Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Fought The Law & The Law Won – Bait Car & Chicago Crime

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bait Car - A car is a parked where car thieves are known to strike. When a thief steals a car or attempts to steal a stereo the video cameras record what happens in the car. Most are young men with way too much time on their hands.

The car is outfitted with cameras, tracking systems and remote control options. When the bad people are caught (we are talking Mounties) they have the dubious honor of being convicted and
having the foul deed posted on the RCMP web site.

One dude was stone cold bonkers. Come to think of it, he might have been an U.S. nut job that slipped pass immigration. He was driving at 144-kmh (90 miles an hour) and yelling "Incoming" at the top of his voice. In any event, don't nick a car in Canada, eh. -

Should you plan on visiting the Chicago area you might want to visit Chicago Crime to find the hot spots in town. I don't mean food or dancing. I mean crime. It is a visual map of active crime areas with the description of the crime, date, and time.

Combine Google maps with Chicago police department reports of crime in the area and you have a clear visual representation of who is boosting cars, performing acts of a carnal nature, and distributing non-legal pharmaceuticals. From what I could see the day I visited, you might want to keep clear of the waterfront area. Tsk, tsk.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Memorial Day Reflections For 4th of July

With the fouth of July coming up I thought I'd toss in a poem about Memorial Day. The local town had an event and I took my Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera out for a walk.

For all the people who say they are patriotic but slept in that day. Be ye right or be ye left.

Memorial Day Reflections

This is my first poetry photo movie - or as I like to think of it PNN, the Poetry News Network.

Creation Notes: Music "Loss" by Kevin MacLeod - Digital still images animated by Windows Photo Story.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Stoop Video Debut - Lunch Dibs

You know how you have this camera in your purse and your walking around and all of the sudden there is a photo video opportunity. Some of my co-workers crossed the street cuz they thought it didn't have anything to do with them. These are the people who always follow the rules.

I, however, saw what they did not see, vanilla ice cream wrapped in chocolate. There are no rules when it comes to a woman and free ice cream. Which I did not eat, but passed on to those same co-workers who only got one piece instead of six.

Trick Out Dibs Car

I bring to you my first true entry into video blogging, or vlogging or whatever is being denounced by main stream media this week. It is in Windows Media Video format, just about a minute long. This might open in a second window. Click the picture and enjoy.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Circles, Go Around Babe – ID Theft and Assistance

The theme for this issue is crime. It was inspired by a letter from my credit union informing me that a break-in had occurred. The thieves stole the computers. Not the money. Not the lock boxes. The computers. Said computers contained identifying information such as name, SSN, birth date, and other items to start a new identity for someone that has trashed their own.

I have been assured in the letter that the info was protected so that it can't be accessed. I take no comfort in this when I know that major banks and financial firms care losing customer information like water through as sieve.

But as I did in the first issue of Stoop, I do want to pass on the initial steps on what to do if this happens to you:

Visit the Federal Trade Commission's web site on Identity Theft you can download or print information on how to fight back the tide.

Be sure to download the "Chart of Action"
You are going to constantly have to prove that you are who you say you are. You will have to document the efforts you are making to recover your identity. It isn't fair but you have to do it.

Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A temporary one is 90 days and a long term one is seven years. If anyone tries to make a purchase with your credit info they have to (or are supposed to) be asked questions and verify identity. This means you too. It will be a pain but better this than somebody racking up thousands of dollars in purchases in your name.

Equifax – 1-800-525-6285 or
Transunion – 1-800-680-7289 or
Experian – 1-888-397-3742 or

Get a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to request an annual copy of your report. All three credit-reporting agencies can be accessed by going to

Even if you never make a purchase with a credit card, you might want to get that free report. A co-worker of mine recently went to the DMV to get a driving permit.

She was handed a license of a blond, green-eyed woman. "Jane" has long braids, brown eyes and is African-American. She was also surrounded by law enforcement and spent two hours verifying her identity.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Memories - Five Years of Stoop

Yep, five whole years of writing the newsletter version of Stoop. The web site – soon to be converted into a holding place for videos, has been up almost 10 years.

The blog is coming along, will be adding videos as soon as I can. I've got isues with time and the lack of it in my life. Time is moving way too fast for me. It quakes me.

A quake is a movement of energy in the body of an entity. Earthquakes are easy to understand. Quakes in your body are sometimes desirable, or so I have been told. It is those mind and sprit
rattlers that make me want to duck and cover.

A 23 year old woman jumped from what the locals lovingly call Suicide Bridge last week. Recently I read of another journalist killing himself two months ago. This ups the tally to five or six well respected reporters offing themselves.

Quite honestly, we can't afford to have smart people deceasing themselves. America has a serious intelligence deficit. Why put the rest of us at further risk?

All I can tell you is to allow the energy to pass through and ignore the hyper critical voice. I'm not being deliberately cryptic. I don't know what will upset your day-to-day existence. I'm having a couple of life jolts myself. Nothing serious but if I could I'd down a pint or two of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia or New York Super Fudge Crunch Ice Cream in a heartbeat.

Since I can't eat that stuff, I have to find healthy ways to deal with the challenges of life. Carrot Juice is good. Carrot and Beet Juice is great but very expensive. Do the best you can or at least call somebody. If necessary take your vitamines AND your medication for serious depression.

