December 29, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
Occupy San Diego Is Unoccupied & Dying
Occupy San Diego seems to be suffering from a lack of occupation during this holiday season. Civic Center Plaza had around a dozen protesters and one homeless man when I walked through the plaza a couple days ago. The lack of enthusiasm and excitement around what is supposed to be representative of most of us has me questioning the life of and predicting the death of Occupy San Diego and the parent Occupy Wall Street protests.
The Mantra Of The Occupiers
The Occupiers are mad and protesting because they believe the current system of capitalism is broken in a number of ways. In particular, corporations have been given the same rights as human beings. This allows a corporation to reap real-people benefits and deal with any legal ramifications that may arise from doing something illegal… INSTEAD OF THE OWNER OF THE CORPORATION!
For example, it’s illegal for me to walk up to you and punch you in the face. If I did physically punch you or hired someone to punch you or set a chain of events in motion that lead to you being punched, I’d find my personal, physical being in some hot legal water. But, if I own a corporation that is directed to perform any of those punches to your face, the corporation would take to fall instead of me. The owner of the legal entity that controls a corporation is not legally responsible for what that corporation does, legal or not. Nice isn’t it? There is a lot of potential for corruption and criminal activity with a system like that and that’s something the Occupiers claim; the corruption and crime are real, have been happening in the past and are happening right now, up to and including any of the Occupiers being arrested.
Freedom Plaza Is Free From Occupation
Corporations can be a good or bad thing, just like a gun. If a cop has a gun and uses it in the line of duty, that’s a good thing. If a thief has a gun and uses it to help him steal from another person, that’s a bad thing.
I like that the Occupiers are bringing attention to the fact that Wall Street based corporations stole from so many American homeowners that it caused a real estate bubble so large that when it popped it caused a worldwide financial crisis that somehow required those same corporations be given taxpayer money to shore themselves up… Because those corporations are too big to fail. Remember, in the eyes of the government and the law a corporation is a person. Think about that for a while. A crime committed with a gun has a flesh and blood person to punish while a crime committed with a corporation does not.
That brings me back to my original point which was what do I think of the life of Occupy San Diego and when do I think it will die? I think the life and message are great but I think it will be defeated by General Winter. Come spring, I hope to be proven wrong but as the photos and video above shows, Civic Center Plaza (Freedom Plaza to the Occupiers) was very unoccupied on this late December day. It was beautiful in sunny San Diego but the Occupiers seem to have vanished for the holiday season. I’m thinking that if they don’t come back right after New Years, all momentum will be lost and it will die; we’ll know by early next week. I hope I’m wrong because their message needs to be heard and if it is, real people will have to account for corporations that do bad things and maybe then corporations will keep their money the Hell out of politics. Cheers!
August 2, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Coronado Sandman At Spreckels Park
There is a man that decorates the land of Coronado with sand; Coronado Sandman. I met him at on a Sunday afternoon, just before the start of a free Rockola concert in Spreckels Park. Sometimes I see his work as I cruise around on my bike and I’ve seen videos of him on the net but I’d never even seen him in person, not even from afar. I guess it was meant to be because I was looking for something interesting to photograph when I ran into him creating some street art with, wait for it: Dirt. A spoon is not a fork, so if you are expecting one but receive the other you’ll probably ask why, which is what I did. It turned out that white sand doesn’t pop very well on the gray of concrete & cement so he opted for dirt, which is darker for these pieces of art. I joked with him saying that he couldn’t be Coronado Sandman if he didn’t have any sand, man.
Coronado Sandman Creating Street Art
That turned out to be my segue to chatting with him for a few minutes so he told me all about his recent history and a few of his philosophies on life. He wrapped up with a one liner and a question. He said, “There are three people in the world, God, the Devil and Coronado Sandman. Do you know who you friend is?” I answered him very specifically and then he told me I was right. So, I have that going for me, which is nice.
August 1, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Rockola At Spreckels Park
I always knew Coronado was a great place with great people but since I don’t live there, I’ve never been able to say exactly why it’s so great. Yeah, I know tourist guidebooks will give you the dictionary definition of what makes Coronado awesome but I’m talking about other, intangible things that just make you feel good for some reason. Yesterday, I got to experience that intangible thing and its energetic buzz. Spreckels Park was the specific location and Rockola was the specific band that absolutely rocked the house for a free two hour sunset concert under the beautiful Coronado sky.
