OMG! Plywood!

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If that title and this image bores you, then skip the rest of it, but if like me you see this and think “oooh! I could totally put that on…” then you definitely need to know about Anderson Plywood (4020 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230). Clearly they have the baddest-assed plywood options in all of LA. This shop was pointed out by the super cool new LA Taco blog, which has been adding some cool gems to my daily RSS reads recently. Now I need to decide if I want to repanel my living room or not.

Justice for Alias Fans

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I don’t have cable or get any television stations so I’m a little behind on the 411 when new shows come out. However, by accidental internet wandering I discovered that spy daddy from my fave show Alias (Jack Bristow) has a new tv show calld Justice. Ok, it’s not an Alias spin off but I love, love, love actor Victor Garber so I’m hoping this new series is good. And, just like Alias, it’s set in our lovely city of Los Angeles.

From Jerry Bruckheimer, executive producer of “CSI” and “Without a Trace,” comes JUSTICE, an unflinching, behind-the-scenes look at how high-profile cases are tried in these media-saturated times. Set in Los Angeles, the entertainment and high-profile trial capital of the world, JUSTICE centers on four brilliant lawyers who, together, tackle the cases that captivate the country and provide compelling fodder for everything from water cooler chit-chat to tabloid glossies to 24-hour news channels. Combining their unique skill sets and personal charisma with the most cutting-edge forensic technology, these lawyers are a formidable presence in any courtroom. When the stakes are as high as they can be, you want Trott, Nicholson, Tuller & Graves in your corner.

Any of you industry-related folks have any scoop on this new show?

Stay off Wilshire at Highland

I saw this on Flickr of all places in unsure shot’s photostream. Looks like the police have shut down the road for a possible hostage situation.

I don’t see anything about it on the news websites (and they took away my TV at the office).

Anyone else have any info?

UPDATE 4:54 PM: Fox 11 has some vague details on it (it’s a hostage situation with a gunman holding an unknown number of people).

UPDATED UPDATE 5:28: The intersection has reopened. Still no news on the news.

Rocky’s Road

So what if Jerry Brown trounced him in the last election and sure he drew some snickerings for that thing he seems to have for filing lawsuits against those pesky videogame companies, one look at City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s website shows him to still be hard at work doing his best to kick ass and take names — and ride his bike.

Yeah, you read me right. Rocky likes him some two-wheeled action on occasion. More power to him! Still I gotta admit it’s an interesting juxtaposition to see on his homepage sandwiched there between announcements of 310-count criminal complaints and crackdowns on street gangs, predatory landlords and flagrantly unsafe yoga practitioners, the following headline:

Join in the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Bike Ride…

Community bike rides are nothing new for Delgadillo. He’s hosted them all around the area over the years and his next one, a 20-miler through the San Fernando Valley, is scheduled for September 30 commencing at 8 a.m. from Warner Center Park (map) in Woodland Hills. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. but instructions say to RSVP by September 13 to confirm T-shirt size or he’ll sue your ass.

More Than A Pedestrian Celebration (Updated)

Whether you feel the official celebration of Los Angeles’ 225th birthday this coming Monday is right on target or righteously insufficient, it is what it is: a symbolic nine-mile walk tracing the journey made September 4, 1781, by the 11 original settling families known collectively as los pobladores from the Mision de San Gabriel to a place near El Rio de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula where El Pueblo de Los Angeles was founded.

While it may not have all the pizazz (cough!) that came with shining a big flashlight at the Hollywood sign to ring in the millennium, I think it’s a cool concept and I’m onboard to participate in the public parade — even if it does begin at 7 a.m. and requires some consideration devoted to figuring out how to transport myself to the starting point… especially since no city shuttle services are to be available (updated at the end of the jump), and neither are basic commute tips even offered on the event’s official webpages, dammit.

So, do I drive there and then have to deal with getting back out to my vehicle after the walk? Oh heeeeell nah! Do I pedal out but then wind up walking my bike most of the nine miles back to the plaza? Maybe, but I’m thinking I’d really like my hands free throughout the trek for picture taking and spontaneous applause and to semi-goodnaturedly muss Mayor ‘Tonio’s hair should that opportunity arise. So instead I’m left trying to figure out my mass transportation options that morning. That early morning. That early Labor Day holiday morning. But it seems totally doable. And by totally I mean hopefully.
Continue reading More Than A Pedestrian Celebration (Updated)

Faux-Pas at the Chinese Restaurant

Note to self: do not wear your Chairman Mao Obey t-shirt to your neighborhood Chinese restaurant. I know it is subversive sarcasm, but the waitress might not. Although she did take interest in it and question me if I knew who it was (I did). She also remarked in the 20 years she had lived in the US, this was the first time she had seen his picture. We’re all an ugly American occasionally and I had my little slip up last night. :(

Save the dorky 76 ball

With gas prices so high, nobody is a fan of the gasoline companies these days. But Kim and Nathan over at 1947 Project have an affinity for a symbol of one of them – the 76 ball – which is being retired in favor of a fairly icky, and non-orange, new sign.

