Monthly Archives: November 2007

Katchek Monkey Chants

Katchek Monkey Chants

The Katchek Monkey Chants are a transcendent experience to see/hear. It’s one of the main reasons we keep going back to Bali. Marcia and I are madly in love with balinese culture and the Katchek is an important part of that culture. Check out the Katchek scene from Baraka. and then start planning your next trip, to Bali, stat.

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Padang Padang video

While we’re in Bali, I thought I’d leave you with some Bali-inspired posts. I cranked out as many as I could, while keeping the content at least semi-interesting. So this is the first in a series:

Bali Surf

Video taken at Padang Padang and Dreamland. gets my heart racing and the music is entrancing. I wish the waves would be this size while I’m there. note to self: don’t book another trip to Bali, unless it’s July-Aug.

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Crappy Gringo Colds

Last night in Los Angeles, we met up with the homiez for some killer thai food. Hung out with my good friends before we take off later tonight. Red Curry, Spicy Basil Noodles and a few Changs later, I woke up this morning to a nasty throat itch and throbbing sinuses. Marcia with a temperature and fuzzy white tonsils. A morning trip to the clinic and a penicillin prescription later, one full day in LA and we’ve managed to catch one of them nasty northern crappy gringo colds. Now we’re taking it easy, watching Galaxy Quest, and we can’t wait to spend 24 hours on a plane, with a nasty head cold and sour throat. oh, the fun.

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LA LA Big City of Dreams…

… But everything in LA ain’t always what it seems.

Well, we rolled in to Lost Angels last night at around 7:dirty. Only one encounter with Joe-Law along the way (in jacked up Riverside country, no less). Seems my registration was in “non-operable” mode. big oops. We spent basically the entire days today, visiting various different branches of the California DMV to get my registration and license in order. A fine, sunny california day wasted on horribly designed interiors of bloated state government agencies.

All was forgotten with the first few slurps of some damn good Pho, from our favorite little vietnamese pho joint on Sunset and Silver Lake Blvd. Pho is perhaps my favorite thing to eat, ever, and today’s soupy, herbie action was the bomb.

Nothing else was really accomplished and I managed to screw up the zip code on two different packages that were to be delivered tomorrow, in time for our flight, tomorrow night at midnight. I suck. I managed to iron things out with UPS, but we’ll see if the packages come in, as the customer support says.

Unrelatedly, my new H2 fins got here and I can hardly control myself. these things weigh mere onces, where my normal fins way pounds. they’re freakin sick and I can’t wait to fuck ‘em up on some hard ass balinese reef. i’m such a kook.

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The Drama

We’re midway through our drive up to Los Angeles, holed up in a killer little hotel called Hotel San Sebastian in Hermosillo (it’s the perfect hotel for a midway point between Vallarta and LA). We took off at 6am and managed to cover half the total driving distance. roughly 13 hours of driving. This, after one crazy-ass night.

Our friends Fer and Yanen got married on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta, last night. While getting ready, I slammed my foot in to the base of our bed and crunched my pinky toe. I screamed my brains out for five minutes, finished getting ready and I hobbled to the car and we were off to the wedding. During the ceremony, I could see the toe turning purple as it blew up and started turning over sideway. After the mass and vows, but before communion (classic catholic beach wedding), Marcia and I “done r.u.n.o.f.t” and went to a private emergency room in nearby Mezcales. One Xray later and the on-duty doctor was saying I had broken my toe and needed a full foot cast. I was less then confident and pissed about the prospect of having to cancel our trip to Bali, on the advice of doctor who has no real experience with foot trauma. We high-tailed it outta there and a few phone calls later, we were off to San Javier, a well regarded private hospital, to meet a trauma and foot specialist recommended by my good homie Pato. Second opinion doc said the toe wasn’t broken and taped it to the next toe and all was well again in the world.

By 9:30pm we were back at the wedding. We grabbed some food, hung with our tribe, gave the groom and bride our best wishes and were back home in bed by 11pm. On the way home, Marcia started to get some kind of allergic reaction, assumably from the pesto she had eaten at the wedding, so we stopped for foot wrappings and anti-allergy med. Mexico is great like that. Nothing like self-diagnosis and being able to buy meds without a prescription.

