Friday, January 31, 2014

walkabout day 16

Shuffled out of santa buffalo and had lunch with Lindsay in SLO at Bon Temps Creole Cafe -- recommended -- then a bit of wine tasting in Paso Robles --the Wine Region of the Year -- and now huddled in the King City Comfort Inn -- quote-endquote. Not that much to report. But it may seem important to my biographers.

Also managed to make this report using the gdm-tablet.

Is it over 140 chars? I forget what i was thinking....✳↕↗➡✴©

(postop note: The gdm-tablet would _not_ let me add a "label" -- the walkabout 2014 indes-thingie at the bottom -- to this post, so this is from my actual laptop computer which _almost_ works as expected.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

walkabout day 15

Carrillo. Cabrillo. Or was it Castillo? I didn't even want to try to get the gdm-tablet-maps-program to pronounce them. But I got off the highway at the wrong one and then the gdm-tablet-maps-program hard-crashed the gdm-tablet -- the power switch didn't even work, but fortunately the Googlers knew their program sucked eggs most of the time and put in a watchdog timer that pops up to ask if you would like to End the Program or Wait another 5 minutes to see if it might do something. I found my way "home", finally, using my mechanical compass and brief sightings of the ocean.

Anyway, prior to this excitement, I took a trip up the gorgeous highway 154 to the Cold Springs Tavern for lunch and then further up the testicle shrinking 1 or sometimes 1-1/2 lane multi-switchbacked Painted Cave Road to way past the Chumash Painted Cave and then partially back down the testicle shrinking multi-switchbacked Road to the actual Cave. Which was a bit of a disappointment:

Chumash Painted Cave -- main entrance, no fee required
Chumash Painted Cave -- cave paintings, using my gdm-tablet-'flash' option
It sure didn't look like Art & Place but at least it was only a few feet from the road. Their photographer probably had a gate key. I missed it on the way up because there was another tourist's SUV occupying the Chumash Painted Cave State Park parking area that would have normally been marked as the downhill turnout lane.

It was on the return leg that I got all my Spanish  r's, b's, and s's mixed up and took the wrong Santa Barbara exit.

Then I had an hour to kill before going to the SB Maker Space meeting whereby I hoped that:
  1. I wouldn't have to use the gdm-tablet-maps-program;
  2. I would remember which of the r,b,or,s's I wanted on the way back -- for record it's Castillo
And speaking of the gdm-tablet, I copied my Walker code over just in case I wanted to show it to someone and it turns out that, even though the files are good-old-plain-text there appears to be no way to convince the gdm-tablet to think of them as such because everything is app oriented and I don't have a code-viewing-app that has registered itself to view them. As per standard practice there are about a thousand google-hits for "android file association" and the only one that seems to address my problem references an app which no longer has the menu option I (might) need to use.

And speaking of the SB Maker Space. There was no meeting scheduled, even though on Monday I told the main guy that Thursday looked like a good night to visit because there was a regularly scheduled meeting, and he agreed. But I got a tour from a 3d printer enthusiast who had to apologize for the inaccuracy of his 3d printed motor mounts on his homemade 3d printer. They do have three milling machines of various sizes but my 3d guy was afraid to use any of them.

For dinner I thought I would assuage my grief with one last dose of happy-hour oysters, only to find that the Enterprise Fish Co bar seating area was packed to over-flowing with revelers. So I paid a 50% premium for a lesser tuna crostini at the Blue Tavern which, since I discovered it last week, has made it onto the gdm-tablet-map-program map. If it hasn't already crashed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

walkabout day 14

We had a little Marine Layer incursion this afternoon:

So much so that I couldn't see the off-shore cruise ship that was sloughing tourists into the market-space. But it was still mostly pleasant sitting on a log at the beach watching three varieties of sand pipers piping around while waiting for the maid-avoidance-timer to run its course.

Then I got part of the Walker wall-stall-avoidance sensors to work under generally ideal conditions. Followed by a dozen happy-hour oysters at Enterprise Fish Company provisioned by a bubbly-bartender who claimed to have brought the sun back downtown this afternoon on her way to work. Causation? Correlation? Serendipity? The guy on the next bar stool thought: Worth Flirting With disaster.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

walkabout day 13

Approaching the two week mark and it's all beginning to feel normal.

