31 March 2010

NEWS - DAY NINE. VENICE BEACH, DRIVING IN LA, THE OLD IN OUT IN OUT, SEEING A HERO & THE ARRIVAL

First thing on Saturday morning I hopped in the Troutmobile and headed down to Venice Beach to see what the freaks do in the morning.
I was happy to find some good parking on Washington Blvd. I was happier still to find a really good coffee house (just past the Crapbucks) called the Cow's End. Filled up the travel mug, stopped into a greasy spoon for a great bacon & egg sandwich, back to the coffee house and then... to the beach.
One of the first things I saw was this guy. I think he's why I pulled out my camera in the first place. I hadn't decided which direction to walk. Usually I will stand and take an area in and wait for something to catch my eye to lead me in one direction or another... this guy was just, bang. Right there. It's like my version of getting to work on Monday morning and finding a pile of work sitting on your desk. I barely had time to digest the bacon & eggs, for crying out loud!

he was just wailin away on his electric guitar. His electric guitar which was not plugged into anything. At least not in this universe. I took a handful of shots of him, my favorite of which is here on the old Mothership Kreddible Trout Connection
then it was on to other sights... though not entirely dissimilar.

There's a Welcome Back Kotter joke somewhere here but I can't seem to find it and very few of you would even get it if I could find it. Bet those of you who would get the non-existant joke now have the theme song in your head though. You're welcome.

I was then caught by beauty on the beach. My fiancee wasn't too keen to hear this when I told her about it, but I hope the photo will clarify things a bit. She knows I'm moved by beauty (it's why I'm engaged to her) and I do find it everywhere I go. It's mostly all I shoot. But I think she'd rather me continue to find it in roadside rubbish and the sides of falling apart buildings. I'd just say that amongst all the almost naked people on the beach that day, this person stood out. ...do you blame me?

It's funny that my fiancee doesn't have any issue when I photograph wet men in tight rubber clothes...

...or does she?

...and speaking of marital bliss...
"Honey, we used to fish so much together, now we fish so far apart."


It's sad, but on the beach, there's no species of female that gets any peace...
"hey baby! nice tail feather!"
"quack off!"

Above the beach, in this land where nothing ever stops, the planes went on in a never ending parade. Really, it was constant. I was able to take this same shot half a dozen times in several minutes. Same framing. Constant.



Then it was back to Hollywood Blvd to see it in the daytime. Or so I thought. I hopped into the Troutmobile, consulted the map and headed, via Santa Monica Blvd toward Tinseltown. It really doesn't look that far on the map. It wouldn't have been if LA wasn't a perpetual state of traffic. I had planned to spend a couple of hours down there wandering around. By the time I got down there I had just enough time to have an In & Out Burger (my first... it was pretty good), snap a handfull of shots, get back in the car and head back.

I really do think I'll save my rants about driving in Southern California for a special blog entry devoted entirely to it.

I was able to spend about half an hour on the Blvd and I'm very glad I did. After munchin down on an In & Out combo meal. The people down here are religiously devoted to this place. It's like a cult or something. I fear telling people that it's merely alright as it might provoke a fisticuffs. It's kinda like the devotion to Tim Hortons in Canada but at In & Out they at least serve stuff that tastes good. I'm still pretty happy that my first In & Out Burger was in Hollywood.
Then... oh my god... then I saw one of my all time TV personality heroes: Dr. Geek from the Blueblocker infomercials of the early 90s. I was very upset that there was a huge line up to have him rap to people's names and I had no time to ask him to rap a Kreddible Trout Rhyme. Really. If I hadn't been on a tight schedule I would have paid the man to have him say "uh-huh, yeah, listen to me, this here man is kreddible t. I know you all question it I know you all doubt, but this is the man, Kreddible Trout." or something like that. Shit... I wanna go back to LA right now & try to find him. Maybe on my way home...


...even in this land of dreams and excess, we can still find the daily grind. The hustle and bustle. The morning commute...


I don't know if any of you remember The Electric Company or it's version of Spiderman.... but I saw one of them thought bubbles pop above his head once or twice with the words '...grumble...grumble...' in it.

I had left my stuff at Robert's as the thought of the majority of my worldly possessions in a car parked in LA sounded like a bad idea to me. So, it was back to the Pacific Palisades to gather my crap, say my thank you's and get back on the road. I was destined to arrive at Colonel J's around dinner. It was 5:45 before I was pulling out of Robert's driveway (I envisioned the neighbours peeking out from behind their well manicured hedges sighing in relief).

Traffic was... wait for it... it was tiring and stressful is all I'll say for now. And long. After several hours of driving I arrived in San Diego at Colonel J's and finally met the other madman in this operation and his generous and patient family. What's weird is, as much as there was a world of anticipation, I didn't take a single picture of the big meeting. See, this is why I'm not so good in the photojournalism realm. Moments like this pass me by. It possibly had something to do with the fact that I already knew him before we physically met. As soon as he opened his mouth it was like I was talking to a crazy old friend.

And now, almost five days beyond that moment, I will take a bit of a hiatus from the blog thing. I am in San Diego and getting my head around all the art I have to create in the next 23 days. And the amount of promotional things I have to make up. And the display units that have to be made. And the occasional sleeping and eating that may need to be accomplished. I have an awesome little storefront that I'm working out of right around the corner from where I'll be set up at The Mission Federal Artwalk. It already resembles a mad scientist's lair. If anyone in the San Diego area wants to stop by, I'm on Kettner street between Fir & Grape. I will be there almost constantly from tomorrow on. Wish me luck folks.

30 March 2010

NEWS - NIGHT EIGHT. THE FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT

Later on that night, after the sushi, Robert and I hopped in his Camero and drove (top down) to Hollywood to pay $20 for parking and watch the weirdos. Robert almost got into a fistfight with Batman who for some reason didn't want his picture taken (you dress up like Batman and hang around downtown, pal. You and Jesus and Elvis are prime targets.) Speaking of The Christ I saw the light er, the neon...


I stayed a little more incognito and shot this poor Stormtrooper who was having a little moment of agoraphobia. Or maybe it was a hissy fit because he got lost on his way to the Death Star. I didn't ask.


poor guy... I hope he made it back ok.

I also discovered that the privileged people in Hollywood get to choose between hot or cold sandwiches!


I avoided doing the tourist thing and walk around looking for stars with my favorite celebrities (though I would love to have found Vincent Price's). Besides getting a shot of Dr. Seuss' star for my lady, this is the only star shot I got... good ol Jimmie Dodd! You are missed, sir... whoever you are.


Here's the man who pisses off superheroes


and here's his shot of me


and that's all she wrote for Hollywood on a Friday night for me. Day nine would find me on Venice beach... eating my first In & Out Burger... getting a glimpse of a hero... and finally... finally reaching my destination: La Casa Del Colonel John in San Diego...

29 March 2010

NEWS - DAY EIGHT. THE CONTINENT OF LA, PARKING IN THE CONTINENT OF LA, SANTA MONICA PIER AND 'THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD'

It is hard to believe but, after a week of practice I finally managed to pull out of town at exactly the time I said I was going to. Hoorah! After a yummy breakfast with Derrick at... some place... and a shady, parking lot art deal, I hit the road spot on... whatever time I had decided to. (It's been a few days so details are sketchy) Mind you, the trip was only about an hour to The Continent of Los Angeles, but I was still pretty proud of it.

...sometimes I really do feel blessed by the universe. I couldn't resist pulling a very convoluted U-ey to get this shot. (look carefully)

Why that isn't the title of my blog I just don't know. What was I thinking?

Then it was off to my next victim's house in some pretty swank neighbourhood in Santa Monica (I don't know that there's an un-swank neighbourhood there). Robert Larsen is a gifted photojournalistic-y-type-photographer who I met on JPGmag (man... I should have asked JPGmag to sponsor my trip. This blog is a never ending cavalcade of plugs to them.) some years ago and was also a part of the illustrious if somewhat dysfunctional (and now defunct) 15x100 group.
Robert had some things to do in the afternoon and I wanted to go out and play. So I dropped off my stuff at his place and went to the Santa Monica Pier.
Holy crap batman. Six dollars bought me an hour and twenty minutes of parking. Nine dollars bought me a skinny burger, eleven-and-a-half french fries and a pop. It was all worht it though. I know this stuff is par for the course for some of y'all, but to have a roller coaster on a pier is a pretty impressive thing to me. This place was... well, see for yourself:



surf's up dude! ... dude?



It was a crash course as the time constraints and fear of American parking tickets loomed. The following day's beach outing would prove more fruitful.

