Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Pines Cafe and a Littlerock Junk Yard - Saturday 1/19/2008

The Pines Cafe. We've been meaning to go there for years. It was once in the middle of nowhere, but Palmdale has sprawled out to meet it.

Not a broad menu, but they have some interesting omelets with zucchini in them and hand made burgers, and incredible thin-sliced fried potatoes that actually rival my mother's (which is saying something, friends.)

Outside The Pines. People who put together things like this warm my heart.

Very old, very worn tires at a real mess of a junk shop in Littlerock, CA.

The person who worked behind this cash register could probably not have imagined it would end up here.

Clever recycling of an old sign as a roofing panel for a shack in the junk yard. This area produces a lot of fresh produce.

I love the way the paint has aged on this.

Some one has been cleaning up around here. I don't really have a shot that shows just how much junk crowds this 3-acre junk yard. I don't think I can go back and get one. Things were so decayed it was like a trash heap with paths through it. It was kind of depressing to think of the man inside sitting by his barrel-shaped woodstove day after day, hoping to sell something.

Ten a.m. in Acton, CA - Friday 1/18/2008

Is it just me, or is it chilly out there?

Still Life with Broken Camera - Thursday 1/17/2008

When the photo of the day doesn't turn out very well, the photographer is apt to resort to cheap tricks. Like applying the Poster Edges filter in Photoshop.

Or using Photoshop's Graphic Pen filter. (During which she considers passing herself off as an accomplished sketch artist, but stops herself at the last moment, upon consideration of the twisted path such deceit might lead her down.)

Or she might just play upon the viewer's sympathy with emotional subject matter like the formerly trusty Kodak reduced to vegetable status.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday? - Wednesday 1/16/2008

Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!

Hydra had the day off, and suggested that we go to the UCR/California Photography Museum in Riverside. I've been wanting to do this for about 3 years, but every time I check it out, they seem to be changing exhibits. Same was true today, but I figured with a name like that, it had to have a pretty decent permanent collection on display.

I was wrong! The permanent collection is a few cases of cameras and four walls of photographs. Nice discussion and display of earliest types of photos, with a description of each.

They advertised a special stereographic photography exhibit. I expected we'd be treated to 20 or 30 stereographs. Not so. The display was set up in this weird little area at the entry to the bathrooms on the bottom floor. The only stereographic photos actually on display were the four--count 'em!--four in the permanent collection. Sigh.

I was particularly interested because I just finished reading All Will Be Revealed by Robert Anthony Siegel.

This is a photo of the Riverside Art Museum, next door. Which was completely closed due to a change in exhibits.

We had a delicious lunch at the Bella Trattoria (shared an antipasto plate and added bowls of flavorful minestrone soup) in the famous Mission Inn. Dick and Pat Nixon were married in one of the presidential suites. We'd never heard of it before, but it's said to be the heart of Riverside.

We enjoyed the small but informative Mission Inn Museum but declined to take the tour, which cost $12.00 per person.

Darling, that's more than the Louvre or the Musee D'Orsay!

Keeps riff raff like us out, though.

The Chief has seen better days. (In an antiques store on Market Street.)

It's just a good thing I don't have a) a bigger house or b) too much money. Otherwise, both of these things would have gone home with us.

That guy with the clock in his belly is seriously weird. What was the original intent!?

Back at the homestead. Little Gus on the left doesn't fly. We had his wings trimmed when we first got him, so we could get him used to us handling him. We've done this with all our birds. Seems like he should have all his flight feathers by now, but still no lift-off.

He climbed up the chair in the bedroom to get as close to his cage as possible at bedtime. Hydra called me in to see him and Rocky (center) on the pillow. As soon as he saw the camera, however, Nick flew a curly-cue and got into the shot. Jr. Ham.

And! The birthday dessert! Double Rainbow vanilla ice cream with Saunder's hot fudge and hot caramel toppings, carried home from Michigan by Hydra. Yum!

Hope this didn't sound complain-ish. It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Good to be Alive - Tuesday 1/15/2008

Acton Cemetery was donated to the town in 1890 by the Duerhen family. It's ten acres, and apparently any residents can be buried here free. (BYO Interment) We walked around here on New Year's Day with History and Cowgrrl and I remembered that I've been meaning to come back and take some pictures.

This marker is from 1974. Looks older, doesn't it?

Name lost to history. There's a very nice listing of all the known names on this website.

I guess it's nice to be welcomed anywhere.

This seems to be the site of the oldest gravestones. Notice the coyote-proof concrete tops? These are the graves of Reverend John E. (1831-1923) and Mary Robbins (1838-1910.) The oldest legible grave is that of Nellie Robbins Stanfield (1861-1898.) Daughter of John and Mary, perhaps?

