Ridge Route

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Today’s feature article on the front page of Wikipedia is about the Ridge Route:

The Ridge Route was California’s first highway linking the Los Angeles Basin with the San Joaquin Valley; it was particularly used to travel from the city of Los Angeles to Bakersfield. Its official name was the Castaic-Tejon Route.

The article covers quite a bit of interesting history of the route and includes directions on how to get there today. Any directions that include the line “…disregard the yellow and black advisory sign which says ‘not a through road…'” can’t be all bad. Not to mention:

Though a great deal of the route had been daylighted (widened) and paved in asphalt by the mid-1920s, much of the 1919 concrete pavement remains intact. In some areas, Model T tire tracks can still be seen, left decades ago in the still-soft concrete.

Everyone’s Gotta Dive Sometime

tape.jpgOnly minutes in from walking my dog by the light of the full moon and just seconds away from powering down for the evening and suddenly a block away on Silver Lake Boulevard south of Sunset just erupted in a hail of gunfire ó somewhere near 20 rounds from two different caliber weapons over a span of time that seemed like an endless 15 hours seconds. I pulled a Shocknek* and hit the hardwood. I’ve never dove for cover in my life until tonight.

Scant moments and a 911 call later (“Do you hear anyone screaming, sir?”) and the eerie silence and lack of converging sirens make me wonder if the gun battle was all in my head or, if not, what I might find when I dare walk the dog in the morning.

* When the 1987 Whittier quake struck, then-KNBC news anchorman Kent Shocknek was on the air and jumped under the desk where he continued broadcasting.

Update (11:22 p.m.): 46 minutes after the shots, here come the sirens. Now more sirens. And a helicopter. Guess I can get up off the floor now. Sleep won’t be for awhile though.

Update (07:30 a.m.): Here’s what I found in the morning at the apartment building on the east side of Silver Lake Boulevard at Ellet Place just south of the Sunset Boulevard overpass. As the crow flies its about 500 feet from where I was sitting.
Continue reading Everyone’s Gotta Dive Sometime

The Patchouli Room

I don’t know who is responsible, but the Break Room is now the Patchouli Room. My Diet Coke will not have an accompanying Lime taste as I prefer but rather the woody stench of Patchouli.

There is a reason you do not see Diet Coke with Patchouli in the coolers of your local AM/PM: because it is a nasty combination.

Of course, with how all-pervading the hippy-stank cloud is at the moment, there will be Stouffers Frozen Dinners with Patchouli, Lean Pockets with Patchouli (Meatballs & Patchouli, mostly), and Egg Salad Sandwich with Lettuce, Pickle, and Patchouli for lunch. All of which make my Diet Coke with Patchouli pale in comparison.

My only hope is the fact that the human olfactory system tends to cancel out aromas that are too overpowering, enabling you to “get used” to even the most foul reeks. How else would people in Berkeley and Colorado survive?

This being L.A., is there any way we can mandate a Patchouli ban using the anti-smoking ordinances as a model? Either that or designate “Patchouli” and something more quintessentially Southern Californian — say, “Orange Blossom” — sections in restaurants and bars?

Meanwhile, I’m off to check out the OSHA guidelines…

Dude, Where’s My Democracy?

I’ve been dealing with buying, fixing and moving into a new house, so I’m just catching up and don’t have a lot of time for commentary about this, but it looks awesome.

WHEREíS MY DEMOCRACY?

An Evening of Readings by:
MICHAEL CHABON, DAVE EGGERS, ANNE LAMOTT, SUZAN-LORI PARKS, ALICE SEBOLD, DAVID FOSTER WALLACE

Introduced by JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER
Presented by DOWNTOWN FOR DEMOCRACY

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, 2004
8:00 PM
ROYCE HALL, UCLA CAMPUS

$25 Balcony Seating
$100 Orchestra Seating
$500 Patron ticket includes preferred orchestra seating, a private cocktail reception with the authors immediately following the reading and a signed and numbered limited edition lithograph by Raymod Pettibon.

Anna Anna Anna Anna Anna Nicole…

Last night I was at the Virgin Megastore, waiting in line to buy some new releases on CD, when an older Italian or Latin bloke in his early 50s walked by me with a very tall and leggy blonde wearing a short miniskirt who was in her 30s.

Of course, the first thoughts in my head were:
1. Escort service.
2. Golddigger.
3. Trophy girlfriend/wife.

Said bloke was so caught up in her being affectionate towards him that they kept the cashier waiting for his signature on the credit card receipt for almost a minute.

