Coronado Sandman Street Art

August 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Coronado-Sandman

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.

Coronado Concert – Rockola In Spreckels Park

August 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Rockola-Concert-Spreckels-Park-Coronado

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!

coronado-spreckels-park-rockola-concert

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!

Cosplay At Comic-Con

July 27, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

cosplay-comic-con-2011-san-diego

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-2011-san-diego

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-predator-comic-con-2011-san-diego

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.

monty-python-holy-grail-comic-con-2011

Monty Python Cosplayers at Comic-Con

        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!

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.

Leopard Sharks & Guitar Fish Around Imperial Beach Pier

May 4, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

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.

imperial-beach-pier-fishing-sharks

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 On Imperial Beach

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 Held Over Imperial Beach

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 On Imperial Beach

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 IB Imperial Beach Pier

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.

Plumber Welds Copper Pipe, Replaces Kitchen Sink, Tub & Shower Fixtures

February 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Plumber Solders Shower Fixture Bath Tub Spout

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.

Plumber Under Sink Replaces Kitchen Faucet

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!

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!

Angelique: Living Music Box

December 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Angelique Living Music Box

Angelique: The Living Music Box

Angelique Living Music Box

Angelique Living Music Box

        Zoe Tantrum is the artist responsible for creating this living music box. If you like these photos, be sure to check out my earlier post which has more photos of Angelique: Living Music Box as well as photos of La Mesa, CA during their annual Christmas festival.

La Mesa Firefighters Jaws Of Life Rescue

December 18, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

La Mesa Car Accident Jaws Of Life Rescue

Car Accident Near University Ave. & La Mesa Blvd

        I happened onto an accident scene where the car was mangled bad enough that the jaws of life had to be used by La Mesa firefighters to extract the driver from the car. It appeared to me the car above was T-boned while pulling out of the Social Security building on University Ave. This is the car’s permanent good side, as you’ll see from the photos below.

La Mesa Car Accident Jaws Of Life Rescue

Explaining What Is About To Happen

        Something I noticed was that the firefighters did what they could to help shield the driver from view as hundreds of cars drove by (and perhaps from me as well) by standing in front of the window and keeping a tight perimeter around her once she was out of the vehicle and onto the stretcher, which I thought was very thoughtful of them.

La Mesa Car Accident Jaws Of Life Rescue

The Jaws Of Life Arrive On The Scene

        The firefighters took the jaws right to the hinges of the door and then just pulled the whole thing right off the car, which made it possible to get the driver out, onto a backboard and onto the stretcher.

La Mesa Car Accident Jaws Of Life Rescue

Firefighters & Paramedics Of La Mesa, CA

        At took less than three minutes to get the door off once they started into it with the jaws of life. It’s good to see first hand just how well trained and efficient these men and women are. La Mesa residents, you can sleep soundly at night thanks to what these super heroes do. Below is a short video of the firefighters going to work on the car with the jaws of life.

Jaws Of Life Rescue By La Mesa Firefighters

Technomania Circus: The Xmas Show

December 13, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Mary Christmas At The Door Of Technomania Circus

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

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Technomania Circus’s Stage Decorated For Christmas

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

Technomania Circus Christmas Show 2010

The Audience Eagerly Awaits The Start Of The Show

Technomania Circus Christmas- Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

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

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

The Elves Arrive And The Show Begins

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

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

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

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas Show 2010

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

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

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

A Christmas Miracle, Then Grandpa Chopped Down The Tree

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

The Weldermen Ominously Appear On Stage

Technomania Circus Christmas - Show 2010

Blacklight Theater And Techno Santa

Highlights From Technomania Circus’s Christmas Show 2010

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

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.”

