Halloween 2011 House Party!

November 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

green army man miss pan am costume

Green Army Man & Miss Pan Am

    Halloween is a fun time, no matter how old you are or whether or not you have a costume. As you get older, the candy we seek is of the liquid variety and the costumes lean towards sexy & clever rather than scary & traditional. That’s just awesome isn’t it?

pussnboots halloween costume

Puss ‘n Boots

    At a Halloween house party, couples will match up their costumes for twice the fun and twice the laughs. Above we see Puss n’ Boots out by the pool, enjoying the party and the San Diego weather. Not shown in the photo is the great pair of black leather boots, complete with a flared cuff at the top. Little details like that really bring a costume together.

walmart couple halloween costume

The Wal-Mart Couple with Poke-a-Hottie and our Local Sherrif

    This was no ordinary Halloween house party; there was a costume contest and prizes, not to mention a complete buffet with some scrumptious food along with a bar that was very complete and free flowing. The couple on the left is The Wal-Mart Couple and they were the big winners of the night. On the right are Poke-a-Hottie (Barb) and our local sheriff (Tim), the gracious hosts for the evening.

halloween party and costumes

The Backyard of the Halloween Party

    Tim & Barb’s house is a great house to hold a party; plenty of room, wide open floor plan and speakers placed everywhere, so the music was everywhere. The decorations, the catered buffet and the effort put into the costumes made this a very fun party indeed. As I said my good-byes, Barb said this party is held every other year, so my 2013 Halloween costume is going to rock and it might be water-themed in some way, do I have an excuse to end up in their clear-as-glass pool!

monk and rifle halloween costume

Me As A Monk, Holding A Rifle

    The best shot of the night was taken by Chris Callaway. Above we see a monk with a rifle, his shadowed eyes hide his gaze, but that smirk and chin are unmistakable. I was picked up at San Diego Airport and brought more or less directly to the party, so my borrowed costume was hasty and easy, yet perfect for me. I can’t explain why I’m holding the rifle like a breadstick other than I must have been in character and monks don’t know how to use rifles. Happy Halloween!

Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater

June 11, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Golfing

Golfing Under Blacklight

        Technomania Circus held a blacklight theater at their usual in Barrio Logan venue, The Center for Performing Arts last night and I was there, right in the front row, which I think are the best seats in the house. For those of you that don’t know, San Diego has a regularly performing circus troupe that happen to be an amazing group of people we all know as Technomania Circus. Dr. Techno is the lead Technomaniac as well as the man that keeps the bacon sizzling. Yes, bacon was served during the show, cotton candy was available and there is a fine art gallery in the foyer of the bathroom. Awesome!

Technomania Circus Art Gallery

Technomania Circus Art Gallery

        This month’s theme was, “Blaaack Liiiight,” always spoken in a deep, menacing voice. Blacklight theater is a lot of fun because it’s like a real life special effect; you don’t get to see everything and that’s what makes it special. The show started at 8pm but thanks to our perfect San Diego weather and long summer days it wasn’t dark yet so we were treated to some music, comedy, juggling and balancing as the sun slowly drifted away.

Technomania Circus

Balancing On Ladders

        This summer will make it two years that I’ve been going to shows at Technomania Circus. It was way back in July of 2009 that I first went to, photographed and wrote about their show and I haven’t looked back since. The address of the circus is 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102, right next to the 25th & Commercial St. trolley station. You are certainly welcome to bring food, drinks and cameras into the show and the venue is in an area heavy with taco shops and corner stores so you can get everything you need for the show when you arrive.

Willy Bologna At Technomania Circus

Willy Bologna About To Play The Harp

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show

Technomania Circus Center For Amusing Arts

        Once we got past twilight it was time for, “Blaaack Liiiight!” This is what we’d all been waiting for and it did not disappoint. They took us all over the place, as you’ll see in the photos and in the video at the bottom of the post. For you photographers out there, the sharp photos were taken at 1/45th, f/3.5, ISO 3200 while the photos that show a lot of motion blur were exposed for 1 second, f/3.5, ISO 800. Ya done good Technomaniacs, ya done real good. See you next time.

Technomania Circus Blacklight Skeletons

Technomania Circus Blacklight Skeletons

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Dr. Techno Robofriend

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show Dr. Techno Robofriend

Technomania Circus Blacklight

1 Second Of Time At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Blacklight

A Blacklight Creature

Technomania Circus Blacklight Show

Pleasing The Blacklight Gods

Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater

DUI Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

May 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

DUI Sobriety Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff At DUI Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

        In the continuing effort to keep the streets of Imperial Beach safe and free of drunk drivers, the San Diego Sheriff had a sobriety checkpoint set up at 7th St & Palm Ave last night. I suppose you can say that Memorial Day weekend officially kicks of Friday night, so this checkpoint was well timed and positioned to remind motorists not to get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking. Try to remember that these peace officers operate these checkpoints not only to nail intoxicated drivers, but to nail people driving without or under a suspended license. Think of it as a way of keeping honest people honest. If you don’t drink & drive and your license is valid then you have nothing to worry about.

Imperial Beach Sobriety DUI Checkpoint

Vehicle Passes Through IB Sobriety Checkpoint

        According to the news release posted on the San Diego Sheriff’s website, 692 vehicles went through the checkpoint, 35 vehicles were sent through secondary screening, 11 field sobriety tests were given, 7 vehicles were impounded and 4 people were arrested for DUI. The checkpoint began actual operation at 8:15pm, not at 7:30pm as stated in the press release.

Memorial Weekend Sobriety Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

Sobriety (DUI) Checkpoint On Palm Ave In Imperial Beach

        The checkpoint seemed to be a well oiled machine and all the law enforcement personnel were in a good mood. The methodology for the checkpoint was very similar to the way rides at amusement parks are loaded up. Cars were waved forward, twelve at a time to a waiting line of twelve officers, so all cars in the line get checked for compliance simultaneously. Once all the officers were done, the cars get waved through and another twelve cars took their place. Since the checkpoint was stationed on Palm Ave. between the stoplights at 9th St. and 13th St. the flow of traffic was very well regulated and caused delays no worse than having to endure an extra stoplight. Kudos to the San Diego Sheriff!

Technomania Circus 420 Show

April 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

technomania circus 420 show jon smokes a joint

Let’s Get Things Fired Up!

