Thinking About La Mesa

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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!

Chee Chee Club in San Diego

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Chee Chee Bar In San Diego

Chee Chee In Downtown San Diego

    When I lived in San Diego, I walked past Chee Chee Club hundreds of times. Besides the walking, there is a bus stop next to it so I did my fair share of waiting in front of the club as well. For years, every time I was within sight of the place I wanted that to be the time I would finally go inside and have a drink. That day never came and now that I have moved away from San Diego, it is possible that it never will. At night the pink neon sign lights up an area of the sidewalk on the corner on 9th and Broadway and I always thought that would make for a great photo but I never did that either. I guess I took it for granted that I was living in San Diego and that I would always have time to take more photos and visit a specific bar.

    Anyway, the photo above is my only photo of the front so I hope you already see what the moral of this story is. Take photos of everything, all the time. You never know when you might be looking at something for the last time and all of a sudden something you saw everyday on your morning commute becomes something you can only see if you travel. Don’t let hesitation turn something you want to photograph into a Chee Chee, like it did for me. Cheers!

Road Trip From San Diego To Denver

November 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Uhaul Trailer In Imperial Beach

Uhaul Waiting For The Road Trip To Begin

    I have lived in San Diego for eight years and I have enjoyed it immensely. I spent my first five years in East County in the town of La Mesa and the last three years in South Bay in the country’s most southwestern city, Imperial Beach. The weather, the people, the beach, and having the magnificent Pacific Ocean practically on tap made living there a joy that I will not soon forget. Alas, the job market out there had been kicking my ass for over two years so after much internal debate, I’ve moved away and landed back in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. I’ve been back in Denver for four days and while I’m not happy to be arriving here at the onset of winter, I’m very happy to be back amongst my family and old friends.

    I had been somewhat isolated in San Diego and on top of that I was living in a somewhat isolated area of San Diego. The area of Imperial Beach I lived in was right next to Bayshore Bikeway so I had an easy three mile ride to Silver Strand and an equally easy nine mile ride to Coronado which I frequently did on my inline skates or bicycle. The beach and the weekly Farmers Market were a very pleasant 10 minute ride from my place and were usually the highlight of my week. All those things kept me here, hoping that my next big break was right around the corner but it finally seemed that I run out of corners so I had ultimately decided to leave. As I would be taking all my stuff and a few items of furniture with me, this would be an escape made by road. As is usually the case with moving road trips, a trailer from Uhaul is needed, so above you see the trailer that would hold everything I own on a two day journey that would cover almost 1100 miles.

Bonnie and Clyde Death Car At Whiskey Pete's

Bonnie And Clyde Death Car

    This was not a “stop and smell the roses” kind of trip but it wasn’t the Cannonball Run either. My awesome parents drove to Imperial Beach from Denver to get me so it was their vehicle the Uhaul was attached to. Our route would take us out of California through the southern tip of Nevada, clipping the extreme northwest corner of Arizona, plunging straight into Utah where we would meet up with Interstate Highway 70 which is the highway that would lead us west, straight into Denver, Colorado.

Bonnie and Clyde Death Car

Bonnie And Clyde Death Car In Whiskey Pete’s Casino

    One place we did stop on our first day was in Primm, Nevada so we could take a look at the original Bonnie and Clyde death car. It is sitting inside Whiskey Pete’s Casino behind a glass enclosure. As I was a bit bummed about moving, I hadn’t even touched my camera until this point so it was nice to get out of the car and take a few photos. The glass made it difficult to get great shots but in all honesty, it is something that is more fun to look at than to try to photograph. This would be the only stop we would make other than to get gas or to sleep for the remainder of the trip.

Front Hoe On A Steep Hill

Front Hoe On A Steep Hill

    After our stop to see the Bonnie and Clyde death car, we continued northeast and stayed the night in Cedar City, Utah. When we got back on the road the next morning I was feeling much more upbeat and the joy of being back in Denver was beginning to overcome my sadness of leaving San Diego. As such, I wanted take more photos so I had my camera at the ready most of the day. Utah is full of natural wonder and HUGE canyons and cliffs. We were all rather anxious to get to Denver so we didn’t stop at any of the scenic places; I merely shot them from the moving car.

Plowed Field Seen From A Moving Car

A Plowed Field And A Blue Sky

    It takes about two and a half hours to fly from San Diego to Denver and about 16 hours of actual road time to drive there. I know airports can be a real pain but the speed of an airplane is very convenient. However, road trips are the original way that people went on trips. You sacrifice seeing the land in order to have speed if you fly. It can be difficult to embrace America if all you see of it when you travel are crowded airports or mountains from 35,000 feet in the air.

Red Rock Cliffs

Red Rock Cliffs

    With the exception of the hilarious 1980 movie, “Airplane!” not many other great things have been created that revolve around airplanes. Take it easy! I know fighter jets are cool and aerial photography has changed the world; what I mean is that people tend to come up with great things whilst on the ground. Just imagine what “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac would have been like if he had written it while traveling on airplanes and named it, “In The Air” instead? Or what if Hell’s Angels were an outlaw airplane gang? Hunter S. Thompson would never have been able to write, “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.” If Isaac Newton had been sitting back in coach on a flight to London he may never have seen the apple fall. See what I mean? Any eureka moments you will have will probably not come to you until you get off the plane but on a road trip, you may have one as you travel.

Utah Canyons

Canyons In Utah

    These are the things you think about when you are on a road trip. You can see just how big our world is so you begin to have big thoughts. When you are on an airplane all you’ll really think about is how small it is so your thoughts for the duration of the flight will be small. I’m not saying there have never been eureka moments on a plane, I’m saying they are much more likely to happen if you are able to experience travel from the ground. After you conclude your road trip and get settled in to wherever it is you need to be, give yourself some respite by walking or riding your bike without a destination in mind.

