Monthly Archives: November 2016

A Declining Scruffy Hanging Out with Lukas and Erika

A Declining Scruffy Hanging Out with Lukas and Erika

Thurs. 11.10.16 – This is a very rocky week. Starting the day of the election, Scruffy’s back end and legs stopped working for him and by yesterday morning he was unable to walk or even raise up and stabilize his legs.

We had already planned to visit Erika and Lukas today so that Lukas could play with Belle. Erika let Lukas know that Scruffy was at the end of his life and that Lukas would most likely not see him again. Near the end of the visit, Lukas wanted to sit on the couch with an ailing Scruffy in his lap. It was very sweet.

In this photo, Erika was telling Lukas the story of the first time that Lukas met Scruffy.

Nicole’s Corner at Salon Pop

Nicole's Corner at Salon Pop

Wed 11.09.16 – This afternoon I went to visit the ever amazing artist, Nicole Welke, at her day adventure – Salon Pop and Barber Shop. I love that Nicole’s aesthetic is not just in her paintings, cartoons, illustrations and products, but also in her physical space. I am excited to announce that Nicole will be doing the cover art for my short story collection.



In other notes, it is time for California to succeed from the U.S.

Happy 13th Birthday to Scruffy McDoglet!

Happy 13th Birthday to Scruffy McDoglet!

Mon. 11.07.16 – On the 7th of November in the year 2003, Mr. Scruffy-licious Alidocious T. McDoglet was born to a pedigreed Maltese family. Within two months, Scruffy – not his birth name – was denied access into the American Kennel Club for having more than the 3-4 regulation spots and hair too thin for a AKC Maltese, whereupon he departed and moved to California.

In March of 2004, Jenifer Hanen (me) and her brother, Joe, found Scruffy on Craigslist and within days he joined the family. Jenifer promptly bought Craig a Jack & Coke at 20×2 that year at SXSWi to thank him for starting a website that allowed her and her brother to get a great dog. Craig likes dogs and was happy that we got Scruffy on his List.

Happy Birthday to the best maltese dog on the planet… Scruffy McDoglet!

Embrace the Blur : A One Day Drive to Arizona and Back Again

To Arizona: Palo Verde Tree with a bit of Inadvertent Tiltshift Back to California: Taurus and a Truck from the Car Window

Sun. 11.06.16 – Today including a whirlwind, blur of a drive out to Arizona and back home to Huntington Beach in one day! The madness was more than just an opportunity to spend $36 on gas; I was on a mission to pick up my friend Belle le Cane. I will be dogsitting Belle* for much of the month, so expect more photos.

Per usual, double click on the photo thumbnails for the larger versions and lightbox gallery.

*And Belle will be sitting on Scruffy…

The Con That Wasn’t

Sat. 11.05.16 – I am eating dinner after a day of a crushing migraine that dashed my weekend plans and would not go away, even the face of Imitrex and a diet coke. Finally, eight and a half hours after taking the Imitrex and three-quarters of the way through the second diet coke, life became mildly bearable again.

Twenty or so minutes into the bearable life, there is a knock at the door. I get up from my dinner and ask, “Who is there?”

Scruffy rouses himself out of old dog slumber on the warm kitchen floor to bark loudly. I cannot hear the reply of the man on the other side of the door.

Through the front door, I shout a bit, “Sorry, my dog is barking. I can’t hear you.” What I don’t say is that too many years of live music shows, even with 34 db earplugs in, my hearing is not what it used to be at the hertz range of human speech.

Scruffy uses this opportunity to bark louder and longer, as the man replies a second time. Against my usual practice and better judgement, I open the door to a mid-to-late twenty-something man dressed as if he were a boxer from New York in 1983 with a faded hawaiian shirt over his see through 80s tank top. He is wearing a rather ugly, prominent oddly shaped black ring on his left middle finger. He did not smell bad, but he does not look clean nor good.

As I am assessing him with the door opened only a few inches, he quickly says, “I am a new neighbor introducing myself.”

“Ah.” I say. No one in this complex ever introduces themselves. They will say hi if you pass them in the hallways or near the dumpster or in the carport, but no introductions. We are in walking distance of the beach. Everyone here in these twelve building, three-story, late 1960s open plan California beach apartment complex is a surfer, a student, a medical professional, a downscaled former homeowner of a certain age, or a recent immigrants. I have not seen this fellow in our building or coming and going from the parking lot.

“I am a student,” he says. “I am learning public speaking and I am here to practice.” His words are tripping over each other in the rapidity of his delivery. “I am nervous.” He smiles trying to elicit sympathy. My dinner is cooling, I smell a sales pitch or a con. I am having none of it.

More words, of which I don’t remember enough to even paraphrase. Finally, he says – seeing that he is loosing me to a door inching closed. “Have you ever done any public speaking?”

“Yes, quite a bit.”

“Then you know how hard it is.” He looks at me with hope as he pulls out a laminated four by six card.

“Actually, I am very good at it.” This is not a brag. I like verbally conveying information in an interesting fashion in hopes of sparking a curiosity to learn more in the listener.

“Oh.” This man sparks no curiosity in me. Deflated, he then puts the card in front of him as he gather the courage to start his pitch. The card has a half-tone American flag with an eagle on it in the background and the foreground is unreadable type with several signatures.

“No, thank you.” I firmly say. Do not use the American flag and an eagle to manipulate me. No, not this week. Certainly not this week.

As he protests and starts to get angry, I start to close the door. He protests, “I have been doing this since 7am.”

“Sorry to hear that, but this isn’t about public speaking practice and I am going back to my dinner.” I latch the door. I hear him swear. Scruffy looks at me from the kitchen floor, where his old dog self has attempted to stand but has failed. Scruffy looks more than a bit like a white furry seal who is stuck in one position. I hear the guy knock to no avail on the neighbor’s door.

I sit back down to my dinner. I hear the man knock on many doors in this building and the next across the courtyard with the same patter to open and closed doors. Muffled voices of men tell him to go away. Two women open their doors. The first women stops his speech before I did and shuts her door. He swears. More knocking. Another woman on a floor above opens her door and half way through she yells at him about solicitors aren’t allowed, she slams her door shut. I hear more muffled knocks but no one else opens their doors within my hearing.

I am not sure what this man was selling or what his game / hustle /con was. I didn’t want to know, as it was the in-person version of email spam. If I won’t open a spam email, then why did I open the door?

Ocotillo and Jet Contrail : Film and Mobile

Ocotillo and a Contrail : Ilford HP5 Plus B&W film Ocotillo and a Contrail : Nokia 808 PureView Camera Phone

Fri. 11.04.16 – In 2015, I ventured into the One Camera : One Lens photo project with my Nikon FM3a film camera and a Nikon AIS 50mm f/1.8 manual lens. I tried to use a new film every month, alternating black & white film with color, to explore all the 35mm film that is currently available for sale – either at my local Samy’s or online. I still had quite a few rolls of film leftover from the 2015 project and continued to shoot into 2016, albeit a bit slower.

To help with a time stamp & GPS, I take a photo with my camera phone each time I take a film photo. The above two photos were taken on February 3, 2016 in Havasu Heights, Arizona, of my favorite ocotillo. The photo on the left was taken with Ilford HP5 Plus 400 black & white film and the photo on the right is with my trusty Nokia 808 PureView camera phone.

Click on the photos for the larger versions and enjoy.

The Cacti Garden

Cousin Itt and his smaller sibling Backlit Cacti, II Red

Thurs 11.03.16 – After dropping my dad off at the hospital for a bit of preventative cardiology, I went for a small photo walk before going back to the hospital. Here are a few of the photos taken by me with my Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.