came across this Dr. Ryan Maue map at the Weatherbell site. It is an anomaly map, showing if temperatures are above or below normal, and shows the conditions 90 hours from now, on Saturday.

The map shows it will be a little below normal round here, in the fading north winds after our Thanksgiving storm, but then I look northwest to western Canada…

Yikes!  That light purple is temperatures more than 50 degrees below normal, Fahrenheit. In actual fact the coldest spots are off the color-code key to the right of the map, which only goes as low as 50 below normal.  If you look at the small writing at the upper right, you see the lowest is actually -63.6 of normal.  Double Yikes! (Click maps, or open-to-new-tab, to clarify and enlarge.)

Calgary cold Nov 25 gfs_t2m_anomf_noram_16

In terms of actual temperatures, it looks like the core of that cold will touch -50, but Calgary may be to the edge and “only” get to -23. (-31 Celsius.)

Calgary cold Nov 25 gfs_t2m_noram_31


They can keep that stuff up there, as far I’m concerned. For heaven’s sake! It isn’t even December yet!

My hope is that the cold clashes with the above normal air to the south, and brews up a big west-coast gale. Some models are showing California getting some needed rain as a storm hits them at the end of the weekend. If that storm would only suck in the cold, and swirl it around with Pacific air, it would be much milder when it came east.