Posted by EveryoneKnowsItsWindy , yet another name for Bobby, or Bob, but not boob. on November 11, 2004, 4:09 pm, in reply to "Re: Amen!"
A scene that astonishes all the newbies who vacation or move to N California the first time they see it, for often there are letters to the editor which reflect the "I never knew there was such a thing" exclamations of the newbies.
That included me, thirty some years ago when I moved to N. California, but TODAY, it boggles the mind to drive East from the San Francisco Bay area, turn south past ole SSS's house (the guy who never comes to dinner), then on 580 toward Stockton and the Sierras. There is a coastal range of hills (mountains to Floridians) over which you pass to enter the breadbasket of America, the great Central Valley of California, hundreds of miles long.
At the Altamont pass, not too far from the Livermore Labs, you simply do catch your breath, for today hundreds and hundreds and more of these wind generators (several generations of models now) cover the dry and treeless hills where the wind blows constantly. To test this, be a small plane pilot and fly over this area and check your actual groundspeed, or better still, try to land at San Carlos Airport if you are not sharp and up to speed on cross wind landings.
Yes, somewhere on high, it was ordained that wind would blow out the unclean of San Francisco and send it back East, and as a bonus, we were able to generate electricity from this cleansing wind.
This photo hardly does justice , since it is but a tiny section of the hundreds of spinning props that you see as you crest ole Altamont.
On another note, this was also the scene of one of the last "WOODSTOCK" type of hippy thingy. It's the one where some hippies drowned in the irrigation canal which flows through this area, at quite a rate of speed on the Easterly slope. I think someone was shot here also.
How do I know about that hippy stuff, when I was the hardest core constitutionalist warmongering unreconstructed right wing fascist Hitlerian jack-booted thug?? ( taken from the People's World newspaper in their descriptive phrases stolen from early day Marxist psywar phrases..........oops, left out hooligan.....they LOVE that one, for some reason......talk about antiquated...
But I digress for the first time ever.
My foreman , Blank R(not his real name, duh.), my first hyper good friend who happened to be "a black guy", were sneakin out to Stockton to remove our huge steel forms from the walls of a new warehouse that we had subcontracted, and as usual, they did not keep their word, and poured concrete in our forms two days later than agreed upon, and we needed them for another job.
This meant easing in on a Saturday , a highly AWFUL thing to do, from a Union Perspective (which obviously a jack booted, etc did not agree with) ...to work feverishly to climb those high ladders, knock out those two foot 8 inch bolts from the walls to release our forms, pick up the hundreds of pounds of bolts now scattered all over hell, then hook up the 70 foot crane/18 wheeler Kenworth to extract them from the walls, normally a four guy effort, but when Blank and I had to sneak out to here and there, all OVER the huge Central Valley of California, it was just he and me.
A BETTER MAN I NEVER WORKED WITH, FOR IN SIX YEARS HE NEVER FAILED TO SHOW UP, GO THE EXTRA MILE, LOOK OUT FOR ME, and do whatever he had to do.
So we were stuck in traffic and had taken ladies with us to have a nice lunch in Stockton and they got to ride in a "GREAT BIG TRUCK AND CRANE RIG"....trouble is, they also had to pee like crazy, as we all did, as that damned huge truck had to inch its way for nearly sixty miles to get around "THEM DAMNED HIPPIES".....oh, except we were told a guy named Zog was an OK guy, a HARD SELL TO US, for Blank was just as "conservative" as I was in THAT area.
In addition, talk about well armed. Without an exception, when I was around My Gang Of Five, all black crew, they all had their "piece"....usually a .38.
Took Blank and his lady to dinner in Oakland once:
"You got yo piece?" says Blank to his lady....
"You kiddin me, raht here in my purse...if I'm lyin, ahm dyin"
Someone shot Blank a few years after I had him all set up with a terrific job after dumping that dangerous business and moving to the mountains. No, didn't kill him, but messed up his leg so that he couldn't be a carpenter anymore.
Last time I saw him, I was bailing him out of the Oakland Police Department, for they finally stopped him and found about ten unpaid tickets....
That was a good one on me, for down in the basement at jail check out, when I paid the bail and they sent for Blank, as he approached I said to him: "Lemmee get a good look at what I bought", for indeed, we could joke about the black/white thing all the time, for Blank was raised on a Louisiana farm and had worked hard, and had a Christian mama and Gramma that taught him manners and respect, not unlike my own childhood.
BUT THE PLACE WAS FILLED WITH BLACK POLICE OFFICERS who did not know our brand of humor, and one guy started to say something to me, but Blank straightened him out in a hurry, and said that "Bob is the best friend I ever had, and he has risked his very life for those of us who work with him, for we been in some backwoods redneck country where Bob would come lookin for us to make sure we were OK, and in a few bars and pool halls, that did not make him very popular, and he walked in and got us out to the truck like a mother hen"
Paraphrased into straight English.
It was true, of course. I used to peer out the motel window, waitin for the truck to get back, for those guys often forgot that we weren't in Oakland or San Francisco.
I used to drive hundreds of miles a week or so before doing a job out in the country, to make SURE the motel people were cool and understood that we would be there.
