Dr. Renfrew, USN Guam limestone cave, UOG Geog field tripI’ve incorporated outdoor teaching into most of my career, and have always identified with local & global news reporters. I don’t do wars, but I’ve served in high-risk places with heavy military security (tanks pointed at airport exit doors, overflown by Russian & Cuban helicopters, etc.), and been personally escorted on walks by armed guards. My son and I did all the ATM withdrawals at the Nairobi mall where the gundown occurred, as the guesthouse only took Kenyan shillings, not cards.

So I am used to risk-taking, and most places I have not been very afraid, just alert and aware of what’s going on around me. My shoes convey the appearance of athleticism.

It’s hurricane season, and both the Pacific and Atlantic have been busy with one tropical storm to typhoon after another. I pray against them, but haven’t tracked all the Western Pacific because am just too busy here. The ones approaching U.S. and Hawaii, I try to watch to pray.

Palos Verdes from SWEl Niño is coming to L.A., and I live and work near the beach and Palos Verdes landslide areas. Malibu should also get some because Pacific Coast Highway over-steepens slopes beyond their angles of stability (‘repose’), and underlying rock folds point down toward the ocean. It’s just gravity, and normal landscape evolution: uplift, weathering, erosion, mass wasting (by gravity), deposition. It’s the rock cycle: fragments flow back to the ocean to become new sedimentary rocks over the millenia. It’s the water cycle: evaporation, precipitation, runoff.
Mass wasting 1
Field reporting during a potential hurricane is not enviable because it’s fraught with risk, fear, worry, and waiting. Reporters get cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, have to use the restroom that’s boarded up or far away. They miss their families, power & cell phone coverage are lost, all.

See you at the beach or the slide.

Dr Melanie Renfrew, wide Santa Monica Bay
We can make up “Offshore Winds, The Musical” with rap songs & sand choreography while we wait.
Bollywood dancing, beach

I thought this was an interesting  list of firefighting vocabulary:

I’d wanted to go up to Big Bear last Sunday but the Summit Fire started. As I was looking for an update, I became interested in the way slopes and terrain are described by the experts, as it’s geographical.  In the vocabulary list, they did NOT list the ‘shore’ wind terms that confuse people & meteorologists alike, and the wind vectors section did emphasize the global rule that “wind direction is named by the direction from which the wind is blowing,” 


This week’s L.A. heat wave “weak offshore trends” at L.A.’s SHORE:

Weather Conditions for:
Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport, CA.  KLAX  (NWS/FAA)
Elev: 125 ft; Latitude: 33.93806; Longitude: -118.38889


Time Temp. Wind Wind
    Direction Speed
(PDT) (f)   (mph)
29 Aug 9:53 pm PDT 75 W 17
29 Aug 8:53 pm PDT 76 W 17
29 Aug 7:53 pm PDT 78 W 16
29 Aug 6:53 pm PDT 78 WSW 15
29 Aug 5:53 pm PDT 78 WSW 13
29 Aug 4:53 pm PDT 80 WSW 15
29 Aug 3:53 pm PDT 82 W 18
29 Aug 2:53 pm PDT 81 WSW 14
29 Aug 1:53 pm PDT 82 W 13
29 Aug 12:53 pm PDT 83 W 12
29 Aug 11:53 am PDT 82 W 12
29 Aug 10:53 am PDT 83 W 9
29 Aug 9:53 am PDT 81 VRBL 3
29 Aug 8:53 am PDT 78 SW 3
29 Aug 7:53 am PDT 74 CALM  
29 Aug 6:53 am PDT 71 CALM  
29 Aug 5:53 am PDT 71 CALM  
29 Aug 4:53 am PDT 72 E 3
29 Aug 3:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
29 Aug 2:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
29 Aug 1:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
29 Aug 12:53 am PDT 74 SSE 3
28 Aug 11:53 pm PDT 74 SSW 3
28 Aug 10:53 pm PDT 74 W 3
28 Aug 9:53 pm PDT 76 SW 7
28 Aug 8:53 pm PDT 77 WSW 8
28 Aug 7:53 pm PDT 75 W 7
28 Aug 6:53 pm PDT 77 W 12
28 Aug 5:53 pm PDT 80 W 17
28 Aug 4:53 pm PDT 82 WSW 14
28 Aug 3:53 pm PDT 84 W 14
28 Aug 2:53 pm PDT 86 W 14
28 Aug 1:53 pm PDT 84 W 12
28 Aug 12:53 pm PDT 84 W 12
28 Aug 11:53 am PDT 85 WSW 8
28 Aug 10:53 am PDT 82 W 10
28 Aug 9:53 am PDT 85 VRBL 5
28 Aug 8:53 am PDT 80 ESE 3
28 Aug 7:53 am PDT 76 CALM  
28 Aug 6:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
28 Aug 5:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
28 Aug 4:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
28 Aug 3:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
28 Aug 2:53 am PDT 73 CALM  
28 Aug 1:53 am PDT 74 WNW 6
28 Aug 12:53 am PDT 75 VRBL 3
27 Aug 11:53 pm PDT 75 CALM  
27 Aug 10:53 pm PDT 76 VRBL 3
27 Aug 9:53 pm PDT 75 WSW 5
27 Aug 8:53 pm PDT 75 SW 3
27 Aug 7:53 pm PDT 75 WSW 9
27 Aug 6:53 pm PDT 77 W 12
27 Aug 5:53 pm PDT 79 W 12
27 Aug 4:53 pm PDT 81 W 12
27 Aug 3:53 pm PDT 81 W 12
27 Aug 2:53 pm PDT 82 W 13
27 Aug 1:53 pm PDT 82 W 14
27 Aug 12:53 pm PDT 82 W 12
27 Aug 11:53 am PDT 80 WSW 9
27 Aug 10:53 am PDT 78 W 8
27 Aug 9:53 am PDT 77 WSW 7
27 Aug 8:53 am PDT 76 WSW 3
27 Aug 7:53 am PDT 73 CALM  