Runaway Truck Ramp Sign Eastbound I70

Runaway Truck Ramp Sign On EastboundI-70

    After two days, five states and hundreds of miles, we began to see runaway truck ramps on westbound I-70. That meant that we were over the Continental Divide and on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. In other words, it would be all downhill from here. The sun was already set when we got to The Eisenhower Tunnel so 45 minutes later when we emerged from the foothills, the Denver skyline was twinkling out at us from the darkness. We made it! I am really looking forward to writing and posting photos for The World Is Raw from out here. In the four days I’ve been here things have already started looking up and I’m very excited to assimilate back into Denver and Colorado. Cheers!

Imperial Beach SWAT Standoff

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff and SWAT Vehicle in Imperial Beach

    Early this morning I got a text informing me that the San Diego Sheriff and a SWAT team were converging on a residence in my neighborhood, Imperial Beach. So, I checked out the scanner and found out that the location of the event was at 13th St. and Holly Ave., about 5 minutes away from my house. Awesome! I headed over there and started taking pictures.

    The entire area and Holly Ave. in particular were completely closed off. All the mainstream media was represented at 13th and Holly as well as at 14th and Holly but were all being kept a good half block away from the action. This prompted me to head 1 block south to Hemlock Ave., which was not blocked off so I could get a view of the actual apartment the suspect was holed up in.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego SWAT Team in Imperial Beach

    After chatting up some residents of the street, one man allowed me entrance to an apartment that was on the second floor and looked right onto the porch of the apartment where the suspect was. I was a solid 300 feet closer than any of the other media outlets and since the apartment I was in as well as the apartment the suspect was in were both adjacent to each other AWAY from the street, I had the best view in town.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff and SWAT Prepare To Breach An Apartment

    The SWAT team did not seem to be worked up at all as they stood en masse on the porch of the apartment the suspect was in. Helicopters were constantly circling overhead so I was only able to hear snippets of what the SWAT guys were saying but what I did hear was normal conversation about guns, their wives and what they were going to do over the weekend.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

SWAT in Imperial Beach

    I left before the suspect ultimately gave himself up, without a fight. I spent two hours on the scene and bailed about an hour before it ended. The two SWAT members you see above are the same two that you see in the video below. The apartment on the far left is where the suspect was. I was in the building the two SWAT guys are standing next to when I shot the video and photos for this post, with the obvious exception of the first one.

    Anyway, what is going to be a busy weekend for me started out with a bang so if nothing else, this thing got me all ramped up and ready to go. Cheers!

    

San Diego SWAT in Imperial Beach

Technomania Circus Puppet Show

June 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fyre, Dr. Techno and Fox Colton

Fyre, Dr. Techno and Fox Colton

    From now through July Technomania Circus will have a show every Saturday night at 8. I’ve been to over 20 shows over the course of four years so you can trust me when I say that it is the best show in San Diego. Usually, we all have to wait for a month between shows so their weekly schedule this summer is a welcome surprise indeed.

    So, what is Technomania Circus, what are Technomaniacs and who is Dr. Techno? The latter two are performers in the show and the founder of the circus, respectively. To say or explain what Technomania Circus itself is takes a little more depth. It’s a noun in the most conventional sense; it is people, it is a place and it is a thing. Every show is different but there will usually be some music, blacklight theater, comedy, dancing and sometimes Springer the Wonder Dog will make an appearance. There is usually a theme to each show and on this particular night it was puppetry. There were also a few songs performed. Above we can see Fyre, Dr. Techno and Fox Colton doing one of the things they do best.

Michael Loyd Bassist at Technomania Circus

Bass Player Michael Loyd

    As I mentioned earlier, music is a big part of any Technomania Circus show, no matter what the theme. Most of the skits are set to music and the house band warms up the crowd before the show. Michael Loyd, pictured above is the 5 string bass player in the band.

Shadow Puppet Theater

Shadow Puppet Theater

    A puppetry theme at Technomania Circus will mean much more than ordinary sock puppets talking to each other. Oh no, this show had a few shadow puppet stories, some blacklight marionettes and couple ventriloquist type performing animals that included an owl singing, “Who Are You?” by the Who.

Sexual Education Rabbit Puppet

Sexual Education Rabbit

    This rabbit explained to us how most of us are probably very under-sexed. I couldn’t agree more!

Blacklight Cat and Mouse Skeletons

Blacklight Cat and Mouse Skeletons

    I think what makes the shows so fun is that they are all original and very clever. The blacklight scene above was part of a skit where a skeleton cat was stalking a skeleton mouse as it was eating a piece of cheese. The mouse wasn’t scared because, as he explained to the cat, if he was captured and eaten he would just escape through the cat’s ribcage. Funny!

Dr-Techno and Valerie Power

Dr. Techno and Valerie Power

    Dr. Techno and Valerie Power are two of the main driving forces behind Technomania Circus. Dr. Techno is the guy that usually warms up the crowd before the show and directs the final bow at the end.

Technomania Circus Butts

Dr. Techno, Valerie Power, Fyre, Michael Loyd And Bryan

    At the end of this particular show, the cast bowed for the audience in more directions than you would see at any other show in San Diego. As the curtain was about to fall, we were reminded that next Saturday they will be performing an all original musical by Fox Colton titled, “Meet Me In Indy.” It should be a great time and I hope to see a packed house for the show.

    Above, Dr. Techno, Valerie Power, Fyre, Michael Loyd and Bryan (The drummer) say their goodnights. One thing I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask when I met her was how Fyre got her name. I have a feeling that the answer will be an entire blog post on its own! Below is a video and photo montage taken at the show. Cheers!

Video From Technomania Circus Puppet Show

Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Fireworks

November 29, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

hotel-del-coronado-christmas-fireworks-2012

Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Fireworks

    Hotel Del Coronado is the best neighbor to have in all of San Diego. It is the hub, the center of the wheel around which everything else revolves. Most of the amazing things you’ve heard about San Diego are on Coronado. If you have just landed at San Diego International Airport the first thing you should do, regardless of where you are staying is cross the Coronado Bridge, walk through The Del and then walk along the beach. You won’t believe your eyes and your remaining four senses will struggle to force your brain to accept what is really happening; you are having the best time of your life and Coronado is the best place you have ever been.

