July 30, 2006

tunnel vision

There is a phenomenon of living in California that I'm not sure how many of my fellow residents share. And I'm not sure whether I just sort of picked it up from other friends when I first moved here, or whether someone specifically told me to be conscious of this. But - I have learned to be nervous on high overpasses and even moreso under overpasses, especially in slow or stopped traffic. Why? Earthquakes.

Statistically, its a silly fear. The earthquakes that I've felt since moving here eight years ago are few and very small (knock on wood). Maybe its time I re-stocked my earthquake kit.

July 29, 2006

the sequel

Last week it was a lightning storm, this week a firestorm. Well, sorta.

Last night while driving home along the coast behind the airport, there was an eerie orange glow lighting up the entire sky coming from the direction of the Chevron plant by where I live. I wondered if there was a fire or explosion at the plant, but it turns out they were just doing some kind of burnoff. It was pretty impressive - there was a low marine layer cloudcover, so the orange color just reflected and filled the entire sky. I drove by the plant and saw it was coming from what could have been a 50 foot plume of fire atop a tall tower. I don't know if it was planned or not - people everywhere had come out of their houses and gathered to take pictures and see the show.

The most amusing part of the night, though, came as I was done and heading home and a security guards truck drove by the opposite direction on the road. "...ou cant take pictures he..." he timidly yelled at me as he drove by. As if there is some legal expectation to privacy about a huge plume of flames hundreds of feet in the air visible from anywhere in the surrounding area far from their property?! sheesh.

July 28, 2006

half full

Spotted this animated demonstrator at the corner of Sunset and Hillhurst today. How can you argue with "celebrate peace" and "spread love"?

July 27, 2006


This is the best no smoking sign I've ever seen... (also from the offices at mOcean).

July 26, 2006

redeyed again

Ugh. I'm exhausted. I have been slammed with work - working with mOcean during the day, and then doing work for TAG at night. I guess that makes up for all that vacation time! Last night ended up being an all-nighter, so I haven't slept since Monday night. Needless to say, I'm a little loopy. Finally tonight's stuff is done and I can go to bed. So...I can't bear to try to think of something to write on here, so I'll just post more pics of mOcean's offices...

July 25, 2006

beyond the see

I'm doing some work for a couple weeks with a company called mOcean. Their offices are a very cool warehouse-y/artsy/modern/retro/funky-cool showplace. I'll try to post more (and better) pics over the next couple weeks, right now I'm a little slammed with work. (Have you noticed the posts have been shorter?) mOcean has one of my favorite websites around - check it out.

  • mOcean's website
  • July 24, 2006

    echo park

    scenes from echo park on saturday... kinda makes me miss the old Silverlake neighborhood. If only there was an ocean there.

    July 23, 2006

    pool playas

    Yesterday I went with a couple friends to a going away party for our friend Charlie, a madman you may remember from the party I went to a few weeks ago. It was a fun (and given that group, suprisingly laid-back) day. Maybe it was the heat.

    Even in "the Hills", its a helluva lot hotter than it is at the beach. yow! Thank god it was a pool party.

    Charlie is leaving us for Dallas. Since I get back there occasionally, maybe I'll run into him some more. I sure hope they're ready for him.

    July 22, 2006


    When you live in Southern California, you get used to some things. These are not absolutes, but in general, we don't have thunder or lightning, and it generally doesn't rain between April and November.

    So it was very exciting to see a huge lightning storm off the coast as I was driving home today. Not long after I got home, the wind started kicking up, making doors slam and things fall over in the house. So, I did what any Californian does when the weather gets wacky: I ran outside.

    The lightning gave those of us gathered by the beach quite a show, but it never did rain, or even thunder. It reminded me of what we called 'heat lightning' when I was growing up, but these were consistently dramatic strikes, not just flashes in the sky. We could see a pretty large fire on what was probably Catalina Island or the far tip of Palos Verdes that must have been caused by the lightning. Eventually, the storm moved out to sea.

    At least we got to enjoy the show.


    In the interest of full disclosure, I just plain stole this one from the blog of Craig Tozzi, owner of design company twothousandstrong:

    See what happened in 2004 when Time Warner's local cable news channel in North Carolina came up with the brilliant idea of allowing the public to enter their own closing information via the internet. Anybody got a shovel?

  • Snowjob hits News 14 Carolina

  • Craig Tozzi's blog
  • July 20, 2006

    2000 plushes

    Is it me or are these machines just creepy? (from Ritter's Diner in Pittsburgh)

    July 19, 2006

    what in the world...

    Over the past weeks, the World Cup captured the attention of more than ever before. One unfortunate side of this, however, is that many were witness to a truly terrible piece of design. I think I saw this logo in small parts of the screen and page many times before I even realized that it WAS the logo for this years World Cup. A bunch of smiley faces is the logo for global athletic competition?? Surely someone made a mistake. This one is so bad, I'm just speechless. I don't know where to begin.

    Apparently, I wasn't alone. The German design community was so embarassed by the World Cup logo that a group of designers formed a group they called "alternatives" and presented 11 different designs and campaigns in January of 2003 in an effort to get the World Cup to recall their logo. Obviously, they didn't. But they did get the chance to show off some really great solutions. Aside from the smiley face monstrosity, these are some of my favorites. Take some time to peruse them yourself (be sure to click the links like 'move' and 'campaign' for more on each piece - and be sure that you've clicked "en": for the english version of the site.
  • World Cup logo alternatives

  • and again - just to be clear - the smiley faces at the top of this post are the actual 2006 World Cup logo (really, no joke). The designs below it are some of the 11 good alternatives proposed by German designers.

    July 18, 2006


    So I sit down on Sunday to watch Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer (no, I'm not up that early on a Sunday morning - I have to tivo it. Frankly I don't get the whole Late Edition title... but I guess maybe I'm not the demo!). Anyway, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is blabbing on about something and I'm entranced, but I don't hear a word he's saying. I'm just staring over his shoulder at the giant sign on the building behind him. What is that? Red white and blue, big guy on a horse momument...but isn't he in Russia? Holy crap, its the G8 Summit logo! Great typography. Clean, elegant, but bold and full of presence. You're telling me a government agency did that as a backdrop for a speaker? But where are the cheesy drop shadows and faux 3D highlights? The bad illegible combinations of stretched typefaces? He's definitely not in present day USA!

    Geez, now even the Russians are kicking our ass. How have we fallen so low?!