Palm Springs 2009 – Redux

October 30, 2009 by ·  

Palm Springs, CA

Just A Scene With A Lot Of Color

        My first post on this blog was a short record of my trip to Palm Springs in May, 2009. Due to all the hustle and bustle of a new website, the photos that did not make the original grade had been more or less forgotten. Three lucky pics are now given a chance to see the world for the very first time.

Desert Riders Motorcycle Club

Desert Riders Motorcycle Club Members

        Although the grain of photoshop film degrades the detail a bit, I like this shot because texting on cell phones, drinking powerade and applying sun screen occupies the minds of these suburban bike riders. The one in the middle looked right at me, then continued texting.

Polka Dot Depth Of Field

I Call This A Color Sandwich

        Nothing more to add. I just wanted to post these four pictures. Feel free to look at my very first blog post by clicking here.

Windmills With Just A Touch Of Color

One Does Want A Hint Of Color

        The windmill in the middle is my favorite one. It is frozen into a perfect viewing position. Anyways, hover over the tag cloud below to rotate it, and then click on any tag that strikes your fancy.

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Night & Day With Salt & Dinosaurs

October 26, 2009 by ·  

Desalination Plant In San Diego, California

20 Seconds Of Open Shutter & A Desalination Plant (I Think)

        If you stand at the the Southern tip of San Diego Bay and face North, you will see a factory at your 10 o’clock. As far as I know, and judging by the piles of salt around the factory, this factory is involved in the removal of salt from ocean water. I suppose the salt is then exported to the salt deprived countries of the work, and the water deprived people of San Diego. I was 6000 feet away from the factory when I snapped this pic. Super-zoom cameras are the shit, right?

Salt Factory During Golden Hour

Golden Hour In San Diego

        Same factory, seen while the sun is casting it’s final rays for the day upon it. Ever since my tripod got smashed to Hell by a pack of rabid wolves over the summer, I have had to hand hold all my shots. Easy during the day but less than optimal during the night.

Dinosaur Cage At Night

30 Second Exposure Of San Diego’s Silver Strand Dinosaur Cage

        I set my camera on a bench, near the bike path, pressed the shutter and let the magic happen.

Imperial Beach Trail & Dinosaur Cage

Imperial Beach’s Dinosaur Cage

        I’m still hoping for my money shot of the Dinosaur Cage, located on the Southern end of San Diego Bay. I like what I’ve done but I think something better is in store.

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San Diego Sunset & The Bridge To Nowhere

October 23, 2009 by ·  

San Diego's Bridge To Nowhere Over harbor Drive

$26 Million Bridge To Nowhere & San Diego Sunset

        I really have no idea why this bridge is being built. What you see in the foreground is the mast that the pedestrian bridge will be suspended from. It will span the trolley tracks, over Harbor drive in downtown San Diego. $26 million dollars so that residents of Paris Hilton’s hotel can get to Petco Park without having the pesky inconvenience of walking all the way to 5th Ave. to cross the street. It will shave about 800 feet of distance for these glorious people. Considering the price tag and taking simple math into account, we the OTHER people are paying $32,500 for every step the Hilton folk are taking. So, Harbor Drive In San Diego has a very impressive bridge to nowhere that is, kind of expensive.

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SDKA Race At Qualcomm Stadium October 18, 2009

October 20, 2009 by ·  

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

SDKA Roars Around Qualcomm Stadium

        SDKA stands for San Diego Karting Association. That is, of course as in Go-Karts. They really do tear it up!

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

SDKA Go-Kart Racer Blasts By Me

        I’ll just say now that I was not able to get as close as I wanted or stay as long as I wanted. SDKA races are a little strange because there is no one on a loudspeaker telling you who is winning or how many laps are left. You have to figure all that out on your own.

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

SDKA Racers Battle For Position Around A Hairpin Turn

        The racers that spend their Sundays are creating history for the San Diego Karting Association and they don’t even know it. They are the inspiration for a whole new generation speed demons and gear-heads!

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

The Bright Colors Of SDKA Racers

        I covered an SDKA race back in September, and at that time, it was bloody hot out. Back then, I wondered why some racers wore black and others wore bright, peacock colors. I still wondered that on this day, even though the weather was perfect, probably around 75 degrees.

