Last night, publicist Bernie Bahrmasel emailed me for permission to use one of my photos for a press release. I agreed. Here is the resulting press release as it appeared in my email:
Last night, publicist Bernie Bahrmasel emailed me for permission to use one of my photos for a press release. I agreed. Here is the resulting press release as it appeared in my email:
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 05-22-2008 at 09:05 AM.
Check this pic out:
That's me in the foreground in the navy blazer and the laptop bag over my right shoulder.
Tom Barnes shot this pic yesterday at the Diaz-Pacquiao presser.
Williams vs. Herrera Bout Link
I'm looking forward to seeing this bout, which should be another highlight reel knockout for Aaron Williams. However, Herrera does hit hard and could be a good test for Aaron.
I'm guessing Williams takes him out inside three or four rounds.
I just read this piece at Yahoo. One word: Scary!
Oh, coincidentally, Aaron Williams, the boxer highlighted in the previous entry, LOOOOVES computerized games. Wouldn't it be ironic if he made it through the sport of boxing with his record and health intact, only to be kayoed by an X-Box?Killer app: Game consoles contain hazardous chemicals
Don't eat your Xbox, says Greenpeace
By Ben Silverman
The next casualty in the console war might be you.
In their new 'Playing Dirty' report, environmental organization Greenpeace found that all three home video game consoles - Sony's PS3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii - tested positive for a variety of hazardous chemicals, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), beryllium, bromine, and phthalates.
The latter, found in relatively high levels in both the Xbox 360 and PS3, are not permitted in components of toys or childcare products sold in the European Union. However, game consoles are not classified as toys and therefore are not subject to existing legislation.
"Whether game consoles are classified as toys or not, they can still contain hazardous chemicals and materials that could harm humans. The technology is available for the manufacturers to design out toxics and produce greener game consoles now," said Greenpeace's Dr. Kevin Brigden in a press release.
The report found that all three systems also contained significant levels of bromine, a chemical linked to impaired memory functions and other health problems. One of the phthalates found in the 360 and PS3, a chemical called DEHP, is also known to interfere with sexual development in mammals, especially males.
Hold on -- you don't need to start wearing a cup made of reinforced steel every time you play Halo 3 just yet. Greenpeace points out that the three console manufacturers have "avoided or reduced uses of individual hazardous substances in certain materials within their consoles." Nintendo's Wii showed no traces of beryllium in its electrical contacts, the Xbox 360 used fewer brominated materials in its housing materials and the PS3 circuit boards were bromine-free.
"Our test clearly shows that a greener game console is possible, said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "By combining the best practices of each console design, we could replace most of the hazardous chemicals found in these game consoles with toxic free materials."
And whatever you do, don't dump your broken 360 in the trash. The group has further identified game consoles as key contributors towards a growing waste product called "ewaste." Once console have reached the end of useful life, the group said, game consoles are "often dumped and end up in unsafe and dirty recycling yards in developing countries, where toxic contents harm both the environment and the health of workers."
A blue heron I spotted on my boat slip in my back yard (this image is on my wall paper on my cell)
That's me sitting behind my desk in Word Processing class several weeks ago (one of my favorite students shot this pic of me).
Some students taking the makeup Prairie State Exams last month (I sent this pic, along with the one above, to one of my friends)
A friend meeting me for drinks last week
Manny Pacquiao on his cell phone last week. That's publicist Bernie Barhmasel in the light blue shirt to the left behind him.
David Diaz--who'll defend his WBC Lightweight title against Pacquiao on June 28th--and his wife, Tanya Diaz
David Diaz at the presser at Illinois and Dearborn
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 05-27-2008 at 11:51 AM.
Here's a recent shot I took of David Diaz hitting the heavy bag at the Chicago Boxing Club in Chicago
And here's a close-up version of that shot that I posted up with a press release of Bernie Barhmasel's
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 05-29-2008 at 07:10 AM.
