Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In-House Cleaning

For the time being I am testing out the new "Comment Spam" feature provided at Blogger. I must be doing better than expected because I'm getting more invitations to increase my masculine dimensions. I don't have any. I am a female person.

Yet on a daily basis I get comment spam that starts of "Dude, I love your site. Want to keep your lady happy?" Where is my aluminum foil hat when I need it the most?

We'll see how it goes. Sorry for the added step.

Sunday, Sunday - Ray Bradbury

On Sunday August 28th, I banged my ankle. It is not pleased and I refuse to give up. I head out. I negotiate with my higher nature. A compromise is struck with the Techno Muse and the Muse of Health. I can go to the Mystery and Imagination Bookstore that is hosting author Ray Bradbury.

The store was honoring Mr. Bradbury on his birthday. If I can do that then I could go to Sunset Junction. I wanted another opportunity to shoot pictures of half naked men. That involved a lot more walking so this will be a fair test if I can do it.

Intellect vs. Lust?
Upper Chakras vs. Lower Chakras?

I hobble on over. The place is packed. This is not saying a lot because it is a small bookstore. A wonderful independent but small bookstore. There are people oozing out the door. My impression was that Mr. Bradbury was going to talk about anything he wanted.

Well he was there. There was a huge cake. And he was signing books. He seemed nice enough. Someone from the crowd asked a clerk if was going to talk and the guy behind the desk said unlikely. “He would sign as many books as he could and then stop.”

Yep. This is how it goes. You intend to do something with full will and passion and then the environmentals of your life force you to stop. This does not make for great video. But it is a moment in time. In the meantime, for more information about his writing, his contribution to literature and other matters visit:

The official web site is you can find out more information about him, his wife Margaurite and his body of work.

Science Fiction Weekly has an interview with Ray that shows how active you can be at 81 years of age -

Wired For Books has an audio interview with Ray, it is in Real Player format -

And no, I didn’t make it to Sunset Junction either.

Quicktime 160x120 Dial-up version

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fired Up - Quicktime Version of CNN Protest

Quicktime 160x120 Movie

I am experimenting with a new video editing software. This is the same CNN protest video as before but in Quicktime format for those that are on dial-up.

Fired Up - CNN Protest of August, 2005

The calendar listing in the L.A. Weekly read as follows:

"As a mouthpiece for the Bush Administration, CNN has a lot to answer for over its coverage of the Iraq War. You can send a message to the pro-war news media and to demand the repeal of the PATRIOT Act, a call for no draft and a halt to the war."

That is a lot of issues for one protest. I also know that the number of people participating has dropped of considerably. But even if it was only one person on that corner shaking a fist at the CNN building, I had to check it out. My destination? Sunset and Vine Streets.

This is a Windows Media Video of the CNN Protest:
WMV 320x240 Movie

Even in Hollywood there are neighborhoods and families. Businesses. There are real people behind the tinsel. When you live in Los Angeles you often have to practice creative disassociation. There is a tourist part of Hollywood. There is a growing presence of the Latino/a population. Upscale renovations that occupy the same space as the prostitutes and chicken hawks.

Let's Pretend is face to face with Let's Be Real. Sensory overload. Anyway, this is my take on the protest. To my knowledge, I was the only other person recording the event with the exception of a reporter and cameraman from Telemundo. I don't know if I should count the security guy shooting photos from high above.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Soups On Fire - Vigil Part Two

I leap out of the car with a bag full of candles. I am in a place I have never been with people I don’t know. Somebody welcomes me and I say, "I have candles."
I’m in like Flint.

It is still early but there is a good size crowd both Hill and Orange Grove. The car horns are honking in the positive. People are smiling. This is my first daylight candle vigil. This is California.
Too Many Lives

I’m taking pictures and squeezing off a couple of videos. I notice something. There doesn’t seem to be any 18 to 25 year old folks. Most of these people are over thirty years of age. Some are double that.

Where are the young folks? Is it not real to people that are under 25 years of age? Is it because there is no active draft so it does not concern them? In between the honking of the car horns of approval, I have questions. The potential answers sadden me.

The music in this video, New Age, is composed and performed by Peter John Ross. His website is

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Soup’s On Fire – Vigil Part One

On a beautiful clear afternoon, the signs were raised and the car horns commenced to honk. This is the first wave of my documenting a small portion of the candlelight vigils that were held around the nation in support of Cindy Sheehan.

Meet With Cindy
The Hill and Orange Grove Street vigil decided to start at 5:30 p.m. Participants wanted to stay in their own neighborhood and get the attention of folks coming home from work.