Photography Is Not A Crime

August 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Carlos Miller Being Attacked On The Miami Metrorail For Taking Pictures

        Carlos Miller, a Miami blogger is the chief cook and bottle washer of the website, Photography Is Not A Crime. He started the website back in 2007 when he was arrested for taking pictures of Miami police officers… From a public sidewalk! After being acquitted of all charges, he began to look for and blog about other instances of photographers being detained, harassed and arrested for taking pictures (which is protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution) from a public vantage point. What that means to the layperson is that if you can see something from a public place, you are allowed to photograph it. This includes federal buildings, bridges, police officers, protest marches, arrests, fires, traffic accidents, beaches and parks.
        This really is a common sense idea that shouldn’t NEED an actual amendment to the constitution, but our fore-fathers had incredible fore-sight, and we should thank the creator they did. For some unknown reason, public servants, police officers and security guards think they can CREATE laws, because they ENFORCE laws.

San Diego Trolley Guards Prohibit Photography

        The video above was filmed by me on September 5, 2009, a little after 8pm at the 12th & Imperial trolley station in San Diego, CA. My original blog post that featured this video can be viewed here. In a nutshell, the man being tackled was illegally smoking in the transit center, refused to put out his cigarette and was subsequently tackled to the ground and led away in handcuffs. The problem, or the issue that I had with all of this was that the security guards told me I was not allowed to take pictures. To me, this was an instant red flag. Four non-peace officers (private citizens) tackled a man, put him in hand cuffs and led him away in a PUBLIC transit station, yet photographing the event was prohibited?!? Bullshit. I shopped the video around and it was picked up by the local NBC affiliate less than two weeks later. It was while shopping the video that I came across Carlos Miller’s website, contacted him and he featured the video and the story in an article in February 2010. After Carlos Miller ran my story, the San Diego Reader also ran a story, later in the month. The author of the SD Reader story, Kathryn Snyder found out that the security firm would not release the incident report for the arrest, and this was also reported in a second article on Carlos Miller’s site.
        It wasn’t until it happened to me that I realized just how widespread this problem is. Police and security guards have no right to prohibit photography in a public place, yet they are doing so ALL THE TIME. It was a wake up call because hardly any of the hundreds of similar incidents that Carlos Miller has reported on his blog over the last three years get reported by the mainstream media. Until now, that is, and it’s all thanks to Carlos Miller. So, I would very much recommend that you look at through his website and realize the good he is doing for all of us. PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME!

Technomania Circus Time Travel Show

July 19, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Technomania Circus

Welcome To Technomania Circus

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

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

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

Dr. Techno At Technomania Circus

Dr. Techno At Technomania Circus

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

Technomania Circus

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

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

Technomania Circus

Cavemen

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

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

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

Technomania Circus

The Pharaoh Ramses Balances On His Big Blue Ball

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

Technomania Circus

Jesus Hubert Christ!

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

Technomania Circus

Henry VIII Is Entertained At The Palace

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

Technomania Circus

The Wild West

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

Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus

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

Technomania Circus

Space Pirates!

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

Technomania Circus

At Some Point In History We Discovered Fire

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

Technomania Circus Presents The Time Travel Show

Keychain Spy Camera vs Nikon D5000

July 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Keychain Camera Opened Up

Keychain Camera After I messed With It

        Yesterday was the 4th of July and San Diego held their annual BOOM ON THE BAY last night. I was there, and SDMTS, which is San Diego’s public transportation system was flawless in getting me there and back in just over 3 hours. I had about 10 pounds of photographic gear on my person, but managed to forget my camera. Yes, I went to the largest fireworks display on the west coast and forgot to bring my camera. ‘Nuff said.

Keychain Camera 1280x960

1280×960 Resolution Video Camera

        Since I have no fireworks photos to work on, I had to find another way to occupy my time. I decided to modify my new keychain spy camera to be even better than it was when I bought it. The problem was that the camera was at the bottom of the fob. This meant I had to hold it like a wand, which is not spy-like at all. I really wanted the camera to face 90 degrees to the front or the back so I could paste the keychain camera to something, without it sticking out.

Keychain Camera Opened Up

Keychain Camera About To Be Modified

        I disassembled the keychain camera and found the lens to be held in place with glue. I removed the glue and repositioned the camera 90 degrees so it would be pointed out the back of the fob. I drilled two holes to accommodate the new position of the lens. Yes, only one hole was necessary but as the photo below shows, I misjudged the first time.