F*ck the Reaper but send him home alone.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hold On To Your Humanity - Words From Stan Goff

This is so important I had to post this link no matter whatever else I had to do today.

It is a letter from a former army veteran who has been in combat and wants to speak to those fighting or just coming back from Iraq.

But I think those of us in America need to read it twice.

Then find a young man or woman who is thinking about taking the military up on that $45,000 signing bonus and make them read it aloud.

This is truth learned the hard way.

Hold On To Your Humanity

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Everything Old Is New Again - I Wish Audio Collage

Artists have always found ways to communicate, inspire and shared art.

One of the methods was creating Postal or Mail art. Artists would work on a piece and then pass it down the line to other creatives. The work eventually would be mailed back to the originating artist to display the collaborative work.

Samantha Broun updated the idea by sending a list of questions and a mini disc to friends/acquaintances. These friends interviewed others folks and then returned the discs back to Broun. She then crafted a sound collage piece of their desires.

You can listen to a audio stream or download the finished collage in MP3 format.

One of the things I gained was that I don't have to have a weekly podcast. I can create a one-time only work that can stand on its own merits. I can spend time making a quality piece. In a strange way, it motivates me to feel comfortable to do more -

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Night In Birdland - A Great Day In Harlem Photo

In August 1958 photographer Art Kane assembled the leading jazz artists of the day for a photograph that made history.

How he got 57 jazz musicians to appear in the morning is a miracle in itself. But the true magic is the caliber of the talent. At the site, you can browse by the timeline, artist, instrument, or style. Charles Mingus, Pee Wee Russell, Mary Lou Wilson and Count Basie are just a few of the jazz greats in this photograph.

So if you are ready to wean yourself off pre-fabricated musical sawdust and are willing to explore American true classical music tradition then bop over to

If you would like more information about the work of Art Kane you definitely should visit his site. He captured Janis Joplin, Louis Armstrong and Bob Dylan with images that a steps away from typical celebrity photos -

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Up Where We Belong - Starship Dimension

How do you measure a spaceship that does not currently exist? For example, what is the size of the Klingon Bird of Prey compared to the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D?

Or maybe you want to know the scale of the Martian Tripod From War of the Worlds compared to Centauri Primus from Babylon 5?

Starship Dimensions sets out to help television and movie science fiction fans view a meter to pixel rendition of their favorite ships. You can also compare ships to current real life objects.

New ships are being added all of the time but there is enough to keep a team from Memory Alpha busy for a week -

Monday, June 06, 2005

Life Beyond L.A. – Chant Time Travel with Wat Thai

I get my seat, stash a set of batteries in each pocket, and start shooting. When I'm not doing straight photos I'm doing 20 seconds of Quick Time movies so I can record the chants. (Gotta get a tape recorder or a recordable media player.)

I do like the sound of people chanting. For a moment, I was suspended between multiple cultures. Yep. I love that transcendence time travel. Hard to book reservations but worth the effort.

Before The Chanting Begins

Another event worker comes up to me and tells me that I can't take photos in the museum.

But I'm not in the museum; I'm in the Auditorium. Bummer. I put my Lumix down but not necessarily off – I still needed to record the chants so I aimed it at the door. Next thing I see is a couple of people, some event workers taking snaps. Puzzlement.

The original event worker comes back to me and whispers in my ear, "Sorry it is okay just don't use the flash." Not a problem, I use a little discretion but I'm back in the groove.

Monk Prepares For the Blessing

The highlight for me was when the Monk blessed the audience by flicking water on them. He seemed very happy to distribute the blessings. Must be like hitting folks with spiritual water balloons.

It never gets old.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Cosmic Wheels - The Monks of Wat Thai of Los Angeles

The Court Yard

I have always loved the court yard of The Museum. Back in the day, I could walk in at lunchtime and watch the Koi in the pond. Office workers could hang out with the trees and listen to happy birds. You could decompress and regain a bit of humanity before going back to work.

You can't do that anymore because a few years ago some evil spirit posing as a human being murdered the original set of Koi in the pond. Such is the way of (some) humans.

Anyway, I'm making acquaintance with the new Koi and checking out the scene. This does not last long because an event worker is urging me to the visit the Auditorium to hear chanting by the Monks of Wat Thai of Los Angeles.

Cool! I have my camera, have three sets of fresh batteries. Life can be good if you are open to it.

The Reflex - Do Burgers and Art Mix?

I was walking along, minding my own business when I spy an In and Out Burger Truck. It was parked at the Pacific Asia Museum and I had a visual disconnect. Burgers? Museum?

In & Out Burger Truck
That In and Out urge started messing with my mind and I was drawn to walk up to see what was happening.

A middle-aged woman shouted out "Come Join Us!" Sensing a plea for pledges or my soul, I walked forward carefully. In fact, The Museum was having a free open house. My heart went out to them. They did a phenomenal amount of work but they didn't let anyone know that they were going to do this, outside of their membership base. Who didn't shown up in sufficient numbers. They were reduced to plucking people off the street.

Not a news truck in sight, not that they would have showed any inclination to cover the event. I checked the free papers before venturing out. Not a word. Didn't here diddly on the local radio station. This got me to thinking.

Those of us with an interest in photography and all forms of blogging might want to consider adopting a museum or a non-profit to help promote or document events. We can all do our part to keep a docent off the streets.