March 31, 2010

beer thirty, part 2

While Saturday's beer adventure was impromptu since I happened to be in their neighborhood, Sunday they had plans to come to mine. George, Joe and Debbie biked down from Santa Monica (just about far enough to qualify as crazy if you ask me) and I got to introduce them all for their first time to my happy place: Simmzy's. I've posted about Simmzy's countless times, so I won't belabor the point, but true to form, the food was amazing (I finally got to try their weekend-only breakfast pub scramble - nom!), the staff was fun, and the beers were great. They even tapped a new keg of Hef while we were there - surely, just coincidence! Sunday's weather here was about as perfect as you could ask for, so spending it with friends on bikes and over beers made for a perfect day - and hopefully a prelude of the summer to come.

March 30, 2010

beer thirty, part 1

My friend Joe likes beer, maybe more than I do. I was up in Santa Monica Saturday and I knew Joe was in town, so we met up to hang out while his husband (and my pal) George was at work. The plan wasn't necessarily for beer, but somehow we both seemed to gravitate toward the idea. Go figure. I had read about a place I wanted to try called West 4th and Jane, so we wandered there. With a beer menu multiple pages long and several Whites, Hefeweizens and Belgians to choose from, I knew I was going to like it there. There was plenty to sample, so food also ended up in the mix. Their selection of sliders and their meat & cheese tray were both far better than I would have expected. The owner was tending bar and guiding us to other beers we would like, the place was comfortable and casual, and the crew was fun. Short of being outside, it was a pretty perfect way to spend an unplanned afternoon. Its definitely a new favorite of mine when out on the north side of town.
  • West 4th and Jane
  • March 29, 2010

    beach color

    I actually have stuff to write about (believe it or not) but too much work to do! So - it'll have to wait til tomorrow. Until then, enjoy some beach color from the weekend...

    March 26, 2010

    uneventful events

    Not a lot to report, just typical days events outside of work stuff the last few days. My neighbor Laura and I made a run to the @LA_FuXion food truck when I noticed it was nearby and had lunch overlooking LAX. I went into West Hollywood for a work "mixer" type of event last night. My general shyness means I don't do parties or mixers very well; it was fun to see friends who were there and I haven't gotten to see for a long time, but beyond that, I didn't really do a lot of successful mixing. And today I was incredibly excited to finally get to try the @grlledcheesetruk for its first ever visit in the area. I expected a long line, but I hadn't expected that the line would close early. After takin a few pics I walked up to the line, only to discover the guy in front of me had a sheet of paper declaring him to be the last person in line. Denied. No cheese for me. So that's all thats been going on. And if you aren't already, you can always follow me on Twitter for more constant updates of whats up - I'm much better at updating there than I have been here:
  • @jonberrydesign on Twitter
  • March 23, 2010

    recent hills

    I did some work for this past season of the CW's series "One Tree Hill" last year. In the show, a character was going to have a talk show with a set containing a lot of video monitors that would need graphics. Part of the assignment for work like this is to design into the story of the show - in this case the design wasn't supposed to be "too" good - more like it should be along the level of mimicking what you'd see on a show like Dr. Phil, etc. Because scripts are written and changed while shows are already in production, a system was developed so that various words could be animated with quick notice along with other supporting graphics, as well as animating the logo they already had designed. I missed the episodes when they aired, and I have not been able to get clips of it in use. Tonight I did some hunting on YouTube which led me to a few clips and then to some episodes I could purchase from iTunes, so I finally got to see how they looked. Here are a few stills from what I found.

    March 22, 2010


    Another step back to the Olympics in Vancouver... This is where I worked: The IBC, or International Broadcast Center. Like in Torino, they converted the city's convention center into a temporary television studio for all the networks around the world covering the Olympics, as well as the OBS, which provides feeds of the events to all of those networks. The Convention Center floor is built out with temporary sheetrock hallways and walls to create a maze of offices, rooms and areas. While most networks have about a couple office-sized rooms, NBC occupies about 1/3 of the entire space and builds out their space full of edit suites, offices, studios (more on those later), control rooms, tape library, even a commissary - and tons and tons of cable. It's an entire temporary network operation. Its pretty impressive. After the games, the carpet and sheetrock were even donated to Habitat for Humanity. I always think that at some point during the games I'll get a chance to wander the halls and meet some people from other countries, but we always end up being so busy that it never happens. Maybe if I'm lucky enough to be a part of the team again in a couple years, I'll do better at that.
  • jbd blog 2.26.06: ibc-ing you (Torino)
  • March 21, 2010

