Thursday, May 12, 2016

Aquarium of the Pacific


"Undulating Jelly"

Aquarium of the Pacific is a must see place, not as big or dramatic as the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, but it does a marvelous job none the less of presenting local sea life to the visitors.  They do an exceptional job of displaying local aquatic habitats found here along the Pacific coast.

They even have shark and stingray tanks where you can use the two finger stroke to "pet" those creatures.  Having been stung by a 'ray once, I've learned to give them a healty respect and give them ample leeway...but that's another story for another day.

There's even a Lorikeet aviary where you can buy "nectar" concocted to match what the birds feed on in the wild.  Its a hit among all the visitors as the Lorikeet will land on your arm for that tasty treat.
"Lorikeet feeding"

On top of the exhibits where you get to touch and feel they have a variety of movies available during the day that are either free or need special tickets to see that address the sea, its life and vitality and what we can do to protect it.  

"Undulating Jelly" was simply post processed to remove the blue cast caused by the water and artificial lights and wall color.  Clarity was amped up a bit so details were retained when resized for the web.  "Lorikeet feeding" got a similar simple post process from RAW to remove the blue cast from an overcast day.



Friday, March 25, 2016

What lies ahead


Like this image the foreground in the now is focused, but the future and what lies beyond today is a bit fuzzy and out of focus.

I've been busy on several fronts including the home front that has kept me from writing as much as I'd like.  Or shooting for that matter.  Grrrr....

I did snake up the domain TheSoCalAutoBlog.com as it came back as available after a year being taken by some damn interloper.  I'm waiting patiently for the domain without "The" in the title so I can have it back too.  I know, you snooze you lose when it comes to domain name purchasing.    At least I have one and it links to my blogspot car lifestyle blog.  The snakes grabbing it up may try to imitate, but I have the pixel trail to show I've been using the domain and name since 2010.

And onto that blog a bit.  I'm a digital influencer with Ford, in other words my use of social media and followers and views is such that I'm considered to be a minor authority on topics I post and certainly influence to some degree what they see and might think.  I don't know how much influence I really bear, but I do come up with some corkers on twitter and Social Media in general that can be at least midly entertaining.  

Ford is upping its game with social media this year. They've whittled down their focus and selected a team of "Elite influencers" of which I made the cut.  What it means I don't know for sure at this point.  I do know it going to be an adventure so that makes it worth the effort to go down that path with them.

This image was shot the other morning during a stroll through my garden.  It kind of sums up the future for me now.  Foreground is sharp and saturated, the future in the back well its colorful just not fleshed out and in focus with a hint of things to see.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fun with Siri

No graphic here as it would be a spoiler.  Ask Siri if he/she can beatbox.

The result is hysterical.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cars meet art, well Legos

Lego and Ford joined forces and the result was Legos used to sculpt a Mustang in the iconic Ford blue. 

Also available this spring as part of the Lego Speed Champions will be a Raptor with a Ford hotrod on a trailer behind it. Look for the models that replicate key design features of these Ford cars in Lego Stores and select retailers this spring.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ruminating at LAX


Free wifi is nice even if they limit it AND it's hard to connect to. This Boingo hotspot is ok for light surfing and general Words with Friends bs. After that...forget about it.

Normally one swelters at the airport. Not here today. Doors are open and there's a cold damp breeze by good old gate 53b. Jacket I packed is for below freezing Detroit so even if I could get to it, why bother ad I would be overheated in no time with that thing here. 

I'm impatiently waiting for a flight that's been delayed by half an hour. No reason given which makes it frustrating. 

Commute gawds smiled on me today. Add in TSA precheck and I made it from home to gate in 55 minutes. Certainly nothing to complain about. I remember another trip last summer that took 2.5 HOURS.   

I may update here from along the way in Detroit for their auto show. Providing my hosts at Ford give us a little free time  to write during the day. 

Life as a "Digital Influencer" is fun...except for killing time at airports. C

Monday, January 04, 2016

Pondering what the new year holds in store...

In the SGV area of Los Angeles that I live in it ain't the New Year until the B2 bomber buzzes the Rose Parade in nearby Pasadena then cruises over my 'hood making a turn back to its home base.  Its been that way for years.  Precisely at 8:02AM me and my neighbors out squealing with glee at the sight of it passing over us.

2015 was a kick ass year for me.  Long over due, greatly appreciated and humbled by some of the experiences.

2016 is shaping up to be more of the same.  In 6 short days I'm off to NAIAS in Detroit as one of Ford's guest "digital influencers".  Who said social media doesn't have benefits for even a hack like me?

Other trips include one possibly to MO in the spring, definitely TX in the spring.  We'll do a trip in April to Paso Robles with friends to see another dear friend up there who works at one of the wineries.  A couple of trips to Palm Springs, one with and another without kids.  Then a big trip in the fall...East Coast.  Either DC/Norfolk area where my youngest is stationed if he doesn't deploy.  If he deploys well then we're taking a fall color tour in NE.  Meander much?


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chicago wears its Public Art like fine jewels

Bob Newhart at Navy Pier

Chicago is world renowned for its public art.  For good reasons, its masterfully done my major artists and free to everyone.  Its like fine jewelry that sets the city apart from the rest with the right amount of bling to be a significant attraction for tourists and locals alike.

In the city or surrounding water front parks there is plenty to see and appreciate.  It draws people to them like a magnet.  Its sometimes subtle, other times in your face making you interpret what you just saw and experienced like "The Bean"

Picasso cubist sculpture in Daley Plaza

Our tour guide for our city walk about was my old roommate in College...A Steve Warnelis.  He's a wealth of information on the city, its art and history.  This Picasso was rumored at one time to have been a cubist abstraction of Picasso's girlfriend but current thinking is that its his dog.  Regardless hit Daley Plaza in the heart of the city and make your own interpretation of this modern beauty that started Chicago as an "art city"



Among the cities newest and most wildly popular Cloud Gate aka "the bean" because of its unusual shape not unlike a giant kidney bean.  Its an amazing piece of highly polished and reflective stainless steel that invites you two walk around and see how it distorts reality.

 The lovely Mrs at "The Bean"
Inside and under "The Bean"

Bronze Bison

The Bronze Bison in front of the Chicago Stock Exchange isn't an homage to a bull market, or even to urban legand Mrs O'Leary who's cow reportedly caused the great Chicago Fire.  It is an homage to their past and origins as a rail head city and slaughter house in its early years where bison were herded onto trains and butchered and distributed to points east via the rail road.  From this cast bronze statue hundreds of fiberglass replicas were made and shared around the city.

Not to be outdone and adding to the visual cacophony is all the stores on Michigan Avenue each vying to out do the other with its visual display. Hands down Macy's in what was one the Marshall Fields and Company flagship downtown was the show stopper with its windows for Christmas.  It was devoted to a space theme with astrological and planetary displays.  This one for Saturn and Jupiter was the one we could see best as the rest were totally mobbed.   MOBBED I tell you.


Just a few highlights from our trip to Chicago for our youngest graduation from Navy Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Training Center a few miles up from Chicago.

I look forward to visiting that great city again and taking in more of its museums and public art.