    Last night, there was a full moon so Hotel Del Coronado threw a Christmas party that was free and open to the public. The party was all things Christmas and culminated with a fireworks show. Yes, The Del rang in Christmas under a full moon with fireworks on the beach.

sand-castle-at-hotel-del-coronado

Sandcastle On The Beach Of Coronado

    Merry Christmas is what I say during the Christmas season. What is written on the sand castle above is something I don’t say and will not write on my blog. I’m taking a stand on this one and drawing a line in the sand. Basically my take on the whole politically correct thing is this; if you are not a politician looking for votes but still try or want to be politically correct then you are fucking GAY! That being said I want all the people that are dreaming of a white Christmas to realize that you don’t have to include OR exclude others from your holiday. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want; it means sometimes you have to hear things you don’t want to hear. In America you can wish a group of people a Merry Christmas, even if that group is in a synagogue, a mosque or surrounding a sandcastle on a beach in California. No one has a problem with saying Merry Christmas, but there are people that have a problem with hearing it. God bless the former and God damn the latter for attempting to water down the most sacred event in all of Christendom and America’s favorite season. Merry Christmas!

hotel-del-coronado-fireworks-show-christmas

Fireworks On Coronado

    So far I’ve gushed about Coronado and bitched about political correctness so now I’d like to talk about photography and what I was actually doing during this awesome Christmas party. I was making friends with the fireworks crew!

    They let me photograph the fireworks from their command station so I was something like 30 yards from the show with a completely unobstructed view of the fireworks and Hotel Del Coronado. The reason being this close was a treat was because I was packing my 8 mm fish-eye lens. The photo above shows the crew on the right, The Del on the left, fireworks up top as well as a full moon and Mexico in the background; just a typical night from my neighbor, Hotel Del Coronado.

hotel-del-coronado-christmas-fireworks-beach

4 Seconds Of Coronado Fireworks

    Earlier this year there was a fireworks show that went completely haywire. I’m referring to The Bungle in the Bay that was our annual 4th of July celebration here in San Diego. I was embedded with that fireworks crew as well, but I didn’t get any photos of the event because all the pyrotechnics exploded at the same time. I know that sounds cool and people that were far enough away got some great video of the debacle but for me and the crew I was with it was a little different. We were running for our lives! Don’t get me wrong, it was very exciting but I have no photos from the night so it was ultimately very disappointing for me.

Christmas Fireworks On Coronado

Mouseover For Fish-eye vs. Human-eye

    I’m going to wrap up this erratic and disorganized post with an image that takes advantage the IMG Mouseover plugin for WordPress. The photo above is a lens corrected version of the original photo. If you hover your mouse over the image above you will see the original, as it looked through my 8 mm fish-eye lens. There are good and bad things about both photos, but the bullet point I want you to notice is that I was really, REALLY fucking close to the fireworks yet I managed to have to entire explosion, plus The Del and the full moon in the frame. That is the joy of a wide angle lens at Christmas.

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Hotel Del Coronado is a California Christmas

November 25, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012 as seen with an 8 mm fish-eye lens

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby and Christmas Tree

    I live right down the street from Hotel Del Coronado. You have no idea how fortunate a person I am to be able to say that. Residents of Coronado know what I mean and visitors to San Diego have a slight idea what I mean, but no one else does. The Christmas season is a quintessential holiday; it involves all five senses. As a person from Denver, I want the rest of the Christmas celebrating world to know exactly what I mean.

    In Denver, during Christmas you can stand outside with your eyes closed, breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth and KNOW that you are in Denver during Christmas. After that breath, when you open your eyes you’ll see that what you felt on your skin was the sun, touching you before it touched anyone else. That is the joy of Denver, the Mile High city during the Christmas season.

Hotel Del Coronado with Christmas decorations 2012

Outside Hotel Del Coronado

    Coronado does suffer from Christmas envy, though no one on the island knows it. It’s not a problem, it just is was it is. Coronado is a quintessential San Diego beach community; all five senses are dominated by the ocean and fish tacos every day of the year. Again, this is not a bad thing but it is NOT a Christmas experience. Palm trees are not pine trees, white sand is not white snow and rolling bluffs are not the Rocky Mountains. When you dream about a white Christmas and roasting chestnuts on an open fire, you are dreaming about Colorado and my beloved mile high city of Denver.

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012

Christmas 2012 in the Lobby of Hotel Del Coronado

    This brings me back around to Hotel Del Coronado during Christmas. The Del has been doing Christmas for 125 years and over 100 of those years have involved electricity and decorating trees with electric lights. Yeah, it is the resident expert in San Diego when it comes to lighting up a Christmas tree and launching off the Christmas season.

Vintage Santa Claus inside Hotel Del Coronado during Christmas 2012

Vintage Santa Claus Inside Hotel Del Coronado

    It’s not just the lobby and roof of The Del that get decorated; every square inch of the place gets the treatment. The Victorian Era was a very beautiful if not cluttered time to make a statement and it was right in the middle of this era that The Del was built. The unsinkable Molly Brown was a Denver socialite that survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Her house in Denver is a museum and my dad used to be a tour guide there. I bring this up because during a tour of the Molly Brown house, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Victorian Era, including the fact that it was very stylish to pack every flat surface in the house with knick knacks. If the term “flaunt it if you got it” existed back then, this is how it was done.

Hotel Del Coronado lobby and Christmas tree 2012 as seen with an 8 mm fish-eye lens

Fish-Eye View Of Hotel Del Coronado – Christmas 2012

    Please allow me to talk about photography for a minute or two. I was packing an 8 mm fish-eye lens when I visited The Del on this particular day. I’ve had the thing for almost a year and it has become my permanent accessory. I find it very ironic that wide angle lenses like this are referred to as “fish-eye” because it is the best way to get a human-eye view from a photograph. Besides that, it forces the photographer to physically move closer to their subjects; this is abnormal because for 150 years photographers have been backing away from their subjects just to fit them all in the frame. You don’t have to do that with a fish-eye lens. For the photo above, I was standing right in front of a 25 foot tree yet it doesn’t even come close to filling the frame. I’m telling you now that a fish-eye lens allows you to photograph the world the way you see it rather than the way your camera or lens allows it.

