Sunday, November 23, 2014

My First Time at L.A. Auto Show

I have known that there is such a thing as an automobile show. Apparently it is a big thing. But seeing as I don't drive and have limited interest in automobiles (unless they are painted in an artist way or are creatively off the mainstream) then I had no need to go spend money traipsing over the L.A. Convention center.

Until this year. See, I really want a self driving car.  Hell, I want the majority of Los Angeles to have a self driving car. Why? Because most Angelenos can't drive. They cut right in front of city buses. They have the phone in their face slurping something as they turn the corner and almost hit me.

I have witness bone stupidity from people behind the wheel. It is time, long past time for these people to be placed in a controlled vehicle.

So, I got to thinking. I think a lot and most times nothing comes from it. But this time I was thinking harder than usual. Maybe Google and the other autonomous car vendors will be at the show. And I could get a gander at what I think could be functional available by 2017 in California.

So I take a bus, another bus and a train to the Convention Center. Big honking place.

I get my ticket and turn a corner and bam, there it was. This model is from Volvo and the person, who is not a booth bunny, told me that in Sweden they are just about good to go.

I'll put Sweden in the summer on the bucket list of travel possibilities. It doesn't bother me I would travel half way around the world to test out the car. I'm impatient.

So I found one car I was sure that I'd find more. I spent three hours in that joint. Verily I looked at just about every car in the place. There were plenty of hybrids. Electrics. Diesels. A ton of red cars; pretty, shiny things that will guarantee you will be pulled over every night for the next 15 years.

I almost bought food at the event until I understood that $11.00 was the starting point for most meals. That frugal bone started to twitch and I made do with a $5 frozen drink.

Back to hoofing. I saw high toned low end cars and beep-beeps that where encased in plastic walls so that no mere mortal could touch them.

I'm still hoofing for another autonomous car. I'm about to give up when I found one at the Honda area. More on that later.

Lessons Learned

I have to say I had per-conceived notions about who goes to an auto show. Now, some of those notions were correct. There were T-shirt wearing offenders like "I (heart) rim jobs. 

But really there were families, married people and not always the husband as the car junkie. There were dad's introducing sons to the car life. There were women who knew what the lingo was and comparing gears to wheel base ratio something or other.

It was Greek to me but god bless 'em. Oh, one more thing.

I was in the rest area. This married couple sat beside me. Dude was telling his wife/partner/significant other that the Ford trucks will be converted from a steel base to a composite one because of up coming EPA regulations.  He also said that the steel industry was busy trying to kill or alter the requirements so that steel would be in the trucks.

From the way he was talking, it sounded like the word environmental was a pejorative. 

Anyway, it was an experience I'm still processing. On account it took three hours to get home. 

Yeah. Another reason why I want the car.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Health Literacy 101 Project - Rx Prototype Video

This is the prototype that I created for my health literacy class. I have some ideas that health literacy could be improved by using social media apps. One of my goals is to introduce this option to information workers, librarians and other content creators that need to make content quickly.

My other goals were:
  • Be a friendly nudge on checking prescription label information.
  • Keep it simple while conveying the four main points .
  • Create it totally in the app; that wasn't possible because there is no captioning in Adobe Voice. I had to use Camtasia for open captioning the video.

The video was created using the Adobe Voice app on the iPad. As of this date, there is no direct to video export. After you upload the video to the Adobe site you can obtain the embed the video.

Now theoretically, you could use software like SnagIt or Camtasia to screen record the audio and video and then bring them into your video editing program of choice.

Theoretically speaking.

And I hear that there are a number of free and web based screen recording programs as well.

Anyway if you are here from the class and you have any questions please ask and I'll respond as soon as I can.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Books, Bread and Soul Work

I may have misread a sentence. I thought it said that books do soul work. It didn't. But it isn't unreasonable to think so; there are books that do soul damage under the guise of being right, being authentic or being the other and the other is always in power mode over the lesser.