        Weed is all around us. When the government forced the entire marijuana operation underground some 74 years ago it was bound to surface again somewhere, and that somewhere turned out to be California. Before, during and most likely after the legalization issue has been decided there will continue to be all manner of movies, songs, websites, books and manuals dedicated to Mary Jane. On Saturday, Technomania Circus did the world the favor of adding to that list of media by writing and presenting an entire live theater performance enthusiastically devoted to the sweet, sweet chiba. Dr. Techno and his venue, The Center for Amusing Arts played host to a show that was timed and humored perfectly while tackling some very important issues that have developed out of the war on drugs… I’m assuming that’s what they did. I really don’t remember because, uh… It was the 420 Show!

technomania circus 420 show jon and anton

technomania circus 420 show jon and unknown

        Technomania Circus is a unique venue because the theater has stadium and bleacher seating underneath a giant circus-tent shaped tarp which sits in front of a large stage, all of which is contained within the backyard of: 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102. Don’t be scared when you realize that this is a private residence in Barrio Logan or that you’ve never been to that part of town before. Just follow your MapQuest directions and park on the street, your car will be fine. If you ride public transportation then you are really in luck because the venue is just a few paces away from the 25th & Imperial San Diego orange line trolley station. It’s one of the easiest places in the city to get to on the trolley so make no excuses! You always get to see Jon jump around a little, at the very least. Have a look at my collection of posts and photos from past Technomania Circus shows for a much better idea of what I am trying to say.

technomania-circus-katie-rabbit

technomania-circus-jon-anton-juggling-7-pins

        Katie Rabbit (on the left) was back after a multi-show absence as an Easter bunny with eggs that held munchies and a shirt that held Twinkies. Jon and Anton (above) amazed the Technomania Circus audience with balancing, comedy, jumping and the unbelievable feat of juggling seven pins! It’s dark in there so the photo is grainy but you can clearly see all seven pins. Awesome!

technomania-circus-joint-rolling-contest

Joint Rolling Contest

        There are portions of every Technomania Circus show that are interactive. This is very much a situation where the more we as audience members cheer, yell and clap the better the show will be. This is a very friendly and laid back theater. You are more than welcome to bring your own food, drinks or cameras and showing up in a costume will help you fit right in. Above we have four audience members challenging the self proclaimed joint rolling king, Jon (center) to a roll off. The dude on the left won, rolling around 6 joints in the allotted time.

technomania-circus-singers-at-420-show

technomania-circus-dj-at-420-show

        I don’t know what I can use that exists in the current day to compare with Technomania Circus. They are like a group of Steampunk people that know all about electricity. They are performers that always have something new to show you and something funny to say. They are a circus that lives right here in San Diego, thanks to them the circus is always in town. So, take a look at the Technomania Circus website for their next show date and title, make yourself a sandwich, grab something cold to drink and head on down to the show, for crying out loud!

technomania-circus-jon-and-anton-balance-bong

Anton Balancing A Six Foot Bong On His Face

        This was not just a show about weed; it was a show for weed. In the same way watching an imitation of someone causes you to notice mannerisms or ways of speech you might have missed before, this show drew attention to some of the stupid, yet accepted things we put up with whilst enforcing the Federal ban on marijuana. Couple this with the fact that reefer is used to combat the side effects of federally regulated pharmaceutical drugs that are only taken because of the reefer ban and you have the makings of some ripe satire, and Technomania Circus dug right into it. With any luck at all, one day people will look back at this performance and wonder why it was considered satire, and I hope I’m around to see that day. Cheers!

Technomania Circus Absurd & Ridiculous Show

March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

That’s Ridiculous!

        There was so much going on at the most recent Technomania Circus show last Saturday night you could say it was absurd… And ridiculous! There was mind reading, children playing with fire, music, juggling and A LOT of laughing. So, enjoy these photos from the evening of Technomania Circus’s Absurd & Ridiculous Show!

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

        Dr. Techno (above) read the mind of an audience member, Sky Frank twirled fire and Anton juggled bowling pins as part of the pre-show warm up.

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

        Valerie Power once again entertained us with her singing saw while Paul and Mary Moeller sang and danced a song that I would guess has a title that is something along the lines of, “Poisoning The Pigeons In The Park.” Attending a Technomania Circus show is a rite of passage for live theater goers and it’s right here in San Diego, right next to the 25th & Imperial orange line trolley stop. Don’t be scared to come to a show or to take the trolley and if you drive there is plenty of on street parking.

Blacklight At Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Blacklight Theater At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Technomania Circus Absurd And Ridiculous Show

Sky With Fire

        Technomania Circus will be performing a western themed show in two weeks so those of you that would like to go for the first time won’t have long to wait. Until that time, you can wet your appetite by looking at some more photos from many previous shows by looking through my Technomania Circus tagged posts. Cheers Technomaniacs!

Cats On A Windowsill

February 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Cats On A Windowsill

Cats On A Windowsill

        These two cats were pointed out to me, sitting on the windowsill of a second story window. For some reason, there was a lamp pointed outside, illuminating them from behind which made for a great photo.

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

January 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

The Beginning Of A Space Pirates Dance Party

        The first show for 2011 at Technomania Circus was the Space Pirates Dance Party and I was there. It was one more show that had a little bit of everything from live music to jugglers to fire. Oh yes, there was some fire at this show!

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Jon & Anton Juggle Fire

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Dr. Techno & Valerie Power Behind The Shadow Puppet Show

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Technomania Circus Is Flexible

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

What Is Missing From Our Fire Juggling Act?

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Children!

        In the photo above, it may look like Anton is taunting the children with fire while Jon is reassuring the parents. Yep, it might look like that but don’t worry, the children survived and we were all very entertained.

Technomania Circus Space Pirates Dance Party

Jon In The Crow’s Nest Blowing Fire Into Barrio Logan

        Even if you were not fortunate enough to attend this show don’t worry because there is a Technomania Circus show every month or so. I’ve been to several so be sure to have a look and my other posts, photos and videos of Technomania Circus. The Technomaniacs remain, without a doubt, one a the gems of San Diego. The video above shows Jon & Anton entertaining & juggling. Great job Technomaniacs!

St. Mary Star Of The Sea Church

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

St. Mary Star Of The Sea Church Oceanside, CA

Prayer At St. Mary Star Of The Sea Church

        As my brief visit to Oceanside was about to wrap up, I walked past a church that had it’s doors wide open, allowing the world to see the parishioners holding hands and praying. This was happening as I walked away from the conclusion of a preview night at the Oceanside Museum Of Art, featuring a trio of organic pieces by Benjamin Lavender. You see the three closest people? The guy on the left is holding someone’s hand and I’ll tell you what, that person has the worst seat in the house.

Benjamin Lavender At The Oceanside Museum Of Art

January 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Benjamin Lavender At Oceanside Museum Of Art

The Work Of Benjamin Lavender At The Oceanside Museum Of Art

        Last night I had the pleasure of taking a trip up to the Oceanside Museum Of Art for the preview reception of “Botanicals: The Photography Of Imogen Cunningham.” She was an early 20th century photographer that, according to the museum’s website, “…played a pivotal role in the acceptance of the medium (photography) as an art form and the growth of modernism.” I’m not sure how that sets her apart from any other photographer of her day, but the reception was still well attended. I would describe her photography at this show as a study in high school assignment still life. Imagine that every high school photography student in the country was given the assignment of photographing plants around their houses, in black & white at a distance of no more than 6 inches and then the best 50 photos were selected to be displayed. What you end up with is a great study of the form of vegetarian nature, but probably nothing that will move you.

Benjamin Lavender At Oceanside Museum Of Art

Benjamin Lavender

        Out in the foyer of the museum, where the reception was actually held was an organically themed sculpture display created by San Diego artist, Benjamin Lavender. Now this display is something new and different. The medium for all the sculptures are wine barrels… As in, slats of wood and iron hoops, distorted and mutated beyond all recognition.

