In Print

Some PDFs of Reviewer Magazine, as a free published newspaper-magazine (R.I.P.), in print:
















Americana Dance Hall at Grand Old Office

[Photo log]

The Grand Old Office

The Americana dance and music scene

words and photos by Reviewer Rob

One night a month The Office on 30th Street in San Diego (the classic old completely remodeled Scolari’s Office space, remember?) turns into a country-western honky tonk now and it’s a free for all on stage as local talent does their best Americana version of classic like Merle, Hank, Johnny, and others, as well as some originals. Bring a cowboy hat and drink Jack straight.

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

The Grand Old Office

Beer Snob Rob’s beer review: “Agave Maria” from Lost Abbey

Beer handle display and assorted bar kitch, Live Wire.

Beer handle display and assorted bar kitch, Live Wire.

[Beer Snob Rob]

review: “Agave Maria” from Lost Abbey

by Reviewer Rob

So I was at this cozy little neighborhood bar called Live Wire tonight, having an arty short glass of “Agave Maria” (like “Ave Maria”, the song?) from Lost Abbey brewery.

Its taste is strong and thick, like molassesey cough syrup with a hint of stale bong water. A bit more medinciney than I usually drink but I like it.

At first Matt said it’s like 7 or 8% but after doing some online research he came back and says it’s a 13.5 and that it’s “aged in Agave barrels”.

On another happy side note: Matt Strachota from BARTENDERS BIBLE, Live Wire bartender and Americana old-timey music style aficionado, will be headlining TOMORROW NIGHT, Wednesday, 1-11-17, at The Office (ye olde Scolari’s Office for you long-time SD barflys) for a dance-tastic night of Americana music where he turns the joint into “The Grande Old Office”.

Should be interesting and I plan on being there to take some photos. Then on Friday night, his other band BARTENDERS BIBLE with Matt Parker and Jason Corbin will play The Black Cat Bar in City Heights.

And it’s Friday The Thirteenth. So knock on wood before you step out for a drink and some great country-bluesy-bluegrassy type music. ~RR

Dark, dank, mysterious, strong: "Agave Maria" from Lost Abbey

Dark, dank, mysterious, strong: “Agave Maria” from Lost Abbey

BARTENDERS BIBLE, Friday the 13th, at Black Cat Bar!!!

BARTENDERS BIBLE, Friday the 13th, at Black Cat Bar!!!

dvd: It's My First Time, from Burning Angel

Joanna Angel’s 2016 AVN award winning Pro-Am series is back!

Joanna Angel’s 2016 AVN award winning Pro-Am series is back! (The actual DVD box didn’t have “REVIEW COPY” written on the front but it’s censored here to keep things relatively work safe.)

[alternative film]

adult entertainment review:

“It’s My First Time: Volume 4”

‘Joanna Angel’s 2016 AVN award winning Pro-Am series is back!’

STARRING: Chloe Carter, Julianna Rose, Mallory Maneater, Rachel Ravaged, Jenevieve Hexxx, Bill Baily, Seth Gamble, Small Hands

Release Date: 2016, Length: 2 Hrs 27 Mins, Director: Joanna Angel

review by Reviewer Rob

Proposition 60 would have altered things for porn in California had it passed on November 8. Things quietly changed for porn after California’s 2012 Los Angeles Measure B, the mandatory condom law, and many adult production companies began their de-investment process in the Golden State. But the added civil suit incentives of Prop 60 threatened to provide teeth that previous regulatory measures lacked. Adult entertainment businesses in LA already occupy a shrinking economy due to other unrelated market forces and the previous condom law, so the industry cheered when Prop 60 was voted down.

The content on “It’s My First Time: Volume 4” was shot during the year prior to the election at an unspecified location which looked like someone’s upmarket LA guest house, and there’s no hint of the coming potential pornocalypse. While the unrehearsed feel of the interactions here are fun to watch, and Joanna seems like she’d be a cool neighbor with all her tattoos, the B-grade stripper quality of the talent here isn’t very attractive. The whole condom pressure thing will most likely drive that pool down lower.

