Wednesday, July 21, 2010

La Recoleta Cemetary in Buenos Aires

I started making this video back in February when we were in Buenos Aires. I had basically given up on making videos for the web because its difficult to secure license rights for a decent soundtrack. But then, thanks to my friend Amanda, I found out about Moby's very cool policy of making some of his music available for budding filmmakers on I'm not really a budding filmmaker, more just a guy with a cheap video camera that wants to share stuff with the world who really really really requires a sharp soundtrack. In any event, I got approval from Moby to use his great song titled Papa in this short. All footage was shot in La Recoleta Cemetaria which is an amazing place chock full of glycerine embalmed Argentines and funky tombs galore. Needless to say: great imagery to sketch and paint from -- you might recognize some of our hands and work flashing by. So, crank up your headphones, expand to view on a full screen, and enjoy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holy Bat Trees Batman

One of our regular past times here in Chandigarh is to sit on our veranda at night and watch bats fly over our house. There is a steady, graceful procession of very large bats ( each about the size of a healthy ground squirrel ) every night from around 8PM until 9PM. They always fly from the west over our coti to the east, with one bat departing every minute or so. So for the past few months we've wondered where they are coming from, where they are going, and why they always fly east, and when, if ever, they fly back. While all of our questions remain questions, we recently stopped by Pinjore Gardens on our way home, and found an even more odd piece of information. I always assumed bats lived in caves and other dark places. Take a look at the photo below though. There were far too many to count -- relaxing, hanging from nearly every branch in a large, very exposed tree. These, at least to my untrained eyes, look just like the bats flying over our house. Any bat-ologists out there that can shed some light?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Make Your Business Different

As I travel, I rarely find a small business which is market differentiated. Wherever I find one restaurant that offers: Indian, Chinese, Israeli, Tibetan, and German food, I'll find another ten or fifty with a sign out front, virtually identical to the last, that also offers Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and German food. On occasion, I do find folks in the middle of nowhere who do offer a differentiated service.

This Sardarji below sharpens knives using this rather clever eco-friendly home rigged device. He didn't seem to have much trouble finding business in Dharamsala.

This fine gentleman served us an amazing wood fired pizza in the remote nether reaches of South Africa. While wood fired pizza is hardly novel in traveler locales, in this particular town, it was the only offering. Also, he had a unique pay-what-you-want approach to the wine, and exceptional ambience using recycled cans cut into floral patterns for lamps.

The owner of a brewpub in eclectic Nieu Bethesda, South Africa, clearly differentiated his business. He was, to my knowledge, the only brewpub for hours and hours in any direction. I asked him how business was, and he said, "Great. Obviously we don't move hours out on a lonely dirt road to get rich, but we get by. People know about the brewpub, they get tired of wine tasting." We were in another town, over 5 hours away, in "the other" brewpub, which coincidentally, the owner of the brewpub below helped establish, when the owner told me how he was called "totally crazy" for opening a brew pub in what was obviously wine country.

This particular business might suffer from other problems, nonetheless, it is differentiated. I have to say, I've never before seen someone haul magic expansion moss out of the woods and plop it into pretty bottles before.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Trip to the Bazaar

First weave your way through winding narrow alleyways toward the nearest entrance.

Then chat with the official Nike spokesman to find the best place to purchase goods.

Next, visit this fortune telling robot to discover whether your trip will be a successful shopping venture.

Don't forget to select just the right spices for your tea.

Wave to the parking attendant on your way out.

And finally, hop on the bus and enjoy your ride home.

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