Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Blog Posts

Norton Sales HDR Photo Essay

I have an undying love for junk. Growing up I spent countless hours digging through my fathers' collection of vacuum tubes and old radios. The junk box, filled with untold thousands of assorted screws, bolts, nails and other detritus, was my playground. When I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and my father started working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he took me to what is arguably the world's greatest salvage yard, The Black Hole. I ended up working at Ed Grothus' amazing junkyard for 3 summers during my years in high school.

Recently I took a tour of APEX Electronics with the Dorkbot Socal group and shot some HDR photos of what I saw. Last week a saw an article in the LA Times about Norton Sales, and decided I had to go and shoot some HDR photos of their collection. I emailed the owner, Carlos, a link to my APEX photos and asked if I could come by and do a shoot. He was in to the idea, so on Sunday I drove up to North Hollywood and shot the following photos:

High Pressure Flex Hoses

Rocket Booster

More photos after the jump...

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Photos

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Blog Posts

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Blog Posts

Small Turnout for Minutemen / CAB Protest

More Police Than Protesters

The notification on the DLANC mailing list said the CAB protest was expecting 200 protesters and 200,000 spectators. I laughed when I read that and responded that I figured it would be more like 200 of each. I walked down to Broadway to check it out and as it turns out, 200 was probably a bit of a high estimate. There were roughly 100 protesters, surrounded by close to 200 police officers. The spectators maybe numbered 100 people, who were shouting and laughing and the very serious and likely racist group of mostly minutemen, with a few CAB folks thrown in for good measure.

Ted Hayes started the CAB, which stands for Crispus Attucks Brigade and according to their website their mission is to:

move American Blacks peoples to take their rightful and dutiful role to stop illegal immigration into the United States of America

Despite the racist placards the protesters were carrying:

The Minute Man Project is not racist, even as American Blacks citizens and the Crispus Attucks Brigade is not racist against the Brown/Bronze Indio Indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America.

More photos can be found here.

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Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Blog Posts

Midnight Aerial Filming in Downtown Los Angeles

There is currently a large helicopter flying almost directly above my loft. It has been circling for nearly 2 hours. The helicopter is part of a film crew that is filming a block north of my loft. The crew is parked both in the parking lot next to my loft, and the lot across the street where I park.

We were not notified. My wife has to wake up at 4:30 AM tomorrow for nursing school. It is almost midnight. I do not know where to turn in this situation.

I started out by calling 311, they forwarded me to the non-emergency LAPD dispatch who forwarded me to the LAPD's Air Support Watch Commander. The Sergeant on watch was a nice fellow, and I could tell he felt bad that he couldn't do anything about the disturbance. The deal is that if there is a permit, they have every right to be in the air, no matter who they are. He said that if I had a complaint I would need to jot down the tail letters and call the company in charge of the bird.

UPDATE I currently don't see or hear the helicopter, so hopefully the crew has wrapped for the night. Either way my wife is wearing ear protection and seems to be fast asleep.

UPDATE Part 2 Oh joy the helicopter is back. So far I've been contacted by 4 other Downtown residents. Eric Richardson blogged about it. The adhoc DLACN Film Issues meeting tomorrow today should be quite interesting. I won't be able to make it, but my wife will be there to voice our opinions.

UPDATE Part 3It is now 5am, my wife is getting up for nursing school, normally I would be asleep, but the crew is banging poles on the ground as they disassemble the circus tents in the parking lot across the street from my loft. Time for me to don the ear protection. Nice.

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Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Photos

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Blog Posts

Problems with FilmLA

Filming and the Entertainment Industry in general are both huge sources of revenue for both Angelenos and the City of Los Angeles. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and I think it is cool that they are commonly filmed in my neighborhood. In no way do I want to see the industry move out of Los Angeles, or even Downtown, not that it would even if it could. Those points aside, there are some serious problems with they way shoots are planned and executed, especially in Downtown.

A bit over a month ago I wrote an emotionally charged piece about my run-in with an especially rude film crew member. The response that I received from fellow downtown dwellers was amazing. Last week, one of the people who first contacted me about the post, Bert Green, started a thread on a Downtown mailing list and posted the responses.

Over the weekend the DLANC powers that be added an addendum to the meeting that was to take place the following Monday, and were able to get a representative from FilmLA to come down and talk to the community and the council. I missed most of the meeting, but I came in time to hear the FilmLA guy talk about how there would be "too much information" if they were to post all the notifications on their website. He also said that trying to send "those union people" to courtesy training would be impossible.

One thing I found especially funny was that he said there were good Location Managers and bad ones, and the bad ones spoil it for everyone, he then went on to name the Location Manager for the recent Tranformers shoot as one of the good ones. The Transformers shoot where they blew up a truck at 7am on a Saturday after only giving notification to residents on the same block. The explosion could be heard for miles.

