Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Street Alley Story

Juzno man,

I prepared the Dutch Baby for breakfast and it made Helmut smile!!!  Per your advice, I added bacon and eggs on the side.  Thanks for sharing the recipe.

On August 9th last year, Helmut and I relocated to Silver Lake (Los Angeles).  Our place is located next door to our daughter, her husband and their precious little boy - Lucas.  Oftentimes, we have both front doors open/accessible and Lucas thinks we live in the same house.  It is a favorable arrangement - we are right there when they need us and vice versa, yet we maintain privacy and separate living arrangement.

For almost 5 months now, Lucas and I have been increasingly forging forward in developing familial trust with each other.  One day last week, in a moment of being vulnerable, Lucas blew a kiss to me.  And in a flash he realized what happened!!!  Horror!!!  Immediately, and fiercely, he tried to take the kiss back from me.  Refusing to be outsmarted, I explained to him that while the kiss was flying in the air, my eager heart opened up, gathered the giving kiss and clamped tightly down to avoid an escape.  Good day....


Monday, January 30, 2017

Dadoo has a new toy: the 2017 Gibson M2

I think  the first time I saw a Melody Maker was with Jeff Beck.  I'm sure that was it.  It was the bridge that attracted me to that guitar.  I always thought that the bridge was sleek and sexier compared to that of the Les Paul.  It's a minimalist design, which I really like for its aesthetics.

Well, the 2017 Gibson M2 arrived today.  Took it out of the box, tuned it, and played a few riff.  It was perfect. The feel on this guitar reminded me of my Old Scarlet, which was a Les Paul Junior, except the M2 (I think it stands for Melody Maker version 2) is stripped down with only one volume and one tone control.  My Scarlet had P90 pickups and weighed a ton.  The M2 is light and has the Pro-humbuckers, which are similar if not the same as my Sheraton Epiphone.  Some reviewers complained that sound from these pickups are a bit harsh but I find the sound can be toned down with the tone control either from the guitar or the amp.

It is made in the USA.  I was fortunate with this one as it doesn't need fret redress and the intonation is spot on.  The set up is perfect for both lead and rhythm playing.  I am used to the lighter gauge strings, usually 8s.  This one came with 10s.   But I think I will keep the strings for now as I know the sound would likely be compromised.  Besides I have other electric guitars on 8s.  So I think the 10s might inspire me to play differently.

To my ears, the sound from it is good.  I really don't have any complaints about this guitar.

#2017GibsonM2 #MelodyMaker #GuitarReview #iPhone7 #iphone

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Being New Yorkish

Can one make something beautiful in a tough city?  Wake up and listen!  Fringes of decaying society.  I come to the disco to recreate a predatory life of seduction that  makes me want to stay.  New York.  New York  Ridiculous.  Picture this.  You got clouds on your head.  All I want is 20/20 vision.  I don't care if the Eskimos buy ice from me.  But everybody wants to make a statement.  I am just a pretty baby.  Absolutely very Abba.  Fool!  I'm the one watching you.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Viewed from the Euromast.

Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, located in South Holland, within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. It’s port is the largest cargo port in Europe and the 10th largest in the world.

Viewed from the top of Euromast.  It was very windy up there, and it felt like the platform was swaying.  I was afraid that if I didn't hold strongly to my camera, it would fly away.  I have climbed many industrial chimneys as a former source test engineer but at that moment  I was experiencing a serious acrophobia.

Taken in 2015 but never got around to processing the image - until now.  I used the 14 mm wide angle lens on the Fujifilm Xe-1.  It's not my go to camera but I think for this kind of shot the photo gear is useful.  The foreground blur is courtesy of the Northern Wind.   

#simplyTrafalgar #TrafalgarInsider

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Are you still listening?  Are you still breathing?  Imagine.  It gets quite lonely.  It makes perfect sense.  All that it seems is a dream within a dream.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Taken with the original Fujifilm x100 back in 2012.  

I was a young graduate and had just been terminated from a government gig.  With a few savings, I visited Sagada.  I only had a couple of T-shirts on my small back pack.  I didn't have socks because I thought it was uncool to wear ones.  To get there, I rode a bus and stood inside all the way  for several hours.  Back then, reserving for B & B was unheard of.  It is one of a few places that has preserved its indigenous culture with little Western influence.  I heard that the local tribes have recently done away with headhunting.  It was a great time to be adventurous.

