My Cat Died

August 25, 2017 by ·  

Kitty Watching San Diego's Rain

Kitten Chunks & Lumps (Kitty)

    My cat died. That is a very hard thing for me to say, type or accept. It was very sudden; there was no warning at all. She was fine and then we got a call from a neighbor that told us she was just laying in the snow in front of their house. Kitty was collected and brought back home but she was not in good shape. Something had happened to her. There was no obvious physical trauma, no blood or anything like that but she was very traumatized and could barely sit up. I petted her and talked to her and she was lightly purring but she did not seem to have any energy. All of this happened right as I had to leave for work so my parents watched over her and nine hours later, I returned. It was very hard to see Kitty’s condition when I got home. She was splayed out on her side in a very straight manner; normally she would be in a circle. Her front paws were moving in that way that cats move them, like they are kneading bread. There was this special way that she likes me to scratch her ear and when I did that, she reacted to it very weakly but she did react. I stayed up all night with her and then about seven in the morning, I went to bed. Sometime after that, my mom woke me up because Kitty was twitching. I went out there and petted her and the twitching stopped, at which point my mom said I should go back to bed. A couple of hours later, my mom woke me again to say that Kitty was gone.

    I got up and saw my dear little Kitty, gave her some pets, told her how amazing she had been and the how the 14 years we had spent together would have been nothing without her. Everything I’d been through from 2003 through this new year of 2017 would not have happened or would have been very different without her. I’ve never shared the story about how Kitty and I found each other until now.

    Back in 2003 I was living a few blocks off Colfax Avenue, in a Victorian mansion just east of Capitol Hill in Denver, Colorado. In November of that year I heard a cat meowing in the alley. I went to bed and then went to work the next day. That night I heard a cat meowing again, but this time it was a much more urgent meow. I went around back and saw this cat, sitting on the porch of a neighbor that had just moved out. I don’t know if she was left behind by them or was just a stray but when I rounded the corner of the house, this cat was all over me. I lead her around to the front of the house and she cautiously entered. She did that thing that cats do where they smell the ground in front of them before going forward. This is where things get personal and where my cat got her name.

    Here it is, almost midnight and I just invited a hungry cat into my house. I let her in because she was cold but once inside, she displayed all the mannerisms and charm that cats put on when they are hungry and want you to feed them. Those of you that have been there will appreciate what I’m about to say and those of you that have not will learn something right now. Poor people eat two things; ramen noodles and canned tuna. As luck would have it, I was sick of ramen that week so I had some tuna. This cat knew the sound of a can opener and went ape shit when she heard me opening that can. Here’s the thing though; it was my last can of tuna. It was rationed out to be my dinner that night but here is this cat meowing for two nights like she hasn’t been fed for days so, I split it with her. I dished out half into a bowl for her and I ate the rest right out of the can. That was when I told her that since she ate all those chunks and lumps of tuna that her name was now Kitten Chunks and Lumps; Kitty for short. She snuggled up to me in my bed that night but in the morning when I had to leave for work, I kicked her out.

Kitty Sleeping

Kitty Doing What She Does Best

    When I got home that night, she was sitting on the porch. When she caught sight of me she bounded down and greeted me like a dog! She was very vocal and rubbing all through my legs. I opened the front door and she ran upstairs like she owned the place. That was the moment that we decided we belong together. I was still broke but somehow, I found thirty-eight cents to get another can of tuna which we shared. She had been with me ever since, travelling with me when I moved to San Diego in 2008 and came back to Denver ahead of me in 2013. That is the story of Kitty and I.

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Global Dance Festival 2016

October 31, 2016 by ·  

Red Rocks and Denver Skyline at Global Dance Fest GDF 2016

Global Dance Festival 2016

    There are a few places and events I’ve been to many times but never blogged about. Right now will manage to kill two of those birds with one post by telling you about Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. Red Rocks is not your typical concert venue because it’s carved out of the side of a mountain and overlooks Denver. Many years ago a very good friend of mine said that standing in the bowl of the amphitheater feels like you are in the hand of God. Cup your hand and hold it in front of your face. The bottom of your palm is the stage and the top of your fingers are where I was standing when I took the photo you see above. Those lights on the horizon are Denver.

Dancing at GDF 2016

Dancing at Red Rocks During GDF 2016

    I would guess this was my tenth time attending GDF since 2001 but it was my first time bringing my camera to the show. GDF is held in the middle of summer, which means the weather is perfect for tailgating, people watching, dancing and partying. My friends and I get there early and leave late.

Masked at Global Dance Fest 2016

People at Global Dance Fest 2016

    The music plays nonstop for about six hours and you will be dancing, in one form or another for at least that long. Global Dance Fest is the world heavyweight champion festival of electronic dance music (EDM) and since it lasts for three days, just about anyone will be able to attend at least one day, no matter what your work schedule demands of you.

PLUR Peace Love Unity Respect GDF 2016

Peace Love Unity Respect

    What it comes down to is love. In a world with where it can seem enemies and stress are always at the gates, GDF is an oasis of peace, love, unity and respect. PLUR. PLUR. Peace, love unity and respect. Those are all things we can use more of and they are all free. You can produce, receive and project all of those things with less than the flick of a wrist. Cheers!

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Once In A Blue Moon

August 4, 2015 by ·  

Blue Moon Over Denver July 31,2015

Blue Moon on July 31, 2015

    We all know the saying, “Once in a blue moon” but what does it mean? If the moon is full twice in a single month, that’s a blue moon. It happens a lot more often than the appearance of comets or eclipses but not so often that it doesn’t cause a stir among the stargazing and superstitions communities. The photo you see above was the blue moon that appeared over Denver on July 31, 2015. Of course, the color wasn’t blue on that night; I adjusted the white balance just so the photo of the blue moon would be, well, blue.

    I’ve been blogging for over six years now and the frequency of my posting has been decreasing for the last one or two of those years. You could almost say that I have been posting once in a blue moon. I don’t like that so I am going to start posting more often. My lack of posting is directly related to me not taking as many photos as I used to as well as traveling a lot less. I haven’t been on a plane since 2013 and I rarely carry my camera around with me anymore. That has got to change so the way I figure it, taking more photos will lead to more posts which will lead more travel which will lead to more posts, just like I was doing back in the day. By publicly declaring this I’m hoping that you, my loyal readers will hold me to it. I give all of you permission to hold my feet to the fire and hassle me in a relentless fashion to POST MORE OFTEN! Cheers!

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Flowers In The Garden

May 3, 2015 by ·  

Purple Allium

Allium

    A year ago I planted a bunch of flowers and trees around the house. It was a lot of hard work and believe me, when it comes to digging holes through rocks and clay; there is no clever way to go about doing it. Anyway, after spending the spring and summer of last year wondering if it was all worth it, things are blooming and growing so yes, it was all worth it.

Poppy Anemone

Poppy Anemone

    At this early point in the spring, flowers are the first to show their colors but, the trees I planted last year are showing some very vigorous signs of life as well. The reason I haven’t shown any photos of the progress they’ve made is because this has been a very personal journey for me. Knowing how long this journey is going to be has allowed me the rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy the ride, rather than document every single step.

Purple Lilacs

Purple Lilacs

    The two lilac photos in this post are, ironically enough, not plants that I planted last year. They are older than me and have endured more Colorado winters than most people I know. They were a bit unkempt as of last year but I trimmed them, causing them to have fewer flowers this year, but are now prepared to have twice as many next year.

White Lilacs

White Lilacs

    So, there you go. There will be more photos of the garden as the spring and summer progress, showing you this labor intensive project I started last year. Oh what a difference a year makes.