Benjamin Lavender At Oceanside Museum Of Art

Benjamin Lavender At Oceanside Museum Of Art

        Ben is a working artist with what I would call a day job at Barrelly Made It, a San Diego company that creates amazingly unique chairs, tables, benches, ottomans and barstools from California wine barrels. The furniture they produce is unique, handmade and will probably be a driving force in a renaissance of mid-century/danish modern and Eames era style. I really do hope that Herman Miller has spent the last few years of his afterlife weeping because he never thought to use wine barrels to create his style. At any rate, you can see Benjamin Lavender’s art, right through the front windows of the Oceanside Museum Of Art until late May 2011.

Whistle Stop Bar In San Diego

December 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Whistle Stop Bar

The Eve Of New Year’s Eve – 2010

        This will be my final post for 2010 and I am making it right in the middle of a very chaotic time for me, so it will be brief and it will be remembered for me as the post I made while sitting in a bare apartment, on the cusp of 2011. Anyway, last night my cousins and I went to the Whistle Stop Bar in San Diego for a little spoken word entertainment put on by So Say We All.

Whistle Stop Bar

Whistle Stop Bar

The Spoken Word

        Venues like this are tough for a photographer for many reasons. The obvious ones are lighting, the crowds and lighting. Bars and live music venues all use the same lighting designer that lit the Bat Cave, so either bring some fast glass or be prepared to crank up your ISO. All four photos in this post were shot at 1/45th, 1600 ISO and f/4.5. The photo below was a random, spur of the moment shot that turned out to be a gem. This magnificent Christmas light display is across the street from Whistle Stop Bar, and is a great example of community involvement.

Across From The Whistle Stop Bar

The Last Photo Published By The World Is Raw For 2010

        There you have it my friends. This wraps up the second year of running, writing and photographing for this blog. You’ll see a post from me in the next few days, even though it won’t technically be till next year, next DECADE actually. Happy New Year from Rob at The World Is Raw!

Griswold Family Christmas In La Mesa

December 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas Lights La Mesa

The Griswolds In La Mesa

        If you don’t know who the Griswolds are then you should just turn around and walk away from my blog. Seriously, get your ass out of here until you can appreciate what I’m saying… Go watch the “Vacation” movies!

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa

December 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

Christmas Eve Mass At La Mesa Christ Lutheran Church

        Christ Lutheran Church of La Mesa held a Christmas Eve mass, as all Christians do, but this particular mass spilled out to the front of the church. With candles in hand, these worshipers sang songs and then enjoyed hot chocolate and cider.

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

        It’s hard to say why these parishioners lit candles and sang songs out in front of their church instead of inside their church. Some sort of projection of faith would be my best guess, while acting on an impulse to play with fire is a distant second best guess.

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

And The Choir Says Amen

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

        For all you photographers out there, this paragraph is for you. I used a Nikon D5000 at 3200 ISO for all the shots in this post. Cranking up the ISO allowed me to keep the shutter speed at 1/30th the entire time. This is a shutter speed right on the cusp of being able to use without a tripod so I made sure to hold my breath and take my time every time I made a photo.

        Let me just come right out and say that I am so glad the large sensors on actual DSLR’s enable me to leave my tripod at home. Those of you that have read my ABOUT ME page know that I hate carrying gear around, so being able to leave the BIGGEST piece of gear (my tripod) at home means I get to do the happy dance.

        Low light photography tends to be lumped into the slow shutter speed box, so I’m here to say , “Ney!” Don’t be scared to up your ISO. I know there’s noise in these photos, but so what? Did you become a photographer to fight the noise of the world or to make great photography? For me, being a photographer is all about telling a story in spite of bad lighting, noise, motion or anything else. Great photographs transcend the digital pixels they are imprinted on.

Lutheran Christmas In La Mesa 2010

Wait A Minute, He Kinda Looks Like A Baby

        And so ends this very random collection of photos taken during the Christmas Eve mass at Christ Lutheran Church. Merry Christmas!

Technomania Circus: The Xmas Show

December 13, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Mary Christmas At The Door Of Technomania Circus

        The Christmas season is upon us and Technomania Circus is upon Christmas. I’ve never been able to actually say what Technomania Circus is, I’ve only been able to to show photos and write words about what I see when I’m there. So, what is it, why do I go, what do I see and who’s there? Let me put it this way: If I were to blog about the show without the added benefit of the photos I take, no one would believe me. Hell, there are photos taken of men on the moon and I barely believe that happened. So, with that being said, if you care to acquaint yourself with the circus a little bit before delving into the rest of this post, I have several videos that can be seen here. The photo above shows the front foyer of the circus with the lovely Mary Moeller on the right, informing circus goers that in addition to the show, the price of admission also includes homemade Christmas sugar cookies and hot cider. Yes, the ticket booth for this live theater venue is located under an icicle-light adorned UFO and just to the right of an alien sarcophagus.

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Technomania Circus’s Stage Decorated For Christmas

        With cookies and cider in hand, I made my way to the stage and up into the stadium seating. I have been to many Technomania shows over the last year and I always have my camera in hand. This ultimately presents a challenge for me as a photographer. You might think it would get easier each time, but that really isn’t the case because at this venue it will be apples one day and sailboats the next. The challenge for me is to ensure that I do the circus justice by keeping the photos fresh and capturing the spontaneity of the show. It sounds easy but believe me, it’s not. It’s like saying all you have to do is blow and wiggle your fingers to play the tuba.

Technomania Circus Christmas Show 2010

The Audience Eagerly Awaits The Start Of The Show

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

        To the left is the entrance and vanity in the bathroom of Technomania Circus. I bet you’re wondering what’s around the corner to the left aren’t you? I took a few photos of the interior but I’m not going to include them because there are some things you just have to see in person to appreciate, so make a specific trip to Barrio Logan just to get a look at an eclectic bathroom. Above we see Dr. Techno on his rola-bola, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the official start of every Technomania Circus show.

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

The Elves Arrive And The Show Begins

        What’s that you say? You’d like me to show some more photos without having to read my editorial after each and every one? OK, I can do that, but don’t say I never did anything for you. Stick with the post all the way to the end for a video synopsis of the show.

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

        I will say a little bit about the photos, but it’s really just to fill up space to make sure they align properly. 🙂 In all seriousness, check Technomania Circus’s website for the next show and make sure you make it down there.

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

        We, the audience were treated to three different Santas, Jesus Christ, jugglers, The Weldermen, Dr. Techno, Hugh Hefner and LOTS of blacklight theater. The circus is also blessed to have a damn fine band with Paul Moeller at the helm.

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

A Christmas Miracle, Then Grandpa Chopped Down The Tree

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

The Weldermen Ominously Appear On Stage

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Blacklight Theater And Techno Santa

Highlights From Technomania Circus’s Christmas Show 2010

        The video above is a brief synopsis of the show. A great rendition of “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon played on the harp, Valerie Power mystically and beautifully playing “Silent Night” with her singing saw, extreme rola-bola balancing and music are in the video yet represent only a small portion of the entire show. The beginning and end of the video are dark, but for those portions it’s all about the music anyway so there’s no need to adjust your television set. Anyway, bravo once again to the cast of Technomania Circus for being such gracious hosts and for putting on a great show that will give me one more reason to look forward to Christmas next year. Cheers!

American Photographer Or Terrorist?

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What's In My Eye?

What’s In My Eye?

