Monday, December 27, 2010

Pearl Harbor; Valor in the Pacific

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, and visit Pearl Harbor on Pearl Harbor Day; December 7, 2010, the 69th anniversary of the surprise attack on the US Fleet by the Empire of Japan. My friend and I also returned on December 8 for more touring (and video shooting). The footage here features the anniversary commemorative ceremony and dedication of the new visitors center, an interview with a Pearl Harbor survivor, and tours of the USS Arizona memorial (the ship with the most  casualties from the attack) and USS Missouri (where the Japanese surrender was signed four years later).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Madness Takes it Toll...

I just returned from my third trip to Hawaii. Each time I go I play with the idea of buying an ukulele and shop around, but never do it. On this latest trip I took the step of attending the free ukulele lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki (a story in itself), so upon return this week, I bought a uke locally. This video is the first attempt at playing a song all the way through... Keep in mind, I've only taken one introductory lesson (twice), and just bought the uke two days before attempting this... You've been warned. (BTW, this is not posted on my regular "kenrg" channel, this is on my new "MrUkeKen" channel).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monarch Butterflies at Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz

Each year the Monarch butterfly migration passes through Santa Cruz from about mid-October through January, and thousands of the butterflies can be seen resting in the trees of Natural Bridges State Park, just off the beach. This is footage from Sunday, November 14, 2010. As impressive as these butterflies are, this is actually not the best year. Usually there are thousands more!

For more information on Natural Bridges State Park, please click here and here. Music by the always excellent Jason Shaw.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Halloween Question

An important pre-Halloween question, and I get to act out a scene from one of the year's top movies to show off my costume. Can you guess who I'm supposed to be? For a couple of my better Halloween videos, check out Psycho Killer Pumpkin Pie or Werewolf Baby (Zombie Town).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coldwater Classic Comes to Santa Cruz!

The O'Neill Coldwater Classic, the "Wildest, Coldest, Surf Contest on the Planet," culminates this week at Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CA. I went down for a short while on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to check out the action and shot a little video... (music by Kevin MacLeod)

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Social Network (movie review)

Well, it's Vlogtober, the month of celebrating vlogging. I know, it seems somewhat underwhelming this year. But I used it as an excuse to do an old-style stand-up talking head unedited vlog. The topic is the facebook movie, "The Social Network." Overall, great picture, pitting old money against new ideas, with cultures clashing all around. Smart, witty dialogue from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin make up for several historical inaccuracies. Watch the video for more on the movie. Meanwhile, here are the links for the Social Media Journeys blog and Audioboo.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Terminal Policy" Author Liam McCurry

Here's a video I made for the husband of a work associate. I've gotten to know Margie McCurry through a networking group of other nonprofit consultants in the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. In our talking, she shared that her 85-year-old husband, a former WWII Marine, former TV weather guy, former psychologist, and a half-dozen other things, had just published his first novel, "Terminal Policy," and that they were struggling through the "new media" trying to figure out how to promote the darn thing. Of course, being a social media junkie, I volunteered a little advice and suggested we make a video. We spent an afternoon in their lovely home, shooting, and here's the result:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Beach Vlog Primer

Vlogging at the beach is always problematic. You get great footage, it's beautiful, it makes the viewers in land-locked states jealous. But the wind blows into the microphone, you get sand in your shoes... My friend, OhCurt, is one of the masters of the Beach Vlog genre, and in this video, I ask him for advice on how I can improve my Beach Vlogs...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Four Years of 'Tubing

This week marks my fourth "vlogaversary," having posted my first YouTube ramblings on September 1, 2006. In this video I recount a bit of my history with Social Media, going back to 1993 or so.

Also this week, I started using an older technology... podcasting, over at (username kenrg, of course).You can read more about my thoughts on why I've started audio-blogging over on my "traditional" blog...