Keychain Camera Modified

Modified Keychain Camera

        Now I can wear this keychain video camera as a necklace, rather than pointing it like a laser pointer at my subject. The only reason I bought this keychain camera was so I can record people and events without me having to use my hands. The position the lens was in when purchased pretty much makes it necessary to hold the camera in your hand while extending your arm. My mod allows the camera to be used as a necklace.
        The two videos below compare the keychain camera to the Nikon D5000, in terms of video capability. The keychain claims to have 1280×960, 30fps resolution, while the D5000 is 1280×720, 24fps. I think the videos speak for themselves. The D5000 has FAR superior video capabilities than the keychain camera, and the keychain camera’s claims of being HD are false.

Keychain Camera From The Trolley

        Above you see footage taken with a 1280×960 resolution camera encoded at 720p. I have footage from the same trolley ride taken with a Nikon D5000. The D5000 video is much better than the keychain video.

Video Taken With My Nikon D5000

        The video footage above is superior to the keychain camera. I’m not saying that the keychain camera won’t help you out in a pinch, I’m saying that it is not an HD video camera. I’m going to wear it with a lanyard when I go out shooting from now on though. Hands free video recording of any person that challenges me while taking pictures is worth it’s weight in gold for me.

Construction In La Mesa, California

May 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Construction In La Mesa, CA

General Labor In La Mesa, CA

        These guys have been digging, drilling and filling for a few days now and even though I have no idea what the Hell they are doing, it is still interesting to watch.

Construction In La Mesa, CA

Using A Jackhammer

Retrieving The Ball

Whew! The Ball Is Safe

        Across the street from the construction is the Christ Lutheran Church, which also contains a school. A rubber ball made it over the security fence of the school and rolled down the street where it came to rest at the entrance to a storm drain. Luckily for the students, the ball is slightly larger than the drain, so this good Samaritan lady was able to retrieve the ball for the children.

Construction In La Mesa, CA

Jackhammer Through Concrete

        The ground level of this gas station is no match for the relentless beat of a jackhammer. One man with a jackhammer and another with a heavy steel bar equals one hole in the ground. The short video below helps to illustrate this point.

Broken Fire Hydrant Fixed By Firefighters

May 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Fire Hydrant Fountain

Fire Hydrant Water Fountain

        I heard it before I saw it. Thousands of gallons of water shooting into the air, splashing onto the ground and flowing down the street.

Fire Hydrant Fountain

Broken Fire Hydrant Creates A Water Fountain

        It turned out that some one knocked over a fire hydrant so a 25 foot water fountain ensued. The La Mesa fire department arrived on the scene and shut down the water. Good job guys!

La Mesa Community Officer

La Mesa Community Service Officer – First On Scene

Fire Hydrant And Firefighters

Firefighters On The Scene

        Through an access near the edge of the street, the firefighters used a T shaped tool turn a subterranean valve that stopped the flow of water. The 1 minute video below was shot with my Nikon D5000.

Balboa Park Security Guards

May 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Very Secret Balboa Park Fountain

Unauthorized Balboa Park Fountain Photography

        Today I had a run in with security guards inside of Balboa Park in San Diego. I was taking photos of the defunct fountain, surrounded by yellow flowers you see above when a security guard drove up in a truck and asked me for my ID. I said I would not show him my ID, which angered him, so he called for back-up. His back-up was another Balboa Park security guard that also asked for my ID. I refused to give him my ID as well, so he said, “then I’m gonna treat you like a criminal.” The video below was shot during the altercation.
        Despite the camera being aimed at the guards’ crotch for most of the time, there are a few audio highlights of from this 4 minute video.

