Through the lens

Lately I have been shooting a variety of different subjects in and around town on errands and photo walks. Hope you like some of them.

One of the buildings at Taichung's China Medical Center. Shot while waiting for my appointment for a check up there. This is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Taiwan and they have gotten really good at bilingual signage throughout facility with many bilingual staff as well. A welcome element when you are in a hospital and already have other things on your mind.

The thing I like about this shot is the representative quality of it-Taiwan is a busy, colorful and vibrant place.

Breakfast is over 

The scooter-the preferred means of transport in crowded and certainly urban Taiwan. Rubber thongs optional :D

Stretching 

Just really loved the silhouette of this tree and the rising sun from behind.

Twins 

When these towers come into view on my regular morning walks-it is a sign that I have entered the back stretch of my walking. Also like the template they make.

Biking 

School kid pedalling along to junior high-I know because it is my son's school.

Ronnie chilling 

Yes, even in Taiwan we can't escape multi-national corporate clowns :D

Geometric 

Very geometrically-themed kitchen store.

Reflections 

Like this pond in front of this restaurant. They have fragrant plumeria blossoms in there and it smells great going past it.

Aboriginal spaghetti 

Haven't a clue of what the aboriginal motif and pasta have to do with one another. I love these craxy, eclectic mashups of cultural icons that are visible in Taiwan's fusion pop culture.

Crayola steps 

Made me think of Crayola-that's right the big 64 piece box.

FTW! 

My favorite of the set. This kid was so engaged in his gaming that he nearly walked right into me. I lucked out and got this great shot as a result.

Metallica: Death Magnetic

Who would have thought that I'd be this pleasantly surprised by Metallica's newest release. Yes, the same band that didn't and maybe still doesn't get the Net... Well they do get tight crunchy guitars and a (welcome return to) "meaty" drum sound where the thin trash can sounding ones reigned before. In  returning to their earlier sound of fast paced crunchy chords and multiple change-ups both within a song as well as from song to song they are offering a lot of punch. The rhythmic shifts are happening much more smoothly to my ear than they used to as well. So these guys are mastering their instruments and rocking out with a more polished sound without being "slick."

FYI-I was never a big Metallica fanboy back in the day so I feel I'm being pretty objective here. If you liek a lot of acoustic guitar ballads and keyboard type music-this is not for you. However, if you can embrace a headful of nasty guitar tone and driving rock drums this will probably satisfy.

Update: Hope for Net Awareness?

A commenter at the Lefsetz Letter had this to write:

I ordered two tickets to see Metallica at the Forum after their fan club sent me the info that the tickets had gone one sale. After paying for the tickets, I got two more emails from Metallica, one giving me two vouchers to have the new album mailed directly to my  house, yes on CD, for no charge. The second email was from Metallica LIVE (best live music band site EVER) sending me two vouchers to download the show that I AM GOING TO SEE AT THE FORUM! Well, Like em or not, like the new record or not, this is about the coolest thing I have EVER seen a band do for their fans. It wasn't part of the sales pitch and I had NO IDEA they were going to send me these two free-b's. I am extremely excited to get a copy of the very show that I am going to see at the LA Forum. SOMEONE is paying attention in the Metallica camp as this is something I have never seen anyone else do. YOu can buy ACC files that come with set lists, ticket stubs, videos, etc. at http://www.livemetallica.com/ for shows going back to the beginning of their career. They are Metallica and are still doing things their way - right or wrong.

Saturday photo hunt

These shots were taken on a recnt Saturday photo hunt-mainly at local Minshu Folk Park and Beiping Afternoon Market.

Thought this was a great sky and would show well in minimal B/W.

Statue in front of Minshu Folk Park. Not sure what he is portraying but looks ok I think.

Young father taking his little boy out for some park activity. The young boy seemed fairly excited to be getting out of the house.

These afternoon markets (sunset markets) have become very popular here in Taiwan. This is one of the better ones on my side of town. I have a bigger on nearby my house but I liek the product selection better in this one. Probably due to better selection of northern Chinese-style food products and noodles.

Longans-literally "dragon's eyes" a very aromatic fruit. Dried they make a nice fragrant tea.

Interesting markings on this meat-both natural and man-made.

These guys wisely picked a shaded spot to sell there produce just opposite the afternoon market. No rent but easily chased off when the police come by.

A good view of the Minshu Folk Park and enables you to see what kind of view neighboring high-rise apartments have of this low and wide space. Quite a luxury in crowded urban Taiwan.

Brad Sucks: Out of It

In my online life Brad Sucks is one of the good guys. He is an indie musician from that friendly country to the north od the US-Canada. Brad has a wry sense of humor and good compositional chops. He's not afraid to get a little grungy or even pretty but manages never to be slick. Brad has just relesed his 2nd effort called; Out of It. Listening as I write this-sounding pretty good. Brad's rules of engagement are:buy it in digital or cd format, or copy for free ideally sharing it with as many friends as possible. Why don't you visit Brad's site here and decide what method works best for you. In any case share the info with some friends that appreciate cool music and peeps.

RIP Coach!

Photo from UTEP

Don Haskins was the basketball coach of  Western Texas University (which later became University of Texas at El Paso). Don was the first coach that had the guts to do what he knew was best for the team and field the 5 best starters. What was radical in his case was that they were all black. This was back in 1966 when I was a little boy. I know that because of Don's boldness and let the devil be damned attitude we all benefitted from the enhanced opportunities for talented black players in college basketball and other sports too. Such an obvious play-why did so many other before him not see it or act on it? Another "why" question that remains unaswered. RIP-coach. Thanks for being brave and a role model to responsible leadership. Story from NY Times is here.

Byrne & Eno: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

I fnally got access to streaming player on the Everything That Happens Will Happen Today site after I installed Google Chrome. For some reason Firefox 3 Browser didn't allow me to see it. Another one of those connectivity voodoo things I guess. I also was inspired to give it a good listen after listening to my favorite podcast-Sound Opinions review thumbs up from both Greg and Jim.

I'll be honest and say I hoped it was more like My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Pt II than it is. It's present form sounds like Byrne and Eno some 30 years later-much more mature, sophisticated, and relaxed. Byrne's vocals sound great s does the production Eno provides. I have a player for it on the right side which you can listen to songs on and copy too if you like. I'm enjoying this. Only wondering if David Byrne's building was played on this any where? If you know please shoot me a blip.

Sometimes Black and White…

Recently I've come to realize that black and white have there place in the digital image space. So I've now begun to produce some of my pictures in black and white. Included in this selection and from here on I'll probably have regular offerings of B&W photos.

Nothing as minimal as antenna making lines against the sky above. Next door to my In-law's house.

If this doesn't look like bird jail... I love the texture in this image.

Dragon Fruit is becoming one of my favorites. We brought some for my mother-in-law only to be reminded she has full cactus of them out back... Oh well. we took them home and next time will eat fresher ones for free.

An abstract shot of Red Dragon fruit in plastic bag.

Mirrors a window into?

I'm an avowed rice field lover. One of my favorite permutations are the rice straw "hut" that you see appear from time to time.

Yellow parakeet in purple cage-does it get any better than this?

Rice field "village."

Great texture from screen over bars and mesh.

This window offers montage of color and texture.

My son's foot offers a different canvas on which to paint light and shadow.