Thursday, November 22, 2007

"First Kiss" at Cambridge University

Recorded live at the first podcast forum at Cambridge University on February 21, 2006.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feeling You (Part 1) "Mind, Body & Soul"

On Monday I was stuck in a dank shipping container sorting large and grimy aircraft engine parts when my favorite radio show, The Loose Cannons came on with an announcement that they were broadcasting live from the Hooters in Pasadena. Since I live in Altadena (in the foothills above Pasadena) I decided to stop by on my way home from work. I wanted to see the guys, who the truth be told, are often the highlight of my day, especially when I'm sorting greasy engine parts near the Bob's Airport.

The Loose Cannons is a local LA sports talk radio show that comes on from noon to four each weekday. There are three main hosts of the show, lead by the brilliant stat man, Steve "Devo Hair Helmet" Hartman. Although I often find Steve's negative opinions and transplanted hair frustrating, he is undoubtedly the master "mind" and ringmaster of the show. Steve's deep knowledge of most sports, certainly the major sports in the U.S., keeps everyone in line, including the listeners.

Then there is Mychal "No Tip" Thompson. Mychal (pronounced Michael, don't ask) is a former professional basketball player who towards the end of his career played for the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. This lead to his current gig as one of the radio announcers for Lakers games. Since he is the a former athlete, he severs as the "body" of the show. He chimes in with comments that only a professional athlete would know, so it helps to give the show credibility. As a Conservative Christian, Mychal can also be extremely annoying with his reactionary politics and superficial understanding of the world's other major faiths. Plus he's a notoriously horrible tipper.

Then there is the "soul" of the show, Vic "The Brick" Jacobs (VTB). Initially, Vic was simply the sports update guy, but now he is officially the third host and in my opinion, the best part of the show. He is both mystical and totally wacky. VTB is easily the most eclectic and interesting guy in sports talk radio. Vic is a man of the people, a modern day Bodhisattva of sports talk. His signature line of "Feeling You" is a shout out to all the fans in Los Angeles ("La Ciudad") who he represents on a daily basis. When VTB shouts "Lakers Fans... Feeling You!" You can actually "feel" Vic (not in a bad way!)

Vic was the guy I went to see at (the overpriced) Hooters in Pasadena. When I walked in, I was sure the place was going to be packed. Instead, it was totally low-key, which is the way I like it. There were a few tables of listeners, but I was able to stroll in at 2:30 and sit just a couple tables away from where the Cannons.

Steve and Vic (Mychal was traveling with the Lakers) were recording with the guys from the afternoon show, The Petros & Money Show (PMS). Vic and Steve faced the "audience" while Petros and "Money" had their backs to us. In fact, Petros' skanky crack was spilling out of the back of his jeans. It must have been some sort of health violation. I know for a fact that it was making me sick. Literally. Unfortunately I had already ordered my overpriced burger (that doesn't even come with fries) so I tried to block "P's" moon out of my mind in order to stomach my "meal."

The bottom line is, I was there to see Vic, so at the commercial break, I walked up and gave him a quick "Feeling You." As anyone who has ever met Vic knows, he is always super cool to the listeners and always gives a personalized "in the moment" interaction with his fans. "He's one good Dude."

After the show, Vic looked over to acknowledge my presence and even posed for the goofy "Feeling You" shot that I took with my camera phone and used for blog art.

Next time, I'll tell you about Steve's "semi" confidential secret of "Eternal Youth" overheard after the show at the Hooters in Pasadena...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What Do You See?

File this one under Ripley's.

(View enlarged photo here)

On Halloween, Marisol and I presented our neighborhood with an "Organic Spooky House."

(Hear more hear)

Our place is an English Cottage (little on the inside) built in 1924. So in our minds, the place has a bit of an "energy" from those who have lived in our house before us, maybe even from the Roaring Twenties. So with that firmly in mind, we embraced the Twenties feel for our "Organic Spooky House" with dry ice and galvanized buckets. Yet it was the dolls in vintage style dresses "hanging" from our old Cedar, that really sealed the deal. It was super creepy....