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

*sigh* I Realize Now That They Are All Pointing To The Left

        OK, for all the pics in this post, I was more or less in the same physical spot. I had every intention of moving all over that damn football stadium parking lot, but aches of the head told me otherwise.

SDKA San Diego Karting Association Go-Kart Race, Qualcomm Stadium

Someday, An SDKA Racer Will Befriend Me So I Can Try This Sport Out

        San Diego Go-Kart Racing looks like a lot of fun. I don’t know who won or who the SDKA Heavyweight champion is, but I bet that if I was racing it would be me! See more pics from a race I covered back in August here.

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La Mesa, CA Police Station Construction

October 19, 2009 by ·  

La Mesa, CA Police Station

We Now See The True Color Of A Police Station – Yellow!

        The citizens of La Mesa finally get to see more that the perpetual, skeletal structure of a building and get to see another layer of the epidermis of our new police station in vibrant yellow. The jet black pavement was laid the very morning of this photograph. I really hope this pic will someday be a part of history.

La Mesa Police Station

The Public Is Afforded Only This View Of The Interior View Of A Police Station

        I just have to mention that during the 10-15 minutes I spent in front of this construction site that two employees of Larsen Constructors Inc. asked me what I was taking pictures of. Neither one was rude or combative, which was a breath of fresh air for me, considering my recent bouts with The San Diego Trolley Police. I would suppose that it does reflect on the general attitude towards photographers and our craft. Not in a bad way, but merely in that suspicious way of, “What is that dude doing over there?”

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12th & Imperial Trolley Station In San Diego

October 19, 2009 by ·  

San Diego 12th & Imperial Trolley Transit Station

After Midnight At 12th & Imperial Trolley Station, Neon Is Your Friend

        I swear to the the creator that it really was a dark and foggy night! Shut up! It was so foggy that you could not see more than 50 feet in front of you, and it was so late that ALL the San Diego Trolley police had gone home for the night. The sodium halogen lights from the clock in the photo below below and the neon lights in the photo above were the only earthly things separating the world of light from the debauchery of the world of night. Due to an abundance of shady characters and the lack of trolley security guards, I was only able to snap a few shots. For those of you that do not understand what I am saying, trying to snap some pics, on the sly, after midnight at the 12th & Imperial Transit Station. I would have felt more at ease if I was trying to take a dump on the White House Lawn.

Clock Tower - 12th & Imperial Transit Station

Tick Tock, Tick Tock – Late At Night The Trolley Can’t Come Soon Enough

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I Want More Than To Land On The Moon

October 14, 2009 by ·  

Lunar Lander 1969

Apollo Lunar Lander As Seen In November, 1969

Flag De La Luna

        I was fortunate enough to be part of the pre-landing party back in 1969. We all drove out to a remote part of Texas teleported to The Sea Of Tranquility, on the lunar surface a few hours before the those arrogant, rock star astronauts arrived. After spending the afternoon watching them play golf and fumble around, while being recorded at 220 frames per second, I realized that I needed something a little more real than lunar exploration to satisfy my photographic needs.

Lunar Flag

I Want To Be A Real RocknRolla

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This Is Why I Live In San Diego

October 12, 2009 by ·  

Pacific Beach Sunset

Living On The West Cost Of California Does Have It’s Advantages

        This is a view only possible to those of us that live on a West Coast of an island, state or nation. For me, it helps to be reminded why I am doing or have done the things that I do. I moved to California during the dead of Colorado’s winter, so I suppose not much more explanation is necessary in that regard.

I-70 Runaway Truck Ramp

From This Point It Is Downhill All The Way To San Diego

        This was my view upon exiting the Eisenhower Tunnel, heading west. Crossing the Continental Divide, in the spirit of the pioneers did enter my mind. I was moving across the country with no money and only the barest scraps of a plan. I was heading towards unknown opportunities and I was starting my journey in Arctic conditions, with the promise that better weather lay ahead.

Eisenhower Tunnel

On Approach To The Eisenhower Tunnel

        Try climbing over 11,000 feet into the air with your possessions strapped to your back, and you can understand the gravity of what you are doing. I can only imagine what a journey like mine must have been like in the age before fossil fuels and certainty of destination.

