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 🛰 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 🛰 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.

Sicko Fresnan Taking Joy In The Pacific NW Heatwave

Portland has been pulling in some of our most interesting Fresnans for years, I hope you understand why I am enjoying this NW heatwave so much.

I kinda love seeing people new to heat react to it. Here are some of my favorites:



Naked Portland:

Continue reading “Sicko Fresnan Taking Joy In The Pacific NW Heatwave”

Fresno Chooses Violence Every Day With Its Temperature Readings

My Feel Is Very Real

I tend to nerd out more on the weather the older I get. Especially when it’s hot. I don’t understand the nerding, it’s just happening to me and you’re here to witness it.

I think it’s because the heat is part of Fresno’s personality. Just talking about hotness is boring on the surface, but when you dig deeper it’s kinda interesting. Like Fresno.

In this past few years of nerding-out about the Fresno heat, I have kept my eye on the various temps around the city.

Fresno doesn’t have just one temperature.

It is different throughout. It is rare when there is a same temperature in Fig Garden as there is in West Fresno. Or NE Fresno compared to Sunnyside.

I don’t know why. Either it is geographically setup to be hotter or the equipment at the airport taking the readings is calibrated badly, but the airport is consistently hotter.

The hottest area of Fresno, nearly EVERY day.

Sadly, this is where the definitive reading for Fresno is taken and then given out to the world. Fresno’s temperature of record is always its worst.

It’s bad marketing. This must be changed.

As an example, I have three different devices at my house (nerd alert!) that have outside temp readings. As I write this, two say it is 103, one says 104. The Fresno Airport reading is 108.

If you are in Chicago right now looking at temps around the country, Fresno would read 108 and not 104.

(I know, some of you don’t think there is a difference but there is and that’s not the point right now.)

It’s Baked Into Us As Fresnans

I get why Fresno would want to present itself to the world in the worst possible way. I hate myself too sometimes.

It’s secretly one of the things I love about this city; everyone sees us at our worst (heat & crime) and we’re like “Yeah? Fucking deal with it. If you can’t handle us at our worst than eat shit – or something like that.”

But maybe we can change this ONE thing? There could be days our high could read 98 instead of 102. Or 87 instead of 90. Sounds and feels better, yeah?

We don’t need to cheat either. Just take our official reading from a place in Fresno NOT the airport.

Scout an area that is the middle ground.

You can pick a City Of Fresno property. Like, a water-well site in an area of Fresno that consistently reads a lower-to-average example of Fresno’s temperature.

Kopi, I assume, giving it to you straight up

I mean is there some state law that says to pick the hottest area of town or something? Can’t Kopi step in here and tell Fresno to have a Great Day somewhere else?

Are you listening Weather Service in Hanford? Do you give a damn, City of Fresno?

With all the power invested in me as the City Blogger, I propose we use a different location for our temperature reading. The current one causes us too much heat.

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


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:


Surviving A Fresno Summer With A Swamp Cooler

My AC unit went out this Summer. The first string of hot days revealed that the compressor in my 25-year-old beast died. It was not going to be worth it to replace it.

I need a new air conditioner. But it’s not always that simple.

Paying for things like a ‘crane fee’ and taking on a loan, was not something we are into this Summer. Beer Slushies at Tioga? Sure. $15,000 central air units? No.

So, we are going to have to get through a Fresno Summer without traditional air. With only a swamp cooler. Ol Swampy (pictured above). Pray for us.

Never thought I would be glad to have a swamp cooler as a backup

We are lucky to have Swampy. The previous owners had both units hooked into the vents. Use the Swamp when things are in the 80s, switch to the Central AC when things start getting ripe.

Those with evaporative cooler experience know, when the triple digits hit, swamp sucks.

Luckily, Fresno does have a good base condition that swamp coolers like: dry heat.

Joke about it all ya damn want but dry heat is hella better than humid heat, for many reasons. One of them is you can tweak your cooler for max coolness:

The best tip from that video? Starting the cooler early!

Blowing swamp when it was already warm was my biggest mistake. It is too much of a struggle for Ole Swampy to cool things down once the house is warm. Starting the cooler at 8 am as opposed to 2 pm makes a big difference.

Yeah, you have the cooler running all day and that can be an expense. But it’s still much cheaper than running an old AC unit.

The frozen bottles and soaking the pads make a small difference but not really worth it for me since my unit is up on the roof.

But what about at night?

Right? Sleeping in a hot room is the worst. I want it cold enough to need a blanket. Being warm during the day is one thing. Trying to sleep when it’s super hot feels like trying to sleep on top of Blackstone asphalt.

That’s why I broke down and bought one of these bad boys for the room:

If you love ‘hotel style’ AC, this is something to look into. It won’t work for the house, but it will keep one bedroom cool and it’s damn nice.

Go turn your swamper on now!

Keeping the cooler in good order and turning it on in the morning, that’s all ya really need to know. Ad the room unit and everything is chill.

Of course… I have not been through August yet. Check back later. In the meantime, I’m feeling like heading Downtown for a Beer Slush: