Monthly Archives: September 2015

Weddings @ San Francisco City Hall. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Change)

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Good Morning:

Few personal changes rank higher than marriage. The weddings at City Hall offer tremendous variety, but they do seem to have a few things in common. First, comes the waiting for either the bride or groom. And with the waiting comes the nerves. And my, how those nerves come.

Nerves, 16 September 2015.

Nerves, 16 September 2015.

Waiting, 29 June 2015.

Waiting, 29 June 2015.

One way in which City Hall weddings differ from each other–the dresses. Most wedding dresses I’ve seen come in white, but one Christmas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, my family and I blundered into a small procession led by a woman in a fire engine red gown. As it happened we were more than welcome to join in the little parade, but we peeled off after the bride stopped at the church door, took a deep breath, and walked inside. Blue also seems an acceptable color.

Something Blue, 13 August 2015.

Something Blue, 13 August 2015.

One other thing that weddings have in common is of course the wedding photographer, trailing behind the party or arranging compositions.

The Walk to City Hall, 29 June 2015.

The Walk to City Hall, 29 June 2015.

Photographer Arranging Wedding Photo After the Ceremony, 3 September 2015.

Photographer Arranging Wedding Photo After the Ceremony, 3 September 2015.

Wedding photographers cannot have an easy job. How many original angles are there?

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Wedding Photographer at City Hall, 28 August 2015.

Wedding Photographer at City Hall, 28 August 2015.

I imagine these were not the shoes the bride wore, but those shoes must have felt very uncomfortable. Curious–I don’t know whom she married. Might have been the gentleman on the right holding the purses.

Wedding Shoes, 1 July 2015.

Wedding Shoes, 1 July 2015.

What all weddings have in common–a kiss on the threshold of a new life.

After the Wedding, on the Threshold, 24 September 2015.

After the Wedding, on the Threshold, 24 September 2015.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Francisco Al Fresco, 24 September 2015.

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Good Evening:

Well, on Thursday I had to delay the midday repast and work during the standard lunch hour, but most San Franciscans did not, and many took advantage of fine weather to eat and relax outdoors.

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Yes, that was a good day to enjoy a good day.

Vonn Scott Bair

Crostini, 26 September 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Change)

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Good Afternoon:

Or, my first foray into food porn.

Before:

Before Broiling, Just Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil

Before Broiling, Just Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil

After:

After Broiling, Plain, No Garlic

After Broiling, Plain, No Garlic

Vonn Scott Bair

The Escher Staircase & Ned Kahn’s Firefly (Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid)

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Good Evening:

Ned Kahn’s Firefly sculpture gracing the exterior of the HQ of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a grid of small squares, so I thought I’d have a bit of fun using them for this week’s Challenge.

First, a straightforward shot.

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Then I took pictures of the reflections off the interior glass.

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Braque, eat your heart out. It feels so nice to work in an office building that can become your plaything.

Vonn Scott Bair

Now This Was a Kiss-Cam Moment!

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Good Evening:

Do sports teams in other nations inflict this upon their fans? During a game here in the US, many venues do something called a “Kiss Cam,” “Kiss-Cam” or “Kisscam,” in which they broadcast live video of couples in the stands on a big screen. At this point the couples are pretty much expected if not required to kiss each other, while all the other fans cheer, hoot, and/or laugh at the involuntary smooching.

It’s supposed to be entertaining.

Late in tonight San Francisco Giants v. Cincinnati Reds game (Giants won 5-3, as starting pitcher Jake Peavy not only got the win, he added a home run to his achievements), the Giants inflicted the Kiss-Cam upon 11 couples.

Couple #9 was awesome.

The camera focused on a man and a woman who stared at the screen, baffled. She turned to his left to look at him, he turned to his right to look at her. Then he turned to his left.

And kissed his boyfriend.

Vonn Scott Bair

Unhappiness. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic)

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Good Evening:

I haven’t seen such unhappiness in quite some time.

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m.