Monday, August 2, 2010

Tribute to Tony Bourdain & a Dangerous Food Story

One of my favorite TV shows is No Reservations on Travel Channel with chef/author/host Anthony Bourdain. It's part food porn, part travel show, and all about new cultures, adventure and humor. Anyway, Tony's about to air his 100th episode, so I've recorded this small tribute to him, along with a story of my own that I could have avoided had I followed Tony's simple advice: There's no fresh seafood on Mondays...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Come to Santa Cruz: Social Media Gathering on September 18

We're calling it a SMMU... Social Media Meet-Up... for YouTube, twitter, facebook, 12seconds, LinkedIn, Vloggerheads, etc. Vloggers, bloggers, tweeters, and meeters getting together on the Santa Cruz Pier on Saturday, September 18, 2010, from 10 AM to 3 PM. My co-organizer is the renowned vlogger, OhCurt, and it should be a great, fun day in the end-of-summer sun. For more information, please click here to see the SMMU Blog at Here's the little announcement video:

Monday, July 26, 2010

YouTube Fame ... Recognized for my burger eating habits

Yesterday, while minding my own business and going for lunch at Kirk's Steakburgers with my wife, brother, and nephew, a woman comes up to me and says, "Didn't I just see you on YouTube?" Meet my new friend Ellie... (oh, and click here for the video she recognized me from).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Whale Journey on the Monterey Bay

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went out on the whale watching boat, from Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, out onto the Monterey Bay. It was an amazing, and incredible journey, seeing hundreds of dolphin and dozens of whales. Inspirational, while at the same time sobering to think of all that's dying in the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to BP. Here, without further commentary, is the video of the trip.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meet My Home-Made Guitar

After many years of thinking about creating some sort of home-made instrument or guitar-like object, I finally got up the nerve to actually do it. Yep, I built a little guitar out of a cigar box, a stick of wood, and some nuts and bolts and things. I just joined and downloaded the plans and got advice and ideas from the other members of the site. If I can do it, it's got to be pretty darn easy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hearst Castle Tour

Here, as promised earlier, is the final video of the "Vloggers Caravan 2010" road trip, a tour of the Hearst Castle, in San Simeon on California's Central Coast. The Castle was built by architect Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst, newspaper mogul, inspiration for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, and Patty's grand-dad. The music here is another original soundtrack by yours truly - to hear it without the tour narration, click here for my music page and select "Casa Grande."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dumb Bank Robber or Light Rail Champion?

A little vlog about a local bank robber who tried to make his getaway using light rail. If the cops had also used light rail, he might have gotten away with it, but they cheated and drove to the next station where he was arrested.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

YouTube Turns Five!

YouTube is now five years old, and I've been a member nearly four years, and actively participating for three-and-a-half. On their fifth anniversary, YouTube is asking, "What has being part of this community meant to you?" Here's my answer:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Almost there... This is another video shot on the road trip as a tongue-in-cheek look at "life on the road" with a group of vloggers. One more road video to go (Hearst Castle) and then we will return to our irregular programming.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Alcatraz Island

Shot last Saturday, while taking my road trip friends around San Francisco, this video is a travelogue of the boat ride out to Alcatraz Island, some of the grounds and buildings, and a peek into the cells once occupied by such notorious outlaws as Al Capone, Mickey Cohen, and the Birdman of Alcatraz.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Road Trip Ends

There's still a bit of footage from Hearst Castle and Alacatraz Island that need to be edited for more polished videos later, but below is the final "Life from the Road" update vlog. Even with the reality of one tripper leaving for serious health issues, the trip went so much better than any of us could have planned or hoped for.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Road Along the Edge

A cliff-side vlog from the Bixby Bridge along the Big Sur coastline. Dramatic views and a happy road crew...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Dose of Reality & Another Great Day on the Road

A set-back for the road trip group, as we lose two traveler. Despite the set-back we have a great visit to Hearst Castle and continue our trek through California's Central Coast.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back on the Road... and going wine tasting

The vlogger's caravan makes a stop in the northern Santa Barbara County wine region of Foxen Canyon where theFrozenGhost, 21stCenturyCat, and I review the wines of Fess Parker.

A Short Copyright Side Note...

My friend, PappyStu, is in danger of losing his YouTube account right now over some copyright violation claims - a couple of them probably legitimate, but at least one that's a bit dodgy, to say the least. This video is for him... (and then back to the road trip).