Wrought iron arch at the entrance to the Milburn section of the cemetery.

What a lovely epitaph.

I don't think I've really given you a good idea of just how personal and unique the grave in Acton Cemetery are. There are many different styles and there are mementos around many of the markers.

As I ended my tour of the cemetery, during which I took probably 50 photos, I suddenly thought what I'd like as an epitaph:

"What fun!"

No Animals Were Hurt During the Destruction of this Bowl - Monday 1/14/2008

No humans, either.

Dang it! I use this bowl almost every day to heat up our pampered birds' dinner.

I blame Barnes & Noble Cafe and their fine, fine handling of Starbuck's coffees, which led me to imagine that the bittersweet cup from which I drank was merely a taste treat and not an invitation to Lost Weekendesque jitters.

This is what the B&N Cafe looks like, by the way, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on a Monday in January. Quiet. Except for the distant sound of scratching brought on by the dry winter air.

Is this Espresso Number 1, Espresso Number 2, or Espresso Number 3?

I defy even the lovely Carol Merrill to tell the difference after three of these babies.

The Photo Idea Index
resting on the table here turned out to be a really cool browse. When the strike's over maybe I'll come back and purchase it.

Cool Thing
Thanks to Braveheart for forwarding this link to a funny, funny blog entry over at List of the Day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Westside, Eastside, All Around the Town... - Sunday 1/13/2008

Ah, those Westside sophisticates. A bright and lively bunch.

But judging by this sign inside the unisex bathroom at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the corner of Pico and Midvale, the management must have found some of them to be--shall we say?--lacking in mechanical skills.

Traffic was so good that I arrived for my lunch date with History and Cowgrrl about 25 minutes early and snagged a little coffee and writing time. Lunch at Jaipur was delicious and the literate conversation was even better.

Traffic remained reasonable and I hit every light green but one on way way towards downtown on Pico. It was a blessed day. Except.

Except that I stopped to get a truly brilliant photo of the Wiltern Theater when I cut over to Wilshire, and discovered that my trusty little Kodak camera was no longer trustworthy. The flash card was full after I took the photo above and the little knob that gives one control over deleting, etc. is fully broken now. It has been loosening up for a few months, but I don't use that camera much.

I was thinking I didn't want my Nikon confiscated at the door of the Murakami exhibit I went to at the Geffen Contemporary; nor did I want to leave it in the trunk of my car which I parked on the street about 6 blocks away (saving me a dollar a block in parking fees!)

Needless to say, for the rest of the day I saw fabulous photos begging to be taken, and me with a broken Kodak in my glove compartment. Sigh.

I love the old buildings in L.A. and stumbled across a very busy market area along 12th Street (due to faulty online directions from The Geffen itself. You turn onto 6th Street off of Flower, you don't wait to see if a 6th Avenue miraculously appears.)

The Murakami exhibit... I liked the three-dimensional pieces a lot better than the works on canvas and board. The latter felt kind of like computer art that someone had taken the time to hand-color. Very much enjoyed the KaiKai & Kiki short film. It was worth the short wait.

I heard a couple of what I presumed to be those West Side sophisticates wandering around complaining about the commercialism and, well, pretty much everything else. I've never thought that art for commercial reasons wasn't still art, myself. And it seems to be working well for Murakami. There was a line to get into the gift shop!

These last two images are from the MOCA website. No photography was allowed inside, but they weren't frisking people for cameras, either.

Made a stop at the Studio City Branch of LAPL on my way home, which is why I say I was all around town today. Good day for it.

When Life Gives You Old Apples, Make Old Apple Sauce - Saturday 1/12/2008

Or old-apple compote, as the case may be.

Then put it in a pretty bowl and photograph it.

It will make you feel as though you have done something constructive with your life, at least for a few minutes.

Just one of those pearls of wisdom that I am apt to throw your way now and again, free of charge.

#6 Atonement (2007)

Loved it, loved it, loved it. I also loved the book. Either they did a great adaptation, or they did one that will please people who read the book.

This is totally my kind of movie. Tragic romance. And an unconventional narrative style.

I would say that if you liked The English Patient you will like this movie.

The score is brilliant. I won’t tell you why, but I think it is. Parts of it reminded me of Gabriel Yared, who scored a couple of Anthony Minghella’s movies (including The English Patient.) I was just wondering if Atonement was directed by Minghella, when he showed up as an actor at the end of the film!

I must know the story behind this. Guess Joe Wright (the actual director) was giving him a nod, at the very least.

Oh, and James McAvoy. Where has he been all my life?

DON'T say it, I know. Growing up. (But only for the last like, half of it. It's just mortifying.)