Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Skulls from Traditional Hot Rods

MoreThis was the other car I was thinking of when I was saying Skulls on Hot Rods are very traditional (see my previous post entitled Hot Rods, Skulls & Arse Holes), not just a Rat Rod fad. This is Ed Iskenderian's (yeah the camshaft company owner) '23 T-Roadster. Note the Flying Skull ornament on the grill! This Skull was cast at Manual Arts High in the late 1930's! This car was on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1948 (tho without the skull ornament). Skulls are VERY Traditional Hot Rod. Nuff said. 

Rats & Gassers Title Animations

Working on Rats & Gassers title and word animation tests. Started basic layouts with my older computer. I still like doing basic graphics in Photoshop 5 on my G4, then importing into Final Cut Pro 7. Telling a story in a documentary is much much more than just compiling interviews and footage and then editing. You have to tell the story in an engaging manner or your documentary will fail. Titles and graphics can really get the point across.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hot Rods, Skulls & Arse Holes

Recently I got into a friendly discussion/argument with a "Traditional Hot Rodder" who said he hated all the "Spiders" and "Skulls" that the "Rat Rodders" placed on their rides. He said they were stupid and not "Traditional" at all. I said that Skulls etc. were around since the beginning of the hobby, but could not remember the car(s) I had seen such on to make my point(s). Well here it is! Norm Grabowski's Kookie Kar...note the Bleeding Skull Shifter! This was a fifties T-Bucket build that was featured in Life Magazine and garnered serious national attention, including the covers of Hot Rod and Car Craft Magazines. It was also regularly seen in the TV Show 77 Sunset Strip. Norm has been making Skull Shift knobs since forever and they are on hundreds of cars and trucks. I realize that opinions are like arse holes, but don't be an arse hole about other peoples rides, especially if you don't know the historical facts. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Double Full Arch Rainbow

Three cell phone pics pasted together. This was the double full arch rainbow we saw this morning. People were stopped in the parking lots with cell phones in hand, ewwing and awwing. As I was getting gas I told the gal behind me to look at the sky. She almost ignored me at first thinking I was a weirdo, then she looked up and smiled real big. She looked back at me and mouthed the word, "Wow." Then broke out her cell phone and started taking pictures. Amazing when nature gives you a little extra something...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reason 6.5 & deGenerate

Just did the free upgrade to Reason 6.5. Most who read my blog know I really dig Reason. One of the most liberating music programs ever invented. Some musicians hate it because of the lack of talent required to make an outstanding "sounding" track. However just because a song incorporates all kinds of big fat squelchy synths and over the top drum samples, doesn't mean it will inspire or be all...not even a little bit...kapeesh?  Computers are a tool, nothing more. If you have no soul, there is no known program or app to fix your lack thereof. For exploration of sonic possibilities, computers reign supreme. I started doing music concrete and basic electronica back in 1983. I saw the rise and fall of MIDI, the Atari Sequencer years, the Laptop Revolution. Now we are entering the iMusic era, with small handheld iDevices running apps with the power to write and record multitrack, CD quality songs.

Years ago I entered a contest to design the "Instrument Of The Future." This competition was put on by Future Music Magazine. I did not win, but did get honorable mention in the magazine. My instrument was called the "VTMC 3 " and was supposed to be a one piece headset with microphone, that you put on and spoke/sung your music into. You could hum or sing the tracks, then assign instrument samples to play back what you had just sung into it with the new instrument sounds replacing your singing. There was a visor with a heads-up display and retina tracking so you could add additional functions just by looking at menu items and speaking "Enter". I did a photo shoot with Mark Goetz as part of my presentation for the competition. When I didn't win, I ended up using the pictures for the cover of the Kill Switch...Klick album deGenerate.