        At about the 1:20 mark, the first guard implies that I have something to hide because I won’t show him my ID. He then says that people over the age of eighteen are required to have ID at all times. I then ask him if citizens over the age of eighteen are required to show ID to a non-peace officer at any given time just because he says. The guard doesn’t answer my question, he merely states that the only difference between what he does and a peace officer does is location. He also states he can arrest me, and cite me. When I point out that it would be a citizen’s arrest he said, it would NOT be because there are city and municipal codes that allow “us” to arrest people.
        Just before the 3 minute mark, when I point out that I may want to see the guard’s ID, and that if he doesn’t show me that I may arrest HIM, he says I’m being a “pain in the ass” and that it’ll be easier for me if I just give him my ID.
        At the 3:15 mark, the other security guard shows up, and he was just a comical person on a power trip. He starts out by driving his truck over the curb and onto the flowers. This guy then speaks with a voice of authority, using long, unnecessary pauses and hand gestures for emphasis. He tells me to relax, follow his instructions, and give him my ID. I refuse so he says he’s going to treat me like a criminal. He also says to turn off my camera, remove it from my body and place it on the ground. I did turn the camera off, but I swear it was an accident… I forgot I was shooting video, so the remaining 5 minutes of the altercation, including the arrival of the cops was not captured.

        So there you have it. Just one more example of non-peace officer security guards that think they are cops, yet they called the cops when I wouldn’t show my ID. So remember, be polite, stand your ground and don’t buy in to what a security guard tells you. Just from this 4 minute video we hear Balboa Park security guards make the following claims: 1. They can arrest people that don’t show ID, because special municipal and state codes allow them to do so. 2. They will “treat you like a criminal” if you don’t show ID. 3. If you have a camera, they will want you to place it on the ground. Pathetic.

Riding The Trolley In San Diego

April 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Gorilla at Wild Animal Park in San Diego, CA

I Don’t Want To Ride The Trolley

        This gorilla, as photographed by me at the Wild Animal Park this weekend has a very distinct look. He has the look of a person that is about to start their commute on San Diego’s public transit system. SDMTS has a new commercial that, for some reason highlights the travel of a hot, young couple that have never been on the trolley or a bus before. People that only ride the trolley to Padres games, Chargers games and special events in downtown San Diego. Events that get extra trolley service added, to ensure that sports or Earth Day fans will feel they get their $5 worth out of a day pass. I think SDMTS should film a commercial showing people that have to use the trolley to get to and from work on a daily basis. The gorilla above, with his scowl should star in that commercial.
        Those of us that have the special event of “going to work” on the trolley or bus get less than nothing. We have experienced a 40% reduction in service, yet fair weather baseball fans get special, added shuttle service, via the trolley to PETCO Park. Chargers game on Sunday? No problem. SDMTS adds special trolley service from downtown to Qualcomm Stadium on a SINGLE trolley on game days. Do you have to commute to work on a non game day? Tough shit, non-sports fan. Going to work on weekdays is less important to SDMTS than going football or baseball games on the weekend.
        Allow me to dust off an old gem by reminding everyone of this video I shot back in September, 2009. In it you will see a public commuter have his head crushed under the knee of a trolley security guard, and then the guards turn on me for filming it. I should have worn a Chargers jersey I guess, and then I would have been given preferential treatment, instead of being treated like an average commuter.

San Diego Trolley Police Were Wrong

September 21, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

Trolley Police Have No Right To Prohibit Photography

        The proof is in the pudding. The video above was broadcast on Friday, September 18th, 2009 on San Diego’s local NBC News affiliate 7/39 at 11pm. What more can I say other than this is a very distinct victory for photographers’ rights. We are allowed to shoot video or take pictures at trolley stations, and San Diego Trolley police have NO RIGHT to ask or make a photographer stop.

        The entire statement, made by Ken Moller of Heritage Security Services is as follows:

“We have no right to tell people they can’t shoot (video) down there. My officers were wrong in telling him that. And I put the word out as soon as I saw the video. It’s a public place and people can certainly shoot video down there if they want to.”

        So there you have it. Here is what I have learned from this experience. If an authority figure challenges you while taking photos or shooting video, be polite. Ask them if you are violating any law, and KEEP ROLLING during the transaction. As a photographer, I hate to say it, but this would not have made the evening news if I wasn’t shooting video, so make sure to switch to video mode as soon as you see an authority figure approaching you.

