Nicest Guy on the Planet?

July 28, 2010

Mlandeli, quite possibly the nicest Guy on the planet.

Mlandeli Nblela is a pro tennis player from Zimbabwe.  Great guy, great shoot.

Mlandeli Ndlela tennis pro from Zimbabwe.

Mlandeli Ndlela tennis pro from Zimbabwe.

Adaptive X in 2 weeks!

July 20, 2010

It’s time again for Adaptive X at the summer X Games 16.  Can’t believe it’s already been a year since the last ones.

This year motor sports will take place at the LA Coliseum which should be epic!  I’m hoping that this will harken back to the days of glory when supercross legend Ricky Johnson  reigned supreme and hucked his big red machine off the incredible Parastyle jump at the LA Coliseum.

Hoping to make it to some of the Big Air events this year too!

Aaron Fotheringham drops in off a 10ft ledge at X games 15.

Chris Ridgway wins second year in a row. Adaptive motocross, X games 15.

Adaptive X practice at the 2009 X games skate park.

Aaron Fotheringham wins the Adaptvie Skate comptition at X games 15.

Amy Purdy director and founder of Adaptive Action Sports. 'AAS'

Glued and Screwed (gcp) part 6

June 11, 2010

Today’s entry is about a set wall.  Peter Gick is a master set builder and the creator of the set wall which I’m blogging about today.  His name is synonymous with creative perfection.

A few years ago I had this wall commissioned for a Lincoln job that I was shooting.  It was a portable wall 16 ft long and 10 ft high.  It was a rush job.  We needed the wall in 3 days.  Modern, dark woods, horizontal lines.  Peter took those simple directions and created a master piece.  After the job I couldn’t part with the wall.  It was too beautiful to just toss away.  So I stored it for a future project.

Little did I know that future project would involve a container.  So with a 20ft stake bed truck me, my nephew and brother hefted the wall onto the truck and hauled it to my home/container location.

I estimated it would take a couple hours to unload it from the truck, remove some support boards and screw it onto my studded container wall.  Of course there were a few other details to deal with.  Like the fact that the wall breaks down into two pieces for portability.  After all it’s a set wall not a permanent fixture.  And then there’s the fact that it’s 2 ft taller than my container.  Break out the saw!  And so on.

Well a couple hours after dragging the lower piece of wall off the truck it was obvious that this was going to be much more of a challenge than anticipated.  This was going to be MAJOR!!!  The photos will fill in the details of what would ensue.  My guess is that we logged about 14 hours of install time on that wall.

While a set piece looks like perfection on the outside it’s chalked full of temporary solutions on the inside.  Non of which consider being converted for later use.  So the hundred pounds of drywall screws, glued 1×4 and so on made for a huge challenge in preserving the beautiful facade.

It was well worth the effort in the end though.  The set wall has been re-purposed, saved from a land fill and looks amazing in my container.  This one’s for you Peter!

Metal Holes, Vinyl Windows (gcp) part 5

June 9, 2010

Installing the windows made for an incredible transformation to my container.  It went from being a metal box with some rough cut holes in it to being something that resembled some sort of dwelling or structure.

The installation went quick for the windows.  Well, kinda quick.  Actually two windows installed without a glitch and the other two took some wrangling.  One of the window holes I slightly miscalculated and had to re-cut the top of the hole, it was the left triangle shaped window.  The second tough window was the only vinyl nail-on type window of the bunch.  That window was a beast in size and in weight.  That hole too had to be re-cut, re-framed, done, undone and redone again.  I’m still battling that window now!!!

The skylights took some deep thinking to figure out how to deal with a rippling roof that looks like swells on a calm ocean.  Also there’s the issue of corrugation and what to do with that, meaning how to seal the skylight to the roof.  My nephew and expert builder came to the rescue on that hurdle.  He devised a way that the skylights were floated off the roof by way of a wooden sandwich stemming from the ceiling joists.  That netted a flat foot print for the skylight to sit on about an inch above the existing roof.  The only downside of that solution is a flashing and caulking nightmare down the road.

The vinyl windows are recycled.  I purchased them for pennies on the dollar at a store called ‘The ReStore”.  All sales benefit the Habitat for Humanity.  And all items in the store have been donated by contractors, home remodelers, etc.  They have  a great selection of vinyl windows.  And buying there contributes to a great cause.  Overall the windows were in excellent shape too!

Anyways the windows and skylights are a snug fit in their new metal environment.

Wood for Metal. (gcp) part 4

June 8, 2010

Sorry for the delay in Container Postings.  It’s been a wild and crazy ride.

I slightly underestimated my container construction schedule.  I first estimated 10 days.  Then I told my wife

it might be a few more than that.  Next I doubled the estimated time of completion.  Now I’ve had to triple my original

estimate.  I’m hoping we can cap it there!  As for claiming a completion date I’m remaining silent.  For my family I don’t think it will be soon enough.  Except Ian.  He looks forward to building with Dad when ever possible.

Over the next week I’ll be updating more often to catch up to where I’m at in the process now.  It’s looking good and taking shape.

For todays entry we’ll focus on the basics.  The images show the wooden framing that will become the backbone of all my future construction on the container.

The wooden studs will tie the windows to the metal siding, provide space for good insulation and support the finished walls which are drywall on one side and a lovely recycled set wall on the other.

