Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Approach to LAX...

Yesterday saw a spike in views on my Flickr. Something was up, all of a sudden a set of photos I shot while coming home from the Sun Valley Writers Conference were being viewed in large quantities.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

It turns out LAist liked them enough to write a story about them. Sweet!

We Are So Above L.A. (While Admiring Aerial Photographs of Popular Locations) by Lauren Lloyd

See the set on Flickr

Time Lapse Astro Porn

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Another reason to visit Spain, El Teide, Spain´s highest mountain.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Plan for a Chair

Chair schematic


a set of drawings or two-dimensional diagrams used to describe a place or object, or to communicate building or fabrication instructions. Usually plans are drawn or printed on paper, but they can take the form of a digital file. -Wikipedia

My dad will be glad to see that I am beginning my next woodworking project with a pen and paper, rather than a chop saw with a dollop of sawdust.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Serge Gainsbourg Tribute at the Hollywood Bowl


Last night, according to Twitter, Angelenos were either watching the VMAs at home or enjoying one of the highlights of KCRW's World Festival of Music at the Hollywood Bowl, a tribute concert to Serge Gainsbourg. Since I don't have cable, I was at the latter. This was easily one of the most entertaining concerts I've been to in years. Here's a taste...

What's the Bowl without food and drink?

My company for the evening, Mrs D & Lady V

Friends everywhere, including Ms B

and the toasts of the musical blogosphere, To The Maxxx & Guy Fantastico of BYOW

There was a performance taking place



Can I see a hat wobble?


Jean Claude Vannier




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Los Angeles Critical Mass August 2011

Now in HD!

Tigger, the newest cause célèbre of Critical Mass

Heather's coconut cake was received with great enthusiasm

"Turn It Up" indeed!

Coolass Mike interviews Matthew Lewis AKA King Future AKA "the fastest black young man out of Compton", perhaps the Major Taylor of the 21st century, fueling up with Heather's cake.

No Shirt, No Helmet, No Problem!

Protected By Lasercats!

It's great to see more recumbent cyclists riding Critical Mass.

Did anyone hear the phrase "Move to the right?" I'd say the LAPD deployment was still excessive, especially motorcycle officers and their obsession with packing the ride as far to the right as possible, creating a dangerous and crowded riding condition for cyclists.

Tête De La Course

Who me?

Sgt David Krumer aka @LAPDBike

One of many young cyclists who hasn't yet solved the equation "Safety ≠ Fashion"



At least she's wearing a helmet, even if it's not properly fitted to her head

IMG_7860Intermission Entertainment

Los Angeles Critical Mass August 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Morning Moon

Morning Moon

The sound of sprinklers woke me up. I glanced outside to find a crescent moon hanging low in the east, beginning a daily journey across the sky, with the sun chasing close behind.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Celestial Array


The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.

One of the many things I look forward to when I visit Sun Valley is the chance to see a night sky full of stars. I was especially excited to try some astrophotography with our new camera. The first night revealed that there was no easy way to focus on infinity. (Canon, can we please get an infinity lock setting?) Many of my shots were out of focus because the auto-focus was utterly useless at night and it was impossible to manually focus since the focus ring didn't stop at infinity, but some point beyond, in order to compensate for variations due to temperature fluctuations.


So the next day, I focused the camera on a distant mountain, and applied a few pieces of scotch tape to the lens and focus ring to mark an infinity focus point. Later that night, here's what developed...




These were shot at 3200 ASA for about 8 seconds at F 1.8. If only Los Angeles were as dark as Ketchum, Idaho, I could enjoy this celestial array 365 days a year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Friendlier City For All, Including Cyclists

Here in Los Angeles, many elected officials and heads of departments are active on social networks, including the the city council president, the department of transportation and of course the mayor. They frequently use their twitter accounts to post press releases and generally tell constituents all about the amazing things they are doing for them.

Last month, Mayor Villaraigosa tweeted that he was looking for ideas to make Los Angeles more bike-friendly. While the new bike plan that was passed and is now beginning to be implemented is an amazing accomplishment, I couldn't help but think that the discussion could be expanded a bit more. Let me explain.

When it comes to urban planning and transportation infrastructure, cyclists are the canary in the coal mine. What's good for bicyclists is good for families, children and communities. Case in point: San Francisco's darling of a park: Patricia's Green.


Named after Patricia Walkup, the community activist who spearheaded the park's creation, it is located on what used to be a busy freeway offramp. Today, the park is a locus of community activity, where families gather for picnics under public art installations.

Hayes Green aka Patricia's Green

The park is bordered on 2 sides by a bike lane, a car lane and a parking lane. This creates a calming effect that slows down traffic and provides safer ingress and egress to the park, while still allowing for through traffic. The park sits at the corner of Hayes and Octavia, amidst a vibrant shopping district in the heart Hayes Valley.


Calm streets make for safe pedestrians and happy cyclists.


Beyond the park, the roadway is divided with a planting median between car lane and a parking lane with Sharrows for cyclists. It doesn't get any calmer than this!



Signage indicates that cyclists use the crosswalk button to activate the traffic signal as well as their ability to proceed straight ahead.


Throughout San Francisco, this sign reminds drivers that cyclists aren't relegated to the far right of the road, a common misconception here in Los Angeles. CVC 21202 gives cyclists the right to use the full lane in many situations including:

when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes)

The case can be made that the majority of city streets in Los Angeles are both hazardous and narrow enough that a cyclist can take the lane nearly everywhere!

So Mayor Villaraigosa, to answer your question, above you'll find a few small lessons in urban planning that could easily be adopted in neighborhoods and communities across Los Angeles. By rethinking the way we build our streets, and what priorities we place on those designs (vehicle throughput versus safe and vibrant communities) amazing things can happen! The benefits to cyclists is just one small component of this revolution through holistic urban planning. I hope you'll consider implementing some (or all!) of these ideas as a lasting legacy to your commitment to improve the lives of Angelenos.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Essential Kitchen Staple


Good Olive Oil. Call me a nationalist, but I prefer either Greek or Spanish. This can of Ybarra Olive Oil comes from Catalina's Market, which I cannot wait to photograph and write about. Small ethnic markets are one of the true gifts of living in Los Angeles. How boring would our city be if all we had was Ralphs, Trader Joes and Whole Foods?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cycling to Support Injured Veterans


Without a doubt, I believe that cycling not only provides me with physical exercise, but also relieves stress, calms me and gives me time to think about everything that's on my mind. The more I ride, the more meditative the experience becomes. I'm still in the present moment, dodging careless drivers and avoiding potholes, but I'm also exploring ideas and thoughts in a way that I can't when I'm sitting motionless.

For people suffering from physical and emotional trauma, cycling has the potential to change lives. For example, scores of veterans coping with physical injuries and PTSD have turned to cycling as a part of their rehabilitation process.

The Ride 2 Recovery is a program produced by the Fitness Challenge Foundation, (501C3) in partnership with the Military and VA Volunteer Service Office to "benefit both Mental and Physical Rehabilitation Programs for our country's wounded veterans that feature cycling as the core activity."
Come get your car washed this Sunday and support a rider for the upcoming ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October, that you can also sign up for.

The carwash is this Sunday, August 21 · 10:00am - 2:00pm at:

316. W. Florence Ave. Inglewood between La Brea and La Cienega

To learn more visit the event page and you can also like Ride 2 Recovery on Facebook.