Friday, October 31, 2008

Shaggy Christmas Week 2 Review

Two weeks down, eight more to go.

^^ Doesn't that just scream 'MySpace'? :-) ^^


Well the itchiness has started. Not too bad, just along the jaw line and neck, but is especially annoying when sleeping. Thankfully the zits have stopped rearing their ugly heads, which is a nice change of pace.


Weekly ratings:

- Itchiness: 3 whiskers. As stated above it's getting worse. I've heard the first 8 weeks are the worst.....


- Food Catching: 3 whiskers. Not too much worse than last week, but is certainly catching a lot of milk from my cereal in the mornings.


- Noticeability: 3 whiskers. No change here. People notice, but they still figure it's laziness.


- Awesomeness: 1 whisker. When people finally do notice the accumulating blond mass on my chin, all I hear is 'How CUTE.' Damnit people, I'm not going for cute. I'm going for rugged and manly!


Flickr Set

Pic of the day

Two dogs sitting outside a Whiskey Row storefront, being all contrasting and stuff:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A physics time killer

This one was a little challenging. 25 minutes got me through the whole thing though. :)



A table saw that won't separate you from your digits

The blade carries a small electrical charge, which your body partially absorbs when your skin touches the blade. When that happens a brake stops the blade and pulls it under the table surface lickety split.


In high school a friend of mine cut off a big chunk of his thumb using a table saw, so I'm betting he would love this. I'm doubting it works if you are wearing gloves though...



Pic of the day

An old BMW:

3 Exposure handheld HDR, heavy on post processing.


As far as model info, I'm having a little trouble hunting it down. I believe it is a 114 type chassis and looks most like a 1600, although the marker lights below the turn signals are wrong. Maybe aftermarket? 

Either way, I definitely got me some   love. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A midday quote and song.

Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho

Quimper 94 - Yann Tiersen

Pic of the day

I was especially pleased by how this photo turned out.


A feather fallen:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A window seat

I mentioned in this post that Rich had a whole wall that was visible from Goodwin street in his new gallery space. And then I failed entirely to get a window shot. :) 


Consider this resolved as of this morning. For all of those who can't come to see it for themselves:


All those pictures to the right on the yellow wall are Rich's.

Smoky days

Two small wildfires in the area are making today more than a little hazy. Throats are dry, eyes are red, and overall it's just one of those days where you'd rather be at home.


So is there an upside? Always!

It means we had nice diffused colors this morning at dawn, which made a stop at Watson lake a pure joy:


Sure, I had to squint through tears while standing out there, but it sure was beautiful. :)

Pic of the day

American Flag with a little cross processing:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rockin Out

Currently listening to:

Radiohead Faustz - Amplive 


 Exotic Talk - RJD2

Pic of the day

Sunburst under Midgely bridge:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ex-husband arrested in Kennedy murder case

Steve DeMocker was arrested under charges of first degree homicide and first degree burglary charges in relation to the murder of Carol Kennedy (mentioned here).


The Daily Courier has the whole story.

Pic of the day

The Coyote Radio sign at the Raven Cafe, with a little selective color treatment:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to impress a girl

From the creators of the reasons for a beard in the post below:

The history of impressing girls.

14 Century: Have a pulse. ("We got a plague all up in this bitch")

How a demon barbarian impresses a girl.

Spear a douchebag

How a geek impresses a girl.

9. Write a regular expression that globally matches your love for her.

Shaggy Christmas Update: Week 1

Well, week 1 is in the books for Project Codename: Shaggy Christmas.

So how's it going? Swimmingly. I took some pictures, as ridiculous as that may be. :)

I pretty much feel like a bum who just got laid off and sits around his house eating pizza. Sadly though, there is no pizza.....


Just to give this whole thing a bit more pizazz I figured I would do some completely subjective measurements of the beardage, using the whisker measuring system (e.g. the scale of 10 measurement system):


- Itchiness: 2 whiskers. I'm guessing this will get worse, as I rarely notice any itching. When I do a quick scratch does the job and leaves me feeling funky fresh again.


- Food catching: 2 whiskers. I've noticed the crumblies catching a bit, but that is probably just because I eat like a piranha: crazy fast. To date I have been unable to store snacks for later on my face.


- Noticeablility: 3 whiskers. People are starting to notice the scruffiness, although most just figure I'm a lazy bastard.