From the November 8 California ballot regarding condoms in porn films:

‘Proposition 60 would require adult film producers to provide condoms and ensure that performers use them during performances in which “performers actually engage in vaginal or anal penetration by a penis.” While condoms would not need to be visible in films distributed to consumers, producers would need to prove that condoms were used. The costs of performers’ workplace-related medical examinations, sexually-transmitted infections (STI) tests, and STI vaccines would be covered by film producers under the measure. Adult film producers would be required to be licensed by Cal/OSHA every two years. Furthermore, producers would be required to contact Cal/OSHA whenever they make an adult film.’

Not long ago porn was describes as a thriving industry in a universe parallel to mainstream Hollywood entertainment, wealthy yet underground and invisible. Before internet’s first boom in the late 1990’s access to porn was limited to the smut rack under the surveillance camera of the local convenience store, or mail order. There were almost no enforced rules in its production and a Wild West atmosphere prevailed. Now that it’s become so common and anyone can access it for free at any time on their phone there’s more laws restricting its boundaries.

In the midst of the path modern porn is taking the universe it occupies has various overlapping social circles. If you’re a producer or an acting talent you occupy a certain place in the environmental sphere, the same for another type of character like a webmaster or a on-set grip/film-crew member. Then there’s the financing moguls and entertainment lawyers, or someone else that’s involved in the business of adult entertainment. How popular you are in the porn scene is what determines your location in relation to the center of this highly competitive World of Porn.

Although Joanna Angel started out as an “alternative” genre talent and webmaster with her site Burning Angel she has for the last decade moved closer and closer to the epicenter of the porn universe. No longer just an alternative actress, through her ubiquity she’s now a reigning Queen of Porn. This is no mean feat as things change all the time. Just ask James Deen. Like a sumo wrestling match there’s always the next crop of hottie associates willing to try and push the one in the center out of the spotlight. Joanna Angel through her personality and luck shows little sign of getting bumped.

Anyways, back to the condom law thing. Maybe you’re like me and were unaware that a 1992 California law already prohibited the production of porn without a condom. Its non-existent enforcement made it a de-facto mute point for more than twenty years. Local Cal/OSHA officials were unenthusiastic about popping in on a porn set and checking boners for latex. Now as companies are fighting for dwindling membership they just might call in the competition.

But is porn really that much of a hazard to public health, as politicians have said, or is someone just power trippin? The threat is that the proponent of Prop 60 and “free” porn’s current arch rival Michael Weinstein and the company he runs, Aids Healthcare Foundation, may try something new. If enforcement of the old law or the next iteration of Prop 60 become the eventual status quo it will so dramatically alter things that the American porn industry may wither or go overseas as it has threatened.

Currently it’s difficult to see how anyone makes any real money at all from porn making. If Johnny Jerkoff wants to squeeze one out into a sock he can go to one of these high quality crowd-stocked sites like Pornhub and xHamster to get a newly uploaded clip of Jenny banging her new boyfriend or Bob getting a blowjob at work in his car during lunch from the mail-room girl. These crowd-sourced sites are loaded with scenes by anonymous citizens doing it for fun, not a paycheck. Yes, there’s also the infamous illegally pirated content and even teaser previews by the professional companies. But honestly there’s so much high-quality porn being uploaded from ordinary citizens all the time it’s actually a quiet social revolution that is unprecedented in modern history, and it’s all for free. And that’s just content done and recorded in private. We’re not even talking yet about the live free sex shows on cam sites like Chaturbate.

So, unlike fifteen years ago where you had to buy a magazine or visit a strip club to see a strange naked woman without buying her drinks or dinner, no one really needs to pay for access to erotica any more. But yet many of the big companies are staying afloat and in this shrinking porno economy those fat cats will likely increase their market share.

