July 4, 2008 Header
ArtLung: I am Joe Crawford. Welcome to my website circa July 2008. I am a web developer. I live in Moorpark, California, USA. I work in Los Angeles, and have lived elsewhere and done many surprising things. I put up the first ArtLung website 12 years ago, moved it to artlung.com 10 years ago, nd I've been blogging for 7 years. I'm still learning, every day. Welcome.

December 2008 Sixteen posts

Steampunk Exoskeleton

Diving Suit via Riot Clit Shave

(Actually, it appears to be a hundred (give or take a few decades) year-old diving suit. Via rcs)

A Wand’ring Minstrel I

Mural in Hollywood

One of the my habits, when I work in a place with a walkable, entertaining area around it, is to wander around at lunch. Sometimes such wanderings turn into blog posts.

This is another.

I have had the opportunity to wander about in Downtown San Diego (near the Gaslamp Quarter, and near Santa Fe Station), Downtown Los Angeles (near Central Library), Ojai (there’s not much in Ojai so it’s easy to walk that), and a little Mid-Wilshire in L.A. for a while. When I worked as a Respiratory Therapist taking a walk on a lunch break was really not feasible, since I was usually on a pager and needed to be available for emergencies.

I really appreciate the opportunity to take a walk. Now that I’m working in Hollywood, right on Sunset Blvd, I’ve had the opportunity today and yesterday to do a little wandering. I even got to visit my favorite newsstand for decades (yes, decades) World Book & News. I passed at least 3 dozen places that will sell you a lovely postcard of the Hollywood Sign or a portrait or Marilyn Monroe. I also passed a bunch tattoo parlors, wig shops, g-string vendors, and storefront electronics shops. I also passed an official Scientology place where I could have had a free (imagine!) personality test. I heard several different languages: Japanese, Spanish, Russian (pretty sure), English of course — often these voices belonged to folks taking pictures of the Stars on the sidewalk. Jimi Hendrix was one I saw some tourists being photo’d with. It was a pleasant walk.

I was not asked for any dough from panhandlers, though I saw a few such unfortunates. Also unfortunate were some teen runaways, distingusihed by rather dirty clothes and a vacant or stoned look in their eyes. Sad, and a Hollywood tradition.

I wandered about, enjoying a Tiger’s Milk lunch and a Mountain Dew, and made my way back eventually. It’s a bit less tasty than the free lunch they provide at the dayjob, but it’s probably net better for me to take a walk accompanied by some sugar and caffeine than free food+sitting. Maybe. In either case, walking around is fun.

Title of post from The Mikado, Act I, Part II

Amoeba in the Morning

Amoeba in the Morning

I think if you had told me in 1991 that in 2008 I’d be working right next door to a major record (read: music and movies) store I’d have been delighted.

Heck, I’m delighted now. It’s where I pulled off the major coup of getting Leah a copy of Savannah Smiles for our Anniversary last week. She was impressed.

Shh! don’t tell.

A very few milestones here at the end of 2008.

We (Leah, the kids, and I) went to Utah for Christmas.

We were terrified to return because of 5 inches of snow on the ground.

We were happy that the roads were okay, and we didn’t have to use the ill-fitting chains we borrowed from my father-in-law.

I shoveled snow once and enjoyed it. I was listening to Frank Zappa.

I also concur with Mr. Blurb O’Mat that the rational thing if one lives in snow is to purchase a snow-blower.

I received many very nice gifts this Christmas (new sweaters yay!).

The mysterious tingling in my hands and feet has not abated.

The kids rode ATVs in the snow and enjoyed it.

We did well by them presents-wise. I am looking forward to Wicked with Leah and (especially drama and musical-oriented) Alex at the Pantages next week.

My Mom is doing well cancer-wise, though she is back on an oral chemotherapy. Her spirits are high and it sounds like good things.

She and my father visited at Thanksgiving and that was pretty fun.

I saw Slumdog Millionaire and am so glad I did. So much of it brings to mind when I was a kid and lived in the Philippines. Poverty so crushing it’s hard to understand, but nevertheless, it exists.

The house waxes and wanes in terms of how much of a shambles it is with still-unboxing and the holidays.

Next week Dev will turn 20 years old. My stepson is more

In 2009 I’ll turn 39 years old.

I saw Zappa Plays Zappa at The Roxy and it was transcendent for me.

We bought new tires for both cars last month. Tires ain’t cheap, but it’s nice to have some peace of mind about our cars’ feet.

I like my home office, I even put up my degrees and accomplishments, which I’ve not had up in a long time. Time for some new accomplishments to put on the wall.

I re-read Watchmen over the holiday and remain impressed by it. Hard to believe it’s a 25 year old comic graphic novel.

I like Toblerone.

I have a lot of scanning to do from asking family to draw in my drawing notebook.

X is a good band that I think I both under- and overestimated.

Leah crafted up a storm and basically created most of our Christmas. Impressive work.

I like my in-laws and my stepkids. I lucked out.

Speaking of luck, Leah and I celebrated four years of marriage on December 21st. We have an excellent partnership, and I am thankful for what we were, what we are, and what we are continually becoming.

Merry Belated Christmas, I couldn’t put it better than Douglas Crockford:

Christmas is the day when Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, atheists, agnostics, pagans, heathens, and mystics can put aside their differences and join together in love and fellowship to celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the sweet fruit of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the only begotten son of the one true God.

I hadn’t seen You Can’t Take It With You, directed by Frank Capra. I liked it, and have been working on creating such a house as much as is practical and inasmuch as house bills can be paid.

I’ve trimmed down what I read in my RSS feedreader, which is great. I’ve also been dropping folks I follow on twitter. I’ve not quite given up on it a la MAS, but I understand quite well his point of view. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

It’s so great to get paychecks on time.

That’s all for today. I hope you’re having a great holiday season, whatever your faith or lack thereof!

Zappa in Rehearsal, 1973

Wonderful footage, beautiful sound: 1973-06-26 Sydney Frank Zappa, Rehearsel (sic):


Snowman by Ty and Tony

Snowman by Ty and Tony

They made this before they wrestled in the snow.

Snowing Here in UT

Yesterday we hit the road to spend Christmas with Leah’s folks. The drive yesterday was fine, save for some heavy wind as we left Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. The van was loaded for Christmas–excellent job loading the top by Tyler and Devon. Here’s Tyler checking the load as we get some breakfast at 6:20am yesterday:


There was snow on the ground when we arrived yesterday afternoon, but beautiful clear skies and welcoming family.

This morning I snapped this picture of the kids having cocoa and (scandalous!) coffee on the back porch of Grandma and Grandpa’s.

Kids on the back porch, talking.

Overnight it snowed more, and it’s snowed all day, well, except when it’s been lightly hailing and raining. Looks like we’re in for a white Christmas.

“Them Bats is Smart, They Use Radar”

So I bought a video encoder, pretty nice one, and this is my first capture. I need to tweak settings, and it would probably help if everything I wanted to capture was not 19 year old videotapes that have been stored in garages with poor climate control. Hah!


Cold This Morning

Frost on my car in Moorpark

Cold enough for me to have to defrost for five minutes before getting going this morning.

The average high and low for Moorpark are 41 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit, so freezing temperatures are unusual.

Dayjob View

View From Work

One of the perks of the current dayjob is a lovely view facing north toward the Hollywood Sign. I dug my week there. Though I worked long hours, and worked pretty darn hard, I enjoyed myself and feel I contributed substantively. There were things that frustrated me, sure, but it was actually a fun deployment this week. But I like to work under fire.

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