Monday, January 21, 2008

seeing red

RED?! What the heck was I thinking painting my studio red?

I pictured some old traditional library / study somewhere nestled in a castle in a foggy Scottish bog. Problem 1: I didn't want it too dark so I went with a light ( = brighter ) shade of red and 2: this is a modern room with a cove ceiling and slightly round edged corners on the walls. Adding a goldish color for the cover edges didn't help the feeling the circus was in town or an 80's flashback at best. :0)

You get to an "I don't care" stage in a project, if you're lucky it's not until the last bits, where everything fades in importance except completion. Just get it done, done is better than perfect. Red is kind of kooky and I'll take it for now, repaint in 4-5 years when I've got nothing better to do.

The painting was OK. Depressing because I was able to see every little mistake I made drywalling and mudding but nice to see glimpses of a real room. The fun part was wiring this weekend. It's a little geeky, a little technical and maybe I'm just downright childlike about it... building a fort, a hideout, mad scientist labratory - or a studio.

This is the terminal for all the coax, RJ45 and cable whatnot in my house. I've got a SCSI rackmount, hot swappable server sitting on the floor waiting to be installed, wireless junk, routers, switches, distribution amps, on and on. Overkill for a house, marginal for a home office but candy for a cyber geek.

Check out all the Scrapped DVD's sitting in boxes to the left. I should put those bad boys on clearance and liquidate inventory. What would be an appropriate price?

My down time this weekend was soldering up mic connections from the sound booth to the office wall. I popped an elbow CD in the boom box, had a nice slice of chocolate cake and whiffed flux and tin for a couple hours. Ahhh, heaven.

The posted checked out with pretty much no resistance so one more thing checked off the list. Time to cut trim and move stuff across the basement and out of boxes to make some Utopian creative environment.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

la weekend

Connie and I went to LA for the weekend. The movie "Cold Play" that I worked on in LA had it's premiere and we went out to catch up with friends, see the final cut and hang out with the guys who wrote and directed it. Here's me with D. David Morin, a good friend of mine who was the co-creative force of the movie and an all around good guy to hang out with. He seems to have all these creative, affluent, interesting characters for friends that own businesses, travel around the world, make movies and are literally living the dream. I don't know exactly how I became part of the club but will take it. :0)

The room we stayed in was called The Embassy, a block from the beach, right across the street from D. David's pad and a couple blocks from the promenade in Santa Monica. A classic old building built in the golden age of Hollywoodland with all this eclectic fusion of architecture and charm. This was the view that greeted up from the bed. A tough adjustment from 2 degrees and snow back home.

The only lens I've got right now for my new camera is the fixed 50mm so I could only get singular object shots at the premiere. I could bore you with photos of me and people you'd never recognize or present this lovely shot of a main theater light fixture.

One highlight of the weekend for me, outside of the actual movie premier, was brunch at Geoffry's. Wedged between the PCH and some of the juiciest views in Malibu lies this swanky place to meet and greet. I'm not nearly enough of a beautiful person to dine there regularly but love it anyway.

Our group waded past the Bently, Beemer and Ferrari as we excited our Honda Minivan... oh yeah.. as D. David woudl say: that's how we roll baby.

I took this picture because you are looking at what could be the most fortunate cat on the west coast. Apparently it just wandered down from the Malibu hills when they were engulfed in flames and just kind of stayed. It sits on the ledge overlooking the kelp beds and surfers, yawns at celebrities and seems to dominate the top of the "aloof with a view" food chain. Right on Mr. pussycat!

Bloody Mary's, steak and eggs and what has got to be my favorite piece of appetizer on the planet. I don't enjoy sushi, could take or leave avocado but somehow this tower of taste slays me every time I eat it. raw Tuna, fresh avocado, and very hot sauce garnish crowned with caviar. Heavens it's tasty.

