Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

I’m happy to also say I recently finished a video production certificate from the Bay Area Video Coalition, learning the basics of operating cameras, sound, lighting, editing and producing a final product. It was paid for through the California Training Benefits/Workforce Investment Act to help displaced workers from when I got laid off as a newspaper reporter at the Contra Costa Times.

In thinking about the end to the year of the snake, which happens to be my sign, I realized the value of laying low. It was a tough year for many around me, and there were higher expectations in the post-2012 apocalypse. But like the snake, you can overcome limitations by being set up for big things to happen, and striking when the opportunity arises. Besides the video program and working in journalism in ways I never imagined, including shooting for an internationally broadcast TV station, this year also brought other opportunities to look forward to in the next year. I picked up more work as a fine food catering waiter to fill the gaps of being a freelance journalist, and became a bartender. I started playing in a band again, and have a lot of other things going that I don’t want to jinx. I’m also glad to just be here, as just making it to the next day is an accomplishment for the opportunities of tomorrow.

With that we ride into 4712, the year of the horse.

Here’s link to video I took of nude activist Gypsy Taub of Berkeley and her husband Jaymz Smith getting married in San Francisco yesterday.

Taub has become known locally for her protests after the city banned public nudity. The wedding ended with the couple getting naked, a mariachi band and others joining them in dance. Then the police took them into custody and gave them citations. During the ceremony Taub said another citation had been dismissed earlier that day in court. The San Francisco Chronicle did a feature on her a few days before, which is available here. I shot the video for Ruptly RT News.

Here’s a video I did of The Secret Secretaries playing “Hashtag” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at The Knockout in San Francisco.

By Eric Louie

Demonstrations were held nationwide on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 to support higher pay for fast food workers. This demonstration shut down the McDonald’s at 14th and Jackson streets in Oakland, Calif. during lunch. Workers were asked to join, and some did. Protesters said the $8 or $9 per hour workers get is not enough. Recently the state minimum wage was approved for a rise to $10 an hour by 2016, but labor advocates say it should be $15 an hour.

By Eric Louie

The East Bay Bike Party is held on the second Friday of the month. It meets at a different BART station each time, with the group leaving at 8 p.m. There’s a lot of different bikes, with some having flashy lights and sound systems. The route is between 12 and 16 miles long, has has a few stops, and ends around the last BART trains of the night, which is around midnight. As the organizers say, it is not Critical Mass, the monthly Friday rush hour ride in downtown San Francisco that advocates for bike transportation and has included confrontations with drivers. It’s a party, which includes warning attendees not to get too trashed. Some people drink, and being California there’s a lot of smoking weed too. Volunteers organize the route and also guide riders at the event. Theres a theme and on Nov. 8, 2013 it was Super Mario Brothers, though not everyone follows the theme.

Here’s a list of the rules for the Web site at http://eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com/

- Stay to the Right / Stop at Lights – We’re NOT Critical Mass. We share the roadway appropriately.
- Ride Straight – Bike party sometimes exceeds 1,000 riders. Riding predictably avoids crashes in a large group.
- Don’t Hate – Please roll past any conflict that might present itself during the ride. Be civil.
- Pack your Trash – Bike partiers aspire to leave party stops in better condition than we found them. Be prepared to carry trash home from every single bike party. Public trash cans at party stops cannot support 1,000 bike partiers. Bring a plastic bag to pack trash.
- Don’t Get Smashed – Riding while inebriated poses a danger to yourself and others. Don’t ruin everybody else’s fun by overdoing it.
- Call out anybody failing to behave, and back up others who make those call-outs.

Recently started shooting for RT news. Check out the video I got on yesterday’s demonstration for Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old shot and killed by police in Santa Rosa. Includes Elbert “Big Man” Howard, a founding member of the Black Panther Party and Sonoma County resident.

2013 Zin from Gold Country

Posted: October 11, 2013 in Wines
Tags: , , , , ,

These 2013 zinfandel grapes come from El Dorado County’s Shenandoah Valley, in California’s Gold Country. They came from a grower who was offering to deliver them and use of his crusher/destemmer. He also took this photo and sent it to me on harvest day (Tuesday, Oct. 8) before coming down. Since these days have been busy, I decided to try it instead of having to deal with transporting them myself. This will also be a smaller production year, with almost 400 pounds and no plans to get more this harvest season.