Results tagged “SoCal” from kwc blog

My Tour concludes

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Today I hung out taking photos and getting autographs at the stage start in Santa Barbara. I thought I'd drive up Balcom Canyon after that to get some photos from the final climb, but the CHPs had the road blocked off. After hiking about a kilometer up, I decided to turn back because I had a photographer's bib (a bright yellow bib that says "photo" on it = all access pass) waiting for me at the finish line and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take my first real sprint finish photo.

I drove like a madman to get to the finish line -- it's hard to stay in front of professional bikers -- mostly because I kept on making wrong turns. With all time I had to prepare, you would think that I would have printed off street maps.

I did get my first real sprint finish photo. It wasn't as good as I had hoped, but it was exciting to give it a try.

JJ Haedo beats out Paolo Bettini and Greg Henderson

Stage 6 Report: Santa Barbara - Santa Clarita

USC barely beats ASU

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I went down to SoCal this weekend to visit my relatives and watch the USC/ASU game. I have season tickets to Stanford games, but I can take only so much joy out of watching Stanford losing every week. The SC home games are also much more fun, with much better tailgating and much better freebies. The only SC gear I brought to the game was an SC visor; I left with two t-shirts, a lanyard, and several pins all for free.

Although USC won the game 28-21, USC fans like myself are a bit worried: many would agree that SC doesn't deserve to be in the top 5 right now. USC was up 21-0 early on, but then let ASU tie the game at 28-21. The game was rescued by one player alone: Chauncey Washington, who carried the ball 10 times on a single drive to put SC up 28-21.

The biggest weakness, or at least biggest focal point for critics is QB John Booty. Booty waited a long time behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart to become starter, and two Heisman trophies cast a big shadow. Booty started the season better than Leinhart's first games, but instead of showing promising potential, Booty has gotten worse each game. His adjustment has been made more difficult by the lack of Reggie Bush to throw to and injuries to top receivers Jarrett and Smith, but Booty single-handedly gave ASU 14 points on Saturday: a fumble in USC territory and an interception for a TD after misreading the coverage.

Cal has done a much better job disposing of the same opponents that SC has faced. Whereas USC has been one play away from losing against WSU and ASU, Cal won each by several TDs. It's quite possible that Cal will beat SC and I would hardly qualify it as the upset it was last time.

At least I have high hopes for the USC/Stanford game that I'll be watching in person: even Navy crushed Stanford, so I don't think it will matter how many fresh-out-of-high-school players SC has in the line-up; a JV squad could beat Stanford right now.

Getty sun comparison

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The advantage of going to the Getty twice, as well as having a partner the second time around armed with another camera, is that you have plenty of photos with which to make comparisons. Our most recent trip was much later in the day that my first trip, and the sky was slightly more overcast, which meant that the dramatic shadows of my previous photos were missing. However, we were also there fairly close to sunset, so we got to watch as the building transitioned from bright white to orange hues. The reflections off of the curved structures were also much more intense, and in some cases were reminescent of Gehry buildings.

Getty Sun-01 Getty Sun-15

Getty Sun-03 Getty Sun-04

More photo comparisons are in the extended entry. You may want to check out horizonline's Getty photos -- I stuck with a telephoto lens while horizonline used the stock EF-S rebel lens (save time and weight). She ended up taking many of the photos I wish I could have taken (including some of the ones seen here), given that I often had to stand halfway across the plaza to even be able to get enough of what I wanted into a shot.

Gehry's House

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gehry-3

Over the weekend we swung by Frank Gehry's house in Santa Monica. The location suprised me, as I expected someone like Gehry to live in an ultra-exclusive, gated community with huge walls and attack dogs keeping people away. Instead, his house is relatively modest on an open public street in Santa Monica.

His house isn't in his blobular, twisted metal style. Rather, it has more in common with his earlier works like Edgemar that emphasize simple rectilinear forms. The materials are also fairly modest, making use of both wood and corrugated steel, as well as copious amounts of plants to provide some sense of privacy. Although you can see a large portion of the house in this photo, the actual front of the house is well-protected by dense foliage. Driving down the street it is a home that you notice, but it does not overwhelm the neighborhood that it is in.

I felt rather bad when I noticed his dogs come out onto the patio, as architectural appreciation shifted into the realization that I was point a camera at someone's private home, and it's understandable that he's building a new house (so I hear). Even with his windows set relatively high, it must be disconcerting to regularly have cameras pointed at your home.