Hill & Orange Grove Vigil

There was a candlelight ceremony at 7:30 p.m. but I had to leave early to get to another event. Which is another story for another time. In the meantime, click the picture to see the movie. It is in quicktime .mov format.

Soup’s On Fire – Vigil Part One-Photo Extra

Hill & Orange Grove VigilSometimes you have to yield to the forces. Abandon perfection and show 'em what you have. While I work out the kinks, here is another photo from the event.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Candlelight Vigils Accross America

On Wednesday August 17, 2005 there will be candlelight vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan. Most of the vigils will take place around 7:30 p.m. local time. There are exceptions.

If you don't like what she is doing stop reading.

If you support or understand that she is risking everything for a chance to speak to the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue then the least you can do is be a witness. If you have a film camera, digital camera, Hi-8 camcorder or digicamcorder you have got to be there. Hell if you got a box of Crayola show up. Even cell phone cameras (I can't believe I said that!) are welcomed.

Bring a candle too.

Cuz mainstream media will say that no one supports this woman but those on the fringe. Come out Wednesday night and see that the fringe is just regular folk.

I support this woman because she is on a mission not of her making. This is one of those life paths that you are forced to travel. She has no choice. She is on her journey and it is a rough one.

Just check Move to see if you have a vigil in your area. Put down the remote and stand for something for a little while. Whatever your beliefs. Political Action

Sunday, August 14, 2005

This Land Is - Not A Cornfield

Los Angeles is a place that permits transformation. You can transform you body, your outlook on life, or your income status.

The physical land is also in a constant state of transformation. The “Cornfields” is a 32-acres section of land north of Chinatown of downtown Los Angeles. It used to be a huge patch of brown filler with junk and industrial waste sitting on top of it.

New Ground

For the summer of 2005 the land is being transformed. However just to confuse folks, corn, beans and other food stuff are being planted in recognition of the ancestors. According to the brochure, it will be a living sculpture and an artistic resource center.

This is an art project created by Lauren Bon. After the corn is harvested, the land will transform again into a recreation park. In the meantime, there will be art events such as dancing, drumming, spoken work performances, and an opportunity to walk in true dirt.

When I visited the site the agricultural level dirt was in place and the irrigation system had been set up. A few weeks later there is a carpet of green stuff. For more information on the project, visit

Fish Story - Daniel Kim

We all have stories.

We are filled with stories. If you survive childhood you have a million of them, most of which you have forgotten or want to forget. That's too bad because there is gold in those memories.

Daniel Kim

I was at the bus stop when Daniel was telling a story about his mom. I whip out old faithful and just catch him as he is sharing another story about him, his mom and a fish. The bus came too soon cuz he had a few more gems waiting to be shared.

The sound is a little fuzzy but you'll get the jist of it. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Everywhere A Sign – This Is Not A Good Sign

It was the end of my workday. I was looking for my bus stop. For the past three months, it isn't always in the same place. I like to think of it as involuntary exercise for all transit riders.

So, I'm walking four blocks away from my usual stop trying to avoid falling in a pit. I look up and see this sign:

Our Alternatives?

1. Do they really want to eliminate all possible alternative fuel sources?

2. Perhaps this is an acknowledgement of a reduction on choices for competing companies?

3. This will insure higher prices and limited supply options?

4. This is an announcement of a merger between Arco and British Petroleum?

5. All of the above?

Is it really saying that? Oh my. I read it twice. There is song lyric that comes to mind. "Got me jerking back and forth." And not in a good way.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

More Than Words - The Nelson Brothers

When a local city tries to have a community event it usually doesn't work out quite like they planned. The first thing is that they general forget to advertise that they are having an event.

The second thing about the show is that when the city hires the headline act that is supposes to show up, something bad happened to the star.

One year it was Ray Davies of the Kinks then he caught a bad case of the flu and Dick Dale had to take over. Same things happened this year. Dave Matthews (8-25-05 correction, it was actually Dave Mason) was the performer. He had a really bad back and had to cancel. The Nelson Brothers picked up the slack.
The Nelson Brothers
As usual, I stumbling into the crowed and notice a bunch of 25 to 35 year old women acting like teenyboppers. I look up and see two blond dudes in their early thirties. Then it hits me who they are. These Nelsons are the sons of Rick Nelson and the grandsons of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson.

Gunner Nelson
Matthew and Gunner Nelson were on stage and that is why I was witnessing thirty-year-old women attempting to sling their hips.