Coronado Rocking Out In Spreckels Park
It was more or less impossible for me to concentrate on taking photos so the video mode on my camera got a workout as I cruised around the park, trying to rock out and hold the camera steady at the same time. There is a rule that many people abide by when they dance: Dance like no one’s watching. In that spirit, that’s how I edited the video above. I just found the good parts with great soundtracks, stitched them together and pressed play. As of right now, no one can ever say people on Coronado don’t know how to have a good time!
Dancing In Spreckels Park
It was such a good time that I wished I had left my camera at home (not really) because as a person whose parents raised him properly on a diet of classic rock ‘n roll, it was a straight up transport back to a time before digital, before blogs and before me. High school students fortunate enough to see the Beatles last concert in 1966 are in their 60’s now, yet it’s that crowd’s music, 45 years later that packed Spreckels Park with families, in some cases, four generations of a family, all enjoying the same great time together. So, my challenge to all who read this is simple: Do whatever you have to do so you can visit Coronado, and then try to find a reason to leave when you’re here. Cheers!
July 27, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 4 Comments
The Zen Of Homemade Costumes
There is nothing that allows for a greater form expression of your own personal individuality than a homemade costume for Comic-Con. I really like to see what people can create from scratch and present to 130,000 people that all have cameras, blogs, TV shows and opinions. It takes a lot of sand to do that and in my opinion is infinitely superior to buying or renting costume in a store. The homemade costumes we all saw at Comic-Con started out long ago in a dream or from the love of a fan for a character or a creator. These cosplayers are among the elite inventors of the world that actually get to see their inventions conceived, planned & executed to realization. They get to see their creations loved, viewed and used by the public before their very eyes. It is so ridiculously fantastic to support the creative community in that way that I think Comic-Con should be awarded some sort of Nobel Prize for being such a catalyst for pulling in support of the arts. If you haven’t seen my photos and posts from Comic-Con last year, take a look at them and you’ll see that year after year the cosplayers bring just as much to the table as the movie studios.
Boba Phat At Comic-Con
Of course, extra credit is always given for Star Wars or any type of hot girl themed costume and you would think that would tip the scales unfairly in their favor but extra credit is also given for originality and attention to detail. Between those four things you will discover that Comic-Con is a location for some of the most advanced cosplay in the world. Cosplay is short for “costume play” and it’s nothing like what you do on Halloween or at a football game. Boba Phat handed me his business card which turned me onto his website, which will direct you to his Facebook profile: BobaPhat.com. I would suggest sending him a friend request because Boba Phat is not a person to trifle with. Besides, if people know Boba Phat is your friend, I’m sure that comes with perks.
Steampunk Explorer Captures Predator
A Steampunk explorer with a captured predator was a great idea as were a trio of medieval men that cosplayed as the coconut clacking crusaders from Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Tiny details in the costumes are what make them stand out. The instantly recognizable sound of the coconuts could be heard from 50 feet away, so people were actually being drawn to them. I can’t believe that in all this time I have never “heard” a costume at Comic-Con before. It was a brilliant idea and the highlight of the con for me.
A Steampunk explorer with a captured predator was a great idea as were a trio of medieval men that cosplayed as the coconut clacking crusaders from Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Tiny details in the costumes are what make them stand out. The instantly recognizable sound of the coconuts could be heard from 50 feet away, so people were actually being drawn to them. I can’t believe that in all this time I have never “heard” a costume at Comic-Con before. It was a brilliant idea and the highlight of the con for me. Comic-Con is one of those events that you can’t see everything at. There are so many things going on at the same time that no matter how you plan it, things will have to be sacrificed and missed. It’s tough to deal with at first but you find out really quick that there’s plenty to go around for everyone (unless you want to get into Hall H) and the forced moderation will prevent your brain from exploding. Just take a look at my photos from last year’s Comic-Con and then look through my photos of Comic-Con this year and you’ll see there’s no repetition because the event is just that grand. What a great problem to have, eh? Cheers!
July 25, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
San Diego’s Gaslamp District During Comic-Con
This Comic-Con I was a roamer, always on the move between the streets of Downtown San Diego and the convention center. I walked so much over the 5 day span that my feet, on this day rest are straight up sore. For the second year in a row I didn’t wait in any lines because I didn’t go to any panels, movie premiers or after-hours parties. I much prefer the crowded confines of the Gaslamp District streets and the mass of humanity that flows like a clogged artery on the exhibit hall floor. I have sadly accepted that you just can’t see everything at Comic-Con but I really do feel that you see more if you roam instead of wait in lines for panels and premiers. I you haven’t seen them, check out my posts and photos from last year’s Comic-Con.
