Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seven Years Ago, Today

If time travel were possible, I would like to be transported to Hapuna Beach, August 31, 2004.  It was a good day in the Big Island.  Maura, kids and I drove out to have a picnic lunch to this beach, about 30 miles north of Kailua-Kona.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frames of Waves (2011)

I never tire of photographing the ocean.  Just like each visit to the beach is different, each wave has its own unique form and texture.  From one frame to the next, you will not necessarily feel the brute power of the ocean but you will sense its patience and potential energy.  Relentless, wave after wave turns stone into the finest grains of sand.  One Sunday in August, for the past dozen years, I get out of my tent, tripod and camera in hand and click away for a half hour before sunrise.  I sit on that same cliff, year after year, appreciating the fact that I am observing a master artist who had been at work for millions of years, the mighty Pacific Ocean.

Friday, August 26, 2011

David Smith's Studies

I came to see Tim Burton back in June.  The bonus as the exhibit in the main area of the Resnick Pavilion at LACMA that featured the American sculptor David Smith's works.  Always a nice surprise to see works of ab-ex artists I'm not that familiar with.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Loop At North Etiwanda Preserve

I still can't believe this hike starts less than a mile from the house.  The North Etiwanda Preserve loop is an easy 3.2 miles from where the houses end on Day Creek Blvd and Etiwanda Ave. Kids and I finally did the loop yesterday; I'd say it's relatively flat (500 ft elevation gain/loss) and with the nice view of the cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Ontario.  Someday, maybe when it cools down, we'll get to the waterfall.  The photo above is on the west end of the loop, about mile 2.5 overlooking a flood control basin.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

PCC Flea Market Finds

Have not been to the Pasadena City College Flea Market in about six months but somehow, found 4 free hours to do dimsum + flea market.  Definitely as secular as one can get on a Sunday morning, scouring through aisles and aisles of stuff produced little in the way of art or furniture finds.  I even drove the Tahoe thinking I will need something to haul a bigger piece back all the way to Rancho Cucamonga.  But alas, getting there around noon meant most of the vendors have sold all their good stuff.  However, I did manage to find some classic jazz vinyls from the giants, Davis, Goodman, Rich and Krupa for a mere...$20!  Vinyl still rules.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Accelerated Natural Selection (My Wish)

Sometimes I wish natural selection works faster than it does.  Yesterday, while driving to the Rhino Records in Claremont, around 8pm, some guy crossed Bonita while yakking away at his f***ing cell phone without even looking to his right or left.  I had to slow down my f***ing car just to avoid this bastard, whose genes obviously will not propagate if he continues on this habit of disregard for his safety.  A thousand or more years is just way too long for these idiots to be filtered out of the gene pool.  Is it too much to ask for natural selection to be a bit more accelerated?

Closing Borders

I've always lived in cities that have more than 4 bookstores -- Los Angeles and Pasadena.  When I moved to Rancho Cucamonga, I was not too happy with the limited selection of having the Borders at Victoria Garden Mall and the Barnes & Noble on Foothill -- but decided that two corporate bookstores is better than no bookstore at all.  So when Borders announced they were closing all stores last week (while we were in Hawaii), I know I'm down to the Barnes & Noble.  Sad.  The whole friggin' city of Rancho Cucamonga will have a single bookstore in about a month.  Ok, I can still but books at Target and Walmart, one might argue.  Please.  Amazon? Maybe, but the concept of a bookstore is to have a place where members of the community can interact.  Virtual community, I'm sorry, is not what I have in mind.  Since the announcement of the closing, I've been to Borders twice last week in Honolulu and twice this week at home to start buying up some of the bargains but I'm really at a lost where to get books by the end of next month.  Vroman's in Pasadena is 37 miles away.  MOCA and LACMA bookstores are at least 50 miles from the 909.  Maybe in the ashes of these corporate giants, the independents can make their way back.  One can only hope.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Relics Of An Analog (Military) World

Digital is highly over-rated!  There is definitely the case for digital in the modern world -- from computers to automobiles to common household items.  Submarines are no exception in terms of precision and accuracy of their guidance, navigation and weapons systems.  However, in terms of form and function, analog certainly meets the minimum set of requirement.  These gauges are from the WWII vintage submarine USS Bowfin, docked in Pearl Harbor as a public exhibit.  I could not help but notice how I miss those days when gauges and meters were strictly analog -- no LEDs, no LCDs and certainly, no GUIs.  Analog is intuitive.  Needle is in the middle of the scale, all things look good.  Unlike digital, there is no need for that microsecond of human brain processing a numeric display to determine if something is good or bad.  The casings for these analog gauges were just a beautiful as the dials themselves.  A lot are encased in brass or copper -- as opposed to those more modern digital displays wrapped in polished aluminum or molded plastic.  And one can almost argue that for the era, these analog gauges did their job in terms of supporting the mission, i.e. fighting the Japanese in WWII.  On record, the USS Bowfin sank 40 Japanese merchant marine ships and 4 Japanese warships.

Forrest Gump Was Here

Photograph taken on 7/25/11 at the top of Koko Head.  The marina on the left center of the photo is the Wailupe Beach Park and just above it, in the distance is Waikiki. Visitors to Koko Head left several messages in its abandoned bunkers including this quote from the movie Forrest Gump that reads "Life is like a box of chocolate.  You never know what you're gonna get." and another one that reads "Hi Life".   If I had a Sharpie pen with me, I would have written something alongside that quote like "Life is like a can of macadamia nuts.  You need to savor each piece; if you don't, next thing you know, you got an empty can because it goes pretty quick." Hawaii always gets me centered and focused on the right things in life.