Gehry House Photo Album

Back from SoCal

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I had a good weekend with d down in LA, where we toted our twin Canon Digital Rebels around and snapped photos of everything vaguely building-like. From my previous entry, you can tell that I spent some time at the beach. We also spent part of the weekend watching a table 20 LA'ers go ga-ga over the new PSP, eating dinner with my Aunt and Uncle, and discovering that, contrary to common sense, other Yale women have dated MIT men (Friendster collision!).

Most of our weekend, though, had more of an architectural theme as we saw Gehry's home in Santa Monica and the Getty on Saturday. It was my first visit to Gehry's home, d's second; d's first visit to the Getty, my second. On Sunday we went to the Renzo Piano exhibit at LACMA, which should be there awhile considering how much money they raised to build Piano's future extension to the museum.

I just upgraded to a Flickr Pro account, which means I should have plenty of storage space to blog aplenty about Gehry's home and the Getty (no photos of the Piano exhibit allowed), but for now, the beach entry will have to do as I must find a way to sleep off my Red Bull and coffee.

Mayne wins Pritzker

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district 7Thom Mayne Wins Pritzker Prize

I only learned about Caltrans District 7 building recently, but that building and the under-construction SF federal building that Mayne also designed are on my short list for buildings to visit.

USC #1

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Man, I love USC football, but I didn't expect them to absolutely kill Oklahoma. Usually USC builds up the drama with a porous first half defense, but after allowing an early OU touchdown, it became non-stop USC: SI.com - A clear No. 1: USC routs OU 55-19 in Orange Bowl

More LA buildings

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The NYTimes has an interesting article on Mayne's new Caltrans District 7 HQ in downtown LA. The progress photos from the construction site don't look nearly as interesting as the photos the Times took, but having already seen the Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall and Jose Rafael Moneo's Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the completist in me wants to make sure that I see all of LA's big new buildings.

Thanksgiving

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I had a great Thanksgiving. As I am prone to do, I will be backposting entries describing some of the things I did in more detail, but, in summary, I got to do nearly everything I consider worthwhile: spending time with family, eat lots of mashed potatoes, looking at Impressionist and Modern paintings, watching USC beat up Notre Dame 41-10, reading, and taking lots of photos.

As it often occurs with my reading, there were many coincidences surrounding my reading choices. I have been reading Umberto Eco's Travels in Hyperreality, which is a series of essays that indirectly reveals some of the genesis of Foucault's Pendulum. My aunt, out of the blue, handed me The Da Vinci Code, which is, in many ways, a light/pop version of Foucault's Pendulum. As we discussed The Da Vinci Code, she brought up the Glendale/Forest Lawn Cemetary, which has a stained-glass rendition of The Last Supper. This rendition, as well as the cemetary in general, are directly discussed in Travels in Hyperreality. In a bunch of clippings she was keeping with The Da Vinci Code, she also had a clipping with a photo of the glass Last Supper, which made the Eco essay easier to understand. All-in-all, it was a convergence that made the material easier to appreciate, though my paranoia wonders why these convergences so frequently center around the Templars.

I didn't have time to visit the cemetary on this trip, but there will be future opportunities.

USC/Notre Dame Homecoming

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ND  7  3  0  0 10
USC 3 14 10 14 41

I got to watch USC beat the crap out of Notre Dame for their homecoming. It was my first USC home game, and it was a whole lot more fun watching a game there than it is at Stanford, even if it was pouring rain on us most of the game. There's just a whole lot more going on when you go to a USC home game than there at Stanford.

It was a typical Pete Carroll game: USC looked terrible in the first quarter and a half, completely unable to stop the Notre Dame running game, then they made some adjustments and completely unloaded on Notre Dame. Leinhart racked up 5 TDs/400 yards, Reggie Bush had a great cut that lead to a 70 yard touchdown, Jarrett got a couple, Smith got one in his return from a broken leg, and a fake punt with seven minutes remaining got the Notre Dame staff pissed off as USC was already up 34-10 (and soon went to 41-10 afterwards).

