RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Feline Friday – #74 – Memorial award for Pharoah at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show

culver city art group

I’m getting ready for the art show on Saturday. After this I am looking forward to getting back to blogging again.

It’s our custom to give memorial awards to fellow artists in the show for somebody who has passed away during the past year. My memorial award this year is given in honor of sweet Pharoah who passed away July 2nd.

pharoah

I’ll be channeling Pharoah as I view the artwork looking for a piece that he would enjoy.

 

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Culver City’s Screenland 100th birthday 5K, The Race of the Century

screenland 5KCulver City was incorporated on September 20, 1917 so our little town of approximately 40,000 people has been celebrating our 100th birthday since last year.

One of the celebratory events was the “Screenland 5K, The Race of the Century,” in which I participated. Lori Escalara headed a team to help support the restoration of public murals in Culver City so I figured that was a good reason to plonk down the entrance fee, not to mention the T-shirt and medal that came with it!

Screenland 5K 100thCulver City birthdayUnfortunately it turned out to be a rather grungy day weather-wise with no sun. At one point I had to walk with my camera inside my jacket. But it could have been worse.

screenland 5K

We were entertained by bands along the way.

screenland 5K

I was ten minutes late getting to the start line and by the time I had walked a few yards, many of the serious runners had already completed the first third of the 5K (3.1-mile) course and had turned around.

The race was scheduled for the morning of February 26 to coincide with the date of the 89th Academy Awards later in the day.

screenland 5K

Culver City is dubbed “The Heart of Screenland” because of the numerous movies filmed at studios such as MGM, Columbia, Sony, RKO, Desilu, Selznick and many, many more.

The Heart of Screenland

Perhaps the most famous movies are “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” But I also have to mention “Singing in the Rain.” Some of the 5K participants dressed up as their favorite movie characters. I was just ME!!!!

The Heart of Screenland

Sony and Culver Studios opened their lots to the 5K participants.


I was looking forward to getting some close-ups of the Rainbow sculpture inside the gates… too bad the sky was so grey.

screenland 5K

But I was happy to get a good shot of the artwork for my all time favorite movie “Lawrence of Arabia” which I have watched numerous times. I love everything about it from Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif to the spectacular photography and the glorious music. I realize the story isn’t that close to being accurate but that doesn’t stop my appreciation of the film.

screenland 5K

A peek into a “window” to see a gathering of classic movie stars.

screenland 5Kscreenland 5K

I walk or drive by Sony Studios several times a week on my way somewhere but it was nice to see inside. I have actually taken visitors from out of town on the studio tour a couple of times. And, of course, the exterior is on my Culver City walking tours.

screenland 5K

My final time was something in the range of 1 hour, 20 minutes so obviously I wasn’t going for any prizes! I was having more fun taking photos.

Click on any image for the slide show:

After I completed the 5K I felt like I could have kept going. So in a couple of weeks some friends and I will be walking the 6-mile CicLAvia route from Culver City to Venice Beach.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #56 – what me worry?

frankie

We asked for rain in drought ridden Southern California… and we got it!

Our sump pump quit working… the plumbing company really screwed up… so we’re looking for a more reliable plumbing company licensed to work in Culver City.

In the meantime our garages were flooded… water came in ten feet past the garage door… I managed to move most of my stuff to the back of the garage out of harms way.

One of the neighbors bought a pump and no thanks to the plumbing company who were supposed to fix this problem last Tuesday, the water level is going down.

We are expecting more rain tonight. Then a break on Saturday. More rain on Sunday. If this doesn’t get us out of the drought, nothing ever will.

I have been worried silly about the garage flooding. But Frankie’s attitude is “What flood? I’m warm and dry, thank you. That’s all that matters.”

It’s a cat’s life.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Culver City photo walk

sony studios

Yesterday was the inaugural walk of my photography Meetup group, Walk & Talk Photography. It was a good group and an interesting experience.

Although I’ve taken photos of most of these places before, every time I look through the lens I see something new and different.

Following are some of the photos I took on the walk. Click on a photo for the slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Walk & Talk Photography

culver city rainbow sony studios

Over the Rainbow, Sony Studios… formerly MGM where The Wizard of Oz was filmed.

Moving along with 2017… Yesterday afternoon I posted my brand new MeetUp group “Walk & Talk Photography.” As some of you know, I have been a tour guide in one way or another since 1988. Starting out as an architectural walking tour docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy for 16 years. For part of that time I was also a hike leader for the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club for about 10 years.

After I left corporate life, I got certified with the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) in 2008 (the hardest two weeks of my life) and became a professional Los Angeles city tour guide. The person who sits up front in the motor coach with the microphone.

As of last year I am no longer doing any of those things… for now.