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My Short Bucket List

December 31, 2014 by ·  

    I’m busting out a quick post to tell you that I have a bucket list. When I was a kid, the term “bucket list” did not exist. There were only things that we wanted to do and places we wanted to go before we died. Since then, Hollywood has told us to make a list of things we want to do before we kick the bucket; hence the term, bucket list.

    As I write this, I have less than one hour until 2015 crashes in so I have to be quick.
This is a very short list of some things I want to do before I die. It is not the complete list, just a few of them:

    1. Learn to use a bullwhip like Indiana Jones.

    2. Learn Spanish. Something I should have done whilst living in San Diego for 8 years.

    3. Go to Greece.

    4. Skydive.

    5. Learn to use a sword in the style of a light saber. Yeah, Star Wars is the greatest movie ever made.

    6. Write a novel.

    7. Write a screenplay.

    8. Publish all the photos on my blog into a book with paper pages.

    9. Get back on a motorcycle.

    10. Learn to fly a helicopter.

    11. Make a movie about my experience in Alaska.

    That’s it. Eleven things I want to do that I’m sharing with the world before the new year. Cheers!

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Road Trip To Utah

December 22, 2014 by ·  

Ice-on-a-door

Ice On The Door

    Last week I took a road trip to Utah. I stayed in an area south of Salt Lake City and spent the bulk of my time right next to Salt Lake Temple, a glamorous Mormon Temple that was constructed over 120 years ago. I have no photos of the structure or the amazing Christmas lights that surround the area. I was working whilst there and the one night I had a chance to take photos I opted not to because, in my own words, it would have been too much of a bother. Over the six day span between Denver and Salt Lake City I took a total of 12 photos, two of which are in this post and neither of them were taken anywhere near Salt Lake City. I won’t lie; I am straight up ashamed of myself for not taking more photos or pressing myself to document a city I have never been to before. The two photos in this post are pathetic, mundane and ordinary. Above is a photo of the ice that formed on the door of the van I was in.

sunset-in-wyoming

Sunset In Wyoming

    In a nutshell, we drove north out of Denver on I25 and then hung a left on I80 once we reached Cheyenne. The photo above was taken sometime before we made the turn to the west. At least, I think it was. I wasn’t driving or navigating but I can say for sure that I took this photo by pointing my camera out of the left side of the van. So, to the best of my recollection, and reconciling that with what I know about the rising and setting of the sun, I was traveling north when I took this shot. After that, I put my camera in a bag and didn’t take it out again until I got back to Denver. Cheers!

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Super Hero Day at Planet Sub

September 27, 2014 by ·  

Captain Kansas City Jumps Through Money At Planet Sub

Super Heroes At Planet Sub

    Planet Sub has a sandwich that’s called, “Super Hero.” It has capicola, pepperoni, salami and provolone cheese that is all heated up and then it gets banana peppers, red onions, oregano and oil and vinegar on the cold side. It is the most Italian offering we have and people from the east coast in particular love that sandwich. I bring this up because Planet Sub in Denver recently had a super hero promotion that had employees and customers alike dressed as super heroes and having a little more fun than usual.

Batman bangs Batman at Planet Sub

Batman On Batman

    The deal was, dress up as a super hero or villain and get a free super hero sandwich. Think about that, this was an event where cosplaying and eating a sandwich are what you had to do. It was a lot of fun so the next time you hear about Planet Sub holding a promotional event like this you should attend.

Rob Hurlbut At Planet Sub

Me As The Flash

    If you came to the shop that day and your sandwich was given to you by The Flash then by golly that was me.

Captain Kansas City And Batman

Captain Kansas City And Batman

    We like to have fun and get into the spirit of things at the shop so an excuse to wear a costume means it will be a fun day at work. I’m from Denver but the Planet Sub franchise and most of my coworkers are from Kansas City, hence the Captain Kansas City costume. He is the patron saint of the Denver Broncos and his super power is geolocation; he knows where Peyton Manning is at any given time.

Planet Sub Boy Wonder And Batman

Batman And Boy Wonder

    The photo above answers the question, “How do you make a super hero?”

Planet Sub Super Heroes

The Super Heroes Of Planet Sub Denver

    With or without a costume, you should come down to Planet Sub for a sandwich and to say hi to me. It’s at 16th St. and California right in the middle of the 16th Street Mall. The shop is open at 7 for breakfast during the week and 10 for lunch on the weekends. Cheers!

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A Fun Night at Westward Seafoods

August 7, 2014 by ·  

Alfonso EJ and Alex In Dutch Harbor Alaska

The Westward Seafoods Mafia

    The time I spent in Dutch Harbor, Alaska last year was good and bad. The good was that I met some great people and got to see some wildlife and of course the bad was that I worked for Westward Seafoods while I was there. A year ago I was so pissed off about what I went through and what I saw in that seafood processing plant that I didn’t post much about the good times I had. The good times were spent checking out bald eagles, climbing hills to take photos and checking out the town of Unalaska. There were also a few good times that took place in my shitty bunkhouse. The photos for this post were taken on one of my last nights on the island. It was just one of those nights where, after working for 12 hours, one of my roommates and a couple other friends hung out for a few hours, talking about God knows what but having fun the entire time.

    Alfonso is on the left, flipping me off. I forget exactly why, but whatever the reason was, it sure seemed to be funny. We were all poor in Dutch Harbor and alcohol is expensive so of course it makes sense that lots of people bought lots of alcohol up there. Nothing helps a poor person cope with a shitty job and lack of money like spending what you have on booze. Those of you that know me know that I don’t drink beer so there may or may not be a bottle of vodka just outside the frame. I may or may not have paid $30 for that fucking bottle.

Alfonso EJ and Alex Fist Bump In Dutch Harbor Alaska

Group Fist Bump

    So, drinks start flowing, stories get told and things progress from flipping each other off to fist bumps. The other two guys in the photo standing next to Alfonso are Alex and E.J. I worked with E.J. in “D” section on the Surimi side of Westward Seafoods and I met Alex, probably through E.J. In wanting to maintain proper fist bump etiquette, I bumped with my right hand and held the camera with my left. Check out Alfonso being too cool for school by bumping with his left hand!

Alex Showing His Tattoos In Dutch Harbor Alaska

Showing Off Tattoos

    Tattoos and scars will inevitably show up and be compared amongst a crowd like this. I have three tattoos, none of which have ever made an appearance on my blog. I got them all whilst serving in The Navy in the early nineties. I have a few scars too but most of them have to do with inline skating.

Rob Hurlbut Dutch Harbor Alaska Westward Seafoods

Good People

    Pleasant nights like this didn’t happen very often during the three months I was in Alaska. We worked 12-18 hours a day every day of the week so sleep was the Holy Grail of free time up there. Being able to get four friends in a room at the same time for reasons other than sleep only happened during meals and rare nights like this one. I remember asking for a cigarette for this shot. I don’t smoke but I thought it would look cool for the shot we were trying to compose. The problem was that the smoke was killing me so of course I’m making a funny face in a photo that I otherwise think is pretty neat. Anyway, three or four days later I was off the island and headed back to San Diego. Six months after that, I moved back to Denver, ending my eight year vacation in sunny California. Cheers!

