Friday, February 12, 2010

Bass Lake

This is our cabin at Bass Lake. It's been in our family for 70 years and it's one of the oldest cabins on the lake. The significance of this cabin cannot be undervalued. First it's my family history. My mother's maiden name is Jane Wishon and the Wishon name is well known in the Bass Lake history books. My Great Grandfather was A.G. Wishon who was vastly instrumental in making Bass Lake a hydroelectric PG&E lake. I am terrible at translating facts so I pulled up the story online and here it is for those who are interested....
The lake was called Crane Valley Reservoir for many years but the name was eventually changed when a small Bass Lake lumber operation polluted the lake, killing all the fish that were in it. The lumber company was ordered by the government to replace all the fish that were lost. The chosen fish was Bass, hence the new name - Bass Lake.

Bass Lake is now owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the waters of the lake are still used today to generate electricity, irrigate farmland in the Central Valley and for numerous recreational activities. The lake is considered a "warm water" lake with water temperatures reaching near 80 degrees during the summer months. (written by USFS)

Here's some info on my Great Grandfather A.G. Wishon.......
After bankruptcy, Los Angeles investors A.C. Balch and W.G. Kerckhoff acquired the company. They immediately hired A.G. Wishon as general manager. Thus, in 1902 the new company, San Joaquin Power Co. consisted of one powerhouse – San Joaquin #1, a small dam at Bass Lake, transmission lines to Fresno and Hanford, and a system of canals and flumes.

A.G. Wishon set to work expanding the demand for electricity in the Central Valley and developing further sources of electrical power. Key to this expansion was an agreement between Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Joaquin Power Co. In this agreement a boundary was defined to establish their electrical service areas thereby permitting the San Joaquin Power Co. to expand into all of Central California.

Over the next 20 years, the San Joaquin Power Co. (later becoming San Joaquin Light & Power) constructed four more power plants on Willow Creek above San Joaquin #1 was replaced by a more modern powerhouse, now named A.G. Wishon Powerhouse, and in 1920 the Kerckhoff reservoir and powerhouse were constructed. This later addition resulted in the first powerhouse and dam to use the waters of the San Joaquin River. In 1927 the Balch powerhouse on the North Fork of the Kings River was completed. All of these hydroelectric power plants are still in operation.

By 1930 the San Joaquin Power Co. had reorganized as the San Joaquin Light & Power Corp. (to obtain more capital) and had purchased or merged with several other power companies. This resulted in eleven power plants supplying energy to a service area stretching from Bakersfield to Merced and from the mountains to the ocean. At this point, irrigation systems and oil fields were electrified and electricity was available to virtually all communities in Central California.

A.G. Wishon had been joined earlier by his son A.E. Wishon and when W.G. Kerckhoff retired they together managed the San Joaquin Light & Power Corp. In 1936, a merger of San Joaquin Light & Power and Pacific Gas & Electric was completed, which significantly expanded the service territory of PG&E. A.E. Wishon served as a director and executive Vice President of PG&E until his untimely death in 1946.Today the legacy of these pioneers can be found in the powerhouses and reservoirs bearing their names and in the strength of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation that has become one of the largest utilities in the United States. This enterprise all started in 1896 with the construction of Eastwood’s powerhouse, San Joaquin #1, between Auberry and North Fork.

I am so proud to be a part of this lake and my best memories in my life have happened here. I learned how to swim at Bass, I got engaged to be married at Bass, I've had numerous birthdays, holidays and summers there all my life, I've watched my children grow at Bass, I have mother-daughter weekends at Bass and I continue to cherish each and every moment I have there. My mother and her two brothers are the owners of the Bass Lake cabin equally. We all have to share our time there and it ends up that we go about 3 times a year or so. Last year we went for the fourth of July and watched the fireworks over the lake. This year we will do the same. I pray this cabin stays in our family through my generation, it's been a concern as there are 9 cousins to divide it with. For now it's ours and it's my most cherished possession. If you go, please do yourself a favor and go to the Fork's and have the best burger EVER. I look forward to it all year.......

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Steam Punk

Recently I was made aware of a movement called "Steam punk". I thought I would share my discovery with all of you....
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Steam punk)
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.
Think I am going to embrace this eclectic new lifestyle....I'll start with some googles, a ruffle skirt and a corset. I can dig the combination Victorian, punk and modern blend of science fiction fantasy. I mean I am always looking to expand my horizons.....who's with me????!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

SF Gift Show

Wow, what an amazing experience! I went to the gift show for the first time and it was fantastic! I started off in the 'vintage' section, (of course) drooling and lusting over Wendy Addison's booth. Wendy is a local artist in Port Costa, she's delightful and her works of art are wildy popular. I purchased two snails and a glittered frame and lusted after every piece of hers. After I managed to drag myself away from Wendy's booth, I went next door to "My Favorite Things" and lusted after all Tina's goodies. She makes sooooo many wonderful things and I got a little of this and that (come see me in Benicia and I'll show you myself). These ladies know how to put charming letterpress and glitter together let me tell you....I wanted to buy everything and my budget wouldn't allow it so I had to exhibit self-control (not my usual strong suit). What I did do was gather catalogs and contacts for when I strike it rich. When I do, I shall know exactly what to spend the money on. The other booths were great too. The funny shots of me with the horse head were taken by Jamie of "Accoutrement's" she had a nice easy going vibe and was happy to appease my goofiness. The camera was NOT popular and very few people were nice about my picture taking. I had a few threats actually, and I nearly went to jail over one casual picture which was non-consented. I learned not to do that twice! All in all this hip chick was bowled over with the bounty of goodies she wants to stock in the shop. Many suppliers had huge minimum order amounts $350-$400, but some were more reasonable like $100, still it's all money out at this point. So I need to save up and gear up for the summer show since I have some experience with how this operates. Thank you Jamie and Tina for being good sports and letting me take pictures. I had a blast taking it all in. This is definitely one of the perks of having my own business, I get to shop in the big leagues!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Alameda Antique

What a gorgeous day today on the bay. I went to the Alameda with Ann and got some goodies for the shop. The choices are many and the hard part is deciding what to spend your money on. Do I buy the vintage hat, do I buy the sweet mirror, dresser, jewelry box etc...It can be overwhelming if you aren't used to it. Even I get bogged down with the choices but not so much that I don't end up carting a nice pile of things home. So here's what caught my eye. A box full of vinatge cards, postcards, and some old correspondence journals, and old books, a horse on wheels that is wooden and looks like it was in an amusement park, a shoe form, a pretty box and a card holder. This and that. I never know what I'll walk away with. Oh and a chalkboard. Ann only got some old photographs and a sweet looking shelf. It was small in comparison to last months hall. Photobucket I aged this photo of Ann to look like we went many many years ago....It's always fun to people watch and the gal at the top of the page had a sweet set up and was having a blast scooting around. I loved the ingenuity of her being mobile and able to take her child therefore making it work. You see all kinds of people at the Alameda, the vintage dressed, the quirky, the ordinary, the vogue, people who get into the whole scene and that just adds to the flavor of it all. We are so lucky to have this so close some of these vendors travel from out of state to sell here. It's a guaranteed good time.