So on the way back from lunch at Casino el Camino yesterday, I saw this on the dirtiest, stinkiest, most disgusting sidewalk in North America (6th Street, Austin, Texas) and see this. If it were a Pepsi top, I think the same old thought would come to mind: “People are thoughtless pigs, littering on my street.” Maybe even if it were a Budweiser top. Maybe. Definitely if it were ANY light beer. But Coke has brand power with me like no other. I wonder why. Because I’ve never, in 44 years, had a bad experience with it? Or maybe I have, and it still didn’t prevent me from buying it again.
So in case you’re wondering why I’ve been so silent over the past few months, above is a big part of the reason. Infor sent me on a 10-city photo tour shooting their actual customers, and we’re on city seven. Great job, great people to work with and if this doesn’t wear out my shutter, nothing will. Tens of thousands of images into this thing, I still can’t call it work. Thanks to everyone who has provided support and assistance through this bigtime shoot. Onward.
Living in a restaurant-rich town like Austin, one of the most commonly asked questions for business lunchers and couples looking for a place to have a nice dinner is, “Where should we go?” Consider The Carillon at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center. Chef Josh Watkins is one of the most brilliant creative culinary minds in the business, and he continues to amaze and impress me with the things he does with the most simple ingredients. I shot a bunch of his stuff last night, and the best part? The team and I got to eat it all afterward. Tough job, those food shoots. Big thanks to Chef Watkins and his staff, and to Keith Purcell, Terrence Moline and Delia Huang for all the help.
So I finally got an iPhone, and as much as I like it, I’m astonished by the quality of the photos it takes. I say “it,” because there are no settings. It’s all automatic. This is the first photo I took with it, today, on 6th Street. The only Photoshop work done here was to cut the file size in half. Incredible. Those people there at Apple may just have a future in computers and stuff.
So you’ve finished a full day of executive education and you’re like me in that you like to eat and drink more than just about anything else. Gabriel’s is your spot. Full bar, tasty grub crafted by Chef Josh Watkins, a great view of the tower and a bunch of cool old Longhorn memorabilia everywhere. The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center is easily the best kept secret in Austin meeting space. Unless you’re an Aggie.
Sunset off the back deck at Ledge Stone, yesterday.
Fosforus is in the planning stages of next year’s food craze for the Texas State Fair, and I believe we’ve got a finalist here with “wearable food,” for those of you who have had enough fried this-and-that. Recipes vary, but this particular one here is a cheese-baked ciabatta roll, buttered on the inside for easy slip-on. Special thanks to hand model Will Wade.
I never even knew this was a contest, but evidently, at The Shady Grove down there on Barton Springs Road, you can sit in (and tweet from) the first ever “Tweet Seat Champion Chair.” Evidently, Twitter‘s GPS functionality can identify from exactly where the most tweets have been sent, and to think our own little Shady Grove is such a hotspot for the twitterazzi, having broadcast over 71 million tweets in 2009 alone. Congratulations, Shady Grove, and thanks to Twitter’s media people for the use of this shot.
I’m not sure if he was ever in the PGA of America, but the late Larry Trader managed Willie’s golf course for years, doing all the stuff that golf pros do. I ran across this shot of him I got back in 2004, a few years before he died, and it remains my favorite portrait. Probably because I knew Larry, and we’d spent a couple of hours together on this day talking about Willie and Evel Knievel and Ray Benson and Ear Campbell and Coach Royal and all the things that happened out there at Pedernales and on the road. And because I know that he bummed that very cigarette there off my friend Mopar, who today will give a few golf lessons at Ascarate Park in El Paso. I never asked Larry what happened to that finger.
I started this blog on the suggestion and encouragement of the talented team at Fosforus. In terms of ROI, it has been a homerun. Off the charts. The only investment has been time posting entries, and I’ve had actual cash return. So big thanks to WordPress and to Fosforus. That said, I think I’ll join the rest of you bloggers out there who use these things to tell people about your day (no, I’m not making fun of you…I repeat, I join you). Today started out with trip to the dump. 1-800-Got-Junk is not effectively marketing themselves if they’re not using an image like this with a caption that reads something like, “You’ll Never Get The Smell Out of Your Nostril Hairs.” You think Hell has fire and stuff? Mine has six inches of foul-smelling slippery grey mud.
Then, I drove back downtown. Probably shouldn’t be snapping photos on a 70-foot flyover at 55mph.
I saw a bad wreck at the intersection of MLK and the I-35 access road. I hope everyone was okay, and by the look of that Prius, I bet they are. Astounding structural resilience.
I drove past the Capitol and thought about all the people I know who’ve worked there.
Then I saw this in a parking lot in Sunset Valley.
Then I drove back downtown and noticed how far along the W Hotel is coming.
When I got up to Congress, I saw a small herd of those Segue tour people.
And one of them wiped out. I couldn’t help laughing. Sorry.
Then I went south on Congress to shoot some of those traliers that sell food, but got there to find that they’re not open on Mondays. Shit.
So I went home.
Oh, and today is my birthday.
Maybe that’s what I should call my business. Maybe not. Anyhoo, the good folks over at UT Golf Club have asked for my assistance in producing some materials to help them secure the deal to host the 2012 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Championships. I’m honored to be a part of the effort. I drew this map tonight with some of the crumbs I’ve picked up down at Fosforus.