Friday, July 31, 2009

Clouds Dancing in the Desert

What formation do you see in the clouds? Another Skywatch Friday in the desert.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Glendale, CA -- The gentleman above asked if I wanted to take a "stress test." He set up a table on the sidewalk near the Alex Theater. My initial reaction was, "No thank you." I began to look over the stress-measuring contraption on the bottom left called the "E-Meter;" the two electrode clips alone stressed me out. I told him that I am a Christian and that I have a peace that transcends all understanding. He was very nice and then asked if I wanted a book on Dianetics. I kindly declined and engaged in a conversation him more about his beliefs as well as all the movie stars like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and others.

Before I left, I asked him if I could take his photo. He asked how his photo would be used. I told him the truth, as I do everyone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Angel's Gate

San Pedro, CA -- As part of LA Harbor, Angel's Gate lighthouse has been a fixture of our port since 1913 at an original cost of about $35,000. No other lighthouse shares it's design.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Keep it Simple

Hollywood -- A while back I worked an evening at a Hollywood movie premier as a demonstration cook for Weber Grills. While I was walking around shooting photos, I had the opportunity to meet Henry Diltz. Diltz is known as a folk singer/songwriter, but perhaps best known as the official photographer for Woodstock and having his photos fill the covers of hundreds of rock albums like The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix and scores of other legendary artists.

I asked Henry if he would, in a sentence, give me a tip on what makes a good photograph. He lifted his camera up and told me that he keeps it simple. He typically use one lens: a 50mm prime lens. Sure enough, I looked up his website and marveled at it's simple yet memorible shots of my rock heros.

One tip I've heard over and over again is: "The best camera to have is the camera you have with you."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Olvera Street

Los Angeles -- LA's roots date back to 1781 on a little street now known as Olvera Street. It is home to LA's oldest standing residence, Avila Adobe, built in 1818. But it wasn't until 1926 that Christine Sterling, and transplant from San Francisco, took an interest in what was once a slum and saw the potential in the adobe home and cobble stone street and had it renovated. Today, Olvera Street is a thriving shopping and restaurant destination for locals and tourists.

Friday, July 24, 2009

God's Eye View of Los Angeles

Los Angeles -- Passengers sitting near me must think I am a novice flyer. My face is pasted to either the window or the view finder of my camera focused on the ground during most of the flight. My muse extends beyond beautiful landscapes below; moreover, it's identifying familiar roads, buildings, mountain trails and landmarks I visit regularly.

This is shot is of the Palos Verdes peninsula with LA Harbor to the right and the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Between the Pacific Ocean and beyond the hills is home to over 12 million people.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

City of Angels

Los Angeles -- A boy carries his skateboard while a car enthusiast guards his prized entry from being hit by a stray board. The street was blocked off for both a skate exposition as well as car show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BBQ Along Route 66

Rancho Cucamonga, CA -- While driving down Route 66, something amazingly good was tantalizing my senses. Billowing smoke from behind a pile of wood poured over a red and white building, reminiscent of, well anywhere but LA.

I pulled into the parking lot and was greeted by Warren. Unfortunately, I had already eaten but I brought back a menu and will be sure to come again, this time to eat. Based on their reviews, family-owned, Redhill BBQ is worth the 40-minute drive from downtown LA.

I'll let you all know my thoughts after a meal at Redhill.

More info at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Monday, July 20, 2009

Heat in the City

Los Angeles -- A jet on final approach at LA International Airport.

One thing we Angelinos have in the summer is heat and haze, which make for world-class sunsets. We also have billboards, palm trees, power lines and clutter; welcome to LA.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Route 66 is supposed to be pure, without the blemish of those pesky RED LIGHT CAMERAS.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Street Lamp in Pasadena

Pasadena, CA -- My home. What a great place to grow up and live. I often boast of our weather, especially after a hot summer day. Today was near 100-degrees, but this evening the air cooled to a pleasant 76-degrees--perfect for a photo walk in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Supersize that Trash of Truth

Reality hits when you can no longer see your belt buckle, the lady renewing your drivers license at the DMV asks, "Are you still 150 pounds, sir?" and you have a trash can dedicated to discarded, fast food cups in your garage.

I turned 48 today and have only gained 12 pounds in eight years, so I have a goal to find that belt buckle, replace Taco Bell cups with water bottles and to replace that fat with muscle. A tall order but I think I'll survive.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fast Food

Pasadena -- No, the man on the Segway did not order from the drive thru, he came out the door with a bag full of burgers.

You Choose

Pasadena -- One could call this "the art of Confusion?"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

C-17 Over Arrowhead

A C-17 Globemaster flies low and slow over Lake Arrowhead on the 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Trails of LA

Lately, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on hiking. Not just with me but with America. Walk into any REI or Sport Chalet and you see oceans of merchandise directed to those socializing with Miss Terra Firma. Other than the new slim-fit shirts sold for $128 at Nordys, the ever-popular safari (or Sahara) shirts that boast of repelling both the suns UV rays and mosquitoes, has hit the fashion scene. Cotton is out—polyester-blend in. Wow, who would of thunk?

Trends come and go—just like the great hiking eras of the late 1800s and the 1920s in Los Angeles, people rediscover hidden treasures, often in their own proverbial back yards.

John Denver gave voice to another great outdoors period in the 70s ushering in a love for granola, pet rocks and freeze-dried scrambled eggs. But the new wave, techno culture of the 80s squelches most camp-lovers and replaced the sleeping bag with Starbucks and the satellite TV atop the RV.

Although the outdoor recreation retail stores sell more GPS’ than backpacks, there does seem to be an insurgence of back-to-nature people hitting the trails. Many of us sit for hours at work behind the LCD screen, then drive home with ear bud in place, referring to the portable GPS in the car and finally logging onto the family PC to catch up with friends on Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. Even the local gym has TV screens in front of the treadmills…. At some point we get sick of the screen!

Enter Terra
I’ve been guilty of “hiking while on ‘Pod.” At least the music I am listening to is a sort of soundtrack to my walkabout experience. How can John Barry not add to a setting sun on the trail? But I think most people I see on the trail are mostly interested in getting away. What is cheaper than a walk on the trail?

The Asian community caught onto hiking. They are a perfect example of the outdoor enthusiast consumer. Typically dressed in North Face zip-off pants, long sleeve shirt (UPF 30+), an explorer hat, trekking poles and friendly smiles on their face, they are living out the great hiking era of the 2000s. They understand. That makes me happy.

I too have jumped back on that Nature Valley trail. Although hiking has been a large part of my recreational life since high school, I seem to rediscover the beauty of hiking each week, educating myself on flora and fauna as well as using time alone on the trail to think, and time with others to socialize and build community.

Never once have I regretted making the decision to hike over watching TV.


Pasadena -- One of my favorite taco joints.