Monday, September 8, 2014

Grand Style of Storytelling at the Castro Theatre

Last Tuesday was the second annual GrandSLAM show of storytelling for The Moth here in San Francisco. It is a great honor that I am able to be part of this as producer and this event seemed to go smoothly especially for the size of about 1,300 in the audience.

The SF Chronicle gave us a review two days later. This show marks the 37th SLAM in San Francisco since the initial one in March of last year. Closing in on 400 stories I've heard live and always they are interesting and somewhat transformative, aligning with my Southern gene pool at a deep level. For a a more complete group of photos from the evening, click here.

Marquee outside Castro Theatre before the show / photo by Erica Steimetz

stage from up on balcony before the event

audience holding up cell phones to host Brian at commencement of show

marquee outside the balcony of the Castro Theatre / photo by Erica Steimetz
Corey Rosen tells his story as final one of the evening, musician Amie Fenwick looks on from the stage

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Imposing order to a chaotic world -- knolling away whenever possible

I learned this morning about the concept of "knolling" as I read through my e-mail. It is "the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization." Then I watched this brief video about it and had to laugh out loud. After working with architects for over a decade, a few of them naturally do this and in my genetic make-up ~ I've had a keen urge to do this too most of my life. I've surmised that it must have to do with wanting to impose order on our chaotic and mostly disorganized world. Sometimes I'll even knoll my closet while on the phone (using a headset) having an important call.  I'm sure this will manifest into some kind of diagnosible mental disorder one day.  #knollitall 

LIPSTICK KNOLLING ~ because lipsticks are interesting and beautiful in their design

MAKEUP DRAWER KNOLLING ~ because make-up attempts to put beauty and order onto a woman's face

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Whiskey Bravo Six Oscar Echo November ~ in a sea of bicycles on a gorgeous landscape

Yesterday was the annual Marin Century event sponsored by Marin Cyclists. This is the eighth year I've been involved as a volunteer on the motorcycle to ride around the course and offer support.  There are six bicycle rides offered ranging from 30 miles to 200 miles and around 3,000 bicycles are involved. The routes go through the various parts of beautiful Marin County. This year was personally notable though ~ after years of being told by others "just get your amateur radio license as you'll be able to help more", I finally did. Back in the eighties and nineties, I occasionally experienced my stepfather Ken sitting for hours in his ham radio room and talking with people on the "other side of the world", I'd hear him sign off with "WB6OEN" as his call sign and then he'd repeat it sometimes in the military or NATO phonetic alphabet "whiskey bravo six oscar echo november". I was always interested and asked many questions at the time. When I passed the exam two months ago, I immediately applied for his call sign and the FCC moved with lightening speed to transfer it to me. Having the portable ham radio on the ride yesterday made all the difference and I was able to hear who needed help in which area and what was going on. I wore an earpiece in my helmet during the whole 200 mile shift and the many volunteers with various amateur radio clubs in the Bay Area really work efficienty to "run" the operations of the ride.

Below is a video I pieced together while on the ride, camera mounted to my handlebars, and here is a link to the few photos I took.

Marin Century 2014 from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

time honored tradition ~ steel shoes and patient horses

For all the modern developments over the years through the centuries, it's nice to be part of something that is largely unchanged over time. The need for steel horse shoes to be shaped and applied to horses hooves about every eight weeks is something most people don't know about if they don't have horses in their lives. Here's a brief look at the process of putting 16 horse shoes on yesterday at the barn by Chris Minick of Farrier Art ~ some of the most difficult work out there and interesting to watch.

Steel shoes and patient horses ~ hard work rooted in tradition from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A new look at fireworks

Just when you think you've seen fireworks a million times, this unique view filmed during a Palm Beach fireworks show demonstrates what cameras and drones can do.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Transcendent just to watch this ~

So many beautiful things in life to experience but Simon Christen has managed repeatedly to visually capture nature so that the beauty is distilled down to the essence and then set it to music. The effect is transcendent ~I could watch this endlessly:

A Time Lapse Collection from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

High Reach Demolition ~ hungry dinosaurs

The last few weeks have been very interesting if one happens to go by Geary and VanNess Streets in San Francisco. It's literally a jaw-dropping high-reach demolition that is quickly drawing to a close as they get ready to build a new hospital in June. I got a first hand account and tour by Bob Bailey (structural engineer on the project) on March 31. I've never been that close to such equipment and the cacophony as the hydraulic scrap cutting shears on the end of the giant robotic arm kept munching away at the thick rebar and concrete building like a hungry dinosaur. The overall sensory experience was riveting to say the least.

To read more about the plans, click here


Bob Bailey, structural engineer on the demo site

Bob Bailey's iPhone video from today as a large part of the roof came down on the last tower

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just pull back on the throttle and eventually you're there

Yesterday arrived home after 1,600 miles round trip to Las Vegas on motorcycles to spend Christmas. The weather gods cooperated and although a few days of 41 degree riding in the morning kept it "fresh" ~ the sun was a friend for the entire nine days.

A full compilation of photos are posted here and these are the edited ones down from over 300.

Eventually I'd like to work up to the "trip of a lifetime", this guy Alex Chacon is pure inspiration with a 500 day motorcycle trip from Alaska to Argentina, his video here.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crab instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving ~ why not?

Turkeys were spared today as some crab harvesting was in order near Potato Patch Shoal just outside of the Golden Gate.  The swells were remarkable in size and thus only one pot was retrievable. Watching the waves crash not far away on the shallow part of the shoal was a show in itself. A couple of the ten guests had to go "face down" on couches to "listen for crabs" (aka feeling queasy) but alas, eight of the crustaceans were gathered and cooked on the dock. What an exciting and novel adventure and then we found out later the Coast Guard had declared the area off limits to boats due to swell size, phew.

waves breaking nearby on the shallow part of the shoal

the bridge with shadow heading out to the fishing site

me pretty delighted with the size of these crabs

cooking the crabs on the dock