        You may have noticed that my last few posts have been a little… Light. What I mean is that my words have lacked substance, even though the photography for the stories has been amazing and has kept me eating steak. This post is no different, and I’ll tell you why.

        I am working on an article that will show, in plain site of god & man why agents of the United States government have come to believe that American citizen photographers, people holding nothing more than a camera in their hands are approached by said agents as possible terrorists. It’s going to be huge, and the timing is perfect. After all, the HUNDREDS OF INCIDENTS in which private security guards and actual cops have approached photographers, because the authority figure thinks the photographer might be a terrorist must stem from some sort of training or knowledge right? Well, I found the source for this lunacy, and am ass-deep in writing the article to expose it. Stay tuned!

How To Make Garlic Bread

October 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Garlic Bread Being Made

How We Make Garlic Bread

        I can’t really tell you that I have a secret for great garlic bread, but I can tell you how to make great garlic bread. It’s pretty simple. Start with a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery, sliced to a thickness that suits your personal or situational needs. Butter the slices liberally, then top with minced garlic, salt, pepper, grated parmesan & cheddar cheese. Place the bread in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes, then switch the oven to broil while moving the bread to whatever position is dictated by the broiler for 60 highly scrutinized seconds, then pull the bread out in great haste. That’s it.

Technomania Circus: Zombie Show!!

October 24, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Zombies At Technomania Circus

        Technomania Circus entertained us last night with a performance of the 2nd annual ZOMBIE SHOW!! This show is perfectly timed for Halloween with fire and an entire cast of zombies. For those of you that have never been, Technomania Circus lives right next to the west-bound orange line trolley station at 25th & Commercial.

Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

        This was my first Zombie Show, so I wondered what the Technomaniacs would have in store, beyond a zombified theme. It turned out the entire cast performed the entire show as zombies… Brilliant. We got to see zombies dance, match wits on a game show, play musical instruments, juggle and play with fire.

Newlydead Game Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

(Above) The Newlydead Game

Dr. Techno Performs Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Dr. Techno Performs

Dr. Techno Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Dr. Techno Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

        Dr. Techno is the guy and the guy behind the guy at the home of Technomania Circus. He is the magnetic force that attracts and holds the circus together, working tirelessly and guess what? Today, (October 24, 2010) is Dr. Techno’s 65th birthday! Happy Birthday Dr. Techno! The world thanks you for all the laughter & joy you’ve brought us.

Willy Bologna Plays The Harp Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Anton Juggles Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

        Not to be out-done, Willy Bologna played the harp, rocking us out to a zombified version of The Cranberries song, “Zombie.” Anton the zombie juggled for us, which was amazing considering that he was after all, a zombie.

A Zombie At Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Technomania Circus Welderman At The Zombie Show

        There was a smattering of fire and blacklight at Technomania Circus during the Zombie Show, as well as an appearance by The Welderman. The zombie above sang to us while slowly ripping off pieces of his own flesh and throwing them into the audience. Halloween is a great time of year!

Blacklight Technomania Circus The Zombie Show

Blacklight Theater At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Welderman At The Zombie Show

The Welderman At Technomania Circus

        And that’s a wrap! Once again I had a great Saturday night adventure at Technomania Circus, and this show took place under a full moon, which helped to make the night night extra scary and extra lively. Check the Technomania website for future shows and special events. There’s at least one show per month, and sometimes even more so you are never too far away if you happen to be in need of a fix from the circus. Above is a video that shows a minute or so of intros and Dr’ Techno’s famous balancing act and wraps up with zombies rocking out to the L7 song, “Pretend That We’re Dead.”

Technomania Circus Presents The Beer Show

September 26, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Technomania Circus Beer Show

The Beer Show Begins

        I have inexcusably missed a show or two, presented by Technomania Circus this summer, but I did attend the BEER SHOW last night and the Technomaniacs did not disappoint. This particular show was about all things that, in one way or another, having to do with beer. It started out with a clutch of the cast walking in a zombified manner to the stage, affirming their allegiance to beer.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Dr. Techno Introduces The Musicians

        One (or two) of the unsung heroes of Technomania Circus are those that provide the music for the shows, playing everything from a tubas to accordions to pianos.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Evil Lucy Plays With Fire

        There were a few guests from out of town performing at this show and one of them was Evil Lucy, from New York. She is one of those irrational people that plays with and flings fire around like a yo-yo.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Technomania Circus Beer Show

        John and Anton are two of the mainstays at Technomania Circus. They like to balance things on their faces, juggle and heckle the crowd, more or less in that order. We all know that I am an anti-flash advocate. Flash photography is just about the worst thing in the world. This show, and Jon in particular helped to drive that point home… When some one is balancing on a ladder, 10 feet in the air while juggling bowling pins, turn your flash off! Crank up the ISO on your camera and slow your shutter down. The photo below is a great example of this. The slow shutter and lack of flash create a great sense of movement.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Ezmeralda Volunteers

        There was a goodly amount of audience participation for this show, and that is something that never fails to entertain. Even though I have only two series of live theater performances under my belt, I have a vast reservoir of public speaking and debating to draw from, so performing, as a volunteer or not is something I personally find easy to do. That being said, it is very comical to watch people being dragged up on stage that would rather remain as members of the audience. The joy of Technomania Circus is that audience participation transcends phobias like this, and brings everyone up (or down) to a level that consists of laughter, happiness, joy and comedy.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

All Hail The Beer!

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Cows Filming A Commercial

        We all remember that late 1990’s and a series of Budweiser commercials with three frogs, each responsible for a syllable of the word, Bud-wise-er. For the photo above, a big shot Hollywood director tried to re-create this commercial with cows, but all cows can say is, “Moo.” Or so we thought.

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Technomania Circus Beer Show

        So, ultimately and for the umpteenth time in a row, Technomania Circus entertained, amazed and perhaps even enlightened me… Great show guys, the world of beer drinking will never be the same!

Technomania Circus Beer Show

Technomania Circus Presents The Beer Show

Technomania Circus Time Travel Show

July 19, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Technomania Circus

Welcome To Technomania Circus

        Technomania Circus is a law unto itself. Before the show started, Dr. Techno read our minds, entertained us and most important of all, made us laugh. We all knew from the title of the show that we would be traveling through time, but when you are at Technomania Circus, most things are not always as they seem.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        That being said, I once again I found myself in the audience of Technomania Circus and once again I was amazed by what I saw. For this performance of the Technomaniacs, we took a journey through time, a journey that went through millions of years of history, and we laughed the entire time. We, as Americans do not have a sense of history that that goes beyond 1776, when we became a country. Most of us have no idea what the world was doing before that, but Technomania Circus does, so they educated and entertained us by reminding us what happened before, during and after the mighty United States of America was an idea, a reality and a ghost.

Dr. Techno At Technomania Circus

Dr. Techno At Technomania Circus

        Something I’ve never mentioned before is the personal guarantee that Dr. Techno gives each and every member of the audience: “You will enjoy the show or I will clean your house.” There are never any takers because everyone always loves the show.

Technomania Circus

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

        Our journey begins somewhere around 25,000,000 BC, when dinosaurs and talking Tyrannosaurus Rex’s where a force to be reckoned with. Just look at his tiny little hands!