LACMA fun

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I went with my Aunt and Uncle to see the "Renoir to Matisse: The Eye of Duncan Phillips" exhibit at LACMA over my Thanksgiving weekend. While I enjoyed the exhibit, I think I would have enjoyed it more if the title wasn't such a misnomer; it should have been titled "A Renoir to A Matisse, with stuff inbetween," as the exhibit only featured one painting each of its headline artists. If they used a more accurate title they might have also charged less and it would have been less crowded.

The Renoir was quite good, but the Matisse was not one of my favorites (I'm much more fond of the Red Fish from the Pushkin exhibit that LACMA held). There were several Van Gogh paintings that I liked (all three from the last two years of his life), including one of a grass field that I appreciated for the way it changed under different distances of viewing. There were two Klees that I liked as well (and two I didn't like), which is unusual given that, in general, I've never liked his stuff. Also in the collection was a Degas dancers painting that I liked much more than the ones at the Norton Simon.

After we finished the exhibit we wandered into the permanent collection, where they had displayed some Gaugins, Renoirs, and Cezannes that I had missed in my previous visit. In some ways, these were more interesting than the ones in the Duncan Philips exhibit, as some of them were outside their typical style (at least in my experience); there were also more of them than in the Phillips exhibit. I also took another look at the de La Tour Magdalen with the Smoking Flame painting to get some closer shots.

I've posted a photo gallery of the entire experience (only the first twelve are from the Duncan Philips exhibit, the rest are from the permanent collection). With some of the paintings I was diligent enough to snap a photo of the placard, but within the actual Renoir-Matisse exhibit photos "weren't allowed," so the need to be discrete overrode documentation.

Phew, USC beats Stanford

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USC 10  7  7  7 31
STA 7 21 0 0 28

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I love going to USC games. I haven't been to any home games, but their games at Stanford are great events. There are enough USC fans that it seems like a home game, and the USC marching band does performances both before and after the game to keep the USC fans entertained. You also have to like a team where even the head coach is playing catch during warm-up, and the football players come over the USC section to salute them.

Last time I saw USC play Stanford in person, USC stomped the Cardinal 49-17 (2002), and given that today's line was 22 points, I was expecting a similar experience as two years ago. Man was I wrong.

USC went up early, but Stanford picked away at the lead with a pass attack and good punt returns. USC also made its share of mistakes, including allowing an 82 yard touchdown on the final play of the first half on a run where Stanford was just trying to run out the clock. Even when USC forced fumbles, Stanford seemed to recovered (3-0). As the game went into halftime I was shocked to see Stanford up 28-17.

The second half was a different story. Reggie Bush seemed to wake up -- his punt returns looked like someone was hitting the spin button on Madden and his running game went from backwards to 5+ yards/carry. USC scored two touchdowns in the second half and could have scored three (they ran the clock out), and their offense gained control over the game.

It helped that Buddy Teevens seemed eager to coach Stanford out of the game. Despite having no evidence of a running game in the first half, Stanford kept going to the running game in a failed attempt to run some time off the clock. If he had stuck with the successful passing game, who knows, but instead Stanford kept going three and out, which gave USC plenty of time and opportunity to catch up.

USC is Number 1!

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USC gets Number 1 in the media poll, splitting the title with LSU. The BCS gets one more year(?) before its contract is due, so it can't be said that USC killed it, but there will certainly be a lot of impetus for change over the summer, hopefully to a system that can actually be understood and explained.

I have a post about the Rose Bowl on my other computer, which is currently awaiting a battery charging. (Rose Bowl entry now posted under Jan 1). I didn't watch the Sugar Bowl, but USC's better :).

USC wins Rose Bowl

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01-01-04.USC Rose Bowl-1.jpg

Final 1st2nd3rd4thT 
 Michigan (4)007714 
 USC (1)7714028

There were two things I found funny about this game. One was a postgame quote from DE Kenechi Udeze: "People thought we were a 'finesse' line. Half of us on the defensive line can't even spell finesse. We were offended." The other was that this game was billed by ABC as embodiment of man versus machine, polls versus the BCS computer-generated standings. College football seems to be the last place where our fear of obsolescence by computer would turn up, but it has, and it's amusing, partly in a pedantic sense, as the role of a computer in this is mostly irrelevant. The BCS standings are a bunch of mathematical equations thought up by pseudo-statistician humans who are too lazy to work out their solutions on paper. The computer serves the role of the accomplice, accelerating the application of our own hubris, our desire to be able to perfectly categorize, rank, and file all that's under the sun (and stadium lights).

