June 4th, 2017


A Very Full Day

Slept in only a little bit, completely forgot the park's monthly birthdays party (they used to have cake, they don't anymore). Got to the photo shoot a few minutes early, I thought I had been to this studio which was created inside a warehouse office, but turns out it is a few doors down from one and all the way across 101 from the other De La Cruz Ave. spots.

Nice front office, men's and women's restrooms, which is rare for these spaces. A different mix of photographers - two 60-ish women, two 60-ish men besides myself, the host is in his 40's, one photog I've shot with a few times before, probably is 40 by now. Everyone knew what they were doing, so things went smoothly. The model, Laura, is different. Very skinny, a natural strawberry blonde whose eyelashes are almost white. But she came out in a neon blue-green wig and heavy glitter make-up, cheetah cloth covered very high heels, gold fringed bra top, and I'll post photos of the rest I hope (Photoshop is crunching them in the background to correct for strange lighting).

She was very energetic but not very graceful. She was constantly moving, posing, and was a challenge to follow. Everyone shot for 3 minutes each, then a second round. The studio lights were excellent - fast and almost instant recycling. At a shot every 3 seconds, I didn't lose any to the lights not being ready. Next round she changed into a steampunk outfit, goggles, a dred-like reddish wig, black top and bikini bottom, both with belly dance coins and chains added. And she removed all her face makeup, which IMHO was a vast improvement. The first set was in front of a white backdrop, the last one in front of black on faux wood flooring.

Two 3-minute slots each, then a 90-second round.

I started with my 85mm lens, head shots, next round was the Tamron 28-300, then my old Nikon 50mm - this is when I realized I was shooting at ISO 800 instead of 100 (much better for models and studio lighting), and finished up with the Nikon 28-300. Or something like that. I don't have a good EXIF reader until I upload to Flickr.

After the shoot, I went past Lyric Theater's rehearsal hall/warehouse to Home Depot and scored some shrubbery on sale. I got two pots of star jasmine and two of something called Golden Euonymus. Parked those in the driveway when I got home. I need to do some prep before I plant them.

Started processing the photos, then it was time to head to Campbell for karaoke. I had developed a headache and my voice was scratchy, but I sang a lot because there were only three other singers there. After about an hour and a half the obligatory tone deaf person got up and sang, and that was my exit cue.

I killed with Sal T'lay Ka Siti until the karaoke computer glitched.  I recovered, but need to try that again next time. I also messed up Proud Of Your Boy from the Broadway version of Aladdin - couldn't remember the tune, and the accompaniment gave no clues. Nobody knew the song so it wasn't a total disaster.

Home, watered all the plants indoors and out, and finally got brave and pulled up the compost bin and set it on its side. Got out the shovel to put what spilled on the ground back up on the retaining wall. That was stage 1 of tomorrow's garden prep.

One of my new down the block neighbors stopped by for a chat, she says she doesn't mess with gardens, she put bark over hers. And she isn't interested in getting on The List by going to the neighborhood meeting Monday.

Dinner was the last of the green curry beef over rice. Yum! And ice cream as the antidote to the sniffles.

Facebook alerted me to the London bridge attack. While that was happening, my London cousins were on Facebook being all paranoid about the election Thursday resulting in a nuclear war. Paranoid idiots. These are cousins by marriage, not blood relatives.

Fired up the NVidia Shield which has Pluto TV app, which has Skynews, UK's independent news station, and watched the Scotland Yard spokesman not even blink about it only taking 8 minutes for his troops to shoot three men armed only with knives, wearing fake suicide belts. It would be a lot smarter to capture at least one alive.

Plans for tomorrow:
Haul compost from the back to the front.
Run the tiller in the center of the front garden, mix in the compost
Plant the new shrubs
Maybe go to Lowe's/Home Depot for more.
Maybe "" "" to replace two of the kitchen hanging plants which have seen better days
Meet Janice for coffee at a Starbucks we have not been to for ages

Another Busy one

Was up till 3 am trying to upload the second set of model pix, but both my flickr app and the direct upload burped. More on that later.

