Meadow Lake, CA

Last week, I mentioned Meadow Lake and its dam, so I went up on Saturday and kayaked over to it. No other words this go around, click on the first picture and you can see this as a gallery.

Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)

When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.

Cupertino, CA

I have been down in Cupertino every week this month. The drive down can take between 4 and 6 hours, depending on traffic. Coming home on Friday can take even longer.

One might think that for my Wee Toaty Explorers, Cupertino could be a sort of religious magnet.

We have a nice little gathering here.

You already know where they are, right? Yeah, this one was kind of obvious.

This is another in the continuing series of wee toaty explorers, a project to keep me busy while I'm on the road. A nice summary is here. The whole set is available if you click on Wee Toaty Explorers.

Another Try at Baltimore Lake

This is about a very pretty part of Nevada County that you have to go to Sierra County to get to.

Last weekend, I tried to hike to Baltimore Lake. It was my third attempt; the first two ended in getting my car stuck in the snow. Last weekend, I did not get caught in the snow.

Instead, I got lost.

I didn't get irrevocably lost, you understand. I didn't find myself wandering in the wilderness unsure of how to get back to civilization. Sure, there was no cell coverage, but I knew how to get back to my car. I just mean that I took a left turn on the path and, although I had a nice hike, I didn't get to see Baltimore Lake.

If you're looking for Baltimore Lake after parking near Meadow Lake, this is the place where you want to turn right on your walk:

Oh, that's clear, isn't it?

This weekend, I gave it another try. It's a long drive to Meadow Lake. Much of the road is fairly rocky, but passable even by a passenger car.

There were some pretty flowers up in the hills.

There are a bunch of gravel roads criss-crossing on the southwestern side of Meadow Lake. I think Meadow Lake is fascinating. It's up in the middle of the Tahoe National Forest. There's nothing really left except for the dam, but for a few years in the 19th century, it was a town of 4000. That's more residents than Nevada City has right now. You can stand in a meadow and look at the lake and have no idea that there were once so many people living right there.

But I was going to Baltimore Lake.

This time, I took the Albequerque turn and slowly walked down a mountain. There was a big hole in the ground off the right side of the trail. It was dusted with yellow and slightly smelled of sulfur. It wasn't wet, but the powder didn't seem all that old. I wondered if it was a mine or a geyser.

It's possible that the yellowish dust made me imagine I was smelling sulfur. I've not got the best olfactory sense on the planet.

This area of the county is full of beautiful lakes. On the trail, you get a great view of French Lake:

That's not Baltimore Lake. Baltimore Lake is much smaller and shaped a little like a kidney bean. It's also surrounded by trees, so you don't get a good view of it from above like that. What you see first is this:

It's a lovely little lake. I walked around the lake and sat on that rock for a snack. Here are a couple of shots of the view from that rock:

That's the hill I walked down. I went on Saturday because I was worried about the rain supposedly coming on Sunday. Little fluffy clouds:

I liked the little lake. Hooray for Baltimore. You might be wondering: Did I wear proper headgear for this hike?

Of course I did.

Runkeeper did make a nice GPS map of my walk, in case you want to try this out. You can see that I took a little hike down the wrong road at first this time, too, in spite of having done the first part of the walk just a week ago. Also, I startled a bear on the way back to my car, so be careful. He ran off into the woods.

Fun Maps

There are some neat maps of regional pronunciation in the US available from NC State University. I thought I'd point out a few. There are 122; I recommend checking them out. You can click on these to make them bigger.

Bowie: I'm surprised that so little of the country pronounces this correctly:

But I did learn how to speak in that little blue shading that's over there on the east coast. I have a theory about why it is that although the vast majority of the [u:] pronunciation is in Texas, there's a little pocket in Maryland. I'm sure that Bowie Mike would agree.

Creek: How do you pronounce "creek"? I have to wonder whether this has changed over time with the advent of mass media and perhaps some shaming from that? Because I remember as a kid knowing people who pronounced it with the short i, but this map shows hardly anybody at all.

Monday: OK, this is the one that made me wonder how accurate this survey was. How aspirational is pronunciation and/or our self-assessment of pronunciation? I know that more than 6% of the people I grew up with pronounce Monday as Mundy, but we feel dumb doing it.

If I wanted to feel more like I fit in with a particular region, I think I could use these maps to figure out a specific place and what it is proud of saying and try to pass.

Dinner: When I moved to Tennessee, I remember there was a soda machine (pop, for those of you in the midwest, dope in TN) at the school. There was a sign on it that said: "Not to be used until after dinner." I was kind of perplexed. I asked another kid, "Who the heck is here after dinner?" He looked at me like I was nuts. "We all are, dummy," he said. Turns out that dinner is the mid-day meal and supper is the end-of-day meal. "It's obvious," he told me. "It's because of Jesus. He ate the Last Supper. Duh." Oh, well, yeah. My lack of religious upbringing also hurt me when we read out loud in HS freshman English. (Did we really do that? It feels like something little children do.) I had never heard the word "Yea" out loud, so I pronounced it "Yeah." But since every other word in the Bible is apparently "yea", I got laughed at. Yay.

Also, there was no way I was going to go to the corner to get a "dope in a poke," thank you very much. I don't care how friendly you think you're being; a Baltimore kid is going to be on the lookout for cops in that situation.

Come With This one strikes me as accurate, if only because my late wife said "Come with" and she was from Wisconsin. She also followed the map for "poem."

The devil is beating his wife: And finally, I have never heard anybody say this, but I am so adding it to my vocabulary right this minute.

Are there interesting phrases or pronunciations you use that aren't covered by the NC charts? And are you proud of them or do you try to suppress them? Every so often I catch a flat "o" that I thought I'd stamped out years ago. Do you pronounce all the consonants in "breakfast"?

Lord of Emperors (Guy Gavriel Kay)

Amid the first hard winds of winter, the King of Kings of Bassania, Shirvan the Great, Brother to the Sun and Moons, Sword of Perun, Scourge of Black Azal, left his walled city of Kabadh and journeyed south and west with much of his court to examine the state of his fortifications in that part of the lands he ruled, to sacrifice at the ancient Holy Fire of the priestly caste, and to hunt lions in the desert.

Submission Rejected

Dang, that was fast. Not gonna lie; every rejection makes the next submission harder to get to.