Anyway, so Reason 6.5 has some new features and new "Rack Extensions" that can be developed by Third Parties. I am currently testing the Korg Poly 6 Rack Extension which sound incredible. I will post more as I dig into it. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stepped On My Wife's Kindle Keyboard 3G

Title says it all. I was making our Futon and didn't see it. Crack went the screen. :( We bought this for her several years ago as a Christmas present. She loves to read Le Monde and other international publications as well as lots of books. She broke one last year and they replaced it for $45. Don't know if they will do that again. Or should we just buy her a Kindle Fire for next Christmas?  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Editing and Slide Guitars

Been working on a DVD I shot of my friend's wedding. It was a great ceremony, very modern and cozy. Biggest problems have been the color differences between the GoPro footage (a hidden cam behind the alter), the Panasonic AG-DVX100 and Canon HF-G10. Seems the white balance on the Panasonic looks more "blue" on this footage than the Canon. The Panasonic is SD while the GoPro and Canon are HD, but the GoPro still has it's own color tint to it's sunlit footage. I'm sure as I use this combination more I will figure a default color match system, although I may sell the Panasonic. As good as the audio and overall look of the camera is, it's not HD and (I never thought I'd say this) I prefer shooting in HD.

Now about Slide Guitars- I have two, an acoustic (Hohner with spacer under nut, heavy strings open tuned to Eb) and electric (DeAmond M-65 with spacer under nut, heavier strings open tuned to Bb). I went through a phase of intense Slide Lust back in 2001. I think it was the result of realizing the Slambar instrument I built and played in Kill Switch...Klick, could be emulated (to a degree) on a slide guitar. the last few years I have been consumed with the Hellcat VI (similar to a Fender Bass VI) and vintage 60's garage and surf sounds. A few days ago I heard Left Lane Cruiser on Pandora and fell all over myself. The sound was Slide Guitar based with a serious aggressive update to the old North Mississippi Blues Stylings. Anyway this got me to pullin' down the guitars and trying a few new (to me) licks. I had intended on using my Slides on my new record, now even more so...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

GKTV @ Performance Tech Pro Grand Opening Car & Bike Show

Kissable Kandie MC'ing the Pin-Up Contest

1968 Plymouth GTX

Tina Tang at work snapping pics of Pin-Ups with cars

Miss Performance 2012 Crystal Candy

Don Charbonneau pinstriping cars
Motorcycles were well represented at the show
Headed out to Snohomish, Washington yesterday morning to film the Performance Tech Pro Grand Opening Car & Bike Show at their new facility. The Street Freak Kruzrs Car Club and Shane Epperson were instrumental in setting the show up. Weather was drizzling crap until about noon. Even so, the turnout was solid, getting more and more packed with cars and spectators as the sun came out. Pride was pinstriping cars, Laughing Buddha was tattooing patrons as several bands played. Lots of familiar faces and some new ones. Free food and drinks all day long. Kissable Kandie MC'ed the Miss Performance 2012 Pin-Up Contest (with killer prizes going to the top three  gals). We showed Hot Rod Movies in one of the end buildings. Turned out to be an excellent event!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Boomerang Wallet

