Heat Waves, Mules and All That…

This is unbelievable but it’s actually happening. 

Proof that Global Warming is Happening and taking over the world!

Ferndale, California reached 80 degs. F.  Yes it happened! Someone  said that by 9 p.m. it was still a sweltering 77 degrees. That’s pretty hot up on the Humboldt County coastline. Inland, near Red Bluff,  it’s been 122,  Ukiah, 117 and Benbow, 112.  But not Ferndale.

We used to bareback our ponies in the creek when it hit 72.


Eighty degrees in the shade, that’s just foolishness. Earthquake weather? Hope not, the town rests near three major tectonic plates which means a quake between 6-7.5 hits about once or twice a decade somewhere.

It was so blazing hot the military troops came out to keep the peace. Well, not really these “troops” are extras from the 1995 film Outbreak starting Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Spacey that was shot there.


That’s pretty amazing considering that in 1992, three earthquakes ranging from 6.4 to 7.3 hit Ferndale, Petrolia and started a fire that burned up most of Scotia,  which back then was still owned by Pacific Lumber.

1906quakeOops this is from 1906, yeah that big one in San Francisco ruptured a lot of the northern section of the San Andreas Fault.

But this sequence in 1992 were actually the first swarm of “regional sequential earthquakes” ever documented as such, showing what most people in earthquake country suspected already, that earthquakes can jump from one fault to the next.

The Inland Empire naturally would be next with its own triad of earthquakes less than two months and one L.A. riot period later.

Anyway,  most of the town was badly damaged. Lots of houses and businesses too.   No one died fortunately even though the first and largest hit during a parade on Main Street just before noon.  A friend of mine who did freelance photography went up to take photos of the festival and I admitted to jealousy because Ferndale’s the boss but I did warn him to practice his duck and cover because Ferndale was overdue for an earthquake.

If you’ve never been in a quake it’s hard to explain exactly what it’s like. They’re noisy like thunder or a jet engine sometimes.  Then it’s like someone’s shaking the building that you’re in or the ground you’re on. Sometimes gently, sometimes not.

Imagine during “not” that someone’s pulling the rug out from under you hard or throwing you across from one end of the room to the other.  Dodging flying books (or in my case once, bricks from a chimney), book shelves, slamming doors, parts of the ceiling coming off…but the bright side is, the big ones clock in at under two minutes for a 7.6 which is my largest.

I got clocked once on the head by something that hurt.  But so far so good otherwise. But when a building collapses just don’t go running into it. Sometimes big tremors are followed within a minute or so by the “twin”.

This business below  was on the Main Street but fared better than Valley Grocery which was crumbled for the second time in the 1900s.

California Coast Earthquake

But most everything got fixed including the house below which was forced off of its foundation like quite a few of the remaining Victorians.   I survived several earthquakes in this house, which is a registered historical landmark. If you can find a couple books that are probably out of print, you can find a photo of it, and three kids sitting in front of it. One of them holding a garter snake.   That kid’s not quite as prone to picking up snakes these days.


It took my uncle three years to paint the house in the trim that you see in this photo. He started on the left side, but fell 30 feet off a ladder, took two years to rehab his severe injuries and then got back on that ladder and finished the rest of it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if right now there were a whole family of garter snakes in there descending from the one that got loose one night.

Anyway, the photographer did manage to take a lot of photos and he ran into a lot of people I knew up there.  I had some folks call me when they could just to tell me they were okay. One friend had missed the festival and was sitting on his stack of old tires by the dog runs (being a sporting dog breeder) when suddenly, he was thrown in the air about 10 feet. The house got damaged but not as badly as others on the street. They spent the night indoors until about 2 a.m. when the second quake, 6.5 hit and then went to sleep in the car including during the third quake, which was 6.4 at about 4a.m. and the car bounced a couple feet down the street.

Ferndale’s still a great place. Really nice people living there and some great scenery including some of the remaining redwoods left.

But in the midst of this heatwave which has hit dairy country in a very hard way, the major concerns is what will happen to the annual horse races at the county fair? The longest dirt route stakes in the United States takes place here.   Since it’s on a half mile oval, you have to have lap counters for the race which is more than three times around it.

The straightaways are very short. No grass courses, but then where are they in the United States?  You want to be real turf, you’ll have to go elsewhere.


My first sports heroine that I met raced at Ferndale and nearly won the riding title there.  Most people might not remember her. I’d be amazed if anyone at the old game site even knew her name or even recognized her.