Power Rangers & Fans
Of course, I’m not knocking panel and premier goers at all, not one bit. In fact, it’s an amazingly awesome experience to walk amongst people that are gods among fans. The people in those lines arrive in San Diego from farther away and sacrifice more to get to Comic-Con than anyone else so they can sit in the same room with people they admire, love and adore. Since I’m not the star struck type I think the best things I can do for everyone at Comic-Con are not take up precious seats and instead take their picture at what might be their only time in San Diego or at Comic-Con.
I did have a favorite moment during Comic-Con and that was when I came across three dudes with a dead-on balls accurate cosplay of King Arthur and his coconut clacking men from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I followed them around the convention floor for a few minutes, which is harder than it sounds because it’s always so crowded. These guys were able to navigate well, drawing attention long before they were seen thanks to the banging together of two empty halves of coconut. Something I will say about my own preference of what makes for good cosplay is that the costume be homemade. These guys made their duds from scratch and won my vote for best in show! I’ll have many more post and photos in the coming days. This year, I decided not to do daily posts and instead do posts that are a little more off the cuff and spontaneous. That way I can spread the photos and posts over a greater period of time, prolonging the afterglow from that magnificent event that was San Diego Comic-Con 2011. So, what would you like to see next? Celebrities, more costumes, the crazy streets of San Diego during Comic-Con? Let me know in the comments. Cheers!
July 5, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Flower Shaped Fireworks On Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach hosted a gigantic fireworks display, launching fireworks off their pier for 2011 4th of July Independence Day celebrations and guess what? That’s a 7 minute bike ride from my house! I’m serious; my total commute time was a mere 30 minutes (because I made two trips) while automobile traffic was a parking lot nightmare. Getting out of Imperial Beach and Coronado; the entire Silver Strand looked like a cross between a drive-in movie parking lot and a Taco Bell drive-thru line at 2am. What is the lesson to be learned here? Next year, if you go to Imperial Beach or Coronado to see the fireworks on the 4th of July, ride your bike!
People At Imperial Beach On The 4th of July 2011
Most people start arriving during the day, and even though it’s more crowded than usual, it’s never out of hand. In the photo above you can see people patiently waiting for darkness and fireworks as well as being issued a ticket for having alcohol on the beach.
IB Woman With Amputated Arm
The lady above is always around Imperial Beach pier and was enjoying the live music when a phone call interrupted her. I snapped this shot because the way she’s holding her phone, her white wrist wrap and the color of her fingers matching her hair did a trick of the eye on me, making me think she was a double amputee. The tattoo on her right arm is a classic frontier star with the word, “SHERIFF” in the center.
Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky
IB pier was gated off by the time I arrived due to the large amount of pyrotechnic booty that had been carefully placed about. Sunset was to happen exactly at 8pm and the show at 9. This is where the magic was going to happen, this is where we can all say, “Boom goes the dynamite.”
During summer it’s not exactly dark at 9pm, so the opening barrage of fireworks had nice wisps of clouds behind them. The opening volley of fireworks is where you’ll find some golden moments of photography because during the explosion of the first set is the ONLY time you’ll have a smoke free sky, so you can actually include the sky in the background of your fireworks shot. As you see in the photos above, smoke becomes a problem very fast. The pic on the left was shot at 3200 ISO & the right at 1250 ISO.
I didn’t have a tripod so I had to find a combination of ISO and f-stop that would work with my self-imposed handheld photography shutter speed limit of 1/20th of a second. The f-stop turned out to be easy, wide open! For the lens I had that meant f/3.5. I wanted to include a lot of foreground/people in my photos so my ISO was determined by the lighting of the foreground; I cranked it up high, from 1600 to 3200 if the foreground was dark or dropped it to 200 if there was already ambient light around, such as those taken with people seated under lights. Whatever my ISO was, my shutter speed was always slow, 1/20th of a second or slower so I made sure to stand still, hold my breath and press the shutter release button with a surgeon’s delicate touch for each & every frame. What that did was keep my own personal movement and the movement of the camera to a minimum. These are the problems that I have to compensate for by not using a tripod. I sacrificed stability in favor of mobility since I was going to spend the entire 16 minute show running around.