Maybe that’s the way it should be. Perhaps the era of big cash returns for everyone in the domestic internet porn market was an anomaly, a brief epoch whose time is over, and it’s now replaced by a more democratic and social form of self-expression where exhibitionist sex is mostly just for fun and for free.

Joanna Angel, on the inside.

Joanna Angel, on the inside.

Clairemont Mesa Altadena quickie drive-thu mart.

Altadena quickie drive-thu mart

Clairemont Mesa, CA

photo by Reviewer Rob

Drive-through quickie mart, one of the last ones in California. Apparently these used to be a lot more popular. Not sure why they fell out of favor and became less common, I think they’re awesome. Everything should be drivethru, and also open 24 hours.

Interesting side note: the apartments to the right in the picture, I think they’ve changed its name but I believe those are where the 9-11 hijackers lived while they were taking “flying lessons” at Montgomery Field.

Altadena quickie drive-thu mart.

Altadena quickie drive-thu mart.

Politifashion: the Pussy Grabbing Dress, by Dame Darcy.


Presidential Art

Dame Darcy looks on the bright side

With less than three weeks to the swearing in of the new president, below is a panel from cartoonist Dame Darcy (Fantagraphics Press) that describes the artist’s hopefulness that the apprehension regarding Donald Trump’s inauguration will at least provide a bright side with a new fashion movement. ~Editor

Politifashion: the Pussy Grabbing Dress, by Dame Darcy.

The Story of A Pleasant artist, a Bush and £5 Pounds!

The Bush 5 Pound Note

The Bush 5 Pound Note

The Bush 5 Pound Note

The Story of A Pleasant artist, a Bush and £5 Pounds!

by: ‘THE UNKNOWN’ Artist

It all began in 2003 following a series of trips to the United Kingdom in which the street installation artist known as ‘Pleasant’ was invited to contribute his unique style of underground visual art to a series of exhibits. Following not long after the inauguration of George Bush Jr. and 9/11. The United Kingdom was firmly in the grasp of the worldwide hysteria following those world shaking events.

In the winter of 2003 while taking the number 53 coach from Whitehall artist ‘Pleasant’ overheard tow passengers discussing the possible sale of the UK shop chain called Marks & Spencer to the American Walmart corporation. Which already purchased the British chain Asda a few years earlier. During the discussion one of the two passengers shouted that the, “Next thing these yanks are going to do is put ole Bush’s face on the £5 pound note!” “Hooray for Queen Bush!”, the “Bloody bastard”.

As a result of what turned out to be an excellent example of Britishness. Pleasant decided to do just that, in protest of what many in the UK seemed to believe could be great western expansion or neo-colonialism in the form of corporate takeovers of established British brands. In the style of Pleasant satire the artist created a mock £5 pound note with as expected, the face of Queen Bush on the front. Created from ink, digital manipulation, glass and paper. Pleasant created his new art piece and unveiled it at the anti-war march on Trafalgar Square in February of 2003. Little did the artist know that this would be the beginning of several years of craziness from British immigration border control and more!

But first a little bit about ‘PLEASANT’ Art. Pleasant is regarded as an figurative-expressionist painter and an underground installation street artist. An alumnus of the New York School of Visual Arts, Pleasant studied under the tutelages of celebrated Illustrator Jack Potter and New York abstract painter Michael Goldberg. Both of which were contributors to the New York School and staples of American art history. Over the years Pleasant has met many influential people who have further enriched his life and art. The Artist has travelled extensively for many years residing for extended periods of time in Scandinavia, Eastern, central Europe and South America. Pleasant’s travels helped to inspire him in his art and introduce a dimension of genuineness and real life experience into his expressionist paintings, installations and graphic design artworks. Some artists Pleasant has exhibited and or collaborated with have included, Makoto Fujimura, Max Zorn, Dame Darcy, unononeeins (Fashion Moda NYC) and The London Police to name a few. A contributing member of the popular Sticktogether collective/gallery, an Amsterdam based arts organisation started by celebrated Tape Artist Max Zorn and featuring 23 of the worlds most talented Street Artists.