Here's a fight poster from last week's Diaz-Pacquiao presser in Chicago. After Diaz and Pacquiao had spoken at the brunch presentation, I was hunting around for an extra poster at Lalos Restaurant. I saw Diaz's trainer, Mike "Fly Garcia, with one rolled up in his hand and asked where I could find one and he said, "Take mine!"
Thanking him, I eventually got both David Diaz's and Manny Pacquiao's signatures on it.
Then, this past Saturday, I was checking out some garage sales in Grayslake and came across a guy who did framing out of his garage (he'd formerly published art magazines and ran art reproduction and framing shops) and got a very nice framing job for $100.
Now, it hangs above my modernish gas fireplace in my living room. Just in time for my big bash coming up on June 14th! Not bad!
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 05-29-2008 at 06:54 PM.
Our very own Rita Figueroa (AKA Fightgirl) just forwarded me this photo of David Diaz on the cover--along with Manny Pacquiao--of Boxing Digest.
For those of you unfamiliar, that sort of thing is a big deal for the tight-knit boxing community of Chicago.
Holy cow! We had an eventful day at work today. Winds were picking up something fierce arond 11:00 AM and about 11:30, apparently, a heavy tree branch fell on and snapped a powerline, which broke free and was sending huge sparks everywhere behind Waukegan High School, where I teach.
The power went out and, as our backup power generator (which lies toward the back of the building) was threatening to blow, we had a massive evacuation to the front of the building.
We kept the students around for about an hour or so and finally released them. Teachers were released around 1:00 PM or so.
Funny, I was hanging with several administrators and, having missed lunch, we munched on some pizza that had ironically been delivered for a class to be held that afternoon.
Sigh! Guess we can't complain about a lack of excitement in Waukegan. In all fairness, however, I understand several other high schools had similar experiences around the area.
Ahhhhh, it was a tame Friday night, kicking back and watching a movie from the old couch.
Sometimes, it's just good to chill...
Wow! That was a fun and interesting weekend!
Friday night, I stayed in after a bizarre and truncated workday (see two posts above).
Saturday, I bopped around the house and went out in the evening to catch the latest Indiana Jones movie with a singles group in the western suburbs at some theatre called Hollywood something or other. They had high back leather chairs and tables where people could eat and drink. Having grabbed a bite at Bennigan's earlier with the group, I sipped a merlot and took in the movie, which turned out a little bizarre with its sci-fi motif. Interesting, but better rented when it comes out on DVD on an evening with nothing to do!
Afterwards, I stopped by Cabs, where I saw my brother, Luis, and my sister in law. Sitting at the bar, I struck up a conversation with a cute gal who, it turns out, is an editor for the Christianity Today family of magazines. Very cool!
We talked about writing and our backgrounds, which was a lot of fun. Winding down the evening, we swapped email addresses and phone numbers. It was a good time!
Coincidentally, I was wearing my black Chicago Boxing Club baseball hat, which Rick Ramos gave me and told me to "wear it with pride!" The hat--which went well with my navy Polo shirt, tan shorts and Birkenstocks sandals--was a hit.
On Sunday, I helped count the collections at church. That's always a hoot, as we keep things light and interesting with our banter. Tired from the late night, I definitely downed a little coffee!
Later on, I chilled at home, caught up with some friends via email, took a long and contemplative drive to pick up some TCBY yogurt, and did some grading, as this is our last week at Waukegan High School. Woo-hoo!
Funny thing, too: I received a nice email from my new editor friend. Guess she missed the memo that you're not supposed to contact the other person until at least two days afterwards. LOL! So, of course, I emailed her back.
Anyways, it's Monday and I'm off to another final in a few minutes! Ahhh, the life of a teacher...
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-02-2008 at 07:48 AM.
Sheesh! I was standing in line at Einstein's Bagels unshaven, wearing a navy faux turtleneck, jeans and my Birkenstocks over white socks this morning. I was contemplating what lay ahead at work when one of the attendants asked me over the counter, "Honey wheat bagel, right?"
