Monday, March 30, 2009

Satanic Caterpillar

I have been unable to identify this monster.
Probably one of the larger moths.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What I've Been Up To Lately

This uber-tiny keyboard and a mouse = recording studio.
Plus beer, of course.
ProTools™ is some mighty serious professional software.

Uploaded by KeithAlanK

In case you can't tell, I'm a bass player now.

Only played one paying gig on bass (1979?) but have always loved it.
Was always more valuable as a lead guitarist or a sound engineer, I guess.
Sold my last less-than-6 stringer in 2002 so I had to learn the songs on a regular guitar, which had me worried.
Plugged in, clamped a Sony H1 to the headstock for BassCam™ goodness, counted down four beats and rocked.
The basscam was inspired by 1980s metal videos on MTV, BTW.

Edited this one to the part where you can hear me play without guitar and vocals covering it up.
I also like watching Mike and David drink beers while Steve and I lock into the groove.
Running sound for him during almost all of the last 20 years, I can pretty much read his mind.
Once I regain my chops (and calluses) we'll be a seriously tight rhythm section.

Next rehearsal will see some more complicated bass songs, like Judith by A Perfect Circle and In The Meantime by Spacehog.

God Bless YouTube and the tablature and lyric websites!
Back in the day we had to lift the tonearm up and place it carefully down again to re-play the section we were trying to figure out.
The rich guys had a "cueing arm" that was hands-free.
Our LPs got demolished from this abuse.
There was almost no sheet music for heavy rock releases, and what you could find was horribly wrong.

Today, when a guy nails a song he'll write it out in a chart with graphic string/fret format and upload to sharing websites.
The most accurate ones rise in the rankings so they are easy to find.
Didn't have time to decipher the lyrics and write them down?
Clickclickdownloadprint, bitches.
Saves untold hours of tedious work, especially on complicated stuff that makes no logical sense to those of us with classical music training.

My name is Keith
I play the bass

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wedding Highlights

Julie and Eddie Brown's wedding--these are a few of my personal favorites.

Everyone had a great time and there was less drama than at some of the weddings I've been to.

Good morning, Selma. How was the drive?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The heroes of the Alamo aren't buried there--instead their remains are across town at San Fernando Cathedral.

Busiest week of the year so far, and I daresay it will hold the top spot for the rest of 2009.
But by Sunday night things should return to normal.

I have some stuff from the wedding I'll be posting soon.

Then there's a wild, dark, macabre and technically challenging idea that's been rattling around in my head for a few weeks.
This (hopefully) frightening test shot will involve multiple exposures carefully blended into one, but in keeping with my preference for solid camera work versus Photoshop trickery the individual exposures will have to be composed and lit perfectly for it to work.
My Photoshop skills will still be crucial, and since I'm just picturing the methods and results in my head right now there might be a flaw in the plan.
One goal is to offer something different for a certain client of mine.
The other is to prove that Live View (an important feature of my particular camera) has advantages that nobody else has exploited yet.
We shall see...

Monday, March 16, 2009

The New Bike

Sylvia loves her new Fuji road bike.
It's worlds apart from my first Columbia 10-speed.
Lighter, smoother, faster, 21 freaking gear combinations.
Even more impressive, the frame has two water bottle holders. Now that's progress!

New helmet, too.
Still need a lock and tire pump.

New shades complete the package.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Is An Alfombra?

It's a giant tapestry made of sand.
Or a sand painting.

This particular one was made under the protection of a huge white tent on Main Plaza, in front of San Fernando Cathedral.
(Remember the church in my Christmas Card photo?)

The media is over 300 pounds of naturally colored volcanic sand, which I asume was brought from home by the artists.
They're Canary Islanders.

The occasion is San Antonio's 278th birthday; on a date which conveniently falls within a week or so of the creation of The Republic of Texas (in 1836).
We get to celebrate important stuff twice in March--a month that lacks proper holidays for most people who aren't Irish or drunktards.

The connection between San Antonio and the Canary Islands is a little-known bit of history that's actually very important.
Canary Islanders founded our city.
A short Texas Almanac Article
All of their family names are instantly recognizable, and fill scores of pages in the local phone book.
Many people usually think of Mexico when San Antonio's history and population is the topic, but in reality Spain is our true mother country through her Canary Islanders.

Upper right is Spain and Portugal.
Moving south is the Straights Of Gibraltar, which is the entrance to the Mediterranean, then Morocco and the rest of Africa.

It was possible to watch the artists at work during all of last week.
I shot these photos on Saturday once it was finished.
After the official unveiling ceremony on Sunday this beautiful work of art was destroyed during a ceremonial procession led by Archbishop José Gomez.

I really wanted to see that but had an important photo shoot scheduled, with tacos.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fix It, For Good

Modern electronic items are disposable.
With the exception of many PCs (due to their modular, up-gradable design and excluding Macs) most TVs, cameras, DVD players, PDAs, PMPs, cellphones, etc are so tightly packed into their cases that it's impossible to locate defective parts let alone replace them.
If it isn't a software problem you're probably out of luck.

So do what I do--have some fun, vent your frustrations, and share it with the world.

This Motorola phone was a terrible device.
Compared to our LGs it falls off the bottom of my ratings chart.
So I chucked-up a 1/2" drill bit, clamped it in, and drilled it into oblivion.

Since the flash used in the first photo "froze" the spinning drill (you can see some flying bits of plastic) I used my workbench lights for this one.
Yup--all the way through!

Do Not leave batteries in whatever you're going to kill.
And especially don't leave something plugged into the wall!

Those nice holes give me a few options for step 2.

Any ideas?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Did Anyone Watch 'Great Day SA' Today?

A bunch of my photos were used in the story about Sylvia's triathlon/marathon training group.
One of those pics was also used in QVC's in-company magazine recently.

Kinda cool.

I'm glad she taped it so I can watch it over and over while dreaming of a life of slightly less obscurity.

Or just watch it online.
(Not all pics are mine).

Monday, March 02, 2009

Private Car Show

At a party Saturday night a few of the guys were invited down to the garage for a tour of the host's classic car collection.
Lots of chrome and paint on beautiful cars and a truck from the 40's through the 60's plus the smell of leather and oil.
I asked permission to take pictures while everyone else asked questions or talked about their own cars.
While I know more than a little about Detroit iron, I didn't mention my badass '77 Monte Carlo or the muscular and perfect '85 Olds Cutlass Supreme I used to have--fine rides to be sure but not in the same league as these restored antiques.
Mine were daily drivers that attracted admiring looks wherever I went, but I didn't have to spend huge amounts of time and money making them run and look good.

Using wireless flash to light an interior while shooting through an open window--a technique I've been waiting a long time to try.

I love this pickup truck.
The yellow car glimpsed in these first two shots is a Hudson convertible.

The gas cap was in the middle of the truck's wood bed--I liked the geometry of this view.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Friday was a scorcher--90 degrees in San Antonio.
That kind of heat brings out the critters, like this green anole that somehow got himself in-between our kitchen window and the screen.
I took a few pics then went outside and hooked him up with an escape route.