I don’t like home repairs because I feel vulnerable when handymen come into my private turf. After breaking a window this morning killing a noisy moth, I felt immediate alarm that I’d need to get it fixed soon. I put on jeans and athletic shoes as kind of a defense, 2 different neighboring company guys came by even on a Saturday!, and one replaced the pane with a slightly thicker one for $90 with labor, which was a deal for same day. I also finally bought a large-capacity washer from Lowe’s sale, and it will come tomorrow before school starts.

My mom was a psychologist and worked free-lance administering psychological tests for different companies or clinics. In my 20s after I did my Master’s research (semi-camping, difficult, 100’s temps.) in the African desert, I took her tests and the gender scale peaked feminine (something like 90-some %), and it was a flood of relief realizing I didn’t have to be so strong all the time. Single women have to learn to do a lot of ‘guy’ things; and not to stereotype rigidly, but it’s a drain on emotional energy. Acting tomboyish and sisterly are ways of creating buffer zones, but it’s not always the inner us.

320px-Water_cycle, U.S. Geological SurveyWet dishes, shower walls and towels left to dry add to indoor humidity: the water doesn’t disappear but becomes invisible vapor, which adds to our feeling of being hot (or cold in winter), because it affects our skin, noses & sinuses. Outdoors, humidity is calculated with temperature to a ‘heat index’ (‘feels like’) ‘sensible temperature.’

Avoid a habitat for mold & mildew by decreasing indoor humidity.

I think about this all the time, for years: I let towels dry outside, squeegee the shower walls before I get out and try to kick the extra drips down the drain with a sweeping motion. I close windows near the drier vent so humid air doesn’t come back indoors. My neighbor has an outdoor table for pots & pans to dry in the sun.

If my car is wet with late-afternoon dew, I leave it outside to not bring the water into the garage to evaporate. Garages have a musty smell anyway from dust.

In anticipation of a heavy rainy season in L.A., think about how to keep the insides of your car from mold or damp smells from wet clothes or floor mats. The problem with plastic floor mats is they have a pungent bad-plastic smell representing who knows what chemicals-that-are-bad-for-you. If you have newspapers or plastic bags for your wet feet, be careful they don’t hinder your braking ability (or clutch), & plan ahead with extras to sit and put wet clothes & shoes on.

water cycle -tjstudentgalleryI’m thrilled in anticipation of a rainy year; but when the sun comes out and starts evaporating wet surfaces, I personally close the windows until the wind starts, as humidity slows down energy unless people are used to it. In L.A. our hottest days may be ahead; and this winter’s rain will mostly be warmer from the Southwest instead of our typical Northwest cold fronts, but we’ll likely get both. Warm air has a greater capacity to hold water in the vapor form (higher humidity possible).