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A Spider in the Yard

August 2, 2014 by ·  

spider and web on white pipe

A Spider Spins A Web

     I’ve spent a lot of time in the yard this summer, planting lots of trees and doing general chores to help the place look like a lush and private paradise. I like getting back to and becoming one with nature so even though it’s hard work that entails digging holes and schlepping rocks, I enjoy it. Three months into this project I have reached a point where I’m spending more time looking at what I’ve done and less time on the physical labor aspect; I’ve planted more than 40 trees, 60 shrubs and vines and hundreds of flowers. Everything is growing nicely so every day it gets a little easier to visualize what the yard will look like in a couple years and how much people will enjoy it.

spider and tall web

A Skyscraper Spiderweb

    The insect and arachnid population of the yard is already reaping the benefits. The impetus for this post came from a spider that spun an interesting looking web. This little guy or gal lives in a small piece of white PVC pipe and spun itself a skyscraper web connecting to a purple leafed plant.

spider on white pipe

Spider

    Now that I’ve mentioned my planting project, I suppose you’re wondering where the photos are. Surely I’m documenting the entire process from seed to tree right? Nope. I mean, I am taking pictures of the process but they are not for public consumption. I’m afraid that all of you, my loyal readers will have to wait until the stuff I’ve planted has reached an appreciable diameter and climbed to a dignified height. They’ll get there, just be patient.

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Union Station Denver – Amtrak

July 15, 2014 by ·  

Union Station Sign Denver Amtrak Platform

Amtrak Platform – Union Station In Denver, Colorado

    Two months ago we all said, “Goodbye Market Street Station!” when our beloved cave, Denver’s only underground was closed. I was and remain all right with that because it forced me to examine my relationship with Union Station. Back in the day when the light rail opened I’d take the C line out of there and I partied Lotus a few times but I never used it as a train station. I never had to jump onto an Amtrak train as, “All aboard!” was shouted or watched my girlfriend chase my departing train down the platform, blowing kisses at me as she knocked people and stuff over in a way that made it seem like it was in a movie. As she ran along after me I would be smitten with her physically exhausting display of affection for me but as soon as I pulled my head back in the open window, I’d be laughing at whatever comical way she would have finally tripped and collided into something. Without a defining moment like that, do you even have a relationship at all?

    I wasn’t sure so the other day I went to Union Station in order to explore this new hub of bus and rail. I was there to take pictures and to see what the station could offer me beyond the light rail. By the way, in San Diego they call it the trolley. As in, “I’m going to take the trolley downtown.” Saying I’m going to take the light rail downtown makes me think of beams of light like a light saber from Star Wars. There is no heavy rail or dark rail or whatever the competition of light rail is. It should be rebranded as The Denver Trolley.

Amtrak Platform Denver Union Station

Police On The Platform

    For reference, the people you see in the first photo were waiting to board an incoming train so I walked down the platform and was politely stopped by the policeman you see above. He asked if I was catching the train so I said I was not; I was taking photos and was heading to the old looking Pullman in the background. He said I had to stay back past the bridge, also visible in the first photo. There are no signs to that effect but at least he was only concerned with where I was and not what I was doing, which was taking photos.

Amtrak Train Union Station Denver

People Waiting For The Train

    When the train arrived it backed into the station and people become to jostle about as the excitement of imminent travel began to take over.

Amtrak Train Pulls Into Union Station Denver

The Timeless Train

    Watching a train roll in to a station is a timeless experience because standing on a train platform today is exactly the same experience that it was 150 years ago. If you are in the vicinity of a station and you hear a train whistle you are drawn to it, if you are in a station and you see a train pulling in you are drawn to it. I was. My goal was to photograph the underground portion of Union Station but once I found out a train was arriving I headed over to the Amtrak platform.

Amtrak Train Window Washing Union Station Denver

Washing The Windows

    When the train was parked, window washing caught my eye. I had never thought about train windows being washed before; you never see it happening in any Cary Grant movies from the golden age of rail, where I learned most of what I know about trains so this was a neat thing for me to see for the first time. Also, this is my favorite photo from the day.

Amtrak Train Platform Union Station Denver

People About To Board The Train

    There are so many stories going on in the world at any given time and a train station helps bring a bunch of them together in a very small space. This is how I interpret the photo above:
The couple on the right is full of uncertainty; the woman on the phone is explaining to someone that she is literally about to step on a train and leave while the guy she is with is worried that whomever she is speaking to will talk her out of leaving.

    The couple on the left have everything worked out so they don’t have a care in the world.

    The guy in the peach colored shirt is just a photobomb.

    A few minutes later an RTD transit guard and that same policeman from earlier came up to me. The transit guard did all the taking and asked if I was getting on the train, what kind of photos I was taking and told me they are concerned for everyone’s safety. Then he told me something unexpected. He said I could call RTD customer service at 303.299.6000 and get a permit to take photos around the station. He said it’s easy to get and it will allow the security and police personnel in the station to know I was there and what I was doing. I was in the station for just as long as the people waiting for the train so it was ultimately the amount of time I spent in the station that lead to our conversation, not my taking photos. He never said I couldn’t take photos or to put my camera down but getting a permit would just put everyone on the same page. Fair enough, I’ll check it out and report back.

    In the meantime I do recommend you check out the station, with or without a camera. I’ll do an entirely separate post on the underground portion because it is rather grand so I need to spend some more time down there and take a few more photos before I present my assessment to the world. Cheers!

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Imperial Beach

July 6, 2014 by ·  

Imperial Beach Town Marker

Imperial Beach City Limits

    I was in Imperial Beach, California for the last three of the eight years I lived in San Diego. It was during that trio of years that I experienced the best and worst of my time out west. Best because I lived near the beach, had constant sunny weather and a thermometer that always read 72 degrees and worst because it was the place where I had to say goodbye to that San Diego weather.

Imperial Beach Apartment

My Apartment In Imperial Beach

    IB is the most southwesterly city in the United States so while I was there I had the Pacific Ocean on one side, Mexico behind me and Coronado in front of me. The two story building in the photo above is where I lived; my front door is right in the middle. I was facing south to take this photo so that is Tijuana, Mexico in the background while the setting sun and the beach are to the right. In the foreground is the southern edge of San Diego Bay, which is a protected wetlands and bird sanctuary, which is what I saw when I opened my front door.

Woman In Imperial Beach Sand

A Woman On The Beach

    On a bicycle, my place was five minutes from the beach and the endless Pacific Ocean. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and never got used to the winters so when I signed on to a four year hitch in the Navy and got stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii I became hooked on the weather, the beach, the ocean and travel. I sailed everywhere between Hawaii and the Persian Gulf during those four years and came to love the life of going places and seeing things. In particular, going places that were warm and seeing beaches with sapphire blue water.

Imperial Beach Pier People At Sunset

Imperial Beach Pier

    It took five years of living in La Mesa, in East County San Diego to realize I wasn’t close enough to the water so in 2011 I moved to the coastal town of Imperial Beach. After I moved there, I started traveling more, taking more photos and just generally enjoying life more than I had over the previous five years. I lived on San Diego Bay, I could walk to the beach and there was a farmers market on the pier every Friday. Life was good.

Imperial Beach Public Art

    Imperial Beach is a great place to live and I enjoyed my time there. It’s a beach town and a border town but it doesn’t have the crowds that would normally be associated with those things. I visited Border Field State Park, had dental work done in Tijuana and biked up to Coronado whenever I wanted. Even with a foreign country two miles to the south and glorious Coronado to the north, I usually found myself heading west, to the beach and the ocean. The photo above is the place where I would lock up my bike and start walking along the beach. The darkness behind the palm trees and the art sculpture is the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.

IB Forum Bar Imperial Beach

IB Forum Bar In Imperial Beach

    The photo above shows IB Forum, the most southwesterly bar in the continental United States. The art sculpture in the previous photo is just to the left and once again, Mexico is behind. This is a bar that I never set foot in. I’ve been drunk in enough foreign lands and American cities to last two lifetimes so adding more instances based solely on geographic location lost all appeal for me many years ago.

