Friday, July 30, 2010

Introducing: Reverse On The Left (ROTL)

I'm pleased to announce my automotive enthusiast specialized blog/site has been created; it's all cleaned up and is now available for public consumption. This new 'online periodical' project is called Reverse on the Left, which is a play on the manual gearing layout of German automobiles. If you have a automotive fanatic in your circle of friends or family, share this with them, especially if they're into older watercooled Volkswagens & BMWs. While niche items will be addressed, all things automotive will be touched on; including International Motorsports and Auto news as well as the daily grind of those living the enthusiast lifestyle. Multiple authors will be helping me bring this blog magazine of sorts to life, so definitely check it out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Cleaning.

It's been a while since I really went through my photobucket to see what's there, and while going through some pictures the realization came that I really needed to update things a bit; same thing goes for this blog. If you're a faithful eye-baller of this thing of mine, then you'll now notice a few more links, small changes in organization, etc. I'm trying to streamline things and the design of my photobucket was the most recent item on the menu; it kinda-sorta looks like this blog now in design and hopefully everything is a bit more intuitive for you, the viewer. As stated in the last post, I've moved all the trip pictures in the AP photobucket archive into one folder called 'Travel' for a cleaner main page going forward; this will help with organization for future trips. In addition, the official AP Facebook Page is being organized in a similar fashion, but with a smaller selection of pictures of course. If you're new to all of this, just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'll continue tweaking things as needed to produce a better product.

Second order of business is that I've decided to start up a new blog for the automotive enthusiast contingent; I'm aiming for show coverage, builds, DIYs, recommended sellers/shops, etc...may even resurrect some of my legacy coverage from the past decade or so. I'll see about getting a couple of like minded friends involved to author material as well to keep things interesting and multifaceted. Unfortunately a lot of my possible URL titles have been taken already so I'll have to get creative as usual. Stay tuned. Literally.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fruits of my labor.

After many days of work, this years summer vacation sets (San Diego & Las Vegas) are finished and up for viewing in the new Travel section of the AP photobucket archive. Please check out all of the albums including my previous work from Jamaica. Comment on pics you like. Lastly, if you know anyone who would dig these sets, my work or this blog, please pass along my links and send them my way. This content is free for everyone to view, plus it's a labor of love for me; a win win in my book.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Green Thumb - Ep.2

Progress! Well to be specific, the next week or so after the last update went on without much of a hitch...well a branch was snapped off the fruit bearing tomato plant by a freak hailstorm, but fortunately not much damage resulted.

All of the plants have enjoyed steady growth, like a conservative but solid investment portfolio. Preparing to be gone 8 days for vacation a couple weeks ago and unsure of what weather would take place, we picked up a few more water globes to ensure proper hydration. Word on the street was that it rained/thunderstormed a couple times here in Maryland...and by some reports there was even an earthquake. Not sure which helped more, but the tomato and basil plants took off like rockets. The tomato count now is 5, all on one plant. The once flailing tomato plant is taller than ever, taller than the edge of the deck actually, but only has 4 flowers or so.

Here's the visual breakdown...
Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 5:

Good times.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pic of the day - Friday

We flew home today, but made a quick stop at the harbor on the way to the rental car place. This vacation week flew so quickly, it's a shame to be back home in a way; but if it lasted forever it would just be moving.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pic of the day - Thursday

Last day of the trip before flying back tomorrow. Beth, our friend Sara and I went to the Bernardo Winery for a little relaxation mid-afternoon. Leaving coastal San Diego to just another 13 miles north-east changed the weather by about 20 degrees. Twas hot. Sweatin to the oldies. Slow arm drip. But the heat was dry at least (ahem).

The final shot tally for the past 6 days is ~2400 pics, so I guess I'll have a long weekend ahead of me. On to In-N-Out for our last dinner.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pic of the day - Wednesday

Today was a good day. After all the running around I finally got to lay out on the beach for a few hours. This vacation is almost over but I've come to terms with it...sigh. What made this day even better than the beach was getting to see my buddy Mike out here before he gets deployed this August to Afghanistan. We caught up on the past year or so over dinner and a couple microbrews in Carlsbad. I got mildly lost before getting to the restaurant, but made some lemonade.

I really hope coastal Californians don't take their scenery for granted. Seeing an ocean from home is a great thing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pic of the day - Tuesday

Today we have returned from the desert to a very pleasant, familiar and sunny disposition here in SD. I've shot so much out here (1k shots in the last 24hrs) I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to share them all, but I guess another post is a start. This has been put up special, computer desktop-sized, for all those needing to get away while at work. While blogger upload quality isn't perfect (ahem), this will do for now.

Editing is going to be a PITA, but it's been a pleasure shooting up the West Coast.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pic of the night - Monday

Well I think I figured out a solution to not posting my pics of the day on time...retroactive posting! If it worked, you won't be able to tell the difference ha. Continuing a tradition forged from a 05' trip to Vegas for our friends Megan and Jasons' wedding, we took a quick trip to the strip while we were out here close enough to do so without a flight. 320 miles one way through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas Blvd, it was nice to go back. Vegas pics aren't as good unless they're night shots in my opinion (but I did take a few day shots before leaving).

Keep an eye out for earlier days' posts showing up through the end of the week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pic of the day - Sunday

Well I went out and shot today, but the sun still wasn't quite out. More specifically the sun came out for a few hours late morning through early afternoon, but I was watching the World Cup and couldn't get outside ha. After the Cup was claimed in the name of Spain, I shot under unfortunately bland skies. So the pic of day for today is a beer I bought last night at the LQ next to Hodad's, up the block from our room at the Ocean Beach Hotel (both highly recommended btw). 