So back to Ripley. That night, Marisol took a photo that captured a spooky image, a specter if you will, of a child in a vintage dress.... Personally, I see an actual woman holding her child. But Marisol swears that no one was in the frame when she shot the picture. I think in the chaos of that night, a woman holding her child slipped into the frame.

What do you see?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Top Image on Google for "Nautical Star Tattoo" (without quotes!)

I just discovered a bit of "Good News" on "the getting My Vibe out into the World Front." I "Googled" the term "Star Tattoo" (without quotes!) and my "self-portrait" came up as the second image.... Then I tried "Nautical Star Tattoo" (again without quotes!) it came up as the first image.

I have to tell you, it really took me by surprise. To think about all of the "Star Tattoo" images that are slapped all over the internet, and to rise above the clutter, even if only by chance. That is something (I don't know what!)

Then to be the top image for "Nautical Star Tattoo" feels like a real honor. Long before me, there have been many a "Drunken Sailor" who earned the star the "real" and "old school" way.

To all the "Sailors and Warriors" who have worn the Nautical Star now and into eternity.... During dark storms, in the dead of night, alone in the middle of the Sea. I salute you.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Haunted Corner

All Photos Shot by Marisol Martinez

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ghost in the Yard...

I think I captured a Ghost in the Yard...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cash Lives!

Last Saturday night, I met the Ghost of Johnny Cash. I saw him singing and playing on the Farnsworth Park Amphitheater stage up in beautiful Altadena, California. I even shook "Johnny's" hand, but mostly I heard the Ghost of Johnny Cash.... His voice is stronger now, it must be all that pure water they have up in heaven. It is reassuring to know that The Man in White lets The Man in Black still perform gigs for the people. The Man in Black and The Man in White are not alone, they have a faithful servant in the person of Terry Lee Goffee to do most of the heavy lifting. Terry is a big man who seems to do the near impossible without effort. He brings Johnny Cash back to life for two hours a night all over the country.

I'm here to tell you, I have seen the light... Cash Lives!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Ghost of Johnny Cash

Last night I met the "Ghost of Johnny Cash." More to follow.... Shot by Marisol.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Altadena Brush Fire 08/26/07 (Part 3 of 3)

A L.A. City "Sky Crane" helicopter helps to save the power line.

The "Sky Crane" sprays.

The "Sky Crane" from directly overhead.

From the top of Marengo, we see downtown and the "Sky Crane" returning to the fire after reloading.

Altadena Brush Fire 08/26/07 (Part 2 of 3)

A California Highway Patrol Officer blocks the top of Marengo as a U.S. Forest Service Fire Truck arrives on scene.

L.A. County Sheriffs set up a command post at the top of Lake.

An ABC7 News camera man sets up to capture the fire.

Citizen journalists, like myself, capture the scene.

Two L.A. County Fire helicopters fight the blaze around the power lines.

Altadena Brush Fire 08/26/07 (Part 1 of 3)

I ran into the house and yelled: "Hey Marisol! Our mountain is on fire!

We grabbed the camera and ran up to the park to get a better look.

Fire trucks were still coming up the hill with their sirens blarring...

All the way up to the top of Lake.

Our neighbors gathered to watch and capture what was happening.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Come Meet Dennis Kucinich

Yesterday there was a sudden knock on the door. When I answered I found a hippie dippy woman with a floppy hat. Before I knew it, she handed me a flyer to "Come and Meet Dennis Kucinich." I follow politics pretty closely (LA Times, Hardball, Countdown, NPR and even Drudge), so I know Kucininch doesn't have a chance in hell of winning, but here was an opportunity to meet a "legitimate candidate" for president and all I had to do was walk down the street.

The only hang-up was that I already had a "date" to go with my girlfriend to a raw food potluck. Because Marisol rocks (and she knows I'm a crazy person for politics!) she let me go to "Meet Kucinich."

So I packed my camera and a Vitamin Water, and I walked down the street in my beautiful Altadena neighborhood to "Meet Dennis." The event was scheduled to begin at 3pm, but I was a little late, maybe 3:10, so there was already a crowd. Nothing Obama-Like, maybe 100 hippy dippies (BTW most people would add me to that lot, and I'm totally cool with that!)