Many years later, I returned to the village, and experienced a volcanic tremor of a culture shock.  It has been transformed into a tourist trap.  One can have beer, yogurt and  Kimchi in small guest houses and restaurants. The ugly gentries have invaded this once pristine place and turned it into an amusement park.  Sad.

#sagada #mountainprovince

This is how she sleeps and how I killed her

Some flowers are very sensitive to light or the lack of it.  I took this poppy indoor and by the time I was set up to take its picture, the petals already closed.  More appropriately, it has fallen asleep because there is not enough sunlight indoor.  I screwed up its circadian rhythm.  I hope the poppy police will not go after me for floral abuse.  Actually, I found out that poppy flower doesn't live long enough once you cut it off from the plant.  So, really I killed it -- well, eventually I did by mutilation.  It must have been the shock for her to undergo a severing off its branch.  Yikes.

There is also side story on this poppy.  The purists will cringe if they learn that the flower was actually yellow and not white.  I was trying to enhance the color in post processing when I accidentally hit a button and the yellow poppy turned white.  Not pure white because it retained some interesting luminosity.  I thought it was cool so I left it like this.  A happy accident if you would.  I happen to like it.  I hope you like it too.

Cheers - R

P.s. After watching the news address last night, I am forced to increase my 4x6 prints to $75.  The 8x12 is now on sale for $399.  To take advantage of the 300% discount on this Wednesday Special, you must like this post now.  Just kidding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Take me to the river

Housing by the river in Waterford, Ireland

Juzno:  I'm a bit forgetful nowadays.

Rob:  Which one did you forget this time?

Juzno:  I was just thinking about those young men who wears skinny jeans who pretend they are hip.  What do you call them?

Rob:  You mean the hipsters?

Juzno:  Yeah.  I forgot what they are called.  It's just that I could see things in my head but I can't remember the words associated with them.  It comes with age I suppose.

Rob:  I remember when I first got introduced to my grandparents.  I must have been five or six years old.  And I was asking myself, who are these old people?  I guess they weren't really that old.  Thinking back they must have been in their 50s.

Juzno:  Aye.  I hear you.  I'm far older than them now.

Rob:  But you are only 58.

Juzno:  I know.  And this year I'm turning 64.

#simplyTrafalgar #TrafalgarInsider #iPhone #Ireland #Waterford #whatitmeaanstogrowold

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tooting my horn

Domestic flights are on the move again after being grounded Sunday because of a computer problem.  One company spokeswoman  says the "IT issue" that initially caused the ground stop has been resolved and flights are resuming, but customers may experience additional delays. She didn't give any more details.

I don't really mind.  I'm out here tooting my horn.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Can something exist without being perceived?

St Stephen's Green, Ireland

"If a tree were to fall on a forest where there were no human beings, would there be any sound?" 

Vera felt the cold autumn wind blew from behind.  She wished she had worn her mauve bonnet.    She hated it.  But she did not have much excuse for not wearing it.  "Oh, Momsy ... " she whispered to herself.  "Why did you have to buy me that stupid bonnet?"  Momsy wasn't there to answer.  They used to go on long walks.  It would always be the same path.  The same one she was now on.  Momsy would talk a lot.  She was the talkative one.  Vera was mostly quite.  Now Vera wished Momsy was with her.  So she can remind her what she thought about her bonnet.

#Existentialsim #randomThoughts 

Friday, January 20, 2017

When Love comes to Town

Galway, Ireland
I'm back to my blur phase.  And I have finally embraced color again.  For years I was afraid to render my images in color.  Everything I did was in black and white.  Prior to that, the colors of my images were highly saturated.  Now I'm liking a rather muted film look.  I'm going old school.

Hope you enjoy.

#poster #mutedcolors #blur #urbanism

Dutch Baby

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus.
So I got an iPhone 7 plus for Christmas, and one of the first things I used it for was to take photos of interesting things.  Such as food.  I'm sharing the photo of the food and its recipe.  It's called the Dutch Baby or sometimes called German Baked Pancake.