On the subject of parking and the means to that end:
I've referred to LA as a 'continent' as it is so ridiculously huge that it should be called one. Day nine would prove to be more of an eye opener for me in that aspect, but holy crap again batman! Just dinking around in the Santa Monica area was a harrowing experience. There should never have to be this amount of driving. Ever. (I will expand on that later as I'm writing this after my fifth day in Southern California and have much more fodder for that rant.)Driving around I got a lot of down-nose looks at The Troutmobile as we puttered along. Especially in the swank neighbourhood. Returning to Robert's place I parked the car and walked around the house as some neighbours were pulling out of their driveway. They very literally drove slowly around the block in the same direction I was walking. I guess this time of day all the 'help' had gone home so they were wondering what someone who dresses like me & drives an old Hyundai was up to in the neighbourhood. I loved every second of it.
Robert's mum then took us out for Sushi. Mums are cool like that. The sushi was a welcome meal as the fast-food-burger-to-sushi-ratio was way off balance by this point in the trip.

Then came Hollywood Boulevard on a Friday Night...

NEWS - DAY SEVEN. THRIFTAPALOOZA 2010, MINT OLYMPUS AND THE FIRST SALE.

I got a late start on the day as I was able to sleep in for the first time in a while. I needed that. The promise of some good thrift store action pulled me out of the house and into Ventura.
By the time I got down there I was starved and in dire need of coffee. Within about 30 minutes on E Main Street I had 2 shot-in-the-darks ('red eye', 'canadianno'... etc.) and was sitting down in a fifties style diner called... something to do with a 'Bee'... ordering the best club sandwich I've had in a long time. (asking for vinegar to no avail). Fifties diners are so much better when the waitresses wear cheerleader uniforms and the tables have mini-jukes on them.

Then, fed and fully caffeinated, I went in search of thrift stores. I noticed one, a pretty big one, and went in. It was the Child Abuse Thrift Store (they really need to come up with a better name... I understand it's purpose, but it just doesn't sound right.) I found a handfull of frames that the lovely Sommer (left) rung through for me and walked out to find that there was another thrift store right next door. Dropped off my finds in the Troutmobile and returned to store two where Casey (not left) sold me a couple more. (if either of you are reading this please and your name is mis-spelled, please let me know)


...then it was back up the street to the Troutmobile to throw my booty in the back seat (for you kids out there... 'booty' used to mean 'treasure'... not 'ass'... my ass goes in the driver's seat). Then I realized that I was parked right in the middle of thrift store heaven with several on either side of the street. By this point, I figured that I had enough frames but needed to check the places out anyway. Each one was better than the last. It was crazy. I could have spent a thrifty fortune in that town. But I was good.
In the very last one I went into (parking had long past expired and I was risking tickets) I found this little doosie for 8 bucks and couldn't say no. It's in pretty good (maybe not 'mint') condition.


I had only just found out about these recently as I read an article that said Olympus just re-issued these cameras in digital format. The article explained a bit of the history of the PEN series. The unique (I think it was unique... I didn't look too much into it) thing about these is that they shot half-frames on 35mm film. So, instead of 24 exposures you'd get 48 pretty interestingly formatted little pictures. Now, I'm a little dubious of this re-issue in digital format as with digital you can:
a) crop it to any dang size you want anyway. You can crop them into a frikken rhombus if you want to.
and
b) shoot how ever dang many shot you want in digital.

...can you say 'money grab'?

Anyway... I love my new little toy. It took me a while to figure out how to load and have taken a bunch of shots with it since. I will update you all on that when I get it developed.

Then it was back to Camarillo where Leah and Derrick's friend Jeff joined us for dinner with yours truly whipping up another seafood pasta which went over fairly well I think. Leah and Derrick were wonderful hosts and, when I was leaving the next morning, purchased a framed print out of the trunk of the Troutmobile. Officially marking my first sale of the trip. Thank you both very much. Derrick also loaned me a pair of running shoes as I'd left mine at home and gave me a Jamba Juice (is that what it's called?) gift card. He's just that kind of nice.

The next morning I was off to LA...

NEWS - DAY SIX, SPEEDOMETER BLUES, CAMARILLO BRILLO AND THE QUEST FOR WHITE VINEGAR

I have to get this off my chest. The one thing that's really bothered me about this whole 'America' thing is it's lack of white vinegar packets in restaurants. I want vinegar for my fries. When I mention it down here people look at me as though I had 4 heads one of which was their own. It's not too difficult. They're like ketchup packets, but instead of ketchup inside it's white vinegar and it goes on french fries with some salt. It's how it's done America. Get a mitt and get in the damn game already!
That's all. Vinegar. Nuff said.