Imperial Beach Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree In Imperial Beach

    What is the point of this post? The catalyst was me going through old photos that I never published. The photos were a catalyst for me becoming nostalgic about living in Imperial Beach. This sentence is a catalyst for me to use the word catalyst in a way that has nothing to do with anything. I like taking and posting photos and I like writing about them so maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe I miss living in Imperial Beach. Maybe I don’t know.

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The Green Parasol

July 4, 2014 by ·  

Green Parasol Imperial Beach Pier

Green Parasol On Imperial Beach Pier

    A couple years ago I was photographing surfers in Imperial Beach, California when all of a sudden I saw a woman standing on the pier; she was holding a green parasol. This woman and the child she seemed to be in charge of were just enjoying a pleasant day on the beach. They looked like they were having fun so I decided to ditch the surfers and instead, follow these two around.

Green Parasol And Woman Imperial Beach Pier

Walking On IB Pier

    My original plan was to walk onto the pier and ask the lady if she would pose for some photos for me. It took a few minutes for me to get to the pier and walk out to where they were. Something happened in that interim because the lady was yelling at the kid and marching him off the pier. Ok, new plan; try to get some photos of this woman and her green parasol without getting yelled at myself. I don’t know why I wanted to but once I saw she had a green top on too, it just seemed like the natural thing to do.

Green Parasol Imperial Beach

Woman Walks Up Imperial Beach

    The ironic thing is that when they walked off the pier, they turned to the north and walked right past where I had been standing to begin with. Whatever the kid did earlier seemed to be forgotten as they continued walking towards Coronado. Anyway, this was a pleasant little diversion in a pleasant day that I wanted to share. Cheers!

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What I Want Most From Denver Comic Con

June 17, 2014 by ·  

Star Wars Wall Of Blasters Denver Comic Con

Star Wars Blasters

    Here’s the thing about every Comic Con I’ve ever attended; I want most of the stuff there. That’s everything from the merchandise to the people to the random music that plays everywhere; I want to take them all home! A weekend hiking out in the Colorado Mountains with a “take only photographs and leave only footprints” mantra won’t exactly work during a weekend of walking through the Colorado Convention Center. When you’re done with a mountain hike, you want yourself to be a little changed but the mountains to be the same. When you’re done with a weekend at Comic Con, you want to be wrecked, broke and your jaw should be sore from so much smiling. What was my point here? I forget exactly but I think it had something to do with my attending Denver Comic Con for the first time being so amazing that I’ll take it as a sign that I made the right choice by moving back here.

    Wait, no that wasn’t my original point, I just remembered now. I didn’t go broke buying a bunch of stuff, but I saw two things in particular that I wanted to buy, or have someone give to me. I’m posting photos of them in that hope that one or both of my loyal readers will do the right thing; and make me happy.

    The first thing is pictured above. It is a wall of Star Wars blasters. Just take a look at them and then think about how good it would make you feel to remove them from that wall, put them in a burlap sack and give them to me. It doesn’t have to be a burlap sack either; you can use a hefty bag or a wheel barrow or just pile them on the ground somewhere and tell where they are.

KITT Knight Rider Car Denver Comic Con

KITT – Knight Rider

    The second thing I want is the interior from KITT, the car from the TV show, Knight Rider. Everything you see in the photo above is what I’d like and I’ll tell what I’d do with it. I’d make so it would be my home computer terminal. The windshield will be my monitor and all the buttons and steering controls would serve the functions of the keyboard, mouse and other peripherals. That way, when I had to edit photos I could say, “I’m going to get into my Knight Rider car and edit some photos.”
It takes a little while for Comic Con to wind its way through the brain so you may see more lists like this in the comings days, but don’t let that deter you from working on getting these first two right away. Thank you. Cheers!

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Thinking About La Mesa

April 1, 2014 by ·  

Rob Hurlbut Sleeping On The Floor In SummerSleeping On The Floor In Summer

    I lived in La Mesa, California for five years. What I remember most was that it got bloody hot in the summertime. My second floor apartment did not have AC so my place would be above 80 degrees at night. On those nights I would sleep in front of my open front door with a little desk fan blowing right on my head. It reminded me of camping but in all seriousness, there is nothing fun about sleeping in an oven baked room. La Mesa is an eastern suburb of San Diego but at more than ten miles from the ocean, the cooling marine layer just doesn’t reach.

La Mesa Steps

Steps In The Hills Of La Mesa

    La Mesa is a very hilly place with lots of hidden staircases and pedestrian paths running all around the city. It was 2006 when I moved from Denver to San Diego and I was very excited to be landing out there but La Mesa turned out not to be the quintessential San Diego experience I was hoping for. Besides the heat, it was just too far away from the ocean to really seem like I was living the San Diego dream.

Jolt n Joes La Mesa Under Full Moon October 2009

Jolt ‘N Joes In La Mesa

    La Mesa is where I was when I became a full time photographer and launched The World Is Raw. It is a pedestrian friendly city so I used to walk around at all times of the day and night taking photos of my new neighborhood. One of the main reasons I moved away from Denver was because the winter was so cold. I don’t ski or snowboard so all the lovely fresh powder and sub freezing temperatures were nothing but a nuisance for me. Once I moved to San Diego, I was able to wear shorts and flip flops every day for the next eight years. (After living in La Mesa for five years, I moved to the coastal town of Imperial Beach, where I lived for three years.) I have a friend from Texas that would visit from time to time and he very poignantly explained to me why it was so expensive to live out there. “In San Diego, you pay for the weather.”

Mount Helix In La Mesa

Mount Helix In La Mesa, CA

    I made the best of my time in La Mesa and I really did like living there but it always seemed a bit dull to me. There’s just nothing very “Southern California” about it and since part of my reason for moving to the coast was to actually be on the coast, it was never destined to be a permanent home for me, even though my place was directly across the street from a 24 hour grocery store that sold liquor.

St Martins Catholic Church

St. Martin’s Catholic Church – La Mesa, CA

    I think this nostalgic post came about because now that I live in Denver, I am very antsy for spring and summer weather to get here. There have been some very nice days this year, but it is still too cold most of the time to just go on a walk or bike ride without long pants and a jacket. The photo above is one of the last ones a shot before I moved away from La Mesa. It is a view of St. Martin’s Catholic Church at midnight on Christmas Eve, 2010. A few days later, I moved to Imperial Beach. Below is a video I shot as I was about to leave my apartment in La Mesa for the last time. Cheers!

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Coronado Then and Now

March 16, 2014 by ·  

Coronado Village Theater Under Construction 2010

Coronado Village Theater – December 2010

    Three years ago I was on a bus that took me through Coronado and over the Coronado Bridge. I took a couple photos on that trip that are already turning into a neat little time capsule, even after such a short amount of time. First, while on Orange Avenue I passed by the old Coronado Village Theater and saw that it was being renovated. It used to be that whenever I would look at old photos showing what a skyline looked like 100 years ago or an iconic local landmark under construction I would think about how fortunate the photographer was to have been around such a long time ago to photograph history being made. I didn’t yet realize that history was happening all the time, all around me. Every photo I take will one day be old and all the intentional compositions and accidental objects in the background of all those photos will show just how lucky I was to be there at that particular time. A little research told me the theater would open in six months so I returned to take photos of that event, one of which is the last photo in this post.

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship And Coronado Bridge

Carnival Cruise Ship “Splendor” Under Coronado Bridge

    The bus wound through Coronado and came to cross the Coronado Bridge. On the way over, I had a great view of B Street Pier and the Carnival Splendor cruise ship as it sat disabled due to an engine room fire. Cruise ships do not normally dock here so it was very huge and conspicuous.

Coronado Village Theater June 2011

Coronado Village Theater – June 2011

    The photo above was taken six months later, in June 2011. I included it here so you can see what a difference six months makes. Three years have passed since I took these photos; where does the time go? Below is the video I shot during the grand opening of the theater. Cheers, my old friends!