Stray dogs, wild horses, and inmates transform each other.
Dogs on the inside
Don’t Throw Us Away, a life-saving prison dog program in Massachusetts.

Prison Pup Graduates: http://dtua.org/prison-pup-graduates/ with new families.

The Wild Horse Redemption
Wild Horse Inmate Program:

Keep guessing.
download 2 mystery

Try getting your scalp and arms wet to evaporate.


Riff in Tiksi, SIberiaMy brother Grant was USAF Search & Rescue Pilot 20 yearsI found a poster of military helicopters and asked my brother to explain to my dad & me about all the ones he’d piloted with Search and Rescue for U.S. Air Force, 20 years in Alaska, Korea, Iceland, Turkey, Kuwait, around U.S. He’s a gifted teacher and storyteller, and has had lots of adventures!
Grant Patton explaining which helicopters he'd flown, USAF SAR 1
Grant Patton explaining which helicopters he'd flown, USAF SAR 2
Denali Base Camp, Major Patton
My brother climbing Denali

Pine from my kitchen window, 8-24-15, MP Renfrew
Bougainvillea, hibiscus from my back window, 8-24-15, MP Renfrew
Current Views from ‘Windows 10’:
Special Weather statement, 8-26-15 NWS Oxnard
‘WEAK OFFSHORE TRENDS,’ all afternoon:
'Weak offshore trends' heat 8-26-15 L.A. Basin

occrp_offshore crime

I usually keep earthquake/winter camping supplies in the trunk of my car in case there is an accident and I have to stay overnight in it.  I have water stored in my garage, but not enough for a week, including neighbor friends who may not have thought of it.  When we had a power outage last week, I wandered around with a flashlight to make sure they were ok (to help them find their flashlights); and one (guy) neighbor warned me, ‘Be careful!’
‘Of course!’ I just didn’t want anybody to be afraid.

When my son was here, we used to have military M.R.E.’s* from the surplus store in the garage for if there was an earthquake and we lost power.  They have a 10?-year shelf life, but expired.

ethiopia-sat*Meals Rejected by Ethiopians


Check your roof tiles, as roofing companies are already busy repairing and preparing.  Clean eaves and pipes.

Many of our L.A. ‘lawns’ now are like a brick of baked clay. Before El Niño rains really start, on a cooler day, start loosening the soil and making a plan for which way you want excess water to drain. My pitchfork is shot because the ground is too hard for it (each prong bends a different direction).  I plan to dig trenches channeling water to my trees, which look rather pathetic from dryness: they are not supposed to be ‘weeping birches.’

Even the succulents look sad and shriveled, but I have cut water use in half.

climate-graph, Koror, Palau
Climate Graph for Koror Airport, Republic of Palau, http://en.climate-data.org/location/3442/
This is the July I remember:
palau-weather, visit-palau.dehttp://www.visit-palau.de/palau-weather.html

We didn’t really use umbrellas, but waited under trees or an overhang until downpours passed. The classroom did not have air-conditioning or glass windows, just wire grating for wind. I remember mud squishing through my open-toed sandals.

Palau’s tourist slogan is ‘Where rainbows end,’ and it’s true: we could eat by the water and see rainbows go right down to it. It was like snorkeling in a colorful aquarium, but my leg got gouged by tall button coral.
Papa, M and Ben, Rock Islands, Palau
My dad, son and I at Rock Islands, where my students took us on a picnic.
(I don’t scuba, as I’m fond of accessible oxygen.)

Getting ready, gearing up.
Geog 1 520 extra credit wetlands walk, 10-11-12
Geog 1 LAHC 1110 class Harbor wetlands, Dr. M. Renfrew, 4-23-12
Harbor wetlands Geog 1 nature walk
Red Rock field trip, 2-20-12 LAHC Geography Lab, Dr Renfrew
Crenshaw Trail 3-4-12 LAHC Geography Dr MP  Renfrew
Eaton 3-16-14 LAHC Geography Dr Renfrew
We climbed up here Friday, Forrestal Canyon 9-28-12, LAHC Geography  Dr. Renfrew
Michael Constable's selfie of Geog 1 520 class, Geo F CynCrenshaw Extension Trail loop 2, Geog 7 students 11-11-14 LAHC Geography
Geography Field Trip, Malibu Creek Century Lake, 3-29-14, Dr. M. Renfrew
Malibu Creek uphill from Rock Pool, 9-11-11 Lab class
LAHC Geography Field Trip, Dr. Melanie Renfrew, Portuguese Bend overlook, Ocean Trails,  10-15-11
SCC 109 Geography room window, LAHC Dr. Renfrew

adverikie location monarch of glen scotland mapMany thanks to Ian Hall, Jo Cumming, and Poppy for their hosting and great tour!