Three or four years ago I bought myself a Canon T3i DSLR camera and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been extremely happy to re-connect with my first love, photography, after many decades of estrangement. Not really estrangement, more like not being very involved. But I won’t go into that story now…perhaps a subject for another blog post.

A few months ago I was thinking about how I could put together my love of exploring Los Angeles, leading walking tours and photography. This blog has been great because it has given me a platform for showing my photos and talking about my favorite city, LA. And in the coming year I hope to do more of that. With all my commitments, hobbies and interests, sometimes it’s hard to find the time.

MeetUp is a great opportunity for people to organize groups of like-minded people. So I decided to jump in. That’s pretty much the story of my life. Oh, that sounds good. I think I’ll just jump in even though I don’t know what the heck I am doing! It hasn’t brought me much in the way of monetary fortune. But I have experienced a LOT of stuff. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know… but too late now!

Anyway, yesterday I posted my group on MeetUp. It made sense to do my first walk around Culver City. It took me a long time to actually click on the button to post it. I almost didn’t do it. But I took a deep breath and clicked.

Then I waited. It was a horrifying experience as nobody signed up to join my group. I was devastated and went to bed feeling very depressed. We live in an era of immediate gratification and I respond accordingly. I was so embarrassed about this I didn’t even want to turn on the computer this morning. I had already decided I was going to take the group down and go crawl in a hole and never come out…

But I realized I had to face the harsh reality, no matter what.

Lo and behold, eight people had joined my group! During the morning more people joined. It is now 2:00pm and I have 12 people on the actual walk (the maximum) and millions** more as members. I have a waiting list. I’ve created a monster!!!!! (**I really don’t know how many members I have at this moment and it could be less than millions.)

Gosh! Who knows what will come of this? Maybe nothing. But if this is as far as it goes, that’s okay. I took a chance. And I feel good about it. That’s all that counts, isn’t it?

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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Twenty one years old and still going strong – Culver City Art Group Annual Holiday Art Show

Culver City Art Holiday Art Show flyer

For the three of my followers who have been wondering what happened to my blog posts recently, this is part of the reason. I’ve been getting ready for the 21st Annual Culver City Holiday Art Show. One of my jobs with the art group is to design all the invitations/flyers and registration forms for the show plus manage and update the website at www.culvercityartgroup.com and generally oversee the “look” that we present to the public.

Plus, of course, I’ve been busy choosing. processing, printing and framing the photos that I want to exhibit. I’m also putting together (and printing) a portfolio of past work and making greeting cards.

And after procrastinating for two years (did I ever mention procrastination is my middle name?) I finally decided I needed to spend some serious time on a website to showcase my photography. That has been a daunting experience. With years of experience as a web designer and manager, you would think this would be the easy part. But just the opposite.

I chose a content management system specifically geared towards photographers as I thought this would be the easier road. But I am so used to making a website act and think the way I want it to that I had a terrible time getting my brain wrapped around somebody else’s thought processes. I am sure if I was inexperienced with building websites I would have had an easier time… you know what they say about the dangers of a little knowledge…

The domino effect of that situation was that I couldn’t make professional-looking business cards because I had no URL address to put on the cards.

My website is not ready for prime time at this point but I am making a major effort to be ready by the time of the show. I already ordered my business cards with the URL so that is a big incentive too.

As soon as I have all my ducks in a row, or at least some of the ducks, I will publish the website address on my blog. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting close to having a website and to be able to hand out business cards. I have no idea what, if anything, will come of all this but I do know that if I hide in the closet absolutely nothing at all will happen! So please stay tuned…

Ah, one of the other reasons I haven’t posted that much on this blog is because I have been working on my recent travel photos and posting to my other blog, www.onegoodlifetravels.com.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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The giant Cheetos Puff sighting on our way to the pier

shuttle fuel tank

My friend K wanted to ride the new Expo Line extension to Santa Monica on Sunday. After my experience on Friday (see post here) I warned her the train would be stuffed to the gills but she didn’t believe me. And she wanted to go anyway.

At the Culver City station I mentioned we really would be better off riding to downtown LA first so we would have a better chance at a seat on the train. The train to downtown arrived so we jumped on it.

Friday was a day of milestones in Los Angeles. Not only the first day of the passenger train all the way to Santa Monica, but also the day the external fuel tank for the space shuttle arrived at Marina del Rey after its journey from New Orleans through the Panama Canal.