Pleasant’s work has evolved over the years into an unusual blend of various styles and mediums that push the barriers of what is deemed “acceptable” often walking a fine line between social-political commentary and satire. Through an unusual blend of late 80’s ny street, contemporary central european and old southern folk style, you receive a very engaging Pleasant art experience. Pleasant is often considered to be an “underground artist” who often keeps his whereabouts and the majority of his upcoming projects unpublished until the time of it’s unveiling. ‘Jalal’ Pleasant is a member of a family of nationally distinguished artists and award recipients. Pleasant’s Grandfather David Carter was a widely recognised sculptor who exhibited at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Pleasant’s Father, the late, William M Pleasant, Jr. ( is a nationally recognised painter, graphic designer whose artwork is currently on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, as part of the permanent collection.

With the name ‘Jalal-Azamat’ Pleasant and a recreated ‘Bush’ £5 pound note. You can indeed imagine what kind of chaos followed the march on Trafalgar Square. Not long after unveiling the £5 pound note, images of Pleasant’s creation appeared in various locations on the internet sparking attention from various galleries in the usa and eu. One that stood out included the Ronald Feldman Gallery of New York City. We will revisit this subject a little later in the story.

The ‘Bush’ art piece was presented in an installation titled, ‘Suspended Thoughts’, a collection of art works documenting Pleasant’s entire emotional journey through the events before and after related to the creation of the £5 pound bush note. Several exhibits took place, some of which included the Clerkenwell Literary Festival, Limehouse gallery, A street Installation in Amsterdam and later in the usa at the Varga Gallery in Woodstock New York and Artist Space, also in New York City.

Pleasant’s first name is Jalal. Named by his father, a devote Bahai’ and one of the founding members of the Bahai’ Center of Savannah Georgia. Following 9/11, Pleasant found it increasingly difficult to obtain simple task, such as purchasing a ticket at Epcot Center or receiving references for design jobs. To his amazement and shock. Many people chose to believe that the name Jalal absolutely translated into Pleasant being a muslim. On many occasions Pleasant received harassment and at times outright attack as a result of being mis-perceived as a muslim, which he is not. But the worst was yet to come. Following a trip to the Louvre and Disneyland Paris. Pleasant began a journey from Paris to London to see additional art exhibits.

During his return trip back to the UK. Pleasant passed thru the port of Dover England. It was there where the artist was detained for 17 hours. The Immigration officers searched Pleasant several times, asked trick questions about his town of birth, Savannah Georgia and insisted that his birth certificate and passport were fake. Pleasant was then questioned about his ethnicity and religious background and that of his friends and family. Pleasant was declared an “Iraqi, Iranian and a Bangladeshi” citizen all at the same time! This led to the artist being sent away from the UK without an official reason. At one point during one of the searches the border officer asked Pleasant what he may find buried in his travel bag. The official said, “Will I find any drugs or illegal substances in this bag?” Pleasant replied, “No, however you shall find brochures and receipts from art museums, galleries gift shops.”

At the conclusion of the search the official looked up at Pleasant, looking almost like he’d seen a ghost. He then stated that he only found receipts from art museums, galleries gift shops! He then told Pleasant that it would be far easier for him to believe Pleasant to be a criminal trafficking drugs from mainland europe into the uk, rather than him actually being a visual artist traveling to experience and be influenced by the arts of the world. Pleasant found himself stranded in France for 4 days alone. Walking along the highways, dirt roads and flipping coins to decide which direction to go in. (We are talking pre iphone days people.) Pleasant eventually made his way back to Amsterdam. The most supportive, tolerant and appreciative city Pleasant had visited so far. There, unable to find a vacant hotel in short notice, Pleasant slept on the street for a couple of nights and met many amazing people who listened to his story. One of those people was named ‘Marc’, a long time resident of the famous but now defunct Slangenpand free art space (Snakehouse 1985-2015) A place where street artists, poets and experimental music artist could present selections of their craft to the public. Het Slangenpand was shut down in 2015 to make way for a Starbucks and condos. In a nationally broadcast flurry of riots, water canons and paintballs. The Amsterdam police took a bulldozer literally to the art gallery’s door and took the building. Ending the landmark’s decades long creative influence in the city of Amsterdam. On I returned to the USA Pleasant made a formal complaint to the UK ind. Over time an investigation took place and the UK ind denied everything. Yet they still gave no official reason why Pleasant was detained and treated in the way that he was. Also following that experience Pleasant was unable to return to the UK for quite some time. When Pleasant was detained in the port of Dover there were many other Muslim people in the detention center.