After two ominous omens, from last night, we got a good early start today and covered a crap-load of miles in good time with little stress. Tomorrow, we’re off at 6am again and we should be in Los Angeles by 8pm.

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Bali Surfing Resources Roundup

So we’re taking off for Los Angeles tomorrow and then on to Bali, on wednesday. Things are getting down to the wire and we’re packing up as we speak. For the past month I’ve been researching off-season surfing in Bali (october to april). I’ve compiled my research into a quick guide that could possibly start as a jumping off point for people following in the same foot steps.

bali map from wannasurf.com

Bali off-season surfing summary: where to look

From my research so far, I’ve learned that Nusa Dua, Sanur and Keramas are the three main off-season surf spots. Canggu, Legian and Medewi also get some swell and Bingins is the place to go if there’s any swell at all on the right side of the bukit (southeast Bali). Bingin and Dreamland are good bases for off-season surfing, as they are located close enough to Nusa Dua to make quick trips to the break, without having to pay ridiculously expensive hotel fees for staying in Nusa.

General Surfing info

Bingin / Impossibles

If there’s no waves at Bingin, you’re hotel / guest stay will usually get you a lift over to nusa dua.

  • Suara Ombak – great guesthouse ($40-60/night)
  • Mick’s Place – pool (really nice – $60-110/night)
  • Bali Retreats – web booking for several guest stays and villas in the Bingin area
  • there are plenty of cheaper warungs in Bingin, so you can most likely just roll up and stay for around $15-20 USD/night. the same is true for Dreamland. but watch out for the bed bugs!

Canggu

Canggu is near Seminyak, north of Legain and it gets real expensive up there, you can usually catch a bemo up to canggu from kuta/legian. superb right break over lava rocks. bring the booties.

  • Desa Seni – very cool hotel (but too expensive for my budget (starts at $135, but price includes airport pickup, breakfast, yoga classes, etc…)

Sanur

They say that swell is unreliable in Sanur. 2 breaks, bring booties.

  • ‘Tanjung’ break is directly in front of Tanjung Sari hotel ($175/night – way out of the budget)
  • ‘Hyatt Reef’ break is 1km off of the Sanur Hyatt beach (big reef)
  • ‘Padang Galak’ is a reliable rivermouth beach break north of Sanur, get a bemo from Sanur

Lombok

  • Heaven on the Planet – eco-resort in Ekas, surfing destination ($15-60 USD). Supposedly breaks all year round in Ekas.
  • catch ferry from Padang Bai

Nusa Dua

Hotels are too expensive. So stay in Tanjung Benoa or Bingin/Dreamland/Balangan.

  • Catch a boat out to the break, from boat dock, south of golf course passed Bali Hilton
  • Sri Lanka break is in front of Bali Club Med

The best advice I can give to anyone who is researching surf in Bali off-season (or on-season) is to buy the Indo Surf + Lingo book. It’s worth its wait in gold. bullion. It’ll tell you where all the breaks are, how to get to them, how to navigate them, where to stay, what to do and what not to do. Don’t waste too much of your time online. Surprisingly, I’ve found very little valuable online resources. Obviously this may change, but realistically, Bali is a very popular place. So information is guarded well, as it should be. The folks behind Indo Surf + Lingo book do a great job of educating first-timers and protecting locals. Buy it, trust me.

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Marcia y Edmundo

hotel del puentegasolina y disel
On a not-so-recent visit to San Sebastian del Oeste

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5 Second movie review

death proofratatouilleken park
ocean’s 13heartbreak310
curselionsbionic woman

Well, I was gonna say this entry til the middle of our trip to Bali, but I got to thinkin’ that it didn’t have too much to do with Bali (well, nothing to do with) and I was trying to keep a theme to the entries that are auto-posted during our trip. Plus, these movies are pretty old anyway, so it doesn’t make much sense to wait. So, I’m publishing this now, a shortnsweet list of the films I saw in the past week or so. Here goes…

