Open season on snail Mail customers declared by DMV in California.

Here’s a conspiracy theory. Thank god my car wasn't scheduled for a smog check this year, but my tags expired in December. I managed to get my payment out in the mail 30 days before the deadline. December ends and I still see no response from the DMV.

The website gives alternate methods of renewing ones tags on-line. Snail mail is to be avoided at all costs; I know that now. It's probably not even the post office's fault. However, when I use the DMV's website to check the status, they are quick to pass the blame by indicating that my payment has not even been received. Even the bank shows my check as still pending deposit.

Somewhere in the website, if you dig hard enough, you can find a warning explaining that if your payment has not yet been processed and 30 days has lapsed, do not put a stop payment on your check. Please allow 90 days. Here is where the conspiracy begins.

So I am expected to drive around in my car with expired tags. The anxiety alone of being stopped by a cop will kill me slowly by ulcer development. In addition, the DMV does not compensate for their incompetence by providing temporary plates. Hence, they are responsible for placing a wanted poster, a contract, my name on a hit list to be killed by cop, and declaring open season on my life.

Even after explaining to them that I have a touch of Tourette's syndrome and I fear the police, their response was "oh well...~ "


Griffith hiking trails pinhole subjects

I renewed my subscription to JotterPad

As my composition nears completion, I’m relying on this app for a word count, theoretically using math to divide that number by as many columns I decide to create for it. It’s more trouble than it’s worth, but I’m approaching the task as a way to familiarize myself of the limits JotterPad imposes.

In previous entries, I created double columns manually. Working with html tables isn’t extremely difficult. JotterPad makes it more difficult to work with tables than necessary (for what I want to use
them for) and it seems, unless I want to use tables as a spreadsheet feature for numbers, I’m going to stay away from trying to figure out laying out my page with them.

Unfortunately, the only acceptable way tables formats my stuff properly is when I email my entries with photos, and JotterPad has nothing to do with it.

When uploading pictures to lj server, using email will create lj-cuts within the table html code that lj uses to expand and condense pix with an lj-cut

Oak trees by Betty Davis picnic area

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The hike was very easy today. Because I have a fondness for oak trees, when I finally identified the variety of oak we have growing in southern Californias, I made it my goal to find good ones to photograph. I have to figure out a system to keep accurate records of how much time I'm exposing my photos. According to the light meter apps, I think I gave this particular tree a 4 second exposure.

Bird sanctuary trail

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There were so many people parking at Griffith today. They were at the base of the park where people parked there either have to climb up to the top or wait for a commuter bus.

I started my climb where the bird sanctuary trail begins. I stopped short of reaching the top because of the horizon of the downtown cityscape. And I knew there would be too many people walking all over the place where the observatory platform is located. After some scrutiny, I decided not to try to photograph cityscape — it was just too distant and the buildings were too tiny with little contrast in shadows as a result of the overcast weather. If a pinhole photo creates unsharp images, th3 smal spec of downtown would appear twice as grainy with the roll of ISO 400 in my camera. A good sized tripod might’ve been different, but I was carrying a small pocket size tripod and shooting from the ground blocked the view of the city with a foreground of grass and weeds.

Instead I found a tiny wild flower and tried my best to position the camera pinhole lens pointing directly at the buildings. It isn’t visible even on the pix taken digitally with my phone. The focal point of the lens was set at the plants in the foreground. Some curious hikers took interest and began asking what I was doing, but it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to try setting the focal point of the camera app on my phone to the background of buildings anyway.

Bird sanctuary bridge

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Just before leaving the park I noticed a bridge. I huddled underneath a tree where the lighting was dark and ideal for the roll of ISO 400 film.

Every time I take a photo with my phone and check the aperture info for exposure time, i have to cross reference it with the f-stop of my pinhole aperture and by then I forget that I still have to adjust tim8ng for the ISO 400 film. I gave this shot 55 seconds which was probably excessive.



The eighties and channel surfing late night, insomnia suffering, couch potato shows was a disparaging provocation which ended at 1:3o AM. If I managed to fall asleep during the late late show, I would usually wake up to Live at the Apollo.

