Monthly Archives: May 2004

On a Much Better Note…

I would like to extend a very warm and hearty Congratulations to a certain friend who met the love of his life in January and married her last week at the OC courthouse. May you be richly blessed with love, joy, laughter, and a few tears to round it all out for all the days of your life.

Outing a Troll

troll.gifOn the Message Board, the Matt’s Script old school board, we used to get lots of trolls, until we took down the CGI message board and instituted a PHP log-in message board. Now that folks must use a real email adddress to authenticate their login, the trolls have wandered off to easier targets.
What is a troll? A troll is a bored, sad sub-human who has nothing better to do with his/her life than to bait, insult, argue with, be mean to, and otherwise screw with others on the internet. Somehow getting behind a keyboard and a monitor gives them the feeling of power that a jacked up PEV truck and a case of viagra would not otherwise give them.
Right now Black Phoeobe has its own personal Troll. This Troll’s IP address is, they live or work or have a friend/relative in Brooklyn, and have Verizon as an internet provider. This troll likes to use my contact form to mock me and tell me that I am a bad/terrible web designer, even with all of my “experience.” Actually, the troll is quite a bit less articulate about the whole thing.
So, I suck. Who cares. Mr./Ms. Troll, you don’t like my work? Well then, don’t look at it. Or is it, that you can’t stand that you used Google to seach for p0rn and somehow ended up here… angry. Well, search Google again and go feel better about your life.
Mr./Ms. Troll, would you like to really feel better about your life? Then go make beautiful, amazing, usable websites that make people happy and don’t even worry your lovely self about some gal in California who makes sucky websites because you will be too busy, too fulfilled, and too lauded to worry about little ‘ole me.
Smoochies, darling, Smoochies….

How Quiet is Suburbia?

Mallard Ducks take over HB

I went over to my brother’s house in North Huntington Beach today to do a load of laundry. As I drove out of his track, I saw a group of mallard ducks sitting in the shade of a mock orange tree on the tarmac of Del Mar Street. I guess Huntington Beach is awful quiet, with little traffic, at 6:17pm in the evening…

Mallard Ducks take over HB

Cinco de Mayo or My Camera, Part II

Los Mysteriosos at Alex’s Bar on Cinco de Drinco

Last night, Cinco de Mayo (or Cinco de Drinco as Alex calls it), was the big test of my new Casio EXLIM Z-40 camera, as I had two shows to attend and shoot photos two different venues, each with challenges for the little camera of happiness.
As I posted earlier this week, reviewers at Amazon have complained about the photo quality of the EXLIM Z-40, but as of that post I had no complaints. Last night was the real test of the camera and it came through with flying colors, especially in comparison with my old school Sony Mavica FD-73.
I first trotted over to the Galaxy Theatre for Manic Hispanic. I have shot quite a few concerts at this 800 (? or more) capacity dinner theatre venue before. With the Mavica it was always touch and go, if I got good photos I was surprised as the stage is large: wide and deep, and the light guy/gal uses quite a bit of low warm lighting rather than bright spot lights on the performers. The Mavica would take a decent, pixelated photo if the performer was within 10 feet of my position, if they were farther away then the photo would be dark and/or severely pixelated.
The EXLIM came through with shining colors, as evinced below in the pop-up photos. I was able to get clear photos of all of Manic Hispanic across the stage, as well as motion photos (Flying Mo Guitar). The most impressive of all was when I stood at the back of the venue a good 120 or more feet from the stage and got a good, clear photo of the whole stage. The Mavica would have focused on the people in front of me and blurred out the stage in the distance, with the EXLIM I was able to set it at infinity and get good control of the shot.

After nearly filling up the on-camera 7MB memory, I left the Galaxy and raced north up the 405 fwy to Alex’s to catch Alex’s debut as the bass player for Los Mysteriosos. The next big challenge for the little camera of happiness was shooting bands on the stage at Alex’s Bar. The whole bar has low mood lighting, dark red walls, and NO stage lights, thus a black hole of flash photography. The Mavica valiantly would take decent, slightly pixelated photos of folks within 10-12 feet of the camera. Forget the drummer or anyone across the stage. I could never get a good drummer photo at Alex’s.
Note the top photo in this post. Los Mysteriosos’ drummer is waving at the crowd, more importantly the EXLIM has him at the same level of light/flash and detail as the rest of the band. And I was able to get a decent photo of the whole band, pixelated yes, but decent. ;oD
The Photo Essays from Last Night:
Manic Hispanic
Los Mysteriosos
p.s. I am currently listening to the Horror Pops’ debut CD, “Hell Yeah!.” I highly recommend it. Fun, poppy psycho-surf-new wave-punk-billy with a large dose of pop. Good job Kim and Patricia Nekroman…

My New Camera, Part I


I thought I would use my birthday money for a new cell phone, but after a week of hassle with AT&T, I decided that I would continue to limp along with my 1998 Nokia and instead use the funds to buy a new digital camera. The decision was made on Friday night when Rachel Varla asked me if I would submit some of my Boys Gone Wild photos for the Spring deadline of Varla magazine. I had to explain to Rachel that my trusty, well-loved Mavica FD73 only took 640 by 480 72 dpi pictures that were not ready for print mags.
I went home that evening and researched, for the fortieth time or thereabouts, digital cameras in my price range that could and would be very small as to fit in my purse, take great indoor and low light photos, as well as have high, print quality resolution settings, if I so choose to use them.
Yesterday morning, I drove down to Cal’s Camera in Costa Mesa, and drove home with a Casio EXLIM Z40. I am wildly ecstatic about my new little baby, and spent much of yesterday and today reveling in the fact that I could trot it out at any time and snap a pic.
It has quite a few more functions and options than the Mavica did, I took the Z40 with me last night to the St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels Angel’s Ball (why I was even there is a whole other story) and was able to take photos of people 40 plus feet away in moderately bright indoor lighting with no flash! With the flash I was able to get good 640 by 480 photos of people with the flash 20 odd feet away.

Reviewers at Amazon have been complaining about picture quality, but I am not, as each pic I have taken so far has been a large improvement from what the Mavica would have taken in a similiar situation.
Did I mention that it is the size of a credit card and about 5/8 of an inch wide?
Manic Hispanic and Go Betty Go, here I come on Cinco de Mayo.