Technomania Circus

Cavemen

        Depending on who you ask and what part of the United States you are standing in when you ask, dinosaurs and people either co-existed OR where separated by millions of years of evolution. This particular dinosaur spoken fluent English, so right now I’m thinking that people and thunder lizards were contemporaries of one another. Of course, biblical scholars would disagree, but they disagree with everyone.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        As we continued to move forward through time at Technomania Circus, we met some familiar faces. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble demonstrated the the first automobile and the need to invent a back seat for a car. Wasn’t the Flintstones an awesome cartoon? What a great concept. The cartoon came out in the 1960’s and applied 1960’s technology to the stone age. I would be very interested to watch a remake of the show that is updated to for 2010 technology. I think watching the the Flintstones deal with stone age computers, social networks and coffee shops would be incredibly funny. Anyways, after the Flintstones came the Egyptians, and King Ramses. As you can see from the photo above, Ramses was very pleased with his volunteer on his blue ball.

Technomania Circus

The Pharaoh Ramses Balances On His Big Blue Ball

        As we progressed through time we learned that even pharaohs like to have fun. Time travel aside, this really was quite a feat of balance and concentration. Walking on top of a giant rubber ball back and forth across a see-saw is a very exciting thing to watch!

Technomania Circus

Jesus Hubert Christ!

        Jesus Christ arrived 2000 years or so after the the golden age of Egypt, and when he did arrive, he rocked the house. What was his first number 1 single? Stairway To Heaven, of course.

Technomania Circus

Henry VIII Is Entertained At The Palace

        Henry VIII had 6 wives, two of whom were beheaded, so it is easy to understand why the court musician would try very, VERY hard to keep the King of England entertained. After all, if Henry would lop off the heads of his wives, what would he lop off a lowly court musician?

Technomania Circus

The Wild West

        After Henry VIII came an American gunfighter. This particular gunfighter chose to balance on a ladder and shoot balloons from a hand-held target. He had a very steady hand and never missed.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        The photo above, on the left reminded me of a line from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, spoken by Chevy Chase, “That’s a great place for a pearl necklace.” Ahem, as we continued forward through time we got to hear a remarkable song by Albert Einstein that ran through every element on the periodic table. It reminded me of the Nations Of The World song performed by Yakko Warner of the Animaniacs.

Technomania Circus

Space Pirates!

        Dr. Techno, the leader of the Technomaniacs was the operator of the time machine throughout the show. The time machine was a gigantic, mechanical contraption that only had enough juice to take us BACK in time. However, Albert Einstein produced an unspecified quantity of OBTAINIUM, which allowed the good Dr. Techno to take us into the FUTURE with his time machine. The first thing we encountered where space pirates.

Technomania Circus

At Some Point In History We Discovered Fire

        I began to lose track of where I was and WHEN I was, but The Welderman jumped out on stage to show me the light. I was at Technomania Circus, and I was in the very distant future. I have mentioned many times in previous posts that fire is my favorite part of the show, so I like to think they closed out the show with fire just for me. I know that’s not the reason, but it could be. It could be!

Technomania Circus Presents The Time Travel Show

Technomania Circus Presents The Blacklight And Variety Show

May 3, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Technomania Circus

Fire…

        My introduction to Technomania Circus was less than a year ago, and I will say now in plain sight of God and man that it has been an amazing and colorful year. Right here, in San Diego is a performing troupe of circus players that make their living as actors while providing entertainment on a monthly basis to the citizens of San Diego.

Technomania Circus

Blacklight…

        The show they performed on May 1, 2010 was aptly titled, “Variety And Blacklight Show” and it was a stellar, hilarious, fiery and musical ordeal. There was just so much happening during this show… There was an incredible amount of variety (go figure) but there was also a healthy dose of fire, that I don’t think the audience expecting, yet immediately embraced.

Technomania Circus

Variety

        The technomaniacs have been busy since I attended their last show, “Invasion of the Oojaians: A Blacklight and Fire Intergalactic Adventure.” They have a newly constructed and much larger stage, what seemed to me to be better lighting (regular & blacklight), and a great audio system that does double duty by playing show music as well as serving as a P.A. for the actors.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        Of course, before the show started, I had to make my way through the entrance to the ticket desk. It was while I was at the desk that I saw Paul Moeller, one of the resident technomaniacs getting ready for the show. He came right up to me and informed me that not only was I “on the list” for entry into the show, but I have also been given the title, “Official Photographer” for Technomania Circus, and he produced an official badge for me to wear! How cool is that? These guys are just so gracious and welcoming no matter who walks into their yard, but this gesture really is more than going the extra mile for a fan of the show. Thanks guys!

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Is Where We Dance

        This show was all over the map, all over the stage and even off the stage into the audience. What makes Technomania Circus better than a movie or other live theater venues is that they bring their energy right into your lap, and you as the audience are able to throw your energy right onto the stage. There is a perfect harmony between the performers and the audience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        Every time you go to a Technomania Circus show, you will see something you have never seen before. I have personally been around the world and back again, and I used to say I’d seen everything, but then I started going to these shows. The Devil himself walked out on stage, acknowledged us mere mortals, announced that he’s a drinker and a smoker, had one of his underworld minions give him a light, and then held a Q&A with the audience. After that, the Pope, God’s human representative on Earth joined the fallen angel on stage, answered a few questions and then broke out into song. Yep, that is just a small portion of my Saturday night, spending time watching things I have never seen before. Now, let me just say now that I am a photographer, so video and video editing are pretty much a foreign languages to me. So, with that in mind, the two video clips I’m including with this post are short & sweet… Because, uh… I don’t know how to mix and edit video yet. I’m learning, but until I’m ready to go prime-time with all of it, you will have to settle for erratic clips and shoddy editing. Please don’t blame my D5000 or Technomania Circus, just blame me! At least we can now say with certainty that the Pope does indeed wear a funny hat.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Masochist Tango

        Paul and Mary Moeller, pictured above are two of the best reasons to embrace music, performing arts, and Technomania Circus. They are two of the coolest cats I have ever met. They create and perform music, they dance, sing and entertain. On this particular night, they performed the “Masochist Tango” which had some hilarious lyrics, but I just don’t remember any of those lyrics now. The premise was eloquently simple and familiar: A woman sits inside a Starbucks, writing (a screenplay) on her Mac, when a man enters and lures her into an amazingly choreographed tango. It was a sexy and provocative dance, and we audience members were enthralled. What made this situation uniquely Technomania was that they both held their coffees while dancing with each other. It was hilarious because they both danced the tango while spilling coffee all over themselves, but remained oblivious to it the entire time. Looks of passion, wanting and desire were subverted by the roaring laughter of the audience.

Technomania Circus

How About A Little Fire, Scarecrow?

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Fire is my favorite part of Technomania Circus. I could fill an entire blog, from beginning to end with photos of the technomaniacs flinging fire around the stage. When they were kids and their folks told them not to play with matches, I wonder what their collective response was. Do you remember all those things we were forbidden to do as kids? These guys make a living by doing all of those things!

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        One of the regular acts at Technomania Circus is The Welderman. These are people that don fireproof clothing, throw fire around wherever and however they please while performing music for the masses. They will be competing at the 2010 World Telekinesis Competition next month. This is a competition for people that can control fire by using only the power of their minds. It’s great to know that a hometown San Diego hero will be tearing it up in a competition of people with kinetic abilities that far surpass my own.