I should’ve gotten a phonecam pic, but I was too thrown off by the bizarre pairing to snap a photo! :(

THE BITCH IS BACK

And what the butthole has she been doing? This brave little soldier just ended a 3 month long stint working in a convenience store (favor. don’t ask.) Have I learned anything new from this excruciatingly pointless experience? Just that working in retail/service does suck as much as I remember. Anyway, I’ve always believed in being kind to your serviceperson, but here are a few helpful tips for the next time you’re in a convenience store/snack shop:

1. Just because you’re over 55 doesn’t make it quaint for you to call me “sugar britches” and “honey bunny”.

2. When purchasing Lotto tickets, DO NOT EVER say “Make sure you give me the winning one this time! *chuckle, chuckle*” It will never be cute or funny. EVER. Especially after every other customer says it thinking they are being original. I can only fake smile so many times a day.

3. This is kind of connected to the previous one, but when checking to see if your Lotto ticket has won, don’t say “Hey! This machine is broken! It says I’m not a winner! You better fix it!”. That’s not funny either. Stupidface.
Continue reading THE BITCH IS BACK

STU-PID

So on August 4, I wrote and sent a letter to my “friends” at the Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau contesting the totally bullshit ticket that was supposedly issued to my vehicle way back in June.

If you don’t remember the story, basically, I received a parking ticket in the mail for being illegally parked somewhere I wasn’t… on a day & time where I was at work and parked in my parking space in a private lot. (My workplace is nowhere in the vicinity of where the ticket was issued.)

So I refused to pay the ticket (so no new obscene check was written) and I wrote a letter contesting the ticket, even getting a letter from BossMan to vouch that I was indeed at work on that day & time (and that I always drove myself to work and parked in my own parking space).

So today, I got a reply in the mail from them and I got scared because the envelope was bulging.
Continue reading STU-PID

A is for Artiist

meow

And yet another art show in chinatown. Oh brother. Maybe it was fine fine art but I had no idea what the hell I was looking at. Just a bunch of scratches on a piece of wood. Give the retard a gallery and everyone is an artist.

blogginLA: may I ask what that is?
sandwich: yes, its my art.
bloggin LA: but why do you consider it art?
sandwich: there are a lot of artist out there that the people at the LA times overlook because they don’t follow the traditional or mainstream definition. Grafitti artists took several decades before they were considered artist of a sort. But look at neanderthal rock paintings. They were done on caves for god’s sake but academia has always called it art. Isn’t it basically the same thing. So why did it take so much time for people like twist and space invader to be considered artist? Its just hypocrisy. But i bypass all of that by framing all my pieces or showing them here at the 805 art gallery in chinatown.
blogginLA: even than, some people might not consider your pieces “art”.
sandwich: you ever see that movie “spring summer fall winter…spring”. Some people considered that film a piece of art. But was it? So it was filmed with saturated colors but c’mon, what really was the story. Some guy who did caligraphy with his cat’s taill. Like that would really happen. That was just plain ridiculous. but if the director thinks its art, it must be.
blogginLA: are the scratches on the wood a metaphor?
sandwich: no
blogginLA: so why?
sandwich: if you notice, I do not have opposable thumbs. Thus the ability to actually paint something eludes me.
blogginLA: why do you call yourself sandwich?
sandwich: thats not even my real name. thats what you (the media) call me. But what does it matter anyway. Call me what you want, I answer when I want to.
blogginLA: do you think your arrogant attitude will hurt sales of your art?
sandwich: I don’t care. I’m just hungry right now. When the hell are you going to feed me?
blogginLA: I only feed you at 7 am and 6 pm. Its neither right now.
sandwich: thats just bullshit. and why is it always dry food. this interview is over.

Dang, are all artists cats this temperamental?

Parkfield’s Wait Is Over

Looks like our northern neighbors, Parkfield had a large earthquake today. One that they’ve been predicting since 1988. The temblor was originally pegged at a 5.9 but was upgraded to a 6.0 a few hours later.

The USGS and many other scientists have been interested in Parkfield because of its history of regular earthquakes. This event may have been the most measured earthquake ever.

There appears to be some light damage in the area to structures, but no reports of serious injuries or deaths (there were two killed in December ’03 in Paso Robles).

Oh what a beautiful morning!

It’s so nice and gloomy and chilly out that I had to take a walk up to Runyon Canyon this morning. I’ve been recovering from that nasty flu bug that everyone’s been getting but this morning the haze in my head cleared and I had that rush of energy the freshly undead often get, so I hit the trail. At the first tier in the canyon the entire city was almost completely invisible. I’m kicking myself for not having at least my phone cam with me but then again it would have been a lovely photo of dirt and fog. I hope mornings like this are the herald of cooler days for at least a while. Living in Hollywood without air conditioning, no pun intended, blows.Perfect morning. I could only get better if I can find a secret route between Burbank and Hollywood. Going to work takes 6 minutes. Coming home at night takes about 50. Something’s not right about that…

No rage infected monkys here!

Shaun of the Dead opens today at the Arclight! I’m sure everyone I know is sick of me raving about this movie but last week I saw a preview at the Arclight and the Director was there for a brief Q&A and all I can say is that this movie is FUCKING GENIUS! I heartily recommend everyone gets off their collective asses go see it immediately. After-all it’s a love story!