    free the dune

    This is how we protest in Manhattan Beach. Actually, to be fair, this wasn't really supposed to be a protest, but more somewhere between a rally and a beach party - which is exactly what it was. Last Fall, the city closed Sand Dune Park because it became too popular. Yup, you read that right. Parks are for people. Just not too many. Actually, they closed it for routine maintenance for a while, then a few weeks later announced that it would never reopen. Over the last few months a group of residents has organized to try to come up with compromises that would allow the park to reopen, and they held a rally today on the beach, followed by a march to the dune. They contacted me and asked me to design a t-shirt for the rally a few weeks ago. Maybe its because I'm used to my work being on a sceen, but there's always something fun about seeing my work in another medium. And seeing it on a whole group of people was even more fun (not to mention the banner carried by the kids at the front of the march.) If you're interested in more info on Sand Dune Park, there's a link below to the groups website, as well as a great memoir to the dune written by a local who played on the dune almost 50 years ago.
  • Easy Reader: Memoir to Sand Dune Park
  • March 19, 2010

    sharp end

    My friend Russ sent me this recently and it was too cute not to share. Its a pencil sharpener that barks when you insert the pencil in his - um - butt - to sharpen it. Gonna have to start using pencils more often just so I can use it.

    March 18, 2010

    keep on truckin

    Since getting back from Vancouver, there's been a drought in visits to the beach area by LA's food trucks. We finally got one - and a new one at that (for me anyway) today. I caught a tweet from @LA_FuXion yesterday that would be in El Segundo and one of my tweeps suggested we meet up for lunch. LA FuXion is actually a lot more fusiony than I had expected - clearly taking a cue from the originator of the gourmet food truck, Kogi, most dishes are a combination of Latin and Asian influences. I sampled the Sliced Chicken Kung Pao Szechuan Taco and the Tuna Sashimi Tostada. The chicken was good, but the tuna tostada was really great. Unfortunately, the tostada is the only way they serve the tuna, so I'll have to get the same thing again next time if I want more of that tuna. Regardless, there's a lot of variety on their menu, so I'm looking forward to the next time they're in the area. Its good to be truckin again.
  • March 16, 2010

    soaking it in

    Stepping back into something I didn't get a chance to post while in Vancouver... One day while we were working, someone walked into our office and asked if anyone wanted to go see snowboarding the next morning. My co-worker Victor immediately said "I'll go" and I was left stunned and thinking "wow, I can't believe how fast he said that." But then I piped in "is there more than one ticket?" There was. We were set to go to a mountain venue event the next day - something I've always wanted to do, but usually not feasible since the distance is usually so far from the broadcast center in-town that we have to be back to for work. Awesome, right? Our first confusion was that the website listed the various segments (qualifying, finals, etc) as different events and times, but our tickets only said Women's Giant Parallel Slalom at 10am, so we weren't sure whether our ticket was for the entire group of events. Since we got home from work around 3am, I talked Victor into going at 11, because it was 90 minutes to get there and I still had other work to do that night. True to Vancouver, it was raining. But unlike the constant spritz in the city, on the mountain it was pouring rain. And it was cold rain. We hiked a ways in the slush to get to the venue, which of course were bleachers with no cover. And nowhere at the event site was there any kind of cover to even duck under. Suffice it to say, we were miserable. (We actually were great from waist to neck, it was below the waist we weren't prepared for since neither of us had waterproof pants.) We saw a few races, but then the action broke for about an hour. We tried to stand in the rain and wait it out, but after 20 minutes, I was done trying to argue for staying and ready to go myself. That was a long walk back to find a bus (especially since, in typical fashion, everyone pointed us in different directions to find the media bus back.) But hey - I finally saw a mountain event at one of the Olympics. It certainly was an experience we won't forget!