As I see it there are some issues with FilmLA, which I am sure we will be addressed in the near future, mostly because their contract is up in June: FilmLA's funding comes from the permit fees the collect, that right there is a huge conflict of interest. FilmLA has failed and continues to fail to properly notify residents of pending shoots. FilmLA has little or no government or citizen oversight of the approval process Production companies that continually break the rules are still issued permits and there are no consequences for their actions

The meeting was attended by nearly ever Downtown LA blogger, including: Ed (who wrote about the meeting), Jim, Celia, Don, Ben, and Ginny. If you are interested in being a part of the solution, DLANC has created a task force to deal with the problems and the first meeting is this coming Monday in the P.E. Lofts. More details along with Ginny-Marie's notes from the meeting after the jump.

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Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Photos

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Photos

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Blog Posts

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Photos

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Photos

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Blog Posts

LA Marathon <del>N</del>IMBY

My wife is a runner, but I am not. She ran cross country (not literally) in High School and went to college on a track scholarship. She has been quite busy as of late with nursing school and work and hasn't had much of a chance to get out and run as she would like. She has yet to run a marathon, but I know that is one of her unspoken goals in life.

This Sunday the LA Marathon is taking place, and due to a change in routes to allow easier access to churches for churchgoers, it is going right though my back yard. I am pretty excited that I will be able to perch atop my roof and take photos of the runners on their home stretch. Look forward to some photos of the Marathon posted up here sometime soon.

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Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Blog Posts

Joost Beta for OS X

I just got an invite token for Joost now that they support OS X, (thanks for the invite xeni). So far it seems pretty cool, I watched a couple of national geographic episodes. The way in which Joost stops for commercial breaks is annoying, although it is only shows 1 short commercial, the timing of the breaks doesn't coincide with a stopping point in the actual media you're watching. The interface is really slick, and the social networking aspects seem pretty damn cool, although I didn't find anyone else watching what I was watching so some of the features weren't really useable, like chat for instance. There is also very little content in the system right now, but I'm guessing that will change rapidly. I searched for "monkey" and found nothing, while photography turned up only 2 hits. If Joost takes off I can see the big networks putting their content on it, and that would rock.

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Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Blog Posts

CBS vs. LAPD on Immigration Rally

So I saw an email this morning on our mailing list about CBS reporting that a request for an immigration rights rally being denied by the LAPD. The next email I saw was an email from LAPD's E-Policing system in which they are telling me that there will be a large rally on February 24th:

  • 2/24/2007 Full Rights for Immigrants
  • TIME: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • ASSEMBLY: Washington and Broadway
  • ROUTE: Broadway heading South to Temple Street, Temple E to corner of LA St and Temple St.
  • CONTACT: Juan Jose Guiterrez (323) 269-6069

I am going to go ahead and take LAPD's word on this one and will be there with my camera to capture the event for posterity.

Update LAT has some coverage [bugmenot] on this as well, and it is possible that the LAPD email blast went out before they realized there was a problem.

Update 2 So I called the LAPD and they told me that the permit has been denied for the 24th, but then I called the event's contact and they told me the event will still be taking place on the 24th, they flyers are printed and that's what the date says. Discussing this with Eric Richardson he said, "basically it's a test of whether police departments have any right to grant permits for this sort of thing." This should be very interesting.

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Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Blog Posts

Really Right Stuff B5D-L

The Really Right Stuff B5D-L bracket is my third bracket from RRS. RRS Makes custom brackets for cameras and lenses that fit into Arca-Swiss style clamps. I fell in love with their products when I bought my 20D bracket, due to the amazing quality of workmanship and the fit and finish. I have been very happy with my 5D bracket, except for one thing that I recently noticed. The bracket wasn't touching the the side of the camera and so in portrait shots it could flex or vibrate.

I called RRS today and talked to Joe who was very helpful, he told me I could loosen the screw and push the bracket over a tiny bit in order for it to touch the side. It worked, although it is only barely touching the side of the camera now. The 20D bracket made full contact along the side of the camera body and was much more solid. He noted that although their tolerances where very tight, within 5 thousands of an inch, the outside of a camera body may have larger variances. He said I could send it in and they would look at it, but because they are located in San Luis Obispo, asked if I could drop by some day and take a tour of their shop and have him fit it to my camera, which he said would be fine. He also said that they would be working on a fix for this in the next version. I'll let you know what happens when I go.

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Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Blog Posts

NewsFire

For years I have used NetNewsWire as my RSS feed reader and until it was bought by Newsgator, I had planned on buying the pro version. A few weeks ago I decided to buy an RSS reader, so I tried out NewsFire. I really like the interface and how snappy the application worked, even with my hundreds of RSS feeds. I bought a license and have been very happy with it so far except for a small problem that I have contacted the developer about. Flickr's photo tag feeds contain an enclosure that links to the full sized image files:

I feel the polite way for a newsreader to handle a binary enclosure, is to offer a button or link that would allow the user to download said item. Unfortunately, NewsFire only does this with MP3 files, so every time I try and view a flickr tag feed I have to scroll through a massive full sized image, which can be upwards of 7 or 8 megs in the extreme. The developer responded that NewsFire wasn't currently in a development cycle, so he didn't know when he would be addressing the issue. I hope it is soon, being able to comfortably view images from flick is one of the primary reasons I use a news reader.