Technomania Circus

Jon Juggles Fire

        For some reason the word “fire” was not included in the title of this show’s performance. So, that meant that all of us audience members didn’t expect a lot, or ANY fire as we walked in. Ha! There was fire at this show, and we loved it!

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        Dr. Techno is the technomaniac that generally warms up the crowd, greets theater goers and owns a very loyal dog. Right here and now, I will give him credit for aligning the pieces that comprise the Technomania Circus… Everything from the venue, the talent, the bleacher seating and the very, very crazy bathroom. This guy actually has space pirates (and a space pirates theme song) perform at his theater! I will go out on a limb and say that NO ONE has ever been able to make that claim before.

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

        As mentioned earlier, there will be something at EVERY Technomania Circus show that you have never seen before. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I had no idea that later that night I would see a robot, dressed in Victoria’s Secret lingerie get fondled by another (presumably male) robot. That and the earlier mentioned appearance by The Devil & pope are just two of the MANY things I had never seen before this show. Besides being a very convenient location for those of us that take the trolley, Technomania Circus is just something that you find yourself wanting to go to and looking forward to. The circus lives at 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, in Logan Heights, right across from the 25th & Commercial Orange Line trolley stop. It is literally 15 feet away from the trolley stop, so there is no reason to think you can’t take public transportation there and back. They offer drinks, snacks t-shirts and buttons for sale, and they are all reasonably priced. Feel free to bring your own snacks or drinks, but be sure to keep your drinks in a brown paper bag *wink*. Anyway, I’ll wrap up this post with one more quick (and poorly shot) video of a break dancing alien as well as with my two favorite shots of the evening. Their next show is on June 5th, 2010 and it is called, “The Wild Wild REALLY Wild Western Circus.” I’ll see everyone there. Cheers!

Technomania Circus

Jon Blows Fire At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus Is The Greatest Show On Earth

UFO Flying Over San Diego

April 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in San Diego, CA

UFO Shines A Light On La Mesa, CA

        This is my third close encounter I’ve experienced during my 36 years of life. The first was in 1994, just North of the Straits of Malacca, in the Indian Ocean. I didn’t get any photos of that encounter so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it was an amazing experience for a 19 year old sailor, 8800 miles from home. The second encounter was during June of 2009. I have a photo and blog post of that encounter that you should read. This time, I have 2 images, both taken with my Nikon D5000 at 3200 ISO.

Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in San Diego, CA

Why Do Aliens Come To America?

        Just a little camera info for you readers about these images: They were both shot with my Nikon D5000 at 1/4 of a second, f/1.8, 3200 ISO. They were also shot hand-held (no tripod), through the glass of my bedroom window, which explains the noise and general low quality of the images.

Night Time With My D5000

March 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Beards In The Chinese Buffet

Men With Beards Have To Eat Too

        This particular location, where these men are, is a restaurant, and they were somewhere in the middle of their meal when I took this photo. This stats of this shot are: 1/50th, f/1.8, 1400 ISO.

D5000, 1/50th, f/1.8, 2500 ISO

D5000, 1/50th, f/1.8, 2500 ISO

        Here we have a self portrait of my Nikon D5000. A friend of mine recently rented a wide angle lens, so after playing with it for a little while, I want one of my own. I have no idea when or where I would actually use it, but that doesn’t matter… If you use it, the photos will come.

d5000 5 second exposure at 200 ISO

D5000, 5 Seconds, f/8, 200 ISO

        This was an accidental shot. I have no idea how or why I tried to take a hand-held photo with a five second exposure, but apparently I did. There is nothing redeeming about this photo, but I thought it looked cool, so it made it into the post.

Technomania Circus: Invasion of the Oojaians

March 21, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Technomania Circus Blacklight Invasion of the Oojaians

Technomania Circus Presents The Blacklight & Fire Show

        Here we go! Fire, black-light theater, aliens, music & comedy crash onto the scene at Technomania Circus. The full title of the show is, “Invasion of the Oojaians: A Blacklight and Fire Intergalactic Adventure.” With a title like that, you know you’ll be in for a good time. On my way into the venue, two young ladies stood just outside, the entrance, and asked me for a light. I obliged, and from the conversation that ensues while a cigarette is lit I found out that one them is the girlfriend of a cast member and the other was attending her very first Technomania Circus Show. Perfect! That is what I like to see. A veteran of the circus bringing a virgin to the altar.

Alien Fire Girl At Technomania Circus

Aliens – Oojaians Produce Fire

        The first thing we see as we walk inside the circus is an alien tending to some sort of fire producing retail enterprise. Fire! Yes, fire. Preshow entertainment was well underway, and the fires were already burning when I met Dr. Techno at the entrance of Technomania Circus. After chatting with him and Valerie, another cast member for a few minutes, I found a seat, pulled out my D5000 and got ready for the show.

Technomania Circus Fire Surfer

Defensive Surfing

        Just is case you never thought you’ve see a surfboard on fire, Technomania Circus arranges it for you, in person, no more than ten feet from where you sit. This particular surfer then proceeded to balance this surfboard on his chin. Where else in the world are you going to see something like that?!? This show was a very well told story of aliens and trying to overcome very simple communication barriers. There was a full on alien orchestra, which played throughout the show, in the shadow of a pimped out flying saucer. We spectators learned Morse code and eventually learned to communicate with the aliens. The show was very interactive, and the more the audience cheers, the better the show!

Senior Portrait at Technomania Circus

Say Fire For The Camera!

        This photo is exactly what it looks like. There are some people that can command fire like a dog, and this man is one of them. Fire is still my favorite part of Technomania Circus, and real fire adds so much to a live theater performance.

The Weldermen At Technomania Circus

The Weldermen

        The Weldermen appeared with their fire laden instruments, and they helped to sort things out with the aliens. There is something to be said for a group of people that create their own fiery instruments to compliment a live blacklight performance. All of a sudden, a group of people wearing welding masks and carrying instruments of fire appear and light up the stage with fire. Absolutely incredible!

Blacklight Balance At Technomania Circus

Blacklight Balance

        This show had performance after performance of hilarious and amazing blacklight illusions. Invisible minions dressed in black lend unseen hands to the acts, and the acts are amazing. Spaceships, aliens, shooting stars, levitation and a bit of fire are all on the menu, and they are all gourmet.

Technomania Circus The Weldermen Attack

Technomania Circus’s Fire & Blacklight Show

Don’t Use A Flash, Crank Up The ISO On Your D5000 Instead

March 14, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Catching Another Flash, ISO 3200 D5000

The Dangers Of Using A Flash

        The two photos in this post were taken a split second apart at identical camera settings: Nikon D5000, 76mm, 3200, f/1.8, 1/40th. The top photo looks scary because I happened to take the shot at the same time that another photographer in the audience fired off his flash. The bottom photo was taken with nothing more than the ambient light of the theater. I think the photos speak for themselves. If you mouse over the photo above, you can see the effect very clearly. A flash will destroy the ambient light and throw shadows all over the place. It’s hard to say why this other photographer chose to use his on camera flash instead of going the route that I did. As you can see with my photo below, the mood that was created by the artists of the theater is preserved and displayed forever in my photograph forever.
        A flash, in the wrong environment is like a bolt of lightning, scaring everyone around and freezing a moment in time like a sledgehammer crashing down on a slab of steel. Do yourself a favor in low light conditions… With your camera in aperture priority mode, turn off the flash, turn up the ISO to the max, and open up your f-stop to the max. You will be amazed! Just look at the differences between these two photos! Don’t be scared to force your camera to take good pictures… Candlelight, night time & low light in general calls for a high ISO and a wide open f-stop, NOT A FLASH!

