Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Days 155

Day 155
Friday August 1st

Okay here we go, August 1st, which means many things to many different folks. This day the major significance for me is quite simple-- another round with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Aspirin in hand, paper work in order, credit card at the ready, 14 cheap paperback novels in tow I head out to the DMV. Much to my surprise the whole ordeal this year took all of 12 minutes. Flabbergasted was I, and that is an absolute understatement! I still have difficulty believing it but I have the bloody sticker to prove it!

Let me put this in perspective: the first time I tried to register the car in California it took me almost four months to do so. First off the car would not "pass" the CA state smog inspection. Why? Because the dang thing was a brand new PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle) and every smog test registered absolute zero pollutants. Every single state registered smog inspection station in this frikin town tested it and concurred that instead of the car emitting emissions so minuscule the machines could not register it, their machines were erroring out and I had to go somewhere else. That was just the beginning. Eventually I had to have the dealership back in Maine send a notarized letter attesting to the fact that the car was a brand new PZEV that met California emission standards. I then had to have the dealership here certify the letter and add a copy of the SAME document to the file. Add a little more red tape here, a few more hoops to jump through there, endless hours of hair pulling and arm twisting and voila four months later I am legal to drive in California.

Jump ahead a few years. In 2006, it took 13 months, two trips to traffic court, endless hours waiting in line at the Ventura & Oxnard offices, 50+ phone calls to the most obtuse state employees, and an estimated 379 gay hairs to do so. Registration was due August 1st 2006, it was not until mid-September that it went through. My 2007 registration was officially granted in March of 2008. That there is a whole other headache in and of itself. We will save that for another day. For now though I will relax and bask in the glory of a brand new registration and a whole 12 minutes to get it. Yah...

DMV 2009

Days 144- 154

Days 151- 154
Monday July 28th- Thursday July 31st

Three camera bodies and not a single lens among them-- The Dark Ages ensue...

Days 149- 150
Saturday July 26th & Sunday July 27th

Went climbing and hiking for the weekend, I had a goal to shoot more stills and add some really unique visuals perspectives to the blog. Then this happened, best summed up as KERLUNK! I didn't take into account that I am a blooming idiot when thinking up my shooting plans for the weekend. "The best-laid plans of mice and men/often go awry,..." Bulox, righto!



Days 144- 148
Monday July 21st- Friday July 25th

I divided my time this week between filming a ton of different scenes & story arcs and researching and writing for this new documentary trip. It was hectic and chaotic and stressful. It is a new experience to try and put all the logistics together for an international adventure. Now add the fact that I am doing so while living out of my car, yah right, a bloody mess indeed! So far though all is going rather peachy. We are making great progress on the new proposal and the current filming is taking off at warp speed. Both projects seem to be taking on a life of there own and I feel like I am just along for the ride.

Days 141- 143

Days 141- 143
Friday July 18th- Sunday July 20th

Hiked up into Ojai to catch up on a ton of filming. I managed to take a few stills, though for the most part the camera stayed in my bag and after a few days I totally forgot about it. It has been quite buggy in the high desert these last few weeks so I brought along the tent just to be safe. Honestly after just over five months of this little experiment this is only the 2nd time I have had to use a tent. (The first time was a few weeks ago up at Pine Mtn.) C'et le vie, c'est California. The weather is almost always manageable, even the coldest of nights never get below the 20's. So far I have only been caught out in the rain once and with any luck don't have to worry about any more rain until November-ish. There hasn't been any real need to set up a tent. Logistically sleeping on the ground as opposed to tenting it is wiser as well.

Most of the time I am camping out illegally. I try to pull into a spot around 11 or 12 at night and am out in the morning between 6 and 7am. I am usually only at any particular spot for a few hours, 6 or 7 at the most to reduce the chances of getting busted or harassed. Spending ten or fifteen minutes setting up a tent at night in the dark and then breaking it down in the morning is just a hassle. Secondly a tent is much more conspicuous. When someone sees a tent off the side of the road it is quite obvious what is going on. And when what is going on is slightly illegal, it is best to avoid attracting attention. When I am out hiking I like to travel light, the 5 pounds a tent takes up can be better used with water, camera gear and food (and by food I mean beer). So for the most part I have just been sleeping under the stars and foregoing the hassle of lugging a tent around everywhere.

I changed this up this weekend. I decided to set up a little base camp in the Sespe, something to come back to each night. A place to call home for a few nights. With the warm weather sweeping through the summer the creepy crawling bugskis are out and about. The black flies and horse flies are out in droves, forming annoying black clouds shimmering about head high over the trail. Relaxing while being eaten alive in a pristine setting is an impossibility. So out came the tent and chillaxing commenced. All in all not a bad spot even with the threat of mountains of water pouring down on my head in the middle of the night!

Waking up still in one piece on the sand bar, thankfully no flash floods during the night.Thunderstorms had been predicted for the higher elevations and flash floods for lower elevations. I was a little suspect of setting up everything on this sandbar, but come on you can't beat it in terms of scenic properties. So I tossed caution into the wind and went with it. Fortunately we were fine for the duration. (One of two frames I shot over the weekend.)