About our cause: ConocoPhillips is removing the iconic 76 Balls and replacing them with boring rectangular signs that aren’t even orange! Our petition and boycott asks that they STOP THIS and leave the remaining 76 Balls on their poles, where they belong. Wanna help?:

When I was growing up, my grandpa had several of those old 76 antenna balls, which he used for various purposes. One was an actual antenna ball. One was hung from the ceiling in the garage to help my grandma park the minivan in the right spot each time (it’d hit the windshield when the car was in the right position – any further and the front end would overlap the little walkway into the house). When ha received others, he stuck them on other random locations in his house – I even think he had one hanging off one of his golf clubs. So I have a fairly sentimental attachment to the freakin’ orange ball.

I think my local station still has the old-style ball, but I’m out of town right now and can’t check. (Oh, woe is me!) If ConocoPhilips won’t relent on the decision to change the signage, I think they should auction the old 76 balls off, with proceeds going to charity. People who have some kind of weird-ass sentimental attachment to those giant orange balls can bid on them, while everyone else goes about their business refilling their tanks, oblivious to our work. 76 Orange Ball nerds unite!

Most of Metro LA’s Auto Insurance Premiums Probably About to Go Down

In case you missed the news last week, California auto insurers have finally given up on their 17-year-long battle against Proposition 103. In other words, they can no longer gouge you based on what zip code you live in. Now they have to use crazy, outlandish metrics like your safety record, your number of years behind the wheel and the amount of driving you do. Of special note is the fact that insurers claimed that having to stop using zip codes as a determiner would result in rate increases of up to 60%, when in fact most of them, like State Farm and Chubb, seem to be cutting them in the aftermath. Is it possible that insurance lobbyists are dirty liars?

Another Take on Sunset Junction

game.jpg Will wasn’t the only b.laer at the Silverlake Streetfair this weekend. Somehow I allowed myself to be dragged there. We arrived just before sunset on Saturday. Ticket prices had just gone up and I was cranky. Luckily my friend found a ticket band on the ground, which she quickly snapped up and put on my wrist. Then she pulled the local discount, so we ended up getting the three of us in for a mere $20.

Once we were inside we pushed passed drunken hipsters to check out booths. There were various interesting clothing options. Many of the booths I stopped by didn’t have actual stores, the only sold their stuff online. So it was cool to check out the merchandise before buying. Plus it’s cool to see what people are making in their backyard with some stencils.

When I had exhausted my shopping interest (about 3 booths) I stumbled upon the carnival rides. This was a delightful surprise. I didn’t expect there to be crazy carnival rides. I checked out the options for a while, eyeing the spinning saucer. I eventually I took three turns on the spinning disk that turns vertical and one meditative experience on what I call the vomitron.
Continue reading Another Take on Sunset Junction

Million Solar Roofs Plan

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My Flex Your Power newsletter informed me about the legislation Governor Schwarzenegger signed on August 21:

…Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB1, legislation authored by state Senator Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) that aims to generate 3,000 megawatts of solar energy and place photovoltaic (PV) panels on one million California homes and businesses over the next decade. The bill broadens the $3.2 billion Million Solar Roofs plan proposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger last year and currently being promulgated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as the California Solar Initiative (CSI). SB1 expands the CSI — and directs $800 million of the plan’s $3.2 billion — to customers of municipal utilities such as the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Los Angeles Department of Water Power; increases the number of customers who can sell excess solar energy back to power companies for credit on monthly bills by raising the net metering cap from 0.5% to 2.5% of a utility’s total load; and, beginning January 1, 2011, requires developers of more than 50 new single-family homes to offer PV systems to all homebuyer.

The press release on the Gov’s website uote Arnold as saying: “When I ran for governor, I vowed to make the environment the centerpiece of my administration and turn back the clock on pollution,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger.”

What do you think of the Governor’s “Million Solar Roofs Plan” and how do you think it will factor in come election time?

Image: Governor Schwarzenegger with Senator Kevin Murray and Bernadette Del Chiaro, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment California

Free Fictional Chocolate and a Movie

apollobar.jpgABC or someone associated with the TV show Lost has been working on a viral marketing campaign capitalizing on the fictional chocolate bar, Apollo, seen in the bunker in Lost.

They’re doing giveways across the country and there’s one tonight in Santa Monica at the Santa Monica Drive In at the Pier at 7 PM.

Tonight they’re showing Forrest Gump.

They’ll do it again next Tuesday night as well for the showing of Anchorman and then on the 19th for Grease.

Hey, even if you don’t want the chocolate bar, they’re going for $25 bucks or more a piece on eBay.