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Harvest Moon And A Spider Web

October 6, 2009 by ·  

Orb Spider & Harvest Moon 2009

The Biggest Moon Of The Year Just Didn’t Cooperate

        This post will be a little bit different because it will offer a view of the man behind the curtain. October 4th was the actual harvest moon for 2009, but nothing was falling into place, photographically. I had no tripod and the moon was already well above the horizon by the time I set out, so I felt like I had failed. The once a year harvest moon was not properly photographed by me because I was late out of the blocks. What can I say? It wasn’t until I was entering my pad that I saw the spider above, huge and fluttering on it’s web in a very stiff evening breeze. I tried to capture, in camera, the spider, against the moon, but the wind was so strong and my hand so unsteady that I could not quite get the metering I hoped for.

Photoshop, A Spider & The Harvest Moon 2009

My Mad Photoshop CS4 Skills Had Failed Me

        I attempted to use my digital darkroom to recreate what my eyes had seen, but it was to no avail. The image size had to be reduced so that I would not look like an imbecile, posting photos that were nothing more than hacks or garbage. Hopefully, you can still get an idea of what I was trying to do, even though I failed to do it.

Mirror Image Spider Web

It’s Important Not To Hide When You Fail

        Yet fail is what I did, yet again with this web. The spider, on his web was moving aroung in the breeze so much that use=ing my on camera flash was the only way I could could any detail. The problem was that using the flash blew out the spider, so it was a pure white mess. My solution was to crop as much of the web as I could and that mirror image it so it would look like I had done a grander job than I actually had. Don’t tell!

harvestmoon

What Would My Role For This Moon Have Been 1000 Years Ago?

        I actually like this shot, even though it is just a glorified snapshot, and won’t make me any money. The moon has a sense of scale with the trees and the clouds. It lights up the sky and clouds but not the trees. It is huge and it was captured by me. Yes!

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San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park

October 6, 2009 by ·  

        Something never mentioned before, that warrants your attention now is that I do possess the powers of a God. I am not a God myself, nor am I immortal, I just play one on both of the internets. The transcending abilities of the Holy Beings in our universe are just are as much as anyone, especially me can imagine, and I can imagine quite a bit. As I recall a journey and think about the fun I had and the places and times that I went, but it is the catalyst that warped the orbit I was in, sending me careening through the distant past before my elliptical orbit brought me back into the present.

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Ever The Prop In The Setting Of A Story

        Rose petals floated in a crystal blue, color changing pool, in a not so unusual way, yet had they not been there, in that most cliché of ways, I would have missed the sock that were float nearby and the vacant pair of pants that lay tossed in a rose bush.

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Don’t look inside the cap or you will change the world!

        The pool, the petals, the pants and the socks all drew my attention to the shiny, gold champagne bottle stopper, and the tiny cargo it contained. Like passages from the Necronomicon, I cannot recite what I said or did next, but suffice to say that my journey was about to begin.

Rose Garden, Balboa Park

You Are Not Alone In Your Quest For The Divine

        Of course there are those in the world that would use an opportunity like this for other than pure, photographic fun, so I had to be sure I remained unseen by those people.

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

My only Reference Point To Return Home

        I saw that others had started similar journeys, and as they had already, graciously carved proper returning coordinates in a nearby succulent, I did what the champagne bottle stopper suggested, and headed for the distant past.

San Diego Zoo

Creatures Moved At The Edge Of My View

        The past is a dangerous place; especially will no GPS or cell phone reception. This was a land with Ickypedia, so I would have to rely on my wits, cunning, candy I had in my pockets.

dragon

I Was In The Backyard Of Animals That Would Mean To Do Me Harm

        Even though I wanted to find out if this dragon was capable of breathing fire, I would have to find a better time to separate fact from fiction. Right now I would just have to get some sort of bearing and proceed in a manner that would best allow me to flex my photographic muscles, so I wondered away.

Sabertooth Tiger Skull

If A Creature With Teeth Like This Died Here, What Chance Did I Have?

        I found myself on the edge of an ancient tar pit, and I just didn’t know what to do. In front of me lay a certain death, just like this predatory cat, but behind me was the dragon. I decided to take my chances by skirting the edge of the tar pit, steering myself to the left.