Next on the old agenda is the post-San Fran drive. It's a long way from San Fransisco to the Continent of Greater LA. So, it was a long day. There wasn't much stopping on the way except to eat in a town called Soledad. I was aiming to find an In & Out Burger joint (if you've never been to an In & Out burger joint, after people shake off the stunned look, they're so happy to tell you about how incredible In & Out Burger is... you'll have to wait for my review because...) but desperation led me to a Carl's Jr. (kinda confused as to why it's not Carl Jr's... I guess the burger is junior...? I dunno.) where, as is par for the course everywhere now, the entire team of customer service specialists were very eager to serve the drive through clientele and leave the sole human standing right in front of them to wait until they had a second. The burger was slightly better than the service. Fast food is fast food. All a variation on the same thing. To be honest, I dunno why I'm still talking about it.
Back on the road. At some point during the day I made an interesting discovery. It seems my speedometer is reading about 7mph faster than I'm actually going so, when I thought I was going 5 - 10 above the speed limit (the real speed limit) I was actually going the posted speed limit. This helped explain why I was always late on my days. That and the frequent coffee stops. And the lallygaggin.
I did not want to be pulling into the Greater LA area at night. I like being able to see when I don't know where the hell I am. approaching the Ventura/Camarillo area the highways began to get wider and the cars denser. The traffic wasn't too bad, there was just a lot of it. Eventually I arrived at my next victims' place (Colonel J's daughter Leah and her fiancee Derrick) and spent the evening chatting with them. They informed me that Ventura might be a good place for thrift stores...

...thrift stores eh...?

25 March 2010

NEWS - DAY SIX. THE TROUT THAT ATE SAN FRANSISCO


WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG WITH AN IMPORTANT NEWS FLASH! SAN FRANSISCO RESIDENTS WERE LEFT REELING TODAY WHEN AN ENORMOUS GOOF WITH A HAT ON ATTEMPTED TO EAT THEIR FAIR CITY. REPORTS ARE SKETCHY BUT IT APPEARS THAT THIS GIANT MAN (SOME EYE WITNESSES CLAIM IT TO HAVE BEEN A LARGE TROUT-LIKE CREATURE) ATTEMPTED TO EAT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.


SCIENTISTS ON THE SCENE (THERE ARE ALWAYS A FEW HANGING AROUND) CLAIM TO HAVE DECIPHERED IT'S BELLOWING CRIES. THEY SAY THAT IT WAS CALLING OUT FOR COFFEE. THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD MONSTER, JUST SLIGHTLY MISUNDERSTOOD AND IN NEED OF IT'S LIFE FORCE: DARK ROAST COFFEE. MORE NEWS AS IT COMES IN BUT IT WAS LAST SEEN HEADING TOWARDS THE LOS ANGELES AREA. SOME SCIENTISTS SUGGEST THAT THE ONLY HOPE THAT CITY HAS IS FOR CELEBRITIES TO ROUND UP AS MUCH FAIR-TRADE, ORGANIC DARK ROAST COFFEE THEY CAN & CATAPULT IT TOWARDS THE MONSTER WHEN IT APPROACHES THE CITY. AS HAS BEEN MADE ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THROUGH THEIR HIGHLY PAID PR TEAMS CELEBRITIES ARE THE BEST CHANCE WE HAVE TO SAVE THE WORLD (SO LONG AS THEY CAN STILL GET TO PILATES BEFORE 5). IT HAS ALSO BEEN SUGGESTED (BY SOME EXTREMELY EXHAUSTED LUNATIC) THAT IN LIEU OF THE CELEBRITY COFFEE CATAPULT IT MAY SETTLE FOR ONE OF MADONNA'S BRASSIERE'S, AN ICE CREAM CONE DATE WITH PEE-WEE HERMAN AND BEING CALLED 'HOCKEY PUCK' BY DON RICKLES. BUT THIS REPORTER WOULD WARN THAT ONLY A LUNATIC WOULD BELIEVE SUCH A LUNATIC.




...and here's a nice picture in b&w for people who like that sort of thing.