I said, "Yeah, with the lowfat cream cheese."
The guy standing in front of me said, "Boy, she just pegged you for honey wheat right away!"
Shaking my head, I said, "Guess I've got that honey wheat aura."
An African American lady in a gray hoodie in front of us giggled.
"Guess you're a honey wheat kind of guy," this 30-something guy wearing a Blue Tooth earpiece, a blue button down shirt and khakis said with a smirk.
"Guess I am," I replied.
The lady in the hoodie continued giggling softly.
Pleased that I could be of some amusement to a stranger this early in the morning, I stirred my coffee, grabbed it and my bagel and headed toward the door. I was feeling pretty cool.
Hot coffee splashed on my hand, breaking my reverie. I lurched unceremoniously. Whoah! That's hot. Even though I'd put a lid on it, the quick grab caused the hot liquid to squirt through the sipping orifice in the plastic retainer. That was really smooth!
Taking that into advisement, I walked briskly to my Plymouth Grand Voyager--the one with rust peeking through the sliding doors and 256,000 miles on it.
Dang. I'm more than a little embarassed by it. Really cool. Memories of a former girlfriend saying, "My boyfriend drives a minivan come to mind. However, it's paid for and I'm trying to get it to last another year before buying another car. Besides, it comes in handy when I'm toting my DJ gear now and again. Yeah, yeah. And I don't look forward to a payment again.
Interestingly enough, my new friend, Camerin, emailed me a couple links to several stories she produced online. They're pretty good!
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Aunts
The Goodbye Girl
We're supposed to go out on Friday, which should be fun.
I like her thought processes. Interesting and a little intimidating with her level of writing development. I'm still working my way up! Ahhh, but I'll get there eventually. I wonder if she'll like my articles. Hmmm...
Sigh. The singles thing. Easy does it, kid. I'm learning to not get so wound up any more about dates. Whatever happens, happens. I'm sure it'll be a good time.
Well, there's grading to do, some paperwork and my last final to administer in a few hours!
Onwards and upwards,
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-04-2008 at 08:56 AM.
Man, oh man! I've been grading all morning and the sounds that came out of the Scantron grader for the Business Administration final resembled the rapid staccato sounds of a Gattling Gun firing! So man wrong, so little time!
For the unitiated, every time a Scantron machine scores an error, it makes a pronounced ticking sound. When there's lots of errors, you hear a bunch of ticks spaced close together, kind of like the sound one might expect from a Gattling Gun in the distance.
Funny, I'm sitting in the Teacher Center and I can hear the same sound, maybe even worse. Sigh. Does anybody study around here?
Oh well. My finals are done. Now, it's just a matter of computer and paper work.
C'est la vie,
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-04-2008 at 09:03 AM.
Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz at a book signing at Border's Bookstore in Schaumburg Friday night
What an evening! I was meeting my friend, Camerin, at Borders Bookstore in Schaumburg before driving her down to Chicago for dinner at Reza's Restaurant and then a blues gig at a club just across from the Aragon Ballroom.
When I met her, though, Camerin told me that there were a lot of people there lining up to meet someone upstairs. So, we checked it out and found out it was Tito Ortiz.
Since we'd have to wait about 45 minutes (which Cam was really cool about), we went to Stir Crazy across the way at the Woodfield Shopping Center for a drink and an appetizer to hold us over, then came back in time to shoot a couple pics, then got on the road.
With Chicagoland traffic on the 90, that drive took us a while.
Nevertheless, we had a tasty dinner at Reza's, then headed up to this place on Lawrence Avenue called the Kinetic Playground, where another friend, Dave, had asked me to come out and shoot some photos of the band.
Dave was hanging out there with his wife, Patsy, greeted us, and mentioned that he thought I should shoot some pics outside, too, during a break.