Tar Pit San Diego Zoo

There Was No Way Through This Tar Pit

        Ancient bones and scalding tar lay ahead, so I would have to try another way, and the only other way was to my right.

Panther, San Diego Zoo

This Afternoon Catnap Is The only Reason I Managed To Slip By

        As I reached the edge of the tar pit, I saw a giant cat napping up on some rocks. As quietly as I could, I slipped past him, and left the deathly tar pit behind me.

San Diego Zoo

Eyes That I Was Aware Were Watching Me Did Not Unnerve Me

        It was only watching. I have no doubt that for every set of eyes I was aware of through the viewfinder of my camera, and infinite number more were studying me from afar, and from up close.

San Diego Zoo

Hearing This Animal Approach Had Me Leaping For Cover

        I crawled under a rock, just like a lizard so my view of this creature’s feet was very fitting. Unable or perhaps unwilling to stick my head out for a better look, I resigned to get cozy in my rock dwelling until he or she walked by, and it wasn’t until I was sure that the beast was at a proper remove that I crawled out.

Tortoise, San Diego Zoo

This Wasn’t A Rock At All!

        My rock shelter was already occupied, and while the current resident did not seem to mind my temporary intrusion, he did seem hungry, and looked at me like I was lollipop with a bubble gum center. I attempted to throw my green backpack into his nostril, but I missed and it landed just above it instead. Even though it was large, it is still a tortoise so I easily outran it. Stupid tortoise. I ran so far that I came upon some other travellers that were about to head home, so I hitched a ride on their human train and was dropped off very close to my own front door.

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How To Brew Beer At Home

October 4, 2009 by ·  

        A friend of mine has produced a very complete and easy to follow tutorial about the basics of brewing your own beer at home. The video is clear, succinct and takes you from adding your first drop of water to sipping your brew in about 7 minutes. The text below the video is much less complete than the dialogue of the video, but it may help you to follow along.

        Start by adding 3 fresh gallons of water to your kettle.  Place the steeping grains in the water while it’s (the water) still cold.  The type of grain you use will in large part determine the final color and flavor of your beer.

        Once you’ve added your grains, bring on the heat and bring the water to 155 degrees F (68 C).  25 minutes is best.  Remove grains before temperature reaches 180 F.  180F will cause the husks of the grain will impart their tannins into the brew and will give it astringent qualities.

        Whether you use liquid or powdered malt, be sure to stir the wort vigorously to prevent the malt from burning to the bottom of your kettle.  Turn off the heat while adding the malt if you don’t have an assistant.

        About ten minutes after adding the malt, as the wort begins to boil, a layer of foam will develop that will boil over unless you either remove the kettle from the heat or tame the foam with a spray bottle.

        The proteins will coagulate; sink to the bottom become cloudy

        After about ten more minutes, the foam will disappear and you can now add your hops.

        Once you’ve added your hops, set your timer for 60 minutes.

        As the pot boils you may need to scrape the hops from side of the kettle to keep them in the wort.

        DO NOT COVER THE KETTLE!

        At the 55 minute mark add some more hops.  This final addition of hops gives your beer a fantastic aroma.

        At the end of the boil it is very important to cool your wort as quickly as possible.  Your brew can grow hazardous bacteria below 140F which is why cooling quickly in an ice bath or using an immersion wort chiller is imperative.  Do not cool your wort by letting it sit out at room temperature.

        After the boil the wort will have very little oxygen so it must be oxygenated by using a sterile whisk or by vigorously pouring the wort into the carboy.  The colder your wort is, the better it will absorb oxygen.  This is important because more oxygen makes it easier for the soon to be added yeast to take hold and absorb to its environment.

        Add cold water to the wort (which at this point is in the carboy) to bring the total volume to 5 gallons and a temperature between 65F and 75F.

        Add your yeast, top with an airlock and go to bed…  In other words, after adding yeast, don’t mess it!

        Primary fermentation takes about a week.  You will know (in about a week) that it’s time to siphon your brew into another carboy when it bubbles once every 90 seconds.

        While making this transfer, you want to keep oxygen AWAY from the wort, so be gentle and don’t splash it around.

        After transfer to the secondary fermenter, you can forget about it for the next few weeks.

        After those  few weeks you can either bottle or keg your beer.

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