Thursday, January 31, 2008

No to Comcast! & Photography Playday: Assorted Houston Sights, Lawndale Art Center,

Comcast decided last Thursday that I was undeserving of internet access, and has purged my modem from their database, rendering it a blinking paperweight. A thank you to my neighbor for the much needed internet fix. And a thank-you to Crystal, the rare Comcast rep who not only returned the phones call she promised, but left messages with details about the situation, and a phone number that went directly to a person and not an automated message system. It's been a week with no resolution and we may not be Comcast customers after this, but Crystal will be getting recommendation sent to her department.

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The following are ssorted pictures of Houston taken while an escape from sweet wife and adorable child. They recaptured me and now I am cooking and cleaning for the women who love me most. They have promised to let me out on occasion for additional field trips.

Fire Fighter Memorial 2, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

S. Main Baptist Church 2, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For Sale: 1965 Austin Cab

1965 Austin Cab, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

We will be getting a second car sometime in the near future. Saw this driving around. Maintaining a 42 year-old British car is a bit daunting. I guess we'll keep looking.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Zoe, So Floppy

Zoe, So Floppy, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Incident Report on A Quiet Weekend

It all had something to do with someone either fucking up a car or fucking in a car.

My first thought when the 2:30 am argument in the next apartment started was that it was a shame it was so cold out. An open door would have made it easier to hear. My second thought, it was a shame we didn't have a baby monitor or I would have put it on the patio. My wife wished it was warmer so we could have gone out and listened to the whole affair with while drinking. In Atlanta, the upstairs apartment got busted for meth. The neighbors all came to our place and drank wine on the patio as the cops made a racket above. Tonight's fight was loud enough that 911 got the call. All has been quiet the rest of the night, so that's the end of that.

In non-domestic dispute related news, I spent most of the evening scanning an illustrated souvenir book from the 1939 New York World's Fair. The new all-in-one Canon printer/scanner/copier/fax works quite nicely. Now, if it could only repair our just-recently broken TV and stop Z from crying it would be just about perfect.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Key Maps Inc. - W. Alabama, Houston, TX

After driving to the Neon Gallery, I parked across the street. The gallery's neon windmill wasn't lit, so I was happy to take aim at the Key Maps sign, before I left.

Introducing My Strange Interest to the Kid

The ability to spontaneously leave the house has been all but eradicated since the arrival of Z. That being the case, I'm working on places to visit in Houston that achieve my desired level of interestingness/strangeness/out-of-the-ordinariness. I would like to take her to some of these places. Partially out of the necessity of baby management and partially to see what it will be like to continue this sort of exploration with a kid in tow.

Houston Maritime Museum

A quick search of Flickr shows no pictures of this local nautical museum. The website is charmingly cheesy and the place promises much of the same. Model boats and I'm betting old guys who would be surprised to see a young (looking) guy show up. It's happened before, and usually results in interesting and lengthy conversations (an example would be my unplanned visit to Holland Lodge #1.) Really close to my place, a plus.

The BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir

When the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir opened in Atlanta, I got the most hits to my site and Flickr pix as a result of people finding my blog entry and pictures (Hi, Indian subcontinent.) We left Atlanta before looking at the beautiful Hindu temple built in Lilburn, GA. Here in Texas, south of Houston is another Hindu temple of the same affiliation. Looks like the same traditional construction with the same gorgeous results.

Lastly, this is a list of places that I've been meaning to photograph for sometime. Maybe the act of making a list will get me in gear.
  • Unity Church - I'm a sucker for pyramids, this church is made of a gold one. Hillcroft and Unity.
  • Sandman Building - Old-style neon on a cool building. Richmond & Shepard area. Will add this and others to Neon Houston on Flickr.
  • Drugstore sign - Vintage neon signage on Richmond, a couple blocks west of Kirby.
  • The Neon Gallery - Near the Houston Center for Photography. Neon windmill, gorgeous. Always gets my attention driving W. Alabama.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 8

I've been writing about archival photos from The Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration since July of 2005. I was pretty thrilled to see various websites announce that the Library of Congress was putting copyright-free images on Flickr. The picture above is just one of many photos now available from that site, but the only one of Houston so far. In the best Houston tradition, I'm sure it was torn down long ago. I'd be curious to see if anyone knows the location of this house.

I love that the LOC is placing images on Flickr; I think it will legitimize the site as one of the online resources for historical materials. I would also like to see the Library of Congress create collections on the Internet Archive, which is already working with the federal library on a book scanning program. I like the idea of mirroring redundant collections around the internet and I have some scepticism about for-profit ventures like Flickr being guardians of culture. While they may behave well now, there is no accounting for what they may do in the future. Having a big institutional customer and user may help moderate any potential bad tendencies in the future.

That being said, this effort is another way for tax-payers to discover the collections they paid for, let non-profit institutions use existing commercial online resources instead of creating their own and make it easy for someone like myself to place the interesting items on my own site in an easy manner.

Also see: The Best Art from the British Government - Lessons from WWII: Beware of Smart Blonds

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The Best Photographs/Art the Federal Government has to Offer - 6

The Best Photographs the Federal Government has to Offer - 5

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

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Late Night Tweeking Means Some New Code Added

4:51 am

Just added an AddThis button to the sidebar and individual posts. If you use social bookmarking sites, this is for you. If you don't, neither do I.

So, there you go.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Let Me Tell You A Secret I Wish I Knew At Your Age"

Saw this while channel surfing, couldn't get it out of my head. Catchy song from "The Whitest Kids U'Know" I hope my kid never hears.

"Get a New Daddy"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nightshift at the Baby Factory

I've got the late shift at our house. Besides me is a sprawled-out cutie looking just like a drunk. I'm resisting the urge to put my beer bottle next to her and grab the camera. Nothing says good parenting like infants, alcohol and digital pictures to enter into evidence. Adding to our electronics collection, we just bought our first camcorder and ended up with the first video of the kid. While fiddling with the night vision settings, got a couple of seconds of really funny faces followed by some college-level puking. It's the kind of video you keep for a rainy day, when the kid is obnoxious, dating and asking for it. She'll run away, shrieking, "I hate you all!" So, all the more reason to keep it on file.

Instead of writing something more substantial then this blog entry, I'm watching a show about a blocked writer, and it is also about boobs. So, bonus! I got to get back into/start the habit of writing. Between the TV and internet, its easy being passively entertained. If I could be as entertained by my own writing as others, I'd be happy.

All the while, a sink full of dishes cries out to be cleaned.

Lastly, an early picture of the sweet kid (7 days already?!) that will be a favorite for all time.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, More Of The Same Good Stuff

Happy New Year to whoever is reading this post. Sometimes writing this blog feels like yelling off a cliff. I'm making some noise but I don't know how far it carries. I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions and I don't have a big end-of-the year post in my head. I'm just looking forward to doing more of the things I like to do, keeping the good habits I have and doing less of the things that haven't worked.

Anyways, our coming year and years will have us traveling with a new addition. Zoe is her name and on her 6th day, still sweet girl. I think she will be a good partner in crime and fit in quite nicely with our little clan.

I'm hoping to put her immediate arrival to good use. Author William Gibson said that his first book Neuromancer was written under the influence of sleep deprivation brought on by the birth of his first child. I have to say that I am hoping for the same creative push. While I didn't manage a whole book, NaNoWriMo did result in three finished short stories and the beginnings of a couple of longer stories. The completed works just need some feedback and proofreading. I'm looking forward to the next step with them and hopefully publication will be the final result.

Simply put, this year will be full of opportunities and experiences. I hope to make the most of what comes my way.