Well, back to studio building - the carpet comes in Thursday. I've also got some action in the job hunt. After the new year kicked in I've had a few interviews so I've got my fingers crossed at a chance for respectible employment. ;0)

Monday, January 07, 2008

fixed lens fever

So I broke down and bought a decent digital SLR from a guy on Craig's List for a great price - body only. Since I could pick any lens I want and already had an old Nikon mount 35mm-80mm lens in a closet somewhere ( as a backup because it squeeks and whirrs and complains every time it has to pull focus on something ) I decided to have some fun and get a "prime" or fixed lens. I forgot how much fun and inconvenient they are. Faster f-stop means more light through the lens, lower ISO, faster shutter speed and shorter depth of field. Supposedly you get sharper images as well. Fun fun fun. It also means less glass because you've only got one fixed distance from your subject matter. No zooming or pulling out, at least not with the lens, you have to physically move closer or farther away to frame up the shot.

I didn't think this would be an issue and if I wasn't lazy - it wouldn't be. I just have to get used to it. Either way I'm delighted. I've tried using point and shoots exclusively and then jacking stuff up in photoshop but there's some times when you want a better quality picture. Pictures of driving a bike in the snow, cell phone camera is nice and happens to be with you anyway. Pictures of beach and vacation, wish I had something better than a tiny point and shoot. I was sucked in by the "8 megapixels" on the case of the Olympus I had which compressed images so much they didn't look sharp when viewed pixel for pixel.

Now I'm back in balance with light catching options which I took advantage of over lunch when I met with Jane. Jane's a friend of mine ( and my wife's bosses significant other ) who owns an art gallery in lovely Hammond, Wisconsin. I'm doing a website for her so we met over Thai food in St. Paul and discussed branding, imaging, form and function.

Here's a quirky little video I stole from my friend Marty's myspace page. It has people eating their brains towards the end so if that kind of thing creeps you out then prepare to eject at any moment.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

36 degree roast

What a wonderful day! I've been whining to Connie all week about wanting to get the bike out and go for a ride. Today Minneapolis broke the snow barrier and my neighborhood got up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit( about 2 degrees Celsius ), enough to melt snow and feel like summer.

I took advantage of my new neighborhood and drove around "the lakes" here in the Twin Cities. It took me 4 minutes from driveway to Lake Calhoun and freedom. People walking their dogs, ice fishing, running, hanging out. I don't know how just being on two wheels can be so therapeutic but it was amazing.

Although I still get itchy palms when I see custom chopped bikes on eBay and a little chill checking out sport bikes with friends I've comfortably accepted my Electralide, the grandpa bike of the Harley Davidson world as my daily driver. Having a radio, fairing and bags to stow things make driving in January not only possible, but comfortable.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sandy Christmas

I ended up in Florida for Christmas week this year. Leaving sub arctic atmospheres and walking off the plane into humid room temperature outdoors put a smile on my face.

I knew God was my co-pilot but was pleased to see that Jesus ( pronouced hay-soose ) was literally "driving the bus" as we went to the rental car place and drove off in the sunset.

One of the nicest things about thawing your gizzard for the holidays was having slightly longer days with blue sky's and sunsets. I always take pictures of palm trees stretched out in the sky. Don't know why it never gets old.

I spent Christmas day with Connie and some friends of ours at Daytona Beach. I haven't asked if I could put them on the blog so I'll just let them be anonymous, show a picture of their lovely daughters and say Hi Jerry. :0)

I shouldn't have been surprised that everything in Daytona Beach was closed Christmas day except the cracked egg diner thanks to a few wonderful people that worked the holiday to have a regular Christmas feast with dressing, pie and everything you'd expect at home but not in a pizza place / beach diner.

The rest of the week we slept, had a drink or two, fed stingrays, slept, tried to go to JaiAlai ( one of my favorite sports to watch ) but they season in Orlando is now pushed back and starts after the first of the year, had a couple more drinks, slept more and... oh yeah, went to an airplane museum.

So does it blow anyone else's mind that people were flying around the world in a week only twenty years after the first model T came rolling off the assembly line?

Yikes, lunch break is over - back to work. No more captions. See Ya.