  • Deathproof – why is the first half of the movie in this jacked up, grindhouse style and the second half not a dust scratch in sight? schizophrenic and lopsided.
  • Ratatouille – absolutely wonderful.
  • Ken Park – horrible video cinematography. wandering, boring plot. a must for anyone whose not exactly sure what male anatomy looks like.
  • Ocean’s 13 – I’ll never get tired of Soderberg’s formula for these movies, I hope he never stops making them. but Ellen Arkin’s cougar-under-love-potion-spell scenes? horrible.
  • The Heartbreak kid – dumb. some funny parts. but over all, dumb. Michelle Monaghan can do no wrong.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower – gorgeous cinematography, sets, costumes etc… meandering plot.
  • 3:10 to Yuma – bad guys as the new good guys? eh. over it.
  • Lions For Lambs – 10x better then the reviews said it’d be. I actually liked it. Tom Cruise is a scary mofo. Despite what ignorant sock puppets are saying, the politics in this movie are spot on. go see it.
  • Bonus: Bionic Woman (2007 tv show) – the producers wanted this show to look and feel like the new Battlestar Galactica series so much they even took two of its main actors. plots are formulaic and syrupy.

Unfortunately, here in mexico, we get crap movies in the theaters and even crappier movies on dvd. So in essence, this list is an approximation of the better movies that pass through our two horse town. We won’t be getting The Darjeeling Limited, There Will Be Blood, Control, No Country For Old Men anytime soon and we most certainly won’t get Juno.

I am the sound of Ed’s inner film buff, crying tears of shame.

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Standard Motion

standard motion

Jon at Standard Motion is doing some really nice photog sites. He’s the guy behind the Redux Pictures site. good work.

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La Peña

banda sign

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Adobe Craprobat

acrobat

< -- Begin rant -->

An online hotel booking agency sent me a form to fill in and send back. I tried to do the whole thing digitally with Adobe Acrobat and my scanned signature. The whole process was so frustrating, I had to resort to printing out the form, filling it in, with my chicken-scratch handwriting, scanning it back in and sending it off.

Acrobat’s ‘digital signature’ features were definitely designed for some heavy and secure business usage. The only problem is that the software is so hard to use, I can’t imagine a business oriented user having the time to figure this application out. Most business people just don’t have the time to read manuals, like it or not. Simplicity is not on display in Acrobat. There’s so much useless bloated feature creep, it’s ridiculous.

I’d consider myself a power user and this application totally had me doing limbo moves. Once I finally made it through the torturous maze of figuring out how to fill out the form and adding my signature I had five different versions floating around my desktop. Adding insult to injury, I checked the finally pdf in Apple’s Preview app and the signature isn’t even on the form?! You mean to tell me, whoever recieves this form, has to have Acrobat just to even view the signature? How lame.

If I could give the Acrobat dev team my two cents, here’s what that would be: their current ‘digital signature’ feature should be called ‘secure/verified digital signature’ and they should add a new feature called ‘simple signature’ that just allows you to add an image file to the form that has your scanned signature. Wanna be a little bit more secure? Have the editing capabilities of the doc locked by password, upon saving. This ‘simple signature’ functionality would suffice for 90% of most users’ needs. The ability to add 3D models to a pdf doc? I found it hard enough just to add a plain old image.

Some indie mac developer needs to come out with a pixelmator-style app for pdfs. Design a pdf editing application for 70% of users that has 30% of the functionality of Adobe Acrobat. I’d buy that for 10 or 20 bones.

< -- end rant -->

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Sean Finocchio

choi’s liquor

Sean Finocchio produces gorgeous city-life inspired digital photos on canvas. The above image from his liquor store collection on Supermarket. nice.

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Supermarket

supermarket

Supermarket is pretty cool. a well-designed website for buying well-designed things from people just like you and me. apparel, jewelry, furniture, photos, paintings, etc… sorta like etsy. [via SM]

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Gaspar and his family

Gaspar and his family

Gaspar was an undocumented worker in Seattle. He had just returned to Bucerias a few days before this picture was taken.

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Hybrids Project

hybrids project

Hybrids Project is a new photography book by Klaus Thymann. The book is filled with interesting images covering “…micro-pockets of hybrid cultures…” including snow polo, gay rodeo, underwater striptease, hip hop in china, an indoor beach, rave as religion and many more. The website for the book is equally interesting, with a unique thumbnail and preview system. thumbs up. oh and book design by Love Creative. [via Avisualsociety]

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