« November 2004 | Main | January 2005 »

December 31, 2004

Looking Down On DHS

Little San Bernardinos & Desert Hot Springs Aerial View
A photo I shot about a year ago, when I was less intimately familiar wtih the way Desert Hot Springs nestles up against the Little San Bernardinos

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

When William Gibson Speaks...

...we listen: Buy a T-reamer! Penetrate holes.

Filed under Books | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

A Dozen Of San Francisco

Hormel Room

Asian Museum, San Francisco

Transamerica From Coit Tower

San Francisco View

Fog Coming

Golden Gate Bridge

View from Twin Peaks

Sutro Tower

View of Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks & Sutro Tower

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Three Marriott Marquis




Filed under Architecture,Coachella Valley,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

Five Skull Rocks

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

Skull Rock

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Six In A Place

Disney Hall

Disney Hall

Alfred E. Mann  L.A. Philharmonic Center

Disney Hall

Disney Hall Overhang

Disney Hall

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

Three On A Theme

CSUSB Safe Sex

CSUSB Safe Sex

CSUSB Safe Sex

Filed under Coachella Valley,Gay Issues,Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Kodachrome II

After digging a little deeper into the Cushman photo archives I discovered that he supposedly didn't start shooting with Kodachrome until 1939, which is a relief to me. All the photos I looked at in 1938 had a greenish cast, which certainly wasn't consistent with Kodachrome...even old Kodachrome. I've gone through all his 1939 photos and I didn't find a roll that seemed to be Kodachrome. But in February 1940 we find this photo in Tucson which certainly looks like Kodachrome. So I'm saying that roll #2-40 is his first use of Kodachrome, and if I'm wrong I look forward to being pointed to the right spot. I'm disappointed that Indiana University didn't seem to feel the need to point to his first Kodachrome.

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 31, 2004 at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2004


Charles Weever Cushman shot photos on unfading Kodachrome from 1938 until 1969. He then donated his collection of 14,500 slides to Indiana University who makes them available on the web.
Cushman kodachrome
Click the image
to go see the full sized version of this photo from September 1938, which they describe as "A-9= Golden Gate Bridge- Marin End." It does look like the Marin view of the Golden Gate bridge...but I'd say our untraveled Hoosier friends have got it flipped left for right, unless the City of San Francisco has moved out of its bay and now faces the Pacific.

Also check out these:
Looking across the Charles River from MIT to Beacon Hill in 1941.

Faneuil Hall, 1941.

The Massachusetts State House, 1941.

Cape Cod sand dunes, 1941.

Provincetown harbor and Pilgrim Monument, 1941.

Branson, Missouri, 1952.

Cathedral on 11th Street in Kansas City, 1953.

Locust Street in Des Moines, looking at the Capitol, 1958.

The University of Iowa, 1958.

Mt. San Gorgonio viewed from what is probably Route 111, 1959.

Mt. San Jacinto, 1959.

Probably the Racquet Club, 1959.

Mt. San Jacinto with snow, 1969.

The Capitol building in Providence, Rhode Island, 1941.

New Municipal Building, Providence, 1941.

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 30, 2004 at 08:15 PM | Comments (1)

Big Doings in Downtown K.C.

When I first got wind of the "Kansas City Live" entertainment district, I thought that maybe K.C. was going to try to turn itself into the Austin of Missouri, as unlikely as that sounds. It's a 7-block urban renewal project that will include "entertainment-related retail." Does that mean movie theaters? Video stores? Ticket outlets?

Anyway, the city has bought up the historic Empire Theater which has been shut since 1985. They're also in the process of buying the old Jones' Store.

Here's an article that clarifies the entertainment district is anchored by a new headquarters office building for H&R Block. Well, I guess that could be considered entertainment-related, since so many famous artists have tax troubles. The President Hotel will get rehabbed and re-opened. There will also be condos and a gourmet supermarket (Whole Foods?). I'm not seeing anything specific on the entertainment component of this district. Do they just mean bars, clubs and restaurants?

Bordering on the area is Bartle Convention Center which is going to be rehabbed (it's practically new!) and enlarged. There will be a new 20,000 seat arena adjacent to the area, but not in it. There is also chatter about building a NEW baseball stadium downtown! I'm sure they have not finished paying for the Royals Stadium east of the city.

Filed under Architecture | permalink | December 30, 2004 at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)


This year AIDS Lifecycle is using orange wristbands for publicity and fundraising. I've got mine. I wasn't sure how effective it might be. Then shortly after I got it, I saw an ad for Lance Armstrongs yellow wristbands. I guess these have been around for a few months, but I totally missed it. Now there's this article about how a lot of charities are using them.