Pleasant sat beside a Muslim woman who for 17 hours never moved. Her face remained buried in her hands. Pleasant could not help but cry. Her hands were covered in scars and her shoes were torn and tattered. The artist sat and watched a grown middle-eastern man sobbing in the corner. it was something the artist would never forget. When he was released and sent out of the UK. Pleasant watched as the woman and the men were taken away on a bus out of the UK. He would never see them again. He saw the Sri Lankin woman scream “no!, no!, No!” and collapsed; there was nothing that he could do. Pleasant cried and cried for days.

Later after this experience Pleasant created an oil painting about what he saw. He titled the painting: The day that I saw the thru the deported Muslim woman’s eyes. After painting this painting, Pleasant was attacked by gallery owners on both sides of the Atlantic, but mostly in the USA. Pleasant was told that he did not have the “right” to paint about “those people”. With negative experiences with Don O’Melvany of the, now defunct, O’Melvany gallery in West Hollywood to complete dismissal, following initial interest in the £5 Pound Bush note, by Ronald Feldman of the Feldman gallery in New York City. It was clear that something was going on with Pleasant as a result of his Bush note. At the same time images of the art piece started to disappear mysteriously from the internet.

Pleasant’s time in New York City had been spent with Austrian curator, Stefan Eins (Founder of popular 1980’s Fashion Moda Street art Gallery in the south bronx of nyc). A long time friend of Pleasant’s relative. Pleasant became friends with Stefan for several years until the two had a creative falling out in the late 2000’s. The two presented art in and around New York City for a period, including putting on a popular performance art piece in the renowned Dumbo Art festival. In 2004 Pleasant was asked to visit the UK consulate in New York City. With Stefan in tow the two artists visited an official who to the shock of both Pleasant and Stefan from a cabinet pulled out a file on the artist. Though Pleasant was not offered an opportunity to look at his file. However as the agent flipped through the pages Pleasant obtained glimpses of xerox copies of his personal art website and then sure enough, there it was, a full page scan of none other than The £5 Pound Bush note!

The agent asked loads of questions about Pleasant’s background and why he created the £5 pound note. It was explained that Pleasant “defaced the image of the Queen”. The artist was also asked if he considered himself a risk to the social order of the uk! One of the most absurd though unsettling questions the agent asked was if Pleasant and Stefan, who by the way was Pleasant senior by more than 25 years, were “gay lovers”. When Stefan asked the agent why that was important. The agent quickly responded and said that it was of no importance. Yet Stefan then asked again why the agent brought up the subject. To which the agent remained mute. Years after the Bush note horror Pleasant continued to experience difficulty with uk border patrol. Especially with some of the reactions that he received from a few IND officers. Who have on 4 different occasions tried to make something out of nothing related to the information of the past immigration issue. They have leaped into subtle hostility towards Pleasant for no reason while jotting down various scribbles into his passport. Some UK immigration officers seem surprised when Pleasant explained to them that his immigration difficulties from at that time, 3 years ago were completely resolved. When Pleasant passed thru immigration the immigration officers react to the information as though it happened yesterday.