When I discovered the Monarch of the Glen series in about May or early June, it was like a ‘calling’ to go to this land and walk the trails that were once Clan Macpherson and neighbor territory, as if my DNA and spirit were ‘calling out’ to reconnect with previous turf. (Emma Thompson’s character pointed this out to the clerk in ‘Howard’s End’ when he walked all night out of London to experience a ‘meadow’ with flowers, which he’d only read about in books.)

When I actually got to go here because of the Lord’s and Ian’s kindness, when I’d only fell upon the Badenoch Fiddlers by walking from Kingussie to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore (where Outlander was partly filmed, and 2 of the violinists had bicycled by with instruments hanging on their backs!), it was such an amazing experience with the Lord’s hand all over orchestrating it. Thank you! I’m still listening to their music, and the land and people are still in my thoughts!
Horse at Glentruim, MPRenfrew
Old MacPherson estate, Glentruim, Scotland, MP Renfrew
Poppy, Jo Cumming's garden, Glentruim
Glentruim pond
Irises, Jo Cumming's garden, Glentruim
Near Ardverikie, MP Renfrew
River Spey near Laggan, Scotland, MP Renfrew
RIver Spey near Laggan, MP Renfrew
Lone house near Laggan, MP RenfrewIan Hall, Poppy at Ardverikie Estate Gate aka Glenbogle, near Laggan, ScotlandLaggan storeGate to Ardverikie
Monarch of the Glen road, Ardverikie
Poppy on way to Ardverikie lake, Ian Hall's dog
Path to Arverikie lake
Poppy in lake, Ardverikie
Ardverikie lake, storm coming, MP Renfrew
Spey tributary rapids near Ardverikie, MP Renfrew
Waterfall near Laggan
Center of Scotland plaque near Laggan
Jo Cumming, Glentruim
Dinner at Jo Cummings, Ian Hall's, 7-14-15 Thank you
Jo's geraniums, Glentruim

Copy and paste these links if you want to check anytime.
Current 7-day records– National Weather Service: L.A.Basin – Los Angeles City Center: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KCQT&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
Torrance: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KTOA&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m

“Shore” locations – coastal strip:

Santa Monica: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KSMO&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
The Beach cities generalize to LAX Airport in the center: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KLAX&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m (I use LAX records as representative of L.A. Basin/L.A. region’s “SHORE.”)
Long Beach: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KLGB&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
Orange County (John Wayne) Airport – “Santa Ana”: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=KSNA&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
San Diego County Coastal Areas: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=SDETS&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
Ventura County Coast (Oxnard Airport): http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=KOXR&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
Santa Monica Mountains/Malibu Hills: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=MBUC1&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
“Inland Valleys”: San Fernando ValleyNorthern – San Fernando (Camp 9): http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=lox&sid=CNIC1&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
SE SFV – Burbank Airport:
SW SFV – Chesebro:
San Gabriel Valley (Pasadena, Covina, etc.) – Santa Fe Dam:
San Bernardino and Riverside County Valleys -The Inland Empire (Riverside /March Air Force Base): http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=KRIV&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m

During the school semester (starting tomorrow for faculty), I get too busy to do most non-urgent things, and try to R & R on outings on days off, so some things get postponed. In the last month I took care of a slew of check-ups, and am happy for good lab results and doctors’ reports. Everyone has bodily issues or weaknesses, & ‘no one is perfect.’
Photo not available

I had some foot callouses since hiking last spring, and I trimmed them down with sandpaper.

The podiatrist this morning said, ‘Looks great.’

(Scroll down) https://www.linkedin.com/in/drbrucehensel

Thanks for serving the public, Dr. Bruce!

Matt Damon The Martian
A movie documents how actor Matt Damon was left behind. I just hate it when that happens.

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