She went on to becoming a racing steward.


Answer: Cheryl White, the nation’s first African-American female jockey


When she started out.

One of my favorite photos: She’s on the right among the admins at the Ferndale Racetrack, next to Dolores Collins who’s married to Don, who trained appaloosas pretty well including Hall of Famer Time Flies.  Some people don’t like Appaloosas much but I have a soft spot for them.

She was very nice and very tough…though I wouldn’t be surprised if she heard her share of …Christmas Tree jokes.  She did tangle with Mary Bacon, a known sympathizer of the KKK who attended a Klan rally in 1975 but insisted the KKK wasn’t racist at all and besides, “I have Black friends.”

Hardly original as an alibi, it’s a common fallback.

It’s one of three statements that comes out of a White person’s mouth when they say something racist:

 “I’ve got Black Friends.”

 “Isn’t that right/true[insert name of “Black friend in the room”]?

(online) “How do you know I’m not Black?”

One of my first experiences in Chat was a couple of white girls talking about hunting Black men for sport and no one knew how to react, but knew better than to laugh along with them.  So lead white girl calls out a player by saying, “and wasn’t that how it went,  [insert player’s name] and I didn’t need to be told that player was African-American.   I kind of saw it and thought o-kay I’ll come back here later after the people telling racial jokes go to bed. Fortunately there weren’t too many jokes told in my presence of that nature or my tenure in the game would likely have been much shorter, my “smooth” exit much sooner.  The moment someone tried to explain away racist behavior (as they apparently did Chat bullying) to me as too much enthusiasm over an excellent innovative product, I’d have been out of there.

Not long after my introduction to the “racist joke”, I did meet up with some seriously fun and excellent girls in Chat. The problem is, most of them no longer frequented Chat or the forum long before I left. I know why they don’t because of everyone on the site including likely the people running it, I bothered to ask them why. People who frequent outlets and suddenly stop, or give signs that they’re thinking about “leaving”, something I always did was reach out to them by PM or other means to ask them why they felt the need to do that whether it was stop going to Chat/forum or leave the game.  At first I’d tell them to stay and if they wanted anyone to talk to I’d be more than happy to one on one chat and block everyone else out (as stupid as it that it has to come to that to have a civil, mature Chat room environment) or shoot PMs. But more lately, I just understood why they withdrew and though I didn’t like it because they’d not done anything wrong, and I understand why some of these players that just went MIA left as well or I can probably guess why because I’ve chatted or “talked” with so many different players while I was there.

Enough to know even if the admins don’t know, that they’ve really lost something by just surrendering the social outlets to the bullies which as long as the behavior is going on is clearly what happened. There’s a lot of nice people who were fun to talk with in Chat who in the last years said, “thanks but no thanks” to it and the forum as well thanks to the behavior of a few.  There’s no point in investing energy to complain about it because if anything, you will be the one ultimately penalized for it.  But then I think if I’d stayed, I’d be more penalized because bullying, ganging up on people and trading “retard” jokes, not my thing.   If that’s the kind of people that they want as customers, then I’m definitely someone that they wouldn’t want and that’s okay.  I’d rather have a few people not want me around or on their site enough so that I have to disperse my account within 72 hours than be someone who sits around and watches or joins in doing bullying or using demeaning stereotypes about groups of people.  That’s just not who I am or what I’m about…frankly I just not one for doing that to prove anything to anyone either.  In my crowd, behaving like a bully or a bigot wouldn’t win any points anyway and that’s as it should be.

Anyway, this cool photo was taken some years later at the racetrack with the starting gate that somehow held itself together.


There were quite a few female jocks there racing that did very well on the Northern California County Fair circuit.


April Boag who’s father was also a top rider named Gary Boag in the 1980s. He won some riding titles and lost a nail biter to jockey Amy Rankin.

At Pimlico they gathered a field of retired female jockeys as part of filming a documentary called  JOCK  which included this excerpt.  Looks pretty interesting.

Anyway, with this year’s fair racing season eminent in the midst of a heat wave is there reason for concern?


Including those poor mules!!


The legendary Black Ruby

who is making an appearance this year (along with Russel Baze)  was unavailable for comment.


We tried this  growing up only it didn’t work quite as well.  Though when I think of cows, I just think of…never mind.

Yummy this is great stuff.  Desserts are awesome including those that use dairy products from our friends, the cows….though Holsteins are not all that friendly.


yummy custard pie!