I debated using metal studs instead of wood.  They’re greener in a way.  Easier to recycle and re-use.  But in the end I decided that wood was stronger for the purpose of tying in windows, skylights, etc.  I also looked into recycled lumber.  That proved to be difficult too.  The sources I contacted carried old lumber but it was more finish wood and old growth.  All of it beautiful, expensive and something you wouldn’t want to smother in fiberglass.  So the obvious choice became fresh lumber from the local supplier.

I also tried hard to cut down on the amount of wood I used.  Wall studs are spaced 23 inches apart instead of 16 inches.  The ceiling has joists/studs only where they’re needed to tie in the skylights.  Ceiling insulation is a bubble wrap material that will staple to the minimal beams.  Fiberglass insulation would require additional beams to staple the fiberglass to.

At this point I was sailing along and my 10 day goal looked vaguely realistic.

Enjoy the pics and I’ll have more soon.

Cheers

mm

Better to be Late. (gcp) part 3

May 20, 2010

Window Holes:

The welders were scheduled to show up at 9am.  Or should I say the plasma cutters?

It was 11:30 and I was scrambling to finalize and mark window positions.  Much to my relief the welders still hadn’t arrived.

By noon I got a frantic phone call and the welder admitted that he had forgotten about the appointment.  Something to do with a late night…  I didn’t ask anymore questions after that.

I took the opportunity to push him off until 3pm.  That turned into 4pm and by the time he coerced his plasma cutter into working it was getting late!

His air compressor was like ‘The Little Engine That Could’.  It was belching smoke and groaning at ear splitting decibels.  I visualized it chugging and saying, ‘I think I can.  I think I can!’ I just wanted the holes DONE!!!

All in all the day worked out great.  Everything just took twice as long as I had planned on.

At the moment framing is in progress.  More on that in a couple days.

Off to the Races. (gcp) part 2

May 18, 2010

The container has arrived and I’m off to the races.  My goal is to have the container completed and ready to move my office into within 10 days of delivery.  Today is day number 6.  By end of day 7 I’m hoping to have the windows, skylights and insulation installed.

The images in this post are from day 1-2.  Next post will be days 3-5.

So far things have gone smoothly and I’m on schedule.  I attribute that to planning and prepping.

Once the container was dropped I had to build the planter first.  The Arizona Cypress I found were old and when the nursery pulled the plants for delivery they had to sever the root system  between pot and ground.  So it was urgent that the plants be put into healthy moist soil ASAP.

Next was leveling the container and pushing it into place.  I used a single 4 ton bottle jack and became one with the Egyptians.

Next post you’ll see the welders in action and how the door, windows and skylights play out.

The images in this post are all frame grabs from my Canon cameras.  I’m documenting the process in video so I can create a mini-documentary after completion.

This project is a blast!

Ford Fiesta

May 14, 2010

While it may have been soggy in Dallas the Ford Fiesta came shining through.
It was a great shoot despite rain, sleet wind and COLD!!! At least the snow held
off until after the shoot.
And the Fiesta is a sharp car. This too will bolster Ford’s sales I’m sure.
As always it was a pleasure working with the creative minds of Latcha.

Sunny Fiesta

Sunny Fiesta shoot in soggy Dallas, Tx.

Sunny Fiesta shoot in soggy Dallas, Tx.

The Green Container Project aka (gcp) part 1

May 9, 2010

Interior view of 40ft Triton container.

Exterior view of Triton 40ft container.

can we go yet?

I’m adding a home office and I’m going to be blogging about the adventure as it happens.
For a long time I’ve been fascinated with container and pre-fab building. So I decided to get containerized myself and create a home office space that is green and repurposed savvy.
The unit will consist of a 40ft sea cargo container, repurposed dual pane windows, R19/R30 insulation, solar panels and repurposed office furniture.
The goal is to create an office space that keeps materials out of landfills and pre-mature recycling as well as being self sustaining.
The first step was container shopping and scoring the container.
Next step is home prep and delivery. More on that as it happens.

Crude Oil, The Fabric of Our Life

May 5, 2010

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

The good news is BP has managed to get a shut off valve on one of the leaks for the Gulf Oil Spill. Bad news is that this hasn’t stopped the oil spewing from the source.

Oil platforms are never far from the surface of my mind.  Years ago I dove an oil rig for an editorial assignment. It was an amazing experience. The rig teemed with wildlife. A steady current swept by the rig keeping the life active and swaying in the liquid breeze. The oil rig was healthy and lively.  After the dive a platform liaison informed us that the water returned to the ocean is cleaner than that pumped into the rig.  I liked hearing that and seeing how healthy an oil rig environment can be.
The contrast between support of life and threat to life that oil platforms thrust upon the surrounding environment is perplexing.  I remain torn on the subject. I no longer want me or anyone else to be dependent upon crude oil. But I cannot conduct my daily life without it.  Meanwhile platforms provide shelter for marine life in a liquid desert.  A healthy life at that!
Back at home I’m typing on my plastic keyboard, listening to my radio, consuming electricity, drove to my office in a gas powered car and so on. We cannot exist without oil. It doesn’t matter how much you dislike the stuff.

Meanwhile we have a mega leak in the Gulf.  It is threatening entire coast lines, fisheries and possibly about to displace human habitat too.
As the oil continues to spew from a mile beneath the surface of the gulf I’m getting less and less torn.  For how long can we stand to have oil be the fabric of our life.


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