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February 27, 2019

Winter Bloom - Anza Borrego

The 'Super Bloom' gets all the publicity in the media, which occurs about once a decade.  However a 'Winter Bloom' is only once every couple decades and does not get the attention it deserves.

This year a very massive Winter Bloom is occurring in Ocotillo Wells.  With a rebuild of the carburetor on the ATV, it was a perfect time to take it out for a test run.

The photos are from areas within the Ocotillo Wells Off-Road Park.

Sand verbena



Palo Verde Wash was full of color, stretching all the way to Devil's Slide

The brilliant white of Evening Primrose has taken over the valley floor

Ocotillo Wells is an Off-Road area … but all of the off-roaders stopped to take in the amazing bloom in the wash.

ARG! Do not recall this name of this little lupine, that is only found in the Borrego Valley

The White Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

There's a great video on You Tube demonstrates the speed it can devour a brown-eyed primrose HERE.  

The Swainson's Hawks will feast on the caterpillars during their annual migration.  The Borrego Valley Hawkwatch has put up a viewing platform at the end of DiGiorgio Road, where Fran and I watched a kettle of the hawks enjoy their dinner.

Desert Lily 
As pretty as it is I think the desert lily smells better than it looks.

Heading home as I approached Scissors Crossing there was a lot of traffic heading north on S-2.  That is the way I'd normally go also it's a gradual climb to 4000' on a wide road.

However, I chose to continue on CA-78 over Banner Grade, as it was devoid of traffic.  It's a steep narrow climb to 5000'.  And there's still  time to check out the snow.

That is it was devoid of traffic, until I came to Julian!, where the traffic was at a standstill.  I turned south on CA-79 toward I-8 as I had not planned to stop in Julian anyway.  I’ve seen more snow and worse conditions up here  …

But NEVER more traffic!!!  At least the southbound traffic was moving.  These must be the folks all heading home, with their heart set on a slice of Julian pie!

It’s late on a Sunday afternoon and the north bound traffic into Julian goes on for miles!

OK snow is fun, but this is stupid traffic on a late Sunday afternoon!

Great winter flowers and snow, No Bad Days! but feel sorry for those determined to go thru Julian.

We'll be in Borrego Springs in a couple weeks to check out their Spring Bloom.

February 25, 2019

Drumline - Winter Guard International in Temecula

 Winter Guard International (WGI)  is the governing body for Color Guard, Winds and Percussion events as the ‘Sport of Arts’.  Bringing music to life through interpretation, performance and competition.
Great Oak High School in Temecula hosted the SoCal regional competition with 32 events this past weekend.
Great Oak has a huge campus in a beautiful location in Temecula.

The teams practice is outside and each of the individual team groups rehearse their portion of the routine separately.

As we wandered the practice are we were captivated with the raindrop sounds this group was practicing.  Reminded me of the mule hooves in the Grand Canyon Sweet.  Just mesmerizing ...

AI thought this group had the best outfits in their Native American dress.

At the time neither Fran nor I had any idea this was Kg's Mission Hills High!
There she is second from the right!

They are now packing it up to enter the staging area, time for us the find Kami and Aj.

The competition is held indoors on the basketball court.  Action is pretty much non-stop as each team has a couple minutes to setup, five minutes to perform their best and a couple minutes to tear down.

Kg is competing in the Scholastic Open (aka High School) with her Mission Hills High School Band.  Here are a few random pictures from other groups in her division.  Each demonstrate a unique theme and interpretive music and dance to support their chosen theme.  And notice the difference performance floors?  Each group provides their own.

The Cosmos!  Narration by clips from Carl Sagan.  The dance floor looks like a Hubble photo.  So are we alone?

Earth and Sea, another interesting floor and a unique way the floor was divided.

Kg's Mission Hills HS is finally up.  Both Kami and Jason are totally active in the design and construction of the props.  The tree is PVC and cardboard, green on this side and burned on the other - that's a difference performance. ...

There's Kg taking it easy in her starting position.

That's Kg hiding behind the cymbals.

So what is she doing behind the cymbals?  Being transformed into 'Mother Nature'!  Had I known Kg was the star I'd brought more than a puny cell phone!

Take a bow Kg you and your team were awesome!

Want to see more of the performance?  Mission Hills Band has 42 photos and a 10 minute video on there Facebook Page.

Pirates are fun

Kami and Jason design and build the props for Mission Hills.  They do a great job, but this rotating 7-piece platform has got to be the next challenge for them ... That's what they get for raising the bar!  They’ve figured out airplanes, multi purpose banners, reusable floors and backgrounds ...

These last couple pics are of team Gold Percussion.  The kids here have to audition and if selected, pay to participate. Kg has been one of those selected to be part of the team next year!

Sitting in the stands with Fran, Kami and Aj while watching Kg and the efforts of the other teams.  For sure there were No Bad Days!  Your day may not have had the energy and volume, but hope it was just as good.  My ears have finally stopped ringing so leave a comment and I will reply.

February 13, 2019

UPDATES - OLW Error 400 Bad Request and Google+

A couple years ago the Error 400 Bad Request was common problem.  My blog then HERE was a workaround for this error.   But it did not resolve the root cause. 

Well it’s back!  The root cause is now confirmed – The Application Program Interface (API) used by Open Live Writer requires access to the Picasa calls.  Picasa has been deprecated for several years, but OLW has not kept up.

The basic error is that OLW cannot post to Blogger any graphic since OLW uses the Picasa API to post. 

I found a workaround that works, for me, in my blog HERE.  By using links to photos already on the web, OLW works fine.  The links are HTML text, not graphics, and avoid the Picasa API altogether.

The remaining gotchya is the demise of Google+, I mentioned how it effects me in my blog HERE.  In that blog I mentioned that I requested a download of all the data Google has targeted for deletion. 

I made the request on Feb 2 and received the data on Feb 9, ‘19.  A full week and a few hours after the initial request. I used this LINK to request a download my Google+ data.  And received this email on the 9th with a link for the download

I was OK with the loss of ‘My Circles’, ‘My Profile’, etc.

But the loss of Google+ comments was a biggie!, HUGE!

My blog philosophy required and still requires threaded comments and the ability to reply to each individual  comment.  I believe the comments are interactive, if a reader takes the time to leave a comment I’ll take the time to respond.

Here's what I did to resolve this issue.  Before I tried a different templates or comments plugin I made a backup of my current Theme, including Template and Layout.  This was to preserve as much of the existing blog contents as possible:

Today I have a way that works for my template to not only thread comments, but also reply to comments individually.  And all this without a new template.  Older templates may require a bit more tweaking, but it can be done.

 My comments were set to Blogger default of ' Full Page' and looked like this, with inline comments:
For my case in Blogger Settings –> Posts, comments and sharing, I selected Embedded:

Next in Blogger Settings –> Other I selected Allow Blog Feed and set all entries to Full:

With that minor change my comments are again threaded and very similar the the old Google+ comments I had been using.  With this minor tweak my comments and replies now look like this:

Unfortunately Google is not providing a means to place comments back on the blog in the post where they belong.  They were included in the archive that Google provided, I do have them, just not where they would be most useful.

At lest now I have a means of maintaining the blog.  However it s more work, and more importantly more bandwidth!

It has taken a few days to test this out and today it was a nice rainy afternoon to sit inside and  write up this post. 

Next I either have to figure out thumbnail photos, or simply use full width graphics as many others do.  The graphics above do not enlarge when they a selected.  Another gotchya of OLW and the old Picasa settings.

Again there were No Bad Days, and I trust your day was good too.

If you have any additional suggestions please leave a comment, I can now reply!