I was pleasantly surprised. One cuz they can actually sing. I thought they were an MTV vanity creation. I was wrong. They were on that stages for almost two hours and there was no tape malfunction. It was their honest voices.

Two – they did a nice mix of their father's songs, their own stuff and guitar heavy pieces. They also had good sidemen to round out the band. Grandpa Nelson would be beaming – they really put on a good show on very short notice.

For more information on the Nelson Brothers, visit their official web site -

Disclaimer: These lads made that record that I hate to the core of my being. The one where they sing in harmony about how the girl should prove her love with "more than words". On my list of musical toxins, it is right up there with Bungle In the Jungle and A Lovers Concerto.

Auditory poison. Then again, it could be just me. Naw, that song sucks. But musically they do not. If you see them on the road give them a fair shake.

April 5, 2008 Update - I owe the lads a humble apology. They didn't record that pile of steaming hormonally driven yukky-ness know as More Than Words. I am definitely in the minority vote in this case cuz 4 million plus people have viewed and love this song.

I wish I could have made amends sooner to the Nelsons but I had to wait for YouTube to be invented first. Dudes look right nice, love the black and white look of the video but that is as positive as I'm gonna get about that pressure filled emotional wedge to try and get a girl to spread 'em to show her love. Oh god, I feel a barf session rising from below. Gotta go.

More Than Words – Cars

Ah, yes. Once upon a time, the city that I live in had an antique car show. I had my doubts about going. See, when this city puts on events you never know if it going to be successful. They might get the event right but forget to let people know that there is an event. Or advertise the event and don't have anything anybody wants to see.
RR at Car Show

I decided to give them another chance. This year they had a good cross section of cars including the Batmobile from the 1960s television show. It was hard to get a shot of it; people were going crazy trying to get a good cell phone picture.

I had to look inside and see the dashboard. Yep, batphone, bat shoot, after-burner, anti-theft device all present and accounted for.

Batmobile Dashboard

I'm not a car lover or hater so I see them more as pieces of a whole. That is how I shot the video.

Scooby-Doobie Doo - That Podcast Song

I told you.
I knew it.
This stuff is for real.

It is the only way. No matter what the RIAA does, no matter what kind of payola the recording companies dish out to corporate radio stations, no matter what slime they serve up on network tv there is a way for us to take back our music, compositions and videos.

Listen or download a legal free version of the song then pass it around. Let the song be heard around the world. Visit the site and read the lyrics.

thatpodcastsong: SONG: On A Podcast

Top Cat(s) – How Not To Ride A Cable Car

The ideal vacation is one where you don't have to sweat bullets over where you are staying. I have a friend in SF who was extremely gracious in putting up with me for almost 2 days. Plus we hooked up with another friend from high school and his family.
Our Wonderful Host

It was excellent. And in some respects, it was like a living nature study into the world of the men folk. The places we dined were meat intensive. Really good food but served on huge plates with starches and an occasional veggie or two.

Observation 1. Men really need women in their lives.

Cuz another dude isn't going to ask questions like "are you really gonna eat a double fudge sundae after scarfing that huge chunk of cow and taters?"

I didn't say those words but I thought them. And yeah, they did. Come to think of it, there was a lot of chocolate syrup poured on that sundae. This might be ice cream envy on my part.

Observation 2. Men folk are fixated on doing and achieving stuff.

The guys were fixed on making sure LJ, a neat kid, got to ride the cable cars. I wasn't all that keen to hang on to a moving vehicle going up a hill.

But when in Rome, do as.

LJ was just happy to be with dad and other people that were paying attention to him. But the guys wanted LJ to ride the cable car. Car one passes us by. Cars two, three and four pass by.

We then discover that although we are standing by the sign the actual boarding location is in the street. We relocate to the corner and one of the guys takes the point. Cars five and six pass us by. They were stuffed with tourists.

LJ's Pop
The guys are still set on getting LJ on the cable car. LJ is getting restless and after 25 minutes, my toe bones are not happy. Cars seven, eight and nine chug up the hill. The guys finally yield and we head back to the rental car. We aim for Pier 39.

In the automobile, I saw a beautiful view of the ocean and the steep hills of San Francisco. I would not have seen this sitting inside the cable car or hanging off the sides of the cable car for dear life. "This is great!" I yelp. The guys are still disappointed. I ask myself wasn't the point to see this?

Observation 3. The answer is no. The point was to put LJ on the cable car.

What about sharing time with an engaging six year old? Having the time to joke and kid around? Being present in the here and now?

Nope, it was about the kid riding the cable car.

Observation 4. I really appreciate men but I like being part of the women folk.