Delicious bean pie….great stuff.  Doesn’t taste as much like Sweet Potato Pie and the crust is tasty.

Below is Persian Love Cake, excellent. I had some for my post-SIM dispersal, “wash that site out of my life” dinner and dessert out with some friends who helped me disperse when my shoulder got too sore to use my computer and I had to do so much in such a short period of time because they wanted me gone ASAP.  I have to admit I was a bit blue and felt like a criminal at times!   “Smooth exit”, anyone?  But some time with friends and some lovely food including Persian Love Cake have a nice way of putting it all in perspective and reminding me of what’s really important!


With all that good food, why does it seem like everyone’s drinking this freaky water?  Everyone’s drinking it now.  I like mine with strawberries added to it! 🙂


Oh my goodness Barbie’s been hitting the desserts too!  Awesome, she looked uncomfortable with that 16 inch waist 


Lori sent me another one of her excellent posters.


I really liked this, thanks Aric.  The original Willy Wonka’s still the best. Oh, and yeah, the thing about gay marriage.


Do I miss the homophobic banter and joking in Chat? I’d have to say no to that.  I just view it as straights being damn insecure again about their own sexuality and apparently everyone else’s too!

The following cartoon reminds me of one of the Chat conversations I had privately several months before leaving with a bullied player who doesn’t really matter to anyone until his parents find out he’s being bullied online by adults.  Then I imagine it might start mattering.  But then again, you had folks in Chat who thought nothing of bullying a girl under the age of 10 to tears.  Some people truly just have no class at all.


I had one player, a teenager who approached me in private chat and was depressed at the treatment that he/she constantly received from the Chat Bullies.  What can you say to someone who wishes they could leave and change their name to come back and enjoy playing the game in peace. To have the same rights (well they seem to be “rights” for the bullies, privileges for everyone else) that those who bullied this player and I witnessed it and said something tactfully that it wasn’t appropriate conduct or entertainment in the Chat.  This player’s harassed so badly and in such a demeaning way, I was waiting for one or both of his or her parents to find out about it and complain about their kid being harassed by a pack of  bullying adults singling out a minor player to gang up just like bullies in schools pick on smaller kids on a playground.

Seriously is there any other way to interpret it than the elementary school playground model of behavior?   I wouldn’t want to be around if and most likely when that happens.  Another reason to be glad I’m gone.   I always hoped that at least one member of that Chat Rat Pack would grow a pair or remember they had a pair and say something to their peers about how messed up picking on someone like that was but none ever did.   I don’t think you’ll find that kind of moral courage among those folks because they’re too intent on bullying to build up their own self esteem to care about how it affects their targets. Besides, they’re clearly having so much fun doing it. 

I told that player, the teen that was being preyed on by people much older than him who loved picking on younger people to prove their coolness and toughness, that if he or she had to consider changing their name to “fit” in the game, in all seriousness it’s probably not for them anyway. If you  can’t be accepted by a bunch of bored silly bullies for who you are and not get left alone, you’re in the wrong place and should just go elsewhere. Believe it or not there’s sites including entertainment venues out there that take the three “B”s, “bullies, bigots and the third, most people can figure it out” seriously and remind them that social outlets are not rights for anyone but privileges for all and that’s how they should be treated.

Sometimes as a screenwriting friend of mine once wrote as a line in his film, “the only winning move is not to play”.

But what I’ve seen in Chat at that site, I wouldn’t tolerate on any Chat or forum I moderate. It helps that the admins who oversee us are pretty on top of it, pretty bad ass some might say but it makes for a much better and entertaining site for many more people than the select few who try to make it miserable and less fun for everyone else.

I’m no nonsense when it comes to harassment, bullying and nastiness on any Chat or forum I moderate. I just don’t tolerate it which is just as well since it’s very easy to deal with especially if you’re the type of person who wouldn’t normally associate with folks who behave that way anyway.  I’m glad that I work with admins who believe in the same values and actually put them into practice in a proactive fashion. It makes for a much better site.

Isis Needs a Home Pronto!

She’s on the ‘Row out in a shelter in Lancaster, about 2 1/2 years old. She needs a forever home, someone go get her.

UPDATE:     Tiphani You go Girl! Hope you have many happy years with Isis!  YAY! 


Unfortunately it’s always fire season some places…at least this one’s nearly out. Thanks fire fighters!



About Butterfly Collective

I'm just an ordinary person doing ordinary things in a not so ordinary world
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