During Pleasant’s 2006 entry thru Heathrow airport, as his passport was being reviewed, The immigration officer turned to his associate at the next immigration booth beside him and asked her if, “If an American has had past immigration difficulties, is he allowed in?, do Americans need a visa?” As an American Pleasant never expects to ‘breeze thru British immigration’, however he didn’t expect to be harassed either. After a while the UK border agency realised that they went a bit crazy on an artist of note. Though despite receiving a four page letter apology (though still denying everything) hand signed by the immigration director of the UK. Pleasant was deeply inspired by the chaos, censorship and fallout from his £5 Pound Bush note. The original art piece never sold and the gallery owners who claimed interest in the art piece ignored Pleasant for decades. Though as sad as the outcome was then, it was a profoundly inspiring experience for Pleasant. Who has gone on to create more art and create an even greater impact in the art world since then. Pleasant also received moral support from a number of important sources which included the then exhibitions administrator of the Tate Modern , Harrods Owner, Muhammad Alfayed and the celebrated comedian, actor, Richard Pryor. Whom Pleasant established a friendship with over the years.

Ironically enough more than a decade later the artist known as ‘Banksy’ produced his version of a £5 pound note. Which of course sold for thousands of pounds. But as always in these matters, those who originate the new are often the ones least associated with it.

Pleasant recently attended the 2016 Art Basel Miami fair. As a represented vip at the Aqua Art fair Miami and member of Sticktogether. Also represented by the renowned GO gallery, Pleasant and his supporting creative team made up of Illustrator Dame Darcy and Becca Cook as the Queen of Right Now. Entered the Untitled and Scope Art fairs, presenting part of their performance art piece featuring a creation of Pleasant’s, titled ‘The UNKNOWN’ Artist. Originally conceived in 1990’s New York City. Pleasant’s masked Unknown persona often pops up in random locations in contrast to the surrounding environment. An installation within itself, Pleasant loves to shock and create discussion around the meaning of art, space, perception and it’s purpose to cultivate and to inspire. Look worldwide for Pleasant Street art, often in the form of the Spaceman of unity with it’s message asking us to ‘BE PLEASANT’.

On the hot seat of the Trump election. Pleasant has a new work of art planned to be unveiled soon. Perhaps the chaos shall begin all over again for the UNKNOWN artist and his Pleasant art? Stay tuned for new UNKNOWN Artist series paintings, officially to be unveiled in mid 2017 + ‘THE UNKNOWN’ Feature film coming soon. Currently Filming in Georgia, Amsterdam, South America, London, Los Angeles, Venice Italy and New York City.



THE UNKNOWN trailer 5

Het Slangenpand riots, ref.

Areal: Smelly Steak and Wine

[Bad Food]

Someone once said it didn’t matter how nice a restaurant is…

Areal: Smelly Steak and Wine

Areal Restaurant, 2820 Main Street, Santa Monica (Venice Beach), CA
dined: December 15, 2016

by Reviewer Rob

I felt like going out for steak the other night so I tried a new place and went to Areal in Venice Beach, a kind of upscale looking restaurant, and ordered this filet mignon and a glass of 2013 Cabernet. I had cause to celebrate due to recent events that had went my way and although I was alone didn’t mind spending a little extra. Pictured below is the plate they served me. Looks good, doesn’t it? What the pic doesn’t capture was the smell. Maybe it was the “reduced port” sauce or whatever it was topping it, but I swear to god when the waitress brought it to me the aroma of stale socks mixed with armpits tinged with a whiff of rancid vagina began emanating from the plate. I was, however, really hungry for steak so I ate everything. Two hours later the stink still recurred from my facial hair despite washing my face and brushing my teeth. But hey, at least the wine was good.

About the visual presentation of the food: I immediately noticed the strange way the meat was arranged on top of the disc of runny mashed potatoes, not beside, which were covered in what the menu described as “peppered” spinach. At first I didn’t think much of it until after dinner was finished and paid for. Then the smell and ambiance fully sank in. The visual effect coupled with the aroma made me wince in amusement as a subconscious reminder sitting on the table before me of the piles of fresh cow manure I’d avoid as a kid hiking in the undeveloped land that cattle grazed in near my suburban home many years ago. This Areal restaurant dish was piled like a cow paddy.