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Larry Werner Is Homeless In La Mesa

November 8, 2013 by ·  

Larry Werner Homeless In La Mesa

Larry Werner

    Larry Werner is a homeless man that lives in La Mesa, California. La Mesa is in an area referred to as East County that is very hot in summer and sits about 12 miles from the coast. Larry lives in the doorways and storefronts of downtown La Mesa and can frequently be seen walking around or sleeping in shady or sunny spots of the city. Depending on who you ask, he is either a blight or an institute of the city.

Homeless Man In San Diego

Larry Werner Sleeping In La Mesa

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Black And White Photography

November 6, 2013 by ·  

black and white tree

A Tree Under False Moonlight

    I was very fortunate to grow up in an age when film photography was the only way to take a picture. Truth be told, I wanted to be an artist that worked in the mediums of paint, charcoal or pen and ink but after a couple years of classes I still wasn’t any good at it. Way back in 1987 I was in 8th grade and that was when I took my first photography class. That was a galvanizing moment for me because the workings of a camera and the methodology of photography were something I was able to understand right away. Aperture, exposure, shadows, highlights and film type were all things that clicked in my mind just as fast as my camera’s shutter. Add to that the Zen of spending time in the dark room to develop my film and make prints and there was a recipe for pleasure that I’ve been using ever since.

black and white mini blinds

Vertical Blinds

    My dad was a photographer in the Navy back in the 1960s so when I started to develop in interest in photography in the 1980s, he broke out a bunch of photographic equipment that I never knew he had. In a tiny corner of the basement of our house he set up a darkroom for me. The trays, enlarger and even the red light bulb were all vintage things he’d kept since HE was a teenager and were now being used by us together. When I had an assignment in school, I was able to develop my film the night before it was due in my own darkroom and even produce some prints to see if I’d exposed the film correctly.

black and white dirty handle

Dirty Handle

    Another thing my dad was able to do that helped me out very early in my photographic career was to buy film for me in bulk. There was a fee for the photography classes I took which included a finite number of rolls of film. Back then you would normally buy film in rolls of 24 or 36 exposures that you would take to a store to have developed and printed. Film and processing was an expense that added up very quickly, especially for a 13 year old with no income. Buying film by the foot, rather than by the roll was something my dad introduced me to. He had reusable film canisters and the cost of chemicals to develop 100 rolls of film was cheaper than the cost of having the store develop six rolls of film so that is where my allowance of $20 per month went for the next 4 years.

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Looking Up A Bathrobe

    I enlisted in the Navy and was a film photographer during my entire four year hitch and for about six years after that. In 2002 I picked up a digital camera for the first time and even though the 1.3 megapixel quality was shit, I saw the potential for a photographic revolution. I had a job photographing products for a company that sold stuff on eBay and I was learning to use Photoshop so I felt like I was on the cutting edge of the next big thing.

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Styrofoam

    Christmas of 2005 is when I received my first digital camera. It was a Panasonic DMC-FZ4 and I toted it around with me like a movie starlet totes her Chihuahua around Los Angeles. All the photos in this post were shot by me within the first week or so of receiving it so by looking at these photos you are literally looking at the beginning of my photographic career. Cheers!

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Stop And Smell The Roses

November 5, 2013 by ·  

Wine At Sunset In Anza California

Pouring A Glass Of Wine At Sunset

    With all the hustle and bustle we have in our world today, I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone just how important it is to take some time for yourself once and a while. We have to commute to work where we have the constant pressure of looming deadlines and when we are not at our jobs there is pressure to create content and update our status for every aspect of our personal lives. I’ve enjoyed cultivating this blog for over four years and I am a fan of Twitter as well but sometimes I get a little too wrapped up in either one. There is a lot of information out there that interests me and there are a lot of words and photographs I’d like to present to the world so sometimes I can forget about everything else for days or weeks at a time. We must stop and smell the proverbial roses. I think Ferris Bueller said it very well when he stated, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.”

    The photo above was taken earlier this summer in Anza, CA. I was with my cousins for the weekend so I had the pleasure of having a glass of wine with them as we watched the setting sun. It was such a pleasant change of pace to enjoy something just for the sake of enjoying it. There are so many things to do that don’t require a laptop, smartphone, television or electricity. What I’m saying here is that it is very important to get back to basics by remembering that life did not always revolve around digesting and producing as much information as possible. Go play outside and get some fresh air; you’ll feel better if you do. Cheers!

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Rob Hurlbut In Dutch Harbor, Alaska

May 10, 2013 by ·  

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Rob Hurlbut In The Grand Aleutian Hotel

    As a photographer, I like to stay behind the lens. Self portraits have never been my forte and having another person take my photo is something that just doesn’t happen very often. So, in order to not be selfish, to help this blog become more personal and reflect the real me this is a post that will feature self portraits of me, Rob Hurlbut. The photo above was taken a month ago on my last day in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

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Rob Hurlbut With A Bald Eagle

    I spent the first three months of 2013 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which is where all the photos in this post were taken. It was fun being in Alaska and it was fun to see bald eagles hanging around like pigeons at a bus stop. I’d never seen an eagle in person, let alone striking distance to my face before. They are very large birds and their talons are as big as my hands. They perched themselves on the railing of the bunkhouse I was living in so when I walked by them, they were less than three feet away and staring me right in the eye. From that distance, you can see the dinosaur lineage of bald eagles staring you right in the face.

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Rob Hurlbut Inside A WWII Bunker

    On Dutch Harbor, there are several WWII observation bunkers. These are concrete structures and they are very claustrophobic. One can only imagine what it must have been like to be stationed in Alaska and standing watch, looking for Japanese planes or the Imperial Japanese Navy. As you can see in the photo above, they are not tall enough to stand up in, the floor is frozen tundra and for some reason I was wearing white socks with black shoes. I apologize for that.

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Rob Hurlbut On The Alaskan Tundra

    I did a lot of hiking whilst in Dutch Harbor. Hiking through snow is not the easiest thing in the world to do, nor is photographing snow. Personally, I hadn’t set foot in a snow drift for seven years, not since I left Denver for the sunny shores of San Diego back in 2006. In my glorified opinion the snow and cold suck, so my time in Alaska made me realize I had been taking the warm California sun for granted and that in all probability, Alaska would have been better appreciated by me had I visited in the summer.

rob-hurlbut-at-westward-seafoods-bunkhouse

Rob Hurlbut In Westward Seafoods Bunkhouse

    Any post I do that talks about Dutch Harbor or Alaska must include a stab at the company I was working for at the time, Westward Seafoods. It was a terrible experience that I have touched on in two previous posts. The first is titled, Do Not Wok For Westward Seafoods In Dutch Harbor, Alaska and the other is titled, Working For Westward Seafoods In Dutch Harbor, Alaska. They are worth reading and will place some context around the photo above. 18 hour days, racism, mercury laden food and bedbugs were on my mind when I took the self portrait you see above. Read the posts and do not work for Westward Seafoods.

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Rob Hurlbut Near The Bering Sea In Dutch Harbor, Alaska

    Dutch Harbor is in the background, water from the Bering Sea is right behind me and for the third time in one post, a beanie is on my head. It was really cold in Alaska so I didn’t cut my hair and I always wore some form of skull cap. Truth be told, I still haven’t cut my hair even after being back in San Diego for a couple weeks. I’m pushing 40 now so growing out my hair could be a combination of my last hurrah and a midlife crisis. Either way, the response from those that have seen me in person has been positive so I think I’ll just keep on growing it for now.