- Awesomeness: 1 whisker. I feel no super-many beard powers yet. My lumberjack appearance has yet to make any trees shudder. And as of yet it is entirely useless for any OF THESE PURPOSES (<--- no seriously, check that. It's funny)


We'll see how it's doing next week....

Flickr Set.

Pic of the day

A little snail that was beautifully contrasting the graffiti wall where he had taken up residence:

Oh No! It's Mr. Bill!

So I've seen this car around town a few times in the past weeks:


It proclaims 'Mr. Bill' as the World Exercise Champ. With a claim like that, how could I not be interested? So I turn to my trusty internets. It turns out that the title 'World Exercise Champ' is self-proclaimed, but this 56 year old has done some crazy stuff.

Like hiking from rim to rim of the Grand Canyon backwards. A 24 mile trek with over 6000 feet of elevation change.

Setting the record for single-finger push-ups. He did 20.

Walking 3,330 miles across the country... backwards.

As well as various other physical feats such as 24,350 leg lifts in six hours, 1,084 ab crunches in 15 minutes, a record for push-ups performed on the back of his hands.

He says that he does all of these things to help motivate kids to stay healthy and away from drugs and alcohol.


Sounds like a bit of an eccentric, but definitely a motivated guy. Mr. Bill moved to Prescott from the east coast about 8 months ago, and is now training in our little town.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


See this:


Yeah, that is a spider eating a f***ing BIRD!!!


It is called a Golden Silk Orb Weaver Spider, with this one being photographed in Australia. They can grow to be larger than a human hand (not even counting their legs). I would totally pee myself if I saw one of these things.


See the news story behind the picture here.



The writing on the wall

There are some days where I forget to take my camera on a walk. And sometimes there are walls with graffiti that is so incomprehensible that trying to photograph it is an effort in futility.


So I have started carrying a simple notebook in my back pocket for those writings on the wall that catch my eye, even if they don't catch the attention of my lens. After a week with this little notebook I've come up with quite a collection.


Many writings are the vulgar type of scribble that the young feel rebellious and edgy when putting into words. Some writings are political, and some make no sense. Others are just plain funny.


Here is a small sampling of what I have seen so far (attempting to keep spelling and capitalization errors intact where I could):

- Drippin'

I'm Sober

but Arizona's

got me Trippin'!


- Yuppies don't float


- WATCH YOUR Spoon, IT knows where TO GO.


- Save the ReDwooDS


- OPEN your eyes.

Look within are you satifed with the life you are living?


- vote with a brick


- Satan Sucks


- BlOOd is thicker than water


- 9/11 was inside job. INFOWARS!!


- Watch no TV

Read a book

Do less drugs

Do more art




         Kongo Great


- Pot is an herb.

Bush Jr. is a DOPE

It's amazing how many places contain a quick note scribbled in sharpie. Throughout the alleyways and creekways it seems like there is hardly a block without a mark of some type. I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more little gems like these as I continue my lunch-time escapades through town.

Amazing landing

Emergency landing? Looks just about perfect to me:


Pic of the day

One of the walkways around the courthouse, empty right after sunrise:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pic of the day

An autumn leaf, backlit by the sun.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A scenic drive

On Sunday me and D decided to go for a bit of a drive. The direction? Northward, by way of Sedona and the scenic road up the Oak Creek Canyon.


For those who are unfamiliar with Sedona it is a bit of an odd place. On one hand you have the tourist aspect, which means that parking on weekends is nearly impossible, everything is expensive, and the traffic round-abouts end up causing mayhem. On the other hand you have a very beautiful background of red sandstone, with some awesome hiking trails where you can get some breathing room. On the third hand you have the Energy Vortexes. Yeah, it's a New Age thing....


Our destination was a quick lunch (which ended up not being all we had hoped), a stop by Rollies camera shop (which ended up not being all we had hoped), and a beautiful drive up the canyon (which is always more than we could hope for).


We did make a few stops. One was at the large bridge on Highway 89A:

(go to the big picture to see Shaggy Christmas's progress)


From there we drove the winding road up to the scenic overlook that peers down the entire canyon:


After talking to the park ranger I learned that this is about as colorful as it will get in these parts (due to the high volume of evergreens):


From there we continued up Highway 89A to Flagstaff, where we stopped at a Village Inn restaurant for a slice of pie.


Not too shabby for a Sunday! :)

See all 15 photos here.