Technomania Circus Is Still A Circus

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Fire At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Technomania Circus Breathes Fire Over Barrio Logan

        Their next show is March 20th, 2010. It is the Fire & Blacklight Show and it is incredible to watch. To see photos from last year’s show, click here.

Technomania Circus Jugglers At The Mob Show

Jugglers Warm Up The Crowd

        Technomania Circus is fun to photograph cameras are welcome. For better pictures, don’t use your on camera flash. Instead, raise the ISO on your camera, have your aperture wide open (smallest f/#) and use shutter speeds between 1/30 & 1/100th of a second.

Strength & Balance At Technomania Circus

Dancing, Balance & Feats Of Strength

        This was shot at 3200 ISO with a Nikon D5000. I am really liking my new high ISO and what I can do with it. The dancing pair above are always fun to watch and are very friendly before, during & after the shows. HE, is also the fire breather from the first picture in this post.

Fire First Appears At The Mob Show - Technomania Circus

The Fire Appears

        200 ISO, 1/50th, and f/1.8 cracked out this shot of the fire as it was first brought onstage at Technomania Circus.

Technomania Circus’s Mob Show

February 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Shootout At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Mobsters Abound At Technomania Circus & The Mob Show

        “The Mob Show: Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun” was the full title for Technomania Circus’s latest production, and what funny, exciting and all around entertaining show it turned out to be. This was my fifth (I think) Technomania Circus show, and I have taken photos at every single show I’ve attended. I posted photos and wrote about my experiences at The Fire & Blacklight Show, The Wild Wild West Show, The Gypsy Music Show and The Parody Show. As a finicky photographer, I don’t just photograph what I see, I photograph what I like, and I really, REALLY like Technomania Circus. I emailed Dr. Techno, the leader/founder/spokesman with links to my posts and pics, and he always emailed me back to say thank you, and has even featured my photos on the Technomania Circus website. All the while, I never identified myself to the Technomaniacs.         I snapped my pics from the anonymity of the audience, and then left after the show, without saying what I had done, who I was, or what I intended to do. When I showed up for The Mob Show, a full half hour before the doors were scheduled to open, Dr. Techno himself was at the door, and I said, “Hi, I’m Rob, from The World Is Raw.” He knew immediately who I was and ushered me inside to meet the cast of Technomania Circus. The entire cast chatted with me, talked with me and showed me around, just because of what I had produced with my camera! They are such an amazingly friendly and talented group of people that I hardly felt worthy to be there, yet they allowed me to be there. So, Technomaniacs, thank you for showing me who you are BEFORE the show, and I now present to you what you are to all of us DURING your show.

Conspiracy At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Mobsters

        The roaring 20’s may have roared a little less had Congress not ratified an amendment to the constitution that made alcohol illegal in the United States. This well thought out, brilliant idea essentially created organized crime in a country that was barely 150 years old, and that is where this story begins… If you know what I mean. The Thompson sub-machine gun, which we all know as the Tommy Gun, fires .45 caliber slugs at a rate of 600 rounds per second into any living or non-living thing that that stood in the way a the delivery, distribution or consumption of what today is the last legal drug… Alcohol. The story has a beginning, middle and end, so the puritans can’t complain. What happens when a group of mobsters hang out in a speak-easy that is has a mole, working for the FBI as a bartender? I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you!

Mob Olympics At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

The Mob Olympics

        As the show was getting ready to begin, this musician played song after song of Deadwood era music on his keyboard. He played with an effortless calm that helped to set a false tone for the performance that was about to begin. Even though I am not a prophet, I knew that if Technomania Circus was going to put on a show dealing with mobsters, gangsters, the Tommy gun and prohibition that it would not be a lecture or a learning experience. I knew it was going to be a riot of laughter, fun and drinking.
        This gifted piano player simply played and played with what appeared to be very little effort… Of course as the audience, we don’t see the years of practice, only temperate discipline that musicians somehow manage to summon.

Mobster's Girlfriends At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Mobster's Girlfriends

        One of the best things about Technomania Circus is how much fun the cast have performing. This was reaffirmed to me while I was backstage before this particular performance. These are not a group of elitist, snooty performers that prohibit photography and charge $80 per person like Cirque du Soleil. These are folks like you and I that hold down regular jobs while bringing joy, love and art to the world. For ten bucks you can walk on in, chat with the performers, laugh with your friends and walk away with a priceless memory that can only be formed in Barrio Logan, San Diego.

Tommy Gun At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun

Fire Piano At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire Piano At Technomania Circus

        Technomania Circus, for me, will always mean one certain thing, and that thing is fire. These guys are fearless, fireproof performers that will always deliver at least a fireball or two during each show. Did you know that a trombone and a piano can spit fire like a cowboy spits tobacco? Have you ever seen a man climb 30 feet into the air and shoot fireballs into Barrio Logan’s dark night sky? If you haven’t then you need to put Technomania Circus on you to do list right now. Do it RIGHT NOW! One of a kind art is produced by Technomania Circus at least once a month before your very eyes.

Blacklight Underwater At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Swimming With The Fishes

        Blacklight illusion is one of the trademarks of Technomania Circus, and they didn’t disappoint for this show. During the course of the show, the mobsters learned that the bartender in their favorite speakeasy was an undercover FBI agent, so they sent him to swim with the fishes. This agent of early American justice did not become fish food, he became and ultra-violet, bright fluorescent survivor that battled sharks, the sea and eventually the Mob.

        Blacklight theater was something I had never seen before I made the acquaintance of Technomania Circus. It is a real art form that has a wonderful, counter-intuitive quality about it. You can’t see the color black, while all the other colors beam at you like planets and galaxies under an extra-terrestrial sky. I forget exactly what was said, but the shark to the left spoke certain words of wisdom to our intrepid hero, that had just been sent to “sleep with the fishes.” These words gave him the hope, courage and desire to make it back to shore, and crush the vile scum that had cast him overboard in the first place. How often do you see a a UFO a boat, the ocean, a shark and a blacklight man in the same photo?

Fire Trombone At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire Trombone At Technomania Circus

        You just had to know that sooner or later, fire would make an appearance at this show. Of course, it would not just be a simple wood-burning fire, this was fire emanating from instruments, torches, pianos, a man’s mouth, sparklers and butane torches. These Technomaniacs stepped up to the plate for the audience, and they hit a fiery, propane fueled home run. San Diego weather, practically NEVER includes rain, but rain fell for about 3 of the last 5 minutes of the show. Not one member of the audience of cast minded, and by the time the 2 minutes rain-shower stopped, the cast had already killed themselves, and the audience.