Filed under AIDS Rides | permalink | December 30, 2004 at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

Various Photos

Cactus Buds Little Green Plant Salt Ponds
Canyon Canyon Mat Shadow
Pink Flower Green Orange Flowers

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 30, 2004 at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2004

Heavy Rain

We've been having the heaviest rainfall I've yet seen here in the Coachella Valley the last couple of days. It seems DHS got hit more heavily than the other towns and several roads were closed. News via TV was pretty unreliable. They continuously reported flooding at the intersection of streets that never intersect, and they claimed that the northeast part of town had suffered a mud slide! I think the reporters didn't realize that all the streets in that area are being repaved while they put in new sewer lines, so the streets are bare dirt. They probably took a drive by, saw the mud, and assumed a mud slide.

I lost phone service again, and called Verizon to schedule the 4th repair attempt. The last repairman said he had spotted the trouble, but needed to come back with additional resources to be able to repair it. That was 3 weeks ago and he never returned. Someone is scheduled to come today, and I had hoped this time that he might arrive before the problem fixed itself, but this afternoon we have been cursed with sun and warm breezes, so the wires have dried out and my dial tone has returned. Damn!

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | December 29, 2004 at 03:15 PM | Comments (2)

Some More Boston Area Photos

Mt Auburn Street Harvard Buildings Harvard Gate WWI Memorial
Vandegraaf Generator MGH Seal Door Handle Jockey
Grass Red Chairs Post Office Square New England Telephone

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 29, 2004 at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2004

Charles Chaplin

Chaplin HouseChaplin HouseChaplin HouseChaplin House
Here are some photos of a house that Charles Chaplin owned at one time. It's being totally rehabbed.

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | December 27, 2004 at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Recent Viewing

A few comments, none worthy of a post of its own:

Regarding Sphere, I had heard it was terrible, and I can't recall exactly why I put it in my queue of movies. I think I may have been curious to see if it was as bad as everyone said. It is. I'm willing to suspend disbelief and go with a film's undelrying concept, but there aren't enough cables on all the bridges in San Francisco bay to adequately suspend disbelief for this tripe. [No offense intended to those who enjoy the eating of tripe.]

As for The Aviator, they did something interesting with the color...at least in the non-CGI bits. I think they may have de-saturated the green, but I'd have to give it a careful second viewing to make a better guess. Outdoor foliage has an odd bluish cast. I'm not sure what the intended effect was, but it seems to work for a "look."

Also, my first thoughts when I saw Cate Blanchett playing Katherine Hepburn were "Why in the world did they cast a woman in that role?" There are so many men who can do a better Hepburn than what I saw on the screen.

Now, what about Défense d'aimer? These people can't tell a story at all. And even if they could tell a story, they don't know how to film it. It could only have worked if it were set in the 50s or 60s. A young French man realizes his attraction to a young Italian man and thereby goes insane. Unnecessary queer death ties up the end of the film. There's a lot of handheld camera shots and underlighted scenes. Frequently we can't tell who we are looking at or what we are supposed to be seeing. It would have helped to be able to see how many people were in that bed.

If you happen to see a copy of Défense d'aimer for sale somewhere, please toss it in the trash and improve the world a little bit.

Filed under Film/Movies | permalink | December 27, 2004 at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

Homosexuals in DHS

It's true, it's true. People (not DHS residents) have been telling me that there are "lots" of gay people in Desert Hot Springs. But I was dubious because they never introduced me to any of them. But today I was invited to an open house in the part of DHS that I think may be just the beginnings of a gay neighborhood. And it's true that this town is packed with 'em. From the talk, though, everbody is just now beginning to find everybody else. There was a part 3 weeks ago. There was this open house. There are promises for a couple more parties. We got a little bit of town gossip, and some news too (which I will not pass on). Restaurant reviews ("South of the Border" and "Capri" are THE best, they say).

The whole experience was very reminiscent of my coming out days in Columbia, Missouri...where everybody was new to everybody else (because it was a college town) and open to making new friends. We shared home addresses like college students sharing dorm names.

The crowd had some visitors from farflung locales: Guerneville and Atlanta and even Joshua Tree!

Filed under Coachella Valley,Gay Issues | permalink | December 26, 2004 at 08:49 PM | Comments (3)

Burj Tower

Samsung is all set to build the world's tallest building for Emaar Properties in (where else?) Dubai. The Burj Tower will be 800 meters, 160 floors, and is scheduled for completion in late 2008.

Filed under Architecture | permalink | December 26, 2004 at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Tsunami Eyewitness

A BBC reporter in Sri Lanka gives his eyewitness report of the tsunami.

| permalink | December 26, 2004 at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

Simple Digital

A friend of mine needs a SIMPLE digital camera. It needs to be as easy to use as a simple film camera. That is: turn it on, aim, take a photo. He can deal okay with zoom, but flash should certainly be automatic. It would be best if the camera has NO settings, no black & white mode, no sepia, no macro, no landscape setting. Simply full auto. We don't want protruding controls that can get bumped and put the camera into mystery mode. It goes without saying that this camera will use AA (or some other easy to find) batteries.

So what if this friend has ADD, he just wants some digital snapshots. Is that so bad? He will be capable of hooking up a USB cable and using some photo software to rotate images. But that will be the limit.

Suggestions? Please readers, we need to hear from you.

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 26, 2004 at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)