So, as the band had just gotten started and not many people were in the place, we decided to walk around and try and scout out some places to shoot some pics during intermission. Acting as my "assistant," Cam posed for a couple pictures to see how the lighting was.
Eventually, we went in and enjoyed the band. I shot a bunch of photos and, during break, went outside with Dave, the band members, Cam and a few others to shoot some photos near the El train station.
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-07-2008 at 09:17 AM.
Dave's talking about maybe using some of my pics for posters and/or a album cover. Guess we'll see after I've gone through all the pics and sent him the best ones.
And, either way, it was a very cool time!
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-07-2008 at 09:51 AM.
The Petrillo Band Shell at Grant Park with Buddy Guy playing away (we had to look on monitors to see the guy--which were unphotographable in this light)
This last Sunday, my friend, Scott, his buddy, Pete, and I took the Metra train down into Chicago to catch the Bluesfest and B.B. King in Grant Park. Great stuff! At age 82, B.B. King sounded like his old, awesome self. They've got quite the sound system, as evidenced by the way the sound carried. Indeed, the music was loud and good, the crowds very big, and the temperature quite warm!
Funny, for a while there, I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever hear the music, as we it took forever walking through the huge crowds to get food and beer. Sheesh!
On the way back to the train, we stopped at the Millenium Park outdoor band shell. That was impressive, with its ultra-hip scalloped, scultured stainless steel stage and its criss-crossing network of tube steel cables running maybe 75 feet above the lawn with pairs of speakers suspended intermittently. Now, THAT would have been a great place to have seen B.B. King. But, of course, the lawn would have been ruined by the crowds trampling on it, and it wouldn't be enough space to contain the large throng.
Still, it was a nice place to relax before heading back to Union Station for our long ride back out to the suburbs...
Left to right: Some CBZ News Editor, Pete, and Scott riding the Metra back home
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-10-2008 at 12:09 PM.
Earlier this evening, I talked with my friend, Camerin (who serves as an editor and writer at Christianity Today), and found out about a big flap on a review she'd done on the movie, Sex in the City. Apparently, she found some redeeming qualities in the movie and gave it a pretty positive review.
Unfortunately, a writer with Boundless Webzine--an affiliate of Focus on the Family--took issue with her review and wrote a scathing piece on Camerin, her review and her employer, Christianity Today. It was pretty harsh stuff, with a poster or two actually implying that Camerin might not really be a Christian. That's just plain gross and ignorant.
Here's a link to Camerin's review:
Link to Review on Sex and the City
And here's a link to the scathing critique of Camerin's review:
Link to "Christianity Today Relishes Sexual Perversion" Piece
Mind you, I appreciate a lot of the work that Focus on the Family does. However, in this instance, I take issue with this particular writer of theirs and his very aggressive, sacrosanct and condemning piece. There are much better ways to put things.
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-11-2008 at 02:40 AM.
Here are some photos from a party I dubbed Juan's "Summer Grooves Lakeside Bash" and hosted last night.
Popular Chicago middleweight boxer and The Contender boxing reality show participant "Macho" Miguel Hernandez (second from left) in between Mrs. and Mr. Duane Harroun (who studied with me and shared some laughs in some elective classes we took in the 90s) and next to CBZ photographer Ed Zajac and his wife mugs for the camera at a party held at my house Saturday night
Not pictured is Jose Hernandez, a sharp boxer out of Round Lake (who kayoed Jason Litzau and went the distance with Rocky Juarez last year and owns two bars--one in Round Lake Beach called Copas and another in Fox Lake, Illinois called Kevans) who talked with Miguel via cell. Although he was only about five or ten minutes away, he was turning in early and couldn't make the party, as he's preparing for a bout in Chicago this July. Good for him!
