Report from So. Cal.


I’ve been having a pretty good time on my vacation. For the bulk of the week, I was visiting relatives in Palm Springs.

My perception of Palm Springs as just old people and golf courses is mostly correct. Several observations about the town:

  1. There are a lot of medical facilities catering to the old people.
  2. There are a lot of funeral homes, catering to the exact same market.
  3. I’ve never seen so many ravens in my life (maybe they’re also catering to that market).
  4. Everybody in town owns a small white dog (I think it’s a city ordinance).

I also noticed that the folks here waste a lot of water. In addition to the almost 100 (yes, I said 100!) golf courses, there are a lot of lawns, fountains, and other inappropriate landscaping (for a desert). I guess when you’re rich, you’re exempt from contributing to the common good. All Californians should remember this the next time they talk about rationing our water.

Here are some of the things I’ve done (in the order we did them) that you might consider if you ever find yourself stuck in Palm Springs.


A Corsair at the Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum is wonderful. It has one of the largest collections of WWII aircraft still in flying condition.

Joshua tree

A Joshua tree. It got its name from Mormon settlers, who thought it looked like Joshua or something (When you’re religious, it doesn’t have to make sense.).

Joshua Tree National Park was fantastic. The trees are beautiful and unique. The rocks are stark and crumbly and poke up through the flat desert. You should visit at least once in your life.

We saw a coyote. I’ve never seen one in the wild before. And yes, this guy was pretty wily. He knew how cars behave. He stood at the side of the road, waiting for us to pass. When we stopped, he strutted across the road in front of us. We saw him in the same place when we were returning, pulling the same stunt of waiting for the car to stop before crossing the road.

I don’t know who built the nearby catapult, though.

Argh!! The Cactuarium was closed on Wednesday! Who the hell is closed on a Wednesday?

Dog writing the Bible

God, dyslexic?

The Palm Springs Art Museum was OK. Those bastards shut down the photography exhibit last week that I wanted to see. Aside from that, a few of the exhibits were good. They have a retrospective of Lino Tagliapietra’s glass art. Some of the modern and realist art on the third floor is good. I also liked the video exhibit by Hung-Chih Peng of the dog that writes Bible verses on the wall with his tongue.

View from the top

The view from the top

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is overpriced ($23), but worth doing anyway. They haul you up the side of the mountain to the peak at 8500 feet. From there, you can look out over the valley. There are also trails to hike among the trees. Bring a jacket!

Dragonfly sculpture

Dragonfly sculpture

The city of Palm Desert has a lot of sculptures on the median of their main drag. The dragonfly above is easily the best of the bunch. I’d swipe that thing in the middle of the night if I thought it would fit in my backyard.

On Thursday, I took a Greyhound to Santa Ana (Contrary to popular belief, not everybody on the bus was a crack addict. Some were meth addicts.). As I previously reported, I met with the Orange County Atheists that evening.

You may be wondering why else I came to Orange County. What would possess me to subject myself to the perils of a Greyhound ride and visit one of the strongholds of American conservatism?

It’s quite simple, really.

I’m going to church.

6 Responses to “Report from So. Cal.”

  1. Magnus Bergmark Says:

    Oh Their God, the blatant lies displayed in that page is so… so… rage inducing. They are standing there, lying like some psychopaths, and smiles.

    There is no way they are saying that stuff out of ignorance. No way. They must be lying.

  2. thoughtcounts Z Says:

    Oh man, are you really at this terrible conference? How do you stand the songs? I don’t know how much longer I can endure the webcast… Good luck to you, sir!

  3. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Utterly depressing to see eight PhD’s there. I’d like to think they’re all like Jerry Bergman – got their degrees from diploma mills – but I know it isn’t the case. Marcus Ross graduated from URI two years ago and now teaches at Liberty.

    My experience at the creationist lecture last August confirmed me in my opinion that secular universities shouldn’t be admitting fundies to science programs (yes, I’m a fascist about that as well).

  4. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Oh, Jesus – one of them taught at Cornell:

    Shoot me, why don’t you?

  5. J.R. "Bob" Dobbs Says:

    Make sure to say hi to that Creationist “powerhouse” Jerry Bergman.

  6. Parrotlover77 Says:

    That’s becoming more common. I have to say, it’s pretty impressive that they can keep their delusions the entire time they go through the PhD program. It’s one thing to maintain an abstract notion of religion as you learn more science. The “god of the gaps” belief, so-to-speak. But to maintain young earth Kirk Cameron approved fundism while getting a PhD? I’m impressed, in a twisted “in aww at the power of brainwashing” sort of way.