Watching USC play proves the adage that the really good teams create their own luck. Whenever an opportunity presented itself, the USC players were in the position to take advantage of it, from an errant Navarre pass bounced off of Edwards' foot into the hands of two waiting USC backs to the constant pressure from the corners that resulted in a USC player kicking the ball out of Navarre's hand as he dove past and other drops.

Nearly every aspect of USC's game was on fire. They lit up Michigan for nine sacks, tipped passes, knocked the ball out of Navarre's hands multiple times, blocked the field goal attempt on Michigan's first drive, punished Michigan's punt returner on his only return attempt, and even managed to complete a TD pass to their own QB.

Norm Chow seemed to have the pulse of the game -- USC went deep multiple times, and nearly every single time they pulled it off perfectly. The time of possession clock was heavily in Michigan's favor as a result of USC's efficient drives downfield. Matt Leinart hardly seemed a freshman as he was ranking up Carson Palmer numbers, and Mike Williams looked like an NFL player playing with kids.
ESPN.com - NCF - College Football Recap

Los Angeles Cathedral

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I got some shots of the recently built Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles while I was down there for Thanksgiving. Although it's big like a cathedral, it does defy expectations in terms of design. It reminds me most of the MIT church in terms of its unconventionalness, though even in it's "sparse" appearance it still managed to cost a pretty penny. The coolest feature is probably the tapestries on the inside, which were designed using a computer program that allowed them to weave in an especially high amount of realism into the faces of the saints that are depicted. The sculpture of the Virgin Mary below was done by Angelica Houston's husband and is supposed to be a blend of all races. My Aunt says that all races ends up looking a lot like Sandra Bullock.
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Los Angeles Cathedral

USC 52, Oregon State 28

No. 2 USC beat Oregon State 52-28, and No. 1 Oklahoma lost to Kansas State, yet, according to BCS predictions, because of a Notre Dame loss, USC will rise to No. 1 in the polls but drop to No. 3 in the BCS and be shutout of a national title bid. If that's confusing, it's because it doesn't make sense. BCS sucks.

Gehry Disney Part 2

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When I last visited the Gehry Disney Concert Hall, I only managed to get photos of half of the building, as the garden and children's amphitheater side were closed off. Luckily, I was down in LA again so I made a circuit around the other half. The photos are much closer up than last time, so it might be a tad bit hard to get a grasp of the overall building, but the new photo set includes close-ups of the small shiny part of the building, the garden rose sculpture, some interior shots of the lobby, and a couple of shots that show how the bracing is done. I still haven't made it inside the actual concert hall, but I'm hoping to get tickets to a December show when I next visit.
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Gehry Disney Photos Part 2

Good day for USC

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Despite being ranked #2 in all major polls, USC was still ranked #3 by the BCS formula. Today everything was fixed up as Ohio State had the decency to lose to Michigan, and USC stomped UCLA. Mike Williams had nearly 200 yards as well as two TDs after the first quarter. The score says 47-22 final, but that seems too close for the actual game, which was 33-2 at the half (the two came from a blocked PAT). Oh, and Stanford lost to Cal.
USC 47, UCLA 22

USC blanks Arizona

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USC, now ranked No. 2, looks like they're in top form.
- USC 45, Arizona 0

USC gets big boost from VaTech

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USC unloaded on #6 Washington State and received the good news of Virginia Tech's win over #2 (and previously undefeated) Miami came in. After it seemed that the Sugar Bowl was out of reach after their terrible loss to Cal, USC is back in the national title hunt.
USC 43, Washington State 16

USC beats Washington

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USC is making itself look better and better in the BCS standings with a solid win against the Huskies. This, along with VaTech's loss to Miami will most likely push them into the #3 slot.
USC 43, Washington 23

and takes the shillelagh for another year
USC 45, Notre Dame 14

USC Stomps Stanford

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It still doesn't make up for losing to Cal, but it still is nice to stomp all over a Pac-10 opponent. The Trojans were so far ahead (41-14 at half) that they even stuck in a backup quarterback with the name "Booty."