Left to right: CBZ writer and photographer Jorge Bravo, his lovely wife Adriana, and a reluctant photo participant
A guy named Gary and a good friend of mine, Jill
Some friends out back enjoy a little fire pit action
Karen (at left) who plays a great piano at church and a friend share a laugh
Michael, a very cool guy from church who I just found out lives just several miles away from me. We'll definitely have to hang out
Two sweet gals who joined the bash
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-15-2008 at 02:18 PM.
Two new friends--the one on the left rode with Jill
Joe, on the right, is a photographer in his own right and wants to go jogging with me soon. The guy on the left--whose name escapes me--saved the day and grabbed some papper bowls (which I absent-mindedly forgot) for the chili I threw together. Although the chili was a hit, I've still got a mando-sized pot of the stuff sitting in my refrigerator!
Tim, at left, who's a wonderfully caring human being, with another guy whose name I believe is Gary
Oh gosh! I can never remember this guy's name. He's laughing as another camera-shy lady turns her head.
Jeff, who makes a living in real estate rentals in the affluent Highland Park, Illinois area, and a gal named Lynda, I believe, chit-chat
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-15-2008 at 02:09 PM.
I posted up some more photos from the Kinetic Playground in Chicago which were originally shot about a week ago last Friday:
Link to more photos from the Kinetic Playground
I just finished putting up some photos from a wine and food match held at Cabs Wine Bar Bistro in May. I was really pleased with a lot of the photos.
Check them out at the link below:
Link to photos from recent wine & food match at Cabs
Just took a voluntary redundancy at my job after 13 years after a the new government changed my areas role. I have already got another job at about 30% pay increase so I'm not stressed, plus my payout has given me time with my daughter as well as a chance to get debt free, have a house deposit saved and of course one obligatory toy for me.
I bought a Les Paul Custom and am very happy with my buy to say the least - Some happy snappys. It's an 87, the same year I started learning guitar.
Hey Doomed is the guitar white or cream....looks a bit like Randy Rhoades main axe...all you need is a trophy plate with your name inscribed.
What do you think of Ibanez guitars? I'm a strat guy but a buddy of mine has about 10 Ibanez different signature models (lotta money to burn) and swears he will convert me. I've played them and they seem to be cutting edge in neck design, pick-ups, tremolo system etc....prices are steep though.
It's more an off white I guess, it's officially an "artic white" guitar.
If I was going to splash out on a guitar that was similar to an Ibanez, I'd probably check out a PRS first only cause I'm not a shredder and I guess I associate the brand with more shredding than anything else.
PRS give you that room to shred, yet with a more "classic" guitar tone.
Dang! Must be nice leaving one job with a payout and trading it in for a new job with a 30 percent pay increase!Just took a voluntary redundancy at my job after 13 years after a the new government changed my areas role. I have already got another job at about 30% pay increase so I'm not stressed, plus my payout has given me time with my daughter as well as a chance to get debt free, have a house deposit saved and of course one obligatory toy for me.
I don't know much about guitars--my brother and some of my friends could talk shop with you about that--but that's a beautiful guitar.
What kind of music do you play? Blues? Rock? Alternative? Jazz? And who are your favorite guitar players these days?
I'm a shredder in the Malmsteen/Vai/Satriani mold but deeply rooted in Hendrix/SRV etc....best of both worlds. Too many sides to my playing...I'm kind of a 6 string schizophrenic. The Ibanez feels real good to my hands.Originally Posted by doomeddisciple
JUAN, send me your address again via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will still send you and Ron that Larry Scott videotape when I ever get around to burning it. My computer crashed and I lost everyone's info.
Doomed if you have any MP3 files of your recent music projects feel free to email it to me at that address. Peace.
Juan, It was a bit scary - To go from the security of a long term job and to stand and decide to jump wasn't easy - But I'm 34 and had a fiar bit of debt - I wanted to be debt free and have a decent house deposit and this "negative" I turned into an opportunity. Being in IT work helps!!!
