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Cypress Afire

05/19/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal Life

I was awakened at 1:00 this morning by the sounds of hard drives spinning up and shutting down, to lights flashing on-and-off. As I stumbled out of bed to see what was the matter. &#59;) I heard the sound of sheriff and fire brigade radios outside my home.

This unseasonable storm [it's raining in Northern California in late May - so odd] had downed a power line into the wiki(cypress) trees lining our block. Several trees, including the two in my front yard were ON FIRE. There was sparks and crackling from the power line, smoke pouring from the limbs of the 25 to 75 foot trees, and embers falling into the yard below. But there was nothing that could be done until PG&E arrived at 2:30 a.m. PDT. The most spectacular sparkage happened about 15 minutes before the PG&E truck swung into view with its twin spotlights, and then all was quite. Just the smoke streaming into the night sky, illuminated by the spotlights from sheriff cars, fire trucks and PG&E. Until about 4:00 this morning, when the chain saws started. Power came back on a bit before 5:00 a.m. PDT.

Of course, I sent an email to a few friends using my Palm via bluetooth to my cell phone. :D

I awoke to a drizzle, piles of burned and clean tree limbs along the street, and even a few tree limbs in the low voltage lines. But we have power.

One friend to whom I had written at 2:00 in the morning, suggested that I start a religion based on the event; after all, a 50 foot burning cypress in the rain must trump a burning bush in the desert. Maybe it could be a sect of the Cyprian religion, so called because the devotees of wiki(Aphrodite) were centered on the island of wiki(Cyprus), and maybe even take in some elements from the teachings of wiki(Cyprian,Saint Cyprian) - an early Christian bishop and martyr who died in 258 CE. Maybe not. &#59;D

BTW, the trees look fine after their fire trim. :)

Update: I haven't seen the coastal raven couple who hang out in the cypresses all day. Hopefully, the rain just kept them away. I don't think they nest there.

Update 2: It looks like the rain made it to the Pacific Northwest.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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