Fire At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

Fire At Technomania Circus

        Photographically speaking, fire is one Hell of Prima Donna bitch to capture correctly. The next show to be produced by Technomania Circus is The Fire & Blacklight Show, so with any luck at all, I will be able to hone my fire catching skills there. For The Mob Show, the fire portion came on very suddenly at the very end of the show, and of course it started to rain right at that very moment. As I tried to shield my Nikon D5000, focus, adjust my camera settings and look for some killer composition, the Technomaniacs ignited their flammable materials, and rocked the house with music, fire, dancing, gunshots and song. They sang a song, to the tune of “We Are The World” that swapped out lyrics to make it “We Are The Mob,” and it was hilarious. It ended with the entire cast in a Reservoir Dogs style Mexican standoff that resulted in the entire cast gunning each other down. After they were resurrected for the curtain call, they gunned down the audience, and we all died willingly, and with huge smiles on our faces.

        March 20th, 2010 is the date of their next show. It will be special for me because The Fire & Blacklight Show LAST year was what really turned me on to the Technomaniacs and what they do. Don’t miss it, or you will be sorry. You can bring your own snacks and the more you cheer, the better the show.

Mobsters At Technomania Circus's Mob Show

The Mob Show – Happiness Is A Warm Tommy Gun

Night Photography In La Mesa With Nikon D5000

February 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Trolley At Night

Deboarding The San Diego Trolley At Night

La Mesa Public Library

La Mesa Public Library

Guess What This Is

Skater Countermeasures

La Mesa Trolley Fountain

The Fountain Adjacent To The La Mesa BLVD Trolley Station

Gypsy Treasure Costume Store In La Mesa

Gypsy Treasure Costume Store In La Mesa

        “Chasing It,” is a gambling term. Google it. I’m not going to explain it here. A few months back, some friends won the lottery in China. I didn’t buy a ticket, so I didn’t get to feel the joy that comes from winning the Celestial Lottery, only the humiliation of knowing I was wrong. Ever since then, I’ve been chasing it. I’ve been looking for my own Chinese Lottery and after all this time I’ve finally found it, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find it in two places. For me, that means I will be able to pull my brain back onto an even keel. I’m going to visit a cove in Japan, and a wasteland in Kentucky. I’m going to win the lottery in both locales.

Rain In San Diego

February 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rain In San Diego, February 2010

San Diego’s Second Rainstorm in 2010

Rain In San Diego

Some Braved The Rain While I Sought Cover

Kitty Watching San Diego's Rain

Cats Don’t Like The Rain

        This cat was content to watch the rain from the cover of a porch. On a side note, I’d like to say that I really like my f/1.8 lens… The bokeh in particular. I’ve never had a lens this fast, and when it is attached to my Nikon D5000, it’s hard NOT to get great shots. That’s right, my shots are great!

Christ Lutheran Church, La Mesa, CA

Christ Lutheran Church – La Mesa, CA

        So, I had to choose between video capabilities on Canon cameras, or low noise at high ISO’s on Nikon cameras. I went with Nikon.

San Diego Street Lights During The Rain

Street Lights Reflected On The Wet Street

        My old camera is a Panasonic DMC-FZ28, and at ISO speeds above 100 the shots are just not usable, because of the noise. With this Nikon D5000 however, ANY speed up to 6400 can be used for display… At least on the web.

La Mesa Is So Boring

February 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Manicure Neon

Neon Is Not Exactly Photo Friendly

        Back in the days of shooting with my Panasonic DMC-FZ28, night photography was easy. Simply put, any ISO above 100 was too noisy, so all my night stuff with the FZ28 was at 100 ISO with a long shutter speed. Now that I have a Nikon D5000, noise at high ISO is not an issue, other than I feel like I have a whole new chapter of nighttime photography to learn. Other than that, everything is great.

San Diego Culinary Chefs In Training

The Mirror Above The Head Chef Tells All

        The first picture in my last post is a shot a really like, and this opinion was echoed by a fellow photographer that looked at it. That was all the encouragement I needed, so I set about capturing lightning in a bottle once again, and I failed. The pic above was taken on the sly. No one knew I was there except for the bouncer at the bar next door.

Chinese Super Buffett

American People Being Served Chinese Food

        Yes, I admit that this shot is much less interesting than the shot I took from the outside of the San Diego Culinary Institute, but I was trying to capture lightning in a bottle, so I’d appreciate it if you’d ease up off my back about it.

Nikon D5000 High ISO Photography

February 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Culinary Institute

San Diego Culinary Institute

        My Nikon D5000 has a boosted ISO of 6400, so that’s what I set out to test tonight. I wanted some real, after dark photos shot with ambient light while gunning the ISO throttle of my D5000 all the way to the max. The biggest lesson I learned tonight was that when you are out testing a specific “thing” on your DSLR, don’t forget that you don’t have to stick to the thing you are testing. In this case, I was out testing the 6400 ISO of my camera when I camera across the scene above. I had the presence of mind to switch the ISO to 200 before taking the shot. This resulted in the dark exterior of the building creating a frame around the soon to be chefs inside.

Compass Card Validator

Compass Card Validator

        The Compass Card validator to the left was shot at 6400 ISO, and is presented to you here WAY smaller than actual size because full size was pretty noisy. Anyway, I was out looking for any dark alley type place around my neighborhood so that I could give 6400 ISO a real stretch of the legs, and my general consensus is that 6400 can not be shown at 100%, even on the web. You can still get very low light shots that will blow your mind, especially if you are from the days of film, but for the sake of passing images on for posterity, I’m going to have to hold back on 6400. What I will do is work with 3200 ISO because it is WAY less noisy than 6400, and yet is still very light sensitive. I’m going to find the sweet spot for high ISO and my f/1.8 lens even if I have to stay up all night every night. SO, with that in mind, here is where I am with this post. That pic above is ISO 200, because I remembered to change it down from 6400. The pic to the left is 6400, as is the pic below. I am now wishing that I had remembered to dial the ISO down from 6400 for the pic below because I really would have liked the sad detail in the man’s face to show through.

High ISO tests

Unnecessary Use Of 6400 ISO

6400 ISO & 1/4000th Shutter

January 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Globe 6400 ISO

The World From 6400 ISO

        My Nikon D5000 has two things that have become important to me. High ISO with little noise and a quiet, FAST shutter. 6400 ISO to 1 four thousandths of a second. The photo above was taken at 6400 ISO! The clarity and lack of general noise is astonishing to me. The photo below was cracked at 1/4000th of a second at 200 ISO.

Helicopter Belly

One Hidden Propeller Blade

        My portfolio lacks anything fast. This new shutter speed is going to change all that. Oh yes it will. The Marine helicopter above flew right over me, allowing me to freeze it for 1/4000th of a second, and then headed toward downtown San Diego to fight Godzilla or something. The scene of the miniature carousel below was shot at 6400 ISO, and again, with very little noise.

Carousel 6400 ISO

Year Of The Tiger 2010

        It was Ni that first explained to me what the right camera can do, with or without Photoshop. Bi first loaned me a proper camera for a tricky photo-op at Technomania Circus. That was what brought me over. I had to enter into DSLRS’s and I have the beginning and end of Nirobi to thank for it! Thanks guys!

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