A gallery menagerie

Saturday night we had the opportunity to head over to the Ian Russell Gallery of Fine Art. It was a special evening; the grand opening of Ian's new (and larger) square which will also house Rich Charpentier's photography and printing business.


It was a great time, with an unbelievable turnout, and more than a few familiar folks. Of course Rich was there, along with his right-hand lady Sadira, both looking fantastic. They were both a whirlwind of meeting/greeting/conversing with just about everybody there:


Megan was there, showing off the jewelry that she has in the gallery. For those not in-the-know, Megan is also the barrister at Cuppers coffee house whom I have the supreme pleasure of talking to near-daily. Here are her and DaNece showing off their thuggish side:



Dagny and her hubbie Gary were there, and we got to have a nice long chat about photography and photoshop. I saw a few faces from the photowalk there as well, including Josh and Lars. I even got to catch up with an old Best Buy co-worker.


The art all around the gallery was very impressive, I even walked away with a purchase in hand! Rich has a whole wall of photos that sits right at the Goodwin street window. Lookin good:


All in all it was a great time, and I was glad to see Rich and Ian's new venture. I'm sure it will be a success story, and can't wait to get some prints done once Rich's printers are up and running. Congrats Rich!


A few more photos from the evening.


EDIT* Hey look; IT'S US!

Pic of the day

Me and DaNece on our way out the door for a date Friday night, to see Jungua:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crutch Dancing

rjd2 music video  "Work it out".


Friday, October 17, 2008

A black and white lunch

Today I had a mission in mind when I went on my lunch hour walk. I wanted to take shots that would be interesting in black and white. Not something that I am generally thinking about when taking my photos.


Overall it was a successful venture, with some decent graffiti shots:


A snap of the brick showing through on the side of the St. Michael Hotel:


An older man working up on the roof of one of the Whiskey Row buildings. Laying down some tar by the looks of it:


And I even managed to squeak out a black and white HDR out back of the Palace Bar building, showing off the upstairs seating area:


Of course, it was not a total success. I did grab a pic of an odd tree. Its leaves are turning from green straight to white. Not something I have seen before:


And this graffiti under Gurley Street was too colorful for me to put it in BW:

The quick and dirty

The day was drawing to an end. Work was over, I had an hour and a half at the gym under my belt, and I was getting hungry.


Seriously hungry.


So what do you make when you're seriously hungry, want to eat fast, want to eat healthy (ish), and are a cheap son of a bitch?


Well if you are me, you take some ramen noodles, and top them off with stir fried bits of beef, onion, mushroom, bell pepper, and broccoli.


It took all of 15 minutes to make, made a total of four helpings (so two full meals), and all the ingredients cost under $10!!! The fact that it gave me a good excuse to bust out my awesome wok is just icing on the cake!



The quick and dirty:


- 1 package ramen noodles (discard seasoning packet) per person

- small cuts of beef. All safeway had was 'beef for stew', so not ideal for this preparation, but worked nonetheless

- 1 bell pepper of choice cut into small squares

- 1 small head of broccoli cut up to desired size

- 4 white mushrooms quartered

- 1/2 small sweet onion, diced

- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic

- chinese 5 spice

-splash of teriyaki


The Method-

- get your wok (or pan of choice) heating up with some peanut oil (or olive oil if peanut is unavailable)

- get your water boiling for noodles

- season beef with some generic chinese five spice, pepper, and salt

- toss beef into pan and allow to sear while you slice and dice all your vegetables

- throw your veggies and garlic into the wok. Taste after a minute or two and season accordingly with salt/pepper/sugar

- throw your noodles into the boiling water and cook according to directions. I like to add a few spoonfuls of teriyaki  sauce in with the noodles for flavor that is at least a little healthier than the sodium packed seasoning packet

- drain liquid from noodles and combine with veggies and meat.



Good food on a budget that even a college kid can afford!

It's sad

When the shining star of a meal is the side-dish. :)

The other night we decided to try out some pre-packaged potato gnocchi we found at the store. I figured we would take a regular jar of sauce, add some personal flair, throw in some lamb meat and a side of asparagus just for some color.


It sounds like a great meal. But it wasn't.