    So there you have it, an honest post from me with self portrait photos. I won’t lie, none of these photos were intended for public consumption but I really do want to open up and use this blog as a better window into who I am, what I do and where I’ve been. Cheers!

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Coronado Village Theater Needs Help

August 2, 2012 by ·  

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Inside Coronado Village Theater

    I think that Coronado Village Theater may need some help in the form of butts in the building. Today, I caught the matinee showing of The Dark Knight Rises and I just about had the theater to myself. Granted, it was a beautiful Thursday afternoon and no one in their right mind should be indoors on a day like today, but I really want this theater to succeed; it’s a beautiful art deco theater full of character that mega-mall multiplexes are utterly lacking.

    In June of last year I attended the grand re-opening of the theater, which was a very exciting event, but I fear some of that excitement has left the building. So, I’m posting this to remind the residents of San Diego and Coronado in particular that you have the state’s best theater right in your own backyard and as you all witnessed 11 years ago, if you don’t use it you are going to lose it. Below is the video I put together last year from opening night. Please watch it and then take the time to head to Coronado for a movie night. Help the theater succeed! Cheers!

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Another Night In Las Vegas

April 2, 2012 by ·  

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Nightclub & Bar Convention 2012

    Last year I went to the Nightclub & Bar Convention in Las Vegas as a patron of spirits and member of a group of old friends. This year I went as a member of the press and I was only in town for 1 night with 1 friend, so I packed light and hoped for the best.

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Shawn Barnes In Las Vegas

    The imposing fellow above is one of my best friends and has been so for almost 20 years. He’s a friend that’s always on my side, no matter how abrasive my personality happens to be on any particular day. Together we have cut a swath of mayhem from Hawaii to Mexico and from Dallas to Denver.

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Las Vegas International Airport

    Las Vegas Airport, also known as McCarran International Airport is quite vast, which gives you something to do if you have to kill 3 hours like I did. You can wonder through the terminals without having to go back through security, which is very convenient.

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Slots Inside Las Vegas Airport

    If you want to get any last minute gambling in, Las Vegas Airport will accommodate you. It’s all been arranged to get your money, make no mistake about that. Go ahead and hit the ATM a few more times, you’ll get it all back, I promise.

rob-hurlbut-in-las-vegas-elevator

Rob Hurlbut In A Las Vegas Elevator

    I’m really starting to get into self portrait photography while in Las Vegas. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces abound if you look around. I can’t wait for the days when DSLR quality photo capabilities are implanted somewhere behind our eyeballs because in a place like Las Vegas, carrying around a camera can be a real drag. Until then, carry your camera with you everywhere all the time. Cheers!

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Rob Hurlbut On The Las Vegas Strip

February 5, 2012 by ·  

rob-hurlbut-at-ces-2012

    Most of the time I spent in Las Vegas, while covering CES 2012 was spent taking pictures. CES was unbelievably big and besides the physicality of the event a problem I had was finding a way to make all the cool things I saw at the show translate in a cool way in my photos. I failed and I say that with the utmost of dignity; being worthy enough to be issued a pass, being financed enough to make the trip and being experienced enough to survive five days in Las Vegas ended up being the nuts and bolts of my trip, so it was a resounding success.

rob hurlbut at caesars-palace-holy-shrine

    I did take it upon myself to take some self portraits whilst walking around the Las Vegas Strip. While I was at Caesars Palace I came across the place of worship you see above. The Romans, the society responsible for the empire that paid for the original Caesars Palace were Pagans; they worshiped many different Gods and it was a Quid Pro Quo situation. I lingered at this place for a very long time, lighting & placing incense as I moved about the four stations of prayer. I asked for help and guidance with many things. The word I was looking for at the time was clarity and I do believe the time I spent contemplating at this shrine will give me the clarity I want to enable myself for the success I need.

rob-hurlbut-at-luxor-in-las-vegas

    I am a photographer that stays behind my camera most the time. Think of me what you will, but I see myself as a modern day gunslinger, so you will answer to my weapon before I answer to you. I really do love being a photographer, I love to travel and I love to show the world where I’ve been, things I’ve seen and things I’m going to do.

rob-hurlbut-in-a-mirror in a bathroom in the MGM Grand

    I’d like to take a break and talk a little bit about the public bathrooms in Las Vegas. They are awesome. Every casino, every hotel and every corner store has a bathroom and none of them will have any problem with you dropping a deuce or clearing your bladder at any time of the day or night. “The Bathrooms of Las Vegas” is probably the title of a blog post just waiting to happen and I’ll read it when it comes out but it’s just too shitty an assignment for me to personally take on at this moment in time.

rob-hurlbut-on-southwest-airlines-from-las-vegas-to-san-diego

    Mercifully I had to get back to San Diego, so after 5 days and 4 nights in fabulous Las Vegas, it was time to get on a plane and get back to the real world. The photo you see above was taken with one of the last bits of strength I had, which was barely enough to press the shutter release button. I don’t remember any details after this shot was taken; I fell asleep and somehow made it from the airport back to my place without incident. After tending to all the bumps & bruises the laundry and the photos, I stand by my original assessment, which was that the trip was a five star, top shelf, resounding success.

southwest-airlines-window-view

    Southwest Airlines is the airline I recommend for any air travel that begins or ends within the United States of America because their employees rock and their prices are the best in the industry. They’ll never hassle you about your carry-on luggage, they’ll let you travel with a small dogs or a cat and and they serve booze on their planes. No other airline is as cool as Southwest and that is a fact. I really do believe their business model is the way of the future and very much look forward to watching as Delta, American and all the other overpriced, baggage fee price-gouging airlines are forced to change how they operate, courtesy of Southwest Airlines. They photo above really was my last act and honestly, I don’t remember taking it, but it did seem like a great photo to anchor this post because travel always involves some form of conveyance and air travel is about the best there is when it’s on Southwest. Cheers!

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I Was At CES 2012 In Las Vegas!

January 31, 2012 by ·  

lamborghini at CES 2012

A Lamborghini And Josh At CES 2012

    Whether I’m in front of or behind the camera there is one type of photography I’ve never been a fan of: Evidence of being there photos. These are the photos people usually use as proof they were at a location or met a certain person and usually they’re just standing there looking at the camera. Years later do people in those photos look at them and reminisce about how they had to stop what they were doing in order to turn around and grin at the camera? I would much rather take a photograph that shows a person in a natural pose, held for a moment within a beautiful scene than a picture that represents an interruption of that moment. Of course for this trip to Las Vegas, my friend wanted some evidence shots, so I willingly obliged. The two shots in this post represent the work and the play side of the trip. I was there to cover CES 2012 which is where the Lamborghini above was displayed and the convention was in Las Vegas, home of casinos, liquor and gambling, which is what the photo below is evidence of doing.

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3 Nines on 2 Machines Inside Hooters, Las Vegas

    After long days of walking for miles at CES, enduring crowded monorail rides and walking even more miles to get to my room, I was ready to relax by sliding up to a video poker bar, feeding it some money and then drinking for free until the wee hours while catching up with my old friend, Josh. The evidence photo above was taken as evidence not of being at a certain place, but for us both winning on separate video poker machines at the same time with 3 nines in our winning hands. Something like that deserves a shot and a picture. The above photo was taken inside Hooters Casino, in the back bar. We weren’t staying here but we still spent a lot of time here because it is very chill, has a great restaurant and is just a great place to waste a few hours. Until next time, happy travels!

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Stop SOPA/PIPA!

January 18, 2012 by ·  

Jellyfish mandalay bay shark reek aquarium

Keep Your Corporate Tentacles Off The Internet!

    America, from Columbus until WWI was the Wild West because we didn’t know if anything would survive, supported only by capitalism. There was still no clear business model for making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars so people kept moving west until a way was invented in California: Hollywood Culture.

