Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bright Light City Gonna Set My Soul...

...Gonna set my soul on fire.

Vegas! The big trip starts tomorrow. But its not just Sin City. Once we fly out, the roadtrip will be all around the west. LA, Palms Springs, Yuma AZ, Quartszite AZ, Phoenix, Jerome AZ, Flagstaff, and back to Vegas. Oh, and a little side trip near San Diego.

Pictures to be coming once I'm on the road.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tell Me More, H-Town

I'm doing with Houston what I did when I first learned about our move to Atlanta. Scoured the web for blogs and websites about the city, put them in to a reader and wait for people to say interesting things about the city they live in.

When I blog it always come back to being local. Eccentric personal pursuits aside, I get real pleasure getting to know a place and like blogging about these discoveries. So, while preparing for our final move, I wait and read, learning about our new home.

And that's what I'm doing now.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bent Fabrication and Dangerous Things for Children

So, I'm checking my web stats and found that some people had looked at my site because of this picture from Bent Fabrication (which I had hot-linked to, bad internet behavior.) I've corrected that situation by stealing the picture. So much better! I will be emailing for permission sometime soon.

And where does he live? Houston. I'm going to like this city I think.

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More good kids stuff as seen in "Modern Mechanix" - Two-Wheel Stroller.

Or a beautifully unsafe 50's car seat below (as seen in the Peterson Automobile Museum.) Fortunately, our modern age provides us both with much-improved safety seats and carriages, and the ability to buy all these vintage child-mangling toys of death on eBay.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Evening With Richard Cheese and Plus More Covers

Saw Mr. Cheese and his band at the Roxy last night. Good times. This show make 10 total that we've seen him and all but this one in Sin City. Definitely a different crowd than the ones in Vegas. As my wife pointed out, unlike the Atlanta show in Vegas you don't have to do much to make the girls dance on stage. Dick seemed to be drinking more then usual. Bought a shirt, it looks like a piano before being opened.

I love his lounge-style covers. Which is why I bummed that I will be missing the Puppini Sisters at the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech. They do Andrew Sisters-style covers of modern toons like Gloria Gainer's "I Will Survive," Blondie's "Heart Of Glass," and "Panic" by The Smiths. I'll be in Houston at the time of their show in Atlanta and then they will be heading back to England. So no chance to see them life anytime soon.

My favorite is their cover of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights". Their myspace page has a great sounding audio file, but I've posted an okay sounding Youtube video performance so you can see what's going on at G-Tech.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Houston Trip: Sights and Success in Bayou City

The flights, delayed.

The trip, a success.

A home, found.

Day 1: In addition to rentals found through the internet, the owner of the B&B (Sara's Bed and Breakfast) provided us with a couple of printed pages from the Houston Association of Realtor webpage. He had already recommended a great place to eat the night before. Vietnam Restaurant provided much needed health after bad airport food and at $20 for the two of us was easy on the budget. We wouldn't have found the place with out the guidance and it was just what we needed that night.

Day 2: Much time was spent driving, and very little picture-taking. The city is deserving of more photography. Looking for places, bad time management led to low blood sugar and food issues. Found some good-bad chinese (you know greasy & and tasty plus cheap) which restored much-needed marital happiness. Found a few promising leads and driving all over Houston was good exposure to the city. Blocked roads in the medical district meant traveling 2 blocks in 50 minutes. The cause, nicked gas main by construction guys. Damn them! Dinner = Italian at Spaghetti Western. Went to art opening at Lawndale Art Center.

Day 3: The end of our search was near. Drove around the overcast city, surprising the missus with David Adicke's studios and giant head repository.

The massive collection of giant presidential head make the warehouse's storage lot a political Easter Island. But it wasn't just politicians.

Monstrous Beatles! After that, more apartment searching. By 5pm a place settled upon. Low end of the spending limit may equal new laptop due to savings. iFrugel! Ate France in the morning and Belgium at night at Cafe Montrose. Muscles and fritz (or mussels and frites for those sticklers for accuracy) for the missus. No thank you sez I. The evening... spent with Harry Potter.

Day 4: Play day! Visited the Artcar Museum. Many pictures taken.

Outside the Artcar Museum, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Me with a dog on a car. Also grabbed a local arts calender. Before flight, drove around city and made fun of bad mansions. Whole neighborhood full of boring, rich people with no imagination who built dull, large houses. The upside?... no gates to keep the riff raff from viewing the poor taste and making rude comments.

Lastly a postponed flight got use home hours later then expected. Tired but relieved.

Learned that this will be a good city to call home. The people we met were generous with their time and advice. Two of the landlords we didn't choose may be good sources for job-related info. One offered to help despite being told we choose a different rental than his. The other offered an introduction to a couple of intriguing collectors. More on that once we move to the city. All in all a promising start.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Paris Schmaplet

I like maps, I like Paris. And these folks used one of my pictures. So there you go.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Miscellaneous Things Done in the Last Two Weeks

Went and saw the movie Paprika. Beauty of a movie about the dream and real worlds merging. But for all its artistry, I don't think of it as one of the great animated movies. Extremely good, but not great. For fans of animation and especially Ghost in the Shell.

