Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flat Track Saturday Night

I'm producing a photography show for Ray Gordon called Throttle that's going up at W+K in February.  We went down to the State Fairgrounds in Salem last night to see the indoor flat track races and get some images.  Mine is the camera behind the camera.  You'll have to wait until next year to see what Ray grabbed.
It was cold and loud.  I was impressed by the speed and bravado of some of the top riders.  I liked many of the vintage and custom bikes.  I was charmed by the little kids and the women, even though admittedly most of them could out ride me.  Even the abundant and garish Moto-X Fox apparel had its appeal.   The crowd was very mixed and visually interesting.  Big Saturday night.  That's three big Saturdays in a row for me.  The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui two weeks ago.  Last weekend it was poker with some of Portland's political elite and this week it was dirt bikes with a bunch of gearheads and rednecks.

Mugs & Mirrors

The Tedious Genius

The only Orson Welles film that I like is Touch of Evil.  I love the Third Man, but Carol Reed directed it.  Citizen Kane – oh, I see its profound merits, but I could take it or leave it to be honest.  Orson Welles doesn't really have my admiration.  I find him mostly sad and his relentless commitment to his own ideas is mind-numbing and leaves me cold.  But this photo is a beauty.  I find Welles the most charismatic when he's frozen in singular moments.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh Yeah, Happy Veteran's Day ...

... to me!  I'm a veteran of the Cold War.  The longest war in American history, spanning seven US Presidents.  Ronnie Reagan was my commander-in-chief.  While you were sitting around back here in the homeland listening to Dire Straits and Steve Winwood, I was one of the soldiers waiting to defend the Fulda Gap from an invasion of Soviet tanks.  And now the only thanks I get is a consistently incredulous, "You were in the Army?"  Yes, I was and I served with pride.
I did, actually, and though I was being a bit cheeky above, the threat from the Soviets felt very real at times.  Seems long ago and almost totally irrelevant now, but it was a wonderful time in my life.  One of the best things I have done for myself.  While half of my friends were at the The University of Oregon, a slightly more enhanced version of high school, and the other half were safely cocooned in elite institutions of higher learning around the country, I was learning a technical job in addition to being a soldier alongside young guys from all over the country and its possessions serving under men that had fought in Vietnam.  I spent my weekends in Paris, Berlin, Munich, Venice and many other cities.  I skied the Alps.  I drove my Mercedes on the Autobahn daily.  I dated women from all over Europe aged 16-30.  And for just two years of my life, that was hardly a prison sentence as I've outlined, I received almost $30,000 for college.  In the early 90s, that paid for two years at a private school or four plus living expenses at a public university.
Since 9/11 and the mockery of all that we've been doing in the Middle East, I'm a lot less patriotic than I once was.  But there was a time that I put a mean spit shine on my boots and a starched crease in my BDUs.  As I stood at attention holding a salute at reveille each morning, I did so with intense pride.

Tasseled Loafers and a Flashback to 1993

The Alden tasseled loafer.  A classic that's been around long before 1993.  Though that's when this NY Times article was written about the politicization of the shoe.  It renders that moment in time rather quaint.
In '93, I was in college wearing black suede Pumas or a pair of Red Wing work boots that I still have and wear.  I'm sure I had at least a few more pairs of shoes than that, but it certainly was a time that I traveled much lighter.
I didn't wear these things in '93 nor any at other time in my life. The closest I had was a cordovan kiltie loafer that I bought at a thrift store in the 80s.  Though I don't recall wearing them much.  Anyway, like many men's shoes, the tasseled loafer exists in a sort of no man's land for me.  They're traditional, but not classic.  Truth be told, I don't really like any men's dress shoe without a heavier brogue sole.  A running board they used to call it.  Otherwise they look too dainty, especially on anything over a size 11.  Slightly effeminate without taking too much risk.  Middle of the road and ho-hum.
They really do look like the perfect shoe for legions of lawyers in off the rack suits that have too much break in the trouser legs.  Now, if I had nothing but time and money on my hands, I might consider this shoe with a bold plaid cuffed trouser worn just a little short with no break.  Maybe a fine pair of bright yellow socks, like the pair I bought at Harrod's over ten years ago that still look brand new.  I could see sitting at an outside table in the summer, crossing my leg over my knee and letting one of these slightly ridiculous shoes just hang there for all to see, giving them pause to wonder if I'm serious or not.  Were I to wear a short sleeve shirt, they might get the wink and the nod.  Or they might turn and run.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Please Refrain

These phrases make me cringe:  "Get 'er done", "Just sayin'", "Beyotch" and "Really?"  Not cute.  Unoriginal.  Very overused. 
I also realize why soccer will never ever appeal to the lowest common denominator of sports fans in the U.S. – American fans are truly disappointed when every pass isn't a touchdown, every swing of the bat isn't a homerun and every shot doesn't go in the basket with an and-one.  Last night at a Blazer game I could hear a collective groan after the visiting team scored in spite of rabid chants of "De-fense".  This apparent disappointment less than ten games into a long season in a game that the Blazers led by ten or more points for much of the game.  I can understand having a visceral response to the other team scoring when the game is on the line, but to be disappointed whenever the opponent scores is troubling.  The lowest a team has scored in a single NBA game in the past fifty years is 49, the lowest season long average is about 82. 
Really, sports fans?   Do you really think an NBA team isn't going to score?  Really!?!  They're the best players in the world.  They go out every night and get 'er done, beyotchJust sayin'.
Unfortunately, writing that has just caused me to shiver in shame is all to common in the snarky cool cultural garbage bins of social media and the blogosphere.
I need to go take a shower now.

Friday, November 05, 2010


"Sometimes nuthin can be a real cool hand."

Rising Sun

Oh so 80s ... oh so 40s ... oh so Meiji Restoration ... oh so Karate Kid ...

The military flag of the Imperial Navy was banned at the end of WWII only to become le graphique de rigueur of New Wave fashion.

I love that I see it on tee shirts from the 80s and in the Pacific Theater war movies with which I've lately been obsessed.  I'm not so keen on its use in the Karate Kid promos.

What an amazing graphic.  Flags are awesome.