November 23, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
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 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!
August 7, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Front Counter , Grill and House Burger Menu
House Burger is a new burger joint in South Bay San Diego that you should try because burger lovers need to support new ventures like this. Their address is 1873 Palm Ave. San Diego, CA 92154, on the southwest corner of Saturn Blvd and Palm. They have all the other types of burgers; chicken, steak, fish & turkey, with or without all of your normal toppings and a thousand island style house dressing. Any single patty meal is menu priced at $4.49 or less so even after tax it’s under $5. The burgers and fries are made when you order, so you will have a solid 5 minute wait. Oh, they have milkshakes too!
Inside House Burger
So how’s the food? It’s good. The buns are custom and fresh, the meat is not frozen and you can basically build your burger, complete with toppings when you order. The cheese I go with is cheddar and it’s hearty. The fries are seasoned with a special house seasoning that does not include salt or pepper and the toasted buns while tasty, are too big for the burgers. All good stuff on the tray at half the price of any other gourmet burger place but the diameter of the burger needs to go up or the bun needs to shrink, as you can see in the photo above.
This is of course a first world problem so for $5 you should try it out and judge for yourself because it’s still a smoking deal that has onion rings, potato, pasta and macaroni salad as options to fries and an entire cooler of sodas, coffee drinks and other bottled beverages to wash it down with. Head down there because you are hungry and your family loves burgers. Cheers!
July 15, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
June 3, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
The Swinging Friar
Yesterday I went to my first San Diego Padres game in PETCO Park where I watched them play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The tickets, wonderfully provided by my good friend and companion for the game, Jane were great; a scant 19 rows in from first base which put us well within foul ball and souvenir throwing range.
Looking At The Sky While Inside PETCO PARK
The June gloom that grips San Diego is annoying, unless you are watching a Padres game at PETCO Park, I found out yesterday. You see, I’m from Denver, Colorado where I only attended Rockies games at Coors Field when the forecast called for 100 percent sunshine. In Denver, clouds like what you see in the photo above and the photo below means either afternoon thunderstorms or snow, depending on the time of year; wet or cold and wet. Out here in what is usually sunny San Diego cloudy skies mean you don’t have to worry about being cooked alive in your seat by the sun or freezing to death at the end of the game, but as the time of sunset approaches you will understand why I recommend bring a jacket. It wasn’t until I got up to leave the stadium that I finally put it on and it felt good!
Fans Hope For The Best From The Padres & The Weather
Despite the cloudy skies it was a pleasant Saturday afternoon and all the fans were in great spirits, hoping to see the Padres begin their long climb from being the team with the worst record to the team with the best, starting with this game right here. Alas, it was not to be. It seemed to me that the Padres need to improve their pitching. My first home game had me bear witness to the Padres bullpen give up a homerun, balk a runner on to base, walk six others onto base and walk a run home. They did bring nine strikeouts to the table and they where surgically spread out amongst the Diamondbacks batting lineup with eight of their nine batters going under that knife but come on! You can’t put eight runners on the bags for free and win a ball game!
Chase Headley Laments Ending The Bottom Of The Inning
The Padres just seemed to have a hard time getting the fire lit. Chase Headley failed to get on base and was also the third out so he slowly removed his batting equipment whilst waiting for his glove to arrive. You play your best whether you are winning or losing, arriving to the field with a clean uniform and a broken in glove every single game.
PETCO Park Full Of Fair Weather Fans
It was nice to see most of the fans stuck it out to the bitter end. The bottom of the ninth is when miracles happen, so leaving early when you are the home team is never a gamble I’m willing to make. Either way it felt good to finally be a fair weather fan on a cloudy day in San Diego; I cheered, did the wave and have photos to share with the world so it was a good day. Cheers!
May 6, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
I am fortunate enough to have cousins that always know what there is to do in San Diego so when I was bored yesterday I gave them a call. Before I knew it we were enjoying delicious burgers from Hodad’s followed by a movie in their art and dog filled home. After that we headed up to Balboa Park for a showing of artists sponsored by the San Diego Sculptors Guild.
Benjamin Lavender Sculptures Always Make A Statement
Benjamin Lavender, the sculptor responsible for the piece above and many others at the show was our reason for going to this celebration of sculpture. I’d seen his work at a show at the Oceanside Museum of Art last year and was very impressed by his work.
