Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lightrail Phone-Booth

Today I did the 'park and ride' from the Arden/Del Paso Light Rail station to Sac City College. It was a fine ride and I love to save gas money so the extra half hour is worth it. Especially considering that parking during the early part of the semester is challenging. I don't need a challenge. Class went quickly, with just a short lecture which culminated into a magazine cutting glue-stick project.
The trip home was entirely different. The train heading to Meadowview, opposite of my direction, came and went while I stood in the punishing sun with other waiting students. Time moved slowly, and with the trains running every fifteen minutes we all knew it couldn't be long before ours would arrive. After some grumbling from a few younger kids another train making its way to Meadowview came and went. Now there was some minor outrage reverberating from various corners. The temperature seemed to have gotten cumulatively hotter and the visibility of arm pit moisture was evident on many. Nearly an eternity later our train finally did arrive, but with only three cars. This is at four o'clock in the afternoon.
Inside it was standing room only, and there must have been fifty of us at least boarding from the college. This reminded me of public transit in San Francisco, when sometimes you have no choice but to acquaint yourself with the intimate anatomy of strangers. Two stops later we came to Broadway and some people exited the car. I continued to stand with others in the aisle even though there was some available seats sugared throughout. Then we came to 16th street, the heart of downtown. Now I have seen clips of buses in countries like India or Thailand, where there is no space at all and people are hanging on to the sides. This was the closest I have ever seen to that in Sacramento transit. Today's Light Rail experience was nothing short of a phone-booth cram and jam record breaker. Thanks to the lady who looked like she was going to get sick, for not doing so. And that guy who cut the cheese, don't think we didn't notice.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Art Supplies as High as the Sky

Today I had the opportunity to fill my art materials list at the Utrecht on Howe Avenue. Our instructor warned us that the materials would rack up a large bill even when buying cheap. She wasn't kidding, because I broke a hundred dollars without getting everything on the syllabus. Fortunately I had some leftover supplies from my Typography class two years ago, which also cost a fortune. But in lieu of a text-book I guess I can live with the price. Now I have paint!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Color Theory Revelation

So I’m sitting here waiting for my Color Theory class to begin and it hits me that I’m almost finished with my first official degree of knowledge. What a long time it was in the making. I first dipped my toes into the college waters in January of 2006. I took just one class with no particular major in mind, just to see if I could do it. Before that I had taken my merry sweet time about finishing my high school diploma, after fourteen years of being a total drop out. I fully understand I am getting a seriously late start, but at least I am doing it. Perhaps one day I will complete my B.A., but for now I am looking forward to a good break.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Summer is almost over and school will start in just few days. I am starting to get restless as usual just before a new semester. This is the last one and then my AA will be sewn up. I am so glad it is almost over after five years. I am taking a college textbook reading course and a color theory class. Both are mandatory for my degree. I hope this goes by really fast. I am on trek to complete before Christmas. Full steam ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Candlerock Lounge - Jan 19, 1990

This is the Candlerock show. We had a good time as far as I remember. It was a heavy metal bomb inside a small bowling alley bar on Watt Avenue. The Candlerock is still there, after everyone else has come and gone. Here are some pictures from that night. Erika likes to remind me that she took these pictures. Hey, who's that handsome guy with the bass?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elk's Lodge - Dec 8th, 1990

Here is my first installment for the lost Psychoactiv gigs. This one is from the Elk's Lodge, recorded December 8th, 1990. I was not even old enough to drink, yet there I was slamming the bass in a Veterans hall on Jefferson Boulevard in West Sacramento. I clearly remember Gordon had gotten stressed out and hung up the phone on me earlier that night. Roger was also having issues of his own, as is evident by his broken strings and guitar drop outs. At one point you can here him telling the crowd to back off of his equipment. Stress levels were high, but in the end it turned out to be one of my favorite gigs. The audio quality is poor, as it was recorded on a boom box cassette tape, but it immortalizes Roger's crazy guitar playing. We had our moments of genius mixed with utter incompetence. Roger's slide guitar on Irresistible Mistress still stands my hair on end.


I have recently unearthed a compact disc with a handful of live Pyschoactiv gigs from 1990 which I had converted to MP3 almost ten years ago. It all sounds pretty trashy being recorded on a cassette boom box via the built in mic. But these gigs do capture the moment, and now that Roger Speir is no longer with us it is good to hear his live playing caught on tape. I am going to post these gigs soon and make them available to anyone who can tolerate them. Rock on.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Here is a cool video of an engineering feat called the "Cubelet" which just may be the future of robotics. The distance sensor I found fun to watch.

Cubelets Engineering Prototypes from eric schweikardt on Vimeo.