Can You See Satellites In Fresno? Yes.

The ISS with solar array in full bloom (pic by NASA just in case you thought I took this)

Sorry if this is yet another thing that makes me a nerd but I like spotting satellites in Fresno’s night sky. Even with our light pollution, its not that hard to do.

If ya think you have never seen one, you probably have and just passed it off as a plane.

The trick to spot them for me is: there are no blinking lights on a satellite. 

It is one solid light that looks like a star, but moving smoothly and quietly across the night sky.

  • Blinking = Plane.
  • Solid = Satellite.

If you like watching a small dot move across a screen, here is a video I took of the International Space Station going over the Eastern Fresno sky:

And this equally dorky one across the NW Fresno sky:

I mean, come on now, THAT is some THRILLING đź›° video people! [sarcasm]

As nerds in Fresno take video of them that you can hardly see, the Space Station crew occasionally takes shots of the Earth below:

The sun's glint beams across the English Channel and the North Sea in between southern England and the coasts of France, Belgium and The Netherlands, in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above.
An orbital sunrise is pictured from the International Space Station as it soared 265 miles above the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia.
This nighttime photograph, taken from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above Turkey, highlights the Moon's glint on the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Suez. The city lights along the Nile Delta and the eastern Mediterranean coast also figure prominently in the picture.
This long exposure photograph, taken from the International Space Station as it orbited 262 miles above the Democratic Republic of Congo, reveals city lights on the African continent, Earth's atmospheric glow and star trails.

There are websites and apps to help spot things. I sometimes use an app simply called “Satellite Tracker” to find me some info on what I might be seeing – there is a lot of abandoned space junk up there still circling.

You can find a calendar of the ISS’s activities here.

Once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty easy to spot the random đź›° satellite – there are many more than there used to be. It usually only takes a minute to find one and I live in the middle of the city.

Also, over the next few weeks the Perseid Metor Shower is going on, peaking August 11-13th. You definitely can catch a few from your patio but those are best viewed outside of the city.

A Patio In Fresno

A Fresno evening with a beer. It’s beautiful, man

Out in my backyard on the patio I can currently hear four different neighbors either on their patio or in their backyard, enjoying themselves.

Two different music streams (outside of my own). Lots of laughing and alcohol charged loud talk. Pent-up partying getting released.

Lights are taking effect and the stars are coming out.

It’s 8:49PM, 80 degrees and a damn nice Fresno evening.

Cheers to Saturday nights and peace to Fresno. ✌️

The Problem With The New Costco Site Is Only Everything

Lot that Costco wants to build on
Likely Future Site of Fresno’s Newest Costco

Costco wants to move its West Shaw location to a currently vacant field at Herndon & Riverside. And they want to manipulate Herndon to do it. It seems the West Shaw location is too small for them.

Oh and in case you are still a little foggy on where Riverside Drive and Herndon is at:

It will have great views of the Olive Garden

If it’s THAT big of a problem for them on West Shaw. If it needs so much space. If we need to move and change things. Then, well, maybe it shouldn’t exist at all?

Or at least take the vacant old Super Walmart space just to the East of the current Costco Shaw location, if you ACTUALLY simply need more space.

I respect that Costco (has the reputation amongst the industry at least) of treating their employees better than most of the grocery and retail industry does. Many consider Costco a more ethical company than the Wal-Marts & Targets.

If that’s true, cool. But this is where my like of Costco ends.

Things That Suck About Costco [Old Man Rant Alert!]

Abe Simpson yells at clouds
  • It’s too damn big. All of it. The store and items.
  • They sell a whole buncha of junk. Junk that I shouldn’t nobody should buy.
  • The fucking parking. Both the NE Fresno location and West Shaw suuuuuck to get in & out of – they should be on this list. And yes, part of the reason they want to leave West Shaw is the bad parking but you know damn well the new place will end up being a shitty lot too.
  • They charge you annually for the privilege of shopping there (sucker).
  • Too many different things happening; poultry, books, TVs, optometrist, a giant bag of iceberg lettuce, all under one roof. It’s unsettling.
  • Lines. Long lines to wait in to give them your money.
  • Buying in bulk isn’t always the best value.

And another thing, shouldn’t we be focusing on vacant locations in Fresno becoming residential or a park anyway? There are very few largish open spaces left in the city and the immediate thought is “Hey, let’s get a Costco in there!”

Oh and hey, like, aren’t big box stores on their way out? Amazon killing all the retail and stuff? And if not, won’t Costco come along one day and find that the new Herndon spot is also too small for them?

Let’s not forget what that area, including the small community of Herndon, has had to endure

The traffic is already a mess. I know, I go through there at least twice a day on my commute. Add a Costco with its gas station and then probably a little strip mall with a check cashing place next to a liquor store and a Subway, and it will be a disaster.

That doesn’t even include the many-times-a-day a Union Pacific freight train comes through. And when it does it backs up traffic for three light cycles and that’s with NOTHING currently in the lot that Costco wants to use.