Following this 'mornings' maid-avoidance walk I worked on Walker for a few hours. I found that there is a significant difference in data behavior between a slippery table top and one covered by a bath mat -- my only available flat&frictioned surface -- whereby I (or my progeny) may be able to tell the difference between walking and stalling, such that, bathmatfully, we get this data (the first lump is the startup-standup):
 motor current used while walking
The yellow and blue lines are from one diagonally synchronized set of motors and the cyan and magenta are the other diagonal set. The kinda peaks to about value 60 are the actual move forward actions (around 'time' 80, 165, and 200 for instance) and the other lumps are leg position resettings. So (one can) see that the move-my-body motions use a bit more power than the rest. The story on acceleration is less clear...
The synchronized accelerometer readings
However, compared to not getting anywhere, we may be able to get somewhere in automata land:

running into a brick wall, motor currents
and relevant accelerometer readings
On a frictionful surface the motors use way more current while stalled, and are out of sync -- c.f. the yellow/blue and cyan/magenta disjuncts vis the first graph. But the acceleration is still equivocal...until we do some preliminary statistics. Then we find that the average of good-walking acceleration values is about twice that of the stalled-in-place, so there may be some room for educated distinction here.

After making this great break-through I went for a short sunset walk on the promenade:

Another day in paradise at the Santa Barbara Pier
And then to dinner down the street at Toma. Another swell Italianate experience. Enhanced by the bar sitting experience. Joined by a local environmental planner and a, part time, local, mental, resident. Somehow I seem to attract a particular incomprehensibly loquacious sort of personage. All made more than rightly right by a slightly +1 glass of Alexander Aqua di Vita Grappa (not available online) -- selected on my part by bottle attractiveness -- for which the bartender awarded me the (subsequently empty) bottle.

Monday, January 27, 2014

walkabout day 12

Some more maid-avoidance-walking-around-behavior. And then some nearly serious work on Walker. This proved to be perspicacious because this evening I attended the junior come-on attraction for the local Maker Space in the basement of the downtown library. My little walking guy was a bit of a darling. Or at least a good introduction. These guys seem to be serious in that they have three milling machines -- small, medium, and large -- a (large) lathe (to be traded for one of more manageable size), a buncha welding equipment, and a small blacksmith's forge. Plus the usual 3d printers and suchlike. I'm going to visit the grown-ups' space out by UCSB on Thurs before I blow out of town.

On the morning walk I ran across a lovely Nordic maiden riding Grendel's dragon:

The meeting was enlivened when a much younger young woman and her slightly older young mother arrived for a gleeful ride as I was taking a walk-breather-sitdown outside.

After the Maker Meeting I went to Bouchon for a really swell Frenchish dinner that had not a wit of raw fish, although medium-rare salmon with mustard sauce almost slipped under the wire. Especially accompanied by delicious (Los Olivous, CA) Demetria SavBlanc.

Then, on my walk back 'home', I found this inexplicable department store display window:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

walkabout day 11

Putting the Walk back in the About, II.

I walked down, or up, depending on your hemisphere, Santa Barbara's State Street main drag and visited a couple of museums. The Museum of Contemporary Art has a show of architects who wanted to be artists, or vice versa, making some sort of statement about how they are or are not, verso visa, the same thing. However the SB Museum of [regular old] Art has a lot of regular old and tastefully interesting work, with an added special on Delacroix (sorry...closed today). PLUS two spectacular new shows which opened yesterday evening -- I missed the openings but in consolation could see the work without the sheep.

First, Alice Aycock. Amongst: a maquette in machined aluminum for this (32' high) piece at Storm King in NY:

Three-fold Manifestation II, 1987
As well as a large number of large and intricate drawings for which I will simply reference her website: She's an incredible drafts-person, an architect, and has no need to whine about how she really wanted to be an artist.