Golden Art In Balboa Park
Even the art on the wall found a way to be off the wall. There is an amazing amount of talent contained within these artists and most of the pieces are most obviously labors of love. We are very lucky to be living in a time and place where artists are allowed to create whatever their minds have whipped up.
Ornate Victorian & Steampunk Flavored Sculpture
The Steampunk styled viewing contraption above is a great example of what an artist can do with some welding equipment and forty pounds of metal. I am happy with my medium of photography; sculpting with metal has never been a creative outlet for me.
Larger Pieces Shown In The San Diego Setting Sun
Since we live in San Diego, we get to enjoy an outdoor showcase of beautiful sculptures in lovely Balboa Park. This show was in the Spanish Village area of the park, so it was a very quick and easy outing for a pleasant Saturday afternoon.
Ken & Chris Callaway Turn Up Ace Of Spades
As the sun began to set our attention shifted from fine art to fine food. Our burger filled lunch was quickly wearing off and so, after seeing all the sculptures in the wonderful garden we took our leave. Dinner would turn out to be some great Mexican food from Don Panchos, my neighborhood taco shop. It was a good day, just what I needed. Cheers!
February 26, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · 4 Comments
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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
November 18, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 2 Comments
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
August 20, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae
As I rode my bike along Bayshore Bikeway, examining the progress of the coastal restoration in the nature preserve that lies along the southern edge of Silver Strand between Imperial Beach and Coronado, I happened across the web of what I believe is a funnel weaver spider (Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae). It was seated in a small hole in the side of a berm, its web spun out horizontally, waiting for lunch to be served. I don’t have a problem with spiders; I just don’t like to be near them. I also don’t have a macro lens; I just have a telephoto. Convenient for me isn’t it?
Coastal Restoration & Dredging Begins
There has been coastal restoration in the form of dredging going on for 5 months and just the other day the levees that separated San Diego Bay proper from the South Bay Biological Study Area were breached by the restoration team. This means if you walk or ride along Bayshore Bikeway at the north end of 7th St. in Imperial Beach, all the water in the nature preserve will ebb and flow with the tides from fresh Pacific Ocean water! I think it will probably turn the intersection of Imperial Beach and Silver Strand into a bird watching Mecca.
Spider Waiting For Lunch
It was a bright, cloudless day but the arachnid was in a shaded burrow so I used the on-camera flash to light the spider up. I had no idea that a spider’s eyes reflect light like cat eyes do but, they do. All other members of a coastal wetland sanctuary food chain benefit from being in the sanctuary, not just the birds and not just the wetlands.
Funnel Weaver Spider
That’s why, in a post where I’m talking about ocean water and birds there are spider pictures; they’re all connected and it was while walking around the preserve I found this spider, which lead to the train of thought that lead to the theme and tone of this post. Deep isn’t it?
Mouseover To See High & Low Tide before Restoration
Move your mouse over the photo above to see the difference between high & low tide in the preserve before the restoration began. If you want to see the amazing work that’s been done in the 5 months since the photos above were taken, you’ll just have to get on your bike, ride Bayshore Bikeway towards Imperial Beach and see for yourself. That blue stripe in the background is the Coronado Bridge which you can bike to using the trail. Along the way you’ll pass the nature preserve, Silver Strand State Beach and Hotel Del Coronado. See? If you are a lover of nature, biking, skating, running, the beach, hotels, Coronado or Imperial Beach, this outing has something for you. Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can include photos when you blog about your fun time. Cheers!
August 15, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 5 Comments
Disney Girls At Comic-Con
There are people that wear costumes to Comic-Con because it is their job. They are paid to be there and their costumes are provided for them. I don’t count this as cosplay, but I do think it’s awesome that people are able to land paying gigs like this thanks to Comic-Con. As the Disney princesses above prepared for some photos, someone actually had to go ask the guy in the background to please move somewhere else. I’m sure it was a great view but, move along there, Chuck-O!
Comic-Con is used by some women as a mid-summer’s night’s Halloween. For them it’s not about what the costume represents, it’s about dressing in a manner that is considered normal on some planet in some far flung science fiction galaxy. On this planet, tits on display get attention and at earthling Comic-Cons they are proudly displayed for photographers.
The 2 people above came to Comic-Con together as a couple of warriors from “Mortal Combat.” When someone would ask for a photo they would strike a street fighter pose until a crowd formed and the impatient photographers began requesting shots of “just her.” I think the look on his face says it all. Above on the right Power Girl reminds the photographers where her eyes are. Someone in the crowd pointed at her chest and said, “That’s where my eyes are!”