Road Trip! Starting up the Coast

Following the L.A. weekend, the vlogger's caravan starts north and pulls into Santa Barbara.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Road Trip! Weekend in West Los Angeles

Over the course of this next week, I'll be vlogging from the "Vlogger's Caravan 2010: The Rolling Vlogger Review" or some such thing. Basically, seven of us who met through YouTube heading up the California Coast. But it begins with a quick weekend on L.A.'s West Side; dinner Saturday at Barney's Beanery, then a gathering on the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Michael Lydon - Musician, Journalist, Cool Dude

Another YouTube meet-up vlog, this time having a chat with Michael Lydon, who was visiting Berkeley from New York. Michael was one of the founding writers/editors for Rolling Stone magazine. In this video I ask him about that period and hear some stories of life on the road with the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Am I Boring You?

A message received on YouTube this morning from a "vlogging n00b" asked for advice on how a boring person can make videos? Was he implying that I'm boring? Hmmm...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Groovy Thursday Song

Yeah, I'm posting it on Friday, but I wrote and recorded the song yesterday, and didn't do the visual portion till this morning. It's just a silly song parody, not quite sure of what though... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Ken-r-Beats! (for more "music" click here).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Census Vlog

Filling out the 2010 Census and thinking about what I've learned about my family by looking at the 1910 Census on

Friday, March 19, 2010

Celebrating 80 Years

On Monday evening, March 15, 2010, I had the pleasure and honor of attending "A Song 4 80 Fingers": Margaret "Tree" Fabrizio's 80th Birthday Celebration, at the Glama-Rama Salon in San Francisco, California. A birthday party, yes, but also quite a show!

Part One:
* Assembly and Video activities ("Margaret" theme by Vincent Fernandez, interpreted by kenrg)
* "A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid" - Margaret & Folawole
* "This is My Life" with Quotable Critic Allaboutme
* Video testimonials: rivrvlogr, andymooseman, Ockteby, FantasticBabblings

Part Two:
* "Margaret" performance by Vincent Fernandez
* "Some People, Not Me" - Margaret & Vincent
* Eight Cakewalk, Toast, & Devourment

Many thanks to Carla and Rita and to Deena.
Visit Margaret at

(For the recipe for the dish I brought, click here...)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tag Meme Mash-Up, or When Internet Memes Go Wrong

Ah, memes... what would blog or vlog about without them? In this video I combine two current memes making the rounds of YouTube with some rather uncomfortable results.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Swiftly Spins... A Valentines Day Collaboration

The idea for this video came from Michael Lydon. He sent me the song and asked if I had any ideas for a video. I wanted to see the lyrical theme of "love through the ages" transformed into vignettes of multiple love stories. So, I made a vlog asking for clips that fit the theme, without telling too much about the song or what I pictured. I didn't get too many responses, but the ones I got were terrific. The clip that I provided is the second vignette: my parents wedding.

Thanks to: MichaelLydon, CApoppy, fehquig, PappyStu, taragolden, ThePadburys, & Urnkneekovaks

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's in a name?

... or a video title, for that matter?

I received a request to change the title of one of my videos because it bore a similarity to another person's twitter username. A ridiculous request, but in the end, I complied "to be nice." What a sap. "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy..."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Got shrooms?

This little video is some footage I shot last month at Fungus Fair 2010, an annual event of the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz. The event features displays of wild mushroom varieties, mushroom foods and medicinals, and mushroom inspired art works and crafts. This is actually the second time I've made this video - the original version was of Fungus Fair 2007. Am I officially out of video ideas? Stay tuned to find out...

Oh, and this video also includes new original music featuring my new Yamaha APX700 guitar (see previous video below). On that note, I've also added a music page to this blog - Hear more of my music by clicking here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Toy and Collab Update

Work has been crazy busy and keeping me from finishing a couple of videos I've been working on, but all work and no play is not advised, and so... a new toy was in order, and here it is: A Yamaha APX700-12 guitar. For more on my GAS problem (that's "Guitar Acquisition Syndrome") see this older vlog. For more on the collab invitation, see this vlog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Collaboration Invitation

Want to be in my Valentines Day video, or to shoot footage for it? This video explains what I'm looking for. Send in your clips by January 31, and thanks!

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