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m., #1

All of the shots contained something of interest, and I thought that some cropping and conversion to black and white would help tell the story better. The above was the first one and here are a few more in chronological order.

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m. #2

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m. #2

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m., #3

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m., #3

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m., #4

Market Street Near 10th Street, 3 September 2015, 12:40 p.m., #4

Vonn Scott Bair

Grey Series, 14 September 2015: A Sign of Hope. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic)

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Good Evening:

It might not look like much to you, but in California, this represents hope:

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So what is it? Just a bit of sidewalk in Redwood Alley. So what of it? Well, the dark spots have no meaning; they’re just ordinary oil or grease spots. The white patch in the lower left? Just the regular color of the sidewalk. So why is the rest of the sidewalk a darker shade of grey?

That’s what matters, to San Francisco and to California.

That sidewalk turned a darker shade of grey at approximately 4:00 p.m. today because it rained.

This is potentially huge.

Early rains will probably ruin the state’s annual wine grape harvest, but not too many people care anymore. Today’s rain was very light, evaporating almost upon contact, and I saw no one opening an umbrella or looking bothered. But we need tons of rain and tons of rainy days, and normally it does not rain in San Francisco in September at all. The coming El Nino probably won’t eliminate the drought, and probably will cause enormous property damage thanks to flooding, but we’re desperate for any water at all.

Almost as if we want new problems because we’re sick of the old.

Vonn Scott Bair

Orange, Yellow & White. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic)

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Good Evening:

Saw this new item in the Market & Van Ness station:

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…and had another idea for this week’s Challenge–using transit as an inspiration.

So here is a closeup of the door.

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This is a doohickey on the side of the vintage Los Angeles street car that runs up and down Market.

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Vintage street cars have lots of strange doohickeys on their sides. Here’s a yellow one.

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Finishing with something in white, a car door handle.

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I think I’m having too much fun.

Vonn Scott Bair

Cyanotype: Fogrise, San Francisco, 12 September 2015 (Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic)

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Good Morning:

Using my favorite filter on the Nikon D40, “Cyanotype.”

Early Morning, San Francisco, California, 12 September 2015, 8:57 a.m.

Early Morning, San Francisco, California, 12 September 2015, 8:57 a.m.

Just seemed like a good time and place for such a 19th Century treatment.

Vonn Scott Bair

The Day Before The Day.

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Good Evening:

Apple will announce their new products tomorrow (disclosure: I own shares in the company because I own shares in an index fund that includes Apple, plus I own shares in the company itself). Tim Cook’s little firm took over the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium over a week ago in preparation and made a few changes.

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The Apple flags are a nice touch. They still have work to do, judging from the equipment on all sides of the building.

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I have no idea what these tubes do. Perhaps they pump in the gasses that create the infamous “reality distortion field?”

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I do feel a tad disappointed that so many of the new products and their specs have already been informally “announced.” Not only do all the leaks take away some of the suspense and fun, but it seems that Mr. Cook’s efforts to “double down” on secrecy have not fared well. In recent years, the only surprise I can recall was Swift, a programming language.

Apple didn’t always have a secrecy fetish, esp. during the desperate years. I was one of many Mac buffs who attended demos of the legendary Bondi Blue iMac before the public unveiling, and became one of the very few people who saw the iMac G4 (the one with the swivel screen on top of the half-dome base) pre-release. Nowadays I prefer the paranoia, I would rather have no idea what’s happening in Cupertino. Perhaps that sort of attitude comes with ownership in the company, no matter how little.

Even a little surprise tomorrow would constitute a nice touch.

Vonn Scott Bair

Still Life with Allium, 7 September 2015.

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Good Evening:

Spotted this whilst indulging in a binge of new recipes.

Still Life with Species of Allium, 7 September 2015.

Still Life with Species of Allium, 7 September 2015.

I regret to report that some of the models in the photo have, um, gone to a better place. Namely, my stomach.