Stayed in bed till about 10, it was a decent night's sleep, aided by the BT speaker in the bedroom cranking out music from the new Echo Dot. It has a free TuneIn radio app, which is one of the apps I routinely test at work. It found me a new station which I enjoy a lot: Irish Pub Radio. That link is their web site, this link is the TuneIn live stream. At work my favorite station in Fung Fung Fung, a Thai pop music channel, which really ought to be spelled Fahng Fahng Fahng, (in Thai ฟังฟังฟัง) which means "listen listen listen"). It tends to get loud, especially the commercials. And there is a lot of rap embedded in Thai pop songs.

I am enjoying the BT speakers, even though only one can connect at a time to the dot. They are portable, and water-resistant and play for 8 hours on a charge, so I can listen in the bedroom, take it into the bathroom & shower, then tell dot to connect to the one in the kitchen. Or just carry it in there with me. The is one snafu - the two speakers have the same BT name, not changeable, so the dot gets confused (and so do I) which one I want to connect to. So I have the larger version on order, which should have a different BT name.

Hgl was a tad high, but within range, so I shot up the full 150 units.

Lou came over wanting me to go over his lease, but I don't have time for that. I'm not going to play lawyer for anyone except myself. And I was on my way to the loo when Lou rang the bell.

After said pit stop, I put on shoes, grabbed the tiller, and attacked the center of the front garden where I was going to put the new shrubs. It was amazing. Even though it only bites about 4" deep, it very quickly chopped up the dirt and grabbed any loose dead branches. Made it very easy to create a clean space where I wanted it. Also, with the area cleared, it revealed that four plants I thought had died were alive. Lilacs, I think. The Bee's Friend and poppies had covered and choked them, but they still have some green leaves.

Off to Lowe's, found exactly the barrow/cart I was looking for, on sale for $40. And I also picked up a pair of small Philodendron Cordatums to replace the two plants hanging in the bay windows which did not look to be thriving. 

Home, shoveled compost into the barrow, grabbed the rake, shovel and tiller and went up front. Raked and bagged the loose stuff, dumped the compost and raked/shoveled it somewhat evenly across the center 1/3rd of the garden. Dug the first hole, ran into hard clay way too soon, but the tiller broke that up with some effort and a lot of shoveling. Planted the first Golden E, it was plenty deep and there was more than enough dirt to pack it in place.

That was exhausting, so inside for a breather. Back outside, repeat the process, and then put the tools in the shed, take another breather and decided to finish later when it wasn't 80° outside.

Read some of the second Hugo nominated novel, the sequel to Three Body. This time the translation is better, and maybe the basic story as well.

Drove to MV, one of the Starbucks we used to hang at a lot, but then it was torn apart and remodeled and the Blockbuster next door which had been a main source of foot traffic closed. Panera took that space, so business is back up again.  Some Friends of Spandex contestants to look at before Janice arrived.

Home, grabbed the tools and planted the two star jasmine shrubs. They are probably too close together, and the second one is too close to the lilacs, but jasmine can be trained, so I'll deal with that later.

Watered everything, jet sprayed the loose dirt down the storm drain.

Uploaded the second set of photo shoot pix, nuked the duplicates and made an album. Updated the links in my previous post.

"Part 1 - Neon"

Part 2 - Steampunk

Dinner was herb roasted chicken and the last of the cookies & cream Lactaid ice cream. And some halvah chaser. Watched the news until it was clear it was last night's.

So much blather about "I am London" and similar crap. As far as I am concerned, when there's a terrorist strike on London Bridge, and then the country is on high alert from the Manchester bombing, there is no excuse for police to be 8 minutes away from London Bridge when a repeat attack occurs. And no excuse for killing the terrorists, especially when they are armed with only knives and you're wearing bullet proof flack jackets and allegedly are trained in hand to hand combat. So much lost intelligence (in more ways than one).

Meanwhile my UK cousins are more concerned about their PM starting a nuclear war - in a time when there is no PM because she dissolved parliament prior to elections. If you think the US has a stupid legislative system, I give you the UK.

Took out the garbage, put some things in the car to put into boxes tomorrow for the work move. Books and my Microsoft "ship it" award.

Still need to flatten some boxes and put them out for recycling.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work - start in the big building in case the movers have the boxes/labels ready.
If not, end the day there.
Home, walk to the community center for The Meeting.