Monday, August 28, 2006

Weird Georgia On My Mind: Google Earth and Flickr Maps

Little did I know when we moved to Atlanta that we would be moving to a state chock full of strange museums, roadside attractions and other cultural eccentricities.  Just my kind of state!

Spending many hours (ask my wife) I have accumulated hundreds of places on Google Earth that meet the criteria to make them worth a future visit.

Some we hit during our Summer Roadtrip (pictures), like the RV/MH Heritage Foundation with its huge collection of historic travel trailers, Carhenge, and the historic Blue Swallow Motel on Rt. 66, amongst other places.  If it weren't for Google Earth and my compulsive collecting, I don't think we would have known about or thought of visiting these places.

While amassing the growing collection of Google Earth sites, I was pleased to see a large collection of places in Georgia or in nearby states.  

Already we made the trek to the Georgia Guidestones in Elberton, GA.  This week, it may be a trip to The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison, GA.  Eventually, we hope to go to the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum, Leslie, GA.

Just unveiled this evening on FlickrBlog is a newly added geotagged photos on a map feature.  I found it while editing some pictures, and it is great!  I like the intuitive interface -- it is very easy to add my pictures to the map.  I don't like the map itself; it's modeled on Google Map but just not as slick and the imagery doesn't have the resolution that Google has.  So, I now have started adding roadtrip pictures to my map. I am curious to see if Google Earth/Google Map has a project that is similar, because I'd love that.

And in a triumph, I have even converted my wife to the pursuit of weirdness.  I came home to have her tell me that she recorded a local PBS show about Joni Mabe and Everything Elvis.  Now if I can get her to break into abandoned buildings and let me fly this thing...

... I don't know what else I could ask for.

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Anyone who wants my collection of Google Earth sites (in .kml format), just leave a comment.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Atlanta Waterpark Takeover: Damn Skatepunks!

ATL WaterPark Tour 2 (Black Market)

I feel old that I can't do this and yet smarter for never trying. But the bruises and blood do seem to be well worth the fun these skate kids had at Six Flags White Waters (Wikipedia entry) during the off-season.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Support the State of Georgia: Buy a Foosball Table

Did you know the State of Georgia (and I'm sure many other governmental entities) sells surplus material on eBay?

Available as of this date:

97 Computer Monitors, 1 bid, $49.99

1980 Blue Bird School Bus no bids, starts at $99.99

2 Foosball Tables 1 bid, $26.49

I had a meeting at GSU, and the woman's desk was a gorgeous pale green tank desk, much like the one pictured above. She got the desk, as well as the matching green, metal table and barrister's shelves, from the Georgia State Surplus Property Program. So, my hunt for gorgeous, cheap retro finds has taken a new direction.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Keeping the Tubes Safe From Criminals: RIAA and FCC Songs

"It doesn't matter if you're a grandma
Or a seven year old girl
They'll treat you like
the evil hard-bitten criminal you are..."

Lyrics from anti-piracy anthem "Don't Download This Song" from 'Weird' Al Yankovic. Free download here.

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"Here’s a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge… It’s a new song, it’s dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars."

Funny, profanity-laden song at Pythonline.

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Campus Downloading, the RIAA's educational video that tells those damn college kids to not steal music using the college's bandwidth. Otherwise, shame and poverty will befall them. Really.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 5

The picture above may not look like much. Just a couple of people none too fashionable, but like folk. Color photography has an immediacy that makes the images and people look less archival, less historical. Which is one of the most appealing aspects of Bound for Glory: America in Color, 1939-1943, from the The Library of Congress.

The following images were all found at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration website, using their ARC Records Search Engine. They look like old pictures and I love them for that.

"'Come on in...the snow's fine', girls of the NYA Federal Residence School take time out for a sun bath and to have their pictures taken, ca. 1936" Love the girl with the snowball.

"A top-notch mechanic, Mary Josephine Farley expertly rebuilds airplane engines. Although she is only twenty years old she has a private pilot's license and has made several cross-country flights., 08/1942"

"Training in marksmanship helps girls at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, Calif., develop into responsible women. Part of Victory Corps activities there, rifle practice encourages girls to be accurate in handling firearms., 08/1942"

John Tucker Must Die, circa 1942

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The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 4

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 3

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 2

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 1

Friday, August 18, 2006

Robots Attack Atlanta, GA: Hipsters Rejoice and Enjoy The Free Food

New Midtown art gallery opening up Saturday, Aug ...

Beep Beep Gallery on 696 Charles Allen, Atlanta, GA .

I hope to make it Saturday for the opening, since openings almost always have free grub and drink. I'm sure there will be some art, too.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When the Daily Show is Even Better than It Should Be...

I've been watching the Daily Show since before Jon Stewart started hosting it.  Since his time at the show, it's been turned into one of the wittiest, sharpest, and most critical "comedy" shows today.  But one of last week's shows was a highwater mark in intelligence and risk taking, with its introduction of Aasif Mandvi, the show's Muslim correspondent.  Watch and see some of the edgiest satire I've seen.

Daily Show - Aasif Mandvi

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Netflix: Or The Joy of Being Late to the Party

Having a continually changing schedule means not always being able to watch the TV shows that we should.  The DVR helps, but Netflix is a life saver.