Second, Michelle Stuart, whom I had never heard of before, much to my detriment. She seems to be a contemporary of all our other favorite Land Artists, doing similarly veined work:

Stone Alignments/Solstice Cairns, 1979
Along with a lot of more conceptual drawings, rubbings, and assemblage for which I will again just reference the relevant:

All in all not a bad way to wear down my sneakers...followed by bar-food at the Enterprise Fish Company where martinis are .666666% the price of anywhere yet to be accessed and the uber-hipster girls at the bar deigned to discuss Star Dreck trivia for moments on end before returning to ignoring their boyfriends.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

walkabout day 10

My first day in the sub-tropical paradise of Santa Barbara. Staying a half block from the beach in my little handicapped bungalow with the window open all afternoon:

Working on a proposal for the new LACMA Art and Technology program which is due on Monday: Variations For. Tell me what you think, eh? And trying to avoid the maid who is intent on emptying my trash can but doesn't understand that she should just wait a couple minutes for me to put on my shoes and get out of her way.

Soon, an art opening at the Hotel Indigo -- right next door to the Amtrak station so I could commute from Lamy -- which appears to be trey uber. Followed by odd peruvian crudo things with mixologisty drinks next door.

I guess I could get used to paradise. As long as the hills are not a-flame.

Friday, January 24, 2014

walkabout day 9

I been Leaving Los Angeles.

Took the PCH (as the west coast route #1, Pacific Coast Highway, is known colloquially) through Malibu to Oxnard (what IS a nard anyway?) and got off at my Main Ventura stop. Where I found:

Dennis Oppenheim, Bus Home, 2002
Then I tried to go to the UCSB Art Museum which was closed for installation, and finally was able to check into my B&B near the downtown beach. Hopefully over the week holed up here I will recover from having Google Maps repeated crash on my (GDM) Google tablet. It did work long enough to direct me to the right freeway exit and added an invaluable left-right turn. Otherwise it is a POS that doesn't even know about the hipster hotel and bar just blocks away.

Speaking of hipster. It's short, 1-5 day, beards here. Porkpie hats are optional -- only 50% of the bartenders wear them. California Minimalismo.

Also this is the second online reservation that has directed me to a handicap room, so I have plenty of room to maneuver.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

walkabout day 8

Already over the one week mark and still functional!

I negotiated the LA FWY system to the Getty Center -- something of a new-world-nightmare since the entire 3 mile stretch around the 405 exit that one would expect to be able to access is Under Construction and thus minimally accessible and/or explicable. But I had a fine (light) lunch at their restaurant -- excellent call by my friend Jay -- and then tried to see art anyway. They don't have much in the Contemporary vein, even though I could _swear_ that that-that Art & Place book had a picture of a Turrell installation on the Getty Cover Page (note2self: check this later). But the garden is (somewhat-fully?not sure) designed with a really lovely water motif by his homeboy R. Irwin. It starts at the top of the complex in a small stream then drips into a caldera which flows over strategic rock formations to finally fall into the ultimate (if the lowest point of progress can be so called) pool in the labyrinthine garden proper. As such:

Then I further negotiated the LA FWY to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in (Culver City). This is quite a piece of (perhaps) over worked work and seems to be the over worked work of a bunch of Russian Emigres, based on the refreshments served at the -- now correctly attributed -- ultimate floor tea room. It does make one wonder how many grains of thats-just-how-things-were-back-then salt our future selves will need when reviewing our current scientifically advanced prowess.

And then -- ULTIMATELY -- I negotiated the LA Surface Street System back to my hotel in order to  venture on foot to my oysters of record at the Water Grill.

Tomorrow: The beaches of Santa Barbara!

walkabout day 7

One week in and I've made my second hadj.

But first, I found the Watts Towers. They are smaller than I expected from being called towers but much larger once one realizes that Simon Rodia carried every bucket of concrete up the 99 feet to the top by himself. I drove right by them the first time around and had to rely on my Google Maps app not crashing in the middle of the ex-ghetto in order to circle back. Very excellently swell:

Plus there is a cultural center next door with two large galleries devoted to work by other artists -- this time a retrospective of the local assemblage sculptor Charles Dickson. His work is quite amazing ( I took a couple of illicit pictures but promised not to disseminate them). Then I ended up talking with the galleristas for some time about the history of assemblage, realizing -- duh -- that, while Duchamp and Picasso may have introduced it to European high art, it has its source in, mostly African, folk art.

