Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The Napa Earthquake held the local TV News Cycle through the end of the Late Sunday Night News. It's dialed back Monday morning, however the clean-up will take weeks and the recovery years. I saw photos of the Trefethen Winery, it looks like a total loss. Monday's Noon News is reporting sixteen structures are red-tagged, meaning they are unfit for habitation. The 4PM News says there's nearly 50 red-tagged structures.

Trefethen Winery

Many wineries are reporting big losses of bottled wines and wine in the barrel.

Closer to home, Kirk Vallus messaged me via Facebook: "Spoke with Richard tonight, good news, went up to the Ranch today and not a stone had moved in the ruins..... That is a good thing...."

Richard owns quite a bit of the historic Napa Soda Springs Resort in Soda Canyon on the flanks of Atlas Peak. Richard's place has ruins of some of the original buildings that date to the 1860's, and many of the named mineral springs still flow. Soda Canyon is on the east side of the Napa Valley, well above the destruction of old downtown Napa.

Today drone images of downtown Napa's damages were posted to YouTube:

My heart goes out to the People of Napa...lots of work ahead...

It's certainly stunning footage, and drones are all the rage lately, but it's another Information Age connection that caught my fancy today: Jawbone UP

What's Jawbone? What's UP? I'd never heard of them before I saw this tweet this morning: "Wearable tech maker @jawbone says 93% of its users woke up at 3:20AM during earthquake"

I read the linked blog, perused Jawbone's UP website, and my blood's running a little colder now. It turns out I do know what Jawbone is...they are makers of the Bluetooth ear pieces that make mobile phones "hands-free", and they make Bluetooth speaker systems to stream your phone or iPod music to.

Jawbone UP is an "Activity Tracker", favored by people who want their entire lives and beings digitized for use by Mobile Apps and computers. A bracelet interfaces with your phone and records many channels of data including heart rate, physical exertion, time at rest or sleeping. Once saved and accessed the data is your to "Share" on social media, or embellish your daily diary or exercise planning. UP tracks your activity, diet and sleep. UP's website touts:
  • Healthy Food Score
  • Simple Water Logging
  • Popular Restaurant Menus
  • Enhanced Calorie Tracking
I wonder how long before the NSA is selling this personal intel to Insurance Companies to finance yet another covert (read Unconstitutional) surveillance program (or worse). Facebook is snoopy enough! At least there you must first chose to report your thoughts, activities, and post photos of your meals at the newest trendy restaurants!

I removed the Facebook App from my smartphone 3-4 weeks ago, when the latest Facebook "Feature" seemed too invasive for my sensibilities.

Being awakened by earthquake tremors is one thing...plugging in my vital signs to the cloud would keep me up all night!  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Again With the "No Rest For The Wicked" Deal

I was awakened by the shaking at 0320 Sunday morning. I don't know if I thought it or said it out loud: "Wow, this is a good one!" I was expecting to be awakened at 0430, I'd set my alarm clock so I could watch the Belgian Grand Prix LIVE from Spa-Francorchamps.

I didn't even need to "rub the sleep outta my eyes" I was wide awake! I hit the internet running, and in under a minute, I had the USGS Quake Sheet up informing me of the (then) Magnitude 6.1 quake four miles south of Napa, CA.

At the Ancestral Digs, the local TV News outlets were wall-to-wall in under a half hour, while the local 24/7 News Radio Station was taking calls while their reporters got to the scene.

Twitter was on it like white on rice. I tweeted the quake at 0323...three minutes after it shook.

I heard from Chico Dupré in mere moments. He didn't feel it, though it was felt up to 400 miles from the epicenter...Carson City, Nevada...on the far side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range!

The radio had harrowing stories of damage and shaking, and this kept me in rapt attention until the TV Newsfeeds began. There were fires...why is it always trailer parks? Tornadoes love 'em it seems...

At 4:30AM, I changed the channel to the Formula One Pre-Race Show. The three weeks of "Summer Break" were over and the racing would resume in just under 30 minutes!

I switched up my Twitter Feed to a Formula One List...of course it was sprinkling in Pit Lane! Spa-Francorchamps is high in Belgium's Ardennes Forest, it's the longest track on the F1 calendar and it often rains up there...sometimes it'll rain on one end of the circuit while there's bright sunshine at the other end. It always makes for dramatic racing, and I expected nothing less than Broadway-Worthy Drama!

I wasn't disappointed! The rain never was a factor...it was the human side of F1 that provided the drama. The two Team AMG Mercedes teammates were on the front row. Together they have the top two spots in the Drivers' Championship.

The lights went out, the Mercs sped towards Turn One and it was ON! Points-leader and Pole-Sitter Nico Rosberg was bested by teammate Lewis Hamilton, with my guy, Red Bull Racing's Sebastion Vettel right in the mix. On lap two, Nico made his way outside Lewis and they touched! Nico's front wing clipped Lewis' rear tyre and all hell broke loose. Lewis' tyre went flat, and part of Nico's wing went flying. 

There was good racing up and down the track, the rain stayed away and the race was decided on the merits, not the luck of the draw (as is so often the case with wet races)

It was all over but the post-race chatter when I plugged back into the earthquake coverage...which I quickly grew weary of. I turned it down, reset my alarm for 8AM and shut my eyes...baseball pre-game chatter would start at 0800, and my San Francisco Giants are in a pennant race with the Los Angeles Dodgers!

More later...No Spoilers...You're Welcome!