Saw the self proclaimed "King of Country Western Troubadours" Unknown Hinson at the Earl. He definitely deserve the term "guitar virtuoso."

Did 4th of July with wife and friend on top of a Downtown parking garage.

But by far the best thing I did was attend the AV Geeks collection of bizarre flicks at Eyedrum. Amber emailed me and told me about the fun to be had, and it was the best 5 bucks I've spent in a long time. Strange school and industrial movie gems are curated by Skip Elsheimer. He presented the movies and ran the movie projector. The show that he put together was titled "AV GEEKS Greatest Hits.

"Telezonia (1974) Kids are whisked away by a manchild in white tights, so they can sing about using the telephone. Creepy, but not in the way that you think."

If you got the time this movie is a great example of the full-bore weirdness that is a 70's industrial flick with a budget. Starts rather normally, but don't let that fool you.

"Crash Bang Boom" (1970) 10 min We learn about percussion instruments featuring marching bands, dancing kids and a groovy rock band.

Malakapaladoo Skip Two (1977) 10 min A cute film for kids about using their imagination or a clay-laced, folkmusic opus to hallucinogens? You decide.

Drugs Are Like That (1979) 16 min An attempt to warn kids about the dangers of drugs using Legos and a catchy song to make its point. Anita Bryant narrates!

Shake Hands with Danger (1980) 23 min A truly inspired film that uses a country music song to illustrate the dangers of working on heavy equipment. Some fake gore too!

VD is for Everybody (circa 1970) 30 sec A public service announcement that uses an infectious song to talk about an infectious disease."

All of these are on the AV Geeks' Greatest Hits DVD, which would make a great gift for lovers of the bizarre, fans of 70's fashion and me. It I hadn't spent all the cash I had just to get through the door, I would have grabbed a DVD or two.

You can also check out some of their publicly available movies on archive.org.

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Personal Monument: Adventures in Stone

The future prospect of having a long-term house has me thinking about a long-term project. A kind of monument to personal things, travel and life. I got the idea from a 70 year-old monument in the Smokey Mountains.

The Great Smoky Mountains Masonic Monument was built in 1937. The main idea of it was expressed this way, "...we conceive the idea of a Masonic Marker as a true symbol of the universality of Masonry, and therefore have requested Masons of all countries and states to contribute stones to go therein. Interesting stones have come from five continents, the isles of the seven seas, and from historic spots of nearly every state in the Union."

A downloadable PDF of the Masonic Shrine Catalogue of Stones in Marker has drawings of each side of the marker with entries of every stone that was added to the memorial.

Many of the included stones have simple description, but some have long, involved stories. This is but a short part of one of the stones' entries, "275 Stone picked up at Sira Mountain, extinct volcano near Aden, Arabia, where according to Major H. Wilburforce Bell in his 'Romances of Aden,' the Queen of Sheba conferred with Solomon..." It goes on, but that bit is some pretty good stuff.

Since we travel a bit, I like the idea of some sort of marker somewhere in a yard with stones added and embedded in it. A physical scrapbook, a collection of places visited with something from each location brought back and incorporated into it. Now, I doubt it would look like the monument the Masons built so long ago. It could take just about any shape.

My only concern would be having to move it if we moved. But I already have an idea for that...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New York Times on the Lilburn Temple

Just today, the New York Times published an article answering a question I had. What is this place?

Lilburn, GA Temple, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

It is the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple on the corner of Lawrenceville Highway and Rockbridge Rd NW (Google Map).

The above picture was taken in April '07 while construction was taking place. The New York Times article has a picture of the completed building and states that it should be opening about the last week in July. I don't know what the decorum is for visiting a Hindu temple for a non-believer, but I do believe that I will try to visit it before leaving for Houston.

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Pictures of the temple ground breaking from the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website.

About the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir from Harvard's Pluralism Project.

Brochure detailing the temple project, with drawings and building details and descriptions.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Boom Camp: Where Was This When I Was Setting Fires?

Happy 4th of July.

As a young kid I liked setting fires and blowing things up.

Fires were often started by getting a can of WD-40, lighting the end of the straw and spraying. Instant flame thrower.

The blowing things up was a little more involved. Plastic model cars had firecrackers placed in crevices. I meticulously emptied Tylenol capsules and dipped them in a can of gasoline to make little gas tanks, which then had toothpicks inserted to act as slow-burning wicks. All things considered, I can out unscathed and with hearing intact. My dad as a kid was equally lucky. While using an M-80 to splash a sink full of water, blew the whole thing up instead, sending pieces of porcelain flying. He too managed not even a scratch.

So, there seems to be a family tendency to pyromania and explosives. The solution? The kid is going to Summer Explosives Camp! Where was this when I need it most?

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And no matter the gender of future kids, this will be bought when the need arises...

The Dangerous Book for Boys | Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden

Loads of Reviews from Blogging Parents

Monday, July 02, 2007

Love That Dick: Seeing Richard on the 17th

Richard Cheese. In Atlanta. Going. Happy.

Lounge covers of modern rock, rap and pop songs.

Seen him at least 5 times in Vegas, from big casinos to a hole in the wall. The man puts on a great show. Expect the same this time around.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Those Funny White People

Racist Humor:

Intentional & Funny...

Unintentional & Utterly Serious...