Hotel Del Coronado Incinerator Tower At Christmas 2012

The Incinerator Tower of The Del

    And so this concludes my third annual Christmas pilgrimage to Hotel Del Coronado. Shortly after the New Year my 7 year San Diego anniversary will be presenting itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing bad to say about Denver, it’s people or the Broncos but, San Diego has the best weather in America. You all know that I’ve been around the world and back again so please believe me; San Diego is a great place to live and Coronado is the best part of San Diego. I like all four seasons, but I love living here because I get to skip the shitty ones. It rained a few times back in January and that was all the winter I had to endure; it’s been in the 70’s and mostly sunny ever since. Yes, this is the life I lead. You can have this life too if you just remember that you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead. Merry Christmas!

Space Invader In San Diego

November 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Space Invaders In San Diego

Space Invader In Horton Plaza

    Invader is an international street artist who, back in 2010 invaded the city of San Diego, California. He’s the guy that uses tiles to create 8-bit themed, video game inspired mosaics which he then sticks onto whatever public structure or building strikes his fancy. Space Invaders, the 1980’s video game from which he drew his alias and inspiration for most of his art has become a universal symbol for the artist. This has had the affect of combining his alias with what he does. He is a space invader, participating in one invasion after another. His technique for displaying his art is brilliantly simple; if he wants a city to see what he’s up to, he just sticks his art up all around that city! The hazy shade of illegal that street artists like Invader cultivate is a very good thing because of how it affects and encourages the people of the invaded cities.

    Street artists transform urban landscapes into interactive adventures that will inspire you to get out and explore your city. Street art cannot be accomplished or observed from a couch; you have to get up off your ass and GO SOMEWHERE in order to see it! This adventure involves a lot of walking, smiling and photography.

Space Invaders In San Diego

Space Invader In Gaslamp District – San Diego, CA

    When Space Invader was in San Diego, he placed twenty-one mosaic pieces on various buildings, overpasses and structures. Souvenir hunters and black market art collectors are starting to chip away at what Invader left behind, so I would very highly recommend that you do a little homework and then set out on a downtown San Diego walking adventure. Street art is not always easy to see, even when you know where to look, so keep your eyes peeled. What you will discover is that an adventure like this is a gift that keeps on giving because you will find OTHER things that you’ll want to come back and see some other time. When you go on a street art walk, it’s very different than going on a regular walk. Street art forces you to engage the city in a completely different way, and you will notice that right away. Cheers!

San Diego ZombieWalk

July 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

san-diego-zombiewalk

    San Diego is host to a ZombieWalk that happens regularly at Halloween and irregularly throughout the rest of the year. On this day the zombies were marching for equal rights so the undead marched through Gaslamp District at the height of dinner rush with an un-grunted ultimate destination being the grounds of the convention center and the Comic-Con crowd.

san-diego-zombiewalk-family

    ZombieWalks are free and all zombies are welcome and encouraged to attend the walk and many did. Basically, once the undead mob is pointed in a direction and set loose, it is a slow motion movie from Horton Plaza, through Gaslamp District all the way to the Hard Rock Hotel and the madness of Comic-Con.

zombiewalk-san-diego-corpse-brides

    The walkers of ZombieWalk do it out of a love for Zombies and just to have a little fun. Not everyone understands this concept, but that’s OK; they’re probably zombies of a different sort anyway!

french-manicure-zombie-san-diego-zombiewalk

    I’m sure you’re clawing with excitement to see the rest of the photos, so I’ll let you get to it. Don’t forget to follow San Diego ZombieWalk on Twitter or visit the San Diego ZombieWalk website for their blog and contact info. If you see yourself in any of the photos, mention it in the comments or Tweet me @TheWorldIsRaw! Cheers!

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zombiewalk-nurse nicky zombie-san-diego

san-deigo-zombiewalk-bride-and-groom

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zombiewalk-during-san-diego-comic-con

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warptwendy-at-san-diego-zombiewalk

    I’d like you to take the time to notice the Zombie couple in the photo above. In the real world I know her on Twitter as @WarptWendy. She responded to a ZombieWalk related tweet of mine which lead to me to see her recent pics posted to Twitter which lead me to recognize both her and her husband in a photo of mine; the photo posted above. I offer this as proof that Zombies are social creatures so even as abominations of the undead they should be afforded SOME of the rights they enjoyed during procreated life. I do not agree with or support their demands for food. If I have to roam my ass to the grocery store, they can roam their undead carcasses to an elementary school or graveyard and pick up their own damn lunch. Cheers again!

Maritime Museum Of San Diego

February 26, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

HMS-Surprise-helm-at-sunset-San-Diego-Maritime-Museum

Sunset In San Diego – At The Helm Of HMS Surprise

    San Diego has a Maritime Museum that is much bigger and grander that it may appear to the casual pedestrian or motorist on Harbor Dr. It’s not just the Star of India and a collection of paintings. It is so much more than that; it is a one of a kind time capsule of sea going ships, submarines and artifacts that are all, in six degrees or less, connected to San Diego. It is an amazing slice of how the sea has had a spell over people since the very beginning. The 4 years I spent in the Navy were good, partly because I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but mostly because I was always near the sea. Maritime Museum of San Diego is a great way to connect yourself to what we have done due to our fascination with the sea and it’s a great place to practice some cramped quarters photography so you have a ringing endorsement from me!

