Sol Patrol


About two weeks ago I attended a party in the city entitled “Sol Patrol.” There was the usual lighting and sound extravaganza, but the real impressive part of this show were the live acrobats (one man and two women)! They performed on two ribbons hanging from the ceiling (which I later learned are referred to as “straps” in the business). There was also an artist in attendence, who was painting the whole party, live. He was painting with oils, and I was astonished at how suddenly order would pop out of the chaos of colors that he was splashing up on the canvas. He would grab a bit of paint from some other part of the painting and dab it on, and voila! There was the male acrobat (you can just barely make it out in the picture if you are looking for it). There was also some random artwork a la burning man and sculpture that was being wrought from a large sheet of styrofoam.

Tonight I’m of with the same crew (more or less) to go see Shpongle at a club in San Francisco where they are supposed to be playing a “rare live DJ set,” whatever that means. Hope it’s good!

The Grand Canyon

Thanks to the combined power of Lightroom and the D200, I have finished capturing, processing, and touching up the images from my Grand Canyon trip in early March. So far, you can check out either:

On this particular trip, I was accompanied by my family (Dave, Patricia, and Patrick). We started taking family trips to the Grand Canyon when I was around nine years old, and we have been going every few years since then. In fact, this is the canonical Broxton family vacation, and I’ve come to associate this place and this trip with feelings of family. We usually hike the canyon in the fall or spring so we are accustomed to seeing some snow on the rim, but this year we arrived during a full-blown blizzard. This resulted in a cancelled flight and a long, long shuttle ride from Phoenix to Flagstaff on icy roads. [thank goodness for the videos on Patrick's iPod!]

We started our hike just as the storm was breaking, and the views were simply breathtaking — there were rays of sunlight and wisps of clouds everywhere. Although we didn’t realize what they were at the time, we saw and photographed two California Condors in the clouds: a juvenile and an adult (note the difference in the coloring of their heads — see the Pinnacles post below for more info on these endangered birds). We stayed for three nights at the bottom of the canyon with hikes towards Clear Creek and Ribbon Falls during the days in between. Patrick and I also managed to do a short night hike in the full moon where we did some slow-shutter photography. We also saw an astonishing array of wildlife including turkeys, ring-tail cats, deer, a mountain goat, and the world’s most fearless, demanding squirrel. This was quite possibly our best trip so far, and I’m looking forward to returning in a year or two.

Canyonlands photos should be forthcoming in the next week or two, and in the meantime I hope to return to smaller, more regular updates of the day-to-day variety. Ciao!

Dayvan Cowboy


I ran across this new music video from the Boards of Canada the other day. It contains fantastic footage from the sky diving attempt that set the record for the highest parachute jump, the longest freefall, and the fastest speed ever attained by a human through the atmosphere. Plus it’s a catchy song.

This parachute jump was part of the so-called Project Excelsior, an Air Force program in the early 60’s. The goal was to test a new parachute system that was designed to prevent a person from spinning out of control during freefall at high altitude. The jumper, Joseph Kittenger, launched himself out of a balloon from an altitude of 102,800 feet (31,334 meters). From that height, it took him 4 minutes and 36 seconds to reach the ground. During that time, Kittenger accelerated past the speed of sound, though he said that he did not feel the the sensation of falling until he had reached the cloud deck.

OMGWTFBBQ!!!

For your daily dose of Wikipedia and Internet culture, I suggest that you cruise over and take a look at the article on l33t speak. It’s nothing if not thorough. w00t!

Pinnacles

Greeting! I’m back from southern Utah, and I’m slowly working through the past two months worth of photos. These photos were taken during a weekend trip to the Pinnacles National Monument, which is about 2 hours south of the Bay Area. There were two things I found particularly cool about this trip. First, the Pinnacles are actually the remants of a volcano that erupted in southern california along a fault line, and then half the rock material travelled up to northern california as the Pacific plate travelled north relative to the North American plate. The other half of this old volcano still exists down near Lancaster, CA

The second cool thing I learned is that the Pinnacles are one of the sites where they are re-releasing California Condors back into the wild. There are currently only 273 of these birds in existence, and at one point there were less than ten remaining in the world. They are slowly coming back now thanks to an aggressive captive breeding program. It turns out that the Grand Canyon is another release site for the birds, and I managed to photograph a few of them in flight when I was there. Those photos will be in my next update, as soon as I finish going through all of the Grand Canyon photos and panoramas (which are next on the list).