24 March 2010

NEWS - DAY FIVE. MY BREAKFAST WITH BRYAN, BURGERTIME vs WILLPOWER & MY DINNER WITH RUSKYS

Day four was a write-off. No reason other than the fact that I needed a day to be sour. Car and internet troubles. Perhaps it's age that allows me to (eventually) realize that being sour does me no real good & that I have the ability to add sugar to life's lemonade & make it alright. Hence the photos for day four's entry.

Moving on.

Colonel John was vehement about me eating breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse. Bryan, my host for my stay in Arcata, seemed slightly dubious (saying there were better places to eat in town) but with some gentle coaxing we went on my way out of town. The Samoan Cookhouse is the cookhouse from the logging company that pretty much founded the area. It is done up (or perhaps was never undone to begin with) to be what it was 150 years ago: a place to grab some grub. You get what they give you. It's one choice for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner. You get to decide if you'll have cream and sugar in your coffee, but the rest is set. The breakfast was great. Scrambled eggs, pancakes and sausages. Yum yum.
The decisive moment when the last sausage is up for grabs. '...he better get his eye off that sausage...'

Bryan and I had some interesting conversations regarding the politics & history of the area. And too many like it. It was a great conversation, but, as these things do, it led breakfast toward a mildly bitter-sweet direction. All the spoonfulls of sugar in the world can't wash down clear cutting and genocide. We can't dwell there, but we must acknowledge these things if we're ever to evolve away from them. Don't dwell. Nuff said.

The drive to my next refuge was a long one with just a couple of stops. I stopped for ice cream n a town called Gaberville and was terrified to find a Burgertime game in the shop. NEXT TO a pinball machine. There are a few moments of strength in my life that I'm very proud of. I have some will power that surprises me sometimes. This was one of those times. The temptation to drop a few coins and a lot of precious time was so overwhelming. But I resisted. The pinball nearly won me over... but, like seeing Hulk Hogan's shaking hand rise out of a pummeling, my will power pulled me back into the street to take a few photographs and get back on the road. It hurt like hell though.


I then arrived in the San Fransisco suburb of Mill Valley (which seemed to be on a hill... weird) and was very honored to meet the Ruskys who were putting me up for the night. Colonel John's friend Ed, his wife Eileen and their son Devin made for a wonderful evening. As is part of my deal, in exchange for accommodations in some places I whip up a 'gourmet' meal from le Menu chez Trout. The Ruskys ordered the Seafood Pasta (Eileen the Veggie Pasta) and gave compliments to the 'chef'. I give compliments right back to them as they were wonderful, gracious hosts. I am a very lucky person to have met as many wonderful people as I have thus far on the trip. Really. The derby girls aside, everyone has been great and the only thing I wish is that I had more time to spend with folks. Not enough to wear out my welcome, but just a little bit more time to enjoy good company. In the whirlwind I am sad to have realized that I didn't take a photo of them for this blog-thing. I have no idea where my head was. Oh yes... on a comfortable pillow.

NEWS - FEATURED ON REDBUBBLE

Quick news! My shot 1710.5 was featured on the redbubble homepage!


stay tuned to 'it's the Kreddible Trout Photograhy blog' for more news very soon!

22 March 2010

NEWS - DAY THREE. BEACHSIDE BACON & EGGS, EAGER BEAVERS, MEETING SAM, MEAL MEDDLING MURPHY AND ARRIVING IN SCHWARTZENSTATE.

Packed up and ditched Motel la Rutt and went in search of breakfast.
The night before, when I checked in, the manager of the motel told me The Shilo Resort had a good breakfast. The whole thing was kind of weird actually. I had asked him of a good, reasonably priced restaurant. He kept pointing at the skylight and saying 'The Shilo is good'. He was Japanese and his English was a bit choppy but I could understand him easily enough. What I couldn't understand was why he kept pointing at the ceiling and talking about a restaurant that was clearly not up there. After the long drive that day, this added to my confusion.
Anyway.
Check in night the Shilo had closed ten minutes before I got to it (forcing me to settle for the aforementioned Colonel Tsao) so I was eager to try it for breakfast. Hopped in the car and headed around the corner. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I saw that, above the Motel la Rutt there was a sign, larger and more noticeable that their own, for the Shilo Resort with an arrow pointing towards the water. Then I pieced together that the manager said something about 'we advertise for them' and it was not actually the skylight he was pointing at, but what shone above it: the Shilo Resort sign.
This discovery allowed me to eat my bacon and eggs with a settled mind.
Breakfast had a great view looking out on the ocean and people flying kites next to it.