HMS-Surprise-great-room-captains-quarters-San-Diego-Maritime-Museum

Captain’s Cabin – HMS Surprise

    HMS Surprise is a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy Frigate that houses a museum that walks you through the founding of San Diego and some amazing recreations that help to make it an immersive experience. The room pictured above was for the use of the captain, however it would best serve her majesty, I presume.

torpedo-room-russian-submarine-foxtrot-b-39-San-Diego-Maritime-Museum

Torpedo Room Aboard Soviet Attack Submarine B-39

    The highlight for me was the B-39 Soviet attack submarine because the relentless Russian efficiency, accentuated by sharp edges everywhere helped me remember a time when Americans were all on the same side, United against communism. When I was kid, back in the 1980s I don’t remember there being such a clamor for the rights of our enemies like the there is for Arab terrorists now; back then, an enemy of the state was not given mercy and look at what happened… We won the Cold War!

russian-submarine-foxtrot-b-39 bathroom-San-Diego-Maritime-Museum

Having a Quiet Moment On The Toilet Inside…

    There is less than enough room for just about every physical activity on this Soviet submarine. There is a way to smash or scrape yourself along every square inch of the submarine, even sitting on the toilet.

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The Bathroom On Foxtrot B-39

    The shape of the submarine, the curve of the hull is everywhere. Before you pick your nose, you have to make sure you won’t bump you elbow into something. Sitting on the toilet is a luxury that does not require headroom when you are in the Russian Navy. It is comical, almost ridiculous how Soviet designers allow you to do a job and nothing more.

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Officer’s Stateroom On B-39

    The lens I brought to the maritime museum was a good choice; my 8mm prime. The round distortion of the lens helped to accentuate the curvature of the submarine and the way the lack of headroom must have dominated every aspect of life while aboard.

Walk-Through of Soviet Attack Submarine Foxtrot B-39

    There is a lot more to see than I have represented in this post so while I’m working on some more photos, head down to Maritime Museum of San Diego and check it out for yourself. There are at least 9 ships to walk through, so allow yourself plenty of time and don’t forget to bring a camera. Cheers!

Christmas 2011 At Hotel Del Coronado

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

hotel-del-coronado-lobby-at-christmas

First View Of Christmas Tree & Lobby Of Hotel Del Coronado

    Hotel Del Coronado at Christmas has a very unique feeling on all five senses; it is a quintessential Christmas experience.  I was so impressed with The Del’s Christmas lights last year that it helped add to my pre-Christmas excitement THIS year!  This year, the theme for the tree is “Silver Bells” and it is beautiful.  As soon as you walk into the lobby, you are greeted by décor that would make Queen Victoria proud.

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Grand Staircase and Elevator Inside The Del

    The lobby of The Del is massive, large enough to hold a Christmas tree that’s a good 15 feet tall.  I think Christmas invokes thought of the past because Christmas, fun as it may be as an adult, is nothing compared to the pure awesomeness that it is to children.  When you are inside The Del, you can see right away that the architecture is different than any other hotel you’ve ever seen.  It’s one of those amazing things from the past that has survived 123 years & counting.  I think seeing the distant past like this makes us think of our own past and childhood and that’s what makes being at Hotel Del Coronado at Christmas so fun and so special.

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Decorations and Annual Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Ornament

    The decorations on the lobby Christmas tree are worth a good look from you.  It has a very dense assortment of ornaments, in keeping with the Victorian way of having a beautifully cluttered eye for interior design.  It is beautifully decorated and there is even an annual Hotel Del Coronado Christmas tree ornament available in the gift shop.

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Asleep In The Lobby Of The Del

    Above is the foyer that separates the lobby and the main entry.  If you walk out those double doors and take a left you’ll be on the southern end of Orange Ave., the main thoroughfare of Coronado.  If you take a right after exiting the doors, you’ll be able to wonder through the grounds of The Del, past the Skate by the Sea ice rink and eventually end up on the beach and the vast Pacific Ocean.  When you are all done, head on back and have a quick nap in one of the comfy chairs, just like the gentleman above.  Below is a video that shows the ice rink, the exterior lights of The Del and a glorious Coronado sunset. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Skating by the sea at Hotel Del Coronado 2011

December 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

hotel-del-coronado-christmas-lights-ice-rink

Golden Hour Ice Skating At Hotel Del Coronado

    Hotel Del Coronado at Christmas is just about as Christmas as San Diego gets. If you would like a quintessential Christmas in San Diego, The Del is where to go, especially with the addition of their annual ice rink. Skating By The Sea literally allows you to ice skate right next to The Del, the beach and the sea, with great views of Point Loma and California sunsets. The rink is in place until the New Year, so get down here soon! The photo above shows the glorious Hotel Del Coronado bathed in golden hour sunlight as ice skaters enjoy a sunset session of fun in the sun… And skating!

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A Lucky Couple Has The Ice To Themselves

    A little planning and patience can go a long way, so let me prepare you for something; the 3 hour skate sessions cost $25. That price is absolutely the best deal in town and I urge everyone to head down and check it out sooner rather than later because if you play your cards right you can take you wife, husband, lover, mate or friend to the Hotel Del Coronado and ice skate, all by yourselves as the sun sets behind Point Loma, a clear blue ocean and a thick blue sky.

hotel-del-coronado-christmas-lights-ice-rink

Christmas Lights On The Del

    Once the sun goes down the lights turn on for the visual side of The Del during Christmas. 3 hours is a long time so don’t think you have to spend that entire time skating; you can skate for a while, then hop off the ice for something hot at the rink-side coffee bar that includes chairs that circle wood burning fireplace heaters. You may get on & off the ice as you please during your 3 hour session so pace yourself, explore The Del and notice all the little details of the hotel. The lobby is decked out for Christmas as well, so be sure to walk through there and you can also check out my photos of The Del during Christmas last year.

hotel-del-zamboni-machine-at-sunset

Zamboni Machine And A Coronado Sunset

    You don’t have to be a registered guest to ice skate or explore the grounds, shop in the stores, eat in the restaurants or walk through the lobby of The Del. I’m telling you, a 3 hour $25 ice skating session will change your view of life and help you realize just how fortunate you are to live in or visit Coronado, CA. Below is a video that shows what a scenic, great time it is to Skate By The Sea. Cheers!

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!