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I borrowed volume 2 and 3 of the DVD compilation from my local library. Volume 1 wasn’t currently available. Way back when I was first screening this show (in my twenties,) I think all my attention was on Mary Hartman’s mouth. Her teeth, IMO, would one day fall out as part of a gag as most of the maundering would unfathomably fly over my head. I convinced myself, if anything else, I wouldn’t want to miss that! so I didn’t mind sitting through a soap opera themed show that I had no clue what it was about at that pugnacious stage in my life. I’m recalling a memory byte of the supporting actresses I would ogle whom I felt were attractive: Mona McKenzie, Roberta Wolashek, Loretta Haggers. And but now, OMG, I see how strong my attraction to redheads has broadened leaving me with the impression of shallowness in my meager surface appeal attraction.

Out of frustration trying to subscribe to a show that simply jerked me around more ways than one, I ended up going to bed with my radio alarm clock in snooze mode (tuned to KFI Coast to coast with Art Bell.) As if it wasn’t bad enough that MH MH would only air once or twice a week, my TV Guide was useless trying to schedule my episode screening in chronological order. Some days season two aired on Tuesdays, but season one aired on Thursdays. So, despite being young and shallow not knowing what exactly was going on in the story plot, I now marvel at the little squeaks murmured by Mary that stoke her charm beyond any other character in the show bearing perfectly straight teeth. Next on my must-see list Requiem for a dream.

Now if I could only link Louise Lasser’s headlining role to Phil Hartman’s sister…
heaven et hell

My cat’s an asshole

I don’t remember signing up for a new feral cat pet when I rescued Franky “el Chapo” Mosquito. I knew I wanted the equivalent of a work dog encompassed in  a cat so as to have a cat with an advantage over the rats that roam nearby. I guess I’m approaching the whole pet idea wrong if I decide not to neuter a male cat. Upon reflecting on this situation, I’m reminded of the makeshift Annie Hardy barn.  A musician apart from other skills, Annie started vlogging her life as a talented gardener before she began to adopt bunnies, bearded dragons, squirrels, etc. 

In the beginning of her vlogging success, the only animals I knew of that she owned were two cats, a white one and a black one. Her black cat, cunningly called Trammel C, is the embodiment of Franky. At first I thought it was a name only a musician could think of, but now I know. My male cat behaves like it’s feral, cowering at the approach of me, daddy, its food source. No wonder Annie‘s Trammel C is an outdoors cat.

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Friday’s hike

Friday’s hiking route was the Fern Canyon trail where I found a tiny
“Fern Canyon trail theater”. I don’t know if this little corner is
considered haunted like the haunted picnic table, but I tried to shoot
it just the same. I framed it with the camera on its side (portrait style). I don’t remember how long I gave for the exposure time anymore — this entry should’ve been written days ago. I’m trying to keep a log with exposure information so that when I process the roll of negatives, I’ll have a better understanding of why my pix get under or over exposed, as well as shaking blurred exposures.

Theater dressing room

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The fern cyn trl theater

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How much attention to framing subject on various light meter apps should be practice for accurate readings?

I have 3 light metering apps on my pohone. Two appear to have the same name -- "Light Meter" but one of the two (as shown on the iOS app store) is listed as "Photo Light & Exposure Meter".

In order to distinguish from the two apps, I would've liked to have been able to change the app name, but I ended up creating a folder (the type of folder that can hold multiple apps.) I did this by placing a copy of the same app into one folder; hence, I have folders that contain two (2) copies of the same app. That's the only way I could figure out giving the app customized names. The names of the folders, however, I've labeled this way:
  • Over Exp for the Pinhole Meter app
  • Mid Level for the Light Meter app
  • Under Exp for Photo Light & Exposure app

I decided on these names after viewing the different readings for one or two different subjects I took a reading for but now I am seeing that I get a mid-level reading from the Photo Light & Exposure app and an under exposure reading from the Light Meter app.