The problem started with the lamb meat. We accidentally bought neck meat, and didn't realize it until dinner time rolled around.  That would have been wonderful of I had an extra couple hours on my hands to slowly braise the collagen. It would have been tender and voluptuous.  But I didn't have that much time, and the meat suffered for it. I spent a good 15 minutes slicing my way around bone and connective tissue, then I seared it and threw the marinara (with mushrooms, and plenty of other seasonings) over it and cooked it on med-low for as long as I could... but it wasn't long enough. The meat was tough, and not nearly as flavorful as it should have been.


Then there was the gnocchi. Yet another failure. They cooked up just fine, and the texture was far superior to anything I have managed with home-made gnocchi yet. No, it wasn't the texture that killed the gnocchi, it was the flavor. Or lack thereof. It was kind of like eating hearty lumps of nothing. Disappointment. Looks like I will be making my own next time I get a gnocchi craving.


But man, that asparagus was AWESOME! Just a quick boil resulted in sweet and tender bits of lovely greenness that stole the show from all the other ingredients.


At least it wasn't a total bust.

Pic of the day

Texture on a garage door:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Project Codename: Shaggy Christmas

It's official. I am starting my Christmas beard. My first ever attempt at cultivating facial hair.


I'm hoping to look more like this:



And less like this:



DaNece is strangely excited by the whole affair....

Pic of the day

Full moon over Watson Lake. I just had to stop when I saw this on my way home the other night:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Useful little notebooks

I've had a bit of a problem. When I'm walking around Prescott I find that I want to scribble down notes occasionally. Maybe about the location behind a particular photo, or just some random thought that crosses my mind. Up until today a satisfactory solution had note presented itself.


I use a Moleskine for my daily notebook/journal needs, but it really isn't great as a carry-around notebook. It is too big (5"x8") to comfortably fit in a pocket without causing holes (and my pants already have enough of those), and the hard cover is just that: hard, which makes walking around with it awkward at best.


I bought some Field Notes notebooks a few months back because they looked like the perfect solution. And they actually work REALLY well as a carry around notebook. The stapled binding does take a bit of a beating in the back pocket, but it doesn't fall apart.  The problem? Yeah, I forget them ALL the time. I keep one in my survival pack for the outdoors, but I rarely remember to actually put one in my pocket for my lunch hour travels around Prescott.


So imagine how thrilled I was when I found PocketMod. I can select what type of pages I want (ruled, grid, calendar, and on and on and on), then just print out the notebook on a standard piece of paper (or card stock) right out of my printer. A few scissor marks and some folding later, and I have a perfect little 8-page pocket notebook that I can take with me wherever, jot down anything that comes to mind, and discard without remorse when I'm done for it.


Great for grocery lists, jotting down people's names, or locations of photographs. I totally just made a small stack of them to stash in my drawer!



Other stationery goodies I've come upon:

Rite in the Rain notebooks. Yeah, the name kind of says it all. Space pens with fancy paper means you can write in the rain... that's neat, and this kit would be great for rough traveling.


Midori Traveler's Notebook - This will probably be my next journal, if I can figure out how to get one. The site is all Japanese...


Over at they are dedicated to investigating moleskine alternatives.

Pic of the day

A spray painted can of spray paint:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Flickr Milestone

Only 8 short months ago I hit the 1,000 mark on my flickr page.

Today I hit 2,000, with this little gem:

An architecture firm's place of business on Gurley Street.


Hard to believe I've captured that many things, but the internet doesn't lie.....


Fluted Handlebars

Mark Growden plays the handlebars:

Mark Growden plays the handlebars from Doctor Popular on Vimeo.



Players of Character

Just found this over at Chase Jarvis' blog, an interesting point of view on the character of the people you hire:

Clark interviewed to be my assistant a couple weeks before he was scheduled to graduate from the University of Southern California. Unlike the other finalist for the job, an attractive woman the rest of the creative department was imploring me to hire, Noah was more "boy band": spiked hair, fresh face, jeans that were more fancy than a guy needs to own. But there was something about him that reminded me of myself. And it wasn't the hair. He was just so damn eager to be in the business. There was no pretense, no attitude or entitlement. All he wanted to do was work hard, learn and help.

So I hired him, spelling out very clearly that the chances of his growing into an art director position with us were similar to the word at the end of our agency name: "Zero." He nodded along and said he understood. Then he set about completing every task asked of him to the highest standard possible. Between doing all the so-called "grunt" work, Noah grabbed every creative brief he found lying around the office and looked for ways to help out with layouts, taglines, new business presentations, etcetera. He never asked to be promoted. He never bitched about his day-to-day responsibilities or acted like anything was beneath him. Which is why when a junior art director position opened, I decided it was time to do what a guy named Peter Seronick did for me years before: Give him a chance. So I gave the kid who was Ground Zero the opportunity to join our creative department over all the guys and girls who simply wanted to work for Ground Zero.