Kevin Smith At Comic-Con

July 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Smith At Comic-Con 2011

Kevin Smith At San Diego Comic-Con

        Comic-Con was a catalyst for me taking a trip down memory lane; all good memories and all good things. Besides being able to catch some candid photos of John Cusack, I was also able to see Kevin Smith, who pulled a J.D. Salinger on our asses by introducing himself to the world by writing, financing and directing the movie, “Clerks.” I was a 19 year sailor in the United States Navy the first I saw that movie and like most people I thought it was brilliantly executed and watching people my age languish in a job they hated while the world seemed to pass them by resonated with me as well.

        Back then (in 1993) I was stationed on the USS Fletcher DD-992, home ported in Pearl Harbor, HI which was a dream location and the setting of countless tales of reckless military youth that will never be told. The problem was that all those fun times, all those adventures that will one day be presented to the world as a movie took place amidst days of chipping & painting and nights of standing watch, and that was while we were in port. Out at sea I had to do those things AND do general quarters & firefighting drills at all hours. In the movie version, all those good times take place over two hours so it would seem like it was a nonstop, party time enlistment. Wrong! Those good times were spread out like a razor thin coating of jelly over a FOUR YEAR slice of toast; that’s not enough jelly for some people, like me.

        Kevin Smith, by writing “Clerks” and bringing it to the world when he did helped me see one more thing, and that was how humor can make a shitty job more fun. If you don’t work at a funny place then bring it to work with you, just like Dante & Randall did in the movie. “I’m not even supposed to be here today” can be the start of a terrible day or the beginning of a mantra where you make the best of being at work, despite the grumps all around you and your constant odor of shoe polish. Cheers!

Powwow By The Sea

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Imperial Beach – Powwow By The Sea

        Imperial Beach is hosting a Native American “Powwow by the Sea” this weekend at IB pier plaza. I happened to catch the beginning, which was a grand entrance of all the dancers rhythmically making their way into the circle. This event enables the local population of Native American Indians to honor their ancestors by spending the weekend dressing, eating, worshiping and thinking as their cultural ancestors did.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Color Guard Leads Things Off At IB Pier Plaza

        It was a very colorful entrance as the Powwow officially got underway. The steady beat of the drums always seems to go perfectly with whatever is going on.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Native American Dancer

        There are so many things to do in San Diego County and now that summer is in full swing we remember the weather is one of the best reasons for living here. You know that every activity you have planned for the summer will work out because in San Diego, it never rains on a parade and all summer long, the temperature is in the 70’s or 80’s at any time of the day or night.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Capturing Motion

        For those of you wondering about my photographic technique, I very much wanted to capture and portray a powerful sense of movement in the photos, so I shot mostly at 1/60th & 1/90th of a second and made sure to hold the camera still.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky

        Later on today, they’re having another powwow at the same place, Imperial Beach Pier Plaza that will last until around dusk. There are also many food vendors and people selling all manner of items & enlightening everyone about all things Native American. There are enough food vendors and local restaurants that you might as well arrive hungry. Start out with some fry bread, some sweet, delicious fry bread. After that you’re on your own, but I will recommend that you save $2 so you can wrap up your visit to IB pier with a single scoop of ice cream on a plain cone at Cowabunga Ice Cream Shop. Below is a video montage from the powwow with one of their songs as the soundtrack. Cheers!

Video Of Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

June 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

        The San Diego satellite of SlutWalk marched through the streets of downtown yesterday in a very colorful and vocal display, informing the world that victims of sexual assault should never be blamed and are never at fault, without exception. In late January of this year, a Toronto police officer stated that women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized. There is enough stupidity in that statement to make it stand up on its own, but just below the surface, it also says something else: Why do we ask about HOW and WHY a person becomes a victim of sexual assault, rather than asking why a person becomes a perpetrator of sexual assault? That question was explored during speeches and chants at SlutWalk San Diego.

SlutWalk Rally San Diego Civic Center Plaza 2011

SlutWalk Rally At San Diego Civic Center Plaza

        Slutwalk San Diego brought light to an area that is usually cloaked in darkness and ignorance. If a woman dresses in a sexually suggestive way, it doesn’t mean she’s suggesting she wants to have sex. I remember my parents teaching me not to judge a book by its cover. I wasn’t old enough to read when I learned that but I was still old enough to understand that this was a metaphor for people: You can’t know what someone wants just by looking at them. It’s impossible. You have to talk, ask questions, listen to answers and interact with someone in order to find out what they will and will NOT allow you to do to their body. It doesn’t matter what a person wears, how they dance, what they drink or what they did last night… A person must look you in the eye and say the word, “Yes.”

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

These Sluts Are Made For Walking

        A group of 5 women founded SlutWalk, after hearing about what that Toronto policeman said, and decided they’d had enough. It was time to put a face to the voice that claimed victims of sexual assault invited it or even WANTED it to happen. It was time to let the world know it’s not OK to blame clothing and sexuality for sexual assaults. What they came up with is brilliant because it highlights the hypocrisy of the, “She dressed like a slut so she invited it” mentality. These 5 women realized that a group of slutty looking women, walking en masse through a city center would NEVER be blamed if a mass rape ensued. Hmm… A sexy woman alone invites assault but a GROUP of sexy women get a police escort in order to PREVENT assault. Do you get it now? Why would a group of sluts, walking down the street need police protection, unless the police thought the women were inviting trouble? SlutWalk San Diego, as it proceeded through downtown vocalized this question to the people over and over.

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Slut Power In San Diego

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Leaving Civic Center Plaza

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

Slutwalk San Diego Marches On Broadway

SlutWalk San Diego 2011

SlutWalk San Diego 2011 Rally At Civic Center Plaza

        So, what did I take away from Slutwalk San Diego? People just won’t take shit anymore. Law enforcement and government are being made to account for not only what they do, but what they say as well, and people will organize to call them out and to make change. I think I knew that before I arrived, but had never seen it performed so passionately before. If you would like to get involved, there is a list of SlutWalk satellite cities and rally dates on their website.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

A Happy Newlywed Couple

April 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Newlyweds David and Traci Laugh on the Beach

Newlyweds Laugh At Mission Beach In San Diego

        Laughter and happiness are very contagious, so it’s always nice to get a shot of two people sharing a laugh together. I take the photo so I smile and laugh a little, then I show the photo on the blog so people that see it there will smile and laugh and so on. David and Traci, seen above were newlyweds that allowed me take their photo while they were walking along Mission Bay. They were so happy and fun to be around and acted very natural while I was clicking away.