And yes, it usta make me mad that I had to do that, and maybe I could have Phoned, but I wanted to look it over personally.
The guys never knew that, of course.
Yep, a hard core fascist right wing fanatic social worker.......
I respected and really loved that guy, for to me his word was honor and he never failed me. Never, not once, and I'm talking some pretty hellish circumstances and highly dangerous type of work. HIGHLY.
The only disgreement we ever had was over what constituted a "nice bottom"
It worked out though, cuz his viewpoint was in favor of the larger type, whereas I was at that time being followed by a size three.
NO, that's DRESS SIZE !! There ain't no sizes for bottoms......is there?
OH, well yes, panty size.......forgot for a moment, was concentrating.......on the perfect one
But I digress.
We finally (since we knew every shortcut in N Calif) left the freeway and got to the job site the hard way.
Stripped out the job, loaded the truck, and my lady escort, and Blank's really nice black lady , had their "nice Late Lunch" with a couple of guys in hard hats and coveralls, skritchy dusty and tired.
ALL BECAUSE OF THEM THERE DAMNED HIPPIES and their filthy dirty commie inspired music.
Did I leave anything out? LOL.
That was for Zog's sake, to get a rise, you guys know that.
Why do I do this? It's just ramblings from another generation........does ANYone read it?
Maybe I'm just an anachronism........
Yeah, maybe that's it........
And maybe this should all have been in books...this last six years on here......Zog certainly tried to help me...
So did my chiropractor friend (?)...
Having been attacked by some strange hangin on thing for a month , coupled with the worst sorrow (I'm working it out by writing) that I have faced since the last deaths, I went in for a much needed treatment......and my FRIEND said:
"You know, I am always amazed that you act and think like a kid, since you don't sleep and take on the world's problems, but today you don't look so good, so , have you written that book yet? Better hurry."
With friends like THAT..............
(I couldn't tell him the REAL reason, or anyone else, for that matter)
No, in all this world, there has seldom been a friend..maybe once.... with whom I could carry on a conversation on most any subject that comes up, for John is a avid reader, a thirty year Bircher also, and a man who stood up to the slime here in town and paid very heavy dues for it.
A man of honor and principle.
Whether it's " The history of Ireland" or "does the snail have a sex life?", we can move smartly into a conversation that can last until we have to go.........one way or the other.
And he LISTENS
And I LISTEN.
That is rare today, but then having a conversation is rare today.
What's that? DO snails have a sex life?
Oh, yes, and it's a pretty slick one , too.
Re: Altamont Pass and the BIG Rock Concert of yesteryear!!!
Posted by Phil Ca on November 20, 2004, 5:21 am, in reply to "A must see..the Altamont Pass in N Calif..Hundreds of Wind Generators. Plus a four page Ramble......"
Bob has described the wind on the Altamont and the Wind Turbines very aptly. We have been seeing these things for many years. When my wife and I cross the Altamont pass I usually say something like,"Now if we could receive just one dollar a day from each of those turbines that is operating each day............."
The area has very few structures and there are some electric lines with those large red spheres (Balls by any other name, but this is a family oriented site...)to keep aircraft and 'pterodactyles' (sp) from running into them. At the top of the grade on both sides of the freeway are large truck parking spaces where longhaul drivers are able to rest up and whack their tires and hide their ordnance before entering the ultra liberal SF Bay Area going west or unlimber them for the trek down the hill towards the "redneck" Central Valley. BTW, the Altamont Pass elevation is only 1,009 feet over the saddle with the hills rising a couple hundred feet more perhaps where you see the WT's spinning away.
Going towards the Bay Area you may be bucking some headwinds. I usually turn off the AC to save gas and lessen the chance of any overheating problems. It is not uncommon to see one or two cars with their hood up along the road.
To see what the road looks like from the actual roadway do a Google using "Altamont Pass elevation on 580" There are a couple perspectives from the 20's and 30's to be found about the Altamont Pass. Sunday traffic in 1938 was bumper to bumper returing west. that was in the days of one lane traffic with maybe some passing areas. Now with three and four and occasionaly a fifth lane it can still be bumper to bumper traffic, that is when you need to watch the temperature gauge in summer.
During the Rock Fest at Altamont the organizers unwisely chose the Hell's Angels from the Bay Area (Oakland iirc) to be the "Security" for the event. Several people were beaten and at least one person shot for geetting in their way.
I have seen Ralph "Sonny" Barger on his Harley running around Oakland a good 30 plus years ago. For a few months we lived in an apartment at te top of Mission Street in Daly City just souuth of the SF City line. There was a bar three doors down the street were the Daly City Hell's Angels hung out. They parked their bikes in two or three parking spaces in front. I always reminded my wife to drive on the second lane to avoid being accidently pushed into the lined up bikes. We moved as soon as we could afford it. Actually we moved when I had a confrontation with a resident in the same building at gun point. (I was the one pointing)
Living in California has been an interesting study in human behavior or the lack thereof!
One more item about Altamont Pass. I grew up on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains and later near the Blue Mountains in Oregon. 1,009 feet is not much of a mountain to my way of thinking. When I was driving in Florida I went to the highest spot which was 345 feet elevation. There were people looking through the fee-for-use binoculars and taking pictures like crazy
« Back to index