From abLA :: LACMA – the good and the bad

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Last Friday for the first time in a long time, I went to LACMA. The lure of David Hockney’s portrait exhibition was just too strong. This trip reminded me of how absolutely amazing art can be and how amazingly-botched an art museum can be at the same time.

LACMA the good
Not surprisingly what is good about LACMA is the art which, when it all boils down to it, matters the absolute most. The Hockney portraits show is amazing (most seem to agree) and actually a damn good time. And wandering through LACMA’s permanent collections (more so than I ever have) was a true highlight of my trip…continue reading

LACMA the bad
Detailed in four points it begins with lighting – with halogen bulbs mere inches away from their massive ceilings, some pieces only have one light shining on them. Others, like a first few rooms of Hockney, were so dark it was hard to see the artwork…continue reading

Image: Clyfford Still – 1955-H

Cleopatra, Abbreviated

t_4494.jpg Back the the days when most of the artists on the Metropolis Records label were just getting their start, and when gothic-industrial as I know it was just getting started, Los Angeles Based Cleopatra Records was still the powerhouse label for goth. In the early and mid-90s, Cleopatra released goth box sets and US releases for European artists. They signed Gary Numan in 1997, released albums by goth club dance staples Razed in Black, Information Society and Heaven 17, and brought us Switchblade Symphony and Bella Morte. Since those days though, they have devolved into specializing in cover album compilations – gothic-industrial tributes to Madonna and Prince and Bow-Wow-Wow, and now, a scan of their main page reveals an artist lineup that is as much R&B as it is dance.

Still, I had hopes for Cleopatra recently. Their most recent compilation is a CD called “Gothic Divas”, containing songs from Switchblade Symphony, as well as from new bands Tre Lux (which features the vocalist from Switchblade Symphony) and New Skin. I tracked down the Gothic Divas CD on eMusic, and received the New Skin EP from my boyfriend, and thought – maybe there’s hope for Cleopatra yet.
Continue reading Cleopatra, Abbreviated

Sweatin’ Bullet Points: 8/29/06… Katrina, Jiffy Lubes, etc…

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/katrinaearth-thumb.jpg‚Ä¢ Today is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Councilman John (at Mayor Sam) points out that NWNC President Jim Alger is being recognized in Biloxi today for using his own airplane and coordinating relief and rescue efforts that saved countless lives. But, John asks, “The bigger question remains, what has the Federal Govenment learned from Katrina? Are we ready for a large disaster in Los Angeles? Do YOU have a plan?”

‚Ä¢ The city of Glendale plans to celebrate its 100th birthday on Monday at the annual Old-Timers Picnic. Also on hand will be 100 year old Glendale resident Gertrude Ness. The Old Timers Picnic has been a “Glendale staple since 1907” and had been held at the Casa Adobe de San Rafael since 1953… and if that doesn’t date far enough back for you, Casa Adobe was built in 1865. And some say Los Angeles doesn’t have a history (source: Glendale News Press).

‚Ä¢ A few months ago NBC4 LA reporter Joel Grover did an investigation into consumer fraud at area Jiffy Lubes. The reports led to five Jiffy Lubes (in Encino, Canoga Park, Glendale, Sherman Oaks, and Burbank) being closed for a couple days to “retrain” the staff. The Consumerist presents a video compilation of all four reports.

‚Ä¢ Congratulations to LA Observed’s Kevin Roderick for being named a finalist for the Southern California Booksellers Association 2006 Book Awards. His book, Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, is up against such titles as Barkley: A Dog’s Journey and Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood. Winners will be announced October 21st.

‚Ä¢ Brandon at Down With Pants, a blogging.la reader/commenter (heck, I’ll call him a fan!), is soliciting managers for his fantasy football league. “Am I the only one who thinks it would f-ing awesome to compete head-to-head with your blogging friends during this football season?” If only I could compete with my fantasy football cheerleader squad…

Greetings From Vintage Los Angeles

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I just stumbled across this amazing collection of vintage Los Angeles postcards collected by the folks at LA Nocturne. The one pictured above was postmarked 6/25/1949 and includes a note on the back from one friend to another saying “Just a line to say hello from sunny California. Will be home next week – Everything lovely here – lots of flowers and everything.” This is one of the “Large Letter” series, but they also have specific sections and buildings around town. I love this image of Broadway from Fifth, and this 1947 view of City Hall is about as good as it gets. But there are also some gems like this card showing trolly cars on Spring Street, or Grauman’s with nothing around it. Even better, some of the pages have details on the images from the cards, like this snip of a scene from downtown:

CivicCenter.jpgUntil 1965, City Hall was the tallest building in the City of Los Angeles. Building codes outlawed any occupied structure over 150 feet. This explains the many tall faux facades, spires, and clock towers you will see in the downtown area. The buildings left of City Hall are, from left to right, the State Building, the Old Courthouse right before demolition, the Hall of Records, and the Hall of Justice – the only one still standing, but red-tagged due to the January 94 earthquake.