A Little San Diego Night Photography

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach And San Diego South Bay At Night

San Diego’s South Bay At Night

        It seems to me that I’ve been ignoring the night lately, so I’m going to change that, slowly but surely. For my fellow photographers, both photos in this post are 30 second exposures at f/8, ISO 200.

Imperial Beach And San Diego Southbay At Night

Front Porch With A View Of Downtown & San Diego Bay

        Both photos above are from the front porch of a lucky person that lives, literally at the very edge of San Diego bay. The view is looking north, with downtown San Diego glowing in the background.

More Planes, People & Helicopters From The Centennial Of Naval Aviation

February 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Finale At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Centennial Of Naval Aviation Grand Finale

        A few posts back I showed some photos from the time I spent at the Centennial Of Naval Aviation Airshow on Coronado. In looking back at the post and after going through the photos I took at the event, I realized that I had Jurassic Parked myself. You see, Jurassic Park is a great movie, I liked it when I saw it in the theater and I still like it today. The concept, the action, the set-up for sequels were all awesome. I only had a problem with one thing in that movie… There weren’t enough dinosaurs! This problem was fixed in the subsequent movies, but I digress, I did the same thing in my first post about the Navy’s celebration of 100 years of naval aviation. I didn’t have enough pictures in my last post! I think what you’ll see in this follow-up post will help give a much better idea of the vast scale the celebration was on, as well as all the trouble the Navy went through to make sure everyone had a good time. This post will have many more photos of planes, people and helicopters that I should have included in my first post.

Holding Camera Lens Like A Penis At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

You Hold Your Camera Lens Like Its Your Penis, Sir

Hooters Girls Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Hooter Girls On Coronado

People At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

WWI Bailout Demo Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        There were a lot of people at the airshow, but the base is huge so it wasn’t crowded. The lines for concessions and bathrooms were unbelievably long. I managed to not break the seal, but I did have a $7, 20oz iced coffee because, for some reason, the coffee cart was the only concession that didn’t have a line. Food and drinks were the same price as at a ballgame, so be prepared for that.

B17 WWII Bomber Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

B17 WWII Bomber

B25 WWII Bomber At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

B25 WWII Bomber

Navy Planes Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy Planes At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Mid Air Refueling Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Refueling At Centennial Of Naval Aviation

Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Hovering Plane Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Balboa Park’s Tower Behind San Diego’s Skyline

Sailors On Duty At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Sailors On Duty During The Airshow

        The photo above has a very metaphoric and nostalgic feel for me. 20 years ago, it was me that was in the Navy and on duty on a sunny Saturday afternoon with incredible access to a great event, yet I wanted to be anywhere but there. These sailors were not separated from the action by a chain-link fence like me, yet none of them had a camera and none of them seemed happy. It reminded me of the time I was stationed in Hawaii when President Bill Clinton came to the island for a Pearl Harbor Memorial anniversary thing. People came from all over just to get a glimpse of the president, but I was required to attend, and I was bitter about it because I would rather have gone to the beach, or get drunk or something. Ah, the sweet memories of a 19 year old sailor!

Helicopter Rescue At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Mouseover Photo Above To See The Rescue

        Above we see a man about to jump out of a helicopter so we could witness a rescue with another helicopter. Roll your mouse over the image to see a different photo.

Bikes And Traffic B25 At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Bicycles Are The Way To Go

        I mentioned in my earlier post that I should have ridden my bicycle to this event. I think the photo above helps to illustrate that point. Seriously, for the next big event that I cover in Coronado, I’ll be a biking fool!

Centennial Of Naval Aviation On Coronado

February 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Plane Montage Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Centennial Of Naval Aviation On Coronado’s North Island

        This past Saturday, Coronado hosted the Centennial Of Naval Aviation on North Island Naval Base. As of this year, the United States Navy has been flying for 100 years, and this celebration paid homage to just about every single aircraft that has flown in service of the Navy.

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEAL Parachutists

        Navy SEAL’s made up a big portion of the warm-up activities, entertaining us with skydives and colored smoke.

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEALS Descend Onto Coronado

        From an altitude of around 4000 feet, Navy SEAL’s jumped out of a helicopter and glided down to the northern edge of Coronado’s North Island Naval Base.

Navy SEAL Parachutist Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Parachuting Down Onto Coronado

Giant Canon Camera Lens Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Bad Child Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        Men, women and children of all sorts turned out for the show. Some people brought really big lenses while others brought very small children. By the end of the day, I think they may have been wishing for each others life. Personally, I’ve noticed that the “better” I’ve become at photography, the smaller my lenses have gotten.

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue In San Diego Bay

        There were a lot of helicopters at this show, and one of their demonstrations was a water rescue. The pleasure ship in the background had the best seat in the house for that event!

People Watching Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopter Hovering Over Other Choppers Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Thinking Person At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        Besides the obvious aircraft watching, there were a lot of people worth watching at the show as well. A lot of people brought children, little boys in particular that no doubt were just as excited as I was at that age whenever I happened to be lucky enough to go to an airshow. For some reason, when I was young and preparing to join the navy I thought knowing all the different types of naval aircraft, ships and trivia would be pertinent to my military career. As we all know now, I should have spent that time learning to chip paint instead!

Traffic On North Island Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Traffic On North Island Naval Base

        Traffic on base, around Coronado and across the bridge was a snarled nightmare for the entire day. It’s really not the Navy’s fault… The street infrastructure of Coronado flat out can’t handle a crush of people on a regular weekday, let alone special event days like this. I took public transportation into Coronado and walked onto the base which meant I had to do a lot more walking than those in cars, but I’m sure I shaved at least 4-5 hours off my commute time by doing so. The photo above is the line of cars coming into the base after the airshow portion was already over. Can you believe that? I was there and it still don’t. So, what did I learn from this outing and what tidbits of advice do I have for anyone attending a special event on Coronado in the future? Don’t drive, take the bus or ride a bike instead. Eat beforehand, bring your own water and wear sunscreen. Military bases are big so be prepared to do a lot of walking even after you get there.

