The white-outs

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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motskyroonmatick
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Post by motskyroonmatick » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:24 pm

I thought the weather was really good this year and am amazed that the dust storms made national news(supposedly). I thought overall atmospheric conditions were great.
Black Rock City Welding & Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

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When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

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Mr.?
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Post by Mr.? » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:08 pm

The desert is vast and empty. The sun is HOT and when it beats down on the desert floor the winds are stirred up by thermal drafts. The surface of the playa this year was bad because it never filled up with water like in 2006, but what would BM be with out the harsh environment to give "self reliance"?
[img][img]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f187/ ... tplaya.jpg[/img][/img]
If BM was held in a place like this would you want to come? Hell ya! Me too, but it's not and that's what makes it so perfect!
[img][img]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f187/ ... fields.jpg[/img][/img]
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!

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bradtem
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Pick who you exclude

Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:10 pm

Burning man seeks to exclude people to keep its numbers down. There are many ways it applies exclusionary pressure, including full-week-only tickets, being in a remote place, being expensive to attend beyond the ticket, requiring a large amount of time, and being in a very harsh place.

The harshness does help make it what it is, but make no mistake about it, there are people who might be valuable contributors to the community but do not or cannot attend because they can't handle the heat and dry climate, have weak constitutions, can't sleep in the noisy environment, have asthma or other respiratory problems or have various other health issues.

The harsh remote environment also causes many projects which might benefit the community to fail on the playa. It is routine to see a moderate fraction of projects which are shut down or curtailed, especially mutant vehicles, animated art and technological projects.


Is the harshness essential? I would say not, though it contributes something. I just think people should be aware of what it does that is good and what it does that is bad, and consider what they are trading for what.

There are other ways Burning Man could work, excluding different sets of people to keep the numbers down. I don't know if the current approach is the optimal one or not.

To me the playa's main positive attribute is providing an immense blank slate that you can bike and drive on, allowing a city of bikes and art cars out of nothing. This year the dust took a lot of this away. If it were always going to be like this, I would vote for leaving the playa.

And then there's the unknown health risks of the dust, which the BLM is currently studying. Fine particulate matter is known to increase the risk of blot clot related problems like heart attack and stroke in those who are prone, while they are exposed to it and for a while after.

Barbie
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Post by Barbie » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:22 am

I LOVE WHITE OUTS!!!!!

During Mondays white outs - I spent the day with Robbidobbs putting up signs in portapotties!!! and drinking in the Booby Bar !!! where I got to meet and greet the famous Crytofishy... Nice to have finally put a face with the posts!!!

Then we Had -THE Best Weather I have Every Seen in the 6 years I've been coming to BRC !!!!! 3 whole DAys of perfect weather!!! Oh Yea !!!

But I have to confess...

When I woke up on Saturday - I said OUTLoud -

I hope it blows 70mph today with Major White Outs!!!

YEa yea yea that it blow that it blow that it Blow
If I were to wish ANYTHING I'd wish I were ME!!

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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:18 am

we got in on saturday before open with the crew and by monday we we're 80% done and looking like we we're ahead of sched. then it hit....like the year without a santa claus...

i remember sitting there, at my little portable sewing machine, trying to hold on to the canvas that made up the tee-pee i was repairing.

needless to say, it was an exercise in persistence and stupid goat-headed defiance of mother nature.

i lost the argument.




my poor machine will never, ever, ever be the same.

thank you to the pink pussycats who borrowed it and returned it WITH the pedal FIXED....that was one of the coolest MacGuyvers i've seen in a while.

anyway, before i drifted i had a thought, oh yeah, the dust.

as i sat there thinking how ridiculous this must look, a man stooped over a sewing machine, with goggles and hanky, wrestling with yards of canvas while a fine silty cloud of dust swirls constantly, and at high speed sometimes, in the middle of fucking nowhere.....

it was then i saw my friend standing there, pretty much thinking exactly the same...after spontaneous laughter and mandatory hug (im not a big hugger type of person....i shake hands) we each said, again on the same beat, "Beautiful day, Huh?"

it took all day what would normally take an hour, and at the end of the day i looked in the mirror and saw my father, albeit a very pasty faced one...

i had aged in the dust, i had seen this before, but it was'nt until recently, when my ailing father lost a lot of weight due to chemo and he shaved his beard, and i had never ever seen him without it, and so gray as well.

and there i was, staring at him thru the dust...ok....the drugs may have added to the effect but it did Affect me in a profound way.

i guess i'm saying that i like the dust, and the sun, and the sun-set, and the blue sky, and the dark silhouette that runs 360 degrees around the playa, and the rain, and the rainbows....all of it is a part of the whole, so i think even if i have to bring a fucking snow shovel, i will still love the dusty place we call home.
Frida Be You & Me

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Karma
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Post by Karma » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:51 am

Simon,
I think you summed it up quite nicely.