        Now we know why video mode is important to us photographers… Not to add a bullet to your wedding photography resume, but rather to protect yourself and to show in HD quality just how your rights are being violated.

        Below you will find the video that started it all, and above will you find the video that decided it all.

Technomania Circus On Video

September 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Jealous Fire & A Beautiful Woman

Beauty & Danger At Technomania Circus

Technomania Circus is also host to music acts that range from normal guys with guitars to to men in full-on welding rigs that use fire and brimstone as their instruments. The video at the top as one of those, the video below is somewhat more traditional.

San Diego Trolley Police Prohibit Photography

September 7, 2009 by · 42 Comments 

          It would seem that San Diego Trolley Police need a few lessons in local law. The man on the ground, was smoking in the 12th & Imperial Transit Center in San Diego, CA. This happened on September 5th, 2009 at 8:20pm. Assuming that what you see the San Diego Trolley Transit Police doing is legal and assuming the transit police are keeping other public commuters safe, there should be no issue with photography taking place. If a protector of the public, whose salary is drawn from the taxes of the public is also prohibiting the public from LEGAL activities, then San Diego trolley police are breaking the law. Heritage Security has a 5 year, $25 million with San Diego which was signed in January, 2006. The hierarchy seems to be: Unarmed trolley officer, armed trolley officer, armed supervisor, armed lieutenant and armed captain. If I read the contract correctly, unarmed San Diego trolley police officers receive a 2.5% annual pay increase, while armed trolley police officers receive a 3.5% annual pay increase. There are also small pay increases every 6 months, assuming performance is satisfactory. As San Diego trolley police have constant interaction with the public, why do they prohibit photography of themselves if they are performing their job in a satisfactory manner? The contract makes no mention of a photography ban nor does it state what qualifies satisfactory performance versus unsatisfactory performance.

Some highlights from the video above are:

1) For the first 40 seconds or so, the man on the ground makes numerous requests for the officer closest to me to get his knee off of his head, and specifically, his scar which was obtained during a recent surgery to remove cancer.
2) At the 15 second mark, a female officer crosses the Trolley tracks and says, “Get away with that camera!” I can be heard to ask, “How far?” The San Diego Trolley Police Officer says, “You’re not allowed to take pictures.”
3) At the two minute mark, right after a bus passes between me and the officers and their handcuffed smoker, the same female officer from before (now on the left side of the screen) looks at me, walks to her colleagues as says something. A second later three officers turn around and look right at me. The female officer points at me, which causes a one of her own to approach me for the ensuing challenge.

        UPDATE! Read my follow-up post here. My video is featured on NBC 7/39 San Diego News. Watch my interview and read a statement made by Heritage Security regarding the situation. Suffice to say that photography at San Diego Trolley Stations is in fact 100% LEGAL!

Moving Trolley

Trolley Stations Are Public Property

          Photography is not illegal. You’ll hear me say that a half dozen times or so in the video, as well as asking if I am in violation of any law. Two of the San Diego Trolley Cops told me I was not allowed to take pictures. Interesting. We public commuters can look at them, show them our tickets, obey orders given by them, be tackled to the ground by them and placed, in handcuffs inside SUV’s with dark tinted windows, BUT WE CAN NOT PHOTOGRAPH THEM DOING ANY OF IT! Or so they say, at least in this video.

          San Diego trolley police officers that don’t want pictures taken of them while they do their job are out of luck. If they are captured on film while tackling some one to the ground, why would photography be prohibited unless they were doing something illegal? I have emailed Heritage Security asking this question but got no reply. I would appeal to visit the contact page of Heritage Security and ask them. On that page you will find and email link with text that says [email protected], but when you hover over the link it says the email is [email protected] I hope their trolley police officer selection process is not as disorganized as their website.

San Diego Trolley Police 12th & Imperial Transit Center

A Transit Station At Night Can Be Scary Enough on It’s Own