While most people in America are celebrating the 4th of July and American independence as the most important history of 1776, I am exploring history on the other side of the continent. The west has a very significant trail that most people have never heard of. There are a lot of places named after the explorer who pioneered this trail, so most Californians are familiar with the name. I am referring to Juan Bautista De Anza. De Anza was the first European to establish an overland route to California across the deserts of Arizona and California to the Pacific coast. He also found an inland trail to San Francisco bay.
The video also announces and tells about my new website that is a rebranded version of On The Road With Andrew.
The Second-generation Ford SVT Lightning F-150 is a high-performance version of the F-150 produced by the Ford Special Vehicle Team.
The Special Vehicle Team, is an arm of Ford Motor Company responsible for the development of the company’s highest-performance vehicles. The group mainly produces specially tuned versions of Ford production vehicles. However, they do occasionally develop models independent of the rest of the company
Here is a short video I did at a car meetup I attended last month.
I have developed a combination social media and face to face community outreach program for car dealers in Southern California and I am available for hire.
I spent an afternoon chatting with business owners in Bellflower recently. Along with learning more about the general business climate in the city I also had a change to get a few pictures.
The first pictures I took shows the new Fire Museum that’s being built in Bellflower.
A lot of you know I love history and I love museums. The city of Bellflower and the Los Angeles County Fire Department are building a new Fire Museum on Bellflower Blvd. It looks like its going have a unique design. I have heard there’s also going to be a banquet facility on the top floor. This should create a rather nice upscale meeting location for the downtown area.
The new Fire Museum is going to be right next to one of my favorite Bellflower buildings. You would be right if you gessed it’s going to be next to the old Red Car ticket station. Talk about a historic building. The vintage Red Car station is not only historic, it’s also one of the most attractive buildings in the city.
I just love the Old Bellflower Red Car Station
I imagine the fire museum will end up being a premier venue for Bellflower and the surrounding cities.
Continuing on our tour of North Downtown Bellflower
The next set of photos feature a custom painted motorcycle. This bike belongs to the owner of the appliance store on the North end of Downtown.
Team SoCal HVAC & Appliances
16438 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90706
I even got a picture of a new high-tech crosswalk push-button the city installed. It looks like even the crosswalk push-button is going digital. I wonder if this is connected to the internet.
I found a brand new bakery that makes fantasy cakes. They also do the party decor to match your custom confectionery delight. Fantasy Cakes can really help your next theme party get into that special festive mood. Give them a call to get some unique party suggestions for an immersive theme party experience. Fantasy Cakes is located at 16527 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90706. Their phone number is 562-925-6204. I had a chance to get back and do a few photos on 5-31. The first time I stopped by I got so caught up chatting with the owner I forgot to get a picture or two.
Then I went to the Pirate themed children’s park. This is a hidden gem, just west of Bellflower Boulevard.
Pirate Park is always a big hit, and may I say favorite of both locals and day visitors alike. Your little ones can enjoy this fantasy park before you get a tasty treat at one of the many local eating places along Bellflower Boulevard. There are also quite a few stores to browse as you stroll along this historic California downtown main street.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Long Beach Opera last Sunday 5/21/2017. The performers were quite skilled and did an amazing job. The endurance of all the performers was extraordinary. The male lead was particularly talented and really did his part well.
I was also impressed by the musicians. The gal on the violin was inspirational. at one point I almost got fatigued just watching her.
As always I was fascinated by the choreographed lighting. This opera had only a few props, however they where used to the fullest extent possible, harkening back to a time of childhood play.
It was too dark to get a good selfie in the theater, but I did get a few photos of me appreciating the art in the lobby.
I am trying something a little different with this car video. To change the feel of the video I’ve added a voice over highlighting some 1964 history. I wanted to turn the car video into a history post. There’s also a bit of license plate history done with a graphic in the video.
The 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix was one of the most interesting cars I saw over the weekend. This particular car meet up had a very knowledgeable member who gave us all a wonderful history lesson in classic cars.
I have had some free time on the Weekends so I have started getting out to car events and show. You haven’t seen me at car shows for a while because I’ve been working every weekend for a few years. Work can make it so you don’t have much time to be real active in the car scene. Well I am back, at least for a while. This last weekend I got to meet some great new people. I also learned about how to spot a classic car that was at one time stolen and a little about classic license plates on classic cars.
Here is a very short video of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo I saw over the weekend. It may not be a classic, but I liked the paint job on this one.
While doing one final mod on the puppet I received a rather painful burn from hot gluing some pieces together. This is not the first time this has happened and a few days ago I had another minor injury doing this build.
It took the top layer of skin right off and blistered the finger too. I made a tool to prevent this sort of thing from happening, however, I needed to get these pieces together quickly and thought, I’ll just give it a little push.
It doesn’t look like much, but it does make working on the computer difficult. You never realize how much that finger is used until it hurts to use it.