The only time the storms ever bug me is when we have first timers in camp. I kinda feel bad for them cause no matter how many times you try to explain what they can get like to prepare them, it can be pretty intense there first time thru.
I just tell them this is your Baptism by fire and try to assure them that it wont last.
It goes away, they see how amazing the desert can be, and after they get home and this never fails, one of the first things they tell people about there trip to Black Rock, is not the art, or the fun, or the people.
First thing out of there mouths is bragging about how they got thru the storms.
I love it !
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".

Voltaire

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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:51 am

I heard that once the BLM lease is up the org is going to start having it in Antartica. It will keep the yahoos away and the white outs will be MUCH better.
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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:32 am

and penguins, don't forget the penguins.......
YGMIR

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Kenny Z
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Post by Kenny Z » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:41 am

Mr.? wrote:The desert is vast and empty. The sun is HOT and when it beats down on the desert floor the winds are stirred up by thermal drafts. The surface of the playa this year was bad because it never filled up with water like in 2006, but what would BM be with out the harsh environment to give "self reliance"?
[img][img]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f187/ ... tplaya.jpg[/img][/img]
If BM was held in a place like this would you want to come? Hell ya! Me too, but it's not and that's what makes it so perfect!
[img][img]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f187/ ... fields.jpg[/img][/img]
I agree 100%, beautiful pics too. And I agree with motskyroonmatick. I thought the weather was quite nice, especially Sunday morning!

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Timezone LaFontaine
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Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:29 pm

So, after it was dusty all afternoon on Saturday (which was a really pleasant dreamlike afternoon for me), I heard here and there that the burning of the man would be delayed. Somehow through this vague hearsay and my limited knowledge of the necessary preparations, I convinced myself that it couldn't possibly happen Saturday night. So I decided to just be really leisurely in my preparations for the evening. Ate a nice meal. Stopped by Center Camp for a little while and thought about what I wanted to do with the night. I said hello to this guy sitting nearby and could see that he was really struggling with something stuck in his eye. I offered to run back to my camp to get some saline solution (I always wear contacts out there and it's workable). He seemed reluctant but I was just like, look, the sooner you get this washed out, the sooner you'll feel better and be back to having fun. So I ran back, got it, and let him try to flush out his eye that way. But it still wasn't working, so I was like, come with me, I'll take you over to the medical camp. And we walked and talked about music and whatnot, the storm, the delay for the evening. He seemed convinced that the burn was still gonna happen but I doubted it. Anyhow, I dropped him off at the medical camp and wished him luck. Then I headed back to my tent to change clothes, still being quite leisurely and dawdling a little bit here and there. Got changed and I figured I'd head over to BMIR to listen in and see if there were any new announcements about when they're gonna burn the man. I got there and they're playing music, but I see on the white board: "The Man is burning soon! Go there now!" I do a cartoon double-take. How did I become so convinced that it wasn't gonna happen that night? Anyhow, as it turned out, my timing was perfect, I found a really nice spot mid-way back among some cool art cars playing amazing music, people dancing, and the burn was just spectacular. It's just funny to me that I could have missed it by thinking that I knew what was going on when I didn't have a clue.

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Intubater69
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Post by Intubater69 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:25 pm

Sitting by our half set-up shade shelter Monday, wondering when the effing duststorm would end so we could finish, glanced at another camp, she was sitting in the car, he was trying to finish setting up their ?monkeyhut?. Was going to go over and see if I could help him when I noticed he started talking it down. Shortly after they left. For good. Nothing like spending a couple hundred $ to not give it much of a chance. A pity, for they missed out on a great week after that.
I get to drive the ambulance how fast?!!

SailMan

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bradtem
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Where camped?

Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:40 pm

I presume this was out in the 'burbs and not a theme camp? I guess they might have been virgins. I could see virgins making a decision it's not for them based on Monday. Not that Monday was a particularly bad dust storm. I've been through much worse storms that didn't just get dusty but destroyed major camps and projects, been through the rain of Saturday 1998 where you could not even _walk_ on the playa, let alone bike.

And I must admit that I did entertain questions in my brain whether the extremely dusty playa surface could mean we were going to get an entire week of that. If we had gotten an entire week like that -- which is possible but unlikely -- you might have envied the ones who bailed out early.

As you know, there are some who blame the dunes on the playa surface on the long-term effect of having tens of thousands stir up the surface once a year. The jury is of course still out on that. And this year's dry winter was obviously the primary cause of what we saw.

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regynalonglank
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Post by regynalonglank » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:52 pm

whiteouts are the perfect time to feed your campmates weird food. I bring odd food items for just this purpose. There they are, bored, stuck in one place - perfect captive audience. This year the strange orange cheese was a big hit, as was the pickled okra. yum! good times convincing folks to try something new. I mean really, what else have they got to do?

monkey chanting in the whiteout was pretty good too. maybe we sucked up more dust than usual, but still, it was surreal in there with all those goofy folks. being a monkey is fun. try it!
\v/

/ \

just listen to the drum

Toolmaker
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Post by Toolmaker » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:37 am

regynalonglank wrote:whiteouts are the perfect time to feed your campmates weird food. I bring odd food items for just this purpose. There they are, bored, stuck in one place - perfect captive audience. This year the strange orange cheese was a big hit, as was the pickled okra. yum! good times convincing folks to try something new. I mean really, what else have they got to do?

monkey chanting in the whiteout was pretty good too. maybe we sucked up more dust than usual, but still, it was surreal in there with all those goofy folks. being a monkey is fun. try it!
I was thinkin of gettin a used monkey suit for next year. Gotta poke around the costume places and see.. maybe invade the bunny march or sumthin.
This account has been closed as demanded by Wedeliver.

