Discovering the Oldest Living Thing

2010/11/20

As winter approaches, I really hope there will be time for me to snowboard at Mammoth Mtn. this year.  Before or after some good eats at Eric Schat’s Bakery, I will have to see Methuselah.  Methuselah happens to be the oldest living organism on the planet at 4800 years!

via SkiAnything http://www.skianything.com/2010/07/hike-the-bristlecone-pine-methuselah-trail-at-the-schulman-grove-near-big-pine-california/

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Working Man’s Death

2010/11/17

If one day you happened to be the 500th most wealthiest person in the world, and the following day you moved up to 499th;  did everyone else just get poorer?  Is wealth of a nation or an individual always relative?  I’ve often wondered if there was somehow collateral damage for our successes.  And if it did, who would admit it?

Michael Glowagger’s documentary shot as episodes with workers from the Ukraine, Nigeria, Pakistan, & China provide us with imagery of the dangers and pains of menial labor in these “underdeveloped” countries.  Above the politics, the how, and the why these people are in these conditions, what I enjoy most is the real pride coming from these workers.

You can watch the full film here.  Note note there are some very graphic scenes.

Bukowski @ Huntington Library

2010/11/16

I should have no excuses for not being able to see the Bukowski exhibit @ the Huntington Library going on through Feb 14th, 2011.   As a warm-up, be sure to check out the Top 10 Charles Bukowski quotes which also has a nice little set of photos. Pour some whiskey and enjoy.

The Great White Silence

2010/11/13

One of the films that I’m anticipating to see most in 2011 is the The Great White Silence (1924).  It has been recently restored by the British film Institute.  It is the documentary of Captain Robert Scott‘s journey to be the 1st to reach the south pole.  It was filmed by photographer Henry Pontig who had no experience as a cinematographer!

This is fascinating on so many levels.  There are so many stories behind this.  The history. The myth and romanticization of  the captain & crew. Pontig as a first time cinematographer.  The restoration process.  I really hope this will be available on Blu-Ray.

 

just ending my day with Priscilla, Mirah, and a Sunset Rubdown

2009/12/22

Deeelicous! Uh-huh!

my bruddah

2009/12/19

So I’m standing there puffing away and dreading any sort of interaction with people I hardly know.  I’m just finishing up the last few drags, as this guy walks by as he’s shuffling a stack of coins.  He’s probably in his 50’s.   He’s not dressed sloppily, just a bit scruffy, and he’s got a backpack over his shoulder.  He asks, “Anybody wanna by some rare coins?”  One of the younger guys outside shouts “I heard this story about bums walking around downtown trying to sell fake coins”.   “Get outta here with your shit!”.

Bum or not, I could see how only seconds ago pride brimmed from him.  And then almost instantly I can almost hear him screaming on the inside and see tears just beginning to form.  Half hurt because it’s the umpteenth time being rejected, but more so because he’s restrained himself and being polite.    I immediately rush over to see the man’s wares.  Of course, I wasn’t really interested in his coins, but I offer him a smoke.  He’s thankful but refuses as he doesn’t smoke, and begins to ask if I’m from “da islands brah?”.   He tells me his name is Danny. He tells me how much I look like his childhood friend, and how long it’s been since he’s seen any of his friends or family.  He used to be a fisherman but lost his job years ago.  And, so here he was looking for a job with no luck. I hope to cheer the guy up, and offer to buy him a drink inside the bar. “They won’t let me in there man, it’s ok”, he says. I walk up to the bouncer and let him know, that Danny was with me.  Danny was still very reluctant to even go in refused to go in as  if he knew no good would come of it.  I reassure him just one drink, and we’d be done.

Even as we step into the dimly lit bar, I could see all the cold gazes on us.  A crazed bum and a crazier one leading to the bar.  My friends are elsewhere in the bar. T he crowd parts as we sit down .  I order a bottle of Three Philosophers for us.  Danny takes his first sip and makes this face like it’s the first beer in his life.  I ask him how he likes it.  Out of graciousness he tells me that it’s not bad.  It’s not what he’s used to and I can tell that he doesn’t like it. He thanks me anyhow and begins to tell me more stories about past years.  Danny’s story gets interuppted by a rude passerby who deliberately bumps into him-no sorries & no apologies from the jerk.  Danny turns around from his stool, “What’s with these people man? Everyone is so rude here” as he tenses up real quick.   I try to calm him, “Fuck ’em, let’s just enjoy our drink”.

I learn about his wahine, and his two kids that are probably grown now.  Then he asks me about my wahine.  He worries about what she may think seeing me with a guy like him.  I reassure him, and he tells me how lucky I am to have a good wahine.  “I’ve been looking for her and my keikis for so long now”

Then he is deliberately bumped into again.  Again, no apology.  This time it’s some drunk guy and before I can make out what  he said,  Danny tenses up again and reaches for his backpack which has been sitting on the counter all this time.  “I’m gonna teach this guy some manners” he tells me.  I’m peering in his bag now and see a small handgun what looks like a .32.   I’m just glad nobody else in the bar saw what I saw.  “Fuck ’em, it’s not worth it”, I say again as try to clink beers.  Danny hesitates.  But finally, my brah doesn’t leave me hanging, and we down the last of our beer.

We’re outside now, and Danny tells me that it’s been so long since anyone has been nice to him.  We’re just about to say goodbye when this drunk guy comes staggering down the sidewalk with a bottle in his hand….

As Long as I Gaze on Waterloo Sunset…

2009/02/25

Perhaps one of the greatest pop songs ever.

100 Days, 100 Nights

2009/02/20

Been listening to a lot of Sharon Jones & The daps Kings lately.  Just can’t put it down! Now ya heard!

I’m a Scrawler

2009/02/15

One of the things I’ve noticed only recently is how poor my penmanship has become.  Funny as I wanted to become an architect when I was younger, and my writing was always really neat.  It’s not laziness.  And it’s not bad when I revisit my own notes.   It only seems really bad when I’m trying to explain a thought or concept to somebody.   I think I try to write as furiously and as quickly as I can, only to find my mind getting impatient with my hand.  I resort to a mix of squiggles and primitive drawing instead.  Even the pictures themselves are not clearly understood as I tend to explain things in analogies.  Imagine a caveman trying to explain something to you through analogies.

What’s surprising is that I don’t think that penmanship is even taught in schools anymore.  At least that’s what I hear.  I suppose most students are in front of a keyboard and mouse these days.  Even with all the advances of personal computing, there still is nothing like good ol’ pen & notebook.  I carry a pen and notebook almost all the time, I figure I just need to work on my penmanship.  I’ve found tutorials online for cursive writing with practice drills.  Hopefully, I will improve, and speed will come with it.  It brings me back to the fun days of grade school again 🙂  Just google for “penmanship tutorial”, and find some nice writing instruments.  Here are a few of my favorite sites for stationary and reviews.

http://www.notebookism.com/

http://www.pencilrevolution.com/ ( no longer updated, but still worth it )

Find Love Right Here

2009/02/13

Love from Above. I really enjoyed the Playing With Words series too.  Enjoy!