I hope I’ll be able to do my test video later today. I have a feeling that my blister is going to rub on the mouth mechanism. But I do have a plan – I think it will be fine if I tape it up.
I am posting this to remind myself the pain and effort that went into building my Scarecrow. I plan on offering my services to businesses for promotions. I will offer a lot of value in the way of promotion and community visibility, the question is, will anyone compensate me – $$$? Until I develop a following I plan on doing street performances.
My puppet is almost ready for its debut. Before the main character shows up on the blog I wanted to introduce one of the supporting cast. This is before I finished building her. She is now sporting a nice sparkly dress.
The main character was finished this morning, however there was an accident and he crashed into the ground. Fortunately only his new nose fell off along with an easily replaced part for the mouth mechanism.
I hope to do a video test before I leave for work.
Update – there was a little more damage than I thought, but I think I fixed it with some hot glue. I will check everything better when I get back from work.
Did a little video test – So far everything looks good. I need more time to do a double check on all the parts.
I am posting an update on my puppet project and wanted to let my friends know it is almost ready.
In this picture you can see the new nose on an experimental head. Also in the picture is one of the supporting cast. I hope to get the nose mounted to the face today and put a finishing touch on the mouth mechanism.
I still need an adult walker as a stage. I think I may also need help sewing my harness and a cape.
There are some future performances I am interested in doing that will require a longer screenplay/script as well.
If you see me on the street come up and say – Hi. I will be a little hard to miss. I plan to dress in black and you should notice the puppet as well. Stay tuned for the revealing of my new puppet’s identity. It’s coming very soon.
I have started using my new NewMediaMingle.com website for most of my business, video, entertainment, marketing, and media posts. I am redefining how I use my different websites. I plan to use AndrewLedford.com to post what I think are some of my most interesting social posts as well as more personal news. What I think are my most interesting posts are not always my most popular posts. My personal site will give me a place to highlight undervalued posts. I may also mention posts from some of my other sites as well.
Special project websites
This post could have gone on the NewMediaMingle.com but I thought it more appropriate here.
I will also start 1 maybe 2 new websites for my special puppet project. One site will be for the puppet performances and shows. The second possible site will incorporate the puppet but will primarily be a directory site to promote Long Beach Business, Tourism, and the Arts. I am waiting on a new website theme to start the second site.
On The Road With Andrew re-branded
I plan to re-brand or co-brand the On The Road With Andrew site. The new plan is to develop Our On The Road as the primary consumer media brand and eventually a food brand as well. I think it will be easier to retire or have partners if my name is not part of the main brand. I do plan on continuing to use On The Road With Andrew when I go back into production with that show. However, I may not have time to produce additional original content for the site.
Puppet Project News
Made the nose and a part for the body mount.
I am getting much closer to having my special puppet project in a functional state. The plan is to be producing a performance soon. I believe I will be doing test performances by the end of the month. I do have the January scrip done and partially memorized. I still need to work on the script for February. There is a February script concept but have not researched or written the script.
I think I have the puppet mouth working. Last week I spent a day making a new mouth mechanism and a modification to both the head mount and a mounting system for the body.
After creating the part for the body mount modification I decided that I am not going to use it to hold the puppet for performances. The body mount modification got re-appropriated to providing an important support element for the new mouth mechanism. But the new mouth design ended up not working the way I wanted. However, the new head mount made for the new mouth will improve the performance of the old mouth mechanism. Now the body mount is going to be used for the display stand used between performances. The part and its position has stayed the same but its purpose has evolved with the project.
The shorter item is the one I bought. It did not work at all, so I needed to make my own. With this project I have found that off the shelf products often don’t perform as expected. I buy a needed part only to have it not work. Then it’s time to make some modifications or make the part from scratch.
On Saturday night a few days before Google Plus made us all move to their new UI I worked on the nose.
I will need to make a few changes before I mount the nose because of mission creep. When I first started the project it had a much narrower purpose. It still may only be used for local performances, but I want to be ready to do a bit more with it.
I will need to see how it turns out. So far I am a little disappointed in how my new puppet looks.
The next step is to finish skinning the mouth. I have not yet made a final decision on the artistic design of this part. I think I may try a few different looks to see which I like the best. I am expecting to run into 2 or 3 technical problems with this part, but I think I have a few solutions as well.
The hat will also need to be finished. I believe modifying the hat will be fairly straightforward. However, it has some important design elements that make it more than a simple head covering. There could be one technical challenge with the hat that I think I have the answer to.
Along with the hat I plan on adding eyebrows before I do a very short test/teaser video to introduce everyone to something I have been working on longer that I had planned. This project will mingle some very old fashioned entertainment with new media in a grand experiment of promotion and human behavior.
The eyes that I introduce the project with on Google Plus will need to wait until I have a little experience using the current design.