10-8 - Given your description - I would try a PRS before you try the Ibanez - I think the Ibanez is too much of a foot in the Vai/Satch shredder camp and not giving you the flexibility of tone to move into those more bluesy areas without having a tone that's a little contrived - At least that's my experience with Ibanez- But her - like ANY guitar purchase - You gotta try before you buy and see what this instrument says to you.
My white said "take me home pappi!"
Guys, my new album is out in late July/early August, I will scare you away then - Juan - My band is pretty darn metal. But I have played for 21 years and love Jazz, blues, fingerstyle guitar and a whole bunch of stuff.
Last edited by doomeddisciple; 06-17-2008 at 12:25 AM.
Thanks, guys! I really appreciate your responses.
My taste and tollerance for various types of music is pretty broad, so I'd be interested in hearing some of that shreader music when you get the chance.
By the way, here's an excerpt from yesterday's teleconference with David Diaz, who's facing Manny Pacquiao on June 28th. I'll be there at Las Vegas to cover that fight for the CBZ.
Pacquiao (left) and Diaz at their recent presser in Chicago (my photo)
I don't know if you caught that line of Diaz's that his boys weren't boxing. Sheesh! How funny.Operator: Your next question comes from the line of (Juan Ayllon).
(Juan Ayllon): (Juan Ayllon) from the Cyber Boxing Zone; how you doing?
David Diaz: Hey, how you doing (Juan).
(Juan Ayllon): Hey, terrific. Hey, youíve always been known for your hard work ethic and never-say-die attitude in the ring. And in the past youíve attributed that to the example your father set for you. Could you give us some examples of ways he demonstrated this work ethic to you?
David Diaz: Well, my dad, you know, he migrated over here to this country with hardly anything - any schooling or anything like that. He didnít even go to first grade. And his attitude towards work was, I have to work because he had to provide for his family. And he always taught us that - one quick story was he - one time we were in Chicago waiting for the bus, and back then we had really like about - a lot of snow would come down in Chicago.
And ten minutes into waiting outside, I told my dad, hey man, the bus ainít coming man, letís get out of here. And he was like, you know what, letís just give it five minutes. If five minutes donít come - the bus doesnít show up then we can leave.
Iím like, alright. Low and behold, before five minutes were up man, that damn bus came by and so we had to get on that bus, and go to the other line to wait for the other bus another half an hour.
And that - he just showed me that, you know, you have to go do what youíre supposed to do, and thatís the work ethic that I instill in my career.
(Juan Ayllon): Great. Another quick question; a critic (unintelligible) in the past has been that even though youíve got considerable skills, that a lot of times youíll abandon them and go in with a face-forward style. What kind of things have you done to offset that, and maybe something thatís neglecting the jab?
David Diaz: I donít know man. You know, sometimes when you get into the heat of the fight, I mean, everything goes out the window and then itís just - you just feel like that. And thatís something that you just canít control man, and I try, try to do it - itís just by fixing it is listening to the corner when I get back to the corner.
(Juan Ayllon): Okay. One last question; will you boys be at the fight?
David Diaz: No, theyíre going to be at home here in Chicago. Theyíre not boxing.
(Juan Ayllon): Okay. Well, I wish you all the best David.
David Diaz: Thank you.
Anyways, you can read the rest of the transcript at the link below:
Teleconference Transcript Link
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-18-2008 at 03:17 PM.
I thought you might enjoy this piece I just posted up from David Diaz's open workout in Chicago earlier today. Here's a link below:
Link to Open Workout Piece
I'm thinking that perhaps it's a bit wordy, but I just had to get it out of my system.
Former Light Heavyweight Champ Montell Griffin (left) lands the hook on opponent Cory Cummings
I just finished selecting, cropping, resizing, and posting up the photos in my report from Friday's fights in Chicago. Holy Cow! Does that take FOREVER!!!
Jorge Bravo joined me and did a great job as photographer.
Anyways, check it out at the link below:
Montell Griffin, et al Fight Report Link
Last edited by Juan C Ayllon; 06-22-2008 at 07:47 PM.