I know that there are books for me that got me to this point in life. I needed to know that there was something other than what I was currently experiencing. Science fiction and adventure books carried me down the road.

These days I consume paper books, audiobooks, podcasts and other ways to keep me steady and on the path of ...

Well, on the path. That path leads to temptation. No immediate access to a book or spoken word recording could lead a person to seek oral gratification.

This is a dangerous place for carbo-holics. Bread, bread products, pastries, cakes and more stuff. It is still new in town and they are still knocking out the kinks but dang it I've been twice and trying hard not to make it three times in a month.

It is not the best bakery but it has tasty treats and is affordable. Now me, I liked the Squid ink bread ball. I also liked the chocolate then bread then chocolate then coffee and then something else bread ball.

Then there was this:

Never mind the super sized Ding Dong, which was just dandy, those creme puffs had actual cream; more cream that puff. I'm talking if you eat a loaded creme puff in the company of men folk they will get distracted watching you trying to eat said cream puff.

I may have shared too much.

Now I know I have to eat more responsibly. I try. I voluntarily eat veggies. I cut back on the fat when I remember. But it has been a hard week. Stupid people to the left and idiots on the right.

I want solace. I want comfort. I want more cream puffs!

And I can't have any more. I've exceeded the oral gratification budget for the week and probably month. I now need to hunker down and do some of that soul work like write; trying to figure out how to do my health literacy final project and do laundry.

Why am I always doing laundry?

Laundry can be soul work but you have to be willing. It takes time and acknowledgment of responsibility. And, as I was reminded this week, Americans talk a lot of shit but are unwilling to step up and do the do.

 I may be a little angry.

I need a book.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Walking Down Union Into A Wider World

Things are going on, I'm spending so much time on computers that the last thing I want to do is write for myself. This is why I need to take walks. When you walk you see things that are only glints in eyes as you drive.

There was a painted Chevy van in the in the USC Pacific Asian Museum parking lot. From a distance it look like someone got happy with a spray can. I move closer to it and find out there is a story and meaning behind the art work.

No spray can was involved. This was an installation created by artist Haider Ali for the exhibition From the Grand Trunk Road to Route 66: Visiting Truck Artist Haider Ali.

I guess it is a fusion of traditional Pakistani truck art with some of the icons of California and the U.S. painted added. It is vibrant and colorful. Step a bit closer and there is meaning on top of meaning.

The few people that stopped for a moment looked at it; did not see it and walked on. There was an information sign that gave background about the work but most people glanced and walked on.

When I cam home I did some research about Pakistani truck art and that is how I moved just a bit into a wider world.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

On This Day It is About the Choices

On this day it seems time to come back to the stoop. Never a good idea to type in anger and I was really angry for a long time. I still am, but I've coaxed it back into the chamber of invisibility. I've soothe it and fed it some ice cream.

I've told it humans will be ok in the long view of things. I've held my anger as we read books of magic and fantasy. I've given it a carrot spinach potassium boost. Maybe too much Hop Woo's Soy Soaked Chicken.

I've let my anger watch that scene from Luther where Alice does what needs to be done.

(Spoiler Alert: Don't Watch if You Haven't Seen the Series. P.S., this is a rough scene, beautifully written and acted but harsh like real humans. The UK accents can't cover-up everything so, yeah you have been told.)

Alice is straight up crazy but the girl has got style.

And she deals hard. Alice does what some of us wish we could do to the bad people of the world.

We don't because there wouldn't be anybody left breathing. I think we intellectually know this and millions have watched Alice give a listen to her uninhibited side that says "F-ck it, remove the problem."

I hear you Alice, but no, no we can't go down that road. We have to find another way.

As I type this I think there has been another school shooting. Damn.

A.O. Scott from the NYT has an essay about the death of adulthood. I don't agree with all of it but I don't disagree with some of it.