The point of the game is to have fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re in costume or not, just have fun with it. It’s a given that Comic-Con is a place of imagination and play, so cut loose and explore the venue. The patio area outside the Sail Pavilion is a very popular place to rest, hang out and most importantly, to sit down. There is practically nowhere to sit in the exhibit hall; I would recommend heading upstairs for some fresh air and a view of San Diego Bay.
In the end, Comic-Con is as big a deal as you allow it to be. All the things that can ruin your trip apply to everyone else and the same thing goes for the good stuff. Sore feet, missed panels, lines, oddly located hotels, and overpriced food aren’t the stuff of memories; they’re the stuff of blog posts explaining how to have a better time next year. At Comic-Con, you only make mistakes once and it brings an unbelievable amount of joy to offer guidance to a newbie that heads off a mistake you have personally made. Everyone there is trying to have a good time and everyone there wants you to have a good time so share what you know, tweet about what you see and when you get home, blog about your successes and failures.
Sucker Punch At Comic-Con
Look, we all know that in the future the lines of Hall H will be formed atop portable moving sidewalks, themselves covered in lush, green, peppermint scented turf, changes to panel locations, times and guest lists will be as live as a stock market ticker and there will be a new gold standard for what sexy cosplay is that is not Princess Leia in a gold slave girl bikini. One day SWAG will be distributed from booths in a line-free manner that my mind cannot even invent right now and there will probably be a shrine at future Comic-Con dedicated to the demise of Princess Leia in a gold slave girl bikini as the gold standard for what sexy female cosplay is. Until that time we are all in this together so spread to love, help some people out and take lots of pictures while you’re at Comic-Con. Cheers!
August 14, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
The Cast Of Fox TV’s “Fringe”
You don’t have to stand in lines at San Diego Comic-Con to see celebrities and you don’t need to use a flash when you take their picture either. What you do need are comfortable shoes and patience. I very much prefer a spontaneous style of human photography over posed and static, smiling portraits. Leonardo Da Vinci did such a great job with the Mona Lisa that photographers have forced every woman in the world since then to stop what they are doing, look at the camera and smile in a way that says something without talking. I prefer the moments that happen before and after the party starts, like cast of the Fox TV show “Fringe working out seating assignments just before a signing.
I don’t collect SWAG or autographs and I prefer to watch movies at home on DVD so movie screenings aren’t my thing either. I collect photographs at Comic-Con, mostly for use on my blog here. What that means is that I spend my time on the move, constantly. It’s exhausting, and on Saturday this year my body forced me to rest for about an hour, which was torture for my mind because it hates not to be in charge.
I don’t live under a rock but I don’t command a starship either so I really have to pay attention to the crowd and Twitter to find out where things are happening and who people are. Many of the photos I take, successfully or not, were taken not because I knew the subject but because of the stir around them grabbing my attention. Comic-Con is a crowded and noisy place so it’s not exactly easy to notice every single thing happening right in front of you, which is why the photo of Matt Smith of “Dr. Who” is mostly of the back of his head. I don’t watch Dr. Who so I didn’t know who he was. He had a clamor of people and a film crew following him around, but I lost a few precious seconds trying to figure out who he was or if he was famous, so I missed what would have been a great shot. Shoot first and ask questions later, especially at Comic-Con.
Kit Harington and R.R. Martin, Writer – “Game of Thrones”
The celebs do have the ability to put themselves in a bubble, which is a big help for me. Take Kit Harington and R.R. Martin for example, pictured above during a signing for “Game Of Thrones.” There were hundreds of people clamoring in front of them but they managed to ignore all of them, and that’s when I took the shot.
Danny Devito at San Diego Comic-Con
I have some ideas that should bring a whole new level of excitement to my photos and posts during Comic-Con next year. Since I roam around the entire time, I think I’d like to be a roving line reporter, bringing updates for all the lines with video, photos and tweets. Since I never have an agenda during Comic-Con, I think it would be an amazing story to embed myself with people that live their lives by the panel and screening schedules. I think the world is finally ready to see the seedy underworld Comic-Con, don’t you? I think back door deals, black market SWAG vouchers and organized line cutters are just the tip of the iceberg, just wait and see. Cheers!