On my way out of town and with the reminder that part of the trip's purpose is to lallygag, I saw another thrift store. The Eager Beaver. The name alone drew me in.


The gentleman behind the counter allowed me to take his photo despite his claim of being 'on the lamb' and in the witness protection program. He goes by the alias 'Stephen'. I told him that it might be wise to stop telling people about being in the witness protection program. He somewhat dubiously agreed.



Then it was on to Florence where I was scheduled the day before to meet up with redbubbler Sam Dantone. Due to lallygaggin I had to move the meeting from day two to day three and told him I'd call him him when I arrived in town.
***We interrupt this blog entry to bring you A Tale of Murphy's Law. When traveling through small towns you sometimes see restaurants that you think about stopping at, decide to see what else there is in town and before you know it the town is finished and you've missed your opportunity to eat. The knowledge that there is another town down the road encourages you to not pull a u-turn as there will likely be food there. Sometimes, after this happens several times in a row, desperation kicks in and you end up eating at Dairy Queen. Then when you contact a friend in a still further town, that friend says he'll meet you at a restaurant that turns out to be the healthiest restaurant you've seen since beginning your roadtrip. Cous Cous, quinoa, organic this-and-that, soups, fresh local produce served by people who look happy and healthy. And your belly is still full of THE FLAMETHROWER (tm). In these situations the only way you can even mildly spite Murphy is to order the biggest carrot/ginger/apple juice you can.
We interrupt this interruption to bring you a tale of Roller-Girl Condescension. At the above mentioned Dairy Queen, as I munched away on my THE FLAMETHROWER (tm) some truly cool cats walked in. They had on black satin jackets and tattoos and were way too cool for school. It was as though a reform school production of Grease just walked in. I read the back of one of the jackets and it indicated to me that these ladies (& their gentleman chaperon) might be a Roller Derby Team. I asked them, 'Hey, are you guys a roller derby team?' They said they were and I told them that I had something to show them. I went out to the car and pulled out the print of 'derby girls' and held it up to the window for them to see. They read it and seemed to mildly enjoy it. I put it back and went in to order a desert and maybe strike up a conversation with them. I'm doing my best to be social and encouraging all sorts of people to check out the blog and my website and just generally be a friendly guy. I didn't want anything from them & I honestly don't care if someone doesn't like my art as it's all just relative anyway, I was just amused by the idea that I could pull something so relevant out of the back seat of my car on such short notice. They didn't seem as impressed by the coincidence. I think one of them may have liked it, but she might have felt like the rocker who's got a dirty little Abba secret. I tried to instigate conversation and quickly began to feel like the kid in school who goes around asking people 'do you want to be my friend?'. I just genuinely thought it was a neat bit of coincidence. One of them asked how much I was charging for it. I told them 'three-fifty' the response of 'oh, three dollars and fifty cents? yeah, I'll take it for that.' as she brushed by me to get a really cool straw for her drink. That was when I decided to just order my dipped cone and leave these kids to the cool plane of existence they seemed to think they were on. 'We're the Hobbs Bay roller girls man! You can't even talk to us!'

And now... back to the blog!

So, after all that was when I met Sam at Nature's Corner Cafe. It was a much nicer meeting. Sam is an incredibly talented painter who I connected with on redbubble. His work has a harsh edge to it which I really like and is in real contrast to him as a person. From his work I was expecting a more jaded angry person and discovered a very generous, soft-spoken guy. It's like, expecting Johnny Rotten and getting Angella Landsbury. (Sorry Sam... you're nothing like Angella Landsbury... I just got a real kick out of the allusion.) He showed me his sign shop (Treehouse Signs and Decorative Arts), his showroom (the entire town displays his signs so he calls the town his showroom.) and... and gave me a hand drawn ink piece. This was the coup de grace for his kindness. Really awesome guy. Here is a picture of him in his shop standing next to some of his awesome (yet sideways) art:


Then it started pouring rain again so I took that as my cue that I should start driving again.