As we neared the California Science Center I scoured Exposition Park just in case there was a sighting of the fuel tank. Sure enough, peeking through the trees I saw the giant orange Cheetos Puff.  We had a split second to make a decision to jump off the train before the doors closed, which we did.external fuel tank

Apparently it was being readied to be housed in a temporary enclosure so we were lucky to see it outside. A new museum is being built for the Endeavour shuttle where the shuttle will be displayed upright with the fuel tank attached. This is the only fuel tank in existence so Los Angeles was fortunate to receive it from NASA. It weighs 66,000 lbs. (about 29,937 kilograms) and is as tall as a 15-story building.

We decided to eat lunch at the Science Center as I could imagine finding a place to eat in Santa Monica would be next to impossible with the hoards of people arriving on the Expo Line. Since Trimana took over the restaurant at the Science Center (and Natural History Museum) they have a pretty decent menu.

And absolutely the best mushroom veggie burger in the universe. I was sure I had taken a photo of it on a previous visit but I can’t find it anywhere on my computer. So now I guess I have to go back soon to order another one so I can take a photo. Rats, a blogger’s work is never done!

We finally made it to Santa Monica. As I predicted, the train was standing room only. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and who could resist a train trip to the beach?expo line

We could see that throngs of people were lining the pier so we didn’t even attempt it. As our tummies were already full we were happy to turn around after a short walk and ride the rails back to Culver City. As it was only early afternoon most people were still enjoying Santa Monica so we had no problem boarding the train.

expo line

As it had been a pretty hectic three days for me: Expo Line to Santa Monica opening day on Friday, a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday (blog post coming up) and Sunday’s adventure, I was happy to get back to good old Culver City and my sofa!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Feline Friday – #38 – we’ve missed you

pharoah

I am Pharoah, as I am sure you know by now. I continue to keep my title of King of Pillows. I can’t think of a better place to take a nap than the love seat by the window with the sunshine filtering through the trees.

I speak for all three of us felines when I say we can apologize all day but really, it’s not up to us. We are not allowed to use our human’s computer or her camera. Yes, we pay rent by being her companions, greeting her at the door when she comes home, keeping her warm in bed, watching TV with her (all those murder mysteries sicken us… what is wrong with humans?), and allowing her to feed us and stroke us.

But the bottom line is we can’t force her to upload posts to her blog.

Her excuse is she is working on “more important projects.” What can be more important, I ask you, than Feline Friday?

Well, we all hope from now on she will pay more attention to her blog. Yes, we understand that she has “a real life.” But is it REALLY any better than her blogging life? Hmmm, we seriously doubt it.

Anyway, we are happy to be here today.

frankie

Hi, Frankie here. I can’t believe she is posting this photo. No, I am NOT spoiled. This is me thinking very hard about what I can do to improve my human’s life. She believes all I do is take naps, eat and play. Not true. Without me she would have an incredibly boring life.

I don’t know what she did before I came along. Of course, I appreciate her too. Not many people would have taken a chance on a street cat. But I paid my dues out there and now I deserve a little comfort. But most of the time I’m working really hard to help her, believe me.

freddie

Freddie: Don’t disturb me. I’m dreaming of that cafe in Paris where they served me caviar on a silver plate. Now all I get is cat food.

Okay, I admit it… I was never in Paris except in my dreams. And after my previous owner passed away and the family didn’t want me, I wanted out of that cat shelter so badly. But people just passed me by… until she came along. I was ready to go home with anybody who would have me… but I lucked out and now I “amour” my human so much… I even put up with that bully Frankie just for her.

So from all of us, have a lovely feline weekend!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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Feline Friday – #36 – inspecting the new TV

frankie freddie

Last week I said goodbye to my beloved 14-year-old 32-inch Sony Trinitron TV. It was the size of a Volkswagen bus and filled up half the living room.

As it was an analog TV and as I don’t have cable or satellite service, I had to use a digital converter box which completely died about a year ago. Before that the box became ill and could only show me the top half of the screen and I had to guess what was going on in the bottom half of the screen. Perhaps it was just as well I didn’t know…

I could, however, use it perfectly well to play DVDs.

2015 was the year I lived at Best Buy. I was in there so many times I believe the doorman must have thought I was a homeless person using the restroom (which is very nice, by the way). He stopped greeting me. The sales people came to recognize me and ran off in the opposite direction… after all, why would a little old lady in jeans and a baseball cap who came into the store twice a week and stared at the TVs, talking to herself, be dropping the big bucks on a good TV? I don’t blame them… I’m surprised they didn’t call the cops…

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little… but not by much…

I made it easier on myself because I knew I would either buy a Sony, as that is the brand of TVs I’ve owned for as long as I can remember, or a Samsung as my computer monitor, tablet and smartphone are that brand.