So after dropping off my daughter at school, my wife and I swung into the Top Foods to grab some coffee and breakfast. As I stepped out of the van, I realized I did not have my wallet. I remembered specifically putting it in my back pocket. So PANICK! We look all around the parking lot. Nothing. Run home and look all around our apartment parking lot. Nothing. Run upstairs and tear through the apartment. Nothing. I had gotten out of the van several times to put windshield washer fluid in it. I figured it had fallen out at that point. Maybe a kid going to the school bus ad picked it up? The bus picks them up only a few yards from where I was parked. I didn't know. Anyway I had to take my wife to work. After I dropped her off, I called my bank and blocked my debit card. Drove back to our apartment and asked the building manager if anyone had turned in a wallet. Nothing. OK- so now I need to go get my drivers license replaced. My birth certificate is somewhere in storage. Tis is gonna be fun. As I am driving to storage my cell rings. I usually don't answer it while driving, but for some reason did. A man named Bob is talking to me. "Is this D.A. Sebasstian?" I think it's someone calling about my TV Show. I give out hundreds of cards a month and get calls from strangers all the time. "Yes it is," I say. "Hey guy, I have your wallet." I almost rear ended the car in front of me. 
"No shit!?!"  
"Yep, found it in the street. I am a truck driver you know."
"I am making a delivery to the 7-11 off Aurora, if you can meet me there I can give it to you."
"I'm on my way!"
The cool thing was, I was already heading in that direction to go to my storage unit. I sped down to the 7-11 and his truck was still parked there with the lift gate down. I ran in and saw Bob standing in line to buy some food. 
"Bob? I asked.
"Yep, buying some breakfast....I always like 7-11 taquitos for breakfast."
It was 11 AM.
"Here let me get those for you," I said offering my wife's debit card (she had given me hers since I blocked mine). 
"No that's OK," said Bob, "no need- a good deed is it's own reward." 
I offered again, but he shook his head. After Bob bought his toquitos, we walked out to his truck, he open the cab door and pulled my wallet out from behind his seat.
"Here ya go Mr Sebasstian."
"Where did you find it?"
"It was in the middle of the street on 60th, I thought it was a cell phone, so I pulled over and picked it up. Then I saw it was someone's wallet. I went to the address on your Drivers License, but they said you moved. I was about to take it to the Cop Shop, but decided to call the business card you had in there. Lucky for you!"
I thanked Bob several more times then drove home. The only way I can figure it is, when I got out to add the windshield washing fluid to the van, my wallet must have fallen on the drivers side stair step. Then it rode around block after block until it eventually fell off and was found by Bob. Lucky indeed! This in fact was the second time someone found my wallet in the street and returned it to me! The first time was a year ago when it fell out on a side street and a neighbor called my business card. Like a frickin' boomerang.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tickets and Tabs

So they lowered my ticket (no tabs) from $124 o $89. I guess that's good?  Saw my old landlord in court. She is actually a very sweet lady (unlike some f my past landlords). She seemed embarrassed to be there. They should have dismissed the ticket all together. It is a company owned vehicle. I do not own the company, but was responsible for the accounts. The company was our Arts School. Still if you get pulled over in a company vehicle that does not have tabs, why does the driver get a ticket? 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A-100 Van Body

Got this excellent cast resin Dodge A-100 Van Body from Jimmy Flinstone Studios. The body is used with the Lindburg Little Red Wagon kit. I was gonna make a Go-Kustom van like the one Chris Jones drew for the our Go-Kustom shirts and Hot Rod Monsters Film Festival promo years ago. I used to own an A-100 Van.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming

Went up to Steve Leary's place to film his full fender '36 Ford for Rats & Gassers. We had been up to Steve's last year to do his initial interview about his HEMI Whippet build and saw the '36, but it was still getting rebuilt. Steve had saved the car from a would be Street Rodder and was slowly getting it back to a more original, stock appearance. We drove around getting shots of the Ford driving and parked. A very unique car by todays "fenderless" standard of Hot Rods, Rats Rods, etc. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Battles With Satan (AKA Bank Of America)

When I went to bed I had $0.42 in the account and was ready to close it
the next day. The next morning the Maintenance Fee slid in front of the
two other transactions to makethe account go negative. Great way to
make a buck on your unsuspecting customers?
So for the millionth time one of my B of A accounts (we have- had two business and one personal) has crossed into negative land because of their odd accounting tally methods, hidden charges and moving date maintenance fees. In this case, the "Monthly Maintenance Fee" mysteriously moved from it's normal date of 15th or 16th of the month to the 12th. Why? because I told them I was closing the account and had pulled all the money out, down to 42 cents. When I went to close the account the gal said I had to wait until some things were "fully processed" before I could close the account. The next morning bam! the Monthly Maintenance Fee hits three days early and the account is overdrawn. Now I haven't called yet to see if they will reverse the overdraft fee or not, but any case- WTF! We opened a Credit Union account last year and just haven't gotten around to using it much...until now. Right before this happened, I had a similar incident on one of my business accounts and had decided to close all the B of Satan accounts and had begun using the Credit Union more. Now all our accounts are moving. Goodbye Bank Of Satan!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nady SMPS-1X 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply

Just bought a Nady SMPS-1X 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply to hook condenser mics and booms into my Canon HF-G10 video camera. SHould solve the audio problem for interviews and overhead mics.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming

Headed out early in the morning to Pasco, Washington to film Greg Richardson's Camel Tow-ing Rat Truck. Took almost four hours to make the trip and when we got there, surprise- three bad ass Hot Rods sitting at his shop (two were Greg's and one was his cousin Chuck Oak's), along with pretty Pin-Up Model, Kat Millicent! First I did a photo session with Kat and the cars, then some video of the same. After that we cut Kat loose with a big, "Thank you girlie, you rocked!" Then focused on additional photos and videos of the three rides. After that, I interviewed Greg about his builds, then we headed out onto some long stretches of highway to film with GoPros and HD cams. After that, we said goodbye, and jumped back in the van for the trek home. Didn't get home until 9 PM, but it was very much worth it! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming

Went out to South Hill, Washington (down past Tacoma) to film Willie Rakes' 1937 Chrysler Gasser- a truly unique car. We shot stills of the Chrysler by an abandon school house, then off to an industrial side street to get some moving shots of the "Rat Killer" in action. Finally we went out to Willy's secluded home to film an interview about the build. Excellent day (and night) of filming for Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Tattoo

Went over to Sunken Ship Tattoo in Everett, Washington to finally cash in a $150 gift card my wife and kids got me for my Birthday last February. Matt Sawdon was the artist and did an exact rendering of some graphics I made up months ago. Since I play Bass I thought the wording would be very appropriate. Now I have to figure what to do next, maybe a Dodge Super Bee logo. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming

Had an amazing afternoon filming Tom Sanders Rat Truck, first by mounting GoPros on it while he drove around town, and then going out to the airport to film him making multiple passes by my HD camera. After that, we headed over a nearby gravel pit to film some additional B-Roll and to shoot pictures with the uber leggy pin-up model Shelbi Fahrney. This set was for an article I am writing about Tom's truck. I can't post pics, because this was for a national magazine. Needless to say- Shelbi rocked the set! Big thanks to Tom for setting up the gravel pit location and of course providing his bad ass truck. This was also my first stab at print magazine photography. Obviously it is a bit different than filming for a feature or documentary. Photography is capturing the world in a second, video is capturing the event and emotion over a period of time. Still framing subject, lighting effects, etc are similar. I am loving my new Canon 7D!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Go-Kustom TV @ Rat Bastard's Infestation 2012

Kitty Mansfield interviews Ron Foreman.

The Pin-Up Angels helping our troops with care packages.

We headed over early to vendor at the Rat Bastard's Car Club's Annual Infestation Car Show at the XXX Burger in Issaquah, Washington. Besides selling our Go-Kustom wares, I was taking photos for a potential magazine article about the event and filming both B-Roll for Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride and Go-Kustom TV. Filming B-Roll is mostly getting ambient shots of Hot Rods for my documentary, however filming for Go-Kustom TV entails doing full interviews with car owners and then filming their cars in detail. Basically I walked around most of the day with my Canon 7D around my neck and Canon HF-G10 in hand filming like a one man media production company! Meanwhile, back at our booth, my wife was busy selling our shirts, posters, DVDs and CDs to the masses. The show this year was excellent, with a great turnout and great weather. Lots of cars and owners I hadn't seen before, which is always interesting. Blacktop Deceiver played two sets of hard edged rockabilly blues to a happy crowd. Kitty Mansfield stopped by our booth for a few hours to sign some 8 x 10 movie prints, from the pin-up calendar scene of Rats & Gassers. Later she interviewed Ron Foreman, President of the Rat Bastards Car Club about the Car Show and how difficult putting an event of this size is. Photographer Ralph Gayle of SevenSeven Photography also helped us out with some Pin-Up shoots for the article I am writing about Infestation 2012. He is amazing with the camera. It was nice to see old friends and new faces at Infestation, this show is becoming a Northwest mainstay on the Hot Rod Car Show circuit.