It’s Sunday and the first day in a while that truly feels like spring. The fruit trees have their blossoms. the kitties are playing outside, and I heard a bird singing. On the air is the promise of spring and the rains fading into memory.

Rain, California rain. It doesn’t come for years then it’s ferocious. Years of never-ending drought punctuated by flood.

Flood. Muddy waters chewing up river banks and crashing over dams. Awesome, unstoppable power. Trees topple in its path, rocks slam into rock, dirt turns to mud, and mud turns to a dreaded brown river. The road loses its firm foundation and collapses down into the valley. Solid hills become soft as the angle of repose sends soil, rock, tree and bush across the freeway, reminding humans that nature still holds power.

Such is my California. Rock, dirt, water and trees standing silent for years and then in a fury unleashed by time and tides rises to attack the feeble roads and bridges we build.

Our monuments to progress. Our temples of technology. Our audacity to assume we can control our world.

The simple fluffy cloud drifts overhead. Changing its shape, first a rabbit, then a doggie, and then darker. A wind rises as more clouds join the chorus and soon lets the tears fall. Mother nature, crying at the scars on the land and the poison in the air.

And the rain keeps coming. The tempo of the drops; a light minuet builds; until a symphony of water and wind the crescendo to the final movement of water crashing over our trivial human obstacles of weirs, dams, and spillways. As the rains recede, the rivers rise as if to applaud the sky and sends its waters to streets lined with cars and houses.

Such are my thoughts with spring in the air and the hope of summer fruit, with kittens playing in the yard.

Till next week,

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Friday Quote – Programmers

Weinberg’s Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

More insight next week,

Posted in wisdom | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Wednesday Woodworking – Another Drawer

I had a day in the shop this weekend.  The drawer in the table saw stand worked so well that I put a second one in.  Then I added a door to keep the sawdust out.  It’s not a precision job as the original stand was a bit of a slap together job, but it works.

Here’s the drawers:

Two drawers for the price of one.

Two drawers for the price of one.

And a nice door:

Nobody wants to be a square.

Nobody wants to be a square.

All the parts on this stand are recycled from things I’ve torn apart.

If you need me – I’ll be in the shop,


Posted in wood working | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

High Water

It’s been a busy week and today I went to the opera (yes, opera) so no writing tonight.  Instead here are some pictures of the flooding near my office.  This is the Los Gatos Creek Trail that I often get to walk at lunch time.  Normally this is a lazy creek about nine feet wide and maybe three to five feet deep.  Here’s what it looked like last week:

I took the detour.  You'll see why in the next picture.

I took the detour. You’ll see why in the next picture.

The trail is wide to accommodate both walkers and bicycles.  This part of the trail is prone to flooding in winter – the signs aren’t lying.

Here’s a picture of the trail and creek from a high spot on the detour (I’m about ten feet above the water here):

The trail is in foreground - up to the chainlink fence.  I'd guess it's under five feet of water here.

The trail is in foreground – up to the chain link fence. I’d guess it’s under five feet of water here.

At this stage the creek river is about 50 feet wide and I’d guess a good 20 feet deep in the middle.  Given that there’s more rain due tomorrow, I won’t be walking this part of the trail until maybe April or May.

Till next week – stay dry,


Posted in General | Tagged , , | 21 Comments