    What we see and what we hear is what they claim is theirs.

    The entertainment industry was able to become so rich and wealthy in part because they were always able to set the price. They make all that money because they charged us all that money for their product. Well, the internet induced a market correction because paying $10 at a theater is now only ONE way to watch the latest movie and listen to its soundtrack and it’s the only one that guarantees the entertainment industry will get your money.

    SOPA/PIPA gives the entertainment industry a way to protect their failed business model by censoring the internet. That’s how I see it. The internet is collapsing their bloated system that rose from the ashes of a bloated studio system. They think the internet should be changed or molded to fit their business model. I say, fuck that!

    More people, including myself are taking photographs, shooting video and writing words specifically for the internet than Hollywood has stars in the sky so guess what? We win. They don’t get to take away what we’ve built just because it’s costing them money and I’ll tell you why: Their products are not worth what they charge. The internet doesn’t cost people money the internet makes people money.

    Don’t let the entertainment industry, the government or corporations get their tentacles around the internet. A free internet is the voice that people have been supposed to have ever since America became “We the people.” The internet is working because we use it in a way that allows it to work and it is a multi-function tool that every American should be able to use AT THEIR OWN DESCRETION as necessary. Please, we stand to lose everything if SOPA/PIPA becomes law so by all means, spread the word via your blogs and Twitter: STOP SOPA/PIPA!

    Take actual action beyond your blog by contacting all of your elected officials, right on up to the president: Stop American Censorship!

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How To Use WordPress To Kill Facebook

August 13, 2011 by ·  

Matt Mullenweg WordPress Founder at WordCamp San Diego 2011

Matt Mullenweg – The Man Who Killed Facebook

        Shortly after WordCamp San Diego 2011, I had an epiphany:  WordPress is going to kill Facebook, ease the world’s pain in the aftermath and then play a utopian role in building a better internet society.

        Think about what drove you to Facebook in the first place: You wanted to have an online presence, for whatever reason, but you didn’t know how to do it.  Facebook quickly and easily solved that problem.  You didn’t need to learn how to cook because Facebook had a 24 hour all you can eat buffet on every internet connected device in the world.

        Guess what?  There is something better out there on all those same devices and it’s called, WordPress.  This blog, The World Is Raw is powered by WordPress, has been since day 1.  WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), but to you and me it’s the core of a website and the platform for a blog.  Remember how you didn’t know anything about Facebook at first, but little by little you learned how to do stuff and before you knew it you were a pro?  Put the same amount of effort into WordPress and you will realize you not only have what you need to build a Facebook life raft, you also have the materials to build your own beautiful internet kingdom.

        You must realize that Facebook will end and the free ride of being an internet coach potato will be over.  From now on, when you present yourself online you must also account for yourself and your privacy and you must use WordPress to do it.

        Here’s how:

        1. If you have money, take $225 and use around $180 to purchase a two year lease on a domain and the rest to buy an accompanying dedicated IP.  Don’t skimp, spend the entire $225.  I went with Bluehost.com, and I have never had any issues at all, my site is always up.

        a. Download and install WordPress.

        b. Navigate to and read this First Steps with WordPress page on WordPress.org and start building something beautiful!

        2. If you don’t have money, navigate to and read this Getting Starting page on WordPress.com.

        a. Sign up for a free WordPress.com hosted blog and start building something beautiful!

        There are some things, terms and websites to pay attention to here:

        If you pay for a domain you are “self-hosted” and you will get all your information and support from WordPress.org. If you don’t pay for your domain you are “WordPress hosted” and will get your information and support from WordPress.com

        It really is just that easy.  Before you know it, you’ll have everything you had on Facebook and more.  You friends and family will too because after following your lead they will be empowered with the tools to build their own internet kingdoms, and you will be able to help them do it.  You will be able to help your friends and family build an internet community from the ground up and you won’t even realize you’re doing it because WordPress is silently doing all the heavy lifting for you.  Because of the inclusive, open-source nature of WordPress, people reaching out to you and your community will be able to do so without having to sign up for some third party’s website, they can leave a comment on your very own blog or shoot you an email via your own website’s comment form!  Once you see what WordPress can do for you, starting right now, including giving your friends and family democratic and unobstructed access to your beautiful website or blog I think you’ll realize you are not preparing to survive the fall of Facebook, you are simply moving on to bigger and better things in the form of you, your audience and WordPress.  Cheers!

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Children’s Hospital Cast At Comic-Con

July 30, 2011 by ·  

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Ken Marino & Lake Bell At Comic-Con

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Megan Mullally At Comic-Con

        The cast of Children’s Hospital was at Comic-Con for a signing at the WB booth, so I grabbed a few photos of them. Comic-Con is really growing and it seems like every year at Comic-Con there are more and more TV shows full of actors I’ve never heard of. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be an actor in Hollywood today, knowing that actors used to be iconic, world renown, royal demi-gods that have devolved into the performing millionaire monkeys of today. Do you know why there are so many channels on TV now, yet the golden age of TV had only three? They only needed three! What? Do you think all of a sudden the networks had too much talent to handle so they NEEDED 300 other channels? Of course not, that’s why now, 300 channels later, there’s nothing good on TV!

        Aside from their salaries, which are a slap in the face to middle class Americans, I would not want to be an actor, not in Hollywood anyway. I’d rather be an independent star, via photography on my website or videos I post on YouTube. All of the celebrities and stars doing signings at Comic-Con didn’t happen to be there all at the same time. They were there, performing and smiling for strangers, their kids and their kid’s cameras because their boss told them to do it. Sound familiar? It does to me! I’ve had to do TONS of stuff for jobs I didn’t want to do, but I did it anyway. The difference is the salary and the slap to the face.

        Why are people shown on TV paid so much money? Why do people have to pay so much money to watch other people on TV? I suppose my not understanding why our system allows us to value a day’s work based on the person doing the work, rather than the work being done has jaded my opinion but, come on! Flipping burgers for real pays $50 a day out here in California, but, flipping burgers in a MOVIE pays tens of thousands of dollars per day. Hmm, now that I think about it, that must be why I like cartoons so much, but then those voice actors are overpaid too. Bloody Hell! I guess I should just turn the TV off and get some fresh air, eh? Ok, I’ll do that but remember this: You are not any better than a celebrity, but any celebrity is better paid than you! Below are Rob Corddry and Erinn Hayes with some fans. I have many more photos and posts from this year’s Comic-Con as well as photos from Comic-Con 2010 that you may like to see, so be sure to check them out. Cheers!

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Rob Corddry And Erinn Hayes At San Diego Comic-Con

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Roaming Around San Diego Comic-Con

July 25, 2011 by ·  

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San Diego’s Gaslamp District During Comic-Con

        This Comic-Con I was a roamer, always on the move between the streets of Downtown San Diego and the convention center. I walked so much over the 5 day span that my feet, on this day rest are straight up sore. For the second year in a row I didn’t wait in any lines because I didn’t go to any panels, movie premiers or after-hours parties. I much prefer the crowded confines of the Gaslamp District streets and the mass of humanity that flows like a clogged artery on the exhibit hall floor. I have sadly accepted that you just can’t see everything at Comic-Con but I really do feel that you see more if you roam instead of wait in lines for panels and premiers. I you haven’t seen them, check out my posts and photos from last year’s Comic-Con.

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Power Rangers & Fans

        Of course, I’m not knocking panel and premier goers at all, not one bit. In fact, it’s an amazingly awesome experience to walk amongst people that are gods among fans. The people in those lines arrive in San Diego from farther away and sacrifice more to get to Comic-Con than anyone else so they can sit in the same room with people they admire, love and adore. Since I’m not the star struck type I think the best things I can do for everyone at Comic-Con are not take up precious seats and instead take their picture at what might be their only time in San Diego or at Comic-Con.