Vonn Scott Bair

Eat Your Heart Out, Jackson Pollock! (Because You Can’t Eat Your Paintings)

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Good Morning:

Given that the Little Griddle sits on Market Street diagonally across from Twitter and only two blocks away from City Hall, I suppose that lunch could cost a lot more than it does. Fortunately, they do an excellent job with burgers and you don’t have to pay extra for french fries (unlike too many places–it’s San Francisco’s worst culinary atrocity), so the Griddle does deserve the occasional visit. Esp. when the huge $12.75 Evil Knievel burger comes looking like this (all shots taken with my iPhone 6 Plus).

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As it happens, I don’t dress my fries in salt and ketchup. Never have. Always preferred mustard and black pepper–seriously, you should give that combo a try, absolutely delicious. Lately, I’ve experimented with mustard, black pepper, and Mexican hot sauces like Chohula’s “Original” red hot sauce and various green habanero sauces. So when I finished off my lunch, the tray looked like this:

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Inspiration.

Using my last french fry as my paintbrush–seemed appropriate–I went all Jackson Pollock on my condiments and ended up with this:

A La Recherche Des Evil Knievel Hamburgers Perdu.

A La Recherche Des Evil Knievel Hamburgers Perdu.

Dang, I’m good. The gentlemen sitting diagonally across from me at the next table perhaps did not think so; he took one look at my efforts and spent the rest of his lunch studiously avoiding looking at me.

True genius has never received proper appreciation in its own time.

Vonn Scott Bair

I Hope He Tinders Because He Fails Reality.

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Good Afternoon:

If you don’t time it right, waiting for the 24-Divisadero at Geary can take quite a bit of time. I had not, and had to wait. After luckily securing a bench seat and checking the college football scores (Northwestern defeated Stanford in a mild upset), I put the iPhone away to study the scene.

Two seats to my left sat a Caucasian male in his early 20s with tasteless camouflage cargo shorts and a short-sleeved Henley shirt of a sickly beige color. I did not recognize that hair style but then again, I am old. He buried his face into his Samsung cell phone, no doubt unaware that he was giving himself a future case of “phone neck,” and yes, this is true–that is a brand-new physical ailment (sometimes called text neck).

He had no idea that she even existed.

She was an Asian woman with long hair who stood about five feet tall (much too short for me), and seemed less than 25 years old (much too young for me). However, if you prefer very short women with long black hair, you would have felt very much interested in her.

And she was interested in him.

When she arrived at the bus stop, she just happened to stop four feet in front of the young man with bad taste in clothes and hair. After a moment, she just happened to look over her shoulder and spotted him, did a double-take, then turned around and faced him directly.

He kept giving himself a future case of phone neck.

She looked to see if the bus was coming (nope, not even close), then took another step toward the young man. She now stood three feet from him, facing him directly.

He kept giving himself a future case of phone neck.

She looked to see if the bus was coming (nope, not even close), then took another step toward the young man. She now stood two feet from him, facing him directly.

He kept giving himself a future case of phone neck.

One more chance. She looked to see if the bus was coming (nope, not even close), then took another step toward the young man. She now stood one foot from him, perhaps only ten inches away from him. She and faced him directly, toe to toe, focusing on his eyelids because she could not see his eyes..

He kept–oh heck, you know what he kept doing.

She stepped back to her original spot, four feet in front of the young man of dubious clothing and hair, turned her back to him, and fixed her eyes upon Divisadero, looking for and awaiting the 24 bus.

He looked up from his cell phone. He looked at her oblivious back.

She fixed her eyes upon Divisadero, looking for and awaiting the 24 bus.

He leaned way over to his left, perhaps trying to see her face, perhaps trying to catch her eye.

She fixed her eyes upon Divisadero, looking for and awaiting the 24 bus.

He returned to his phone, giving himself a future–oh heck, you know what he was giving himself.

I thought, I hope he Tinders, because he fails IRL. I might be old, but even I know that IRL stands for In Real Life.

Vonn Scott Bair