The Pinhole Meter continues to be the go to app for over-exposures, but in the Fern Canyon Trail subjects, I got the Light Meter app and the Photo Light & Exposure apps reversed. Scrutinizing the area of metering, I am guessing that because the Photo Light & Exposure app had a portion of sky, the reading showed up as needing more exposure time than the Light Meter app, which contained no sky within the framed subject.

But that still makes no sense as one would think that the bright color of light blue on a cloudless day would require less time exposure. Comparing the two framed areas of Light Meter app and Photo Light & Exposure app, the only difference I can see is that one is in color and the other is black & white. 💀

Light metering photo 5 of 24 on a ZeroImage135 using ISO 400 film

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I am regretting having purchased 5 rolls of ISO400 film. Most subjects I find interesting to shoot are too bright, and the light metering apps indicate a zero second exposure. Only one picture was taken, out of 3 or 4 possible photographs. I gave this one a 3 second exposure even though, as you can see from my screencaps that zero seconds were needed.

Brunch break at Tacos Mexico

Two flower shop workers invisibly unpacking delivery
Two flower shop workers invisibly unpacking delivery

While waiting For my order, I pinholed this shot of the adjacent flower shop.  It felt like brunch and a movie as I could stop thinking of the movie The town.
I had the breakfast burrito. Well, half of one anyway. These burritos are enormous. 


Cottonsox TikTok vlogger puts out vids that inspire hiking, fresh air and distancing myself from TV

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The trails available to hike at Griffith Park are listed here. I stay on the main trails for fear of rattler snakes which caution signs all over the trails warn hikers. The trail that leads to the Hollywood sign is called the Lonesome Pine trail. Although it would've been nice to reach the very summit to see the sign (and the lonesome pine), I was mostly interested in finding the Haunted Picnic table which is only half the entire trail. I figured it was 2 miles up, then another 2 miles back down, but the information I had gotten online was that people could park adjacent to the compost location, a hop skip and jump to the start of the Lonesome Pine trail.

From the parking spot I found, near TravelTown, I had to walk another mile. I didn't mind as the walk was described as a trail lined by trees like oak which I have been hunting for for another minor project to obtain oak galls. I've always wanted to gather all the ingredients for making oak gall ink for my calligraphy pens.

Also, the walking stick arrived in the mail and I was anxious to use it. Walking with a cane when you don't need it is awkward, but I'm thankful to have had it with me near the end of my hike as my hip was beginning to give out, leaving my stride with a Charlie Chaplin style hobble. Upon reaching my destination, it wasn't hard spotting it. Articles online describe an alter of devil worshippers, wicca fanatics, and ceremonial trinkets left behind at the location. A group of people, when I entered the picnic area, gathered along the trail — I'd say five individuals, give or take one or two, had paused there possibly looking my way and wondering what I had plans for as I began my photo taking ritual of measuring the light.

Afterwards it dawned on me whether I had just witness ghosts as I had walked the trail completely solo, only encountering few hikers going back down the trail. It was a surprise to see people there talking amongst themselves. My first thought was that I had an audience that wanted to see me enter the wicked location where people have claimed to witness ghosts and evil occurrences.

It wasn't until later that I filled my head with all the ghost stories about the sight. A good thing as I probably would've been overly concerned about my safety if I had known about the dead gardener, or the tree removal crew who witnessed the picnic table shaking on its own as if it were the bed Linda Blair used in the Exorcist movie. Overall, it was a pleasant hike. My iPhone camera seems to be set on LIVE mode, which also uses the microphone. Listening to the photo contains a sound not unlike the ocean from a conch shell.

On the way down from the picnic table location, a chirping bird spoke to me. I couldn't lay eyes on it. It sounded like a baby chick the way they chirp for food when their mother arrives. Maybe I should've recorded it, but I was too busy trying to pin-point where the sound was coming from. I know that if I had all those haunted stories about the location embedded in my head, I would probably have been listening intently to any sounds heard along that trail with attempts to decipher "Leave us alone" and/or "Next time you die."

It's going to be awhile before I get the pinhole camera results. I may decide to return during a different time of day to see if the lighting improves my exposures, but for now I'm really just eager to burn off the ten pounds I gained as a result of Covid19.