Wait a minute... everything is all mixed up. Dairy Queen and the Roller Girls happened AFTER I met with Sam! I was too full from breakfast at The Shilo in Newport to eat healthy... then Sam... then Dairy Queen,Murphy's Law and Roller Girls...
Well... the story sound better the first way and I'm too far along to go and edit it all now so... y'all know I've been on the road for days, right? Cut a guy some slack would ya? Besides, embellishment is the cornerstone to good story telling and I could have just not told you at all! So... should I edit it? Nah, I stand by my laziness. It stays as is. What, like Shakespeare never fibbed! C'MON!

The drive, when the rain breaks, is spectacular. Here's the Troutmobile showin us some fine lallygaggin form somewhere in Southern Oregon:


8:30-ish PM we arrive at the California border. There is a checkpoint there for produce and foodstuffs. There was an old-ish guy guarding it.
'All the way from downtown British Columbia, huh?'
'Yes sir, all the way from Downtown Victoria British Columbia!'
'Well well! You've come a long way. You have any fruits or vegetables in the car with you?'
'I have a chocolate bar.'
'Well then you can be on your way. You have a pleasant life, alright?'
'I will. And you too.'
'Thank you I will.'

All boarders should be that pleasant. It made me smile a wide one on California. Arrived in Arcata at 10pm. Met my billeter Bryan Osper, blogged a little blog and passed the hell out in my sleeping bag on his couch.

NEWS - DAY TWO. NOT WANTING TO LEAVE PORTLAND, LEAVING PORTLAND, THRIFTY SIDETRACKS, ROCKAWAY BEACH CLOSURE, CHINESE FOOD AND DIRTY MOTEL ROOMS.

[log date: late on March 21 about March 20th]
In the morning Matt took me to the Portland Artist's Market (I think that's what it was called) where I discovered even more of this awesome city. As if I needed more reason to not want to leave. I was thrilled to meet another old JPGmag contact Maria Tizon whom I've been e-friends with for several years now I think. Probably as long as Matt and I have been contacts. As well as Michelle Spokely-Lane (thanks again for the cookie) and Dan (possibly Dan The Man..?). Again we talked shop and I did the best I could to keep up with conversations being as distracted as I was. Apparently I was also distracted enough to pull the most amusing novice error in the photo I took of the market gang. Note the antlers. left to right: (name to be disclosed later), Maria Tizon, Michelle Spokely-Lane (thanks again for the cookie) and Matt Adamik.

Then, with a belly full of cookie, coffee and breakfast shawarma (no such thing in real life, it's just what you call a shawarma that is eaten in lieu of bacon & eggs. It is not advisable.) I was off! I had a date with the coast and I was late. So, onto highway 26 with my sights set for Rockaway Beach. Nothing was going to stop me! I was already behind but was determined to make up time! About 30 minutes towards the 101 I saw this place... need I say more?

I could have spent hours in there. I opted for just 45 minutes and walked away with a few frames for my project (one of which is seen with Patty the nice lady who let me wander around taking pictures in the store) and a $12 Brownie Camera.

(I could have photoshopped that wire out of there... but it's 1am and I need to finish this.)
A motorcyclist who was in the shop was telling us that there was all sorts of traffic on the 101 as it was Spring Break, a fantastic day and there was some motorbike show out there. He said the beaches were very busy and that I'd have a lot of photo ops. I hopped in the Troutmobile and was off!

... About a half hour from the 101 the weather shifted with blatant spite from fantastically sunny to dismally rainy and the traffic the motorcyclist told me about turned out to be a parade of gloomy vehicles flowing back towards the city.
I didn't care. I wasn't in it for the beach volleyball, the tan lines or the drinking contests... I was on a serious mission. Destination: Rockaway Beach.
As some of you may have known, one of the main purposes of this trip for me was to go to Rockaway Beach and listen to Rockaway Beach by the Ramones. I am happy to report that mission accomplished. Please see video log:

video

The drive along the coast, despite the really messy weather was really pretty fantastic. If I was able to I would stop in each and every one of those towns for at least a day. They all fascinate me. The goal was to get to North Bend but I only made it as far as Newport as it was late and the driving was pretty horrid. 8:30pm I checked into a $36-a-night dive Motel (I'm a sucker for stained carpets & leaky faucets) where I ate bad Chinese food (General Tao tasted more like a Colonel to me... Colonel Saunders with red sauce on it to be precise), wrote the post just below this one and passed the hell out. The latter, at the end of this third day I am about to repeat on a couch here in Arcata CA.
Tomorrow I will catch up to where I am now as I will be here tomorrow night as well.
Wow... am I making any sense?

TROUT OUT!