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Boijoy
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Post by Boijoy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:34 am

We were camped by a group dressed like bananas.. a Monkey Suit would be PERFECT for them.. ohhhh the sillyness !
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Clar-i-ty
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Post by Clar-i-ty » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:02 pm

So Monday was hard, but we had fun playing scrabble in the RV and drinking copiously.

Saturday I got stuck at Jazz Cafe, so I just stayed there and enjoyed myself. Around 6ish I headed back to camp only to find that they were bugging out! I think some gonja cookies had something to do with that decision, but nevertheless I was pretty disappointed. I stayed though and packed myself out on Sunday.

Dust Storms are what make Burning Man!
GET OUT OF MY TRUCK HIPPIE!

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toxic07
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Post by toxic07 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:45 pm

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT
:D :D :D
Life is damn beautiful to live it short

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Post by Karlene » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:23 pm

It was a 7 day exfoliation. People pay good money for that in spas. When you come off the playa after a week like that your entire top layer of skin is gone and what is left is the fresh stuff. Wrinkles....gone, at one with the rest of the moop. All kinds of wrinkles just blowing around out there. I'm 62 and when I get back to civilization I look like I'm 16..

Really.....

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brcprincess
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Post by brcprincess » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:18 pm

My favorite experience last year was getting stuck out at the very END of the Playa during a monster white out with 60 mile an hour winds. We couldn't see our hands if we put them in front of us, nor the wheels of our bikes. We were lost as hell and huddled in a group for almost an hour. We were nervous because the winds were so fierce and there was all that metal out on the Playa, it felt like a hurricane. Afterwards we felt great, it was such an adrenaline rush. It also gave us perspective because we saw ourselves in relation to nature and how it is so powerful and we are so insignificant in its wake. It was also a great lesson in trusting your friends and working together. I will never forget it.

This year we spent Saturday's white out drinking beer in our RV with friends.

Both times were fun.

That being said, if you are exhausted and camping in a tent, a long white out could definitely push your limits.

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Post by Elderberry » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:40 pm

If you are talking about 2007, I agree. The winds were much harder and the dust was painful. We were caught up in one of those two and rushed to huddle between two motor homes. Someone peaked out the window and saw us there and invited us inside to weather out the storm. They treated us to champagne with cheese and crackers and had a grand old time.

JK

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Post by FilXeno » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:02 pm

I dug the Dust storms. I think the challenging element of it helps filter the attendants to a certain type of people...Sort of weeds out the party poopers, perhaps?

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sonic
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Post by sonic » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:44 am

The dust storms add that survialist feel, which to me, just fits in perfectly with it all. So in general, I don't mind them.

That being said, this past year, especially on Saturday, my patience did run a bit short after the 8th hour of white outs. I'm just glad it was only 2 days out of the 10 I was out there. Could have been worse.

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Post by pinemom » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:48 am

White outs are awesome!
After 07' this yr was a piece of cake!

But Burningman provides...in 2007 we were getting married on Thursday, the whole day was a day of every weather the dessert could conjure up...at dusk...the sky parted....and we were married...to the headless man.


OH.....what a beautiful day!~
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

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Sail Man
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Re: Where camped?

Post by Sail Man » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:03 am

bradtem wrote:I presume this was out in the 'burbs and not a theme camp? I guess they might have been virgins. I could see virgins making a decision it's not for them based on Monday. Not that Monday was a particularly bad dust storm. I've been through much worse storms that didn't just get dusty but destroyed major camps and projects, been through the rain of Saturday 1998 where you could not even _walk_ on the playa, let alone bike.

And I must admit that I did entertain questions in my brain whether the extremely dusty playa surface could mean we were going to get an entire week of that. If we had gotten an entire week like that -- which is possible but unlikely -- you might have envied the ones who bailed out early.

As you know, there are some who blame the dunes on the playa surface on the long-term effect of having tens of thousands stir up the surface once a year. The jury is of course still out on that. And this year's dry winter was obviously the primary cause of what we saw.

It was in Kidsville. There was 3 groups in the Toddler quad ea trying to set up our camps. In retrospect, we should have banded together to help each out in turn get their camps shelters up. My wife went to another camp already set up for help and we got the first ez-up placed. Then we chilled, taking it all in. By that time we noticed that the camp with the ?monkeyhut? had bailed. We got help from another neighbor to put up the 2nd ez-up and our tent under it. Then helped the other camp finish setting up, something we would do again when other groups rolled in from time to time.

Things I learned my virgin year: Keep a good set of goggles and mask handy in the truck CAB! when arriving at the gate, not stashed in the hydration pack buried deep in the bed.

Be ready to just chill out.

Keep a thumb over your open beer :lol:
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