Saturday, September 19, 2009

Water Tight

In comments about yesterday's photo Margaret asked, "What is the flat surface we see?" Here's a closer view of it; it's a catch basin, part of the Las Flores Water Company's system. I don't know how it works, but I know it's part of a larger group. A snooty crowd, frankly. They're being a tad obvious about the fact that they don't want anybody inside their fence.

I took this picture from the back side of the basin or tank or tub or whatever it's called. That would be to the left side of it, in yesterday's photo. (Enlarge that shot and you can see the cyclone fence.) It may look a little rusty, but the rust is just to fool you. I've seen maintenance people around, taking care of it, patrolling the place and making sure nobody gets in. People take water seriously around here.

Fine, fine. Call it sour grapes but I don't want to go in there anyway. Stand next to the tank at the end of a hot day and it makes weird noises while it cools off. "Bloop. Boing. Doonk." Hell, I can hear that at home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Revisiting an Old Flame

While firefighters continue to target hotspots in the Station Fire, I thought it might be interesting to revisit a small brush fire area I've photographed before to check in on the progress of regrowth. I took this photo on August 13th before the Station Fire began. Though this area (viewed across Las Flores Canyon from the Sam Merrill Trail) was unscathed in the recent fires, it remains closed to hikers.

This small area burned almost exactly two years ago in August of 2007. The fire was very quickly put out by our local firefighting heroes. Click on my March, 2008 post to see how the burn area looked this past February, then again a month later, after some rain.

In today's photo you can see much more growth. I don't know if the burnished brown scrub is dried from lack of water, or if that's the color of the healthy plant. Maybe one of you can tell us.

One of the hotspots the firefighters have been working on the last couple of days is almost directly north of this area. John and I met some of the guys as they came off the mountain Wednesday night. They were tired and dirty and gorgeous and sweet. I'm saving those pictures to post Tuesday, 9/22. That's when they said they'd be coming to the end of their deployment and have a chance to check the web.

I know we can never thank them enough, but if you get the chance, give it a try. They like it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wiggle Waggle Walk

Here's an action-packed sporting event involving three happy dogs who don't have a care in the world, thanks to owners who love and care for them. That's Sprocket on the left, Jerry in the middle and Boz on the right. John and I adopted Boz a little over six years ago and he's been enhancing our lives ever since. He doesn't have much of a tail to waggle, but he finds myriad other ways to show his appreciation.

Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA's annual Wiggle Waggle Walk is coming up on Sunday, September 27th at Brookside Park. There you can join with animal lovers from miles around and raise funds to help the more than 11,000 animals (of all types) that the PHS cares for every year. The walk is schedule for 9am to 2pm.

The Pasadena Humane Society is a broad organization helping all kinds of animals. They even have Wildlife Services. I suspect the Station Fire has created a stronger need for those services now than ever before.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk is a fun way to support all of PHS's services, including animal adoptions, education programs, wildlife services and more. I'm sure it'll be an action-packed event that will help more animals live their lives without a care in the world, thanks to the people at Pasadena Humane Society who care so deeply for them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fyre Guard

Fyre Guard doesn't have much of a web presence so I can't tell you any more about the business than what we see in the photo. The place was closed when I took the picture and there wasn't anyone to ask. Still, I love the look of the place. Click on the picture to enlarge it and contemplate all those fire extinguishers in need of fixing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Who needs Hollywood? All that beating of one's head against Hollywood's brick wall is unnecessary when our very own KPAS has a green screen (aka Chroma key) studio. (If you don't know what it is and you'd rather not read the Wikipedia article, just click here for a quick visual to give you an idea of how green screen can be used.)

I met some nice people over at Hen's Teeth Square where the studios are located. Linda Centell, Pasadena's Assistant Public Information Officer, introduced me to everybody (and she knows everybody):
E. Stuart Johnson, Live Production Coordinator, recorded and videotaped me in the sound booth. (It's strange to watch myself doing voice-over on video.)
Later, Aaron Wheeler, the Marketing & Communications Manager, was helping set up in the green screen studio while I nosed around with my camera.
Don Repella, the Executive Director of Pasadena Community Access Corporation, talked about how green screen is used. Plus we got to talking about photography.
Community Outreach Coordinator Michele Maglionico Lembo demonstrated how to break the rules.

Now I know that KPAS and PCN are two different entities. Linda told me PCAC is public access and KPAS is government access, but is PCAC the same as PCN? And what does KLRN have to do with it? And why is it when I click on the "How Can You Create Your Own Show" link on the PCN website I get nowhere? What are they trying to tell me?

Ah, just banging my head against a bright green brick wall.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zen Monday: #63

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about. I look for something worth thinking about or, failing that, at least something odd.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo, I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary (if I know what it is).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Untitled 1969-2009

"This major work, Untitled 1969/2009, takes the form of skywriting that will say, with Nauman's classic mischievous humor, 'Leave the Land Alone.'"

I read that publicity phrase before yesterday's art installation but didn't understand it. How is "leave the land alone" funny or mischievous, let alone classy?

But I went to the La Loma Bridge to watch yesterday, because I wondered if there might be something more to this piece by artist Bruce Nauman. There was and there wasn't. By the time I left, the planes had written in the sky four times, "LEAVE THE LAND ALONE." The crowd on the bridge loved it, I think.

I wasn't disappointed but I might have been, had it not been for the Armory Center for the Arts. The project was initiated by Andrew Berardini, Adjunct Assistant Curator, and organized by Director of Gallery Programs Jay Belloli and Gallery Programs Manager Sinead Finnerty-Pyne. I assume it's thanks to these people that there happened to be, on the bridge, a very pleasant woman with printed information about the artwork.

This information explained that Nauman was directing his phrase at his contemporaries in the movement known as Land Art or Earth Art, questioning the artist's intervention with landscape.




Cagey, doing that from the sky.