Navy Blue Angels Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

United States Navy Blue Angels

The Art Of Daphne Hill At Planet Rooth

January 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Art Of Daphne Hill

The Art Of Daphne Hill

        I was able to put in a brief appearance last night at a Daphne Hill art show held at Planet Rooth Studios. My time was very limited so I had to cruise through like a jet-setting celebrity and was only able to meet the artist as I was about to fly out the door. She was very pleasant and has a great handshake. I liked her pieces a lot. They definitely grab your attention right away.

Planet Rooth During Daphne Hill Art Show

Planet Rooth During Daphne Hill Art Show

        The owner of the studio is Gustaf Rooth, who has at least two irons in the fire: Planet Rooth Studios and Barrelly Made It, a company and workshop that creates furniture from the disassembled iron hoops and wooden slats of wine barrels.

Daphne Hill And Friends At Planet Rooth

Daphne Hill (Far Right) At Her Art Show With Her Friends

Gustaf Rooth Sell's Planet Rooth's First Piece By Daphne Hill

Planet Rooth Owner Gustaf Rooth As The Studio Sells It’s First Work Of Art

        While I was there the sale of the studio’s first piece occurred. Gustaf Rooth, as owner of the studio signed the tear sheet.

The Art Of Daphne Hill

The Art Of Daphne Hill

        The studio is in a great location at 5th ave. and Thorn St. right at the northwest corner of Balboa Park so try get down the to see the studio and then have lunch downtown and wrap the trip up with a stroll through the park.

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!

Urban Bird Of Prey

January 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Highway Bird Of Prey

        San Diego was a lot of wildlife sanctuaries in the South Bay area, so a lot of urban areas are right on the fringe of very wild places. Of course these wild things venture out, which is why this bird of prey is on a light post above I-5 in National City.

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!

Hotel Del Coronado At Christmas 2010

December 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hotel Del Coronado With Christmas Lights

Hotel Del Coronado During Christmas 2010

        Hotel Del Coronado is the most famous hotel in San Diego, with tourists and locals constantly walking in and around the hotel property, especially at Christmas. I suppose The Del is San Diego’s version of Rockefeller Center, a place where anyone can come on by and fill themselves with Christmas spirit while taking in one of the best beach locations on the planet.

Hotel Del Coronado With Christmas Lights

Looking West From Hotel Del Coronado

        A fairly heavy fog bank rolled in as I was taking these photos so instead of seeing Point Loma in the distance of the photo above, we see only the dark blue smudge of swiftly moving fog. This spot has been mentally noted for some blue hour photography in the near future, as well as to get some shots of the ice rink (The Del has it’s own ice rink at Christmas) and some better shots of the pool.

Inside Hotel Del Coronado At Christmas

Hotel Del Coronado With Christmas Lights

        Once it became clear that the fog was in charge, I went into the main hotel lobby where Hotel Del Coronado’s world famous Christmas tree cheerfully stands watch every year. The hotel opened in 1888 during the Victorian Era, so the Christmas decor is accordingly Victorian. This is one of those places to understand they saying, “They don’t make them like this anymore.”

Inside Hotel Del Coronado At Christmas

The Lobby Of Hotel Del Coronado During Christmas 2010

        That concludes this brief tour of The famous Hotel Del Coronado, in Coronado CA. It is on just about every list and included in every book and video about places that people absolutely must see before they die, so don’t skip this by or ignore it all together. Once you see the hotel in person, you’ll understand why.

Homeless Under The Bridge In San Diego

November 23, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Homeless In San Diego On Commercial Street

Commercial & 15th Street – San Diego

        Last Sunday in walked north on Commercial Street from the 12th & Imperial transit station to just past 17th to get a look at the clutch of homeless that live under the I-5 bridge, where it crosses over Commercial Street.

Homeless In San Diego At Commercial & 19th Under I-5

Under I-5 – Commercial & 19th Street – San Diego

Walk For The Cure In San Diego

November 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Backpacks Belonging To Walkers Walking In The Walk For The Cure Event

Walk For The Cure In San Diego 2010

        The same day I was at Lindbergh Field, a weekend-long walk for the the cure (breast cancer) event was wrapping up in the area of PETCO Park. There were hundreds of backpacks spread out on the parking lot so I managed to grab a few shots before my trolley arrived.

Backpacks Belonging To Walkers Walking In The Walk For The Cure Event

Backpacks Belonging To Walk For The Cure Walkers

Backpacks Belonging To Walkers Walking In The Walk For The Cure Event

Near PETCO Park In San Diego, CA

Carnivorous Birds

November 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bird Of Prey

Bird Of Prey

        I saw this bird earlier today, surveying it’s domain from the top of a street light. Lack of sunlight and a slow piece of glass attached to my D5000 meant I had to crank up the ISO to 1000, which I love being able to do without worrying about noise. Anyway, as I noticed, watched and photographed this bird of prey (with HUGE talons) I was reminded of a few other blog posts of mine that also had some pics of interesting birds.

Blackbird In The Rain

A Raven In The Rain

        The shot above was featured in a post of mine this past February, and is one of my personal favorites. It was a neat combination of San Diego, rain, me and a manual focus 450mm lens that led to a shot that I just really like.

Black Crowned Night Heron at San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park

Black Crowned Night Heron

        The shot above was taken by me last April at San Diego’s Wild Animal Park and was also featured in a blog post of mine. This black crowned night heron plucked up and then devoured the little duckling you see in it’s beak. I’ve since come to learn that the black crowned night herons in the Wild Animal Park are uninvited guests that are problematic to the staff and animals of the park because they swoop in and eat the park’s baby birds.

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.”

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