It was through Netflix that we got hooked on Alias, and this summer is season one of Veronica Mars.  The marathon viewings of the DVDs means that we are quickly catching up on year one's mystery.  So while we are late to the party, the DVDs mean that we don't have to wait every week to catch up with Ms. Mars.  But we aren't contributing to the viewership of the show, which would help keep it on the air. We'll work on that when the show returns to The CW .

Now we just have to wait for the rest of the DVDs to arrive. Come on postman.

A PhD: Like Having a Brand New Wife!

Having defended her dissertation, my wife is now a Doctor!  And has been for some time.  She is no longer consumed with writing more chapters nor preparing to take on questions by her committee.  All the things that ate up her time in that regard are now over with, and that means that we get to have a life and explore Atlanta (and Georgia as well).

So, our week has been spent traveling in search of signs of the NWO in east Georgia (The Georgia Guidestones), seeing a theatrical production at Oglethorpe U. ("Departures" by Oglethorpe graduate David-Matthew Barnes), and getting to see the last pre-championship bout of the Atlanta Rollergirls (The Sake Tuyas killed the Toxic Shocks in a great game).

We also searched for a grill and a punching bag for the little woman.  Yeah, summer.

The great thing about travel is new places and wildlife...

Colbert, GA

Tiny frog in my hand at Watson Mill Bridge State Park.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Seeing the girls duke it out tomorrow. Seriously, $10... Bargain!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

LA's Got Nothing on ATL: Except for Hollywood...

This post has the added bonus of my sweet wife ghost-writing. In other words, I couldn't remember all the things we did so she added what I forgot...

Last week, some of my wife's friends from LA came to town and left impressed with Atlanta. Even though we don't have the movie glamor of Hollywood, think about it. That would just mean Lindsay Lohan snorting coke at the Earl and running people off the road on Ponce.

We started with the "Maltese Falcon" at the Fox, following a tasty-as-always dinner at Chinese Buddha. A double-feature with "Key Largo," we left after the first movie and headed to Cafe Intermezzo, fulfilling our guests' desire for an excellent hot chocolate. Unfortunately I had to work during their second day in the city, but my wife showed them around Midtown and Decatur, introducing Dawn to the wonders of the Radial Cafe and Victory Vintage, and ending the day with true Southern hospitality (and blue hair) at The Colonnade.

Their last day was spent cruising the city: breakfast at the Silver Skillet, followed by Atlantic Station, Castleberry Hill, Little Five Points, East Atlanta, and Piedmont Park (and even a brief detour through Buckhead, just to show them why it's so wrong). After a little break it was dinner at the always-unique Dante's Down The Hatch. Boiling in oil your own dinner in a pirate-ship. They don't have anything like that in Los Angeles. At least not that they knew of. They'd also never heard of feta-cheese-and-pine-nut ice cream, until a post-dinner dessert run to Muriel & Sebastian's Ice Cream (Dan and the wife swear it's much better than it sounds, but Dawn and I are chocolate purists and refuse to believe them).

While Dan wasn't able to get the absinthe I was itching for, he did get me a related gift. Yet to try it, will report if I go crazy.

Sunday, me and the missus hit the Tabernacle to see Muse. Fantastic show, with a great sound mix that had everything sounding pretty much like the album. Since the album is pretty well produced, it was nice to see a performance that sounded as good as it looked. I wish I had a better view, but seeing that it was a packed show I'm not complaining. City Savvy Girl posted a review on Confessions of a Music Addict, complete with horrible pun in title.

And prior to all this, I had an interview at the High Museum of Art for on-call art installation work. It would be working with pieces from the Louvre as part of an exclusive loan agreement. I'm hoping that my work with the Guggenheim and its similar arrangement with the Hermitage will work to my advantage.

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Somewhat related links:

The "Fabulous Fox Theatre" in Atlanta, Georgia, a tribute web site

Louvre Museum going American

Monday, August 07, 2006

Kidnapping as Artform: "Good Cinema" and "The Garth Method"

Crime has always been fodder for films. But what happens when crime is part of the filmmaking process? I got to see "Good Cinema" as part of the 2005 Dam Short Fest in Boulder City, NV. This funny short film was based on the premise of two kidnap victims forced to act out a romantic dialogue for a couple of deranged movie makers. The complete strangers went on to make the scene tender, touching and good while being given direction by the two psychopaths. After the movie, the filmmakers had the actor over for dinner to celebrate. The best laugh comes with the meal, and the movie is available online (Quicktime - High Speed or Quicktime - Low Speed)

Now imagine that scenario, but you're Australian and you really got kidnapped. That's what happened to the victims of Garth Petridis. A desperate, out of work actor, he grabbed various people off the street, forced them to act the roles that he cast for them, and then let them go. Eventually caught and jailed, he served a year in prison for his rather strange crime spree. The Garth Method is a combination of the film footage shot by Petridis and recreations by Melbourne-based filmmaker Gregory Pakis. You can read an interview with both criminal actor and filmmaker on Film Threat.

Now I feel like a dumbass because in looking up this movie, I found that I really wanted to see it, and that I missed my chance when it played at the Atlanta Underground Film Fest in August. Oh, well. Check the trailer to see what you missed, and if you did see it tell me if it was worth seeing.

Oh, yeah, I know, it was done in Cecil B. DeMented also.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nation of Wimps, Part 2: "The Tyranny of Therapism"

The tyranny of Therapism: " The authors of One Nation Under Therapy question the notion that uninhibited emotional openness is good for our mental health."

Another treatise on how a child that struggles with normal emotional issues benefits mentally.