On the way back 'home' I made the hadj to my first home near Exposition Park, only to find that the address I have doesn't exist. I have 4132, but the numbers jump from 4130, across an intersection, to 4150 -- so maybe I did grow up in the middle of  the street. This could explain why my drain bramaged Android tablet map program crashed every time I tried to find the house before finally coughing up an estimate of the actual location this morning. All this time I thought it was just incapable of  finding anything that didn't have a paid commercial tie-in...but it must have been user error after all.

And then off to Melrose Ave -- trey uber naturlich -- for dinner at Ink with my old friend Jay. He paid, so it went pretty well indeed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

walkabout day 6

...the Great Man makes the journey down Wilshire Blvd on the LAMetro 20...

Yup. Took the bus. Which is a little problematic because nothing actually tells you how much it will cost or how to pay for taking it from downtown to Fairfax Ave. My ([nearlyl]useless) tablet was able to tell me the location of the downtown bus stop, but didn't bother to mention that there was an express line just a block further up the street. So I took the local -- a step back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth looking for the Tar Pits.

In any case I got to LACMA with time to spare. I even gave location advice to an elderly woman who had wished to exit at the only -- long past -- street name I remembered, all the while hoping that I myself wasn't already long past Fairfax Ave in a mistaken Journada del Muerto de Alma to Santa Monica.

At LACMA I met up with my old college friend Cynthia and explained Minimalism -- in a Minimal way -- as we took in the Turrell Retrospective. The show was a nice balance of history, exposition, and future hope that the Roden Crater will be finished before JT transends this earthly plain. Being a minimal Minimalist my favorite was the first, in cardinal and ordinal order (which was projected simultaneously last fall at the Goog):

Turrell, Afrum (White)), 1966
A damned swell use of materials.

Plus, at the entrance to the museum complex, Lost Angels' Lighting Field ripost -- with unspoken palm trees -- to de Maria's NM original:

Burden, Urban Light, 2008

Monday, January 20, 2014

walkabout day 5

Today, January 20, 2014, I started the actual Walk part of my About in Downtown Lost Angels. Up and down and across and back. If I'd managed to get the Fitbit(TM) wristlet before embarking I would know exactly how many miles I had failed to access prior to whatever firmware errors it had in store.

There are many sites to see and with small thanks to my Android Maps app I saw a few -- from a 3d mural made of switching components on the side of the local ATT headquarters to Gehry's Disney Mouse Performing Arts Center -- the area is chockablock with whatever%forthearts installations. Citibank is rife with contributions (I need an attribution here, the bartender overlooking an adjacent piece had never even noticed that it was there, so the local populace is less than informed):

Is all public sculpture phallic?
But a couple blocks later, smack up to the Angle's Flight attraction is this little open-to-all area where the po-lice are probably less likely to roust you from Occupying(TM) the less verdant lawnscapes:

Right below the Flight is the Bradbury Building splenditity and the Grand Central Market -- I include a gratituitous photo of the market for Kitty:

So, in the end, as a reward for a long walk, I got some OK sushi at Sushi Gen in little Tokoyo and found a copy of Runaway Bunny at The Last Bookstore which is a pretty swell place at 5th and Spring:

Of course the moral of the  story is: You can never escape your MOTHER.
I also stumbled on a PRINTED map of the area containing points of interest clearly marked with easy to read street names:

Map that didn't crash every time I turned it over.

And on the way back "home" I found another public sculpture that fully expresses my excitement about the ten minutes of attempted tablet-camera-button-pushing that it took to capture:

again...attribution needed

walkabout day 4

Sunday Mass.

At the church my Father pretty much built. They have a new (female) priest which probably would have my Dad spinning if he hadn't been cremated, but she was thrilled to meet me and said she thought he would have adjusted with the times. Maybe. Or maybe too much has changed.

But a lot is the same. Much of his decorating touch remains. Many of his mosaics are still prominent. The damn reception hall is named after him. However they remodeled my old bedroom out of existence. I met a few of my parents old friends, said polite hellos to whomever, had some bad coffee and cake, and went on my way.