White folding chairs surrounded a natural stage that was under a mature orange tree. I made my way to the "back" of the backyard where I saw my old friend "Bird" sitting underneath a canopy. We've known each other since Walter Reed Junior High School in North Hollywood. "Bird" and I bump into each other every once in a while over the last 30 years. He's a really cool and trippy dude, who among other things, is part of a REALLY cool and trippy band called the Gluey Brothers. Anyway, "Bird" was there, so we talked for a few minutes before things got rolling.

Then a guy named "Neighbor Steve," who has organized protest rallies in "The Valley" since long before the war (which I used to attend, until we got "in the shit.") "Neighbor Steve" sang a few protest songs before My (New) Main Man Dennis, unassumingly made his way down the staircase from the house. When he took the stage, he thanked "Neighbor Steve" for the music. In that single, simple moment, I knew this guy was different. Dennis then took a moment to acknowledged the natural environment of the beautiful backyard, that even included a pond and stream in the far back. He spoke about peace and harmony with our world, about harnessing the natural power of the sun, the wind and the people.

Dennis Kucinich then went on to talk about the "oneness" of all people, universal health care and the importance of owning a home. He talked about corruption and how we should withdraw from Iraq (a point we don't agree, but I was with him in spirit.) Kucinich no longer wants to use "war as policy," instead he wants to find the peaceful solution. "A nation among nations, not a nation above nations."

The world Dennis Kucinich imagines, is one without any nuclear weapons for all countries including (and especially) the U.S. His radical message is filled with a down to earth presentation. You really get the feeling he is being "real." I was pleasantly surprised by his charisma and enthusiasm. At one point he stated, "We are the people we are waiting for," which for me was a "call to arms."

Dennis Kucinich won me over. Even though I know he won't win, he came to "my backyard" and talked about a lot of things I believe in, and he asked for my help. I have to ask myself, if I don't join his team, who will?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Story Salon Book

Just a minute ago, I was half-ass watching the NBA finals. The series has been a blow out by the San Antonio Spurs, so my interest has waned. I'm really only watching Lebron James (a 22 year old super star in the making.)

Anyway, I was bored so I picked a book off the shelf. Not just any book, but an anthology that contains my story Letterman on Acid. The book was published by Story Salon, a group I work with, including producing their podcast. (BTW we are recording a new show tomorrow night!)

It felt really cool to hold a book with my story inside. The feeling made me want to finish my novel King of the Boys.... Sometimes in our digital age, one can forget the power of a book.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I've Been Googled

The moment I first heard about podcasting from my friend Dan Klass, back in the fall of 2004, I knew it was something I had to do. Unfortunately, I didn't have a computer and I was living in a basement apartment (literally meaning the basement of my friend's pad. ) That winter, I scrambled to get an iBook (and a Girlfriend) so that I could change my life.

By March of 2005 I was ready (with the help of Dan) to begin producing my storytelling podcast Verge of the Fringe. Dan held my hand through the process and even gave me a few small pieces of Radio Shack gear. He also told me to use Blogger to easily post my shows, and Feedburner to generate my "feed." I had no idea what was going on with all of the tech stuff, so I just did what he told me to do. Plus they were both free, which was right in the middle of my price range.

For the most part I have been happy with both, and I still use them. Back when I was teaching with Dan at the Apple Store at the Grove, I would always point students in their direction. But secretly I was bummed that Blogger wasn't easier to use.

Times have changed, now Blogger and Feedburner are owned by Google. Which looks to be a good thing. They really have made creating a cool blog, so much easier! (Although, I wasn't able to place the image for this story where I wanted it. I know it can be done.... Please just make it easier for tech lunk heads like me. Thanks Mr. Google.)

The next time I trip on Google, I'll focus on "My New Blogger/Google Toy" aka "My Newsreel" (see the bottom of the page.) I really dig it a ton.... Until next time.



"The Key" for Getting Comments on Your New Blog

I have discovered "the key" for getting people to comment on your new blog. Post a picture of your Girlfriend in a bikini. So here is another....

Thanks to all who commented here and on Twitter.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I Need Your Help!

Can someone please tell my girlfriend that she is NOT "fat"? Sometimes she can be crazier than me!... Thanks in advance for your help.