Maybe it was a class-separation issue for the management or waitstaff. I was wearing Wrangler jeans from Walmart and dining alone, clearly not part of the local Venice Beach hipster crowd. A friend on Instagram who’s in with the Hollywood royalty commented that maybe if I had an apple-core hairdo, trimmed beard, $500 rolled up jeans and “stupid Nick Fouqet $1000 hat” I would have received better service.

Someone also who knew the LA nightlife scene really well once said on the radio that it doesn’t matter how nice a restaurant is the kitchen can still, let’s say, “mess with” your food in a pretty egregious way. Maybe the anal aroma filet mignon was unintentional (?) but on top of serving me a steak that smelled like farts they tried to charge me for a Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie that the waitress had came back and told me they were out of. Bleagh! I won’t be going back to you, Areal. I could have had a 12-ounce sirloin and house red at Applebee’s. The dinner would have been better and everything would have cost less than half what your ripoff bill came to.

I pointed the error out to the waitress who apologized profusely. After the manager removed the pecan pie from the bill my check came to like $62 and change. Of course I tipped the waitress since she wasn’t the worst, and I can’t prove it was her fault the steak smelled like butthole and stale socks, but I only gave her around ten percent. I don’t know. Maybe these assholes are just stupid and have no idea what they’re doing. Even so, see you later Areal, MUCH later.

This steak smelled worse that unwashed armpit, or gym socks wiped with rancid vag.

This steak smelled worse that unwashed armpit, or gym socks wiped with rancid vag.

They even erroneously added the undelivered pecan pie to my tab.

They even erroneously added the undelivered pecan pie to my tab.

Alice's Restaurant Protest Music


Alice’s Restaurant

Music Has Been A Way To Resist For A Long Time

From The Atlantic:

‘The lyrics’ synopsis: On Thanksgiving 1965, Guthrie and some pals went to throw out garbage from the church where the titular Alice lived, but the dump was closed for the holiday. So he instead tossed the waste at an unsanctioned site, was caught and arrested, and his arrest prevented him from being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. In the song he tells this story with heapings of humor and twang, and it culminates in him advising would-be draft-dodgers to go into their draft office and sing the chorus of the tune to show themselves unfit for service.

‘The song has been portrayed as anti-war, a Baby Boomer tale of resistance. But if you actually listen, it’s not quite that. The Guthrie of the song tells the draft psychologist, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead, burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL.” This just makes him more likely to be enlisted. The twist of the thing comes when it’s a littering offense, not his supposed sadistic tendencies, that keep him out of the military—a sign of screwed-up governmental priorities.’

Photolog: Supermoon, 11-13-16



by Reviewer Rob

This photo was shot about an hour and a half ago at 6:05 p.m., from a parking lot up on a hilltop overlooking a freeway in north metro San Diego. The area directly in front of me below the plane of the moon was relatively free of urban and streetlight pollution, although there were some office parks about one mile away with similar light like the ones to my left and right in the parking lot I was in. I was using my Asahi Pentax 600mm f/4.5-f/45 fixed focal length lens on my Nikon D5300 set at ISO 100. I had the lens set at f/16.5, and shutter speed for this photo was 1/500 sec. There was some slight haze but it was overall a cloudless and clear night. Two days ago there was much drier conditions with a true Santa Ana. Too bad the Supermoon didn’t get scheduled for then.

This was the last of a series of 22 photos, and I used escalating shutter speeds from 200th up each notch to 500th, settling on 1/500th because my tripod is a little wiggly with a long lens. The faster shutter I shot it at the more crisp the image appeared in my viewfinder.

The RAW image was adjusted in Photoshop CC and then cropped out to isolate it in the field. Then I monochromed it to take out all the color. It’s dark, to highlight detail, but hey it’s the moon. It looks better dark and spooky.