My way led me past the cemetery while I was looking for a drive-through car-wash.... I had completely forgotten that I should make a visit... Willful ignorance I suppose. So I got some of their favorite, roses, and somehow found the marker after a 10 year absence:
The mortuary had forgotten to add my Dad's end date and by the time I pinged them to fix it the year had advanced but no one told the stone carver, so he seems to have lived a year longer than he did...

My mother's parents are just 13 rows up in the same section as well:

Then. Filial duty fulfilled I hi-balled on Hwy 60 into Los Angeles. Had a nice walk/snack with Brian and Elif et fil, and checked into my downtown "Hotel". It's actually a "Motel" but for price and location not too shabby. I can walk a half-mile to what may become my favorite restaurant, The Water Grill, where they have....wait for oyster bar.

I still can't get the Android tablet to cooperate. It seems to sense what I would like to do and make it either impossible or improbable.

walkabout day 3

Now into the Heart of the Beast.

I drove over hwy 74, with a little detour to Idylwild, and into Hemet itself.

It's bigger. Goes on almost as long as Arizona.

But there's still not much of anything there.

Stayed in another dive motel, shabby but clean, noisy but apparently secure, and had dinner at Yelp's #2 local restaurant. An Italianate simulacrum with home made pasta that was pretty good. However, later that night some combination of food, dehydration, stress, and anxiety disagreed... 

walkabout day 2

Re-entered my native state (dazed and confused) without having to surrender any of my illicit citrus or aliens. Toured the East side of the Salton Sea on Hwy 111 from El Nowhertro to In Dio. There's not much of nuthin there there:

But I did see pelicans and egrets rummaging around in the water.

Spent the night with Kathy and Paul in Sun City number NNN and had a nice dinner on Palm Springs' You Can't Afford Any of This But Thanks for Looking row.

walkabout day 1

Jeez....AZ goes on for bloody ever...

But I got to Welton and holed up in a Microtel which at least had functional wifi so I could check that I did indeed have no relevant email.

Local pizza and a Terminator movie for dinner.

Into darkest California tomorrow for sure.

walkabout day 0

This input system sucks. Maybe I should try voice?

In any case I dropped ABK off at ABQ and header further south. On the way down I-25 there is a nice hunting-lodge type rest stop near TorC:

And after a lovely drive through the burn scar of last summer's Silver Fire near Kingston, NM in the Gila National Forest on Hwy 152 I came upon this major EarthWork outside Silver City:
There are a couple more in the area, including the Big Pit along I-10 somewhere near Deming, NM. I'm surprised they didn't make it into that nice Art & Place book that was the Xmas rage last year.

For my first night on the road in Silver City I got bounced to a different dive motel which has no desk clerk, ice machine, nor wifi. Not auspicious since "4G" seems to work at old modem rates and just hangs up when uploading images. At least this point and click for each letter typing distracts me from having any actual thoughts beyond 140 characters.

Based on international reviews I went to The Curious Kumquat for dinner. It was curious. But pretty good nonetheless. Not quite so fiddly as your usual foraged in the wild high concept foamy cuisine.

walkabout day-1

I ment to post this tuesday 1/14 but I had to run from mechanic to dentist to pharmacy to fire department and well... stuff happened. So. Anyway. Here I am with a friend on St. Mikes in pre-transit:

I would like to point out the extent of the full integration of my computing systems here... this photo was taking on my Android tablet (basically a funnel into Google products). I could not upload it to my Blogger site (basically another funnel into Google product placements). The Tablet just hung there saying ....uploading... without doing any apparent thing. I tried a number of times with different cloud connection options. Also the keypad on the tablet defaulted to the 2nd stupidest (the 12 key phone pad is the stupidest) mechanism for inputting text, but only on the Blogger page, making typing just about as painful as it could be.

I copied the pics to my notebook and am I'm posting from there, connected with (to quote the motel clerk "spotty") wifi service in Los Angeles on day5. So in general. My big idea about moving into the 21st century with mobile cloud services supporting my blogging throughout this trip is not likely to happen. I should mention that the Maps app (another Google product) just hangs up on the tablet whenever it goes to sleep after not receiving enough attention while driving, so using it as an actual map is entirely pointless if you have a short-term memory span like mine.