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Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Blog Posts

Rude Film Production Crew

I pay a fairly hefty sum of money for parking on a monthly basis as my loft doesn't provide spaces for residents. Today as I was leaving my over-priced parking lot I noticed that the gate I normally exit onto 6th street from was being manned by a security guard for a production company. This production company has taken over most of the ground level parking lot for what appear to be food tents for the actors / extras.

As I pulled up to the gate to leave, I asked the guard if he could open the gate for me, which he told me he couldn't and to turn around and go out on to Main St., which would add about 4 blocks on to my commute as I would be forced to navigate around 4 one-way streets to get back on to 6th. I told him that I pay a good deal of money for parking at the lot and that it would be nice if he could let me out. He said he didn't give a damn how much I paid and if I wanted to get out I could open the gate my damn self. As I was opening the gate he called me an asshole and muttered something under his breath which sounded like a threat.

This is another example of how Downtown residents are treated as second class citizens by the movie industry. They should realize that they are guests in our neighborhood and treat us respectfully. Of course there were no filming notifications posted up in our parking garage, so I have no one to contact to report this incident to.

Update Oops, I accidentally left commenting turned off, but beopenguin emailed me to let me know the number for FilmLA which I called, and I also emailed them at &#105;&#110;&#102;&#111;&#64;&#x66;&#x69;&#x6c;&#109;&#x6c;&#97;&#x69;&#x6e;&#x63;&#x2e;&#x63;&#111;&#x6d;. I know that I am not the only Downtown resident how has had issues with film crews in my neighborhood. It is time that the industry started respecting the residents of their city.

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Monday, February 5th, 2007

Blog Posts

Fire on 4th and Broadway

Raging Fire

I was awoken this morning, not by my alarm clock, but by the building's fire alarm. We smelled smoke quite strongly, so after getting dressed feeling if my door was warm, I walked out into the hall and looked out the side window. I could see a massive plume of smoke several blocks down towards the Civic Center. Penelope and I walked downstairs and made our way outside, where we met up with our neighbor Shannon.

We arrived on scene at about 5:00am and the fire was raging up out of the roof of a two story building on the North East corner of 4th and Broadway. I started shooting photos and didn't stop until about 8:00am. The fire is mostly smoke now, and the 10 ladder trucks, 10 pump trucks and what must have been nearly 100 brave firefighters. At one point all 10 of the ladder trucks were spraying into the blaze, 800 gallons per minute each, that's a veritable tidal wave of water.

The building was tightly packed with junk, which means plenty of fuel and the fire just kept on going. Finally at about 7:30 the smoke turned white and started to dissipate. I am guessing that the fire should be out any time now.

Both Penelope and Eric Richardson totally scooped me on it, but I took 183 photos and I'm pulling them off the CF card now. Stand by for photos.

Update The photos are uploading, so far 5 are up out of the 33 that I'm posting all uploaded. You can check out the Major Fire on 4th and Broadway gallery here.

A few more photos after the fold.

Update 2 Eric Richardson got some photos, including this one of me taking a photo.

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Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Blog Posts

La Folie

Last night was our final dining experience in San Francisco, and as it turns out we saved the best for last. On the drive up to SF we asked for recommendations via chowhound, and recommendations we received. For our French restaurant we ended up choosing La Folie and we were extremely satisfied.

Read the rest after the jump.

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Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Blog Posts

San Francisco City Hall

City Hall and Sun Behind Trees

In a way, San Francisco City Hall is partially responsible for me being alive today. Way back in the day, my parents were married there in a civil ceremony. The dome of city hall is really beautiful, it looks like it was restored recently. I took some HDR photos of the civic center yesterday, enjoy.

Train stop and City Hall

I love this sign on the playground:

No Adults Allowed

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urban
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crowd
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sky
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electronics
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hat
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part
part
architecture
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lighting
lighting
art
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nature
nature
concert
concert
plant
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night
night
coachella
coachella
glasses
glasses
land
land
recreation
recreation
footwear
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photography
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jewelry
jewelry
indoors
indoors
furniture
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performance
performance
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light
light
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machine
city
city
portrait
portrait
device
device
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club
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electrical
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blue
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room
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stage
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animal
rekognition c
rekognition c
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bag
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life
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interior
microphone
microphone
audience
audience
handbag
handbag
rock
rock
car
car
cap
cap
metropolis
metropolis
computer
computer
music
music
road
road
musical
musical
performer
performer
instrument
instrument
headgear
headgear
activities
activities
leisure
leisure
baseball
baseball
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tree
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shirt
hardware
hardware
necklace
necklace
wood
wood
water
water
entertainer
entertainer
pants
pants
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cloudy
wristwatch
wristwatch
table
table
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screen
coat
coat
chair
chair
grass
grass
fun
fun
monitor
monitor
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mammal
musician
musician
bracelet
bracelet
floor
floor
party
party
arts
arts
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speaker
performing
performing
flooring
flooring
baby
baby
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flare
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pub
cup
cup
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pet
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food
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scenery
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housing
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jeans
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wheel
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junglescene
beverage
beverage
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couch
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weekend
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design
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plywood
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office
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alcohol
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child
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flower
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nightclub
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canine
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boy
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hill