Like it? Go read the entire article here.

Camping in cold weather

I'm not sure what it was about this summer that kept us from camping. Maybe we were just busy. Maybe we just forgot how much we love the outdoors. But for some one reason or another, we only made it out to the woods once during the warm months.

Of course, now we start to feel the itch to get out there. To rough it for a day or two and get away from town. Some time to just turn off the cell phones, and listen to the wind as it whips through pine trees. So that is just what we did on Saturday.  We meandered up roads that I tore up as a kid (on a quad), but now we did so at a very leisurely pace. We explored a few side trails, and eventually found a nice virgin spot near Ash Creek Ridge.


We backed the truck in, and started the process of setting up camp. Since it was a virgin spot there was a bit more work involved. We had to clear spots for the fire and for the tent, find rocks to make the fire ring, and wander around gathering firewood. Then there was a tent to setup, a fire pit to dig (necessary for cooking), a fire ring to build, and wood to be cut. Sadly, I decided to leave the axe at home, so ended up spending 45 minutes hacking away at pine and oak with a hatchet.  My arm was full of gratitude afterwards.

After some quick work with a firesteel that would make a cub scout proud, we had us a fire and a chance to sit down.


It was right about this time that the temperature began to drop. You see, Prescott has been in a bit of a cold snap lately. Not ideal for camping in a summer season tent, but we were having a good time regardless. So we stacked on a few extra layers, and got to cooking.


We almost decided to have canned soup for dinner. It's easy to cook, is easy to eat, and fills you up pretty well. But then the carnivores inside of us came out and we decided to put steak on the menu. And you can't have steak with out baked potatoes, and maybe some mushrooms and onion, and perhaps even corn on the cob..... right?

Okay, so maybe we went a bit extravagant, but life is short and good food is always a welcome break from cold weather. So the potatoes were wrapped in foil and thrown in the coals where the would remain for the next hour. We busted out our high-tech grilling grate (a bit of chicken wire) and slapped on our pre-seasoned slabs of meat.

On our 'table' (a chainsawed log that was left in the area) we setup our as-of-yet unused stove to cook the mushrooms and onions. I was a little apprehensive using such a small stove to heat such a big pan. As it turns out, I had no cause for worry. The Superfly did an UNBELIEVABLE job! Within seconds the metal bits were literally red hot, and the cooking got done faster than it would on the home stove. Freakin SWEET! The only downside was that the breeze was messing with the flame, but a quick fix was found by setting up the E-Tool as a windbreak (yet another tool that is priceless in the outdoors).

In no time flat we were munching down on an unbelievably good meal (baked potatoes took a bit longer, so weren't pictured). Steak cooked over an open, natural wood fire always tastes the best!


Soon after dinner the lights dimmed, and we decided to head for shelter (after making sure the fire was out of course). We climbed into the sleeping bags, played a few rounds of Pentago, and fell asleep.


It was a cold night. I was pretty toasty warm with my bag all cinched up, but DaNece's small case of claustrophobia reared its head and prevented her from staying as warm as she could have been in her bag. Judging by the shivering happening under the dogs blankets they were a bit chilly as well. When I finally got up to rebuild the fire the jugs of water had ice floating in them.... yeah it was a little nippy. :)

With the fire roaring I invited DaNece outside, and we sat and watched the sun rise through the trees. Absolutely gorgeous. Once the day started in earnest we cooked a breakfast of eggs and hamsteak (no pics), eventually packed up camp, and headed home.

My skin still smells like campfire smoke, which makes me only want to go out again soon. Unfortunately the woods are just a bit too cold for our equipment now, so the forest is out. Maybe Bumble Bee with friends though... we'll have to see.



Things that I learned on this trip:

- The 4Runner still goes more places than I think it can.

- Oak is a bitch to chop with a hatchet

- Polyester gloves will melt in a fire so fast you think you simply lost them

- Pine Nettle tea is the BOMB for refreshment.

- A dog who loves sticks is in heaven in the woods

- Pine sap makes fires easier to start

- Your shoes will begin to smoke long before your feet actually feel warm

Flickr Photoset