Friday, September 10, 2021

New Black and White Photos

Three Musicians in the Park with a Dog
iPhone 8
Man Eating at the Village Grille
iPhone 8
Claremont Bandshell
iPhone 8

Sunday, August 01, 2021

James Turrell Skyspace

Called “one of the best works of public art in recent memory” by the Los Angeles Times, Dividing the Light gathers visitors on benches beneath a canopy that frames a window to the sky. At dusk and dawn a lighting program bathes the canopy in changing colors, from goldenrod to turquoise, altering the viewer’s perception of the sky. One moment it’s a dreamy lavender, another it’s an ominous tablet of black. A shallow pool centered beneath the opening to the sky mirrors the daytime sky and reflects a dark echo of the night sky.

Turrell, known for his work in light, has built several Skyspaces around the world; this is the only one available for public viewing in Southern California.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Home Movies — July 31, 2021

I took these videos in and around Marston Quad on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont, California. I'm trying out my vintage Sony HVR-Z1, but I don't have a microphone yet. So I shot them with no audio.



Monday, June 14, 2021

Disrupting the Groundhogs

Groundhogs are taking taking over our yard, especially the strip of lawn between us and our neighbor in the front. We've been told that professional exterminators are expensive, so I thought I'd try digging down about 3 inches in order to disrupt the entry to their tunnels. Maybe they'll get the idea they're no longer welcome and find somewhere else to burrow.

The yard will look a bit torn up for awhile, but I see it as only a first step. Next step: Rodenticide, blocks of which I'll shove into the their holes.

If anything, it's good exercise.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

David Bowie – the Verbasizer – Mac Terminal Code

The Verbasizer was a digital version of the cut-up technique writers William Burroughs and Brion Gysin used for decades. The process involved cutting up a piece of text with an eye toward recombining the words into new and unexpected structures.
It was a popular method among experimental writers but had fallen out of favor by the 1960s.
Bowie worked on the Verbasizer with Ty Roberts, who later co-founded Gracenote, an audio fingerprinting company. Bowie spent a lot of time taking bits of words from newspapers and other sources and then arranging them into lines of lyrics. He would cross out words that didn't fit to create the lyrics that ended up being on his final album.
I've written a few lines of code that do the same exact thing that David Bowie's Verbasizer did. My process in the following example was to copy the first five paragraphs of an article in today's New York Times about the drought in the West. I saved it in BBedit as a file called water.txt.

Friday, May 28, 2021

I Am Now Retired

The last month has been insanely busy with putting an end to the school year and putting an end to my teaching career. It's been a great twenty years, but time moves on, and so do we. For twenty years I've been a teacher. But now it's time to say I'm officially retired. As of today, I will spend the rest of my life doing what I want to do, not what some employer wants me to. Twenty years is long enough for anyone.

Two weeks ago, my colleagues threw me a retirement luncheon, with gifts and cash and good cheer. Having your career honored in such a way is touching and something I'll always cherish. (I didn't mean for that to sound like a platitude although it does.) When an employee's time at a company comes to an end, it's only right to throw them a party, right?
Last week, my second period students surprised me before class with a bag of Starbucks coffee, balloons, and a card. They all wrote messages in the card, and I spent the rest of the day smiling.
After cleaning out my room, I tossed the detritus of my career into the dumptster. I'm sure this photo is a metaphor for something. I'm just not sure what yet.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Typing on My Underwood

I love typing on old typewriters, especially the big desk models with elite typeface. (Elite is 12 characters per inch.) The music I'm listening to is by Pat Martino.

This Underwood typewriter is the same model formerly used by the writer Tom Wolfe.