I haven't given up comic books. I'll read anything that has print and if that happens to be a YA book yeah, what's it to you? I shouldn't read Neil Gaiman's Sandman? Cuz if I have to choose between reality TV and old school Doom Patrol then it is the Doom Patrol all the way.

On this day I have to learn not to be so defensive about my choices.

Some days it is hard to listen to what passes for conversation and debate. There are some mean, ignorant SOB/Bs in the world. But you can't allow them dominion either.

So on this day I keep working on the projects that I think could help myself and others. I'm trying to  reduce the amount of unnecessary yakity yak and engage with people who have some sense. A lot of people have been de-friended or digitally kicked to the curb. Others I'm giving a wider bit of distance.

I want to be thoughtful. I want be respectful. But there is that teeny tiny part that is keeping a side eye on Alice. Keeping an side eye on the Alice in all of us; which can be exhausting.

On the archiving tip, I think I'm going to hang out a bit more at the BBC 1914 website where they are reviewing events in that year. The site is 1914 Day by Day. You might find me in the cartoon section. Hmm, the podcasting section looks tasty too.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Flip the Script, Chip Away and Go Forth

I've laid low because I had some pain issues to work out. You shouldn't type when you have a need to f-this and the sumbitch that regurgitated pile of dried ....

Yeah, still may not be time but I am working on ideas to make into reality. In my inner rage to damning a good chunk of humanity to hell I started to to think about those people that don't need to go wayyy down south. What can we do?

There is always something to do.

Now what can we do to invoke a change? Networking is good. Meeting in real life with like minded but different folks is also good. Most of the time politics ain't worth shinola to me but I think I have a change of mind.

We need to sneak up and kick asses out of our local and state legislatures. Federal too with a bit of networking. 

Back in August, Cynthia Lui invited me to a political networking and information meet up in San Jose. I went because I wanted to hear about the doing in health care and stayed around for some of the other stuff. One of the business cards I got was for The Plus1 Project. Very simple idea. Take somebody with you to the mid-term November 4, 2014 elections.

I say let's snatch the sucker from them. From city to federal. The hate is so high they will not expect it from us. Fox Vomit has already declared African Americans as a less than model minority group.

I say we roll with it and make Fox weep again come election night. Rope a dope 2014.

So this is a prototype of an idea. Imperfect. Each time I see it I see another mistake. But it is in fixed form. The next one will be better. And so on. We can't wait. Ain't no leader is going to fix this.

We as a community will force an answer one way or the other. 

There is an old song from the Impressions. called "We're A Winner. There is a lyric in the song that says "just keep on your leaders tell you to."

There are real leaders that put their foot on the ground every day. There are leaders that teach, heal, politic on the public behalf and even some in the entertainment industry that understand what time it is. There are people that take journalism seriously.

And then you got other media carpetbag proclaimed leaders that feast on rays of radio or television lights. They switch into assimilation mode. I have to speak correctly, dress correctly, be employed and have never, ever done anything wrong. Then and only then will we believe you.

Ask Charles Belk how he feels about that ish.

Not going to spend too much time with the modern children of Dathan. They are showing themselves but the rest of us are going forward.  Chip away at the crud and let's get going.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

So There Might Be One Thing More Missing

This is a weird day. I have chores to do. I want to create something but all I got is cement in the brain. I'm looking for escapism and I am finding it.

Maybe I shouldn't be looking. Maybe I should. So much to do and yet not really.

Damn it to hell.

I have un-articulated hurt and pain and I have to find a way for it to come out. Making something would help but I have to figure out what and how.

So I watch videos from creative people and go, "Hmm, maybe I should go by some toilet paper or soap powder."

"Maybe I should hunker down and write something brilliant that would cause people to go "Ah, see that is what I'm talking about, clarity of vision."

No, I shouldn't On account I never have. Not intentionally.

I'll be fine. I just have to choose between buying toilet paper and being brilliant.

This might take a while.