Imperial Beach Portwood Pier Plaza Sign
The photo you see above is the main sign at the foot of the pier, in the center of Imperial Beach’s Seacoast District and is an example of planning ahead in order to get ahead. I knew the show would last 16 minutes, so I made sure I was near the Imperial Beach sign at the 16th minute for two reasons: First, because I wanted shots of the sign silhouetted by the fireworks and second, because from that spot I was already off the beach and the pier. In other words it made for a great shot and a great escape! Cheers!
July 4, 2011 At Imperial Beach, CA Pier
June 12, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
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 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.”
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.
Slut Power In San Diego
Leaving Civic Center Plaza
Slutwalk San Diego Marches On Broadway
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.
May 4, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 10 Comments
Leopard Shark Caught On Imperial Beach Pier
Recently I came across an article, or maybe it was a photo-essay in IB Patch about fishermen on the Imperial Beach pier. After reading the article, my first thought was; what a boring, poorly photographed article. There was no action, no substance and no grit, just people standing on the IB pier with fishing rods & reels. I felt I could do better, so I headed down to IB pier to check out the action.
Guitar Fish On Imperial Beach
As I walked onto Imperial Beach pier, there was a fisherman that had a guitar fish on his line. The shark was much too heavy to reel 30 feet onto the pier so the angler had his friend hold the rod so he could go down to the beach to unhook and then release the shark, with everyone looking on.
Guitar Fish Held Over Imperial Beach
There is something very ugly about pulling life from the ocean for nothing more than sport. We are the only species that allows something as weird as “catch and release.” Just imagine there was a restaurant where, if you take a bite of food you’ll get dragged away from the table, pulled under the nearest body of water, photographed and then thrown back onto land. Do you think any human would tolerate that?
Guitar Fish Have Eyes & Feelings Too
The guitar fish you see above was a victim of some guy just having fun. I see eyes, a mouth, gills and a body so that tells me this shark can see, eat, breathe and feel. It’s very hard for me to watch people hurt animals in situations like what you see above and not do anything about it. If you want to be cruel and unusual, you get a free pass if you do it to any form of aquatic life, unless you do it in front of me. I’m just letting you know.
Guitar Fish About To Be Thrown Back Into The Pacific Ocean
I know there was never a point in history when it all of a sudden became OK to use this planet and other life forms on it like a commodity or as a form of recreation. What I do not know is if there will ever be a point in time when it’s not OK to do that anymore. Think about this… It’s illegal to physically harm another human (unless you’re a cop) and sometimes it’s even illegal to say hurtful words to another human. Why is it then we can do unto others what we don’t allow to be done to ourselves?
Leopard Shark On Imperial Beach Pier
Above is a small leopard shark, caught while fishing off Imperial Beach pier. Sharks are one of those survivors that outlived the dinosaurs and hopefully will outlive us as well. Our amazing intellect allows us to buy everything we need at Wal-Mart to end a shark’s life while that same intellect turns a blind eye towards what we are actually doing. Anyway, a crappy article with crappy photographs, along with a sunny San Diego day is what led me to the beach, the fishermen of Imperial Beach pier and this introspective article. I suppose it’s just one more example of the weird way things just work out.
Sharks Swarming Around Imperial Beach Pier
In the video above you’ll see the photos from this post as well as footage of dozens of sharks swimming around Imperial Beach pier. As you’ll see in the video, the sharks were everywhere, looking for food so the fisherman took advantage by merely dipping their lines in the sea below the pier. Standing on a pier holding a length of mono-filament line with food in front of hungry sea animals is a sport? OK, sure.
February 26, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
Plumber Solders Copper Pipe For New Bath Tub Spout
I recently spent about 5 hours assisting a plumber replace my kitchen sink as well as the fixtures in the shower and bathtub. Both faucets were leaking, which is something that is just not tolerated out here in San Diego. We are nestled right between the best are in California and the largest desert in the country so we are very aware of what is going on with our water.
The Kitchen Faucet Gets A Makeover
Now my place is drip-free, sporting shiny new fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. The video below shows the plumber soldering copper pipe for the new bath tub spout ans some other highlights of the experience. Cheers!
January 17, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
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!
Jon & Anton Juggle Fire
Dr. Techno & Valerie Power Behind The Shadow Puppet Show
Technomania Circus Is Flexible
What Is Missing From Our Fire Juggling Act?
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.
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!