One 10-inch pancake, 2 to 4 servings

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk together until smooth:

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature (remember to whisper to the eggs)

Melt in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat:

Tilt the pan so the butter coats the sides.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook without stirring for one minute.  Place the skillet in the oven and bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.  Once out of the oven, sprinkle some powdered sugar.    A spoonful of fruit preserves if available or sliced fruit splashed with brandy adds feel guilty factor to the cake.  Or if you are like me, slices of bacon are much preferred.  (Tip:  Anything will taste better with bacon.)  

Serve  immediately. 

Using the portrait mode of the iPhone 7 plus.


#DutchBaby #Cooking #Baking #CookingInstructions #Recipe #iPhone7plusPortraitMode

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Broad Museum

Captured with the iPhone 7 plus.

Rose and I just got out from our favorite bar and restaurant, and on our way to watch a chamber music performance at the Disney Concert Hall.  Next to it stood this massive architecture, which we could not help but notice.  Just opened in September 2015, The Broad is a contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named for philanthropist Eli Broad, who financed the $140 million building which houses the Broad art collections. 

#architecture #B&W #DowntownLA #museum

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Is it still Christmas?

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus.

I want to take a poll.  How many of you have not yet removed your Christmas tree, lights, or holiday decorations in the house?

I do.

#ChristmasTree #holiday #ChristmasDecor

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Emotional and sleepless

It always happen.  I would get up in the middle of the night and I couldn't turn in anymore.  I would usually watch a music video on YouTube.  I need to stop doing that.  I always get emotional listening to music.

 Early on, I learned the guitar chords of Space Oddity.  I must have thinned out the tape from listening to the song so many times.  I wanted to know how to sing the melody and the harmony.  I thought it was pretty cool that Bowie was singing both.  In stereo, one can hear the vocal separation.  David Bowie was the first one to turn me to singing rock and roll. Oh, David ... I wonder if you'll ever know.

#melancholy #existentialism

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It was the best of times and it was the worst

I was transitioning to a corporate world of  manufacturing in middle of 1980s.  Two years before I was trying to find my niche after being fired from a government gig.  I was still a green horned engineer who have just been hired by Colgate-Palmolive.  The financial world felt strong, even boastful and powerful and everyone felt this in commerce and technology.  Money was to be found in global expansion, and the world felt full of opportunity.  Money as dirty as it may seem didn’t seem to be an obstacle to most adventures as it does today.  It was the best of times and it was the worst.

#SimplyTrafalgar #TrafakgarInsider #MoneyRootOfEvil #BestofTimes #Worstoftines

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Art of Tea

Juzno:  A few points that you need to be aware of in making a proper cup of tea.

Rob: Tell me.

Juzno:  The water must not be reboiled before it is poured into the teapot. The process is a chemical reaction which requires oxygen in the water and reboiled water does not have oxygen in sufficient quantity.

Rob: So is the chemical reaction over time essential?

Juzno: Yes, when you pour the water onto the tea leaves, caffeine begins to be produced -  which gives the feel good factor. But after about 3 mins tannin starts to be produced -  which gives the bitter taste of stewed tea.

Rob: I think the best tea is brewed between 3 and 4 minutes.  So you think we should add in milk before or after the tea?

Juzno:  It was considered common to put the milk in first and posh to put the milk in after.  I drink my tea without milk anyway.

Rob:  Have you tried it with lemon?

Juzno:  Yeah.  It didn't go well with milk.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Wine? Red

Rob:  What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of jazz?

Juzno:  Miles.

Rob:  Film?

Juzno:  Old school.

Rob:  Hero?

Juzno:  John Lennon.

Rob:  Hero?

Juzno:  Spiderman.

Rob:  Loser?

Juzno:  Hilary.

Rob:  Loser?

Juzno:  Taxpayers.

Rob:  Whiskey?

Juzno:  Risky.

Rob:  Beer?

Juzno:  Fear.

Rob:  Wine?

Juzno:  Red.

Rob:  Travel?

Juzno:  Mars.

Rob:  Mood?

Juzno:  Moody.

Rob:  Nuisance?

Juzno:  You.

#meaningless #questions #