In related news, eight teams started undefeated this week. Only three survived (Oklahoma, Miama, Virginia Tech), with the most noticeable upset being Ohio State, which lost to number 22 Wisconsin.
USC 44, Stanford 14

USC beats the Sun Devils

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Not quite redemption for their play last week, but they turned in on in the second half and won by a comfortable amount.
USC 37, ASU 17

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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LACMA has a permanent exhibit of Japanese art that is rather cool. They built a building specifically for it that uses fiberglass filters on the windows and running water to create the effect that you are in a Japanese country-side home surrounded by shoji screens. One thing that I thought was cool is they had a tiger/dragon scroll. You can click on the image to see a larger version that shows some of the brush detail - I think the dragon is particularly cool. In the extended entry I also posted some pictures of Bishamonten, the Guardian of the North, squashing a demon beneath his feet, and the Carefree Hotei, painted by Zen Monk Fugai Ekun.
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You win some, you lose some

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Being a Redskins/Trojans fan, this isn't the season start I expected. The Redskins improve to 3-1 by beating the Pats 20-17, giving them their best season start in four years, while the USC Trojans, who had high hopes of a national title, lose to Cal in triple OT.
washingtonpost.com: Hang Time for Redskins
- USC Recap

Frank Gehry - Disney Concert Hall

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The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is complete and they'll be letting visitors in soon. I like most of Gehry's work so I wanted to get some photos while I was down there for the weekend.

I also had the opportunity to visit a Gehry exhibit just across the street at the MoCA, which was really interesting. I imagine what they do with this exhibit is whenever a new Gehry building opens, they transport this exhibit over there to help promote the opening. They had tons of models of (none of these projects have finished construction, and some may never be constructed): - Le Clos Jordan winery in Ontario, Canada - Corcoran Art Museum extension in DC - NY Times headquarters - Marques de Riscal in Elciego Spain - Princeton Science Library - Puente de Vida, Panama - Stata Complex in Cambridge, MA - Gateway to Venice - Astor Place Hotel in New York

And by tons, I means dozens of models, large and small from various stages in the planning, from unintelligible preliminary sketch (not a single Gehry sketch was understandable to me), to final working models (where available). If your name is Mr. Tyler and you happen to like architecture, you might enjoy seeing this exhibit if you happen to be in LA...unless you really dislike Gehry.

I wasn't allowed to take photos of these models, but I have posted my Disney Concert Hall photos.

USC annihilates Hawaii

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61 points and almost double the score of Hawaii? Also, four of their touchdowns came from their freshman running backs. The other top four teams crushed their opponents as well, so USC will probably sit tight in the four spot for another week.
- ESPN.com - NCF - College Football Recap

USC beats BYU 35-18

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BYU rallied from 21-0 to 21-18, but two more scores by 4th-ranked USC put the game back in control.
- Two late Trojan scores blunt Cougar rally

USC 23, Auburn 0

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8th ranked USC crushes 6th ranked Auburn 23-0.
ESPN.com - NCF - Recap - USC at Auburn - 08/30/2003

I'm going to try to make my pilgrammage to SoCal to see USC beat up Stanford in October.

Orange Bowl: Go USC!

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In the matchup of the Heisman-candidate quarterbacks, Palmer crushed Banks (with the help of some excellent USC D). USC simply unloaded on Iowa for the entire game by spreading the ball around on offense (Fargas, Williams, McCullough, Byrd). Palmer racked up 303 yards and a TD pass (Williams). Iowa was able to put seven on the board after a 100-yard opening kickoff return, but after that was fairly silent. In the words of Mike Williams, "After the kickoff, they didn't do anything."

Orange Bowl Boxscore:


Final 1st 2nd 3rd 4th T
Iowa (3) 10 0 0 7 17
USC (5) 7 3 14 14 38

Palmer outduels Banks in bowl showdown

USC and Redskins

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USC going to Sugar Bowl
- After Georgia and Washington State win, Rose Bowl ruled out
- Notre Dame not picked as at-large

Redskins fumble game to Giants, 27-21
- Comeback ruined by Bailey fumble on punt return and McCants fumble after catch in 4th quarter
- Ramsey came in for injured Wuerrfel, led comeback
- 5 turnovers

USC crushes Notre Dame

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Man, what a great season: USC kills Notre Dame 44-13. This was the first time since 1983 USC has beat both USC and Notre Dame. USC walks away with the shillelagh (or however its spelled).

Go USC!

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USC crushes UCLA 52-21
- Palmer #2 on Pac-10 All-Time passing leaders