Plus, it would be a waste for a city run golf course, Riverside, to have their third hole looking at the back of a Costco warehouse (with dumpsters and idling 18-wheelers), instead of housing or a green space.

I imagine the city will push it through because taxes or whatever. Not sure how to stop it. Just let the record show I said the new Costco on Herndon will be trash.

Fresno: California’s Base Camp

Yosemite Valley Pic by @markian.b on Instagram

People can shit on this and I get it, you shouldn’t brag about things not technically in your city, but hey man: it’s pretty fucking cool we can get to everything rad in California by lunch time.

  • Tahoe
  • Yosemite
  • San Diego
  • Your Mom’s
  • Monterey
  • Las Vegas (ok it’s Nevada, but still)
  • San Francisco
  • Disneyland
  • Shasta (a late lunch)
  • Russian River Brewery

ALL BY LUNCH!!

Zachary’s Deep Dish Pic by @restaurantgroupie on Instagram

I can go have a pizza at Zachary’s in Berkeley right now, FUCKING WATCH ME.

Then go have some beers at Faction and look at this view:

Then have some sucker drive my buzzed-ass back home for tacos in downtown Fresno, LIKE. A. KING!

Can Austin say that? Fucking Kansas City? Chicago? Atlanta? Boston? Pittsburgh? Either of the Portlands?

NO! They cant say these things! Cities don’t talk.

But if they could? Well, they would say “I wish I was where Fresno is.”

Earthquake Near Fresno Is No Fault Of Our Own

Fault lines in Central California

Above is a map of all the fault lines in the Central Valley. With the exception of the extreme South Valley, there are no faults on the valley floor.

Yeah? Then how did THIS happen, bro!?

Earthquake outside Lemoore Tuesday night

Sure that is a tiny earthquake. Maybeeee somebody around Lemoore or Hanford felt it, if they were really paying attention, but that’s about it.

How does this happen with no fault lines?

Fracking? Is anyone out there fracking around on the Valley Floor? I don’t know. Maybe.

Even science is not all that sure how this can happen, but there is one explanation:

Earthquakes occurring away from tectonic plate boundaries can be triggered by the rise and fall of hot material through the Earth’s mantle

Woah. “Hot material” eh? We talkin’ magma? Magma? Fun to say it isn’t it? MAG-ma. Come on say it with me, “MAGma”.

Yeah so maybe there is some ancient volcano under the valley floor and stuff. Not to alarm anyone or anything.

Since this quake happened almost directly below Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, I prefer to think it was somebody’s sick drop-in.

Oh since we’re talking about the Surf Ranch, the world famous You Tuber, Casey Neistat, visited the place recently and gave a nice account of what it’s like to get a chance to surf there:

🤙

Fresno On Lockdown

So this is life now, eh? Battling Fresnans at Save Mart (or for you crazy people, Costco) for bread.

Actually, I have been surprised by how nice everyone has been out there in Fresno. I guess when you go through a shared experience like this, people get nicer.

As a homebody, an introverted and awkward person, that has to push and motivate themselves to even meet up with friends that I want to be around, you would think this new world of being socially distant, not meeting up with people and staying away from groups, would be kinda awesome.

Honestly, for me, it sort of is.

WAIT WAIT, don’t hate me. If everyone else’s life was the same; healthy, their business was untouched, jobs secure, THEN this would be the life I dream of.

Stay at home with my family? Play video games? Wander around my backyard, look up at the clouds, write, binge Star Wars content, develop a playlist on Spotify, trick-out my patio? Do all the things I always want to do but never make the time for? Yes, I’m here for that content.

All while feeling like I’m “doing good” (even if I don’t actually do any of those things and put them off like I always do).

Feeling good about myself instead of my normal feeling of dread and guilt that I’m not meeting friends for a thing, or going Downtown for ArtHop or an event, or going to get my tires rotated or some crap thing that I beat myself up for not doing ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

*deep breath*

Getting takeout now feels… good? As long as places stay up and running.

I hope everyone can weather this. The number of businesses that are affected are too many to count. It’s not just the food-related industry. But what the hell am I talking about here, you don’t need me to tell you this.

Most of the places I use for beer have delivery or pickup now. I used Pine & Palm’s “drive-thru” service this week and picked up some crowlers. I’ll be trying out Tioga’s delivery service this weekend. Hopefully, Zack’s Brewing will be able to do the same soon. Most of my craft beer places are at least setting up pickup options. I plan on taking full advantage.

Here are tips on how to keep it clean and still get local takeout.

This is all we can do, right? Takeout and tip higher than normal. Save up money to hella support when we are on the other side of this. No matter if it’s a food-related business or not.

I am fortunate to have a job that is not affected by this (income-wise), at least not yet. Unfortunate that I still have to go out and do it. Props to all my new brothers and sisters in the Essential Services Industry.

Staying at home sounds better than ever, but even I will be glad to be amongst groups of Fresnans again, someday… on occasion.

For now, all we can do is support the places we use (in the safest way we can) and hope they will be there when this is over. Keep your head up gaze at the clouds and stay safe, Fresno.

-Mikey