Winter Time

I’ve been seeing a lot of Canada Geese flying south recently. Are they migrating? Are we just “on the way” from somewhere north to somewhere south? Maybe they are the same geese and they are just commuting back and forth.

Ahnulding Party at my place!

Man, why didn’t we have this when I was in high school?

Los Angeles schools have reported a high incidence of a new kind of party. Several boys (typically of middle school age) invite one or two girls to a community area or private home and ‘party’. This itself is not new, nor is their usage of marijuana, alcohol, and even harder recreational drugs. More disturbing is the trend rapidly catching the term “Ahnulding.” Taking its name (and possibly its cue) from the rediscovered 1970s “Oui” interview with gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, the term applies to children engaging in group sex — usually involving a large group of boys having sex with one or two girls.

Parents’ groups are outraged. ‘This behavior is destroying the ability of children to learn about healthy relationships or sexual health,” says Sharon Leaman of the Los Angeles based sex-education group Gender and Sexual Health Programs of Southern California. “By entering these situations, young women are exposed to risks of contracting STDs at the least. At the worst, there is a rampant fear of rape, harassment, or other abuses.”

“We are looking at a generation of young boys and girls who will not be able to form the kind of social links that allow people to have happy and healthy families. We are not anti-sex. But this is a gross distortion of childhood and must be stopped.”

Community members are calling on the gubernatorial candidate to take action and make a statement on this issue. School board members within the Los Angeles Unified School District have launched a petition to take to Mr. Schwarzenegger requesting a quick and decisive proclamation on issues of sexual health in the youth of the state of California. “This is a critical issue that Mr. Schwarzenegger needs to address as soon as he takes office,” noted Marlene Canter of District 1, an advocate of the petition, in an open letter to the likely Governor. “Millions of people of all political and cultural stripes have voiced concern about the declining moral standards of America’s youth. Many are concerned about the role of the family and relationships being undermined by a culture that advocates sex and drugs over family values. The time has come for our government advocate the family at all levels.”

Others fear that it may all be too late. “I worry that as more and more teens practice group sex, the ability to succeed in marriage, as parents, and [more generally] as members of the community will be destroyed. The boys who grow up around these parties see girls as nothing more than sex objects. The girls are more likely to be victims of sexual violence,” commented Dr. Rebecca Stein, a sociologist and expert on societal relationships to sexuality at University of Southern California. “[E]ven the kids who do not particpate are being affected, because of the way this behavior affects the climate and attitudes of their peers. Whether we are seeing youths simply emulating their role models, or acting on a new idea of what is “normal sex,” we appear to have crossed into a new phase of acceptable behavior for adolescents. The hope is that this will be an ‘experimental’ phase for these kids and they will grow out of it. But, the long-term damage may remain to be seen.”

renting costs

SAM: what’s your budget?
BRIAN: haven’t written a budget yet
BRIAN: it depends on how you account it
BRIAN: since I own most of my own equipment
SAM: we’re looking at about $1000 cus we own JACK
BRIAN: that sounds a little steep
BRIAN: what are you spending it on
SAM: $160 for camera
SAM: $40 for a monitor
SAM: about $200 more for mike and field mixer
SAM: $100 for light kit and tripod
BRIAN: $160 to RENT a camera?!
SAM: yes
BRIAN: holy crap
SAM: that’s how much a DV cam is at filmarts

More Dolly Madness

I’m finally buying a dolly for my tripod…

I have a Bogen 3141 Tripod, which is kind of a monster. It’s what is known as a “serious” tripod. When I bought it a few years ago, I ordered a dolly to go with it… except the feet wouldn’t fit in the dolly. I had to ship it back, which was painful, since I’ve always wanted a camera dolly… B&H was pretty good about returns though.

The 3141 has spiked feet, which is great for shooting outdoors… however, indoors it relies on the spreader’s integrated feet. No spreader, no feet.

So now I’m looking at the 3067 dolly and the 3198 dolly. I believe the 3067 dolly is what I ordered last time… however according to the sales person I spoke to at B&H, that is a “universal” dolly and it “should just work”… hmmm….

I think I’ll play it safe and get the 3198 dolly, which has “spiked feet” listed on the entry at Manfrotto, the manufacturer. You’d think they would put some kind of “which tripod goes with with dolly” chart up on their website!