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Monty Python Cosplayers at Comic-Con

        I did have a favorite moment during Comic-Con and that was when I came across three dudes with a dead-on balls accurate cosplay of King Arthur and his coconut clacking men from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I followed them around the convention floor for a few minutes, which is harder than it sounds because it’s always so crowded. These guys were able to navigate well, drawing attention long before they were seen thanks to the banging together of two empty halves of coconut. Something I will say about my own preference of what makes for good cosplay is that the costume be homemade. These guys made their duds from scratch and won my vote for best in show! I’ll have many more post and photos in the coming days. This year, I decided not to do daily posts and instead do posts that are a little more off the cuff and spontaneous. That way I can spread the photos and posts over a greater period of time, prolonging the afterglow from that magnificent event that was San Diego Comic-Con 2011. So, what would you like to see next? Celebrities, more costumes, the crazy streets of San Diego during Comic-Con? Let me know in the comments. Cheers!

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The Zen Of Wearing Sunglasses

June 25, 2011 by ·  

woman in red lipstick sunglasses beret

Modern Day Holly Golightly

        I like to wear shades, not just for style and UV protection, also to hide my eyes, so you can’t see what I’m looking at. Usually I want the actual function of sunglasses because it’s a bright world out there but in certain places, like while riding a public transportation bus, I want the tinted cover of perceived anonymity that sun glasses give me. I’m saying this as a bit of advice: If you get on any public transportation without shades in front of your eyes and earbuds IN your ear, you will be inviting all manner of unwanted things. Yes, shades and earbuds are how to tell everyone on the bus, the trolley and at the bus stop that you are off the clock and not open for business.

        I took these photos some months ago when I was planning some sort of “sunglasses on the bus” themed post but that never panned out because I’ve been riding my bike everywhere, mostly on Bayshore Bikeway instead of using public transportation. Summer has definitely arrived in San Diego!

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Sunglasses On The Bus

        The thing is I really like to wear shades because I feel they somehow give me an edge. Sunglasses are such an amazingly simple thing but they have the power to turn down the sun AND hide your eyes from your neighbors; that’s a lot of power. I was on a San Diego city bus when I snapped both photos for this post and in both instances, I’m not sure if the women behind the shades were looking at me or not, due to the mighty power of the sun glasses.

        The woman directly above began passing out as soon as she boarded the bus. Her man friend passed out next to her, hugging his guitar case yet still managing to always be tilting forward, precariously close to the edge of falling out of his seat. I’ll admit I was rooting for that because it would have been proof that he was really that out of it and not just entertaining himself with an impromptu Charlie Chaplin routine.

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Bayshore Bikeway Scenery

April 14, 2011 by ·  

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Least Tern Nesting Area In Coronado

        As you may agree as you scroll through this post, I think it’s one of the more erratic and disorganized collection of photographs I’ve presented. Believe it or not there is a method to this madness and a common trait all the photos in this post share: They were all taken on the same day while riding my bike from Chula Vista to Coronado on Bayshore Bikeway.

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Marbled Godwits & Tern

        Since I’m not really a bird person, trying to figure out what species of bird I’m photographing can be quite the challenge at times, even with internet search engines.

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White Egret In San Diego Bay

        The white egret you see above was hunting for fish at the extreme southwestern edge of San Diego Bay. As near as I can tell, the fish he likes to eat hang out in the mud at the bottom of the bay. The egrets use their feet to shuffle and shake fish from the mud and gobble them up.

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A Wedding About To Begin In Coronado

        The photo above was made just as I departed Bayshore Bikeway, heading to Burger Lounge in Coronado. In a tradition that goes way back, a father walks his daughter down the aisle to get married, two or three years prior to her first divorce.

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Little Girl On Silver Strand Beach State Park

        Of course, just because the majority of marriages end in divorce is no reason not to bring a kid into the world. The most in-charge and powerful position most Americans will hold is that of parent. So what if your boss is dumber than you or you didn’t get all the respect you wanted from the person that sold you your cappuccino this morning? As soon as you get home, it’s YOUR house and YOUR rules, which is the mantra of middle class parents. We all know you didn’t go to college, have no savings or retirement plans, are pissed off about not getting that big promotion at work and wish you would have learned to play the guitar because if you had, listening to your kid complain about whatever kids complain about wouldn’t suck like it does. But you didn’t. You’re just getting by & life didn’t turn out the way you want so you have kids & now you can lord over them with impunity, just like the rest of the world is doing to you.

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Street Art On The Ground Of Bayshore Bikeway

        For me, the difference between street art and graffiti has everything to do with location and subject matter. Using a spray can to scribble on the side of a building in the dead of night to declare what south of the border, shithole village you’re from or what shithole neighborhood you live in now, is graffiti. Using your imagination to create something unique & original that people will stop to look at, talk about or take photos of is street art, like what you see above.

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Yellow Flowers Adorn Bayshore Bikeway

        Right now, San Diego is in the midst of our annual yellow flower invasion. Through most of April, on just about every square inch of non-landscaped earth you will see yellow flowers.

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old woman on Bayshore Bikeway

        The photo on the left is a somewhat hidden memorial for a person named, Donnie. This memorial is against the fence that separates South Bay Salt Works from Bayshore Bikeway. It lies just about due south of the salt works, down the north slope of the path. That’s as specific as I’m going to get, that way you’ll have to work for it a little bit if you’d like to see it in person. Above is an old lady that just happened to be cruising past me. So that’s it! This concludes my post of random things I saw while riding my bike through Coronado, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista on Bayshore Bikeway. If you have not yet explored this path, I hope the photos in the post will encourage you to do so. Below is a video that goes along with the photos in this post, as well as some video of birds and the hidden memorial. Cheers!

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I Used To Be An Artist But Now I’m A Photographer

April 6, 2011 by ·  

Yoga Art

Yoga By Candlelight

        There was a time when I looked at a camera as if I were looking at a bucket of paint or a stack of lumber. Back in the day my camera was a pile of stuff to do a job. Things have changed since then because now, my camera is a weapon, a friend, an employer and journal. The really weird thing is that I used to look at one of my photographs as a raw canvas that would become a work of art after I ran it through Photoshop. It’s different now because rather than using bullshit post-production techniques to fake a great photo, I use actual photographic experience to make a great photo. Photoshop has now been relegated to being nothing more than a tool in my box, just like a flashlight or a hammer.

        The photo above is an original piece of art I created in 2007, and let sit on an unobserved shelf since then. At the time, for some reason I was trying to decide if I was an artist or a photographer. Defining what I was seemed more important than actually doing anything. There is a great line from a late 1990’s song called, “Steal My Sunshine” by the band, Len that I repeat to people around me today:

“And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done, so I missed a million miles of fun.”

        I was introduced to that line of lyric at just the right time. At the time I was less than 5 years removed from an epic journey through South America and barely a year from an amazing, self-destructive path I’d cut through North Africa. Not to give anything away, but details from both those adventures and the time in between have already been sold and are being made into a Hollywood movie. I would be more excited but… Meh. What is soon to be new for the population of the world was old news to me 15 years ago.

        Still, watching a 17 year old boy on vacation with his parents in the Virgin Islands that signs onto a Greek cargo ship as an able-bodied seaman that takes him to Brazil were he sails up the Amazon River to the foot of the Andes mountains only to be deported and flown back to America where he joins and serves 4 years in the Navy, hops a ship to Morocco, then heads east to Syria where he had to flee the country at night to avoid having his hand amputated for stealing oranges might have some appeal for American cinema folks. What do you think?

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