Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human

Blog

Walkabout With Penelope

My lovely wife Penelope and I have been taking walks around Downtown recently. I've been shooting photos as we walk. Here are a few random shots from our last two walks:

Click here for the Walkabout Photos

Blog

South Central Farmers Coop: Our First Box... Win!

Today I picked up my first produce box from the South Central Farmers' Coop and its contents were simply amazing.

My lovely wife Penelope and I have been trying out different organic delivery services over the past few months. We started out with L.O.V.E. Organic Delivery, which we really enjoyed, but much of the produce was grown far far a way. The nice thing about L.O.V.E. was that they delivered right to our door every week.

We stopped L.O.V.E. because we really want to support local farmers and not waste energy having our food shipped from other states or countries. Our next move was to try Community Supported Agriculture.

With a CSA you basically buy a semi-yearly share in a farm, if the farm is successful (and most are in sunny Southern California) you get a box of veggies every week. We read great things about Tierra Miguel, so we gave them a try.

Tierra Miguel's boxes were huge, but of the three we picked up, we found their selection to be lacking. This could be related to the season we're in right now, but for us, it was just too much greens. Our first two boxes were almost entirely different varieties of lettuce, and several bunches of each kind. TM's quality was top-notch, but for our small family of two, it was just too much. And for $45 a week, it was just more than we could justify while still having to buy other veggies to round out our meals.

I understand that a big part of the price of the CSA is supporting the farm, but TM just didn't seem like a fit for us. Enter the South Central Farmers' Coop.

South Central Farmers

Bordering on a reasonable amount of vegetables for two people in one week, the South Central Farmers' Coop box was packed full of beautiful organic, locally-grown vegetables.

Initially we didn't go with the SCFC due to the lack of fruit in their offerings. Today when I went and picked up the box at the Farmer's Market at City Hall I also picked up some organic fruit from the other vendors at the market, so that solved that problem. Once I got the box home and opened it up I was amazed. So many quality veggies inside, including:

  • Spring Onions
  • Red Romaine lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Red Beets
  • Golden Beets
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Swiss Chard
  • Black Kale
  • Blue Kale

I don't think we've ever prepared golden beets, but we love beets, and Penelope has a mean recipe for salt crusted beets with horseradish creme fraiche. I actually didn't realize you could eat kale, but I've already found some good recipes for it creamed. I make a mean fava bean cassoulet, and today at the Nickel, owner Monica May gave me a great recipe that I think I'll try.

We're very excited about the SCF Coop box, and we'll almost certainly buy a whole season's worth. The boxes were only $15 a month for the cheapest option, but you can pay more to support the farm or pay $30 and someone who can't afford it will get a free box... now that is cool. We'll most likely do the buy one, give one deal when we subscribe.

South Central Farmers

At first sight, the amount of vegetable matter contained in the SCF Coop produce box is deceiving.

South Central Farmers' Cooperative Produce Box South Central Farmers' Cooperative Produce Box
Blog

Tamrac 619 Revisited: Too Big, Too Heavy For Daily Use

Due to its massive size and weight when loaded with camera gear, I am no longer using the Tamrac 619 as my daily-carry bag. Last year I wrote about switching to the Tamrac 619. It served me pretty well until one day when it nearly broke my back.

The Tamrac 619 is a huge bag. Like everything from Tamrac it is constructed from tough, high-quality materials, and designed to last a long time. Unfortunately for me, my eyes were bigger than my stomach (shoulder?) on this one. Fully loaded, the 619 weighed in at almost 40 lbs! Way too much to wear on my shoulder every day.

After I nearly threw my back out, I went down to Samy's to peruse their selection of camera bags. I needed shoulder bag that provided quick access to my camera, had room for a couple of lenses and had a padded laptop enclosure to fit my MacBook Pro.

Up until this point I had sworn by Tamrac bags, but they just didn't make one that I felt really good about carrying around every day. After looking around I found the super-tough and non-camera-bag-looking ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50.

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50

The ThinkTank bags are designed to not look like camera bags. The Urban Disguise 50 looks just like a laptop bag, but has some really nice features. Obviously it has room for cameras, but it also has lots of nice pockets for various gear and accessories, a laptop sleeve, a super-comfy shoulder strap and an integrated rain fly.

The guys are ThinkTank really went all out with their design, including unique features like a hidden pocket, super-tough ballistic nylon and YKK zippers. I love this bag and will likely devote a post to it for a more thorough review at some point.

Bottom Line

The Tamrac 619 is a well-constructed bag, but it is simply too massive to carry around every day. I still use it to carry equipment for big shoots, and at some point it will become my RedRock Micro DSLR rig case. If you need a giant bag, this one certainly meets that requirement, just don't try and carry it with you every day.

Tamrac 619

The massive Tamrac 619 / Super Pro 19 with a 77mm lens cap provided for scale.

Blog

Wet Shaving: Save Money, Reduce Burn, Get a Better Shave

A few years ago I switched to wet shaving and in doing so I saved money, got rid of my razor burn and now get a much closer shave.

Wet shaving involves using a badger brush and good ol' shaving soap. You soak the badger brush with water and coat it with shaving soap. You then spend a few minutes working up a nice thick lather. I form the lather directly on my face, but many folks prefer to use a separate bowl to do so.

Don't be fooled by the photo below, I actually use handmade natural soap from Classic Shaving. I just happen to put it in a vintage Old Spice mug. The shaving soap lasts for months and is much cheaper and more effective than the store bought glop in a can.

For the actual shaving I use a vintage Gillette safety razor. It has a nice large handle and feels well balanced in your hand. It's called the Fat Boy and is especially popular with vintage shave enthusiasts.

The blades I use are made by a Japanese company called Feather. They're pretty much the sharpest razor blades you can buy and they work wonders. You can get a pack of ten for about six bucks from Classic Shaving. That equals big savings if you consider that Gillette five pack of Mach 3 blades will run you around $15.

Regardless of price, the sharper blades combined with the badger brush and soap have eliminated the razor burn I used to get. Plus, wet shaving is fun!

Wet Shaving Kit

Blog

Rickey The Pirate Housewarming Party

Last night Penelope and I attended Downtown LA icon Rickey The Pirate's housewarming party at The Exchange. After 30 years living on the street Rickey finally has a place to hang his (pirate) hat. Rickey had a blast and received tons of gifts to help furnish his new apartment at the Rainbow.

Penelope and I brought him various food items and a first aid kit. Penelope also gave him a beautiful handmade card she put together with her card making kit. Here are a couple photos from the event:

Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn

Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn

Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn
Blog

Wired Gallery: Igniting a Star With Laser Light

A few months ago while on a San Francisco vacation with my lovely wife Penelope, I took a tour of Livermore Lab's National Ignition Facility.

NIF is an amazing experiment designed to create fusion using lasers. As you've probably noticed, I love lasers and robots, and NIF employs both to get its job done. The NIF gallery just went up on Wired.com. It uses the new gallery format which allows for bigger pictures and the ability to view the whole thing at once. NIF is probably the coolest thing I have ever photographed.

Click the photo below to see the gallery:

Energy of the Future: Igniting a Star With Laser Light

Screengrab hosted by flickr.