Behold the Supermoon, 11-13-2016.

Edit b, same photo.

Edit b, same photo.

Photolog: Supermoon, 11-13-16, by Reviewer Rob.

Photolog: Supermoon, 11-13-16, by Reviewer Rob.


‘Known as the Beaver Moon or Frost Moon, this one will be exceptionally large and bring higher than normal tides.

“The full moon of Nov. 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016 but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” Nasa said in a statement, adding the full moon will not come this close to Earth again until 25 November 2034.’

photolog: in PDX shooting jpeg vs. NEF

Why I shoot NEF RAW, and other superfluously obvious information

by Reviewer Rob

I was in Portland last weekend to finish up distributing a few hundred copies of issue 50 that had the Bundy Militia story in it. Ammon Bundy was on the cover in an article where Sarah Glass Shafer met him briefly at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff near Burns, Oregon, in January of this year, and on the back page was the article of her interview with militia spokesman LaVoy Finnicum. He’s the one who was eventually killed during a traffic stop with police about a month later after repeatedly taunting officers that they would have to shoot him. It was videoed by occupants of the vehicle he was driving as well as from police helicopter circling overheard. Very unfortunate.

So anyways, this is one reason why a couple of days before I arrived the not-guilty verdict in the federal trial of standoff participants was received as such good news by many members of the local public in Portland, and ehy it was important to get more copies of issue 50 up there ASAP. The recent verdict was the culmination of a big news story nationally.

While up there I had time to do some sightseeing, and there’s lots to see in the northwest. Portland is a fine combination of Big City and Great Outdoors because you’ve got all the elements of civilized society around you, yet wilderness is only a short car ride away. Witness the Willamette River: it’s a large tributary that flows into an even larger river, the Columbia, which can provide fresh water and power 365 days of the year. In the summer I’m a sure it’s an unending form of aquatic recreation too.

As for my photolog post, here it is:

I always set my cameras to shoot both JPEG and NEF RAW large/fine images. It takes up more space on the card but that’s okay, I just buy larger and more memory cards and more hard drives to archive shoots. I began shooting both several years ago while doing wedding gigs when the brides and grooms that hired me to shoot their ceremonies didn’t have the computer apps or know-how to process RAW images and needed their photos to be ready right away. But I also always wanted to have the RAW files on hand to do their custom image work separately. Below is an example of why.

The top photo is the original version. It was how the jpeg file looked when created, but the NEF RAW image was identical to it in appearance. The two below it contrast the limitations of the jpeg image against the versatility of the RAW file. Both were adjusted on in Photoshop until the best results could be achieved. The depth of color and detail retention of the RAW image at bottom can not be disputed, of course. Look at the wake behind the boat, and at what’s looks like a small sheltered cove only partially visible under the boat dock walk ramp in the upper left of the photo. You can see right into it in the RAW pic while in the jpeg it’s only a murky shadow. The state had experienced a very rainy October and although the image was slightly over exposed the brown color of the early November river water was well captured in RAW and brought out by the photo processing app. In the jpeg version not so much true color was recorded.

Clearly you should love shooting RAW and never settle for less.

Back to the subject of Portland. When I return, and I hope to very soon, I want to take my 600mm f4 and get some shots of the volcano Mount Hood. It has glaciers on it all the time and looks breathtaking at a distance against a cloudless blue sky.

Image technical data:
camera: Nikon D5300, Manual setting, Pattern Metering
lens: Tamron AF 18-270 f3.5
focal length: 270mm
160/sec, f11, ISO 1000

Here's the unedited jpeg original version. It's how the NEF RAW image looked upon creation as well.

Here’s the unedited jpeg original version. It’s how the NEF RAW image looked upon creation as well.

The jpeg original version, after editing in Adobe  Photoshop CC.

The jpeg original version, after editing in Adobe Photoshop CC.

The NEF RAW image after finished editing in Adobe Photoshop CC.

The NEF RAW image after finished editing in Adobe Photoshop CC.