I hate making these kinds of decisions. On top of that, there are so many variations of TV: LED, OLED, curved screen, smart, 4K ultra HD, 3D, blah blah blah…

Then the size… all I knew was I wanted a bigger TV than 32-inch as that is the size I have in my office (Best Buy house brand, Insignia, that I bought on sale at the end of the year maybe a couple of years ago, the previous year’s model, the last box in the store… for a song… and I can’t even sing…)

40-inch? 55-inch? 60-inch? 65-inch? Oh, the agony.

My closest Best Buy (we actually have TWO in our little town of Culver City which must say something about the demographics although I’m not sure what) is a 25-minute walk from my house. Sometimes I walk up there to the Ralphs supermarket, sometimes to treat myself to Panda Express or a Subway sandwich. But I never drive there. It’s a reason for a 50-minute round-trip walk. So I wasn’t only going to Best Buy to look at TVs. At least, that’s my excuse…

Recently one friend purchased a 49-inch Sony 4K smart TV and another decided on the 55-inch. I was beside myself with jealousy.

So one day I was out driving (I only take my car out when I am picking up stuff too heavy or bulky to carry on the bus) when my car made a sudden left turn and drove up Overland Avenue, heading towards the Best Buy at Culver Center. I had no control over the steering wheel or brake. I thought for sure I was in an episode of the X-Files.

Next thing I knew my car was parking at Best Buy. Then I must have blacked out for a while because when I came to I was signing some paperwork.

“What day would be good for delivery?” asked the man in the blue polo shirt, who I had never seen in my life before.

“Uh, uh, Monday I guess,” I heard myself saying.

And so it was done. The Sony 55-inch 4K Ultra HD smart TV was going to be replacing my dear Trinitron.

What can I say, except why didn’t I do it sooner? A couple of people asked me why didn’t I get the 65-inch TV. I don’t know… I’m very happy with the 55-inch. The wall it is installed on goes from 17 feet to 20 feet high so I could easily install an IMAX screen there. But it isn’t always about the biggest. I’m comfortable with the size of it. And the picture is fabulous!

Saturday morning I was watching one of my favorite shows, Wild Photo Adventures with Doug Gardner on KCET Link, an independent Los Angeles public TV Station.

As the Trinitron no longer takes up all the space on the cabinet (and the flat screen is installed on the wall) there is now room for the felines in front of the TV.

Freddie is still in the discovery stage as you can see at the top of this page.

freddie

Satisfied that everything was okay, he felt comfortable enough to have a wash.

frankie freddie

Not wanting Freddie to steal all the thunder, Frankie decided to disturb his peaceful spot (what else is new?).

frankie

Previously, Frankie had discovered the new Blu Ray player that I bought specifically for this TV. (So far I’m just playing my old DVDs.) His favorite new trick is to press the on/off button when I am watching a movie, aarrrggghh… FRANKIE!!!!!

So in order to foil him I put this miniature London double decker bus in front of the switch, as you can see in the above photo.

But to no avail. Frankie figured that one out in a nano-second and batted it on to the floor.

frankie

I give up!

I don’t have a photo of him in the act, but the first night I had the TV, I heard Pharoah pitter pattering down the stairs and running across the living room floor. He jumped up on the TV cabinet, sniffed every square inch thoroughly, then when he was sure it was all in order, he ran back up the stairs.

So I think we are all agreed now that this was a good purchase.

And in case you are wondering, that box set of DVDs under the screen is Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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20th Annual Culver City Art Group Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again and hard to believe we have been doing this for twenty years!

I will be exhibiting several of my photos in the main show… still deciding exactly which ones but I’m narrowing it down. I’ll also have a table with some of my previous work in ceramic tiles.

These are two of the photos I know for sure I’ll be exhibiting:

Malibu Pelicans

Pelicans, Malibu, California

oregon Cape Meares

Cape Meares, Oregon

The image above came as a surprise when I was checking the photos in Lightroom. This was taken the day after my accident and concussion and I truly was walking around in a fuzz for a few days. Good thing I like to take pictures or I probably would not have remembered being here!

Both of these will be printed on my 13 x 19 inch (33 x 48 cm) Canon inkjet printer.

I have an older Spyder4Pro calibrater for my monitor and I just ordered the upgrade Spyder5Elite which should be arriving today. I have very tricky lighting conditions in my office… so I’m hoping the more sophisticated calibrater will help deal with it. Hope I’m not wasting my money!

The show is one week away and I am nowhere near ready so, as usual, panic has set in. As luck will have it, Aaron Bros is having one of their one cent frame sales and I got a 50% coupon (that can be used once a day) for other items… it all helps.

I’m also working on setting up a photo website on SmugMug which is taking longer than I would like, but I think I have my head wrapped around their engine now and I can move full steam ahead… would be nice to have something up and running for the show, but if not, at least for the New Year!

On with the day!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!