New Belgium Brewery out of Colorado makes an ale called Trippel. It has great flavor and more importantly packs quite a punch (7.8%). I tried several micro brews in while in San Diego, as there are literally hundreds on parade here-whether it be by bar, restaurant or many local beer and wine stores. This selection was good enough to bring back in my checked luggage rather than leaving it for the OBH cleaning crew. 3.5 stars.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pic of the day - Saturday

Remember me saying I was looking forward to vacation? Well I'm on it now. We got in Friday to clouds and went right from the airport to In-N-Out Burger off Sports Arena Blvd. Jet-lag and a lack of sleep rolling into our 6:15am flight from BWI kept things real simple. We crashed to fight another day.

Today we went to Davey's Locker in Newport beach to look for whales in the Pacific. Beth has wanted to see whales in the wild for years now so I figured why not, regardless of the time of year they're typically seen (not July). It was cold in socal upon our arrival on Friday and today was no exception; clouds and wind. On the open water it wasn't much warmer, but I was smart enough to bring a hat with me to keep the scull warm. The good news is we saw a pod of dolphins, which was cool. Bad news is the 'common dolphin' was apparently part of the whale family so they technically fulfilled their obligation ha. The Captain apologized for the lack of action with a half-off voucher for another day...ah well.
There were a few other boats out where we were, one of which was in this shot. The dolphins like playing of course and will 'run' with boats, using the surrounding wake as a guideline. While you only see a small group of dolphins here, there were about 100 out in this pod occasionally breaking the surface with a flip or two. I hate to say it, but I would've loved something longer than my 135mm out there. This was a cool side trip, regardless of clouds, but Beths' whale watching hopes will live on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beer of the Month - July

The beer of the month for July is Land Shark Lager. I got introduced to Land Shark by a co-worker of Beth's at a bbq a couple years back. Upon the first sip it was familiar, like I've known it for years...but apparently it was just launched in 2006 to promote Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant chain (ba-dum-tish). JB sung a song called 'Fins' that was the inspiration for the name. At first glance you'll think Corona (which I consider a 1 star brew) while looking at the bottle, but this is a better pale lager in my opinion; but who doesn't know Corona's overrated. Land Shark is light, easy and quite refreshing, yet not watery and vague in flavor like light beers, which makes it a great summer beer. This is why it takes the summer month of July. I instinctively picked it out for a recent boating trip and I couldn't have been happier as the sun was present in abundance. 3 stars.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Creative expression.

I was talking to my buddy Casey (snagglepuss to the right) the other day and stumbled upon something pretty big. We all love music in all it's forms, but live music created by musicians with instruments definitely has a special place for us. In our discussion specifically, we discussed Jazz and the lack of venues where you can lounge and listen to Jazz veterans those who've perfected their craft through years without mass promotion or radio play. I've been to a few places in DC that have a live acts come in and perform, but since I'm in the Baltimore Area now there are even less places to go fill this void. For those that don't understand, there are a million bands in Baltimore and you can easily checkout just about every genre except for Jazz. Now there are several reasons for this, but primarily, the popularity of this specific genre isn't big here so as an Jazz artist you're better off going where it is (further south) to keep the lights on. This is disappointing, because I've recently been getting reacquainted with Acid Jazz after much time straying further away from Jazz for electronic variants in years past. I love electronic based music; Hip Hop (real, not radio rap), Drum & Bass and Jungle for example, but the truest purity comes from creation. Creation can come from manipulation of music to make music like electronic variants, but creating sound by hand (or mouth) in unison is very special, as well as very good live when done well.

Albeit round about, this brings me to my main point; I feel like as with many things that are dying off in society, truly creative people may be going the way of the dodo as well. This isn't just about music, this is about the lack of art classes in public school pre-college and children not getting outside of the house. This is about many people out there that have abandoned their creative passions for work and (sometimes perceived) financial stability. Unfortunately, becoming a parent can easily take away from personal time as well. What I urge everyone to do it get out there and make something. If you aren't making whatever it is from scratch, that's fine, make something out of something. Please, everyone, take the opportunity to create on a weekly basis and/or help facilitate those that do; it'll go much further than just from your mind to a medium.

In the near future I'll be working to help plug some of my creative friends and associates. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Floating for Independence.

Independence Day weekend and I'm working Sunday and Monday. Thank goodness for Saturday ha. Long time no see, so we hooked up with our buddies Phil and Vicki, their lovely kids, and hit the water. 88 degrees, a pretty constant cool breeze off the water, no humidity, no clouds and boats as far as the eye can see.

As opposed to getting onto the highway and having cars as far as the eyes can see, which is terrible, this is quite the fortunate alternative. Organized chaos ensues on the way to our mini-beach of choice, everyone on infinitely random paths yet obliging right of way in an unspoken yet understood manner. Mind the wake.

Harsh sun slowed early progress, but things got going once we anchored for a bit. While I've had plenty cockpit hours doing so, shooting while wading or @ 25 knots is always a challenge with sweet rewards. In the end I'm glad I took the time to thoroughly clean my sensor mirror a few weeks ago...9 out of 10 ospreys agree. When natural light is this clean I feel like a kid in a candy store, if only for a couple of hours.

The previous several years of guest boating paid dividends as with all the boats and ski-doo's dartin' around, the boat was rockin'. I used to get seasick quick, but now I can simply enjoy floating along it for what it is; it's a good way to clear your head, throw off the responsibility from shore and just take in the sights and sounds. It also lets you take in some sun and time with friends and family. There is something about that perfect weather sunny day; the last 4 days or so here in Maryland have been like this. Being a little bit closer to nature and further away from civilization does a body and mind good. While I don't like to admit it, I think Phil has more of the right idea, hobby-wise.

I hope everyone had a safe Holiday weekend.

Capturing Life's Fabric with Technology.